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Logopolis (TV story)

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Logopolis
Log3
Novelised as: Logopolis
Doctor: Fourth Doctor
Companion(s): Adric, Nyssa, Tegan
Main enemy: The Master
Main setting: Logopolis and the Pharos Project, Sussex, 1981
Key crew
Writer: Christopher H. Bidmead
Director: Peter Grimwade
Producer: John Nathan-Turner
Release details
Story number: 115
Number of episodes: 4
Season/series: Season 18
Premiere broadcast: 28 February - 21 March 1981
Premiere network: BBC1
Format: 4x25-minute episodes
Production code: 5V
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Doctor Who television stories
The Keeper of Traken Castrovalva
Production order
The Keeper of Traken Four to Doomsday
Memorable moment
The Doctor Meets Tegan - Doctor Who - Logopolis - BBC01:27

The Doctor Meets Tegan - Doctor Who - Logopolis - BBC

Another memorable moment
Fourth Doctor regenerates - Tom Baker to Peter Davison - BBC00:21

Fourth Doctor regenerates - Tom Baker to Peter Davison - BBC

Logopolis was the seventh and final story of Season 18 of Doctor Who. It was Tom Baker's last story as the Fourth Doctor and introduced Peter Davison in the role as the Fifth Doctor, at the very end of the story. It also introduced an interim version of the Doctor known as The Watcher, whose sudden presence foreshadowed the regeneration of the Doctor. What triggered the Watcher's creation, however, was not fully explained.

Logopolis also marked the first appearance of Janet Fielding as new companion Tegan Jovanka. After being introduced in the previous serial, Nyssa, played by Sarah Sutton, began her travels with the Doctor here. It additionally introduced a recurring element in the TARDIS' Cloister Bell. This was also Anthony Ainley's first full story as the Master.

Synopsis

The Doctor goes to Logopolis to repair the TARDIS' chameleon circuit, not knowing that a shadowy watcher is spying on him.

His old enemy the Master has plans of his own for the planet of mathematicians, Logopolis, and a plan that could spell doom for the entire universe.

The Master's plan could rock Logopolis, the keystone of all life. Could this mean the unravelling of the causal nexus and the end of the universe itself?

The Doctor must pit his wits against the Master in a desperate battle to thwart his plans. But he is aware that this might be a fight which could easily spell the end of his life.

Plot

Part one

A policeman is talking from the telephone of a police box, as the Master's TARDIS materialises around it in disguise. Suddenly, the phone goes dead, a hand drags him inside and there is an evil chuckle. Meanwhile, the Fourth Doctor is pacing around the TARDIS Cloister Room, pondering decay and entropy. As he and Adric prepare to leave, the large bell in the centre of the room begins to ring. This worries the Doctor. The sound of the Cloister Bell is a sign of impending universal catastrophe.

Adricontaerdis

The Doctor and Adric with the police box

To divert himself, the Doctor decides to repair the TARDIS' chameleon circuit, which has frozen it into the shape of a police box. To do this, he intends to materialise the TARDIS around a real police box, and then obtain its precise measurements in twenty-seven dimensions. With these measurements, he will have the inhabitants of the planet Logopolis produce a mathematical calculation — a Block Transfer Computation — to reset the circuit. However, the "police box" he materialises around is actually the TARDIS of the Master, who has survived their encounter on the planet Traken. When the Doctor materialises around the Master's TARDIS, a recursive loop of TARDISes within TARDISes is formed.

He's watching you

The Watcher - but what does he represent?

Meanwhile, an airline stewardess, Tegan Jovanka, is being driven to the airport by her Aunt Vanessa. The car breaks down and Tegan decides to go to the "police box" for help, but finds herself lost in the TARDIS instead. The Doctor and Adric enter another police box in a duplicate TARDIS. The Doctor, telling Adric to wait behind, finds himself outside the box. He meets policemen, who find the shrunken, dead bodies of Tegan's aunt and the earlier policeman. The Doctor realises that the Master has escaped from the planet Traken and must be somewhere nearby.

Part two

Logopolis part2

Tegan lost in the TARDIS

The police think the Doctor has caused the incident, but Adric creates a distraction. This allows the Doctor to escape. In the distance, a mysterious, white-clad stranger watches the proceedings. Realising that the shrunken bodies are the trademark of the Master, the Doctor decides to materialise the TARDIS underwater, to literally flush him out. The Doctor misses the River Thames, however, and lands on a boat instead. The mysterious stranger appears here too. He beckons to the Doctor, telling him to go to Logopolis.

As the TARDIS arrives at Logopolis, Tegan finds her way to the control room, annoyed. She asks where her aunt is. The Doctor, realising that Tegan's aunt was the dead woman in the car, evades the question. Once they exit the TARDIS, the Doctor asks the Logopolitan leader, the Monitor, for his help. The Logopolitans are able to model reality by pure mathematics and whatever they calculate can take physical form. Since block transfer computations cannot be calculated by machines or computers, the Logopolitans speak aloud a line of calculations and pass the results on.

Unknown to the group, the Master has arrived on Logopolis and killed several Logopolitans. This disrupts the calculations for the TARDIS. When the Logopolitans produce the requested computation, the Doctor tries it on the TARDIS. It shrinks to half its normal size and causes strange effects inside the ship.

Part three

Logopolis3

"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before...!"

The Logopolitans try to stabilise the TARDIS. They use sonic projectors to produce a stasis field while the Monitor and Adric attempt to uncover the fault. Meanwhile, Nyssa has been brought from Traken by the Watcher, the mysterious white figure the Doctor spoke with. She is searching for her father. The Monitor and Adric work through the city and discover the shrunken bodies of three Logopolitans. Fixing the error this has caused, they bring the new computation to the TARDIS. Tegan holds the notes up to the TARDIS so the Doctor can read them through the scanner and correct the fault. The Doctor emerges from the restored TARDIS and tells Tegan that her aunt is dead. Meanwhile, Nyssa finds the Master, whom she believes is her
Logopolis title

Nyssa discovers the Master killed her father, Tremas

father as he is inhabiting Tremas's body. The Master gives her a bracelet; it is actually a device which will allow him to control her actions.

The Master attaches a device to the sonic projectors and sets up a counterwave that brings silence to the Central Registry, preventing the Registers from making their calculations. He goes to the Registry's control room (a replica of the Pharos Project on Earth, a radio telescope tasked to seek out signs of extraterrestrial life). He demands the Monitor tell him the true purpose of Logopolis. The Doctor arrives with Adric and Nyssa. Adric deactivates the Master's device, only for the Master to have Nyssa attempt to throttle him. Tegan restores the device and the Master repeats his demand. The Monitor warns the Master that bringing Logopolis to a halt will cause universal disaster, but the Master replies that it is only a temporary effect. He attempts to demonstrate this assertion by deactivating the suppression device.

The silence persists. The calculations do not resume. They go outside, and find all the Logopolitans dead, crumbling to dust, and the city collapsing. The Master thinks this is a trick and tries to have Nyssa strangle the Monitor, but the control device ceases to function. He tries to increase the device's power, but it falls apart as local decay increases. The Monitor explains the situation: the universe has long ago passed the point of heat death. To stave off final collapse, the Logopolitans have been modelling temporary Charged Vacuum Emboitments, like the one through which the TARDIS was previously transported into E-Space. The excess entropy generated by the universe had been passing through the CVEs to other universes. The Master's interference has closed the CVEs and the universe is now dying at last. The Doctor realises he has no choice. To save the universe, he has to work with the Master. He orders his companions into the TARDIS. When they argue about him working with the Master, the Doctor points out that he never chose to travel with any of them; Adric came aboard as a stowaway, Tegan's curiosity brought her into the Doctor's life and Nyssa came to him asking for help finding her father. With that, the three return to the TARDIS. The Master holds out his hand to the Doctor on their agreement to work together. "One last hope," says the Doctor and they shake hands.

Part four

Adric, Nyssa and Tegan enter the TARDIS. The Doctor has the Watcher take it out of space/time. However, Tegan refuses to cooperate and follows the Doctor, Master and Monitor back to the Logopolis control room. The Monitor reveals that they had been completing a program to make the CVEs permanent. He prepares to use it on one of the surviving CVEs, but entropy takes hold of him. He disintegrates before their eyes. The Doctor dismantles the computer and realises the program is stored in bubble memory that they can use with the real Pharos Project. The Doctor, Master and Tegan escape from Logopolis in the Master's TARDIS.

Adric and Nyssa watch helplessly in the Doctor's TARDIS as a portion of the universe is wiped out by encroaching entropy — including Traken. On Earth, the two Time Lords reconfigure the Logopolitan program and feed it into the Project's computers, but the Master points out that the transmitter is pointed away from the last surviving CVE. After speaking with the Watcher, Adric brings the Doctor's TARDIS to Earth as the Doctor and the Master run to realign the dish. The Doctor's companions distract the guards and the two Time Lords go to the dish's control room, hooking up a light speed overdrive from the Master's TARDIS to ensure the signal gets to the CVE in time. On transmission of the program, the CVE begins stabilising.

Logopolis part4

The final moments of the Fourth Doctor.

The Master's co-operation with the Doctor has been a ploy, however. Holding the Doctor at gunpoint with his Tissue Compression Eliminator, he transmits a message to the peoples of the universe, saying that if they do not acknowledge his rule, he will send a signal to close the CVE and restart the collapse. The Doctor climbs onto the radio telescope's gantry to disconnect the power cable and the Master tries to prevent him by tilting the dish. The Doctor disconnects the cable, but falls off the tilted gantry. As he hangs onto the disconnected cable, visions of old enemies mock him: the decaying Master, a Dalek, the Captain, the Cyber-Leader, Davros, a Sontaran, a Zygon and the Black Guardian. Losing his grip, the Doctor plunges to the ground. The Master enters his own TARDIS, dematerialising before the Pharos Project guards reach the control room.

Fourth-doctor-regenerating

The fourth incarnation regenerates.

The Doctor's companions run to where he has fallen. Dying, the Doctor sees visions of the companions that have accompanied his current incarnation on his travels: Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Leela, K9 and Romana's first and second incarnations. Smiling, he says, "It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for." They turn to see the Watcher approach. He merges with the Doctor. Nyssa realises that the Watcher was the Doctor all the time. As the companions look on, the Fourth Doctor regenerates into a new, younger body — the Fifth Doctor, beaming with a delighted grin. He then sits up.

Cast

Production Crew

References

Astronomical objects

  • The entropy field caused by the destruction of Logopolis also destroys a portion of the universe; Traken and Mettula Orionsis (Traken's star) are mentioned.
  • The Doctor's transmission of the Logopolis program saves the rest of the Universe, starting with the constellation of Cassiopeia.

Cultural references from real world

The Doctor

Individuals

  • The Doctor taught Adric to read Earth numbers.
  • The Watcher brought Nyssa to Logopolis.
  • The Master had temporarily taken the powers of the Keeper of Traken. This assisted him in possessing the body of Tremas.

Locations

  • The Doctor wants to materialise the TARDIS underwater, in the Thames, but the TARDIS lands on a ship near the banks.

Species

TARDIS

  • The Doctor and Adric walk around the TARDIS cloisters.
  • The Cloister Bell is described as "a sort of communication device reserved for wild catastrophes and sudden calls to man the battle stations".
  • The Doctor states that the TARDIS was in Gallifrey for repairs when he "borrowed" her, saying, "There were rather pressing reasons at the time".
  • Just before the Master's TARDIS materialises into the Doctor's one, Adric and the Fourth Doctor guess a gravity bubble is responsible for the instrumentation failure of the TARDIS.
  • There are references to the TARDIS' faulty chameleon circuit and a demonstration of how it could function if properly working.
  • After picking up Adric and Nyssa, the Watcher disconnects "the entire co-ordinate sub-system" of the Doctor's TARDIS, which takes it "out of time and space".
  • The Master's TARDIS disguises itself as a police box, a tree and a Doric column at various times.
  • The Master suggests, "We reconfigure our two TARDISes into time cone inverters... We create a stable safe zone by applying temporal inversion isometry to as much of space/time as we can isolate.".
  • Adric proves to be able to break into the Doctor's and the Master's TARDISes.
  • Through the Architectural Configuration, the Doctor jettisons Romana's room.

Technology

  • On Logopolis, sonic projectors are said to "create a temporary zone of stasis". The mathematics of block transfer computation is a way of modelling space/time events through pure calculation.
    • The Master employs a device that emits a sound-cancelling wave and makes Logopolis silent and temporarily suspended.
  • The Central Registry on Logopolis is a duplicate of the Pharos Project on Earth.
  • The Master uses an electro-muscular constrictor to take control over Nyssa's hand.

Story notes

  • This story was the last to feature Tom Baker as "the current" Doctor. He would reprise his role in recorded links for the video release of the incomplete Shada in 1992, on the Children in Need special Dimensions in Time in 1993, for the video game Destiny of the Doctors in 1997, for the BBC Audio story arcs Hornets' Nest in 2009, Demon Quest in 2010 and the fiftieth anniversary special The Day of the Doctor. Tom Baker holds the record for having the longest tenure (seven years) as the Doctor on-screen, although both Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann would later be considered the "current Doctor" for about nine years each during the series' hiatus from television.
  • The key plot point of shunting excess entropy into another universe was previously used in Isaac Asimov's novel The Gods Themselves.
  • The policeman using the telephone in the police box in the opening scene of the story is named in Christopher H. Bidmead's novelisation as P.C. Donald Segrave. This was not derived from any information given in the televised version.
  • This serial arguably — as pointed out in About Time 5 by Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood — has the largest body count of any Doctor Who story, albeit not graphically shown, as the destruction of Logopolis apparently causes a significant portion of the entire universe to be swallowed by a wave of entropy. At the very least, the Traken Union is destroyed, which would put the death toll in the billions and make the Master a mass killer on an unprecedented scale, albeit not by intent. The Last Great Time War potentially had a higher body count, but even were a death toll to be given, it occurred off-screen.
  • In The Keeper of Traken, the Master's escape in a TARDIS within the Melkur TARDIS was Bidmead's inspiration for the recursive loop. (DOC: A New Body at Last)
  • This story is the first to feature a human companion since Leela left the Doctor in The Invasion of Time, and the first to feature one from contemporary Earth since Sarah Jane Smith's departure in The Hand of Fear.
  • The story was repeated on BBC2 on consecutive evenings from Monday 30 November to Thursday 3 December 1981 as part of the repeat season The Five Faces of Doctor Who. The Radio Times programme listing for the repeat of part one was accompanied by a black and white head-and-shoulders publicity shot of the Doctor taken during location filming for TV: The Masque of Mandragora, with the accompanying caption "Another trip through time and space for Doctor Who (Tom Baker): 5.40".

Closing credits

At the end of part four:

  • The usual image of Tom Baker's face was electronically blurred and the titles were re-shot with Peter Davison's face for the following story, Castrovalva.
  • The lead character was listed as "Doctor Who" for the last time for the next twenty-four years. Beginning with Castrovalva, until the series' cancellation in 1989, the character was credited simply as "The Doctor". The 1996 television film did not have an on-screen character name credit for either the Eighth Doctor or Seventh Doctor; however, the press kit for the film credits them as "The Doctor" and "The Old Doctor" respectively. The 2005 relaunch reverted to using "Doctor Who" until switching again to "The Doctor" starting with The Christmas Invasion.
  • This is the first episode to credit an actor after a regeneration, as Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker were not credited for their appearances in The Tenth Planet and Planet of the Spiders respectively, while Jon Pertwee did not appear at all in The War Games. Two actors were credited as either "Doctor Who" or "The Doctor" for the first time when a regeneration scene was involved. This also happened at the ends of The Caves of Androzani, The Parting of the Ways and The End of Time. In both of the first two instances, Peter Davison received second billing.

Continuity

Ratings

  • Part One - 7.1 million viewers
  • Part Two - 7.7 million viewers
  • Part Three - 5.8 million viewers
  • Part Four - 6.1 million viewers

Filming locations

  • Ursula Street, Battersea, London (Outside Vanessa's house)
  • Cadogan Pier, Chelsea Embankment, London (the barge the Doctor lands his TARDIS on)
  • Amersham Road (A413), Denham, Buckinghamshire (the motorway the Doctor lands the TARDIS next to)
  • Albert Bridge, London (location where the watcher first beckons from)
  • Crowsley Park BBC Receiving Station, Blounts Court Road, Sonning Common, Berkshire (doubled as the Pharos Project for some external shots)
  • The Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank was used for the filming of the location scenes at the Pharos Project.
  • BBC Television Centre (TC3 & TC6), Shepherd's Bush, London

Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When the Master puts the mind control bracelet onto Nyssa's wrist, part of it falls off.
  • In part four, when the Master enters his TARDIS, his shadow stays after it dematerialises.
  • At the beginning of part two, when the Doctor and Adric are going back to the TARDIS to escape the policemen, the Doctor opens the door to the right, however Adric goes through a door that is open to the left.
  • When the policemen open the police box and find that the Doctor and Adric have vanished, there does not appear to be any windows in the rear wall. This may have something to do with the shot in part one, where the Doctor exits the TARDIS from the back, due to the dimensional anomaly.
  • The Doctor's flashback of the Master is of him saying, "Predictable as ever, Doctor", from part one of TV: The Deadly Assassin, but the Doctor was not actually present when the Master said that.
  • When the TARDIS is shrunk, it is first seen without the police box instruction plate. Later, as it is wheeled away, the plate is there.
  • When the Doctor is climbing on the gantry, it is obvious that when the Master is standing in the background, he is a still picture rather than an actual person. Not really a production error, but rather a production choice.

Home video and audio releases

DVD releases

This story was released on DVD as part of the New Beginnings box set, alongside The Keeper of Traken and Castrovalva.

Special features include:

External links


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