Well, this is probably the last Second Doctor serial I am ever going to see. Sure, I might luck out and find another one at some point, but that seems unlikely. Questionable depictions of Tibetan Buddhists aside, it did seem like a very Second Doctor sort of adventure to go out on.
Basically, the Doctor knows what’s going on by now, and he even comes up with a plan after realizing that the Abbot was also under the Intelligence’s hypnotic power. He’d love to save his friend the master, Padmasambhava, but to save him would probably kill the old man, and chances are good the old man would want that. So, what can the Doctor do?
Well, first he’ll dismiss most of the monks to get them to safety. Then he’ll go confront the Great Intelligence directly with help only from Jamie and young monk Thonmi. Victoria will help too, but only because she wouldn’t leave. And if I wanted more proof this story comes early in Victoria’s time on the TARDIS, it’s that she isn’t a perpetually screaming young woman quaking in fear the entire time.
Sure, there are complications. Professor Travers is sure the Doctor is wrong, and he and another monk go try another route, but they don’t really foul anything up, and their timely intervention arguably makes things go a bit better. Yeah, neither Travers nor the monk can stop the Great Intelligence inside of Padmasambhava’s body, but it does offer a mild distraction as the Intelligence’s great telepathic powers seem to even make the Doctor pause.
It’s always nice to remember the Doctor is not indestructible. He can be slowed down and the like and often has no more power than an ordinary man. Sometimes he knows some fancy martial arts, but he usually saves the day just by being really clever compared to various enemies. For the Great Intelligence, he just needs to keep the thing distracted while Jamie and Thonmi smash his equipment. Oh, and he needs to do it before the Yetis get there and kill everybody. How does he win?
He gets kinda lucky when the gloating Intelligence says what exactly his special equipment is. That gives Jamie and his monk companion the exact right thing to smash. The Intelligence fails. Padmasambhava dies happily. I never have to type that name out again. The other monks return, and Travers never did see his Yeti. All the robotic ones seem to be broken.
Oh, but then Travers spots a real Yeti and runs off after it.
And so, the Doctor and his companions return to the TARDIS. The Intelligence will strike again, in a serial I have seen, one where the Brigadier made his first appearance.
But for now, I must bid a farewell to the Second Doctor. You know, unless I find another Big Finish story or something.
I do have a few more of those right now.
Titans “Caul’s Folly”
Comic Review: The Judas Coin
The X-Files “Pusher”