Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Planet of Evil: Part Four 

The Doctor tries to convince Sorenson to sacrifice himself for the rest of the crew but Salamar's attempt to deal with the situation causes their problem to multiply.

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Frederick Jaeger ...
Ewen Solon ...
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Melvyn Bedford ...
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The Doctor tries to convince Sorenson to sacrifice himself for the rest of the crew but Salamar's attempt to deal with the situation causes their problem to multiply.

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doctor who | fourth doctor | See All (2) »


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18 October 1975 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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This episode takes place on Zeta Minor in 37166. See more »

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S13: Planet of Evil: Standard structure but atmospheric and well paced serial
5 November 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Across the 13 seasons thus far of Doctor Who there have been different creative forces, different Doctors, and different styles and lengths of serials, however generally speaking there is a certain structure to the majority of them. This is Doctor and his +1 arrive into a dangerous situation, get drawn in somehow (mistaken for the problem, find themselves trapped with the oppressed etc), some drama, a few cliffhangers, they get it sorted then leave. Essentially this is what Planet of Evil does as the Doctor and Sarah-Jane find themselves on a planet where a scientific mission appears to have disturbed some sort of force, and the military who are responding think that the Doctor is the force killing their men, even though he is not. Although the serial plays along familiar lines, it is a solidly good example of the show doing what it does.

Coming in a 4 episodes (as most of them seem to be doing now), there is not too much slack time to fill, so mostly it has a good pace which it can speed up a little at key moments, but never dips too slow or feels like it is killing time as it goes. The monsters of the piece are more of a force rather than a talking villain; this gives a nice change as we don't have 'monsters' per se, and all the talking is done within the humans, offering some nice plots and characters there. The design department have put in some work on the planet too. The jungle is colorful and with lots of nice touches and aspects, so although not a location shoot, it doesn't feel like a Blue Peter job. Shame the same cannot be said of the anti-matter portal thingy – Theo Robertson said it best, it looks like something in a department store display, and it certainly doesn't have the presence that you would want from the link to another universe.

The cast are solid across the board. Baker and Sladen are both on good form. Not sure if this serial was a test to see if anyone missed Marter's Harry, but for sure it was better with him still on the train back to London. Generally the production is good on this one, with good supporting cast, effective use of limited effects, and a strong sense of tension and danger throughout. Generally speaking the continuation of a good start to the season.


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