Don’t believe I’ve seen this one. I’ve not seen a lot of the McCoy era, really. Less than half, certainly.

Episode 1:

A woman runs through an urban area, hiding behind a pillar. There’s chanting, sounding like children. She clutches at something on her chest, panicked.

In the TARDIS, Mel sees a pool deck on the scanner and this makes her very excited. Really. You’re traveling in a ship that travels anywhere in time and space, and you’re excited about a swimming pool?

The Doctor complains about young people having “no spirit of adventure”. I can’t disagree with his assessment of Mel. The location she’s going gaga over is “Paradise Towers”, so we’ve already introduced the title of the serial.

In the urban area, the voices call out, saying they’re leaving her for another day and calling her a coward. She sighs in relief as the voices drift off, but then, as ominous background chords strike, something scary approaches her. She screams.

The Doctor tells Mel they’re arriving at Paradise Towers. He tells her that it’s known for architectural achievements and is highly acclaimed. They exit the TARDIS, finding themselves in a rat-infested, run down, rubbish-filled alley.

Mel wants to go to another planet with another pool, but The Doctor wants to stay and find out what has happened. Mel agrees and they discuss meeting at the pool if they get separated.

A “caretaker” walks the corridors, reporting in via walkie talkie. He reports “wall-scrawl” (graffiti) to his superior and is instructed to go to another area. As he walks, he finds a piece of yellow clothing (that belonged to the girl we saw earlier) and reports in to his chief that he’s scared.

Meanwhile, a gang of girls called Red Kangs have captured The Doctor and Mel. Red Kangs are best, apparently – they chant this and it sounds like the voices that were pursuing the girl earlier. They’re not children, but they’re definitely young.

We learn that there are also Blue and Yellow Kangs. The Red Kangs take Mel for a Blue Kang (as she’s wearing a blue top.) The Kangs introduce themselves. Some names are “Bin Liner”, “Fire Escape”.

An intricate greeting ritual is then enacted between the Kangs and The Doctor. They accept him, but not Mel, still upset over her wearing blue.

The caretaker proceeds to section 301 as instructed. He keeps nagging his chief, who reminds him that rule number one is “orders are orders”. As they argue, he moves on, followed by a Blue Kang. She grabs a phone and calls in to someone that “yellow Kang believed unalive, reason not known.”

A robot moves through the corridors with a dramatic beat on the score. It has at least one buzzsaw for a hand. It appears to be a waste removal/repair/something bot and has a storage/wastebin at the tail end of it. The yellow Kang is obviously in it, as her leg protrudes from the back slot.

The Red Kangs dance with The Doctor and when that ends, The Doctor explains that they’re visitors. But they tell him visitors aren’t allowed. When he asks if everyone are Kangs, he is told by one of the Kangs, “There are old ones and caretakers and the…” but before she can continue, she is cut off by another saying, “That is all.”

We learn that the caretakers “wipe away our wallscrawl, chase us down carrydoors, catch us if they can.”

When The Doctor asks about boys, the Kangs seemed very confused. The Doctor decides it’s time to leave, but the Red Kangs says they cannot, as they heard him talk of the “pool in the sky”, and say he must go to their lair.

The caretaker is attacked by one of the robots (he sees several), but when he tries to report it to his chief, the robot attacks. As the caretaker falls, the chief’s voice replies that he knows what is there, ominously.

The Doctor and Mel are tied up; the Red Kangs discuss the Yellow Kangs being made unalive. When he asks if they killed the Yellow Kangs, he is told “to make unalive is not part of the Kang way. No ballgames, no fly posts, no wipe-outs.”

When he asks who did it, then, he is told, “It takes place.”

The chief (whom we don’t see, only hear) watches the robot with the caretaker’s body in the back moving down the corridor on a video screen. He tells someone/thing that there’s a nice snack on the way.

Someone reports it to him that they’ve “located a whole group of them, Chief. Large as life and twice as nasty.” The Chief sends out an alert to all caretakers, telling them to abandon work on “master plan QYT” and tells them he’s initiating “standard emergency plan 908b”. Wow, that’s a lot of emergency plans. He orders them to apprehend the Red Kangs in Fountain of Happiness Square immediately.

The Kangs lead Mel and The Doctor through the corridors, but suddenly a huge group of caretakers ambush them. Somehow, despite the large numbers of them, only The Doctor gets caught.

Mel, following the Kangs, realises The Doctor isn’t with her. She gets separated from the Kangs and then an older woman comes out and asks if she wants tea and cakes. Tilda and her friend Tabby introduce them, inviting Mel in. When they see her hands are bound, they untie her, asking what she’s been through.

Tabby and Tilda are so insistent on what a nice girl Mel is, nothing like a Kang, full of manners. Mel asks who they are (in relation to the other factions) and learn they are “Rezzies”.

They’re shocked to learn that she’s a visitor, saying it’s been a long time since there’s been any visitors. They avoid some of Mel’s questions, and I’m getting a definite sinister vibe from them. They all but shove tea and cakes at Mel.

The Doctor is being escorted by the caretakers. They take a break in walking as their rulebook allows for a stop every so many thousand steps. No, really. He quizzes them about their work.

The Doctor sees some wall-scrawl about a Kang being attacked by a robotic arm. The caretakers try to pass it off as silly make believe from the wall-scrawlers.

One of the robots approaches. The Doctor is fascinated by it, but the robot extends its claw and starts its drill and blade. The Doctor and caretakers run.

Mel learns from the ladies that they’ve been there from the beginning, when all the old and young were moved there. Tabby says the people inbetween had something else to do, “a war or something”, and the two ladies wonder who won the war.

She asks them about the swimming pool, but they claim no knowledge of that, saying she should stay with them and get “nice and plump”. She says she needs to leave soon, but they nag her to stay. Tabby says she should “make the most of the peace and quiet,” but just then a young man breaks down their door.

He pulls out a gun, demanding to know if the “old ladies” are annoying Mel. When she says no, he asks if she’s annoying them. They all say no and the ladies yell at him, wishing he’d stop breaking their door down to save them, when they don’t need saving.

Mel asks who he is. “The name is Pex. I put the world of Paradise Towers to rights.” Dramatic music scores as he says this; all he’s missing is a cape and wind blowing in his hair.

The caretakers and The Doctor hide from the robot by entering a lift.

Mel apologises, saying she must find her friend and the pool. The ladies ask that she come back with her friend, and she leaves. Pex follows her, saying she needs his help. She argues.

He argues, suggesting he could be a guide, since she doesn’t need a protector, and she agrees.

The chief sees The Doctor being escorted on the monitor and says he can’t believe it.

A group of Blue Kangs stand about a mish-mash of a construct, a shabby pyramid made of metal and who knows what else. They kneel before it, hailing “the unalive Kang”. Oh, the Yellow Kang’s shirt is draped on it – it’s like a funerary pyre or something, then?

Hail the Kang, hail the unalive Kang. Yellow of colour but brave and bold as a Kang should be.” They begin walking about it widdershins, chanting this over and over.

Pex and Mel hear the chanting and stop to watch.

The Doctor is brought in before the Chief Caretaker. He says he knows who The Doctor is, calling him “the visionary who dreamed up its lifts and pools and squares”. He says The Doctor will return Paradise Tower to its former glory, calling him The Great Architect.

The caretakers hail him. One of them asks, “What should we do with him now, Chief?”

The Chief takes The Doctor’s umbrella away, and smiling, replies, “Kill him.”

The Doctor looks shocked… and the credits roll.

Okay, so far this is an interesting serial. I like the Kangs and Pex looks amusing. Definitely curious to see what’s going on here.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

The Doctor protests, saying he’s not The Great Architect, but the Chief doesn’t listen or care or believe. The phone rings (well chirps) and the Chief tells the caretaker on the phone that he is on the way. He tells the others about an accident that before caretaker #345 (the one who kept calling in to the Chief) that he must investigate, and puts The Great Architect’s execution on hold.

Mel and Pex wander down the corridors. Pex asks her to stop and watch something; she reluctantly does so as he pulls down a lamp and bends the metal arm, bragging his strength and fighting prowess.

She chastises him for ruining the lamp saying it’s no use now.

The Red Kangs gather, discussing the loss of The Doctor and Mel. They talk of one of theirs, not there, named “No Exit”, trying to determine where she is. One fears she is unalive, “taken to the cleaners”.

A robot moves through the corridors. A female leg sticks out the back, but I can’t tell if it’s the Yellow Kang still or perhaps No Exit.

The Doctor asks the caretakers why the cleaner-robots should attack them if they’re all part of the system. The guards ignore him. He then asks why the Chief wants the Great Architect dead, thinking they’d be happy to see him return to fix things. Still, they ignore him.

He says he’d hate to live by their silly rulebook, asking if it gets them fed up. One finally stops ignoring him, saying “No, never.” The Doctor asks if the way he’s being guarded is in the rulebook, and the caretaker replies that it is, quoting the section.

The Doctor asks if it’s against the rules for him to look at the rulebook. The caretaker references the book, and says that can count as his last request, and hands it to him.

The Doctor flips through the pages, chuckling and laughing and saying “it can’t be true”. The caretaker says it must be true, and The Doctor reads from the book, that in cases of the death he’s been sentenced to, after guarding the “prisoner for 35 minutes, you all must stand up.” He pauses just before the time to reference his time piece, mind you. (You’d think a Time Lord wouldn’t need one. Just saying.)

They stand up and he tells them that they must move five paces away from the prisoner. (Of course they don’t ask to see it for themselves.) He has them close their eyes and put their hands above their heads. They do and he takes the key cards and his umbrella.

They even ask how long they must do so and he says for a minute and a half, which is long enough for the prisoner to escape.

I’m sure they’re poking fun at people who follow orders blindly; I wouldn’t be surprised if they had someone in mind they were japing at with this bit. Regardless, it’s kinda dumb.

The Doctor escapes.

Mel calls out for The Doctor randomly; she and Pex head one way, and from the opposite, The Doctor comes, calling out for Mel, going the way Mel just came.

Mel asks why Pex is here, when there’s nobody else here is like him. She mentions the war and asks why he’s here. He tries to put it off, asking “Isn’t it obvious?” He says he’s been given the power to protect by “those that I’m not allowed to name” and sent here.

Mel asks if that’s the truth, and he acknowledges it is. She says she has to believe him (because that totally seemed like a rational explanation.) They set off, looking for the pool, and we see the Blue Kangs following.

The Doctor searches for Mel. Sure, wandering a giant residential complex, shouting her name is just the best way to do it.

He stops, seeing some wall-scrawl and copies it down.

The Chief addresses the caretakers via walkie-talkie about the disappearance of the caretaker, warning them not to speculate about things, especially the cleaners. He orders them to return to their patrols, and then receives a report from those guarding The Doctor.

The two old ladies eat some food. I’m gathering they’re eating people, as they complain about having to make do with what shows up. There’s a knock at their door (gee, I wonder who that will be – and how’d their door get replaced so soon?) and they wonder if it’s “that delicious little Mel”.

The door (which is repaired) is opened by Maddy (oh, guess I was wrong, thought it was The Doctor) who comes in to tell them that another caretaker has disappeared. They gossip about whether it’s the Kangs or something else.

The Doctor runs through the corridors. He finds a phone and tries it, but can’t get it to work. A bunch of coins pour out and he collects them, reading that they’re issued by the Great Architect.

Just then a cleaner shows up; he turns to run but finds another on the other side. They seem to be fighting over him and he falls through a door or hatch or something in the wall.

Pex and Mel are caught by Blue Kangs.

The Doctor wakes up on the floor of the “brainquarters” of the Red Kangs. They won’t let him leave when he tries. He tells them he only entered their lair by accident, trying to avoid two cleaners, and one Kang goes to check. Affronted that they don’t believe him, he complains, but is told that the cleaners are the ones killing Kangs.

He tears into them verbally, complaining about how everyone is just letting the cleaners kill them. The Red Kangs were unaware that the cleaners are killing caretakers, too. He says instead of wall-scrawling pics of the door with the smoke, they need to find out what’s behind that door.

The Doctor pulls out one of the coins (musing over the name of the Architect, Kroagnon, wishing he could place it) and uses it to get a soda from a soda machine that is in their brainquarters – the Kangs had no idea what it is and hide, until he takes a sip and shares it with them.

The Chief approaches a door marked NO ENTRY. On the ground is a red cloth, which he picks up as the door opens. Inside is red light and smoke. He enters, “Hello my pet, how are you? Did you enjoy your nice caretaker?”

A monstrous voice replies, “HUNGRY.” The Chief addresses two lights (eyes, I guess, though definitely artificial in nature, neon tubes shaped like lightbulbs/eyes) and says he didn’t authorise for the Red Kang to be snacked upon.

He demands to know who gave the order, as the cleaners wouldn’t do it without an order, but there’s no answer other than, “HUNGRY.” In fact that seems to be the only verbalisation it is capable of.

Pex and Mel argue with the Blue Kangs; it comes out that the Blue Kangs know “the muscle brain” (Pex) and they tell Mel that he hid on the ship with the olds and youngs so he wouldn’t have to go to the war.

Pex admits that it is true, but says he’s made up for it, being brave and protecting others. Mel is disappointed. She asks the Kangs if she can go on her own and they allow it. As she leaves, the Kangs taunt Pex.

The Chief demands of his deputy where the Great Architect is. The deputy doesn’t know, but suggests that he was taken by the cleaners. The Chief says the wall-scrawlers might be helping him. He orders for a invasive search of the wall-scrawlers areas, saying even if they don’t have him, it’s time to teach them a lesson.

Mel returns to the old ladies’ apartment and is invited in. She declines at first but then changes her mind and enters.

The Red Kangs are having fun getting sodas out of the machine. The Doctor says they need to solve the mystery of Paradise Towers, that there is something sinister afoot. (My words, not his.)

Suddenly, there’s an alarm. The caretakers are approaching and the Kangs accuse The Doctor. He argues, begging them to listen to him, saying they have to work together to stop the Chief.

The caretakers start cutting through the door with a laser.

Tilda and Tabby give Mel tea and crumpets and say they won’t let her leave this time. They apologise, saying they want Mel to “stay for a very long time.” Tabby says they won’t imagine her ever leaving, and throw a net over her. She struggles, as they loom over her, menacingly… and the credits roll.

Decent cliffhanger there. This serial isn’t horrid… some pretty big silly parts, but, well, whattayagonnado?

See you Friday!!!