Happily, this one is one with video. Another one I’ve never seen (like most of the First and Second Doctor serials), and I’ve never seen Dodo before, so I’m wondering how this is going to play out.

 E1 “The Steel Sky”

 We start out with a forestal scene, a lizard on some sand, then a toucan-looking bird lands and squawks at it. A humanoid alien stands, observing, but when it turns to the camera, it has an eye inside it’s mouth (yeah, that’s remotely logical.) It walks through the terrain, and we hear (then see) the TARDIS dematerialise.

 Dodo comes running out and sneezes. Steven follows, chastising her for being reckless, not waiting to see that it was safe to exit. She pretty much ignores him. Apparently, she thinks she’s just outside London at some animal reserve. The Doctor exits the TARDIS and proposes that Dorothea (to which she calls out “Dodo!”) may be right.

 We see some humans in a chamber and a man is brought in by two of those weird humanoids with the eyeball in their mouths. He’s a prisoner, this is some form of court, and he’s accused of extreme carelessness in carrying out his duties. The commander refers to the safety of the humans and the Monoids (the strange people). The prisoner is sentenced to miniaturization, to be revived after 700 years. Prosecution agrees, the defense agrees, the prisoner thanks the commander for the lenient sentence, and he is taken into a chamber and shrunk down.

 A young Indian elephant wanders into sight of The Doctor and his companions and they make friends with it. The Doctor notices the metal roof above the jungle. Then, they notice the ground beneath them trembling – a mechanical vibration.

 Dodo sneezes again, and The Doctor reprimands her for not using her handkerchief. Then he chastises her for wearing clothing from the Crusades. There’s jolly-ish banter, and a Monoid is seen following the three of them through the jungle.

 The Monoids apparently do not speak, only through sign, and we see a group of humans and Monoids ‘talking’. A monoid reports the intruders to the commander, and the commander watches them on a security scanner.

 The Commander sends his right hand man, Zentos, to invite, not arrest, the intruders to come for questioning.

 The Doctor chastises Dodo for her vernacular. There’s a pattern here.

 A siren goes off, and Steven sees a group of Monoids about the TARDIS. He reports back to The Doctor, and they hide in a cave. Dodo almost tips off the Monoids by sneezing (I think every show with a sneezing character goes through that. Am I the only one who knows how to sneeze without doing so audibly?) They see that they’re in a spaceship.

 The heroes are surrounded by Monoids and brought before the Commander. From him, Steven learns that the Monoids came to Earth, and they are travelling to Refusis II, to settle there. Zentos questions whether or not Steven might be a Refusian.

 They realise that they are approximately ten million years in the future. Their journey is still another 700 years to go. The entire population of Earth (humans, animals) are all micro-contained, to be restored to life when the ship arrives at Refusis II.

 While The Doctor and his companions are shown around and things are explained, the Monoids bring in a sick member of their people. Sentos tells the Commander that there is a fever spreading amongst them. The Commander shows signs of illness, he is weak and staggering already. Zentos accuses the intruders of bringing the illness.

 The Doctor explains to Steven that since they have no resistance, it could possibly be fatal. The sick monoid is dead, and Sentos uses that to have them seized. The Commander’s daughter asks, “What about my father” and Zentos replies that they all may die, in which case it was pointless to have left Earth, and the credits roll.

 So far, an interesting enough start. Very nice to have full video. A good story, a neat twist. Some silly plot points, but that’s a bit common in many of these serials.

E2 “The Plague”

 The Doctor and his companions are prisoners. Monoids are dying left and right. Humans are ill but none have died as of yet. Apparently, no back up plans were established in case of loss of humans – each is essential to their tasks. (Pretty stupid, if you ask me.)

 A shrouded body is carried by four Monoids and the body is ejected into space. Zentos calls for a trial.

 During the trial, it goes back and forth. News of the death of one of the Guardians (humans) is brought, and a sudden verdict of guilty is passed down. Steven, himself, is ill, and he collapses in the trial room.

 The Doctor pleas for a chance to assist them, to help find a cure. Others seem to feel this is a good idea, but Zentos, as acting Commander, shoots it down. The Commander, still sick in bed, gives the order to let the intruders try to cure the sickness. Zentos tries to argue it, but the Commander is resolute.

 The Guardians and Monoids are sent into the jungle to hunt down some membranes from some of the animals.

 The Doctor has a Monoid assistant as he tends to Steven; he comments that the monoid is far more intelligent than the others think. This combined with other thoughts makes me wonder if the Monoids are going to be a threat – when the intruders first were reported, Zentos and the Commander discussed whether the Monoids were behind the intruders.

 The Doctor has formulated a cure and he administers it to Steven, the Commander (and presumably others.) Zentos waits nearby, seemingly ready to jump at first opportunity. Steven seems better, as does the Commander, and everyone rejoices.

 On the scanner, they see Earth (from afar) bursting into flames, being destroyed by the Sun.

 Goodbyes are said. Zentos apologises to The Doctor for mistrusting him and they shake hands. The travelers head into the jungle on one of the transports and are brought to the TARDIS. They board and depart.

 (I have a feeling I know what’s going to happen… if so, this should be quite interesting!)

 The TARDIS appears, amongst jungle again. The Doctor, Steven, then Dodo step out and they find themselves in the same place. They leave the jungle, but find no sign of anyone, anywhere.

 In the main hall, they find the statue that was being worked on is completed, but has the face of a Monoid, and the credits roll. (Yep, I was right!!!)

E3 “The Return”

 The ship is overgrown with plantlife, even in the command center. The Doctor deduces that the ship now has an automatic guiding device. Using the scanner, they scan about different roms. They find a Guardian serving a monoid a drink. They next see a kitchen, where humans are working.

 A group of Monoids and humans arrive. The Monoids now have the ability to communicate via speech (apparently through the collars they now wear.) It seems that the Monoids have taken over “following (a) recent revolution”. The humans are now subservient to the Monoids.

 It is revealed that a mutation of the fever stripped the humans of their willpower, making it easier for the Monoids to take control.

 In the kitchen, several humans discuss the legend of the doctor and the young couple, and how they were the ones who coined the name “the Ark”. The monoid guard brings the intruders in, giving them orders to serve in the kitchen.

 The Monoids gather, to discuss landing on Refusis II, and their plans for the Guardians. The leader of the Monoids is “one”, his second is “two”, and so forth, it seems. He has a plan to destroy all the humans.

 Steven leads an attempt to seize one of the Monoids’ heat lances in the kitchen, but it fails and a guardian is killed. The Doctor and Dodo are taken to land on Refusis II; Steven is kept in the kitchen as security for their behavior. The craft is launched with The Doctor, Dodo, a guardian and Two. They travel to Refusis II, where they are refused. (Sorry, I had to.)

 They travel to Refusis II, and upon landing the monoid orders the others out. The monoid tells the others they must find the Refusians. An invisible form enters the ship (we see the cushion sink under its weight), toys with the doors to the landing craft (opening and closing the doors.) They (sounded male) says “Hmm,” out loud.

 Dodo, bantering with Two, discovers that the Monoids do not intend to bring down the guardians. Meanwhile, The Doctor sees a distant castle or city, and suggests they go there to find out about the Refusians. (The Doctor, going to a far off city? That’s never happened before in these serials before!!!)

 The monoid declares there is nobody there, or they are hiding. The monoid (Two) is a bit of a jackass, and starts breaking vases, with intent of bringing out the Refusians. A booming voice tells him to put down the vase, the monoid refuses, and someone physically stops it – the Refusian is in the room with them, though invisible.

 Back on the Ark, One tells Three that he has a fission device (a bomb) inside the completed statue, ready for detonation. Their conversation is being listened in on by one of the guardians. The guardian is a “subject guardian”, or a collaborator, so when he arrives in the kitchen with news, nobody greets him politely, instead they back away from him.

 He tells them of their plans, but he could not see the pointed location of the bomb, so he does not know of the specific location.

 The Refusian speaks with The Doctor, and we learn the Refusians have been expecting the arrival of the Ark, as long as the people are peaceful. (The Refusians have been altered by a cosmic event, changing their bodies.)

 The guardian with Two attacks him, trying to stop him from contacting the Ark, but Two kills him. Two makes his report, while The Doctor, Dodo and the Refusian find the body. As he gives his report, the Refusians cause the lander to explode.

 Dodo bemoans what will they do, and The Doctor says they will wait for the next craft to land. “But what if they don’t come, what if they decide to look for another planet?”

 The Doctor puts his hand on her shoulder and replies, “Well, then, we shall have to stay here.” and the credits roll.

E4 “The Bomb”

 The Monoids discuss what to do. One decides to prepare for the main landings, despite the loss of contact with Two – they don’t know what happened to the ship, it might simply be communication problems.

 Four questions (quietly) One’s wisdom, but Three is aware of it and informs One, who is not worried. At the first sign of opposition, he will deal with Four. (Rather stupid; if I were a dictator/maniacal leader, I’d kill at the first sign of mutiny.)

 The Doctor and Dodo discuss with the Refusian (funny seeing Dodo standing next to an empty chair and talking to it.)

 The miniaturised Monoids are loaded onto lander crafts; Steven and the kitchen guardians escape the kitchen, and begins searching for the bomb.

 When the Monoids land, The Doctor and Dodo overhear talk of the bomb. They rush into the launcher and make contact with Steven. The Doctor plans to find out the location of the bomb from the Monoids. He makes plan with The Refusian to return the launcher to the Ark. Exiting the launcher, The Doctor and Dodo are taken to where One awaits.

 The Doctor is coy – when asked about the Refusians, he answers with some variation of “I haven’t seen them”. Four challenges One, and One gives away the location of the bomb. Four asks for those who will leave to go with him. One and his lackeys follow, planning to kill those who followed Four.

 The two groups of Monoids fight. Losses are great on both sides.

 The Doctor, Dodo and others return to the Ark, with knowledge of the bomb’s location. He contacts Steven en route and informs them. The statue is too big to move, but the Refusian says he can help. Somehow, the statue moves, apparently levitating it into the launching bay, where they eject it into space and it explodes.

 The Refusians accept the humans, but only as long as they and the Monoids agree to live in harmony. The Doctor repeats the same words of wisdom he gave to Zentos, and then remarks upon that. Again, they are driven off in one of those mover trucks. Several of the guardians discuss whether or not they’ll ever see The Doctor again, or at least if their descendents would.

 Inside the TARDIS, they’re traveling. Steven, who seems that he’s able to partially operate the TARDIS now, announces they’re landing. Dodo comes out in a new outfit and The Doctor turns invisible. Steven and Dodo speculate that it’s something to do with the Refusians, but The Doctor says it is not, it is some form of attack!… and the credits roll.

 Well, I have to say that Dodo is far less annoying than Susan or Vicki ever were. She’s not as cool as Sara would have been, but oh well. Still goofy, but bearable it seems. Another good episode, if you look past some silly plot points (no contingency plans for loss of crew on the Ark? Really?)

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