Sunday, 11 March 2018

D is for... Dastari

Joinson Dastari was a noted scientist from the powerful Third Zone alliance of planets. He was a bio-geneticist who had become Head of Projects at the Camera research station in deep space. He was encouraging the time travel experiments of fellow scientists Kartz and Reimer, which had attracted the attention of the Time Lords. They sent an agent to go and speak with Dastari, to dissuade him from continuing with this work. The agent they chose was an old friend of his - the Doctor in his second incarnation. However, this was all a trap to capture a Time Lord. Dastari had been experimenting on one of his Androgum servitors, a woman named Chessene, genetically augmenting her to expand her intelligence. Together they had formed an alliance with the Sontarans to obtain mastery over time travel. The Kartz-Reimer capsule could travel in time, but its occupants did not survive the journey. Dastari knew that Time Lords had a special genetic component which permitted them to travel safely through time, and the Doctor was needed to experiment upon to isolate this symbiotic nucleus. Dastari, Chessene and the Sontarans removed the Doctor from the station, making it look as though it had been attacked by the Time Lords. They took their captive to 20th Century Spain to conduct their experiments. The Sixth Doctor experienced the assault on his previous self and gave chase, picking up Jamie from the station on the way. Dastari then decided on an alternative method of obtaining the nucleus. The Second Doctor would be turned into an Androgum so that he would willingly help them. This plan failed when he left their base with the Androgum Shockeye to sample the culinary delights of Seville. As they searched the town, Dastari was flattered to receive the attentions of a young woman, who threw a rose down to him from her window. The Doctor had earlier told Dastari that he could never trust Chessene, and that her vicious true nature would always win through. Dastari realised that this was indeed the case when he saw her lapping at the Doctor's blood after he had been wounded by Shockeye. He decided to help free the Doctors. Chessene turned on him and killed him.

Played by: Laurence Payne. Appearances: The Two Doctors (1985).

  • The third and final appearance by Payne in the programme. He had earlier played gunslinger Johnny Ringo in The Gunfighters (a part which had been offered to Patrick Troughton). He then played the Argolin leader Morix in The Leisure Hive.
  • He was best known for playing the detective Sexton Blake between 1967 and 1971. Back in 1954 he had been D'Artagnan in a BBC adaptation of The Three Musketeers. His Leisure Hive co-star Adrienne Corri had played Milady de Winter in this, and one of his fellow Musketeers had been portrayed by Roger Delgado (Athos). 
  • As well as acting, Payne also found time to write a number of detective novels.
  • He was blind in one eye - the result of a sword fight going wrong whilst filming Sexton Blake. Legend has it that he was told the sight could be saved if he rested up for a week, but he returned to work straight away and received another injury, and so lost the sight.

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