Doctor Who: The Debut Of The Time Lords - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The Debut Of The Time Lords

Chris Morley summons the Time Lords.

As we turn our eyes to the heavens in search of Gallifrey once more, it would surely be amiss not to take another look at the Second Doctor's desperate summons of his own people, here seen & indeed named for the first time - the Lords of such living up to their lofty universal billing.

Where the boxes that would make the similarly bow-tied if younger looking man he would become by the next time he answered their call so very angry during The Doctor's Wife, here the prevailing mood is one of resignation. For here the distress signal is all too real, an admission that he's bitten off far more than he can actually chew - not that the Doctor knows the full extent of its ramifications having swallowed his pride & called for help from the home he fled all that time ago out of sheer boredom, by his own flippant admission!

That's not even the first trial he faces, either- he, Jamie & Zoe must first face a military court martial as a prelude to the sentence eventually passed from far higher.
DOCTOR: This is a travesty of justice. What are we charged with?
SMYTHE: In the case of this man, desertion from a Highland regiment.
JAMIE: But, but......
SMYTHE: In the case of yourself and the girl, the charge is one of espionage. The penalty for all these charges is death.
DOCTOR: But this is monstrous!
SMYTHE: We shall now hear the case for the defence. Have you anything to say?
DOCTOR: Yes, I most certainly have! Am I allowed to question the witnesses?
SMYTHE: Certainly. We wish to give you every opportunity to explain yourselves.
Mere lip service is paid to the attempt to do so, though. And the Time Lords will soon prove their own culpability for letting pleas fall on deaf ears......a depressingly regular occurrence during all their subsequent appearances, though they will at least also come to concede that on occasion the Doctor can be of use to them whether he wants to be or not!

A further twist comes when the War Chief reveals himself to be a sort of pre-Masterly equal & opposite, having agreed to help assemble an army selected from the all too many such conflicts staining recorded history.
“We were both Time Lords and we both decided to leave our race.”
But if not out of lust for power, as the little fellow in the baggy shirt & trousers summises, why? By his own insane logic, to play peacemaker, this particular war pig deciding to try to get out of the muck in spectacular fashion.

Having made the all too troubling point that man is the most vicious species of all, time for a little history lesson.
“For half a million years they have been systematically killing each other. Now we can turn this savagery to some purpose. We can bring peace to the galaxy, and you can help. You see, I'm not the cold-hearted villain you suppose me to be. My motives are purely peaceful.”
The first sign surely that Gallifrey itself has bred some of the most terrible things of any corner of the universe, and a spur to the Doctor's efforts to bring about the final end of these war games. As valiant a quest as that which had earlier found him attempting to do the same to the Daleks, referenced once more when he comes face to face with them in Blitz-torn London while breaking in his new body & personality. One which had more than a hint of what's come before thanks to Matt Smith's own appreciation of Patrick Troughton's take on the part.

Marching back into The War Games now, it soon seems that it's the Doctor who's actually run out of options with things threatening to snowball beyond even his control! Having taken the difficult step given the circumstances of doing the right thing & placing a handy psychic call to his kin via hypercube he can't resist attempting to run away once again. Though the Time Lords soon curtail his plan to flee & ruin any thoughts on the Doctor's part that he might have actually managed to slip through their fingers as it were.
“There is no escape, Doctor. Return the TARDIS immediately to our home planet. “
The Doctor, though, hardly comes of his own accord - their ability to remotely control Sexy allowing them to reel him in & begin the final act of what surely stands as Doctor Who's first true attempt at space opera?

The final notes of his song hang ominously on the air as his trial begins (well before he'll have to go through the ordeal of facing another). For their part the Time Lords do at least accept the Doctor's contention that the Earth is in danger from all manner of alien threats, & in so doing in a sense assign him the role of protector of the planet - perhaps moved by his staunch defence of his actions.
TIME LORD: You have heard the charge against you, that you have repeatedly broken our most important law of non-interference in the affairs of other planets. What have you to say? Do you admit these actions?
DOCTOR: I not only admit them, I am proud of them. While you have been content merely to observe the evil in the galaxy, I have been fighting against it.

A fight subsequently taken to the invaders, the TARDIS rudderless & her thief quite literally a changed man. The debut of the Time Lords over, sentence has been passed, and punishment, in the form of forced regeneration, executed.

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