Fri, 25 April 2008
ive had a few emails from people who dont know much about the returning villain for this weeks show so heres some information ive gathered together to help.
(This is only text - no audio version as Ill be covering a lot of this in the podcast review of Time Warrior DVD)
The Sontarans made their first appearance in 1973 in the serial The Time Warrior by Robert Holmes. There, it was explained that they are a race that reproduces by means of cloning rather than by means of sexual reproduction. They live in a militaristic society obsessed by war. Sontarans are humanoid, with a squat build and distinctive dome-shaped head. They come from a high-gravity world named Sontar in the "southern spiral arm of the galaxy", and are far stronger than humans. They recharge their energy through a "probic vent" at the back of the neck rather than by eating food; they also use this vent in their reproduction process. The Sontarans have been at war with the Rutan Host for thousands of years. In the episode The Invasion of Time, the Sontarans successfully invaded Gallifrey, but were driven out again after less than a day.
Although physically formidable, the Sontarans' weak spot is the probic vent at the back of their neck; they have been killed by targeting that location with a knife (The Invasion of Time) and an arrow (The Time Warrior). They are also vulnerable to "coronic acid" (The Two Doctors).
At some point, the Sontarans encountered the equally expansionist Rutan Host. The war between the Sontarans and the Rutans continued for several millennia, with both sides remaining fairly evenly matched and neither side interested in negotiating for peace. It was still ongoing at the time of The Sontaran Experiment, which takes place at least 10,000 years beyond the 30th century. The episode Horror of Fang Rock, set during the early 20th century, hinted the Sontarans had gained the upper hand, but this proved merely a temporary setback for the Rutans. Thus far in the program's history although both the Sontarans and the Rutans have been seen, they have never been seen together in the same story.
All the Sontarans depicted in the original television series have monosyllabic names, many beginning with an initial 'st' sound (e.g., Styre in The Sontaran Experiment, Stor in The Invasion of Time, Stike in The Two Doctors and Staal in The Sontaran Stratagem). Subdivisions of the Sontaran military structure mentioned in the series include the Sontaran G3 Military Assessment Survey , the Ninth Sontaran Battle Group , and the Fifth Army Space Fleet of the Sontaran Army Space Corps . In a televised trailer for the 2008 episode The Sontaran Stratagem, a Sontaran character is heard to identify himself as "General Staal of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet" .
On October 2, 2007 the BBC's official Doctor Who site revealed that the Sontarans will return in series 4, with Christopher Ryan playing the Sontaran leader, General Staal. This will be in a two-part story, entitled "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky". The BBC later revealed promotional images which featured the new Sontaran design.
They are mentioned in Eye of the Gorgon, an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Sarah Jane Smith meets Bea Nelson-Stanley, an elderly lady suffering from Alzheimer's disease who recalls her husband describing the Sontarans as looking like potatoes and that they were "quite the silliest creatures in the galaxy".
The origins of the Sontarans have not been revealed in the television series. The Doctor Who role-playing game published by FASA claimed that they were all descended from the genetic stock of General Sontar (or Sontaris), who used newly developed bioengineering techniques to clone millions of duplicates of himself and annihilated the non-clone population. He renamed the race after himself and turned the Sontarans into an expansionist and warlike society set on universal conquest. However, this origin has no basis in anything seen in the television series. The Sontarans have also appeared as a character in the PC game Destiny of the Doctors released on 5 December 1997 by BBC Multimedia. They can be defeated by firing the occupants of an angry beehive at them.
Other appearances by the Sontarans include the spin-off videos Mindgame, Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans and Do You Have A License To Save This Planet?; three audio plays by BBV: Silent Warrior, Old Soldiers and Conduct Unbecoming; the Faction Paradox audio The Shadow Play; and a cameo appearance in Infidel's Comet. Shakedown marks the only occasion in which the Sontarans and their Rutan foes appear on screen together, and was adapted into a Virgin New Adventures novel.
They have also appeared in several spin-off novels, including Lords of the Storm by David A. McIntee and The Infinity Doctors by Lance Parkin. In The Infinity Doctors, the Doctor negotiated a peace between the Sontarans and the Rutan Host when two of them were left trapped in a TARDIS for several hours and got to talking due to their inability to kill each other. General Sontar also made an appearance in that novel. In The Crystal Bucephalus by Craig Hinton, the name of their planet was given as Sontara.
The Sontarans have also appeared several times in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, both as adversaries of the Doctor and in strips not involving the Doctor. In The Outsider (DWM #25-26), by Steve Moore and David Lloyd, a Sontaran named Skrant invaded the world of Brahtilis with the unwitting help of Demimon, a local astrologer. The Fourth Doctor faced the Sontarans in Dragon's Claw (DWM #39-#45), by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons, where a crew of Sontarans menaced China in 1522 AD. In Steven Moffat's short story "What I Did on My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow" (the basis for the Tenth Doctor episode "Blink") the Ninth Doctor has a rooftop sword fight with two Sontarans in 21st century Istanbul, defeating them with the help of spy Sally Sparrow, apparently before the events of "Rose" in his personal timeline.
The Sontaran homeworld was destroyed in Seventh Doctor strip Pureblood (DWM #193-196) but the Sontaran race pool survived, allowing for further cloning; the strip introduced the concept of "pureblood" Sontarans not born of cloning. The Sontarans also feature in the Kroton solo strip Unnatural Born Killers (DWM #277) and the Tenth Doctor's comic strip debut The Betrothal of Sontar (DWM #365-#368), by John Tomlinson and Nick Abadzis, where a Sontaran mining rig on the ice planet Serac comes under attack by a mysterious force.TIME WARRIOR
A Sontaran named Linx, trapped in the Middle Ages, uses crude time travel technology to kidnap scientists from the 20th Century to help repair his spacecraft.
In the Middle Ages, the bandit Irongron and his aide Bloodaxe together with their rabble of criminals find the crashed spaceship of a Sontaran warrior named Linx. The alien claims Earth for his Empire then sets about repairing his ship, offering Irongron “magic weapons? that will make him a king in return for shelter. They strike a bargain, though Irongron remains suspicious.
The Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart are investigating the disappearance of several scientists from a top secret scientific research complex. They do not know Linx has used an Osmic Projector to send himself forward eight hundred years and has kidnapped the scientists then hypnotized them into making repairs on his ship. The Projector only lets him appear in another time for a brief period. While the Doctor investigates he meets an eccentric scientist called Rubeish and a young journalist called Sarah Jane Smith, who has infiltrated the complex by masquerading as her aunt. Later that evening Rubeish disappears and the Doctor uses the data he has gathered to pilot the TARDIS back to the Middle Ages.- not realising new companion Sarah has stowed away on board.
Irongron is a robber baron who has stolen his castle from an absent nobleman, and relations with his neighbours are appalling. Indeed, the mild Lord Edward of Wessex has been provoked into building an alliance against him and, when this is slow in developing, sends his archer Hal on an unsuccessful mission to kill Irongron. The robber baron is in a foul mood when a captured Sarah is brought before him. His mood improves when Linx presents him with a robot knight which is then put to the test on a captured Hal. The archer is only saved when the Doctor intervenes from afar, shooting the robot control box from Irongron’s hands. The ensuing confusion lets both Hal and Sarah flee, and they head for Wessex Castle.
Meanwhile the Doctor has realised both that Sarah is in the time period and has been captured, and also that she previously supposed him to be in league with Irongron. The next morning the robber baron and his troops assault the castle using rifles supplied by Linx but the attack is repelled by the Doctor’s cunning. The failure further sours the relationship between Linx and Irongron, which has deteriorated since the robot knight fiasco and the point at which the robber saw the Sontaran’s true visage beneath his helmet.
The Doctor now decides to lead an attack on Irongron’s castle, and he and Sarah enter dressed as friars. He makes contact with Rubeish and finds the human scientists in a state of extreme exhaustion. Linx catches the Doctor in the laboratory once more, but this time is rendered immobile when a lucky strike from Rubeish hits his probic vent – a Sontaran refuelling point on the back of their necks which is also their main weakness. Rubeish and the Doctor use the Osmic Projector to send the scientists back to the twentieth century. Sarah now invites herself into Irongron’s kitchen, using the opportunity to drug the food, thereby knocking out Irongron’s men.
A recovered Linx now determines his ship is repaired enough to effect a departure. Once more he encounters the Doctor, and they wrestle in combat. A crazed and half drugged Irongron arrives and accuses Linx of betraying him: the Sontaran responds by killing him. As Linx enters his spherical vessel Hal arrives and shoots him in the probic vent, and the Sontaran warrior falls dead over his controls, triggering the launch mechanism. Knowing the place is about to explode when the shuttle takes off, Bloodaxe awakes and rises the remaining men and tells them to flee, while the Doctor hurries the last of his allies out of the castle. It explodes moments before the Doctor and Sarah depart in the TARDIS.
The Sontaran Experiment
On a future Earth recovering from devastating solar flares, the Fourth Doctor, Harry Sullivan, and Sarah Jane Smith discover Styre, a Sontaran warrior, conducting experiments on astronauts he has captured during their investigation of the rejuvenated Earth.
Following on from The Ark in Space, the time travellers teleport down from the Nerva Space Station to Earth, ostensibly uninhabited. However, the system is not functioning well, and the Doctor begins repairing it. The other two explore the surrounding area, but Harry falls down a crevasse and Sarah goes to seek the Doctor's help. He is nowhere in sight.
Roth, an astronaut, finds Sarah. He is obviously distressed, and explains that he has been tortured by an alien that lives in the rocks, together with its patrolling robot. He takes Sarah towards the astronauts' campsite, but refuses to approach the campsite, suspecting the astronaut Vural of collusion with the alien.
Three of the astronauts have captured the Doctor. They believe Nerva to be a legend, and tell him in turn that they had picked up a distress signal from Earth. They came to investigate, but their ship was vaporised when they emerged, leaving nine of them stranded. Then they began to vanish one by one. They blame the Doctor for this. Roth appears and the astronauts chase him, while Sarah frees the Doctor. Roth loses the others and meets up with Sarah and the Doctor. The Doctor also falls down a crevasse, and the robot returns, capturing Roth and Sarah and bringing them to the alien's spacecraft. The alien is Field Major Styre of the Sontaran G3 Military Assessment Survey, who has been experimenting on, and killing, the astronauts. Roth tries to escape but is shot dead by Styre.
Styre reports back to his Marshal via a video link. The Marshal is impatient for the intelligence report (without which an invasion of Earth cannot take place), but Styre admits that he has been delayed in his experiments.
Styre subjects Sarah to a series of terrifying hallucinations. The Doctor, free from the hole, has reached her and rips off a hallucinogenic device from her forehead, but she falls unconscious. The Doctor, enraged, attacks Styre, but the Sontaran easily fends him off. Styre shoots him unconscious (believing it to be fatal) when he runs away.
The robot, having captured the three remaining spacemen, brings them to Styre's ship, where it is revealed that Vural had tried to make a deal with Styre in exchange for his own life. However, Styre intends to experiment on Vural anyway. The Doctor recovers, disables the robot, and meets Sarah and Harry. He confronts Styre, goading him into accepting hand-to-hand combat. While the two fight, Sarah and Harry free the three astronauts, and then Harry climbs towards Styre's ship to sabotage it. Styre almost wins the fight, but Vural attacks him, saving the Doctor at the cost of his own life. Styre, now low on energy, heads back towards his ship to recharge, but the sabotage causes it to kill him.
The Doctor informs the Marshal that not only has Styre's mission failed, but that the invasion plans are in human hands. This is enough to ward off the invasion, and the three can return to Nerva.The Invasion of Time
The Doctor returns to Gallifrey, having claimed the Presidency. His behaviour is unusual and has Leela thrown in jail. However, the Doctor is doing this to prevent a Sontaran instigated disaster.
More when I review the DVD.The Two DoctorsSynopsis
The Second Doctor and Jamie are on a mission for the Time Lords that goes horribly wrong, and Jamie sees the Doctor being tortured to death. However, if the Doctor died in his second incarnation, what does that mean for the Sixth Doctor and Peri?
The Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon land the TARDIS on board Space Station Camera in the Third Zone, on a mission for the Time Lords, who have also installed a teleport control on the TARDIS that grants them dual control for the occasion. The Doctor explains to Jamie that the station is a research facility and they are here to have a discreet word with Dastari, the Head of Projects. The TARDIS materialises in the station kitchen, where they meet Shockeye, the station cook. Shockeye is an Androgum, a member of a primitive, emotionally and ethically bestial humanoid race which acts as the station's workforce, and is confrontational until the Doctor reveals he is a Time Lord. Suddenly deferential, Shockeye eyes Jamie hungrily and offers to buy him from the Doctor as the main ingredient for a meal. The Doctor, shocked, refuses, and takes Jamie away to see Dastari. As they leave, however, they hear the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising. This is observed by Chessene, an Androgum technologically augmented to mega-genius levels. Chessene has plans of her own, involving someone named Stike who will be arriving in force soon, once Shockeye's poisoned meal to the scientists takes effect. She has also taken possession of the Kartz-Reimer module.
The Doctor speaks to Dastari in his office, telling him that the Time Lords want the time experiments of Kartz and Reimer stopped. The Time Lords have an official policy of neutrality, and so have sent the exiled Doctor to maintain deniability. Dastari introduces Chessene, but the Doctor is sceptical as to whether such augmentation can change Chessene's essential Androgum nature, and he considers such tampering dangerous. Meanwhile, three Sontaran battlecruisers appear near the station, on an intercept course. Before the station's defences can be activated, Chessene incapacitates the technician on post and opens the docking bays. Back in the office, the Doctor warns that the distortions from the Kartz-Reimer experiments are on the verge of threatening the fabric of time, but Dastari refuses to order them to cease, accusing the Time Lords of not wanting another race to discover the secrets of time travel. As the argument grows more heated, Dastari grows faint and falls into a drugged stupor. Energy weapons fire begins to sound in the corridors and the Doctor orders Jamie to run as a Sontaran levels a gun at the Doctor.
Somewhere else, the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown are on a peaceful fishing trip. When they return to the TARDIS, Peri is startled as the Sixth Doctor sways and collapses — just as, back on the station, Jamie spies the Second Doctor in a glass chamber, writhing in agony as a Sontaran manipulates controls. In his TARDIS, the Sixth Doctor awakens, somehow having had a vision of himself as his second incarnation being put to death. He realizes that this is impossible, since he is still alive, but he is also concerned that he may have died in the past and only exists now as a temporal anomaly. He decides to go and consult his old friend Dastari to see if he can enlist his help.
The TARDIS materializes on the station, but everything is dark, and the smell of decay and death is everywhere. The station computer demands the Doctor leave, and when he refuses, tries to kill him and Peri by depressurising the passageway. The Doctor, however, manages to open a hatch and drag his unconscious companion through to another section. In Dastari's office, the Doctor discovers the scientist's day journal and the Time Lords' objections to the Kartz-Reimer experiments, but refuses to believe his people are responsible for the massacre. Peri suggests someone is trying to frame the Time Lords and drive a wedge between them and the Third Zone governments. They leave the office to enter the service ducts, work their way to the control centre and attempt to deactivate the computer before it succeeds in killing them.
On Earth, Chessene, Shockeye and a Sontaran, Major Varl, take possession of a Spanish hacienda by killing its aged owner, Doña Arana. Varl sets up a homing beacon for the Sontaran ship, while Chessene absorbs the knowledge of the old woman's mind, discovering that they are in Andalucia, just outside the city of Seville. Varl announces that Group Marshal Stike of the Ninth Sontaran Battle Fleet is in descent orbit. Meanwhile, two people, Oscar Botcherby and Anita, are approaching the grounds. Oscar, an ex-English stage actor who is managing a restaurant in the city, is here to catch moths, armed with a net and a cyanide killing jar in his backpack. He and Anita see the Sontaran ship zoom overhead, and observe through binoculars Dastari and another Sontaran carrying an unconscious Second Doctor towards the hacienda. Anita pulls Oscar along, thinking that they are victims of an aeroplane crash and need help.
Down in the bowels of the station, the Sixth Doctor tries to disconnect the main circuit. Suddenly, Peri is attacked by a humanoid in rags, and when her cries distract the Doctor, he is hit by a gas trap and falls unconscious, becoming entangled in the wires.
Peri knocks out her attacker and frees the Sixth Doctor, who saved himself by shutting off his respiratory passages. He disconnects the computer's main circuit, and the two find that Peri's attacker was a half-delirious Jamie, who has been hiding all the while. Jamie moans that "they" killed the Doctor, and under hypnosis, tells the Sixth Doctor what has transpired, giving a description that the Doctor recognizes as the Sontarans. Returning to the office to examine the station records, the Doctor suddenly sees Peri in the glass tube, writhing in pain. As he frantically works the controls to free her, the person in the tube changes from Peri to Dastari to the Second Doctor and even to himself. When Jamie and Peri return to the office, the Sixth Doctor explains that what Jamie saw was an illusion designed to make people believe the Doctor was dead and not investigate further (the animator had been left on and captured Peri's image), which means the Second Doctor is being held captive somewhere. The Sixth Doctor theorises that the Sontarans kidnapped Dastari as well because Dastari is the only biogeneticist in the galaxy who could isolate the symbiotic nuclei of a Time Lord that gives them the molecular stability to travel through time. If given time travel, the Sontarans will be unstoppable. The Sixth Doctor decides to put himself into a telepathic trance to try and determine where his past incarnation is being held. He awakens having heard the sound of the Santa Maria, the largest of the 25 bells at the Great Cathedral of Seville.
In the cellar of the hacienda, Dastari and Chessene set up equipment, keeping the Second Doctor drugged and passive. Dastari questions why they have come to Earth, and Chessene explains that it is conveniently situated for an attack Stike wishes to make on the Madillon Cluster against the Rutan Host, and that Shockeye also wanted to taste the flesh of humans. Dastari heaps scorn on Shockeye's primitive urges, and urges Chessene to remember that she is beyond those, now. The TARDIS materialises on the grounds near the hacienda, and Oscar approaches it as the TARDIS crew emerge, thinking it is a real police box and that the Doctor and his companions are plain-clothes police officers. Taking advantage of the mistake, the Doctor asks that Oscar lead him to the hacienda.
Dastari reveals his plan to dissect the Second Doctor's cell structure to isolate his symbiotic nuclei and give them to Chessene. The Second Doctor calls him mad, and protests that her barbaric Androgum nature, coupled with the ability to time travel, will mean that there will be no limit to her evil. The Sixth Doctor asks Peri to create a distraction at the front door of the hacienda while he and Jamie make their way into the cellar via a passage in the nearby ice house. Peri calls out, interrupting Dastari's operation. She poses as a lost American student, but Chessene is suspicious, having read thoughts of the Doctor in her mind. Chessene gets Shockeye to bring the Second Doctor, strapped into a wheelchair, through the hall, to see if Peri reacts. She does not, as she has never seen the Second Doctor before. Peri makes her excuses and leaves, but Shockeye chases her anyway, eager for a meal.
Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor and Jamie are in the cellar, where the Doctor examines the Kartz-Reimer module, a prototype time machine modelled on Time Lord technology. He explains to Jamie that once the briode nebuliser of the module is primed with his symbiotic nuclei — the Rassilon Imprimatur — it will be safe for anyone to use. Unfortunately, the Sontarans have heard him. Outside, Shockeye also catches up to Peri.
Shockeye knocks Peri out and brings her back to the hacienda kitchen. In the cellar, Stike threatens to kill Jamie unless the Sixth Doctor gets into the module and primes it with his symbiotic print, and the Doctor does so. Stike is about to execute Jamie anyway, but Jamie stabs Stike's leg with a concealed knife, and the Doctor and he run off upstairs, where they find the Second Doctor. Before they can release the Second Doctor and escape the hacienda, however, Shockeye shows up with the unconscious Peri. The Second Doctor feigns unconsciousness while the others hide.
While the Sixth Doctor and Jamie watch from their hiding place, they hear Chessene voice her concern that now that a second Time Lord is involved, the other Time Lords will be arriving as well. However, she has a contingency plan. She asks Dastari to implant the Second Doctor with some of Shockeye's genetic material, turning the Doctor into an Androgum and under her thrall, following which they will eliminate the Sontarans. However, Dastari and Chessene are unaware that the module is now primed, and that, outside, Stike is preparing to leave in it once Sontaran High Command has been notified and leave no one alive when he does so. Stike orders Varl to set the Sontaran battlecraft's self-destruct mechanism.
Interrupting Shockeye as he is about to slaughter Peri, Chessene gets him to bring the Second Doctor to the cellar. Once there, she stuns Shockeye so that Dastari can remove his genetic material. The Sixth Doctor revives Peri in the kitchen and ushers her and Jamie away. The Sixth Doctor tells them that what he revealed about the Imprimatur in the cellar was not strictly true — he had heard Stike approaching and the speech was for the Sontaran's benefit. The machine worked for the Doctor, but will not for them because the Doctor has taken the briode nebuliser.
Dastari has implanted the Second Doctor with a 50 percent Androgum inheritance, and when Shockeye wakes in a rage, he finds a kindred spirit in the transformed Doctor. They decide to go into the town to sample the local cuisine. In the meantime, Dastari lures the Sontarans into the cellar, where Chessene attacks them with two canisters of coronic acid. Varl is killed, but Stike, though wounded, manages to escape. He tries to use the module, but without the nebuliser, it severely burns him instead. Stike staggers towards his battlecraft, forgetting about the self-destruct. The ship explodes, taking him with it.
The Sixth Doctor, Peri and Jamie follow the Second Doctor and Shockeye into Seville, hoping to cure him before the change becomes complete and affects the Sixth Doctor as well. Dastari and Chessene are also seeking the two of them, knowing that unless the Second Doctor undergoes a second, stabilizing operation, he will eventually reject the Androgum transfusion. The Second Doctor and Shockeye go to Oscar's restaurant, ordering gargantuan amounts of food. When Oscar demands that they pay, Shockeye fatally stabs Oscar, just as the Sixth Doctor and the others arrive. Shockeye leaves the Second Doctor behind, who slowly reverts back to normal. As all of them leave the restaurant and the distraught Anita, however, Chessene and Dastari appear, taking them back to the hacienda at gunpoint.
Chessene and Dastari find the nebuliser on the module missing, and the Sixth Doctor tells them how he primed the machine for Stike. To test the truth of the Doctor's claim, they replace the nebuliser and send Peri on a trip with the module, and she survives. Chessene gives permission for Shockeye to eat Jamie, and the Androgum takes him up to the kitchen. Left alone for the moment, the Sixth Doctor smugly confirms the Second's suspicions — the nebuliser is sabotaged, with a thin interface layer so it would only work once for Peri. Flipping the table over on which the key to their chains rests, the Doctors retrieve the key. The Sixth Doctor frees himself first, and runs up to save Jamie. He encounters Shockeye in the kitchen, and the Androgum wounds him with a knife. Shockeye pursues him through the grounds, but the Sixth Doctor finds Oscar's pack and his cyanide killing jar. The Doctor ambushes Shockeye, covering his head with Oscar's butterfly net and pressing the cyanide-soaked cotton wool to his face, killing him.
The sight of the Time Lord's blood on the ground is too much for Chessene, who falls to her knees and starts licking it, to Dastari's disgust. He realizes that no matter how augmented she may be, Chessene will always be an Androgum, and decides to free the Second Doctor and his companions. When Chessene sees this, she shoots and kills Dastari. She tries to shoot the Second Doctor and Peri as well, but Jamie throws a knife at her wrist, making her drop the gun. Chessene goes into the module, hoping to escape, but the module explodes, molecularly disintegrating her and turning her back into a common Androgum in death.
The Second Doctor uses a Stattenheim remote control — which the Sixth Doctor covets — to summon his TARDIS. He and Jamie say their goodbyes and leave. As the Sixth Doctor and Peri make their way back to their own TARDIS, the Doctor tells her that from now on, it will be a healthy vegetarian diet for both of them.
Category:Information -- posted at: 1:25 PM
Wed, 23 April 2008
Planet of the Ood" is the third episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 19 April 2008.
The episode features the return of the Ood, last seen in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit". In the narrative, the Doctor (David Tennant) and his companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) investigate why the Ood are happy to serve. They become horrified at the alterations humans perform on the Ood, and resolve to free them. The episode received several positive reviews for its central theme of slavery.
The Doctor uses the TARDIS to land at a random point in time and space. On leaving the TARDIS, he and Donna find a dying Ood, a species the Doctor previously encountered in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit".Before dying, the Ood's eyes turn red and it attacks the Doctor. The Doctor muses that the last time he met them, they were being influenced by the Devil, so their docility is being influenced by a different and closer being. The Doctor and Donna find an industrial complex controlled by Ood Operations, who are selling the Ood as a servant race. The Doctor locates their position: the Ood-Sphere in the 42nd century.
The "Red Eye" phenomenon is affecting other Ood on the planet: several people have been killed in the weeks prior to the narrative. During the outbreak, the Ood state that "the circle must be broken". Ood Operations noted an increase in the phenomenon, and considered it to be similar to foot-and-mouth disease; CEO Klineman Halpen (Tim McInnerny) tells the Doctor the method of killing is identical.
Throughout the episode, Donna becomes sympathetic to the Ood and is horrified by their status as slaves. The Doctor also takes an interest in the Ood noting that no species could naturally evolve to serve. He also feels he had overlooked them on their previous encounter. He and Donna travel through the complex and finds a batch of uncultivated Ood. Instead of a translation sphere, they hold a "hind brain" that gives them individuality; the Doctor derides Halpen for lobotomising them.
The Doctor and Donna are captured by Ood Operations' security force. Shortly after, the Ood begin a mass revolution, and the complex is evacuated. The Doctor follows Halpen to a locked warehouse. The warehouse contains a large brain, which completes the Ood's collective conciousness. The brain's control of the Ood is limited by a circle of pylons emitting a forcefield. Halpen plans to kill the brain, and by extension, all of the Ood, but is stopped by a joint effort between the Doctor, Donna, Dr Ryder (Adrian Rawlins), and Halpen's personal Ood, Ood Sigma(Paul Kasey); Ryder lowered the telepathic field gradually over ten years, while Ood Sigma used Halpen's hair-loss medication to slowly convert Halpen into an Ood.
The Doctor shuts down the circle, freeing the Ood and allowing them to all rejoin in a telepathic collective. Before leaving, Ood Sigma promises to include the Doctor and Donna in the Ood's song and honour their names forever, but comments that the Doctor's song may soon end.
The "red eye" phenomenon is present in all three "Ood" episodes, as an effect of being possessed; in the former, they were under the Beast's control. In "Planet of the Ood", the Doctor gives a time frame for all three episodes: the 42nd century, during the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire; the fourth incarnation was mentioned in "The Long Game" and "Bad Wolf". The Ood-Sphere is in the same solar system as the Sense-Sphere, the location for the 1964 serial The Sensorites;[ the Sensorites and Ood are visually similar.
The episode was written by Keith Temple and directed by Graeme Harper. Executive producer Russell T Davies had envisioned the Ood's return because their previous appearance, the 2006 two-part story "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit", had been overshadowed by the appearance of the Devil. Davies subsequently provided Temple with a brief for the episode which included the terms "ice planet" and the storyline of a business selling the Ood as a commodity] Temple's drafts of the episode were described as "too dark" and "too old Doctor Who"; Temple stated on the episode's commentary that he "wrote a six-part [serial] in 45 minutes".
Temple and Davies thought that the episode was not a "fun reappearance" of an old monster; instead, they felt that there was "an actual story to tell". Temple emphasised in his script that the Doctor overlooked the Ood in lieu of the Devil, and the character had to see his shortcomings. Temple's script also emphasised the Ood's slavery; both Temple and lead actor David Tennant commented that the existence of a species born to serve was complicated, the latter stating complications with Richard Dawkins' "selfish gene" theory. Donna's role in the episode was to further humanise the Doctor, and her opinion changing from visual disgust to empathy was deliberately important. Susie Liggat cited the writing as part of Doctor Who's importance—she thought the story about "liberating oppressed people" could be applied domestically or globally.
The episode's antagonist, Klineman Halpen, is portrayed by Tim McInnerny. Davies considered his character—"a middle manager who's out of his depth"—a perfect villain. Temple described him as "narcissistic", "preening" and "ruthless ... without sentiment". McInnerny said "It's always nice to play a bastard... I'm glad Halpen's a three-dimensional bastard! That makes him interesting!" Temple epitomised Halpen in a scene where he kills an operative for the activist group "Friends of the Ood"; Davies and Tennant felt that his "disgusting" and "gothic" Edgar Allen Poe-esque fate would not be deserved otherwise.
Filming for the episode took place in August 2007. The opening and closing outdoor scenes were filmed in Trefil Quarry in the Brecon Beacons, the external scenes of the complex in a caramel factory, and the scenes in the "battery farm" were filmed in a hangar at RAF Saint Athan. Very little CGI was used in the episode; the snow was paper snow adhered by water, and the Ood heads contained complex animatronics. McInnerny wore a prosthetic head with removable flaps for the shot where Halpen transforms into an Ood. Instead of McInnerny, the production team's best boy provided motion capture for the computer-generated profile of the appendages coming out of his mouth.
Overnight figures estimated Planet of the Ood was the most watched programme in its timeslot, with 6.9 million viewers (33.4% of the total audience). The episode was the second most-watched programme of the day, beaten by Britain's Got Talent, and was the fifteenth most watched programme of the week. The episode's Appreciation Index was 87 (considered Excellent).
Scott Matthewman, writing for The Stage, gaved a mixed review of the episode. He thought that "pretty much the only surprise in the way the humans who made up the Ood Corporation were presented came as PR girl Solana (Ayesha Dharker) escaped with the Doctor and Donna, only to betray their position by calling for the guards," and "the revelation that Ryder (Adrian Rawlins) has been working to infiltrate the Corporation is thrown away... as quickly as it is revealed." However, he thought Donna was becoming "fast ... one of the strongest and most well-rounded companions in the series’ history", and "there were some nice interpretations of the Ood’s natural development". Caitlin Moran of The Times thought the episode was "really really good ... – one that will have you staring at your screen and asking, once again, 'How can something so good be happening so early on a Saturday night, in my own front room?'". She enjoyed the scene where the Doctor and Donna talk about slaves in contemporary culture, saying that Tate "really, really isn’t that bad when she says ["We don't have slaves"]". Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy gave the episode five stars out of five. Rawson-Jones opened his review by saying "Doctor Who can occasionally transcend the properties of a mere family television show to reach out and give viewers a poignant, beautiful epiphany and greater sense of the world they inhabit.", citing Donna's reaction on seeing the uncultivated Ood as the moving part of the episode. He thought the episode as a whole "exemplifies just how powerful and emotive Doctor Who can be when writing, direction and performance are all harmonious and complete their own Ood-like circle", and was appreciative of the acting. The episode's only flaw was when Donna said "Why do you say 'Miss'? Do I look single?", but was otherwise "an extremely impressive, contemplative examination of the abhorrent nature of humanity".
Wed, 16 April 2008
The Fires of Pompeii" is the second episode of the fourth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 12 April 2008.
The episode takes place during the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In the episode, the Doctor is faced with a moral dilemma: whether to recuse from the situation or to save the population of Pompeii. The Doctor's activities in Pompeii are impeded by the rock-like Pyrovile, and their allies, the Sybilline Sisterhood, who are using the volcano to convert the humans to Pyroviles.
The episode was filmed in Rome's Cinecittà studios, and was the first time the Doctor Who production team took cast abroad for filming since its revival. The production of the episode was impeded by a fire near the sets several weeks before filming and problems crossing into Europe.
Critics' opinion regarding the episode were mixed. The premise of the episode—the moral dilemma the Doctor faces—and Donna's insistence that he save the population of Pompeii were universally praised. However, the episode's writing was criticised, in particular, the characterisation of the supporting cast: the dialogue was described as "one-dimensional" and Peter Capaldi's and Phil Davis's dialogue as "whimpering and scowling".
The Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) arrive in what the Doctor believes to be first century Rome. After an earthquake, he realises he has materialised in Pompeii on 23 August 79, one day before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. When he returns to the TARDIS' location, he is told it was sold to a Lucius Caecilius Iucundus (Peter Capaldi), a marble sculptor.
The episode's antagonists are the Pyrovile, giant rock-like creatures resembling golems whose home planet was destroyed. They operate secretly; the Sybilline Sisterhood act as their proxies. They use the Sisterhood, which is comprised of a high priestess (Victoria Wicks), Spurrina (Sasha Behar), and Thalina (Lorraine Burroughs) to make prophecies while converting them to stone. The Sisterhood is inducting Caecilius' daughter Evelina (Francesca Fowler) and is allied to the local augur Lucius (Phil Davis). The Doctor is disturbed by their knowledge of his and Donna's personal lives, and by Lucius' latest commission, a marble circuit board.
The Doctor breaks into Lucius' home and discovers that he is creating an energy converter. He is accosted by Lucius, who sends a Pyrovile to kill the Doctor. The confusion allows the Sisterhood to kidnap Donna briefly; the Doctor follows them and frees Donna. They escape into the Sisterhood's hypocaust system and travel into the centre of Mount Vesuvius.
Mount Vesuvius is being used by the Pyrovile to convert the human race to Pyroviles. The Doctor realises the volcano will not erupt if the energy converter is running, and subsequently switches it off, triggering the eruption of Vesuvius. Despite Donna's efforts, she and the Doctor are only able to save Caecilius' family, who watch Pompeii's destruction from a vantage point.
The last scene takes place six months later in Rome. Caecilius' family are shown to be successful: Caecilius is running a profiting business, Evelina has a social life in comparison to her seclusion in Pompeii, and his son Quintus (Francois Pandolfo) is training to become a doctor. Before Quintus leaves, he pays tribute to the family's household gods, the Doctor and Donna.
The Doctor refers to the eruption as "volcano day", a phrase used to refer to the eruption by Jack Harkness and the Ninth Doctor in "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances". The Shadow Proclamation, an intergalactic code invoked in "Rose", "The Christmas Invasion", and "Partners in Crime" is used by the Doctor when speaking to the Pyrovile. The Medusa Cascade, first mentioned by the Master in "Last of the Time Lords", is referenced; executive producer Russell T Davies stated that the Cascade would "come back to haunt us". The Doctor also alludes to the events of the 1965 serial The Romans, admitting "a little" responsibility for the Great Fire of Rome, which was depicted at the end of that story. Writer James Moran deliberately included the reference. The sale of the TARDIS as "modern art" was also included as a reference to Moran's favourite serial, City of Death. The location and historical significance are also shared by "The Fires of Vulcan", a Big Finish audio play from 2000 starring Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor.
Executive producer Russell T Davies originally planned to include a serial set in Pompeii in the first new series of Doctor Who, after seeing the documentary Pompeii: The Last Day. That episode's position was given to Boom Town and the idea was shelved for three years.
The episode was written by James Moran, who previously wrote the film Severance and the Torchwood episode "Sleeper". Moran had difficulty writing the episode, and had to rewrite the Doctor's opening line over twenty times. The Pyrovile were also edited during writing: they were previously called Pyrovillaxians and Pyrovellians.
Moran worked closely with Davies because of the constraints imposed by filming. Davies encouraged Moran to insert linguistic jokes similar to those in the comic book series Asterix, such as Lucius Petrus Dextrus ("Lucius Stone Right Arm"), TK Maxximus, and Spartacus; the use of the phrase "I'm Spartacus!" refers to the 1960 film. Moran based the ancillary characters of Metalla (Tracey Childs) and Quintus from Caecilius' family in the Cambridge Latin Course; the character of Evelina was the only member of the family created by Moran. The line "Don't worry, she's from Barcelona" was a reference to an apologetic catchphrase from Fawlty Towers, attributed by the production team to Sybil Fawlty.
The episode was heavily based on a moral question posed to the Doctor by Donna: whether to warn the population of Pompeii, or to recuse from the situation. Moran also had to deal with the intensity and sensitivity required when writing about the eruption. Davies and Moran both appreciated Catherine Tate's performance, and cited Donna's ability to humanise the Doctor and help him deal with "lose-lose situations" as the reason the Doctor travels with companions.
The episode was filmed at the Cinecittà studios in Rome in September 2007. Other locations suggested were in Malta and Wales, but the size of the project, the biggest since the show's revival, resulted in production taking place in Italy. This was the first time the majority of the episode was filmed abroad, and the first time the cast had filmed abroad; pick-up shots were made in New York City for "Daleks in Manhattan". Cinecittà had accepted the BBC's request despite the show's small budget to promote the studios.
Filming an episode abroad had been suggested in 2004, but the episode was the first such occasion. Planning began in April 2007, before Moran had written the script, and continued until the production team travelled to Italy. Several weeks before filming started, a fire disrupted the production team. Moving to Rome caused problems for the production team: the equipment truck was delayed for several hours at the Swiss border; the special effects team were delayed for twenty-four hours at Customs in Calais. The production team only had 48 hours to film on location. The aftermath of the eruption was filmed on the same night as the location shots. To create the falling ash, the special effects team used a large mass of cork, with a "constant supply of debris raining down".
Broadcast and reception
Overnight figures estimated the episode was watched by 8.1 million viewers, with a peak of 8.5 million viewers. The episode was the second most watched programme on 12 April; Britain's Got Talent was viewed by 8.8 million people. The episode was the eleventh most-watched programme of the week.
The episode received several mixed and positive reviews. Ian Hyland, writing for News of the World, said that Tate "was almost bearable this week". He also complimented the "TK Maxximus" joke. He was ambivalent to Donna's reaction to the Doctor leaving Caecilius' family to die: he criticised her acting, comparing her to The Catherine Tate Show character Joannie "Nan" Taylor, but said "top again if that was intentional". He closed saying "this week was a hundred times better than that lame opening episode. Scarier aliens, stronger guest stars and a proper adult-friendly storyline involving sisterhoods and soothsayers." Scott Matthewman of The Stage said that Donna's insistence to change the past "formed the emotional backbone of this episode, producing some truly heartbreaking performances". He liked the joke about the TARDIS' translating the Doctor's and Donna's Latin phrases to Celtic, saying it was "subtly played throughout the episode [...] in a way that builds the joke without trampling it into the ground". His favourite part was Donna's attempts to divert the population of Pompeii away from the beach; the scene was "the emotional highpoint of a series of heart rendering scenes". However, he criticised Moran's writing, specifically, Quintus' and Metalla's dialogue, saying the former "remained pretty much one-dimensional throughout". Alan Stanley Blair of SyFy Portal gave a positive review. He was highly appreciative of Tate, saying "[she] moved even further away from her "Runaway" character that initially joined the show." The phrase "TK Maxximus" and the Doctor's use of a water pistol to subdue the Pyrovile was complimented, as was the special effects used to animate the Pyrovile. However, he disapproved of the use of Cockney colloquialisms in the episode, most notably the Stallholder (Phil Cornwell) saying "lovely jubbly". Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy gave the episode three stars out of five. His opening said "Fantastic effects and a well developed moral dilemma bolster 'The Fires Of Pompeii', although the episode fails to erupt." Rawson-Jones felt that Moran's script took "too long to actively engage the viewer and tap into the compelling premise of the time travellers arriving in the doomed city shortly before 'volcano day'." and that "the subplots are unsatisfyingly muddled for the majority of the narrative." He also complained about the characterisation of the supporting cast, saying that "Peter Capaldi and Phil Davis [deserved] better". However, he said the moral dilemma the Doctor faced was "compelling" and the Doctor's use of the water pistol "adds a pleasing sense of fun to counterbalance the impending stench of death and harks nicely back to the Tom Baker era of the show." Overall, he appreciated the premise of the episode, but thought the episode "deserved better writing".
Tue, 8 April 2008
Partners in Crime 4.01 (30.1)
Donna Noble is determined to find the Doctor again – even if it means braving the villainous Miss Foster. But when the alien threat escalates out of control, can Donna find her Time Lord before the march of the Adipose begins at last?
Donna Noble is walking down a street on the way to Adipose Industries, as she is investigating them on their weight-loss drug. The Doctor is doing the same but they fail to see each other as they do different things at the same time. They are in an a conference room posing as Health and Safety when a reporter starts asking Miss Foster what this drug does she fails to tell her and the meeting ends. The Doctor and Donna ask different employees for customer addresses.
Donna goes to a woman named Stacey Campbell's house while the Doctor goes and interviews a man called Roger Davey about his use of the drug. Roger tells the Doctor that his burglar alarm keeps going of at 1:30 AM. While Donna is talking to Stacey, Stacey tells Donna that she has lost a lot of weight and can't wait to dump her boyfriend. So Stacey goes to the bathroom only to find that her stomach starts moving and a tubby piece of fat comes out her body. Donna while down stairs is fiddling with a capsule like necklace with the end shaped like a pill. As she turns it another fat thing comes out of Stacey's body. As Donna plays with the necklace more of Stacey's body explodes into more pieces of fat and dies. Donna breaks into her bathroom and as an Adipose waves to her it jumps out the window. Miss Foster senses it via her computer and she scans the CCTV with her henchmen only to find a reporter from earlier called Penny Carter. The Doctor senses what has happened to Stacey and runs up to her house only to find nothing there. He then runs off to the TARDIS. Donna cancels Stacey's cab and goes home only to find her mother nagging at her so she goes off to see her grandfather Wilfred Mott who is gazing at the stars at the allotments. He says to Donna to find the right man as she talks to him about missing the trip with the Doctor. The Doctor is in the TARDIS and talks to himself about the Adipose (He is thinking he has got Martha with him only he realises that he does not).
The next day Donna takes the car to Adipose industries only to be criticized by her mother because she needs the car for going out. Donna hides in the toilets and the Doctor hides to investigate. All day Miss Foster is looking for Penny Carter who is hiding in the same toilets too. Donna thinks that she has been caught but it turns out to be Penny, who is then tied up. Donna follows only to find that the Doctor is also watching Miss Foster. He Spots Donna watching through the door and mouths to her and she mouths back. They are both unaware that they are being watched by Miss Foster and everybody in her office. Miss Foster asks her two henchmen to get them and they chase after Donna. But she runs up to the roof. Handily for the Doctor he was on a pully for the window cleaner he pulls him self up to rescue Donna as they get in he locks the roping device with the sonic screwdriver so that he can get down. But to his surprise Miss Foster has a sonic pen which she sends them down flying as she cuts the rope with it Donna almost falls but the Doctor climbs up a rope and squeezes into a window. Goes down a floor to Miss Foster's office. Only to find that Penny is locked in there. He then opens her window with his screw driver and saves Donna.
Miss Foster then uses a device (possibly another sonic pen) which opens a sliding door to reveal an Inducer which along with her capsule helps her to begin the birthing process of one million Adipose from her customers bodies. Meanwhile the Doctor breaks into a secondary Inducer ,hidden inside a cupboard, with his Sonic screwdriver. There he manages to temporarily disable the process by unscrewing his capsule and attaching it to a wire connected to the Inducer. While he is doing this Donna asks the Doctor that he looks older. She also asks if he's still on his own; he replies that he had this friend called Martha but he ruined her life but she's fine, he also says that Rose is still missing. Miss Foster notices he has tried to hack into the system and increases the power to double strength on her Inducer. The Doctor realises he can't save them and is really upset, that is until Donna pulls out her capsule from her jacket pocket and the peoples lives are saved. Miss Foster plans have failed but she says that one million Adipose will have to do and calls upon the Nursery Ship to take them home. The Doctor listens to an incoming signal from the Adiposian family that identify Matron Cofelia as a criminal for breeding on a Level 5 planet. The Doctor runs onto the rooftop to try and save her and Donna suggests blowing them up though the Doctor replies that they're just children and can't help from where they came from. Donna says that Martha must have done him good and he's says, with arrogance that she fancied him. He offers Matron a hand but she refuses just as the tractor beam switches off and she falls to her death, the Adipose leave the planet and zoom off into space.
The Doctor bins the sonic pen and Donna drags him off to the TARDIS. Once there she unpacks her belongings from her car (which is just a few feet from the TARDIS) the Doctor warns that it is a hard life but accepts her saying that he just wants a mate, she takes this literally and says that he is just an alien streek of nothing. Donna then takes her car keys and puts them in a bin on Brook street, 30 yards from the corner. She then tells a strange girl with blonde hair to tell her mother: 'that bin there', it turns out the girl is Rose Tyler and she has just missed the Doctor hoping to catch him at the event. She walks off down the street and dissapears. Donna tells the Doctor to materialise two and a half miles that way to say goodbye to her Grandad, he cheers her on.
Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors
When Miss Foster cuts the first cable, she is clearly cutting the one on the Doctor's side of the cradle. However, it is the cable on Donna's side that snaps.
Tue, 8 April 2008
After the team gets signs of an unidentified life form, they (apart from Gwen, who is running late) go to investigate. Searching an abandoned building, the team discover it is a trap and the building is bombed. The resulting explosion causes the team to be trapped under piles of concrete rubble. Gwen and Rhys arrive (Rhys having given Gwen a lift), and as they dig everyone out, the team's lives flash before their eyes revealing how Jack, Ianto, Owen, and Toshiko got recruited to Torchwood.
In the Victorian era, Jack is picked up by two women - Alice Guppy and Emily Holroyd - who have noticed his immortality and his references to the Doctor. They examine him, which includes attempting to kill him. Jack recognizes that the technology being used in his interrogation is more advanced than Earth technology of the time. They identify themselves as being part of Torchwood and offer Jack a job with them. Jack initially declines the offer learning that they view the Doctor as a threat. He agrees to the assignment after being told that if he doesn't cooperate he will be treated as a threat himself. He takes an initial assignment which is to track down and capture an alien. While they have the alien in a small cell one of the officers pulls out a gun and shoots the alien in the head without any warning. Jack disagrees with this policy and refuses the next assignment they try to give him. Jack goes to a bar when a young female fortune teller comes to his table and offers to read his cards and doesn't listen to Jack's refusal. She tells him that he will not meet the Doctor for another century. He returns to the Torchwood office and opts to join Torchwood for that century.
He is still working for Torchwood in 1999, when he comes back to the Hub on New Year's Eve to find that one of the team has murdered the rest out of fear for the future. He has in his hand some locket or pendant, and he claims to have seen the future in it and killed the rest of the team out of a sense of mercy that the immortal Jack cannot benefit from. Based on the vision from the locket, he states that the next century is when everything changes and that Torchwood isn't ready for it. He then commits suicide, leaving Torchwood to Jack as a "reward for a century of service." With the rest of the team dead, Jack will have to recruit a new team.
Toshiko's flashback takes place five years ago when she was working for the Ministry of Defence. One night after her boss leaves she immediately breaks into the security room where she obtains secret files for a Sonic Modulator. At home, she begins constructing a mock version, and once complete, takes it to a secret base. She gives it to a woman, one of her mother's captors, in the hope of her mother's release, but in seeing Tosh's potential, they decide to have her work for them. Tosh refuses, and so the captors set off the Sonic Modulator, sending an ear-piercing sound around the room that brings Tosh and her mother to the floor as their blood vessels begin to pulse violently. At that point however, UNIT soldiers break in and arrest both the captors and Toshiko and her mother. Tosh is locked in a plain empty cell and told that she will have no communication with anyone, and they refuse to answer her questions to her mother's whereabouts. After living in solitude for some time, she is visited by Jack. Jack chats to her and states that she'll be imprisoned indefinitely. He recognises, however, Toshiko's talent and high intelligence in building the fully operational device from plans that could not possibly work and offers her a pardon if she takes a job at Torchwood.
In Ianto's flashback, he first meets Jack by helping him fight a Weevil. Ianto asks for a job, but is rejected by Jack. The next morning, Ianto gives Jack a coffee outside Torchwood. Jack recalls a large amount of knowledge about Ianto, stating that he researched him after he was able to identify a Weevil. Ianto again asks for a job as his old job was lost when Torchwood One was destroyed. Jack states that he had severed all ties with Torchwood One. That night, Ianto steps in front of the SUV, and once more asks for a job. After Jack threatens to erase his memory, he tells Jack that he is pursuing a pterodactyl. After a long battle, the pair of them capture it, and Jack tells Ianto that he expects to see him at work the following morning.
Owen's flashback shows him before he was employed in Torchwood, working as a regular doctor and planning a marriage. His fiancée, Katie, begins to exhibit signs of Alzheimer's Disease and is taken in for a brain scan. The doctors, in fact, state that it is a tumor, and decide to operate. While Owen waits outside, he hears a loud noise in the operating room, and enters to find all of the surgeons dead on the floor. Jack enters, and states that there is an alien parasite residing in his fiancée's brain that gives off a toxic gas when threatened. Jack attempts to take the brain, but Owen protests, and so Jack knocks him out with chloroform. Owen wakes up in a hospital bed, but because Jack has erased all evidence of himself, there was no proof of Owen ever seeing him and telling him about the alien. The doctors come to the conclusion that Owen is traumatised and they prescribe him 3 months of rest. Visiting his fiancée's grave, Owen sees Jack and confronts him for answers, saying that he was right and Jack was not just a figment of his own imagination. Seeing Owen's potential, Jack convinces him to start up at Torchwood as a medic for the team.
When the team reunites, they discover that the SUV is missing. Jack receives a holographic message, as pictured, from Captain John Hart, who reveals himself to be behind the bombs and shows Jack an image of his long-lost brother Gray. He then vows to tear Jack's world apart, so Jack would spend time with him.
Following the previous episode directly, the Torchwood team goes to sites of rift activity. Gwen goes to the police station where the four most senior officers have been killed by Weevils. Tosh and Ianto head to the central server building to deal with "ghosts" that appeared in the building. The ghosts turn out to be humanoid beings in cloaks holding scythes who look very like the Grim Reaper, but Tosh and Ianto easily end the threat by shooting them. Tosh mentions that the server building houses servers for the military, police, NHS and the nearby nuclear power station. Owen heads to St Helen's Hospital where a Hoix was found chewing on cables and subdues it with a sedative. With the rest of the team away dealing with their respective crises, Jack returns to the Hub alone and encounters John Hart, who after a brief conversation with Jack kills him, then strips him of his weapons and restrains him while he proceeds with his task.
John gets the Torchwood members to approach the rooftops of their respective buildings to watch as he sets off 15 major and well placed explosions in Cardiff. The team try to cope with the workload of a crippled city. John, who is watching the mayhem in Cardiff Castle with a captive Jack takes him through the rift to the future site of Cardiff city in the year 27 AD. There John explains that he has not been acting of his own free will and shows Jack that his wristband has been molecularly bonded with his skin (rendering it unremovable) which is equipped with surveillance and remote detonation circuits to ensure his obedience. Before John can explain further he is interrupted by the arrival of Gray, Jack's long lost brother. Jack hugs him tearfully, happy to see him alive, only to have Gray stab him in the chest. When Jack comes to, Gray explains that he was tortured mercilessly for years by the aliens who captured him in his childhood, and that he blames Jack for what he had to endure. Gray taunts Jack saying that his grave will be the foundation of Cardiff and that his blessing of life is his curse. He then forces John to bury Jack alive as punishment for this. Before he begins his task John throws a ring into the grave, claiming that it is of sentimental value. He then proceeds to fill the grave, trapping Jack in a cycle of asphyxiation and revivification.
John, now gone free and released from his obligation to Gray, returns to the present to help undo the mess he caused. Gwen encounters him and they call everyone back to the Hub except Owen, who is trying to contain the nuclear power plant meltdown--a result of the explosions John had previously set up. Unbeknownst to them, Gray is lurking in the Hub with them. He eventually traps Gwen, John, and Ianto in Weevil cells, and then shoots Toshiko, leaving her for dead. A loud banging noise is heard by everyone and Gray goes to investigate. The sound leads him to the morgue where a light can be seen coming from one of the compartments. Gray opens the compartment to find Jack waking in a cryochamber.
The scene then flashes back to 1901 where Jack is discovered by Torchwood personnel because the ring that John dropped was in fact a beacon and Torchwood had picked up the signal. They dig him out and place him in the cryochamber at the Hub, with a timer set to wake him up in 2008. After incapacitating his brother, Jack frees Gwen, John, and Ianto. While this has been happening, Toshiko had been helping Owen to try to prevent a meltdown; despite her life-threatening injury. After sucessfully averting disaster by venting the flow channels into the room Owen is in, she also sets a time delay so Owen can escape. However, a power spike triggers an emergency lockdown and Owen is trapped. Before long the radioactive material is sent to Owen's location and the scene fades out back to the Hub. Jack discovers Toshiko who dies in his arms.
As Ianto registers Owen and Toshiko's deaths on the Hub computer, a pre-programmed pop-up video of Toshiko appears, in which she says goodbye and confesses her love for Owen as well as thanking Jack for freeing her from the UNIT prison and showing her the many possibilities of the universe. The episode and second series closes with the devastated city recovering, and Jack, Ianto, and Gwen standing together in the Hub.
This episode marks the last episode starring Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato and Burn Gorman as Owen Harper. In the Torchwood: De-Classified that covers this episode, Burn Gorman who plays Owen Harper jokingly remarks that Owen either is truly dead or will transform into the "king of the Weevils".
Thu, 3 April 2008
Black Orchid (Doctor Who) 121 – Black Orchid Doctor Who serial Ann Talbot, who bears a remarkable similarity to Nyssa Cast Doctor Peter Davison (Fifth Doctor) Companions Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka) Production Writer Terence Dudley Director Ron Jones Script editor Eric Saward Producer John Nathan-Turner Executive producer(s) None Production code 6A Series Season 19 Length 2 episodes, 25 mins each Originally broadcast March 1–March 2, 1982 Chronology ? Preceded by Followed by → The Visitation Earthshock Black Orchid is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two parts on March 1 and March 2, 1982. This story was the first purely historical adventure for the Doctor — featuring no science fiction elements save for the TARDIS — since The Highlanders. Synopsis The Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric arrive in England of 1925. At a masked ball at Cranleigh Hall a series of murders begins, and Ann Talbot, who is the spitting image of Nyssa, is abducted. The Doctor must uncover the secret the Cranleigh family is hiding from the world.  Plot In an English country house two figures are seen struggling before one of them, a servant, falls dead. A young woman is seen sleeping as a figure enters her room. The figure is then seen tied to the bed guarded by an Indian with a large ring distending his lower lip. It is June 11, 1925, and as a train departs Cranleigh Halt railway station, the TARDIS materialises. The crew disembark before receiving an explanation of the basics of the steam train from the Doctor. He says that he has always wanted to drive one. Leaving the station, they encounter the chauffeur of Charles, Lord Cranleigh, who has apparently been expecting the arrival of "the Doctor". He stares at Nyssa as if he recognises her. They are driven to a cricket match where Lord Cranleigh's team is batting but not faring very well. Lord Cranleigh greets them and seeing Nyssa exclaims the she is exactly like his fiancée in appearance. They discuss cricket, the Doctor says that he is a fast bowler. The Doctor goes into bat and scores a plethora of runs. When Nyssa is introduced to his mother Lady Cranleigh, she also exclaims how extraordinary a resemblance between her and Ann, but is surprised that she is not a "Worcestershire Talbot" Nyssa proudly declares that she is from the Empire of Traken. The Doctor takes a turn at bowling and proves equally prodigious managing to get several players out. Lord Cranleigh congratulates him on a ripping performance and invites him home to meet his mother. When introduced, Lady Cranleigh asks "Doctor who?" but Lord Cranleigh says he deserves to remain incognito after his fine cricketing performance. Sir Robert Muir, the chief constable of the county, also congratulates the Doctor, saying that his performance was "worthy of the Master". The Doctor looks momentarily alarmed until he explains that he is referring to "the other Doctor", W. G. Grace. Lord Cranleigh asks if they would mind staying to the annual ball - a fancy dress party - on behalf of sick children. Tegan says that they have no costumes, to which Sir Robert comments that he was thinking how charming their outfits were. Lord Cranleigh has a selection costumes that they can use. They are introduced to Ann Talbot, Lord Cranleigh's fiancée, and she looks identical to Nyssa. Ann also enquires if Nyssa is from Worcester, and when Nyssa says that she is from Traken, Sir Robert says that he believes it is somewhere near Esher. Ann wonders if there could be Talbots from Esher. Lady Cranleigh thinks not as the "hunt is not good enough". When Lord Craneligh offers them a drink, the Doctor asks for lemonade. Tegan asks for a screwdriver, but when Nyssa asks for "the same" the Doctor coughs in disapproval, so instead Lord Cranleigh offers her orange juice. Nyssa tells Ann that she doesn't know where Esher is, to which Lady Cranleigh comments this demonstrates great taste, and that she should stop probing into Nyssa's background. When Tegan admires a curious black flower in the study, Lady Cranleigh explains that it is a Black Orchid and that it was found on the Orinoco by her eldest son George. Tegan recognises the name immediately as George Cranleigh, a famous botanist and explorer. Lady Cranleigh goes on to say that George never returned from his last expedition into the Brazilian forests. Ann had been engaged to George before his disappearance. Meanwhile, the bound figure struggles against his bonds. The Indian goes to the secret room to inspect the figure, but he sees the untied ropes before he is hit on the head from behind. The Doctor picks a Harlequin outfit to wear to the ball. When he tells Lord Cranleigh that Adric is from Alzarius, Lord Cranleigh says that he could never remember all those Baltic bits. Tegan and Nyssa discuss the Charleston, with Tegan giving a demonstration. Nyssa says that dancing on Traken is much more formalised and that she learnt how to dance as part of her training. Ann comes to their room, and presents Nyssa with a dress identical to her own, so that the ball attendees will not be able to tell them apart. Ann reveals the only difference between them is that she has a mole on her left shoulder. As the Doctor gets himself ready for the ball, a figure enters his room from a secret passage. On hearing a noise, the Doctor returns to the room but sees no one, only the newly revealed opening. He enters the opening and finds the secret passage, but the panel slams closed behind him, trapping him. The figure reenters the Doctor's room and with his deformed hands takes away the Harlequin mask and costume. In the gardens, the ball has now started and the guests have arrived. Nyssa asks Adric to dance with her, to his consternation, while Tegan dances with Sir Robert, who is amused by some of her colloquialisms. Lord Cranleigh is dancing with Ann. Nyssa and Ann run inside the building and emerge — now nobody knows which of them is which. They resume dancing with their partners, but Adric stops dancing saying he would rather eat. Lady Cranleigh spots the Indian and goes aside to talk to him. He informs her that his "friend" has escaped. Tegan gets to show her Charleston. When one of Ann and Nyssa starts dancing, Adric turns to the other believing it must be Nyssa as Nyssa would not know how to do that dance. She confounds him by joining in. The figure wearing the Harlequin costume arrives at the party and begins to dance with the girl that it thinks is Ann. The Doctor finally finds his way out of the passage and finds a room full of botany textbooks. Trying to ascertain his whereabouts, he finds a staircase and ascending them he finds the secret room where the figure had been bound. Searching it, he finds a book written in Portuguese. When he leaves the room, he wanders down the corridor, examining the cupboards, and in one of them he discovers a corpse. Meanwhile the Harlequin figure enters the building with Ann. Ann tells it that they should return to the party, but when it rasps at her and she queries who it is, it grabs her by the wrist and will not let her go. Ann screams for help and a butler rushes to her assistance. The Harlequin grabs him by the throat and starts to throttle and kill him, causing Ann to faint as the Harlequin lurches over her prostrate body… The Doctor returns to the secret room and finds, to his surprise, Lady Cranleigh and the Indian, who she introduces as Latoni — an old friend from Brazil. The Doctor informs them that he has found a dead body and when he shows it to her, she identifies it as one of the servants. She requests that he does not alarm the other guests by informing them. The figure is seen returning the Harlequin costume to the Doctor's room. It goes to a room where Ann is lying, and a hideously deformed face is revealed. Ann awakes and seeing the figure flees outside the room where Lady Cranleigh and Latoni are waiting. Latoni enters the room and gathering some rope advances on the deformed figure. At the party Adric is berated by Nyssa for eating so much food. The servants inform Lord Cranleigh of events inside the house. He finds the body of the dead butler, and Ann's discarded mask. The Doctor arrives now wearing the Harlequin costume, but when Ann also arrives, she points him out as the man who attacked her. Ann implores Sir Robert to arrest the Doctor, and Sir Robert assumes control of events. He asks Lord Cranleigh to tell the remaining guests to go home. The Doctor insists on his innocence, and suggests that someone else has an identical costume. However, as Ann was in charge of the costumes, she knows that there was only one Harlequin. He looks to Lady Cranleigh to provide an alibi but she stays silent. Sir Robert questions the Doctor as to his true identity, which he replies would be rather difficult to explain. He says he is a Time Lord and that he travels in time and space, in a time machine, like that from the works of H. G. Wells. Again looking to Lady Cranleigh he mentions the other body, but she denies seeing it. Showing Sir Robert the cupboard, the body has vanished and has been replaced by a doll. Lord Cranleigh receives a telephone call from his friend "Smutty" Thomas who he thinks sent the Doctor to the cricket game, and he realises it is not the right man. Lord Cranleigh informs Sir Robert that the Doctor is an impostor, and that the real doctor missed his train. The Doctor is arrested on suspicion of murder, and his companions are accused of being accessories. They are driven off to the police station. The Doctor asks the police sergeant to divert to the railway station to show Sir Robert the TARDIS, but to his dismay it is no longer on the platform. However, when they arrive at the police station, they find that the TARDIS has been brought there. Back at the house Lady Cranleigh tells Lord Cranleigh about the other body, that of Digby the servant. Realising that the Doctor must be innocent, he argues with her. When Ann approaches them he informs her that there is something she must know. In the secret room, the bound figure once again slips his ropes, and attacks and kills Latoni, but not before he hides the room key between the floor boards. Not able to find the key, the figure starts stuffing newspapers under the door, and then sets them on fire. The Doctor unlocks the TARDIS and allows Sir Robert and the police sergeant to enter. Sir Robert is astounded by what he sees and offers the Doctor an apology, but he is still concerned about the murder. Lord Cranleigh telephones the police station and informs them of the second body. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to get them all back to Cranleigh Hall as quickly as possible. After furiously denouncing her parents, Ann runs out of the house and throws her arms around Sir Robert. The secret room is now ablaze with the fire started by the deformed figure, who breaks out, and goes to the main hall where Lord and Lady Cranleigh are talking. He backs away from them, but the Doctor's group arrive from behind. The figure grabs hold of Nyssa and throttling her, drags her upstairs. The Doctor cannot follow him due to the fire which has now spread to the corridors. Sir Robert demands to know what the deformed figure is, and Lady Cranleigh reveals that it is her eldest son George, which the Doctor had already worked out from seeing the Black Orchid and Latoni. She insists that George would not harm Ann, but the Doctor points out that he has the wrong girl. Running outside, they see George carrying Nyssa out onto the roof. The Doctor asks Lord Cranleigh to hold George's attention, whilst he tries to find a way through the house to their position. Lady Cranleigh confesses the truth to Sir Robert: George's hideous injuries were caused by the Kojabe Indians, who also cut out his tongue because they held the Black Orchid sacred. Losing his mind, he was rescued by another tribe of Indians, of which Latoni was a member. She admits that George killed Digby. Lord Cranleigh climbs onto the roof to confront George, and the Doctor has also reached the roof. The Doctor implores him to release Nyssa, telling him to look down and see Ann on the ground. Seeing it to be true, he releases Nyssa. Charles approaches his brother to thank him. George recoils, but he is too close to the edge. He trips and falls, and is killed. After the funeral, the Doctor departs. Ann has given Tegan and Nyssa their costumes as a present, and Lady Cranleigh presents the Doctor with a copy of George's book: Black Orchid. Cast * The Doctor — Peter Davison * Adric — Matthew Waterhouse * Nyssa / Ann Talbot — Sarah Sutton * Tegan — Janet Fielding * Lord Cranleigh — Michael Cochrane * Lady Cranleigh — Barbara Murray * The Unknown / George Cranleigh — Gareth Milne * Sir Robert Muir — Moray Watson * Sergeant Markham — Ivor Salter * Constable Cummings — Andrew Tourell * Latoni — Ahmed Khalil * Brewster — Brian Hawksley * Tanner — Timothy Block Cast notes * Michael Cochrane, who plays Lord Cranleigh, also appears in the 1989 Seventh Doctor serial Ghost Light. * To avoid giving away the plot surprise, Gareth Milne was credited as "The Unknown" for Part One and in Radio Times, and as "George Cranleigh" for Part Two. Continuity * The character of Ann Talbot reappears in the spin-off novel The Sands of Time by Justin Richards as Lady Ann Cranleigh. * This story was the first two-part serial since The Sontaran Experiment (1975); each Peter Davison season would include at least one two-parter. * This was the first purely historical serial (with no science fiction elements beyond the Doctor and his TARDIS) since The Highlanders in 1966-67; unlike previous ones, it does not revolve around a well-known historical event. To date, it is also the last purely historical story. The next televised story taking place within the Doctor Who universe to contain no science fiction or supernatural elements at all is Countrycide, an episode of the spin-off series, Torchwood, broadcast in 2006 and taking place in the present day. Production * The working title for this story was The Beast. * Producer John Nathan-Turner had originally considered directing this story himself, thus become the first producer to do so since Barry Letts during the early 1970s. However, due to time constraints, Nathan-Turner abandoned the idea and hired Ron Jones to direct. In print Doctor Who book Book cover Black Orchid Series Target novelisations Release number 113 Writer Terence Dudley Publisher Target Books Cover artist Tony Masero ISBN Release date September 1986 (Hardback) 19th February 1987 (Paperback) Preceded by The Seeds of Death Followed by The Ark A novelisation of this serial, written by Terence Dudley, was published by Target Books in September 1986. It was the final Fifth Doctor story to be novelised, but did not complete the Fifth Doctor's era - Resurrection of the Daleks has to date not been novelised due to disputes with the estate of Terry Nation. Broadcast, VHS and DVD release * This story was released in a twin VHS set with The Visitation in July of 1994. * Black Orchid will be released on DVD on April 14th 2008 with; Now & Then special feature of filming locations • 4 Deleted scenes • an Easter Egg • a Blue Peter item • Stripped for Action a feature on comics of the Fifth Doctor • Poinst of View • a Coming Soon Trailer for the The Invasion of Time DVD.