06 September, 2011

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 46 "Shada"

This is one of the hardest episodes of Doctor Who to review considering it was never fully finished, and never officially released on TV. All because of some labor union strike. The story begins with a Skagra and several other companions storing their intellect into a single orb. But Skagra has tricked the others and steals their minds completely. His hopes are to find the lost Gallifreyan prison planet Shada. His goal is to find a Timelord named Salyavin and enlist his help (or his mind) in taking over the Galaxy.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Romana are on Earth responding to the summons of a retired Time Lord named Professor Chronotis. He's and old friend of the Doctor's and at first forgets why he summoned the Doctor. When he finally remembers, the Doctor is shocked to learn Chronotis wants to return a Gallifreyan book entitled 'The Worshipful & Ancient Law of Gallifrey'. A powerful book from the Panoptican, which is the key to the Gallifreyan prison planet of Shada, where the most ruthless criminals in the universe are held.

Unfortunately, he can't find the book and remembers a student, Chris Parsons, was in earlier to borrow some books. Chronotis believes he took the book by mistake. The Doctor takes a bicycle and travels to retrieve the book, but Skagra is able to steal it. Skagra sends the probe to steal the Doctors mind but only receives a 'copy' of it, thanks to Romana's rescue of the Doctor. With Chris Parsons in tow, they follow the probe which leads them to Skagra's invisible ship. At first the ship does not respond to the Doctor, but he's soon successful in convincing the ship to take him where he want to go.

Earlier, the probe also drained Professor Chronotis' mind, which killed him. But Chris' friend Clare visits Professor Chronitis and accidentally brings him back to life. It turns out his room is actually an older Tardis, which has restored him. Wishing to join the Doctor, the Professor gives Clare a portion of his mind which enables her to help fix his Tardis for flight. The effects are only temporary and she soon forgets all she learned.

Having caught up with the Doctor, they next follow Skagra to Shada. All are shocked to discover Salyavin is missing from his holding cell. The Doctor is worried, considering Salyavin has the ability to force his mind into other people. Finally, Professor Chronotis admits he is Salyavin. But he's reformed and simply wants to retire in peace and quiet, on Earth. Skagra escapes, but his freedom is short lived. The Doctor has reprogrammed Skagra's ship, which no longer recognizes him as being in charge. The ship teleports him to the brig. Professor Chronotis heads back to Cambridge, to live out the rest of his retirement.

NEXT: Into the CVE

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