Sunday, June 30, 2013

Trial Of A Timelord - Part Four: The Ultimate Foe

At only two parts, "The Ultimate Foe" is a pretty good climax to the whole trial. This wasn't just the end of the trial, it was the end of the season. For the first time since "The Key to Time" a season long story arc was wrapped up. Apart from most regenerations, the last story of the season is just a regular one. Here is the end of The Doctor's trial.


The Inquisitor brings in the Keeper of the matrix and asks if The Doctor is done with his defense. The Valeyard reminds them of the charge of genocide. The Doctor says much of The Railyard's evidence has been distorted. The matrix was tampered with. The Keeper says it is impossible to change, only he holds the key of Rassilon needed to enter the matrix. The Doctor points out the key does get used, could be copied, and it COULD be distorted. The Valeyard says there is no evidence. When asked who would do this, The Doctor blames The Valeyard. Another shot outside the ship, with the beam of light appearing, this time bringing in two oddly casket shaped capsules. Inside The Doctor is saying he can only rebut evidence with witnesses, which he doesn't have. In walk Mel and Glitz, to The Doctors confusion. They say they were sent, and a face appears on the matrix screen. The Master. He's inside the matrix.

This is proof the matrix can be invaded. The Master has a copy of the key. The Inquisitor is upset. The Master claims to be intervening in the name of justice, which makes The Doctor laugh. The Master doesn't like The Valeyard. The Valeyard objects and pretends not to know him. The Master has sent Mel and Glitz. The Valeyard calls Glitz a criminal, but The Inquisitor allows the witness. The Doctor questions Glitz about the secrets he was after. Glitz reveals that the sleepers had found a way into the matrix. They were operating from Earth and the Timelords found out. The Timelords used a magnatron, which must be ordered by high counsel, to move the Earth, renaming it Ravalox. This caused the fireball and the rescue team from Andromeda to never find the sleepers, thus the secrets. The Doctor says he has had many enemies, but he should have stayed on Gallifrey, calling them corrupt. It would have remained secret if The Doctor hadn't gone to Ravalox. The Master says the high counsel struck a deal with The Valeyard, or as he's always known him, The Doctor, to distort evidence and make The Doctor a scapegoat, promising The Valeyard the rest of his lives. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of The Doctor's personality, somewhere between his 12th and final incarnation. The Doctor objects at both prosecution and defense being the same person. The Inquisitor says in this case it is irrelevant. But The Valeyard runs. They follow but just outside he has disappeared. The keeper says he must have gone through the 7th door and opens it for The Doctor, who takes Glitz with him into the matrix.

A beam of light brings The Doctor into the streets and back alleys of what appears to be Victorian times maybe? It's dark, there's hay, you hear horses clopping, there are rats, no people around, but a man's laughter. No Glitz, either. Children in the distance hauntingly sing London Bridge. Then there's a saloon piano playing somewhere. The Doctor finds a barrel and looks into the water. Hands reach out and pull his face under. Glitz appears, but The Doctor is on the ground awake. He says in the matrix the only logic is there is no logic. Nothing is real. Glitz hands The Doctor a note from The Master with the location of The Valeyard's base. It's called The Fantasy Factory, and the proprietor is J.J. Chambers. Why is The Master helping? In the courtroom The Master is filling in The Inquisitor and tells her The Valeyard exploited The Doctor's feelings for Peri, who was actually still alive, the Queen to King Yrcanos. The Valeyard is playing games with The Doctor and Glitz. The Master hopes The Doctor and Valeyard destroy each other. The Doctor and Glitz go inside the factory. Junior Mr. Popplewick asks if they have an appointment and talks about procedures and things taking time. The Doctor rushes through the office door to find the same man, except the senior Mr. Popplewick this time. More procedure and appointment talk. He asks The Doctor to sign a release so that if he dies while there, Mr. Chambers gets his remaining lives. The Doctor signs. The Doctor enters the waiting room to find himself on a beach alone. He hears laughter as hands grab his ankles from under the muddy sand. The Doctor falls and the hands pull him under as he screams.


Glitz arrives, but not in time, The Doctor goes under. But he rises up dry and reminds Glitz they aren't dealing with reality. The Valeyard appears, and keeps popping around the place while he talks. The Doctor asks why he wants him dead. The Valeyard says to be free of The Doctor's morality, and with unlimited access to the matrix nothing would be out of his reach. He disappears. A fog starts coming in, nerve gas. The Doctor and Glitz run. Mel is in court watching this on the matrix screen. The Inquisitor says they can't interfere. Mel wants the key to the 7th door but doesn't get it. The Doctor helps Glitx into an old rundown house, which dematerializes. They are inside The Master's TARDIS. The Master wants The Valeyard eliminated. He sets his console and takes Glitz out of the room. Loud noise and lights start flashing and The Doctor is forced into a catatonic state. The Master's TARDIS materializes as an old tomb in front of the factory. The Master brings out The Doctor and stands him there. He and Glitz hide as his TARDIS dematerializes. The Valeyard comes out and The Master tries to shoot him, to The Valeyard's amusement. He sends little explosions after The Master as he and Glitz run. 

The Doctor reacts when he hears Mel's voice. She's calling from the shadows and gets him to come with her. They exit the 7th door and she says he must clear his name. The Inquisitor wants an apology and he gives her one. The charge of genocide is still before them. After assuring them he would trust Mel with his life, they show her the clip of destroying the Vervoids. The Doctor says tell the truth and she admits The Doctor acted on his own, there was no choice. She senses something is going wrong. The Doctor admits you always have a choice. The Inquisitor delivers a verdict of guilty, saying his lives are forfeit. The Doctor accepts the sentence. Mel and the real Timelords are watching this on the matrix screen. Mel is upset he is being tricked and finally gets the key from the keeper. Inside the matrix she sees The Doctor standing stoically in a horse drawn cart led by a Gallifreyan guard. Mel tries to save him. He whispers for her to go away. But the damage is done, the cart and horse disappear. Mel ruined it. The Doctor was trying to force a confrontation with The Valeyard. When fake Mel gave evidence of The Doctor denying the genocide charge he knew she hadn't even been there at the time. The Master wants Glitz to lead The Doctor to The Valeyard and tries to hypnotize him. Glitz is all money, though, so The Master offers him a chest full of treasure. 

The Doctor is searching one office and in another Glitz finds the tape of secrets, the original copy. He also finds the senior Mr. Popplewick. The Doctor finds a list of the Timelords at his trial, all crossed out, and in his handwriting. Glitz comes in with Popplewick, who will take them to Chambers. Glitz leaves with his tape of secrets but The Master forces him to his TARDIS. Popplewick keeps stalling, but The Doctor knows what's what and takes the mask off Popplewick to reveal The Valeyard. Mel opens some doors marked danger and claims there is a megabyte modem, which sounds ridiculous now but at the time was so fancy sounding. The Doctor calls it a MASER, or microwave amplification and stimulated emission of radiation. The Doctor processes the info. It is a particle disseminator, which will destroy everything. The Valeyard is untying himself. The Doctor gets the list of names, it is a hit list. They must disconnect the matrix and evacuate the courtroom. 

In the courtroom The Inquisitor learns the high counsel has been deposed, there is chaos. The Master, on the screen, is pleased and offers his leadership. In his TARDIS he plugs the tape into his console, but everything gets distorted and he and Glitz are trapped against the wall unable to move. Mel bursts into the courtroom and yells to get out. They don't, the screen explodes, but everyone is fine. The Doctor had fiddled with the maser, but he also triggered a feedback. The Doctor runs, but The Valeyard stays and is apparently killed when we see the building explode. The Doctor appears in the courtroom asking about his sentence. The Inquisitor gladly tells him all charges are dropped, and let's him know that Peri is still alive. They show a sweet shot of Peri and Yrcanos from "Mindwarp." The Inquisitor tries to persuade The Doctor to run for Lord President again, but he suggests she take up the post. He asks her to be lenient on Glitz when they restore the matrix. The Doctor and Mel stand outside the TARDIS and she talks about getting back to exercise and carrot juice. They leave, which makes me wonder. When did the Master take Mel and bring her? The Doctor was taken when he was with Peri, so he has not traveled with her yet but she has with him! That one is definitely a first, and is partially what happens with River Song.

Back in the courtroom the Timelords are leaving. The Inquisitor instructs the keeper to reconstruct the matrix as she leaves. The Keeper turns around and it is The Valeyard.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Trial Of A Timelord - Story Three: Terror Of The Vervoids (or: the case for the defense)


This story is the first time since Susan in the first episode where we have a companion The Doctor has already been travelling with. It also has not happened since. The Doctor is still sad from the news of Peri's death. The Inquisitor has given him time for his distress and The Valeyard insists they continue. The Doctor is to present his defense. He has been allowed access to the matrix and plans to present evidence from his future, his defense being that he improves. Evidence where he thwarts a threat to a cruise liner and the entire planet Earth. The Hyperion 3, bound from Mogar to Earth, with passengers and a priority consignment of precious metals. It is 2986 and the last passengers board. One will murder. A blonde woman, Professor Lasky, complains her key doesn't work. Final passengers check in with Janet, the lone cruise stewardess. An old man calls out to the last passenger, recognizing him as an investigator named Hallett. The man denies it and claims to be named Grenville. Laskey and her two colleagues, Bruchner and Doland, are worried at the thought of an investigator. The Hyperion leaves Mogar. 

In the TARDIS, Mel is making The Doctor work out on a stationary bike, then offers him carrot juice to quench his thirst. On the Hyperion, the crew picks up the TARDIS on radar. Elsewhere a Mogarian, very steampunk before it's time, must switch on his translator to communicate. Crew members flirt. Someone enters the communications room, stuns the crew, and flips some switches. A mayday signal sounds in the TARDIS. They materialize in the Hyperion hold. The Doctor is hesitant, claiming evil is present. He's stopped from leaving by guards who take them to the bridge. Here they meet Commodore Travers, a man who has been helped by The Doctor before. They don't know who sent the mayday, so Travers confines The Doctor to the passenger quarters, planning to use him to flush out the culprit. In the hold there are plant pods. In an office among them, a Mogarian turns on a light and steals some Demeter seeds, like huge silver Mentos. The light hits a plant pod and it begins to glow.

The Doctor and Mel talk in the lounge. Mel is from a place called Peas Pottage, but that's all we learn about her. Mel pushes a worried Doctor to solve the mystery. We see an isolation room that a masked Doland or Bruchner goes in past a guard. In the gym, Lasky is working out and Mel comes in. She dons a headset for workout music, because that's how it's done in gyms. Bruchner, or the other one, comes in and gets Lasky because of a problem at the hydroponics. Mel's music stops and a voice speaks to her. The Doctor is checking the passenger list when Mel comes and tells him to meet whoever sent the mayday in cabin 6. Cabin 6 is in shambles. They find some Demeter seeds and a boot. They run off the the waste disposal where someone has fallen in, or been pushed. There is a boot left that matches the lone boot in cabin 6, which they learn was Grenville's cabin. The Doctor says the case is over, suggesting Mel go investigate the hydroponics center. In trial The Doctor interrupts, not remembering that, claiming those aren't even his words. He feels he is being manipulated and evidence has been distorted. The Valeyard says it's them who are being manipulated, saying The Doctor sent Mel to die. Mel and crewman Edwardes go to the hydroponics to find Lasky. He tells Mel the lights must be low spectrum to keep the plants dormant. He opens the cage and there are huge flashes of light, Mel screams, and boy does this companion scream.


The plants come alive and kill Edwardes. Another guard comes and takes Mel to safety as another guard is killed. The Valeyard claims this is The Doctor's fault, who said it isn't what happened when he viewed the matrix. He says the only way to discover why he's being manipulated is to press on. Laskey and The Doctor are talking in the gym when guards come to take him to the bridge. Travers is questioning Mel, who says there was a booby trap and if not for Edwardes she would be dead. The bodies can't be found, so that clear Mel. Travers laments The Doctor's appearance on thee scene. In the lounge The Doctor and Mel asks Lasky about the Demeter seeds. She accuses him of stealing them and he explains. The Hyperion adjusts it's course. In the lounge the Mogarians are, no kidding, playing Galaga. I could only find a small pic but I'm surely including it. They stop and make complaints individually about going so close to a black hole. They complain about the humans and their taking of Mogar's minerals. The Valyard interrupts as to the point, but The Doctor points out if he had payed attention, he would have known one of them was about to die. 

The Mogarians are served drinks as the passengers mill about the lounge. One rises, choking, then collapses to the floor. The Mogarians object when The Doctor removes the ventilator mask, but it is not a Mogarian. He is identified as Grenville, from cabin 6. The Doctor knows him as investigator Hallett, who the old man says he had recognized him as earlier. The Doctor figures that's why he staged his death. When The Valeyard asks how The Doctor knew he wasn't a Mogarian, they show the clip again and see he didn't need to use his translator. He says he couldn't choose to stay on the sidelines. Mel follows The Doctor to the hydroponics, where The Doctor shows her a leaf he found on Hallett. They wonder what came out of the pods. Laskey is talking with her men about their experiment and discovery remaining a secret. The isolation room was just an unfortunate accident. Someone, or something, watches from the air vent. The old man orders a drink from Janet. In his cabin he enters the bathroom and is killed by the sting of something still unseen. It's plantlike and it turns the shower on when Janet returns to fool her. Determined to get in the isolation room, The Doctor sets off an alarm and the guard runs. The Doctor and Mel enter. There is some tank or chamber, and when they open it, the body of a woman lies inside, part of her head some type of strange plant hybrid. Her one good eye opens. 


The plant woman begs them to stop Lasky. Lasky and her men come in and shoo The Doctor and Mel out. She was a lab assistant who had a scratch on her thumb during a cross fertilization experiment. They called it a calculated risk. Security comes and takes The Doctor for setting off the false alarm. The Valeyard fails to comprehend the evidence. The Doctor begs the same restraint he showed, and The Valeyard chuckles. The Doctor defends his actions to Travers. Janet comes and tells him the old man is missing. Mel overhears and goes to his room, finding a leaf in the vent. In the hold, the Vervoids are piling bodies. They are some of the worst looking monsters. I can't even begin to describe them without being vulgar. Plant people, leave it at that.  Travers agrees to cooperate with The Doctor. Security chief Rudge is forced to sit and talk to the Mogarians. Vervoids attack more crew. Doland sees Bruchner destroying their paperwork. In the gym, Lasky won't tell Mel what the leaf is. Doland comes in and tells her what Bruchner is up to and she leaves. Mel hears voices in the vent and uses her headset to record them. She hears the Vervoids plotting to kill them. Someone grabs Mel. The Doctor looks for Mel, who he doesn't see being wheeled past him in a trash bin.

The Doctor finds the recording, hears Mel scream, puts 2 and 2 together and gets to her just before pulverization. The tape was now missing, though. Mel goes to spy on Janet, The Doctor says he's off to the hydroponics. After a quick scene of a Mogarian clumsily spilling a drink there is a shot of The Doctor, holding an axe, standing in a destroyed communications room. In trial The Doctor objects that he's not the one who did the sabotage, and states the matrix is wrong. When asked if there's any point in continuing, he says what else does he have and they continue. Mel is snooping in Janet's room when a Vervoid comes in. She hides in the shower. Lasky is mad at Bruchner for his destruction of files. He knocks her out and flees. The Doctor finds her and warns her Bruchner has gone wild. On the bridge, Bruchner forces Travers out, locking the door. Bent on destroying the ship he changes course. In Janet's room the Vervoid goes wild, then starts spraying a fog. Outside the bridge, The Doctor tells the others that Bruchner is aiming the Hyperion 3 into the black hole of Tartarus.


Vervoids get into the vents, including the one in Janet's room. Mel escapes the fog. They cut through the door to the bridge, but the Vervoids have fogged the bridge, Bruchner is dead. Rudge calls the Mogarians, who don't breathe air, and they go in and set the new course away from the black hole. Then the Mogarians, with the help of Rudge, take over the ship. They take the group to the lounge. Mel, Doland and Janet stay hidden. Rudge gets the keys to the vault to get the minerals the Mogarians feel were stolen. On the bridge, someone unseen throws a liquid on the Mogarians that kills them. Mel climbs in a vent and talks to The Doctor. He tells her to attack the bridge. On the bridge, they take the masks off the Mogarians to prove to Rudge his plan is over. The Doctor gets Rudge's upside down gun, which Mel thinks is odd for him to want. He also announces a search for the missing audio tape. Doland takes The Doctor to a safe in Laskys office. The safe is locked but Doland had the tape all along. He gets the gun The Doctor has set down to examine the safe. He vows that he will get the Vervoids to Earth to be used as slaves. The Vervoids hear this. But The Doctor had disarmed the gun. Doland runs, to be caught by guards, who all then get killed by Vervoids. 

Laskey believes there was a DNA malfunction in the Vervoids. They talk about how they want to kill all animal kind. Co-existence wouldn't work. Travers begs The Doctor's undivided commitment to help. In trial, The Doctor uses this to show he did not interfere, and The Inquisitor agrees. The Valeyard, however, prefers to await the outcome. Ingredients to make an herbicide have been destroyed. Lasky tried to reason with the Vervoids and is killed. A crewman kills a Vervoid, a Vervoid kills a crewman. The Doctor and Mel find the Vervoid's body pile. This upsets Mel. The Doctor tries to calm her by likening it to a compost heap. As they all try to fight off the Vervoids, The Doctor gets the idea of using the metal the Mogarians were after, a mineral that could release intense light and carbon dioxide to accelerate their life cycle. They fake a generator fault and shut down main lighting. The Vervoids retreat. The Doctor and Mel listen to them, but one finds Mel. She screams and releases the mineral. There are bright lights and negative lights. The Vervoids collapse, wither, and die. Thank yous all around and The Doctor and Mel leave. In trial The Doctor admitted that none of the creatures survived. The Valeyard is excited. He now says it is no longer a matter of meddling, but that it was now an issue of breaking article 7 of Gallifreyan law. The Doctor objects. The Valeyard says no exceptions, this was now a case of genocide. 

Next: The concluding story for "The Trial of a Timelord": "The Ultimate Foe"

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Trial Of A Timelord - Story Two: Mindwarp


They get their money's worth with that shot of the ship from space. Picking up where we left off, The Doctor objects to the abuse of The Brickyard. The Inquisitor warns them both. The Doctor brings up the bleeped evidence and the fact The Earth had been moved, but they continue on with the adventure The Doctor was in when he was taken. Thorus Beta, 24th century. A planet with neon pink oceans and neon green skies. In the sky you see the ringed planet, Thorus Alpha. The TARDIS materializes just off shore and The Doctor and Peri wade to shore. They've come from somewhere where a warlord of Thordin had a device that could stun and liquefy, and The Doctor wants to see where it came from. Inside a cave they find machinery for controlling the tide to extract energy. A creature I will call Sigmund the sea monster grabs Peri. The Doctor accidentally shoots and kills it. Guards enter and ask if The Doctor is with Professor Crozier, to which he agrees. The guard is puzzled that Sigmund attacked and takes The Doctor and Peri to see Crozier.

In the lab there is machinery hooked up to beds. On one bed is Brian Blessed in his energetic portrayal of King Yrcanos, barbarian warlord. Crozier is trying to pacify barbarians and enhance their brains. In the caves, The Doctor and Peri escape the guards. They hear a howl and find one of Crozier's experiments, a man with the face of a dog. He cries for help. There's a shot and they scatter. The Doctor and Peri see men pass by carrying platforms with slug-like creatures on them. One of them is Sil, last seen in Vengeance on Varos. This is his home planet. A greedy race that deal in commerce, loans, stocks, etc The other slug is the leader, Kiv, played by Christopher Ryan, who played the Sontaran leader in the season 4 two-parter. Kiv seems to be suffering from head pain. In the lab, Yrcanos is resisting pacification. They increase power. Kiv discusses a transference procedure to relieve his pain, and the dangers Crozier faces if he fails. The Doctor finds the lab and starts disconnecting cables. Sil comes in, finding Peri as revolting as usual. They don't believe The Doctor was attacked by Sigmund and strap him down to extract the truth about why he killed him. Crozier warns this procedure could kill The Doctor, then turns the machine on.


Yrcanos breaks free and starts rampaging. The Doctor and Peri follow him out. The Doctor seems dazed, not himself. Yrcanos speaks of devils and magic and wants weapons. They introduce themselves. The Doctor objects, claiming not to remember this. Valeyard says claiming amnesia won't work. He says if he doesn't remember then he's in for a surprise. Crozier tells Kiv he needs a new head for his increased brain power and size, but worried how Sigmund reacted to the same procedure. The Doctor, Peri and Yrcanos find where they process human's brains. Yrcanos sees weapons. The Doctor is acting silly. Yrcanos begins alluding to Peri as his queen. Guards come in and The Doctor gives the others away. Peri fumbles with a gun, gets a shot off, then runs. The Doctor stays. The Valeyard shows how The Doctor betrays his friends. the Doctor denies it is him, but is reminded that the matrix cannot lie. The Doctor believes something is wrong, and says it must be a ploy on his part, and to continue. 

Crozier wants to modify the procedure because of Sigmund, but Kiv wants him to proceed. The Doctor offers to help. Every time someone mentions needing a new body they eye The Doctor. Peri runs into a guard and, swear to God, kicks him in the leg and gets away. Yrcanos finds the dog man and discovers it's his friend Dorf. He vows to avenge him. He also wants to kill The Doctor. Guards chasing Peri are chased off by Yrcanos. Peri stumbles into the harem and gets a job. The harem enters the meeting/dining room where The Doctor sits by as Sil and Kiv eat green slimy chunks. Peri comes in with Kiv's medicine. The Doctor eyes her and asks for a drink. She uses his name and he accuses her of poisoning his drink. The guards take her away as she pleads for help. The Doctor interrupts the trial to say that was just a plan to get her alone. On the shore we see Peri chained to a rock as The Doctor yells at her to confess, but whispers at her that he's her friend. Then yells again that she must be sacrificed in his place. In trial, The Doctor shouts that it wasn't like that. He's reminded again that the matrix cannot lie. Yrcanos watches them taking Peri inside. She asks The Doctor what happened to him. He says he is doing what he thinks is best. Yrcanos attacks, aiming at The Doctor.


Peri stops Yrcanos and runs off with him. "My lady, what have you done?" asks Yrcanos. The Valeyard interrupts to call The Doctor a coward. The Doctor says he can recall some of it but the emphasis is wrong. It happened, just not as they saw. The Inquisitor suggests a recess, but The Doctor declines. The guards take The Doctor to Crozier. Kiv is being prepped for brain transfer. A dead slug with a slightly larger skull is ready. The Doctor helps, they sedate Kiv. For some strange reason we get a maniacal glare from Crozier here. Yrcanos tells Peri he wants to lead the resistance to overthrow Kiv, this is his destiny. Peri scoffs at destiny, which enrages Yrcanos. He says everyone has a purpose, and his is to die a hero. Peri talks him into resting, a cute scene. It seems the brain transfer has failed and the guards raise their guns, but then they get life signs. The resistance finds Yrcanos and takes the three of them away by force.

Peri, Yrcanos and Dorf are tied up. Peri pleads they are on the same side. Yrcanos has a plan and talks of the glory of battle. Trouble with Kiv. Cardiac arrest. The Doctor advises Sil on a business matter. Yrcanos talks himself into leader of the resistance. They find an old man collapsing who had been one of Croziers test subjects. They learn he was young, not old as he appeared. There is a small device attached to the back of his neck. They stabilize Kiv. Yrcanos finds the weapons dump blocked by a rock fall, and they find a body. The Doctor in trial objects that this wasn't his fault. The Valeyard says he is indirectly responsible. In hiding Yrcanos is doing his big war talk when there are shots. He, Peri and Dorf are all shot. The Doctor jumps up in the courtroom, crying out "No" and he's not reponsible. The Valeyard says in his mind maybe, but in reality it is something different.


The Doctor finds out they were only stunned. The Inquisitor finds the video footage gratuitous. Peri, Yrcanos and Dorf wake up captive for experiments. Kiv is funny because he keeps talking about the sea and once just said "do you smell fish" in the middle of a scene. The new body had been a fisherman. The host cells are trying to distort Kiv and they need another body. Peri is homesick and wants to go home. Yrcanos learns what love means. He says his people are reincarnated to a better life until a king, then they go to Fortuna, the home of the gods, to fight. The Doctor agrees with Crozier that he would willingly give his body for Kiv if it were compatible. He scoffs at the idea of using Peri. When Crozier says he will examine her, The Doctor asks him not to, to which Crozier says he must find him a suitable candidate in time.

The Doctor finds where Yrcanos is kept and frees him, to Yrcanos' confusion. Yrcanos wants to find his "bride." He and The Doctor go to slave control to free the slaves. Crozier has not waited and Peri is strapped into one of the beds. They shave her head for the procedure. Yrcanos is destroying the control center, causing all the slaves to go wonky. He cries out that he needs his queen. A guard kills Dorf. The Doctor and Yrcanos run in Peri's direction as alarms go off. The Doctor, however is stopped when a beam of light shines down behind him and the TARDIS materializes. This, yes this point, is where the Timelords chose to get him for this trial. The Doctor objects that he was on his way to save Peri. The Inquisitor said that things had gone too far and the high counsel intervened to prevent the consequences of the experiment. 

Perfect transfer. But not a brain transfer. Crozier has transferred Kiv's mind into Peri's brain. Peri no longer exists. And Kiv need never die, trading old body for young over and over. Yrcanos is outside about to attack, but the Timelords trapped him in a time bubble until the right moment of attack, using him as an assassin. Peri/Kiv wakes up. He likes the strong body, free of pain. Yrcanos is freed from the time bubble and enters the lab shooting. He sees Peri and goes mad, shooting everyone. The Doctor stands, shocked. The Valeyard says his negligence made it impossible for her to live. The Doctor says something is going on. He was taken out of time for a reason and he has every intention of finding out what it is.

The story isn't finished, but I can remember feeling sick after watching what happened to poor Peri. 

Next up is story three: "Terror of the Vervoids"

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Trial Of A Timelord - Story One: The Mysterious Planet


I have never forgotten the beginning of this set of stories for two reasons. At the time, the theme was excellent 80's synthesizer. Okay, I did forget that for a while, but I never forgot the opening sequence. The shot of a spaceship in space was done like no other space shot in Who before. The camera angle rotated as it discovered the ship with the stars in the background reacting accordingly. You really felt it was a spaceship. A hole opens in the structure of the ship and a beam of light shoots out. You see the TARDIS as it travels down the shaft of light into the ship. Inside, The Doctor exits the TARDIS with a bit of confusion, but seems to know where to go. He opens a set of doors to reveal a dimly lit courtroom, a figure in black opposite from him. We learn The Doctor had been propelled there by the Timelords who are in the shadows. Then the lights come up to reveal the Timelords. One in white comes in, The Inquisitor. She sits in the place of a judge and calls The Doctor the accused, surprising him. The man in black, The Valeyard, is bringing a case against The Doctor for conduct unbecoming of a Timelord and for transgressing the first law of time. They mention him having been on trial for this before, and perhaps they had been too lenient. The Doctor tries to get out of it by reminding them he is Lord President of Gallifrey. The Inquisitor tells him he was deposed for neglecting his duties. He is offered representation, but The Doctor says he will speak for himself. The Valeyard claims he will show 2 instances of The Doctors meddling, all stored within the matrix. They will begin on Ravalox.

We see The Doctor and Peri walking in the rain of a planet eerily similar to Earth, but light years away. One that was supposed to have been destroyed by a fireball, but clearly supported life, except they hear no birds. I like this more mature Peri, and her relationship with The Doctor. There are also two mercenaries, Sabalom Glitz and Dibber. They see The Doctor and think he is there for the same reason they are. Glitz discusses a complex and L3 robot being operational, so they need to find the light converter, which some villagers are using as a totem pole. He intimidates some villagers to take them back to their leader. The Doctor and Peri find a cave which leads to what appears to be a destroyed underground station. The Doctor interrupts the trial to ask where Peri is. He has some amnesia from being taken out of time by the Timelords. The Valeyard says she is probably where he left her. The Doctor and Peri find a doorway leading downwards, but Peri stays behind. Men in an odd primitive type of armor and mask grab her.

Glitz is at the village, thinking he can charm the leader, Katryca, played by the delightful Joan Sims. She's not having it. She's seen many travelers who all wanted the totem for a different reason. They take Glitz and Dibber's guns and lock them in one of the huts. The Doctor is walking in modern hallways that are well lit. He finds a room and lifts a carafe of water, setting off an alarm and a swarm of jumpsuited men who tie him up. They call him old one and he tells them he is only 900. A large robot is watching them on a scanner. The men refer to the immortal who commands them, and tell The Doctor that water is life. They untie The Doctor and begin to throw stones. He opens the umbrella to try and block the stones but is hit. The Doctor brags to the court about his little move with the umbrella. The Valeyard said The Doctor takes pride in his interferences. He then says that this began as a mere inquiry but was now a trial, and he was sure that if found guilty The Doctor would face termination.


The Inquisitor tells The Valeyard that the court may not have termination in mind and they return to the evidence. The Doctor is unconscious, and before the men can kill them the robot (the immortal) communicates to bring The Doctor to him. Katryca welcomes Peri to the village and promises to provide many husbands, then puts her in the same hut they are keeping Glitz and Dibber. Glitz discovers The Doctor is a Timelord. First he thinks he must have been sent, but sees him as freelance. Glitz has an underground map of the tunnels he plans to bargain with, but Katryca  says he shall be sacrificed to the fire. Meanwhile, Balazar is telling The Doctor how there is a culling to rid them of people and they take the two brightest children for the immortal to eat.We see two intelligent men with the large menacing robot with quite a sleek design including horns. They send out a service robot, the L1. 

The Doctor is the only one allowed in to see the immortal, who calls himself Jathro. Jathro thinks The Doctor is from Andromeda at first, but is pleased that he is a Timelord. He has a black light system that needs repaired. The inquisitor interrupts to see if this is all pertinent to the trial. The Doctor calls The Valeyard The Boatyard and The Graveyard, The Inquisitor warns him. The Doctor protests that he was working under duress, trying to repair the system or die. The Inquisitor agrees and The Doctor begins to try and charm her. 

The Doctor tells Jathro he can't fix the machine and must go to the aerial. He asks what all of it was for and is told it supported 3 sleepers until they could return to Andromeda. The Doctor recalls the rain above and asks why people can't go to the surface. Jathro says his instructions were to sustain an underground survival system. In his working, The Doctor gets a cable into the hands of Jathro and each of his companions. He zaps them and makes his escape. At the village, Peri, Glitz and Dibber escape. They also blow up the totem, which effected Jathro. The leader of the underground search party, Merdeen, secretly tells Balazar he must go to the surface and find others he has saved from the culling. Above, Peri, Glitz and Dibber run from the village search party. The Doctor finds Merdeen, who convinces him to take Balazar to the surface, and he does. The Valeyard interrupts to show that The Doctor could have removed himself at that point and chose not to. The Inquisitor says they will reserve judgement until the end of the sequence. Outside with The Doctor, Balazar is amazed at the lack of destruction. The Doctor is just remarking about Peri wandering off when she and the others run up and they all rush inside as the villagers approach. But inside they find themselves trapped between the villagers and the L1 service robot. 


Balazar knows one of the villagers, who shoots the L1 robot. Jathro reacts badly. His system is failing. The Doctor learns the totem is gone, and now the black light system is unstable and must be shut down. The Inquisitor interrupts to complain about the violent scenes, which The Valeyard says are necessary to show The Doctor's predilection towards violence. After The Doctor and others are taken to the village, the L1 robot reactivates. Katryca is intrigued by The Doctor, who has no weapons, and curious when he says he wants to repair the totem. But while Balazar is welcomed the others are imprisoned again. Outside, the L1 robot finds the village. Glitz says he is there to collect a few files, and confirms that this is Earth, in the wrong location. The L1 robot breaks into the hut they are in and stuns then grabs The Doctor. The rest follow. Katryca grabs up arms and follows. During a scene where Jathro and his 2 assistants argue, The Doctor interrupts, calling it irrelevant, calling The Valeyard, The Farmyard. He says he wasn't even in the scenes. the Valeyard brings him up to date on surveillance techniques. The evidence is being taken from the matrix, which is knowledge being constantly fed by the experiences of Timelords no matter where they may be. The Doctor tells The Scrapyard he wasn't even present, then apologized, claiming force of habit. The Valeyard tells him the experience of a 3rd party can be accessed if in range of a TARDIS. The Doctor says his TARDIS is old and must have been bugged.

The L1 robot is carrying The Doctor when it is attacked by villagers. Peri watches helplessly from behind a tree. The L1 is dead so Katryca thinks the immortal is dead and they leave to attack. Peri runs to The Doctor. Jathro says The Doctor must be there to collect the secrets of the sleepers. Glitz sends Dibber after heavy artillery. The Doctor begins to come around and calls Peri, Sarah Jane, asking when are they. Katryka and the villagers are underground trying to find their way to the riches they expect to find in the form of tools and knowledge. The Doctor knows Jathro won't want the system shut down because he will shut down too, but if not it will implode. He must save them if there's a chance. When he finds out The Doctor went underground, Glitz is sure he is here after the same thing. He and Dibber go down and Glitz warns that if they run into The Doctor, not to mention they are after the stuff.... and here the audio was squelched. The Valeyard says it has been excised in public interest. The Inquisitor doesn't like it but continues and we see Merdeen find The Doctor, raise his gun and shoot.


Merdeen shoots the man behind The Doctor, saving him. Katrika enters Jathros room, surprised at the sight of him. He kills her and sends the other off for the culling. The Doctor tells the court he was trying to avert a catastrophe. The Valeyard says his crime was in being there and setting in motion the chain of events. Glitz and Dibber are searching for the secrets. Dibber wonders if they're really worth anything. Glitz says the sleepers found a way in... and again the squelch in audio, then Glitz saying "..the biggest net of information." The Doctor objects again, but The Inquisitor lets it continue. Glitz is talking about the facts, figures, formulas, scientific information, anti grav power, all worth a fortune to various governments. 

The Doctor is trying to get Jathro to let him shut down the system, but Jathro feels robots have more value than humans. Peri tries to find a way in, Balazar suggests the ration chute. Glitz finds them. The Doctor says the implosion will cause a chain reaction that could cause universal destruction. Jathro sees Peri on the monitor approaching and thinks it's a plan of The Doctor's. He turns on the huge fans in the chute and for some reason lasers, really really bad lasers, shoot in one condensed area that was easily avoided. Peri, Glitz and the others come in. The Doctor explains what is happening. Glitz pretends he has black light power on his ship and leads Jathro away, asking him to bring the secrets. They tie up The Doctor and Peri then leave. The Doctor is instantly out of his binds and releases the others. He begins to try and shut the machine down. He does enough and there's only a small explosion. Jathro collapses above, overheating and burning the files containing the secrets.Glitz and Dibber are satisfied in finding the hardest metal in the galaxy, so it wasn't a total loss. 

Everyone else is okay and The Doctor tells Balazar it's time to bring his people to the surface. He still wonders who moved Earth in the first place. In court The Doctor seems proud to have succeeded. He insisted it be recorded what he did and that his presence was requested. The Valeyard scoffs at The Doctor and tells him he has barely started. The most damning evidence was yet to come and he felt sure the court would demand his life.

Up next: A review of "Mindwarp"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Doctor Who Review: The Trial of a Timelord

I can remember Doctor Who nearly getting canceled and then returning in 1986 after a year and a half hiatus. And it was returning with something new. Back in 1978, season 16 started with a story arc over the entire season pertaining to the key to time. Back in 1971, season 8 saw The Master in every episode, but season 16 contained an arc linking the episodes. When the show did return in 1986 it was titled "The Trial of a Timelord." This was one true entire season storyline. The difference is like the difference between the new season 1-4 (bad wolf, torchwood, the master/saxon, missing planets)  compared to Torchwood seasons 3 and 4 (children of earth, miracle day). In one case a plot thread runs through the different stories to culminate in a grand finale, in the other the entire season is one narrative spanning all episodes of the season. Season 23 is the closest we have to this in Doctor Who. Although unofficially broken into 4 stories, those stories interweave with the trial, giving the entire 14 episodes an uninterrupted flow.

Summing it up, The Doctor is put on trial by Timelords for his interfering ways. The case is heard by The Inquisitor, and presented by The Valeyard. During the trial, evidence is presented of The Doctor's meddling, giving us 3 of the 4 stories. In the first 2 we see The Doctor still travelling with Peri, albeit a seemingly more mature version. In the 3rd we meet the new companion, Mel, after she is already travelling with The Doctor, a first since Susan. She is shown in evidence given from The Doctor's future, but he continues on with Mel from here on out.

This is Colin Baker's last season as The Doctor, and after being fired he didn't even come back to film the regeneration scene, but I am going to review that first episode of the next season, "Time and The Rani", next month. I had forgotten until re watching these that there is a new theme arrangement used only in this set of episodes. Just in case some of you haven't seen it, I've tried to give a breakdown without giving away some key details, because there are some huge ones in this season. I'm going to review them each by the unofficial titles:
"The Mysterious Planet"
"Terror of the Vervoids"
"The Ultimate Foe"
And then I will link them each below as I post them.