Doctor Who C14.4: The Face of Evil review


The Face of EvilThe Face of Evil review

The Doctor: Answers are easy. It’s asking the right questions which is hard.

Story Code: C14.4.
Production Code: 4Q.
Story Number: 89.
Countdown week: 15…

A story where the Doctor is a god? Where he has to clean up some mess he created? Sounds like another story RTD might have watched?

The version this blog is reviewing: the VHS (the serial not being on DVD quite yet), and what was initially thought to be a “cold open” was actually an excerpt from Swap Shop – a clip introducing the Louise Jameson (Leela) interview…

Swap Shop: the DW cliche of Leela being “for the Dads” is wheeled out, and some stats (“60/40”)? A fan-letter asks Leela – “Please put some clothes on”. I mention this because in the previous DW story, the Doctor was sans his usual get-up, and was re-clothed for this story – also, the programme is re-clothed here too.

If the previous story was another “beginning”, a new Serial A, then this is a new Serial B, with techno-savages (who perhaps use the same Timotei as the Thals.)The Face of Evil review

Although exploring some of the same themes as The Masque of Mandragora (faith versus reason), this is the superior story, as the resolution is actually satisfying.

The story is chock-full of classic scenes and lines (the jelly-baby chomp, the lines about changing views to fit facts and vice versa – the former is wiser, and you don’t want to be a fact when the latter is happening) which means this really is one of the greatest DW serials.

Rating: 5/5


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