View Poll Results: How would you rate State of Decay?

Voters
17. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: Pssst! It is marvellous!

    2 11.76%
  • 9: Great (Vampire)

    4 23.53%
  • 8: Enough to frighten half starved peasants

    8 47.06%
  • 7: There are guards outside... many guards!

    2 11.76%
  • 6: Your apologies are recorded.

    1 5.88%
  • 5: Straight up (and straight back down)

    0 0%
  • 4: The wasting (of time)

    0 0%
  • 3: Sociopathetic abcess

    0 0%
  • 2: Yawning Chasm

    0 0%
  • 1: I've never seen such a state of decay

    0 0%
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: State of Decay

    We reach the midway point of both the E-Space Trilogy and the season itself this week, anfd you've never seen such a state of decay...

    What are your thoughts on this story?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    I'm looking forward to watching it again. At the moment all I'm sure of is that the Wasting... is the Wasting. And that at the start of the story, The Doctor was lost...

  3. #3
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    And that at the start of the story, The Doctor was lost...
    And his two companions Romana and K9.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    And his two companions Romana and K9.

    Si xx
    Leave it Si; you must resist the urge to continue!

  5. #5
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    Fight it my boy, fight it!

  6. #6
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    I still have memories of my Dad's murky off-air copy of this. The picture was very grainy, recorded during a windy autumnal 'bad reception' season. This certainly added an old film atmosphere, being a rather grainy picture!

    State of Decay is certainly the most epic of the E-Space stories, with it's sweeping countryside locales, and a real feeling of the Haves and Have-nots in the same area. There's not a weak performance and on the cast, despite behind the scenes tensions. Whilst I seem to remember that Terrance wasn't overly happy with the Bidmead's editing, I think this story would not have been as slick and enjoyable under Graham Williams' tenure (despite the fact that I very much enjoy his three seasons as producer).

    Peter Moffat is still a stylish director here- of his six stories, he directs two with style and enthusiasm (State of Decay, The Visitation) leaving his remaining four stories languishing (Mawdryn Undead and The Five Doctors are adequate; The Twin Dilemma and The Two Doctors are badly directed). It might be worth noting that these latter productions all have obvious factors which serve to challenge the director beyond the level of the first two 'period drama' type stories:

    Mawdryn Undead: Two Brigadiers, lots of split screen.
    The Five Doctors: A constantly shifting script, and a large cast to shoot around.
    The Twin Dilemma: End of season, money running out, a new Doctor, and a costume from hell to design around.
    The Two Doctors: Spain and troubled costume design.

    This is still my least favourite E-Space story- but that's like saying that white chocolate is my least favourite chocolate. It's still enjoyable, and it's an 8 from me.

    Oooh, coconut macaroons!

  7. #7
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    From memory of the last time I watched it (which was probably a worryingly long time ago - could be 10 years or more in fact) I loved parts 1 & 2, but felt it went off the boil a bit in the second half. As a rule I don't like stories where the Doctor nips back to the TARDIS, as he does here, so maybe that's why. Although that said, I'm curiously fond of the way Tom talks about 'bowships'.

    Anyway, we'll see won't we...

  8. #8
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    I have to agree with Brendan, having watched part 1 this afternoon - the direction in State of Decay is excellent, it's atmospheric, inventive, it enhances the story. The overall design as well, contrasting the sumptuous richness and luxury of the tower scenes with those in the faded, brown, village hut. And another lovely season 18 incidental score - the cliffhanger on paper isn't actually all that exciting ('Doctor & Romana see some bats in the sky') but on screen it's one of the most tense endings in the whole season.

    Wonderful!

  9. #9
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    Two episode in now - the whole sequence of the Doctor and Romana exploring the ship is just lovely, it starts to fill in the plot but it does it in a very exciting, very gripping way, as the music and the atmosphere and the tension build. And Tom and Lalla are, in the studio scenes anyway, apparently very much enjoying each other's company.

    Of course, it's hard to watch the scene where the Doctor & Romana meet the King & Queen without recalling the Tom Baker Years, and therefore I was very aware of their quadrille!

    I still can't work out whether Emrys James is giving a great performance, or is just way too OTT, as his Aukon seems to be on a totally different level to the rest of the cast.

    And that music... ah, just superb!

  10. #10
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    Emrys James is the only one who seems to have read the instructions on how to play a Doctor Who villain, and he certainly lifts the production. I put the DVD in the other day and when the menu reached "You...have...been...chosen!" I realised, so that's where Tom got Captain Redbeard Rum from.

    A few months ago I was reading a translation of a Strindberg play which had featured James when it opened in London in the 1960s, and I have to say it came alive because I could imagine how he would have delivered his lines.

  11. #11
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    I've finished this one off over the past couple of days, and actually found the last two episodes nowhere near as bad as I remembered - I think the only thing that doesn't work for me is the rather gung-ho, not to mention pretty bloodless, rebel attack on the tower.

    We're already mentioned the direction, but I do want to just praise it up again. As well as solidly telling the story, there are also some very inspired choices and visuals - such little touches as the first TARDIS scene in part 4 starting on a big close up of Tom's coat as he struts away from the camera; or the 'one-take' mad speech by Aukon in the same episode, with all Three Who Rule in a fixed pose; even the framing of the TARDIS' landing site, a well-chosen location.

  12. #12
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    I really enjoyed this one. Not quite one of the all-time classics though, but still a very good story. The cliffhangers weren't all that great though, were they? Perhaps with the exception of episode 3 which was the best of the bunch.
    One scene which I found particularly interesting (particularly after the events of The End Of Time) was when the Doctor and Romana were talking about about how Rassilon and the Time Lords had been so sickened by the violence and killing when hunting down the vampires that they vowed not to resort to violence ever again. It just shows how things went Full Circle in the end, doesn't it, when the Time Lords had to return to violence once again...

  13. #13
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    "We've come Full Circle" - good point Mac, I'd not really thought about that before.

  14. #14
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    Part 1

    This story features some of the most outrageous facial hair ever seen in the show. From Zargo's amazingly OTT curly beard to the strangely jutting and straight beards of the rebels, there's some fantastic sights to be seen on this planet.

    After the straight playing of Full Circle, the performances in this story seem rather less naturalistic but perhaps more fun. Everyone is overplaying this to exactly the right degree. I like Tarak's way of pausing everytime he says something...(pause) controversial particularly. Of course Emrys James steals the sho, as Aukon is OTT to just the right degree above everyone else in the episode. Very well judged.

    Nice music. Thanks Paddy. Excellent reuse of the TARDIS in Space theme from Full Circle (although actualy it was probably written for this one first thinking about it, wasn't it?)

    Lovely Control scene scene. One of my favourites in fact, with Tom rattling off the fun lines nicely and Lalla being playful back. They even set up the punchline of a little moment that comes in episode 3. Wonderful.

    I like the attention to detail here, that night falls with a green tint to the sky. Makes it seem really alien and odd, despite being in an English wood just outisde of Slough. The TARDIS landfing site is well chosen and a lovely little location.

    Nice to see Arthur Hewlett playing Kalmar. He's not much different (aside from the beard) when he plays the old man in Terror of the Vervoids.

    Just a good, solid episode of Doctor Who this one. Just what you'd expect from Terrance Dicks.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  15. #15
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    The Hinchcliffe era was rather lazily labelled the Hammer era of Who, but this is much more like it! I think I'm right in saying the location was used in Hammer films and you just expect a horse and carriage to come thundering along!

    Unlike the rather disappointing vampires that weren't vampires this year, this goes for it properly - all 3 (who rule) are very good and really convince as vampires. And their death scene is superbly shot. Not everything convinces however - the model work is unusually poor for Who, and as mentioned above the rebels storming the place is none too convincing - without any weapons, these old men just somehow manage to overpower the guards! Perhaps the guards were resty - I mean, how much guard work did they actually have to do?!

    I really like the Time Lord mythology at play here - the Great War with the Vampires has some extra resonance now given the Time War. You really get a sense that the Doctor is obliged to stay and defeat his adversary, even at the cost of his life, which raises the stakes (pardon the pun!).

    This is another story I don't get bored of seeing - as with Full Circle, it was a pleasure to watch this again, despite seeing it last year.

    And for the one and only time this season, K9 makes it through the story unscatched, even if he spends much of the story in the TARDIS! 8/10

    S18 Rankings

    Full Circle
    State of Decay
    Leisure Hive
    Meglos

  16. #16
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    Si, you're right about the facial hair - then again, the whole season is full of beards, isn't it?!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    Si, you're right about the facial hair - then again, the whole season is full of beards, isn't it?!
    It's true. However, even with that in mind, I'd still argue that State of Decay has the most extreme beards seen this season, if not the most extreme ever seen in the show!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  18. #18

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    It's my favourite story of Season 18 and the E-Space Trilogy. It has a creepy feel to it which stays with you for a while afterwards. Great serial by Terrance Dicks.

    9/10

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