Monday, January 28, 2013

Sixth Doctor Part II - The Twin Dilemma

Just as "The Caves of Androzani" had a reputation, "The Twin Dilemma" did as well. Only, "The Twin Dilemma," the story which introduced viewers to the Sixth Doctor had the reputation as being the worst "Doctor Who" serial ever made! So, you could see why I might be a bit apprehensive going into story, but is my opinion the same as many of the other Whovains out there? Well, let's begin and you'll find out.

Following his regeneration, the Doctor (Colin Baker) begins to act strangely, worrying his companion Peri (Nicola Bryant). After the Doctor tries to strangle her, the Doctor decides to go off and live the life of a hermit on the planet Titan 3. By sheers happenstance, the TARDIS arrives only minutes before a space ship crash lands, killing all aboard except for one man, who is murmuring something about kidnapped twins. Soon the Doctor and Peri become embroiled in a diabolical plan involving kidnapped twins, a renegade Time Lord and giant gastropods.

The story for "The Twin Dilemma" is perhaps the story's biggest problem. The whole plot is rather ludicrous once the real nature of the villain's plan has been explained. What's worse is that the titular twins are merely a plot device, and do not add much to the story themselves. While we're looking at the negatives of the story, we should turn to the villain himself. While the giant gastropod (in this story a half-human, half-slug creature) is interesting, the design of the monster is dreadful. He looks more like an owl than a slug and I couldn't over the dreadful design throughout the serial.
The Doctor marvels at his new coat of many colours

However, what truly saved the serial is Colin Baker's performance. I am perhaps the minority, but I loved Colin Baker's performance. I have also felt that the Doctor (like Sherlock Holmes) should be a slightly cocky, pompous and over-bearing figure. Colin's over-the-top performance in "The Twin Dilemma" is great, and truly at odds with his previous incarnation. What's more, the Doctor shows off his logical deduction side in this episode (a la Sherlock Holmes). Interestingly, in the novelization of the serial, the Doctor even believes that he is the great detective during one of his mental lapses. I don't think anyone else could have pulled off the somewhat ludicrous story of "The Twin Dilemma" better than Colin Baker.

I am certainly the minority, but I found "The Twin Dilemma" to be an enjoyable story. Despite the outrageous  nature of the story, Colin Baker makes a decent debut as the Sixth Doctor.

Coming Next Time: The Doctor and Peri find themselves in the present day dealing not only with gangsters but Cybermen. Will the Doctor escape alive? Find out in: "Attack of the Cybermen"

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