The Deadly Assassin part 1
19 April 2015 at 19:50 #39637Craig @craigEmperor
Originally broadcast in November 1976, the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, returns to Gallifrey and becomes embroiled in a deadly game of political ambition and intrigue.
The Doctor has had a summons from the Time Lords and has just dropped off Sarah Jane (in Aberdeen). After having a precognitive vision of the President of the Time Lords being murdered he takes his obsolete, Type 40 TARDIS to Gallifrey.
The authorities quickly try to apprehend him but he’s not so easily captured.
Written by Robert Holmes, this is the first story set entirely on Gallifrey. It’s also the only story in which there is no companion or companion-surrogate at all. Apparently Tom Baker felt he could carry the show on his own and this was seen as a pilot for companion-less stories. However, it was eventually decided that the Doctor needed some sort of companion.
This story introduces a lot of Time Lord lore including the Matrix, Time Lord Chapters, Time Lord dress, and Rassilon. It also introduced the rule of twelve regenerations.
Remember, we’re watching this as it was first shown, one episode at a time, so NO SPOILERS for future episodes.
The Deadly Assassin is available on DVD for only £5.99 from the BBC:19 April 2015 at 23:40 #39644Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
Okay, nice start. After a long, peaceful (boring) existence, the Time Lords are facing the most dangerous crisis in their history. Which, gentle viewer, is not Russell T. Davies. Yet. 😉
Memo to future Head Writers and Producers. If you are trying to convince your star that he can’t carry the show all by his little self, do not give the script assignment where the Doctor flies solo to your best writer. 😈
The retcon by Steven Moffat in Listen goes some way to explaining why the Citadel Guards are so bloomin’ dense. The army consists of people-too-dumb-to-get-into-the-Academy. Possibly the Citadel Guards are the people-too-dumb-to-get-into-the-army. 😈 George Pravda certainly plays the Castellan with the weary air of someone who spends his life doing remedial lessons for law enforcement personnel. Favourite dialogue:
…you allow him to escape and conceal himself in a building a mere 53 stories high. A clever stratagem, Hildred. You’re trying to confuse him, I think?
In terms of actors, this is like a Doctor Who reunion party. George Pravda, Erik Chitty and now Bernard Horsfell. Even Hugh Walters, playing a Gallifreyan Richard Dimbleby, is on his second story.
Some pointers: the robes are here stated as being for ceremony, not normal wear. That either kind of went by the wayside in later stories, or the costumes were kept in stock so they simply kept reusing them. Equally, the colour coding gets largely ignored later on, with the Arcadians (supposed to be green) all in maroon. In fact, pretty well everyone goes into maroon; presumably it’s the equivalent of our ‘dark business suit’ or ‘blue jeans’ or something.
Hints that Time Lords are terrible snobs: the Castellan is told his job involves dealing with more ‘plebian’ classes (Co-Ordinator Egin was lucky he wasn’t trying to get a bike through a pedestrian gate). Runcible refers to his camera tech as a ‘yoik’ (possibly ‘oik’ wasn’t Gallifreyan enough).
The ceremonial silver or gold eyeshadow and lipstick also seems to have been rated ‘epic fail’. I don’t think we ever see it again on Gallifrey. 😉
Hurray! It’s Crispy Fried Master! (Peter Pratt). The Master is back (if a bit deep fried), with yet another incredibly complex and evil plan that naturally involves dragging the Doctor all the way back to Gallifrey. Because he can’t have an incredibly complex and evil plan without the Doctor. What, you thought he was just doing this for the Evulz? Naah, he’s doing it for the Doctor. What are friends for?
And there’s another member of the Doctor Who reunion party, Michael Bilton, playing one of the elderly Time Lords.
Llewellyn Rees isn’t a member of the reunion party – and indeed, while his one dialogue scene is well played, his walk down the stairs has the air of an actor convinced the bloody costume is going to kill him. The only question is whether he’s going to trip over the stupid shoes or the long robe. Actually surviving to be shot was probably a relief. 😀
And one of the great, really great cliffhangers. The Doctor has just assassinated the President of Gallifrey. Oops. 😕
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