Sunday, September 30

The Daleks' Master Plan Part 4/12: The Traitors

So the Doctor, Steven, Katarina and Bret are in the stolen spaceship on the prison planet Desperus, the Dalek spaceship is just about to land right next to them, and Blond Beard (real name: Kirksen), a crazy inmate of the prison, has just burst into their ship brandishing a knife.

Blond Beard demands to know who's in charge of the ship; Bret says that he is, so Blond Beard threatens to stab everything unless Bret takes them to the planet Kembel (Dalek HQ), because if they go to Earth, Blond Beard will just get sent straight back to Desperus and those Daleks sound like decent chaps, they'll probably help him.

So, because Bret and Steven are sneaky bastards, they both start pretending to switch all the controls around on the console. They tell Blond Beard that it's all done, they're on their way to Kembel now - he is understandably suspicious, because it doesn't feel like they've changed direction at all. Bret, brilliantly, points to the view screen and says that if Blond Beard looks that way he'll see, and then when Blond Beard does, Steven rushes at him to try and tackle him.

Most unfortunately, though, Blond Beard has crazy-man reflexes and he dodges Steven and grabs Katarina, but he falls back into the airlock. Steven hits the button that traps them both inside. I don't know what shit they're trying to pull, I LIKE Katarina. STOP TRYING TO GET RID OF MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS.

The Doctor tries negotiating with Blond Beard over the intercom:

DOCTOR: Now, then! Listen to me, whoever you are. Bring that girl in here, or we will press a button and you will go outside the door - into space.
BLOND BEARD: Then the girl dies too! If you open the outside door, I'll press the inner release and then we'll all be dead!
DOCTOR: ... good point, well made.

So they change course, because they don't want anything to happen to Katarina. But then Katarina breaks free of Blond Beard's grip! And reaches for the switch to open the airlock door! But she hits the one that opens the door to the DARK VACUUM OF SPACE BABY NO I WAS JOKING ABOUT THEM GETTING RID OF YOU JEEZ WHAT IS WITH THIS SHOW.

STEVEN: She... she pressed the wrong button, Doctor.
DOCTOR: She may have wanted to, dear boy. She wanted to save our lives.
BRET: It must have been... quick.
DOCTOR: I hope she's reached her Place of Perfection.

In places NOT torn to shreds with sadness and heartbreak, Mavic Chen is hanging out in his office with his security chief, known as Karlton, and Lizan, who is... a person. I don't know who she is, exactly, but she's doing technical stuff to show Mavic a hologram of Bret and sending it out to all the Space Security agents. She leaves pretty quickly, at which point Mavic and Karlton basically just rub their hands together and talk about how awesome it'll be when they rule the universe. But their celebratory wankfest is interrupted by a phone call saying that the traitors have landed close by, so that's exciting.

The traitors themselves (and by traitors I mean the Doctor, Bret, and Steven, hope you got that) have actually landed inside this experimental science station? Bret says they should wait there for a while because he has a friend who works there and he'll be able to help them out. Unfortunately, Sara Kingdom, the chick in command of the hunt for Bret, sees them arrive and reports back to Mavic Chen post haste, telling him that she has trapped them inside and she'll kill them herself!

Sara's pretty badass (and another woman in a cool position of power! 1965 did GOOD), but she looks too much like Vicki for me to be entirely happy with her being there. That wound is still fresh.

Bret's friend Daxtar arrives and everyone fills him in on Mavic Chen's association with the Daleks. Daxtar is all, 'Well, shit! At least you guys have the Taranium, right?' at which point the Doctor is all, 'OH NAH MATE nobody mentioned anything about Taranium I guess you must be in league with Mavic Chen!' Daxtar swears blind that the Doctor mentioned it (which is actually plausible, the conversation wasn't aired and they definitely told him about the Time Destructor), and appeals to Steven and Bret to help him out, but Bret... shoots him in the face. Okay cool.

Bret takes charge and decides that he's going to head to the security building himself and send out alerts to some people in charge, and the other two agree, then BAM, Sara Kingdom bursts in and points a gun at them. Bret is pretty gutted, as that's another one of his friends that Mavic Chen has turned against him, but he's man enough to distract Sara while Steven and the Doctor escape. Nice one, Bret.

But then Sara SHOOTS HIM and radios some guy to look out for the other two and SHOOT THEM when he sees them and THE EPISODE ENDS.

Man, I hope Bret's not really dead. The last few episodes have been a bloodbath as it is. It's mental.


Wednesday, September 26

The Daleks' Master Plan Part 3/12: Devil's Planet

Katarina, Steven and Bret are trying to steal the GUARDIAN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM's spaceship so they can fly to Earth and warn everyone about the shit the Daleks are trying to pull. The Doctor disguised himself as a Dementor scarecrow to sneak into the Dalek meeting (look, I didn't write it, that's just what HAPPENED) but someone set off the intruder alarm. Bret heard it and he's taking off without the Doctor on board.

Luckily, the Doctor makes it out of Dalek HQ and sort of waddle-runs (he's still wearing the Dementor cloak) to the spaceship and makes it inside just as the doors are closing. CLOSE CALL, RIGHT. Bret manages to take off and they leave the planet of Kembel far behind!

The crew settle in for the journey and have a light, casual conversation about the Daleks' plan to take over the Universe. Steven, attracted to shiny things, goes to open the box that the Taranium is hidden inside, but the Doctor stops him. Here is some actual show dialogue:

DOCTOR: It'll burn your eyes - you'll go totally blind! That is a full emm of Taranium!
BRET: What?! That can only be found on the planet Uranus. A full measure would take years to mine!
DOCTOR: Fifty years, to be surprise - to be precise.

Awwww he said 'surprise'! Even though he meant precise! William Hartnell you are a bit shit at this job, aren't you, babe?

Back in Dalekland, Mavic Chen, representative of the Solar System; Zephon, representative of the Fifth Galaxy; and the Daleks, mediocre pepperpot masterminds, are all fighting over whose fault it is that the Doctor and his band of merry travellers have stolen the Taranium and flown away. Eventually they decide that ZEPHON is to blame because he allowed himself to be kidnapped, knocked out, and stripped of his clothing. God, Zephon, how could you be so stupid.

After arguing a bit more, eventually Zephon is like, "Right, fine, I'll leave. But if I go I'm taking some of the other galaxy representatives with me cos they're my HOMIES." The Daleks aren't a huge fan of that idea.

(That's what an old-school Dalek extermination looks like. Whatever, man, Zephon brought it on himself.)

Pretty pleased with their achievement, the Daleks continue to wallow in their badassery by sending up a bunch of speedy spaceships to follow the TARDIS crew (seriously, is nobody going to worry about the TARDIS?). The speedyships send out a RANDOMISER BEAM which makes Mavic Chen's ship veer off into the gravitational pull of the planet Desperus, which turns out to be the Solar System's prison planet; if they crash on it and break their ship, they'll never be able to leave. Luckily, though, the Daleks take control of their ship and slow their descent right down so they can land with everything remaining intact. Those helpful little death machines of hate.

Inside a cave on Desperus, three beardy men are fighting over a knife. They have names, but they're dumb future names (Kirkson, Garge, and Bors) that are difficult to remember, so I'm going to hope that they're not recurring characters and call them Blond Beard, Burly Beard and Brown Beard. I think they're all slightly deranged; they care a LOT about this knife. They see Mavic's ship crash on the planet and figure, hey, they could steal it and use it to escape! (Blond Beard: "We can kill the crew with the knife!")

The spaceship, though, is surrounded by boggy marshland which is inhabited by Screamers (from what I understand, sort of vicious bat things?). The light from the Beards' torches keeps them away, but they have to throw away their torches so (a) other inmates of Desperus won't see them and get the same idea of stealing the ship and also (b) the swamp is pretty tricky to navigate with... one hand? Idk, I'm just going with what the show tells me.

I mean, as soon as the torches go out, the Screamers attack, so. Blond Beard runs away but the other two PERSEVERE for GREAT JUSTICE.

Katarina, who is standing by the door gazing out at the shiny new planet that's apparently the next step on the way to the afterlife, sees some movement outside the ship! She calls the Doctor over and he hmms a little bit, as is his wont, and then hands Katarina a cable and tells her to flick the switch when he tells her to. She does so and, oh dear, it electrifies the swampy ground so the two Beards get electrocuted!

Bret and Steven look up from where they're trying to regain control of the spaceship to ask what the hell the Doctor thinks he's doing, but the Doctor tells them to go back to work, somehow managing to be smug even in this one little exchange.

BRET: What do you think you're playing at?
DOCTOR: Oh, you two go back in there and get on with your repairs. Katarina and I are trying to repel any type of boarders.
BRET: But catic power isn't strong enough to kill anyone.
DOCTOR: Of course not, but it will knock them unconscious. Now, just you remember, young man, I have no desire to kill anyone! Now go in there and get on with those repairs. I want to leave this place quickly. Hurry up, please! Hmm! Wasting my time!
BRET: ... that's really astonishing, how you manage to act so superior even though you're quite clearly the worst character in the show. How do you even do it. How.

They all go back to whatever they were doing before the Doctor indulged in a bit of light electricity play, and everything is cool until WHOOPS, the Daleks have caught up with them and are about to land on the planet! Shiiiit. Bret shoves the broken bit of engine back together with duct tape and BOOM, they're ready to go.

The Doctor sends Katarina to the doors to check that they're secure before they take off - turns out? Lol nope! Blond Beard crashes into the ship, carrying - and I will admit I laughed aloud here - the KNIFE!

Ah man, some crazy shit is going down here. I WONDER WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. Whatever it is, I hope the Doctor arranges therapy for Katarina. Poor girl is going to need it.


Sunday, September 23

The Daleks' Master Plan Part 2/12: Day of Armageddon

So we left the action with the GUARDIAN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM in league with the Daleks, which is a bit not good. Inside the TARDIS there's a dude restrained via magnetic chair, an unconscious Steven and a lady from ancient Troy, and outside the TARDIS there's a shitload of Daleks and the Doctor hiding behind a tree. Let's do this.

Oh my god, you guys, there is footage in this episode! I'd forgotten that the characters in this show could actually move! Shit, I barely even know what to do with myself now. There's going to be facial expressions and visual cues and holy shit y'all. Hoe lee shit.

So Mavic Chen, the GUARDIAN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, is hanging out in Dalek HQ and this guy dressed as, like, a Dementor scarecrow shows up.

He is Zephon, Master of the Fifth Galaxy, and he basically just wants to know what Mavic Chen's deal is.

ZEPHON: One thing surprises me: that you, Guardian of the Solar System, have agreed to become one of us.
MAVIC CHEN: Why the surprise? As you say, I am Guardian of the Solar System. But that is nothing more than a part, however influential, of one galaxy. Would you be satisfied with just a part of a galaxy?
ZEPHON: The solar system is exceptional. In its power lies influences far outside its own sphere. Surely by joining with the forces determined to destroy that power, you mark yourself out as a supreme traitor?
MAVIC CHEN: A traitor with loads of bitches fulfillin' all my needs, homedawg.
ZEPHON: I'd thank you to not objectify women in such a way.

The Daleks overhear Mavic Chen and mark him down as a megalomaniac creep to dispose of ASAP, so I guess they're not all bad.

Back in the TARDIS,, it turns out that Karatina had dragged Steven out of the ship somewhere because the Daleks were coming. Also, she freed Bret. I mean, it's understandable because she doesn't understand all this space shit, and also she thinks she's on a journey to the afterlife, so she's probably not thinking these things through logically. But basically the upshot of this is that the Daleks have the TARDIS now, lol, and they plan to blow it up with FLAMES from their PLUNGERS. Seriously.

The Doctor (who has appeared out of the undergrowth) wants to rush back to liberate the TARDIS from its firey doom, but Steven argues with him and tells him that he is being dumb (which he is). The Doctor is all, 'Shut up, man, I know the Daleks!', to which Steven responds, 'No YOU shut up I know them too, dickwad,' because Steven was fighting the Daleks when he first met the Doctor and that is a cool thing. I love it when companions outsmart the Doctor. (Not in a shit River Song type of way. Just in a cool 'every now and then the Doctor doesn't know everything' type of way. But I digress.)

Jeez, then Bret comes along and tells them BOTH to shut up. I am feeling the testosterone pumping in this episode, damn. Steven can definitely feel it too.

Aaaand the Doctor comes up with the plan of going right into the Dalek city because that's the last place the Daleks will expect them!!!!1!! He is such an idiot, god. So they go there and, gasp, they see the spaceship of the GUARDIAN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, Mavic Chen!

BRET: That one in the middle, that's from Earth. That's Mavic Chen's!
DOCTOR: You know that spaceship?
BRET: Yes, I do. It belongs to the Guardian of the Solar System!
DOCTOR: Oh, then you'll know how to fly it, hmm?
BRET: Yes, of course I do, but--
DOCTOR: Cool! Then we'll steal THAT ONE!

But then they see Zephon, the guy who is the Master of the Fifth Galaxy, and decide another cool idea would be to knock him out then take off his clothes then WEAR his clothes and then go to the super-secret Dalek conference so they can hear the Daleks' plans in greater detail.

So the Doctor does that and is terrible at being inconspicuous but nobody really notices because they all have pretty rudimentary prosthetics over their eyes for their alien costumes and he makes it into the meeting without incident. The Daleks reveal that they've created this thing called the Time Destructor and Mavic Chen has provided them with a core made of the rarest element in the universe, Taranium.

While Mavic is showing off, the real Zephon (who is still wearing a cloak thing, so I guess he layered up that morning) has regained consciousness and sets off an intruder alarm just as Bret, Steven and Katarina make it inside Mavic's spaceship. Everyone at the conference goes mental and runs out of the room; the Doctor, demonstrating a rare bit of ingenuity, grabs the core of Taranium and slips it under his Dementor cloak. But then Zephon, with his arms still tied up, runs into the room and chases the Doctor out of it and I probably shouldn't be as laughing as hard as I am but just the way they're both WADDLING in their little cloaks omg.

Unfortunately they can hear the intruder alarm in Mavic's spaceship, too, and as Bret is in charge and is determined to prove his manliness, he decides that he who falls behind is left behind, and gets ready to fire up the ship. Katarina implores him to stop right now, thank you very much, because they won't be able to get to the place of perfection without the Great One, but Bret ain't taking no shit from nobody, so he ignores her and fires that bad boy up anyway.

How exciting, the Doctor left alone in the middle of Dalek HQ wearing a stupid cloak with a jar of Taranium hidden in his knickers and being chased by an alien scarecrow. I notice everyone has just forgotten about the TARDIS, though, the poor thing. I mean, it's made of WOOD and the Daleks are SETTING FIRE TO THE FOREST, so. Show a little concern, Doctor, your baby is feeling unappreciated.


Wednesday, September 19

The Daleks' Master Plan Part 1/12: The Nightmare Begins

This episode is going to have to be really fucking good to make up for the fact that Vicki is no longer here. And it is a DALEK EPISODE. So. I mean, I'm not hopeful. Not even a little bit. But I go in with an open mind! The weird prequel wasn't bad! And, y'know, it's twelve parts, so it sounds... intense. Which... can be good?


Soooo Steven is still unconscious, Katarina the Trojan is still on board the TARDIS, and the Doctor is still pretending to Katarina that his time machine is actually a journey to eternal peace.

KATARINA: What is that?
DOCTOR: Oh, we're slowing down, my dear. We're going to land in a moment.
KATARINA: Can we have reached the place of perfection so soon?
DOCTOR: Er, well. I rather doubt it. At least, that is, er, we shall be stopping at a lot of places before that.

So the Doctor lands the TARDIS "somewhere" because he needs a "special drug" to stop Steven from dying. This is not convincing me of his status as a medical professional. His name is such bullshit, man. I hope one day I get to see the story of how Time Lords get their name, and I hope the Doctor admits he picked his out of a hat.

On the planet the TARDIS just landed on, two dudes appear to have crashed their spaceship, because apparently literally nobody can fly one of those things. They try to get in touch with people over the radio, but that doesn't work, and they argue a little bit, and then BOOM, the scene cuts to Earth (Earth! I missed you!) to some sciencey people fighting over which TV channel to watch. They decide on channel 403, which I imagine in 1965 seemed hilarious and futuristic. Four hundred and three whole TV channels! Mental.

They talk about a routine call to five-zero-alpha, which I'm pretty sure is the code the two dudes from the broken radio used, and oh! The two dudes are out looking for Badass Marc, the guy the Daleks exterminated in the weird prequel! Cool!

Back to the exciting TV channel subplot, a guy called Mavic Chen, the GUARDIAN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, is... going on holiday? He's giving a speech about peace between the galaxies, or something, and doesn't really say much interesting other than it's the year 4000. A light indicating that the two dudes (they're called Kert and Bret, I'm going to use their names instead of calling them 'the two dudes') are trying to call keeps flashing, but the science people are too engrossed in the riveting broadcast to notice. Top notch sciencing, there, guys. Keep it up.

Back on the planet, Kert and Bret are arguing again; Kert's leg is in a splint, and he wants Bret to go ahead without him, because Kert'll slow him down and there are Varga plants everywhere and you know what happens when those bastards are hanging around. So Bret clears off and Kert is all, 'Yoooo, I know you're out there!' and some Daleks come and kill him, so that happened.

Elsewhere in the forest, Bret is all, 'What is that mysterious vworping noise?' and a wild TARDIS appears! Bret hides behind the bushes while the Doctor emerges, and then follows the Doctor to the edge of a nearby village and holds a gun to his head until the Doctor gives Bret the TARDIS key. So then Bret strolls right into the TARDIS and makes small talk with the Trojan lady and the semi-conscious Earth dude and it's pretty chill. But the Doctor follows him right back and it turns out that ol' Bret left the key in the door, so that was dumb. The Doctor just goes right on in and Steven knocks Bret out with a spanner and that plan of his really didn't turn out to be all that effective after all, did it. Poor Bret.

When Bret comes round again, the Doctor acts smug as hell even though he didn't really have much to do with the capture at all, which sums One up pretty well, actually. Although apparently the thing that is keeping Bret restrained is a MAGNETIC CHAIR that can restrain a HERD OF ELEPHANTS that the Doctor invented, so there best be a good reason why I haven't seen this bad boy in the series reboot.

The Doctor is smug a little more and then leaves a restrained Bret alone with Katarina (Steven passed out again) and heads back to the village for the 'special drugs' to dose Steven with. On the way he sees what I presume is the rotten corpse of Badass Marc (his communication/transmitter thing is by the body). The Doctor, reliably incompetent, remarks on how so very strange it is to see an abandoned recording device lying on the forest floor and then walks riiiiight on past it. Sigh. But then he makes it into the village and sees some Daleks and has the usual OH NO I'M SO SCARED OF DALEKS exclamation, even though they are, like... not any more threatening than any other monster that he has to face. Like, am I the only person who thinks this? I've never understood the hype behind the Daleks. They're just. Average.

And then: a plot twist! Mavic Chen, the guy who was going on holiday at the start of the episode and also the SUPREME RULER OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM or something, he's in league with the Daleks! The Doctor rushes back to the TARDIS and finds that surrounded by Daleks too! Daleks everywhere! Shit! (But only regular levels of shit because the Daleks aren't exceptionally terrifying!)

This episode was... fine. I admit that I'm writing this at late o'clock and also I am in Paris, so I might not be as invested in the episode as I could be, but also. Daleks. No Vicki. Incompetent Gallifreyan. You know how it is.



Sunday, September 16

The Myth Makers Part 4/4: Horse of Destruction

So as things stand, the Greeks have managed to get a giant horse with shitloads of soldiers inside Troy, and even if you're as unfamiliar with Greek legends as I am, you probably know the gist of how this episode is going to play out. Or maybe not, I dunno, I haven't seen it yet. But before we do get into it, I'd like to share the fact that the original title for this serial, instead of 'The Myth Makers', was 'Is There A Doctor In This Horse?'
Bam. Day instantly improved 20%, am I right?

Cassandra is still feeling a little butthurt that her entire family likes Vicki (whom they all still know as 'Cressida', and who has stayed out on the balcony looking at the horse for a suspiciously long time) more than they like her, so she sends her handmaiden, Katarina, off to see what the deal is. But lol whoops, Vicki isn't on the balcony, she's gone down to the dungeons to let Steven out of his cell.

The two of them head out into the town square to have a look at the wooden horse. Vicki laughs at the shoddy nature of the horse's design, which, to say it was built in ONE DAY, isn't actually all that bad.

Steven happily returns jibes at how Troilus and Vicki are in luurrrrrve, and Vicki gets a little annoyed. Steven, adorably chastened, apologises and tells her that she should probably warn Troilus to leave Troy ASAP if she really likes him, because there are Greeks inside that thing and they're here to drink wine and fuck shit up. And they've just finished their wine.

Steven realises he probably shouldn't be hanging out in the city wearing a Greek soldier's uniform, so he hides behind some convenient bushes, and Vicki heads back to the palace, all casual like. Her absence hasn't gone unnoticed by Cassandra, obviously, and while all the male members of the Priam family are totally cool with Vicki's explanation of where she was, Cassandra assigns Katarina to be with her literally all the time; Vicki can't really come up with an excuse as to why that would not be cool. (Troilus thinks of threesomes and smiles.)

Inside the Horse of Destruction (which is a fabulous name for an episode and I support it fully), the Doctor is starting to realise just how much of a tit Odysseus actually is.

ODYSSEUS: I was thinking, Doctor, that with any luck, either Agamemnon or Achilles will not come through.
DOCTOR: You mean they'll desert us, hmm?
ODYSSEUS: No, die. Just a hope. One less finger in the pie, a greater share of the booty for me.
DOCTOR: Are you... you cannot be serious. You actually cannot be that much of a douchecanoe. It is not possible.

The two of them have a pretty heated argument, wherein the Doctor demands to be let out of the horse, and Odysseus puts a sword to his throat. The Doctor backs down.

Over in Priam Palace, Vicki (and Katarina) have found Troilus, and ask if he would be a dear and leave the city. Troilus, puzzled, asks why, and Vicki tells him that Diomede (Steven) is DEFINITELY out on the plain and Troilus DEFINITELY needs to go out and recapture him so he can have, like, honour and that.

TROILUS: Dude you seem way too concerned about this Diomede guy. What's with that.
VICKI: He's just a friend! I'm single! Single and available!
TROILUS: If he's your friend why do you want him captured by Trojans?
VICKI: Ummm.
VICKI: Did I mention that I'm single and I really don't want you to get hurt and I think you have a cute smile?

So Troilus heads out onto the plains and who should he stumble upon but ACHILLES, the dorky guy who thought the Doctor was Zeus incarnate. Only, Achilles killed Troilus's brother, so it's kind of expected that the two of them need to, like, fight to the death. So that happens. And Troilus wins. But before he dies, Achilles lets slip that Diomede is the name of a dude who died WEEKS ago, and Troilus is all confused because why would his darling Cressida LIE to him?

Troilus's troubles of the heart are soon dwarfed by Troy's troubles of the being set on fire by the Greeks, who have left the horse and let a couple hundred more soldiers in through the city gates. Shit is definitely being fucked up and Cassandra is as smug as hell.

All is not terrible, though! Vicki (and Karatina) and the Doctor are REUNITED! Vicki does not mess around, and immediately sends Katarina to where Steven is hiding with instructions to bring him to her temple (the TARDIS), and drags the Doctor right in there herself, despite his protestations. As Steven is dressed as a Greek soldier and does not fight like one, he has been pretty badly hurt by a bunch of Trojans, so Katarina, like, hauls him over her shoulder and leads him over to the TARDIS. The female characters are so damn badass in Classic Who, I will give them that.

Oh man, okay. So during the episodes with no footage (all of season 3, so far), often there'll be these title cards just telling you the information that can't be shown with just pictures and the audio file. This is the one that just showed up on screen and I am NOT OKAY WITH THIS.


Not okay. So very not okay.

Moving reluctantly on with the action, Vicki slips out of the TARDIS just before Katarina arrives with Steven, and inside the palace, Odysseus is being a dick (duh) to Cassandra, who is not holding back with her insults. Odysseus has her sent off to Agamemnon's crib and heavily implies that untoward things are going to be done to her. I hope she escapes.

Odysseus THEN makes his way to the TARDIS to try and claim it as the spoils of war. The Doctor argues with him for a while, then laughs, shuts the doors, and dematerialises. Odysseus wonders if maybe the Doctor was actually Zeus the whole time. I wonder what the Doctor is playing at as Vicki is not inside the TARDIS and the Doctor can't steer the TARDIS and if I lose both Vicki and Paris in one episode I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.

My darling Vicki finds Troilus lying wounded on the plains and they have a conversation in which Vicki tells him that it's 'just the two of them now'. C'mon, Vicki, baby, don't do this to me.

Inside the TADRIS, which is god-knows-where in time and space (I haven't given up hope that it's just a second out of sync or something), Steven is all delirious. Also, Katarina is there, which is something I had overlooked. Steven is panicking pretty hard about Vicki not being in the console room with them, and I realise just how much I loved their friendship. Come ON, Vicki, your stupid Trojan boyfriend is not worth all this heartache!

Katarina, because she is in the TARDIS and she is from several hundred years before the birth of Christ, assumes that, whoops, she's dead now and this is a weird afterlife with a weird god who calls himself the Doctor. The Doctor... plays along?

DOCTOR: My dear child, you're not dead! That's nonsense, hmm?
KATARINA: This is not Troy. This is not even the world. This is the Journey through the Beyond.
DOCTOR: Well, as you wish...
KATARINA: Thank you.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, as you wish, my child. Now I want you to keep an eye on that young man, hmm?
KATARINA: Yes, great god.
DOCTOR: Could probs get used to this, not gonna lie.

The Doctor remembers that they kind of need to stop at a Boots or something, because Steven's in pretty bad shape and the TARDIS doesn't have a First Aid kit, and then the episode ENDS.





Wednesday, September 12

The Myth Makers Part 3/4: Death of a Spy

Part three of the Surprisingly Good Saga of Greeks Versus Trojans! I'm watching this episode on a train, so I hope the Doctor reigns in his obnoxiousness a little bit. Normally I yell in frustration when he does something stupid at least three times per episode.

Cassandra, daughter to King Priam and sister to Adorable Paris, has just set a bunch of Trojan guards on Vicki and Steven, because Steven was masquerading as a Greek soldier and Vicki greeted him like her long-lost homie when he was brought in. However! Adorable Paris steps in to save the day and gets all attractive and dominant.

PARIS: I am at present the officer commanding all Trojan forces and I will not tolerate interference from a fortune-teller of notorious unreliability!
CASSANDRA: How dare you?! I am High Priestess of Troy!
PARIS: All right then, get back to your temple before you give us all galloping religious mania! Oh really, Father, I can't tolerate another of her tedious tirades at the moment.
CASSANDRA: Father, do you hear him?!
PRIAM: Wow, suddenly I have a new favourite kid. I'm on Team Paris, soz, Cassie.

So Vicki and Steven are no longer in danger of imminent death, but that does still leave the problem of Vicki knowing the future and being familiar with the Greek prisoner. Priam decides to give her a chance; he'll give her one day to ensure the Trojan victory over the Greeks, which is the same deal that Odysseus gave the Doctor over at the Greek camp, so either way one of them is screwed. But as the Doctor is pitching the idea of a human catapult to the Greeks - seriously - well, I mean. I know which side I think is going to win. (Hint: it's not the Greeks.)

During Vicki's intense plotting for the salvation of Troy, Priam decides that Vicki would be most comfortable in the dungeons with a cell next to Steven's. The two of them fret over their situation for a while, and then, gosh! Cyclops appears at the window! I mean, immediately I wonder why Cyclops hasn't just sneaked in and opened the Trojan city gates to the Greek soldiers before now, but plot holes schmot holes. Steven begins to tell Cyclops what the deal is with the Trojan plan, but Troilus, Paris's little brother, appears to give Vicki some food and catches him. Steven plays it cool ("Just admiring the view!") but by the time Troilus has finished flirting with Vicki and left (which takes an awful long time, a fact that Steven does not hesitate to mock Vicki about, which endears him to me greatly), Cyclops has disappeared.

Meanwhile, the Doctor has realised that his human catapult idea isn't actually all that great. Odysseus gets annoyed and demands to hear something from him ASAP, otherwise there's going to be a very dead former-Zeus knocking around pretty soon. The Doctor is all, "Umm... a giant... wooden horse?" and Odysseus responds with, "Omg OKAY." So that's a plan they now have.

Oh, Cyclops is back! And the Trojans kill him. So. That little subplot didn't really amount to much.

In an astonishingly short amount of time, the giant horse has been built! The Doctor, who has been made to get inside it with the soldiers, keeps trying to stall the attack with concerns about the fetlocks and the left phalange, but Odysseus shuts him up by telling him he's making him "as nervous as a Bacchante at her first orgy". So. Can't argue with that.

The Trojans, as you might expect, totally fall for the Greeks' plan and wheel that bad boy right on in. Priam is terribly pleased about the Greeks' apparent disappearance and blames it all on Vicki bringing them good luck, a fact that Cassandra is pretty pissed about. Vicki, for her part, is torn between wanting to seem cool to the king, and also wanting to tell them that maybe they actually shouldn't be too happy about the giant horse they just stumbled upon.

Cassandra is flipping her shit at Vicki's troubled mutterings, and Paris is hilariously unsympathetic to his sister's distress.

CASSANDRA: Woe to the House of Priam! Woe to the Trojans!
PARIS: I'm afraid you're a bit late to say 'whoa' to the horse; I've just given instructions to have it brought into the city.
CASSANDRA: I hate everything.

End of part three! Only one more episode of good stuff before we hit a twelve-parter DALEK EPISODE. Looking forward to THAT. (Sigh.)


Saturday, September 8

The Myth Makers Part 2/4: Small Prophet, Quick Return

So in the last episode, the TARDIS landed just outside Troy in the year Something BC. The Doctor met some Greeks who thought the Doctor was the great god Zeus, and then met some more Greeks who thought he definitely was not. Cyclops is here, but he's a skinny dude with an eyepatch, Achilles is here, but he's another skinny dude that the other Greeks laugh at, and Vicki is here, but she is inside the TARDIS and the TARDIS has disappeared. Also everyone wants to kill Steven.

Soooo after the shocking report that Zeus's temple (the TARDIS) has vanished, Agamemnon (guy in charge), Odysseus (the local knob), the Doctor (incompetent Gallifreyan), Cyclops (aforementioned skinny dude), and Steven (loveable idiot) with his guards (assorted Greeks) go outside to see what the deal is.

I mean, as Cyclops explained pretty well, the deal is that the TARDIS isn't there any more.

GREEKS: Well 'Zeus', it looks like your 'temple' isn't here any more. How about that 'lightening bolt' to kill this Trojan spy that you have 'never met before' to prove that you are who you say you are?

So he admits that he is not Zeus! And then Agamemnon decrees that in that case he needs to be killed. So. Not a great plan, as plans go. Hashtag incompetent Gallifreyan.

The TARDIS, it turns out, has been kidnapped by the Trojans. Well, one Trojan in particular - Paris, son of another king (Priam) and brother to Hector, the guy Achilles killed at the start of the last episode. Paris went to the Grecian camp to avenge his brother, but Achilles fled, so Paris brought this shrine-type-thing back to impress his father, whose reaction upon seeing the TARDIS was something along the lines of "... well, what am I supposed to do with that?"

Oh, and there's some more good dialogue! This time between Paris and his sister, Cassandra.

PARIS: Can't we just leave it where it is for the moment?
PRIAM: In the middle of the square?
PARIS: Yes - I mean, it could be a sort of, er... a sort of... a monument.
CASSANDRA: A monument to what?
PARIS: Well, to my initiative, for instance. After all, it is the first sizeable trophy we've captured since the war started. Probably turn out to be very useful.
CASSANDRA: What sort of use would you suggest?
PARIS: Hah, what sort of use! Well... I mean. Don't quite know, actually.

I like Paris. Because the first ep of the serial was from the Greeks' point of view, I feel like I'm not supposed to side with the Trojans, but. I mean, I kind of am. Tentatively Team Trojan.

Cassandra seems to think that the TARDIS is a trap laid by the Greeks; it was on Grecian territory and unguarded so it's suspicious. Paris argues that his sister is a crazy person. Cassandra ain't taking none of his bullshit.

The Trojans conclude that they might as well burn the TARDIS anyway, as a sacrifice to THEIR gods, and if there happens to be a Greek soldier inside, well, all the better! Vicki, who has been listening to the conversation on the TARDIS scanners, panics a little, and rushes straight to the wardrobe so she can dress appropriately for her death by sacrificial flame.

Paris gets a little nervous about burning the TARDIS without consulting the gods first, so Cassandra calls out for a sign from the gods to make sure they're doing the right thing. And lo and behold, Vicki steps out of the TARDIS and is met with suspicion from everyone except Paris, because hello - Paris is adorable.

CASSANDRA: She's some drab of Agamemnon's, sent to spread dissension!
VICKI: I'm nothing of the sort!
PARIS: Of course you're not. I can tell.

King Priam takes over and starts interrogating Vicki. He thinks the name 'Vicki' is a bit silly, so he calls her Cressida, and invites her inside for tea and scones, before shooing Paris back outside the city gates so he can properly avenge his brother. Paris leaves reluctantly, but not before being adorable and stuttery at Vicki and a ship begins to grow in my heart. Though I just looked up Paris and Cressida on Wikipedia and spoiler warning - nope. :(

Odysseus, who actually believed Steven and the Doctor's story and has freed them on the condition that they help him lay a siege on Troy, is pressuring them to come up with a plan. Steven suggests maybe a giant wooden horse might do the trick, but the Doctor scoffs and tells him he's stupid. A bit miffed, Steven figures he might as well go try and rescue Vicki, seeing as nobody is listening to him. The Doctor and Odysseus agree that Steven is not much use, so they dress him up in a Greek soldier uniform and send him out to confront Paris so he can be taken captive and get inside the Trojan city.

So Steven meets up with Paris and the two of them awkwardly fight one another for a bit until Steven yields to Paris's masterful swordsmanship. He manages to convince Paris that taking him prisoner would bring great honour to Troy, so the two of them head off to the city. (Steven has to remind Paris to pick up his sword from where he'd dropped it. I discover that I can ship Paris with pretty much anyone.)

Paris takes Steven directly into the palace where Vicki is trying desperately not to tell Priam about any horse-related stories she may or may not have heard. Priam is once again unimpressed by Paris's excellent capturing abilities, but reluctantly agrees to question the prisoner. Steven is brought in, and Vicki totally gives the game away by being all, "Steven! What up, bro!"

Cassandra, who was lurking in the background, takes this as proof that both of them are GREEK SHITS and sets a bunch of guards on them. Steven and Vicki, who brought this on themselves by being uncool and the opposite of smooth, are suddenly surrounded by sexy Trojan men. Both of them are quite overcome. Cassandra is a little envious.

Aaaaand end music! Man, I gotta say, I'm really liking The Myth Makers. I'd recommend that if you were to watch any serial of One's, it'd be this one, but also it is made up of audio and still images rather than any actual footage, so. (If you do want to go watch some lesser-shit episodes with footage, my favourites so far are, I think, Planet of the Giants, where the TARDIS and its inhabitants are shrunk down to TINY SIZE, and The Rescue, where they first meet Vicki, both from season 2.)

See you soon with more Myth Makery goodness and hopefully lots more Paris. :D


Wednesday, September 5

The Myth Makers Part 1/4: Temple of Secrets

Straight into title music! Maybe THIS is an episode with footage! Are you excited because I'm excited. OoEEooooo!

The TARDIS materialises next to two dudes having a fight - Achilles and Hector! A Greek and a Trojan! I'm going to go right ahead and admit I Googled that; the only thing I know about Achilles is that heel thing wot he's got. I have friends with Classics degrees who will disown me for that, but yeah, I'm flying blind on this one.

... okay, yeah. There's no footage. Ah well. We'll soldier on. (Get it? Soldier. I'm really funny.)

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor, Vicki and Steven are watching the fight play out on the scanners.

STEVEN: Why do you suppose they fight?
DOCTOR: I haven't the remotest idea, my boy. No doubt their reasons will be entirely adequate. Yes, I think I...perhaps I'd better go and ask them where we are.


While the Doctor is being obnoxious to the companions, outside the TARDIS Achilles and Hector are still fighting. Hector (the Trojan) starts insulting Achilles' gods (you know, Zeus and his posse) and pretty much shouts out, "COME ON THEN, ZEUS, IF YOU THINK YOU'RE HARD ENOUGH." Cue clap of thunder and the Doctor. Hector shits himself a little bit. Achilles takes advantage of this and stabs him in the chest.

And then follows some of the funniest dialogue I've seen on Old!Who. Achilles obviously assumes that the Doctor is Zeus, and the Doctor, comfortingly true to the character I'm familiar with from the series reboot, plays along.

DOCTOR: And who might you be, may I ask?
ACHILLES: Achilles. Mightiest of warriors, greatest in battle, humblest of your servants.
DOCTOR: Well, if I may say so, you're not very humble, are you?

Fantastic. The Doctor then asks about Hector, and Achilles assures him that he deserved to die for blaspheming against the gods of Greece. (The Doctor's response: "Blasphemy? I'm sure he didn't mean it.") Achilles then acknowledges the elephant in the room - the Doctor definitely does not look like Zeus, king of gods; he looks like a crazy old man with a walking stick.

ACHILLES: If you had appeared to me in your true form, I would have been blinded by your radiance. It is well known that when you come amongst us you adopt many different forms. To Europa, you appeared as a bull. To Leda, as a swan. To me... in the guise of an old beggar.
DOCTOR: I beg your pardon?! I do nothing of the kind!
ACHILLES: Oh, but still your glory shines through!
THE DOCTOR: Yeah, damn right. You best watch your mouth, boy, or I'll pop a lightening bolt in yo' ass.

The Doctor tries to go back into the TARDIS, but Achilles stops him. They need help with laying a siege on Troy, or something. The Doctor doesn't reeeeally want to walk away from his spaceship because, like, he ain't actually a Greek god, but Achilles is pretty insistent. Vicki and Steven watch them walk away on the TARDIS scanners; Steven goes to change into a Greek costume. I am not even kidding.

The Doctor and Achilles run into some guys on their way to the city. One of them is Odysseus (King of Ithaca, Google tells me - I don't know what an Ithaca is but it sounds important) and Odysseus has a pretty fantastic time mocking both Achilles and the Doctor, whom he doesn't believe for a second is the almighty Zeus. Which is understandable. As he is not.

He also finds the idea of the TARDIS being Zeus's temple pretty laughable.

ODYSSEUS: The temple of Zeus, you say? A trifle modest, is it not, for so powerful a god?
DOCTOR: ... This is my travelling temple.

That was the actual dialogue. I am LOVING this episode, goddamn.

The Doctor, suspecting his flawless cover story isn't as infallible as he'd hoped, makes another attempt to go back to the TARDIS. Odysseus laughs at him and says that if he really is Zeus, they need him for the Troy problem they've got, and if he isn't, then he's been skulking around on their territory and they're gonna want to know why, so he doesn't really have a choice but to go with them. And by that I mean the Greeks literally carried him off on their shoulders. Steven sees this on the scanners and sneakily follows them. Vicki stays in the TARDIS (because apparently she has a sprained ankle? I don't remember that happening but okay).

CUT TO two new characters, Agamemnon (king of Mycenae) and Menelaus (king of Sparta. Idk why there are so many kings all hanging out together, but that's cool. It's a gather(k)ing. A king-regation. A king-ference. They're... having a meet(k)ing?). And, seriously, I'm going to have to stop just quoting all the dialogue but this shit is so good.

AGAMEMNON: Now, you drink too much, Menelaus. I've told you about it before. Try to remember that you're my brother, can't you?
MENELAUS: One of the reasons I drink, Agamemnon, is to forget that I am your brother.
AGAMEMNON: What's the matter with you, man? Don't you want to get Helen back? Don't you want to see your wife again?
MENELAUS: Quite frankly, no. If you must know, I was heartily glad to see the back of her.

Okay that was my last indiscriminate copying of dialogue, I promise. I just don't want anyone to miss out on the unexpected quality of this episode's writing because it is pretty damn great.

Back to the action, though: Achilles had run ahead to Agamemnon (who I figure is in charge) and told him that Odysseus has kidnapped Little Old Man Zeus. Agamemnon isn't really prepared to take the risk that the Doctor actually is Zeus, so he goes to find Odysseus to sort this mess out. The Doctor tries to convince everyone of his godliness by showing off his 'supernatural knowledge'; he tells Agamemnon that his wife is cheating on him. (Which, iturns out, everyone but Agamemnon knew that already.)

Even despite the Doctor's very convincing arguments, the Greeks are still a mite suspicious, so they strike a compromise of keeping the Doctor under friendly arrest, just in case he's actually not the god of sky, thunder, and beards. The Doctor can't figure out a way to make them change their minds, so he sits down and has some lunch.

Meanwhile, Odysseus is having a chat with Cyclops who, distressingly, isn't an actual giant, merely a dude with an eyepatch. Turns out, Cyclops saw Steven emerging from Zeus's Phone Box Travel Temple© and figured that maybe the little blue box actually isn't a holy place of worship. Steven, adorable as he is, isn't blessed with the wisest of heads on his shoulders, and he stumbles right into Odysseus as soon as Cyclops leaves.

Odysseus hauls Steven straight over to Agamemnon and the Doctor. Both Steven and the Doctor pretend like they don't know each other, but that leaves Steven sneaking around the Greeks' camp without the excuse of being an all-powerful deity.

ODYSSEUS: All-seeing Zeus, you see into our very hearts and know their secrets?
DOCTOR: Quite so.
ODYSSEUS: Then is this man a spy?
DOCTOR: I do not know, and I do not care.
ODYSSEUS: Shall he then be put to death?
DOCTOR: I think it would be much safer on the whole.
STEVEN: See, I'm completely innoce-- wait, what?

But of course, the Doctor has a plan - he'll kill the Trojan spy himself, tomorrow at his Travel Temple, with a bolt from heaven! Then the spy dies and he proves that he's actually Zeus and everyone wins.

Oh, but, hang on a sec, Cyclops is back. Turns out, Zeus's Travel Temple? It has disappeared! CUE END MUSIC.

That was not the end screen, but it was close enough to the end that I feel justified putting here. Is that not the face of the vengeful king of Mount Olympus, I ask you? Does that widdle bottom lip not strike fear into the hearts of mortals?

No. Of course it doesn't.


Sunday, September 2

Mission to the Unknown, Part 1/1

Okay so this is a single-part episode! Cool. Downside: it starts off with a guy sitting in what looks to be his own front room, telling the camera things directly. I think that means this is another episode with little to no footage. Because these things aren't difficult enough to get through as it is.

This episode, he says, is unique for several reasons. Number one: there is no Doctor! Oh, okay. That's fine, I can deal with that. Nor, he continues, are there any of his companions. Right... so. I mean. Can I skip this one? If it's just a happy standalone with random characters? Alas, no. For it's a DALEK EPISODE. Sigh.

Here we go.

Okay, so, we're in a rainforest and there's a dude lying unconscious on the floor. Suddenly, he wakes up and pulls out a gun. "I remember now," he says in quite a calm and pleasant voice. "I must kill. I must kill!" Not what I was expecting, but who can predict anything in this crazy old Doctorless world.

In some other part of the forest, two guys are trying to fix their broken spaceship because they crashed it into the planet. Can nobody fly straight any more? Jeez. One of the guys is the captain, his name is Gordon Lowery. The other's name is Marc Cory, and I don't know why he's there, but apparently the captain had orders to give him 'full reign'. What do we reckon, the boss's son? Foreign aristocrat? Place your bets now.

The two of them wonder briefly where 'Garvey' has got to, so the unconscious dude from earlier probably has a name and it is probably Garvey. And here he is! Hiding behind a bush and muttering, "Kill, kill!" Awesome. Ooh, and he's sneaking up behind Captain Gordon, while Marc is inside the ship looking for a spanner or something. He draws a gun... and then gets shot in the face by Marc. I think I LIKE this guy.

Captain Gordon is angered by the fact that Garvey is now dead, and he goes to attack Marc, but Marc just casually backhands him across the face. Brilliant. Badass Marc goes to check on the dead dude and finds a thorn sticking out of his neck. It's a... Varga thorn? They take a few of Garvey's things for his family back home, and then some weird shit starts happening to his hand. What could this mean?

Badass Marc takes Captain Gordon inside the ship and sits him down.

BADASS MARC: I didn't intend to tell you anything, but since we're stuck on this planet and Garvey is dead, there are some facts that you're entitled to know.
CAPTAIN GORDON: Yeah - Jeff Garvey's dead. I mean, we flew together for the last ten years, and now he's dead, and you killed him. You'd better explain that fact and make it good.
BADASS MARC: Bitch do not sass me.

Turns out, Badass Marc is from the Space Security Service and he is licensed to kill. Aaaand he tells us some Dalek backstory. They invaded Earth about 1000 years ago (which puts present day at at least the year 3100, 'cus Susan's last episode was 2167 during the Dalek Invasion of Earth) and they've been gaining power in some far-off galaxy. Then, a week ago, a space freighter captain reported a sighting of a Dalek ship. The music legitimately goes DUN DUN DUNNN at this point.

Oh, so Badass Marc has dropped a few rungs down the ladder of coolness. He deliberately crashed the ship here - the "most hostile planet in the universe" - because he had a "hunch" that the Daleks might use it for "secret preparations". And he didn't tell anyone else about this plan that he had. That's - well, that's really dumb, that is, Marc.

Also, the Varga plant (yeah it does sound a bit like 'the Viagra plant' and yeah I do snicker a little bit every time) only grows on planet Skaro, where the Daleks are from. It attacks the brain, gives you an overwhelming desire to kill and then... also turns you into a Varga plant. This show, I swear. Here we have the unconscious dude from the beginning of the episode demonstrating what a human Varga plant looks like.


Heyyy then we cut to some Daleks! They don't really say much of value, only that they've located an alien spacecraft and it needs to be destroyed. But it's nice to know that they're there.

Turns out that Not-So-Badass Marc and Captain Gordon can't fix their ship after all, so they plan to send up a distress beacon and shoot it up into orbit so someone will come rescue them. While they're talking this over, a massive intergalactic spaceship pulls up into a nearby parking spot. Not-So-Badass Marc and Captain Gordon aren't best pleased about this.

To make things worse, they hear weird noises outside, so they grab their distress signal launching pad and sneak out the back door. And wouldn't you know it, Daleks! They completely disintegrate the broken spaceship. Man, they're not too nice, them Daleks, are they?

Not-So-Badass Marc and Captain Gordon make a break for it into the jungle, with Not-So-Badass Marc striding confidently away in the distance. In his hurry to catch up, Captain Gordon gets pricked with a Varga thorn! Shit! He yanks it out and sucks out the poison. I dunno about you but I think that's definitely going to work and he's going to live a long and happy life. Guaranteed.

Okay, so this is kind of cool: the Dalek Supreme is in a conference room with representatives from the Seven Galaxies, one of whom is known as Malpha. They're all gathered around a circular table, and I'm gonna copy you the description of the table as taken from the script.
"The representatives are grouped in the centre of the room around a large circular table, on top of which is a representation of the solar system. The centre of this is a large, bright light representing the Sun. Around it, on the surface of the table, are concentric rings representing the orbits of the planets - the planets themselves each being represented by a light."
How cool does that sound? I'd like you to, for a moment, imagine how amazing that would look if it was filmed today, the table surrounded by seven different types of alien in a massive room.

Now I'm going to show you what it looked like in 1965.

Okay so basically they've all formed this union to go conquer some planets. Malpha is pretty enthusiastic about this.

MALPHA: The seven of us represent the greatest war force ever assembled! Conquest is assured! Mars! Venus! Jupiter! The moon colonies!

Meanwhile, Captain Gordon is not having a great time of it. Like, he starts legitimately sobbing because his hands are turning into cactus plants and Not-Badass-At-All Marc does not even notice. And then in a moment that breaks my heart a little, the formerly-sobbing Captain Gordon gives up the game by assuring Not-Badass Marc that they must kill. Marc, of course, shoots him in the face.

Striving-For-Badassery Marc hurriedly records quite an intense distress message and loads it up to be fired into orbit. Suddenly, Daleks! And - shit! - they shoot Will-Never-Be-Badass-Again Marc before he can fire off the message containing information of the Daleks' plan!

And then that's the END OF THE EPISODE?! Not cool!

Where's my RESOLUTION? This was sold to me as a SINGLE-PART episode and I am outraged. OUTRAGED.

Oh wait, there's another talky part by the dude from the very beginning. This ep was a prequel to an upcoming serial which has twelve parts. TWELVE PARTS. I'll take unfulfilment any day. Jeeeez.