Monday, June 24, 2013

Doctor Who-Meglos

                   While repairing K-9 following him being damaged at Brighton, Romana and the doctor attempt to set down on the planet Tigella,in the Prion system where the doctor has met with their leader Zastor half a century ago in their time. On another planet in system called Zolfa-Thura,a group of marauding space pirates called the Gaztacs (let by General Grugger) are summoned to this dessert world by what looks to be a cactus plant in an advanced control center,but whom is actually called Meglos,the last of the extinct Zolfa-Thuran. He uses an advanced array of light beams to merge his body with a human the Gaztacs have captured and demands Gruggers assistance in trapping the TARDIS,about to arrive on Tigella into a Chronic Hysteratic time loop,where the same moment repeats itself again and again-creating a time phased shadow of the doctor which allows Meglos to assume his form and lead the Gaztacs onto Tigella. His mission is to steal the Tigellan power source the Dodecahedron, which holds the power is properly challenged to provide energy for the entire galaxy. Once on Tigella,Meglos (disguised as the doctor) convinces Zastor to allow him into the chamber containing  the mysterious Dodecahedron. The doctor and Romana remove themselves from the time loop by deliberately repeating the same action themselves. However upon arriving on Tigella, they encounter more complication than was expected.

                      Tigella is culturally divided into two castes: the Savants,who have devoted themselves totally to the pursuit of scientific knowledge and the Deons,led by a lady named Lexa-a religious order countering that the Dodechahedron is a spiritual oracle sent from their god Ti,and to whom they must make living sacrifices to in order to facilitate this power. Zastor has been trying to mediate between the opposing factions, but by the time the real doctor arrives the Dodecahedron has gone missing and the doctor  appears of course to be the prime suspect in the theft. With Romana and a newly repaired K-9 setting off into the planet surface of Tigella,composed of carnivorous flora Romana has to dodge she is taken prisoner briefly by the newly arrived Gaztacs,who hold her hostage par Meglos's return. While Lexa attempts to arrange to have the doctor executed for his crimes against the Deons,one of the Savants discovers Meglos and learns of his treachory against Tigella as well as the doctor. Romana,the doctor and K-9 follow the Gaztacs and Meglos back to Zolfa-Thura in the TARDIS,after Lexa sacrifices herself to save Romana's life after the truth is discovered. The doctor foils Meglos's plans by pretending to be Meglos amid the Gaztacs,too blinded by power to notice and causes the screens of Zolfa-Thura that magnify the Dodecahedron's power to collapse in on itself-taking the Gaztacs and Meglos with it before he returns to advise Zastor,the Savants and Deons to unite to restore their overgrown world,ravaged by war,back to its former glory before dropping Meglos's former (and now liberated) human hostage back to Earth before answering the sudden call from Galifrey.

                        In this story, there's a very significant element that continues to resonate in modern society. And that is the schism that has continued to exist between science and religion. The main reason Meglos is so easily able to plunder the Dodecahedron is because of the continuing arguments between the Savants, who only wish to research the power source further and Lexa, far too mired in superstition and fear of her god Ti to allow that. In the character of Lexa lies the return of Jacqueline Hill,fifteen years after she discontinued the role of Barbara Wright on the series. She plays very much the opposite character of the role she portrayed in The Aztecs in the guise of Yetaxa,in the sense that she chooses the sacrifice of living beings over good judgement-until her own (and more noble) sacrifice to save Romana from a Gaztac trying to kill her. Tom Baker plays excellent double duty here as the doctor and his Cacti clone Meglos-just as adept at space/time manipulation as himself but, much as with the Master,uses this to further his own specific goals. It is Zastor, the calm mediator who emerges as the most sympathetic of the characters involved outside the TARDIS as he is caught between the Gaztac and Deons-both with separate yet similar agendas.  
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