All spoilery all the timey-wimey.


Episode 4:

The man in the silver suit shows up and waves for everyone to follow. They do so, just in the nick of time as the gas begins flooding that area of the caves. They are led down into the caverns as the Marshal’s explosives can be heard in the distance.

The man leads them through a sealed door; The Doctor notes that the bulkhead is lead and Jo says it has to do with radiation. He takes off his helmet, revealing a bald human who The Doctor guesses is Professor Sondergaard.

The Marshal returns to Skybase, leaving instructions for all the exits to be sealed.

Sondergaard explains there are areas in the caves with dangerous levels of radiation; the rest are safe in small doses, but since he’s been living there for years, he has to rely on a radiation suit when traveling the cave system. He found Jo in one of the areas that are dangerous and it was he she saw and he who moved her to safety.

Ky jumps to conclusions, accusing Sondergaard of experimenting on his people. Sondergaard explains that when he tried to report that the Solonians were being used as slaves by the Marshal and others, they tried to kill him, and that’s why he hides in the caves, trying to continue his research.

He explains that the mutants used to help him, bringing him food, but they no longer do. It seems that things are changing on Solos, not just the native people, but also plants, soil, even the weather. He agrees that Jaeger’s experiments have somehow accelerated whatever natural changes were happening.

The Doctor puzzles over the tablets, wondering why he was sent, how they can help. Sondergaard recognises the symbols as ones he’s seen in the ancient temples. He says that tablets could be the book of how life started on Solos, their own Book of Genesis.

There’s a great shaking and some debris falls. Stubbs says that was neither grenade nor explosive, but the mountain above them itself. The tunnels could well cave in. The Doctor tells Ky, Stubbs and Cotton to take Jo with them, as he must stay with Sondergaard to try to solve the mystery of the tablets.

In the tunnels, another guard comes across the group and fires on them.

The Doctor and Professor Sondergaard deduce that the tablets are a calendar. Solos circuits their sun every 2000 years, so the seasons must be 500 years long. There’s something that happens from Spring to Summer, some strange men are signified on the calendar. The Doctor convinces Sondergaard to take him to the dangerous areas of the caves.

Jo and company reach an area with a shaft going up; Jo briefly sees a man at the top of the shaft, but he’s gone by time the others look. Cotton begins climbing the shaft and the others follow. Ky warns that this will bring them out near Varan’s village.

Varan, physically changing, his face mottled with darkness, addresses a handful of his warriors. His speech is a bit slower than normal. One of his men comes to inform him of Overlords coming from “the place of darkness”.

The Doctor and Sondergaard go inside the cavern with the more intense radiation. The Doctor says he has already prepared himself and doesn’t need any protection. The Doctor looks around the cave and says it is magnificent, like a cathedral.

Jo, Ky, Stubbs and Cotton enter Varan’s village and are taken prisoner by the villagers.

As they progress into the cave, Sondergaard finds it harder to go on, even with The Doctor’s assistance. The Earthman drops and lays on the cavern, I’m not sure if he’s dead or just unconscious, and The Doctor goes on. He comes across a statue (that’s vaguely shaped like a man sitting) and takes a green stone from it. He turns back and collects Sondergaard, carrying him over his shoulders, and departs.

Varan still plans to attack Skybase. He doesn’t listen to reason any more than before. He thinks with the weapons of the two guards, he has a chance, as the villagers take their prisoners off on their attack.

The Marshal continues to harrangue Jaeger about launching the rockets and the scientist continues to make excuses. A message comes in, alerting the Marshal to the approach of an Earth Council Investigator coming on a space flight. The Marshal tells Jaeger that he expects to meet the Investigator on the surface of Solos, with changes to atmosphere already in effect, so he’d better get a move on.

Stubbs and Cotton distract the guard at the transmat station on Solos. Varan attacks him from behind and they have access to Skybase now.

The Doctor realises that the mutation is natural, part of their evolution. The mutants are only an intermediary form. The crystal from the cave is part of the process. The crystal has no radiation at all. The Doctor and Sondergaard realise they must go to Jaeger’s lab on Skybase to be able to examine the crystal.

On Skybase, the PA announces that the launch of the rockets is at hand. All personnel are recalled to Skybase.

Varan’s men and their prisoners are on Skybase. The rocket countdown is at 60 seconds.

At 41 seconds, the countdown is held due to presence of unauthorised personnel (Varan’s people?), but the Marshal overrides the hold. He leads a group of guards, who ambush Varan’s men. In the fight, the hull is blasted open and Varan is sucked out into orbit.

The countdown reaches zero and the rockets are launch. The Marshal, Jo, Ky, and others cling on to whatever is nearby as the room is depressurised and the vacuum threatens to suck them out… and the credits roll.

Other than a terrible bit of acting on the Marshal’s part, this is a great cliffhanger.

 

 

Episode 5:

The Doctor and Sondergaard walk outside, when small explosions go off. The Doctor says it’s Jaeger’s rockets. (They must be awfully tiny rockets…)

Cotton, Stubbs, Ky and Jo escape the depressurised area, only to be arrested by the Marshal’s guards.

The Doctor and Sondergaard find nobody at Varan’s village and head to the transmat station.

The Marshal has his four prisoners lined up. Stubbs and Cotton are charged with treason, Ky with terrorism, Jo with… nothing, but “such a pity”. Ky gives a speech as the firing squad comes in. As they take aim, Jaeger storms in, yelling about what is happening to Solos. He tells Marshal that the rockets were fired to soon without being checked out and the planet will be turned into a desert.

When the prisoners tell him that he’s going to be found out, the Marshal threatens to blow the investigator out of the sky. Ky brags that The Doctor is on Solos with Sondergaard, both of whom are alive.

The Doctor and Sondergaard see the changes brought on by the ionisation crystals landing on the planet, not seeding the atmosphere as intended. The Doctor agrees to go on to the transmat station on his own, Sondergaard returns to his lab.

The Marshal leads men down to Solos, to ferret out and find The Doctor. The Doctor evades the guards in the mist and makes it to the transmat station, beaming up to Skybase as the guards fire. On Skybase, he runs off before they beam up and loses them.

The Doctor tries to free the prisoners, but the Marshal and several guards show up to stop him. The Marshal instructs that if he helps Jaeger with the atmospheric modification, he will let he and Jo live.

There’s a great bit of dialogue, with a wonderful line from the Marshal:

Marshal, you are quite mad.” – The Doctor

(smiling, chuckling in response) “Only if I lose.” – The Marshal

The Doctor works with Jaeger, meanwhile Jo and others free themselves and communicate with Hyperion, the ship transporting the Investigator. The Marshal and guards are outside, trying to get in, while Cotton and Jo communicate with the ship. Jo gives a complete synopsis to the ship on what’s been going on.

Stubbs is killed during the firefight with the Marshal and his men, but Jo, Ky and Cotton escape, but they are reapprehended at the transmat pods.

The Doctor tells Jaeger what he and Sondergaard discovered about the mutations not being a disease at all.

Sondergaard returns to the caves, where guards and mutants are present. The mutants surround Sondergaard after saving him from one of the guards. The mutants communicate with him through limited words. He explains to them that things can be fixed, set to a normal rate. He asks them for help to save their people and they seem to agree.

The Doctor and Jaeger work their experiment, beaming the planet surface until it is no longer contaminated. The Doctor shuts down the machine, but the Marshal arrives, with Jo in tow, saying he will continue the process until the air is breathable by humans and only humans, but then the Hyperion announces it is about to dock with Skybase.

The Marshal and The Doctor go off to meet with the Investigator. Jo is locked up with Cotton and Ky, kept as prisoners to ensure that The Doctor plays along safely. Cotton explains they’re being held in the refueling area and when the Investigator’s shuttle needs to refuel, they’ll be exposed to the radioactive fuel and killed. As Ky and Jo look at him in terror, the credits roll…

 

Episode 6:

The Investigator arrives to begin the inquiry. The Marshal tries to justify things, blaming terrorists and the like, putting blame off on Stubbs and Cotton, saying they’re dead.

When the Investigator turns his attention to The Doctor he asks if he’s a doctor, and our hero says he is and, in one of the recurring jokes, when asked what he’s qualified in, the response is “practically everything”.

Reluctantly, The Doctor backs up the Marshal’s story, for fear of Jo’s safety.

Jo, Ky and Cotton dash inside the fuel probe as it enters the chamber.

The Investigator confers with his associates as Jeager arrives to warn the Marhsal about the Hyperion refueling, but the Marshal is more than aware at the danger to the prisoners and is counting on their being destroyed. The Investigator tells Jaeger that the committee will speak to him now.

Jo, Ky and Cotton escape through the fuel probe and make their way through Skybase.

Jaeger denies that his experiments were designed to change the atmosphere to Solos so that only humans could breathe the air, and that they are responsible for the mutations.

As the Investigator is about to close the preliminary hearing, Jo and the others arrive and The Doctor is able to speak the truth against the Marshal and Jaeger.

Sondergaard leads the mutants to the transmat station. He tells them he has to go and find The Doctor to help them.

The Marshal and The Doctor argue, and The Doctor tricks the Marshal into going into an anti-mutt tirade. Realising he’s shown his ass, he shuts up. The Investigator asks about seeing the tablets, but The Doctor says that Sondergaard has them.

Just then, Sondergaard is brought in. As he tries to tell the Investigator about things, the Marshal jumps on some choice words to twist them about.

One of the mutants enters the transmat booth and beams up to Skybase, where it begins wandering around.

Sondergaard insists that the mutants are not evil, their change has been brought about by Jaeger’s experiments. The mutant enters the office where everyone is and the Marshal grabs a gun and kills it. He somehow gets the Investigator (who must have shit his brain out his ass in terror at seeing the mutant) to release his men and give authority to the Marshal to deal with the mutants.

Sondergaard, The Doctor and Jo escape during the chaos, but Ky and Cotton are not so lucky.

At Jaeger’s lab, Sondergaard and The Doctor work on the crystal, trying to analyse it, as Jo watches on. The Doctor realises that the crystal is a bio-catalytic agent. They talk of getting the crystal to Ky, but they need the thaesium radiation; Jo says there is some in the chamber they were being held earlier.

Just then, the Marshal and guards break in and take Sondergaard and Jo to the radiation chamber. (Conveniently enough for The Doctor’s plan, as he gave the crystal to Sondergaard just before the door was broken down.) The Marshal says if The Doctor wants his friends to survive their stay in the chamber, he better work quickly to give Solos an Earthlike atmosphere.

In the chamber, Cotton holds Ky, who thrashes in agony. Jo and Sondergaard are brought in. Sondergaard brings out the crystal and puts it in Ky’s hands. He grabs it and clutches it to his breast, writhing even more.

As they watch, he begins to transform into a mutant, his hand becoming a pincer.

The Investigator enters the laboratory, demanding to know why his men have been locked up. The Marshal informs him that his men will be the first inhabitants of New Earth. The Doctor uses the distraction to switch some wires around, unnoticed, and then tells the Investigator that the Marshal is “quite mad”. Again, the Marshal replies that mad men lose, while he has won.

Ky, fully transformed, absorbs all the radiation in the room and completes his transformation, becoming a being of light and colour. He speaks with his mind, communicating with them. He thanks the Professor for saving his people and showing him the way, before disappearing.

The hatch opens (presumably by Ky) and they slip out.

The light form of Ky moves through Skybase, knocking down guards with a simple wave of his hand.

In the lab, the Marshal tells The Doctor to begin the process. The Doctor tries to appeal to the Marshal one last time, but it is no good. The Marshal doesn’t trust The Doctor and tells Jaeger to take his place at the controls. Jaeger activates the machinery which begins to spark and smoke and then explodes in a flash.

As the Marshal raises his gun to fire at The Doctor, Ky appears and says (mentally), “Die, Marshal, let there be an end to your torture of my people,” and vaporises the Marshal with a burst of light.

Sondergaard says he believes that with the crystal, he can help Ky help his people evolve into their proper form. The Investigator places Cotton in charge, who says he’ll stay to help Sondergaard and Ky and then do what they should have done long ago – leave and go back to Earth.

The Investigator tells The Doctor that he and Jo need to return to Earth in the Hyperion with him, as he still needs a full disclosure from The Doctor. The Doctor agrees, but begs leave as Jo needs a moment, she’s feeling faint (a fact that takes Jo several moments of arguing to realise what’s going on… not the brightest, our Jo). They take their leave, saying they’ll see them all later. After they leave, the Investigator says, “Doctor…. Who, did he say?” Yep, we got that joke worked in as well.

Back in storage area four, they find the TARDIS and enter as another alarm goes off warning about another malfunction in storage area four… and the final credits roll.

A rather interesting serial, very well crafted, lots of layers. A few twists here or there really didn’t make too much sense, but nothing so bad as to ruin the experience.  

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