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Deimos by Jonathan Morris
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The current season of Eighth Doctor stories got off to a bit of a duff start with a new and not terribly engaging companion, Tamsin Drewe played by Nikki Wardley. Somehow in Jonathan Morris's two-parter Deimos/The Resurrection of Mars it catches fire, with various agonising about Ice Warriors and the fate of planets and whether or not the Doctor can or should take responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Oddly enough it's McGann who sometimes doesn't sound quite sure if he should be taking it seriously, but everyone else (including especially a guest performance from Tracey-Ann Obermann) is excellent. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 17, 2010 |
Teasers are important things-- they're the first bits of the story you hear, after all. Which makes it rather unfortunate that Deimos opens with a completely awful one. It begins with some Ice Warriors hissing at each other in an awfully melodramatic fashion. We eventually find out that this is fake-- a couple at a museum are watching a historical recreation-- but it doesn't quite work. Bad enough to be recognizably bad... but not bad enough to actually be funny, it just grates. The story then moves to the folks watching the recreation, who are touring an Ice Warrior tomb on Deimos, moon of Mars. They see some Ice Warriors approaching them: actors in costume, of course? Of course not, as anyone who's ever listened to a story can tell you. One dumb fellow tries to get his picture taken with them, and you can guess what happens to him. When your genuine story is as melodramatic as the one you're mocking, something's not working right.

The reason this teaser is so unfortunate is that Deimos is a rather decent adventure for the eighth Doctor and Tamsin, all told. I mean, Tamsin doesn't get a lot to do, of course (she is locked up rather a lot, though she does tell more unconvincing lies, a running gag I am growing to enjoy), but we have here a fundamentally decent base-under-siege story. Tourists at the space museum on Deimos are under attack by a recently revived group of Ice Warriors, and only the Doctor stands between them and the devastation of the Martian colonies. As he does, you know.

Overall this is an above-average adventure for the eighth Doctor (if not poor Tamsin). Good performances and nice moments elevate an average script for me, and leave me very interested in what part two has to offer. If only the Ice Warriors didn't talk so ridiculously slowly.

You can read a longer version of this review at Unreality SF.
  Stevil2001 | Nov 14, 2010 |
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