This title sounds familiar, but other than that, I’m not really sure if I’ve seen this one. But I didn’t think I had the last one and I most definitely had (although it was like HIGH SCHOOL the last time I did. Jeez.)

Episode 1:

The Doctor and Romana are working on K-9; Romana moves to the TARDIS console and says they’re in the Prion planetary system and that they’d better land.

The Doctor says no, “Hovering will do.” Romana mentions several planets – Tigella and Zolfa-Thura. It seems that Zolfa-Thura was once a great civilisation that was “blown away to sand and ashes.” The Doctor realises he’d been to Tigella, a long while ago. He mentions someone named Zastor who showed him around.

The Doctor decides he’d rather look up Zastor on Tigella than fixing K-9, much to Romana’s consternation.

Three blondes (two men and a women) are working on some machinery/electronics. The woman announces, “It’s going to blow,” and they pull off as there is an explosion.

In a command center, another blonde sends a medical detail. An elder enters, dressed differently than the others (everyone else is in white somewhat padded uniforms, while he is dressed in purple robes.) The man manning the comm and dispatching units and ordering for air ducts to be opened addresses the purple robed man as Zastor.

Huh. That name sounds familiar. I wonder where I’ve heard it before…

Zastor asks how bad it is; Deedrix says they can’t control it much longer and without a detailed investigation, there’s nothing they can do. Deedrix and Zastor argue over the Dodecahedron and the Deons and the mystery that dominates the… city, or perhaps entire planet.

Back in the tunnel, Caris (the woman we saw earlier) reports that the transformer has to be replaced and that area will be without power for three hours.

Deedrix pleas with Zastor to overrule the Deons’ prohibition of a plan to reclaim the surface of the planet. Zastor says were he to do so, he would not remain leader. Deedrix says that as a savant, a scientist, he believes their city will face total extinction.

Elsewhere, red and black robed figures pray or meditate. A man in a black uniform (rather security/military looking) approaches a woman and OH MY FUCKING GOD, IT’S BARBARA!!!

Sorry, I’m flailing and geeking out. It’s Jacqueline Hill, whom we last saw on the show as William Hartnell’s companion from the first episode, EVER. Yes, it’s Barbara Wright. (No, it’s the actress, but still. I had no idea, OH MY GOD THIS IS SO COOL.)

The black garbed man whispers in Barbara’s… er… lady’s ear. She announces, “No! Zastor is our leader, but he cannot lead us into sacrilige.” She storms out, followed by the man in black.

Lexa (Jacqueline Hill) finds Zastor. He leads her to the debating chamber, but she says it is not a matter for compromise. Deedrix is there and argues with her. Seeing that they will not be able to compromise, he tells them of The Doctor and says he has sent for him.

The Doctor is working on K-9. Romana says they’ll need K-9 on Tigella to deal with the “lush, aggressive vegetation” which is what forced the Tigellans to retreat beneath the surface. The Doctor says the vegetation was fairly kind to him, but remarks it was a long time ago.

K-9 speaks and YAY we have John Leeson voice-acting again!!!

In the debating chamber, there’s no much debating, it’s flat out arguing, shouting and babbling. Zastor calls for silence. He calls them to order. Lexa demands the Savants be arrested for heresy, but Deedrix scoffs. He says that the Dodecahedron is not a god but a machine. Lexa claims it descended from the heavens. He says it is not from the heavens, and Lexa asks, “then where?”

We see a place… the surface? It’s sandy, not lush, so I’m not sure. A group of people exit a building, perhaps a ship, looking about. They’re dressed in almost oriental/Mongol/Russian style (like, ancient times, furred caps with spikes on top, the like.)

They walk about other large… I don’t know what. One man says that the whole planet is nothing but sand, except the large… oh, these are the screens, they’re on Zolfa-Thura! (Romana said that the only thing remaining on Zolfa-Thura were the screens.)

The people have an Earthling, seemingly from modern time from his dress – he looks rather the geek/businessman type. One of the others (not Earthlings, apparently) make a mention of… perhaps a prophecy? Something about bringing an Earthling to the screens of Zolfa-Thura.

The leader says the message was genuine, so they’ll wait. Suddenly, the ground starts to rumble. The leader and his second approach the screens and watch as something rises up from the ground in the center of the screens.

It seems to be a building or part of one; a door slides open and four of them enter. Inside, they find a control room. A voice greets them from a speaker. It greets the leader and second as General Grugger and Lieutenant Brotadac. It says there should be an Earthling.

The voice introduces itself as Megos, the only survivor of the planet – and the General realises there’s a planet in the room, a cactus of some sort. This is Meglos, a xerophyte.

They bring in the Earthling and Meglos says they served it well and it has a “real proposition” for the general.

In the debating room on Tigella, the argument continues. Both sides question Zastor when he demands they acknowledge his authority, saying he’s deferred to an alien, a Time Lord, so why should they respect his authority?

Lexa says she will seek guidance from the power itself, but then Caris steps forward to say even if the power is restored, the food stocks will be destroyed. They will have to ascend to the surface.

The general and his lieutenant argue with Meglos, saying there is no way into the city on Tigella, and the Dodecahedron is heavily guarded. Meglos taunts them for their timidity, but eventually the general says he wants to know a lot more.

Romana is working on K-9. They’re discussing Tigella and The Doctor says it shouldn’t take long.

Meglos tells the mercenaries that the Dodecahedron was made on Zolfa-Thura. He says the Tigellans are only using a fraction of its potential.

Grugger scoffs, saying it powers the entire planet, but Meglos insists it is only a fraction. If it were restarted, it would boost to twelvefold the power, enough to power an entire galaxy. Grugger says that’s impossible, but Meglos says this is not so.

Meglos asks them to proceed and the Earthling is placed in one booth, Meglos in the another next to it. Meglos instructs the general to begin the procedure and both are shut in the booths. Instead of continuing the process as Meglos instructed, Grugger tells Brodatac that they’ll pillage Meglos’ consoles for tech to sell on Pelagos.

However, it seems they’re trapped in the room – Meglos is aware of their treachery and had planned for it. With little choice, they activate the process for Meglos. The Earthling and Cactus are both ravaged by electrical pulses; the cactus body dies as the Earthing’s skin becomes prickly and green, like a cactus.

Meglos, now inhabititing the Earthling steps out and walks to another console, pulling up a picture of The Doctor. He says he intercepted the message from the Tigellans and wants to prevent the Time Lord from helping out the Tigellans.

On the TARDIS, Romana continues to work on K-9. She gets him working eventually and The Doctor tests his knowledge of the Prion system.

Something happens and they’re in a time loop, as the sequence repeats itself. The Time Lords realise they’re trapped, but are forced to repeat again.

On Zolfa-Thura, Meglos says he’s trapped them in a “chronic hysteretic loop”.

Again, the Time Lords repeat the loop. The Doctor realises they’re in a chronic hysteresis. Romana says if it is, they could be stuck there forever.

Meglos then takes the form of The Doctor, telling his mercenaries, that they mustn’t disappoint the Tigellans… and the credits roll.

Okay, pretty sure I’ve never seen this one. Kinda interesting so far.

Episode 2:

Again, the Time Lords go through the loop. Romana goes to K-9 to ask if there is any known way out of a chronic hysteresis. (Why would she ask a computer made by an Earthling this when she’s a FUCKING TIME LORD????) Romana asks about stopping the rotor but The Doctor says that’s a bad idea.

He repeats K-9’s assertion that there is “no known technological procedure” several times as if on to something, but they get looped again.

Meglos’ compound sinks into the ground as the mercenaries/bandits ship launches, with Meglos and the bandits on board. They fly to Tigella and land in the jungle, to the north of the city entrance.

Lexa meets with Zastor, saying that the Time Lord may inspect the Dodecahedron, but only if he takes the Deon oath. Zastor insists they cannot ask a Time Lord to swear fealty to Ti.

MeglosDoctor leaves the bandits at their ship.

In the control room, Lexa and Deedrix snark at each other.

Caris goes to the entrance to await the Time Lord. MeglosDoctor arrives and when Caris sees him, she is delighted.

In the command center, Deedrix overhears about the oath taking and protests. Zastor says it is the only way. Just then, Caris brings in MeglosDoctor, who almost flubs knowing Zastor. He sits down and is briefed on their systems.

Lexa says that the Time Lord must take the Deon oath first. When she asks if he will swear allegiance to Ti, MeglosDoctor visibly struggles with the idea before forcing himself to say that he would do so with great pleasure.

The Time Lords again go through the loop. Romana whines they can’t get out. The Doctor suggests that they go through the motions of the loop on their own, before it starts up again. They do so and this breaks them out of it.

MeglosDoctor takes the oath in Deon temple. Deedrix and the Savants watch and mock. MeglosDoctor says that what he has to do will be very dangerous and only he should enter the power room. When Lexa protests, he says he has the protection of Ti and she reluctantly acquiesces.

The TARDIS arrives in the jungle. The Time Lords and K-9 leave, heading towards the city.

In the power complex, MeglosDoctor enters, but dismisses the Deons. MeglosDoctor touches the Dodecahedron, murmuring, “ten thousand years” and attaches a small device to it.

Romana is attacked by the lush, aggressive vegetation.

Caris sneaks into the Deon temple and Lexa grabs her shoulder, saying she doesn’t belong there. Caris says that the Deons were ordered out, too. They hide as MeglosDoctor exits. After he’s gone, Caris asks what happened to the light and Lexa grabs a torch (and actual torch, not a flashlight – hey, if the English call flashlights torches, what do they call an actual torch?)

The Doctor arrives at the gate and the guard is surprised to see him again, saying it’s the second time he’s been there. The Doctor thinks he means fifty years ago. Suddenly, he realises that Romana is nowhere near, and sends K-9 to fetch her.

Lexa and Caris go down below and discover the Dodecahedron is gone.

Romana frees herself from the vine. (yay, all by herself!) She notes some more scorched vegetation nearby (as she did earlier.)

Lexa and Caris report to Zastor and Deedrix that the Dodecahedron is gone. Lexa says that The Doctor has betrayed them. She puts out an order to arrest the Time Lord.

MeglosDoctor hears this announced and skulks about. His face is becoming spiny and greenish. He hides as some guards come running by, searching for him. He narrowly avoids detection.

The Doctor approaches a guard, who takes him under arrest. When the leaders arrive, he is delighted to see Zastor and asks him to tell the others who he is. Lexa protests she knows who he is. The Doctor goes on about Romana, but is taken away by the guards.

Romana finds the mercenaries’ space ship, which she realises caused the burnt vegetation during landing. She encounters the mercenaries and tries to run from them, being cut off in various directions as more show up.

K-9 stops searching for her as his batteries run low and heads back to the city.

Romana is trapped by the bandits back at the ship; Brodatac orders for her to be killed… and the credits roll.

Another decent cliffhanger, and one we’ll end tonight with. See you Friday for the second half.

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