Review [DW]: “The Awakening”

21×2. The Awakening
Writer: Eric Pringle
Director: Michael Owen Morris
Script Editor: Eric Saward
Producer: John Nathan-Turner

Synopsis: The TARDIS arrives in a small English village to visit Tegan’s grandfather, only to find the residents obsessed with a re-enactment of a battle from the English Civil War, which in turn feeds the energy of an alien creature known as the Malus.

Review: I commented in my review of “The King’s Demons” that the original Doctor Who series’ two-parters suffered from maintaining the slower pace typical of the longer serials. “The Awakening” at least avoids that pitfall, but unfortunately I still can’t give it a full recommendation. It’s been about two weeks since I actually watched it, and it’s so relentlessly pedestrian in plot and characterization that I again find myself struggling to find much to say. The script relies a bit too much on “psychic energy” to explain all the goings-on, and none of the characters, aside from maybe the 17th century transplant Will Chandler, emerge as particularly memorable. I will, however, give the serial credit for one particularly clever line, in which the Doctor, in response to the accusation, “You speak treason,” replies, “Fluently!”

Rating: **1/2 (out of four)

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