This week’s travels in the TARDIS brings us back to England in the year 1977. Image of the Fendahl is four-part story written by Chris Boucher, that originally aired from 29 October to 19 November, 1977.
The story finds a Professor Fendelman (Denis Lill) working on a fossilized human skull, an artifact that should not exist. It’s over 12 million years old. But we learn that it is something that has been left behind by a god-like being, a creature known as the Fendahl. And it seems that even after all this time, there is still an energy to it, and as it slowly revives, it begins to live off the life force of others… causing the bodies to begin to pile up, and there may even be a local coven helping it out.
The story, when we join Leela (Louise Jameson) and the Doctor (Baker) has the two having a fun exchange as the work on the robotic K9. Leela points out that she should be able to call K9 he, since the Doctor refers to the TARDIS as she.
We also get to see Leela in a new outfit, and while the dress is in keeping with her character, it doesn’t work with her hair up, and I couldn’t quite get behind the image.
As the story unfolds, we learn that most of the community is scientific in nature, all working together, but that also makes them a prime targets for the growing power of the Fendahl, which does seem to be interested and focused on one Thea Ransome (Wanda Ventham).
And of course, the local scientists are less than impressed by the arrival of the Doctor, and while not going out of their way to accost him, neither are they going out of their way to help him either – even as all the parties involved continue their separate investigations. An investigation that reveals that when x-rays are taken that the skull has a pentagram on it, which is actually a neural circuit, but may show a connection between science and the occult.
Things don’t go well for the Time Lord and his companion, as the Doctor himself is almost sapped of his life energy. But things continue as they always do, with the Doctor and Leela saving the day and finally putting a stop to the threat that the Fendahl poses.
I liked this story, and also liked the appearance of the parasitic form of the Fendahl, they were actually well designed and made for the time, and I think I’d like to see another story with this enemy. I think it would be pretty cool update.
Next time, they find themselves in a political furor far in the distant future, with The Sun Makers!