OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 642
STORY NUMBER: 143
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 09 March 1985
WRITER: Glen McCoy
DIRECTOR: Pennant Roberts
SCRIPT EDITOR: Eric Saward
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 6.7 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Timelash
The planet Karfel is ruled over by the Borad, a leader who lives in isolation but appears to his people on a screen. He is conducting huge power consuming experiments "for the good of the people" but has revoked a treaty between Karfel and it's neighbours Bandril setting them on a course for war. The people's leader Maylin Renis is killed by the Borad for conspiring with his son in law to be Mykos. As Mykos is about to be executed in the Timelash Vortex he reveals to his wife to be Vena the importance of the Malin's pendant in the process which transfers power to the Borad and she steals it from the new Maylin, Tekker, tumbling into the Timelash. The Tardis has become trapped in the Contron Tunnel forming the Timelash and the Doctor & Peri witness an image of Vena passing through the control room. They arrive on Karfel, a planet the Doctor has visited before, where Tekker coerces the Doctor in retrieving the pendant from where it has ended up, in 19th century Scotland. While he is gone Peri becomes mixed up with Karfel's rebels and is captured by the Borad's robots. Vena has materialised in a holiday home being used by Herbert, a would be author. The Doctor finds them and she agrees to come back with him but Herbert stows away in the Tardis. Once they return to Karfel, Maylin Tekker has the amulet retrieved and the Doctor thrown into the Timelash.
Oh dear. This looks like it probably could and should have been a perfectly normal nothing special run of the mill Doctor Who episode. OK it's at the fag end of the season and there's obviously not a lot of cash going about as the tinsel inside the Timelash bears witness to. Into this Director Pennant Roberts parachutes Paul Darrow as Maylin Tekker. Now we've seen Darrow before, much earlier on in his career as Captain Hawkins in the Silurians but since then he's been Avon in Blake's 7. Now we need to bring the Third Season Blake's 7 episode City at the Edge of the World into play. You see that guest starred one Colin Baker as "Bayban the Butcher" and Baker didn't feel the need to be restrained in his performance that day. Darrow, himself not prone to understated acting now grasps the opportunity for a return visit guesting on Baker's show. Truely no actor has ever been so over the top compared to thos round him!
There's more of the Tardis being buffeted in flight and forced to land somewhere in this episode and the Borad becomes entry #9 on our "Lusting after Peri" list. At least Peri gets something decent to wear this story..... which is more than I can say for Karfel's human guards who look like Beekeepers!
I swear that's tinsel in the Timelash!
I think this episode is the first use of a gun firing a sort of sparkler type flame in Doctor Who. You will be hearing more of my hatred for these things later!
Some of the other performers in the show do have past form with us: Denis Carey, playing the Borad as seen on the TV screens should have beenProfessor Chronotis in Shada and was the Keeper in The Keeper of Traken. Dicken Ashworth, as Sezon, we recognise as Gun Sar in Blake's 7: Power (he gets to fight Paul Darrow's Avon at one stage). And we'll be seeing Dean Hollingsworth, who is the Androids, again as the Bus Conductor in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.