This was not my first choice for introducing the 4th Dr. I had planned to review Robot BUT we couldn’t find our copy of it. It’s not a great story but it’s Tom Baker’s first story so was hoping to start there, anyway time for a story.
It was the 17th series of Dr Who and the crew were going to end it with a masterpiece. A tale involving a hidden Time Lord prison and a legendary criminal. It would add to the lore of the Dr. This is not that story. You see while they were working on it and had done many of the scenes there was a strike and the BBC in its continued stupidity with Dr Who decided it wasn’t worth giving them the time to finish the story and it would be decades until the remaining scenes were filled in with animation.
Now because the story was sooo great that was planned they decided they could cheap out on the previous story, it didn’t matter Shada the finale was going to be great no one would remember what came before Shada. And then Shada was cancelled.
The Horns of Nimon is mostly set on Skonnos a world made a great promise by a being called the Nimon that would give them technology to restore their once great empire. Well turns out the Nimon is just a man from Earth called Michael Nimon who fell from a time hole. The Skonnans, having degraded into superstition since its glory days, were all lost to a form of madness and viewed him as a god. To survive he made the lie about giving them technology. Now it’s up to the Dr to save Michael from them as the time for him to pay up has come.
OR that’s the story I would have done,(I have been waiting over a year to do that joke) [Small side note from Nephrite: He isn’t kidding about having waited over a year for the Michael Nimon joke. All hail Michael Nimon!] Instead you have a blatant rip off of the story of the Minotaur, with only two bright points for viewers. Those are : laughing at how stupid the Nimon looks (we see him just waddling about in his costume), and the hilarious overacting of Soldeed played by Graham Crowden who was one of the people considered for the role of the 4th Dr. And funny story, this is the third time they used the Minotaur in Dr Who (and not the last) and not even the first time with this Dr (ok they might have used one in the story set in the Land of Fiction but can’t recall) just showing how rushed the writing of this story was.
The Skonnans are all stupid but entertainingly (as said you will laugh at how over the top Soldeed is) while the people of Aneth are so passive they openly refuse to run away and just expect people to save them and it’s so infuriating.
The special effects and models are bad even for classic Dr Who standards. The ships and landscape of Skonnos are so cheaply made you can see the egg boxes used to make them and as mentioned the Nimon is so badly designed he can’t even walk forward properly.
It fortunately makes the story so bad its good, I can’t recommend it for an example of Dr Who’s classic run and especially the 4th Dr but it is hilarious to watch especially when Soldeed is on screen (can’t stress enough how funny he is).
[Secondary side note: I concur with the statement on the hilarious stupidity that is Soldeed!].
Rating (because it’s so bad its fun to watch)