For the first time ever, a Doctor Who serial doesn’t quite end the story, but segues into the next directly. We pick up where we left off last serial, so I’m guessing it’s time for a spoiler warning!


Episode 1:

The Doctor sends a message to the Time Lords, but collapses as he does so. Jo helps him to a bed (which comes out of a cabinet in the TARDIS console room) and he says that he’s liable to sleep for quite some time. He instructs her to record anything that might happen in the log and tells her where to find it before he slips into sleep.

Later, he struggles in his sleep, calling out for Jo, telling her to be careful. He settles, but Jo is worried for his health. She records what has happened in the log, saying she has seen him in a similar condition once before (THE DAEMONS, I think), noting he recovered after a sudden rise in temperature.

The TARDIS arrives somewhere, though Jo isn’t sure where – she suspects the Time Lords are operating the TARDIS remotely. The Doctor’s body is somewhat frosty, ice forming on his face in small quantities.

Using the scanner, Jo sees a jungle outside, but some liquid begins spurting against the view screen. She exits (putting on a thick coat and gloves?) and is squirted upon by some flowers, obviously the source of the liquid hitting the scanner.

She wanders about, hearing animals and other jungle/foresty noises. She records on the log (it’s an audio recording device) and then takes off her coat, seeing it’s been stained by the spurting liquid from earlier. Something invisible seems to be following her.

On the TARDIS, The Doctor stirs, rising from his bed, wondering where Jo is.

Jo finds a spacecraft. She goes inside and finds one of the crew dead, but tries to hide from the others. They find her and when she tells them she’s from Earth, they say Earth is just a legend.

The Doctor wakes and has to activate the emergency oxygen system in the TARDIS.

The crew agrees to help Jo, to go back to help The Doctor, but a third member shows up to say there’s a patrol coming in. They leave Jo in the ship to lead “them” away, avoiding Jo’s question of who “they” are.

An invisible creature/person is on the ship with Jo; she watches from a safe area as it rummages through the ship, as if looking for something. The creature (which hasn’t spoken, only breathed heavily) tries to get in the area Jo is hiding but it’s locked. It departs the ship, leaving tear drop shaped foot prints.

On the TARDIS, The Doctor is struggling to survive – cabin atmosphere is unable to sustain life, the alarm signals. He struggles to open the door but collapses at it. Outside, a thick substance has formed over the door, but the men pick away at it – it seems to be a build up of the liquid the plants sprayed on it (and Jo, for that matter.)

The Doctor recognises the men as Thals, from the planet Skaro. He tells them about helping the Thals during the Dalek War and he talks of Barbara, Ian and Susan (obviously referencing THE DALEKS.) One of the Thals refuses to accept the story, calling him a spy.

One of the Thals realises that The Doctor’s been exposed to a fungus and sprays him down with a medicine to treat it. The Thals tell him if untreated, it would have covered his entire body.

On the Thal’s ship, Jo realises that something is growing on the back of her hand, some fungus!

We learn they’re on the planet Spiridon, which the more abrasive Thal, Vaber, describes as “one of the nastiest pieces of space garbage in the ninth system.” The intelligent life form, the spiridons, are invisible.

As they head back to their ship, they come across a strange circular impression in the ground. Using a colour spray, they reveal an invisible Dalek… and the credits roll.

Okay, so far, so good. Daleks, Thals, invisible creatures, aggressive plant life, a strange planet. Let’s keep rocking!

 

 

Episode 2:

The Dalek is inactive, however. The Thals explain that the Daleks are still working on invisibility, by studying the spiridons. Thus far it’s limited to short periods of time. The Doctor stops Codal, one of the Thals, from opening the Dalek’s chassis, warning of automatic distress beacons.

Jo wakes on the Thal ship, recording in the log about the infection on her arm.

Vaber and The Doctor wait as Taron and Codal scout ahead; the scouts see a patrol of Daleks, likely heading to recover the deactivated Dalek. Vaber is attacked by some tentacle/vine that screams when The Doctor cuts him free. When some of the “eyeplants” (plants with eyestalks) start moving, the Thals and The Doctor hide, as this is usually a sign of a Spiridon being nearby.

Jo leaves the ship, collapses, then sees the brush moving and goes back inside and collapses again. Spiridon(s?) approach and enter the ship.

Codal runs off, hoping to lead any Spiridon away, but he is caught and attacked. Vaber, Taron and The Doctor arrive at the ship, but hide in the brush as Daleks arrive. The patrol radios in to command centre the discovery of the ship. They receive orders to destroy the Thal spacecraft, but The Doctor rushes out, fearing for Jo’s safety, as her last known location was within the ship. The Daleks capture The Doctor and fire on the ship, destroying it.

The Thals hold back as The Doctor is taken away. He’s brought to the Dalek ship and placed in a cell, where Codal is being held. They turn out their pockets, trying to see if they have anything they can use to escape. He finds the log (which I’m not sure how, I missed that part) and listens to Jo’s recording.

Meanwhile, Jo is sleeping, while a Spiridon mixes a poultice for her arm. It explains that it found her in the machine and brought her to safety. She learns that the Daleks are there from the Spiridon. The medicine makes Jo drowsy and she passes out.

The Daleks discuss using the prisoners for scientific experiments once interrogation is done. The Daleks are aware that there are only two Thals remaining. (But why aren’t they confused about the additional presence of The Doctor, then?)

Vaber and Taron argue over being brash or cautious; Vaber pulls his gun on Taron, demanding the explosives they have. Taron says he’ll have to kill him first to get the explosives, but before Vaber can decide what to do, a ship pass by overhead, bright light and wind howling – there’s an explosion and Taron says the ship came in too fast, was burning up.

The Doctor and Codal sit, as The Doctor tries to figure out how to disable a Dalek, preparing for when the chance comes. The Doctor decides to reverse the polarity (of course) of the log to make a feedback device to confuse the Dalek’s guidance system.

After Jo recovers, the Spiridon explains that the Daleks bombarded the planet with bacteria, wiping out the majority of the population. Of the survivors, all but a few have agreed to work with the Daleks in their pursuit of invisibility. She learns from the Spiridon that The Doctor is still alive, but has been taken to the Dalek city.

Approaching the crashed ship, the Thals discover a woman they know, Rebec. She says there are a couple more survivors, but the ship and all the explosives and equipment were destroyed. She brings news that the Daleks on Spiridon don’t know a dozen, as expected, but closer to TEN THOUSAND… and on that, the credits roll.

NOW THAT IS A CLIFFHANGER. Oh my. Can you imagine sitting there at home, watching your weekly Doctor Who programme and being hit with that bombshell?

 

 

Episode 3:

Vaber comes back with Marat and Latep, the other survivors.

Outside the city, Jo and the Spiridon watch as other Spiridons (wearing coats to protect themselves from the cold, so they’re visible) bring in vegetation into the city for the Daleks to experiment upon, as they are developing anti-plant weaponry. Despite the Spiridon’s warnings, Jo plans on sneaking in somehow.

The Thals discuss a freezing cold gooey substance; Taron says that Codal has theorised that the core of the planet is pure liquid ice and like a volcano, sometimes it builds up and erupts. The Daleks built their city on one of these ‘ice volcanos’ and Taron theorises they should be able to find a fissure by which to enter.

Vaber and Latep are taking up positions at the main entrance of the city; should the others enter and cause a distraction, they are to attack. Before they go off, Vaber apologises for turning his gun on Taron, who accepts the apology.

The Doctor continues to fiddle (doh) with the polarity reversing, working on a device to debilitate a Dalek. He says it’s done, now they need a Dalek to try it out on.

Jo slips into one of the cannisters the Spiridons are loading up with vegetation, so she can be brought into the city.

Inside the shafts, Taron and two others crawl in, hoping to find access to the city. They hear rumbling and fear it is an eruption of icy lava.

Jo has made it into the city in one of the carts. She overhears the Daleks talking about moving the prisoners for interrogation.

The Doctor and Codal hear the lift is active and get ready to attack the Dalek that is coming. It enters their cell and orders them to stand. They do not and when it moves closer, they charge it, Codal grappling with its gunstuck and plunger, The Doctor affixing his device to the Dalek, rendering it inactive, but also destroying the device in the process.

The Daleks detect that ice eruption is imminent and the order to close the cooling ducts is given.

The Thals in the tunnels race against time, having to backtrack as an ice flow breaks through a wall and heads their way.

The Doctor and Codal are spotted roaming free and though they run, the city is placed on maximum security alert – the order to “locate and destroy the prisoners” is given. Jo overhears all this. The prisoners are forced to go further down in the lift. After nearly being killed at one level, they go further down, exiting at another.

In the tunnels, the Thals crawl through icy goo into the shaft. Taron sees The Doctor and Codal walking by and calls them over to the grate. They help them free the grate to escape the cooling duct (which had not been closed down just yet.) However, as they try to pull them out, the duct doors begin to close. The Doctor and Codal force the doors open and the three Thals escape.

A Dalek patrol is spotted coming around the corner and the Thals and The Doctor run off; ice flow pours through the open duct, hitting the Daleks.

In the command centre, Jo overhears that the prisoners have been forced down to level zero.

One of the Thals, Marat, is killed in a firefight with the Daleks pursuing them. The others make it into a room and The Doctor seals the door. From Marat’s body, a map showing the location of the explosives they have hidden is found. Daleks are ordered to go and find the stash.

The Doctor and Thals find a ventilation shaft from the room they’re in, leading to the surface. It’s too steep and high a climb, but The Doctor starts working on a plan. The Daleks begin cutting through the door as he does so.

In the command centre, Jo overhears Daleks discussing the explosives cache as they go off to destroy it. She seems to follow them.

The Doctor and Thals work on a balloon to catch the hot air and lift them to the top. They increase the updraft from the unit and it begins to lift. The three Thals are holding on, but The Doctor is distracted by a small panel he opens and sees a massive amount of Daleks in a cavern beyond. The Daleks are almost through the door, but the lift isn’t enough to take all four of them. The Daleks are almost entirely through the door and Rebec cries out, “Doctor, it’s not going to work,”… and the credits roll.

Now that’s a classic cliffhanger! And a great one to leave you guys hanging on. See you tomorrow for the continuation!

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