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Escaping an avalanche of hot molten lava, Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton)
takes his companions Jamie (Frazer Hines) & Zoe (Wendy Padbury) in his time
machine the TARDIS to nowhere land, a place out of time & space. & at
first - fittingly enough for a place called nowhere land, there seems to be
nothing there, bjut soon a series of illusions lures Jamie & Zoe out of the
the TARDIS, where they are menaced by some fierce (but stupid looking) robots.
Making yet another desperate escape, the TARDIS blows up, & the Doctor,
Jamie & Zoe find themselves in a weird world of myths & legends, where
they meet a regular array of fictional characters, from Gulliver (Bernard
Horsfall) - who talks only in quotations taken from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's
Travels - to the Medusa (Sue Pulford), from Rapunzel (Christine Pirie) - on
whose hair everyone seems to climb up & down like nobody's business - to
the comic-book superhero Krakus (Christopher Robbie), plus a unicorn & a
regular army of man-size toy-soldiers complete with wind-up key.
process of these events, Jamie even gets a new face temporarily (& is then
played by Hamish Wilson, in fact this was because Frazer Hines fell ill with
Chicken pox & the tense shooting schedule didn't allow waiting for him to
get well again). All the while though, our heroes are watched by a sort of
superior being, the Master (Emrys Jones) - who had nothing to do with Doctor
Who's later arch-foe the Master -, who seems to test them for some sinister
Eventually, the Docotr & his friends even get to the
Master, who turns out to be an extremely prolific writer of fiction for a boys'
magazine from the 1920's, who was abducted by some aliens to create this
fictional world (which is somehow supposed to help the aliens conquer planet
earth ... don't ask), but who now has grown a tad old, so the aliens have
invited the Doctor to take his place ... but the Doctor refuses outright, even
when the Master turns his 2 companion into fictional characters as well.
though, the Master can connect the Doctor to the planet's Master computer &
thinks he has now enslaved him to the machine, but the Doctor uses the machine
against him, & soon the 2 opponents throw fictional characters against each
other, Cyrano de Bergerac (David Cannon) against D'Artagnon (John Greenwood),
& Sir Lancelot (John Greenwood again) against Blackbeard (Gerry Wain),
& also the Krakus makes another appearance, but their duel has shifted the
Master's attention from Jamie & Zoe, whom he thought caught up in a book,
but who can break free & ruin the master computer, ending the horrors of
this fictional world for good.
In the end, our heroes escape in the TARDIS
(which was ruined only in fiction), & even take the writer who was the
Master with them, as he has now forgotten everything, & actually is little
more than a pulp writer ...
The concept of throwing characters into
a world composed (almost) entirely of mainstays from popular fiction does hold
its promises, and this episode of Doctor Who is able to keep at least some of
them. What hampers the story though is its very cheap sets, which pretty much
prevent creating a suitable atmosphere, its script that is especially towards
the end a tad padded out, & its very childish way of storytelling, which
takes very much of the story's power.