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  1. #1
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    Default The Crowded TARDIS

    The Doctor and his young friends, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan... the largest TARDIS crew since the 60s and a contrast to the pattern of the 70s where the Doctor generally had one travelling companion plus maybe a Robot Dog.

    Was it a mistake to have this many people travelling in the TARDIS? Was the TARDIS overcrowded? What do you think of this TARDIS team?

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

  2. #2
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    I daresay that after a year of crowded TARDISing where the only real benefit for her was that she got paid for it, Carole Ann Ford would argue that the screen was rather full at about this time...

    Arguably it may have been a mistake to have Tegan stay after Castrovalva. The only character development she has was in the Mara stories, and only because she was possessed. She never became anything more than the Mouth On Legs until she decided to return to her old life. It was only when Adric left that Nyssa had a look-in, and then Turlough turned up ten minutes later - and what was he ever given to do? (Apart from making Lissa and a lot of blokes jealous in Planet Of Fire!)

    Two companions was about enough - you could have a couple of sub-plots per story without having to make someone superfluous.

  3. #3
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    I think it was OK and worked well for a year. For me it was Nyssa who was the spare wheel, but that was more down to Sarah Sutton's fairly flat performance combined with an alien character who wasn't nearly spiky enough to be interesting. When your character traits only include 'Liking science' and 'Knowing so little about telebiogenesis' then you know you're in trouble. At least Adric was a maths genius, for all we know Nyssa could have been a rubbish scientist.

    Anyway, I don't have a problem with the four of them wandering about. You can easily split them into pairs, then suddenly you've got whole new character dynamics to open up. If the relationships had been developed a bit more, it could really have worked.

    And to be honest, their relationships were as developed as Amy and Rory's have been these past two years.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  4. #4
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    It could have worked. I think Chris Bidmead had a good idea how they would work together as team, as set out in Castrovalva, each one bringing their strengths together, but obviously, as Castrovalva was made later than most of the season and with his dwindling influence on the show it all got rather lost.

    It does seem that to get through it, usually one of the regular cast is sidelined a bit (or a lot if you're Sarah Sutton in Kinda). Adris is missing for lots of Castrovalva, Nyssa is out in Kinda and spends lots of time in the TARDIS in both The Visitation and Earthshock. The only character they all seem to like is Tegan who gets a good share of the action in most of the stories through the year.

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

  5. #5
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    It could and should have worked. It certainly worked to a degree in the 60's with the original TARDIS crew. Back at the beginning, there were certainly episodes, if not whole stories, that had strong story lines for the companions. Barbara had Aztecs, Susan certainly had episodes of Marco Polo and Sensorites that were centered around the character and Ian had moments in numerous stories. Yet come the early Davison era, there was little of this happening for the characters. Adric only really came to the fore in Earthshock and Nyssa had Black Orchid. Tegan seemed to be the preferred companion for the writers, and had important roles in Castrovalva, Four to Doomsday and of course, Kinda. There wasn't the sharing of the action between the characters during this era, and even if the writers saw Tegan as the preferable option to write for, the script editor should have ensured that things were more equally weighted.

  6. #6
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    It works well when the writer seems to have planned for it all along, and does the sensible thing of splitting them up into a variety of teams who, most importantly, have something worthwhile to do. Examples include Visitation (tag team one - plays along with villain, tag team two - destroys android) and Earthshock. Where it falls apart is when one of the teams clearly has nothing to do, and has to be got out of the way for a while (the worst example being Terminus).

    A bit more variety in the teamings might have helped - although presumably Janet wasn't too keen on sharing large sections of screen time with just Adric ........
    Bazinga !

  7. #7
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    the script editor should have ensured that things were more equally weighted.
    I wonder if this is all a result of the confusion of script editors this season had, what with some stories being commissioned by Christopher Bidmead, some by Antony Root and some by Eric Saward?

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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    I wonder if this is all a result of the confusion of script editors this season had, what with some stories being commissioned by Christopher Bidmead, some by Antony Root and some by Eric Saward?
    It very probably was for Season 19, although it must said that Season 20 did little favours for Nyssa though, even when there were just two companions for the opening couple of stories.

  9. #9

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    I think three companions at a time is the maximum for a TARDIS crew overwise it would be overcrowding. This is evident during Hartnell's era, the beginning of Troughton's and the start of Davison's.

    Nyssa may have been given less to do because JN-T wanted to get rid of her early on but Peter said she was his favourite companion and so she stayed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Clement View Post
    It could and should have worked. It certainly worked to a degree in the 60's with the original TARDIS crew. Back at the beginning, there were certainly episodes, if not whole stories, that had strong story lines for the companions. Barbara had Aztecs, Susan certainly had episodes of Marco Polo and Sensorites that were centered around the character and Ian had moments in numerous stories. Yet come the early Davison era, there was little of this happening for the characters. Adric only really came to the fore in Earthshock and Nyssa had Black Orchid. Tegan seemed to be the preferred companion for the writers, and had important roles in Castrovalva, Four to Doomsday and of course, Kinda. There wasn't the sharing of the action between the characters during this era, and even if the writers saw Tegan as the preferable option to write for, the script editor should have ensured that things were more equally weighted.

    I think you've pretty much summed up what I wanted to say - I think looking at it another way is that all 3 companions behaved like bickering teenage family you had Teagan, acting like the rebellious teenager Nyssa the goody goody dady's favorite and Adric the spoil t brat and because of that combination having 3 companions just became a little to tedious.

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