Doctor Who: Timelash (Story #141)

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

Fun villain in the Borad

Not a Colin Baker or Peri fan


Let’s do the Timelash again!!!

The Borad (Robert Ashby) rules Karfel with an iron fist.  When the Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) are sucked into a time corridor created by the Borad’s form of punishment called the Timelash, the Doctor and Peri end up on Karfel via the Kontron corridor.  The Borad needs the Doctor to retrieve his amulet containing the bulk of his power was lost in the Timelash when a Karfelian named Vena (Jeananne Crowley) sacrificed herself to stop the Borad.  With Peri’s life threatened, the Doctor must venture into the Timelash and Earth’s past to save Peri.

Doctor Who:  Timelash aired during the twenty-second season of the long running BBC series.  The serial aired in two episodes on March 9, 1985 and March 16, 1985.  Following Doctor Who:  The Two Doctors, Doctor Who:  Timelash has been collected as part of The Colin Baker Years as Story #142 (or Story #141 depending on how the unaired Tom Baker story Shada is counted).


Oooh…I love bonfires!

I kind of dreaded watching Doctor Who:  Timelash for two reasons.  The first reason was that I’m not a fan of Baker and his companion Peri is like nails on a chalkboard.  The other reason was it was my last Baker episode and despite not liking Colin Baker as the Doctor, it is always sad to say goodbye to a Doctor.  Fortunately (of Baker’s Doctor Who run), I found parts of this serial enjoyable.

The basic story for Doctor Who:  Timelash is fun with an evil mutated dictator controlling a small planet and its inhabitants while using time as a torture technique.  It is also fun that this is tied to an old Doctor Who story that was never told.  The Doctor has been Karfel in his Jon Pertwee incarnation with Jo Grant.  The story hasn’t never been told and has been mentioned in some of the spin off books.


Admit it, Doctor…I’m doing you a favor.

It feels like Colin Baker just never knew what to do with his “angry and grumpy” Doctor.  He isn’t fun and his little explosions are out of place and he just comes off as unlikable.  Nicola Bryant continues to try her American accent which seems to get worse and worse (I’m guessing she did more practicing earlier in her run and less when she thought she “had it”).  She’s annoying and screechy.  Also in this adventure you have the overacting David Chandler as “Herbert” who is revealed to be H.G. Wells (which explains all the Morlock and Time Machine references), but Chandler too is trying too hard and comes off as a stage actor.

I do like the creepy Borad who comes off looking like half-seal.  The writers often didn’t seem to know what to do with enemies at the end of serials and simply stranded him in time (making him another “lost” Doctor Who villain).  I sometimes wish that characters like this would return in the new Doctor Who as a fun callback to older adventures.

Colin Baker is one of my least favorite Doctors and Peri is one of my least favorite companions.  This adventure is pretty typical of their era of Doctor Who.  The story has some potential, but both characters don’t mix well and the overall cheapness of the series also hurts the final product.  Doctor Who:  Timelash is followed by Doctor Who:  Revelation of the Daleks.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Two Doctors (Story #140)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Revelation of the Daleks (Story #142)

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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