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It feels like a waste of fourteen episodes of build-up. He surely exists at the moment, so his existence is not dependent on the Doctor. After all, why have a trial in the first place? The Time Lords are powerful enough to compel the Doctor to the space station. They could just kill him and do what they want. Surely the deal would be better made in a back room rather than a court room? The only reason for the trial would seem to be because the Valeyard wanted the trial.

It is, after all, an excuse to simply sit back and watch Doctor Who.


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I suspect that the Valeyard was a piece of criticism of the show, as imagined by Holmes. The Valeyard seems quite a bit like toxic fandom.

The Ultimate Foe

Necessary routines to be completed. He is almost drowned, in a shout-out to The Deadly Assassin. The Fantasy Factory is nothing but a collection of bland and familiar retreads of familiar concepts, instead of something new and brave and exciting. Holmes has gone on record and explained that he is not fond of reliving past glories , so it seems reasonable to suggest that he included these iconic shout-outs for a reason.

Rather notably, the first episode ends the ground giving out from beneath the Sixth Doctor, as the very foundations of the world seem to swallow him.


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  • It seems that Holmes is suggesting something that has become quite obvious over the last number of years. The cult of obsessive fandom is eating away at Doctor Who.

    Doctor Who: Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe

    Instead, the Valeyard is a standard baddie. The Master shows up and does even more baddie stuff. When the day is saved, Pip and Jane Baker fall back on the same sort of nonsense that resolved Terror of the Vervoids. As a rule, Doctor Who has never been too bad with technobabble, but the Bakers use it with such aplomb that the writing staff of Star Trek: Voyager would blush. Consider the following resolution:. Induced an anti-phase signal into the telemetry unit.

    Doctor Who: Mr Popplewick - The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe

    The whole system should self-destruct. You blundering imbecile. You triggered a ray phase shift that made a massive feedback into here.

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    Mel almost seems like a prototype for River Song. This notably creates a bit of a gap. Instead, it seems far more likely that the decision to introduce Mel without an origin story was just a means to effectively present a new companion without any baggage or back story — the show had enough problems to deal with, and writing an introduction of Mel was something that this approach allowed them to avoid, with little real thoughts about the logic of the situation.

    It plays into the idea of Mel as the most generic of companions, the one who was the best at running and screaming. While I tend to dislike that narrow approach to the role of companion, I have a soft spot for Mel. The show needed some simplicity at this point. The trial is suspended. It feels a bit strange that there was so much set-up for what ultimately becomes a last-minute switcheroo. We also get a retcon that retroactively removes a lot of the power of Mindwarp.

    Doctor Who: Trial of a Time Lord-the Ultimate Foe Full Episode | TV Guide

    At least killing Peri off was honest about how the show had treated her character. It raises questions about how much of Mindwarp was actually real, and on what terms the Doctor and Peri parted company. Extra charges may apply for books over this weight. We post asap after receiving payment for the item.

    We do not run the postal services. Abebooks requires us to add tracking. Unless tracking and is paid with your order we will not ship to international destinations. List this Seller's Books. Payment Methods accepted by seller. Stock Image. Published by Target, London, The Valeyard, on the other hand, is explicitly a creature of rules and laws, and even more so is Mr. Popplewick whose name and general air of oppressive, overbearing Victorian bureaucracy are among several Dickensian touches throughout the story.

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    But it makes perfect sense—if the Doctor is chaotic and ever-changing, why should there not be a rulebound Time Lord who values procedure above everything else, who regenerates into the same form every time, and whose separate selves organize themselves into a rigid hierarchy? It was always going to be a more difficult job to make him work. But the problem with the the Sixth Doctor era is not that they had a bad Doctor, but that they never followed through on the idea of having a bad Doctor.

    Why had he had this breakdown, and how would he grow past it and find his best self again? That never happened, and to me, that makes the entire experiment a pointless drag. The trial is over, and though the Doctor is found innocent, the show itself was proven guilty of a drastic need for change. And not a moment too soon. I should have stayed here.