Saturday 24 March 2012

488 The Stones of Blood Part One

EPISODE: The Stones of Blood Part One
TRANSMITTED: 28 October 1978
WRITER: David Fisher
DIRECTOR: Darrol Blake
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 Doctor & Romana are trying to assemble the first two segments of the Key To Time when they are warned by the White Guardian to beware of the Black Guardian, causing the Doctor to reveal to Romana that the White Guardian, not the Time Lord president, had sent her on the quest. On Earth the Nine Travellers, a stone circle, is being used by night by a druidic cult worshipping the Cailleach. The next morning the Doctor & Romana arrive nearby, but the Doctor berates Romana on her choice of high heeled shoes for her first visit to planet Earth. She soon regrets her decision and they stop & rest at the Nine Travellers where they meet Professor Amelia Rumford and her friend, Vivien Fay, who are surveying the stones. Discovering blood at the scene the Doctor is informed that the site is used by a cult, and goes to meet it's leader, de Vries, who lives in the nearby Boscombe Hall. De Vries drugs him and prepares to use him as a sacrifice to the Cailleach. Romana, waiting for the Doctor at the stones, hears his voice calling her and follows the sound. She is confronted by an apparition of the Doctor and pushed over a cliff edge.....

Welcome to the 100th Doctor Who story! This is the first of several major milestones for the series this season. Apparently the initial intention was that the episode would start with the Doctor celebrating his Birthday and cutting a cake as a recognition of the story's significance but the scene was vetoed. Instead we get some decent Tardis scenes between The Doctor, Romana, and the otherwise absent K-9 before ending up on Earth with Professor Amelia Rumford and Vivien Fay.....

I first watched this story as a young & innocent five year old so some of the subtext may have been beyond me. The first time we saw this story together Liz took great pleasure in pointing out how unobservant I was and that there might be more to the relationship between Professor Amelia Rumford and her "friend", Vivien Fay than I had previously noticed.....

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