Saturday, 29 October 2011

Mastermind of Space

This story starts with the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria already having been captured. It is like I have been having sleeps and missed part 1 and woken up in time for part 2. But there is no part 1!

"They were prisoners of the Masters of Space and Time, and their only use to their jailors was to record the history of the times and the worlds they had come from, and the ways of life of all the inhabitants; the animals, insects and plant-life, the buildings, artifacts and technology."

They have been hypno-eyesed by invisible aliens (presumably they have invisible hypno-eyes) so they can't move and then put in front of screens to think of everything they know. The Doctor comes up with a plan to escape.

"There was just one way in which he could retaliate; he would fill his screen with the most bestial and inhuman images he could conceive."

Judging by the first picture that goes with this story the "most bestial and inhuman images" the Doctor can think of is a silly-looking bird-face. It is both "bestial" and "inhuman" I suppose. The plan doesn't work and the Doctor gets tired, and when he gets tired he doesn't think of anything so the screen goes blank.

"Seeing the screen blank he held it for as long as was possible. The one idea in his mind was of the screen itself and inside the circle of it, a slightly smaller circle appeared. Inside that another and inside that yet another. So on and on down to the smallest circle his eyes could detect and then the screen exploded into a maelstrom of lighted colours. Impulsively, he attempted to move and - he stood up!"

The Doctor escapes but he can't rescue Jamie and Victoria yet because the invisible aliens come to speak to him. They hypno-eyes him again and get him to walk past lots of other hypno-eyesed aliens, and the Doctor sees why his first plan to escape didn't work.

"If he had fondly imagined that his own fantastic memories would interest or startle his jailors he had been sadly mistaken. For here were to be seen creatures which even his imagination had never even begun to envisage."

The aliens were impressed because the Doctor was the first manny they had ever captured who could think of "nothing" (they had obviously never captured a cat then!) and now they are interested in him.

The Doctor makes a funny face.

The aliens say they do not mean any harm to their prisoners, and as they keep calling the Doctor "Man" they are beginning to sound like space-hippies. They may not be baddies after all. They let Jamie and Victoria go and the Doctor tells them to blank their minds like he did.

"Jamie laughed. "That's a thing I could never do, Doctor. Nobody can make their mind blank. Even when I'm asleep I'm dreaming all the while.""

They see the aliens. There are seven of them and they look like tiny points of light.

""You see us because we have affected your retinas so that you can see us. We have no forms and no physical bodies; we are composed of raw energy. In your universe you name it electricity. We have another symbol for it but in reality it is the raw, basic mind-stuff out of which all material things - the stars, the worlds, the beings that dwell upon them - are born.""

I am beginning to get confused. I think they just mean the aliens are made of electricity. They then say they were like mannys millions of years ago until they eveolved into "bodiless intelligences."

"You see seven of us in this place here and now. We seven are composed of the joined together essences of many millions of us."

Now I am even more confused. Professor Cat says this video explains everything:

But I think he just said that to sound clever because I am still a confused cat.

The aliens make a building out of nothing and then they give more confusing exposition.

"We have contemplated our own excellence and power until now we grow weary of it all. We realise that all existence runs in gigantic circles and that we must retrace our circle of being, back to the beginning. We will again have forms and bodies, once more we will dwell on planets of suns. We will go back to the very childhood of the order of being, and we will start again."
"All this is, of course, nonsense," said the Doctor stoutly, speaking into the empty void."

I agree with the Doctor, though their talk of going "back to the beginning" does sound like Professor Cat's video so maybe there is something in that after all. Victoria feels sorry for the aliens and they sense emotion for the first time. They start speaking to her instead of the Doctor.

""I'm sorry for you," stammered Victoria. "Poor things out there, all alone. No world to live in. No sun and moon and stars. No animals to care for and no flowers to worship. How have you lived all these many years?""

I didn't know Victoria worships flowers. That seems strange to me, but then I am a cat so I don't worship anything, not even the three cat gods.

The aliens decide to let all their prisoners go, except Victoria who they want to keep. The Doctor objects to this but they don't listen to him, so it is up to Victoria to persuade them to let her go. Victoria is frightened and she holds Jamie's hand while she speaks to them.

"The first rule you must learn is that no being ever should force another being to do or say or think anything it does not want to do or say or think. Start on that one rule and everything will be all right.""

The aliens agree to this, but they want to know why Victoria is holding Jamie's hand.

"Why do you hold its limb with your limb? It is of much baser flesh."
"Eh, eh," shouted Jamie irritably. "Who's calling names?""

I like Jamie. He is only there to be silly, and that is really needed here in this story which would otherwise take itself much too seriously.

"But Victoria was speaking outwards again. "Have you so entirely forgotten your own origins?" she asked gently. "I am Woman and Jamie is Man. We two are the proto-types of the bricks out of which you will build your new cosmos.""

Victoria is suddenly displaying a surprisingly sophisticated vocabulary. Though I say it as shouldn't, you may think. This is bound to confuse the aliens, given they were calling the Doctor "Man" earlier on. This is almost the end of the story; they go back to the Tardis and the Doctor sums up their very confusing adventure.

""To think of a new galaxy named Victoria!" said Dr Who mischievously. "Peopled with millions and millions of Victorias and Jamies. But you both look blank. I'm a foolish old man. What nonsense am I babbling? You know, I've been having the most astounding dreams lately. It's high time I woke up.""

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