Doctor Who Reactions: "The Trial of a Time Lord" (SPOILERS)

Parts One - Four: "The Mysterious Planet"

1)I liked the new version of the theme tune for this. Alas, it's the one version of the tune that I've never been able to find on CD.


2)Supposedly, the opening model shot of the space station was the most expensive shot of its type that had been done at that time. It still looks pretty good.


3)They never really get into why they're holding the trial on a space station, instead of on Gallifrey.  Something shady's going on!


4)I like Michael Jayston as the Valeyard in this - I gather he and Baker are buddies in real life. They make good foils for each other.


5)Also liked Lynda Bellingham as the Inquisitor - very imperious and no-nonsense.


6)A slightly less edgy relationship between Peri and the Doctor here.


7)"Is there any intelligent life here?" "Apart from me, you mean?"


8)Ah, Glitz and Dibber, another great Holmesian double act. Glitz is portrayed as a bit of a psychopath here - one wonders that the Doctor was prepared to leave Mel with him.  My personal theory is that Glitz talked alot tougher than he actually was, and the Doctor knew this.


9)I also liked Joan SIms as Katryca - with that red hair, they should've had her playing Mel's grandmother!


10)Less impressed by Drathro the Extremely Awkward Robot.


11)Never read "The Water Babies". Wonder if it's any good.


12)"I shall provide some excellent husbands for you."  Peri should've taken her up on it.


13)Ah, Tandrell and Humker, a slightly less great Holmesian double act.


14)"Never believe what is said, Balazar, only what you know."


15)"Be silent, fat one!"


16)"My head hurts abominably, Sarah Jane."  Colin Baker's Jon Pertwee impersonation.


17)The cuts back to the trial get annoying after awhile.


18)I did like how after the Doctor's attempts to reason with Drathro fail, Glitz is able to b.s. him.


19)"All these subways look the same to me."


20)Why are they using a power system that might destroy the universe if it breaks down?


"The Mysterious Planet" Overall:

Not too bad - it might've been a fine stand-alone story if it hadn't of been tied into all this "trial" nonsense. Glitz was a fun character, and we got to see a guy in what looks like a condom costume get a faceful of green mashed potatoes - what more could you ask for?



Parts Five - Eight: "Mindwarp"

21)Look for Trevor Laird - who, many years later, would go on to play Martha Jones' dad - as one of the guards.


22)This was the show's first use of soemthing called "Paintbox"  - hence the pink ocean, and  so on. I found the colors more irritating than anything else, but it was an interesting experiment, I suppose.


23)"Sit down and shut up!" That's tellin' 'im, lady!


24)"'Sagacity'? You sycophant!"


25)If the Doctor is on trial for his life, why are they only dragging up things he did during his Sixth lifetime?


26)"Nurse, could you prepare to apply the 'skedaddle' test?" Yuk-yuk-yuk...


27)Good to see Christopher Ryan from The Young Ones in this - another actor who would be used again in the new show.


28)And the indescribable Brian Blessed as Yrcanos. At last, someone who can out-overact Colin Baker!


29)"Dead. No, worse than that - poor."


30)"We're not on your planet." "It doesn't matter, the rule still applies."


31)"Look out behind you!"  Baker gets alot of "goofy" acting in in this.


32)"There's nothing more enjoyable than watching people suffer."


33)"And as we all know, the Matrix never lies."  What's all this "the Matrix is incorruptible" crap? Has everyone forgotten "The Deadly Assassin"?


34)"All these tunnels look the same to me."


35)Patrick Ryecart does well as Crozier the suave mad scientist.


36)"I endeavor to maintain a certain continuity." Which is more than the writers do.


37)"Nobody likes brain alteration." I dunno - I knew some guys in college that were heavy into "brain alteration" of a sort.


38)"Does he always go on like that?"  "Afraid so."


39)I thought Bryant did quite well in the bit where she confesses her homesickness to Yrcanos - possibly her best bit in the show. Although she also do quite well at the end when she was playing Kiv.


40)I like the third Mentor who obiously just wants to be left alone to watch TV in peace.


41)"His name is Dorf and you are scum."


42)"I am of action, not reason."


43)"I'm sorry about the noise, he does so enjoy his work."


44)"You killed Peri?"  You bastards!


"Mindwarp" Overall:

Eh -it wasn't as bad as I remembered it being, but I found the trial scenes more intrusive here than in "The Mysterious Planet". Also, I found "not knowing what was real" annoying more than intriguing, but maybe that's just me.



Parts Nine - Twelve: "Terror of the Vervoids" 

45)"Is it going to be the Doctor's defense that he improves?"  And if it is, how does that exempt him from punishment for any previous wrongs he may have committed?


46)Professor Lasky is played by Honor Blackman, who was in The Avengers and Goldfinger. She does reasonably well in this, I thought.


47)Here we meet Mel as played by Bonnie Langford.  I always liked Mel, I thought she got dumped on a bit unfairly.  At least she's not whinging all the time the way Peri was.


48)"You'll worry sooner when I start to bray."  Oh, please, you've bene braying for awhile, now.


49)"We don't want you breaking your neck. At least not unitl..." Apparently, Edwardes wasn't against Mel breaking her neck per se, he just didn't want it happening at the wrong time!


50)"What are you, a comedian?" "No, more a sort of clown, actually."


51)I like how the Mogarians appear to be playing Galaga or Galaxian, or something similar.


52)"Have you been editing the Matrix and denying the court all the evidence to which it is entitled?"  Wait, aren't you the one who was saying the Matrix was inviolable?


53)"Fire alarms are not playthings for irresponsible buffoons."  There was a kid in our neighborhood when I was little whose dad had been a fireman, and who was killed falling off the back of a firetruck that was responding to a false alarm.


54)The Vervoids manage to be both goofy and vaguely rude-looking.


55)What's with that one crewman who looks like the GEICO caveman?


56)"I'm never frivolous about murder." Hah!


57)"Do Vervoid chloroplasts function normally?" There's question you don't get to ask often.


58)"Had a single Vervoid reached Earth, the human race would have been eliminated."  that seems a bit of an unwarranted assumption - especially as a justification for killing them all.


"Terror of the Vervoids" Overall:

I quite liked this - it's easily my favorite segment of the whole story. I wouldn't've minded seeing more of the Sixth Doctor/Mel team that we see here.



Parts Eleven - Twelve: "The Ultimate Foe"

59)"Doctor, wild accusations of malfeasance do not constitute a defense."  Shouldn't've he have been trying to demonstrate how many of his episodes of "interference" were actually missions for the TIme Lords?


60)"You pretend not to know me, do you?" If the Valeyard is some sort of future Doctor, shouldn't he already know how the trial turns out?  I can see two possibilities: One, when a Time Lord crosses his own timeline, it creates a sort of "quantum uncertainty" where what he remembers isn't necessarily what is going to happen, or two, killing the Doctor and taking his lives wasn't really what the Valeyard was after in the first place. The Doctor even says later "Assuming it's me he's after." Maybe he was just after access to the Matrix, and he set up the business of the trial as a distraction. That's assuming of course, that the Valeyard is who the Master seems to think he is.


61)All this talk of solar flares and Andromeda - this whole thing is just a sequel to "The Ark in Space", isn't it?


62)"The oldest civilization...decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core." Meanwhile, the Daleks are thinking "We can take these jokers."


63)"It's from the Master." "I know, I've just given it to you."


64)"She's a queen, set up on high by that warmongering fool, Yrcanos." I gather what happened was that the original intention was that Peri was dead as of "Mindwarp", but that at some point Baker questioned whether  that was part of the Matrix that the Valeyard faked. The question was bumped up to JNT, and he got cold feet about killing her off, and so this bit was added.


65)"How utterly evil!" "Thank you." 


66)Sad that this story was so affected by the death of Holmes, and the squabbling between between JNT and Saward which led to Ma and Pa Baker being brought in to finish it. I gather that if you are determined enough, you can probably find Saward's original script for Part Fourteen on-line somewhere - I've never felt the urge to do it.


67)Geoffrey Hughes, who played Mr. Popplewick, was the voice of Paul McCartney in Yellow Submarine.


68)The beach where the Doctor gets "buried" is the same place they used for Aridius in"The Chase".


69)"With the Doctor as my enemy, I always have the advantage."  Then why do you always lose?


70)"You really are a second-rate adversary!"


71)"Liked all megalomaniacs, he is consumed with his own vanity."  Well he is you after all.


72)"A megabyte modem." Uh, no, dear.


73)"The High Council has been deposed! Insurrectionists are running amok on Gallifrey!" "Dogs and cats living together..."


74)"There's nothing you can do to prevent the catharsis of spurious morailty!"  That's my new answer  to everything from now on.


75)I like how when Mel yells to clear the courtroom, the guard just run.


76)"You blundering imbecile! You triggered a ray has shift - there'll be a massive feedback into here!" Ya big dummy1


77)"All charges against you are dismissed, Doctor. We owe you an immense debt of gratitude."  Also, we didn't really give a crap about all those dead Vervoids, anyway.


78)"Carrot juice, carrot juice, carrot juice..."


79)And so he leaves with Mel, even though technically he hadn't met her yet.  In the novelization, the Bakers at least put in a scene at the end where he returns her to her proper place in his timestream. When he finally did fight the Vervoids, did he just go around looking surprised the whole time?  Did he save a Vervoid this time, to make sure he got out of that genocide charge? 


"The Ultimate Foe" Overall:

Ths was OK, considering the trouble they had getting it written. I still find the ending excting, even after all these years.



  • Part One: The Valeyard has called for the Doctor to be put on trial for his life!  Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker!
  • Part Two: "I really think this could be the end!" Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker!
  • Part Three: Reaction shot of Colin Baker, then Merdeen shoots!  (The old switcheroo!)
  • Part Four: "And when I have finished, this court will demand your life!"  Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker!
  • Part Five: Sil orders the mind-helmet used on the Doctor! Cut to Colin Baker doing his "tortured" face!
  • Part Six: "Now, Doctor, it's your turn to die!"  Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker!
  • Part Seven: The Valeyard accuses the Doctor of being responsible for what happened to Peri and her pals! Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker!
  • Part Eight: The Doctor declares his intention to find out what is going on! Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker!
  • Part Nine: Mel screams as Edwardes is electrocuted! Meanwhile something moves in one of the pods!
  • Part Ten: Mel screams as the mutant awakens!
  • Part Eleven: Bruchner is steering the ship into a black hole! Cut to reaction shots of Honor Blackman and then Colin Baker!
  • Part Twelve: The Valeyard charges the Doctor with genocide! Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker!
  • Part Thirteen: The Doctor is pulled itno the quicksand! Cut to reaction shot of Colin Baker screaming!
  • Part Fourteen: The Keeper is the Valeyard! Dunh-dunh-DUNH!  Hey, Moffat, I'm pretty sure Michael Jayston is still alive and working!



"The Trial of a Time Lord" Overall:

An interesting idea that doesn't completely work for me. There were some good moments, but in the end, I still find myself wishing they'd just doen a regular season.


[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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I was under the impression due to the lowered voice as he was saying it, the Sarah Jane comment was meant to be of that other Baker fellow. What's his name again. I wonder what he's doing nowadays? ;) Speaking of names, Six makes mention of submitting a paper by Doctor..... Also as he, Peri, Glitz & Dibber make a dash for it. It is interesting to note he introduces himself "How do you do? I am KNOWN as The Doctor" instead of "I'M The Doctor"

From what Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant say on the commentary track, he was trying to do Pertwee, although it doesn't sound much like him.


It's interesting to note that in the Hartnell and Troughton episodes (the surviving ones, at least), he never says "I'm the Doctor" that I've noticed.

Updated for Parts Five - Eight.

Updated for Parts Nine - Fourteen.

I've been watching "Terror of the Vervoids". In the first episode the picture on the wall in the cabin in which the Doctor and Mel find the seeds seems to be a page from a comic. I think it's painted, and consequently most likely from a British comic. I originally thought it was a page of original art, but the page might not be large enough. It can also be seen in one of the deleted scenes.


This post displaced the thread Spider-Man from the home page.

“35)Patrick Ryecart does well as Crozier the suave mad scientist.”

Philip Martin, who wrote “Mindwarp” and created Sil, wrote an audio sequel (#182—“Antidote to Oblivion”) in which Crozier’s daughter allies herself with Sil to seek revenge against the Doctor, who she blames for the death of her father.

Also, “The Trial of the Valeyard” (the sequel to the entire “Trial of a Timelord” series) is one of my three favorite Big Finish audios.

RIP Honor Blackman, who played Professor Lasky in this story.

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