Wednesday 14 March 2012

478 The Invasion of Time Part Five

EPISODE: The Invasion of Time Part Five
TRANSMITTED: 04 March 1978
WRITER: David Agnew (a.k.a. Graham Williams and Anthony Read)
DIRECTOR: Gerald Blake
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Invasion Of Time

Commander Stor tells the Doctor that they used the Vardans to invade. The Doctor conceals his identity and they start to search the capital for him. Borusa, who has been monitoring events, has the Sontarans attacked with a sonic weapon and the Doctor flees to his rooms. Kelner co-operates with the Sontarans just as he did with the Vardans. Borusa meets them in the Doctor's office as they arrive and they escape through a secret passage to Borusa's office where the Doctor obtains from him the Great Key of Rassilon, which has been entrusted to Time Lord chancellors for generations to prevent presidents from holding absolute power. They take refuge in the Tardis. Rodan helps the Doctor use the Tardis to patch the hole in Gallifrey's shields. Kelner remotely manipulates the stabiliser banks of the Doctor’s TARDIS to try and destroy the resistance force within by hurling them to the heart of a Black Star.

A bit of running around and not much else. Kelner's an annoying so and so isn't he? Falls quickly in with one set of invaders and then when their gone transfers his allegiance to the next. And this man is in charge of the Time Lords security and defence?

If you're thinking the name Rodan sounds familiar then it is: it's the name of one of the monsters in the Godzilla films.

This episode inadvertently sheds some light on the background to the events of the Deadly Assassin. The location of the Great Key, an enormously powerful artefact here actually shaped like a key, has been unknown to Time Lord Presidents, but in the custody of Chancellors. So, by implication, no Chancellor can serve as president. Yet that is precisely what Goth wants in Deadly Assassin. So whgy does the president not appoint him Chancellor? I assume that there's some cover-up reasoning, known only to the president, that keeps Chancellors from that office. Ironically the events of Deadly Assassin will eventually lead to a Time Lord Chancellor serving as president and, as Rassilon feared, becoming a power mad despot. Thankfully, as we will see, the great key is no longer an issue by then.

Powerful Keys may well have been on producer Graham Williams' mind at this point as he would have been preparing for the next season. Is the Great Key here a prototype for the Key To Time which we're about to see hunted for?

I know little of Derek Deadman, playing Sontaran commander Stor, beyond what his Wikipedia entry tells us. But one of his underlings is stuntman Stuart Fell who was in both The Curse of Peladon & The Monster of Peladon as Alpha Centauri, Planet of the Spiders as a tramp, The Ark in Space as a Wirrn, The Android Invasion as a Kraal, The Brain of Morbius as Morbius Monster & The Masque of Mandragora as an entertainer. He'll be back in the State of Decay as Roga and tomorrow we'll see why he was cast.

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