Something tells me I’ve seen this, but I have no recollection, so let’s find out.

Episode 1:

We start out with some combat. People on a rise firing at those blow. War games, maybe? Those below are dressed in green and white, those above are in darker colours.

Nope, not war games. The woman in white (she seems to be the only one) and one of the greens make for one of their enemy’s ships and take it, though the green soldier is killed in the process by one of their opponents.

The ship takes off as the other combatants run towards it.

The TARDIS appears in a port. A voice booms “Toll port G7-1-5, please have your credits ready.” The Doctor and Mel exit the TARDIS, both feeling trepidations about where they are.

The tollmaster calls out for them to halt. He exits and greets them, saying they are the Ten billionth customer and the toll fee is waived, as well as a week long vacation on Earth at Disneyland in the year 1959. Mel is excited and begs The Doctor to go. (Right, cuz there’s no way she could have gotten there on her own. It’s a shame she’s not a companion to a time and space traveling alien, ya know?)

Somewhere, we see a car pull up to a police box; a man gets out and uses the phone (so obviously it’s not the TARDIS) and asks to be put through to the White House. (What, so they’re saying there were police boxes in the USA?) He says it’s a “code eleven” priority call.

His companion pulls out a spyglass and starts looking about. The man on the phone (wearing a Yankees hat and jacket) identifies himself as Jerome P Weismuller, and we learn they’re in Wales. (Oh, ok.)

He says “Yes, sir,” a lot and says they’ll “get right on it.” After he gets off the phone, he tells his buddy the reason for the red alert – that Cape Canaveral has launched a rocket with a satellite on it and they’re to track it.

We see a rocket separating, dropping a lower stage.

The Doctor and Mel learn they’re accompanying a tour with a bunch of aliens (who are VERY alien in form, but using a ‘transformation arch’ to assume human likeness.) The Doctor recognises the firm running the tour, NOSTALGIA TRIPS, saying it is “the most notorious travel firm in the five galaxies.”

Mel complains that the space ship looks like “an old bus”, offending the toll master. The pilot, Murray, comes over and introduces himself. When he hears their names, he remarks “knowing Nostalgia Trips, we may need a doctor.”

The Doctor tells Mel to go with them, he’ll follow in the TARDIS. She’s not exactly thrilled. Murray overhears this and defends his ship.

The woman in white covers her green companion’s body in the ship. On a vid screen, a man in black (from the planet) tells her, “You cannot escape me. Wherever you go, I will track you down.”

She tells Gavrok that her people will survive, but he says she is the last. She shoots the screen. They’re in pursuit, but she lands at the space toll and boards the NOSTALGIA TRIPS bus just before it launches. The Doctor, seeing this all, slips into the TARDIS.

spoiler warning

On the bus, Murray starts some music, playing Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock around the clock” and everyone (but the woman in white) start clapping and singing along.

Back in Wales, the two American agents try to pick up the satellite’s signal.

In orbit, the satellite is released from the rocket.

The woman in white isn’t thrilled about being on the bus. Mel asks Murray about the 50s run; he says he loves it, the clothes and hairstyles. Mel turns and asks where the woman in white is from and she says she’s a Chimeron.

Just then, something strikes the bus. Everyone screams.

The American agents argue whether to call and get the coordinates they need or not. As they argue, the phone rings and Weismuller answers. He gets bad news – the satellite has “gone haywire” and they think it’s going to land near where the agents are.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor watches as the bus seems to be going out of control. He activates some energy field, which seems to stop their out-of-controlness

The bus lands with a bounce, and the TARDIS materialises nearby. Murray says they ran into some space junk (I’m guessing the satellite) and asks what The Doctor did to help – the Time Lord says he generated “an antigravity spiral to halt your descent”.

I’m not sure, but it looks like the satellite’s wedged into the front of the bus. They look around and see they’re not at Disneyland, but outside some amusement park/holiday camp called Shangri-La, and The Doctor says it’s somewhere in Wales.

When Mel isn’t impressed, saying “it looks a bit… grim”, he tells her that “this is the real Fifties.” A man in a red suit walks up, saying he expected them hours ago. He introduces himself as Burton and welcomes them, thinking they’re an expected party, obviously.

He shows them around and shows them to their chalets. The woman in white (Delta, though we don’t know that yet) and Mel are placed in one together. Two of the aliens keep giving Delta strange looks. (One did on the bus, when she mentioned where she was from, the other just started now.)

The Doctor and Murray meet a mechanic who asks what happened to the bus, so they go to the bus and remove the satellite from the front of the bus. The Doctor says it’s a very primitive one, “capable only of the most rudimentary radio transmissions”.

Mel tries to get Delta to talk about whatever is bothering her (she’s visibly on edge), but Delta is rude.

The mechanic is impressed by the engine in the bus. It is a space-engine, after all, but The Doctor gives the lad some instruction while Murray sticks the satellite in the rear hatch of the bus (where the thrusters are.)

Returning from the TARDIS, The Doctor gives Murray a box with the only “Quarb crystal this side of the Softel Nebula”. He hands it to Murray gingerly. You see where this is going, surely?

Murray thanks him as the mechanic brings over the broken crystal. A girl arrives on a scooter/motorbike and is introduced by Billy (the mechanic) as Rachel. She asks them if she can help, and Murray asks, jestingly, if she has a one a five-eighths socket, which she pulls out of her bag.

The Doctor asks if she always carries a full set of tools, and she says that’s what Billy taught her, to always be prepared. The Doctor replies with one of his trademark malapropisms, “A stitch in time fills up space.” (Well, that’s not really one, as malapropisms are supposed to sound similar, that doesn’t. I’m not sure what the term for that is.)

Sure enough, Murray breaks the crystal as he’s trying to replace it. The Doctor says he can have another crystal ready in about twenty-four hours, much to Murray’s relief.

Rachel says they’ll be around for the dance, which delights Murray.

A dinner gong is rang, which frightens Delta. She draws her gun on Mel, demanding to know what that is. Delta asks if she can trust Mel and she says “Yes, completely. Discretion is my middle name.” Mel leaves for dinner and Delta (who still has not been named in the story/dialogue yet) checks on her package, given to her by the dying soldier, what appears to be a metallic sphere of some sort.

At the space toll, Gavrok and his men have taken the tollmaster captive, demanding to know where Delta went. He says it’s confidential, “more than my job’s worth”. When threatened enough, he tells them they went to Disneyland on Earth, but en route they struck a satellite, and went off course.

Gavrok kills the man and tells his men to plot a course for Earth and to have “every informer in the galaxy” looking for her.

We see everyone in the dining hall. Mel joins The Doctor at his table. She tells him that her roommate is on edge and has a gun. Billy sits down across from Delta at the table she’s at.

The Doctor tells Mel, “If she’s who I think she is, she’s in danger.” He says they have to find out if someone there is danger to Delta. Just then, Burton announces that the “Get To Know You” dance is that evening.

We cut to the dance, where Billy is showing The Doctor his sound system. People are dancing about, as Billy returns to the stage to sing with the band. Mel and Murray are dancing. Rachel finds The Doctor in the crowd and they head to the front. We learn that Rachel has a big crush on Billy (he’s the reason why she learned about motorbikes, to get his attention, but says it didn’t work.)

Billy then announces their next song, “Why do fools fall in love”, for a very special lady in the audience. Rachel is happy until she realises he’s intending it for Delta instead. (Who, somehow, has a 50s dress on.)

Upset, Rachel is about to leave but The Doctor and her start dancing.

The American agents are camping and arguing about putting another log on the fire.

Delta storms out of the dance, and The Doctor follows. As he searches, he finds Rachel crying in the camp’s laundry. He consoles her while she cries over Billy. Hearing someone, they hide, as she says they’re not supposed to be there.

One of the guys who’d been giving Delta the looks, the one on the bus, comes in and uses a communicator to contact “the Bannermen leader”, who turns out to be Gavrok. He asks about the reward for the Chimeron queen, and Gavrok confirms, “one million units”. He tells him where she is, gives the location and sends a signal for them to lock in on. Gavrok says the reward will be his when they arrive and signs off.

Just then, The Doctor sneezes. (Really? You know, you can sneeze quietly. You can hold it in. I’m so over this being a plot device for people getting caught. Even 25-26 years ago, this was played out.)

The informer pulls out a gun.

Delta thanks Mel for lending her a dress (okay, that explains that…. except… well, Mel and Delta don’t have horribly similar frames.) Delta thanks her for her kindness, and says there’s something she should know.

Just then, the metallic sphere begins making noise. Pulsating. Then, as it is apparently an egg, hatching. Mel screams as something green and slimy comes out, looking a lot like the alien baby from the V tv show.

The informer has taken The Doctor and Rachel. Seems he knows who The Doctor is, saying his death will make him richer. The Doctor pleads for Rachel’s life, “If you kill for money, then let the girl go.”

I don’t just kill for money,” the informer replies, “It’s also something I enjoy.” It’s good for a man to enjoy his work, what what?

The Doctor and Rachel look very nervous… and the credits roll.

Well, I think they should have used the hatching egg as the cliffhanger as that last bit was a bit too understated to have much impact. Ah, well. (And, no, I’ve not seen this one before.)

See you Wednesday.

 

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