OK, let me take a moment to say that, at this point, Doctor Who has a cast full of highly competent people. The Doctor is good at everything. Liz is good at the science. The Brigadier is actually pretty good at the action stuff. In short, I am pleased right now.
Then again, this was apparently intended to be a Second Doctor story, and that just reminds me how much I miss that Doctor and his companions.
But first, will Carrington shoot the Doctor?
Um, no. Reegan points out the Doctor can build a better translator. And when Carrington explains his side, it seems…almost reasonable. He was on Mars with a friend, they met these aliens who came from beyond Mars…
…so, no Ice Warriors after all…
…and when his buddy was killed during a handshake, Carrington decided the aliens were evil and had to be taken out. Sure, the Doctor points out it could have been a mistake, but all Carrington is trying to do is defend his home planet. Yes, we know he’s wrong about the aliens, but he’s not doing anything for greedy or warmongering purposes. That means he may theoretically survive the episode.
As it is, the Doctor agrees to help him because it seems reasonable.
And the Doctor does build the translator.
But the device also acts as a transmitter to send an SOS to UNIT.
Now, the Brigadier decides to look into the SOS, not knowing who it is from, and seeing as he has nothing else to do as Carrington prepares to unmask an alien on live television. It’s all part of a plan, along with the murders, to rile the people of the Earth up into blowing up the spaceship with the human astronauts on board. It really doesn’t help when the alien captain sends a “send us our ambassadors back or else” message, even though, you know, he distinctly said ambassadors.
But the Brigadier can kick ass. He manages to escape the guards and get back to UNIT in time to pick up the handful of guys Carrington didn’t lock up. And they have to take Bessie because it’s the only car they have left.
Fortunately, they get to the Doctor and Liz, the translator is finished, and the ambassadors aren’t happy to be held prisoner and forced to murder, so they’ll help out. Plus, Reegan surrenders instead of dying, so that was a nice change of pace.
What follows is the Doctor having the ambassadors just walk up to various soldiers long enough for the soldiers to surrender, UNIT’s people are released from custody, and Carrington is arrested. That means the Doctor can send the ambassadors back to their people and the astronauts come home and everyone’s happy since it’s the last part of the serial and even Carrington survived in the end.
And I learned paranoia sucks.