Monday, November 30, 2009

5A4 - The Ribos Operation 4

I can't believe I've gone three episodes without mentioning how utterly wonderful Paul Seed is in the part of the Graff Vynda-K (also one of the great characters names in Doctor Who). Seed brings a towering, Shakespearean approach to the part of the dethroned monarch. It is so over the top, but it's a performance so well done and one that just barely matches the operatic nature of the character that it is a tremendous thing to watch.

On the other hand is The Seeker, surely one of the most loud, annoying, questionably acted characters ever seen. To this day, I can barely make it through any of her painful scenes without reaching for either the mute button or the fast forward button. When the Graff finally shoots her down, I couldn't tell if it was relief or enjoyment that I was feeling...

I get the sense that The Ribos Operation doesn't get as much love around the Doctor Who community as I believe it should. I will admit - it is a story that I have had to grow into over the years, mostly because of the measured pace of at which things occur and the dialogue dominated scenes that gradually move things along. However, it is a story that never drags. Like a wizard in Middle Earth, it is never too slow or too rushed. It arrives at it's many peaks precisely when it means to. It must also be celebrated as one of the last great works of art from Robert Holmes, who would write just a handful of stories after this one, but none quite as lovingly crafted as this one.


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