Archives for category: Third 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…


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?


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

spoiler warning

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

Like the Daleks, they play too well.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despite this, they do enter.

The Cybermen are setting up something outside the TARDIS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, on many occasions.”

This will be the exception!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tegan and Sarah Jane truss up The Master.

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

The TARDIS activates as the Cybermen detonate the bombs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The companions recover.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 20th anniversary special, this is not technically part of the 20th season, but stands alone. I remember this one well and it’s pretty darn good.

We open with a snippet of The Doctor’s heartfelt speech to his granddaughter, Susan, upon leaving her on Earth. Then the opening credits roll!

An alien landscape. The insides of a fortress seen amongst the mountains.

Then, switching to Turlough walking amongst some ruins. He sits down with a sketchpad and sketches the landscape.

In the TARDIS (looking spiffy, I’m guessing a new set), The Doctor polishes the console. Tegan enters, wearing a different outfit. She asks if he repaired everything, but he argues the TARDIS is more than a machine. However, to her point, he has difficulty opening the door.

He exits, and strolls along the ruins, finding Turlough. He admires Turlough’s sketch. Tegan joins the boys. Apparently, this is the Eye of Orion they spoke of at the end of The King’s Demons. Tegan asks if they can stay and The Doctor agrees they can, for a while, as they’re “due for a rest”.

Elsewhere, a mysterious gloved hand works some controls. We see, on the screen, the edifice from the opening.

The First Doctor is seen strolling along a garden. (Obviously, as William Hartnell had already passed away, the First Doctor is played by Richard Hurndall.) A mysterious twirling triangle of energy zooms down, and though he attempts to run away, he is snatched up.

The gloved hand takes a figure of the First Doctor that has appeared in a lightbox in the wall out and sets it on what appears to be a gameboard of some sort.

The Fifth Doctor clutches his chest, gasping in pain. He explains he felt “a twinge of cosmic angst,” “…as if I’d lost something.”

Inside the UNIT HQ, the Brig is visiting, apparently some form of reunion. He talks to his replacement, Colonel Crichton, and they talk of The Doctor. Just then, the Second Doctor bursts in, greeting the Brig. The Doctor says he read the article on the Brig’s speech in tomorrow’s newspaper and hopes he’s not too late for it.

The Brig and The Doctor go for a walk (the former hoping to get the latter away from his replacement, hoping not to cause any offense.) They reminisce about Yeti, Cybermen, Omega and others.

However, The Doctor says he has to go – he’s not really supposed to be there. However, before farewells can be said, the same force that kidnapped the First Doctor grabs the two of them.

Figurines of the two of them appear and are placed in the board.

The Doctor says, “It’s fading, it’s all fading. Great chunks of my past, detatching themselves like melting icebergs.” He tells his companions that all is well, but then collapses.

The Third Doctor is driving Bessie, when he sees the energy triangle. He tries to avoid it, but he and the car are snatched up by it.

He, too, is added to the field of play. (No figurine for Bessie, though.)

Turlough posits that The Doctor is under some psychic attack. The Doctor says he needs to get back to the TARDIS and the companions assist him. En route, he gasps again. He says he has to find his other selves.

Sarah Jane is leaving her flat, but K-9 tells her there is danger and she should not go out. He cannot identify the cause of danger, only that it is extreme and getting worse. When he tells her that The Doctor is involved, she says he’s imagining things and leaves.

The Fourth Doctor and Romana II are shown in footage from the (then unaired) Shada. The Doctor is piloting their punt, when the force abducts them. (Tom Baker had declined to appear, so the footage from the incomplete serial was used.)

The gloved hands work the controls, frustrated at the inability to manifest figurines of Four and Romana Two.

In the TARDIS, The Fifth Doctor collapses.

At the bus stop, Sarah Jane is abducted. She is added to the game board next to Three.

The TARDIS column rises and falls rhythmically. Turlough is surprised to discover that The Doctor has two hearts. As they watch, The Doctor seems to fade off and on, as the TARDIS materialises.

The gloved hands add three more figurines to the game board.

Turlough says the instruments say they’re no where and no time. When Tegan asks what they do, he says they wait.

Time Lords mill about hallways in the grand city. The Lord President Borusa attends a meeting of the Inner Council and protests involving someone who is awaiting them. They remind him that the Council has over-ruled him and they bring in The Master.

Borusa offers him a complete pardon, including a complete cycle of regenerations – to earn this, he must “rescue The Doctor.”

The First Doctor wanders some halls with crystalline walls. Lightning and thunder crash all about. Suddenly, he sees a shadow of a woman – it’s Susan!!! They embrace, happy to have found each other. She asks him what’s happening, but he’s clueless.

As they question their situation, a Dalek rounds the corner and they rush off. The Dalek pursues, shooting wildly, shouting for The Doctor’s death.

The Inner Council shows The Master the “death zone”, which has recently become active. It is draining energy from the Eye of Harmony, enough so to endanger all of Gallifrey.

When The Master asks if they bothered investigating on their own, Borusa says that two of the High Council went and did not return. They explain that The Doctor has been lifted out of time – only the Fourth can be found, trapped in some limbo.

A cosmos without The Doctor scarcely bears thinking about,” The Master muses. When he asks why they want him, he’s told that they need someone ruthless and cunning. Again, they ask if he will go.

Five continues to fade in and out, but he becomes mostly rooted. He tells them he’s being drawn into a time vortex, but must find his other selves and be whole.

Susan and her grandfather flee the Dalek. It chases them into a dead end. They hide and when the Dalek approaches, they push it into the cul-de-sac and it fires. It’s beams bounce off the reflective walls and it ends up killing itself.

Part of the wall is blasted open and they recognise the Dark Tower – they both know it and where on Gallifrey they are – the “death zone”. The Doctor says they will find their answers in the tower.

The Brig complains about the wintry rocky terrain they find themselves in, while Two says it’s not his fault.

You attract trouble, Doctor, you always did,” the Brigadier sums up his complaints.

They seem something moving, at a distance, in the mist, and crouch behind a partial wall. A metallic hand reaches out and grabs the Brig’s wrist, but Two beats at the hand until it lets go and he and the Brig dash off.

The movement in the mist is Three in Bessie. He stops to take in the area, and sees someone moving.

Sarah Jane, wandering in the mist, falls down a slope, crying out. Three, hearing her, calls out to wait and lowers a rope down, tied to Bessie, and drags her out. Sarah Jane is amazed to see that he’s still Three and not Four, and confused when he explains that hasn’t happened yet.

They get into Bessie, so he can explain while they travel.

Five cannot recall what he’s supposed to do; Tegan and Turlough remind him he wants to send a signal to become whole, but before he can do anything, he collapses again.

The First Doctor takes a break, but Susan sees the TARDIS and they go to it. They enter, finding the Fifth Doctor and companions. One demands to know what they’re doing in his TARDIS.

The companions explain that it’s “his TARDIS,” indicating the fallen Five. One asks who he is, and Turlough answers, “The Doctor,” and One seems to ‘recognise’ himself once this is pointed out.

Seemingly revived by his other self’s presence, Five awakens and tries to explain how he got there, but he doesn’t know. One says it doesn’t matter, and is delighted to find out there are “five of me running around.”

Introductions are made; Tegan (having known the Fourth Doctor) understands the two Doctors should not be together. They agree, saying it only happens in the gravest emergencies.

One starts barking orders, saying Tegan needs to fetch some beverages. Before she can go ballistic, Five begs her to play along.

The council gives The Master the Seal of the High Council (to prove his working for them) and a recall for the transmat so they can bring him back when he needs to speak to them.

The Master asks if anyone is going to wish him luck, but Borusa says he will wish him success, “…for all our sakes.” Personal note: when people say “wish me luck,” I always wish them success and I believe this is where I first picked that up.

The Castellan activates the transmat, sending The Master into the death zone. Borusa dismisses Flavia and the Castellan, saying he would prefer to wait alone.

The Master comes across a dessicated Time Lord, musing, “One of my predecessors.” A blast of energy comes near him and he calmly remarks about the inhospitable environment.

Two confirms his suspicions – they are in the death zone on Gallifrey – and explains to the Brig about the history of said place. In the days before Rassilon, his people abused their powers and would kidnap beings from other worlds and times and put them in the death zone. They set off to the Dark Tower, which Two says is Rassilon’s tomb.

One and Five argue whether to send the signal and wait (One’s preferred plan) or to go out (Five’s side.) It’s a classic example of the difference between the Doctors.

They set about setting up the “computer scanner” to see what’s out there.

Bessie moves down a road through a gnarled forest. Three explains that the zone was a setting of “the games”, until Rassilon put an end to it. He stops to get his bearings and indicates the Tomb of Rassilon to Sarah Jane.

The Master steps out and calls out to them. Three stops the car and isn’t sure he recognises him. They drive back and banter, The Doctor presuming The Master is behind it all. His enemy says he’s working for the High Council, presenting the seal as proof.

The Doctor says it’s probably stolen and doesn’t believe The Master is there to help. There’s more banter, but a thunderbolt strikes the ground near The Master. He dashes off, and Three drives off in Bessie, thinking it’s a trap.

One and Five have pulled up a schematic of the Dark Tower (the Stephen King fan in me is loving that name), identifying three entrances – the main, one above and one below.

One argues against Five’s plan to go in via the main door.

Bessie has been disabled by the thunderbolts. Three claims this proves it was a trap.

Borusa orders a technician to stabilise Four in the part of the vortex he is trapped. The Castellan arrives to inquire if there’s any news from The Master.

Two wonders if Rassilon brought them there. The Brig wonders about that if Rassilon was dead. They discuss the legends of Rassilon – The Doctor says that some speak of Rassilon not being a good guy, despite the official history.

Two posits that they could be playing the “Game of Rassilon”. The Brig says he guesses they’re not expected to win. Two frowns and they set off towards the tower again.

Five heads off with Susan and Tegan in tow; Turlough remains in the TARDIS with One.

Three and Sarah see a Cyberpatrol of Cybermen Cybermarching through forest.

In the TARDIS, One identifies the presence of two more Doctors… and wonders what happened to the final one.

Two and the Brig approach the tower, the Time Lord singing a nursery rhyme about the tower, trying to recall how to enter. They find some torches and a brazier and after he lights one, Two leads the Brig into a cave.

Five, Tegan and Susan encounter The Master. When the renegade Time Lord says he knows it will be hard to believe, but he means them no harm, Five replies with, “Like Alice, I try to believe three impossible things before breakfast.”

As the two Time Lords confer, and the companions worry from afar, a Cyberman Cyberspots them and Cyberreports to the Cyberleader. (Ok, ok, I’ll stop.) The Cyberleader orders that they be kept alive and interrogated.

The Master and The Doctor banter and threaten each other. The Master tries to convince him he’s legit, and even says his credentials were taken by another self.

The Cyberpatrol approaches the Time Lords; the companions dash off, and the Time Lords are attacked. The Master is knocked out. The Doctor takes the transmat recall device, and beams away as the Cyberpatrol arrives to take him prisoner.

Susan and Tegan rush off, Susan limping after hurting her leg (which I seem to recall happened frequently during her time with the TARDIS.)

Five arrives where Borusa, Flavia and the Castellan await.

The Master is taken prisoner by the Cybermen, but offers his services to them.

Back in the TARDIS, Tegan inspects Susan’s leg. One suspects that Five escaped via a transmat, but says with “our young friend” gone, he will have to go to the Dark Tower himself. Tegan says she will go with him, though the Time Lord is less than delighted.

Five discovers that he was wrong about The Master; Borusa says if he survived, “I’m sure he will learn to live with the misjudgment.”

When Five wonders who is using the death zone and the time scoop, the Council tells him they were hoping he could tell them. They say if he suspects the time scoop was used, it would be a Time Lord.

Five says he suspects it would be a rather important one, at that, eyeing the three of them. When Borusa asks if he has evidence, he says he doesn’t yet.

And that’s where we’ll leave off until Friday my friends, as this is the halfway point of the story…

We start with episode 4, so it’s a spoiler warning you need.

Episode 4:

The Queen’s guards struggle with the villagers. The Queen says that soon it will be dark and she must hurry away. Sarah Jane hides amongst the villagers, but the Queen has her men take Arak’s father.

Mike watches Lupton’s group enter Barnes’ room and put up a Do Not Disturb sign. He listens at the door.

Sarah Jane begs for the villagers to help; Arak’s brother says it’s almost curfew, they have to go in, but The Doctor begins to stir.

Lupton’s group argues over where Lupton is. As they do, the door knob turns; they open it and find Tommy at the door. Barnes is very rude to him (again). Mike returns to the door, listening.

A bell tolls, signaling curfew on Metebelis Three. To be outside after twilight is punishable by death. The Doctor seems to be getting sicker, they say there is no cure, he should be dead already.

When the Queen returns to the chamber of spiders, Lupton is sitting in her place. Lupton’s spider speaks up against the Queen. They use the crystal as leverage, saying if The Great One wants the crystal, she will have to wait until he and his spider get proper reward.

The Queen tells Lupton he was followed to Metebelis Three by two Earthers – the male was killed but the female is still loose. Because of this, the council is worried and agrees not to listen to Lupton’s demands until the female (Sarah Jane) is found.

Tommy takes out the crystal in his room, sets it atop a bar stool, and pulls out a children’s book and begins to read. He struggles with the words, but then the crystal begins to glow brightly. He stares into it and it sees to affect him, until he collapses. When he recovers, he is able to read easily.

Arak and his siblings talk about trying to rescue their father, Sabor. The two brothers argue. Sarah Jane watches over The Doctor as they do. She tells them if he could recover, he could help. He begins to speak, telling her there is a machine in the TARDIS, in an old leather satchel. He’s weak, can barely speak, but gives her the key to the TARDIS.

Sarah gets the satchel out of the TARDIS, after avoiding some guards. When she exits, Lupton is standing there, waiting for her.

Arak and his brother (whose name I can’t seem to catch) argue over what to do – they see the satchel by the TARDIS (Sarah and Lupton are nowhere in sight, so I’m guessing he took her away.) Arak runs out and retrieves the satchel and brings it back. They pull out a strange device out of the satchel.

The Doctor comes to and asks for Sarah; they explain she’s not there but brought the machine. They had it to him and he uses it to discharge the energy of the attack within him.

Tommy goes into the library at the meditation center and pulls a book off a shelf. He starts reading, “Tiger, Tiger, burning bright…” and so forth, from “Tiger” by William Blake. He stops, saying, “That’s pretty,” in a child-like voice, then, in a more adult voice, “No… that’s beautiful.” He starts grabbing other books from the shelf.

Sarah Jane is brought to the spider’s lair. She sees Sabor laying in a bunk, covered in webs, then she sees one of the spiders, but when she tries to run, she is stunned by a guard.

Mike knocks on the door to Barnes’ room, scaring the conspirators. They hide and when Yates comes in, Moss attacks him as he tells Barnes he thinks they should have a talk, as he’s been listening.

When the sun rises, the morning bell tolls. The Doctor sits up, all chipper, waking the others.

Sarah Jane is seen waking; like Sabor, she is wrapped from shoulders to feet in webbing, like a coccoon. Sabor tells her it’s no good struggling. When she asks what will happen to them, he intimates they’ll be eaten by the spiders.

The Doctor is fed mutton, while he sits with Arak, who gives him a basic history of his people, who arrived over four hundred years ago from Earth. He asks how the spiders got there.

Meanwhile, Sarah has asked Sabor the same, and he responds they, too, came from Earth. It seems the blue crystals of Metebelis Three mutated the spiders, making them larger, giving them great mental powers.

The Doctor asks Arak and his brother to fetch him an assortment of stones and pebbles.

Mike is tied up and gagged on a bed, and he struggles with his bonds.

The Doctor holds up a variety of stones to the machine that cured him. Each time he does, the machine buzzes. He’s looking for a stone that will absorb the energy from the spiders’ attacks. One of the stones registers and he says they’re getting somewhere.

Later, The Doctor leaves the village, the machine in hand. Arak insists he take one of the stones, and he accepts it from Arak. They clasp arms and The Doctor departs.

Sabor tells Sarah Jane to get some rest. He tells her there is no hope of rescue and that is why he’s not afraid.

The Doctor skulks through the spiders’ citadel; a guard attacks him and he uses the machine to absorb the blast. They move to hand to hand and the machine falls to the floor. Another shows up and when The Doctor goes for the machine, Lupton steps on his hand. But before any more can happen, a third guard, a superior of some sort, has Lupton arrested and taken to the council. The Doctor, too, is taken away.

Sarah Jane sees The Doctor and rejoices until she sees he’s accompanied by guards… and the credits roll.

They should have left the bit with The Doctor being captured off camera, so when he showed up, the viewer would have thought he was there to save them.



Episode 5:

Lupton has been brought before the Queen with his confederate (the spider); the council has learned that the crystal is still on Earth. Lupton’s spider tries to turn this against the Queen and several of the council are quick to join in. The Queen says she will go consult The Great One.

The Doctor has joined Sarah Jane and Sabor in the larder. The Doctor tells Sabor and Sarah Jane that Arak is trying to get together a rescue party and begins to tell them that they know how to protect themselves, but he stops when guards come in to cut Sarah Jane free and take her away.

In the village, Arak and his brother and the menfolk of the village prepare to attack. Their mother tries to dissuade them from going, but the brothers tell her they must, not just for their father and the strangers, but for all the villages. The men put on headbands that have the stones The Doctor identified in them.

The Doctor escapes the cocoon by using a trick he learned from Harry Houdini. He leaves Sabor there and goes off to rescue Sarah.

Sarah is thrown to the floor and brought before a solitary spider; it is the Queen, and she pretends that she wants peace with all two legs. She says she has lied to the council about consulting The Great One. The Queen wants Sarah and The Doctor to return to Earth and collect the blue crystal.

The Doctor skulks through the spiders’ citadel, avoiding guards.

Mike struggles with his bonds, as Barnes comes in and takes off his gag. Barnes says they’re waiting for Lupton to come back. Mike talks Barnes into letting him assist them in re-establishing the link, suggesting that Lupton may be waiting for them to do exactly that.

Lupton and his spider argue with the rest of the council; there’s lots of talk of not trusting the Queen, nor trusting Lupton. Lupton and his spider argue and she drops him with a mental attack (seemingly backed up by the council, as this time he cannot fight back.)

The Doctor hears Sarah Jane calling out for him and goes down a tunnel.

Tommy is reading a big book, full of big words, and doing rather well with it. He has a dictionary next to him, trying to understand words he doesn’t know, trying to understand what has happened with him. He decides to ask Yates what is going on, but overhears them talking about the cellar. Tommy remembers Lupton appearing out of thin air, and having the crystal in his hand.

Tommy then decides to ask Cho-Je, but hides the crystal first.

The Doctor walks into a large chamber, where he is told to stop; should he enter further, he will die. The voice of Sarah Jane is an illusion, used to lure him in. He asks who he is speaking to, and she identifies herself as The Great One. He asks why he cannot see her, but she says he will, but not until he brings back the crystal – she says it is “the one last perfect crystal of power.”

He defies her, saying she will never have it. She attacks his mind, forcing him to march about. He struggles against her, to no avail. She orders him to leave and go fetch the crystal and then goes into a cacophony of “go now, I must have it” over and again.

The chanting circle begins chanting and the spider council detects it. Lupton warns them that the group might not be allies and the spiders are sent to Earth, manifesting in secret in the room, not in the mat in the center of the group.

Tommy tells Cho-Je what he knows; the deputy abbot says he will go to the cellar and instructs Tommy to fetch the crystal. Cho-Je is not surprised as the transformation in Tommy. Cho-Je enters the cellar, stopping the men, but they are attacked by the spiders. Cho-Je and Yates are blasted and drop to the ground. The spiders close in on the rest of the men, and Tommy, watching from the stairs (with the crystal in hand) rushes away to go tell K’anpo.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane reunite in the larder room. As Arak and the villagers arrive to rescue Sabor, Sarah Jane uses a trick taught her by the Queen to teleport her and The Doctor to the TARDIS. They enter and head to Earth.

On Earth, the chanting circle seem to be merged with spiders – they are looking at their backs, rolling their shoulders. When the TARDIS materialises in the cellar, they hide. When Sarah Jane and The Doctor exit, they are ambushed; The Doctor has a stone that protects him from their blasts until Tommy helps them escape and locks the cellar door. Tommy is blasted by one of the men, but it has little effect.

When Sarah Jane says, “Tommy, you’re normal – you’re just like everybody else,” Tommy has the best response, EVER – “I sincerely hope not.”

Tommy leads them to meet with K’anpo. The Doctor speaks to the abbot in Tibetan, apologising for not bringing a symbolic gift. The abbot says he and The Doctor have no need for symbols, and The Doctor looks at him curiously at this. Tommy goes out to keep a watch out for the others.

The Doctor begins talking about the blue crystal. He asks if he and K’anpo have met before, and the abbot says, “the recognition of friends is not always easy.” He encourages The Doctor to go on about the crystal.

Outside, Barnes, Moss and the other two of the chanting circle who are now spider-hosts arrive. Tommy stands outside the abbot’s door, protectively. One of the spiders says the crystal is in the room. Barnes steps forward, ordering Tommy to get out of the way. Tommy meets his gaze, defiantly, and Barnes backs away, sensing something about Tommy.

Barnes blasts Tommy with the blue lightning, but again it has limited effect. He fights several of them off physically, but then they attack with the blue lightning in concert… and the credits roll.

I like Tommy. This would have been one pisser of a cliffhanger if I had to wait a week to find out what was going to happen to my boy.



Episode 6:

K’anpo reveals that he has the crystal. Suddenly, Sarah Jane demands that the crystal be given to her. She blasts The Doctor with blue lightning and he falls to his knees, at K’anpo’s side. The abbot takes The Doctor’s arm and instructs him to see through his eyes, and when The Doctor looks, the Queen spider can be seen attached to Sarah’s back.

Again, we see Tommy face off with Barnes and his fellow spider-hosts, the cliffhanger from last week.

The Doctor and the abbot call upon Sarah to resist the Queen. The Doctor urges her to look at the crystal, to look into the light. The Queen falls from Sarah’s back, landing upside down, her legs curling as she disappears.

The spider-men stop blasting Tommy and link their hands and begin chanting.

Sarah Jane apologises for allowing the Queen to control her. The abbot says that The Doctor’s greed is responsible for all of this – had he not taken the crystal in the first place, none of the events would have happened (though, honestly, I imagine The Great One would have the crystal and that would be worse.)

The Doctor turns to the abbot, saying, “I know who you are, now.” It seems that K’anpo is also a Time Lord.

The two Time Lords explain regeneration to Sarah Jane – this is the first time that it has been codified or named. When the First Doctor “regenerated”, it was just explained that the TARDIS fixed him, healed him. When the Second Doctor regenerated, the Time Lords “changed his appearance”. This is monumental, folks… and, well, just you wait and see.

K’anpo explains that Cho-Je is a projection of his own self and not really a seperate entity.

Cho-Je rouses Yates and they leave the cellar.

The chanting circle chants.

The spider council sends power to their sisters on Earth.

K’anpo says the moment of truth approaches. He asks The Doctor if he knows what he must do, but he says that he does not. K’anpo asks what The Doctor fears most, and The Doctor recalls his confrontation with The Great One. He tells Sarah Jane that he has to go, even if the cave of crystals would destroy him.

The spider-hosts stop their chanting and turn their attacks on Tommy; this time they seem to have more effect, though he still stands. Yates runs up and takes a hit and drops like a rock. The spider-hosts rush into K’anpo’s room as The Doctor disappears. They blast the abbot who falls to his chair.

The Doctor appears in the cellar and hops in the TARDIS. It dematerialises just as the spider-hosts make the cellar. He arrives on Metebelis Three, where he is greeted by Arak and his brother. They agree to show him how to get to the cave of crystals.

Under Cho-Je’s instruction, Tommy picks up Yates to take him to K’anpo.

The Doctor is led into the spider council chamber by the brothers; it seems their attack failed and they are enslaved. The Doctor says the crystal is to be returned to The Great One. Lupton moves to grab the crystal, but the spiders stop him. The spider council tells The Doctor that he has beaten them and it is good that he will die. He turns and leaves.

Lupton begins ranting at the spiders, calling them spiders and they react poorly to that word. He moves to strike the spider confederate, but she blasts him with blue lightning.

K’anpo helps Mike recover. K’anpo then says that his body cannot take any more and his head drops. Cho-Je begins speaking, but in mid breath, he fades. As they watch, K’anpo changes, becoming Cho-Je in form. He says not to concern themselves, he is not dying, merely regenerating.

The Doctor arrives at the cyrstal cave and is allowed all the way in, where he sees The Great One, a giant spider, the size of a small building. The Doctor says that he has brought the crystal, and asks her to leave Earth alone.

She laughs, saying the paltry plans of her subjects are no concern of hers. Her plans are greater than one small planet. When he asks why it is so important to her, she explains that the web of crystal above her in the cave is a replication of her brain, it lacks only one perfect crystal to be complete. When complete, her mind and mental powers will be increased to an infinite level, allowing her to rule the entire universe.

Wow, that’s a pretty big thing, that. That’s the sort of thing that’s going to take some great sacrifice to balance out. What could The Doctor do to make that “payment”? (Doctor Who is the sort of show that, at times, the hero wins because of a sacrifice. Sometimes it’s an ally or innocent who pays the price. Sometimes a companion goes away. Sometimes, it’s a personal cost.)

The Doctor tries to tell The Great One that completing the circuit will only destroy her. She refuses to listen, mocking him, saying he is dying, the cave is destroying his body as they speak, but she will grant him one favour, to allow him to see her ascension before he dies.

The crystal moves from his hand, by the power of her mind presumably, into the spot in the crystal web. She says she is complete and gloats and rants and praises herself. The Doctor begs her to stop, but she’s too busy singing her own glory, telling the stars to bow down and worship her.

The power consumes her, burning her up from within. The Doctor flees as the cave shakes.

The spider council screams as the building shakes – it seems they’re dying. The villagers come to, and flee the building.

On Earth, the spiders fall off the spider-hosts and die.

The Doctor makes it back to the TARDIS and enters as the mountain begins to explode.

In The Doctor’s lab at UNIT, Sarah Jane is holding The Doctor’s coat. She sniffs it and seems melancholy, or at least pensive. The Brig walks in and realises she’s there to see if “the old fellow” has popped up. She says it’s been over three weeks, but the Brig says that’s nothing, “One time, I didn’t see him for months… when he did turn up, he had a different face.”

Sarah Jane says they’ll never see him again, but just then, the TARDIS materialises. The Doctor staggers out, weak and weary. He says he got lost in the time vortex, but the TARDIS brought him there. He collapses and they put a pillow under his head.

The Doctor explains he had to go back, to face his fear. She begs him not to die and cries, while the Brig kneels quietly beside them. He touches her tears and says, “Don’t cry, while there’s life…” but his hand drops and he says no more. Sarah Jane closes his eyes, but before anything else can happen, there’s a strange noise.

Cho-Je/K’anpo materialises in the lab, sitting in a lotus position. “It is all right, he is not dead,” the Time Lord proclaims. He apologises for startling her. The Brig asks for an introduction, but Sarah is confused on how to explain who K’anpo is.

K’anpo says he will give The Doctor’s cells “a push” so he can regenerate. When he explains that The Doctor will become a new man, and look different, the Brig exclaims, “Not again!” I love the Brig.

K’anpo says that the change will shake up his brain cells and they might find his behavior “a little erratic”. He gestures and says good bye and disappears. The Brig and Sarah Jane turn and look at The Doctor. Sarah Jane says it’s starting and the Brig quirks an eyebrow, “Well… here we go again.”

We get a close up of The Doctor and watch as his face changes, is replaced by a darker haired man with a more pointed nose.


Yes, this was no surprise, but it still doesn’t change the fact that IT’S MY DOCTOR!!!! I love all the kids complaining about how they miss David Tennant, how Ten was their Doctor and it will never be the same, whine whine whine.

I lost MY Doctor almost thirty years ago, thank you very much. The show goes on and you find things to love about it, regardless.

Next week, we begin the seven season of Tom Baker.


I’ve seen this before, a couple times, and as recently as last year. It’s a good one, but not a great one. However, one of the most important ones of all. You’ll see why in a bit, and not just because of the big obvious reason you might know about. (I’m being vague in case there are people who have no idea.)

Episode 1:

We open with Mike Yates, no longer of UNIT, walking along a country path. There are cows in the pasture. He looks around, takes it in and moves on.

The Doctor and the Brig are sitting in the audience at some performance, obviously a comedic one. From their faces, it’s not very funny.

Mike walks along and we see a large house in the distance.

The Brig complains about it being a waste of time, but just then, they introduce a Turkish dancer, and the Brig is no longer complaining.

Mike is inside the house, and seems to be skulking. He opens a door and opens in and we hear chanting from within. He steps in and listens at another door.

A group of men are seated around an ornate rug/mat on the floor. One clangs cymbals together as they chant. Mike opens the door and creeps down, listening intently. He steps into a spider web and panics, making noise, alerting the men as he leaves.

The Doctor tells the Brig that the next act is the one he’s come to see, a mind reader.

The men chanting get up; they decide it’s time to quit for the night, and argue whether someone was there or if it was just the wind. They hear a car depart, and the leader says that only one person there has a car, Mister Yates.

The next day(?), Professor Clegg, the mind reader, is invited to UNIT. The Doctor has interest in things psychic, but Clegg pretends he is just a performer. The Doctor tells him that he knows he has some true gift. Clegg is very upset about having any actual abilities.

The Doctor talks him into demonstrating his psychokinesis, and using his mind, he moves a tray with food on it. The Doctor tells Clegg that he might be able to help him understand his powers, why he has them.

Back at the household, the man leading the chants argues with Cho-Je, the deputy abbot of the… monastery? It seems a female reporter (gee, who could that be?) is coming to visit. The man is not happy about this, but Cho-Je throws out snippets of zen koan in response. He says that it is too late, that Mister Yates has gone to the train station to fetch her.

At the station, Mike picks up Sarah Jane Smith (what a shocker) and they take off, Sarah asking what it’s all about.

Back at the monastery, Lupton, the leader of the chant circle, tells one of his fellow chanters that they’re on to something, they’re making progress, they were tapping true power the night before. He says they cannot afford to pull back and hide because of a visitor.

A simple man interrupts their conversation; Tommy shows Lupton and Barnes a flower he’s found, but Barnes shoves him down.

Sarah quizzes Mike about why he invited her there. Mike tries to play it off that he just thinks a story on their “meditation center” run by a couple Tibetan monks would be a great sell for the paper. He explains he’s there trying to sort himself out after “that Golden Age business” (referring to INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS.)

The chant circle is at it again.

Mike explains that the chant circle is up to something; he thinks it’s a job for UNIT to investigate. He wants Sarah to come check it out and then go to the Brig or The Doctor for him.

The chanters chant, more emphatically.

As Mike and Sarah Jane drive down, suddenly there’s a tractor in their way. They spin out of control, but when they come to a stop, there’s no tractor to be seen. Sarah Jane feels this is evidence that something is afoot.

Clegg is hooked up to a machine with earphones (it’s the same prop from THE GREEN DEATH!) to test his brain pattern. The Brig is asked to give Clegg something personal and he hands over his watch. Clegg does a psychometric reading, saying it was given to him eleven years ago in Brighton by a young lady named Doris, but the Brig interrupts before more can be said.

Another device can translate his thoughts into pictures. The Doctor hands Clegg his sonic screwdriver and on the video screen, we see the Drashig from CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS and The Doctor using the screwdriver to ignite the marsh gases to burn up several Drashigs.

Sarah Jane and Mike sit in a meeting with Cho-Je who is explaining what can be learned through meditation. Cho-Je says that the powers of meditation and powers unlocked through self-realisation could be used for good or evil. He leaves to teach a class.

Clegg apologises, feeling what he saw was not real. Benton comes in with a package from South America, addressed to “The Doctor or the Brigadier or Captain Yates or Sgt Benton”. It seems to be from Jo, and The Doctor asks to see it. Before he opens it, he asks Clegg to use his powers to see what is within it.

He says it is from beyond the stars, and it is a beautiful blue gemstone. The Doctor opens it, and in fact, it is the Metebelis 3 sapphire that he gave Jo.

Mike is showing Sarah Jane about the meditation center. They enter the meditation room, but Mike cautions her to be quiet. A larger group of people sit and meditate, listening to recorded chant. As they leave, Lupton and his crony, Barnes, confront them. Mike makes an effort to get her out of there as soon as possible, much to Sarah’s confusion.

Lupton watches from the window, telling Barnes they won’t be a problem any more, “That young man is frightened.”

Mike drives away, telling Sarah that Lupton knew they were coming and must have been responsible for the hallucination that almost killed them. When Sarah asks why they’re running, Mike’s reply is, “We’re not, we’re just letting him think we are.” He pulls the car over and parks, “We’ll head back on foot.”

The Doctor reads Jo’s letter. The letter says that the crystal is causing problems with their native guides, who say it is bad magic. She hopes they’ll keep an eye on it for her.

Mike and Sarah get caught sneaking back in the house through a window by Tommy, the simple man. He wants to play games with them – he seems rather smitten with Sarah Jane. He tells her the game they’re going to play is called “Secrets” and it’s a secret that she’s there. He is fascinated with Sarah’s lapel pin and she gives it to him to buy his silence.

Mike leads Sarah to the lower basement where the chant circle meets. The mat and their cushions are laid out but nobody is there. They hear voices and the two hide, Sarah getting spider web on her. The men come in and take their seats and begin chanting.

Clegg is still holding on to the crystal, and has been, while The Doctor reads the letter. The crystal glows and as he finishes the letter, the room begins to shake, papers and small items are cast about. The Doctor makes it to Clegg and pulls the crystal from his hands, but the psychic is dead.

Sarah and Mike watch as a spider materialises in a blue-green light in the center of the chant circle… and the credits roll.

Yay, Mike Yates! (Having seen what went on with Yates, it makes more sense why he’s here, etc.) Mystery, stranger spiders, an alien crystal – it’s a good one thus far.

Episode 2:

The men react in fear as the spider manifests; one man rises and flees, but the spider strikes him down with blue lightning. The spider addresses Lupton, saying it has come bring him “the power you seek”. It tells him to turn his back to it, and he reluctantly does so. It leaps and lands on his back and disappears, seemingly phasing into his body.

The Doctor plays back the machine that records thoughts, to see if Clegg’s dying thoughts were visualised. They were, and they see spiders.

Lupton dismisses the men, telling them to return to their rooms, not to tell anyone.

The Doctor says the only thing to do would be for him to look into the crystal; Benton offers to do it, as he’s expendable, but The Doctor says he’s already got one death on his conscience.

Mike sends Sarah out the window, and hides, as Lupton and Barnes discuss the spider; Lupton says it didn’t go away, it’s still there. He says their minds are joined together. Lupton dismisses Barnes, telling him not to worry.

The spider tells Lupton about the crystal, saying they must find it. Lupton is bid to concentrate, and he does. He says he sees a man staring into a blue crystal.

The Doctor is seated, staring into the Metebelis crystal. When Benton brings in a cup of coffee, the aroma of which brings The Doctor out of his trance. (It seems that, at least according to The Doctor, Benton makes the second best cup of coffee in the world.)

The Doctor starts talking about the old man hermit on the mountain (the same hermit he told Jo about when they were locked up in the dungeon in episode 6 of THE TIME MONSTER), saying that when he looked into the crystal, he saw the face of the old man, who had been the teacher who taught him how to look into his own mind.

Tommy stops Yates, as he tries to go upstairs to see K’anpo, the senior Tibetan monk. Tommy is distracted by Yate’s medallion, which he gives to the simple man. As Tommy walks off, he admonishes Mike to go to bed, and Lupton appears moments later, to reinforce the advice.

Sarah Jane has been telling The Doctor about the events, but he’s more interested in the crystal. When she mentions the spider, however, he is very, very interested, and makes her start over from the beginning.

Lupton arrives… presumably at UNIT HQ, as there’s a car lot with Bessie and a man working on The Doctor’s new car, the hovercrafty one. He asks to speak to The Doctor and the mechanic gives him directions, before asking for Lupton’s pass. Lupton blasts the man with blue lightning from his hand, just the same as the spider did to the one man in the chant circle. (No idea if he was killed or what, nobody seemed to note.)

The Doctor explains to Sarah Jane where he got the crystal from. He explains the crystal can be used to clear a mind and amplify it. When Sarah asks about the giant spiders on Metebelis Three, The Doctor says there weren’t any there when he was there.

Benton comes across Lupton, who does the lightning blast on him. Lupton peers into the lab, seeing the crystal. The spider in his mind tells him to concentrate.

As Sarah Jane dithers on about things, the crystal disappears and we see Lupton come out of a trance, holding it. He runs off, but Benton tries to stop him, so he punches him in the gut.

The Doctor, Benton and Sarah Jane give chase. Lupton encounters the Brig, who sees the others chasing Lupton, and he opens fire multiple times, missing completely – I’m horrified that the Brig is such a bad shot.

Lupton steals the hovercar, while the others take Bessie. They drop The Doctor off at the airfield and then pursue in Bessie. The Doctor takes a one man helicopter to pursue by air. I guess this is the running scene for the serial. The Doctor radioes directions to the Brig on how to catch up to Lupton.

A local cop sees the three vehicles and gives chase. I can’t help but think this is completely unnecessary. Eventually, after shenanigans, they find the hovercar parked. The Doctor lands and confers with the Brig and Benton and Sarah Jane as they argue with each other and the copper.

Lupton, who was hiding in the weeds, steals the helicopter – the spider says it can pilot it. The Doctor and Sarah Jane hop in the hovercar, which The Doctor takes into the air after him.

The copper radioes in that there was nothing to report.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane give chase, but the spider tells Lupton that fuel is low and they have to land. Lupton runs around some farmland while the hovercar lands. Again, what is the point of all this. None of this makes any sense, doesn’t add anything to the story whatsoever. It’s like padding.

Lupton steals a boat, blasting one of the men. There’s a hovercraft (the water kind) and The Doctor hops in it to give chase.. what? ANOTHER chase? Oy vey.

After a bunch of whatever, we get to the end of the chase, when The Doctor leaps from his hovercraft into Lupton’s boat. Just before this, Lupton is told by the spider to concentrate, and when The Doctor makes the boat, there’s nobody on board… and the credits roll.

Really displeased with the silly chase(s).

Episode 3:

Lupton is nowhere to be seen, and The Doctor is very confused.

In the meditation center, Tommy watches as Lupton appears out of thin air. He sees the crystal in Lupton’s hand and is fascinated by it. (Tommy likes pretty things, as likely you’ve noticed.)

Lupton returns to his room, soaking wet from his fleeing. He pulls out the crystal and asks the spider about it; the spider says it can give them more power than he could dream of. The spider tells him to shield his thoughts from her sisters on Metebelis Three.

On Metebelis Three, we see a group of spiders sitting about on tables. One of them is the queen. They communicate with the spider with Lupton, but he is privy to the conversation and demands to know what will become of him. Lupton’s spider argues that he has served them.

There is talk of “The Great One” and her plan, involving the conquest of Earth, their rightful home.

Communication ended, the spider tells Lupton to sleep and he lays down, falling asleep immediately. The spider separates from him and phases through the door.

Cho-Je meets with Sarah Jane, Mike and The Doctor. Cho-Je argues whether Lupton could have been involved with the theft of their equipment, when he saw Lupton in the house at the same time they say they were chasing him.

Barnes overhears this and wakes Lupton to tell him what he heard. Barnes wants to leave, especially after learning that the spider isn’t currently there. Lupton goes into a spiel about how he gave his company twenty-five years, but when the company was changed, he was thrown out. He tells Barnes that he came there for power, not peace of mind, and he’s not going to leave now that he has a chance to get it.

The spider eavesdrops on The Doctor’s conversation with Cho-Je.

While Lupton and Barnes talk, Tommy reaches in through an open window and steals the blue crystal. He takes it to his room under the stairs and puts it in his box of baubles. His “pretties”.

The spider returns to Lupton’s room, telling him to expect a visit from Cho-Je who will want him to speak to The Doctor. Lupton says he will not talk to The Doctor, but the spider uses their link to twist his mind, causing him pain. Lupton reverses it on the spider – seems he’s a rather quick learner.

Lupton and the spider make their plans to help each other – power for Lupton on Earth, and for the spider on Metebelis Three. They merge again and then realise that the crystal is gone.

Tommy calls over Sarah; he wants to give her a present and leads her off.

Cho-Je continues to utter rather silly zen things.

Barnes and Lupton argue over the crystal’s whereabouts. Lupton tells the spider they’re going to bluff the queen, but the spider says it will never work.

Tommy leads Sarah to his access beneath the stairs. He goes in, telling her to wait, and she overhears Lupton talking about going to their ritual area by himself. Moss, sent to bring Lupton to The Doctor, arrives but Lupton says to tell him that he couldn’t find Lupton. Lupton and Barnes depart for their rooms.

When Tommy returns with his box of pretties (including the crystal, which I bet is the present he wants to give her), Sarah Jane is dismissive to him, almost rude. She asks him politely to go tell Yates that she’s going after Lupton to the cellar.

As she leaves, Tommy holds out the crystal, saying it’s her present, but she doesn’t look. She goes down below, hiding before Lupton can come down with his mat and cushion from his room.

In the cellar, Sarah Jane watches as Lupton disappears into thin air while chanting. She runs over and steps on the mat, and cannot move from it.

The Doctor runs down and yells at her to get off it. As he runs to her, she disappears, appearing on Metebelis Three. She sees Lupton in the distance and follows him, hiding behind rocks. A pair of hands grab her from behind.

The Doctor tells Mike he’s going to Metebelis Three after Sarah Jane. When talking about the TARDIS, Mike says, “You talk about it as if it’s alive.”

The Doctor smiles, “Yes, I do, don’t I?”

On Metebelis Three, Sarah is brought to a village of humanoids. She’s accused of being a spy by the man who caught her. They argue amongst themselves, some wanting to kill her, others not.

Hearing the queen of the spiders’ retinue, the villagers hide Sarah. The queen is brought on a cushion bore by “two-legs”. One of them speaks of an assault by Arak on another. If Arak does not surrender himself, they will take one male from each family as punishment. Arak is one of the ones hiding Sarah Jane.

Arak’s father, Sabor, comes forth to explain why Arak struck the guard. Sabor lies and says that he helped his son escape to the hills. The queen says that Sabor will take his place. When Sabor’s wife comes forth, she is struck down, but Sarah Jane is being a busybody, watching through an open door and the queen sees her. Sarah Jane surrenders herself to protect Arak.

The Doctor arrives on Metebelis Three, appearing in the village just as Sarah Jane is being taken by the queen’s guards. The queen says they both will be taken in for questioning, but The Doctor fights her guards. One of them blasts The Doctor with the blue lightning and he falls at the TARDIS, reaching for the door… and the credits roll.

That’s a most excellent cliffhanger, and one we’ll leave you with until Friday.

Interesting note – one of the spider voices is done by Kismet Delgado, the widow of Roger Delgado, The Master.  

Suddenly, a ghostly spoiler image manifests!

Episode 4:

Another Ice Warrior steps out with the first and they take Gebek and The Doctor prisoner. In the communications room, Eckersley, Alpha Centauri and Sarah Jane are watching on the video screen. Alpha explains to Sarah who the Ice Warriors are, but says s/he thought they were still in orbit.

Just then, an Ice Warrior leader caste walks in and proclaims that the planet is under martial law.

When Ettis learns that Gebek went to speak to the queen, he says Gebek is as good as dead, or certainly a prisoner, and there’s nothing to be done. The others argue for rescuing him, and he acquiesces.

In the throne room, the Ice Warriors have everyone gathered; the leader sums up the various accusations and complaints – Ortron vs The Doctor, nobles vs miners, etc. We learn that the commander is named Azaxyr.

Azaxyr commends Eckersley for not being part of all these accusations. He says that he is not concerned with the political situation on Peladon, only that the Federation gets the trisilicate it needs. He proclaims that the miners will work under Ortron’s guards, who will kill them if they do not obey. Both Gebek and Ortron protest – seems Ortron doesn’t mind having his guards kill miners, but he wants to be the one to decide that. (In truth, it’s more that Ortron resents the Federation and the aliens on his planet.)

Hostages have been taken and Azaxyr says that until the miners return to work, hostages will be killed daily.

Ettis leads his men into the citadel.

The queen and Alpha protest Azaxyr’s methods, but he says this is war, he has been authorised to do what he deems necessary. Gebek and Ortron unite against him and he even threatens destroying the planet, but then changes tack, saying he would prefer a more peaceful solution.

Just then, Ettis’ rebels break into the throne room and several are killed by the Ice Warrior soldiers. The rest flee. Azaxyr has The Doctor, Sarah Jane, Eckersley and Alpha taken to the communications room with him.

After they leave, Ortron and Gebek kneel over the dead and look each other in the eye, Ortron proclaiming, “We will be revenged.”

When Azaxyr proclaims he thinks he should have The Doctor executed, Alpha and Eckersley speak up for his having some influence with Gebek and he could get the miners working again. Azaxyr gives The Doctor this chance to stay his execution.

Azaxyr has Eckersley take him to the refinery.

Sarah Jane tells The Doctor that Sskel (Ice Warrior guard who was in the refinery who helped arrest The Doctor) was the shape she saw much earlier in the refinery. The Doctor tells Alpha that Azaxyr isn’t here on the Federation’s behalf, but is up to something else.

When Alpha tries to contact the Federation to report Azaxyr, the communications is being jammed by the ships in orbit.

The Doctor (accompanied by Sskel) goes to the throne room, where he finds Gebek. When he tells Gebek he wants him to have the miners go back to work, Gebek, Ortron and the queen all stand together, in defiance. In hushed tones, The Doctor tells them he just wants them to play along for now, and he and Gebek go off to speak to the miners.

Azaxyr compliments The Doctor on his success, saying that the miners are back to work and Eckersley says the refinery will be up and running soon. The Doctor’s death sentence has been “suspended” – as long as The Doctor cooperates fully, he will be allowed to live. He is brought to the communications room and told to stay there.

There, The Doctor raises the ambient temperature in the mines (cuz, ya know, that’s where the controls for such a thing would be – in the communications room of the citadel), hoping to make things difficult for the Ice Warriors.

In the mines, Ettis talks to one of the miners, but he thinks Gebek has sold them out. He plans to use the sonic lance to destroy the citadel, killing the nobles and aliens. When the other miner says he’s gone mad and leaves to tell Gebek, Ettis kills him.

In the mines, the Ice Warriors begin to suffer the effects of the temperature.

The queen protests that she cannot contact the Federation, but Azaxyr says that until he is satisfied that the emergency is truly at an end (he suspects the settlement of issues was achieved too easily), he will not lift the “communications seal” on the planet.

Gebek gives the signal and the guards and miners in the mine attack the Ice Warriors. The Doctor and Sarah Jane escape the communications room and access the tunnels.

During the fight, Gebek finds the miner Ettis stabbed, who is still alive. He tells Gebek of Ettis’ plan to destroy the citadel with the sonic lance. Gebek greets The Doctor and tells him about Ettis. The Doctor heads off to stop Ettis, as Gebek is needed to lead the miners. Sarah Jane stays to tend the wounded miner.

Sarah Jane is captured by an Ice Warrior (Sskel?) and brought back to the communications room, where Azaxyr demands to know where The Doctor is.

The Doctor confronts Ettis, telling him that the Peladonians are united against the Ice Warriors. If he uses the lance, he won’t kill most of the Ice Warriors, as they’re in the mines fighting.

Azaxyr knows of the sonic lance and pulls up on the video screen the fight between The Doctor and Ettis. Azaxyr says that the sonic lance has a self-destruct which he has preset by remote control – if it is fired, it will detonate, killing all the in immediate area as well.

Ettis bests The Doctor and activates the sonic lance. It explodes… and the credits roll.

Nicely done. I notice in the credits there’s a fight arranger by the name of Terry Walsh (who also plays the guard captain) and it shows in this serial – the fights are much better than the average Doctor Who serial.



Episode 5:

Sarah Jane watches, believing The Doctor to be dead. Azaxyr says they’ve reduced the temperature in the mines and soon will shut off the ventilation system so the miners will have to flee the mines, into the waiting arms of the Ice Warriors.

Suprisingly, The Doctor is alive! (I know I’m shocked.) He gets up and returns to the mines, where he meets Gebek. Gebek says they forced the Ice Warriors out of the mines, but weren’t able to push into the citadel. The temperature is rising and they both notice the air is getting stale.

The queen and Ortron comforts Sarah over the loss of The Doctor. Alpha Centauri arrives to say that Azaxyr plans to extend the martial law over the planet; the queen will rule in name only. All citizens will be conscripted to work in the mines.

To create a distraction, the queen pretends to faint, and when the Ice Warrior guard comes in to investigate, they try to escape – Sarah and Alpha make it out, but the queen’s cape is caught beneath the Ice Warrior’s foot, and when Ortron stays to help her, he is shot by the Ice Warrior. Queen Thalira stays behind with her fallen counselor as Azaxyr arrives.

The Doctor and Gebek arrive at the refinery but hide as Azaxyr and another Ice Warrior arrive there and enter. Inside, Azaxyr tells Eckersley that Sarah and Alpha are in the mines (a lie the queen told him), and Eckersley smiles – is he part of this?

In the communications room, Alpha struggles to remember the sequence to activate the automatic SOS. Sarah Jane skims the security channels and comes across the video from inside the refinery, where she and Alpha eavesdrop on Eckersley and Azaxyr – they are, in fact, in cahoots, and are selling the trisilicate to Galaxy Five!

Outside the refinery, Gebek and The Doctor are listening in as well. Azaxyr says that time is short, Galaxy Five has given them a deadline that is rapidly approaching. Eckersley says they will use Aggedor, pulling back a curtain to reveal a statue. He uses machinery to manifest it near a group of miners, attacking and killing one. The others flee, heading up from the lower levels.

Watching all this from the communications room, Sarah Jane sees The Doctor peering through the cracked door of the refinery. She leaves Alpha in the communications room to keep sending the SOS.

Reports of the miners fleeing and being destroyed come in to Azaxyr and Eckersley. Again, Eckersley sends Aggedor to kill more Peladonians, and then he and Azaxyr head back to the citadel, leaving a guard. Sarah Jane comes in, distracting the guard and Gebek attacks the guard, knocking him out.

Sarah Jane and The Doctor are reunited and she asks if he ever stays out of trouble.

My dear Sarah, there’s nothing I’d like more than a quiet life.” – The Doctor.

Azaxyr and Eckersley return to the communications room, determining the “spatial distress beacon” (SOS) has been activated. He threatens the Ambassador, but Eckersley talks him down.

In the throne room, Alpha tells the queen about the truth of Azaxyr and Eckersley’s true plans. Alpha runs his mouth and reveals that Sarah also overheard their discussion in the refinery. Alpha continues to run his mouth, revealing that The Doctor is still alive.

The Doctor accesses the refinery and he, Gebek and Sarah Jane enter. They restore the ventilation to the mines and The Doctor examines the machine used to project Aggedor.

Sskel arrives at the refinery and begins firing on the the door, burning his way in.

It’s Eckersley’s turn to run his mouth, in typical villain fashion, explains his reasons for being a traitor, as well as Azaxyr being part of a breakway faction of Ice Warriors who long for the “good old days”.

Azaxyr arrives to report that The Doctor has been found in the refinery and his Ice Warriors have him trapped.

More Ice Warriors arrive at the refinery and begin to help Sskel burn down the door. Sarah Jane starts to panic… and the credits roll.



Episode 6:

The Doctor figures out the device and projects Aggedor into the area outside the refinery, attacking the Ice Warriors, who flee. The Doctor and Gebek start making plans.

Sskel returns to the throne room to report his failure, but Eckersley says he knows a few things about the refinery The Doctor doesn’t, and he and Azaxyr go off.

The Doctor manifests Aggedor for the miners to see that it is not a threat, and this allows Gebek to rally the miners.

In the communications room, Eckersley contacts The Doctor. He tells them the security system works on the inside, and demonstrates it. The Doctor sends Sarah to warn Gebek while he stays in.

When The Doctor stays, Eckersley turns up the intensity. The Doctor works the Aggedor controls, attacking the Ice Warriors. Eckersley turns it up to maximum, saying it won’t be long now.

Sarah runs through the mines (it’s Doctor Who, after all, we gotta have some running.) Gebek leads his men to the secret entrance, but Azaxyr and his men lay in wait. As they enter, the Ice Warriors show their hand too fast, and most of the miners retreat.

The Doctor sends Aggedor to kill two Ice Warriors, and Azaxyr flees. Gebek rallies his men and they return to the citadel.

The Doctor finally succumbs to the mental assault.

Sarah enters the citadel, picks up a gun and heads to the communications room, where she makes Eckersley turn off the security system, and he does so, saying it’s too late, The Doctor is dead. He grabs her gun and locks her in the communication room.

Gebek and his men make the throne room, but Azaxyr has the queen hostage and demands they lay down their arms or he will kill her. They do so and Azaxyr steps down from behind the throne and the rebels swarm him. Gebek forces him to shoot the other Ice Warrior (Sskel?) present and then one of the guards stabs Azaxyr.

Alpha enters the communications room, where Sarah mourns The Doctor. On the screen, The Doctor is still in the chair in the refinery, motionless. Sarah leaves to go to him.

Eckersley skulks about the citadel and takes the queen prisoner. He takes her through the secret tunnel behind the throne.

Sarah arrives at the refinery. Standing over The Doctor, she cries, and her tears fall on his face, waking him from the trance he had placed himself in to defend against the security system’s assault.

Eckersley drags the queen through the tunnels.

The Doctor and Sarah return to the throne room, and upon hearing of the queen’s capture, The Doctor fetches the real Aggedor to track them down. They track them down, and when the queen frees herself of Eckersley, Aggedor attacks, but the ‘monster’ is killed in the fight.

(Oh no! I’m gonna cry.)

Later, in the throne room, the queen asks for The Doctor to stay as her chancellor. The Doctor and Sarah advocate that she choose Gebek to be the man for the role. Alpha arrives to report that Galaxy Five ended the war once the scheme to get the trisilicate failed.

Gebek arrives to report that they found that “blue box” he was asking about. He and Sarah leave to check on it, but the queen is wise enough to realise he won’t be coming back and she says good bye. They turn around and bow/curtsy in farewell. The queen asks Gebek to stay, she has something to discuss with him.

Outside the TARDIS, Sarah razzes The Doctor about being offered a civil service job and how she’d hate to stand in the way of his career. He grabs her by the ear and pushes her to the TARDIS. They laugh, enter, and it disappears… and the final credits roll.

A very good serial. I didn’t like Aggedor being killed, but I’m a softy for animals (even when said animal is a man in a costume) being hurt/killed. I enjoyed the Ice Warriors being the baddies again, and despite my complaints about the similarities (again, I understand that it was done intentionally, parallels and homage and all that – and, again, if I had spent several years between watching the two, I would have appreciated that more), I really enjoyed this one.

A great story for the penultimate Jon Pertwee serial. 

And so we return to Peladon! Really enjoyed the first serial set here, let’s hope this one is as good.


Episode 1:

We open with the same castle on a stormy mountain that the first Peladon serial opened with; I guess Peladon is a stormy world?

Inside, four men are moving some machine (a sonic lance, I believe) through the tunnels when a strange sound frightens them. One of them says it is the spirit of Aggedor and one of them is engulfed in a nimbus of energy and disappears; the others run off. They scurry by two off-worlders (one human and one race I don’t know, almost satyr-like) who discuss a piece of rock/mineral/jewel that’s being mined.

The human stops one of the natives as they run by and he says that Aggedor slew one of the men for bringing the sonic lance into the mines.

In the throne room, the human and his companions (from the planet Vega), as well as an Alpha Centauran (the same as before, I wonder?) appear before the queen to explain the death. The mining reps say they don’t believe in some supernatural force being behind it. The queen seems reasonable and asks them to arrange a demonstration, feeling that if her people saw that the technology could be trusted it would go far in quelling fears.

Ortron, the chancellor, protests, but the queen says it was her father’s wish to see Peladon become a civilised planet, a full member of the Federation. The Federation is at war with “Galaxy 5” and the mining of trisilicate is needed.

We later see the chancellor performing a ritual, praying to Aggedor, asking him not to punish his loyal servants but to punish those who deserve it.

A soldier moving through the tunnels hears a strange noise and hides as the TARDIS materialises. The Doctor steps out, telling Sarah Jane about the citadel of Peladon. He seems startled that they’re in a tunnel, not the citadel, and she gives him guff about it. They walk off as the guard watches them.

Sarah Jane seems doubtful they’re even on Peladon.

In the tunnels, the queen and her retinue arrive to observe the demonstration of the sonic lance. Talk of a guard seeing more aliens appear is discussed. Ortron sends guards to investigate, with orders to “find and destroy”.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane are lost in the tunnels.

Nexos, the Vegan, activates the sonic lance. They blast open a hole in the wall, and there’s a strange sound within. Nexos, trying to dissuade everyone from being afraid, enters the hole and is engulfed by the nimbus. He screams, flails and falls to the ground before disappearing. The native miners flee, one of them yelling about the curse of Aggedor.

Palace guards find The Doctor and Sarah Jane; one yells, “There they are, kill them,” and Sarah Jane runs off. The Doctor follows, and they find one of the secret doors, accessed by lifting the sconce in the wall, leading into the Temple of Aggedor.

Guards capture them and take them to the throne room, where the queen, chancellor and retinue enter. They are accused of “sacrilige and sabotage”. Ortron introduces himself as “high priest and chancellor” (the two positions now one, interesting) and the queen as “Queen Thalira”. She says she is the daughter of King Peladon.

The Doctor proclaims he was a friend of her father, but Ortron says that everyone knows the story of The Doctor and what better identity to assume for an “alien spy and saboteur”. Just then, Alpha Centauri enters, and it is, in fact, the very same one that was on Peladon years before. Alpha Centauri vouches for The Doctor and the Queen releases them into Alpha’s care.

Ortron tries to tell the queen that The Doctor is not to be trusted; it was he that persuaded Peladon to join the Federation and that is the cause of their troubles now. The queen says that if The Doctor is their enemy, he will reveal himself as such and they will deal with him accordingly.

The miners debate; Gebek, who seems to be their leader, wants to speak to the Queen and Ortron, but another says they are but puppets of the Federation. The other argues for violence and when Gebek goes to speak to the queen, the others begin their violence, breaking into the citadel and attacking a guard.

The Doctor chastises Alpha Centauri for the lack of improvements for the mining caste of Peladon over the fifty-plus years Peladon has been part of the Federation. Alpha says that the feudal caste system is resistent to change, the nobles refuse to give up their stranglehold.

The mining representative (who is really familiar, his face and voice… aha, it’s Donald Gee, who played Major Warne in THE SPACE PIRATES) explains why trisilicate is so essential to the war effort (in short, it’s used for many things.)

On a video scanner, they see the rebel miners trying to break into the armory where the modern weapons are being housed; Eckersley (the mining rep) isn’t concerned, but then one of the miners enters and takes him at swordpoint to go open the door. The Doctor disarms him, while Alpha prattles on uselessly. The Doctor and Eckersley take him to speak to the queen, while Sarah Jane stays behind with Alpha.

Gebek is still speaking with the queen and Ortron, when first, word of the miners attempt to gain access to the armory is brought by a guard, and then The Doctor arrives with his prisoner. When The Doctor tries to get the queen to listen, Ortron starts barking orders (lots of parallels between this serial and the first, all rather intentional, I’m sure – and if years had gone by between viewing them, as opposed to weeks, I’m sure it wouldn’t be grating on my nerves.)

The Doctor helps the two rebels escape but he is taken prisoner and Ortron declares he should be executed in their place. The Doctor appeals to the queen, saying that he saved them from civil war. He asks for her permission to investigate the appearances of Aggedor – he feels they are trickery.

The queen’s champion leads The Doctor to the last place Aggedor was sighted. Ortron sends orders with a guard to find and capture, or kill, Gebek and his rebels.

One of the rebels lays explosives in the tunnels.

Eckersley reports to Sarah Jane what has transpired.

The Doctor and the champion (also a mute, like the last champion), investigate the site. It is the same area the rebel has just laid the explosives. The champion is reluctant to go in. The Doctor enters and sees a massive vein of trisilicate.

Two rebels discuss the champion and “one of the aliens” entering the cavern and sacrificing them. The explosive is set off and The Doctor and the champion are trapped within.

As he helps the champion to his feet, The Doctor stops in amazement as a ghostly form of Aggedor (looking rather like the statue and not the creature itself) appears and the nimbus of light envelops the champion, who falls and screams in pain (he’s not voiceless, just grunts, so he can scream) and disappears… and the credits roll.

Well, as stated, I’m a little annoyed by the great similarity between this serial and the first. I’m sure it was done intentionally, and again, if I was watching the show as it aired, several years would have transpired and it wouldn’t be annoying it would be homage-like and clever.

Episode 2:

After Blor is killed, Aggedor disappears. The Doctor tries to dig his way out.

Ettis, the rabble-rousing miner, brags to Gebek (who showed up just before he triggered the explosive) how he returned the cave to the sacred mountain and made a sacrifice to Aggedor. Gebek realises that The Doctor is in there and begins to pull away the rocks, and the other two join in. They activate the sonic lance and blast a hole in the rockfall.

The Doctor jumps through, just as “Aggedor” appears again and blasts where he was standing.

Alpha Centauri dithers on about mining and refining, but Sarah Jane isn’t listening – she’s worried about The Doctor, especially after a warning about explosives comes through. Sarah Jane takes off, as Alpha calls for Eckersley.

Sarah Jane enters through the Temple of Aggedor, using the secret door to access the tunnels.

Gebek says that he and The Doctor are even, now that he has saved his life. The Doctor offers to help him if they will let him. The Doctor tells them that someone is using Aggedor to keep the mining from happening. Before more can be discussed, soldiers arrive and battle breaks out.

The soldiers are defeated and The Doctor and the three miners run off before more arrive.

Sarah Jane is lost in the tunnels, but sees a somewhat translucent window with someone behind it. She calls out to them, asking for help, but they turn the light off within. When she bangs on a door in frustration, some mental or sonic assault overwhelms her.

Eckersley returns to the communications room and sees an alert flashing on the refinery console. He activates a camera and sees Sarah Jane collapse to the ground. He realises that she must have set off the defense system. He rushes off to save her.

The Doctor meets with the miners, who complain about their lot in life. Ettis says that Aggedor’s spirit is angry, but The Doctor insists that it is trickery, and he is going to find out who is behind it.

Gebek and another miner take The Doctor to the queen, leaving Ettis behind to plot to attack the armory again, now that The Doctor inadvertantly gave away that to get in the armory, they need to capture the communications room.

Eckersley and Alpha find Sarah Jane and the mining rep argues with her – he says there was nobody inside, it’s on shut down, nobody can get in, she was imagining it. They leave to return to the communications room, and we see, through the window, that there is in fact someone in there.

In the tunnels, The Doctor is separated from his miner guides when they each break off, trying to lead the guards away from finding The Doctor. When Gebek is being escorted away, The Doctor incapacitates them and frees Gebek.

Ortron argues that The Doctor is their enemy, saying he has been sent to stir up the miners. The queen asks for his counsel, and he says she must crush the revolt and to do so, capture The Doctor and have him executed.

Ettis attacks Eckersley, possibly killing him, leaving him in the corridor. He takes Sarah Jane and Alpha prisoner, taking them into the communications room, demanding they open the armory. Reluctantly, Alpha does so.

Lord Ortron brings news of the attack on the armory, saying this is what comes of softness with common people.

Ettis flees, taking Sarah Jane with him. Alpha natters on until Eckersley wakes (he was only KO’d.)

Ortron and his guards grab Sarah Jane when she manages to break free of Ettis; Ettis and his rebels flee into the tunnels, passing by Gebek and The Doctor. Sarah Jane is taken to the temple.

Gebek leaves The Doctor to be with his people, hoping to prevent any further madness.

At the temple, Ortron accuses Sarah Jane of collusion with Ettis. The Doctor arrives at the secret door outside the temple, and enters the temple saying he’s got it all wrong. Ortron uses every unfortunate statement to say they’re both guilty. In the temple, his will is law and he appeals to Aggedor for what to do.

The queen says she will trust in Alpha Centauri’s judgment, but there is nothing she can do to overrule Ortron.

Ortron condemns The Doctor and Sarah Jane to the pit.

Alpha talks the queen into trying to change things, to assert herself.

In the temple, guards move a pedestal, revealing a hole. As the queen demands to be let in, The Doctor and Sarah Jane are thrown into the hole. The queen enters the temple, too late, and Ortron says the choice is out of their hands, their fate is subject to the judgment of Aggedor.

In the pit, there’s something roaring, something musky and alive. The Doctor pulls out a small penlight, and we see Aggedor, who roars… and the credits roll.

That’s a good cliffhanger!



Episode 3:

The queen insists that they rescue The Doctor and Sarah Jane, but Ortron says it is too late.

Aggedor attacks, while The Doctor tries to talk to him, saying they are old friends. The Doctor pulls out a shiny dangly thing, spinning and singing to Aggedor, as he did before, lulling the beast into a docile state.

Rather embarrassed, Ortron complies with the queen’s demand to release them.

Alpha Centauri turns to Eckersley for advice; he counsels Alpha to contact the Federation, asking for troops to be sent. Eckersley takes off to fetch the sonic lance, afraid it might be used as a weapon by the rebels. Alpha contacts the Federation.

The queen brings The Doctor and Sarah Jane to the throne room to sit for refreshments and speak about his investigations. The Doctor advocates treating the miners more fairly, to contact Gebek and work with him. The Doctor leaves to consult with Alpha and then go speak with Gebek to set up a secret meeting between he and the queen; he asks Sarah Jane to stay behind and give the queen some advice about Women’s Lib.

In the tunnels, Gebek argues with Ettis and his followers.

The Doctor chastises Alpha Centauri over sending for Federation troops. Sarah Jane shows up to tell The Doctor about seeing someone at the refinery, and suggests that whomever is behind the fake Aggedor is in the refinery.

Ortron shows up to say that The Doctor cannot leave the citadel to contact his rebel friends. After trading words, he and his guard leave, but wait around the corner. When The Doctor tries to leave the citadel, Ortron and his guards take The Doctor prisoner for trying to leave.

Eckersley is at the sonic lance; Sarah Jane shows up to tell him The Doctor is afraid the rebels might be after it. Eckersley says there are none in sight, but Gebek, Ettis and others watch from a hiding spot.

Alpha Centauri protests The Doctor’s arrest and imprisonment. Ortron protests that The Doctor is a nameless alien with no official records in the Federation. The queen asserts that Sarah Jane will not be arrested, as Ortron plans.

The rebels attack the guards and take the sonic lance. Despite Ettis’ protests, Gebek lets Sarah Jane and Eckersley go, but not before Sarah Jane passes on the message that the queen will meet with him in secret.

When it is revealed that Federation troops are on their way, everyone is upset at Alpha for contacting them. Sarah Jane advises that the only way to get rid of the troops once they arrive is to make it seem that all is going well and they are not needed.

Gebek enters the citadel, and runs into Sarah Jane. He tells her he will free The Doctor for her. He makes his way to the cells and frees The Doctor. The Doctor insists that Gebek take him to the refinery to investigate Sarah’s claims.

Ettis and his men set up the sonic lance outside, facing the citadel.

Alpha Centauri receives a message that the Federation ship is in orbit. The voice is obviously an Ice Warrior.

Gebek warns The Doctor that there is magic at the refinery that has destroyed several of the miners’ minds. The Doctor pulls out his sonic screwdriver to disarm the security system. On the security monitors, Eckersley sees this and Alpha, who is quite the idiot, says it’s obvious that The Doctor is in league with the rebels. Eckersley storms off to stop them, but Sarah Jane talks him down, explaining their theory that the refinery is being used to power the fake Aggedor manifestations.

Ortron goes into the tunnels with guards to meet with the rebels, to tell them of the need to coexist while the Federation troops are present. He promises them a fair hearing of any complaints once the Federation troops have left if the miners return to work ASAP to convince the troops all is well.

The miners agree, and as they leave, Aggedor manifests and kills one. The men flee, panicking, and Gebek hears it from outside the refinery. The Doctor has almost hot wired the door, and once he does it opens, and an Ice Warrior steps out… and the credits roll.

Now, THAT is a perfect place to stop for the day. See you tomorrow and Happy Memorial Day, BTW!