Sometimes Doctor Who will open a new episode by showing the last five minutes or so of the previous episode. That happened here, so I got to see the Doctor karate chop some guys before another zaps him.
Zapping people isn’t good, of course. It turns out most people the guards zap end up dying. I know this is the Third Doctor’s final serial, but he still has two episodes left. He can’t die just yet.
Instead, he goes into a coma, and not the convenient healing type of coma he usually goes into. He does mumble enough to send Sarah Jane out to retrieve a machine from the TARDIS that can fix him up. And then she never comes back.
Why? Lupton got her. It seems his plan to take over the planet (and Earth) with his spider pal don’t amount to much when strangers follow him. To get back on the Queen Spider’s good side, he needs to capture the strangers. That would be Sarah Jane and the Doctor. In Sarah Jane’s case, that’s easy. He takes her off to a room where another of the native humans is tied up in a web cocoon. Fortunately, that man’s rebel son gets the machine to the Doctor.
What follows is something Doctor Who does sometimes and does very well. Both Sarah Jane and the Doctor learn where the humans and spiders came from at the same time but in different locations. See? That’s cool. The basics is as follows: a human colonizing ship crash landed on Metebelis 3 ages ago. On board were the humans, sheep for farming…and spiders. The weird crystals on Metebelis 3 made the spiders bigger and smarter, so they took over. Mostly, the spiders eat mutton. Sometimes they eat a person. Sarah Jane and her new friend are on the eventual menu.
As for the Doctor, he reasons that if blue crystals do nifty psychic stuff, then other rocks might as well. He’s right, of course. The Doctor is always right. Now he can rescue Sarah Jane.
Or he can try. His gadget does block various zaps from guards in the spider compound, and he even manages to smack all kinds of people around. One such person is Lupton. Then the guards, under the Queen’s orders, arrest Lupton. That was satisfying. The Doctor even seems free to go, right up to the moment he walks into the room Sarah Jane is cocooned in.
But then two guards walk in behind him because he was also arrested.
Back on Earth, we see that blue crystal doing wonders for Tommy the handyman. A light beams out of him, and now he can read.
As an English teacher, I kinda wish I had that thing right now…