Production Code: 7D
1 - 07/09/1987 19:35
2 - 14/09/1987 19:35
3 - 21/09/1987 19:35
4 - 28/09/1987 19:35
The Rani has taken control of the planet Lakertya and forced the peaceful Lakertyans to build a rocket silo-cum-laboratory base into a cliff face. She is aided by the Tetraps, a race of bat-like creatures, and plans to fire a rocket loaded with loyhargil, a substance with the same properties as strange matter, at an asteroid completely composed of the latter.
As a preliminary to this she has created a huge artificial brain and kidnapped a number of geniuses - including Pasteur and Einstein from Earth - to imbue it with the ability first to identify and then to calculate the correct way to create loyhargil for her in the laboratory. The newly-regenerated Doctor and Mel manage to stop her and the planet is saved. The Rani is captured by the Tetraps, who decide to take her as a prisoner back to their home world.
Mel falls into one of the Rani's booby traps and is caught within a spinning globe. She screams as the globe bounces across the surface of Lakertya, every impact threatening to cause it to explode.
The Doctor seeks refuge from the Rani in the Tetraps' eyrie. The waking Tetraps surround him menacingly.
The Rani is triumphant as the huge brain that she has created starts to draw information from the Doctor's mind. The Doctor, forcibly linked to the equipment by way of a helmet-like device, lies helpless as the process continues.
Mel tells the Doctor that he will take a bit of getting used to, but he replies: 'I'll grow on you, Mel. I'll grow on you.' They enter the TARDIS and it dematerialises.
Time and the Conways.
David Copperfield (Uriah Heep).
The Wizard of Oz.
Coleridge's Kubla Khan (killer insects).
The Doctor : "The more I know me, the less I like me."
The Rani : "I've had enough of this drivel."
The Rani : "Leave the girl, it's the man I want."
"Really, this is not the place for double entendres."
The Rani and the Doctor studied together (his special subject was thermodynamics). The Doctor states that this is his seventh incarnation. Mel likes C.P. Snow and has read all of his books.
Loyhargil is a lightweight substitute for strange matter. Chronons are discrete particles of time. Lakertyans are civilized reptilian humanoids. This is the only Doctor Who story to mention Elvis.
By the next story the Doctor has taken Einstein and the others home.
There is a new title sequence and theme music arrangement. An early version of the new opening titles is erroneously featured at the beginning of Part Four, with Sylvester McCoy's face much less distinct than in the final version approved by John Nathan-Turner. (The final version is however substituted on the BBC video release of the story.)
'Loyhargil' is an anagram of 'holy grail'.
The heat radiation from the catalyst was of high frequency.
In the aftermath of the explosion, helium 2 will fuse with the upper zones of the Lakertyan atmosphere to form a shell of chronons... In the same milliseconds as the chronon shell is being formed, the hot house effect of the gamma rays will cause the primate cortex of the brain to go into chain reaction, multiplying until the gap between shell and planet is filled.' And 'solstice' and 'perigee' are muddled up. It's enough to make you long for polarised neutron flows. Still, it does at least mention C.P. Snow, the second law of thermodynamics (see Logopolis) and Princetown research into strange matter.
The Rani can check that the Doctor's hearts are beating simply by placing a hand on his chest.
The Doctor is able to check Mel's pulse with his thumbs.
Without appearing to make any adjustments to the TARDIS the Rani is able to patch Urak's vision straight into the TARDIS scanner.
She is able to shoot down the TARDIS as one would any old passing spacecraft.
In order to release the Lakertyans from the Rani's deadly bracelets, the Doctor and Mel use a fibre optic cable to complete an electrical circuit.
Tetraps have eyes in the front, sides and back of their heads. Why, then, do they need to turn their heads when looking for something?
Most glaring of all, why on Earth does the Doctor regenerate? When the TARDIS crash lands Mel is barely stunned, but it's enough to trigger the Doctor's regeneration. It's like something out of Vic Reeves.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
Melanie - Bonnie Langford
Beyus - Donald Pickering
Faroon - Wanda Ventham
Ikona - Mark Greenstreet
Lanisha - John Segal
Sarn - Karen Clegg
Special Voice - Peter Tuddenham
Special Voice - Jacki Webb
The Rani - Kate O'Mara
Urak - Richard Gauntlett
Director - Andrew Morgan