I have finished reading the Doctor Who RPG, but now I have to get the time to play it. I have plans for the game, but…

One way or another, the list of things to do always seems to run a whole lot longer than the hours in the day, so I suppose I will have to do something about that.

I have used the time available to me while doing other work to get in some research, watching ‘The Time Warrior‘ and ‘The Keeper of Traken‘ in the last couple of days.

I enjoyed the Pertwee outing, though the plot seemed stretched a little thin and the Sontaran’s plans seemed very sketchy. Why did he need those hypnotised scientists when he seemed to be doing most of the work? All they seemed capable of was carrying pieces of paper around the castle basement. Also, when the scientists managed to shrug off the hypnotic control, courtesy of the Doctor’s pen torch and a polka beat (or similar), how did the Sontaran fail to hear them discussing their plans to fake their hypnotised state? He was temporarily stunned and bound – not unconscious and deaf. Otherwise, the story had me entertained and introduced Sarah-Jane Smith as a ballsy feminist without any time for male chauvinism of any kind.

The dying days of the Tom Baker period didn’t necessarily show the energy and enthusiasm of his earlier time as the Doctor, and ‘Traken’ feels at once thick and thin on plot. Exposition aplenty blocks up the first episode, but then the plot seems to just revolve around a lot of running through the limited set and some dubious relationships between the good guys and the evil. Traken seems to consist of a throne room, the Source room, a cell and the garden – all of which seem to have connections into one another, both obvious and secret. Despite the peaceful and serene aura that protects Traken, the foul Melkor arrives as a statue and acquires little more than moss over the time that follows – and yet the Trakens’ fail to suspect any foul play. Adric and the Doctor prove capable of jiggery-pokery to make the A-Team weep (“Ooooo! Ooooo! Oh, ‘eck! Look, Dan!” – “I know… they’ve modified the van!“), circumventing the whole functionality of the ancient technologies that protect Traken. The final scene of The Master claiming a new body seem utterly tacked on, like an after thought more than anything else… and the fact The Master survives so easily at all without minimal repercussions seems to undermine the whole story and the effort The Doctor put into defeating him.

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