Thursday 26 January 2012

430 The Masque of Mandragora Part Three

EPISODE: The Masque of Mandragora Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 18 September 1976
WRITER: Louis Marks
DIRECTOR: Rodney Bennett
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Masque Of Mandragora

The Helix releases the Doctor and shows him the temple restored using it's power. The Doctor flees, finds Guiliano and together they hold off the Count's guards until they are chased away by the brethren allowing the Doctor & Guiliano to hide in the catacombs. The priest wished to sacrifice Sarah but Heironymous, the high priest, has other plans for her and exposes her to a potion which puts her under his hypnotic control before sending her to the Doctor. They find her in the catacombs and then find a route back to the palace. Sarah questions the Doctor as to how she can understand what Guiliano says. Marco is captured by the Duke's guards. Hieronymous tells the Duke that he has predicted the Count's death but is dismissed by the Count. Finding Marco missing, Guiliano tells The Doctor of the dignitaries & scientists invited to Saint Martino. The Doctor realises if they are killed then the world will be thrown into a new Dark Age and goes to confront who he believes head the cult of Demnos, followed by Sarah. The Count orders Heironymous thrown out of the city. The Doctor confronts Heironymous but Sarah arrives with a poison needle to kill the Doctor. The Doctor breaks her programming, but is seized by the counts guards who have come for Heironymous, who in turn escapes. Guiliano too is seized and thrown in the Count's dungeons with the Doctor, Sarah & Marco. Marco has been made to claim that Guiliano is a worshipper of Demnos. The Cult of Demnos gathers and is infused with the Mandragora Helix. The Doctor tell Federico that Heironymous is the head of the brethren, so he takes the Doctor and two armed men to the temple in disguise. Federico pulls Heironymous' mark away revealing not his face but a glowing ball of energy which slays him.

Once again I'm struggling with this story. It's just failing to hold my interest on screen. It's around this episode I usually drift off when we watch it as a four parter and, though I can't put my finger on why, I'm sure I probably would have done this time too! But watching it in 25 minute chunks has at least kept me awake!

This episode goes to some lengths to try to explain why the Doctor & his companions can understand the language wherever they go. It's explained here as a telepathic gift provided by the Tardis to those that travel in her and as we've seen (Genesis of the Daleks for example) doesn't need the Tardis to be present.

The Doctor mentions in this episode that he's looking forward to meeting Leonardo da Vinci. Although he's not shown to meet the genius here he seems to know him by the time of City of Death when he visits his workshop in order to graffiti the parchment the Mona Lisa is painted on.....

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