Two of the eight episodes do not exist, so for those, we turn to the lovely folk at Loose Cannon.

Episode 1:

(lost episode)

It seems with this season, we’ve gone back to the device used in the beginning of the show, where we pick up pretty much immediately after we left off the previous episode. (Even after Zoe’s joining in The Wheel In Space, The Doctor used the device to project the story of the Daleks, which was a mechanism for a re-run of Evil of the Daleks to be shown next.)

We see (or hear) the companions and The Doctor talking. They’re back in time and space and after checking out the scanner, they are in orbit outside the dark side of the Moon. As they watch, a missile is fired! The Doctor struggles with some stubborn circuitry as it hones in… and there’s a huge explosion.

Next thing we see, some cows are grazing in a field as the TARDIS materialises. Inside, the crew is in disarray, but they pick themselves up and dust off. Zoe wonders why anyone would fire without finding out who they were first, and The Doctor, rather ominously, ponders if they already DID know.

Checking the scanner to see where they are, perhaps on the Moon surface, they all have a good laugh at seeing the curious cows poking about the TARDIS. The TARDIS seems to have some issues that need to be fine-tuned (really, an ongoing thing – this time the interior lights are out and the visual stabiliser has gone on the fritz, rending the TARDIS invisible. The Doctor determines they’re in 20th century, outside London, and decides to go to the city to find Professor Travers.

They flag down a delivery lorry (truck for my fellow Americans) and the driver pulls over but very brusquely tells them to jump in. It seems he’s nervous about something. They depart and shortly after, two motorcycles (piloted by policemen, it looks like, but the telesnap is really shoddy) pursue. He pulls the lorry off the road and behind some bush. The driver leads The Doctor and his companions off the road.

The driver talks of The Company and The Community and The Compound, but quickly finds out that they’re strangers. The company is “International Electromatics”, the world’s biggest electronic manufacturer. The driver seems to have snuck within the boundaries of The Compound, where our heroes managed to materialise within. Something very hinky is going on, it seems.

Back in the truck, the travelers hide in the back as the driver takes it through a checkpoint. Once through, the driver stops and they disembark. He rudely tells them to get going and they head into a field, off the road.

The motorcycle guards (company police, I wager) arrive and check out the lorry, which the driver has kept parked. (There’s a really great musical tone going on through this whole scene, excellent eerie and sinister.) They check the truck and his papers and tell him he needs to go back with them for questioning. The driver refuses and they draw a gun on him.

When the driver turns to get in the lorry, the guard shoots him multiple times.

The Doctor is seen hitching a ride. A car pulls over and they hop in. Next, we see them in London, at what they presume to be Professor Travers’ house, but the name on the buzzer says Watkins. They buzz anyways.

Inside, a pretty young lady is posing in front of a camera. Irritated, she opens the door and scolds them for interrupting her work. Her camera has jammed and The Doctor offers to help fix the camera. It turns out that she is the niece of Professor Watkins, who is living there while Professor Travers and his daughter is in America.

Zoe ends up posing for Isabelle (the photographer). She says her uncle hasn’t been in town about a week. The name International Electromatics comes up, as it seems Professor Watkins is working for them. The Doctor places a phone call, trying to get ahold of Watkins, to no avail. Jamie posits that maybe Watkins is one of the missing people that the driver was talking about.

Zoe is having fun posing for Isabelle and stays while Jamie and The Doctor head to IE to try to speak to someone in person. Two men in a black car watch as Jamie and The Doctor arrive at IE. When we see the car and the men, melodramatic music is played.

Inside IE, The Doctor and Jamie speak to a computer receptionist, trying to speak to Professor Watkins, then later asking for “someone in authority”. He gets frustrated with the computer (a very common thing for this Doctor – rather interesting, considering that the TARDIS must be powered by a computer. Just a sign of the times, the distrust of computers.)

The Doctor and Jamie continue to poke around, trying to find someone to talk to, when they get caught in a room that fills with gas.

The men in the car receive their orders from HQ – they want to speak to Jamie and The Doctor and the men in the car ready to go inside.

Guards enter the room, but Jamie isn’t completely unconscious and struggles until a gun is pointed at him. The Doctor starts to recover and they are brought before the supervisor, Tobias Vaughn, the managing director of IE, a cultured looking white-haired gentleman.

Vaughn explains that Watkins is in the middle of an experiment and cannot be reached. Jamie mentions circuits and Vaughn insists on seeing them – he says that his scientists are the best in the world.

As a gesture of apology for the rough handling from the guards, Vaughn gives Jamie a “disposable transistor radio”, which is their newest, best selling item. They’re escorted out of the building by Packer, the head guard (and the one who was kicking Jamie.)

The Doctor says that something is different about Vaughn – he was blinking far less than the average human. (Great, now I’m going to be self-conscious about blinking.)

After Vaughn is alone, he opens a secret panel in his office, and a strange machine is revealed within, pulsating with some force… and the credits roll.

Interesting so far. I’m disappointed that Travers wasn’t home… as far as I know, we’ve seen the last of Travers, and that sucks, I rather like his character, and even his daughter was pretty cool. Very curious to see where this is going.

Episode 2:

(full video yay)

Jamie and The Doctor realise they’re being tailed by the black car and try to evade it.

Back at the Travers’ household, Zoe and Isabelle are still playing photoshoot. They take a break for coffee (mmm, coffee… time for me to pause and pour me another cup. Be right back.)

Jamie and The Doctor are trapped in an alleyway by two black cars – the one pursuing them and another. They stop and are surrounded.

Vaughn shows the circuitry to one of his scientists, who has no idea what the circuits are for. Vaughn gives him one hour to figure them out.

The Doctor and Jamie are brought to the airport, onto a plane where military men are mulling about with maps and such. And, AW YEAH, IT’S THE MAN! BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE-STEWART! Aw, yeah, baby! Whoo hoo! And Benton! Yay, Benton! Benton is almost as awesome as BL-S.

(Sorry, but as I said in the Web of Fear, he da man.)

It’s been about four years since the “Yeti incident” in the Underground, and since then, BL-S has risen in ranks and is now in charge of a task force called UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.) Yay, UNIT! BL-S informs them that IE is under investigation by UNIT – seems not everyone who goes into the IE office comes out.

Zoe and Isabelle arrive and activate the computer receptionist, inquiring about The Doctor and Jamie.

Vaughn is seen in his office, pondering photographs of The Doctor and Jamie. He opens the secret room and consults the machine within. It seems to be either an alien intelligence or a machine through which he is communicating with said intelligence. (Not the Great Intelligence, I shouldn’t think.) It has recognised The Doctor and Jamie and identified them as hostile. It says the plans for invasion are nearly complete and nothing must be allowed to interrupt them.

Zoe, frustrated with the computer, verbally programs the computer with an equation that it cannot handle and it explodes. (Okay, completely unrealistic, but very kind of cool. Yay for Zoe not being useless.) Guards grab the girls as they try to leave.

BL-S explains various scientists have gone into the IE building, but when many of them have returned, they seem “different” – several who were working with BL-S have changed their tunes after enterring IE. (I can’t help but think of Microsoft when I write about IE.) Jamie sees a picture of the lorry driver and they explain to BL-S how they know the man, who it seems is one of the UNIT operatives.

BL-S equips The Doctor with a radio transceiver with a range of about 50 miles and sends them back to London to poke about IE on their own (sort of freelance work for UNIT.) They return to the Travers’ house and find the girls have left. Lunch is out so they help themselves to the sandwiches. The Doctor gets irritated with Jamie’s radio, and opens it up, discovering some micro-circuitry that doesn’t seem to belong. They find a note from Zoe and Isabelle saying where they were going.

Vaughn questions the two girls (with full security accompaniment, for some reason.) He has the guards take them away – he plans to use Isabelle as leverage to get Professor Watkins to be more cooperative.

Jamie and The Doctor sneak in to a train yard, trying to find Zoe and Isabelle.

The scientist reports to Vaughn that the circuitry doesn’t make any sense. (Okay, there’s no way it’s only been an hour. Way too much has gone on.) Vaughn consults with the machine/alien, seeking more information about The Doctor – the aliens know of him from Planet… I’m not sure, it sounds like they’re saying “Vaudeen”, but Wikipedia says it’s “Planet 14”. Doesn’t sound like “fourteen” to me. (the audio is this serial is not the best, not remotely as good as prior serials.)

An interesting side note – Kevin Stoney, the actor playing Vaughn, played Mavic Chen in the Dalek Master Plan serial! I thought he looked and sounded familiar.

The alien/machine tells Vaughn that The Doctor has a machine that allows him to travel in space and that’s how they know him. It tells him that The Doctor must be killed if their invasion plans are to go through.

Jamie and The Doctor skulk about. They see a man carrying a heavy crate, much bigger than he is, with ease. After he sets it down and leaves, the two of them try to move it and cannot. They hide as the man returns with another such crate – rather coffin-like, though built for a very large human if that.

They heard screams and identify them as Zoe and Isabelle, but they run into a trap and are faced by guards… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

Captured, The Doctor and Jamie are assaulted by Packer until Vaughn shows up. Jamie says he saw Zoe’s clothing sticking out of one of those coffin-like crates. Vaughn offers to let them check out the crates, but orders Packer to call ahead to have the train leave immediately, so they’re too late. Vaughn offers to take them with him to the destination.

Benton reports to BL-S that The Doctor and Jamie are spotted exiting the warehouse with Vaughn. BL-S sends one of his men, “Jimmy”, to follow by helicopter. He follows them to the compound.

The guards at the compound facility respond in a very militarian fashion when Vaughn arrives, much to The Doctor and Jamie’s consternation. Vaughn takes the travelers to his office, which is an exact duplicate of his London office. (Saving costs by only having one set for the two locations, smart.)

I hate computers and I refuse to be bullied by them.” – The Doctor

Packer is sent to threaten Professor Watkins with Isabelle’s safety. Vaughn shows up to reinforce the use of leverage.

The Doctor and Jamie notice what appears to be a deep space radio communication array out the window of Vaughn’s office. They hear a helicopter and wonder whether or not it might be UNIT. But then, Packer arrives to take them to see Professor Watkins.

They explain to Watkins who they are and their common friends, the Travers. He’s heard of them and the TARDIS. Jamie tries to talk about the TARDIS but The Doctor figures out (correctly) they’re being observed and he takes out the camera, so they can safely talk.

Watkins is unsure what Vaughn is up to – he thinks it’s merely to control the electronics business.

Vaughn breaks up their discussion and gives The Doctor an ultimatum – give over his “travel machine” or Zoe will be killed. Packer takes them away, but they manage to escape him.

Jamie and The Doctor are climbing the elevator shaft (wherein the graffiti KILROY WAS HERE is seen, which is pretty funny) and make it to the roof. With pursuit not far behind, they make for the fire escape. Jamie, who climbed rocks last serial, seems very nervous.

Vaughn, who has been calm throughout this serial, finally snaps when Packer reports yet again that his guards have failed to capture The Doctor and his companion. Even when Zoe destroyed the computer, Vaughn was amused. However, he all but goes ballistic.

Jamie and The Doctor find the train and go inside. Hearing pursuit outside, they hide, Jamie slipping into one of the coffin-like crates. Inside, we see him notice that something inside the crate is moving… and the credits roll.

Another very well done cliffhanger there. Can you imagine having to wait a week after that?

Episode 4:

(The second and final missing episode. I understand the official DVD animated the two missing episodes, which I would love to see. I hope they’re animating all the lost serials/episodes, that would be such a wonderful thing. I have the Loose Cannon production, so I cannot comment on the animation – perhaps I’ll get it and view and review it early next year as a follow up to this blog project.)

The guards leave and Jamie gets out; he tells The Doctor that something in the crate was moving. They overhear the guards outside the train talking about bringing the girls in.

Packer and Vaughn argue; Vaughn asserts that he’s in control, not taking orders from their allies – Packer is obviously aware they’re working with an alien force. Vaughn confides that the aliens are leery of Watkins’ machine, which is why he kept the scientist on. Vaughn believes that Watkins’ machine could be used against their allies should the need arise.

And finally, we have some insight into their allies:

Do you wish to be totally converted? Would you prefer to be one of them, completely inhuman?” – Vaughn to Packer.

Vaughn is planning to use their allies as a tool, to be discarded when their goals have been achieved.

The Doctor and Jamie watch from safety as Zoe and Isabelle are unpacked (in plain sight, obviously trying to bait them.) The girls are brought in by the guards. Packer spots the UNIT helicopter flying nearby, as do Jamie and The Doctor. Jamie insists that The Doctor call in, but for some stupid reason, The Doctor says they have to rescue the girls first.

BL-S puts all his men on standby, readying for enterring “red sector”.

Vaughn, a typical megalomaniac, says he has everything in control when Packer reports about the copter and his concerns that The Doctor and Jamie are UNIT agents.

The Doctor and Jamie return to the roof, but Vaughn announces over the compound PA system that he has ten minutes to turn himself in or Zoe will suffer the consequences.

Zoe and Isabelle bang on the door where they’re being kept. They look out their window and see The Doctor and Jamie. Zoe notices that they’re being observed by an electronic eye. (Remember when spy cameras were called that instead of, oh I don’t know, cameras?)

The Doctor finally contacts BL-S and asks for assistance from the helicopter. The copter lowers Jamie via rope ladder to the girls’ room. Guards are assembled with orders to fire upon the helicopter. The girls climb up the ladder, followed by Jamie.

BL-S receives a report that the rescue was a success. He calls off the red alert and calls all units back to base.

After arguing with Packer over worrying about official repercussions, Vaughn calls in to the Minister of Defense, Major General Rutledge. The Minister takes the video call, but only after initiating “priority scramble”. He takes orders from Vaughn like a good puppet to call off the UNIT crowd.

The Doctor and his companions tell BL-S about the spaceship on the other side of the moon (that fired the missile at them). Captain Turner (Jimmy, who was on the copter for the rescue) says there’s been UFO sightings recenty and goes to get the photographs.

Watkins is told he’s being taken back to London and he demands to see his neice. Vaughn tells him that once he completes the machine, he will be allowed to see her – if the work is completed within twenty-four hours.

The Doctor checks out the photographs. The UNIT chaps tell him that the UFOs have been sighted for about a year, and they seem to disappear in Southeast England, where IE has various locations. Maps are brought out and The Doctor asks if BL-S has a canoe.

The Doctor and Jamie return to the warehouse compound via canoe. They sneak in and observe the workmen moving the large coffin-like crates. The ones that are way too big for just one regular sized man to carry (but they do), much less for one to fit in. Gee, I wonder what it could be in the crates? Something tall and humanoid? Hmm.

One of the crates is stood up and opened. Inside is a form in some gauze-like coccoon. The men attach cables to the coccoon and activate a machine. The figure inside begins to move, to write and tear off the gauzy substance to reveal OH MY GOD, IT’S A CYBERMAN… and the credits roll.

Okay, I knew this was a Cyberman story in advance, and even if I hadn’t, it was pretty obvious, especially by time Packer and Vaughn had their little talk about emotions and conversion. But, the pacing for this is pretty excellent – usually by the end of the first, or midway through the second episode the “big reveal” happens.