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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 247 Devil In The Mist

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The TARDIS deposits the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and their android ally Kamelion aboard a prison ship. A ship with just one prisoner: Nustanu, last warlord of the Zamglitti – monstrous, mind-bending mimics able to turn themselves into mist.

A ship that's in trouble, and about to make a crash-landing...

On a planet of mists.

Devil in the Mist contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Orna, a hulking, battle-hardened hippo woman.
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  • Androids Are People, Too: The Doctor tries very hard to convince Tegan of this in regards to Kamelion, but she is not easily swayed.
  • Badass Boast: The Doctor is able to bully the Guardian into letting him use the sacred healing waters by threatening that if he is killed there, every enemy he has ever made will show up to dance on his grave, bringing exactly the kind of attention the Guardian wants to avoid.
  • Batman Gambit: Tegan pulls an impressive one at the end, using herself as bait to antagonize the Guardian (controlling Kamelion) into attacking her directly, rather than through its jungle beasts. She then has it chase her into the TARDIS, which cuts Kamelion off from the Guardian's influence.
  • Beast Man: The Harrigane are giant walking, talking hippos.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Tegan borrows the Doctor's "brave heart" to psych herself up for braving a nest of snakes.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Kamelion, barely seen in the TV series and having only one minor appearance on audio in 2007's "Circular Time", is brought in as a proper regular here.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Rako is a little bemused at the TARDIS team categorizing being shipwrecked, attacked by rabid animals and narrowly avoiding plummeting to their doom as "another day in the office".
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Orna accuses the Doctor and the TARDIS of cutting through her ship's hull "like a knife through jellax".
  • Call-Back:
    • Meeting the Harrigane, a race of sentient hippopotamuses, prompts Turlough to mention that one of his best friends was a Hippo, though he doesn't say it wasn't a literal hippo.
    • The Doctor reminisces about climbing a mountain with some friends as a youth on Gallifrey. Apparently, Vansell broke his leg in the process.
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    • Kamelion's previous association with The Master is brought up several times.
    • Tegan really doesn't like snakes.
  • Call-Forward: Also a Mythology Gag, the Doctor mentions offhandedly that he has been considering giving the TARDIS console room a complete overhaul. This story is set between "The King's Demons" and "The Five Doctors" and, by the latter story, the console had indeed been completely made over.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's established that the reason Kamelion is so heavily influenced by Tegan's emotions and ideas about him is partially because of this; after breaking free of the Master, he instinctively latched onto the closest person with the strongest personality, and if there's anything that Tegan has in spades, it's this.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Nustanu, with his murderous nature and ability to transform into mist, is set up to be the titular villain, but dies in the crash onto the jungle planet. The real bad guy turns out to be the Rastani Guardian, who uses nanites in the water (including the mist) to control the wildlife and attack the main characters.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Harrigane's issues with gender politics are a pretty blatant role reversal of those in many male-dominated cultures and industries in real life.
    Rako: It's a woman's world, that's for sure.
  • Drop the Hammer: Battle hammers are the traditional weapon of the Harrigane race.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    Turlough: Why does everything on this planet seem intent on killing us?
    The Doctor: You've noticed that, too?
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Being trapped in the jungle together helps Tegan to appreciate Kamelion a bit more.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    Orna: What about the snakes?
    Tegan: The snakes will just have to hiss off.
  • Healing Spring: The secret treasure of the planet Rastana. It is filled with powerful nanomachines that can heal almost any wound, and was so coveted in bygone eras that the Rastani people and the Zamglitti were almost all killed off in a war for it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ultimately, Rako breaks free of his training and customs to defy Orna, and detonates the concussion pulse, caving in the temple and destroying the Guardian.
  • Hungry Jungle: Snakes, eels, bats, everything is being influenced to be much more aggressive than usual.
  • I Owe You My Life: Rako to Turlough, though not because Turlough saved him; rather, Rako put Turlough in danger and later pledges to defend him at all costs to make up for it.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Tegan spends most of the story referring to Kamelion as "it", much to the Doctor's frustration. She eases off by the end.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Though she is very harsh to Kamelion, Tegan can hardly be blamed for mistrusting him after he had very recently tried to kill them, and she isn't unjustified in being annoyed with the Doctor for expecting her to welcome him with open arms just because he says everything is fine.
  • Jungle Japes: Most of the story takes place in an alien jungle on the planet Rastana after the TARDIS crew and the Harrigane crash land there.
  • Last of His Kind: Nustanu is the only surviving member of the powerful Zamglitti race. He doesn't live past the first episode.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: The threat of the Doctor dying and regenerating in this story, or even never recovering from his paralysis, is a little hard to take seriously in context.
  • MacGyvering: Tegan, aided by Kamelion and Orna, lashes together a raft out of trees and vines to sail down the river.
  • Nanomachines: In the water.
  • Oop North: Apparently, even the planet of giant space hippos has a North.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Tegan, as always, gets so caught up in ranting about her distrust of Kamelion to Turlough that she doesn't think about what she's saying until it's too late.
    Tegan: You know the Doctor, he always sees the best in people, no matter what they've done in the past. I mean, he even let yo-
    Turlough: I'm sorry?
    Tegan: Nothing.
    Turlough: He even let me stay. That's what you were going to say.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: A broken back, partial paralysis and incredible levels of pain all serve to make the Doctor behave even more like this as a kind of coping mechanism.
  • Shout-Out: When Kamelion gives a running commentary on the flora and fauna of the planet they have crash-landed on, Tegan calls him David Attenborough.
  • Single-Episode Handicap: The Doctor spends a lot of this story with a broken back and paralyzed legs. Naturally, he gets completely healed by the end.
  • Techno Babble:
    The Doctor: I was adjusting the density compensators, you see. I must have increased the TARDIS' mass-
    Orna: You are speaking nonsense!
    Tegan: He does that.
  • The Reveal: It's not Nustanu's influence making Kamelion into a monster; it's Tegan's.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Tegan's purse turns out to be one, as it was a gift from her deceased Aunt Vanessa.
  • True Companions: At the end, when it seems that Tegan is finally starting to warm up to Kamelion and everyone is pitching in to clean up the TARDIS, the Doctor is thrilled that they all seem to be settling into this.
    Tegan: Doctor? Don't push it.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Literally in Tegan's case. As she says to Orna, her fear of snakes is much more than just a phobia.
  • The Woobie: It's hard not to feel sorry for Kamelion, unable to prevent himself from being influenced by others and pleading in a sad, robotic monotone for Tegan and The Doctor to help him.
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