I recently had the opportunity to listen to Colin Baker read Eric Saward’s novelisation of The Twin Dilemma. Yet again this is a tale I hardly (if at all) remember from the time – maybe I didn’t even watch it! Anyway I can make up for that now with some thoughts on this largely enjoyable performance.
I found I had to think of this on three levels – the adventure, the novelisation and the reading. I take them in that order after the break…
The story is the first of the Sixth Doctor and all is not well. Under the confusion from the ordeal of regeneration (or a side effect of the poison from Caves of Androzani?) he attacks Peri leaving her afraid for her life and keen to leave the TARDIS. This all ends up with the Doctor travelling to a remote world to do penance (taking Peri with him). Here he finds another Time Lord (a new one no less) and various other alien threats to the galaxy which are defeated in time for the Doctor to eventually stabilise and for Peri to accept the new Doctor.
The twins of the title are almost an irrelevance to the story – their mathematical gift not actually changing anything. Even so the story is decent enough but I worry that something has been lost in the translation.
The novelisation is strange, great prose most of the time but with an irritating habit of wandering off in to mysterious sidings in the style of Douglas Adams. They distract and ultimately detract from the tale.
The performance is great and Colin is very good both as his character and as an over the top Peri. You can imaging Nicola mentioning this next time they record together for Big Finish! I would say that overall Colin rescues this flawed tale by the force of his delivery once again proving that the Sixth Doctor could have been a contender though for what I don’t know!
Despite some criticisms though a decent way to pass the time and I would be tempted to listen to anything else Colin did in this line (i.e. other than the Big Finish works I already collect!)