Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Believe it or not, there are some actual positive things to say about The Twin Dilemma, although most of them circle around Colin Baker and Maurice Denham. It's not surprising, then, that the best scene of the whole story is Azmael's death scene. It's actually quite rare in Doctor Who to have such a long, and well written, death scene, but both actors do a marvelous job at it.
Colin Baker makes an impressive acting debut in the lead part, regardless of how well written that part is. The new Doctor's manic mood swings are perfectly played out by Baker in a story that seems almost to be an audition tape to show off his range as the new Doctor to an unconvinced audience. Emotions - love, pride, hate, fear - are all conveyed well by a clearly talented actor who was not well served by a strong story in his debut performance.
The ending seems tacked on, though. The Doctor has seldom given Peri (or, indeed, the viewer) that his new persona has settled down and that the manic mood swings are a thing of the past, yet a wry smile at the very end of the episode is supposed to convince any doubters. Some say it was bold to have the new Doctor so unlikable. Looking back, it was far too risky for a show that didn't know what was about to hit it.
Baker's last line of the episode ("I am The Doctor whether you like it or not!") isn't necessarily the most hopeful thing to leave with viewers for the nine months between seasons, either. That last line makes it appear that the programme is holding its viewers hostage, based on its own hubris. Don't like the new Doctor? Tough. It's Doctor Who. You're going to watch it regardless, right? And it's never going to go away, so you better get used to it, right?
Posted by Steven at 3:12 PM