Recap: The Master sends the TARDIS back to the Big Bang, and The Doctor’s regeneration is failing! He manages to maintain his sense of mind long enough to tell Tegan and Nyssa (Adric is a prisoner of The Master) what to do so they can escape, and they do. The girls find a listing for a place called Castrovalva that might have the restorative effects to help The Doctor’s regeneration, but upon getting there, they lose The Doctor!

 

 

Episode 3:

 

The girls set off, trying to find The Doctor; they see a trail of blood and follow it. They end up back at Castrovalva, and suddenly a bunch of the costumed figures surround them. They run off (and are not pursued), escaping.

 

The Doctor is seen laying on the ground. He lifts his head, saying out loud that he’s counted, “twelve of them, at least – perhaps a war party.”

 

The girls see him climbing the rocks. He gets a little vertigo. As the girls call out his name, he says, “Doctor? Everyone’s looking for him.”

 

Some costumed figures joke about one named Rutha, saying he lost his quarry and himself. The Doctor watches them from nearby.

 

Tegan and Nyssa narrow evade a party of the costumed men, who carry the cabinet.

 

The Doctor is taken prisoner. He tells them he’s not sure who he is, when they ask his identity.

 

Nyssa and Tegan climb the rocks and hear the blowing of a horn.

 

The Doctor is taken inside and stone doors slide shut, just as the companions run up to the door, too late.

 

The hunting party joins a large group of men and women. There is banter and verbal play.

 

Tegan and Nyssa try to figure a way inside.

 

Shardovan, the librarian of Castrovalva, introduces himself to The Doctor. They invite him to join him for refreshment, saying he will have ample time to rest. He is delighted to be served celery stalks.

 

The Doctor is led to a room to rest, where he is given a medicinal drink; he asks the man there if he is “The Doctor,” saying he believes he has come here to find him. Shardovan and the others postulate that perhaps he means The Portreeve, whom they tell The Doctor is “a man of great wisdom”.

 

When the others depart, The Portreeve, an ancient shows up. He encourages The Doctor to drink the sleep draught. He tells the Time Lord that he will “soon meet The Doctor”. When the ancient leaves, he calls the Time Lord, “Doctor,” but our hero just chuckles as he drifts into slumber.

 

Climbing the rocks, Nyssa and Tegan discuss that they should have told The Doctor about Adric. Suddenly, a rope ladder drops down near them.

 

The Portreeve overlooks the courtyard as the companions are brought in. They demand to see The Doctor, and they are told the “other visitor” said he was looking for The Doctor as well. Shardovan allows this, saying they will not disturb The Portreeve, as old men need their sleep.

 

The Portreeve, on a balcony, calls down, “Some old men seldom sleep.” This seems to disturb Shardovan.

 

Tegan and Nyssa are allowed to peek in on The Doctor, who is asleep. They are led away, the two ladies arguing about whether to tell The Doctor about Adric. Inside The Doctor’s room, Adric steps out of the shadows and looks down at The Doctor. He then turns and opens the door, peeking out.

 

The next morning, as Tegan still slumbers, Nyssa looks out into the courtyard, watching the womenfolk busy about. Birds chirp and Nyssa smiles. Seeing Tegan is still asleep, she departs the room quietly. She sees several men carrying the cabinet and has them bring it to The Doctor’s room.

 

The Doctor is still sleeping as they bring in the cabinet. Nyssa ushers them out after they set it down. When she closes the door, she glances in a mirror, seeing Adric standing behind her, but only in the reflection. He tells her not to turn around, but to listen.

 

Adric warns her that he can’t let The Master find him. He tells Nyssa not to let The Doctor know about him, rescuing him can wait – he urges her to listen, that The Doctor must remain in Castrovalva until the regeneration is complete. When Nyssa says she must get Tegan, he reiterates that she is not to tell anyone that she saw him. When she turns around, Adric disappears in a crackling of energy.

 

The Doctor wakes, recognising Nyssa and saying he’s beginning to “feel my old self again… or perhaps my new self.”

 

In the MTARDIS, Adric bemoans that he won’t do it, but The Master tells him he’s already done it, “a perfect impersonation of yourself!” He says this will keep The Doctor’s meddling away from their plans.

 

The Doctor and the ladies eat with The Portreeve; it seems The Doctor has been regaling them with tales of his adventures, “Oh, the Ogrons and Daleks and that.”

 

As they talk, Shardovan and a woman bring in some new books for the ancient. Shardovan invites Nyssa to come see the library, and Tegan follows. After they’ve gone, The Portreeve shows The Doctor a tapestry that shows him truths and things; apparently it foretells events, and he shows The Doctor an image of Tegan and Nyssa carrying the cabinet from the prior day.

 

Nyssa asks Shardovan if they have any books on telebiogenesis; he says their technical section is not large, but she is welcome to browse.

 

The Doctor tries to count his three companions, but only can think of the two ladies.

 

Tegan and Nyssa carry out armfuls of books; it seems there were no technical books at all, but they have the Histories of Castrovalva and are taking them back to The Doctor’s room. Shardovan listens in, seemingly alarmed – he does that a lot – seem to be alarmed.

 

In the courtyard, The Doctor walks about, counting out loud. He keeps counting, “One, two… no no no,” and a young girl comes over, telling him, “three, sir! Three, sir, is what comes after two…. and then four, five, six,” she counts on until The Doctor asks her to stop.

 

Playfully, he says, “We’ll have to give you a badge for mathematical excellence,” suddenly coming up with Adric’s name. He dashes off, bursting into his room, demanding of Tegan and Nyssa where Adric is.

 

Tegan accuses Nyssa of telling him, but she says, “No, Adric told me not to!” She begins to apologise, but The Doctor says he must hear all about it.

 

Shardovan and Mergrave discuss that The Doctor has suddenly decided to depart. The librarian says this cannot be allowed.

 

The Doctor leads the girls, trying to find the way out. Stopping by the women gathered in the courtyard, he asks the quickest way out. Each woman points in a different direction. They head down a bunch of flights of stairs, somehow coming down to the very same courtyard once again. (Lots of running, this definitely is Doctor Who we’re watching…)

 

Once more, they come down onto the balcony overlooking the courtyard – the same courtyard they just left! The companions ask what is happening, but he shushes them, trying to concentrate. They run into Shardovan, who demands to know the cause of the haste and running about.

 

The Doctor weakens and the ladies help him walk away; Nyssa says there’s some spatial disturbance and The Doctor agrees, saying Castrovalva is folding back on itself, deliberately. They find his room and take him there, to put him in the Zero Cabinet, but it’s gone!

 

The Doctor looks out the window and says, “Someone’s manipulating Castrovalva – we’re caught in a space-time trap,”… and the credits roll.

 

Episode 4:

 

The Doctor staggers away from the window and asks the girls to find the Zero Cabinet. Nyssa says they’ll ask The Portreeve.

 

The Doctor sets up a mirror facing the window then collapses in his bed. He sees a stack of books and grabs the top one, opening it. He finds a loose page or slip of paper, and regards it, saying that is very odd. Before he says any more, the door opens.

 

As Mergrave enters, The Doctor slips the paper inside his jacket. The Doctor says that there’s something Mergrave can do for him.

 

Another Castrovalvan leads Nyssa and Tegan to the Portreeve’s quarters; Tegan remarks on passing the same courtyard again, but he seems clueless to anything strange about that. He indicates a spyglass and remarks on the view, and Nyssa peers through it. She sees Shardovan striding purposefully into the courtyard.

 

While looking, Nyssa sees the Zero Cabinet is being used by the ladies in the courtyard as a washbasin for the laundry!

 

Mergrave escorts several women who bring in “the other fifteen volumes” of the Histories of Castrovalva. When Mergrave moves to move the mirror, The Doctor asks him not to move it, saying that the silver backing “helps to keep it out”.

 

The Doctor asks Mergrave what he sees out the window and the physician describes the view. When The Doctor asks if it all seems natural/normal to him, Mergrave remarks that Shardovan has asked similar things of him, too, saying the librarian can be “a little fevered in his imaginings” as well.

 

The physician prepares a draught for The Doctor, saying it will dispel his fatigue; The Doctor asks how he knows he’s speaking the truth and the physic replies, “Because I maintain that I am… and I am a man of my word.”

 

The Doctor says that’s a perfect example of recursion, and recursion is what they’re up against. He asks Mergrave to draw a chalk map of Castrovalva on the back of the mirror.

 

The companions accuse Shardovan and the others of conspiring against The Doctor. They take the Zero Cabinet away from the Castrovalvans.

 

When The Doctor asks Mergrave to mark his pharmacy on the map, the man makes four marks, four opposing locations on the map. He seems taken aback at this, and cannot explain it.

 

Tegan and Nyssa return with the cabinet, trailed by Ruther (the man who was guiding them). When they complain about being led in circles, The Doctor says it’s not Ruther’s fault, but Castrovalva’s.

 

When The Doctor asks Ruther to indicate the location of The Portreeve’s house, the man, like Mergrave did, makes four marks on the map. He blames the map, “There is something amiss with the map.”

 

There is something amiss with Castrovalva,” The Doctor replies.

 

The Doctor says that he suspects the Histories are forgeries, offending both Ruther and Mergrave. When Nyssa asks how he can tell, he says he’s not sure, but he feels they’re all overlooking something. He pulls the loose paper from his jacket, saying he’s overlooking it, too.

 

He sits down, asserting that the history has been invented. Mergrave steps outside, hearing noise. A group of women have gathered, gossiping and hubbubing. He yells at them to keep quiet.

 

The Doctor returns to the Zero Cabinet; Mergrave says he is sure The Portreeve will see them, considering The Doctor’s situation. Tegan ushers Ruther and Mergrave outside while The Doctor has a private word with Nyssa.

 

Shardovan arrives and Tegan slips back in; she and Nyssa carry the cabinet out and Shardovan insists he be allowed to help carry it. Tegan relents, but after a short bit, insists on taking his place carrying the cabinet.

 

Shardovan watches the procession, then is startled when a hand beckons to him from behind a wall. Going to investigate, he finds The Doctor, who gives him the “shush” gesture and noise.

 

Tegan complains that The Doctor isn’t levitating inside the cabinet, it’s too heavy. Nyssa informs her that he’s not inside, the 30 volumes of the Histories are.

 

Shardovan asks The Doctor to explain himself; The Doctor says that Shardovan suspected the hunting ritual was fabrication, like the Histories. The Doctor confronts him with the librarian’s own handwritten notes. The librarian claims it was notes for a fiction he was going to write, but The Doctor says Castrovalva is a fiction and the proof is… but he stops, as his mind is still having difficulties. (Convenient, that.)

 

Shardovan says that the books are old, but they chronicle the rise of Castrovalva up to the present day.

 

The Castrovalvans and the companions arrive at The Portreeve’s help; the ancient says that he cannot help, that this is a matter for the tapestry.

 

Shardovan and The Doctor wander the city; Shardovan says he does not see the occulsion, the spatial anomoly with his eyes, but he does with his philosophy. He then leads The Doctor to “a back way”.

 

The Portreeve speaks of The Doctor’s journey to come there. He talks of the power of the tapestry, addressing The Doctor (whom he believes to be in the cabinet). He says the tapestry “has the power to build and hold in space whole worlds of matter.”

 

Suddenly, The Portreeve stands upright. “I’ve contented myself with one simple, small town… “ he flashes between the image of an old man and a dark haired, goateed Time Lord, “…for the final meeting of The Doctor and his master!” The Master laughs maniacally as Tegan and Nyssa back away.

 

The Doctor grows weak as they get close to “whatever he’s using to power all of this”. Shardovan indicates a window and The Doctor asks him for a lift up.

 

The Master reveals that there is no Castrovalva, that the entry in the databank was entered by Adric. He tries to open the Zero Cabinet, blasting it with his TCE weapon.

 

Behind him, on the tapestry, Nyssa and Tegan see an image of The Doctor trying to enter a window.

 

Oblivious, The Master continues to blast the cabinet; the sound of breaking glass can be heard and The Master sends Ruther and Mergrave to investigate.

 

When he demands that she open the cabinet, Nyssa lectures The Master on zero structures, saying that they can only be separated from inside. The Master doesn’t believe her and keeps trying to pry open the cabinet.

 

Shardovan tells Mergrave and Ruther that The Portreeve has betrayed them. The Doctor tries to explain that The Portreeve is the most evil man in the universe. Shardovan says he knows the two of them have had doubts.

 

The Master keeps trying to pry open the cabinet, going on about how he will see The Doctor’s “wretched face one more time” before he destroys him. Mergrave and Ruther enter the room as Tegan and Nyssa whisper (well, not really, but I’m sure it’s meant to be), worrying about the tapestry, which they fear will reveal the ruse to The Master.

 

Mergrave and Ruther accuse The Master of not being The Portreeve. He chuckles, remarking someone’s been tampering with their perception filters. Finally, he sees the tapestry, but says it is a trick, The Doctor is in the cabinet.

 

He slams the cabinet down, and it breaks open (so much for Nyssa’s lecture), revealing the books.

 

The tapestry fades, revealing Adric bound inside. The Doctor leaps forward, tearing open the tapestry, revealing Adric, strapped into the machine that powers Castrovalva – The Master says it’s block transfer computation.

 

Shardovan listens in from above, on a balcony. The Master says that the hadron power lines around Adric are lethal to the touch. (Whoa, hadron? Hey, that’s cool.)

 

The Doctor says to let Adric go, it’s he The Master is after, anyways. The Master agrees, but suddenly Ruther moves to strike him and The Master does something to erase Ruther from being.

 

Shardovan pulls over a hanging sconce. He uses it to swing into the web binding Adric, telling The Master, “You may have made us, evil man, but we are free!” He slams into the web, freeing Adric at the cost of his own life.

 

The Master runs into the nearby fireplace, which is his TARDIS. The fireplace dematerialises.

 

The Doctor pulls Adric free of the remnants of the power web. The Doctor says they must escape; without the web to hold it in place, local space will begin to fold unto itself. Everything looks digitised to them, but Mergrave sees things normally, and he leads them to safety, though there is a lot of running.

 

The Master’s TARDIS is in the courtyard and The Doctor speculates that he can’t escape either. Mergrave says he sees nothing but confusion, but Adric can see the way out, since he created it and leads them to safety.

 

As they escape, The Master chases them and Mergrave stays behind to stop him, a group of other Castrovalvans grabbing at him, too. The Doctor and companions barely get out, as the stone doors close.

 

Inside, the Castrovalvans tear at The Master, who screams.

 

The Doctor leads all one, two, three companions back to the TARDIS. They stop to look, but the town atop the rocks is now gone.

 

The Doctor is horrified to see the TARDIS laying on its side, but he tells Tegan that she didn’t fly it, the coordinates were pre-set. No matter what she did on the console, they would have ended up at Castrovalva.

 

The Master leaves nothing to chance,” he says, as he walks to the TARDIS. The companions follow and as they enter, Nyssa asks if he’s up to flying the TARDIS.

 

Yes, I’m rather feeling like my old self… well… well… whomever I feel like, it’s absolutely splendid,”… and the final credits roll.

 

A fun episode, I enjoyed the recursive bits and Ainley’s Master is, of course, delightfully over the top. This group of companions is a solid one and I know there are some great stories coming up, too.

 

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