No idea if I’ve seen this one before. Pretty sure I have not.

Episode 1:

We open in an obviously futuristic/advanced setting. People are led into what seems to be a public forum or some grand hall. There’s a lot of smoke/mist, so I’m guessing it’s cold. Seem to be people standing in booths, so maybe a cryogenic setting.

They march in a line, accompanied by men in white (seemingly the authority here, guards of condemned I’m wondering) and ordered to come to a halt. The ones marched in are wearing grey and seem somewhat haphazardly dressed. A bit slovenly. The ones in white are snazzier, their white is pristine. And they have hats, the greys do not.

A man in white addresses them, saying they are lucky, the chosen ones, the elite. A crack band of mercenaries, paid for by Kane, who expects his money worth. One man argues and gets shoved down; his hand hits some liquid nitrogen (or a container thereof) and his hand is frostburnt.

They’re lined up to be frozen until they’re needed; the man who burnt his hand resists, grabs a gun and fires at the others, but slips into “the restricted zone” and the guards in white do not pursue him.

In the zone, he is stopped by another man in white, who is seemingly immune to the cold; he touches the escapee with his bare hands and the man cries out in pain and collapses. (I’m betting this is Kane.)

In the TARDIS, The Doctor and Mel observe a planet on the scanner. On one side is a giant edifice/city, visible from space. That’s pretty freaking big. The Doctor says it’s called “Ice World, Space Trading Colony, on the dark side of the planet Svartos.”

He says he’s been picking up some tracking signals and suspects something “interesting” is going on there.

We see a public bazaar/mercantile area. The TARDIS materialises as a little girl watches and Mel comes out, complaining “A freezer centre? How boring!” The Doctor tells her not to trust appearances, as he greets some of the aliens. They head through a door, finding a cafeteria, where The Doctor orders two strawberry milkshakes.

As they take a seat, they hear a familiar voice – IT’S SABALOM GLITZ!!! I’m totally flailing here.

spoiler warning

They address him by name, but he swears he’s never heard of anyone by that name. Mel says it’s them, “Mel and The Doctor,” and of course he’s not met Seven before, but who could forget that annoying voice and carrot-red hair?

Glitz does know Mel, and questions The Doctor, who explains that he’s regenerated. He asks them for some help, saying he’s “on a mission of a highly philanthropic nature” (snicker), to deliver secret documents, but others are out to stop him/kill him over them.

As he explains, three people (two women and a man) in the white uniforms (with the hats) show up and identify Glitz by name, saying they’ve been looking for him. Mel stands up and says if they kill him, “then you’ll kill us too.”

The lead woman in white questions what Mel’s on about, and after hearing about the secret documents, says they have no interested whatsoever in that, but rather the “hundred crowns he took from my employer, Mister Kane, under false pretenses.”

Glitz apparently sold some rotten fruit to Kane. The Doctor says Glitz had best pay up, but he says he can’t – apparently he was in a card game that didn’t turn out so well for him.

The woman in white asks, “What about the 102 crowns you sold your crew for?” Mel is upset to hear he sold his crew, but he tells her they attempted mutiny. He says that money is also down the tubes.

When she says they’ll be confiscating his spacecraft, Glitz replies, “The Nosferatu? You can’t do that!”

She gives him seventy-two hours to pay the crowns or lose his spacecraft. They leave and again Glitz asks The Doctor for help, but the Time Lord replies, “You have only yourself to blame.”

Back in the cryogenic area, Mister Kane and one of his cronies discuss his cryogenically frozen mercenary force; Kane says that when they come out of cryo-sleep, they will have no memories. “With no memories, they can have no past, no future, no will of their own.”

Okay, so how will they remember to fight/use weapons/etc? (Yes, I know, people who suffer amnesia can still retain skills and such. But he said they will have no memories, not suffer amnesia.)

Back at the cafeteria, the bartender tells a server to be less lippy or she’ll “be out on your ear”. The girl gets up and – OH MY GOD IT’S ACE!!! As she walks off, she mutters that she hopes the “dragon gets you in the night,” and Mel, overhearing this, asks her about the dragon.

She says it’s just a legend, but there’s supposed to be a dragon living below Iceworld. Mel turns to The Doctor, “I knew there must be a reason why you brought us here.” She realises he wants to see the dragon and he says it’s fascinating, that there have been claims of seeing it for centuries, but no proof.

Ace (as yet unnamed in the story) realises they’re going to look for the dragon and asks if she can come along, as she’s “fed up with being a waitress”. She asks The Doctor (calling him “Professor”) if she can come along, and he says yes, which elicits an “Ace!” from our waitress.

She then asks if they can search for the treasure, saying the dragon is guarding a fabulous treasure. Glitz overhears this, saying it’s all nonsense, “a load of old space dust”.

Ace calls him out on this, saying he’s been “burning holes in this treasure map for the last two days”, pointing out his reading material.

The woman in white who spoke to Glitz reports to Mister Kane about Sabalom’s claims that he lost the money in a game of cards. “I know he lost the money in a game of cards,” the man replies, “The game was fixed. What about the map?”

She tells Kane that Glitz is convinced that the map is genuine, which pleases him to no end. He intends for Glitz to go after the treasure, “And I shall be with him every step of the way.”

Kane’s subordinate reports that Glitz “appears to have two colleagues,” telling him about Mel and The Doctor. She asks if he wants them eliminated, but he says no, “There’s no reason for them to suspect that the seal on the map contains a tracking device.”

The Doctor, Mel, Ace and Glitz pore over the map. It comes about that Glitz won the map in a card game. The women say it’s useless, but Glitz asserts that it must be the real mccoy, as the man he won it from was most reluctant to do so.

We finally learn that Ace is called Ace, so that’s out of the way. The other three get ready to head off, but Glitz takes the map back and says he doesn’t want the girls coming along, as it’s too dangerous.

Ace throws a hissy and storms off, Mel says it’s okay, she can wait, and the two men set off.

Kane receives a report that Glitz and The Doctor are headed to the lower levels. The woman in white asks if she can have Glitz’s spacecraft, if he and The Doctor are as good as dead.

Kane mocks her, saying when she arrived, she was penniless and his money was good enough, “…but now you want to leave.” He taunts her, saying perhaps she has memories of a home she wants to return to, and “Perhaps I should have put you into cryo-sleep with all the others, and erased your memories.” Ominous music plays in the score, making this even creepier than it sounds as I transcribe it.

At the bit about her memories, he raises an ungloved hand near her face; she recoils, terrified. He grabs her wrist (with his gloved hand), “Perhaps you need reminding.” We see her hand, which bears a tattoo or scar, a circle with some symbols inside it. “For as long as you bear my mark, I own you,” he tells her, then shoves her hand away.

Stepping over to a control panel (which EERIELY seems like a TARDIS console. It’s set in the middle of the room, it’s got the centerpiece in it. It doesn’t look the same, so it might just be using a prop for something else, but it sure as hell seems like it might be one), Kane contacts a man, giving the order to have Glitz’s spacecraft destroyed.

In the cafeteria, Ace joins Mel at a table. As she sits, we hear over the PA, a call for emergency services to report to the upper docking bays to deal with an icefall. Mel tells Ace it’s her fault for being so encouraging to them (being The Doctor and Glitz, I gather.)

Before Ace can object or respond, a woman from another table calls her over, “You, girl! Yes, you girl. Come here!” Ace walks over, and the lady complains there’s lumps in her milkshakes. Mel tries to explain that there are supposed to be lumps, “That’s the ice cream,” but the woman insists she doesn’t want lumps in her and her daughter’s milkshakes, “Shake it some more!”

Ace tells her to shake it herself. When the woman says she’s never been so insulted, Ace grabs the milkshake, “I bet you’ve never had a milkshake tipped over your head before, neither” and does exactly that.

Ace’s boss (the bartender dude) fires her and orders both Ace and Mel out. As he turns back to the patron to apologise, Ace grabs another milkshake and dumps it on his head then runs out.

Okay, Ace is pretty cool so far. I have only seen a couple serials with her in them and did not recall liking her that much, but maybe I’m wrong. (Also, I though I’d seen the introduction of Ace before, but I know I’ve not seen one with Glitz again.)

In his private room (which has a large ice/crystal structure with a statue’d head atop it, which he stops and touches – the structure, not the head, it’s way too high) Kane seems to be reflecting on things. He walks over to a bed, which is a flat surface with a glass/plastic cover.

He lays down and the cover lowers itself, a computerised voice saying, “Current cabinet temperature, minus-twenty Celsius, target temperature minus-193 Celsius” as the bed/cabinet closes.

Ace leads Mel to her… room? Hovel? It’s a wreck (not quite as bad as my house, but pretty close.) Over the PA a woman asks someone in emergency services to answer the phone. Ace throws herself on the bed, snarking at Mel to come in.

They argue about Glitz, whether he’s okay or not. Mel tries to clean off a spot to sit down and Ace yells at her to just sit down like everyone else.

(These two are like fire and ice.) Mel pisses off Ace (unintentionally), who rants about the teachers and getting A levels and Mel realises that Ace is from Earth.

Ace explains she’s from Perivale (suburb of London for us Yanks) and was doing a chemistry experiment, “but something must have gone wrong. This time storm blows up from nowhere and whisks me here.”

Oh. I just looked up an article on Ace and saw her real name. Heh heh heh. That’s funny. No, I’m not going to spoil it. Go look it up yourself if you must.

Mel asks if she wants to go back, but Ace says no. When Mel asks about her Mum and Dad, this hits a sore spot and Ace yells at her that she never had a Mum and Dad.

We learn that Ace seems to have a history of blowing things up. There’s a story about blowing up the art room as “a creative act”. Yeah, I think Ace is going to be a lot more fun than I originally recalled her to be.

The PA sounds again, the woman asking if anyone’s seen any member of emergency services, to have them go to the upper docking bay “when they have a moment to spare”.

Ace complains about nobody doing anything about the icejam blocking the docking bay and collects several canisters, handing them to Mel. She asks why she has deodorant cans, but Ace says they’re filled with “homemade nitro-9”. When Mel asks what that is, Ace says it’s like regular nitroglycerin, “but with more wallop. Careful you don’t drop them!”

Kane’s cabinet has reached the target temperature. Seeing this, the woman in white (her name is Belazs, as she identifies herself on the communication system) contacts the men, to tell them that Kane has changed his mind on destroying Glitz’s ship.

Glitz and The Doctor wander some lower levels. The Doctor is hoping to find the Singing Trees or Ice Gardens.

Ace and Mel show up at the docking bay, where Ace attaches a couple cannisters to the door (or maybe the ice blocking it) and blows it up. (There are several white-suited lackeys doing bupkiss in their attempts to move it, so she actually accomplished something, unless she blew up the door.)

Belasz is in Kane’s room. As she wanders inside, Kane comes out of his cabinet, demanding to know what she’s doing in the restricted zone. She says she was looking for him, to tell him about the icejam and the lack of response from emergency services.

He orders her to go there and to take charge of the situation. As she leaves, he caresses the ice/cyrstal statue/formation.

The Doctor and Glitz find themselves in a crystal cavern where there are musical tones emitted from the crystals. The Doctor says these are the Singing Trees on the map. Glitz grabs a piece of crystal, thinking it’d be worth money, and The Doctor says it’s an opto-electrical circuit of some sort, that this is all been made, fabricated.

Belasz arrives, and puts Mel and Ace under arrest, without even finding out what’s going on. The girls argue and are dragged off.

The Doctor and Glitz tread carefully down snow/ice-covered floors. Glitz wanders off from The Doctor.

Kane interrogates Ace, while Mel looks on. He seems interested in having her work for him, in his army of mercenaries. He offers her the chance to travel through the twelve galaxies in his employ. As he talks, she seems to be falling under some sway of his.

Mel calls out for her not to listen, and it seems to (temporarily) break the effect. He asks how old she is, and she replies, “Sixt… eighteen.” Again, he begins talking of the twelve galaxies being her home and her eyes seem to get glassy.

Come with me, I understand you,” he says. Again Mel yells and again, it has a slight effect on her. Kane pulls out a coin, “Join me, take my golden sovereign,” and now we know the source of the mark on Belasz’s hand.

He places the coin on the console panel, “Take the sovereign,” he tells her. Mel struggles and Kane orders for her to be frozen.

Ace knocks the coin away and pulls out one of her canisters. When Kane calls her a stupid girl, saying it’s not that easy to walk away from him, she replies, “You feel like arguing with a can of deodorant that registers nine on the Richter scale?”

Best. Line. Ever?

She and Mel run off as Kane watches.

The Doctor, searching for Glitz (hey, I have seen this, at least this part… why didn’t I remember Glitz?) finds himself sliding over the walkway on a steep ice wall.

Ace tells Mel there “ain’t no such thing” as the dragon, but just them, some monster comes up and they recoil/scream in fear.

The Doctor is dangling by his umbrella from a pipe over the chasm… I’m not sure WHY he did this, it’s not like anything forced him. His hands slide down the umbrella and we see the fall below him is hundreds of feet… if not more.

…and the credits roll.

Okay, that’s just a stupid cliffhanger (literally, nyuk nyuk.) I mean, again, WHY did The Doctor get off the walkway and do this? It doesn’t make any sense.

Sigh. See you Wednesday.

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