Chase - Posted on 27 July 2009


Thing is I was rather dreading this one too. Truth is my expectations for this season are rather low nowadays. My expectations in the 1980s for the show were much higher than anything this season could have achieved. I mean DW can boast about going anywhere, any time, any planet but then...it lands on planets such as this one...not that the set design isn't any good, it is.

But...rebels (UNDERWORLD, THE SUNMAKERS, SPACE MUSEUM), a tyrant using the populations (ENEMY OF THE WORLD), starving aliens (VENGEANCE ON VAROS), a daft android that speaks like the Chipmunks, a mutant who drools over Peri and wants her (CAVES OF ANDROZANI, THE TWO DOCTORS), a tyrant using a nice old man's nice face to fake himself (MACRA TERROR), a mutated monster, a time corridor, a former visit from the Doctor that we've not heard about before (with a locket with Jo Grant's face in it given as a gift?WTF?), time experiments (CITY OF DEATH, THE TIME MONSTER, INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS, THE TWO DOCTORS), a Blake's 7 guest star as a villain, underlings who get killed...and on and on...haven't we seen all of this before...why not do something different or even a historical rather than this?

That said, it's a traditional story. Paul Darrow over acts just as Colin was said to have acted on BLAKE'S 7 (but that story was very well done) but it doesn't really detract nowadays but makes it more fun; back in the 80s it was very annoying. The Morlock monster was...pathetic and embarassing. Ditto the android that suddenly appears and catches fire. Both Vena and Herbert act as if  they are, sorry, retarded or on sleeping pills or zoloft or something.

The most interesting rebel/character was Gazak and he was sent down the TIMELASH early on. What a looker, too.

There's a bunch of stuff in ABOUT TIME 6 that doesn't make sense about this story so I won't go into all of it but the acid flower thing? It doesn't go off in the Doc's face or Peri's but does in a man wearing bee keeper covering? Tekka's way of asking for help from the Doc is to assault Peri...? ANd we haven't seen the actual time corridor/time tunnel yet but it's pathetic.

Apparently no one sent down it is to die but if they land in Loch Ness. Maybe Gazak is still alive? Hopefully? Maybe there can be a sequel to this of aliens in ancient Loch Ness or Scotland...

In any event, if taken for what it is, sub par DW, this story can be enjoyed and is not too bad. I even forgave the Peri/Doc fights in the early TARDIS stuff...it's not that bad although maybe I"m watching a cut version?

It's funny that time and expectations can have a serious effect on how one views things. I used to hate this story and truth be told, this entire season but having watched almost all of it, I can say it's not that bad TODAY...


Okay the first 23 min or so is not bad and has a so so makeshift cliffhanger. The story seems over in the next five min of so. Then comes what is the worst DW in history up to this point. The rest of absolutely dreadful. Just dreadful. Didn't anyone have a sense of storytelling?

One of the rebels dies and I'm not sure which one. One is hurt and I"m not sure which one. We HEAR about it but don't actually see about which is which. People say THE WEB PLANET is poor but TIMELASH is so much worse than that or any other story. The story is over once the Borad and Tekka die but then we're given another 20 min or so of filler and cliches and timewasting.

The Doc has to stop a missile that the aliens say they can't stop after they fired it. The aliens looks like sock puppets. But that's not so bad. What is bad is that Peri wastes the Doctor's time and the Doc allows her to with a huge scene of why she wants to stay with him and why he wants her off the Tardis, he's lying to her because he's going to use the TARDIS to stop the missile...HEY, ISN'T THIS THE FOURTH TIME OR SO THAT THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TARDIS is viewed to having been nearly destroyed by something. I'm reminded of the missile Daleks fire in PARTING OF THE WAYS only this is not as exciting. Then we have Herbert, who snuck aboard and is hiding under the console in full view of Peri and the Doc. Peri leaves, being carried and lied to by the Doc. Now the Doc has to have the same conversation with Herbert. WTF? The sense of urgency is totally gone.

The Doc then does something to stop the threat to the Tardis and tells Peri he will explain later. He never does. We never find out what he did to save himself and Herbert. WTF? The Doc doesn't answer Herbert's claim to stay on Karfel but we know now he is HG Wells, wanted by many women. WTF?

Oh and I almost forgot, the clone of the Borad is the one who died, killed by the Doc. This one is...the real one and he wants to strangle Peri. What a way to propose! He has no plan. The Doc belittles him and then shows him his reflection which is behind the picture of the Third Doctor that was behind a wall! WTF? This makes the Doc belittle him some more and while doing that, the Doc reactivates the time lash and throws the Borad into it, sending him to Earth. Doesn't that contravene the laws of time that he previously told Herbert that he couldn't do because he would know and so would every other time lord from Karfel to Gallifrey? ANd he leaves it that way. WTF? No storytelling, no sense, no logic, no real drama. While the Doc and Borad are arguing, the Doc tells her she has no say in this, the Borad wants to put out her eyes and Peri says, "Come on guys." Can DW get worse than this? Unfortunately and unbelievably the answer is yes. 

Vena walks slowly away from an explosion that the Doc has to come out and pull her to safety. Is that supposed to be funny. It's not. We've had to endure the confusion of the last half of ATTACK OF THE CYBERMEN, some strangeness from MARK OF THE RANI, the bloody hand scene in ATTACK, some silly set pieces from VAROS, Sil, and now this. I think TIMELASH is the point the show jumped the shark. Not sure the Dalek story coming up redeems it but I'm sure TRIAL doesn't. And that planned series that was canned: the Toymaker story was dull dull dull and didn't give the Toymaker anything different or mysterious to do and the other stories: the Rani, the Master, and the Autons were to return; Sil and the Ice Warriors, all sound like more of the same garbage. The show can't make it's mind up. It wants to be new but even when it seems new it has a villain in a wheelchair using mutants and genetic experiments and wanting Peri as a bride. Again, we've seen it ALL before and here, the execution is worse than ever AND the script just totally falls apart. The dialog in this part is the worst DW has ever had. The mirror scenes are just awful, especially when the Doctor first fights the android and pushes it into the timelash and the fight scene just okay, barely passable. The morlok is again awful.

at least I know now where that burning andriod came from. At least that makes sense. Added to all the above crapola, is the fact that the Timelash is a solid place, an awful set that has air and can be climbed into and down. The rope the Doc uses seems superfluous as both Mygraine and Herbert have to climb down it to give the Doctor and / or each other, their hands to pull him up. What was the bloody rope for? The Doc then uses a crystal he pulls from the time corridor to power a weapon. Why not always use some type of weapon like this? He says he's made them before.

God, this second part was bloody awful. TIME LASH, just for this, deserves a 1 out 10 or even a 0 out of 10.      

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