Usually when I go into a Seventh Doctor story, I turn my observational skills up to eleven as things are about to get really really complicated. I was stunned when I listened this story that seemed to go against the grain in how it portrayed McCoy's incarnation. When I read that the Doctor would not be quite himself, I didn't expect this sort of behavior. It felt a mix of his early 'clown' years and his later 'darker' shades. And that's just the Doctor! The story is equally ridiculous - in a good way! It's aim was clearly to be light and soft and that's just what we get. Hilarity ensues as the Doctor teams up with Benny and is convinced that they've stepped into a plot set up by a future version of himself.
We are treated to an abundance of 'miracles', which deserve their own special mention as it becomes something of a running joke throughout the story. It never stops being funny though and even the characters seem to become aware of just how ludicrous things around them are becoming. Heck, they even use it to their advantage at several stages! Onto the story - I can't really say much about it - since that would violate the no spoiler clause, but I was thoroughly entertained by the two elements at work (Science vs Miracles) here and how they end up being made fun off by both the author and the Doctor (indirectly in his case).
Like everything in life, this story does have flaws. This is in no part Sylvester McCoy's fault as his portrayal is fantastic. The problem lies in his Doctor. Before the audience is made aware that this piece is not a 'serious Seventh Doctor script', the Doctor comes across as incredibly unlikable and to some degree - annoying! He's madder than he was in Unregenerate which was a mediocre story at best and like Benny, the audience feels that he's just getting in her way. But in true Seventh Doctor style, all of this proves vital to the story later on. It is an important part of the plot and not just because of the humor involved in some of the things the Doctor tries in order to 'fix' the mess. Another tiny thing that irked me was no Ace McShane in this first episode. Again, this is explained later on and her absence is important regarding the plot.
I will tell you this now: That the climax you will not see coming. That and the 'villain' for this story. Totally blew me away! A proper stroke of genius by Mr. Fountain that really honors the style and format of Sylvester McCoy's Doctor. It really reminded me that: "Yes, this script may be light and soft, but that doesn't mean you should turn down your observational skills - SUCKER!"
Rating this story: 8.5/10. There are more plot threads running through this piece than first meets the eye!