Again, one I believe I have not yet seen (or if I have, I have no recollection from the title.)

Episode 1:

A man in a drab outfit stands in a hallway. A woman slides open a aperture high up on the wall and informs him that his father died – it’s like a nurse telling a man about his baby being born, but with his father’s death. He expresses his gratitude and she tells him to pay the death taxes at the gatherer’s window.

In an officious room, an officious man reads a scroll. Outside, the man whose father died presses a button and a bell tolls. The officious man tells his attendants to let him enter. The officious man greets the citizen (addressing him as such) but stops him from placing the death taxes on his wood desk – it’s a kind of wood (which seems to be a luxury for these people) called “ma-ho-gain-ee”.

It turns out they’re on Pluto; they praise “the company” for finding other ways to generate oxygen other than trees. The citizen is most distraught when he finds he owes 117 telmars (delmars? I’m not sure which), much more than the 80 he thought the tax was going to be.

The Gatherer asks how he plans to pay the difference. He gives Citizen Cordo the opportunity (not really giving him much choice, it seems) to work without sleep (he only gets three hours a day now) to earn more to pay the difference. When Cordo protests, the Gatherer says he should praise the company for all that he has now and dismisses him.

On the TARDIS, The Doctor and K-9 play chess (Leela moving the pieces on the board for the robot.) The Doctor crows about the superiority of the organic mind, but K-9 places him in check. The column of the TARDIS console has stopped moving and they see they’re on Pluto.

Scanning outside, they see buildings and detect a breathable atmosphere. They exit, leaving K-9 behind for some reason. Outside, they find that it’s very warm and humid, though Leela remarks on the air being scented. They’re atop some large building and are having a look around when Citizen Condo comes walking nearby, preparing to jump off the side of the building. Leela runs over, but The Doctor tells her not to touch him.

They stop him from jumping and ask him to tell them about his problem.

The Gatherer is approached by an assistant, who informs him about an illegal aircraft landing (which I’m betting must be the TARDIS.)

After hearing Cordo’s story, The Doctor explains to Leela that taxes are like ritual sacrifices to the gods, but more painful. They hear the siren of the approaching Gatherer and Cordo flees, Leela and The Doctor following. Finding a hiding place, he tells them that only the Executive Grade are allowed up to, in the “light of the suns”.

The Gatherer and his female assistant approach and examine the TARDIS.

Cordo urges Leela and The Doctor to follow him, to avoid capture.

The Gatherer suspects some sort of conspiracy, likely to bilk The Company out of money. He tells his assistant that there will be no records of the ship that brought in this “package”.

Cordo says he’s going to flee to the undercity and The Doctor and Leela say they will accompany him. He tells there his father found the way there once and said it was completely dark, as if this is unimaginable. Turns out there is no night on Pluto.

As they travel through tunnels towards the way to the undercity, Cordo tells The Doctor there are six suns on Pluto; each megropolis has its own sun – satellites that provide light and heat.

Cordo becomes panicky as it gets darker and moves to turn back, but they are approached by “the others”.

K-9 opens the TARDIS door and peeks out, calling out, “Master?” He departs and is being tracked by the Gatherer.

The Doctor, Cordo and Leela are escorted to meet Mandrel, who seems to be a leader. He doesn’t believe their story of coming from another planet and attacks The Doctor when the Time Lord is less than respectful of him.

K-9 accesses the lift The Doctor and company fled from the rooftop in.

Mandrel and the others think The Doctor is an “ajax”. The Doctor tells them they came because Cordo wanted to join them. Mandrel interrogates Cordo, wanting to know why. He tells Cordo that the death taxes are always more than the citizens are initially told.

Cordo learns that to be part of the others, he will have to steal and kill with the rest of them. Leela turns her knife on one of the women and Mandrel is impressed by her and informs The Doctor that he and Leela will be staying on with them as well.

K-9’s progress is followed via video in the Gatherer’s office.

Mandrel issues The Doctor with a stolen cash card and gives him instructions to go collect the money for them. If he and Cordo don’t return in a set time, the others will kill Leela.

K-9 encounters The Doctor and Cordo when they make it up to the sub-level The Gatherer recognises Cordo and remarks that The Doctor looks like a Ajax or Ajack, I’m not sure.

The Gatherer decides that they must be smuggling in weapons; he says the Ajacks (miners) are always unhappy (so it is Ajack for singular, it seems) and they must be planning something. He says if it’s happening in Megropolis One, it’s happening in all of them. The Gatherer says he must report to the company palace and speak to the Collector.

The Doctor and Cordo approach the bank, which is basically an ATM; The Doctor is trapped in a booth and gassed when he tries to use the card… and the credits roll.

Nope, never seen this, or if I have it’s been so very long – though the name Mandrel sounds familiar to me. Anyhow, thus far it seems very interesting, I like it a lot. I like the human settlement on Pluto story and the evil Company taking advantage of the population.

Episode 2:

The Doctor falls unconscious in the booth and Cordo runs off, hiding from four approaching attendants, who have a stretcher at the ready. The men void the booth of the gas and then open it, placing The Doctor on the gurney.

Mandrel looks at the candle, and the woman that Leela butted heads with earlier asks Mandrel to let her have Leela’s garb.

A bald man sits at a computer, face inches away from readouts as the Gatherer enters. The Gatherer kisses his ass but the Collector tells him to get to the point, in a very squeaky, nasally voice. The Gatherer reports what he suspects.

The Doctor wakes up in the induction therapy room of the Corrections Center. The Doctor can’t quite speak at first, a side effect of the gas. He finds out that he’s been there for an hour, and he knows Leela’s time is up.

In the undercity, Mandrel orders his men to take her, but she fights a couple off. Mandrel moves to attack her, but Cordo arrives to inform them what happened to The Doctor.

The Doctor finds out that the prisoner with him has been brought in for being curious. He learns that the company is putting anxiety-inducing chemicals into the air under the guise of “air freshener”.

Gatherer Hade appeals to the Collector for reinforcements to deal with the presumed Ajacks uprising. He has to suggest raising “protection taxes” to compensate for the cost – it seems that the operation on Pluto is solely a fiscally minded one.

The Collector agrees to supply Hade with half a division of his Retinue (personal guard/elite troops?) to assist Hade with the rebellion. The Collector also orders a 3% increase in PCM, the gas that induces anxiety.

Leela tries to get help from the others to rescue The Doctor; Mandrel says the Corrections Center is under the Palace and is guarded by the Inner Retinue. Leela challenges Mandrel’s manhood, but it does no good. Only Cordo agrees to help her.

(Louise Jameson is look EXTRA SEXY in this serial; not that they’ve done anything different, at least not in her costume, that I can tell.)

The Doctor asks his companion how the PCM is dispersed. A worker comes int and places helmets on The Doctor and Bisham’s heads. Bisham apologises that their acquaintance was so brief. Before whatever is about to transpire happens, the machine is shorted out by some tampering The Doctor had done earlier.

The Gatherer decides to have The Doctor released, in order to use him to track down the rebels.

Leela encounters K-9. K-9 wags his tail and it’s rather cute. K-9 accompanies Cordo and Leela.

Technicians work on the machinery that The Doctor shorted out, but Hade’s assistant arrives and orders him released and escorted to Gatherer Hade.

Cordo escorts Leela and K-9 to the entrance to Correction Center. Leela feels frightened, which confuses her, but K-9 explains there is a chemical in the air that causes it.

Hade meets with The Doctor, inviting him to sit at his desk. He plays the gracious, apologetic host, and The Doctor plays along. They give him the money and apologise dramatically.

Leela sends K-9 to stun the guard.

The Doctor and Hade discuss humanity’s origin on Earth and why they left; Hade says he believes in the “expansionist theory”. They make other small talk and then The Doctor leaves. Once he’s gone, Hade’s assistant informs the Gatherer that the tracker has been keyed to The Doctor.

Leela, Cordo and K-9 find Bisham and shoot the worker as they’re about to begin the corrections process. They free Bisham and he tells them what happened to The Doctor. Leela takes Bisham with them as they hurry out, hoping to avoid detection.

The Doctor heads back to the undercity; the tracker system cannot follow into the undercity, but Hade is not worried, as he expects the Inner Retinue to handle the others.

The guard outside the Corrections Center wakes up and reports the emergency.

The others are eating and complaining of their food when The Doctor returns. He explains what happened to him and they explain what happened to Leela.

Mandrel accuses him of being a spy, saying the Gatherer doesn’t give anyone money.

Leaving the center, Leela and the others see the guard is gone. Ahead, there is a barricade set up with guards at the ready. Our heroes are forced to circle back, but then a vehicle with two guards approaches. Cordo says, “It’s no good, they’ve seen us,”… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

We get a slightly different recap; this time, Cordo doesn’t say that. Leela tells K-9 to hide, and he does. The vehicle pulls up as Leela tells the others to act harmless and they won’t expect anything, but the two men say it would be better for her to kill them with the gun she took from the one guard.

One man disembarks, pointing a gun at them, instructing Leela to drop her gun. She sets it down and then instructs K-9 to take the guards out, which he does. When he asks her, “Satisfactory, Mistress,” twice, she gets a little snarky in her reply and his tail, which had been wagging, stopped. Poor K-9!!!

They commandeer the vehicle, putting K-9 on the back. There’s a bit of comedy where Leela tries to drive the vehicle.

The guards around the corner start dismantling the barricade, hearing the gunfire and just assuming their men won the fight. Our heroes vehicle zooms by, but Leela is hit and falls out and they leave her behind.

Mandrel demands to know why the Gatherer gave him the money. His men rough up The Doctor a little bit. They have a hot iron ready to torture him with. Just as things are getting heated up (ahahahah, see what I did there?), Bisham and Condo arrive, using the gun to get Mandrel to back off.

The Doctor asks where Leela is.

Leela is being examined in Correction Center; the Collector sits nearby as one of the guards informs him that she’s not numbered. The Collector sit in a motorised chair – I’m not sure if he’s chair-bound or it is just a luxury. The Collector says everyone is numbered at birth; the guard agrees – even some criminals have the number removed but there’s always a scar left behind.

The Doctor tries to stir up the others into some rebellion. The others are against it, but amazingly, Mandrel says it could be done and they should help. They conjure up a plan involving getting rid of the PCM from the air.

The Doctor reveals that he’s aware that the tracker system is keyed to him and that he’s currently out of its reach. Perhaps this is even why he allowed himself to be ‘bribed’ by the Gatherer? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time The Doctor knew more than he should about a situation.

Cordo goes up to retrieve some of the oculoid tracking system cameras. Bisham tells The Doctor that he doesn’t think Leela was badly wounded.

Leela is dragged, kicking and screaming before the Collector to answer questions. The company’s computer is able to guess that Leela is of Terran descent based on analysis of “Sevateem”. After Leela reveals that The Doctor is a Time Lord and that she led the attack on the Correction Center to try to free him, the Collector terminates the interview and she is dragged, kicking and screaming, away.

The Collector consults the computer (which may or may not be named Zero-Zero-Five) about “the Time Lords, specifically, one named The Doctor”. The computer is aware of Gallifrey, having rated it “grade three”, in terms of making a profit off them.

The others are getting excited about the rebellion, about turning against the company; The Doctor asks, “What is this company, can anyone tell me that?” The others are unable to explain what it is, other than to “make a profit”. The Doctor asks where the profit goes.

The Doctor sends out the others to go amongst the citizenry, to spread the word of rebellion. He sends Cordo up with the modified oculoid tracker ports/cameras/what-sits

Gatherer Hade appears before the Collector. The Collector wants to know why he released The Doctor from captivity. Hade explains, but the Collector says there is no rebellion. (Well, there’s no Ajack rebellion, but there is going to be a rebellion. The Collector is not yet aware of this, what what?) The Collector says that the records on The Doctor say that he will be trouble for the company’s practices here and must be dealt with.

A bounty is issued for The Doctor, as well as public announcements for the execution of Leela – a trap to lure The Doctor in.

The Doctor parades back and forth in front of the modified cameras. The cameras are looped to play him over and again in a loop. The Doctor, Bisham, Cordo, Mandrel and K-9 set off together.

Leela is imprisoned, wearing a straight jacket, suspended in hair, held only by her feet. A guard comes in to gloat about the announcement of her execution by steaming.

K-9 leads The Doctor and others into the other levels of the megropolis.

The Gatherer’s assistant informs him they’ve picked up The Doctor on the cameras, and he instructs her to call off the guards and follow him to make a personal arrest. (The reward for the bounty is to come out of his personal funds, so he wants to make sure nobody else arrests/kills The Doctor.)

A public bulletin about The Doctor is broadcast on the public system. Several workers stop to watch. One of them wonders out loud about it, only to find The Doctor standing next to him! He and his fellow rebels take the men prisoner, offering them one chance to join up.

Mandrel shuts down the vapor machines. The Doctor leaves Cordo in charge.

Hade and his assistant, Marn, find the corridor, but not any sign of their prey. They check the scanners, which confirm that The Doctor is in the hall right then and there.

A public announcement for Leela’s execution is broadcast; Cordo and Bisham see it and fetch The Doctor so that he can see it. They explain to him how it’s done and he asks Mandrel (who used to be a B-grade and knows a lot of this machinery) and the techs (who joined the rebellion) would it be possible to shut the water off for a few minutes right before her execution, so he could rescue her.

They explain it couldn’t be done – there’d be too much pressure for anyone’s body to go through, and the only way to release the pressure is from within the pipes in the first place (which makes total sense.) K-9 offers to go in and blast the valve instead.

Leela is shown on the public broadcast, they’re putting her in the steam chamber.

The Collector swings by the steam chamber to view the execution. Hade is forced to reveal the false image of The Doctor.

K-9 blasts the valve and Mandrel reverses the pumps – they tell him he has two minutes and they give him a two-way communication device. The pressure begins rising faster than they expected, but Mandrel says they have to find a way to make it last two minutes.

Leela is in a tube on rails, and she is conveyed into the steam chamber. The Collector gloats about moments like this give him a real sense of “job satisfaction”. Miserable little worm of a man. I wanna tip him over and beat him with his motorised chair. Nasty, creepy, inhuman and motivated solely by financial greed and malice – a wonderful villain.

Mandrel and the techs fight with the machinery. They estimate that The Doctor must be within the chamber by now.

Leela is shown in the chamber, which is getting very, very steamy. She struggles against her bonds to no avail… and the credits roll.

Okay, that’s a great cliffhanger – can you imagine having to wait a week for the conclusion? Good thing we don’t!

Episode 4:

Leela struggles; Mandrel looks at the machines; the Collector complains about the background noise – the chamber is wired for sound and he wants to hear her screams clearly. Hade goes off to see if it can be adjusted.

The Doctor crawls into the chamber and releases Leela. Mandrel contacts him via the communication device, saying the exchanger is going to blow any moment.

Outside, this is heard over the speakers. The Collector instructs Hade to get the guards to investigate (what is it about so many DW villains, the ones who are the top of a organisation/cult/force/military/etc are incapable of giving direct orders? In a matter where every second counts, fuck going through the chain of command, you’re the man in charge, give the orders directly.) Hade takes Marn with him (she’s been sitting, staring at the Collector in horror ever since the little toad went on about hearing Leela’s screams like it was something he would treasure and thinking about the next time he masturbated.)

Mandrel and the techs open the pipes and the pressure returns to normal. They hear noises in the vent and open it, and Leela and The Doctor crawl out.

The Doctor sees the Collector on the view-screen and asks where the public video is controlled from; they tell him it’s housed in the Collector’s palace. He suggests that the rebellion would be better suited if the public video announced that the rebellion was a success.

They argue that the palace is guarded by the Inner Retinue, but The Doctor points out that the Collector is the one guarded by them and the Collector is not in the palace, and most of his Retinue are with him.

Suddenly, there are signs of guards coming, and everyone hides, the techs acting normally. The rebels get a jump on the guards and take them prisoner. The Doctor calls for K-9, who is nowhere to be found for a few moments; everyone calls out for him and he just rolls up. The Doctor instructs him to stay and assist them there. (Wonder if there was some reason for all of that…)

Gatherer Hade apologises to the Collector for the failure of the execution to be entertaining (the way they talk, they don’t know Leela wasn’t in there). The Collector’s response is to order unpaid overtime for all work grades.

A guard arrives and reports that there are some “minor troubles” – some of the work force is refusing to leave their dorms to report to work. The guard says he’s sending the Retinue to deal with it.

The rebels are feeling good in the power central station; the reduction of PCM in the air has them all a bit giddy.

In the dorm areas, several guards try to get the workers to work, but two of the others rally them up and they take the guards prisoner.

In the Collector’s office, The Doctor stops Leela from killing a guard; he puts the guard under hypnosis into a sleep, but Leela falls prey to it as well and he has to wake her up. Leela shows him where he sat and how he used the computer.

Hade reports to the Collector that the situation is worsening. The Collector chastises him for his failures and says that he will never make Taxmaster General now.

Marn reports that some of the work units have gone to the roof to view their sun. Hade is horrified, saying it is too good for them.

The Collector says he wants to return to the palace to enact his contingency plans.

The Doctor tinkers with the Collector’s computer. Leela finds a vault, but doesn’t know what it is. He puts his ear to the door, trying to open it, but he has no idea how. Instead, he uses the sonic screwdriver and it opens right up.

He pulls the ginormous door open to reveal a mostly empty room. Leela sets off a defense mechanism and is rendered unconscious.

On the public video system, an announcement comes on saying that Megropolis One is “under the management of the Citizens’ Revolution”. The order for the arrest of the Collector, Gatherer and all other officials.

Marn is approached by a group of citizens and she hands over her gun, voicing her desire to join the revolution.

The rebels all but abandoned the power control station, feeling they’d be better use helping the rebellion. (At first Cordo thought it was over, but they had to remind him that the bulletin was a fake to push things along. Cordo means well, but he’s not the brightest.)

Speaking of not being the brightest, Hade goes onto the roof and demands everyone lounging about up there leave immediately. They grab him and toss him off the roof. (It’s a thousand meter fall.)

The Collector returns to his office, seeing the sleeping guard. The Doctor comes out of the vault, but the Collector is not entirely surprised. He begs The Doctor not to kill him, but the Time Lord sits down instead. The Collector hands him a prospectus, which The Doctor peruses.

The Collector tries to summon guards, but The Doctor has already cut the wiring on it. The Doctor asks about the company, he wants to know who they are, where the head office is, etc. The Collector thinks he’s interested in joining and starts the sales pitch, but then when pressed, says the company is based out of the planet Ursurius.

The Doctor says, “Ah, I should have guessed from your squinty little eyes.”

He asks the Collector how they got control of humanity. The Usurians came into the solar system when Earth was having trouble and moved humanity to Mars, after terraforming the planet, and then taxed the hell out of them to recoup their costs (and make a profit, presumably.)

When Mars’ resources were exhausted, they created a new environment on Pluto. He brags about the six suns. The Collector admits that when this planet’s resources are run down, they won’t move humanity to another planet, but just abandon them. The artificial suns will last a few years without fuel.

(Ooh, what a great setting for a story – say that did happen… a dying planet, a dwarf planet, far from the sun, six artificial suns slowly dying…)

The Collector says that humanity isn’t a great workforce, they get much better output on other planets with other races.

While they argue, The Doctor uses the phrase “wake up,” which is the phrase he programmed into the sleeping guard. The guard wakes up and puts a gun to The Doctor’s head.

The Collector says it’s time for “contingency plan A” and opens a panel, revealing a switch that controls the sprinkler valves, which are rigged to release poison, killing everyone (but the Controller, who does not breathe air, apparently.)

The guard waffles at hearing this, and Leela shows up to throw her knife, taking him out. She slams the panel on his hand. The Controller begins to panic, and when Retinue show up and reveal themselves to be part of the rebellion, he can’t take any more and his body breaks down, reverting to its natural form – which we don’t see, but is within the base of the chair.

Turns out Usurians look like seaweed with eyes. The Doctor asks the humans if they would take orders from that and they agree they wouldn’t.

On the roof top, goodbyes are said and Leela and K-9 board the TARDIS. The Doctor follows them back in.

K-9 is back at the chess board, ready to win in six moves.

The Doctor explains to Leela that he defeated the Collector by introducing some figures into the computer that ruined the economy and the Collector’s mind couldn’t handle the data.

Leela thinks about this and then asks, “I don’t understand… you did something clever?”

The Doctor consults K-9, who answers, “Affirmative.”

The Doctor concludes, “Well, K-9 thinks it’s clever,” and he throws a switch, the entire control room tilts and the chess game is scattered. He pretends to apologise, saying once he sets the coordinates, they finish that game, but he’s got the smuggest asshole smile on the whole time.

Really? That’s just stupid. And immature. That’s the comic relief moment of the episode, I guess… damn stupid.

Other than that, this was a pretty neat little story. I enjoyed the dynamics and most of the characters were pretty cool and the Controller was a nasty little piece of kelp.  

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