Thursday 22 March 2012

486 The Pirate Planet Part Three

EPISODE: The Pirate Planet Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 14 October 1978
WRITER: Douglas Adams
DIRECTOR: Pennant Roberts
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Key to Time Box Set (Ribos Operation/Pirate Planet/Stones of Blood/Androids of Tara/Power of Kroll/The Armageddon Factor)

The Mentiads rescue the Doctor, Kimus & Romana and take them back to their home where Mula & K-9 await. The Captain punishes the guard responsible by killing him. The Doctor explains to the Mentiads what Zanak does. Mr Fibuli comes up with a way of neutralising the Mentiads powers using minerals found on Calufrax. The Mentiads tell The Doctor of Zanak's history and the arrival of the Captain in a spaceship crash. K-9 detects that the Captain has stepped up mining operations. The nurse, sitting in the Captain's chair, is pleased at the work he is undertaking. The Doctor & Kimus are captured trying to steel an aircar and are taken to the Bridge. Mr Fibuli traces the mineral they need to repair Zanak to Earth and make preparations to jump there & consume it bringing them, as he confirms to the Nurse, closer to achieving their objective. K-9 steals an aircar and follows the Doctor to the Bridge. The Captain confronts the Doctor and shows him his trophy room, a collection of planets mined and crushed down to small spheres. The Doctor wonders what it is for, but they are interrupted by the approach to the Bridge of the Mentiads. The Captain sends his robot parrot, Polyphaseavatron, to kill Kimus but K-9 arrives and chases it through the corridor, allowing the Doctor & Kimus to escape, sealing the Captain and his crew in the bridge. Breaking into a locked chamber they find Queen Xanxia suspended in the last few seconds of life by the energy drained from the planets Zanak has consumed. K-9 destroys Polyphaseavatron, and he & Kimus are sent to destroy the engine room. The Doctor goes to confront the Captain, enraging him when he presents him with the remains of his pet. Opening the bridge windows a plank is extended and the Doctor forced along it falling of the end to plunge to his doom 1000 feet bellow.....

How's that for a cliffhanger? The Doctor has just plunged to his death? How's he going to get out of that? Saved by someone in an aircar? Of course I've seen part 4 and I know how this is going to end... But what I had never noticed before was the Doctor finding the means in Queen Xanxia's chamber.

As we mentioned in Part 1, Douglas Adams was at the time this story was made working on the radio version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was later followed by the Television version. Unsurprisingly a few of the cast, which is largely the same over both media, have Doctor Who connections:

Simon Jones (Seven Keys to Doomsday Stage Play) as Arthur Dent
Sandra Dickinson (Fifth Doctor Peter Davison's Wife) as Trillian
Stephen Moore (Eldane in Big Finish Production Cold Blood) as Marvin
Valentine Dyall (Black Guardian) as Deep Thought
Jack May (General Hermack, The Space Pirates) as the Head Waiter
Dave Prowse (Minotaur, Time Monster) as Hotblack Desiatro's bodyguard
Colin Jeavons (Damon, The Underwater Menace) as Max Quordlepleen
Peter Davison as The Dish of the Day
Peter Hawkins (Many Daleks) as the radio version of Frankie Mouse.
David Rowlands (Bisham in the Sunmakers) as the Hairdresser
Aubrey Roberts (Controller, Day of the Daleks) as the B Ark Captain
Geofrey Beevers (Melkur & The Master, Keeper of Traken) as Number Three

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