Recap: Stuck between E-Space and N-Space, Romana, Adric, K-9 and The Doctor have gotten themselves into a bit of trouble…

Episode 3:

Romana screams as the figure releases her from the chair.

On the other side of the mirror, The Doctor stares at the men (and K-9), who stare at the mirror, though they cannot see him. He realises Biroc is there with him. Biroc says the time winds touched The Doctor’s hand, which allowed him to do so.

Romana hears the crew looking for the creature and she tells it/him to hide. It does so and Romana pretends to be unconscious.

Rorvik stops his men from breaking the mirror, saying they need to think about this. One of them fires his energy/laser pistol at the mirror, but it bounces off. Rorvik chastises him. Then Rorvik kicks the mirror.

(There’s a very jarring dissonance in the writing – the serial is mostly serious, albeit with the blend of humour that pervades most DW scripts, but the crew are being handled in almost a farcical manner.)

Adric still wanders the grey, still flipping a coin.

Rorvik kicks K-9. He sticks out his gun but then powers down.

Biroc says that K-9 can only be repaired on that side of the mirror. The Doctor asks him about where they are, and it seems they’re still in the gateway area. As The Doctor talks to himself, Biroc walks off.

The two clowns/crew enter the bridge and check on Romana, saying her mind is gone. One of them suggests hooking her up and giving her another dose of energy, but she asks them for answers, wanting to know what the crew is doing to the Tharils (Biroc’s people.) Before they answer, there’s a beeping and she yells at them to answer it.

Adric runs off in the grey.

Rorvik tells Aldo and Royce (the two idiots) to break out the MZ and that he’s sends others back for it. K-9 follows Lane and Packard, asking for orders. Packard keeps yelling at him to go away.

The Doctor wanders about in a black and white environment, following Biroc.

Lane and Packard and K-9 return to the ship. They remark that that distance back to the ship wasn’t as far as the first trip. K-9 says that the microcosm is contracting. Packard throws K-9 out, but Adric sneaks in while he does so.

Romana slips down and hides as Lane and the clowns are looking for her. Packard orders the clowns to get the MZ outside. Packard gives the orders to search the ship.

The Doctor pokes about another building, or perhaps part of the greater building.

The clows move the MZ out of the ship, commenting on how its become heavier; once they leave, we see that Romana and Adric were hiding in it. Romana tells Adric about the gateway, saying The Doctor must be there.

Romana and Adric follow Lane to the motor area. There is significant damage to the craft. Lane reports that the cables are worrying him. Romana comments to Adric that the warp engines are three times larger than they should be for a ship of that size. She tells Adric that the hull is made of “dwarf star alloy”, explaining the need for great motors.

K-9 arrives, shouting of dimensional instabilities and needing orders. Lane comes out and sees Romana. Packard grabs her and she shouts for Adric to take K-9 back to the The Doctor.

A female Tharil encounters The Doctor and takes him by the hand, leading him off.

Romana is thrown into the hold. Lane brings up that it (their evirons) seems to be shrinking around them. Packard acknowledges this and says it’s time they get back.

The other Tharil attacks the man taking Romana to the hold and frees her. Touching hands with her, they walk off and fade away, out of the ship, into the grey.

The Doctor walks with the female Tharil.

The crew moves through the grey with the MZ and even the two clows follow. Adric is hiding in the MZ array.

The Doctor overlooks a dining area – perhaps the same as the cobwebby one, but this one is clean and filled with Tharils eating good food. Suddenly it turns cobwebby and Romana and her Tharil companion are overlooking the scene.

In the real room, Rorvik and others sit about while the MZ is brought in and set up. Rorvik comments how quick it took; Lane comments that it was even faster this time.

Rorvik starts addressing the men, but stops as Romana, led by her Tharil come down some stairs. The Tharil leads her into, and through, the mirror. They walk the same black and white area The Doctor did.

Romana notices that the burns on the Tharil’s face are healed.

The Doctor sits at the table, being served food. He comments to Biroc, “You live like kings,” and the Tharil replies, “We ARE kings.”

The crew eats as Rorvik addresses them about the mirror and the MZ and the situation they’re in. He gets mad that they’re more interested in food and he draws his gun on them.

Biroc explains that the universe is their garden, the universe is theirs, even the people. One of the Tharils slaps the humanoid maid serving them. The Doctor realises that the Tharils were the masters that the Gundan spoke of – the enslavers.

Romana watches from above as The Doctor angers another Tharil, who pulls a knife on him. She rushes down, saying The Doctor is in danger, but just then a bunch of Gundan charge in, attacking.

Suddenly, The Doctor and Romana find themselves seated at the table with Rorvik’s crew, in the ‘real’ room.

Rorvik sees him and says, “Well, Doctor… this IS a surprise…” and the credits roll.

Interesting going ons here. I like the twist about the Tharils being the former masters.

Episode 4:

The Doctor admits it is a surprise for him, too. Romana posits they jumped back over the striations.

Rorvik and his men don’t believe that the mirrors aren’t the way out. The Doctor insists this is true and says they must work together or they’ll be trapped until the crack of doom.

Guns are pointed to The Doctor’s head again, demanding the secret.

K-9 enters (backwards, cuz he’s still not right) asking for orders, saying there is a mass conversion anomaly. The Doctor asks him about it, and K-9 says the area is contracting, warning them of the danger.

When they talk about the space and time contracting, Rorvik scoffs, but Packard says it’s worth hearing out. K-9 says he’s not able to predict how long they have left. The Doctor says they would need a huge mass to cause that sort of collapse and Romana informs him that Rorvik’s ship is made of dwarf star alloy.

The Doctor demands to know what they’re up to, accusing them of being slavers, trading in time sensitives – he says that dwarf star alloy is the only material that will hold the time sensitives from escaping.

Rorvik admits to it, but before too much can be said, The Doctor realises K-9 has moved off, to the mirror. He runs over to the robot, but K-9’s speech is distorted. It sounds almost backwards/reversed.

Lane tells Rorvik that the trip from castle to ship and back has gotten shorter each time. Rorvik says he doesn’t believe it and wants The Doctor to get them through the mirror.

The Doctor turns to face the mirror and through it, he and Biroc talk; the Tharil admits they once abused their power but asks have they not suffered enough. He tells The Doctor they will be free. The Doctor asks him what to do, and the Tharil says do nothing, it already is done.

As Adric points his gun, saying time has run out, Adric yells at them to stop. He’s at the controls of the MZ and says he doesn’t know what it does, but it’s pointed at them. The Doctor grabs K-9 and moves off as the crew back away. Romana takes K-9 and Adric out as The Doctor takes over the MZ, keeping the crew at bay.

The Time Lords and Adric rush off, searching for the TARDIS, entering it when they find it.

Lane says the MZ doesn’t have an automatic and the crew exits in pursuit.

Rorvik orders the men back to the MZ and powers it up. There’s a big explosion, but the crew walks out mostly unharmed, just covered in dust and smoke.

In the TARDIS, the Time Lords yell at Adric when he suggests just dematerialising and leaving, saying there are slaves on the ship.

The ship fires up the engines, shaking the entire gateway and the TARDIS (and all else within.) Romana says the ship won’t take off in the state the warp motors are. The Doctor says he’s trying to use the engines to back blast the mirrors.

Romana says that would just destroy everything and accelerate the shrinking. Adric argues for riding the blast back into N-space, but Romana says they have the slaves to think about.

Adric brings up the exposed part of the engines, saying they could short out the power to the engines. The Doctor orders them to stay, but Romana argues that he needs her to find the cables. They leave Adric and K-9 on the TARDIS, with orders to dematerialise in thirteen and a half minutes if they’re not back.

Rorvik orders the ship set down outside the castle, near the TARDIS. They start the backblast procedure, saying there’s about ten minutes to power up. Rorvik orders for the cargo to be revived en masse, hoping at least one will survive.

Rorvik checks on the progress, but is told three for three haven’t been revived. Biroc and the other male Tharil are seen skulking about the ship.

The Time Lords make it to the outer breach on the ship, and The Doctor goes in to find the cables, Romana staying back to keep watch. After he goes up, she slips off on her own.

The Doctor encounters Rorvik and tells the captain the back blast will kill them all. Rorvik kicks the Time Lord and attacks them. They struggle. Romana shows up and grabs the clipboard and hits Rorvik on the back, to no avail.

Romana grabs the manacles and uses them to short out the engine. Rorvik kicks The Doctor down again. The engine smokes and catches on fire. When The Doctor gets to his feet, Biroc is there.

When The Doctor asks what he’s doing, Biroc says to do nothing. Romana says it makes sense, and The Doctor agrees, saying, “If it’s the right sort of nothing.” Biroc touches both of their hands and they fade away.

Rorvik has the manacles, watching from above, and says, “Run, Doctor, scurry off back to your blue box!” He goes on a rant about lily-livered deadweights and goes into maniacal laughter. He’s gone around the bend.

Sagan keeps trying to raise more Tharils, to no avail. The other loose Tharil arrives and kills him. The Tharil then begins to awaken the other prisoners.

Biroc and the Time Lords make it back to the TARDIS, but Romana says she’s not going with him. She says she has to be her own Romana, she’s tired of taking orders. Biroc says they need a Time Lord. The Doctor gives her K-9, saying he’ll be okay on the other side of the mirrors and she promises to take care of him.

Hurried goodbyes are said and Romana leaves with Biroc as The Doctor calls out, “You were the noblest Romana of them all.” Biroc leads her back to the mirror and they walk through.

The TARDIS dematerialises as the ship fires its back blast, destroying the outer edifice of the gateway. The ship catches fires and explodes.

The TARDIS appears, briefly, in the black and white of the land beyond the mirror. K-9 says he contains all the schematics for duplication of a TARDIS. She says she will help Biroc free his people, who are enslaved on many planets.

Tharils exit the smoking remains of the ship and enter the smoking remains of the edifice.

In the TARDIS, Adric and The Doctor regard the scanner as it fades and shows nothing. The Doctor says that if the E-Space image translator isn’t working any more, that gives him hope they’re back in N-Space.

Adric asks if Romana will be all right. “All right,” The Doctor answers, “She’ll be superb.”

Biroc, K-9 and Romana walk off in the black and white… and the final credits roll.

An interesting farewell to Romana and K-9. I like the idea of her having a direction, a purpose to her departure… and the set up of there being an eventual return to Gallifrey, should she want it – with the ability to make a TARDIS of her own.

A pretty good serial, a little too much farce for my liking to say more than pretty good. I liked the nuances and double-play to the story.

Sad to think that there are only two more serials of Tom Baker…

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