Number : Season 21, episode 5 of 7

Which One : The teeny tiny Master and Turlough leaves.

Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Turlough : Mark Strickson
Peri : Nicola
The Master : Anthony Ainley
Howard : Dallas Adams
Curt : Michael Bangerter
Timanov : Peter Wyngarde
Sorasta : Barbara Shelley
Amyand : James Bate
Roskal : Jonathan Caplan
Malkon : Edward Highmore
Zuko : Max Arthur
Lomand : John Alkin

Written By : Peter Grimwade

Produced By : JNT

First UK Broadcast : 23 February – 2 March 1984.

Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The Doctor and Turlough journey to Lanzarote for a well earned break. Here, they meet new companion – Peri Brown; whom Turlough rescues from drowning. Meanwhile, the Master attempts to reconnect his mind with Kamelion in events which leads the Doctor to the planet of Sarn and Turlough’s destiny.

Whats good : Kamelion is back. Kamelion impersonating The Master in a cool Delgado blacksuit look. The Master’s black Tardis interior. Peri in a two piece swimsuit. Turlough leaves.

Whats bad : Nothing.

Review With Spoilers : Planet Of Fire was probably the best Ainley Master featured episode of the Davison era.

It contains a number of interesting concepts – including the return of Kamelion, under the Master’s influence – appearing as : itself, The Master, Peri’s stepdad and as a weird mixture of the three – at various points in the story as it malfunctioned.

Turlough finally remembered his Trion Prince origin, his mind jogged via a symbol he discovers on planet Sarn which is also a tattoo on his arm. As a result, this is Turlough’s last story e fore leaving.

Turlough never really clicked with Tegan but in their short scenes together, you could tell he had an altogether different chemistry with Peri which obviously wasn’t explored further

Talking of Peri, she looked rather fetching in a two piece bikini though and I would like to explore her – further….

…..Anyway, this was also intended to be the Ainley Master’s – final appearance in the show, so they definitely wrote it as a swansong for Ainley and to be fair to him, he is actually rather good in this one.

After so much overuse in the previous 2 seasons, it was good to see an episode so obviously written around the strengths of the Ainley Master character; rather than just bolting him generically into another story.

He uses Kamelion in his own form to manipulate the Sarn people against the Doctor, by claiming to be a sign from their prophecy – known as The Outsider. The Master is really after the height restorative properties of Sarn’s Numisaton gas.

“I’m sorry to be deprived of the pleasure of seeing you die, Doctor, although I am consoled by the thought that your imminent and inevitable demise will be excruciating!” The Master

This is because The Master has accidentally shrank himself and it is not clear, if this is caused by something he did; or whether this was as a result of the Doctor’s tampering with his Tissue Compactor device and Tardis – in the The Kings Demons.

The Master was back in between both of these episodes in The Five Doctors, so whatever shrunk him seemed to happen afterward.

Anyway by the end of this, The Master is apparently “killed” by the Doctor by being roasted to death in the gases, he sought so eagerly to restore his height. But before he goes, he pleads with the Doctor not to kill “his own…….” with the end words lost in the fire; leaving an uncomfortable thought of what he was actually referring to; brother? Relative? Or just Fellow Timelord?

It wasn’t the end though, as disappointingly they brought The Master back in Mark Of The Rani the following year.

Planet Of Fire is an entertaining send off for the Master (later undone) and Davison benefits from a good Master turn, in terms of his own penultimate adventure before Davison left Who.

🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪ (4/5)

Old Doctor Who

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