Production Code: 5F
1 - 20/01/1979 18:25
2 - 27/01/1979 18:25
3 - 03/02/1979 18:25
4 - 10/02/1979 18:25
5 - 17/02/1979 18:20
6 - 24/02/1979 18:25
The final segment of the Key is traced to the planet Atrios, engaged in a long war with the neighbouring Zeos. The Marshal of Atrios intends a final strike to destroy the Zeons, but the Doctor and Romana discover that Zeos is deserted and the war is being co-ordinated by a computer called Mentalis, built by one of the Doctor's old Time Lord Academy friends, Drax.
The computer is under the control of the Shadow, an agent of the Black Guardian. He and his servants, the Mutes, are inhabiting an unseen third planet positioned between Atrios and Zeos.
The Doctor creates a temporary substitute for the final segment from a substance called chronodyne and uses the Key to place a time loop around the ship from which the Marshal is about to launch his strike against Zeos. It transpires that Atrios's Princess Astra is the real sixth segment. The Shadow converts her into the segment, but the Doctor snatches it and escapes to the TARDIS, where he finally completes the Key.
The White Guardian appears on the scanner screen and congratulates the Doctor. He asks that the Key be given over to him, but the Doctor decides that it is too powerful for any one being to control and orders it to re-disperse.
Enraged, the Guardian reverts to his true colour - Black - and vows that the Doctor shall die for his defiance. In order to shake him off, the Doctor fits a randomiser to the TARDIS's controls. There is now no telling where or when his travels will take him.
The Doctor and Romana escape from the Marshal by tricking his deputy, Major Shapp, into summoning K9, who blasts out the lights. Princess Astra has meanwhile been taken by a black-clad humanoid into a concealed booth from which they both vanish. The Doctor, Romana and K9 hurry back to where the TARDIS was left, only to find that it is no longer there.
The Marshal agrees that the Doctor can go to Zeos and directs him to a transmat point. The Doctor steps in to find himself flanked by two Mutes. Romana arrives, warning of a trap, but the door closes and the Doctor is transported away. Romana calls for him in vain outside the door.
Using K9 as an interpreter, the Doctor learns from Mentalis that the computer intends to destroy everything. In his ship heading towards Zeos, the Marshal prepares to attack the planet.
The Doctor, Romana and Astra arrive in the TARDIS on the Shadow's planet. The Shadow, sitting with K9, who calls him 'master', prepares to meet them, laughing that the Key to Time is his.
The Doctor is being escorted by a Mute to the TARDIS to fetch the first five segments of the Key to Time for the Shadow. Drax steps out and fires a special gun that he has constructed, hitting the Doctor and causing him to shrink.
The Black Guardian tries to trick the Doctor into handing over the Key to Time, but the Doctor orders it to disperse and breaks the tracer. Princess Astra appears back on Atrios with her lover, Merak. The Doctor tells Romana about the randomiser that he has fitted to the TARDIS, which means that in future neither the Black Guardian nor they themselves will know where or when they are going to land.
The siege of Troy via Star Trek's A Taste of Armageddon (also Patterns of Force) the 'false war' of 1984.
The Omen (6,6,6).
Churchill's war time speeches and the recycling of metal.
There is an allusion to Richard II ('This blessed plot').
Romana misquotes Lord Acton ('All power corrupts').
The Doctor is in the 'valley of the Shadow' (Psalm 23).
The Doctor : "There'll be a rather large bang, big enough to blow up Zeos, take Atrios with it, and make certain the whole thing ends in a sort of draw. That's the way these military minds work."
Marshal : "How can we have peace until we have the ultimate deterrent that will ensure a lasting peace?"
The Doctor : "Tell me Marshal, if you had this ultimate deterrent, what would you do?"
Marshal : "Use it of course, make sure it works."
The Doctor : "Yes... You have a true military mind, Marshal."
Marshal : "Thank you."
The Shadow : "I have waited so long, even another thousand years would be nothing for me. But you. I have watched you and your jackdaw meanderings. I know you, and I know there is a want of patience in your nature."
The Doctor : "That's right. Fools rush in..."
The Shadow : "Exactly. Leave him. He will make his own mistake. Then, Doctor, I shall be waiting."
Drax : "Blimey, it's a dog! Who's a little tin dog, then?"
K9 : "Your silliness is noted."
The Doctor : "We have the power to do anything we like. Absolute power over every particle in the universe. Everything that has ever existed and ever will exist. As from this moment - are you listening to me Romana?"
Romana : "Yes of course I'm listening..."
The Doctor : "Because if you're not listening, I can make you listen. Because I can do anything. As from this moment there's no such thing as free will in the entire universe. There's only my will because I possess the Key to Time."
Romana : "Doctor, are you all right?"
The Doctor : "Well of course I'm all right... but supposing I wasn't all right?"
The Doctor : "Then he puts the heavy word on: "Do it or die""
Voice over : "Men out there - young men - are dying for it."
The Doctor : "Care for a blow?"
Drax hails from the Academy class of '92, and studied with the Doctor (who he calls Theta Sigma or Thete). For Drax this occurred about 450 years ago. He failed (whereas the Doctor gained a doctorate: cf The Ark in Space, The Hand of Fear, The Ribos Operation), and went into repair and maintenance, although presumably he passed at some later point as it is clearly indicated that he is a Time Lord, complete with (broken) TARDIS. (There's a problem with its hyperbolics.) The Doctor describes the TARDIS as being 'covered with automatic defence mechanisms'.
The coordinates for Zeos are 008 01 0040. Atrios and Zeos have been waging nuclear war on each other, despite the fact that for the last five years Zeos has been uninhabited and that its warfare has been prosecuted by Mentalis, a computerised commandant built by Drax at the behest of the Shadow.
The Zeons were human, but were possibly wiped out by the Atrions' attacks. Nothing is revealed about the Shadow and his Mute helpers, beyond the fact that they are serving the Black Guardian and that the Shadow has been waiting 'since eternity began'.
Mention is made of the (Inter-)Galactic Computer Distress Call. The Doctor makes a false sixth segment from chronodyne, and, after scattering the Key to Time, fits a randomiser to the TARDIS guidance systems to avoid the wrath of the Black Guardian [or perhaps he's running from both Guardians?].
The warring planets of Atrios and Zeos on the edge of the helical galaxy and the domain of the Shadow halfway between the two. These planets are a 'long way from Gallifrey'.
The Doctor, rescuing K9 from the furnaces, says that he picked up the trick from fire walkers in Bali.
Lalla Ward plays Princess Astra. Ward was subsequently cast as the second incarnation of Romana as she had made a favourable impression on the production team.
Former Doctor Who director David Maloney deputised for producer Graham Williams during early preparations for this story as Williams was absent due to illness.
The time rotor is noisier than usual in the early scenes.
K9 drives over the end of the Doctor's scarf in episode two, which probably explains why in the next episode the Doctor pats K9's head so hard that he knocks one of its 'ears' out of position.
Also in episode two, after the TARDIS has left, it can be seen behind Romana just after K9 begins blasting a door.
In episode three Shapp's gun falls apart when it hits the floor.
In episode four, when K9 exits the transmat, he's got the new left panel he gains in episode five
In episode six Astra regains the circlet Merak had used to distract the Mute.
Romana forgets that she's already been told (in The Stones of Blood) that it wasn't the President who sent her on the mission.
The Doctor says he's never seen K9 spin around before, so he's forgotten about The Pirate Planet.
The Mutes seem to wear sensible Clarks-type lace up shoes, and in episode six one kicks up a piece of studio carpet.
Astra says that she is the sixth princess of the sixth dynasty of the sixth royal house of Atrios: it should be sixth house of the sixth dynasty.
In episode four Merak expounds on how only the Doctor and Romana can get into the TARDIS, despite the fact that he shouldn't even know what it is.
His insight continues in episode six, where he talks knowledgably of the sixth segment, having been told nothing about it.
In episode six Shapp acquires the same ability, somehow understanding the functions of the time loop.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Romana - Mary Tamm
Voice of K9 - John Leeson
'Hero' - Ian Liston
'Heroine' - Susan Skipper
Drax - Barry Jackson
Guard - John Cannon
Guard - Harry Fielder
Marshal - John Woodvine
Merak - Ian Saynor
Pilot - Pat Gorman
Princess Astra - Lalla Ward
Shapp - Davyd Harries
Technician - Iain Armstrong
The Guardian - Valentine Dyall
The Shadow - William Squire
Director - Michael Hayes