Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
The Top Rated Doctor Who Podcast. One fan, One mic and an opinion. What more does anyone need? Daleks, TARDIS, Cybermen, Sontarans, Ood, Classic Series. Home of Whostrology and the Big Finish Retrospective.
TDP 76: Battlefiled

Battlefield


156 – Battlefield
Doctor Who serial

A meeting with an old friend
Cast
Doctor Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor)
Companion Sophie Aldred (Ace)
Guest stars
Production
Writer Ben Aaronovitch
Director Michael Kerrigan
Script editor Andrew Cartmel
Producer John Nathan-Turner
Executive producer(s) None
Production code 7N
Series Season 26
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally broadcast September 6September 27, 1989
Chronology
← Preceded by Followed by →
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy Ghost Light

Battlefield is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from September 6 to September 27, 1989.



Synopsis

In response to a distress signal, the Seventh Doctor and Ace materialize the TARDIS near Lake Vortigern in England. The sound of explosions leads the TARDIS crew into the acquaintance of Brigadier Bambera of UNIT, in charge of a nuclear missile convoy. Following from the encounter, the retired Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is informed of the Doctor's return, and a helicopter is sent to his country home to collect him, against the protests of his wife, Doris.

Later, at the Gore Crow hotel, the Doctor and Ace meet a young woman called Shou Yuing, who shares Ace's love of explosives. Meanwhile, as Bambera stops to examine a blue police telephone box, she is caught in the crossfire between two groups of armoured knights, using both swords and futuristic guns.

The Doctor shows interest in a scabbard, excavated from the battlefield. The scabbard is hot to the Doctor's touch, and the hotel owner's blind wife, Elizabeth, says she can sense it waiting for something, or someone. When the archaeologist Warmsly arrives at the hotel, he dates the scabbard to the 8th century. The Doctor senses that it has been waiting for far longer.

As Ace and Shou Yuing share a talk about explosives, a knight sails through the brewery's roof, making a huge commotion. On investigation, the Doctor, Ace and Shou Yuing find the knight Ancelyn — who wakes, to recognize the Doctor as "Merlin". While the Doctor mulls the portent of this revelation, the party is surrounded by an ominous group of knights.

Bambera faces down their leader, Mordred. He is shocked to see "Merlin", who he believed bound by his mother, Morgaine. Following some vague threats from the Doctor, Mordred's knights retreat. Later, as Mordred begins an arcane ritual, the scabbard in the hotel flies across the room. Morgaine arrives on the scene through a rift in space and time; she proceeds to psychically taunt the Doctor.

The next day, Warmsly shows the Doctor where he uncovered the scabbard. They find a rune, which the Doctor translates to "Dig hole here." On further question, he replies that it is his own handwriting. Using a canister of Nitro-9, Ace blows an opening.

On arrival in Carbury, Lethbridge-Stewart's helicopter is shot down by Morgaine's sorcery. As Morgaine's knights hold a remembrance ceremony for the soldiers of Earth's world wars, Lethbridge-Stewart has a peaceable encounter with Morgaine — though she threatens Lethbridge-Stewart, in the event they should meet again.

The Doctor and Ace enter a chamber under the lake, finding the door keyed to the Doctor's voice. The Doctor tells Ace that this "Merlin" may well be a future version of himself. Presently, they realize that the chamber is part of an organic spaceship. They also find the body of King Arthur. When Ace removes a sword from a plinth, she activates a defence mechanism, unleashing a hostile, glowing entity. In attempt to hide, Ace enters an alcove. A door closes, and the alcove starts to fill with water. As Ace yells for help, the entity knocks the Doctor unconscious.

The Doctor recovers just in time to fiddle with a control panel, and eject Ace from the space ship. As Ancelyn and Warmsly stand at the shore, discussing the Lady of the Lake, Ace emerges, still grasping the sword. Ancelyn identifies it as Excalibur. The Brigadier arrives on-scene, in time to destroy the creature below the lake and rescue the Doctor.

Mordred and Morgaine go to the hotel, to retrieve Excalibur. When Lavel shoots, Morgaine simply catches her bullet with sorcery. Morgaine takes knowledge from Lavel's mind, then turns her body to dust. As she leaves, she pays Mordred's drinking tab by restoring Elizabeth's sight. Meanwhile, UNIT troops are staging an evacuation. The Brigadier shows off some of UNIT's specialized ammunition, and the Doctor inquires about silver bullets.

The Doctor instructs Ace to draw a chalk circle around herself, to protect against Morgaine's sorcery. He then drives off in his old car, Bessie, hoping to halt a battle between Morgaine's knights and the UNIT soldiers. A storm breaks outside the hotel, so Ace and Shou Yuing draw the circle around themselves and Excalibur. A localized night falls. Within the circle, Ace and Shou Yuing start to bicker. Ace nearly leaves the circle, before they realise they are being toyed with.

Just as Mordred and Ancelyn are about to fight, the Doctor intervenes. Mordred, however, reveals that this battle is merely a ruse to lure the Doctor, and that Morgaine has summoned the Destroyer of Worlds. Morgaine appears before Ace and Shou Yuing, and tries to entice them to hand over Excalibur. When they refuse, she unleashes the Destroyer.

The Doctor and the Brigadier capture Mordred, and set off for the hotel. Meanwhile, Morgaine is occupied with Ace's circle. On return, the Doctor finds the hotel in ruins yet Ace and Shou Yuing safe. He is pleased to hear that Ace gave up Excalibur to Morgaine, if doing so protected her. In the debris, the Doctor finds a portal to Morgaine's castle; he, the Brigadier, and Ace enter. On arrival, the Brigadier shoots the Destroyer, to no effect. The Destroyer's return volley sends the Brigadier flying through the window. Ace bursts through the portal, ramming into Morgaine, knocking Excalibur from her grasp.

Morgaine releases the Destroyer's bonds. In the confusion, she scoops up Excalibur and enters the gateway along with Mordred.

Outside, the Doctor readies the Brigadier's revolver and silver bullets — yet the Brigadier knocks him out, retrieves his gun, and faces the Destroyer alone. After some dialog, the Brigadier empties the revolver into the Destroyer's chest. The Doctor wakes to find the castle engulfed in flames. He spots the Brigadier's prostrate form, and begins to mourn his fallen friend — at which point the Brigadier stirs and rises, scuffed but unharmed.

Back at the convoy, Morgaine and Mordred attempt to detonate the nuclear missile. The Doctor confronts Morgaine, insisting that there is no honor to nuclear warfare. She agrees, then asks to fight Arthur in single combat. He tells her of Arthur's death, to her sadness. The Doctor prevents Mordred from killing Ancelyn, and asks Bambera to imprison Mordred and Morgaine.

Back at the Brigadier's house, Doris thumbs her nose at her husband by going for a drive in Bessie with Ace, Shou Yuing, and Bambera, leaving him and the other men to do the gardening and prepare supper.

Continuity

  • As broadcast, this story marks a costume change for the Seventh Doctor. (Initially, The Curse of Fenric was meant as the first story of the season, and an outfit reveal was built in partway through the story.) Most of his clothing is darker, most notably his coat which is now dark brown as opposed to the light grey in previous seasons. This was to represent his darker, more manipulative character. This costume would continue until the end of the classic series' run. When the Seventh Doctor next appears in the 1996 TV movie, he is wearing a completely re-designed outfit with only his hat remaining (which was owned by Sylvester McCoy).
  • It is implied that Merlin is, or will be, a future incarnation of the Doctor. It is also possible that Merlin is an alternate Doctor from the same parallel universe that Morgaine and the rest of the knights are from.
  • The Doctor mentions that they are several years in Ace's future. A £5 coin is in common circulation.
  • The Doctor, talking to the new Brigadier, mentions Yeti (The Web of Fear), Autons (Spearhead from Space and Terror of the Autons), Daleks (Day of the Daleks), Cybermen (The Invasion) and Silurians (Doctor Who and the Silurians).
  • Bessie appears for the first time since The Five Doctors, with the numberplate 'WHO 7', though the actual car used is a different model from that featured earlier; in the Doctor's personal chronology, he was last shown using the vehicle soon after his regeneration into the Fourth Doctor in Robot (in The Five Doctors the vehicle is only used by the Third Doctor).
  • This story marks the last appearance of the TARDIS console room in the classic series. The set itself which had been in use since The Five Doctors had been destroyed in between seasons so a cheap mock-up (with a curtain standing in for the wall) was used here.[citation needed] The lighting in this scene is very low to disguise this, although the console itself survived and was used.
  • UNIT itself would not appear again on television until the Ninth Doctor story Aliens of London, after which it would be seen in the Tenth Doctor's initial outing, The Christmas Invasion, and several subsequent stories. The organization was also referred to in the spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures and represented by its medical officer, Martha Jones, in Torchwood.
  • This story is the last appearance in the television series of Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, after 21 years in the series since his first appearance in in 1968's The Web of Fear. The character has subsequently appeared in several spinoff stories, including short stories, novels and audio dramas. The canonicity of these is unclear. 'Sir Alistair' was mentioned in the 2008 episode, The Poison Sky, as still being an active member of UNIT and will reappear in the last story of the second season of the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures in Enemy of the Bane.

Production

Serial details by episode:
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 6 September 1989 24:06 3.1
"Part Two" 13 September 1989 24:07 3.9
"Part Three" 20 September 1989 24:13 3.6
"Part Four" 27 September 1989 24:14 4.0
[1][2][3]

Pre-production

Working titles for this story included Nightfall and Storm Over Avallion. An early version of the script was to have included the death of Lethbridge-Stewart.[4]

The Doctor refers to one of Clarke's three laws — telling Ace that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic — to explain that Arthur's transdimensional spaceship was grown, not built, and adds that the reverse of Clarke's Law is also true. Game designer Dave Lebling wrote in the 1986 interactive fiction game Trinity, "Any sufficiently arcane magic is indistinguishable from technology."

Casting

Guest stars making return appearances include Jean Marsh, who over twenty years earlier had played Princess Joanna in The Crusade and later, companion Sara Kingdom in The Daleks' Master Plan and June Bland, who appeared in the Fifth Doctor story, Earthshock.

Archaeologist Peter Warmsly was played by the renowned actor James Ellis, best remembered for his role as Lynch in Z Cars. See also Celebrity appearances in Doctor Who.

Production

The first director approached to handle Battlefield was Graeme Harper, who had previously directed The Caves of Androzani and Revelation of the Daleks for the programme in 1984 and 1985 respectively. However, Harper was committed to episodes of the Central Television drama series Boon, and unavailable to return to Doctor Who.[5] He would, however, later return to direct episodes of the revived version of the show from 2006 onwards.

During recording of the sequence where Ace is trapped in the water tank, the tank cracked, causing Sophie Aldred to sustain minor cuts to her hands and creating a major hazard as water flooded out onto the studio floor, across which live wires were running. The moment when the tank first cracked can be seen in Part Three as the Doctor struggles with the controls and Ace is lifted clear of the water.

VHS and DVD Release

  • This story was released on VHS in March 1998 with two minutes of additional footage not shown in the 1989 broadcast.
  • It will be released on Region 2 DVD on December 29th 2008.
Doctor Who book
Book cover
Battlefield
Series Target novelisations
Release number 152
Writer Marc Platt
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Alister Pearson
ISBN 0 426 20350 X
Release date 15 November 1990
Preceded by The Curse of Fenric
Followed by The Pescatons

In print

A novelisation of this serial, written by Marc Platt, was published by Target Books in July 1991.[6] It was the last novelisation of a televised Doctor Who serial to be published in the traditional "short paperback" format Target had been using since 1973. After one more novelisation based upon the untelevised The Pescatons, all remaining novelisations would be published in paperback editions with greater page counts and a different format.

Direct download: TDP_76_Battlefield_final_mix.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:14pm UTC

TDP 75: Children in need and Big Finish 8th Doctor and Lucie S2 The clip, from The Next Doctor, is online now at the BBC's Children In Need website, and shows the first two minutes of a brand new episode for the Time Lord, played by David Tennant.

This never seen before footage, is a worldwide exclusive, and will keep fans all over the globe wondering what's in store for the Doctor's next adventure.

As a bonus, you can also watch a special report on the recent Studio Tour competition days at the Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures sets.

We very much hope that you enjoy both clips and that you can support BBC Children In Need.



2.1 Doctor Who - Dead London

SYNOPSIS:
Someone's playing with us. Manipulating time and space for their own ends.
 
The TARDIS lands in London. But which one? The Doctor and Lucie find themselves trapped in a maze of interlocking Londons from Roman times to the present day.
 
But they are not alone in this labyrinth: a killer is on their trail.



2.2 Doctor Who - Max Warp

SYNOPSIS:
Welcome to Max Warp! Broadcasting live from the Sirius Inter-G Cruiser Show. Hosted by outspoken columnist and media personality Geoffrey Vantage, with spaceship-guru-extraordinaire O’Reilley and daredevil pilot Timbo ‘the Ferret’.
 
When a test flight of the new Kith Sunstorm ends in disaster, the Sirius Exhibition Station is plunged into a web of murder and intrigue. Someone – or something – is trying to re-ignite a war between the Varlon Empire and the Kith Oligarchy.

As the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance, only two investigators, the Doctor and Lucie, can hope to uncover the truth.
 
So strap yourself in, engage thrust, and prepare for... Max Warp!



2.3 Doctor Who - Brave New Town


SYNOPSIS:
It's like The Village That Time Forgot!
 
The inhabitants of the quiet seaside town of Thorington in Suffolk are living the same day over and over again.
 
What's so special about the 1st of September 1991? Why haven't the villagers noticed that the same song has been number one for years? And just where on Earth has the sea disappeared to?
 
The Doctor and Lucie must solve the mystery before the 'visitors' return...



2.4 Doctor Who - The Skull of Sobek

SYNOPSIS:
Too much perfection's dangerous.
 
On the isolated planet of Indigo 3, far out in the wastes of the Blue Desert, lies the Sanctuary of Imperfect Symmetry. It is a place of contemplation and reflection. It is also a place of death.
 
Something from another time, from another world, has found its way inside the hallowed walls. Something with a leathery hide, a long snout and sharp pointy teeth.
 
Tick tock. Here comes the crocodile...



2.5 Doctor Who - Grand Theft Cosmos


SYNOPSIS:
Here's to crime, Doctor!

The Doctor and Lucie visit nineteenth-century Sweden and become embroiled in an attempt to steal the infamous Black Diamond.

But the stone is guarded by forces not of this world...


2.6 Doctor Who - The Zygon Who Fell to Earth



SYNOPSIS:
There are no monsters this time... are there?
 
Ten years later and Aunty Pat is in her prime. She's snagged herself an ex rock star at the Kendal Folk Festival and now, in the brave new world of the early 1980s they manage together a snazzy hotel on the poetic and shingly shore of Lake Grasmere. However, still waters run deep and friends from the past are returning, intent on milking the old cash-cow...
 
Featuring the song Falling Star sung by Steven Pacey with music by Tim Sutton and lyrics by Barnaby Edwards.



2.7 Doctor Who - Sisters of the Flame


SYNOPSIS:
The richest man in the galaxy has just bought a backwards planet with no obvious mineral wealth in the outer reaches of the universe. An obscure mystical sect has been revived after centuries of neglect. A new race of aliens are hunting for prey. Why?
 
As the Doctor and Lucie attempt to discover the answer, it becomes clear that someone is attempting to resurrect the past - and they need a Time Lord to help them achieve it.




2.8 Doctor Who - Vengeance of Morbius



SYNOPSIS:
The richest man in the galaxy has just bought a backwards planet with no obvious mineral wealth in the outer reaches of the universe. An obscure mystical sect has been revived after centuries of neglect. A new race of aliens are hunting for prey. Why?
 
As the Doctor and Lucie attempt to discover the answer, it becomes clear that someone is attempting to resurrect the past - and they need a Time Lord to help them achieve it.
Direct download: TDP_75.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:06am UTC

TDP 74: Tennant Thoughts and S4 DVD Box Set David Tennant has announced that he will leave the award winning BBC drama Doctor Who when he has completed the filming of four special episodes which will be screened in 2009 and early in 2010.

David Tennant first appeared as The Doctor in 2005 and has gone on to star in three series and three Christmas specials as the tenth incarnation of the Time Lord. The BBC has confirmed that David will continue to play The Doctor in the four specials that will make up the 2009 series before a new Doctor takes over for Series 5. Tennant will also star in the Doctor Who Christmas Special titled The Next Doctor this year.

David Tennant comments "I've had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on Doctor Who. I have loved every day of it. It would be very easy to cling on to the TARDIS console forever and I fear that if I don't take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will. You would be prising the TARDIS key out of my cold dead hand. This show has been so special to me, I don't want to outstay my welcome.

"This is all a long way off, of course. I'm not quitting, I'm back in Cardiff in January to film four special episodes which will take Doctor Who all the way through 2009. I'm still the Doctor all next year but when the time finally comes I'll be honoured to hand on the best job in the world to the next lucky git - whoever that may be.

"I'd always thought the time to leave would be in conjunction with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner who have been such a huge part of it all for me. Steven Moffat is the most brilliant and exciting writer, the only possible successor to Russell and it was sorely tempting to be part of his amazing new plans for the show. I will be there, glued to my TV when his stories begin in 2010.

"I feel very privileged to have been part of this incredible phenomenon, and whilst I'm looking forward to new challenges I know I'll always be very proud to be the Tenth Doctor."

Russell T Davies Executive Producer of Doctor Who comments "I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years - and it's not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left! After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!"

Doctor Who returns to our screens on BBC this Christmas. The Next Doctor starring David Tennant, David Morrissey and Dervla Kirwan will be screened on the 25th December on BBC1.


TIME CRASH
The 2007 Children In Need scene, written by Steven Moffat.

DELETED SCENES
A collection of deleted and alternate takes including Howard Attfield's (Geoff Noble) scenes from the S4 opener and the original 'Cybermen' ending from the finale - each scene comes with an explanatory introduction from Russell T Davies. Stories that receive the additional material are: Voyage Of The Damned; Partners In Crime; Fires Of Pompeii; Planet Of The Ood; The Doctor's Daughter; The Unicorn & The Wasp; Forest Of The Dead; Turn Left; and Journey's End.

DAVID TENNANT'S VIDEO DIARIES
Two fifteen minute (approx.) segments filmed by David Tennant including the 'turn on' of the Blackpool Illuminations in 2007 and behind~the~scenes filming of the series finale.

THE JOURNEY (SO FAR)
Half hour documentary charting the return of the show up to the S4 finale. Features interviews with Russell T Davies, David Tennant, Phil Collinson and Julie Gardner.

TRAILERS
All teasers and trailers for the episodes including the 'cinema' trailers for Voyage Of The Damned and S4.

AUDIO COMMENTARIES
These are all new commentaries recorded especially for this release.

VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED: Murray Gold (Composer), Russell Tovey (Midshipman Frame) & Peter Bennett (1st Assistant Director)

PARTNERS IN CRIME: Julie Gardner (Executive Producer), Russell T Davies & James Strong (Director)

FIRES OF POMPEII
: David Tennant, Catherine Tate and Tracie Simpson (Production Manager)

PLANET OF THE OOD: Graeme Harper (Director) & Roger Griffiths (Commander Kess)

THE SONTARAN STRATAGEM: Julie Gardner, Dan Starkey (Commander Skorr) & Neil Gorton (Prosthetics Designer)

THE POISON SKY: David Tennant, RTD and Susie Liggat (Producer)

THE DOCTOR'S DAUGHTER: Catherine Tate, Georgia Moffett (Jenny) & Ben Foster (Conductor)

THE UNICORN & THE WASP: Felicity Kendal (Lady Eddison) & Fenella Woolgar (Agatha Christie)

SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY: David Tennant, Steven Moffat & Julie Gardner

FOREST OF THE DEAD: Euros Lyn (Director), Lousie Page (Costume designer) & Helen Raynor (Script Editor)

MIDNIGHT: David Tennant, RTD & Alice Troughton (Director)

TURN LEFT: Catherine Tate, Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott) & Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble)

THE STOLEN EARTH: David Tennant, RTD and Julie Gardner

JOURNEY'S END: David Tennant, Catherine Tate & RTD

DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL
Cut-down versions (in some cases less than ten minutes) of all the accompanying episodes with the exception of Time Crash.

Direct download: TDP_74_Tennant_Thoughts_and_S4_dvd.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:47am UTC

TDP Special: A Halloween Poem. A Special Halloween Poem

With Apologies to AEP.

The Raving (Bloke)

 

Once upon the 80’s dreary, while I watched all weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious vhs of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was watching television when you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Michael Grade, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered words, `Doctor Who No More!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, ` Doctor Who No More?'
Merely this and nothing more.

 
Much I marvelled this ungainly felow hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing Grade at his chamber door -
Man or beast above the head of pertwee above his chamber door,
With such vermance came his word again `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if  BBC director or devil! –

Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there no hope for my timelord? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Laughed the Controler `Nevermore!'

With just these words he few away.

 

And the BBC, never failing, still is sitting on the rights evermore, still is plotting scemeing, waiting a man, a  man to rap at my chamber door.

 

And This man, - lets call him Russel- his eyes a dreaming,  Dreaming of his common myth.
And the New controller will hold promice, dreams of blue lamp-light flashing;
And my soul rises from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Doctor Who – For ever more!

Direct download: TDP_Halloween_Poem_Raven.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:27am UTC

TDP 73:  Writers Tale, Doctors and Kingdom of Silver
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (25 Sep 2008)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1846075718
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846075711
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19 x 4 cm
Synopsis
"Writing isn' just a job that stops at six-thirty...It's a mad, sexy, sad, scary, obsessive, ruthless, joyful, and utterly, utterly personal thing. There's not the writer and then me; there's just me. All of my life connects to the writing. All of it." A unique look into the BBC's most popular family drama, Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale is a year in the life of the hit television series, as told by the show's Head Writer and Executive Producer. A candid and in-depth correspondence between Russell T Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook, the book explores in detail Russell's work on Series Four, revealing how he plans the series and works with the show's writers; where he gets his ideas for plot, character and scene; how actors are cast and other creative decisions are made; and how he juggles the demands of Doctor Who with the increasingly successful Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures spin-offs. Russell's scripts are discussed as they develop, and Russell and Ben's wide-ranging discussions bring in experiences from previous series of Doctor Who as well as other shows Russell has written and created, including Queer As Folk, Bob and Rose, and The Second Coming.The reader is given total access to the show as it's created, and the writing is everything you would expect from Russell T Davies: warm, witty, insightful, and honest.Fully illustrated with never-before-seen photos and artwork - including original drawings by Russell himself - The Writer's Tale is a not only the ultimate Doctor Who book, but a celebration of great writing and great television.



Kingdom of Silver

Starring Sylvester McCoy
With Terry Molloy and Neil Roberts

(Duration: 120' Approx)

CAST:

KINGDOM OF SILVER: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Neil Roberts (Temeter), Kate Terence (Sara), Terry Molloy (Magus Riga), James George (Merel), Bunny Reed (Ardith), Holly King (Etin), Nicholas Briggs (Cybermen)
KEEPSAKE: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Neil Roberts (Temeter), Kate Terence (Sara), Terry Molloy (Examiner 2), James George (Corvus), Nicholas Briggs (Examiner 1)

SYNOPSIS - KINGDOM OF SILVER (A Three-Part Story):
The Doctor arrives on Tasak in search of refreshment, armed with nothing more than a kettle.  But this is a time of crisis for a civilisation about to enter an industrial age. 

Mindful that a devastating war is only recently over, the wise and revered Magus Riga will do almost anything to save his people from the follies of the past.  But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  And the planet Tasak is host to ancient powers buried deep and long forgotten.  Can visitors from another world avert disaster or will their intervention drag this innocent world into the Orion War?
SYNOPSIS - KEEPSAKE (A One-Part Story):
Sifting through the technological junk of Reclaim Platform Juliet-November-Kilo, the Doctor discovers evidence of a personal tragedy involving some friends of his.  Where will the story of their fate lead?
AUTHOR: James Swallow
DIRECTOR:
Ken Bentley and Nicholas Briggs
SOUND DESIGN:
David Darlington MUSIC:
David Darlington
COVER ART:
Alex Mallinson
NUMBER OF DISCS:
2 CDs
RECORDED DATE:
8 & 9 May 2008 RELEASE DATE:
15 September 2008
PRODUCTION CODE:
7Z/D ISBN:
978-1-84435-321-7

CHRONOLOGICAL PLACEMENT:

This story takes place between the television adventures, Survival and the 1996 TV Movie, and after the Big Finish audio adventure The Death Collectors.
Direct download: TDP_73_Writers_Doctors_Kingdom.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:21am UTC

TDP 72:  Doctor Who Ghost Light

Ghost Light



Ghost Light was the second story of Season 26 of Doctor Who. Two stories followed it when broadcast, although it was the last story of the classic series to be produced. It was the last story filmed at the BBC studios in London.


Synopsis

The Doctor brings Ace to Gabriel Chase, an old house that she once burnt down in her home town of Perivale. The year is 1883 and the house is presided over by Josiah Samuel Smith, who turns out to be the evolved form of an alien brought to Earth in a stone spaceship that is now in the basement. Others present include the explorer Redvers Fenn-Cooper, who has been driven mad by what he has seen there, and Nimrod, Smith's Neanderthal manservant.

Smith intends to use Fenn-Cooper's unwitting help in a plot to kill Queen Victoria and restore the British Empire to its former glory. His plans are hampered by Control, a female alien whose life-cycle is in balance with his own. Ace inadvertently causes the release of the spaceship's true owner - a powerful alien being known as Light.

Light originally came to Earth to compile a catalogue of its species but, on discovering that his catalogue has now been made obsolete by evolution, he decides to destroy all life on the planet. He disintegrates when the Doctor convinces him that evolution is irresistible and that he himself is constantly changing.

Control has meanwhile evolved into a lady and Smith has reverted to an earlier, primitive form. They leave in the spaceship, along with Nimrod and Fenn-Cooper, heading for new adventure.

Plot

Part 1

Fenn-Cooper has been driven mad by Light
Fenn-Cooper has been driven mad by Light

The Doctor brings Ace to Gabriel Chase, an old house that she once burnt down in her home town of Perivale near London. The year is 1883 and the house is presided over by the mysterious Josiah Samuel Smith. It is a most mysterious place, where the serving women brandish guns and the butler is a Neanderthal named Nimrod. Other occupants include Gwendoline, the daughter of the original owners of the house who have now disappeared, the calculating housekeeper Lady Pritchard, the explorer Redvers Fenn-Cooper, who has seen something which has driven him insane, and the Reverend Ernest Matthews, opponent of the theory of evolution which Smith has done much to spread.

The TARDIS arrives at Gabriel Chase. It turns out that Ace had visited the house in 1983, and had felt an evil presence, and the Doctor's curiosity drives him to seek the answers. Something is also alive and evolving in the cellar beneath the house and when Ace investigates she finds two animated and dangerous husks.

Part 2

Josiah turns into a husk
Josiah turns into a husk

In rescuing Ace, the Doctor releases an evolving creature trapped in the cellar known as Control. The party moves to ground level and Control remains trapped in the cellar for the moment. The cellar is in fact a vast stone spaceship. The Doctor works his way through the stuffed animals in Gabriel Chase and eventually finds a human in suspended animation, an Inspector Mackenzie, who came to the house two years earlier in search of the owners. The Doctor revives him and together they seek to unlock the mysteries of Gabriel Chase.

The husks which attacked Ace were the remains of Smith, an alien who has been evolving into forms approximating a human and casting off his old husks as an insect would. For his pains Smith transforms Matthews into an ape and places him in a display case.

The Doctor helps Control release the trapped creature from the cellar, a being known as Light who takes the form of an angel.

Part 3

Light wakes up
Light wakes up

Thousands of years in the past, an alien spaceship came to Earth to catalogue all life on the planet. After completing its task and collecting some samples, which included Nimrod, the leader Light went into slumber. By 1881 the ship had returned to Earth. While Control remained imprisoned on the ship to serve as the "control" subject of the scientific investigation, events transpired such that Smith, the "survey agent", mutinied against Light, keeping him in hibernation on the ship. Smith began evolving into the era's dominant life-form - a Victorian gentleman - and also took over the house. By 1883 Smith managed to lure and capture the explorer Fenn-Cooper within his den. Utilising Fenn-Cooper's association with Queen Victoria, he plans to get close to her so that he can assassinate her and subsequently take control of the British Empire.

Light is displeased by all the change that has occurred on the planet while he was asleep. While Light tries to make sense of all the change, Smith tries to keep his plan intact, but events are moving beyond his control. Light turns Gwendoline and her missing mother, revealed to be Mrs. Pritchard, to stone in a bid to stop the speed of evolution; while Inspector Mackenzie meets a sticky end and is turned into a primordial soup to serve at dinner. As Control tries to "evolve" into a Lady, and Ace tries to come to grips with her feelings about the house, the Doctor himself tries to keep the upper hand in all the events that have been set in motion. The Doctor finally convinces Light of the futility of opposing evolution, which causes him to overload and dissipate into the surrounding house. It was this presence that Ace sensed and which caused her to burn the house down in 1983. Also, Control's complete evolution into a Lady derail's Smith's plan as Fenn-Cooper, having freed himself from Smith's brainwashing, chooses to side with her instead of him. In the end, with Smith now the new Control creature imprisoned on the ship, Control, Fenn-Cooper and Nimrod set off in the alien ship to explore the universe.

Cast

Crew

Direct download: TDP_72_Ghost_Light.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

THERE WILL BE NO TDP FOR A WEEK OR SO DUE TO TECHNICAL ISSUES.

I AM SORRY ABOUT THIS.

HOPEFULLY I CAN SORT THINGS OUT SHORTLY.

REGARDS

TIN DOG
Category:Information -- posted at: 4:58pm UTC

 TDP 71:  Vervoids, Foe and Steampunk Listen past the end credits for spoiler chat!

4 Topics!

1) Terror of the Verviods
2) Ultimate Foe
3) Steampunk in Doctor Who
end credits
4) Spoiler chat...


The Doctor returns to the courtroom after a recess, given to allow him to mourn Peri’s death, shown in the previous block of evidence. The Doctor begins his defence, showing events from his future on the galactic liner Hyperion III, a ship taking a supply of rare metals from Mogar to Earth in the year 2986AD. The Doctor states that many of the passengers and crew will not survive the journey to Earth, for "[someone determined to] protect a secret hidden on the space liner... will become a murderer."’’

Continuity

  • The new companion "Mel" is introduced without the typical "meeting" story, as this evidence is supposed to take place in the Doctor's future, after he has already met Mel.
  • Despite references to them having met before, the Doctor has never been shown to meet Commodore Travers on screen before this.

Production

Serial details by episode:
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"Part Nine" 1 November 1986 24:56 5.2
"Part Ten" 8 November 1986 24:18 4.6
"Part Eleven" 15 November 1986 24:07 5.3
"Part Twelve" 22 November 1986 24:45 5.2
[1][2][3]

Preproduction

This story segment of Trial was originally supposed to be written by Peter J. Hammond, creator of the cult science fiction series Sapphire & Steel. Hammond's story outline, titled Paradise Five, was liked by script editor Eric Saward but disliked by producer John Nathan-Turner, who rejected it and commissioned Pip and Jane Baker to do the segment instead.[4] Hammond later wrote two episodes of the Doctor Who spin-off drama, Torchwood.

Designed as a typical Agatha Christie murder mystery set on a space liner, the actual structure of the story (and its bubbly tone) are reminiscent of the series during Douglas Adams' tenure as script editor, during season seventeen. In the first episode, Professor Lasky is briefly seen reading a copy of Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

Production

The Vervoids bear a strong resemblance to the Flatwoods monster, a common template for alien creatures.[citation needed]

Post-production

This serial marked the last time the BBC Radiophonic Workshop provided a music score for the series.

As no individual title was used onscreen or on the final scripts for this story, there has been some confusion over how to refer to the story. It was initially commissioned with the title of The Ultimate Foe. However this title was later given to the novelisation of the 13th and 14th parts of the season. Writers Pip and Jane Baker repeatedly referred to the story as The Vervoids in subsequent interviews, as have other production team members, but this title does not appear to exist on any contemporary documentation.[4] When Target Books published Pip and Jane Baker's novelisation, it was under the title of Terror of the Vervoids, which is now generally used to refer to the story (see The Ultimate Foe and Doctor Who story title controversy).

Commercial releases

  • In October 1993, this story was released on VHS as part of the three-tape The Trial of a Time Lord set.
  • It is also due for DVD release on September 29th2008[5], similarly packaged with the other stories in The Trial of a Time Lord season. Special Features include: deleted and extended scenes • "The Making of a Trial of a Time Lord - Part Three - Terror of Vervoids" • "Now Get Out of That - Doctor Who Cliffhangers" (a 28-minute feature) • "The Lost Season" (an 11-minute feature) • Saturday Picture Show archival television footage • photo gallery • and trails and continuities.


The Ultimate Foe is the generally accepted title for a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts from November 29 to December 6, 1986. It is part of the larger narrative known as The Trial of a Time Lord, encompassing the whole of the 23rd season. This segment is also cited in some reference works under its working title of Time Incorporated (or Time Inc.). This was the last regular story to feature Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor.

Continuity

Thanks to the paradoxes of time travel, since Mel is from the Doctor's future, she has already met him, but from the Doctor's perspective he is meeting her for the first time. Most spin-off media, including the novelisation by the Bakers, have assumed that the Doctor, at the end of the trial, takes Mel back to her proper place in time and eventually travels to her relative past to meet Mel for the first time from her perspective. That meeting, never seen on screen, is related in the Past Doctor Adventures novel Business Unusual by Gary Russell and also in his audio story He Jests at Scars, which provides a semi-sequel to this TV story.

In the new series episode Journey's End, a Magnetron (possibly salvaged during The Time War) is used to move a number of planets to another spot in the universe. Since then, the technology appears to have been modified and/or improved as the planets apparently just teleport rather than being "thrown".

[edit] The Doctor

This was the last story to feature Colin Baker as the current Doctor. Baker was fired by the BBC and John Nathan Turner was ordered, reportedly by Michael Grade, to recast the lead part for the following season. Baker was offered the chance to appear as the Doctor in all four episodes of the first story of Season 24, but he declined this and the invitation to return for the traditional regeneration sequence in Time and the Rani.

Due to Colin Baker's dismissal from the role, it would turn out that the Sixth Doctor's last lines on screen were "Carrot juice, carrot juice, carrot juice!" Although The Ultimate Foe was his last regular appearance as the Doctor on screen, the last story that Baker actually recorded was Terror of the Vervoids. Baker would reprise the role on stage, in 1989's Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure, and on screen in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time, as well as various audio adventures for Big Finish Productions.

[edit] Final appearances

This marked the last appearance to date of the Time Lords, apart from a brief flashback in "The Sound of Drums." Coincidentally, James Bree (The Keeper of the Matrix) had appeared in The War Games (albeit in a different role), which was the first serial to feature the Time Lords.

The Valeyard has not re-appeared in the television series. His sole appearance in the Big Finish Productions audios has been the Doctor Who Unbound (and therefore outside of established continuity) He Jests at Scars..., where Michael Jayston reprises the role. The character has been featured (usually in dream sequences or metaphors) in the New Adventures and Missing Adventures book ranges from Virgin Publishing and the Past Doctor Adventures from the BBC, however none of these appearances conclusively reveals his origins. The forthcoming unofficial novel Time's Champion, the late Craig Hinton's final novel completed by his friend Chris McKeon, will see the return of the Valeyard and his origins revealed.

Whereas previously Anthony Ainley's the Master had appeared in at least one story per year, it would be another three years before he returned in Survival, the final story of the show's original run.

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode:
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"Part Thirteen" 29 November 1986 24:42 4.4
"Part Fourteen" 6 December 1986 29:30 5.6
[1][2][3]

Robert Holmes was originally commissioned to write the two episodes. Unfortunately, he died from a chronic liver ailment after completing a draft of the first and left nothing beyond a plot outline of the second. The series Script Editor Eric Saward resigned around this time due to disagreements with the producer, John Nathan-Turner, but agreed to write the final episode based on Holmes' outline, and also rewrite Holmes' draft to tie the two together, for which he was credited as Script Editor. The original ending to this segment (and, indeed, the whole Trial story and possibly the series) would have seen the Doctor and the Valeyard in an inconclusive cliffhanger, both (seemingly) plunging into a void to their deaths as an extra "hook". However, Nathan-Turner felt this was too downbeat and believed that it was important that the season did not end on an inconclusive note since it was important after the hiatus to prove the series was back in business. Saward refused to change the ending and withdrew permission to use his script very late in the day, by which point the production team had been assembled and the segment was entering rehearsals.

John Nathan-Turner commissioned Pip and Jane Baker to write a replacement final episode. For copyright reasons they could not be told anything of the content of Saward's script (and there were lawyers observing all commissioning meetings). The only similarity between the two is the announcement that the High Council of the Time Lords have resigned, which was a natural development of the earlier scripts. The new script ended on an optimistic note, with the Doctor departing for new adventures.[4]

In keeping with this more optimistic stance, Nathan-Turner decided to amend the script at the last minute to show how Peri had not died as shown in Mindwarp but in fact, became Yrcanos's queen. Her "death" was merely a part of the Valeyard's tampering with the Matrix, with a shot from the earlier story used to show this. Nicola Bryant was disappointed to learn how the fate of her character had been changed.

Ultimately, the works of Charles Dickens are evident in the story: the fictional landscape in the Matrix resembles Victorian era Britain, and the character (and name) of Mr. Popplewick are strongly Dickensian. The Doctor also quotes the final two lines of A Tale of Two Cities, prompting Mel to chide him: "Never mind the Sydney Carton heroics!"

The working title of this story was Time Incorporated.[4] However, this title did not appear in the final scripts or on-screen.


Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality.

Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.

Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual craftpersons into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.




Direct download: TDP_71_Vervoids_and_Foe_and_Steampunk.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:03am UTC

 TDP 70:  Four to Doomsday

The Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric arrive on a spaceship which is headed for Earth. On board they meet natives of Earth from various different eras, and also three Urbankans: Monarch, Persuasion and Enlightenment. What are the aliens' intentions when they reach Earth?

Plot

The TARDIS materializes on board a vast and advanced alien spacecraft, observed by a hovering surveillance device which conveys the arrival of the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Adric to an observing being that is in control of the vessel. The TARDIS crew become separated and the Doctor and Tegan reach the bridge of the vessel where the green-skinned commander introduces himself as Monarch, ruler of Urbanka, and his associates and fellow Urbankans are the Ministers of Enlightenment and Persuasion. The leader is intrigued by talk of current Earth civilisation and reveals their ship is bound for Earth. Shortly afterward Enlightenment and Persuasion seemingly regenerate into human form, dressed in garments Tegan designed to demonstrate contemporary Earth fashions.

The TARDIS crew are reunited as guests aboard the ship and it soon becomes apparent that there are four distinct human cultures represented on the vessel by a small group of humans – Ancient Greeks, the leader of whom is the philosopher Bigon; Chinese Mandarins and their leader Lin Futu; Princess Villagra and representatives of the Mayan people; and Kurkutji and his tribesmen, of the very ancient Australian Aborigine culture. The Urbankans have made periodic visits to Earth, each time getting speedier in their journeys. This time they have left their homeworld after erratic solar activity, storing three billion of their species on slides aboard their craft, and it seems the current journey is their last and they now wish to settle on Earth, which they are due to reach in four days time.

The Doctor becomes suspicious of Monarch and soon learns that the Urbankan does not plan on peaceful co-existence: instead, he has developed a virus to wipe out humanity, and this will be unleashed before the Urbankans disembark. He also finds out that the humans aboard are not descendents of the original abductees, but are the original people taken from Earth and converted into androids like the three Urbankans walking around on board. The four leaders of the peoples have been given additional circuits to help them reason, but this facility can be taken away, as Bigon learns when he crosses Monarch once too often. He explained to the Doctor that Monarch strip-mined and destroyed Urbanka in a quest for minerals to improve the ship, and now plans to do the same to Earth. Monarch believes that if he can move the ship faster than the speed of light, he can pilot it back to the beginning of time and discover himself as God…

Adric, nevertheless, is rather taken with Monarch, and tensions between him and the Doctor become very strained. It takes the truth to break the alien’s hold over the boy. The Doctor now sets about over-throwing Monarch and, with the help of the human androids led by a restored Bigon, a revolution is put into effect. Enlightenment and Persuasion are de-circuited, while Monarch himself is exposed to the deadly toxin and killed. It seems he was a product of the weak “flesh time” after all, having never, as the Doctor suspected, been fully converted into an android. The humanoid androids decide to pilot the vessel to a new home on a new world, while the TARDIS crew departs. Back in the console room, Nyssa suddenly collapses to the floor in a dead faint.

Cast notes

Guest stars in this serial include Stratford Johns as Monarch and Burt Kwouk as Lin Futu. See Celebrity appearances in Doctor Who.

Continuity

Goofs

  • The Doctor describes the Maya civilization as having reached its peak "8000 years ago"; the very earliest Maya settlements began 4000 years ago.
  • The Doctor claims the population of the Earth to be 3 Billion, where as it was around 4.5 Billion by 1980, being about 3 Billion in around 1960. [1]
  • Few non-indigenous Australians speak an Aboriginal language (of which around 200 exist) as fluently as Tegan demonstrated with her conversation with Kurkutji. It is almost certain that the language that Kurkutji spoke 40,000 years ago would have since evolved into a totally different language that his people would be using today.

Production

Serial details by episode:
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 18 January 1982 23:36 8.4
"Part Two" 19 January 1982 24:11 8.8
"Part Three" 25 January 1982 24:09 8.8
"Part Four" 26 January 1982 24:53 9.4
[1][2][3]
  • The working title for this story was Days Of Wrath.
  • Although Castrovalva was the first story aired which featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, this story was the first in the season to be produced.
  • It was originally decided that after Castrovalva, the Doctor would only have two companions, Adric and Tegan. As a result, the character of Nyssa was to be written out of the series at the end of this story. However, Peter Davison strongly opposed this move because he felt that Nyssa was the companion who was "most suited to his vision of the Doctor." Given this, producer John Nathan-Turner and the rest of the production team relented.

In print

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Four to Doomsday
Series Target novelisations
Release number 77
Writer Terrance Dicks
Publisher Target Books
ISBN 0 426 19334 2
Release date 21 July 1983
Preceded by Castrovalva
Followed by Earthshock

A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in April 1983.

Broadcast, VHS and DVD release

  • This story was released on VHS in September 2001.
  • A DVD release has been confirmed for 15th September 2008.

Clockwork Cabaret RSS feed is
www.clickcaster.com/channels/clockworkcabaret.xml


Direct download: TDP_70_Four_to_Doomsday.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:03pm UTC

 TDP 69:  Mindwarp

Synopsis

Following on from The Mysterious Planet, the Valeyard and the Doctor argue about the Doctor’s involvement in those events. The Inquisitor warns them both to pay due respect to the judicial process. The Valeyard proceeds to present his second block of evidence - the Doctor's arrival on the planet Thoros Beta.

The TARDIS arrives on the planet, where the Doctor shows Peri a weapon given to him by the "Warlord of Thordon", made on Thoros Beta. He states that has come to find out how the warlords obtained such technology. They enter a cave, where Peri is grabbed by a large monstrous creature, which during a struggle the Doctor shoots with the gun.

The Valeyard accuses the Doctor of deliberately shooting the monster, but he replies that the weapon went off accidentally.

A figure arrives and accuses the Doctor and Peri of murdering the Raak, despite their protestations that it attacked them first. The figure asks if they are part of Crozier's group, and the Doctor says that he is. They flee before they can be identified as imposters, but are quickly faced by another monster, but it reacts kindly when the Doctor is nice to it. They are forced to flee further, and as they hide they see three reptilian figures being carried along by guards, the third of the figures is shown to be their old enemy Sil. The Doctor realises that Sil is probably behind the arms sales, and informs Peri that Thoros Beta is the home world of Sil's race, the Mentors.

In Crozier's laboratory, King Yrcanos is being experimented on, and the Doctor and Peri sneak inside. As the Doctor sabotages some of Kiv's equipment, Sil arrives in the laboratory. The Doctor is strapped to a table, and Crozier applies a metal helmet to his head. Crozier states that the equipment to extract the truth from a suspect, and that technique could prove fatal. He starts to probe the Doctor's mind, but Yrcanos awakes and destroys the equipment. Overpowering the guards he departs the laboratory, followed by a stunned Doctor and Peri. Yrcanos outlines his plans to attack the Mentors. The Doctor says he would enjoy that, and then collapses.

The Doctor tells the Inquisitor that he cannot remember these events. The Valeyard tells him he is in for a surprise if this is true.

Yrcanos, the Doctor and Peri go to where new slaves are brought into the base. Yrcanos plans to attack the guards and steal their weapons, but as he sneaks into the room, the Doctor calls out to the guards, giving him away. Yrcanos, unable to fight the guards, flees. Peri points a weapon at Sil, and asks the Doctor for help, but he ignores her. Peri drops the weapon and flees after Yrcanos. Sil asks the Doctor why he helped the Mentors, and he replies that the odds were on their side.

The Doctor insists that the footage is not of him, but the Valeyard tells him that the Matrix cannot lie.

Peri comes across Matrona, who allows her to join the Mentors' servants rather than turn her over to the guards. Covered with a veil, she enters the Commerce Room with Kiv's medication. The Doctor calls to her to get him a drink, so she disguises her voice to avoid being recognised. When she brings him a new drink, the Doctor uncovers her and denounces her as an enemy to the Mentors.

The Doctor tells the Courtroom that what they are seeing is all part of his ploy. He says he planned to gain the Mentors' trust so that he would be allowed to interrogate her alone, giving them a chance to escape.

Peri is lashed to rocks on the shoreline and the Doctor stands over her, accusing of being a spy. She asks why he is behaving the way he is, and the Doctor tells her that Crozier is planning to put Kiv's brain into his body unless he can help them. Crozier stops the interegation, saying that they have more effective methods of extracting the truth from Peri. As they re-enter the complex, Yrcanos attacks the guard, and threatens to kill the Doctor. However, Peri smashes the gun from Yrcanos's hands allowing the Doctor to flee. In Crozier's laboratory, the scientist prepares to transplant Kiv's brain into a recently deceased Mentor corpse with the help of The Doctor. The operation proves successful.

Meanwhile, Yrcanos, Peri and Dorf team up with members of the Alphan resistance. Agreeing to allow Yrcanos to lead them in an attack on the Mentors, they go to the resistance arms dump, but they are ambushed by Mentor guards and shot down. However, it is revealed they have merely been stunned, and they are taken to cells.

In Crozier's laboratory, Lord Kiv is rambling due to the body of the fisherman influencing his brain. Crozier makes plans to transfer the brain into another more suitable body, and suggests using Peri. The Doctor says he would prefer that she is not experimented on, but while he is trying to find another candidate, Peri is brought to the laboratory, and strapped to the operating table. Crozier begins to prepare her for the surgery.

The Doctor goes to Yrcanos's cell and tricks the guard allowing Yrcanos and Dorf to escape. Together they free the remaining resistance members. They head towards the control room from where all the slaves are mentally controlled and succeed in freeing the slaves from mental control, but Dorf is killed by a passing guard. Lord Kiv is taken to the laboratory to prepare for the operation. As the Doctor heads towards the lab, he is summoned by the Time Lords and promptly vanishes.

The Inquisitor tells the Doctor this was the result of an order from the High Council, because the result of Crozier's experiment would affect all life in the Universe.

As Yrcanos prepares his attack on the laboratory, the Time Lords capture him in a time bubble so that his attack is perfectly timed. When Kiv awakes in Peri's bald body, the time bubble dissipates and Yrcanos bursts into the laboratory. He is consumed with fury and begins firing his gun wildly.

The Doctor is shocked by what he has seen. The Inquisitor and the Valeyard tell him that it was necessary to end Peri's life to prevent the disastrous consequences of Crozier's experiment. The Doctor insists that he was fetched out of time for some other reason, and he is going to find out what.

Continuity

  • Sil appeared in the previous season in the serial Vengeance on Varos.
  • It's often debated amongst fandom[citation needed] as to what exactly happens during this story. It is stated on screen that the Valeyard has somehow distorted events, and that the actual scenes are by and large presented correctly but merely that the Doctor's performance has been distorted to show him in the worst possible light to the court. Many such scenes are prevalent throughout the story, leading fandom to great confusion as it isn't entirely clear which bits are "real" and which were concocted by the Valeyard. There are several theories:
  1. That the events seen are the true events, but distorted to show the Doctor in the worst possible light. For example, his line 'Look out behind you' is shown on screen as the Doctor giving King Yrcanos away to some guards, whereas the "true" events might very well have been the Doctor warning him of an attacker sneaking up ('Look out, behind you!'). It's all in how the line is pronounced rather than what the line is.
  2. That the Doctor was fried by the "Mindwarp" machine, which is why he exhibits 'out of character' behaviour throughout the story. The event is shown on screen, but as to whether it really occurred or not is still an event of great contention.
  3. That the Doctor is pretending to have been twisted by the "Mindwarp" machine, whilst really seeking to find a way to put things right. In the courtroom the Doctor claims this is the case, though he is at this stage unable to recall events.

Production

Serial details by episode:
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"Part Five" 4 October 1986 24:42 4.8
"Part Six" 11 October 1986 24:45 4.6
"Part Seven" 18 October 1986 24:33 5.1
"Part Eight" 25 October 1986 24:44 5.0
[1][2][3]

Music

Initially it was intended that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop would provide music scores for both this and the following segment of The Trial of a Time Lord; both were assigned to Malcolm Clarke to begin with, although Terror of the Vervoids got re-assigned to Elizabeth Parker shortly afterwards. However, fellow Radiophonic Workshop composer Jonathan Gibbs left early in 1986 and was not replaced until the following year, leaving the other composers backlogged and no-one free to do the incidental music for Mindwarp. It was suggested that Dick Mills could provide both the music and sound effects, but John Nathan-Turner rejected this idea and instead hired film composer Richard Hartley to create the incidental music for this segment. It would be the only time that Hartley worked on the series.

Casting

Trevor Laird returned to Doctor Who in the Tenth Doctor era as Clive Jones, father of the Doctor's companion Martha Jones. Similarly, Christopher Ryan returned in 2008 as Sontaran leader General Staal in The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky.

Commercial releases

In October 1993, this story was released on VHS as part of the three-tape The Trial of a Time Lord set. A DVD release is due on September 29th 2008, similarly packaged with the other stories in The Trial of a Time Lord season. Special Features include: deleted and extended scenes • "The Making of the Trial of a Time Lord - Part Two - Mindwarp" (a 20-minute feature) • "Now and Then - On the Trial of a Time Lord" (a 21-minute feature) • "A Fate Worse Than Death" Feature • Doctor Who Lenny Henry sketch • BBC Children in Need archival footage • TV Talkback archival footage • photo gallery • trails and continuities.

In print

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Mindwarp
Series Target novelisations
Release number 139
Writer Philip Martin
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Alister Pearson
ISBN 0 426 20335 6
Release date 15 June 1989
Preceded by Attack of the Cybermen
Followed by The Chase

A novelisation of this serial, written by Philip Martin, was published by Target Books in June 1989 and was the final segment of the Trial arc to be adapted. Martin's novelisation adds a joke ending that gives away the revelation regarding Peri's fate in The Ultimate Foe, suggesting an entirely different outcome for the character (and for Yrcanos) than is suggested in the serial.

Direct download: TDP_69_Mindwarp.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:34pm UTC