The Worst of Doctor Who: “The Two Doctors”


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CAST OF CHARACTERS:

6th Doctor

The 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) – The “current” incarnation of the Doctor. He wears a Technicolor dream coat that would have any Biblical prophet blushing with shame.

2nd Doctor

The 2nd Doctor (Patrick Troughton) – A previous version of the Doctor. Suspiciously older looking than he was at the time he regenerated into the 3rd Doctor. If you expect this to be explained on screen, don’t hold your breath.

Peri

Peri (Nicola Bryant) – The 6th Doctor’s American companion. Was most definitely not added to the series as a bit of T&A. Not at all. Why would you think such a thing?

Jamie

Jamie McCrimmon (Frazier Hines) – One of the 2nd Doctor’s most popular companions. Like the Doctor, he looks strangely older, but fear not. The explanation for this is just the same as it is for the Doctor’s appearance.

Dastari

Dastari (Laurence Payne) – Your standard megalomaniac scientist hell-bent on doing what he’s going to do, damn be the consequences, those fools at the Academy laughed at me, LAUGHED!, they called me mad, but I’ll have my revenge, bwa-ha-ha-ha, etc, etc. Every bit as interesting as you expect. Also, he looks kind of like Kim Jong Il.

Chesene

Chessene (Jacqueline Pierce) – An Androgum. They’re some sort of poorly-developed species that exists entirely in this episode as a way of pushing a vegetarian message, and is never mentioned again, thankfully. She’s an “augmented” Androgum, and Dastari assures us that she’s perfectly safe to be around and nothing can possiblie go wrong.

Shockeye

Shockeye (John Stratton) – Another Androgum. For some reason, he has a name like a Decepticon. He’s a humanitarian in the same sense that people who eat vegetables are vegetarians.

Oscar

Oscar (James Saxon) – An annoying, bug-collecting English actor (but he really wants to direct), who is managing a restaurant in Spain. Serves absolutely no purpose to the plot, except to die well. Vote Saxon!

Anita

Anita (Carmen Gomez) – A Spanish woman who, for reasons unclear to anyone, including the writers, seems to have a “thing” for Oscar, which he ignores. Oh, if only the rest of us could. Like Oscar, she serves no purpose to the plot, except to be there when he dies well.

Stike

Field Marshall Stike (Clinton Greyn) – A Sontaran who is, for some reason, in this story. Like Oscar and Anita, you could remove him and the other Sontarans from the story without anyone noticing. Looks kind of like a pissed-off Mister Potato Head.

Logo

When I first set out to do these recaps, I had planned to do two for each Doctor. I figured that was a pretty solid plan, and indeed it is, depending on the Doctor.

See, there’s a lot of stories for the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th Doctors. There’s not nearly as many for the 9th and 6th because they filmed so few, and for the 2nd there were a whole lot of them, but the BBC junked most of his stories back in the 1970’s. They did the same with the 1st Doctor, but a great many of those have been recovered. As for the 8th Doctor, he had only one on-screen adventure, and, boy, did it stink.

So anyhow this left me in a bit of a quandary. There’s a couple stink-bomb 6th Doctor stories (this one, “The Twin Dilemma” and “Terror of the Vervoids” come to mind), but I couldn’t think of any really bad 2nd Doctor stories. Oh, to be sure, “The Mind Robber” has its bad points, but it’s so overflowing with late 1960’s strangeness that I couldn’t find it in my heart to dislike it. I understand “The Krotons” is pretty awful, but I haven’t seen it, so I cannot comment.

Thus I was caught in a small trap. I couldn’t find too much to complain about with the 6th Doctor (even his weaker stories still tended to be pretty good), and there’s so little of the 2nd Doctor, I didn’t have any idea how to handle him.

Fortunately for me, back in the mid-1980’s, Robert Holmes sat down and kindly wrote today’s travesty, “The Two Doctors”, bringing together two of my favorite Doctors in one of my least favorite stories. You know that’s gotta get a recap! So let’s get to it!

Title

The story opens with the 2nd Doctor and Jamie tooling around in a suspiciously modern looking version of the TARDIS control room. They’re using the console from the olden days, but the rest doesn’t look quite right for the 2nd Doctor. Still, the scene starts up in black and white before gradually fading to color, so that’s kind of neat. But right off we hit a few snags.

Opening

Let’s back up a bit. At the end of “The Tenth Planet”, William Hartnell’s last adventure (which introduced the Cybermen as well as the concept of regeneration. There were four episodes and the last one is missing. Come on, guys, let’s have a DVD release with that last episode animated!), the Doctor died and, before the startled eyes of Ben and Polly, regenerated, changing into a completely new person.

From the start, it was clear that the new Doctor was quite a bit different from the old Doctor. He was much more likely to stick himself into situations rather than let events pull him in, his attitude was vastly different, he often acted like a clown (or “cosmic hobo” as he’s often referred), and generally came off a bit more accessible and human than the 1st Doctor. This usually enabled his enemies to underestimate him.

The 2nd Doctor had a good four-year run, and for most of that time was teamed up with his companion, Jamie McCrimmon. Jamie was a Scot from the Jacobite era. Sadly, the episode that introduced him, “The Highlanders”, is missing, so I don’t know exactly how he came to be on the TARDIS. Still, there was great chemistry between him and the 2nd Doctor and his presence on the show was nothing but a plus.

In 1969, as the show was about to transition into color, Patrick Troughton decided to step down as the Doctor. His finale was a ten part (!), story called “The War Games”, which comes out on DVD in North America quite soon. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend picking it up, as it’s really good! Anyhow, at the end of that story, he pisses off the Time Lords who force him to regenerate and send his companions, Jamie and Zoe (a science wiz from the future), back to their own times with their memories erased. The Time Lords exile the Doctor to Earth and the last thing we see of him is him spinning off into the void as the regeneration starts.

Or does it?

See, that’s where things get a little odd. When you watch “The Two Doctors”, you notice right away that the Doctor and Jamie are visibly older and the TARDIS looks different on the inside from how it had looked at the end of “The War Games”. This combined with a scene in another multi-Doctor story, “The Five Doctors”, wherein the Doctor knows Jamie and Zoe had their memories erased creates a massive continuity error.

Thankfully, in steps the “Season 6b” concept. This concept states that right before he was made to regenerate the Doctor was captured by the Celestial Intervention Agency. They left him in his body as the 2nd Doctor and sent him off on various missions with Jamie and Victoria tagging along. As retcon explanations go, it’s not a bad one, and has been the basis for a couple really great novels.

This Season 6b concept explains a lot of what’s happening on screen here. It explains why the Doctor is older, why he has Jamie and Victoria with him and why he’s out running errands for the Time Lords. It also explains how he knew, during the events in “The Five Doctors”, exactly what had happened to Jamie and Zoe. His knowledge of their fates only makes sense if you accept the idea that he didn’t regenerate right away after the end of “The War Games”.

Anyhow, the Doctor and Jamie are tooling along when the Doctor notices some little gizmo on the TARDIS console. Turns out the Time Lords (presumably the CIA), are diverting him off course to a space station where he’s meant to investigate some goings on involving time travel experiments. The TARDIS materializes in the station’s galley and we are introduced, sadly, to the character of Shockeye.

What to say about Shockeye and the Androgums? They’re a horribly done species, really. They exist as Robert Holmes’ effort to get us all to forego meat and become vegetarians, so he made them very over-the-top. Shockeye is constantly hungry, and always talking about how he really wants to sample the meat of a “Tellurian”. It took me three- count ‘em! – three viewings of this story to realize he was talking about humans when he says “Tellurian”. It does make sense that other species would have different names for humans (Tosevites, for example), but no other species in Doctor Who does, so it’s very out of place here.

Shockeye menaces the Doctor and Jamie for a bit and then they wander off to find Dastari as the TARDIS mysteriously vanishes. This leads into Chesene putting in her first appearance. She talks briefly with Shockeye and make it clear at the outset that she has an agenda of her own. Like Shockeye she’s an Androgum, though “augmented” to look more… well, human, I suppose, though it’s never said that Dastari and the others on the station are humans, but that’s ok.

Chesene congratulates Shockeye on a wonderfully tasty poison dinner he’d made for some people. She’s also stolen a prototype time travel device. The two have a bit of a “mwa-ha-ha! We’re so deliciously EVIL!” moment and then we cut to the Doctor and Jamie who have arrived at Dastari’s office.

Dastari seems unimpressed by the Doctor’s arrival, especially as the Doctor is delivering a rather heavy-handed message from the time Lords about how they plan to evaluate the time travel experiments and see if Dastari and company will be allowed to continue to do them.

This implies that time travel technology is a very closely-guarded secret and one the Time Lords don’t want just anyone to have. I guess that explains why they are the only ones who can travel through time. Well, them and the Daleks, the Cybermen, the humans (Captain Jack, etc), the tourists in “Delta and the Bannermen”, the Family of Blood, and many, many more, including, if I’m not much mistaken, the Sontarans, which is ironic given this episode.

Ironic because, only a few minutes later, some Sontaran battlecruisers are spotted on a scanner screen. Uh-oh! Before the tech who sees them can do anything, Chesene comes up and takes him out. Nice. In the office, Dastari faints, the Doctor is captured and Jamie makes a run for it.

We now leave this merry scene and go to the surface of an unnamed planet, where a blinding glow from someone’s coat means we’re about to see the 6th Doctor and his stalwart companion, Peri!

Well, what to say about the 6th Doctor? Colin Baker remains the only actor to have been fired from a role and allegedly was hired because the producer of the series, John Nathan-Turner, liked him after meeting him at a party. Nice.

The character himself was chaotic and, at least initially, very unlikable. This was intentional on the part of the writers who wanted to make him an unstable character that people would grow to love. Empirical evidence seems to indicate this was not the case, as Baker was, as mentioned before, fired after only 18 months in the role.

It’s too bad, actually. I personally rather like the 6th Doctor, and as people have looked back on his performance, many have come to like the character quite a bit. He’s abrasive and arrogant, and more than a little unstable and violent, but also very interesting.

Anyhow, the Doctor is fishing with Peri when he gets a horrible image of the Second Doctor being tortured and possibly killed. He knows this can’t be, since he’s alive and well, and, concerned he might just now be a temporal anomaly, decides to resolve the issue by consulting with his good friend, Dastari.

A little fan-service for those who want it!

A little fan-service for those who want it!

You know, this brings up an interesting point, which is this: why don’t the Doctors remember the various events that happened when they met each other? With the exception of the 5th/10th crossover, “Time Crash”, the Doctors never remember information.

For example, in “The Five Doctors”, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Doctors are running around doing various things. At no point does, say, the 5th Doctor remark that, “Hey, I went through all this three times before. I know what we need to do next!”

Anyhow, my point here is that the 6th Doctor should remember all the events of this episode and not walk into the situations he walks into. Though of course I suppose if he didn’t, that’d create it’s own temporal paradox. Ah, the joys of time travel.

Oh, well. Moving on!

The 6th Doctor and Peri arrive at the station only to find it largely in ruins. Wandering around they eventually find information that makes the Doctor wonder if the Time Lords might’ve been behind the attack, and I have to say that Colin Baker actually does a good job of selling his reaction to that. It’s clear the character doesn’t want to believe that the Time Lords might’ve killed everyone, but he’s willing to accept the idea if the evidence points to it.

Meantime, Dastari, Chesene, Shockeye, a Sontaran major, and the Second Doctor have all arrived in Spain, somewhere near Seville. They attack and kill an old woman and take over her hacienda, where they set up shop.

Interestingly, the episode is, in fact, filmed in Spain, which is pretty neat. It’s always cool when the series goes out and films on location. They haven’t done it too often, and sometimes it’s kind of pointless (“The Fires of Pompeii” springs to mind. It was filmed in Italy, but you wouldn’t know that unless you were told. “Planet of the Dead” was filmed in Dubai, but could’ve been done with a sandbox and CGI set extensions), but generally it works.

This episode, however, was originally supposed to be set and filmed in, of all places, New Orleans! That’s right; they’d planned to do a story here on this side of the Pond, and since they were focusing in part on food, filming and setting in New Orleans made great sense!

Sadly, some of the funding which was being provided by a PBS station, fell through. So they production was moved to Spain. They still kept the food focus, which, I don’t know, seems kind of odd to me. When I think Spain, I don’t think food, but then again, maybe it’s different in Europe?

Anyhow, back to the story, where we’re now introduced to the extremely pointless characters of Oscar and Anita. They serve no plot function whatsoever, except to leave a jar of cyanide laying around (this becomes important later). Really, they could’ve been left out without really changing the story any. Their function here is to see the Sontaran ship land and think there was a plane crash. They go to investigate!

Back on the station, the 6th Doctor and Peri are going through various corridors trying to get some information as to what’s been going on. Peri is convinced they aren’t alone and are being perused by something. The Doctor scoffs at this, but is proven wrong when a shadowy figure attacks Peri! This is unfortunate for the ole Doc, because at that point he was trying to disarm a trap. Peri’s scream startles him and he gets gassed, falling onto some cables, and we go to the credits!

Yeah, ok, episode one isn’t all that bad, actually. There’s a few good moments with the Second Doctor and Jamie, but Oscar and Anita are pointless as is presence of the Sontarans. Shockeye is lightly annoying (he gets worse later), but otherwise, yeah, not too bad of a start.

Sadly, this episode is the high point of the story.

Anyhow! Not surprisingly, the Doctor isn’t dead. No, the Doctor turns out to be ok thanks to his respiratory bypass system. You know, the one the 7th Doctor wished the writers had remembered before knocking him out with anesthetic. Like many of the Doctor’s physical attributes, it’s there when the script needs it and gone when it doesn’t.

As for the thing that attacked Peri? Turns out it’s some obsessed fan, desperate for her autograph!

Ok, it’s not. It’s actually Jamie. He’s gone crazy due to being stuck on this space station. Or something. I’m not really sure why he’s wandering around all weird and sub-vocal. I guess the writer thought it would make for some tension, but it’s actually just confusing. And for the record, I have Peri’s autograph on my copy of “Trial of a Time Lord”, so there. :)

Jamie tells the Doctor about the Sontaran attack. The Doctor goes and examines some records on the station’s computer and as he does, he sees an image of Peri being tortured. He presses some buttons and cycles through images of the Peri, Dastari, the Second Doctor and himself (though I suppose that’s technically the same as the Second Doctor). He determines this is just a holograph to make it look like someone’s being tortured. Why Dastari has such a device laying around is not explained. Perhaps some questions about his personal life are best left unasked.

The 6th Doctor deduces that the 2nd Doctor and Dastari must’ve been kidnapped and taken away by the Sontarans. He mumbles something about some symbiotic McGuffiin that’s in the Time Lord DNA which allows them to do time travel. The Sontarans apparently want this, though I’m not sure why.

See, during the time of the 4th Doctor the Sontarans invaded Gallifrey in an episode called “The Invasion of Time”. During this they presumably killed a few Time Lords and would have all the DNA McGuffins they need, so why the need them here is puzzling to me, as is the fact that, near as I can tell, they can already do time travel!

To make matters worse, their appearance here is truly pointless. One of the signs of a bad screenplay is an overabundance of villains. Consider, if you will, painful though it may be, the latter Batman films of the early 1990’s. From Batman Returns to Batman and Robin you had two or three villains per movie. It removed the focus and dragged down the storyline.

Same thing here. Had the story featured just the Sontarans as antagonists, it would’ve made more sense, made for a tighter story and removed the need for the Androgums. Likewise, had Dastari and Chesene been the primary villains, with no Sontarans, that could’ve also made for a better, tighter story (though probably not as good, since the two characters aren’t very interesting). Instead the writer, who created the Sontarans, decided to have the two different groups with the result you see here.

Ultimately, had the Sontarans not been in the story at all, the story wouldn’t have changed in any substantive way, and that’s a sure sign they do not belong.

Pardon that digression, but I thought it an important point to make, and it’s also worth noting that, in theory, all they’d need to do is drug the Doctor, take a blood sample and be done with it, but whatever.

Back on the station, the 6th Doctor puts himself into a trance to try and find the 2nd Doctor. He eventually hears the sounds of bells and determines that one of them is the largest bell at the Great Cathedral of Seville. Ok, well done, I suppose. I’m not sure that I buy that even a Time Lord could tell the difference between the bells of the world (or universe, since he didn’t know the 2nd Doctor was on Earth). Possibly it’s a faint memory of his time as the Second Doctor experiencing all this stuff, but that’s never mentioned, so Who knows? (Who! Ha! I’m funny!)

Dastari and pals (you might remember Dastari and Pals, an exciting show about a boy-scientist and his pets, which ran for ten glorious minutes on the CBC before someone realized it didn’t, in fact, exist. It was right after Mister Dressup), are talking about their various evil purposes. The Sontarans want to use Earth as an attack base against their enemies and Shockeye wants to eat some people. Dastari takes great pains to remind Chesene that she’s no longer a normal Androgum and is above the normal desires of her people, letting us know that by the end of the story, she’ll be giving into the normal desires of her people.

Meantime, Anita and Oscar are wandering around and come across the TARIDS. Intuiting that it’s from Interpol (?), Oscar goes up to it and when the Sixth Doctor and friends come out, he figures they’re police officers. Oooookay. I mean, clearly it’s a British police box, and as Anita points out, doesn’t say “Policia”, but rather “Police”. Like I’ve said before, you know it’s a bad plot point when even the characters in the show are nitpicking it.

Dastari, for his part, is now telling the Second Doctor all his wonderful plans, thus entering into the “Talking Villain” trope. Basically he plans to give Chesene the ability to travel through time. He doesn’t really explain why he wants to do this, but I suspect he’s got something of a hard spot for her, if you get my meaning. I’m saying that’s not a sonic screwdriver in his pocket, he’s happy to see her. I mean that he really wants to reverse the polarity of her neutron flow! I’m talkin’ sex! Hell, it’s either that or hubris, but there’s more jokes to make about sex.

The Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Peri make their way to the hideout and plan to enter through a back passage. The Doctor tells Peri to go cause a distraction. She does this by knocking on the front door and claiming she’s there as an American student scouting locations for a student trip, which isn’t a bad cover story, actually.

Chesene, who is for some reason telepathic, reads that at the top of Peri’s mind is concern about the Doctor. To double-check this, she has the Second Doctor brought through the room, and dismisses her theories when Peri doesn’t recognize him. Peri eventually leaves, and Shockeye goes hounding after her, determined to “taste” her “meat”, if you get my meaning… actually, there’s no meaning there. He wants to eat her. If you get my mea- oh, nevermind.

Anyhow, this is as good a chance as any for me to rant briefly about telepathy. What a stupid concept it is! I’ve never understood quite how it’s supposed to work. How would such a thing evolve? What use would it be to sentient beings? And surely you’d only be able to send and receive messages from someone else who is telepathic, right? Otherwise it’d be like a radio broadcast; if you don’t have a radio, you can’t hear it. I know it’s a major sci-fi feature, but I just don’t like it.

Meantime, downstairs the Sixth Doctor and Jamie tamper with the time travel module that Dastari and pals brought with them. The Doctor spouts of some technobabble that basically boils down to: once he’s used it, anyone can. Stike (remember him? He’s in this story), overhears this and takes the Doctor and Jamie captive, as outside, Shockeye catches up to Peri, and we end the episode!

So with lots of padding, we’re now two-thirds of the way through the story. Mind you, this entire episode was pretty much nothing but padding, which really sucks, since the episodes at this point were 45 minutes long. Yes, this means that we just had 45 minutes of padding to suffer through. Argh!

But frankly, I’ll take the padding over what we get in the next episode. Ever wanted to see Patrick Troughton with bushy orange eyebrows? Yeah, me, neither. Sorry.

Back in the story, we see Shockeye knock Peri unconscious by hitting his arm (?!). Yeah, sorry, but that’s what it looks like he did. It’s supposed to be a karate chop kind of thing, but really, it’s just him hitting his arm.

Down in the cellar (and, no, “cellar door” is not the most beautiful phrase in the English language. Someone really hot saying, “Sex? Oh, alright,” to me is the most beautiful phrase), Stike threatens to off Jamie unless the Doctor primes the time machine. The Doctor does and Stike, of course, plans to kill Jamie anyhow, until Jamie stabs him in the leg. Well done, Jamie!

The two heroes run upstairs where we get the part every fan wants to see in a multi-Doctor story; the Doctor meeting the Doctor! The two engage in some rather entertaining banter, but before the 6th can release the 2nd, the bad guys come back. The 6th Doctor and Jamie hide as the Second pretends to be unconscious. I’m bored enough at this point that I wish I could do the same.

Talk about your fashion nightmares... where's Anna Wintour when we need her?

Talk about your fashion nightmares... where's Anna Wintour when we need her?

They overhear as Chesene, concerned that now there’s a second Time Lord involved her plans might not go as… er… planned, concocts a new plan to have the Second Doctor implanted with some of Shockeye’s DNA, thus turning him into an Androgrum and putting him, at least somewhat, under her control.

Of course after that’s done they plan to backstab the Sontarans, unaware that the Sontarans plan to backstab them by self-destructing their ship and escaping in the time travel module the Doctor primed. Makes sense, I suppose. Hell, as much sense as the rest of the story does.

Chesene goes to the kitchens where she finds Shockeye about to do nasty things to Peri. She stuns him and hauls him down to the basement so that she can do the DNA switch and make the Doctor an Androgum. Once she’s clear, the Sixth Doctor and Jamie rescue Peri and the Doctor explains that he was bluffing earlier when talking about the need for the travel pod to be primed. In fact it’s not going to work at all due to the Doctor removing some little device called a “briode nebulizer”, but which I am going to call “the flux capacitor”.

Shockeye’s DNA is implanted into the Second Doctor. Partway through the implant process, Shockeye wakes up and frees the Doctor who now… well, now looks like a Scotsman in need of the local free clinic.

Sure, Androgums can cook, but would you want your daughter to marry one?

Sure, Androgums can cook, but would you want your daughter to marry one?

Orange eyebrows. See? I warned you. You could’ve turned back, but no. Now you’ve seen it, and you can’t un-see it, so there.

Anyhow, Shockeye and the Doctor start talking food and eventually make plans for a dinner date. The Doctor, clearly the top in this budding relationship, explains that they will need nicer clothes.

As they plan out their night on the town, Chesene and Dastari set off some coronic acid bombs, which apparently is a Bad Thing for the Sontarans. The bombs look rather like Roman candles, lending a nice, festive air to the events. Stike’s assistant is killed, but he survives and staggers into the time machine. I flash back to David Warner’s fate in the fine film, Time After Time as it messes up and injures him even further.

Death by... er... Roman candle...

Death by... er... Roman candle...

Now really messed up, he heads off to his spaceship. In a very Wile E Coyote move, he forgets he set it to self-destruct. It does what he told it to do, and, well, that’s the end of that pointless subplot. Yes, the Sontarans really did nothing, contributed nothing, and had no business in this story. Well done, Mr Holmes. Well done.

Shockeye and the Second Doctor have been busy in the meantime by getting changed into coats and top hats (?) for their little dinner date. Why exactly an old Spanish woman had two men’s coats and top hats in their size is left to the viewer to guess. My theory is that it’s something like Arsenic and Old Lace.

Sadly, the spinoff series, <em>Ug and Uglier</em>, didn't make it past the pilot.

Sadly, the spinoff series, Ug and Uglier, didn't make it past the pilot.

The Second Doctor and Shockeye have, in the meantime, wandered into the restaurant run by Oscar. Very convenient, that. They have a sit, engage in some “witty” banter about human meat and Oscar then goes around warning everyone that no matter what else they do, they mustn’t talk about the war!

The Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Peri head off in pursuit, wandering around greater Seville trying to find Shockeye and the Second Doctor. As they do, the Sixth Doctor is starting to feel the effects of the change to his DNA inflicted by the Second Doctor’s transformation. This makes no real logical sense, but it does lend itself to some amusing sequences of him wanting to eat a cat. Chesene and Dastari are also trying to find Shockeye and the Second Doctor so they can give him a second treatment and stabilize the DNA transfer.

Back at the foodery, Anita recites a gigantic list of food eaten by the Second Doctor and Shockeye. It’s clearly more food and drink than either of them would actually be capable of eating. I briefly expect Oscar to offer them each a wafer-thin mint to go with the last of their grub. Instead he makes plans to give them their bill, which is much less interesting, though, as it turns out, just as fatal.

'Dear God, it's another Russel T Davies screenplay! Noooooooooo!'

'Dear God, it's another Russel T Davies screenplay! Noooooooooo!'

Shockeye stabs Oscar after refusing to provide any viable form of currency. Oscar, who took a rather unconvincing hit to the shoulder, has his dramatic death scene as Anita mourns over him and I doze off. The Second Doctor, meantime, reverts to normal. This includes his eyebrows going back to their usual color.

This is something that often happens in TV and movies. Someone gets aged and when they do, their existent hair, which is dead keratin, changes color. That never made sense to me. Yes, any new hair they grow would change color, but the stuff that’s already grown would not. So basically the Doctor’s eyebrows wouldn’t have changed in the first place and they wouldn’t have changed now. Yes, it’s a minor nitpick, but one that always irks me.

Anyhow, Chesene and Dastari capture everyone (as the diners continue to eat and no police or ambulances appear), and take them back to their HQ. Shockeye wanders off with Jamie to kill and cook him, as Chesene decides to test the time machine. She has Peri sit inside and sends her a bit into the future, pleased with that, she has Peri, the 6th Doctor and the 2nd Doctor tied up. Dastari talks at them for a moment and then leaves, and very pointedly leaves the key where they can get it.

WTF? Why leave the key at all, much less where the people you just chained up can reach it? Why not just carry it with you? Argh, this episode pisses me off!

Once Dastari leaves the Sixth Doctor talks about how he sabotaged the flux capacitor so that it would work once, but never again. Everyone seems pleased, and then the Doctors get the key and free themselves.

The Sixth Doctor, worried about Jamie, runs upstairs to free him. He gets into a bit of a tussle with him which eventually ends up with them both outside. The Doctor stumbles across Oscar’s cyanide and uses it to kill Shockeye. So, there we are. Maybe I was wrong and Oscar did serve a point in the plot. *eye roll*

During the chase, Shockeye managed to stab the Doctor a bit, and now Chesene and Dastari happen on his blood. She gets all gooey and starts licking it up. He gets disgusted and tries to free Peri and the Second Doctor. Chesene gets pissed and kills him and tries to escape in the time machine. We get a repeat of what happened to Stike and she falls out, dead, and turns back into her normal Androgum state.

That’s about it for the story. Everyone says their goodbyes, the Second Doctor and Jamie head off in their TARDIS and the Sixth Doctor tells Peri that from now, it’s going to be a vegetarian diet for them both. I, meantime, have a hamburger.

So that’s it. That’s it for the last big multi-Doctor story. The last appearance of the Second Doctor and, so far, the last appearance of Jamie. All that glorious potential wasted on this annoying, obnoxious story that hammers you endlessly over the head with a “don’t eat meat!” message.

I can’t bring myself to totally detest this story. It did have it’s good points, but it could’ve been much better had they left out the Sontarans, Oscar and Anita, given up the whole meat subplot and cut it down from three 45 minute episodes to just two. All that would’ve helped. Instead we got what we got.

Next time on the Worst of Doctor Who… Hell, I don’t know. Suggestions? It has to be something out on DVD in region one!

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8 Responses to “The Worst of Doctor Who: “The Two Doctors””

  1. arthurthepanther Says:

    How about the rest of Doctor Who? lol. actually, I’d love to hear your recap of the Doctor Who bit featuring Rowan Atkinson ^^

  2. critiqaltheory Says:

    I’m not sure if it’s out there yet, but I’d plump for The Twin Dilemma. It’s the only Doctor Who story I don’t like.

    • Chris Says:

      Yeah, it just hit DVD here a couple weeks ago. I’ve picked up a copy and it’ll probably end up getting an article on here. Goodness knows, it’s pretty bad. I remembered it being bad 20 years ago when I first saw it, and time hasn’t improved it any.

  3. SF Says:

    Tellurian = from Latin, telluris: of Earth. Any dictionary can tell you that.

    I can tell there are lots of other points you just don’t get either. Give up watching Dr. Who. Your brain just isn’t up to it.

  4. HUGGBEES Says:

    a Suggestion? how about Time and the Rani? – for me, this is THE worst doctor who episode ever (The Twin Dilemma is a bit of a Guilty pleasure for me) it’s literally unwatchable for me, I’ve only managed to get myself to watch until halfway across the first part until I said “screw that!” and went to do something more pleasnet to do to my eyes, like jamming knifes into them

    • Chris Says:

      Yeah, I’m considering it. There’s several McCoy episodes which, sadly, suck ass. That’s one, and the others are “Paradise Towers”, “The Happiness Patrol” and “Greatest Show in the Galaxy”. A great Doctor with a great companion in the form of Ace, but some really, really awful stories.

  5. Chronomalix Says:

    They did eventually animate the Tenth Planet :) And that “Tellurian” line comes from “Carnival of Monsters”, where the word is used as an alternate meaning for humans. A really obscure reference.

    There’s also this fan project called Devious that tries to show 2 regenerate into 3… sorta. I’m also very glad that The Night of the Doctor was a wonderful second adventure for the Eighth Doctor, though brief and his final story overall.


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