The classic series Doctor Who DVD releases for the coming few months have been confirmed by the BBC and in a bid to win over the fans of the new touchy feely series to the old “classic” Who a truly magnificent smorgasbord of delights has been offered: McCoy in Survival; Baker, T in Robot (yes, the Action Man tank in full DVD glory – perhaps the restoration team will deal with it); and Baker, C in Timelash to coincide with the end of the new series. Well, top work by the Beeb and those happy souls at 2Entertain.
Timelash includes the finest example of “I’ll explain later” before Curse of the fatal death; tinsel is used to devastating effect; the Bandrils – everyone’s favourite alien race discuss grain supplies or some other agrarian delight (I have tried to wipe it from memory); a plot device is used in relation to the episodes ubervillain The Borad which effectively ruins a much more explicable use of the same plot device in the following story – Saward’s LOved One tribute, Revelation of the Daleks; there is a blue android who bears a passing resemblance to Yazz of plastic population fame; it has an appearance by HG Wells in the most inexplicable Doctor Who cameo until William Blake’s peculiar appearance in The PIt; and best of all the top guest performance of the JNT era, Paul Darrow. Darrow is at his hammiest, with a performance more OTT than his presenting duties in BBC3’s Hercules some years later (where Darrow positively revelled in introducing the contenders including “Six times Olympic biathlete Mike DIxon” (each syllable enunciated to perfection) “quadrathlete Keith Longney”; “endurance cyclist Andy WIlkinson”; and (my personal favourite) “Extreme gymnast Lee Rankin” (what is “extreme” gymnastics?). Oh dear, it was bad. But, it was still better than Timelash.