Saturday, 24 January 2015

TARDIS Travels No.9

Season Nine opens with the TARDIS console once more out of its box, though this is now the new console that made its début in Claws of Axos. As the Doctor tinkers with it, he and Jo suddenly see themselves standing in the lab doorway. Readers of the Target novelisation will know that this is actually the Doctor and Jo from the end of the story returning to the lab - and therefore seeing their earlier selves at the console. On screen, we are denied the pay off to this sequence.

Journey 079: UNIT HQ, 1972, to Peladon, date unknown.
Sometime in the far future when Earth is part of the Galactic Federation. The Doctor thinks he has got the TARDIS working again and is taking Jo to a dinner engagement with Captain Mike Yates by way of a test flight. The scanner fails to operate. The ship has materialised on a fairly narrow ledge half way up a mountain. The Doctor and Jo have only just left the ship when it tumbles down the cliff. The Doctor later realises that this has been a mission initiated by the Time Lords - to assist Peladon's entry into the Federation at this crucial time. No doubt they deliberately landed the ship in such an inconvenient place so that the Doctor would have to persevere with the mission rather than just head straight back home again.

Journey 080: Peladon, date unknown, to UNIT HQ, 1972.
King Peladon's men find the TARDIS and have it carried up to the citadel. The Doctor and Jo hope to stick around for the coronation ceremony, but the arrival of the real Earth delegate forces them to leave in a hurry. As it has been a Time Lord mission, it is unlikely that the Doctor will have been able to make good on his promise to take Jo to Queen Victoria's coronation instead.

Journey 081: Unit HQ, 1972, to Skybase One, orbiting Solos, 30th Century.
Another mission from the Time Lords. A mysterious black spheroid materialises in the Doctor's lab, and the ship suddenly becomes operational. The TARDIS materialises in a storeroom on the Skybase from where the colonial Overlords govern Solos. Earth's empire is on its way out. A rather byzantine way for the Time Lords to deliver a message,

Journey 082: Skybase One, 30th Century, to UNIT HQ, 1972.
Mission accomplished, the Doctor and Jo break into the storeroom to retrieve the TARDIS and head back home.

Journey 083: A hole in the ground in Cambridgeshire, 1972, to the Master's TARDIS, 1972.
The Doctor has the Brigadier transport the TARDIS to the Newton Institute, near Cambridge, after discovering that the Master is at work there. It is quite an eventful journey - the convoy being waylaid by knights in armour, Roundheads and then a V1 "doodlebug" rocket (hence it ending up in a hole in the ground). Realising that the Master is going to travel back in time to Atlantis in order to seize the crystal that controls Kronos, the Doctor decides to trap him here by materialising his ship around his enemy's. This is the first time that we see ever the TARDIS go exactly where it is supposed to. Things don't go totally to plan, however. Whilst the Master's ship is now inside the Doctor's as intended, his ship is also inside the Master's.

Journey 084: Master's TARDIS into the Vortex.
A journey of sorts. After the Master has cast the Doctor into the Vortex, he then separates the two TARDISes - leaving Jo stuck alone in the Doctor's ship. The telepathic circuits manage to locate the Doctor and bring him back on board. Back in Part One of The Web of Fear, the Doctor had suggested that Salamander might actually have survived being cast adrift in the Vortex, but by Utopia it is clearly fatal to humans. Note also that the posters attached to the TARDIS in Vincent and the Doctor are incinerated by the journey - yet an arrow fired by one of Queen Elizabeth I's bodyguards seems unaffected.

Journey 085: The Vortex to Atlantis, c.1500 BC.
The Doctor follows the Master to Atlantis. Worth noting, if you didn't see my recent piece on Logopolis, that the chameleon circuit of the Master's TARDIS does not seem to be operating. His ship remains in the shape of a large computer bank throughout this story. Again, the Doctor's TARDIS goes where it is supposed to go. If the Time Lords are monitoring all this and intervening, it certainly isn't mentioned at all. And if they were, why did they not send the TARDIS directly to the Doctor at the Institute?

Journey 086: Atlantis, c.1500 BC, to a void outside space and time.
Following an attempted Time Ram, the ship materialises in Kronos' natural habitat, along with the Master's ship. The Time Ram seems to be more than just materialising two TARDISes in the same place at the same time - otherwise what did the Doctor just do back at the Institute? See the aforementioned Logopolis for more TARDIS within TARDIS shenanigans.

Journey 087: Void outside space and time, to Newton Institute, Cambridgeshire, 1972.
The TARDIS materialises in the TOMTIT lab, exactly where the Master's TARDIS had stood - in other words where the Doctor had first materialised it when trying to stop him leaving.

Only one story in Season Nine did not to feature the TARDIS at all (The Sea Devils). Season Ten will see the Doctor's exile lifted, and he will spend quite a bit of time trying to get to a planet called Metebelis III...

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