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The Mysterious Planet
Doctor Who, episode 144 (23.1)
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2012 09:43:02
The Doctor is on trial for his life.
The TARDIS is drawn to a space station where the Doctor is subjected to a Time Lord inquiry into his behaviour, presided over by an Inquisitor. The prosecuting counsel, the Valeyard, presents the first piece of his evidence, which consists of a recording played back on a screen linked to the Matrix. It concerns a visit by the Doctor and Peri to the desolate planet Ravolox, which turns out to be a future Earth, shifted light-years through space.
The court watches as the pair get caught up in a conflict between the surface-dwelling Tribe of the Free, led by Queen Katryca, and the planet's other inhabitants, a group of subterranean technocrats and their robotic ruler Drathro.
Two shady off-worlders, Glitz and Dibber, are meanwhile attempting to appropriate from Drathro some mysterious 'secrets' - details of which are censored from the Matrix record. The 'secrets' are eventually destroyed, along with Drathro, as a result of the Doctor's actions.
By The Television Companion on 23 Oct 2003 21:53:00
A fourteen part Doctor Who story is not necessarily doomed to fail. Season three's The Daleks' Master Plan was only two episodes shorter, and was superb. Sadly however The Trial of a Time Lord, although a brave attempt, falls a long way short of expectations.
Its inherent weakness stems largely from the production team's apparent inability to decide whether they were making a single epic-length story, as in the case of The Daleks' Master Plan, or a sequence of separate stories with a linking...
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