Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1986 Brilliant?

In theory there’s just one mammoth TV story (and another on radio) this year, though breaking into four mini-stories to kick down the fourth wall and put the Doctor on trial. Colin’s terrific, more mellow then more passionate than ever against the also terrific Michael Jayston, an evil, er, spoiler (go on, guess). The penultimate episode brings Colin’s greatest speech, amazing revelations and head-spinning weirdness, but the most memorable moment comes in…

The Trial of A Time Lord: The Mysterious Planet
“Planets come and go… Stars perish; matter disperses, coalesces, forms into other patterns. Other worlds. Nothing can be eternal.”
The stunning opening shot’s still one of the series’ best special effects, the score’s fantastic, a murderous mercenary’s like a seedy, greedy alternative Doctor – and the Doctor himself learns not to talk down to robots: they may be having an existential crisis and take umbrage.
“Hear how the Doctor condemns himself with his own words.”
[Update: Yes, after considering it below, that’s a little something appropriate from Michael Jayston’s character, too.]

The Trial of a Time Lord was released as one story in a VHS tin box titled, in some shops, “Trial of a Time Tin”; you might also track down The Mysterious Planet as one of four individual books. The best option, though, is as usual to buy the DVD, an extras-packed release of the whole Trial, with one mini-story to each disc (though there’s no isolated music, which is a rare let-down).

You might also like to read Millennium’s Mysteries of Doctor Who #1: Just What Is so Mysterious about Ravolox?

2011 Update: And now I have a full-scale review of Doctor Who – The Trial of a Time Lord: The Mysterious Planet on DVD.

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Wot, no mention of Brian Blessed? ;)
I set myself rules about limited space for these entries, and I wanted to get Colin's quote in (and still thinking I should have had one of Michael Jayston's, too). If I'd fitted Bri, he'd have taken up the whole post himself. AND IN CAPITALS!!!
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