Thursday, 27 July 2017

C is for... Captain (1)

When the Vantarialis, the most feared pirate raider in the galaxy, crash-landed on the planet Zanak, its captain was left badly injured. He was saved by the planet's ruler - Xanxia. The whole left side of his body was replaced with cybernetic implants. His ship was cannibalised to construct the Bridge, a mountain-top command centre which overlooked the principal city. Beneath, massive temporal engines were constructed, and the planet was heavily mined. Xanxia died, and the Captain took over the planet. He would announce times of new prosperity, and the populace would see the stars in the sky change as their mines were miraculously replenished.
The Captain was of a fierce temper, and sadistic in nature. He had as a pet a robotic bird of prey - the Polyphase Avatron - which he used to kill subordinates who failed him. A taciturn young nurse looked after him constantly. He had one trusted and loyal underling - Mr Fibuli - but even he was frequently bullied by the Captain.
When the Doctor, Romana and K9 arrived on Zanak, looking for the planet Calufrax in their quest for the Key to Time, they learned the truth about the planet and its leader. The Captain had turned the whole world into one gigantic time ship. It would envelop smaller victim worlds, extinguishing all life so that the resources could be plundered. It transpired that Xanxia was still alive - held in stasis by Time Dams at the moment of her death. The plundering of the other planets was to provide the power she needed to create a new, younger body for herself - that of the nurse. She had control over his cyborg components and had made a slave of him. However, he was secretly working on a means to breach the Time Dams to destroy her and free himself.
The TARDIS was used to sabotage the time engines and prevent Zanak from destroying the Earth. The Captain was heartbroken when Mr Fibuli was killed as the Bridge was crippled. When he attempted to stand up to Xanxia, she destroyed him by self-destructing his cybernetic systems.

Played by: Bruce Purchase. Appearances: The Pirate Planet (1978).

  • His cybernetic body parts give the Captain futuristic equivalents of an eye-patch and a peg-leg, whilst his robot bird acts as an electronic parrot sitting on his shoulder - all attributes of stereotypical literary pirate captains like Long John Silver. Mr Fibuli is the equivalent of Captain Hook's Mr Smee.

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