Production Code: 6K
1 - 25/11/1983 19:20
The Doctor's past incarnations are taken out of time by a forbidden time scoop device. The fourth Doctor becomes trapped in the vortex but the others find themselves, together with a number of their old companions, with the fifth Doctor and his companions in the Death Zone on their home planet Gallifrey.
Here they face a Dalek, a Yeti, a quicksilver Raston Warrior Robot and numerous Cybermen. Also present is the Master, who has been summoned by the High Council of Time Lords to help the Doctor. It turns out that President Borusa is the mysterious operator of the time scoop. He aims to use the Doctors to breach the defences of the Dark Tower - Rassilon's tomb - so that he can enter there and claim immortality.
When he does so, however, he is condemned by Rassilon to eternal existence in the form of a living statue.
Chancellor Flavia entreats the Doctor to stay on Gallifrey and take up his duties as Lord President. The Doctor gives her full deputy powers until he returns, then leaves with Tegan and Turlough in the TARDIS. Tegan cannot believe that the Doctor prefers to go on the run in a rackety old TARDIS. The Doctor, however, smiles and observes that that is how it all started.
Browning's 'Childe Roland'.
La Belle et le Bète (Borusa's fate).
Dungeons and Dragons.
Superman the Movie (the obelisk).
The Wizard of Oz.
The Lord of the Rings.
Alice in Wonderland.
Crichton : "What the blazes is going on? Who was that strange little man?"
Sergeant : "The Doctor."
Crichton : "Who?"
Fifth Doctor : "Great chunks of my past, detaching themselves like melting icebergs."
The Castellan : "I am innocent. I have never seen that casket before."
Borusa : "Take him to security and discover the truth. Commander, you are authorised to use the mind probe."
The Castellan : "What? No, not the mind probe!"
The Brigadier : [To the Doctors] "Splendid fellows... all of you."
Castellan : "No! Not the Mind Probe!"
The Doctor : "Great balls of fire!"
Borusa : "Im-m-m-mortality!"
The Death Zone ('the black secret at the heart of your Time Lord paradise') was created in the days before Rassilon when Gallifreyans kidnapped aliens for sport. (Despite their presence in the story, the Cybermen and the Daleks were never used, 'they play too well'.) The second Doctor says that his ancestors had 'tremendous powers, which they misused'.
[There is a suggestion that the Gallifreyans possessed some form of time travel before Rassilon 'created' the Time Lords as a 'time scoop' was used to procure the game's participants Rassilon put a stop to all this (although some rumours state it was he who created the game and was overthrown for his tyranny).
The second Doctor 'bends the laws of time' to attend a reunion with the Brigadier. UNIT is now headed by Colonel Charles Crichton [perhaps the last of the military UNIT leaders: see Time Flight]. Lethbridge Stewart and the Doctor reminisce about the Yeti (The Web of Fear ), Cybermen (The Invasion) and Omega (The Three Doctors).
When Borusa attempts to kidnap the fourth Doctor and Romana, they become trapped in a time eddy. [As a similar problem occurred to the first Doctor in The Three Doctors, this underlines the difficulty (even for Time Lords) in deliberately attempting to cross time streams.]
In the Death Zone we find [an enraged Tibetan?] Yeti ('probably left over from the games'), a Dalek, many Cybermen and a Raston Warrior Robot ('the most perfect killing machine ever devised'). [The Cybermen apparently have ethics, although they don't extend very far ('promises made to aliens have no validity').
The third Doctor recognises the Master, but the first does not ('Believe it or not we were at the academy together') [their semi-friendship began after this period as normally Time Lords can recognise each other despite regenerations]. Susan also does not recognise the Master, although the Tower is familiar to her.
Borusa, who has regenerated again, is at least the fourth Time Lord to play the Game of Rassilon in search of immortality. His prize is to be encased in stone. The Doctor is made Lord President at the climax but chooses to go on the run ('After all, that's how it all started!').
[A Note on the Canonicity of Shada. Borusa attempts to timescoop the Doctor and Romana as the Doctor falls off the punt. He fails, blaming it on a 'time eddy', but actually caused by the strange temporal properties of the Ancient and Worshipful Law of Gallifrey.
The timescoop shows an image of its last target. Towards the end of the story, we are shown what the fourth Doctor is now up to (being rescued from the pursuing sphere by Romana). (The costume change supports this viewpoint.) We see no problem with Shada being canonical.
The Eye of Orion.
The Doctor tells the Brigadier about 'the terrible Zodin' (see Attack of the Cybermen).
A clip of William Hartnell as the Doctor, taken from season two's The Dalek Invasion of Earth: Flashpoint, is used as an opening pre-titles sequence.
A new TARDIS control console and interior set make their debut appearance.
Jamie, Zoe, Liz Shaw and Captain Yates as seen in this story are only phantoms who - in scenes highly reminiscent of one in season nineteen's Time-Flight - try to dissuade the second and third Doctors from progressing through the Tower.
The closing title music mixes Delia Derbyshire's sixties arrangement with Peter Howell's eighties one. This special one-off version was also Howell's work.
The story was originally to have featured Omega. (This was never the intention.)
The Time Lords plan to get the Master into the Death Zone by means of a 'power boosted open ended transmat beam' (which seems to dispense black cloaks, too). The third Doctor notes 'I've reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.'
When frozen, the Brigadier moves his head to watch Borusa go.
When he attacks the Brigadier, the Cyberman's jeans are visible.
The Cybermen following the Master must be blind not to see the Doctor.
Sarah gets into trouble rolling down a very gentle slope.
The second Doctor realises Jamie and Zoe are illusions because they recognise him, but they were left with the memories of their first adventure. [He realizes when they recognize the Brigadier.]
Richard Hurndall's pineapple goes everywhere.
If Borusa wants the Doctors to get to the Tower, why put Cybermen in their way?
How can the Time Lords offer the Master a new lifespan? (If they can offer the Master a new life, why is Borusa so worried about his own mortality?)
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Peter Davison
The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
The Doctor - Richard Hurndall
The Doctor - Tom Baker
The Doctor - William Hartnell
Jamie - Frazer Hines
Liz Shaw - Caroline John
Romana - Lalla Ward
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
Susan Foreman - Carole Ann Ford
Tegan - Janet Fielding
Turlough - Mark Strickson
Voice of K9 - John Leeson
Zoe - Wendy Padbury
Captain Yates - Richard Franklin
Chancellor Flavia - Dinah Sheridan
Commander - Stuart Blake
Crichton - David Savile
Cyber Leader - David Banks
Cyber Lieutenant - Mark Hardy
Cyber Scout - William Kenton
Dalek Operator - John Scott Martin
Dalek Voice - Roy Skelton
Guard - John Tallents
Lord President Borusa - Philip Latham
Rassilon - Richard Mathews
Raston Robot - Keith Hodiak
Sergeant - Ray Float
Technician - Stephen Meredith
The Brigadier - Nicholas Courtney
The Castellan - Paul Jerricho
The Master - Anthony Ainley
Director - Peter Moffatt