From the blog...
 
 
 
I was gonna skip all of Season 20, but a friend kept reccomending this as one of the "best" Davison stories, so I figured I'd make an exception.

It does have a clever concept, the designs are nice, several of the characters are very intriguing. However, some of the dialogue is positively awful. I just ran across a reference somewhere earlier today that said it wasn't until the McCoy era that dialogue began to sound like actual conversation again, instead of "essays", and I can see the point. In all fairness (not that this excuses anything), ST:TNG suffers from this even more than WHO at its worst.

The crew are the most natural characters, you get a really "friendly" feel from all of them. Too bad they mostly disappear after Part 1. The main Eternals are all fascinating, from determined to creepy to flamboyant-as-hell and her sidekick (who, the instant he started talking, I said to myself, "Now that guy is DEFINITELY gay!!!" (which never even crossed my mind about Turlough, even though I'd already read this blog post a month ago).

Tegan is awful in here (and this was supposed to be her best story?? --AUGH!!!) and Turlough needs to tone it down a few notches. The Black Guardian, ditto. A shame Tom Baker wasn't still around for this, I'd like to have seen his having a 2nd confrontation with The White Guardian.

Overall, not bad, but I feel it would have been much better without the whole "Black Guardian" plotline. Truthfully, it doesn't come alive until Wrack appears, and while some have said she's way too OTT for a "empty" Eternal, I say thee nay, she's no doubt living it up BECAUSE of all her human crew.

Now, how come The Doctor has gotten so much better at precise hops with the TARDIS, yet still can never get Tegan or Turlough back to their home planets? That fall from the radar dish really scrambled his brain, and for at least 3 whole years.

Funny thing-- Keith Barron (this story) and Anthony Ainley (next story) both appeared together as Nazi u-boat crewmembers in Amicus' "THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT" (the same people who gave us "INVASION EARTH: 2150 A.D."). Which makes me think, too bad The Doctor and Tegan weren't played by Doug McClure & Susan Penhaligon.

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Watched this again last night, a few thoughts:

 

1)Trivia: Lynda Baron that played Wrack sang the "Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon" in "The Gunfighters".

 

2)The Doctor replaces his celery on Wrack's ship. Now the celery he took in "Castrovalva" was a creation of the Master, and since the contents of the ships are apparently products of the Eternals' imaginations, does that mean that the Doctor's celery was never real?

 

3)The White Guardian is also made to wear a bird on his head. Seriously, whose idea was that?

 

4)"You are a Time Lord. A Lord of Time.  Are there Lords in such a small domain?"  Funny to see the Doctor dealing with people who look down on him as a lower life form.

 

5)Fielding cleans up nicely, I thought she looked good all dolled up. 

 

6)"Love? What is love? I want existence."  The guy playing Marriner does a good job playing the creepy, affectless stalker.

 

7)I liked the touch that "Enlightenment" was too bright for even the Guardians to look at directly.

 

8)"It seems enlightenment is yours, Doctor." "I'm not ready for it."

 

9)"Enlightenment wasn't the diamond. Enlightenment was the choice."

 

10)"He will be waiting for the third encounter."  Be funny if they brought the Guardians back again. I wonder who you'd cast nowadays?

 

11)Cliffhangers:

  • Part One: The yacht is in space!
  • Part Two: Turlough goes overboard!
  • Part Three: Wrack has planted a bomb on Tegan!
  • Part Four: Turlough wants to go home!

 

Overall:

An OK storyline, as ong as you don't think about the plot too much.  Part of it's just being glad that the "Will Turlough kill the Doctor?" nonsense is over, I suspect.  The DVD set contains a re-edited version of the story with new effects, overseen by director Fiona Cumming. Worth a look if you get a chance.

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