Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Armageddon Factor


Grumpy2000 @Grumpy20001 ·  not a fan, boring end to a really good season

The radioactive fallout has given them a wibbly outline. 

I like this version of Tom's coat. 

They're going to Atrios, apparently. 

Ah, the soapy couple are just figments in a propaganda video; here's the real Atrios... underground hospital unit under bombardment and a Marshall hellbent on destruction. 

More princesses. A lot of royalty about during this season. 

The Marshal and his bumbling assistant, Shapp, monitor their losing battle against bitter enemies, the Zeons. 

Princess Astra is desperately concerned about the stricken medical unit & urges the Marshal to sue for peace. 

The Marshal is well aware her reason for wanting to go to the hospital is to see dashing surgeon Merak. 

He's as dashing as your average wet lettuce. 
Chris @KosmicKris ·  I was always taken by John Woodvine’s chair in this - even though it’s patently an office chair! 
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  the chair even made an Annual cover!  

You do start to feel an ominous doom-laden vibe in this story... the Black Guardian's influence is felt. 

Astra and Merak are plotting to contact the Zeons directly to negotiate for peace. Risky... 

The Marshal wages nuclear war against the Zeons but their planet is somehow hidden... 

Rather inopportunely the TARDIS appears between Atrios and Zeos; the Marshal has a target at last... 

50dw50 @50dw50 · it actually starts really well, before all the bland corridors. It's the Marshal that saves this, shame he gets exiled to a spaceship for half the story. 

Was Douglas Adams script-editing by now? Some echoes of his style in this TARDIS scene.

The Doctor's a bit puzzled that Atrios' neighbour Zeos seems to have gone walkabout. 

The Marshal thinks the TARDIS is a Zeon WMD and orders it shot down. 

The Marshal reports to an unseen presence through a distorted mirror...

50dw50 @50dw50 · i wonder if it has a crow on its head.... 

This guard's terrible.  

50dw50 @50dw50 · makes you wonder how he got work, he is very dull voiced. 

Lalla's very short-tempered, and she's not even met Tom yet. 

On the Marshal's orders, the guard locks Astra in an abandoned room in a radiation-stricken zone... 

 ...and is then hushed up in a rather permanent way.

For his next trick, the Marshal fires a rocket... the TARDIS. 

The Marshal celebrates a hit... 

...but Shapp is right to have his doubts - the TARDIS lands safely. 

Romana's gone back to something like her original outfit, different material but bookending her season. 

She's so much more relaxed this time out; shame we never got to see more of this more assured 1st Romana. 
50dw50 @50dw50 · i think the actress was finally having fun with it, i think she got on really well with Tom which would have helped

The Doctor and Romana are soon in a dingy corridor... 

Romana's gone back to something resembling her original outfit, bookending her season. 

50dw50 @50dw50 · i remember as a kid being pleased that Romana was back in a white frock! 

The Marshal declares Merak a traitor and orders him arrested. 

The Doctor and Romana seem just about to rescue Astra when the Marshal intervenes personally. 

Another bombardment and the TARDIS is buried beneath rubble. 

While the Doctor and Romana are carted off by the Marshal, Astra has a lie down. 

Wow, you can pad out an episode a treat with just a few scenes of K9 trundling about. 

The Marshal interrogates the Doctor & Romana, who claim to be tourists... 

...before tricking Shapp into blowing K9's whistle (not a euphemism). 

"Is that your last word?"
"I sincerely hope not!" 

K9 turns out the lights so they can leg it... 

Elsewhere a hooded figure spirits Astra away. 

Just when the Doctor & Romana think they've given the Marshal the slip, they find the TARDIS is buried! 

Which we already knew, making it a fairly crappy cliffhanger. Oh well. Still, y'know, the TARDIS is gone, that's a very Hartnell-era cliffhanger, actually.

Merak catches up with the Doctor & Romana, desparately seeking Astra. 

K9 blasts them into K block, but Astra's nowhere to be seen. 

Her coronet's still there, though. K9 can use it to track her down. Maybe. 

The Marshal orders K9 sent to scrap. Eek! 

K9 is lured into danger with a bizarre hologram. Of course. 

K9's off to be recycled. 
Grumpy2000 @Grumpy20001 · very green  
Simon Pittman @LibraryPlayer · Don't worry, he'll be recycled into a robot called Brian who will try to flog insurance... :P 

A fate worse than death! 

Amazingly for Doctor Who, this was actually BEFORE the same thing (nearly) happening to Threepio in ESB.

Taken back to the Marshal, the Doctor has to listen to a load of hyperbolic propaganda... he chucks in a bit of Shakespeare for a laugh. 

The Doctor has a nice sit down in the Marshal's chair as the Atrian battle fleet crashes & burns. 

And now a spectacular "War in the Stars". George Lucas eat your heart out. 

The Doctor rescues K9 from the flames! 

We catch a glimpse of a ridiculously huge and conspicuous control device attached to the Marshal's neck... 

The Doctor & Romana have homed straight in on the mystery here... 

...something else is between Atrios & Zeos.

The captured Astra appears on the viewer screen, urging Atrios to surrender. 

The Doctor won't arm the Marshal but agrees to provide a protective forcefield. 

Romana & Merak find a crystal skull behind the Marshal's sinister communication mirror. 

The Doctor finds a hidden door, but it's a trap, and he's transported away by some hoodie wearing goths. 
50dw50 @50dw50 · the teleport effect is best described as basic 

"Oh no! K9 it was a trap!" Clunk clunk clunk. Cheers Bob & Dave. 

There's really only enough plot in this story for 4 episodes. Don't pad, write more plot!
50dw50 @50dw50 · maybe the Sontarans will turn up in the last two episodes?

Best I can do you is a bald guy in a shiny silver suit. Close enough?

I like the Shadow. His skull mask is loads better than the Black Guardian's dead-bird-on-head in season 20. 

The Marshal is intent on "a great personal victory". 

If he can just remember whether he supports Villa or West Ham he'll be fine.

The Shadow gives the Doctor a go in his electric tickling booth... 

...which has the horrific consequence of rendering the Doctor mildly awake. 

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  Tom always gave good suffering! 

The Shadow is after the Key to Time. The Doctor tries to bluff him into revealing where the 6th & final segment is. 

But the Shadow *doesn't* know. 

So the Shadow - and the Black Guardian - have allowed the Doctor & Romana to collect the other 5 segments so as to step in and pinch the lot at this point. Sneaky. 

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  just proves that evil is more clever! 

Or just lazier! :-D 

How much better would the season have been with a proper adversary throughout, racing for each segment, though? 

50dw50 @50dw50 · moans about this story aside, the key to time series was amazingly goodYeah, I think as a season it hangs together very, very well. 

Romana follows the locator-thieving Merak to Zeos. 

Shapp soon follows... 

...and bumps into the Doctor. 

The Shadow thinks Astra knows where the 6th Segment is. 

Merak thinks he's found evidence that Astra's on Zeos... 

...but Romana arrives to take back the locator. Astra's bracelet isn't the segment. 

K9 can introduce the Doctor and Shapp to the Commander of the Zeon fleet. This'll be good, I bet. 

The Marshal, thinking he's located the Zeon HQ launches himself at them. Calm down, dear! 

The Doctor is reunited with Romana as K9 leads the way. 

K9 gives it his best waggledance to be allowed access to the Zeon control centre. 

Zeos is controlled by knackered box of lights supercomputer Mentalis. 

The Doctor's realized that this war is headed for mutual annihilation of the Atrian and Zeon planets. 

Where are the Zeons again? 

There's only Mentalis on their planet? 
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  a budget saving plot twist 

Part 3 ends with the Marshall bearing down on us. 

A Bad Man Goes to War! 

Mentalis has been fighting the war on behalf of the Zeons.

Elsewhere the Shadow uses one of his hypno-gadets to take control of Astra. 

Merak heads off to look for her... 

...and Shapp heads back to Atrios, taking a stunning for his troubles. 

Merak is tricked into falling down a hole by a projection of Astra. For some reason. 

The Doctor tries to deactivate Mentalis and put an end to the war. 

The Doctor's sabotage has kicked off Mentalis' self-destruct sequence... 

...and just as the Marshal approaches, too! 

The Doctor has a novel solution to the problem - he can stretch this story out to 6 episodes with a timeloop! 

Might keep the Marshal at bay for a while too, as an added bonus. 

The Doctor's timeloop won't last long... 

His plan to use the Key to Time was inspired... 

...but his fake segment (being made of foil covered polystyrene) isn't going to last long... 

...and begins to melt. 

The Shadow dispatches Agent Astra. 

Merak's still stuck down his hole. Best place for him. 

Hypnotized Astra taunts him from above... 

...then the pair are rescued by K9, who shoots down some hoodies. 

Merak loves Astra so much he doesn't notice her acting all weird. 

K9's getting a bit hacked off about being prank called. 

The Doctor's stuck us in a timeloop. How long will it last? About 2 episodes. 

K9 finds himself in the lair of the shadow. 

Oo-er Astra's gone all evil-like. 

The Shadow has a good old chuckle; he loves it when a plan comes together. 

Lalla's desperate to get into the TARDIS. I give it about a year and she'll be desperate to get out. 

The Doctor is keen to get a look at Astra's neck. She too has a control device like the Marshal's. 

The TARDIS makes it to the Shadow's space station. 

The Shadow chuckles all the way to the cliffhanger, declaring that the Key to Time is his. 

Counting your chickens a bit there, mate. 

K9's gone evil too! He's working for the shadow! So much for man's best friend. 

The story timeloop is becoming increasingly stretched. 

Romana stares in disbelief at the Key to Time. 

She can't believe they thought foil covered polystyrene was an acceptable segment substitute.
50dw50 @50dw50 · at least they rejected the ice cream and cardboard version 

The Shadow opts for a two-pronged attack; Astra will capture Romana, and K9 will bring him the Doctor. 

The Doctor doesn't know quite what to do with himself when confronted with multiple Romanas. 
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  Tom Baker however thought it was Christmas!

The Doctor shows off a bit here. "We're Time Lords, sent by a Guardian!" But the Shadow serves a Guardian, too. 

So they're all Guardianistas, then? 

While Astra leads Romana astray... 

...the Doctor finds the rocky crevices are stuffed with bald cockneys. Just like in real life. 

It's his old uni mate, Drax, who calls him "Feet" (Thete, actually, short for Theta Sigma). 

Cockney geezer time lord alert! 

The Doctor's quickly able to put 2 and 2 together and work out that Drax is the one that built Mentalis. 
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  i think Bob and Dave saw him as a spin off character 

Wouldn't surprise me! 

Drax has been hiding in the crevice for 5 years. The Doctor can't quite believe he hasn't escaped by now. 

Drax admits the Shadow has leaned on him to nick the Key to Time from the Doctor. 

Elsewhere, it's Romana's turn in the Shadow's electric tickling booth. 

She too is rendered "barely interested." 

It sounds wrong straight away for K9 to call the Doctor "Doctor", doesn't it? 

The Doctor shoves K9 through an unconvincing rock face and orders Drax to repair him. 

"Blimey, it's a dog! Who's a little tin dog, then?"
"Your silliness is noted." 

The Shadow threatens to kill Romana unless the Doctor hands over the Key to Time. 

Romana urges him not to hand the Key over, even though that would make the story an episode shorter. 

Freed of the Shadow's influence, Astra gets a nasty surprise. 

Drax has fashioned his dimesnional stabiliser into a weapon of sorts... but whose side is he on? 

"Drax, you plonker!" End of part 5! 
Andrew-Mark Thompson @Andydrewz ·  I think my gran used to have that ray effect as a wallpaper in her parlour!

The highlight of Laura Ashley's 1978 "No, Drax, No!" range ;-P

Drax really is thick. He's shrunk the Doctor and himself instead of the Shadow's gawp. 

Tiny Doctor in Season Finale not nearly so objectionable as in 2007 ;-P 
Simon Pittman @LibraryPlayer · Tiny Doctor would be a good name for a rapper! Tiny Doctor & his TARDIZ Crew! #ImCoolCozISpeltTardisWithAnZ :P 

Nah, it's a bit Elton really, isn't it? "Hold me closer, Tiny Doctor..." 

Time's running out, but at least the Shadow's lackeys haven't figured out how to walk through an open door. 

Now we're back on Atrios in what seems like ages, with Shapp & Merak lurching towards figuring out... 

...the horrible secret about the 6th segment. 

Oh come on, we all figured out it was Astra at least 3 episodes ago! 

Defintely should have been a 4 parter. 

Martin Belam @MartinBelam · I like to imagine a meeting went:
"When you delivering Ep 5?"
*looks at contract in horror*
Heh, yeah:
"Job done, Bob, all 4 episodes in the bag."

"It's supposed to be 6, Dave."





50dw50 @50dw50 · Astra's being the segment is quite a good twist, just a shame we do not care what happens to the princess! 

The Shadow thinks he's won and heads off to collect his prize from the TARDIS. 

Merak gets proactive and abducts a hoodie to take him to the Shadow's lair. 

The penny drops with Romana that Astra is the sixth princess of the sixth dynasty of the sixth Royal House of Atrios... 

Love K-9's "acting evil". Clever difference in performance by John Leeson. 

The Shadow tells the princess she cannot escape her Destiny. Her Destiny to be in Destiny of the Daleks

Sure enough, the Princess is transformed into the final remaining segment when she has contact with the locator core of the Key. 

With the Key assembled, the Shadow is beaten to the punch... 

...and the Doctor nicks the now complete Key to Time. 

Instead of using the Key to Time to wipe Mentalis from history, the Doctor jerks about cutting wires to defuse it. 

The Marshal's missiles miss Zeos and destroy the Shadow's lair. Turned out nice. 

This is like the Apprentice. "I expected nothing less of you, whimpering Wraith!" The Shadow's been fired. 
Simon Pittman @LibraryPlayer ·The Shadows have been fired? Well it did go a bit downhill for them after Cliff Richard left... :P 

But then the police haven't done over Hank Marvin's place live on the news, so swings and roundabouts? ;-P 

These last couple of TARDIS scenes are smashing.  

Drax is off to rebuild Atrios' computer systems for the Marshal. 

"Remember me to Gally-free..." Okay, but shall we say to Gallifrey? 

And Tom goes eye-flickeringly bonkers in 3... 2... 1... 

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  its a pity, it spoils the end #overthetop 

I quite like that bit, with the "If I felt like this about that..." exchange that follows immediately putting a pin it. 

It's always significant when Tom's Doctor calls *anyone* "sir". 

The Doctor stalls, knowing full well that the Key to Time has done its' business and restored order and that the real White Guardian wouldn't have that callous disregard for Astra's life. 

So the Doctor commands the Key to scatter once more...

..."exposing" the true identity of the Guardian in more ways than one.

The Black Guardian's so negative. 

A very random ending to Season 16! All a bit rushed at the end, and not too satisfying with the Key to Time assembled & immediately dispersed. Not sure how else it could possibly have been done though! 
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  it does feel like a bit of an anticlimax, a pity after such a strong series. 

Astra and Merak get to live happily ever after, anyway. 

But the Doctor and Romana are headed into the unknown thanks to the randomiser... 

They could do with bringing back the randomiser, IMO! 

Coming Soon... The Edge of Destruction

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