Doctor Who: The Trial Of A Man Playing A Time Lord - Act Two

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Day two of the trial. Your counsel, Christopher Morley...

Act Two of the trial of a man playing a Time Lord begins here, and the Doctor must face another harrowing ordeal at the hands of the Valeyard and a corrupt High Council.

We might argue, though, that actually it is not he who is made to suffer so much as his companion- Peri being seen to perish. As would be said of the man he would become within around three selves' time, his only true constant companion is death itself in a sense....
CLIVE :The Doctor is a legend woven throughout history. When disaster comes, he's there. He brings the storm in his wake and he has one constant companion.
ROSE: Who's that?
CLIVE: Death.
By then Christopher Eccleston would be swanning around in the TARDIS in the sort of costume Colin Baker would have loved to don during his own time in the universe's best-loved police box.

The Grim Reaper had of course been stalking him long before now, Katarina the first of those he travelled with to die- going to the Elysian Fields as those of her time believed they would, perhaps? An android personification of the escort on many a final journey from the land of the living had also stalked him before he swapped cricket gear for the Joseph cast-off he seems to favour here following his regeneration!

Now it seems his urbane American friend must meet her final end, all so that Lord Kiv might live. A sign that evidence has been tampered with arrives when it appears that the Time Lord may be willing to sacrifice her to that end, abandoning her to a fate worse than death!
DOCTOR: Confess.
PERI: Confess? Confess to what?
DOCTOR: Your guilt, your bungling, your Alphan friends. Everything! You must help the Mentors, Peri. You must help me.
PERI: Doctor, what's wrong with you?
DOCTOR: I see my own interests. I place myself first.
PERI: But what about me?
DOCTOR: You are expendable. You have no value. Tomorrow, they intend to take the brain of the Lord Kiv and transplant it into my body. He will possess my body! To prevent that, I must please the Mentors, Peri. If that means sacrificing you in my place, then that is the way it must be.
But as we & he know, he's morally unable to do that- something's afoot.
DOCTOR: It was never like that.
VALEYARD: How can you be certain? You have no clear memory of the incident. And as we all know, the Matrix never lies.
DOCTOR: I wonder.
INQUISITOR: May we continue? I do grow tired of these constant interruptions.
DOCTOR: But it was never like that.
INQUISITOR: Enough, Doctor. The Matrix does not lie. It cannot lie. You are aware of that fact, so why persist in these silly statements?
But events at Pompeii a good five or so incarnations later will show that he's more willing to adhere to the way he believes things should be in the interests of preserving history when he deems it important to do so, in the first hint of getting a little carried away with his own sense of mastery over the universe, god of Caecilius' household and indeed a lonely one in general, blood at least metaphorically on his hands as he so nearly fails in his duty of care to a universe & indeed planet he's come to love since that Shoreditch stopover all those years ago.
DONNA: You can't just leave them!
THE DOCTOR: Don't you think I've done enough? History's back in place and everyone dies.
DONNA: You've got to go back! Doctor, I'm telling you, take this thing back! It's not fair.
What's implied to happen to the woman he took aboard the TARDIS is hardly fair in the grand scheme of things, either.

He, though, was not the murderer....
DOCTOR: You killed Peri?
INQUISITOR: We had to act. With the discovery that Crozier had made, the whole course of natural evolution throughout the universe would be affected.
VALEYARD: But Peri died, Doctor, because you abandoned her. We had to end her life because your negligence had made it impossible for her to live.
DOCTOR: Lies. There's something else going on here. The High Council has no right to order Peri's or anyone else's death.
Death maintains a presence in court, though! And so the lonely god protests against his kind acting as second-rate ones, hiding in the shadows, using Yrcanos as their pawn in a game the prosecutor here so desperately wants to win.
VALEYARD: Your very words condemn you, Doctor, show your arrogance.
DOCTOR: Sorry?
VALEYARD: You feel only you have the right to meddle. Anyone else with that ambition, according to you, should be stopped.
And so they will- onward now to Terror Of The Vervoids and omens of the future as Melanie Bush appears to little fanfare. She, of course, will ease the transition between Doctors after sentence is passed behind the scenes- death waiting patiently for the end of the Time Lord's Ninth incarnation.
DOCTOR: Stay away!
ROSE: Doctor, tell me what's going on.
DOCTOR: I absorbed all the energy of the Time Vortex, and no one's meant to do that. Every cell in my body's dying.
ROSE: Can't you do something?
DOCTOR: Yeah, I'm doing it now. Time Lords have this little trick, it's sort of a way of cheating death. Except it means I'm going to change, and I'm not going to see you again. Not like this. Not with this daft old face. And before I go...
ROSE: Don't say that.
DOCTOR: Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I.
From little acknowledgement of change to a whole new way of doing so! And of course Mel's knowledge of the Doctor's future mirrors a later library date with a Professor River Song and indeed what happens in wibbly wobbly order depending on whose perspective you view it from.

In light of which is it even fair that Trial Of A Time Lord is so maligned? Adjourned!

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