DOC­TOR WHO: THE GE­N­E­SIS CHAM­BER Go­ing easy on the gothic

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 185 min­utes | Cd/down­load

Pub­lisher Big Fin­ish

The mid-’70s reign of Philip Hinch­cliffe as pro­ducer of Doc­tor Who has long been seen as one of the high points in the pro­gramme’s his­tory. Now, two years on from its first Philip Hinch­cliffe Presents re­lease, Big Fin­ish has de­liv­ered an­other new Hinch­cliffe story, but this one is far from the richly gothic style most fans will be ex­pect­ing.

In­stead, The Ge­n­e­sis Cham­ber is closer in tone to the few purely SF sto­ries he over­saw, like 1977’s “The Face Of Evil”. The ac­tion be­gins when the Fourth Doc­tor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jame­son) ar­rive on a dis­tant colony world where hu­mans are split be­tween a so­phis­ti­cated tech­no­log­i­cal city and a prim­i­tive com­mune.

Alien forces are ma­nip­u­lat­ing the ten­sions be­tween the two groups, and the story’s ini­tial build-up is ef­fec­tive and in­trigu­ing, but the fi­nal re­veal lacks im­pact and leaves the story feel­ing over-stretched at six episodes.

Baker and Jame­son are as im­pres­sive as ever, and there are strong mo­ments of ac­tion and melo­drama – it’s just a shame The Ge­n­e­sis Cham­ber ends up as a re­minder of the Hinch­cliffe era’s weak­nesses as well as its strengths. Saxon Bul­lock

Hinch­cliffe out­lined the ba­sic story, char­ac­ters and tone, but the rest was done by Marc Platt (“Ghost Light”).

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