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THE ROMANS


Chase - Posted on 04 January 2010

1

Well that was kind of leisurely. It's a new kind of episode where...nothing really happens for awhile. It's not boring, at least not at first, and there's something nice about seeing the crew relax. The interplay is really banter and funny at times and wile it seems the Doctor is getting annoyed by Ian and Barbara, he lets them know in a funny way rather than becoming mean spirited as in the past. His relationship with Vicki continues to grow and remember this is only the second ep he's known her (he only met her in ep2 of THE RESCUE). He'd rather take her along to Rome. We also see Vicki and Barbara interact nicely in the market place and we see rather nice road that led to the market place. There's also a nice villa...and I guess the gang have taken over the villa when the real owner left...sort of like criminals. The TARDIS fell but not far it would seem although the original script said that, it looked far. It didn't seem to hurt it or the crew. The sets are nice. The  costumes nice and the ideas are as different from the RESCUE as can be. Things aren't totally played for laughs but the fight between Ian and the two slave traders and Barbara hitting Ian over the head seem to be. The murder of the old man who looks like the Doctor is brutal. This story is strange in hindsight as it contains at least two actors who play future Time Lords and/or Gallifreans on the show (Gomer in INVASION OF TIME and Drax in THE ARMEGGEDON FACTOR). It's also nice to see the Doctor and co eat a meal (even if some of it is ant's eggs that we thankfully do't see in close up). The Doctor gets some good lines even if he's sort of acting like a moron and as if he' going round the bend. The Doc going off with Vicki sets the much later stage of One Doctor, One Comp almost always female. There's some long interplay between Ian and Barbara which is borrowed from other sources such as the "check the fridge" bit. Oddly enough I almost fell asleep when things became more serious with Ian and Barbara captured as slaves. In any event, this ep is not a bad one and this story is likable. Everyone is really trying and for the most part succeeding. The setting alone makes this worth while.      

2

Well that was so different from part one as to be: GREAT! The gall of this cheap kids' show to try to affect lions and and slave auctions slave ships and storms at sea and talk of the arena. But that is what makes this show great. Okay they don't exactly get BEN HUR production values but this ep is just what makes DW fantastic. It tries (or at least it used to if you compare it to the recent fiasco of David's last story). Despite what everyone says about this story, Ian 's adventures on the road and on the slave ship and in Rome as well as Barbara's cell adventure and caring and slave auction stuff...are all played completely straight. Unless you count seeing Ian's bare legs all the way up. Honestly, the ep is not comedy save for a few, this time funny bits from Hartnell and his guest stars in Nero's court. Nero should be 27 in this story but is really looking about 57 or so and pretty chubby. Hartnell is funny and fun and light here but his Doctor fights quite nicely and Vicki and he make a good team. BUt it is Ian and Barbara who are the real stars here to be honest and yet it's not hard to see why they got rid of four travellers when they left. Finding stars of their caliber who could carry the adventure strands would be diffcult and the Doc/One female thing really really works here. Honestly so does everything else. Hartnell and the actor who plays Tavius flub their lines, ad lib and generally make things richer and funnier. And despite the comedy stuff, there are dead bodies all over the place and threat of death. It's exciting, funny, and somewhat almost deadly. Another good episode and an adventure in history (well the Carry On style history anyway mixed with the Hollywood type version actioner stuff). Not bad at all but very very entertaining.  

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