We’re back after a break and looking at Tom Baker’s season 17. Honestly, I think season 17 is all about the comedy. Soldeed is still one of the best villains ever, and Duggan is one of the best pseudo-companions ever, and Skagra has the worst tailor in history… I mean, these all add up to a hilarious season!
RP: 7 – A flawed premise from the start and a poor imitation of Davros, but Lalla Ward is immediately magnificent as Romana and it’s still a story that is a whole lot of fun. Now spack off.
ML: 8 – This episode features Davros, rock/paper/scissors, the most androgynous robots of all time, a cameo by Oolon Colluphid’s book, and mockery of the stupidity of the Daleks themselves. What’s not to love?
RP: 10 – Funny, clever, an intelligent critique of art appreciation, and a Doctor and companion in love enjoying a holiday together, being magnificent. The peak of the Tom Baker era.
ML: 10 – Tom and Lalla at their very best. Awesome duo. Duggan is a great companion. And the butler… what a wonderful butler!
RP: 7 – An attempt to combine themes of capitalism and Greek mythology that never quite gel, while being individually fascinating. If you’re looking for a Doctor Who story about a penis monster, you won’t find a better one than this, and it’s entirely deliberate.
ML: 3 – Only because there’s a reasonable attempt at allegory and the creators of the show were willing to try something else no one else on Earth would try by making the monster a giant blob with an… appendage, will I give this even a 3. I don’t know if it deserves it, but it was attempting to be creative. I think…
RP: 7 – An incredibly bleak and adult story, tempered with humour that is generally excellent but occasionally misfires horribly. Also features a twisted magic door concept that works in the wrong direction. Inventive.
ML: 7 – Although the episode is barely average, there’s a great anti-drug message built in and it’s interesting to watch from that point of view. Not stellar, but on the low end of “above average”.
RP: 10 – How many Nimons have you seen today? How many? THREEEEEE!!!! This is all completely magnificent from beginning to end, so it’s getting a 10. The Nimon be praised.
ML: 10 – Go into this with a smile and laugh your way through it. The Nimon look like they can’t move their arms, there’s a guy whose pants split when he dies (despicable worm), and Soldeed… Oh, lord, Long Live Soldeed! Absolute comedy gold!
RP: 9 – Now beautifully completed with animation that is much better integrated with the live action than I ever expected. But before that happened it was still the best location filming that Doctor Who ever did. Chattanooga Choo Choo, won’t you choo choo me home?
ML: 8 – Very high end stuff from what exists, but until I view the animated version, I can’t raise this one all the way to a 9 or 10. Chronotis is awesome and I loved the Dirk Gently books, of which this is clearly a precursor, so I have to score it well.
Overall a fun season. It’s weaker on the stories but stronger on the comedy. It’s not the best season Baker has, but it’s certainly a lot of fun! ML