Sunday, 13 May 2012

538 Meglos Part Three

EPISODE: Meglos Part Three
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 538
STORY NUMBER: 111
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 11 October 1980
WRITER: John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch
DIRECTOR: Terence Dudley
SCRIPT EDITOR: Christopher H. Bidmead
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.7 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Meglos

Romana is taken to the Gaztak ship as the Tigellan underground city's services begins to fail. The Doctor insists to Lexa & Zastor that he didn't take the Dodecahedron and he has only just arrived: he realises he has a doppelgänger. Romana is ordered by the Gaztaks to lead them to her craft, but leads them round in circles in the Jungle. The Meglos Doctor captures one of the Savants, Caris, and has her escort him out of the city. Lexa seizes control, believing that the Dodecahedron has been taken away by their Gods and prepares to sacrifice the Doctor to appease them to guarantee it's return. Romana makes it to the city as it is sealed, finding the depowered K-9 and bringing him with her. The Gaztaks storm the city allowing the Meglos Doctor to escape and they leave for Zolfa Thura. The Doctor is tied to a stone slab with torches burning the ropes the hold a second slab suspended above him....

That was a bit better than the last two, with some good stuff as Meglos' host struggles against it. However Romana leading the Gaztaks round the jungle stank of blatant time wasting. Since we've lost time in the last two episodes having the Doctor & Romana stuck in a time loop this is unforgivable.

Meglos is the only Doctor Who story to be Directed by Terence Dudley. An experienced director, and producer he had strong links to the Doctor Who world having produced Gerry Davis & Kit Pedler's Doomwatch and Terry Nation's Survivors. In 1981 he was offered the Producer's job on Blake's 7 but turned it down. He would then go on to write three stories for Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday, Black Orchid and The King's Demons as well as the one off K-9 & Company.

Meglos is also the only shown Doctor Who story by authors John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch. They contributed a second story, Project Zeta-Sigma, which was planned to open Season Nineteen and introduce the Fifth Doctor. They continued to write for television producing scripts for (amongst other) Robin Of Sherwood: The Betrayal, Peak Practise and Heartbeat. McCulloch, has a number of acting credits to his name including a priest, Bishop Tom McCaskell, in Father Ted. According to IMDB he's the brother of actor Ian (Nilson in the story Warriors of the Deep and Greg Preston in Survivors).

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