Timelash episode one
This episode begins with another long, laborious TARDIS scene which has become de rigeur of this particular era of Doctor Who and, whilst it is nicely performed, it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story, but at least Peri gets to wear a slightly better, if a little less skimpy, costume. They also seem to be a bit more at each others throats than they were in the previous episode which does seem a little bit of place, but then again this Doctor is rather ignorant of his companion that it is probably just him reverting back to his usual method of interacting with her rather than the more caring side he has often shown before.
We then move to a familiar Doctor Who staple of people running down a corridor trying to escape from a place which is obviously not a very nice place at all. We learn that the place is run by someone called the Borad and that if they get caught then they will be thrown into something called the Timelash, which also doesn’t sound very nice at all.
When we finally actually see the Timelash however it doesn’t really look all that threatening as all it really is is a pyramid shaped construction which might just as well be a door, which in a way it is, a door to somewhere far, far away, or 12th century Earth as we find out during this episode.
The Timelash is located on a planet called Karfel. This planet seems to be in a potential state of war against this race called the Bandrils, who it seems were once allies of Karfel, but are now their sworn enemies, mostly because of the machinations of this Borad person.
We don’t see much of the Borad in this episode. What we do know about him is that he is totally evil and also that he appears on screens as a rather kindly looking old man and there are some people on the planet who think that this is a bit strange and don’t know why they never actually see him and there are others who don’t see it as a problem.
We do however has Paul Darrow playing a part that is basically Avon in a longer wig, much like Jacqueline Pearce in the previous episodes and he munches his way through every scene that he appears in and always has a smirk on his face as though he is having a great time doing this.
All of the other actors are taking the whole thing very seriously indeed but not Paul Darrow. No he is hamming it up for all he is worth, but to be honest it works and he is very watchable in this role for his overacting alone whereas everyone else seems to trying to take the material far too seriously than it deserves, as it is hardly Shakespeare.
No matter how seriously any of the other actors are and people like Neil Hallett as Rennis and David Ashton as Kendron and Eric Deacon as Mykros and Jeananne Crowley as Vena do all try to do the best that they can with the material Paul Darrow is easily the best thing about this episode as he is having so much fun playing the part that you cannot help but smile when you watch it.
David Chandler’s character of Herbert does come across as a bit annoying and bit too eager to please but he is nice to Vena and looks after her when she falls into the Timelash, or rather walks into which would be a better description, as no one actually throws themselves into the Timelash, that would be far to dramatic.
There are some decent ideas hiding in the background of this story but the whole thing is done on the cheap and some of the model work isn’t all that great, and the least said about the Bandrils the better, which is a pity as it could have been so much better.