Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: The Two Doctors

Doctor Who: 
The Two Doctors 
By Robert Holmes

“I think your Doctor's worse than mine.”

The Time Lords send The Second Doctor and Jamie to visit Dastari  at Space Station Chimera.   The Time Lords are concerned about the time experiments being conducted by Kartz and Reimer.   While arguing with Dastari The Doctor is alerted that Dastari assistant Chessene is in fact an Androgum.  The Doctor is alarmed at this as messing with a species is barbaric and making an Androgum intelligent is extremely dangerous.    The conversation doesn’t get too far as Dastari appears to have been drugged and there is evidence of laser fire coming from outside.  The Sontarans have attacked the base after Chessene dropped the defenses to let them in.  The Doctor is taken prisoner and taken to Seville, Spain with Chessene, Shockeye, and Dastari as they plan on using him to get the secret of time travel.

Meanwhile The Sixth Doctor and Peri are enjoying a spot of fishing.  At least The Doctor is as Peri is bored out of her mind.  When The Doctor has a bit of a brain attack and decides to seek some help.  He finds Dastari’s business card in his rolodex and proceeds to head to Space Station Chimera.  When they arrive they find nothing but death and destruction and a computer that is trying to kill them as they are intruders.  The Doctor and Peri keep on exploring to see what happened when they come across Jamie.  Jamie tells them what happened and explains that they killed his Doctor.  The Doctor not convinced of this figures out what happened as Jamie had seen a hologram and not the real Doctor being killed.  The Doctor then goes into a trance to try and find his earlier self.  With success The Doctor discovers where it is he is and promptly heads off to Seville, Spain to save himself along with Jamie and Peri in tow.

The Two Doctors is another wonderful story by Robert Holmes.  Here he has the task of writing for two Doctors and brings back a classic villain he created in the Sontarans.  He writes a story that is positively against people eating meat and hunting animals to eat which was quite apparent with the Androgums  and how they were characterized.  Especially with the last line of The Doctor saying they were going vegetarian.  

I always enjoy watching The Two Doctors because mainly it is a multi-Doctor story and plus it is the last time Patrick Troughton played the Doctor.  He would die two years later in 1987 and this story is bittersweet for Second Doctor fans as his portrayal of the Doctor was really fun to watch and it was good to see his kind and comedic Doctor paired up with Colin Bakers over bearing and over the top Doctor.  The two Doctors got along pretty well and the chemistry is there also and it is good and something special during Colin Bakers all too short era. 

Robert Holmes spins an interesting story with the augmented Androgum and her genius and trying to achieve time travel.  It is also good that former Blakes 7 baddie Jacqueline Pearce played the baddie in this one.  She played Chessene with such a calm coldness that you knew you could not trust her.  It wasn’t till the end when things were going wrong did she get unraveled and started to lose it.  Well when you’re dealing with two Doctors that would be enough to unhinge anyone. 

The Sontaran’s really are not the big bad guy we have seen before.  They are mostly an afterthought and a protagonist for Chessene and Dastari to actually eventually turn on.  They have their purpose of invading the space station and transporting everyone to earth but other than that they do not serve a purpose.  They do look good though with the exception of the shiny black uniforms.  The mask was a definite improvement from The Invasion of Time versions. 

It was good to see the two companions interact also.  In The Three Doctors the Second Doctor was on his own and in the Five Doctors they did not really have time to interact with each other.  In The Two Doctors we were able to see Jamie and Peri interact quite a bit and it was good to see the different companions take notes on the differences between each other’s Doctor.   It was also good to see the Sixth Doctor interact with Jamie and have a beaming respect for seeing his old companion again.  I felt that Jamie could have traveled with the Sixth Doctor as their chemistry was pretty good also. 

I just love The Two Doctors mainly as a fan as it is a truly good geek story with  past Doctor and companion with an old enemy to fight.  There were some really good moments also like when the Second Doctor got turned into an Androgum.  When they went into Seville to find food to satisfy their enraged appetites was truly a funny scene even though it ended tragically.  I did not mind how the Sixth Doctor dispatched Shockeye with Oscar’s cyanide as he was an enraged beast with faster skills and superior strength.  I know the BBC used it against them but in fact it wasn’t anything the show hasn’t done before.  The Two Doctors is another gem for Robert Holmes and one of the best stories in an era for Colin Baker that was all too short for us.
Grade A


  1. What a brilliant story and it must have been fun to film sick iconic characters. Thanks for the flashback.

  2. What a great review, I really like the Two Doctors as well, such a good story. Really want to watch it again now!