Will Sue sing this story’s praises? There’s only one way to find out…
Before you ask, yes, Sue knew The King’s Demons was only two episodes long. She could barely contain her excitement, in fact.
Sue: I’m especially looking forward to visiting Turlough’s home planet so we can get to the bottom of where he comes from, and what he was doing in that bloody school.
The story begins on 13th century Earth. In a nobleman’s hall, a feast is underway…
Sue: Turlough’s home planet isn’t what I was expecting. They appear to be stuck in the Middle Ages.
Incredibly, Sue fails to compare the opening scene to Game of Thrones. I’m disappointed.
Sue: At least the incidental music sounds appropriate this week. That’s something.
The feast turns sour when an argument between King John and a nobleman, Ranulf, ends in a duel between Ranulf’s son, Hugh, and a very fiery Frenchman.
Sue: This is Earth, isn’t it?
Sue: Are they going to do a proper historical again? You know, without silly aliens running around?
Meanwhile, on the TARDIS, Turlough doesn’t care that they have landed on Earth again. In fact, he never even mentions his home planet.
Sue: So why did he bring it up in the last story? What was the point?
In other news, Tegan has changed into her third costume in as many years.
Sue: Can we turn the contrast down a bit? Her outfit is blinding me.
The Doctor and his companions arrive in the middle of a jousting tournament. King John welcomes them as his demons.
Sue: He’s very calm, considering what just happened. I thought he’d want to burn them at the stake or something.
The Doctor decides to stay for a bit.
Sue: At least the Doctor shut the TARDIS door. He’s learning.
The Doctor takes a seat next to the king and we are treated to a thrilling duel between Sir Gilles and Hugh. Hugh is unseated from his horse and Sir Gilles moves in for the kill.
Sue: If this was Game of Thrones, he would slice his bollocks off without a second thought.
Ah, there it is. Finally.
The Doctor persuades the king to spare poor Hugh’s life.
Sue: They are freezing to death out there, especially Turlough. I think he’s coming down with hypothermia, bless him.
The actor who plays Ranulf rings a bell…
Sue: His voice is very familiar.
Me: He is pretty famous.
Sue: It will come to me eventually. His beard doesn’t exactly help.
Hugh (who reminds Sue of a very young Hywel Bennett) decides to turn against the Doctor and his friends.
Sue: You ungrateful ****. He just saved your life!
Me: Do you recognise the actor playing Sir Gilles?
Sue: No. He isn’t French, though. South African, maybe, but definitely not French. Nicol would be mortified if she heard his accent…
But when she sees Sir Gilles in a close-up…
Sue: He has a very rubbery face. Hang on, I think it’s actually made from rubber. His voice is wrong, too. Wait a minute… I know that style of overacting… it’s the Master!
Me: Is that a question or a statement?
Sue: No, it’s definitely him. I’m positive.
Sue is on a roll, because a few seconds later she pins down the actor playing Ranulf, too.
Sue: He used to sell life insurance to the over-50s during the adverts for Countdown. I think you got a free pen or a carriage clock when you called him.
Me: Yes, that’s exactly what Frank Windsor is best known for. Well done, you.
King John is acting very strangely indeed…
Sue: The king has been hypnotised by the Master. It’s obvious.
Tegan wants to leave. That’s twice in two stories.
The Doctor: A while longer, then we’ll go.
Sue: We haven’t even reached the first cliffhanger yet! What kind of companion are you?
Ranulf’s cousin, Sir Geoffrey, arrives at the castle on horseback.
Sue: I must say, this looks very nice. Very Robin Hood. Wasn’t Robin Hood a big thing back then?
Me: Robin of Sherwood came out the following year. Were you a fan of that?
Sue: No, I had a life.
Me: But it was on ITV.
Sue: Gary probably watched it.
In the dungeon, four guards have come to collect an Iron Maiden.
Sue: That’s the Master’s TARDIS. I could write this, you know.
Back in the hall, King John is entertaining his guests with a song.
Sue: Who let Jethro Tull into the building?
I’m a little drunk so I sing along.
Sue: What is this song about?
Me: Killing muslims.
Sue: It’s a nice tune, but he really needs to work on the lyrics.
The Doctor and Sir Gilles get into a disagreement.
Sue: How can the Doctor fail to recognise his arch-enemy? It’s preposterous. Look at him!
Me: Listen to him!
The Master’s accent is getting riper by the second.
Sue: (as Inspector Clouseau) Do you have a license for your minkey?
The Doctor and Sir Gilles have a sword fight.
Me: Of course, this isn’t the first time the Doctor and the Master have gone at each other with swords.
Sue: Yes, I remember. That fight was a lot better than this one. Jon Pertwee ate a sandwich in the middle of it. He didn’t give any to Jo, either. I’ll never forgive him for that.
The episode concludes with the Master discarding his disguise…
The Doctor takes the Master’s Tissue Compression Eliminator away from him.
Sue: Shrink the ****er! What are you waiting for?
A tense stand-off ensues.
Sue: If I were Tegan, I’d walk up behind the Master and I’ll cut his head off with my sword. And then I’d say, “That was for my auntie!”
The king’s men place the Master in the Iron Maiden but it’s not what it appears.
Sue: I knew it was his TARDIS. The Master is taking the piss.
The Master’s TARDIS materialises in the dungeon where Turlough is being held.
Sue: Turlough’s thinking: “How many guys dressed in black has the Doctor pissed off over the years?”
Meanwhile, the Doctor gets knighted.
Sue: If that isn’t a real king, does it still count?
The Master wants to interfere with the signing of the Magna Carta.
Sue: It means Great Charter. I know that and I didn’t go to ****ing Eton.
The Doctor decides to keep the Master’s TCE.
Sue: If you had a device that could shrink things like that, you wouldn’t stick it in your trousers. It might go off in your pants.
Sue isn’t engaging with The King’s Demons, and she believes she knows why:
Sue: It looks great – the sets are fantastic – and it’s directed very nicely too, but the plot isn’t doing anything for me. It’s a tedious run around in a castle.
However, just as the boredom threatens to overwhelm her, she meets Kamelion…
Sue: Well, I didn’t expect that. Its design is fabulous. It looks like a glamorous crash test dummy. ****ing hell, it moves! I bet it didn’t come cheap.
Kamelion can transform himself into any person his user wishes. But that’s not what impresses Sue.
Sue: He’s got man boobs!
The Doctor believes that Kamelion has a mind of his own.
The Master: Kamelion will not turn on me.
Sue: Are you insane? Everybody turns on you!
The Master wants to become the Emperor of Chaos.
Sue: That sounds like a really depressing job description to me. How could you run an empire based on chaos? No one would do what you told them. He hasn’t thought it through.
The Doctor forces Kamelion to take on Tegan’s appearance and Turlough ushers her into the TARDIS, brandishing a sword like a maniac.
Sue: I love Turlough. He never does anything by halves.
The Master is furious.
The Master: Mediaeval misfits!
Sue: Stupid scriptwriter!
Back on the TARDIS, Kamelion quickly gets his feet under the console.
Kamelion: I would make an excellent colleague.
Sue: Is Kamelion a companion?
Me: It certainly looks that way.
Sue: No way! How’s that going to work?
Me: Wait and see.
Sue: Actually, they could get a different actor to play him each week. It might work.
Tegan isn’t very happy with this arrangement.
Sue: Come on, Tegan, just take it back to your room and think really hard about Simon Le Bon or Gary Kemp.
The Doctor has had enough of Tegan’s bleating and he threatens to take her home.
Sue: You can’t blame the Doctor. She really is a stroppy cow. And if by some miracle he ends up missing her, he could always ask Kamelion to impersonate her. Sorted.
The credits roll.
Sue: So, that was the end of Peter Davison’s second season?
The Final Score
Sue: That was rushed. I think they were desperately trying to pad out the season, and they just threw that together when time was running out. The performances were OK, and the sets and locations were very nice, but it didn’t go anywhere. Who cares?
Me: What are you going to give it?
The experiment continues…
Next update due: Monday 22nd October. That’s right, I’m giving Sue a much deserved break so I can focus on the book for a week. Our revised plan is to reach Colin Baker in the first week of November and McCoy in the first week of December. We still expect to complete this blog before the end of 2012.
We are also hoping to release a podcast at the end of the Peter Davison years. If you would like to ask Sue a question (via an audio clip if possible) or even a song (please take a listen to our Pertwee Years podcast to get a feel for the kind of thing we’re after), you have until the end of this month to send it. If you have any questions, please contact me. Thanks.
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