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Colin Baker
The Mysterious Planet
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Synopsis


The Doctor on Trial
The Doctor on Trial
 The TARDIS has been taken out of time and The Doctor has been brought before a court of his fellow Time Lords. There the sinister Valeyard accuses The Doctor of breaking Gallifrey’s most important law and interfering in the affairs of other planets.

 If the Valeyard can prove him guilty, The Doctor must sacrifice his remaining regenerations. To prove his case the Valeyard focuses on an adventure set in The Doctor’s past.

 It is an adventure set on the planet Ravolox, a seemingly primitive world but one which The Doctor and Peri find strangely familiar...



General Information

Season: Twenty Three
Production Code: 7A
Story Number: 143a
Episode Numbers:640 - 643
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"Wasteland" and "The Robots of Ravolox"
Production Dates: April - June 1986
Broadcast Started: 06 September 1986
Broadcast Finished: 27 September 1986
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre (TC6 and TC3)
Location: Hampshire: Queen Elizabeth Country Park (Gravel Hill, Horndean), Butser Ancient Farm Project (now known as Little Butser), Butser Hill
Writer:Robert Holmes
Director:Nicholas Mallett
Producer:John Nathan-Turner
Script Editor:Eric Saward
Production Assistant:Joy Sinclair
Production Associate:Angela Smith
Assistant Floor Managers:Sally Newman and Stephen Jeffrey-Poulter
Designer:John Anderson
Costume Designer:Ken Trew
Make-Up Designer:Denise Baron
Incidental Music:Dominic Glynn
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Brian Clark
Lighting:Mike Jefferies
Visual Effects:Mike Kelt
Title Sequence:Sid Sutton and Terry Handley
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Dominic Glynn
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 1The Companion: Nicola Bryant (Peri) Number of Acquaintances: 1The Acquaintance: Tony Selby (Sabalom Glitz) (Joins and Departs) Guest Cast: Lynda Bellingham (The Inquisitor), Michael Jayston (The Valeyard), Joan Sims (Katryca) Additional Cast: Glen Murphy (Dibber), Tom Chadbon (Merdeen), Roger Brierley (Drathro), David Rodigan (Broken Tooth), Adam Blackwood (Balazar), Timothy Walker (Grell), Billy McColl (Humker), Sion Tuder Owen (Tandrell)Setting: Trial Sequences: Time Lord Space Station (Rassilon Era)
Evidence Sequences: London near Marble Arch tube station (circa 2,000,000) Villains:Drathro and The Valeyard

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
640Part 106 September 198624'57"4.9PAL 1" colour videotape
641Part 213 September 198624'44"4.9PAL 1" colour videotape
642Part 320 September 198624'18"3.9PAL 1" colour videotape
643Part 427 September 198624'20"3.7PAL 1" colour videotape

Total Duration 1 Hour 38 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 4.4
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)59.76%  (Position = 123 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2003)320 Points (Position = 47 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)57.84% Lower (Position = 142 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)64.67% Higher (Position = 168 out of 241)


Archives


 All four episodes exist as PAL 1" colour videotapes. A 71-edit scratch print of all episodes also exists.



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Notes


"The Mysterious Planet" is the title that has been given to the first four episodes of The Trial of a Time Lord, the season-long storyline that constituted Season Twenty Three. This story also brought to an end the show’s first official hiatus.

When it was announced, in February 1985, that the start of Season Twenty Three would be postponed from January to September 1986, Producer John Nathan-Turner and Script Editor Eric Saward considered salvaging at least some of the stories that had already being prepared for the new year - albeit with significant alterations.

This proved to be difficult due to all the scripts in progress having to be modified for the more traditional twenty-five minute length - after it was decided to not to continue with the forty-five-minute episodes. Also it was felt that the show had become too violent, and this element needed to be replaced with more humour. Therefore the fourteen episodes that make up The Trial of a Time Lord season was a replacement, after the 18-month hiatus, for the original aborted Season Twenty Three.

As well as abandoning the original planned stories a decision was made by the BBC to reduce the number of episodes for Season Twenty Three from twenty six to just fourteen. This meant that John Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward needed to approach the format of this season more creatively than in the past - and so the idea of the entire season consisting of The Doctor being put on trial by the Time Lords - effectively mirroring the show’s real-life status where the programme itself was on trial at the BBC.

This first story bore the working titles "Wasteland", "The Robots of Ravolox" and finally "The Mysterious Planet". It was, however, presented on screen as parts one to four of The Trial of a Time Lord season of stories, rather than under an individual story heading, though "The Mysterious Planet" is the name most commonly used for the first four episodes that make up the first story of The Trial of a Time Lord season.

The structure of this season was inspired by Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, with The Valeyard and The Doctor using adventures from The Doctor’s past, present and future as evidence. With "The Mysterious Planet" therefore reflecting the ‘past’.

Robert Holmes was chosen to write "The Mysterious Planet", along with the final story of this season. Robert Holmes had recently contributed the Season Twenty Two story "The Two Doctors" and would have authored "Yellow Fever and How to Cure It" for the original Season Twenty Three.

On completing his scripts these were passed to Head of Drama Jonathan Powell for routine approval. With no reply forthcoming, Robert Holmes started to write the season’s final story. However, when Jonathan Powell finally issued his comments, and they were hardly complimentary especially with regards to its humorous content (seemingly at odds with Michael Grade’s wishes that this was to become a more predominant feature in Doctor Who), the level of The Doctor's involvement in the events on Ravolox, and the gradual introduction of the trial scenario. In Robert Holmes’ original drafts, the fact that The Doctor is before the courts is not made clear until Part Two.

This last minute indictment of this story meant that Robert Holmes would have to suspend work on the season’s final story to return to a set of scripts he had believed were long since finished. Eric Saward was also livid believing that Jonathan Powell was demonstrating a lack of respect for the veteran writer. To make matters worse, first-time director Nicholas Mallett - who had been a Production Unit Manager on Blake's 7 before helming episodes of Crossroads and EastEnders amongst other shows - had already begun work on the story. Jonathan Powell however, was able to ne convinced that only minimal changes to Robert Holmes’ scripts were necessary - the major modification being that the trial scenario would now be made clear right from the very start of Part One.

This story was the last complete Doctor Who story written by Robert Holmes. Its plot is similar to Robert Holmes’ first contribution to the show, the 1968/69 Second Doctor story "The Krotons". In both stories, an alien machine subjugates a humanoid civilization and forces its brightest young people into its service.

Along with the Sixth Doctor, The Valeyard and The Inquisitor are present for all fourteen parts that make up The Trial of a Time Lord season. Both of these characters (The Valeyard at this point was intended to be an evil future incarnation of The Doctor, as implied by his name, an old word meaning ‘Doctor of Law’) were devised by John Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward. As both appeared throughout the season, and so took on a higher priority than would normally have been the case, John Nathan-Turner decided to cast these key roles.

To play The Valeyard, John Nathan-Turner chose Michael Jayston, a veteran actor with numerous credits on stage, film and television, including the movies Nicholas and Alexandria and Zulu Dawn and the television series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Callan and The Power Game.

The actress chosen, by John Nathan-Turner, to play the part of The Inquisitor was Lynda Bellingham, who had appeared in such programmes as The Sweeney and General Hospital as well as in the long-running series of television commercials for Oxo stock cubes.

This story introduces the character of Sabalom Glitz (played by Tony Selby). John Nathan-Turner also cast this character as he was aware that there was a possibility this character may return in the final story of this season. As well as returning in "The Ultimate Foe" - the final two episodes of The Trial of a Time Lord season, Sabalom Glitz also appeared in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story "Dragonfire".

Actress Joan Sims, who played the part of Queen Katryca, was a popular and well-known comedy actress in the Carry On... film series.

Glen Murphy, better known for his starring role in the LWT fire service drama series London's Burning, played Sabalom Glitz’s sidekick Dibber.

David Rodigan, who played Broken Tooth, was better known as David ‘Roots’ Rodigan, a reggae music DJ on London’s Capital Radio.

Roger Brierley, the actor credited as Drathro, was originally supposed to wear the robot costume and physically play the role, but found he could not work in such a confined space. Therefore Visual Effects Assistant Paul McGuiness, who had helped design the costume, stepped in to perform as the robot while Roger Brierley read his lines off-camera.

Actor Tom Chadbon, who played the part of Merdeen, previously played detective Duggan in the 1979 Fourth Doctor story "City of Death".

Location work was carried out in Hampshire at the Butser Ancient Farm Project - a replica of an Iron Age settlement - and the nearby Queen Elizabeth Country Park. This location footage was recorded on Outside Broadcast (OB) video tape instead of film as had usually been the practice for the previous 22 years. This meant that beginning with this story the show was now completely produced on videotape (with the exception, in this story, of a brief special effects sequence at the very beginning of Part One). The use of OB for exteriors would continue for the remainder of the original run of the show, until its end in 1989.

For a strong hook, to start off the new season, John Nathan-Turner agreed to spend more than £8,000 on a forty-five second model sequence, utilising what was then the most sophisticated motion-controlled camera available. (Fortunately, some of the cost would be offset by the fact that the portions of this footage would be reused as establishing shots throughout the whole season). This was the most expensive special effects sequence used in the original run of the show. This sequence depicts the Time Lord Space Station orbiting in space and then dragging the TARDIS inside via the use of a tractor beam. The opening model shot that was transmitted was actually shorter than what was originally filmed.

This special effects sequence would be the last shot-on-film footage made for Doctor Who until the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie". Ironically, the Fox network recycled this footage for its promotional advertisements for the film (even though it was not included in the movie itself). Technically, disregarding the television movie, this was the last shot-on-film footage ever shot for Doctor Who. As from the show’s revival in 2005 videotape is used which is later processed to look like film.

Dominic Glynn, a young freelance musician was commissioned to provide the incidental music for "The Mysterious Planet". Dominic Glynn was also commissioned to rearrange the opening title music - although Dominic Glynn was only given five days to complete this task. His new score for the opening theme was the shortest lived, lasting this season alone (not counting the unused 1973 version by Delia Derbyshire and Paddy Kingsland). Some saw it as an improvement on the Peter Howell version, while others criticised it for being ‘too quiet’ or ‘not scary enough’. It has since been used on the majority of the Big Finish Productions audio stories featuring Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor.

It was during the recording of this story that Eric Saward decided to resign from his position as Script Editor. This was prompted by the many pressures under which Eric Saward found himself, his faltering rapport with John Nathan-Turner, the illness of his good friend Holmes, the perceived hostility of the Head of Drama and significant problems that were being faced with the final six episodes of The Trial of a Time Lord season. John Nathan-Turner was therefore forced to take over the script editor’s duties in addition to his own until a replacement could be found.

It was during rehearsals for the second studio block that Nicholas Mallett became worried that there was not enough material in parts three and four. This prompted John Nathan-Turner (due to Eric Saward’s absence) to quickly write an extra scene of Broken Tooth and Balazar arguing and also to extend some of the latter courtroom scenes.

Unfortunately, problems were encountered, on what should have been the final studio recording day, when it was discovered that the giant screen, on which The Valeyard’s evidence was to be presented, had first been delivered to the wrong studio and then it was found to be too large. With the resulting delays, the scene of The Doctor arriving on the space station could not be recorded and so these were recorded as part of the final studio day for the recording of "Mindwarp" – the second story of The Trial of a Time Lord season.

Despite Nicholas Mallett’s fears, Part Four actually overran its allotted time, as did Part One. To compensate for this several scenes were removed or trimmed, including some material from the courtroom. This included what should have been an additional trial scene, in which The Valeyard observes The Doctor revealing confidential Gallifreyan information to Peri and The Inquisitor asking The Doctor why he visited Ravolox in the first place. Also lost, during Part Four, was The Valeyard’s pronouncement that Humker and Tandrell would have repaired the system problem themselves were it not for The Doctor’s interference, and The Doctor noting that the situation on Ravolox had endangered the entire universe.

This story takes place on a space station and the planet Ravolox - which turns out is actually Earth, two million years after the 20th century. The reason why Earth has become Ravalox, as well as the reason why only part of Earth was affected by the fireball, is explained in "The Ultimate Foe", the final story of this season.

The Earth was also briefly moved from its location in the 21st century. (see the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End"). While in "The Ultimate Foe", it is revealed that the Earth was moved by the Time Lords using a magnetron, in "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End", it is revealed that the Daleks moved Earth with their version of the device, although the story also established that a single TARDIS, operating at full power and with a full compliment of crew, is capable of moving the planet (albeit with a little help from the Cardiff rift). Gallifrey eventually gets its ‘comeuppance’ when it is relocated briefly to Earth’s solar system in the 2009/2010 Tenth Doctor story "The End of Time".

The Cloister Bell can be head ringing as the TARDIS is drawn to a Time Lord space station.

At the beginning of this story, when taken out of time, The Doctor suffers from amnesia and he can’t remember where he left Peri.

The Doctor is charged with conduct unbecoming a Time Lord, and transgressing the First Law of Time. It is revealed that the First Law of Time refers to the well-documented Time Lord policy of non-interference, as opposed to specifically forbidding a Time Lord meeting a past or future incarnation and therefore interfering with his own history, as stated in earlier stories.

The Doctor carries, in his pockets: a torch, an oil can, a paper mask, a teddy bear, and a bag of sweets.

The Inquisitor and The Valeyard are heard to refer to The Doctor’s earlier trial that was seen at the end of the 1969 Second Doctor story "The War Games". In this story The Inquisitor mentions The Doctor having ‘been on trial already for offences of this nature’. Although not referenced directly, the sentence in question was the forced regeneration of the Second Doctor and his subsequent exile to Earth. In response, The Valeyard contends that the High Council were ‘too lenient’. It is not clear if he is referring to the actual sentence that resulted from that trial or the High Council in allowing The Doctor’s sentence to be quashed after the 1973 story "The Three Doctors".

At one point The Doctor claims that he cannot be on trial as he is Lord President of Gallifrey, which The Inquisitor, when replying, announces that he had been removed for neglecting his duties.

The fact that The Doctor has been deposed by the time of this story doesn’t stop him from later using the title in the 1988 Seventh Doctor story "Remembrance of the Daleks".

Some time seems to have elapsed since "Revelation of the Daleks" - the previous story - judging by The Doctor and Peri’s relationship which is less abrasive in this story than in the previous season. Both Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant wanted to show how travelling together had made their characters less combative and argumentative and that the relationship between them would have matured between seasons. Both this and the changes in their appearances, particularly Peri’s hairstyle and mode of dress suggest a long gap between this story and "Revelation of the Daleks" and allowing for many ‘unseen’ adventures in the spin-off media to be placed there.

Exactly how much time passed for the characters during the show’s 18-month hiatus has never been established. To confuse matters in this story The Doctor is heard to states that he is 900 years old, the same age that was given in "Revelation of the Daleks". However, during "The Ultimate Foe" Melanie Bush, his then current travelling companion, states The Doctor’s age as ‘900-odd’ suggesting this is an approximation.

At one point The Doctor is heard to nearly reveal his surname, for the only time in the entire show, but is interrupted when he says ‘by Dr...’ - so indicating that his title precedes a longer, Gallifreyan name (see also the 1966 First Doctor story "The War Machines").

In Part Three, when The Doctor is recovering from being captured by the service robot, he does an impression of the Third Doctor and calls Peri ‘Sarah Jane’ - a reference to his former companion Sarah Jane Smith. This occurs when The Doctor says the line ‘My head hurts abominably, Sarah Jane!). He is even heard to use the famous Doctor Who phrase: ‘Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow’.

During the scene when Sabalom Glitz and Dibber come to a locked door, Glitz assesses that the only way through the door is to blast through it. He is then heard to say ‘Five rounds, rapid ought to do the trick’ This is a version of The Brigadier’s most famous lines that was heard in the 1971 Third Doctor story "The Dæmons".

The evidence is shown from images taken from The Matrix, the repository of all knowledge. The Matrix can access experiences from all Time Lords.

The Tribe of the Free have had several visits from space travelling plunderers before. Knowledge of The Matrix theft, and that Ravolox is Earth, seems to be widespread. Their earth god is Haldron and they use Ensen guns (presumable stolen from previous travellers).

The three sacred books of Marb Station are: ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville, ‘The Water Babies’ by Charles Kingsley, and ‘UK Habitats of the Canadian Goose’ by ‘H.M. Stationery Office’. The underground dwellers call their world UK Habitat.

It is revealed that Sabalom Glitz knows some Latin, and lots of Polari (see the 1973 Third Doctor story "Carnival of Monsters"), has been to prison many times, seen many psychiatrists and comes from a polygamous society. He knows of the Time Lords, and is wanted in six galaxies. He is from Salostophus, in the constellation of Andromeda. His currency is the Grotzi (plural Grotzis).

Sabalom Glitz’s return in the final story of this season, and later in "Dragonfire", makes him (along with the Cybermen, the Daleks and Davros) the most-recurrent, non-leading character during the 1980’s.

Drathro is also from Andromeda (judging by the Sabalom Glitz’s familiarity with the robot type) and has heard of Gallifrey.

In the Big Finish Productions audio story "The Dark Flame" it is explained that ‘black light’ is not ordinary ultraviolet light, but energy from quantum meta-fluctuations in the space/time continuum.

During this story mention is made of blind Speelsnapes (see "Revelation of the Daleks").

The train guards’ helmets were originally created for the troopers for the 1982 Fifth Doctor story "Earthshock".

One of the myths circulating amongst fans is that the unnamed character ‘The Inquisitor’ is Flavia, who last seen in the Twentieth Anniversary special "The Five Doctors" and has presumably regenerated. This question remains unanswered in terms of the televised episodes and spin-off works however, give her a different name, Darkel.

Another myth that circulated during the run up to the start of this story was while shooting publicity photographs for this season, and also when doing television interviews promoting the season, Colin Baker sported a beard. This therefore led to the mistaken assumption, by the media and fans, that The Doctor would be bearded during this and the other stories.

While listed as a single story "The Mysterious Planet", and the three others that make up The Trial of a Time Lord season of stories, are in fact one long story making this the longest Doctor Who story, with two more episodes than the 1965/66 First Doctor story "The Daleks' Master Plan" which is made up of twelve episodes. All four parts, that make up The Trial of a Time Lord season, has fourteen episodes, if taken altogether.

Realising that viewers might have trouble following a fourteen-part story, Nathan-Turner began writing continuity announcements to be aired before each instalment, starting with Part Two. Unfortunately, the first such broadcast did not occur until Part Three, and even then only a synopsis of Part One was inadvertently narrated.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first story of Season Twenty Three.

 The first appearance in the show of The Valeyard played by Michael Jayston.

 The first appearance in the show of Sabalom Glitz played by Tony Selby.

 The first use of Outside Broadcast (OB) video tape instead of film for location footage.

 Dominic Glynn's first involvement in the show providing the incidental music.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last Doctor Who story Robert Holmes was credited as writing.

 The last Doctor Who story to be directed by Nicholas Mallett.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The TARDIS is Captured
The TARDIS is Captured

The TARDIS is drawn down into a large space station, where The Doctor, appearing to be rather dazed, exits alone from his time machine. His memory of recent events has apparently gone, along with his travelling companion Peri.

As The Doctor steps through a doorway he finds himself in a courtroom and is greeted by The Valeyard, who chides him for being late. But before The Doctor can enquire what is going on the court rises as The Inquisitor enters and takes her place. The Valeyard then explains that he is the prosecuting Time Lord and that this is an impartial inquiry into The Doctor’s behaviour, which, he hopes to prove, is unbecoming of a Time Lord. Furthermore, he intends to prove that The Doctor has broken the First Law of Time.

As the trial begins The Valeyard draws on information from The Matrix to show The Inquisitor, and the Time Lord jurors, a series of events from The Doctor’s recent past. On a large screen set in the back wall of the courtroom, The Doctor sees himself and his travelling companion, Peri walking on the surface of the planet Ravolox, in the Stellian galaxy.

On Trial
On Trial

The Doctor, in the video footage, is mystified as according to Gallifreyan records Ravolox was supposed to have been destroyed by a solar fireball five centuries ago, but the lush vegetation belies this fact. It therefore seems that the Gallifreyan records are wrong. The Doctor also notes that Ravolox is almost identical to Earth - a fact which also puzzles him. Even Peri affirms that the planet feels just like Earth. As they explore their surroundings The Doctor and Peri are unaware that they are being observed by the mercenary Sabalom Glitz and his sidekick Dibber, who are attempting to destroy a black light collection aerial which is supplying energy to an L3 robot. They decide to kill The Doctor and Peri, but their attempt is foiled when their intended targets suddenly disappear from sight.

The Doctor and Peri have discovered, and entered, an old building which turns out to be the entrance to the remains of the Marble Arch station on the London Underground - apparent proof that Ravolox is in fact Earth, which The Doctor also deduces is some two billion years after Peri’s time. However, it seems that the planet and its constellation have been shifted two light years across space. Inside the abandoned tube station The Doctor and Peri discover a hermetically sealed door which leads further underground, The Doctor decides to explore further, but Peri, who is upset at the fate of her planet, opts to stay on the surface. She soon regrets her decision when she is captured by a group of primitive-looking humanoids.

This is Earth!
This is Earth!

Unaware of Peri’s fate, The Doctor discovers some brightly lit tunnels. He also discovers, and picks up, a carafe of water - but is immediately arrested for being a water thief by Balazar, the Keeper of the Three Books of Knowledge (which he reveals are: ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville; ‘The Water Babies’ by Charles Kingsley; and ‘UK Habitats of the Canadian Goose’ by ‘H.M. Stationery Office’). The Doctor also learns that the underground dwellers call their world ‘UK Habitat’. Balazar then orders that The Doctor be stoned to death but The Doctor’s presence has been noted by the L3 robot and it sends Merdeen, the leader of the Train Guard, to investigate.

Back on the surface of Ravolox, Glitz and Dibber encounter a group of the primitive-looking natives and are taken to their leader, Queen Katryca. The matriarch explains that they are members of the Tribe of the Free, that the black light collection aerial is a totem to their earth-god Haldron and that many others have come before, all with different stories as to why it should be destroyed. She then orders that Glitz and Dibber be held in a guarded hut along with Peri.

The Doctor is brought before the L3 robot - who it is revealed is a called Drathro. The Doctor discovers that Drathro’s purpose is to guard three Sleepers from Andromeda, along with the secrets in their possession, until such time as they can be returned to Andromeda. But the black light converter, that provides power to the underground complex, has developed a fault and without power the Sleepers will die. Drathro wants The Doctor to repair the converter but The Doctor manages to trick Drathro and his helpers, Humker and Tandrell, and is able to escape from the control room and, along with Balazar, he heads for the surface. On discovering this Drathro sends a service robot after them.

The Doctor Meets Drathro
The Doctor Meets Drathro

After escaping from their make-shift cell, and after Dibber has destroyed the black light collection aerial, Peri, Glitz and Dibber meet up with The Doctor and Balazar but they all become trapped between the pursuing Tribe of the Free and the service robot. One of the tribe, Broken Tooth, recognises Balazar as an old friend and attacks the service robot, temporarily halting it. Everyone then returns to the Tribe of the Free’s village, but Queen Katryca orders that they are all taken to the prison hut. When the service robot becomes reactivated it crashes through the wall of the hut. The service robot then seizes The Doctor and starts to carry him away. The service robot though does not get very far when it is attacked and finally disabled by members of the Tribe of the Free. Mistakenly assuming that they have destroyed The Immortal (the name that the Tribe of the Free have given to the L3 robot), the emboldened Queen Katryca mounts an attack on the underground station with her warriors. She and Broken Tooth though are both killed by Drathro. Glitz and Dibber also make their way into the underground station to try to obtain the Sleepers’ stolen secrets - whose details are censored from The Matrix records.

The Doctor manages to gain access to Drathro’s control room and is soon joined by Peri, Merdeen, Glitz and Dibber. Glitz manages to persuade Drathro to accompany him to his spaceship with the secrets, claiming that he will return them to Andromeda. The Doctor then tries to shut down the black light converter, and thereby prevent a chain reaction which would result in the destruction of the universe, but discovers that the it is about to self-destruct. He only has enough time to reconfigure the system so that the explosion would be limited to just the underground complex. The Doctor, Peri, and the other humans living underground manage to escape just in time. At the same time, while en-route to Glitz’s spaceship, Drathro is affected by the blast and collapses. The destruction of Drathro also destroys the secrets.

As Dibber consoles the disappointed Glitz, by pointing out that the black light collection aerial was made from the hardest and most expensive metal in the galaxy which means that they can still come away with a sizeable profit, the remains of the Tribe of the Free offer to take in the humans that were living underground, and The Doctor and Peri say their goodbyes.

Back in the courtroom, The Doctor insists that his interference was justified in order to save the universe from destruction. Yet many questions remain unanswered. Who were the mysterious Sleepers, and what secrets had they stolen? Who had moved Earth through space and changed Gallifrey’s records to make it appear that the planet was Ravolox? The Doctor is determined to find out especially as The Valeyard claims that better evidence of his crimes is yet to come, and that when he has finished the court will demand The Doctor’s life…

 
Dibber and Sabalom Glitz
Dibber and Sabalom Glitz
Queen Katryca
Queen Katryca
Tribe of the Free
Tribe of the Free
Inside 'UK Habitat'
Inside 'UK Habitat'
 
Punishment for Stealing Water
Punishment for Stealing Water
The Doctor and Drathro
The Doctor and Drathro
The Inquisitor
The Inquisitor
The Valeyard
The Valeyard




Quote of the Story


 'Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, forms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal.'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Audio
Tape
Black Light: The Doctor Who Music of Dominic Glynn1988RDMP2Music score
Audio
CD
30 Years at the Radiophonic Workshop1993BBC CD 871Photo-montageSound effects
Video
VHS
The Mysterious PlanetOctober 1993BBCV 5009Part of the "The Trial of a Time Lord" Box set containing all 4 "The Trial of a Time Lord" stories Released on 3 cassette in a TARDIS shaped tin (BBCV 5008)
Video
VHS
The Colin Baker YearsMarch 1994BBCV 5324PhotoClip only Introduced and commented on by Colin Baker
Video
DVD
The Mysterious PlanetSeptember 2008BBCDVD 2422Part of the "The Trial of a Time Lord" Box set
Audio
CD
The 50th Anniversary CollectionDecember 2013Photo-montageOriginal Television Soundtracks
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 23September 2019Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 4 specially restored stories


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The Mysterious PlanetApril 1988Target No. 127Terrance DicksTony MaseroISBN: 0-426-20319-4.
Book incorrectly numbered 126 inside.
CD
CD
The Mysterious PlanetSeptember 2013Target No. 127Terrance DicksTony MaseroPart of "The Trial of a Time Lord - Volume 1" CD Audio Set. Audio version of the Target Novel read by Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision)Issue 86 (Released: September 1999)
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 116 (Released: September 1986)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 120 (Released: January 1987)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 289 (Released: April 2000)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 397 (Released: July 2008)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 129 (Released: December 2013)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companion/Acquaintance

 
Colin Baker
The Sixth Doctor

   

Nicola Bryant
Peri
 
Tony Selby
Sabalom Glitz
   




On Release

Audio Tape - Black Light
Audio Tape - Black Light

BBC
AUDIO
Sound Effects CD Cover
Sound Effects CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
VHS Box Set
VHS Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Colin Baker Years VHS Video Cover
Colin Baker Years VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover

BBC
AUDIO
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Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 86

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Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 289

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Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 397

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Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 129

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