Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 4/20/17 1:13 am
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I've never understood the popularity of this one. While there isn't anything egregiously wrong with it, it's really not terribly good either. The story has some interesting ideas, and the script takes a good stab of using the Triskele to explore human psychology, but it's done in a fairly superficial way, and the story isn't very dynamic or engaging. It's actually pretty slow and plodding, and the Triskele don't ever present much of a threat. Worst of all, the decision to open the story with four minutes of the Doctor talking to himself was sheer madness.
Then there's Charley... the good news is that she is an instantly engaging character, and India Fisher does a wonderful job of bringing her to life. It's immediately obvious that she's going to make a wonderful companion and a perfect match for Paul McGann's Doctor. The bad news is that the ongoing story that this story is trying to set-up doesn't make any sense. We just have to take it on faith that Charley surviving the R101 disaster is some kind of terrible problem, but there's no apparent reason why it should be. If Lord Tamworth can run off with the Triskele, why can't Charley run off with the Doctor? As far as this individual story is concerned, it's just one plot hole, but this particular plot hole happens to be the key point in an ongoing storyline. Charley's entire story arc is built up out of this plot hole.
Evelyn should have been given Charley's story arc. It would have worked for Evelyn.If you go back and listen closely to "The Marian Conspiracy", you'll notice that her whole existence is one giant bootstrap paradox. The Doctor learns her family history, travels back in time, and then through his deliberate interference creates that history based on his foreknowledge of it. Her whole existence is a product of the Doctor's willful interference. She should have been the one the Time Lords wanted to kill. It would have made a lot more sense. It doesn't work for Charley at all.