Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Thirteen 

The charge against the Doctor changes from mere meddling to inexcusable genocide. His future looks both grim and very short.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Bonnie Langford ...
Lynda Bellingham ...
Tony Selby ...
James Bree ...
Keeper of the Matrix


With the evidence for the defense at an end and the trial nearly over, it would seem that the Doctor's fate has been well and truly sealed. But the shock intervention of an old adversary throws new light on the case with the Doctor's future traveling companion Mel and the roguish Sabalom Glitz being presented to the courtroom as surprise witnesses. Shocking revelations come to light involving the high council of Time Lords, the Valeyard and their corrupt conspiracy which involved the Doctor and his affairs with the planet Ravolox. But with an even more mind blowing revelation brought to the fore, the Doctor is forced to come to terms with an enigmatic link between himself and his sinister prosecutor. Written by Robert McElwaine

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Plot Keywords:

sixth doctor | master | See All (2) »


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Release Date:

29 November 1986 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fans voted this number 87 in a countdown of the 163 Doctor Who (1963) stories in Outpost Gallifrey's 40th anniversary poll in 2003, making it the most popular story within the Trial of a Time Lord season. See more »


The Doctor: [the Doctor has walked through a door which is supposed to lead to a waiting room but where he, instead finds himself on a cold and gloomy beach] This is a very odd waiting room. Well, where are the hopelessly out-of-date magazines?
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, but not Terribly Entertaining
23 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

After 12 weeks of build-up, Who is the Valeyard?, What is happening to the Matrix? What's the deal with those secrets on Ravalox? Our questions are finally answered, in Episode 13 of the Trial of a Time Lord. It turns out the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the Doctor's dark side, ironic that the Valeyard plays barely any part in this episode. The truth that Gallifrey destroyed the Earth to protect the secrets from the Matrix, is very interesting, even if it does go against the entirety of the Doctor Who canon, especially future episode like The End of the World and New Earth, but considering these are 2 of the worst stories in recent Doctor Who history, I don't see how badly this can affect those stories, but it's still a gripping twist. Sabalom Glitz is back after his last appearance in Episodes 1-4 of the Trial of a Time Lord, and he makes for a very amusing presence, Mel probably less so, the Inquisitor makes as much of an impact as ever, just being there to ramble on about court proceedings, and the Valeyard, does nothing in this episode, despite it having just been revealed that his is actually the Doctor. The setting of the Matrix has a very Dickensian feel about it, and the result feels very cheap, almost as if they'd run out of money, there are only two extra supporting cast members here, that being the Keeper of the Matrix, who again does absolutely nothing, and Mr. Popplewick, who has barely a 5-minute screen presence despite there being 2 versions of the same character. The cliffhanger is slow and drawn out, certainly not to the standard of the Deadly Assassin's cliffhangers, but I suppose it can in some way be considered, "creepy".

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