NME 3 - 1982
The New Dr Who - Brian Haunton
Summary - Somebody
(page 6/19)
No Monsters Escape

The New Dr Who

by Brian Haunton

I was somewhat worried when I heard that Tom Baker was leaving - I have grown up with him as Dr. Who - to be replaced by Peter Davison. Peter Davison? The only role in which I had seen him previously was Tristan Farnon in "A.C.G.A.S" with whom I had not been impressed; in retrospect my dislike was more for Tristan than Peter Davison.

So far he has appeared in three adventures: "Castrovalva", "Four to Doomsday" and "Kinder"; one very good, one quite good and one not so good. (Respectively? Ed.) "Castrovalva" was heavily inspired (sic) by the paintings of M. C. Escher and ended with the possible death of the Master, caught in his own recursive occlusion. "Four to Doomsday" was a normal green-bug-eyed-monsters-about-to-destroy-life-on-Earth-unless-the-Dr.-stops-them story, although it did feature Stratford Johns, Who was nicely menacing, as the chief baddy, who thought he was G-d, incidentally. "Kinda" was quite interesting, if only for a sequence where (sic) Tegan is wandering around her own mind which has been invaded by a Mara (whatever that is.)

It may be somewhat premature to try and reach a judgement on Peter as the Dr. on the basis of twelve episodes, but his Dr. seems closest to Patrick Troughton's (as far as I can remember it). He is the youngest Dr. yet and this shows in a number of ways: he is more fallible than the previous Dr. and more likely to get involved with the action, rather than advising others. In the first adventure he went though the personae of the previous four Dr.s and managed to convey quite well the sense of confusion he was feeling having just found himself in a new body. By the second adventure he was getting nicely settled down, wandering around and being clever in a Dr. ish manner - saving the Earth from some nasty people in green. There seemed to be about five minutes missed out from the beginning of "Kinder" - the last scene of "Four to Doomsday" showed Nyssa fainting and the first scene of "Kinda" showed the Tardis stuck in a studio full of potted plants with Nyssa saying she wasn't "feeling too good" and being told to rest inside the Tardis while the others wandered around. (Possibly because the script only called for one girl. Ed.)

The current Dr. is stuck with three assistants - which is too many: Tegan, an Australian air hostess; Nyssa, a bioengineer from Traken with a neat line in flimsy skirts and Adric, and Alzarian whiz-kid mathematician. It does not take terribly long to realise that Adric must go; either he or Nyssa is redundant (two whiz-kids is more than enough) and being sexist I prefer Nyssa (not being sexist, so do I. Ed) Adric is also always getting in the way and being a complete and utter drip. Tegan is the Dr.'s proper assistant - she is the one who gets into trouble and has to be rescued, she lets the Dr. show how clever he is and out-acts the other two.

By the end of this season we can hope to see Peter Davison settled into the role wandering the universe with Tegan alone (unlikely, but we can hope) and look forward to Dr. Who's 20th anniversary - anyone who likes Graham Gooch can't be all bad.


by Somebody

Some time ago some people did something and somebody didn't like it so they did something else and something else happened somewhere in some country where somebody who lived in a sumptuous summer palace was about to be sentenced to summary execution. Some assumed it was all going to end someday but somehow they did something to achieve some kind of situation where some people felt some degree of satisfaction.