Sadly, however, the production regime of the time forced it into silly, overly lit light entertainment candyfloss. Sylvester's fairly in control, though is often incoherent, while Bonnie gives her worst, most Violet Elizabeth performance. The direction by Nicholas Mallet is actually quite reasonably thought out, with more unusual angles than you would expect. Despite being omnipresent throughout, it's actually 21 minutes in before we see Richard Briers's face. However, any achievements in this regard are blown wide open by the idiotic decision to commission Keff McCulloch. A point of note is the non-speaking black actress who plays a Kang in this 80s product of British Television.
Pex is amusing, but this is more Bodger and Badger humour than the once-sophisticated Doctor Who. Relatively entertaining, but it all could have been so much better...
Twelve minutes in and Keff's music segues into the Who theme, always a sign of pure tack, while Sylvester rolls his Rs more here than in any other story. Well, he is a bit of an Rs, isn't he? One curious dating effect is the old ring pull on the can of "fizzade", while the Great Architect's rulebook seems to demand that if you're Caretaker five six nine stroke ten subsection B then you're a black non-speaking role. A plot hole unexplained is where or how the Kangs get food to eat. And as for Richard Briers - great actor, lousy performance - and the Cookie Monster. Well, the less said the better...
The routine with all the rule numbers is now getting tiresome, and aren't the robots far too clean and plasticcy-looking? Weird, too, how the Chief Caretaker bribes Maddy by offering her a flat where she knows two people have just been murdered. The episode ends with the Doctor performing five gurns.
There's something faintly unsettling about seeing Bonnie Langford in a bikini. I suspect it's because of her anti-Peri stature she produces a Lolita effect, which can be disturbing.
In concept this is by far the best season 24 story - in execution it's arguably the worst. Worrying to see the Doctor's resolution to the situation is committing murder, while the final shot of "Pex Lives" in
A great shame. What was, on paper - with a bit more script editing - probably a great story, is, on screen, a disaster. Some of the most embarrassing scenes ever witnessed in Doctor Who are here, from Briers's crude send-up to the tacky production. All of the season 24 stories are weak, but this one should have been so much more...