Tom Baker’s final story begins in a motorway layby.
Sue: Whenever I look at the TARDIS, I notice different things about it. Today, I’m fixated on the pink and cream tinting in the glass.
Nicol: I’m starting to worry about you, mother.
Me: Don’t worry, Nicol. It isn’t even a real TARDIS.
The police box bends and wobbles as a familiar sound effect heralds the arrival of a space-time machine.
Sue: It is now.
Evil laughter rings out as a policeman is dragged into the box.
Sue: Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Is it the Master?
Nicol: You mean she’s actually right? And I was here to see it? Wow!
And then we are introduced to Tegan Jovanka.
Sue: She looks familiar. Where have I seen her before?
Tegan’s Aunt Vanessa can’t get her car to start and Tegan is running late.
Sue and Nicol: It’s Tegan!
We have a cat named Tegan. My fault, of course.
Sue: It’s the mouth on legs!
Nicol: It’s little Teagie Weagie!
Me: No one ever calls her that, Sue.
Nicol: Is this why you call Tegan’s name in a mock-Australian accent, Neil? Everything suddenly makes sense.
When the car finally pulls away, Sue doesn’t fancy their chances of making it to the airport in one piece.
Sue: Blimey, she’s had a few accidents in that. I wonder how many people she’s killed…
The Doctor decides to fix his ship’s chameleon circuit, but in order to do that he’ll have to survey a real police box back on Earth. Thankfully, there are a few still in use in the North.
Sue: Are we going oop north? And by north, I don’t mean the Watford Gap.
Nicol: They’re going to Newcastle. That’s why Adric is wearing the Newkie Brown star on his pyjamas.
Sue: So the Doctor is finally going to fix the TARDIS? After all this time, he’s actually going to fix it?
Sue: I think I know why he’s decided to do it now. He’s jealous of the Master, isn’t he? He wants a TARDIS that can sit in a chair and fire laser beams from its eyes. And who can blame him?
Tegan’s car breaks down in the lay-by.
Sue: My mam had an Afghan coat like hers. It stank.
The Doctor looks in on Romana’s bedroom.
Nicol: Has Romana left? When did that happen?
Sue: She left with K9 not so long ago. It was very sad. I’m still getting over it, Nic.
Nicol: Oh, I see. So Tegan’s the replacement dolly bird, then?
Me: Dolly bird? What decade are you living in?
Nicol: It’s hard to tell living with you two.
The Doctor shows Adric how the TARDIS’ chameleon circuit is supposed to work.
Sue: So you play old video games on it?
As the TARDIS materialises next to a real police box, a mysterious figure in white watches from the other side of the road.
Sue: Is it an Auton?
The Doctor materialises his TARDIS around the police box.
Sue: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I’m sure that isn’t a real police box anymore. In fact, I’m sure it’s the Master’s TARDIS.
Nicol: Are you telling me you’re actually following this?
With the police box safely inside the console room, Adric and the Doctor begin taking measurements.
Nicol: I wish I had those measurements when I made my TARDIS cake.
The Doctor introduces Adric – and Sue – to the concept of block transfer computation.
Sue: This is very complicated. Did they really think that children would follow this? Did you follow it when you first saw it, Neil?
Me: Of course I did. Everything I know about science, I learnt from watching Doctor Who.
Nicol: You know about tachyons and the second law of thermodynamics and that’s about it!
Me: Hey, you forgot bioelectronics.
The Doctor watches Tegan on the TARDIS scanner as she wrestles with her car’s flat tyre.
Sue: She’s making a right pig’s ear out of that. I hope she never has to land a plane.
Nicol: You’d think Tom Baker would offer to help her. He isn’t very heroic, is he?
And still the Watcher watches.
Sue: Am I supposed to know who that is?
Nicol: I think it might be Antony Gormley.
When the Doctor walks into the police box in the console room, he finds himself standing in a dimly lit copy of the room he just left.
Sue: I said he landed his TARDIS in a TARDIS! I’m chuffed I got that right.
Tegan walks into the police box on the bypass.
Sue: I had a suit the same colour as Tegan’s uniform, and you know what? I ****ing loved it.
Me: Are you sure you want me to include that on the blog? That’s embarrassing, even for you.
The Doctor and Adric are trapped in a TARDIS within a TARDIS.
Sue: This is a brilliant concept. I love it. I wish the lighting was like this all the time.
The Doctor finds his way back to the layby, where he’s immediately apprehended by the police.
Sue: Oh, it’s him.
Sue: It’s the Between the Lines guy. I like him, he’s good.
The detective (aka Tom Georgeson) leads the Doctor to Tegan’s car, which is empty, aside from two dolls sitting on the front seat.
Sue: I told you it was the Master. It’s good, this.
Nicol: Yeah, it’s alright. I haven’t got a clue what’s going on, but it is interesting, I suppose.
Sue watches the Watcher.
Sue: Why is the Master disguised as a clown?
Me: It isn’t the Master.
Sue: So who is he?
Me: Wait and see.
The police decide to take the Doctor back to the station for questioning.
Sue: Why? What has he done that’s so wrong? Is it a crime to leave some dolls on the front seat of a car? That’s a bit weird.
Nicol: GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN!
Adric causes a distraction and the Doctor races back to the TARDIS. However, he can’t take off because he’s trapped in a gravity bubble, and the only way he can escape is by jettisoning Romana’s room.
Sue: Just think of the shoes he just chucked away. What a waste.
The Doctor receives an emergency transmission from Traken: Tremas has gone missing, which can only mean one thing – his body must have been stolen by the Master.
Sue: At least they’re addressing last week’s massive plot hole. I still don’t buy it, though.
The Doctor decides to flush the Master out of his TARDIS.
Sue: What a stupid ****ing idea. Is he joking? He must be joking. Please tell me he’s joking, Neil.
The Doctor heads for the Thames.
Sue: (Pointing at the map on the scanner) That’s definitely been in EastEnders.
Adric begins flipping switches on the TARDIS console like a pro.
Sue: Adric really knows his shit. He’s the best co-pilot the Doctor’s ever had. Unless you count Romana, of course, she could fly it on her own.
When the TARDIS lands with a bump, Tegan decides to blame the pilot.
Sue: She’s accepted the fact she’s walked into a huge spaceship disguised as a tiny police box quite quickly, hasn’t she? I can’t tell if it’s because she’s really clever or really stupid.
The Doctor and Adric prepare to open the TARDIS doors.
Sue: What the ****?
But nothing happens. In fact, according to the Doctor, there’s no pressure on the doors at all.
Sue: Thank God for that! You’d both be dead if there was!
The TARDIS has accidentally landed on a barge instead of the bottom of the Thames, which makes Sue laugh. Meanwhile, the Watcher stands on a bridge above them.
Sue: How can the Master appear over there just like that?
Me: He isn’t the Master!
Sue: Then who is it? Is it another Time Lord? I’m confused!
Tegan bursts into tears.
Sue: Poor Tegan. Her mind has finally snapped.
But she soon pulls herself together again.
Sue: My first impression of Tegan is quite good. She’s tenacious and up for anything. Is there any particular reason why she’s Australian?
Me: The producer thought she might appeal to our Antipodean cousins.
Sue: That makes sense. JN-T was pretty canny.
When the TARDIS arrives on Logopolis, the crew are greeted by the Monitor.
Sue: That isn’t the Master, is it?
Sue: Just checking. God, this is so confusing.
The Monitor leads the Doctor and his companions through the streets of Logopolis.
Nicol: So is this the planet of the mathematicians? It isn’t very flattering. We don’t all look like that, you know.
Sue: Even on your worst hair day, you don’t look as bad as that, Nic.?
Nicol: It’s a bit insulting to imply that if you are good at maths, you must have a deformed head. I don’t like it.
Sue: Logopolis is a shit hole. It isn’t much of an existence, sitting in a poky hole playing with your abacus, is it? It looks like slave labour to me.
Nicol: It looks like my ideal job. I wish somebody would pay me to solve equations all day.
The Monitor tries to explain block transfer computation again.
Sue: That’s impossible! Isn’t it? Nicol?
Nicol: You can model any space-time event with mathematics, but I’m sure you can’t do it by mumbling the numbers out loud. Actually, I’m fairly certain about that.
And then Nyssa turns up.
Sue: Oh no, not her again! What’s she doing here?
The Master interferes with the Logopolitans’ computations, so when the Doctor inputs the equation into his chameleon circuit, the TARDIS begins to shrink.
Nicol: That is what happens when you don’t show your workings in the margin.
Sue: I’m really enjoying this. Let’s watch another one.
Nicol: I’ll try to stay awake, but I can’t promise anything. It’s getting late and this kind of so-called maths doesn’t really do anything for me.
Sue finally gets a good look at Anthony Ainley’s Master.
Sue: This is more like it. They’re definitely trying to mimic Roger Delgado, but it’s better than him wandering around like a burns victim in a bin bag.
Adric and the Monitor check their equations one more time.
Me: There you go, Nicol. Some hexadecimal for you.
Sue: Too late. She’s fast asleep.
Nyssa’s presence on Logopolis continues to baffle Sue.
Sue: Is she working for the Master? Or did she stowaway on his TARDIS without his consent? Time Lords really need better locks on their TARDISes.
Me: The bloke in white brought her here. Look, there he is now.
Sue: Okay, this guy is starting to freak me out. Who is he?
The Doctor blames himself for ending up with a tiny TARDIS.
Sue: He’s getting old. He needs to give it up. It’s written all over his face.
Nyssa believes that the Master is her father.
Sue: He doesn’t look anything like her dad! Unless her dad had loads of botox and bathed in Grecian 2000. Is she mad?
The Doctor looks very grave indeed.
Sue: He looks depressed to me. He probably misses all those rows he used to have with Lalla Ward.
The Master can’t help but laugh.
Sue: Roger Delgado never laughed this much, did he? He’s a pantomime version of the Master if you ask me.
At least Peter Grimwade receives some well-deserved praise.
Sue: I’m not following this at all, but it looks good. It’s beautifully shot and some of the camera angles are very interesting for Doctor Who.
And still the Watcher watches.
Sue: Is it the Black Guardian in a cunning disguise?
The Master’s interference on Logopolis is catastrophic.
Sue: So if you get your maths wrong, the universe collapses?
Me: That’s pretty much it, yes.
Sue: It’s an interesting idea, I suppose. Mental, but interesting.
The Doctor and the Master butt heads.
Sue: Just use the stun gun you were using last week! It’s probably still in your coat pocket.
The Master realises he’s gone too far this time.
Sue: He never thinks it through, does he? New face, same stupid plans. But I’m not worried. Adric will sort it out. He’s good at maths.
The Master attacks the Monitor via Nyssa’s wrist, which he now controls.
Sue: What’s the point of that? Just do it yourself, man! It would be a lot less aggravation. And why is the Doctor just standing there like a lemon?
But this is just a distraction because the universe is well and truly ****ed.
Sue: It’s just like Lost. You have to keep punching in those numbers or everything goes tits up. Actually, this makes even less sense than Lost, if you can imagine such a thing.
The Monitor decides to leg it.
Sue: I’m off to get a job on Deal or No Deal!
If they want to save the universe, the Master and the Doctor will have to work together.
Me: Are you excited?
Sue: Not really. The Doctor always has to bail the Master out when he cocks it up. I don’t know why the Doctor doesn’t just kill him.
Me: One more episode?
Sue: I’m flagging a bit. And we need to put the bairn to bed. Let’s save it for tomorrow.
Me: Come on, love, there are only three more Tom Baker stories left. We could be on Peter Davison in a week or two if we pull our fingers out.
Sue: Okay, okay. Let’s just get through them.
The Doctor and the Master search for the Monitor as Logopolis collapses around them.
Sue: He’s probably nipped off to telephone the Banker.
Entropy increases. And to demonstrate this, the Monitor slowly fades away.
Sue: Is it like Back to the Future where the photograph changes? Or is the chroma really dodgy this week?
The Watcher joins Nyssa and Adric in the TARDIS.
Sue: Who is he? Tell me. Please.
Me: Don’t worry, it will all make sense at the end.
Sue: Adric called him the Watcher. What kind of stupid name is that? The Watcher? That makes him sound like a pervert.
The Doctor and the Master arrive at the Pharos Project on Earth. The Master immediately tries to murder a member of staff, but the Doctor pulls the man’s chair away at the last moment.
Sue: So why didn’t the Master’s gun shrink the desk? It would be funny if they had to input the code into a computer the size of a matchbox.
Nyssa and Adric are taken out of space and time and they watch helplessly as an entropy field engulfs Traken.
Sue: Bloody hell. They just killed a planet.
Me: I think this story holds the record for the highest body count in Doctor Who’s history.
Sue: Well, that’s five people dead on Traken, at least.
Nyssa is overcome with grief.
Sue: Oh no. She’s going to be a companion, isn’t she? She hasn’t got anywhere to go now, and I can’t see them killing her off, so she has to stay. Is she a companion, Neil? Tell me.
Me: Yes. Yes, she is.
Sue: Three companions? How’s that going to work? If they bring K9 back, it’ll be like Enid ****ing Blyton! The Fabulous Five in Space.
Me: We’ve had three companions before. Ben, Polly and Jamie, remember?
Sue: Yes, but that didn’t last very long, did it? There wasn’t enough stuff for them to do. This is going to be a nightmare.
The Master and the Doctor plan to send the Logopolitans’ data through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment.
Sue: I’m not following this. I just want to know who the Watcher is. It’s driving me nuts.
Our heroes (and the Master) head for the antenna control room.
Sue: I feel as if I should like this story a lot more than I do. We’re on location, we’re back on Earth, the direction is pretty good, and some of the ideas are quite interesting. But I just don’t care.
Our heroes are pursued by the Pharos Project’s guards.
Sue: Nice wacka-wacka Starsky and Hutch guitar, there.
They take cover behind a shed.
Sue: Nice shed. I love sheds.
Tegan creates a distraction as the Doctor and the Master head for the radio telescope.
Sue: The Master still runs like a girl. His head is too big for his body. He reminds me of Ricky Gervais.
The arch-enemies do something impressive with a computer.
Sue: How many Tom Baker stories are left?
I feel bad about this little white lie, but I’ve come too far to spoil things now.
Sue: I wouldn’t trust the Master as far as I could throw him. He laughs like a pantomime villain, for ****’s sake! He even dresses like the bad guy from Aladdin!
The Master holds the universe to ransom.
Sue: Will he have to sit next to that computer for the rest of his life? Is it really worth the aggravation?
The Doctor and the Master fight it out on the telescope’s gantry.
Sue: What a shit fight. Where’s Stuart Fell when you need him?
The Master actually chortled at this point.
Sue: And now he sounds like bloody Mutley!
The Doctor is the only person who can stop the Master, so he heads for the gantry, even though it’s beginning to tilt at a very dangerous angle.
Sue: This is a bit silly. And the chroma has frozen behind him as well. That can’t be good.
The Doctor attacks the computer connection with a wrench.
Sue: If in doubt, bash it.
The Doctor falls.
But his descent is halted by some metalwork, and as he hangs on for dear life, his enemies flash before his eyes.
Sue: Eh? What…? I… Hang on… He’s going to regenerate! They wouldn’t do this if he wasn’t… IT’S THE BLACK GUARDIAN!
The Doctor begins to lose his grip.
Sue: It’s okay. He can climb up from there. Or he could just sit there and wait for help. It’s perfectly fine.
The Doctor lets go.
Sue: Does that count as suicide?
Adric, Nyssa and Tegan rush to the Doctor’s aid.
Sue: I don’t like this at all.
Me: Why not?
Sue: He’s going to die surrounded by strangers. He barely knows two of them, and he met the other one a couple of hours ago. This is so depressing. It should be Romana and K9 by his side.
The Doctor sees the faces of companions from his past.
Sue: See! He has to imagine some people he actually knows. Oh, it’s Mary Tamm… Now I actually do feel sad.
Nyssa realises that the Watcher was the Doctor all the time.
Sue: EH? He was the WHAT?
The Watcher and the Doctor merge together.
Sue: So the Watcher was Peter Davison all the time?
Sue: ****ing hell.
The Doctor regenerates.
Sue: Yes! Peter Davison!
Me: We did it! We actually did it!
After an impromptu dance during the closing credits, Sue belts me in the face with a cushion.
Sue: That’s for lying to me. Again.
Sue: What a terrible regeneration. That has to be the worst one yet. I feel cheated.
Me: You’re not sad, then? Not even a little bit?
Sue: I’m sad he went out like that. He deserved better. He didn’t even know those people by his side.
Me: He died saving the universe.
Sue: Did he? I think he let go on purpose. He’s been in tighter scrapes than that. I think the Peter Davison Doctor told him he had to kill himself or the ratings would never pick up.
Me: What mark are you going to give it?
Sue: I liked the first episode. The TARDIS-in-the-TARDIS idea was very clever, but it didn’t go anywhere. The regeneration was rubbish, too. I’m disappointed.