I HAVE MISSED TOO MUCH TOM BAKER. I NEED TO ACQUIRE MORE FOURTH DOCTOR GOODNESS.
Anyways, apart from that little rant, because seriously I missed SO MANY Fourth Doctor serials, on with the review!
Destiny of the Daleks
This is the serial that confused many people about regeneration. Time Lady Romana suddenly regenerates into Lalla Ward, after trying several different bodies. No one is quite sure if this means the Doctor has just never figured out regeneration, or if the writers were on drugs that day. Either way, Romana becomes an adorable blonde and dresses in a pink version of the Doctor’s outfit, of which the Doctor heartily approves.
They were caught after tripping over the scarves too many times.
They’ve arrived on a rocky, barren planet, where people are working as slaves and a spaceship just randomly buries itself into the ground, because why not. Explosions are happening underground, which trap the Doctor beneath some rubble. Romana goes back to the TARDIS to get help from robot dog K9, but winds up falling down into a pit, where some Daleks arrive and shout very repetitive things.
Meanwhile, the Doctor has been saved by some silver people with wacky dreadlocks. These are the Movellans, who have arrived on the planet (revealed to be Skaro) to continue their war against the Daleks. Apparently the Daleks are looking for something…or someone…very important, and the Movellans would like to find him first.
This was a pretty good serial, but the set-up of the Daleks as creatures that run wholly off logic is a little silly, because it is hard to think of creatures who fly into spasms of rage whenever the word “Doctor” is mentioned as being logical. This did, however, re-introduce Davros so he could return for further hijinks.
Also the Doctor was reading a book by one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide characters, and that is wonderful.
The Keeper of Traken
So, at some point in the serials I missed, Romana left, and the Doctor acquired Adric, the infamously most hated companion ever. Seriously, on message boards, bring up that you hate one companion, and the reply is “At least they aren’t Adric”. I think the kid gets too much hate, personally, but he could be an annoying little brat.
The Doctor and Adric arrive at the Traken Union, a place known for its peace. Any evil that arrives on the planet is neutralized by something in the atmosphere (it’s never fully explained). The Keeper, who I guess is to Traken what Neo is to the Matrix, is about to die soon, and will pass on his duties to Tremas. He senses something is amiss with him and his family. Tremas’ wife, Kassia, tends to a creature called Melkur (lol see what they do there), who has been calcified in a grove. The duties will pass on to Nyssa, she of the massive hair and funny poofy skirts.
This does not describe me in any way at all.
I can neither confirm nor deny that I stated a desire to wear that dress.
When they visit the Capital, they fall victim to the “let’s not look where the old guy is pointing, these people are here, let’s blame them” phenomenon when the Keeper senses evil. As bodies pile up, it appears that Kassia, somehow controlled by Melkur, is vying for the position of Keeper. But just who is this “Melkur” fellow, and why does it look like he’s sitting in a TARDIS…?
OHAI ANTHONY AINLEY.
The face masque worked wonders on that peeling, decaying skin.
The TARDIS cloister bell is ringing, as Adric reminds us OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER did I say he wasn’t that bad? Never mind, someone shut this kid up. Anyways, the Doctor lands his TARDIS to take the measurements for the planet Logopolis, who can recreate matter through math, or some such explanation for Harry Potter magic. While he’s doing that, Tegan Jovanka’s car has gotten a flat and she tries to call for help. She wanders through the TARDIS a lot, while the Master cheerfully puts his TARDIS on recursive loop with the Doctor’s TARDIS, and it just gets kind of silly.
Yo dawg, I herd u liked TARDISES.
The Doctor, meanwhile, discovers Tegan’s aunt has been murdered (by being shrunk down, because the Master’s schemes are nothing if not inventive). The Master is nowhere to be seen, but a white shrouded figure speaks to the Doctor. He tells Adric the figure only directed them to Logopolis, but it’s clear something has happened to seriously discompose the Doctor.
After discovering Tegan on board (who begins her daily regimen of demanding to be taken to Heath Row), they arrive at Logopolis. But the Master follows, and begins to break things, first by messing up the TARDIS calculations and trapping the Doctor in a very tiny TARDIS, then by taking the Monitor of Logopolis hostage via Nyssa, who believes him to be her father, because the Master just likes possessing people’s bodies. It turns out that Logopolis has actually been siphoning away excess entropy from the universe and thereby keeping it going. The Master, of course, breaks that too. Well, there goes Nyssa’s father and her home. That kind of sucks…but she doesn’t seem too cut up about it. There’s plot to be had!
The Master, discovering a way to restore the entropy-siphoning program, heads to Earth to...yeah, take over the world.
"Adric, if you make an M. Bison joke one more time, I will SHOVE YOU INTO A SPACESHIP AND LAUNCH YOU AT EARTH."
Anyways, the Doctor follows him to stop his overly complicated scheme. AGAIN.
This was a good last run for Tom Baker. It was clear he was as saddened in real life to be leaving as the character was, and the way this was handled was wonderful. (Also, I was happy to know I had guessed who the figure was right away. It was weird, but it was cool.) Also, it gave us Tegan, who is one of my favorite companions, because the TARDIS needs more snark.
Tune in next time for pretty boy Peter Davison, who will be given some bad stories and still manage to be completely awesome. And also gets rid of Adric for us.