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YMMV / Doctor Who 1985 JFIGS "A Fix With Sontarans"

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  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The Doctor and Tegan react in a Faux Horrific way when Jimmy Savile shows up and gives Gareth Jenkins a meson gun to defend himself from Savile with after he kisses Tegan's hand. In 2012, Savile (one year after his death) was revealed to be one of the most horrific sexual abusers ever, and suddenly Tegan and Six's Faux Horrific reactions are a lot more appropriate now. After the allegations became more fully known, Colin Baker later wrote about the unsettling experience of working with Savile on the sketch.
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    • The famous Waking Non Sequitur line of the Fourth Doctor, and later, Twelfth Doctor, "Sontarans! Perverting the course of human history!" At any other time on Doctor Who, it's amusing. Apply it to the context of this story with actual Sontarans and an ACTUAL pervert and you get a football field of Fridge Horror attached to it.
    • In the "Built for War" featurette found in the 2006 DVD of "The Sontaran Experiment", Colin Baker commented on the special, saying he found Jimmy Savile "much more frightening than the Sontarans." (Following the special's banning, the version of the featurette found in the 2018 Season 12 Blu-Ray box set cuts out all discussion of it.) In context, Baker referred to how he had found working with Savile a somewhat unpleasant experience, due to Savile's "self-congratulatory" and non-inclusive demeanor, but some years later, the revelation of Savile's lifelong sexual abuse spree came along...
  • Heartwarming Moments:
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    • Gareth Jenkins and Colin Baker met each other again in 2013, over 28 years later. Gareth revealed that he is now a campaign director for the Save the Children charity, and also assuaged everyone's fears by stating that Savile never showed any interest in him throughout his involvement with the episode, removing a nasty bit of Paranoia Fuel.
    • Within the original cut of the special itself, Colin seems very protective of Gareth, putting a protective arm round him as Savile steps closer, and seeming utterly disgusted by Savile’s presence. This works on both a meta level and an (unintended) in-universe level. On a meta-level, Colin clearly has a strong instinct that something is very wrong indeed with Savile, and while he obviously has absolutely zero way of actively knowing just HOW horribly right he isnote , he still wants to keep Gareth safe and secure with this person in the room. On an in-universe level, a fan theory that has been recently gaining some cult popularity through various forums holds that this entire story was created by a fiendish plot by some enemy who taken charge of The Land of Fiction, and was attempting to turn the Doctor into a cliché fictional character version of himself played by Colin Baker (which doubles as explaining the inanity of this story as well as why they so abruptly and without warning break character). However, as the theory goes, there was still just enough Doctor left in him to make sure that Savile didn’t get the chance to do anything to Gareth (because, of course, as a time traveller, he would be aware of... the sort of person Savile was).
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  • Improved by the Re-Cut: The 2022 George Lucas Altered Version is considered much better not only for the obvious reason that it no longer has one of the most depraved and evil men in British history in it, but also because its new ending does not break the fourth wall into a million pieces with a sledgehammer; meaning one can now easily slot it into their personal definition of Doctor Who canon.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The special was previously remembered as a hokey one-off story done to appease the wishes of a young Whovian who was eager to appear on Doctor Who, but since 2012 has become primarily known for the close involvement of Jimmy Savile, revealed after his death to be one of the most prolific celebrity child predators in British history. The revelations motivated the BBC to ban the episode from re-releases, with later DVD releases of "The Two Doctors" excluding it (the original 2003 DVD having thrown it on as a special feature), until they could cook up a Savile-less George Lucas Altered Version in 2022.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: For all of this special's issues, Colin Baker and Janet Fielding manage to make at least the first half entertaining (before things get really off the rails) with their surprisingly good chemistry as two brash personalities constantly bounce off of each other. Many fans note that the special actually makes one wish Six and Tegan could've been a real Doctor-companion dynamic in the show.

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