It’s a split post, so spoiler time…

Episode 4:

K-9 stuns Andred before he can fire his gun at The Doctor. That done, K-9 reconnects with the TARDIS console (while still wearing the Matrix headpiece). Yep, K-9 is a pretty bad ass companion.

Kellner sends out a command to arrest Andred; the Vardans question if anything is wrong, but the Castellan says it’s just a small matter of discipline.

Andred wakes up as The Doctor squats near K-9. Too involved with urging K-9 on in whatever it is they are doing, he doesn’t notice Andred until the commander has his gun pointed at the Lord President again. Andred tries to fire his gun, but The Doctor tells him it doesn’t work in the TARDIS.

Kellner’s guards attack and shoot Andred’s guards outside the TARDIS.

Andred tells The Doctor that the TARDIS is surrounded, there’s no way he could leave alive (obviously, unaware of what just transpired outside.) The Doctor tells him not to touch anything, he’s going out for a bit.

The guards outside report to The Doctor that the others were trying to assassinate him. He asks if they all had to be killed, to which the guards reply in the affirmative. The Doctor chastises the guards for letting the ringleader, Andred, escape, and orders them off to find him.

The Doctor goes back inside and informs Andred that his coup has failed. “I don’t know what they teach you in the Academy these days, but if you can’t pull of a simple palace revolution, what can you pull off, hmm?” Andred refuses to believe it and tries to open the scanner to see.

He realises it’s been jammed and The Doctor lets him in on a secret – that with the scanner closed, they can’t read his thoughts or travel via broadcast wavelengths to get there. He’s biding his time, hoping to identify their planet of origin, to time loop it.

Andred suggests using the Matrix, but The Doctor says it has been invaded. That’s why he has K-9 plugged in to the Matrix instead of himself.

Andred questions, “Can you trust a machine?”

This one I can. He’s my second best friend.” Awwwww!

Kellner is conferring with the Vardans; he says he has a delicate matter to discuss with them. He brings up the Lord President’s strange behavior, but the Vardans are already aware and say they shall deal with him soon.

Back in the TARDIS, The Doctor is saying, “Well, at least they don’t suspect me.” Yikes!

The Vardans learn that Andred is neither dead nor a captive; Kellner suggest that he must have escaped to Outer Gallifrey.

At the tribal village, Leela and Nesbin discuss attacking the Citadel.

The Doctor outfits Andred’s helmet with a partial barrier to protect his inner thoughts from the Vardans.

K-9 has determined the wavelength the Vardans are using, but not the channel of origin. The Doctor says he’ll have to continue to play along and dismantle the forcefield protecting Gallifrey.

The Doctor says that Rassilon is part of the APC net and he can use his knowledge to dismantle the forcefield without blowing Gallifrey to pieces.

Nesbin trains Gomer on how to use a bow. It’s hopeless. Leela says she and Nesbin’s warriors will have to attack the Citadel on their own and rescue The Doctor. She believes he will know what to do and insists that The Doctor is not working with the Vardans.

The Doctor speaks with the Vardans about using the APC net. He places the Matrix headset on and this time it doesn’t cause him any harm. He says there is a way and walks off; the Vardans remind him they are watching his every move, monitoring his every thought.

Andred and K-9 work on some calculations in the TARDIS.

The Doctor finds the machinery for the forcefield and starts to work on it; a Vardan appears to observe directly.

Leela, Rodan and the warriors run through desert, towards the Citadel.

The Doctor works on the machinery; things all over the Citadel wobble and shake. After a few moments of this, he announces, “Well, I did it,” and walks off.

K-9 says it’s imperative they make it to the President’s office immediately and departs the TARDIS, reminding Andred to grab his helmet.

In the Panopticon, The Doctor arrives; Kellner, who was knocked to the ground by the shaking, is just getting up. The Doctor tells the Vardans that he couldn’t destroy the forcefield, as that would destroy the planet, but he made a hole in it above the Citadel.

Kellner wails that with a hole in the forcefield they are without protection, but quickly changes his tune when the Vardans say they are the protection now.

When questioned on the permanency of the hole, The Doctor says some more work will have to be performed to achieve that.

The Vardan space ship zooms in. The Vardans announce they are safe now and can materialise. They do, and there are three humans, much to Kellner’s disappointment. One of the Vardans is instructed to assist The Doctor in his work.

Andred and K-9 move down the corridors; Andred shoots a guard who recognises him.

Leela sends Nesbin with the majority of the warriors to enter one side of the Citadel, to create a diversionary attack, while she takes Rodan and Jasko (one of the tribe) with her.

The Vardan ship flies in closer and closer.

Lots of walking through corridors – The Doctor and his Vardan escort, K-9 and Andred. The latter two enter the lead-lined Presidential quarters and K-9 shuts down to conserve resources while Andred asks how long it will be before The Doctor gets there. Andred shuts the doors and takes off his helmet, looking at the walls and the inside of his helmet, as if impressed.

Leela, Jasko and Rodan lurk in the Citadel, Leela whispering that something is wrong. She points out the missing guards.

Outside the Presidential quarters, The Doctor stops and says he has an idea, and pops in the quarters, saying, “Two seconds!” The Vardan stands outside, then tries to open the door. He takes the energy/tinfoil form, while inside, The Doctor laughs mockingly.

The other two Vardans tell Kellner The Doctor has betrayed them and appoint Kellner as the new one to run things. He leaves to “issue instructions and take control, immediately”.

Leela bangs on the TARDIS door. They decide to check the Presidential quarters when nobody lets them in.

Kellner issues an alert, taking control of Gallifrey and putting a shoot on sight order for the Lord President.

The Doctor hands the Rod, Sash and Matrix to Andred, then picks up K-9 and puts him on a table. He puts the Sash and Matrix on K-9, propping the Rod of Rassilon against the robot dog. K-9 says he is ready.

The Vardan instructs two guards to break the door down, but instead they fall, each with an arrow in their back. The Vardan vanishes as both Leela’s force and Nesbin’s meet up, congratulating each other. They try to break the door down.

Inside, The Doctor, attending to K-9, instructs Andred to open the door. The primitives charge in, but Andred warns them to keep still. K-9 begins doing something, his head nodding up and down and his little interface sucker extending in and retracting over and again.

The lead Vardan says he detects an “illegitimate frequency tracer” and yells for a full alert.

K-9 finds the coordinates of the Vardan home world The Doctor instructs him to “activate the modulation rejection pattern” and like a good doggie, he does.

Kellner arrives to report he can’t break into… but stops as The Vardans disappear. The Castellan wonders what happened.

K-9 says there is no trace of alien wave form left on Gallifrey. The Doctor seems very somber at this and takes the tools off K-9, then announces they’ve won – he sent the invaders back to their home world and will jerry-rig a time loop.

Leela asks how they could have won when there hasn’t been any real combat. He tells her that with some practice, she’d be “quite proficient” at killing people. They all leave, as Leela tries to find out what “proficient” means.

Kellner greets The Doctor and his posse of warriors. The Doctor pretty much tells the Castellan that he’s not a very good Castellan, then sends him to “clear up the mess”.

Leela asks if it is over and The Doctor says it is, and everyone rejoices. The Doctor begins to give a speech about the future of Gallifrey, but everyone is staring off to the side. He stops, asking, “What are you looking at,” and turns to see a group of Sontarans in battle armour. (Not that they wear anything else that I’ve ever seen.)

The lead Sontaran takes out his weapon and points it at The Doctor… and the credits roll.

I have always loved that wonderful bait and switch.

Episode 5:

The Doctor raises his hands, asking, “Please don’t fire that thing.”

The Sontaran lead steps forward, followed by his associates. He (it? Sontarans are gender-neutral) says there is no advantage in killing yet. “Slavery is more efficient.”

Commander Stor of the Sontaran Special Space Service (SSSS?) introduces him(it?)self? The Doctor mocks him for carrying alliteration too far.

Stor reveals that the Vardans were the toys of the Sontarans, saying they were used to get the forcefield to be dropped. Stor then asks whom Doctor is, but nobody points him out and he declines it himself, saying he is Lord President and he is called “sir”.

Stor sends one of his troopers to “find Doctor!”

Borusa is seen listening in to the discussion from his quarters. He shuts the device off and then accesses his secret door, using it to find entry in the Presidential quarters. There, the device seems to be useless, and he remarks that he believes The Doctor and then heads back through the secret door there to his own quarters.

Of course Borusa would have a secret door to the Presidential quarters. Borusa is the man, one of my fave Time Lords of all. Back in his quarters, he can pick up the conversation again.

Stor and The Doctor are talking about the ultimate goal – Victory over all. Stor gets tired of talking.

Borusa accesses a secret panel in his room, activating a switch which causes a sonic attack in the Panopticon; the Sontarans writhe in agony as everyone runs off, except Kellner, who I’m not sure if he was trying to help Stor or attack him. Stor shoves off Kellner as he writhes.

The Doctor says someone was helping them escape; he takes half the group (including Leela, Rodan, Andred) and Nesbin and the rest go in another direction.

Kellner apologises to Stor, calling him, “My Lord”. I don’t know if he’s just sucking up to them out of habit or if there’s some deeper connection. Stor sends an order to apprehend the President but to kill those with him. Kellner seems to protest and is knocked away by Stor again.

The Doctor’s group hide in a corridor; The Doctor tells Leela how to kill a Sontaran and she casts her voice, making the Sontaran turn around, exposing his back. She throws her knife at the small vent in the back of the neck (the physical weak point of the Sontarans) and kills him, instantly.

Borusa continues to listen in on The Doctor, smiling.

Kellner helps Stor predict where The Doctor’s group is heading – the Presidential quarters. Stor gives the order again to take the President alive, and again, Kellner protests and again, Stor knocks Kellner to the ground.

Borusa listens to The Doctor saying he has an urgent appointment in the Presidential quarters.

Stor orders Kellner to accompany him.

There’s lots of running (see, it IS Doctor Who, after all) in corridors and stairways. Also a lot of stairwells. Sontarans do not run, apparently, but stomp ploddingly.

Also, lots of the same sets being used over and over and over, sometimes with slight changes.

The Doctor and his associates make it to the Presidential quarters, where Borusa greets them with a gun in hand, pointed at them.

Stor and Kellner and a handful of troopers meet up outside the Presidential quarters. The Castellan calls Stor “excellency”. The troopers begin banging on the door.

The Doctor says it won’t hold long. Borusa comments on lead not being the best defense against heat-based weapons. The Doctor agrees.

Borusa comments, “Fortunately, someone had the sense to reinforce the structure with a titanium-based alloy.” The look of joy on his former student’s face is delightful. The Doctor vouches for his companions, and Borusa puts away his gun.

Stor sends for fully armed troopers to deal with the door.

The Doctor and Borusa agree that getting to The Doctor’s TARDIS is the best plan and they access the secret passageway. The Doctor unlocks the door, which Stor hears and when the Sontaran opens the door, he demands of Kellner, “What trick is this,” but the Castellan pleads ignorance.

The Sontarans burst into the room, followed by Kellner, but there is nobody there.

The Doctor asks Leela to take the others to the TARDIS, but she argues, saying every time she leaves him, he gets into trouble. He begs her to trust him and she gives in. Everyone (now including K-9) but The Doctor and Borusa (still holding his gun) leave. The President turns to the Chancellor and asks, “Well, now, Borusa, are you going to help me or kill me, hmm?”

Stor tells Kellner he may still be of use to them; it seems the Castellan has no previous association with the Sontarans, and is just attaching his fate to the new invaders.

The Doctor demands of Borusa, “Where is it?” Borusa claims ignorance. The Doctor asks for the Great Key, but Borusa says it is but a myth. Borusa says every President has been charged with finding the Great Key. “None has ever found it.”

Sontaran troopers engage in fire fight with Leela’s group, taking down several warriors. Jasko is downed, but manages to take out one Sontaran from behind (Leela’s knife throw to the neck vent is repeated quite well here.)

The Doctor and Borusa verbally… not quite spar, not debate, maybe dance? The Doctor appeals to Borusa’s compassion, but the Chancellor plays it aloof, detached The Doctor says that if they don’t do anything, millions of Sontarans will threaten time itself.

This gets Borusa to react, he turns and yells, “They cannot threaten time, not while I…” he stops, realising he gave himself away.

The Doctor completes the sentence, “Yes, Chancellor… not while you have the Great Key.”

Leela, Andred, Rodan and K-9 make it to the TARDIS.

There is a piece of art on the wall of Borusa’s office, that is a bunch of keys. The Doctor says he read Borusa’s paper on reason and says where better to hide a tree than in a forest?

Andred picks the lock to the TARDIS and they get inside.

Borusa plays it coy, saying take all the keys. The Doctor postulates that, to keep any President from having too much power, he gave the Great Key to the Chancellor and it has been handed down since then. Borusa remarks none of this in the Matrix (“I know, I’ve been there, you haven’t,” The Doctor remarks to this.)

The Doctor has Borusa’s gun and points it at him, saying, “I will kill you before I let that key fall into the hands of the Sontarans.” Borusa says that will not be necessary and plucks a key off the wall artwork. The Doctor throws the key to the floor and points the gun at him again.

This time, Borusa reaches down and pulls a key out from beneath his desk (next to the controls that attacked the Sontarans in the Panopticon) and hands it to The Doctor, saying, “You are the first President since Rassilon to hold the Great Key.” The Doctor regards it most seriously as very important music plays. (Score for us, not actually in-story.)

Kellner pleads with Stor, saying nobody can connect to the Matrix without the circuit. Stor says to bypass the Matrix, but Kellner insists that it is impossible.

Stor’s reply is so, so Sontaran, “For the strong, everything is possible!” Stor demands that the gap in the forcefield be widened so his battle cruisers might enter.

When Stor says that only The Doctor can give him the Great Key, Kellner almost gets himself killed by arguing, but quickly talks his way out of it.

The Doctor and Borusa walk by several Sontaran troopers, asking if they got their new orders and to get in touch with Stor. They walk on.

Stor yells at his troopers, “Of course there are no new orders, stop him!”

The Sontaran troopers pursue and fire upon the Chancellor and The Doctor, but Borusa’s personal force shield protect them – though he says the batteries are uncomfortably low.

He turns to The Doctor as the two troopers get closer, “So, what do you suggest we do?”

Run?”

Run.”

Let’s do that.”

The two Time Lords run (Borusa is most inelegant, even complaining that it is, “So undignified, I haven’t run like this for centuries.”) They make it to the TARDIS, but The Doctor closes the door before Borusa can get in. Exasperated, Borusa rolls his eyes and bangs on the door, “If you could just open the door…”

He is quickly let in, and the door slams, just as the troopers arrive and open fire on the TARDIS, to no effect.

Kellner looks at the forcefield machinery, while Stor presses him. The Castellan says there is a way to patch control through.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor gives Leela the Great Key, much to the horror of Borusa. The Doctor tells Leela he trusts her, much to Leela’s delight.

The Doctor consults with Rodan about sealing the hole in the barrier. He asks her if she could connect the TARDIS controls to the machinery and she asks if he has a screwdriver. I like Rodan!

(Still no Godzilla/etc jokes.)

Stor pressures Kellner; Stor confides that his battalion commander has demanded immediate entry. “Unless I obey, I shall die. Before I do, you will die, Time Lord.” This makes Kellner quite uncomfortable, and understandably so!

The Doctor plays assistant to Rodan, handing her tools and comforting the TARDIS as she works.

Stor is enraged when Kellner says the controls have been bypassed.

The Doctor goes on about what the Sontarans are after – the Key, Rod and Sash, linked to the Matrix.

Kellner posits that he can bypass the safety circuits.

Rodan calls the TARDIS a “load of junk”. I don’t like her so much any more.

She opens the scanner to show the Sontaran fleet in perfect formation (in the form of an arrow.) The Doctor wonders why they brought an entire battle fleet, but she says it doesn’t matter, the shields are up and as long as the TARDIS remains secure, he controls the defense screens.

Stor praises Kellner, who then flips a bunch of switches and levers.

Suddenly, everything goes wobbly in the TARDIS, and The Doctor tells Rodan that the stabiliser banks have been reversed. She says only a Time Lord could do that, and The Doctor agrees – even a criminal one could do it.

As they are shook about, The Doctor cries out, “We’re being thrown into a black star,”… and the credits roll.

Nice, intense, dramatic cliffhanger.

Episode 6:

Leela bursts into the console room, but The Doctor tells her to get Rodan. The Doctor throws a failsafe switch, effectively trapping the TARDIS.

Stor demands that Kellner bring the relevant entrance probe to The Doctor’s TARDIS.

The Doctor finds out that Leela took everyone to the bathroom and gives her a hard time for getting lost. She argues that his directions were too convoluted to follow. They set off to find the others.

Stor and Kellner enter the TARDIS; Stor says the machine is obsolete. Kellner agrees, saying this model was taken out of service centuries ago. The door to the further interior of the TARDIS has been locked from within, bu Stor says this is the only way out (what about the secondary control room? Did we forget about that already or is that how the others are going to get out?)

The Doctor, Rodan and Leela walk through various levels, the whole time, The Doctor rants on about his sense of direction and his reliable antiquated TARDIS. They pass through the same room several times.

There’s a bit of silly banter. You’ll have to watch the episode.

They’re obviously lost and The Doctor says he knows the TARDIS like the back of his hand (while looking at the front). Leela turns his hand over for him.

A Sontaran trooper blasts at the door, trying to get in.

K-9 is attached to some machinery in a workshop while Andred looks on.

There’s more walking through the same room again. It’s getting old now.

Stor says it is a stalemate – The Doctor cannot escape and neither can Stor destroy the TARDIS. Just then, the trooper with the laser/blaster/cutter breaks through the door lock.

The Doctor and girls meet up with K-9 and Andred. Andred tells The Doctor it is at capacity, as he ordered, but we don’t get to know what they’re speaking of. They get an alert that the upstairs door has been broken through.

Stor puts his helmet back on, saying, “We will do battle in your own ground, Doctor,” as he and his trooper enter the inner TARDIS.

The Doctor gives Rodan the Great Key and instructs her (presumably through hypnosis, but she doesn’t seem to be entranced) to assist K-9 with anything he needs. He tells her to give the Great Key to K-9 when he asks for it, but to give it to no one else.

The Doctor, Leela and Andred leave, running about different areas. Seems they’re looking for the bathroom.

Stor says The Doctor has set up a “biological barrier”, keeping him from tracking human life forms (though the only human is Leela, so I’m not entirely sure why he’d be tracing them). Kellner says he can take down the generator powering the barrier.

Rodan does some welding.

The Doctor, Leela and Andred run through some corridors. I guess we had to fill the time requirements on the episode somehow, hmm?

Borusa is reading an issue of The Daily Mirror reporting the sinking of the Titanic. He sips some water/clear liquid through a spiral straw. The Doctor arrives and, seeing the headline, swears he had nothing to do with it.

The Doctor goes on to say that it would be bad if Borusa fell into the hands of the Sontarans – he knows too much about the Rod, Sash and Key. They hear the Sontarans approaching and rush out, Andred throwing lounge chairs in the way of the trooper.

There’s more shenanigans of running through all sorts of crazy rooms. Borusa complains about wishing The Doctor kept a tighter ship, so to speak.

Andred gets shot in the arm, but accidentally, as Stor is firing randomly in frustration. The Doctor sends Leela to escort Andred and Borusa back to the workshop.

In a terrarium, the trooper enters, firing blindly as The Doctor does bird whistles and duck calls and squeaks and other such not. There’s a rather strange plant that swallows up the Sontaran. The Doctor walks off.

The Doctor wanders through the same rooms again. It’s getting really old.

Stor and Kellner find and free the trooper. Stor sends the two of them to destroy the generator. He takes off his helmet (he’s worse than the actors in Spider-Man 3) and says he has other things to attend to.

The Doctor meets up with Borusa, Andred and Leela. They head to the workshop.

There’s a museum with artwork and statues. Kellner and the trooper enter and Kellner says it is the ancillary power station. Kellner finds a switch in the Venus de Milo statue, turning it off to remove the illusion. Kellner unplugs a plug thing and the trooper can trace them now.

Back at the workshop, The Doctor snaps Rodan out of her hypnosis (OK, so she was in his influence) and takes the Great Key. She and K-9 had been making a giant gun, a rifle, very futuristic looking.

Borusa is upset, forbidding The Doctor to use it, saying it should not have been built. The Doctor tells Rodan that she built “the ultimate weapon”, the d-mat gun. He snaps the Great Key into place.

I could rule the universe with this, Chancellor,” The Doctor says. Borusa implores him to destroy it, saying, “it will throw us back to the darkest age!”

The trooper and Kellner arrive, and The Doctor blasts the trooper with the gun. Leela puts her knife to the Castellan’s throat and he tells The Doctor that Stor is in the Panopticon. (But he’s not…) The Doctor looks at Borusa and says, “The Matrix,” and runs off.

Stor is wandering through the halls of the TARDIS. The Doctor is hunting him, d-mat gun in hand. Stor approaches the Panopticon, with some explosive device, but The Doctor is already waiting for him there.

Stor is prepared to die for the Sontaran empire; The Doctor says he will destroy the entire galaxy, and Stor is happy to agree, saying all the Time Lords will go with it.

If we cannot control the power of the Time Lords, then we shall destroy it!”

As Stor moves to place the explosive down, The Doctor fires the gun. There’s a bright white flash and when it clears, The Doctor is seen laying on the ground, the key next to him, no rifle in sight.

Back in the workshop, they hear the plodding steps of a Sontaran approaching. Leela moves to the side of the entrance, knife in hand… but it’s just The Doctor being a clown. He asks Borusa what he’s doing there and then is surprised to be called “Excellence” and wonders why he’s wearing the Sash of Rassilon.

Borusa takes the Sash from him, asking if he’s forgotten his induction and asks him about the Vardans and Sontarans, but The Doctor has no recollection of any of it, or of saving Gallifrey.

Borusa proclaims it is the wisdom of Rassilon that he remembers nothing.

Back at the TARDIS, everyone gives The Doctor a round of applause. He bows and says good bye and then tells Leela, “Come on,” but she says she’s staying. When he asks why, she reaches over to Andred, taking his hand in hers.

The Doctor nods and tells Andred that she’ll look after him and is awfully good with a knife. He tells K-9 to come, but the robot dog says he will stay as well, “To look after the mistress.” The Doctor seems a bit shocked but doesn’t argue.

Leela says she will miss The Doctor and he smiles, chuckles and closes the door. Inside, he rests his head against the closed doors, saying, “I’ll miss you, too, savage.”

The TARDIS dematerialises as everyone watches. Borusa asks, “Where will he go now, I wonder?”

Leela’s reply is simple, “Somewhere else.”

The Doctor pushes a large box into the console room. He stops and adjusts some controls on the console.

Leela asks K-9 if The Doctor will be lonely, but the robot says there is insufficient data. She and K-9 lower their heads together.

The Doctor looks at the box, marked “K-9 MK II”. He regards the camera with a big toothy grin and a laugh… and the final credits roll.

All in all, one of the best serials ever. A lot of fun, great characters, smarmy villains, devious Time Lords, so much more of an insight into the Gallifreyan people… I love this serial quite a bit, I must say. It’s not a perfect story, by any stretch, but it is a lot of fun.

Sad to see Leela go. I gather Louise Jameson wasn’t too happy towards the end of her tenure. They should have set up some romance between Andred and her to explain why she stayed, though.

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