Chaos ensues in the wake of the Doctor’s regeneration. Security guards at the Pharos Project arrest Tegan, Nyssa and Adric, who are just beginning to try to comprehend what has happened to the Doctor, let alone help him. They manage to divert the guards and get the Doctor back to the TARDIS, but at the last moment, the Master’s TARDIS appears, blocking Adric’s escape. The Master then disappears again, and Adric returns to help the Doctor, who is trying to find the recuperative Zero Room. Adric has also gotten the TARDIS underway to its next destination – which turns out to be the explosive event which created the Milky Way. The Doctor, still experiencing sudden changes of personality, is barely able to help Tegan and Nyssa evade disaster by jettisoning parts of the TARDIS, and Adric is nowhere to be found. But when the Zero Room is accidentally blasted away in the emergency, the Doctor’s friends must find a place where he can recover. And all too conveniently, the relaxing planet of Castrovalva is at the top of the list.
Season 19 Regular Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Janet Fielding (Tegan)
written by Christopher H. Bidmead
directed by Fiona Cumming
music by Paddy Kingsland
Guest Cast: Anthony Ainley (The Master), Derek Waring (Shardovan), Michael Sheard (Mergrave), Frank Wylie (Ruther), Dallas Cavell (Head of Security), Souska John (Child)
Broadcast from January 4 through 12, 1982
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: The fifth Doctor’s first adventure is, like Logopolis before it (written by the same writer), a strange exercise in mathematical concepts as the complication of the plot. Peter Davison, however, is tied with Sylvester McCoy as my favorite incarnation of the Doctor, so I’ve always found this story to be interesting, if only for the first two episodes. It’s still more than a little baffling what Adric is being forced to do, and how the Master is forcing him to do it – remember, Adric hadn’t heard of the “block transfer computation” method of altering the physical universe through pure mathematics until just the previous story, which led directly into this one, so when did he gain the proficiency necessary to create an entire planet and its people with his mind, to say nothing of changing the course of the TARDIS?
Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton carry the first two episodes, since the Doctor is tucked away into a cabinet made from pieces of the TARDIS most of the time, and Adric is in the clutches of the Master, and they’re certainly up to the challenge of being competent companions. Sadly, especially for Tegan, these two companions weren’t given many more chances to shine in later stories.