Saturday, 17 May 2008

Season 30 - Episodes 1 - 7 Synopsis

Episode 7 - The Unicorn And The Wasp

I enjoyed this Agatha Christie murder mystery - based around the time of her disappearance of 10 days in 1926. Doctor takes on a new alias of Detective John Smith aka the Doctor. There were no story arc references to Rose, Time War etc. However as for the bees reference of previous episodes, Donna does say - at least there are bees in 1926.

The episode begins with Professor Peach arriving with Reverend Golightly at a dinner party hosted by Lady Eddison and her husband, Colonel Hugh. The Doctor and Donna Noble oversee their conversation, where the Professor requests to go to the library to check something under the premise he needs to read alone before joining the party. Whilst discovering what he needs the Professor is killed with lead piping by a giant wasp.

Meanwhile the Doctor and Donna gatecrash the party, introducing themselves to Lady Clemency Edison and making themselves known to the other characters; the Colonel, Lady Eddison's husband, who has apparently been invalided since the flu epademic of 1918; their son Robert, whom we learn is romantically affiliated with the footman, Davenport; Reverend Golightly; Robina Redmond, a class society girl from London; and the renowned Agatha Christie, who the Doctor much admires and Donna finds a disbelief to meet. From looking at the paper, the Doctor reveals that that day is the day that Agatha Christie disappeared.
Lady Eddison wonders of the whereabouts of the missing Professor Peach and sends Miss Chandrakala to go looking for him, who find his corpse face down in the library. Everyone hurries to the scene, where the Doctor and Agatha Christie look for evidence nearby. Agatha finds a piece of paper and the Doctor finds a conspicuous thick liquid; he promptly presents himself as 'Chief Inspector Smith' from Scotland Yard (with Donna as his 'plucky' assistant) and calls everyone in for questioning. At this point Donna is bemused and remarks how the scenario is similar to a game of Cluedo.

During questioning all the characters provide amusing alibis to their whereabouts at the time of the Professor's death (a quarter past four in the afternoon), leaving the Doctor and Agatha Christie both perplexed. Meanwhile the Doctor has sent Donna off searching around her house, whereupon she finds a deserted room which the butler informs her has been locked for years on Lady Eddison's orders since she had had a bout of malaria after returning from India.
Upon entering, Donna hears a buzzing sound and opens the curtains to release what she thinks is a bee into the garden. However, it turns out to be a man-sized wasp, which she fends off using a magnifying glass given to her by the Doctor. The wasp leaves its sting in the door, but manages to grow a new one.

Later on from this, the wasp having been again warded off, the Doctor is poisoned using cyanide, which he counteracts using ginger beer, walnuts, anchovies, and a kiss from Donna. Moments later, Miss Chandrakala is crushed to death beneath a falling stone, her last words being 'The poor little child.'

At dinner, the Doctor reveals that he has laced the soup with pepper, which acts as an insecticide. However, before they can acknowledge the effects, the candles are snuffed out and a loud buzzing can again be heard. Lady Eddison utters, "It can't be!" When the lights come back on, her necklace, 'The Firestone,' has been stolen and Roger, her son, has been murdered. Donna comments on the footman's inability to grieve for his lover due to the illicit nature of their affection, and compares the 1920s to the Dark Ages
The Doctor and Agatha Christie then proceed to reveal several secrets about the guests and hosts, including that Robina Redmond is an imposter; also that she is 'The Unicorn.' She confesses to this, but claims that she is not the murderer. The Coronel then admits that he is not a cripple, but only pretended to be in order to keep his wife by his side. The Doctor then reveals that Lady Eddison had not had malaria in India, but had been pregnant to the child of an alien. She tearfully confesses that this was true, and that he had given her the Firestone before being swept away by a monsoon and drowned. Following this, the Doctor reveals that Reverend Golightly is the alien child, and that he had come to associate Agatha Christie's novels with the way the world must work, because Lady Eddison had been reading it when he was awakened. This accounting for his unusual pattern of murder.
Agatha Christie, snatching the Firestone, which had created a telepathic link between herself and the Reverend, leads the creature to the lake, where Donna throws the necklace into the water and thus drowns it. Agatha is then gripped by pain, due to the telepathic field dying, but at the last moment, the creature releases her, destroying the connection between them. She is then deposited at Harrogate.

At the end of the episode, the Agatha Christie novel "Death In The Clouds" is produced from a chest in the TARDIS, at which point the Doctor reveals that her books lasted until the year five billion. They speculate over whether or not Christie's desire to last forever was what kept her writing, and the Doctor reveals in ambiguous tones that it is what keeps him travelling. "Onwards?" he says. "Onwards," replies Donna.

Episode 6 - The Doctor's Daughter

Following on from the end of "The Poison Sky", the TARDIS takes the Doctor ( and his companions Donna Noble and Martha Jones to the planet Messaline in the midst of a generations-long war between humans and the Hath, fish-like humanoids. Upon leaving the TARDIS, they are confronted by armed men working for General Cobb (Nigel Terry), who force the Doctor's hand in a progenation machine, which uses his DNA to create an adult soldier within moments — Jenny (Georgia Moffett), the episode's titular character. Martha is subsequently captured by the Hath, whereas the Doctor, Donna, and Jenny are imprisoned by the humans because of the Doctor's pacifist attitude. Each of the primary characters learns about the war from its belligerents; the Hath and humans were initially meant to live on a peaceful colony, but were divided over a dispute about "the Source", believed by each side to be the breath of their creator. When the Doctor unwittingly reveals the location of the Source, the two sides race to claim it first.

The Doctor is initially dismissive of Jenny, his biological daughter, but becomes enamoured as the episode progresses. Donna is also distracted from the war by a series of numbered plaques on their journey. When they reach the location of the Source, a colonising spaceship, Donna and the Doctor discover that the plaques represent the date building was completed, which was a mere seven days previous; the humans and Hath have bred so many generations through the progenation machines that their own history degraded into myth. The original casus belli was a power vacuum caused by the death of the mission commander.

Both the human and Hath forces converge at the Source concurrently. The Doctor declares the war to be over, and releases the terraforming agent; everyone present lays down their weapons, with the exception of Cobb, who tries to shoot the Doctor but Jenny steps in the way. After she collapses in the Doctor's arms, he finally tells her she is his daughter and that they have only got started. He tells her that they can go anywhere, if she holds on. She dies in his arms. Enraged, the Doctor holds Cobb at gunpoint, but refuses to shoot, asking the colonists to create a pacifist society.

At the end of the episode, the Doctor takes Martha home. Martha warns Donna that life with the Doctor can be dangerous, but Donna nevertheless resolves to stay with the Doctor indefinitely. Concurrently, on Messaline, Jenny revives in front of Cline and a Hath. She escapes Messaline, resolving to follow in her father's footsteps by resolving disputes and fighting villains.

Episode 5 - The Poison Sky

Following from the previous episode, Sylvia Noble manages to free Wilfred Mott from the car by smashing the window with an axe. The Doctor sends Donna Noble back to the TARDIS while he sets off to figure out what the Sontarans are up to. After studying the gas, UNIT determines that it will need to reach 80% density to become lethal. Elsewhere, Martha Jones's clone helps the Sontarans to seize the TARDIS. Realising that he is trapped, the Doctor attempts to goad General Staal ( into revealing their plan: Staal is smart enough not to fall prey to this ploy, but the Doctor does trick him into moving the TARDIS out of the main war room, placing Donna in a position to help.

Against the Doctor's advice, UNIT decides to use nuclear weapons against the Sontarans; however, Martha's clone has covertly copied the launch codes, and stops every attempt they make to fire the weapons. This in itself shows a hidden agenda, since a nuclear strike would not have harmed them in the first place. This, combined with the unidentifiable elements in the gas, suggest that the Sontarans have an interest in keeping anything from disrupting the atmospheric conversion. At the same time, the Sontarans mobilize a contingent of troops to protect the factory. With the Sontarans' ability to jam most conventional firearms by expanding the copper-lined bullets, the UNIT troops are quickly slaughtered and the factory is secured.

Luke Rattigan leaves the Sontaran mothership to gather his students, explaining that he plans to have the Sontarans take them to another planet and begin the human race anew. The students merely laugh him off, even when he brandishes a gun. When he returns to report his failure, the Sontarans likewise ridicule his efforts, admitting that they never intended to take him or his students anywhere. Rattigan teleports back to his mansion before they can kill him, and the Sontarans lock the teleport pods behind him. Back in his own quarters, he lies sobbing on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Doctor instructs Donna on how to reopen the teleport pods. As she makes her way through the ship, UNIT begins a counterattack, loading their weapons with non-copper bullets and using the aircraft carrier Valiant to clear the gas. The counterattack is a success, and the UNIT troops are able to put the Sontarans on the defensive. The distraction allows the Doctor to make his way to the cloning room where Martha is being held. Having figured out long before that the clone wasn't the genuine article, he severs its connection to Martha, leaving it to die. Martha convinces the clone to betray the Sontarans in its last moments, and the clone reveals that the poison gas is actually "food" for Sontaran clones: they are converting the planet into a giant breeding world. With Donna's help, the Doctor is able to reactivate the teleport pods, allowing him to rescue Donna, steal back the TARDIS, and teleport into Rattigan's mansion.

With the terraforming equipment Rattigan's students built, the Doctor builds his own atmospheric converter, igniting the atmosphere to clear out the poison gas as shown in the picture. However, he knows the Sontarans won't accept defeat so easily, and teleports to their ship with the converter, planning to give them the choice between retreat or death. Staal chooses the latter, content with the knowledge that the Doctor will die with them. At the last moment, Rattigan teleports himself to the Sontaran ship and sends the Doctor back to Earth, sacrificing himself to destroy the Sontarans.

With the day saved, Martha says goodbye to Donna and the Doctor in the TARDIS and prepares to head home. However, before she can leave, the TARDIS suddenly springs to life, locking the doors and piloting itself to an unknown destination as the jar containing the Doctor's severed hand bubbles.
Episode 4 - The Sonataran Stratagem

Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) calls the Doctor to ask for assistance during an investigation by UNIT. Minutes after the TARDIS materialises in contemporary Britain, Martha authorises the raid of an ATMOS (Atmospheric Omission System) factory. The Doctor introduces his companion Donna Noble to Martha and UNIT; Donna instantly befriends Martha, but is concerned about UNIT's ethics and asks the Doctor why he is associated with them; the Doctor ambiguously replies he used to work for them in the late twentieth century.

ATMOS is marketing a satellite navigation system developed by child prodigy Luke Rattigan (Ryan Sampson). The system also reduces carbon dioxide emissions to zero; UNIT requested the Doctor's help because the technology is not contemporary and potentially alien. UNIT are also concerned about fifty-two deaths occurring spontaneously and contemporaneously several days before the narrative. The Doctor travels to Rattigan's private school to investigate the system, and discovers that the episode's events are being influenced by the Sontarans.

The Sontarans depicted in the episode are part of a battlegroup led by General Staal, "the undefeated" (Christopher Ryan). Instead of an instant invasion, they are tactically approaching an invasion with a combination of human clones, mind control, and ATMOS; Martha is captured by two of the controlled humans and cloned to provide a tactical advantage against UNIT. The Doctor asks Martha to tell Mace about the Sontarans, but Martha does not pass along the information.

A subplot depicts Donna returning to her home to warn her mother Sylvia and grandfather Wilfred Mott about the Doctor. Concerned about the implications of telling the truth, Donna reneges from warning her mother. At the end of the episode, the Doctor investigates the ATMOS device attached to Donna's car and discovers a secondary function: the device can emit a poisonous gas. Wilfred attempts to take the car off the road, but is trapped when Staal activates all 400 million installed in cars worldwide. The episode's cliffhanger depicts Donna shouting for help while the Doctor stares helplessly at a street full of cars emitting the gas, while on their ship orbiting the planet, the Sontarans prepare themselves for battle.

Episode 3 - The Planet Of The Ood

The Doctor uses the TARDIS to land at a random point in time and space. On leaving the TARDIS, he and Donna find an injured Ood, a species the Doctor previously encountered in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit". Just before dying, the Ood's eyes turn red and it makes a lunge for the Doctor, startling him with its ferocity. The Doctor muses that they were being influenced by the Devil on their previous encounter, and concludes that on this occasion they must be being influenced by a different and closer being. The Doctor and Donna find an industrial complex controlled by Ood Operations, who have been selling the Ood as a servant race since 3914. The Doctor locates their position: the Ood-Sphere in the year 4126.

The "Red Eye" phenomenon is affecting other Ood on the planet: several people have been killed in the weeks prior to the narrative. During the outbreak, the Ood state that "the circle must be broken". Ood Operations noted an increase in the phenomenon, and considered it to be similar to foot-and-mouth disease CEO Klineman Halpen (Tim McInnerny)tells the Doctor the method of killing is identical.

Throughout the episode, Donna becomes sympathetic to the Ood and is horrified by their status as slaves. The Doctor also takes an interest in the Ood, noting that no species could naturally evolve to serve. He also feels he had overlooked them on their previous encounter. He and Donna travel through the complex and find a batch of uncultivated Ood. Instead of a translation sphere, they hold a "hind brain" that gives them individuality, and once removed, they become subservient; the Doctor derides Halpen for lobotomising them.

The Doctor and Donna are captured by Ood Operations' security force. Shortly after, the Ood begin a mass revolution, and the complex is evacuated. The Doctor follows Halpen to a locked warehouse. The warehouse contains a large brain, which completes the Ood's collective consciousness. The brain's control of the Ood is limited by a circle of pylons emitting a forcefield. Halpen plans to kill the brain, and by extension, all of the Ood, but is stopped by a joint effort between the Doctor, Donna, Dr Ryder (Adrian Rawlins), and Halpen's personal Ood, Ood Sigma (Paul Kasey); Ryder, an activist for "Friends of the Ood", had lowered the telepathic field gradually over ten years, while Ood Sigma used Halpen's hair-loss medication to slowly convert Halpen into an Ood.

The Doctor shuts down the circle, freeing the Ood and allowing them to all rejoin in a telepathic collective. Before leaving, Ood Sigma promises to include the Doctor and Donna in the Ood's song; stating that "the Wind, the Ice and the Snow" shall remember and honour their names forever, but comments that the Doctor's song may soon end.

Episode 2 - The Fires Of Pompeii

The Doctor and Donna Noble arrive in what the Doctor believes to be first century Rome. After an earthquake, he realises he has materialised in Pompeii on 23 August 79, one day before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. When he returns to the TARDIS's location, he is told it has been sold to a Lucius Caecilius Iucundus (Peter Capaldi), a marble merchant. At Caecilius's home, they meet his wife Metella (Tracey Childs), his son Quintus (Francois Pandolfo), and his daughter Evelina (Francesca Fowler), who is to be inducted into the Sybilline Sisterhood. Though they try to go under the alias of Spartacus, the Doctor and Donna are identified by the future sight of both Evelina and the local augur Lucius Petrus Dextrus (Phil Davis). Evalina collapses and it is revealed that the skin on her arm has become stone-like. The Doctor, disturbed by their knowledge of his and Donna's personal lives and by Lucius's commission for a strange slab of marble, decides to investigate while Donna reveals to Evalina the fate of Pompeii.

When the Sybilline high priestess (Victoria Wicks) hears Donna's words via a mental connection with Evalina, she sends her acolytes Spurrina (Sasha Behar) and Thalina (Lorraine Burroughs) to bring the false prophet for a sacrifice. Meanwhile, the Doctor breaks into Lucius's home with the aid of Quintus, learning that the marble plates are actually circuit boards for an energy converter. The Doctor and Quintus are accosted by Lucius, whose arm is revealed to have been completely turned to stone from breathing in the same vapors as Evalina. The Doctor and Quintus escape but are pursued by what is later to be revealed to be a Pyrovile, giant magma golem-like creatures whose home planet was destroyed. The confusion allows the Sisterhood to kidnap Donna briefly; the Doctor follows them and frees Donna.

The Doctor soon reveals that the Sisterhood and Lucius act as the Pyroviles's proxies, making prophecies while breathing in the dust remains and becoming Pryoviles themselves. They escape into the Sisterhood's hypocaust system and travel into the centre of Mount Vesuvius, learning of the Pyroviles' plan to recreate themselves by turning the human race into Pyroviles. The Doctor realises the volcano will not erupt if the energy converter is running, and subsequently overloads the system, destroying the Pyroviles and triggering the eruption of Vesuvius. The Doctor attempts to leave, but Donna convinces the Doctor to save Caecilius's family so that not everyone dies. The family, the Doctor and Donna then watch Pompeii's destruction from a vantage point above the ruined city. The Doctor assures the family that Pompeii is never forgotten before leaving with Donna. Six months later in Rome, Caecilius's family are shown to be successful: Caecilius is running a profitable business, Evelina is able to live a normal life as her power was lost with Pompeii, and Quintus is training to become a doctor. Before Quintus leaves, he pays tribute to the family's household gods, the Doctor and Donna.

Episode 1 - Partners In Crime

The episode primarily focuses on Donna Noble, a previous companion who appeared in "The Runaway Bride". After her encounter with the Doctor, she became disenchanted with normal life and regretted declining his invitation to travel in the TARDIS. She started investigating conspiracy theories in the hope she would find him. She confides her regrets to her grandfather Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins), an amateur astronomer who met the Doctor shortly before the episode's events.

The episode concerns Adipose Industries, which is marketing a diet pill to London's population with the slogan "the fat just walks away". Believing the treatment to be otherworldly, the Doctor and Donna investigate the company separately, and find that the slogan is literal—the pills use latent body fat to parthenogenetically create the Adipose, small white aliens which spawn every night, removing a little of the host's body fat each time. In an emergency, multiple Adipose can spawn by using all of the body's organic tissue, killing the host. When the Doctor and Donna meet, they are confronted by Miss Foster (Sarah Lancashire), an alien who is exploiting Britain's overweight population to create the Adipose for the Adiposian First Family. Miss Foster mentions that the Adipose species "lost" their breeding planet, which is questioned by the doctor.

Foster accelerates her plans, feeling threatened by the Doctor's invocation of galactic law and fearing he may inform the "Shadow Proclamation", an interplanetary code and council. Throughout London, the Adipose begin to spawn, soon numbering several thousand. The Doctor and Donna prevent total emergency parthenogenesis occurring, while the remainder make their way to Adipose Industries. The Adiposian First Family use their spaceship to collect the Adipose, but kill Foster to hide any evidence they used Earth illegally. The Doctor defers from killing the Adipose because they are children; Donna notes that his previous companion Martha Jones made him more human, citing his infanticide of the Racnoss in their previous encounter.
At the end of the episode, Donna accepts an offer to travel in the TARDIS. She makes a detour to leave her car keys in a safe location for her mother Sylvia (Jacqueline King), and asks a blonde woman to help Sylvia find the keys. The woman turns towards the camera, revealing her to be Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). She fades as she walks away from the area. In the final scene, Donna asks the Doctor to fly by her grandfather, Wilfred, who sees her and celebrates on his allotment.

Synopsis taken from Wilkimedia

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