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I tempted to say that this is the first truly GREAT Davison story, however I'm most partial to his first season and now that I've reassessed them, SNAKEDANCE, MAWDYRN, and a few others. This ep is particularly good, awesome in fact. Turlough gets more than a moment or two (in TERMINUS he made Tegan laugh at something he said and in this he laughs at something the Doctor says). Here, he's quite personalbe, likable, and gets sought after by a crewman in the old older man chases Adric routine. It all works so well. Janet Fielding is awesome in this,
Davison is in top form, we get a "Brave heart Tegan" during dinner. Yes, they eat. And her answer is, "It's not my heart I'm worried about." He looks one way in a hall and goes the other way, something his Doctor has been doing for some time but here, it's just...better. His hair is very long in this story, possibly the longest it's ever been, giving him an almost Hartnell look.
Tegan is even self recriminating and that makes HER so likable too. The scene in the TARDIS with Mariner watching her is magnficent as is everything else here. At first, it seemed as if it would be a historical but then with Mariner being so strange and all...we find out what really is going on or rather a bit more at the very end of part one with that amazing, wonderful cliffhanger. "We're not on a yacht, we're on a ship, a space ship." Truly grand.
Turlough admits he's a coward but the Doc admits he's not as reliable as Tegan. Turlough's rapport with the crew, and indeed, the Doctor is spot on and just what this story needs. I like the little touches such as the building the blocks up and the hat on his head.
Again, everyone here is in top form and the sets are great too. The music is appropriate and chilling at times, the effects adequate. I can't rave enough about this episode. Did they use this writer again? If not, I wonder why not. And the direction is tight, too. Of course, no TV is perfect and I'm sure that there are plot points and flubs in ABOUT TIME but possibly not about ep1 but either way I don't care, this was a thought provoking, interesting, faster paced DW than we've seen in a while and it just works so bloody well. Even the Black and White Guardian work well, although not sure why the White Guardian is so weak here, I just supposed it was something the Black one was doing to him or something else we were not privy to, yet.
Again, this is great escapism fantasy and I just love it pieces.