As much as I looked catching up with The Fourth Doctor and Leela, particularly in a story produced by Philip Hinchcliffe – whose time at the helm in the mid 1970s produced the Gold standard of DOCTOR WHO – The Genesis Chambers is just a bit a dull.
Taking a similar idea as Leela’s first story ‘The Face of Evil’, two groups of human settlers find themselves at loggerheads on another planet. Beyond that though, the story just pretty much sits in its box and throws clichés about. There’s the star-crossed lovers, the old wise man who knows more than he’s letting on, even that most over-used of DOCTOR WHO tropes, an aggressive alien race with mining rights.
There really isn’t much that’s original here or interesting, and the fact that it’s dragged out to three hours makes it feel particularly turgid. At the centre of it Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are both on top firm, yet neither of them ends up with anything memorable to do. Indeed. there are substantial stretches where neither has much to do at all.
It does end with a big deus ex machina, albeit one with a quite good deus ex machina joke sellotaped to the side, but it still feels like a cop out.
So, a story that doesn’t have much going on, takes an age to get what little it has done and can’t be bothered to build up to a proper ending. I really did hope for more.
Fancy a free F.R. Jameson short story? There’s one available here.