LOGOPOLIS

The moment had been prepared for: Nicol had already agreed to watch this story with us, what with her being a mathematician and everything, and because she was going away this weekend, we planned on watching all four episodes on Thursday. But when 8:30pm rolled around, and I reached for my New Beginnings box set, I was in for a shock: the Logopolis DVD was unplayable.

Me: ****ing entropy! That’s just ****ing typical!

What’s really odd is that I can’t remember throwing Logopolis across the room the last time I saw it.

Anyway, thanks to some block transfer computation (aka USENET) we began Logopolis a little later than expected.

 

Part One

LogopolisTom Baker’s final story begins in a motorway lay-by.

Sue: Whenever I look at the TARDIS, I notice different things about it. Today, I am fixating on the pink and cream tinting in the glass.
Nicol: I’m starting to worry about you, mother.
Me: Don’t worry, Nicol. It isn’t even a real TARDIS.

The police box bends and wobbles as a familiar sound effect heralds the arrival of a space-time machine.

Sue: It is now.

Evil laughter rings out as a policeman is dragged into the box.

Sue: Okay, let’s get this out of the way: is it the Master?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Good.
Nicol: You mean she’s actually right? And I was here to see it? Wow.

A few minutes later, we meet Tegan Jovanka.

Sue: Now she looks familiar. Where have I seen her before?

Tegan’s Aunt Vanessa can’t get her car to start and Tegan is running late.

LogopolisAunt Vanessa: Now calm now, Tegan, dear.
Sue and Nicol: It’s Tegan!

Yes, we have a cat named Tegan. My fault, of course. Blame me.

Sue: It’s the mouth on legs!
Nicol: It’s little Teagie Weagie.
Me: No one ever calls her that.
Nicol: Right… So this is why you call out Tegan’s name in a mock-Australian accent all the time. It suddenly makes sense.

When their car pulls away, Sue doesn’t fancy their chances of making to the airport in one piece.

Sue: Blimey, she’s had a few accidents in that. I wonder how many people she’s killed?

Meanwhile, the Doctor is moping about in the TARDIS cloister room. He decides that it’s time he fixed his ship’s chameleon circuit, and to do that he will need to survey a real police box back on Earth.

LogopolisThe Doctor: There’s some in the North that are still in use.
Sue: Are we going oop north? And by north, I don’t mean the Watford Gap.
Nicol: They’re going to Newcastle – that’s why Adric is wearing the Newkie Brown star on his pyjamas.
Sue: So the Doctor is finally going to fix the TARDIS? After all this time, he’s actually going to fix it?
Me: Yes.
Sue: I know why he’s suddenly decided to do it now. He’s jealous of the Master, isn’t he? He wants a TARDIS that can sit down in a chair and fire laser beams from its eyes, too. And who can blame him?

Meanwhile, Tegan’s car has broken down in the lay-by.

Sue: My mum had an Afghan coat just like hers. It stank.

On his way back to the console room, the Doctor looks in on Romana’s old quarters.

Nicol: Has Romana gone? When did that happen?

Sue: She left with K9 not that long ago. It was very sad. I’m still getting over it.

Nicol: Oh, I see. So Tegan is the replacement dolly bird, then?
Me: Dolly bird? What decade are you living in?
Nicol: It’s hard to tell, living with you two.

The Doctor demonstrates the TARDIS chameleon circuit to Adric.

LogopolisThe Doctor: In theory we should be able to do things like this.
Sue: What? You can play old video games on it?

The Doctor doesn’t want to be conspicuous any more.

Adric: Why? Who’s looking for us now?
Sue: Well, there’s the Black Guardian for a start.

The TARDIS materialises next to the real police box in the by-pass. On the other side of the road, a figure in white is waiting and watching.

Sue: Is it an Auton?

The Doctor materialises his TARDIS around the police box.

Sue: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I’m sure it isn’t a real police box. In fact, I’m fairly certain it’s the Master’s TARDIS.
Nicol: Are you actually following this?

With the police box now inside the TARDIS console room, Adric and the Doctor take its measurements.

Nicol: I wish I had those measurements when I was making my cake.

The Doctor introduces Adric – and Sue – to the concept of block transfer computation.

Sue: This is very complicated. Did they really expect small children to follow this? Did you follow it when you first saw it?
Me: Of course I did. Everything I know about science, I learnt from watching Doctor Who.
Nicol: You know about tachyons and the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and that’s about it!
Me: Hey, you forgot bioelectronics!

The Doctor watches Tegan as she tries to change the flat tyre on her car.

Sue: She’s making a right pig’s ear out of that. I hope she never has to land a plane.
Nicol: You’d think Tom Baker would offer to help them out. He isn’t very heroic.

And still the Watcher watches.

LogopolisSue: Neil, am I supposed to know who that is?
Nicol: I think it might be Anthony Gormley.

The Doctor enters the police box in the console room, only to find himself standing in a dimly lit copy of the room he just left.

Sue: See! I told you that he’d landed in a TARDIS! I’m dead chuffed I got that right.

Meanwhile, Tegan enters the police box on the by-pass (please keep up at the back).

Sue: I had a suit exactly the same colour as Tegan’s uniform, and you know what? I ****ing loved it.
Me: Are you sure you want me to include that in the write-up? That’s really embarrassing.

The Doctor and Adric are trapped in a TARDIS in a TARDIS.

Sue: This is a brilliant concept. I love it. I just wish the lighting was like this all the time.

The Doctor finds his way back to the lay-by, where he is met by the police.

LogopolisSue: Oh, it’s him.
Me: Yes.
Sue: It’s the Between the Lines guy. I like him, he’s good.

Tom Georgeson’s Detective Inspector leads the Doctor to Tegan’s car. Sitting on its front seat are two dolls.

Sue: I told you it was the Master. It’s good, this.
Nicol: Yeah, it’s alright, I suppose. I haven’t got a clue what’s going on but it’s interesting.

 

Part Two

Sue watches the Watcher.

Sue: Why is the Master disguised as a clown?
Me: That isn’t the Master.
Sue: Who is it, then?
Me: Wait and see.

LogopolisThe police want to take the Doctor back to their station for questioning.

Sue: Why? What has he done that’s so terribly wrong? Is it a crime to leave some dolls on the front seat of a car? That’s a bit weird.
Nicol: GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN!

Adric creates a distraction and the Doctor races back to the TARDIS. But he has to jettison Romana’s room to escape a gravity bubble. Sue is gutted.

Sue: Just think of all those shoes he just chucked away.

Meanwhile, Tegan is wandering around the cloister room in a daze.

Sue: This place reminds me of a level from Unreal Tournament, the only computer game I was ever any good at.
Tegan: It’s unreal!
Sue: See, Tegan thinks so too.

The Doctor receives a transmission from Traken: Tremas has gone missing. The Doctor believes that the Master probably took over his body.

Sue: At least they are addressing last week’s massive plot hole. I still don’t buy it, though.

The Doctor decides to flush the Master out of his TARDIS.

Sue: What a ****ing stupid idea. Is he joking? He must be joking. Tell me that he’s joking.

LogopolisThe Doctor heads for the Thames.

Sue: That’s definitely been in EastEnders.

Adric starts flipping switches on the TARDIS console like a pro.

Sue: Adric really knows his shit. He’s the best co-pilot the Doctor’s ever had. Unless you count Romana, of course; she could fly it on her own.

The TARDIS lands with a bump.

Tegan: Crazy idiot of a pilot!
Sue: She’s dealt with the concept that she’s walked into a huge spaceship that was disguised as a tiny police box very quickly, hasn’t she? I can’t tell if that’s because she’s really clever or really stupid.

The Doctor and Adric prepare to open the TARDIS doors.

Sue: What the ****?

But nothing happens.

LogopolisThe Doctor: That’s odd. There’s no pressure on those doors at all.
Sue: Thank God there’s no pressure! You’d both be dead if there was!

The TARDIS has accidentally landed on a barge. Sue laughs, which clears the tension a bit. The Watcher stands on a bridge above them.

Sue: How can the Master appear over there just like that?
Me: He isn’t the Master!
Nicol: Mother!
Sue: Then who is it? Is it another Time Lord? I’m confused.

Tegan bursts into tears.

Sue: Poor Tegan. Her mind has finally snapped.

But Tegan pulls herself together.

Sue: My first impressions of Tegan are very good. She’s tenacious and up for anything. Is there any particular reason why she’s Australian?
Me: The producer thought she might appeal to our antipodean cousins.
Sue: That makes sense. JNT was pretty canny.

Adric jumps to the same conclusion as Sue.

Adric: So that was the Master?
The Doctor: How did you deduce that?
Adric: I just guessed.
The Doctor: Never guess. Unless you have to. There’s enough uncertainty in the universe as it is.
Sue: I’m sorry! It’s not very clear, Okay? You don’t have to bite my head off!

LogopolisThe TARDIS arrives on Logopolis. The crew are greeted by the Monitor.

Sue: That isn’t the Master, is it?
Me: No!
Sue: Just checking. God, this is so confusing.

The Monitor leads the Doctor and his companions through the streets of Logopolis.

Nicol: So this is the planet of the mathematicians, is it? It isn’t very flattering. We don’t all look like that, you know.
Sue: Even on your very worst hair day, you don’t look as bad as this lot, Nicol.
Nicol: It’s a bit insulting to imply that if you are good at maths, you must have a deformed head. I don’t like it.
Sue
: Logopolis is a shit hole. It’s not much of an existence, sitting in a poky hole playing with your abacus, is it? It looks like slave labour to me.
Nicol: It looks like my ideal job. I wish somebody would pay me to solve equations all day.

A Logopolitan smiles to himself.

Sue: BINGO!

The Monitor tries to explain block transfer computation. Sue doesn’t buy it.

Sue: That’s impossible! Isn’t it? Nicol?
Nicol: You can model any space-time event with mathematics. But I’m pretty sure that you can’t do it by mumbling the numbers out loud. Actually, I’m fairly certain about that.
Sue: ****ing hell.

Nyssa has turned up.

Sue: Not her again. What’s she doing here?

LogopolisThe Master interferes with the Logopolitans’ computations, and when the Doctor tries to input the equation into his chameleon circuit, the TARDIS starts to shrink.

Nicol: That’s what happens when you don’t show your working out in the margins.
Sue: I’m really enjoying this. Let’s watch another one.
Nicol: I’ll try to stay awake but I can’t promise anything. It’s getting very late and this kind of “maths” doesn’t do anything for me.

 

Part Three

LogopolisAdric: It’s getting smaller!
Sue: It sounds like you in the bedroom, love.
Me: I’m not putting that in.
Sue: Spoilsport. You always leave out my best jokes.

Sue finally gets a good look at Anthony Ainley’s Master.

Sue: That’s more like it. They are definitely trying to mimic Roger Delgado, but it’s still better than him wandering around as a burn victim in a bin bag.

Adric and the Monitor check the equation one more time.

Me: There you go, Nicol. Some hexadecimal for you.

But it’s too late, Nicol is fast asleep.

Meanwhile, Nyssa’s continued presence on Logopolis baffles Sue.

LogopolisSue: Is she working for the Master or did she stowaway on his TARDIS without his consent? Time Lords really could do with better locks on their TARDISes.
Me: The bloke in white brought her here. Look, there he is now –
Sue: Okay, this guy is really starting to freak me out, now. Who is it?

In his shrunken TARDIS, the Doctor blames himself for the error.

Sue: He’s getting old. He needs to give it up. It’s written all over his face.

Tegan isn’t very happy about the working conditions on Logopolis, either:

Tegan: Back home in Brisbane, we call that a sweatshop.
Sue: Exactly! I really like Tegan. I’m glad our cat is named after such a nice person.

Nyssa believes that the Master is her father.

Sue: He doesn’t look anything like her dad! Unless her dad had lots of botox and he took a bath in some Grecian 2000. Is she mad?

LogopolisThe Doctor looks very grave indeed.

Sue: Tom looks depressed to me. He probably misses all those rows he used to have with Lalla Ward.

The Master can’t help but laugh.

Sue: Roger Delgado never laughed this much, did he? It’s like a pantomime version of the Master.

At least Peter Grimwade is given some much deserved praise.

Sue: I’m not following this story but it looks good. It’s beautifully shot and some of the camera angles are very interesting for a Doctor Who.

And still the Watcher watches.

Sue: Is it the Black Guardian in a really cunning disguise?
Me: No!

The Master’s interference on Logopolis is catastrophic.

Sue: Really? Am I following this? If you get your maths wrong, the universe collapses?
Me: That’s pretty much it.
Sue
: It’s an interesting idea, I suppose. Mental but interesting.

The Doctor and the Master butt heads.

Sue: Just use the stun gun you were using last week! It’s probably still in your coat pocket.

The Master finally realises that he has probably gone too far.

Sue: He never thinks it through, does he? New face, same stupid plans. But I’m not worried – Adric will sort it out. He’s good at maths.

The Master attacks the Monitor via Nyssa’s controlled wrist.

Sue: What is the point of that? Just do it yourself, man! It’s less aggravation. And why is the Doctor just standing there like a lemon?

But this is just a distraction – the universe is well and truly ****ed.

Sue: It’s just like Lost. You have to keep punching in those numbers or everything goes tits up. Actually, this makes less sense than Lost.

LogopolisThe Monitor decides to leg it.

Sue: I’m off to get a job on Deal or No Deal!

If they really want to save the universe, the Master and the Doctor will have to work together.

Me: Are you excited?
Sue: Not really. The Doctor always has to bail the Master out when he cocks it up. I don’t know why the Doctor doesn’t just kill him!
Me: One more episode?
Sue: I’m flagging a bit. And we need to put the bairn to bed. Let’s leave it for tomorrow.

 

Part Four

LogopolisThe following day, the time came for us to watch Tom’s final episode together.

Me: Come on, love, there’s only three more Tom Baker stories to go. We could be on Peter Davison in a week or two if we pull our fingers out.
Sue: Okay, okay. Let’s just get through them.

Inside, I’m chuckling like the Master.

As Logopolis collapses around them, the Doctor and the Master search for the Monitor.

Sue: He’s probably nipped off to telephone the banker.

Tegan disobeys the Doctor’s orders and she leaves the safety of the TARDIS.

Sue: Tegan is very brave.
Me: Or very stupid.
Sue: Let’s see if she gets in the way before we make our minds up, shall we?

Entropy increases – and to demonstrate this, the Monitor slowly fades away.

LogopolisSue: Is it like Back to the Future where the photograph changes? Or is the chroma really dodgy this week?

Meanwhile, the Watcher is inside the TARDIS with Adric and Nyssa.

Sue: Who is he? Tell me, Neil. Please.
Me: Don’t worry, it will all make sense in the end.

Inside, I’m cackling like the Master.

Sue: Adric just called him the Watcher. What kind of stupid name is that? The Watcher? It makes him sound like a pervert.

The Doctor and the Master arrive at the Pharos Project on Earth. The Master immediately tries to murder one of its personnel, but the Doctor pulls the poor man’s chair away at the last moment.

Sue: Why didn’t the Master’s gun shrink the desk? It would have been funny if they had to input the code into a tiny computer that was the size of a matchbox.
The Doctor: He’s unconscious.
Sue: Why? Did he get whiplash on that chair? Have I missed something?

Nyssa and Adric are taken out of space and time. They watch helplessly as the entropy field engulfs Traken.

LogopolisSue: Bloody hell. They just killed a planet.
Me: I think this story holds the record for the highest body count in Doctor Who.
Sue: Well, at least five people dead on Traken.

Nyssa is overcome with grief.

Sue: Oh no. She’s going to be a companion, isn’t she? She hasn’t got anywhere else to go and I can’t see them killing her off, so she must be staying. Is she a companion, Neil? Tell me.
Me: Yes. Yes, she is.
Sue: Three companions? How’s that going to work? If they bring K9 back it’ll be like Enid ****ing Blyton! The Fabulous ****ing Five in Space.
Me: We’ve had three companions before. Ben, Polly and Jamie, remember?
Sue: Yes, but that didn’t last very long, did it? There wasn’t enough stuff for them to do. It’s going to be a nightmare.

The Master and the Doctor plan to send the Logopolitans’ data through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment.

Sue: I’m not following this. I just want to know who the Watcher is. It’s driving me nuts.

The Doctor, Tegan and the Master head for the antenna control room.

Sue: I should like this story more than I do. We’re on location, we’re back on Earth, the direction is good, and some of the ideas are very interesting. But I just don’t care.

LogopolisOur heroes are pursued by the Pharos Project’s guards.

Sue: Nice wacka-wacka Starsky and Hutch guitar, there.

Our heroes take cover behind a shed.

Sue: Nice shed. I love sheds.

Tegan provides a distraction while the Doctor and the Master race to the radio telescope.

Sue: The Master still runs like a girl. His head is too big for his body. He reminds me of Ricky Gervais a bit.

The two arch-enemies do something impressive with a computer.

Sue: How many Tom Baker stories are left?
Me: Three.

I feel bad about this white lie, but we’ve come too far to spoil it now.

LogopolisSue: I wouldn’t trust the Master as far as I could throw him. He keeps laughing like a pantomime villain, for ****’s sake! He’s even dressed as the bad guy from Aladdin!

The Master holds the universe to ransom.

Sue: Will he have to sit next to that computer for the rest of his life? Is it really worth the aggravation?

The Doctor and the Master fight it out on the radio telescope’s gantry.

Sue: What a shit fight. Where’s Stuart Fell when you need him?

The Master actually chortles at this point.

Sue: And now he sounds like bloody Mutley!

The Doctor is the only person who can stop the Master. He heads out to the gantry, which is beginning to tilt at a very dangerous angle.

Sue: It’s all gone a bit silly, now. And the chroma has frozen behind him as well. That’s not good, is it?

The Doctor attacks the computer connection with a wrench.

Sue: If in doubt, bash it.

The Doctor falls.

Sue: Oh.

Hanging onto a cable for dear life, the Doctor’s enemies flash before his eyes.

LogopolisSue: Eh? What… I…. Hang on… He’s going to regenerate! They wouldn’t be doing this if he wasn’t going to – IT’S THE BLACK GUARDIAN!

The Doctor holds onto the telescope’s girder.

Sue: Oh, it’s Okay. He can climb up from there. Or he could just sit there and wait for help to come. It’s perfectly fine.

The Doctor lets go.

Sue: Does that count as suicide?

And then…

Sue: Blimey, she looked down very quickly! What was she looking at?

Adric, Nyssa and Tegan rush over to the Doctor.

Sue: I don’t like this.
Me: Why not?
Sue: He’s going to die surrounded by strangers. He hardly knows two of them. He only met one of them a couple of hours ago! This is depressing. It should be Romana and K9 by his side.

LogopolisThe Doctor sees the faces of his friends and companions.

Sue: See! He has to think about people he actually knows! Oh, it’s Mary Tamm… Now I feel sad.

The Watcher appears.

Nyssa: He was the Doctor all the time.
Sue: EH? He was the WHAT?

The Watcher and the Doctor merge together.

Sue: So the Watcher was Peter Davison all the time?
Me: Yes.
Sue: ****ing hell.

The Doctor regenerates.

LogopolisSue: Yes! Peter ****ing Davison!
Me: We did it! We actually did it!

After an impromptu dance over the end credits, Sue belts me in the face with a cushion.

Sue: That’s for lying to me. Again.

 

The Score

Sue: What a terrible regeneration. That has to be the worst one yet. I feel cheated.
Me: You’re not sad, then? Not even a little bit?
Sue: I’m sad that he went out like that. He deserved better. He didn’t even know those people by his side.
Me: He died saving the universe.
Sue: Did he? I think he let go on purpose. He’s been in tighter scrapes than that. I think the Peter Davison Doctor told him he had to kill himself, or the ratings would never pick up.
Me: What mark are you going to give it?
Sue: I liked the first episode. The TARDIS in a TARDIS was very clever but it didn’t go anywhere. The regeneration was rubbish. I’m disappointed.

4/10

 

Coming Soon

 

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Comments

  1. Steve  September 1, 2012

    Neil, how much would you say you know about telebiogenesis?

  2. Lewis  September 1, 2012

    I absolutely adore this story. A running tone of melancholy, and a knackered Tom. Sure, he dies surrounded by strangers and that is a bit naff, but hoorah for flashbacks. It’s 10x better than anything else in Season 18, if you ask me.

    Now, on to the Doctor’s era I find very “meh”. Until the 20th anniversary πŸ˜‰

    Also, happy Doctor Who Day!

  3. Smith  September 1, 2012

    And now onto the era for which I will actually have opinions!

    • Charles Norton  September 1, 2012

      When you get to the ‘next one’, are you going to tell Sue exactly what it is before hand, or will you just start the episode after the opening credits and tell her that it’s the Christmas special? Technically, you wouldn’t really be lying to her and it would be interesting to see how long it takes her to twig.

      • Cracked Polystyrene Man  September 2, 2012

        No – that special works much better placed after TIME FLIGHT. Trust me, I’ve done this marathon twice now.

        • John Callaghan  September 2, 2012

          I suspect we’re in a chronic hysteresis, as we’ve had this discussion before! πŸ™‚ Try wagging his tail.

          The stories are being done in transmission order, which means you know what comes next. Brace yourself.

          (And for what it’s worth, my opinion is that’s exactly where it should be.)

          Try wagging his tail.

          • Cracked Polystyrene Man  September 3, 2012

            No – that special works much better placed after TIME FLIGHT. Trust me, I’ve done this marathon twice now.

          • Andrew Bowman  September 3, 2012

            But it was broadcast in between Logopolis and Castrovalva. Unless, of course, Neil’s going to go the whole hog, and recreate the power cut during the first transmission, and *then* show the full thing between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity. If not, however, transmission order it must be (whether it’s the right way to look at the thing or not).

  4. Simon Harries  September 1, 2012

    “Adric: It’s getting smaller!”
    “Sue: It sounds like you in the bedroom, love.”
    This brought about loud guffaws in SE13!! We’ve all been there Sue… not with Neil, though, I hasten to add. This regeneration is my favourite and I find it poignant, but that’s only because I remember the feelings I had when I saw it for the first time at the age of 9 i.e. my Doctor was dying and I’d never see him again. Sue’s right, it is rotten to die surrounded by comparative strangers. Worse is the fact that it’s a very downbeat ending for such a heroic character as Tom’s Doctor, no matter how tired or haggard he looks, or how cheesed off the producer and script-editor felt about working with him. They should have concocted something better than this dirge.

    • BWT  September 2, 2012

      Yep – same here. In fact, I still maintain the only thing that saves this title from the bin of lost hope is Peter Grimwade’s direction (in its own small way) and – most of all – Paddy Kingsland’s music…

  5. Simon Harries  September 1, 2012

    Ah – and yes, I’ve always been struck by the facial similarities between The Monitor and Noel Edmonds… there’s also the fact that they both wear high-heeled boots to increase their height.

  6. PolarityReversed  September 1, 2012

    I once got the maths wrong and my shed fell to pieces. The Lollipolliwatsis have definitely got the hang of “measure twice, cut once”.
    Very entertaining.

    PolarityNeutralised

    PS Everyone enjoy tonight and the dalek mad enough to be both female and compassionate (maybe).

  7. Ludwig Wittgenstein XI  September 1, 2012

    Logopolis – Sanitized Language Edition = I just can’t stop laughing …! That’s all I care about (that and N-E-W Doctor Who in less than 2 hours …!!!) …
    cheerio …!

    • Andrew Bowman  September 1, 2012

      Loved the “Adric: Tegan? Tegan: >beeeeeep!<" bit. That made me chuckle!

  8. John Callaghan  September 1, 2012

    Great stuff.

    In fairness to Logopolis, having a present shadow cast by your future self before a regeneration is consistent with Cho-Je in Planet Of The Spiders.

    And golden memories of Logopolis; episode two of which was the first episode I ever saw TWICE! Straight away, too – my aunt had a new-fangled video recorder, so when my chum Michael and I went to the Who exhibition at Madam Tussaud’s all the way down in London, she taped part two for us.
    (Is it true that Tom Baker is the first person to have two waxworks of himself at MT’s at the same time? (Meglos and the Doctor.))

    • Whole hoop  September 2, 2012

      I believe that is true, although heaven alone knows why the Meglos version was deemed worthy inclusion at Tussaud’s. Somewhere at my parents’ house there is a picture of me with the original Tom Baker model taken in Dec 1982 and I still didn’t recognise it in the publicity photos for the 5 Doctors (doh!!!)

  9. Noodles  September 1, 2012

    Shame Sue didn’t think any more of that, as I absolutely love “Logopolis”. I had my hopes up for the first two episodes, but she seemed to go off it after that. Nicol, too.

    Still, at least she likes Tegan.

  10. Steve O'Brien  September 1, 2012

    It’d never occurred to me that he’s surrounded by strangers in his last moments. 31 years on, and I think I’ve found a way of enjoying the sadness of this scene even more.

    • Leo  September 1, 2012

      Also, none of the previous regenerations had had much in the way of old friends present either. The first Doctor had only recently met Ben And Polly, the second Doctor apparently regenerated without any witnesses, or at least any companions in the vicinity, and the third had only known Sarah for five stories, the same amount as the fourth had known Adric at this stage. The Brigadier, in Planet of the Spiders, is the only one present who really qualifies as an old friend during any of these.

      • Dave Sanders  September 1, 2012

        It doesn’t happen next time either, and it’s not like anybody has much of a bad word to say about that one.

        • Simon Harries  September 1, 2012

          I do… it’s rotten. Maniac chuckling all the way through a strobing blancmange nightmare. Much prefer the Logopolis one.

          • Thomas  September 2, 2012

            Wait, the regeneration or the whole episode itself?

            I love both, so you’re crazy in my eyes either way.

  11. Jazza1971  September 1, 2012

    There were 3 companions in the TARDIS right at the very start as well. Admittedly Hartnell was commonly away on holiday, but it wasn’t just Ben/Polly and Jamie as a threesome.

    • John G  September 1, 2012

      In fairness I think Neil cited Ben/Polly/Jamie as it is a more comparable line-up to Adric/Nyssa/Tegan than the original TARDIS crew, which was much more like a family set-up with a less proactive Doctor and a correspondingly bigger role for Ian and Barbara.

      • Dave Sanders  September 1, 2012

        You’d never get the Doctor’s scarf and Barbara’s jumpers in the same shot though. There isn’t enough wool in the world.

  12. FannyLoveless  September 1, 2012

    Wow it would be really nice to see some more K9.

    • BWT  September 2, 2012

      Actually, for what it’s worth, I always thought K9 would work really well with the Fifth Doctor. Shame he never really got the chance…

      • PolarityReversed  September 4, 2012

        All Creatures Grate and Stall?

  13. encyclops  September 1, 2012

    I think this one’s fantastic. It isn’t much fun, of course, but that’s exactly why it’s fantastic. This and Pertwee’s are my favorite regenerations, probably in part because in both cases they’re turning into a Doctor I still like, but also I think it’s important that there be some actual tragedy about the whole thing. The ominous mood is just enthralling for me. I really can’t imagine this Doctor going out any other way.

    I love Sue’s observation about why the Doctor decides to fix the TARDIS in this episode, and Nicol’s dream of solving equations all day.

    • Dave Sanders  September 1, 2012

      It’s one of my very favourites too – The Phantom Tollbooth for the Speccy generation.

      With the possible exceptions of The Doctor’s Wife and The Girl Who Waited, I don’t think there’s a single 20XX episode constructed in this way; a science-enigma turned into a puzzle-box, where the idea, the mood and the environment are every bit as fascinating as the order of events inside it. RTD would have insisted on shoving a monster in there, which would have punctured the bubble immediately. Also, can you imagine that regeneration with Murray Gold slapped all over it instead of Paddy Kingsland? People have tried on Youtube and they should STOP IT IMMEDIATELY.

      • encyclops  September 1, 2012

        I love Paddy Kingsland so much. The music in this story and the next are pretty much my favorite ever in Doctor Who.

        • Thomas  September 2, 2012

          Indeed- I had to hunt down the isolated score to put on a CD, but man was it worth it. The Watcher theme in particular is just fantastic.

  14. encyclops  September 1, 2012

    Also, brilliant censoring, Simon!

  15. Thomas  September 1, 2012

    Aw, I really like Logopolis. Shame she didn’t think much of it.

    Though I for the life of me can’t understand what she was confused about. It all made perfect sense to me…

  16. Gavin Noble  September 1, 2012

    I agree with Sue about it not being the regeneration Tom deserved but that’s only in hindsight. As I kid I thought it was incredibly upsetting that the Doctor had died and changed. This was the first regeneration I ever saw and I still think it’s the best one even if the reason’s for it are not the best or the best story ever.

    Tom himself didn’t like the regeneration show – he felt it wasn’t witty or heroic enough and the bonus features on the DVD that cover the regeneration show that to the full as he’s very bad tempered with the shot being lined up! Easy to understand his bad temperdness though – he was about to give up a huge part of his life.

    Fair score I think – it’s not a classic but for my money there’s still never been a better Doctor – although Peter Davison and then Matt Smith would make up my top three. I was lucky to meet Tom on his autobiography book signing tour and I was shaking like a jelly after my brief meeting with him – I couldn’t sign the cheque until I calmed down.

    He was – and still is – my biggest childhood hero.

    • Gavin Noble  September 1, 2012

      I meant to say regeneration shot not show.

      I have no problems with the regeneration myself – just the story before it happens isn’t perhaps as good as it should be.

      • Thomas  September 2, 2012

        I’m a little disappointed she didn’t comment on the regeneration itself- for me it’s one of the loveliest ones the show’s ever had. The flashbacks mixed with the music and the Watcher (which I think was brilliant) all just tie together to make this probably my favorite regeneration.

  17. Tony  September 1, 2012

    Fond memories of this also. Was at a DWAS social event on the day episode one aired and most of the cast and crew from Season 18 were present – got my Doctor Who Programme Guide Vol.1 signed by all!

    Sanitised Logopolis hilarious – keep up the good work Neil and Sue, looking forward to Davison era.

  18. Dave Sanders  September 1, 2012

    You spoiled it for her Neil, you really did. Everyone in 1981 knew what was coming…

    Though it must be said that anyone who thinks the regeneration isn’t ‘heroic’ or ‘epic’ enough is not only missing the point entirely, they got exactly what they wanted with David Tennant in The End Of Time. Did you choke on it? Because I know I did.

    • encyclops  September 1, 2012

      I couldn’t agree more with your second paragraph. Not that I disagree with the first…I just was 7 at the time and hadn’t heard of Doctor Who yet.

    • Thomas  September 2, 2012

      I agree with your first point- I think not telling her beforehand it’s a regeneration story really damages the impact- I mean, the whole bit with the chameleon circuit doesn’t quite make sense without knowing that.

      And then the actual regeneration itself probably would’ve been better-received, too.

  19. John G  September 1, 2012

    β€œI think it might be Anthony Gormley.”

    Take a bow, Nicol, take a bow, though it’s a shame she only saw the first half of the story. It’s also a pity it went down badly with Sue, as I think this is quite an effective regeneration tale. Sure, the Master is embarrassing and I don’t think it’s a good idea to introduce two new companions just before changing the Doctor, but the atmosphere is appropriately eerie and doom-laden (I love the concept of the Watcher), the stakes feel convincingly high and Tom gives a dignified final performance. The regeneration itself is also quite touching, though I don’t understand why
    Peter appears to be smiling when we catch our first glimpse of him!

    Interesting that Sue has immediately taken to Tegan, as I think Janet Fielding is rather poor in her first few stories – she doesn’t look at ease to me until Kinda. I’ll be interested to see if Sue’s liking for Tegan survives all the moaning and bitching coming up next season…

    Anyway, congratulations once again for getting through the longest era of them all, and I hope you will refresh yourselves with a certain little Christmas special before tackling the Davison era! Given Sue’s reaction to much of Season 18, I fear there could be quite a long hard slog ahead…

  20. Frankymole  September 1, 2012

    Tegan no doubt looked down quickly because she thought the Doctor would not have let go without having something safe to land on – she was looking down to check for mattresses, cardboard boxes, bouncy Slitheen, etc… Always quickest on the uptake, our Teegs. Or perhaps in true Monty Python style she was looking out of the film to the VT studio with its astroturf thinking “will that ladder my tights if I kneel on it”?

    In the novel, there’s a concrete car park for the Doc to land on.

    • tom_harries  September 1, 2012

      Unfortunately for the 4th Doctor, all the available cardboard boxes had been booked by The Professionals and The Sweeney that week.

      (Actually, the real reason her reaction is out of sync with the others is because the actors weren’t given an eye-line to react to!)

  21. Roderick T. Long  September 1, 2012

    Has Sue seen Curse of Fatal Death?

  22. Tim Lister  September 1, 2012

    The 4th Doctor already knew it was his time because of the Watcher’s presence so he let go of the beam to avoid delaying the inevitable. As far as the surrounded by strangers thing, it’s an interesting perspective and I agree that it would normally be a very disappointing letdown if we were talking about almost any other character. But isn’t the whole point of the show that nobody really knows the Doctor? Maybe Romana got to know him better than most before she left but her relationship with him was by far the exception to the rule. The fact that she left so suddenly and basically on a whim would also have made it even harder for the Doctor to really connect with anyone. So I thought it was perfectly appropriate that when he died he was with people he barely knew yet on who’s lives he’d had an incredible impact. He has always preferred it that way.

    • Broadshoulder2  September 1, 2012

      No, I think it was because JNT and Bidmead didn’t think, They were so eager to dismantle the Tom Baker era that at the end they left him with ho one his Doctor and more importantly had any connection with. So it was a sterile regeneration. They remembered to insert clips to remember his era but that just served to highlight how distanced he was from the people around him watching him dying and how good those previous companions were.

      If Bidmead and JNT had sat and worked it out they would have kept K9 and Romana until Logopolis and let them leave that story or the next one. The terrible trio could have been introduced in season 19 along with Davison. But they were more interested in eradicating any vestige of Tom – even while he was still in the job.

      • Thomas  September 2, 2012

        Well, consider that they were extremely worried that having Tom leave would kill the show. In hindsight, their actions seem a bit drastic, but if you were looking at it through their eyes at the time of release, they had to get rid of everything to let the show survive longer.

      • Tim Lister  September 2, 2012

        I suppose it all depends on when you started with the show. For me Series 18 was the first I ever saw, so in that context the regeneration worked. But in retrospect I can also see how it might seem like a letdown for those who had followed Tom’s Doctor from the beginning. I still think JNT did amazing work on the show in his first series (and maybe second as well) but other than an occasional gem (Caves, Revelations, etc) he was pretty awful right up until his final series when he was just starting to get back on track right before the show was cancelled.

  23. Broadshoulder2  September 1, 2012

    Sue pinpointed my dislike of this story. He died surrounded by strangers..

    It doesnt help that we get a montage of possibly the greatest lineup of companions the show ever produced.. and he dies watched over by the terrible trio who have only known him five minutes. I thought she would like Tegan, has strangely taken to Adric but I wonder if Nyssa will get her ire.

    Logopolis is OK. Block matrix computation isnt very exciting but there is a nice sombre mood throughout.

    • Dave Sanders  September 1, 2012

      But the Doctor is ALWAYS surrounded by strangers, everywhere he goes – that’s been the entire remit throughout most of the show’s run. The times when it has threatened to stop surprising us have been those when the Doctor has had his own comfort zone, be it UNIT HQ, the Powell Estate, or wherever.

      More me, the ‘surrounded by strangers’ aspect of the regeneration makes it all the more poignant, since it reinforces the theme of the season, how nothing lasts forever and we all have to move on. This is also the Doctor who hates farewells; who comes along, saves the day and is off again just as quickly, often without any thanks at all. That’s just how the Fourth Doctor rolls, and it’s entirely in keeping that his regeneration should be the ultimate expression of this.

      • Tim Lister  September 2, 2012

        Spot on Dave.

  24. CJJC  September 1, 2012

    This regeneration is my earliest specific memory of Doctor Who (though to this day I don’t know if it was from here or from the recap at the start of Castrovalva). I think we have developed the idea that the passing of the Doctor needs to be tied to an adventure which is a big, “awesome” “epic” one for him to go out on – which is as artificial a construct as conveniently placed cliffhanger endings. Sometimes, he just gets sad and tired and stops trying to hold on to what’s keeping him alive. The point about The End of Time above is an appropriate one – nothing like as emotional an ending for me precisely because it tries so hard to tell us that it is one, typical of the emotionally bullying tone of its era.

  25. Paul Kirkley  September 1, 2012

    Katy Manning’s hustling in on Sue’s territory: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-09-01/doctor-who—asylum-of-the-daleks-review-with-katy-manning

    • DPC  September 2, 2012

      Cool, there’s an iMac on display! πŸ™‚

      Now I can’t wait to see that episode… in due course… I’m looking more forward to Sue’s responses to “Castrovalva” though…

  26. Fraye Welbrough  September 1, 2012

    I thought we were on for a good score with this one – it’s a shame Sue didn’t go for it in the end. This is one of my most evocative childhood TV memories (along with the next story) – so weird and nightmarish: like other people have mentioned, an eerie early 80s puzzlebox or Phantom Tollbooth.

    But a very funny installment of the blog nonetheless, I was most chucklesome throughout.

  27. Ryan Hall  September 1, 2012

    Fond memories about seeing dear ole Tom regenerate with watching it with my dad and brother , also seeing it continuasly played on a loop whilst queing to get into the DrWho exibition in blackpool that summer also .

    yes my Doctor was gone but i was excited to see the new doctor and even more excited with what was coming up at christmas that year : D

    Thing with the comments about him regenerating with strangers and it should of been romana, didnt liz sladen and lou jameson say they were asked to come back for a few stories to see tom out and peter in but declined due to not wanting to go fully back into “who” so they went with nyssa ?.

    • John G  September 1, 2012

      Yes, JNT asked them both if they were willing to return for a few stories, but they both turned him down (though Lis did of course accept his next offer soon after). Tegan and Nyssa were thus drafted into the TARDIS instead – it’s fun to think of Leela or Sarah Jane travelling with the fifth Doctor, and even more so with Adric, but it wasn’t to be…

  28. Paul Mc Elvaney  September 1, 2012

    Nyssa: ‘The Monitor is going to *bleep* you!’
    Oh, I was actually crying with laughter at the end of this, a fantastic take on Logopolis. Interesting idea about the Fourth Doctor’s death as suicide. I always wondered what the Watcher (who of course was the Doctor all the time, duh!!) said to him on the bridge. And how was the moment ‘prepared for’ exactly? Oh, and the ‘getting smaller’ joke? Well done, my dear Sue, well done!
    (By the way, I adored Asylum of the Daleks. Best Dalek story since 2005’s ‘Dalek’. I’ll stop saying Dalek now, sorry.)

  29. DPC  September 2, 2012

    Sue’s comments rock (as usual)!

    Unreal Tournament = squee!

    Tegan does get a good starting story with her dialogue and bashing the Logopolitans’ sweatshop ideals…

    Ep 3’s cliffhanger is one of the best (the Doctor’s scowl on his face really hits home) but episode 4 is rather rushed… πŸ™

    Sue’s comments throughout are wonderful; reminding what a person who’s never seen the thing might think. So many details I’d forgotten or not even considered…

    The story is a mess, but not without merit… but it is, despite the excellent direction, music, and 2 fantastic middle episodes worth of characters and setup (well, eps 2.5-4.4 anyway) a letdown. πŸ™ But I’ve watched far, far worse stories…

  30. DPC  September 2, 2012

    Most store-bought DVDs (not the homebrew purple ones) should last a quarter century with ease… what the fudge is going on with decade-old (or 5 years in this case) discs going bad?!!! Too much money for too little quality…

  31. BWT  September 2, 2012

    “The producer thought she might appeal to our antipodean cousins.” Which just goes to prove that even JNT could miss the target with his marketing skills. Tegan never resonated with me at all…

  32. DamonD  September 2, 2012

    Someone beat me to the telebiogenesis line, heh.

    Season 18, and Tom’s performances across it, are something that I’ve grown increasingly appreciative of over time. While it’s a bit uneven the highs are high and Tom’s moody, withdrawn Doctor with flashes of the Season 13 fire is (I think) his best level of acting since the Hinchcliffe days.

    Congratulations on getting all this way! More good stuff to come yet!

  33. Paul Mudie  September 2, 2012

    I remember having very mixed feelings about Tom’s regeneration. He’d been THE Doctor for me since I was 5 years old, but even at the age of 11 I could sense that things had gotten a bit stale and I was excited to see what the show would be like with the new chap. I think the regeneration scene itself is fine, but I would have liked a more impressive story for Tom Baker to bow out on.

  34. chris-too-old-too-watch  September 2, 2012

    Famous Five in Space – lovely concept. Doctor would be Julian of course, with K9 as Timmy the dog. Nyssa is sooooo girly she’d have to be Ann, leaving Tegan and Adric to fight it out between Dick and George –
    “No, no, I want to be a tranvestite”
    “I’m not going to be called Dick, people will talk”

    • Dave Sanders  September 2, 2012

      Is there a part in it for Gary Russell?

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 3, 2012

        My other half has just bought the Famous Five series on DVD (sad isn’t it?) and our Gazza isn’t too bad, if it wasn’t for the fact our commentary always spoils the “mystery” by putting it down to the daleks/cybermen…..

  35. Whole hoop  September 2, 2012

    I still think this regeneration is one of the best in terms of special effects, only the first one given the technical constraints of 1966, comes anywhere close. Maybe that’s just me though

    • Wholahoop  September 2, 2012

      FFS iPad it’s wholahoop not whole hoop aaaghhhh!!!!!!

      • Frankymole  September 3, 2012

        iPads do the typing for their users? That really is carrying “ease of use” too far!

      • DPC  September 3, 2012

        Those tablets are great for shorthand, but not for proper typing. Nothing replaces a keyboard, and the only thing that will is a neural interface. I’m sure Apple will patent that in due course, too…

        • PolarityReversed  September 4, 2012

          Nope. They’ll just try to patent the concept of mental engagement and use of reason common among the most evolved mammals. Desperate. They stole most of the concepts themselves, from the get-go.

          To stay clear of the lawyers, great care has been taken here not to use the lower-case character that follows “h”. You never know what they’ll try next. Furthermore, as a US court seems to have granted them a lock on the concept of a rectangle altered by rounded corners, as well as pressure on some part of a touch-screen, etc, you can maybe understand my reluctance to take the chance.

          Actually – managed to exclude the upper-case character as well. Phew. Better safe than sorry.

          • PolarityReversed  September 4, 2012

            Note to Apple:
            You cannot legally own or protect the use of the opposable thumb.

            Daleks’ opposable plungers, however… Do your worst. Why not.

  36. Richard Lyth  September 2, 2012

    It’s a shame Sue doesn’t like this one – it’s the first Doctor Who story I have firm memories of watching first time round (not sure if it was the original or the repeat mind) and it’s still one of my favourites, with a wonderful unearthly atmosphere that few other stories can match. I have a horrible feeling Sue isn’t going to like the next few years worth of stories at all, but hopefully Peter Davison can win her round.

  37. Jason Miller  September 2, 2012

    It may be time to give this experiment a rest for about 30 days, to give Sue time to mentally mull things over and freshen up. She’s just given a 3 to “Traken” and a 4 to “Logopolis”, and those are (at least, in the collective fan consciousness, which Sue tends to mimc more often than not) two of the more memorable stories made between 1980 and 1988. I see an awful lot of “2”s and “3”s coming over the short haul…. There is a ton of merit in “Logopolis” and perhaps Sue, as with the rest of the audience in March 1981, would have benefitted from knowing all along that it was actually Tom’s final story. His mood in the story makes more sense with the foreknowledge that he’s going to die (such as the scene where he bargains with the Watcher on the bridge). In order to give Sue a breather, and prevent her from slagging off the whole of the ’80s run (unless she happens to develop a fondness for Seasons 25 and 26)… either take a few weeks off, OR run through “The Five Faces of Doctor Who” first!

    • Neil Perryman  September 2, 2012

      You conveniently left out Sue’s good scores for Full Circle, State of Decay and Warriors’ Gate. Sue doesn’t feel any fatigue whatsoever. I might but she doesn’t.

      I’d love to take 30 days off but I can’t. One day this will make sense.

      • Dave Sanders  September 2, 2012

        One day, you will sit back. Yes, you will sit back…

      • DPC  September 3, 2012

        Re-reading, I’m amazed there’s no discussion on the camera angle used in part four – the camera behind Adric and Nyssa. Everyone loves to make jokes about one obvious bit, but the goal of the director was to show how we are with there with the companions, as we’re seeing the scene through their perspective…

        “Sue: Nice wacka-wacka Starsky and Hutch guitar, there.”

        πŸ™‚

        Synth guitar… works remarkably well and holds up despite the disco origins… it’s a nice piece…

        • DPC  September 3, 2012

          Whoops; meant to respond to the main article — glad to read Sue is still up for things, but it’s sad to read you’re fatigued. πŸ™

    • Bryan Simcott  September 3, 2012

      Ive never been a fan of fan wisdom and Logopolis and Keeper of Traken are two of the most boringly dull stories in Doctor `s rich and long life. This whole series was regined in By those upstairs and CHB (may my bones rot for even thinking his name)

      So the scores on the doors from sue are just the right thing. No fannying about no hindight no its the last story etc etc its rubbish and the to bow out after 7 years like this was rubbish, he fell from a gantry. Nothing happens , people pop up and go away for no reason and the whole Master talks to the universe nonsense (it takes billions of years to even see the light form the stars from earth, how long would it take radio waves when move much slower)

      Rubbish and sue can see rubbish when she sees it.

      Now the experiment has its hardest trial so far, rubbish, dull and usless scripts is one thing, but some of Peter Davisons are so bad on screen and in print as to be criminal

      • John Williams  September 3, 2012

        It’s being so cheerful that keeps you going.

      • solar penguin  September 3, 2012

        @Bryan – There’s nothing wrong with having a good moan from time to time, but you should still take care getting basic facts right.

        While Logopolis has it’s flaws, the business about the radio message isn’t one of them. For a start, radio waves don’t “move much slower” than light at all. And anyway, the dialogue makes it clear they’re using the TARDIS’s “light speed overdrive” to accelerate the radio signal so it goes faster than light.

        • Bryan Simcott  September 3, 2012

          I assume them that everybody in all those planets have radios as we do or speakers that can receive radio singnals (when they finaly get there) or is it just a big booming voice coming from the sky .?

          Drivel the whole thing is so dull and boring and drivel. πŸ™‚

          I love Doctor who to bits but I can also see when its pants and lets itself down with very poor scripts and or Production values. I love Nimon to bits for the story and the plot and the darkness that is Vrax but its very shoddy production values but on first viewing I fell in love with it, Logopolis (and I didnt know Baker was leaving at the time) Logopolis put me off and I wasnt going to bother with the new Doctor as I thought the show had losts its magic….I did watch and peter davison was brilliant just a shame about some of his scripts

          • Thomas  September 4, 2012

            Chill, just because people disagree with you doesn’t mean you’re right.

      • Frankymole  September 3, 2012

        “It takes billions of years to even see the light form the stars from earth, how long would it take radio waves when move much slower” – hence the light speed overdrive that the Master and Doctor squabble over in the last episode.

        Talking of inconsequential ends, Hartnell just falls over, and Colin apparently bonks his head.

      • DPC  September 3, 2012

        “The Keeper of Traken” has a nice feel, but I can’t deny “Logopolis” is a lot of “exposition overload”, especially in its first part and a half. The story does take off, but the first 30 minutes are a tad tedious…

        IMHO, sitting through “Logopolis” does pay off later on…

      • Paul Mudie  September 4, 2012

        I’m prepared to be completely wrong, but I think Sue will find a lot to enjoy in the Davison years. I mean, she likes Adric, so all bets are off!

  38. Dan  September 2, 2012

    The criticisms of Logopolis by the Tardis Eruditorum blogger are devastating. Tegan isn’t very clever or very stupid for being unphased by entering the TARDIS; they simply didn’t consider writing her or Nyssa with the normal emotional responses of a human being.

    • Frankymole  September 3, 2012

      Nyssa isn’t a human being. She’s an alien, like the Doctor.

      As to Tegan – she was in tears and on the verge of hysteria. Check out the Cloister Room scene and after. Harry and Sarah were much more gung-ho.

      • Dan  September 3, 2012

        That’s being very generous. If she isn’t moved by that, what motivates her? It might be that the producer and script editor simply didn’t have an eye for that kind of thing. She does show emotion, briefly, at the end of Traken but when she meets the Master in the future there’s no treatment of him being in her father’s body and nothing to indicate he’s responsible for wiping out her people.

        • DPC  September 3, 2012

          There’s not much Nyssa on her own could do…

          The script editor, in “Castrovalva”, did write in some anger on Nyssa’s part. “That face, I HATE IT!!” She admits there’s not much they can do either, and what are we supposed to get – “Ripley on the small screen, taking a big gun and splattering the Master to bits”?

          • Dave Sanders  September 4, 2012

            Plus, she’s just lost her entire PLANET. Do you honestly think it’s going to have sunk in yet?

        • Leo  September 3, 2012

          Although not showing one’s feelings – internalising or hiding them – isn’t the same thing as not having them. But there are a few other examples of implied emotional reactions. There’s a scene at the beginning of an episode of one story where Nyssa turns off the screen, cutting off an image of the Master, and exclaims “That face! I hate it!” She remonstrates with the Doctor in Logopolis, “How could you? The creature that killed my father…” Her reaction to the destruction of Traken in the same story is clearly meant to be emotional, and whether you find it so or not is probably dependent on how you assess the acting.

          I mean, yes. They could have done more with it, they could have handled it a lot better, could have said more about it in subsequent stories. All that is fair comment. But on the whole I don’t think it’s so much a case of them not thinking of trying to write the characters with normal emotional responses – and it’s an issue which stretches throughout Nyssa’s time, so not really something that can be fully blamed on a particular individual or story – as one of only partially succeeding in doing so. Mainly because it wasn’t a particular strength in an SF action adventure series, hence it was something the writers were unused to prioritising, at least for this kind of fiction. Few companions had had such a background as Nyssa’s, so it was relatively new territory for the series. Indeed, one where there is a possible parallel is Vicki, who was the sole surviving passenger on a ship and had lost her family, if I remember correctly. Maureen O’ Brien has also gone on record as having been unhappy about the way this was almost immediately brushed over, where her very next story just had her larking about with the other regulars. Of course, there was the difference that there was no means for Bennett to pop up in subsequent stories and remind her of it.

          It does seem also, by most accounts, that the writers of most of her stories never really found Nyssa all that interesting or inspiring, and mostly neglected her in favour of Tegan, which led to it becoming a bit self-fulfilling. The writers didn’t find her interesting, so didn’t tend to do anything to try to make her interesting. Shame really, because there’s a case for saying she had a lot of unrealised potential.

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 4, 2012

        Also, remember that Nyssa comes from a planet and society that was totally at peace and harmony: probably not many chances to loose or temper or have negative emotions at all…..

  39. Shaun  September 3, 2012

    “it’s still better than him wandering around as a burn victim in a bin bag.”

    Brilliant!

  40. Professor Thascales  September 4, 2012

    “Sue: It’s just like Lost. You have to keep punching in those numbers or everything goes tits up. Actually, this makes less sense than Lost…”
    Ouch.