|The Twins are not the best part of this excellent story.|
(aka. The Treaty on Why I Love Six)
John Nathan Turner had an idea. To make sure that fans remained loyal to the series at the end of Davison's tenure, he would allow fans a peek at the new era by tacking on a Sixth Doctor story at the end of Season Twenty-One, following on from The Caves of Androzani. This was, to say the least, a mistake. It jarred with another of JNT's decisions - to have Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor begin as an arrogant buffoon and then transform into a likeable character. Fans were left with one serial they hated and then the sixth-month wait for Season 22.
The Twin Dilemma rates at the bottom of most, if not all, full lists of Doctor Who stories. It is hated throughout fandom, viciously and without intent or purpose. This I prepared myself with when I went to first watch the story, about a month prior to writing this. And I watched it. Afterwards, as I sat dazed and confused, I asked myself one simple question that sums up my view on this story.
What's not to love?
Colin Baker's first outing as The Doctor is absolutely first-rate, and I can't find a single thing to hate about it. It's not the perfect story, but that adds innumerably to its charms - more-so than if those aspects of the story had been done today. Amongst them is Baker's performance, which is outstanding. It's different, it's fresh, it's never been done before. Baker's Doctor is still the paradigm of morality, but his regeneration in particular is a violent and turbulent one that exposes the dark side of his personality. He wears a brash coat that many fans hate; guess what - you're supposed to hate it, and Six doesn't care whether you do or not. He rejects fashion, he rejects life's complexities and focuses on doing what is right.
Mestor, the story's villain, is a giant slug who kills people using his mind, giving them embollisms. Again, I don't see what's wrong here. He's just another typical Who villain; his costume is awesome and his ambition, to blow up a sun in order to colonise the galaxy, makes him at least a little bit interesting. Azmael, a Time-Lord under Mestor's control and apparantly one of the Fourth Doctor's old drinking buddies, is played by classical actor Maurice Denhem to perfection.
Again? You at the back. What do I think of the titular twins? Well, I will admit that they are not the story's best feature, but Romulus and Remus aren't as irritating as everyone says they are. At least they don't side with the villain all of the time. Really the issue is that the actors themselves were difficult to work with, and thus suffer bland, uninspiring scenes. And there's no dilemma about that.
|Didn't mean anything. Totally.|
NEXT WEEK: We revisit the raging Inferno. This time with Josh!