Tuesday, 4 August 2015


This new title sequence & theme arrangement must have been such a shock to the system after 6 years

Tom's face literally doesn't fit any more.
50dw50@50dw50 boo bring back the proper TB titles!
Chris@KosmicKris this story was the clearest sign that s18 was taking a distinctly different direction.
Simon Watkins‏@simon_watkins And not for the better, either, IMHO.
Chris@KosmicKris s18 is brilliant - full of bold science fiction and some of Tom’s best work! This is a great tale!
50dw50@50dw50 i think i had drifted over to ITV to watch Buck Rogers at this point in the series
The Doctor and Romana are once again tinkering with K9's innards, and hovering near the planet Tigella.

Tom looks really gaunt.
On Tigella, in an underground base, the techy Savants struggle to get to grips with some power cuts.
50dw50@50dw50 "bad news folks, the Techno-babble Bidmeadatron is breaking down"
Deedrix leads the scientific Savants, while the religious Deons are led by a familiar face...
Hang on, that's Barbara! Why are they calling her Lexa?
Chris@KosmicKris I loved the way they used Jackie Hill without the need to reference Barbara!

Deedrix's white wig is shockingly bad. Like Andrew Neil bad.

Their power derives from a mysterious artefact: the Dodechahedron.

"He sees the threads that join the universe together & mends them when they break" Lovely lyricism re: the Doctor
Romana thinks K9 will be needed to take on the lush, aggressive vegetation of Tigella.
Zastor tries to mediate between the Savants and Deons ahead of the Doctor's arrival. Without much luck.
On the nearby planet of Zolfa-Thura a rag tag band of Gaztaks, led by General Grugger arrive...
Ooh, that synchronised CSO shot past the screens of Zolfa-Thura is something a bit new.

"Sand, nothing but sand..." Grugger is not impressed by the legendary screens of Zolfa-Thura. 
Chris@KosmicKris All hail Bill Fraser’s General Grugger! The word curmudgeonly could have been invented for him :)

The Gaztaks have kidnapped a human and brought him to this planet on the orders of someone they've never met.
Tim Gambrell@Mr_Brell For a story that takes ages to get going & barely covers the running time its nuts to gloss over plot like this at the start

Simon Hart@Si_Hart Great music as the lab comes up out of the sand.
The Gaztaks descend into an underground base, where the voice of Meglos, a Xerophytic native of Zolfa-Thura, greets them...
Tim Gambrell@Mr_Brell Since he can't move I assume he has a hired help pop in a few times a week to wash & cook for him...

Neither the Savants or Deons are keen on arbitration by an outsider like the Doctor.

One of the Savants, Caris, tries to persuade her people that with the power failing they will need to return to life on the surface of the planet.

Meglos tells Grugger that both the Savants and Deons have no idea what the Dodechahedron really is; but he does.

K9's battery's knackered, and he'll need recharging every 2 hours. Presumably when the Doctor replaced the Prof. Marius original the only battery lying around was an Apple one.

Meglos' plan for the human abductee soon becomes apparent...
Meglos knows of the Doctor somehow, and his being summoned to Tigella, and plots to interrupt his travels...

So good to have the proper K9 voice back!

Meglos has the Doctor trapped in a chronic hysteresis!

That's a time loop to you and me.

"So the Doctor doesn't get to Tigella!"

"Oh but he does; we mustn't disappoint the Tigellans!"

Meglos is the Doctor!

The Doctor feels like he's just repeating himself, no wonder he wants to leave...

With the Doctor successfully sidelined, Meglos & the Gaztaks head out on tour...

Lexa has finally agreed that the Doctor can have a nosey at the Dodechahedron.

Meglos says he'll be done in an hour. Sounds about right.

Brotadak is eyeing up his coat. After all, he won't be needing it soon enough...

Caris is surprised to see the Doctor so soon - because it's really Meglos!

No one thinks it strange that the Doctor is so cold with his supposed friend Zastor.
50dw50@50dw50 not as cold as Zastor looks, he was a terribly ill actor at the time

Lexa wants Doctor to swear allegiance to Ti. "I? Swear allegaince to Ti?"

People who think Tom just plays Tom should check out how different his performance as Meglos is.
Chris@KosmicKris I love the changes in Tom’s performance when doing Meglos.

Everyone loves a good old fashioned doppleganger.

The Doctor and Romana deliberately repeat themselves and cancel out the time loop by waggling K9's tail.
I'm The Batman@MGW_007  I'm just not going to say 'she could wag my tail any time'. Not going to say it. At all.

Simon Hart@Si_Hart "Thank you Mistress, repairs complete!"

Meglos swears allegiance to Ti in order to get a shufti at the Dodechahedron.

So after only an episode and a half, the Doctor is allowed to arrive and leave the TARDIS. 
Meglos, still masquerading as the Doctor finally gets his mits on the Dodechahedron.
50dw50@50dw50 its ok he has a magic thing to shrink the magic stone (thats the hard science of series 18!)
The Doctor and Romana are separated when she stops to investigate evidence of incinerated leaves left behind by the Gaztaks...

...and tangles with a local Triffid.

Barbara and Caris spot "the Doctor" sneaking off.
The guards are bamboozled when the Doctor arrives a second time.

As Romana's been sidetracked by the Triffids, the Doctor sends K9 after her, but now has no one to speak up for him.

Zastor can't believe that the Doctor would betray them. Well, he's not wrong, to be fair. 

The Tigellans all watch as, Dodechahedron-less, their power drains away.

The Meglos cactus makeup is actually a great effect.

Tranmere Steve@Tranmeresteve Imagine Capaldi as a cactus TV gold. Imagine an app to Meglosify you.

Someone needs to get on this sharpish! :-D
Angie Snowe@ajsnowe It was great makeup. Shame about the gloves - we can see the cuffs! #nitpicker 
Tim Gambrell@Mr_Brell Really bothered me as a small boy, the Doctor-Meglos effect... 
50dw50@50dw50 Tom just looks terrible (without spikes) its hard to imagine its the same man from series 17, he looks ten years older 
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 I read his autobiography but can't remember if he addressed that?
Not read it; it's always put about he was ill & he feared he was seriously so, but made a recovery part way through the series
50dw50@50dw50 he has mentioned in interviews about not being in a good place personally at the time
Chris@KosmicKris this is what happens when you spend the filming breaks of series 15-17 in the Coach and Horses!

JNT's penchant for having the Doctor Who theme woven into the incidental music is completely naff.

Though on this occasion its to indicate when it's the real Doctor & not Meglos. Have some confidence in the clarity of the story, maybe?
Tim Gambrell@Mr_Brell Like in Jaws the 'theme' only plays when the real shark is about to attack someone, not when it's a false alarm...
Yes, true!

With K9's battery knackered...

...Romana stumbles into Gaztak trouble.

"She's seen too much, kill her!"

Grugger thinks Romana may have her uses, though.

The Savants are still at a loss to explain the theft of the Dodechahedron, so they stand around doing naff all in the hope that that brings it back.

Romana leads the Gaztaks round in circles. She spins them right round...

The Doctor is perplexed to find not only that someone's half-inched the Dodechahedron, but that apparently it was him!
 Chris@KosmicKris I thought Romana was very proactive in this story - more so than in other tales where she merely explains the predicament.

Great effect, the human trying to escape Meglos-Tom.

With Meglos back in control of his host, he captures Caris. He still needs help to get out of the city.

"I am Meglos!"
Caris is even more astounded to see what he's got up his sleeve.

"I think what we've got here is a good old-fashioned doppelganger."

Lexa sentences the Doctor to be sacrificed for the crime of Meglos. Fair enough, I suppose.

Having given the Gaztaks the slip, Romana picks up K9 and makes it into the city by the skin of her teeth.

But the Gaztaks have made short work of the Triffids and are hot on her heels.

Meglos tells Caris that no one can stop him now. 

But his human host has other ideas...

When the Tigellan guard see off the marauding Gaztaks, although she has to abandon K9, Romana makes it inside...

...but gets the wrong end of the stick and accidentally allows Meglos to escape from Caris.

Grugger takes his frustration out on K9.

The Gaztaks depart though, when Meglos arrives...

...with some very special bounty.

Lexa believes the Dodechahedron will return as long as they flatten the Doctor with a big rock. Good luck with that.
Chris@KosmicKris it’s a fair theory given the trajectory of the story :)
The Doctor really needs to take the weight off. End of Part 3!

I'm The Batman@MGW_007 would he still regenerate if squished? Would the resulting 'Doctor Soup' be able to coalesce and regenerate?

Zastor arrives in the nick of time to order the Doctor's release.

Grugger grumbles about losing half his men but as he clearlt can't count, Meglos doesn't really give a stuff.

The Doctor begins to realize what the screens of Zolfa-Thura are for...

Don't know why Meglos bothered nicking it if he was only going to bury it.

Time to raise the lab again so that the power of the Dodechahedron reflects off the screens.

As the Doctor and Romana prepare to give chase, they fail to spot the last of the Gaztaks reaching for his gun...

...Lexa sacrifices herself to save Romana. Good old Barbara.

Meglos promises the Gaztaks he'll blow Tigella to bits with the power of the Dodecahedron.

The power builds...

...as the TARDIS arrives.

Meglos is happy enough to let Brotadak have that coat he's been after as he goes out to check the positioning of the screens is just so.

The Doctor ditches his own coat so that he get his own back and imitate Meglos, with a little help from a gullible Gaztak.

The Doctor sets Meglos' controls to overload right under the Gaztaks' noses, and even throws in a bonus coat.

Caught by the Gaztaks - ouch!

The Gaztaks take no chances and lock up both Meglos and the Doctor.
The Doctor's interfered with the thingumybob, news which doesn't go down well with Meglos.

When Romana and the Savants (a not so great band name) arrive to save the Doctor... 

...Meglos squelches away...

...freeing his human host.

Meglos is out of time, though...

...and the Screens explode, taking Meglos, the Gaztaks and the lab with them.
The TARDIS makes a meal of its escape, though. "It's time this thing had a thorough overhaul." Oooh...
Chris@KosmicKris the implicit arc of s18: regeneration :) CHB was a clever old fox ;)

And a slightly more explicit foreshadowing of the TARDIS M.O.T. in Logopolis, too! :-)
"I told the wife I'd be in from work in twenty minutes!"
"We can get you back before you leave!"
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 neat trick!

John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland The photo of Meglos as the Doctor in the Radio Times 20th Anniversary Special TERRIFIED me as a child. To counteract this my parents used exposure therapy and bought me a cactus. It worked! 
Smart thinking! I like it! :-)
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr Not just me then? Seeing The Doctor with a cactus face in Meglos at 8 scared the life out of me!
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland I AM NOT ALONE.
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr I think many of us traumatized by Meglos are out there!
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Because of the photo, it had always fascinated me, but when I saw it I was a bit, well, underwhelmed...
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr I said we were traumatized!
 ;-) First by the picture then by the weak story. Not a big fan of season 18.
I like most of s18 but Meglos my least fave by a long way.
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr I only like Traken and Logopolis. The rest I never rewatch. 
Chris@KosmicKris I’ll always go into bat for s18 - Warriors Gate is a forgotten treasure! 
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr Should stay buried? ;-) Warrior's Gate I liked more in my teens. 
I always find Warriors' Gate okay but overrated and prefer both the other E-Space stories! 
Matthew Stott@MattStottWrites oh, I think it's mostly great. Full Circle, Warriors Gate, State of Decay; not too shabby! 
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr Tom's new costume is great but the multi-coloured scarf is iconic. Only JNT couldn't see that. 
I know JNT thought Tom's costume had gotten shabby but just a new burgundy coat would've done - So more like a longer version of his original season 12 costume. 
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr I agree. The coat could have changed but ditching THE scarf was crazy. Can you imagine if Davison was unravelling the multi-coloured scarf in Castrovalva!?! RIOTS!  
To be honest think my fave thing about s18 is the music as it reminds me of the tv Hitch Hikers series. 
Chris@KosmicKris and I agree, the s18 Workshop electronica music is an absolute joy! 
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland I love S18 and S19, I'm afraid, the music, the stories, the design, the themes... Tom's new clothes, - I even have time for Adric... 
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr Adric worked well with The Fourth Doctor, they ruined Adric with The Fifth Doctor. I didn't mind Adric. He was fine in S18. Father/son relationship. S19 a bickering family.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland All of 3 of them get lost in S19, but Adric suffered the most. No-one knew how to write him. 
All the 80s companions till Ace have terrible (or no) character development. 
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr Ace was doing Rose before Rose. 
Chris@KosmicKris the Adric/4th relationship had real potential for growth (old mentor etc) 
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr That's how I saw it. With The 5th Doctor it was like arguing brothers. 
Yes, he's quite affable in s18; he goes wrong when Tegan arrives & they turn him into teenage sexist pig-dog Adric so that he can just clash with her (& in fact the others). 
Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr Peter Howell's reworking of the Doctor Who theme is a thing of beauty. 
Definitely; people say it's not as spooky but I think it has a sort of growling danger to it. 
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Agreed. I had it on record. Played it over and over again. 
The big 'DUM' at the end both terrified and thrilled me.
I often think The Creature From The Pit & Meglos are vaguely similar stories, from opposite ends of the Adams to Bidmead spectrum. 
Chris@KosmicKris Totally agree! Both stories highlight the strengths and weakness of each writer! CHB a much underrated creative force!
Coming Soon: The Underwater Menace

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