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The Doctor (Tom Baker) wants to take Leela (Louise Jameson) to Brighton,
beginning of the 20th century in his timemachine the TARDIS, but somehow gets
lost in the fog & lands somewhere near a godforsaken lighthouse off the
British coast - & as ever so often where the Doctor goes, trouble follows,
as in the lighthouse he soon finds its keeper (Ralph Watson) murdered (by
some kind of monster, but that's known only to the audience at this point),
& the other crewmen, young Vince (John Abbott) & old Reuben (Colin
Wilson), are quick to suspect the Doctor & Leela as possible killers.
thought he attention of everybody is diverted by a ship crashing into the
nearby rocks, & only just can the passengers & the captain be saved.
bunch doesn't make it any easier once they are tended to at the lighthouse
though, as does not everybody seem to have his/her own agenda, they have all
come to hate one another: There's Lord Palmerdale (Sean Caffrey), who thinks
it's mandatory to reach the London stock exchange, as he has gotten an
invaluable tipat the casino the other night, then there's Lord Skinsale (Alan
Rowe), who would be ruined if Palmerdale reached the stock exchange,
captain Harker (Rio Fanning), who is mad at Palmerdale for making him steer his
boat through the fog & endangering the lives of everybody aboard, &
Palmerdale's secretary Adelaide (Annette Woollett), who's freaked out by pretty
& among all their fighting, nobody (including the
Doctor) seems to have realized that the monster has since performed a post
mortem on the lighthouse keeper to be able to convinvingly shapeshift into a
human being, & soon kills old Ben to take its place.
everybody starts to notice that Ben acts a tad weird, he is able to bump off
the humans in the lighthouse one by one for a while, until the Doctor can
finally make his conclusion on who the killer is ... & has to realize that,
while he has at one point tried to lock the killer out, he has really locked
him in with them. & he finds out that the monster - a Ruton, a bloblike
thing with the ability to shapeshift - is actually the scout for a large
invasion army & has placed 2 navigational beacons in the lighthouse, using
the lighthouse's power resources to send a signal. The Doctor manages to
disable the beacons - but alas too late ...
By now besides the Doctor &
Leela only Skinsale is still alive, & they on one hand decide to construct
a makeshift mortar to put the Ruton out of action, & on the other hand
decide to shoot the Ruton's mothership by producing a laserweapon out of the
lighthouse & one of the diamonds Palmerdale has carried on his body.
the mortar goes fine, but when retrieving the diamond from Palmerdale, Skinsale
gets a bit greedy, & as a kind of poetic justice, he is killed by the
The Doctor & Leela however manage to both kill the Ruton &
ashoot down its mothership, thus saving earth from an alien invasion ...
this Doctor Who episode, one can't help but notice the extremely
wobbly, unconvincing sets & special effects - on the other hand though, one
can't help but notice the toght script, that puts a handful of fully fleshed
out characters into a claustrophobic setting & has them bumped off one by
one, spinning its tale as a whodunnit with sci-fi elements tagged on (as should
be suitable for the series). Despite this rather uncommon genre blend the story
works beautifully, & the Doctor & Leela (staying wholly in character
throughout) work nicely in it as well. Probably one of the best Doctor