Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A Matter of Time: Timelash


Twenty-five years ago today, Colin Baker’s sixth Doctor and his companion Peri landed on the planet Karfel, along with a mysterious man called Herbert, who would later be revealed as H.G. Wells. This story is often thought of as one of the worst stories Doctor Who has produced, and was a devastating blow at such a crucial time in Doctor Who’s history, when the series was about to be put on hiatus.

This story makes many references to a previously unseen adventure, where the third Doctor and Jo Grant supposedly visited the planet Karfel, along with another companion. This adventure has yet to appear in any of the spin-off media, although the ‘Virgin Missing Adventures’ mentions that the Third Doctor and his companions, Jo Grant and Mike Yates, are on their way to Karfel at the start of ‘Speed of Flight’.

At the end of this story, the Borad is thrown back in time to twelfth century Scotland. The Doctor speculates that the Borad will become the Loch Ness Monster, giving an explanation for this creature appearing in ‘Terror of the Zygons’. However, it is revealed in the Eighth Doctor’s novel, ‘The Taking of Planet 5’, that the Borad was killed by agents of the Celestis.

‘Timelash’ is one of those stories that everybody loves to hate, although there are some good features in it, such as the Borad. The problem is that any good elements are overshadowed by terrible elements, such as the sixth Doctor’s constant cruelness towards Peri, and the tinsel-covered Timelash. But even a bad episode of Doctor Who must have something to offer, hasn’t it?

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