Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Time And The Rani

In for a penny...

I thought I'd take a look at McCoy's first outing in the role, mainly to see if it's as ghastly as legend suggests. Well,  it depends what you're expecting. Serious SF it ain't. The newly regenerated Doctor is having trouble with his memory, Kate O'Mara has invented a giant brain and wants trhe Doctor to work on it. To fool him into helping her she puts on a ginger wig and pretends to be Bonnie Langford.  Meanwhile the real Bonnie Langford is running round an abandoned quarry being chased by men in bat suits. 

Colin Baker refused to show up for the transformation scene, so that's McCoy lying on the floor in a Colin Baker wig. Once he's up and running this Doctor is mostly tumbling and fumbling and mangling proverbs ("Every dogma will have its day.") Oh, and playing the spoons. There's a fair bit of Chaplin in the physical comedy. The hat is more Buster Keaton. Or is it Bud Flanagan? Before he signed up for this gig McCoy had worked with The Ken Campbell Roadshow and was noted for sticking nails up his nose and ferrets down his trousers. You get what you pay for. Later some gravitas was added, but you're not seeing it here.

Bonnie Langford had been a child star, specializing in sweet and sour. She was brilliant as the lisping, blackmailing Violet Elizabeth Bott in a TV version of the Just William stories. Then she grew up.  Langford as Mel is still the little girl you love to hate. You don't identify with her. You don't fancy her. Also she screams a lot. 

If I'd been Michael Grade  I'd have been angling to get this show cancelled too. It's a waste of licence money. But I'm not Michael Grade and it's a quarter of a century later and I'm going, "Wait a minute, but this is fun!"
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