I wonder if I actually start out wanting to hate these. I don't hate this story at all. It's apt. It has some great ideas, paper monsters, tombs that aren't tombs, living dead, dead living, walls that fold in on themselves, chess games, Draconians. Jon Pertwee may have loved the Draconians but to be honest they are not my favorites. I found them to be sort of Klingon-y and too like the Japanese. I mean if you want to do a Japanese story, then do that. The reptile people are also an old hat idea and to be honest, this story, and I'm sick of saying this but...this story would be better if seen and heard rather than just heard. The visuals...and DW. like Irwin Allen shows, like Abbott and Costello, like Gerry Anderson...IS a visual show, a visual entertainment, regardless of the cost making it. The Doc's clothes, the TARDIS, the aliens, the monsters, the planets and/or historical settings are all better if seen. True, one needs imagination even then to "get" the Doc's world but to have to sit through this essentially boring, tedious story, not even one's imagination can pull it out enough from the boredom factor. I found my attention wandering a great deal, found the story lagging, like a poor man's I CLADIUS and not being able to see the aliens,they just sounded like humans with a poor ear for the letter S. Even Colin, in the interview, sounds VERY bored by both DW and this script. I'm not a big Marc Platt fan. I'm n ot even sure what he's done in DW: Ghostlight? Fenric? I don't really care. I know that this story has some great ideas and sequences but for the most part, it's really really slow moving and boring and has people trapped in enclosed places and the cliffhangers seem like they shouldn't have been placed THERE or THERE, and all of them seemed the same. There are a few twists and turns but by that time, I didn't really care and then nothing much is done with them. Also by ep4 I wasn't really paying attention at all so I really didn't understand what was going on, who was doing whom, the chess game, the FIVE DOCTOR bits, and all that guff. And I found I didn't really care about any of the characters except the Doctor...
Oh and India Fisher really is awful in this. Sorry, she's been awful before but been great before, too. Here's she's truly dreadful.
As Mia/Charley's story enfolds...it really doesn't here. There are a few scant parts about her being Mia and the differences but it has no bearing on the story and Mia is not a likable character, putting off a man/alien that saved her life. I'm surprised that the Mia thing hasn't been done before. It's not a viable option for a companion but as a story it does have some merit and originality to it but it's so poorly handled in this...and it might as well have just been Charley. I'm not sure where Charley will end up but I'm not liking this stuff at all.
Colin gives a good performance here despite seeming slightly bored IMO during it and overly bored in the interviews.