Thursday, February 18, 2010

6N1 - Frontios 1

The first thing that strikes me about Frontios is that Christopher H. Bidmead wrote it. The second thing that jumps out at me is how un-Bidmead this story is. Whenever you see Bidmead's name on the credits, usually overly scientific dialogue and scenes crammed full of dull mathematical logic are soon to follow.

But, on the outset, Frontios is entirely devoid of the usual Bidmead trappings, and seems more like it's shaping up like the most common and familiar of Doctor Who scenarios, that of a base under siege against an unseen enemy. The scenes set on the surface of Frontios actually look quite good, and the cost-saving explosion effects by having debris blown into shot as opposed to rigging up an explosion onscreen works rather well. The only thing that lets the side down is that archenemy of 1980s Doctor Who: overly bright lighting.

Peter Davison's Doctor is at his most subversive, especially in a scene where he berates the colony's leader Plantagenet about the many problems that he is facing and the little that is being done to help solve them. And any time that the Fifth Doctor puts on his half moon glasses, I'm a happy man. Those glasses are such a subtle character quirk, reminding us that despite the youthful exterior of The Doctor, he is probably well over 800 years old. Even Time Lords grow to be a little short-sighted...

Kamelion Watch: my money's on the hat stand...


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