20 March, 2012

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 65 "The Mysterious Planet"

Drawn by an unknown force, the Doctor's Tardis is brought to a station in space. Oddly, he no longer has Peri with him. Seeing the only door available to him, he walks into a courtroom. The High Council of Gallifrey is putting the Doctor on trial once again at the behest of the Valeyard, a character bent on finding the Doctor guilty of serious crimes of intervening in other planets affairs. The Doctor claims that as President of Gallifrey, he can't be put on trial. He's then informed because he refused to return to Gallifrey, he was deposed. Reluctantly, the Doctor sits down, allowing the trial to continue.

The Valeyard is utilizing the Matrix to illustrate the point of how the Doctor willingly gets over involved in the affairs of others. Using a visualizer in the courtroom, we see the Doctor and Peri materialize on a mysterious planet. The Doctor says the planet is named Ravalox and was to have been destroyed by a fireball, but it's evidently not true. To add further mystery, it's the same size and angle as the Earth. As they continue to investigate, they are being watched by a pair of rouges who want to kill the Doctor, claiming they hate 'competitors'. The man in charge is Sabalom Glitz, a mercenary.

As the matrix continues to follow Glitz and his companion, it bleeps out phrases of their speech to which the Doctor cries fowl. The Inquisitor allows the edited version for now, turning back to the visualizer. The Doctor and Peri have split up when they discover an abandoned "Marble Arch" underground station, which seems to confirm to the Doctor this is actually the planet Earth. As he continues to investigate Peri is captured by a local tribe who have also captured Sabalom Glitz and partner. Meanwhile, the Doctor is captured by the underground dwellers who think he's stealing water. After being stoned, he manages to escape and is also captured by the outside tribe. But there is an 'immortal' living below who wants the Doctor recaptured so he sends a L1 robot to recapture him. While the Doctor is captured, Peri and Glitz are able to escape.

While underground, the Doctor meets Drathro, a robot designed to help maintain order in the facility, but has gone a little mental. And when the Doctor tries to tell it, a faulty black light converter needs to be shut down before there is a cosmos shattering explosion, Drathro refuses to let him do so, realizing that means it will cease to function.

After destroying the L1 robot, Katryca, leads the rest of her tribe into the underground station to steal the secrets within. They believe the service robot was in fact the immortal. Before too long, she realizes her mistake when she storms into Drathro's lair where he kills her by electrocution. Drathro orders everyone else outside to awate being 'culled'. They obediently do as they are told. This gives the Doctor one last chance to disable the converter, but still fails to do so.

Trying once more, this time with Glitz' help, the Doctor is able to stop the catastrophe. Glitz has tricked Drathro into thinking he can support it with black light from his ship. Realistically though, Glitz was trying to steal away the secrets Drathro was carrying. When the Doctor averts most of the explosion, Drathro is destroyed, taking the secrets Glitz so desperately wanted. The crisis is averted, and back in the courtroom, the Doctor gleefully says he's won the case because he averted the destruction of the universe. But the Valeyard contents his meddling possible initiated it and has one more case to show the court.

Bonus Photo: The Valeyard

Who is the Valeyard, and why is he so determined to see the Doctors demise?

13 March, 2012

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 64 "The Two Doctors"

The Doctor and Jamie have temporarily departed from Victoria as they set out on a mission from the Timelords. Detecting dangerous time experiments, the Timelords have unofficially sent the Doctor to see what he can do to halt the experiments. The Doctor hopes it's a mission that'll go over easy. But despite knowing the station director, Dastari refuses to halt the experiments. To make matters worse, Dastari is collaborating with a pair of Androgums. Shockeye, being a chef, wants nothing more than to taste the succulent Jamie, but Chessene has been genetically enhanced by Dastari and she has a higher calling. She is working with the Sontarans to finalize the work on a Time Machine, and allows the fleet to enter the station, seemingly killing everyone on board.

Four regenerations later, the Doctor is harmlessly fishing with Peri when he realizes something is wrong. He receives a vision of his second incarnation being tortured to death. Peri suggests he see a Doctor so they travel to the science station Chimera, where Dastari is from. Arriving, they notice the stench of death in the air. Trying to determine what has happened, they encounter the only survivor, Jamie McCrimmon. The Doctor enters a trance and tries to telepathically connect to his former self to see where he was taken. A few minutes later, the Doctor, Peri and Jamie set off for Seville, Spain.

The Sontarans have persuaded the trio of Chessene, Dastari and Shockeye to Earth to finalize the Time Experiments. With the captured Doctor, they hope to harvest the symbiotic nuclei from within his cells, which is what makes time travel possible for the Timelords. Wisely, the Doctor refuses to help in the search. Dastari is saddened it's the Doctor he has to extract the nuclei from, but continues. With the augmentations he's given to Chessene, he hopes to put her 'among the gods'. The Doctor scoffs and says no matter how many augments she's received, she'll always have her true barbaric, animalistic tendencies.

As Dastari readies his equipment to search through the Doctor, Stike grows impatient. He tries to persuade the Doctor to give up the location of his nuclei, for the greater good of the Sontaran army. Realizing how high-strung the Sontaran is, the Doctor tries to enrage him, but fails. Stike turns his attention next to Dastari and threatens him to hurry up, but he's unable to convince him either. Dastari knows it's a bluff because he's needed alive, to perform the operation on the Doctor.

Arriving at the Spanish Hacienda, the Sixth Doctor sends Peri in to divert everyone from the basement while he and Jamie take a look around. Hearing Stike approach, the Doctor tricks him into thinking he can make the Time Machine operational immediately. Using Jamie as a threat, the Doctor is forced to prime the Time Machine, which he obediently does. Jamie and the Doctor are able to escape when Jamie stabs him with a knife. But the Sontarans are unable to test the primed Time Machine as Chessene betrays them and kills Varl and injures Stike with Coronic Acid. Stike manages to survive and hobbles to the Time Machine but finds out it's defective. He then remembers he ordered his Spaceship to self destruct thinking he was going to use the Time Machine to rejoin his fleet. He returns to stop the destruction, but is too late and killed in the blast.

In a change of plan, Chessene now instructs Dastari to create a consort for him using the Doctor as a template and infusing him with Shockeye's Androgum DNA. The operation is successful but when Shockeye awakes, he's enraged till the Second Doctor awakes and tantalizes him with descriptions of the local cuisine. Having been thwarted in his attempts to prepare and eat both Jamie and Peri, Shockeye is tempted and follows the Second Doctor to town. Over 80% Androgum now, the Doctor's thoughts are as primitive as the Shockeye's and can think of nothing better than to sate his stomach.

Chessene and Dastari set off to find the pair because if the Doctor isn't stabilized within the hour, his body will reject the Androgum DNA. But the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Jamie also set off to find the pair, hoping to keep the Second Doctor from transforming completely into an Androgum. The Doctor finally finds the Doctor after an hour has passed and his body quickly rejects the Androgum transmogrification. But Chessene also finds them and orders everyone back to the Hacienda at gunpoint. She ties up everyone else as Shockeye attempts once more to eat Jamie.

Working together, the Two Doctors manage to escape. The Sixth Doctor runs upstairs to rescue Jamie, but Shockeye finds him and cuts him. The Doctor runs away, leaving a trail of blood for Shockeye to follow. The Sixth Doctor eventually leads Shockeye into a trap and smothers him with a cyanide laced cloth, killing him. Dastari is revolted when he discovers Chessene's primal instincts kick back in when she falls to the ground, lapping up the Doctor's spilt blood. Realizing the Doctor was right all along, he finally sides with the Second Doctor. But Chessene kills him and tries to escape in the faux Time Machine. But the Doctor tricked Stike earlier and only primed the machine for a one time use. Having already been used, the machine blows up, killing Chessene. The Sixth Doctor is also happy to report, Shockey has met his just deserts.

Bonus Photo:
Shockeye samples the local Earth cuisine.

07 March, 2012

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 63 "The Twin Dilemma"

While the Doctor is still recovering from his regeneration, this episode begins with a set of highly intelligent twins working on computations. They are not surprised to discover their mother has gone out again, but are rather disappointed when their father goes out. Once they are left alone, a strange visitor stops by claiming to look for their father. They persuade him to leave, but he places hypnotic disks on their arms so they lose their memory. He has both of them grab his arms as he activates a teleportation ring and they disappear.

Inside the Tardis, the Doctor is having trouble stabilizing after his regeneration. He doesn't feel quite like himself and finds himself very paranoid. Stabilizing for a bit, he attempts a change of cloths, to which Peri find hideous. But the Doctor is also having fits of rage. During one such fit, he accuses Peri of being a spy and attempts to choke the life out of her. Peri succeeds in fending off the Doctor when she uses a mirror to blind him. The Doctor is barely able to apologize when again he destabilizes and claims Peri is a coward when she does not want to search for a survivor from a crashed ship they discover.

Peri thinks no one could have survived the ship wreck, so when the Doctor finds a survivor he degrades Peri for wanting to give up so quickly. They take the survivor to the Tardis, then go to investigate a building they see off in the distance. When they are captured, the Doctor hides behind Peri in terror and claims it was Peri's fault they are there. Taken inside, the Doctor meets Azmael, a fellow renegade Timelord and friend. The Doctor is shocked to discover Azmael barely remembers the Doctor and leaves him and Peri locked in a building which one of Azmael's lackeys rigs to detonate. Azmael seems to be involved in a radical plot, which is very unlike his nature.

Under pressure, the Doctor is able to use his wits to escape the exploding room. He safely teleports both of them back into the Tardis where a now conscious Hugo is waiting for answers. He's been investigating the disappearance of the twins and thinks the Doctor is involved. Peri is able to convince him they are innocent. Somewhat reluctantly, they team up to find who kidnapped the twins and why. The Doctor realizes his old chum Azmael is involved, but not sure to what degree. Initially he's furious, thinking Azmael knew about the explosion.

The real villain is a creature called Mestor whose been pressuring Azmael into helping. Azmael has agreed, thinking he's protecting the people of Jaconda. But Mestor's plans are more shocking than Azmael has bargained for. Mestor has a fully stocked armada of larva which can only hatch in intense heat. The Doctor shows Azmael that Mestor plans to explode the sun surrounding Jaconda in hopes of spreading the larva throughout the entire galaxy. Now knowing this, Azmael agrees to help the Doctor thwart Mestor's plans.

The problem is, Mestor is too well protected, as demonstrated when the Doctor tries to destroy him. Mestor's mental abilities put up a strong defense. To further prove his point, he places his own conscious inside Azmael's. This time it's Mestor who is tricked, as Azmael has distracted the gastropod long enough for the Doctor to attack his body once more. This time the attack works, but Azmael is killed int he process, having used up all his regenerations. As he dies, he tells the Doctor he does indeed remember the last time the two met.

Bonus Photo: The Doctor selects his outfit.