Doctor Who: Full Circle (Story #111)

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6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Introduces a new companion in Adric

The weakest of the E-Space Trilogy

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From the depths…the Marshmen!!!

The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lalla Ward) are summoned back to Galifrey, but their trip is interrupted when the TARDIS malfunctions.  Discovering they are in an alternate universe known as E-Space, the Doctor and Romana find themselves involved in a battle that has been going on for centuries.  As the colonists led by a group called the Deciders try to repair their ship the Starliner to leave the planet Alzarius, they face centuries of attacks during an event called Mistfall which releases Marshmen.  With a young man named Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), the Doctor and Romana must uncover the secret of Mistfall and try to help the Starliner.

Doctor Who:  Full Circle is part of the eighteenth season of Doctor Who.  It aired in four parts from October 25, 1980 to November 15, 1980.  Following Doctor Who:  Meglos, the series has been collected in The Tom Baker Years as Story #112 and is sold as part of The E-Space Trilogy which includes Story #113 and #114 (depending on how you count Shada).

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Hey, no kids allowed!

The E-Space Trilogy kicks off here and starts the ending trend of Tom Baker’s run.  This story is rather stylish with a lot of outdoor shots involving the Marshmen, but it also feels that the ’80s Doctor Who get a bit cheesier and cheaper.  This trilogy of shows aren’t bad, but you can already see a trend to try to make the Doctor younger and “hipper” with the introduction of Adric who is a younger companion.

Adric doesn’t do much for me.  He is introduced in this story, but develops more when he stows away aboard the TARDIS and becomes a true companion in Doctor Who:  State of Decay.  He seems too kiddy and it is a bit weird that the Doctor is running around with a kid.  Here and in the rest of the E-Space Trilogy, he at least has Romana to balance out the oddity…of course Romana’s fate is also up for grabs in the E-Space Trilogy.

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Zoiks! We’re in trouble now!

Story-wise, this story is a bit creative and pretty classic Doctor Who.  The idea of a war that has been going on forever and the hope of a ship that will never launch is a fun idea.  The story gets a bit sidetracked with Adric and his friends, but for the most part it stays on track.  This story is probably my least favorite of the E-Space Trilogy but still stronger than some other Doctor Who stories.

Doctor Who:  Full Circle feels like even more change for Doctor Who, and it had been going through many changes at the time.  I don’t know that Tom Baker was 100% behind the show at the time, and it is sad to see his monumental run on the show winding down.  Doctor Who:  Full Circle is followed by Doctor Who:  State of Decay.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Meglos (Story #110)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  State of Decay (Story #112)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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