Sunday, January 17, 2010

5V2 - Logopolis 2

In which all semblance of normality and exciting storytelling is thrown out the window in favour of an all-out attack of Bidmeadism, a terrible disease that leaves the afflicted with an inflated sense of self worth amid a flurry of mathematical technobabble.

Christopher Hamilton Bidmead has received more than his fair share of criticism as the years have gone on, and it's been through his own making (check out the extras on the E-Space Trilogy DVD box set to see proof of that), but I am actually of the belief that the main reason Season 18 holds together so well is because of the efforts of Bidmead's talents as a script editor. For the first time ever, a season of Doctor Who was crafted to form a cohesive set of serials as opposed to a loose collection of stand alone stories, and it was all because of Bidmead. He wanted to create a loose arc throughout the whole of the season, but could only manage convincing producer John Nathan-Turner into accepting small arcs like the E-Space trilogy. The whole season was coming together nicely, with all the threads and hints coming together in the final story of the season, Logopolis. It only seemed right that the man who had been responsible for the season up to this point should write the finale.

However, Episode Two is filled with both silliness and boredom. One giant, ludicrous, out of character decision by The Doctor anchors the episode, where he thinks that he can materialize the TARDIS underwater and open the door in order to flush out The Master. Ridiculous! Before and after the build-up and eventual let down, we get to see Tegan running around and around the interior of the TARDIS with increasing panic and frustration. After a few minutes of watching that, I could see how she felt.

The planet of Logopolis is the ultimate manifestation of Bidmead's desire to bring some hard science into Doctor Who. The problem is, no one is as interested in plodding, mathematical process as Bidmead is. You can tell through the dialogue that Bidmead was having the time of his life writing this (look how much time is devoted to the explanation of Block Transfer Computation during this story), but it sure ain't as fun to listen to.

Boring, plodding, and dull, Episode Two seems to be in a different universe than a much superior Episode One.


Matt said...

When did sticking your finger into a hole in the console open the doors? Ridiculous.

I love the lines:
Tegan - "have you see my aunt?"
Doctor - "Well, a little of her"

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