Sunday, August 19

Galaxy 4 Part 1/4: Four Hundred Dawns

This is one of those episodes that was lost to whatever crazy party the BBC held that destroyed a bunch of the Old!Who materials, so it starts off with Peter Purves, the guy who played Steven, sitting in the grounds of some stately home and doing a three-minute introduction into the camera. He warns us that there's pretty much no footage of this episode remaining so they've reconstructed it using set pictures and something that a fan filmed off the TV. This is going to be a pleasure, I can tell.

Good news! It is actually something a fan filmed off the TV! You can see the edges of the TV set in shot. Fantastic.

So the three intrepid explorers (the Doctor, Vicki and Steven, if you're not playing along at home) land on a planet. The TARDIS scanners tell them that there's absolutely no life out there, which puzzles the Doctor because the atmosphere is pretty kicking. Optimum levels of oxygen and radiation and all of the good stuff. However, the lucky viewer can see that there actually is something outside the TARDIS. It looks a bit like a robot wedding cake and is, apparently, blind. And it has a telepathic messaging system. Cool.

The robot wedding cake bumps into the TARDIS, because it's all blind and that, and tries to feel its way around to find out what this weird box thing is doing on its turf. The TARDIS inhabitants hear it and Vicki, because she is the most adorable thing in the whole world, says that it sounds like it has a 'chumbley movement'. Baby.

Heedless of the dangers of the robot wedding cake, the trio head outside to see what the deal is with this unknown planet. Steven can barely contain himself over there being three suns, Vicki nearly combusts with excitement when she sees some flowers and the Doctor ignores them both and tries to act clever by noting how quiet it is. But the impression of wisdom is thwarted once again by Hartnell not being able to say his lines properly and the 1960's not being able to do retakes.

DOCTOR: This silence reminds me of the planet... er... Xeros.
VICKI: You don't think we've jumped the time track again, do you?
DOCTOR: No. No, my dear, not again. Not again. But, uh... it's so quiet.
VICKI: Get your shit together, Doctor, you're supposed to know what you're doing, here.

And then Vicki spots the robot wedding cake! And she calls it a Chumbley after the way it moves. God, how so adorable, Vicki. It has this pipe thing sticking out between two of its tiers and that is apparently threatening enough that it scares the shit out of all three of them.

Oh, then it uses the pipe thing to explode a nearby bush. Okay, right, fair play. The Doctor is way too excited by this and happily lets himself be herded away by the robot wedding cake - or Chumbley, if you will - while two MYSTERIOUS WOMEN watch from behind a rock. No life on this planet, my arse.

The MYSTERIOUS WOMEN throw a net over the Chumbley and introduce themselves to the TARDIS crew as Drahvins. Steven tries to hit on them. Get in there, son.

The sexy Drahvins want to escort the Doctor, Vicki and Steven to their leader, whose name is Maaga. The Doctor is all up for it, Steven is too busy trying to look up the Drahvins' skirts to form an opinion (probably, there isn't any footage of this bit), but Vicki, because Vicki is sensible and wonderful, isn't a huge fan of the idea.

SEXY DRAHVIN 1: If you stay here, more machines will come. They will capture you and take you to the Rills.
DOCTOR: The Rills... are they the people that control these things, hmm?
SEXY DRAHVIN 2: They are not people.
SEXY DRAHVIN 1: They are things.
SEXY DRAHVIN 2: They crawl.
SEXY DRAHVIN 1: They murder.
VICKI: Murder?
SEXY DRAHVIN 2: They have already killed one of us.
DOCTOR: Oh, I should like to meet these Rills!
VICKI: Doctor I swear I have had it up to here with your bullshit.

Some more Chumblies appear and chase them all back to Sexy Drahvin HQ and it turns out that Maaga is this crazy dictator lady who has all the other sexy Drahvins scared shitless. Also they don't live on the planet that they're on, they come from this place called Drahva.

MAAGA: There are too many of us on Drahva.
STEVEN: All women?
MAAGA: Women?
DOCTOR: Yes, er. Feminine. Female.
MAAGA: Oh. We have a small number of men. As many as we need. The rest we kill.
DOCTOR: ... woah.
STEVEN: I have the weirdest boner right now.

Also, the planet that they're on? It's gonna explode in two weeks. Apparently. And the sexy Dhravins can't leave because the Rills broke their spaceship, so they're fighting these Rills so they can steal THEIR spaceship and GTFO.

Understandably, the Doctor questions the legitimacy of the 'this planet is defo gonna explode in two weeks' claim, which Maaga the Sexily Dominant acknowledges but has no way of testing.

THE DOCTOR: Hey! I have this spaceship of science, I could give it a go if you let us leave.
MAAGA: Well you can't ALL go.
VICKI: Because we're your prisoners, right?
MAAGA: Of course not! But if you see a Chumbley then you might DIE. One of you should stay here. Just to make sure that all of you are safe.
VICKI: This logic is not really working with me but I'd rather put as much distance as possible between Steven and these sexy crazy people. I'll stay.
STEVEN: Curses.

The Doctor and Steven make it back to the TARDIS to find a Chumbley already trying to get in. It doesn't have any luck, so it sends a message to its Chumbley buddies and chumbles away. The Doctor brags about his awesome security and he and Steven go inside.

After a little bit of Science, the Doctor declares that the Rills were right! The planet is going to explode! Shit! But ooh, plot twist: they don't have two weeks. They have two days! Dun dun dunnn! The Doctor puts on his best Shit Is Going To Go Down face in honour of the occasion and the adorable old theme tune plays them out.

See you on Wednesday with Part 2!



  1. Thoroughly enjoyable. And the 'ums' on the side of One are something to do with him failing to learn the lines. This can also account for his wandering around the sets, looking up.

  2. Ohmygod moosh, this is amazing.

  3. This is the best thing I've read since that Drarry fan fiction.