Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen

"Love has never been noted for its rationality."

Like the rest of McCoy’s first season, 'Delta and the Bannermen' is terrible. To be fair, it's the least terrible of the lot, but terrible nonetheless.

The direction is shoddy, the script juvenile, utterly unsure if it wants to be gritty sci-fi or an enjoyable romp, stuffed with too many unnecessary supporting characters (like those annoying American agents) and a tone that bounces all over the place like Gummi Bears on a caffeine binge. In one instance we go straight from a shocking massacre to a dull chase scene with a comedy soundtrack.

The villains of the piece, Gavrok and his Bannermen (the bastard offspring of a drunken one-night stand between a Duran Duran video and a Gary Newman album cover), are a drearily generic bunch of intergalactic bullies that make you long for the days of Nimons. Hell, I'd take an entire legion of Mandrels over these plonkers.

The acting is often ropey at best but special mention must go to David Kinder and Belinda Mayne as Billy and Delta. There’s always been stiff acting in Doctor Who but these two take it to a whole new level. They are just beyond abysmal and it doesn’t help that their characters have about as much depth and substance as soggy tissue paper. Luckily, Sara Griffiths is simply adorable as Ray (the companion that never was) and, surprisingly of all, Ken Dodd is not as bad as you’d think he would be. Compared to Kinder and Mayne, he’s Paul bleedin’ Newman.

Three stories in and McCoy is starting to find his niche as the Seventh Doctor and gets a few choice moments to shine, notably his tender efforts to comfort the heartbroken Ray and the confrontation with Gavrok at the end of episode two. Bonnie Langford on the other hand is… sufferable, mostly because she's pushed into the sidelines to make room for the aforementioned Ray.

One of these berks is a knight of the realm. 
Notes and Quotes

--Ray was originally supposed to replace Mel as the Doctor’s companion. It's a shame she didn’t but then we never would’ve gotten Ace and that just isn't worth thinking about.

--The Seventh Doctor's distinctive question mark umbrella makes its first appearance in this story.

--Brian Hibbard, lead vocalist of the Flying Pickets, appears as the alien bounty hunter, Keillor.

The Doctor: "A stitch in time... takes up space."

One and a half out of four Gummi Bears on a caffeine binge.
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