Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Androids of Tara

Starting in the TARDIS, good stuff. 

The Doctor's playing chess with K9 again. Bet this ends well.  

"You've weakened the King's side!" 

Nice little info dump recap about the Key to Time and the White Guardian there from Romana. 

Romana parks the TARDIS. So smooth the Doctor doesn't even notice. 

If you go down to the woods today... 

The Doctor wants Romana to go and fetch the segment on her own. He has other plans. 

Woo, get Romana's snazzy new outfit. It's what everyone on Tara's wearing, apparently. We'll see.

You'd like to think the Doctor is using reverse psychology to encourage Romana to do things for herself but I suspect it's just bad characterisation having the Doctor go off fishing. Probably seemed funny to Tom.  

"After a journey of four hundred years and twelve parsecs, I'm allowed a rest of fifty years." Time-Lord Working Time Regs.

Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin ·  The Doctor doesn't succeed in fishing in this story he'll have slightly more success in 'The Two Doctors' 

This dreadful idea of the Doctor taking a holiday from saving the universe knocked around for a while and gained favour with Douglas Adams. The story that became Shada was nearly along those lines. 

It always just seems to me that this was the period where perhaps in his heart of hearts Tom Baker really wanted to leave. 

Just imagine the 4th Doctor's regeneration came at the end of The Invasion of Time, caused by the exploding de-mat gun, and the newly regenerated 5th Doctor was then recruited by the White Guardian to find the Key to Time and given Romana as a companion...

Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin ·Gorgeous location work for Tara it's a fairytale alien planet. You feel like you've stepped into this world and it sure beats a quarry in Wales! :-) 

Oh, Romana's found the segment already. Shortest story ever?  

Woodbeast attack! 

Thedarkeyedgirl @EmmisMiddleMa ·  Look, I've told you before, stop posting pictures of me on t'internet. I never look good on Sunday mornings

Lol! It takes me till about noon on Sunday to reach Taran Woodbeast level. Somewhere between Kroll & Davros at the moment.

Thedarkeyedgirl @EmmisMiddleMa · That Davros. I bet he had a trick or two up his malevolent sleeve. There was a reason for that smirk. #50ShadesOfDalek

To know that the tiny pressure of his thumb would end everything... yes, he would do it! #50ShadesOfDalek

Romana's rescued from the rather shambling woodbeast by Count Grendel of Gracht. 

Romana has to register her stone... 

Bad luck will befall Grendel now his family emblem statue is gone... 

Meanwhile the Doctor's snooze is interrupted by some other locals. 

"Do you mind not standing on my chest, my hat's on fire?"  

Zadek, the Swordmaster, and Farrah the knight, tell him that these are Prince Reynart's hunting lands. 

When the Doctor appears quite knowledgeable about Farrah's lightsaber laser-rapier, he's recruited to fix a knackered android... 

As per usual for the restored DVD range, everything on film looks absolutely gorgeous. 

Leeds Castle is not in Leeds, fact fans. 

Grendel takes Romana into his castle, and straight to the lab, where we meet madame Lamia. 

Grendel orders Romana to be restrained. This incarnation's always pretty restrained. 

Grendel seems particularly interested in her head. Doesn't know a bloke called Solon, by any chance?

 Back at the lodge...  

Farrah seems determined to burn through the Doctor's entire wardrobe - the scarf's had it now. 

The Doctor is introduced to the prince, who's considerably more agreeable than his lackeys. 

Lamia draws on Romana's neck with a felt tip (whatever floats your boat) and makes an amazing discovery - Romana is not an android! There were suspicions.  

The Doctor inspects the Prince's android. You've had some cowboys in here... 

Reynart explains that he's to be crowned King tomorrow but Count Grendel will seek to prevent his coronation and seize the throne for himself... 

...especially with the 2nd in line to the throne, the Princess Strella having vanished. 
Hence the android - nicknamed "George" by the Doctor - is a decoy to draw Grendel's fire while Reynart makes it to the coronation. 

It's like he's got exposition diarrhoea. 

As it's pretty obvious that Grendel and Lamia are up to no good, Romana hides the tracer up her sleeve. 

No sooner has she done that than Lamia is drugging her into unconsciousness. 

The Prince is over the moon with George's performance. 

They drink a toast to the Doctor but collapse, as the wine's been drugged. 

The Doctor can handle his drink better than the others, obviously, but still ends up unconscious at the feet of Grendel. 
atruedrwhofan @atruedrwhofan ·  nice to see the teetotal Doctor is on the sauce again :) second story in a row :D

Indeed! One polite sip for a toast and he's unconscious, with one of his group having been kidnapped - take heed kids!

The Doctor awakens a little later to find himself at the point of Farrah's sword - the Prince is gone! 

They've still got the android, though, so the Doctor plans to crown it King of Tara. 

The Doctor gives K9 a shout, might as well make himself useful. 

Zadek bores for Tara while the Doctor tries to get George up to scratch. 

K9's arrived, it'll all be fine now. 

Romana awakens to be shown the dungeons, where her spitting image, the princess Strella is doing needlework.  

That's Mary Tamm in her 2nd out of FOUR roles she plays in this (think about it). 
Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin · Let me get this right: Mary Tamm in this story is playing Romana, Romana's double, The Princess and The Princess' double? 
That's it! :-) 
Prince Reynart is 1st in line to the throne, Strella is 2nd.

"Listen, any more of this 50 Shades bullplop and I ain't coming back next season  and I won't film a regeneration!" 

The Doctor and co. sneak to the castle to crown the android and foil Grendel's plot. 

K9 is left on guard. 

The next segment makes Kroll giant, this one does bugger all when Lamia goes at it with an electric drill.  

Romana tries to make Reynart more comfortable; he's in quite a bad way. But she's summoned away... 

The Doctor and co. make their way through the tunnels. 

Time is running out according to the Taran Zodiac clock. 

Grendel tries the throne on for size. 

Yay, Cyril Shaps! 

The set design for the castle interiors is so lavish. Beautiful stuff. 

In fact, the costumes and sets here are more lavish than anything a season either side of this story. 

Grendel thinks he's done enough to play down the clock...

...but when they get into the throne room he has his eye wiped. 

That's a lot of bling on the king. 

Reynart's Android has won the game of thrones... He's now a Kingdroid. 

Strella is Mistress of the domains of Thorvald, Mortgarde and Freya, don't you know. 

Bloody hell! The Doctor's just attacked Romana. End of Part 2! (Bet she's an android; clue's in the title). 

Told you she was an android. 

What a great Master Peter Jefferies would have made! 

The Doctor,  K9 and the Taran Swordsmen retreat to their hideout to repair the android King. 

Rigger Till arrives to speak to the Doctor - Madame Lamia will release Romana. Yeah, right. 

"It's funny, they always want you to go alone when you're walking into a trap. Have you noticed that?" 

Grendel has Lamia knock up a rather deadly android double of Romana... 

Romana's able to nick a tool from the workbench on her way to be locked up in the dungeon again. 

Romana gets to work on freeing herself and the Prince - yeah, Prince. After all he wasn't crowned, was he? 

Grendel moves Lamia and his Romana droid into position... 

...while the real Romana needs to nick some wheels. Or hooves, any way. 

The Doctor is early for his appointment with Lamia. Definitely not a real doctor. 

He ducks at just the right moment to avoid the laser, then K9 zaps the android Romana! Blimey! 

Madame Lamia is tragically cut down by friendly fire...

...and despite the Count giving his word as a Gracht, now the Doctor is shot at when he pops his head out. "Liar!" 

K9 (slowly) lasers an escape hatch in the back wall for the Doctor to escape through. 

"10,000 gold pieces to the man who shoots the Doctor!" 

"Everyone for himself, K9!"

The Doctor and Romana make it back to Farrah and the Swordmaster, but Grendel isn't far behind. 

Grendel comes under a flag of truce as the android king's batteries are on the way out... 

Grendel still tries to strike a deal with the Doctor, but he squeals... 

The Count skewers the android King and kidnaps Romana! 

Bet Mary Tamm was made up with that cliffhanger.  

Romana is back in the *same dungeon* for the *3rd time*. 

Frontier in Space has got nothing on this, at least that's different cells, peeling the onion layers of the different cultures. 

Here Romana's in and out of that same cell like a yo-yo, with no new information. 

Grendel's patience is wearing thin. "This is not wine, but vinegar!" 

Tim @parks8472 ·  Yes mate, this is a chippy; not an off-licence! 

The Doctor and Zadek work up a rescue plan. 

Grendel checks on his Mary Tamm collection. 

Two isn't much of a collection, though. The Doctor mashed his android Strella variant, and K9 did for the android Romana. 

Now Grendel wants Romana to impersonate Strella and marry him, ahead of a honeymoon/funeral. 
Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin · So it's basically a double wedding, honeymoon and funeral? 

Worth it for the discount, I guess. 

The Doctor and K9 will sneak into the castle by rowboat. Moats, always useless in the end... 

"A hamster with a blunt penknife could do it quicker!"
"Well, you do it, then. No? So shut up." 

Grendel blackmails Romana to play Strella in a fake wedding to sick Reynart, so he can then bump off Reynart, marry her, and then bump her off. This is just Eastenders, now. 

The Doctor arrives to spoil Grendel's fun and the two prepare to duel. 

En garde! It's another nifty piece of swordfighting from the Doctor. 

Great fight, this, so well choreographed, but it does go on a bit too long. 

As Reynart sidelines Till... 

...the Doctor and Grendel take their fight outside. 

But it's Romana who rescues the princess when it comes to it. Reynart really is useless. 

His number up, Grendel decides to cut his losses and dive from the castle ramparts. 

"Next time, I shall not be so lenient!" Possibly the greatest parting shot from a Doctor Who villain ever! 

Romana and Strella fiddle with needles in a dank dungeon. Trainspotting it ain't. 

Strella and Reynart are reunited. You're welcome to the wet lettuce, Strella. 

The Doctor winds Romana up - he's already retrieved the segment. 

K9's stranded though! How are they going to get him back...? I'm sure they'll explain next time... 

Coming Soon... Genesis of the Daleks

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