Doctor Who: Season 23, Episode 2

The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Two (13 Sep. 1986)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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The Doctor finds that the subterranean UK Habitat is run by a cloistered robot named Drathro, whom the inhabitants call "The Immortal." Their black light energy converters are destabilizing... See full summary »



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Title: The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Two (13 Sep 1986)

The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Two (13 Sep 1986) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Lynda Bellingham ...
Joan Sims ...
Tony Selby ...
Roger Brierley ...
Drathro (voice)
David Rodigan ...
Broken Tooth
Adam Blackwood ...
Billy McColl ...
Sion Tudor Owen ...
Timothy Walker ...


The Doctor finds that the subterranean UK Habitat is run by a cloistered robot named Drathro, whom the inhabitants call "The Immortal." Their black light energy converters are destabilizing, unaware that it's the result of two space pirates mucking about on the surface with designs on looting their dwelling. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

13 September 1986 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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This episode was watched by 4.9 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


Balazar: Tis my task to study the ancient texts.
The Doctor: About which you continually boast. That's the trouble with parried little swats like you, Balazar. You can't even organize an efficient stoning.
Balazar: It was only half over.
The Doctor: Ahh...
Balazar: You'd have been free of your troubles now if Merdeen and his trained guards had not saved you.
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User Reviews

"Your puerile attempts at flippancy are not appreciated." Not too bad.

Doctor Who: The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Two starts as the trial continues, the prosecutor Valeyard (Michael Jayston) continues presenting his evidence to the court revolving around the Doctor's (Colin Baker) interference on Ravolox. The Doctor & Peri (Nicola Bryant) are separated & he is caught by an underground race of people who accuse him of trying to steal their water & sent to their leader they call the Immortal which turns out to be a huge L3 robot. The robot named Drathro wants the Doctor to repair a black light converter which two intergalactic con-men Sabalom Glitz (Tonly Seby) & Dibber (Glen Murphy) want to & do destroy, the Doctor quickly becomes tangled up in the affairs of the inhabitants of Ravolox which the Valeyard cites as a perfect example of his meddling...

Episode 2 from season 23 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during September 1986, a season long story divided up into four individual stories with a common theme running through them this was the second episode of The Mysterious Planet segment. Directed by Nicholas Mallett this has been OK so far but nothing particularly special, the script by Robert Holmes can be best described as a traditional Doctor Who story with the trial scenes inter-cut. The going back & forth between the two isn't that jarring at the moment & the two plots are working quite well together. The main gripe I have with The Mysterious Planet story is that it just isn't very good, take out the trial segments & The Mysterious Planet taken on it's own is actually pretty poor. The character's aren't that great & a bit clichéd, the dialogue isn't that memorable although it's noticeable that the animosity between the Doctor & Peri from the previous season has mellowed. The cliffhanger ending here is made almost totally redundant & somewhat pointless by way of the fact that since the Doctor is watching the story unfold on the Matrix the same as us sitting in court he couldn't have possibly been killed or harmed.

This one sees the introduction of Drathro the L3 robot & it's quite an impressive looking creation, it's certainly tall & imposing & one of the better robot creatures seen in Doctor Who. There's also another robot which travels around on caterpillar tracks & that too looks pretty good although it does look just like a large box at times. The sets so far have been a mixed bag, the rundown Marble Arch tube station looks good as does the Time Lords court room (despite some horrible 80's executive chairs) but the underground futuristic sets look really garish, cheap & very pantomime. The location used for the primitive village was the Buster Ancient Farm Project near Hampshire which is a replica of an Iron age settlement. I wasn't sure about some of the costumes either, the horrible yellow jumpsuits worn by the underground people look silly & I won't even mention the awful hair-do's sported by Dathro's helpers Humker & Tandrell.

Trial of a Time Lord: Part Two of The Mysterious Planet is alright but not that much has happened to be honest & it all feels a little bland & forgettable. Not bad but not great.

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