The Twin Dilemma episode Two
The second episode of The Twin Dilemma I found to be mildly entertaining fare.
Colin Baker’s Doctor was a little less manic in this episode than in the previous one and was much more stable apart from the moment when him and Peri were caught by the two guards from the ship when he hid behind Peri, and told them it was her fault that they had been caught, which was not a very Doctorish thing to do, but as he had only just regenerated then probably something you can chalk off to post regenerative blues, as the Doctor is nothing if not a coward but, in this instance behaved very cowardly indeed and you can fully understand Peri’s frustration with him.
In fact if it wasn’t for Peri he might have let Hugo Lang die of his wounds simply because he threatened to kill him,so Peri had to appeal to his better nature here, which he readily agreed to after not much persuasion from Peri showing that the Doctor we know is actually there in this rather loud, blustering character in the very loud costume, just that it taking a bit longer than usual to adapt to the regenerative process.
Colin Baker is really throwing himself into the role and is enjoying his rather bombastic character, not that far removed at this stage from his turn as Bayban the Butcher in Blake’s 7.
Maurice Denham is impressive as Professor Edgeworth, whom the Doctor recognises as a fellow timelord named Azamel, whilst the Conrad twins are doing their best impression of a school play performance as the genius twins making Matthew Waterhouse look like Laurence Olivier by comparison.
I wouldn’s say that they are necessarily bad, it’s just that they have show no emotion in the parts and it really looks as though they are just repeating the lines without making much of an effort to make give their characters any personality of their own.
Wooden is a descriptive enough word for their performaces, which might be a bit unfair on them as I am not sure they had done much acting before but when you compare them to to say the kids on Box of Delights also made the same year then they just really aren’t making the effort to make something of the parts.
I would say that Kevin McNally is generally quite good as Hugo Lang, but in this episode spends most the time unconscious and still gives a more rounded performance than the twins did.
Whilst the script is generally ok the direction is very uneven and rather stodgy, but then again it was directed by Peter Moffatt who was not one of the more artistic director of the era so it was nothing if not unxpected.
There was even some geninue tension in the episode when the Doctor and Peri are left in the compound on the planet when Edgeworth, the twins and the two guards transport to the ship and it looked like they might not make and indeed we do not know at the end of the episode if the Doctor does not make it as the compound explodes before the Doctor is able to transport away. We will have to wait and see if he makes it or not.