Production Code: 5S
1 - 03/01/1981 17:20
2 - 10/01/1981 17:10
3 - 17/01/1981 17:10
4 - 24/01/1981 17:10
The TARDIS is hijacked in the vortex by a time sensitive Tharil named Biroc, and brought to a strange white void. Biroc wants to free the others of his race who are being transported in a slave ship, captained by Rorvik, which is also trapped in the void. The only other thing present in the void is an ancient gateway leading to a decrepit banqueting hall.
This is the domain of the Tharils, who in a previous time were cruel masters to their human slaves but have now repented. The humans built the Gundan robots to kill the Tharils, and this led to the latter race's downfall.
Rorvik tries to break through the gateway, and thereby gain access to N-Space, by blasting it with his engines. The blast is simply reflected back, however, destroying the ship and freeing its prisoners.
Romana and K9 elect to remain in E-Space to help liberate the remainder of the Tharil race, while the TARDIS - now occupied only by the Doctor and Adric - is able to return to N-Space.
The Doctor has followed Biroc to the gateway, wherein he finds a cobwebbed and deserted banqueting hall. He stoops beside a large mirror to examine Biroc's discarded chains. Behind him, one of the two armour-clad figures standing near the mirror comes to life. It strides towards the Doctor, raises an axe and sweeps it down at his back.
Aldo and Royce, two of Rorvik's crew, attempt to revive a Tharil prisoner but injure it instead. After they have gone, the Tharil rises from the table where it has been left and makes its way to the bridge. Romana, strapped immobile in the navigator's chair, strains at her bonds as the Tharil approaches. She screams as it reaches for her face.
The Doctor is led by a female Tharil to a feast taking place in the banqueting hall at the time of the Tharils' dominance. Romana, watching from a gallery, suddenly senses that the Doctor is in danger. As time contracts around them, Gundan robots invade the hall and smash an axe into the table. The Doctor and Romana suddenly find themselves back in the 'present', surrounded by Rorvik and his men. Rorvik comments that he is surprised to find them here.
Romana elects to stay with the Tharils in E-Space to help them free their people, and K9 stays with her. The Doctor and Adric leave in the TARDIS, heading back to N-Space.
Rock video (you almost expect Duran Duran to be playing the Tharils).
Waiting for Godot (the two clowns).
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (the coin).
Frederick Pohl's Gateway.
Star Trek's The City on the Edge of Forever.
Julius Caesar ('You were the noblest Romana of them all').
Philip K. Dick's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (time sensitives).
Alice in Wonderland (the Cheshire cat).
Gallagher's own work (Dying of Paradise (Rorvik).
The Babylon Run (spaceships crashing in unexpected places).
Visually influenced by Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête and Orphée.
Biroc : "Others follow."
The Doctor : "Others?"
Biroc : "Believe nothing they say. They're not Biroc's kind."
Romana : "What are you?"
Biroc : "A shadow of my past and of your future."
Rorvik : "Run Doctor! Scurry off back to your blue box. You're like all the rest. Lizards when there's a man's work to be done. I'm sick of your kind. Faint-hearted, do-nothing, lily-livered deadweights. This is the end for all of you. I'm finally getting something done!"
The Doctor : "One good solid hope's worth a cart-load of certainties."
Adric : "Will Romana be all right?"
The Doctor : "All right? She'll be superb!"
The Doctor : "We'll burn that bridge when we come to it."
The Doctor : "You're a machine, aren't you? I usually get on so well with machines."
Rorvik : "I'm finally getting something done!" [A real madman's cry.]
[The reason Romana should believe Biroc] "Because he was running."
The Tharils : [A chilling comment on their slaves ] "They're only people."
Romana : "Astral Jung!"
Romana : "The backblast backlash'll bounce back and destroy everything."
Romana doesn't want to go back to Gallifrey, and she leaves the Doctor in order to give the Tharils time technology. She's fully qualified to work on K9 [and on robots in general]. Half the shelves in the TARDIS stores are empty. K9 contains plans for all TARDIS functions.
Zero coordinates, a plain surface micro-universe at the boundary of E- and N-Space [created to serve as a defensive perimeter for the Tharil Empire].
Humans use enslaved Tharils to navigate hyperspace, effectively travelling in time (cf Planet of the Spiders, The Stones of Blood). A Tharil can walk the wind (navigate the vortex?) unharmed. The Tharil Empire used to exist in E-Space, raiding N-Space for human slaves, but the humans created the Gundans, who breached the Gate and destroyed the Empire.
Kenneth Cope plays Rorvik's second in command, Packard. Cope had previously played the ghostly detective Marty Hopkirk in the sixties series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), amongst many other notable roles.
This story was actually promoted in Radio Times as the first in a new season of Doctor Who. This was due to the fact that, unusually, the season had broken for two Saturdays over the Christmas holiday period.
Lazlo, the Tharil prisoner revived toward the end of Part Two, is never referred to by name in the story's dialogue; his name is given only in the closing credits.
In episode two, a Gundan's axe falls onto the Doctor's back, without harm.
In episode three, a boom mike pokes out from behind the MZ.
Adric takes K9's ear, but when the dog arrives at the Doctor, he's got both.
When Packard swings K9 overhead, its hollow interior is visible.
And surely Dwarf Star material is impossible to collect?
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Adric - Matthew Waterhouse
Romana - Lalla Ward
Voice of K9 - John Leeson
Aldo - Freddie Earlle
Biroc - David Weston
Gundan - Robert Vowles
Lane - David Kincaid
Lazlo - Jeremy Gittins
Packard - Kenneth Cope
Rorvik - Clifford Rose
Royce - Harry Waters
Sagan - Vincent Pickering
Director - Paul Joyce