Ah! Ventilation shafts. That takes me back. Or even forwards.
Still catching up, still a day behind. But this day? Oh, this day I got to visit with Jo Grant again for the first time since The Green Death, and it was wonderful. And yeah, the Eleventh Doctor was there, and he was just fine, but really it was just nice to see Jo and Sarah Jane actually meet.
The Death of the Doctor - Parts 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
At no point in this story do any of the key characters actually believe that the Doctor is dead. Sure, Clyde and Rani are willing to believe, but when UNIT comes rolling up onto Bannerman Road to inform Sarah Jane of the Doctor's passing, she doesn't believe it for a moment. Supposedly a bunch of Space Vultures found the Doctor's body on a battlefield on PlanetWhatever, and since Gallifrey has gone walkabout they decide to bring the Doctor's body to Earth since it was his favorite hobby. There is a Space Vulture funeral inside a secret UNIT mountain base, and the only former companions who get invited to the services are Sarah Jane and Jo Grant. Then it turns out that the Doctor really isn't dead (shocking!), the whole thing is a plot by the Space Vultures to harvest WhateverMemoryEnergy in order to fabricate a key to the TARDIS (which they have captured). The Doctor is stranded on a faraway planet, but bodges together some WhateverTechnology to body swap with Clyde, since he still has some residual artron energy bouncing around inside him since Sarah Jane's wedding fiasco.
There is quite a lot of running around, various interstellar transfers, and more than a bit of crawling around inside of ductwork. In other words, it's just like old times.
In the end there is a big explosion that kills the Space Vultures and their UNIT co-conspirator, and then everyone gets to take one last trip in the TARDIS back to Bannerman Road. Oh, and then we get this beautiful little monologue from Sarah Jane at the end, when Clyde asks her if there are lots of other ex-companions wandering around out there in the world. To which Sarah Jane replies:
I can't be sure, but there's a woman called Tegan in Australia, fighting for Aboriginal rights. There's a Ben and Polly, in India, running an orphanage there. There was Harry. Oh, I loved Harry. He was a doctor. He did such good work with vaccines. He saved thousands of lives. And there's a Dorothy something. She runs that company, A Charitable Earth. She's raised billions. And this couple in Cambridge, both professors. Ian and Barbara Chesterton. Rumour has it, they've never aged. Not since the sixties. I wonder.
The Dorothy she mentions, by the way, is Dorothy Gale McShake, a.k.a. Ace (note her company name, A Charitable Earth).
Aside from the big callbacks, this story was noteworthy as being the only time that Russel T Davies wrote a script for the Eleventh Doctor. Even with the regeneration scene from Ten to Eleven, Davies wrote up to the start of the regeneration, and then handed the entire show over to Steven Moffat.
So anyway, this was a solid story and made for a fun workout. As for the workout thing - yeah, I missed several days over Christmas and lost more ground. Hopefully I will be back on track soon.
Featuring: Sarah Jane Smith, Clyde Langer, Rani Chandra, Jo Grant, 11th Doctor
Episode(s): The Vault of Secrets - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,425 today, 4,179,457 total
Distance Walked: 3.78 miles today, 2,188.21 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 100 today, 9,300 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 2,250 total
Weight: 263.06 lbs (five day moving average), net change -44.24 lbs