Double vision

The Two Doctors episode one

It must have been quite confusing for some people watching the Two Doctors episode one when the episode opened in black and white and there was some grey haired bloke, and Joe Sugden from Emmerdale Farm, in the TARDIS. It then just as suddenly went into colour but it looked as though you were watching a different show, until after about ten minutes when you saw the familiar faces of Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant who were, for some strange and unknown reason, fishing. Peri was wearing a pair of shorts and a bikini top but then went and spoiled it by putting a rather loud shirt over her bikini top. I mean she might have been cold, but it was still a shame.

Now if you had been watching the series for a number of years, or had seen The Five Doctors, you might have been aware that Patrick Troughton was the second Doctor and that Frazer Hines played his companion, Jamie, otherwise you might have wondered who these people were who were inside the TARDIS and visiting the space station to see Dastari, and why one of them was referred to as the Doctor, when he looked nothing like Colin Baker. If you hadn’t you could have been forgiven for wondering what the hell that you had been watching. You might also have wondered why Servelan from Blake’s 7 was wearing a longish wig when she looks so much sexier with the short, short hair, and was calling herself Chessene rather than Servelan.

So half the episode features the Doctor and companion team that we know well, the latter half of the episode, and the first half the old Doctor and companion team whom you were either aware of or had no idea who they actually were.

There was a hell of a lot going on in this first episode what with the second Doctor visiting a station which we see attacked by rather ropy looking Sontarans, meeting a pair of Androgums (perhaps the most interesting aspects of the story so far) a race of savages who appear to be chefs, one of whom (Chessene played by the aforementioned Jacqueline Pearce) who has been augmented into a superior being, who it seems is in league with the Sontaran’s and, for some reason, they land just outside Seville.

This is a rather contrived plot device to explain the fact that JNT wanted a jolly in Spain, rather than for any specific reason. They also manage to land near a hacienda which has only one occupant, a blind old women living alone, which was rather handy you might say from the point of view of Chessene and her co-conspirators.

Whilst in Seville two other characters happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and we meet a new pair of interesting characters in the shape of former actor Oscar Botcherby and his rather lovely Spanish friend Anita who just happen to be the environs of the hacienda where Oscar is trying to catch butterflies and not trying to impress the lovely Anita.

They then witness a spacecraft flying through the air and also see two people apparently carrying a third person who happens to be unconscious and decide that that is rather an odd thing to be seeing around there. Oscar is a bit of a coward and would rather leave them be but Anita is a bit more daring and persuades Oscar that they should offer assistance, which he does when she starts fluttering her eyelashes at him.

Back at the now deserted space station the second Doctor arrives and finds that the crew of the station had been massacred and also about the experiments that have been taking place there and about the time lords objections to them but doesn’t understand why this had happened. After being threatened with death by the ships computer the Doctor tries to work out a way to shut down the computer he hears Peri being attacked by something and sets of a trap which causes him to fall unconscious.

By the end of the episode it begins to feel like a proper sixth Doctor story but it really has only just started to get going. The next episode is going to be interesting as very little actually seems to have actually happened but in some ways it didn’t really matter it was rather enjoyable.

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