Short thoughts on Doctor Who disc by disc (originally published June 2012)
The Twin Dilemma
Tonight’s soundtrack: The Damned, “I Think I’m Wonderful”
Okay, as the script editor said to the actress, this is the big one.
If a self-selected survey of Doctor Who specialists is to be believed (and it is not), out of the first 200 stories, this is the worst. Not only that! The same survey champions the story which ran just one week previous as the very best Doctor Who to date.
Who could’ve imagined? #1 in quality followed by #200! What the are the odds? Well, let me tell you… if you had run The Eleventh Hour only a week after The End of Time, Part 2, the wreckage of Upper Boat Studios in Cardiff would still be smoldering now, and in 2013 the BBC would air a retrospective mentioning that the final Doctor Who was a former footballer you might remember from the movie Clone.
People understand that Doctors come and go. They even sometimes accept that change is what the show does. That doesn’t mean they don’t need time to mourn.
The Twin Dilemma’s greatest sin is timing. Sure, it lacks acting, story, coherence, and special effects. But let’s be honest here: in a Doctor Who context, most of us will give those things a pass so long as it’s not also breaking our hearts and calling us babies for being sad a week after we saw our best friend give his life for his best friend.
It’s not big and it’s not clever. That kind of arrogance is legendary. That kind of wound is viral.