Archives for posts with tag: powers of the mind

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: At a secret British naval base during World War 2, there are plots upon plots. A squad of Russian soldiers are sneaking about, trying to steal a decryption machine, but apparently it’s what the British want them to do, as part of a long-range plot against the Russians. Also, there are Viking inscriptions in the crypts under a church, and a curse involving stolen treasure.

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

A captain comes in and Millington tells him that the Ultima Machine must not be touched by anyone, it must be allowed to complete its task. The Doctor points out that the base defenses are reduced, as part of Whitehall’s plan to let the Russians steal the machine.

Millington orders the captain to radio for reinforcements, but the captain reminds him that he’d recently given the order for all radio transmitters to be disabled and Perkins was just sent about that task not long ago.

Millington is outraged (okay…) and dashes off. The others follow and they find Perkins smashing the radio room transmitters. He reports to Millington that the transmitters are disabled as per orders and The Doctor congratulates him on a job well done, and then tells him to put them back together, while Millington looks on helplessly.

The Doctor, Ace and the Vicar leave, going outside, where The Doctor explains that the transformed girls are not vampires, as the Vicar feels (having pointed out that this location is where Dracula first sets foot on British soil, apparently) but ‘haemevores’, saying that is mankind’s evolutionary fate, turning into creatures that feed on blood.

The Doctor asks the Vicar about the parish records and learns they go back to the 18th century. “Good, now for a little local history,” the Time Lord says, hurrying off.

Ace stops them, worried about Kathleen and her baby, worried if the haemevores were to come to the base. The Doctor sends her off to check on them.

On the shore, the Russians find Prozorov’s corpse. The captain takes his papers, but orders his men to hurriedly grab the Sergeant’s body and carry him off, as they see the creatures from the lake approaching.

Ace finds Kathleen and checks on her and Audrey. When Ace questions where Kathleen is going (as she’s packing), she says she’ll manage, “Frank’s got shore leave in a few weeks.” Ace asks if Frank is her boyfriend, and Kathleen is shocked at the idea that Ace didn’t know she was married. After all, she has a baby! (Different times, what what?)

Frank is in the merchant navy, the Atlantic convoy.

I used to think I’ll never get married,” Ace says, “but now I’m not so sure.”

Judson is in Millington’s office, saying they’re “wasting our time on some superstition.” Millington argues the legends will come true, the treasure will be brought to them, “and all the dark powers of Fenric shall be ours.”

Judson complains about his chains, indicating the wheelchair. Millington retorts, “That was over twenty years ago, why must you remind me?” Oooooh, I didn’t expect that, though I suspect it’s obvious if you think about it.

The girls lead the creatures through the mist on the shore, pursuing the Russians, who watch from atop a hill. Sorin explains that six months ago, a Russian sabotage team was sent into Romania, only one survived. “He talked about dead men coming out of the black fog. The official report said he’d been listening to too much local gossip about vampires.”

Ace rejoins The Doctor and the Vicar in the church, as they go over the parish records. The Doctor seems particularly exasperated by her interruption, as she asks why the bell tower looks like a fortress, wondering if the builders were expecting trouble.

The Vicar replies that there’s no record of any battles having taken place there, but The Doctor replies, “Today’s events haven’t been written down yet.” He instructs the Vicar to find the “descendants of the early Viking settlers,” and then tells Ace to accompany him.

They head to the crypt’s secret rooms, looking for the Oriental treasures the inscription talked about. Ace finds the discard flask, as the Vicar calls out for The Doctor. She puts it in her bag as they head back up.

The Vicar shows records of the Viking descendants – Joseph Sundvik, and his wife, Florence. Daughters Sarah, Martha, Jane, Clara and Annie. The Doctor says the curse has been passed down through the generations. He tells the Vicar to find out which daughters married, what the new surnames are.

Ace notices some water on the floor, but the Vicar says it’s the roof, it always leaks when it’s raining.

Problem is,” The Doctor replies, “it’s not raining.”

The doors and windows are suddenly under attack from the creatures. Ace and the Vicar and The Doctor struggle to keep them out. Ace ends up running to the roof, where she sees many of the creatures. She pulls a rope ladder out of her backpack and drops it over the side and begins to climb down.

She makes it down, but is grabbed by the creatures.

The Russian soldiers skulk about the town, near the church.

Ace fights the two creatures. They overpower her and seem to be about to feed on her, but the soldiers come to her rescue, shooting them. The creatures get up and are shot again. Ace starts climbing back up the ladder.

Inside, The Doctor yells at the Vicar that he’s got to have faith. The creatures burst in, and are suddenly wailing in pain and there’s a musical tone, which I think is in-story. Ace arrives and looks about, suggesting this is the case.

Captain Sorin arrives with his men and The Doctor orders everyone into the crypt, instructing the Vicar to grab the record books. Once in, they secure the doors.

The Doctor explains that the noise he was making was “just something to frighten off the haemevores”. They discuss vampires and crucifixes, but The Doctor explains it’s the faith, not the cross itself. “It creates a psychic barrier, just like I do,” he adds.

When the Vicar worries that they’re trapped, Ace says they can take the mine shaft. Sorin says he must go back to his men, but the Vicar argues that the creatures will get him.

I must try. If I fail, I fail,” the captain replies. He leaves his two soldiers with them.

Ace asks The Doctor to teach Sorin how to do that singing trick, but The Doctor says it’s a matter of faith. Sorin says he believes in The Revolution and The Doctor asks if his faith is complete. “If we meet again, you will have your answer,” is Sorin’s reply – I like that. Again, the strength of this serial is the dialogue as well as the plot.

As the others head below, Ace stops Sorin; he takes off his scarf and gives it to her, telling her to be careful. That’s interesting.

Down below, Ace pulls out some Nitro-9 and blows a hole so they can get to the mine shaft tunnel.

Sorin opens the door, confronted by the girls and a creature. He pulls out his pin/badge/symbol of the Revolution and they scream, clutching their heads, allowing him to move past them.

In the tunnel Ace pulls out the flask, wanting to make more Nitro, but the Doctor says no. The soldiers stay behind to fight off any pursuit, The Doctor instructing them to wait two minutes before catching up.

When The Doctor finally notices the flask, he says that’s the oriental treasure they’ve been looking for. He takes it from Ace.

Sorin moves through a mob of the creatures outside, and they turn from him, walking away, heading into the crypt, drawn by the flask being handled, presumably.

The Doctor and Ace and the Vicar move through the tunnel, hurriedly.

Sorin returns to his men at the beach. They ask what is happening, commenting that the air is unnaturally still and warm.

There is a storm coming,” Sorin replies.

In the tunnel, as they near the end, Ace and company hear gunfire from the soldiers behind them. They exit, to find Millington and some men waiting there. The commander gives the order to seal the exit and as The Doctor struggles with the British soldiers, worried about the Russians, Millington takes the records from the Vicar and the flask from Ace.

Millington explains, “Many years ago when I was Chief Petty Officer on board a ship, we had an explosion in the engine room.” The Doctor interrupts to say the Russian were their allies. Millington ignores, continuing his tale, “I had to seal it off to save the ship. Keep the flame restricted to one section.”

The Vicar pleads, saying the soldiers won’t stand a chance against the haemevores.

Still, Millington goes on, “We could hear men screaming from behind the bulkheads for nearly an hour. Then, the screaming stopped,” he turns and walks away.

The Russians cut some barbed wire at the camp perimeter. Sorin goes through, instructing his men to abort the mission if he’s not back in ten minutes. They take cover, behind one small tree. You have to use your imagination that they’re hiding better than that, I suppose.

Sorin calls out for Millington, saying he wishes to speak to him, officer to officer.

In the decryption room, Millington shows Judson the flask, saying he told him it would be brought to them. “There is power,” he says. Judson takes the flask.

Millington’s captain reports that “The house guests have arrived.” Millington is confused and the captain says that one is outside, wanting to talk to him.

Outside, Sorin addresses the commander. Soldiers raise their weapons at Sorin as Millington instructs Sorin to have his men surrender. Sorin calls out for his men to do so, adding, “Like the wolves of winter.”

Apparently this is code for get thee gone, as the Russian soldiers in hiding take off. Millington has Sorin arrested.

The Doctor arrives, arguing with Millington that the Russians aren’t the problem, it’s the creatures. Millington seems to think the creatures aren’t that big a problem, despite The Doctor’s arguments to the contrary.

Ace checks on Kathleen, who seems upset. Kathleen hands her a letter, which Ace reads. Her husband’s ship was attacked and he is listed as missing, presumed dead.

The Ultima Machine prints out words, perhaps names.

Ace confronts The Doctor, mad at him, saying he always knows what’s going on, but can’t be bothered to tell anyone. “It’s like a game and only you know the rules,” she says. She says he knew that the inscription was a computer program and he knew about the flask.

When she asks if it’s because he thinks she’s stupid, he says it’s not that, it’s about “Evil, evil since the dawn of time.” When she questions more, he tells her to stop asking questions.

She yells at him to tell her, and he does, “The beginning of all beginnings. Two forces, only good and evil. Then chaos. Time is born, matter, space. The universe cries out like a newborn. The forces shatter as the universe explodes outwards. Only echoes remain and somehow, somehow the evil force survives. An intelligence. Pure evil!”

Ace asks if he’s talking of Fenric, but he says that’s just Millington’s name for it. “Evil has no name. Trapped inside a flask like a genie in a bottle.” He says they need to get the flask to stop it. Ace suggests releasing captain Sorin, saying she can distract the guards.

The Vicar watches as the door sealing the tunnel exit is slowly being weakened from within. Somehow the creatures are melting it.

Ace draws out the guard from where Sorin is being held, being mysterious and semi-seductive. The Doctor slips in, and frees Sorin.

The soldier asks Ace what she can see. As she answers, we see the head of the Viking ship under the water, a creature’s hand stroking it. “Undercurrents, bringing things to the surface.”

She tells him she can’t say, he argues she promised. She rushes off.

The Vicar watches at the door is broken down and the girls and creatures step out. He holds up his Bible, but one girl says it won’t do any good as he doesn’t believe.

We’ll see,” he replies, and the musical tone begins, causing the girls and creatures to scream.

The Doctor, Sorin and Ace hurry. The Doctor says Fenric doesn’t have a body yet, so they can still stop him.

The girls argue that the Vicar doesn’t believe, and their words cause doubt and they swarm him.

Millington returns to the decrypt room. He looks at the print out as Judson wonders what the machine is doing. A bolt of energy strikes him from the machine, shoving his wheelchair backwards and he cries out in pain, falling to the floor.

Lightning strikes near Maiden’s Point.

The creatures march past the fallen Vicar.

The Doctor, Sorin and Ace rush into the decryption room, telling Crane not to touch Judson or anything. She argues he’s an invalid and can’t stand without help.

The Doctor replies he’s dead. Millington says, “The time is now. The Chains of Fenric are shattered. The gods have lost the final battle.”

We’re too late,” Ace says, “it’s him!”

Millington continues, “The dead men’s ship has slipped its moorings and the Great Ash itself trembles to its roots!” He whispers, “Fenric,” as Judson stands up, on his own. Judson’s eyes are closed, but when he opens them, they’re definitely not human eyes.

Judson/Fenric says, “We play the contest again… Time Lord,”… and the credits roll.

Now that was a great cliffhanger, even though it was obvious something along those lines was going to happen.

Episode 4:

Kathleen sings to baby Audrey as the storm roars outside.

Fenric tells The Doctor that the Time Lord left him trapped in the shadow dimension for seventeen centuries, but now he has a body again, and the preparations are complete. He raises his hands and disappears in a flash and gust of wind.

Soldiers run in, Millington orders them to shoot The Doctor, but the soldiers ask why. When he says for treason, they take The Doctor prisoner. (Still not obeying him, interestingly enough.)

The haemovores walk down a tunnel as Fenric materialises in front of them, saying, “I was only expecting one.”

Outside, The Doctor, Ace and Sorin are lined up to be shot (ok, guess they were) and the Time Lord pleads for them not to kill Ace. Sorin argues that killing them doesn’t make a difference. Ace cries out, “Mum, I’m sorry!”

As the soldiers take aim, the Russian soldiers toss a few grenades, creating a diversion and our heroes escape. A firefight breaks out between the Russians and British soldiers.

Millington rants on about a battlefield stretching on one hundred leagues and in the end the ancient enemies will do battle one more time. He’s a bit bonkers, methinks.

The Doctor tells Ace he must play the game to the end this time. When she asks what game, he says “A very simple game, a game of chess.”

Fenric sends his haemovores to fetch “the Ancient One”.

The Doctor says he needs a chess set. Ace says Millington has one in his office and Sorin says getting in there’s not a problem. He orders his men to clear a path to the British position.

At Maiden’s Point, the two girls summon another haemovore from beneath the waves. It rises up, seemingly bulkier than the others.

Millington enters a bunker, three soldiers setting themselves as guards outside it.

Fenric stands, rejoicing in the “Sound of dying” as Millington enters. When Millington interrupts, Fenric chastises him for interrupting “while I’m eulogising” and then demands to know where the Time Lord is, but Millington doesn’t know who he means.

Fenric goes on about being trapped for seventeen centuries, saying the Time Lord pulled bones from the ancient sands and carved them into chess pieces and challenged Fenric to solve his puzzle, but Fenric failed. “Now I shall see him kneel before me, before I let him die,” he promises.

DAMN this serial is creepy fun.

Ace grabs at the chess set, but sets off a chemical grenade trap. The Doctor throws a trash can on top of it, though plenty of the green gas got out, so they should be dead.

Ace quips that he should have put some explosives under the table. They look, and sure enough, there are some. They both dash out, escaping just before the explosion, but the chess set is still in the room. Or, well, it was.

Fenric confronts the Ancient One, “At last, another of the Wolves of Fenric decides to show up and play his role.” The haemovore looks at him like he’s flat stupid. It replies, “My world is dead.” Fenric says this is no great loss. He’s a real charmer, that Fenric.

Fenric tells him that this is the 20th century, so it’s not his world “for a long time yet”. Oh, so they’re from the future. Huh. He tell him they must first kill at the humans first.

Ace and The Doctor clean each other up, celebrating that at least Ace was able to grab the parish record book on her way out. The Doctor tells her that it’s important because it has the name of the ancient families – Judson, Millington, Wainwright, Dudman…”

Hearing Kathleen’s last name, Ace tells The Doctor she saw a chess set in Kathleen’s suitcase as she was packing. They head off to find her.

In the room where the women work, they’re all cowering. The door opens and they scream.

The British soldiers toss the poison in grenades at the Russians, killing all but Sorin and one other, the latter saying, “This isn’t war, this is massacre!” They decide it’s all because of the Ultima Machine and they agree to destroy it.

Millington confronts Fenric, saying his creatures are killing his men, but is taken aback at the presence of the haemovore. “We call him the Great Serpent,” Fenric answers.

Millington quotes, “And the Great Serpent shall arise from the sea and spew venom over all the Earth.” Fenric looks about the bunker, at the stockpiled poison, saying there’s enough in there to contaminate the world forever.

A British soldier listens in and then slips away.

Millington is horrified.

The soldier (I think the one previous referred to as Captain) finds The Doctor and Ace, “They’re insane,” he tells them, “they’re trying to control the world with chemical weapons!”

All part of Fenric’s evil game, no doubt,” The Doctor replies, saying the weather is as well. Sorin arrives and he and the captain face off, but agree to join forces to “fight the real enemy”.

Ace is delighted to learn they’re all getting along. Sorin praises her courage and for wearing their emblem, but she says it’s not a real one, just something she bought cheap in a market. He gives her his emblem (oh, that’s not good… that saved his life, once.)

She’s totally in teen lust with him, so yeah, he’s gonna die, I bet. He even takes her hand and kisses it. Yep, dead man walking.

The Doctor urges them to hurry up, reminding Ace they need the chess set.

Soldiers enter the women’s work station, to find they’ve been turned into haemovores. One soldier doesn’t run and is swarmed by them and killed.

The Doctor and Ace find Kathleen and Audrey in the women’s barracks. The Doctor gets the chess set and dashes off, but Ace stays behind with her grandmother and mum. (Yep, you know it is. They haven’t admitted it yet, but you know it.) The Doctor insists they not leave the hut.

Crane puts on her coat and is about to leave when Fenric and several haemovores enter. He says she took care of him for years, treating him like a child, and feeds her to the haemovores.

Ace and Kathleen bar the door and windows with furniture.

The young Russian enters the decryption room to sabotage the Ultima Machine, but Millington shoots him, saying they were never allies, they will always be the enemy.

See you in hell,” the soldier tells Millington, who leaves him to die.

The Doctor sets up the chess board.

Ace and Kathleen sit, the latter holding Audrey. Ace goes on about not liking dark buildings, referring to the house from Ghost Light. Kathleen wonders what sort of world this is to bring up a child. Haemovores begin to break in, so the ladies slip out the window.

The Doctor struggles to remember how the chess board was set up. He finally gets it right.

Ace and Kathleen and Audrey rush to a jeep, pursued by haemovores. Ace tells Kathleen to take Audrey and go to London to find her (Ace’s) nan and gives her the address. Kathleen gives Ace a picture of Audrey and Ace kisses Audrey on the forehead, saying she’ll always love her. Kathleen drives off as the haemovore girls approach Ace.

Fenric orders the Great Serpent to take the poison and dump it into the ocean. The Great Serpent asks about the other haemovores, and Fenric replies, “You know how to kill them.”

The Serpent lifts his hands and concentrates.

The girls fall in front of Ace, crumbling to dust.

The Doctor regards the chess board. Fenric enters the room, demanding to know where the game is.

You couldn’t resist it, could you, the game of traps? The contest as before,” The Doctor says, indicating the chess board.

One move, find the winning move, spring the trap on me. If you can,” he taunts Fenric.

Millington confronts Captain Bates who is tending to the wounded Russian. The commander says the captain’s problem is that he doesn’t know who the enemy is. “A traitor is someone who doesn’t know who the enemy is,” and as Millington raises his gun to fire at Bates, the Russian shoots Millington, gasping out, “But I do.”

The Doctor confronts the Great Serpent, saying he’s been waiting for him. The Serpent asks if he knows him and the Time Lord answers, “Thousands of years in the future, the Earth lays dying, the surface just a chemical slime. Half a million years of industrial progress.”

Ace dashes in to where Fenric is studying the chess board. Fenric seems to be losing his body; he cannot see who it is, thinks it’s the Time Lord, asking him to show him the solution. “The con… the contest is too much for such a weak body,” he says.

Ace says she doesn’t know the solution. He begs her to tell him and she runs off.

The Doctor says that this is another of Fenric’s games, saying he was brought back in time to destroy his past, which would destroy his own future.

Bates helps the Russian to his feet. Ace comes in, wondering what’s happened. They say they’re all right now, just pawns in a game, but the pawns are fighting together.

Ace realises that’s the solution, the winning move and she runs off again. Um… why?

Sorin finds Fenric, even weaker. The Russian says it’s time to die. Fenric says he doesn’t know why he was selected for the mission, but Sorin says it’s because he speaks English, “My grandmother was English.”

Emily Wilson, granddaughter of Joseph Sundvik,” Fenric elucidates. “You are touched by the Curse of Fenric. I selected you. You are one of the Wolves of Fenric.”

Sorin levels his gun at him, but Fenric stares at him weakly.

Ace enters, finding Sorin bent over the chess board. She says Fenric would have never guessed the solution, saying the white and black pawns join forces. (Okay, that makes no sense, as it violates the rules of the game.)

Once she tells him, Sorin turns around and Ace sees his eyes are glowing – Fenric is inside him now. (Told ya. Dead Man Walking.) The Doctor runs in, screaming, “Ace,” like that’s going to do any good.

Black wins, Time Lord,” Sorin-Fenric says, laughing. Lightning strikes the chess board, which bursts into flames.

Ace demands to know what’s happening. Fenric replies, “The Wolves of Fenric, the descendants of the viking who first buried the flask, all pawns in my game.”

Doctor Judson, Commander Millington, the Ancient One, Captain Sorin,” Fenric rattles off the names of his wolves. The Ancient One (is that the same as the Great Serpent?), “…and now you.”

Ace asks what he means and he tells Ace that baby Audrey will grow up and in thirty years, have a baby of her own – Ace. “You just created your own future,” he tells her. “The baby is your mother. The mother you hate.”

Fenric gives the order to the Great Serpent/Ancient One, whichever he is, that has come up behind Ace, to kill them… slowly. Ace pleads to The Doctor to set Fenric straight, saying he’s got it wrong.

The Doctor says nothing, but looks serious. “The Wolves of Fenric have released me,” Fenric says. Ace says The Doctor never fails and she has faith in him – complete faith.

As she says this, the musical tones start. The Doctor continues to say nothing. Fenric again gives the order to kill them again, but the haemovore cannot penetrate Ace’s psychic force and clutches his head, crying out.

Time for one more game, then,” Fenric asks The Doctor. He picks up some of the poison, telling The Doctor if he kneels before him, he will spare Ace. She looks to him, “I believe in you, professor.”

Again, Fenric offers the choice, kneel before him and he will spare Ace. Either way, The Doctor will die.

Kill her,” The Doctor says.

Fenric giggles. “The Time Lord finally understands.”

You think I didn’t know? The chess set in Lady Peinforte’s study,” The Doctor asks, referring to SILVER NEMESIS from last season. “I knew.”

OH MY GOD. OH, NO, THEY DIDN’T.

Fenric shakes his head, “Earlier than that, Time Lord. Before Cybermen, ever since Iceworld, where you first met the girl.”

Ace looks confused. The Doctor asserts, “I knew.” He looks at Ace, “I knew she carried the evil inside her. You think I’d have chosen a social misfit if I hadn’t known? She couldn’t even pass her chemistry exams at school, and if she manages to create a time storm in her bedroom… I saw your hand in it from the very beginning.”

Fenric laughs. Ace pleads, “Doctor, no.”

He tells her, “You’re an emotional cripple.” Then back to Fenric, “I wouldn’t waste my time on her, unless I had to use her somehow.” Ace falls to her knees, crying out, “NO!” Fenric laughs some more.

He then tells the haemovore to kill them, but the Serpent forces Fenric back into the test chamber while he protests. The Great Serpent activates the poison gas within and the smoke fills the chamber.

The Doctor grabs Ace, saying it’s over, they’ve got to get out of there, but she tries to resist, telling him to leave her be. He gets her to her feet and drags her out, as she still yells.

The chessboard burns.

They escape the bunker a moment before there’s an explosion. The Doctor tries to explain to Ace that he had to make her lose her faith in him, as her belief was holding the haemovore back.

She cries, lamenting the mean things he said. He continues to try to explain.

Marks in teenage psychology,” Ace says.

It’s not true, believe me,” he argues. He taps her nose, but she doesn’t look too convinced.

Later, they’re at Maiden’s Point. She’s holding the picture of baby Audrey, but asks The Doctor why she can’t stop hating her mother.

You loved the baby,” he says. She argues that she didn’t know she was her mum. “Love and hate,” he replies, “frightening feelings, especially if trapped, struggling beneath the surface.”

He tells Ace not to be afraid of the water and she dives in. As she swims below the surface, we hear Kathleen’s voice, talking to baby Audrey (who is crying). “Audrey, it’s all right, darling.” Then Ace’s voice, “I’ll always love you.” The two snippets repeat, as does the baby’s cries, as Ace swims.

Ace comes out of the water, splashing and comes up to The Doctor. “I’m not scared now,” she says. The walk away arm in arm. Regarding the sign.

Dangerous undercurrents, Doctor,” she asks.

Not any more. Nyet,” he replies, and they both laugh… and the final credits roll.

Okay, a bit of a silly ending there, but other than that, this was easily one of the best serials of the entire series. WOW.

Too bad the next one is… sigh. Maybe it’s better than I remember.

I doubt it.

Have never seen this one. OMG. This is the penultimate serial of the original run. Wow. This is… we’re almost done. This serial, one more, and then the 1996 movie and we’re DONE.

So weird.

Episode 1:

Soldiers in two rafts paddle in the water. Something watches them from beneath. There’s a cloudy mist. The soldiers speak in Russian and approach the shore through a cove.

The TARDIS appears and Ace steps out, dressed all retro. In the distance, they see soldiers in WW2 uniforms, so The Doctor says she’ll fit in. She complains that it doesn’t look like a “top secret naval camp”, because of the lack of “men with guns all over the place”.

The Russian soldiers pull one of the rafts onto shore. One of the soldiers asks what happened to their comrades, but is told “Nothing.”

Ace says she’s had a harder time sneaking into a disco than they are getting about here.

The Doctor and Ace are surrounded by soldiers, but he pretty much bluffs their way past them, looking for Dr. Judson’s office.

On the beach, the Russians talk, their head telling them to speak in English from now on. They are told to come quickly to the beach, where one soldier, Gayvev, seems to be hurt/in shock, and the others ask him where the sealed orders are. He’s unresponsive.

The Doctor enters and introduces himself to Dr. Judson, who is most startled at the interruption. They discuss the Prisoner’s Dilemma which is laid out on the chalkboard.

The Doctor asks to use a typewriter, while Ace amazes Judson with her understanding of logic solving/problems – apparently, that wasn’t taught in schools back then.

A soldier enters to tell Judson The Doctor is unathorised, but he hands over the letter he just typed up, saying it’s authorisation from the War Office, signed by the Prime Minister. The Captain seems to find it in order and apologises for not knowing about his arrival.

Need to know, Captain, need to know,” The Doctor replies, totally amused with himself. Now why doesn’t Miss Crane, Judson’s assistant, say anything? She just watched him sign it.

The Captain mentions to Ace about thinking she was “one of those East End kids, the evacuees,” and while she tries to say where she’s from, Judson interrupts, asking if they’d like to see “the Ultima Machine”, which The Doctor agrees to readily.

However, moments later, The Doctor asks Captain Bates to show him and Ace to their quarters.

On the shore, the Russians discuss waiting til night and then checking out the base. The head tells one of them to wait and keep an eye on the beach, in case anything washes up. The soldiers suggests there’s something evil there, and he’s worried about being alone.

The commander gets in his face, saying not to be stupid and superstitious and to follow orders and the soldier acquiesces.

We keep seeing flashes of what appears to be the front of a sunken ship – it has a dragon/monster head, like the Viking’s used to do.

The soldier searches the shoreline, finding a packet with Russian writing – the sealed orders, presumably. He opens them and reads them. There’s a photo of Judson.

The Doctor and Ace are led to their room; it has a bunk bed and Ace calls “bags” on the top one. She’s excited and exuberant and The Doctor is annoyed with her.

The soldier on the shoreline is chased by something – we’re watching through the eyes of his pursuer, so we don’t know who or what it is, but he’s terrified and flees without trying to talk/fight/shoot, so it’s obviously not human.

The Doctor approaches a perimeter guard, telling him that eyes are watching. In the brush a Russian is hiding.

On the beach, the soldier is caught by his pursuer. The soldier screams.

The next morning, outside church an old lady chastises the Vicar about his sermon. The Doctor arrives, interrupting to ask where he can find Judson, and the Vicar is all too eager to show him personally, as it gets him away from the annoying lady.

Ace asks a couple young women who “the old gargoyle” is. The girls are evacuees from London and they say they’ve been billeted with Miss Hardaker (the lady who’d been terrorising the Vicar.)

Ace tells them she’s from London, too. Hardaker calls to the girls to hurry along and they make plans to meet Ace at “Maiden’s Point” (seen on a directional sign.)

Commander Millington sits at his desk, reviewing papers. There are Nazi flags and a portrait of Hitler in his office. He gets up and walks to a table where there’s his cap and a chess board. He picks up the cap and regards the chess board.

Ace sees all sorts of silver laying about inside the church and asks about it, saying anyone could just walk in and take it, but the Vicar says the old curse keeps them from doing so – the church is built on an old Viking grave area and supposedly something evil was once buried there.

A Russian soldier is seen laying on the rocky beach. I believe it was the one who was attacked on the shoreline. We only see him for a moment.

In the crypts beneath the church, Judson is looking at some runes, scribbling and muttering to himself. The Doctor arrives and he and Ace regard them. The Doctor guesses them to be 9th century, based on the number of characters. Judson tells him he wants to use the Ultima Machine to decode them.

Ace calls The Doctor over, asking what that noise is, saying it’s like a machine. The Doctor dismisses it as “organ bellows”. They leave Judson to his transcribing.

Back outside, she insists it was a machine, then grumbling about him not paying attention. The Doctor points out a grave where the ground about it has sunk. The names on the tombstone are many, it’s a family grave. One only lived thirteen days and Ace wonders about the “Viking curse”.

Miss Hardaker gives her two charges hell for wanting to go to Maiden’s Point, but they protest, saying they only want to go for a walk or a swim. Hardaker says she knows what girls do at Maiden’s Point. She tells them when you stand on the cliffs there, you can hear the screams of the girls who “went there with evil in their hearts. Girls who are damned forever.”

The two girls smirk after Hardaker wanders off.

The Doctor and Ace arrive at the point. She says she likes watching the sea, “It makes me feel so small.” She complains about the litter, seeing the secret orders packet. They inspect it and wonder why Russians are there.

The Doctor heads back to the church, warning Ace not to go into the water.

Judson works with his machine as Commander Millington enters the room. Judson says the North Atlantic U-boats have changed cyphers again. He says it will take a few days to adjust. Judson boasts to Millington that this is the first, but in the future, “…there will be many more. Computing machines, thinking machines.”

Millington replies, “Yes, but whose thoughts will they think?”

The Doctor returns to the church, startling the Vicar. He says he’d like to know the answer, wondering what the Vicar is afraid of – the curse, the inscriptions. The Vicar shows him records his grandfather, who was Vicar, too, made. Translations of the Viking transcriptions.

At Maiden’s Point, the two girls tease Ace for not going for a swim. She’s all sour grapes, saying it is stupid, and says there’s a sign warning about the currents. The girls go in anyway, calling her a “baby doll”. Something below seems to be watching the girls as they swim.

The Doctor reads the translation, “We hope to return to the North Way, carrying home the oriental treasures from the silk lands in the east. But the dark curse follows our dragon ship.”

We see the ship under the water, and hear The Doctor continue to read, “Black fog turned day into night, and the fingers of death reached out from the waters to reclaim the treasures we have stolen.” The scene shifts to the crypt and the runes there, as he continues to read out loud, “I carve these stones in memory of Asmund, Grimvald, Torkal, Halfdan, brave Viking warriors slain by the curse. We sought haven in Northumbria and took refuge at a place called Maiden’s Bay, but the curse of the treasure has followed us to this place.”

The Doctor asks about Maiden’s Bay, which the Vicar says is called Maiden’s Point now. The Doctor frets about leaving Ace there, but she walks in, saying, “But I’m here now, aren’t I?” He’s relieved and she asks what he has.

He tells her it’s the translation. He says he just noticed something and pulls out the Russian order packet, reading out loud in Russian. He then says it says “We return from Norway,” which he then refers to as ‘the North Way’.

Now,” he says smugly, “let’s see how Dr. Judson is getting along, shall we?” He heads out the door, Ace and the Vicar following.

At Maiden’s Point, the girls are dressed. One is drawing a line down the back of the other’s stocking and they talk about Lana Turner and Betty Grable and Jane Russell. The one girl sees something metal and picks it up, but it feels all tingly and she throws it down. The other girl tries too and drops it, saying it’s like there’s an electricity running through it. They decide they don’t want it and walk off.

A Russian soldier lies above the crest, sighting with his gun, muttering in Russian, then in English, “No closer, please.”

And my Roku suddenly freezes up and resets itself. Sigh. Ok. It’s done. Oh, good, I can resume without searching. Ok.

The girls are chattering and head off in another direction.

The Doctor and Ace barge into Judson’s office, showing him the translation. He opens it and begins reading, “Night is the time of the evil curse and no man is safe alone.” He looks up, proclaiming that it is invaluable. He continues reading, “The waters are most dangerous. The dark evil lies waiting in the sea. It has followed the treasure we stole.”

The scene changes, but we get the voice-over as Judson reads. The Russian soldier finds the metal object the girls discarded and picks it up. Judson’s voice continues, “We cannot see it, but we know that it is there.” The soldier stands up, regarding the object, apparently not finding it tingly/electric like the girls did. Judson’s voice goes on, “Beneath the surface, beyond seeing. But it is there, and one by one our crew is being killed.”

The soldier throws the object into the water. Beneath the surface of the water, a clawed hand catches the object. We see the dead body of the soldier from the night before on the beach, floating near the boat.

Obviously later, The Doctor and Ace peek in on a room full of women listening to coded German radio messages. Ace mistakenly thinks they’re listening to music and is surprised that they had personal stereos in the 1940s.

The girls inside invite The Doctor and Ace in and introductions are made. One of them, Kathleen, has a baby girl in a basket-crib under the table where she’s working and Ace asks if she can pick hold her.

Ace is all impressed and amazed and asks the baby’s name; when Kathleen says it’s Audrey, Ace is upset, saying she hates that name as it’s her mum’s name, and hands Audrey to Kathleen. (Oh, of course they’re gonna do that, arent’ they?)

Millington enters the room, chastising Kathleen for bringing the baby, as he’d given her instructions that the baby was not to remain on camp. Kathleen tries to explain that her cousin’s cottage is too small for the baby to stay, but the commander doesn’t seem impressed.

He walks around (not noticing The Doctor or Ace, apparently) and gives Kathleen twenty-four hours to find a place for the baby, “Or I shall have you dismissed from service.”

Before Ace can start ranting at Millington, The Doctor drags her out of the room. They keep poking about, entering a room that The Doctor proclaims to be extraordinary. He tells Ace it’s “a perfect replica of the German naval cypher room in Berlin.” It’s the room we saw Millington in before. He explains to Ace that Millington isn’t a spy, that he’s done this to try to “think the way the Germans think”.

They poke around, but The Doctor sees something out of place. A picture on the wall, an old school pic that has Millington and Judson both in it – apparently they were school chums. From the pic, it was before Judson’s accident (the doctor is in a wheelchair presently.)

Ace asks why everyone is so interested in Vikings, as she regards the chess board, which has Viking pieces. “Yes, why,” The Doctor wonders.

Millington learns of Ace, who Judson describes as “a mathematical specialist” who understands logic diagrams. He shows the translation to Millington, who takes the book and starts reading out loud, “I warn of the day when the earth shall fall asunder, and all of heaven, too. The wolves of Fenric shall return for their treasure and then shall the dark evil rule eternally.”

Millington says to Judson, “This is it. The final battle between the gods and the beasts. It’s now, Judson.” Judson rolls his eyes, not impressed. Millington continues thinking out loud, “The Curse of Fenric.”

Ace and The Doctor are climbing around Maiden’s Point again. The Doctor says he’s not sure what they’ll find, but they’ll know it when they see it. They find a dead Russian, holding a metal piece (I thought he threw it… maybe he found another.)

As The Doctor takes the piece from the body’s hand, the Russian soldiers surround he and Ace, pointing their guns at them… an the credits roll.

Decent cliffhanger, but I’m really enjoying this serial thus far.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

The soldiers surround The Doctor and Ace, but one of them stops another from firing, saying they don’t want to attract attention. The Doctor asks if they know what’s going on, asking if they think they killed their comrade, but they respond, “It doesn’t matter, you know too much. You die.”

The Doctor speaks some Russian, surprising the soldiers. Ace quotes, “Return to Norway with the treasure,” and Prozorov, who seems to be in charge, says they’ll take them back to Captain Sorin.

Judson is reading out loud from the translation, “I am the only one left alive. I raise these stones to my wife, Astrid. May she forgive my sins. The day grows dark and I sense the evil curse… rising, from the sea.”

He continues, but we see below the water, the clawed hand of some monster, caressing the head of the Viking ship, as we hear Judson’s voice, “I know what what the Curse of Fenric seeks – the treasures from the silk lands in the east.” The camera pans down and we see the dead Russian soldier’s body.

The scene shifts to the crypts below the church. The runes in the wall begin to glow as Judson’s voice continues, “I’ve heard the treasures whisper in my dreams. I’ve heard the magic words that will release great powers. I shall bury the treasures forever. Tonight I shall die and the words die with me.”

The Russian soldier’s corpse below the water opens his eyes.

The Doctor tells the Russian soldiers, “If you attack the campnow, you walk into a trap. If you stay here, you’ll die just like your comrades.” Captain Sorin says if he lets them go, he’ll betray them to the British.

The Doctor argues that letting him go is the only way to stop the evil that’s been killing his men. The soldier whose mind was affected by seeing the monster cries out and The Doctor tends to him, saying he saw whatever killed his comrade and could not handle it.

He asks the soldier what he saw, asking him to tell him. He probes him, urging him to talk. The Doctor speaks Russian and the man hands him one of the metal objects. The Doctor takes it and compares it to one he has in his coat pocket.

Captain Sorin seems to be swayed, saying he’ll delay the attack until they return.

The Doctor and Ace hurry off.

In the crypt, Judson wonders why the final transcription wasn’t translated. Miss Crane complains that it’s cold and unsuited for an invalid, which gets Judson irritated and he tells her to shut up. She doesn’t mind, saying he needs to get back “in the warm”.

On the beach, the two girls pass a patrol of British soldiers, saying they love men in uniforms, much to the delight of the men.

Ace and The Doctor return to the church, The Doctor saying there’s something different about this place. Ace says it doesn’t even look like a church, but, from outside, more like a fortress.

The Doctor says he means something different from when they were last there, and storms off, disgusted at her misunderstanding him. He says it’s time to have a proper look at the inscriptions.

Millington insists that Judson use the Ultima Machine to translate the final inscriptions, even though Judson asks about the German cyphers.

In the crypt, Ace swears she hears voices from behind the walls, though The Doctor doesn’t hear anything. Looking at the inscriptions, The Doctor asks Ace what she notices about one part.

She points out that it’s a slightly different alphabet than the rest, using fewer characters, which means it’s older. The Doctor prompts her for more, but she’s not sure.

He tells her it wasn’t there that morning. She asks how that’s possible, if they’re about 1000 years old.

They hear footsteps and hide. Someone enters and leaves, but they don’t see them. They come out of their hiding place and The Doctor begins looking for a secret door. As they search, Millington comes out of a secret door, gun in hand.

The Vicar practices his sermon, the “When I was a child” bit.

The Russian soldiers see the British patrol, who apparently spot them as well. But the Russians ambush the British.

Millington takes The Doctor and Ace into the secret chambers, where men are taking stuff out – Millington directs the men to take the valuable equipment only. Ace exclaims, quietly, “A laboratory!”

He takes them in to another room, and Millington says, “The end of the war!”

The Doctor looks around and replies, “So this is what brought you here, a natural source of lethal poisons.”

Ace puts two and two together, “the Curse of Fenric!”

Once the Nazis see what our planes are dropping, it’ll mean the end of the war,” Millington says, even though Ace protests. He tells her it will save hundreds of thousands of lives.

More horrible than the Well of Hvergelmir,” The Doctor says. Millington asks what he said, and he expounds, “the Well of Hvergelmir, deep beneath the ground, where broods of serpents spew their venom over the Great Ash Tree.”

The Great Ash Tree,” Millington echoes, “the soul of all the Earth.” While they talk, Ace is poking around. She calls out to The Doctor (calling him Professor, of course) but he shushes her.

We have seen it, Doctor,” Millington says, “You and I, we have seen hell.” He is looking at the green glowing… whatever it is (fungus? Liquid? I’m not sure) when he says that.

Come, I’ll show you it all,” Millington says, walking off.

Ace asks, “What’s he on about,” but the Doctor replies only, “Norse Mythology.”

The Doctor beckons her to follow, saying apparently Millington thinks The Doctor is on his side.

As Ace follows, she looks about, and we see a better view of the green ichor-like fluid; it is dripping out of the wall into a container.

The Russian soldiers stand about, laughing and talking about the fight. The talk breaks up and Captain Sorin approaches Sgt Prozorov, telling him, “These things have to be done.” Prozorov doesn’t seem convinced or happy and walks off.

Millington leads The Doctor and Ace out of the crypts, through the church, where Ace sees the Vicar sitting in a pew, seemingly in deep thought or out of it. She asks The Doctor what’s wrong with the Vicar.

Millington stops and turns around, saying, “No girls, leave her here.” Ace gets upset but The Doctor tells her it’s for the best, only for a short time. He tells her to talk to the Vicar and then hurries after Millington.

Ace sits down next to the Vicar, “Funny church, this, isn’t it?”

I was just remembering when I was a child,” he replies, “My father was the Vicar here, then. It seemed such a warm, friendly place in those days.”

Thing always look different when you’re a child,” Ace replies.

The Vicar goes on, talking about how he stands before everyone on Sundays, faces looking up at him, waiting for him to give them something to believe in. When Ace questions what he believes in, he says he used to believe in good in the world, hope for the future.

The future’s not so bad,” Ace replies, “have faith in me.” The Vicar seems uncertain, but not just with her/her words.

Millington leads The Doctor to the Ultima Machine room, where Judson is. Judson says he needs the second rotor unlocked. Judson realises The Doctor hasn’t seen it yet and begins praising the machine.

Millington says that this is the bait for the Russians, for after the war is over, when they’re no longer allies. He says they want “the mind of the Ultima Machine”.

Judson says the Ultima Machine can do more than one thousand combinations in an hour, with automatic error checking.

And we are going to let the Russians steal it,” Millington adds, “Orders from Whitehall.”

Millington directs The Doctor to look deep inside, and there’s a greenish glow…

Miss Hardaker chastises the girls, having found their bathing suits, saying they will burn in Hell for being such naughty girls. She goes on and on with her tirade.

The Doctor enters a room filled with thousands of jars of the poison, presumably. Millington has a demonstration where some carrier pigeons are subjected the poison. Smoke fills the chamber the pigeons are in while Millington goes on about what “a bombful could do against a city like Dresden or Moscow.”

The Doctor questions that Moscow’s going to let them detonate one of their bombs in the Kremlin, but Millington retorts, “That’s the beauty of it, Doctor. We won’t detonate it. They’ll do it themselves. They’ll use the machine decrypt our cyphers, but Dr. Judson has programmed it to self-destruct when it tries to decrypt a particular word.”

Okay, that’s pretty clever, I gotta admit.

When The Doctor asks what that word it, Millington replies, “What else could it be, Doctor? Love.”

In the secret chamber, several men are removing more equipment, when something in one of the walls seems to come to life, causing several bricks to fall loose. The men investigate, finding a bottle. They wonder if it’s one of theirs.

They decide to leave it, casting it aside, saying they need to seal the room.

Prozorov is at the water line, when the two girls from Hardaker’s go rushing into the water, fully dressed. He runs off, before they notice him. A mist rolls in and they get separated. When the mist clears, they’re both gone.

A soldier reports to Millington that operations at the church were closed down. He asks if anything unusual was found, and the soldier says not to his knowledge. Millington gives the order to disable all outside telephone lines, radio communication. Then he gives the order to burn all chess sets in the camp.

Millington seems to be sketching some jars as he gives out these orders.

The Doctor watches as a soldier takes the chess set from two of the women working there. He asks the soldier if the orders are peculiar, but the soldiers says orders are orders.

The Doctor asks Kathleen what she’s going to do – she says one of the girls is going to see about taking her home for a few days until something better can be arranged.

Kathleen asks if he has any family. “I don’t know,” is his reply.

Oh, I’m sorry. It’s the war, isn’t it? Must be terrible not knowing.”

Yes,” is his reply, though to which part… but he walks off before the conversation continues.

The Doctor goes to the Ultima Machine room, where Judson is about to translate the runes. The machine starts clicking and printing. Judson reads from the print out, “Let the Chains of Fenric shatter.”

He turns to The Doctor, “Even with an alphabet more than 1000 years old, the Ultima Machine can reveal its meaning.”

The Doctor replies, “It can translate it, but who knows what it might mean?”

On the beach/shore, Prozorov stands at the water, looking at the lake. The two girls stand there, their skin paler than before, their hair down. They have clawed, webbed hands now.

One of them says, “Look,” and the other replies, “Yes, a man.”

He walks closer to the water. They beckon to him. He takes off his helmet, stepping into the water, seemingly under a spell. They coax him, saying nobody’s forcing him. “Nobody ever forces them to come into the water, but everyone wants to,” one of them says as he continues towards them.

Deep down, everybody wants to come into the water.”

They beckon him to come and play with them. Suddenly, other creatures rise up and grab Prozorov, dragging him below the surface as he screams.

The Doctor sits with Judson and Crane, the former talking about knowing Millington for a while, since before his accident. Ace enters and The Doctor says he needs a word with her two young friends.

Ace tells him they should be at the old dragon’s, meaning Miss Hardaker’s. The Doctor leaves to arrange some transport there, while Ace plays with the logic puzzle again. Judson tells her to shut up, though she hasn’t said anything yet.

She tells him, after the second time he tells her to shut up, that she knows what the inscription, “The Chains of Fenric shatter” means. She tells him it’s a logic diagram. He says it’s so complex, but she says it’s for a computer.

Suddenly excited, Judson barks at Crane to take him to the decrypt room.

Proud of herself, Ace says out loud, “And the half time score, Perivale, 600 million, the rest of the universe, nil.”

Hardaker puts on some somber music, but when she turns around, the two transformed girls approach her and she backs away, screaming.

Prozorov floats in the water, beneath the surface.

The Doctor and Ace skulk about Hardaker’s outside, then opening the door and calling soflty, “Hello, anybody home?” Inside, they hear the phonograph spinning and The Doctor lifts the needle.

They find Hardaker, looking frightened out of her life, scratches on her face. The Doctor says it’s just like the soldier they found at Maiden’s Point, “completely drained of blood”.

The Vicar stands in the graveyard, as the two girls approach him from behind. “I know who you are,” he says out loud.

You’ve always known us,” one says, and he turns around.

But vampires are just superstition,” he says, adding, “Why?”

We have black hearts,” one girl says, repeating what Hardaker had told them, “we were lost on the day we were born.” They move ever closer.

He says no one is lost, they say everyone is lost. He tries to hold them back with the power of his Bible, but they say objects can’t harm them, but the belief behind them, “And you stopped believing when the bombs started falling.”

I’m not afraid of German bombs,” he asserts.

Not German, British,” they reply. “On German cities. British bombs killing German children.”

The dialogue of this serial is really good, which is why you’re getting so many transcriptions of it.

The Vicar is obviously haunted, horrified, crying out. However, just then, Ace and The Doctor arrive to interject themselves between the girls and the Vicar. Ace asks what happened to them.

You should have come into the water with us,” they tell her, “then we’d have been together.”

The Doctor orders the girls away. They say they’ll go, but promise they’ll be back for the Vicar.

In the decrypt room, Millington excitedly pushes Judson up to the Ultima Machine. Crane demands “A little respect for the wheelchair, please, Commander, he’s an invalid.”

I’m not an invalid, I’m a cripple,” Judson corrects her. “I’m also a genius, so shut up!”

All that remains is the flask, the machine can unlock its secrets,” Millington says, ignoring both of them.

In the crypt, the flask (tossed aside earlier by the workers) glows.

In the decrypt room, Judson locks away the Ultima Machine, saying, “Now then, Millington, let’s see, shall we?” Millington agrees, urging him to be quick.

The Vicar walks through the woods with Ace and The Doctor, saying they should tell Millington, but The Doctor says, “He’ll just go around shooting everything. As long as Dr. Judson doesn’t work out what the inscription is, he’s safe from harm.”

Hearing this, Ace exclaims, “Oh, no! You should have told me!” The Doctor and the Vicar look at each other, worriedly, then rush off, Ace following.

The flash glows and pulses.

At the lake, a horde of creatures rise up out of the water and walk to the shore.

The Ultima Machine is printing out quickly. Millington asks what it means, Judson says he’s doesn’t know, saying it’s “running at four times maximum speed!” He says it’s impossible.

The creatures walk onto the shore.

The Doctor and crew run into the decrypt room, demanding they stop the machine. Millington demands they get out, Judson says he can’t stop it.

Ace tries to kill the power, the Vicar and The Doctor joining her, but they can’t seem to get it shut off. Millington says they’re too late.

The Doctor steps back… and the credits roll.

Huh. That fell flat for me, what say you?

Anyhow, still a LOT of fun. See you Friday!!

Recap: Investigating a mysterious house, The Doctor and Ace find some alien presence in a stone spaceship down below. The Doctor has arranged for the entity to be free, though it is unknown what the nature of it truly is…

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

A being steps out of the brilliant light, seemingly a robed male figure.

Josiah runs off, The Doctor calling after him to come back.

The Doctor tries to greet the being, who walks past him as he isn’t even there.

The Inspector descends the stairs, asking what it is. Ace tells him it’s an angel. The Doctor corrects her, saying that’s just its form here. It was sent to study life on Earth a long time ago, but while it slept, the survey went out of control.

Control is me,” Control hisses.

And the survey is Josiah,” The Doctor adds.

Light asks Control how long it/he has been asleep. Control pleads with The Doctor to remember their agreement, that he promised Control “freeness”.

Light also asks why it is in this form, but before anyone can answer, one of the maids tries to shoot him, so he kills it and warns everyone their weapons do not work. Josiah and his maids rush upstairs to get away.

The Doctor tries to assure Light he’s still on Earth, but Light replies as if he’s left there already. He complains that he catalogued every organism on Earth and when he was done, it all began to change.

That’s life,” The Doctor replies.

Light summons Control, his voice dark and growly instead of soft and almost musical as it has been thus far. Control and the Inspector are listening at the door, which opens on its own accord. The Inspector scampers off.

How many more millennia must I suffer your company,” Light asks Control.

He demands of her if this is Earth, but she says The Doctor was promised freeness. Light says it is not his to promise. Light and The Doctor join in some mental conflict, but The Doctor manages to resist and Light disappears.

Josiah addresses his cadre, “Nothing will delay my plans for the Empire. With Luck, Light and The Doctor will be at each others’ throats before they even notice.” He then tells Gwendolyn that it’s time for “Miss Ace” to “leave us”.

I’m sure she’ll enjoy Java, Uncle… once she gets there,” Gwendolyn replies.

Insects are everyone in the house. Control moves about, grabbing them and eating. Fenn-Cooper arrives, offering her some beads, which she snatches from his hand. “Now we trade words,” he says.

Light consults his computers, but the world he sees he says cannot be Earth. A maid walks by and he beckons to her. She approaches. He says he needs her assistance and she drops to her knees as he looms over her, gesturing. She looks as if she’s in pain.

The Doctor and Ace wander, stopping when they hear a clatter. The Doctor says it’s their imaginations. Ace says it seems as if the whole house is coming alive and The Doctor says it is and asks if she finds it invigorating. She says no and he tries to ask if it reminds her of her experience in 1983, but before she gets mad, he says it’s none of his business.

She gets a bit whiny and he offers her the TARDIS key, saying she can always wait for him there. She says that’s the easy way out, which is what he expected/wanted.

He walks off, but Ace finds she can’t move, and when she can, he’s nowhere to be found. All the stuffed animals start making noises, and she cries out it wasn’t her fault, they’re all dead, she couldn’t help it.

Briefly, there’s modern blue lights and the siren of a police cruiser flashing, then it fades as Gwendolyn arrives to says she wants her to come to Java.

Control is trying to dress up and be ladylike while Fenn-Cooper prattles on about attractive women. The Doctor arrives to see if she’s having fun and she accuses him of trying to take away her freeness.

He says he’s here to help and ask her to help. Control runs and leaps out the window.

The Doctor laments that even he cannot play this many games at once. Fenn-Cooper suggests he help him with his hunt, then, but The Doctor says he doesn’t have time. Fenn-Cooper tells him he’s hunting the rarest of creatures, the “Crowned Saxe-Coburg”.

The Doctor is suddenly intrigued, and Fenn-Cooper gives him a sheet of paper that seems to prove it. The Time Lord wonders who is sponsoring the expedition. The answer is, of course, Josiah.

Ace is chased by Gwendolyn and a maid. They enter a room, and struggle, while the maid stands guard. Outside, The Doctor and Fenn-Cooper walk and talk.

Inside, Control enters the room and helps Ace (maybe not really help, but ends up struggling with Gwendolyn, which helps Ace.) They escape and Ace shoves the maid inside with Gwendolyn.

Nimrod finds Light standing over the body of the serving maid; “I wanted to see how it works,” Light says, “so I dismantled it.” He says he needs another specimen.

Light recognises Nimrod; he was the last specimen taken, a representative of the neanderthal race. “At least they knew when to stop evolving,” Light remarks.

Then, his demeanor changes, as he demands to know who released him from his quarantine cubicle. Nimrod answers that Josiah did and he is in his service.

Light is distracted by some microbes, which he says are evolving as he speaks. This upsets him, and he says his catalogue of the planet is worthless, centuries of work wasted.

The Inspector enters, looking for The Doctor and Light renders him unconscious saying, “We don’t want things to change and we’ll ensure that they cannot.”

Ace dashes into a bedroom, where she finds Control hiding under a blanket. Control says she hates freeness, hates world, too big, too empty. Ace and Control talk and Ace tells her that she needs to beat Josiah at his own game.

Gwendolyn and her maid break down the door to the room they were locked in.

OH HOLY SHIT, NO THEY DIDN’T. Yup. Remember what I said in the first post about the rain in Spain? Yup, Ace is getting Control to say “the rain in Spain falls mainly down the drain.” Too funny!

Gwendolyn enters just then, and she and Ace begin struggling again. Control watches but doesn’t interfere. Fenn-Cooper and The Doctor enter, breaking up the fight. The Doctor picks up Gwendolyn’s locket which has fallen off in the fight and it shows her and her mother – Mrs Pritchard!

Showing the locket to Gwendolyn causes her to go into a fugue-like state. Fenn-Cooper tries to defend the girl, saying she was hypnotised, but The Doctor says she enjoyed sending people to Java too much for him to forgive her.

Ace says Control has something to show Josiah. Control says, “No longer hiding,” and The Doctor replies, “Good. Just in time for dinner.”

At the dinner table Josiah waits with his serving maids. The Doctor, Fenn-Cooper, Ace and Control arrive and Josiah is upset at the latter’s presence. Control, bolstered by Ace’s support, says in a refined voice, “Control has her freedom now, squire.”

Josiah is upset and demands to know where Gwendolyn is. Control replies, “Better orf wiv’out you, guv’nor.”

Josiah addresses the Time Lord, “You win this move, Doctor, but I will not suffer that creature at my table.” Fenn-Cooper speaks up for Control, “That’s no way to speak about a ladylike.”

Ace interrupts, “Oi, Jungle Jim, I’m here, too, ya know.”

The Doctor asks, “Who was it said that Earthmen never invite their ancestors around for dinner? Oh, that reminds me,” and he shows Lady Pritchard the locket. The spell seems to be broken on her and she rushes off.

The Doctor warns Ace not to eat the soup. He then tells Josiah this was a trap, but says the guest of honour has let him down. Josiah replies, “Light will come.”

Lady Pritchard goes to Gwendolyn’s room, saying they were so happy once. She brings up her father, who was sent to Java by Gwendolyn’s actions. Lady Pritchard says they both are lost.

When Gwendolyn asks, “What have I done,” Light appears and says she changed, “Like the rest of this verminous planet, you adapted to your situation to survive.” Nimrod enters the room and watches as Light turns the women into stone. “They never harmed you,” the butler protests.

I really like Nimrod. I wasn’t expecting to.

Light proclaims, “I’ve decided Earth’s future,” and disappears in a flash.

At dinner, The Doctor asks Josiah about his plan to kill Queen Victoria. Ace scoffs, thinking it’s a joke. Josiah asks whom he’s been talking to. “Myself, mostly,” is The Doctor’s serious reply.

Josiah says the Empire is “an anarchic mess”, but he can provide new order. The Doctor says that Josiah doesn’t have an invitation to the palace.

Fenn-Cooper stands up, “I am allowed to take a guest,” and he walks past Josiah to Control, who rises, asking him to take her now that she’s “proper ladylike now”.

Josiah walks over, saying they’ve agreed. Fenn-Cooper says, “I’ve given up on Redvers long ago. All he ever does is talk about himself,” and he gives the invite to Control.

Now that is funny, clever dialogue.

Josiah tries to snatch it from her, but Control says it’s hers or she burns it. He rants, saying he’s a man of property. Control says she’ll burn the whole house down and walks to the fireplace, threatening to put the invitation in it.

Ace suddenly cries out, “No, Control, don’t do it, that’s what I did!” The Doctor turns to her, saying she didn’t tell him that. She yells that he’s not her probation officer and says he doesn’t have to know anything. She burnt the house down because of the evil left behind by Josiah.

Control throws the invitation into the fire and Josiah cries.

Light appears, saying he’s going to reduce Earth into primordial soup, like he did with Inspector MacKenzie – who is apparently the soup at the table that The Doctor kept telling Ace not to touch.

Light says that wouldn’t stop the evolution, so he’s going to destroy all organic life in a firestorm. (There’s no such thing as non-organic life, at least not on Earth…)

He says once the world is destroyed there will be no more change, no more evolution, no more life, “No more amendments to my catalogue.”

The Doctor agues that Light evolves, too. He changes, he alters. The Doctor points out that his appearance now is new from his past. He also says Light’s catalogue is not complete, “What about the gryffons, the basilisks? You missed the dragons, the bandersnatches!” The Doctor leaves, walking into the main hall, talking all the while. “Then there are the slithy toves and the crowned Saxe-Coburg.”

He snaps his fingers and, right on time, Light appears, demanding to know where these items are. He scans through his catalogue, but cannot find them.

I can’t think how you missed them,” The Doctor says, “You have to complete the catalogue before you can destroy all life here.”

Light calls out for Control, but The Doctor says she’s no use to him as she’s evolved now, too.

No,” Light cries out, “All slipping away.”

All is change, all is movement,” The Doctor counters. “Tell me, Light, haven’t you just changed your location?”

Not yet,” Light protests.

What’s a matter, Light, changed your mind?” (This is excellent and fun dialogue.)

You are endlessly agitating, unceasingly mischievous. Will you never stop,” Light demands.

I suppose I could… it would make a change,” The Doctor retorts.

Nimrod arrives and Light asks for his help, but Nimrod says his allegiance is to his homeworld.

Light laments that everything is in flux, nothing remains the same. The Doctor says that even remains change. “It’s this planet, it can’t help itself.”

Light says he will never change, “No change… dead.” and seemingly does so?

Nimrod warns The Doctor that Light initiated the firestorm program before dinner. The Doctor rushes below to fix it, Ace and Control and Fenn-Cooper and Nimrod with him.

Josiah grabs Ace from behind, demanding they turn off the power, holding a gun to Ace’s head. Control gestures, saying go back to where you belong and the gun explodes in his hand. She chains him up and drags him off, saying she will take care of him.

The others prepare for launch, though Ace is confused about the explosion – she was expecting nukes. Nimrod says they will redistribute the energy for launch. Fenn-Cooper is anxious to explore the universe to catalogue it.

Control remarks, “Doctor, something tells me you are not in our catalogue. Nor will you ever be.” The Doctor and Ace take their leave.

The Doctor tells Ace, who is worried about the ship launching, that it’s already gone, “Like a passing thought… as long as their minds don’t wander.”

Light stands, still, energy crackling form him. As Ace and The Doctor exit the lift, he disappears in a flash. Ace asks if he’s gone forever, and The Doctor replies that the house will remember, “Just the ghost of an evil memory lingering. A dark secret after the candle is out.”

Ace realises that it was his presence she sensed in 1983 and that’s why she burned it down. The Doctor asks if she has any regrets, to which she replies, “Yes.”

Yes?”

I wish I’d blown it up, instead,” she says, exuberantly.

The Doctor pauses, then says, “Wicked”… and the final credits roll.

This was a rather fun serial, a lot of clever dialogue and some fun characters. There are clumsy bits here and there, like most of the original run of the show, but all in all, a fun serial and one of the better ones all around, I should think.

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!