Production Code: 7A
1 - 06/09/1986 17:45
2 - 13/09/1986 17:45
3 - 20/09/1986 17:45
4 - 27/09/1986 17:45
The TARDIS is drawn to a space station where the Doctor is subjected to a Time Lord inquiry into his behaviour, presided over by an Inquisitor. The prosecuting counsel, the Valeyard, presents the first piece of his evidence, which consists of a recording played back on a screen linked to the Matrix. It concerns a visit by the Doctor and Peri to the desolate planet Ravolox, which turns out to be a future Earth, shifted light-years through space.
The court watches as the pair get caught up in a conflict between the surface-dwelling Tribe of the Free, led by Queen Katryca, and the planet's other inhabitants, a group of subterranean technocrats and their robotic ruler Drathro.
Two shady off-worlders, Glitz and Dibber, are meanwhile attempting to appropriate from Drathro some mysterious 'secrets' - details of which are censored from the Matrix record. The 'secrets' are eventually destroyed, along with Drathro, as a result of the Doctor's actions.
The Valeyard suggests to the Inquisitor that what started out as a mere inquiry into the Doctor's behaviour should become a trial, and that if he is found guilty the sentence should be the termination of his life. The Doctor looks shocked.
The Doctor, Peri, Glitz, Dibber and the underground dweller Balazar are trapped between the advancing Tribe of the Free and Drathro's L1 robot. Peri asks what they are should do and the Doctor replies: 'I don't know. I really think this could be the end.' The Doctor looks concerned.
The Doctor and Peri encounter Merdeen, one of Drathro's 'train guards', in the corridors of the underground complex. He tells them that he is hunting. When the Doctor enquires who his quarry is he replies: 'You'. He raises a crossbow weapon and fires.
In the Time Lord courtroom, the Doctor derides the evidence so far presented by the Valeyard. The Valeyard retorts that better is to come, and that when he has finished the court will demand the Doctor's life. The Doctor looks defiant.
A Christmas Carol (the trial's use of past, present and future adventures).
Genesis 19 (Lot's wife).
The Water Babies ('And still the lobster held on').
The Mad Max films (especially Glitz/Dibber designs).
Planet of the Apes.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
Robin of Sherwood.
Zardoz (the books).
The Doctor : [To Peri] "Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, forms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal."
The Doctor : [To the Time Lords] "In all my travellings throughout the universe, I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here! The oldest civilisation, decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core! Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen - they're still in the nursery compared to us! Ten million years of absolute power - that's what it takes to be really corrupt!"
The Valeyard : "I intend to adumbrate two typical instances from separate epistopic interfaces of the spectrum."
"Haven't you got a ring you could rub?"
The Inquisitor : "I would appreciate it if these violent and repetitious scenes could be kept to a minimum."
The Cloister Bell rings as the TARDIS is drawn to the space station. The trial takes place on a Time Lord space station [above Gallifrey, or is it a TARDIS in flight? It has at least six TARDIS bays, from which TARDIS snatching beams can project]. The beams are powered by the mental energy of many Time Lords. The Doctor is charged with conduct unbecoming a Time Lord, and transgressing the First Law [of Time].
The Valeyard thinks that the High Council were 'too lenient' [in allowing the Doctor's CIA sentence to be quashed after The Three Doctors]. The Inquisitor and Trial staff were appointed by the High Council, but are independent of it. When taken out of time, the Doctor suffers from amnesia [a convenient condition to explain the problems of multi-Doctor meetings] and can't remember where he left Peri.
The evidence is shown from images taken from the Matrix, the repository of all knowledge. The Matrix can access experiences from all Time Lords, and anyone within the range of a modified TARDIS. [The Doctor's older TARDIS may have been 'bugged' during Arc of Infinity.]
The Doctor doesn't believe in ghosts (cf The Face of Evil). In his pockets he carries a torch, an oil can, a paper mask, a teddy bear, and a bag of sweets. Black light is not his field. The Doctor has been deposed as President of Gallifrey for neglecting his duties. He says he has been in several such enquiries before [a reference to The War Games, and also to the tribunal of Season 6(b) (see The War Games)].
Some time seems to have elapsed since Revelation of the Daleks, judging by the Doctor and Peri's relationship. He is about to continue his name at one point: 'by Dr...' [indicating that his title precedes a longer, Gallifreyan name: see The War Machines].
Earth and its 'constellation' [its sun and solar system] has moved 'a couple of light years' [thus still in the Milky Way]. The Doctor dates these events as at least two million years after the 20th century. Only part of Earth was affected by the fireball [but Drathro's colony and its escapees might be the only survivors]. The Sleepers, from Andromeda [a particular system in the Andromeda galaxy], found a way into the Matrix 5 years ago, fled [immediately] to Earth, which was [straight away] devastated by a fireball.
[They went into suspended animation underground, hence the name, but have all died while waiting for a rescue mission that found no trace of Earth's solar system, leaving Drathro in sole charge of the secrets they stole.]
The Tribe of the Free have had several visits from space travelling plunderers before [knowledge of the Matrix theft, and that Ravolox is Earth, seems widespread]. Their earth god is Haldron. They use Ensen guns [stolen from previous travellers]. The three sacred books of Marb station are Moby Dick by Herman Melville, The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley, and UK Habitats of the Canadian Goose by 'H.M. Stationery Office'. The underground dwellers call their world UK Habitat.
Glitz knows some Latin, and lots of Palare (see 'Carnival of Monsters'), has been to prison many times, seen many psychiatrists and comes from a polygamous society. He knows of the Time Lords, and is wanted in six galaxies. He's from Salostophus, in the constellation [galaxy] of Andromeda [and perhaps close to the Andromedans]. His currency is the Grotzi (plural Grotzis). Drathro is from Andromeda [the same place as Glitz, judging by the latter's familiarity with the robot type] and has heard of Gallifrey.
Mention is made of blind speelsnapes (see Revelation of the Daleks). Siligtone is the hardest known metal in the galaxy. A black light explosion could affect the whole universe [so black light isn't just infrared, as it is scientifically]. The aerial converts ultra-violet into black light.
The space station and Ravolox, in the Stellian galaxy [another name for Mutter's Spiral/the Milky Way?], actually Earth, in London, near Marble Arch tube station, two million years after the 20th century.
Ravolox/Earth was 'destroyed' by a solar fireball 5 years before this story.
Many well-known performers feature in guest roles. You can spot: Lynda Bellingham, familiar to viewers as the 'Mum' in a long-running series of television commercials for Oxo stock cubes, appearing here as the Inquisitor; Michael Jayston, whose many television credits include roles in Callan and The Power Game, looking suitably menacing as the Valeyard; comic actress Joan Sims, popular as one of the team from the Carry On ... films series, portraying warrior queen Katryca; and Glen Murphy, better known for his starring role in the LWT fire service drama series London's Burning, playing Glitz's sidekick Dibber.
David Rodigan, who played Broken Tooth in this story, was better known as David 'Roots' Rodigan, a reggae music DJ on London's Capital Radio.
Roger Brierley, the actor credited as Drathro, provided only the voice. He was originally to have been inside the costume as well, but found he could not work in such a confined space. Visual effects assistant Paul McGuiness stepped in and took his place.
The Inquisitor's taffetta collar.
The Valeyard's hat.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Colin Baker
Peri - Nicola Bryant
Balazar - Adam Blackwood
Broken Tooth - David Rodigan
Dibber - Glen Murphy
Glitz - Tony Selby
Grell - Timothy Walker
Humker - Billy McColl
Katryca - Joan Sims
Merdeen - Tom Chadbon
Tandrell - Sion Tudor Owen
The Inquisitor - Lynda Bellingham
The Valeyard - Michael Jayston
Director - Nicholas Mallett