Friday, 20 May 2022

324 The Time Monster Episode One

EPISODE: The Time Monster: Episode One
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 324
STORY NUMBER: 064
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 20 May 1972
WRITER:
Robert Sloman
DIRECTOR: Paul Bernard
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
RATINGS: 7.6 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Myths & Legends: The Time Monster, Underworld & The Horns of the Nimon
EPISODE FORMAT: 525 video RSC

"Come, Kronos, come!"

The Doctor dreams of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, a trident shaped crystal, and the Master's voice. Meanwhile The Master, disguised as the Greek Professor Thascalos has a Trident shaped crystal which he's using in his equipment. He's assisted by Dr. Ruth Ingram and research student Stuart Hyde at the Newton Institute. Jo makes a chance remark that connects recent eruptions with Atlantis which catches the Doctor's interest and causes the Doctor to warn the Brigadier that he thinks the Master is at large. The Brigadier is off to see a demonstration of the TOMTIT machine, for matter transmission at the Newton Institute. The Master brings the head of the grants committee under his control. The Doctor is working on a time sensor to detect disturbances in the time field to find the Master when he uses his Tardis. When the TOMTIT machine is test activated it sets the Doctor's device off. The Master is angry when he discovers his associates have run a test. The test run is witnessed by an astonished window cleaner who falls from his ladder and slowly drifts towards the floor. The Doctor & Jo take Bessie to try to find the source of the transmissions. They discover the transmissions are coming from the Newton institute and race there. The Brigadier, and observers arrive for the TOMTIT demonstration. The Master disguises himself in a radiation suit and conducts the experiment in disguise so the Brigadier does not recognise him. The Crystal glows as power is put through it and the power runs away. The Master cries out "Come Kronos,Come!"

The dream sequence that opens this episode is a bit peculiar, it feels rather out of place for a Doctor Who episode

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The first thing I thought seeing it was "The Inferno volcano footage is back!" and indeed it is!

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Like his last appearance in The Sea Devils, and indeed the one before that in The Dæmons, the Master is already established in situ and is reaching the climax of his plans.

We're back on Earth this story and, after three tales wandering the universe and the Solent we're reunited with the supporting cats of The Brigadier and UNIT, with the Doctor & Jo starting in the familiar surroundings of the UNIT Headquarters and Lab:

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With the Master working some distance away, The Doctor & Jo spend a large amount of time in Bessie racing to the source of the trouble...... again just like the first episode of The Dæmons!

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And the climax of this episode resembles the Master summoning Azal in the church crypt. Compare this story's

MASTER: Come, Kronos, come!
with the end of The Dæmons episode 1:
MASTER: I conjure thee and charge thee Azal. Arise, arise at my command, Azal! Azal!
More Dæmons similarities to come later but they shouldn't be a surprise really as this story is credited to Robert Sloman who co-wrote The Dæmons and was written as a replacement for the story intended to close the season! The six-part serial envisaged as the finale for Season Nine was planned to be the first Dalek story in half a decade. Producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks turned to Sloman, who had co-written the previous season's finale The Dæmons with Letts, to write the tale and he was commissioned on May 25th 1971 for a storyline called “The Daleks In London”. However, Letts and Dicks soon became concerned that the season did not have a lead-off hook to entice viewers, in the manner of the introduction of the Master the previous year or the debut of Jon Pertwee's Doctor the year before. It was therefore decided to abandon “The Daleks In London” in favour of inserting The Daleks into Louis Marks' "The Ghost Hunters" which then become Day of the Daleks. Sloman was then left to devise a new storyline for the season's last story.

The other major influence here is Greek and if anything the hand is slightly overplayed here with the Master taking a Greek identity, eruptions in Greek Islands, a Chekov's Gun reference to the Minotaur Myth, the Trident shaped crystal (the Greek god Poseidon is frequently pictured with a trident) and the name Kronos dropped in without warning or reference at the end of the episode is an alternate spelling for Cronus, one of the Greek Titans (and Father of Poseidon).

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Liz is watching this story with me and immediately lowers the tone by pointing out that the Doctor's time monitoring device is shaped like a willy. Deary me.

The entrance to the lab contains a panel from the ICT 1300, as previously seen in Terror of the Autons, Mind of Evil and The Sea Devils.

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Meanwhile the shape of the bell tower seen here reminds us both of the main building in Clyst Heath in Exeter where Liz's sister Cathy used to live.

Although this story is set in Cambridge, the location work was performed on the borders of Hampshire & Berkshire. The series would eventually get to film in Cambridge in 1979 but sadly what they shot never made it to the screen......

Swallowfield Park in Berkshire provides the location for the Newton institute, a fitting name for a Cambridge based science institute as Sir Isaac Newton studied at Trinity College, Cambridge.

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The Doctor & Jo's journey in Bessie is all filmed in Hampshire. They're first seen driving up Mortimer Lane...

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... and then through Stratfield Turgis and on th Junction Green Lane & Great Dover Street in Stratfield Saye. More nearby locations feature later.

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This episode gives us what is possibly our clearest look at regular stuntman Terry Walsh, here playing the Window Cleaner.

Friday, 13 May 2022

323 The Mutants Episode Six

EPISODE: The Mutants: Episode Six
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 323
STORY NUMBER: 063
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 13 May 1972
WRITER:
Bob Baker & Dave Martin
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
RATINGS: 6.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Mutants
EPISODE FORMAT: 625 video

"Investigator, I accuse that man and that man of the most brutal and callous series of crimes against a defenceless people it's ever been my misfortune to encounter. You destroyed these poor people for no reason at all!"

The Investigator arrives and accuses the Marshall of serious crimes, with the Doctor forced to back up the Marshall's defence. As the Hyperion starts to refuel Ky is quickly taken ill, but they manage to escape from the refuelling chamber. Jaeger denies the accusations laid against him too. Jo, Ky & Cotton burst into the chamber interrupting proceedings allowing the Doctor to reveal what he really thinks, but he is unable to back up what he says with evidence. A Mutant enters the chamber which the Marshall uses to demonstrate his point of view is right. The Investigator gives the Marshall authority over his men. The Doctor, hiding in the lab, analyses the crystal. The Marshall bursts in sending Sondergaard & Jo to the refuelling chamber with the crystal which Sondergaard gives to Ky, which drains the thaesium radiation, causing him to mutate first into an insect like mutants and then into a glowing being of light. The Marshall is forcing the Doctor to transform Solos' atmosphere when the machine explodes killing Jaeger. Ky appears and kills the Marshall.

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He thanks the Doctor and leaves for Solos to finish transforming the Solonians using the crystal. The Doctor & Jo make their excuses and return to the Tardis leaving for Earth.

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This final episode, after the procrastination of previous ones, feels like a rush to the finish line with lots happening all at once.

The Investigator shows up and is about to send down a verdict in favour of the Marshall when the Marshall's prisoners escape, removing the hold The Marshall has over the Doctor!

INVESTIGATOR: What is going on here? Who are these people?
DOCTOR: Investigator, these are the missing witnesses. Jo, Miss Grant here, is my assistant, kept hostage
MARSHAL: Lies, all lies!
DOCTOR: Kept hostage to ensure my cooperation in this travesty of justice. Investigator, I accuse that man and that man of the most brutal and callous series of crimes against a defenceless people it's ever been my misfortune to encounter. You destroyed these poor people for no reason at all.
MARSHAL: They would have died anyway.
DOCTOR: Not died, Marshal, changed.
MARSHAL: It was my duty! My duty to save Solos from contamination!
DOCTOR: Duty? Your idea of duty was to keep this planet for yourself.
MARSHAL: They're mutants! Mutts! They're diseased! To be wiped off the face of the planet! I
DOCTOR: Need I say more, Investigator?
All is going well till a mutant unexpectedly appears:
MARSHAL: Mutts!
SONDERGAARD: No! There's nothing to be afraid of. The mutants are not dangerous unless you try to harm them.
MARSHAL: They're evil! Don't deserve to live!
SONDERGAARD: That is a rational and intelligent creature. To kill it would be murder!
MARSHAL: Destroy it or we'll all be killed!
KY: No!
MARSHAL: There, you see what I have to deal with? More of these creatures may attack us. I want my men released at once. Now! And your men placed under my command.
INVESTIGATOR: Release the Marshal's men. Obey his orders during this emergency.
MARSHAL: You others follow me.
At which point the Marshal starts throwing people back in the radiation chamber he's using as a makeshift prison/method of execution:
JAEGER: They've gone.
MARSHAL: What? Who?
JAEGER: The Doctor, his assistant, Sondergaard. These two weren't quick enough.
MARSHAL: Right, after them. To the laboratory. Seal all exits. Take these two to the radiation chamber.
JAEGER: But what about the radiation level? After refuelling, it'll be much higher than
MARSHAL: That's their problem, isn't it? Take them away.
What the Marshall hasn't realise is that Ky is now exactly where he needs to be. All he's short of now is the crystal ..... and the Marshall handily supplies that too!
DOCTOR: Yes, of course. Of course! The crystal acts as a bio-catalytic agent. Sondergaard, take this crystal to Ky immediately. But what about the thaesium radiation? Surely that's the vital part of the process?
JO: Well, there's thaesium radiation in the chamber where they took us. Cotton told me.
DOCTOR: Well, what else can we do? We must try it. If we hope to achieve a successful mutation, that is.
MARSHAL: Get away from that machine, Doctor. Guards, take that girl and Sondergaard to the radiation chamber.
When they arrive Ky is in a sorry state:
COTTON: I'm afraid Ky's just about had it, Miss.
SONDERGAARD: How long has he been like this?
COTTON: It started as soon as we got in here. The first dose didn't do him any good. Now this lot on top.
SONDERGAARD: The first dose? Oh yes, you were confined here before, weren't you? Well, we'll have to hurry. We may already be too late.
COTTON: Now what?
SONDERGAARD: We wait.
COTTON: We can't wait too long.
JO: Ky!
SONDERGAARD: No, no, leave him.
JO: Look, he's changing.
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Ky first changes into a Mutant, like we're familiar with but it appears that this is just a chrysalis stage and he passes through that quickly to become a superbeing.

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By this point the Marshall has gone completely mad

INVESTIGATOR: Why have my men been disarmed and confined to their quarters? What is this nonsense about my ship not being allowed to leave Skybase?
MARSHAL: Oh, no nonsense, Investigator. I'm sure you and your crew will enjoy your stay on Solos.
INVESTIGATOR: Solos?
MARSHAL: Yes, as soon as our good friend the Doctor here has finished his twiddling, Solos will find itself with a new atmosphere. You and the others will be the first settlers on New Earth.
INVESTIGATOR: And you, Marshal?
MARSHAL: I shall rule from Skybase.
INVESTIGATOR: You will never be allowed
MARSHAL: Oh, come now. You didn't think I'd let you return to Earth Council? An accident will be reported. Lost with all hands I believe is the phrase.
INVESTIGATOR: Other ships will come from Earth.
MARSHAL: Oh, they'll be room for them. You should be grateful to help me. We'll begin a new Earth, the centre of a new empire.
DOCTOR: It's all right, Investigator. He's quite mad.
MARSHAL: Oh no, Doctor. I told you. Madmen lose. I've won. Solos is mine. Have you finished your work?
DOCTOR: Almost. And my companions?
MARSHAL: Will be released as soon as the job is done.
Since he was really annoying me so I was glad to see Ky show up and finish him off.

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By an odd coincidence years later in Star Fleet there's a similar ending as Lamia (voiced by Liza Ross, the wife of Garrick Hagon, who plays Ky) becomes a glowing light being and fights the the villain of that series!

Guest starring in this episode only is experienced actor Peter Howell who plays The Investigator. He'd been in The Prisoner as The Professor in The General. You can see him in The Sweeney as Alan Sevier in Chalk and Cheese and The Professionals as Howard in A Man Called Quinn. He appears in Yes Minister as the Permanent Secretary at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Equal Opportunities.

c Investigator c Earth Guards

His staff includes a number of Earth Control Guards:

Gary Dean had been in The Ice Warriors as a Technician, The Enemy of the World as a Guard, The Invasion as a UNIT Soldier, The War Games as a German Soldier and Doctor Who and the Silurians as a UNIT Soldier. He returns in Frontier in Space as a Lunar Guard, Planet of the Daleks as a Spiridon, Pirate Planet as a Guard, Nightmare of Eden as a Medic, Time Flight as a Passenger and Remembrance of the Daleks as a Pallbearer. He was in Doomwatch as a man in Project Sahara and Fawlty Towers as a Hotel Guest in Communication Problems.

Mick Urry was also in Doomwatch as a Newspaper Man in Fire and Brimstone and also appears in Moonbase 3 as a Technician in View of a Dead Planet.

The Investigator has two Advisors with him:

Evan Ross will return as a Cabinet Minister in The Green Death, an Extra in Robot, a Noble in Androids of Tara and a Logopolitan in Logopolis. Ken Nazarin can be seen in the Inspector Morse story Driven to Distraction where he is Whyting Lau.

c Advisors c Mutants

There's a couple of new Mutants in this episode too: Bill Gosling was a Tracking Room Technician in The Tenth Plane & Villager in The Dæmons. Ricky Newby was previously a Dalek in Day of the Daleks and returns as a Gell Guard in the Three Doctors. There's a lot of comedy on his CV including an appearance in The Young Ones: Cash.

I can't say I've got any real affection for what I see onscreen in the Mutants but it worked better for me this time than it has ever done before. There's still a lot of treading water and stalling for time, especially in episodes two and five, and then big rush in episode six. I suspect it may have worked better as a four parter!

When I was younger read the book from my local library, adapted by Terrance Dicks, several times and somehow what I see on screen has never matched up to that, a problem the next story shares. Oddly the paperback copy currently in my collection has the words "DR WHO AND THE MUTANTS" on the spine rather than the more commonly used "Doctor Who...."

The Mutants was a very late video release towards the end of the range in 2003 and then appeared on DVD early in 2011.

Friday, 6 May 2022

322 The Mutants Episode Five

EPISODE: The Mutants: Episode Five
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 322
STORY NUMBER: 063
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 06 May 1972
WRITER:
Bob Baker & Dave Martin
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
RATINGS: 7.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Mutants
EPISODE FORMAT: 625 video

"The slightest accident in this stage of the proceedings and we'd all reverse instantly into antimatter. Blasted out to the other side of the universe, as a flash of electromagnetic radiation. We'll all become unpeople, undoing unthings untogether. Fascinating!"

Reaching the surface the Doctor & Sondergaard are subjected to the rocket bombardment while making their way to the Skybase transfer station. Cotton, Stubbs, Jo & Ky escape from the depressurised section but are immediately recaptured. The Marshall puts them in front of a firing squad but it's interrupted by Jaeger protesting that the Marshall's actions have wrecked his experiments on Solos contaminating the surface. The ailing Sondergaard returns to the caves while the Marshall & his guards hunt for the Doctor who escapes to Skybase but is captured trying to free the prisoners. He is pressed into service helping Jaeger. Jo organises an escape. Cotton attempts to contact the Investigator's ship while Stubbs defends them from attacking guards. They get though but Stubbs is killed as they escape. They are recaptured and taken to Skybase's refuelling chamber. Sondergaard is found by an Overlord guards but saved by Mutants who recognise him. They believe they are sick but Sondergaard explains the mutation process to them and they agree to help him. The Doctor & Jaeger manage to eliminate the contamination using jury rigged equipment. The Marshall threatens Jo in an attempt to force the Doctor's cooperation. As the Hyperion docks it starts to refuel exposing the captives to deadly Thesium radiation.

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A bit of escaping, running around and getting recaptured this episode. The chase with the Solos guards does rather expose that the teleport machine is the same in both locations but with the sign changed!

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Essentially the episode treads water with the just the Doctor's capture and Stubb's death advancing the plot. Rick James' (Cotton's) acting is at it's most animated when Stubbs dies but even then it's not good.

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Visible among the Skybase Guards fr the first time is out old friend Dave Carter making his first appearance this season. He was a Male Rebel in The Power of the Daleks, an IE guard in The Invasion, the Old Silurian and an Ambulance Man in Doctor Who and the Silurians, a Primord in Inferno, the Museum Attendant in Terror of the Autons and a Prison Officer in The Mind of Evil, He returns as a Roundhead Officer in The Time Monster, Sergeant Duffy in Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Grierson in The Android Invasion.

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Martin Taylor, another of the Skybase Guards in this episode, is later seen as Corporal Norton in Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

A Solos guard Damon Sanders later works with Jon Pertwee again on Worzel Gummidge where he plays Mr. Mooney in A Fair Old Pullover. Shortly after the time of broadcast he was due to appear in Doomwatch as Robbie in Hair Trigger.

The Mutants features the début of something that we'll see time and time again in Doctor Who: the wall panels here with their tessellating triangular design. Designer Jeremy Bear is responsible for their initial appearance here but they, or new segments made from the same moulds, will be back in many other Doctor Who stories.

Triangles Horns of the Nimon

The Mutt Mad documentary, concerning the production of this story, on The Mutants DVD shows them in Horns of the Nimon, Meglos, where someone has put lights in the corner intersections and Terminus/

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They've been in many other Doctor Who stories: the room in Terminus belongs to Adric and that's also seen in Earthshock and they stick in my mind for being in the cells in Stones of Blood.

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As well as appearing in Doctor Who they can be found in Blake's 7: Servalan's office in Seek, Locate, Destroy and on the planet Kezam in City At The Edge Of World are two examples.

Blake's 7 City at the edge of the world

They're also used in The Adventure Game and I was surprised to spot them in a repeat of The Crystal Maze!

Adventure Game CrystalMazeFutruisticZone

We'll be looking out for these panels again in future episodes.

Also visible on Skybase are a number of panels of squares, here used in the lighting panels. We'll be seeing them, or something very similar, regularly in the early years of the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker.

Squares AOD Spaceship

If that wasn't enough, then parts from the spaceship walls from the Ambassadors of Death make an appearance round the ceiling of Jaeger's lab!

Then there's two things that look like they're from somewhere else: the square panel of LEDs on the Skybase transporter:

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Finally there's a device on the airlock door on Solos which also looks suspiciously like it was taken sourced from elsewhere!