The second Doctor and Jamie are sent on a mission by the Time Lords to ask a team of scientists, as diplomatically as possible, to bring their time travel experiments to an end. The Doctor is unable to convince the head scientist, Dastari, to heed the Time Lords’ warnings; Dastari is far too busy admiring his own work, including his genetic “improvement” of Chessene, a savage Androgum. But Chessene’s augmentations have simply given her the ability to apply her violent primitive impulses on a grander scale – such as a collusion with the Sontarans to use the new time travel device as a weapon of conquest. The Doctor is captured by the Sontarans and taken to their secret base of operations on Earth – and his sixth incarnation will have to find him to avoid the corruption of his entire timeline.
written by Robert Holmes
directed by Peter Moffatt
music by Peter Howell
Guest Cast: Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), John Stratton (Shockeye), Jacqueline Pearce (Chessene), Laurence Payne (Dastari), James Saxon (Oscar), Carmen Gomez (Anita), Clinton Greyn (Stike), Tim Raynham (Varl), Aimee Delamain (Dona Arana), Nicholas Farcett (Technician), Laurence Payne (Computer voice), Fernando Monast (Scientist)
Broadcast from February 16 through March 2, 1985
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: For Patrick Troughton’s swan song to Doctor Who, it was fitting that this was probably the most straightforward of the “multiple Doctor” stories, focusing on only two incarnations of the character instead of three or five or more. The Two Doctors is also the only story of the 1980s to reach the length of the frequent six-part format of the 1970s. Though there are many good plot ideas in the show, they’re jumbled pretty badly. Jackie Pearce almost gives a retread performance of Servalan from Blake’s 7 here as Chessene, but the real show-stealer is John Stratton as the vicious (and hungry) Shockeye. Many people have complained that, in terms of violence, the sixth Doctor crossed the line in the climactic scene where he mothballed Shockeye with cyanide…but Shockeye was such a deliciously nasty character, any lesser resolution for him would’ve been a cop-out.
I have to single out the music here as well, easily the best score of Colin Baker’s era, provided by Peter Howell. There’s a lot of nice Spanish guitar work to emphasize the Spanish location photography, but the really cool cue is a percussive battle theme for the Sontarans. The omission of the music from The Two Doctors on the series of “classic” Doctor Who soundtracks released in the 90s was always a big letdown for me.