Recap: Investigating a mysterious house, The Doctor and Ace find some alien presence in a stone spaceship down below. The Doctor has arranged for the entity to be free, though it is unknown what the nature of it truly is…

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

A being steps out of the brilliant light, seemingly a robed male figure.

Josiah runs off, The Doctor calling after him to come back.

The Doctor tries to greet the being, who walks past him as he isn’t even there.

The Inspector descends the stairs, asking what it is. Ace tells him it’s an angel. The Doctor corrects her, saying that’s just its form here. It was sent to study life on Earth a long time ago, but while it slept, the survey went out of control.

Control is me,” Control hisses.

And the survey is Josiah,” The Doctor adds.

Light asks Control how long it/he has been asleep. Control pleads with The Doctor to remember their agreement, that he promised Control “freeness”.

Light also asks why it is in this form, but before anyone can answer, one of the maids tries to shoot him, so he kills it and warns everyone their weapons do not work. Josiah and his maids rush upstairs to get away.

The Doctor tries to assure Light he’s still on Earth, but Light replies as if he’s left there already. He complains that he catalogued every organism on Earth and when he was done, it all began to change.

That’s life,” The Doctor replies.

Light summons Control, his voice dark and growly instead of soft and almost musical as it has been thus far. Control and the Inspector are listening at the door, which opens on its own accord. The Inspector scampers off.

How many more millennia must I suffer your company,” Light asks Control.

He demands of her if this is Earth, but she says The Doctor was promised freeness. Light says it is not his to promise. Light and The Doctor join in some mental conflict, but The Doctor manages to resist and Light disappears.

Josiah addresses his cadre, “Nothing will delay my plans for the Empire. With Luck, Light and The Doctor will be at each others’ throats before they even notice.” He then tells Gwendolyn that it’s time for “Miss Ace” to “leave us”.

I’m sure she’ll enjoy Java, Uncle… once she gets there,” Gwendolyn replies.

Insects are everyone in the house. Control moves about, grabbing them and eating. Fenn-Cooper arrives, offering her some beads, which she snatches from his hand. “Now we trade words,” he says.

Light consults his computers, but the world he sees he says cannot be Earth. A maid walks by and he beckons to her. She approaches. He says he needs her assistance and she drops to her knees as he looms over her, gesturing. She looks as if she’s in pain.

The Doctor and Ace wander, stopping when they hear a clatter. The Doctor says it’s their imaginations. Ace says it seems as if the whole house is coming alive and The Doctor says it is and asks if she finds it invigorating. She says no and he tries to ask if it reminds her of her experience in 1983, but before she gets mad, he says it’s none of his business.

She gets a bit whiny and he offers her the TARDIS key, saying she can always wait for him there. She says that’s the easy way out, which is what he expected/wanted.

He walks off, but Ace finds she can’t move, and when she can, he’s nowhere to be found. All the stuffed animals start making noises, and she cries out it wasn’t her fault, they’re all dead, she couldn’t help it.

Briefly, there’s modern blue lights and the siren of a police cruiser flashing, then it fades as Gwendolyn arrives to says she wants her to come to Java.

Control is trying to dress up and be ladylike while Fenn-Cooper prattles on about attractive women. The Doctor arrives to see if she’s having fun and she accuses him of trying to take away her freeness.

He says he’s here to help and ask her to help. Control runs and leaps out the window.

The Doctor laments that even he cannot play this many games at once. Fenn-Cooper suggests he help him with his hunt, then, but The Doctor says he doesn’t have time. Fenn-Cooper tells him he’s hunting the rarest of creatures, the “Crowned Saxe-Coburg”.

The Doctor is suddenly intrigued, and Fenn-Cooper gives him a sheet of paper that seems to prove it. The Time Lord wonders who is sponsoring the expedition. The answer is, of course, Josiah.

Ace is chased by Gwendolyn and a maid. They enter a room, and struggle, while the maid stands guard. Outside, The Doctor and Fenn-Cooper walk and talk.

Inside, Control enters the room and helps Ace (maybe not really help, but ends up struggling with Gwendolyn, which helps Ace.) They escape and Ace shoves the maid inside with Gwendolyn.

Nimrod finds Light standing over the body of the serving maid; “I wanted to see how it works,” Light says, “so I dismantled it.” He says he needs another specimen.

Light recognises Nimrod; he was the last specimen taken, a representative of the neanderthal race. “At least they knew when to stop evolving,” Light remarks.

Then, his demeanor changes, as he demands to know who released him from his quarantine cubicle. Nimrod answers that Josiah did and he is in his service.

Light is distracted by some microbes, which he says are evolving as he speaks. This upsets him, and he says his catalogue of the planet is worthless, centuries of work wasted.

The Inspector enters, looking for The Doctor and Light renders him unconscious saying, “We don’t want things to change and we’ll ensure that they cannot.”

Ace dashes into a bedroom, where she finds Control hiding under a blanket. Control says she hates freeness, hates world, too big, too empty. Ace and Control talk and Ace tells her that she needs to beat Josiah at his own game.

Gwendolyn and her maid break down the door to the room they were locked in.

OH HOLY SHIT, NO THEY DIDN’T. Yup. Remember what I said in the first post about the rain in Spain? Yup, Ace is getting Control to say “the rain in Spain falls mainly down the drain.” Too funny!

Gwendolyn enters just then, and she and Ace begin struggling again. Control watches but doesn’t interfere. Fenn-Cooper and The Doctor enter, breaking up the fight. The Doctor picks up Gwendolyn’s locket which has fallen off in the fight and it shows her and her mother – Mrs Pritchard!

Showing the locket to Gwendolyn causes her to go into a fugue-like state. Fenn-Cooper tries to defend the girl, saying she was hypnotised, but The Doctor says she enjoyed sending people to Java too much for him to forgive her.

Ace says Control has something to show Josiah. Control says, “No longer hiding,” and The Doctor replies, “Good. Just in time for dinner.”

At the dinner table Josiah waits with his serving maids. The Doctor, Fenn-Cooper, Ace and Control arrive and Josiah is upset at the latter’s presence. Control, bolstered by Ace’s support, says in a refined voice, “Control has her freedom now, squire.”

Josiah is upset and demands to know where Gwendolyn is. Control replies, “Better orf wiv’out you, guv’nor.”

Josiah addresses the Time Lord, “You win this move, Doctor, but I will not suffer that creature at my table.” Fenn-Cooper speaks up for Control, “That’s no way to speak about a ladylike.”

Ace interrupts, “Oi, Jungle Jim, I’m here, too, ya know.”

The Doctor asks, “Who was it said that Earthmen never invite their ancestors around for dinner? Oh, that reminds me,” and he shows Lady Pritchard the locket. The spell seems to be broken on her and she rushes off.

The Doctor warns Ace not to eat the soup. He then tells Josiah this was a trap, but says the guest of honour has let him down. Josiah replies, “Light will come.”

Lady Pritchard goes to Gwendolyn’s room, saying they were so happy once. She brings up her father, who was sent to Java by Gwendolyn’s actions. Lady Pritchard says they both are lost.

When Gwendolyn asks, “What have I done,” Light appears and says she changed, “Like the rest of this verminous planet, you adapted to your situation to survive.” Nimrod enters the room and watches as Light turns the women into stone. “They never harmed you,” the butler protests.

I really like Nimrod. I wasn’t expecting to.

Light proclaims, “I’ve decided Earth’s future,” and disappears in a flash.

At dinner, The Doctor asks Josiah about his plan to kill Queen Victoria. Ace scoffs, thinking it’s a joke. Josiah asks whom he’s been talking to. “Myself, mostly,” is The Doctor’s serious reply.

Josiah says the Empire is “an anarchic mess”, but he can provide new order. The Doctor says that Josiah doesn’t have an invitation to the palace.

Fenn-Cooper stands up, “I am allowed to take a guest,” and he walks past Josiah to Control, who rises, asking him to take her now that she’s “proper ladylike now”.

Josiah walks over, saying they’ve agreed. Fenn-Cooper says, “I’ve given up on Redvers long ago. All he ever does is talk about himself,” and he gives the invite to Control.

Now that is funny, clever dialogue.

Josiah tries to snatch it from her, but Control says it’s hers or she burns it. He rants, saying he’s a man of property. Control says she’ll burn the whole house down and walks to the fireplace, threatening to put the invitation in it.

Ace suddenly cries out, “No, Control, don’t do it, that’s what I did!” The Doctor turns to her, saying she didn’t tell him that. She yells that he’s not her probation officer and says he doesn’t have to know anything. She burnt the house down because of the evil left behind by Josiah.

Control throws the invitation into the fire and Josiah cries.

Light appears, saying he’s going to reduce Earth into primordial soup, like he did with Inspector MacKenzie – who is apparently the soup at the table that The Doctor kept telling Ace not to touch.

Light says that wouldn’t stop the evolution, so he’s going to destroy all organic life in a firestorm. (There’s no such thing as non-organic life, at least not on Earth…)

He says once the world is destroyed there will be no more change, no more evolution, no more life, “No more amendments to my catalogue.”

The Doctor agues that Light evolves, too. He changes, he alters. The Doctor points out that his appearance now is new from his past. He also says Light’s catalogue is not complete, “What about the gryffons, the basilisks? You missed the dragons, the bandersnatches!” The Doctor leaves, walking into the main hall, talking all the while. “Then there are the slithy toves and the crowned Saxe-Coburg.”

He snaps his fingers and, right on time, Light appears, demanding to know where these items are. He scans through his catalogue, but cannot find them.

I can’t think how you missed them,” The Doctor says, “You have to complete the catalogue before you can destroy all life here.”

Light calls out for Control, but The Doctor says she’s no use to him as she’s evolved now, too.

No,” Light cries out, “All slipping away.”

All is change, all is movement,” The Doctor counters. “Tell me, Light, haven’t you just changed your location?”

Not yet,” Light protests.

What’s a matter, Light, changed your mind?” (This is excellent and fun dialogue.)

You are endlessly agitating, unceasingly mischievous. Will you never stop,” Light demands.

I suppose I could… it would make a change,” The Doctor retorts.

Nimrod arrives and Light asks for his help, but Nimrod says his allegiance is to his homeworld.

Light laments that everything is in flux, nothing remains the same. The Doctor says that even remains change. “It’s this planet, it can’t help itself.”

Light says he will never change, “No change… dead.” and seemingly does so?

Nimrod warns The Doctor that Light initiated the firestorm program before dinner. The Doctor rushes below to fix it, Ace and Control and Fenn-Cooper and Nimrod with him.

Josiah grabs Ace from behind, demanding they turn off the power, holding a gun to Ace’s head. Control gestures, saying go back to where you belong and the gun explodes in his hand. She chains him up and drags him off, saying she will take care of him.

The others prepare for launch, though Ace is confused about the explosion – she was expecting nukes. Nimrod says they will redistribute the energy for launch. Fenn-Cooper is anxious to explore the universe to catalogue it.

Control remarks, “Doctor, something tells me you are not in our catalogue. Nor will you ever be.” The Doctor and Ace take their leave.

The Doctor tells Ace, who is worried about the ship launching, that it’s already gone, “Like a passing thought… as long as their minds don’t wander.”

Light stands, still, energy crackling form him. As Ace and The Doctor exit the lift, he disappears in a flash. Ace asks if he’s gone forever, and The Doctor replies that the house will remember, “Just the ghost of an evil memory lingering. A dark secret after the candle is out.”

Ace realises that it was his presence she sensed in 1983 and that’s why she burned it down. The Doctor asks if she has any regrets, to which she replies, “Yes.”

Yes?”

I wish I’d blown it up, instead,” she says, exuberantly.

The Doctor pauses, then says, “Wicked”… and the final credits roll.

This was a rather fun serial, a lot of clever dialogue and some fun characters. There are clumsy bits here and there, like most of the original run of the show, but all in all, a fun serial and one of the better ones all around, I should think.

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