Archives for posts with tag: regeneration

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.

I’m less than enthusiastic about the final stretch of this project. I’ve only seen a few McCoy serials but my general recollection is that I wasn’t all that impressed. I rewatched the very last one a couple years ago and it was REALLY not good at all. I kinda think the Dalek one was good, but honestly, I’m just not sure.

I do remember liking this one, probably because of the Rani more than anything else? Let’s find out… maybe my appreciation of them will have changed – it certainly did of the First Doctor.

Episode 1:

We open with the TARDIS under attack. It wheels violently, out of control, through space. Inside, The Doctor and Mel are both lying prone on the floor, unconscious.

On a planet, a green-ish skinned alien, humanoid but with some scales on his cheeks, watches at the TARDIS lands in a rainbow. (Never understood that part.)

In the TARDIS, the Rani enters, carrying a gun. She orders some hairy monster to get “the man” and bring it to her laboratory. The creature grabs The Doctor and rolls him over – his face is shifting, he’s in a regeneration.

(Sadly, Colin Baker, who got fucked over by the BBC, declined doing the regeneration scene, so we have Sylvester McCoy in Six’s clothing, a blonde wig, and a face blurred by special effects.)

His face completes the transformation… and the opening sequence begins.

At the time, this was a REALLY impressive opening sequence. Lots of “high” graphics, computer generated and the like. It’s a bit (lot) corny now, but I remember being rather blown away back in the 80s.

In the Rani’s laboratory, several of the green skinned aliens work. Rani starts barking orders at Sarn, a female who is placing an obvious Earth human (older man, kinda Albert Einstein looking) in a booth. Sarn argues that she doesn’t want to harm him, but the Rani snaps at her, “Seal it and label it.”

The girl seals the booth but waits for the label; the male (older than the girl) with Sarn tells the Rani she hasn’t given the name yet. “Einstein,” is the Rani’s reply.

The Rani warns Beyus (the older male) that “insolence could cost” his people. Sarn argues that he didn’t mean to appear insolent. There’s arguing. Beyus tells her that he knows she hates the Lakertyans (pronounced “Lah-ker-shuns”), but she scoffs, saying she has “no feelings one way or the other.”

We learn as they argue that she’s collecting geniuses for whatever purpose. (Though, honestly, having Einstein there was explanation enough for that, this exposition wasn’t necessary.) Beyus asks if she’s procured the means to repair her laboratory, and she says she has.

She walks into the next room, checking on The Doctor, who is laying on a table, unconscious. The Rani opens a panel/door, but when The Doctor starts murmuring, she closes it and returns to his side, just in time for him to leap up, saying “that was a nice nap” and start rambling about getting to work and temporal flickers in Sector 13 and so on.

He wonders where he is, who he is and who she is, but suddenly recognises her. The Rani threatens him with Mel’s safety. The Doctor goes to her console (I’m guessing it’s her TARDIS?) and starts searching for answers to where they are, what she’s up to.

He finds a video of an asteroid composed of “strange matter” and demands to know what “monstrous experiment are you up to now?” They begin their old debate of science vs ethics. Rani draws a gun, The Doctor backpedals and trips over himself. Sarn and Beyus enter, the young female rushing to The Doctor’s side.

Beyus orders her back and The Rani grabs her, full of wrath (and Kate O’mara is sexy when angry), threatening her. The Doctor recovers and threatens to smash something with his umbrella, but Urak, the Rani’s monster, comes in.

The monster fires a gun that traps The Doctor in some sort of net, stunning him.

One of the Lakertyans enters the TARDIS, picks up Mel, looks around, and leaves.

Sarn escapes the Rani’s mountainside lair. The Rani receives this report from Urak and watches Sarn’s progress on a video.

Mel escapes the Lakertyan carrying her and runs off; she and Sarn almost run into each other, but stop. Sarn runs to the side, tripping a wire that captures her in some force globe that flies off and explodes when it hits the nearby rubble. (Like many old Doctor Who shows, it’s filmed in a quarry.)

The male Lakertyan who was carrying Mel walks over to Sarn’s skeleton, obviously in sorrow. He shrugs off when Mel tries to place a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Back in the lab/TARDIS, the Rani administers a shot to The Doctor to give him amnesia.

The male Lakertyan thinks Mel is a friend of the Rani’s and yells at her, saying it’s her fault and tells her to run off. Mel argues. He tells her, “If I didn’t need you as a hostage, you’d be dead.” He explains he intends to exchange her for Beyus.

The Doctor wakes on the floor of the lab, to find the Rani dressed as Mel. No, really. She even talks more higher pitched. The Doctor gets up, wobbly, and trips over the device the Rani used to make them land there. He hands it to Mel, and wonders where they are.

In your laboratory,” she replies. “On Lakertya. Doctor, are you sure you’re well?” This is rather silly but amusing.

He insists he’s “fit as a trombone”. She tells him he was in the middle of an experiment, there was an explosion and threw them both down. When she came to, he “looked like this,” and he assumes that was the cause of his regeneration.

She gets him to look at the machine, which needs repair. As they talk, his time at university comes up and this half-triggers a recollection of her (the Rani, that is).

Mel argues with her captor, trying to convince her she’s not a threat. She also tries to find out about The Doctor, but he says she was alone. Distracted, he triggers one of the booby traps, but Mel pulls him to safety before he is sucked in.

He realises that she’s not one of his enemies, and frees her, but says they must hurry before the Tetraps arrive.

The Doctor works on the machine, which sparks and sputters. He yells at “Mel” to mop his brow, which has her seething, but she does it. He picks up some tools, which are spoon-shaped and begins playing the spoons on his leg and “Mel”’s chest. She slaps them away and they argue.

The Seventh Doctor’s biggest gimmick thus far is his malapropisms; we’ve had a bunch so far, but I’m not going to regale you with them unless they’re particularly clever, which I have my doubts. “Mel” keeps correcting him.

The Doctor says he doesn’t think this lab has anything to do with him – he says the mind behind it all operates on too grand a scale.

Mel asks her former captor about getting help, but he says only Beyus could convince his people to help and he’s the hostage he was trying to exchange her for.

They run off, hearing rocks tumble, and head into a tunnel. (The Lakertyan runs funnily, with his arms straight down.)

The Doctor asks “Mel” what’s behind the door she was opening while he was asleep, but she says he wouldn’t let her in there, “the air wasn’t sterile enough for humans”.

He announces he’s doing nothing until his memory returns and sits down. She tries to get him to work, but he says it could be a diabolical scheme.

Beyus opens a grate and goes downstairs, with a big iron stick. Pulling a lever, he sends some goo down a shaft and the Tetraps, whom we don’t see well yet, move in to feed.

Mel” prepares The Doctor a drink, putting some purple fluid in water that turns clear. He refuses the drink and gets all whiny and melodramatic, whining about his new personality, saying he could be whiny and mopey.

He says he needs a radiation wave meter, and “Mel” suggests that there might be one in the TARDIS. The Doctor heads out, but “Mel” stays behind to radio Urak to get Mel out of the TARDIS, but he tells her that she’s not there. She yells at him, but switches back to “Mel” when The Doctor comes back for her.

(The real) Mel leaves the tunnel, despite her companion’s arguing against it, saying she needs to find The Doctor.

The Doctor sees Sarn’s skeleton and examines it, saying he doesn’t recognise it. He identifies it as humanoid with reptilian influence. “Mel” says they’re lazy because of the climate and failed to realise their potential.

Rather harsh judgment, Mel,” he says, shocked.

Not mine,” she replies, “yours.”

This startles him and he says, to himself, “The more I know me, the less I like me.”

They arrive at the TARDIS and enter. The Doctor begins the traditional playing with the costumes that we see after every regeneration. First, he’s Napoleon. Then swapping hats. Then a Tom Baker-esque outfit. Then a Pertwee one. Davison, too. A Troughton coat, but underneath, the new outfit. Which, while not quite as gaudy as Colin Baker’s, is garish nonetheless.

The Doctor suddenly stares at “Mel”, as if about to recognise her, but she slaps him, saying he looked as if he were about to lose control. She gets him back on track looking for the radiation wave meter.

Urak contacts the Rani, saying he’s found Mel. She tells him to focus on her and activates the TARDIS scanner., which is now tuned into Urak’s eyes. Urak says “Yes, Mistress Rani,” and The Doctor, overhearing it, says that’s the name of the evil he sensed.

Mel” asks if that’s her on the screen, and for some reasons he says it is. He tells her that the Rani “is completely evil”, but when “Mel” argues for her destruction, he says “Let’s not be hasty.”

Mel sees Urak and runs, tripping a trap. She’s encased in the force bubble, which takes off and bounces off the quarry, but doesn’t explode. Mel spins and screams and… the credits roll.

That’s actually a really good cliffhanger. So far, this serial isn’t horrible, but I’m not having a blast, either.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

The force globe lands in water, still spinning, heading towards rocks. The Lakertyan runs down the slope, finding Mel trapped on the shore. He tells her to stop squawking while he tries to disarm the explosive.

The Doctor’s attempts to fix the machine again result in smoke and sparks. He walks away, coughing, telling “Mel” he can’t “help but feel sorry for the Rani, Mel, getting caught in her own devious trap.”

Mel” says it was her own fault. He wonders why the Rani was there, and “Mel” says it must be for the same reason he’s there. Again, he wails about not knowing what’s going on. He goes on about the locked door and his memory.

Mel” says not to worry about the Rani, but he says not to underestimate her, “she’s a brilliant but sterile mind. There’s not one spark of decency in her.” She gets a little irritated and forgets to keep her voice high-pitched, but he doesn’t notice.

Mel is freed from the trap, but Urak seems to be on their trail.

The Doctor finally wonders why “the Rani” was dressed like her. “Mel” doesn’t have an answer, but gets him thinking about other things.

Again, we see Beyus feed the Tetraps.

Mel and We-don’t-know-his-name-yet move through the rubble, trying to keep an eye out for any Tetraps. She asks an awful lot of questions, both to his and my irritation.

Ikona (oh we finally learn his name) leaves Mel behind to fetch some weapons in a hiding spot in the rocks. While he’s gone, Urak )(I’m guessing it’s him, he’s the only one that seems to be not locked in the feeding chamber in the Rani’s lair) attacks – we finally see a Tetrap – a bipedal bat-creature with multiple eyes.

Mel screams (yeah, she’s one of those companions) and Ikona fires one of the guns that neutralised The Doctor.

The Doctor wonders how he could have made such a fundamental mistake – using the wrong heat conducting material. She asks if they can use a different material, and this leads to a conversation that results in “Mel” saying she forgot – now, the one thing we’ve learned about Mel in the previous serials is that she has an impressive ability to recall anything. She tries to pass it off as the machine affecting her memory as well.

The Doctor pokes about the locked door while the Rani is distracted by the readings.

Mel and Ikona are outside the Rani’s lair; Mel is sure that The Doctor is there. He tells her that building the lair cost the lives of many of his people.

With zero evidence to support this leap of logic, Mel tells him that something must have gone wrong and they needed The Doctor’s help. She says nobody would kidnap him if they didn’t need his help. The hole in this logic is so big you could drive Gallifrey through it.

He’s not exactly predictable,” she says.

Mel” drags The Doctor away from the door (he seems to think there’s something caged within) and makes arrangements to get some plastic from the Lakertyans to use for the machine. She locks him in, but he’s more distracted by her earlier saying they weren’t an advanced people. So, things are continuing to click in his post-regenerative/amnesia-induced mind.

Mel and Ikona spot Faroon, another Lakertyan. Ikona tells Mel to wait and goes to speak to her. They debate as they’re on opposing sides, Faroon supporting their people not trying to challenge their overlords. Mel interjects herself, talking about Beyus not being able to save “her” (Sarn).

Faroon asks if Ikona saw what transpired, but he is reluctant to answer. He admits it was Sarn, and sad music plays as Faroon walks over to regard the skeleton. Ikona tells Mel that Sarn was the daughter of Faroon and Beyus.

Faroon says she must go to Beyus. Mel follows her, saying she must find The Doctor.

Mel” leaves her lair.

The Doctor tries to open the doors, to no avail. He picks up the spoons and plays them again. In a comical (…) moment, he hits himself on the back of the head with them.

Mel and Ikona argue about her going in, and the Lakertyan exasperatedly agrees to draw off the Tetrap guard. The guard pursues, but sees “Mel” and shoots her, thinking it is the real Mel.

Mel enters the lab. The Doctor is busy working on the machine and doesn’t notice her. The Doctor thinks she’s the Rani, and Mel doesn’t know who he is, so they end up wrestling. Mel gets the best of him, demanding to know where The Doctor is.

He’s here,” The Doctor says, his arm in a chicken wing lock from Mel.

Where? Under the carpet,” she demands to know.

It’s me, you washerwoman, me,” he says, a reference to the first appearance of the Rani in MARK OF THE RANI.

The Doctor gets Mel in an airplane spin and then sets her down. He tries to remove her wig, only to find it’s real.

Urak apologises to his mistress, but she storms off.

The Doctor and Mel argue. He demands to check her pulse, saying that will prove who she is. He mentions carrot juice, and that he hated it, which makes Mel think that he might be The Doctor. She asks why he looks like that and what’s wrong with him.

He explains that he regenerated, adding, “I’m suffering from post-regenerative amnesia… as far as I can remember.” I like that line.

He offers her his wrist, so she can check his pulse. She checks, and seeing he has a double-pulse, believes him. He checks hers, and is astonished to learn she is Mel.

Mel is amazed – apparently she knew of regeneration, but not the drastic changes it entails.

He gets forlorn, moping about being taken in by the Rani, falling for her trick.

Urak follows the Rani to her TARDIS, which appears as a pinkish-purple mostly glass pyramid. (Why would she have it so far away from her lab? Makes no sense.) Urak seems intent on following her in, but she reminds him he’s not allowed.

The Doctor shows Mel the asteroid of strange matter, saying it is an incredible dense form of matter. The asteroid would weigh more than the planet Earth. (We also learn that computers are Mel’s specialty, not physics.)

He tells her if the asteroid were detonated, it would be equal to a supernova.

When the Rani dabbles, she dabbles on a grand scale,” The Doctor says. Excellent line.

He instructs Mel to listen at the locked door. She says it’s like a giant heartbeat.

The Doctor tries to open another door, but Mel pulls a Peri, saying they should get away and leave Lakertya. He argues, saying he can’t leave the Lakertyans to the (nonexistent) mercy of the Rani.

On the other side of the door, Beyus and Faroon are listening. He calls out the combination, “Nine five three.” The Doctor and Mel hear it and he says that is his age, “…and the Rani’s.”

In her TARDIS, the Rani collects the plastic she needs and cuts a board out of it.

Leaving, she tells Urak to find the girl “before she finds The Doctor”.

The Doctor and Mel see a bunch of geniuses, including Einstein. The Doctor says she’s collected the greatest minds and most powerful matter in the universe.

The Doctor, again, seems impressed by her plans, but he assures them it’s fascination and regret. He wishes she’d use her talents for good, not evil.

Mel shows him a booth reserved for him.

The Rani returns.

The Doctor wonders what he can contribute that the others can’t. I bet I know!!! Mel answers that he’s a Time Lord and he says it’s his knowledge of time – yep, I was right.

They go back into the lab and The Doctor asks Beyus what’s behind the locked door (with the heartbeat.) Beyus says he’s never been allowed to see.

Mel and the Lakertyans leave when they realise “Mel” is almost returned. The Doctor pretends to be hard at work, but she sees that the monitor was on (the one viewing the asteroid.) He claims he was trying to jog his memory when she asks about it.

They slide the new board in, working together.

Beyus helps Faroon and Mel slip out.

The Rani activates the machine, though The Doctor was trying to learn more details. She realises he’s onto her and sheds her disguise. He runs off and she chases, and follows him into the Tetrap lair. She pokes around as he hides, and then leaves, securing the grate.

Suddenly, the Tetraps wake and surround him… and the credits roll.

A decent enough cliffhanger that one… again, this serial (and many from now on, I fear – I hope I’m wrong. I know this story wasn’t originally written for Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor, so that might explain the clumsiness of it all…) isn’t the best in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s no THE MIND ROBBER or THE WEB PLANET or some of the god-awful ones from early on.

See you Friday?

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

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

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It will not happen again,” The Master promises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Valeyard laughs.

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

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

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

The Master says it is a “limbo atrophier”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week – The Seventh Doctor!

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

Episode 1:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spoiler warning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Inquisitor demands he explain his claims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then she lives,” queries the Inquisitor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re despicable,” Mel tells him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think it’s called bureaucracy.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excellent well cliffhanger. See you Friday. 

I have no idea what this is about. I know I’ve seen it, I believe I’ve seen all of Colin Baker’s run. But no recollection.

Episode 1:

Twin boys with really bad haircuts and fashion play some board game that remotely looks like a backgammon board with tall triangular spires as pieces. Their father enters (and I’ve seen him before, likely in another serial, but I’m not looking the serial up yet as I don’t want to spoil it) and they ask where mother is.

She’s busy.”

Does that mean she isn’t talking to us?”

No, she’s just busy.”

They demand to see her, but he says she’s gone out. They find out he’s leaving soon, too, and the guilt trip begins. We learn they’re named Romulus and Remus. (Are they gonna build Rome? Is their mother a wolf?)

They challenge their father when he says they should respect their mother just because she gave birth to them. They call her a fool. He chides them and they go back to their game, just like that.

They tell him they’re going to play equations; this upsets him and he gets melodramatic, saying their powers could change things.

In the TARDIS, the new Doctor asks Peri what she thinks, but she’s confused, saying people don’t change like that. He says it’s a rebirth, a renewal, a positive triumph.

She insists he look in the mirror; he’s positively in love with what he sees! (I love this Doctor, he’s so arrogant and full of himself – outwardly so, where most of the other incarnations are at least SOMEWHAT more subtle about it. One, Three and Ten are the ones that come closest to Six’s over the top arrogance.)

He says it’s a positive improvement over his last incarnation, going deeper into the TARDIS. She follows, arguing, saying she liked Five, that he was sweet. The Doctor scoffs, saying that says it all, as they enter a room full of clothing on racks.

Oh, this has been a timely change.” He pauses, suddenly, as if struck by something. “Change. What change? There is no change,” he says, falling back against the clothing. “No rhyme, or time! No place for space, nothing! Nothing but the grinding engines of the universe!” He falls to his haunches, surrounded by clothing, wincing, almost cowering, “The crushing boredom of eternity!”

Then he laughs maniacally. Peri is disturbed.

The twins play a game using touchpads and screens.

The Doctor sifts through clothing. He picks up a fur coat reminiscent of Two. Then a smoking jacket much like Three wore at times. Peri is worried that he might change again.

The twins play their game. Their keypads have no writing and the screens show a language that we cannot decipher. Apparently the game ends as they turn their chairs to face each other and smile.

Suddenly a man in a robe appears in the room. One of the twins rises, “Fantastic!” The other says, “What a super trick,” also rising.

The visitor, an older man, says it’s a simple trick, but then praises their mathematics. He introduces himself as Professor Edgeworth. He says he’s there to pay respects to their father. They say it’s late for social calls.

He apologises, saying he’s come a long way. They tell him nobody is allowed there when their parents are out.

He agrees to leave, asking them to pass on a message to their father. He shakes their hands, but when he does so, he puts some form of control crystal/disc/whatsit on their wrists – and they seem to be under his control.

Under his control, they are transported away with him.

The Doctor has chosen a (delightfully) garish coat. He places cat lapel pin on. Peri ridicules him for his clothing. They debate, The Doctor comparing himself to Beau Brummel.

She says his choice in clothing is “Ugh, yuck!”

We see what appears to be a ship in space. It’s blocky and un-ship-like, though. Inside, some silver skinned, horned aliens (their hair is fluffy and bold and I would say they look like dwarves of a sort, but tall and with horns and silver skin) seem to be awaiting the so called Professor Edgeworth.

One says he’s taking too long and moves to contact Mestor, but the other says he’s coming in now. The old man and the twins appear in a transmat style booth and the twins are taken to be locked in a bunker, as directed by Edgeworth.

Edgeworth uses a device to contact Mestor. Mestory says there is no time to lose, and they must be taken to the safehouse on Titan III. He doesn’t want any connection to Jaconda.

Peri enters the console room, displaying her new outfit with a “ta-da!!!”

The Doctor looks at her and, smugly says, “Yuck!”

I do love their banter/rapport.

The Doctor says they’re going to Vesta 95; they need a holiday. He says he’d take her to the Eye of Orion but, and he seems sheepish about this, “The coordinates elude me at the moment.” He gives a nervous chuckle.

Suddenly, he stops and looks at her, asking how she came about a name like “Peri”. She says it’s a nickname. He quotes some poetry about the gate of Eden, saying a peri is a Persian fairy that was once evil, and that is what she is.

Then he says she’s an alien spy, stalking her and then grabbing her, choking her. She struggles, but he gets her down to the floor, hands on her throat. She uses her hand-mirror to catch his eye and his reflection causes him to recoil.

The father (who I recognise now – he was in GENESIS OF THE DALEKS, one of the scientists who was against Davros, but wanted to work with him if he would change his ways) comes home, finds the twins missing, and contacts the “special incidents room”.

He gives his ID, “Professor Sylvest, security clearance 941 oblique two nine”, and reports his children have been kidnapped. The security man says the Commander will call him back.

The security officer then reports to his commander, a stern woman (who also looks familiar) that the twins are missing, reported kidnapped and zanium was found on the floor. This apparently means aliens have kidnapped them. She orders a full scale search.

The Doctor recovers in the console room, asking what happened. Peri says he had another fit. She says he tried to kill her, but he says that’s absurd. He realises that she’s frightened and he says something is very wrong.

He gets melodramatic, wondering if it has come to “regenerate… yet unregenerate?” He says self-abnegation in a hellish wilderness is the only thing to fix him, for he is a danger to all – he must become a hermit, and she will be his disciple.

Titan III is where I shall repent,” he declares, striking a button and the TARDIS is rocked vehemently.

The twins open a panel, trying to send a distress signal. Edgeworth is sleeping fitfully. The two aliens are in the cockpit, but one leaves, coming to check on the twins, who put the panel back just in time. He closes the door after checking on them.

The commander gets a report from Lang (the guy who took the call, I believe, and was sent to command the search), who reports a freighter that he cannot make voice contact with. The commander orders Elena to check it out on the computer.

Lang says the ship is emitting an irregular signal. Elena says that the ship marked XV773 “was reported missing, believed destroyed, eight months ago.”

Lang is ordered to keep on the ship. The aliens go into warp drive, saying that that class of ship was never built for warp drive, but in mid communication, Lang’s signal goes static-y.

The Doctor gets melodramatic again when they arrive on Titan III. Peri is snarky. (Not that I blame her.) She says he can’t be serious about being a hermit, but he is resolute in his decision. He says they need a cave where they can suffer together.

Peri argues they cannot go out, but the instruments say the atmosphere is breathable. Suddenly the TARDIS is rocked and The Doctor says they must investigate.

Edgeworth brings the twins and aliens to somewhere on Titan III. Mestor contacts him, saying he was careless. He tells Edgeworth that he’s destroyed five ships to protect him already. When Edgeworth says he should go back, Mestor says no, he wants to see how the Earth fleet reacts.

We see Mestor, in a room with other aliens like the ones from the ship. He sits on a throne, but appears to be different than the other aliens, almost bug like. He orders Edgeworth to artificially revive them.

Edgeworth argues, and Mestor gets mad, saying do as he commands. Edgeworth gives in. Mestor tells him to set the twins to the first equation as soon as possible, and to make sure nobody survived the ships.

The Doctor and Peri are outside, where a ship seems to have crashed (obviously one of the ships Mestor was talking about). Peri says it’s dangerous and The Doctor tells her to stay there, “This is work for heroes, not for faint-hearted girls.”

They find Lang, who was thrown from the ship, laying unconscious.

The commander is given orders from the Minister to call off the search. She unhappily follows the orders.

Back in the TARDIS, Lang wakes, murmuring about his ship, the squadron, the children. He passes out, and when Peri asks if he will live, The Doctor lays into her for having wanted to turn back before they found him. She rises to the occasion and lays into him for always giving a performance.

I never saw anyone who loved himself so much with less reason! You’ve forgotten all about him – by time you’re done congratulating yourself, he’ll probably be dead!”

The Doctor rises, outraged, but Lang comes to (think he was feigning unconsciousness) and points a gun at The Doctor, “Murderer! You destroyed my entire command, now I’m going to kill you,”… and the credits roll.

(Guns don’t work in the TARDIS unless they forgot or changed their mind again, so this isn’t an effective cliffhanger for me.)

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Peri stands up for The Doctor, asking Lang to put the gun down. He says no, but then passes out. Peri takes the gun away. The Doctor is affronted that he tried to kill him and refuses to help him.

Peri says they can’t let him die. She finds an ID and says he’s a policeman. They disarm the gun and he reluctantly agrees to tend to Lang’s injuries.

The aliens report to Edgeworth that they found remains of two bodies, and they feel the others were destroyed with the ships. The human sends the aliens to check their own ship for damage.

The twins are hard at work on some equation; Edgeworth gives them a hard time for working slow and they complain about having to use pens, but he says it’s their own fault for rigging a distress beacon.

The twins throw their pens away and resist. He orders them, but they resist. He says he can force them but he doesn’t want to. They ask what it’s all about and he says it’s too soon to tell him everything, but says the new master of Jaconda requires their gifts to further his “infinite ambition”… but the professor says he cannot tell them any more.

But I can,” Mestor’s voice booms in the room. Edgeworth, stunned, turns to look behind him. Mestor’s image appears on the wall. “Professor Edgeworth is a merciful being, he believes in the sanctity of life. I do not. Fail to obey him once more and I will have your minds removed from your bodies and use them as I wish.” Now that’s a pretty effective threat, I think.

The twin acknowledge that they understand his threat and Mestor’s image disappears.

The Doctor uses a ‘deep healing beam’ to heal Lang and says with an hour’s rest, Lang will be “right as rain… whatever that means.” The Doctor says there is something going on and he must find the evil at work and destroy it. Peri throws it in his face what he said earlier about being the threat and coming to Titan III to meditate.

The Doctor quickly jumps to brush that off as words spoken during the sickness of transition. He begins using leaps of logic that would make Sherlock Holmes’ eye twitch, and from Lang’s murmured “the children,” has suddenly deduced that children of great importance have been kidnapped by aliens, and brought there and held for ransom.

Peri says that’s absurd. She’s cynical. She activates the scanner and they see a construct, ant hill like. She points out the radiation level and he blows it off.

What’s a little radiation sickness between friends,” she quips.

Brave heart, Tegan,” he replies, then looks confused. “Tegan?”

I’m… Peri?”

Yes, of course.”

Peri continues to fret about any danger, but he assures her this is a simple recon. They depart, leaving Lang, still unconscious, there.

The twins tell Edgeworth that transmitting their equations will generate power equivalent to a small sun, but he says he knows what he’s doing. He sends them to go rest.

The Doctor quotes Longfellow as he and Peri march across the terrain. They find an entrance hatch in a rock and enter, after Peri whines some more. (She’s suddenly awfully whiny this serial. I mean… I get that she’s still frightened by his change and all, but she showed a lot more spine in the previous serials.)

The twins try to figure out their memories have been tampered with. They talk about being frightened of Mestor.

The Doctor and Peri make their way through the service tunnels. They argue some more and somehow end up switching sides – she wants to continue on, he wants to go back.

The two aliens find them. The Doctor begs for mercy, hiding behind Peri as guns are pointed at them.

Mestor tells Edgeworth that they have called off the search and he is to return at once. Edgeworth seems weak and says he must revitalise. He enters a booth to do so and is bathed in purple light. We see what is meant to be an x-ray type view of his body.

The Doctor blames Peri, telling the aliens she’s always getting him into trouble. She storms ahead, “Thanks a lot, Doc.”

Kindly refrain from referring to me as ‘Doc’, Perpugilliam!”

Edgeworth just exits the revitalisation booth as Peri and The Doctor are brought in. He begins looking around at some of the technology in the room, saying it looks familiar. Edgeworth wants to know who they are; Noma (one of the aliens, the other is Drak) says they are spies.

The Doctor says they are pilgrims, searching for a cave for hermitage. Suddenly, The Doctor looks at Edgeworth and recognises him as his old mentor, “Azmael”. He introduces him to Peri as “my old friend and mentor, the master of Jaconda”.

Edgeworth denies knowing him. The Doctor says he’s regenerated twice since their last meeting. Grabbing the professor’s hands, he puts him on his chest, so he can feel his hearts beat. “The twin hearts that beat as one?”

I’m a Time Lord, just as you are,” he tells the old man. Okay, I wasn’t expecting THAT. Trying to convince him, The Doctor brings up the last time they were together, and Azmael “drank like twenty giants”.

Azmael finally concedes that he must be The Doctor, but the old man is not happy to see his old friend. Edgeworth says “the old times are gone”.

The twins arrive and The Doctor sees them. Suddenly, connections are made in his head.

Lang wakes in the TARDIS, looking about. He rises from his chair and explores. “My ship… my ship.. Oh, no, no.” He sees his gun and grabs it, but sees the power pack is gone. He searches for it.

The Doctor chastises his old friend, “I see. You abduct these children, deprive them of their memories, bring them to this screaming wilderness and won’t disclose your motives? That hardly sounds in character.”

Azmael says he is in a point beyond trouble, “You can’t help me now.” While they argue, one of the aliens (Noma?) goes off and activates something – a destruct? A beacon?

Azmael says he is no longer the master of Jaconda, but will do anything he can do to save his people. He tells them they will have to stay there, and the lock has “ten million million” combinations.

The twins are ordered into the transmat; Azmael tells them that if they try to use it to follow, their atoms will be scattered.

If it’s any consolation, Doctor, I, too, remember that evening by the fountain. Farewell.” He joins the twins and the aliens in the transmat booth and they beam away.

Peri frets that they’re stuck there forever, but The Doctor even with “ten million million” combinations, it’ll be a few days at best. He sets to the computer to sort it out.

Lang is in the wardrobe room and puts on an outfit even gaudier than The Doctor’s. And it so happens to be the one with the power pack in it! Finding it, he puts it in the gun.

Peri finds the console that the alien activated. She goes to The Doctor to show him and he reluctantly comes over. It is a self-destruct and they only have minutes to find another way out!

Lang tries to prise open the TARDIS doors.

The Doctor examines the twins’ math and declares, “Eureka, Peri! I can do it!”

Edgeworth’s ship launches.

The Doctor says he’s altered the revitalising booth to transport her back in time into the TARDIS. She goes in and he activates it, shocked that it actually worked. He has her watch to time his transmit, but her watch has stopped, and he has to guess the right time.

Peri appears in the TARDIS, while Lang points his gun at her. She either cannot see him, or is more worried that The Doctor didn’t appear. She brushes past him and opens the scanner, just in time to see the mound explode.

In a horrible bit of acting, she turns and faces the camera, supposedly crying, “Doctor, oh no, Doctor…” and the credits roll.

(Sorry about the harshness, but that was just not good at all, not very convincing or compelling.)

See you guys on Friday!

Recap: The Doctor and Peri find themselves on a war over a life-extended drug. A madman leading androids and working with gun-runners is facing off against the army. The Doctor and Peri are suffering some poisoning and slowly dying, unless they can get the antidote – the milk of a queen bat! Our heroes have been split up, The Doctor hiding behind a rock as a reptillian humanoid monster attacks the gun-runners.

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

The monster walks into the mass of gun-runners, impervious to their bullets. It begins killing them. The Doctor runs off.

The real Salateen and Peri arrive at General Chellak’s bunker. He tells Chellak the truth about the android spying on him. The general is, obviously, horrified.

The gun-runners fleeing from the monster encounter Sharaz Jek, who had expected they would try to follow him. He describes the creature as a “magma creature”. As they banter/threaten each other, The Doctor shows up.

Salateen suggests using the android Salateen to feed Sharaz Jek disinformation.

The Doctor tries to play off Jek’s question how he got past the android and Jek strikes him for it. (Jek sounds like Jeremy Irons is playing him. He’s not, but his voice is almost a Dead Ringer. See what I did there?)

Jek pays the gun-runners, and when they say the suppliers won’t be happy, he offers them eight kilos for the next SUCCESSFUL shipment.

Jek’s androids grab The Doctor and begin pulling his arms out, after the Time Lord says he doesn’t know where Peri is. Still, The Doctor answers that he doesn’t know, but does let Jek know that Salateen escaped, too.

The gun-runners take The Doctor with them, saying their boss will want to have a go at him.

Android Salateen is conferring with Chellak; in the general’s quarters, Salateen administers some medicine to her, but the android hears her gasp. The android senses them in there (though whether he identifies them is uncertain.)

The general threatens Peri with death, saying treating with the enemy is punishable by death. Chellak says that Jek went through a lot of trouble to save them, so they must be associated with them. She protests and Salateen somewhat stands up for her.

The Doctor collapses, his legs going numb; he says it must be stage three. Stotz asks what he’s talking about and when The Doctor tells him, Stotz laughs, but says he’ll last long enough for questioning.

Salateen gives one of the coded buckles to the general. They discuss making them en masse. When discussing taking care of the android, Salateen reveals that Jek has tapped into all the vid signals between Major and Minor.

The gun-runner ship takes off. The men go to bunk down/relax and Stotz reports in to his boss, but first he blindfolds The Doctor. That done, Stotz gets on the vid and checks in with… wait for it… wait for it… Morgus!

Stotz brags that he forced Jek to agree to a higher price. Morgus is in the process of praising his work when he notices the blindfolded Time Lord and instructs Stotz to remove the blindfold.

The Doctor says he thought he recognised the voice. Morgus is confused… he gets paranoid, suspecting Chellak received orders to fake the execution.

For some reason, Morgus keeps turning behind him, talking to the camera, voicing his paranoia out loud. It really breaks the scene for me, it’s so out of place.

He orders Stotz to put his ship into orbit until he can sort things out. This makes the gun-runner quite unhappy.

Chellak tells A-Salateen he has a special treat for him – he’s going to send him on a recon mission to where he claims that he thinks Jek’s base is.

The Doctor begins working at his bonds on the gun-runners’ ship.

A-Salateen separates from his men and reports to Jek.

Chellak reports to Morgus on vid that he’s readying to attack Jek’s base. Morgus says he will report the news to the President for him.

The Doctor frees himself.

Peri is quite ill in the general’s quarters. Jek slips in and kidnaps her.

The Doctor changes the course of the ship.

Morgus tells the President of a rumour of an assassination attempt on him. Morgus suggests the President cancel all public appearances. He offers him the use of his private lift, but shoves the President into the empty lift shaft.

Morgus tells his assistant that he is going to Minor to broker peace with Jek.

Peri is brought into Jek’s base by his androids. Jek queues up a video feed of A-Salateen and his men. Jek then administers a potion to Peri. When she wakes, she asks about The Doctor and Jek tells her he went to Major. When she says he wouldn’t have left her, Jek is honest and says he was taken there against his will.

Jek ends up going on a rant and a rage about how his life has fallen, how he blames it all on Morgus. Peri is frightened, but she tries to be brave. Jek is obviously mad and obsessed with Peri, too.

He kneels behind her, stroking her hair, saying they can think of the future.

Chellak and the real Salateen discover that Peri is gone.

Peri tells Jek about the army using the belt-plates; he reveals that he’s changed the recognition code so their belt-plates won’t work.

On the ship, The Doctor fights weariness. Outside the door to the cockpit, Stotz demands he let them in. The Doctor tells them to find something firm to hang on to as his manual landings are a bit rusty. The gun-runners start cutting through the door.

There’s a tense back and forth between the looming closer Androzani Minor and the laser cutter making its way through the door. They get it open and Stotz threatens to shoot The Doctor, but he says that’s not much of a threat as he’s dying anyways.

The Doctor makes a speech about how he owes it to his friend to find a cure as he got her into this… and the credits roll as the planet looms ever so close.

Nice cliffhanger, good and tense.

Episode 4:

The ship makes a rough landing. Everyone is thrown to the floor, and The Doctor slips out the cockpit and out of the ship. They give chase, firing at him.

After he escapes, Stotz reports back to Morgus, who is en route to Minor on a ship of his own. This has Stotz realising that something is quite wrong.

Chellak, the real Salateen and their men march through the caves; Salateen has a little difficulty recalling which way to go, but settles on left. They take that route and are confronted by an android. Salateen is shocked when the android opens fire on him.

The gun-runners pursue The Doctor, firing upon him as he runs. They’re as bad as Stormtroopers.

The Doctor crests a rise and takes a tumble. Two gun-runners are about to fire on him when suddenly the surface erupts in mud-bursts. The gun-runners dash off, leaving The Doctor for dead. He gets up and runs off.

Chellak radios for back-up but there’s no response. Mud-bursts start shaking the tunnels.

Jek is worried that Chellak’s men will overcome his androids.

The Doctor says there’s no time to get oxygen, he has to find Peri.

Peri wakes, startled by the mud-bursts. Jek tells her she’s safe there. He then dashes off, rambling about repairing the androids, holding Chellak off. He runs out, grabbing and gun, and shortly encounters Chellak, who opens fire on Jek and then pursues the rebel when he runs off.

Krelper returns to the ship to find Stotz talking to Morgus; he’s shocked to see such a dignified personage there, but Stotz says, “Even if he does (recognise you), Krelper won’t say anything.” Morgus tells Stotz he wants to speak privately. Morgus tells him that the suspects others may be onto him; he says there’s a possibility that only the President suspected him.

He tells Stotz that the President is dead and he’ll know in hours if anyone else shared the Presidents’ suspicions. He wants Stotz to lead him to Jek’s private stash of Spectrox.

They plan to make the raid during the Army’s attack on Jek.

The Doctor narrows escapes a massive mud-burst.

Jek arrives, pursued by Chellak, and grabs Peri and tries to run off, but the general catches him and they grapple. In the fracas, Jek’s faceplate is removed and the general shrieks in horror.


Taking advantage, Jek shoves Chellak out of his base, locking the door and leaving the general to the mercy of the mud-bursts. Jek goes to Peri to console her but she sees his face and screams, sending Jek crawling away, howling in misery.

Morgus contacts Krau Timman, his assistant, and is upset to see her sitting at his desk. She speaks to him with great insolence. She tells him he’s washed up – the Praesidium has issued warrants for his arrest on seventeen counts. She tells him that she’s their star witness.

She says that she is now the chairman and chief director of the Sirius Conglomerate. She gloats, telling him all his assets have been seized, including his secret accounts.

Morgus kills the communication and turns to the gun-runners, ordering them to get ready to raid Jek. They turn against him, saying they already have two kilos of Spectrox.

Stotz says that he’ll go along with him, though, as he has a few scores to settle with Jek. Before they leave, Stotz kills Krelper and the other remaining gun-runner.

The Doctor staggers and falls on an android body, but gets up and moves on.

Stotz tells Morgus that things are going to be different. He says they’re equals now. Morgus agrees.

Jek carries Peri, pacing back and forth, saying she’s beautiful. The Doctor shows up and takes her from him. Jek says she’s dying. They set her down and The Doctor uses the celery to get her to revive, albeit briefly.

Jek says there’s no hope of reaching the queen bats, as there’s no oxygen that deep. The Doctor asks him to show him the route so he can fetch the milk. Jek does so and gives him a single oxygen cylinder.

Morgus and Stotz come across the dead soldiers on their way to Jek’s storage.

Jek attends to Peri, putting wet cloths on her head.

The Doctor moves about in an area so dark and misty you can’t see anything. He comes across a magma creature that is dead, but no idea how.

Morgus and Stotz hear machinery running and follow the sound.

The Doctor is in a labyrinth of caves. He finds one of the dormant queen bats and gets the milk. He seems to drop some of it.

Morgus and Stotz find Jek tending to Peri. They demand the Spectrox. Jek takes off his faceplate, revealing his face, which really isn’t that horrible. He attacks Morgus, choking him, but Stotz fires on Jek. Jek is wounded but continues to fight with Morgus.

Android Salateen arrives and shoots Stotz, killing him. Jek kills Morgus and staggers to Salateen, “Salateen… hold me…” he says, falling into his arms. They both remain motionless as The Doctor arrives and grabs Peri, rushing off.

He takes her back to the TARDIS, getting in and dematerialising just as the mud-bursts explode where the TARDIS had been sitting.

In the TARDIS, he feeds Peri the milk from the bat. Just as she finishes drinking it, he gasps and lets her down, crawling away, gasping, “Is this death?”

He lays down (oh, yeah, epic moment here, folks) on his back. Peri sits up, asking what has happened. She puts his head on her knee, asking him about the bat’s milk. He says there was only enough for her. She asks what she can do.

And one of the most epic sequences of the show, ever, begins:

Too late Peri, going soon. Time to say goodbye.”

Don’t give up, you can’t leave me now!”

I might regenerate… I don’t know.” Peri moves away and he lays his head back on the floor of the TARDIS again. “Feels…. different this time.”

The camera takes a position above him, his head centered. His body and face take a fuzzy quality as Tegan’s face appears to him, saying, “What was it you always told me, Doctor? Brave heart, you’ll survive.” Her visage begins circling around his head.

Turlough appears next, “You must survive. Too many of your enemies would delight in your death, Doctor.”

Kamelion appears and says, “Turlough speaks the truth.” Nyssa’s voice adds, “You’re needed, you mustn’t die.” Both of them circle about with the others. They repeat theirselves, spinning about.

Adric appears, saying only, “You KNOW that, Doctor.”

The Doctor responds to only one, saying merely, “Adric?”

Then, evil laughter is heard. The Master’s face fills the area, “No, my dear Doctor, you must die! Die, Doctor! Die, Doctor!” He laughs as his face fills the screen…

Everything gets wavy, a loud roaring…

And then The Sixth Doctor sits up.

Peri looks over, “Doctor?”

You were expecting someone else?”

I…I…I…”

That’s three Is in one breath… makes you sound a rather egotistical young lady.”

What’s happened?”

Change, my dear… and it seems on a moment too soon.”

The camera zooms in on his face… and the credits roll.

YES! THE SIXTH DOCTOR!!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!!

Awww, yeah.

A fun, exciting, even complex serial. Seriously, one of the best, ever.

 

 

Recap: The Master sends the TARDIS back to the Big Bang, and The Doctor’s regeneration is failing! He manages to maintain his sense of mind long enough to tell Tegan and Nyssa (Adric is a prisoner of The Master) what to do so they can escape, and they do. The girls find a listing for a place called Castrovalva that might have the restorative effects to help The Doctor’s regeneration, but upon getting there, they lose The Doctor!

 

 

Episode 3:

 

The girls set off, trying to find The Doctor; they see a trail of blood and follow it. They end up back at Castrovalva, and suddenly a bunch of the costumed figures surround them. They run off (and are not pursued), escaping.

 

The Doctor is seen laying on the ground. He lifts his head, saying out loud that he’s counted, “twelve of them, at least – perhaps a war party.”

 

The girls see him climbing the rocks. He gets a little vertigo. As the girls call out his name, he says, “Doctor? Everyone’s looking for him.”

 

Some costumed figures joke about one named Rutha, saying he lost his quarry and himself. The Doctor watches them from nearby.

 

Tegan and Nyssa narrow evade a party of the costumed men, who carry the cabinet.

 

The Doctor is taken prisoner. He tells them he’s not sure who he is, when they ask his identity.

 

Nyssa and Tegan climb the rocks and hear the blowing of a horn.

 

The Doctor is taken inside and stone doors slide shut, just as the companions run up to the door, too late.

 

The hunting party joins a large group of men and women. There is banter and verbal play.

 

Tegan and Nyssa try to figure a way inside.

 

Shardovan, the librarian of Castrovalva, introduces himself to The Doctor. They invite him to join him for refreshment, saying he will have ample time to rest. He is delighted to be served celery stalks.

 

The Doctor is led to a room to rest, where he is given a medicinal drink; he asks the man there if he is “The Doctor,” saying he believes he has come here to find him. Shardovan and the others postulate that perhaps he means The Portreeve, whom they tell The Doctor is “a man of great wisdom”.

 

When the others depart, The Portreeve, an ancient shows up. He encourages The Doctor to drink the sleep draught. He tells the Time Lord that he will “soon meet The Doctor”. When the ancient leaves, he calls the Time Lord, “Doctor,” but our hero just chuckles as he drifts into slumber.

 

Climbing the rocks, Nyssa and Tegan discuss that they should have told The Doctor about Adric. Suddenly, a rope ladder drops down near them.

 

The Portreeve overlooks the courtyard as the companions are brought in. They demand to see The Doctor, and they are told the “other visitor” said he was looking for The Doctor as well. Shardovan allows this, saying they will not disturb The Portreeve, as old men need their sleep.

 

The Portreeve, on a balcony, calls down, “Some old men seldom sleep.” This seems to disturb Shardovan.

 

Tegan and Nyssa are allowed to peek in on The Doctor, who is asleep. They are led away, the two ladies arguing about whether to tell The Doctor about Adric. Inside The Doctor’s room, Adric steps out of the shadows and looks down at The Doctor. He then turns and opens the door, peeking out.

 

The next morning, as Tegan still slumbers, Nyssa looks out into the courtyard, watching the womenfolk busy about. Birds chirp and Nyssa smiles. Seeing Tegan is still asleep, she departs the room quietly. She sees several men carrying the cabinet and has them bring it to The Doctor’s room.

 

The Doctor is still sleeping as they bring in the cabinet. Nyssa ushers them out after they set it down. When she closes the door, she glances in a mirror, seeing Adric standing behind her, but only in the reflection. He tells her not to turn around, but to listen.

 

Adric warns her that he can’t let The Master find him. He tells Nyssa not to let The Doctor know about him, rescuing him can wait – he urges her to listen, that The Doctor must remain in Castrovalva until the regeneration is complete. When Nyssa says she must get Tegan, he reiterates that she is not to tell anyone that she saw him. When she turns around, Adric disappears in a crackling of energy.

 

The Doctor wakes, recognising Nyssa and saying he’s beginning to “feel my old self again… or perhaps my new self.”

 

In the MTARDIS, Adric bemoans that he won’t do it, but The Master tells him he’s already done it, “a perfect impersonation of yourself!” He says this will keep The Doctor’s meddling away from their plans.

 

The Doctor and the ladies eat with The Portreeve; it seems The Doctor has been regaling them with tales of his adventures, “Oh, the Ogrons and Daleks and that.”

 

As they talk, Shardovan and a woman bring in some new books for the ancient. Shardovan invites Nyssa to come see the library, and Tegan follows. After they’ve gone, The Portreeve shows The Doctor a tapestry that shows him truths and things; apparently it foretells events, and he shows The Doctor an image of Tegan and Nyssa carrying the cabinet from the prior day.

 

Nyssa asks Shardovan if they have any books on telebiogenesis; he says their technical section is not large, but she is welcome to browse.

 

The Doctor tries to count his three companions, but only can think of the two ladies.

 

Tegan and Nyssa carry out armfuls of books; it seems there were no technical books at all, but they have the Histories of Castrovalva and are taking them back to The Doctor’s room. Shardovan listens in, seemingly alarmed – he does that a lot – seem to be alarmed.

 

In the courtyard, The Doctor walks about, counting out loud. He keeps counting, “One, two… no no no,” and a young girl comes over, telling him, “three, sir! Three, sir, is what comes after two…. and then four, five, six,” she counts on until The Doctor asks her to stop.

 

Playfully, he says, “We’ll have to give you a badge for mathematical excellence,” suddenly coming up with Adric’s name. He dashes off, bursting into his room, demanding of Tegan and Nyssa where Adric is.

 

Tegan accuses Nyssa of telling him, but she says, “No, Adric told me not to!” She begins to apologise, but The Doctor says he must hear all about it.

 

Shardovan and Mergrave discuss that The Doctor has suddenly decided to depart. The librarian says this cannot be allowed.

 

The Doctor leads the girls, trying to find the way out. Stopping by the women gathered in the courtyard, he asks the quickest way out. Each woman points in a different direction. They head down a bunch of flights of stairs, somehow coming down to the very same courtyard once again. (Lots of running, this definitely is Doctor Who we’re watching…)

 

Once more, they come down onto the balcony overlooking the courtyard – the same courtyard they just left! The companions ask what is happening, but he shushes them, trying to concentrate. They run into Shardovan, who demands to know the cause of the haste and running about.

 

The Doctor weakens and the ladies help him walk away; Nyssa says there’s some spatial disturbance and The Doctor agrees, saying Castrovalva is folding back on itself, deliberately. They find his room and take him there, to put him in the Zero Cabinet, but it’s gone!

 

The Doctor looks out the window and says, “Someone’s manipulating Castrovalva – we’re caught in a space-time trap,”… and the credits roll.

 

Episode 4:

 

The Doctor staggers away from the window and asks the girls to find the Zero Cabinet. Nyssa says they’ll ask The Portreeve.

 

The Doctor sets up a mirror facing the window then collapses in his bed. He sees a stack of books and grabs the top one, opening it. He finds a loose page or slip of paper, and regards it, saying that is very odd. Before he says any more, the door opens.

 

As Mergrave enters, The Doctor slips the paper inside his jacket. The Doctor says that there’s something Mergrave can do for him.

 

Another Castrovalvan leads Nyssa and Tegan to the Portreeve’s quarters; Tegan remarks on passing the same courtyard again, but he seems clueless to anything strange about that. He indicates a spyglass and remarks on the view, and Nyssa peers through it. She sees Shardovan striding purposefully into the courtyard.

 

While looking, Nyssa sees the Zero Cabinet is being used by the ladies in the courtyard as a washbasin for the laundry!

 

Mergrave escorts several women who bring in “the other fifteen volumes” of the Histories of Castrovalva. When Mergrave moves to move the mirror, The Doctor asks him not to move it, saying that the silver backing “helps to keep it out”.

 

The Doctor asks Mergrave what he sees out the window and the physician describes the view. When The Doctor asks if it all seems natural/normal to him, Mergrave remarks that Shardovan has asked similar things of him, too, saying the librarian can be “a little fevered in his imaginings” as well.

 

The physician prepares a draught for The Doctor, saying it will dispel his fatigue; The Doctor asks how he knows he’s speaking the truth and the physic replies, “Because I maintain that I am… and I am a man of my word.”

 

The Doctor says that’s a perfect example of recursion, and recursion is what they’re up against. He asks Mergrave to draw a chalk map of Castrovalva on the back of the mirror.

 

The companions accuse Shardovan and the others of conspiring against The Doctor. They take the Zero Cabinet away from the Castrovalvans.

 

When The Doctor asks Mergrave to mark his pharmacy on the map, the man makes four marks, four opposing locations on the map. He seems taken aback at this, and cannot explain it.

 

Tegan and Nyssa return with the cabinet, trailed by Ruther (the man who was guiding them). When they complain about being led in circles, The Doctor says it’s not Ruther’s fault, but Castrovalva’s.

 

When The Doctor asks Ruther to indicate the location of The Portreeve’s house, the man, like Mergrave did, makes four marks on the map. He blames the map, “There is something amiss with the map.”

 

There is something amiss with Castrovalva,” The Doctor replies.

 

The Doctor says that he suspects the Histories are forgeries, offending both Ruther and Mergrave. When Nyssa asks how he can tell, he says he’s not sure, but he feels they’re all overlooking something. He pulls the loose paper from his jacket, saying he’s overlooking it, too.

 

He sits down, asserting that the history has been invented. Mergrave steps outside, hearing noise. A group of women have gathered, gossiping and hubbubing. He yells at them to keep quiet.

 

The Doctor returns to the Zero Cabinet; Mergrave says he is sure The Portreeve will see them, considering The Doctor’s situation. Tegan ushers Ruther and Mergrave outside while The Doctor has a private word with Nyssa.

 

Shardovan arrives and Tegan slips back in; she and Nyssa carry the cabinet out and Shardovan insists he be allowed to help carry it. Tegan relents, but after a short bit, insists on taking his place carrying the cabinet.

 

Shardovan watches the procession, then is startled when a hand beckons to him from behind a wall. Going to investigate, he finds The Doctor, who gives him the “shush” gesture and noise.

 

Tegan complains that The Doctor isn’t levitating inside the cabinet, it’s too heavy. Nyssa informs her that he’s not inside, the 30 volumes of the Histories are.

 

Shardovan asks The Doctor to explain himself; The Doctor says that Shardovan suspected the hunting ritual was fabrication, like the Histories. The Doctor confronts him with the librarian’s own handwritten notes. The librarian claims it was notes for a fiction he was going to write, but The Doctor says Castrovalva is a fiction and the proof is… but he stops, as his mind is still having difficulties. (Convenient, that.)

 

Shardovan says that the books are old, but they chronicle the rise of Castrovalva up to the present day.

 

The Castrovalvans and the companions arrive at The Portreeve’s help; the ancient says that he cannot help, that this is a matter for the tapestry.

 

Shardovan and The Doctor wander the city; Shardovan says he does not see the occulsion, the spatial anomoly with his eyes, but he does with his philosophy. He then leads The Doctor to “a back way”.

 

The Portreeve speaks of The Doctor’s journey to come there. He talks of the power of the tapestry, addressing The Doctor (whom he believes to be in the cabinet). He says the tapestry “has the power to build and hold in space whole worlds of matter.”

 

Suddenly, The Portreeve stands upright. “I’ve contented myself with one simple, small town… “ he flashes between the image of an old man and a dark haired, goateed Time Lord, “…for the final meeting of The Doctor and his master!” The Master laughs maniacally as Tegan and Nyssa back away.

 

The Doctor grows weak as they get close to “whatever he’s using to power all of this”. Shardovan indicates a window and The Doctor asks him for a lift up.

 

The Master reveals that there is no Castrovalva, that the entry in the databank was entered by Adric. He tries to open the Zero Cabinet, blasting it with his TCE weapon.

 

Behind him, on the tapestry, Nyssa and Tegan see an image of The Doctor trying to enter a window.

 

Oblivious, The Master continues to blast the cabinet; the sound of breaking glass can be heard and The Master sends Ruther and Mergrave to investigate.

 

When he demands that she open the cabinet, Nyssa lectures The Master on zero structures, saying that they can only be separated from inside. The Master doesn’t believe her and keeps trying to pry open the cabinet.

 

Shardovan tells Mergrave and Ruther that The Portreeve has betrayed them. The Doctor tries to explain that The Portreeve is the most evil man in the universe. Shardovan says he knows the two of them have had doubts.

 

The Master keeps trying to pry open the cabinet, going on about how he will see The Doctor’s “wretched face one more time” before he destroys him. Mergrave and Ruther enter the room as Tegan and Nyssa whisper (well, not really, but I’m sure it’s meant to be), worrying about the tapestry, which they fear will reveal the ruse to The Master.

 

Mergrave and Ruther accuse The Master of not being The Portreeve. He chuckles, remarking someone’s been tampering with their perception filters. Finally, he sees the tapestry, but says it is a trick, The Doctor is in the cabinet.

 

He slams the cabinet down, and it breaks open (so much for Nyssa’s lecture), revealing the books.

 

The tapestry fades, revealing Adric bound inside. The Doctor leaps forward, tearing open the tapestry, revealing Adric, strapped into the machine that powers Castrovalva – The Master says it’s block transfer computation.

 

Shardovan listens in from above, on a balcony. The Master says that the hadron power lines around Adric are lethal to the touch. (Whoa, hadron? Hey, that’s cool.)

 

The Doctor says to let Adric go, it’s he The Master is after, anyways. The Master agrees, but suddenly Ruther moves to strike him and The Master does something to erase Ruther from being.

 

Shardovan pulls over a hanging sconce. He uses it to swing into the web binding Adric, telling The Master, “You may have made us, evil man, but we are free!” He slams into the web, freeing Adric at the cost of his own life.

 

The Master runs into the nearby fireplace, which is his TARDIS. The fireplace dematerialises.

 

The Doctor pulls Adric free of the remnants of the power web. The Doctor says they must escape; without the web to hold it in place, local space will begin to fold unto itself. Everything looks digitised to them, but Mergrave sees things normally, and he leads them to safety, though there is a lot of running.

 

The Master’s TARDIS is in the courtyard and The Doctor speculates that he can’t escape either. Mergrave says he sees nothing but confusion, but Adric can see the way out, since he created it and leads them to safety.

 

As they escape, The Master chases them and Mergrave stays behind to stop him, a group of other Castrovalvans grabbing at him, too. The Doctor and companions barely get out, as the stone doors close.

 

Inside, the Castrovalvans tear at The Master, who screams.

 

The Doctor leads all one, two, three companions back to the TARDIS. They stop to look, but the town atop the rocks is now gone.

 

The Doctor is horrified to see the TARDIS laying on its side, but he tells Tegan that she didn’t fly it, the coordinates were pre-set. No matter what she did on the console, they would have ended up at Castrovalva.

 

The Master leaves nothing to chance,” he says, as he walks to the TARDIS. The companions follow and as they enter, Nyssa asks if he’s up to flying the TARDIS.

 

Yes, I’m rather feeling like my old self… well… well… whomever I feel like, it’s absolutely splendid,”… and the final credits roll.

 

A fun episode, I enjoyed the recursive bits and Ainley’s Master is, of course, delightfully over the top. This group of companions is a solid one and I know there are some great stories coming up, too.