Reviewed By: kfb2014
Review Date: 3/21/16 6:21 pm
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The Alchemists, is a tricky one, we have essentially a cult science fiction character, and you have the the Nazi’s. Not the ideal combination for a light hearted piece of drama. There are so many oner and undertones, connotations and things that could make this awfully bad. Thank god we don’t run headlong into any of these. Handled superbly well, the writing actually focuses more on story that creating, an historically accurate, and what would have been ultimately quite a dire and depressing Who outing. However this excursion is entertaining in all the right ways, and it’s main focus is on the depth of intelligence that was blooming in pre full blown Nazi Germany. There is also a chilling portrayal of the reasons why Hitler and his henchmen came to power. So some good, educational awareness is handled in a way that provides you with the knowledge that you need to know, just enough, not too much, to detract from the Who story in hand. The Doctor and his granddaughter land in 30’s Berlin. The Doctor soon realises that they are not far from the Kaiser Willheim University, at this time the seat for many of the twentieth centuries finest minds, such as Heisenberg, Planck, Schrödinger, Wigner. To a man in the shape of the Doctor this is too good an opportunity to pass up. However within the story as ever the separation element plays key as we see Susan being used by a deep sleeper agent from the British, whilst the Doctor gets taken by the Nazi’s. The combination of the British agent and a sympathetic German pawn broker assist Susan in getting her grandfather back and also the ability to get back to the Tardis, before too much of history starts to unravel. I liked this story for what could have been heavy going it’s light and entertaining. It provides a wonderful feeling of it being a first Doctor episode, and with the acting skills of Carol-Ann Ford at the helm she directs us through the stormy wonderfully well. Wayne Forester also deserves praise as he portrays the part of the British agent wonderfully “of it’s time”.