Recap: Ace and The Doctor have come to Terra Alpha, an Earth colony with some very mysterious, evil things happening. The place is run by Helen A, who enforces her code of happiness on everyone, using the titular Happiness Patrol and the Kandy Man to enforce this.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Figures in black shrouds over their pink outfits march and bang drums. Ace, captured by the HP ask what’s going on, but is told they’re fools trying to achieve something with their march.

The alien from the manhole is watching again; this time, it lifts the manhole cover off altogether and we see it is quite alien in appearance. Short, wide skull, big pointed ears, yellow skin.

The HP refer to the protestors as drones – “workers from the flatlands, it is forbidden for them to visit the city. That’s why they won’t leave it alive.” As the alien watches, Ace is gagged for cheering on the Killjoys.

The Doctor and Harmonica are strapped into chairs, while Kandy Man goes on about his work being “labour of love”. He asserts that just because Helen A likes him for his “ugly side, that doesn’t mean I don’t care. Does it, Gilbert M,” he asks his assistant.

Gilbert seems reluctant to agree, but does so.

Kandy Man goes on about making sweets that the human physiology cannot handle. Gilbert M puts it in simpler words, since I guess we need that for our audience, “He makes sweets that kill people.”

Ace is brought to the waiting zone, which is in a different area. The same matron is there, and she explains, “The waiting zone moves to different places in the city according to the time of night.” When Ace scoffs at the use of the term “waiting zone”, the matron gets mad and draws a gun on her.

The Doctor asks the Kandy Man about the methods he uses for execution. He tells The Doctor about how they let the victim think they’ve been pardoned before smothering them in the sweet foam. We learn he’s planning for vanilla for the following night.

The Doctor asks if there’s a way to halt an execution and Kandy Man says the foam can be diverted, but says it’s all hypothetical, “What reason could I possibly have for stopping an execution?”

Talk of the Kandy Man’s heart comes up – seems it’s made of soft candies, caramel, marzipan and the like. The Doctor keeps eyeing a bottle marked “Lemonade” during all this. The Doctor gets Kandy Man panicked, worrying about an open oven (which isn’t open) and the robot (I don’t know what else to call him, so sticking with that for now – I do feel sorry for the actor, David John Pope, who had to wear that ridiculous costume) accidentally knocks the lemonade bottle down, breaking it. His feet become stuck to the floor.

While Kandy Man screams for Gilbert, The Doctor frees himself and Harmonica. They dash off, The Doctor wishing him, “Sweet dreams.”

The matron asks Ace about her nitro-9 canister, saying she used to work with explosives when she was in Happiness Patrol B. She says they worked the night shift and at night was when “they come out”. Meaning the Killjoys. She goes on bragging about how they got the Killjoys, made them disappear, and then she got stuck here. “It was unfair. I knew the streets, I’m a fighter.”

The HP member who helped Ace is brought in.

The Doctor and Harmonica are in the sewers, which has crystalised sugar residue in it. Harmonica goes to play his instrument, but The Doctor warns him about making certain noises while so much crystalised sugar hangs over them. They move off.

Gilbert returns to the Kandy Kitchen, toting in sacks of sugar and other ingredients. Kandy Man threatens him, but Gilbert reminds him, “Symbiosis, you need me and I need me.”

In the sewers, The Doctor and Harmonica are greeted by a pack of the alien creatures.

In the waiting zone, Ace apologises to her accomplice, who says it would have happened eventually. She says she’s happy that it’s finally over, and remarks on the irony of that.

Harmonica plays some music and the aliens react approvingly, one of them quoting Ace, “Wicked!” The Doctor asks if they’ve met Ace, but they say she’s been taken captive.

Helen A orders Happiness Patrol section C to prepare for a “routine disappearance”. In the waiting zone, Ace’s accomplice is grabbed by the HP to disappear.

After they leave, Ace argues with the Matron, but an alien arrives and throws a spear at the matron. When she drops to avoid it, Ace runs off.

The Doctor tells Harmonica that their new friends were driven below surface by the human colonists. (How he figures this stuff out is silly, it’s like he just knows stuff. I mean, I know he’s the source of exposition to clue in the audience, and while we didn’t need to see the conversation, it would’ve taken one line to establish one had already happened.)

They arrive at a specific manhole access and climb it, The Doctor and Harmonica saying goodbye for now to the others. As The Doctor climbs up, he runs into Trevor Sigma. The Doctor turns the tables to Trevor, asking him the questions instead – he’s taking a census and “authorised to enter an Alphan property and interview all Alphans.” Something tells me that’s going to be important.

Harmonica says he has places to go and The Doctor says he’ll find him later. After he heads off, The Doctor tells Trevor to take him to Helen A.

Daisy K, of the HP, reports to Helen A to report Ace’s escape from the matron, Priscilla P. When she learns they escaped down the pipes, Helen A is delighted, saying her hedgehog-ish pet could do with a bit of sport. (It’s named Fifi, if that matters.)

The marching protestors continue.

Harmonica plays his music.

Two men on guard duty complain about the women getting the best guns.

Ace and the alien (well, native) wander through the tunnels.

Fifi is sent into the pipes to hunt them down.

Joseph C brings in Trevor and The Doctor to meet Helen A. The Doctor interrogates Helen A about the disappearances. Helen addresses Trevor, saying they took the Galactic Bureau’s recommendation of population control to heart, but admits she did not use the bureau’s program, saying she felt her techniques were “more effective”.

The phone rings and she excuses herself.

Joseph C asks if they still have go through with the census. Trevor says the rules state a “full planetary census every six local cycles.” The Doctor pokes through some of Helen’s stuff (a book full of pictures of her and Fifi is all we see).

The Doctor enters Helen’s office, where she is calling HP section C, telling them to prepare to escort Killjoy for execution. The Doctor asks if this is her population control. She asks who he is, but he asks “what part of the population are you controlling today?”

They banter, then Helen presses a buzzer, saying he talks too much. She keeps pressing the button and he says she should have that seen to. He departs, taking what appears to be a fire extinguisher from the wall. As he passes Joseph C and Trevor, he snatches a lemonade dispenser from Joseph’s hands.

Strange chap,” Joseph remarks. Yes, yes he is.

Ace and her alien friend are chased by Fifi. Ace throws a canister of nitro-9 at Fifi and there’s an explosion.

Kandy Man is still stuck to the floor and seems to be having trouble moving altogether. He demands Gilbert help him. Gilbert says that, since his joints are made out of soft candy, they need constant movement to keep from coagulating. “You’re turning into a slab of toffee. I saw this problem at the planning stage. And then I realised what the solution was.”

When Kandy Man asks what the solution is, Gilbert says he forgot. I like Gilbert. He’s played by the awesomely named Harold Innocent (that’s his real name, too, how cool is that) whom had a career spanning many films – Brazil, Without a Clue, Henry V to name a few.

Harmonica and The Doctor reunite, and the bluesman/psych student tells the Time Lord about the protestors being pinned down by sniper fire (from the two male guards we saw earlier complaining about the weapons they get vs the ones the women get.) The Doctor heads off to deal with the snipers.

The snipers say the protestors have all gone to ground, but then The Doctor arrives. One takes sight on him, but the other argues, saying he’s not a drone. While they argue, The Doctor disappears, and then arrives on the balcony with them.

The Doctor challenges the man, telling him to pull the trigger on him, but he can’t bring himself to do it up close. The Doctor takes the gun from him and throws it away.

Ace’s friend HP member is sentenced to death; again, the patrol is dismissed, to the confusion of the sentenced. Helen A presses the button for the fondant surprise, but Kandy Man is still stuck.

Gilbert asks if he should perform it, but Kandy Man demands that he get him unstuck. Gilbert ignores him, pulling the levers.

In the pipes, Ace and her escort fall down a ‘doom pipe’.

The Doctor arrives at the Kandy Kitchen, mocking him, saying he needs to smile. The Doctor agrees to unstick him if he agrees to divert the flow. He sprays Kandy Man’s feet with the fire extinguisher and they come free.

Helen A watches the video, urging for the execution to hurry, when Joseph C walks in, saying Trevor has some questions. She tries to dismiss them.

Ace and her friend come down the slide into the room sentenced HP. Ace ends up on the table with her.

Kandy Man pulls levers and in the execution chamber, only a little glob of foam plops out in front of Ace and the girl.

Helen A rants how they’ll pay for this and only when they beg for the pipe will she oblige them.

No,” interrupts Trevor, “you can’t.” When Helen questions what he means, he explains, “Constitutional rules of the system. When the mechanics of an execution malfunction, the aforeset execution may not be repeated.” He does clarify, when she glares at him, that an “alternative execution may be substituted.”

Kandy Man says while he is a “Kandy Man of his word”, their agreement is over, “and now it is time to kill you.” The Doctor was expecting this and pulls out the lemonade, praying Kandy Man’s feet.

Again, Kandy Man is left screaming for Gilbert, stuck.

Ace and her friend are brought before Helen A, who says they’ll be sent to the Late Show at the Forum. When Ace doesn’t understand, she’s told it’s the auditions for the Happiness Patrol.

Joseph comes in and takes a picture of Ace.

Harmonica and The Doctor play music (harmonica and spoons, respectively) when they see posters for the Late Show being put up with “Ace Sigma” on them. Knocking at the gate, they find out the show is in five minutes. (Attendance is compulsory, so putting up posters is just for appearances.)

The Doctor sends Harmonica to fetch the protestors and bring them to the Forum. While The Doctor banters with the ticket-taker or whatever he’s supposed to be, a HP girl comes up and paints RIP over the face of another girl who was scheduled to be in the Late Show.

Oh dear,” the ticket-taker says, “Doesn’t look like for Daphne S went down too well, does it?” The Doctor looks worriedly at Ace’s poster… and the credits roll.

Not a bad cliffhanger but not a terribly gripping one, either.

Friday, here we come!

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