Doctor Who #521: Nightmare of Eden Part 2

"The Doctor. The enigmatic, almighty Mister Fix-it. He's failed again and I don't care about that either."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Dec.1 1979.

IN THIS ONE... Mandrels. The Empress' captain gets roofied. The ships are almost separated. The space cops show up.

REVIEW: You know, characters who are over-helpful for no reason are just as bad as those that are unreasonably obstructive. And we get BOTH of those in Part 2. Not that having characters state over and over that they must help the Doctor actually moves the plot along. This must be the most pointless Doctor Who episode, well, ever. There's  an underwhelming attempt to separate the ships, but it fails. The authorities show up, but they're more interested in arresting the Doctor than hearing what he has to say. And though Mandrels show up from time to time, they are always quickly repelled. Perhaps the production realized they were too silly to be on screen for too long. But if the monsters aren't particularly scary - the word I'd use is "cuddly" -  nothing manages to get a sense of urgency into the proceedings. The big chase, for example, has some intense slo-mo effects, but the villain's big disco sunglasses sap all the tension out of the scene.

I knew we were in trouble within minutes, because the dialog refused to be anything but redundant. Characters keep saying the same thing again and again. K9 won't shut up about his 60% chance of success. The Doctor is big on recaping the events to date. The badly-acted Tryst repeatedly gives him his support. And Captain Rigg has meaningless, circular conversations with the Doctor, then goes on and on about how pointless everything is once he's drunk the Kool-Aid. Yeah, I feel like I'm on vraxoin too, except I'm not enjoying it. Even the chase has redundant elements embedded into it, with the Doctor going down the same set of stairs, then running through the same passenger compartment multiple times. Is this being done on purpose? Is that the function of Romana's analogy about the universe and Russian dolls? I don't think I buy it from the writer because the text is dreary, or from the director, if that jarring shot of a hand in the dispenser is anything to go by. It's just cheap, silly and dull.

And what the hell? The big ecosystem viewer is actually a magical doorway? I call shenanigans.

- Completely pointless. Hand the vraxoin.



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