I wanted Nicol to watch at least one Colin Baker episode with us and The Two Doctors felt like the safest bet. It’s a story about vegetarianism (Nicol has been meat-free for a year) and it’s set in an exotic location (she likes Spain). Plus, if she didn’t agree to watch it with us, I’d delete this week’s episode of Homeland from the PVR.
Sue: (Pointing at the DVD menu) Hang on a minute, if this three episodes that means…
Nicol: It’s only three episodes? That’s short.
Sue: Don’t get your hopes up, Nic. These episodes are 45-minutes long.
Sue: Only two Doctors? We had five Doctors last time. Were there cutbacks at the BBC again?
Nicol: Does the Doctor regenerate? Is that why there’s two of them?
Sue: I bet he teams up with one of the old ones. I bet I know which one it will be as well. Let me guess… I bet it’s…
Oh dear, too late.
Sue: It’s Patrick Troughton!
Nicol: This is black and white. I’m not watching this if it’s black and white.
Sue: Hang on a minute, something isn’t right here.
Nicol: I know. I was expecting Colin Baker.
Sue: He’s old. This Doctor shouldn’t have grey hair. This doesn’t make any sense at all.
Me: I’ll explain later.
Sue: Explain now.
Me: I can’t. It will take too long and Nicol will fall into a coma. I’ll tell you when the episode’s finished.
Sue: Anyway, it’s great to see him again. I’ve missed him so much. I don’t even care that this is three parts any more.
The Second Doctor and Jamie are heading for the space station Chimera, where some of the most brilliant scientists in the universe have assembled to work on a special project.
Sue: I met Patrick’s son recently.
Me: Yes, I know. I was there.
Sue: He was lovely. Just like his dad. He was the best thing about that bloody convention.
When the TARDIS materialises in the station’s kitchen, the Doctor and Jamie are immediately set upon by the chef – Shockeye o’ the Quauncing Grig.
Sue: It’s Gordon Ramsay in one of his better moods.
The Doctor demands to see Dastari, the station’s Head of Projects.
Sue: So has Colin got the week off? Not that I’m complaining.
We are introduced to a female Androgum named Chessene.
Sue: Is she famous? She looks famous.
Me: That’s Servalan.
Me: It isn’t important.
Sue: Will you explain anything to me today?
Dastari has genetically augmented Chessene’s brain, and she is now a genius.
Sue: So he’s basically a plastic surgeon for the brain? I’d think I’d still prefer some Botox, thanks very much.
Dastari’s boasts are silenced when some spherical objects are detected rapidly approaching the station.
Nicol: How do you know that?
Sue points at the Character Options Sontaran Scout Ship that’s currently gathering dust on our sideboard.
Sue: I was with Neil in Forbidden Planet when he bought it. It looks like a mini-Epcot centre. You can’t even fit the Sontaran inside it. Can you believe it? It’s a rip off.
Nicol: At least I know what Sontarans are.
Sue: We like the Sontarans. They’re not all bad. Some of them are quite nice, actually.
Before we can find out, we cut to the Sixth Doctor fishing for gumblejacks.
Sue: There you go, Nicol. That’s the Sixth Doctor.
Nicol: You can’t really miss him in that coat.
The Doctor reels in “a whopper”.
Sue: If Nicol weren’t here, I would have said something rude then.
The Doctor catches a tiny fish and immediately throws it back.
Nicol: It’s too late now! You’ve already killed it!
Back on the space station, the Second Doctor admonishes Dastari for experimenting with time travel technology.
Sue: Since when did Patrick Troughton work for the Time Lords? I don’t remember him doing that. In fact, wasn’t he running away from them most of the time?
Me: I’ll explain later.
Nicol: Tell her now. She won’t stop going about it if you don’t tell her now.
I pause the DVD so I can explain season 6B to her while Nicol checks her Facebook profile.
Sue: I wish I hadn’t asked now. So which fan with too much time on his hands came up with that lousy idea? Although it does explain his grey hair, I suppose. It still doesn’t feel right, though. Does this mean I have to watch this 6B whatsit?
Me: No. Well, apart from this story, of course.
Sue: Oh, that’s alright, then. You had me worried there for a second. As much as I like Patrick Troughton, I don’t want to start going backwards.
The Second Doctor is very upset with Dastari.
Sue: This is what I miss from the other Doctors: passion. Tom Baker had it, sometimes, but no one does it quite like Troughton.
The Doctor criticises Jamie for having a “mongrel accent”.
Nicol: Blimey. What do you think he’d he say about our accents?
Sue: Don’t worry, Nic, they took the piss out of the north-east in the last story.
The Sontarans storm the space station and the Second Doctor is held at gunpoint. Or, if you’re Sue, a magic wand threatens him.
The Sixth Doctor, on the other hand, also feels like he’s just been put to death.
Sue: So all the other Doctors must have experienced the exact same thing, yes? I hope it didn’t happen to them in the middle of an adventure. That would have been awkward. At least this Doctor was just larking about.
Peri urges the Doctor to see a doctor, but when they arrive on space station Chimera to consult Dastari (“What are the chances?”), the place is completely deserted.
Nicol: Is it just me or have the production values gone up since last time? It doesn’t look as cheap.
Sue: It does look quite good, doesn’t it? The lighting is very atmospheric.
Me: It’s directed by Peter Moffat. You hate Peter Moffat, Sue.
Sue: This isn’t that bad, though. Maybe he’s making an extra-special effort.
The Doctor can detect the stench of death, which doesn’t exactly put Peri’s mind at rest.
Nicol: He doesn’t seem to care for Peri at all.
Sue: I know what you mean. He’s horrible to her sometimes, but she still keeps going back to him, like an abused girlfriend.
Nicol: He hardly looks at her. There’s no connection between them at all.
Sue: I know, Nic. It’s very sad.
The odd couple are halted in their tracks by an automated computer system that reacts to their presence by turning up the heat.
Sue: If we’re really lucky, Colin will take his coat off.
Nicol: Just as long as he keeps his shirt on.
Sue: Peri can’t strip off, though. She’s got nowhere left to go.
Nicol: Did you dress like Peri in the 1980s, Mam?
Sue: Oh yes, Peri is quite fashionable in this one.
And then, just like that, we’re in Spain.
Sue: They haven’t really gone to Spain, have they? … Oh wow, they’ve actually gone to Spain! Is this another one of JN-T’s jollies?
Shockeye can’t wait to taste human meat.
Nicol: He reminds me of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers.
The Sixth Doctor and Peri find a corpse in the space station’s galley, but the Doctor is too busy to care about dead Androgums.
Nicol: Does he ever show any compassion? Why does Peri travel with him?
Sue: I don’t know. It’s a bit like marrying someone for money, I suppose. She gets to see the universe but she has to put up with him at the same time.
The Doctor and Peri enter the space station’s infrastructure.
Nicol: This looks like a level from The Crystal Maze.
Regular readers will know that Nicol is obsessed with The Crystal Maze.
Nicol: I don’t like this Doctor very much. He’s horrible!
Me: He’s got no hearts.
The Doctor disarms the computer’s defence system.
Nicol: If he gets this right, he wins a crystal.
Meanwhile, in sunny Spain…
Sue: Seeing a Sontaran sunning himself on a veranda doesn’t feel right. He’ll burn his head.
The Sontarans are working with Chessene and Shockeye.
Sue: I have to say, these Sontarans look a bit cheap to me. No, they don’t look right at all. They look plasticky.
Meanwhile a British lepidopterist named Oscar Botcherby is hunting for moths in the Andalucian countryside, with his Spanish girlfriend Anita.
Sue: See, Nicol. Marrying for money.
While back on the space station, the computer overpowers the Sixth Doctor with gas and the Time Lord collapses onto some cables.
Sue: That wasn’t a great cliffhanger. It wasn’t even a good Colinhanger.
The credits roll.
Sue: That was okay, I guess. The script is very good – but of course it is, it’s Robert Holmes – and I like the location a lot. What do you think, Nicol? …. Nicol?
Me: She’s asleep. Still, look on the bright side – at least we don’t have to watch Homeland tonight.
Nicol didn’t join us for Part Two. I can’t imagine why. Anyway, the Doctor recovers from his gassing in Part One only to find Jamie McCrimmon living rough in the station’s infrastructure.
Sue: Why was Jamie growling like a wolf just then? Has he got a nasty chest infection?
The Doctor tries to work out the logic behind the Second Doctor dying and him living on. Peri certainly doesn’t understand it.
Sue: Neither do I, love. Neither do I.
Jamie describes what happened when the Sontarans turned up.
Sue: I can’t believe he left out the part where they look like potatoes.
Me: They probably had their helmets on.
Sue: You have to spoil everything.
The Doctor leaves Jamie to hide in a service duct.
Sue: He doesn’t care about any of his companions. Even the old ones.
Meanwhile, in Spain, Oscar and Anita think they’ve witnessed a plane crash, although Oscar doesn’t want to search for any survivors because he isn’t a well man.
Sue: Ah, so that’s why she’s going out with him. She’s waiting for him to have a massive heart attack.
Back on the space station, Peri stands in front of a mirror and mocks her appearance.
Sue: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember what you were wearing last week.
Peri leaves the Doctor alone to contemplate the end of the universe but it isn’t long before he is suddenly confronted by the image of his companion in great pain. The Doctor watches in horror as Peri’s image is replaced by Dastari’s, and then the Second Doctor’s, and then, finally, his own.
Sue: Are they trapped in a test tube of time?
Peri has to watch herself being tortured. She practically begs the Doctor to turn the projection off.
Sue: Your top isn’t that bad. Honestly, it isn’t.
Luckily for them, the Sontarans forgot to turn their animator off when they left the station.
Sue: ****ing idiots.
As the Sixth Doctor puts himself in a trance so he can contact his previous self, Jamie confesses to Peri that her Doctor is worse than his.
Sue: All the Doctors are worse than yours, Jamie. You just have to get on with it.
When the Second Doctor regains consciousness in the hacienda’s cellar, he immediately calls out for Jamie.
Sue: See, the first thing he thinks of his of his companion. That’s because he’s a good Doctor.
Shockeye complains about the amount of bone and gristle on the old lady who used to live in the hacienda.
Sue: I love this character. What’s he called again?
Sue: Is that supposed to be like ‘Och Aye’? His ginger eyebrows do make him look Scottish. And he is wearing a kilt.
Shockeye munches on a rat.
Sue: That was disgusting, but I still can’t take my eyes off him.
And then the Doctor is incredibly rude to Peri once again.
Sue: Just speak to her like a friend. Just once. Please.
Stike, Group Marshal of the Ninth Sontaran attack group, makes a big entrance.
Sue: He’s too tall to be a proper Sontaran. They don’t look right to me. This one has a lopsided face. They look like the sort of thing a fan would make in his shed.
The Sixth Doctor’s TARDIS materialises in Spain.
Sue: Yes! He’s actually taken his coat off! Having said that, his waistcoat is almost as bad. God help us if he ever goes to Hawaii.
The Second Doctor realises that Dastari is the bad guy.
Sue: I bet he killed the radio star as well.
Dastari regrets the fact that the Time Lords sent this particular Doctor as their emissary, because he has a certain regard for him.
Sue: He was hoping for Jon Pertwee. He can’t stand that one.
Stike slaps the Second Doctor.
Sue: I’ve gone right off the Sontarans now.
Peri arrives at the hacienda and knocks on the door.
Sue: Do you know what this door needs?
Me: A huge pair of knockers?
Sue: (Sighing) Typical bloke… Actually, I was going to say the exact same thing, you bastard.
Shockeye can’t believe his luck when he spies Peri standing on his doorstep.
Sue: Hey, there’s a queue, mate!
Dastari attempts to isolate the Second Doctor’s symbiotic nuclei.
Sue: For a machine that’s supposed to be high-tech, you’d think it’d be a lot quieter.
The Sixth Doctor thanks Anita for her time and she responds by kissing him on the cheek. Jamie is gutted when he doesn’t receive the same treatment.
Sue: She must be into DILFs. Having said that, Jamie’s no spring chicken himself.
The Sixth Doctor and Jamie enter the old icehouse.
Sue: The direction isn’t that bad. The lighting is okay, I suppose, although we could do with some close-ups. But this is definitely Peter Moffat’s best one so far.
Shockeye doesn’t want to eat a Sontaran because he thinks they’ll be tough and flavourless.
Sue: Hey, you never know, they might taste of potato. Try mashing its head in.
The Sixth Doctor discovers a Kartz-Reimer time machine in the hacienda’s cellar.
Sue: How on Earth is a Sontaran supposed to fit inside that thing? Jimmy Krankie would struggle to get into that. They haven’t thought this through.
Peri escapes from the hacienda before she can become the Dish of the Day. But Shockeye won’t take no for an answer and he pursues her into the countryside.
Sue: They should play a Spanish arrangement of The Benny Hill Show theme over this bit.
Peri stumbles and the episode concludes with the Androgum leaning over her with hunger in his eyes.
Sue: Do you think he’s a leg or a breast man?
The credits roll.
Sue: I’m really enjoying this. I’m actually looking forward to the next one.
Peri is manhandled by Shockeye.
Sue: Sexual abuse before the watershed? Dear, oh dear…
Shockeye wishes Peri was a boy.
Sue: But…? Actually, I don’t want to know.
Stike threatens to kill Jamie if the Sixth Doctor doesn’t agree to prime the time cabinet for him.
Sue: The thing is, this Doctor would let a companion die for the greater good without batting an eyelid. And besides, it’s only Jamie.
Jamie sticks his dirk into Stike’s leg.
Sue: First of all, what kind of armour is he wearing if a tiny knife can get through it? And secondly, why are these Sontarans so stupid? Are they supposed to be the comic relief?
Shockeye is about to butcher Peri when Chessene rudely interrupts him.
Sue: And still the Doctor is nowhere to be seen. His companion would be dead by now if it wasn’t for her.
Stike retreats outside to plan his next move.
Sue: They could do with a gardener. They’ve really let the place go.
Chessene persuades Dastari to transform the Second Doctor into an Androgum, using Shockeye’s genes as a template, whether Shockeye likes it or not.
Sue: Either those straps are supposed to be made of toffee, and their technology is entirely food-based, or he’s really, really strong.
The Second Doctor is now an Androgum, and all he can think about is food.
Sue: Troughton is fabulous in this. It’s a brilliant performance.
Chessene betrays Stike by dropping a grenade on his head.
Sue: It’s only a Catherine Wheel, you wimp. Why are Sontarans afraid of fireworks?
Shockeye and the Androgumised Doctor head into town for a quick snack.
Sue: Now this is a spin-off I’d watch. They could travel Europe sampling delicacies together. It’s got BBC2 written all over it.
Stike miraculously survived Chessene’s gas grenade, although he does look a little worse for wear.
Sue: Has he been hiding in the lettuce?
The Second Doctor and Shockeye arrive in Seville.
Sue: Finally! I thought we’d never get to see the place. What took them so long?
The Sixth Doctor can feel the effects of the Androgum inheritance catching up with him.
Sue: Right, so are all the other Doctors having a bad case of the munchies right now?
An injured Stike staggers into the Kartz-Reimer machine.
Sue: He’s basically put himself in a microwave. What an idiot. I almost feel sorry for him.
Meanwhile the Second Doctor fancies a nice hors d’oeuvre.
Sue: All this talking about food is making me hungry.
Me: Do you fancy a pasty?
Sue: Ooh, that would be lovely.
Seville appears to be deserted.
Sue: They must have filmed this at dawn on a Sunday. The locals are all in bed.
The Second Doctor tells Shockeye that he knows a really good place just around the corner.
Sue: But it won’t be open yet. It’s 6am.
Dastari is searching the city for the Doctor when a mad woman standing on a balcony distracts him.
Sue: Wherefore art thou, Buggles?
Me: I think she’s got the horn for Trevor Horn.
Meanwhile Stike staggers into his own ship.
Sue: JUST DIE ALREADY!
The ship explodes.
Sue: They’ll have to get the builders in now. And they should get a gardener while they’re at it. The grounds are an overgrown mess.
The Second Doctor and Shockeye arrive at Oscar and Anita’s restaurant.
Sue: What are the chances of that?
At which point the Sixth Doctor decides to take his fondness for cats a little too far.
Sue: If he so much as picks up a cat, there’ll be trouble. Besides, there was no meat on the poor thing, anyway.
When Oscar presents his guests with the bill, Shockeye offers to pay with a twenty narg note.
Sue: How many zonks do you get to the narg?
Unfortunately, the only tip Oscar gets that night is attached to a knife.
Sue: He didn’t just… He can’t have… Did he? Oh my God, he has! That was shocking. I didn’t think that would happen in a million years. We were watching a comedy a minute ago!
Oscar doesn’t exactly rush his death scene.
Sue: Well, that managed to be shocking and ridiculous at the same time.
Oscar’s girlfriend is left to pick up the pieces.
Sue: Don’t worry, love. You’re quids in now. Or pesetas. Whatever.
Shockeye returns to the hacienda and finds what’s left of Stike’s leg marinating in a nice lettuce jus.
Sue: They are just taking the piss out of the Sontarans, now. This could have been a tight two-parter if it wasn’t for them. Idiots.
Peri is placed inside the Kartz-Reimer machine.
Sue: (Singing) Mr and Mrs… Be nice to each other…
Shockeye is still hungry, and even though he wants to eat a Jack, a Jamie will have to do.
Sue: Why is he obsessed with eating men?
Me: Maybe he likes sweetmeat.
The Doctors are manacled together in the cellar. Thankfully, Dastari leaves the keys on a nearby table.
Sue: Stupid Buggles.
Jamie can be heard screaming upstairs.
Sue: Oh no. Cock ballotine must be on the menu tonight.
Shockeye wounds the Sixth Doctor as he makes a run for it.
Sue: I can’t believe he left Jamie behind to die.
Chessene laps up the Doctor’s trail of blood as Dastari looks away in disgust.
Sue: That was an excellent scene. There are some really interesting ideas in this, even if it is a bit of a mess.
Shockeye pursues the wounded Time Lord into the countryside, where the Doctor discovers Oscar’s moth hunting equipment.
Sue: Is Oscar the patron saint of coincidences or something?
When the Doctor attacks Shockeye, Sue doesn’t bat an eyelid.
Me: You do realise that the Doctor is killing him, don’t you?
Sue: WHAT? You must be joking!
As the Doctor says, he got his just ‘desserts’.
Sue: I don’t know how I feel about that. This is very dark.
The Doctor returns to the hacienda and tells his companions not to worry about Shockeye any more because he’s been mothballed.
Sue: Two quips is definitely pushing it. He’ll be writing songs about it next.
After the Time Lords bid each other farewell, the Sixth Doctor and Peri head for the exit.
Peri: After you.
The Doctor: No, after you.
Sue: Even when he’s trying to be polite, he still sounds like a massive cunt.
Sue: It’s a tricky one to mark. There’s a lot wrong with it. The Sontarans were a complete waste of time. Spain was wasted, too; they could have shot it anywhere. I’m still not convinced that making the Doctor a horrible person to be around is very wise, either. But I loved having Patrick Troughton back and Shockeye was great fun. The script was very funny, too. It could have been a lot shorter, and the direction could have been a lot better, but I still enjoyed it.
Now then, now then, now then… It’s time for A Fix With Sontarans! Sorry about that.
Sue: Why are you making me watch this? This is wrong!
Me: I know.
Sue: I mean, what the **** is Tegan doing with Colin Baker?
Sue wants to mother Gareth Jenkins.
Sue: Bless him. Do you think he wanted Daleks and Cybermen instead of Sontarans? He doesn’t look very happy about it. Oh dear, he’s looking down the camera lens even more than Tom Baker did.
Me: He’s probably searching for the exit.
The mini-episode concludes with one of the biggest ‘not for kids’ moments on the blog so far.
Tegan: It’s monstrous!
The Doctor: It’s revolting!
It’s Jimmy Savile.
Sue: Switch it off! I can’t watch this. I mean it, Neil. Switch it off!
She scowls at me as I get up to eject the DVD.
Sue: That was horrible. Why did you make me watch that? Is Gareth okay?
Me: Yes, he’s fine.
Sue: I bet it must be really difficult for him to talk about. I feel sorry for him. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he had to meet Jimmy Savile as well.