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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Review - The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis

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by , 22nd July 2013 at 02:16 PM (386 Views)


Alright, change of plan. No treble helping of reviews today, and I can't make it up. Why? Something came up. What? A £60 Doctor Who boxset of every regeneration episodes and the Lost in Time set! Anyway, back to Tom Baker's finale. And what a sad way to see him go. And what a great way to enter Peter Davison.

PLOT: The Keeper of Traken (4 parts)

In the TARDIS, the Doctor and Adric arrive back in N-Space in an area known as the Traken Union, an empire of peace and harmony. They are surprised to find a holographic image of the elderly Keeper of Traken appear in the TARDIS, calling on the Doctor's help. The Keeper explains that his title is about to pass on soon to Consul Tremas, giving him access to the powerful Source that is the centre of Traken's technology advancement, but senses evil within him, his wife Kassia, and their daughter Nyssa. The Keeper suspects a connection to Melkur, an evil creature that arrived years ago on Traken but became calcified in a grove in the capital. Melkur has since become something of a holy symbol, and Kassia was tasked by talking to it and keeping it clean; that task is soon to be passed on to Nyssa.
When the Doctor and Adric land at Traken's capital and visit the Keeper, their presence appears to cause the Keeper to warn the assembled group of a great evil, and though Tremas vouches for them, others, including the Fosters, guardians of the spiritual welfare of the capital, remain cautious about their presence. Soon, bodies in the grove are found, the Doctor and Adric determining they have been killed by some type of plasma weapon. Adric works with Nyssa to identify the energy signature of the plasma as being from a TARDIS, while the Doctor assists Tremas in diffusing the conflict over their presence. Unaware to either group, Kassia secretly visits Melkur, who gives her a collar to wear, providing the creature with mind-control over her while promising to keep her husband safe. Kassia is able to convince the Fosters to arrest Tremas, the Doctor, Adric and Nyssa, and uses the situation to convince the other Consul to install her as the next Keeper. When the Keeper dies, Kassia takes the throne, but at the pivotal moment of the ceremony is completed, she disappears, leaving the statue of Melkur in her place, now connected to the Source.
Having escaped their confinement, the Doctor and his allies seek to cause a servo-shutdown of the Source to destabilise it and disconnect Melkur from using it. As Adric and Nyssa prepare to activate it, the Doctor is drawn into the statue of Melkur, finding it to be a TARDIS. Inside, he meets his old enemy, a horribly disfigured Master. The Master reveals he is on his last regeneration, and seeks to use the Source to give him a new set of regenerations, and then attempts to subdue the Doctor. However, at the same time, Adric and Nyssa initiate the servo-shutdown, disconnecting the Source from the Master and causing his TARDIS to malfunction. The Doctor escapes the Master's TARDIS, and when Melkur disappears, another Consul, Luvic, takes the throne to restabilise the Source before it completely dies.
After assuring all is well, the Doctor and Adric depart in his TARDIS. Later, Tremas discovers an alien longcase clock, and is transfixed to it when the Master emerges from it and merges his body with Tremas'. The newly reformed Master laughs as he re-enters the clock—his TARDIS—and dematerialises, leaving Nyssa wondering where her father has gone off to.
EPISODE RATING: 8/10
The Master's back! Oooooooooooooh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Not good news. And the end of this story may give you the feeling that something bad is coming... a death perhaps...

PLOT: Logopolis (4 parts)

Warned of upcoming danger by the TARDIS' Cloister Bell, the Doctor decides to stay out of trouble, and instead spends time fixing his broken chameleon circuit by extracting the measurements of a true police box on Earth in order to give to the mathematicians of the planet Logopolis. He is unaware that the Master is aware of his plan, and materialises his own TARDIS in a recursive loop with the Doctor's. The Doctor and Adric work out the recursion, and attempt to flush the Master out by materialising the TARDIS in the River Thames, but instead land on a boat on the river with no sign of the Master's TARDIS. Outside, the Doctor sees a glowing white figure, the Watcher, who directs him to hurry to Logopolis. In flight, they discover they have picked up a passenger, Tegan Jovanka, an airline stewardess who wandered into the TARDIS to call for help to fix her aunt's flat tyre; the Doctor informs her the Master has killed her aunt with his Tissue Compression Eliminator.
On Logopolis, where the mathematicians perform their block-transfer calculations by chant-like verbal communication, the Doctor gives the lead mathematician, the Monitor, the new dimensions for the TARDIS. Discovering the calculation result to be flawed, the Doctor discovers the Master's handiwork in the death of several mathematicians. Returning to the Monitor, the Doctor finds the Master, who through mind-control of Nyssa (who believes him to be her father) is holding the Monitor hostage. The Master demands to know the secret behind Logopolis' science and the purpose of an exact replica of a space telescope from the Pharos Project on Earth, using a device to temporarily silence the mathematicians. The Monitor is horrified to find that even when the Master disables the device, the mathematicians have gone silent, and they discover that Logopolis is being overrun by entropy and turning to dust. The Monitor reveals that their calculations were used to model Charged Vacuum Emboitments (CVEs) as a means of excising off excess entropy from this universe into others as to stave off the imminent heat death of the universe; without the calculations, the CVEs have disappeared. Before the Monitor turns to dust, he reveals that a program contained in the bubble memory of their computers may be able to restore one CVE. The Doctor and Master agree to work together to return to Earth and use the Pharos Project there. Meanwhile, Nyssa, after having been freed of the Master's control and Adric are abducted aboard the Doctor's TARDIS by the Watcher and taken far outside of the galaxy, where they observe a large section of the universe including the Traken Union consumed by entropy. They manage to reset the controls for Earth, locking in on the Master's TARDIS when it arrives. While the Doctor's companions set to distract the guards, the Doctor and Master make their way to the control room and successfully execute the CVE program. However, the Master reveals he plans to hold the universe hostage, threatening to stop the program. The Doctor is forced to climb onto the telescope's dish and disconnect a power cable while the Master attempts to turn it to knock the Doctor off. While the Doctor is successful in ending the Master's threat, he hangs precariously from the dish and sees images of his various enemies before he falls to the ground. The Doctor's companions rush to the spot where he has fallen. Dying, the Doctor experiences visions of the companions that have accompanied his current form and observes, "It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for." They turn to see the Watcher approach, and as he does so he merges with the Doctor. Nyssa realises that the Watcher was the Doctor all the time. As the companions look on, the Fourth Doctor regenerates into a new, younger body – the Fifth Doctor.
EPISODE RATING: 9/10
Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baker
It's the end, but the moment has been prepared for.
Of course, you had seven years to! This story is not representative of Baker's era, and it may get a little confusing at times, but it remains memorably haunting. And what does Baker do before he leaves? Toothy smile. Goodbye, Mr. Teeth and Curls.

NEXT REVIEW: Castrovalva/Earthshock

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Updated 23rd July 2013 at 03:13 PM by Doctor Who

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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

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