Timelash

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Timelash
Lame shit just got serious…
 

Part One

Sue: Glen McCoy. Any relation to Sylvester?

Me: No. He wrote two episodes of Angels – which were seminal – but he’s probably best known for his crisps.

Sue: Really?

Me: No.

We haven’t made it past the titles yet and I’m bored already. Sorry.

TimelashTimelash begins on the TARDIS…

Sue: I don’t believe it. Peri is wearing something sensible for a change.

The Doctor and Peri are bickering about where to go next.

Sue: He just pushed her away! I remember when the Doctor and his companions used to have some chemistry. Their relationship is actually getting worse.

The Doctor is in a terrible mood.

Sue: His perm has relaxed a bit. Pity I can’t say the same for the rest of him.

The Doctor wants to visit the constellation of Andromeda.

Sue: Peri stares at the Doctor as if she’s madly in love with him, even though he’s treating her like shit. This is an abusive relationship.

Meanwhile, on the planet Karfel, some rebels are revolting…

Sue: I know! Let’s stage the musical right here!

Me: It is a bit Les Mis.

Sue: It must be a dress rehearsal because they haven’t put the sets up yet. It’s a very bland planet so far.

TimelashThe TARDIS is rapidly approaching a swirly thing…

Sue: Has the Doctor tuned the scanner into Top of the Pops by mistake?

The Doctor: That is a Kontron tunnel. Put more colloquially, it’s a time corridor in space.

Peri: Didn’t the Daleks have one of those?

Sue: When did Peri meet the Daleks? I don’t remember that.

Me: Neither did Eric Saward and he ****ing wrote the thing!

The Doctor is very hyperactive today.

Sue: Has he been mixing alcohol with his antibiotics again? And why is he so horrible to Peri? And why does she put up with it? This is depressing.

Meanwhile, on the planet Karfel…

Sue: Is this planet infested with bees?

A rebel named Aram is captured and brought before a mysterious figure in a chair.

Aram: Who are you?

Borad: The Borad, your master.

Sue: It’s not “you-know-who”, then? Only he just used the word master, and every time they try to hide a baddie like this, it’s usually him.

Karfel’s council meet to discuss the fate of some Les Mis cast members.

Sue: Their costumes are filthy. They obviously haven’t invented Persil Automatic on this planet yet.

A member of this council is a man called Tekker. Sue recognises the voice but she doesn’t recognise the face.

Sue: I don’t know who he is but he’s enjoying himself. Is it Ray Davies?

A rebel is thrown into the Timelash…

Sue: Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be Midge Urrrrrrrrrrrrre!

TimelashThe public face of the Borad is very familiar…

Sue: It’s a really old Patrick Troughton.

A man named Mykros follows the Maylin to a secret power vault so he sows some seeds of discontent.

Sue: Has he sneaked into the stationary cupboard? This is so cheap. I hope the script is good, because this looks shit.

Oh dear.

Sue: Is he the mailman?

Me: No, he’s the Maylin. He’s in charge. Sort of.

Sue: Oh, for a moment there I thought it might be his job to deliver the post.

Mirrors are forbidden on Karfel.

Sue: That explains why they all look such a clip. The amount of rouge plastered on that poor woman’s face earlier (she means Vena) was a joke.

TimelashWe only get a vague sense of the Borad…

Sue: Did he trap his hand in a door?

And then Sue finds something to like about Timelash

Sue: I like the blue robot. The colour scheme is very striking and I love the voice. It’s as if someone got a life-size model of Data from Star Trek, and then they painted it when they were on acid. But I like it.

The Maylin is summoned to the Borad for talking to a rebel. The Borad ages the poor bugger to death.

Sue: That was a decent effect, but why did he kill him? He didn’t agree to go along with the other bloke’s plan. That’s a bit harsh.

The TARDIS crew navigate the Kontron tunnel with the aid of some “seat belts”.

Sue: If it keeps wobbling like that, the Doctor might lose some weight.

Tekker has become the planet’s new Maylin.

Me: That’s Avon.

Sue: Is it really? We named a wild cat after Avon.

Me: Avon is definitely wild.

TimelashSue: It’s a shame the cat turned out to be a girl.

Paul Darrow definitely isn’t underplaying the role of Tekker.

Sue: Is he always like this?

This will be the Doctor’s second visit to the planet Karfel.

Sue: Am I supposed to remember that? Because it isn’t ringing any bells.

Me: Don’t worry about it.

Sue: I wasn’t.

The TARDIS arrives on Karfel and Peri has to be warned not to sniff the plants.

Tekker: Although it is a very beautiful specimen, it has the nasty habit of ejecting an acidic fluid into the face of the admirer.

TimelashSue: And you grow them BECAUSE?

The enemies of Karfel are the Bandrils. Their ambassador makes an important announcement on a monitor screen.

Sue: Is that the man from the chair? The one we didn’t see properly earlier on.

Me: No.

Sue: I’m confused. And this thing’s voice doesn’t match its face. A bit like him…

She’s talking about Paul Darrow, of course.

Sue: Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching him. He’s very entertaining. Oh my, was that a limp wrist? Is he taking the piss?

A beekeeper is sent to find Peri.

Sue: What are those hats supposed to protect them from?

Me: Hay fever.

Tekker asks the Doctor to retrieve an amulet which Vena has taken with her into the Timelash.

Sue: Paul is desperately trying to upstage Colin, here.

Me: This is Paul Darrow’s revenge for an appearance Colin made in Blake’s 7 a few years ago. Colin is still picking bits of the set out of his teeth.

Sue: Paul Darrow is trying to make Colin laugh. He’s not even trying to hide it. This could get messy.

TimelashA beekeeper approaches Peri with a metal collar.

Sue: Is he going to measure her bra size with that thing?

Peri escapes from an android.

Sue: I bet the actor playing the robot is a dancer in real life. There’s an elegance to him.

Me: I think he ended up on The Hitman and Her, but I could be wrong.

Sue: He could have made a killing outside Piccadilly Circus. Hey, he just sang that line to the Close Encounters music!

Peri finds herself in an underground cave. She accidentally disturbs a Morlox.

Sue: A cheap set and a cheaper monster. The money has definitely run out this season.

Tekker wishes the Doctor luck in his mission to retrieve the amulet.

Sue: He’s playing it like Tom Baker played the Doctor. Paul Darrow would have been a very interesting choice for the role.

TimelashA Morlox advances on Peri…

Sue: Do we ever see the back of that thing?

Peri screams the place down.

Sue: This isn’t Peri’s finest hour. Just jump over it, woman!

Peri is rescued by the rebels Sezon and Katz (“Hang on a minute, wasn’t she killed half an hour ago?”). They show her a locket with a picture inside.

Katz: This was given to my grandfather by the Doctor. Do you know who she is?

Peri: Jo Grant. She used to travel with the Doctor.

Sue: How the **** does she know that?

Me: The Doctor must have sat Peri down on night and he’s gone through all his photo albums with her.

Sue: I said it was an abusive relationship.

TimelashMeanwhile, in the highlands of Scotland in 1885…

Sue: I like this guy. He’s very sweet.

Sue enjoys the scenes in Herbert’s cottage and she hasn’t got a bad word to say about Timelash until the Doctor refuses to let Herbert travel with him in the TARDIS.

Sue: Oh, you bastard. Peter Davison would have taken him. Peter Davison would have taken any old ****er with him.

Herbert manages to sneak his way onto the ship anyway.

Sue: For the last time, LOCK THE ****ING DOOR! And why is Herbert wearing a suit that’s two sizes too big for him? Did they recast the role at the last-minute?

Vena and Herbert (“The new Nyssa and Adric”) are just settling in when the TARDIS is buffeted by the effects of the time corridor.

Sue: Is the time tunnel powered by helium?

The Doctor returns to Karfel but Tekker has a surprise in store for him.

Sue: They should leave the Timelash on all the time. The lighting is much better.

TimelashThe episode concludes with the Doctor being herded towards the Timelash…

Sue: I haven’t got a clue what’s going on anymore. And I’m a bit bored. Thank heavens for Paul Darrow. Imagine how boring it would be without him in it.

Sue wants to watch the second part straight away. Doesn’t she realise she’s dangling us over the edge of oblivion?

Sue: Let’s get it over with. I don’t want this hanging over me all day tomorrow.

top

Part Two

The Doctor manages to overpower an android with a mirror he stole from Herbert.

Me: (singing) Here comes the mirror man…

Sue: Why would anyone program a robot to be afraid of its own reflection? Where’s the practical application in that?

The Borad monitors these events from his inner sanctum…

Sue: Why is he sitting on a massive poker chip?

The Doctor decides to abseil down the Timelash.

TimelashSue: That reminds me, we have to get the Christmas decorations out of the loft.

Sue can barely believe her eyes.

Sue: It’s Christmas Week at the local Sport Centre’s climbing wall.

She really can’t believe it.

Sue: Seriously, if my students wanted to dress a studio set like that, I would fail them.

The Doctor falls further into the Timelash.

Sue: I’m a celebrity! Get me out of here!

More people are sent into the Timelash after him.

Sue: This is turning into a saga now. What a bunch of idiots.

We discover that the public face of the Borad is nothing more than an android…

Sue: So they just wheel him out whenever they need him to talk, like they used to do with George Bush?

The Doctor recovers a Kontron crystal from inside the Timelash.

Vena: Oh, well done.

Sue: Yes, that will look lovely on top of the tree.

TimelashPeri has been chained to a pole by her neck.

Sue: One for the dads, I guess.

The Borad is still lurking in the shadows…

Sue: This had better be good. They are really dragging it out.

Borad: I will not tolerate infidelity.

Sue: Oh dear, has his boyfriend been shagging about behind his back?

The Doctor experiments with the Kontron crystal while his allies barricade the doors.

Sue: He doesn’t seem to care about Peri’s whereabouts or safety at all.

Vena: I think we could be running out of time.

Sue: And I’m running out of patience.

The Doctor slips forwards in time. It’s all a bit weird.

TimelashSue: He’s hitting his cues really late. Did they rehearse this?

Me: It’s funny you should say that. I think they were too busy doing panto and appearing at conventions to give it their full attention.

Sue: This is so bad, I almost believe you. And I know what the Doctor’s doing really. He’s in a different time zone thingy whatsit.

Yes, the Doctor time-slipped 10 seconds into the future.

Sue: I wish I could time slip 30 minutes into the future. Then this would be over.

The Doctor prepares to use the time-slip against his enemies, but Herbert isn’t convinced.

Herbert: But will it work?

Sue: You just saw it work! He just showed it you! What more do you want?

When Tekker’s men finally storm the place, the female rebel named Katz actually laughs.

Sue: She loves a good death, that one. Which reminds me, I’m sure they killed her in the first 5-minutes of Part One. Unless she has a sister.

TimelashA wall is blasted away to reveal a painting of Jon Pertwee hiding beneath it.

Sue: No wonder they boarded it up. It’s shit! Who’d want to look at that all day?

The Doctor storms out.

Vena: Where are you going?

The Doctor: To find the Borad.

Sue: Not Peri, then?

The Doctor asks Herbert to keep an eye out for her.

Sue: So he’s entrusting a complete stranger to save his companion for him? Because he clearly can’t be bothered to do it himself.

The Doctor confronts the Borad.

Borad: Come closer. Now look at me carefully, Doctor. We have met before.

Sue: I definitely don’t remember this. What score did I give it?

Me: You didn’t give it a score. You haven’t seen it. No one has seen it.

Sue: That’s a bit stupid.

We finally get to see the Borad’s face.

TimelashSue: Hey, that is very good. Actually, this is the best thing in the whole story. When he said “come closer” I thought they’d be pushing their luck, but it looks amazing. What’s it supposed to be?

Tekker doesn’t like the sound of the Borad’s plans so he stands up to him. Sadly, he’s standing in front of a chair that can age him to death when he does it, the plonker.

Sue: What a shame. Paul Darrow was wasted in that role.

The Borad has chained Peri up so he can turn her into his sex slave.

Sue: That’s a weird first date. And you’d think he want to spend at least one night with her before he disfigured her.

A Morlox approaches Peri and some mustakozene gas “excites” the beast.

Sue: What the **** am I watching?

The Borad is defeated when the Doctor reflects his time ray back on him.

Borad: No! You’ve tricked me!

The Doctor: You tricked yourself.

Sue: Yeah, but you still pointed it at him. Stop making excuses.

But it’s not over yet. The Doctor still has to avert a war…

Sue: Does he have to? Really? I couldn’t give a toss about this lot. Let ‘em die.

TimelashThe Doctor returns to his TARDIS to deal with the Bandrils’ missile but he ends up bickering with Peri instead.

Sue: What is going on? Has the director left the building?

The Doctor picks Peri up and he forcibly removes her from his time machine.

Sue: Unbelievable.

When he’s finished arguing with her, the Doctor turns his attention to Herbert.

The Doctor: Shut up!

Sue: My thoughts exactly. This is painful to watch. Why hasn’t this finished yet?

The Doctor places his TARDIS in the path of the Bandrils’ missile. Sue doesn’t think he’s dead for a second. I’m sure she wouldn’t have yawned if she did.

Karfel has a new Maylin. This time it’s Mykros’ turn.

Sue: Is he in charge now?

TimelashMe: Yes.

Sue: When did they have enough time for an election? This planet isn’t very democratic, is it?

The new Maylin invites the Bandrils down for a chat.

Sue: Yeah, let the people who tried to blow you up come round for coffee.

But it’s not over yet. The Borad has a clone.

Sue: How convenient. They didn’t even bother to hint at that. That’s lazy.

The Board threatens to pluck Peri’s eyes out as Jon Pertwee looks on from a hole in the wall. So the Doctor winds the Borad up about his looks.

Sue: This isn’t right. Matt Smith’s Doctor would see the beauty in everything. This is awfully shallow.

TimelashMe: Would you shag him?

Sue: **** off!

When Peri sees his face, she screams.

The Doctor: I told you she’d scream.

Sue: Yeah, but Peri’s been screaming at everything this week.

The Borad is pushed into the Timelash.

The Doctor: Thought I recognised the landscape. He’ll be harmless enough there. At least he’ll have somewhere to swim for the next thousand years.

Peri: But won’t he be seen?

The Doctor: From time to time.

Sue: Are they saying what I think they’re saying?

Me: I think so.

Sue: So he’s just going to swim about in Loch Ness for a thousand years? He won’t swim ashore at any point? You know, because he has legs. I mean, what the ****?

Herbert wants to stay on Karfel.

Sue: WHY? Have you seen the place? It’s a dump.

But the Doctor knows better. He shows Peri a card with Herbert’s name printed on it.

TimelashSue: I suppose that’s clever but I’m past caring.

Me: It explains all the references to The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Sue: HG Wells managed to string that story out over several books. And I thought this was padded.

As the credits roll, Sue has one last damning statement to make:

Sue: Herbert’s business card reminds me of yours. It’s got **** all written on it as well.

top

The Final Score

Sue: Wow. That was terrible. But it isn’t without merit. The Borad was excellent – probably some of the best make-up I’ve seen in the series – and Paul Darrow was hilarious. I could watch him all day. I liked the blue androids as well. They were nice. As for the rest of it – the script, the direction, the special effects, some of the performances – well, it was horrendous. But I blame the script the most.

2/10

Me: Fans have been known to call this story something else. It’s an anagram of the original title.

Sue stares at the DVD cover, and then, after much thought, she says:

Sue: Male shit?

Me: Close enough.

 

TimelashSue wanted to watch the Making Of documentary on the DVD. She wanted to know what their excuse was.

Sue: The title screen is wrong for a start. Paul Darrow was good, the Doctor is bad, and the other one is ugly.

Sadly, this extra, whilst certainly illuminating (“JNT didn’t have a bloody clue!”), also includes some spoilers.

Sue: Ooh, Daleks next. Daleks and Graeme Harper. I can hardly wait.

Because the documentary is narrated by Terry Molloy, they have to mention Revelation of the Daleks every four minutes for it to make any sense.

Sue: Ooh, it’s got one of The Champions in it. That was my favourite TV show when I was a girl. Why haven’t we got a box set of that?

Despite this, I think the documentary was worth it in the end:

TimelashSue: I know why it turned out so badly, now. Glen McCoy must have been 8-years-old when he wrote it. He looks 35 today. What were they doing letting an 8-year-old write for the series?

She doesn’t half love Paul Darrow, though.

Sue: It’s a pity he didn’t play the Doctor. He’d have been great.

 
The experiment continues…
 

Coming Soon

Next update due: Sunday 9th December (sorry, it’s a very busy week for both of us).

 

If you don’t own this story, why not buy it on DVD? If you use the link below, we get a small cut, which will help pay for the site’s running costs. Many thanks for your support (UK residents only).

Doctor Who – Timelash [DVD]

Price: £5.69

3.4 out of 5 stars (70 customer reviews)

 

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Discussion

  1. Colleen Hawkins  December 3, 2012

    Just thought I’d mention that networkdvd have a sale on at the mo and “The Champions” is only 19.91 for the complete set. Quite a bit cheaper than any other online retailer. Might make a good present for erm….oh, some festival or other.

    http://www.networkdvd.net/product_info.php?products_id=269

    • BWT  December 4, 2012

      Sue: “Ooh, it’s got one of The Champions in it. That was my favourite TV show when I was a girl. Why haven’t we got a box set of that?”

      Ermmm… because it was crap? Honestly, I saw a few eppys of this show once and… I’d rather watch “Lost in Space”…

      Having said that, I love Sue’s taste in guest actors. You know, Paul Darrow would love to see her reaction to the complete series of “Blake’s 7″, I’m sure.

      • Frankymole  December 4, 2012

        “The Champions” does have one or two stand-out performances though: in the episode with Jeremy Brett, the late great Roger Delgado plays the gloriously-named “Colonel Tuat”. And yes, it is pronounced ****.

  2. Doodvid  December 3, 2012

    I don’t remember Peri mentioning Persil in this one…!

  3. Nick Mays  December 3, 2012

    It doesn’t improve with age. It was shit then and it’s shit now. It’s a pity they can’t find the missing tapes of Evil of Daleks and wipe this one.Even the full version of The Underwater Menace would be better than this.

  4. Esterath  December 3, 2012

    Hello! I am twelve and I LOVE your site. Tell Sue she is SO funny! I have featured your website on my website news page. http://thetardismatrix.weebly.com/index.html

  5. Dave Sanders  December 3, 2012

    Paul Darrow is a Slite Ham.

    Oh boo yourself. They can’t ALL be spelled correctly.

  6. Thomas Bush  December 3, 2012

    Timelash is one of my guilty pleasures. A bottom feeder, but Paul D. and the Borad make it very watchable.

  7. Auntie Celia  December 3, 2012

    O if only it HAD been a planet of bees!

  8. encyclops  December 3, 2012

    I liked this as a kid — not a lot, but a little — though I can’t remember why. It might just have been that when I was 12 I actually thought it was clever that there were so many references to H.G. Wells and they didn’t seem as lame back then. It might have been that I was getting into Blake’s 7, and Paul Darrow never disappoints. It might have been the positives Sue mentioned, with which I totally agree.

    But yeah, if I ever get around to buying all of the Colin Baker DVDs, it’s going to be down to the price whether I buy this or Twin Dilemma last. I’m not in a hurry to see it again.

    It’s often been pointed out that Doctor Who is full of deformed and/or handicapped villains, often horny ones. And it’s remarkable how many of them show up during the Saward years. George Cranleigh, Davros, Sharaz Jek, Quillam, and now the Borad — are there others from this era I’m forgetting? What’s up with that?

    • Frankymole  December 4, 2012

      How did you experience Blakes 7 in 1985? The edited BBC videos, or the books? Sadly, it was still nearly a decade until UK Gold, though I dunno if Superchannel had started by then? Just interested!

      • encyclops  December 5, 2012

        It was more like 1986 or 1987, I think — or maybe I’m getting mixed up and Blake’s 7 came later. I was seeing it in reruns in America (PBS, probably). I think we were getting Doctor Who more or less at the same time it aired in the UK from Trial of a Time Lord on, but I might be misremembering the sequence of events.

        I did and do have several of the books, though: the first one, Project Avalon, Scorpio Attack (!!!), and the Programme Guide. Oh, and Aftermath. Did I make one of those up? It’s been a while.

        I’m rewatching the series from the beginning now. There are a lot of episodes I’ve never seen, only read about. I watched the hell out of season 4, though, which was the only one I managed to record in its entirety. Thank goodness we’re in the 21st century now. I wish someone would put the show back into print on DVD (what a strange expression that is).

  9. Jock Scramson  December 3, 2012

    Ray Davies? Nooo, he was in Horror Of Fang Rock.

    Actually, only one member of a 60s band has ever intentionally appeared in Doctor Who (the original series anyway), and that was Shura in Day Of The Daleks, who was a Small Face.

  10. Warren Andrews  December 3, 2012

    2/10 is probably too fair but I agree with Sue on the plus points.

    The DVD does has one of my favourite commentary conversations:

    Colin – [regarding Darrow's acting] “D’you think that style will ever come back?”
    Darrow – “As far as I’m concerned it’s never gone away.”

    I’ve loved him ever since. :D

    The script is shit but a better director could have done something with it… not a lot admittedly but something!!

    • encyclops  December 3, 2012

      Oh my god, I forgot that both Colin and Paul would be commenting on Timelash. Never mind what I said before: I’m buying this ASAP.

      • Jazza1971  December 3, 2012

        Get it, the commentary is pure class!

        • DPC  December 4, 2012

          +1!

          +1,000,001!

  11. Andrew T. Smith  December 3, 2012

    Glen McCoy – The Peter Pan of Pap

    • Frankymole  December 4, 2012

      The novelisation reads like it was written by an 8 year old, but is unintentionally hilarious for that reason: http://www.thevervoid.com/doctorwho/ian_target105.htm

      • Jazza1971  December 4, 2012

        What a fun website, I’m going to have fun reading through this one!

  12. Dave Sanders  December 3, 2012

    BTW, if you take the letters in ‘Directed by Pennant Roberts, change them round, add some and take some away, it spells out ‘I’m leaving forever you bastards’.

  13. John G  December 3, 2012

    “I wish I could time slip 30 minutes into the future. Then this would be over.”

    Believe me Sue, I feel your pain. Thank God for the mighty Darrow, because otherwise this heap of dung would be utterly unbearable. I can’t think of any other story that gets quite as much wrong as this one, from the degrading treatment of Peri to the awful design work. The padding in part 2 really does have to be seen to be believed, particularly that extra-long TARDIS scene – I don’t think Doctor Who has ever looked more shambolic and amateurish than that. The Borad’s make-up is indeed the sole production triumph, but it can’t save this disaster. Even Colin, perhaps in distress at the script, unleashes an excess of ham in places, and I find Herbert very irritating indeed.

    Still, I’m glad we can count Sue as a member of the Darrow fan club. I trust Adventures with the Wife and Blake is now in the planning stages…

    • DPC  December 4, 2012

      The story’s core concepts are (despite half-trite about dictatorships) are halfway decent. The execution and pacing are all off, though.

      Darrow rocks, as always…

      Peri’s treatment as a locked up hottie is all wrong – even in 1984, age 12, I knew it was a pale throwback to 1950s stereotypes at best. And not in a good way. Despite Peri having one good scene of self-defense…

      I’d rate it 3 or 4 myself, but mostly for the base concepts… and the acting of Darrow, Ashby, and Baker saving the day. Darrow hammed it and for the right reasons, Ashby nailed it, and Baker knew when to add the ham.

      • Jamie  December 4, 2012

        So much ham that a delicatessan would have to put a stop on their deliveries for a week.
        An over abundance of ham’s not good.
        The only way Paul Darrow rocks is that he looks not unlike Freddie Mercury in this article’s accompanying picture of said hammy ‘actor’.

  14. Mister  December 3, 2012

    Sue mentions how the Doctor is being shallows about the Borad’s looks.

    Well he was threatening Peri. Rule One for the Doctor (ignore what Moffat says): Never. Mess. With. The. Doctor’s. Friends. This is one of the moments where I thought the Sixth Doctor’s brash and dangerous anger was completely justified and quite touching. I thought it showed just how much he really does care for Peri.

    Also, I love the scene where Herbert meets the Doctor and tries to exorcise him. So hilarious!

    • DPC  December 4, 2012

      Seconded.

      Sixie will use enemies’ objectives or aspects against them. He, like a guided missile, homes in on the Borad’s looks in “Timelash”. I can’t spoil a certain other story, since that one perfectly exemplifies Sixie’s absconding of civility when dealing with monsters and villains.

  15. Rad  December 3, 2012

    Well that makes ‘Adventures with the Wife and Blake’ a certainty, right?

    (Please?)

    • DPC  December 4, 2012

      Seconded.

      Count me in as a buyer, B7 is sorely overlooked and undermarketed, even if some of the incidental music gives the wrong impressions… everything else makes up for it and more.

  16. Jamie  December 3, 2012

    I’m hoping that when this adventure finally reaches its weary conclusion, that we get a brand new blog : You Wouldn’t Like Sue When She’s Angry, where Sue turns the tables on Neil and they sit together through the entire run of The Incredible Hulk.
    They can do a dance whenever Lou Ferrigno’s green slippers make an appearance, Neil can bang his head as David Banner manages to retrieve his too-small-to-be-travelling bag from an impossible situation. etc.

    • Nick Mays  December 4, 2012

      Not to mention the Journalist Who Never Seems To Be At Work And Follows Banner Everywhere who never twigs that Banner and the Hulk are one and the same even when Banner tells him he wouldn’t like him when he’s angry! I mean, does he need a neon sign?

      That said a Blake’s 7 Blog would be awesome! And then maybe Torchwood? Sarah Jane? Wizards vs Aliens?

      (Sorry, got carried away there).

  17. Wholahoop  December 4, 2012

    Excellent blog for a truly awful story, just not sure how it managed to get 2/10 unless there were marks for spelling the name of the programme correctly.

  18. DPC  December 4, 2012

    A “Top of the Pops” set was used in “The Two Doctors” as well.

    But back to the anagram-driven story, “This Male”.

    I know “Lame, This” is known for being a clunker, but I have a soft spot for it. Mostly because of the potential the story had.

    “Mile Shta” (” think “Shta” is a slight anagram of a more apropos epithet) is indeed shallow and annoying, but it does have Peri defending herself from a guardolier after picking up on what the plantlife can do (emit acid). It’s a shame she’s otherwise a “damsel in distress”, but that one scene shows she can think on her feet.

    Why anyone would have a piece of jewelry with an old companion’s image on it… did Katz’ father have a fling with Jo? Granted, Jo did come from 1971 when free luv was all around… (all the calendars kinda confirm the early 1970s… that’s canon… even “Robot” has “1975″ revealed on Bessie…)

    Why would Peri know what Jo looks like? At some point, offscreen sadly, the Doctor does share the information. Since what’s televised usually shows the downer aspects to their friendship, the offscreen stuff must be when their upsides are dealt with… that’s a shame…

    Paul Darrow does elevate the story considerably, but almost everyone else seems bored.

    As with the other CB era stories, the commentary from Sixie, Nicola Bryant, and guest cast are always FUN to listen to… and informative. Most other eras are either informative or heckling, but CB’s era has the best commentaries…

    And Paul Darrow as the Doctor = GENIUS!! Pity he hadn’t been cast… :(

    Glen McCoy looks very young for his age… of course, so does Andrew Cartmel…

    Loved “Revelation”‘s trailer…

    MINOR POTENTIAL SPOILER FOLLOWS:

    I can’t wait to find out if Sue knows which music was replaced for the DVD… I still have my VHS off-air copy with the original piece, which works far, far better… not the bought VHS release, whose music is far far worse and poorly poorly inserted…

  19. Gavin Noble  December 4, 2012

    I don’t mind Timelash. The fact certain aspects of it are so naff makes it so much more watchable and fun than a lot of Who stories. The Borad and the androids are high points and the award for the worst performance ever in Doctor Who surely has to go to the lady playing Vena.

    • encyclops  December 4, 2012

      I’m assuming Vena was directed to be as effete as her counterpart in _The Time Machine_, so I don’t blame her. I’d still rather watch her swoon around the room any day, versus Peri’s dad Howard.

      • Gavin Noble  December 4, 2012

        The delivery of the line “Yes, I am Vena” is terrible. She is terrible period – much worse than Rick James as Cotton back in The Mutants and that is saying something! Howard is not even close to being as bad as those two.

        • encyclops  December 4, 2012

          You might be right, though it might depend on where you’re from. A bad American accent goes a long way toward destroying believability for me.

    • DPC  December 5, 2012

      Somewhere it was claimed that all the retakes with Darrow resulted in the rest of the cast getting fatigued, hence wooden performances.

      I’ve no clue if that’s even remotely true, but Vena did seem to fare a bit better at Herbert’s cottage…

  20. P.Sanders  December 4, 2012

    I have a masochistic soft spot for Timelash – as a kid I could only recall vague, intriguing images (the blue android and the guardoliers) and when I watch it I always forget how badly it falls apart. The crappy Pertwee elements and the generally rubbish supporting cast are forgivable but the last half of part two looks as unrehearsed as it apparently was and the stretched out TARDIS scenes are balls (the candid making of on the DVD is great – glad Sue got to see that).

    But Sue is right – the good parts show so much promise. The Borad looks and sounds brilliant and is actually one of the best 80s villains. And I liked the blue android (who will play a robot bus conductor in a few seasons’ time) and the grey sets (I’m a sucker for a studio-bound alien planet – it feels cosy and nostalgic somehow). And Darrow is a good laugh.

    It’s just a shame no one felt able to stand up to JNT’s whims – Baker’s costume, panto rehearsals during production, etc. Sometimes JNT gets unfairly attacked but clearly during this era he had no real understanding of what Who was, coupled with a script editor who wasn’t interested in the two central characters and thought the Doctor should be more violent. I like Colin’s era a lot more now, but too often it’s the storytelling that lets it down.

    • John G  December 4, 2012

      If Saward’s testimony is to be believed (and he is hardly blameless when it comes to the problems afflicting the show at this time) it does seem that by Season 22 JNT was more interested in feeding the publicity machine, and basking in the adulation of American fans at conventions, than he was in the day-to-day running of the show. A classic case of hubris preceding nemesis!

  21. chris-too-old-to-watch  December 4, 2012

    I must admit, this was the absolute low spot for me during the original series. Up until this point, I’d do anything I could to watch (no recording devices in this student house). After this……….well let’s call it a story….. I wasn’t particularly bothered if I saw it or not. Shame really, because the next one had some plus points.
    Trying to put my finger on the reason why it was so bad, I had to draft in two friends – I ran out of fingers really quickly……

  22. CJJC  December 4, 2012

    I don’t mind Timelash at all.

    Oh and:

    “Hang on a minute, wasn’t she killed half an hour ago?”

    I think it’s very nice of you to give that dead woman another chance.

  23. BWT  December 4, 2012

    Yes, Sue is absolutely right again. Well, nearly. She likes all the same things about “Timelash” that I do: Blue androids, stunning make-up job for The Borad, and, well – what can I say? Paul Darrow is glorious in this and I understand that years from now people will stop each other in the street and sing songs about him.

    Oh yes! That’s right – Paul Darrow to play the Doctor. YES! Sue, you are a genius. Thusly this should happen and be written in stone. And people shall sings songs about it until the BBC make it so.

    Nice.

  24. Sean Alexander  December 4, 2012

    Neil, you’ve got a fuc*ing business card. Are you Patrick Bateman?

  25. Paul Mudie  December 4, 2012

    An entertaining write-up of a thoroughly shit story!

    Going from The Two Doctors to this just shows how incredibly uneven Colin Baker’s era could be. Actually, I think that goes for all of 80s Who. I try not to bash JNT relentlessly, but it’s pretty clear that there wasn’t a clear vision for what the show was supposed to be at that time.

  26. John G. Wood  December 4, 2012

    I think this is the first review where I’ve agreed with everything Sue said – except for me, even the awesome Paul Darrow can’t save it from a 1/10.

  27. Ryan Hall  December 4, 2012

    To be really honest you can see with this very story that why wouldnt the BBC pull the plug on this show? , just horrendous…i think it shows that it really did need a massive overhaul , even in his 1st year as a doctor it just couldnt save it ( then) , a tardis team not getting along did not do it any favors at all…( like rory in the new show, who rolls his eyes everytime and moans when he goes anywere with the doc …why write an assistant that way??? its pointless )
    everybody bangs on about how it was dead from this point on wards but from season 24 Doctor who actully did become fun again…thankfully..

    • John Miller  December 4, 2012

      Sorry. Yes, this story is hardly an all-time Classic, but even the best-loved Seasons had rubbish. If it all came down to one bad story, then the show would have been cancelled long long before this. Not that it actually was cancelled in 1985, mind.

      And if you think this is bad, just wait for Mccoy….

      And no comment about the appearance of the Bandrils? Maybe by the time they get a good shot, any sense of really caring has gone, but still.

  28. Dave Sanders  December 4, 2012

    Will Revelation be the cure for what Ails Them?

    • John Callaghan  December 4, 2012

      Possibly not, but it should be A Naval Riot. I’d put Sue on A Vino Alert if I were you.

    • Matt Sharp  December 4, 2012

      Well, Revelation isn’t quite as good for anagrams.

      Unless, let me think… uh…

      I defrost eleventh koala

      Er…

      Aha, televise rodent folk

      • Frankymole  December 5, 2012

        “Televise rodent folk”, Rat fans! Didn’t Colin appear in character with Roland Rat?

        • Nick Mays  December 5, 2012

          Are you a Rat fan, Franky?

          • Frankymole  December 5, 2012

            I got the warfarin out every Saturday.

            Basil Brush in the 70s was similarly annoying, delaying our favourite Time Lord. Not quite as bad as family holdays that made me miss the first episodes of every new season, but close…

          • Nick Mays  December 5, 2012

            Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaa! Boom! Boom!

            Oh Miss Franky, you are a one!

            The Hunting Act has a LOT to answer for…

        • Andrew Bowman  December 5, 2012

          Yes, he did, but is it canon? ;)

          • Nick Mays  December 5, 2012

            JN-T would’ve made it canon!

      • Matt Sharp  December 5, 2012

        One more:

        Kraal Nose Filth Devotee

        But I think that’s enough anagrams for now. It’s getting silly!

  29. Marty  December 4, 2012

    I agree with Sue, the make-up was good on the Borad.

    Some of the ideas in Timelash are good. Referencing adventures the Third Doctor previous had that we haven’t seen is a nice touch.
    The Kronotron tunnel is a good idea.
    Bringing HG Wells into Doctor Who is also a good idea.

    Unfortunately all these good ideas just come together into a mess of a thing. It could have been much worse. Paul Darrow oddly saves a it a little bit. Without Darrow it’d be a much duller story.

  30. Doug  December 5, 2012

    Neil, I think you should definitely take a week’s hiatus after the next one to emulate the show’s year of suspension.

    • Nick Mays  December 5, 2012

      … And you’ll still get the same sense of anticlimax when the ‘Trial of a Timelord’ season starts.

    • John Miller  December 5, 2012

      A week’s hiatus is too long to wait. Bring Wife In Space. Don’t hesitate.

      • John Miller  December 5, 2012

        Bring back, in fact. Though it’s fitting that it was messed up.

        • Neil Perryman  December 5, 2012

          She’ll be lucky if she gets 18 hours off.

          • Doug  December 5, 2012

            LOL. Okay.

  31. Ollie  December 5, 2012

    The only Colin I’ve not seen all the way through. I’ve tried a couple of times but I fail before the 10 minuet mark. I’m not bothered about ever seeing it either.

    N-A/10

  32. chris-too-old-to-watch  December 5, 2012

    Neil: when you do get to Trial, are you watching it as 1, 3 or 4 separate stories?

    • John Callaghan  December 5, 2012

      I’ve been curious how the story titles will be displayed on the Wife In Space home page. I’d like to suggest a drawing competition (“draw and colour in the titles for Trial”) for the under-10 readers of WIS. Or they could all be written in Comic Sans – it would suit the new theme music, somehow!

      • Frankymole  December 5, 2012

        Don’t diss the music! The Casio Keyboard was of its time! # De-do-do-doo… let’s make funny noises #

        • Wholahoop  December 6, 2012

          I would be getting ahead of myself if I start to comment on the theme tune used for ToaTL, but suffice to say when it is reviewed the words kipper, wardrobe and bass line will be juxtaposed in a manner not seen to often

          • Siobhan Gallichan  December 8, 2012

            You should hear Danny Stewart’s remix of the Trial theme… puts it all right. Uses glynn’s original make ups, but given a modern mix, and a more traditional approach. You’ll probably find it on Dannystewart.com Called the Cosmos Mix.

  33. DamonD  December 5, 2012

    Timelash…oh dear.

  34. Doc Whom  December 5, 2012

    “This isn’t right. Matt Smith’s Doctor would see the beauty in everything. This is awfully shallow.”

    But cheeky from someone who keeps bitching about Colin’s weight.

    • Nick Mays  December 5, 2012

      And let’s not forget the tragic reason at the time WHY Colin was comfort eating through stress and depression.

      Anyway, in context, what’s to stop a Tim Lord from putting on or losing weight?

  35. Alex Wilcock  December 6, 2012

    Bollocks! Posted in the wrong page. Oops. That was for The Two Doctors… This one’s on the Lash.

    Sue: I don’t know who he is but he’s enjoying himself. Is it Ray Davies?
    Brilliant!

    Sue: Oh, you bastard. Peter Davison would have taken him. Peter Davison would have taken any old ****er with him.
    Sweet? Effete!

    But it’s thin for me this time, even loving Colin…
    Sue: He just pushed her away! I remember when the Doctor and his companions used to have some chemistry. Their relationship is actually getting worse.
    Sadly true. With this horribly regressed characterisation, Timelash should have been shown straight after The Twin Dilemma – except that no-one would ever have watched again… Though at least the Doctor’s given almost the only believable dialogue in the story as he explodes at just how stupid the Borad’s ideas are. You can feel Colin addressing the writer through it for extra oomph. And the Felching Rocks are surely the series’ least appealing holiday destination.

    I’m with Sue on Darrow and the Borad, but I still find it hard to watch. It’s one of the few where I take comfort in the real naffness. That scene where the Maylin pulls off a knob and just holds it in his hand hoping we won’t notice: for all the many criticisms levelled at Doctor Who, this is the only time it’s looked like Acorn Antiques. That and the Timelash cavern: even after the tinsel in the Timelash cabinet and the power room, you’re still not prepared for them only affording about three lengths of it.
    What’s the one thing that looks worse than too much tinsel? Nowhere near enough.

    Mr Moffat must have liked it, though. Being banished in time as a slow but certain death sentence? Crack a Weeping Angel and there’s a blue bloke inside!

  36. Merast  December 6, 2012

    “My name-a Borad, i like sex, IT’S NIIIICE!”, did no-one else hear Borat the first time round? Oh…only me :-P

    Well, despite it’s pooeyness it still beats Twin Dilemma. I’d give it a 3.5..ish

    • Dave Sanders  December 7, 2012

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydCQB8D1g0A – not just you.

      • Merast  December 7, 2012

        Hahaha! Production values much higher in that version i see.

        • Dave Sanders  December 7, 2012

          THIS IS A SPACESHIP