“The Keys of Marinus”

I’ve realized that I should probably be talking about my opinion on these serials more than just summarizing them. That would make this whole Journey a lot more interesting! So here we go.

I thought this serial had a good idea. It’s like a Zelda game, sort of–our heroes have to collect all the Keys of Marinus before the bad guys in order to keep them safe. Or else they could be used to power up a machine that could be used to mind control the entire planet. Cool. There is also a giant pyramid which houses the mysterious machine complete with guardian old guy. So after the first episode, where their quest is explained by the creepy old guy who I immediately didn’t trust (because he blocked the TARDIS with a force field), the TARDIS crew sets off using “travel dials” (vortex manipulators?) to their first destination. And then the creepy old guy is seen attacked by one of the bad guys. So he was good after all!

Barbara had left before everyone else, and when the Doctor, Ian, and Susan arrive, they can’t find her. They are invited into a paradise-city and find Barbara living like a queen. Eventually they realize that the entire paradise is an illusion and find one of the Keys. Whee.

Thus it continues through the Forest Temple–er, I mean “screaming jungle” (Susan was doing more screaming than the jungle in that one, ugh) and the Ice Cavern–um, mountain caves. Although in the mountain caves episode Barbara is almost raped by a mountaineer. That was scary. But Ian saves the day! I always wonder how Ian manages to fight so well. I mean, he’s just a chemistry teacher! Maybe the TARDIS has some training programs. Or maybe Ian is secretly a ninja spy.

Eventually everyone ends up in another city, a real one this time. Ian is framed for murder and for stealing the last Key. The Doctor, in a display of awesomeness, manages to find the real murderer and earn everyone’s gratitude. The crew heads off with the final Key in hand.

Eager to get off the planet and get the force field lifted, the Doctor and Co. head back to the old guy’s pyramid to return the Keys. But, the old guy’s dead! He’s being impersonated by an evil dude! Ian suspects this and hands over all the keys, but replaces one of them with a fake one (oh, yeah, there was a fake key in the Forest Temple that was intended as a trap but ended up saving their butts in the end). Yeah, ever since seeing Ian take that fake Key from the Forest Temple I KNEW it would be used! There you go! The whole plot twist actually came off as cool rather than clichèd, though.

The mysterious machine explodes from the fake key, thus shutting off the power to the force field and killing all the bad guys. The TARDIS crew is free to leave, and they do! Where they end up next, nobody knows!

…OK, I do know. It’s back on Earth. Next time, the Doctor meets The Aztecs!

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