Saturday, July 30, 2016

Race Against Death - Doctor Who Tales From The TARDIS



Hello Dwellers And Welcome To The Basement…

It’s Saturday! Time for a new episode of Doctor Who: Tales From The TARDIS!



This week, we are up to part four of the Sensorites… this week it’s a ‘Race Against Death’… because as you know, Ian has drank the water of the Sense Sphere and collapsed at the end of last weeks episode.

 

 

So it’s no surprise to see that The Doctor and Susan are working to figure out what caused him to collapse, instantly suspecting the water since they didn’t drink it, and The Doctor suspects it’s not really a disease the Sensorites are dealing with, but poison! This doesn’t totally go over well with a couple of the elders, who think this whole thing may be a trick, and knowing what the Doctor would become in the modern era, yeah that’s some profound thinking, cause since 2005, you basically expect the Doctor to have one his companions fall ill, only for him to cure them and then get the hell out of town in the TARDIS.

 

 

The the same time The Administrator orders John to be murdered instead of just having his mind erased, an Elder slams him verbally for it, saying that the Administrator’s attitude is going to get him into trouble someday, but he won’t be stopped. He tells a scientist that the Doctor is evil and is planning to betray them all, and John, in his loopy state of mind, appears to agree with this, which perfectly plays into The Administrator’s hands and easily convinces the scientist of this as well. Once alone, John tries to clarify what he meant that there is an evil among the Sensorites, and other than him being the obvious choice as the antagonist, The Administrator says he ‘knew that all along’, and that he wants to wipe the humans from existence. Goes to show folks: All administrators are slimey slimeballs

 

 

Meanwhile, The Doctor, much to his dismay, has been denied access to the TARDIS to try and find a cure thanks to the Administrator’s scheming, and shouts at the Sensorites for this, which causes them some great pain… so they are not only easily blinded, but can’t stand loud sounds. Regardless the Doctor is allowed access to their own laboratories to work on a cure. The Doctor tells the Sensorites scientists what he’s looking for, and suspects that the water supply to have traces atropine poison in it. Atropine is used as a medication to treat various ailments, from slow heart rates or to act as a nerve agent or to treat poisonings… however it does have quite a few side effects that we’ve seen detailed in the story arc: dizziness, loss of balance, dilated pupils, dry mouth, and so for. Anyway, the scientists tell him of ten districts where water is taken, and The Doctor tests samples from each location, eventually finding out that the tainted water supply comes from District Eight, and knowing this, he proceeds to prepare an antidote. 

 

 

The story goes back to focusing on the Administrator, who is working on a way to get the key for the disintegrator weapons and points out the obvious when talking to another Sensorite, that they only way they can tell each other apart is by their sashes… so the plan is to disguise himself as an Elder in order to get what he wants. He would later kidnap an Elder and his family, taking his sash, saying he will prove that The Doctor is evil. Saying that attitude the Doctor is preparing is actually a poison and that Ian has been faking this entire time. Yeah the Admin, is a bit paranoid, but it is amusing to note that he’s really the only one of the Sensorites on this track of mind, the rest are either cautious or hopeful. Anyway, The Administrator’s disguises works , he tricks a scientist into giving him the antidote that is intended for Ian… and later smashes it on the floor…. Basically, his plan now hinges on the old ‘witch trial’ method: if Ian gets better on his own, then the Doctor was lying…. But if Ian dies, then the Doctor was telling the truth. As silly as that sounds, it is one of those plot tropes that to this day still gets used. 

 

 

Back with the Doctor, he has been escorted to an aqueduct to investigate the source of the poison, the Sensorite with him says they can’t stay for long as it’s dark and their plans to light it have always gone a bit haywire… but in a great comedic moment, the Sensorite damn near calls the Doctor insane when he says that he’s going inside to investigate it. He tries to tell him of the monsters, which the Doctor dismisses because no one has actually ‘seen it’ and only heard noises… putting two and two together, The Doctor rationalizes that the aqueduct has two things the Sensorites fear: loud noises and darkness. The Doctor’s escort returns to elder to explain what happened, and the Elder is disgusted, saying that anyone who enters that particular aqueduct dies. Hearing this, Susan and a very weaken, near death Ian spring to action to go rescue the Doctor. This actually impresses the Elder, and he informs the other Elders of this this, which gets heard by the Administrator, who is less than thrilled with the Elder apparently falling for the human’s trickery… but at the same time is happy that they are going to head to their deaths. Amazing how he can find the silver lining ain’t it? 

 

 

The episode comes to a close with Ian and Susan arriving at the aqueduct, but Ian really is in no condition for this, but presses forward… while further inside, The Doctor found what he suspected he would… followed by the sound of a horrific roar echoing within the tunnel...

 

This episode again moves everything forward, we find out what the is killing Ian and the Sensorites, The Doctor can make a cure, and the Administrator reveals that he does know what is going on… but this plays more into the next episode. There are a few things I didn’t go over, namely that the Sensorites can block out Susan’s ability to hear their thoughts but she can still get a feel for what they are thinking, so she has some emphatic abilities… which sadly won’t ever get really explored. And I was asked where is Barbara, as we didn’t talk about her… well Jacqueline Hill who played her, was given a break at the time, much like how William Hartnell and Carol Ann Ford got, in fact, come to think of it, William Russel who played Ian, is the only actor who didn’t have a holiday break. While it’s not like Barbara’s absence has been noticeable to the plot, her lack of being there following how heavily she was involved in the Aztecs certainly creates a void for those who have come to enjoy her character.



So that will do it for this week, next week is part five of the Sensorites… with Kidnap!



Till then have a good one everybody!



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