Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Review of Doctor Who's: "The Caves Of Androzani"

Written by Robert Holmes
Directed by Graeme Harper

The Doctor: “Too late, Peri. Going soon. Time to say goodbye.”
Peri: “Don't give up! You can't leave me now!”
The Doctor: “I might regenerate. I don't know. Feels different this time …”

Regeneration stories can often be a tricky mix but this one however virtually reeks of perfection. Doing what a lot of Doctors have done before him, Peter Davison decided to leave the role after three years playing The Doctor and the writers certainly gave him a parting worthy of his good work.

Only into her second serial with The Doctor, Peri is in for a rotten time when both her and The Doctor arrive on Androzani minor. First off all, there’s getting herself into a cobweb with fatal consequences and then we have to deal with the fact that her and The Doctor find themselves arrested within minutes of landing on the planet.

That’s the thing with this story. Throughout all four parts, both The Doctor and Peri, when they aren’t staring death in the face are getting repeatedly captured and terrorised by various sides, all of which voicing their own personal dislike to The Doctor.

Morgus, one of the key characters in the story is instantly dismissive of The Doctor and Peri that he has them executed as the first episode ends. It’s a delicious cliff-hanger, one that with the reveal of android versions of our heroes being killed doesn’t mar the overall effect.

This of course leads into the second capture of the story. If Chellak and Morgus weren’t the most hospitable of captors, then the easily annoyed Sharaz Jek is also not the kind of person you want to spend a considerable amount of time either, although as characters go, he is certainly riveting to watch.

While The Doctor is instantly berated and abused by the villain, Sharaz Jek does take something of an overall interest in Peri and throughout the latter part of this story, there are some really unsubtle Beauty And The Beast parallels. I know Peri’s nice to look at and all but Sharaz does go a little too far in his overall fixation.

When The Doctor and Peri do manage to momentarily escape from Sharaz Jek with the real Salateen with them, Sharaz’s main priority seems to be getting Peri back. It makes little to no difference that the girl’s infected with Spectrox Toxaemia along with The Doctor. In fact he seems to enjoy the idea of torturing The Doctor through his androids just so he can get Peri back into his clutches.

Of course, Sharaz Jek is the least of The Doctor’s problems. Getting captured by the annoying Stotz means he’s tied up and blindfolded at one point. It also seems that Morgus is wary of his presence too, though the fact that he refuses to consider the notion of The Doctor is a little strange.

Still with idiots like Stotz around the place, escaping isn’t that hard for The Doctor. He’s able to get out of his restraints and even tries to crash land the ship back on Androzani Minor. The notion of impending regeneration is at this point more or less drilled into our skulls. We know The Doctor’s going to change but it’s only a case of when and whether or not he’ll be able to save Peri.

As for Morgus, we do learn a lot about him in this story. We know that him and Sharaz Jek have personal history and that Morgus’ amoral streak isn’t above assassinating the President, which he does with such joy. The only problem with Morgus is his underestimation of those around him.

First off all, Timmins knows exactly what he’s capable of and wastes no time in getting him deposed. She even goes for the jugular and seizes all of his private assets as well to boot. As enemies go, she’s definitely a very oily woman. The look of humiliation on Morgus’ face however is nothing short of priceless.

Then there’s his dim-witted mercenaries to boot. Originally they were going to help him steal Sharaz Jek’s supply of Spectrox but now that Morgus has no power, they sensibly refuse to help him. Well, it would be sensible if Stotz hadn’t decided to kill for their act of refusal.

As for Stotz, he’s decided now that he wants an equal cut in the Spectrox and given that predictably enough, Morgus needs him more than the other way round, Stotz manages to get his demand. As a team, these two are out and out despicable throughout the entire story.

Elsewhere Peri manages to go from the barely pleasant quarters of Chellak back in Sharaz Jek’s arms when he snatches. See, there was a downside to sending the Salateen android on a fool’s errand but it’s around this time that some sympathy is conveyed for Sharaz.

Okay, so there’s no denying that his fixation on Peri is still creepy but at least when The Doctor returns this time around, Sharaz isn’t threatening decapitation. Instead they band together in order to save Peri by getting an antidote from the Queen Bat and while that’s happening, mud bursts are causing big problems.

On the plus by the last ten minutes of this story both Stotz and Morgus get their just desserts and some sympathy is conveyed when Sharaz dies in the Salateen android’s arms. I didn’t think this story would end up making me feel sorry for someone like Sharaz but I’m impressed that it did.

As for Peri, her life being saved comes at the cost of The Doctor’s. Regenerations scenes are usually quite strange but there’s some quite bleak about this one. It makes sense for The Doctor to have visions of Tegan, Nyssa, Adric, Turlough, Kamelion and even The Master before taking the form of his sixth incarnation. Peri’s utter confusion by what’s just happened is nicely conveyed.

Also in “The Caves Of Androzani”

Although this episode had caves in the title, the things we actually saw were blowholes instead. Even The Doctor mentioned that.

The Doctor (re him/Peri): “We travel a lot.”
Sharaz Jek: “Interesting. We shall have a lot to talk about.”

So the piece of celery actually tells of poisonous gases when it changes purple. Was that added at the last minute?

Sharaz Jek (to The Doctor): “You have the mouth of a prattling jackanapes. But your eyes… they tell a different story.”

Peri: “Why are you keeping us here?”
Sharaz Jek: “Oh, my exquisite child. How could I ever let you go? The sight of beauty is so important to me.”

The use of The Doctor’s physiology is what confused Sharaz Jek’s androids at one point in this story.

Sharaz Jek: “When I ask you a question, I do not expect flippancy. Where’s Peri?”
The Doctor: “I don’t know.”

Morgus (re The Doctor): “Who’s that?”
Stotz: “Government snoop, sir.”
Morgus: “Take off the blindfold.”

It’s kind of fitting that The Master appeared in this story briefly, given that he was in Peter Davison’s debut at the end of “Logopolis”.

Krelper: “"A two-day job," you said!”
Stotz: “"A two-day job," I said, "If we was lucky!" But we weren't lucky, were we Krelper? And your luck's run out right now.”

Stotz: “You better turn this ship around Doctor!”
The Doctor: “Why?”
Stotz: “Because I'll kill you if you don't!”
The Doctor: “Not a very convincing argument actually, Stotz, because I'm going to die soon anyway, unless of course-”

This of course would not be the last time we see Peter Davison as The Doctor. Twenty three years later we got him in the “Time Crash” scene with David Tennant.

Sharaz Jek: “To think that I, Sharaz Jek, who once mixed with the highest in the land, am now dependent upon the very dregs of society. The base, perverted scum who contaminate everything they touch. And it is Morgus who brought me to this! Morgus destroyed my life! Do you think I'm mad?”
Peri: “N-No.”
Sharaz Jek: “I am mad. Do I frighten you?”
Peri: “N-No.”

Sharaz Jek: “You think bullets could stop me now? You stinking offal, Morgus. Look at me!”

This came out in 2001 with a good commentary from Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and Graeme Harper. The Behind The Scenes footage is worth checking out.

The Master: “No way, dear Doctor. You must die, Doctor. Die Doctor, die Doctor.”

Peri: “Doctor?”
The Doctor: “You were expecting someone else?”
Peri: “I – I – I.”
The Doctor: “That makes three "I"'s in one breath. Makes you sound a rather egotistical young lady.”
Peri: “What's happened?”
The Doctor: “Change, my dear. And it seems not a moment too soon!”

Colin Baker’s face appeared at the end of the fourth part of this story and his name before Peter Davison’s. The Magma creature was naff.

There are some stories that easily earn their stripes and this is definitely one of them. While “The Caves Of Androzani” is without a doubt one of the more darker stories from the series, it by far one of the best as well. A fantastic send off for Peter Davison and a very good introduction for Colin Baker. How could you not like this?

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Season 1 Review

US Airdate on The WB: March 10th –June 2nd 1997

The movie that failed hits the small screen with much deserved success as a sleepy town hides all things that go bump in the night. Their oppressor: a savvy, blonde sixteen year old with a destiny to fulfil.

I May Be Blonde But I Can Seriously Kick Your Ass – As I’ve said in my series review for, this is the series that made TV into an obsession and awoke the reviewer within. Not seeing this show in correct order, when I went to watch the first season, I wasn’t completely impressed. It was because I had seen the second (most of it) prior and I felt that the show’s opening year wasn’t on a par. Granted out of all the seven seasons of Buffy there is, I would still rank Season One as my least favourite but to be positive, this is one of the best debut seasons to any show past and present and while it may be a pain that it only ran for twelve episodes and had been the least arc driven of Buffy seasons, there is still a lot to recommend about it.

For instance, opening episode “Welcome To The Hellmouth” set up every single character perfectly. We had a seemingly meek and innocent blonde girl named Darla turn into a vampire and kill a random jock while the slayer herself, Buffy Summers had been set up as sweet, aloof and determined to eschew the responsibilities of her supernatural calling. Her various arguments with Giles, who manages to not be a bumbling British stereotype, even if he was a little uptight in the early years, were fabulous. How could you not laugh at how she simply spotted a vampire because he was wearing clothing from 1970’s? Then there was Angel, all dark and mysterious with the intense attraction between him and Buffy more or less asserted with minimal dialogue and strong body language between David Boreanaz and Sarah Michelle Gellar, as the clumsy and socially awkward trio of Xander, Jesse and Willow as well as Uber-bitch Cordelia. Even The Master coming out of that pool and being stuck underground in an abandoned church as he forces his cohorts into feeding on enough humans and using Luke as a vessel so he could be freed from his own entrapment in “The Harvest”. Suffice to say, The Master failed, Luke got dusted and Darla had holy water thrown in her face but everything about this show was set. The characters felt like real teenagers and even looked like them too, the adults such as Giles, Principal Flutie and even Joyce Summers felt more than accessories and we had villains to be intrigued, amused and afraid of all at once while setting up a fantastic legacy. Although the arc with The Master remained more lighter in favour of setting up Buffy and Giles as slayer and watcher, her relationship with Angel, rivalry with Cordelia and friendships with Xander and Willow and even Giles embarking on a relationship with the plucky Jenny Calendar, the twists such as having an innocent child being summoned to a dangerous vampire called The Anointed One and even the shocking connection of Angel and Darla before The Master got his way with Buffy long enough to walk the earth again . Thinking about Season One was pretty damn memorable.

The first two episodes aside, other episodes I couldn’t get enough of including “Witch”, which the only cheerleading story told on a TV series that kept my interest as it debuted naughty witch Amy Madison (who got more interesting in future appearances), “Never Kill A Boy On The First Date” which saw Buffy’s attempts of dating a regular guy blow up in her face (big hint for Seasons Four and Five then, huh?), “Angel” which was pretty pivotal in revealing that hunky David Boreanaz was a vampire with a soul determined to atone for the horrible things he had in his past thanks to Darla’s influence on him. It was here that also showed that Boreanaz also had slightly more alluring chemistry with Julie Benz than Gellar as Angel and Darla’s more than colourful past would put Jack The Ripper to shame. I also have soft spot “The Puppet Show”, even if it did introduce the loathsome Principal Snyder (think Miss Trunchbull with a penis) and I absolutely adore the concept of “Nightmares”, even if looking at the Scoobies worst fears was something to be better handled in Season Four. There’s also the penultimate episode “Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight”, which is noteworthy for giving Cordelia much needed depth and having future Carnivale actress Clea DuVall as an invincible girl with violent tendencies (though who could blame her for hurting Harmony?). This leaves the season finale “Prophecy Girl” – again snappy dialogue, a genuine sense of foreboding terror and danger and enough emotional weight that enforced your love for the characters. Buffy’s defeat of The Master was sweet and her honest and frank discussion in regards to her own mortality was needed. Essentially, this may be my least favourite season but it started and ended perfectly and even the odd naff episode such as “Teacher’s Pet” or “I Robot You Jane” didn’t deter the fun that was more or less had.

DVD EXTRAS: A good first season deserves a good set of DVD extras and what is on offer has a hit and miss quality. I like when you put in the DVD the screen has clips of episodes and the Nerf Herder theme but I hate that you have to click on the episode to get the extras. The first disc has two fantastic commentaries from Joss Whedon himself on “Welcome To The Hellmouth” and “The Harvest” as he explains about The WB having reservations for using the word “slut” and how any scene in a graveyard for the first year actually took place in a graveyard. He also notes how the show is about a blonde who doesn’t have the patience to be in a horror film, which made me laugh and his joint interview with David Boreanaz is pleasant enough. The trailer for the first season is okay but I hate the inclusion of scripts because they are hard to read and I don’t have the patience to read through. I also like Hepburn’s “I Quit” music video on Disc 2 even though it contained clips from Seasons Three and Four and the photo gallery and cast biographies on the last disc are fine. All in all, decent extras but the commentaries are the real highlight though.


1x01: Welcome To The Hellmouth = 9/10, 1x02: The Harvest = 8/10,
1x03: Witch =7/10, 1x04: Teacher’s Pet =6/10,
1x05: Never Kill A Boy On The First Date =7/10, 1x06: The Pack = 6/10,
1x07: Angel = 10/10, 1x08: I Robot You Jane = 5/10,
1x09: The Puppet Show = 8/10, 1x10: Nightmares = 10/10,
1x11: Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight = 7/10, 1x12: Prophecy Girl = 9/10.

Season One is both available on VHS and DVD.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Review of Doctor Who's: "Resurrection Of The Daleks"

Written by Eric Saward
Directed by Matthew Robinson

Davros (to Lytton, regarding the Daleks): “So they have returned to their creator. Like an errant child, they have come home.”

Wow at this point in the series, you are barely able to pass a season without The Master or Cybermen terrorising The Doctor and his companions but now the use of the Daleks and Davros is becoming more and more sparse. It’s got to be to add to the effect but overall it’s a neat tactic.

The Fifth Doctor is the second incarnation of the Time Lord that has to encounter this maniacal creator and his evil race but this isn’t necessarily Davros’ best story. It is however one of Peter Davison’s stronger stories and definitely an enjoyable enough serial as well.

A Time Corridor is creating all kinds of chaos and it wastes very little time in bringing The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough back to Earth and soon enough all kinds of disaster seems to be happening. A weary guy named Stien needs helps as he’s fleeing from a bunch of trigger happy baddies.

That’s not all – they’re also the Daleks. When they aren’t invading a spaceship in a bid to snatch Davros, they’re also attempting to capture The Doctor as well. It’s interesting that for once neither they nor Davros’ appearances actually come as a cliff hanger. It’s refreshing too as they get more to do than in “Destiny Of The Daleks”.

On the spaceship containing you have an interesting enough crew, lead by an argumentative new guy and a ballsy female doctor in Styles. Both of them throughout the serial go from being trigger happy at one minute to trying to play it cool the next.

They’re all aware that the Daleks are trying to get Davros back and while they do end up failing in keeping Davros, points given to them for sheer might if nothing else. Plus there also comes a point where a missing Turlough helps out with them as well, although at first they don’t particularly trust the lad.

As for the Daleks, it seems that when they are in trouble they will go to Davros nowadays. They might also be determined to betray their creator but at the same time, he’s also needed in helping them out. Unlike their previous serial, the Daleks aren’t exactly in short supply of allies.

On one hand you’ve got Lytton, a nasty piece of work who also has to cater to Davros’ whim but with a race of cloned soldiers and a plot to invade Gallifrey by using The Doctor and his companions, at least the ante seems to be upped in comparison to serials prior to this one.

However the reason why Davros is in such high demand from his creations stems back to the Movellans. It seems despite logic creating an impasse during that on going feud, the Movellan actually managed to get one better by creating a virus that could harm the Daleks.

If I were The Doctor, I’d keep some of this virus for future battles but The Doctor’s too busy getting double crossed by Stien and winding up as a hostage of the Daleks. Apparently cloning him and his companions would be a brilliant way of infiltrating Gallifrey and destroying the place but to be fair, couldn’t the Daleks just raid the place anyway? After all they do love to intrude as well as kill on sight.

Fortunately The Doctor doesn’t have to deal with a clone version of himself as Stien shows signs of faltering and manages to free The Doctor. The actor who plays, while overdoing the stutter is one of the stronger guest stars of the episode. Stien’s sacrifice in defeating the remainder of the Daleks is also noteworthy.

As for Davros, it’s also refreshing to see that he’s beginning to learn some more lessons. He’s happy to help his Daleks become the supreme being but he’s also come up with a nifty device that makes at least two of them subservient to his will. He also pulls the same whammy on a few of Lytton’s people, notably Kiston.

Of course the one thing slightly against this serial is the lack of many scenes between Davros and The Doctor. Davros is a lot more aggressive towards a less threatening version of The Doctor but he also takes some delight in noting The Doctor’s cowardice. The Doctor has an opportunity to destroy Davros but falter. Clearly he’s forgotten something in “Genesis Of The Daleks”.

When it comes to defeats, I suppose it makes sense to use the Movellan virus to do it. If you’re going to have plenty of the stuff around, why not put it to good use? Both the Daleks and Davros find that they are vulnerable to it. For Davros it really comes across as a shock to the system.

However it’s not the Daleks and Davros that are most memorable thing about this serial. Tegan’s exit after three years is the very thing that strikes a chord. Janet Fielding gives a great final performance as an exasperated Tegan has enough and leaves the TARDIS. For a second you think she might change her mind but as exits go, Tegan’s is definitely one of the strongest given to a companion on the show.

Also in “Resurrection Of The Daleks”

These episodes were shown in a double bill, which ended up being the format for the next season.

Galloway: “You’re pathetic.”
Stien: “That too.”

I just noticed that there was a fair amount of smoking in this serial. Given that this had a younger audience, I was a little surprised.

The Doctor: “Trouble with you Tegan is you have no imagination.”
Tegan: “Just because I can’t get worked up about a crumbling building?”

Davros: “You speak as if my Daleks are no longer capable of war.”
Lytton: “A lot has happened since your imprisonment.”

Terry Molloy is the third actor to take on the role of Davros and is also the longest serving actor playing the role as well.

Lytton: “Every precaution has been taken.”
Davros: “I work here or not at all.”

Stien: “Help? You don’t know how much of a coward I am.”
The Doctor: “Well you can take this opportunity to show me.”

How come we didn’t get to see Leela, Benton and Mike Yates during those flashbacks and how were Tegan/Turlough cloned if the Daleks never had them captive?

Davros (to Lytton/Daleks): “I am very difficult to kill. You should already know that.”

Davros: “Who do you obey?”
Daleks: “We obey Davros. He is our master.”
Davros: “Excellent.”

We heard the Cloister bell as well in this serial. We also heard it in “Logopolis” as well.

Davros (to Kiston): “I have waited a long time for this. Once The Doctor is exterminated, I shall build a new race of Daleks. They shall be even more deadly with me as their leader. This time we shall triumph. Once again my Daleks will be the supreme beings.”

Davros has been asleep for 90 years. That’s the amount of time that has passed between this serial and “Destiny Of The Daleks”.

Davros (to The Doctor): “You are soft, like all Time Lords. You prefer to stand and watch. Actions require courage. Something you lack.”

The Doctor: “No, don’t leave. Not like this.”
Tegan: “I must I’m sorry.”

This was released on DVD prior to the Davros box set in November 2007. Good commentary from Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Matthew Robinson.

Like I said at the start, “Resurrection Of The Daleks” isn’t the strongest of Dalek/Davros stories but it’s engaging enough, violent without going too far and has an interesting exit in Tegan. Overall, there’s more good than bad with it.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Review of Doctor Who's: "The Five Doctors"

Written by Terrence Dicks
Directed by Peter Moffatt

Fifth Doctor (to Tegan/Turlough): “I am being diminished, whittled away piece by piece. A man is a sum of his memories you know, a Time Lord even more.”

Okay you happen to be one of those rare shows that manage to hit your twentieth anniversary and you desperately want to celebrate in a manner that’s suitably epic and memorable for viewers alike. Back in “The Three Doctors”, the first three versions of The Doctor did battle with Omega in a bid to stop him from escaping his prison.

Here things open up with previous versions of The Doctor being stolen from time with only the Fourth Doctor and Romana Mark 2 caught in some form of a time eddy. Well four out of five isn’t too bad I suppose. So our teams then consist of the First Doctor and Susan, the Second Doctor and the Brigadier, the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane and the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.

With multiple Doctors and Companions trapped in the Death Zone on Gallifrey, you need a lot of villains so a lone Dalek, Rasillon’s booby traps (including a robot), a Yeti, an army of Cybermen and The Master sent by the Time Lord Council to help The Doctor should do the trick. Hey The Doctor is in danger of being killed for a reason and even The Master’s help might be useful, even if The Doctor is willing to sacrifice him to Cybermen.

Things I liked were all the Doctors talking towards the end and the Fifth Doctor realising he was different back then as well as the usual competitive streak between The Second and Third Doctors. Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton are excellent in that regard. The fancy pants/scarecrow thing was a nice nod too.

There are some good team ups here and two things I really liked a lot were the First Doctor and Tegan and Turlough and Susan. The First Doctor pushed Tegan with the Pi and I couldn't help but notice that Turlough was staring at Susan's rack. I like Turlough. This was one of the few stories I've seen him in and he was kinda great here. He did show some loyalty/concern for the Fifth Doctor. Tegan was a lot less whiny than usual too. That’s something I will always appreciate as a viewer.

The Master was at his best here too. Give Anthony Ainley a coherent plot and his Master can work as well as Delgado’s did. I felt bad when the Fifth Doctor abandoned him to the Cybermen. The Cybermen were suitably nasty in this episode too. I loved The Master using one of Rassilon's traps to get rid of them. That ballet dancing robot of Rasillon’s was just damn cool. The way it just casually wiped out the Cybermen (who were really nothing more than foot soldiers here) was just neat.

Also cool was The First Doctor getting the Dalek to get itself to explore. Why did we get only one Dalek and tonnes of Cybermen? That was a bit confusing. The Second Doctor and the Brigadier were also good together again as well. The Doctor might attract trouble but I think The Brigadier thrives on it despite his protests.

I have to admit that I saw President Borusa bring the traitor coming a mile off. His immortality at Rassilon's hand looked nasty. All that convoluted trouble with The Doctor and his plethora of companions, plus the baddies he added into the game and he gets defeated. For someone so smart, Borusa should’ve realised that immortality comes with a price. His entombment is quite nasty. The Master should count himself lucky he was defeated here. If he had succeeded in his quest for immortality, Rasillon would have another fool for his collection.

Something I do find rather hilarious is the reaction of the Fifth Doctor’s decision to run away from Flavia after she tried to make him President. No wonder he chooses to abandons his people. They can’t even catch a traitor in their own midst and this is the second time this season that Gallifrey trouble has been down to someone in that wretched council.

However there were some things that bothered me. Sarah Jane is one of my favourite companions and she kinda annoyed me a great deal here. The thing with the hillock and Susan twisting her ankle were so badly overplayed. I mean the hell? There’s passive and then there’s pathetic and both of their accidents of sorts reeked of the latter. Susan in particular overreacted on the hillock incident in my opinion.

I also hated that the only appearances from Mike Yates, Liz Shaw, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoë Herriot were reduced to just being illusions. Given that it’s been 14 years since we’ve seen Jamie and Zoë, 13 years since we’ve seen Liz and 9 years since Mike Yates last helped out, would it have killed for them maybe to have been captives of Borusa’s instead of illusions? It would’ve also helped with the danger element if Borusa actually had companions in his grasp with whom he could threaten all the Doctors with.

Mike was always adept at getting himself captured and I really wanted to know what happened to him after “Planet Of The Spiders”. Plus K9 had sod all to do. He could've been used for something productive other than trying (and failing) to warn Sarah Jane of danger. I also got bored watching the Fourth and Romana just talking about nothing of great importance for some reason. That would be down to Tom Baker’s no show and the scene going on a bit too long.

Also in “The Five Doctors”

Opening the episode with a clip of William Hartnell was a sweet touch. Richard Hurndall did a superb job in playing the First Doctor.

Second Doctor: “And, er…and who is this?”
The Brigadier: “That's my replacement, Colonel Crichton.”
Second Doctor: “Ah. Mine was pretty unpromising too.”

Robert Holmes was supposed to originally write this and Waris Husein was originally supposed to direct it but both of them pulled out.

Tegan (to Turlough): “Do something - help him!”
Fifth Doctor: “Oh no, no, don't look so worried - I'll have it all worked out soon. Everything's all right. Everything's quite all right.”

Romana: “Oh, I do love the autumn. All the leaves, colours.”
Fourth Doctor: “Yes. Well, at least with something as simple as a punt nothing can go wrong. No co-ordinates, no dimensional stabilizers, nothing. Just the water, the punt, a strong pair of hands and a pole.”

The scene between the Fourth Doctor and Romana Mark 2 came from the unaired serial “Shada”. Perhaps a future DVD release for that serial will surface.

Tegan: “Two hearts.”
Turlough: “Well, his body seems all right. He just seems to be fading away. Why did he have to set the TARDIS moving? We were safe before he did that.”
Tegan: “Look!”

Castellan: “We believe the attempt to lift him from his time stream was unsuccessful. There he must stay until we can find and free his other selves.”
The Master: “And if you cannot? The cosmos without The Doctor scarcely bares thinking about. What makes you think his other selves are in the Zone?”

This was the first serial released on DVD back in 1999 and is getting re-released in March 2008, almost 25 years after it first aired with an additional commentary from David Tennant, Phil Collinson and Helen Raynor.

Tegan: “Who are you?”
First Doctor: “More to the point, what are you young people doing inside my TARDIS?”

The Master: “As you see, I'm armed. I could easily kill you if I wanted to.”
Fifth Doctor: “And not humiliate me first? Ooh, that isn't your style at all.”

Kamelion is missing from this story which is weird given that he was made a companion in the previous serial. It’s also really inconsistent too for any show.

Third Doctor: “Quick! Over there! Their armourments are built in - and sensors detect movement, any movement.”
Sarah-Jane: “Anything else I shouldn't know?”
Third Doctor: “Yes. They move like lightning.”

Susan: “It's a bomb.”
Turlough: “Big, isn't it?”

Original people who were also supposed to resurface were Commander Maxil from “Arc Of Infinity”, Harry Sullivan, Victoria Wakefield and Sergeant Benton. Plus Jamie McCrimmon was supposed to have a much bigger role.

The Master: “Try it Doctor, it’s as easy as Pi.”
First Doctor: “What an extraordinary fellow. As easy as pie? As easy as pie?”
Tegan: “That's what he said.”

Mike Yates: “Doctor? Doctor, this way.”
Third Doctor: “Mike? Mike Yates? How did you get here?”
Mike Yates: “Same way as you. Liz Shaw is here, too.”

The illusion of Mike Yates had him in his UNIT gear. It’s unlikely that after “Planet Of The Spiders” he would’ve rejoined them. The Brigadier after all didn’t mention what happened to him in “Mawdryn Undead”.

Jamie: “No! Brigadier...!”
Second Doctor: “You're not real. When you were returned to your own people, the Time Lords erased your memory of the period you spent with me. So, how do you know who we are? Answer!”

The Master: “The decision is scarcely yours. Killing you once was never enough for me, Doctor. gratifying to do it three times over!”
The Brigadier (before punching him): “Nice to see you again.”

I kind of wished we had seen Sergeant Benton, Jo Grant, Nyssa and Adric almost to complete the collection of sorts and maybe Davros/Omega but perhaps that might have been overkill.

Rassilon: “You seek immortality?”
Borusa: “I do.”
Rassilon: “Be sure, be very sure. Even now, it is not too late to turn back.”
Borusa: “I am sure.”

Turlough: “Won't the Time Lords be very angry?”
Fifth Doctor: “Furious!”
Tegan: “You mean you're deliberately choosing to go on the run from your own people in a rackety old TARDIS?”
Fifth Doctor: “Why not? After all, that's how it all started.”

This aired the 25th of November 1983 in the UK. Two days after the US viewing and two days after “An Unearthly Child” premiered 20 years prior.

Okay, now that I have seen this in full I’ll admit to thinking “The Five Doctors” is pretty good. “The Three Doctors” might have had a stronger plot but there's much to be enjoyed here. Seeing old companions is definitely a nice reminder to some of the show’s stronger storylines and having all our Doctors (minus the Fourth) team up is a good thing. It’s just why couldn’t we have had other stories as good as this during this era of the show? You know besides “Earthshock” and “The Caves Of Androzani”.

Rating: 9 out of 10.