PLANET OF FIRE

Part One

Sue: Ooh, we like Peter Grimwade, don’t we?
Me: Yes, he’s a very good director.
Sue: Excellent.
Me: But he didn’t direct this.
Sue: Oh. At least we’re on location. That’s good. This is a very impressive quarry, actually.

Two men are traipsing up a mountain in their pants.

Planet of FireSue: Blimey, he’s got a big packet…. Oh, no! It’s Rodney Bewes again! In a wig!
Me: Don’t worry, it’s not Rodney Bewes.
Sue: It’s not Eric from the Bay City Rollers, is it? Nothing would surprise me any more.

Two men named Timanov and Malkon are discussing their god, Logar.

Sue: This definitely isn’t filmed in Wales. Where are we? This is gorgeous.
Timanov: For our people to survive we must have faith, and never more so than at this moment.
Sue: Is that Jason King?
Me: Yes, it’s Peter Wyngarde.
Sue: He’s gone a bit overboard with the eyeshadow.
Me: Do you like Peter Wyngarde?
Sue: I liked him as Jason King.

I wonder if she’d still like Peter Wyngarde if she ever heard this:

(WARNING! DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED. SERIOUSLY, I REALLY ****ING MEAN IT!)

Sue: Where the hell are we anyway? It’s not Jersey, is it?

On the TARDIS, the Doctor is still het up about the Daleks.

Turlough: Doctor, you’re becoming obsessed.
The Doctor: Yes, obsessed and depressed.
Sue: That sounds like somebody who isn’t sitting a million miles away from me right now. Don’t worry, love, it’ll all be over soon.

Planet of FireA plaintive electronic scream pierces the air.

Sue: What the…?

It’s Kamelion.

Sue: What the…?
Me: That’s what’s been missing from the TARDIS all this time.

Sue: Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about him. So where has he been? Has he been charging his battery for the last six weeks? And I thought my iPhone was bad.

The TARDIS intercepts a distress signal from Trion and Turlough sabotages the ship.

Sue: Eh? Has Turlough gone bad again? Is the Black Guardian in this?

Meanwhile, on Lanzarote.

Sue: It’s… it’s… it’s….

Sue is pointing excitedly at Nicola Bryant.

Planet of FireSue: It’s Nev Fountain’s girlfriend!
Me: Yes, it’s Nicola Bryant.
Sue: I’m not going to say anything about her American accent because I know it’s not real. I know this because I’ve met her. She was lovely. Derren Brown set the meeting up as a prank, I think.

Peri is arguing with her stepfather, Howard.

Sue: I can tell you something, though. Her American accent is definitely better than his.

Peri wants to travel the world.

Sue: She’s very beautiful. Having said that, there’s plenty of eye-candy for the mums as well. Howard can’t act for toffee but he’s very easy on the eye.
Me: Howard can’t act for cawfee.

Peri handles a strange, alien object.

Sue: That’s a bit phallic.
Me: Do you think?

Meanwhile, on the planet Sarn.

Sue: This is a strange Nativity play. There’s too many shepherds. The actor playing the Chosen One is terrible, but I bet his parents are still very proud of him.

The Doctor and Turlough arrive on Lanzarote. The real Lanzarote. No, not Sarn. Yes, I had to explain this to Sue as well.

Sue: Ooh, I’ve just noticed that the Doctor is wearing an embroidered waistcoat. I’m sorry but I’m too distracted by this location to pick up on the usual details. I may as well be watching Wish You Were Here with Judith Chalmers.

Planet of FireBut when Sue finally notices Peter’s wardrobe, she really notices it:

Sue: The Doctor’s shirt would be a bugger to wash. If the green and the red inside his collar were to run, it would be a nightmare.

Peri has been stranded on her stepfather’s yacht, so she decides to take drastic action.

Sue: Oh, hello.

I pause the DVD. And no, it’s not a Pavlovian instinct.

Me: I’ve been dying to tell you this for years, and now it will finally make sense. The thing is, I was the first person to tell the internet that Nev and Nicola were going out with each other.
Sue: Are you the sci-fi version of Hello or something?
Me: I wrote: “Nev will never have to watch Planet of Fire ever again”.

I hit the Play button.

Peri is drowning and Turlough notices her plight on the TARDIS scanner. He zooms in for a better view.

Sue: Yeah, go on, Turlough, get your lens right in there, you perv.

Bizarrely, Turlough isn’t thrilled by this distraction.

Sue: Turlough can be very selfish. I like that about him, though. It makes him more realistic.

Planet of FireTurlough reluctantly decides to rescue Peri.

Sue: He’s left the ****ing door open again.

Turlough strips down to his pants and he saves Peri’s life.

Sue: So she jumped into the sea but she can’t swim? Was that wise? Peri’s not going to be completely thick, is she?

The Doctor is sitting in a bar when his detector beeps. He puts a handful of alien tokens on the table and runs off.

Sue: That reminds me of my favourite joke. An alien walks into a bar and the bartender says, “We don’t serve aliens, you’re not welcome here”. So the alien says, “Can I stay if I buy a round of drinks for everyone?”. The bartender eventually agrees, and when he’s finished serving all the drinks, he turns to the alien and says, “That will be £345, please.” And the alien says, “Have you got change for a zonk?”
Me: You’re very easily pleased.
Sue: That’s why I married you, love.

Planet of FireTurlough carries a dripping wet, semi-naked Peri into his bedroom.

Sue: Be honest, Neil. Is this your favourite episode of all time?
Me: Yes, Kamelion really gives me the horn.

Turlough looks through Peri’s belongings and he pulls out a Trion artefact.

Sue: Turlough’s thinking to himself, “Jesus Christ! What is she planning to do with this?”
Peri: I needed the money!
Sue: ****ing hell!

Turlough tries – and fails – to hide the object from the Doctor.

Sue: Will we finally learn about Turlough’s past in this story? I hope it’s good. They’ve dragged it out longer than Lost.

Peri is having a nightmare.

Peri: Howard. I didn’t mean it. No, Howard. Please don’t leave me alone. Don’t, don’t turn out the light!
Sue: Right, so she’s been sexually abused by her stepfather. Is that for kids? Is it?

Planet of FireKamelion transforms himself into Howard the sex-pest. But as the episode concludes he suddenly transforms into…

Sue: The Master. What a surprise.

She doesn’t sound surprised.

The credits roll.

Sue: There’s a lot going on, I’ll give it that. It definitely isn’t boring. The locations are very nice.

 

Part Two

Planet of FireSue: The Master has Gary Glitter eyes.
Me: What?
Sue: He does that thing with his eyes that Gary Glitter does. You know, that faked look of surprise he does where he knocks his head back and raises his eyebrows. Just saying.

Kamelion-Master drags Peri onto the surface of Sarn but some falling masonry knocks him out cold.

Sue: Well that’s the Master dead, then. He couldn’t possibly survive a crack on the head like that.
Me: It isn’t the Master, it’s a robot!
Sue: Oh yeah, it’s not the Master. Sorry, I forgot. It’s complicated, this.

The Doctor questions Turlough about his past.

The Doctor: Why have you never mentioned your home planet before?
Me: Never mind that, why have you never asked him about it before?
Sue: I’ve told you, Neil. They’re men. Men never talk to each other. It’s sad, really.

Planet of FireThe location continues to impress the wife.

Sue: They should film every episode of Doctor Who abroad. It looks amazing. The BBC should have done the whole series as an off-shore tax-break thing.

Peri reveals her full name.

Sue: What kind of name is Perpugilliam? And shouldn’t her nickname be Perp? Why can’t the Doctor travel with people with normal names? When was the last time he travelled with a companion who had a normal name?
Me: That’d be Sarah Jane.
Sue: Bloody hell. He really needs to travel with a Bob or a Sharon.

Sue can’t get a handle on the real Master’s plan.

Sue: Why is he going to all this trouble? Why doesn’t he just walk out of his TARDIS and do this himself? This robot is a lot more trouble than it’s worth.
Me: You took the words right out of JNT’s mouth. Keep watching, this will all make sense eventually. Well, sort of…

Planet of FireKamelion is struggling to maintain control of his form.

Sue: He can’t stand the confusion in his mind.

Sue thinks she recognises Barbara Shelley, which I find very hard to believe given her aversion to the horror genre, but we can both agree on one thing:

Sue: She’s got a lovely voice.

Kamelion-Master follows Peri.

Kamelion-Master: I am the Master!
Peri: So what?
Sue: Ha! That’s brilliant.

Timanov hikes to the top of the volcano. He sits down, exhausted and panting.

Sue: Is he having a poo?

Peri slides down the volcano.

Sue: At least they found a decent slope for her. I feel sorry for Peri. She just wants to go Eurorailing.

Timanov mistakes Kamelion-Master for an Outsider sent by Logar.

Timanov: I’ve been struggling to keep the faith.
Sue: I bloody love Bon Jovi.
Me: I know.

Planet of FireKamelion-Master is welcomed by Timanov.

Sue: He’s really fallen on his feet. He didn’t have to come with any bullshit to convince them to follow him. How easy was that?

In the Hall of Fire, the Doctor tries to stop a volcano from erupting.

Sue: The person who did the make-up for this story wants shooting. Peter Davison is caked in mascara. This is not a good look for him.

But this is a small niggle.

Sue: The direction is good, the locations are good, the plot is keeping me interested and Turlough is running around in his shorts. What’s not to like?

Turlough and Malkon compare scars.

Sue: Are they brothers? I bet they’re brothers. At least Turlough’s mysterious past is starting to make sense, now.

The Doctor and the Kamelion-Master meet.

The Doctor: Oh no.
Sue: Can he not just get rid of the Master once and for all? He must be doing his head in by now. He’s definitely doing mine in.

The episode concludes with a good old ritual sacrifice.

Sue: That was a good cliffhanger. I’m really enjoying this.

 

Part Three

Planet of FireSue: Turlough has very nice legs. He should have worn his shorts in every story. But not the yellow socks. No man should ever wear yellow socks.

Before Malkon can intervene in the sacrifice, he is shot down by a laser beam.

Malkon: Warn the Doctor. Kamelion is the Master.
Sue: Hey! The Doctor just threw a blanket over his face when he mentioned the Master.
Me: I know how he feels.

The Master’s connection to Kamelion is broken and Kamelion-Master transforms itself into Kamelion-Howard.

Sue: Why not change back into his normal robotic state? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

Timanov can’t believe his eyes.

Sue: Why are they walking around with giant hat pins?

Planet of FireTurlough confirms Sue’s suspicions – he is Malkon’s brother.

Sue: I expected the EastEnders drums to kick in for a second. It’s not very good casting, is it? They look nothing like each other.

The Master takes control of Kamelion again. Timanov is told to follow him, but there’s a condition:

Timanov: Where are the gifts? The Outsider always brings gifts from Logar.
Sue: He’s just in it for the presents. He may as well be praying to Father Christmas.

Turlough shows his mark of Trion to the Doctor.

Turlough: You have to be very special to wear the Misos Triangle.
Me: (Singing Barry Manilow) “The Misos Triangle, try to see it from my angle…”. Sorry.
Sue: Turlough’s emblem reminds me of the Superman logo. Turlough should make himself a superhero costume out of lyrca with that logo on his chest. He’s got the legs for spandex.

Peri enters the Master’s TARDIS.

Sue: So the Master owns a black iPod and the Doctor owns a white iPod. I get it.

Kamelion-Master and Peri carry a large black box into the console room.

Sue: If I were Peri, I’d go with the Master. I’m sure he’d show her a good time. If he stopped trying to take over the universe, I bet he could be a right laugh.

The Doctor and a native of Sarn named Amyand use the TARDIS databanks to identify who Logar is.

Planet of FireSue: I hope the Doctor isn’t auditioning for new companions. This one is rubbish. It’s obvious that Turlough is going to leave at the end of this one, which is a shame because I don’t want him to go, but you can’t replace him with this plank of wood, even if he does have a massive packet.

Peri and Kamelion-Master enter the heart of the volcano.

Sue: It’s not You Only Live Twice, but it’ll do.

The Master demonstrates the power of his tissue compression eliminator on some thermal suits.

Sue: You can do that to a T-shirt with nothing more than a washing machine, Neil. And why is it called an eliminator anyway? It hasn’t eliminated anything, it’s just made it smaller. He should call it his sonic shrinker.

Turlough uses his power as the Chosen One to command Timanov.

Timanov: We will be guided by you, Chosen One.
Sue: (As Timanov) But only if you’ve brought me a gift. I’m not doing anything unless there’s a gift in it.

Sarn appears to be tearing itself apart so Turlough herds Sarn’s elders into the TARDIS.

Sue: I hope there’s plenty of toilets on the TARDIS. This lot will be crossing their legs any minute now.

Planet of FireTimanov remembers the first time he saw Logar…

Sue: He’s very good. I think Jason King would be a better Master than the Master.

When the volcano erupts with numismaton gas, Timanov is overjoyed.

Timanov: There’ll be a gathering. We must go to our people.
Sue: (As Timanov) Have you all written your wish lists for Logar?

The Doctor warns Turlough that if he’s holding anything back from him, their friendship will be at an end.

Sue: He hasn’t been this stern with Turlough since he found out he was trying to kill him for three weeks.

Peri overcomes Kamelion and she rushes inside the Master’s TARDIS.

Sue: Good girl. She’s got potential. Shame about the Benny Hill music, though.

The cliffhanger is a complete surprise. Yes, the Master is a man in a box.

Planet of FireSue: What the ****?
The Master: You will obey me or die!
Sue: He’s not exactly in a position to make any threats, is he? Just step on him!

The credits roll.

Sue: I’m suddenly interested again. I thought it was running out of steam but that’s a great twist.

 

Part Four

The Doctor steps into the numismaton gas.

Sue: Does this mean he’s topped himself up and he won’t have to regenerate for ages? I’m joking. I know he dies in the next one.
Me: As far as Big Finish are concerned, the Fifth Doctor has hundreds of years worth of adventures between this story and the next. So maybe you’re right.
Sue: They should turn this planet into a spa. They’d make a fortune.

The tiny Master falls out of his box.

Sue: What I don’t understand is this: why isn’t he dead? Tegan’s aunt didn’t run around like this when he shrank her.

Turlough’s own people exiled to a public school on Earth.

Sue: What a bizarre punishment. So it had absolutely nothing to do with the Black Guardian? That’s disappointing.

Planet of FireThe Doctor, Peri and Amyand trek through the barren landscape of Sarn.

Sue: They are getting the most out of this location. I can’t blame them. It’s brilliant. I just wish they’d get back to the plot.

Turlough sends a distress call to his own people.

Sue: He’s pressing the buttons from an old telephone box. Is he going to reverse the charges?

We learn that Turlough’s first name is.

Sue: Vislor? No wonder he never uses it.

Kamelion begs the Doctor to kill him. The Doctor obliges.

Sue: He didn’t have to think about it very much. What a waste of time.

The Master uses the numismaton gas to restore himself to his normal size.

Sue: Just shrink him again! Shrink him, put him in his box, and then bury that box in the sand. Simple.

But something has gone wrong. The Master begs the Doctor to help him. The Doctor stands back.

Planet of FireSue: Oh, he’s actually going to let him die. I’m shocked.

The Master is consumed by the fire. And no, Sue doesn’t pick up on the “your own…?” reference.

Sue: So is that it? Is the Master really, really dead? For good this time?
Me: Looks that way.
Sue: So I can’t ask “Is it the Master?” ever again?
Me: Well, I can’t stop you.
Sue: I can’t believe they finally killed him off. I’m relieved, actually.

The Doctor is cut up about it.

Sue: Peter Davsion does that emotion really well. That’s his trademark.

Turlough leaves the TARDIS crew.

Planet of FireSue: Turlough has been the most interesting companion in the series so far. I’ll really miss him.

And Peri joins.

Sue: She was alright. It’s very early days, but at least she’s proactive and she isn’t a screamer.
Me: Well, Nev said…
Sue: I wouldn’t finish that sentence if I were you, Neil.

 

The Score

Sue: I enjoyed that. The locations were great and it was one of the better Master stories, although I’m glad to see the back of him. Yeah, I’ll give that a very respectable:

7/10

 

Coming Soon

 

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Comments

  1. Gavin Noble  November 7, 2012

    Should have been called Twin Peaks I think…

  2. Mike  November 7, 2012

    Great commentary as always, guys. I’m just a little disappointed we didn’t get to hear Sue speculate about the Master’s relationship to the Doctor. “Your own brother? Your own father? Your own wife?”

    • Andrew Bowman  November 7, 2012

      To be fair, if I hadn’t been aware of the line prior to watching it, I wouldn’t have picked up on it either. It is said rather quickly.

    • Cracked Polystyrene Man  November 7, 2012

      “fellow Time Lord?”

    • robert dick  November 7, 2012

      “Your own…ly other Time Lord who had left Gallifrey in a TARDIS. I must be. It says so in The Doomsday Weapon, the novelisation of Colony in Space!

      • John Miller  November 8, 2012

        For the Love of The Other, could you PLEASE just drop this? Since a)it’s not funny, b)it’s not clever and c)it actually says something totally different in that book. So you are making jokes at things that don’t even exist. If you have to persist in making comments like this, could you please actually know what it really did say first?

        • Wholahoop  November 8, 2012

          I have to say that it made me smile as I assumed it was harmless banter. Like I said previously you could just shrug your your shoulders and tut disapprovingly or, and this is genuinely friendly advice honestly, you could smile at the phenomenon that you have spawned, as it is the best ongoing tangent since the Shada debates

  3. Lewis  November 7, 2012

    No mention of the Phallic-Shaped Rock (ep1 or 2) which gets its own scene for about 5 long seconds? Disappointing.

    Overall, though, I agree with Sue on this. A nice 7/10. Keep ’em coming!

    • DPC  November 7, 2012

      So much eye candy and then we get that nice big rock!

      Oh, “Howard. I didn’t mean it. No, Howard. Please don’t leave me alone. Don’t, don’t turn out the light!”

      Why does everybody think it’s a molestation scene? She was remembering from being a kid, woken up from a nightmare, sees Howard, is scared to be left alone or the lights turned out because – as a kid – being scared by monsters. All kids have such nightmares…

      That and, if one is molested, they probably wouldn’t want the have the lights on so they could see it being done. 🙁 As a victim of molesters when I was a kid, they typically don’t do that sort of thing. 🙁

      • Andrew Bowman  November 7, 2012

        Very sorry to hear of your experiences there, but I can’t help thinking that the intention, although ambiguous, was certainly that Peri had been abused growing up. Not for kids perhaps, but it isn’t explicit, so I think they got away with it (if that’s the correct turn of phrase).

        • robert dick  November 7, 2012

          I don’t think for a second it’s a molestation thing. It’s a ‘Don’t leave me in the dark’ thing. I also doubt she’d be as touchy-feely with Howard as she is if that were the case.

          • Glen Allen  November 7, 2012

            Blimey. I never thought of it like that. Simply a case of in childhood not liking the dark as most kids do

          • Frankymole  November 8, 2012

            Yes, if Howard molested her, why would she be pleading with him to stay with her? Surely she’d want him to leave her alone? It doesn’t make sense.

        • DPC  November 8, 2012

          What you say is a possibility – Peri could have been… and there could have been a subtle double entendre, allowing for either mindset to be fathomed. Which only shows how good the writing is, since it’s ambiguous to let the viewer decide…

          Still, why would Peri endure molestation by him when she was young, but then treat him on good terms (they were chatting on the boat, and she thought Kamelion was him in the TARDIS and she asked him where they were, etc…) That’s the only other possibility as to why I have to discount the idea of molestation, in favor of her remembering a childhood trauma with Howard being an *** by turning off the light despite her protestations and leaving the room as if he didn’t care (and with their discussions on screen there does seem to be a detachment on his part)… but I’ve read stranger news articles about what people endure, so it’s not inconceivable… it just seems improbable.

          Thx for the sympathy as well. Even 30+ years after the events, it’s amazing what lingers… but, even at Peri’s age (~22?), I would not have been so tolerable of those who did their deeds… much less amicable… which is why I can’t believe the situation set up had to do with molestation. It did seem more like a stepfather who was disinterested in his stepchild…

          • Andrew Bowman  November 8, 2012

            Oh, ambiguity wins every time! I’m just curious as to the mindset of Grimwade and Saward, whether their intention was to be controversial or to *seem* controversial. Either way you look at it, it’s certainly vivid enough to be a topic of conversation nearly 30 years later! 🙂

  4. John  November 7, 2012

    I enjoyed this episode too Sue. One thing I missed though, how did the Trion artefact end up in Lanzarote? Can anyone tell me? 🙂

  5. Warren Andrews  November 7, 2012

    Glad Sue enjoyed this one, I have very vivid memories of it from childhood (in which my memory tells me the Doctor regenerated at the end of it…).

    Sue might have got her wish about Turlough if Mark Strickson hadn’t put his foot down. JNT wanted him in shorts the whole time (oh and bald).

    Some lousy acting from most of the guest cast but Peter Wyngarde is brilliant.

  6. Jennie  November 7, 2012

    “Sue: Turlough’s thinking to himself, “Jesus Christ! What is she planning to do with this?”

    I don’t think I’m going to be able to watch episode one again without remembering this….

    Can’t wait for Androzani.

  7. DPC  November 7, 2012

    Men with big packets are cool… =D

    Another awesome review, thanks y’all!

  8. Simon Harries  November 7, 2012

    I’ve been sniggering my ass off all the way through this very enjoyable read. Wank bank, indeed?! Fantastic!

  9. Paul Mc Elvaney  November 7, 2012

    Wow. That Wyngarde video has scarred me for life.

    “Neil: You’re very easily pleased.
    Sue: That’s why I married you, love.”
    Oh, snap!!

    “Sue: What I don’t understand is this: why isn’t he dead? Tegan’s aunt didn’t run around like this when he shrank her.”
    Oh, my dear Sue, you have been naive…
    Really, really looking forward to the next two stories, it’s gonna be a hoot!

  10. Jazza1971  November 7, 2012

    A bit confused by this bit (obviously a typo):-

    “Kamelion-Master is welcomed by Timanov as a

    Sue: He’s really fallen on his feet…”

    As a what? A huge waste of money? A wasted opportunity??

    And that Peter Wyngarde song is wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin!

    • Paul Mc Elvaney  November 7, 2012

      It’s so offensive the makers of Family Guy and South Park would even back away from it!

      • Andrew Bowman  November 7, 2012

        I’m not sure which is *more* offensive, the subject matter or the outrageous racial stereotypes! Well, the former I suppose, but the latter does run a close second. Although, just maybe, it’s all a bit of a joke, albeit in extremely poor taste.

      • DPC  November 8, 2012

        I just listened to that song.

        WT…F!…

        I know the late-60s/early-1970s were different, but that song fits in more with Manson’s lot than with the counterculture most of us would recognize of that era.

        Was it meant to be funny? If so, it doesn’t quite work out that way…

        But I’m surprised “Family Guy” hasn’t tried using it yet. That show has done almost everything else… (granted, seasons 1 and 2 are hilarious, with season 3 being atrocious, but later seasons being mixed bags… with a great parody of the SW movies, despite some awkward moments the show is known for (pauses as means to carry the joke longer than it should…)

        • Wholahoop  November 8, 2012

          I managed about 40 seconds of the song. It beggars belief that someone would put their name to it

          • Matthew B.  November 9, 2012

            I’ve wondered whether Wyngarde was inspired (if that’s the word) by “It Depends on What You Pay” from the musical The Fantasticks, which is very similarly themed and almost as offensive.

  11. Paul Greaves  November 7, 2012

    Perfect scoring, Sue. I really like Planet of Fire, always have. With the exception of WotD, this last series has been a great run for the Fifth Doctor. Ainley gives his second best performance as The Master, Davison is on fire (pun intended) and everyone does a good job. With the arguable exception of him from Howard’s Way and the other young one who looks a bit like Neil Morrissey in Boon.

  12. DPC  November 7, 2012

    Definitely one of the best Master stories.

    There’s a lot of soul in this story, and it’s well thought-out. Yes, it’s got much eye candy in it (enough from both genders), but the plot is fairly simple and leaving room for the philosophical angle, the contrived elements come across naturally, the guest cast – while often wooden – still have poignant moments, the Master is put out of his misery in full view, but the main part of the story:

    The usual religious/vs/nonreligious discussion is made, but Timanov comes across just as much as man for feel empathy for as much as dislike. He’s sincere. Ably played by Peter Wyngarde as well. And it’s way-cool how Amyand wants to help him at the end, despite the way Timanov treated him. I felt real sorrow as Timanov chose to commit suicide. He didn’t have to, much less deserve to, but here he is -realizing his religion was all a contrivance, and he’s responsible for a lot of murders (but not intentional). I’d feel pretty bad if I were in that position, but Amyand – for an agnostic – has a massive amount of compassion, since he knew Timanov wasn’t evil as such.

    And it’s well directed.

    Not to mention Sue’s terrific comments, as usual!

    Easily a 9 out of me…

    • James C  November 7, 2012

      The atheist-leaning agnostic in me is compelled to ask ‘I beg your pardon?!’ about that line at the end of your otherwise very thoughtful comment.

      • DPC  November 8, 2012

        Please forgive; it was stereotyping on my part… I too am an agnostic, and Left-wing, but have encountered some agnostic people online (in political forums) who would – shall we say – not act as nicely toward the religious the way Amyand had. It was cynicism and stereotyping on my part, and proof I need to get away from the political forums and out in real life more. I sincerely do apologize.

        • James C  November 8, 2012

          No worries – it’s the sort of thing that I feel compelled to call people out on. Just as much as when people say ‘All [insert religion here] are soft-headed numpties.’

          Discussion closed.

  13. Melvin  November 7, 2012

    I’m really pleased Sue declared that “Turlough has been the most interesting companion in the series so far.” I agree completely. When I got through his adventures with the Doctor earlier this year, I had to process Turlough’s character arc; you can review that assessment here: http://papaserf.tumblr.com/post/19131989765/turlough

    As for Kamelion, points to the Doctor Who team of the period for trying out some technical innovation, regardless of its super-limited success. Given the robot-prop’s limitations, it’s surprising they didn’t try a Lt Cmdr Data and have Kamelion be an actor in makeup – the potential for a shapeshifting companion would have permitted all kinds of awesome guest-stars.

    • Doodvid  November 7, 2012

      I’m surprised they didn’t use Kamelion to explain Richard Hurndall’s First Doctor in The Five Doctors.

      • Frankymole  November 8, 2012

        I believe Robert Holmes wanted to pass the Fake First Doctor off as a Cyber-duplicate-android thingy, a bit like the Dalek one in “The Chase”, but this idea was dropped along with Holmes’s treatment when Dicks’s script took over. Shame – I liked the one from the Chase: “tot-al-ly in-dist-ing-uish-ab-le from the o-rig-in-al” as the Daleks claimed, somewhat untruthfully.

  14. encyclops  November 7, 2012

    This is the third Davison story I had no recollection of from childhood. It’s possible I never even saw it back then, but only read the novelisation. So I watched it recently, and wow — I’m not sure I’d even give it 1/10.

    First and foremost, there’s Peri. I’m sure Nicola Bryant is a lovely person and a fine actress, and I don’t really blame her for the fact that Peri is tied with the next companion as my least favorite in all of Who. I’m sure we’ll get into the reasons why in the upcoming stories, and to be fair this is far from her worst. But those scenes in episode 1 with her stepfather get my vote for the worst acted in all of Who, and yes, that includes Cotton and Mansell. Partly it’s that the American accents are nails-on-a-chalkboard awful, and I guess it’s probably their attempts to maintain them that make everything else so stilted, but holy crap is it embarrassing to watch. Good grief.

    Then there’s the rest of the story. The location shooting only serves to make the Logar cult seem even more stagey and unconvincing than it would otherwise be, the themes (which should appeal to me) seem cartoonish and underdeveloped, and the routine with Kamelion trying to resist the Master’s control is unbelievably tedious. The twist with the shrunken Master is fresh in all the wrong ways. And while I appreciate Grimwade’s attempts to get absolutely everyone in short pants somehow, the casting director really failed to provide anyone who could do justice to those costumes. It earns bonkers points, I guess, and astonishingly there are two other stories this season that are at least as bad, but I couldn’t disagree with Sue more on this one.

    Still, I enjoy it more when she likes a story I hate than vice versa, and the commentary is as always sparkling. And I like her joke!

    • John G  November 7, 2012

      There was no casting director – in those days, BBC directors cast their own productions.

      • encyclops  November 7, 2012

        Ah, so I can blame Fiona Cumming. For a whole lot of things, now that I think about it.

        • Frankymole  November 8, 2012

          If you run out of reasons, stick on the “Special Edition”…

        • Thomas  November 9, 2012

          Well, be fair, she is one of the few actually good directors in the Saward era (I can only think of two others off-hand).

    • Cracked Polystyrene Man  November 7, 2012

      Nicola is fantastic in this story and the next – she works particularly well with Davison’s Doctor.

      Unfortunatey for her it’s downhill after that.

      • Thomas  November 9, 2012

        See, I think her acting improves tremendously once Davison leaves. It’s her character that goes down the drain from there.

  15. matt bartley  November 7, 2012

    This is one of the few stories I’ve never seen, because I’ve always thought it looked really, really boring.

    Maybe I’m wrong?

    • jsd  November 8, 2012

      Judged against the rest of the classic era it’s not boring at all. Maybe a little much if you watch it all in one sitting. So don’t do that.

  16. Mim Rasphelien  November 7, 2012

    I’m not easily offended, and I still wish I hadn’t listened to it. What was he thinking?

    • Neil Perryman  November 7, 2012

      I did warn you. It’s the audio equivalent of A Serbian Film.

      • Mim Rasphelien  November 7, 2012

        I actually bailed out when the cod-Oriental accent came in, I don’t know if it got any worse than that.

        • Frankymole  November 8, 2012

          After “Japanese” he does “Chinese”…

      • matt bartley  November 7, 2012

        It’s no Gangnam Style.

  17. Jay  November 7, 2012

    Look, I’ve had my regular End-Of-October Gross Cold going for a week, with constant coughing, so you two really shouldn’t make me coughlaugh in this state. It hurts.

    Also nailing The Ainley Problem, and I noticed yesterday that Logopolis was the ONE TIME it was important that Ainley look like the locals. And does he? NO! (did he really need to look like Father Mushroom from “Jack Frost” in Logopolis?) And he keeps chuckling and grinning? If they weren’t tranced-out mathematicians… But I guess he realized how careless he’d been and decided to overcompensate for the rest of his life. That said, the Camp-off between him and Wyngarde on the mountaintop…JOY.

    I’d never watched a minute of Colin until you intrigued me with Four To Doomsday (I’d seen Castrovalva) and I ended up doing all of Five through Eight in a month, and I really like Six and I really hate Pip and Jane. I look forward impatiently to the next era here.

  18. chris-too-old-to-watch  November 7, 2012

    Bye-bye Vislor: one of the last times a hot decent actor steps into the TARDIS for several years.

    Rest of the story is too derivative for my liking – all you need is Ursula Andress and Charles Aznovour singing (Sheeeeeeee, may be the face you can’t forgeeeeeeeeet), and you’re back in Hammer horror territory.

    But (duck and cover men), it’s better than the overhyped trash we’ve got to get through in the next story (Regenerations: old age, check: forced by bosses, check: prevents creation of all-powerful spider god, check: save universe from dissolution by entropy, check: fungal infection……..)

    • Jazza1971  November 7, 2012

      I’m not going to go in to detail on this post, I’ll wait for the actual story for that, but you are missing the major point about Davison’s regeneration. It isn’t the cause that is important, but the reason why he allows it to happen. You might as well have said “First: Feels unwell and falls over, Second: forced by bosses [I can’t fault you on this one], Third: Falls out of TARDIS, Fourth: Falls a distance on to astro-turf”…

      • chris-too-old-to-watch  November 8, 2012

        Say what you like about it. I won’t be taking part in any discussion of what I’ve always considered the most over-hyped story of the entire series. I know a lot of people love it, but it leaves me cold and always has done.

    • Jane  November 8, 2012

      It’s not a fungal infection! It’s the Elixir of Life, but with the polarity reversed. Very alchemical.

  19. Richard Lyth  November 7, 2012

    I’m surprised Sue didn’t mention my favourite line, when Turlough asks the Doctor if he misses Tegan, and he replies “Well…we were together a long time” with the subtext “HELL no!” just lurking underneath. Hilarious!

    • Jay  November 7, 2012

      The look on his face at the end of Arc Of Infinity is…beyond priceless.

  20. Auntie Celia  November 7, 2012

    I shall refrain from listening to it. To-night’s funny review was sharp as a whip, if a little ‘near’ at times x

  21. Ryan Hall  November 7, 2012

    Ahh bye bye Turlough , pretty much the last decent and intresting male assistant the doctors had, and that includes the new series.

    i only remember certain parts of this story…turlough in swim shorts did a funny thing to this then 8 year old viewer hahaha, i do remember watching this on a friday night though? dunno if wales had it on later in the week than regular BBC1.

    • John G  November 7, 2012

      This story was transmitted on Thursday and Friday evenings.

  22. Wholahoop  November 7, 2012

    Of course that shirt has been worn since the last one got washed in Warriors,of the Deep

  23. Neon  November 7, 2012

    Almost on the the shows greatest era, and yes i am being serious!

    I hope Sue isn’t influenced by outside opinions, and really loves colin’s era. It’s great 🙂

    • Andrew Bowman  November 7, 2012

      At last, a fellow C Bakerite! As a child, I couldn’t get my head around Peter Davison, having been, apropos to Tom Baker’s assertion, unable to make the two leaps of the imagination as a child (I think he’s excellent now). Colin was MY Doctor, and he was brilliant. Let down by some production issues of course, but never less than brilliant! I’ll talk more on this when the time comes!

      • DPC  November 7, 2012

        Ditto.

        Colin is one of my favorite Docs, and I’ve tried from putting out spoilers.

        Looking forward to the Wife in Space coverage of this era!

        • John Miller  November 8, 2012

          I’ve always liked Colin too. I think I appreciate Davison more now. I remember finding him bland and dull when younger, and thinking Colin was far more charismatic and full-of-life.

  24. John G  November 7, 2012

    “I wouldn’t finish that sentence if I were you, Neil.”

    That was a fantastically funny, innuendo-packed read! I agree that Planet of Fire is a good, solid story, and as he did with Mawdryn Undead Grimwade manages to integrate a daunting shopping list from the production team quite seamlessly. The direction is also impressive, though it is rather too obvious that Lanzarote and Sarn are the same place! It’s a decent start for Peri too, although I do think she would often get a pretty raw deal during her tenure, as we shall see in time.

    I’m a bit surprised Sue is now convinced the Master is dead – after all, she has seen him in the new series. Still, that climactic scene is a powerful one and shows how hardened the fifth Doctor has now become, as does his willingness to destroy Kamelion and threaten Turlough. He can’t be pushed around anymore, as the next story will amply demonstrate. I also share Sue’s regret at Turlough’s departure, though he does at least get a decent send-off. It’s a shame really that he didn’t stick around for another year, as the sight of Mark and Colin trying to outham each other would have been delicious…

    • Neil Perryman  November 7, 2012

      She knows he’s in the new series. She was talking about the classic series.

      • John G  November 7, 2012

        Ah, thanks for clarifying that Neil. At least she has still got the Rani to look forward to 🙂

      • Cracked Polystyrene Man  November 7, 2012

        The Master in the new series had been “resurrected” by the Time Lords to fight in the Time War. I assume they did the same with Rassilon.

        • Frankymole  November 8, 2012

          Possibly, although to be strictly accurate, Rassilon never actually died. He’s fairly conversational in “The Five Doctors”!

          • Wholahoop  November 8, 2012

            Eternal, perpetual regeneration

            A bit like being offered a new life cycle I guess

            In other words, the Writers can write whatever tosh they feel is appropriate at the time

  25. Thomas Bush  November 7, 2012

    Have to share this with you. I was at Tardiscon ’86 in St. Louis, MO. Guest stars were Mark Strickson, Sarah Sutton, Frazer Hines, Nicola Bryant and Ian Marter. Mark was selling his homemade beer (isn’t that illegal?). Nicola auctioned off her trainers and signed my copy of T2D. Ian, however, didn’t look too good. He had a shaved head, wore steel-rimmed glasses and was pretty plump. This was a few months before he died. Such a wonderful bloke, and to actually meet him was both thrilling and sad.

    Whenever I watch PoF, I always think about this. Depressing, eh?

  26. Glen Allen  November 7, 2012

    “….I don’t want him to go, but you can’t replace him with this plank of wood, even if he does have a massive packet.”
    Oh now thats where Ive been going wrong

    Sue: He does that thing with his eyes that Gary Glitter does. You know, that faked look of surprise he does where he knocks his head back and raises his eyebrows. Just saying.
    I have to say at that point I thought “what? I dont get that” and then tried to do it myself…*shame*

    Sue: What I don’t understand is this: why isn’t he dead? Tegan’s aunt didn’t run around like this when he shrank her.
    And so now Im having a little wee (not literally) thinking about tiny Aunty Vanessa’s running around shouting abuse

  27. David Cole  November 8, 2012

    “Turlough carries a dripping wet, semi-naked Peri into his bedroom.” I remember my mum once asking, “What ARE you watching?!” as she glanced at the screen while that bit was on.

  28. Frankymole  November 8, 2012

    Peter Wyngarde smells….
    http://i715.photobucket.com/albums/ww153/Frankymole/wyngarde.jpg
    Great!

  29. Dave Sanders  November 8, 2012

    On the subject of bizarre vocalising…. Neil, please don’t subject Sue to Doctor In Distress, I think it would break her heart to hear what Nicola Bryant’s singing voice is like.

    Sorry Nev.

    • Thomas  November 9, 2012

      I feel so bad for her in that, because she seems so hugely uncomfortable about the whole thing. You’d swear Levine was shoving a mike in her face shouting “SING, PERI, SING! I MUST HAVE MY DOCTOR WHO BACK!”

      • Dave Sanders  November 9, 2012

        Troo dat. Nobody comes out of that experience well, but you can forgive Colin for how personal it was for him.

        • Thomas  November 9, 2012

          Courtney handles it with utter class, which you’d expect. Other than that there’s a couple singers that have rather good voices, but as it would happen they tend to be the ones I can’t recognize, so go figure.

  30. Professor Thascales  November 8, 2012

    I like this story on the whole. One of the things that make it good is Wyngarde’s performance. He doesn’t play Timanov as a fanatic–or at least, he plays Timanov as someone who doesn’t think he’s a fanatic; instead, he plays him as a sincere man of religious devotion. His last line–“Logar is everywhere. He cares for the faithful.”–is said with such conviction.
    (BTW he didn’t sound disillusioned to me. He sounded like he expected Logar preserve his soul, though probably not his body.)

    • DamonD  November 8, 2012

      Agreed. Even when he’s kind of hammy at times, there are enough good lines, and good delivery/conviction by Wyngarde, to make Timanov one of the more believable fanatic out there. His final moments are even sympathetic and courageous, though we’re probably just meant to think he’s being an idiot.

  31. John Miller  November 8, 2012

    Neil. I apologise for this post, and will understand if you don’t want to approve of it. I swear this will be my last post ever on this particular topic on your blog. Ever. I will NOT respond to anything anyone says of this. I swear. However, I just wanted to make one FINAL. POST. EVER. on this topic. Surfing the internet I found two online pictures. One, a colour photograph, depicting the War Chief and the War Lord in their uniforms as they were n The War Games. The other is a picture from the RT’s brilliant job on Terror Of The Autons. It depicts The Master arriving on Earth(Rossini/Russell’s circus is clearly evident in the background). This is from BEFORE the Time Lord with the bowler hat arrives to warn The Doctor that “an old acquaintance has arrived seeking vengeance”:

    http://www.kittensdirect.com/colourise/images/warLord_colour_300.jpg

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oIWAPTI4zDg/T4OVJw9pvoI/AAAAAAAABr4/C-Mg48PCXHE/s1600/Terror%2Bof%2Bthe%2BAutons.png

    And that IS my final word on this on Your Blog. EVER.

    • Neil Perryman  November 8, 2012

      I’ll hold you to that.

    • Mim Rasphelien  November 8, 2012

      Obsession can be a tragic thing.

    • Merast  November 8, 2012

      I’m curious, what does that prove?

      • Neil Perryman  November 8, 2012

        It doesn’t matter. Just leave it. Please step away from the dead argument. Thanks.

        • Wholahoop  November 8, 2012

          Is banter about the Monk/War Chief/Master permitted or will the authors (me mainly I guess) be modded in future?

      • Wholahoop  November 8, 2012

        Whatever you think is appropriate….

    • robert dick  November 8, 2012

      >And that IS my final word on this on Your Blog. EVER.

      Good.

  32. Merast  November 8, 2012

    Well i’ve always liked Planet of Fire, it was probably the best Ainley Master story, probably even the best Master story of the 80s. I quite liked the special edition released a couple of years ago in dvd, although the newly filmed scene at the beginning was a tad out of place.

    • Merast  November 8, 2012

      May have misworded that slightly but i didn’t want to leave out Geoffrey Beevers, seeing as he is the other 80’s Master.

      • Dave Sanders  November 8, 2012

        Bah, we all know the definitive Master is Jonathan Pryce. Fact,

        • Wholahoop  November 8, 2012

          But he was one of the ones from the 90’s. However, I thought JP showed on the video extras of COTFD how much effort he was putting in to nail the character. Bwahahahaha as he might have said

  33. BWT  November 8, 2012

    “You wouldn’t do this to your own…”

    Enemy?
    Grandmother?
    Roast dinner?

    And…

    “He can’t stand the confusion in his mind.” Yes, “I CAN’T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIND!!!” really needs to be on a mug or a t-shirt, doesn’t it? Shame it’s not from this story.

  34. Antti Björklund  November 8, 2012

    Sue: Turlough has been the most interesting companion in the series so far. I’ll really miss him.

    What happened to “They should have called the show ‘Ian'”?

    • Wholahoop  November 8, 2012

      Perhaps after however long the experiment has been going on for Sue has taken on some of the habits of the We, in this case fickleness

    • Frankymole  November 8, 2012

      Ian never wore shorts, did he?

  35. Paul Mudie  November 8, 2012

    Another lovely blog entry!

    It’s very hard for me to look objectively at the Peri stories because Nicola Bryant still sets my heart a-racing, but I would say this is one of the better ones. I was very glad to see the back of Kameleon, as I could never quite see the point of him. It’s no surprise to me that he was kept out of the last few stories. Imagine him going up against the Daleks! That would have been a bit crap.

      • DPC  November 9, 2012

        Not bad at all… it’s quite good, actually!

        But there is one tiny problem, it looks like her right hand is partly severed… 😮

        But, overall, it’s a fantastic piece of artwork!

        • Andrew Bowman  November 9, 2012

          What are you doing looking at her hand!? ;D

          • DPC  November 9, 2012

            LOL!

      • Paul Mudie  November 9, 2012

        Nice!

        I’ve had a crack at a Peri portrait or two myself, such as this one:

        http://pmoodie.deviantart.com/gallery/#/ds633v

        I won’t explain the context, as it would contain spoilers! 😉

        • Neil Perryman  November 9, 2012

          Spoilers concerning the contents of your mind?

          • Paul Mudie  November 9, 2012

            You can’t spoil what’s already ruined! 😀

        • Andrew Bowman  November 9, 2012

          Just what is it about Peri/Nicola Bryant which inspires such wonderful art. If only I could put my finger in it…

          • Andrew Bowman  November 9, 2012

            *on* it! Now, there’s a Freudian slip for you! lol

        • Mim Rasphelien  November 9, 2012

          You should have given her a cushion, that throne doesn’t look very comfy. I worry about these things.

          • Frankymole  November 9, 2012

            She’d be sitting on Yrcanos’s lap most of the time, I expect.

          • Mim Rasphelien  November 9, 2012

            Ah. That would be *very* soft and cushioned. Apart from… well, never mind.

  36. nick-pm  November 9, 2012

    How come Sue knows Davison leaves next story? I thought these landmarks were usually concealed from her and was looking forward to seeing if she guessed…?

    • Thomas  November 9, 2012

      Either a) Neil responded to the backlash against Logopolis by telling her ahead of time (which I think is doubtful), or b) she knew it was coming up and knew it was a regeneration because she’s seen it before.

      • Leo  November 9, 2012

        Sue did know that The War Games was Patrick Troughton’s last story because Neil told her, so the same probably applies here.

        • Thomas  November 9, 2012

          I honestly just think it’s because she’s already seen Caves. Even if her memory of it isn’t that strong, I’m fairly certain she’d remember a regeneration.

          (though now that I think about it, Logopolis seems to be the only regeneration story where she went in not knowing it was a regeneration. Unless she wasn’t told for Tenth Planet?)

          • Thomas  November 9, 2012

            Of course, having just read Neil’s reply, it’s possible she might not have remembered…

  37. Dave Sanders  November 9, 2012

    Prettty sure Sue has watched Androzani before, the same time as she was first subjected to Genesis back around ’93. I expect since then that the fact that it’s Davison’s last story is as much as she remembers of it.

    • John Miller  November 9, 2012

      Well, everyone knew that Androzani was Davison’s last story ever. Of course, if Neil wants to, Sue could be the first person ever NOT to know which story is Colin Baker’s last story….

      • Mim Rasphelien  November 9, 2012

        I thought the above was supposed to be your last word on this blog ever? That was a pretty quick comeback.

        • Neil Perryman  November 9, 2012

          To be fair, it was the last time he was going to mention *that* subject.

        • Mim Rasphelien  November 9, 2012

          Oh, just on that subject. There was me thinking it was a bridge-burning noble self-sacrifice.

          • John Miller  November 9, 2012

            Just another reminder that it helps to pay attention to what people actually say, rather than what you perceive them to be saying. I will be very interested to see how Sue, a non-fan, finds Androzani. Does she know what the general fandom view of it is?

          • Mim Rasphelien  November 9, 2012

            Actually, I have slight dyslexia and find it all too easy to mis-absorb the written word.

            I dunno, after getting two consecutive comments sections locked, being repeatedly warned not to bring a certain subject up, and then bringing it up again on the most spurious and pointless grounds imaginable, I’d maybe not take such a high and mighty tone about paying attention to what people say.

    • Leo  November 9, 2012

      Sue couldn’t even remember having watched Genesis until Neil reminded her they;d watched it together before…

      • Neil Perryman  November 9, 2012

        Not true. She remembered watching Genesis with me, it was Caves she had/has no memory of.

        • Leo  November 9, 2012

          Yeah, it was more that, having just checked it again, she claimed she couldn’t remember anything about it other than thinking it was good…