The Two Doctors – 1985 – S22 – E4/6

imageNumber : Season 22, episode 4 of 6.

Which One : 6th meets 2nd.

Cast : The Doctors : Colin Baker / Patrick Troughton
Peri : Nicola Bryant
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Dastari : Laurence Payne
Shockeye :John Stratton
Chessene : Jacqueline Pearce
Technichian : Nicholas Fawcett
Oscar : James Saxon
Anita : Carmen Gómez
Doña Arana : Aimée Delamain
Stike : Clinton Greyn — Stike
Varl : Tim Raynham

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Written By : Robert Holmes.

Produced By : JNT

First UK Broadcast : 16 Feb – 02 Mar 1985.

Length : 3 x 45 minute parts

Plot : Both the Second and Sixth Doctor’s are drawn in to Chimera spacestation, in different time periods. Where a brilliant Scientist known as Dastari, is conducting illegal but potentially successful time travel experiments, much to the Timelord’s consternation.

Whats good : The rapport between the Second and Sixth Doctor – is surprisingly good. The whole adventure, although an almost out-and-out muddled Carry-On Abroad farce; is enjoyable. This is mainly underpinned by Patrick Troughton’s shining integrity. Troughton’s forced change into a primitive Androgum and subsequent shenanigans with Shockeye.

Whats bad : Muddled mess of a story. Very high levels of unforgiving violence. The cannibal threat of Shockeye, his biting the head off of a poor passing rat. The stabbing of Oscar by Shockeye. The inclusion of the Sontarans, as there is no real need for them.

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Review With Spoilers : The Two Doctors is episode 4 of season 22 and is a strange but nonetheless enjoyable Who romp.

It’s hard to put your sonic screwdriver on why this is, as it’s a confusing medley of characters, events, monsters and locations; from start – to finish.

imageAt times,it plays like an old Eton comedy, with no real fixed story or actual reason to get the two Doctor incarnations back together.

Aside from some ‘actual’ unusual location shooting, in a Spanish village and hacienda (aside from the usual british quarries and countryside backdrops of Who!). It doesn’t make a lot of sense – plot-wise.

However, this is where its strengths lay. It has a kind of a sweet charm and humour about it, beyond all of the violence. As to be expected, all of the best bits involve Troughton, who always shines in all of his reprises.

His scenes in the Spanish cafe with Shockeye; post-Androgum change, are more Carry On Abroad than staple sci-fi Who but are quite amusing – nonetheless.

“Do try and keep out of my way in future and in past, there’s a good [Sixth Doctor] fellow. The time continuum should be big enough for the both of us. Just!” Second Doctor

But for all of the Carry On irreverance, Two Doctors is underpinned by a strong bent of violence. Mainly involving the primitive cannibalistic urgings of Androgum cook; Shockeye.

At times you are really left wondering if stabbing an incidental character in the guts with a table knife, or biting the head clean off a passing rat, is needed in a kid’s drama. Shockeye’s appearance/manner is unnerving enough, (by mere suggestion alone) no need to show it.

So under all of the farce, violence and contrived Doctor-crossover nonsense, in a Spanish villa; is a Robert Holmes script. Holmes wrote some of the best Who stories ever. So must be somewhat commended for his attempt at a ‘violent comedy’.

Colin Baker must have been overjoyed in a pretty so-so season to be told that Troughton was returning to Who, as this is (because of Troughton!) – Baker’s best adventure.

If Original Star Trek has The Trouble.With Tribbles as the “the comedy one”, then it’s fitting that Who has The Two Doctors.

An unusual and unforgiving modern Who classic – with humour.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Old Doctor Who


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