February 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The Pirate Planet Part 1”

The Fourth Doctor. "The Pirate Planet," Episode One.

OK, so, we have space pirates who fly a planet around, and…wait, who wrote this serial?  Douglas Adams?  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘s Douglas Adams?

Yeah, it is.  That certainly explains a few things.

Yes, we have a planet run by a captain, a cyborg with a case of colorful turns of phrase whose only real friend seems to be a robot parrot.  He promises riches for all, and that gets the six or so people in a nearby town square to cheer.

There was this one guy who seems a little glum.  And some robed dudes who are very interested in that guy.

But over on the TARDIS, we see Romana studied the owner’s manual and the Doctor acting like that was no big deal.  So, naturally, when the Doctor tries to land the TARDIS on the cold, boring planet of Calufrax, something goes really wrong but Romana manages to do it smoothly.

Of course, there’s a reason for that.  Romana got the right position in time and space, but the wrong planet.  This one is rather nice.  OK, the residents are rude in that they ignore the Doctor.  They will talk to Romana.  K9 thinks its because she’s prettier than the Doctor.

That dog isn’t exactly wrong…

As it is, those dudes in the robes decide to leave their tunnels, and they scare the crap out of everybody.  The Captain orders them taken out, but they seem to be immune to the laser fire from the local guards.

Where does that leave our heroes? Well, the Doctor hears some agonized screams and goes off to investigate.  Romana gets arrested for being a stranger or something, and K9 goes to tell the Doctor.  That works out as K9 protects the Doctor from a guard while the Doctor chats to the family of that guy who seemed a little glum.

That’s a mess of a sentence, but it made sense when I saw the episode in question.

But then the robed guys show up and the Doctor offers them a greeting.  They brain zap him into a wall.  K9 tries to stun them and nothing happens.  Then the Doctor gets up to say hello again, and again they brain zap him into a wall.

These guys aren’t very friendly.