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Vengeance on Varos
Doctor Who, episode 139 (22.2)
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2012 09:42:51
The Varosian economy depends on mining and torture movies.
The Doctor visits the planet Varos to obtain supplies of a rare ore called zeiton 7, vital to the functioning of the TARDIS. Varos was once a colony for the criminally insane and the descendants of the original guards still rule, while the poverty-stricken people are kept entertained by screenings of public torture from the Punishment Dome.
Their Governor has been trying to negotiate a better export price for zeiton ore from Sil, an envoy of the Galatron Mining Corporation, whose reptilian body is supported and kept cool by a mobile water tank.
The Doctor and Peri meet two rebels, Jondar and Areta. Peri and Areta are captured and almost reshaped into beast-like creatures by Quillam, the Dome's sadistic commandant, but the Doctor saves them and tells the Governor the true value of zeiton 7.
Quillam and Varos's Chief Officer, who are in the pay of the Corporation, try to kill the Doctor and the Governor but are themselves despatched. Sil plans an invasion of Varos by a force from his home world, Thoros-Beta, but the Corporation veto this and instruct him to buy the zeiton ore at any price.
By The Television Companion on 23 Oct 2003 21:52:12
After the disappointments of The Twin Dilemma and Attack of the Cybermen, the sixth Doctor is at last given some good material in writer Philip Martin's debut contribution to the series.
Vengeance on Varos is, in the best traditions of Doctor Who, a story that works on more than one level. At its simplest it is a tense and mildly horrific monster story that can be enjoyed as a piece of pure escapism, but at the other end of the spectrum it is an intelligent and thought-provoking discourse on...
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