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Doctor Who - The Ribos Operation

episode 98

UK 1978
produced by
Graham Williams for BBC
directed by George Spenton-Foster
starring Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, John Leeson (voice), Iain Cuthbertson, Nigel Plaskitt, Paul Seed, Robert Keegan, Prentis Hancock, Timothy Bateson, Ann Tirard, Cyril Luckham
written by Robert Holmes, music by Dudley Simpson, script editor: Anthony Read

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Tom Baker), Doctor Who (classic series), K9, Key to Time storyarc

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Acutally, Doctor Who (Tom Baker) and his computer-dog K-9 (voiced by John Leeson) wanted to go on an extended holiday somewhere in the sun, but instead, the all powerful White Guardian (Cyril Luckham) persuades him to go looking for the Key to Time, an all powerful intrument to restore order int he universe ... but since it's all powerful, the Key to Time (actually a cube) was broken into six pieces, scattered throughout the universe and disguised at whatever it is to not arouse any suspicion. And the Guardian even gives the protesting Doctor a new companion, pretty and intelligent but hopelessly naive Romana (Mary Tamm).

The search for the first segment of the key takes the Doctor and company to a medieval-like world, where a very likeable conman from earth, Garon (Iain Cuthbertson), and his young assistant Unstoff (Nigel Plaskitt)  try to sell the whole planet - which they of course do not own - to the powermad and violent exiled monarch Graff Vynda-K (Paul Seed) by giving him the impression that the planet is rich in an all-powerful mineral, Jedrich ... but the only piece of Jedrich on the planet was actually brought by Garron himself to make his story more believable ... and that piece of Jedrich is of course a segment of the Key to Time.

Soon enough, Garron and Unstoff have the Graff's money and their piece of Jedrich, but somehow the Graff has found out, and all of a sudden not only is Garron arrested, but the Doctor and Romana as well, who just tried to get the Jedrich from Garron. And Unstoff, who has the Jedrich and the money, hides in the catacombs under the city, where soon enough the city's head guard (Prentis Hancock), the Graff and his men, and the Doctor, Romana and Garron, who have been freed by K-9, go looking for him. Too bad though that down in the catacombs there are dragons.

In the end, all of the Graff's men are killed by a cave-in and he himself is killed by a timebomb he tried to plant on the Doctor, the Doctor, K-9 and Romana however, as well as Garron and Unstoff, get out of it all in one piece - and the Doctor even manages to keep Garron from stealing the Jedrich from him ...

 

A well-written and wonderfully, if hammy, acted blend of sci-fi and historical drama, filmed in some nice if not always terribly convincing sets (left over from an adaptation of Anna Karenina) make this a nice first episode of the Key to Time-storyarc. Totally likeable.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

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