I'm not interested in the beliefs of primitives, only in what they taste like.Here we are, the final multi-Doctor adventure of the old TV series. (Well... sort of.) There wasn't really a reason for this one to happen, but Patrick Troughton had had so much fun on "The Five Doctors" that he was eager to return to the series. It provided producer John Nathan-Turner a fantastic excuse to work outside Great Britain for the second time in his reign (and the third time in the franchise's history). It was originally slated to be in New Orleans, but even the most optimistic people realized that this was completely insane, so it was quickly changed to Seville, Spain.Apart from its largely nonsensical plot, the episode is remembered for its absolutely intense amounts of Accidental Innuendo, as well as a rather more deliberate focus on Peri's... assets. Much Memetic Mutation ensued.Can be watched here.
Our story starts off with the Second Doctor and Jamie being sent around time and space, on a mission from the Time Lords. They look far older than they did in "The War Games", which is never explained or mentioned in any way (although the "Season 6B" theory has since made its way into official BBC policy and Terrance Dicks' novels).This time, they head off to a space station where a doctor named Dastari is making some incredible leaps forward in time travel science that the Time Lords are objecting to in some fashion. Dastari objects to the Time Lords being their Jerk Ass selves and gets into an argument with the Doctor, who isn't exactly thrilled to be there either. But since the Time Lords can always claim that they had nothing to do with him, they're using him as the perfect scapegoat while threatening Dastari. Meanwhile, Sontarans invade the space station — and the Doctor orders Jamie to run away as they point their guns at the Doctor...Cut over to the Sixth Doctor, who is having a nice fishing holiday with Peri. The Doctor suggests heading off to the Eye of Orion... and then collapses in pain and agony. We see a montage of Jamie back on the station seeing the Second Doctor dying miserably. The Sixth Doctor reawakens, having just seen a mental image of his second self being put to death. Realizing this can't be possible as he's still alive in the future, he decides to go figure out what the hell just happened anyway — deciding to consult Dastari on what is going on.The Doctor and Peri bumble around the space station until they finally stumble onto an incoherent Jamie. He reveals that the Second Doctor was just killed. The Sixth Doctor figures this has to be a lie, as time hasn't wiped him out yet, and fiddles around the station until he figures out that it was all just an illusion that took the episode about 20 minutes to work past. This means, Sixth figures, that his Second self is being held captive somewhere. He puts himself into a trance to try and find him mentally. Waking up some time later, the Doctor comes to the realization that Two is being held in Seville, Spain, by the combined forces of the Sontarans and Dastari.However, Dastari is more of an unwilling companion, as most of the planning is being done by his lady-friend Chessene and an "Androgum" called Shockeye... a stereotypical alien-Scotsman who really likes to eat meat. (This makes just slightly more sense when you know that the author intended the story to be a pro-vegetarianism allegory.)The Sixth Doctor, wearing slightly-more-tasteful vest instead of that horrible coat for the occasion, lands the TARDIS outside Seville. They're approached by a vacationing couple: Oscar Botcherby and Anita. Oscar is managing a restaurant in the city, but is currently catching moths. As it turns out, Oscar also happened to see what he thought was a plane crash earlier on a mansion — but it just so happened to be the Sontarans' spaceship landing to meet up with Dastari. Seeing the TARDIS, he mistakes the heroes for British policemen. Sixth is then escorted to said mansion, which he scouts out for a little while, having told everyone else to wait just out of sight.Dastari and the Second Doctor have a nice little talk, where Dastari reveals that his lady-friend Chessene is actually an evolved Androgum. This information pisses off the Doctor to no end, and it only makes him angrier to find out that Dastari now wants to give the Doctor's Time Lord DNA to Chessene as well to make her even more awesome... completely ignoring the fact that the base of Chessene's enhanced DNA, Shockeye, is a ginger backstabbing alien bastard with a lust for power and hunger for flesh. Seriously.Jamie and Sixth go down to the basement of the building and find a mini-TARDIS under construction. The Doctor talks technobabble to Jamie about how they won't be able to complete it, and Jamie just looks at the Doctor like he's got a Sontaran behind him. Which he does. Whoops. Meanwhile, Peri decides to wander into the mansion on her own, posing as a lost American student... which doesn't work either, as Shockeye decides she'll make a lovely lunch.Jamie and the Sixth Doctor escape the Sontaran without much trouble, but one part of the technobabble that the Sontarans/Dastari need to complete the mini-TARDIS is given to them. They also find the Second Doctor tied up in a wheelchair, finally awake again. However, before they can escape with the Sixth's younger self, Shockeye comes back into the mansion, Peri over his shoulder.The subplot with the mini-TARDIS and the Sontarans is eventually resolved in a plan that doesn't entirely make sense to anyone but the Sixth Doctor, who just grins the way he does. Chessene also decides to try and kill off the Sontarans before they can take the mini-TARDIS for themselves, intending to give it to her own Androgum people. Jamie, meanwhile, is being "tenderized" by Shockeye for the next meal, Peri having escaped only to be recaptured by the Sontarans and used as part of the mini-TARDIS subplot.Dastari, for his part, has converted the Second Doctor into a half-Androgum with ginger eyebrows, to make him a consort for Chessene. Shockeye is miffed at this, as Dastari used his blood to do so, until the Second Doctor decides that he wants to go eat a lot of food and knows where to go. Shockeye, being an Androgum, goes happily along with the Doctor. The two of them indulge in their Horror Hunger in matching top hats and have a massive feast at the restaurant run by Oscar. When Oscar rather politely presents the bill, he's killed by Shockeye. The Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Peri (who somehow got freed from their individual subplots for a time and pursued the pair) arrive just in time to see Oscar die, Anita cry, and the Second Doctor revert to normal... because apparently an hour has passed and his body rejected the conversion or something.The Second Doctor, Peri and Jamie run back to the mansion to destroy the mini-TARDIS once and for all while the Sixth Doctor pursues Shockeye. Chessene decides to elaborately lick some blood from Six' new stab wound from her fingers. Stumbling across Oscar's moth-catching equipment, Sixth uses the cyanide-soaked cotton balls stored in a jar to kill Shockeye and then delivers a Bond One-Liner: Shockeye got his just... desserts. The Sixth Doctor then finally arrives back at the mansion just in time to be captured alongside his previous incarnation and their companions by Chessene and Dastari. Chessene begins to revert back to her Androgum heritage, which disgusts Dastari, who decides to free the Doctors and companions. Chessene shoots Dastari and flees in the mini-TARDIS, which then explodes and kills her before it really goes anywhere because of the sabotage that the Sixth Doctor did to it not long ago.The entire plot resolved in a really round-about way, the Sixth Doctor and Second Doctor exchange banter before Second summons up his own TARDIS using a Stattenheim remote control. Six expresses a little jealousy over the remote as Two and Jamie leave off on more adventures we'll never see, presumably losing the remote again along the way. Six and Peri leave the mansion, and both decide to vow to become vegetarians thanks to their horrid experiences with the Androgums.
As an interesting note, the Doctor will remain a vegetarian until the Ninth Doctor orders a steak in "Boom Town" (he also almost eats a roast in "The Empty Child"). Russell T Davies deliberately wrote his Ninth Doctor as a meat-eater again, to signify Character Development and the Doctor's change in attitude compared to the John Nathan-Turner days.
- Adaptation Expansion:
- The novelisation opens with a scant prologue featuring what is implied to be the Time Lords in yellow robes in a violet, misty garden where the flowers grow as tall as trees. It is being recounted by Jamie.
- A fire breaks out in the main computer room while the Sixth Doctor is focusing his mind for astral projection, forcing Peri and Jamie to move him into the corridor as the flames consume the station.
- Alien Lunch: Shockeye eats anything including rat.
- Aliens Speaking English: A particularly glaring example. When Chessene and company confront the blind Doña Arana, the Dona assumes that they are English. That's right, these aliens not only speak English, but do so with perfect British accents.
- All There in the Manual:
- In the novelisation, the Sixth Doctor hesitates to combat Dastari, telling Jamie he was once a champion sampola wrestler.
- Chessene's use of coronic acid alarms Dastari, as the Rutans are the weapon's inventors. With it they decimated the Sontarans at Vollotha.
- Author Appeal: Robert Holmes was a vegetarian. This story has a long-running subplot involving a villain who eats meat and portrays Humans as cattle. Very unsubtle from a man who was usually good at that.
- Author Tract: Robert Holmes goes on a screed against meat-eating.
- Big Eater: Both Shockeye and Two after he's been turned into a member of Shockeye's species eat for over 81,000 (Pesetas, presumably, which BTW is €486 nowadays) and 20 persons' worth of food, and over a dozen bottles of red wine.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Six straight up kills a man, his blood is licked by Chessene, and Shockeye is constantly trying to slaughter, taste and kill (in that order) Peri and Jamie.
- Bluff The Imposter: The Doctor gives some key exposition to his companion and is overheard by one of the villains, but he later reveals that he knew the villain was listening and sabotaged his exposition accordingly.
- Bond One-Liner: From the Sixth Doctor to Shockeye, "Just desserts." Because he's a big eater.
- The Bus Came Back: The Second Doctor and Jamie return.
- Call Back: Peri mentions the Doctor needing celery after him feeling faint. He retorts with needing jelly babies, ending up with needing a recorder.
- Character Aged with the Actor: Fanon also applies this to Patrick Troughton's aged appearance, postulating the existence of a much greater gap between the last appearance of the Second Doctor and the first appearance of the Third than suggested on screen.
- Chekhov's Gun: Oscar's cyanide.
- The Chew Toy: During the course of Episode 3, Stike gets stabbed in the leg, severely burned by acid, partially disintegrated by the faulty mini-TARDIS, and finally blown up when his ship self-destructs.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: The Sixth Doctor has just found the Second and gotten him away from his kidnappers:Doctor 6: I've come a long way for you.
Doctor 2: Naturally. Don't expect any thanks.
- Computer Voice
- Crazy Consumption: Shockeye, being an Androgum, is always like this, and probably doesn't count. But the Second Doctor (upon being turned into an Androgum), and Chessene's breakdown at the end of the story fit the bill more closely.
- Continuity Snarl: The Second Doctor mentions the Time Lords to Jamie, despite the fact that The War Games, the Second Doctor's finale, was the first time they showed up in the series. This was largely responsible for helping getting the "Season 6B" fan theory underway.
- Delayed Ripple Effect: When the Second Doctor is turned into an Androgum, the Sixth Doctor remains outwardly normal but gradually starts to get Androgum cravings.
- Dies Wide Shut: Oscar gets stabbed by Shockeye over the restaurant bill.
- Double Entendre: Jamie and the Second Doctor spot a spaceship via the scanner screen.Jamie: Look at the size of that thing, Doctor!
The Doctor: Yes, Jamie, that is a big one. note
- Evil Chef: Shockeye is obsessed with finding out what things taste like, up to and including human beings, and "tenderises" one of the Doctor's companions - ignoring all the screaming as being completely irrelevant.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: There are differing opinions on this, but Peri's mouthed response to the line "small though it is, the human brain can be quite effective when used properly" looks an awful lot like "you asshole." Many, many other parts of the episode qualify. Peri's rather extreme cleavage tops a long list.
- Glad I Thought of It
- Heroes Gone Fishing: The Doctor and Peri at the beginning of the adventure. Poor Peri is bored to tears.
- Horror Hunger: Two is afflicted by it, and as he changes, Six also gets a bit of it (to the point of briefly trying to eat a cat).
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game
- I Hate Past Me: Six starts to dislike Two.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Shockeye.
- Informed Ability: Six explains to Jamie that Shockeye is strong enough to "break both of us in half with one hand", but he still manages to overpower and kill him later on.
- Kill 'em All: Anita is the only secondary character to survive.
- Mars Needs Time Lords
- Mental Time Travel: Two and Six meet each other like this.
- My Future Self and Me: Provides the page quote.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: "Warts" in the Androgum makeup were made from Rice Krispies.
- Other Me Annoys Me: Naturally, Six and Two spent most of their time bickering.
- Planet of Hats/Villainous Glutton
- Put Off Their Food: The events of the story make the Doctor and Peri turn vegetarian. This holds until Christopher Eccleston's tenure.
- Rasputinian Death: Stike.
- Retcon: This was an attempt by Robert Holmes to retcon the early eras of the show. The loosely canonical "Season 6B"—which claims that the Doctor wasn't regenerated at the end of The War Games, but was sent by the Time Lords on various missions around the cosmos—is actually less insane than what Robert Holmes was planning! Holmes figured that it was impossible for the Time Lords to just lose track of a TARDIS, so in reality the Doctor had been working for them from the very beginning! This also explains why the first and second Doctors were never able to control the destination of the TARDIS. Holmes said that after the events of "The War Games" the Doctor's superiors let the Doctor take the fall for his interference, even though he had been acting on their orders.
- Retraux: The first few seconds are in black and white. It even features the original title sequence from the mid '60s.
- Scenery Porn: Written just to be done outside the country. It doesn't even try to hide it, unlike Arc of Infinity from a few years prior. The original plan was to shoot in New Orleans, which the story originally did link into quite strongly. However, it was changed to Seville at the last moment, and the writer didn't really have the time to research Seville and rewrite the story to fit the new location.
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Oscar's last words are "To sleep, perchance to dream."
- Significant Anagram: "Androgum" is an anagram of "Gourmand".
- Strapped to an Operating Table: The Second Doctor. Also Jamie, briefly, although it's more of a butcher's block.
- Time-Travel Tense Trouble: The Sixth Doctor comments on the Second Doctor in this convoluted way.
- Sixth Doctor: Your Doctor is an antediluvian fogey! Allowing himself to be captured by the Sontarans. If anything happens to me as a result of it, I shall never forgive himself.
Peri: Oh, I do wish you'd stop switching personal pronouns!
- Very Special Episode: Eating meat is bad.
- Villainous Glutton: Shockeye.
- Waistcoat of Style: The Sixth Doctor wears one in Spain.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Both of the Doctors seem somewhat indifferent to Oscar's death. While they aren't exactly called out over it, Peri's more emotional response does suggest this sentiment.
- Writer on Board: Robert Holmes, a vegetarian, compares meat-eating to cannibalism and has the Doctor explicitly convert to vegetarianism at one point.
- Written-In Absence: Victoria's absence is given a quick handwave. In the real world there just wasn't the budget to have an additional companion for the Second Doctor, plus Victoria's actress, Deborah Watling, had since retired from the industry anyway. The Doctor Who Expanded Universe later established that this takes place in Season 6B, long after Victoria had left the Doctor, and that the Doctor just quickly made up an explanation so that Jamie wouldn't wonder where she was.
- Your Days Are Numbered: The (Sixth) Doctor believes this, and thus starts taking unnecessary risks and generally moping about, after hearing about the (Second) Doctor's purported demise.