Tuesday, 17 February 2015

TARDIS Travels No.14

Season Fourteen opens with a couple of significant changes as far as the TARDIS is concerned. First, we have a new Police Box shell, after the old one collapsed during the end sequence for Seeds of Doom. We then have the Doctor and Sarah exploring the ship's corridors - coming across the spacious boot cupboard and then the new (or is it old?) wood panelled control room.
The implication is that it was an earlier room used by the Doctor, though he revisited it, unseen, in his second and third incarnations. The Doctor can pilot the ship just as easily from here, and so reconfigures the internal layout of the TARDIS (or its exterior shell) so that the main doors now lead in and out of it.

Journey 120: Antarctica, date unknown (?), to the Mandragora Helix, late 15th Century.
The ship materialises at the heart of the sentient energy helix, where there is air and a surface to walk upon. It has been drawn there deliberately. A fragment of helix energy sneaks aboard. We aren't able to tell if any journeys took place between this and the trip to Antarctica (and if there were some, how many), and so can't say if Sarah ever did get to see Cassiopeia.

Journey 121: Mandragora Helix to San Martino, late 15th Century.
The Mandragora Helix causes the TARDIS to land in this small Italian dukedom. It is the 1470's approximately, when Leonardo Da Vinci was in Milan. The helix energy ball is able to open the TARDIS doors after secreting itself inside during the journey. (Of course, Italy won't actually exist until the second half of the 19th Century, thanks to Garibaldi. Other biscuits are available).

Journey 122: San Martino, 15th Century, to England, 1976.
The TARDIS mistakes an English quarry for an alien planet... The Doctor might also be confused, and so misses the fact that the workmen are about to blast. The quarry is near somewhere called Nunton where there is a nuclear power station. Not a renamed Nuton, as some have suggested (as with Sellafield / Windscale). This is clearly not anywhere near the beautifully bleak Dungeness.

Journey 123: England, 1976, to Kastria, 1976.
The Doctor agrees to take the Kastrian Eldrad back home, and in the present day only - so it is the same date as it was on Earth. After the regenerated Eldrad has taken a tumble (quite liked her, hated him), the Doctor finds that the extreme cold has affected some of the TARDIS systems. First mention of the ship being in a state of temporal grace when in flight. Subsequently revealed to be a bit of a fib. Sarah declares that she's fed up and wants to go home - which just happens to coincide with the Doctor getting a call from Gallifrey...

Journey 124: Kastria, 1976, to Aberdeen, Scotland, 1976.
Yes, we had to wait quite a few years to find out where he had actually dropped her off. Not Hillview Crescent, Croydon, at all. I hope there was some residual telepathic translation field business still going on. Even I struggle with the Aberdonian accent. See if there is any 1970's Beechgrove Garden on You Tube if you want to see what I mean.

Journey 125: Aberdeen, 1976, to Gallifrey, date... difficult.
It is one of the great debates. Just when is Gallifrey? It often seems to mirror events on present day Earth, but some folk believe it is in the ancient past, or the far future. There was even a school of thought that said it was a future Earth, and the Time Lords are our super-evolved future descendants. That was before the new series came along.
The TARDIS is identified as a Type 40 TT (time travel) capsule and now quite obsolete. It has a trimonic lock, and the Chancellery Guards have a key that fits it. It doesn't appear to be registered in the data-banks, but then again the Master and Goth have done a lot of tampering with records (to the extent that the Time Lords don't even seem to know who the Master is).
The Doctor has visited a "cash & carry" in Constantinople at some point.

"Look behind you!!!"
Chancellor Goth - maybe the person we saw at the Second Doctor's hearing - has the ship transposed to the museum in the Capitol. One wonders what the Gallifreyan public would have made of it. Their very own Doctor Who Experience. Interestingly, the current set up for the Experience just happens to be based around the Time Lords' museum.
The Master's TARDIS is disguised as a grandfather clock, also tucked away in the museum.

Journey 126: Gallifrey, date unknown, to unnamed planet, far future.
As mentioned two seasons ago, a common theory for when the Fourth Doctor messed about with the computer Xoanon is a brief interlude during his convalescence after the last regeneration. He sneaked off from UNIT HQ's sickbay and did it. There are two other possibilities. (Three, if you count the insane one that posits that every time he regenerates, all his previous incarnations change to look like the current version).
First is that he went to this planet with Sarah during Season Thirteen, or between that season and the start of this. Just because he doesn't mention her presence, doesn't mean she wasn't there.
Second theory is that there are lots of adventures with a solo Doctor after that trip back to Gallifrey.
My own pet theory is that he visited this planet immediately before this story starts, and the process of fixing Xoanon wiped his memory of it. The TARDIS has brought him straight to the future to sort things out. Remember how the ship arrived back on The Ark 700 years later? This is why he has that knot in his hankie. He did the sidelian memory transfer on Xoanon. It scrambled his own brains a bit in the process. He staggers back to the TARDIS and does the hankie knot then collapses. The ship goes forward in time so that he can fix the consequences of his actions. That he was aiming for Hyde Park is just a scrambled memory from before he arrived on this planet the first time.
The planet is not named but we do know that Leela's people originated on Earth. Another pet theory of mine is that Mordee is the name of this planet. If you mount an expedition to Everest, you call it the Everest Expedition, don't you? So the Mordee Expedition is going to...
Anyway, despite the ship supposedly having isomorphic controls, Leela is able to work them - and get them right first time. No getting sucked out into the Vortex for her...

Journey 127: Unknown planet, far future, to similar.
The TARDIS materialises in an ore collection scoop that has been set up on a desert world. The crew of the Sandminer which is scouring the planet for minerals have it transported aboard. These craft are also known as Storm Mines. They are basically like gigantic vacuum cleaners set on blow, and push the stuff they want to harvest into these scoops at high speed.
There's no transmat technology on view, and we do see a big mechanical grab (like the ones that always just fail to nab the thing you're after in amusement arcades), so the Sandminer must park up alongside the scoop for the TARDIS and its occupants to be transferred. Must be a tricky procedure, as when they stop they normally sink...
Assuming that Uvanov and his crew are descended from Earth colonists, we are back in the future. Kaldor City gets mentioned, but it is not clear if this is elsewhere on this planet, or somewhere else entirely.

Journey 128: Unnamed planet, far future, to London, 1890's.
The TARDIS materialises in a fog-shrouded alleyway on the banks of the Thames. Victoria is on the throne, and it is after Jack The Ripper's reign of terror - so the final decade of the 19th Century. Limehouse seems to be not far distant, yet the Palace Theatre is supposed to be built over the course of the River Fleet, which went no further east than Blackfriars. Jago might just be talking superfluorescent salubrious spheroids, but the Doctor seems to agree with him. Let's just say that Robert Holmes concentrated on atmosphere and multitudinous popular period references, and did not bother to check the geography too closely.
Here endeth Season Fourteen.

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