Friday 31 August 2012

647 The Trial a Timelord Part Two (The Mysterious Planet Part Two)

EPISODE: The Trial a Timelord Part Two (The Mysterious Planet Part Two)
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 13 September 1986
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Mallett
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Trial Of A Time Lord

The Doctor is saved by the arrival of Merdeen who has been ordered to take the Doctor to see The Immortal. The Immortal is an L3 Robot known as Drathro who suspected the Doctor was one of it's masters from the Andromeda Galaxy, long overdue. He orders the Doctor to work on his black light power system to repair it. Peri, who Katryca intends to marry off to several of her tribe, escapes from the village with Dibber & Glitz, with Dibber destroying the black light converter totem pole. The Doctor shock Drathro and his human helpers with power cables and escapes. He runs into Murdeen who is trying to help Balazar escape from the underground complex to the tribe. They flee the complex and The Doctor is reunited with Peri and her new "friends" but are cornered between tribesmen sent after Peri, Dibber & Glitz and the L1 robot the Doctor has sent after The Doctor.

(end with crash zoom on Colin #2)

Peri gets captured & escape. The Doctor gets captured & escapes. Insert plot exposition while captured and interrupt with annoying court room scenes where the Doctor starts insulting the Valeyard with corruptions of his name. There's 2 here but I've forgotten them already and am in no mind to go back and check.

Drathro aka the Immortal aka the L3 robot. That's a lot of names to use for something in 25 minutes and perhaps a little confusing. I like the head, that's nice, and the body's fine until it moves when it looks & moves (very badly) just like the television version of Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy TV series. If Drathro is the L3 robot and the tank thing is the L1 robot then where's the L2 robot? It bugged me at the time and bugs me now! Drathro's purpose is to maintain an underground colony under the Earth, shielded from the firestorms, which are now long gone, and guarding the sleepers from Andromeda, now dead. It has somehow outlived it's usefulness but is stuck in it's programming as the Doctor points out when he reasons that the colony's water problems would be solved if they just went to the surface. Drathro's stealing of the colony's two finest minds to serve him is a little reminiscent of Holmes' first Doctor Who story, the Krotons. More recycling from Holmes here.

Oh look what can we see on the walls of the colony? yes it's our old friends the triangle/hexagonal panels first seen in The Mutants!

The Free village was filmed at at Little Buster, the original site of Butser Ancient Farm. I'm pretty certain I visited this place on a family holiday during the 80s. The wood scenes are filmed at Queen Elizabeth Country Park which we saw in Revelation of the Daleks.

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