December 1, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The King’s Demons Part 2”

The Fifth Doctor. "The King's Demons," Final Episode.

So, the Master’s plan this time around…mostly seems kinda petty.

I mean, we get the usual sneaky shenanigans with the Master.  Sure, he was disguised as a knight and whoever King John is, he’s doing something for the Master.  Yeah, the Doctor may have beaten the Master at swordfighting–but some coolness points when Tegan tosses a knife at the Master and the villain catches it with one hand without even looking–but when the King orders someone to be put in the iron maiden and chooses the Master, it seems odd until the iron maiden disappears because it was the Master’s TARDIS in disguise.

What follows is a convoluted plot where the Master releases some people from the dungeon–but not Turlough–and all to foster dissent against the king.  This is King John.  He’s one of the least popular monarchs in English history.  How can the Master doing anything with him makes things worse?

And who the heck is the other King?

Well, the Doctor pieces it together.  It’s not so much as ruining John’s rep so much as preventing the signing of the Magna Carta and, as a result, preventing representative democracy.

I guess humanity exports that across the universe?

Well, everything was done to disgrace the king, foster a rebellion, and the Doctor plays along when the fake king is around but then sends Tegan off with the TARDIS while he looks around and finds Turlough, barely escapes some bladed-welding angry types, and finally, finds out how the Master got a stand-in for the king, one who doesn’t blink when the TARDIS just appears and seems to see no harm in keeping some alleged “demons” around.

It was a shapeshifting robot.  His name is Kamelion.

And then the Doctor and the Master duel telepathically to control the robot, the Doctor wins, there’s some quick work to make the people turn on the Master, the Master escapes but the Doctor sabotaged his opponent’s TARDIS, and he takes Kamelion, Tegan, and Turlough off to explore the universe some more.  Turlough wants to go home and Tegan wants to see stuff.  Kamelion wants…you know what, it doesn’t matter much.

Sure, having a character like him around would probably be useful for a sci-fi adventurer, and when he takes a human form, you can play tricks with a green screen or something like they do here.  The problem was Kamelion was, well, not an actor.  He was an actual robot, and it broke rather frequently.  Plus, the guy who built it and knew best how to work it died in an accident, so the Doctor pretty much literally shoves it into a closet until, like, one story down the road that was the robot’s second and last appearance in a serial.

So, that was season twenty…almost.  See, this is an anniversary year, and that means we need a celebration.

Next time in this spot:  The Five Doctors.

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