This week, we tackle the final story of the 19th season! Written by Peter Grimwade this four part story ran from 22 to 30 March, 1982.
The Doctor (Davison), Teagan (Janet Fielding) and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) are trying to deal with the loss of Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) in the previous story and end up getting caught up in a mystery of a disappearing Concorde that vanished from Heathrow Airport (could Teagan be going home?).
While investigating, they get thrown back in time millions of years, as an alien known as Kalid, tries to control the powers of the alien race known as the Xeraphin. But there is something awfully familiar about Kalid… He is, in fact, The Master (Anthony Ainley), and, as always, is up to no good.
I do like that the Doctor mentions UNIT upon arriving at Terminal One, and also asks after Lethbridge-Stewart. After he name drops, he is given permission to become involved in the mystery of the missing Concorde.
I have to be honest, this one feels a little slow and pondering. Even after the Concorde carrying the TARDIS, the Time Lord and his companions gets thrown back in time, the story just fails to captivate, and the revelation of Kalid as the Master takes longer than it should. He is using and exploiting the powers of the Xeraphin, who refuse to believe they were being used until the Doctor reveals the truth of the Master, and joins with the light Xeraphin to confront the dark Xeraphin before uniting against the evil Time Lord. Who, when he does appear, tries to take off with the TARDIS, attempting to escape the time he’s been trapped in as his own TARDIS is in trouble.
There are a number of nice moments, when Kalid tries to warn Teagan and Nyssa off, by making them see things from their past to warn them off, including Adric, and the Melkor.
The fun byplay we’ve come to expect from the interactions of the Doctor and the Master is missing, and overall, and this is something I hate to say, this is just a dull story. There’s nothing exciting, or even fun about it. There are some fun ideas, but none of it is played right. The whole story is off, and the fact that they don’t truly mourn the loss of Adric, but simply carry on with their activities is a bit of a let down as well.
By story’s end, most things are back to normal, the crews and passengers of the missing Concordes are returned to the present, and Teagan is back at Heathrow, while the Doctor and Nyssa continue their travels in the TARDIS.
Definitely not the strongest story to end the season on, but season 20 gets underway next week with the Arc of Infinity.