The fluid links have overheated on the TARDIS and the Doctor is not sure the ship can survive being buried in lava. So the Doctor uses an emergency systemm, which takes the TARDIS out of reality. Jamie looks at the scanner and sees Scotland; Zoe sees the city she is from. Neither see the same thing. Against his advice, Zoe walks out of the TARDIS into a white nothingness. Jamie rushes out to get her, whilst the Doctor remains. He is looking at the controls when his mind is placed under attack by someone or something. Jamie and Zoe are surrounded by White Robots. The Doctor leaves the TARDIS and tries to help them concentrate on his words and the ship; they get into the ship and take off. But it is filled with an alien humming noise that attacks the crew. The TARDIS breaks into pieces; Jamie and Zoe are left clinging to the console as they and the Doctor fall in a black void.
Jamie finds himself face to face with a Redcoat, who shoots him and turns him into a cardboard cutout. Zoe walks through a door and screams as she falls. Elsewhere, events are being viewed on monitors and the voice of an unseen person sounds pleased. The Doctor wonders around looking for the companions, who are calling out. Clockwork soldiers are looking for the Doctor on the commands of the figure watching the monitors. The Doctor bumps into an Englishman, who is a mariner from 1699. He learns that the controlling figure in this unreality is called the Master. (It isn't that Master, though!) The man walks away and seemingly vanishes. The Doctor comes across a group of children who ask riddles. They vanish in turn, leaving him with a dictionary. Turning a corner, the Doctor finds the cardboard Jamie. He solves a picture puzzle - "Jamie is safe and well". Whereupon Jamie's face vanishes. The Doctor pastes clippings on the figure but gets it wrong. Jamie is back to normal, except his face has changed. A person laughs mockingly. Jamie explains what he has seen. They hear Zoe calling for help and go after her. She is trapped in a jar. Jamie climbs up and discovers the trees are in fact words. They meet the Englishman again ' he gives away their position to the clockwork soldiers because he cannot see them. They are led to a dark void and a Unicorn charges them.
They say it doesn't exist and the unicorn becomes a cardboard cutout; it is another test by the Master. e is watching them and orders the soldiers to leave them to walk around; the trap is set. Jamie is shot again by the redcoat, turnig him into a cardboard cutout. The Doctor reassembles his face correctly this time. They enter a house with several tunnels. They grab a ball of twine and head into the maze. In the centre, they see the minotaur. Once again, they are forced to disbelive it to make it vanish. Jamie, who waited, has fled from a soldier. The Englishman reappears - the Doctor realises this is Gulliver and they are in a world of fiction. Jamie escapes the toy soldier and climbs up a rock face with the help of Rapunzel's hair; he enters a citadel. He sees lots of advanced machinery, devoted to fairy tales and other fiction. A ticker tape is writing out the Doctor and Zoe's movements. They have come across Medusa the Gorgon.
The Doctor pulls out his mirror and Medusa becomes stone again. Jamie's presence is observed; Gulliver meets him. Zoe and the Doctor meet super hero the Karkus, from one of the comics in Zoe's time. She fights him and wins; Karkus will obey their orders. They enter the Citadel. They meet up with Jamie. The Doctor realises if they fail the tests they will become fiction. They seek an interview with the Master, who turns out to be a kind old man who was brought to the land of fiction from England 1926. The man is a writer who wrote about Capt. Jack Harkaway - a Capt. Jack, eh? Jamie and Zoe slip away whilst the Doctor talks to the man. He is working for an intelligence. That intelligence has brought the Doctor to take over. He refuses but the controlled man makes a deal - the Doctor for his companions' lives. Jamie and Zoe are forced into a book by the White Robots; the book closes on them.
Jamie and Zoe have been turned into fiction. The Doctor refuses to accept and runs. He meets Zoe and Jamie but they repeat the same things. The Doctor finds the master tape and prepares to write his own fiction. He is helped by the Karkus and Rapunzel to gain access. he Doctor stops himself as he would have turned himself into fiction. The Master continues writing, where he writes Jamie and Zoe regard the Doctor as evil. The Doctor meets up with the children and Gulliver again. Jamie and Zoe lure the Doctor into a false TARDIS and the Doctor is captured. The Master relates how "they" want to take humans to the fiction land and take over the Earth. The Doctor is linked to the master brain and begins to use his will to fight the Master. Jamie and Zoe push their way out of the book. Toy soldiers approach; the Doctor summons Karkus. The old man and the Doctor make up lines to a story in a battle. The old man summons Cyrano whilst the Doctor calls up D'Artagnen; then the old man summons Blackbeard, whilst the Doctor calls upon Sir Lancelot. The master brain decides to destroy the Doctor. Jamie and Zoe use Rapunzel's hair to get into the control room where they overload the master brain. They bring the old man with them; he is oblivious to what has been happening. The TARDIS reassembles and the old man returns to 1926.
Peter Ling's story is a lot of fun. The only problem is the intelligence in the land of fiction is an unknown: what sort of creature was it, why did it need a fiction world and why the sudden need to take over the Earth? Other than that, it is fun to be in an alternative reality again like in the Celestial Toymaker.
"Jamie, the Doctor! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARG!!!"
Her sparkly cat suit.
The booty shot of Wendy Padbury at the end of episode 1.
There are some lovely performances by Bernard Horsfall (Gulliver) and Christine Pirie (Rapunzel). Rapunzel's resigned nature is funny, asking everyone if they are a prince and then letting people use her hair with a yelp and a "that hurts, you know". Horsfall would have some other parts in later stories.
We need a new kind of life - *BREAK THE CHAINS* *We are **living thro**ugh a period of mounting populism. The aim is to divide workers by nationalist and racist rhetoric. Against this...
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