Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start...
Day Seventy-Nine: The Death of Time (The Chase, Episode Two)
This is a tricky one. I've enjoyed today's episode, but at the same time is hasn't done much new or interesting It's the same kind of Doctor-Who-by-numbers that I've complained about a few times during this second season.
And yet, I really have enjoyed it…
The big problem here is that they're simply over stretching themselves. The Aridian costumes aren't great, and I can't even cover for them by attempting my 'squint-at-the-screen' technique. They're just not good costumes. The design is (more-or-less) sound - it's the realisation that falls down.
And speaking of which - the Dalek falling into Ian's trap. I was really looking forward to this. Right from early in the episode, there's some gorgeous shots of the Daleks taken from a low angle, which not only makes them menacing, but shows off just how beautiful the 1960s Daleks really are. The build-up to this pivotal moment, then, still being shot from below as the Doctor and Ian build the trap had me really excited to see the Dalek tumbling down into the pit…
And then it's all done with a shadow, and is over in a matter of seconds. We don't even get a shot of the Dalek shell at the bottom! It's disappointing, because it would have made for a real stand-out moment in this story; especially so soon after The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
It's not all bad, though. The shot of the city collapsing around Ian and Vicki is rather well done, and we get to see a Dalek with an unusual new arm attachment, which looks rather snazzy. While I'm at it - Oi! Character Options! Where's the release of this Dalek? Please? I'd buy one.
I also really enjoyed Ian and the Vicki teasing each other as they try to make their escape ('You fool!' 'You… nit!'), and it's lovely to see the Doctor and Barbara given some time together again. It feels like an age since we last saw them paired together (Was it The Aztecs? No wonder it feels so long…).
So, on the whole, there's a lot to love, but it's got the same problem that much of Season Two seems to have - there's just nothing all that special about it.
Next Episode: Flight Through Eternity