From deep in the recesses of the unfashionable end of a file cabinet labelled ‘The Land of Misbegotten Posts’, and of course too late for the proper marking of an actual anniversary, here we quite belatedly ‘examine’ Frontier in Space.
In many ways this story represents the zenith of the Pertwee era, perhaps not as adored as other stories like The Dæmons or Inferno but thoroughly respected for story scale and the depiction of the Draconians as an honor-bound species. And of course it was the last appearance of Roger Delgado as the Master in a what amounted to the first half of an epic pair of six-part stories alongside Planet of the Daleks.
But what caught our eye when we came around to HD Re-classic-ation-ifying Frontier in Space awhile back was a quirk of the director Paul Bernard. The vast majority of the time, what almost always happens when watching Doctor Who is that the direction of the story does not draw attention to itself one way or another. Exceptions abound of course, going in both directions. Bernard’s Doctor Who oeuvre also included Day of the Daleks and The Time Monster but once we noticed this ‘quirk’ in Frontier in Space it simply couldn’t not-be-unnoticed, and that was the propensity to end too, too many scenes by zooming close in on a characters face before moving on.
Is this a rather petty thing to linger on regarding an otherwise quite decent Doctor Who story? Sure. On the other hand it makes re-capping this story easier than normal, which the Tour Honchos appreciate. Check out the HD caps for Frontier in Space at your leisure.