Recap: On the Earth colony of Terra Alpha, Happiness is Mandatory. Ace has gotten herself into some serious trouble, being forced to audition for the Happiness Patrol at The Late Show at the Forum. Can The Doctor save her in time?

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

The HP march Ace in, saying it’s showtime.

The protestors continue their march, as Helen A watches them on the video, critiquing them for being depressing. She orders HP section F to prepare a “large scale disappearance” for them. Fifi seems to have survived the explosive attack from Ace.

The Doctor learns that Ace is, in fact, in the show, under a “miracle survival act”.

Helen A unwraps Fifi’s bandages, saying she’s all mended and they will overcome all their challenges and make this world a happy place, no matter what. “But, first, a little harmless revenge. You take the vermin in the pipe, I’ll take the vermin at the Forum.”

The Doctor sits outside the Forum, waiting. Over the PA, a woman announces, “This is a public happiness announcement. A depression is moving towards Forum Square. The proper authorities will restore harmony and peace.”

Trevor joins The Doctor on the stairs. He says he’s leaving Terra Alpha, handing over a roll of paper to The Doctor. Trevor says he’s going to Earth next, “Have you been there?”

Once or twice,” The Doctor replies.

Miserable sort of place,” Trevor says.

The Doctor looks up, “You’re making me feel nostalgic. Wait a minute,” he says regarding the list, “You can’t give them these names, I know them – Harold V, Silas P, they might have lived here once -”

Trevor interjects, “They’ve disappeared, I know. Strange, isn’t it?”

The Doctor asks and discovers it’s been six months since Trevor last came to Terra Alpha. The Doctor realises the list he holds is that of the disappeared, all within the past six months. It’s a very long list which he unfurl down the steps and beyond.

The HP patrol stops, and Priscilla wants to go after a Killjoy, but Gilbert (not sure why he’s there) says they have to “save it for the drones” and he orders the car to move on.

Still outside the Forum, The Doctor waits. There’s a mic on a stand there, which I don’t recall from before. He takes it and starts singing “As Time Goes By” (from CASABLANCA, surely you know that, right? RIGHT?)

He sets the mic down and hears Harmonica play the notes in response. He tells The Doctor that the drones are on their way.

Helen A puts Fifi down into the pipes.

The natives march through the pipes.

The Doctor is waiting as the Happiness Patrol arrives with Ace and the other girl. The Doctor shouts how happy he is to see Ace. The head HP girl says she’s glad he’s happy, but wishes him a nice death as she levels her gun at him.

The Doctor laughs, almost maniacally, saying it’s all right, they can’t shoot a happy man. He goes on about how happy he is and they have no power over him as such. He tells them that he and the drones are having a ball.

The drones come in, shedding their shrouds. Streamers fall from above as everyone starts laughing and rejoicing.

The HP section sent after the drones arrive, but The Doctor tells them they can’t do anything either. “You can’t go down in the history of the galaxy as a bunch of party poopers!”

He points out that the only Killjoys in the square are the other group of HP. (We finally learn that Ace’s friend is Susan Q – ahah, Suzie Q? – as The Doctor points out that she and Ace are happy to see him.)

On cue, the two girls start laughing and join the drones. The two groups of HP point their guns at each other as The Doctor, Ace and Susan Q hijack the HP vehicle.

Helen A and Joseph C are in the execution room, when they hear an announcement of “Happiness will prevail. Chaos in Forum Square. Fighting has broken out in the ranks of the Happiness Patrol itself. Happiness will prevail.”

This makes Helen very not happy. She complains that no matter how hard she tries, something like this always happens. She leaves the leash for Fifi with Joseph, saying she has to go deal with things.

The natives are still running through the pipes.

The Doctor stops the vehicle and slips down into the pipes, saying he’s going to the top.

At the waiting zone, Priscilla P has her gun on one of the arrested HP members, telling her to keep playing the game. She does, but argues that the game is for Killjoys, and she is not one.

Helen comes up on the game screen, telling Priscilla to release Daisy K. Priscilla argues, “But she’s a Killjoy, I arrested her myself!” Daisy walks off as Helen tells Priscilla, “You’re in the waiting zone, wait.”

In the pipes, The Doctor and crew meet up with the natives. They hear the howling of Fifi, which The Doctor identifies as a Stigorax, saying he met one in Birmingham in the 25th century.

They all run.

Daisy K reports to Helen A, who says that the factories are safe from the rebels who are marching on them, and upon learning that The Doctor is believed to be in the pipes, says Fifi will deal with him.

The Doctor, Harmonica, Ace and Susan arrive in the area where the crystalised sugar is. He sends the girls to the far end, then asks Harmonica for an A-flat.

Fifi howls as she hunts them down.

The Doctor has Harmonica play a variety of notes. Fifi howls in response, getting closer. When she finally arrives, her howls set off an avalanche of sugar.

Joseph C hears the rumbling.

Helen A hears a report that that guards at a sugar plant are working with the drones to destroy it. When Daisy questions about the public riots and unrest, Helen says they need a fighter, someone loyal and knows the streets. They agree on Priscilla P.

At the waiting zone, Priscilla has been taken captive by Harmonica and Susan.

Seeing this on the video, Helen calls the Kandy Man, telling him to get The Doctor, but the confectionery construct says it won’t be necessary, as The Doctor “has just popped in.”

The Doctor and Ace climb out of the pipe access, the former introducing the latter to Kandy Man. He says she’s “An expert in calorification, incineration, carbonization and inflammation.”

I beg your pardon,” Kandy Man asks.

She’s come to look at your oven.”

Ace and The Doctor taunt him, keeping him distracted. He has the attention span of a child who ate too much… wait for it… wait for it… candy! (I are funny.)

Ace holds Kandy Man back with a red hot poker. They open the oven, which erupts with flame. Kandy escapes through the pipes.

Susan Q shoots down the piped music. The Doctor and Ace come out as Harmonica calls out to him, rejoicing in the silence, but The Doctor says he can hear an empire crumbling.

The natives are in the kitchen, messing with everything, including the levers. Red foamy sweetness fills the tubes.

Kandy Man is seen moving through the pipes, becoming more frantic.

Helen A orders Daisy to call the Kitchen, but there is no reply. On the video, the kitchen is empty.

In the execution room, the melted remains of the Kandy Man come down the chute. Joseph C and Gilbert M are standing there.

Close to the Kandy Man, were you,” Joseph asks.

I made him. Only his body, his mind was very much his own,” Gilber replies.

I certainly don’t recall the chap ever arriving,” Joseph remarks.

He was born in the Kandy Kitchen.”

Whereas you came from Vasilip, if memory serves,” Joseph continues.

Gilbert turns to Joseph, “I was exiled from Vasilip. I brought his bones here in a suitcase.”

Exiled, you say?”

I made a mistake,” Gilbert explains, “I ran the state laboratories. Without realising it, I invented a deadly new germ. The disease wiped out nearly half the population.”

Still,” Joseph remarks after a moment, “hardly your fault.” They regard the remains and Joseph asks, “Can’t you just pack him up and start again?”

Not this time, he’s better off this way. The Kandy Man’s gone.”

Daisy K find Helen packing a case and asks will she be away long. Helen prevaricates, asking why she would be leaving. Helen asks if anything is wrong and Daisy, staying with the official line that everyone is happy, says all is well.

The PA announces that 112 factories have now fallen to the rebels.

Helen insists all is well and she’s happy. Daisy is glad of this. Helen goes to another room and presses a button. “ESCAPE SHUTTLE READY” comes up on the video screen.

The Doctor leads Ace up out of the pipes as they hear a shuttle taking off.

We see the shuttle leaving the planet, entering orbit. Helen watches the view screen which tells her SHUTTLE IS IN ORBIT. Pressing a button, the face of Gilbert comes on screen.

It’s all working quite beautifully, Helen A, as you can see. A masterful piece of engineering, even though I say so myself.”

She accuses him of betraying her and asks how he got in her shuttle. It’s revealed that Joseph C is the one who let him in. The two take their shuttle off into space.

The Doctor enters Helen’s area, finding Daisy K pointing a gun at him. Susan Q and Harmonica come in another door, Susan shooting the gun out of Daisy’s hand. Ace comes up behind The Doctor, worried about the gunfire.

Helen makes her way through the corridors, warily.

Harmonica ties up Daisy; it seems the pink/purple hair is a wig, which is on the table. Susan Q destroys the “lift music” tapes and Harmonica plays his music over the PA.

Helen passes by the pink TARDIS, displeased at hearing the music. The Doctor confronts her, saying she can’t get away. She says there’s a scheduled flight in an hour and he can’t stop her.

He agrees, he can’t, “But it’s not me you’re running away from.” He says she’s running from herself and that’s why she can’t escape.

She tries to justify things, saying she gave them every chance to be happy. She says the executions and such came later because they wouldn’t listen to her. They insisted on being unhappy, on weeping.

When The Doctor asks if she ever feels like weeping, she denies it, saying it’s unnecessary. “And those who persisted had to be punished, for the good of the majority, for those who wanted to be happy, wanted to take the opportunities I gave them.”

He asks what the opportunities were, a bag of sweets, bland music? He says they don’t make her happy, either, because they’re cosmetic.

Happiness is nothing unless it exists side by side with sadness,” he tells her.

She says he can keep his sadness, she’ll go somewhere else, where people are happy and hold back tears.

You mean a place without love,” he accuses her.

I always thought love was overrated,” she returns.

Walking away from him, Helen A sees Fifi, lying, hurt, possibly dying. She breaks into tears, falling to her knees at Fifi’s side, cradling the Stygorax.

Ace asks if they should do something, but The Doctor merely replies, “Tis done.”

Later, goodbyes are said. Harmonica says he’ll be staying to teach the blues. Ace is just finishing up painting the TARDIS blue again. Watching the others walk off, Susan and Harmonica and the natives, Ace asks if they’ll be all right.

Happiness will prevail,” he replies… and the final credits roll.

A pretty fun serial. I thought the Kandy Man was unnecessary and too silly, really. I did like the concept and the Happiness Patrol and the politics and Trevor and much of it.