Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Ribos Operation - a few notes from #Bakerwatch


As a life long fan of Doctor Who, I've been indulging in what I call #Bakerwatch, which is about watching all of the 4th and 6th Doctors adventures in turn.

You catch me quite a way into Tom's run having just finished the start to the Key to Time, The Ribos Operation.

I've seen it a couple of times now and it is more entertaining on a second viewing. It is a wonderfully rich story in a detailed, intriguing setting. This craftsmanship in the writing is complemented by some of the series' best costumes both in design and implementation along with some superb sets. I won't mention the monster, it's not polite to. Let's just say the idea of a crocodilian style reptile beastie is a great concept let down by some lousy production. Think how great it would look if this story was made now!

That said, for all the richness of the setting and the characters, the script is shot through with a lot of exposition. Character background seems to be an excuse for a fair amount of monologuing on virtually everyone's part. It's four episodes that are rather dialogue heavy. The actor's performances manage to carry this off to some extent although the Graff is somewhat one dimensionally bolshie which tends to make him a little tedious.

K9 is used to good effect here. He could so easily cut through the whole plot but his use here is nicely balanced, excitingly doing justice to his powers but at the same time not overwhelming the setting.

A good start then to the Key to Time, although Romana seems to have less to do then one might have hoped from her initial rather striking scene. Looking forward to reviewing The Pirate Planet again next time!

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