Wednesday, 31 December 2014
TARDIS Travels No.3
Season 2 ended with the features of the Doctor, Steven and Vicki superimposed over a starfield - heading to where? To when?
Journey 023: Northumbria, 1066, to an unnamed planet, date unknown.
Have there been any unseen adventures between seasons? Possibly.
The TARDIS materialises on a lifeless, doomed planet, which will be destroyed by natural processes in a couple of days time. There has been a great deal of debate about the title of this story - Galaxy 4. The Drahvins claim to come from Galaxy 4 - so does that mean that this planet is somewhere else? It has always seemed odd to me that this story has "Galaxy 4" as an umbrella title (and has had this almost since day one) if the action doesn't actually take place there. It is pointed out several times that the Drahvin ship is a bit rubbish - so maybe incapable of intergalactic travel. Drahva is only "400 dawns" away (i.e. 400 Drahvin days - whose duration we know nothing about. Actually, I have it on good authority that 1 Drahvin Dawn = 3 Morok Minims). Has a Londoner never said they come from London when in London? They might not say it to another Londoner, but they might to an out-of-towner - and the Doctor and his companions are aliens to the Drahvins. Personally, I think this planet is in Galaxy 4.
The TARDIS is able to provide a power boost to the Rill spaceship.
One odd thing that has always struck me - relating to the correlation between the exterior shell and the interior - is the Chumbley being heard to move around the ship in episode one. How can the Doctor and his companions hear it moving the distance of the control room (big space), when it is only travelling the distance of the Police Box width?
Journey 024: Doomed planet in Galaxy 4, date unknown, to Asia Minor, c.1200 BC.
The TARDIS materialises on the plains outside the city of Troy, on the north-west coast of what we now call Turkey. The Trojans take the ship into their city with Vicki still aboard. This story does directly follow Galaxy 4, as Vicki is still nursing an injured ankle.
Until the early 20th Century, Troy was just a myth - an epic story by the poet Homer. How ironic that Troy is pretty much accepted as historical fact today, and it is poor Homer who is now the myth. Yes, it is generally believed that he never existed as an historical figure - just the personification of an ancient oral bardic tradition.
That Troy was a city which was, at least in part, destroyed by the Mycenaean Greeks is accepted. It may not have been destroyed in quite so cataclysmic a fashion as the myth states, however. (There's archaeological evidence of later building phases). The Greeks probably diminished Troy's power, and then other factors like attacks by the enigmatic "Sea Peoples", earthquakes, and the silting up of its port all probably meant a much slower decline. No evidence for Helen. No evidence of the Wooden Horse. A ten year siege unlikely - probably a series of seasonal campaigns, with the Greeks going home in between attacks. That Troy's attackers came from all over Greece, but under Mycenaean leadership, we can accept - as most city states and kingdoms had pacts that meant if any one was attacked or went to war, the others agreed to help out.
One interesting theory about the Wooden Horse - it could be symbolic of an earthquake. The horse was a symbol of Poseidon - who was also the god of earthquakes.
Journey 025: Troy, c.1200 BC, to Kembel, 4000 AD.
At the end of Galaxy 4, Vicki wondered what strange things might be going on on Kembel, which appeared on the TARDIS scanner. She would never get the chance to know, but the Doctor, Steven and new companion Katarina find out. The story follows immediately after events in the doomed city of Troy, with Steven suffering from blood-poisoning from wounds he received in the fighting.
The Doctor has a chair that can exert a magnetic hold on whoever sits in it - never seen again after this story.
The TARDIS gets left behind on Kembel for a few episodes. The Doctor and his companions travel to Earth in a stolen spaceship - going via Desperus. They are then transported to Mira by molecular dissemination. They steal a Dalek ship to finally get back to Kembel to retrieve the TARDIS. The Daleks conveniently bring the ship to the planet under a magnetic ray, but the travellers get back into the TARDIS after Steven accidentally creates a forcefield after mucking about with the fake Taranium Core and the "gravity force" of the ship's power source.
Journey 026: Kembel, 4000 AD, to Liverpool, 25th December, 1965.
The TARDIS materialises outside a police station on Christmas Day. (It had been hoped that the cast of popular Merseyside police drama Z-Cars might appear. They didn't).
The scanner breaks down - and the camera appears to be in the roof light - as suggested in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Journey 027: Liverpool, 25th December, 1965, to Hollywood, California, late 1920's.
The TARDIS arrives in a film studio during the silent era of cinema - though "talkies" are coming in. Possibly the Hal Roach studios, judging by the presence of the Keystone Kops. Bing Crosby's presence puts this between 1925 - 1930.
Journey 028: Hollywood, California, late 1920's, to the Oval cricket ground, Vauxhall, London, 1960's.
The TARDIS materialises briefly on the pitch during a Test Match between England and Australia. The date is either August 1964, or August 1968. At the time this story was broadcast, England were actually playing Australia on their patch.
Journey 029: Oval cricket ground, Vauxhall, London, 1960's, to Trafalgar Square, London, 1st January 1966.
The TARDIS materialises briefly in the Square during the New Year celebrations.
Journey 030: Trafalgar Square, London, 1st January 1966, to Tigus, date unknown.
The TARDIS arrives on this recently formed planet, in the midst of volcanic activity. The time-meddling Monk sabotages the ship's lock - leaving the Doctor and his companions stranded outside the vessel. The Doctor uses the light from the sun, which has strange properties, refracted through his ring into the lock mechanism to effect a temporary repair.
Journey 031: Tigus, date unknown, to Giza Plateau, Egypt, c.2500 BC.
The TARDIS materialises at the base of the Great Pyramid, but is later taken into the tomb by the Egyptian workers. The Doctor repairs the lock properly. He then breaks into the Monk's TARDIS, playing about with the Chameleon Circuit to make it look like a number of objects before settling on a Police Box - to decoy the Daleks. He steals the Monk's directional control unit to use in his own ship so that they can return to Kembel.
Journey 032: Giza Plateau, Egypt, c.2500 BC to Kembel, 4000 AD.
The stolen directional unit manages to make the one journey before burning itself out - components from different models obviously not being totally interchangeable.
Journey 033: Kembel, 4000 AD, to Paris, 19th August, 1572.
The TARDIS materialises in a garden near the Porte Saint-Martin. Another story title that slightly misleads as the slaughter of Paris' Huguenot population is known as the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day, rather than Eve. However, the events actually did begin on the eve (23rd August) and carried on into the feast day itself (24th), and indeed beyond.
To hide his ignorance of current affairs in France, Steven says that he has been in Egypt - suggesting not much time has elapsed since the previous story. The Doctor's later monologue suggests no intervening adventures at all.
Journey 034: Paris, 23rd August 1572, to Wimbledon Common, 1966.
Furious that the Doctor did not try to help Anne Chaplette (or any of his other Huguenot friends for that matter), Steven storms out of the TARDIS when it materialises on Wimbledon Common, South London. Instead of picking up Madame Cholet (or Orinoco, or Great Uncle Bulgaria) as the new companion, it is Dodo who joins the TARDIS crew, after entering the ship to report an accident. (The poor kid who has been run over is apparently left to bleed to death). Ian and Barbara were to have returned for a cameo appearance in this sequence - hearing the ship but arriving too late as it dematerialised.
Journey 035: Wimbledon Common, 1966, to the Ark, 57th Segment of Time.
The TARDIS arrives in a jungle habitat on the massive spacecraft that is going to take the last humans, and their Monoid friends, to a new home on the planet Refusis II - seeing as how the Earth is just about to be burnt up by the expanding Sun. A certain 2005 story will imply this is not the final destruction but an unsurvivable bout of solar flare activity. Maybe even some underhand tricks by the High Council on Gallifrey. Is Earth actually being Ravaloxed?
Journey 036: The Ark, 57th Segment of Time, to the Ark, now approaching Refusis II, 700 years later.
A very clever thing, in a generally derided story - the ship arrives back where it started (sort of) and we get to see consequences of the time-travellers' involvement. "Segments of Time" appear to be quite lengthy periods (the 51st covered everything from the Emperor Nero to the Dalek invasion of Earth), so let's assume we're still in the 57th.
Journey 037: The Ark, 57th Segment of Time, to The Celestial Toyroom (location unknown, date unknown).
The fantasy realm of the immortal Celestial Toymaker, whom the Doctor has encountered before - probably pre-Totters Lane. The TARDIS gets stolen by the Toymaker and the travellers have to play a series of games and solve puzzles to get it back. For the first time in a long time (the very first episode actually), the TARDIS is recognisable by a faint vibration. Perhaps it only does this when the Doctor hasn't switched off the power (see The Rescue).
Journey 038: Celestial Toyroom (date and location unknown) to Tombstone, Arizona, October, 1881.
The TARDIS materialises in a livery stable in the infamous town a few days before the infamous gunfight at its infamous OK Corral. (The shoot-out took place on 26th October, infamously).
Journey 039: Tombstone, Arizona, October 1881, to unnamed planet, date unknown.
All we know is that it is supposed to be a time of great peace and prosperity, and far in the future, when Doctor Who stories no longer need individual episode titles. The humanoid population of this planet has divided between an indolent, parasitic bunch led by the Elders; and a sub-class referred to as Savages who are having their life-force harvested to maintain the former. After the Elders' scheme has been stopped, Steven agrees to stay on to be the new, impartial ruler.
On several DVD commentaries, Peter Purves has suggested a new story where the Doctor returns to find he made a complete hash of it and ended up a tyrant. The new series hasn't picked up on this idea - but Big Finish have. They would.
Journey 040: Unnamed planet, date unknown, to Fitzroy Square, London, July 1966.
The first proper landing in contemporary London - so the Doctor has an "Out of Order" sign ready to stop policemen from mistaking the TARDIS for a real phone box. This suggests it has happened before. The Post Office Tower opened in 1964 - but Dodo seems surprised to see it complete. She is supposed to come from 1966, and elects to stay on here at this time rather than continue her travels. Too much time spent down the "Inferno Club", if you ask me. Date-wise, the subsequent The Faceless Ones will confirm this as July 1966 (Journey 041 will commence on 20th July, according to Ben - but that's for next time).
Sir Charles Summer mentions 16th July as falling on a Monday. This must be a mistake on his part - or it's the real start of the "UNIT Dating Controversy" - as that would make this either 1962, or 1973. Maybe he's been spending too much time down the "Inferno Club" as well...
So that's why Dodo left so abruptly when she did... Recuperating in the country, my backside. Dodo and Sir Charles - down the "Inferno"...