The Classic Capitology wing swings back into action by ratcheting forward to the Colin Baker era with another less-than-well remembered story. Even within a program well-known for being done ‘on the cheap’ such as Doctor Who there are stories which stand out looking and working just to the stereotype so many non-fans of Doctor Who held about the program. The Sun Makers, Underworld, and Time-Flight spring to mind as befitting the title as ‘conspicuously cheap.’ And to that list we must add the Tour’s latest cap addition, Timelash.
The un-loved story from Season 22, Timelash suffered from flat, matte sets (for story reasons) and the usual dollop of JN-T era over-lighting, and a blue-skinned Android. Indeed the shiniest aspect of production was the acting of Paul Darrow, who seemed to be in his own private, smirking universe as Tekker. Never at a loss for oratorical flourish, Darrow’s performance is simply hypnotizing, and the overall story loses at almost every single turn because of it.
This is not to say it’s all bad with Timelash, the inclusion of H.G. Wells into the story is the kind of nice nod that Doctor Who usually excels at, and the realization, indeed execution, of the Borad is an all around triumph. But Peri is very ill-served by this story, and indeed the ‘bickering’ aspects of the Doctor/Peri relationship, which had largely gone away by this point in the season, were back in full force in Timelash, mostly because the story was found to, quite unusually, under-run by about five minutes, and the bickering returned (probably out of a lack of imagination of the part of the production team) to fill the shortfall.