Tuesday, 22 February 2022

574 The Visitation Part Three

EPISODE: The Visitation: Part Three
TRANSMITTED: Monday 22 February 1982
WRITER: Eric Saward
DIRECTOR: Peter Moffatt
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 9.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Visitation (Special Edition)

"Our rats will ensure there are no survivors. A final visitation!"

The Doctor's execution is interrupted by the village head man, who is controlled by the Terileptils, and has them locked up in the barn's harness room. The Terileptil leader attaches a slave bracelet to Tegan and she is put to work. Adric returns to the Tardis and aids Nyssa building the sonic device. The Terileptil leader reports to his compatriots that he has discovered group of time travellers and intends to acquire their ship. The Android attacks the barn taking the Doctor & Mace prisoner returning them to the house. The doctor confronts the Terileptil leader offering to take him home but he refuses, being a fugitive having escaped from the Tinclavic mines on Raaga, Adric goes to find the Doctor but is captured by villagers. The Terileptil has the miller load his cart with the chemical he has been developing. The Doctor tries to escape, but the Terileptil destroys his sonic screwdriver and tells him he has been developing a genetically modified plague to wipe out humanity. The Terileptil leaves, with the controlled Tegan given instructions to open the cage containing plague rats when he has gone. The Doctor tries to talk her out of it as her hand moves towards the fastening of the rat cage....

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The Sonic Screwdriver 16 March 1967 - 22 March 1982: "I feel like I've lost an old friend" comments the Doctor.

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Introduced in Fury from the Deep episode one The sonic Screwdriver was originally just a silver rod, a pen torch I believe. It pops up in several later Second Doctor Patrick Troughton an is a near constant with the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee so much so that there's a flashback sequence using it in his last story Planet of Spiders!

3 CofM 1k Clegg Screwdriver

Fourth Doctor Tom Baker continues to us it regularly but it's appearances with the Fifth Doctor Peter Davison have been more limited, with it's most major uses being in Four To Doomsday where both The Doctor & Nyssa use it to immobilise Manopticons and androids.

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Of course it would be easy enough for The Doctor to build a new Sonic Screwdriver but, like K-9 previously, producer John Nathan-Turner had taken against it, feeling it was effectively a get out of jail free card for the series to do anything with, so it had to go. If only he could see it now....

Nyssa spends all this episode in the Tardis either building an electronic thing to fight the Android or scolding Adric! In the process she returns to the bedroom to work and we discover, as I suspected in episode 1, that there are two beds in there as well as clothes for both female companions so we must assume they're sharing. Surely the Tardis has enough rooms for them to have one each?

Behind the door is Nyssa's skirt, jacket and bag. Presumably that's her bed next to it. That would make the other bed, that Nyssa moves and we saw in episode 1, Tegan's. She's left her Stewardess' hat behind on her dressing table!

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There's some loose stuff round the edges of this episode that's worth thinking about: we discover the Terileptil leader has been creating a genetically enhanced version of the plague to wipe out humanity.

LEADER: And then there would be the argument over the Tardis. Ah, you would have made a useful ally, but I'm afraid I think you are better dead. I said I would demonstrate how I'm to rid this planet of all it's primitives. It's very simple.
DOCTOR: The poor old black rat and his flea.
LEADER: The infection it now carries has been genetically re-engineered. Although heavily infected, it will outlive you all.
DOCTOR: But you'd need thousands of them.
LEADER: I have thousands of them. They are awaiting release in... a nearby city. Their infection will kill every living thing.
DOCTOR: I thought the local plague was already doing that?
LEADER: Ah, but our rats will ensure there are no survivors. A final visitation.
DOCTOR: Then who will serve you?
LEADER: Now we have your Tardis, we can travel the universe and acquire androids.
DOCTOR: This carnage isn't necessary.
LEADER: It's survival, Doctor. Just as these primitives kill lesser species to protect themselves, so I kill them.
DOCTOR: That's hardly an argument.
LEADER: It's not supposed to be an argument. It's a statement!

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Has he been conducting trials local to the house? From Episode 1:

DOCTOR: How bad is the plague?
MACE: Oh, the worst I've ever seen. More virulent here than in the city, but that's only to be expected.
MACE: Did you not see the comet a few weeks ago? A portent of doom, if ever I saw one. Its aurora barely faded from the sky before the first local case was reported.
ADRIC: You were clear until then?
MACE: Oh, completely.
DOCTOR: They're not due for a comet for years.

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It's not explicitly stated but it's worth thinking about.....

LEADER: Look at me, Doctor. Do you see this? This is not natural to my physiognomy.
DOCTOR: So you've been to prison. What does that matter?
LEADER: How do you know that?
DOCTOR: There's only one place in the universe a Terileptil can acquire such scaring. The tinclavic mines on Raaga.
LEADER: And to be sentenced to Raaga is always for life.
DOCTOR: Terileptian law was never my strong point.
LEADER: Doctor, I am a fugitive. The last place I want to go is home. Only death awaits me there.
The Tinclavic Mines on Raaga will pop up again in a later story: episodes 613 & 614 The Awakening, also set in an English village.

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DOCTOR: You didn't take very good care of your own ship.
LEADER: If it not been badly damaged in an asteroid storm, it would have not succumbed to the gravitational pull of this planet.
DOCTOR: I gather it's break-up made an impressive spectacle.
LEADER: It cost the lives of all but myself and three of my comrades.
DOCTOR: There are only four of you?
LEADER: Three now, but it is enough.
The fourth Terileptil survivor was presumable the one we heard briefly in episode 1, whom entered the house with the Android and was slain by Charles & The Squire.

The other two remaining Terileptils are seen on a monitor scree here, presumably in the "nearby city" mentioned by their leader. They are played by David Summer and Michael Leader. Leader has been in Doctor Who before as one of the Pangol Army in The Leisure Hive and returns as a Mutant in Mawdryn Undead and a Man at Arms in King's Demons. In Blake's 7 he was a Technician in Dawn of the Gods and a Rebel in Rumours of Death. In Red Dwarf he's one of the Hooded Horde in Terrorform. He was an extra in Star Wars where he recalled playing a Stormtroooper. He had a recurring role in EastEnders as The Milkman and the 27th December 2016 episode carried an "in memory of" caption following his death.

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The Headman of the Village is Eric Dodson who was disgraced dentist Mr. Banyard in the Porridge episodes Just Deserts and No Peace for the Wicked. Another comedy role to his name, and there were a fair few is in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em where he plays Mr. Cooper in Wendy House, but there's an equal number of serious roles on his CV including two appearances in The Sweeney firstly in Chalk and Cheese, where he plays Mr. de Courcy, and then in Bait, where he is Mr. Dodds.

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