Wait, how did Doctor Who wait this long to go with the really cool-sounding title of “Timelash”?
You know what? It doesn’t much matter. I’m mostly wondering when Peri got all those changes of clothes she has on the TARDIS. Unlike a few companions who seemed to wear the same thing all the time, she has a full wardrobe stashed away somewhere. In fact, I think she even changed outfits while the Cybermen were holding her and the Doctor hostage a while back…
Why am I so concerned with Peri’s outfits? I have no idea, but this serial opens with the Doctor and Peri in the TARDIS, hitting space turbulence, and bickering as they always do. Something is hitting the time stream and making it harder than usual for the Doctor to send the TARDIS somewhere he might want it to go.
All I know for certain, of course, is that wherever the TARDIS ends up, the Doctor will find people who need his help. In this case, that’s the planet Karfel, ruled by the unseen being they call the Borad. It’s policed by blue-skinned androids and jerks in beekeeper outfits. There’s a rebellion going on, but there’s one punishment for crimes like that, and that is…the Timelash!
That’s some swirly light tunnel that apparently sends people into random times and space or kills them or something.
Oh, the Borad also has some kind of rapid aging ray for people who see his face, so maybe there’s two punishments.
Now, there is one twist involved: the Doctor has been there before! Sort of. More below.
So, anyway, the government of Karfel, after starting a war with some interplanetary neighbors, needs some sort of amulet held by a princess named Vena…and she just fell into the Timelash.
So, after Peri notes there’s nothing really shiny or reflective on Karfel, she goes off on a tour, mostly to see what passes for plants there since they remembered she was something of a botanist again. The Doctor is told he needs to find and return Vena or else Peri gets it. Granted, the bad guys didn’t have her at the time, but the Doctor doesn’t know that, so he jumps in the TARDIS and…finds Vena without too much trouble. She just popped into this small house in 19th century Scotland with a polite, but very curious, young man named Herbert. Then the Doctor shows up, and all Herbert wants is to go with the Doctor. The Doctor says no, Herbert accepts, and when Vena and the Doctor head back to Karfel, they find Herbert somehow looking around the TARDIS.
As for Peri, she gets away from some guards, gets caught by some rebels, and eventually the lot of them are caught by the authorities, though not before Peri identifies the person in the rebel leader’s locket as…Jo Grant.
Yeah, this is apparently a planet where Jo and the Third Doctor had an adventure between serials.
So, the Doctor returns with Vena and Herbert, only to learn no one was planning on doing anything but toss everyone into the Timelash. And once again, the double-crossing villains ruin everything.
The Doctor will, I am sure, get them back in the next episode.