March 26, 2023

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Doctor Who “Terror Of The Zygons Part 4”

The Fourth Doctor. "Terror of the Zygons," Final Episode.

This is an episode of goodbyes.  The Brigadier doesn’t return to the series until the time of the Fifth Doctor, and given how long the Fourth Doctor hangs around, that’s a long time.  Harry Sullivan will be in a future serial, but his time as a companion is over.  And the Zygons don’t return until the 50th anniversary special in the Modern Who era.

I just figured I should get all that out of the way.

Alright, so the Doctor wakes up again, tired of being unconscious so often, and does what he always does by looking around.  He doesn’t even get the benefit of going to rockin’ parties.  However, he is the curious type and opts to look around.  The Head Zygon, Broton, shows up and whispers stuff about how the Doctor will die and all that.  You know, the usual, aside from how Zygons can’t talk above a whisper.  And I gotta say, it is fun watching this Doctor react to stuff.  Call him human?  He’ll just say he isn’t one and leave it at that.  Brag about your advanced alien tech?  He’ll say he has seen better.  Leave him along in a room long enough?  He’ll fiddle with stuff until he can get a call through to the Brigadier.

See, the Zygons do have a plan.  As the Doctor notes, six guys aren’t really going to conquer anything.  But Broton has already sent a welcoming message to other survivors of his kind.  They’ll be along in a few thousand years or so.  In the meantime, his ship can cause all sorts of pollution, deadly to humans, but A-OK for Zygons.  And in the meantime, he’ll disguise himself as the Duke to infiltrate an energy conference.  Sarah Jane did find evidence that showed the Duke runs some stuff for the Scottish Energy Commission.  Yeah, Harry said that information probably wasn’t any good, but Harry won’t be around much longer so we can ignore him.

Now, getting that message off sure did electrocute the Doctor.  He looks dead, satisfying the Zygons.  But then he wakes up because, again, he’s not human.  Really, the Zygons need better listening skills.  Broton goes off to a London conference with the Prime Minister (among others) and the Doctor frees the human hostages.  In the process, he also manages to damage the ship enough to blow it up.  He gets out with the Duke, Creepy Nurse, and Groundskeeper Willie.  And fortunately, the Brigadier was there to give everyone a ride to London.

London and Scotland aren’t that close together.  How did they get there so fast?  Never mind.  They just do.

See, everything might be going wrong for Broton.  All he has left is the homing beacon for that supposedly unkillable sea monster.  He can’t even look like the Duke anymore.  And even though he tosses the Doctor around without too much trouble, Sarah Jane gets the Brigadier to come in and shoot Broton.

Broton probably wishes he was bulletproof like most Doctor Who alien villains.  He dies.

And then the Doctor finds the homing device so when Cyborg Nessie shows up, he can toss the thing down the critter’s throat.  That means the monster is basically free to swim off and not bother anybody else.

So, that’s that.  The Brigadier does promise the Duke he’ll hush everything up.  Because apparently no one in the busy city of London noticed a giant sea monster pop out of the Thames.  The Doctor is going to take the TARDIS back to UNIT HQ.  He’ll be there five minutes before he left.  Does anyone want a ride?  Harry and the Brigadier decline.  Sarah Jane isn’t sure the Doctor can steer the TARDIS that precisely despite the Doctor’s assurances.  But she goes with him anyway.  He only really needs the one companion right now.

And that’s not just me being snippy.  That was the general conclusion of the people making the show.  They added Harry under the impression that they needed a younger man to do some more adventure-y stuff next to an older man playing the Doctor.  Then they cast a fairly young Tom Baker, and Harry was more or less redundant.  And, judging from the previous serial, possibly an imbecile.  Granted, Harry didn’t leave much of an impression on me at all, and he does come back one more time.  Plus, the actor who played him even wrote some Doctor Who novels, so it’s not like he left the mythos of the show completely.  He just won’t be on it much anymore.

Heck, he may be bigger in the extra material stuff that kept coming out than the Zygons.  But those guys were just sentient octopus tentacles.  What’s the next serial called anyway?

“Planet of Evil”?  Huh.

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