Spoiler time, baby

Episode 3:

The Doctor moves on, and the laughter fades. He brushes away sand and there’s a reflective surface beneath. In the surface, a clown laughs at him and The Doctor covers it with sand.

He moves into some trees and a biplane soars down out of the sky. It comes back on a strafing run and The Doctor runs. This happens several times and the biplane flies off. We hear the booming laughter.

The Doctor has an injury on his knee. He’s bleeding and he announces, “I deny it!” And the wound and blood fades. His adversary says that they’re in his reality and his will rules, and the wound reappears. The Doctor says he will fight him in his reality (like he has any choice?)

Sadly, this should be awesome, but it’s not. It’s just very boring. Filled with nonsensical shit like a clown in a mirror under the sand.

Spandrell and Engin fret over The Doctor’s reactions; his adrenalin is spiking, massive blood sugar demand. Enging speculates that there must be another living mind in the Matrix. And his name is Neo…

Elsewhere, the dessicated figure tends to a body that is attached to a machine that looks nothing like the one The Doctor is attached to, but obviously we’re meant to intuit that it is the same, or serves the same purpose.

A man in a guard’s uniform sits in a chair behind the two of them, unmoving.

In the red helmet (conveniently obscuring the identity of the other mind in the Matrix), The Master (for that is whom the dessicated figure is) can see the view of his subordinate. He tells (though there’s no way to know if he can hear) him that he almost has him, but to be wary, for The Doctor is at his most dangerous when the odds are against him.

The Doctor is spotted by the adversary, who is dressed as a hunter and has a convenient all black hood/mask. The hunter shoots at The Doctor, but apparently has been trained at the Death Star Shooting Academy.

The Doctor runs and hides from the hunter. A large spider is uncomfortably close for The Doctor, but he is afraid to move, as it might alert the hunter where he is.

The hunter stops to drink water, lifting the bottom of his mask to do so. Why? What is the point? I know the point is to keep us from knowing who The Master’s associate is. But it’s just DUMB.

The Doctor licks his lips, watching the man drink.

The hunter looks at a map and whispers, “Water, he’s going to need water,” and sets the pack and canteen down and skulks off.

The Doctor crawls over and shakes the canteen, but it is empty. He rummages through the pack, finding a grenade and other items.

The hunter pours some foul liquid into some nearby water.

The Doctor runs through the woods, then hides.

The hunter passes by, and The Doctor wonders what he’s been up to after he passes by. The hunter returns to his camp, tripping a wire trap The Doctor set up, setting off the grenade. But it doesn’t get him.

The Master chastises him. He frets over his physical deterioration. He turns to the guard and orders him to stand. The Master says he has a task for him and other will attempt to stop him, but he will obey. The guard agrees, obviously under The Master’s spell.

The Doctor makes it to the water, and is about to drink, but stops himself suddenly. He looks around and finds the small bottle and sniffs it, realising the hunter has poisoned/tainted/whatever it.

The hunter has bandaged his wound(s), obviously in great pain, having suffered some injury.

The Doctor fashions a straw out of a reed or shoot and uses it to drink out of the ground? He hears the hunter approaching and slips off, but the hunter calls out that he’s close to him, he’d best start running.

The Doctor scales a tree. With his straw and some thorns and the remnants of the poison, he fashions a blow dart and waits. The hunter comes into sight, rifle in hand.

The Doctor blows and the man grabs his leg. Looking up, he sees The Doctor and shoots, hitting The Doctor in the arm and knocking him out of the tree. At closer sight, the mask looks more like mosquito netting. The hunter tends to the wound, while The Doctor gets up and crawls off.

The Master’s enspelled guard goes to Spandrell, saying Chancellor Goth requests that The Doctor be brought to him. The guard is one of the Chancellor’s personal guard. They tell him he will have to wait and while Engin and Spandrell discuss The Doctor’s failing body, the guard looks at a dial and smiles.

The Doctor struggles to keep going. The hunter struggles to keep after him.

Engin yells at the guard not to touch the dial he’s getting close to. He tells Spandrell that The Doctor is trapped in a dreamscape in the Matrix. The guard tries again to fiddle with the controls and Spandrell is forced to shoot him.

The Doctor struggles his way through a marsh.

The Master yells at his associate, “One final effort! Kill him! Destroy him! I, your Master, command you!”

The hunter calls out for The Doctor to give himself up, demanding “your life for my Master!” He demands The Doctor show himself, but The Doctor says for him to show himself first and Goth removes his mask.

The Doctor says, “All right, Goth, you win,” and rustles the fronds he’s hiding behind. Goth fires his gun, igniting the marsh gases and sets himself on fire. He goes under and when The Doctor comes to investigate, Goth rises up and the two candidates for Presidency fight.

Goth gets the upper hand and drowns The Doctor. However, Goth has spent too much energy maintain the reality and the fight and the reality collapses. The Master lifts the helmet on Goth and curses him and then sets about to trap The Doctor in the Matrix. Goth begs, saying this will kill him, too.

The Master says he has no time to waste on Goth and Goth bursts into flames.

Spandrell and Engin watch as The Doctor revives.

Goth, burnt and dying(?) groans, “You fiend, why did I ever believe in you?” The Master lifts a needle and says he is not done yet… and the credits roll?

Episode 4:

The Doctor wakes on the bed, telling Spandrell that Goth is The Master’s “legman”. The Doctor says that Goth must have his own connection and asks what is under the records room. Engin says only service ducts immediately, but far below, ancient parts of the citadel.

They go off to investigate and find The Master’s dessicated body. The Doctor checks on him and confirms that he is dead. Goth stirs, and they question him why he did it – he says for power, he was not the President’s chosen successor.

Goth explains that The Master is out of regenerations. Goth met him and brought him to Gallifrey for a promise of knowledge. Goth dies before he can answer the question, “What was The Master’s plan?”

Spandrell reports to Borusa what has happened. Borusa says this story is not acceptable, saying they must adjust the truth to maintain confidence. Borusa’s spin is that Goth was a hero, dying to stop The Master. Borusa offers to drop the charge against The Doctor, conditional on his leaving that night.

Somehow, Cardinal, I don’t want to stay.” – The Doctor.

Borusa instructs Engin and The Doctor to compile a new Data Extract on The Master – making him enemy number one.

Hilred and several guards search the chamber where Goth and The Master were found. One of the guards picks up a syringe. The same one The Master had. Hilred receives a call from Spandrell, summoning him.

The Doctor and Engin discuss The Master; The Doctor begins to ruminate on how unlikely it is that The Master so “meekly” accepted the end of his regeneration cycle. Engin prepares two drinks as they talk. The Doctor asserts The Master had a plan.

After the twelfth regeneration, there is no plan that will postpone death.” – Engin.

The Doctor asks what’s so special about the President; Engin says not much, he’s merely an elected Time Lord (or appointed, I suppose) and other than holding some special symbols (the Sash of Rassilon, the Key), he’s no different than any others.

The Doctor asks about Rassilon; I know this is exposition being done for the viewers’ sakes, but still, it seems so clumsily written.

The Doctor asks to listen to a modern recording on Rassilon.

Hilred is told by Spandrell what to do with regards to The Master’s body. He turns over the syringe they found and Spandrell says they should be able to determine what was in it.

The recording talks of the Sash, as well as The Eye of Harmony and sealed by The Great Key. The Doctor seems to realise what The Master was up to, calling him a great egotist, planning to destroy Gallifrey and all the Time Lords just to survive.

Just then, Spandrell enters, saying The Master did not die of natural causes, brandishing the syringe, saying he killed himself. The Doctor identifies it as a neural inhibitor – The Master is still alive.

In the holding facility/crypt/whare the bodies are, The Master lifts his head and looks around. He lays back just before Hilred comes in. When the guard pulls out his stazer and readies to shoot, The Master lifts his head.

The Doctor, Spandrell and Engin make their way there. The Master is looming over the President’s body, presumably after the Sash or the Key (or both.) Hearing the others coming, he moves out of sight.

They find Hilred, miniaturised and The Master gets the drop on them. He and The Doctor argue whether hate is a weakness or a strength. He demands the Sash of Rassilon.

Spandrell makes a move and The Master shoots him (dead, presumably.) He tells The Doctor that he wanted The Doctor to die in shame and then shoots him. (Okay, maybe not dead.) Engin hands the Sash to The Master. The Master says they’re not dead, only stunned. He leaves, ranting all the while.

The Doctor and Spandrell recover and The Doctor chastises Engin for handing over the Sash. When Engin says it’s only of symbolic importance, The Doctor says it is a technological masterpiece, “it protects its wearer from being sucked into a parallel universe” and will protect him while he restarts his regenerations and destroys Gallifrey.

The Doctor says the Eye of Harmony is the nucleus of a black hole. He says if The Master interferes with what Rassilon has created, it will mean the end of a hundred worlds, not just Gallifrey.

In the Panopticon, The Master breaks the case with the Key and slides It into a hole in the great dias. A door in the dias slides open and an obelisk rises – The Eye of Harmony!

In the chamber with the bodies, The Doctor and others try to open the door but they cannot. The Doctor tries scaling out through… something, I dunno. Some chute looking thing. Maybe the laundry is deposited with the dead?

The Master unfastens some couplings on the Eye. Things begin to shake, rattle and roll. Spandrell says if The Doctor is right, this means the end of the world. (A hundred worlds, actually.)

The Master gloats and rants. The Doctor arrives. Pieces of the ceiling begin to collapse, knocing down The Doctor. The Doctor says that the Sash was damaged when the President was shot, that it won’t protect The Master.

This causes The Master to stop long enough for The Doctor to rise and fight with him. All the while things are falling. The Doctor keeps trying to reconnect the couplings, The Master keeps attacking him.

During the struggle, The Master is knocked down and falls… into some depth, but I’m not quite sure what it was. The Doctor reconnects the couplings and saves the day.

Later, Borusa complains that half the city is in ruins, untold lives lost. Engin brings up that if it weren’t for The Doctor, it would be far worse. Borusa admits that he is aware of the debt they owe The Doctor, but says Gallifrey has never known such a disaster.

The Doctor says they could just rewrite history again, blaming it on mice.

As I told you long ago, you will never amount to anything in the galaxy so long as you maintain your propensity for vulgar facetiousness!” – Borusa. Great, GREAT line.

As The Doctor leaves, Borusa gives him a “nine out of ten,” bringing quite the smile to The Doctor.

Spandrell and Engin accompany The Doctor back to his TARDIS. Next to it is a grandfather clock. They offer that he could stay, but he says he likes it “out there”.

The Doctor glances over at the grandfather clock as they talk about The Master. The Doctor speculates that he may still have found some way to survive. That perhaps, while he was wearing the Sash, it could have been converting energy the obelisk was putting out.

He says his goodbye and enters the TARDIS, which dematerialises. Spandrell turns and sees the face of the grandfather clock closing, The Master’s and pulling it shut. As The Master’s TARDIS disappears, Engin asks where they are going.

Out into the universe. I have a feeling it isn’t big enough for the two of them.” – Spandrell

The Master’s dessicated face is superimposed over the grandfather clock as it fades and we hear his laughter… and the final credits roll.

Not a bad story, lots of stupid points, some elements and complete sequences are just shoddily handled or shouldn’t have been in there whatsoever. However, what works in this story more than makes up for it. It’s a great story, one that shows more of Gallifrey and their society than we’ve seen to date.  

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