|Vengeance on Varos|
|Series:||Doctor Who -
|Season Number:||Season 22|
|Setting:||Varos; late 23rd century|
|Broadcast:||19th January - 26th January 1985|
|Format:||2 45-minute episodes|
|Previous Story:||Attack of the Cybermen|
|Following Story:||The Mark of the Rani|
Seeking the rare mineral Zeiton-7 to repair his TARDIS, the Doctor arrives on Varos, a world where political prisoners and their guards are both subjected to sadistic tortures and executions which the colony's inhabitants view and vote on through interactive television. Accused of being alien infiltrators helping the colony's rebel factions, the Doctor and Peri find themselves the latest unwilling subjects in this most extreme form of reality TV.
Meanwhile, the Doctor is repairing the TARDIS console. Peri complains that the Doctor has caused three electrical fires, a power failure, nearly collided with a storm of asteroids, got lost in the TARDIS corridors twice, wiped the memory banks of the flight computer, jettisoned three quarters of the storage hold, and burned her "cold dinner", all since the time-travellers left Telos. Minutes later, the TARDIS unexpectedly stops, stalled in the middle of deep space. And the Doctor can do nothing to fix it.
Sil, the Mentor representative of the Galatron Mining Corporation, is negotiating with the Governor over the price of Varos' Zeiton-7 ore. Their discussion, like many others, ends in stalemate. For many years, the Galatron Mining Corporation has swindled Varos by paying far less for the ore than its market value. And to make matters worse, the Chief Officer is in league with Sil. The Governor moves on to conduct the night's vote. He addresses the people asking for their vote on if they should hold out longer for a fair price on the ore. The Governor loses and is forced to endure Human Cell Disintegration Bombardment. The process slowly kills the target and this is the third time his recommendations have failed to pass. The guard Rondel recommends that the Governor execute Jondar to please the citizens so he can recuperate before the next vote.
Peri locates the TARDIS manual and presents it to the Doctor who quickly dismisses it. He knows perfectly well what has caused their dilemma. The transitional elements within the TARDIS have stopped producing orbital energy and they need Zeiton-7 ore to realign the power systems. And as the Doctor explains, Zeiton-7 is exceptionally rare and only comes from one planet: Varos. The Doctor manages to repair the TARDIS enough to travel to Varos and arrives right before the execution of Jondar is to take place.
The guard on station to watch over the execution believes the TARDIS is merely a hallucination caused by the Punishment Dome. The Doctor and Peri exit the TARDIS and think they are hallucinations as well. And with some help from the chained Jondar, the guard is incapacitated. The two free Jondar and make their escape, after being cut off from the TARDIS by more guards. They are then rescued by Rondel, who has defected after speaking with Areta, and decided to help them. But he is killed shortly there after by pursuing guards.
The Doctor, Peri, Jondar, and Areta continue on through the Punishment Dome, attempting to make their way back to the TARDIS. But during a run-in with another group of guards, the Doctor is separated from the others who are arrested. He enters a corridor that appears psychologically as a desert. And with all of Varos watching, the Doctor succumbs to the heat and collapses with his end as a close-up.
After making his way from the acid baths, the Doctor is cornered by Quillam, Varos' chief scientist, and is taken away. Back in the control centre, it is decided that the Doctor and Jondar will be executed in a good "old-fashioned" way while Peri and Areta are to be reshaped with a cell mutator. The Doctor and Jondar are placed in the nooses while the Governor and Sil watch. At the last moment the Doctor questions the Governor about Sil and his extortion. Sil's bodyguards rush the platform where the nooses are and pull the lever. But the two simply fall through the holes, the rope coming right off the support. As it turns out, there was to be no execution — it was all a way to get information out of the Doctor. The Doctor suspected this as he noticed that they were not being filmed.
The group then attempts to stop the cell mutator on Peri and Areta, but they are told it's at too advanced a stage to stop. The Doctor and Jondar grab the weapons of nearby guards in an attempt to intimidate Quillam to deactivate the mutator. But it fails, and the Doctor resorts to shooting the entire control panel. The process has been stopped in the nick of time and Peri and Areta return to their original form. The four then escape back into the depths of the Punishment Dome towards a possible escape route. But Peri, still in a stupor after the affects of the mutator, is recaptured and taken to the control centre.
The Chief and Sil make their final move on the Governor in hopes that during the next vote he will be killed by the Human Cell Disintegration Bombardment, securing the way for them to control Varos and the Zeiton-7 ore. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Jondar, and Areta make their way into the End Zone of the Dome, where the exit is supposed to be. The vote starts and the bombardment begins, but the guard Maldak has a change of heart and stops the device, saving the Governor and Peri. The three then make their way to meet up with the Doctor through the ventilation ducts.
The Doctor's group is then chased by two cannibals and loses them in some poisonous tendrils. The Chief and Quillam arrive on the scene but are entangled in the tendrils, killing them. They then meet up with Peri, the Governor, and Meldak. They all make their way back to the control centre and put an end to Sil's plans of controlling Varos. The Galatron Mining Corporation also began to side with Varos; a second source of Zeiton-7 ore has been found, and Sil is ordered to obtain the Varosian ore at any price. The Doctor and Peri then bid the Governor farewell, taking the replacement ore with them.
The Governor issues a message to the citizens saying that there will be no more injustice, torture, and executions. Arak and Etta watch in disbelief, wondering what they'll do with their new-found freedom.
Released as Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos, this was the fifth and final release of 2001.
Released as Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos.
|Attack of the Cybermen • Vengeance on Varos • The Mark of the Rani • The Two Doctors • Timelash • Revelation of the Daleks|