Recap: The Doctor and Peri find the TARDIS drawn to 19th century England, where two Time Lords, The Master and the Rani, are embroiled in some nefariousness. The Master has dreams of turning Earth into a force for galactic evil (with himself at the helm, of course) and the Rani is tampering with the brains of the locals.

 

We left off with The Doctor, strapped to a mining cart, about to tip over into the pit!!!

spoiler warning

 

Episode 2:

 

At the last minute, George Stephenson covers the pit, saving The Doctor! Whew, that was close.

 

Jack and his men run into the secure area, Peri ahead of them.

 

Stephenson is fascinated by the straps and takes his time freeing The Doctor; Peri, with the hooligans in close pursuit, calls out for The Doctor to run.

 

Stephenson and The Doctor and Peri dash into the woods.

 

Ravensworth organises a party to hunt down the scoundrels!

 

Safe in his workshop, Stephenson tells The Doctor he finds it hard to credit that the other guests will be in danger. The Doctor chastises him, and Luke and Peri tell Stephenson that this isn’t the first time The Doctor was attacked.

 

Peri confirms Luke’s concern that his father, Jack, was part of the men who attacked The Doctor again. He says his mother never saw the mark on Jack’s neck.

 

Luke is sent off with a message for Ravensworth, suggesting the meeting be called off; The Doctor, seeing that Luke intends to find his father, warns him to be careful, “Your father is not the man he was.”

 

Stephenson says that Luke, being well-taught by Ravensworth’s tutors, will outshine him.

 

The Master skulks about, listening in as Luke talks to Tim, a former friend, who treats Luke as a traitor. When Tim runs off, The Master approaches and hypnotises Luke.

 

The Rani watches this from her bath house on the scanner, getting upset as she sees The Master feed Luke one of the mind-control worms/grubs/whatevers.

 

The Master reads the list of names being summoned to the meeting. He gives Luke instructions to destroy anyone who tries to stop the meeting from happening.

 

Peri interrupts The Doctor and Stephenson’s going over designs for an engine, reminding him there are more pressing problems. They head out, but several of the hooligans spot them and follow. They make an attempt to attack The Doctor again, but our heroes narrowly avoid calamity once more.

 

The Master returns to the bath house, playing the “I have your brain fluid,” card again. He shows her the list of guests, once more going on his plan to use them to take over the planet. She reminds him that she has a planet of her own already.

 

He promises her that if she helps him, he will guarantee her free access to all the human brains she wants. She seems to agree, and when she says they must hurry, The Master says she cannot bring her two servitors with her – she acknowledges this and uses her device to… well, I guess kill them?

 

(I know they want to illustrate, even though she’s being coerced into The Master’s plan, she is definitively evil herself, that just seems nonsensical. Why not just leave them there, in case they could be useful?) The Master leans over one of the bodies, again spotting the red circle and again saying, “The mark of the Rani…” Okay, thanks for shoving that down our throat.

 

Jack and the other hooligan who tried to attack The Doctor most recently are brought before Ravensworth. He orders them tied up.

 

Luke returns to the workshop, telling Stephenson that Ravensworth had nothing to say about the letter (which was never delivered, of course.) Stephenson takes this to mean that the lord was upset and says he will go speak to him, but Luke says he will fetch Ravensworth for him, saying it’s safer that way.

 

Encountering Ravensworth, who is on the way to the workshop, Luke prevaricates, saying Stephenson is down in the pit, arranging a demonstration for the expected guests. Ravensworth says he feels the meeting should be called off.

 

Luke argues that Stephenson doesn’t feel there’s any need to call off the meeting. He subtly grabs a metal bar, obviously intending to use it if he cannot persuade his lordship otherwise. Ravensworth says that he’ll trust Stephenson’s judgment, but it’s on his head and tells Luke to make sure he tells him so.

 

The Doctor and Peri return to the bath house, the companion arguing all the while. What happened to the bold and brave Peri from PLANET OF FIRE? She argues for getting the TARDIS out of the pit (which isn’t a bad idea), but also cautions against the possibility of running into the Time Lords again.

 

They enter the secret room, finding the dead servitors. The Doctor says that she has not gone far, as he knows The Master has something she wants. He explains what the red mark is, what the Rani had intended for Peri.

 

The Master and The Rani are moving through a tunnel, The Master complaining all the while. We do learn that The Rani’s TARDIS is being used for some other purpose, though she refuses to divulge what that is to her partner.

 

Peri inquires how The Doctor knows The Rani. “Same way as I know The Master,” he replies.

But he’s an exiled Time Lord!”

Exactly, two of a kind.”

 

The Doctor examines a false wall and sets off a gas trap; mustard gas fills the room and Peri fetches gas masks from the dead servitors for her and The Doctor.

 

Once the gas clears, The Doctor moves the wall and finds The Rani’s TARDIS. Somehow his key opens it… this really doesn’t work for me, ya know?

 

They enter, finding a cool TARDIS console surrounded by pedestals with dinosaur embryos. Suddenly, the TARDIS console comes to life and The Doctor sends Peri out before it leaves, but he stays within. He’s impressed that she has her TARDIS linked to a remote control.

 

The Master is impressed by The Rani’s remote control of her TARDIS. They enter, The Doctor hiding as he hears the doors open. They squabble as they enter, The Rani saying his plans will mean nothing if they cannot take care of “that dilettante Doctor” first.

 

(The Doctor, still hiding, hears this and mouths “dilettante?”)

 

The Time Lords take some objects that vaguely look like land mines and exit the TARDIS, The Master suggesting that they kill Stephenson, too. The Rani questions how that will hurt The Doctor and The Master laughs as they depart.

 

How indeed,” The Doctor wonders. After they’re gone, he heads to the console and begins to tamper with it.

 

The Master confirms that Luke is well enough under his control.

 

Ravensworth sends for The Doctor, hoping he can shine some light on the Jack issue; Jack is tied to a chair and struggling violently.

 

The Doctor exits The Rani’s TARDIS (think we’ll go with R-TARDIS for hers, M-TARDIS if we see The Master’s) and exits the mine tunnel.

 

Peri is brought to Ravensworth, saying she, too, wants to know where The Doctor is. Ravensworth says she should have some idea, but she says he could be “anywhere in the universe!” Peri goes to the old pit, thinking The Doctor has to return there (as that is where the TARDIS was dumped.)

 

Ravensworth sends his man to find Luke.

 

Luke arrives at the workshop, telling Stephenson that Farrady (one of the expected guests) has not arrived, that his coach was overturned. He’s hiding out in Redfern Dell. Luke offers to go to him and Stephenson tells him to ready the gun.

 

The Doctor finds Peri at the old pit. Instead of being happy to see him, she grouses that she could’ve been “stuck in the 1800s forever,” but tells him that Ravensworth is looking to speak to him.

 

Stephenson tells Luke to go to Ravensworth, to request “as many men as he can spare,” to accompany him to Redfern Dell. When Luke doesn’t step to right away, Stephenson tells him that it is urgent, and Luke goes.

 

The Doctor tells Ravensworth that Jack and the other need rest, that there isn’t much to be done for them. Luke arrives and tells The Doctor and Ravensworth that he doesn’t know where Stephenson is, that he “never said nowt”. The Doctor dashes off.

 

The Rani and The Master plant the devices on the ground, covering them with leaves. They are some sort of landmine!

 

The Doctor finds Stephenson in the workshop, readying his gun. When he asks if he expects trouble, the scientist explains about the message from Farraday. Suddenly, The Doctor puts two and two together, deducing that Luke brought the message to him.

 

He cautions Stephenson to not go out, it’s too dangerous. The Doctor promises to find Farraday and bring him to him.

 

When Stephenson offers The Doctor the use of his gun, The Doctor waves him off, “No thanks, I’ve given them up. Guns can seriously damage your health, you know.” He tells Stephenson not to trust Luke, then departs.

 

Luke suggests a sleeping potion; Ravensworth and Peri start working on concocting one – it seems the lord is “a bit of an amateur botanist”.

 

The Rani cautions The Master to be careful, if he values his “miserable skin”. She presses some buttons on a keypad atop the next to last landmind and covers it, then does the same with the final one.

 

Luke offers to escort Peri in search of the herbs she needs, saying they should find them in Redfern Dell – the lord seems to think this a capital idea. As Peri leaves, she asks the lord to let The Doctor know where she’s gone.

 

The Doctor, en route, hears voices and hides.

 

In the R-TARDIS, The Rani tells The Master to be patient; he says he’s waited too long for this moment. It comes up that The Master was the one who rerouted The Doctor’s TARDIS there.

 

As they talk, The Rani pours some green fluid over one of the dinosaur embryos. They discuss how The Rani got exiled from Gallifrey – apparently one of her experiments turned “mice into monsters” which ate the cat of the Lord President of the High Council.

 

Took a chunk out of him, too, I remember,” The Master adds.

 

They depart the R-TARDIS.

 

The Doctor hesitates, realising he’s walking into a trap, and chooses a different path.

 

The evil Time Lords await The Doctor’s arrival into their trap.

 

Luke and Peri make their way; he assures her that the herb they’re looking for can be found in Redfern Dell.

 

As The Master aims his TCE at Luke (I think it’s Luke), likely believing the motion at a distance to be his arch-nemesis, The Doctor comes up from behind and disarms him, taking the weapon away, and telling the two Time Lords they share a trait of underestimating their enemies.

 

The Doctor asks them what trap The Rani devised, saying the TCE is too simple for her tastes. She plays coy, but The Doctor soon realises that the answer must be in the dell, where he was expected to go.

 

Suddenly, Luke steps on one of the landmines and is transformed into a tree!

 

The Doctor, enraged, threatens The Master with the TCE.

 

The Master pleads that it was an accident, that Luke was not the intended.

 

The Doctor retorts, “And you’re so warped, so callous, you think that justifies it? First, you turn an innocent young man into your acolyte, force him to betray his friends and then you,” he says to The Rani, “do this monstrous thing to him!”

 

The Rani says “so what?” She feels that he’s better off, “a tree has four times the life expectancy of a human being.”

 

The Doctor tells her, “They should have never exiled you, they should have locked you in a padded cell.” He orders them along.

 

Peri walks into the dell, narrowly avoiding stepping on several of the mines that she doesn’t even seen. As she passes the tree that was once Luke, it grabs her.

 

When she cries out, The Doctor calls to her to stay put, that the tree will not hurt her. He turns to The Rani, “Now, perhaps you’ll accept that there are more things in Heaven and earth than are ever dreamed of in your barren philosophy.”

 

The Time Lords suggest that The Doctor faces a dilemma, or at least an impasse. The Doctor says that’s not the case, and in fact, The Rani will be the one who solves it for him. He tells her she will lead Peri out, and if she refuses, he won’t hesitate to use the TCE.

 

As The Doctor and The Master watch, The Rani leads Peri out, chastising Peri all the while. Once out, Peri asks about Luke, but The Doctor says, “He just saved your life,” and says he’ll explain later.

 

The Doctor and Peri escort the Time Lords through the woods; a pack of the hooligans run towards them. When The Rani offers to dispose of them, The Doctor takes her control device.

 

Peri points out that they’re rushing towards the dell. The Master quips that the dell is about to get some new trees, and The Rani gloats that it’s another dilemma, one of morality.

 

Peri takes the TCE, telling The Doctor he has to stop the men. He tells Peri to take the Time Lords to the old mine tunnel and wait there, but then whispers something in her ear. As he moves off, he bumps into The Master… something tells me that’s significant.

 

The Doctor rushes forward, telling the men to stop. They surround him.

 

Peri follows the Time Lords through the tunnel, saying they’ll wait there.

 

The Doctor is carried through the woods, tied to a tree limb.

 

The Master offers his apology to Peri, saying his quarrel is with The Doctor, not her. When Peri brings up Luke, he blames The Rani and they start bickering. The Master tries to use the distraction to hypnotise Peri, but she orders him to put away his bauble, else she use the TCE. (Apparently that was what The Doctor whispered to her, to beware that.)

 

The Rani laughs, realising this, but this starts a coughing fit.

 

The men carrying The Doctor walk onto the landmines and are turned into trees. The others run off, leaving The Doctor suspended between two trees.

 

Peri tells The Rani to keep her hands to her side, but the Time Lady says she must have a tablet. The Master says she’s having a seizure, he’s seen it before. Peri gives in and The Rani breaks open a tablet, throwing the particles within at Peri, which seems to daze or immobilise her.

 

The Doctor escapes the trees, coming quite close to landing on another landmine. (Or perhaps the same that transformed those two.) He uses the limb that he was tied to to sweep the ground on his way out.

 

The Rani is planning to leave, but The Master says he won’t run and let The Doctor win. She says the odds are against him and he calls her an “intellectual microbe,” mocking her for being a “slave to a computer”.

 

She insists he hand over the brain fluid, that she’s leaving. He refuses, and they hear The Doctor calling out for Peri.

 

The Doctor finds Peri, who recovers, apologising. The Doctor hears a sound and realises it must be The Master. “Typical, he’s decided to stand and fight. Why couldn’t he just leave?” The Doctor says they need to get them into the R-TARDIS and puts off any explanation for Peri just yet.

 

As they approach the Time Lords, The Master fires upon The Doctor and Peri, taking out one of the braces and starting a cave in. The Time Lords rush into the R-TARDIS and The Doctor and Peri dash out the exit.

 

In the R-TARDIS, The Rani and The Master fight. She gets the best of him, long enough to activate the coordinates. However, once they depart, the TARDIS runs out of control. They start yelling at each other, shoving each other out of the way to frenetically struggle with the controls.

 

Escaping the cave in, The Doctor explains to Peri that he made “an adjustment or two” to the navigational system and expects they’ll be quite far away in primitive settings before long.

 

In the R-TARDIS, one of the dinosaur embryos falls out onto the floor and begins to grow – The Rani says the acceleration is causing “time spillage” and it’s causing the dinosaur to grow.

 

Back at town, The Doctor tells Peri he picked The Master’s pocket, showing her the vial of brain fluid. He instructs her to give it to Ravensworth (like they have any method of returning it to the proper people’s brains?)

 

As he’s rather pleased with himself, Peri reminds him, “Well, let me deflate your swollen ego and remind you of something we don’t have… the TARDIS.”

 

In the workshop, Stephenson and Ravensworth are admiring the TARDIS, wondering what it is. The Doctor and Peri arrive, the latter giving Ravensworth the vial, saying it’s the sedative he wanted.

 

The Doctor reluctantly turns down the chance to help Stephenson on working on his engine and as he and Peri enter the TARDIS, Ravensworth asks what they do in there.

 

The Doctor’s answer is priceless, “Argue, mainly.” They slip in and the two men are astounded to see the TARDIS disappear.

 

You know, I always said he was a strange sort of fellow,” Ravensworth tells Stephenson… and the final credits roll.

 

A pretty fun serial and I do love The Rani.  

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