Season 20

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O rly?
About Time
Began 3 January 1983
Ended 16 March 1983
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Season 20 was the extremely crap continuity heavy series that aired in the same year as a GOAT anniversary special.

David Peterson returns as the Six minus Oneth Doctor, along with Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. This season sees the introduction of new companions Turlough (Mark Strickton) and Kamelion (Gerald Flood), as well as the return of Janet Fielding as Tegan... for some reason... I mean, it's not like she even does anything in the stories, or that the stories even benefit from her return... Ah whatever, at least it's not Adric amirite?

This season also featured a ton of people who couldn't write to save their balls... or tits...

Leads into The Five Doctors, which technically isn't part of this season but I'll give it a mention here anyways.

Serials of Season 20

Episode Title Written By Description
Arc of Infinity Johnny Byrne Omega has come to take revenge on the Doctor and to regain corporeal form in the matter universe once again. Featuring a chicken, dickish Time Lords, Tegan's poorly acted cousin, and Pies.
Snakedance Christopher Bailey The Mara reawakens in Tegan's mind and guides the TARDIS to Manussa, where it intends to use an artefact known as the Great Crystal to escape from the dark places of the inside and regain corporeal form.
Mawdryn Undead Peter Grimwade Some immortals on a spaceship discover that immortality sucks and want the Doctor's powers of Time Lordy-ness in order to... die? I wasn't really sure where they were going with that one. Also, the Brigadier is back twice!
Terminus Stephen Gallagher A corrupt leper colony needs fixing. There, that's about it.
Enlightenment Barbara Clegg There's a boat race in outer space (hey, that rhymes!) and Auntie Mabel is the baddie, and the Black Guardian wants Turlough to just fuckin' kill the Doctor already.
The King's Demons Terence Dudley The Masturbator is in medieval England and intends to use a shapeshifting robot to get rid of Magna Carta.


Mostly shit.

Arc of Infinity continues on from Time-Flight in that it returns to the life of Tegan two years after being left behind, and the production values continue to be absolutely abhorrent. There's a chicken, acting is poor (except from our lord and saviour), the music is ouch, there's a chase scene near the end that takes up 40 seasons and probably lasts longer than the chase scene in Planet of the Spiders and probably The Chase itself... did I mention there's a chicken? One good thing about this story though is that it leads directly into the Big Finish play The Waters of Amsterdam, which was GOAT, go listen to it. 4/10

Snakedance is a sequel to Kinda and is by far the best of the season. A big problem with Kinda was that whenever a scene comes up of Tegan within the dark places of the inside where the actually INTERESTING shit happening, the scene would then be over in about 15 seconds and the episode just cuts back to a manchild being a retard again for another five minutes. Snakedance addresses this and the freaky snake hallucination scenes last a lot longer, and Janet is downright terrifying when she's acting the Mara-possessed Tegan and laughing maniacally. If there's one major improvement that could be suggested though (not just to this story, but to the season as a whole), it would be that this story should've been the return of Tegan to the show, as opposed to the previous story. Think about it; Tegan is in her shack with her pet dingo, gets some sleep and sees the Mara in her dreams. Meanwhile in the TARDIS, the Doctor and Nyssa detect a disturbance on Earth or something and find Tegan, who then subconsciously pilots the TARDIS to Manussa where the events of the story continue. See? That would've worked a hellavalot better. Also, fix those outfits, they're gross. 8/10

Mawdryn Undead is an interesting timey-wimey story made before timey-wimey got really boring. While far from perfect and a notable example of why the Doctor Who canon is a total clusterfuck, it's at least fun. Well, fun AND frustrating - the characters act like they've been lobotomised, with Tegan, Nyssa and the Brigadier seriously believing that some evil-looking alien guy is a regenerated Doctor. That being said, there is an awesome sequence where the Brigadier has amnesia and then remembers his escapades with the Doctor via a flashback with a GOAT musical score, and the stuff with the two Brigadiers nearly bumping into each other is hilarious, very reminiscent of The Romans, and plagiarised for Partners in Crime. Yeah, it OK. 7/10

Then there's Terminus... Haha, oh boy. One of the WORST stories I have ever seen in my life. Despite being set on a leper colony spaceship and the fate of the entire universe being at stake, there is absolutely no tension or weight in this story at all. There's a giant furry that kindaps people to... cure them? Nyssa drops her skirt because fanservice. Turlough, the newly introduced companion, does nothing to prove himself and just spends the story crawling about a ventilation shaft with Tegan. Speaking of which, Tegan sounds like she has Bronchitis and does does jack shit in the story, and yet for some reason it's Nyssa who leaves at the end. The Black Guardian shit goes nowhere, there's terrible acting, Peter Davison looks sorry to be there... And those fuckin' space helmets tho. 2/10

Enlightenment is meh. It has decent production values, the acting is strong, but... Eurgh, the story just fumbles about unsatisfyingly until the Guardians turn up and the Doctor doesn't seem at all surprised that Turlough was working for the black one. I dunno, maybe it's because I've only watched the special edition and not the original and maybe some vital plot points were cut out? I dunno, I'll come back to this one someday. At the very least, it's interesting. 6/10

The King's Demons finishes up the series and... Again, meh? It's nothing terrible my any means, the actors are heavily invested in the medieval scene and the sets sell it well, and it's always nice to see Anthony Ainley. The story as a whole just seems so inconsequential though. Try as Davison might with bringing ferocity and gravitas to sentences like "You will not be able to alter the course of history, even indirectly", it doesn't alter the fact that the story itself lacks any form of weight. It's still passable though, just nothing special. 5/10

Well that was Season 20. It was terrible, easily the weakest Classic Season - yes, weaker than Season 24; at least you could potentially enjoy Season 24 if you were into the campy style of RTD. It's still watchable enough though, it's not exactly cringe-inducing levels of bad like Series 2. 4/10

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