Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Trial Of A Time Lord 11: Terror Of The Vervoids, Part Three


Originally Broadcast 15th November 1986

Written by: Pip & Jane Baker

In a nutshell: The Doctor starts to question the purity of the Matrix whilst the Vervoids advance their plans. And so does the murderer...

Review: I find it very surprising that anyone can use Terror Of The Vervoids to save their life but that is what the Doctor is attempting to do with the odd rude interruption of the Valeyard and the mute move-as-one Time Lord extras.

The staff onboard the Hyperion III aren’t exactly the most intelligent as they tell people to calm down after discovering a missing passenger (after numerous deaths) and not listening to the Doctor (as per usual). Luckily Mel goes to investigate and finds a pretty poorly produced leaf in the shower. The first ten minutes of this are feeling less and less like Doctor Who and more like a slightly good episode of Crossroads as the ‘hotel aspect’ of the Hyperion comes into boring swing. The only thing telling us this isn’t Crossroads In Space (or Come Back Mrs. Noah) is the cock-faced Vervoids who we finally see in all their delight. They’re certainly not shy, are they?

However, I like the comic timing that’s been placed into this episode. The relationship between the Doctor and Mel is finally settling down and we get a fun moment when the Doctor walks the wrong way to the Commodore’s office when Mel has to point out the right way and another funny moment when the Doctor asks where she’s got to only for her to be in a waste bin. I’m sure most fans would want her to stay there but, despite the screaming, she’s been a really strong character and actress this episode. I want more of the confident, investigative, non-screamy Mel because she’s a brilliant companion.

There's nothing phallic about that!
It’s about time the big series-long storyline begins to make a move toward the end game and we’re getting it more and more now as the Doctor has started to question the Matrix again. It has to be mentioned so we know what’s coming, but all it does is make me want to get past the Vervoid segment and move into the final part of the series so I can get to “the bit that counts”. And those Vervoid voices are pants.

Part Three (or eleven, if you will) has really failed to grip me. It’s been the weakest part of the Vervoid storyline and one of the worst of the series. Like I said previously, it’s just lagging and in the way by this point. I just want to wrap up the future serial and get to the final segment to see what everything has been leading toward.

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