So, I think I see where the writer’s communist belief system may have come from since the villains appear to be a large mining corporation.
You know, until the Master shows up like he’s supposed to.
But first, the Doctor is not killed by that mining robot. You know, this time.
I mean, obviously.
No, it has a human handler, a guy named Caldwell, and Caldwell seems like a decent guy. In fact, he’s surprised by two things: that there were colonists on the planet and that two of them were killed. He offers to take the Doctor back to the mining corporation’s ship to talk to his bosses, particularly a guy named Captain Dent.
I’m thinking with a name like that, he’s probably not a benevolent soul.
And, he isn’t. He has an underling doing stuff to get the colonists to pack up and leave, and that includes killing some of them, but we find that out later.
See, there are other problems back at the colony. While the natives get along fine with the colonists, that survivor guy Norton keeps saying they’re dangerous, and he doesn’t trust them.
Of course, the colony’s lone scientist/engineer/all-around fixit guy has a native as a lab assistant. Things go bad when both the scientist and the assistant turn up dead and Norton says the native killed the scientist before Norton killed the native in self-defense.
Yes, obviously it was Norton that killed both of them, but he did frame a native, and Ashe and Jo have their hands full keeping people from wanting to go back to Earth as it is. How does Jo do that? Um…see, Jo’s narrative purpose here is mostly to ask Ashe questions so he can explain things to her and the audience. That serves a narrative function while not actually giving her anything to do. That and people like Norton keep asking how she got there and who she really is.
But back at the mining ship, the Doctor isn’t really interested in the company’s profits, so they give him a ride back to the site of the colonists’ deaths. Does Caldwell take him back? No. It’s Dent’s enforcer. And just as they get back, that guy summons his own mining robot, one with fake monster claws on the ends of its arms to make it look like a giant lizard is killing people.
So, the Doctor is cornered by a robot. Again.
Wouldn’t it be weird if every episode in this serial ended with that?