Part One

MeglosThe TARDIS is heading for Tigella, a planet the Doctor has visited previously.

Sue: It must have been uneventful or you would’ve made me sit through it, Neil.

On Tigella, three humanoids with fair hair are attempting to break into something.

Sue: Are they Thals? Are the Daleks in this one? Have they finally stopped putting their name in the title?

A blonde scientist named Deedrix is arguing with a priest named Zastor about something called the Dodecahedron.

Me: Are you following this, Sue?
Sue: Nope.

Meanwhile, in a nearby temple, a Priestess named Lexa is kneeling on a small dais.

Sue: She’s famous.
Me: Is she?
Sue: Yes, she’s very familiar. Don’t worry, it’ll come to me eventually.

MeglosThe Doctor and Romana are trying to repair K9.

Sue: I haven’t forgiven Romana for throwing his ball into the sea. I don’t know who I blame more: Romana for throwing it or K9 for chasing after it (he’s a computer and really should know better). Anyway, I prefer this voice. It’s so much better.

In a debating chamber on Tigella, the scientists (the Savants) and the Deons (the religious nutters) are bickering over the Dodecahedron.

Sue: I’m not following this. I think I tuned out for a second and lost the thread.
Me: It’s basically science versus religion, and a powerful artefact no one can explain.
Sue: Sorry, but I tuned out halfway through your explanation. Say that again, please.

We cut to the planet Zolfa-Thura. It’s a shit hole. And then a spaceship touches down and a group of Gaztaks emerge from its hold.

Me: Do you notice anything interesting about this shot?
Sue: Yes, one of the actors just tripped over himself.
Me: Not that. Something else.
Sue: The Chromakey is really bad?
Me: Something else.
Sue: Oh, wait, yes, the camera is moving.
: It’s called Scene Sync. The BBC tested out the technology on this story.
Sue: And what conclusion did they come to? That it was shit? The keying is terrible! Episodes from the 1970s had less fringing than this.

The Gaztaks are manhandling a man in a grey suit. He looks like he might work in a bank. So that’s okay, then.

Sue: So who are this motley crew? Are they Russian?

The Gaztaks enter a laboratory.

MeglosSue: Is there a reason for that cactus in the background? Or were cacti big in the 1980s? I forget.

Sue discovers the cactus is none other than the eponymous Meglos.

Sue: So the villain is a pot plant? Do me a favour!

Lexa, Zastor and Deedrix discuss the Doctor’s imminent visit.

Sue: She’s very familiar. It’s doing my head in now.

Come on, Sue, you can do it…

Sue: If only I could see her hair. If she wasn’t wearing that majorette’s hat, I’m sure I’d recognise her.

Sue isn’t a big fan of the haberdashery in this story; General Grugger’s head-gear is especially galling.

Sue: Is he wearing a silver jelly mould on his head? With a Christmas tree ornament sticking out the top? That’s just weird.

Meglos gives the Gaztaks their marching orders.

Sue: I like the way they’ve positioned the lights behind the cactus so they look like its eyes.

You know, I’d never noticed that before.

Sue: He’s starting to get on my nerves, now.
Me: Who?
Sue: The one who can’t act.
Me: You’ll have to narrow that down a bit, love.
Sue: The one who looks like a tramp they’ve dragged off the street. Are they paying him in methylated spirits?

Meglos instructs Grugger to initiate “the procedure”.

Sue: It’s a shit villain who can’t press their own buttons.

MeglosThe human bank manager is placed into a chamber. He starts to jerk and shake as arcs of electricity surround him.

Me: (As David Byrne) You may find yourself in a strange alien spaceship. And you may ask yourself, how did I get here?
Sue: (As David Byrne) That is not my beautiful wife! That is a ****ing cactus!

Back on the TARDIS, Romana is still trying to fix K9 as the Doctor trips over his apron.

Sue: He made a right meal of that.
Me: Shhh. This bit is important.?
: If they put K9 down, I’ll stop watching this programme. I mean it, Neil.

Back on the TARDIS, Romana is still trying to fix K9 as the Doctor trips over his apron.

Sue: He made a right meal of that.
Me: Shhh. This bit is important.
Sue: If they put K9 down, I’ll stop watching this programme. I mean it, Neil.

Back on the TARDIS, Romana is still trying to fix K9 as the Doctor trips over his apron.

MeglosSue: He made a right meal of that.
Me: Shhh. This bit is important.
Sue: Okay. Bored, now.

As far as Sue is concerned, there’s only one being in the universe who could do this to the Doctor.

Sue: It’s the Black Guardian. I told him not to fiddle with his randomiser, but he wouldn’t listen.

The episode concludes with Meglos taking the Doctor’s form.

Sue: Eh? This is bloody complicated all of a sudden.

Part Two

MeglosThe Doctor and Romana are trapped in a chronic hysteresis.

Sue: I had that once but some antibiotics cleared it up.

Meglos has not only trapped our heroes in a fold in time, he’s stolen the Doctor’s identity as well.

Sue: He’s quite powerful for a cactus who couldn’t press any buttons a few minutes ago.

And Meglos has something nasty in store for Tigella.

Sue: Tom’s eyes are completely different when he’s playing Meglos. That’s good acting, I guess. Either that or he had too many drinks at lunchtime.

Lexa and Zastor are still bickering. It’s what they do.

Sue: It’s really bugging me, now. Who is she?
Me: I’m really disappointed in you, Susan.
Sue: She looks like Barbara, but I know she can’t be Barbara.
Me: Why not?
Sue: Because then she’d be Barbara, silly.
Me: The same actress could be playing a different role.
Sue: Don’t be stupid.

At the city’s entrance, a female Savant named Caris meets Meglos, who’s still pretending to be the Doctor.

MeglosSue: Their hair is very Vidal Sassoon. I used to cut hair in that style when I started hairdressing. It would have been around the time of this story, funnily enough. Anyway, I was working at a place called Holga of Denmark in Newcastle, and there was this one week where Holga made me stand outside the shop in a wig just like that. I hated it so much, I resigned.

The Doctor and Romana break out of the hysteresis by repeating their own lines. Badly.

Sue: I bet this is what it was like in rehearsals.

Lexa meets Meglos/the Doctor.

Sue: Oh, just tell me, for ****’s sake.
Me: It’s Barbara! Well, the woman who played Barbara – Jacqueline Hill.
Sue: I knew it! I bloody knew it!

MeglosShe’s pleased to see Jackie at first. However, this doesn’t last very long.

Sue: Why not just bring Barbara back? She’s wasted in this part. Because she’s still got it, you know.

Romana decides to change into something more comfortable.

Sue: I like that look. It’s palm-reader meets pirate. And at least K9 has been allowed out this week. Hey! Stop slapping him on the nose!

Meglos reaches the Tigellan’s power room.

Sue: There’s a monster coming.
Me: Is there?
Sue: I can hear it.
Me: You can?
Sue: I think it might be a giant rattlesnake.
Me: That’s the incidental music, love.

MeglosMeglos steals the Dodecahedron.

Sue: The Doctor will probably get the blame for that. Then again, the Doctor gets the blame for everything.

Romana is attacked by Tigella’s indigenous plant life, but she still manages to escape.

Sue: Did she just happen to be carrying a space spanner around with her? Where was she hiding it?

Lexa learns that the Dodecahedron has gone missing.

Sue: Is that an alarm?
Me: No, it’s the incidental music.
Sue: I miss Dudley. Hey, rewind that bit. Yes… there! Can you hear the Doctor Who theme music, Neil? Isn’t that unusual? Have they ever done that before? I like it.

The real Doctor turns up and greets Zastor as if he were an old friend.

Sue: He should greet Barbara like she was an old friend. This isn’t right.

Meanwhile, K9 is running out of juice.

Sue: K9 needs some decent batteries. I’ve owned iPods that lasted longer than him.

MeglosRomana traipses through a jungle in search of a city.

Sue: They’re attempting to make this place look bigger than it really is by having her walking around in circles. They’re trying their best, I suppose, but it isn’t the greatest jungle set we’ve seen on Doctor Who. It’s too bright for a start.

Romana is caught by the Gaztaks and then the credits roll.

Sue: I can’t believe two people wrote this rubbish. Maybe that’s why it’s so bloody confusing.

Part Three

MeglosSue: How long is this recap? Jesus Christ! Can we fast-forward this? Or I can pop out and make some tea?

The missing Dodecahedron was keeping the Tigellans alive.

Sue: I’m sure you can buy dodecahedrons from garden centres these days. You can use them as mini-greenhouses. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Just nip out and buy a new one. And get some weed-killer while you’re at it.

The Gaztaks accuse Romana of leading them up the garden path.

Sue: She has to. They keep running out of studio space. By the way, were you still watching Buck Rogers when this story was on?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Good call.

MeglosMeglos, who now looks like the Doctor crossed with a cactus, struggles to stop the human banker (who is trapped inside him) from breaking free.

Sue: This is confusing enough without it turning into a bloody threesome!

Lexa argues with the Doctor. The real one, that is.

Sue: It isn’t right seeing Barbara shout at the Doctor like that. She should be helping him.

Romana rescues K9.

Sue: Romana should have had her own show. She could have defeated aliens with her special space spanner. It would have been great. She isn’t bad for a posh lass.

The Doctor is led to the power room.

MeglosSue: (Singing) Oh Superman…
Me: Yes, now that you mention it, the incidental music does bear an uncanny resemblance to the Laurie Anderson song. Well done.
Sue: Even the plinth is the same shape as the Superman logo. It must be intentional.

Caris is trapped with Meglos.

Sue: Tom’s a bit randy when he’s playing Meglos. He keeps trying to paw her breasts. I bet he enjoyed this. He must have spent a long time in the makeup chair these last few weeks, what with this and the old-age look last week. It’s great makeup, mind. It’s just completely wasted on this story.

The Tigellan guards try to keep the Gaztaks out of the city.

Sue: And now it’s turned into Star Wars.

MeglosThe Gaztaks use a tree to batter down the door.

Sue: And the Russian pirates are playing the Ewoks.

Once inside the city, General Grugger gives K9 a good kicking.

Sue: Hey! That cost 20 grand!

Yes, Sue watched the documentary on The Leisure Hive DVD where this fact was revealed to her. And yes, she really hates JN-T after some of the hurtful things he said about her favourite mechanical mutt. She isn’t very happy with Tom, either. Anyway, Lexa prepares to sacrifice the Doctor…

Sue: It’s Eyes Wide Shut. But less sexy. A lot less sexy. Like, this is the opposite end of the sexy spectrum. Just so we’re clear.

Meglos returns to the Gaztaks’ ship.

Sue: Office chairs and hoover attachments. I’m sorry, but it’s crap.

The Doctor is tied to a plinth. A large rock hangs above him.

Sue: So that’s why they wear red robes. They’re going to get splattered in a minute, and blood stains are a nightmare to get out.

MeglosThey burn the first rope that’s keeping the Doctor alive.

Sue: This should be a good cliffhanger.

The final rope is lit.

Sue: Yep. Well done.

Part Four

MeglosMe: The good news is that this episode is only 19 minutes long.
Sue: So only 15 minutes, if you take out the recap. Marvellous.
Me: You aren’t enjoying this very much, are you?
Sue: It’s confusing, it’s boring, and it’s doing my head in.

Romana rushes off to rescue the Doctor.

Sue: You’re too late, pet. He’s as flat as a pancake.

But the Doctor is very much alive and the rope is still burning.

Sue: Is this another chronic hysterics? Or is the editor just shit?

Meglos returns to Zolfa-Thura with the Dodecahedron.

Sue: The keying is horrendous! Where have his legs gone?

Meglos’ complex rises from beneath the sand.

Sue: In your own time… And cut… Okay, and cut… All right, show the whole thing. Like I care.

Meanwhile, Buck Rogers is disco dancing with scantily clad women in the 25th century.

Twiki: Bidi-bidi-bidi.

MeglosLexa is killed by a Gaztak who didn’t even get any lines.

Sue: What a travesty, although I only care about this character because she used to be Barbara.

The Doctor and Romana take Deedrix and Caris to Zolfa-Thura.

Sue: Why take these two jokers with you? What kind of help are they going to be?

Back in the laboratory, Meglos prepares to unleash hell. He tells Brotadac that he is about to release a power many magnitudes greater than any intelligence has ever controlled.?

Sue: What kind of name is Brotadac?
Me: It’s another anagram. For bad actor.
Sue: So the writers knew this guy was going to play him?
Me: No, they just assumed they’d hire a bad actor for the part.
Sue: Did the actor ever find out? He must have felt awful. I actually feel sorry for him now.
Me: Good.

Romana decides to follow the Doctor.

Sue: She’s left the TARDIS door open again. For ****’s sake!

A Gaztak attacks Meglos by accident.

Sue: Right in the nuts!

While another Gaztak attacks the Doctor.

Sue: Right in the nuts again! What are this lot called?
Me: Gaztaks.
Sue: They should have called them the Nut Punchers. Are they available as dolls?
Me: Not yet, but give it time.
Sue: When they are, they should release a limited edition Nut Puncher set. Just stick a cactus in it. Job’s a good ‘un.

The Doctor confronts Meglos.

MeglosSue: Tom is pulling out all the stops here. He must really respect himself as an actor because he’s definitely bringing his A-game.

K9 zaps the Gaztak who’s standing on the ramp leading to their spaceship.

Sue: Okay, so who’s going to move that body so K9 can get up that ramp? And why do I keep fixating on stupid details like that?

Brotadac begins the countdown that will result in certain death for everyone.

Sue: He’d make a lousy bingo caller.

The human trapped inside Meglos manages to break free and the villain ends up as a puddle of green snot.

Sue: And I thought looking like a cactus was embarrassing.

Meglos returns to his laboratory and reverts to a cactus once again.

Sue: He’s gone all stiff. That’s one thing you can say about Meglos – he has staying power. Oh dear, they’ve blown him up…

And then the Doctor and Romana receive a summons from Gallifrey.

Sue: Oh, how exciting.

The Doctor promises to return the human to Earth before he left it.

Sue: I wish I could return to a time before I saw this.
Me: Don’t be silly. Then you’d have to watch it.
Sue: Good point.

The Score

Sue: Well, that was shit. The cactus make-up was pretty good, and Tom Baker was above average, but that’s about it. What more do you want me to say? Poor Barbara.


Coming Soon