I remember having the thought, that in both "TALONS" and "ARMAGEDDON" it felt like it should have been The Master, but wasn't. And frankly, when The Master did turn up in "TRAKEN", I found it very disappointing. The best part, at the time, seemed the visual of Tremas turning into The Master (with a vague resemblance once again to the original), but in retrospect, too many follow-ups were even more disappointing.


By comparison, as of 2 days ago I'm now sorry nobody ever thought to cast Peter Jeffrey as a regenerated Master. With that personality and charisma, he could have equalled Delgado in a way Ainley never did.

Meanwhile, I've always seen "ARMAGEDDON" as one of Mary Tamm's finest appearances. She's absolutely gorgeous in this. And her character and relationship with The Doctor has been coming along so wonderfully, it's easy for me to imagine that exactly how it continued the next season could have happened if she had just stuck around. So why didn't she??? Then again, considering Bob & Dave broke up, and Holmes quit the show, and John Leeson left, and Anthony Read... what was going on just then? Good grief. (And how on Earth didn't they have Cyril Luckham at the end?)

By the way, when The Doctor gets sarcastic with The Shadow about his TARDIS security in part 3, he reminds me of Hartnell again. Shapp, meanwhile, reminds me an awful lot of Bernard Cribbins. Which made me suddenly think, this story might have been fun if Peter Cushing had starred in it.

I did enjoy Drax. Someone suggested he'd have been a good fit beside Colin Baker. Too bad nobody ever thought of doing that!

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My main momery of this is the secens of Tamm and Ward together - the closest we ever came to a "Two Romanas" scene.

Watched this again, a few more thoughts below:

 

1)I liked the "propaganda film" at the start, especailly juxtaposed with the scenes of the half-wrecked hospital ward.

 

2)Lalla Ward seemed kind of listless as Princess Astra, not showing much of the spirit she would show as Romana.  It would be funny to see a meeting between Astra and Princess Strella.

 

3)I really liked John Woodvine as the Marshal - he made a good fanatic military man. I couldn't help feleing that if they did a live-action Sealab 2021, he'd've made a good Captain Murphy.

 

4)Wasn't too wild about the Shadow as a heel, which wasn't helped by the fact that even the Black Guardian didn't seem to have much confidence in him. "I expected no less of you, you whimpering wraith!"  Valnetine Dyall was good as the Black Guardian, what little we saw of him.

 

5)"Hello, Theet. How you been, boy?"  I liked the Doctor's reacion to Drax, running into a guy he knew in school that he obviously didn't really like all that much.  I gather that the Bristol Boys had some hopes that "Drax the Low-Rent Time Lord" had some spin-off potential.

 

6)Some fun quotes:

  • "Where's your optimism?" "It opted out."
  • "What is the purpose of your visit?" "Tourism." "In the middle of a nuclear war?"
  • "I think one of us is being extremely stupid." "Affirmative."
  • "I'd stay and watch you die, but I haven't the time."  You should make time for stuff like that, that's the sort of thing that makes relationships work.
  • "Your silliness is noted."
  • "Why didn't you shrink the mute?"  That's not a question you hear that often.
  • ""I am the sixth princess of the sixth dynasty of the sixth royal house of Atrios."  Gee, I wonder if she's related to the sixth segment somehow?
  • "We're just pawns - here to do the Guaridan's dirty work."  I like the way Tamm conveys Romana's moral outrage here.
  • "Any second now, beautiful mushrooms will blossom and burst."  Heh-heh, I likes teh crazy.
  • "Remember me to Gallifrey!"
  • "There's only my will, because I possess the Key to Time."  Baker reallly goes over-the-top here. And then Romana smacks him, which is just perfect. It lreally is a shame Tamm didn't go on for awhile, they were quite good together.
  • "Doctor, you shall die for this!" Yeah, how'd that work out for you?
  • "You have absolutely no sense of responsibility."  Just noticing this now, are you, dear?

 

7)Cliffhangers:

  • Part One: The TARDIS is gone!
  • Part Two: The Doctor is captured!
  • Part Three: The Marshal prepares to attack!
  • Part Four: The Shadow has suborned K-9!
  • Part Five: Drax shrinks the Doctor!
  • Part Six:  The randomizer takes them off to someplace random!  Except that the first two places it takes them to are Skaro and Earth, which are two obvious places to look for him.

 

Overall (This Story):

An OK, if somewhat padded wrap-up to the Key to Time saga.  Could easily have been edited down to a four-parter without losing much, I think.  Shame Tamm didn't get to do a regeneration sequence. She says that she would've liked to do it, but she wasn't asked.  Would've been an interesting twist to see the Doctor having to deal with a regenerated companion for once.

 

Overall (The Key to Time Saga):

Meh. It was an interesting idea, but just felt kind of drawn out.  I'm not a big fan of season-long story arcs, it's one of my big beefs about the new show.  That said, some of the individual stories - "The Androids of Tara" springs to mind - were entertaining enough in and of themselves.

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