Wednesday 11 March 2015

TARDIS Travels No.17

And so we get to Season 17 - the one with the TARDIS Randomiser that generally never does what it is supposed to do, as we shall shortly see...

Journey 154: Zeos, date unknown, to Skaro, date unknown.
Personally, I like to put all the Davros stories late on in Dalek chronology - after 4000 AD. Not counting Earth or Gallifrey, the TARDIS is seldom seen to visit the same planet twice on screen. Peladon and Metebelis III are amongst the exceptions. Here, the ship returns to Skaro. It has been here one other time - but that was when it was transported by the Emperor Dalek and did not materialise as part of its normal journeyings. It selects a rather odd landing spot. The Time Lords may be at work behind the scenes here - making it another part of the build up to the Time War. Funny, otherwise, how the ship just happens to turn up on the very day that Davros is reborn...

Journey 155: Skaro, date unknown, to Paris, France, 1979.
The TARDIS materialises in a small contemporary art gallery in the city. The Doctor clearly states that this is the work of the Randomiser, as he would have chosen a better year. Strangely, until it got fixated with New York in recent years, the TARDIS seems to have had a soft spot for Paris.

Journey 156: Paris, 1979, to Florence, 1505.
The first clear case of the Doctor overriding the Randomiser, as he goes back to see why Count Scarlioni might have half a dozen genuine copies of the Mona Lisa. The ship materialises in Leonardo's workshop, but he isn't at home.

Journey 157: Florence, 1505, to Paris, 1979.
With Captain Tancredi / Scaroth distracted by his other selves, the Doctor slips back to Paris - the TARDIS materialising back in the same gallery.

Journey 158: Paris, 1979, to Mid Atlantic region, c. 400 Million BC.
In order to follow Scaroth and stop him saving his ship - and hence denying humanity the spark that will bring it into existence - the Doctor, Romana and Duggan go to the gallery and travel back to prehistoric times. The dematerialisation is witnessed by John Cleese and Eleanor Bron - providing us with one of the series' most classic scenes.

Journey 159: Mid Atlantic, 400 Million BC, to Paris, 1979.
After Duggan has knocked out Scaroth with the most significant punch in history, the Doctor & Co. rush back to the TARDIS before the Jagaroth spacecraft explodes. We assume that it once again returns to the gallery. I wonder if Cleese and Bron were still there, and what they would have thought of that...

Journey 160: Paris, 1979, to Chloris, date unknown.
Sorting through the Doctor's bits and bobs, Romana finds the Mark III Emergency Transceiver. Plugging it into the console where it ought to be, it picks up a distress call from the planet Chloris - so the Randomiser is once again bypassed. The call comes from the egg-like structure that is really the captive Erato's ship.

Journey 161: Chloris, date unknown, to a region of nearby space, same date.
The Doctor must link up with Erato's reconstituted ship to stop the neutron star that the Tythonians have despatched to destroy Chloris. He employs the ship's gravity tractor beam.

Journey 162: Chloris (space), to Chloris (planet) - same date.
Mission accomplished, the TARDIS returns to the planet - though this time it materialises in Lady Adrasta's palace rather than back in the jungle where it first arrived.

Journey 163: Chloris, date unknown, to Spaceliner Empress, c.2116.
The TARDIS is once more responding to a distress call. We know the date from the dialogue about Galactic Salvage Insurance (this being some 20 years after it went into liquidation - which was in 2096). At the conclusion, the Doctor intends to use the TARDIS to return all of the CET Machine environments to their rightful places - so (potentially) a number of unseen journeys to Eden, Vij, Zil, Darp, Lvan, Brus, Ranx and Gidi. (Seems Tryst was only interested in planets whose name he could fit on his machine. A visit to Raxacoricofalapatorius was never going to happen). Some of these worlds have also been visited by the crew of Moonbase Alpha. Or should that be Giant-Space-Egg-base Alpha...

Journey 164: Starliner Empress, 2116, to unknown region of space, date unknown.
The Doctor might not necessarily have needed to actually materialise on all those planets mentioned above. He could have just done something incredibly clever whilst getting from the Empress to here. As it is a quiet bit of space, the Doctor decides to strip down the central control console and deactivate most of the TARDIS systems. Bad move, as K9 spots a Skonnon spaceship not far off. The TARDIS is able to link to it by extending the defence system around the main doors. After the treacherous Skonnon Co-Pilot (he of the badly made trousers) abducts Romana and flies off, the TARDIS attracts a massive asteroid towards it. The Doctor spins the ship so that it bounces off the rock. (The Fourth Doctor actually does more cricket related stuff than the Fifth). Special mention for the Gravitic Anomaliser in this episode.

Journey 165: Unknown region of space, date unknown, to Skonnos, same date.
The Doctor patches up the ship in order to pursue the kidnapped Romana. The ship materialises in the capital city of Skonnos - just outside the Power Complex.

And that's us for Season 17. We could go on to list the various trips back and forth to St Cedd's College, Cambridge and its environs, and to the Think Tank space station in Shada - but that was never screened and so sadly falls outside the remit of this series. See you soon for Season 18, when everything changes...

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