We’re reaching some of a milestone with this serial: the introduction of the last of the classic series’s companions. One companion leaves, and another comes in, and from what I understand, this one will be a much better match for the Seventh Doctor.
But for now, we have a first part to get through.
On the planet Svartos, things are very, very cold. There’s a crime lord there named Kane who is fatally cold to the touch, like liquid nitrogen level cold. He has an army of mercenaries who don’t remember their previous lives, and they do as they are told or else.
There’s also a nice sweet shop for aliens from across time and space there which is why the TARDIS materializes there. Mel is mildly disappointed, sort of like how I feel about her as a companion, but the Doctor is always up for a cool treat. Besides, you might meet someone you know at places like this.
Heck, Sabalom Glitz is there. He’s got a treasure map to some fabulous treasure he needs to find to get his ship back from Kane. The treasure is deep in the ice caves under Svartos, and Mel offers to help. Plus, the Doctor and Mel get to know the waitress, a young woman from Earth named Ace. Maybe. It’s the only name she ever gives.
Glitz, being a bit sexist, will accept help from the Doctor but doesn’t think bringing Mel and Ace along is wise. It’s just as well. Ace gets fired from her job and Mel learns she’s something of an expert in explosives, an orphan who played with bombs and somehow blew herself to Svartos, where using her special nitro glycerin to open a hatch gets herself and Mel arrested with an offer to join Kane’s forces.
Ace says no and she and Mel run into the caves.
Meanwhile, for no clear reason, the Doctor decides to scale down the side of a vertical ice wall. I don’t know why either.
Besides, it looks like Mel and Ace found that dragon. And here I was hoping I could go a whole episode without hearing Mel screaming again…