Mister Potato Head vs The Cosmic Hobo and His Friend the Clown
Oh, such bliss this morning on the Time Treadmill. Such joy! Not only does the Second Doctor, my Doctor, return to the series, but even better the story focuses on him and Jamie for more than ten minutes before the Sixth Doctor even shows up on screen. Talk about a great way to start my day!
Let's talk about that.
The Two Doctors - Part 1
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
This story presents a real conundrum in terms of continuity for the series. The opening scene starts in black and white, with the Second Doctor and Jamie in the the older TARDIS, lamenting the absence of Victoria Waterfield, and embarking upon a mission for the Time Lords. Which, if you've been paying attention, is just all kinds of whack. Jamie doesn't learn about the Time Lords until The War Games, by which point Victoria has long departed and been replaced by Zoe. Also, the Doctor is visibly older (at a rough guess, nearly twenty years older than he appeared in The War Games) and his TARDIS is visibly different than the one we last saw him operating. All of this is piled on top of similar issues raised by both The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors, and here we are. How to resolve it?
Enter the notion of Season 6b and the Celestial Intervention Agency. This concept was first introduced in The Discontinuity Guide, a book by Paul Cornell (remember that name, he'll be coming up again in a few months), Martin Day, and Keith Topping. They theorized that at the end of The War Games the Doctor was not immediately exiled to Earth. Instead, he was recruited by a shadowy Time Lord organization to assist them in protecting Gallifreyan interests. It is this group that not only send the Second Doctor and Jamie on their mission in the current story, but also who set in motion the Fourth Doctor's mission to Skaro in The Genesis of the Daleks.
For the Second Doctor, then, this story takes place between the end of The War Games and the beginning of Spearhead from Space, seasons 6 and 7 respectively and hence Season 6b. It is a masterful bit of retconning that has not only been embraced by fans, but has been accepted as canon by the BBC itself.
So this story has the Doctor and Jamie sent on a mission to a research station, with orders to stop to scientists from dabbling in time travel. While they are there, the station is invaded by a Sontaran battle fleet with the aid of an Androgum woman who has been genetically modified by one of the scientists. The Androgum are humanoids who serve as the general staff of the scientific station, with the station chef being one of the major players in the story. Said chef is particularly interested in capturing and cooking a human, by the way, which leads to some uncomfortable situations.
Sadly, for me, the Second Doctor and Jamie completely disappear from part 1 of the story after the first fifteen minutes, once the Sixth Doctor and Peri take center stage. It is their show, after all, and the past incarnations are guests to the story. When the Second Doctor is captured and tortured, and possibly even killed, the Sixth Doctor collapses in response as his past incarnation begins to be wiped out of existence and thus placing him into a paradoxical existence. He travels to the very same scientific station to seek the help of one of the scientists, and finds it in the aftermath of the Sontaran invasion.
By the end of part 1 the two Androgen characters and a Sontaran have scampered off to Earth, to Seville in Spain, while the Sixth Doctor and Peri are being hunted by the space station computer that blames the Time Lords for the current state of destruction.
Oh, and Peri spends the first part of the story dressed like this:
So as I said, not a bad way to start off my day.Better yet, this one is a three-parter (the first story since the God-awful Planet of Giants to be three parts), so I get to enjoy this all weekend long. Although, truth be told I have no intention of bouncing out of bed early tomorrow. It's Saturday, and I'm sleeping in. If the dogs will let me.
Doctor(s): Second, Sixth
Companion(s): Jamie, Peri
Episode(s): The Two Doctors - Part 1
Steps Walked: 7,677 today, 2,271,584 total
Distance Walked: 4.37 miles today, 1,170.69 miles total
Weight: 245.56 lbs (five day moving average), net change -61.74 lbs