Dr. Who: The Daemons, Part 3

Doctor on a motorbike

Part 2 ended with the Doctor explaining to Jo that the “tomb” in the longbarrow is actually a container for the shrunk-down but still very heavy spaceship they’ve found on the floor.

While they’ve been talking, the little gargoyle from the cavern under the Devil’s End church has followed them down into the barrow. As Part 3 begins, it stands at the tomb entrance, blocking their way out.

But it’s difficult to feel that Jo and the Doctor are threatened by this creature (whose name is Bok); whenever I see it, I can’t help thinking of the Flying Monkeys from Oz.

The Doctor isn’t intimidated by it either. Brandishing a small object made of iron–a trowel, I think–he shouts some words in an unfamiliar language at it. Even though the Master, back at the church, is mentally urging the little monster on, Bok cringes before this “incantation” and retreats.

BokAfter the gargoyle has gone, the Doctor tells Jo that the words were lyrics to a old Venusian lullaby. Roughly translated:

“Close your eyes, my darling, or three of them at least.”

 

The Doctor doesn’t believe in magic spells, but Bok does and that’s what matters.

Meanwhile in the village of Devil’s End, the Master in his guise as the Rev. Mr. Magister calls on the local squire and attempts to suborn him with a fascist rant and some hypnotism. The squire refuses to believe his claims that he’s summoned up a demon, until the Master makes a breeze blow through the house, breaking a vase and knocking down a painting from the wall. This show of somewhat annoying supernatural powers is enough to intimidate the squire and he agrees to “do as you say.”

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is stuck at the barrier that forms a ring 10 miles around the village (although the signpost says it’s only one mile out). UNIT tries to fly a plane over, but the barrier also covers the village like a “lethal mushroom.” The Brigadier has assembled a technical team outside the barrier to try and get in, and keeps in touch with his team trapped inside via walkie-talkies.

The Doctor and Jo have returned to the Cloven Hoof pub, which the UNIT people in the village have set up as their base of operations.

Miss Hawthorne has brought in all her books on the occult so they can research how to address the problem. She still holds her idea that magic can be used to defeat the demons; the Doctor thinks that there may be a scientific answer in the ancient folklore. They literally have an argument where they shout “Science!” “Magic!” “Science!” “Magic!” at each other.

My favorite part of this episode is the slideshow and lecture the Doctor gives for the group at the inn, which strongly evokes Quatermass and the Pit. He shows them images of ancient gods and medieval demons, all with horns. Horned gods from the Doctor's slideshowAs far back as recorded human history goes, horns have been a sign of power.

The Doctor attributes this to the presence of an alien race known as the Daemons (from the planet Daemos, of course); they’ve been visiting Earth on and off for the last ten thousand years and have been nudging us along with technological advancements since.

According to the Doctor, they’re neither good nor evil–we’re just a science experiment to them. But they will “chuck it [humanity] in the rubbish bin” when the experiment is done.

As they diminished their spaceship, so they can increase or decrease their own size from the miniscule to towering giants. This change in size expends or absorbs a great amount of energy, and explains the bursts of icy cold or sudden heatwaves, as energy is transferred whenever the Daemon shrinks down or grows huge.

The Master’s forays into Satanism were attempts to make contact with the Daemon in the barrow–named Azael, one assumes. This, he has now successfully done, and he thinks he has control of the powerful being he’s helped to release.

While the Doctor’s making his slide presentation, his old arch-enemy has gained the villagers’ “submission and obedience” by having Bok zap anyone who tries to stand up to him. The squire is the first to go. Everyone else falls quickly into line.

The first thing the Master does now that he’s in command is send the villagers out to prepare and to perform their usual May Day revels. Except for one man who steals the helicopter parked on the green.

Bessie and helicopter

The Doctor had been trying to instruct the UNIT techies to construct “a diathermic energy exchanger… EHF wideband variable phase oscillator with a negative feedback circuit tuned to the frequency of an air molecule at– What is the temperature out there at the barrier, Brigadier?” But since no one with the Brig understands what he’s talking about, he’s headed out to explain it to them personally.

However, the Cloven Hoof publican, Bert, has been spying on the group there. Once he heard this, he went off to the vicarage to tell the Master. Hence the helicopter hijack.

The man in the helicopter uses it to try and kill the Doctor and Jo as they’re driving to the barrier by trying to force them into it. They avoid hitting it–the Doctor swerves aside in time, and Jo jumps out of Bessie. But the helicopter flies straight into it and explodes.

This is why the Brigadier doesn’t like other people taking his ‘copter out for joy-rides.

“£20,000  of UNIT money gone up in a puff of smoke!”

Jo was concussed when she jumped out of the car. Mike Yates, who has followed them on a motorbike, shouting and shooting at the helicopter all the way, conveys her back to the Cloven Hoof in Bessie. There, they put her to bed and even though she’s conscious enough to want to go to the cavern under the church to help the Doctor find the Master, the local small-d doctor sedates her.

At the barrier

The Doctor takes the motorbike and zips over to his side of the barrier to talk with the Brigadier on the other side. Even though the Brig is still huffy about his helicopter exploding, he and the Doctor work out a way to link up to the nearby high tension pylons to get 10,000 volts of electrical power for that oscillator, which will create an opening in the barrier.

In the cavern, the Master has put back on his special, eye-catching red vestments for another ceremony, this time without his coven present. He demands that Azael “show yourself!” and Azael does–although we don’t see him yet. 

There’s another violent earth tremor that’s felt all over the village and even out at the barrier.  The MasterA camera point-of-view rises to tower over the Master, who suddenly changes his mind and attempts to send Azael back.

But Azael doesn’t go.

“You’ll destroy me!” the Master cries out as the episode ends and the giant Daemon is about to stomp on him.

It’s rare to have a cliffhanger with the villain being the one in danger.

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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.

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