Wednesday, 28 December 2016

"Slipback" by Eric Saward (July-August 1985)

Slipback surprised me, in that I actually rather enjoyed it. I have no great love for most of Eric Saward’s individual scripts nor for his particular vision of Doctor Who; the kind of macho posturing that, from 1982, he seemed determined to import into a show where it rarely fits leaves me pretty bored and dissatisfied. But perhaps I was forgetting the high esteem in which I hold Revelation of the Daleks, his 1985 script, and how that maybe signals that he was learning as he went along. Slipback is no literary triumph, and by landing us on a vast spaceship, the Vipod Mor, with a rampaging alien creature in the hold, we are plunging directly back into SF cliché territory - but it’s actually rather good for an Eric Saward effort, and in its pleasing eccentricity of tone feels both like a homage to Douglas Adams and a forerunner of Red Dwarf.