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Doctor Who: Logopolis [Tom Baker]

Doctor Who: Logopolis (1981) starring Tom Baker, Anthony Ainley, Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding

The Master stows away on the Tardis as the Doctor embarks for Logopolis in search of a new chameleon circuit. Which leads to a final confrontation between the two Time Lords.

Review of Logopolis

The Doctor: [looking into Romana’s room] Ha. I suppose I’m gonna miss Romana.
Adric: And K-9, too.
The Doctor: [turning swiftly away] Yes. Still, the future lies this way.

Logopolis is many things, for the Doctor Who fan.

  • It is Tom Baker’s final appearance as the fourth Doctor.
  • Logopolis introduces a new companion, airline stewardess Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding).
  • It features the Master (Anthony Ainley) at his evil best. Where, in fact, he wins at “bringing the Doctor down to size”. And later (spoiler alert) — causes the death of The Doctor.
    • Despite his long history, he’s never more evil than when he impersonates Nyssa’s father. And, uses her trust in the worst way.
  • It does a wonderful job of introducing a new character — the Watcher. A character that the Doctor (and his companions) keep seeing at odd intervals. The companions wonder if he’s some agent of the Master, or another villain. But the Doctor knows better …

Editorial review of Logopolis courtesy of Amazon.com

Janet Fielding, Tom Baker, and  Sarah Sutton in the fourth Doctor's final appearance in Logopolis

After seven years as the Doctor on England’s long-running science fiction series Doctor Who, actor Tom Baker hung up his scarf and retired from the role in this four-part serial from 1981. )(The second in a three-part story arc focused around the Doctor’s longtime adversary The Master (Anthony Ainley), (The other parts of the arc, Castrovalva and The Keeper of Traken, are also available on DVD as single discs and in a three-disc set titled New Beginnings) Logopolis finds the Time Lord in a contemplative mood as he attempts to repair the TARDIS’ broken chameleon circuit, which has left the shape-shifting vehicle in the form of a police box. The Doctor and Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) travel to Logopolis, a planet run by mathematical geniuses, but encounter the Master as he plots to steal the secret of the planet’s massive radio telescope.

The Master has succedded in "cutting the Doctor down to size" in Logopolis

His scheme accidentally releases a wave of entropy that threatens to destroy the universe, and the Doctor and the Master must work together to prevent the end of existence itself. A sense of finality pervades Logopolis, and certainly for Baker fans, it does mark the end of the actor’s run in the role, as well as a period of considerable popularity for the series. Baker’s replacement, Peter Davidson, faced an uphill battle when he assumed the Doctor’s mantle, and for many fans, his arrival signaled a downward turn for the program that was not reversed until its revival in 2005. The story itself is an intriguing one, and well played by its cast, which included newcomer Janet Fielding as airline stewardess Tegan Jovanka, who became one of the Doctor’s companions for several seasons.

Extras on the disk

Extras on the disc include commentary on all four episodes by Baker and Fielding, as well as writer Christopher Bidmead; a trio of BBC news program interviews with Baker on his departure and Davidson on his assumption of the role; a terrific 50-minute featurette titled “A New Body At Last,” which interviews many of the principal cast and crew on the transition from Baker to Davidson; and the usual PDF of printed material from The Doctor Who Annual and Radio Times, as well as the excellent text-only commentary and isolated music tracks fans have come to expect from the discs. — Paul Gaita

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