Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I won't often compare my own personal opinions with those as voted on by the readers of Doctor Who Magazine (the results of which can be found in DWM 413 in the form of a ranking of every Doctor Who story ever made), but when I saw that The Sun Makers was ranked a paltry 147th out of 200 stories in that DWM poll, I was flabbergasted.
How can so many people have rated this story so low? The wit is biting, the comedy is bristling, and everyone does a superb job of playing the humour of the piece just below the line of going over-the-top.
The Sun Makers is also an "oddball" story before oddball stories ever became part of the Who lexicon in Season 24. And despite its' 147th place finish in the DWM poll, it still finished well ahead of other similarly themed stories like Paradise Towers and The Happiness Patrol. Really, if The Sun Makers had been made ten years later, the production values and attitude towards the show would have made it one of the most lightweight and inconsequential stories ever made, with silly performances all around. Richard Leech as the Gatherer? Try Richard Briers instead.
The one thing that raises The Sun Makers above the trappings of throwaway comedy is the pen of Robert Holmes. How dreadful for Holmes that his tax situation at the time gave him so much grief, but out if it came the inspiration to create and write this story, which is one of his finest moments in Doctor Who.
Posted by Steven at 1:50 PM