Well, here's the Third Doctor. He is a dashing gentleman of action and science. This story is told by his companion, Jo Grant, and takes place during the Doctor's exile on Earth.
Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles
The Doll of Death (2008) by Marc Platt
An older Jo recalls a time when she worked at Unit with the Brigadier and the Doctor. The Doctor has detected a 'Blue Shift' that causes “Retrocausation! Events before their cause. Time in reverse.” They follow the indicator and encounter a scientist who tries to hide a tablet as they enter. Later an old woman enters and claims the tablet is hers. Then the world goes strange and Jo sees some dolls and even herself lying dead on the floor.
So... I've mentioned in the past that I'm not a fan of this era and this story brought back a lot of why I don't care for it. The stories in this era drifted away from science and history into the realm of the paranormal. I have no issue with the paranormal itself, but I don' think it works as a Doctor Who story. If the paranormal this is set up in a more scientific context then its okay, but this one just inserts 'science' to justify the Doctor entering the story.
Jo Grant is the Doctor's ditzy spy sidekick. Even in the middle of rushing to get somewhere she stops to check out shoes. We do get some tense scenes, but I have a hard time putting myself in her shoes.
The Third Doctor is a heroic gentleman who's not afraid to fight back. He karate chops a spectral hound, which is a lot lamer than it sounds. He kind of acts like a plot device that just shows up to make proclamations and solve certain situations.
Allister Gordon Lethbridge Stewart is a man out of his depth. He continues to take charge even when things have clearly gone out of control. His frustration with the Doctor is touched on, but not played up.
Seargeat Benton appears to support and make googly eyes at Jo. His appearance is necessary and there is even a section that he becomes a kind of 'damsel in distress' for a bit.
Mrs. Killebrew and her dolls are crazy, but not that scary. She has the crazy old hippie perspective that I found really grating. She ends up showing up and saying "give me my tablet" before giving up and retreating.
The time period and the limitation to London of the sixties work for the story. However, the backwards time and overlapping just make it more confusing and mysterious rather than to add to the story.
In the End
Was there an explanation for this ending that I completely missed? I was ready to give this thing a seven until it just kind of ended. Also, Jo gets to decide? Ugh.
I may have been overly hard on this one, though I didn't hate it. It has a very 70s camp horror flick vibe that some people appreciate. So, if you like this era, I'd recommend it.
Buy it here from Big Finish!