31 October, 2012

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 74 - "Survival"

When Ace offhandedly tells the Doctor she's curious what her old mates are up to, he takes the opportunity to bring her home to Perivale. Ace is less than thrilled at the prospect of returning to the dreary, boring suburb. But once there, she eagerly sets off to find her friends. Initially she can't anyone, even in the normal places they generally used to hang out. When she finally finds one of her friends, she's informed some have gone on to other, less exciting, things and the rest have mysteriously gone missing. 

As Ace is out looking for her friends, the Doctor has taken to cat hunting. A strange black cat seems to be following him around. Visiting a local shop for cans of cat food, the Doctor tries in vain to capture the animal. As he continues to do this he's running through peoples lawns and yards which draws the attention of the local neighbourhood watch. The Doctor manages to lose Sergeant Paterson, the persistent SAS survivalist, and is about to catch the black cat when he hears Ace shouting for help.

The Doctor discovers the missing people are being transported off planet by cheetah people. As he's once again confronted by Paterson, they are both transported to an alien planet. It's then the Doctor discovers the Master is responsible. The Master is marooned on the alien planet, which is slowly turning him into a cheetah person. While struggling to retain his Timelord attributes, he laid this trap for the Doctor hoping the Doctor will be able to find a way off the planet.

On the cheetah world, Ace finds a few of her friends. She learns eventually the planet bonds with and transforms people into the cheetah's. Her attempts to capture one fail until she meets up with the Doctor. During another attack, she manages to wound one by hitting it with a rock. Instead of trying to kill it, she helps it. The cheetah, Karra, accepts Ace's help and begins calling her 'sister'. Ace has now begun to transform into one of the cheetah people and Karra invites Ace to hunt with her.

Once the Doctor realizes the cheetah people can teleport off the planet to bring back their prey, the Master captures one of the youths who has started to be transformed by the planet. He tells the youth to go home, and when he does the Master goes with him. But once back on Earth, the Master is horrified to realize the transformation the cheetah world has on him may have progressed too far. He's unable to restore his full Timelord persona.

Still trapped on the planet, the Doctor and Ace have to wait for another person to begin changing into one of the cheetah persons. But Ace has already had this happen to her, though she's showing some restraint. The Doctor informs her she can help bring everyone back home, but it may cost her her humanity; as has happened to the Master. Ace is not afraid and agrees to help the Doctor and the rest of the people still alive from Perivale. Back on Earth, the Master indirectly attacks Ace, but she's saved by Karra who has followed her to Earth. The Master promptly stabs Karra and she begins reverting back to her human form. Ace sadly watches Karra die.

The Master then attempts to break into the Doctor's Tardis, though what's become of his Tardis is unclear. When the Doctor stops him, the Master transports the Doctor back to the alien world that is destroying itself. As the planet breaks up, the cheetah people disappear and the Master tries to provoke the Doctor into fighting. The Master seems to have gone crazy and exclaims he does not want to live as an animal. He's willing to die with the planet, and take the Doctor with him. As the planet is about to break up, the Doctor is transported back to Earth. If the Master was transported back elsewhere, it's not shown.

This was the final episode of the classic Doctor Who series. The final shot is the Doctor and Ace walking off towards their next adventure.

"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold! Come on Ace, we've got work to do!" - The Doctor

Bonus Photo
Lisa Bowerman (Who plays Karra), later goes on to play Bernice Summerfield in the Big Finish Audios

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