Starring Peter Davison as The Doctor
with Matthew Waterhouse as Adric, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka
featuring Anthony Ainley as The Master

117 Castrovalva

The story starts off badly with some really hammy stuff inside the TARDIS - Davison's impressions border on the embarrassing, and both Fielding and Sutton are too inexperienced to handle the whiny arguments. However, the arrival in Castrovalva sees things brighten up, and the concept is very nicely handled. Excellent performance from Anthony Ainley, too.

8/10


118 Four to Doomsday

A gentle pace sees some good ideas carefully unfolded. Monarch makes a genial, yet sinister villain, and the regulars are all given little bits to do. Tegan is finally settling down thanks to improved scripting, though Adric is a real millstone. Some of the concepts are a bit mad, and it's maybe a bit slow in paces, but overall it's a worthy, solid adventure.

7/10


119 Kinda

What could have been campy or incomprehensible turns out very well due to some very fine performances (special notes to Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Simon Rouse and Richard Todd) and a script that takes the time to explain things while keeping moving. The story draws from Buddhism instead of preaching about it, and the result is satisfyingly cerebral.

9/10


120 The Visitation

A very straightforward plot progresses nicely, with the few characters carefully developed and the Terrileptil race nicely fleshed out. However, it's possibly too straightforward, feeling like something from the sixties, and could have benefited from a twist or two. Still, it finds time to give all the regulars something to do, and allows Mace to be nicely rounded (if a little mannered).

6/10


121 Black Orchid

Unusual period melodrama. Well made, but the plot is a bit twee in places. However, this one wins on good characterisation for the leads (it briefly looks like having three companions will work) and some fine performances. It's nothing spectacular, but at two episodes long it makes an interesting enough diversion.

6/10


122 Earthshock

Stupid but largely exciting. "Earthshock" is a typical Saward script, with a decent central plot and much scope for action, but also with needlessly diffuse elements grafted on (in this case, the need to bring the extinction of the dinosaurs into things). Despite some weird casting and plot holes it holds the attention, and the ending is nicely handled - imagine if it had happened to someone less despised than Adric, though.

7/10


123 Time Flight

Stupidly overambitious, a B-movie script gets the level of production it deserves. A tacky mess, compounded by the needless and illogical participation of the Master - which of course leads to Ainley's rather desperate performance as Kalid. A dreadful end to an otherwise splendid season.

2/10