‘BREACH OF THE PEACE’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Soloman Hides From DCI Diana Sellers, Egan and Saul
Here we are on the penultimate episode of ‘The Stranger’ series!
This could be the turning point of what happens in ‘The Stranger’ series from here on as this episode ends on a cliff-hanger that essentially changes the story altogether. From early on in the episode, Soloman hoped to retire for a quiet life on Earth. Egan and Saul are determined not to see it happen.
It’s strange to look at ‘The Stranger’ series differently compared to when it first started. It began as ‘Doctor Who’ without the Doctor in it. Now ‘The Stranger’ has its own identity in being something else with our hero being a former terrorist. A pity there weren’t more ‘Stranger’ episodes after this.
‘Breach of the Peace’ sees Soloman now trying to hide from his past as he lives a normal life with his new friend and possibly lover named Holly. This episode takes place after ‘The Terror Game’ and there’s more to how Soloman and Holly first met each other in a pub in ‘The Last Mission’ audio tale.
Soloman has now taken the identity of Preston Richards in order to hide his true identity and what crimes he committed from Holly. But Soloman’s past soon catches up with him as Egan and Saul have also returned to Earth. They’re hunting for Soloman, taking on the identities of police officers.
Once again, this episode is by Nicholas Briggs who wrote the previous two ‘Stranger’ episodes on video as well as ‘The Last Mission’ episode on audio. He’d go on to write the last ‘Stranger’ episode too. The episode’s also produced and directed by Bill Baggs. He’s been in overall charge of the series.
You may have noticed that the DVD for ‘Breach of the Peace’ has a 15 advisory rating attached to it. That’s because ‘Breach of the Peace’ contains some unpleasant scenes unsuitable for people under that age. These include pornography scenes on videotape as well as characters saying bad language.
The 15 advisory rating is also given to the next ‘Stranger’ DVD release of ‘Eye of the Beholder’. It’s strange to see how ‘The Stranger’ has changed its tone from being PG rated to 12 rated to now becoming 15 rated. The darker, grittier tone seems to have gone to extremes in ‘The Stranger’ series.
Mind you, ‘The Stranger’ series is aimed at ‘Doctor Who’ fans rather than a general target audience. So I supposed it doesn’t matter regarding whom ‘The Stranger’ series is meant to be made for. But it’s astonishing how dark the tone of the series has become in like how the ‘Harry Potter’ films went.
I will admit, I felt for Soloman in wanting a normal human life and not wanting to go back to the terrorist life he had in the Dimensional Web. I didn’t want him to get captured by Egan and Saul, but I suppose it was inevitable especially in terms of how the last episode sets the trio of them together.
The episode also has a police crime drama quality about them. This is especially when Egan and Saul are working as police officers and the unsavoury attitude featured in their characters is also in the ones working at the police station. In fact, I think that seedy nightclub is nearby to the police station.
The reason for why Egan and Saul want Soloman back is because he can open the portal that can send them back to the Dimensional Web where the terrorist war still goes on. Egan and Saul still don’t seem to realise that Soloman has changed his values as he does not want to return back home.
I liked the semi-romantic relationship Soloman formed with Holly in the episode. Whilst they don’t expressively state that they love each other, you can tell that they’re acting like a couple especially when doing business together for a newspaper. This is despite Soloman retaining secrets from Holly.
Colin Baker once again excels as the Stranger/Soloman in the episode. It’s nice to see the varying layers Colin brings to his character as the Stranger. I do wonder if Soloman is meant to be a version of the Doctor that could have once been a terrorist before fleeing from Gallifrey in defiance from it.
Perhaps that’s where the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ should go next with Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor where he’s a terrorist at some point. Unless they’ve done that already! 😀 Soloman is camera-shy when living his normal life with Holly, especially when helping her newspaper company.
Once Soloman sees the photos Holly took of Egan and Saul at some point in the episode, you can see how afraid he is. It was tense when Soloman got arrested and interrogated before he confronted Egan at some point. Soloman’s violent tendencies come to the fore at some point when facing Egan.
Caroline John stars as DCI Diana Sellers in the episode. Caroline John is well-known for playing Liz Shaw in ‘Doctor Who’ with Jon Pertwee’s Doctor. It was nice to see Carrie John in this ‘Stranger’ episode and her character of DCI Diana Sellers is very different to how she played Liz Shaw in ‘Who’.
Diana Sellers is in overall charge of the local police force in Soloman’s area. She gets easily frustrated when investigating the mystery of the seedy night-club from ‘The Terror Game’ and finds Egan and Saul’s methods off-hand and unorthodox. She doesn’t miss a trick when conducting an investigation.
The episode doesn’t portray Diana Sellers as a bad person, but she’s not really a good person either. She’s pleased when Soloman does cooperate on some level when interviewing him upon arrest. She also has her own sense of morals in the police force, especially in seeing what Egan does to Soloman.
David Troughton returns as Egan in the episode. Egan’s tough exterior is very good to work in the police force when he and Saul adopt identities to look for Soloman. But as we can see in the episode, Egan and Saul do not turn out to be good, friendly cops especially when they handle police matters.
This is especially when Egan is pretty harsh on PC Payne during a recent incident and when he and Saul nearly run over Holly in their car. Once again, Egan likes to use the s**t word a lot. This is in contrast to Colin Baker’s Soloman who doesn’t use the s**t word. Well, at least not yet in the series.
Egan seems convinced that Soloman will help him and Saul out to get back to the Dimensional Web, despite knowing that he went through the Estrangement Programme. Both he and Saul use violent means to persuade Soloman to do their bidding by threatening to kill Holly. Soloman agrees to help.
John Wadmore returns as Saul in the episode. Saul is pretty mean and loves to relish causing pain to people. It’s amazing how he and Egan managed to get police jobs due to their terrorist backgrounds. Saul is not convinced that Soloman will help him and Egan get back to their home when hunting him.
Nicholas Briggs guest stars as DI Mike Evans who works alongside Caroline John’s DCI Diana Sellers in the episode. It’s amazing how Nick Briggs can play various characters in ‘The Stranger’ series. First he played Minor in ‘In Memory Alone’; then Raven in ‘The Terror Game’ and now DI Mike Evans in this.
Holly King guest stars as Rose O’Neil, Soloman’s friend and lover. Rose can often be foul mouthed at times, but she has a good heart and seems pretty concerned for Soloman when he’s trying to hide from his past. It seems that Rose may be alike to Soloman. She reveals that she killed someone too.
The episode also features Emma Hill as a BBC news reporter who comes to the door of Holly’s house, just as Soloman is about to leave it. There’s also Ian Marr as PC Payne and David Rowston and Robin Pritchard as two police constables who arrest Colin Baker’s Soloman once he’s been found out here.
The episode ends on a cliff-hanger ending. After using violent means to persuade Soloman to help them by threatening to kill Holly, he, Egan and Saul go off into the portal to return to the Dimensional Web. Who knows what will happen next in the final instalment of ‘The Stranger’ series?
The DVD special features are as follows. There’s an on-set cast interview during the making of ‘Breach of the Peace’ with Caroline John, David Troughton and John Wadmore; a U.N.I.T. interview with Caroline John and Nicholas Courtney, extended scenes of the story and outtakes of the story.
‘Breach of the Peace’ is a gripping instalment in ‘The Stranger’ series. It’s a turning point for Colin Baker’s character where he is forced to go with David Troughton’s Egan and John Wadmore’s Saul into the Dimensional Web. I am geared for what happens next and what horrors seem to lie in store.
‘Breach of the Peace’ rating – 8/10
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