Saturday, 7 November 2020

Doctor Whos Out Of Time.

Brace yourselves, the adventure level is about to rise from four to ten and back again. The Fourth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor are about to cross each others paths. And off course trouble is not far behind. Its a funny thing,you know, we spend so much time in The doctor's company, seeing the universe through his eyes, whatever head they are staring out off, yet when he throws out a bon mot such as " I remember standing in Leonardo's workshop and telling him he would never get it off the ground!" or "I posed for Michealangelo, once" and we ask ourselves "When did he do that/" And as much as we love those time traveling Easter eggs we cannot help ask ourselves when he was out of our sight long enough for that quip to be true. So it is always a treat to arrive at a place or during an event and we discover the Doctor already there, not so much doing the thing he always does, of saving the day, but just "doing" or "being", things like getting his hands dirty or painting or building something. That is how we first come across the fourth Doctor, splattered in paint, striding around in his painter's smock. We can almost see his paint dotted curly hair, a Jackson Pollock hedge. He is visiting The Cathedral for a bit of respite and some unchallenging fun and has already made at least one good friend. It is not too long before we learn that The Tardis has once more brought The Doctor not so much to where he wants to be but where he needs to be ( or where, rather, others who need his help need him to be.) Along comes trouble and not before too long arrives his older self, also seeking a respite from his troubles. Two Doctors add up to twice the trouble, I suppose, so who else should show up at this celestial location but the big bad themselves; The Daleks. 
               Matt Fitton delivers a fantastic script and the two leads rise to the occasion, ably supported by a worthy supporting cast, with Nicholas Briggs on especially menacing form. His Dalek controller has a heft to it with a weighty powerful delivery. A timely reminder of how bad The Daleks can be, universely wicked. The Doctor, being the smartest man in any room he enters, does not take long to work out that this skinny younger man in a pin stripe suit is an older version of himself.and in the short time before the Galifreyan penny drops there is some very enjoyable verbal volleyball between the two incarnations. Tennent teases and gurns while Baker plays the wise fool disguised as Harpo Marx. TheCathedral is a suitably Whoish location for these reality bending shenanigans and The Daleks a worthy underminer of wondrous things.If the Universe was ever forced to ask itself "Why can we never have good things?" it should direct the question at the Kaled scientist Davros, He not only has the answer he supplied the reason. 
               There are a few almost meta moments as the Tenth Doctor comments on The Fourth, with much affection and an aching sadness. You, as the listener, can easily imagine the affectionate gleam in his eyes "Just look at him go...", noticing that when that shock haired bescarfed younger version of himself enters a room he owns it. And in ones minds eye we share that vision, as a youthful and vigorous Tom Baker strides into the very heart of the action and the danger. Imagine, if you will for a moment with respect, if Elizabeth Sladen was still with us, as each Doctor could take one of her hands and they run and run and run...