Monday, 26 March 2018

The Ark

Season 3, Story 6/10, Serial X, 4 x 25min episodes, 5th to 26th March 1966, Writer: Paul Erickson & Lesley Scott, Director: Michael Imison, Script Editor: Gerry Davis, Producer: John Wiles.

Still the best theme arrangement.

Part One: The Steel Sky

Lush foliage crowds in upon itself beneath tall trees. Here and there, amid dark shadows cast by overhanging branches, small pools of light pick out brightly-coloured flora... 

It's a lizard! And a Toucan! And a... one-eyed thing?
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly The final evolutionary stage of The Beatles.

Great little jungle set. Really odd hearing the music from the first Dalek story over this, though.

Suddenly, a different, alien sound is heard in the jungle. A whirring, mechanical noise that disturbs the sweltering, humid place ... and, as it echoes and dies away,

a Police Telephone Box - the TARDIS! - materializes in the glade.

Out runs a sneezy Dodo!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly There should be a law against writing "almost sneeze, don't sneeze, sneeze!" scenes. 

Dodo exited on film, Steven on video.

Steven berates Dodo for leaving the TARDIS without checking the atmosphere...

David@davadsteel #AngryPurves. Purves very polished in this. He really knows what he's doing by this point.

Dodo says if she gets lost she'll get a bus - she just thinks they're in Whipsnade zoo.

David@davadsteel Always bugs me how Dodo takes everything in her stride. A bit more of a sense of wonder would be nice.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Dodo - utter cretin. I like her. Steven's seen a lot of good people die just recently. Now he has to look after this twit. Poor sod.

The Doctor doesn't rule out this being Earth but his instruments have given strange readings.

As the Doctor goes back to the TARDIS to fetch some instruments, he fails to notice they're being watched.

Elsewhere, activity is taking place in a control room, where one of the Monoids just received a fax. How futuristic. 
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  It's from The Ark's computer WOTAN! Only WOTAN wastes that much paper.

The commander of the assembled community delivers the jury's guilty verdict.

The commander's daughter, Mellium, pleads for clemency, but her appeal falls on deaf ears, and the defence counsel, Manyak, just rolls over.

These are the guardians of the human race. We're doomed. This must be the B Ark.

These weirdos in nighties punish their criminals by miniaturisation. Saves on prison overcrowding, I guess. It's no phantom zone, though.

Prosecutor Zentos seems a right humourless sod.

Back on film, there's an elephant on set. Watch out Purves, elephants never forget...

You might find in your not too distant future it gets you back. Say, in an episode of Blue Peter...

The Doctor is the first to notice that this jungle has no sky.

There's also a mechanical vibration under the ground. Whipsnade my backside.

The Doctor finally clocks that Dodo is wearing Vicki's 'disguise' from The Crusade. "Have you been footling around in my wardrobe? Keep out of my sock drawer."

They're still being followed...
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Love how the Doc just laughs off the idea of Dodo ever getting home. He's a callous bastard. I like him.

The space people in nighties are watching Hartnell on the big screen. Living the dream. 

Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Hope they are recording it - those lost episodes could especially be valuable! ;-)

The Doctor tells Dodo to speak proper like, as the travellers discover a future Banksy of a two-headed Zebra.

The Doctor ponders whether the artist is just being imaginative or there really are two headed zebras here. Sadly, it's the former.

The jungle's burglar alarm is going off and Steven sees a Monoid, which he thinks is "terrifying". Really?

I mean, this happens *after* the Daleks Master Plan, and he thinks THE MONOIDS are terrifying.

They duck into a nearby cave, but sneezy Dodo almost gives them away.

When they emerge, the Monoids are between them and the TARDIS.

The view from the cave gives the game away at last - they're on a spaceship!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  "I know where I am now! BBC Television Centre!" "Cut! Let's try that again, Billy."

The Monoids surround them, ready to extend the Commander's invitation to the bridge.

Their arrival on the bridge is heralded by fax, naturally.

They actually seem to have landed in black and white land - the humans think the TARDIS is a "black box".  
Ruther@Ruther2 A line I've never understood. Were there black police boxes?

I guess there may have been. I'm aware of grey ones and green ones, for example. 
David@davadsteel  The 7th Doctor has one for a while according to Big Finish.

The Commander's explanation as to why the Monoids act as servants has a whiff of bullshit about it, no? 
"The origin of the Monoids is obscure. They came to Earth many years ago, apparently from their own planet which was dying. They offered us their invaluable services for being allowed to come on this joint voyage."

At least the news that they fled the Earth for Refusis II due to the impending deadly solar flares set to annihilate all life on Earth sounds legit.

Presumably this is not the B Ark, as there are no hairdressers to sort out the Monoids' moptops.

Love this, the humans start to waffle on and Hartnell wades in with "rubbish, rubbish, rubbish!"

David@davadsteel Bill's good in this. The odd fluff aside he's still on the ball.

Yes, he positively struts about the place, giving the lie to that perception of his Doctor as doddery!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  The more I rewatch the Hartnell era, the more I realise what a magnificent performance he gives.
David@davadsteel He's criminally underrated. I hate the received perception that he was constantly forgetting his lines.
Si Hodges@SiHodges79  I always thought that was spin by Wiles - on screen he's grand for the duration of his tenure.
David@davadsteel  That's a point actually. I like Wiles for his ideas and approach but I don't think he was ever very happy.
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Definitely. Wiles made no secret of the fact he was trapped in a job he didn't want. Don't get me wrong I'm sure Hartnell was awkward as hell behind the scene but it didn't bleed into his performance.
Other actors in various stories have fluffs because of the nature of TV recording back then; Hartnell averages no more but is obviously in far more stories so incidents appear to tot up - but I bet if any other actor played the part that long they'd have an equal number of fluffs.
David@davadsteel Exactly. Bill didn't have the luxury of re-takes and the schedule was relentless.
Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi If the show had been shot fully on 16mm, there would never be any fluffs.
Si Hodges@SiHodges79  There's plenty of evidence to show a lot of "fluffs" were either scripted or rehearsed.
Paul Cooke@paulvcooke Agree with all the Billy sentiments, he's brilliant.
Dodo's still spreading her coughs and sneezles...

Zentos is a right 'kipper. Surprised he's not trying to deport the Monoids, Theresa May stylee. But then he doesn't mind them whilst they're acting as "servants". He sends one off to investigate the TARDIS.

Mellium wonders why Zentos is so hostile to the newcomers when the Commander seems happy to take them at face value.

On hearing the Doctor's tales of Romans, Trojans and Daleks, the Commander tells them that those events happened in the 1st "Segment of Time" and they're now in the 57th Segment!

It's Dodo that likens the ship to Noah's Ark, a reference seemingly lost on the humans of the 57th Segment of time.

The Commander explains that the entire human race is aboard; millions of people have been reduced to microscopic size for storage in trays!

The Commander directs Mellium to show the travellers their great project: a giant statue that will take some 700 years to build. Being paid by the hour then.

Tim@parks8472 Sounds like most builders & contractors I know ;)

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Note the Monoids communicate via the dance moves from 'Pulp Fiction'.

Dodo tries to scratch a giant toe while a Monoid reverses his trolley over one of the production crew.

Uh-oh, Dodo's killing the crew with the evil plague known as "the sniffles".

The Doctor's kicking himself, he really should have seen this coming.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Hartnell's look to Steven as he says "do you know what this means" really screams "Ooh bugger, we're in deep shit here".

These jerks really overreact when the old commander and a Monoid come down with man flu, don't they?
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly It appears to be attacking the worst actors first. Good.

"He may well die... so might all of us... in which case it was pointless leaving!"

Just set the controls for the heart of the sun now and have done with it then! No-one'll miss you!

PART TWO: The Plague

The Doctor doesn't have a plan to get out of this one... yet.

When Dodo starts to blame herself for landing them in this pickle, he dismisses this with by telling her to stop snivelling. 

But then maybe if she'd done a bit more snivelling and a bit less sniffelling they wouldn't be in this mess.

"Oh, do blow your nose, child. It's running all over the place."

Dodo's sniffle is laying half the population low.

No-one's actually died yet but Zentos fears disaster.

Micro-virologist Rhos is on the case - it's a (sort of) young Michael Sheard! Never had a lot of hair, did he?
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly   He's the Wilfrid Hyde-White of Dr Who. No matter how far back you go, you'll never see him young.

Lisa P & Andrew T@lisacartman
 Aged 27 (or thereabouts), bless him! ("I bounded in and said "Hello Billy!" - he never spoke to me again!")
Krynoid PodCast@KrynoidPodCast Born middle-aged, poor chap. And those surgical masks don't look hermetically sealed to me.

Rhos struggles to treat the Commander. "Unfortunately, the data covering this type of fever was lost long ago, in the primal wars of the tenth segment. "
The dying Commander makes Mellium promise him that the voyage will continue, even if it has to be without him.

Sure enough, it will be.

When the Doctor and his pals hear a Monoid funeral procession for the first Guardian to die shuffling by, Dodo says it "sounds like savages". I beg your pardon?

The procession reaches the control room...

...and with a touching "Proceed with the preparations for ejection. Commit the body to space burial", Zentos has the body dumped out into space. Touching, really.

David@davadsteel"Space Burial" sounds like an episode of "Fireball XL5".

Zentos waits precisely no seconds before demanding the Doctor and his pals are put on trial. 

Mellium stands up to defend the strangers, which goes down well with her ailing father.

News that they're to face trial reaches the TARDIS crew via the telly.

Average day for the Doctor.

One of the group must appear at the court to give evidence. Ever the man of action, Steven can't sit still, so volunteers to try to talk some sense into the Guardians.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  "Let me talk to them, Doctor, I've had so few lines. Plus, I can't stand being round Dodo."

Mellium tells the Doctor they'll want to speak to him next, as a Monoid leads Steven away.

For a court of law, there's a lot of flowers. And kids.

The Guardians are a right bunch of tools - this twonk accuses the travellers of deliberately spreading disease wherever they go.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  The trial is so stupid. No investigation, just 2 blokes doing lawyer-type schtick. "Let's do a trial right here, yeah!"

Steven sticks it to Zentos the zealot. "The nature of man, even in this day and age, hasn't altered at all. You still fear the unknown."

David@davadsteel Peter is brilliant here. One of the best actors the series ever had. Such a shame so many of his episodes are lost.

Steven's words find favour with the ailing Commander...

...but Zentos is unmoved.

With the crowd baying for blood, it seems Pilot of the Future Steven Taylor has less resistance to Dodo's 'orrible 60s cold as well.

Manyak speaks up for the strangers, urging the crowd to accept that the virus has been spread unwittingly.

The Commander agrees that ejecting the strangers into space would serve no purpose.

Baccu interrupts with news that one of the Guardians has died, which swings it for a guilty verdict.

With the guilty verdict in, Steven succumbs to the virus.

Despite Steven's illness and Manyak's pleas that the Doctor could have the skills to find a cure, Zentos is still determined to chuck them out of the airlock.

The Commander summons the strength to provide the voice of sanity, committing to set aside the verdict if the Doctor can cure Steven.

Zentos is his usual cheery self. "If he has not decided wisely, we will not live to know it."

The Doctor gets to work immediately by enlisting mellium's help and making a shopping list of stuff he wants Dodo to fetch from the TARDIS.

He keeps berating Dodo for her slang. Can't the TARDIS' telepathic circuits just filter out colloquialisms?

Rhos volunteers his assistance, which is gratefully accepted by the Doctor.

Is Zentos starting to thaw? When Rhos brings the news that they need to take samples from the jungle's wildlife to create a vaccine, Baccu, at least, volunteers to help.

The Monoids go about gathering the samples. Not keen on that fake "eye" being put on the elephant with make-up.

With the necessary ingredients, the Doctor concocts his cure, and tries it on Steven.

All they can do now is wait and see. 

The Commander is the next to receive the vaccine.

Manyak and Baccu have their fingers crossed, but "Zentos is waiting like a vulture, just in case the treatment doesn't work."

Dodo gets a bit panicky when Steven's fever seems to get worse...

...but the Doctor reassures her that he's fighting off the fever - his temperature's dropped and he's going to be alright.

Overjoyed, Dodo rushes to tell the news to the Guardians.

Zentos is forced to admit that the Doctor has indeed come up with the goods, because the Commander is recovering too. The Guardians suddenly and rather sheepishly forgive all.

So Steven's cured, but the Earth's finally done for. Swings and roundabouts.

Well, I'm glad that didn't drag on and the cure was found so quickly. They can get on with building their statue now, they've only got the feet done.

They'll have plenty of time, mind you - as Zentos tells the Doctor, it'll be 700 years before their descendents reach Refusis II. "Remember your journey is very important, young man, therefore you must travel with understanding as well as hope."

With that the travellers get a lift back to their ship...

...and soon they're off on their way.

However, when they land again, it looks very much like they've arrived right back in the same place.

This puzzles the Doctor no end, and at first he just thinks they never really left.

However, as they reach the loading bay once more, Dodo notices that the statue is finished, indicating that those 700 years have passed...

...but clearly there have been big changes over the centuries, because the statue has a Monoid head!

Killer twist. Properly clever use of time travel, too.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Genuinely great cliffhanger. This era boasts some fantastic ideas.

PART THREE: The Return

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Disgusting up-skirt shot of the statue.

The travellers look for the descendents of the Guardians, but the place seems deserted.

Eventually they catch sight of one of the guardians on a monitor.

He seems to be toiling away in some kind of kitchen. Quite a secure looking one.

Steven realizes the tables have turned - and then some. The guardians have been enslaved by the Monoids!

When one of the humans drops a bowl, he's cruelly shot down with a gas weapon.

Steven is naturally appalled, but barely has time to register his horror before the Monoids arrive, human lackeys in tow.

The Monoids can talk now. They have guns and call themselves by numbers. This one's a big number 2.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Cracks me up how terrible their acting becomes when they can speak. Big gestures and OTT line readings.

The Monoids all sound like they're gargling.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Clutching their voice box things makes them look so camp.

The Monoid is suspicious when they say they were here generations ago, wary that they are friendly to the humans.

He describes "the recent revolution", and has his slave, Yendom, verify that the Monoids are now the masters aboard the Ark.

"And these strangers, they will also obey." Seems like it's take them to their leader time now.

When they arrive at Number One's office, he's busy reviewing the 700 year old CCTV footage that shows the departure that to the travellers was mere moments ago.

Although he begins to question the travellers about the TARDIS, One loses interest when he learns they can barely control it.

He explains that their previous visit handed victory to the Monoid revolution - although the virus was thought cured, it mutated and its impact allowed the Monoids to take over.

One goes on to boast that the Guardians were easily defeated because "They were a simple people. They actually encouraged the research from which we developed our voice boxes and heat prods. They were totally unprepared for the conflict when it came. Many were killed. The rest are prisoners."

He orders the Doctor, Steven and Dodo to be put with the other humans. "Take them away to the security kitchen!" The what now?
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Two doors down from the Health and Safety Bathroom and across from the Admin Scullery.

The humans are pretty downtrodden, but begin to hope, as Venussa tries to convince Dassuk that the legend about the Doctor and his friends is true.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Screw them, I'm with the Monoids.

The Monoid guard spells it out to the new arrivals. "You will stay in this place and help with the task of preparing our food. You will sleep here like the others of your kind. Above all else, you must always be obedient prisoners."

The Doctor confirms they are the same people from the human legends but says "you wouldn't believe me" if he told them how that's possible.

All Steven cares about is getting an escape plan together.

One tells Three that when they arrive on Refusis they will have no further use for the humans and he has a plan to wipe them out.

Three worries that sending an advance party to Refusis will warn the planet's inhabitants of their intentions, but One says he has a plan...
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Instant potatoes. Hard life working in the Security Kitchen.

Smash it ain't...

David@davadsteel I'm impressed by the number of supporting extras and the size of the sets, budget conscious kitchen aside.

Dodo takes credit for naming the ship "The Ark". When Dassuk dryly responds that she also brought the illness that got them where they are today, Venussa excuses him by saying he was born a cynic.

The Doctor gives that short shrift. "He'll probably die one unless we do something quickly about this situation."

"Why don't you just jump on them?" Dodo's quite the military strategist. Steven's suggestion - to wrestle a heat prod off the guard - isn't much better. But the Doctor knows that either way, time's running out.

The Monoids are ready to send their exploratory expedition down to Refusis, so One orders Two to go and get the Doctor and Dodo.

Back in the Security Kitchen, Dodo is urging Dassuk to jump a Monoid.

He agrees, and joins Steven lying in wait for when Two arrives.

Two clocks them immediately and demands to know why the humans aren't working, but Venussa knocks a bowl over as a distraction... Steven and Dassuk can make their move.

Three enters, turning the tables, and guns down one of the humans to reassert authority.

If you can't stand the heat prod, stay out of the security kitchen. Or rather, stay in it.

Three orders the Doctor and Dodo to come with him. "You are reckless and stupid. Now you have gained only one thing, the death of another of your kind."

Steven is to remain behind as a guarantee that they'll do as they're told on Refusis II.

One and Three watch as the Doctor, Dodo, Two and a guardian servant, Yendom, take a launcher to the surface of the planet below.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Awkward silence in the capsule. I think the Monoid farted.

On the planet, Two orders the Doctor and Dodo out, but the indigenous Refusians can't be seen anywhere...

Unbeknown to the landing party, the launcher door opens, and the controls inside move about as if subject to some unseen hand...

Those Refusian costumes are so cheap...

Turns out that even though Terry Nation's not the writer, the Refusians are invisible.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 "Anyone can design a visible monster but an invisible monster - that takes *real* genius!"

As the Doctor suggests communicating with the Ark about the "missing" Refusians, Dodo muses that it'll take more than a few trips to get the whole population of the Ark down to the planet by using the few small launchers. Brimming with overconfidence, Two sniggers that it won't take as long as she thinks.

Dodo is alert to this and immediately calls him out as being up to no good. "Are you up to something?" LONG PAUSE. "Er, no."

Yendom is horrified to learn that the Monoids plan to leave his people behind.

Two is inadvertently saved from further interrogation by the Doctor's discovery of some nearby dwellings.

As per usual, the First Doctor can't resist going down to explore a model city once he's seen it from afar. No fluid link sabotage required, this time out.

As they enter one of the dwellings, again there is no-one to be seen, but an inner door slams, drawing Two's suspicions.

Annoyed by the Refusians' refusal to show their faces, Two takes out his frustration on a vase. The rotter!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Best Worst Moment in the show's history. It's toddler acting.

David@davadsteel Boring observation: Picture quality on this episode much clearer than the previous. Better print?

Not sure, to be honest. It's obviously had the magic VidFire treatment at least!

When Two picks up a second vase, however, something grabs his arm and a booming voice tells him to put it down, agreeing with the Doctor that this is no way to make friends.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  The Refusian voice is rather impressive, whilst being hysterically funny at the same time.

I think it's the way every single line of theirs, no matter how banal, is given such a dramatic delivery.

James Cooray Smith✔@thejimsmith It’s Richard Beale, back a couple of weeks later as Bat Masterson in The Gunfighters. He’s also in The Macra Terror & The Green Death.

The invisible Refusian then rearranges the flowers back into the vase.

As the Refusian seems friendly, or at least isn't hostile, the Doctor tells Two his weapon is not needed.

Back on the Ark, One explains his plan to Three - as soon as all the Monoids are down on the surface, the Ark will be blown up by a fission bomb he's hidden in the statue.

Little do they know that their plotting has been witnessed by One's human servant, Maharis.

Venussa is cracking on with teaching Steven how to make boil in the bowl miniaturized chicken wings...

...when Maharis arrives to warn the others of the danger.

Dassuk is as helpful as usual, but in fairness, Maharis' warning isn't much use as he didn't hear where the bomb is hidden.

The Doctor enjoys a chat with his Refusian host, and discovers that they've been expecting the Ark.

They lost their physical forms in a "galaxy accident, a solar flare". The Doctor politely doesn't pass comment about the dodgy science behind that. 

Turns out the Refusians can't even see one another, although they can sense each others' presence.

As Two prepares to return to the launcher to warn One that the Refusians' are unlikely to take kindly to their plan to kill the Guardians, Yendom rebels...

...but Two overpowers and him and guns him down.

It's not long before the Doctor, Dodo and their Refusian host find his body, and realize that Two has returned to the launcher to report back to One.

Two has barely begun his report, however, when the launcher is destroyed by a huge explosion.

The Doctor and Dodo are stranded on Refusis!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  "Well, my dear, we better get started breeding, hmm? Come along, come along."

David@davadsteel All the bold sci-fi of "The Steel Sky" and the twist of the return are being undone by the Monoids who are a bit crap.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  The production and concepts are great, but the script is feeble.

It's gone a bit generic now, aye.

David@davadsteelThis story started as "Star Trek" but has ended up as "Lost in Space".

PART FOUR - The Bomb

James Cooray Smith✔@thejimsmith The Bomb is Doctor Who ‘s first experiment in shooting an episode in set rather than narrative order.

Concerned that Two's curtailed report means something's up on Refusis, One steps up his plans for the colonization.

Three warns One that Four is getting uppity, but One says they can get rid of him as easily as the bomb - in the head of the statue - will get rid of the Guardians.

On the planet below, the Doctor's Refusian host confirms that they destroyed the launcher in the hopes of preventing the conflict between the Guardians and the Monoids, and agree to wait one more day before taking any further defensive measures.

Dodo leaps to the defence of the Guardians but the Doctor points out that the Guardians are not entirely blameless, having used the Monoids as servants previously.

In the Security Kitchen Steven detects that the Monoids are up to something.

Dreary Dassuk swears there's no way out without help from outside.

Steven determines that they must find a way to make contact with Maharis.

In the loading bay, One and Three are overseeing the loading of the trays of minitiarized Monoids onto the launcher.

They sneer at Maharis and the other Guardians who think they'll be allowed to come to Refusis with the Monoids.

David@davadsteel Bit silly of them to mention The Bomb.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  "Remember don't mention that bomb we left on the Ark." "No, it is important nobody overhears us talking about that bomb."

When Maharis brings One's empty tray to the Kitchen, Steven and Venussa keep him distracted (and fooled into thinking Dassuk is asleep in the corner) while Dassuk sneaks out.

Once the Monoids have naffed off, he's then able to let the others out en masse.

As the last remaining Monoids prepare to depart, Four tries to recruit Three to overthrow One. If things go tits up on Refusis, they'll need to get back sharpish to defuse the bomb and stay on the Ark. 

One seems oblivious, too fixated on getting down to the planet. He's set the bomb to go off in 12 hours... time's running out for the escapees.

The remaining three landers depart...

...wibbly wobbling all the way to the planet below...

...and leaving Steven and the Guardians stranded on the Ark.

The Monoids arrive on Refusis and finding the mangled lander vow to destroy whoever's responsible.

The Doctor waits for his moment...

...and is able to sneak aboard a lander... make contact with Steven. 

The Doctor then persuades a Refusian to travel to the Ark to help Steven save the Guardians.

The Doctor and Dodo step out to delay Three while the Refusians prepare for takeoff.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  The Doctor bluffs brilliantly. He actually thought he was having his passport photo done.

As the launcher takes off, seemingly with no-one aboard, Three comments that they've "seen no one since we have been here.", gifting the Doctor a bit of fun at his expense: "Well, to tell the truth, neither have we..."

Maharis is still in denial when Steven tries to rally him...

...but there's no time to waste as the Refusian piloted launcher has arrived.

The Doctor enjoys his earlier gag so much he replays it for One.
"Where are the Refusians?"
"I don't know, I haven't seen one!"
The Doctor's such a smartarse.

Four is emboldened by the launcher slipping through One's fingers, and challenges his authority more openly. Awkward.

4 and his faction of followers head back to the Ark.

1 vows to hunt down the splitters, promising the Doctor that he and the Refusians will be dealt with afterwards.

Steven marshalls the troops. Dassuk and Maharis will go to Refusis to help the Doctor and Dodo, while Steven, Venussa and the Refusians will tackle the bomb.

Back on film for the Monoid civil war shoot-out.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Oh, Christ, the Monoids shuffle about as if they've shat themselves!

Their aim must be terrible, surely - no depth perception.

When Dassuk and Maharis arrive, the latter is in a hurry to disembark...

...which proves a fatal mistake.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  There's good direction, ambitious camera set ups, but wasted on this tedium.

Dassuk tricks the Monoid guard into joining his fellows, then busts the Doctor and Dodo out.

With 4 victorious, the Doctor and co. are free to return to the Ark.

Steven and Venussa face the quandry of how to get the bomb from the statue's head, but have underestimated the power of the Refusians.

They lift the statue as if it was nothing, and in the nick of time they shove it out into space, where it falls... straight down?

The Refusians agree to rehome the Guardians on their planet on one condition: "Make peace with the Monoids."

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  And now the moral. Don't enslave people. Who knew?

So the Doctor & co. get set to leave (again). Let's hope they manage to land somewhere else, this time.

Venussa wonders if they'll ever see the travellers again, and Dassuk muses that if they don't then perhaps their children will, or children's children. As to whether they'd believe the story about the Doctor and his friends or dismiss it as legend, "We'll make them believe it."

This time the TARDIS leaves rather more successfully.

As the ship flies away to its' next destination, Dodo & Steven compare costume changes. 

But the Doctor is fading away... 

Dodo thinks it's something to do with the Refusians, but the Doctor's disembodied voice tells her she's wrong. "This is something far more serious. We're in grave danger. This is some form of attack!"

And that's all for The Ark, as the Doctor disappears to face off with the Celestial Toymaker!

Coming Soon... Paradise Towers