I really wanted to like this episode…I mean really wanted to. I like Doctor Who and I like Classic Doctor Who. I can safely say there is nothing much of value to like in the “Twin Dilemma.” There is so much badness here that I’m honestly surprised I got through the episode. Before I go into too much detail in the assessment, I’ll give the two main reasons why. All the characters in this episode are either terrible people or terribly boring.
“The Twin Dilemma,” is Colin Baker’s first adventure as the Doctor. It takes place in the 21st Season and is the 7th Episode of that season. His companion for the episode is Peri. The episode was directed by Peter Moffatt and written by Anthony Steven. All these people are part of the reason why it sucked so much.
For example, the story begins the 5th regenerating into the 6th Doctor and him and Peri fighting. He strangles her (yep, the Doctor is a violent sociopath this time, so there is that) and after says he’ll atone by making them monks on Titan III, where two super twins have been kidnapped by his former friend Azmael who is going under the name of Edgeworth. They are left on the asteroid and one of the servants of the big bad Mestor, sets the asteroid facility to explode. From here the story unfolds as the twins are being used by Mestor a half slug and humanoid creature in order for it to conquer the universe.
Here is the assessment of the episode:
The Pros: Slight improvement in narrative structure- The episode gets a little better after the first part, that is the most I can say in favor of this episode. You begin to think the Doctor being a dick has stopped until the final part where nothing he went through actually changed him and he is still a threatening ass. Still, he doesn’t strangle Peri again.
Cons: The 6th Doctor / The Sixth Doctor – What were Colin Baker, Peter Moffatt and Anthony Steven thinking? Who thought it would be a good idea for the Doctor to go paranoid and strangle and try to kill his companion? It makes absolutely no sense and he never owns up to it. He brushes off the fact that he nearly killed someone…his excuses range from the regeneration being rough, to being an alien to it was his inner feelings the entire time as the past Doctors. Screw you, 6th Doctor. No one cares about abusive pricks. Oh, he saves the day and saves a soldier named Hugo who Mestor attempts to destroy, but it mostly seems to function as a way to drive the plot. There is no reason why he seems to care in certain instances, or why he cares about Peri since he is arguing with her and putting her down as much as she is him.
Peri – Peri is the only companion in this, which is a shame. She calls the Doctor out for his actions at one point, but the rest of the time is whining about being with him…why doesn’t she just ask to go home? She clearly doesn’t want to be there, and the script gives us no reason why she would care about this Doctor, since he doesn’t care about her or anyone. Most of her actions show she doesn’t care about him too as she whines about being with him and well, everything.
The Support Characters – We got two Wesley Crushers or Wonder Boys in Romulus and Remus the two twins being used by Mestor to turn the planet he conquered Jaconda suitable for his young…they are terrible characters and terribly acted, you have the Jacondans who have cool bird people design but do absolutely nothing of consequence and you have Azmael who the script doesn’t know how to handle at all, as he is an enemy or friend on a whim and only able to get away with so much because Mestor is such a one dimensional idiotic villain.
Mestor – The giant slug villain who destroys things with his mind is one of the more stupid villains on Doctor Who. He was supposed to be a legendary beast, but his design is just awful and he talks way too much. Everytime he is established as a threat the Doctor or Mestor himself shows us that he is a joke (but the writer and director clearly wanted him to be a threat). So much bad writing here. One of the worst Doctor Who villains created on the show.
Because of how Six was written and handled contributed in a major way to Doctor Who being cancelled during the Seventh Doctor’s run…and after seeing this episode that cancellation came about for a reason. If the Doctor is abusive to those around him and his companion and gives us no redeemable qualities…why the hell should we care about the character? There was no one worth caring about in this entire episode, and our heroes were some of the worst characters on television, especially the 6th Doctor. They weren’t heroes at all, especially Colin Baker’s Doctor. I don’t recommend this episode at all, except as a learning tool. I hope Steven Moffat doesn’t turn the 12th Doctor into this kind of Doctor. We don’t need another character who doesn’t care so gives us no reason to care about him and his story.
Final Score for this episode is 1 / 10. Everyone in this episode and responsible for this episode was terrible.