The Planet Of Fire Doctor Who: Season 21
Planet Of Fire SYNOPSIS:
After an unexpected farewell to Tegan, a distress call takes the Doctor and Turlough to Lanzarote. Turlough rescues a drowning girl called Peri who happens to be carrying the device emitting the distress signal not knowing what it is. The Doctor traces the signal back to the planet Sarn despite his companions' attempt at sabotaging the Tardis.
While the others explore Sarn, Peri is confronted by the Doctor's shape changing android Kamelion that is taken over gain by it's former controller the Master and changes into the Master's likeness. Volcanic tremors across Sarn lead Elder Timanov to declare the unbelievers of their tribe to be sacrificed to the fire to appease their god, Logar.
Upon meeting the tribe, Turlough notes he has the same mark as their chosen one. Turlough and Malkon the chosen one turn out to be brothers and exiles from their home planet of Trion. Before Peri can warn them the Master / Kamelion arrives taking on the prophesied role of "the Outsider" he persuades Timanov the others are enemies of Logar.
The Doctor attempts to save them all from the Elders wrath and convince the tribe they must leave before the planet of fire's instability causes all the volcanoes to explode. As the real Master, with help from Kamelion, attempts to restore himself using the numismaton from the planets core and take his revenge on the Doctor.
Return to top of page
Planet Of Fire DETAILS:
Return to top of page
Planet Of Fire CAST & CREW
Peter Davison (Fifth Doctor)
Mark Strickson (Vislor Turlough)
Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown)
Gerald Flood (Kamelion)
Anthony Ainley — The Master
Peter Wyngarde — Timanov
Dallas Adams — Howard
Michael Bangerter — Curt
Barbara Shelley — Sorasta
James Bate — Amyand
Jonathon Caplan — Roskal
Edward Highmore — Malkon
Max Arthur — Zuko
John Alkin — Lomand
Simon Sutton — Lookout
Production Staff for Serial 6Q:
Writer - Peter Grimwade
Director - Fiona Cumming
Script editor - Eric Saward
Producer - John Nathan-Turner
Return to top of page
Planet Of Fire REVIEWS
So from heady, rainy Earth 1984 the Tardis did depart only to land in the same year on the sand of Lanzarote....(oh and Sarn, the self styled planet of fire, later)
Yes well now to add a little more substance to these Planet Of Fire reviews, although I agree Nicola Bryant's first appearance in nearly all her flesh gave fans and casual viewers alike everywhere a chance to stop and pause...
...and think maybe this old sci-fi show isn't so stupid after all. Yes Peter Grimwade is back and has the unenviable task of (deep breath) writing in new companion Peri Brown, Writing out old companion Turlough, writing in and destroying the Master, writing back in and out again the companion gone missing Kamelion and having a credible and interesting story. Somehow he manages to do this. Planet Of Fire is a nice contrast to the stories either side of it, smoothly directed by Fiona Cumming.
In fact much of the location filming at Lanzarote on the mountain doubling as Sarn give the Planet of Fire a sweeping epic quality and it actually looks like an alien planet with all the volcanic ash, smoke and debris. It also doubles nicely as the Greek Island where the Dr & Turlough first meet the succulent Peri. Now Nicola Bryant goes down in history as the only woman in history to be seen on the show in the skimpiest pink Bikini known to man but not only that it's because she's got a near perfect body that all endear us to the character of Peri straight away. Who wouldn't give to be Mark Stricksen diving into the surf and dragging her out? In fact her influence is felt all round as Turlough and even the Doctor chuck off a few garments in this one.
Although Peri's character is a bit whiney even more so than Tegan's but she does give a good performance, even though most of her scenes are with the Master. Now the Master, Ainley is back and he's gone panto!
There's two of him this time, there's the panto version which is really Kamelion (hence my theory for the OTT panto acting, it's not really him) and the real version who is locked away somewhere controlling Kamelion. The Master's scheme isn't anything this time but restoring himself. Actually this Master has been in cock up mode since trying to destroy the universe (which is pretty hard to top) after Castrovalva, his Tardis ran out of juice, then he was stranded on Xeriafas, then tried a bit of low level plotting with magna carter to try and get the hang of it again, then was told to piss off by nearly every incarnation of the Doctor when trying to help 'em out and was punched out by one of his mates and finally while trying to make a bigger version of his TCE he accidentally shrinks himself.
You gotta feel sorry for the bloke, he really is looking like a total loser. Plus Kamelion, someone in the production team went "Oh shit! that things still on board!" Remember only seeing this for the first time on the early morning ABC repeats and being surprised that kamelion was still there. He/it comes in useful as a plot device as the Master's instrument dressed in a dapper Delago like black suit and tie and his scenes with Peri are good if only from the fact that he does have a definite weakness and that's he can be influenced by another mind, hence him switching to pseudo Howard mode (Peri's real step Dad)when persuaded by Peri, which unfortunately aides the Master's plan.
Plus there's the Turlough subplot where the Doctor finds out he's back to his old tricks sabotaging the Tardis and finally it's revealed that like the Doctor he's on the run from his own people, a convicted prisoner and this lends well into how he reacts to finding the society on Sarn that his long lost brother's a part of and that it uses religion to keep control of the populace. Wyngarde classes it up with his part of the Elder Timanov (you have a part in the character's name TLong?), who ends up not being as stubborn as these elders usually are in the end. Turlough's end is no where near as sad as Tegan's but you can see he's leant a lot from the Doctor and it's time for him to move on.
Davison and Bryant seem to have a good chemistry from their brief scenes together and didn't expect the Doctor to just heartlessly gun down Kamelion. Seemed out of character for the 5th incarnation, he was more likely to try and repair him at all costs. Also did anyone buy the Master dying? Well it seemed final at the time didn't it?
All up Planet Of Fire is an enjoyable laid back tale well done and Peri's lack of clothing provided extra spice 9.1/10
PLANET OF FIRE can be divided into two parts.