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Doctor's Dilemma

By Jon Preddle

At the end of Earthshock, when the freighter comes out of warp propulsion mode, Briggs, Scott, Berger and a trooper evacuate the ship in an escape pod - and are never seen or heard of again. So what happens to them - or they are floating around space in a spacecraft sixty-five million years B.C.? [Brad Schmidt]

The answer is actually given in the next story. In the opening TARDIS scene of Time-Flight, the Doctor enters the TARDIS and says to Tegan and Nyssa: "Crew of the freighter safely returned to their own time". So, in the off-screen link between Earthshock and Time-Flight the Doctor rescued Briggs, Scott and Berger from the escape pod and then piloted the TARDIS back to their own time of AD 2526. The opening TARDIS scene of Time-Flight picks up with the Doctor having just said his goodbyes to the survivors.

In Planet of Fire, how did the Trion data core get into the Greek shipwreck? [Paul Scoones]

We can assume that Turlough was originally brought to Earth in a Trion prison ship. It is possible that on its final approach to England, the ship passed over Lanzarote, and somehow the beacon was ejected overboard. (Possibly this was Turlough's doing, in an unsuccessful attempt to gain control of the ship, hence his apparent 'shock' on seeing it?) It fell into the sea and came to rest in the sunken wreck of the Greek trading ship.

Alternatively, the Trion agent, the one who poses as Turlough's mysterious solicitor in Chancery Lane, had the beacon with him during a vacation to the island and he lost it while swimming...

It is never actually explained what the purpose of the Trion data core is. Kamelion piloted the TARDIS to Lanzarote close to the beacon soon after the Master had his accident with the TCE. It is possible that the Master, not knowing where the planet Sarn was located, instructed Kamelion to seek out any Trion-based signals. It was while the TARDIS was still in London, during Resurrection of the Daleks, that Kamelion detected a Trion signal operating on Earth and later programmed the TARDIS to fly close to the source.

Please explain how Doctor Who and the Silurians can be called 'Doctor Who and the Silurians' considering that both names are meaningless [Jamas Enright].

Hmmm. Perhaps the comma is missing, and it should be Doctor, WHO and the Silurians. With the story set around Wenley Moor W.H.O. could stand for Wenley Heath Operations. Now that makes sense doesn't it? What do you mean 'No'?

And don't forget, episode 5 of The Chase was subtitled The Death of Doctor Who. Considering that the only thing that died in that instalment was the Daleks' robot of the Doctor, perhaps there was a Dalek robot of the Doctor lurking about in the caves beneath Wenley moor in Doctor Who and the Silurians... Or is that stretching it a bit?

Of course, we could just put this down as one of several Doctor Who story titles that have no relevance to the storyline: I mean, they aren't actually called the Silurians, are they? And look at Galaxy 4 (the aliens come from Galaxy 4, but the doomed planet is in a totally different galaxy); Death to the Daleks (yes, several Daleks do get destroyed, but that's true of pretty much every Dalek story); Planet of Evil (but there's nothing wrong with the planet itself); Pyramids of Mars (there's only one pyramid); City of Death (come again?); Vengeance on Varos (um, whose vengeance?); Remembrance of the Daleks (who could forget them?).

This item appeared in TSV 53 (March 1998).

Index nodes: Doctor's Dilemma, Earthshock, Planet of Fire, Doctor Who and the Silurians