Production Code: 6H
1 - 01/03/1983 18:55
2 - 02/03/1983 18:45
3 - 08/03/1983 18:55
4 - 09/03/1983 18:45
The White Guardian warns of impending danger and directs the TARDIS to what appears to be an Edwardian sailing yacht, the SS Shadow, but is actually one of a number of spaceships taking part in a race through the solar system, the prize being Enlightenment. The yacht's Captain Striker and his fellow officers are Eternals who feed off the thoughts and emotions of their kidnapped human crew - Ephemerals - in order to fill their own empty existences.
Turlough attempts to escape the Black Guardian's influence by jumping into space but is rescued and taken on board the ship of Captain Wrack - another of the Eternals. Two of the other ships in the race are destroyed and Turlough discovers that this has been brought about by Wrack, using a concentrated beam of mental energy with the aid of the Black Guardian.
The Doctor boards Wrack's ship, finds her source of power and, with Turlough's help, ejects her and her number two, Mansell, into space. The Doctor and Turlough then pilot the ship into port - a glowing crystalline structure hanging in space - and, in doing so, win the race. The White Guardian offers a portion of Enlightenment to Turlough, while the Black Guardian demands that the boy give the Doctor over to him in exchange for a huge diamond within a glowing artifact - apparently the prize.
Turlough makes his choice: he sweeps the crystal from the table straight toward the Black Guardian, who vanishes in flames. The boy is now free, as Enlightenment was not in fact the crystal but the choice.
The time travellers make their way to the bridge of the SS Shadow where they discover that they are not on a yacht at all. They are on - literally - a space ship.
The Doctor and his friends are given spacesuits and taken out onto the deck of Striker's ship. Turlough hears the Black Guardian threatening him in his mind. Desperate to escape, he climbs over the deck railing and prepares to jump overboard. The Doctor shouts: 'No!'
The Doctor, Tegan and Striker's first mate Marriner accept an invitation to attend a party aboard Captain Wrack's ship. During the party, Wrack freezes Tegan in time and places in her tiara a red crystal that will act as a focus for her power and ensure the destruction of Striker's ship. Wrack laughs as she relishes the prospect of the Doctor's destruction.
The White Guardian fades from sight. Turlough wants to return to his home planet and the Doctor agrees to take him there.
The Flying Dutchman.
Arthur C Clarke's 'The Wind from the Sun'.
The Japanese film Message from Space (sailing ships in space).
Striker : "You are not an Ephemeral. You are a... a time dweller. You travel in time."
The Doctor : "You're reading my thoughts."
Striker : "You are a Time Lord. A lord of time. Are there lords in such a small domain?"
The Doctor : "And where do you function?"
Striker : "Eternity... the endless wastes of eternity."
Striker : "Superior beings do not punish inferiors... We use them... kindly."
White Guardian : [Speaking of the Black Guardian.] "Be vigilant, Doctor. Once you denied him the Key to Time, now you have thwarted him again. He will be waiting for the third encounter, and his power does not diminish.... While I exist, he exists also... until we are no longer needed."
Resistance is futile!
Time Lords aren't quite Ephemerals or Eternals, or at least the Eternals can't make up their minds about them. The Eternals have a [presumably other dimensional] home. Tegan had a cuddly koala in her bedroom at home in Brisbane, and the image of the Doctor in her mind is 'quite intriguing'. The Doctor replaces his celery in this story. He holds a glass of Champagne, but doesn't drink it.
The Eternals look and behave like whatever their human subjects want them to [so they select their victims carefully]. Enlightenment, which the Guardians have promised them, is the knowledge of everything in the universe, and thus ultimate power.
Eternal ships in the solar system, orbiting Venus.
Cyril Luckham and Valentine Dyall reprise their roles as the White and Black Guardians from the sixteenth season stories The Ribos Operation and The Armageddon Factor respectively.
The Doctor swaps his stick of Castrovalvan celery for a stick of Eternal (and presumably, therefore, similarly illusory!) celery.
In episode one when the ship experiences turbulence, the liquid in the glasses doesn't.
When the air is released from the airlock, why do the stars outside spin? [We're seeing it from Turlough's point of view, and he's going dizzy with asphyxia.]
To help him, there's a vast, Pythonesque flashing sign that says: 'Vacuum Shield Off'.
Tegan, frozen in time, is a bit wobbly (and had her eyes open when frozen: when we see her again, they're closed).
Why does the Doctor, carrying the remains of the jewel, fall over on deck and crawl to the side, as if against a mighty force? (Why not just pick up the rug onto which all the fragments have fallen?)
In some scenes in episode three Turlough is wearing a wedding ring, which is absent for most of the story.
As the First Mate, Marriner should have three stripes, not two.
The Doctor's hair is as long as it gets, positively flowing.
Surely Tegan's hair has to be a wig?
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Peter Davison
Tegan - Janet Fielding
Turlough - Mark Strickson
Black Guardian - Valentine Dyall
Collier - Clive Kneller
First Officer - James McClure
Jackson - Tony Caunter
Mansell - Leee John
Marriner - Christopher Brown
Striker - Keith Barron
White Guardian - Cyril Luckham
Wrack - Lynda Baron
Director - Fiona Cumming