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|By:||David Layton, Los Angeles, United States|
|Date:||Friday 10 February 2017|
|Rating: || 8|
Aquitaine presents Doctor Who in a format that almost always works for the show and is all too seldom done. It is science fiction in a pure form. Doctor 5 with Nyssa and Tegan answer a distress call leading them to the spaceship Aquitaine. Things are not quite right. The place is overgrown with weeds, dusty and deserted apart from the ship's robot intelligence, known as Hargreaves, and what appear to be ghosts. Our crew get split up, not just in space, but also in time. Something is up with the black hole around which the good ship Aquitaine is in orbit. Impending disaster is looming faster and faster and the options for survival are rapidly reducing. The premise is marvelous, giving the audience much to think about. The character of Hargreaves draws admiration as the kind of artificial personality one would actually like to have in a robot. The plot moves apace, and tension builds well. There is only one thing preventing me from giving this full marks, and that is the addition of a Russian mad scientist of the Professor Zaroff variety. The stock villain is the weakest character in the piece, providing an artificial and awkward plot twist in what is otherwise a quite logical story.