‘My excursion will be into the future.’ Doctor. Planet Mogar. 2986. Inter-galactic liner. Security Officer Rudge. Stella Stora. Now that's a space name for a planet or whatever it is. ‘It’s your waistline I’m concerned about.’ Mel. ‘You make delicious coffee, Janet.’ What a creep. ‘Evil. There's evil in this place.’ Doctor. Last time I crossed paths with the Doctor. ‘I found myself involved in a web of mayhem and intrigue.’ Commodore. That figures. So the Professor has got something ‘the pods.’ and the robot was in that room last, so they're trying to prevent whatever the Professor is up to? Oh, so part of the hold has been adapted for the professor to grow her plants or the pods. Flipping hell. ‘We don't want you breaking your neck.’ Man is electrocuted, Mel screams, and some explosions pop off. That's a noisy end to the episode.
Do the guards really believe Mel would have killed Edwards? Communications Officer Edwards’ body has gone and so has the guard. ‘You have the temperament of an overcautious rabbit.’ The Mogarians. They're so quick to treat the Doctor as if he's daft. ‘Kill him? I'm trying to save him.’ Grenville, the passenger from Cabin 6. Not Grenville, Hallet. ‘The bogus Mogarian did not switch on his translator.’ Doctor. Ohhh. I thought that was a mess up in production. ‘I wonder what came out of this.’ Doctor. I think you're about to find out. No, not Mr Kimber. The old dude. Well, that's some cliffhanger. Although Mel has to scream again. A human with vines growing over half of their face. Then they open their eye. They're alive.
‘That monstrosity, as you call her, is my lab assistant, Ruth Baxter.’ All in the name of science, eh? I really like Mel in this story. What has she found in Mr Kimber’s bathroom? Another leaf. ‘The murderer won't escape.’ Commodore. Sure, someone’s going to fuck up there. I don't think Rudge knows enough to be able to tell you much. The pods are fruit but they left that on Mogar. ‘We’re merely taking the shucks as an example.’ Doland. Sure. The Vervoids speak. Good idea from Mel. But now she's been nabbed. She's being wheeled off in a sweaty towel container. The pulverizer! Whew, saved just in time. The Doctor and Mel discuss the murderer. Could he be a she? Lasky, the Professor? Or Janet? ‘It wouldn't have taken a man’s strength to lift my weight.’ Mel. Sounds as if someone has been tampering with the Matrix. Oh. ‘We’re completely isolated.’ Commodore. The Doctor is going to find himself in an incriminating position again. ‘I didn't hear the dinner gong.’ Doctor. So Bruchner is trying to put a stop to this experiment, by driving the ship into the Black Hole of Tartarus.
Marsh gas? Is that what the Vervoids are spraying around? So it was the Mogarians and … Rudge? What?! But do they have anything to do with the Vervoids? Because they’re a big concern. Those weapons look like staple guns. The Mogarians:‘They're just recovering stolen property.’ Rudge. And Rudge wants a share of it? Rudge and the Mogarians have got a pick up. So that isn't good news if the Vervoids get wind of that. ‘Rudge, you're nothing but a squalid criminal.’ Lasky. ‘If I am, where does that place you, Professor?’ Rudge. Well, quite. Mel, Doland and Janet are free, with a plan to round up some guards and break into the lounge, to free the hostages of Laskey, Commodore and Doctor but they want to warn them first. So Mel steps into the air ducts (which are more like inner corridors) and climbs through. I like this woman. Somebody has fed toxic oxygen to the Mogarians on the bridge. Rudge has run into the Vervoids. ‘Murder?’ Doland says so innocently. Keep him in sight. Of course, Mel gets caught rifling through Lasky's locker in the gym. Looking for that tape recording. So Doland threw the tape to the Doctor and in catching it the Doctor put down the weapon. ‘Not that it’ll do you much good. I've wiped it.’ Doland. Bastards, the pair of them. Both Doland and Lasky. ‘Vision? Youre talking about slave labour.’ Doctor. ‘The most enduring and spectacular empire, Rome, was built on slave labour.’ Doland. ‘Came to a pretty unpleasant end, though.’ Doctor. ‘I took the precaution of disarming it.’ Doctor. Of course he did. He's no fool after all. ‘They'll spare no one.’ Doctor. ‘I have to try.’ Lasky. Lasky isn't spared by the Vervoids. So a man grapples with a sheet of metal and a Vervoid, which eventually falls into the Pulverizer but there's another, waiting to kill him, behind him. The Vervoids are closing in. There aren't many people left. ‘It’s a matter of perspective, Mel.’ Doctor. ‘In your house in Pease Pottage, you had a large garden. What did you do with the plants and weeds you uprooted?’ ‘Put them on the compost heap.’ Mel. ‘They’re obeying instinct.’ Doctor. ‘Like migrating birds or salmon swimming relentlessly upstream to spawn even though they might die. A compulsive following of the life cycle.’ Plunged into darkness and defeated by the seasons all at once. ‘The charge must now be genocide.’ Valeyard.
Episode 3 is where Terror of the Vervoids gets going, mainly through Mel and her close shave with death. The Rudge and the Mogarians side plot muddied the main plot, so we didn’t really get to find out more about the Vervoids and their plans. They mainly spend the story skulking around. Doland and Lasky basically walk into their arms, to be murdered. I liked the design of the Vervoids. I didn’t like their voices. The story is set solely in the studio and it feels very 80’s, with the gymnasium. The lounge was very bright too and with furniture that looks very much like something from the past, instead of the future where this story takes place. Mel and the Doctor’s relationship was cute. I liked that Mel and the Doctor already know each other. This story isn’t introducing Mel to us. There is a reference to a Pease Pottage, so that’s maybe where they met.
Am also struggling with if this is the Doctor’s defence, surely he could have chosen something, anything, from his adventures in time and space that made him look … heroic? The Valeyard certainly seems to have made his mind up about the Doctor.
For those who are curious
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