Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: The Twin Dilemma

Doctor Who: 
The Twin Dilemma 
By Anthony Steven

DOCTOR: And I would suggest, Peri, that you wait a little before criticizing my new persona. You may well find it isn't quite as disagreeable as you think.
PERI: Well, I hope so.
DOCTOR: Whatever else happens, I am the Doctor, whether you like it or not. 

The newly regenerated Doctor realizes his regeneration isn’t going as planned.  It appears his mind is not healing right and he is prone to attacks of violence among other neurotic behavior that is not normal for The Doctor.   A couple of times in the TARDIS he had acts of breaking down once in the clothes room and then in the console room where he attacked Peri and tried killing her by choking her.   Thinking he is a danger to the universe The Doctor decides to go to Titan 3 to become a hermit.

Two twins get a visit from an old man named Edgeworth.  Edgeworth tricks the twins Romulus and Remus and thus kidnaps them to bring them back to Jaconda and his master the slug like Mestor.  They end up stopping at Titan 3 first after they destroy 5 ships that were in pursuit when the alarm was raised from the twins kidnapping.    On Titan The Doctor and Peri find Lt. Hugo Lang and in the wreckage of the ships and bring him to the TARDIS and patch him up.  The two companions go on and investigate the base The Doctor spots on the scanner. There The Doctor recognizes Edgeworth as his old friend Azmael.  Azmael tells him what is wrong and thus locks The Doctor and Peri at the base and leave for Jaconda.  After escaping the base from exploding The Doctor, Peri and Lang head to Jaconda to stop Mestor and rescue the twins.

The Twin Dilemma is not a very good story.  In fact it is probably the worst debut story of all the Doctors and that is pretty hard to do considering Sylvester McCoy’s story Time and the Rani is pretty awful too.  The Twin Dilemma is such an awful debut story and the way they approached it was just wrong and you can see why a lot of the fans were turned off by the show and not very high on the new Doctor Colin Baker. 

It was a bad idea to do the regeneration failure again as it was already done before and this time they go down the wrong path by having The Doctor go mental.  The worst part was having The Doctor choke Peri.  By having the Doctor attack Peri and become violent we lose our trust in The Doctor.  We know have a Doctor we do not trust and not sure if we would want to travel with him.  Throughout the entire story we are trying to get into a flow when all of a sudden it grinds to a halt with another Doctor meltdown.  This went on far too long and it really detracted from the story which was not very good to begin with.

Unfortunately with all this going on you cannot get a good feel for the new Doctor as he is, well, a pompous jerk.  Not very likeable at all and that is another deterrent why people would be turned off.  It would have been better to have him be what we all know him to be in the second episode and maybe people would have warmed up to Colin Baker quicker.  The production and direction of this debut story could very well be the first nail in the coffin for classic Who.

The Twin Dilemma is a pretty weak story.  You have the walking slug Mestor trying to come up with a way to spread his eggs through the universe in order to invade it.  He takes over Jaconda and more or less decimates it and enslaves the bird like inhabitants of the planet.  In fact the plot and story are quite boring and not all that interesting.  Even the conclusion is not that exciting and I was glad when the whole situation was resolved and the closing credits came on screen.
Grade D -

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