Monday, September 10, 2012

Doctor Who-The Pirate Planet
                                In this second segment of the Key To Time series,the Doctor and Romana arrive on a planet that should be definition be the ice planet of Calufrax where the second segment of the key is located. Upon arriving they find not this but in fact a very much populated planet called Zanak,despite the TARDIS indicating it's the proper space and time for Calufrax. Plus Romana is detecting the presence of the key segment literally everywhere. Upon arriving the Doctor finds a new allies in two natives after he is tormented by a group of zombie like telepaths called Mentiads and Romana is taken prisoner. During his efforts to find Romana the Doctor learns the society on Zanak are being tormented by a cyberpirate of sorts called The Captain,who completely controls the society by fear with the promise of material prosparity. 

                           Upon entering an unused mine,the Doctor and the liberated Romana discover Calufrax is present buy somehow being crushed by Zanuk. They are then taken into custody by the Mentiad,who turn out to be benevolent and are railing against the will of Queen Xanaxia,whose ruling and lust for eternal life caused all this trouble. Turns out each segments of even populated worlds that Zanuk is crushing are a power source used not only to sustain the pirate planet,but also Xanaxia who remains alive using a cloning device in the persona of the Captains nurse. Knowing Xanaxia's next target will be Earth,the doctor is able to destroy the planets power source with the help of K-9 and the Mentiad's psychokinetic abilities and restore the planet to a natural existence. Since Calufrax was actually the disguised segment of the Key To Time,the doctor,Romana and K-9 leave the liberated Zanak to it's people to locate the key in the space time vortex itself.

                       Overall this is an excellent serial effectively melding action,compelling science fiction concepts and social commentary. K-9 in particular gets to do a lot in this story and there are all kinds of captivating technological concepts such as an instant cloning camera,an inertial corridor and hover cars. The doctors wit and humor is consistently used to misdirect and confuse the protagonists in this story. He even reveals that at one time on Earth,it was he who dropped the apple on Newton's head-explaining to him the laws of gravity over a dinner. Actor Bruce Purchase turns in a wonderfully comic,over the top villain in The Captain. His bluster and passion for death (along with a murderous robot Parrot K-9 eventually destroys) is at first set up as the main villain until one realizes it's Xanaxia,disguised as his nurse and feeding from mental energy from her original half dead body. The writers throw a lot into this story,including some radical scientific concepts revolving around the many uses of energy. A very energetic and engaging story.
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