Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Ultimate Foe

The Trial of a Time-Lord Parts 13 and 14

Previously on Doctor Who...

Wonder what Time-Lord-y title that court reporter has. 
James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith "Ford Timelord." Before he regenerated into a car. True fact. #Lie 

"Railyard!" Oh, he's back on it! 

Everyone suddenly looks so suntanned after their trip to the beach that hasn't happened yet. 

James Bree is brilliant as the fussy little keeper. Nice to have the security chief from The War Games back! 

James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith Bree was upset when they withdrew Eric's Part 14 as he thought he had a better part in it. 

The Doctor alleges that the Keeper's Key was copied, and he has a pretty fair idea by whom... 

His only hope is some star witnesses, or - if you will - witnesses from the stars... 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Glitz! :D 

Ah, Glitz! We'd all forgotten about Ravalox and the bleeping secrets, hadn't we! 

"That's the beak is it?" 

The Master! Now for once, that *was* unexpected! 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke By this point, I remember being truly fed up of the Master, and groaned when he turned up 

Until I rewatched it in the mid to late 90s I didn't even recall him being in it! How's that for selective memory! 

It's been a long, hard road to get to these final twists. 

These revelations about Ravalox and the secrets are actually very satisfying... 

...but I suspect a lot of people had stopped caring by this point, or couldn't remember the significance. 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke I'd suggest, that by this point Joe Public wasn't really watching, so they were safe using these long plans. Fans lap it up. 

Colin's "power mad conspirators" speech is wonderful. Righteous. And now THAT big reveal... 

Quite odd the way the Master just casually tosses it out there, though. 

"They made a deal with the Valeyard, or as I've always known him, the Doctor, to adjust the evidence, in return for which he was promised the remainder of the Doctor's regenerations."

"Did you just call him... the Doctor?" 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Colin is fabulous when he realizes the Valeyard is the Doctor 

"There is some evil in all of us, Doctor... even you." 

Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi As far as I'm concerned, he's the evil counterpart of the Watcher. 

I've always thought that; they act like he's a proper incarnation, but at this stage - before extra regeneration cycles the implication of "between 12th and final" surely has to be Watcher-like. 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Michael Jayston is really acting his socks off, with these cutaways. Compare: the Time Lord jury

Of course, where "between his 12th & final incarnations" the Valeyard sits depends on how many regeneration cycles 

Why aren't they doing the Valeyard for the Vervoids: it's in *his* past! Apart from the conspiracy and all that, of course.

The Valeyard legs it, escaping into the Matrix... 

Into the Matrix - should have seen that coming, really. 

Now the Doctor has to follow. "Perhaps nothing in my life has ever been so important!" 

Inside the Matrix, the Valeyard has already crafted a nightmare vision very much based on the dark underbelly of Victorian England... 

The Matrix illusions have Colin over a barrel. Or in one. Nearly. You know what I mean. 

Glitz delivers a message from the Master... I'd definitely trust him if I were you. 

I think Glitz got the point... 

So Peri *isn't* dead, after all. *cough* cop out *cough* 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Ruined Peri's exit. Best left dead. For me, anyway (and I liked Peri, but such a great death) 
Doctor Who Thing@DoctorWhoThing So daft, like she'd go off with Brian Blessed. Eh? What? I...? 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke They were just SO suited, you could see that all thru Mindwarp. Obvious. Ahem. 


Doctor Who Thing@DoctorWhoThing I wonder why they gave it that cop out ending? Doesn't feel like it was always the plan.

Have to assume that was JNT's decision. Not sure in reaction to what exactly.

Will Barber- Taylor@Blackadder345 It is also fixed in Nev Fountain 's "The Widow's Assassin" for Big Finish. Listen to that and you'll feel better. It was a scripting thing wasn't it? JNT felt it would be "too dark" and changed it. It was the same thing that resulted in the falling out between JNT and Saward wasn't it? JNT wanted a happy ending but Saward wanted a big ol' deep dramatic cliffhanger and that ended up with Saward running away.

Yeah, no idea whether it was purely his personal taste or any element of actual audience/press feedback.

"What more could a renegade wish for?" Unsurprisingly, Robert Holmes writes best for the Master.  
James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith Holmes writes the same Master he always did. Irrespective of actor. Like with the Doctor. 

The better for it, in my opinion. As it's his best script since Logopolis, Ainley is able to turn in his best performance for a good long while. 
Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Mr Popplewick! Great creation, but I think it's more down to Geoffrey Hughes than the writing 

Yes, a very enjoyable performance. Hard to pull off "bumbling malevolence", I reckon! 

"This is a very odd waiting room - where are the hopelessly out of date magazines?" 

This is one of the best cliffhangers of the whole season - real nightmare stuff! 

Colin's really got that sinking feeling now. Fear not, Colin, Part 14 on the way! 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke This cliffhangar is genuinely great. Loved it then, love it still 

Glitz arrives to help, only to find the Doctor burbling on from beneath the sands... "A grave voice!" 

From beyond the grave... 

The Valeyard's lost his black hat now that we know he's the villain... 

The cheap effect of his flitting about the beach is a bit Rentaghost for my tastes. 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke "OAF! Microbe"Jayston really sells that crappy line. 

Always nice to see inside the Master's TARDIS. 

The Master's much smoother than usual. Much more so than the last time Pip & Jane had him. 

The Master's finally found a way to hypnotize the Doctor. 

The Valeyard is lured out right enough... .

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Queen Victoria statue. How is that blending in?? The Master's chameleons circuit is naff. cf: Corinthian column.

...but when the Master tries to gun him down, he's well prepared. 

The Doctor comes round to hear the sound of Mel's voice persuading him he has to clear his name back in the trial room. 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Here we go with the genocide - they were fighting for their lives. Kill or be killed 

Of course, the music is a dead giveaway that this trial scene is fake. 

I've never understood why the Doctor *wasn't* allowed to call witnesses, to be honest. 

Mel makes the Doctor fall off the wagon 

Back to the Fantasy Factory for an appointment with Mr. J. J. Chambers... 

Not that door! No idea what the firebreathing dragon is supposed to be about! Just another nightmare image, I suppose. 
Paul Cooke@paulpcooke So, are we to believe The Master thought he would fail to hypnotize Glitz, and had the chest on standby? With *his* ego? 

Just spare change he leaves lying around on the off-chance ;-P 

The Doctor gives his age as "over 900 years" here. 

Glitz isn't as daft as he looks; nice moment when he's nicked Popplewick's bullet. 

Quality stuff from the late great Geoffrey Hughes as Popplewick. 

"Eh, Mr. Popplewick?" The Doctor's very obviously rumbled him at this point. 

Shame the Valeyard doesn't remember all this, isn't it? For him, I mean. 

Strike a light! Popplewick is really the Valeyard! 

And he's got a Megabyte Modem. 

A whole Megabyte? You're in trouble now, Doctor! 

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke This is where it all goes a bit pearshaped, isn't it? Some really naff techno-terms ahead. Cringeworthy, some of them 

No worries, he'll trigger a ray phase shift in a minute. 

The Valeyard plots to blast everyone through their TV screen! Hope you're all sitting comfortably at home... 

The "Limbo Atrophier" seems to be playing havoc with Leon Ny Taiy's syrup! 

"...the catharsis of spurious morality!" Pip & Jane's finest attempt yet to make you vomit with rage. 

Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi As you know, I LOVE the phrase "catharsis of spurious morality". That said, it probably has no business being in the script! 

Looks like the Valeyard's a gonner.  

Bet he's definitely dead and definitely won't escape.

The Doctor makes it back to the trial room. 

Peri's shacked up with Yrcanos? Yeah, right. Vroomnik my arse. 

He turns down the Presidency, but seems to have forgotten this by the time of Remembrance of the Daleks

I'm sure Glitz will thank the Doctor for putting in a good word for him when next they meet... 

Gallifrey doesn't have any crown jewels. Ouch. 

"Carrot juice, carrot juice, carrot juice..." Infamous last words. 

Oh noes! The Valeyard lives! He's still out there somewhere... Emmerdale, last I heard. 

Case dismissed!  

Paul Cooke@paulpcooke Whu? Wha..? Is that it? 14 weeks and its over in 30 seconds? RIP OFF!!!! 

As nonsense as a lot of it is, it's exciting, and knowing the behind the scenes nightmare you kind of have to marvel at it.

Coming Soon... The Power of Kroll

1 comment:

  1. Peri's death was retconned due to the harsh criticism leveled at JNT after Mindwarp. Maybe he thought it would help the series if she was un-killed.

    I wish the new series would address this horrible treatment of that character. Sara Jane Smith got her revisit (and a spin off series), so there's precedent for giving old companions another shot at telling the Doctor how they feel...