Not much to say non-spoilery. In short (hahahahahha), this serial was way too long, in many unnecessary ways. It was still very good, but could have been cut down to half or no more than 75%.

E7 “The Feast of Steven”

 (another lost episode)

We see a police station and the TARDIS is outside it. A police officer is perplexed why it’s there. Two other officers ride up in a car (singing a song) and exit to ask the first what’s going on.

 Inside, The Doctor tells Sara and Steven that the pollution outside is so bad they should stay in, whereas he’s used to many atmospheres and can handle it, so they stay in while he exits. He steps out to come to face with the cop left guarding and ducks back in.

 They try to get back in, while The Doctor tries to figure out what to do. After explaining that they’re on Earth, he exits again, and is grabbed by the two cops.

 Inside the police station, the sergeant is taking a report from an ornery guy whose greenhouse keeps being moved. The Doctor is brought in, makes a comment about the complainant’s face being familiar, that he recognises him from Jaffa, much to the confusion of everyone else.

 Steven slips out of the TARDIS, while The Doctor is interrogated. We find out that it’s Christmas Day. Steven finds a uniform and enters the police station, where they think he’s “the new guy”. The Doctor comes across as a “nutter”, though the cops seem nuttier to me.

 Sara is outside the TARDIS and a cop tells her to move along; she argues but eventually acquiesces. There’s shenanigans but in the end, they all escape back in the TARDIS and leave.

 (What was the point of all that? Will it play into the story at a later date?)

 They arrive elsewhere, where suddenly the scanner is working (though Sara says she didn’t have time to fix it) and see a woman being under attack, being fed to a sawmill. It’s obviously a movie scene being shot and they interrupt it. They run into Charlie Chaplin.

 Various cut scenes are introduced by setting placards, like a silent movie. There’s shenanigans galore. Bing Crosby, too. Finally, everyone gets back in the TARDIS and they depart.

 The Doctor brings out a tray of beverages and toasts Happy Christmas, and then breaking the fourth wall, addresses the viewer to wish them “a Merry Christmas to all of you at home!” and the credits roll.

 Absolutely no story-value, though I suppose it was enjoyable when it first aired?

E8 “Volcano”

 (another lost episode)

 The Daleks have fitted the (fake) Taranium core. Chen and several of the aliens are discussing the Doctor; apparently the Daleks have (finally) become familiar with him and know him to not be from Earth.

 The Doctor discovers that they’re being followed, but is not sure who it is.

 The Daleks prepare to test the Time Destructor on the alien from Trantis. Chen and an alien covered in bubbles, but talks like a snake, observe. The device does not work. The Daleks determine the fault is with the Taranium.

 One of my favourite quotes, “The Daleks do not make mistakes.” appears at this time.

 The Daleks argue with Chen whether the Taranium, and he, is at fault. Chen figures out that The Doctor must have switched it. The Supreme Dalek calls for a time machine to come from Skaro. Chen watches as they exterminate Trantis (for no apparent reason, other than perhaps frustration.)

 The TARDIS’ pursuers have gained on them, and The Doctor lands the ship (which I thought he didn’t have much control over.) We see footage and hear commentators of a cricket match, when the TARDIS appears on the pitch. The TARDIS dematerialises, and the commentators prattle on.

 Again… was there a point? Was there some historical game that was a reference to?

 Meanwhile, the Dalek time ship arrives – it looks to be the same sort from The Chase. The Daleks prepare to pursue The Doctor. Chen is sent along with them.

 The TARDIS materialises, and The Doctor says their pursuers have landed as well. We see scenes of volcano and lava, and outside, a door opens in a rock and The Monk from The Time Meddler steps out. He spots The Doctor’s TARDIS and laughs.

 The Doctor, Steven and Sara have exited, and search for whomever has been following them. The Monk inspects around The Doctor’s TARDIS, and fiddles around with the door. There’s a flash of light.

 The Doctor, Steven and Sara search about, and The Monk greets them. He tells them he’s marooned them on the planet Tigus, and laughs maniacally. The Monk leaves and they rush back to their TARDIS to find out what he’s done. They discover they are not able to enter the TARDIS.

 It’s interesting to note – The Doctor and Steven have an interesting, almost antagonistic chemistry. Steven is constantly challenging The Doctor.

 The Doctor uses his ring (he’s stated in a previous serial that it was more than mere jewelry) and the sun’s light to break through the barrier. The Monk, who had been watching all along, promises that this is not the last they’ve seen of him.

 In the TARDIS, Steven is saying the very same thing. The Doctor sends him to watch for The Monk’s pursuit, and Sara asks about the ring, but The Doctor is very evasive.

 Chen and the task force board the Dalek time ship. They track the TARDIS to Earth, London, 1966. (The previous episode was the Xmas one, so this is obviously a New Year’s one.) We see signs of celebration, fireworks, people in the streets partying, and bells ringing.

 The Dalek time ship departs, and the Supreme Dalek leads a chant of “conquest” and the credits roll.

 Another episode very, very light on content essential to the actual story. This 12 episode mega epic could be pared down to 6 or 7 easily, at this rate. Bloated writing is more of an American problem in my experience, it’s rather ironic to find it here.

E9 “Golden Death”

 Again, “from an idea by Terry Nation” – didn’t note if it said that on the last two or not.

 Chen and The Daleks zoom in on the TARDIS, which has landed in what appears to be ancient Egypt. The Doctor is fiddling with the door lock, saying it will take longer than he expected to repair. Steven reports that the other ship is on the scanner and they talk of The Monk, though I suspect it’s the Dalek’s they detect.

 Steven sees the Dalek ship arrive, though he doesn’t realise that it’s not The Monk – he wasn’t around for The Chase. Steven and Sara set off to deal with “The Monk”, leaving The Doctor behind to work on the TARDIS. An Egyptian who was watching goes to inform the others of “strangers at the tomb”.

 Steven does comment on The Monk’s TARDIS not blending in, and they see Daleks come out. The Egyptians see and confront the Daleks. There’s a fight, and obviously the Daleks have the advantage. The Daleks slaughter most of the natives, and suffer no losses.

 The Doctor, having fixed the lock, goes looking for his companions. As he perambulates in the ruins, he observes The Monk’s TARDIS arriving. He quickly guesses that the Daleks were the first time ship to arrive.

 The Egyptians have taken Steven and Sara captive and prepare to go for reinforcements to fight the fire-breathing machines (the Daleks).

 Chen and the Daleks capture The Monk. Chen offers The Monk one hour to get the Taranium from The Doctor. The Doctor, hidden, listens in to the entire conversation. He follows The Monk and after the other Time Lord (still not a term used in the show) leaves his TARDIS unlocked, The Doctor enters, and toys around with the chameleon circuit, until it looks like a police box. He departs, carrying some parts of the TARDIS, laughing to himself.

 Steven and Sara escape. The Doctor follows The Monk into the tomb to where The Doctor’s TARDIS had been moved by the Egyptians. They banter, and The Doctor lets The Monk know he’s on to him.

 The Daleks decide that The Monk has betrayed them and prepare an attack on the building site. Steven and Sara enter the tomb, looking for The Doctor and/or the TARDIS. They find the TARDIS and search for him. Sara notices a sarcaphogas open and a bandage-wrapped hand reaches out and credits roll.

E10 “Escape Switch”

 Yep, full video. Written by Dennis Spooner, from an idea by Terry Nation. Again, I find myself wondering if the serial was too big for Nation to write on his own or was he pulled off the serial?

 In a very Mummy-esque pastiche scene, a bandaged, moaning figure comes out of the sarcaphogas. Steven realises it’s trying to talk and unwraps his head, revealing The Monk, who says, “Thank goodness for that!”

 Chen and the Daleks argue over whether The Monk has betrayed them or not.

Gotta give Chen some credit – he’s not afraid of the Daleks at all, though well he should be.

 The Monk tries to manipulate Steven into letting him in the TARDIS, to no avail – The Doctor is the only one with a key. Steven, Sara and (a reluctant) Monk search for The Doctor, stupidly calling out his name, knowing there are Daleks about. The Daleks take all of them prisoner. Using a loudspeaker system, Chen issues an ultimatum – the hostages for the Taranium.

 The Doctor meets with them and makes arrangement to hand over the Taranium on his terms. The Daleks agree to his terms.

 The Egyptians are amassing, planning vengeance on the war machines (Daleks).

 The exchange is made, the hostages are released and The Doctor hands over the Taranium core to Chen. At that moment, the Egyptians attack the Daleks. In the chaos, The Doctor meets up with Steven and Sara and they make it to their TARDIS. There, The Doctor reveals he stole The Monk’s directional control unit, and they set off.

 The Monk runs back to his TARDIS, upset to find it appearing like a police box. He barely escapes Daleks and his TARDIS dematerialises. Chen and the Daleks prepare to return to Kembel, triumphant.

 The Monk arrives on a frozen wasteland, where he realises what The Doctor has done, and he shouts that he will get revenge, one day.

 Back in The Doctor’s TARDIS, he’s installed the Mark IV directional control unit. There’s fear that it might not work, being from a different model… and the worst could be catastrophic. Steven is given the order to throw the main switch and all goes wonky and white and credits roll.

E11 “The Abandoned Planet”

 (back to lost episodes)

 Chen and the Daleks return to Kembel. Chen gloats. He goes to address the final meeting of the Galatic Council (the allied races.)

 In the TARDIS, everyone seems to be okay, though the directional unit was destroyed by the feedback. It seems they may have made it to Kembel before it burnt out.

 The snake-sounding delegate on the Galactic Council calls for the censure of Mavic Chen, the others seem to agree, but when the Supreme Dalek arrives, Chen in tow, they quiet. Chen talks of the warforce being ready. Several delegates are angry that Chen seems to be more informed than they.

 Chen gloats and gets all megalomaniacal, the delegates call for his death. One of the delegates is shot by Chen. Chen announces that, as per agreement with the Dalek Supreme, he is in charge of the council.

 Steven, Sara and The Doctor move through the jungle, though Steven and Sara notice there are no Varga plants. And The Doctor is nowhere to be seen.

 Back at the council meeting, Chen realises that the Dalek Supreme is no longer present. He’s enough of a megalomaniacal tool to carry on like nothing is wrong. A group of Daleks come in and declare the meeting is over.

 Steven and Sara have returned to the TARDIS, searching for The Doctor. Sara is insistent that they, with or without The Doctor, must go to the city and stop things before it is too late.

 The Supreme Dalek calls for the initiation of the invasion countdown. Steven and Sara arrive at the Dalek city, arguing all the while. No running, lots of arguing = still Doctor Who?

 The city/Dalek base seems devoid of any Daleks, or any life forms. The delegate ships are still assembled. Sara and Steven search, looking for anyone. Using a communicator, they speak to Chen and the other delegates, who have been imprisoned in a cell.

 Sara and Steven release the delegates, who have promised to go back to their galaxies and rally against the Daleks. As the ships leaves, Chen’s explodes while taking off.

 Steven and Sara follow a Dalek in the jungle into a mountain base. They realise that the Daleks are still here and hope to stop them. Chen shows up and takes them, at gun point, into the Dalek base… and the credits roll.

E12 “Destruction of Time”

 Chen thinks The Doctor is trying to take his place. He’s obviously mad as a hatter. The Daleks encountered try to stop him at first, but when they consult for orders, he is allowed to bring his prisoners to the Supreme Dalek.

 Mavic Chen begins gloating over his being superior to the Daleks; the Dalek Supreme tells him the alliance is at an end. Chen, a madman, thinks he’s in charge of the situation. He tries to order the Daleks about. The Daleks ignore him, and he fires his gun on the Dalek Supreme, to no result.

 Chen rushes out when the order to exterminate him is given and the Daleks pursue. While the chaos is ongoing, The Doctor shows up and gives Steven the key to the TARDIS.

 The Daleks pursue and exterminate Chen. They return to the control chamber, to find The Doctor activating the Time Destructor. The Daleks cannot fire for fear of destroying the Time Destructor. The Doctor, Steven and Sara back out behind a captive Dalek, the Destructor in hand. The Doctor orders Steven and Sara back to the TARDIS. Steven and Sara argue; she wants to go back and help The Doctor.

 The Doctor locks the Daleks in the control chamber. The Doctor finds Sara has returned to him.

 Steven arrives at the TARDIS before he realises Sara is not with him (???) and goes back to look for her.

 The Daleks escape their command center and give pursuit.

 The Time Destructor is affecting Sara; she looks older. Around them, the winds blow like never before on Kembel. Later, the Destructor is affecting The Doctor as well. He stumbles and drops the device.

 Sara, now ancient, collapses. In the TARDIS, Steven uses the scanner to look out and finds Sara and The Doctor in a barren wasteland, where shortly before, a lush jungle stood. He exits, and tries to deactivate the Time Destructor. Sara is skeletal remains and before his eyes, her corpse turns to ash and blows away.

 Already, Steven is starting to feel effects, and he staggers to The Doctor, who awakens, angry that Steven has left the TARDIS. The Doctor gets Steven to go back in and follows him in. The Doctor reveals that Steven must have reversed the device when he was fiddling with it.

 Outside, the Daleks have arrived; they do not seem to be affected by the Time Destructor’s effects. They find it and attempt to destroy it, but their guns have no effect (strange, considering the Dalek Supreme was afraid of that).

 The Destructor finally has effect on the Daleks and their machines fall apart and the actual Dalek forms writhe in agony.

 The Taranium core finally burns out and the Time Destructor ceases to affect things. The world has become one of dust and sand. The Doctor and Steven lament the losses of Bret, Katarina and Sara, and enter the TARDIS and depart and credits roll.

 Once more, this is unnecessarily long. It easily could have been done in almost half as many episodes. No more than seven or eight, tops. So many elements were not necessary to the story – even outside the silly Christmas story. While it was neat seeing The Monk again, his presence didn’t really do anything for the story.

 That being said, what was good, was good. What worked, worked well. I really enjoyed Bret and Sara and would have liked seeing either of them as a companion with The Doctor and Steven in further stories.

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