Monday, 9 February 2015
TARDIS Travels No.12
This isn't going to take long...
Season Twelve is the most "TARDIS-lite" one of the lot.
When we last saw him, the Doctor had just regenerated. Robot opens with him recuperating at UNIT HQ under the care of Surgeon-Lt. Harry Sullivan. At one point he is about to disappear in the ship, but Sarah stops him. It has often been suggested that the unseen journey which took him to Leela's planet and saw him repair Xoanon took place during his convalescence - when he slipped away without anyone noticing. This is why he made such a hash of it. There is another theory - but I'll wait until we get to that later on screen journey where he puts things right.
Journey 104: UNIT HQ, 1975, to Space Station Nerva, far future.
The Doctor decides to take Sarah on a quick trip to cheer her up, and invites Harry along too as he is sceptical about the ship's abilities. It is only supposed to be a jaunt to the Moon and back, but Harry messes about with the helmic regulator and they travel far, far into the future. Nerva now holds all of the Earth's population of humans, animals and plant-life after the planet was hit by solar flares.
Instead of trusting the eccentric TARDIS to get him to Earth in order to fix the transmat, the Doctor elects to use the device to beam down - leaving the TARDIS behind.
Beaming back again after defeating the Sontaran Styre, the Time Lords intervene and divert the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to Skaro - for an encounter with Davros and his brand new creations - something called a Dalek... A Time Ring takes them back to Nerva - only they arrive thousands of years too early. It is almost certain that this is further interference by the Time Lords - as they just happen to arrive when Voga is about to be threatened by the Cybermen.
(And if Nerva was destroyed at this point it wouldn't be around for the TARDIS still to be there in the far future, and the human race might never have had its "lifeboat").
Journey 105: Nerva, far future, to Nerva, 29th Century.
Dating comes from the Doctor's original estimation of when the beacon was built. The Time Lords send the TARDIS back through time to meet the Doctor and his companions. There is a message from the Brigadier waiting for them - urging them to return. Knowing his days with UNIT are numbered, the Doctor has left the Brigadier a Space-Time Telegraph machine, so that he can summon him in an emergency - so he is clearly not planning to be based at UNIT HQ any more.
And that's your lot as far as Season Twelve is concerned. The TARDIS merely tops and tails the series. We don't get to see the control room at all. It will be back, however, in Season Thirteen...