July 20, 2024

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Doctor Who “The Masque Of Mandragora Part 1”

The Fourth Doctor. "The Masque of Mandragora," Episode One.

And now, the Doctor and Sarah Jane take a trip to Renaissance Italy where everyone speaks modern English!

Wait, what?

Yes, that happens, but first, a tour of the TARDIS goes wrong.  OK, the tour itself is probably not at fault, but you get the idea. While showing Sarah Jane various rooms including one large one for storing boots, the Doctor finds the back-up control room.  He also finds what looks like one of the Third Doctor’s shirts and the Second Doctor’s recorder.  But then the pair look out the window and see an energy vortex called the Mandragoran Helix.  It’s kinda alive.  The TARDIS gets sucked inside, and then our problems begin.  The Doctor goes outside to look around and tells Sarah Jane to stay in the TARDIS.  She doesn’t listen.  That may or may not be a good thing here.  As the pair hide behind the TARDIS to avoid an energy orb, they forgot to close the doors and the orb gets inside.

Granted, we don’t find that out right away, but the episode implied that.

Anyway, they get back inside the TARDIS and leave.  The next stop is Renaissance Italy.  As with everywhere the Doctor goes, the place has problems.  The local duke just died.  His son is an intellectual sort.  The court astrologer predicted the Duke’s death a little too exactly.  And the Duke’s brother has been running around killing peasants who may or may not be part of a revolt.

Before you ask, hypothetical reader, yes, the Duke’s brother appears to be working with the astrologer to ensure these things actually happen on schedule.  He’s a bad’un.

Well, that may not concern the Doctor just yet.  He’s wondering where and when they are.  Sarah Jane wanders off AGAIN, and some hooded priests capture her.  The Doctor tries to intervene, but one of those guys has a large rock.  The Doctor is soon unconscious again.

All those times the Doctor gets knocked out could be serious.  He might have brain damage.  Someone should check.

Anyway, the Doctor himself is also soon arrested.  That would be the work of the Dead Duke’s shifty brother.  And so, both of our heroes are in trouble.  The Count figures the Doctor is a spy.  He orders the Doctor’s execution.  And Sarah Jane’s captors are pagan priests.  They want to use her for a human sacrifice.

None of which solves the problem only the Doctor knows about.  That orb is floating around killing people and could destroy the planet.

So, for the Doctor, it’s a Monday.