Saturday, 30 April 2016

4th Doctor 5.4 - Legacy Of Death

Legacy of Death is the second part of a story started last month with The Paradox Planet, if you have not heard that I suggest you do before proceeding any further as this is going to get a bit complicated. Done? Okay, I will continue.
We left our heroes last month in a bit of a pickle (to use a technical term) you see they are stuck on the planet Aoris – a planet at war with its own past, where the citizens of era 24 are at war with the citizens of era 14 in the name of the preservation of wildlife – so far, so season 17. Its about to get a bit more complicated.
Whereas The Paradox Planet felt like a typical Fourth Doctor, Romana 2, and K9 story – this second part goes in to overdrive with it being more akin to modern Doctor Who under Steven Moffat – all sort of “timey-wimey”, if you will. This is a story that really demands to be listened to in a state of complete concentration, it’s very difficult to lose track of the various plot threads, multiple K9’s, multiple TARDIS’s and where in the timeline the Doctor fits in to events as our heroes travel back and forth between the two eras. But – and it is a very big but – despite all this “messing about in time” as I like to call it, the story has a logical sense of cause and effect – decisions made in era 14 do effect era 24, characters motivations are changed in a natural organic way by witnessing events of the war.
So what on the surface appears to be a Moffat style time travel story is actually a bit more complex, this story carries the spirit of Hartnell’s “you cannot rewrite history, not one line” and melds it into a mind bending, complex, but ultimately satisfying story which is more about the interaction of characters than being a bit clever with time travel. As always Tom Baker and Lalla Ward cannot put a foot wrong – they are my favourite “classic era” pairing – Tom is at one moment full of joy, the next bristling with moral indignation – and he gets in an “Are You Being Served?” reference, so whats not to love?
It’s a difficult story to review in its own right as it’s the second part of a story, however the tension, the speed of events and the sense of impending doom has been ramped up in this release (and an Are you being Served? reference to boot), so I award it 8/10.