Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Season Twenty-Four

A much derided pantomime of a season...and I derive so much enjoyment from it for all the wrong reasons! The Doctor and Mel face up to the wretched Rani, the scheming Kroagnon, Gavrok and his bunch of Bannermen and the sinister Kane who is waiting to exact his revenge.

The regulars -

Time and the Rani written by Pip and Jane Baker and directed by Andrew Morgan

Result: What can I possibly say about Time and the Rani to convince you to give it another go? The dialogue is horrendous, the characterisation is non-existent, the plot (what little that there is) is preposterous in the extreme and the performances are so pantomime the only thing that is missing is asking the audience to say ‘he’s behind you!’ Time and the Rani is ludicrously, hilariously, reputation-destroying bad in the extreme. And I love it. There are some things that are worth highlighting; some nice camerawork, effects and even a score by Keff McCulloch that manages to work but I really love this story because it is everything that Doctor Who shouldn’t be (and certainly shouldn’t have been at the time) in the extreme and the sheer ineptitude of the approach makes it deliriously enjoyable to watch. Whilst everybody else tries to take it seriously Kate O’Mara is having an absolute ball and I could watch her until the end of time refusing to take any of this nonsense remotely seriously and running rings around the new Doctor and Mel. Pure pleasure of the highest order – Time and the Rani for me is like the equivalent of a fantastic orgasm over something very naughty that lasts for an hour and a half: 9/10

Full Review Here:

Paradise Towers written by Stephen Wyatt and directed by Nicholas Mallett

Result: As a script Paradise Towers presents a scary, contemporary locale complete with rough, dangerous kids, killer robots, frightening old women, murderous authority figures, terrifying lifts and disembodied voices that possess people and turn them truly psychotic. Somewhere along the line all that horror is thrown out of the window and the director assembles a pantomime version of the same story. I don’t think there is a single story where the tone of the script and the tone of the production are so at odds with each other which is such a shame because this could (and I mean this) genuinely be one of the best stories of the eighties. The performances are exaggerated, the musical score cooks, eats, digests and excretes the tension and the whole things feels as though it takes place in a BBC studio rather than an idiosyncratic High Rise. Stephen Wyatt has injected his story with real wit and intelligence and unearthed some marvellous sources to influence his work but it is all wasted on a time when the production team behind the show are completely at sea. Such a shame: 5/10

Full Review Here:

Delta and the Bannermen written by Malcolm Kholl and directed by Chris Clough

Result: I bet John Nathan-Turner loved this story and rightly so. Delta and the Bannermen boasts superb location work, a funky score, blissfully warm and colourful characters and a charming, nostalgic atmosphere. It’s full of cute, silly moments and enjoys a more relaxed, holiday atmosphere that makes it extremely addictive to watch if you are in the right frame of mind. You’ve got sex (Billy and Delta), drugs (Billy sucking down on naughty alien medicine) and rock’n’roll (the fabulous dance scenes in part one, McCulloch's terrific electric guitar themes). McCoy is at his peak, commanding attention but also sweet and personable and Bonnie is allowed to behave like a human being for a change rather than a walking fitness instructor. There are evil mercenaries, mysterious beekeepers, motorbike chases and lots of honey. I love Delta and the Bannermen, it’s a story I have watched over and over and I have never understood the bile that is directed at it. I know some fans of the show that consider this the worst that it gets but with witty dialogue, engaging performances, a great pace, imaginative notions, terrific location work and an infectious sense that everybody is having a whale of a time I find that assertion hard to comprehend. Delta isn't perfect but it sees the McCoy era finding its confidence, having a blast and producing something unique whilst doing so. Approach with the right frame of mind: 9/10

Full Review Here:

Dragonfire written by Ian Briggs and directed by Chris Clough

Result: Never before or since has Doctor Who felt more like a duff pantomime (some of them are very good) in a long forgotten location. A cheap, plasticky production with cardboard characters, a script that gets more illogical as it proceeds and performances that verge on caricature. The script tries to suggest that dark things are going on but nobody told the director who overlights and shoots the story with careless abandon. Edward Peel and Sylvester McCoy single handedly give this story some credibility, a great villain and a sparkling Doctor but the story irritatingly keeps them apart until the last possible moment. Too many unanswered questions, farcical action sequences and gaps in logic, Dragonfire is often touted as the best story of season 24 but I think it’s the worst: 4/10

Full Review Here:


Richard Freeman said...

You gave Time and the Rani (the worst Dr Who story bar none) 9 out of ten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doc Oho said...

Absolutely love Time and the Rani...brilliant trash TV! I put it on whenever I'm poorly and it always cheers me up. If you read the review you will see that I don't think it's any good...and that's why I enjoy it so much!