4th Doctor
The Deadly Assassin
Serial 4P

Philip Hinchcliffe

Script Editor
Robert Holmes

Roger Murray-Leach

Fight Arranger
Terry Walsh [3-4]

Written by Robert Holmes
Directed by David Maloney
Incidental Music by Dudley Simpson

Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Llewellyn Rees (The President) [1-2], Bernard Horsfall (Chancellor Goth), George Pravda (Castellan Spandrell), Angus McKay (Cardinal Borusa) [1-2,4], Peter Pratt (The Master), Hugh Walters (Commentator Runcible) [1-2], Erik Chitty (Co-ordinator Engin), Derek Seaton (Commander Hilred) [1,2,4], Maurice Quick (Gold Usher) [1]; John Dawson [1-2], Michael Bilton [1] (Time Lords); Peter Mayock (Solis) [3], Helen Blatch (Voice) [4]*.

* Also in Part 1, uncredited.

A mysterious evil is at work on Gallifrey. The President of the Time Lords has been assassinated and the Doctor caught red-handed. An inexorable master plan has been set in motion. There can be no escape.

In order to prove his innocence the Doctor must pursue his enemy into the Matrix, a dream-like repository of knowledge formed from the minds of dead Time Lords. However, he quickly discovers that in the Matrix the real assassin rules and behind this enemy lurks the even more deadlier menace of his old adversary - the Master.

Original Broadcast (UK)
Part One		      30th October, 1976		6h10pm - 6h35pm
Part Two		      6th November, 1976		6h05pm - 6h30pm
Part Three		      13th November, 1976		6h05pm - 6h30pm
Part Four		      20th November, 1976		6h05pm - 6h30pm
  • Released on video as a movie compilation in the U.S. and in episodic format in the U.K. [+/-]

    U.K. Release U.S. Release

    • U.K. Release: October 1991 / U.S. Release: March 19989
      PAL - BBC video BBCV4645
      NTSC - CBS/FOX video 3713
      NTSC - Warner Video E1161

      Released on video as an edited compilation in the U.S., but in episodic format in the U.K. (with complete end to Part 3 edited back in).

      In the U.K., a remastered version of the story was released by W.H.Smith as part of The Timelord Box Set [BBCV7346].

      This is the only instance of a Doctor Who video release initiated by BBC America (prior to the U.K. release of the title).

  • Novelised as Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin by Terrance Dicks. [+/-]

    Doctor Who Classics Edition W.H. Allen Edition

    • Hardcover Edition - W. H. Allen.
      First Edition: October 1977.
      ISBN: 0 85523 120 3.
      Cover by Mike Little.
      Price: £2.95.

    • Paperback Edition - W. H. Allen.
      First Edition: October 1977. Reprinted in 1979, 1980, 1982 and 1984.
      ISBN: 0 426 11965 7.
      Cover by Mike Little.
      Price: 60p.

    • Doctor Who Classics series
      Paperback Edition - W. H. Allen.
      [Includes The Seeds of Doom and The Deadly Assassin].
      First Edition: May 1989.
      ISBN: 0 352 32416 3.
      Cover by Mike Little.
      Price: £2.95.

    • USA, 1986 [Hardcover]. The Further Adventures of Doctor Who. Publisher: Nelson Doubleday. Cover by Dan Horne. It includes The Deadly Assassin, The Face of Evil and The Robots of Death.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Archive: Issue #187.
Part One
(drn: 21'13")

Mist swirls though an ancient building. Words scroll ominously up the screen as the Doctor intones:

"Through the millenia, the Timelords of Gallifrey led a life of peace and ordered calm, protected against all threats from lesser civilizations by their great power. But this was to change. Suddenly and terribly, the Time Lords faced the most dangerous crisis in their long history."

The Doctor is piloting the TARDIS home, having received a telepathic call to return after centuries of exile. Suddenly, he has a vision. He sees the Panopticon -- the Citadel of the Time Lords. As though in a nightmare, he struggles through a crowd. On a balcony above, he see a man in white holding a rifle. He cries out "No!" and then he is the man in the balcony. He fires and the blast hits a magnificently robed man standing in the center of the crowd, who crumples to the ground. The Doctor, overwhelmed by the vision, stumbles around the wood-pannelled console room and collapses.

Alarms ring out in a vast green building. An unauthorized capsule is landing in Sector 7. Red-and-white uniformed guards arrive as the TARDIS materializes.

Inside, the Doctor realizes he has landed in the Capitol itself -- he'll be in trouble now. He turns on the scanner to see a squad of guards. What a welcome home!

Hildred, the young commander of the guards, arrives with his gruff supervisor -- Castellan Spandrell. He tells the Castellan that the TARDIS is an obsolete type 40, which the Doctor takes offense at. But since it is unauthorized, Spandrell wants the occupants arrested. Hildred will need a cypher indent key to get in. Hildred asks if they should interrogate the occupants, but Spandrell demurs. Not on a Presidential Resignation Day, he says, which prompts the Doctor to remember his terrifying vision.

Spandrell goes to the computer archives and asks about any type 40's in service. He finally gets the computer to admit one is not accounted for in a matter relating to a malfeasance trial.

And older bent Time Lord -- Engin -- approaches the Castellan but he takes a moment to warn Hildred the TARDIS is occupied by a convicted criminal.

The Doctor sees the guards trying keys on the TARDIS. He must get past them and warn the President. He writes out a note, then digs through a satchel until he finds an old tobacco pipe. He dims the lights.

Hildred finally find the right key. They enter the smokey console room and see a coat-clad figure smoking. They tell him to freeze and close in. But they discover that the coat is only wrapped around a tall chair with an elaborately written note -- the Doctor has snuck out behind them. They quickly pursue. The Doctor comes upon a lift, but it opens to reveal a guard with his weapon drawn. However, just as the guard is about to march him away, the guard is shot from behind. A shadowy figure moves away as the Doctor calls out to it. But he has no time to pursue the figure. He sets the elevator to go to the top of the tower and jumps out before the doors close. Hildred's men sprint past him and find the body of the guard. When they see the lift has gone up, they decide to search every floor of the building.

Engin reads out a summary of the Doctor's trial. The tribunal chose to give a lenient sentence in that case -- banishing him to Earth. The sentence was subsequently removed on intercession by the Celestial Intervention Agency. Spandrell wonders if the Doctor is mixed up with this nefarious organization and sends Engin to get the Doctor's extract bio-log.

Hildred reports his failure and Spandrell congratulates him on letting a known criminal land in the capital and then elude him into a 53 story building. "A clever stratagem, Hildred," he jokes. "You're trying to confuse him, I take it?" Hildred promises to capture the Doctor but the Castellan advices him to make no rash commitments.

Hildred hands over the Doctor's note -- it is a warning that the President is in danger. The Doctor has signed it over the Prydonian Seal. Engin notes that the Doctor's bio-log is color-coded for the Prydonian chapter, meaning the Doctor has foresworn his birthright as a member of that noble chapter of Time Lords to warn them. Spandrell decides the matter should be referred to Chancellor Goth, leader of the Prydonians.

Watched by the shadowy figure, the Doctor sneaks backs into the TARDIS. "Predictable as ever, Doctor!" it gloats.

Spandrell speaks to a dignified orange-robed man -- Chancellor Goth. Spandrell is impressed that the Doctor has foresworn his Prydonian birthright to warn them. Spandrell thinks that the Doctor is a CIA agent and that the threat to the President is real. But Goth is skeptical. Why the note? Why kill him? Spandrell thinks he is trying to get them looking the wrong way because Prydonians are notoriously . . . devious, completes Goth. He then says that they simply see further than most. Spandrell wants to take more guards away from the resignation ceremony to search the tower. Goth reluctantly agrees but wants to see the old type 40 capsule.

The Doctor finds a news broadcast on the TARDIS scanner. A young man talks about the ceremony and show various Time Lord chapters arriving in colored robes in a vast ornate green hall accompanied by organ music. The question of the day, he notes, is who will the President name as his successor?

The Doctor recognizes the commentator as "Runcible the Fatuous". Runcible finds Borusa -- a proud Cardinal of the Prydonian chapter clad in a red robe. He asks the Cardinal to answer some questions but the aristocratic Borusa snubs him, saying he had plenty of time to ask questions at the Academy.

Runcible notes that Goth, a senior Prydonian, is the widely fancied candidates. The Doctor, bored, switches off the scanner and see Spandrell and Goth approaching. Goth inspects the TARDIS then suggests tranducting it to the museum in case the Doctor returns. A guard operates a control and the TARDIS moves to the old museum. The Doctor emerges and finds some golden robes on display.

In a dark sub-basement of the Capitol, two shadowy figures meet. The first says that the Doctor has acted as predicted and gotten into the Capitol. He doesn't need any further help. The second, the one seen earlier in the Capitol, gloats that the Doctor knows it it is a trap but can't resist the bait of preventing an assassination. His face is revealed -- a horrid wasted visage with huge bulging eyes. It says that the "quixotic fool" must die quickly.

Hildred reports that the Doctor is not in the tower; he must have doubled back. He and Spandrell go to the museum and trace the Doctor to a display, where the gold robes have been replaced with the Doctor's scarf and coat. Spandrell realizes that the Doctor can now get in to the Panopticon without a pass -- no one will stop a gold usher.

In a cloak room, two old men reminisce on the Time Lord past as they dress, one remembering a President who ruled for 900 years. As they talk, one man's robe is taken. He looks for it for a moment before the Doctor emerges to help him don a robe -- the gold one from the museum.

In a balcony of the Panopticon, a camera man films the gathering Time Lords. Someone approaches and he withdraws in horror as a cloaked figure attacks him. After a short struggle, the figure assembles a rifle.

Spandrell and Engin wonder what they can do to get the Time Lords to take the threat seriously. They pull the Doctor's bio-log and Spandrell notices there is no mica dust on ut. The old crimes besmirch the fingers and the clean bio-log means it has been scanned recently.

The figure in the balcony assembles the rifles and points it over the balcony. He finds the Doctor, now in a scarlet robe, and fixes him in the glowing triangular site. The figure cackles about the innocent coming to the slaughter.

The President is being prepared, an elaborate golden sash being draped on his shoulders. He holds up his honors list and tells his assistant that there are some surprises in it.

The Doctor wanders amongst the Time Lords. When he see the guards enter, he hurriedly begins speaking to Runcible. The newsman vaguely recognizes him and they chat awkwardly as the Doctor avoids the guards.

The organ music reaches a crescendo and the Doctor remembers his vision. He looks up and sees a rifle in the balcony. He rushes through the crowd of Time Lords, crying out, "Let me go! They'll kill him!". Guards hurry after.

Goth and the other members of the High Council enter as the Doctor arrives at the balcony. But no one is there. He looks down and sees a ramp emerge from the wall. The President descends, holding an ornate golden staff out to the crowd.

The Doctor looks down, grabs the rifle, puts it to his shoulder and fires. The President drops to the ground.

Part Two
(drn: 24'44")

The Doctor has returned to Gallifrey and penetrated the Panopticon to prevent the assassination of the President. As he looks down on the President's arrival, he sees a Time Lord in the crowd hold up a pistol. He takes aim with a rifle and fires at the assassin, but the President falls dead. Guards descend on the Doctor and Hildred knocks him out.

The Time Lords mill around in confusion as they try to comprehend the tragedy they have witnessed. The Doctor is dragged in by the guards and Spandrell orders him taken to detention.

Goth calls the Castellan over and tells him the President is dead. Goth insists they must have a trial immediately but Spandrell wants more time. Borusa supports him, saying a quick trial would be against their traditions of justice. Goth points out that they are in a crisis because the President did not name a successor. An election must be held within 48 hours and they need to have a trial and execution first to show the strength of their leadership.

The Doctor is placed in an elevated cage and tortured. Hildred tells him to confess and the Doctor agrees . . . to confess that Hildred is a bigger idiot than he thought. Hildred angrily turns up the torture device but Spandrell arrives and tells him to turn it off. He apologizes for the treatment but the Doctor chides him for using the "hot and cold" technique. Spandrell informs him that Goth has ordered an immediate trial. Spandrell wants to know what the Doctor's motive was and the Doctor asks why anyone would want to kill a retiring President. Spandrell suggests a personal grudge but is well-aware that the Doctor never met the President.

The Doctor asks the Castellan if he thinks he did it. Spandrell replies that he thinks he will be executed for it -- the vaporization chamber will be ready in three hours. The Doctor thinks this is monstrous -- vaporization without representation is against the Constitution, but Spandrell retorts that the Doctor is an embarrassment to the Time Lords. The Doctor argues that he's been framed, reminding Spandrell that he left a note for him. Spandrell asks how he knew the President would be killed and the Doctor tells him about his vision.

Spandrell shows a recording of the Doctor's words to Engin, who dismisses the idea of precognition. Spandrell, however, is beginning to believe the Doctor. He asks who has read the doctor's data extract -- very few have access to them and it would have been recorded. Engin insists that no-one has read the DE. Spandrell speculates that someone could have erased the record but Engin insists that only a genius could have done such a thing.

Borusa asks Goth to allow more time for the trial, but the Chancellor is opposed. No matter how much time passes, the facts won't change. Goth then points out that he might be elected President, although he seems unsure he would been selected by the assassinated leader. It is a tradition for a new President to pardon political prisoners. If they execute the Doctor quickly, he won't have to decide whether to break the tradition or pardon the assassin. Borusa reminds him that all Presidents face difficult decisions -- it is by their decisions that they are judged.

The trial begins. Testimony is taken from Hildred, Runcible and an elderly Time Lord. The Doctor sketches caricatures of the Time Lords as he listens to the damning testimony. Finally, Goth asks if he has anything to say in his defense. The Doctor stands up and pleads Article 17 -- he announces his candidacy for the Presidency. No candidates can be restrained from running for office. Goth tries to oppose him but Borusa points out that until the Doctor is pronounced guilty, Article 17 applies. Goth reluctantly concedes and tells Spandrell to keep a close guard on the Doctor before leaving angrily.

Spandrell tells the Doctor he has 48 hours to live, which the Doctor quips is better than three. He asks Spandrell if he can be persuaded of his innocence. Spandrell agrees to listen.

The two shadowy figures speak again, discussing the results of the trial. The emaciated man expresses his admiration for the Doctor and warns his associate that he will be hunted now. They conspirator objects that could have used anyone for this, but the emaciated figure insists they had to use the Doctor. Only hate keeps me alive, he says, raising a withered hand. He has to see the Doctor die in shame and disgrace while he destroys the Time Lords. Nothing else matters. Nothing.

The Doctor inspects the rifle. He then asks Spandrell to shoot a symbol at the end of a long corridor. Spandrell tries and misses -- the rifles sights are way off. The Doctor then explains that he was watching the President when he saw a member of the High Council pull a staser and step forward. He tried to shoot the assassin but didn't know the sites had been fixed.

Spandrell tells him it's a good story, but he needs evidence. The Doctor then remembers that he was standing right next to a television camera. Spandrell quickly tells Hildred to open the Panopticon and summon Runcible.

Spandrell goes to Goth to get permission to enter the Panopticon. Goth agrees and then angrily tells the Castellan that the Doctor is the only other candidate running for President, which exposes the office to ridicule. He will make sure to modify Article 17 to prevent this in the future.

The Doctor and Spandrell go to the Panoticon. A nervous Runcible explains that his technician would know more about the camera but Spandrell tells him the technician has disappeared. Runcible ascends to the balcony under the watchful gaze of the shadowy figure.

The Doctor and Spandrell work to find where the stray staser bolt would have gone. Hildred sees movement in the rafters, but Spandrell assures him it is just Runcible. Hildred then finds a scorch mark on the wall. Spandrells tells him the staser does minimal damage -- except to bodies.

Above, Runcible finally opens the camera. He looks in, screams in horror and faints. The others come up to the balcony as the cloaked figure strips several clear disks out of the camera. It runs off as the others arrive. Runcible wakes and tells them he's seen something horrible -- his technician in the camera.

They see a doll-like figure in the camera. The Doctor realizes that he has been killed by a Tissue Compression Eliminator -- a calling card of the Master. Spandrell is mystified and the Doctor explains that the Master is a fiendish Time Lord who glories in chaos and destruction. This explains why he was brought to Gallifrey -- the Master has old scores to settle and the body is a sort of greeting card.

Runcible is sent off to analyze the camera footage. Spandrell demands to know everything he can about the Master. He advises the Doctor to settle their feud elsewhere but the Doctor tells him he has no choice. Shortly after, Runcible returns, stabbed in the back. He falls to the floor.

Later, Spandrell storms around the computer room, appalled at four killing in one day. The Doctor tells him that this is merely flea-bitings. Things are going to get a lot worse. He suggests this will wake the Time Lords from their lethargy.

Engin reports that there is no record of the Master and the Doctor is unsurprised -- the Master would have long erased it. Engin insists that his is impossible but the Doctor shock Engin by telling him that their computers are prehistoric -- the Master could easily have erased the records.

The Doctor asks about one piece of computer machinery, which Engin explains is the Matrix -- a massive bio-electronic brain. When a Time Lord dies, their brain impulses are copied so that they can be added to the computer network and future events can be predicted by the accumulated wisdom. Unfortunately, it failed to predict the assassination.

The Doctor, however, realizes that it *did* make the prediction. The Master intercepted it and beamed it in the Doctor's mind, creating the vision. Engin insists this is impossible but the Doctor is sure -- that's the reason his DE was scanned -- they would need precise bio-data to project the image over such a long distance.

Engin is still skeptical that anyone could intercept a thought pattern in the Matrix. The Doctor explains that they could do it by joining the Matrix themselves. He realizes that he could go in and find where they intercepted the signal. Engin is opposed -- the shock of the merging could kill him. But the Doctor insists that he has no choice.

Engin extends a flat bench for the Doctor to lie on and connects an apparatus to his head. He flips a switch and the Doctor writhes in pain.

The Doctor plunges through a psychadelic tunnel and finds himself lying in a barren rock quarry. It is as though he has fallen nto a nightmare. He hears maniacal laughter ringing through the rocks. An alligator lungs at him and then vanishes. Soon after, he finds himself stumbling down a cliff. He managed to get a toehold and loop his scarf around a protruding branch. But a samurai warrior appears and slashes through the scarf, send him plunging.

In the computer room, the Doctor's face is covered with sweat from the mental strain. Engin sees a light go out and claims that the Doctor has died. But after moment, he comes back. The coordinator comments that he must have a phenomenal amount of artron energy. The two Time Lords wonder what is happening to him.

The Doctor wakes to find the sun glaring in his face, which is covered by a heavy gas mask. A surgeon, wielding a massive syringe, looms over him. The surgeon tells The Doctor that he was a fool to enter his opponent's domain. As he leans in, the Doctor pushes him away and rolls off the table. Bombs exploded around him as he runs away, encountering a man and a horse wearing gas masks.

Finally, he stumbles into a forest and hears a train. He looks down to see he is standing on a track, then sees two train cars in the distance, each manned by a masked figure. A switch flips and the track shifts, trapping his foot. The trains race toward him as he struggle to free his trapped boot.

Part Three
(drn: 24'20")

The Doctor rolls back and shields his eyes as the trains bear down on him. But they pass by with a rush of noise, leaving him unhurt. He realizes that everything around him is an illusion, a dream.

As he continues his search for the assassin, he steps in a big green egg, covering his leg with slime. He then defiantly shouts that he denies this reality -- the reality is the computation matrix. For a moment, the landscape wavers and he can see circuits. But then he is overwhelmed and falls to the ground.

The sun continues to blaze down and vultures circle overhead. Finally, the Doctor awakes. A pair of eyes emerges from the rock. A voice tells him that this is his world and the Doctor can not escape.

The Doctor paws at the ground, looking for water. Instead, he uncovers a mirror. A clown appears in it and laughs at him as he covers it back up.

He continues to stumble through the dreamscape but hears a droning sound. A biplane descends through the clouds and makes a strafing run. The Doctor evades, but the pilot pursues, laughing as a bullet rips through the Doctor's thigh.

The Doctor inspects the wound and once again denies the reality around him. For a moment, the wound fades. But the voice of his enemy returns, telling the Doctor that he is trapped and the enemy's reality rules. The blood reappears. The Doctor finally agrees to fight his enemy in his reality. The voice gloats that it will be a pleasure to destroy him.

Engin continues to monitor the Doctor. His blood sugar and adrenalin are up -- as though he is fighting for his life. The coordinator realizes he is fighting another mind in the Matrix.

In the dark depths of the citadel, the mutilated Master looms over a helmeted figure on couch, monitoring his progress. A silent guard sits in one corner. The Master activates a switch and sees images on the helmet. He warns his associate that the Doctor is never more dangerous than when the odds are against him.

A masked man in a safari outfit prowls through the dreamscape. He is pursuing the Doctor, who is stumbling and staggering around. He raises the rifle and fires at the Doctor. The Doctor flees over a hill only to find himself facing the Hunter again, who fires and misses. The Doctor sinks back down into a gully and crawls behind some bushes, in front an enormous spider in web.

The Hunter reloads his rifle and continues his search while the massive spider circles around the Doctor. The Hunter, watched by the hidden Doctor, raises his mask enough to drink from a canteen. He consults a map, realizing the Doctor will need water. He leaves his pack and hurries off into the woods.

The Doctor breaks cover and rummages through the pack. He finds grenades and wires and begins to work.

The Hunter finds a small pond, opens a vial and pours a sickly green liquid into the water. The Doctor spots him returning and hides again, wondering what he's been up to.

As the hunter returns, he trips over a wire, setting off a grenade. The Doctor hears the explosion but knows the Hunter hasn't been killed. If he had been, the nightmare would have ended.

The Hunter is wounded and drags himself back to his pack. He congratulates the Doctor on a good try.

The Master raves about his foolishness. He realizes the fight is taking a great deal out of his accomplice. He goes the Chancellery guard and gives him instructions.

The Doctor finds the pond but is suspicious. He searches the area and finds the vial. He then hollows out a reed.

The Hunter patches his wounds up, slings his rifle back on his shoulder and marches after the Doctor again.

The Doctor digs a hole near the pond and drinks clean water from it through the reed. He then hurries away as he hears the Hunter return. The Hunter taunts that the Doctor has better start running. The Docttor does, but runs into a thorny bush. He quickly breaks the thorns off, climbs into a tree, dips the thorns in the poisonous vial and loads them in the reed. When he sees the Hunter approach, he fires a poison dart in his thigh.

The Hunter fires back, hitting the Doctor in the arm and sending him crashing to the ground. As the Doctor flees, the Hunter rips open his pants and jabs an antidote into his thigh.

The guard the Master has sent arrives in the archives. He is from the Chancellor's personal guard and wants the Doctor brought. Engin and Spandrell tell him to wait. They talk about the Doctor being on the point of collapse as the guard eyes off a large purple knob.

The Doctor is fading fast but forces himself to keep going. He reaches a murky gas-filled swamp.

Engin explains to Spandrell that the Doctor is trapped in a virtual world. But his opponent is using energy to maintain the world, which might give the Doctor an advantage. Spandrell spots the guard reaching for the purple knob and shoves him back. The Guards get up and lunges desperately at the knob, but Spandrell guns him down.

The Doctor struggles through the misty swamp. The Master urges his accomplice to kill him.

The Hunter calls out the Doctor and tells him to give up -- he can't win. The Doctor replies that he'll give up if the Hunter reveals himself. The Hunter rips off the mask to reveal Chancellor Goth. The Doctor moves a branch and Goth fires at the movement. But the flash of his rifle ignites the swamp gas. A flames engulf him, the Doctor closes in for a final struggle.

Goth emerges from the water and the two Time Lords engage in a long brutal struggle. But Goth slowly gains the upper hand and forcing the Doctor's head underwater.

Part Four
(drn: 24'30")

Goth, thinking the Doctor drowned, lets go of him and stands. But the Doctor has not died. He drags himself up, finds a thick branch and slams it into Goth's back. Goth crumples to the ground as the dreamscape vanishes.

The Master lifts the mask off of Goth's face, calling the Time Lord a weak failure. He has only one chance to trap the Doctor. Goth begs to be disconnected first, but the Master activates a control anyway. Flames burns through Goth's writhing body.

Above, Engin sees the circuits begin to smoke and wants to cut the power. But Spandrell stops him -- the brain patterns are not alive, but the Doctor might be. The Doctor vanishes from the nightmare world and wakes in the control room. Spandrell quickly cuts the power.

The Master is furious when he sees the Doctor has escaped again. Goth, horribly burned, laments that he believed in the Master.

The Doctor tells them that Goth was working with the Master. Spandrell realizes this is why Goth wanted a fast trial and the Doctor adds that it was Goth who ordered his TARDIS put in the museum knowing he was still inside. They need to trace the link before Goth recovers.

The find the Master's lair but find only his emaciated body, apparently having given up his life. Goth is horribly burned and barely alive. He tells them that he met the Master on Tersurus where the renegade was dying. He agreed to help the Master because he wanted power -- the President had already told him he would not be his successor. The Doctor asks him what the Master had planned, but Goth dies before he can speak any more.

Spandrell tells Borusa about the events. Borusa thinks the story unacceptable -- they will have to adjust the truth to maintain confidence in the Time Lord leadership. He decides that the Master came to Gallifrey secretly. He was tracked down by Goth but they both died in the exchange of fire. They will forget the Doctor's role provided he leaves immediately -- after helping Engin compile a new bio-log of the Master. The Doctor laments his old teacher's favorite saying, "Only in mathematics will we find truth."

Hildred explores the Master's hideout and finds a syringe.

The Doctor talks to Engin, reminiscing about the Master and his abilities. But the more he thinks about it, the less he thinks it possible that the Master would meekly accept the end of his life. He wonders what his plan was but Engin assures him that after 12 regenerations, nothing can stave off death.

The Doctor wonders why Goth becoming President was so important. Engin explains that it is largely a ceremonial post involving the high symbols -- the Sash of Rassilon and the Great Key. The Doctor asks for more info about them, thinking he's on to something because he can feel his hair curling.

Spandrell briefs Hildred on his role in the cover-up. He jokes that Hildred should have no problem shooting the Master since he's already dead. Hildred gives him the syringe found in the Master's dungeon.

The Doctor listens to a tape of Gallifreyan history. It tells of Rassilon going into a great void -- a black hole -- protected by the Sash. There, he found the Eye of Harmony which keeps everything in balance. He brought it to Gallifrey and sealed it there with the Great Key. Engin tells the Doctor that the President is still wearing the Sash while the Key is in the panopticon.

The Doctor realizes what the Master had planned and marvels that he would have destroyed everything for the sake of his survival. Before he can explain, Spandrell arrives. He shows him the syringe and speculates the Master killed himself. The Doctor smells the needle and realizes it contains a neural inhibitor -- the Master is still alive!

Hildred moves through the morgue, passing the bodies of the President, Runcible and the guard. He stands over the Master and draws his staser. But before he can fire, the Master sits up and grabs him.

The Doctor and his allies hurry to the crypt but they are too late. The Master has vanished and all that is left of Hildred is a shrunken corpse. The Master then appears behind them. He orders Engin to bring him the Sash, over the Doctor's strenuous objections.

The Master shoots Spandrell. He tells the Doctor he wanted him to die in disgrace, then shoots him. Engin removes the Sash from the President's body and hands it over. The Master explains that the other two are just stunned -- they will live long enough for the planet to be destroyed and the Doctor to taste his defeat. He locks the door as he leaves.

The Doctor wakes and Engin tells him he gave the Sash to the Master. The Doctor explains that the Sash protects its wearer near a black hole. All the Master needs now is the Key to unlock the Eye of Harmony -- the nucleus of a black hole which provides the Time Lords with all their power. If its is released, the Sash will protect the Master and provide enough power for him to regenerate. But it will destroy Gallifrey.

The Master smashes open a display in the Panopticon and pulls out a long rod. He opens an aperture in the floor and inserts the Great Key. A door opens and a bright light shines onto the Master. From it emerges an ominous black monolith -- Rassilon's Star, the Eye of Harmony!

The Doctor finds a service shaft and begins to climb upward into the Panopticon.

The Master puts on the Sash and begins to remove the complex equipment stabilizing the Eye. As he does, the Panopticon begins to shake. Another restraint is removed and rubble begins to fall. The glorious citadel of the Time Lords, having stood for millenia, is crumbling around him. The Master embraces the onyx stone and gloats that he will now be Master of all matter.

The Doctor emerges from the shaft and the Master boasts he is just in time to see the end. He begins to struggle with the last restrain but the Doctor shouts that he will die if he releases it. The Sash was damaged when the President was shot. The Master calls him a liar but looks down, giving the Doctor a chance to attack, knocking the emaciated Master away. The Doctor restores the restraints. The Master tries to stop him, but even the power of the Eye is not enough to help his wasted frame overcome his nemesis. He finally falls to the floor and plunges through a massive fissure that has opened in the floor of the Panopticon.

The Doctor reattaches the last restraint and the Citadel stops shaking. He has saved Gallifrey.

Later, Borusa runs his hands through the debris. Half the city has been ruined and many lives lost. Engin tells him it would have been far worse had it not been for the Doctor. Borusa has no idea what to tell the the public and the Doctor suggests they adjust the truth again -- perhaps it was subsidence caused by a plague of mice. Borusa angrily dismisses him. But before the Doctor leaves, his old teacher tells him he has earned "nine out of ten". He favors his old student with a small affectionate smile as the Doctor leaves.

Engin asks if the Doctor would like to stay, but the Doctor tells the Coordinator that he likes it out there in the cosmos. He then says he's not so sure the Master was destroyed -- he didn't actually see him fall and there was an awful lot of power flowing out of the monolith. He boards the TARDIS and, with a last farewell, takes off.

As the two old Time Lords watch, they hear a sound and turn to see the Master vanishing into a small grandfather clock. Spandrell wonders if the Universe will be big enough for the two of them. The Master's face appears on the surface of the clock as his laughter rings out over the sound of his TARDIS taking off -- out into the Universe to match wits with his old enemy once more.

Source: Michael H. Siegel.

Continuity Notes:
  • Although unmentioned by name, the Eye of Harmony was discussed by Omega and the Third Doctor in The Three Doctors.
  • In Blood Harvest, the Doctor deals with a phoney Gallifreyan security council called the Committee of Three, composed of Time Lords whose careers were wrecked by the Doctor's meddling, led by Goth's younger brother Rath.
  • Exactly why the Doctor was expelled from the Academy is revealed in the Fifth Doctor's flashback in Divided Loyalties.
  • Although the Master returns in his decaying form in The Keeper of Traken, one theory is that his exposure to the Eye of Harmony re-vitalized him and prevented his body from disintegrating completely. As such, the Master is visibly regenerating when he is seen just prior to his TARDIS dematerialising. This explains why the Master's corpus on his next appearance was noticeably less putrescent than it appeared to be on Gallifrey.
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