Over at Coronas of the Sun, my Doctor Who rewatch has reached the first episode of The Reign of Terror.
The Doctor’s in a right old strop at the start of this episode (his bad mood carries over from the previous cliffhanger). This feels a touch artificial and seems to have been done for two reasons – not only does it create a good hook into A Land of Fear (otherwise the last episode might have ended with the Doctor saying “oh look, a forest”) it also gives the regulars, especially Hartnell, some nice character interaction.
William Russell has spoken in the past about how the arrival of Dennis Spooner was greeted with enthusiasm by the main cast. Spooner had a good ear for naturalistic dialogue and also liked to pepper his stories with humour. And following the earnest and rather stilted dialogue of The Sensorites, The Reign of Terror does come as a breath of fresh air. However, it’s notable that Spooner’s scripts do feature various Americanisms, which…
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