Doctor Who: Season 21, Episode 21

The Twin Dilemma: Part One (22 Mar. 1984)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 137 users  
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The Doctor's moods are wide and in a jumble as he settles into his new regeneration. Elsewhere a set of genius twins are kidnapped, whose mathematical computations can manipulate features ... See full summary »



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Title: The Twin Dilemma: Part One (22 Mar 1984)

The Twin Dilemma: Part One (22 Mar 1984) on IMDb 5.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
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The Doctor's moods are wide and in a jumble as he settles into his new regeneration. Elsewhere a set of genius twins are kidnapped, whose mathematical computations can manipulate features of the universe. They're immediately put to work by aliens for an as yet unknown end. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

22 March 1984 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward had different ideas as to what The Sixth Doctor's debut story should be.Nathan-Turner wanted a straightforward adventure pitting the Doctor against a strong villain, while Saward felt that the new Doctor's personality would be better showcased in a more unusual storyline. This was just one of an increasing number of points of disagreement between the producer and his script editor, amongst them Saward's unhappiness with Colin Baker's casting in the first place. See more »


Fabian: That is a direct order form the Minister, and may my bones rot for obeying it.
See more »


Featured in Talking About Regeneration (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

" Assassin " . Yes Indeed And He's The Show's Producer
1 February 2014 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

On a future Earth two twins are abducted by the mysterious Professor Edgeworth . Meanwhile a newly regenerated Doctor is shown signs of being dangerously erratic , a fact underlined when he tries to strangle Peri

If you don't think DOCTOR WHO is the greatest show television has ever given us let me point out the beauty of the show . One week you're watching an episode that is an out and out horror story then the next week you're watching a post modernist black comedy . Despite my criticism of NuWho the one thing it does very well is that it's a show of contrasts . The classic show also did this and the tail end of Season 21 is a great example . One story earns the accolade of being an all time classic and is followed by an atrocity of television

It's strange how perceptions change . I thoroughly enjoyed The Caves Of Androzani in 1984 but looked forward to seeing Colin Baker in the role . You have to be slightly forgiving in that the debut story sees an atypical performance by the title character in the role . One scene featured the new Doctor cowardly hide behind Peri and bleat " It's her you're looking for " which caused my Mum to say she didn't like this new Doctor . I defended the new Doctor on the grounds that it's a regeneration story and not indicative where the show is going . Another scene saw the Doctor scream " Assassin " then try to strangle Prof Edgeworth which caused my dad to tut unfavourably then after the episode finished gave his opinion on the sixth Doctor " Being a load of ( expletive ) " After rewatching this show I'm surprised I defended it at the time and I'm perplexed how I never managed the notice the embarrassing faults at the time of broadcast

What makes it worse is that it contains a very good cast . Maurice Denham is a veteran actor and has appeared in countless films and television plays as well as being a highly regarded stage actor . In 1984 he must have been one of Britain's highest regarded actors and yet is nothing more than merely average here . That said he's Oscar worthy compared to everyone else . Kevin McNally did go on to become a prolific character actor and has appeared in Hollywood blockbusters like PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN but seems to think he's appearing on kids TV show and he's not helped by his silvery multi-coloured costume . In the fact whole colour scheme of the serial is vomit inducing and shows that director Peter Moffat should only have been allowed to film pseudo-historical stories for the programme which was something he always excelled at

The main flaw to the story is unfortunately the lead actor who feels the need to shout and bluster and over act at every opportunity . It's amazing to think how much praise Matt Smith got in the role when his loud zany performance isn't a million miles away from Colin Baker . That said towards the end of his era fandom did become cool towards Smith while some fans who initially enjoyed him started to get vocal in their criticism . Smith might have been helped by the cinematic nature of NuWho which does tend to disguise performance short comings . Shot on studio videotape and broadcast on 625 line television a loud unconvincing pantomimesque performance as seen by Baker here is magnified

One wonders what sort of comments could be read online if the internet existed away back in 1984 but one could make a very educated guess . The Twin Dilemma received instant and universal criticism on its broadcast and every time it's mentioned it's along the lines of the worst DOCTOR WHO story ever . JNT always seemed to have a problem finishing a season with a strong story but here he really outdid himself . I wouldn't go as far as saying it's the worst DOCTOR WHO story because there's another couple of stories produced in the mid to late 1980s that are worse but The Twin Dilemma might very well be the worst story to the show had come up with at this point

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