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Doctor's Dilemma

By Jon Preddle

Jon Preddle, from Auckland, here is two minutes of questions on...

DOCTOR'S DILEMMA

This is the name, concocted by Paul Scoones, for our new column, similar to DWM's Matrix Data Bank, where NZ's resident Doctor Who Mastermind, Jon Preddle, tries to answer your questions on Doctor Who and anything else you care to put to him! Other column name suggestions include 'The Source' (Nigel Flockhart), 'Matrix Mastermind' (Paul Scoones) and 'Mastermind Mutterings' (Andrew Poulsen). We were going to offer a copy of Doctorin' the Tardis to the winner, however, I believe Paul already has one, so we'll find something else.

I would like to thank Nigel Flockhart for the first four questions of this new column.

He asks when does the scene, as shown on the photographic cover of the Target book Earthshock, take place as he does not recall seeing it on the programme and it doesn't appear in the book itself.

If you take a look at page 86 of the book, count 11 lines down: "the Doctor seized the laser from Ringway's limp hand." then a further 8 lines down: "several shadows suddenly fell across the landing just outside the bridge." It is here that the Doctor swings around, drops to his knee and aims the laser at the door, when: "With a gigantic crash two heavy shutters slid down..." One must assume that Ian Marter deleted this small scene because it is against the Doctor's nature to use a weapon?

Nigel's next question concerns State of Decay; where did all the villagers come from if the Three Who Rule were the only ones on Hydrax?

The Three Who Rule had been there for thousands of years. Just how many is unknown. One must therefore take it that the villagers are the planet's native lifeform, who have been influenced by the vampires.

His third question involves Adric: "why would Adric want to go home to Alzarius if the Starliner wouldn't be there any more?

Ah, trick question! In Earthshock Adric clearly states that he wants to go home to Terradon. Ok, so he has never been there before, it can't really be 'home' then, can it!?

Nigel's final question has really got me stumped. He asks: if the Mutts on Solos were savage monsters, how come later in The Brain of Morbius they appear as an intelligent race that has discovered space travel?

Yes, well I thought this one over a lot, and I can honestly say - I don't know! A lot of factors in both stories contradict one another. We learned in The Mutants that the planet Solos took 2000 Earth years to orbit its sun, the seasons therefore being 500 years long each. The humanoid lifeform then underwent a metamorphosis in order to survive the next season. The Mutant insectoid was only the mid stage between the Spring and Summer Solonian life. The Mutants took place in the 30th Century (Earth time). This cycle had obviously been occurring over and over for thousands of years. So, to place The Brain of Morbius 2000 years prior to The Mutants is impossible because Solon was an Earth scientist, and space travel and medical science were unheard of in 990AD! So, to place The Brain of Morbius 2000 years after is again illogical because the legends of the Cult of Morbius were from the Doctor's past - the brain would have had to have been lying around for thousands of years before Solon got his hands on it! I only have two other theories, firstly, Christopher Barry directed both stories, and may have some fascinating answer for our problem. The only other explanation is that in order to save a few dollars, the production team used an old prop, and Ohica's reference to the "cruiser of the Mutt races" was just her using slang to describe the creature. Does any other reader have any theories regarding this?

I would also like to thank Neil Lambess from Whangarei, who has given me an alternative theory as to how the dinosaurs died out: As we know, Adric was a fast healer. He didn't die in the explosion of the Freighter - his body parts simply healed themselves together. The dinosaurs died because He Ate Them All!

Seen on numberplates around Auckland: DRWHO, TARD1S

In DWM 136 (p20), Louise Jameson is too embarrassed to give the name of the horror film she was in. Well, it was Disciple of Death. It was made in 1972 and directed by New Zealander Tom Parkinson (he co-wrote and produced it).

This item appeared in TSV 9 (October 1988).

Index nodes: Doctor's Dilemma, Earthshock, State of Decay, The Brain of Morbius