Wednesday, 25 February 2015

TARDIS Travels No.15

Season 15, and we have entered the Graham Williams era. One of the first things he did was to get rid of the wood panelled control room of the previous season.

Journey 129: London, 1890's, to Fang Rock, south coast of England, early 20th Century.
The TARDIS goes off course, geographically and temporally - missing the opening of the Brighton Pavilion. The Doctor claims that it got lost in the fog, and implies the ship "sees" where it is going for at least part of the journey. Might be why it didn't squish the Brigadier at the end of Colony In Space. It is the Edwardian era, the first decade of the 20th Century.

Journey 130: Fang Rock, early 20th Century, to Titan, c.5000 AD.
The TARDIS often seems to spend part of its journeys travelling through normal space. This is the case here, as it picks up both a distress call from the base on Saturn's moon Titan, and an unwelcome passenger in the form of the Nucleus of the Swarm. The ship passes through a cloud in space and the virus enters the Doctor through the control console.
A new version of the "futuristic" white control room is seen. The ship did the redecoration itself. The Doctor explains that it is the time of the "Great Breakout" - when there was a rapid surge in human colonisation of other worlds - probably as a consequence of the conflicts on Earth mentioned in The Talons of Weng-Chiang and / or the glacial period in The Ice Warriors.

Journey 131: Titan, 5000, to Bi-Al Foundation, 5000.
In order to be treated for his infection by the Nucleus, the Doctor has Leela pilot the ship to the medical facility built into the asteroid K4067. The Foundation's proper name is the Centre for Alien Biomorphology. The Doctor gives the course heading WHI 1212 9990 Ex 41. Any fan of old British thrillers will know that the first part of this is the telephone number for Scotland Yard (Whitehall 1212), followed by the current 999 number plus an extraneous nought. I wonder who was at Extension 41?  Gideon or Fabian perhaps? Tom Baker used to claim he used the Doctor Who production office number and extension at TV Centre for this sort of thing.
The ship's relative dimensional stabiliser can be removed and proves compatible with the human technology of this era. It is employed to shrink the clones of the Doctor and Leela.

Journey 132: Bi-Al Foundation, 5000, to Titan, 5000.
The TARDIS returns to Titan Base so that the Nucleus can be prevented from spawning. It materialises in a different part of the base. The ship seems to know the bad guys are congregating in the corridor where it materialised before.

Journey 133: Titan, 5000, to Bi-Al Foundation, 5000.
And back again, mission accomplished. The Doctor almost dematerialised without Leela and K9, and with the end of his scarf stuck in the door. He must have had to spin like a top to get to the console without throttling himself.

Journey 134: Bi-Al Foundation, 5000, to Fetchborough, England, 1977.
The TARDIS is drawn off course by the influence of the Time Scanner being operated by Professor Fendleman. It materialises in the middle of a herd of cows. There is a time fissure in the area. These are obviously much smaller and of less concern than time rifts, like the one in Cardiff.

Journey 135: Fetchborough, 1977, to location of Fifth Planet, 1977.
The Doctor and Leela travel to where the fifth planet of the Solar System used to be. This is where the Fendahl evolved. They find that it has been destroyed and the remains placed in a time loop by the Time Lords. Like E-Space, time loops are green...

Journey 136: Location of Fifth Planet, 1977, to Fetchborough, 1977.
The TARDIS returns to the Fetchborough area where the Doctor can try to destroy the Fendahl.

Journey 137: Fetchborough, 1977, to Pluto, far future.
The TARDIS materialises on the roof of Megropolis One. This is one of a number of huge cities on a terraformed Pluto, now home to the human race. The planet is ringed with artificial suns. Everyone runs from the tax man - until the Doctor incites a revolution. Before the Gatherer fell - quite literally - none of the workers were allowed up on this roof, though parking spaces were available...

Journey 138: Pluto, far future, to unknown region of space, date unknown.
The TARDIS has materialised in space, in a region where new planets are forming. It is described as the "edge of space". (Probably the outer rim of a galaxy rather than the boundary of the universe). K9 identifies that there is a vessel nearby.

Journey 139: Unknown region of space, to Minyan spaceship R1C, date unknown.
The TARDIS materialises on the vessel which K9 had spotted. The Minyans recognise the materialisation sound - identified as caused by the relative dimensional stabiliser. (See above. A later story will assert that this is due to the Doctor leaving the hand brake on. If so, all the rogue Time Lords have the same bad habit...). This is because they were visited by the Time Lords in the distant past. The TARDIS provides extra power, via K9, to the spaceship in order to escape from the planetoid which has formed around the other Minyan ship - the P7E - after the R1C crash lands on it and sinks beneath its soft surface.

Journey 140: Minyan spaceship R1C, date unknown, to Vardan spaceship, date unknown.
The Doctor arranges a rendezvous with a Vardan spaceship in deep space. Leela is left in the dark (quite literally - the lights in the control room are dimmed) as to what the Doctor is up to.
Some time must have elapsed since leaving the Minyan craft, for the Doctor to have been contacted and recruited by the Vardans. No doubt Big Finish will place dozens of audios here, including one in which Leela reveals that her people go through some kind of Pon Far where they are biologically compelled to mate with the first person they meet whose name begins with 'A'. Lucky the Vardans didn't want to invade Peladon. Or Clom...

Journey 141: Vardan spaceship, date unknown, to Gallifrey, date unknown.
See TARDIS Travels No.14 for a note about GMT (that's Gallifreyan Mean Time). The ship materialises in the middle of what looks to be the Panopticon. There may be more than one assembly chamber like this in the Capitol, as the ship isn't seen when the Doctor is invested as President of the High Council, or when the Sontarans later turn up.
We see a whole lot of the TARDIS interior - a number of corridors as well as store rooms (all identical), an infirmary, a workshop, a greenhouse, a bathroom, and the subsidiary power room which has been set out as an art gallery. The art works aren't the real thing - just holographic copies. Very few distinctive roundels on show around the place. Looks more like a disused Victorian mental hospital...
Leela suddenly decides to stay and get married, and K9 elects to join her, but don't worry - the Doctor's got a spare. (K9 that is. Leelas are unique).
Season 15 draws to a close...

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