Archives for category: Cybermen

I originally watched this back in February 2012; that was a LOOSE CANNON fan reconstruction, as two of the episodes were missing.  Two years later, they released it on DVD with the missing episodes redone through animation (and the original audio track.)

If you want a play-by-play of the episodes, read my original entry here.  This will be a much shorter post with just some thoughts on the new production and whatever pops in my head.

The first episode is one of the lost ones, so it’s animated.  The animation is the same style done in THE POWER OF THE DALEKS (also a Second Doctor serial, in fact, his first) – it’s not the best, but I don’t mind it.  It works.  It’s done in black and white, like the remaining video is.

Early on, we exposed to how stupid some writers thought Polly should be; they arrive on the Moon and she thinks The Doctor got them to Mars, as promised.  (I seem to recall that, in some serials, Polly was especially stupid, and in others, wasn’t stupid at all and actually quite useful.)

The second episode is video; it repeats the ending of the first, and we see a Cyberman carry out one of the patients from the sickbay.  Polly walks in and sees it, uttering a scream.  The Cyberman exits before others come in behind Polly, so they don’t see it.

She claims it was a Cyberman, but Hobson, the head of the Moonbase dismisses the claim, saying that was a thing of the past.  (Ben and Polly, of course, were the First Doctor’s companions during the introduction of The Cybermen.)  It’s interesting that the original show didn’t have Earth people continually forget every time there was an invasion of aliens.  It’s one of the few things about the new run that I really don’t like.

Some very silly shit happens in this episode, like The Doctor taking off a man’s boot while he’s busy working, trying to fix the malfunctioning weather control device.

Jamie, who’s taken a blow to the head (and is in the sickbay, as a result) is “fever-dreaming” of “the phantom piper”, some sort of Grim Reaper for him.  He sees a Cyberman twice during his less than lucid phase, thinking it’s said Grim Reaper.

Episode three is animated.  The voices of The Cybermen are really hard to understand, so I’m grateful for the subtitle function on the DVD.

Jamie and Ben argue, seemingly trying to impress Polly… and then when they go off to use Polly’s idea (acetone on The Cybermen), Ben tells her, “this is men’s work.”  Good for her, though, she ignores him.  (This episode is one where she’s more useful than others.)

Obviously, this was before gold/gold dust was determined to be the weakness of The Cybermen; they refer that radiation was used against them the first time, but this story they use a “Polly cocktail” of various chemicals, sprayed on the chest units of The Cybermen.

The animation gets a little cheaper/poorer quality in a couple scenes this episode.  Guess the budget got a bit tight.

Episode 4 is original video; it opens with The Cybermen marching across the surface of the Moon towards the Moonbase.  It’s a great scene… doesn’t compare to the CGI’d masses of Cybermen we get nowadays, but it’s still quite effective.

Apparently, travel time from Earth to the Moon in 2070 is just a matter of hours.  I look forward to that!

Anyhow, a fun serial with some significant flaws (common to the first several years of the show, sadly.)

 

Advertisements

Recap: In 1638, The Doctor sent a statue comprised of Gallifrey metal into space. In 1988, it has returned. The Cybermen, Fourth Reich Nazis and an evil sorceress from the 17th century are all after it. The Cybermen have the statue and its arrow, they need only the bow to complete it – and The Doctor and Ace have the bow.

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

Ace asks what they can do; The Doctor says their best move is “to go to the crypt, unarmed, with the bow.” He says they need to activate the statue. Ace is reluctant to go, but agrees.

In the crypt, the Reichleader tries to bargain with the Cyberleader. The leader throws gold dust at the Cyberleader, but it doesn’t seem to have the lethal effect he was hoping for.

It turns out that Reichleader’s assistant has turned on him, handing over his leader (and presumably sabotaging the gold dust) in exchange to be made a Cyberman. (He says that the giants are the true master race and he wants to be one.)

The Cyberleader orders for the two of them to “be programmed at once” and sends his men to fetch the bow and kill The Doctor.

Lady Peinforte says she doesn’t understand why Richard continues to serve and protect her, when she does nothing but treat him unkindly.

Richard says they have no more weapons, but she says she has her knowledge and that is weapon enough.

En route, Ace confesses to The Doctor that she’s “really, really scared” and he offers to send her back to the TARDIS, but she refuses. They arrive at the crypt, but then the tape runs out on her ghetto blaster (unknown to them) and the Cybermen regain communication.

The Fourth Reichleader challenges the Cyberleader’s plans, saying they still don’t have the bow. When they say they will soon have it, the Reichleader says The Doctor “is no common adversary, do you think he’s going to walk in and simply hand it over?”

Just then, The Doctor and Ace walk in, the bow in his hand. He greets them, apologises for not being there. The Cyberleader tries to grab the bow, but in a stupid scene, they play keep away with the Cyberleader.

The Doctor makes it over to the statue and touches to bow to it, bringing it to life. While they’re distracted, The Doctor and Ace escape the Cybermen and Reichmen, heading back to the TARDIS.

The Doctor tells Ace that, now that the statue is alive, it will follow the bow.

The statue rises, there are great fireworks and explosions and a scream in the heavens.

Hearing the scream, Lady Peinforte says that Nemesis is come alive and shall be hers.

The TARDIS dematerialises.

Lady Peinforte goes on about how “all power, past, present and future” shall be hers. She gets megalomaniacal, especially when Richard suggests finding shelter. “How dare you! I shall lead and you shall follow,” she rages at him.

Back in 1638, The Doctor considers the chess board while Ace asks what they’re doing there again. He says he doesn’t want the mathematician’s calculations to fall into the wrong hands.

At the same time, she asks about the chess game and he says black is losing. He makes a move, then walks to the other side of the board. She asks if the same person who stole the bow in 1788 was the one who took the mathematician’s notes.

How should I know, Ace? Questions, questions,” he replies, making a move for the other side of the game.

Ace asks who brought the validium to Earth in the first place. The Doctor makes a couple moves, resulting in a checkmate and win for black. He says it’s time to go, instructing Ace to bring some gold coins.

Having watched a young man hitchhike, Richard tells Lady Peinforte he can acquire a “steed” for them. He goes hitchhiking, but the first several cars pass him by.

The Doctor and Ace return to where the asteroid was cut open, saying the statue will be there shortly. He works on calculations while Ace gets ready with her slingshot and gold coins.

There’s a cute interchange where he reminds her no more explosions, and she quips, “And I’m a better person, as a result, Doctor.” One of the few times she doesn’t call him ‘Professor’.

As Richard continues to fail at hitchhiking, Lady Peinforte sits, murmuring how all will be hers. Finally, she steps out in traffic to flag down a car. They get a ride.

It turns out that the Reich assistant didn’t betray his leader, it was a scam. A ploy to stay alive, it seems.

At the hangar, the statue returns to the asteroid, landing atop it, next to The Doctor. He gives it the bow and it takes it from him.

Richard and Lady Peinforte ride in the limo, where the passenger tries to chat them up. She says she’s there to check out her “roots”. Richard thinks she’s talking about crops.

The statue says, “I am beautiful, am I not,” and Ace replies that she is. The statue says she has had many forms, many of which would horrify her. She says she is whatever she is made to be – since Lady Peinforte called her Nemesis, “I am retribution.”

The woman in the limo tells Richard that she’s traced her family back to this area, dating to the 1600s. Lady Peinforte leans over, “All things will soon be mine.” I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this episode before, as I recall this sequence.

Cybermen enter the hangar, firing at Ace, who runs up a balcony and fires a gold coin into the lead Cyberman’s chest unit. The Cyberleader sends the others to destroy her.

Lady Peinforte says she knows the woman’s family, calling them “thieves and swindlers”. The woman replies, “You studied history?” They start comparing notes, the woman thinking that Lady Peinforte has “researched my family!!”

Ace takes out some more Cybermen with gold coins. Others fire on her, but they’ve been assimilated from Stormtroopers, it seems. Ace is pursued further back and loses her bag of coins.

The Doctor has placed the statue back in the asteroid/rock/whatever, planning to send it on course towards the Cyberfleet.

Ace is in the rafters of the hangar, running from pursuit. The Cyberleader and and two Cybermen surround her, and she has only one coin left, but she manages to shoot one and duck as the other two shoot each other. One of them (the Cyberleader?) falls to the ground below.

The Doctor pulls up the Cyberfleet to see how they’re progressing and sees that they’re “right on course”. Nemesis asks what is she to do after destroying the Cyberfleet. He tells her “Reform.”

You will need me in the future,” the statue says.

I hope not.”

That is what you said before,” she reminds him.

Enough,” he cuts her off.

And after this, will I have my freedom,” she asks.

Not yet.”

When?”

I told you when,” he says, taking her bow, “things are still imperfect.”

Two Cybermen approach him, but he tricks them into standing behind the rocket (using the bow as bait) as the burners test fire, catching them both in the flames (as well as the bow.)

Up on the rafters, a Cyberman removes the coin from his chest, seems he’s not quite dead, yet. (My guess is Cyberleader.)

The Fourth Reich (all two of them, guess they didn’t want to pay the extras for more than the first two episodes) arrive and take the bow. Guess it wasn’t burnt/melted. The Doctor stands by as the Reichleader stands over the statue, talking to her. She ignores him, but he says it is time to leave.

The Cyberleader (yep, was him) arrives and shoots Reichleader, demanding the bow or he will shoot Ace. Ace grabs the bow, but just then Lady Peinforte and Richard arrive. Lady Peinforte goes on about time and power and space.

The Cyberleader says she is insane. When Ace argues that Nemesis belongs to The Doctor, she says if she has the bow, that is all that matters. Lady Peinforte then tells the Cyberleader that he is nothing, that only The Doctor counts, and even he is just a pawn in her game.

Listen, you old bag, The Doctor’s just not going to give you the bow,” Ace tells Lady Peinforte. “Tell her, Doctor,” she implores him.

As you can imagine, The Doctor doesn’t tell her. He looks over at Lady Peinforte, who says, “Doctor WHO? Have you never wondered where he came from? Who he is?”

Ace replies that nobody knows who The Doctor is. Lady Peinforte says that she does. The Doctor seems rather uncomfortable at this. Lady Peinforte says that the statue told her, and The Doctor’s discomfort grows.

All right, so what? He’s a Time Lord, I know that,” Ace retorts.

Well, Doctor,” Lady Peinforte replies, looking at him.

If I give you the bow,” he asks.

Your power becomes mine, but your secrets remain your own.”

He turns to Ace, “It’s all over, Ace, my battle, all my battles.” He says he can only surrender, but not to Lady Peinforte, and hands the bow to the Cyberleader.

When Lady Peinforte says she knows his secrets, The Doctor says, “Very well, tell them.”

I shall tell them of Gallifrey, tell them of the old time. The time of chaos.” She pauses and he tells her, “be my guest.”

She begins to go on, but the Cyberleader says the secrets of the Time Lords mean nothing to the Cybermen. The Doctor addresses Lady Peinforte, “Thank you for coming to the 20th century and giving me assistance. Thank you for bringing the arrow. You may go now.”

Lady Peinforte is most upset at being spoke to in such a fashion.

You had the right game,” he tells her, “but the wrong pawn. Check.”

Enough, Doctor,” the Cyberleader interjects. He orders The Doctor to cancel the destructive capabilities of the statue. The Doctor takes the bow, handing it to the statue, “Do you understand the Cyberleader’s instructions,” he asks it.

Perfectly,” the statue replies.

Ace begs him not to surrender.

The Cyberleader destroys Ace’s tape and goes on about how the Cyberfleet will convert Earth into a new Mondas. He tells The Doctor that he will allow him to live long enough to see the fleet arrive.

Lady Peinforte screams and leaps into the asteroid-rocket, merging with Nemesis. The rocket launches into space. On the ghetto blaster, they watch the rocket’s progress.

The rocket approaches the fleet and explodes, destroying the entire Cyberfleet. The Cyberleader levels his gun at The Doctor, but Richard grabs an arrow stuck in the TARDIS and stabs it into the heart of the Cyberleader (well the heart of his respiration unit), killing him.

The Doctor thanks him and offers him a lift back to his proper time, which delights Richard to no end.

Later, in 1638, Ace and The Doctor are playing chess; she has realised that when he sent Nemesis off into space, he planned all along for the Cybermen to be here so he could finish them off.

She says there’s still one question he hasn’t answered, but just then Richard and a woman with a lute arrive. He says they may not have this “jazz”, but he thinks he will like this. Richard takes out a flute/recorder and plays with the woman.

The Doctor smiles, listening, as Ace asks, whispering, “Professor, Doctor, who are you?”

The Doctor lifts one finger to his lips in a ‘shhh’ motion… and the final credits roll.

Yes, I’d seen this last episode, if not all three, before. Pretty good, but showing a more manipulating side of The Doctor. Can’t say it’s a bad thing, I’ve liked when The Doctor’s darker side shows through.

Recap: 350 years after he sent it away from Earth, a statue returns. It’s a powerful artifact that a sorceress from 1638, a group of Fourth Reich Nazis and the Cybermen are all after. What more do you need to know?

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

The lead Cyberman cyber-recognises (what? Oh, I’m doing it again…) The Doctor, something that’s never happened before when he has a new incarnation. However, it seems they expected him.

The Fourth Reich soldiers open fire on the Cybermen. I’m sure you can guess how well that goes. The Cybermen fire back. The Doctor and Ace take cover while the firefight ensues.

Lady Peinforte shoots a Cyberman with an arrow, which strikes in the chest, and is surprised when it doesn’t go down… but then it does, just belatedly.

The Fourth Reich leader picks up one of her arrows (she missed, another time, apparently. It landed near him, so I’m not sure of the reasoning behind that.) The arrow is gold-tipped – thus the delayed reaction of the effect!

More Cybermen go down due to Lady Peinforte’s arrows. Her man, Richard, is praying, but she tells him to get up, saying they’ll let the two factions destroy each other and take Nemesis for themselves.

The Doctor examines a fallen Cyberman and sees the arrowhead is gold. When Ace goes to touch it, he warns her that it’s been dipped in poison, saying it’s Lady Peinforte’s “calling card”.

Lady Peinforte and Richard spy The Doctor and Ace; she recognises him. The Doctor grabs the silver bow from the case (why the Fourth Reich leader left it laying there, I don’t get) and run off, escaping in the TARDIS.

The Fourth Reich leader sends a man to fetch the bow case, not realising it’s been taken. The Reich men run off and the Cybermen regroup. The lead Cyberman cyber-learns that The Doctor and his companion took the bow, and that Lady Peinforte is there, responsible for killing the Cybermen with arrows.

Lady Peinforte and Richard walk into town. He’s surprised that there are people there, for some reason.

The Cybermen cut into the asteroid.

The Doctor and Ace return to 1638 Windsor; the body is gone. The Doctor finds a piece of paper, saying the mathematician was a genius, but he needed some help to get started in the right direction. The Time Lord takes the paper and burns it in the fireplace.

Ace says she doesn’t like that place and wants to go. The Doctor moves a chess piece (having noticed that the pieces had been moved since their last visit) and they leave.

The Cybermen have cut around the statue and move the rock-encrusted statue into their ship.

Some punks follows Lady Peinforte and Richard in town.

The Cybership flies through the sky.

The Fourth Reich leader prepares some gold dust.

The TARDIS returns to modern day (presumably), and The Doctor and Ace exit. The Time Lord explains that validium was used as a defense for Gallifrey, created by Rassilon, and was never meant to leave his world.

They set off, using the silver bow to be directed to the validium.

The Cybership lands, between trees and a field.

The punks confront Lady Peinforte and Richard. They try to rob them. Richard is not amused.

The silver bow leads The Doctor and Ace to a castle. The Cybermen are set up inside, and are aware of the “remaining validium” approaching.

The two punks are dangling from a tree by their ankles, gagged, blindfolded and bound. Their clothes are burning in a fireplace.

The Doctor and Ace try to use Ace’s ghetto blaster to jam the Cybermen’s communication signal.

The Cyberleader demands that they transmit to the fleet that they have the validium, but his subordinate argues that is not the complete truth as they don’t have the arrow or bow.

Ace’s jazz tape interferes with the Cybermen’s attempt to communicate with the fleet. The Cybermen are not pleased.

The Doctor and Ace find the punks, who say “social workers” did this to them.

Using the arrow to lead her, Richard and Lady Peinforte come to the location of Nemesis, which is part ofLady Peinforte’s estate. Richard whines to return to their proper time and she threatens him to shut up, reminding him if they are not successful in capturing Nemesis, she will leave him here.

He discovers his own grave site, as she explains she gave orders for him to be buried near her. It seems the ‘castle’ where the Cybermen are holed up is her burial… edifice?

Richard is startled by llama which are grazing in the yard. It seems her estate area is now a “safari park”.

Coming through the woods, The Doctor and Ace arrive and see Lady Peinforte and Richard enter ahead of them.

The Cybermen are outside, the Cyberleader saying that being faced with her own death will drive her mad. When they hear her shouting in anger, demanding to know where Nemesis is, the Cyberleader sends his Cybermen after them. Richard starts firing arrows, taking one down.

Outside the estate, the Fourth Reich leader says the estate is that of Lady Peinforte, a 17th century noblewoman. His assistant points out they saw a woman in 17th century garb firing arrows at the battle, but his boss tells him to shut up.

Spying the Cybership, The Doctor and Ace hide in the woods. Ace sneezes, alerting the two human agents who are keeping guard on the ship. (I do hate the sneezing to alert someone to their presence schtick. So fucking old.)

The Doctor asks if Ace might, despite his instructions to the contrary, have any Nitro-9 on her. “Of course not,” she says, “I’m a good girl, I do what I’m told.”

He tells her “to blow up that vehicle,” which brings a grin of childish delight on Ace’s features.

The Cybermen are forced to retreat after the Cyberleader’s CyberSecond CyberArgues that they must choose the course of safer action. (Sorry, doing it again.)

Lady Peinforte realises that Nemesis must be in her tomb. She tells Richard to help her open it.

The Doctor distracts the two goons so Ace can approach the ship. She throws in a backpack of Nitro-9 which completely obliterates the Cybership.

Seeing the explosion from afar, the Fourth Reich go to investigate.

Seeing the goons, the Cyberleader has the two men killed. Ace is horrified that the men were killed for her action.

They open the tomb, Richard asking where her bones are. “What matter,” she replies.

Ace confirms they’re still jamming the Cybersignal.

The Fourth Reich leader and his assistant approach the Cybermen, offering an alliance. He says the Cybermen are “giants”, and they are the “supermen” and are destined to work together. They agree to work together, the Reich taking care of the Lady Peinforte for them, and they will split Earth in two.

After the Reichmen leave, the Cyberleader gives the order to kill them once the arrow and bow are retrieved.

The ghetto box scanner shows the location where the signal is directed, but there’s nothing there. The Doctor says there has to be a force out there, because it’s 1988. He explains that the orbit of Nemesis brought it back every 25 years – 1913 (the eve of the first World War), 1938 (Hitler annexes Austria), 1963 (Kennedy Assassination).

Inside the tomb, Lady Peinforte appreciates the statue. Richard still goes on about her bones, but she says it is no matter. The Reich open fire on the tomb and enter. Richard throws the arrow in the tomb with the statue and drags Lady Peinforte off through a secret exit.

In the tomb, the statue comes to life, grabbing the arrow and clutching it close.

The Cyberleader enters, as the two Reich men plot what to do next. The Reich leader tells him to stay away, as he has Nemesis, and thus power of life and death over everything.

The Cyberleader asks where the bow is and the Reichleader opens the case, only to discover it is gone. (Yeah, I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t have checked before then. Hell, I still refuse to believe he would have left it laying in the middle of a battle.)

The Doctor mopes, holding the bow.

We see a red planet.

The Doctor mopes, and watching a chameleon, suddenly realises, “Of course, it’s so simple! They’re shrouded!” He goes to the scanner and fiddles with it, revealing thousands of Cyberwarships (his word, not mine), waiting… and the credits roll.

Decent enough cliffhanger, fell a little flat though.

And to Friday!

I believe I’ve seen this before. At least part of it. Pretty sure. Yeah.

Yeah.

Episode 1:

We open with, a rare thing, a location with a subtitled description – “South America 22nd November 1988”. A jeep is parked in front of a large white house. Well, it was, but then it drives off.

Inside, we see scrolls/maps. An old style phone. A… I wanna call it a trophy, as that’s the best I can describe it… with a swastika atop. “Ride of the Valkyries” is playing in the background. A man works at a computer on the far side of the desk where all the maps are strewn.

On the computer screen, the following is displayed, flashing and beeping:

LANDING LOCATION

WINDSOR

GRID REF: 74W 32N

NOVEMBER 23 1988

On a balcony, a white haired man stands, next to the old school phonograph player, listening to the Wagner music. A parrot cackles from a nearby tree. The old man pulls up a bow and arrow and takes aim, but he is interrupted by the man from the computer.

350 years earlier (as indicated by the subtitles WINDSOR, ENGLAND 1638) a woman takes aim and shoots an arrow at a bird, but misses by an inch. A man, kneeling at her side, praises her, but she looks disgusted. She storms off.

Inside, a man sits in a room with a boiling cauldron, poring over some notes, chuckling happily to himself. The woman from outside storms down the hallway, followed by her man, and they enter the room with the cauldron. She demands, “How much longer,” but her companion tells her that the man cannot hear her.

When he offers to address the man, she instructs her companion to leave. She says, “There’ll be time enough to punish his impertinence when he’s finished.”

She takes an arrow and gives it to her companion, who is reluctant to take it. She tells him the poison will only affect if the tip breaks the skin. “Let who will steal my gold,” she says, turning away from him.

And the silver arrow, my lady,” he asks.

Leave that… to me,” she replies. As she regards another arrow, she asks, “You’re sure the potion is well mixed?”

On my life, ma’am,” he answers. Oh. That doesn’t bode well.

She accepts his guarantee and says they await the calculation; throwing some money in front of the man (who is still working away, paying them no attention), she suggests perhaps that will expedite matters.

Back in South America, the white haired dude is now wearing a snazzy suit. He enters a room, upon which a group of men waiting there stand up. He greets them, wondering if even now, can they full appreciate the importance of this occasion.

The six men are all dressed in camouflage military uniforms. He tells them that they are “standing now at the turning point of history.” He goes on to talk about destiny, how fifty years ago he was there for a beginning, but this time they must not fail.

He takes a drink and toasts them, “Gentlemen, I give you the Fourth Reich.” Everyone present toasts in return, “The Fourth Reich.” That done, he says it is time to leave, and the men depart the room. He stops to take a small silver bow out of a case.

His lackey, the man from the computer, takes out a carrying case and the man places the bow in it. The lackey closes the case.

In outer space, not sure when as we don’t have subtitles this time, what appears to be an asteroid moves through space. It has a hole with a glowing core or something.

Back in 1638, the man working at the table tells his lady that he has finished. She demands he tell her immediately. “The comet, Nemesis, will circle the heavens once every twenty-five years. He says the trajectory is decaying.” She demands to know when it will land.

He says it will circle ever closer, eventually striking Earth at the point where it originally departed from, just outside the estate. Again, she demands to know when. “On the 23rd day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1988.”

We cut to a band playing jazz is a cafe/park area. The Doctor and Ace are seated at one of the tables. Ace reads a paper which has a headline of a meteor approaching England.

The Doctor’s alarm goes off on his fob watch. He says it’s a reminder, to change course to a certain destination, but he’s forgotten where. They head off to the TARDIS so he can find out, but someone opens fire on them.

They run, being shot at as they head to the TARDIS, and fall/jump into some water. Two goons wander by, looking about for them, but don’t see them.

The Doctor drags Ace out of the water.

Back in 1638, the man who’d been working on the calculations goes on about men in flying machines like birds. The woman throws paper down and tells her man to prepare to leave at once. Her man reminds her they need one final ingredient for their potion, human blood, and they both look at the old man.

The Doctor brings Ace’s tape deck out of the TARDIS; she wants to play a tape she bought at the jazz performance, but he says it’s more than a tape deck and there are more important things than her tape. It seems he’s going to use it to figure out what his reminder alarm was about.

As he tinkers with it, he tells her that the alarm is a serious one, an indication that some planet somewhere is facing termination. When calibrated, Ace’s tape deck (one he built for her after hers was destroyed by the Daleks, mind you) projects a holographic display, showing Earth as the planet in danger!

spoiler warning

Back in 1638, the lady and her man stand, each holding a goblet. She mocks him for being afraid. She orders him to have courage and drink. She does so, and then he does as well. Lights flicker, their voices grow echoing. She says they go to meet their destiny. He freaks out but she holds on to him, telling him not to break the aura.

They are surrounded by a nimbus of chaotic energy. They both scream as the world changes around them and they find themselves in her house in Windsor, which is now some sort of restaurant or cafe, and people are staring rather surprised at their sudden appearance.

Ace grouses, “So the world’s going to end and you’d forgotten about it.”

I’ve been busy,” The Doctor retorts.

How long have you known?”

He says that he’s known since 1638.

In space, something flies towards the Earth. If it’s the meteor/comet, it’s artificial, as it has propulsion jets.

The TARDIS materialises inside a cluttered room. The Doctor says they’re all presents and they have to search for a silver bow. He answers her questions, saying they’re in the vault at Windsor, and they’re not stealing only borrowing.

It’s probably treason! I’m too young to go to the Tower,” Ace protests. She gets some really wicked lines.

He reminds her that the safety of the world is at stake. It’s totally worth noting that he’s wearing a fez for much of this discourse and then places it on her head.

Nemesis smashes into the ground.

The Doctor tells Aces what the sound/shaking was. She’s amazed, but he says it’s no big deal, since he was the one who launched it into space in the first place.

This might qualify as the worst miscalculation since life crawled out of the seas on this sad planet,” he says, rather melodramatically.

Ace asks if this is the bow, seemingly having found something.

The Fourth Reich travel in a van. Their leader talks about not keeping history waiting, looking at the silver bow in its case in his lap. It seems they are no longer in South America.

Police arrive at Windsor to investigate the explosion/collision and the lady and her man smash a window to get out.

The van with the Fourth Reich comes to a stop. The leader says that Nemesis has come to ground there. When one of the men urges attacking and take it now, he tells them that there is a statue inside the meteor but it will be too hot for them to handle.

He says, since the English government is unaware of its power, they can allow them to guard it safely until the time is right to collect it. He tells the driver to go to the hotel so they may rest and prepare.

The Doctor says the bow was in the case, but isn’t there any longer. Ace reads that the bow disappeared in 1788, but legend has it that if a place is not kept for the bow, the statue Nemesis will return to Earth to destroy it.

The Doctor says that the legend isn’t wrong, as the statue has just returned.

The lights flicker in the vault, but Ace says it’s no big deal, it’s just the electricity, “it does that sometimes, even in the 1980s.” She asks how a statue can destroy the world, but he says he’ll tell her 350 years ago and he dashes off.

She returns the fez and follows him.

The TARDIS appears in Windsor, 350 years ago. They exit and poke about, and find the dead man (the one who did the calculations.) The Doctor tells Ace to hang back while he covers the body, not wanting her to see the corpse. (It’s funny, she’s so rough and tumble but he babies her so much at times.)

Ace asks who the house belongs to, and The Doctor replies that it’s Lady Peinforte’s house. Seeing the man’s calculations, The Doctor says he’s done very well in the few months since he’d launched the comet, figuring where and when it would return. “And Lady Peinforte’s rewarded him with her usual generosity.”

He explains that the bow belonged to a statue of Peinforte that she had made out of a silver metal that fell to Earth, landing in her meadow.

Ace gets nervous, but The Doctor assures her they’re alone, saying Peinforte is in the future.

The three policemen stand about the smoldering area where Nemesis landed. Peinforte (who is played by Fiona Walker, last seen in the show 24 years prior as Kala in the Hartnell serial THE KEYS OF MARINUS) and her man, Richard, watch as they call for reinforcements.

She is upset about this, but Richard reminds her that they know nothing of the power and even so, without the arrow, it is nothing. (She has the arrow in hand. So, the Nazi has the bow, she has the arrow.) He advises biding their time and watching, waiting for the proper moment to act.

Back in 1638, The Doctor says that Peinforte used the Silver Arrow to get to the future. He says that the metal was more than just silver, it was a living metal, validium. He says it has one purpose, destruction.

She asks more questions, but he says to wait.

The cops try to start their car, but the battery is dead. As they tinker with the car, something rises up out of the ground, spewing a gas that knocks the men out (or kills them, who knows.)

A tour group comes to Windsor castle, where the TARDIS appears. Ace and The Doctor join in the tour group briefly, but then slip off into the royal apartments. They see someone coming with dogs. Ace gets panicky but The Doctor tells her, “Act as if you own the place, it always works.”

The dogs are Corgis, so we know who the woman walking with them is. The Doctor is clueless, saying she looks familiar but he can’t place her, but Ace drags him off before she gets too close.

After Ace clues him in, he says she’s just the person they need to talk to. They rush in after her, but are confronted by a stern man.

Richard whines, saying he’s gone mad. She tells him to man up (my words, not hers.) He asks what she will do with the power of Nemesis, and she says the first thing will be to get vengeance upon “the nameless Doctor whose power is so secretive.” She knows he will be there, too.

She says she has found his secret out. “In good time, I will speak it. I will be his downfall.”

The Doctor and Ace are interrogated. When he explains they’re time travelers, that goes over as well as you might expect. Ace doesn’t help. Neither does telling them the fate of the planet is at risk.

Finally, The Doctor puts on a pair of spectacles and says, his voice strong and strict, YOU WILL BELIEVE ME. YOU WILL NOT MOVE. Turning to Ace, YOU WILL MOVE.

They run off, Ace asking how he did that. “It’s easy, once you know how,” he explains. As the effects don’t last long, they are forced to run away.

The two goons who shot at Ace and The Doctor in the park are greeted by someone off-camera, something seemingly large and ominous. Oooooh, I know what it is….

The two men are wearing headsets/headphones and electricity arcs from the off-camera figure to their headsets.

In the castle, The Doctor gets distracted by a painting, but Ace drags him off. They pass through the tour group, which hold up the pursuit somewhat.

Suddenly, as they run off, Ace stops, seeing a painting of herself hanging in the hall. He explains it hasn’t happened yet, which is why she doesn’t remember it. Their delay allows their pursuit to catch up and they must run off again.

(Okay, this is the running part of the show.)

The Fourth Reich (way more than six this time) unload from the van outside the landing site. (So much for the hotel.) They find the cops KO’d/dead. The leader arrives, saying it is of no importance that the cops were taken out, all that matters is Nemesis is safe.

He places the bow on the comet, but suddenly realises the arrow isn’t there. He orders his men to find it.

The TARDIS materialises and The Doctor and Ace run over, the former saying he hopes they’re not too late.

The old man demands that he hand over the arrow of Nemesis. The Doctor says he doesn’t have it. The old man demands Ace tell him where it is, but she says she doesn’t know anything about it.

The Doctor begins expositioning, I mean explaining to Ace, that for validium to become active, you need a certain quantity. If the bow and arrow were placed in the statue’s hands…

…you would have the power of life and death,” the Nazi leader interrupts. “Not only over this Earth but any planet in existence.” He compliments The Doctor on his knowledge.

The Time Lord says he simply notices what is obvious, which they don’t. When they ask what he means, he points out the policemen. He tells them that the cops have been attacked “by a technology more advanced and terrible than you can imagine.”

What technology,” the lead soldier asks, but The Doctor just holds up one finger.

But you might have also observed the electricity supply being drained over the last few days,” The Doctor continues.

The old Nazi just wants to know where the arrow is. When The Doctor says he can’t, they threaten to shoot Ace.

However, just then, a spacecraft lands. The doors open. “They saved my life, Ace says, but The Doctor says not to thank them.

CYBERMEN!!!!!!!! exit the spacecraft… and the credits roll.

Now, THAT is a cliffhanger.

See you Cyber-Wednesday!

Recap: Our old friend, Lytton (from RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS) is on Earth. He’s found some Cybermen and is trying to make nice with them. The Doctor detects an intergalactic distress signal and he and Peri arrive in London to investigate.

On Telos, Cybermen are using human slave force to do something.

The Cyberleader and his Cybermen ambush The Doctor in the TARDIS and Peri is about to be “destroy(ed) at once”.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

The Doctor demands that they discuss this, insisting that she must live if the Cyberleader wants his cooperation. The Cyberleader says that they don’t need The Doctor, they just want his TARDIS.

The Doctor leaps forward and presses some buttons on the console, saying that he’s started a twenty second self destruct sequence. The numbers count down on a screen.

The Cyberleader orders for Peri to be released, but when The Doctor asks how he knows he can trust him, the Cyberleader says he has his word, as well as that of the Cyber Controller. The Doctor is surprised to learn that CyCo (my new diminutive for him from now on) is still alive and on Telos.

Distracted by this, The Doctor neglects to shut off the self-destruct until Peri nags him about it. Of course, there’s only one second left when it is stopped.

(sigh)

The Cyberleader instructs The Doctor to take the TARDIS to Telos, and he obeys.

On Telos, Stratton reluctantly gets dressed as a Cyberman. He argues with Bates about it. Stratton looks like a sad sack Cyberman.

Back in the TARDIS, The Doctor, Peri, Griffiths and Lytton are placed in a room for holding. Lytton informs The Doctor that a time vessel landed on Telos and the Cybermen captured it.

So they only have one ship,” The Doctor asks.

They will have two with your TARDIS,” Lytton replies.

When The Doctor questions Lytton how he knows about the proceedings on Telos, Lytton plays it off. Peri remarks that it’s obvious they know each other and The Doctor brings up Lytton’s history with the Daleks.

Your regeneration has made you vindictive, Doctor.”

Not at all. I’ve never found it difficult to despise people like you.”

Lytton insists he’s a prisoner, not working with the Cybermen. Griffiths and Peri want to know where Telos is; the former says he’s having a great deal of trouble understanding all of the going ons, but the latter assures him he’ll get used to it.

The CyCo is informed about a transmission coming from the TARDIS; he says it must be an attempt by The Doctor to inform the Time Lords of what is going on, and gives orders to inform the Cyberleader on board the TARDIS. CyCo says that if the Time Lords try to get involved, it will be too late, “Telos will have been destroyed and we shall have The Doctor’s TARDIS.”

Um, how would TIME Lords be too LATE?

Anyone? Anyone?

Lytton returns The Doctor’s sonic lance to him. The Doctor uses it to try to tamper with the navigational control, hoping to take them elsewhere (or when?)

The Doctor and Lytton fill in Peri and Griffiths on Telos. The Doctor says that Peri would have liked Telos “in the old days, when the Cryons were in residence”. We learn that the Cybermen needed Telos for the sub-zero cities that the Cryons built for hibernation.

Peri asks why the Cybermen didn’t build hibernation units on their own planet, “…I assume they had one.” The Doctor gets very uncomfortable and Peri and Griffiths ask what’s wrong. Lytton gets a dig in, “Yes, Doctor, what is the matter?”

Heh heh heh, I do like Lytton.

The Cyberleader learns of the irregular signal and says to prepare for landing on Telos, and orders for The Doctor to be brought to him.

The Doctor, arm around Peri, tells her and Griffiths of the destruction of Mondas, the Cybermen’s homeworld.

Lytton interrupts, “Tell them how it was destroyed.”

The Doctor glares at him, “You’re enjoying this!”

It’s not often I have the opportunity to watch a Time Lord squirm.”

Yes, I do like Lytton a lot.

It comes up that the attack by Mondas on Earth takes/took place in 1986 – the following year for Peri and Griffiths. Peri insists that they do something about it, but The Doctor says that he cannot, it would violate the laws of time.

Before too much more can be said, a Cyberman comes to take Peri away. The Doctor is also ordered to go to the console room.

On Telos, a Cyberman wanders, half-frozen, and seemingly out of control. CyCo is informed of this and orders for resuscitation to cease and for the rogue Cyberman to be destroyed.

In the TARDIS, the Cyberleader assures that Peri is safe, they’re merely getting her warmer clothing. He accuses The Doctor of deceiving them, ordering him to disconnect the signal to the Time Lords. The Doctor is physically abused before and after he does so and is warned if he tries such again, they will kill him.

Stratton complains he cannot breathe in the helmet, then wants to rest. Bates yells at him, saying Cybermen don’t rest.

Peri arrives in the console room, wearing a red jumpsuit, alarmed at The Doctor’s weakened state.

The TARDIS materialises, as a door in a wall. The Cybermen and their prisoners exit. Peri complains that it’s cold, and The Doctor tells Lytton he forgot how big the cybertombs were.

Peri complains about the cold some more.

The Cyberleader says they have materialised in the wrong place; The Doctor feigns ignorance. Lytton remarks to the Time Lord that the Cyberleader almost seemed concerned and The Doctor agrees, wondering why.

CyCo gives orders to bring the TARDIS there.

Peri wonders what the rancid smell is. Lytton says it is death. Peri says they’re hibernating, but Lytton doesn’t respond. The Doctor accuses Lytton of knowing more than he’s letting on, but again, Lytton puts off answering it, saying The Doctor will know soon enough.

The Cyberleader says they must leave at once. When The Doctor asks why, he says “We have far to travel and the Controller awaits your arrival.”

Suddenly, a cyberman comes out of one of the tombs and attacks the Cyberman on guard. Peri, Lytton and Griffiths run off, as the rogue is killed. The Doctor is still prisoner.

Peri runs about, alone, peering into the tombs. Another rogue breaks free and attacks her and two other aliens attack the Cyberman and rescue her, though she resists, thinking they’re attacking her, too.

Griffiths follows Lytton, saying he wants to go home. Lytton says he’s working on it.

Oh, I see. You’ve got a taxi waiting,” the bald crook snarks.

Suddenly, a female voice says, “He speaks the truth.” From behind some rocks, another of the aliens that grabbed Peri appears. (Okay, I think we can safely assume these are Cryons, the original inhabitants of Telos.) The Cryon, named Threst, says that Lytton has come to help them.

Lytton explains that the Cryons picked up his distress signal when he was on Earth and told him of the Cybermen’s invading their world. He explains he tricked the Cybermen into bringing them there.

Threst agrees, saying they need his help, and they need Griffiths as well. (I note she doesn’t say they need his help, but him.) Threst even offers to pay Griffiths the equivalent of two million pounds in uncut diamonds. It seems diamons are uncommon on Telos.

When Griffiths asks what he’s supposed to do for the pay, Lytton answers, “Help me steal a time vessel.”

The Doctor is thrown in a storage room, where he meets a Cryon named Flast.

Griffiths learns that his job is to help keep Lytton alive. When he asks why a Cryon can’t do it, Threst explains she would boil if she went onto the surface.

Lytton tells Griffiths that if they succeed in stealing the time vessel, they’ll live to spend the money.

And if we don’t,” he asks.

Lytton walks up behind him, “Then we’ll be turned into emotionless Cybermen.”

Peri wakes, to find several Cryons there. They explain that they mean her no harm, they rescued her from the Cybermen, pointing out that it was at great risk to their own safety.

Peri apologises, saying she’s confused. The two Cryons introduce themselves as Rost and Varne. When she says she’s from the planet Earth, they say they know.

Bates and FauxCybermanStratton walk through the terrain, the latter complaining that they won’t get away with it, the former telling him to shut up. They see a hatch open and hide and watch as Lytton and Griffiths exit from beneath the surface.

The Doctor tells Flast that he thought the Cryons were destroyed; she says the Cybermen thought the same, “but as you see, some of us survived.”

The Doctor says it’s too cold for him in there, that he won’t last half an hour. Flast is more interested in the fact that she’s not had company in a long time. When he talks of escape, she says they all talk about that at first, but it’s the locked door and the armed guard that keeps it from being more than talk.

The Doctor retorts, quite wonderfully, “Really? Could also have something to do with the lack of support from their cellmate?” This infuriates Flast, as she says she hates the Cybermen more than he could know and would do anything to stop the Cybermen.

Flast and The Doctor talk about the Cybermen’s time vessel. She points out they have a ship but they do not quite understand time travel. When The Doctor says that’s reassuring, she says what they have in mind will undoubtedly distress him.

Well, tell me gently,” he responds.

They intend to change history,” she explains. When he protests they cannot do that, it’s against the laws of time, she says that he had better tell them that, “because if you don’t, they intend to prevent Mondas from being destroyed!”

CyCo learns that all charges on the planet are set and primed. He gives the order for the TARDIS to be brought to them.

Bates and Stratton get the drop on Lytton and Griffiths. Lytton says they can help each other. Bates is surprised to learn that the two men are flesh and blood and reveals that he has cybernetic arms and legs – it seems the cybernisation process doesn’t always work.

You’re sort of rejects,” Griffiths quips.

That’s one way of putting it,” Bates agrees.

Will they do that to us,” Griffiths asks Lytton.

Lytton answers, “If they find us… but we won’t be here.”

Lytton says to Bates that the time vessel needs a crew of three and if they work together, they have four. He shows Bates a map of a safe route and explains that the Cryons are helping him.

Peri asks if the Cryons can rescue her friend The Doctor, but they say the Cyber Control is too warm for them. On a screen, there is an image of The Doctor in the storeroom and Peri asks how they knew that one was The Doctor, when she arrived with three men.

The Cryons argue amongst themselves, one says the other wasn’t very bright, the other says they should have killed her. Peri realises they know Lytton, and they confirm that he is working for them. The Cryons tell her that Lytton is trying to keep the Cybermen from leaving, so they won’t destroy Telos.

Then they say the Cybermen want to study the effect of the explosion on the planet’s atmosphere. Um. Is it being destroyed or just explosions set off? The two are not really the same.

She learns that the Cybermen plan to destroy Earth, to save Mondas.

Lytton leads his new crew through the underground complex.

CyCo gives orders to destroy the SVPs (Stratton and Bates?)

Flast is also filling in The Doctor on the Cybermen’s plan. They’re going to use Halley’s Comet to hit Earth.

When The Doctor mentions that the Time Lords won’t allow history to be changed, Flast suggests perhaps their agents are already at work. The Doctor suddenly gets mad, realising that he’s been allowed to come here to do their work.

Flast shows The Doctor a mineral called vastial, a highly unstable element that will explode at ten degrees above zero and self-ignite at fiften.

Lytton takes Stratton’s gun as his three men climb up a ladder, saying he’ll keep them covered. Griffiths goes first, followed by Bates and Stratton, and then Lytton. However, at the last minute, he’s grabbed by Cybermen. The other three go on without him.

The Doctor opens the door with his sonic lance and slides out a small amount of vastial. The Cyberguard inspects it and it explodes, setting the Cyberman on fire. The Doctor says that the Cybermen will kill her when they learn of her part in this, but she asks for the sonic lance, saying she can use that to detonate the vastial to destroy the complex.

The Cryons are taking Peri to the TARDIS, but she’s trying to get them to realise she cannot pilot it. They say they will help her. She argues, saying it’s temperamental and not even The Doctor can always control it.

They learn that Lytton has been taken prisoner. They reassert that the TARDIS must be moved.

The Doctor dashes through the tombs.

CyCo confronts Lytton, saying he knows he’s after the time vessel and demands to know how he plans to do it. They begin torturing Lytton, squeezing his hands so that blood rush down it and he screams, collapsing.

Peri and the Cryons argue about who’s approaching the TARDIS and the Cyberman guarding it.

Lytton is taken away to be converted. CyCo learns that the time vessel is approaching and orders for The Doctor to be brought to him. The Cyberman guarding him does not respond to the summons. They realise The Doctor has escaped.

Flast tinkers with the sonic lance and places it in a chest of vastial. As the camera pulls back, we see the storeroom is filled with containers of it.

The time vessel lands on Telos.

The Doctor reunites with Peri, who says that the Cryons want to destroy the TARDIS, but they say they just do not want the Cybermen to have control of it. The Doctor says they need to find out how many Cybermen are inside the TARDIS.

They break into one of the tombs and on the corpse of the Cyberman within, The Doctor activates a built in distress signal, saying this will draw the Cybermen out. He tells the Cryons about Flast and the vastial.

In the vastial storeroom, Cybermen investigate to see if The Doctor tampered with the explosive mineral. They find Flast, who is melting from the open door. The Cyberleader demands to know how long The Doctor has been gone and when she refuses to answer, they throw her outside into the hall, where she dies.

GSB (Griffiths, Stratton, Bates) attempt to open the door to where the time vessel landed, but it’s a trap and Bates is electrified/shocked when he touches the door. The door opens and a Cyberman shoots Stratton and Griffiths.

CyCo, learning of the deaths of GSB, gives the orders to prepare to depart. We see Lytton in a booth, in the midst of conversion.

Two Cybermen exit the TARDIS in response to the distress. The Cryons ambush and destroy them, but not before losing one of their own. The Doctor offers Rost his sympathies, but she tells him, “Please remove your TARDIS from Telos before you have to be rescued again,” and assures him they will survive.

As they head to the TARDIS, Peri asks about Lytton, saying he’s been captured by the Cybermen and explains he was working for the Cryons. The Doctor confirms this with Rost and says he will see what he can do.

The Cyberleader orders his crew to hurry loading the vastial. He learns that the technicians on the TARDIS are not responding and the ship has been moved.

The TARDIS materialises in the laboratory and The Doctor exits. He finds Lytton and says “I’m just beginning to find out about you,” as he tries to figure out how to remove him from the booth.

Lytton asks if he put the sonic lance “to good use” and The Doctor says he did, then asks why Lytton didn’t explain things to him.

Lytton says he must kill him, but The Doctor says he can help him. Lytton begs The Doctor to kill him, but before anything else can happen, CyCo walks in. They lure him in and Lytton attacks CyCo with the tool the Time Lord was using to try to free Lytton.

Other Cybermen enter, but The Doctor gets a Cybergun and shoots them all, CyCo included.

Peri rushes out after all the death, as The Doctor returns to the fallen Lytton.

I must help him,” the Time Lord exclaims.

It’s too late, Doctor, he’s dead.”

I cant’ just leave him!”

You must, there’s nothing you can do.”

Reluctantly, The Doctor rises, moving towards the TARDIS, “Why didn’t he say something?”

Peri follows, saying, “You never gave him a chance!”

They enter the TARDIS, which is a police box again by the way, and it dematerialises.

In the storage room, the vastial begins to explode, destroying the entire complex, and presumably the time vessel.

In the TARDIS, Peri tries to reassure The Doctor when he says it didn’t go very well, reminding him that Earth is safe as is history and “the web of time”.

I meant on a personal level… I don’t think I’ve ever misjudged anybody quite as badly as I did Lytton.”

Peri tries to offer a reassuring smile… and the final credits roll.

What an ending. I am saddened at Lytton’s death (didn’t recall that until we were towards the end, I was really hoping he survived somehow.) I know a lot of people didn’t like the Colin Baker era for the darker edge to the stories, but there was a lot of that in the Davison era, too – look at the WARRIORS OF THE DEEP serial, that was a dark ending, just like this one.

Most awesome serial, though. One of my all time favourites here.

This season, the serials were two 45m episodes. As such, I can’t do one episode, then place a spoiler warning. So… I’m going to start putting them earlier, not even the halfway point, but after we see where things are going? We’ll see, it’s a fluid thing.

That being said. I REMEMBER THIS SERIAL. Okay, not all the details, but one big one. Oh yes. Excited, I am.

Episode 1:

Some workers (blue coveralls, yellow helmets) move through some catacombs/tunnels, remarking how old/derelict they are. One finds a brick wall where there shouldn’t be one. They discuss being under Fleet Street, so they’re in London.

David goes off to check that they’re in the right tunnel. His friend gets worried when he doesn’t come right back and goes looking for him. Instead, he encounters something that frightens and attacks him.

The Doctor tinkers with circuitry within several of the round panels in the hall. He tells Peri he’s working on repairing the chameleon circuit. She worries that he’s overdoing it, remarking he seems a little unstable.

At this moment, I’m as stable as you’ll ever see me,” he tells her.

Oh dear,” Peri remarks mournfully.

He proceeds to remind her that he is not how he used to be and she has to stop comparing him to his former self.

I’m a Time Lord. A man of science, temperament and PASSION!”

And a very loud voice.”

He pauses, “Yes, that too. But not unstable.”

Cute dialog – I really like the Peri-Doctor interactions.

He sets the coordinates, but when he activates it, the TARDIS goes wildly out of control and they have to hang on to the console for their lives. Their voices are distorted as they talk.

In a city (London, presumably) we see a car full of men pull up. THE DRIVER IS LYTTON!! YAY, LYTTON! (Okay, that was the part I was excited about.)

Now that’s out of the bag, let’s have us a spoiler warning!

spoiler warning

It seems Lytton is the leader of a group of thieves and they have their minds set upon ten million pounds worth of diamonds. One of the men, Russell seems to be alarmed that Lytton is planning for the heist that very day – he says getting the explosives might be a problem.

Russell leaves the car and makes a call about the heist.

Back in the TARDIS, things have calmed down. Opening the scanner, they see Halley’s comet – The Doctor says the year is 1985.

The thieves get gear out of the car and unload it in a garage; Lytton explains they’re going to access the bank via the sewers, using the explosives from below to enter.

Peri is all worried about being in space near the comet; The Doctor tells her she has nothing to fear.

Lytton opens a cabinet and activates some high-tech equipment, testing it, then shuts it off.

Russell arrives with the explosives. They enter their garage/whatsit. Two bobbies watch from across the street.

Peri shuts off the scanner, then notices a strange signal; she asks The Doctor if it has something to do with him. He says it doesn’t, but identifies it as an “interstellar distress signal” coming from Earth. He says that cannot be good and they must investigate.

Lytton’s men seem to have some qualms about his machine pistol/submachine gun. He tells them that “armed robbery is armed robbery.”

Russell complains he doesn’t like guns or Lytton’s secrecy. Lytton says he’s new to the group, so that’s why he doesn’t know all the details, and the other two are muscleheads. Griffiths, the bald musclehead complains, but Lytton tells him to deal with it or he’s out.

That pretty much puts an end to the rebellion and they head into the sewer.

The TARDIS appears in a junk yard. No, no way. Nuh uh.

The Doctor exits, looks around, and says, “This looks familiar.” He has a hand-scanner to track the distress signal. Peri complains that the TARDIS didn’t change, blend it.

She’s probably thinking about it,” The Doctor says, heading off to follow the signal. The TARDIS changes into a… I don’t know what it is, but Wikipedia says “a rather conspicuous ornamental stove”. Peri laughs and teases The Doctor, who tries to defend the TARDIS.

The Doctor stops, “I suddenly feel conspicuous.” Peri eyes his clothing, “I’m not surprised in that coat.” He says, “It’s more a question of having organised a surprise party and forgotten who it’s for.”

Peri remarks that since his regeneration, his memory is all jumbled. “In the past couple days, you’ve called me Tegan, Zoe, Susan… on one occasion you even referred to me as Jamie!”

All the while, they follow the signal on the tracker. As they narrow in on it, we do see the two bobbies watching them. Suddenly, The Doctor says, “I’m a fool! Of course I am, that’s precisely what I would have done,” and then he dashes off, Peri following him… as the two bobbies watch.

Russell says they’re being followed in the tunnels. Lytton leaves Payne behind to deal with anyone who might be following them.

Returning to the scrapyard, we see that it is, in fact, the original scrapyard from AN UNEARTHLY CHILD. The bobbies follow them, watching from the entrance as they enter the stove, which disappears.

The Doctor says that the signal was bounced off several relay points in London. The Doctor and Peri discern that the house (that the signal tracker led them to) has to be watched for anyone to arrive.

Payne hears a noise and moves forward in the tunnel, looking to ambush whomever it might be. He returns back to his hiding spot, where he is grabbed from behind and attacked. Again, we don’t see who it is, but since we know whom the badguys are from the title…

The TARDIS appears elsewhere, disguised as an organ (like a piano); they’re just outside Lytton’s garage. From the entrance to the sewer, one of the bobbies appears, pointing a gun at them. The Doctor knocks him back in and jumps in after him.

The other bobby approaches Peri, but she throws a rock in his face and he drops the gun. The Doctor appears, having dispatched the other. This one is cuffed (The Doctor tells Peri the other is “having a little lie-down”.)

They agree that these aren’t real police and head into the sewers to investigate what’s going on.

Lytton, Griffiths and Russell arrive at the spot; Lytton says Payne will catch up with them when he hears the noise they’ll be making. Russell, looking at the map, sees the wall that isn’t supposed to be there (the same wall from the beginning of the episode.)

They argue, Russell complaining that nothing is right, saying they don’t know where they are. He tells them to get started.

The Doctor and Peri banter as they make their way through the catacombs. Something/someone is following them.

Lytton and Russell discuss Payne’s lack of arrival. They see something moving down the tunnel, but Russell says it’s too big.

It’s a cyberman!

Griffiths opens fire on it, damaging it, and Lytton shoves his gun under Griffiths’ face, telling him to hold his fire.

The brick wall that isn’t supposed to be there slides open, revealing multiple Cybermen. (It’s a Cyberwall!!! Okay, I’ll behave.)

Lytton approaches, handing his gun to them, “My name is Lytton, and I am your prisoner, Cybermen.” The Cyberman who takes the gun breaks it. Griffiths turns to run, but a Cyberman (the one he shot, I’m guessing) is there and the bald thief screams.

The Doctor and Peri find Payne; the Time Lord says his neck has been broken. Peri suggests contacting the police, saying he doesn’t have to play The Lone Ranger. (Peri is an American, so she would use a reference like that.)

The Cyberleader asks Lytton how he knew where to find them.

You have a ship hidden on the dark side of the moon, I tracked your transmissions.” He assures them that the Earth authorities cannot track them. When they point out he was able, he tells them he’s not from Earth. (Griffiths takes this rather stoically.)

Lytton tells them he is from a satellite called Riften 5, orbiting the planet Vita 15 in the star system 6-9-0. The Cybermen know of it, saying that the inhabitants are mercenaries and not to be trusted. Lytton pleads to serve them, but they say he will as a Cyberman.

Lytton says he knows why they are here and says he brought others with him to be turned into Cybermen. The Cyberleader says the Cyber Controller will determine his fate – and we learn the Controller is on Telos!

We see what must be Telos; humanoids are slaving (digging and the like), observed by Cybermen. Suddenly, several of the workers give signals to each other and attack the Cybermen. One Cyberman’s head is knocked off, but when the men try to grab it, a Cyberman shoots it and the two surviving men run off.

Peri startles The Doctor, worrying about whether the alien killed Payne. AS they move on, they encounter Russell, who disarms them. Russell finds his gun (that Payne had and The Doctor took) and orders them to put their hands on the wall.

The two men who escaped the work party argue; their third man was killed, and they needed the head, and without both, they’re unable to fly a Cybership and escape. Stratton (the one who panicked and didn’t grab the head in time) apologises but the other guy yells a lot.

Griffiths asks how Lytton knew all that stuff to tell them; Lytton suggests it was true. Griffiths says that Lytton told them he was from Fulham.

You know, Griffiths, when I look at you, I often wonder why your ancestors bothered to climb out of the primordial slime,” Lytton says, disdainfully.

That sounds like another insult, Mister Lytton,” Griffiths replies.

Stratton and Yelling Man watch the work party, wondering why the others didn’t try to escape, why they’re still working. Stratton says they have more sense than they did, but Yelling Man… well, he yells, saying that they’re mining Telos with high explosives and when the Cybermen are ready, they’re going to Cyberblowup the… oh, sorry, I’m doing it again. But, anyhow, they’re going to blow up the planet, and them with it.

Yelling Man points out Cyber Control, saying that’s where they’re going.

In Cyber Control, the Cyber Controller Cyberlearns that Stratton and Bates (that’s Yelling Man) escaped. He says they will try to recapture their ship. The controller says they can learn from watching the men as they try to “evade destruction”.

Russell finds The Doctor’s sonic lance (that’s new, an upgrade on the sonic screwdriver?) Russell says he’s police. The Doctor distracts him and they disarm Russell. The Doctor tells him who he is (really, he does, saying he’s a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation Kasterborous. Russell says he’s bonkers. The Doctor says that’s debatable, but doesn’t change the fact what he told him was true.)

It turns out that Russell was telling the truth, too. He is a cop. Under duress, he tells them that he’s keeping watch on a man called Lytton; The Doctor immediately recognises him, “The sort of man who would shoot his mother, to keep his trigger finger supple?”

Russell says that some specialised electronics were stolen and they tracked it down to someone named Lytton, someone with no record or official existence.

The Doctor decides it’s time to return to the TARDIS.

The Cyberleader learns of the presence of three humanoids and asks Lytton if he knows about it. Griffiths suggests it could be the police. Cyberleader sends his Cybermen out to capture them, with orders not to damage them, so they can be converted.

Stratton and Bates make their way to Cyber Control, the former whining, the latter not yelling but being mean (rightfully so, I will admit.) They see a Cyberman and lure him into a trap, so they can take his head. Bates explains that Stratton is going to empty out the helmet and wear it, so they can sneak into Cyber Control as prisoner and Cyberman.

The Cyber Controller learns that the Cyberscout (their word, not mine, I promise) was destroyed by the escapees. He says it’s not possible, but is Cybercorrected (my word, I admit) by his Cyberunderling. The Cyber Controller says they’re too resourceful and orders the guard to be alerted.

Trying to find their way back to the TARDIS, The Doctor, Peri and Russell come across a Cyberman. The Doctor, suitably, is alarmed.

The Cyberleader is informed that there is some local “time distortion”, and scouts are sent out to investigate.

Peri and Russell, having been told what a Cyberman is, want to leave, but The Doctor says he can “shake it up” with his sonic lance. When Peri asks what he’s going to do, he gives a great line, “Wait, watch and learn.”

(I’m really amazed how many lines, especially incidental ones, in this serial I recall. I haven’t seen this in over fifteen years. Could be twenty, easily.)

The Cyberleader learns that the Cyberscout (their word again) has been destroyed. Griffiths mocks the Cybermen, talking in a robotic voice, and is physically reprimanded for it. The Cyberleader then instructs Lytton and Griffiths to follow him.

The Doctor, Peri and Russell rush back to the ladder and climb it.

Lytton identifies the sonic lance, still stuck in the Cyberscout’s chest. The Cybermen say that an alien could explain the time distortion, and Lytton makes a guess at who it might be, “I’ve been expecting him to return… he calls himself The Doctor.”

The Cybermen tell Lytton they are more than aware of him, and talk of capturing the TARDIS.

The Doctor leads Peri and Russell into the TARDIS, where a Cyberman grabs The Doctor from behind. Russell shoots the Cyberman and takes the Cybergun. He shoots another, but suddenly the Cyberleader enters with Lytton, Griffiths and more Cybermen.

Peri is grabbed and the order is given to “destroy her at once.” Peri flinches as a Cyberman raises his fist to destroy her at once… and the credits roll.

Decent cliffhanger I suppose. YAY LYTTON, YAY CYBERMEN!!!

See you CyberFriday!

Recap: Four of the Five Doctors, plus the Brigadier, Sarah Jane, The Master, a Dalek, some Cybermen, Tegan and Turlough find themselves in “the death zone” on Gallifrey, seemingly playing some “Game”. Five has transmatted back to the citadel and is meeting with the High Council, comprised of President Borusa, Chancellor Flavia and the Castellan.

spoiler warning

Borusa demands what The Doctor is basing his accusations on. Five replies that the Cybermen were brought along, and even in their “darkest times”, the Gallifreyans never allowed the Cybermen to play the game.

Like the Daleks, they play too well.”

Five opens the recall device to reveal a homing beacon. Borusa says that the Castellan gave it to The Master, but the Castellan says The Doctor is seeking revenge. Borusa orders his security to search the Castellan’s living quarters and office.

Back in the death zone, The Master struggles to convince the Cyberleader that he can help. He tells them the tower is the stronghold of the Time Lords, but he can help them. The Cyberleader agrees, promising to spare him in exchange (but not planning to keep his promise.)

Turlough and Susan watch One and Tegan’s progress. Suddenly, they realise there are Cybermen outside the TARDIS.

The Brig and Two continue through the tunnel; the Brig complains all the while. They hear the grumbling roar of some creature and hurry along.

Three and Sarah Jane make their way through the mountains towards the tower. Suddenly, a warrior robot appears. It shoots a spear at her from its arm. It seems to disappear from sight, appearing nearby, then jumping about, disappearing again.

The Doctor leads Sarah to the entrance. The robot appears near them, with its back to them.

Turlough asks if Susan can operate the TARDIS, but she says even though she can it will do no good – the forcefield from the tower still keeps them there.

Tegan and “Doc” (Her name for One, much to his displeasure) make their way.

The search of the Castellan’s quarters turns up a box with the seal of Rassilon on it. Within are the Black Scrolls of Rassilon. Borusa says it is forbidden knowledge. The scrolls burst into flame and Borusa closes the box.

The Castellan denies having seen the box or the scrolls before. Borusa orders him to be interrogated, authorising the use of the “mind probe”. As they take him off, there is a shot and a scream. The Doctor exits, to see that the Castellan has been shot down in an attempt to escape.

Borusa says The Doctor has found his traitor and hopes this will allow his other selves to complete their quests. He says Five cannot go back to the death zone, as the President needs him there to advise. Flavia takes The Doctor off to quarters to rest. Borusa is very pensive.

The Brig and Two flee through the caverns, pursued by the creature. They squeeze through a small hole in the wall and find safety there. A large paw tries to reach them, but Two fends it off with the torch.

Handing the torch over, Two searches his pockets for something, finding a firework to spook the creature. In the light, they identify it as a Yeti. The creature, enraged, attacks the opening, causing the rocks to slide down and block the hole they slipped through. Searching their area, they find it leads to a door. The door is unlocked and Two says that “someone…or something wants us to go inside.”

Despite this, they do enter.

The Cybermen are setting up something outside the TARDIS.

A Cyberman trailing Three and Sarah arrives. The robot attacks it, killing it. More Cybermen arrive, quickly dispatched by the robot. EVEN MORE Cybermen arrive (jeebus, how many are there?) Yet again, the Cybermen are killed with ease.

While the robot is distracted with them, Three and Sarah grab the robot’s spare… well, Three calls them “arrows” but they’re more like javelins. Three also grabs some bundles of cable. They move on and find themselves on the mountain facing the top of the tower.

Flavia assures The Doctor that his friends and other selves are safe. He tells her he’s more worried about the High Council, saying that the Castellan was limited and narrow minded, but always loyal to Gallifrey.

Five says the traitor is still at large. Flavia says she will speak to the commander. Five goes off to speak to Borusa.

Three lassos the tower and he and Sarah Jane slide across to the tower, while The Master and Cybermen watch from lower down on the mountain. They, too, find an unlocked door waiting for them, and enter.

Tegan and One stand at the main entrance. The Doctor finds an “entry coder” and opens to the door.

Susan says the Cybermen are setting up a bomb outside the TARDIS.

One tells Tegan to be careful as she approaches a checkerboard floor. He starts tossing coins onto the squares. The death trap doesn’t activate until you reach the fifth row of squares, then electricity arcs all about.

The Master comes up behind them, saying their ancestors were devious. When The Doctor questions who he is, he says they knew each other at the academy. He tells them they need to hide, just before the Cybermen arrive. They do so, just in time.

The Cyberleader questions why the main entrance was unguarded, but The Master says the Time Lords are overconfident. When instructed, The Master strolls across the board, with no repercussions, then skips back. But when the Cyberpatrol crosses, they are all blasted down.

The Cyberleader accuses him of betraying him, and tells him to show him the safe route, or he will destroy him. Despite the route changing each time, The Master seems to know it and leads the Cyberleader.

However, mid-route, the renegade Time Lord turns and shoots the Cyberleader with a Cybergun.

Tegan and One come out and she chastises The Master for his ruthlessness (showing mercy for Cybermen, when they were responsible for Adric’s death? Out of character for Tegan.) He skips across again and says it’s “easy as pie”.

The Doctor remarks, “What an extraordinary fellow. As easy as pie?” Suddenly, The Doctor realises he meant Pi. The Doctor says that the formula for Pi is the key. He walks across and then directs her across.

Five arrives at the Council room, but the President is not there, much to the guards posted outside surprise. Five tells the guard to inform Flavia, and then begins poking about.

Three and Sarah Jane make their way through the dark tower. Sarah Jane stops, saying something is stopping her, some force. Three says it is the mind of Rassilon, keeping her at bay. She sits down while Three goes on a bit.

While he’s separated, Mike Yates shows up, as is Liz Shaw – they say someone else he should know well is waiting – implying the Second Doctor. When Three goes back to get Sarah, they try to stop him.

Three realises they’re phantoms, “illusions of the mind,” and runs back to Sarah Jane. The phantoms call out to him to stop. Three reunites with Sarah Jane and they head onward.

Tegan feels the same as Sarah Jane; One says it’s all mental illusion and to just ignore it. The Master skulks behind them, following.

The Brigadier also feels it. Two explains it much like the first two. They hear a scream and investigate, though The Doctor says it could be a trap. Over and again, the scream continues.

Rounding the corner, they find Jamie and Zoe in the hall, warning them off. They claim there is a forcefield, and if he goes on or tries to free them, it will kill them.

Two realises that when they were returned to their own times, the Time Lords erased their memories. They, too, are phantoms. They move on, engaging in some wonderful banter:

Trust me, Brigadier, have I ever led you astray?”

Yes, on many occasions.”

This will be the exception!”

In the council chamber, Five sees a painting of a harp player. There is also an actual harp. Playing with it, The Doctor realises it is a key to a secret door.

One and Tegan reach the actual tomb chamber. There is an obelisk that One examines while Tegan looks around. Three and Sarah Jane arrive shortly thereafter, and yes, there’s more Doctor on Doctor banter. Fun stuff.

The two Doctors examine the obelisk while Sarah Jane and Tegan introduce themselves and chat. One asks “What happened to the little fellow,” but before Three can answer, Two and the Brig arrive. The three Doctors (aw, yay!) banter and inspect, while the ladies greet the Brig.

Three is delighted to see the Brig and they shake hands. Before the Brig can complain too much, Three dismisses him and heads back to the obelisk. The companions exchange notes.

The three Doctors divine what it is all about, but One says it’s nothing to do with them. They simply need to leave. When the companions demand an explanation, One directs Two to fill them in.

It turns out that whomever takes the ring from Rassilon’s hand will get “the reward he seeks.” However, there is a warning of “to lose is to win and to win is to lose.”

At hearing how to gain the immortality, The Master steps out of the shadows. He rants at them, saying he came to help them, but he was scorned. Now he will help himself to immortality. The three Doctors protest, but he holds them off with his TCE.

The Brig sneaks up behind him and knocks out The Master with a right cross. Yay, Brig!!

(Yes, I know, The Master is my favourite Time Lord. But it’s the Brig, yo.)

Back at the TARDIS, the Cybermen (how many are there?) have set up multiple bombs. Apparently, the Cyberleader is with this crew, not one who went into the tower.

Turlough and Susan fret within, watching as the Cybermen withdraw from the perimeter of the TARDIS.

Five finally sees that the painting of the person playing the harp has a tune in the painting. He plays it, and reveals the gameboard and pieces and controls in a secret room!

Borusa, dressed in black robes, is there. He offers The Doctor his hand. The Doctor confesses he did suspect him, though not at first. The Doctor asks what has happened to Borusa. The President says he will not retire, his work half done. He wants to be President Eternal, to rule forever.

Tegan and Sarah Jane truss up The Master.

Three reverses the polarity of the neutron flow (take a drink everyone!) so the TARDIS will be free of the forcefield. Two attempts to contact the capital.

The TARDIS activates as the Cybermen detonate the bombs.

Borusa goes on, quite madman-like ranty, about following Rassilon’s clues. He says that the secret lies in the tomb. He sent the Doctors to get past all the traps. Borusa says that The Doctor will serve him; Five says he never will.

But Borusa is wearing the Coronet of Rassilon and that amplifies his mind to control others. He demonstrates by making Five bow before him, and then rise and accompany him as he departs the secret room.

The TARDIS arrives in the tower. Turlough and Susan join the others.

Two appears on the videoscreen of the transmat device. Five, under Borusa’s control, tells them not to meddle with anything until Borusa arrives to take charge.

After the conversation is over, Three says that something is wrong. Two mocks him for finding menace in his own shadow, but One agrees with Three.

Borusa and Five appear in the transmat booth in the tomb room. When the companions approach, Borusa compels them to be silent and not move.

One, Two and Three say they will not allow Borusa to win. They join their minds and ask Five to join them. They free him from Borusa’s control and he joins them; the four wills combined are more than the President, even with the Coronet, can handle.

Borusa says they cannot overcome him; Five says that Flavia and her guards will soon arrive. Borusa says that since he is the Lord President and they are an infamous renegade, Flavia will believe him, not they.

Suddenly, a booming voice announces, “This is the Game of Rassilon!”

Borusa moves to the voice, over by the tomb proper. One stops Five from following.

Rassilon (whose face appears in the air above his body) asks who disturbs him, what they seek. Borusa identifies himself, saying he seeks immortality. Rassilon asks who the Doctors are, and Borusa says they are his servants.

Three, Five and Two deny this, but One assures him the President speaks true. He asserts that Borusa deserves “the immortality he seeks”.

Rassilon instructs Borusa to take the ring; the President does so. Rassilon asks Borusa if he is sure, once more, asking if he will turn back. Borusa says “Never!” When instructed, Borusa puts on the ring.

Rassilon says, “Others have come to claim immortality through the ages. It was given to them, as it shall be given to you.” When he says this, stone faces on the side of the tomb become animated, their eyes glancing about helplessly.

There is a blank space. “Your place is prepared, Lord President Borusa,” and Borusa becomes a face in the blank spot. The ring returns to Rassilon’s finger.

The companions recover.

Rassilon asks if the Doctors claim immortality. They quickly deny this, saying they only wish to be returned to their proper place and times. Rassilon agrees to this, as well as to freeing the Fourth Doctor and Romana from the vortex. And The Master, whom Rassilon says “his sins will find their punishment in due time” disappears as well.

Rassilon says it is time for them to say their farewells and depart. He commends them on choosing well, and then he fades from sight. (Well, his floating face does; his body remains there all the while, laying atop the stone.)

Five asks One if he knew all along what would happen, but he says he suddenly realised what the warning meant, the one about winning and losing. He says it was a trap to remove those who sought immortality.

Farewells are said. One and Susan go into the TARDIS, followed by Two (who has to exchange name-calling with Three first) and the Brig, then Three and Sarah Jane go in.

After the others go in the TARDIS, Five says, “I’m definitely not the man I was… thank goodness.”

Tegan ask how they’re all going to travel together, but then each of the Doctors goes off in a triangle from the time scoop.

(That’s funny, I remembered it being separate TARDISes that branched off from Five’s.)

Flavia and several guards arrive by transmat. Five greets her, telling her that the legend of Rassilon is true. She says he has evaded his responsibilities far too long and he must replace Borusa, as the Council has appointed him the replacement.

She says that to refuse this would incur the wrath of the council. He deputises her until his return and (after instructing the companions back into the TARDIS under his breath), orders the guards to escort her back to the citadel.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor explains to his companions that he’s not going back to rule Gallifrey.

Tegan questions this, “You mean you’re deliberately choosing to go on the run from your own people, in a rackety old TARDIS?”

Why not,” The Doctor replies as the camera zooms in on him, “after all, that’s how it all started,”… and the credits roll.

A fun story. Makes me excited to see the 50th anniversary special later this year.