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< 142b. The Entropy Composition
142d. Special Features >

142c. Doing Time

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Average Rating
7.5
Votes
86
The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories
7.2
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 10/7/16 5:34 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Doctor is sent to prison for warning of the Prison's imminent destruction. The story has some nice humor as the Doctor tries to no avail, to reason with the prison's governor. The Governor is an interesting character that would have been better had she not been so over the top. Still, some strong supporting characters and humor make up for this weakness.
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User Rating:
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7
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8
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8
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Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 2/26/15 7:44 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This started like an episode of 'Porridge' I could almost hear the dulcet tones of Ronnie Barker trooping out those immortal lines that started each episode. Although this has more get and go about it, as it stands out as a much better all round production, maybe it's the theme, maybe its because Peter and Sarah have a bigger supporting cast for them to play off l don't know, but Peter is much more the man in control of his destinies and everyone else's as well. I liked the interaction of the supporting cast as stated before give some foil for individuals to make more of. The idea of a temporally secured prison with a prison governor who thinks she is the next mayoral candidate and person in charge of Folly. The Doctor who is inside for what appears to be blasphemy stating that he has foretold that the prison will be blown off the face of Folly is at loggerheads with her it plays out against a wonderful "incarceration" backdrop. So far the best in the range.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
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NR
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Reviewed By: sarozReview Date: 5/23/13 8:31 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is my favorite story of the four, although at some level I feel it's a bit wasted in the single half-hour episode format. There are some aspects that seem like they could have lent themselves to a more developed story of two or three parts. However, that said, this is the most "complete" feeling of the tales; it uses its running time and cast to their full potential. Instead of being let down by a fairly simplistic, by-the-numbers plot spun from a promising hook, I was actually satisfied by the compact story told here.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
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Reviewed By: EiphelReview Date: 12/20/10 9:02 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Wow, what a cracker of a story this one was. Full of witty humour and clever plotting.

The setup is one of those simple, inspired notions - Trying to avert a temporal explosion, the Doctor is thrown in the very prison at ground zero. Turns out that 'Doctor John Smith' is the most notorious criminal on the planet of Folly! The Fifth Doctor adapts to life behind bars, and Nyssa to life on the outside, and whilst the Doctor's thread has obvious potential, Nyssa's is equally entertaining as her own good nature works against her attempts to get inside.

There's a cast of vibrant characters, from the Doctor's cell mates to the prison staff. Whilst you can only sketch in broad strokes with 30 minutes on the clock, each character suggested depth, rather than exhibiting shallowness. The banter between the characters is great fun to behold - The Doctor becoming a Shawshank Redemption-like prison icon is great fun, with a rather sweet moment when his cell mate tells him the prisoners kept up the cricket matches whilst he was in solitary.

And of COURSE he was in solitary. Because William Gallagher knows the tropes of prison drama, and plays to them. He takes each one playfully - The Fifth Doctor, least threatening of all, is thrown in solitary and respected for his notorious record. There's a sympathetic prison warder and a ruthless screw running the joint. There's even a parody of the opening to Porridge!

With such fun afoot, even a basic bare bones plot would be entertaining, but Gallagher has crafted something much more elegant. The villain is interesting, the conflicts and obstacles challenging, and overcome intelligently, and the finale draws on ideas from earlier in the story. It's a mark of the well-composed, well-paced plot that there's a real sense of time passing in the story, for all that it lasts half an hour.

And on top of all that, there's some wonderful tinkly piano music. What more could you ask? 8/10