half way in, we’re in spoiler city.


Episode 4:

 All over the prison, the inmates are assaulted by mental waves of agony from the machine. The Master forces his way into the process room to shut down the machine. The Doctor is unconscious in the chair, but only one of his hearts is beating. The Master begins to stimulate the stopped heart.

 Two inmates take Summers out of the cell he and Jo are being held (the one where George and Mailer were kept). Again, he tries to insist that they keep him with her, but they force him out. Jo asks what’s so special about her and is told they’re saving her for the machine.

 The Master gets The Doctor to come to, and tells him he must operate the machine for him while he is away. The Doctor, worn out (in a rather brilliant performance by Pertwee, I’ve never seen him portray weakness so well), argues with him, saying he can’t resist the machine.

 The Doctor says that there is a creature in the machine, one that feeds on the mind. He says that soon it will feed on The Master’s mind. Mailer is brought in and he takes The Doctor to the cell with Jo. The Doctor attempts an escape, to no avail.

 The Master tells Jo (who did not know he was involved with matters here) to make sure The Doctor agrees to cooperate, for her sake.

 The Master confronts the machine, attempting to assert his will over the creature inside, saying that he brought it here, it is his servant – this seems to be a theme with him – he aligns with an alien force/being in an attempt to carry out a plan, but ultimately it/they turn against him (or he against them).

 The creature works on The Master’s mind and he sees a huge image of The Doctor, looming over him, laughing at him, reaching for him. Ultimately, The Master has to flee the process room, promising to starve the creature to bring it to heel.

 Summers is brought in to check on The Doctor; he’s astounded by the physiological differences. He says he’s in some form of coma. He gives Jo some pills to give to him, but when she tries, The Doctor says his metabolism is different, it might kill him, and to let him rest.

 The Master is still roughed over by the creature’s assault on him. Mailer notices, though the time lord tries to play it off. Mailer asks why they haven’t fled the prison. The Master tells him that they’d be captured in a day, because they’d be facing not only the police, but the Army. He tells Mailer he has a way to get them a free pardon, money and a ticket to anywhere in the world.

 He turns off the lights and starts a slide show; the Thunderbolt missile is the first slide and The Master explains that the missle is being brought to a location to dump it in the sea, but the route will bring them very close to the prison and he wants Mailer to lead a hijack team.

 The next morning, The Doctor is recovered and he and Jo engineer an escape. They make their way to the warden’s office, observing a search party gathering outside. They find the slide projector and The Doctor tells Jo about The Master’s intentions.

 The inmates lay in wait for the truck and escort. They open fire on the convoy, taking out many of the UNIT forces in quick order. Yates manages to run off and is shot while he’s radioing in that they’re under attack. He recovers as the inmates are making off with the truck and gives chase on a motorcycle, never having gotten the chance to radio in the coordinates.

 The Brig orders for a helicopter to take him to the general area where they suspect the attack happened. 

 Yates follows the truck to a storage building, but when he tries to leave on the bike, he’s shot down and captured.

 The Brig is at the location of the attack, with others, tending to the wounded. Benton is one of them, and he tells the Brig he saw a black police style van, one that’s called a ‘Black Mariah’. Looking at a map, the Brig deduces that the only place nearby that would have one would be Stangmoor Prison.

 The Doctor and Jo discuss what to do – he’s more interested in finding a way to get rid of the creature in the machine than he is with escaping. He feels the warden’s office is the safest place for now. He says the creature is some form of “mind parasite that feeds on evil”.

 From the window, Jo sees The Master leaving. The Doctor says this is their chance to deal with the creature in the machine.

 In the process room, we see the machine sitting there, then the video goes wobbly and it disappears. It reappears in B wing and uses its power on one of the inmates, then disappears again. Moments after it disappeared, The Doctor and Jo find the dead man. They enter the process room but the machine is gone.

 Mailer and another inmate get the drop on them, but the machine appears outside the open door and uses it’s power on the other inmate. It then reappears in the process room. Mailer fires on it and runs out the door, while The Doctor and Jo flinch and make pained faces… and the credits roll.

Episode 5:

 The machine disappears and The Doctor postulates it was hunting down Mailer, since he has a great amount of evil for it to feed upon. They leave the process room and encounter George, who accompanies them.

 The Brig arrives over Stangmoor in a helicopter, reporting no visible sign of the missile or anything untoward, but says he’s sure something is amiss and isn’t going to land but will “continue raking” (patroling? Buzzing the area?) for the time being.

 The Doctor and Jo step out and see the ‘copter and try to wave it down. But they’re caught by inmates instead.

 The Master, at the missile location, tries to tell Mailer what to do over the phone but the inmate insists that The Master come back to Stangmoor. He threatens that if he doesn’t, he and the boys will leave and if they get caught, he’ll tell them where The Master and the missile is. The Master reluctantly agrees. 

 The Master gets off the phone and tells Yates to stop pretending to be unconscious. He tells Yates that the only reason he’s still alive is that if UNIT finds him there, the captain would make a great hostage.

 The Brig says he knows where the missile is – he thinks it’s at Stangmoor. He saw The Doctor and Jo from the helicopter and tells the major attending him that it’s an old fortress, they’d need an army to get in there. The major suggests checking the maps for any underground passages. Turns out there is one that hasn’t been blocked off (right, in a max security prison…)

 They receive a report from the observation team that a black car has arrived; the Brig deduces that it’s The Master returning.

 The Master visits Jo and The Doctor as they play checkers. Both shush The Master as he tries to talk to them, as Jo beats The Doctor quite soundly. The Doctor says checkers is too simple, he’s used to 3D chess.

 The Master appeals to The Doctor again to control the machine for him; he threatens Jo’s life if The Doctor doesn’t agree. He seems to agree and they tel him that the creature has returned to the process chamber, obviously full from feeding.

 Jo is kept in the cell as a guarantee as they take The Doctor off to try to find a way to keep the machine from moving about.

 After the Brig briefs the team leaders, Benton shows up, requesting to be part of the assault team on Stangmoor. The Brig says that he’s supposed to be in the hospital with a concussion.

 “I know sir, but it’s only a scratch, honest. And you said yourself, I’ve got a thick skull.” – Benton’s reply, getting quite the grin out of the Brig. This is why Benton rocks; he’s not perfect, but he’s a damn good man. (After getting approval from the Brig, he asks about Yates, who says they’ve heard nothing. I rather enjoy the camaraderie of the UNIT boys – it’s one of the elements that makes the exiled days of The Doctor so awesome.

 Yates engineers an escape.

 The Master nags The Doctor to hurry, he’s worried that the machine will start moving about again. The Doctor has arranged a coil that will simulate the rhythms of the human brain, confusing the creature enough to keep it from moving about any further. He puts on a hazard suit and enters the room, leaving The Master to activate the controls when the order is given.

 The machine assaults The Doctor’s mind as images of Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors and the Dalek’s battle cries assault his mind. He throws the coil over the machine and The Master activates the device and it seems to work!

 The Doctor is brought back to the cell, where he lays down, exhausted. Jo complains about being hungry. Jo scavenges some food that is laying about from the breakfast that was brought to them when they escaped, and he begins to tell Jo about sharing a cell with Walter Raleigh in the Tower of London.

 A black van drives up to Stangmoor prison, and the Brig, dressed in a worker’s uniform, gets out and rings the bell. When the inmate pretending to be a guard comes out and tries to shoo them off, he says he has food for a week and booze for the warden. The guard calls it in, and they’re given clearance to go in. The van drives in with three UNIT soldiers immediate behind, attacking the guards.

 Benton leads another group of men from the underground tunnel into the compound.

 The Brig and his men begin a firefight with the inmates as Benton’s troops come up unnoticed. With time, the superior weapons and tactics of the UNIT forces get the better of the superior numbers the inmates have.

 Mailer gets The Doctor and Jo out of the cell, planning on using them as leverage to escape. Jo throws herself back against Mailer as they’re coming down some stairs, but he grabs her and keeps his gun on The Doctor.

 “That’s it, I warned you – I only need one of you,” he growls and fires his gun… and the credits roll.

 That’s a GREAT cliffhanger.

Episode 6:

 As he fires, the Brig shoots Mailer first.

 “Thank you, Brigadier… but do you think, for once in your life, that you could manage to arrive BEFORE the nick of time?” – The Doctor

I’m glad to see you, too, Doctor.” – the Brig

 I love the byplay between the Third Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Courtney and Pertwee had great on-screen chemistry.

 Benton reports that The Master is nowhere to be found, nor the missile. The Doctor informs them that the missile was never there.

 The Master arrives at the location where the missile is being held.

 The Brig gets the inmates back in their cells, the wounded are being tended to. He sets up shop in the warden’s office (the Brig loves taking over people’s offices, I’ve noticed) and George is brought in. Jo insists he not be locked up with the others and goes off to fetch some food.

 The Doctor explains to the Brig who George is and to let Jo deal with him. The Doctor and the Brig are looking at a map when Yates radioes in. He’s at the mobile HQ and explains what’s happened and where the missile is.

 “No need to worry about The Master any more. This time, we’ve got him.” – the Brig to The Doctor. Yeah, right.

 In the process room, the creature seems to be burning away at the coils trapping it there. The Brig puts Sgt Benton in charge of the prison as “acting governor” (warden).

 “Benton… don’t get any delusions of grandeur, will you?” – the Brig to Benton upon leaving him in the warden’s chair.

 The Doctor stays behind to figure out how to deal with the machine. The very same machine that is attempting to escape the coil. We get some heinous shaky-cam and things fly about the room and we get more Wayne’s World wobbly effect… and the coil is snapped off and the machine teleports away.

 It appears in one of the wings, attacking two guards (real guards.)

 Benton is dismissive with George, who wanders off.

 The Doctor and Jo discover that the machine has escaped.

 George wanders around, rubbing his head. He sees the dead guards.

 In the process room, Jo and The Doctor are attacked as the machine returns. George staggers in, and the machine goes dormant. George starts to recall something about the machine, that something bad happened in that room. He starts to back out and the machine becomes active.

 The Doctor grabs George and gets him back in the room, causing the machine to go dormant again. They realise that because of his lack of evil impulses, it neutralises the creature.

 The Brig arrives at mobile HQ, checks on Yates, and then finds out that there’s a destruct code they can use once the rocket is in go mode.

 The Doctor meets with Benton to requisition some equipment and supplies to deal with the creature, when The Master calls the warden’s office. He asks for The Doctor and they talk.

 Summers tries to move George from the process room, but Jo manages to get him back once the creature becomes active.

 The Master still plans to start a war and when the world is in ruins, to take over. The Doctor offers a deal – if The Master turns over the rocket, The Doctor will return his dematerialisation circuit, so he can leave the planet. The Master agrees, but only if The Doctor goes by himself.

 The Brig tells The Doctor not to worry, he’s got things under control.

 Jo manages to give The Doctor an idea to use the machine against The Master.

 The Master deactivates the abort circuit, “in case someone tries to be clever”.

 When The Doctor arrives at mobile HQ, the Brig tells him they’ve tried the remote detonation code, to no avail. The Doctor tells them he’s got a better plan than handing over the dematerialisation circuit (which has arrived from London.)

 A black van pulls up to the missile location; Jo, George and the machine are in the back. The Master sees the van arrive and walks over, gun in hand. The Doctor was driving and is standing out. He explains that Bessie has broken down which is why he’s using the van.

 There’s an amusing bit with charades of driving when The Master doesn’t understand what Bessie is in reference to.

 The Doctor says he can’t trust The Master not to take the circuit and fire the missile anyways. George sets down the machine and it activates, leaving The Master writhing on the ground. The Doctor activates the abort circuitry in the rocket controls.

 When they try to leave, George stops to check on The Master; his proximity to the machine allows The Master to escape. In doing so, he runs George over with the van, killing him.

 The Doctor and Jo get in a waiting helicopter and fly away as the missile is aborted, blowing up the entire location.

 In Acting Governor Benton’s office, Jo and The Doctor mourn the loss of George. The Brig tries to reassure them that the machine is destroyed and The Master didn’t get his circuit… but it seems that The Doctor has lost the circuit.

 Just then, the phone rings. It’s for The Doctor. The Master has called to let them know he’s “alive and well”, and he’s back in the safety of his TARDIS which is in working order. He promises that he will be back one day to destroy the Earth, and for The Doctor to enjoy his exile.

 “He’s got his TARDIS back. He’s free to come and go where he pleases, while I’m stuck here on Earth… with you, Brigadier!” – The Doctor, feeling sorry for himself. When he says this, the Brig sits back, his eyes a bit wide… and the final credits roll.

 A fun episode, even with a couple big plot holes/contentions on my behalf. Roger Delgado was excellent as The Master, Katy Manning as Jo did a great job, really was of use during the story and not just a pretty face who screamed when there was trouble. The UNIT team were all excellent and lots of great dialogue.

 A couple actors in this serial are of note. Michael Sheard, who played Doctor Summers, was in serials with the First Doctor (THE ARK), Third Doctor (this one), Fourth Doctor (THE PYRAMIDS OF MARS and THE INVISIBLE ENEMY), Fifth Doctor (CASTROVALVA) and the Seventh Doctor (REMEMBERANCE OF THE DALEKS). He’d also been in many movies and tv shows, most notably as Adolf Hitler in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE and as Admiral Ozzel in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

 The man who played George Barnham, Neil McCarthy, played in many movies and shows. I recognised him as Calibos from CLASH OF THE TITANS (the original, obviously.) 

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