The Romans

Well, that cliffhanger resolution was a pile of shit. The TARDIS topples over, falls down into a ravine… and then we cut to months later, with the crew just pissing about in a Roman villa.

This set me and The Romans off on the wrong foot, and the rest of the story wasn’t quite good enough to win me round. I really wasn’t keen on the portrayal of Nero, nor the Benny Hill-esque manner in which he went about his attempted rape of Barbara.

There was clearly a conscious effort to lighten up The First Doctor’s character in this second season, but the main effect seems to be a vast increase in Hartnell chuckling to himself and going “hmm?” in a high pitch. This can get a bit grating at times – the chuckling in particular – and detracts from the concurrent ongoing attempt to establish The Doctor as a moral guardian.

RATING: 6

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