One of the tenets occasionally mentioned here in these ‘thar pages is that of the Doctor Who ‘magic moment,’ a sliver-sized piece of the series which stays with you forever, especially since, even with the scope and burgeoning history of Doctor Who we here at THT Towers find these moments relatively rare.
On the flip side there are also what, for the sake of this posting we’ll call ‘unpardonable sins.’ Ideas or elements of stories so ill-conceived or bungled in execution so as to be embarrassing in their own right or that they reinforce entrenched public sentiment about the series being cheap, childish, or both. This is where we dwell today.
The Happiness Patrol is in many ways a much more successful version of Paradise Towers , a subversive-slightly satirical Sylvester McCoy story. Whereas the latter had characters which bordered on, and crossed over, into cartoony, the exaggerations of the former were more restrained, and made the story the better for it. But then there is that unpardonable sin, the Kandyman. What were they thinking? Who knows… and at this point who cares (the defenses offered seem particularly weak). It’s just an element which pulls even the casual viewer completely out of the story.
Another, unintended piece which at least distracted the THT Brain Trust was the casting of John Normington as Trevor Sigma. So indelible was his performance as Morgus in The Caves of Androzani that it was hard not to think of him as that in this story too. That’s a testament to his performance in Caves though it shouldn’t have been. Doctor Who has always recycled actors with great regularity (Michael Wisher comes to mind) and will continue to do so.
This weeks cap addition is The Happiness Patrol, another pure add for the Tour. Who knows what next weeks cap addition will be?
BTW look for a significant Tour update coming quite soon.