Archives for posts with tag: planet Gallifrey

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

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

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

spoiler warning

spoiler warning

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

Okay, now…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tears as I begged them not to do it.

Tears as they didn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who knows, indeed?

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

spoiler warning

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

Like the Daleks, they play too well.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despite this, they do enter.

The Cybermen are setting up something outside the TARDIS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, on many occasions.”

This will be the exception!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tegan and Sarah Jane truss up The Master.

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

The TARDIS activates as the Cybermen detonate the bombs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The companions recover.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the TARDIS, The Fifth Doctor collapses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five arrives where Borusa, Flavia and the Castellan await.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recap: An anti-matter creature (who I recognise as Omega) tries to take over The Doctor’s body but fails. The Doctor is recalled to Gallifrey so they can kill him instead of having to hunt down the creature. Meanwhile, Tegan gets into some trouble on Earth, amazingly related to what’s going on. The Doctor is seemingly executed before our very eyes!!!

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

Nyssa cries out, “I hope you know what you have done,” as she dashes out.

In the Matrix, we see The Doctor floating. There’s evil laughter.

The Castellan orders Maxil to discreetly investigate the termination – they both felt it was less than expected.

Nyssa returns to the TARDIS; Damon has the ship ready but he sees that The Doctor was terminated.

Omega praises his crony, saying that The Doctor is weak, but he’ll live.

Maxil goes to Damon’s workstation and begins working the console. Omega’s crony watches this on a view screen.

Omega approaches The Doctor and gloats. We learn that only The Doctor’s mind is in the Matrix – his body is hidden in the termination area. He says that only he is keeping The Doctor alive.

Robin and Tegan enter where the boys slept. When they try to open the door to where Robin and Colin were attacked, they discover it is locked. Robin points out Colin’s gear is still there, so that must be proof that he’s still about. (What?)

The Doctor asks the mysterious figure (cuz we don’t know its Omega yet) why not approach the Time Lords directly. The Doctor realises he is known to the Time Lords. I’m sorry for spoiling it so early, but it’s so freaking obvious!!! HE LOOKS ALMOST THE SAME.

The Castellan is summoned to the workstation, where Maxil shows him how the circuit was rigged to cut out at the last moment. They realise that The Doctor is not dead. (What’s that? You thought the Castellan was the traitor? That’s what they wanted you to think!!)

Maxil informs the Castellan that the bio-extract was transmitted. All of this is observed by Omega’s crony, again via viewscreen.

Tegan collects Colin’s stuff, saying she doesn’t understand why they stayed there, when they hear strange noises.

Maxil collects Nyssa and Damon from the TARDIS.

Tegan and Robin hide; they see ZC come out, but Tegan holds Robin back from approaching him.

The Castellan questions Damon, accusing him of transmitting the bio-extract scan. Damon says he couldn’t, not without the codes. When Damon explains why he didn’t approach the Castellan about monitoring the transmission, the Castellan seems to accept this, but accuses him then of tampering with the termination chamber.

Nyssa discovers through this conversation that The Doctor is still alive.

Tegan follows Colin and is blasted by the strange armoured creature that serves Omega (and no, I don’t mean ZC.) Robin hears her scream and rushes in and meets the same fate.

The Doctor calls out to (the unknown) Omega, saying he wants to talk.

The Castellan sends Maxil to search for The Doctor. Maxil orders his men to be discreet.

Tegan and Robin recover in a strange room full of machinery/computers. Omega enters the room, telling them they won’t be harmed if they cooperate. Omega says her cousin serves him. When he orders Tegan to step forward and be scanned by his creature (he named it, think it’s the Ergon, but I’m not sure), she gets all riled up but obeys.

The creature scans her and Omega learns she is known to The Doctor. He says this is fortunate for both of them.

The crony reports to Omega that there is a full search for The Doctor. He urges that Omega release The Doctor and focus on transfer. Omega thinks he has a way to persuade The Doctor not to interfere. I see where he’s going with this.

Omega appears in the Matrix to offer The Doctor his freedom in exchange for his non-interference. When The Doctor says that he will do everything to stop him, Omega shows that he has Tegan.

The Castellan gives orders for the High Council to be brought to his office; he says he has the evidence he needs to prove that The Doctor and his accomplice plotted all of this.

The Doctor gives in, agreeing to behave in exchange for Tegan’s safety. He finds himself back in the termination chamber.

Tegan recovers, Robin asking her if she’s all right. She says she saw The Doctor. Omega enters, and returns ZC in appreciation for her assistance. ZC becomes Colin, recognises Tegan and passes out.

The other Council members, are brought to the Castellan’s office, where he explains that there is, in fact, a traitor who has helped The Doctor. He gives them the print outs they needed.

The Doctor tries to open the door to Damon’s station, but it’s locked. He struggles to recall the presidential code, from his (brief) time as President of the High Council. He does, as we hear the sound of marching boots closing in, and slips in, surprising Nyssa and Damon.

The Castellan has provided the Council with the proof – the Presidential codes were used to manipulate the Matrix and transmit The Doctor’s bio-extract, as well as to open the station door when Taylor, Damon’s workmate, was killed. The Castellan is convinced that the President and Doctor are working with this creature with intent of bringing the Arc of Infinity to Gallifrey.

The Doctor tells Nyssa they’re going to Earth, as that’s where the creature is, and Tegan, too.

Omega and his crony speak; Omega says he must use his influence with the President (what, you didn’t really think it was Borusa who was the traitor, did you? That’s just what the writers wanted you to think!!!) to hold up the council from acting.

When Omega thanks the Time Lord, his crony replies, “What we are, we owe to you.” Okay, so by now even someone not paying attention would have figured out it was Omega, right?

Omega fades from sight and we are SHOCKED, SHOCKED I SAY to see the traitor is Hedin!!! (Ok, not very shocked.)

Damon identifies that the Presidential codes were used in the transmission. The Doctor and Nyssa go to see the Lord President.

Hedin goes to see the Lord President; Maxil reports this to the Castellan, who contacts Thalia saying they must act immediately.

The Doctor and Nyssa have trouble with the guards. The Castellan orders Maxil to capture The Doctor posthaste, saying he needs him.

Hedin petitions the President to shut down the access to the Matrix. Borusa says access is guaranteed, except for in the gravest emergency. While Borusa argues, Hedin pulls a gun on him.

The Doctor and Nyssa enter and Hedin turns the gun on them. Nyssa throws down her gun. Hedin orders them to stand by Borusa. The Doctor tries to get him to talk, but he’s not in a chatty mood.

Hedin says nothing must interfere with transfer. He gets chatty and we finally learn that it is Omega! Hedin says Omega wants only to live amongst them. The Doctor argues that Omega is insane (well, first he argues that he’s dead, but that’s a stupid argument).

The Castellan and guards arrive; the Castellan still thinks the President is in cahoots and then decides to carry out the execution on The Doctor. When he fires his gun, Hedin jumps in the way, taking the blast himself.

Borusa yells at the Castellan, saying Hedin was the traitor. The Doctor asks Borusa to shut down the Matrix, but it’s too late – they look up at the Matrix screen and see Omega in it.

It’s too late… Omega controls the Matrix,” The Doctor announces… and the credits roll.

Excellent cliffhanger, that, and a generally excellent serial thus far.

Episode 4:

Omega is enraged to learn that Hedin is dead and disappears from the Matrix screen.

The Doctor says he must enter the Matrix to find out the exact location of Omega on Earth. Nyssa argues, fearing any retaliation against Tegan, but The Doctor yells at her to go to the TARDIS.

In the Matrix, The Doctor meets with Omega. He demands to speak with Tegan, who appears. She manages to tell The Doctor where they are before Omega breaks the connection. Omega tells The Doctor as long as he doesn’t work against him, she will remain unharmed.

Thalia suggests using a pulse loop to distract Omega from detecting The Doctor’s TARDIS leaving Gallifrey.

The Doctor reveals to Nyssa that Tegan is unharmed. The Time Lords activate the pulse loop and The Doctor activates his TARDIS. En route, The Doctor works on a device to disable Omega’s fusion booster. Nyssa calibrates a detector to scan for changes in anti-matter. Science!! (Or something.)

Suddenly, the pulse loop is destroyed. They hope it gave The Doctor enough time.

The TARDIS arrives in Amsterdam; he and Nyssa go looking for Tegan and company. They reference a phone directory, looking for “JHC”, a clue that Tegan gave her, but don’t have any money to make calls. They begin visiting hostels by foot looking for the one Tegan was staying at.

Damon announces that Omega’s transfer is imminent.

Omega writhes in his chair as the equipment make all sorts of noise.

At the hostel (that they randomly found), they get the hostess to hand over a letter Robin had left for Tegan if he didn’t meet her at the airport. It refers the crypt’s location. The Doctor and Nyssa run there, as we get cut scenes of Omega writhing and Robin and Colin and Tegan worrying in between the antics. It’s rather silly.

The Doctor and Nyssa heaad down the stairs, behind the fountain (as indicated by Tegan in the Matrix) and end up in the crypt. They hear the sounds of equipment and find the fusion booster.

The strangely armoured servitor of Omega exits his TARDIS and shoots at The Doctor, who managed to drop something and have to pick it up, avoiding being shot. They struggle and the creature drops the gun. Nyssa picks it up and shoots the creature.

Omega writhes and gasps and cry out.

The Doctor takes the Ergon’s gun and leads Nyssa into Omega’s TARDIS. (Why/how does Omega have a TARDIS if he was trapped in the experiment that gave the Time Lords their power to make TARDISes?)

Omega tries to transfer, but The Doctor has sabotaged the booster and things start going blooey.

After the booms stop, Omega rises. The Doctor says the bond is not complete. Omega removes his helmet to reveal The Doctor’s own face! The Doctor says that it is not permanent, but Omega says it is and he will not give up his matter form. He leaves, saying he will build a new TARDIS and go to Gallifrey.

The Doctor and Nyssa look for a matter converter. Tegan says she has to check on Colin, but when the Time Lord is ready to leave, she’s right with them.

Omega has killed a man and taken his clothes.

Tegan asks what happens if they don’t find Omega; The Doctor says it will be the “biggest explosion this part of the universe will ever have witnessed”. DRAMA!!!

Omega-Doctor comes across a musical carriage and watches with children and their parents. There’s a creeper moment with a little boy, not sure what that was supposed to be. He moves on and sees his matter body starting to decay.

There’s scenes of The Doctor and companions running about Amsterdam. Yes, more running about a city. It’s a thing in Doctor Who. Eventually, they hear screams and follow them.

On Gallifrey, the Council and Damon fret in Damon’s workstation. Zarak (or some such) says, “The Doctor won’t be able to contain it!”

The Castellan has a great response, “I’ve found it unwise to predict what The Doctor can or cannot do.”

Omega hides from The Doctor, but they manage to find him, well across a street. He runs off, they follow. This is compelling television, let me tell you. (Please wipe the extra sarcasm off your monitor, I do apologise.)

If this were a wrestling match, this is where the crowd would be chanting “Borrrrrrrring… borrrrrrring… borrrrrrrrring!”

FINALLY, they catch up with Omega-Doctor, on a pier or something. The Doctor asks why Omega couldn’t be content to survive as he was. Omega-Doctor says he wanted to come home, to rest, to find peace. “But it’s over now… ALL must die.”

The Doctor pulls out the gun. The matter converter gun, I guess. Omega says he doesn’t have the sack to use it (his words, not mine, don’t believe me, go watch… ok, maybe I embellished) and The Doctor says, “I can expel or destroy you, your choice.” Omega says that is worse than death, “If I am denied life, then all must perish!”

Omega-Doctor tries to will his own destruction and The Doctor is forced to use the gun on him. He blasts him and Omega-Doctor falls, screaming. He writhes on the ground until he fades and The Doctor pronounces, “It’s over.”

On Gallifrey, Damon announces that Omega has been destroyed. Borusa says he hopes that Omega found peace, at last.

As they think they’re telling her goodbye, because she has to go back to her job, Tegan announces that she got sacked so they’re stuck with her. The Doctor, not seeming terribly thrilled at this, says, “So it seems,”… and the credits roll.

This Doctor is a bit of a jerk when it comes to his companions at times, I’ve noticed. Anyhow, a rather fun serial. Like much of the original run, filled with some silliness, but outside of that, great fun.

I recall very little from this, though I know the season, being the 20th anniversary, has a theme of villains from The Doctor’s past. I recall a bit more, but let’s let things play out first…

Episode 1:

We open on Gallifrey (we know it’s Gallifrey because of the robe worn by a figure.) It’s a dimly lit room (unusual for Gallifrey, usually they’re well lit) and ominous music is playing (not so unusual.) The figure rearranges some data crystals and a vortex appears… and within it…

Well, shit, so much for subtlety. It’s obviously Omega! He asks if the Time Lord has made his choice, and the robed Gallifrey says that he has, though it has not been easy. The choice is The Doctor. Omega agrees.

In the security chamber, a security circuit goes off. The security men replace the photon cell and pick up the transmission of one of the Time Lords’ bio-extract. They cut the signal and one of the men goes to report it, as this is high treason.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor tampers with stuff. He and Nyssa are repairing the audio link up for the scanner; they seem to be unconcerned about the lack of Tegan in their life.

We switch to a Dutch city. A couple youths are doing the hostel thing. One of them is on the phone and gets out of the booth as the other walks over; the latter sees a policeman and gets worried, but the other says they can’t get in that much trouble for a lost passport.

They discuss where to spend the night, but one of them has an idea.

Nyssa wants to do more repairs – the navigational system, the state of temporal grace, but he wants to retire for the evening, so to speak. As he leaves, Nyssa calls him back to the console room as some alert comes through.

Omega demands why the full bio-extract file wasn’t sent. The Gallifreyan says he will investigate and deal with it, if it was detected. Omega says they cannot put things off, the TARDIS is already under his control.

The Doctor sees they’re being drawn to some large magnetic force and hurries to change course to “anywhere, as long as it’s away from here!”

The youths find a place to stay, though one isn’t too thrilled. The other leads him (Colin) down into a mausoleum. Colin realises they’re in a crypt and gets all scaredy-cat. They choose an area that is dry and warm.

The security men confer – it was The Doctor’s bio-extract that was being transmitted (as we already knew). The one man reports that the Castellan is not treating this with great urgency and will see him tomorrow (a lax Castellan, what a shocker.) They discuss the fact that only a member of the High Council could have transmitted that data.

The younger departs, retiring for the night. Shortly after he goes, the silhouette of a Time Lord is seen entering the security chamber. The security man turns when the door opens and greets him, only to be shot by an impulse laser. The mysterious agent then sabotages their console.

Colin is teased by his friend for being fully dressed when about to slip into his sleeping bag, but Colin is too nervous. His friend gets him to “at least, take your boots off!”

The Time Lord reports to Omega that all is ready. When the Time Lord questions if this is the only way, he says it is – he can enter their dimension but cannot stay without some physical body to bond to. This doesn’t bode well for The Doctor.

In the TARDIS, Nyssa sees something approaching the TARDIS in space. The Doctor identifies it as extra-dimensional and they rush out of the console room down the corridor into the TARDIS.

The light passes into the console room, bending reality about it. It pursues them and they move in slow motion at first, then stop. The light arrives and we see the ghost form of Omega merge with The Doctor. Nyssa calls out as The Doctor collapses.

Colin is awoken by the sound of the TARDIS materialising. He wakes his buddy, who I think is named Robert, but I’m not sure. He doesn’t believe that Colin heard anything and goes back to sleep, but Colin goes to investigate.

Torch (that’s a flashlight, my fellow Americans) in hand, Colin enters the next room. He sees a doorway that wasn’t there before, and the door slides up. A brilliant light is behind it, from which exits a rather bizarre armoured form, looking like a humanoid dragon or something. The figure shoots Colin, who screams and disappears/is disintegrated/or something.

The Doctor wakes. I guess we’re not supposed to know it’s Omega yet, but I don’t know how any long-standing viewer of the show wouldn’t have recognised him. Nyssa says she thought he was taken over, and The Doctor says it attempted to do so.

When she brings up that the sensors detected that the creature was made of anti-matter, The Doctor seems worried but still doesn’t make the connection. Seriously?

Robert or whatever his name is wakes up, sees that Colin isn’t about, and goes looking for him. Again, the door opens, again the brilliant light, again the weird armoured figure. He dodges when the creature fires its raygun, which takes out a statue instead. He runs off.

A gathering of Time Lords are assembled. The Lord President is accessing the Matrix and confirms that the creature is powerful and formed of anti-matter. Several Time Lords begin to OH MY FUCKING GOD IT’S MICHAEL GOUGH! THIS IS SO COOL! I FORGOT HE HAD ANOTHER ROLE BESIDES THE CELESTIAL TOYMAKER IN DOCTOR WHO!! MY DAY IS MADE!!!! SQUEEEEEEE!

Ahem. Sorry. Yes, several Time Lords begin discussing the matter of extra-dimensional travel and anti-matter. One (played by Gough) asks if the Matrix knows the location of the creature, but it is revealed that the creature is shielded. It seems they are aware that The Doctor was the target of the creature, but not whom is trying to cross over.

Nyssa researches the TARDIS data bank, reading up on Q star energy (the energy shielding the creature) and identifies a location called the Arc of Infinity, which The Doctor says is how the creature crossed over.

Omega and his crony confer; the crony says he detects a weakness, but Omega says it is no concern of his.

The Doctor and Nyssa reason out that for the creature to have had a chance of bonding with him, it would have had had access to the bio-extract data from Gallifrey!

Colin’s friend sits outside, by himself, worried.

The young security station (Matrix station, perhaps?) operative, back in his workplace, is approached by a guard (played by Colin Baker, which I remembered he debuted on the show in this role), who gives him a data card, telling him to feed it into the Matrix. When he delays, the guard points out the Presidential Seal.

The man says he’ll have to get confirmation and the guard (Captain of the guard, I think) orders the two guards accompanying him to arrest the man. The man begs off, saying the order to recall a TARDIS is an unexpected one. He asks where the TARDIS should be recalled to, and the answer given is the security complex.

Suddenly, The Doctor’s TARDIS is rerouted to Gallifrey. He says it must be urgent, as it’s only been used once before.

Colin’s friend returns to the crypt/mausoleum, and hurried gets his shoes on and grabs his stuff. However, as he hurries, he sees Colin carrying a strange device. Colin is in a zombie-like state (not decaying or anything, but walking sluggishly, head at a tilt, blank-eyed, mouth open) and his friend rushes away, frightened.

The TARDIS is seen materialising and back at the Matrix/Security station, Commander Maxil (Colin Baker’s character) enters to ask about it. The operative confirms that it just arrived. He asks why Maxil is treating The Doctor like a criminal; Maxil says he’s just following orders.

Colin’s friend (whose name is Robin, just looked it up, yay Wikipedia) goes to the hostel and checks in. There’s a phone message waiting for Colin, his cousin is arriving the following day.

The Doctor and Nyssa exit the TARDIS. He tells Nyssa they’re in the Security Compound. The door is handprint operated but The Doctor sends Nyssa to get a kit to see if he can hack it. As he works, The Doctor informs Nyssa that he fears that the Time Lords have brought him back to kill him, rather than have to track the anti-matter creature down.

The security operative dude keys the door to open for them and they depart. One of the guards sees them in the corridors and calls it in. They narrowly escape some guards, only to run into Maxil, who shoots The Doctor. The Doctor collapses, guards grab Nyssa who calls out his name… and the credits roll.

Rather ironic, Colin Baker shooting the Fifth Doctor, what what? Decent cliffhanger, nothing extra-special, mind you, but decent.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

So, The Sixth Doctor shoots the Fifth… Nyssa and The Doctor are dragged away by guards.

Councillor Hedin (Gough) and the Castellan are discussing The Doctor. The latter complains that whenever The Doctor comes to Gallifrey, there is violence. Hedin has a wonderful line, “Perhaps it is we who should modify our behavior.”

Nyssa and The Doctor are escorted into the TARDIS. Maxil and his men enter and Maxil removes a component from the TARDIS console and tells her if they leave the TARDIS again they’ll be killed.

The Castellan is challenged by Lady Thalia about The Doctor and the way he’s been handled. The Castellan visits, instructing Maxil to be sure that The Doctor appears before the High Council when he’s recovered.

Robin waits at the airport for Colin’s cousin.

The Matrix/Security operator dude, I’m not sure whom/which he is, gets a report print out and takes it, folds it and leaves his station with it.

Robin meets Colin’s cousin – TEGAN!!! He says he’ll tell her what happened to Colin.

Maxil takes great pride in informing The Doctor that his men have orders to kill at the slightest provocation. The writers really don’t want us to like him, do they? They’re marched through the corridors, passing the guy from the Matrix station (that’s what I’m gonna call it until we find out a better definition, or even better, a name for the guy), who looks on, worriedly.

Tegan and Robin have coffee. She asks him when he last saw Colin. He’s reluctant to tell her the story.

Hedin greets The Doctor and Nyssa and introductions are made to the High Council. The Council brings up Romana when he complains that he would have returned on his own if asked.

The Castellan and Doctor begin arguing until President Borusa arrives. He greets The Doctor, “You, too, have regenerated!” I liked the previous Borusa better.

Upon hearing Robin’s story, Tegan remarks about it being the sort of story that The Doctor would love. We learn through her complaints that she’s lost her job – from that and her new haircut, I gather some time has passed for her. She tells Robin she’ll go to the police since he’s lost his passport and is afraid to do so.

Borusa is most concerned about the presence of an anti-matter creature in the matter universe, and rightfully so. The Doctor is most concerned that the creature must have had help from within the High Council. Thalia argues that it might be possible that the creature might have been able to do so on it’s own, without help from within.

Borusa orders The Doctor taken to the Security Compound to be held until the termination warrant is issued. Nyssa argues and yells, to no avail.

Tegan is irate, having been told “foreigners get themselves lost all the time” by the police. She decides they’ll have to look for him themselves.

Nyssa pleas to the Council, begging them to give The Doctor a chance. Borusa and the Castellan argues against this. Thalia asks what should they do – spare her friend and condemn “untold billions” to death.

Damon (yay, we have a name for the matrix operator dude) approaches The Doctor as Maxil and his men escort him back to the security compound. The guards prevent him from speaking to The Doctor, though he was able to palm off the print out to our hero.

Hedin argues for delaying the judgement. Nyssa storms off when the others say no. Borusa calls an end to the session.

Damon catches up with Nyssa and speaks to her, saying they need to talk, but somewhere private.

Hedin approaches the Castellan about The Doctor and Nyssa’s claims that someone must be a traitor.

Damon tells Nyssa that he passed off the report to The Doctor.

Omega gets a report that The Doctor is to be terminated; this pleases him and he asks his crony if all is ready and said unknown Time Lord confirms that the Matrix is ready.

Nyssa and Damon go to speak to Hedin, asking him if he can arrange a visit with The Doctor. Hedin says it will be difficult, but not impossible.

The Doctor checks the report and discovers it is a bio-extract scan.

Tegan and Robin go to the crypt.

Maxil leads Nyssa and Damon to the TARDIS, telling them to wait there. Damon tells Nyssa that he fears something is wrong – the Castellan gave in too easily, it’s too out of character.

Nyssa and Damon and The Doctor go for a walk in the TARDIS; Maxil tries to keep them in the console room so the Castellan can listen in via the device Maxil has placed under the console rim, but Damon points out that Hedin said they could have time alone with him. As they enter the hallway, The Doctor asks about Leela, who apparently Damon knows.

The Doctor confers with Damon and Nyssa, confirming their suspicions that there is a traitor. The Doctor asks Damon to see if he can find a new component for the TARDIS, “preferably one without a recall circuit”. Maxil interrupts before much more is said and The Doctor pretends that Nyssa was arguing for further appeals.

Robin and Tegan arrive at the crypt.

Nyssa and Damon go to his workstation where he looks up the coding on a Type Forty Time Rotor. Nyssa eyes some guns in a case.

Maxil reports to the Castellan, who gloats about The Doctor’s last requests, but Maxil reports there are none. The Castellan informs him that the warrant has been issued and that Maxil is blessed to see the destruction of a Time Lord, saying it has only happened once before.

Omega meets with his crony, who says that the council has been summoned to the place of termination.

We see Omega seated in a room that has walls like the TARDIS console room. The armoured creature is with him, as is Zombie Colin! He orders ZC to the controls and ZC obeys.

Damon and Nyssa hear the alarms sounding and he tells her it is the time of termination. She asks him to open the weapon case, saying he must assemble the time element and fit it to the TARDIS as soon as possible.

The Doctor is led through the corridors. Nyssa follows at a distance.

The council waits as The Doctor is brought before them. When The Doctor asks if the vote was unanimous it is revealed that Hedin voted against it, but he was the only dissenting vote. The Doctor thanks him and Hedin inclines his head in response.

Nyssa shoots the guards outside the chamber.

Reading the warrant, Borusa gives Maxil the right to carry out the judgement. The Doctor is brought forward, but just then Nyssa bursts in with the gun.

Omega gives ZC the order to align the equipment.

Nyssa orders The Doctor to her side. He argues. The Council are petition her to give up this folly, saying she, too, will die, and she cannot hope to escape, etc. She begs The Doctor to tell them about the bio-extract.

The Doctor approaches her and says they’re right, they cannot escape and they should do as the Lord President wants. Reluctantly, she gives up the gun. The Doctor takes it and hands it over, asking that they let Nyssa go free and do not punish her. Borusa agrees to this, for The Doctor’s sake.

The Doctor enters the termination chamber, which lowers about him.

ZC activates a booster terminal at the appointed time. He’s a good Zombie Colin.

The Doctor is surrounded by smoke and there’s a thrumming, then a bright light that causes the council to avert their eyes. Suddenly the image of Omega is overlaid and then both disappear.

Judgement has been carried out, Lord President,” Maxil announces. The camera zooms in on Nyssa’s face… and the credits roll.

And that’s the cliffhanger you get until later this week!

As you’ve likely heard of, if not actually heard, there are a buttload of Doctor Who radio plays/audio dramas by Big Finish.  These aren’t audio books, but actual multi-actor plays.  I’ve only just gotten into them in the past couple months, after only hearing about them the past few years.

One “series” that caught my attention was the DOCTOR WHO: UNBOUND.  Eight stories, each of them most assuredly NOT in canon.  (The canonicity of the Big Finish dramas is uncertain in general.  The BBC and the show’s overseers have not, that I’ve heard at least, addressed the matter.)  UNBOUND is a series of “What If?” scenarios, intentionally diverging from the actual stories.

Auld Mortality cover

The first is Auld Mortality – starring Geoffrey Bayldon as the First Doctor. Trust me, if you’ve seen any amount of British television, you’ve seen Mr Bayldon in something.  It’s interesting to note that he was offered the role of The Doctor twice, but turned it down.  He also appeared in a Tom Baker serial, too.

His co-star is Carole Ann Ford, reprising her role as The Doctor’s grand-daughter, Susan.

The premise of this UNBOUND is “What if The Doctor and Susan never left Gallifrey?”  There’s more to it than that, but that’s the short of it.  I won’t get spoilery, but let’s just say that there’s something sinister afoot, too.

It’s a fun story.  Light-hearted and touching.  I don’t know that it would be as enjoyable for the newer fans of the show, but the classic fans, especially those familiar with the First Doctor and Susan, most assuredly will enjoy this.

Also, if you’re thinking of buying it, consider this – it’s $4.99 to download (about $8 for the CD), but you can “subscribe” and get the entire eight stories from UNBOUND for $25 download (or approx $50 on CD).

It’s a split post, so spoiler time…

Episode 4:

K-9 stuns Andred before he can fire his gun at The Doctor. That done, K-9 reconnects with the TARDIS console (while still wearing the Matrix headpiece). Yep, K-9 is a pretty bad ass companion.

Kellner sends out a command to arrest Andred; the Vardans question if anything is wrong, but the Castellan says it’s just a small matter of discipline.

Andred wakes up as The Doctor squats near K-9. Too involved with urging K-9 on in whatever it is they are doing, he doesn’t notice Andred until the commander has his gun pointed at the Lord President again. Andred tries to fire his gun, but The Doctor tells him it doesn’t work in the TARDIS.

Kellner’s guards attack and shoot Andred’s guards outside the TARDIS.

Andred tells The Doctor that the TARDIS is surrounded, there’s no way he could leave alive (obviously, unaware of what just transpired outside.) The Doctor tells him not to touch anything, he’s going out for a bit.

The guards outside report to The Doctor that the others were trying to assassinate him. He asks if they all had to be killed, to which the guards reply in the affirmative. The Doctor chastises the guards for letting the ringleader, Andred, escape, and orders them off to find him.

The Doctor goes back inside and informs Andred that his coup has failed. “I don’t know what they teach you in the Academy these days, but if you can’t pull of a simple palace revolution, what can you pull off, hmm?” Andred refuses to believe it and tries to open the scanner to see.

He realises it’s been jammed and The Doctor lets him in on a secret – that with the scanner closed, they can’t read his thoughts or travel via broadcast wavelengths to get there. He’s biding his time, hoping to identify their planet of origin, to time loop it.

Andred suggests using the Matrix, but The Doctor says it has been invaded. That’s why he has K-9 plugged in to the Matrix instead of himself.

Andred questions, “Can you trust a machine?”

This one I can. He’s my second best friend.” Awwwww!

Kellner is conferring with the Vardans; he says he has a delicate matter to discuss with them. He brings up the Lord President’s strange behavior, but the Vardans are already aware and say they shall deal with him soon.

Back in the TARDIS, The Doctor is saying, “Well, at least they don’t suspect me.” Yikes!

The Vardans learn that Andred is neither dead nor a captive; Kellner suggest that he must have escaped to Outer Gallifrey.

At the tribal village, Leela and Nesbin discuss attacking the Citadel.

The Doctor outfits Andred’s helmet with a partial barrier to protect his inner thoughts from the Vardans.

K-9 has determined the wavelength the Vardans are using, but not the channel of origin. The Doctor says he’ll have to continue to play along and dismantle the forcefield protecting Gallifrey.

The Doctor says that Rassilon is part of the APC net and he can use his knowledge to dismantle the forcefield without blowing Gallifrey to pieces.

Nesbin trains Gomer on how to use a bow. It’s hopeless. Leela says she and Nesbin’s warriors will have to attack the Citadel on their own and rescue The Doctor. She believes he will know what to do and insists that The Doctor is not working with the Vardans.

The Doctor speaks with the Vardans about using the APC net. He places the Matrix headset on and this time it doesn’t cause him any harm. He says there is a way and walks off; the Vardans remind him they are watching his every move, monitoring his every thought.

Andred and K-9 work on some calculations in the TARDIS.

The Doctor finds the machinery for the forcefield and starts to work on it; a Vardan appears to observe directly.

Leela, Rodan and the warriors run through desert, towards the Citadel.

The Doctor works on the machinery; things all over the Citadel wobble and shake. After a few moments of this, he announces, “Well, I did it,” and walks off.

K-9 says it’s imperative they make it to the President’s office immediately and departs the TARDIS, reminding Andred to grab his helmet.

In the Panopticon, The Doctor arrives; Kellner, who was knocked to the ground by the shaking, is just getting up. The Doctor tells the Vardans that he couldn’t destroy the forcefield, as that would destroy the planet, but he made a hole in it above the Citadel.

Kellner wails that with a hole in the forcefield they are without protection, but quickly changes his tune when the Vardans say they are the protection now.

When questioned on the permanency of the hole, The Doctor says some more work will have to be performed to achieve that.

The Vardan space ship zooms in. The Vardans announce they are safe now and can materialise. They do, and there are three humans, much to Kellner’s disappointment. One of the Vardans is instructed to assist The Doctor in his work.

Andred and K-9 move down the corridors; Andred shoots a guard who recognises him.

Leela sends Nesbin with the majority of the warriors to enter one side of the Citadel, to create a diversionary attack, while she takes Rodan and Jasko (one of the tribe) with her.

The Vardan ship flies in closer and closer.

Lots of walking through corridors – The Doctor and his Vardan escort, K-9 and Andred. The latter two enter the lead-lined Presidential quarters and K-9 shuts down to conserve resources while Andred asks how long it will be before The Doctor gets there. Andred shuts the doors and takes off his helmet, looking at the walls and the inside of his helmet, as if impressed.

Leela, Jasko and Rodan lurk in the Citadel, Leela whispering that something is wrong. She points out the missing guards.

Outside the Presidential quarters, The Doctor stops and says he has an idea, and pops in the quarters, saying, “Two seconds!” The Vardan stands outside, then tries to open the door. He takes the energy/tinfoil form, while inside, The Doctor laughs mockingly.

The other two Vardans tell Kellner The Doctor has betrayed them and appoint Kellner as the new one to run things. He leaves to “issue instructions and take control, immediately”.

Leela bangs on the TARDIS door. They decide to check the Presidential quarters when nobody lets them in.

Kellner issues an alert, taking control of Gallifrey and putting a shoot on sight order for the Lord President.

The Doctor hands the Rod, Sash and Matrix to Andred, then picks up K-9 and puts him on a table. He puts the Sash and Matrix on K-9, propping the Rod of Rassilon against the robot dog. K-9 says he is ready.

The Vardan instructs two guards to break the door down, but instead they fall, each with an arrow in their back. The Vardan vanishes as both Leela’s force and Nesbin’s meet up, congratulating each other. They try to break the door down.

Inside, The Doctor, attending to K-9, instructs Andred to open the door. The primitives charge in, but Andred warns them to keep still. K-9 begins doing something, his head nodding up and down and his little interface sucker extending in and retracting over and again.

The lead Vardan says he detects an “illegitimate frequency tracer” and yells for a full alert.

K-9 finds the coordinates of the Vardan home world The Doctor instructs him to “activate the modulation rejection pattern” and like a good doggie, he does.

Kellner arrives to report he can’t break into… but stops as The Vardans disappear. The Castellan wonders what happened.

K-9 says there is no trace of alien wave form left on Gallifrey. The Doctor seems very somber at this and takes the tools off K-9, then announces they’ve won – he sent the invaders back to their home world and will jerry-rig a time loop.

Leela asks how they could have won when there hasn’t been any real combat. He tells her that with some practice, she’d be “quite proficient” at killing people. They all leave, as Leela tries to find out what “proficient” means.

Kellner greets The Doctor and his posse of warriors. The Doctor pretty much tells the Castellan that he’s not a very good Castellan, then sends him to “clear up the mess”.

Leela asks if it is over and The Doctor says it is, and everyone rejoices. The Doctor begins to give a speech about the future of Gallifrey, but everyone is staring off to the side. He stops, asking, “What are you looking at,” and turns to see a group of Sontarans in battle armour. (Not that they wear anything else that I’ve ever seen.)

The lead Sontaran takes out his weapon and points it at The Doctor… and the credits roll.

I have always loved that wonderful bait and switch.

Episode 5:

The Doctor raises his hands, asking, “Please don’t fire that thing.”

The Sontaran lead steps forward, followed by his associates. He (it? Sontarans are gender-neutral) says there is no advantage in killing yet. “Slavery is more efficient.”

Commander Stor of the Sontaran Special Space Service (SSSS?) introduces him(it?)self? The Doctor mocks him for carrying alliteration too far.

Stor reveals that the Vardans were the toys of the Sontarans, saying they were used to get the forcefield to be dropped. Stor then asks whom Doctor is, but nobody points him out and he declines it himself, saying he is Lord President and he is called “sir”.

Stor sends one of his troopers to “find Doctor!”

Borusa is seen listening in to the discussion from his quarters. He shuts the device off and then accesses his secret door, using it to find entry in the Presidential quarters. There, the device seems to be useless, and he remarks that he believes The Doctor and then heads back through the secret door there to his own quarters.

Of course Borusa would have a secret door to the Presidential quarters. Borusa is the man, one of my fave Time Lords of all. Back in his quarters, he can pick up the conversation again.

Stor and The Doctor are talking about the ultimate goal – Victory over all. Stor gets tired of talking.

Borusa accesses a secret panel in his room, activating a switch which causes a sonic attack in the Panopticon; the Sontarans writhe in agony as everyone runs off, except Kellner, who I’m not sure if he was trying to help Stor or attack him. Stor shoves off Kellner as he writhes.

The Doctor says someone was helping them escape; he takes half the group (including Leela, Rodan, Andred) and Nesbin and the rest go in another direction.

Kellner apologises to Stor, calling him, “My Lord”. I don’t know if he’s just sucking up to them out of habit or if there’s some deeper connection. Stor sends an order to apprehend the President but to kill those with him. Kellner seems to protest and is knocked away by Stor again.

The Doctor’s group hide in a corridor; The Doctor tells Leela how to kill a Sontaran and she casts her voice, making the Sontaran turn around, exposing his back. She throws her knife at the small vent in the back of the neck (the physical weak point of the Sontarans) and kills him, instantly.

Borusa continues to listen in on The Doctor, smiling.

Kellner helps Stor predict where The Doctor’s group is heading – the Presidential quarters. Stor gives the order again to take the President alive, and again, Kellner protests and again, Stor knocks Kellner to the ground.

Borusa listens to The Doctor saying he has an urgent appointment in the Presidential quarters.

Stor orders Kellner to accompany him.

There’s lots of running (see, it IS Doctor Who, after all) in corridors and stairways. Also a lot of stairwells. Sontarans do not run, apparently, but stomp ploddingly.

Also, lots of the same sets being used over and over and over, sometimes with slight changes.

The Doctor and his associates make it to the Presidential quarters, where Borusa greets them with a gun in hand, pointed at them.

Stor and Kellner and a handful of troopers meet up outside the Presidential quarters. The Castellan calls Stor “excellency”. The troopers begin banging on the door.

The Doctor says it won’t hold long. Borusa comments on lead not being the best defense against heat-based weapons. The Doctor agrees.

Borusa comments, “Fortunately, someone had the sense to reinforce the structure with a titanium-based alloy.” The look of joy on his former student’s face is delightful. The Doctor vouches for his companions, and Borusa puts away his gun.

Stor sends for fully armed troopers to deal with the door.

The Doctor and Borusa agree that getting to The Doctor’s TARDIS is the best plan and they access the secret passageway. The Doctor unlocks the door, which Stor hears and when the Sontaran opens the door, he demands of Kellner, “What trick is this,” but the Castellan pleads ignorance.

The Sontarans burst into the room, followed by Kellner, but there is nobody there.

The Doctor asks Leela to take the others to the TARDIS, but she argues, saying every time she leaves him, he gets into trouble. He begs her to trust him and she gives in. Everyone (now including K-9) but The Doctor and Borusa (still holding his gun) leave. The President turns to the Chancellor and asks, “Well, now, Borusa, are you going to help me or kill me, hmm?”

Stor tells Kellner he may still be of use to them; it seems the Castellan has no previous association with the Sontarans, and is just attaching his fate to the new invaders.

The Doctor demands of Borusa, “Where is it?” Borusa claims ignorance. The Doctor asks for the Great Key, but Borusa says it is but a myth. Borusa says every President has been charged with finding the Great Key. “None has ever found it.”

Sontaran troopers engage in fire fight with Leela’s group, taking down several warriors. Jasko is downed, but manages to take out one Sontaran from behind (Leela’s knife throw to the neck vent is repeated quite well here.)

The Doctor and Borusa verbally… not quite spar, not debate, maybe dance? The Doctor appeals to Borusa’s compassion, but the Chancellor plays it aloof, detached The Doctor says that if they don’t do anything, millions of Sontarans will threaten time itself.

This gets Borusa to react, he turns and yells, “They cannot threaten time, not while I…” he stops, realising he gave himself away.

The Doctor completes the sentence, “Yes, Chancellor… not while you have the Great Key.”

Leela, Andred, Rodan and K-9 make it to the TARDIS.

There is a piece of art on the wall of Borusa’s office, that is a bunch of keys. The Doctor says he read Borusa’s paper on reason and says where better to hide a tree than in a forest?

Andred picks the lock to the TARDIS and they get inside.

Borusa plays it coy, saying take all the keys. The Doctor postulates that, to keep any President from having too much power, he gave the Great Key to the Chancellor and it has been handed down since then. Borusa remarks none of this in the Matrix (“I know, I’ve been there, you haven’t,” The Doctor remarks to this.)

The Doctor has Borusa’s gun and points it at him, saying, “I will kill you before I let that key fall into the hands of the Sontarans.” Borusa says that will not be necessary and plucks a key off the wall artwork. The Doctor throws the key to the floor and points the gun at him again.

This time, Borusa reaches down and pulls a key out from beneath his desk (next to the controls that attacked the Sontarans in the Panopticon) and hands it to The Doctor, saying, “You are the first President since Rassilon to hold the Great Key.” The Doctor regards it most seriously as very important music plays. (Score for us, not actually in-story.)

Kellner pleads with Stor, saying nobody can connect to the Matrix without the circuit. Stor says to bypass the Matrix, but Kellner insists that it is impossible.

Stor’s reply is so, so Sontaran, “For the strong, everything is possible!” Stor demands that the gap in the forcefield be widened so his battle cruisers might enter.

When Stor says that only The Doctor can give him the Great Key, Kellner almost gets himself killed by arguing, but quickly talks his way out of it.

The Doctor and Borusa walk by several Sontaran troopers, asking if they got their new orders and to get in touch with Stor. They walk on.

Stor yells at his troopers, “Of course there are no new orders, stop him!”

The Sontaran troopers pursue and fire upon the Chancellor and The Doctor, but Borusa’s personal force shield protect them – though he says the batteries are uncomfortably low.

He turns to The Doctor as the two troopers get closer, “So, what do you suggest we do?”

Run?”

Run.”

Let’s do that.”

The two Time Lords run (Borusa is most inelegant, even complaining that it is, “So undignified, I haven’t run like this for centuries.”) They make it to the TARDIS, but The Doctor closes the door before Borusa can get in. Exasperated, Borusa rolls his eyes and bangs on the door, “If you could just open the door…”

He is quickly let in, and the door slams, just as the troopers arrive and open fire on the TARDIS, to no effect.

Kellner looks at the forcefield machinery, while Stor presses him. The Castellan says there is a way to patch control through.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor gives Leela the Great Key, much to the horror of Borusa. The Doctor tells Leela he trusts her, much to Leela’s delight.

The Doctor consults with Rodan about sealing the hole in the barrier. He asks her if she could connect the TARDIS controls to the machinery and she asks if he has a screwdriver. I like Rodan!

(Still no Godzilla/etc jokes.)

Stor pressures Kellner; Stor confides that his battalion commander has demanded immediate entry. “Unless I obey, I shall die. Before I do, you will die, Time Lord.” This makes Kellner quite uncomfortable, and understandably so!

The Doctor plays assistant to Rodan, handing her tools and comforting the TARDIS as she works.

Stor is enraged when Kellner says the controls have been bypassed.

The Doctor goes on about what the Sontarans are after – the Key, Rod and Sash, linked to the Matrix.

Kellner posits that he can bypass the safety circuits.

Rodan calls the TARDIS a “load of junk”. I don’t like her so much any more.

She opens the scanner to show the Sontaran fleet in perfect formation (in the form of an arrow.) The Doctor wonders why they brought an entire battle fleet, but she says it doesn’t matter, the shields are up and as long as the TARDIS remains secure, he controls the defense screens.

Stor praises Kellner, who then flips a bunch of switches and levers.

Suddenly, everything goes wobbly in the TARDIS, and The Doctor tells Rodan that the stabiliser banks have been reversed. She says only a Time Lord could do that, and The Doctor agrees – even a criminal one could do it.

As they are shook about, The Doctor cries out, “We’re being thrown into a black star,”… and the credits roll.

Nice, intense, dramatic cliffhanger.

Episode 6:

Leela bursts into the console room, but The Doctor tells her to get Rodan. The Doctor throws a failsafe switch, effectively trapping the TARDIS.

Stor demands that Kellner bring the relevant entrance probe to The Doctor’s TARDIS.

The Doctor finds out that Leela took everyone to the bathroom and gives her a hard time for getting lost. She argues that his directions were too convoluted to follow. They set off to find the others.

Stor and Kellner enter the TARDIS; Stor says the machine is obsolete. Kellner agrees, saying this model was taken out of service centuries ago. The door to the further interior of the TARDIS has been locked from within, bu Stor says this is the only way out (what about the secondary control room? Did we forget about that already or is that how the others are going to get out?)

The Doctor, Rodan and Leela walk through various levels, the whole time, The Doctor rants on about his sense of direction and his reliable antiquated TARDIS. They pass through the same room several times.

There’s a bit of silly banter. You’ll have to watch the episode.

They’re obviously lost and The Doctor says he knows the TARDIS like the back of his hand (while looking at the front). Leela turns his hand over for him.

A Sontaran trooper blasts at the door, trying to get in.

K-9 is attached to some machinery in a workshop while Andred looks on.

There’s more walking through the same room again. It’s getting old now.

Stor says it is a stalemate – The Doctor cannot escape and neither can Stor destroy the TARDIS. Just then, the trooper with the laser/blaster/cutter breaks through the door lock.

The Doctor and girls meet up with K-9 and Andred. Andred tells The Doctor it is at capacity, as he ordered, but we don’t get to know what they’re speaking of. They get an alert that the upstairs door has been broken through.

Stor puts his helmet back on, saying, “We will do battle in your own ground, Doctor,” as he and his trooper enter the inner TARDIS.

The Doctor gives Rodan the Great Key and instructs her (presumably through hypnosis, but she doesn’t seem to be entranced) to assist K-9 with anything he needs. He tells her to give the Great Key to K-9 when he asks for it, but to give it to no one else.

The Doctor, Leela and Andred leave, running about different areas. Seems they’re looking for the bathroom.

Stor says The Doctor has set up a “biological barrier”, keeping him from tracking human life forms (though the only human is Leela, so I’m not entirely sure why he’d be tracing them). Kellner says he can take down the generator powering the barrier.

Rodan does some welding.

The Doctor, Leela and Andred run through some corridors. I guess we had to fill the time requirements on the episode somehow, hmm?

Borusa is reading an issue of The Daily Mirror reporting the sinking of the Titanic. He sips some water/clear liquid through a spiral straw. The Doctor arrives and, seeing the headline, swears he had nothing to do with it.

The Doctor goes on to say that it would be bad if Borusa fell into the hands of the Sontarans – he knows too much about the Rod, Sash and Key. They hear the Sontarans approaching and rush out, Andred throwing lounge chairs in the way of the trooper.

There’s more shenanigans of running through all sorts of crazy rooms. Borusa complains about wishing The Doctor kept a tighter ship, so to speak.

Andred gets shot in the arm, but accidentally, as Stor is firing randomly in frustration. The Doctor sends Leela to escort Andred and Borusa back to the workshop.

In a terrarium, the trooper enters, firing blindly as The Doctor does bird whistles and duck calls and squeaks and other such not. There’s a rather strange plant that swallows up the Sontaran. The Doctor walks off.

The Doctor wanders through the same rooms again. It’s getting really old.

Stor and Kellner find and free the trooper. Stor sends the two of them to destroy the generator. He takes off his helmet (he’s worse than the actors in Spider-Man 3) and says he has other things to attend to.

The Doctor meets up with Borusa, Andred and Leela. They head to the workshop.

There’s a museum with artwork and statues. Kellner and the trooper enter and Kellner says it is the ancillary power station. Kellner finds a switch in the Venus de Milo statue, turning it off to remove the illusion. Kellner unplugs a plug thing and the trooper can trace them now.

Back at the workshop, The Doctor snaps Rodan out of her hypnosis (OK, so she was in his influence) and takes the Great Key. She and K-9 had been making a giant gun, a rifle, very futuristic looking.

Borusa is upset, forbidding The Doctor to use it, saying it should not have been built. The Doctor tells Rodan that she built “the ultimate weapon”, the d-mat gun. He snaps the Great Key into place.

I could rule the universe with this, Chancellor,” The Doctor says. Borusa implores him to destroy it, saying, “it will throw us back to the darkest age!”

The trooper and Kellner arrive, and The Doctor blasts the trooper with the gun. Leela puts her knife to the Castellan’s throat and he tells The Doctor that Stor is in the Panopticon. (But he’s not…) The Doctor looks at Borusa and says, “The Matrix,” and runs off.

Stor is wandering through the halls of the TARDIS. The Doctor is hunting him, d-mat gun in hand. Stor approaches the Panopticon, with some explosive device, but The Doctor is already waiting for him there.

Stor is prepared to die for the Sontaran empire; The Doctor says he will destroy the entire galaxy, and Stor is happy to agree, saying all the Time Lords will go with it.

If we cannot control the power of the Time Lords, then we shall destroy it!”

As Stor moves to place the explosive down, The Doctor fires the gun. There’s a bright white flash and when it clears, The Doctor is seen laying on the ground, the key next to him, no rifle in sight.

Back in the workshop, they hear the plodding steps of a Sontaran approaching. Leela moves to the side of the entrance, knife in hand… but it’s just The Doctor being a clown. He asks Borusa what he’s doing there and then is surprised to be called “Excellence” and wonders why he’s wearing the Sash of Rassilon.

Borusa takes the Sash from him, asking if he’s forgotten his induction and asks him about the Vardans and Sontarans, but The Doctor has no recollection of any of it, or of saving Gallifrey.

Borusa proclaims it is the wisdom of Rassilon that he remembers nothing.

Back at the TARDIS, everyone gives The Doctor a round of applause. He bows and says good bye and then tells Leela, “Come on,” but she says she’s staying. When he asks why, she reaches over to Andred, taking his hand in hers.

The Doctor nods and tells Andred that she’ll look after him and is awfully good with a knife. He tells K-9 to come, but the robot dog says he will stay as well, “To look after the mistress.” The Doctor seems a bit shocked but doesn’t argue.

Leela says she will miss The Doctor and he smiles, chuckles and closes the door. Inside, he rests his head against the closed doors, saying, “I’ll miss you, too, savage.”

The TARDIS dematerialises as everyone watches. Borusa asks, “Where will he go now, I wonder?”

Leela’s reply is simple, “Somewhere else.”

The Doctor pushes a large box into the console room. He stops and adjusts some controls on the console.

Leela asks K-9 if The Doctor will be lonely, but the robot says there is insufficient data. She and K-9 lower their heads together.

The Doctor looks at the box, marked “K-9 MK II”. He regards the camera with a big toothy grin and a laugh… and the final credits roll.

All in all, one of the best serials ever. A lot of fun, great characters, smarmy villains, devious Time Lords, so much more of an insight into the Gallifreyan people… I love this serial quite a bit, I must say. It’s not a perfect story, by any stretch, but it is a lot of fun.

Sad to see Leela go. I gather Louise Jameson wasn’t too happy towards the end of her tenure. They should have set up some romance between Andred and her to explain why she stayed, though.