Friday, 1 July 2011

Delta And The Bannermen (Part 3)

Originally Broadcast 16th November 1987
Written by: Malcolm Kohll

In a nutshell: Having rescued Mel and Burton from the Bannermen, the Doctor must then find a way of stopping them from killing the last of the Chimerons, Delta.

Review: I think we’ve entered full farce now and elements of this episode are at the lowest Doctor Who has ever been. Green babies that grow instantly, as well as what Billy ends up doing in this episode just don’t look right, as well as being kind of disturbing at times. I mean, who thought it’d be a good idea to paint a little baby green before painting an older baby, then a child, then a teenager etc it just looks tacky.

But then this episode is full of that as we get a lot more of what I like to call ‘camp filler’ but I’m sure the production team would call ‘thrilling chase sequence’ as the Doctor turns up on the back of more motorbikes with scenes we never actually need to see, other than the excuse that they are good fillers for under-running episodes.

Back to the baby now (I can’t even remember whether she was given a name anymore) and I’d hate to baby-sit for this, as whenever she opens her mouth the Bannermen are murdered. Not really a good lesson to teach a child who was only born a matter of hours earlier but what the heck, I’m sure she’ll turn out to be a lovely killer in the future. That isn’t even my biggest fear, the worst part is it’s a nightmare listening to her scream on my television, she might kill the Bannermen but she also murders my eardrums. Thank God she only decided to open her mouth twice unless Delta was shoving a lipstick-looking bit of food in her gob.

I was right about the two FBI characters as well, they ultimately turned out to do absolutely nothing, just providing us with more filler. I’m not anti-Delta though, the initial storyline is, despite being done to death before, a good one and this throws the 1959 era into the mix too as only Who can do, but it just doesn’t work. There’s too much wooden acting, poor filler-writing, nasty incidental music and endless scenes of doing nothing whilst on a motorbike. Even the whole ‘bee’ storyline wasn’t really needed in as much depth as we saw and just provided another meaningless, pointless, uncharacterised persona for the episode to throw away without doing anything to.

After the untimely passing of Murray in episode two (easily the best thing about this serial) the torch passes on to Richard Davies’ Burton who is brilliant. I don’t even know what it is about him that’s great; he just seems so fun and Welsh. If Jago and Litefoot can get a spin-off on audio then I want a Burton and Murray (I’m sure they can bring him back from the dead somehow, maybe he was never on the bus we saw him step onto when it blew up!). Now that I’d pay to see!

That overused guest star-the motorbike!

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