Tag Archives: Colin Baker

Season 23

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Onto the second and (sadly) final Colin Baker season.  After a long wait it was so good to have the show back. By this time I had just started comprehensive school so it was nice to have something familiar to watch and the one benefit of a shorter season was my Dad’s two blank tape allowance meant I could tape all of it. I even got good at editing the episode endings together! (Heresy now I know )
So we get a 14 part story which is a possible deterrent to building ratings in a year when this would be a important factor but I loved every episode and not once was I bored.
Rewatching now I still love it. Wisely it seems there has been some time since the last season and we have a calmer relationship between The Doctor and Peri, still with banter but it’s not hateful.  (In my personal canon season 22 happens in quick succession immediately after the troublesome regeneration)
The Ravalox segment is a good story and Robert Holmes gives us some good characters and concepts, the constant Trial interruptions do become a bit weary as they’re not always adding something worthwhile, perhaps it would’ve worked better just as a framing sequence letting us see the  complete adventure.
Then we travel to Thoros Beta and we get the wonderful Sil back along with others of his race, a mad warrior King and a Doctor going bad. Here the trial interruptions are necessary as we get involved in the subplot of tampered evidence and the timelord interference at its conclusion.  Those final scenes with the possessed Peri are still amazing and chilling, such a shame they retconned it.
Then the Doctor defends himself showing his battle with The Vervoids aided by a future companion. I like Mel in this story, she is energetic and intelligent and works well with The Doctor. The story itself is enjoyable and the concept of the Vervoids is a good one.
Everything concludes with the reveal of The Valeyard being a evil version from between the 12th and final regeneration (so born just after Tennant’s  “I don’t wanna go” ) and a battle in the matrix. We get The Master turning up winding everyone up which works well and is in character. These final two episodes are great and considering the behind the scenes problems it all works well.
Sadly Colin’s Doctor is cut far too short just as he’s getting into his stride, I think even just one more season could’ve really cemented his Doctor in the public’s mind. Those who dismiss his era need to forget other opinions and sit down with a open mind and watch it from start to finish.

Season 22

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Christmas 1984 saw my Dad buy a video recorder so Season 22 was the first time I could tape the show. Blank videos weren’t cheap so I was only allowed two 3 hour tapes. I taped the first two stories on one and taped Rani on second but realised 2 drs wouldn’t fit so  taped over it. Timelash I gave a miss but wanted the Dalek story so taped over Varos. Those three stories got watched continually (only replaced by the few videos available to rent )
I was near enough 10 at their time of broadcast and I loved the season, the violence never worried me and certainly didn’t make me violent! Watching again I’m still not sure it’s a problem.  The only slight jarring moments are when The Doctor makes Bond style quips after people die, they feel out of place even for Colin’s Doctor.
The 45 minute episode format works for the stories allowing the characters to breathe. A pity we didn’t get more and maybe a few one episode stories.
Attack of the Cybermen is a good start to the season. The continuity obsession is reaching it’s height here and isn’t necessary.  The story could still have been told without it. Colin has quickly settled into the role and engages the viewer. The guest cast are good too.
Vengeance on Varos is next, a story with themes still relevant today and a beliveable society with Sil being the best villan the show produced in the 80’s and he’s so brilliantly played by Nabil Shaban.
Mark of the Rani follows and is a more traditional story.  The Rani’s a intresting character presented as amoral rather than evil. Sadly The Master is back to being a pantomine villan and completely unnecessary to the story. The location is great making it all look good even including the plastic tree!
The Two Doctors is a big favourite of mine. The three episodes gives both Doctor’s time to shine. The story is a typical Robert Holmes story full of great characters and some great lines. The direction isn’t as dynamic as it could be but that doesn’t stop my enjoyment one bit.
Timelash follows, another story with a lower fan opinion than deserved. It’s never boring,  both Colin and Paul Darrow are a joy to watch and The Borad looks great and is played wonderfully. Pity there’s a load of silly TARDIS arguing scenes,  perhaps this would’ve made a good one parter!
Revelation of the Daleks ends things in style. It’s a wonderful dark story full of black humour with  great and believable characters. There’s no fault to be found here, everything just gells.
The season as a whole is so underrated and I wish more fans would ignore perceived wisdom and watch the stories with a open mind.

Season 21 – Colin’s bit

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I’ve mentioned before that I became a fan during the end of Tom’s time and become a avid viewer with Peter’s era but I think it’s the Colin Baker years that turned me into a rabid fan. I was virtually 9 when The Twin Dilemma aired and 10 for his first full season and I think that was the perfect age for those stories.
I’ve also mentioned before that I don’t like stories I think are boring and that’s certainly not a word you can use for any of Colin’s stories. Like Tom and Patrick before him he is always watchable and intresting regardless of the story.
As for the costume I think looking at it now it was a bit of a mistake for all the obvious reasons people including Colin have stated but back in 1984/5 I had no problem with it and neither did others of my age, in fact I quite remember liking it!
The story itself is one I enjoy and it always baffles me why it ranks so lowly. The Jaconda story is good and Azmael is a nice character performed well. The Doctor is clearly struggling with his regeneration which is far more believable than just shrugging and getting on with things. The decision to make him a bit more abrubt and alien is the perfect contrast to Peter’s Doctor.
I hope that Colin’s recent DWM interview and the following twitter conversation will lead more fans to forget what they’ve heard and reevaluate this wonderful era.

The F Word

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I’ve been following the Colin Baker/Dr Who Magazine conversation on twitter over the last few days with interest.
I enjoyed the Colin interview and his views on favourites and why he dosen’t like to see a full list which by its nature highlights what is least favourite.  These views are obviously coloured by the fact that over the last thirty years his Doctor and many of his stories are put at the bottom of such polls.
I can sympathise as I love his era and hate continually seeing stories I like panned (sometimes just because of where they sit in the shows history I think).
Now I’m as guilty as others in using the F Word as anyone who read my post about Pyramids of Mars knows and I would’ve probably used it in my Season 22 blog but all that’s in the context of my personal thoughts on the stories.
Ofcourse after printing the interview a few pages later we get the annual season survey with its full list of favourite to least favourite and I must admit when reading it I found myself thinking “poor Forest of the Night” looking at its bottom placing and thinking Colin was right.
Colin has spoke on twitter about his dismay that the survey is printed in same issue and I fear we won’t be seeing another interview for a long time. I don’t think this was intentional on the magazine’s part and in fairness they’ve done season surveys in this format since they started. Tom Spilsbury (the editor) has also gone on twitter and is genuinely upset by all of this. Like Colin he is a lovely guy who always has time for us fans and treats us with respect.
As for Favourite Doctor I always say your first holds a special place as he’s the one who drew you in and if pushed you would use the F Word for him by a slight margin but the other 11 are all joint second for me
To close I urge you all to watch or rewatch Colin’s stories with a open mind. They are full of cool concepts and Colin is a brilliant Doctor.