Saturday, 31 January 2015
TARDIS Travels No.10
The 10th Anniversary season begins with the Doctor still in exile on Earth - but that is about to change...
After UNIT's latest HQ is attacked by blobby gel-creatures despatched from beyond a Black Hole, the Doctor and Jo have had to take refuge in the TARDIS, along with Sergeant Benton. He takes it all in his stride - reacting a lot better than his boss will shortly do. The Doctor calls for help from his bosses - but they are also under attack from the same source. Firstly, the Second Doctor is lifted from his time-stream to help, then the original incarnation (though he can only advise from afar). Once the Doctor and Jo have been transported to the universe of anti-matter, the Brigadier joins the Second Doctor and Benton in the TARDIS. On the advice of the First Doctor, the Second turns off the forcefield and the TARDIS gets sent through the Black Hole - taking the whole of UNIT HQ with it.
They are in a grey featureless wilderness, so the Brigadier naturally thinks it might be Cromer...
Journey 088: UNIT HQ (anti-matter universe, anti-1973), to Omega's citadel (same).
After discovering the Second Doctor's recorder lodged in the forcefield generator (the TARDIS equivalent of falling down the back of the sofa), and therefore still composed of ordinary matter, the TARDIS journeys to Omega's lair in order that everyone can be sent home, whilst the Doctors give him the only freedom he can ever have. Whilst the Third Doctor should be unable to pilot the ship at this time, the Second Doctor originates from a point before the trial, so he can operate it.
Journey 089: Omega's citadel (anti-matter universe), to UNIT HQ, Earth, 1973.
Just as Omega is (apparently) destroyed by the collision of matter and anti-matter, the two Doctors are able to pilot the ship back to the lab at UNIT HQ, arriving a few minutes after the others.
For his help in saving Gallifrey (still unnamed at this point), the Time Lords lift the exile. The parts of his memory that have been clouded are restored, and he is sent a new dematerialisation circuit. (Little does he know that it contains a means for the Time Lords to keep tabs on him, and to detour him occasionally when they have further jobs for him). As soon as he builds a new forcefield generator, the Doctor can resume his travels.
Journey 090: UNIT HQ, 1973, to SS Bernice exhibit in a Miniscope, Inter Minor, date unknown.
The Doctor intends to take Jo to visit Metebelis III - famous blue planet in the Acteon system. The ship appears to arrive instead on a steamship in the middle of the Indian Ocean, in 1926. This is the SS Bernice, which mysteriously vanished without trace on this very voyage. Some things don't add up, however, as the Doctor finds evidence of alloys unknown to the 20th Century; it is broad daylight when it should be pitch black; and the crew and passengers repeat their actions every 20 minutes or so. Oh yes, and a bloody great Plesiosaur attacks just as frequently.
It soon transpires that the TARDIS has materialised inside one of the exhibits in a Miniscope. These contain various lifeforms in miniaturised environments, held in a form of time-loop. Prior to leaving Gallifrey, the Doctor had campaigned to get these banned. The Miniscope is the property of the Lurman showman Vorg, and is currently on the planet Inter Minor. Vorg removes the TARDIS from the exhibit.
One of the Inter Minoran Officials - Orum - prevents Vorg returning it to the scope's compression field, and it reverts to its full size. Once the Doctor has extricated himself from the machine, he links it to the TARDIS in order to send all the exhibits back to their proper times and places. This has caused a bit of minor speculation. If the Doctor remembered the Bernice has having vanished, does this mean that it is still doomed never to reach Bombay? There is the small matter of that Plesiosaur. Was it taken from its own prehistoric time, or was there one swimming about the Indian Ocean in 1926, Nessie-style? Did it sink the Bernice 20 minutes after they got back? Then again, Jo, who is usually into all that Fortean jazz, did not know of this supposedly famous mystery, so maybe it is just the Doctor whose memory is unaffected by changes in the time-lines.
Journey 091: Inter Minor, date unknown, to Earth cargo cruiser C982, 2540.
The TARDIS appears to be travelling in hyperspace, rather than the Vortex, when it almost collides with the freighter. The Doctor makes an emergency materialisation on the vessel, arriving in the hold. The instruments can't tell him exactly where they are, so he decides to see if he can plot their position by the local stars. The First Doctor had the same idea way back when he first visited Skaro.
The freighter is attacked by Ogrons, who take the TARDIS with them as loot when they leave.
It is taken to their remote homeworld, where the Master has set up his base. From there he is attempting to orchestrate a war between the Earth and Draconian empires on behalf of the Daleks.
Fortunately the Doctor and Jo, after a hell of a lot of capture / escape, end up on the Ogron planet and are able to retrieve the ship.
Journey 092: Ogron Planet, 2540, to Spiridon, 2540.
The Doctor is injured in a fight escaping from the Ogrons and the Master. He uses the telepathic circuits to ask the Time Lords for help in following the Daleks back to their base. Episode 1 of Planet of the Daleks features some unique TARDIS elements. It's almost as if Terry Nation hadn't been watching the show since his last script contribution back in 1965... (He assigned individual episode titles to this story for a start).
The TARDIS appears to have a finite amount of air, and this runs out quite quickly when the doors get sealed by the alien fungus. This implies that the ship draws its oxygen directly from outside.
Not totally novel, this. Back in The Chase, the Doctor had hinted at something similar, and later commends the Monk for having a gizmo (drift control) that allows him to park his ship in space safely. Do TARDISes have to refuel oxygen periodically when they land - like a whale coming up for air? The ship is not of infinite dimensions, after all. On Spiridon, not only is the air within the ship running low, the emergency supply is also about to run out. This comprises three pressurised containers in a small wheeled cabinet.
There has been much speculation over the decades about where the Doctor sleeps. Apparently, he doesn't need his own room. In the corner of the control room is a white formica storage unit that has a slide-out bed built in. Very MFI.
Despite having been seen to be a colour monitor three stories ago, the scanner now seems to show images in monochrome. Cheaper licence, probably...
Journey 093: Spiridon, 2540, to UNIT HQ, 1973.
The Doctor offers Jo a final chance to follow Latep to Skaro (he's able to get an image of the planet on the scanner. Is it seeing the planet in real time, or is it the memory banks showing an image?). We must assume that the Daleks have abandoned their homeworld at this time. Jo is able to find an image of Earth, and asks to be taken home.
Journey 094: UNIT HQ, 1973, to Metebelis III, date unknown.
This may be the planet as it was in 1973. Jo elects not to go with him, and he thinks going there takes precedence over Welsh miners turning bright green and dying. (This greed for knowledge will be his undoing. Just you mark my words...).
The Doctor says that the planet's sun is blue - yet next season it will be the moonlight that is blue. He sounds as if he has been here before. Surely he would have remembered all the hostile wildlife?
He obtains one of the planet's famous blue sapphires. No good will come of this, I'm sure...
Journey 095: Metebelis III, date unknown, to UNIT HQ, 1973.
Once he's got his crystal, the Doctor legs it back to Earth. The Brigadier and Jo took 2 - 3 hours to drive to Llanfairfach. Bessie makes it in 20 minutes. Didn't take the M4 then...
Season Ten ends with the Doctor having to say goodbye to Jo, who's off up the Amazon with a younger (and, dare we say it, prettier) version of himself. With her gone, and his exile lifted, it is only a matter of time before UNIT will be left behind. Just not quite yet...