“Death’s Door” Review

“How could you rig a dream? I told no one about it.” This is an episode that puts right what Too Many Christmas Trees did wrong in a sense that there’s serious and plausible  explanation for the dreams that the diplomats are having. “You must have got the information from somewhere. Unless you’ve suddenly become psychic.” Which, of course, has happened in The Avengers. Yet it’s not as entertaining as Too Many Christmas Trees. It doesn’t look as good. The relationships aren’t as good. There isn’t the party atmosphere. The problem with Death’s Door and Return of the Cybernauts is not that they take themselves too seriously – I think The Avengers should take itself seriously – when it doesn’t, you end up with nonsense like Who’s Who???. It’s that it’s too earnest. Something Nasty In The Nursery scores over this one for the nannying and the businessmen in their playpens with their baby bouncers, while its premise is essentially very similar.

Steed’s back on diplomacy duty in this one, drafted in to sort out security for a peace conference, since Sir Andrew is an old friend of his.

The dialogue is less than sparkly (someone feels ill: “I’m going to get you some tablets.”) It’s an interesting episode from a design perspective, with the dreamscapes, but most of the sets and the lighting are garish & unpleasant. The dreamscapes are inferior to Too Many Christmas Trees too – and, indeed, to the staged scenes in Epic.

There is, though, a terrific sequence in which Steed shoots someone with a bullet (but no gun). The final fight is entertaining too – with UN peace conference signs getting smashed in the struggle.

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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