Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Two Doctors: Part One 

The Time Lords have dispatched the Doctor (in his 2nd incarnation) along with Jamie to a space research station to see Dastari, the Director of Projects, about dissuading two of his ... See full summary »

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Jacqueline Pearce ...
Laurence Payne ...
Aimée Delamain ...
Doña Arana (as Aimee Delamain)
James Saxon ...
Oscar
Carmen Gómez ...
Anita (as Carmen Gomez)
Tim Raynham ...
Nicholas Fawcett ...
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Storyline

The Time Lords have dispatched the Doctor (in his 2nd incarnation) along with Jamie to a space research station to see Dastari, the Director of Projects, about dissuading two of his scientists from further experimentations on time travel that are rattling the fabric of time. The Doctor is further alarmed over Dastari's latest genetic experiments, boosting the intelligence of a bestial and carnivorous humanoid race called the Androgum. This secondary concern soon proves the greater problem: the Androgum have sided with the Sontarans to take over the station. The station soon falls and the Doctor is captured and tortured. As his life becomes threatened, elsewhere the Doctor (in his 6th incarnation) passes out while on holiday with Peri - his very existence jeopardized. Written by statmanjeff

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16 February 1985 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Holmes, a vegetarian, wrote the serial as an allegory about meat-eating, hunting and butchering. "Androgum" is an anagram of "gourmand". See more »

Goofs

When Peri enters the Tardis after the Doctor's fishing trip, she is wearing different shoes. See more »

Quotes

Oscar: [pointing a sign written in Spanish] What does that say, Anita?
Anita: "Keep out"!
Oscar: Oh, well, perhaps we better had.
Anita: It doesn't matter, Oscar. It's a very old sign.
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Connections

Referenced in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Mr Potato Head's Less Handsome Cousins
4 February 2015 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

Although Patrick Troughton's official reign as Doctor Who ended in 1969, he was to make three return appearances in "The Three Doctors", "The Five Doctors" and finally in "The Two Doctors" in 1985, two years before his death. The plot of "The Two Doctors" is a particularly complex one, taking place partly on a space station in a distant part of the Galaxy and partly in Spain, in the countryside just outside Seville, and I won't attempt to summarise it in any detail. Basically, it concerns the attempts of the Sontarans to gain control of the secrets of time travel. The Sontarans, the ones who look like Mr Potato Head's less handsome cousins, are one of a number of races, including the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Ice Warriors, who make regular appearances as the Doctor's enemies. All of these races have essentially the same personality traits, uppermost amongst them being complete and utter ruthlessness and a desire for domination of the Universe.

In this quest the Sontarans have an ally in the shape of the Androgum Chessene. The Androgums are a primitive, savage and brutal race whose main distinguishing feature is their enormous appetite, especially for meat, and their willingness to kill and eat any living creature, including humans, to satisfy that appetite. (Their name is an anagram of "gourmand", and the scriptwriter Robert Holmes appears to have invented them to make propaganda for his own vegetarian opinions. The serial ends with the Sixth Doctor telling Peri that from now on it will be a healthy vegetarian diet for both of them).

Most Androgums are ugly and stupid, but Chessene- her name is pronounced as three syllables- has been "augmented" by a process of genetic modification which has given her the appearance of a beautiful woman and an elevated level of intelligence. Opposing Chessene and the Sontarans are the Second and Sixth Doctors, together with their companions Jamie McCrimmon and Peri. (The laws of time and space do not, apparently, prevent two incarnations of a Time Lord from being present at the same time in the same place).

Another important character is the scientist Dastari. It would, perhaps, be wrong to describe him as a villain as, unlike Chessene and the Sontarans, he has no evil intentions. His function is a common one in "Doctor Who" serials, not so much a mad scientist as an irresponsible scientist who arrogantly turns a blind eye to the dangers and ethical implications of his work. (Professor Stahlman in "Inferno" is another example). It was Dastari who performed the "augmentation" on Chessene, something which both Doctors consider dangerous as they believe that Androgums are essentially violent and treacherous by nature. (They are to be proved right; even the Sontarans come to regret having trusted Chessene). Even worse, Dastari has been backing unauthorised time-travel experiments that the Time Lords fear could threaten the fabric of time itself.

Troughton and Colin Baker combine well to bring out the contrast in their characters' personalities. Paradoxically, although Troughton was a generation older than Baker, it is the now-elderly Second Doctor, mischievous with an impish sense of humour, who in some ways seems younger than the rather pompous, conceited Sixth. (We learn here that the Sixth Doctor is a keen fisherman, just as his predecessor was a cricket enthusiast). Nicola Bryant is as lovely as ever as Peri and Frazer Hines as Jamie looks hardly any older than he did sixteen years earlier.

Special mention needs to be made of some of those in supporting roles, especially Jacqueline Pearce (best remembered today for her role as the main villainess in another BBC sci-fi programme, Servalan in "Blake's Seven") as Chessene. The previous "Doctor Who" serial, "The Mark of the Rani", had also introduced another glamorous female villain, Kate O'Mara's Rani, who combines Chessene's malevolence with Dastari's scientific irresponsibility.

Several characters come to untimely ends, contributing to the complaints about excessive violence in the programme during this period of its history. This serial, however, also contains a good deal of humour, much of it centred upon two subsidiary characters. There is a gleefully brilliant comic performance from John Stratton as the cook Shockeye, an unaugmented Androgum who displays all the brutality and gluttony of his race and is forever in search of something or someone to eat. (Preferably either Jamie or Peri). The other is James Saxon's Oscar, a vain and conceited out-of-work actor who, while waiting to be offered his next great role, is forced to moonlight as a restaurant manager in Seville.

I must admit that at the time Colin Baker was not my favourite Doctor, although I changed my opinion somewhat when I realised how much better he was than his successor Sylvester McCoy. Looking back, I think that I probably misjudged him; he certainly featured in some very enjoyable serials, of which this is one. It was while "The Two Doctors" was being broadcast that the news that the series would be put on hiatus for a year was announced. Baker was eventually to return in "The Trial of a Time Lord" some eighteen months later, but from this point onwards the writing seemed to be on the wall for the programme, largely because the programme-makers received little support from the BBC top brass, notably Michael Grade, the Controller of BBC One. And yet, with serials as good as this one, one wonders why.


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