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Doctor's Dilemma

By Jon Preddle

Three questions have been received from James Gould of Belmont, Lower Hutt.

In The Ice Warriors, how does the removal of plants and trees cause less carbon dioxide when it should be more?

Obviously it doesn't, so I would think that this is merely a goof on the part of the writer, Brian Hayles, or the script editor. Or it might even be Patrick Troughton uncharacteristically fluffing his lines. Sorry, but I cannot come up with a workable theory to explain this.

In The Ice Warriors, how can the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria get out of the upturned TARDIS when the door should be on the roof (if you get what I mean)?

When the TARDIS materialises it is already on its side (the Doctor calls it “a blind landing”), and the three climb out of the doors which are now on ‘top’. There are only a few instances in the series in which the TARDIS has been tipped onto its side, and from which the Doctor or his friends must have disembarked while it was at that angle: The Romans, Castrovalva and Time-Flight. It is clear from many stories that the interior of the TARDIS is directly aligned with the exterior (although in some stories, such as The Time Monster, The Robots of Death, Logopolis and Frontios, it appears that the interior and exterior aspects of the ship are separate and exist in entirely different dimensions), so when the exterior is knocked askew, the interior is likewise affected - a good example being in the cliff-hanger between The Rescue and The Romans. Of course this doesn't explain why the occupants of the ship are not splattered all over the walls of the control room when we see the TARDIS spinning whilst in normal flight!

In Castrovalva, when the TARDIS lands at a 45-degree angle, the entire interior of the ship is also slanted. Interestingly, the same thing happens to the Master's TARDIS in Planet of Fire - when it tips over so does the console room.

The best answer to James's question is actually given to us in Time-Flight: when the TARDIS is stored on its side in the Concorde hold, the Doctor has to ease himself into the ship by sliding down the now-vertical floor so he can activate a control on the console which then rotates the control room (and presumably the rest of the ship's interior) by 90 degrees, enabling Nyssa and Tegan to enter via the main doors the right way up. Nyssa even says she wished she knew about that control when they were on Castrovalva. The fact that the Doctor has to activate it manually suggests that this is not an automatic function. We can assume that this manual control can only be used after the ship has landed and is not required during flight, hence any potential problem with inertia caused by the spinning Police Box is negated.

So, in terms of the scene in question from The Ice Warriors, the passengers have either climbed up the now-vertical control room floor to get to the doors which are in the ‘ceiling’, or the Doctor has activated the attitude switch enabling them to ‘walk’ out in the normal manner.

In Kinda, what happens to Roberts and the other two missing colonists?

Roberts was last seen by the other colonists leaving the dome in the TSS machine, which is later found by the Doctor and Adric abandoned and empty. When Sanders later goes out in the machine he encounters Panna and Karuna, who expose him to the Box of Jhana which drives Sanders mad. We can assume therefore that the same thing happened to Roberts and the other two (they are named Carter and Stone in Terrance Dicks's novelisation), and they all vanished into the forest. Alternatively, they could have fallen asleep beneath the wind-chimes and encountered the Mara in the same way as Tegan. It appears that the three figures that Tegan encounters in her dream are simply representations of the Doctor, Adric and Nyssa, but it could also be that the figures themselves are the three missing crew members, now prisoners in the Dark Places of the Inside, and possessed by the Mara...

This item appeared in TSV 57 (July 1999).

Index nodes: Doctor's Dilemma, The Ice Warriors, Kinda