Number : Season 21, serisl 5 of 7

Which One : The tiny Master.

Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Turlough : Mark Strickson
Peri : Nicola Bryant
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 episodes.

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 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 black-suit. 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 step-dad and as a weird mixture of the three; at various points in the story – as it malfunctions.

Turlough finally remembers 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, before 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 and some of the nest scenes here, involve her near drownig and rescue; by Turlough.

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

After so much overuse – in the previous two-seasons, it was good to see a story, written around the strengths of the Ainley – Master character. Rather, than just bolting him generically – into another story.

The Master uses Kamelion, ;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

The Master has accidentally shrank until really small and it is not clear, if this is caused by something the Master did. Or whether, this was as a result of the Doctor tampering, with the Master’s Tissue Compactor device and Tardis; which happened in – The Kings Demons.

The Master was back, in between both of these stories – in The Five Doctors. So whatever shrunk the Master, 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. But before going, the Master pleads with the Doctor, not to kill “his own…….” with the end words lost in the fire. This leaves an uncomfortable thought, of what the Master was actually referring to – friend, brother, relative – or just Fellow-Time Lord?

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 retconned) and Davison benefits; from a good Master turn. Especially, in terms, of the Fifth Doctor’s own penultimate adventure; before Davison left.

🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪ (4/5)

Old Doctor Who

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