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What was the most terrible installment of your canon in your opinion? Why did you dislike it so much? Tell us what happened that you didn't approve of and what you would have done it better.


Colin Baker's tenure as the Doctor was arguably one of the most difficult because of (a) the series being placed on hiatus in 1985 for a season and (b) the animosity toward his Doctor's brash and loud personality. Unlike his predecessors (and future incarnations), he wasn't able to develop/evolve the character to the best of his ability because of the expanse of time between seasons caused by the hiatus. In many respects, his stories seem disjointed from before and after the hiatus -- including physically, as Colin Baker's weight changed from one to the other.

The Sixth Doctor's final season was a story arc comprised of four episodes collectively called the Trial of a Time Lord. The Doctor is put on trial before the Gallifreyan High Counsel for transgressing the Laws of the Time Lords and for committing genocide. Ultimately, it is revealed that the Doctor has been 'framed' by the Prosecution, the Valeyard (railyard, boneyard, knackersyard, etc., etc.).

I don't dislike Trial of a Time Lord as a whole, but I despise one of the episodes which is a poorly written mass of contradictions -- Mindwarp. It is a 'flashback' used as evidence for the Prosecution during the trial. In it, the Doctor and Peri learn that an old adversary, Sil of Thoros Beta, is supplying advanced weapons to the king of a primitive culture. At the same time, there's a plot about transplanting the brain of one of Sil's countrymen, Kiv, into a more suitable vessel. The unwitting Peri is the intended host. The Doctor is callous and unconcerned about Peri's well being throughout the story until, near the end, he appears to be on his way to rescue her just as the Time Lords snatch him out of his time line and into the courtroom. The operation is an apparent success, Peri becomes Kiv, and the primitive king arrives moments later to "destroy" Kiv/Peri.

Mindwarp is supposedly the Valeyard's reworking of actual events (by tampering with the Matrix), in order to frame and convict the Doctor before the High Counsel. While the Doctor (in the courtroom) appears genuinely crushed/upset about Peri's fate, it is short lived. Peri becomes an after thought as the story arc continues.

Also as an afterthought, at the end of the final episode, The Ultimate Foe, it is revealed that the Valeyard even lied about Peri's fate. She's alive and well and living as a queen, married to the barbarian king.

I'm not the biggest fan of Perpugillium Brown, but she deserved better than a dismissive, convoluted, and poorly written departure. I'm not upset by the shock value of Peri's "dying" or that she did so because the Doctor supposedly abandoned her/failed to rescue her in the nick of time. My biggest complaint is the trite "oh, btw, Peri's fine and you can go on with your lives, Doctor." Which he clearly does, without a second thought, as he and Mel head off into the Gallifreyan sunset in the TARDIS.

I don't believe the Doctor would have accepted anything the Matrix projected after learning it had been tampered with by the Valeyard and the Master. Once acquitted, his first action would have been to reassure himself that Peri was, indeed, well -- or (realistically) truly dead.

Date: 2010-06-13 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rude-not-ginger.livejournal.com
While I love the idea of the Valeyard, I'm with you on this being the worst. Especially the first episode, where they spent the whole of it making fun of Peri's weight. As if Nicola Bryant could be anything but stupid gorgeous.

Six really came into his own during the audios, I think, where they let him grow and develop properly as a character.

Date: 2010-06-13 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doctor6.livejournal.com
Oh, I think the Valeyard was a wonderful idea. I like it even more that the New series seems to have remembered that as well. :)

I agree 100% about the audios giving Six a chance to grow and shine, especially when they introduced Evelyn Smythe as a companion.

Date: 2010-06-13 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rude-not-ginger.livejournal.com
I love Evelyn SO much. She compliments the sixth Doctor very well. I've always thought of Ten and Six as very similar Doctors, and Evelyn and Donna are their perfect no-nonsense BFF.

Date: 2010-06-13 05:23 pm (UTC)
championoftime: (Default)
From: [personal profile] championoftime
I do like him loads better in the audios, especially with Evelyn Smythe. She was a great contradiction.

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June 2010

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