Four to Doomsday
What an odd story. I half-suspect that the BBC's wish to recycle costumes and props was behind some of the storytelling choices both here and in "Kinda." There are dragon dance costumes on hand? Hey, no problem, we'll write in several long "ethnic dance" sequences! Some Renaissance outfits going to waste? Use them in Tegan's dream!
Tegan was a bit shouty in this one, but I did love that she got to actually fly the TARDIS. She didn't get very far, true, but she also didn't end up with her component atoms scattered across time and space, so I call it a win. Also, she found the TARDIS handbook! There really is one! And I'll bet the Doctor's never looked at it.
Adric, meanwhile, seemed to be having retroactive Stockholm Syndrome. His encounter with the Master affected him so deeply that he was ready to follow any sufficiently authoritative older man with a good line in messianism and technobabble. Even if the man was green and warty. But in the end, his love for the Doctor won out. I did quite like the bit where he stepped between the Doctor and the bad guys with guns.
Nyssa . . . was there. Occasionally. The writers keep finding ways to remove her inconvenient presence, like they did with Jamie at first.
This story gets some points for having three of the four "smart enough to be given immortality and keep their consciousness" characters be people of color. But I have to take some back for the white (Greek) guy being the smartest and bestest of them all, and the only one who got a significant number of lines.
Cracktastic cracky crack, and I love it to bits. *tries not to think about the wholesale appropriation of Buddhist traditions*
The plot was . . . was there a plot? But I loved the dialogue and the acting, especially Nerys Hughes as Todd (yay for a female character who's middle-aged and a competent scientist!) and Simon Rouse's wonderfully loony turn as Hindle. Also, the man who played the Mara during Tegan's dream sequence, who doesn't seem to have been credited. Sinister and strangely hot--my kind of guy.
"Kinda" is one of those Doctor Who stories where the supporting cast really shines, the regulars not so much. Dreaming!Tegan showed the courage and resourcefulness I like best about her, but she spent too much of the main plot unconscious. Although not as much as Nyssa. And Adric was once again somewhat inept (I don't believe for a minute that someone who can fly the TARDIS wouldn't be able to handle the exoskeleton thingy), although at least this time he didn't
Mostly, like I said, I loved "Kinda" for the crack. The chess players in Tegan's dream who won't believe she's real. Hindle's fear of the Evil Trees. The model city and the paper dolls. The jester/trickster. Panna calling the Doctor "idiot."
The mysticism (like the Mara coming from "the dark places inside") got on my nerves a bit, but I recognize that it was a slightly more respectful way of using Buddhist concepts than detaching them from religion entirely. There was still cultural appropriation going on, but it could have been worse.
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