PART of Doctor Who’s seventeenth season and shown during the autumn of 1979, this four-part story sees the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lalla Ward) tackle drug smuggling.
This was also the first story written solo by Who stalwart Bob Baker after his amicable split from long-time writing partner Dave Martin.
Two spacecraft collide and become fused and one of the passengers has a machine that stores samples of planets on laser crystals.
When this machine becomes unstable, Mandrels – monsters from the planet of Eden are released.
The Doctor also discovers that someone is smuggling the drug Vraxoin.
Somehow, he has to separate the ships, stop the drug smugglers and return the Mandrels to Eden.
The production of this story was fraught with problems – not least of which were the monster costumes and special effects.
In the extras, the obligatory ‘making of’ documentary tells us more and Bob Baker tells us of his split with Dave Martin and how he came to write the story.
A group of fans discuss the story in a section called The Doctor’s Strange Love and there is an edition of Ask Aspel featuring special guest Lalla Ward.
Of all the extras so far encountered in the Doctor Who series, I think that The Doctor’s Strange Love adds nothing to the package; and even thought he fans are very knowledgeable – the whole thing
smacks of ‘clique-ism’.