1)The commenters on this one were Davison, Strickson, Courtney and Saward, who confirms what I've always heard,  that this story was originally written with Ian Chesterton in mind, but was re-written for the Brigadier when William Russell proved unavailable. A shame, really. While I'm always happy to see Nicholas Courtney, I suspect that this story might've worked better for Chesterton.


2)I feel bad for poor Mark Strickson. It's as though JNT had been in touch with the Underpants Gnomes from South Park:

  1. Remove unlikable male companion.
  2. Add new unlikable male companion.
  3. Make big profit!

Of course, another problem with a companion who's out to kill the Doctor is that there's no real suspense to it since you know he's never going to succeed, and you have to keep coming up with increasingly implausible ways for him to fail.  My rationale is that the Doctor knew all along that Turlough was a plant and that he was just stringing him along.


3)I also feel bad for Valentine Dyall, who had one of those great voices that you can only get from smoking ninety packs of smokes a day for  forty years, and would've made a great villain had they

a)given him something more menacing to do than nag Turlough into girlish hysteria and  b)not made him wear a bird on his head.


4)Another odd new outfit for Nyssa - given her dress sense, she might've made a bette rcompanion for the Sixth Doctor!


5)I have to say that Tegan and Nyssa assume that the guy in the transmat is the Doctor way too quickly.


6)I like the music in this it suits the story well.


7)I also liked the Brigadier's flashback. The DVD gives you the option to watch the story with CGI effects added. If you do, then the flashback scene uses a different set of clips.


8)I found "Young Tegan and Nyssa" unconvincing. Of course, not everyone can be Karen Gillan and have a young cousin/clone handy.


9)Interesting that Tegan is the only one who takes the time to thank the Doctor at the end..


10)Some fun quotes:

  • "I may not be seen to act in this. I must not be involved."  Why? Who's gonna call him out on it? God?
  • "I deal with a solicitor in London. And a very strange man he is, too."  They never really follow up on who this is. Turlough's parole officer, perhaps.
  • "It's more like the Queen Mary than a spaceship." Assuming the Queen Mary is badly-decorated.
  • "UNIT's a secret organization." Which is why they always had a big sign out front.
  • "And you teach?" "Mathematics."  I love the look Davison gives at that point.
  • "Who is that person?" "Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, of course." You idiot.
  • "I can only regenerate twelve times."
  • "If I reverse the polarity of the neutron flow..."
  • "He is a deviant!" Never knew that about the Brigadier!
  • "Can this be death?"  Never noticed before tha tMawdryn's last words prefigured those of the FIfth Doctor.



  • Part One: Turlough prepares to bung a rock at the Doctor's head!
  • Part Two: Mawdryn's head is all gross and stuff!  I found the mutants very hard to look at. Also, why were they wearing pastel shower curtains?
  • Part Three: The Doctor doesn't want to help the mutants!
  • Part Four: The mutants' ship explodes!



An OK story - a little overcrowded, what with bringing back the Brigadier and the Black Guardian and introducing Turlough.


[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]




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7)I also liked the Brigadier's flashback. The DVD gives you the option to watch the story with CGI effects added. If you do, then the flashback scene uses a different set of clips.

Once again, my re-reading the About Time volumes is more or less tracking your re-watching the actual episodes.  (Note to Self: Consulting the primary source material is usually the better option.)  As I recall, one nit-pick was that the Brig's "flashback" included scenes that the Brig could never have seen because he wasn't present.  Could that explain the new clips?

I'm not sure - off the top of my head, I don't recall the "old" clips showing anything too incongruous.  The "new" clips form a bit more of a coherent narrative, perhaps.

Coherent narratives are overrated. :)

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