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Context Recap / DoctorWhoS16E1TheRibosOperation

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1[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ribos_9369.jpg]]²[[caption-width-right:350:Romana is kinda missing the point of camouflage... not that the Doctor's a master at it either.]]²->'''The Doctor''': Ah! You want me to volunteer, is that it? And if I don't?²->'''The Guardian''': Nothing.²->'''The Doctor''': What? Nothing? You mean nothing will happen to me?²->'''The Guardian''': Nothing at all. ''[{{beat}}]'' Ever.²²The one with '''GOD HIMSELF'''.²²A godlike guy in a casual white suit, the White Guardian, interrupts the Doctor's puttering around in the TARDIS to give him a quest: [[GottaCatchEmAll find all six segments]] of the [[CosmicKeystone Key To Time]]. Why and how and what the thing does isn't explained just yet, but the Black Guardian apparently wants it too. The parts have to be gathered before... well, there's a deadline, but it's not entirely clear when it is. But sooner would be better.²²[[TheHerosJourney True to form]], the White Guardian gives the Doctor some supernatural aid. Her name is Romanadvoratrelundar. She's a still-wet-behind-the-ears Time Lady, fresh out of the Time Lord Academy, where she acquitted herself rather better than the Doctor ever did. And she can out-smug the Doctor.²²Romana reads the TARDIS Owner's Guide and effects a perfect materialisation on the icy, remote, pre-contact world of Ribos, location of PlotCoupon #1. They quickly track it to the royal bling room, where it's been disguised as a huge glowy blue lump of [[GreenRocks jethrik]], an incredibly rare and expensive subtance.²²But all is not as it seems. The jethrik has been planted there by one [[LargeHam Garron]]: ostensibly a real estate agent showing the planet to a client (Graff Vynda-K, a psychopathic ex-dictator with a talent for [[ChewingTheScenery shouting and grinding his teeth at the same time]]). But Garron is really a SnakeOilSalesman running a ViolinScam. Together with his friend Unstoffe, he's trying to trick the Graff into paying an inflated price for the allegedly (but not really) jethrik-rich planet. It works, and the Graff's million-opek down payment is stored in the royal treasury for the night. The next morning the money and the jethrik are gone, and the guards have no idea what the Graff Vynda-K is ranting about.²²When the Graff finds out he's being scammed, both team TARDIS and the scammers have to make a run for it, avoiding the treasure room's watch dragon in the process. Unstoffe is rescued by a heretic named Binro, who was cast out for saying the planet moves in relation to the stars. Unstoffe is deeply impressed by Binro's theories and kindly tells him that he's right -- he's from the stars, and one day, people will speak of Binro as the prophet of the future. Their ActionFilmQuietDramaScene is interrupted when Garron contacts Unstoffe via radio and tells him to run. Unstoffe hands Binro his radio device in order to protect him. It has rather the opposite effect, and Binro is brutally murdered by the Graff for helping Unstoffe. ²²In the ensuing battle, the Graff's best friend dies as well, and the Graff suffers a ''severe'' VillainousBreakdown as a result. Since the local prophet-woman has been saying that only one person will survive, he immediately proceeds to murder her and strap a bomb to his one remaining soldier, telling the man that he's destined to make a HeroicSacrifice. The Graff, now having war flashbacks, walks away while the soldier stays behind to get blown up. Unfortunately for the Graff, the soldier is actually the Doctor in a bucket helmet, who strapped the bomb to the Graff with a bit of sleight of hand and merrily laughs as the Graff gets blown to pieces. He then pulls a similar trick on Garron and Unstoffe, leaving them with a worthless rock while he takes the jethrik, which he converts into the first segment of the Key.²²!!Tropes²* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Unstoffe's friendship with Binro.²* AffectionatePickpocket: Graff and Garron both try this on the Doctor - the first to plant a bomb, the second to swap out the jethrik with a stone. Both times the Doctor returns the favor.²* AliensSpeakingEnglish: A peculiar variant. Garron affects a strong [[UsefulNotes/BritishAccents Somerset accent]] as part of his con, apparently to sound like more of a rube. The Doctor identifies it as such, and goes so far as to wonder why an accent specific to [[UsefulNotes/TheWestCountry a few counties]] on an InsignificantLittleBluePlanet is being heard on Ribos. [[JustifiedTrope It eventually turns out that Garron is a native of Earth.]]²* AlienNonInterferenceClause: When the Graff asks Garron why the mining consortium he claims to represent is selling Ribos instead of trying to exploit its mineral wealth, Garron says that any profitable exploitation would require bringing in equipment that is illegal to ship to a Class 3 world, and Ribos isn't likely to become a Class 2 civilization for centuries. It later gets pointed out that the Graff and Garron being on a Class 3 world like Ribos ''at all'' without the proper clearances is also a crime.²* AttackAnimal: The Shrivenzale, which guards the vault holding Ribos' wealth (and briefly the jethrik).²* BecauseDestinySaysSo: When it turns out the Seeker's prophecy is becoming truth, the Graff starts actively enforcing it by killing off all others on his party. ²* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord:²-->'''Doctor''': Where did you get your piece [of jethrik]?\²'''Garron''': Stroke of good luck. I acquired that some years ago.\²'''Doctor''': You stole it.\²'''Garron''': Oh, now, that's a very blunt word, isn't it?\²'''Doctor''': "Fraud" is another one. Tell me, Garron: how many jethrik mines have you sold since then?²* BookDumb: The Doctor apparently only barely passed his examinations - on the second try. This in comparison to Romana, who graduated with a triple first.²* CassandraTruth: Binro's belief of other planets existing in the universe which Unstoffe's presence confirmed.²* TheCaligula: The Graff Vynda-K.²* CrazyEnoughToWork: The Graff's second-in-command suggests using the seer to find the Doctor, as they could spend months searching BeneathTheEarth for him otherwise. And if it doesn't work, they can always have fun blowing the seer's head off.²* ChewingTheScenery: The Graff has a peculiar talent for shouting ''really loudly'' through clenched teeth. ²* CompensatingForSomething: Romana is convinced the Doctor is. ²* ConsolationPrize: At the end of the story, Garron and Unstoffe's con has failed: the gold is buried in the catacombs and the Doctor's swiped their jethrik. But the Graff's ship, stuffed with loot, is theirs for the taking.²* ContinuityNod: [[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E6TheInvasionOfTime The Doctor mentions the Sontarans' attempted invasion of Gallifrey]].²* ContrivedCoincidence: The guard on duty on the vault when Vynda-K finds the jethrik just happens to know the provenance of the stone. Justified because the guard in question is actually Unstoffe, who planted the jethrik and made up the story of its provenance on the spot to further the con. Later on, Garron berates him for pushing his luck.²* CosmicKeystone²* DamnedByFaintPraise: Lampshaded. Romana praises the Doctor's actions quite faintly, to which he says he doesn't like getting faint praise.²* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: The opening encounter with the White Guardian.²* EnemyMine: Or the way Garron puts it: "''We were temporary allies in adversity.''"²* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Romana is introduced in a [[MaleGaze slow pan up her legs]] wearing a stunning white feather cape.²* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: The Graff really cares about his friend, and goes on a rampage when he dies.²* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Ribos looks a lot like old Russia. This may be why it looks so damn cool. That or good WorldBuilding. Or both.²** For an entirely studio-bound story from the hyper-inflating late 1970s, it looks brilliant. Big furry hats off to the designers. ²* FateWorseThanDeath: The White Guardian hints at one (see page quote).²* FeudalFuture: On another planet, with pre-industrial technology.²* GloveSlap: The Graff gives one to the Doctor, who snatches the glove and returns the slap.²* GoodIsNotSoft: When the Doctor asks what will happen to him should he not volunteer for the quest for the Key to Time, the White Guardian replies: [[BlaseBoast Nothing at all. Ever]]. ²* GottaCatchEmAll: The different parts to the Key to Time.²* GreenRocks: The jethrik.²* GrenadeTag: The Doctor brutally murders the Graff by strapping a bomb to him. To be fair, the Graff was trying to do the same to him.²* GrimUpNorth: The universal cover story for aliens visiting Ribos is to claim to be "from the North," where the winters are harsher and there are fewer settlements. Binro the Heretic has been there and isn't fooled.²* HeroicBystander: Binro the Heretic²* HeroicSacrifice: Since the Seeker's prophecy says that only one member of the Graff's party will survive, the Graff decides that his sole remaining man shall make one so that he can escape and plants a bomb on him. Said guard (the Doctor in disguise) discretely gives the bomb back.²* HiddenWire²* IHaveToGoIronMyDog: When Garron sneaks off, he still finds time to use the old 'see a man about a dog' excuse to K-9.²* IncrediblyObviousBug: Averted. A discrete listening device about the size of a thumbnail is hidden on the inside of an architectural folly, out of sight for anyone not thoroughly searching the room or who is phenomenally lucky. It still gets found.²* InsaneAdmiral: The Graf Vynda-K is the perfect example.²* LandmarkSale: Mentioned as part of Garron's back story. Apparently he tried to sell Sydney Harbour when he was still on Earth. He declined to throw in the Opera House and that's when the buyer went to the government.²* LargeHam: Garron, the Graff Vynda-K, and the Seeker.²* LetsMockTheMonsters: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] when the Doctor meets the White Guardian, possibly the first time we've ever seen him unfailingly respectful to a figure of authority, being wary even of raising his voice too loud and even calling him "sir". While he tries to look for a way out of the mission to recover the segments, once the Guardian obliquely threatens that "Nothing at all" will happen to him if he refuses ([[ExactWords "Ever."]]) he just glumly accepts the charge.²* LightIsNotGood: The White Guardian claims to be Good, to balance the Black Guardian's Evil, but we don't know. Literally the first thing he does is bully the Doctor into doing something he doesn't want to do, though. ²* LiteralMinded: K-9, being a robot and all. He answers when Romana talks to herself, and falls completely for Garron's IHaveToGoIronMyDog excuse.²* ManInARubberSuit: The Shrivenzale. It's actually operated by two people in the manner of a pantomime horse. By the standards of classic ''Who'', the costume is actually rather good.²* MessianicArchetype: By and large, the White Guardian is pretty much God in all but name. This being a script from Creator/RobertHolmes, one of the most blatantly anti-authoritarian ''Who'' writers, his EstablishingCharacterMoment is to bully the Doctor into doing an errand for him with threats. ²* MineralMacguffin: Jethrik.²* NiceHat: There are a good deal of them in this story.²* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Binro claims that stars are actually suns and his planet moves, for which he is branded a heretic. Galileo Galilei did exactly the same.²* NoPeripheralVision: The Doctor and Romana hide behind some screens in the treasure room. Guards come in, stand against the wall ''just beside the screens'' and still don't see them. ²* TheNotSoHarmlessPunishment: The Doctor asks what will happen to him if he refuses the White Guardian's order to find the parts of the Key, and is surprised by the answer of 'nothing'. The Guardian placidly clarifies "Nothing at all. ''Ever''."²* OneLastJob²* OverlyLongName: The Doctor insists that Romanadvoratrelundar shorten her name to Romana. Or Fred.²* PlotCoupon: The parts to the Key to Time.²* PropheciesAreAlwaysRight²* Really700YearsOld: Romana gives her age as about 140 years old -- a mere time tot!²* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Garron finally letting the Graff have it for all the trouble he's caused.²--> '''The Graff:''' And where are your two accomplices [the Doctor and Romana]?²--> '''Garron:''' Not accomplices, Highness! You mean the security agents!²--> '''The Graff:''' ''(rattled)'' Security agents?!²--> '''Garron:''' Yeah! That's the irony of it! They only arrested us for landing on a Class 3 planet, and didn't even ''know'' of your presence ''until you made it felt!''²--> '''The Graff:''' You ''lie!''²--> '''Garron:''' Why should I bother?! No, Graff! Their report will be with the Alliance shortly, and you'll no longer be a nobleman of the Serenic Empire and an honoured war veteran! ''You'll just be a common criminal like us!''²* {{Seers}}: The Seeker²* TheShill: Unstoffe.²* SnakeOilSalesman: Garron. ²* StickyBomb: In one of his more coldblooded actions, the Doctor sticks a magnetic grenade to the Graff's back and lets him get blown up.²* ThoseTwoGuys: Garron and Unstoffe, another example of the Creator/RobertHolmes double act.²* VindicatedByHistory: Discussed In-Universe -- Unstoffe tells Binro the Heretic that he will be vindicated in his claims about astronomy and Ribos being one of many planets in the universe.²-->'''Unstoffe:''' Someday, even here, people will look at each other and say: ''"Binro was right!"''²* ViolinScam²* TheWindowOrTheStairs: The Doctor is given a mission by the White Guardian, and told that "nothing" would happen to him if he refused. The Doctor responds, "What? Nothing? You mean nothing will happen to me?", and the Guardian replies "Nothing at all. (pause) Ever."²----

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