I've not much to add to what I wrote about this story back in 2008
when a smaller number of people marathoned the season compared with those who did so today. I came in during part eight, in time to see the breathtaking erasure of Peri and her replacement with a humanised and feminised Kiv. Nicola Bryant's performances in these scenes are among her best, though Peri's apparent fate is too bleak for that of a Doctor Who
companion. Not even Russell T Davies went as far as to erase an entire personality, and John Nathan-Turner was probably right to reverse Peri's death in dialogue, though the electronic pink heart in which she and Yrcanos are enveloped in part fourteen is far, far too much. The Vervoid story won much more attention this time, though as the almost-banned cover of DWM
323 had been mentioned (by me in one of my more ribald moments) the humour assumed a bluer hue than I previously remembered.
The case remains, for me, that the most interesting character in (Terror of) The Vervoids/The Ultimate Foe
/parts nine to twelve is Ruth Baxter, and she remains in her coffin and is used for shock value only. There is a glimmer of how the sixth Doctor might have developed, liberated from Eric Saward's script-editing as he now was, but Pip and Jane Baker largely deliver a Doctor reacting to public criticism - "More a sort of clown, actually." Mel asks the Doctor whether all Time Lords speak in such an antediluvian manner, which either exposes Pip and Jane's failure to recognise how cumbersome and antiquated their own writing style was, or admits their inability or unwillingness to do anything about it.