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Doctor Who: Logopolis (Story 116)
Doctor Who Logopolis
Story 116
Actor: Tom Baker
Genres: Television, Cult Movies
NR     2007     1hr 38min

The Doctor and Andric head to Earth to fix the TARDIS's chameleon circuit. Once there they face danger involving a newly regenerated Master and a feisty young air hostess named Tegan Jovanka. How can the people of the dist...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Tom Baker
Genres: Television, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Science Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Studio: BBC Video / Warner Bros.
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/05/2007
Original Release Date: 06/05/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 26
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Singing the Language of Numbers
Jason A. Miller | New York, New York USA | 12/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Most regeneration stories are specifically meant to wrap up their era. It had to be in "The Caves of Androzani", for example, that we learn why Peter Davison wears celery on the lapel of his blazer. It's why we could only learn of the Doctor's origins in "The War Games". However, for my all-time favorite "Doctor Who" story, I make the argument that "Logopolis" worked just as well as the pilot for a new series of Tom Baker adventures.If you had to isolate one image to explain "Doctor Who"'s fall from grace in the 1980s, it's Anthony Ainley. The final actor to play the Master on the BBC also held on to the role the longest, dragging his hammy character kicking and screaming alongside four different Doctors, until he was fat and possessed by the spirit of the Cheetah People. Although this may have been a fitting end for the character, some of us preferred Roger Delgado, all dignity and cigars.In 1981, though, Anthony Ainley was magically new. In "The Keeper of Traken", he played the Doctor's friend, good guy Tremas, whose body was stolen by the decaying Geoffrey Beevers. A rejuvenated Master sneaks away into his TARDIS, chuckling, whispering, "A new body, at last. A new body. At last". That disembodied chuckle is all that remains, fading into the electronic scream of the end credits. More, please!Director Peter Grimwade, who showed up with a zillion directorial flourishes, wisely kept the Master off-screen for more than half of Tom Baker's swan song. Menace is restored to the character for the first time, since, oh, "The Mind of Evil", because we can't see him, just hear him off-camera, as another character dies, shrunken to a corpse. Music composer Paddy Kingsland, the best there was in 26 years, punctuates the revelation of each doll-sized body with another mini-electronic scream.When the Master finally does appear, in Part Three, we learn he's been working to a plan even since before Part One: follow the Doctor to Earth, leave deadly calling-cards, and then stow away on board to Logopolis to steal the Monitor's secrets for himself. But it's there the Master is beaten: for Logopolis is the keystone of the Universe, holding the moment of heat death at bay through sheer force of chanted numbers. And the Master's technological interference has caused the city to crumble to dust, unleashing an entropy field that will reduce the Universe to ash within hours. It's the Doctor's utterance that the Master is "mad... utterly mad" that finally convinces us this is the most dangerous Master we've seen in years.But Ainley's not the only revelation in this story. There's Tom Baker. Just listen to his dialogue, especially in the early TARDIS scenes alone with Adric It's so dense, and delivered so rapid-fire, so naturally. We are now a million light years away from the Tom Baker who worked with Louise Jameson and Mary Tamm, trampling all over the script, clearly bored with proceedings. This Baker loves the script, giving the dialogue all sorts of inflections, loaning the Doctor a whole new scared dimension. "Nothing like this has ever happened before." It's something to say that a man could so compellingly reinvent the character in his final hour, when he could well have gone through the motions as if this were "The Power of Kroll".The sense of newness is also borrowed from the supporting cast. Matthew Waterhouse, surprise of surprises, is compelling; witness his constant questioning of the Doctor in Parts One and Two. He even pulls an audience, getting thoroughly confused by the script: "We're going to measure Logopolis too?. When Tegan and then Nyssa arrive in Part Two, Adric starts to exhibit the bossy I'm-in-charge nature that made him so unbearable for most of Season 19, but one senses that Baker would have kept him in line. Even working with Janet Fielding, an actress he really didn't need to know at all, Baker planted the convincing seeds of a Doctor who really wanted to time-travel with this young flight attendant. It's a shame he never worked with either of them again.And then there's the script. Chris Bidmead, with his emphasis on hard-sounding science, helped mold the "Doctor Who" of not just the 1980s, but the `90s as well. But his script in "Logopolis" far exceeds in quality any book out of the technobabble-drenched Simon Bucher-Jones oeuvre. Not only is "Logopolis" full of phrases like "unraveling the causal nexus" and "my biomechanisms are unaffected", but it's also got poetry: "And now the world I grew up in, blotted out forever"; "We are beyond recriminations... beyond everything", and my understated favorite: "Time has changed little for either of us, Doctor. You continue to roam the Universe, while we persist in our humble existence on this planet."Special praise must be reserved for John Fraser, who, as the Monitor, played quite possibly the smartest, least hammy character in 26 years of "Doctor Who" guest turns. He has no rants, no over-the-top bursts of comedy. He's just a smart guy who knows more about what's going on than the Doctor, and actually saves the day with his computer code: he just has the good graces to die early in Part Four. That's done so Tom Baker can save the Universe and then fall to his death. Just when we were looking forward to at least another season of this exciting new Doctor."
Mysterious, rather distant
Mark Grindell | Shipley,West Yorkshire | 12/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't know, but only suspect that Tom knew this was going to be the final call. It's asking quite a lot of co-operative coincidence - Logopolis falls into the middle of a rather well planned trilogy, and beginning with The Keeper Of Traken, weaves a certain type of gloomy elegiac mood which is uncharacteristic of the final phase of Tom's career in the series.This is one of the few stories which would stand very well outside of the Who circuit. It's so well crafted that the minor faults are easily overlooked. The story starts with the the constant feeling of portentiousness that is only vaguely hinted at in City of Death, and then rather flatly - the lack of resolution of this nagging feeling that something is dreadfuly amiss continues throughout and it isn't until far into play that you see the parts of the picture fall into place. There are multiple tangential references to mathematics and the kind of spacial and geometrical paradoxes that would be excellent discussion points for a bunch of physics or topology enthusiasts (which Dr Who was so valuable for). The ideas behind Logopolis are connected in some inprecise way to Godel, but you might think this is stretching things too far.I don't think it would be fair to see this story in isolation from The Keeper Of Traken or Castrovalva. The three are the essential bridge between the world of Tom and his sucessor, and really form a unified set.Incidently, the name Castrovalva come from an Escher painting, which is worth looking at for some time. It isn't so much a puzzle painting, but a study of distance and space, which I don't think has many equals."
Entropy increases
rytr_1 | USA | 11/01/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Contrary to the last reviewer, I cannot stop watching Logopolis! I'm already on my third viewing after buying it only a week ago. Tom Baker's final story as the Doctor was a very good one to go out on - it's a dark, ominous tale with good performances all round! Anthony Ainley makes his first full-fledged appearance as the Master (if you don't count his brief debut as the character in The Keeper of Traken), and he doesn't even laugh too often as he begins to do later in the series. Janet Fielding stumbles into the TARDIS as Tegan in a way reminiscent of Ian and Barbara in An Unearthly Child, the very first Dr. Who story - although it bothers me a bit that Tegan seems to accept the TARDIS's time travel abilities virtually without question. Tom Baker shows a great range of emotion, particularly when he must tell Tegan about the fate of her Aunt Vanessa. The closing scenes are good, giving us a final curtain call for not only the Fourth Doctor but also all of the companions of his era, and many of the enemies. And the incidental music maintains the story's ominous atmosphere admirably. Not one to be missed. The moment has been prepared for."
The Torch passes to a new generation
Rottenberg's rotten book review | nyc | 11/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This episode is both the end of an era for the Tom Baker years of Dr. Who, yet also the mid-point of an arc that began with the prior serial "The Keeper of Traken" and ends with the next "Castrovala". From 1974 until this episode, Tom Baker romped through poor special effects but fun plots and dialog as the mythic "Doctor", a dissident time lord - a member of a race of highly advanced and virtually immortal time and space travelers. "Traken" saw the return of the Doctor's feared enemy "The Master", a rogue Time Lord like the Doctor, but with far darker intentions. (The Master had been introduced during the years before Baker came to the show but the death of actor Roger Delgado in 1974 limited the character's appearances to two serials; in both episodes played by an actor other than Delgado on the premise that the Master had exhausted his regeneration and was reduced to a desiccated shell of his former, debonair evil self). Now played with renewed vigor by Anthony Ainley, the Master was free to reek havoc, conquer the universe and kill the Doctor, but not in that order. In "Logopolis", the Doctor travels to a world populated by living computers, humans who transmit mathematical commands in long chains. There to repair the "chameleon circuit" of his time machine (the exterior of the Doctor's spaceship is capable of assuming any shape or size, even if smaller than the ship's interior; a malfunction has kept the circuit frozen into a single shape - a London Police Call Box - since the show's debut in November of 1963). Aware of his plans, the Master travels ahead to trap the Doctor and sabotage the repair effort on Logopolis. Unknown to either the Doctor or the Master, the living computers of Logopolis are responsible for keeping the universe from collapsing on itself (the universe has long past the point of expanding further following the "Big Bang", and only the Logopolitans can prevent the process from reversing completely), and when the Master shuts down Logopolis, he finds he's imperiled the universe. In one of those rare moments so beloved to Sci-Fi fans, the Doctor and Master work out a deal to save the universe, each hoping he can get the better of the other. In the climax the Doctor manages to save the universe, but lose himself.This is a masterful episode for so many reasons. First, Anthony Ainley comes into his own as the Master's latest incarnation. We also see Sarah Sutton joining the crew as "Nyssa" (the character was actually introduced in "Traken", but becomes a regular here.) We also have the introduction of Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka, the Australian born Brit-Air stewardess who gives the show a much needed boost of anti-science fiction (the first character to do this effectively since the Sarah Jane and Brigadier characters left the show earlier in the Baker years). But most of all, the music, scripting and pacing suffuses the episode with a grim sense of foreboding that reminds us that the end is near, but also underscores how far "Dr. Who" has come from being a kid's show."