Thursday, 12 February 2015

TARDIS Travels No.13

Season Twelve saw a minimal use of the TARDIS, what with all the transmats and Time Rings. It has been the longest period we have gone through without a glimpse of the control room since that gap between The War Games and The Claws of Axos - though Season Seven at least featured the central control console. Things get back to normal with Season Thirteen.

Journey 106: Nerva Beacon, 29th Century, to Tulloch Moor, Scotland, 1975.
If you have watched the deleted scene on the Terror of the Zygons DVD then you will know that the TARDIS materialises in a forest in North East Scotland, near Loch Ness, and becomes invisible.
This is very apt. The very first ever UNIT story (The Invasion) saw the TARDIS turn invisible on its landing - and that was directed by Douglas Camfield. This is the last true UNIT story, in that it has the Brigadier as well as Benton in it - and it is also directed by Camfield. We have gone full circle in a way.
The Doctor is answering the call sent out by the Brigadier on the device he had left him - the "Space-Time Telegraph" - which gave its name to the news page of Doctor Who Monthly for many years,
I prefer to use Tulloch as opposed to the on-screen Tullock, as I'm Scottish and just don't like the alternative. (D'ye wannae fecht aboot it!?) Hotel landlord Angus pronounces it as such as well, and he should know 'cos he lives there. I suspect that the writer had a packet of a certain well known brand of marshmallow-y Tea Cakes in front of him when he wrote this. Maybe the Banks genes got the better of the Stewart genes, temporarily...

Journey 107: Tulloch Moor, Scotland, 1975, to Zeta Minor, 38th Century.
Harry has decided to let the train take the strain and has foregone TARDIS travel, but Sarah is okay about letting the Doctor take her back to UNIT HQ by TARDIS in just 5 minutes. However, the ship is going by a very round-about route - via the far future - and it picks up a distress call from the Morestran expedition led by Professor Sorenson.
First sight of that control room since episode one of Death to the Daleks. No sign of the scanner anywhere.
Zeta Minor is said to be right on the edge of the known universe, abutting that of anti-matter. This has obviously led to all manner of speculation about how many universes there are and how they relate to each other. The problem has always been - right from the Hartnell days - of writers using "universe" when they really mean "galaxy". Or "space" - as in Mondas drifting off to the edge of... And don't get me started on "Constellations". In this instance, "universe" is actually supposed to mean just that.
A black pool on this world forms part of a gateway between the two universes.

The Morestrans teleport the TARDIS onto their ship. Sarah is aboard at the time, and does not feel any of the effects of this process.
Journey 108: Morestran spaceship, 38th Century, to Zeta Minor, same.
The Doctor takes Sorenson, in his mutated form, to the black pool, in order to return to the planet that which belongs to it

Journey 109: Zeta Minor, 38th Century, to Morestran spaceship, same.
Sorenson gets ejected by the pool, or the creature which dwells within it, and is apparently unharmed. The Doctor returns him to the Morestran probe-ship, now accelerating away from the planet.

Journey 110: Morestran spaceship, 38th Century, to England, 1911.
The Doctor is brooding about his age and his job, and Sarah has found one of Victoria Waterfield's old dresses - though one we have never seen on screen. Sutekh makes his presence known by being fleetingly glimpsed in the control room by Sarah. To date we have only seen the Toymaker and the Master of the Land of Fiction breach the TARDIS - so Sutekh is obviously incredibly powerful. 
His time-tunnel has drawn the ship off course - so that it materialises in a storage room in the old priory which sat on the site later occupied by UNIT HQ. The Doctor thinks that the building would make a good base for a paramilitary organisation - he's being facetious, of course - but can we assume that this room must be the approximate location of his future lab?

Journey 111: England, 1911, to same, 1980 (deleted time-line).
The Doctor takes Sarah and Lawrence Scarman to 1980, to show them what the world will be like if Sutekh gets free. Quite how the TARDIS gets to somewhere which, technically, never exists is yet another great bone of contention amongst fans. If they have only moved in time, why are there those great big mountains? Plate tectonics don't work that fast. Has the Doctor simply taken them to a barren planetoid just to make a point - and it isn't really Earth at all? 
And when Sarah says she comes from 1980, it simply means that this is her time - when she should be living - not a specific reference to any date pertaining to when she entered the TARDIS. Attempting to use this story in the great 'UNIT Dating Controversy' is really a non-starter.

Journey  112: England, 1980 (deleted time-line), to England, 1911.
The Doctor takes Sarah and Lawrence back again.

Journey 113: England, 1911, to Mars, 1911.
Apparently under Sutekh's mental control, the Doctor takes Sarah, Marcus Scarman and one his robotic mummies to the pyramid on Mars, from whence the debilitating influence of Horus radiates to keep Sutekh captive. The Doctor makes the first comment about the controls being isomorphic -which will get contradicted in a very short time...

Journey 114: Mars, 1911, to England, 1911.
Sutekh is free at last, but the Doctor remembers that it will take a few minutes for what has just happened on Mars to affect what is happening on Earth. The Doctor links the ship's temporal stabiliser to the time tunnel and Sutekh gets aged to death - never able to exit the tunnel until the end of his own natural lifespan.

Journey 115: England, 1911, to Oseidon, 1975.
The TARDIS appears to materialise in the woods near the village of Devesham, close to the UK Space Defence complex. It is really all an artificial construct on Oseidon, planet of the Kraal race. The TARDIS is supposed to be aiming for Earth - for UNIT HQ. It lands where a fake Brigadier & Co. are supposed to be based. How is this possible? Does the TARDIS navigate visually? Why did the Doctor not check the co-ordinates and see that he was on an alien planet? I suspect this has something to do with the writer...

Journey 116: Oseidon, 1975, to Devesham environs, Earth, 1975.
For one story only, Terry Nation invents some nonsense about the TARDIS travelling on to where it ought to have gone, had you left the key in the door...
Bob Holmes must have been in tears when this script came in.

Journey 117: Devesham environs, 1975, to Karn, date unknown.
The Time Lords have yet another job for the Doctor - clearing up a mess that they themselves left... Karn is said to be close to where the Doctor hails from, and the Sisterhood appear to have had a long standing relationship with the Time Lords. Ex-President of the High Council - and all-round megalomaniac - Morbius has managed to survive execution by having his brain removed. The Doctor is really being called upon to be a bit of an assassin here - setting to rights that botched execution.
Any sort of dating is complicated where Gallifrey is concerned, but we know this is in the far future, as Solon supposedly comes from Earth.
The Sisterhood transport the TARDIS, by psychic means, to their temple.

Journey 118: Karn, date unknown, to UNIT HQ (?), England, 1976.
The TARDIS leaves Karn, and we next see the Doctor and Sarah being called upon to deal with some UNIT-type business. "Mrs Peel. We're Needed". Thanks to some alien influence, herbaceous borders across the Home Counties are about to become positively homicidal.
No reason at all to suggest that the ship has materialised anywhere other than its old favoured location at this point.

Journey 119: UNIT HQ (?), 1976, to Antarctica, date unknown...
The TARDIS materialises near the South Pole where the Doctor and Sarah had first encountered the Krynoid. Often taken as a glaring continuity gaffe (as the Doctor and Sarah never travelled there by TARDIS in the first place), it can easily be explained. The Doctor is said to have forgotten to have cancelled the co-ordinates. They were supposed to be going to Cassiopeia. The co-ordinates that the Doctor forgot to cancel were the original ones that would have taken them to Antarctica - when the Doctor suddenly realised that travelling by conventional means (aircraft and helicopter) would be more accurate than the TARDIS could have been. The ship is simply taking him where he originally wanted to go.

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