Companions: Tegan, Turlough
Written by: Christopher H. Bidmead
Directed by: Ron Jones
Background & Significance: "Frontios" is the last great hurrah of the Peter Davison era before it starts slowly transitioning away from it and writing out all of the major characters in anticipation for Colin Baker. This is the last story of the season that isn't based on a main character's departure or introduction and (for some reason, quite fittingly) it brings the TARDIS crew to the very edge of civilization itself.
It's interesting, then, that this story is written by Christopher H. Bidmead, a lovely fellow who oversaw both the end of Tom Baker and the beginning of Peter Davison right before the four-story upheaval that serves as the crux of the back half of season twenty-one. As an on-again, off-again fan of Bidmead's, it's an interesting case-study, especially as it's the Davison story I saved for last when I was popcorn-watching all the way through the show. It's quite different, but I'm not convinced this is a bad thing. I do think Bidmead does some really good work. It's sometimes incredibly difficult to put together, but I do find myself enjoying his stories quite a bit when all is said and done. So really, this could go either way.
Black Orchid", but "Time-Flight" and "Arc of Infinity" are rubbish and I positively can't stand "Vengeance on Varos" no matter what anyone says to me.
In summation, it's the last hurrah of the script editor who came before Saward, a middle story for an extremely middling-to-awful director, and the last story of the 5th Doctor/Tegan/Turlough combination in which they all remain intact as a team when the story's all said and done. To add to the madness, we have big 'ol monsters and the TARDIS at the very edge of where it can travel. In other words, it's one giant roll of the dice.
So let's get to it!