The King`s Demons is a two-parter with not a lot going on and the wrong villain – scuppering Magna Carta strikes me as much more the Meddling Monk`s kind of thing than the Master`s. I can just imagine this as a sequel to The Time Meddler with Hartnell, Steven and Dodo and even though it would be just as slow as the Monk’s debut story, it would still be better then The Ark!
As for Kamelion, you have to wonder what on earth they were thinking. The shape shifter is an old established trope of science fiction and fantasy and you have to wonder why they didn’t just get a bloke in a robot suit instead of an animatronic mannequin that clearly doesn’t work. In some ways Kamelion is a bit of a missed opportunity – there are all sorts of possibilities for doppelganger-type plotlines if he can look like whoever you want him to but that would most likely have worn thin rather quickly. Even so, you have to wonder what on earth they were planning on doing with him had the technology been up to the job – I mean, what sort of role would he have played in The Five Doctors for a start?
On the plus side it does have a wonderfully fruity turn from Gerald Flood as King John and some nice face-offs between Davison and Ainley. However, Tegan and Turlough do absolutely nothing. They make next to no contribution to the plot and for all the difference it would have made they could just as well have stayed in the TARDIS and left the Doctor to it…
There’s about ten minutes worth of cuts made to the story, which just goes to show that even a two part story can have some padding in it! The whole thing is just that little bit tighter now and all the better for it – and we end with a Next Time caption for The Five Doctors!