From the other site...

"He is cut off from Ribosian society because of his belief in a world beyond what Ribos sees - a clear parallel to the Doctor's own exile. And, on a basic level, surely all heretics are friends of the Doctor's."

This makes me glad I read the "PageFillers" site, where they have posted several dozen reviews of each story. Almost everyone went on a bit about Binro, but nobody pointed out what you did here. So he does "make sense" being there.

On the other hand, only one person mention Prentiss Hancock, who, apparently, is a much better actor when he's given much less to do!

"THE RIBOS OPERATION" has long been a fave of mine. It was, oddly enough, the very 1st story shown in Philly in "movie" format. As I was in the process of taping the show (at a rate of 11 episodes per tape-- yep, that's how much you could fit at the medium "LP" speed which they no longer build into VCRs) you can imagine my shock when the story just kept right on going past where the cliffhanger should have been but wasn't. Oh my God! Oh my God! I had to slap another tape in to get the rest of the story, then, wait until they reran it so I could get the entire thing on one tape. Grrrrrrr.

Leela took a long time to grow on me. Romana I liked instantly. I mean, even quicker than Sarah-Jane, though not quite as intensely. Romana's introductory scene, like that of several other companions, is one one her best-ever. It's sad how many times companions get great intros, and then later writers do so little with them the actors wind up wanting to leave-- as Mary Tamm did after only one year. (Gee, just like Liz Shaw.)

Funny how other things can influence your reactions over time. When I watched this again 2 years ago (and I just watched it again tonight), something hit me during Romana's 1st scene that I hadn't seen before-- and it had nothing to do with the show itself. There I was, watching her, so "smart", so well-spoken, that particular way of saying words and sentences... and it hit me. And I yelled at the TV, "Oh my God! It's HERMOINE GRANGER-- all grown up!"

You know, it's funny how so many actors I've seen on shows like LOST IN SPACE, BATMAN, STAR TREK, DOCTOR WHO, I always remember for their appearances on these show, no matter what else they do, and usually they stand out instantly in anything else they turn up on. And yet, Mary Tamm turned up in a POIROT with David Suchet, and more than once, I had trouble even recognizing her! I guess she's an even better actress than I already took her for, to be able to just "disappear" into a role like that.

"My name is Romanadvoratrelundar." "We're so sorry about that, is there anything we can do?" (It's not only what he says, but the way he says it, to emphasize that he and K-9 are a team and she's an intruder.)

Now if you want a really disturbing blast, check out Iain Cuthbertson's appearance on CAMPION, where he plays a member of the British Secret Service... who isn't on the up-and-up (and before the story is over, tries to MURDER the show's hero).

I do wish they'd found a way to "shoot" the monster so you would have seen less of it...

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Ms Tamm also had a role in the movie The Odessa File (1974).

Watched this earlier, a few thoughts:


1)Interesting that they portrayed Cyril Luckham's White Guardian as a Southern plantation owner.  I gather that the producer wanted someone for the Doctor to be reponssible too, rather than just wandering aimlessly.


2)I think I'll probably save my thoughts on the concept of the "Key to Time" season after I've re-watched all of it.  Not a bad start, though.


3)Ah, Mary Tamm. In some ways, I like her better than Lalla Ward as Romana.She does the commentary track on the DVD with Baker - the two are very funny together.  She also has a delightfully wicked laugh. I liked the way the two butted heads as Romana kept analyzing him.


4)Another Holmesian double act with Nigel Plaskitt as Unstoffe and Iain Cuthbertson as Garron.  Also good to see Salamar again as the chief guard. Paul Seed is exquisitely mental as the Graff - I did like the bit at the end where we see him grieving for Robert Keegan's Sholakh - possibly the only person he cared for.  His death scene - where he's obviously totally lost it - is also quite good. I also liked the bit with Unstoffe and Timothy Bateson as Binro - it didn't serve the  story especially, it was just a nice little moment.  Ann Tirard as the Seeker - yet another in the show's long line of weird old women.


5)I think the best thing to have done with the Shrievenzale would have been not to have shown it at all.


6)The costumer did a very good job on this, I thought - lots of really good-looking stuff.


7)I like the fact that just about everyone in this trying to get something out of someone else.   Also, I loved the bit where the Graff and the Doctor slap each other - quite funny.


)Some more fun quotes:

  • "Well, it's better than scraping through with 51% on the second attempt." "That information is confidential!"
  • "That president! I should have thrown to the Sontarans when I had the chance!"  Wait, weren't you president when the Sontarans invaded?
  • "759." "756!"  I tell you, he lies about his age.
  • "If you can't stand the cold, stay out of the freezer."
  • "It's either 'Romana' or 'Fred'."  "Call me 'Fred'." "Good. Come on, Romana."
  • "Somerset's one of the Earth counties."
  • "You do know that saracasm's an adjustive stress reaction?"
  • "They'd have our heads off before you could say 'Rassilon's Rod'."  Leave Rassilons' Rod out of it, Doctor.
  • "I'm nearly 140, you know." "Really? You're in wonderful condition."
  • "Romana, you can't be a successful crook with a dishonest face, can you?"
  • "We have a negative empathy, Doctor." "Splendid. Let's go."
  • "We're not a dirty gang, are we?"
  • "Without jethrik there'd be no space-warping." So, "jethrik" is another name for "dilitihum"?
  • "You've got an unconscious death wish."
  • "Be quiet, K-9, you're a very irritating computer."
  • "You, er,dropped this."  "Into your hand, yes."
  • "I was trained by Maskelyne."  Interesting. I'd never heard of him.



  • Part One: The Shrievenzale waskes up !  (With the worst breath of the day!)
  • Part Two: The Graff orders the execution of the Doctor, Romana and Garron!
  • Part Three: The Graff tracks down the Doctor and his pals!
  • Part Four: The Doctor and Romana have acquired the first segment! (It was a lump of jethrik.)



I liked this. A fun little story with a good cast, and a nice introduction for Romana.


The Baron:

"Ah, Mary Tamm. In some ways, I like her better than Lalla Ward as Romana.She does the commentary track on the DVD with Baker - the two are very funny together.  She also has a delightfully wicked laugh. I liked the way the two butted heads as Romana kept analyzing him."


"You know, before I met you, I was actually willing to be impressed."  OUCH!

"Well, it's better than scraping through with 51% on the second attempt." "That information is confidential!"

Seems to contradict the way William Hartnell described himself as a "pioneer" of his people, doesn't it? (It brings up the question, who's fooling who here-- and exactly, in what way?)

""That president! I should have thrown to the Sontarans when I had the chance!"  Wait, weren't you president when the Sontarans invaded?"

YES... but perhaps he doesn't want her to realize she's been conned yet. The funny thing is, I'd think SHE was there when he was President. You'd think she'd have been more aware of him before she arrived.

"759." "756!"  I tell you, he lies about his age.

Don't forget...

"You've lost count somewhere along the way."  "Well I ought to know my own age!" "Yes, but I expect it all gets a bit FOGGY after the first few centuries."  "Listen... this ISN'T going to work!!!"

There's something about the way she uses ther word "expect" which sets her apart from, well, at least, Americans, if not English...

I've just read that Mary Tamm passed away at age 62.

Somehow this is more shocking to me than when we lost Lis Sladen...

Ah,such a shame.


Obituary here.

Been thinking of doing this ever since July... finally did it tonight.  First time in ages, I decided to dig out some WHO stories and watch them independant of the rest of the show.  Tonight:  THE RIBOS OPERATION.  As usual, the 2nd scene with Romana is my favorite in the whole story.  "Yes, but I expect after the first few centuries it all gets a bit foggy!"  She's so wonderfully upper-crust intellectually snobbish. But she has potential...  (I just found out that while she was born in England, her family originally came from Estonia. Not far from St. Petersburg, which is where George Sanders came from.)

Now, I've lost count of how many times I've seen this story since it first aired here.  TONIGHT, I suddenly noticed something.  The Doctor tells Romana he's figured out what Garron's doing.  Unstuff's going down into the room again, this time to steal both the gold and get back the gethrick.  He & Romana will be waiting for them on the roof.  EXCEPT... abruptly, he says, "I'm going to go down there to try and get in the room before he does."  WHY?????

First, The Doctor runs afoul of the guard, and has to con him, them hypnotize him.  Next, as soon as he opens the door and walks in, Unstuff runs OUT the door, locks him in, and as he runs past the guard, wakes him, and the guard starts blowing the whistle. As a result, EVERYBODY knows, immediately, that the room's been broken into, and the gold's been stolen. The Graff was getting suspicious of Garron already, and decides to ambush him.  He might have done this anyway.  But because of The Doctor's COMPLETELY UNCALLED-FOR actions, The Graff knows the gold's been stolen, and the guards get the witch-woman out to search for Unstuff.

WHY did The Doctor do that??? And WHY did it take me decades to notice it didn't make any sense?

The Baron said:
"That president! I should have thrown to the Sontarans when I had the chance!" Wait, weren't you president when the Sontarans invaded?

That is true but we do have a break between The Doctor taking care of the Sontarans & his leaving. I have a hard time imagining Gallifrey wanting to do without a president again so likely they came up with a solution to have a new president before The Doctor left & that is who Romana thought she met with. The Dr. was likely not fully in support of who they chose but hey, that's politics for you ;)

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