A suitably epic end to this run of Tom Baker and Louise Jameson adventures sees Frazer Hines pop up to recreate both Jamie McCrimmon (whose presence wasn’t so much telegraphed as fanfared with a full orchestral brass section last episode) and the second Doctor, in scenes interpolated into the classic Tomb of the Cybermen. (Think Marty McFly in Back to the Future II, but without the hoverboard.) He’s joined by Bernard Holley stepping back nearly 50 years into his role in that story. Their presence gives Return to Telos an extra boost, even if the idea of the Fourth and Second Doctors in a tale together isn’t new – Dave Stone’s BBC Books novel Heart of TARDIS, and Paul Magrs’ Nest Cottage Chronicles both chart previous such overlaps.
There are times when the story reminded me of Colin Baker’s Cyber-adventure, Attack of the Cybermen, with convoluted plans by the Cybermen involving time travel and elements of their own past, but as writer and director, Nick Briggs pulls this off far more successfully. You do have to concentrate on what’s going on but sound designer Jamie Robertson uses the background effects to help maintain a sense of place – and the scenes set on Krelos are particularly well put together.
Briggs gives Baker and Jameson a lovely coda for the season, as the Doctor and Leela sit outside looking up at a night sky, with a particularly apt description of the couple. It provides a good sense of closure for a season which has seen so much happen between the pair.
Verdict: A rousing conclusion to a highly enjoyable season. 9/10