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 […]

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 […]

Mawdryn Undead

Doctor WhoA schoolboy named Turlough cons a classmate into “borrowing” a vintage roadster belonging to one of the teachers at his private school, naturally getting into an accident moments later. During a near-death experience, Turlough is forced into a deadly pact by the Black Guardian: Turlough’s new mission is to kill a Time Lord known as the Doctor at any cost. Soon afterward, the Doctor lands the TARDIS on a seemingly derelict spacecraft orbiting Earth in both space and time, only to find that somehow, someone on board is still maintaining the vessel. The Doctor soon becomes a pawn in alien renegades’ plot to end their pitiful immortality, and discovers that his old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, now a math teacher at Turlough’s school, is a pawn. It also soon becomes evident that Turlough is no ordinary schoolboy.

Order the DVDwritten by Peter Grimwade
directed by Peter Moffatt
music by Paddy Kingsland

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Valentine Dyall (Black Guardian), David Collings (Mawdryn), Angus MacKay (Headmaster), Stephen Garlick (Ibbotson), Roger Hammond (Dr. Runciman), Sheila Gill (Matron), Peter Walmsley (First mutant), Brian Darnley (Second mutant), Lucy Baker (Child Nyssa), Sian Pattenden (Child Tegan)

Broadcast from February 1 through 9, 1983

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]


Doctor WhoAt the Black Guardian’s bidding, Turlough interferes with the TARDIS internal systems enough to cause a critical failure: parts of the timeship’s interior are now surrounded by a deadly haze, and those sections could be open to the time vortex at any moment. Nyssa’s room is engulfed, and the Doctor performs an emergency merge with the nearest spacecraft in space-time to allow her to escape onto the other ship. When he stabilizes the TARDIS and then goes to retrieve Nyssa, however, the Doctor learns that he inadvertently sent his friend onto a plague-carriers’ ship – and Nyssa, now infected, can never leave, nor does that transport’s small crew seem even remotely inclined to help any of the people contaminated with Lazar’s Disease.

Order the DVDwritten by Stephen Gallagher
directed by Mary Ridge
music by Roger Limb

Guest Cast: Valentine Dyall (Black Guardian), Liza Goddard (Kari), Dominic Guard (Olvir), Rachel Weaver (Inga), Martin Muncaster (Tannoy voice), Martin Potter (Eirak), Andrew Burt (Valgard), Tim Munro (Sigurd), Peter Benson (Bor), R.J. Bell (The Garm)

Broadcast from February 15 through 23, 1983

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]


Doctor WhoThe Doctor receives a very vague warning of danger from the White Guardian, but Turlough’s interference – passed off as worrying that the TARDIS console would be damaged by the White Guardian’s energy requirements – leaves the Doctor with only a shred of the information he needs. The TARDIS arrives on a vintage sailing ship, whose crew is not at all perturbed by the Doctor’s arrival, and whose officers are beings who live outside of time itself. The Doctor discovers that he is now taking part in a yacht race through the blackness of space, and the Eternals care nothing for the human sailors they’ve abducted. At the finish line lies the promise of everlasting enlightenment – or, if Turlough continues to fall under the sway of the Black Guardian, death for the Doctor.

Order the DVDwritten by Barbara Clegg
directed by Fiona Cumming
music by Malcolm Clarke

Guest Cast: Valentine Dyall (Black Guardian), Cyril Luckham (White Guardian), Keith Barron (Striker), Lynda Baron (Wrack), Christopher Brown (Marriner), Tony Caunter (Jackson), Clive Kneller (Collier), James McClure (First Officer), Leee John (Mansell), John Cannon (Helmsman), Byron Sotiris (Critas)

Notes: As a vocalist, guest star Lynda Baron had already been associated with Doctor Who, singing the background song heard throughout the William Hartnell story The Gunfighters.

Broadcast from March 1 through 9, 1983

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

Key 2 Time: The Destroyer Of Delights

Doctor Who: The Destroyer Of DelightsThe Doctor and Amy are saved from a fiery fate aboard the Ice Warrior vessel by the Black Guardian himself, but it quickly becomes apparent that something is amiss – the Guardian’s power is far from immense. In fact, it’s fading – and he can’t even find the fifth segment of the Key to Time. The most likely locations in space and time have turned up nothing. The Doctor decides to leave the hunt to chance, picking a random destination…and yet he and Amy still arrive in 9th century Sudan, which was among the likely locations. The time travelers are caught in the middle of a struggle between the Caliphate and a rebel lord who has not paid his tribute in gold to the Caliph in two years. There’s enough intrigue to go around, except that the gold-hoarding governor is the Black Guardian – now rendered powerless and trapped in human form – and the Legate of the Caliph coming to wage war upon him is the equally impotent White Guardian. Their machinations have brought an alien presence to Earth…a presence which could completely rewrite history unless the Doctor and Amy find the next segment of the Key.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Clements
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Ciara Janson (Amy), David Troughton (The Black Guardian), Jason Watkins (Legate of the Caliph), Jess Robinson (Nisrin), Bryan Pilkington (Prince Omar), Paul Chahidi (Hason), Will Barton (Djinni), David Peart (Vizier)

Timeline: between The Judgement Of Isskar and The Chaos Pool

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Key 2 Time: The Chaos Pool

Doctor Who: The Chaos PoolThe search for the final segment of the Key to Time leads to the starship Eschaton, which is itself on a search for a destination known only as the Chaos Pool. But pursuing the Eschaton is a shipload of Teuthoidians, carnivorous slug-like creatures who, according to the Doctor, shouldn’t be there: they’re at the wrong end of time, which may mean that the decaying final segment of the Key is causing events near the death of the universe to “wrap around” and meet events at the dawn of time itself. Zara is also here, having ingratiated herself with the crew of the Eschaton, and she uses the power of the segments in her possession to take Amy’s place and throw the Doctor off his search. The Doctor is stunned when he meets a familiar face in command of the Eschaton, but things are not as they seem: the Guardians are no longer trapped in Earth’s distant past, and rather than simply relying on a few hand-picked agents, they have amassed armies, each hoping to claim the Key for himself. But the Guardians didn’t actually create the Key; the beings who created Amy and Zara did. When they appear, all bets are off, and they expect everyone, from Amy and Zara to the Doctor, to do their bidding without question… or die.

Order this CDwritten by Peter Anghelides
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Ciara Janson (Amy), Laura Doddington (Zara), Lalla Ward (Madam President), David Troughton (The Black Guardian), Ben Jones (Captain Pargrave), Toby Longworth (Commander Hectocot), Cate Hamer (The Voice)

Notes: Chronologically, this story takes place before the Gallifrey audio spin-off series, and as such, Amy’s fate ties in with elements of the Gallifrey storyline, even though she isn’t featured in that series by name.

Timeline: between The Destroyer Of Delights and The Caves Of Androzani

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]