September 28, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The Armageddon Factor Part 4”

The Fourth Doctor. "The Armageddon Factor," Episode Four.

You know, I somewhat get a kick out of K9.  He’s not the most useful of sidekicks for a number of reasons due to the fact the on-set robot is a lot slower than the human actors who sometimes flee from him.  Plus, he can sometimes be both the smartest and the dumbest companion the Doctor has, often according to the story’s own needs.

But first, the Marshal is getting ready to launch some missiles at Zeos while the computer the Mentalis is looking to self-destruct.  Both would be bad.  If the missiles hit, Mentalis will respond by wiping out whatever life is left on Atrios, and if the missiles don’t, well, it’s never good to be standing by when a giant room-filling computer with ray guns explodes.

Maybe the Doctor can get some work done.  First, he asks Shapp to go back to Atrios and ask the Marshal to slow down.  Then, he sees if he can disarm the Mentalis without getting zapped.  The Doctor can buy himself some time if he can get the five pieces of the Key of Time working to do…something.

Plus, Romana makes an important point:  what if a third party started this war for unknown reasons?

That actually makes sense.

Since, you know, the Shadow has now brainwashed Princess Astra, tricking lovesick idiot Merak into first falling down a pit and later delivering Astra to the Doctor.  See, the Shadow wants her to do that.

Likewise, the Shadow’s goons lure K9 away with a firefight, and then finish the job with a computerized distress signal.

Well, there is some good news.  The Doctor did find a makeshift sixth piece and got the Key of Time working well enough to put the entire universe, aside from whoever was on the TARDIS in an eternal time loop of three seconds just as the Marshal orders the missiles to be fired.  Some fine-tuning means it only affects the Marshal’s ship and the Mentalis’s destruct code.  So, that gives the Doctor time to fix things.

He even accomplishes getting the computer to zap itself.

But after Astra knocks Merak down with a hurt leg, she does manage to get onto the TARDIS.  But, by then, the Doctor find the mind control gadget on Astra’s neck.  Because he’s the Doctor, not an idiot.

Well, all this means the Doctor and Romana have found a path to the Shadow’s realm just as the time loop is starting to wear off.

But it looks like K9 works for the Shadow now.

Uh-oh.

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