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The Day of the Clone - Review by Steve Hardy

 

With 'The Day of the Clone' 'Timeslip' undergoes a change of writer and a slight change of emphasis. Bruce Stewart's extroverted 'big future' outings are replaced with Victor Pemberton's more introverted, contemporary plotting (well, it was contemporary THEN) with a sprinkling of past events (and yes, I know Vic replaced Bruce for the last episode of 'Burn-Up' but 'Clone' is the first all-Vic story without any Bruce influence.)

The time barrier in 'Clone' is no longer the mean to access the adventure as such; it is now more a plot device used 'within' the adventure. The action here takes place in the present or in the (fairly) recent past, with the emphasis mostly on telling the story of characters we know and theories and procedures already encountered in the series. This is not to say that 'Clone' is re-treading old ground - not at all! The stories strength lies in Pemberton's audacious use of previous characters in a new way. We meet the original Morgan C. Devereaux whose clone was featured in 'Ice Box' and Dr. Frazer, who it appears was the 'blueprint' for 'Burn-Up's' Alpha 4 - with both John Barron and Ian Fairbairn giving subtly different performances to their previous ones in the series. Back in the story mix are cloning and the longevity drug, HA57 and we finally get to find out Traynor's secret... but no spoilers here! Watch it for yourself.

 

Presentation of the episodes on the disc is first class with the muddy transfers used in the 1993, VHS presentation now a dim and distant nightmare. The cleaned-up versions looking pretty spick and span, with only a slight hint of muddiness here and there. One small gripe in terms of presentation is the use of pictures from 'Burn-Up' and 'The Wrong End of Time' on the menu screens. The extras on this disk consist of a photo gallery, which consists entirely of pictures supplied by Spencer Banks, Ian Fairbairn and P.A.S.T. Projects - though that isn't stated and there are spelling mistakes on some of the captions. These are only minor gripes though and nothing really worthy of serious complaint.

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