Sunday, 3 March 2019

G is for... Governor (of Varos)

Like all his predecessors, the Governor of the former penal colony of Varos was elected to the post from amongst the officer elite. Conditions were harsh, and the people discontent, so a programme of televised torture and execution was devised to keep the populace under control. Governors also had to submit to televised votes. A vote against them saw their bodies bombarded by harmful radiation. Most died after just a couple of these procedures. This meant that few officers wanted to be promoted to the role. The Governor who was in place when the Doctor and Peri arrived on the planet, seeking one of its minerals to repair the TARDIS, had already faced two defeats. A representative of the Galatron Mining Corporation was on Varos, attempting to push down the price of their ores. This was Sil, a member of the Mentor race. He was in collusion with the Governor's Chief Officer, to keep prices low. The Governor attempted to gain more for their mineral, Zeiton 7, which brought him into conflict with Sil. He failed a third vote, but managed to survive. The Doctor was able to convince the Governor that he could get higher prices and so alleviate the hardships faced by his people. When Sil and the Chief staged a coup, the Governor was faced with a fourth irradiation, which would surely have killed him. However, he was able to make one of the officers rebel and free him - after convincing him that he might be next to face this impossible role. The discovery of Zeiton 7 on another planet gave the Governor the leverage he needed to get higher prices out of Sil, and he put an end to the televised transmissions from the Punishment Dome.

Played by: Martin Jarvis. Appearances: Vengeance on Varos (1985).
  • Third and final (to date) appearance of Jarvis in the show. He first appeared under heavy make-up in The Web Planet, playing the Menoptra captain Hilio. His second appearance was as Butler, assistant and henchman to Professor Whitaker in Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

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