After bemoaning the last few Peter Davison-era releases, I was excited about the release of “Black Orchid,” a story from his first season as the Doctor. Even though it’s half the length of a typical Doctor Who story (it’s only two episodes long), it’s regarded by many a fan as a little gem. But it’s an oddball gem, and not at all what one expects from this series. It has no science fiction elements aside from the TARDIS, and seems more like something that would’ve played on Mystery! back in the 80s. It’s noteworthy in that regard, because when the series started back in 1963, the first few seasons often featured such stories, although back then they were usually set against some important historical event. “Black Orchid,” by contrast, is far more intimate, and it isn’t trying to offer up some kind of history lesson seen through the eyes of time travelers.
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