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The Ribos Operation

.Doctor WhoThe Doctor’s TARDIS is diverted to an unknown place. Upon landing, the Doctor meets the White Guardian, a being more powerful than even the Time Lords, who has chosen the Doctor to retrieve the six missing segments of the Key To Time, which will supposedly restore time and space to a more balanced state. With a new version of K9 up and running, the Doctor is keen to undertake this adventure alone, but again, the Guardian chooses a new companion for the Doctor, a Time Lady named Romanadvortrelundar.

The search for the first of the Key To Time’s six segments leads the Doctor, K9 and Romana to an unlikely place for such an item: the backwards planet Ribos. The natives are wrapped up in superstition and tradition, and they’re largely unaware that their planet is being targeted for takeover by the mad exiled warlord Graff Vynda-K. But even the Graff is being targeted on Ribos by a pair of con men who hope he’ll pay handsomely for directions which will supposedly lead him to a lost mine containing enough of the mineral jethrik to fund his operation. And when everyone’s plans are exposed, they believe the Doctor and Romana are the responsible party.

Season 16 Regular Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (voice of K-9)

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Robert Holmes
directed by George Spenton-Foster
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Iain Cuthbertson (Garron), Nigel Plaskitt (Unstoffe), Paul Seed (Graff Vynda-K), Robert Keegan (Sholakh), Prentis Hancock (Captain), Timothy Bateson (Binro), Ann Tirard (Seeker), Cyril Luckham (White Guardian)

Broadcast from September 2 through 23, 1978

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

The Pirate Planet

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Romana learn that the second segment of the Key to Time is on Calufrax, a planet described by the Doctor as an uninviting place. After the TARDIS inexplicably fails to land, it brings them to a world which is nothing like Calufrax – instead, it’s inhabited, prosperous (at least on first glance), and unbelievably rich. But the prosperity is a thin charade; the Captain lords over the planet with an iron fist, while repeatedly bringing his subjects new epochs of prosperity with alarming regularity. And a group of rogue telepaths called Mentiads wander the wilds of the planet, drawing the wrath of the Captain and suspicion from everyone else. The Doctor discovers that this world is hollow. And whether it is by his own hand in the name of restoring the Key to Time, or by the hand of the Captain – who isn’t as in charge of the situation as it appears – the planet Calufrax is doomed.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Douglas Adams
directed by Pennant Roberts
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Bruce Purchase (Captain), Andrew Robertson (Mr. Fibuli), Rosalind Lloyd (Nurse), David Sibley (Pralix), Bernard Finch (Mentiad), Ralph Michael (Balaton), Primi Townsend (Mula), David Warwick (Kimus), Clive Bennett (Citizen), Adam Kurkin (Guard), Vi Delmar (Queen Xanxia)

Broadcast from September 30 through October 21, 1978

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

The Stones Of Blood

Doctor WhoThe search for the Key to Time brings the Doctor and Romana to modern-day England, very close to a stone circle being studied by Professor Amelia Rumford and her friend Vivien Fey. Romana is alarmed to see real evidence that a live animal may have been sacrificed at the stones very recently, but is told by Professor Rumford that it’s probably just the work of an overenthusiastic local group of Druid recreationists. But it’s not just would-be Druids who are moving around the circle – Professor Rumford is convinced that the stones themselves are moving. The Doctor and K-9 witness this for themselves, as an unknown force uses an apparition of the Doctor to lure Romana over the edge of a cliff. The stakes are higher now than anything that the Druid afficionados could imagine – one of the galaxy’s most feared criminals is hiding out on Earth, using the rock-like Ogri to enforce her will…and hide her identity.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by David Fisher
directed by Darrol Blake
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Susan Engel (Vivien Fay), Beatrix Lehmann (Professor Rumford), Nicholas McArdle (De Vries), Elaine Ives-Cameron (Martha), Gerald Cross (Megara voice), David McAlister (Megara voice), James Murray (Camper), Shirin Taylor (Camper), Gerald Cross (voice of the Guardian), James Muir (Druid), Ian Munroe (Druid), Margaret Pilleau (Druid), Judy Crowne (Druid), Decima Delaney (Druid), Mike Mungarvan (Druid)

Broadcast from October 28 through November 18, 1978

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

The Androids Of Tara

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Romana arrive on the planet Tara, searching for the fourth segment of the Key to Time, but this time around the Doctor feels he’s entitled to some vacation time. Romana goes on to find the fourth segment herself while the Doctor does some fishing, but this places them both in danger. Romana encounters the conniving Count Grendel of Gracht, a duplicitous duke who aspires to Tara’s throne, and he promptly takes her prisoner, apparently believing her to be an android. The Doctor, in the meantime, is found by a small band of men loyal to Prince Reynart, the rightful heir to the throne, who is in hiding due to Grendel’s machinations. Reynart has one defense – a perfect android replica of himself – which isn’t working. The Doctor accompanies Reynart’s men and his newly repaired android to the prince’s coronation while the prince himself waits in seclusion. But it gets much more complicated than that when each side tries to outfox the other with android replicas – and Count Grendel may hold the winning piece, for he intends to replace Princess Strella, unwilling to be forced into a marriage to Prince Reynart, with her identical twin: Romana.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by David Fisher
directed by Michael Hayes
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Peter Jeffrey (Count Grendel), Neville Jason (Prince Reynart), Simon Lack (Zadek), Paul Lavers (Farrah), Lois Baxter (Madame Lamia), Declan Mulholland (Till), Martin Matthews (Kurster), Cyril Shaps (Archimandrite), Mary Tamm (Strella)

Broadcast from November 25 through December 16, 1978

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

The Power Of Kroll

Doctor WhoArriving on the third moon of Delta Magna, the Doctor and Romana are forced to leave K-9 in the TARDIS as they explore the swampy marshes in search of the fifth segment. The Doctor runs afoul of human miners who seem to have mistaken him for the notorious gun runner Rohm Dutt, while Romana is abducted by the displaced indigenous population of Delta Magna. Dubbed the “swampies” by the employees of the human mining colony, the natives have contracted with Rohm Dutt for weapons and training, hoping to boost their fight to free themselves from servitude to the human interlopers. The swampies worship Kroll, an enormous, squid-like being measuring almost five miles across, though the miners don’t believe a word of it…until it appears. When the Doctor and Romana learn that Kroll isn’t holding the fifth segment, but is the fifth segment, to say that they have a large problem on their hands is a bit of an understatement.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Robert Holmes
directed by Norman Stewart
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Neil McCarthy (Thawn), Philip Madoc (Fenner), Grahame Mallard (Harg), Glyn Owen (Rohm Dutt), John Leeson (Dugeen), Terry Walsh (Mensch), Carl Rigg (Varlik), John Abineri (Ranquin), Frank Jarvis (Skart)

Broadcast from 23 December 1978 through 13 January 1979

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

The Armageddon Factor

Doctor WhoIn one of the better stories of the late 1970s, the Doctor, Romana and K-9 stumble into the middle of a fierce interplanetary nuclear war. The Atrios war effort is faltering, its population demoralized, because unknown to them, the Zeon war machine lives up to its name in the most literal way. Zeos is controlled by a computer, and there are no Zeons, just remote controlled attack ships. Somewhere in the darkness between the two planets lurks a third party, pulling the strings of both sides in the war. The hand of the Black Guardian becomes visible in moving the pieces in this game, and the Doctor is horrified to discover that he will have to take a life to complete the Key to Time.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Bob Baker & Dave Martin
directed by Michael Hayes
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Lalla Ward (Princess Astra), John Woodvine (Marshal), William Squire (The Shadow), Ian Saynor (Merak), Davyd Harries (Shapp), Valentine Dyall (Black Guardian), Barry Jackson (Drax), Ian Liston (Hero), Susan Skipper (Heroine), John Cannon, Harry Fielder (Guards), Iain Armstrong (Technician), Pat Gorman (Pilot), Stephen Calcutt (Super Mute)

Broadcast from January 20 through February 24, 1979

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

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