Many fans rate this as one of the best and they are correct to recognise the huge quality of this story as well as its importance in building (and changing) the folklore of the Time Lords and The Doctor. It has everything, Tom Baker on top form, a classic villain, sparkling dialogue, humour, action, material which is important in the history of the series as well as some fresh and unnerving ideas. All this is done with brilliance in direction, acting and writing.
The Doctor has been called back home to Gallifrey. On his way there he has a pre-cognitive dream in which he appears to assassinate the Time Lord President. When he arrives he has to go on the run as he is presumed to be a criminal. He then tries to prevent the President's assassination but instead is made to look like the assassin himself. Behind all this, it turns out, is his old arch- enemy The Master. Now at an end to his cycle of regenerations (we are told Time Lords have a maximum of 12) his body is extremely emaciated but his evil and cunning are as strong as ever.
The Master, played now by Peter Pratt, looks and sounds great and his dialogue and Pratt's acting are excellent. There is also a host of superb and perfectly acted guest characters. The wonderful Borusa, Spandrell, Goth, Runcible and Engin are all fabulous. This adventure is also somewhat unique in that there is no companion for The Doctor.
The section of the story where The Doctor enters 'the matrix', a technically created world which seems real and has real dangers (sound like a forerunner of the film The Matrix to anyone?) is surreal and extremely innovative and clever in its different and interesting creativity.
A real all time classic story. 10/10
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