Archives for category: Sixth Doctor

This won’t be a comprehensive recap (though that’s a thought for another time)… it’s too powerful for me.  Too emotional.  Too much.  For now, at least.

But first – let’s get this out of the way.

If you haven’t watched it yet and plan to, please STOP READING NOW.

spoiler warning

spoiler warning

Okay, that’s out of the way.  (Seriously, go away if you don’t want spoilers.)

Okay, now…

MY DOCTOR!!!! MY DOCTOR!!! AFTER THIRTY YEARS, I GOT MY DOCTOR AGAIN.  Oh, god.  Oh, god.

Watching this in a theatre, filled of fans was amazing.  And they were young and old, new and long-time fans alike.  And it’s wonderful, seeing the youthful crowd, the new fans, listening to them talk with wonder about the history of the show… I know many olde sk00l Whovians like to scoff and snort and roll their eyes and complain about the new fans.  Oh, that breaks my heart.  We were all new fans once, we didn’t know the history of the Doctors before we watched.  Time for everyone to drink a big glass of Get Over Yourself juice.

But, seriously, sharing it with a group of a couple hundred people, all emotionally invested.  The collective laughs, sighs, gasps, cheering, applause.  I couldn’t have imagined a better way to see this.  And, though it was hard, I managed to see it without any more spoilers.

I see people talking about “mixed feelings” about the episode.  Not me.  It was wonderful, it was amazing, and it gave me what I’ve been yearning for for the past eight years.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand why they wrote Gallifrey out of the show for the relaunch in 2005.  There would be too much backstory, too much baggage, it would weigh down too much and the new fans would be confused, or felt excluded, and they would not have flocked to it the way they did and the show probably would not have had a 50th anniversary special.

It was brilliant, what they did.  They wrote Gallifrey out, made The Doctor the “last” of the Time Lords, and Eccleston got to mope and be full of anger and angst – and it was delightful.  He was the Wounded Doctor.  Rose helped him heal, and then it was time to regenerate.

But, despite knowing all that, I have yearned for the return of Gallifrey.  I love the Time Lords (though I do consider them the greatest of all the monsters that The Doctor has ever had to fight off – and I’m not even talking about The Master, my favourite Time Lord of all.)  I love the mythos of Gallifrey and the Time Lords and how so many alien races knew of them and they were not hardly ever favorable towards The Doctor’s people.

So, I have been waiting.  When we were teased with the return of Gallifrey in The End of Time, oh… my hunger was enflamed.  I needed Gallifrey back.

This blog, revisiting (and visiting for the first time, as the case may be) so many stories involving the Time Lords, involving Gallifrey, or involving knowledge OF the Time Lords/Gallifrey… that exacerbated things.

So, walking into this, knowing it was about the War Doctor, knowing that he was responsible, somehow, for the fall of Gallifrey, the end of the Time War… I wasn’t sure what we were going to get, but there was NO WAY IN HELL I remotely thought that we’d get a whisper of a chance of getting Gallifrey back.

I just watched it again, before writing this blog post (Sunday night, about 10:30pm, December 1st.)  I cried, several times.  I even rewound and watched several scenes more than once… and cried each time.

Tears of joy.  Tears of enthrallment, enrapture, amazement.

Tears of hurt, for The Doctors, as Ten and Eleven (hey, that whole numbering thing… I guess we’re just going to have to stick with what we have been doing and have the “War Doctor” sitting between Eight and Nine, unnumbered) join the War Doctor, saying he won’t have to do it on his own.

Tears as I begged them not to do it.

Tears as they didn’t.

And, then, the undreamt.  All THIRTEEN Doctors showing up to save the day.  Of course it would take all thirteen.  How could it not?  It had to.  Something like this couldn’t be done by one Doctor, not even three.

Gallifrey Falls No More.  Oh.  Oh, yes.  Damn skippy.

And my Doctor.  Approximately thirty years ago, I watched Logopolis for the first time ever.  And saw my Doctor fall to his death.  And regenerate into a mamby-pamby blonde twit.  (Ok, I’m being a bit harsh, but I was a teenaged boy who had just lost his Doctor.  And Four wasn’t my first Doctor, Three was, actually… but Four is, and always will be MY Doctor.)  I lost him and… he never returned.  (Not to video, at least – I do understand there are some delightful Big Finish original audios with Tom Baker, so I will have to pursue those.)

I had no idea Tom was in this.  I had no clue to expect him.

You should have heard the theatre when he spoke, when he addressed Eleven for the first time.  The collective intake of breath… the choked emotions… everyone was stunned (and I’m sure some knew or guessed or something – but I bet you they were caught in the spell, too.)

Oh, this wasn’t going to be a long post, but here we are.  I’ve been crying for half of it, too.

I am so excited to see the Christmas special, to see Peter Capaldi step into those shoes.  But, for now, I am so, so, so happy and touched and overwhelmed by the 50th anniversary special.

As always, there are still so many questions.  Will they go to Trenzalore?  Will they find Gallifrey?  What IS The Doctor’s name and will we ever learn it?  (And my question, will The Doctor ever go visit Susan as he promised?)

Who knows, indeed?

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So so sorry this was more than a day late. 😦

SEASON TWENTY-FOUR SCHEDULE

Tue 8/13 Time and the Rani 1 /2

Fri 8/16 Time and the Rani 2/2

Tue 8/20 Paradise Towers 1 /2

Fri 8/23 Paradise Towers 2/2

Mon 8/26 Delta and the Bannermen 1 /3

Wed 8/28 Delta and the Bannermen 2 /3

Fri 8/30 Delta and the Bannermen 3/3

Mon 9/02 Dragonfire 1 /3

Wed 9/04 Dragonfire 2 /3

Fri 9/06 Dragonfire 3 /3

Recap: We learn of all the conspiracies involved. The High Council set up the trial to make The Doctor a scapegoat! The Valeyard is a form of future self of The Doctor, promised his future lives if he can get The Doctor executed. The Master, of all people, has come to The Doctor’s rescue.

The Doctor and Sabalom Glitz have pursued the Valeyard into the Matrix, where he is hiding in THE FANTASY FACTORY, as one JJ Chambers. The Doctor has just signed away his remaining lives and stepped into what was supposed to be a waiting room, only to find himself on a beach, with arms dragging him below the surface.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Glitz comes running down through the scrub brush and arrives, trying to grab The Doctor by the feet, but it’s too late! Glitz laments The Doctor’s passing, saying he wasn’t all that bad. “Honest, of course. Still, nobody’s perfect.”

The Doctor’s voice (bubbly) emanates from where The Doctor was pulled down. The Doctor rises up out of the mud pit. Glitz doesn’t understand and again, The Doctor reminds him they’re not dealing with reality.

Suddenly, the Valeyard (not wearing his headpiece) appears, “Why waste your breath on that simple-minded oaf?” He disappears and reappears next to Glitz, “You cannot speak as though reality is a one-dimensional concept.”

He pops away, appearing next to The Doctor next, “Fortunately, there is a reality that you and I can both agree on. The ultimate reality.”

Death,” The Doctor asks. The Valeyard quotes Shakespeare in reply, “The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns,” and pops away again.

The Valeyard appears behind The Doctor, who turns around and identifies the quote, “’Puzzles the will,’ Hamlet, Act Three, Scene One.”

The Valeyard retorts, “I really must curb these urges… I have no wish to be contaminated by your whims and idiosyncrasies.” I do love this bit with the Valeyard, that he is fighting not to be like The Doctor. And this explains why the two of them were constantly fighting, sniping, even when it seemed not to further the Valeyard’s agenda.

They banter, the Valeyard popping about the whole time. The Doctor wants to know why the Valeyard would go to such lengths to kill him. The Valeyard answers, popping (teleporting) with each sentence, saying it is the only way for him to gain freedom, his own existence as a complete entity.

Only by ridding myself of you and your misplaced morality, your constant crusading, your…” but suddenly, Glitz interrupts, suggesting, “Idiotic honesty?”

The Valeyard appears behind Glitz, calling him an oaf and a microbe. “Pardon me for trying to help. I’m neutral in this set-up, you know,” Glitz retorts.

With you destroyed and no longer able to constrain me,” the Valeyard says, ominous music building again, “and with unlimited access to the Matrix, there wildl be nothing beyond my reach.” As he says this last bit, he fades out of sight.

Suddenly, nerve gas blows in off the sea and they run from it.

In the courtroom, Mel appeals to the others to help. The Keeper says she is applying logical thought to a situation that knows no logic. She charges at him, demanding the key, but he trips her up and she falls down.

The Doctor and Glitz go into a beach house, which fades from sight after they do. Inside, The Master greets them! It’s the M-TARDIS!

Well, I’d never thought I’d welcome the sight of you,” The Doctor returns his enemy’s greeting.

It will not happen again,” The Master promises.

What puzzles me is why it’s happening now.”

The Master explains he wants the Valeyard eliminated and feels The Doctor is “the most likely candidate to achieve that.” Glitz argues, saying he originally said he wanted Six dead.

With The Doctor as my enemy, I always have the advantage,” The Master tells Glitz, much to The Doctor’s displeasure. “But the Valeyard, the distillation of all that’s evil within you, untainted by virtue, a composite of your every dark thought, is a different proposition. Additionally, he’s infuriated me by threatening to deny me the pleasure of personally bring about your destruction. And so, he must pay the price.”

I have always liked when a villain is so out of touch with reality that they will not allow anyone else to defeat or kill the hero.

The Master starts his TARDIS and then takes Glitz through a door, saying, “You, Glitz, will help me collect.” The Doctor watches them, warily. Suddenly he grabs his head as loud sounds and lights assault him.

In the next room, The Master explains that the assault on The Doctor is engineered to result in a catatonic state.

The Doctor goes into a zombie-like state, as The Master promised.

The M-TARDIS appears in the courtyard of the FANTASY FACTORY again. Zombie-Doctor is brought out, The Master giving him verbal commands to walk and stop. He says this should prove an irresistible target for the Valeyard.

You Time Lords take the cake,” Glitz praises The Master, “Talk about devious. Compared to you lot, I’m transparent as crystal.”

The Master and Glitz hide, and the M-TARDIS disappears. When the Valeyard comes out onto the balcony, The Master fires several blasts from his TCE (or a similar device, as it seems to fire a few blasts) which bounce off the Valeyard. The Valeyard calls The Master second rate, mocking him for thinking he’d fall for such a “transparent ploy”.

They dash to safety as the Valeyard throws several quill pens at them that explode. When Glitz complains it all could be an illusion, The Master turns on him, telling him to stay and find out and dashes off.

Mel calls out to The Doctor, beckoning him. He comes out of his zombie-like state, and goes to her, asking how she got in there, but she dismisses his questions, saying he needs to follow her to get out of there.

They end up in the lobby, passing his TARDIS. He complains that they’re going back to the trial, but she says he has to clear his name or he’s just as bad as the Valeyard, a renegade an outcast.

When he enters, the Inquisitor says he owes the court an apology. He apologises, and she brings up the charge of genocide, “…based on your own evidence.” When Mel argues it was also refuted by The Doctor, the Inquisitor remarks, “Seems you have a champion in this young woman.”

The Doctor agrees when the Inquisitor asks if he would accept Mel as an impartial witness, saying, “I would trust Mel with my life.”

The Keeper plays back the final battle with the Vervoids. Mel is asked if that was the truth; She asks The Doctor what she should say, worried the truth might be twisted like the Valeyard did, but The Doctor says “the truth cannot harm me.”

She tells the Inquisitor that is what happened. The Inquisitor then asks, “Is it your contention that The Doctor was solely responsible for devising the scheme we are presently reviewing on the Matrix?” Again, Mel says if it wasn’t for The Doctor, they’d all have ended up on the compost heap.

She says it was “an out of this world” solution. The Inquisitor replies, “An appropriate expression, wouldn’t you say, my lords?” For the first time, the gathered Time Lords do more than sit and swivel in their chairs, they all murmur in assent.

Something’s going wrong here, I can sense it,” Mel says. The Doctor just stands there stoically. When she begs The Doctor to tell them that he had no choice, he replies that there’s always a choice.

The Inquisitor proclaims The Doctor guilty of genocide. Mel protests, but The Doctor tells her that the rule of law must prevail if law is to overcome anarchy. He then addresses the Inquisitor, accepting her verdict.

However, we then see, in the real courtroom, as Mel begs them to switch it off. She says that the Valeyard is taking advantage of “The Doctor’s romantic nature. He’s convinced that he must sacrifice himself and you’re content to let him!”

We cannot interfere,” the Inquisitor says, but Mel says that she can. This time, she succeeds in grabbing the key from the Keeper.

The Doctor stands in a horse-drawn cart, moving on the cobblestone, escorted by Gallifreyan guards.

Mel appears as The Doctor and Glitz did before. She runs off, as laughing and singing and children voices are heard.

The Doctor’s cart passes Glitz, who stirs from where The Master left him. He gets up, hearing The Master’s voice calling his name.

Voices chant “death” over and over as The Doctor’s cart makes its way through the city. The cart stops and The Doctor looks around, quoting Dickens, “Tis a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done. Tis a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

Mel runs, catching up. She tells him the trial was an illusion, but he whispers at her to go away. But the cart disappears and The Doctor falls to the ground, saying she ruined everything.

She argues, saying she saved him. He says he was trying to get to the Valeyard. He knew the trial was bogus, as she brought up The Doctor’s denial of the genocide charge, which was done before she had arrived. And with Mel’s gift of total recall, that mistake would have never happened.

The Doctor leads Mel to the FANTASY FACTORY to fight the Valeyard.

In the M-TARDIS, The Master tries to hypnotise Glitz after the criminal says he won’t go out again. It doesn’t work, but Glitz’s eyes don’t move from the bauble, as he’s wondering how much it is worth.

The Master pulls out a chest full of gold and objects and jewelry and The Master promises him it’s his if he obeys him.

Back in the FANTASY FACTORY, Mel and The Doctor search about. The Doctor suggests that the Valeyard’s plants have been too elaborate and he wonders what the real goal is.

Glitz is seen in another office, where he finds the Matrix memory bank inside a desk. Popplewick confronts him, confirming that this is the master copy. He tells Glitz to put it back, pulling a gun on him.

The Doctor find a list of names – the Time Lords attending the trial. “Every member of the Ultimate Court of Appeal, the supreme guardians of Gallifreyan law.” Mel asks why the names are all crossed-through and The Doctor points out that the handwriting is his.

Just then, Glitz brings in Popplewick at gunpoint, who is protesting. Glitz says the bureaucrat has agreed to lead them to Chambers.

They return to the courtyard, The Doctor saying he’s misjudged Chambers/Valeyard. Mel saying not for the first time and wondering how he’s survived so long.

In the courtyard, Glitz tells Popplewick he’s done his bit, he’s delivered The Doctor and asks for the memory tapes. They swap gun and tapes. Popplewick fires the gun at Glitz, but the criminal had taken out the shot.

However, The Master shows up, telling Glitz that his weapon is not disarmed and orders him to the M-TARDIS.

Popplewick rejoins Mel and The Doctor, both who wonder where Glitz went off to. The Doctor suggests, not sincerely, that perhaps he stayed on guard outside. Popplewick agrees that must be the case.

Seeing that Chambers is not there, Popplewick leaves to find him. While he’s gone, The Doctor grabs some tool. When Popplewick returns, they grab the clerk. The Doctor pulls of a mask, revealing the Valeyard beneath.

Mel opens the door that Popplewick/Valeyard just came from, finding some machinery at work. The Doctor identifies it as a maser, and the Valeyard tips him off to realise that it is a “particle disseminator”, the ultimate weapon, can even destroy sub-atomic particles.

The Doctor makes the connection with the lists of names of the men in the trial room. The Doctor realises that the matrix screen is the medium that the death ray will be transmitted to kill those in the courtroom. He orders Mel to rush back and warn them.

The Valeyard laughs.

In the courtroom, the Keeper arrives with an urgent message for the Inquisitor. He tells her, “The High Council has been deposed. Insurrectionists are running amok on Gallifrey!”

On the screen, The Master says, “Thank you, Keeper, that is the news I’d been awaiting. Listen carefully, I have an edict to deliver. Somewhere The Doctor and the Valeyard are engaged in their squalid duel. With luck, they’ll kill each other, but that is a mere coincidental occurrence. What I have to impart is of vital importance to all of you.” More ominous music. “Now that Gallifrey is collapsing into chaos, none of you will be needed. Your office will be abolished. Only I can impose order. I have control of the Matrix, to disregard my commands will be to invite summary execution.” He rises and walks away from view on the screen as the Time Lords there begin chatting and murmuring amongst themselves.

Glitz asks now that The Master has gotten that out of his system if they can get along. He wants The Master to load the cassette (the tapes, the box from Ravalox.) The Master calls him a philistine, saying moments such as this should be savoured. When he hooks up the case and activates it, something unexpected happens – both men are pushed against the wall by some force.

The Master says it is a “limbo atrophier”.

The Doctor frantically works at the maser device, trying to undo it. The Valeyard says it’s an exercise in futility, but The Doctor points out that if the Valeyard can make it, he can unmake it.

Mel arrives at the courtroom, telling them to disconnect the Matrix. The Inquisitor says without the Keeper they cannot, and he is not there. Mel yells for them to get out and the Time Lords all move to rush out, believing her. But, just then, the Matrix screen bursts and energy crackles about the room.

The Doctor gloats, saying he’s done it, but the Valeyard calls him a “blundering imbecile”, saying he’s “triggered a ray-phase shift that may amass a feedback” to where they are.

The Valeyard, who has freed himself, shoves The Doctor aside. He rushes to the device, but says it is too late. He collapses and seemingly dies.

The Doctor rushes out as energy flies all about and things begin to explode.

In the courtroom, Mel gets up, followed by the others. The Doctor arrives, asking where they were. “I was about to be sentenced, I believe.”

The Inquisitor laughs, “All charges are dismissed, Doctor. We owe an immense debt of gratitude. Which I can partly repay, by telling you that the young woman, Miss Perpugilliam Brown… is alive and well and living as a warrior queen with King Yrcanos.”

The Doctor smiles, gasping in relief. We see a vision of Peri and Yrcanos.

The Inquisitor says that, once law and order have been restored, a new High Council will need to be elected. She asks if he would stand for Lord President again.

He laughs nervously, suggesting she do so instead. Hurriedly trying to leave, he stops to ask one favour. She tells him to name it. “When the Matrix is restored, you can do what you like with The Master, but exercise leniency with Sabalom Glitz. He’s not beyond redemption.”

Mel adds, “Just don’t let him anywhere near the crown jewels.”

Whimsical music plays as The Doctor and Mel head into the TARDIS, she talking about carrot juice and exercise. Oh, yay.

In the courtroom, the Inquisitor departs, telling the Keeper to repair the Matrix and requisition whatever he needs. He bows as she passes, and then turns to face the camera and we see that the Keeper has the visage of the Valeyard. He laughs… and the final credits roll.

Oh, what a fun season-long story. So, so, so good. It’s a shame they didn’t follow up with much of it. After all the change, the rebuilding, they could have worked a lot of it into the story, but I don’t believe there were any real effects from this story?

And it’s a farewell to Colin Baker. This makes me sad.

Next week – The Seventh Doctor!

This is only two episodes, but I’m doing one post for each, because I have a strong feeling I’m going to be doing a LOT of dialogue, word for word here.

Episode 1:

A Time Lord arrives, saying he came as soon as he could. The Inquisitor thanks him, addressing him as “Keeper”. She then turns to The Doctor, asking if he is done with his defense, but the Valeyard interrupts, bringing up Article Seven again.

The Inquisitor flies into a rage for him interrupting, saying just because they spent a steamy weekend in the Eye of Harmony… oh, sorry, no, that doesn’t happen. I’m making that up.

She, does, however, put him in his place, saying she will “deal with that charge in due course, Valeyard. Now kindly, do not interrupt me again.” YES, Sagacity laying the smacketh-down!!

Again, she asks if The Doctor has any further evidence in his defense. He says he does not, but points out that much of “The Railyard’s so-called evidence was a farrago of distortion which would have had Ananias, Baron Munchausen and every other famous liar blushing down to their toenails.”

He maintains that the evidence has been tampered with, though he does not know by whom or why.

The Inquisitor points out that she has summoned the Keeper of the Matrix and asks him about The Doctor’s allegations. The Keeper says it is impossible to tamper with the Matrix. Only those who have the Key of Rassilon may enter it.

The Doctor queries by whom may the key be used, and the Keeper replies, “Qualified people, for inspection, once in a millennium perhaps to replace a transductor.” The Doctor argues about making copies, the Keeper denies it. They go back and forth until the Valeyard interrupts, saying this is a poor attempt to throw them off.

The Doctor argues again that the Matrix can be physically penetrated, as the Keeper has just admitted. He asserts it has been deliberately distorted, by someone who wants his head, “Someone such as…” he turns and points to the prosecutor, “the Valeyard.”

The prosecutor just laughs, and in a rather sinister fashion.

We suddenly are outside the space station, zooming in. Two coffin-sized structures beam down in a beam of light (same as when The Doctor’s TARDIS first arrived.) They appear inside the lobby and one opens, revealing Sabalom Glitz!!!

There’s banging on the other one and he opens it, wondering what happened to Dibber’s voice, only to find Mel inside. She chastises him and they banter amusingly.

Inside the courtroom, the Inquisitor says the only way to rebut the Matrix evidence is to produce witnesses backing up his side. Well, that’s convenient, then, what what?

The Doctor says that he cannot produce witness, any he could are scattered through space and time. The Valeyard says procrastination is his only defense, but suddenly Mel and Glitz burst in.

They say they have been sent, but when the Inquisitor asks who sent them, it’s not Glitz who answers but… on the Matrix screen looming above them all, it’s none other than….

spoiler warning

THE MASTER!!!! SQUEEEEEE!!! (Yes, I knew he was in this but I didn’t recall he appeared so early.)

Oh, no, now I a really am finished,” The Doctor laments.

The Inquisitor says this is irregular and demands to know who he is.

I am known as The Master, and as you see, I speak to you from within the Matrix, proof, if any be needed, that not only ‘qualified people’ can enter here,” he answers.

He shows a copy of the key when challenged by the Keeper.

The Inquisitor starts harping about this being an independent inquiry, but he cuts her off, saying he has been following the proceedings with great interesting and amusement, but now “must intervene for the sake of… justice.”

The Doctor scoffs, “Justice? Pay no attention, madam, he has no concept of what justice is. He’s see me dead, tomorrow.”

Gladly, Doctor,” The Master replies, “But I’m not prepared to countenance a rival,” he says turning his gaze on the Valeyard.

Hastily, the Valeyard speaks, “My Lady, I must propose an immediate adjournment.” She declines, saying his has completed his presentation and “The ball, as The Doctor might say, is out of your court.” Woo hoo, Sagacity has picked up some Earth-isms.

The Master says he sent two star witnesses. The Valeyard challenges the veracity of Glitz, saying they know him to be a criminal. Mel argues, saying she’s “as truthful, honest and about as boring as they come.”

When The Master asks for Glitz to speak, the Inquisitor says that criminals have been known to speak truth, and allows it.

The Valeyard argues that he’s protesting allowing The Master to produce surprise witnesses. When the prosecutor claims not to know The Master, the renegade Time Lord calls him out on it, “I’m surprised at the shortness of the Valeyard’s memory.”

The Inquisitor puts The Master in his place, then instructs The Doctor to examine his witnesses.

Glitz is busy trying to buy the “machronite” which lines the trial room, offering her money for it. The Doctor has to yell to get his attention, asking how he knows The Master. Glitz says he’s “a business partner, so to speak.”

The Doctor asks Glitz what was in the box he and Dibber were after on Ravalox/Earth. “I don’t know,” the criminal replies, “Scientific stuff, so he said,” indicating The Master. “Stuff the Sleepers have been nicking from the Matrix for years.”

The Keeper is shocked to hear this and questions if he means his Matrix. Glitz confirms that he does. The Sleepers had found a way to break into it and were siphoning it off to take back to Andromeda.

When The Doctor questions about them operating from Earth, Glitz says that was their cover. “They knew the Time Lords would eventually trace the leak.”

The Valeyard jumps up, all but snarling, “He’s lying, my lady!”

I don’t think so, Stackyard,” The Doctor retorts, “It all begins to make very good sense.”

Glitz continues, explaining the Time Lords did “suss out the leak” and in an attempt to wipe out the Sleepers, they used the Magnotron. The Doctor says that only an order of the High Council can allow the use of it.

The Master, watching with glee, interjects himself, “Of course, Doctor, to protect their own secrets, they drew the Earth and its constellation billions of miles across space…”

The Doctor completes the sentences, “…causing the fireball which nearly destroyed the planet!”

The Master continues, “Of little consequence in the High Council’s planning. The robot recovery mission from Andromeda sped past Earth, out into space. Gallifreyan secrets were saved.” Except the Sleepers set up a survival chamber before the fireball did its damage.

So that’s why Earth was renamed Ravalox,” The Doctor exclaims. “That sanctimonious gang of hypocrites were covering their tracks!”

Glitz says there’s a big market for their scientific advances, “Worth a lot of grotzits.”

And, then, here we have it. One of the best quotes from this show, from all of tv, to be honest.

The Doctor, angry and horrified, looks at the gathered Time Lords, “All my travelings throughout the universe, I have battled against evil. Against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here! The oldest civilisation… decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core! Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen. They’re still in the nursery compared to us. Ten million years of absolute power, THAT’S what it takes to be really corrupt.”

Mel tries to get him to calm down. The Inquisitor tells him, “These unseemly outbursts…” but he cuts her off. “UNSEEMLY OUTBURSTS?!?!? If I hadn’t visited Ravalox, as I then thought of it, the High Council would have kept this outrage carefully buried as presumably they have for several centuries!”

I must agree,” rumbles The Master from the Matrix. “You have an endearing habit of blundering into these things, Doctor, and the High Council took full advantage of your blunder.” While he talks, The Doctor just seethes, his eyes burning angrily.

The Inquisitor demands he explain his claims.

The Master smiles at her, then the prosecutor. “They made a deal with the Valeyard… or as I’ve always known him, The Doctor… to adjust the evidence, in return for which, he was promised the remainder of The Doctor’s regenerations.”

It is the Valeyard’s (or as I’ve always known him, The Doctor) turn to seethe as The Master speaks. He stands up, beginning to protest, but The Doctor interrupts him, “Just a minute!” With his eyes locked on the prosecutor, he addresses The Master, “Did you call him… The Doctor?”

Ominous musical chords strike as The Master replies, “There is some evil in all of us, Doctor… even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation. And I may say, you do not improve with age.”

The Doctor gapes, staring at… well, himself. The Valeyard stares back, warily.

Madam,” The Doctor says quietly, “this revelation should halt this trial immediately. Surely, even Gallifreyan law must acknowledge that the same person cannot be both prosecutor and defendant.”

The Inquisitor seems mentally scrambling to hold on to her little trial, “The single purpose of this trial is to determine the defendant’s guilt or otherwise on the basis of the evidence that has been presented. Anything else is, for the moment, irrelevant.”

Completely unbelieving, The Doctor all but screams at her, “WHAT?” As he does, the Valeyard dashes out behind him and out the exit. Mel calls out to The Doctor, alerting him, and he gives chase as the Inquisitor calls out after the Valeyard.

Glitz and Mel follow The Doctor, who says “We need him!” However, they find no sign of him in the lobby. The Keeper, who was come out with the Inquisitor, says the Seventh Entrance to the Matrix is there and the Valeyard must have had a key.

The Doctor gets him to open it, but the Keeper argues, saying he’ll never find him, “The Matrix is a micro-universe.”

Mel pleads with him not to go, but he says he must, “Perhaps nothing in my life has ever been so important,” and he jumps through the door, pulling Glitz with him.

Mel calls after them and the Inquisitor tells her to be silent. She instructs them to return to the trial room, though Mel argues there’s nobody to try any more.

In a rat-infested, run down area, The Doctor appears in a beam of yellow light, complaining about the journey. A bell tolls and voices call out in the distance. A horse can be heard tramping by on cobblestones.

The Doctor calls out for Glitz, but the Valeyard’s laughter echoes all about instead. Then, children signing “London Bridge” can be heard. Again, Valeyard laughs, then piano music and a laughing crowd.

The Doctor runs about, to no avail. He sees a barrel full of water and approaches it, “I can’t believe you’re in there,” he says, looking into it, but two hands reach out and grab him, pulling his head in.

Glitz appears in a beam of light in the place where The Doctor first arrived. He hears The Doctor crying out for help and dashes over, finding The Doctor on his back. The Time Lord tells Glitz they’re not in the real world any longer.

Glitz questions how they could be in another world, when they just stepped through a door. The Doctor says they’re in the Matrix, “where the only logic is… there isn’t any logic.” That doesn’t make sense for a computerised repository of information, does it?

Yeah, I knew this was a mistake,” Glitz says, “My grip on reality’s not great on the best of times.” He hands The Doctor a slip of paper, “Here, this is for you. Now, if you don’t mind telling me, how do I get out of here?”

The Doctor reads the paper, “It’s from The Master.”

I know,” Glitz replies, “I’ve just given it to you. He said it would be useful.”

The Doctor shows Glitz, “It tells me where the Valeyard has his base.”

Glitz reads it, “The Fantasy Factory, proprietor JJ Chambers.”

They look up and see a big building with a glowing sign atop, THE FANTASY FACTORY.

So why is The Master helping me,” The Doctor wonders.

Yeah, well, I’m sure you’ll find out,” Glitz says. “I’m off.”

The Doctor grabs his arm, saying he wants him to meet his darker side. Glitz argues, but The Doctor says he’ll be safe. Just then, the building is lit up and a spear shoots out and strikes Glitz in the chest.

In the courtroom, the Inquisitor addresses The Master, “Assuming I accept what you say about the evidence against The Doctor, how much of it had been contrived?”

The Master replies, the gathered Time Lords and Mel listening, “For a lie to work, Madam, it must be… shrouded in truth. Therefore, most of what you saw was true.”

Then the young woman, the one who died, was that true,” the Inquisitor asks about Peri.

The Master smiles a wonderfully sinister grin, “Ah, the delightful Miss Perpugilliam Brown. That was clever of the Valeyard, exploiting the affection The Doctor had for her… but then, of course, the Valeyard would know precisely how The Doctor felt.”

Then she lives,” queries the Inquisitor.

A soft, almost faerie-like melody plays as The Master answers, “As a queen, set up on high by that warmongering fool Yrcanos.”

The Inquisitor turns away from the screen, “I am pleased,” she says quietly.

Sentiment will not keep The Doctor alive, my lady,” The Master tells her.

Mel, standing in The Doctor’s box asks if they can do anything to help.

Glitz lays on the cobblestone, The Doctor standing next to him. The Time Lord says, “You’ll catch cold, laying there.”

You’re a hard man, Doctor. I could have been killed,” Glitz complains.

The Doctor steps over him, “Not when you’re wearing a mark seven postidion life preserver.”

Glitz gets up as The Doctor explains the Valeyard wants to humiliate him.

Oh, I see, he humiliates you by throwing harpoons at me. Makes a lot of sense.” I do love Sabalom Glitz.

The Doctor says that together they can fight the Valeyard. Glitz’s answer is even more brilliant, “Look, Doctor, I’m a small-time crook with small-time ambitions, one of which is to stay alive.”

When Glitz tries to leave, The Doctor points out that if the Valeyard kills him, Glitz will be next as the only witness. Glitz sees the logic and agrees to help.

The Inquisitor complains that she’s “never had to conclude a case in both the absence of the accused and the prosecutor.” The Master points out that they’re the same person. “So you’ve said,” she asks, “but can you prove that?”

He says he knows them both, but suggests she speak to the High Council, “They set up this travesty of a trial, making a scapegoat of The Doctor to conceal their own involvement.”

She asks why she should accept that allegation from him. He says she should, if she wants to learn the truth. She questions him, wondering what his interest is, pointing out that she doubts it is concern for The Doctor.

Oh, indeed not,” he says, a chuckle in his voice. “The Doctor’s well-matched against himself. One must destroy the other.”

Mel, horrified, gasps, “How UTTERLY evil.”

Thank you,” The Master says, touched at her kind words. “I think I lay a shade more odds on the Valeyard, though the possibility of their mutual destruction must exist. THAT would be perfect.”

You’re despicable,” Mel tells him.

The Inquisitor asks, “Am I to take it that some base desire for revenge is your motive for interfering?”

Darker chords strike as The Master replies, the camera zooming in, “There’s nothing purer and more unsullied, madam, than the desire for revenge. But, if you follow the metaphor, I’ve thrown a pebble into the water, perhaps killing two birds with one stone… and causing ripples that will rock the High Council to its foundation!” He begins laughing, pleased with his chance to gloat.

The Inquisitor just glares at him. He recovers himself, “What more could a renegade wish for?”

In the Matrix, The Doctor and Glitz enter the building, where they find a man behind a desk, working by lantern light. The man ignores them until they ring the bell and ask for the proprietor.

The man says they need an appointment. The Doctor says they’re expected and make introductions. The bureaucrat at the desk goes on about the process and routine and how it cannot be rushed.

Oh, I don’t know,” The Doctor replies, “I’ve always been a bit of an iconoclast by nature.” He dashes to the next room, finding the same man in there, who is expecting them. He tells them they “all are” expecting them, but Glitz says the previous one wasn’t.

He is the exception. The VERY junior Mr Popplewick isn’t permitted to expect anyone,” this one explains.

What’s he talking about,” Glitz asks The Doctor.

I think it’s called bureaucracy.”

Popplewick, overhearing, corrects him, “I prefer to call it order. And the holy writ of order is procedure.”

He explains they wish to see the proprietor and they should have made an appointment. The Doctor asks if they can expedite the procedure, but the clerk goes on a rant about it.

He asks The Doctor to sign a consent form, signing over The Doctor’s remaining lives should he die here.

Obviously, the Valeyard doesn’t trust the High Council to honor their side of the bargain,” The Doctor says, signing the contract, much to Glitz’s dismay. That done, they are directed to a waiting room until the signature can be verified.

The Doctor opens the door, only to find himself in a wind-blown beach area. The Valeyard’s laughter echoes all about when The Doctor realises that Glitz isn’t there. When The Doctor asks where Glitz is, the Valeyard’s voice says he should worry about himself, and hands reach up out of the beach, grabbing him.

The Doctor proclaims “This is an illusion, this isn’t happening,” but the Valeyard says it is. Trying to break free, The Doctor falls down and the arms grab him, pulling him down into the gravely beach.

You are dead, goodbye, Doctor,” the Valeyard’s voice booms. The Doctor screams… and the credits roll.

Excellent well cliffhanger. See you Friday. 

Recap: As his evidence for his defense, The Doctor shows a story from his future. He and companion Mel are summoned by a mysterious mayday to a intergalactic liner, where there seems to be a murderer aboard. Something to do with plants and some shady scientific types, of course. We leave off with The Doctor and Mel sneaking into an ISOLATION ROOM and finding a man who seems in the process of mutation…

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

The pod-person begs them to “stop her, stop Lasky”, but then Lasky and her assistants come in and Doland takes them out as Lasky renders the pod person unsconscious.

Mel and The Doctor ask questions, and Doland answers, saying that “the monstrosity” (Mel’s word) is his assistant Ruth, and they’re transporting her back to Earth to try to treat her there.

As he explains what happened to Ruth, Rudge and the guard arrive to take him under arrest, and he is taken to the Commodore.

In the courtroom, the Valeyard stops the evidence, questioning why the evidence supposedly defending The Doctor is, in fact, of him flouting his disdain for authority. The Inquisitor agrees, saying much of the evidence does seem to go against his stated aim.

The Doctor denies that this is a case of more (supposed) tampering, suggesting that if the Valeyard exercised some restraint, all will be made clear.

On the bridge, The Doctor watches as the Commodore changes the route so it cuts even closer to the black hole. That being done, the Commodore asks about the falsifying a fire alarm.

Janet reports to Rudge that Kimber has not been seen. Rudge enters the passenger’s cabin and, not finding anything, issues a search order.

Mel slips in afterwards, finding a leaf in the bathroom.

Kimber is shown, being dragged by the plant-creatures. We get our first look at them as they lay his body with several others, including Edwards and the guard.

The Doctor calls out the Commodore on letting him run about unfettered. The Commodore admits that he’s given orders to let The Doctor have free reign in his investigations. When The Doctor advises contacting Earth to find out details about Hallet’s investigation, the Commodore reveals he already tried, but was refused as it is “Top Secret”.

When Rudge and Janet reconvene, they cannot find Kimber. The two Mogarians insist that they speak to Rudge, that he explain all that is going on. When he tries to leave, they get very insistent.

A guard is attacked by the Vervoids (the plant-creatures.) The creatures speak in English as they work to move the body.

Doland catches Bruchner destroying their notes in the hydroponics centre. Doland locks him in their shed.

Mel pesters Lasky in the gym, asking about the leaf she found. Doland arrives to tell her about Bruchner, pleading with her to calm down their compatriot. Mel grabs Doland after Lasky leaves, questioning him about the pods. He prevaricates, saying the pods were never anything but empty husks.

Mel hears breathing from the air ducts. She shoves a headset in the duct then darts in the control room. Using the controls, she hears them talking about killing all the animal life forms, but then someone grabs her from behind.

The Doctor finds the Lounge empty, and decides to go to the gym.

Mel is placed in a trash receptacle. A worker comes in and takes it out of the gym, as The Doctor is coming in. The Time Lord holds the door for the worker as he pushes Mel out.

In the control room in the gym, The Doctor plays back the recording of the Vervoids (not yet named as such in story, but I’m tired of using plant-creature.) He realises that Mel must have been in the waste bin (though that’s quite the leap of deduction.)

He rushes to the pulveriser, saving Mel moments before she’s thrust into it.

The Commodore reads Rudge the riot act about how bad a security officer he is.

The Vervoids add another body to the pile. They congratulate themselves.

The Doctor and Mel return to the gym, to find the tape gone. After The Doctor calls the murderer/Mel’s assailant a ‘he’, she posits that it could have been a woman, either Lasky or Janet.

They compare their bits of leaves and The Doctor heads off to the hydroponics, setting Mel to investigate Janet.

Janet offers the Mogarians coffee, but they decline, the second knocking the tray out of her hands. He then apologises.

The Doctor stands in the communication center, fire hatchet in his hand, the console a wreck. He looks almost maniacal and proud.

In the courtroom, The Doctor protests, saying he didn’t do that. He says that the communication equipment was smashed, but says it wasn’t him, but the murderer. Again, he claims that when he viewed it earlier, it did not show him there.

The Inquisitor asks if The Doctor is questioning the veracity of the Matrix, why keep using it? The Doctor asks what else does he have – without evidence, he is condemned.

The Valeyard prods him, saying that even with it, it seems he is condemned.

Mel is in Janet’s room, searching, when someone starts to open the door. She hides in the shower, just before a Vervoid enters.

The Commodore sees the damage in the communication center, saying there is no way to repair it.

Lasky scolds Bruchner. They debate and argue, Lasky comparing their achievements with the discovery of fire, and then later Gallileo. Bruchner attacks her and then dashes off, bumping into The Doctor who is approaching the hydroponics center.

He finds Lasky, unconscious or dead, and checks on her condition.

The Vervoids stand about. One of them gives a pep rally speech about being “unique, the only members of the Vervoid species” (and thus they’re named, yay.) He tells them they must destroy Bruchner is their greatest threat to them and their goal of reaching planet Earth.

Bruchner attacks a guard and takes his weapon.

The Doctor has Lasky back to consciousness, and they argue; she denies any existence of the Vervoids and The Doctor lectures her on joining an elite group – “misguided scientists who claim the pursuit of truth as an excuse for immoral experiments”.

She tells him that Bruchner is out to destroy the ship and they must stop him.

Bruchner has made it to the bridge and orders the Commodore and pilot out. He seals the door and then sits at the controls, directing the ship towards the black hole.

The Doctor and Lasky arrive to find the Commodore outside, and he learns from Lasky that Bruchner is a trained pilot. The ship begins shaking as the route is changed.

Still in Janet’s room, the Vervoid begins spewing gas. Mel is still hiding in the shower.

The ship heads towards the black hole.

But, in case that wasn’t obvious enough, we have an additional scene where Lasky has to ask what’s going on and The Doctor tells her, “Your man is aiming the Hyperion III directly into the eye of the black hole of Tartarus.” Lasky looks shocked… and the credits roll.

Sadly, that extra bit of “our audience is stupid” ruined any real effect the cliffhanger might have had. A much better one would have been with the ship going towards the black hole.

Episode 4:

The Vervoids head to the bridge, to stop Bruchner.

Mel escapes the cabin.

Everyone is shown holding on to things for their dear lives. The Doctor and others are trying to cut in the bridge door. As they pierce the lock, marsh gas starts pouring out. Lasky tells them that gas masks won’t be sufficient against it.

As The Doctor and the Commodore start arguing over who’s going to go in, both trying to take all the risk, Rudge tells them there’s no need for heroics and calls someone on his communicator.

The Hyperion III is shown getting closer and closer to the black hole, which looms ever larger…

The Mogarians enter the bridge and bring the ship to safety. After this, the Mogarians, working with Rudge, hijack the ship. Rudge rants about how he is tired of someone always patronising him, bossing him about.

En route to being taken to the Lounge, The Doctor sees Mel and holds up the procession so she can get away before being spotted by Rudge. She rushes back to the Lounge and warns Janet and Doland before the others arrive.

In the Lounge, The Doctor tries to scamper off, but Rudge warns him from trying to escape. Rudge demands the keys to the vault from the Commodore, who refuses. Rudge KO’s him and gets the keys. He reveals he’s being paid by the Mogarians to help them recover the minerals taken from their planet.

The Mogarians announce that everyone is to remain at their posts, and if anyone approaches the Lounge or the bridge, the hostages will be killed. Mel, Janet and Doland hear this. Mel goes to put out a call for help (why didn’t Janet do that?) but they find the communications room in shambles.

Doland asks Janet if she can get the guards together, but she argues about the safety of the hostages. Mel and Doland tell her the hostages will be killed regardless.

The Commodore and The Doctor confer in hushed tones, discussing whether Rudge is affiliated with the murders. They agree he has nothing to do with it, so even if the hijack gets solved, there’s still that.

On the bridge, someone throws liquid in the faces of the Mogarians. They cry out in pain. This is interesting as they’re wearing sealed helmets. They fall to the floor screaming in pain.

Mel, sneaking in the ventilation system, whispers to The Doctor in the Lounge. She warns him that they’re planning to attack the Lounge, but he tells her to have them attack the bridge instead.

The Vervoids stand around and pontificate on the animal-kind killing each other. For a bunch of plants, these guys sure talk a lot. They agree to resume the hunt and do some silly dance.

On the bridge, Mel, Doland and Janet find the dead Mogarians. Mel questions who did this and how, but Doland tells her to stop playing detective, they still need to figure out how to convince Rudge that the hijack is a lost cause.

Mel suggests that they take the Mogarian’s face plates.

A Vervoid finds Ruth in the ISOLATION ROOM. She screams and it attacks her.

In the Lounge, The Doctor paces. Mel and company enter, telling him his allies are dead, showing him the faceplates. He runs off and the Commodore sends a man to the bridge. The Doctor asks for a phaser and for permission to search all cabins for the tape.

The Commodore gives him a gun and the permission requested. Mel draws the Time Lord aside to ask why he announced so publicly about the tape, saying anyone (meaning Lasky and Doland in particular) could hear. The Doctor pretends he didn’t know that and she catches on.

When she asks what he’s up to, he replies, “Mel, I entered this affair as a Judas Goat, I intend to re-adopt the role.” They realise that either her cabin or the locker in the gym are where Lasky might’ve hidden the tape, if she were the one who took it.

Rudge, running through the halls, is surrounded and attacked by the Vervoids.

Doland confronts The Doctor in Doland’s cabin (guess the keys were just window-dressing as nobody has needed one in this entire serial) as the Time Lord searches for the tape. Doland suggests searching Lasky’s cabin, but The Doctor says he already has.

Doland says he’s innocent and he can’t believe the professor is guilty, but in an effort to end this nonsense, he says he knows of another place the professor might have secreted it and leaves to show The Doctor the way.

Lasky confronts Mel, who is going through her locker (guess they don’t have keys for that either.) Lasky says, “No tape, that’s what you were hoping to find, isn’t it?”

In the hydroponics lab, The Doctor uses a lockpick device to open the locked (oh, there are locks) drawer. Doland gets ahold of The Doctor’s gun and gives him the tape, but says he’s already wiped it.

When The Doctor admits he thought he might have, Doland is amazed that he still suspected him and let him bring him down there.

A reckless streak,” The Doctor offers. “I’m prone to them.” He lays out the reasons why Doland was the suspect – the prime clue indicating him instead of possibly Lasky was the slaughter of the Mogarians, who were killed while Lasky was imprisoned in the Lounge.

(Okay, fine, but howcome Mel/Janet never mentioned that he wasn’t with them the whole time – every time we saw the them, the three of them were together. That’s actually poor writing in a mystery.)

Doland says that the Vervoids represent vast economic power – they plan to use Vervoids as slave labour, a cheap replacement to robotic workers. A Vervoid listens to this from outside the shed and slips off.

When Doland is done explaining, he tries to shoot The Doctor with the gun, but our hero had already disarmed it. Doland slips out, only to find the Commodore and guards waiting to arrest him.

The Vervoids stand about (they do that a lot) and talk (already established, still doing that a lot) about killing Doland, when the one reports in.

In the hall, a Vervoid attacks the guard escorting Doland. Doland runs off, but is trapped by the others.

On the bridge, the Commodore demands of Lasky how to wipe out the Vervoids. The Doctor argues that the Vervoids are only on the defensive, as all animal-kind eat plant-life at one time or another.

The Commodore says that ultimately it’s either one side or the other. No matter what, the end of the Vervoids must be achieved if they are to survive. He turns to The Doctor, specifically saying, “We need your undivided commitment.”

In the courtroom, The Doctor stops the playback, “And there you have it, the direct request! I did not meddle, I was presented with an appeal. And not just from anybody, but from the man in whom authority was vested.”

The Inquisitor accepts the argument, pointing out that the Valeyard cannot refute it, either. The Valeyard does not dispute this, merely suggesting they await the outcome of the “adventure”.

In the hydroponics shed, Lasky says there isn’t enough of whatever she was looking for to make herbicide. It seems the Vervoids are (again) one step ahead of them.

As they talk, the Vervoids approach the shed en masse. Lasky tries to appeal to them, saying she was not trying to exploit them like Doland was. The Vervoids say they know her, but even she is their enemy, and they attack her and carry her off.

In the pulversing station, the worker fights off and pushes a Vervoid into it, but a second one kills him.

Running through the ventilation tunnels, Mel is horrified to see the pile of bodies, but The Doctor compares it to her garden in Pease Pottage, asking what she did with the plants and weeds she uprooted.

Put them in a compost heap,” she answers, the answer The Doctor was trying to get her to reach. He tells her it’s just their instinct. “A compulsive following of the life cycle.”

In the Lounge, the guards and Janet try to bar the doors, as the Vervoid attack.

The Doctor and Mel make it to the bridge; he suggests using Vionesium (a rare metal found on the planet Mogar, of course) that can be used to accelerate the life cycle of the Vervoids. The Doctor says it’s like having seasons pass in a matter of moments, extreme light and carbon dioxide released when the metal is exposed to air.

Lighting is shut down, heating turned off in areas, forcing the Vervoids into one area. The Vervoids gather and talk. Just outside where they are, Mel and The Doctor listen in.

One straggler of a Vervoid arrives in the tunnel and Mel screams (cuz that’s her job… sigh). The Doctor yells at her to use the vionesium and they do, causing the Vervoids to die.

As they die, their death-knells are heard throughout the ship. One of the guards put his arm around Janet and they share a look. Yeah, like that had any necessity.

Dead leaves are all that is left of the Vervoids. The Doctor has the Commodore restore power as haunting music plays.

Later, Janet and the Commodore say their goodbyes to Mel and The Doctor. There’s banter and whatnot and they enter the TARDIS and leave.

In the courtroom, Sagac… I mean, the Inquisitor asks, “Did none of the unfortunate creatures survive, Doctor?’

No, my lady, had even a leave survived and fallen on fertile soil, a Vervoid would have grown,” he replies somberly.

(This is a magical moment about to happen here, kids, pay attention. This part stands out in my memory. I have goosebumps.)

Every Vervoid was destroyed by your ingenious plan,” the Valeyard states.

Still unhappy about it (though he hasn’t done it yet), The Doctor nods, “Yes.”

Ominous music plays as the Valeyard stands up, saying, “Whether or not The Doctor has proved himself innocent of meddling is no longer the cardinal issue before this court. He has proved himself GUILTY of a far greater crime!” There’s a delighted grin as he says this last part.

You refer to Article Seven of Gallifreyan law,” the Inquisitor asks.

The Doctor, horrified, argues, “No, my lady, that cannot apply! Had a single Vervoid reached Earth, the human race would’ve been eliminated!”

Article Seven permits not exceptions,” the Valeyard reminds him. “The Doctor has destroyed a complete species,” he addresses the court, “The charge must now be genocide.”

Horrified, The Doctor gapes. The camera zooms in on his face… and the final credits roll.

AND THAT IS A CLIFFHANGER. Wow. WOW. WOW WOW WOW. I love that part. That is my second favourite bit of dialogue from this entire season. (What’s my fave, you ask? Oh, you’ll find out next week. Oh, yes, my pretties.)

Brilliant bit of writing that. Fucking awesome.

See you next week for the finale.

Ugh. I hate Mel. Ugh.

Episode 1:

We open with a recess having just ended; the Inquisitor asks if the recess was long enough for The Doctor to deal with his loss, but he says he doubts there ever will be suffficient time for that.

The Valeyard calls him out, saying The Doctor’s remorse is a charade, considering how he was the one who allowed for his companion to come to an end.

The Inquisitor reminds the Valeyard that “The Doctor is fighting for his life,” which is interesting, because even though the Valeyard had, on several occasions, suggested or requested that this become a real trial with real consequences, the Inquisitor had never acknowledged any change from it being an inquiry.

Regardless, she asks if The Doctor is ready to present his defense, and he says that he is. He thanks her for allowing him access to the Matrix, saying he will be showing evidence from his future.

Is it going to be The Doctor’s defense that he improves,” asks the prosecutor.

Somberly, The Doctor regards his enemy, then says simply, “Precisely,” nodding once.

This, I must see,” quips the Valeyard.

The Doctor introduces that his evidence involves a scenario that not only threatens a group of people trapped on their own, but would, if unresolved, threaten everyone on Earth.

A planet comes up on the Matrix screen, which The Doctor introduces as “Mogar, a planet on the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way. Rich in rare metals, a top priority consignment of these precious metals is being loaded aboard Hyperion III, an intergalactic liner that ferries between Mogar and Earth.” As he talks, we get a pan shot of the liner. “A scheduled flight, in the Earth year 2986. Crew is aboard, the last passengers are reporting in. Many will never complete the journey. For, in order to protect a secret hidden on the space liner, one will become a murderer.” And with that last bit, there’s a dramatic musical tone. While he’s be exposition-happy, the camera view has shifted to inside the liner, where a variety of humanoids mill about, many sitting and drinking or playing games.

Crew members walk about, overseeing, tending to their charges. It’s an opulent scene.

A woman in pink is bitching to the crew about losing her luggage. The woman is a professor, apparently. (OMG, it’s Pussy Galore!!! The professor lady is played by Honor Blackman!!) Security Officer Rudge, who had been standing nearby and heard the commotion, comes over to handle matters. He realises she went to the wrong cabin (six instead of nine – so how’d she get in to find her luggage wasn’t there?)

As she storms off, a bearded man in green checks in, ironically being assigned cabin number six. His name is Mr. Grenville and Rudge approaches him, introducing himself. As they talk, an old man calls out to Grenville, calling him “Mister Hallet” and saying how nice it is seeing someone who isn’t a stranger.

Grenville tells the elderly man that he’s mistaken. The old man protests, saying they met three years ago when “Hallet” came to investigate granary shortages. Grenville insists the old man is confused and storms off.

One of Professor Pussy Galore (haven’t learned her name yet)’s associates gets nervous about an investigator on board. She tells him (his name is Bruchner) to “go and check the safety measures for the Isolation Room. Immediately.”

Grenville is seen poking about what seems to the cargo hold. He slips on a worker suit while the workers are busy and gets in line with them.

The ship has left Mogar.

On the TARDIS, Mel (ugh) is putting The Doctor through some exercise. She rewards him with some carrot juice. He complains that his ears are starting to grow longer.

A technician manning a scanner sees an “unidentified ship” on the screen/radar/whatever you use in space.

In a hallway, Janet (crewmember) is startled by one of the aliens (they wear a full bodied suit, almost armor-like.) It talks to her, but in a mechanical/alien language. She tells it to turn on the translator, and it does so, asking why they didn’t depart on schedule.

She says a gentleman from Mogar (the alien’s planet) was a late arrival, and thus the delay. The Mogarian walks off without further word.

She walks on to the radar room, where the tech dude says there’s an unidentified ship that’s not responding to the usual channels. After she leaves, the door to the room opens, but the man is unaware. Someone (with a humanoid hand) injects something into his neck and he collapses. They then begin fiddling with the instruments.

Back in the TARDIS, a message with the same beeping is received. It’s a mayday call. Mel says they have to respond, The Doctor agrees, and the TARDIS appears in the cargo area.

The Doctor says that was no ordinary mayday call, it was sent to him specifically. He’s wondering why it wasn’t signed if they knew him (he’s obviously wondering if it’s a trap.) As they talk, a guard spots them from the catwalk.

The Doctor says there’s evil in this place; he changes his mind, saying they should go elsewhere, but then two guards take them prisoner.

The scanner tech is seen reporting to Rudge and the commanding officer, being questioned about the attack on him. It seems the security tape in the room was deactivated. The Commodore dismisses him, but just then The Doctor and Mel are brought in.

The Doctor recognises the Commodore, addressing him as “Captain ‘Tonker’ Travers”. The Commodore corrects him and then complains about him showing up on his ship in a line that seems ripped from Casablanca, maybe? “Of all the places in this infinite universe, you have to turn up on my ship?”

The Doctor asks if the Commodore sent the mayday, but he says he authorised no such signal. When Mel complains about their greeting, the Commodore says the previous time their paths crossed, it was not a happy situation.

The Doctor tries to leave, but the Commodore has this restricted to passenger areas and escorted to the lounge.

Rudge complains about stowaways on his final status report. The Commodore tells Rudge to give The Doctor enough leeway, “and he will snare our culprit for us.”

We see a high security area filled with some plant-cactus pods. One of the Mogarians is poking about, seemingly having breached the area. It takes some silver seeds and leaves.

The Doctor complains, saying they’re being used. Mel still thinks it’s the Commodore who sent the message, but The Doctor isn’t convinced. She says the quickest way out would be to solve the mystery. She encourages him to look at the passenger manifest while she pokes around to see if anyone makes contact.

A Mogarian seems to be paying them great attention.

Mel wanders the quarters, but Rudge comes across her. She pretends she’s looking for the gym, and he offers to escort her there.

The Doctor asks for a copy of the passenger list.

Bruchner rushes into the “ISOLATION ROOM”, quite hurriedly. There’s a dramatic tone.

In the gym, the professor is working out. Rudge turns on a aerobics workout tape for Mel to listen to as she works out. He leaves. The professor’s other assistant arrives and tells her that there’s a problem in the hydroponics centre. HE tells her it’s been broken into, and she leaves, instructing him to get Bruchner in there.

Someone communicates with Mel through the headset, but she doesn’t know who it is.

Rudge authorises The Doctor to view the passenger list. He doesn’t recognise any of them. As he walks away, Mel enters to say she’s been contacted and the person wants to meet in cabin six (ahah!) The Doctor says he’s going to refuse the role of “judas goat” and go for a “non-provocative stroll around the deck” instead.

Professor Lasky and her two assistants head to the hydroponics area (where the pods are and where the Mogarian we saw earlier had broken in.) She chastises the one assistant the whole time (she’s really a miserable person all around thus far), while Bruchner goes in and reports that the “Demeter seeds” have been stolen.

Mel goes to cabin six, where the door is unlocked. Inside, the Demeter seeds are in plain sight. She enters, calling out. As she pokes around, an inside door slides open and The Doctor walks out, saying she’s not supposed to be there.

They argue safety in numbers vs two heads in the same noose. The room is in shambles and they wonder what has happened.

Rudge summons the Commodore to Waste Disposal, saying there’s an accident. A body has been thrown in and the Commodore says it is murder. The Doctor and Mel arrive, saying that the passenger in cabin six was the one who contacted The Doctor. They went there, but the room was a wreck, but there was a single shoe, matching one left by the disposal unit.

They deduce that Grenville was the man killed. The Doctor says he doesn’t know who he was.

Bruchner reports to Lasky about the emergency in the disposal unit; she’s content that it has nothing to do with them.

Back in the gym, The Doctor tells Mel that’s the end of the line, as their contact seems to have been disposed of. (My pun, not theirs.) Someone seems to have been in the control room, but we only see the door close, as Mel and The Doctor argue whether there’s any more they can do to investigate.

He encourages her to her “arbitrary course” and leave him to himself.

In the courtroom, The Doctor says he doesn’t remember that. The Inquisitor reminds him it’s from the future, so he cannot. He counters that he reviewed the evidence earlier, and there have been changes. He argues that he wouldn’t have ignored Mel’s argument, and that the words he used to dismiss her weren’t even him – “misused and didn’t even sound like mine.”

The Valeyard accuses him of theatrics to try to stop this playback, as Mel, too, is going to die. Interestingly enough, the Valeyard uses the phrase “arbitrary course”, which The Doctor notes (even repeating quietly, though the others don’t notice or at least address.)

The Doctor insists that the evidence is being distorted; the Valeyard all but screams in reaction, saying it is preposterous, that the Matrix could lie. He puts it back on The Doctor again, saying he sent Mel back into danger.

No, no, this is all wrong,” The Doctor protests, “Every instinct of which I am capable would have made me prevent her!”

Yet, you did not,” the Valeyard retorts.

Sad, dramatic music plays as the Inquisitor says he must continue with the submission or she will be forced to consider the evidence for the defense concluded.

Faced with no other choice, he continues the playback.

Mel is seen in the cargo hold. The communication/scanner officer, Edwards, confronts her. She says she wanted to look at the hydroponics, saying she thinks it has something to do with the mayday call.

He agrees to show her there and she asks about the professor. He talks about her and her assistants (the other we didn’t know the name being Doland.) He says they had to allocate part of the hold for the hydroponics area. He explains that only low-spectrum light is allowed in there so the plants remain dormant.

Edwards goes in first, saying he doesn’t want her breaking her neck, “At least, not until…” but his words are cut off as he touches the interior door and is electrified!

He falls through the sheeting and a series of explosions spark off as Mel screams. One of the pods reacts, a flower poking through the outer shell… and the credits roll.

A bit rushed of a cliffhanger but not bad otherwise.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Several pods react as Mel screams. She rushes off, but two guards stop her. She tells them what happened, and one takes her off while the other stays behind, only to be attacked by one of the plants.

The Valeyard stops the playback to accuse The Doctor of another death, saying it was only luck that made it the guard and not Mel.

Again, The Doctor argues that the Matrix playback has been changed. He says he is being manipulated but carries on.

(Bit of a hard sell on that point. Ah, just checked, these episodes were shown a week apart, so I guess they felt they had to remind the audience of The Doctor’s assertion that someone is changing the evidence.)

Doland exits the ISOLATION ROOM, handing some broken trays to the guard posted outside, saying nothing to be concerned about.

The Doctor sits in the gym, bored, musing, something. Lasky comes in and asks why he’s not wearing a “pulse-ometer”. He says they’re only keyed for single pulses, not double.

A double pulse, what are you, a comedian,” she asks.

No, more a sort of clown, actually,” he replies. And this is true – The Doctor is definitely a Fool/Jester archetype if there ever were one.

Rudge arrives to summon him to the bridge. Two guards are with him and they escort him there to speak up for Mel. He vouches for her to the Commodore, and she tries to explain.

Rudge gets a call from the medical team, saying they can’t find Edwards’ body. The guard who escorted Mel says he left a man down there, but Rudge says there’s no sign of him either.

The Commodore tells Rudge to find those men, then chastises The Doctor. He says The Doctor can’t tell him what’s going on.

I can,” Mel says, “the answer’s simple enough – you’ve got a killer on board.” Again, a dramatic striking of background music.

A Mogarian enters the hydroponics area. He collects a leaf from the floor, and then listens to an air duct or something, where there’s rattling.

The Doctor and Mel pass by the ISOLATION ROOM, wondering if the guard posted there is keeping people out or something in.

Bruchner and Doland walk, the former complaining they should have never gone as far as they have. Doland says Bruchner has “the temperament of an overcautious rabbit”. They arrive at the hydroponics, to find every pod is empty!

Bruchner is very concerned about what’s been unleashed.

Mel asks what The Doctor did with the seeds. She wants to ask Lasky about them, but The Doctor approaches her, asking her if she knows about the Demeter seeds. She asks the stewardess to summon security, calling The Doctor a thief.

Bruchner saw something moving, but Doland says he’s imaginging it. The Mogarian hides from them.

Mel and The Doctor (well, mostly Mel – it seems Lasky won’t listen to The Doctor but is more than happy to talk to Mel) explain where they found the seeds, and this seems to have placated her anger. She says they’re very special, but cannot imagine why a mineralogist would want them.

Lasky claims the seeds will grow in desert sand and increased food production threefold.

Rudge arrives but Lasky says it was a mistake, her calling The Doctor a thief. She gets a wonderful dig in at our Time Lord, “The fellow may be a fool, but he’s not a criminal.”

In a huff, The Doctor pops a Demeter seed in his mouth and eats it.

On the bridge, the Commodore and his pilot change their course, cutting 72 hours off the total travel time. The Commodore is anxious to get “expert investigators” on board.

Two Mogarians play Galaga or Galaxian on a screen hovering on the table between them. It looks like they’re both playing at the same time, so not sure if one is controlling the bottom ship and the other the enemy ships or what. The game ends, they nods at each other and the screen fades.

On the lounge, the ship shakes as the navigational changes are made. The Commodore assures everyone what is going on, saying it is no big deal. The Mogarians (after turning on their translators) ask about the Black Hole of Tartarus.

The second Mogarian turns on his translator to join the convo. A third Mogarian arrives behind them. This third one doesn’t turn on his translator when he joins in, a point The Doctor seems to notice.

The Mogarians argue with the Commodore, bringing up their issues with the Earthlings mining their planet. The Commodore bows out of the conversation, saying politics is not within his realm. The Doctor quips that perhaps it should be, and the Mogarians engage in conversation with him, complaining that the humans are going through the universe “like a plague fo interplanetary locusts”.

In the courtroom, the Valeyard complains about being “subjected to a dissertation on interplanetary politics”. The Doctor mocks him, saying he’s so keen on prosecuting him that he’s missed what just happened.

The Valeyard argues, “My eyes never left the screen.”

You may have been selected to prosecute me, Valeyard, but I hope you’ll never be chosen to defend me,” The Doctor continues his mocking.

An occasion that will not arise, Doctor,” the Valeyard assures him. “Your lives are forfeit as I’ve ably proven.”

Something vital just happened in that scene,” The Doctor asserts, “and the Valeyard perversely switched our attention to more trivial matters.”

This continues a bit before the Inquisitor instructs them to cease their arguing and return to the playback.

The three Mogarians are seated at a table. A drink is brought to one, which it sips through a straw.

On the catwalk, Rudge and the Commodore discuss the mystery of Edwards’ disappearance.

Suddenly, the Mogarian sipping the drink falls over, choking. The Doctor tries to remove his faceplate, but the other Mogarians argue he will die if he does so, as they cannot breathe oxygen.

The Doctor argues that it is not a Mogarian, and removes the faceplate to reveal Grenville, but he’s already dead. The Doctor says his name isn’t Grenville, it is Hallet. The old man says he knew it was Hallet, but says the man refused his identity.

The Doctor says Hallet was here to investigate something, but when the old man recognised him, he was forced to fake his own death and adopt another identity, that of a Mogarian.

Rudge is disturbed to find out that there was an undercover agent on board without his knowing. The Doctor says he may have been a suspect. Rudge questions how The Doctor knew he wasn’t a Mogarian.

In the courtroom, the Valeyard asks the same question, suggesting that The Doctor has been editing the Matrix evidence. The Inquisitor says if this is true, “That would be a serious offense, Doctor.”

The Doctor stands up, “At the risk of appearing impertinent… Sagacity… I would point out that you, the Valeyard and everyone here present could have acquired the same knowledge.”

When she asks him to explain, he says, “With respect, you will not hear it from me,” he plays back the scene earlier when the two Mogarians confront the Commodore (turning on their translators, and then Grenville joining but not doing so.)

The Valeyard and Inquisitor ask about Hallet’s methods, the latter saying they were “very unorthodox”. The Doctor agrees, and thanks the prosecutor “for putting his finger on the nub of my defense”, explaining that he could no longer stay on the sidelines.

Starting the playback, we see The Doctor and Mel on the catwalk. She says that anyone could have poisoned the drink (really? So the drink was passed around from passenger to passenger before being delivered to Hallet?)

The Doctor agrees that they have “a plethora of suspects” and she is delighted to learn he’s on the case. He says he admired Hallet and says the seeds were left by the investigator for The Doctor to find.

Mel says it was meant to lead him to the hydroponics center and they walk off.

Bruchner confronts the guard who has left his post at the ISOLATION ROOM. The guard was listening to some rattling in the air ductways, but returns back to his post immediately.

The Doctor and Mel enter the cargo area. He says Hallet sent the mayday, summoning him as both catalyst and distraction. He wonders at Hallet’s methods, as he finds them a bit blunt for a more subtle man.

They banter some (at least she’s not arguing/whining all the time like Peri did. So far, Mel’s ok, not as bad as I seemed to recall. I’m still not the biggest fan, though.)

The Doctor pulls out a leaf that he took out of Hallet’s pocket, comparing it to the empty pods. They talk about the professor, and The Doctor explains that she’s a thremmatologist. Mel asks what the difference of that and an agronomist is.

Science of breeding or propagating animals and plants under domestication,” The Doctor explains.

The Doctor steps into one of the pod husks, wondering what was inside.

In the gym, Bruchner is panicking. The other two say they have no reason to believe there is any danger. Bruchner brings up the ISOLATION ROOM, but she says it is “an unfortunate mishap that has no relevance to the situation.”

She reminds him they agreed not to divulge their discovery until they reach Earth. He says she doesn’t understand, “the crime we are committing in the name of science will make us infamous!” (That’s a dramatic statement, and there’s a dramatic chord at that moment.)

Something is watching them from the air ventilation system. You know, the system we keep seeing people listening to noises in? Yeah, that one. We get a glimpse of it and it seems to be something quite alien/inhuman. Even… dum dum dum… plantlike!!

Janet (stewardess) sees Mister Kimber (old man) going to his quarters. He says he doubt he’ll get any sleep, what with the events. “At my age, one doesn’t like to be reminded of mortality,” he explains. (Kimber is played by Arthur Hewlitt, who played Kalmar in the Tom Baker serial STATE OF DECAY.)

She leaves to fetch him a warm drink.

In his room, one of the plant creatures attacks Kimber and Janet brings his drink. Hearing the shower on (turned on by the plant creature), she leaves the drink. She passes The Doctor and Mel, who see Lasky exiting the ISOLATION ROOM, wearing a surgical mask, which seems very out of place for her specialty of study.

As Mel points out that there’s two problems in finding out – one, the guard, and two, no mask – she hears rattling in the… guess where? Can you? Bet you can’t, I bet… you did guess it was the ventilation system? Oh, good, you’re paying attention!

The Doctor grabs a hatchet and hits the alarm. The guard runs from his post and the Time Lord sends him to the lounge, saying passengers are in danger. They grab rebreathers from the fire hose/hatchet/alarm station and enter the ISOLATION ROOM.

Inside, they find a covered bed; pulling back the cover is a man who seems mutated – with the theme I’m guessing (cuz I don’t remember for sure) that he’s infected with something from the plants and is changing as a result. He turns and opens his eyes (and one eye is quite different, not even an eye) and Mel screams (cuz that’s what annoying female companions do)…and the credits roll.

A decent cliffhanger, more of a “what the hell is going on” than a “oh no, danger will robinson!” type.

See you Friday…

 

 

Recap: The second bit of evidence in The Doctor’s trial is presented, as he and Peri arrive on Thoros Beta, home to the Mentors. They find Sil (from VENGEANCE ON VAROS) there and things turn for the worse when The Doctor is mind-zapped by some machine and seemingly turns against Peri. We leave off with the barbarian King Yrcanos facing off with The Doctor, ready to kill him.

 

spoiler warning

 

Episode 3:

 

At the last moment, Peri knocks the gun out of Yrcanos’ hands, saving her friend’s life. The Doctor scampers off as the barbarian chastises Peri.

 

In the courtroom, the Valeyard says that The Doctor was always this way and never cared about anyone but himself. The Doctor argues, saying it’s all just a ruse, but the Valeyard points out that The Doctor’s memory isn’t cooperating.

 

The Doctor says bits and pieces are coming back, but they don’t agree with what the court has been shown. He says “the emphasis is all wrong.”

 

The Inquisitor suggests adjourning the court in lieu of The Doctor’s faulty memories, saying he can hardly defend himself properly, but Six refuses her offer, saying he’s not barmy.

 

She then offers a court defender, as a second alternative. He declines, saying that if the Time Lords want his life, he’s not about to trust one of them to defend it.

 

On Thoros Beta, The Doctor returns to Crozier’s operating room, where a dead body of a Mentor has been found in the sea. Crozier says the skull of this body isn’t much larger than Kiv’s, so it would be a temporary host at best. He does point out that the creature retained its stinger, something Kiv finds interesting. Sil, however, doesn’t, when Kiv suggests that he could use it to sting all his assistants to death.

 

The Doctor joins the operating team. When Kiv is sedated, he reminds everyone that if he dies, his men have orders to kill everyone.

 

Yrcanos leads Peri and Dorf through the tunnels and says he is searching for resistance fighters, as they need a great leader, such as he. Peri upsets him when she says destiny is just another word for “blind chance”. She gets him to calm down and agree to rest for a bit. They sit down and have some food which Peri finds unpleasant.

 

When Peri offers Dorf some puppy-skritchens, Yrcanos says not to do that, as he was once a great warrior. Dorf says Yrcanos is jealous because Peri is giving him attention and they start fighting until Peri breaks them up and gets them searching for the resistance fighters again.

 

There’s a tense moment (especially for Sil, who has guns pointed at him by Kiv’s men when this happens) when Kiv’s new body doesn’t seem to respond, but The Doctor gets it breathing and Kiv’s men sheathe their guns.

 

Sil is wonderfully fun in this sequence, but I really cannot quote the entire serial. It takes me over an hour to do a 25 minute episode as it is, just stopping to transcribe so much.

 

Peri, Yrcanos and Dorf encounter some men who tell them to come with them.

 

Crozier tells The Doctor that he doesn’t need to worry about tissue rejection, as he’s developed a serum that handles that. “As of today, I can put any brain in any body… any where.”

 

Sil invites The Doctor to attend a meeting of comerce.

 

Peri, Dorf and Yrcanos are tied up in a cave. The men plans to kill them and destroy their brains after death so they cannot be mutated. Peri begs, explaining they are allies. The leader of the men says he has heard of Yrcanos, “If you are he, you will have a plan.”

 

Yrcanos says, confidently, “Untie us and you will hear.”

 

Crozier has some tea, but Matrona says that something is wrong. Kiv’s body is going into cardiac arrest.

 

The rebels says Yrcanos’ plan is a good one, but their men are untrained. Yrcanos says with his leadership, they will not need it. When Peri argues, Dorf says he has seen his king inspire men to great deeds. Peri is worried about casualties but everyone else says it doesn’t matter.

 

Sil shows The Doctor his money operation. While they talk, a credit request from a salvage company comes in for new equipment. Sil is about to deny it off-handedly, but The Doctor tells him that in the vicinity of the planet Tokl in the 24th century, there were a lot of rim conflicts that resulted in many ships just floating, ready to be salvaged.

 

How useful to have a Time Lord in one’s employ,” Sil trills and approves the credit application. The celebrate, Sil offers The Doctor a marsh minnow, which he accepts, much to his regret, as it doesn’t agree with his stomach.

 

In the tunnels, an old man collapses. Yrcanos and his men and Peri rush to him, one of the rebels recognising him as a friend, but he is only twenty. Peri finds an implant, saying it might be responsible.

 

When Yrcanos finds out he was a guard on their weapon dump, they rush to investigate.

 

Lord Kiv is still not responding, but with Crozier and Matrona working away, he is resuscitated. Sil orders his bearers to bring him close, feeling his face should be the first Lord Kiv sees upon waking. He is, and Lord Kiv is horrified, asking if he’s died and gone to Mogdana (their version of Hell, apparently.)

 

Yrcanos leads his men through the tunnels, telling them it is a great day to die.

 

Kiv says he hardly feels different, he even has an ache in his skull. Crozier says it will be his skull for the time being. When Kiv talks of returning to work, Sil tells him that he and The Doctor have things in hand as they have struck up a new working arrangement.

 

Not speculation, I trust,” Kiv asks.

 

The rebels find that their weapons dump has been covered by a rockfall. Everyone suspects a trap. When everyone says they should leave, Yrcanos argues, but the combined arguments of Peri and finally Dorf sway him. But, as they leave, the rockfall shifts and they see the bodies of Verne and the other resistance fighters. As they try to unearth them, they are caught by the guards.

 

In the courtroom, The Doctor protests, saying he wasn’t there, that cannot be his fault. The Valeyard says he is indirectly responsible for everything. The Inquisitor agrees that his presence affected events, that cannot be denied.

 

Yrcanos moves to attack, and is shot. The lead rebel jumps for the swords (now visible from the rock fall) and he, too, is shot. Then, Peri, too is shot and collapses!!

 

In the courtroom, The Doctor jumps up, “No, no, no, I won’t believe it!”

You still continue to ignore the truth,” the Valeyard replies.

I am not responsible for that,” Six retorts.

The Valeyard gets the last word, “In your mind, perhaps not. But in reality, it is somewhat different, Doctor….” and the credits roll.

 

That?

 

Awesome cliffhanger.

 

Episode 4:

 

The Doctor asks if Peri was dead, and the Valeyard says she is not. The Inquisitor asks what the purpose of showing that footage was, and the prosecutor says to further iillustrate The Doctor’s culpability.

 

The Inquisitor says she thought it somewhat gratuitous, and The Doctor adds, “And highly prejudicial! You won’t convict me by using shock tactics.”

 

The Valeyard says he just needs the truth.

 

Yrcanos, Peri, Tuza (the rebel headsman), Dorf wake up. The headsman tells them to get up. He admits they always knew of the weapons dump, but didn’t worry about it until Yrcanos came into the picture, saying he’s in love with death enough that he could inspire rabble into action. All the while, Yrcanos is just beaming, soaking the words in as praise.

 

Kiv dreams of the sea, murmuring in his sleep. The Doctor watches worriedly as Crozier tends to his patient. Crozier tells The Doctor that the body came from a fisherman and they had to use the body as there were no immediate options.

 

Looking through a scope, The Doctor says some of the host’s cells are trying to alter Kiv’s brain. Sil goes on a rant, accusing Crozier of turning an economic genius into “a… a… catcher of sea snakes!”

 

The Doctor hypothesises that the trauma of the donor’s death might be affecting Kiv’s brain. Crozier takes steps to rectify things. Sil reminds them that they have a meeting upcoming and Kiv must not only be present, but be able to make sane decisions.

 

Crozier assures Sil that Kiv will be there, though in whose body remains to be seen. He says that they must find a new host soon. The Doctor agrees, unaware of how Crozier is sizing up his skull all the while.

 

Peri, Yrcanos and Dorf are locked up, but Tuza is taken away. Yrcanos says they’re going to be executed one at a time. Peri sits down and pontificates, “Oh, it’s strange. Ever since we came to Thoros Beta, I’ve been… homesick. Not so much for a place, but a time. I just want to be back in my own time with people I love.”

 

Yrcanos, listening, seems perplexed. He kneels by her and shows a bit of a tender side, almost a vulnerable side, asking, “What is that – love?”

 

Well… it… it’s when you care for someone or something, more than yourself… I guess,” Peri tries to explain.

 

Yrcanos and Dorf find this hard to believe. Peri even adds that you can even care for someone more than your own life. Yrcanos laughs, saying he cares nothing for his own life. This, as it has every time he’s said anything about the glory of throwing away their lives in battle, upsets her.

 

Yrcanos explains his people are reincarnated into a more noble warrior after each death, until they become a king, and then after they die again, they join “the other kings on Verduna, the home of the gods!” Instead of roaring this bombastically (which Blessed does so very well), he says this almost gently, but with vigorous enthusiasm about it.

 

Peri is amused to learn that the kings on Verduna spend their time fighting.

 

Tuza is measured, but deemed unsuitable. Crozier says it’s a shame that The Doctor was deemed unsuitable as well. The Doctor agrees, saying unlike Sil, he would happily have given his body to host Lord Kiv.

 

What about your companion, Doctor,” Crozier asks. The Doctor says she’s unsuitable, being a female. Matrona suggesting at least having her checked out and Crozier agrees.

 

The Doctor is uncomfortable and asks that they use someone else. Crozier remarks that he has feelings for the woman.

 

Certainly enough to not to want to see her experimented upon,” The Doctor tries to not seem too strongly attached, seemingly still playing his ploy. Crozier says he understands and is not without pity and tells The Doctor to go to the induction centre, if he can find a more suitable candidate than Peri, he will use it.

 

Peri is taken out of the cell. As she leaves, Yrcanos puts a hand on her shoulder, “Die well, my lady.”

 

At the induction centre, The Doctor finds the place empty. He wakes the Mentor napping on duty, who tells him there is only but one subject, Tuza. The Doctor tells him (covertly) that he is a friend, after Tuza mentions Yrcanos.

 

Crozier takes measurements and tests of Peri, who is confused.

 

The Doctor says he would like to see the barbarian king, and the Mentor allows it, but warns him to be careful as “he is quite loud”.

 

The Doctor and the head guardsman arrive at the cell to let Yrcanos out. The guardsman gives The Doctor his weapon, and when the cage door is open, The Doctor orders the guardsman in the cell, letting Dorf and Yrcanos out.

 

The Doctor asks Dorf his name, but the dog-man has trouble saying it. Yrcanos makes introductions, “His name is Dorf, and you are scum!”

 

The Doctor replies, straightforwardly, “No, actually, I am known as The Doctor.”

He hands Yrcanos the weapon and beckons him to follow. Yrcanos and Dorf are amazed and baffled.

 

Lord Kiv and Sil are in their quarters, ready to attend the meeting. Kiv randomly asks about smelling fish, but he tells Sil to stop worrying about him, he must be there else they become poor. This argument works on Sil, obviously. And, just then, their guests arrive.

 

King Yrcanos stops, saying he must know the truth. The Doctor says he needs his help to stop the Mentors.

 

Yrcanos replies, “That I understand, but you are my sworn enemy. I have vowed to kill you!”

The Doctor nods, trying to placate, “Yes, we can deal with all that later. At the moment, we need each other.” Dorf tells his king that he has a point.

Frustrated, Yrcanos replies, “Everyone has a point nowadays. I am a man of action, not reason.”

Agreeing, The Doctor says, “Don’t worry, you’ll see plenty of action.”

 

Yrcanos seems placated, but says first he must find his bride-to-be.

We haven’t got time for you to go courting,” The Doctor argues.

I am talking of the Earth-woman, Perpugilliam of the Brown,” Yrcanos informs him.

Not missing more than half a beat, The Doctor says they’ll find her on the way.

 

The guards let out their headsman, who tells them Yrcanos has escaped.

 

Peri is gagged, as she has been deemped perfect for the transference.

 

The Doctor and Yrcanos enter the induction area, pretending Yrcanos is his prisoner. He tells the Mentor he has Crozier’s ‘carte blanche’, but the Mentor says he must confirm that.

 

Yrcanos takes out the guards and grabs the Mentor by the throat, telling him to be still if he wants to live. The Mentor thanks the barbarian for not shouting. (It’s really a fun moment – against, in 90% of his lines, Brian Blessed is rather bombastic.)

 

The Doctor frees Tuza, and Yrcanos is excited to see him. He gets loud, much to the Mentor’s dismay. The Doctor says they can go free the slaves, but Yrcanos is not excited about that, seeing not much glory in freeing slaves. The Doctor argues, suggesting that the chaos they will unleash will be glorious, and then adds he will also gain an army.

 

When the Mentor tries to agree (hoping to get rid of the loud barbarian), Yrcanos has had enough, “BE SILENT! I am King Yrcanos of the Krontep, I’m quite capable of making my own decisions!”

 

Then please hurry,” insists The Doctor.

 

Yrcanos finally decides to do just what everyone has been suggesting and roars, heading off.

 

The Doctor, seeing the Mentor in dismay, apologises, “I’m sorry about the noise, he does so enjoy his work.”

 

In the lab, Crozier says they must shave Peri’s head, as he wants to try direct transference.

 

In the tunnels, guards shoot Dorf, who lies whimpering. The Doctor and Tuza rush on to the control centre, while Yrcanos tends to Dorf. In the centre, they find the headsman, who says they need to go have a word with Sil.

 

When Tuza says he doesn’t know who Sil is, The Doctor remarks, “The last person you want to have officiating at your execution.”

 

Yrcanos takes out the headsman, and tells them that Dorf is dead. When they apologise, he says that he died in combat, a noble death, but demands they take him to the control centre so he can destroy the equipment. “I demand the privilige of initiating the demise of the Mentors!”

 

The business is being conducted, but Sil interrupts to say that The Doctor and Yrcanos are on a rampage. Kiv argues the interruption, saying he could lose an important fish concession.

 

But you hate fish, your Magnificence,” Sil tells him.

Do I?”

 

Crozier and Matrona have Peri prepped; all they can do is await Kiv to finish with his business. She tells him he will be successful this time. He says this could be his last time for anything. Suddenly the lights flicker and they wonder what is happening.

 

In the control centre, Yrcanos is roaring as machines explode, ranting about being a great liberator and suchnot. It’s really just awesome, but you folks need to watch it for yourself. Finally, The Doctor reminds him they need to find Peri, and he roars about needing a queen and rushes off.

 

Alarm klaxons sound and Sil’s bearers are carrying him in hand, another carrying Kiv as slaves mill about the hallways. They make it to the lab, where Crozier begins readying Kiv for the procedure.

 

The Doctor runs through the madness, searching, but suddenly a white beam appears, and inside it the TARDIS. He stops and, robotically, walks backwards into the TARDIS. This is the beam that brought him to the trial!!!

 

In the courtroom, The Doctor stands up, saying he remembers everything and asking why they took him out of time when they did, “I was on my way to save Peri!”

 

The Inquisitor replies, “Things had gone too far. You had released chaos and allowed your companion to take part in an experiment that would affect all future life in the universe.” Okay, I get what she’s saying in that last bit, but even that’s a bit much for a Time Lord to come up with.

 

I did try to stop it,” he protests, but she tells him it was too late, he could not stop it. She says it was “Therefore necessary, by the direct order of the High Council, to prevent the consequences of Crozier’s experiment. Watch, Doctor, watch and listen carefully!”

 

We see Peri, head shaved bald, as they remove the helmet. Matrona says it was a perfect transference.

 

Crozier all but crows, “I have altered the basis of all future life.”

 

Sil is horrified that Kiv’s brain is in Peri.

 

Crozier says this is not the case, that he has transferred only the contents from his brain to hers. Sil asks about Peri’s mind, and Crozier says she is gone, she no longer exists.

 

Oh, this is hitting me hard. Peri was awfully annoying at times, but this is sad…

 

Sil realises that any mind can be transferred any mind into any body. Crozier says Kiv need never die as they can just transfer his mind to another body once this one grows old.

 

Tuza and Yrcanos approach the lab, seeing two guards. They charge forward, but they stop as an effect surrounds them.

 

They’re caught in a time-bubble,” the Inquisitor says, explaining that they’re being held there until the timing is right.

You’re using Yrcanos as an assassin,” The Doctor accuses.

She replies, “It was judged by the High Council as the most acceptable way, and Yrcanos will never know that he was used.”

The Doctor is horrified, “And so they took it upon themselves to act like second-rate gods?”

 

PeriKiv wakes, murmuring, “Warm, not cold, body is warm. Wonderful. Legs… toes… toes wiggling.” She sits up examining her body. “Head free of pain.” S/he is delighted at having colour vision and warm blood and feeling strong.

 

Looking over at the former body, she orders that the body die. Crozier lowers her down to rest, saying it already has. “Welcome to your new body.”

 

I wish you could have found a more attractive one,” Sil laments.

 

Yrcanos and Tuza are released from the bubble, attacking the guards. They grab their weapons and enter. Yrcanos fires at Sil, who shrieks and gibbers. PeriKiv sits up, “Protect me, I am your lord and master!”

 

Yrcanos is horrified at this and roars, “No,” firing his weapon over and over and over until the playback goes white.

 

You… you killed Peri?” The Doctor is heart-broken and I’m not far off.

The Inquisitor replies, “We had to act! With the discovery that Crozier had made, the whole course of natural evolution throughout the universe would be affected.”

The Valeyard, who has been strangely quiet for some time, stands up, “But Peri died, Doctor, because you abandoned her. We had to end her life because your negligence had made it impossible for her to live.”

Overwrought, The Doctor accuses, “Lies! There’s something else going on here. The High Council has no right to order Peri’s… or anyone else’s death.”

Please, Doctor,” the Inquisitor asks him to calm down.

No, I was taken out of time for another reason,” he asserts. “And I have EVERY intention of finding out what it is.” The camera zooms in on him… and the final credits roll.

 

Wow. What a heart-wrenching ending. Dayam, this is some good shit. (Yes, I had recalled what happened, but still… wow.)