Tuesday, 8 January 2019

G is for... Glitz, Sabalom

The Doctor first encountered Sabalom Glitz, who hailed from the planet Salostopus in Andromeda, when in his sixth incarnation. He and Peri had come to investigate the planet Ravolox, which had the same mass, rotation and angle of tilt as the Earth, yet lay on the other side of the galaxy. Glitz was there with his young associate Dibber, sent by a mysterious backer to steal some data files from an underground bunker. A career criminal, Glitz was prepared to lie, cheat and even kill to achieve his goal, and would do anything for money. When brute force failed, he would attempt to charm his way to success, but this failed to act on Queen Katryca of the Tribe of the Free, who could see that he was nothing but a rogue. Glitz joined forces with the Doctor when it suited him, but later abandoned him when he saw the chance to trick the L3 robot Drathro into giving him the data files he sought. The files were ultimately destroyed when the robot burned up, but Glitz was consoled by having the remains of the power mast, a black light converter, which it had used - composed as it was of a valuable mineral.
The events on Ravolox - really the Earth of the far future, transported across space by the High Council of Time Lords to hide the fact that the data files contained information stolen from the Matrix - formed part of the evidence used against the Doctor during a judicial inquiry into his meddlesome actions. When the inquiry turned into a full-blown trial and the Doctor faced the death penalty for genocide, the Master brought Glitz to the space-station where the proceedings were taking place to act as a witness for his defence. It was the Master who had employed him to steal the data files. Glitz joined the Doctor in the nightmare world of the Matrix, created by the Valeyard - the prosecutor who turned out to be a future incarnation of the Doctor. Once again, Glitz appeared to be helping the Doctor, but he was still working for the Master. He gave him a copy of the data files, but these proved to be a booby-trap prepared by the Valeyard, and the Master and Glitz became trapped in the Master's TARDIS by a limbo atrophier. Once the Valeyard had been defeated, the Doctor asked the court to be lenient with Glitz.

Some time later, now in his seventh incarnation, the Doctor and his companion Mel visited the Iceworld complex on the planet Svartos. They encountered Glitz in one of the restaurants. He had had his spaceship - the Nosferatu - impounded as he could not pay the landing charges, and he had even been forced to sell his crew into slavery with Iceworld's ruler, Kane. Kane was going to turn them into a mindless army once he got free of the complex, which was really his prison. Glitz had been duped into buying a map, which was supposed to lead to a fabulous treasure hidden in the lower levels of Svartos. However, it was said to be guarded by a dragon. This was really a bio-mechanical creature which housed the power source Kane needed to reactivate his spaceship. The map had a hidden tracker device, enabling Kane to discover the dragon's whereabouts. Once he realised he had been tricked, Glitz attempted to run off in his ship but was stopped by one of Kane's officers who wanted it for herself. It was later taken by a group of customers trying to flee Iceworld, but Kane destroyed it. Once Kane himself had been destroyed, Glitz decided to commandeer his ship - renaming it the Nosferatu II. Mel decided to join him on his travels in order to keep him out of trouble, whilst the Doctor traveled on with a new companion, a worker from the restaurant named Ace.

Played by: Tony Selby. Appearances: Trial of a Time Lord [Parts 1 - 4, 13, 14] (1985), Dragonfire (1987).

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