Archives for posts with tag: Earth

Recap: Transporting the remains of the executed Master, The Seventh Doctor is forced to land on Earth, where he is shot. In the hospital, he’s killed when a Doctor gets lost using a probe in his hearts, and he regenerates but is suffering amnesia.

The Master has tricked a kid who helped get The Doctor to the hospital into opening the Eye of Harmony, which is inside the TARDIS, for some reason.

spoiler warning

Part Two:

The TARDIS rumbles as the eye opens. Smoke/mist wisps about.

In the park, The Doctor staggers, feeling it. Grace asks what’s wrong and he gasps that something is happening. Then, a moment later, he shouts, “I know who I am,” and kisses Grace.

Breaking the kiss, he tells her, “I! Am! The Doctor!”

Good,” she says, “now do that again!” She means the kiss and he obliges.

Yeah. That’s just crappy dialogue and there’s no fucking chemistry whatsoever between McGann and the actress, much less the characters. I don’t mind The Doctor kissing, or the feelings of the companions for him and stuff (after all, though it was never really shown, it’s often been implied off and on over the years that certain companions had romantic feels for him, and/or vice versa.) But this? It’s flat.

The eye is open. Light pours out of it. Good thing Bruce (I refuse to call him The Master. He is anything BUT The Master.) has sunglasses on, what what?

Suddenly, a holographic image of the Seventh Doctor appears above the Eye. Lee recognises him as “the guy I took to the hospital.” Bruce tells him it’s “The Doctor’s past life.”

Then, as they watch, he becomes the Eighth Doctor. Suddenly the hologram zooms in on The Doctor’s eye and we learn… okay, here’s the other part most Whovians have a big issue with… that it’s the retinal structure of a human eye.

Bruce proclaims that “The Doctor is half-human! No wonder…” and his voice trails off while I interrupt the narrative.

Now, I’m not really butt-hurt over this idea. I mean, if they came up with a better way to introduce it and had a good story reason, I could go with it. After all, it might even explain his affinity and devotion to the human race.

Of course, let us remember that, in the beginning, The Doctor was a human. He and Susan were not from Earth, but were humans from another planet in our future – when humanity had spread across the stars. It wasn’t until the last Patrick Troughton serial, THE WAR GAMES, that we learned he was a Time Lord – though, to be honest, he still could have been human and been something called a Time Lord.

I also seem to recall that there was a long-standing theory on The Doctor being half-human, something I first heard about back in the 1980s, long before this movie.

But, anyhow… back to the (horrible) tv movie.

The Doctor stops kissing Grace, much to her dismay, as he understands that The Master is there and after his body and has opened the Eye of Harmony.

In the TARDIS, they see what The Doctor sees. Lee recognises Grace.

The Doctor, realising they can see what he can see, closes his eyes. Grace keeps asking what the Eye of Harmony is. He says it’s the power source to his ship, which he names and then explains what TARDIS stands for. Yay, exposition.

He says The Master is a rival Time Lord who wants his body – if The Doctor looks into the Eye, his soul will be destroyed and The Master can take over his body.

Listening in from the Eye, Bruce scoffs, “Listen to all those lies.” Lee remarks that Grace believes him.

In the park, Grace apparently does NOT believe him, and tries to get away, thinking him mad. The Doctor says that if the Eye isn’t closed it will suck Earth into it. He tells her he needs an atomic clock to fix the timing mechanism of the TARDIS, in order to close the eye.

See, all of this could have been avoided if she had listened to him on the operating table. But, no. Instead, she kills him, forces him to regenerate and now all this is going down.

(Has a companion ever been DIRECTLY responsible for a regeneration? The closest I can think of are Nine to Ten, when he absorbed the power of the TARDIS from Rose, and again from Ten to Eleven, when he entered the booth to free Donna’s grandfather. And both of those were indirect.)

Grace runs off, leaving The Doctor holding her jacket. He opens his eyes and gives chase.

Bruce laughs. He tells Lee they need to get to The Doctor before he can find a clock. Lee says the woman is the surgeon who operated on him. Bruce says if they can find her, they’ll find him.

The Doctor and Grace have a conversation through the mail slot, while he pleads with her, repeating everything she’s already said, while she says he’s nuts and she’s going to call someone to take him back to the psychiatric ward, from which he’s obviously escaped.

She goes and makes the call. He moves to the window and gets her attention, saying he can prove the Eye has been opened. He pushes on the window, the glass warping and bending with his hand. He says there are subtle molecular changes, but soon they will be catastrophic.

The Doctor walks through the glass, and still Grace stays on the phone asking for a bed in psychiatric. The Doctor talks, “By midnight tonight, this planet will be pulled inside out.

She looks at the clock, it’s 9pm. She tells the person on the phone to make it two beds.

Bruce and Lee head off, Bruce saying, “Come on, she needs an ambulance.”

The Doctor tells Grace he’s lost twenty pounds in the last twenty minutes. She cracks a silly joke about weight loss. On the tv, they report all sorts of strange events, snow in Hawai’i, etc. Scientists are attributing it all to “minute changes in Earth’s gravitational pull. Fluctuations that happen once every thousand years.” Right.

Ah, the 1990s.

The Doctor laughs, “I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there.” Okay, that line is pretty cool, cuz truth.

As the news continues, they talk about a new clock being started, “the most accurate atomic clock in the world”. The Doctor is excited.

The doorbell rings. Grace answers it and it’s Bruce. The Doctor sees him, and they exchange looks, but he doesn’t seem to recognise his enemy. He asks if he knows where the ITAR, the Institute for Technological Advancement and Research, where the clock is.

After looking at Grace for a moment, Bruce replies, “Of course I do.”

The ambulance rushes through the streets. Lee is driving. Bruce sits in the back with Grace and The Doctor. It’s 10:30pm and he’s panicking. Grace tells him she’s on the board of the Institute and she’ll get them in with no problem.

He asks why she didn’t mention this before, but she says she was more concerned with the “Eye of Destruction”. She’s obviously still thinking he’s mad (she even whispers to Bruce, asking about giving The Doctor a sedative.)

SHE WATCHED HIM WALK THROUGH A GLASS DOOR, WHAT THE FUCK IS HER PROBLEM?

There’s banter that I won’t even bother to repeat. See, I care about you guys, I’m sparing you from this shit.

Lee slams on the brakes, presumably for traffic, and Bruce’s shades fall off, revealing his green glowing eyes. The Doctor sees this but doesn’t react.

The planet’s about to be destroyed and I’m stuck in a traffic jam,” The Doctor complains, taking Bruce’s sunglasses off his face. Bruce vomits some fluid on Grace, burning her arm. The Doctor grabs a fire extinguisher and blasts Bruce with it. This seems to cause him pain.

The Doctor and Grace run until a cop stops them. The Doctor offers him a jelly baby. As the cop eats it, The Doctor grabs the cops gun and threatens to shoot himself if the cop doesn’t stop them. Grace argues and they step aside. Grace is swayed by a horrible argument and she takes the gun and fires it at the cop’s feet or bike or something and demands he turn over the keys.

Right, cuz there’s no other cops there to come help? Anyhow, they hop on the cop’s motorcycle and zoom off. The ambulance gives chase.

Wow, this is so stupid and bad and painful.

Lee prattles on about him and Bruce being a team. There’s more really bad dialogue.

The chase scene goes on and on…

AUGH this is bad.

FINALLY, they arrive at ITAR. They see an ambulance already there, doors open. They’re upset that it’s there, assuming it’s the one with Bruce and Lee. (And I’m sure they’re right, but that’s one hell of an assumption.)

Grace is on the board and gets them into the soiree. She tries to get in ahead of everyone else, being on the Board of Trustees, but the security won’t let them in, saying they’ll have to wait with everyone else.

Grace introduces The Doctor as “Doctor Bowman” to everyone. They meet Professor Wagg, the scientist behind the clock, just as The Doctor is about to tell Grace a secret.

The Doctor asks for a closer look but Wagg says no and he wants to hear Bowman’s secret. The Doctor confides, “I’m half-human, on my mother’s side.” The Doctor picks Wagg’s keycard and they gain access.

The Doctor laments not having his sonic screwdriver as he opens up a panel on the clock. He’s already told Grace they just need a small component and they steal it, only to be confronted by a very young security man.

The Doctor says he knows him, identifies him as Gareth, and advises him to answer the second question on his mid-term, not the third, as he’ll mess that one up.

He gives Gareth a jelly baby and wanders off. Grace asks what that was about, and he says Gareth will be on a seismology task force in ten years, where he will design a device to accurate predict earthquakes, saving many over the years, but has to pass Poetry first, thus the advice.

Grace sees Lee, pointing him out to The Doctor. They see Lee and Bruce together and try to dash off, but are seen by Bruce.

They come across four security men covered in the goo that Bruce spat at Grace. The men are paralyzed. The Doctor sets off the fire alarm, trying to distract everyone. They head to the roof and then use the fire hose to lower to the ground outside.

Bruce and Lee smash down a barricaded door as they reach the ground and hop on the motorcycle to escape.

Grace asks about her future but he says he can’t tell her.

They arrive at the TARDIS, but The Doctor realises he doesn’t have a key. Grace says she always leaves a spare in a cubbyhole above the door – apparently The Doctor does, too, as he says the last half of the sentence in sync with her and then boosts her up, where she finds it above the P in POLICE BOX.

She asks why a police box and he says the cloaking device got stuck. He opens the door as a motorcycle cop comes barreling down the alley. The cop drives right into the TARDIS and Grace stares into it. We hear the siren get faint then louder as the cop drives out and heads off.

That was kinda cute.

Inside, the Cloister Bell rings. The Doctor says the TARDIS is dying. They go to the console to put in the chip he took from the atomic clock. She complains that it looks low tech, and he says the TARDIS can take her to any planet at any time anywhere.

She rattles off some big scientific words, suddenly developing a brain, it seems. He doesn’t seem to blink an eye at this.

The chip is plugged in. The Eye of Harmony closes. He fiddles with the console, but there is little response. He says they may be too late, but she says there’s still twelve minutes before midnight.

He sets the coordinates for one minute past midnight. The ceiling above becomes a giant 3D viewscreen of sorts, showing planets exploding. He says the only way is to go back to before they got there to close it. But the problem is the TARDIS is out of power from the Eye being open too long.

She pleads with him to think and he asks her if she’s good at setting alarm clocks. She says no, but he explains they’re going to jumpstart the TARDIS with the Eye of Harmony.

As they work, she becomes possessed and attacks The Doctor, hitting him with one of the tools. Her eyes turn solid black and she looks up as Bruce and Lee walk in.

Grace and Lee rush The Doctor’s body on a gurney to the Eye of Harmony. He recovers, “Oh, no, not you, Grace.” Lee says she’s possessed, there’s no point talking to her. Lee says that soon everything “is going to belong to The Master, again.”

Again? What’s he been telling you,” The Doctor asks.

When he gets his body back from you, I’m going to be rich,” Lee boasts. I don’t like this stupid kid. I don’t like any of this stupid movie. Can we be done yet?

The Doctor asks if he believes him and Lee questions why he shouldn’t. The Doctor points out there won’t be anywhere to spend the money.

Which is why we have no time to waste,” Bruce says, entering the room, dressed in Time Lord robes.

But time to change,” The Doctor points out.

I always… dress for the occasion.”

Bruce says Lee is the son he’s always yearned for. The Doctor scoffs. Bruce tells Grace to put something on him, that looks like a crown of nails. Jesus reference much? The Doctor pleads with Lee to believe him, pointing out that Grace is possessed by evil, not good. The boy starts to look like maybe it’s sinking in.

We see a bunch of hospital people partying, including Pete, wearing the Richard Nixon mask. The clocks say 11:55pm.

Wagg stands in the ITAR, meditating, anxious about his life’s work.

Bruce has Lee open the eye again.

Wagg calls the guests (who were let back in, obviously) making big proclamations about the new clock. Gareth comes and whispers in his ear. “What do you mean it won’t start,” he asks the boy.

The Doctor pleads with Lee, The Brucester says this is Lee’s chance to see the universe. The Brucester lets slip about how he wasted his lives, and The Doctor gets Lee to understand that Brucester has been lying.

Lee refuses to open the Eye. Brucester breaks Lee’s neck.

The Doctor asks how he’ll open the Eye. The Brucester calls Grace over and kisses her, sucking out his possession from within. He forces her eye to the beam of light and the Eye begins to open.

Grace cries out that she’s blind. The Doctor tells her that her sight will return. Sure, the world is going to end and all you care about is your eyesight. Within moments it starts to clear up.

The Brucester assumes a position so that the Eye of Harmony links he and The Doctor. The Doctor says he cannot move as long as the Eye links them and yells at her to go the console room to reroute the power as they’d planned before.

She runs off.

Outside, the alley is filled with lightning.

We get flashes of Brucester writhing, as he says he can feel The Doctor’s thoughts and memories. We see flashes of scenes from earlier (would have been nice to see ones from the first seven Doctors) and The Doctor begins to plead that it cannot end this way.

Grace fiddles with wires under the console.

Both the party goers and the people at ITAR count down the last thirty seconds.

The Brucester’s head does all sorts of stupid warping effects. Yay 1990s.

Grace fiddles with wires, complaining that she should surgery was different.

The Brucester proclaims that he is alive.

Six… Five… Four… Three… Two… One…

It’s midnight.

The TARDIS console column comes to life. Grace pulls levers and such, talking about alarm clocks. She sees the screen say ENTERING TEMPORAL ORBIT and she runs off wondering what that means.

The Doctor says, “She did it. Your life force is dying, Master.” Things look bad for the Brucester.

Grace runs into the Eye room and steps in front of the light beaming into The Doctor’s eyes. This frees Brucester who rushes over as Grace struggles to free The Doctor.

Brucester throws Grace off the balcony and she falls hard. She looks dead. The Doctor rushes down to check on her, but Brucester attacks him. The struggle over to the Eye. There’s bad dialgoue. There’s even stupider fight choreography.

In the end, Brucester is sucked into the Eye of Harmony.

The Doctor picks up Grace and carries her off.

We see a clock roll backwards. The date on the TARDIS console rolls backwards, going to December 30th.

The Doctor places Grace and Lee next to each other in the room with the Eye and energy leaves it and envelops both of them, bringing them back to life. Oh, yay, this makes me happy.

Not.

Doctor, I have your things,” Lee says.

The Doctor asks Grace how it feels to hold back death and she hugs him.

The Eye closes and The Doctor says “Incredible, what a sentimental creature this old TARDIS is.”

Apparently, just by going back in time they were able to be brought back to life.

Lee asks where The Master is. The TARDIS rumbles and The Doctor says, “Indigestion.”

He shows them Gallifrey on the roof-display. He sets the date for December 31st and takes them back to Earth.

We again see the countdown at the parties. Oh, yay, because that was so worth seeing again.

The clocks strike midnight and all around the world, everyone celebrates the year 2000. Meh.

The TARDIS materialises and The Doctor steps out. Fireworks and horns and people celebrating can be heard all over. Lee gives The Doctor his bag. The Doctor tells Lee to keep the bag of gold dust and the boy heads off, but The Doctor tells him to take a vacation next Christmas, to get out of town.

The Doctor tries to tell Grace something, but she says she doesn’t want to know. He asks her to come with him, she asks him to come with her. He says it’s tempting… but obviously he won’t.

They kiss again. Aw. Still no chemistry. They part ways, thanking each other. She watches as he enters the TARDIS. She waves, he doesn’t. The TARDIS disappears.

She stands there, amazed. Really? After coming back from the dead, a disappearing police box is amazing.

Inside the TARDIS, The Doctor listens to jazz, tinkers with the TARDIS and then sits down, picking up his book, “Now where was I?”

The record gets stuck on “time” again. “Oh, no, not again,” he says… and the final credits roll.

GOD I’M DONE. THAT WAS HORRIBLE.

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Sigh. So, my buddy Glenn Walker suggested that I do this as part of the “classic” run of Doctor Who. I suppose it has merit, including it, so here we are. I’m not a fan. I’m not expecting that will change with this rewatch – I just watched it about three years ago, to see how bad it was, and it was still bad.

But, anyhow, here we are. Gonna do two posts, try to find a halfway point that makes a good cliffhanger-ish ending and cut it there. Might be before or after the halfway point of the movie, but hey.

Still seems unreal that I’m done. But, anyhow, let’s do this…

Part one:

We open with some scenes of planets as The Doctor does a voice-over, talking about the trial of The Master (which took place on Skaro, which doesn’t really make any sense to me) and his last request – “He demanded that I, The Doctor, a rival Time Lord, should take his remains back to our home planet – Gallifrey.”

We see The Master being killed, Dalek voices saying “Exterminate” as he stands in an energy cage of sorts and then explodes. The Doctor’s voice-over continues, “It was a request they should never have granted.”

The opening sequence begins, the sparks from the exploding Master turning into a field of stars and music plays. The Doctor Who logo comes up (and I have to admit, I really liked this one) then zooms into space. We get a bit of the time tunnel effect as the main cast names come up.

The theme is pretty unrecogniseable as anything to do with Doctor Who, I have to say. It’s horrible.

We see The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) placing The Master’s remains in a box for the trip back to Gallifrey, as the Eighth Doctor continues the narration voice-over, talking about how, though The Master had used up all his thirteen lives, rules didn’t matter to him and so The Doctor was taking precautions with his remains, “Because, even in death, I didn’t trust him.”

The Doctor sits down with some tea, listening to some soft jazz-type music. I like the sitting room and library of books with the TARDIS console amidst it all.

The console column is two moving parts, one moving down from the top, one rising up from the center of the console, another neat design. (I’ll give them props – some of the set designs for the TARDIS in this movie are most excellent.)

We see The Doctor’s 900 Year Diary (a tribute to The Second Doctor’s 500 Year Diary) laying on a table.

The box holding The Master’s remains shakes and we hear some grunting.

The Doctor eats fruit and reads The Time Machine.

The lock on the box breaks and opens. The record playing gets stuck on the word ‘time’ and keeps repeating until The Doctor gets out of his chair to reset the needle, returning to his book.

He glances at the tea, seeing it swirling in the cup. Suddenly, the cup launches into the air and lands on the ground, breaking.

The box with the remains breaks in half. Something silvery slithers under the TARDIS console, which begins sparking all about. The Doctor rushes to it, fiddling and pulling levers, pressing buttons and the like. He pulls at a viewscreen (which they do in the new series, at least in one of the Tenth Doctor’s TARDIS versions that I can think of off the top of my head.)

Oh no,” The Doctor exclaims, reading the screen, which flashes INSTIGAGTE AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY LANDING and CRITICAL TIMING MALFUNCTION. (Huh, guess a timing belt is more essential on the TARDIS than in a car…)

The Doctor hustles to the box, discovering what he already fears – The Master has escaped.

The TARDIS exits the vortex, appearing in space near Earth.

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, three oriental youths run through the streets, pursued by someone in a car. They climb a fence and then pull their guns out to shoot at the car, which backs out of the alley as the youths shout at it.

As they walk off, four men with automatic weapons step out of hiding (they were just hanging out there in case they came down that alley?) and open fire, killing two of them. As they take aim at the last one, who they address as Lee, the TARDIS appears in front of them.

Their bullets bounce off the TARDIS. The Doctor open the door and exits and gets gunned down. The black car pulls up and the men jump in, one of them yelling, “What was that thing?”

Lee comes out from behind the TARDIS, after the car zooms off. He checks on The Doctor, who gasps, “Timing… malfunction…” (you’re not kidding, Doc.) Lee says he’ get him an ambulance.

The Doctor looks over at the TARDIS, seeing the silvery goo of The Master’s form oozing out of the keyhole. “Stop it,” he begs Lee, who looks over at the TARDIS, having no idea what The Doctor is referencing. “Hang in there, old guy,” Lee tells him, “Chang Lee will help you.”

Does anyone talk like that? Really? Granted, it’s 1999 (in story, as identified by the caption that let us know we were in 1999 San Francisco), so The Rock would talk like that. Maybe Chang Lee is a fan of The Rock?

Chang Lee goes off to flag down an ambulance, stepping in a puddle that moves along afterwards – it’s The Master!

An ambulance races down the road, sirens and lights going. Inside, the EMT asks Chang Lee if The Doctor is rich, saying he’d better be, based on where they’re going. (The EMT is played by Eric Roberts and we’ve already seen the opening credits which list Eric Roberts as The Master, so surely you can see what’s going to happen here.)

EMT Eric hands him something to sign, but Chang Lee says he’s not signing anything. EMT Eric says if he don’t sign, they can’t do anything (that’s bullshit, he’s dying.) Reluctantly, Chang Lee takes the clipboard to sign it and asks what the date is.

December 30th,” EMT Eric replies.

Nine…teen…ninety-nine,” Chang Lee says as he dates the form. Filling out the form, he lists the name of the patient as “Smith, John”. Now that’s funny.

The ambulance arrives as the hospital and The Doctor is rushed in. In the ambulance, we see a silvery snake move under the driver seat.

The Doctor is taken to an OR.

The silvery-almost transparent snake moves into the back of the ambulance.

A nurse puts up the X-ray, bewildered by the two hearts. The doctor tending to him says it’s a double exposure. The Doctor was shot three times, once in shoulder (went straight through) and two bullets in the leg. (So why is he dying – I mean, sure, with no medical attention, he might die from those wounds… but he’s unconscious and seemingly in bad shape.)

The ‘snake’ goes into the sleeve of a jacket in the ambulance.

One of the nurses says the patient’s heart “is still going like crazy”, but she doesn’t say which one. Even if they thought it was a double exposure on the x-ray, the monitors would pick up the extra heartbeat. The doctor says they’ll have to alert cardiology and when they ask him who’s on duty, he says, smirking, “Amazing Grace.”

We cut to the opera, where the camera zooms in on one woman watching in the crowd. Obviously this is “Amazing Grace”. Her beeper (oh, yeah, it’s 1999) goes off and she has to leave, much to the resigned disappointment of her date.

We see Grace rush through the hospital in her gown and then in the pre-op scrub room, barking orders. They tell her the X-rays are double exposed every time, so she tells them to try again. They say they’re getting another machine.

A nurse brings a phone to Doctor (Grace) Holloway, saying it’s “Brian”. The nurse holds the phone as Grace talks into it (as she just prepped her hands for surgery), apologising to Brian (her date, we presume). She argues, but he hangs up.

The Doctor lays on the table and Grace prepares to operate. The song from the opera is put on the stereo and as Grace gets ready to cut, The Doctor murmurs, “Puccini… Madame Butterfly,” and opens his eyes, grabbing Grace’s wrist (which is over him, holding a scalpel.)

He tells her not to do it, she tells him he’s going to be all right. He says he is not human, he is not like her (to which she replies that nobody is) and he continues, saying he needs a beryllium atomic clock, still struggling with her.

They gas him, and he struggles, as she says they’re going to cut him open to see why his heart is behaving so erratically. He is gassed and just as she declares that “he’s under”, The Doctor sits upright, exclaiming, “Timing malfunction! The Master! He’s out there!”

They force him back down and hit him with some more gas and Grace starts to cut, but again he protests. He finally goes black.

 spoiler warning

Overhead, a hospital director takes some people on a tour, as they watch down into the OR and observe the operation. Grace seems to be lost with the probe, but somehow causes a seizure. The probe snaps inside The Doctor and they’re forced to use defibrillators… but to no avail.

The Doctor is pronounced dead at 10:03pm and Grace demands to see his X-rays, stat. When she reviews them, she declares, “This is no double exposure.”

Chang Lee is woken in the waiting room by a nurse, who brings him to meet Grace. She tells him that “Mister Smith” died. He offers to take Smith’s possessions to the family and Grace confronts him, not believing him.

Chang Lee dashes off and Grace gives chase, still wearing her gown. Lee gets away.

We get a series of pretty skyline shots.

EMT Eric is snoring in bed as his wife complains. We see his jacket on a chair and ominous music plays as we zoom in. The ‘snake’ oozes out of the sleeve to the floor, and rises up, demonstrating a cobra-like head/hood effect.

Two guys in the morgue talk about going to a costume party. One of them is played by Will Sasso (ah, the 1990s…) They check The Doctor’s tag, which reads ‘John Doe’. They slip him in a cooler, to wait for autospy the next morning.

EMT Eric still snores. His mouth open, he rolls onto his back and, as his wife lay awake, her back to him, the ‘snake’ dives into EMT Eric’s open mouth and sliding down his throat, ending the snoring, much to the wife’s delight.

Will Sasso watches Frankenstein on tv at the morgue.

In the cooler, lightning flashes about The Doctor’s body and the sheet covering him flies off. Electricity crackles all about.

This is mirrored in the movie Sasso is watching.

The regeneration is more subtle than the ones we’ve seen of late; The Doctor’s face stretches and goes from McCoy to McGann pretty quickly.

More parallels – in Frankenstein, the monster’s hand falls into sight from beneath the sheet as Victor hustles about. In the cooler, The Doctor’s hand drops into sight, twitching and flexing.

The Doctor’s eyes open and he sits up as Victor Frankenstein gives the “it’s alive” monologue.

Hearing a thump, Sasso calls out wondering if that’s Ted. He gets no reply. The thumping continues and he goes to investigate. He watches in shock as The Eighth Doctor kicks down the door to the cooler he was in and staggers out.

Sasso faints. (Wow, this is just compelling telly.)

The Doctor staggers out, sees Frankenstein on the telly and then wanders into the hallway, humming the Puccini aria. Lightning flashes outside and there’s thunder. He’s still walking about, wrapped in a sheet. He enters a room filled with trashed gurneys and the like. Water is all over the floor and there’s a get well soon card on the floor.l

Seeing his reflection is dozens of surfaces, he wonders who he is. He falls to his knees, crying out, “WHO! AM! I?” (Get it? Who? Hahahaha, so clever.)

EMT Eric is awake in his bed, sitting up. The storm rages outside, but his wife is sound asleep.

Grace is sleeping on a couch in a lounge in the hospital the next morning.

The Doctor is still wandering about in his sheet. He starts going through lockers looking for clothes. He sees a long scarf.

In the streets, Lee opens the bag, examining a sonic screwdriver, a yoyo and other objects.

The Doctor examines a Richard Nixon mask, but tosses it aside. He takes a jacket and searches for more clothing.

Lee holds up an item that I’m guessing is the TARDIS key, though it doesn’t really resemble a key that much. It has strange carvings on it, and Lee mutters, “Weird.”

EMT Eric’s wife wakes up as the alarm goes off. Her husband stands at the window, shirtless, holding up his hands, muttering in a dark voice, “I must find The Doctor. This body won’t last long. I need The Doctor’s body.”

She cracks, “Sense of humour, no more snoring, you don’t need a doctor, come back to bed, honey.” She’s feeling frisky. He tells her his name isn’t honey but she can call him Master. “Well, come back to bed, master,” she replies.

Ah, the 1990s.

She screams when she sees his eyes, which are glowing green. He grabs her by the throat and kills her.

In the morgue, Sasso tries to explain while Grace gives him a hard time. We learn his name is Pete. We later see Grace walking down the hall, passing the newly regenerated Doctor.

He recognises her and follows her. He hears someone say the word time and this resonates with him.

The hospital supervisor suggests it was a double exposure and burns the x-rays, saying they can’t afford to advertise their mistake – suggesting it was HER mistake and they need not let anyone find out, saying he’ll take care of it.

She argues. He says he knows what is best. She says they need to find his body and learn from him. She threatens to quit if he covers it up, but he says she doesn’t mean that and walks off.

We next see Grace carrying her possession into an elevator. Just before the door closes, The Doctor walks in. He says, “Puccini. We’ve met before.” She says they haven’t.

He follows her, prattling on about Madame Butterfly, saying he doesn’t know who he is, but thinks she does. She yells at him to leave her alone. He follows her into the car, pulling out the probe and she realises that it must be him, especially as he rants about having two hearts.

He yells at her to drive, to get away, “Before they kill me again!”

Bruce (EMT Eric/The Master) shows up at the hospital, wearing shades. A nurse asks him why and he stiffly replies, “I had a bad night.” She laughs. He asks about the gunshot wound victim, saying he has orders to move the body.

She tells him the body is gone, stolen. He asks about the things, but learns that Lee ran off with them. His body is starting to fall apart already, evidenced by a fingernail falling off as they talk.

Grace takes The Doctor to her home, where she learns that Brian took all his stuff and left during the night.

She tells The Doctor to take off his shirt so she can listen to his heart. He corrects her, “Hearts, plural.”

She suggests he has selecdtive amnesia brought on by shock, but he says, “Maybe, I can’t remember.”

Listening to his hearts, Grace is amazed that he actually does have two hearts. She asks who he is.

I was dead too long this time,” he replies. “The anaesthetic almost destroyed the regenerative process.”

Oh, yeah, right,” she says. She gets up, wanting to do a blood draw. He tells her he has thirteen lives. She argues the dead don’t come back and that you can’t turn back time. He says he can. She gets mad, saying she’s not a child, and not to talk to her that way.

He says it was a child’s dream that led to her becoming a doctor. As she leaves the room, he says, “Don’t be sad, Grace, you’ll do great things.”

Lee is down where the TARDIS is. He uses the key (which is a key) and enters. He steps out and walks around it, after seeing how massive it is inside. He goes back in, calling out to see if anyone is in there.

I really like this TARDIS console room. It’s massive and filled with a library and the console and… Bruce. The Master.

When Lee touches one of the pillars, the console comes to life. The Master is amazed that the TARDIS likes him. Lee replies, “What are you talking about, Bruce?”

I am not Bruce,” he says. “It took me a while with the talking and the walking, but I am not Bruce.” Okay, why did it take so long – The Master has possessed bodies before when he was out of regenerations – took over Nyssa’s father’s body, starting the Anthony Ainley Master era.

I am merely inside his body,” he explains. Lee isn’t impressed until he takes off his sunglasses and reveals his green eyes. He seems to control the boy and orders him to give him the bag. When he takes it, and his eyes leave Lee’s, the boy seems to regain himself.

The Master demands Lee tell him where the person he got the items from is, saying he has his body and if they don’t bring him back there, he will die. When Lee asks what’s in it for him, The Master tells him he gets to live.

At her house, Grace examines blood through her microscope as The Doctor puts on a pair of Brian’s shoes, which she tells him to keep. She says his blood isn’t blood. She suggests going for a walk.

As they walk, she posits that he’s a result of some genetic experiment, but he says he doesn’t think so. She asks if he remembers his family, and he says no, but then has a recollection of laying in the grass with his father, “It’s a warm Gallifreyan night.”

She repeats the name and he gets excited, saying that’s where he must be from and asks her where that is. She doesn’t know. She asks what he remembers. He goes on about a meteor storm and then gets excited about the shoes he’s wearing. I think it’s supposed to be cute, but it’s dumb.

Bruce” tells Lee that the TARDIS belongs to him, not to the man he found. Lee says that he was told that guy died, and Bruce explains that that body regenerated. “My body can do this twelve times, but he’s taken most of my regenerations.”

What’d he do with them,” Lee asks.

Unspeakable crimes,” Bruce replies.

Like what?”

Genghis Khan.”

What about him?”

That was him.”

No way!”

Way!”

WOW. That’s just horrid dialogue. The Master just said “Way!”

He asks Lee what he wants. Lee says a million, no two million, no a billion bucks. He offers Lee a bag of gold dust, saying he gets the rest when he gets his body back. They have a deal and ‘Bruce’ shows Lee around.

They end up at the Cloister Room, which Lee opens the door to, again, because “the TARDIS likes you.” They ascend a central structure in the room. “Here is the Eye of Harmony, the heart of this structure,” ‘Bruce’ tells Lee. It powers everything. He says if they can open the Eye they can find ‘him’.

He tells Lee to pull the “reflector staff” from its mooring, which Lee does. It reveals a hole from which a beam of light emanates. Bruce tells Lee to look into the light, “If the TARDIS really likes you, the Eye will open.”

When Lee argues, he grabs Lee’s head, shoving his face into the light. As the boy cries out, the Eye begins to open…

And that’s as good a cliffhanger as we’re going to get, I think, so we’ll stop here, pretty much the halfway point.

Recap: The Doctor, Ace and a bunch of her friends and fellow residents of Perivale are trapped on another planet that is dying. Ace is turning into something of the planet. The Master was there, but just escaped. Dum dum dum!!!!!

spoiler warning

Whoa. This is it. The last episode of the original run. Sure, I’m going to do the 1996 FOX TV movie, so you’ll get two more recap posts from me, and then next year, there’ll be some thoughts on the experience of my two year project, and probably the occasional audio drama review or other product. Someone once suggested that I tackle the new run of seasons…

If I do, it’s gonna be down the road.

But, I digress. Here we are. The last episode. Wow.

Episode 3:

The Cheetah person dismounts, calling to Ace, “Come hunting, sister!” The Doctor pleads with her, asking her to wait, but Ace just laughs and runs off. The Doctor tells the others to stay, saying he’ll follow.

Ace and Cheetah person go running. Yay, pointless running scene shoving down our throat that Ace is enjoying what she’s becoming.

The Master and Midge are in a living room. Midge is yowling, weakly. The Master looks around, seeing a mirror, seeing his altered appearance. “I will be free of it,” he says, desperately. He focuses and closes his eyes for a long moment and when he opens them again, they’re no longer yellow/glowy, and his teeth are normal again.

He regards Midge, saying the boy is all animal now, and weak willed. “A stronger mind will hold on to itself longer, a will as strong as mine.” Then he stares into the mirror, worrying how much longer. He promises his reflection that he will destroy The Doctor.

Ace and her friend, Karra, stop at the water. Ace asks why she keeps calling her sister. Karra says she will be like her soon. Ace says this is good, she likes feeling like this… but then says she has to get back to The Doctor.

Karra asks if Ace is hungry, telling her to feel the chase, listen to the wind in her blood, to run and hunt and eat. Karra mounts her horse and beckons Ace to come hunting with her.

The Doctor is on the trail, wondering how far gone Ace is, whether she can come back. Nearby, a male Cheetah growls, and The Doctor moves off quickly (but not running, as that elicits the chase response, remember.)

Karra dismounts, seeing a carcass, murmuring about good hunting. Ace, still mounted, accuses her of eating people, killing people. Karra’s response is perfect, “When I’m hungry, I hunt. When I hunt, I eat.”

Ace asks if Karra would eat her; Karra says there is meat there, but Ace asks if there wasn’t. Karra asks how fast Ace can run, and she replies, “Fast enough.”

That would be a good hunt,” Karra replies, then encourages Ace to come eat with her. Ace dismounts, and approaches, but then The Doctor calls out to her. She turns towards him, snarling.

Ace, come back, come home,” he pleads. Ace reverts to her normal self and runs to him, hugging him.

Good hunting, sister,” Karra calls out.

When Ace asks what’s happening to her, The Doctor tells her it’s all right and they’re going home. They walk off as Karra hisses.

The Master tells Midge to look at him; the boy is weak on the couch, growling softly, but obeys. The Master tells him that he has power, can do anything he wants. He tells Midge that he’s his “hunting dog” (think he’s mixing his metaphors or something here) and is the “teeth for my trap”.

The Doctor and Ace return to Sarge, Derek and Shreela. The Doctor tells her that the planet has changed her, that she can help them home, but if she does, she might not be able to change back.

She ask him to advise her on what to do, but he says the choice is hers. She takes his hand and he take the hand of the next; all five are holding hands in a chain and The Doctor says, “We’re going home!”

Ace takes off running, the others follow and all five disappear in a flash of light, appearing in Perivale, in the street, by the TARDIS. They look about, as Ace is surprised she did it, then turns to The Doctor to ask if she’s all right. He says that she is, and she seems to be.

So… that whole might transform her into one of them was just unnecessary drama/dialogue? I mean, it didn’t even really impact her decision. She didn’t think on it, there was no related angst. At least have a thirty second scene where she waffles, the others pleading with her to risk it, maybe Shreela, being her friend, asking her not to…

Wow. That was… maybe he’s wrong, maybe there is still a chance of her turning? (Or maybe he’s lying – remember rule #1 – The Doctor lies.)

The others are excited to be back. Shreela hugs Ace and runs off, saying she’s got to get home.

Sarge seems to be displacing everything, saying he had a blackout, was lying in the street and yells at The Doctor for not getting him to a doctor.

Ace looks at him and says, “Thanks, Ace, thanks, Doctor, thanks for saving my life, getting me back home.” He blows her off, saying he doesn’t know what she means.

Derek shakes The Doctor’s hand, repeating Ace word for word, genuine in his thanks, and runs off, laughing.

Sarge walks off, “I’m late for self-defense.”

Ace says everything’s back to normal, but The Doctor says there’s unfinished business – The Master. He asks where Midge lives. Ace points in the general direction and The Doctor uns off.

Midge moves about a motorbike store, sitting on one. The Master watches him from outside. Midge looks at him and says, “Just the start, Midge, just the start.” I’m guessing he’s repeating what he hears in his head.

The Doctor and Ace are in Midge’s flat, looking about. The Doctor sees a dead cat and investigates, but just then a little girl in another room starts crying. Ace goes to her and asks what happens and she talks about the bad cat that killed it. “The bad cat the man brought.”

The Doctor asks where they went and the girl runs off to show them.

At the youth club, a bunch of young men stand about, when Midge, dressed somewhat snazzily walks in. “Waiting on the Sarge,” he asks as they turn to regard him, not sure how to take him in.

He’s been held up,” he explains, saying Sarge asked him to have a chat with them. He talks about the secret of success and how he’d come to share it with them.

The little girl points in the direction they went, her brother (Midge) and “the bad cat man”. Ace asks her where her mum is, but Squeak (dunno if that’s her actual name/nickname or just Ace’s term of endearment for her) says “He made her go away.”

Ace asks why The Master is doing this, “He’s escaped, hasn’t he?”

Malice,” The Doctor explains. Ace says she’ll take the girl to her gran, who lives one floor up. Before she leaves, she remarks that it’s more than just malice, and The Doctor admits that The Master must be looking for a way to destroy him.

You’d wipe the floor with him,” Ace says, scoffing at the idea that The Master could get the better of him.

Yes, well, we are an explosive, combination,” The Doctor remarks. “One day, one of us might blot the other one out.”

The Doctor says he needs a way to track him down, take him by surprise.

Just then Ace falls to her knees. Her eyes change. “Bad cat man,” Squeak says, watching.

The Master is standing outside the youth club, holding one of the kitlings. He approaches it.

Ace can see this and relates it to The Doctor. She rises to her feet, her eyes normal again. She repeats where The Master is, and they run off.

Midge is addressing the troops, talking about it being common sense and it being the way of the world. The youths stand, staring, not overtly for nor against him/his words.

Survival of the fittest,” Midge says. There’s that phrase again. “Get rid of the dead wood, let the wasters go to the wall, and the strong will inherit the Earth.” Sounds like stuff Sarge would have said.

He asks, then yells, if they know what he’s talking about. When he removes his glasses, revealing his eyes, one of the youths starts to move, but Midge snaps at him not to move and he stops.

The Master enters and approaches the boys (men, really) from behind. He says they’ll do anything he says and at least one voices agreement – I’m sure he’s supposed to be entrancing them, through his power and amplified through Midge, but it’s not terribly obvious. (Part of the problem is poor acting on the extras’ behalf in this serial.)

Sarge, still wearing his torn up clothing, arrives, apologising for being late, but saying he had “a wee accident”, but all’s well. The youths part for him and Sarge says nothing when he sees The Master.

The Master tells Midge to take over and the boy approaches Sarge, menacingly.

The Doctor and Ace arrive at the youth club, to find Sarge laying prone – dead? Unconscious? Unsure. “So much for the SAS survival course,” The Doctor says. But Ace says nothing, only gasping and flinching as her eyes turn yellow again. The Doctor asks her, “Where?”

We see Ace and The Doctor walking in the field, approaching a motorbike. “He’s chosen the time, the place and the means.” Ace says the trail stops there. Her eyes are still yellow and The Doctor speaks her name.

When her eyes revert, he praises her. She asks if she’d changed again, then says she didn’t even feel it. She’s worried this will never stop, and asks him, but before he can answer, Midge comes riding over the crest of the hill on a motorbike.

The group of youths walk up behind him, accompanied by The Master. The Master addresses Midge, “You are my hunting dog, the teeth for my trap, the teeth to destroy.” He hands Midge the big tooth from the other world.

Ace, eyes yellow, hops on the motorbike, but The Doctor throws her off, saying if she fights, she’ll change and change forever.

He and Midge charge towards each other on the bikes. Ace screams, “No,” as the bikes collide and there’s an explosion.

Midge is thrown from the bike, burnt and struggling. The Master quotes the survival of the fittest bit, taking the boy’s sunglasses from him, saying, “You know what to do, Midge.”

In response, Midge turns his head and lays it down. Momentous music accompanies this, so I guess he’s dead. “Good boy,” The Master says as the other youths watch on.

Ace runs over and finds The Doctor’s hat and umbrella. She clutches them to her chest.

The youths walk past/over Midge, towards Ace. “I must not fight,” she murmurs over and again. She calls out for help. Suddenly, there’s a flash, and Karra appears on horseback.

The youths stop.

The chase. To hunt in the morning and live till evening,” Karra says. “Run out of the light and slip into the dark. Smell the blood in the wind. Hear your blood in your ears. Die at last, with your enemy’s blood in your mouth.”

Ace listens, smiling. Karra howls and charges forward. The youths dash away. The Master stands there, watching. Karra circles about and approaches him. He orders her off the horse and she dismounts.

He tells her she has no place there and he commands her. He says she is nothing to her.

Do you bleed,” Karra asks, “I can always do something to you if you bleed.” We see The Master is holding the tooth behind his back, the one Midge had.

She leaps on him but he stabs her with the tooth. Ace cries out Karra’s name and The Master just laughs and walks off. As he does, he passes a garbage heap with The Doctor head-down, ass-up in it. Laughing more, he walks away.

The Doctor comes to and extricates himself from his position, grumbling, “Oh, very good. Very amusing.”

Ace runs over to Karra’s body and turns her over, revealing a human girl. She says she can hunt and run in the dark forever. Ace begs her to wait, she’ll get her something, but Karra dies.

The Master tries to pick the lock to the TARDIS. The Doctor walks up, “Good hunting?”

They begin to banter, circling around each other. They talk about how they always must meet again. “But this is the end, Doctor,” The Master says. I wonder if that line… if they knew, or suspected that the show wouldn’t continue on? Or was it mere happenstance?

The Master turns to The Doctor, his eyes yellow, his teeth pronounced. “You see it. It’s a power. A power from that planet. It’s growing within me. Are you frightened yet?

The Doctor replies in the negative. The Master says he should be, as it nearly beat him. “Such a simple power, the power of tooth and claw. It nearly destroyed me, a Time Lord. But I won.” He goes on about controlling the force (though we know that’s not entirely true.)

And now, at last,” he says, “I have the power to destroy you.” He grabs The Doctor and they both disappear in a flash of light, appearing on the Cheetah people planet, which is burning all about.

The Master is atop The Doctor, and tries to beat him with a bone, but somehow The Doctor reverses it. He grabs a rock and is about to bash The Master, when he stops. His eyes are yellow.

He looks, seeing the Cheetah people about him – they’re in the center of the Cheetah camp. As he watches, the tribe fade from his sight.

I’ve gone… what am I doing? I’ve got to stop. We’ve got to go,” The Doctor gasps, almost weeps. He throws the rock down. The Master says they can’t go, he refuses to live as an animal.

The Doctor says if they fight, they destroy the planet, they’ll destroy themselves. As he talks, The Master gets up, throttles his enemy. “You should have killed me, Doctor,” he says.

All about them, there are more and more eruptions, burst of flames like mini volcanoes.

The Master raises up the leg bone to strike, and The Doctor, on his knees before him, yells (very melodramatically), “If we fight like animals, we’ll die like animals!” The Master strikes and there’s a flash of light.

The Doctor is on his knees on the street, in front of the TARDIS, crying out the entire line. He looks about, startled and gets to his feet. A woman walks up, complaining about the cat fights, but The Doctor says he thinks it’ll quiet down now.

She goes on about bad owners and storms off.

Ace is still by Karra, crying, mourning. She fingers (possibly taking, I’m not sure) a necklace with a tooth on it.

Behind her, there’s a crackle and another mounted Cheetah person arrives. Ace moves from Karra’s body, hurriedly, as it approaches. It rides by Karra’s body and there’s a flash of light. When it fades, the mounted Cheetah is gone, as is Karra’s body.

Ace drops to her knees, putting on The Doctor’s hat and holding his umbrella, watching where the horse was. The Doctor walks up behind her.

Mine, I believe,” he says, taking the hat off her head. She grins as he puts on the hat and takes the umbrella. She asks where they went and he says they went back to the wilderness, “The place is different, but the hunt goes on.”

She talks about the hunt, feeling like she could run forever. “The planet is gone, but it lives on inside you,” The Doctor tells her. “It always will.”

She smiles, “Good.” She asks about The Master, and The Doctor replies, “Who knows? Where to now, Ace?

Home,” she replies, and tells him she means the TARDIS. He says yes and they walk off, as he tells her, “There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep and the rivers dream. People made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice. Somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do.”

The camera pans up to the sky… and the FINAL credits roll.

Okay, from the monologue, I think it’s safe to say they knew this was possibly the end. (Ok, just looked it up on Wikipedia and according to that, the monologue was recorded after the original filming and production, as they expected there would at least be a hiatus.)

And that’s it. Done. I mean, sure, one more story, the 1996 TV movie… but still. I’m kinda numb.

This serial still doesn’t grab me all that well. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered, but still… I see it’s highly praised by others, but nah. Definitely not a good one for the end of the show.

Recap: The Doctor takes Ace to Perivale so she can check in on her mates, but something is going on. All her friends have disappeared, and recently, it seems. Stray cats seem to be a huge problem for the township. Oh, and The Master is involved.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Ace stands, looking about, noticing several cats eating from a carcass. Shreela approaches from behind and Ace turns to see who it is Shreela tells her they only eat them when they’re dead.

The Master goads, “Run, Doctor, run.” Patterson moves to run, but The Doctor cautions him not to. The Master throws a ball between Sarge’s feet and he runs off, pursued by several of the felinoids. He is quickly surrounded.

The Doctor is surprised to see they’re just playing with Sarge. “Essentially, a fun-loving species,” The Master remarks. He tells The Doctor they must talk.

Ace and her friends confer. Midge suggests trying to catch one of the felinoids. Shreela says the one time they tried fighting, they lost Stevie. Midge mocks, saying “She threw sticks at it,” but Ace asks where he was. (So Stevie’s a girl, Midge is a guy. Okay. I guess that’s some pop-culture reference or in-joke I’m not getting.)

Derek says the felinoids are invincible, but Ace says nothing is invincible.

Midge mocks her, “That’s right, Ace, you tell us. You sort it out.” He’s a right jack-ass, innit he? Shreela says they need to get back to camp, but Ace says it’s not any safer there.

Ace learns that the felinoids always ride through the area they’re in, so she suggests setting a trap.

Patterson is still surrounded, being battered about, and trying his best to fight them off, as The Doctor and The Master talk. The Doctor snatches several of The Master’s little balls, and juggles, getting the attention of the group harassing Sarge, but when he tosses the balls away, hoping they’ll chase them, the felinoids go back to playing with Sarge.

The Doctor runs to a horse and mounts it; several of the felinoids give chase but The Master orders them to stay. The Doctor helps Sarge up onto the horse and they ride off as The Master yells that he controls the animals.

When they leave, the felinoids turn to the renegade Time Lord, and he hastily heads back to his tent, promising them more food – so he doesn’t control them after all…

Ace and Shreela are in trees; they have a thin line stretched across, a wire, but the first felinoid that comes along just snaps it with his claws and moves on, hissing at the girls.

Sarge tries to explain that it’s not like him to lose his head and run like that, on and on. The Doctor doesn’t seem to care. He tells Sarge they’re on “the planet of the Cheetah people. Intelligent carnivores.”

Sarge has trouble believing they’re on another planet, but The Doctor is more concerned about the Cheetah people hunting so far from their feeding grounds.

They see one of the black cats and The Doctor identifies it as a “kitling”, calling it a feline vulture with teleportation powers. Thunder rumbles and they look to the sky, seeing storm clouds rolling in. The Doctor says he thinks they’re going to be in trouble.

Back in Perivale, a milkman delivers milk. That’s what they do, after all, right? Right. He pets one of the kitlings as he returns to his truck.

Midge and Derek start fighting for some unknown reason. Ace breaks it up, but they stop as they hear a horse approaching. The horse’s hooves trigger a more elaborate trap and they charge out to find Sarge on the ground and The Doctor suspended by his ankles.

Ace is delighted to see her friend. “What kept you,” she says, a big grin on her face.

Still upside down, holding his hat onto his head, The Doctor replies, “How many times have I told you about playing with fire?”

The Master feeds one of the Cheetah people, scratching its head like a kitty. “Where are you, Doctor,” he wonders out loud. “What’s your plan?”

The Doctor leads his posse through the barren wasteland. They crawl forward, watching down at a group Cheetah people. Sarge goes on about how he’ll lead them through this, prattling on about being a hunting animal.

Oh, do shut up,” The Doctor tells him. He tells them the planet is disintegrating and the safest place is directly through the Cheetah people they’re watching. He says they’ll have to make their way through.

The Doctor mentions The Master by name and Ace asks who he is. “An evil genius, one of my oldest and deadliest of enemies,” is the Time Lord’s reply. He says he’s not sure what he’s up to this time, but doesn’t think it’s conquest of the galaxy.

The Master sends one of the kitlings to find The Doctor. After it leaves, he struggles to keep control, persumably of his own self?

The Doctor leads the group through the lounging Cheetah people, who hiss and swipe at them but seem disinterested in antagonising – the humans and Time Lord are moving slowly, trying not to rouse the chasing instincts of the Cheetah people. They make it through and The Doctor tells them it was all just a case of keeping a level head.

Suddenly, the milk man appears, and he screams and runs pas them, directly into the Cheetah people, who are now aroused.

Oh, no,” The Doctor laments. When Ace moves to throw a rock he yells at her saying the only thing more dangerous than being attacked by a Cheetah person is attacking on yourself.

Sarge and Midge start throwing rocks as The Doctor keeps yelling at everyone not to move. Nobody, not even Ace, seems to be listening.

The Milk man is attacked by several, as is Derek.

The Kitling and The Master watch from upper above.

The Doctor stands still, yelling for everyone to do the same.

Ace chases after a Cheetah person on a horse and throws a rock, unseating it. Shreela and others grapple with the Cheetah people. The humans start to lose the fight and run off in different directions.

The Doctor finally stops yelling at everyone to not move and starts looking for Ace.

Ace is hiding from a Cheetah person, but as she watches, it falls into some water, unconscious or dead. Ace rushes up, to pull it out and it opens its eyes.

The Doctor stops to catch his breath. The Master, again standing higher up, with the kitling at his feet, mocks him, “Good hunting, Doctor?” The Doctor just glares in response.

A Cheetah person on a horse knocks down Midge, then dismounts. Suddenly another Cheetah person arrives and attacks the other, while Midge looks on stupidly. There’s more rumbling, perhaps it’s not thunder…

As the thunder/world/whatever rumbles, The Master says, “They’re fighting again in the dead valley,” stepping closer to The Doctor.

One Cheetah person gets the best of the other, while Midge still hangs about watching.

It’s breaking up,” The Doctor says, watching about them. The Master replies that the planet itself is alive, that the animals are part of the planet. “When they fight each other, they trigger explosions, they hasten the planet’s destruction.”

He says there’s not long before the planet blows up. He tells The Doctor he needs his help.

The Cheetah person Ace rescued reaches out to touch her jacket. It rises up and they gaze into each other’s eyes.

Midge breaks off a big tooth from the carcass/bones of a sabre-toothed tiger looking thing. He approaches the fallen Cheetah person (the victor seems to have left by now) and stabs it with the tooth like a knive.

You’re trapped, you can’t escape,” The Doctor realises.

Just so,” his arch-nemesis admits. “It seems the creatures of this world can’t take us away, they can only bring us to this place.”

The Master says now The Doctor is trapped here, he’ll find a way out. When The Doctor asks why he should help him, The Master replies, “It’s not just death we’re all facing. This place… bewitches you. If we stay here, we’ll be like the people who built these,” he says indicating the ruins they’re standing in front of.

They thought they could control the planet, the wilderness.” He walks amongst them, and The Doctor follows, both regarding the architecture. The Master turns to The Doctor, “They were the ones who bred the kitlings. Creatures with minds they could talk to, eyes they could see through the way I do.” Boy, he does love the sound of his own voice, doesn’t he?

He turns away from The Doctor, talking, “It only led to their corruption. We shall become like them.” He turns to face his enemy again, his eyes glowing and when he smiles, pronounced canines jut forward, “We shall become animals.”

The Doctor recoils, looking up at a kitling who yowls. The Master howls (more like a hyaena or a wolf than a cat) in response. The Doctor walks away.

A pack of Cheetah people yowl in response. The planet rumbles.

Shreela, Derek and Sarge run. Derek collapses, exhausted. Midge walks up, still holding the knive.

The Cheetah growls/rasps to Ace, “I want water. It will make me well, very fast.” Ace fetches some water in his hands and brings it to the Cheetah person who laps it up. The creature lays its head down, resting.

The Doctor calls Ace over, telling her, “They’re extremely dangerous creatures, they could eat you… or worse.” The Doctor says they need an animal whose home is Earth, suggesting that might help them get home.

Better keep it alive, then,” Ace says and kneels by the Cheetah person again. Okay, I’m not sure of the significance of any of this.

The Doctor warns her it could be dangerous, but she says not to worry, “I’m no one’s bowl of cat food.”

The Master, listening in, repeats, “Whose home is Earth,” and grins.

Sarge starts giving his “just follow the Sarge” and how he knows all about survival and it’s kill or be killed spiel again. Midge says he’s with him, but Shreela and Derek don’t look too keen. Sarge says they can’t have any dead wood and Midge gets in Derek’s face, repeating that.

The Master cuts something away from a carcass.

Ace tosses pebbles into the water. The Cheetah person rouses and growls at The Doctor. Ace asks where the others are, but he says he doesn’t know. Ace says she feels she belongs here.

The Doctor looks from Ace to the Cheetah person, murmuring, “Connected.” Ace goes on saying she’s scared but also excited, that she can feel like she could run forever. “I can smell things as clear as pictures,” she says, standing up.

Anything else,” he asks her, urgently.

Well… I’m starving, Professor,” she says, turning to look at him.

Derek cries out help and they go running. They find Midge trying to kill Derek, as Sarge tries to stop him. The Doctor runs up and gets Midge to stop, who says that Derek’s gonna get them all killed unless someone sorts him out.

The Doctor spies a Cheetah person’s necklace around Midge’s neck, asking where he got it. “I killed it,” he replies, looking away.

Sarge asks Midge for his weapon, but Midge runs off. The Doctor calls out after him, saying it’s not too late to go home and Midge stops, turning to regard them.

Home,” Shreela asks, incredulous.

Midge looks down, as if struggling with himself, and when he looks up, he growls, his eyes glowing and his teeth animalistic. He runs off and The Doctor says they should follow him, so they do.

A kitling watches Midge and The Master, still at a carcass, grins and laughs, his teeth showing, as he sees what the kitling does.

This is the running scene. Because, you know, it is Doctor Who.

The Master sets a trap and catches Midge. The Doctor and others close in, but The Master tells Midge, “Go hunting, go home.” He has a leash around the boy.

Midge,” The Doctor calls out.

You see, Doctor, you did help me,” The Master says. “You kept these others alive just long enough to serve my purposes.”

The Doctor pleads with Midge to wait, but the boy just hisses. The Master tells him to go home and the boy leaps forward, The Master following, and both disappear in a flash of light.

So there is a way out,” Shreela asks, because, you know, it wasn’t fucking obvious enough what just happened.

The Doctor turns to her, somberly, “A way out? Yes. We wait for one of us to change and then we use them before they try to escape or kill us all.”

Sarge pipes up, “Well, there’s no telling who’ll be next, is there? Let’s get a grip and…” He stops to stare at Derek, who’s looking at him, demanding to know what the boy is looking at. Sarge starts blaming Derek, saying he’s the one.

Ace sees the previously wounded Cheetah person, watching them from horseback. “Look, Doctor, she’s better,” she says. The Doctor looks, worriedly, but not at the Cheetah person, but at Ace.

Ace turns to regard him, and her eyes are glowing yellow… and the credits roll.

Not a bad cliffhanger. This isn’t quite a horrible as I recall, likely because I have a much better understanding and appreciation for the Seventh Doctor and Ace. But I’m still not sold on it.

See you Friday for the last episode of Doctor Who’s classic run. Wow.

Ugh.

Episode 1:

A man (Dave) is washing his car on the street as a black cat sits on the wall, paying attention, and hissing. His mom calls out to let him know dinner is ready.

We see him through the cat’s eyes and it’s obvious we’re looking through something unusual – Doctor Who loves showing us through the monster’s eyes and this feels just like that.

(The cat is a puppet/animatronic and is REALLY not well done, btw.)

He keeps washing, but stops as wind picks up. He cries out, backing away from something (the cat? We’re getting the view from something, but it’s not the same, it’s not tinted orange as it was before.) He falls onto his back in the middle of the street… and there’s a flash of light and he’s gone.

The cat hops off a nearby car and scampers off. So, still no idea if the cat was what got him or something else. The TARDIS materialises in the driveway next to that other car.

Ace and The Doctor exit, the companion complaining about arriving on a Sunday, “You bring me back to the boredom capital of the universe and you pick the one day of the week you can’t even get a decent television programme.”

The Doctor says they came at her request, but she protests, saying she had just wondered “what the old gang was up to, that’s all.” She continues to explain this as they walk by Dave’s car, picking up the soapy water bucket that was spilled when he was backing away from whatever got him.

So, what’s so terrible about Perivale,” The Doctor asks, just in case the viewer wasn’t sure where they were.

Nothing ever happens here,” Ace laments. Well, we know that’s about to change, right?

Elsewhere, an old lady opens her window and yells at the cats in her garden. (The cat, a black cat, is in a bunch of weeds, not remotely garden-like. It runs off.)

The Doctor and Ace seem to have left the town proper and are wandering in a field. She says they came here to see if any of the gang were up there on the hill, but they don’t see anyone. “There’s nothing up here, nothing but tin cans and stray cats,” Ace says.

And horses,” The Doctor adds, indicating hoof prints. Ace scoffs at the idea of horses in Perivale.

Some kids are playing in a field while the black cat watches.

We see The Master, sitting in a dark area. His eyes are cat like. He says, “Show me,” and the cat turns its head to regard the children.

No, no sport for you here,” The Master says.

spoiler warning

The Doctor and Ace are at a phone booth. Ace hangs up, saying nobody’s home. She asks The Doctor if he’s fed up and he grunts noncommittally. She asks if he minds if she checks the youth club and he grunts in the same fashion again. They head to the club, but nobody is there, either.

She wonders where the coffee bar went to. The Doctor opens a door, beyond which a group of young men are standing about, watching two wrestle. One, the solitary adult coaxes the youth who has his opponent pinned to be more aggressive, “Is that what you’re gonna do to help some victim, some mugger? Help him up, dust him down, shake hands? GO ON!”

Reluctantly, the youth slams the loser’s head into the mat, and the other youths clap, while the adult, Sarge, says, “That’s better!”

The Doctor and Ace don’t seem comfortable at this display. Sarge sends the loser to get cleaned up and then calls an end to the training session, calling to The Doctor and Ace that he’ll be with them.

The winner of the bout is still there and Sarge asks him, “What?”

I’d already beaten him, Sarge,” the youth complains, storming by, but Sarge shoves him.

Oh, you think I’m too hard, do you? Pushing you too hard, am I?” He pokes the boy in the chest, getting up in his face. The boy backpedals as Sarge continues, “Have you ever heard of survival of the fittest, son? Eh?” He goes on to talk about the art of survival, constantly poking him, eventually getting the boy to take a swing.

Sarge catches the boy’s arm and praises him – that was what he wanted. He sends the boy off, all is well between them again.

The Doctor remarks that survival of the fittest is “Rather a glib generalisation, don’t you think?”

Sarge puts his button-up shirt on, and we learn he is Sergeant Patterson. He tells The Doctor, “You show me a better way of surviving and I’ll give it a go.” The Doctor walks off while Ace asks Sarge where everyone else is, saying she’s looking for “Everyone, everyone who used to hang around here on Sundays.”

The Doctor meanders back into the lobby, where this time he makes a point of noticing a poster for CATS, which the camera made a point of showing earlier.

Sarge tells Ace Sundays are for self-defense classes now. He says he doesn’t know what happened to the waste (obviously referencing her friends) and wonders where he knows her from. He does recall saying that the police let her off with a warning.

The Doctor sees the black cat sitting outside the front door. The cat hisses at him and The Master, wherever he is, says, “Ah.” (I think we’re not supposed to know it’s The Master, but they really need to make it darker if that was the intent, cuz Anthony Ainley is too recogniseable here.)

Sarge and Ace enter the lobby, the former saying her lot have “moved on” and when she asks where, he says he thought she’d have a better idea than he would. He then asks her where she’s been hiding, and she answers, “Around.”

He chastises her, saying her mother had her listed as a missing person, “You don’t give a toss, do you?” The Doctor listens to this conversation intently.

Sarge goes on about four kids gone missing just that month alone, “Vanished into thin air.” The Doctor is definitely interested now.

Ace storms out. Sarge grabs The Doctor’s shoulder asking if he wanted to be that age again. The Doctor replies that it’s been too long, he doesn’t recall.

The black cat skulks off.

As they exit the building, Sarge goes on about the youth and the world. The Doctor asks if they have a stray cat problem, but Sarge says he doesn’t pay it no mind. Ace calls for The Doctor to “come on,” actually calling him ‘Doctor’.

Doctor, eh,” Sarge says, “you’re not in the best shape yourself, though, are ya?”

He tells The Doctor that he has a class on Monday nights “for the older men”.

I’ve got to see a man about a cat,” The Doctor replies, hurrying to get away. He and Ace head off, as Sarge watches and the black cat hisses from the tall grass.

Ace and The Doctor go downtown, the latter going into a grocery store, while Ace checks another place, saying she should have gone there first. In the grocery store the clerks are complaining about working on a Sunday. As they talk about some nature program on the telly, “survival of the fittest” comes up again.

The Doctor wonders which of the cat food brands the cats prefer the most. The men load him up with a variety of cans, but one suggests cheese, and The Doctor goes to get some cheese.

One clerk tells the other the old joke about not having to outrun a lion, just the other person in the tent. They’re really shoving the survival of the fittest and cats thing down our throats.

The Doctor says it’s very clever, “If you don’t mind losing your friend.” He’s staring at the shelf where the canned cat food is, and asks, “But what happens when the next lion shows up?”

What next lion,” they ask and he indicates the shelf. A black cat yowls and leaps out from behind the cans, dashing out the door.

I think you’d better put on your running shoes, gentlemen,” he tells them.

Ace is sulking outside on a table. The Doctor comes out with the cat food. She says nobody remembers her friends. The Doctor says he’s forgotten something, and just then the clerk comes out, “Haven’t you forgotten something?”

Yes,” The Doctor says/asks.

Money,” the clerk says, holding out his hand.

No, it wasn’t that,” The Doctor replies.

Ace says she got lucky in the fruit machine, indicating some money on the table.

Back in the store, one of the clerks finds his cat, Tiger – looks like something ate it.

Outside another store, Ace sees Ange, someone she knows, and runs over. The girl says she thought Ace was dead, which surprises Ace. The girls says they were told she either went to Birmingham or she was dead.

Ange asks if Ace is back to see her family, but Ace says no. Ace says she wanted to see her friends and catch up a bit, and asks where the others are – Jay, Stevie, Flo, Shreela, Midge, but Ange says most of the are “gone, just vanished”.

But people don’t just vanish,” Ace argues.

You did,” Ange points out. Two points for Ange.

Ange relates that most of them have gone in the last month, Shreela just last week, and shares her theory that it’s UFOs whisking “them off and do experiments on them like we do on animals.”

Ange has a can (can’t see what’s on it) and she’s collecting donations. She shakes it at Ace, asking for ten pence, which Ace obliges. She shakes it at The Doctor, who has wandered back, and he takes it, regarding it, “Not a very efficient way to hunt, is it? All that noise and pantomime just to slaughter one little animal. No, if you’re going to hunt, you stalk your prey. You observe it so you can take it by surprise and then you don’t kill too many.” He hands the can back to Ange, adding, “Cover your tracks so you don’t leave a smell.”

He looks around, sniffing, “Can you smell that?”

Can’t,” Ange replies, “hay fever.”

What are you talking about, Professor? Is something going on here,” Ace inquires.

The Doctor says he’s not sure, wandering off. He asks himself, “When is a cat not a cat… when it builds its own cat flap.” He pulls out a can of cat food, kissing it, “Bait, Ace, bait,” and wanders further off.

Ace hurries to catch up, saying good bye to Ange.

The Master instructs (presumably his cat), “Show me. Show me.”

The youth who argued against being rough with his opponent is running/jogging down the street. Black cat watches from a wall, hissing.

Yes, he’ll do very well,” The Master says.

The youth stops in the street, as wind kicks up. Something rises above him, chasing him. He, too, falls in the center of the street and disappears. (So, if it’s the cat, then it transforms into something big or something that flies.)

Ace and The Doctor are in a neighborhood. She’s prattling on about Sarge and some of his comments and then about the crowd, missing her mates. The Doctor isn’t remotely paying her any attention. He stops and kneels and pulls out a can of cat food.

He asks her for a tin opener. She hands him one and asks if he’s listening, but he tells her to be quiet, he’s concentrating. Ace walks off, disgusted. The Doctor pours some cat food out and hides behind a fence.

A white cat comes up and eats from it, but he tries to shoo it off, saying he’s not the one. The woman in the house of which yard he’s hiding in raps on the window at him, but he waves her off like she’s the nuisance. Finally the white cat goes away and The Doctor looks about, disappointed.

Ace is in a playground, sitting on a merry go round. A black cat is in the playground, eating, and Ace goes over and picks it up. She carries it over to a swing, but it jumps out, after hissing. It’s the black cat.

Suddenly, Ace realises something is behind her. She turns around and looks up – there’s a felinoid (jaguar/cheetah patterned) sitting atop a black horse. The horses rises up on its back legs and prances about. The felinoid growls at her. She runs, hopping onto the merry-go-round, then scaling a slide, trying to avoid it.

She slips inside a jungle gym and the creature roars at her in frustration.

A dog comes up to the cat food, much to The Doctor’s frustration. He hears Ace call out for him and goes running.

Ace, for some stupid reason, leaves the jungle gym which was keeping her safe from the creature. As she runs, you know, from a horse (durrrrr) it catches up with her and she disappears in a flash of light, appearing in some gravel pit. (Oh, remember when every other serial was filmed at a quarry?)

The Doctor arrives at the playground, no Ace nor horse and rider in sight. “So, they’ve taken you away, taken you to their planet, but I’ll find you,” he promises.

In that other place, Ace falls and then rises, looking about. She sees several cats eating a body – it’s Dave, still clutching the sponge he was cleaning the car with.

The felinoid and horse appear up the slope and the rider roars. Ace dashes off.

The Doctor returns to the cat food and sees the black cat, eating. He sneaks up on it and is about to grab it when Sarge grabs him from behind, demanding to know what he’s up to. They struggle and the black cat takes off.

Sarge says he’s had complaints and as he’s Neighborhood Watch, he’s there to tell him to stop being a nuisance. The Doctor disables Sarge with one finger, quoting something Sarge said earlier, “One finger can be a deadly weapon.” (though The Doctor did some power/mental thing, not physical.)

Ace runs, you know, from a horse, you know, again. Cause, you know, it worked out so well for her last time. The rider dismounts as Ace falls and stalks her.

Someone calls out from the tree line, “Go away, get away from here,” and both Ace and the felinoid are distracted. It’s the youth from Sarge’s class. The creature growls and the boy runs. The creature chases and pounces and attacks him.

Suddenly, the creature charges back to the horse, knocking Ace down en route. It mounts, then picks up the boy and heads off.

Shreela comes out of the woods, calling out to Ace. The friends are reunited, and Shreela says the boy shouldn’t have run, “They always go after you if you run.” The two girls embrace then head back into the woods.

The Doctor is trying to catch the black cat still, chasing it through garbage and an alley. Sarge sees him and gives chase on his bike.

Shreela brings Ace to two other guys, one is Midge (thought Midge was a girl’s nickname/name, so colour me surprised) and Midge introduces the other one as Derek. He says Stevie was there, “but he’s cat food now.” Midge says Derek’s been there for three weeks and only has flesh wounds, thus he’s doing “very well”.

Shreela says they’ll have to move on soon. They tell Ace that the cats hunt in the dark, at night.

Ace says this is why she’s there, to sort them out.

The Doctor climbs atop a wall to try to catch the cat. Sarge grabs his ankle and the cat jumps down, disappearing in a flash of light. The light also catches Sarge and The Doctor, and they find themselves laying in the dirt, facing a felinoid. (Not black, though.)

Sarge asks where they are, but The Doctor tells him, “Shut up and we may survive.” They stand up, backing away from the prone felinoid, but find themselves in a camp full of them.

They are surrounded. The Doctor holds up a hand, placatingly, while Sarge tries to take a defensive stance. They are herded towards a tent. The Doctor pushes aside the flap to reveal The Master, who says, “Why, Doctor, what an unexpected pleasure,” as his eyes glow… and the credits roll.

If it wasn’t so obviously The Master from before, this would have been a great cliffhanger.

See you Wednesday. Hard to believe we’re almost done.

Recap: The Doctor brings Ace to a mansion called Gabriel Chase, one she visited in the 1980s, but it’s almost 100 years earlier. It was a rundown haunted house in Ace’s time, but strange things are about even now. There seems to be an alien presence there…

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Gwendolyn enters the sitting room and opens a drawer. It’s filled with moths. She closes it and opens the next, and again, then the third. The Doctor creeps in, watching her.

The third drawer has a man in a police uniform in it. Gwendolyn says it’s one of her favourites in the whole collection, “It’s from Java.” She’s either completely nuts or is under some control to not realise what it is.

She says Reverend Matthews will be going to Java soon and wonders if he’ll see her father. She says Uncle Josiah sent her father to Java, “After he saw what was in the cellar.”

In the cellar, Ace struggles with the two creatures. They drag her over to the door where the voice calls “Revenge, Ratkin!”

Nimrod comes to Ace’s rescue, holding the creatures off with a lamp, but the voice orders them to get rid of the lamp and one of them smashes it out of Nimrod’s hand.

The Doctor finds Josiah, demanding to know where Ace is. He says he doesn’t know. Smith asks if The Doctor has considered his offer, but the Time Lord says he won’t play the part of assassin for him.

Miss Pritchard tells The Doctor that Ace has retired for the evening, and offers to show him to his room. Gwendolyn comes up behind him with a candle “to light you to bed”, she tells him.

The Doctor refuses, saying Ace needs his help. He blows out the candle and storms towards the doors to the lift, but several maids armed with guns stop him.

Nimrod struggles with Ace (who wants to smash things), saying the sleeping one must not be woken. As they struggle, they both crash into a glowing eye-shaped wall.

Alarms go off and the maids seem to lose (or perhaps regain) control of their selves. The Doctor pulls out his radiation detector and places it to the back of Josiah’s head, who was distracted, wondering what they’ve done. He orders the maids to open the lift.

The eye pulses and there seems to be gas/pressure escaping from somewhere, but I don’t see it. Ace calls out to Nimrod, but he kneels upright, motionless, unresponsive.

Lightning crashes outside.

The Doctor and Josiah make the basement and find Ace. Josiah demands to know what has been done to his “observatory”. The Doctor gives Ace the gun and orders her to keep Smith covered.

Gwendolyn begins crying. The maids and Pritchard watch as the girl sits down, whining about why her daddy went to Java and where her mama is.

Pritchard chastises her, saying her mother would be ashamed if she could hear her, seeing her “dressed like a music hall trollop”. Pritchard says it’s The Doctor’s fault.

The Doctor patches the leak and says that Nimrod disturbed whatever is hibernating within the glowy eye shaped thing. Josiah pleads with him not to touch it.

Ace says he’s scared of it, too, like the others. Josiah says that he must stop the energy escape.

Don’t worry, I always leave these things until the last moment,” The Doctor says.

Genetic codes show up on the view screens. Ace realises that they’re in “a stone spaceship”. The Doctor says the owner won’t be pleased.

Josiah gets a gun, pointing it at them (since Ace walked over to view the genetic codes, like a dumb ass), saying, “I am the real owner”. The Doctor scoffs, calling him “part of the cargo”, but stops when he sees the gun pointed at him.

Smith goes on, “You’re so smug and self-satisfied, Doctor.”

I try,” The Doctor replies.

Ace, pointing her gun (bit late for that, dumb ass), tells him to drop his, but he knows the ‘gun’ is a radiation detector and tells her so. He tells The Doctor they’re going to help him stablise the reactor before it explodes.

The voice/thing behind the door is watching all this, whispering about being free.

The Doctor and Ace approach the console with has rods and he whispers to her, “Just do what I do when I do it.” She snarks, “Very helpful!”

The Doctor and Ace quip about “skeletons in the closet, husks in the basement” and “bats in the belfry” as Josiah yells at them to lower the first rod. The Doctor tells him he’ll “never evolve into a nice gentleman if you continue to shout”.

Ace asks if the husks (the ones that attacked her and Nimrod) used to be Josiah, something The Doctor asserted earlier. The Doctor replies, “Yes. Not much improvement on the reptile, is he?”

Smith gets closer, shoving his gun in The Doctor’s face, demanding he do as he orders. The Doctor yells, “Now,” and he and Ace shove the rods down. The Doctor pulls something off the wall and gas pours out.

Smith is caught in the face and falls to the ground, clutching his face. Ace grabs his gun and levels it at him while The Doctor tampers with the eye-shaped bit, and the light behind it changes from amber to azure.

The Doctor says congratulations are in order, but Ace doesn’t think so, indicating the husks, which are animated again.

The voice cries out, “Give me freeness!” The door begins opening and everyone, including Nimrod, runs to the lift. The voice speaks, referring to itself as ‘Control’, saying it deserves to be free, locked away for so long.

Smith, devoid of his glasses, tells The Doctor that it is a depraved monster, but the Time Lord asks, “Depraved or deprived?” One of the husks’ arms has impeded them from closing the lift door, but they finally fight it off and are able to ascend.

Pritchard and the maids stand, waiting. She tells them, “They’re coming,” and then looks at the clock, which reads 4:35, saying, “It’s almost first light.” Wow, the sun rises early…

Smith is weak, unable to stand. Ace says he’s getting weak and The Doctor says he’s evolving to his next stage. Some of Smith’s skin is flaking off his face.

The Doctor and Ace exit the lift, but are greeted by gun-weilding maids. Smith steps out, saying, “I’ve sealed the lower observatory, let Control rot down there!”

Pritchard is worried about Smith and has several maids help him to the upper observatory. He says it’s getting light and gives orders to secure the house. Gwendolyn, standing above, calls out, “Uncle,” in concern.

The Doctor, watching all this, tells Ace, “We won’t see them until nightfall.” They help Nimrod out of the lift, The Doctor making a joke about Smith changing into one of those husks.

Gwendolyn follows them.

The sun rises outside.

Reverend Matthews is sleeping until Smith, looking far the worse – large flaky bits falling off his face, fires a gun (at a target of Queen Victoria, not sure the relevance of that) to wake up the religious man.

Somehow, he’s not remotely upset at being woken in such a fashion. Me, I’d be pissed off if someone woke me with a gunshot. Instead, he bitches about being kept waiting so long.

When Matthews sees Smith isn’t feeling well, he suggests it’s “divine retribution for your blasphemy”. Yeah, not a fan of Josiah Smith, but still not liking Matthews, either. They debate evolution and the like. Smith offers Matthews some fruit and the Reverend takes a banana, while proclaiming that Man has been the same since the Garden of Eden, “…and he was never, ever a chattering, gibbering ape.”

That’s funny. Banana, while discussing evolution. (Yes, I know we’re not directly descended from apes, more the shame, but that’s still funny.)

Josiah laughs, much to Matthews’ consternation. Suddenly, the Reverend sees that his hands are becoming hairy and ape-like.

Gwendolyn asks if Nimrod can be woken, but The Doctor tells her not to rush him, saying they’ve got all day before Josiah shows his face. Ace is reading a book, meanwhile, seemingly intently.

She says that Josiah is “lucifigus”. The Doctor quips, “Yes. He doesn’t like light, either.”

The Doctor then answers Ace’s question about the spaceship, saying he fixed it and Josiah “knows as much about it as a hamburger knows about the Amazon desert.”

Ace scores some points with her reply, “Sounds a bit like you and the TARDIS.”

Gwendolyn realises that it’s light outside and shouts, “Light,” dashing from the room. The Doctor tells Ace to let her go and again asks his companion what frightened her so much when she entered this house in 1983. However, Ace has fallen asleep already.

Gwendolyn returns to her Uncle Josiah, who is still seated with Matthews. She is worried about his state, his health. He replies that he is sick at heart, but soon will restore the British Empire to its former glory.

Matthews, half-talking, half-making chimp noises, says they’re no better than animals. Smith says Matthews is becoming tedious and gives Gwendolyn the chloroform, saying it’s time for the Reverend to go.

And where is he going,” Gwendolyn asks.

To Java,” is Smiths’ reply.

The Doctor says it’s time to call out the constabulary, and opens the drawer with the police officer in it. He snaps his fingers until the Inspector’s eyes open.

Ace wakes up in bed, when the day serving lady opens the curtains in her room. She sets down a tray of eggs, toast, kedgeree, kidney, sausage and bacon. Damn.

Ace replies, “Cholesterol City,” but she corrects her, “No, dear, Perivale Village.”

The woman tells Ace that The Doctor and the “police gentleman” are expecting her, but she says she’ll pass, wanting to check out the village before lunch. Ace is shocked to learn it’s almost five pm.

The woman says she must hurry, “No one in their right mind stays in this house after dark.”

The Doctor tends to Nimrod, who is still out. He says if he didn’t know better, he’d think this was deliberate, and remarks it only took ten minutes to revive the civilised police inspector.

Speaking of, the inspector comes in, eating a sandwich, saying the house is deserted. The Doctor says that Smith will appear. The inspector, seeing Nimrod, shows his Victorian bias, judging him to be a foreigner, likely “gypsy blood” and saying they’re all lazy.

9+666666666666666666666666666666666666**9———————————–

That last line was courtesy of one of my cats, not sure which. But there you have it.

The Doctor tells the inspector that Nimrod has been mesmerised.

From beneath the lift, a hand reaches up. Control’s sibilant voice says, “Control is free to chaaaaaange…”

Ace arrives and The Doctor tells her that Inspector MacKenzie has been there for two years, in a cupboard, as he was originally sent in 1881 to investigate the disappearance of the owner, George Pritchard.

The Doctor makes introductions and the inspector tries to get some answers from her, to no avail. The Doctor finally gets Nimrod to respond to the word “light”. He calls upon the fang of the cave bear to get Nimrod to speak.

Outside the door, a hooded/cloaked figure, presumably one of the husks, or perhaps Control itself, stands.

Nimrod takes the fang, fully animated now. He speaks of herding mammoths, wise men using hunting magic. Ace asks The Doctor if this is racial memory, but The Doctor says no, these are Nimrod’s own recollections.

Nimrod says the wild world is gone, replaced by “a desert of smoke and straight lines”. That’s a great way to describe a city.

The figure at the door leaves.

Light will return,” Nimrod says, and the figure echoes it, as it enters the lift and descends.

The Doctor, Inspector and Ace leave the room. The Inspector says he wants to search the house once more. The Doctor says that’s a good idea, but to be back by six, as “the forces of darkness don’t wait until midnight”.

Ace recognises that the lift is repaired and points it out to The Doctor. He tells her he repaired it. He speaks loudly, obviously intent on Control hearing him, saying that he fixed the lift and hoped Control would bring something with it.

As they walk away from the lift, Ace asks what’s going on. She follows him back into the study, asking again. He tells her to be quiet and starts pacing, saying that Josiah and Control are afraid of it, Fenn-Cooper saw it and lost his mind, Nimrod worships it.

The Doctor says, whatever it is, is asleep in the spaceship, and Josiah doesn’t want it awoken. Ace suggests it might be a good idea to leave it alone.

It’s very, very old,” he replies, “perhaps even older. Just one chat.” Ace turns away, disappointed, and notices Nimrod is gone. When she asks The Doctor where he went, the reply is, “Gone to see a man about a god.”

They hear chirping of insects and open a drawer, seeing the moths are alive. He sends Ace to fetch the Inspector, saying things “are hotting up quicker than I expected”.

Nimrod goes to see Fenn-Cooper, seeking wisdom. He tells him that the Burning One is waking and asks what to do. Fenn-Cooper says to seek out what he must, but be warned, he may find it. Nimrod offers to free Fenn-Cooper of his bonds, but F-C opens his arms, saying The Doctor did so hours ago.

In the spaceship, control pushes the rods down, saying the light is angry, but not at him. As the rods are pushed in, the glass eye (glowing yellow anew) shatters and control and the husks recoil.

The Inspector pokes around, and stops, hearing a screech. Ace finds him, but a door that had been locked opens as they talk and Ace enters.

The Doctor talks to a bug (looks like a roach), saying not to worry, it’ll work it’s way up, but he must go as things are happening.

Ace uncovers the husk of Smith, telling the Inspector that is all that is left of Josiah Smith. She says they should get out, but the Inspector says it’s not dangerous. Other forms are there, covered in sheets and the Inspector uncovers one, identifying her as “Lady Pritchard”.

Ace is surprised at the title. The Inspector says she is Sir George’s wife. He uncovers Gwendolyn next. Ace asks if Gwendolyn is their daughter, but the Inspector doesn’t answer, but wonders, “What is happening in this house?”

They’re just toys, they’re just Josiah’s toys,” Ace says.

They uncover Reverend Matthews, who is mostly transformed into a chimp-man. Ace feels sick.

The Doctor finds Nimrod outside the lift, and asks where Ace is. Nimrod says he does not know, but he must find the Burning One. The Doctor says to wait, “I’ll save you a trip.” He tells Nimrod he’s made “a deal with its agent.”

The lift is active, rising from below. The Doctor wonders where Ace has gone to. Though it is not dark yet, The Doctor says he doesn’t want Josiah to miss the show, and forwards the hands on the clock to six. The clock bell tolls.

Panels open and the evening maids exit from cubbyholes they were standing in all the while, it seems.

Ace wants to leave, but Josiah, Pritchard and Gwendolyn come to and grab them. A younger Josiah enters from another part of the room, laughing. Ace tries opening the curtain, but it’s dark out and he says he needs no longer crouch in shadows.

Pritchard and Young Josiah grab her. Ace says he’s no gentleman, beneath the Victorian veneer, there’s something nasty beneath. He says he’ll see The Doctor squirming yet and they leave, Ace being brought along.

The Inspector frees himself of husk-Josiah.

Nimrod is impressed by The Doctor, saying he is as powerful as he is wise. The Doctor says his action is anything but wise.

The lift is glowing and Nimrod says the Burning One is coming. The Doctor tells him to step back from it, “To catch a wolf, I may have unleashed a tiger.”

Josiah and crew come down the stairs, Smith ordering the lift to be stopped. The Doctor mocks him for evolving into a Victorian, but Smith orders Nimrod to stop the lift.

Nimrod does not listen, and the serving maids grab The Doctor.

The Inspector arrives at the top of the stairs.

The Doctor calls out, “You can come out now, we’re all waiting,” and the lift doors open and a shrouded figure exits.

Control, quintessence of wickedness,” Josiah says, “corruption incarnate!”

Thank you for trusting me, Control,” The Doctor says.

Control removes the shroud, revealing a female form. She says her half agreeing done, what he desires is in the darkness. Josiah rushes forward, to close the lift door, shouting, “Don’t let it out,” but there is a surge of energy and he is cast back.

Control growls, “Too late!”

The Doctor, still restrained by the maids, calls out, “Light?” The lift doors fly open and there is a bright burst. The maids let The Doctor go, Gwendolyn shrieks… and the credits roll.

Okay, so that’s a pretty good one in the “not sure what’s going on, really” sense.

Guess we’ll find out Friday?

Have never seen this to my knowledge, don’t have the foggiest idea what it is about. Let’s find out, shall we?

Episode 1:

We open with an austere looking house. Inside, an elevator opens and two women, one a serving maid, exit. A secret door is accessed and behind that is an iron door. The non-maid woman (dressed all in black and looking severe) opens a slot and says, “I’ve brought you your dinner and a copy of the Times,” and then she shuts it. Using a rod, she opens the bottom part of the door, sliding it up.

The maid places the tray she carries inside the hole and it is snatched away violently.

We see a clock. The time is 5:50, presumably in the evening.

Someone is rining at the door and a woman opens the door, letting in a man who introduces himself as “the Reverend Ernest Matthews”. The servant is surprised, saying he was not expected until that evening.

The TARDIS materialises. Ace exits, saying it’s either a laboratory or a nursery. Apparently, she’s being tested, evaluating where they are on her own. She calls out to The Doctor, describing it, saying it’s safe, that she’s presumes they’re on Earth. She calls the equipment “prehistoric”.

The Doctor gets out and sits on a rocking horse. She guesses they’re in a Victorian time, but he says, “It’s a surprise.”

The clock shows 5:55 now. Several women servants make a rush for the door, saying, “Heaven help anyone who is still here after dark.”

Ace asks if this is a haunted house, saying she’s got “a thing about haunted houses” and that “one was enough… never again.”

The clock chimes six. New serving maids are seen. A man (whom we don’t see much of) tells a severe looking young woman that she should go greet their guests.

Ace and The Doctor poke about. Ace chats up a large preserved (stuffed/mounted) bird. The Doctor doesn’t find it funny. They stop, seeing a snuff box that turns out to be radioactive, but also marked with the letters RFC. As they examine it, they meet a man who is part of the RGS – Royal Geographic Society – and says he’s in search of Redvers Fenn-Cooper and this is the first piece of evidence he’s seen.

He is, of course, horrified by Ace’s state of undress (you can see her shoulders and her ankles, apparently.) After taking the snuff box, he walks off, and they follow.

All the while, a stuffed bird seems to be watching them with glowing red eyes, though they don’t notice.

A secret panel in a door opens and the severe woman and maid exit. The maid lines up with a bunch of other maids.

The Reverend enters the room, irate that he’s been “ringing for attention since before six o’clock” and demands to see the master of the house. The severe woman approaches him silently. He says that if he is not satisfied, he will be forced to leave with bad news and the “royal society” will condemn the master of the house.

As he turns to leave, the young woman we saw earlier (dressed in all white, thus far, unique) enters and apologises to Reverend Matthews. She introduces herself as “Mister Smith’s ward,” and the Reverend identifies her as “Gwendolyn”.

She assures him that Mister Smith will be joining him soon.

The explorer continues to walk about and talk, The Doctor and Ace following. They enter a room filled with hunting/exploring trophies of all sorts. Ace wants to leave, saying it gives her the creeps and their companion is a “head case”.

As they talk, the “head case” takes a rifle out of a cabinet and levels it at them.

spoiler warning

A man on a phone (or maybe an in-house communication phone) assures someone he will be there shortly. As he turns about, we see he is… well, he looks a bit neanderthalic. Hunched over, big jutting brow. He goes over to a door (looks to be the same that the food was passed through) and says “Poor silent (unintelligible).”

After the neanderthal turns away, we see someone behind the door is looking out through the peep-hole and says in a sinister/metallic voice, “Not silent now,” but apparently the neanderthal is already far enough away not to hear.

The man with the gun talks about Redvers encounter with pygmies and talking about Conan Arthur Doyle appreciating the story. The Doctor tries to placate him, asking him to tell him what else he’s discovered here. He talks about bright light, burning through his eyes into his mind.

Ace tries to disarm him, to no avail. He goes on talking about Redvers hunting and when The Doctor dashes away, before he can fire the gun, the curtain on the window is pulled aside and the man sees his reflection.

There. There you are, old chap, Redvers, I’ve found you. What have they done to you, you look like a ghost,” he says to his reflection. (Yeah, had a feeling that was the case.)

The Doctor tells Ace that the man saw something “too big for him to handle” and it broke his mind. He sends Ace to fetch help, even though she complains it would blow their cover.

As Ace opens the door, the severe woman in black and several maids enter. She addresses Fenn-Cooper saying she’s been worried. She ignores The Doctor’s attempt to introduce himself and Ace and takes the snuff box out of F-C’s pocket.

She strong-arms F-C and he begins begging “Not the interior, please,” as she guides him away. The maids follow, leaving the neanderthal with The Doctor and Ace. The neanderthal/butler explains that the “gentleman has fits of distracted behavior and for his own safety, must be confined.”

The butler says that his master, Mister Smith, invites them to join the other guests. We learn the butler’s name is Nimrod. The Doctor says they would be delighted.

Gwendolyn tells the Reverend that “Uncle Josiah” is a great man, as Nimrod leads The Doctor and Ace into the waiting room. The Reverend mistakes The Doctor for Mister Smith and greets him. The Reverend is taken aback by Ace’s exposed flesh.

The Reverend says the stories are true, he has no decency and parades his “wantons” about in front of his guests. The Reverend suggests this is one of “Mister Smith’s” experiments, taunting that perhaps she’ll “evolve into a young lady”.

No such luck,” The Doctor says as Ace gets in the Reverend’s face. He pulls Ace away, calling her Eliza. I wonder if we’ll sing about the rains in the plains of Spain?

Nimrod tries to explain, but The Doctor cuts him off, giving him a fang of a cave-bear and sending him to fetch some tea.

Gwendolyn says she thinks Reverend Matthews is confused. “Never mind,” The Doctor replies, “I’ll have him completely bewildered by time I’m finished.” Ace chimes in, “I’ll help.”

The Doctor asks if Gwendolyn can help Ace find something more suitable to wear. Gwendolyn happily agrees and takes “Alice” away for that purpose.

The Doctor, still intentionally not correcting Matthews of his error, confronts him about his theories appalling the religious man.

Matthews says, “You are a worse scoundrel than Darwin.” Wow, that’s pretty impressive.

Just then, a man in sunglasses enters, complaining about the light. The lights in the room are dimmed. The Doctor guesses this must be Smith and introduces himself and the Reverend.

The Doctor sees some mounted moths, and Smith goes on about the variety within a species and their adaptation, suggesting it is in relation to the smoke from the factories.

Darwinian clap-trap,” Matthews asserts.

Outside, lightning flashes and thundre rumbles.

Inside, Fenn-Cooper sits in a room, in a straight-jacket. Something in the room begins glowing brightly.

Ace and Gwendolyn are, presumably changing clothes when they hear a scream. Ace says something is happening and they should investigate. Gwendolyn says she can’t go out dressed like that, but Ace says she can.

Fenn-Cooper screams, looking at the glowing whatever it is.

The severe woman stands outside F-C’s door, holding a candle. The girls, dressed in men’s clothing, arrive, Gwendolyn asking Miss Pritchard what is happening.

Ace struggles to get in, but cannot. The Doctor and Smith and Nimrod arrive and The Doctor tells Ace this is no way for a gentleman to behave. She protests she’s no gentleman. Smith is curious about Gwendolyn’s transformation, and she says it was Ace’s idea.

Nimrod is instructed to open the door and he gets the key from Pritchard. As she walks past Smith, her candle flares, hurting his eyes. Nimrod opens the door and the bright light within does the same to Smith.

The Doctor orders Ace to shield her eyes. He goes in with Nimrod, who tries to stop him from approaching Fenn-Cooper. F-C goes on about how “he went quite mad, you know?”

Nimrod pushes The Doctor out and Pritchard grabs Ace by the pony tail and they go down the hall. They’re led back to the waiting room, The Doctor demanding to see Fenn-Cooper, but he is told that is out of the question and he’s being taken care of.

Ace wants to know what the light was and why Fenn-Cooper was scared of it.

Nimrod personally assures them that Fenn-Cooper is being “made comfortable and will come to no harm.”

Only the madman may see the path clearly through the tangled forest,” The Doctor says. Nimrod replies that The Doctor has the wisdom of the elders of his tribe.

Smith sends Nimrod off to perform his duties.

Ace whispers to The Doctor, asking if Nimrod is a neanderthal. The Doctor confirms that he is, saying he’s the finest example he’s ever seen.

Nimrod goes to a room and walls slide away, revealing some high tech console. He kneels before it, placing his hands upon it.

We see through the viewpoint of someone else, approaching Nimrod from the side. Nimrod is clubbed and we hear the metallic voice ask, “Did that hurt? Good.”

At dinner, Ace says she still hasn’t worked out where this place is. Matthews says he is still waiting for Smith’s “blasphemous theories” to be explained.

Ace asks what theories, but The Doctor says it’s Darwin’s theories. They mock Matthews, stage-whispery, and the Reverend stands up, going on about Smith’s theories about man serving nature else they become extinct.

Before Smith can do more than seem surprised that Matthews knows his theories, the phone rings and Smith goes away. “Damned telephonic machines,” Matthews grumbles.

Smith gets on the phone machine, yelling at Nimrod not to call him now. There’s no response and Smith calls out for Nimrod, but the metallic voice replies.

The Doctor appears and asks if he can help, but Ace starts calling out for him and he leaves to find her. She’s finally realised this is Gabriel Chase and they’re in Perivale. She’s mad at him for tricking her and runs off.

He gives chase after a hesitation, and finds her in one of the studies. He asks her what she sensed when she was thirteen. She says she never wanted to come back here again. He asks if she wants to learn what is here and she says no, but he keeps pressing.

She finally says that whatever she sensed her was alien.

Matthews joins Smith in another sitting room and asks the Reverend to give him further indulgence, as some other matter has arisen that demands his attention. Matthews says he’s come this far, he’s not leaving without “full satisfaction”.

Pritchard covers Matthews’ face with a cloth soaked in chloroform or summat, right after Smith asks her to make sure Matthews’ time goes as quickly as possible. Smith laughs as he watches.

Gwendolyn plays a tune on a piano and sings.

Ace tells The Doctor that as kids, she and her best mate used to out-dare each other. She talks about white kids firebombing some flat. She says after that she didn’t care and that’s why she took the dare to go into Gabriel Chase. She needed to get away, but it was horrible within.

He asks her to tell him what she saw, but just then Smith enters, calling out to The Doctor. Ace dashes out and Smith closes the door, with a somewhat menacing demeanor to his approach.

Ace dashes down the staircase, observed by Pritchard. Ace takes the elevator down.

Smith tells The Doctor that he needs his help. The Doctor says that it can’t be easy, “so far away from home, struggling to adapt to an alien environment”.

Smith claims to be “as human as you are,” and The Doctor agrees. Smith says he’s afflicted with an enemy, a vile creature waiting for him and asks for The Doctor’s assistance, offering him money, even though Smith offers him five thousand pounds.

Ace exits the elevator. Something is watching her through a peephole. She wanders about the basement, and finds Nimrod. The metallic voice calls out to her, sibilant and almost unintelligible, other than “Ratkin.” A curtain pulls aside and two humanoids, one with an insect head, the other either lizard or fish, stand but gesture to her.

Ace backs away as the voice keeps calling “Ratkin,”… and the credits roll.

Meh. I mean, the story is cool, but the cliffhanger is meh.

Wednesday, folks!