The Three Doctors, Part 3

UNIT HQ in the black holeAt the end of the previous episode, Dr 2 lowered the Tardis’s protective forcefield. Not only were he, Sergeant Benton, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart aboard the Tardis zapped, but the entire UNIT HQ was pulled through that black hole into the antimatter universe.

Already in that antimatter universe on a rather desolate planet, Dr 3, Jo, and Dr. Tyler are taken to a sort of throne room, where they and we finally meet the person who’s responsible for all this–that splendidly voiced person in cape and impressive mask whom we just glimpsed in Part 2 (played by Stephen Thorne). He introduces himself as Omega. (“Omegger,” if you speak in a posh British accent, as he and Dr 3 do.)

Dr 3 knows who he is, but thought he’d been destroyed eons ago.

Jo and Dr. Tyler are then taken to a cell in the glittery bauble cave with doors that vanish and reappear as needed; when the door reappears to shut them in, Jo does that thing that I know from Janet Fielding’s (Tegan’s) commentaries on Dr 5 episodes drives her crazy–where they point at an action and exclaim “Look!” before it actually happens, and then it happens.

Once the humans are gone, Dr 3 and Omega have a conversation that fills us in on Omega’s backstory:

Many thousands of years ago, Omega was a brilliant stellar engineer on Gallifrey.  This desolate world was a star, and part of his job was to detonate it and create a supernova to provide the enormous power needed for his people’s nascent time-and-space travel abilities. It was a dangerous mission, but he considered it an honor as well as his duty.  Mission successfully accomplished, but the Time Lords have always assumed that he was killed in the explosion; instead, he’d been thrown into this black hole of antimatter and he considers himself abandoned by them.

Omega

“They became Time Lords,” he grumbles to Dr 2, “and I was forgotten.”

“Not forgotten,” Dr3 tries to assure him. “I’ve always looked on you as our greatest hero.”

“I should have been a god!” Omega responds, which tells you all you need to know about his mental state after being stuck here alone for so long. What he wants now is vengeance.

He’s had plenty of time to work on his force of will in order to survive and to shape his place of exile. “Mind over antimatter,” is how he puts it as he zaps up a chair for Dr 3 to sit down. That’s how he’s created everything else around them, including his gummi-encrusted minions. But there are some things even he can’t do, and that’s why he needs another Time Lord and sent the multicolored blob-thing out searching for one.

He wants Dr 3 to help him defeat the Time Lords. He’s doing it already to some extent with his power drain of Gallifrey. If Dr 3 refuses to cooperate, then he too will feel the “Wrath of Omega!” And so will his companions.

Just then, a large, bright ruby-colored light nested among giant marshmallows lights up and starts trilling. This announces the arrival of the UNIT HQ along with another Time Lord. Omega sends his glittery minions to fetch the newcomers.

Inside the Tardis within the house, the Brigadier is trying to contact his men defending the UNIT property on his walkie-talkie, even though Dr 2 hints that he’s “afraid they’re out of range.”

When they leave the Tardis, the blob-thing is gone, but it’s still hard for the Brigadier to understand what’s happened even after he has a look outside.

The Brigadier looks outside

He sees sand, and assumes they must have been transported to a beach. “We must be miles from London!”

“Rather farther than that, dear Brigadier,” Dr 2 answers.

“You mean we’re not even in the same country?”

In spite of being told that they’re not even in same universe, never mind the country or planet, the Brigadier decides this must somewhere in Norfolk. He’ll go out and find a pay phone, and orders Benton to guard the house and keep out holidaymakers.

“I’m fairly sure that’s Cromer,” he says as he goes out the door.

Dr 2 and Benton are about to follow, when the glittery creatures pop in and capture them.

Striding purposefully around the quarry, the Brigadier doesn’t find a phone or the beach, but he does run into Mr. Ollis, who tells him how Dr 3, Jo, and Tyler were captured. He shows him where they were taken… just in time to see Dr 2 and Benton being escorted into the cave entrance.

Finally, the Brigadier is on firm ground. All this timey, spacey stuff may be beyond him, but he knows how to organize a prisoner rescue, even if he only has a groundskeeper with a shotgun to assist him.

Meanwhile, Dr3 and Omega are still debating. Omega wants to destroy the Time Lords’ power source and them with it, even if it means he’ll be alone here forever. He says he’s used to it by now. Dr 3 wants him to return to Gallifrey and rejoin the High Council. As a legendary hero, he could have anything he wanted. But all Omega wants is revenge on those whom he believes abandoned him, and his own absolute power; he’s got the singularity responsible for this black hole harnessed.

That’s when Dr 2 and Benton are brought in. Dr 3 tries to pretend that his previous self is just another ordinary bystander picked up by accident. Dr 2 also feigns that he and his friend Benton were simply out for a stroll, but Omega isn’t buying it. He knows that his search and zap organism was set to locate Time Lords. Ah, they’re same Time Lord! The fact that the High Council has broken its own strictest law delights him–it shows how desperate they are.

Taken prisoner 2 Doctors

The two Doctors protest and try to confer with each other behind Omega’s back, but he roars at them, “Be silent!” And since he’s got godlike powers, thunder rumbles when he’s angry. He sends them all to the cell where Jo and Dr. Tyler are.

Drs 2 and 3 quarrel again, until Jo and Benton remind them that they’re supposed to be working together. The two are at least able to explain to their companions about the black hole and the singularity chamber, who Omega is and how his will is shaping this world, and what a danger he is.

Jo: “You’ll just have to stop him.”

Dr 2: “We’re not sure we can.”

This moment is one of Jo’s finest. If she’s not smarter than the Doctors, she’s more sensible. “He’s not all powerful,” she observes. “Or else why did he need to bring you here?”

Good point, the Doctors agree.

She continues: If a Time Lord’s will can create all this, surely their will can do something? “You’re a Time Lord. You’re two Time Lords. Can’t you will up a door?”

Drs 2 and 3 do that mind-meld thing again and their combined will makes the barrier over the entrance disappear. They go out to destroy the singularity chamber. Jo and Benton follow because they don’t want to miss the fun, and Dr. Tyler because he wants to see the singularity chamber; for a scientist, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.

Well, they’re all going to be disappointed. The two Doctors make it to chamber, but the way is then blocked by the glittery guards patrolling the corridors, and in trying to dodge them the others get lost and eventually stumble on those silk flowers from Dr 3’s magic trick in the previous episode. Jo realizes that this means they’re near the entrance; they find the front door just before the creatures catch up with them, and are rescued by the Brigadier and Mr. Ollis, who are waiting outside, planning an ambush.

When the Doctors get to the singularity chamber, they are stopped by Omega. They threaten to combine their wills again to fight him.

“But you will fight the Dark Side of my will!” Omega tells them. Yeah, these cloaked and helmeted power-mad baddies are always turning to the Dark Side. See also Sauron and Darth Vader. They also tend to lose appendages, and we’ll see later on if that hold true in Omega’s case.

Venusian aikidoIn his mind, Omega pits Dr 3 against another creature of his making for a bit of Venusian aikido.

It’s nice to see Jon Pertwee doing his own stunts and flipping around in the void, but Dr 3 appears to be losing the fight.

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Author: Kathryn L Ramage

Kathryn L. Ramage has a B.A. and M.A. in English lit and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She lives in Maryland with three calico cats named after the Brontë sisters. In addition to being the author of numerous short stories, reviews, essays, and period mystery novellas, she is also the author of a series of fantasy novels set in a dukedom called the Northlands on an alternate Earth whose history has diverged from ours somewhere during the medieval period.