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.


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