I have seen this one before and remember liking it a lot. Let’s see…

Episode 1:

A small shuttle approaches a giant space craft.

Inside (not sure which, but presuming the big ship), The Doctor steps forward, saying he is prepared. Between us and he are three chairs, which we see the back of (and no sign of who sits in them.) A voice tells him, “Speed is vital, Doctor.”

Leela is in the TARDIS console room, wandering aimlessly and humming. She’s obviously… more than bored. I sense something deeper. She asks K-9 how long The Doctor will be, but the robot does not know.

Prognostication impossible in matters concerning The Doctor.”

He does tell her that they arrived on a spacecraft. She questions why she was not allowed to accompany him out, but again, K-9 does not know. She moves to activate the scanner, but K-9 warns her not to. Apparently, The Doctor gave strict orders not to touch it. Leela tries to appeal to K-9’s curiosity, but it doesn’t work.

Ignoring his warning, she activates the control, but it doesn’t work. K-9 is busy sulking after she yelled at him and she has to apologise to get him to respond. K-9 reveals that The Doctor immobilised the controls so she couldn’t use it.

The Doctor reviews a contract; whomever he is consulting with pressures him to sign it, but he says he must read it first. He challenges one paragraph, saying he was promised “complete control of the Time Lords”. They give him their word that he will have it, and he signs it. He steps back, saying, “I am honoured to be allowed to serve your glorious cause.”

When he returns to the TARDIS, Leela begins demanding answers. He tells her to order K-9 to tell her to shut up, and the robot extends his blaster, instructing her to “adopt silent mode, mistress.”

On Gallifrey, a guard sits at a control console and receives a call from “Rodan”. He then gets up and approaches his superior, Castellan Kellner (played by Milton Johns, whom we’ve seen twice before – as Benik in the awesome Troughton serial ENEMY OF THE WORLD and more recently as Guy Crayford in THE ANDROID INVASION) to report there is an unidentified capsule of Gallifreyan origin approaching.

Kellner tells him to go to Amber Alert. The guard, Commander Andred, contacts security to establish the higher alert.

On the TARDIS, The Doctor hears the Amber Alert and is offended.

Andred reports that the capsule is Gallifreyan, but still unidentified. Kellner punches some buttons and says that only two Time Lords are absent from Gallifrey on authorised research missions. Andred confirms that neither is the capsule in question.

Kellner wonders who is in the capsule and says that unauthorised use of a time capsule has but one penalty and instructs Andred to “see to it.”

Via a PA system, Andred puts out an arrest alert for any occupants; if the capsule is unoccupied, it is to be destroyed.

Leela has gone for a swim in a rather posh pool inside the TARDIS. Shame she’s not naked.

Andred reports to Kellner that he wishes to supervise the destruction of the capsule personally and Kellner grants him this request.

On the far away ship, they are monitoring The Doctor’s progress, saying he has landed. Another says he may be killed, but the first says there will be others.

The TARDIS materialises on Gallifrey in what almost appears to be the Panopticon (or at least the set from THE DEADLY ASSASSIN, although modified heavily.) Andred approaches the capsule and then calls a squadron of guards forward. They line up on other side and when The Doctor and Leela step out, they raise their weapons at them.

(How come he couldn’t bring Sarah Jane to Gallifrey, but bringing a savage like Leela is OK? I know, they needed to write Sarah Jane out of the TARDIS, but still…)

The Doctor says they’re not much of an honour guard, but Andred says they’re there to arrest him. The Doctor replies, “Well, let’s get on with it,” and instructs Leela to remain. He walks off, followed by Andred and the guards. Two stay behind with Leela.

En route, The Doctor tries to go into the Chancellor’s office. Andred says nobody goes in there unannounced, and The Doctor tells him to announce him. Andred reluctantly agrees and enters to announce him.

The Chancellor is our good friend, Borusa. As Andred is remotely beginning to say why he has entered Borusa’s office, The Doctor storms in. Borusa is pleased to see The Doctor, but he cuts him off, announcing, “I am here to claim my legal right. I claim the inheritance of Rassilon. I claim the titles, honour, duty and obedience of all colleges. I claim the presidency of the council of Time Lords!”

The mysterious beings that The Doctor signed the contract with are monitoring all of this and say they have chosen well.

K-9 asks the TARDIS where The Doctor is. He calls her a very stupid machine.

Borusa doesn’t dispute The Doctor’s claim, though he is not happy with the approach. (It seems Borusa has regenerated since we last visited Gallifrey – this time he is played by John Arnatt.) He says that he will do what he can to persuade the cardinals, but The Doctor rants that he is the president.

The Doctor throws his weight with his former mentor, but Borusa points out that until he has been confirmed and inducted as President (he is technically President-Elect still), he does not need The Doctor’s leave to do anything. The Doctor insists that the ceremony take place at once. Borusa nods and leaves.

The Doctor is behaving quite uncharacteristically, shouting and screaming to get his way. During their banter, he made a point of telling Borusa that he should trust his own instincts – I wonder if he was trying to tell the Chancellor something there.

The beings discuss changing their plan, that The Doctor may be more use to them alive.

Shortly after, The Doctor confers with Kellner and Borusa, discussing his own personal quarters. There is confrontation between The Doctor and Borusa – our hero is fairly antagonistic to his former mentor, every chance he gets. It’s almost as if he is intentionally trying to anger or distance the Chancellor.

Shown the Presidential quarters, The Doctor says this will do, and he and Kellner discuss what décor he wants. He instructs that Leela be given comfortable quarters and clothing for his induction and Kellner departs to attend to these things.

Borusa asks to leave, but The Doctor says they have things to discuss. The Doctor tells him he want lead panels all over the room, floors, walls, ceilings, and the door. This is obviously a key point.

Andred supervises as Leela goes through a wardrobe. He complains that they’ve “gone through the whole cosmos” and asks what she would like.

Well, I would like a quiver, a bow, a pouch of Janis thorns and my knife back.”

I love Leela. She’s so direct and simple. She keeps getting mad that he calls her “madam”. She throws a hissy fit, venting her frustration with The Doctor, too. Again, I get the feeling this is intentional on our hero’s part.

Borusa walks The Doctor through the ceremony, discussing being introduced to the Matrix. That he will be become part of the Matrix. They discuss the APC net, the part of the Matrix The Doctor entered last time he was on Gallifrey.

The Doctor’s employers, monitoring all this, get ready for something.

Borusa emphasizes that the APC net is but a small fragment of the Matrix and when The Doctor is introduced to the rest, he will have “more power than anyone in the known universe.”

The beings give the orders to summon the commanders, saying the first phase of their operation is nearing completion.

Leela is delighted to hear that the ceremony does The Doctor “the greatest honour Gallifrey can offer”. She says she will not let him down. Andred asks her to avoid killing anyone and she nods, somberly saying, “I will try.”

Various Time Lords gather for the induction. Two talk at length (well one talks, the other listens) about power fluctuations over a narrow band of energy wavelengths. Leela and Andred are seen in the background, arriving.

Suddenly, organ music blares at the procession leading The Doctor in arrives. He is dressed in simple white, though several guards carrying accouterments. One Time Lord opens the ceremony.

The beings, monitoring, say they are near to victory.

The Time Lord running the ceremony asks if there is anyone there to protest the candidate’s rights to the Sash of Rassilon, Rod of Rassilon or the Great Key of Rassilon. He says that he shall strike the floor thrice with his staff, should no voice be heard by the third, he will invest the candidate as President of the Supreme Council of the Time Lords of Gallifrey.

The Doctor stands quite. One strike, no talk, a second, no voice and a third.

Now, we have them,” one of the beings says.

The Time Lord invests The Doctor, giving him the Sash. The Doctor places the Sash over his head as music plays. Then he is given the Rod, accompanied by music. He is then told, “Seek, therefore, to find the Great Key of Rassilon,” and music plays again.

At this last bit, one of the beings complains they have been cheated, but the other says, “No, all is exactly as expected.” So they want the Great Key…

The Doctor swears to uphold the laws of Gallifrey, to follow in the wisdom of Rassilon, and to protect the law and the wisdom. A metal crown floats up from the floor and the ceremony master places it on The Doctor’s head, saying he gives him the Matrix.

All bow before The Doctor and music blares. The Doctor clutches his head and drops to his knees, then his side… and the credits roll.

Oh, that’s good. That’s real good. This is interesting. I remember enough to have a basic idea of what is going on, but oh, I like this.

Episode 2:

The Matrix crown glows as The Doctor writhes. Leela rushes to him, and Borusa says, “The Matrix rejects the candidate,” and orders the guards to arrest him. The Time Lord running the ceremony says that none are allowed to touch him. He tells Borusa that the Matrix cannot reject him, and the Surgeon General is called upon.

The SG approaches The Doctor and examines him. Borusa and the ceremony master argue, but the SG chastises them. He says The Doctor has gone into a self-induced state as a result of the attack on his mind. Borusa goes off again, and again the SG puts him in his place.

The Doctor is escorted to the Chancellory to be attended to by the SG.

The beings observe, saying that was a close call, too close. The order for their commanders to increase speed is given, and they choose to evaluate “implementation plan three”.

Borusa calls the Time Lord assembly to order, asking for calm. Leela is instructed to attend him as he goes to see The Doctor. The SG says it will take hours before he can recover, but The Doctor opens his eyes and asks Borusa what happened.

The Doctor orders for Leela to be expelled from the Citadel. He says no aliens are allowed there. She argues and when the guards try to apprehend her, she fights them off and flees.

Kellner and Andred go to attend to the arrest and expulsion of Leela. Borusa, left alone with The Doctor, asks what he’s playing at. The Doctor insists that this is no student prank, that as long as Leela is free in the Citadel, they are in grave danger.

Leela hides from pursuing guards.

The Doctor has put on his own clothing and the Sash. He tries to leave, but hears guards posted outside. Searching the Chancellor’s quarters, he finds a secret door, but can’t open it with the sonic screwdriver. He tries to figure out what the key to the door might be. He rules out palm print, retinal pattern and tries some verbal commands, to no avail.

Musing out loud, “As Borusa always said, there’s nothing more useless than a lock with a voice print,” and he hears the lock unlatch. He repeats it, louder, and the door opens.

He slips out walks down the corridor, doing hopscotch. Leela sees him and follows.

Andred reports to Kellner that Leela has been found with the President. They pull them up on the monitor, and watch as Leela follows The Doctor down the hall. Kellner checks with Borusa, who thinks that The Doctor is still resting in the Chancellor’s quarters behind guarded door.

Kellner doesn’t spoil this illusion and sends Andred to go arrest her.

The Doctor returns to the TARDIS and enters. Leela tries to follow, but the door is locked. She bangs on the door. Inside, The Doctor covers his ears and K-9 lowers his head, as if in shame.

Hearing the guards led by Andred, Leela hides behind a pillar. They think that she’s in the TARDIS. Andred sends for cypher keys.

The Doctor consults with K-9, who says there are too many variables (humanoid illogical procedures) to come to a conclusion. K-9 does give a 39.75% chance of success if they continue with the plan (whatever that may be.) With the discovery of the security control room, which The Doctor just let him in on, K-9 brings the success rate to 48.35%.

There’s some great banter between them, as they try to out-smug and out-arrogant each other. I do enjoy K-9. The Doctor suggests a new plan, one that K-9 says will give the invasion’s success a chance of 98.2%. The plan seems to have something to do with figuring out a way for the invasion fleet to approach unimpeded.

Leela hides from the guards, finding a woman, Rodan, who is behind a force field. (This being the same Rodan who informed Andred of The Doctor’s capsule at the beginning of the serial.)

I’m avoiding any Godzilla/giant monster jokes. Too easy.

Rodan says she won’t bother reporting her – she says it’s “their job”, meaning the guards and the Time Lords, those she calls “the boring people”. (So, a reminder, not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords.)

Rodan is a traffic controller. While talking to Leela, she gets a call and brings up a group of ships on the scanner. She gives them clearance and explains to Leela they’re some primitive fleet, likely off to blow some other planet to dust.

Horrified, Leela insists that she must stop them. Equally horrified, Rodan says this is against every law of Gallifrey (and we just learned last serial the story behind that, how convenient!)

Rodan says they’re no threat to Gallifrey – “Nothing can get past the transduction barrier.”

On the TARDIS, The Doctor orders K-9 to destroy the transduction barriers.

Outside the TARDIS, Andred wonders what the “ridiculous shape” of the TARDIS is meant to be. The Doctor steps out and they both demand to know what the other is doing there. Andred changes his tone when he recognises it is his Lord President.

The Doctor explains he left his jelly babies in the TARDIS and offers one to Andred and they have one together. Andred is quite impressed. The Doctor confirms that Leela is not in the capsule, and emphasizes that she be caught and expelled as soon as possible.

Kellner watches as the guards leave and The Doctor splits off.

The guard who was sent for the keys arrives, finding nobody there. He tries different keys, seeing which will open the TARDIS door. The third one does the trick, but when he opens it, K-9 comes out and blasts him.

Borusa is in the Presidential quarters, examining it, in preparation of having it lined with lead. Kellner enters and suggests they go rouse the President from his rest in the Chancellor’s quarters.

The Doctor returns to the Chancellor’s quarters moments before Kellner and Borusa come in. Kellner is, of course, surprised to see The Doctor back, having recently watched him on the security monitors. He plays it cool, reporting that Leela has managed to evade capture.

Rising from his rest, The Doctor gives him a steely glare and orders the Castellan to attend to the Leela situation, then orders Borusa to convene the Council at once, shouting for them to get out and see to things.

K-9 makes his way through the Citadel.

Rodan blathers on, boring Leela to tears. She lowers the force field and Leela enters Rodan’s control room. An alert sounds and she realises that a ship is approaching Gallifrey. She calls in to raise the transduction barrier immediately. She sounds the Red Alert.

K-9 blasts a guard down in the lower levels, where there is much machinery. The Red Alert can be heard sounding everywhere.

K-9 turns his blaster upon some controls, presumably the transduction barrier ones, and blasts them to pieces.

Rodan tells someone that she must speak to the Castellan, that the transduction barrier has failed, they are being invaded.

The Doctor meets with the Council in the… I guess it’s the Panopticon after all, though they don’t refer to it with every other breath like they did in THE DEADLY ASSASSIN (OK, slight exaggeration there.) He tells them this is no ordinary meeting.

I am privileged to introduce you to your new masters,” he says, dropping to one knee. The Council and bow reverently, and then three shimmering forms (like tinfoil crackling) appear.

The Doctor laughs… and the credits roll.

Wow, that would have been a helluva cliffhanger to wait a whole week on.

Episode 3:

The Doctor laughs, Borusa calls him mad and calls for a guard; one of the aliens moves through the air, blasting the guard.

The Doctor says that the Vardans (yay, we have a name for them now) are more powerful than they. The Doctor says that he met them a long time ago. Borusa makes a point of establishing that the President knew of this before his induction and that all he knows is in the Matrix. (See, I think The Doctor has been trying to tell Borusa things all the while and this is another example.)

Borusa tells The Doctor, “I expected better of you,” and The Doctor thanks him.

Rodan tells Leela that the invaders are in control and that the Lord President said they are to submit, but Leela says The Doctor always has a plan.

The Doctor dismisses the Council. He asks Borusa if the redecorations on the Presidential quarters have been completed; not understanding the import of things, Borusa is dismissive, but says he believes so. The Doctor tells him to confirm it and meet him there within the hour.

The Vardans congratulate him on his role and performance thus far. As The Doctor departs, they ask him how long it will take to find the Great Key, and he replies, “Oh… it’s just a matter of time.”

K-9 moves back the way he came.

Leela and Rodan argue. Leela has a wonderful comment, “Discussion is for the wise or the helpless, and I am neither!” Rodan asks what she will do an Leela says, “If The Doctor wished me banished, then I will be banished.” Leela chastises Rodan and the Gallifreyans for being cowards.

However, when Leela leaves, Rodan does accompany her.

The Doctor slips into his quarters, where Borusa awaits. The interior is lined with lead and wheels and gears and the like. The Doctor pressures Borusa – he wants to know if his instructions were followed to the letter, no skimping, no corners cut, no pennies pinched. When Borusa confirms they were and that pure lead was used, The Doctor’s demeanor changes dramatically. Relief, even sorrow, fills his face. He turns to his former mentor, “At last, we can talk.”

Leela and Rodan move through the halls, but they are caught by a guard; from his voice and back of his body, I think it might be Andred.

Borusa says to The Doctor, “The strain must have been intolerable.” The Doctor apologises to Borusa for the way he’s behaved with him personally. Borusa dismisses such things and asked about the Vardans, how they travel (along wavelengths of energy – I wonder if the conversation between the two Time Lords prior to the induction ceremony will have anything to do with the story, now) and their being telepathic.

Borusa asks how The Doctor was able to partially shield himself from the Vardans; he replies that he had the benefit of Borusa’s training. Borusa takes offense that The Doctor didn’t trust him, until the President points out that Borusa, like most Time Lords, has a mind that is too direct, too logical to be able to constantly provide mental distractions to keep the Vardans guessing.

The master learns from the student,” Borusa muses after thinking.

It is indeed Andred who caught Leela and Rodan; the three of them talk, and Andred asks how involved Leela is with the invaders. She asserts that she is against them. Andred accuses her of destroying the transduction barrier, but Rodan says Leela was in her company, it could not have been her.

Rodan argues for leaving the Citadel and Andred agrees, but he says someone has to stay – Castellan Kellner is running rampant, taking advantage of the situation to settle old scores.

The Doctor explains that Leela would be even more transparent than Borusa and that is why he wanted her banished. He says the “barbarian garden” outside the Citadel is Leela’s natural habitat and she’d be safe there.

Leela and Rodan make it outside; the land is sandy and rocky. Rodan complains that she’s tired, she never thought it would be like this – she’s frightened. She’s never been outside the Citadel. Leela talks her into going on further before they rest – she wants to get some distance from the Citadel.

When they stop to rest, they are beset upon by primitives using knives and spears.

Kellner assigns one of his guards to be the President’s personal bodyguard, answering only to the Castellan, and reporting all things back to him as well. It seems Kellner has some dreams of taking the Presidency, but not at the current time.

Leela and Rodan are brought back to the primitives’ encampment and meet the leader, Nesbin. He grabs Leela, remarking that she is different from other Citadel dwellers, and when she protests, he remarks, “she speaks!” Leela grabs his arm and flips him, taking back her knife, and snarling, “I am not an ape!” PLANET OF THE APES reference?

Nesbin and Leela make introductions to eat other. When they say they’re escaping from the Citadel, Nesbin says they do want their help, but Leela says she can survive anywhere. Realising she’s an alien, one of the tribeswomen says she’s a danger, they’ll surely pursue her.

Poor Rodan is brought to tears when they tell her all she has to consider now – life in the Citadel was so controlled, everything was provided. Nesbin says they’ll decide whether they can stay or not once they hear their story, but for now they are to be brought inside to rest.

Borusa and The Doctor leave the shielded room, fearful of raising the Vardans’ suspicions if they stay inside too long.

K-9 returns to the TARDIS and accesses the console.

The Doctor and Borusa arrive at Kellner’s office, where the Castellan and Vardans are waiting. The Doctor orders the Chancellor to acknowledge their authority. The Doctor suspends the Constitution, but Borusa says he will never submit to them.

The Vardans blast him, but The Doctor speaks up, asking them not to kill him, that he may still be useful. The Vardans stop but say that The Doctor will be responsible for Borusa. The President instructs Kellner to have Borusa confined to his quarters.

The Vardans say that once they are certain that Gallifrey is under their control, they will reveal their further requirements; The Doctor says he hopes they will reveal themselves as well, as he doesn’t like talking to “Shimmering shapes.”

The time is not right; first you must complete the arrangements for the subjugation of your people.”

Castellan Kellner offers his compliance to The Doctor. The Doctor instructs him to quell any rebellion… and then tells him to consider himself “acting Vice President.” The Doctor asks him to compile a list of those whom the Castellan would consider “reliable” and Kellner also offers to make a list of “known troublemakers” as well.

K-9 is linked with the TARDIS console.

Time passes and Kellner attends to his Lord President and reports the curfew has been effective and hands him the list of those who might be resistant to the new regime. The Castellan says he personally checked all the Bio-data Extracts himself (barring a few, such as the esteemed Lord President.)

The Vardans say unreliables must be destroyed. The Doctor argues for expulsion instead. Kellner agrees that expulsion will bring most to toe the line and the Vardans approve of this. The Doctor instructs Kellner to see to this, telling him it would be best to put them out of the Citadel one by one. The Castellan leaves to attend to the matter.

The Vardans congratulate The Doctor on his progress thus far. He asks for a show of trust, asking them to materialise and share a jelly baby, but they say they are not yet ready. Instead, they tell him he needs to dismantle the quantum forcefield around Gallifrey. He argues that it could result in the whole planet being vaporised, but the Vardans insist he will find a way.

Nesbin scoffs at the story of Gallifrey being invaded, saying it’s impossible. Leela questions how he would know, stating, “You’re not Time Lords.”

Nesbin says that they are, or they were, before they “dropped out”. Leela says it is good they like fighting and they must listen to her before it is too late.

K-9, still communing with the TARDIS console, wags his tail.

Kellner talks to Gomer, one of the two Time Lords we overheard the discussion about the energy wavelengths during the pre-induction ceremony. Kellner says he is too loyal to the old ways and must be exiled. Andred and several other guards escort him out.

As they walk, Gomer talks of being in his tenth regeneration, but having once been a man of action in his younger days – Andred says that’s why he’s being expelled now. When Gomer says that he doesn’t like Kellner, Andred laughs and says he’s not alone.

Gomer warns the commander that such talk will end up with him joining him in exile. Andred tells him that there are others planning to do something. He tells them that Leela and Rodan are already out there and Gomer might find help with them.

The Doctor strides purposefully down the hall; his bodyguard asks where they’re going, but the President says he’s not at liberty to say.

Andred and several of his guards (loyal to him) meet with two younger Time Lords. They talk about disposing of the President, saying he’s a traitor and that he must die. Reluctantly, they agree to help.

The Doctor and his bodyguard go to the TARDIS; The Doctor refuses to allow the bodyguard to accompany him inside. Once in, The Doctor asks K-9 how things are going, though the robot does not reply.

Andred and his men arrive outside the TARDIS and shoot the bodyguard. Andred has the key to open the TARDIS door.

The Doctor places the Matrix ‘crown’ on K-9 and the robot links up with the Matrix.

Andred enters, and points his gun at The Doctor, saying, “In the name of liberty and honour, I sentence you to death, traitor.” The Doctor gapes in surprise… and the credits roll.

OH WOW, WHAT A GREAT CLIFFHANGER! And to think, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out… but it’s better than the week they had to wait in 1978!

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