Thursday

Doctor Who Notes 22

The twenty-second season of Doctor Who saw a mixture of old and new, as the Doctor once again battled the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, and the Master, as well as new menaces like the Rani and Sil. The Doctor’s own past also caught up with him, with significant references made to his first and third incarnations, and an adventure shared with his second incarnation and former companion Jamie McCrimmon. There would be a long hiatus following this season before the next one was produced, as the BBC tried to figure out why the show was dying in the ratings.


From “Attack of the Cybermen”

The TARDIS briefly lands the Doctor and Peri Brown in the scrapyard at 76 Totter’s Lane in 1985. Seeing the sign, the Doctor mistakenly calls his companion “Susan.” After telling an undercover policeman flat out that he is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, the Doctor learns he has once again crossed paths with Commander Lytton of Rifton V, whom he left stranded on Earth a year previously. Later, held prisoner within the TARDIS, the Doctor recounts the destruction of planet Mondas after the Cybermen’s attack on Earth in 1986, which he foiled during his first incarnation. The Cybermen have traveled back in time using a stolen timeship to change that history, and the Time Lords have sent the unwitting Doctor to foil their plan. Lytton dies helping the Doctor defeat the Cybermen on their adopted homeworld of Telos.


From “Vengeance on Varos”

After leaving Telos, the Doctor accidentally jettisons three-quarters of the TARDIS storage holds. In search of the rare mineral zeiton-7, the Doctor and Peri visit the planet Varos, where they meet the slug-like Sil, an unscrupulous trade negotiator from Thoros-Beta.


From “The Mark of the Rani”

Intending to visit Kew Gardens in the early nineteenth century, the TARDIS lands instead near Killingworth, pulled off course by the nearby operation of the Master’s and the Rani’s own timeships. The Doctor and Peri try to foil both the Rani’s plans to steal a special chemical from the brains of the local populace that she needs for the planet she rules, Miasimia Goria, and the Master’s plans to take advantage of her scheme to set himself up as ruler of the Earth. The Master reminisces about when the Rani was exiled from Gallifrey after one of her experiments turned mice into monsters that attacked the Lord President of the High Council. The Doctor sabotages the Rani’s TARDIS, trapping the Rani and the Master aboard with several tyrannosaurs as it hurtles out of control to the furthest reaches of space and time, presumably leaving the Master’s TARDIS abandoned near the mining village.


From “The Two Doctors”

After leaving Victoria Waterfield on Earth, the second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon are apparently sent by the Time Lords to call a halt to time-travel experiments being conducted at a deep space research station run by an acquaintance of the Doctor’s, Dastari.

Dastari: I remember it very clearly, Doctor. You came to our inauguration, bearing fraternal greetings from Gallifrey.
The Doctor: Yes, yes. That was before I fell from favour. I’m a bit of an exile these days.
Dastari: Yes, I heard something about that. But you still act on their instructions.
The Doctor: It’s the price I pay for my freedom.
Dastari: Needless to say, we’ve had no support at all from your people.
The Doctor: Oh, Dastari, you can’t have expected help from the Time Lords. Their policy is one of strict neutrality.

Sensing the effects of the torture chamber in his sixth incarnation, the Doctor and Peri travel to the space station to consult Dastari, only to find the station devastated. Learning of the Time Lords’ objection to the experiments from Dastari’s journal, the Doctor has no memory of his earlier visit, even after finding Jamie in the wreckage (due to the drugs given him after his abduction by the Sontarans). However, he begins to puzzle out the sinister plot:

The Doctor: Right, Jamie, a plot to kidnap me and Dastari as well. He’s about the only biogeneticist in the galaxy capable of isolating the symbiotic nucleii of a Time Lord.
Peri: So that’s how you control the TARDIS -- symbiosis!

Held prisoner by the Sontarans to be used in Dastari’s time-travel experiments, the second Doctor learns the nature of the scheme:

The Doctor: No one can travel through time without a molecular stabilisation system.
Dastari: We know that now. And we know that Time Lords possess a symbiotic link with their machines which protects them and anyone with them from destabilisation.
The Doctor: Guesswork!

The Doctor demonstrates a familiarity with the Sontarans in his second incarnation. Meanwhile, the sixth Doctor, Peri, and Jamie track the villains to their hideout in Seville, where the Doctor examines the primitive time capsule:

The Doctor: They’ve got it almost exactly right, even down to the briode-nebuliser, look.
Jamie: What is it?
The Doctor: A Kartz-Reimer version of a TARDIS.
Jamie: A TARDIS?
The Doctor: Yes.
Jamie: Will it work?
The Doctor: It will if I use it. Or any other Time Lord. Not for anyone else.
Jamie: Why not?
The Doctor: She has to be primed by what you call the Rassilon Imprimature. That’s a sort of symbiotic print within the physiology of a Time Lord. Once that’s been absorbed into the briode-nebuliser, you have a time machine that anyone can use. That, of course, is what they didn’t understand. They simply copied the technology without realising that Rassilon had a second trick up his sleeve.

The Doctor and Jamie are interrupted by Sontarans. After escaping, the Doctor tells Jamie that he knew the Sontarans were there and what he said about the time capsule was not entirely true. The imprint he left on the briode-nebulizer lasted only long enough for one test run. The villains defeated, the Doctor and the Doctor part company. Presumably, due to the effects of the drugs and the genetic experimentation, the earlier Doctor has little or no memory of this adventure by the time he reaches the Wheel in Space.


From “Timelash”

Encountering an apparition within the TARDIS after colliding with a time corridor, the Doctor returns to the planet Karfel, which he and Jo Grant apparently visited during his third incarnation, and once again gets embroiled in local politics. At one point an errant death ray reveals of mural of the Doctor made after his first visit:

Mykros: Incredible! I’ve never seen that before!
The Doctor: That’s me.
Herbert: Have you changed a bit?
The Doctor: Immeasurably for the better, it seems. Strange how you forget what you used to look like.


From “Revelation of the Daleks”

News of the death of a noted scientist lures the Doctor to a suspended-animation facility that is a cover for a Dalek breeding farm run by Davros, who is using the bodies of the strong to make more Daleks and the bodies of the weak for a food source. Davros intends to exact revenge on the Doctor by turning him into a Dalek. However, the other Dalek faction arrives to take Davros back to Skaro to stand trial. In the melee, Davros’ only good hand is blown off.


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