Saturday 2 June 2012

558 Logopolis Part Three

EPISODE: Logopolis Part Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 14 March 1981
WRITER: Christopher H. Bidmead
DIRECTOR: Peter Grimwade
SCRIPT EDITOR: Christopher H. Bidmead
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 5.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva)

The Logopolitans try to restore the shrunken Tardis. Sonic projectors are used to create a zone of stability round the Tardis. Adric and the Monitor trace the error and discover the Master's handywork in the form of several shrunken Logopolitans. Nyssa encounters the Master, mistaking him for her Father, and he gives her a bracelet. The corrected code restores the Tardis to it's full form. The Doctor tells the Monitor the Master is here killing people and tells Tegan her aunt is dead. Nyssa's bracelet starts squeezing her arm and hurting her. The Master seizes the sonic projectors and uses them to silence Logopolis. The Doctor and his friends meet the Watcher in the street, and the Doctor prepares for the worst. He confronts the Master, who uses the bracelet to control Nyssa as the Monitor protests at the Master's actions. Without the chanting the structure of Logopolis starts to break down as does Nyssa's bracelet. The Logopolitan's Block Transfer Computations have been maintaining the universe, which as a closed system, long ago passed the point of total collapse. The Block Transfer Computations, broadcast through the replica of the Pharos Project, have opened holes into other universes to maintain the system, the CVEs that the Tardis passed through. Without the computations the voids are closing and entropy is increasing destroying the Universe. The Doctor proposes an alliance with the Master to save the Universe. The Tardis follows them into the streets and the Doctor sends his three companions inside before sealing the deal with the Master by shaking his hand.

This episode isn't bad for the companions as everyone gets something to do in it albeit at the cost of removing the Doctor from the majority of the action for most of the episode. It moves along at a fair whack and by the end of it the Master has accidentally destroyed the Universe and is working with the Doctor to put it right. It's obvious The Master doesn't know what Logopolis was doing from his dialogue in this episode. In which case what purpose is served by turning the sonic projectors outwards on Logopolis? The Doctor's already escaped the trap here. Yes I could maybe see him doing it out of spite "you've saved the Doctor, I'll shut you up good and proper" but there's usually some method behind his madness, what did he hope to gain by doing it? And while we're on the subject of minor plot holes, why does the corrected code merely restore the Tardis to it's rightful size? Shouldn't the corrected version also have mended the chameleon circuit?

Christopher H. Bidmead's theme of Entropy, loss and decay comes to the surface here. It's been there all season even though Bidmead's understand of Entropy isn't an exact match to the actual definition. But somehow these ideas are wholly suited to the end of the Fourth Doctor's reign. Join us tomorrow for Tom Baker's last episode as Doctor Who as we battle to save the universe and look back at the last seven years of Doctor Who.

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