Doctor Who “The Trial Of A Time Lord: The Mysterious Planet Part 1”

So, for the 23rd season of Doctor Who, the producers tried something a wee bit different that may or may not have worked.

Essentially, the show opted to do a 14 part story told over the course of the entire season.  Now, there had been some seasons with a sense of continuity.  I seem to recall one where there was a running theme of returning Romana to Gallifrey, but that was more like a minor subplot that got a nod once in a while.  This time around we get a framing device for the Doctor as the TARDIS appears on a Gallifreyan space station where he’s promptly arrested and put on trial for a wide variety of crimes that haven’t really been specified yet.  Where’s Peri?  I don’t know.

It’s worth noting that this was something of an experiment for the series.  The show had actually been canceled, but a fan campaign for it back after being off the air for a year.  Colin Baker was still the Doctor, and he wanted to stay the Doctor, even planning to stay on the show longer than the other Baker who played the Doctor.  He never got around to that for reasons I’ll get to later, but he really does seem to enjoy himself no matter how bad the story gets.

And this serial the framing device covers seems dumb so far.  The long and the short of it is, the Doctor and Peri visit a planet that the Doctor notes is a lot like Earth only to find out later it might be Earth after all.  Peri doesn’t take this well and takes off.  She’s captured by the not-particularly advanced looking tribe on the surface, along with two mercenaries sent to knock out a power station.  One of the is a fellow with delusions of a high vocabulary named Sabolon Glitz.  The other is his sidekick.

As for the Doctor, he’s caught by the people who live under the surface and keep old Earth lit as holy texts.  They eventually stone him, but he seems to be OK.

Oh, and if he loses the trial in the framing device, he might be executed.

So, will the Doctor be found guilty?

Let me put it this way:  we’ve had how many Doctors since the Sixth?

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