It’s time for a little good news/bad news.
The good news is the Doctor didn’t shoot the President of the Time Lords.
The bad news is no one believes him when he says as much.
Yes, the guards arrest the Doctor, seeing as how he had a gun out and everything. Then they take him off to torture a confession out of him. Fortunately, the Castellan, a man named Spandrell, believes the Doctor might be innocent. The Doctor even has an Earth term for what happened to him: someone framed him.
See, the rifle the Doctor held, its sights were off. The Doctor couldn’t have hit the President with that rifle if he tried. Plus, since the President was stepping down, most likely to name Chancellor Goth as his successor, why shoot a guy on his way out? It doesn’t make sense.
Goth, it should be noted, wants the Doctor executed almost immediately. Political prisoners are traditionally released when a new president takes power, and it wouldn’t do if one of them killed a president. That sets a bad example.
However, the Doctor know a thing or two about Gallifrey’s law. He evokes Article 17. That would allow the Doctor to run for the presidency, and nothing can interfere with a candidate seeking high office. That essentially makes the Doctor immune to prosecution for two more days.
On the one hand, declaring a run for office as a way to avoid prosecution sounds like something that could cause too much trouble in the real world. On the other hand, the election season is only two days. Since he originally only had six hours to solve the crime, the Doctor now has another 52.
First stop, with Spandrell, is the balcony where the Doctor was arrested. And, it turns out, there is an important clue there: a tiny dead man. What makes this so important? Well, the Doctor only knows one man who can kill someone that way. That would be the Master.
Wait, since the Master is back, does that mean that barbecued Skeletor lookalike is the Master? Apparently yes. I didn’t expect that.
And there’s more! While Time Lords don’t believe in pre-cognition, there is a machine where the Time Lords store the minds of their greatest thinkers. They call it…the Matrix!
What if the Master used the Matrix?
What if he put his mind in there before dying?
And what if that was what gave the Doctor his vision of the president dying?
There’s only one way to find out! The Doctor will put his own mind in the Matrix, a virtual reality world where…
Wait, that Matrix sounds familiar.
However, going into the Matrix is dangerous! Because the Time Lords never build the machine for live minds!
All that means is the Doctor experiences some pain before he gets inside. And some masked man is there trying to kill him.
In fact, when the episode ends, the Doctor has his foot stuck in some railroad tracks while the masked man comes out him with a train…