Time and the Rani—0/10---I really want to give it a negative number
Paradise Towers—0/10—I really think it has a good idea at heart but…awful direction and acting
Delta and the Bannermen---8/10
Dragonfire---0/10---Ace is awful in this; story is awful, execution awful, just bad
Remembrance of the Daleks---710---big improvement
Happiness Patrol---5/10—used to hate this but I can see what they were getting at; poor Fifi
Silver Nemesis---1/10---Have to reassess this but…do I have to? Pretty bad
Greatest Show in the Galaxy---8/10---very, very good; Mags makes it lose 2 points
Battlefield---5/10---not bad and one can see where they were going but…pretty bad just the same
Ghostlight---6/10—used to hate this one but…relooking at it…
Curse of Fenric---6/10—ditto
Time and the Rani—1/10-not good; seemed rushed and unfinished; the regeneration is barely dealt with and when it is, Mel seems largely ok with it, which is sharp contrast to well, every single other one; not a fan of the Rani, her plans seem overtly too complex and about all she is good for is to snarl at the camera; McCoy is underutilized and merely reacts, rather than acts.
Paradise Towers—1/10—this is not good; very campy and poor writing; seems more like a comedy than sci-fi drama; was about 13+ years between viewings and all I remember are the cannibal old ladies and “wallscrawl;” Hitler-like caretaker is just bad taste; the Kang gibberish is cute at first and just becomes annoying; watching McCoy in these early episodes remind me a bit of the 10th—in attitude and energy—surprised no one has mentioned that before; and Pex … there are no words.
Delta and the Bannermen--4/10—the flying bus and the Bannermen’s Devo-like glasses are hard to get past … jumps immediately into the action; very reminiscent of the new series both in plot set-up and the Doctor taking a tour (“Midnight;” “Voyage of the Damned”; “Planet of the Dead”); story is campy and ambitious and an improvement over the previous two, but still lackluster overall; like McCoy in this; notice how very little Mel and the Doctor interact with one another, almost like they hate each other or purposely strive to work individually; wonder if the 9th Doctor remembers dancing at Shangri-la?
Dragonfire---5/10---this is my first watch of the episode ever; oddly enough, good to see Glitz again; plot doesn’t seem to flow—more like it wills itself along almost forcefully; Ace’s introduction makes one’s stomach buckle: “Hi, I’m Ace; let’s look for the Dragon!”; Ace, in this one, is more like a juvenile Leela with a better vocabulary; has a very Tom-Baker-era feeling to this one, with the Dragon and the sets and McCoy’s foolishness; I don’t want to like this episode, but I find that I do, much more than the three previous, overall the story is sound, but the execution is horrible; the stuff with the little girl running around and playing, oblivious to the fact everyone around her is butchered, is bizarre and chilling.
Remembrance of the Daleks---7/10--- interesting start to the show, no materialization; also so far with McCoy, there is little Tardis control room shots; much better than I remember; like the return to the Foreman yard, and the buildup to the first encounter with the Dalek—all very good; really like the continual references—“Don’t you remember the Zygon Gambit with the Loch Ness Monster? Or the Yetis in the Underground?” priceless; overall, the first “great” episode of the McCoy era; also, did not remember that Skarro is destroyed in this episode when the Hand of Omega passes into its sun.
Happiness Patrol---3/10—what a strange tale, both surreal and psychedelic; like many of McCoy’s stories thus far, they just sort of happen-the Doctor wants to visit this or that and immediately senses danger and the plot begins; this is my first time ever viewing the story in its entirety and my initial impressions are not good; everything feels over the top, from the bizarre strangeness of the Candy Man (worst or weirdest villain ever??) to the painting of the Tardis “hot pink”; it comes across as goofy and cornball; overall this is a poor story.
Silver Nemesis---7/10---this is a very, very ambitious story (and surprisingly good) that suffers under its own weight with often poor writing and way too many plot threads—Validium, Lady Peinforte, the Cybermen, the 4th Reich nonsense—that begins brilliantly, slowly spiraling into chaos and ultimately ending in mystery; some random notes and thoughts-- pocket watch that beeps the reminder, in the beginning—exterior is almost exactly the same as the one featured in new series; the time travel, or the ability to, surrounding Lady Peinforte is sketchy at best, as well as the purpose and description of validium’s purpose for “destruction”; love, love the hints as to the Doctor’s identity and finally, I am reminded of the Tardis being shot with an arrow at the close of Series 3’s “Shakespeare Code.”
Greatest Show in the Galaxy--- 9/10---“I’ve always found circuses a little sinister.” This is an excellent story, perhaps one of the most dark and brooding episodes ever, if not the most sinister. From start (with Ace peeking out of the backroom with the 4th Doctor’s scarf draped around her neck) to finish (ending with the iconic shot of the tent exploding and the Doctor calmly walking away, smug and seemingly unaware), the story is well paced, well written and knows exactly what it wants to do. As this story of werewolves, gray-clad gods, robot clowns and a circus of death unfolded before me, I found I couldn’t stop watching and wanted more. An excellent episode overall that deserves more attention and notoriety.
Battlefield---4/10--- after several strides forward in the McCoy era, we take a bold step back. This is a slow and confused story, with an interesting idea that never really delivers like it should and we are left wondering why these events are happening in the first place—it feels as though the plot doesn’t know what to do next, merely making things up as it goes along. There are some good moments—the return of UNIT, the Brigadier, and of course Bessie; the idea as the Doctor as Merlin is interesting, shedding more mystery to the Doctor’s background (one thing can be said of McCoy’s era, it grew the air of mystery surrounding the Doctor more than any other), and for the first time McCoy as the Doctor seems more stately and less buffoonish. Overall, the finished product is weak and messy leaving too many questions unanswered.
Ghostlight---8/10—see separate thread for “Ghostlight” review
Curse of Fenric---9/10—see separate thread for “Curse of Fenric” review
Survival---6/10—this one has a very “modern” feel to it, meaning it feels more apart of the new series than the classic series; once more, like a bad penny, the Master has shown up yet again with him lurking in the darkness and spying through the strange green-hued cats eyes that oddly enough reminds of THE DEADLY ASSASSIN; after the initial 5,10 minutes of hanging out in Peivale, the episode slowly degrades: some silly scenes with the Doctor and cat food, a lot of running, some Planet of the Apes (or rather Planet of the Cheetah people) scenes, more running, people changing into cheetah people who can warp between worlds, and more running. The premise of the episode is quite strong but it falls really, really short and it’s a bit of a disappointment. The voice-over at the end is a sad but necessary. Overall, it is a T.S. Elliot says—we end not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Totally disagree about Paradise Towers, the first two episodes are actually pretty good. Sadly it went downhill when Richard Briers 'died'
Yes, Paradise Towers is up for a reviewing soon. NOt looking forward to it to be honest. It has the sad spot of following the most awful TIME AND THE RANI but it's also sadly miscast in EVERY GUEST STAR but Briers possibly. It's also played by almost everyone but McCoy as campy, panto and that silly pool cleaning robot...and Mel! Oh dear!
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