The Doctor has regenerated now into his fifth incarnation (Peter Davison), leaving him in his usual unstable and befuddled state. His vulnerability, unfortunately, has given the Master another chance to destroy his old rival.
Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison).
The Master kidnaps Adric, using the boy’s mathematical skill to create a series of traps, including an illusion of Adric that programs the TARDIS to go back to the Big Bang/”Event one”, nearly destroying it. After getting a new outfit-with cricket sweater, cream jacket, pinstriped pants and an odd stick of celery on his lapel, The Doctor attempts to recover in the Zero Room, a room designed to help stabilize regenerations, but unfortunately the room has to be jettisoned to give the TARDIS enough power to escape.
Without the Zero room to help him recover, the Doctor’s regeneration is still wildly unstable. Tegan and Nyssa try to find an alternative-the tranquil city of Castrovalva. Unfortunately, the city itself is yet another trap, a virtual, maze-like city designed by the Master.
However, the Doctor-with the help of Adric and the rebellious (although not really alive) residents of Castrovalva, manages to undo the Master’s traps and fully recover. The Master himself gets stuck in his own trap, but of course that’s not the end of him.
The New Doctor is somewhat less flamboyant and comedic than his earlier incarnations, more reserved and sensitive, with considerably less authority. He also is somewhat more energetic (although not really physical) than some of the more weary Doctors, as well. He’s fairly argumentative with at least his first set of companions-while he seems to get along well with Nyssa, Adric is often bratty and reckless, and Tegan (a self-described “Mouth with legs”) complains quite often.
The Doctor next finds himself in the android ship of the bizarre, mad and frog like monarch, who is fascinated by Earth culture. After that adventure, they find themself on the planet Deva Loka. Here, the Mara-a mental entity-is creating discord between an Earth expedition and a local tribe, and also possesses Tegan. Held captive by the Earth expedition-who have gone a bit insane-the Doctor eventually joins forces with the tribe to defeat the Mara, which reveals itself as a giant snake.
Remember, Doctor Who was a fairly low-budget show.
The next adventure has the Doctor travel to 1666 in the English countryside, which is suffering from a plague. Turns out it’s the world of the Terilyptil, a nasty reptile alien species who are using androids and rats to spread the plague. They also destroy the Doctor’s original sonic screwdriver.
The Doctor and co. manage to track the terrilipyls to London, where they defeat them. However, this also starts a fire-the historical great London fire of 1666.
Next, there’s a somewhat more relaxing adventure, as the Doctor-due to a mistaken identity-are invited to an early 20th century cricket match and costume party.
Which of course turns out to be mess involving a woman who looks just like Nyssa, and a dark family secret. However, apart from the Doctor and his company, no actual aliens are involved in this one, making it the first story since the black and white era to not really be much of a science fiction story.
However, the Doctor’s next adventure is one of the most pivotal and tragic. The Doctor and his companions arrive in Earth’s future in a Dinosaur fossil-filled cave, currently under investigation by a group of soldiers, trying to find the whereabouts of a missing scientific expedition. The expedition-and many of the soldiers-are being killed by two androids, guarding an explosive device.
The androids are doing the dirty work of one of the Doctor’s oldest enemies. The Cybermen are back. These new models look considerably less clunky, have deeper, less mechanical voices, and a more military-based command structure than before, mainly led by the Cyberleader (distinguished by his black head ‘handlebars’).
“Destroy them! Destroy them AT ONCE!”
After the androids are destroyed and the device disarmed The Doctor is able to trace their signal to an Earth freighter. The freighter crew is unknowingly carrying an unusual cargo-an army of Cybermen planning to take over the ship and ram it into the Earth.
The Doctor, Adric and the crew are captured, and the Cybermen have the Doctor accompany them to the TARDIS. Adric is kept on the bridge. However, the soldiers are able to recapture the bridge, and Adric attempts to reprogram the freighter’s course so it won’t hit Earth. He’s only partially successful, able to somehow cause the freighter to shift in time, but not in space-back to 65 million years ago. It’s still headed for Earth though.
Adric-not being a native of our universe and unaware of the increasingly obvious historical significance of this, still tries to correct the course of the freighter. Although they are able to overpower and defeat the Cybermen inside the TARDIS, and the soldiers and remaining crew are able to evacuate the ship, Adric still remains. Adric think’s he’s finally got the solution, but unfortunately, a surviving Cybermen destroys his computer console.
Adric laments: “Now I’ll never know if I was right.”
The Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan watch in horror as the freighter smashes into the Earth, killing Adric-and also ending the age of the Dinosaurs on Earth(As it was the ‘meteor’ that killed them in the past).
As Tegan and Nyssa mourn their companion, the Doctor is stunned and speechless.
Next: The 20th anniversary season.