4.X Living in Harmony: On the planet Hath, war has broken out between the Human and Messaline colonists. Traveling alone, the Doctor finds himself separated from the TARDIS and thrust into this tense situation. What has driven a wedge between these once-allied races? And who is Harmony Beck, an enigmatic young colonist who seems to know far more about the Doctor than she possibly could…
As is tradition when Christmas isn’t on Saturday, next week’s post will be delayed until Monday.
1×19 May 2, 1997
SONG OF THE SPACE WHALE (Serial 13, Episode 1)
Setting: Inside a Space Whale, 24th Century
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Christopher Liam Moore (Tova Veer), Nancy Youngblut (Taleen), Kate Mulgrew (Janeway)
Plot: The Doctor parks the TARDIS in deep space to do some stargazing via the TARDIS’s planetarium dome. Too late, Lizzie sees an approaching object, which turns out to be a Space Whale: a gigantic creature adapted to live in the vacuum of space, feeding on the energy fields of radioactive materials and derelict space probes. Mistaking the TARDIS for an energy-rich asteroid, the creature swallows it, and its energy-extracting abilities disable the timeship. The travelers discover a breathable atmosphere when the TARDIS crashes in a cavity inside the whale, and emerge to find themselves in the town of Megaptera, a shanty built out of the remains of the many spacecraft and debris consumed by the whale. Despite the protests of the Megapterans that escape is impossible, the Doctor tries to find a way to move the TARDIS far enough from the whale’s stomach to restore power. Eventually, he succeeds in finding a passage to the whale’s blow-hole, where he discovers evidence of a second settlement. Before he can return to Megaptera, the whale sneezes, expelling the Doctor into open space. He is saved from suffocation by a ship which has been tracking the whale, commanded by the hard-bitten Captain Janeway. She has been hunting the whale for many years, considering it a navigational hazard to the space lanes. The Doctor believes she mostly wants to harvest the whale’s organs for their energy processing abilities. He tells her about the Megapterans, but Janeway is resolved to kill the whale at any cost. When she attempts to fire a killing shot at a weak spot on the whale, the Doctor sabotages her ship with his sonic screwdriver. Enraged, Janeway orders the Doctor executed, but the frightened whale attacks the ship, disabling it. In exchange for his life, the Doctor offers to repair the ship, but is unable to restore power before the space whale swallows it whole.
4×12 All Good Things… The Should’ve-Been King invades the universe with his army of Never-Weres. The Doctor has raised an army of his own, but how can the universe possibly beat back an enemy with the power of every path not taken, every possibility denied?
Click images to embiggen, or click here to read the whole scene
4×11 The Tunnel at the End of the Light: Sammy returns home to visit her parents to find the Earth in crisis. A wave of suicides is sweeping the world, somehow connected to a mysterious internet meme called “The Test of Shadows”. As the death toll rises and the deaths become increasingly extravagant, can the Doctor solve the test of shadows? Or will he become its next victim?
4×10 Vincent and the Doctor: Something is coming. Something very different and very dangerous. To stop it, the Doctor needs to find a whole new way to look at the universe. And who better to show him than Vincent van Gogh? The Doctor and Sammy travel to 1890s France to meet the troubled artist who can see a monster no one else can.
I am underproud of this one.
4×09 Madame Vastra Investigates: In London, in the time of Queen Victoria, there were many tales of a remarkable personage known as The Great Detective. Scotland Yard has sought out the expertise of Madame Vastra of Paternoster Row when rigid corpses, dyed red appear across the city. But a case of this magnitude may prove too much for even the great detective, her beautiful assistant Jenny Flint, and her boy servant, Thomas Thomas. For this case, she must call on her own secret weapon. When his mysterious blue box turns up, unoccupied and dyed red, the Paternoster Gang faces the terrible possibility even the Doctor can’t get them out of this one…
Once again I find myself doing that thing that I don’t like doing. A bit of a departure from the normal here, though.
See, a few years ago, I read this wonderful proposal: The Case For Making Columbo America’s Doctor Who. Ever since then, I’ve longed for a rebooted Columbo that could show off Kathy Bates, Giancarlo Esposito, Dame Judi Dench, Kyle MacLachlan, Henry Winkler, or Dennis Franz (as the War Columbo) donning a rumpled trenchcoat and confronting smug, upper-class murderers with “just a few more questions.” But there’s one particular goddamned national treasure we lost this week who I’d always lamented would’ve been unspeakably perfect in the role…
Sorry about the rush-job; this style is a lot harder than the Unbound covers I usually do.
RIP Robert Guillaume, 1927-2017. You were a goddamned national treasure.
4×08 Evolution of the Daleks: Part 2 of 2. To save New York from the Daleks, the Doctor must make a devil’s bargain: help Dalek Sec complete his bold plan to create a new Dalek race. But as the Doctor starts to see that Dalek Sec’s transformation has changed him more than expected, a new and terrifying possibility arises: could the Daleks actually be reformed?