Doctor Who Notes 9

With the ninth season of Doctor Who, the show began to drift inexorably back to the original premise, with the Doctor traveling to different planets or eras aboard the TARDIS, even though he was still technically exiled to 20th century Earth. The Master appeared in only two stories, so his villainy was less diluted this time around. The Daleks made a comeback after five years, and for once, there were no major cast turn-overs. In the final story of the season, the Doctor speaks for the first time about his early life on his still-as-yet-unnamed home planet.

From “Day of the Daleks”

The Doctor’s tireless efforts to get the TARDIS operational again are interrupted when Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart asks him and Jo Grant to assist with the investigation of strange sightings at the site of an international conference. They discover a group of guerrillas who have come from the 22nd century to change history and thus prevent a war that led to a Dalek invasion. When the Doctor and Jo are accidentally transported to the future via the Daleks’ crude time corridor technology, they discover a temporal paradox -- the guerrillas were themselves responsible for the devastating war due to their time-meddling. Returning to September 1971, the Doctor is able to prevent the assassinations and thereby stop that future from ever coming about.

From “The Curse of Peladon”

The Doctor manages to get the TARDIS operational enough to transport Jo and himself to the planet Peladon, where the indestructible ship tumbles down the side of a mountain. They take refuge in a castle built into the rock face, wherein they find the planet’s ruler negotiating for admission into the Galactic Federation. The Doctor passes himself off as the delegate from Earth and presents his companion as “Princess Josephine of Tardis.” After resolving the usual political intrigues, the Doctor and Jo prepare to leave in the salvaged TARDIS.

The Doctor: You don’t really think that our appearance on the planet of Peladon at this precise crisis in their history was just coincidence, do you?
Jo: Time Lords again?
The Doctor: Yes, I think so.
Jo: Well, you didn’t beat them after all.
The Doctor: No, not yet. But I will, Jo, just give me time. Still, now that we’ve done what they wanted us to do, I suppose they’ll whip us straight back to Earth.

From “The Sea Devils”

The Doctor and Jo go to visit the Master in his specially prepared prison, where the Master claims to be repentant and longing for intelligent conversation. The Master refuses to reveal the whereabouts of his TARDIS. The Doctor refuses to shake his hand, though he is sympathetic.

Jo: Doctor, you felt sorry for him, didn’t you? You wanted to come down here and see that he was all right.
The Doctor: Well, he used to be a friend of mine once. A very good friend. In fact, you might almost say we were at school together.

The Doctor discovers that a rash of ship disappearances are the work of an aquatic reptilian race related to the Silurians, whom he encountered previously. The Master plans to ally himself with the Sea Devils, whom he learned of through stolen Time Lord files, and help them exterminate the human race. The Doctor tries to negotiate a peace between the humans and the reptiles, but the Master forces a conflict. During the battle, the Sea Devils take both Time Lords prisoner, forcing them to work together against their captors. In order to prevent a full-scale war, the Doctor causes the destruction of the Sea Devil’s base, but the Master makes good his escape.

From “The Mutants”

The Doctor receives a strange black sphere from the Time Lords indicating they have an assignment for him. The reactivated TARDIS takes him and Jo to a 30th century space station orbiting the Earth colony world Solos, a gray and misty planet.

The Doctor: Well, the Earth these people know now, Jo, the 30th century empire, is even more grey and misty.
Jo: Can’t be!
The Doctor: Land and sea alike, all grey. Grey cities linked by grey highways across grey deserts.
Jo: Really?
The Doctor: Yeah. Slag, ash, clinker. The fruits of technology, Jo.

The sphere contains tablets that reveal the secret of the Solonians’ mutation and allow the Doctor to prevent the colonial forces from terraforming the planet and killing the native population. Why the Time Lords sent the tablets via the Doctor, or involved themselves at all, remains a mystery.

From “The Time Monster”

The Master is found passing himself off as a Greek physicist at the Newton Institute near Cambridge, building a primitive transporter device he calls TOMTIT -- Transmission Of Matter Through Interstitial Time -- which is powered by the legendary Crystal of Kronos, an ancient artifact from the lost continent of Atlantis.

The Doctor: Well, luckily, you are already familiar with the idea of stepping outside of space-time.
Ingram: I’ve lived with the concept for months.
The Doctor: And I’ve lived with it for many long years. I’ve been there.
Ingram: You have?
The Doctor: Yes, I have. Strange place it is, too. A place that is no place. A dangerous place, where creatures live beyond your wildest imagination. Chronovores -- time-eaters -- who’ll swallow a life as quickly as a boa constrictor can swallow a rabbit, fur and all.
Ingram: Are you saying that Kronos is one of these creatures?
The Doctor: I am. The most fearsome of the lot!

The Master is unable to control Kronos with the piece of crystal in his possession, prompting him to take his TARDIS back in time to Atlantis. In order to follow along, the Doctor attempts to materialize his TARDIS within the Master’s ship, but instead they materialize one inside the other, trapping them both in the time vortex.

Jo: How long is it going to take us to get there?
The Doctor: Well, that’s the curious thing, no time at all. We’re outside time. Of course, it always seems to take a long time, but that depends upon the mood, I suppose.
Jo: What, your mood?
The Doctor: No, hers. The TARDIS’s.
Jo: You talk as if she was alive.
The Doctor: Well, it depends what you mean by alive. Take Bessie for instance.

The Doctor and the Master debate their situation via their viewscreens until the Master switches off the sound.

The Master: You know, he has an excellent brain, that man, though a bit pedestrian. But, oh dear, what a bore the fellow is!
Krasis: But is he dangerous?
The Master: He’s dangerous enough. But don’t worry. I can handle him.
Krasis: But you said he was in there! You told me he was safe in there!
The Master: Once he realises that he’s talking to himself, he’ll be out here like a shot! Ah! He’s realised it at last. That took a long time, the slow-witted fool. Now, you watch. He cannot bear not to have the last word!

When the Doctor bypasses the Master’s sound system, the villain scrambles the Doctor’s speech instead.

The Doctor: He’s picking up my words even before I’ve spoken them and feeding them back to me through the TARDIS’s telepathic circuits, making them come out backwards!
Jo: The TARDISes are telepathic?
The Doctor: Yes, of course. How else do you think they communicate?

As a last resort, the Doctor goes out into the Master’s console room to try to convince him to give up his mad scheme. Instead, the Master summons Kronos and the creature engulfs the Doctor, transporting him out into the time vortex. The Master then jettisons the Doctor’s TARDIS and continues on his way. However, the TARDIS’s telepathic circuits enable the Doctor to contact Jo, who helps the Doctor rematerialize in his physical form.

Jo: Where are you?
The Doctor: I’m nowhere, Jo. I’m in the time vortex. The TARDIS is relaying my thoughts to you.
Jo: What are all those other voices I can hear?
The Doctor: What other voices? Oh, those are my subconscious thoughts. But I shouldn’t listen to them too hard if I were you. I’m not all that proud of some of them.

Each TARDIS soon materializes in Atlantis, where the Master is able to seduce the queen and stage a coup, imprisoning the king as well as the Doctor and Jo.

Jo: It makes it seem so pointless, really, doesn’t it?
The Doctor: I felt like that once when I was young. It was the blackest day of my life.
Jo: Why?
The Doctor: Ah, well, that’s another story. I’ll tell you about it one day. The point is, that day was not only my blackest, but also my best.
Jo: What do you mean?
The Doctor: Well, when I was a little boy, we used to live in a house that was perched halfway up the top of a mountain. And behind our house, there sat under a tree an old man, a hermit, a monk. He’d lived under this tree for half his lifetime, so they said, and learnt the secret of life. So, when my black day came, I went and asked him to help me.
Jo: And he told you the secret? What was it?
The Doctor: Well, I’m coming to that, Jo, in my own time. I’ll never forget what it was like up there. All bleak and cold it was. A few bare rocks with some weeds sprouting from them, and some pathetic little patches of sludgy snow. Yes, it was just grey. Grey, grey, grey. Well, the tree the old man sat under was ancient and twisted, and the old man himself, he was as brittle and dry as a leaf in the autumn.
Jo: What did he say?
The Doctor: Nothing. Not a word. He just sat there silently, expressionless, and he listened whilst I poured out my troubles to him. I was too unhappy even for tears, I remember. And when I’d finished, he lifted a skeletal hand and he pointed. Do you know what he pointed at?
Jo: No.
The Doctor: A flower. One of those little weeds. Just like a daisy, it was. I looked at it for a moment, and suddenly I saw it through his eyes. It was simply glowing with life, like a perfectly cut jewel. And the colours, well, the colours were deeper and richer than anything you could possibly imagine. Yes, it was the daisiest daisy I’d ever seen.
Jo: And that was the secret of life? A daisy? Honestly, Doctor!
The Doctor: Yes, I laughed, too, when I first heard it. So, later I got up and I ran down that mountain and I found that the rocks weren’t grey at all. They were red, brown, purple, and gold. And those pathetic little patches of sludgy snow, they were shining white -- shining white in the sunlight. You still frightened, Jo?
Jo: No, not as much as I was.
The Doctor: That s good. I’m sorry I brought you to Atlantis.
Jo: I’m not.
The Doctor: Thank you.

The Master summons Kronos in the temple, but the creature goes berserk. The Master takes Jo aboard his TARDIS and dematerializes. The Doctor quickly follows in his own ship, leaving Kronos to destroy Atlantis forever. Since the controls of both ships are linked together, the Doctor threatens to create a time-ram, which would annihilate both ships and the crystal with them, thus freeing Kronos from the Master’s control. Despite the Master’s goading, the Doctor is unable to bring himself to do it, so Jo activates the control herself. The ships collide, freeing Kronos, and the creature transports them all to the boundary between their universes and there expresses its gratitude to the Doctor. When Kronos decides to send the Doctor and Jo back to Earth but keep the Master in perpetual torment, the Doctor asks that the Master be remanded to his custody. The ungrateful Master makes his escape and Kronos finds the whole situation rather amusing.

Next Season


Doctor Who Notes 8

The eighth season of Doctor Who introduced a new arch-enemy for the Doctor in the form of his evil counterpart the Master, played with sinister panache by Roger Delgado. Like the Doctor, the Master was a renegade Time Lord, and even had his own TARDIS, but their views were diametrically opposed. Their snappy exchanges reveal much about both men, and are a highlight of the season. However, the Master may have been a bit overused, for his appearance in every story does strain credulity a bit. The Doctor also received a new companion, the girly scatterbrained sex kitten and secret agent wannabe Jo Grant. The Brigadier and the men of UNIT continued to play a dominant role in the series as well.

From “Terror of the Autons”

A time capsule materializes at the small-time Rossini Brothers International Circus in the form of a large “horse box” van and a man emerges calling himself the Master. Displaying amazing hypnotic abilities, he enslaves the circus manager, steals the Nestene energy pod from a nearby museum, and infiltrates the Beacon Hill radio telescope facility, killing two scientists with his tissue-compression eliminator. The theft and the deaths alert UNIT, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart calls upon the Doctor and his new assistant, agent trainee Josephine Grant, to investigate. The Doctor goes alone to investigate the sabotage atop the control tower, where a bowler-hatted Time Lord suddenly appears.

Time Lord: Oh dear. Don’t go away, Doctor. My co-ordinates seemed to have slipped a little. Still, not bad after 29,000 light years. I do hope you can spare a moment or two, Doctor.
The Doctor: Sarcasm always was a weak point with you, wasn’t it? And may I say I think you look quite ridiculous in those clothes?
Time Lord: I am travelling incognito.
The Doctor: Oh? Why?
Time Lord: We Time Lords don’t care to be conspicuous. Some of us, that is.
The Doctor: Now, look, if you’ve come down here merely to be rude --
Time Lord: I came to warn you. An old acquaintance has arrived on this planet.
The Doctor: One of our people?
Time Lord: The Master.
The Doctor: That jackanapes? All he ever does is cause trouble!
Time Lord: He’ll certainly try to kill you, Doctor. The Tribunal thought that you ought to be made aware of your danger.
The Doctor: How very kind of them.
Time Lord: You are incorrigibly meddlesome, Doctor, but we’ve always felt that your hearts are in the right places. But be careful. The Master has learnt a great deal since you last met him.
The Doctor: I refuse to be worried by a renegade like the Master. He’s an -- he’s an unimaginative plodder!
Time Lord: His degree in cosmic science was of a higher class than yours.
The Doctor: Yes, well -- Yes, well, I was a late developer.

The Master is working with the Nestenes to build a new army of Autons for a second invasion attempt. Meanwhile, the Doctor investigates the circus and discovers the Master’s time capsule, from which he steals the dematerialization circuit. Two Autons kidnap the Doctor and Jo, but they escape.

Farrel: And you’re not angry?
The Master: Because the Doctor’s escaped again? No. He’s an interesting adversary. I admire him in many ways.
Farrel: But you still intend to destroy him?
The Master: Of course. And the more he struggles to postpone the moment, the greater the ultimate satisfaction.

The Doctor is frustrated when the Master’s dematerialization circuit is not enough to make his own disabled TARDIS functional, but he realizes that without it, the Master is also marooned on 1970s Earth. While the UNIT forces are out tracking the Autons to a remote quarry, the Master appears in the Doctor’s lab, and the two old enemies come once more face-to-face. The Master describes the Doctor as almost his intellectual equal, while the Doctor characterizes the Master’s typical strategy as “vicious, complicated, and inefficient.” To prevent an air strike on the quarry, the Master takes the Doctor and Jo prisoner and retrieves his dematerialization circuit before moving back to the radio telescope facility to open the way for the Nestene invasion force. However, when the Doctor suggests the Master is likely to be double-crossed, the two Time Lords work together to repulse the invasion. The Autons collapse, but the Master makes good his escape. However, the Doctor reveals that the Master actually took the wrong component and is still trapped on Earth. The Doctor seems to feel the Master’s presence will at least alleviate his own boredom.

Josephine Grant had an influential uncle who got her assigned to UNIT after her initial security training, so the Brigadier pawned her off on the Doctor. He developed something of a paternal attitude toward the scatterbrained girl, and they doubtless spent a good deal of time together during his long exile on Earth. Once the TARDIS was made operational again, she traveled with the Doctor briefly until she fell in love with Professor Clifford Jones and resigned from UNIT to marry him. Jo was always more comfortable as a lab assistant than as a traveling companion.

The Master and the Doctor met again for what was probably the first time since they both left Gallifrey, where they knew each other and even spent their Academy days as friends. At some point, however, they became deadly enemies -- so much so that the Doctor’s jailers saw fit to warn him of the Master’s presence on Earth. The Master’s lust for power seemed to know no bounds, nor did his imagination for ways to achieve it. However, he nearly killed himself trying to regenerate a thirteenth time, leaving his body a decaying wreck. He existed in this state for some while, spurred on only by his intense hatred for the Doctor and the Time Lords. Finally, he succeeded in a scheme to usurp the awesome power of the Keeper of Traken, which enabled him to permanently commandeer the body of Consul Tremas. Thus renewed in body, the Master also renewed his schemes to gain total power and to bring the Doctor’s life to a fitting end, always managing to escape from even certain death. Ultimately, the Master found himself on the unnamed planet of the Cheetah People, where his new body was corrupted by the feline mutation that brought out his most savage instincts. When the planet disintegrated, the Master was teleported to an unknown destination, doubtless to continue to spread evil and chaos throughout time and space.

From “The Mind of Evil”

In the autumn of 1970, the Doctor and Jo go to Stangmoor Prison to witness a demonstration of the Keller machine, which purportedly drains hardened criminals of their evil impulses. After the demonstration, a medical student is found dead of mysterious causes in the laboratory.

The Doctor: But Linwood is dead.
Kettering: Because of heart failure!
The Doctor: No, Professor Kettering, because of this machine!
Kettering: I tell you that man’s death had nothing to do with this machine, and if you were a scientist, you’d understand!
The Doctor: If I were a scientist? Let me tell you, sir, that I am a scientist, and I have been for several thousand --
Kettering: The man’s mad.
Jo: On the contrary, sir, he happens to be a genius! I do wish you’d listen to him.

Meanwhile, UNIT is providing security for a world peace conference which the Master is intent on disrupting by killing the delegates using the power of the Keller machine, which he himself installed in the prison nearly a year earlier. When the Doctor frees the assassin from hypnotic control, the Master returns to Stangmoor Prison in the guise of Emil Keller and leads a riot to take over the facility. When the Doctor returns, he is taken prisoner as well, and the Master reveals his plan to cause a full-scale nuclear war on Earth. The Doctor realizes the Keller machine contains a living creature that feeds off the evil of the mind. The Master leaves the prison prior to a UNIT attack to ready his hijacked missile for launch, then calls the Doctor on the telephone.

The Master: And then later, when this planet is in ruins, I shall take over.
The Doctor: I see. Aren’t you forgetting something?
The Master: Am I, Doctor? What?
The Doctor: The dematerialisation circuit from your own TARDIS. You can’t leave Earth without that, can you?
The Master: Are you offering me a deal?
The Doctor: I am. Hand me back that rocket, and I’ll return your circuit.
The Master: That’s very generous of you.
The Doctor: Leave Earth. Stop bothering us. Go somewhere else and be a nuisance elsewhere. Well, what do you say? Well?
The Master: Right. But you will bring that circuit to me here at the hanger. You and you alone. At the first sign of treachery, the first sign of interference from your UNIT friends, and I launch the missile immediately!

Unwilling to actually give the Master back his freedom, the Doctor uses the Keller machine to incapacitate him long enough for UNIT to detonate the missile on the ground. However, the Master manages to escape with his dematerialization circuit. He returns to his time capsule and departs, gloating over the Doctor’s exile.

From “The Claws of Axos”

Representatives from the British and American governments are at UNIT headquarters to discuss the “renegade Time Lord problem” when an alien spacecraft lands on the southeast coast of England. The ship and its occupants are really one organism, a giant parasite called Axos, which had captured the Master’s time capsule. In exchange for his freedom, the Master agreed to lead Axos to Earth, where it could feed on the planet’s resources, destroying all life, including the Doctor, in the process. The Master is reluctant to trust Axos to keep its side of the bargain, so he tricks UNIT into bringing the Doctor’s TARDIS to a nearby nuclear research facility, where he can try to get it operational while the Doctor and Jo are captives of Axos. The Doctor escapes and the Master’s scheme is foiled, but the Doctor tells the Brigadier the Master may he useful in defeating Axos. The two Time Lords confer aboard the disabled TARDIS.

The Master: Well, Doctor, I’m still waiting to hear this marvellous scheme of yours.
The Doctor: Actually, there isn’t one.
The Master: Well, then, why -- ?
The Doctor: Because if you mend the TARDIS, we can both escape!
The Master: Both? Tell me, Doctor, are you suggesting an alliance?
The Doctor: Why not? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as a heap of dust on a second-rate planet to a third-rate star. Do you?
The Master: Do you mean to say that you are actually prepared to abandon your beloved Earth to the Axons’ tender mercies?
The Doctor: Certainly. After all, we are both Time Lords.
The Master: Look, why should I help you?
The Doctor: Because if you don’t, I shall hand you over to UNIT and you’ll become a prisoner on a doomed planet.
The Master: Yes, well, you’ll be doomed along with me.
The Doctor: Exactly. We either escape together or we die together.
The Master: Oh, very generous. Look, why not just hand me over to UNIT and make your escape by yourself? Well?
The Doctor: Because the Time Lords have put a block on my memory of dematerialisation theory, that’s why!
The Master: Oh. I see.

With the Master’s help, the Doctor is successful in getting the TARDIS operational. However, they travel only as far as the nerve center of Axos, where the Doctor offers a deal to give Axos time-travel capability if it will join him in attacking the High Council of the Time Lords. The Master is forced into the deal in order to gain possession of his own time-capsule. However, the Doctor uses the link only to hurl Axos into an inescapable time-loop, from which the TARDIS only barely escapes. The Doctor is frustrated to find that his TARDIS will only rematerialize on 1970s Earth. The Master, of course, escapes once again.

From “Colony in Space”

Some time later, the Time Lord tribunal has convened to discuss a grave matter.

First Time Lord: You are sure the Master knows?
Second Time Lord: The report on the Doomsday Weapon is missing from our files. Only he could have taken it.
First Time Lord: Then we can use the Doctor to deal with this problem.
Third Time Lord: The Doctor resents his exile bitterly. Do you think he’ll co-operate with us?
Second Time Lord: I doubt it. We immobilised his TARDIS, took away his freedom to move in space and time.
First Time Lord: Then we must restore his freedom … for as long as it serves our purpose.

Meanwhile, the Doctor continues his endless tinkering with the TARDIS’s circuitry. When Jo questions the value of his work, he offers her her first look at the inside of the TARDIS. Once inside, however, the ship takes off by remote control and materializes on the planet Uxarieus. Jo is somewhat astonished that all the Doctor’s stories of time travel are actually true. They discover a 25th century Earth colony being menaced by an unscrupulous mining conglomerate. The Master arrives, passing himself off as an Adjudicator from the Earth government. Unable to convince the colonists that the Master is an impostor, the Doctor and Jo break into the villain’s time capsule.

Jo: You’re right, Doctor, it is a TARDIS!
The Doctor: Yes. A slightly more advanced model, actually.

The Doctor discovers that the Master has come to Uxarieus to find the Doomsday Weapon, which was built by the indigenous population before the weapon’s radiation caused their civilization to collapse into savagery. The weapon can detonate stars from long distance, and the Master intends to hold the galaxy to ransom.

The Doctor: You deduced all that from these pictures?
The Master: Well, not exactly. I knew it already. The files of the Time Lords are very comprehensive.
The Doctor: Yes, that’s more like it. You mean that you stole the information.
The Master: Well, it seemed an awful pity not to make use of it, you know. But of course that’s typical of the High Council of the Time Lords -- know everything, do nothing!

* * *

The Master: Doctor, why don’t you come in with me? We’re both Time Lords, we’re both renegades. We could be masters of the galaxy. Think of it, Doctor, absolute power -- power for good. Why, you could reign benevolently. You could end war, suffering, disease. We could save the universe!
The Doctor: No! Absolute power is evil!
The Master: Consider carefully, Doctor! I’m offering you a half-share in the universe! You must see reason, Doctor!
The Doctor: No. I will not join you in your absurd dreams of galactic conquest!
The Master: But why? Why? Look at this -- look at all those planetary systems, Doctor! We could rule them all!
The Doctor: What for? What is the point?
The Master: The point is that one must rule or serve; that’s a basic law of life. Why do you hesitate, Doctor? Surely it’s not loyalty to the Time Lords, who exiled you on one insignificant planet!
The Doctor: You’ll never understand, will you? I want to see the universe, not rule it!

The leader of the Uxarians intervenes, helping the Doctor to activate the self-destruct mechanism. The Doomsday Weapon is destroyed along with the underground city. The Master escapes yet again aboard his time capsule. The TARDIS returns the Doctor and Jo to Earth just seconds after they left.

From “The Dæmons”

At midnight 1 May 1971, powerful forces are released by an archaeological dig in the town of Devil’s End, forces the Master intends to control. The Doctor and Jo arrive just in time before a heat barrier surrounds the village, preventing the Brigadier from bringing in his troops. The Doctor realizes that, rather than being of a supernatural nature, the creatures are actually from the planet Dæmos.

Benton: Well, I still don’t get it. I mean, what’s the creature doing here? I mean, why did they ever come?
The Doctor: To help Homo sapiens kick out Neanderthal man. They’ve been coming and going ever since. The Greek civilisation, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution -- they were all inspired by the Dæmons.
Hawthorne: But this thing the professor let loose is evil; you said so yourself. And now you’re trying to say they’ve been helping mankind for a hundred thousand years!
Jo: Yes, and you say they come from another planet -- well, then what’s all this jazz about witchcrafts and covens and so on?
The Doctor: Look, don’t you see? All the magical traditions are just remnants of their advanced science, and that is what the Master is using!
Hawthorne: Then these creatures are linked with the black arts -- they are evil!
The Doctor: Amoral, perhaps. They help Earth, but on their own terms. It’s a scientific experiment to them, just another laboratory rat!
Yates: Then what’s the Master up to?
The Doctor: He’s established a link with the Dæmon. What worries me is the choice: domination by the Master or total annihilation.
Jo: This … demon could destroy the world?
The Doctor: What does any scientist do with an experiment that fails? He chucks it in the rubbish bin.

When the Dæmon Azal appears to the Master, he says that his race destroys its failures, such as Atlantis. He is prepared to destroy the Earth also, but Jo’s act of self-sacrifice causes Azal and his buried spaceship to self-destruct. The Master is captured at last by the UNIT troops and taken off to prison.

Next Season


Doctor Who Notes 7

Doctor Who takes off in an all-new direction with its seventh season. Jon Pertwee takes over the main role and brings his own interpretation of the character. Now marooned on Earth in the twentieth century, the Doctor becomes involved with the Brigadier’s UNIT missions. A new companion, Liz Shaw, is introduced, though her role is somewhat different, as the Doctor doesn’t actually travel anywhere in the TARDIS. Fewer, longer stories allow for more exploration of the Doctor’s relationships with the humans he is now forced to live among, and the show in general seems to strive for greater realism. This season was also the first to be made in color.

From “Spearhead from Space”

The TARDIS materializes in Oxney Wood, Epping, and the newly regenerated Doctor stumbles out and collapses into the grass, unconscious. UNIT troops in the area to investigate a strange meteor shower find him and take him to a nearby hospital, unaware of his identity. Meanwhile, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is interviewing Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, hoping she will agree to lend her scientific expertise to his organization.

The Brigadier: Since UNIT was formed, there’ve been two attempts to invade this planet.
Liz: Really?
The Brigadier: We were lucky enough to be able to stop them. There was a policy decision not to inform the public.
Liz: Do you seriously expect me to believe that?
The Brigadier: It’s not my habit to tell lies, Miss Shaw.
Liz: I’m sorry. But it is a fantastic story!
The Brigadier: We were very lucky on both occasions. We had help from a … scientist with great experience of other life-forms.
Liz: Really? Who was this genius?
The Brigadier: Well, it’s all rather difficult to explain. We used to call him … the Doctor.

When informed of the mysterious police box, the Brigadier and Liz drive down to the hospital at once, but the Brigadier is baffled when the Doctor appears to have a new physical appearance. However, the physicians discover that the Doctor has a completely alien physiognomy, including two hearts and an inhuman blood type. While the Doctor is in a deep self-induced coma, the Brigadier returns to UNIT headquarters with the TARDIS. The Doctor soon arrives in a stolen car and wearing stolen clothes, having homed in on his ship. He reluctantly agrees to help the Brigadier investigate the artificial meteorites in exchange for the TARDIS key. The Doctor soon tricks Liz into getting him the key and he immediately tries to dematerialize, only to find the TARDIS has been completely disabled by the Time Lords.

The Doctor discovers that an alien race called the Nestenes are planning to invade Earth using an army of Autons. By destroying the physical nerve center of the Nestenes, the Doctor foils the invasion attempt, although he speculates that they may one day try again. Back at UNIT headquarters, the Doctor agrees to act as the Brigadier’s scientific advisor in exchange for facilities to repair the TARDIS, and a bargain is struck.

Liz Shaw was recruited by UNIT from Cambridge University for her scientific expertise. After the Doctor took over as scientific advisor, she stayed on for a while, despite her lack of interest in “security work.” Eventually growing frustrated, she returned to Cambridge and resumed her research.

From “Doctor Who and the Silurians”

The Doctor is modifying his new vehicle, a vintage yellow roadster he calls “Bessie,” when Liz brings in an official summons from the Brigadier, who is investigating strange power failures at a top-secret atomic research center in the Derbyshire caves.

Liz: Yes, but he wants us to join him. “Miss Shaw and the Doctor will report themselves forthwith to Wenley Moor, attend a briefing meeting at precis --
The Doctor: My dear Miss Shaw, I never report myself anywhere, particularly not forthwith.

Deep in the caves beneath the facility, the Doctor discovers that the power is being siphoned off by the Silurians, an ancient reptilian life-form who went into suspended animation millions of years ago. Hoping to prevent an all-out war between the two species, the Doctor tries to negotiate for the Silurians to inhabit Earth’s deserts. However, one Silurian faction is bent on genocide and releases a deadly plague among the human population. The Doctor and Liz work desperately to develop a cure.

The Doctor: You know, I’m beginning to lose confidence for the first time in my life. And that covers several thousand years.

Just as the cure is found, the Doctor is taken prisoner by the Silurians and made to provide more power to revive their race. However, the Doctor starts a nuclear meltdown, prompting the Silurians to go back into suspended animation until the radiation clears. The Doctor is eager to begin studying the Silurians’ technology, but the Brigadier blows up their base, sealing it underground forever.

From “The Ambassadors of Death”

The Doctor has removed the main console from the TARDIS and set it up in his laboratory where he can work on getting it operational again. He manages to project both Liz and himself 15 seconds into the future before it burns out again. His work is interrupted by news of a space mission disaster, for which he offers his assistance. He discovers that an unidentified alien race has sent three ambassadors to Earth in place of the human astronauts, who were kidnapped by the revenge-seeking General Carrington. The Doctor and UNIT foil the general’s scheme and exchange the ambassadors for the astronauts. Perhaps because of Carrington’s crimes, the aliens felt Earth’s inhabitants are not to be trusted and canceled their diplomatic mission.

From “Inferno”

A strange murder brings UNIT to an experimental government project dedicated to drilling into the Earth’s crust in search of alternative energy supplies. The Doctor is already on hand, using the facility’s computers and nuclear power plant to attempt to reactivate the TARDIS console. A sudden power surge hurtles the Doctor and the console into a time-warp from which he barely escapes. A second attempt shunts the Doctor, the console, and Bessie into a parallel universe where England is run by a fascist regime. When the parallel drilling project penetrates the crust, forces are released that tear the planet apart. The Doctor only just manages to cross back over the dimensional boundary and stop the drilling in time. The project officially shut down, the Doctor’s final attempt merely lands the TARDIS console in the garbage dump.

Next Season


Doctor Who Notes 6

Season six of Doctor Who finally introduces us to the Doctor’s own people, the Time Lords, when he is forced to contact them for help, thus bringing to an end -- temporarily, at least -- his renegade existence. In the process, we gain insight into the Doctor’s motivations for his life of wandering through time and space. Also of note is the first UNIT story, which lays out the parameters for that concept, and also brings back the Cybermen for another go round. The end of the season marks a complete cast turn-over, as his companions are returned home and the Doctor is forced to regenerate. It is, in many ways, a major turning point for Doctor Who.

From “The Dominators”

The TARDIS materializes on the planet Dulkis, inhabited by a pacifist race, but the Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Zoe Heriot have their holiday plans spoiled by two soldiers from a race of conquerors called the Dominators. Unable to convince the Dulcians to fight for themselves, the Doctor turns the Dominators’ plans to destroy the planet against them, and their spaceship is blown up moments after take-off. However, the resultant volcanic eruption threatens to bury the TARDIS in lava.

From “The Mind Robber”

In order to escape the lava flow, the Doctor hastily installs an emergency unit to the main console, and the TARDIS is lifted out of space-time into a featureless void, where the three travelers come under psychic attack by a mysterious opponent. The Doctor apparently has an hallucination in which the TARDIS disintegrates and they fall into a land where characters from Earth literature are real. This land is controlled by a man called “the Master,” who is in turn the puppet of a giant computer. When the Doctor defeats his adversary, he finds himself back in the TARDIS as it materializes just beyond earth’s moon.

From “The Invasion”

To avoid a sudden lunar missile attack, the Doctor moves the TARDIS to Earth, where it materializes near the home of his friend Professor Travers. A damaged visual stabilizer unit has rendered the TARDIS invisible, and the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe seek out the professor’s help, only to find he has rented his home to another scientist and his niece. The scientist has gone missing, and the travelers offer their assistance. After snooping around International Electromatics, the Doctor and Jamie are picked up by some mysterious men and taken aboard a cargo plane, where they meet another old friend.

The Brigadier: How nice to see you again, Doctor.
The Doctor: It’s Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart!
The Brigadier: Ah, brigadier now, I’ve gone up in the world.
Jamie: Of course, the Yetis! We met you in the --
The Brigadier: That’s right, McCrimmon, in the Underground. Must be four years ago, now.
Jamie: That long? It only seems like a couple of weeks ago, doesn’t it?
The Doctor: I’ve told you over and over again, Jamie, time is relative.
The Brigadier: You still making a nonsense of it, Doctor, in your -- what was it called, TARDIS?
The Doctor: Yes, we’re still travelling, yes.
The Brigadier: Yes, Travers told me all about it. It’s -- well, it’s, to say the least, an unbelievable machine.
The Doctor: Any more unbelievable than the Yetis?
The Brigadier: No, true. I’m not quite so much of a sceptic as I was since that little escapade.
The Doctor: But what’s all this? And why all the cloak-and-dagger stuff to bring us here?
The Brigadier: Yes, I’m sorry about that, but my chaps happen to be a bit melodramatic in their methods -- but I’ll explain. Look, do sit down.
Jamie: Thank you.
The Doctor: How nice.
The Brigadier: Sergeant Walters!
Walters: Yes, sir?
The Brigadier: Lay on some tea, will you? You’d like some tea, wouldn’t you, Doctor?
The Doctor: Oh, thank you, and a pattycake biscuit!
The Brigadier: Yes, well, since the Yeti do, I’ve been in charge of an independent intelligence group that we call UNIT -- that’s United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.
Jamie: You mean you’re like a world secret police?
The Brigadier: No, not quite. We don’t actually arrest people, we just investigate.

The Doctor discovers that International Electromatics is part of a five-year invasion plan by the Cybermen, who have placed key government figures under mind-control, including the Brigadier’s immediate superior, Major General Rutlidge, who orders UNIT to cease their investigation.

The Brigadier: Well, you can override my authority, but not that of UNIT Central Command. I’m sending a full report to them in Geneva!

Prior to the invasion, the Cybermen broadcast a signal via microchips in I.E. components that place the human race under mind-control. However, the Doctor is able to provide a defensive measure for himself and the UNIT troops. When the invasion meets this unexpected resistance, the Cybermen turn against their human co-conspirator and are about to kill all life on Earth, but UNIT is able to destroy the Cyber Fleet with nuclear missiles. The Doctor then has some time to repair his faulty circuits and he, Jamie, and Zoe are once more on their way.

From “The Krotons”

The TARDIS materializes on the planet of the Gonds, who have spent millennia enslaved by Kroton warriors whose spacecraft crash-landed there after a battle. When the Krotons attempt to destroy the TARDIS, it rematerializes each time in a slightly different location, due to the Hostile Action Displacement System, which the Doctor had activated. The Gond people are freed when the two Krotons and their ship are destroyed with sulfuric acid.

From “The Seeds of Death”

When the TARDIS materializes on 21st century Earth, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe learn that the trans-mat system, upon which the world has grown dependent, has broken down. They volunteer to fly an old rocket to the lunar relay station, only to find the sabotage is part of the invasion plan of the Ice Warriors. The Doctor tricks the Martian fleet into flying too close to the sun and they are destroyed.

From “The Space Pirates”

The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe are separated from the TARDIS when the space beacon it has materialized on is broken apart by space pirates. In order to be reuinited with their ship, the travelers must help the authorities find the pirates’ base and defeat them.

From “The War Games”

When the TARDIS materializes in a bombed-out wasteland, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe believe themselves to be on the front lines of World War I, but suspect something is amiss when they begin finding anachronisms. They soon discover the area is a patchwork of time-zones, each representing a different war in Earth’s history, assembled by a group of aliens for study. Infiltrating the command center, the Doctor encounters the War Chief, and they recognize each other as renegade Time Lords, thereby raising the suspicions of the aliens.

Scientist: But how could these people get here?
Security Chief: The War Chief. His people have the secret of time travel.
Scientist: Are you suggesting he’s bringing in his own people? The Time Lords?
Security Chief: He came to us because he wanted power. Perhaps there are others of his people who feel the same.
Scientist: Can you prove this? If so, you must tell the War Lord immediately.

The Doctor learns that the War Chief intends to use his time-capsules to help the aliens conquer the galaxy before he seizes total power for himself, and he asks the Doctor to aid him in his scheme. The Doctor pretends to cooperate to prevent the battlezones from being destroyed by a neutron bomb. Then the Doctor and the human resistance fighters are able to gain the upper hand and stop the killing, but the War Chief’s time-capsules have a limited life-span and too few remain operational to return all the soldiers to their proper places in space and time. The Doctor realizes he has no choice.

Zoe: What did he mean, Doctor? Who mustn’t you call?
The Doctor: The only people who can put an end to this whole ghastly business and send everyone back to their own times -- the Time Lords.
Jamie: Who are they?
The Doctor: They’re my own people, Jamie.
Jamie: Well, that’s all right, then!
Zoe: It isn’t all right, is it, Doctor?
The Doctor: No, it’s not, Zoe. But I’m afraid there’s no alternative.
War Chief: Don’t do it, Doctor! You can’t! You know what will happen!

The Doctor takes six squares from his pocket and lays them out on the floor in front of him and concentrates. The squares form themselves into a little box, which the Doctor says contains a message to the Time Lords. The War Chief tries to escape, but is gunned down by the alien War Lord and his guards. The little box dematerializes and the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe rush back to the TARDIS to try and escape before the Time Lords arrive.

Jamie: What’s happening? Why was it so difficult to move?
The Doctor: It was the Time Lords!
Zoe: But they’re your own people, aren’t they, Doctor?
The Doctor: Yes, that’s right.
Jamie: Well, why did you run away from them in the first place?
The Doctor: I was bored!
Zoe: What do you mean, you were bored?
The Doctor: The Time Lords are an immensely civilised race. We can control our own environment, we can live forever -- barring accidents -- and we have the secret of spacetime travel.
Jamie: Well, what’s wrong in all that?
The Doctor: Well, we hardly ever use our great powers! We consent simply to observe and gather knowledge!
Zoe: And that wasn’t enough for you?
The Doctor: No, of course not! With a whole galaxy to explore, millions of planets, aeons of time, countless civilisations to meet?
Jamie: Well, why do they object to you doing all that?
The Doctor: Well, it is a fact, Jamie, that I do tend to get involved with things.
Jamie: Aye, you can say that again! Whenever there’s any trouble, he’s in it right up to his neck!
Zoe: But you’ve helped people, Doctor!
The Doctor: Yes, but that’s no excuse in their eyes.
Zoe: Well, then, what are you going to do?
The Doctor: We’re going to run away! I’ve set the controls to take us to a planet on the outermost fringes of the galaxy!

However, the Time Lords take control of the TARDIS and return them to Gallifrey to face the Time Lord Tribunal. The trial of the War Lord is already underway, and despite an armed raid on the court, sentence is passed.

Second Time Lord: A force field has been placed around you, and around your planet, so that your warlike people will remain prisoners forever. You have been found guilty of all charges, and you and your murderous associates will be dematerialised. It will be as though you had never existed.

Sentence is carried out and the Time Lords turn their attention to the Doctor and his companions. The Doctor readily admits that he has flouted the Time Lord injunction against interfering in the affairs of other planets, claiming that the evil of the universe must be fought, and that it is the Time Lords who are guilty of negligence of their moral duty. Following the tribunal’s deliberations, Jamie and Zoe are each returned to their homes just after their first adventure with the Doctor, their memories of subsequent events suppressed. The Doctor is then brought in to receive his sentence.

The Doctor: Now, then, what about me?
First Time Lord: We have accepted your plea that there is evil in the universe that must be fought, and that you still have a part to play in that battle.
The Doctor: What, do you mean that you’re going to let me go free?
First Time Lord: Not entirely. We have noted your particular interest in the planet Earth. The frequency of your visits must have given you special knowledge of that world and its problems.
The Doctor: Yes, I suppose that’s true. Earth seems more vulnerable than others, yes.
First Time Lord: For that reason, you will be sent back to that planet…
The Doctor: Oh, good.
First Time Lord: …in exile.
The Doctor: In exile?!
First Time Lord: You will be sent to Earth in the twentieth century and will remain there for as long as we deem proper. And for that period, the secret of the TARDIS will be taken from you.
The Doctor: But you can’t condemn me to exile on one primitive planet in one century in time! Besides, I’m known on the Earth, it might be very awkward for me!
First Time Lord: Your appearance has changed before. It will change again, and that is part of the sentence.
The Doctor: You can’t just change what I look like without consulting me!
First Time Lord: You will have an opportunity to choose your appearance.

However, the Doctor rejects all the choices he is presented with, and believing he is merely stalling, the Time Lords induce a regeneration and send him on his way, to begin his exile on twentieth century Earth.

Next Season