Wednesday, January 13, 2010
From the outset, you can see at least three similarities between The Mind Robber and Warriors' Gate. In both stories, the TARDIS behaves oddly, much of the action takes place in a white, featureless void, and thirdly, and most importantly, everything is really, really weird. Actually, things don't get too weird in Episode One, as everything that seems bizarre (time dams, time sensitive lions) is explained shortly afterwards. Things only seem weird, but they're not weird for weird's sake.
Biroc can traverse time lines willy nilly and appears in the TARDIS in both his own timeline and that of The Doctor's. The same seems to be the case with the TARDIS crew, who couldn't be more disjointed. It's like The Doctor and Romana are in their own timeline, while Adric and K-9 are in an entirely different timeline on the other side of the console room. Neither side interacts much, and no one talks to Adric, who flips a coin, presses a button, then stares at the scanner screen for the rest of the episode. Having said that, this just might be Matthew Waterhouse's best work on the series yet.
The best thing about this episode, though? Having a director, namely Paul Joyce, that actually gives a damn in wanting to put out the best possible show he can. The opening shot, a slow, tracking shot throughout the entire Privateer spaceship before ending up in the bridge, is inspired. It's an echo of the first shot of Season 18 in that it's somewhat superfluous, but puts an immediate stamp on the story and shows that it will be unlike anything seen in Doctor Who to date.
Posted by Steven at 1:32 PM