The Twin Dilemma – 1984 – S21 – E7/7

Number : Season 21, episode 7 of 7.

Which One : The Sixth Doctor goes post regen-gaga!

Cast : The Doctor : Colin Baker
Peri : Nicola Bryant
Edgeworth : Maurice Denham
Mestor : Edwin Richfield
Hugo Long : Kevin McNally
Sylvest : Dennis Chinnery
Romulus : Gavin Conrad
Remus : Andrew Conrad
Chamberlain : Seymour Green
Drak : Oliver Smith
Noma : Barry Stanton
Elena : Dione Inman
Fabian : Helen Blatch
Prisoner : Roger Nott
Jacondan Guard : John Wilson

Written By : Anthony Steven

Produced By : JNT

First UK Broadcast : 22 – 30 March 1984.

Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The newly regenerated Doctor is acting erractically and nearly kills Peri in an unprovoked attack. He decides to head to the solitude of Titan 3 – a deserted asteroid, to stay out of trouble but finds himself drawn into a feud between a slug and bird-like people.

Whats good : Colin Baker’s unique take on the role, starts here.

Whats bad : Baker’s murderous rage post regenerative stress turn. His choice of outfit. The Jacondans. Uninspired story.

Review With Spoilers : Colin Baker was a controversial and unique choice to play the Doctor. He’s memorable – there is no question of that. Its a shame they couldn’t write a better opening gambit for him, than this cast-off Peter Davison paint-by-numbers adventure.

His take on the post regenerative stress disorder, is again unique – but for the wrong reasons. In a fit of rage, he attempts to strangle companion Peri to death on the floor of the Tardis. An act unlikely to readily endear him to the fanbase.

Its also the last time we see him dressed in some tasteful clothes, as he begins The Twin Dillema still wearing Peter Davison’s outfit; before he fishes out that horrific technocolour dreamcoat.

The idea was to start the Sixth Doctor as a rude, unlikable and intensely arrogant mysoginist – and over time, smooth out the eccentricities until the true more likeable Sixth Doctor remained.

Unfortunately though, time was against this particular version of the Timelord and fate intervened; before this acting masterclass could be seen through to its developed conclusion.

“My dear child [Peri], stop worrying. Try to understand. Regeneration in my case is a swift but volcanic experience. A kind of violent biological eruption in which the body cells are displaced, changed, renewed and rearranged!” The Doctor

In terms of the actual story though, it’s a rather insipid affair about the forced slave labour of a bird people – The Jacondans; by their captors – the slug-like Gastropods.

Two child twin genius’s have also been stolen by a renegade Timelord called Edgeworth/Azmael, to workout a calculation for moving some planets – to help distribute Gastropod eggs throughout the galaxy.

The only real thing of note here – bar Baker’s bizarre post regenerative turn is Azmael. Who turns out to be an old tutor of the Doctor from his Gallifreyan academy days.

Also, it’s a first for Who; to have the first story of a new Doctor, as the last episode of the outgoing Fifth Doctor’s season.

Thats where the memorability ends though. Twin Dilemma can be classed as a forgettable and unmemorable opener for such a flamboyant Doctor.

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Old Doctor Who


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