AIRDATE: May 19, 2007
VILLIANS: The Sun of the Torajii System, Hal Korwin (possesed), Dev Ashton (possesed)
ALIENS/MONSTERS: The Sun of the Torajii System
OTHER CHARACTERS: Francine Jones, Kath McDonnell, Riley Vashtee, Orin Scannell, Korwin, Abi Lerner, Dev Ashton
LOCATION: S.S. Pentallian, 42nd century, the Torajii system and London, 2008
In the TARDIS, the Doctor adjusts Martha's mobile phone, enabling it to call anywhere in time and space - an ability he refers to as Universal Roaming, a 'frequent flyer's privilege'. As she is about to telephone her mother, Francine, they materialise on a very hot spaceship in answer to a distress signal, and the Doctor notes that the engines are not operating. They open the door to the next room and are pulled through by three members of the crew, who then slam the door shut. The captain, Kath McDonnell, explains that the engines have cut out and left the ship, the S.S. Pentallian, on a crash course with a local star. A nearby monitor announces that the projected time until impact is 42 minutes. The Doctor suggests evacuating the crew aboard the TARDIS, but the ship has begun venting excess heat through the room it materialised in, rendering it unreachable.
The Doctor organises Martha and one of the crew to open a series of password-protected doors in order to access the control room where the auxiliary engines can be activated. Meanwhile, the others move to the main engine room, to try to fix the systems. The Doctor finds that all the engine-related machinery has been destroyed, and comments that someone "knew what they were doing."
Ship's medic Abi Lerner calls the main engine room to say that Hal Korwin, the captain's husband, is having some sort of seizure. The Doctor tells everyone else to continue trying to save the ship, but, once in the sickbay with Abi and Korwin, finds that the others have followed him. Korwin is lying near a stasis chamber with his eyes closed, screaming in agony, crying "It's burning me!" before the Doctor sedates him. Once Korwin is unconscious, the Doctor instructs Abi to test Korwin to find out what is wrong with him; then the Doctor and McDonnell return to the rest of the crew.
While updating the crew on Korwin's status, the crew hears Abi's screams for assistance as Korwin gets up and backs Abi against the wall, saying in a deep voice, "Burn with me". As he opens his eyes, a blinding light comes out and Abi screams in terror.
While the Doctor runs to Abi's aid, Martha and crewmember Riley Vashtee continue to open doors by answering pub quiz style questions set by the crew, years previously, after a night of drinking. The questions include a crew member's favourite colour, and the next in a series of what turn out to be happy prime numbers. To answer another question, on 20th century Earth pop culture, Martha rings her mother for help--unaware that Francine has knowingly had her call tapped, by a young woman who is presumably a government agent. Meanwhile, the Doctor finds the imprint of Abi and concludes that she was vaporized. He reasons that Korwin has been infected in some way by something, and can vaporize people somehow.
McDonnell is at first unwilling to believe that Korwin could be responsible for sabotaging the ship and killing Abi, but then relents and alerts the rest of the crew to avoid him. Dev Ashton, working on the engines, sends Erina Lessak a message asking for more tools. She mutes the sound and mutters under her breath about the injustice of being sent on every errand as she goes to the control cupboard. She sarcastically ends her spiel with "just kill me now." When Erina closes the door, she turns to find Korwin standing there. He then backs Erina against the wall as he did with Abi, and vaporizes her. Korwin then goes to find Ashton, saying "they are getting too far", and proceeds to infect Ashton too. Ashton goes after Martha and Riley - the ones who were "getting too far" - who in terror lock themselves in an escape capsule.
Ashton tries to override the system and send Martha and Riley plummeting towards the sun, but Riley is trying equally hard inside the capsule to stop this from happening. Ashton finally just destroys the system and this makes the capsule Martha and Riley are stuck in plummet towards the sun. The Doctor gets there seconds too late, but decides not to give up. He puts on a space suit and tells McDonnell he is planning to pull the capsule back to the ship by setting the magnetic pull, a system that is outside the ship.
In the capsule, Martha implores Riley to have faith in the Doctor, wondering why he has not found anyone in his life to have faith in - his family is all but gone and he has no romantic attachments. However, she is surprised when, in answer to her question, he looks directly at her and says "I already have." Resigned to her fate, Martha phones Francine once more and, unwilling to divulge her predicament, instead tells her mother that she loves her and tries to get her to simply converse about her life, until Francine's probing of whether the Doctor is with her causes a tearful Martha to end the call.
The Doctor meanwhile struggles to press the magnetic pull control buttons on the side of the ship, although he eventually manages it. Climbing back into the ship, he looks at the sun and stares into it, realising that "it's alive", before he too is infected by the same entity as Korwin. Martha and Riley come back to the ship grinning until they see the Doctor in agony. McDonnell arrives and the desperate Doctor angrily explains to her that because she illegally mined the sun for fuel, without checking for life signs, she has seriously injured the living being within the sun. He tells them that the sun is alive in him, and tells them how they can save/stop him. He has his eyes shut, like Korwin, and asks the two women to place him into a cryogenic stasis machine to get the sun entity out of him. Before he goes in he cries for Martha to stay with him, telling her that he is scared. He tries to tell Martha about a process which may happen if he dies; Martha assures him that he won't.
Martha starts the freezing process but it is interrupted by Korwin, who turns off the power to the stasis chamber from the engineering department. The Doctor then tells Martha that she must go to the front of the ship and jettison the fuel, which will return the living particles back to the sun. Martha runs to tell the rest of the crew to jettison the fuel while the defrosted Doctor appears to lose the fight against his possession, collapsing onto the floor and gasping "Burn with me". Elsewhere, a shocked McDonnell encounters Korwin. She admits to Korwin that this was all her fault and lures him close to an airlock. She tells him that she loves him and apologises to the rest of the crew through her radio, then opens the airlock and the two of them are sucked out into space. Martha tells the rest of the crew to vent the fuel, which ends the crisis by replenishing the sun and freeing the ship from its gravitational pull, and also ends the sun creature's control over the Doctor.
The Doctor and Martha head back to the entrance of the TARDIS, where Martha kisses Riley goodbye. Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor thanks Martha for saving him and as a further sign of acceptance, gives Martha her own key to the TARDIS another 'frequent flyer's privilege'. Martha calls her mother back, who invites her over for tea and informs her that it is Election Day. Martha accepts, assured that the Doctor will bring her home in time. After Martha hangs up, we see the woman, and two other men, tapping Francine's phone again. Confiscating the phone, she asks Francine if she has voted. She says she has, but doesn't say who she has voted for. The woman thanks her for all she has been doing, saying "Mr. Saxon will be very grateful."
Friday, May 22, 2009