While waiting for “Kinda” and “Snakedance” to be released next month, I’ve decided to kill the time by watching select stories a second time. (I’m still quite new to the world of Doctor Who, you know, and have seen very few of the stories more than once.) For reasons of my own, I decided to watch “The Keeper of Traken.” “The Keeper of Traken” is one of the earliest stories I decided to watch, because it came in a boxed set featuring the regeneration from the Fourth Doctor to the Fifth. It was also, in fact, my first exposure to The Master.
I liked it when I first saw it, but I like it much more now. I think I initially watched it too soon in my Doctor Who viewing to get the full level of enjoyment out of it. Companions generally have one adventure with the Doctor before they are officially (or “unofficially”) granted “companion” status. This phenomenon is even recognized by the Timelords who, when wiping Jamie and Zoe’s memories, allowed them to remember “The Highlanders” and “The Wheel in Space” respectively. Just as I consider “The Ark” Dodo’s first adventure as a companion and “The Tomb of the Cybermen” Victoria’s first adventure as a companion, so too do I now consider “The Keeper of Traken” to be Adric’s first adventure as a companion. That, plus it’s Nyssa’s initial adventure.
First time through I wasn’t paying too much attention to Tremas and wasn’t expecting [SPOILER] The Master to steal his body, nor (for whatever reason) did I expect this version of The Master to last as long as he did. How does that work, anyway? Did Tremas all of a sudden grow an extra heart when the Master took his body over? If not, how did The Master reacquire his second heart? Or do Trakenites (Trakonians?) just naturally have two hearts?
It’s times like this I really mourn the loss of the old board. I know I posted a “Doctor Who Reactions” thread about “The Keeper of Traken” when I first watched it a few years ago. I would really like to be able to go back and read my thoughts after seeing it for the first time. Ah, well.