The Face Of Evil: Doctor Who: Season 14
The Face Of Evil SYNOPSIS:
The Face Of Evil the Doctor soon discovers is his own when he lands on a nameless jungle planet and encounters the tribe of Sevateem, savage warriors who are attempting to free their god Xoanon from beyond the black wall controlled by their sworn enemies the tribe of Tesh led by the evil one whose face is carved into their mountainside. and resembles the Doctor's.
Despite being put through trials to determine if he is the evil one, the Doctor and warrior savage Leela deduce the way to freedom from the invisible monsters that stalk and kill the savages is through the face of evil on the mountain. There they encounter the tribe of Tesh, worshippers of Xoanon who aim to 'protect him' until the "The Lord of Time" returns.
The technology based Tesh protect a super computer called Xoanon that is both self aware and schizophrenic, a result of the Doctor's last visit when it took his personality. The Doctor and Leela have to stop the Tesh (technicans) and Sevateem (Survey Team) destroying each other as part of Xoanon's Eugenics experiment and wipe his collective personality before Xoanon destroys all.
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The Face Of Evil SERIAL DETAILS:
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The Face Of Evil CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Louise Jameson (Leela)
David Garfield — Neeva
Leslie Schofield — Calib
Brendan Price — Tomas
Victor Lucas — Andor
Leon Eagles — Jabel
Colin Thomas — Sole
Lloyd McGuire — Lugo
Mike Elles — Gentek
Peter Baldock — Acolyte
Tom Kelly, Brett Forrest — Guards
Tom Baker, Rob Edwards, Pamela Salem, Anthony Frieze, Roy Herrick — Xoanon
Harry Fielder — Assassin
Writer - Chris Boucher
Director - Pennant Roberts
Script editor - Robert Holmes
Producer - Philip Hinchcliffe
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The Face Of Evil REVIEWS
Yes, think the Face Of Evil is the weakest story of the whole Hinchcliffe era, funnily enough it was then followed by one of the best by the same author. Maybe Pennant Roberts does lack a bit in the direction stakes? The jungle sets are lame when compared to the Zeta Minor ones of only a year before but at least they look different and are nearly all on film this time.
This is the first mad computer story for Baker's Doctor and the slant is that he actually caused it all by giving the computer schizophrenia in the first place...nice twist. The showdown with Xoanon is unfortunately when this story really gets going and by then we're into part 3. and his mind battles with the Doctor are good especially by the end of the story. The only other huge plus is Louise Jamieson as the leggy, tanned, gorgeous and scantily dressed savage warrior woman Leela. A new and innovative companion who uses violence to solve problems. Shows the production team are now also trying to contrast the companion's from one to the next like the Dr's incarnations. But...
The effects are badly done as is the warriors attack on the black wall which we don't see but "hear". Probably a bit to ambitious to realize this on a BBC budget but maybe that's the fault of the writer. Plus the lighting for the studio village scenes makes it bright enough to resemble a sitcom. Plus the costumes of the Tesh just scream Mardi gras. Seriously who but JNT could have thought of them? The acting is patchy too with only the characters of Calib and Neeva standing out. So the jelly babies gimmick started in Face Of Evil huh? Didn't know that. Quite ironic it started in such an average piece. Still 6/10
Actually, jelly babies were introduced in Robot. And then were seen again in Genesis Of The Daleks and Revenge of the Cybermen. I like this story. The Face Of Evil is not absolutely brilliant, but it's a good introduction story for the very leggy and sexy Leela. Maybe I just have a thing for girls in skimpy leather outfits and very long thigh high boots. Anyway, Leela is a great companion and I reckon despite what grumpy ol' Tom thought, I reckon it will be a nice chemistry. Of course, Tom is pretty pee-ed off by the fact that everyone will now be looking at two of Leela's greatest assets rather than the length of his scarf, but there you go. Incidentally, is Leela the only female in her tribe? Lucky her come Valentine's Day and Procreation Day.
It's an interesting story in that it shows the actions of the Doctor after he has turned up somewhere and screwed everything around. I can't however work out when in the series he did this, which leads me to assume that it must have been sometime when he was off his skull and on his back in Robot. Face Of Evil's also a nice contrasting story in so much that the outer part of the planet with all the hostile invisible monsters and tribesmen (Sevateem) work well against the sterile and clinical technological interiors where the Tesh are. Incidentally, if it isn't Valentine's Day, then its definitely Stupid Hat Day when you cop a gander at what Neeva has stuck on the top of his melon and what the Tesh are also poncing around in on top of theirs. Oh, nice form of greeting too guys; arms out stretched and waving them up and down.
Violence is always good (except when its from Colin Baker) and its great to see Leela making the most of her knives and Janus thorns before Tom put paid to that as well. In short, its a great story for Leela and an interesting back story for Tom. On the production side, its the obvious studio setting and over-lit lights that lets it down. 7/10.
I don't know about the Face Of Evil. It's certainly not bad, but it just doesn't seem in place... it's kind of more of a series 18 - 21 story. It's "cute" I guess with all the references to "Techs" and "Surveyors", and it all makes reasonably good sense - and the image of seeing the Doctor's face carved on the side of a rock is very effective - but I don't know, something about it doesn't quite work.
I think it's mainly the middle two parts that don't do it for me. After the reveal of "the Face Of evil" itself, I guess there's some nice stuff in working out what the hell is going on - but after that the whole "proving himself" parts are a bit contrived... and boring. The showdown with Xoanon though is great - and I particularly like the name Xoanon! I think it would be a good name for a pet!
There's also a nice introduction to the jelly babies - "I knew you ate people"! Interesting that two of the most iconic things of the Tom Baker era (jelly babies and K9) came after his most iconic stories! Also interesting (well maybe not, but I'm throwing it in to compete with Grob's Director knowledge), is that Pennant Roberts' stories (all of which seem very "bright") were book ended with non televised sequels to "Baker" stories!All in all though, surrounded by the rest of series 15, it's just an average (and interesting for the main part) tale.
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