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Logopolitans – A New Beginning For ‘Doctor Who’
This is another enjoyable DVD experience, as this story is the first to feature Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka, the second story for Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and the last to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor.
Tom Baker had played the Doctor for seven years and is loved by the fans. But the clock chimed for Tom’s era to come to end. Tom didn’t want to go, but due production changes he decided to leave.
The last story for Tom Baker’s Doctor is by script-editor Christopher H. Bidmead. ‘Logopolis’ is a very complex story and I had to re-watch this more than once in order to follow and understand the plot.
Meaning no disrespect to Chris Bidmead, but this story doesn’t really define or conclude the Tom Baker era as a whole. It doesn’t suit Tom Baker’s Doctor, but it’s an intriguing and decent ending to his era.
Janet Fielding stars as Tegan for the first time. Tegan is an air stewardess on her way to Heathrow Airport. She stumbles into the TARDIS by accident and gets caught up in an adventure of high stakes.
It was great to see Sarah Sutton as Nyssa again. She doesn’t appear until the last five minutes of ‘Part Two’, but it was great to see her and Chris Bidmead re-introduces Nyssa well at the last minute.
I found it so heartbreaking when Nyssa faces the Master and finds out her father was killed by him. I also found it heartbreaking when she sees her home planet Traken destroyed by an entropy field.
Anthony Ainley returns as the Master. He stole Nyssa’s dad from Traken and is walking inside his body. Anthony Ainley is my favourite Master as he’s cool and calculating and I love his elegant evil.
The Logopolitans are an interesting bunch of people. They are led by John Frazer as the Monitor (who looks Noel Edmonds to me) who hides a secret about Logopolis that is the key to the universe.
I imagine that life on Logopolis would be pretty dull, since all they do is muttering numbers and sit with abacus beads. One imagines what Logopolitans would talk about daily as it would be all maths.
In this story, there’s a mysterious character called the Watcher. He’s a ghostly figure in white who turns out to be the Doctor from the future who watches the Fourth Doctor before he regenerates.
I enjoyed the regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison as it’s impressive and heart-breaking for its time. I liked how the Fourth Doctor’s life flashes before his eyes as he regenerates and the special effects are so inspiring.
The DVD special features are as follows. There’s the ‘A New Body At Last’ documentary detailing the end of Tom Baker’s era and the beginning of Peter Davison’s era. There are two ‘Nationwide’ interviews with Tom Baker and Peter Davison; as well as a ‘Pebble Mill at One’ interview with Peter.
There’s a series of news items and continuity announcement; a photo gallery; an info-text commentary option; a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF for ‘Logopolis’ and a ‘Doctor Who Annual 1982’ PDF.
There are two audio options. There’s an interesting commentary with Tom Baker, Janet Fielding and writer Christopher H. Bidmead to enjoy. There is also an isolated music option by Paddy Kingsland.
I enjoyed ‘Logopolis’ very much. It’s not the best Tom Baker story, but it’s a decent end to an era that’s all about change. It’s the beginning of a new era with three companions Nyssa, Tegan and Adric; the return of the Master and a memorable regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison.
‘Logopolis’ rating – 7/10
‘DOCTOR WHO – LOGOPOLIS’
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‘Events cast shadows…’ – Doctor Who – Logopolis, Chapter 1
This is ‘The Last Adventure for the Fourth Doctor’, according to the CD cover.
I enjoyed this audiobook/novelisation of ‘Doctor Who – Logopolis’ very much! This is a unique listening experience as the novelization/audiobook provide more depth and detail to an unusual TV story that closed off the Tom Baker era of ‘Doctor Who’ in 1981. This is an audiobook you can’t miss!
‘Logopolis’ was novelised by Christopher H. Bidmead and was published in 1982, a year after the TV story’s original transmission in 1981. This is Chris Bidmead first contribution to the Target range of ‘Doctor Who’ novelizations. He provides a richer depth to the story that he wrote to end Season 18.
Many years later, BBC audio decided to do an audiobook on Chris’ novelization of ‘Logopolis’ and invited him to read it. Chris readily agreed and provides a compelling reading of his ‘Logopolis’ novel.
I had the ‘Logopolis’ audiobook for my birthday back in May 2010. This is a 4-disc CD set with the book divided into 12 chapters. Each of the four discs has 3 chapters that comprise one out of the four episodes from the TV story. So 3 chapters; times 4; equals the 12 chapters found in this book.
I remember watching ‘Logopolis’ from seeing the ‘New Beginnings’ DVD trilogy box set. I had to re-watch ‘Logopolis’ on DVD more than once as I wanted to understand it, due to my interest in Nyssa and having read ‘The Fact of Faction’ article about ‘Logopolis’ in an issue of ‘Doctor Who Magazine’.
I was delighted to have had this on my birthday as I was easily captivated into Chris Bidmead’s reading of this story. I listened to all 4 discs of the audio during the 2010 summer. When I was at the Swansea ‘Regenerations’ convention in 2010, I bought the novelization to read with the audiobook.
This is Chris Bidmead’s show as he both wrote this story and reads it using his acting skills from being at RADA for this audiobook. Chris knows the story inside and out. To hear him provide the voices for every character in this story is mesmerising and helps guide his ‘target’ audience – no pun intended.
In terms of the actual writing of the novel, the plot isn’t very different to the TV story. Chris adds more depth and detail to the story; characters and places. He describes the world of Logopolis in greater detail and goes deeper into the mind-sets of Tegan, Adric, Nyssa; the Doctor and the Master.
Certain changes to the action sequences are made here including Tegan crashing her aunt’s car into a lorry on the Barnet Bypass and Adric throwing a bicycle at policemen to rescue the Doctor. I wondered if Matthew Waterhouse as Adric could have thrown a bicycle from the top of the TARDIS.
One thing that I liked about the ‘Logopolis’ novelization is the dynamic dialogue and not having too many truncated scenes as they were extended. These included the Doctor attempting to drown the TARDIS in the Thames and the Doctor holding Adric back in the TARDIS within a TARDIS sequence.
I like how the characters are developed, including the companions. Adric’s more useful and less annoying; Tegan’s abrasive nature is explored as Bidmead strikes a balance and Nyssa’s inclusion is enhanced compared to the TV story, especially as she faces the Master and sees Traken destroyed.
A notable scene that I liked is where Adric meets up with Nyssa when trying to find the Master. She reveals to Adric that she saw her father. I would have loved to have heard those bits of dialogue between Nyssa and Adric in the TV story and see how Sarah and Matthew would have played it out.
Chris utilises the use of mathematics to dramatic effect in this novel. Maths is described in detail as a language and is an important element in the story and how it’s key to Logopolis’ existence. John Milton also gets referenced when describing the Master and also Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
As a narrator, Chris Bidmead reads his ‘Logopolis’ novel very well. I liked listening to him voicing Tegan and doing her “Oh rabbits!” swearing. Chris is engaging to listen to and if you’ve seen ‘Logopolis’ more than once and know the story off by heart, you know what’s going to come up next.
You have to be pretty IT literate to know what’s going on with the Logopolitan mathematics and Block Transfer Computation. Chris delves into real science and writes for scientific journalism. He understands the theory of entropy far more than anyone else. I don’t think I can match to his level.
I found that Chris Bidmead hasn’t summed up the Fourth Doctor era as a whole in the book. I say this because the presence of the Fourth Doctor doesn’t seem reassuring and the montage sequences of monsters and companions from his era doesn’t feature in this book which I found disappointing.
One interesting thing is that the Fifth Doctor gets to say something after he’s regenerated. This didn’t happen in the TV story. I found it interesting that Peter Davison’s Doctor says something before his new life begins. It’s something that the new series Doctors do after they’ve regenerated.
I found the background music and the sound effects of the ‘Logopolis’ audiobook good, especially at the beginning when Chris Bidmead begins reading the story. It introduces a darker, harrowing tone to the story compared to what was on TV. These cues are used for the regeneration scene at the end.
‘Doctor Who – Logopolis’, as a novel and a book, is very good indeed. I enjoyed reading and listening to Chris Bidmead’s deeper and extended version of Tom Baker’s final adventure as the Fourth Doctor. You definitely need to get this novel/audiobook to understand the TV story of ‘Logopolis’ properly.
‘Doctor Who – Logopolis’ rating – 8/10
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