Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start...
Day Seventy-Five: The Dimensions of Time (The Space Museum, Episode Two)
Urgh. Me and my big mouth: “On the whole, though, even if the next three episodes aren't all that… this one is fantastic.” Is the way I summed up yesterday's episode. Thing is - now I've gone and jinxed it! Of course today's episode wasn't going to be as good as yesterday's. That'll be why I've got the mother of all toothaches, today. It's the universe trying to teach my mouth a lesson.
I'm usually pretty contrary when it comes to opinions on Doctor Who. I'd rather watch Twin Dilemma than Androzani, I've never really cared for Talons of Weng-Chiang (Though, having listened to series five of Jago and Litefoot this week, I can confirm it's still one of my favourite things ever), and I'm rather fond of a Sylvester McCoy story which shares a name very similar to today's episode.
Therefore, I thought this was going to be a walk in the park. I'd seen (most of) yesterday's episode before, so I knew how good that was. I'd not watched the rest of the story, but hey! If fandom-at-large dislikes it, then chances are that I'd actually enjoy it. The problem with this theory is that sometimes - just sometimes - stories get a bad reputation for a reason.
On the whole (starting positive), there's nothing wrong with this episode. It's a perfectly good twenty-five minutes of Doctor Who. My issue with it is that this is Doctor Who on auto pilot. There's nothing particularly new or interesting here.
Ian, Barbara and Vicki spend much of the episode roaming around the corridors of the space museum, and getting gradually more and more irritated with each other. It almost feels in places like the dying days of a relationship, when you're with each other out of habit rather than because there's any genuine affection. This could be a nice bit of foreshadowing - we're not all that far from our schoolteachers leaving the series now - but sadly, I think it's more just happening to fill time.
Then we've got the Doctor being interrogated by the Governor of the planet. It should be quite a good scene, as the Doctor bamboozles his questioner by displaying daft images onto the screen in an attempt to throw him off. His answer to the question of how they arrived at the museum - by flashing up a Penny Farthing - is great, as is the footage he plays of sea lions to demonstrate where he's come from and the (slightly bizarre) image of Hartnell in a bathing suit.
But it's all just a bit bland. I've grown used to the Doctor having this sense of humour across the rest of this second season, so it's just part and parcel of the series, now. It all just falls a little too flat for me.
Next Episode: The Search