Horns Of Nimon: Doctor Who: Season 17
Horns Of Nimon SYNOPSIS:
The Doctor is making modifications to the TARDIS, unfortunately they have materialized near a Black Hole and the disconnected controls can not prevent them being drawn in. Extending the TARDIS force field to a nearby spaceship the travellers board and find it full of radioactive fuel crystals and young prisoners from the planet Aneth.
The pilots are taking the Anethen prisoners to Skonnos as tribute to their benefactor, the Nimon. The Nimon has promised to restore the Skonnon empire in exchange for prisoners as 'tribute' by the fawning Skonnon leader Soldeed. Near abandoned in the black hole by the pilot, the Doctor and K-9 repair the TARDIS and head to Skonnos.
There Romana, the Anethens and the co-pilot are sent into the labyrinth Nimon Power Complex with the crystals. When the Doctor arrives Soldeed tricks him into entering the Power complex too. The Nimon is revealed to be a member of a parasitic race travelling between worlds by black holes to suck each dry of it's resources. There maybe no stopping more nimon arriving on Skonnos.
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Horns Of Nimon CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Lalla Ward (Romana II)
David Brierley (K-9 Mk. II)
Graham Crowden — Soldeed
Michael Osborne — Sorak
Malcolm Terris — Co-Pilot
Bob Hornery — Pilot
Simon Gipps-Kent — Seth
Janet Ellis — Teka
John Bailey — Sezom
Robin Sherringham, Bob Appleby, Trevor St John Hacker — Nimons
Clifford Norgate — Voice of the Nimon
Production Staff for Serial 5L:
Writer - Anthony Read
Director - Kenny McBain
Script editor - Douglas Adams
Producer - Graham Williams
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Horns Of Nimon REVIEWS
The Horny Nimon...the closest the classic series gets to pantomime!
We should be grateful that Horns Of Nimon is the last complete story of this era, it makes the contrast between this episode and the Leisure Hive even greater. Tom and now Lalla have really ceased to give a rats about any dramatic impact the series used to have and are playing the whole thing for comedy. What's worse is Douglas Adams is encouraging the actors to go nuts with sci fi comedy in the script which was written by his predecessor Anthony Read. Plus the director is in on the act too!
Thing is if they actually changed it to a complete comedy it would be so much better but would be a different show but if they went totally serious Dr Who it would be mediocre. But the fact the style of Horns Of Nimon is sitting in between both just makes it rubbish, the story and the actors don't seem to care what they're doing so why should the viewer? Plus the comedy isn't even funny. The TARDIS console blows up to the tune of Warner Brothers cartoon noises! I suppose because Tom did 42 stories there was bound to be one or two real stinkers and this is the worst one.
First of all the production: most of the sets outside the Nimon's complex on Skonnos seem to be have big metal grates everywhere which makes a heavy clanking noise so you can't hear dialogue but you can sure as shit tell when people are walking around. Second the costumes: Lalla's is a nice hunting outfit, Tom's is looking tatty and what the hell are the inhabitants of the Nimon's planet wearing? It's just so Flamboyant and OTT. Puffy foam shirts with feather's? And Seinfeld thought he had it bad!! Then there's the Nimon, platform boots are in this year plus big bull shaped foam heads that actually slide around all over the place when they move around, meaning they can't move much. The Mandrells look realistic by comparison. Third, the acting: Tom is not leading by example with a bag full of jelly babies and quips. His OTT comedian doctor is on full display here and doesn't help with proceedings, he doesn't seem to care about any of the so called threats so why should we? Lalla is following his example as well and trying to keep up with Tom, although she does show some serious acting. All the regulars aren't doing though is a knowing wink to the audience. Then there's the crap kid actors or "tributes" to the Nimon, the guard who storms around yelling "weakling scum" to anyone who'll listen and Soldeed. Graham Crowden is in a league of his own as the most silly & OTT performance the show had seen to date.
What was the Horns Of Nimon about? That the Nimon are a bunch of space bums picking off planets one-by-one? They seem to have a roundabout way of doing it becoming a deity and building one man transporters, why not just invade? Although they do have original and scary sounding voices but that's about it. Hmmmm 1.6/10
ACTING? Tom Baker is just way too over the top and playing silly buggers. He's not funny, he's just acting like a prat with a huge ego that is far out of control. Romana - very dull, very boring and spends most of the Horns Of Nimon behaving like a spoilt brat. Graham Crowden - fantastic in A Very Peculiar Practice but shite here and so far over the top and pantomime that its pointless investing time in watching him. Malcolm Terris as the co-pilot - an early contender for the Colin Baker Award For Gross and Atrocious Acting. Teka and Seth - well, we always have to have two wet and wimpy teenagers hanging around.
SETS? The money went ages ago so we have some very dull, badly lit cardboard sets that wobble. Choose from light brown, beige, mustard or pee yellow. And they are so proud of the lighting that you can even see the studio lights in some shots. The TARDIS set is looking very shabby and the console needs a fresh coat of taubmanns paint.
STORYLINE? Hardly. Its a rip off of the bloody Minotaur legend so very little imagination there. Plus there are similarities to Underworld as well - and we know what a masterpiece of Tom Stoppard that was!!!!
COSTUMES? Aside from seeing Malcolm Terris' underpants when he gets shot by the Nimon we have the Nimon themselves easily winning the award for Dr Who's most unconvincing monster. Who ever thought that black tights, platform shoes and a large paper mache head was something to be proud of should be shot.
THE ENDING? Everybody run cos someone has a bomb!!!! That could actually be describing the show itself but its how they actually ended the Horns Of Nimon. When in doubt, blow it up. Or cast Eric Heyes.
I couldn't remember any of Horns Of Nimon, but you know what, it really is that bad.
Apparently Douglas Adams had to edit every script for Series 17 heavily, except for this one. "Andrew delivered a perfect set of scripts" he said. Where the hell did they get to? This is meant to be loosely based on Greek mythology - I believe that "Nimon" is the Greek word for "tedious".
Where do you start? OK, I'll start with the worst acting I've ever seen. Congratulations Malcolm Terris. He's actually very well credentialed (yes I googled) and still working today - which makes you think that maybe it's not him. Maybe all his lines were written in capital letters, and the never to be seen again Kenny McBain really had no frigging idea. When you see the worst ever thing ever in the history of Dr Who ever, the Doctor giving K9 a 1st place ribbon, I'm pretty sure that yes, Kenny McBain really has no frigging idea!! Elisabeth was watching this with me last night, and she pointed out the one entertaining thing that Mr Terris did in this episode... he rips his pants when he gets shot at the end of Part 2!
Soldeed isn't much better.
The two kids that speak (Seth and... the chick) aren't too bad... the best of the non regulars anyway. Actually Seth did have the best line in the whole story by a long way "It's no use, all these corridors look the same". And he delivered it straight. That is talent.
OK, the sets... who decided it was a good idea to have iron ramps running everywhere... well everywhere except the one corridor that poor old Seth couldn't work out was actually many different corridors. And what the hell was going on with Soldeed's office and all the wheels? But well done to him and even more well done to The Nimon, who were able to create some wonderful technology from some old WW2 transistor radios.
And as for the Nimon, well.... you know what, I think they could have been OK if a) it was made clear that their heads were supposed to be masks that they had to wear to conceal their hideous faces (both from everyone and from themselves - this was the intention), and b) someone didn't decide to put them in ridiculous platform boots that they couldn't walk on.
It's so bad it's amazing.
The Horns Of Nimon gets worse when you see some of the costumes though - apparently huge fuck off collars and massive pointy things on your sleeves are big on Skonnos this year...
As for the story, well, it's very very boring. The first 3 parts are plain shit. I could barely keep my eyes open. It picks up at the end of part 3 when the space capsule thing arrives from Crinoth - but the horse has bolted by then. The last part had some interesting things about the Nimon that, if maybe we had seen in Part 2 instead of going through the tedium of fixing spaceships again, might have saved the story a bit.
I'm struggling not to give Horns Of Nimon a zero - the only redeeming thing I can see is Seth's line and the fact that maybe the end of Part 4 was OK... it might not have been, but I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
Then again, there's that scene of the Doctor giving K9 the ribbon... OK... here goes...