Tuesday, 5 May 2015

TARDIS Travels No.23

Apologies if you were looking for "Story 126 - Terminus" this evening, but that will be later in the week. Season 23 also saw some significant changes in what was planned for the TARDIS. No visits to Blackpool, Singapore or the planet Magnus. Instead, what we got was the Trial of a Time Lord - with the TARDIS being seen to be pulled towards a massive space station in the opening moments of Part One.

Journey 359: Necros, date unknown, to Ravalox, 2 million years in the future.
We don't actually get to see the TARDIS at all in this story proper - though its arrival in the forest is to be seen in an untransmitted scene on the DVD. Ravalox has the same mass, tilt and period of rotation as the Earth - as well as a Marble Arch Tube station. That's because this is the Earth - moved across space by the corrupt High Council of Time Lords, as we will subsequently learn.

Journey 360: Ravalox / Earth, 2 million years in the future, to Thoros Beta, 2379.
An unseen journey prior to this, as the Doctor is already investigating how high-tech weapons got into the hands of some warlords on Thordon. The ship rather inconveniently materialises in the sea some yards from the beach.
The Time Lords in the court have the ship moved to within the Mentors' base, for this is the point that the Doctor gets abducted to face his Inquiry - before he can save Peri. All part of an elaborate assassination plan to stop the scientist Crozier's work without directly interfering themselves.

Journey 361: Thoros Beta, 2379, to Gallifreyan Space Station, date unknown.
This is where we came in - the TARDIS, with the Doctor aboard, is taken to the station for his court appearance. The process gives him amnesia.
Things get a bit confusing from this point on as, technically, the next TARDIS journey we see is the landing on the space-liner Hyperion 3. However, that is seen in a Matrix extract from the Doctor's future - so the next time the TARDIS actually moves in the Doctor's time-line is when it leaves the station after the Valeyard has been defeated.

Journey 362: Location and date unknown, to Hyperion 3 space-liner, 2986.
Once the TARDIS does leave the Time Lord space station, there are obviously a number of unseen journeys before the Doctor intercepts the message from the Investigator, Hallet, that brings him to the luxury liner which is en route from Mogar to Earth. He has to meet Mel properly for the first time, of course - unless their time-lines have been altered and she simply travels on with him from the space station until her departure on Iceworld. How can the Doctor experience Terror of the Vervoids twice - and have no recollection of having seen it all before? (Experiencing it once was bad enough for us viewers...). And whilst I'm at it, if this story was from the Doctor's future  - so hadn't happened yet - how could he be accused of genocide? When he hadn't done it yet? I suspect the Time Lords later do something to change this particular set of events.
The ship materialises in the Hyperion's hold. Quite how Hallet got a message to a time machine is never explained. Was he given a Space-Time Telegraph like the one left with the Brigadier, or are the telepathic circuits at play once more - the ship arriving in the right time and general region of space so that the Doctor could pick up the message?

And that's it for Season 23 - and for the Sixth Doctor. Only four stories long, as it will be until the end of the Classic Era of the programme.

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