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Doctor Who: Timelash (Story 142)

4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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(Apr 01, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

A stowaway named Herbert takes inspiration for his first novel from this adventure with the sixth Doctor.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • DVD ROM Features
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Making of
  • Photo gallery
  • Production Notes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Paul Darrow, Eric Deacon, Jeananne Crowley
    • Directors: Pennant Roberts
    • Writers: Glen McCoy
    • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
    • Language: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
    • Run Time: 90 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00114XLZU
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,313 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Timelash (Story 142)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Jason A. Miller VINE VOICE on April 7, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    "Timelash" has long been maligned as the worst story from one of "Doctor Who"'s weaker seasons. Everyone, it seems, has a different explanation as to why "Timelash" failed: the fault might lie with the guest actors, or with the director, or the writer, the producer, the set designer... Everyone, just this once, is correct.

    "Timelash"'s script is a mess, and that's the fatal flaw. There's too much going on and the end result is less than the sum of its parts. There's an interplanetary war, a deformed dictator (part man, part plesiosaur), some no-nonsense rebels (played here by a pretty young woman and a bald fat guy), a bunch of squabbling Senators, a time corridor in space... and a young H.G. Wells. The characters are by and large one-dimensional, and the dialogue is mostly woeful. Nothing that happens on the planet Karfel ever really engages the viewer... except for Paul Darrow.

    Best known for his role on "Blake's 7", Darrow came to this story expected to turn in a similar performance. Instead, he wanted to explore fresh waters by playing his character as Richard the Third. He delivers, in the end, a sarcastic, pompous, oily performance that would have worked really well... had any of the other guest actors been up to the challenge. Instead, he sticks out like a sore thumb. As Darrow says in the DVD's making-of featurette, the story really does get boring once his character exits, midway through the final episode.

    The making-of documentary, by the way, is one of the DVD production team's liveliest efforts thus far. Several members of the production (cast and crew) spread the blame around. Script editor Eric Saward, as he always does, blames the producer, a man who's been dead for years.
    Read more ›
    1 Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Timelash is an ok story. The sets are at times cheap, (yes, that's tinsel in there), the acting of a highly variable quality (the regulars do give very good performances here, it's the guest cast that is, at times, the problem), and the script is average. But it is still a fun to watch story. The great thing about is the imagination carries it. So much of Doctor Who from this period is horribly derivative and obsessed with past continuity and villains etc. This story has very little of that. We are shown (rather cleverly I thought) that the Doctor in his 3rd incarnation has been to this planet before. But the story itself is a good traditional Doctor Who story that stands on it's own. We do have another ugly mad man leering at Peri, but oh well. There is also a bit of controversy about what happens to the Borad (this story's bad guy) in the end. It does contradict the 4th Doctor Who story Terror of the Zygons and it's information on the origins of the Loch Ness Monster. As for the DVD itself, this release is a bit light on extras. It features a commentary track by actors Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Paul Darrow. It also has a new documentary, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (dur. 25' 01"), which looks at the making of the story. It features actors Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Paul Darrow, David Chandler, Robert Ashby, script editor Eric Saward, writer Glen McCoy and journalist Paul Lang, and is narrated by Terry Molloy. It will also have a photo gallery, production notes subtitles, and the Radio Times listings in pdf format. I would agree with the first reviewer here, this is a great beer and pizza Doctor Who story. It certainly is not the strongest of Colin Baker's era (Vengance on Varros and Revelation of the Daleks are superior in almost every way to all other 6th Doctor stories), but it is still quite enjoyable and features many elements of strong traditional/classic Doctor Who.
    1 Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Okay, so maybe "Timelash" does have its faults, but so did every other Colin Baker story. In fact, this one in many ways is a lot better. It's certainly my favorite Colin Baker story along with "Vengeance on Varos" and "The Trial of a Time Lord: Parts 1-4".

    Ultimately the worst thing about this story is Peri's role in it. All she does in it is scream, get threatened by monsters and madmen, get yelled at by the Doctor, and told to stay out of the way of things. I rather felt bad for actress Nycola Bryant when I watched this. Now I woundn't blame her if this was her least favorite story. But I'm surprised that a lot of other people hate it too. The only other bad thing about this story is the alien ambassador in it. He looks like a sock puppet. He looks absolutely dreadful.

    But other than those things, I can't see any other bad things about this story. The plot is actually quite good and engaging. There's never a dull moment. And apart from the alien ambassador, who only appears in a few scenes, I thought the special effects were pretty good too. They certainly weren't the best - but it's "Doctor Who"! For "Dr. Who" standards they really weren't that bad, and some of the sets were very imaginative and impressive... especially the Timelash. The story echoes a lot of the earlier stories in the series. This story has a lot of the themes in it that earlier stories had. A lot of those themes are what made "Dr. Who" so great and enjoyable, and is what made a lot of the earlier stories so popular. It also echoes some of H.G. Wells' writings. I feel that this story deserves a lot more credit than that which is given to it. And I thought the scenes between the Doctor and Herbert were very enjoyable. I also like the idea of H.G. Wells traveling with the Doctor in the TARDIS.

    Highly recommended!
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