TV Club: Doctor Who, “The Twin Dilemma”

“The Twin Dilemma” (season 21, episodes 23-26; originally aired 3/22/1984-3/30/1984)

Every regeneration story in Doctor Who is, in a sense, a twin dilemma: Who’s the new guy, and how will he pick up the torch? They carry the double burden of (re-)introducing the much-changed star to potentially skeptical fans, and getting him out interacting with the universe where he can play the hero. “The Twin Dilemma,” which introduces Colin Baker as the mercurial Sixth Doctor, is legendary for its excruciating failure on both those counts, routinely ranked dead last in fan polls and widely considered the start of the careening path to cancellation a few years later. Part of its bad rep was just bad timing: It had the ill luck to follow directly after “The Caves of Androzani,” Peter Davison’s final and most well-received story. But there’s not much else that can take the sting out of this one: “Twin Dilemma” is just an unpleasant, tacky, dull affair starring an obnoxious, overbearing bully. The best that can be said for it is that the idea behind the Sixth Doctor’s unlikeable character wasn’t terrible; but the actual presentation was not just terrible, but toxic.

Originally published July 10, 2011 on Read the complete article.

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