Hello Dwellers and Welcome to The Basement…
It’s Time For This Week’s episode of TALES FROM THE TARDIS!
First up, some news, Matt Lucas, who appeared in The Husbands of River Song, has signed on to be a regular cast member for series 10… not sure what he’s going to do, cause his South Park looking character of Nardole seemed to be nothing more than just a one-and-done spot.
It appears that if his schedule would allow it Sean Pertwee would have appeared in series 9… hopefully a cameo spot will occur in the future… wouldn’t mind him playing his father’s Third Doctor for obvious reasons.
Anyway on to this week’s episode, part two of the Aztecs serial, ‘The Warriors of Death’
The Doctor is not too pleased with Barbara trying to stop the sacrifice, and Tlotoxl suspects that she isn’t really a god? Hey pal she clearly said YES… to top it off, Susan has been taken away to be educated in the Axtecs ways following her violation of sacred ground. Actually, Carol Ann Ford was on vacation so this was to have her character off-screen with a justifiable reason. Basically Susan is to be taught how to be a ‘good wife’, and while she can learn the knowledge, the monkey-butt backward views of the Aztecs when it comes to women in society is quite difficult for her to wrap her head around… much like anyone trying to justify voting for Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton… but all isn’t sour grapes, The Doctor informs Barbara that he could learn about the tomb in order to get back to the TARDIS.
Meanwhile Ian is off practicing with Ixta for their pending battle against one another… and Ixta is really grinding the gears of Mr. Chersterfield… I mean Chesterton, who says he could easily defeat him with his thumb… and Ian does show, using a knowledge of pressure points to render the boastful Aztec Warrior unconscious. Tlotoxl isn’t happy to see that his favored warrior being defeated, and is even less thrilled when Autloc announces that Ian is now the rightful commander of the Aztec army.
However Tlotoxl has a ‘cunning plan’, he convinces The Perfect Victim, a pending sacrifice who gets total control of everyone around him, to demand another confrontation be held… and on top of that, Tlotxal gives Ixta more motivation to kill Ian, by promising him a big cash reward of untold riches…. Yeah this plan isn’t as cunning as Tegana’s schemes from Marco Polo.
Elsewhere The Doctor and Cameca are exchanging stories and flirting, and the Doctor is quite smitten with her, while Tlotoxl tells Barbara that he is telling everyone that she is not really Yetaxa, and begins to grill her with questions of their ways to prove herself. However Barbara counters this by saying the High Preist of Knowledge Autloc should be the one testing her… and Tloxtle agrees… but confines her to her tomb while also telling her of the bending battle that Ian is facing. That was pretty damn devious and one of the bright moments for Tloxtle as an antagonist in this story.
Things get even more complicated, it turns out Ixta is the son of the temple’s builder… and when Cameca comes to him to tell her of The Doctor’s request, he realizes that The Doctor doesn’t know his name or of his situation with Ian…. And sees this as an opportunity to destroy our heroes from within. He goes to meet with the Doctor and shows him some drawings his father made, while at the same time informing him that he must be in a fight and that if he loses he won’t be allowed to speak to anyone for days due to being dishonored. Not aware that he’s putting Ian in danger, The Doctor extracts poison from a plant, coating a needle with it and gives it to Ixta… actually… I wouldn’t be surprised if the Doctor did this even if he knew Ixta was fighting Ian
Back with Barbara, Autloc is questioning her about why the sacrifices must be stopped. Barbara explains the downfall of Aztec civilization and how they are perceived as barbaric butchers, which turns the man white (well whiter), she pleads with him to stop the fight or at least make sure it’s a non-fatal battle. The Doctor arrives, and explains what he’s learned from Ixta, even telling her of the help he’s given her… only for Barbara to tel him of what’s really going on. As The Doctor rushes off, he is arrested by Tlotoxl for talking to her, because she is in isolation.
The episode reaches it’s conclusion with the fight between Ian and Ixta… Ian has the advantage until Ixta manages to poisons him. Tlotoxl calls for Ian to be killed, while Autloc says that Yetaxa forbids it. Barbara manages to sneak out of the tomb to break up the fight, only for Tlotoxl to chastise her for it and goads her into trying to stop the battle herself, the cliffhanger being a shot of her approaching the two men...
This episode… covers a lot of territory in short order with nearly every plot threat tied into one another, and he pacing is pretty damn quick. This serial really puts the spotlight on Jacqueline Hill who as Barbara Wright, really has to carry the meat of the story since everything is focused on her. I haven’t touched too much on The Doctor and Cameca yet, because that’s more for next week in part three of the story, The Bride of Sacrifice.
So till then… have a great one everybody!