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

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

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

spoiler warning

spoiler warning

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

Okay, now…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tears as I begged them not to do it.

Tears as they didn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who knows, indeed?

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

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank is in the merchant navy, the Atlantic convoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a storm coming,” Sorin replies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ultima Machine prints out words, perhaps names.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lightning strikes near Maiden’s Point.

The creatures march past the fallen Vicar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 4:

Kathleen sings to baby Audrey as the storm roars outside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DAMN this serial is creepy fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A British soldier listens in and then slips away.

Millington is horrified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ace and Kathleen bar the door and windows with furniture.

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

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

The Doctor sets up the chess board.

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

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

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

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

The Serpent lifts his hands and concentrates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kill her,” The Doctor says.

Fenric giggles. “The Time Lord finally understands.”

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

OH MY GOD. OH, NO, THEY DIDN’T.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The chessboard burns.

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

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

Marks in teenage psychology,” Ace says.

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

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

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

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

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

Dangerous undercurrents, Doctor,” she asks.

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

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

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

I doubt it.

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

So weird.

Episode 1:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The two girls smirk after Hardaker wanders off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The girls are chattering and head off in another direction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Doctor and Ace hurry off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prozorov floats in the water, beneath the surface.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The flash glows and pulses.

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

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

The creatures walk onto the shore.

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

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

The Doctor steps back… and the credits roll.

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

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

Recap:

1950s Earth, Wales. The Doctor and Mel find the holiday camp they were at under attack by the Bannermen “war fleet” (apparently one ship with about 8-10 members of the fleet. Tee hee.) The Bannermen seek the Chimeron Queen, the last of her people, who is in hiding.

The Doctor has just marched into enemy camp, in an attempt to parley and bring out Burton (overseer of the vacation camp) and Mel, but as they leave, they find the might of the amassed Bannermen army (you know, all six of them) cocking and aiming their weapons at their backs.

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

They walk on and get on the motorbike, the Bannermen pointing their guns all the while. Gavrok fires a flare into the sky, and the two guards with the Americans as prisoner order the agents to rise up and fit them with a bar with a collar at either end.

The two Bannermen run off as the agents figure out to sit down again. After they leave, Rachel runs over and frees them. (Again, she has the right wrench for the job.)

The two Bannermen hide in ambush, firing upon them, lodging a tracking dart on the motorcycle.

Back at the beehouse, Billy learns from Goronwy as Delta and the young princess watch on. The old man leads them into a room full of jarred honey. The old man goes on about the honey, while Delta feeds the princess more food from a feeder syringe (which we’ve seen them feed her throughout the past two episodes.) Delta says her “singing time” is near, another of the periods of change.

Rachel and the Americans arrive and the beekeeper goes out to greet them, followed by Delta and the princess. Billy, staying behind, swipes three of the syringes as ominous chords strike.

The Bannermen report back that the tracker dart is in place but they lost the two prisoners. Gavrok orders them to pusue. He activates his tracker and gets a signal, but then stops at the TARDIS. He has one of his Bannermen place a device on top and activates some sort of destructive force shield around it.

The Doctor, Mel and Burton bounce through the fields on their motorbike. I guess this is their running scene. There’s a lot of unnecessary riding about here. This is like when they went to Paris and there were lots of scenes about town for no other reason than to show the scenery.

The Doctor stops and takes Mel’s hair ribbon for some purpose. Then, they return to the beekeeper’s, where he asks for some honey. He tells Billy and Rachel to accompany him and Goronwy.

The Bannermen scouts arrive outside the beekeeper’s and see Delta and the princess. Delta searches her purse, realising she’s short on syringes.

The Americans debate calling Washington.

The Bannermen enter the property and take aim at their target(s).

The princess stands up, emitting a sonic shriek. She grows older and taller as we see. The windows behind them blow and the Bannermen stagger from their hiding point, clutching their ears. Delta fires at the Bannermen, and at least one runs away (I believe she killed the other).

The Doctor and others come running up. He says they need to get back to the TARDIS.

The Bannermen ship lands in the nearby field.

The Doctor stars a radio playing some rock and roll, then catches up with everyone else. He swipes a yellow scarf/cloth from Delta and rushes back, slipping it half-way under a door. He hops on the back of Rachel’s motorbike and they leave, followed by the Americans’ car and Billy’s motorbike.

Gavrok and his men disembark, finding the tracker dart that The Doctor left tied to one of the goats, using Mel’s ribbon to keep it on the animal. The Bannerman who ran from the beekeeper’s arrives, alerting his boss where the hideout is.

Hearing the rock and roll playing, Gavrok assumes the others are still there.

The Doctor and others arrive at the TARDIS, but The Doctor realises it’s been booby-trapped. He tells them, but one of the Americans (not Weismuller) says it’s hogwash and walks towards it, reaching out with his hand.

The energy field zaps his hand, but The Doctor pulls him away, saying, “I did warn you. If you’d stepped into that beam, you would have been atomised.” Yes, tell ’em “I told you so,” Doc.

Stupid American.

The Bannermen open fire on the house. At least they’re not Stormtroopers, cuz they’d have missed.

The Doctor has Burton take everyone back to the camp while he tries to figure out how to defuse the booby-trap.

The Bannermen charge the house as “Lollipop” plays. Well, until Gavrok shoots the radio.

Seeing the scarf trailing out from the door, they charge in there. The moment they do, it triggers a chain reaction so the jars of honey collapse onto them. Staggering out, they’re swarmed by the bees.

Billy is sucking down on one of the syringes he swiped. Delta catches him and he fesses, saying that if he comes with her, he’ll have to become one. She says it’s never been used on a human before, but he says it seems to be okay. He points out that his skin and hair are changing already.

As she inspects, she brings her face closer to his and sweet rock and roll music plays in the score. But, before anything happens, Burton arrives to say “we’re ready for you at the office now, Billy.”

Billy picks up a speaker unit and follows.

The Doctor uses the stick to mark out the sonic cone in the dirt around it. Rachel arrives, startling him, but then warns him of the landing Bannermen ship. (Well, war fleet, I guess. I’ve heard of an Army of One, I guess this is a War Fleet of One?)

The Doctor and Rachel return to the camp, getting beeswax from Goronwy, who is engrossed in a book. The Doctor gives orders to barricade the door.

In the office, Burton is swinging his sword, saying he hasn’t used it in forty years, but it’ll do for fighting the Bannermen. (So, he was in WWI, then? I thought maybe he was a Major in WW2. Perhaps he was in both.)

Billy is wiring up some connections. He finishes it up as The Doctor arrives, asking if he’s ready. “Ready to rock and roll,” he replies. He and The Doctor go on the roof top, with the speaker/amplifier.

Gavrok orders his men to kill everyone but the young princess. (Why? If he wants to wipe out the Chimerons, why spare her?) They spot The Doctor and Billy and open fire, chasing them off the roof.

Gavrok blows his horn and looks over at the TARDIS, seeing the circle.

The Doctor and Billy run by the office, where Burton, Delta and the princess wait. The Doctor yells “Now,” and Burton gives Delta a nod. She passes the nod on to the princess, who opens her mouth and a sonic shriek is emitted. The microphone sends it through the PA and the amplifier on top and the Bannermen all collapse, clutching their heads.

Gavrok staggers about, in pain, and steps into the sonic field around the TARDIS and there’s nothing left of him after an explosion.

Everyone celebrates that it’s over. The Bannermen are tied up and Weismuller is gloating that they’re the “sorriest bunch of Bannermen I’ve ever seen.” Delta and the princess arrive, thanking everyone. Mel asks if Billy and The Doctor are all right.

Yes,” Delta replies, “Billy’s just changing.” Dum dum dum.

Billy, wearing a white spacesuit, is packing. His skin has taken a sheen to it like Delta’s. The Doctor sits, holding Billy’s guitar. The Time Lord is worried about mutations rising from the species-crossing; he understands with the people wiped out, Delta needs a male.

Billy says it’s the only chance.

I can’t condone this foolishness,” The Doctor says. “But then, love has never been known for its rationality.” I really, really like that line. (Relevant to current shit, you dig?)

Goronwy tells the nameless American about bee stuff and starting a new hive. He then wanders off.

Billy and The Doctor arrive at the Bannermen ship; the Bannermen are tied up inside. Weismuller wishes Delta good luck, saying the Bannermen are all secured for a trip to Mars, or wherever they’re going.

Considerably farther than that,” she assures him, shaking his offered hand.

The Doctor and Mel stand, the former watching Rachel, who is obviously upset that Billy is leaving. The Doctor looks thoughtful and Rachel asks what he’s thinking. He replies that he’s wondering what the motorbike would be like with better braking and suspension systems.

Rachel argues, saying it has the best there is.

Delta thanks everyone, Billy and the Princess standing by her. Billy says goodbye, telling Rachel he’ll always think of her at Shangri-La.

Goodbye, Billy,” she replies, “I won’t forget you either.” Billy tells her to look after the Vincent (his motorbike) and she’s delighted. She hops on it and drives off, not staying to watch the ship leave.

The Doctor and Mel return to the TARDIS (the sonic shield having been drained by destroying Gavrok), but Burton and Goronwy arrive to shake hands and give a jar of 1928 honey, respectively.

Goodbyes are said. The Doctor points out the satellite, which is wedged into the fence of Shangri-La. The Americans are ecstatic at finding it. The Doctor and Mel leave in the TARDIS as Goronwy watches, with a smirk and a wink… and the final credits roll.

Meh. I’m still shaking my head over the “Bannermen War Fleet”, which was one ship with ten or less crew all told. And I thought the US Army’s “Army of One” was something.

Recap: The Doctor and Mel have found themselves on Earth, Wales to be precise. 1950s. They’re at a “holiday camp”, trying to find out who is out to get Delta, the Chimeron Queen. She’s the last of her people, on the run from the Bannermen, lead by Gavrok. She and Mel share a room at the camp, and when we left off, some metal-looking sphere that Delta has been carrying started to hatch, revealing some monster-ish thing inside.

Also, The Doctor and a local girl, Rachel, are being held at gunpoint by one of the aliens, an informer who has already radioed Gavrok about Delta’s location.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

On his ship, Gavrok orders his man to “arm the beacon hunter” and when the order is complied and activated, the informer is vaporised in front The Doctor and Rachel. The explosion renders them unconscious.

Billy walks to Mel and Delta’s chalet door, carrying flowers. Inside, Delta cradles the alien baby, which makes a purring noise. Billy opens the door and stops, seeing the baby in her arms. She says she’s going to trust him and invites him in.

To his credit, he doesn’t freak out or run away. Good Billy. He sits between Delta and Mel, quietly regarding Delta and the baby.

The next morning, a man works with some honeybees, singing to them, as the American agents drive up. They get out and asks him if he’s seen anything weird in the skies – anything falling out, any weird lights. He says there are always weird lights in the skies.

When they ask about the past couple nights, he says he’ll ask his bees, as they know everything. The agents figure him for a nutter (can’t imagine why) and are about to leave when a butterfly lands on the man’s hand. He directs their attention to it, remarking how it is considered one of the most beautiful creatures, but “if you saw a pupae, you’d think it was the ugliest sight you’ve ever seen.”

(And if you’d seen the alien baby, you’d see where they’re going with this, I believe.)

But you can’t have one without the other,” he says. Like that illustrates any point?

Back at the chalet, Delta holds the baby, which is already transforming, becoming less alien, more human-like. (Before it was a puppet that, as I said, wasn’t horribly different from the hybrid baby on the original V tv show. Now it’s a baby in a costume playing the part.)

Delta says she is the last of the Chimeron people, her planet in the grip of invaders, her people dead. Seeing Mel falling asleep, Delta says they should go out. Billy takes Delta and the baby for a ride on his motorcycle (it’s got a sidecar, so calm down.)

The engine starting up rouses The Doctor who, along with Rachel, are still alseep on the floor of the laundry. Seeing it’s daylight out, he rushes out, just in time to see Billy and Delta driving off.

He goes in and rouses Rachel, who asks what happened to the man with the gun. “I’m afraid he was paid in kind,” The Doctor replies. They rush off “to warn the others that an attack is imminent.”

As a DJ starts playing some wake up music, Rachel and The Doctor wake up Mel, telling she’ll have to wait to sleep. She says Billy was taking Delta to some “beauty spot”. The Doctor says they must convince Burton to evacuate the camp before they can go searching for Billy and Delta.

Billy pulls the motorbike up to a lake and stops and hops off. He takes the baby, remarking that she’s a handful already, and Delta says she’ll double her size in the next couple hours.

Burton argues with The Doctor, Rachel and Mel, not believing that the visitors are not the Happy Hearts Holiday Club, but in fact are from outer space. He says that if The Doctor shows him the spaceship, he’ll believe them.

Mel rouses Murray, warning him that the Bannermen war fleet are on their way.

Burton, having been inside the TARDIS, is convinced. He asks if they can go for a spin, but The Doctor says yes, but it’ll have to wait, and they go off to clear the camp.

Murray tries to get his charges to pack and wait at the bus, but they argue, until he tells them that the Bannermen are on the way, then they panic.

Burton gets on the PA, summoning all staff to the office.

The Doctor gives Murray the crystal, saying it needs another half an hour, and then he and Rachel go on her bike, looking for Delta and Billy.

Burton tells the staff they need to pack for a day or two and be ready to leave. One, the DJ, named Vinny, argues. Burton tells them that there’s a man from the Ministry of Defense and it’s a top secret what’s really going on. Vinny says that if Burton is staying, he will, too, calling Burton “Major”.

Burton tells Vinny that they all have to leave, and says it’s an order.

The baby is now older, has long blonde hair. She moves her mouth but only a shrill sound comes out. Billy says it’s like singing, the noise she’s making. Delta says it’s part song, part defense mechanism.

Against the Bannermen,” Billy asks, though Delta doesn’t respond.

Rachel and The Doctor stop at Fern Dell, but there’s no sign of Billy, Delta, the baby or bike there.

The staff boards a bus, ready to go. Burton approaches Mel and Murray (the latter who is walking around with the big jar of fluid that’s helping the crystal repair/regrow – considering that he’s the idiot who broke the first one, how wise is this?) and says he’s “not sure what I saw in that police box, but I cannot risk my staff for it.”

Mel assures him he’s doing the right thing. The bus leaves with the staff.

Gavrok orders the scanning of the area for high tech emissions (since they blew up the informer, they didn’t have his signal to track any more. That was kind of dumb.) He’s obsessed with killing Delta.

The American agents are cooking hot dogs (or maybe sausages) over a campfire, arguing again. They do this a lot. I guess Americans argue a lot.

The Doctor and Rachel stop by and ask if they’ve seen a couple on a motorbike, but Weismuller says they haven’t even seen a squirrel that morning. Rachel says there’s one more place to try (of course it’s the last one they’ll be at) and they head off. I guess the American agents are just there for comedic effect? Well, there’s one more episode, maybe they’ll actually have a purpose in the plot by then.

Mel says she doesn’t know about crystals, but it looks ready. Right, so isn’t that a reason to not offer an opinion? I thought Peri was supposed to be the American companion?

Murray agrees and takes it out.

Rachel and The Doctor arrive; they see tire tracks and pass through the gate.

Billy helps feed the baby. She says she needs to get the hatchling back to “the Brood planet” and then she can take the case to judgment. The Doctor and Rachel arrive and bring them up to speed on what’s going on. Everyone rushes off.

The Bannermen have gotten a fix and triangulate coordinates. Their ship lands near the arguing American agents. They see the ship landing and wonder if that’s the satellite. Weismuller says he thought they’d be smaller. When they see the Bannermen approaching, they start to leave, but Gavrok blows his little horn and they stop.

The Bannermen blow up the agents’ equipment and tent; Gavrok leaves two Bannermen (out of maybe six or eight he has with him? Not smart.) to guard the agents.

Murray says the ship is ready and Mel tells him he needs to leave at once. He argues, asking about Delta and The Doctor. She says they can follow in the TARDIS. Murray feels bad about leaving Mel behind, but she insists.

As the engines warm up, the Bannermen arrive and shoot the ship, which blows up. Mel is knocked down, and when she starts to rise, she finds Gavrok standing over her, demanding to know if the Chimeron Queen was on board.

Mel says she’s dead and he questions if she’d lie. She argues that no one could have survived that explosion and he is satisfied with her answer. Pushing her back down with his foot, he turns to his Bannermen, “The Chimerons are finished,” he yells and they all stick out their tongues and hiss/growl, as some sort of cheer.

The two motorbikes pull up, but turn away when the Bannermen start firing at them. Gavrok turns to Mel, screaming at her for lying. His gun in her face, he seems about to shoot, when Burton rushes up behind her, supporting her. Gazing Gavrok in the face, he tells him, “It would be extremely foolish of you to kill her.” He argues she’d be more useful as a hostage, but Gavrok decides the two of them will be better used as bait.

The Doctor has Rachel stop; he waves down Billy and has him stop, saying they’re not being pursued. Rachel is worried about Burton and Mel, and The Doctor says freeing them is of equal importance to finding a safe place for Delta and the baby.

Delta, with her advanced hearing, picks up something, but she’s not sure what it is. She points in a direction and Billy says that’s “old Goronwy’s place”, which is the guy with the bees. Delta says it’s the bees telling them to come.

We briefly see the American agents, being watched by the two Bannermen.

The Doctor and crew meet with Goronwy, who greets everyone, seemingly expecting them. Either that, or he’s just open to random people showing up and asking to stay.

Back at the camp, we see Mel and Burton tied up. The Bannermen stand all about, Gavrok eating some raw meat.

The Doctor arrives, flying a white flag, but Gavrok fires at him, seemingly hitting the tires. The Doctor rants at him for ignoring the flag of truce, but Gavrok isn’t impressed.

The Doctor petitions Gavrok to release the prisoners, saying he’ll speak for him at trial, but the Bannermen leader says he won’t be tried. They continue to argue, the typical bad guy mocking The Doctor’s beliefs in truths and the like.

The argument ends with no resolution. The Doctor says he will leave under the white flag of truce, “And woe betide any man who breaches its integrity.” I like that line. The Doctor storms away, ordering the Bannermen to free the prisoners.

For some reason, they do. The Doctor escorts them back to the motorbike, but suddenly the sound of the Bannermen cocking and aiming their weapons can be heard behind them.

Actually, I think I may have gone a little too far,” The Doctor says. He, Mel and Burton turn around to face Gavrok… and the credits roll.

Again, not a bad one, but understated. An interesting choice in writing.

Something tells me I’ve seen this, but I have no recollection, so let’s find out.

Episode 1:

We start out with some combat. People on a rise firing at those blow. War games, maybe? Those below are dressed in green and white, those above are in darker colours.

Nope, not war games. The woman in white (she seems to be the only one) and one of the greens make for one of their enemy’s ships and take it, though the green soldier is killed in the process by one of their opponents.

The ship takes off as the other combatants run towards it.

The TARDIS appears in a port. A voice booms “Toll port G7-1-5, please have your credits ready.” The Doctor and Mel exit the TARDIS, both feeling trepidations about where they are.

The tollmaster calls out for them to halt. He exits and greets them, saying they are the Ten billionth customer and the toll fee is waived, as well as a week long vacation on Earth at Disneyland in the year 1959. Mel is excited and begs The Doctor to go. (Right, cuz there’s no way she could have gotten there on her own. It’s a shame she’s not a companion to a time and space traveling alien, ya know?)

Somewhere, we see a car pull up to a police box; a man gets out and uses the phone (so obviously it’s not the TARDIS) and asks to be put through to the White House. (What, so they’re saying there were police boxes in the USA?) He says it’s a “code eleven” priority call.

His companion pulls out a spyglass and starts looking about. The man on the phone (wearing a Yankees hat and jacket) identifies himself as Jerome P Weismuller, and we learn they’re in Wales. (Oh, ok.)

He says “Yes, sir,” a lot and says they’ll “get right on it.” After he gets off the phone, he tells his buddy the reason for the red alert – that Cape Canaveral has launched a rocket with a satellite on it and they’re to track it.

We see a rocket separating, dropping a lower stage.

The Doctor and Mel learn they’re accompanying a tour with a bunch of aliens (who are VERY alien in form, but using a ‘transformation arch’ to assume human likeness.) The Doctor recognises the firm running the tour, NOSTALGIA TRIPS, saying it is “the most notorious travel firm in the five galaxies.”

Mel complains that the space ship looks like “an old bus”, offending the toll master. The pilot, Murray, comes over and introduces himself. When he hears their names, he remarks “knowing Nostalgia Trips, we may need a doctor.”

The Doctor tells Mel to go with them, he’ll follow in the TARDIS. She’s not exactly thrilled. Murray overhears this and defends his ship.

The woman in white covers her green companion’s body in the ship. On a vid screen, a man in black (from the planet) tells her, “You cannot escape me. Wherever you go, I will track you down.”

She tells Gavrok that her people will survive, but he says she is the last. She shoots the screen. They’re in pursuit, but she lands at the space toll and boards the NOSTALGIA TRIPS bus just before it launches. The Doctor, seeing this all, slips into the TARDIS.

spoiler warning

On the bus, Murray starts some music, playing Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock around the clock” and everyone (but the woman in white) start clapping and singing along.

Back in Wales, the two American agents try to pick up the satellite’s signal.

In orbit, the satellite is released from the rocket.

The woman in white isn’t thrilled about being on the bus. Mel asks Murray about the 50s run; he says he loves it, the clothes and hairstyles. Mel turns and asks where the woman in white is from and she says she’s a Chimeron.

Just then, something strikes the bus. Everyone screams.

The American agents argue whether to call and get the coordinates they need or not. As they argue, the phone rings and Weismuller answers. He gets bad news – the satellite has “gone haywire” and they think it’s going to land near where the agents are.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor watches as the bus seems to be going out of control. He activates some energy field, which seems to stop their out-of-controlness

The bus lands with a bounce, and the TARDIS materialises nearby. Murray says they ran into some space junk (I’m guessing the satellite) and asks what The Doctor did to help – the Time Lord says he generated “an antigravity spiral to halt your descent”.

I’m not sure, but it looks like the satellite’s wedged into the front of the bus. They look around and see they’re not at Disneyland, but outside some amusement park/holiday camp called Shangri-La, and The Doctor says it’s somewhere in Wales.

When Mel isn’t impressed, saying “it looks a bit… grim”, he tells her that “this is the real Fifties.” A man in a red suit walks up, saying he expected them hours ago. He introduces himself as Burton and welcomes them, thinking they’re an expected party, obviously.

He shows them around and shows them to their chalets. The woman in white (Delta, though we don’t know that yet) and Mel are placed in one together. Two of the aliens keep giving Delta strange looks. (One did on the bus, when she mentioned where she was from, the other just started now.)

The Doctor and Murray meet a mechanic who asks what happened to the bus, so they go to the bus and remove the satellite from the front of the bus. The Doctor says it’s a very primitive one, “capable only of the most rudimentary radio transmissions”.

Mel tries to get Delta to talk about whatever is bothering her (she’s visibly on edge), but Delta is rude.

The mechanic is impressed by the engine in the bus. It is a space-engine, after all, but The Doctor gives the lad some instruction while Murray sticks the satellite in the rear hatch of the bus (where the thrusters are.)

Returning from the TARDIS, The Doctor gives Murray a box with the only “Quarb crystal this side of the Softel Nebula”. He hands it to Murray gingerly. You see where this is going, surely?

Murray thanks him as the mechanic brings over the broken crystal. A girl arrives on a scooter/motorbike and is introduced by Billy (the mechanic) as Rachel. She asks them if she can help, and Murray asks, jestingly, if she has a one a five-eighths socket, which she pulls out of her bag.

The Doctor asks if she always carries a full set of tools, and she says that’s what Billy taught her, to always be prepared. The Doctor replies with one of his trademark malapropisms, “A stitch in time fills up space.” (Well, that’s not really one, as malapropisms are supposed to sound similar, that doesn’t. I’m not sure what the term for that is.)

Sure enough, Murray breaks the crystal as he’s trying to replace it. The Doctor says he can have another crystal ready in about twenty-four hours, much to Murray’s relief.

Rachel says they’ll be around for the dance, which delights Murray.

A dinner gong is rang, which frightens Delta. She draws her gun on Mel, demanding to know what that is. Delta asks if she can trust Mel and she says “Yes, completely. Discretion is my middle name.” Mel leaves for dinner and Delta (who still has not been named in the story/dialogue yet) checks on her package, given to her by the dying soldier, what appears to be a metallic sphere of some sort.

At the space toll, Gavrok and his men have taken the tollmaster captive, demanding to know where Delta went. He says it’s confidential, “more than my job’s worth”. When threatened enough, he tells them they went to Disneyland on Earth, but en route they struck a satellite, and went off course.

Gavrok kills the man and tells his men to plot a course for Earth and to have “every informer in the galaxy” looking for her.

We see everyone in the dining hall. Mel joins The Doctor at his table. She tells him that her roommate is on edge and has a gun. Billy sits down across from Delta at the table she’s at.

The Doctor tells Mel, “If she’s who I think she is, she’s in danger.” He says they have to find out if someone there is danger to Delta. Just then, Burton announces that the “Get To Know You” dance is that evening.

We cut to the dance, where Billy is showing The Doctor his sound system. People are dancing about, as Billy returns to the stage to sing with the band. Mel and Murray are dancing. Rachel finds The Doctor in the crowd and they head to the front. We learn that Rachel has a big crush on Billy (he’s the reason why she learned about motorbikes, to get his attention, but says it didn’t work.)

Billy then announces their next song, “Why do fools fall in love”, for a very special lady in the audience. Rachel is happy until she realises he’s intending it for Delta instead. (Who, somehow, has a 50s dress on.)

Upset, Rachel is about to leave but The Doctor and her start dancing.

The American agents are camping and arguing about putting another log on the fire.

Delta storms out of the dance, and The Doctor follows. As he searches, he finds Rachel crying in the camp’s laundry. He consoles her while she cries over Billy. Hearing someone, they hide, as she says they’re not supposed to be there.

One of the guys who’d been giving Delta the looks, the one on the bus, comes in and uses a communicator to contact “the Bannermen leader”, who turns out to be Gavrok. He asks about the reward for the Chimeron queen, and Gavrok confirms, “one million units”. He tells him where she is, gives the location and sends a signal for them to lock in on. Gavrok says the reward will be his when they arrive and signs off.

Just then, The Doctor sneezes. (Really? You know, you can sneeze quietly. You can hold it in. I’m so over this being a plot device for people getting caught. Even 25-26 years ago, this was played out.)

The informer pulls out a gun.

Delta thanks Mel for lending her a dress (okay, that explains that…. except… well, Mel and Delta don’t have horribly similar frames.) Delta thanks her for her kindness, and says there’s something she should know.

Just then, the metallic sphere begins making noise. Pulsating. Then, as it is apparently an egg, hatching. Mel screams as something green and slimy comes out, looking a lot like the alien baby from the V tv show.

The informer has taken The Doctor and Rachel. Seems he knows who The Doctor is, saying his death will make him richer. The Doctor pleads for Rachel’s life, “If you kill for money, then let the girl go.”

I don’t just kill for money,” the informer replies, “It’s also something I enjoy.” It’s good for a man to enjoy his work, what what?

The Doctor and Rachel look very nervous… and the credits roll.

Well, I think they should have used the hatching egg as the cliffhanger as that last bit was a bit too understated to have much impact. Ah, well. (And, no, I’ve not seen this one before.)

See you Wednesday.

 

Recap: Arriving at Paradise Towers (a huge residential complex or vacation spot or something), The Doctor and Mel find a bizarre culture of young women in gangs called Kangs and the caretakers and the rezzies and the cleaners, and a quite mad Chief in charge of most/all of it.

We leave off with The Doctor and the Red Kangs about to be attacked by the caretakers and Mel about to be eaten by two old rezzies.

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

The Doctor says he’ll buy the Kangs time to escape through an escape route. The girls run off as The Doctor waits by the door that the caretakers are cutting in.

Mel says time for joking is over, but Tilda assures her they’re not joking. Tabby is working in the kitchen and is attacked by a cleaner robot that grabs her and pulls her through the waste disposal. Tilda blames Mel, who had tried to warn Tabby.

Tilda approaches Mel with a knife, but Pex breaks down the door. Tilda throws her knife as Pex just stands, frozen, but the blade misses him. When Tilda runs into the kitchen to grab another knife, the cleaner robot grabs her and drags her into the wall unit, too.

Pex is amazed that he actually saved someone.

A cleaner robot arrives at where the HUNGRY voice is, which keeps chanting it over and over. We see one of the rezzies’ legs sticking out of the robot’s carry-section.

The Deputy Chief says the rulebook says that he is the one to deliver the final blow to the door and the others let him do so. He kicks it in, stumbling in, and is greeted by The Doctor.

You look surprised to see me. I can’t imagine why… after all, it was me you came for,” the Time Lord says. He is seized by the caretakers, who search for Kangs, but find none.

Mel finds a map in the rezzies’ apartment. It seems that Paradise Tower is 304 floors high and they’re on floor 109. Pex asks if Mel is sure she wants to the Pool in the Sky. When she says she has to, he argues, saying only the unalive go there.

Mel sees on the map that the sub-basement is not mapped out and says that no admittance is allowed, on pain of death.

The Doctor is brought before the Chief, who says it’s a good thing they found him else the Deputy would have been taking ‘The Great Architect’s’ place, but would have required much more paperwork.

The Deputy asks about another disappearance he heard about on the radio on their way in, another caretaker’s. He asks if the cleaners are allowed to go on like this, how long before they’re all gone?

The Chief is visibly upset by this question, and The Doctor seems very keen to pay attention to this exchange. The Chief warns the Deputy that he broke many regulations by speaking out of turn and sends him out into the hall to wait, then tells The Doctor they need to have a regulation “final conversation”.

The Chief sits down The Doctor; they talk of The Great Architect’s disappearance. The Chief says he knew he’d always show up, to ruin all his plans.

The Doctor argues that killing him isn’t going to get rid of whomever is sending out the cleaners to kill everyone, unless the Chief is the one giving the orders. The Chief denies it.

The Doctor sits the Chief down, saying he’s aware the Chief is allowing some of his men to die, though he doesn’t know why, but he also knows that others are being killed without his approval or awareness and he knows that frightens him. The Chief is about to deny it, when the Deputy and several other caretakers burst in, saying two “oldsters” have disappeared on floor 109.

The Chief leaves the Deputy in charge, saying he will investigate. He reminds the Deputy the repercussions of a second escape would be high and departs.

The Deputy Chief props his feet up, and addresses The Doctor, “And no funny business with the rulebook, this time?” The Doctor assures him he has too much on his mind to engage in such shenanigans.

Mel and Pex run down to elevator. They fuss with the buttons as a cleaner comes down the hallway towards them. The door closes with moments to spare, but instead of going to floor 304, it’s going down!

Pex tells her that the Kangs like to press all sorts of buttons in random order in the elevators and Mel realises that means they could be going up and down for hours.

The Doctor watches a greeting video for Paradise Towers. As he does, Bin Liner and Fire Escape arrive and, after taking out the caretakers guarding him, lead him to safety.

The Chief is talking to Tilda and Tabby’s friend (whose name I forget). He tells her there’s no cause for panic and she gives him a riot act over that insipid statement. He assures her he’ll make a full investigation and promises there will be “no coverup”, but tells her to keep the matter quiet.

He offers her the chance to move into their flat from her smaller flat. She sees the advantage of this and agrees that she doesn’t want to worry anyone.

He says he’ll continue the investigation in the basement.

Pex and Mel are still in the lift. Mel says they’ll be okay as long as the lift doesn’t get stuck or the lights go out, and they do go out. Pex says he’s afraid of the dark.

The Doctor has returned to the Kang’s brainquarters. He looks for the illustrated prospectus that he was given by the Deputy.

Pex tries to fix the elevator and suddenly it starts going down. Very, very fast.

The Kangs have a video player so they play the illustrated prospectus. They fast forward until he tells them to stop and then sit down to watch. It talks about the Architect, Kroagnon, previously known for Golden Dream Park, The Bridge of Perpetual Motion, Miracle City.

The Doctor recognises the last name.

Mel and Pex have arrived at the basement. Pex is terrified. Mel realises this is the forbidden area.

A cleaner brings a body to… whatever it is. The creature or whatever keeps saying SOON… SOON… SOON I WILL BE FREE.

The Doctor says that Miracle City was Kroagnon’s masterpiece, but he wouldn’t let anyone move in. When they got him out and moved people in, nobody lived to tell about it – but somehow he got away with it. He got a job making Paradise Towers, somehow.

The Doctor speculates that the Kangs’ parents must have trapped him in there, thinking if he couldn’t ever leave, they’d all be safe, but obviously that didn’t work out. He says, in the end, he would be sure to get out.

The Chief sees a cleaner just hanging about; when he yells at it, telling it to get back to work, it comes towards him menacingly.

Pex tries kicking the elevator; after the third time, the door closes and it starts going up.

The Red Kangs tell The Doctor they will fight for him. He says they need to tell him all that they know. He asks where the door with the smoke coming out of it is located. They are reluctant, but tell him it is in the basement. They all want to go with him, but he chooses three to accompany him.

However, when he opens the door, the Blue Kangs enter, saying they’ve won the game by entering the Red brainquarters. “Blue Kangs are best!”

This starts a lot of chattering and arguing, until The Doctor gets them to shut up and tries to tell them that this is more important than any game.

In the control room, the Deputy tries hailing the Chief, but there’s no response.

The Blue Kangs agree to go with The Doctor, telling him they saw the Chief heading there. They all head to the basement.

Mel and Pex make it to floor 304. The door opens and they exit, seeing the pool and lounge area. Mel’s all excited about it, but Pex says it’s home of the unalive, and they don’t belong there.

She asks if he’s going for a swim. She says it’s not dangerous here, it’s likely just a caretaker trick to keep anyone from using it, so they don’t have to clean up.

Mel sits down, saying she’s only taking a rest on her feet before she goes swimming. We see, but they don’t, what appears to be an aquatic cleaner robot in the pool.

The Chief is escorted down to the basement, where he asks his “beauty” why it is sending the cleaners for more bodies. It replies, saying BECAUSE THE BODIES THE CLEANERS BROUGHT WERE NOT RIGHT. It says it wasn’t the right body for him to live in. The Chief argues that everyone’s noticing all the missing bodies, but the… whatever it is, says it is of no matter, it is ready, it has a plan.

All the while, the Red and Blue Kangs are sneaking up behind the Chief and cleaner.

The Chief says he’s done so much for it, but it says it needs only one more thing from him, and the cleaner starts pushing the Chief forward to the thing. He argues, saying he won’t give it what it wants.

YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, the voice booms, I AM KROAGNON THE GREAT ARCHITECT AND I WILL PUT AN END TO YOU AND EVERYONE IN PARADISE TOWERS!

A tube drops down around the Chief and we hear a scream. The Doctor tries to get the Kangs to retreat, but a cleaner robot grabs him by the throat… and the credits roll.

Interesting cliffhanger there. Kinda thought that the thing in the basement was gonna be the Architect’s legacy/memory/something, even before we learned about Miracle City.

Episode 4:

The Kangs get The Doctor free of the cleaner and they rush away.

The tube rises, and the Chief is changed; his uniform seems shinier. He address the cleaners and we learn that Kroagnon has placed his intellect in the Chief’s body. He rants on and on and on and on and on, basically recapping what/who he is and why he’s the bad guy.

The Doctor tells the Kangs that they need to gather all the Kangs and prepare for Kroagnon’s emergence from the basement.

Mel is swimming, telling Pex there’s nothing to be frightened off, but then the pool cleaner attacks her.

The Doctor tells them when the others arrive, they have to make it to the Great Pool in the Sky.

Mel screams for Pex to help her, but he just asks what to do. She screams and struggles and he starts calling out for help. Finally, he hands her his gun and she shoots the pool cleaner with it. (C’mon, couldn’t he at least have become heroic then?)

The Deputy issues a communique to all caretakers, initiating “Regulation ZZZ” (that’s Zed Zed Zed in British speak), overriding “all other rules and regulations”. All caretakers are ordered back to control and to use “extreme caution”.

Mel apologises to Pex; I’m not sure why, though. She hears a rustling sound and goes to investigate, only to find The Doctor! The Kangs follow out and The Doctor and Pex are introduced.

The Archi-Chief leads a cleaner through the hallway, spreading gas that knocks out or kills a caretaker as they pass.

The Kangs, talking to Pex, decide that Mel is a Kang, after all, since she killed the pool cleaner instead of him. The girls make fun of Pex, while The Doctor says all the factions are so divided, there’s no way to unite them all, but Mel says they have to find a way if they’re to defeat Kroagnon.

Pex, taunted by the Kangs (Blue and Red alike), storms off, but stops as several rezzies (led by the one who knew Tilda and Tabby). She says they wanted to talk, that they need their help.

Archi-Chief arrives at control and tells the Deputy that all the “living flesh” must be gotten rid of. The Archi-Chief says that his instructions cannot be argued, it’s in the rulebook, but the Deputy points out that there are exceptions allowed for by the rulebook, such as when the Chief Caretaker “just isn’t the Chief Caretaker”.

The Deputy dashes off before the Chief or cleaner can get him.

The rezzies say that the cleaners are on a pogrom, working their way up. They’re at level 115 now, and the remaining rezzies have moved upward to try to hide.

The Kangs accuse the Rezzies of being liars and untrustworthy. The Rezzies say they need to set aside the differences, but apologise for their part.

The Doctor asks the Kangs (who huddle together, Red and Blue alike, noteworthy there) and they agree to work with the Rezzies. At The Doctor’s insistence, they even agree to work with Pex, but assert they will “Never, ever!” work with the caretakers.

Just then, the Deputy arrives, asking if he can have a word with them.

The Archi-Chief marks off through level 170, apparently having cleared off all floors up that far. He says the others will be heading to the top floor. (Oh, I see, he’s saying how many floors are left.)

The Doctor says they need to immobilise the cleaners and try draw out Kroagnon from the control room. The Deputy says that there’s an emergency supply of explosives. Everyone gets excited and Rezzies and Kangs start making plans on working together.

Kroagnon tries to view the pool, but the computer tells him, per the express order of the Great Architect, surveillance of the swimming area is not permitted. The Archi-Chief is not happy.

The Doctor says he will be the bait for the trap to draw out Kroagnon. Someone will have to go to The Great Architect to offer to lead him to The Doctor, and Pex volunteers, despite the teasing of the Kangs.

In the control room, The Doctor comes on the screen, addressing Kroagnon. The Time Lord says that Paradise Towers suffers from Kroagnon’s usual flaws and offers to work with him if the wants to talk, then signs off.

A group of Rezzies ambush a cleaner, covering it with a tablecloth, and then Kangs attack, shooting it and taking it out of commission.

The Doctor gives Pex his instructions – get Kroagnon out of the control room ASAP (so he doesn’t see the attacks on the cleaners) but then take his time bringing him to wherever they’re going. “We need time,” he tells the young man, “no heroics, just a cool clear head.”

Mel gives Pex a bracelet from the Kangs, saying they say he’s a Kang now. Two Red Kangs exchange a look and I almost expect a trick. Pex gives Mel his gun, saying he can’t use it this time, and the two Kangs seem impressed.

Mel gives him a peck on the cheek.

A cleaner is assaulted by a group of Caretakers, Rezzies and Kangs and they blow it up. They all celebrate, having set aside their differences, it seems.

Pex is on a video screen, offering to take Kroagnon to The Doctor. Pex tells them that the “other… mobile rubbish” have found a hiding place they think Kroagnon doesn’t know about and are there, planning against him.

Kroagnon tells Pex if he gets The Doctor, he’ll give the boy a safe way out.

The Kangs and The Doctor hustle to make plans for Pex and Kroagnon’s arrival, hoping that the boy doesn’t rush.

En route, Kroagnon asks Pex if this is a trap. The young man says it’s not. The Archi-Chief says he’s enjoying walking around his “marvellous Towers in this body”, but warns him that he won’t deal kindly with anyone who would lay a trap.

Pex is visibly frightened and says they should hurry. Kroagnon agrees and he and two cleaners follow the boy. Kangs follow and keep an eye on their progress, one calling in to the brainquarters to warn them.

Kroagnon and Pex arrive where The Doctor is, having just rushed the Deputy and others away. The Doctor mocks Kroagnon, saying the place is shoddy and poorly designed, saying he couldn’t even design a door knob.

He tries to push the Architect into a trap, but the Architect is too strong. Pex runs off, but sees Mel’s disappointed face, and he turns back to help The Doctor. He shoves The Doctor aside and leaps at the Archi-Chief, and the two of them fall through the door, into an explosion.

Next, we see everyone gathered, mourning Pex. Aw…

In life, he was not a Kang, but in death, he was brave and bold, as a Kang should be.”

The Red and Blue Kangs hail Pex in their ceremony as Caretakers and Rezzies look on.

Mel mourns Pex, but The Doctor says that Pex’s death brought everyone together, pointing out that the Kangs and Rezzies and Caretakers are all together, something that would not have happened before.

The Kangs present The Doctor with a two sided scarf, one blue, one red, saying he has been made an honourary Kang. He and Mel say a quick goodbye, and slip into the TARDIS.

When the TARDIS fades away, we see wall-scrawl behind it, a gun with a red and blue line crossing it out and the words PEX LIVES underneath it… and the final credits roll.

Okay, much better than Time and the Rani, I will say that. I’m still not remotely fond of Mel and not sure how I feel about Seven. I guess we’ll find out as we go along, what what?