The Invisible Enemy
Tom's performances in his last two seasons were inspired wit and sombre gravitas. But for his fourth and fifth years in the role indifference had clearly set in, and if you wanted to uphold the "best Doctor" theory to someone then never show them this. There's a lot of friction between him and Leela, most of which you imagine is for real. At least she tries, which is a lot more than can be said for Tom. His "possessed" acting is particularly feeble and half-assed. Or should that be half cut?
As with a lot of their work, Baker and Martin have a very visual idea of what Doctor Who should be, and the series isn't one that can exist on special effects alone. There are some good bits in this episode, though - I love the button that's marked "distress" instead of alarm, and "contact has been made" is chilling. Shame the aliens look so crap. It's far from the best Doctor Who you've ever seen, but it is a watchable, mid-season story that would have passed the time for many millions on a Saturday afternoon.
Maybe I was a little tired when I watched this, but it didn't seem to go overboard on that television requirement known as "dramatic tension". It goes along, being neither particularly amusing nor particularly exciting, just ... okay. The climax introduces the innovative concept/Fantastic Voyage rip-off of the mini-mes going into the Doctor's body.
There's a lot of fun to be had with this one, with ambitious, and surprisingly decent for the budget, inner body sets and a more adult perspective than you would expect. Some younger viewers would possibly be confused with the Doctor's talk of his brain's inner workings. The nucleus, of course, is a bit poo, and I've never realised before just how bizarre a family show with knife stabbings is. Yet it's amusing and pacy, and even if the countdown isn't in real time then I enjoyed it.
There are some funny, if a little obvious, lines in this one, such as "Shall we try using our intelligence?" "If you think it's a good idea." It's as if all the wit and charm the writers forgot to put into Underworld ended up here. The ending, a "blow it up" resolution, while done with some irony, is still a bit unimaginative. The Doctor laughing at committing genocide is a little rough, which, followed by a cringingly bad "Tardis trained" gag, make it lacking.
The Invisible Enemy certainly has its many faults, but overall I found it a humorous diversion, if not quite the real thing.
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