Recap: They ONLY bats…

Sorry. The TARDIS lands on a feudal planet with some really strange rulers. Oh, and there’s technology, but it’s forbidden and seekrit. And it seems a vampire.

Episode 3:

The Doctor mocks Aukon, who says he is a fool to do so. Aukon says he wants to share the power, for the Great Purpose. To swarm at the time of the Arising. The Doctor asks where they will swarm to, and Aukon says back to their own universe.

When Romana asks if he knows the way out of E-Space, Aukon says that is the knowledge of “him who brought us here”. He says they were summoned, the whole ship, to be His servants.

The Doctor realises that Aukon IS Science Officer O’Connor, not a descendant. And the King and Queen are the Captain and Navigator. Romana suggests pretending to cooperate, to get the information to escape.

Aukon asks The Doctor to join, “Like your other companion!” He tells them the boy will be first of the chosen ones – he says his name is Adric, and this startles the Time Lords.

Seeing that The Doctor isn’t inclined to join, Aukon says he will serve the Great One, one way or the other – if not as a servant, then he will serve as food. The Doctor says there is a third choice – that he will destroy the Great One, and Romana runs off.

Aukon uses his mental power to force The Doctor down to his knees. Romana grabs a stalactite and breaks it off (REALLY?) and throws it at Aukon, who shatters it with his fist.

The Doctor tells Romana to cover her eyes, saying that sort of trick might work on the peasants, but not on Time Lords. Hearing this, Aukon says that Time Lords are “the ancient enemies”.

The Doctor and Romana try to leave, but are stopped by Zargo and Camilla. Aukon bids them to silence, as the Great One has contacted him. He says that at the time of the Great One’s Arising, he will feast on the blood of Time Lords.

The rebel who used to be a guard is now dressed as a guard. He sees the Time Lords being escorted through the tower by guards and sees the Lords enter a chamber, using a keycard to do so. A guard posted outside keeps the keycard on him.

Zargo and Camilla go inside and wash their hands in (well, doubt it’s holy water, but it’s a receptacle like holy water is kept in at the entrance to a church.) Zargo says Aukon has kept the powers that were promised to be shared. Camilla says that only the Arising matters now.

They discuss The Doctor, wondering at his presence, arrival. Camilla says it is time to rest (this is obviously their personal chamber), when they awake, they shall feed. Zargo wonders why he is still afraid.

In their cell, The Doctor begins speaking of the old hermit in the mountains of Gallifrey – his old mentor, who I believe was K’anpo/Cho Je from THE PLANET OF SPIDERS, no? He says that the hermit used to tell him ghost stories; he begins telling a story of a race of vampires who swarmed all over the universe. They were so strong that one vampire could suck the life from one entire planet.

According to the story, the Time Lords hunted down the vampires in a war so long and bloody that the Time Lords were sickened of violence forever. Romana asks if all the vampires were destroyed, but The Doctor says that one escaped, never to be heard from again.

The rebel/guard tells a guard at a door that he’s there to relieve him, but the guard recognises him as Tarak the traitor. They fight.

Romana asks when the legend of the vampires happened. The Doctor says long ago, when even when Rassilon was young. Romana says she once worked in the Bureau of Ancient Records for a time. She remembers a reference to “the record of Rassilon”, an emergency instruction that a copy of the record were to be installed a certain type of time capsule.

The Doctor demands to know what type (as their guard looks on, bored). Romana plays coy, but eventually admits that it was the Type Forty time capsules (the exact type The Doctor’s TARDIS is, of course.) She acts surprised when he admits that his TARDIS is such type.

The Doctor attacks the guard, and is hit by the door when Tarak bursts in. Comedy gold, that. He leads them out.

Back in the rebel base, Han Solo and… oh, wait, sorry. In the rebel base, Kalmar is working on the video machine, getting a picture of the present – he says they’re scanning the surrounding area. Using infra-red, they see someone is heading to the rebel base.

It is Ivo and Kalmar tells them to let him in. Ivo says he must talk face to face. Ivo says that his son is dead, “those fiends drank his blood.” He tells them that some ceremony is happening tonight, but Kalmar says it is too soon. Ivo says they can watch it on the scanner if they won’t help, but reminds them, once they’ve finished with them, they’ll come for the rebels.

The Doctor says he and Romana are returning to his ship for some information and tells Tarak to go back to Kalmar, to tell him to prepare for an attack but to wait until he joins them.

Romana says they have to rescue Adric. Tarak says there’s an inner sanctum and he takes Romana there while The Doctor goes to the TARDIS. There, K-9 tells him that Adric stowed away. He says he knows, but he needs K-9 to access the data banks on the TARDIS to find the Record of Rassilon.

Tarak and Romana try to bluff their way into the inner sanctum. The guard says that no one is to pass the door. Tarak insists he will take full responsibility and the guard hands over the passkey (REALLY?) When Tarak uses it wrong, Romana corrects him and shows him how to use it. Tarak has to beat up the guard and they sneak in.

Tarak says he hopes they do not wake up, as he has heard when they awake… they awake hungry.

K-9 says there is no mention of the Record of Rassilon, nor any mention of vampires. He tells The Doctor there is a magnetic card system on the TARDIS and The Doctor goes off to find it.

Romana says they cannot destroy the King and Queen as they do not have a wooden stake. They find Adric, also sleeping.

The Doctor wheels a cart into the console room and feeds a punch card into the console. A printout comes out and The Doctor reads about the vampire army, and how they were impossible to kill, save for the use of “bow ships”, a term unknown to The Doctor and K-9.

The Record speaks of the Lords of Time slaying all the vampires, but when the bodies were counted, the king vampire, mightiest of them all, “had vanished, even to his shadow, from time and space”.

Until now,” The Doctor adds.

The directive from Rassilon says that any Time Lord who comes across the king vampire must do whatever they must to destroy the vampire, even if at the cost of their own life. The Record says that the energy weapons were useless, but bow ships were constructed to fire steel bolts into the heart of the vampire – only by destroying the heart is the vampire destroyed.

Romana tries to wake Adric, whose eyes open. But the King and Queen’s eyes open, too. Romana yells at him to wake up… yeah, that’s so intelligent.

Adric murmurs about a dream, someone whispering to him about power and eternal life. The King and Queen rise. Tarak attacks but he is easily bested by them. Camilla curses at Zargo for killing Tarak, saying the blood of the dead is stale and she must have living blood.

Romana tries to escape and stab the King when he stops her, but he resists… and the credits roll.

Meh. Not the most compelling cliffhanger. I would have thought having the King and Queen rise and startle Tarak and Romana would have been the better place to stop.

Episode 4:

Aukon suddenly arrives, telling them no, saying that the boy is the first of the chosen ones, and is not for them. The girl is a Time Lord, one of the ancient enemies of the Great One and is to be held for sacrifice at the time of Arising.

The Doctor paces the console room and kicks the scattered punch cards on the floor. He says it’s no good, he’ll have to go to the rebels for help. K-9 says the probability of them lending useful assistance is very low.

The Doctor says he needs to make an impression on the rebels and plans to materialise the TARDIS in the rebel base; K-9 says the relative smallness of E-Space (which is not as large as N-Space, our universe) will make smaller jumps more reliable.

Kalmar argues with the rebels, saying he refuses to throw away the progress they made on an attack. As they argue, the TARDIS materialises and The Doctor exits, saying they have a crisis on their hands.

Aukon says the Great One’s body has been healed by the blood and souls they have fed to him over the years. The time is near, he will rise that night. The King and Queen say Ivo and the villagers will serve one last task as dinner for the Great One, and then he will lead them into the real universe to swarm out and feed on many worlds.

Aukon says the proper rituals will be carried out, else their master will be displeased. He instructs them that they wll initiate Adric after he has sacrificed Romana.

The Doctor gives a horrible motivational speech. The rebels cheer any how. Kalmar again argues for waiting to be ready. The Doctor warms up the machine, once he learns that the scanner is working.

Using the X-ray function, he shows them the great vampire beneath the tower. They can hear the heart beat, too. Kalmar agrees that they will work with Ivo’s men.

Adric chastises Romana for not rescuing him, saying that The Doctor is safe and can clear off any time he wants. They start arguing. Adric says he would rather “join the diners” than be on the plate, like Romana. I forgot what a prick Adric was.

When the Lords arrive, Adric complains that he shouldn’t be treated like a prisoner, he’s a chosen one. When Romana gets upset, he says he’s sorry but one of his family has already died for her lot, and that’s enough.

Aukon gives the orders to prepare Adric, as well as to prepare for Romana’s sacrifice.

We see the pulsating ground in the cavern, where the Great One rests. It begins to burst upward.

The Doctor draws out on a map before the assembled men of Ivo and Kalmar, laying out their plan. The Doctor wonders how to propel a bolt of steel, but he suddenly realises that he’s been looking at it all this while. (Okay, I’ve definitely seen this and I remember how it ends. This is the one E-Space one I thought I saw… but now I’m wondering if I saw all three? Though, I kinda think I haven’t seen the next one.)

The Doctor says he won’t lead their assualt team, but gives them K-9. They’re not entirely impressed.

Night has fallen as the rebels approach the tower and attack. K-9 blasts guards left and right – maybe they’re more impressed now.

Rebels fight guards. K-9 blasts guards. They make it to the throne room, but the Lords and their prisoners are gone. The Doctor instructs them to hold the tower until K-9 gives the signal. Ivo argues that they will not take orders from that metal thing, but The Doctor reinforces that they must wait for the signal from K-9.

In the cavern, the Lords and Romana and Adric and some guards. Adric whispers to Romana, who seems out of it, that he has a plan – so he’s not being quite the prick he seemed earlier. But he’s still a wanker.

Habris barges in, saying they are attacked by The Doctor and the rebels and villagers. He begs Aukon to send the bats, but Aukon says he has need of them. Habris begs for aid, saying if the Lords do not, they will die.

Aukon leans down, all smarmy, saying, “Then die… that is the purpose of guards!”

Habris leaves, unenthusiastic.

Camilla warns that when the tower is taken, the rebels will come there, but Aukon says that by the time the tower falls, the Great one will have risen.

The Doctor climbs the tower – there are three scout ships and “three chances”. He chooses one and climbs the ladder.

Ivo and Habris face each other in the tower. Ivo attacks, saying this is for his son. Habris says he tried to help.

The Doctor realises that scout ship is dead and he must try another.

Romana is laid out for sacrifice; she is in a trance. Adric rushes forward with a knife, but Aukon stops him with the power of his mind. He makes Adric drop the knife and the guards seize him.

The Doctor enters the second one; this, too, is no good. Of course, he has to go for the last one.

Aukon calls to the Great One, saying they will sacrifice one of his enemies so that he can drink her soul. He calls the bats to come drink Romana’s blood, and we see hundreds, thousands of bats flying into a cave from outside.

The final scout ship has some life in it and The Doctor praises it.

K-9 is on the throne. He gives the order to leave at once, to evacuate the tower.

The Doctor has set the controls on the scout ship and departs.

Bats land on Romana and begin to bite. The cavern shakes and the former crew panic; Adric helps Romana (who has snapped out of her trance) up and they run off. We see The Doctor hopping out just behind them. He catches up with them and Romana guesses what he did.

The Great One begins to rise from the ground. The Lords praise him. His hand is bigger than they are.

The scout ship flies up and then reverses trajectory, going back down, head first. Pointy head first.

The Lords watch, screaming in horor as the ship smashes into the body of the Great One. They go after The Doctor, but as he backs away from them, he watches them age, become dessicated and frail and then collapse into dusty skeletons.

Adric tells Romana he was trying to rescue her with his bluff, and she snarks back that he didn’t succeed.

The rebels and villagers arrive and The Doctor tells them what he did, and shows them the remains of the Lords.

Ivo says he must apologise for the things he said about K-9. The Doctor tells him to do so and he does.

Back at the rebel base, The Doctor has set up the computer so that they can learn all they need to be a proper technological society. The Doctor sends his companions into the TARDIS as Kalmar asks if there is any way back from E-Space.

The Doctor says he does not know – the Great One brought them there and his secret died with him. The Doctor enters the TARDIS, telling Adric he’s going back to the starliner… and the credits roll.

A good serial, some few points that were a bit tough to swallow, but in general a lot of fun. Very moody, eerie.