The Twin Dilemma


No. of Episodes: 4

Season: 21, ep. 7 (21-24)

Writer: Anthony Steven

Director: Peter Moffatt

Producer: John Nathan-Turner

Companion: Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant)

Summary: Having just regenerated after saving Peri’s life in “The Caves Of Androzani”, the Doctor has succumbed to fits of mania so uncontrollabe that he’s even strangled Peri.  Meanwhile, an old man named Edgeworth has kidnapped twin boys named Romulus and Remus, who are math prodigies.  With the help of Lt. Hugo Lang, an intergalactic policeman, the Doctor and Peri set out to rescue them from Edgeworth, who is working for an alien slug named Mestor.

Review: In 2009, there was a poll that asked what the best Doctor Who story was. This one was at the bottom of the list, meaning it’s considered the worst classic story.  Does it deserve such a dubious award?  I would certainly say so.  It’s not just the manic fits that bother me.  It’s also how contrived the whole plot is.  For instance, there’s the part where the Doctor decides to be a hermit, with Peri as disciple, and exiles himself to Titan III. When he arrives, he happens upon Hugo Lang, who crashed there.  In fact, the whole story is built upon contrived coincidences like that one.  The cliffhangers are so silly that they don’t convey a sense of dread that cliffhangers are supposed to have.  The motivation for kidnapping the twins–rearranging planetary orbit–makes no sense whatsoever.  In short, skip this story completely. It is not worth your time.

Overall Rating: 1/10

Continuity: We see outfits worn by the Second and Third Doctors and Tegan in the TARDIS’s wardrobe.  The Sixth Doctor says “Brave heart, Tegan” to Peri, which was one of the Fifth Doctor’s companions.

Trivia: Dennis Chinnery, who plays Sylvest, also appeared as Albert C. Richardson in “The Chase” and as Gharman in “Genesis of the Daleks”. This story marks the second time a new Doctor’s era started during a season, rather than waiting til the next season. (the first time was when Patrick Troughton started as the Second Doctor.)


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