All roads lead to Rome. The I-10 being, perhaps, a notable exception.
This story is, essentially, light farce, and in that way it works fairly well. Yes, it deals with some rather heavy subjects, like slavery and the near rape of a character, as well as various attempts at murder, but it’s all played lightly and works surprisingly well.
Derek Francis really steals the show as Nero. He’s very over-the-top and entertaining, and really helps make this story work. Credit must also go to Hartnell, who does an excellent job showing a more comical side to the Doctor. Also, I’m glad Vicki was given some things to to do other than just be a scared little girl, as Susan was way too often. The writers seem to have found their footings with Vicki more easily than they did with Susan.
Now I will say there were times when I felt my attention drifting, and had a tough time remaining focused on the story. It wasn’t ever drifting or anything, but it did feel a bit unfocused at times. The completely different story for each of the TARDIS crew was a nice idea, but perhaps could have been trimmed down a bit.
That minor complaint aside, this really is a great and entertaining story, and so it saddens me greatly to realize what’s next. *sigh*
|Script editor||Dennis Spooner (uncredited)|
Mervyn Pinfield(associate producer)
|Incidental music composer||Raymond Jones|
|Length||4 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Date started||16 January 1965|
|Date ended||6 February 1965|
Next episode: “The Web Planet”
Next story: “The Web Planet”