Doctor Who – The Trial Of A Time Lord [1986] [DVD]

Doctor Who - The Trial Of A Time Lord [1986] [DVD]

Doctor Who - The Trial Of A Time Lord [1986] [DVD] Rating:
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Few of Doctor Who’s long-standing fans will tell you that The Trial Of A Time Lord is a story that hits their top ten list, and with good reason. A 14-episode opus that formed an entire series of Colin Baker’s reign in the Tardis, it’s a patchy production, that does have some qualities to it, but is probably one for the hardened Who fan rather than the casual viewer.

The key to the story is that the Doctor is on trial, facing a potential death penalty, and the courtroom saga works as a backdrop to a collection of stories that sit on top. So there’s The Mysterious Planet, which is a decent enough yarn, the weak and puzzling Mindwarp, the surprisingly enjoyable Terror Of The Vervoids, and then the twisty The Ultimate Foe.

While The Trial Of A Time Lord does have a few notable missteps, with some occasionally muddled writing, and while it does introduce arguably the worst companion the Doctor has ever travelled with (Bonnie Langford’s Mel), it’s still a fascinating series to watch, warts and all. Fortunately, it’s backed by a substantive collection of extras, including numerous commentaries and documentaries, that provide an honest glance back at a story that arrived in the midst of one of Doctor Who’s most troubled periods. All that, ultimately, makes it a worthwhile purchase for Who fans, even if after reacquainting themselves with it, they’re still not likely to put The Trial Of A Time Lord near their aforementioned top ten list… --Jon Foster

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