[Photo by Jacquelyn Griffin)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"One Day, I Shall Come Back...": The End of Tomorrow/The Waking Ally/Flashpoint

Right, if you talk about the story arc called The Dalek Invasion of Earth, this scene, usually reduced to the last bit, from "One day, I shall come back..." used as an intro to The Five Doctors, haunts the back 9 as assuredly as the suicidal Roboman opening "World's End" haunts the first three episodes. One evokes the existential dread at the core of the arc,the other--

--well, the other has been torn from its context to make it a reaffirmation of the Doctor's aspirations--a distant ancestor of the "Doctor's promise"--you know, "never cruel or cowardly, never give up, never give in."

But it's not.

It's an aging man, who has been forced by new friends crashing into his life to confront his own selfishness, his cowardice, his capacity for cruelty, his willingness to give up and flee, forced to battle once more with his baser elements.

This time, it's the Doctor fighting down his possessive love for his granddaughter--his only link to his unknown home--and letting her go when she can't achieve the life-giving separation herself, out of love for him.

The selfish old man, knowing his selfishness, does not yield to it. He does the right thing, even if it--to quote Extremis--"without hope, without witness, without reward."

Because the Doctor does not have hope (for himself); he does not consider the witnesses (Ian and Barbara are present, but even we don't see their reactions; he doesn't know if Susan understands), and there is no reward for him. He loses her. He knows he must, and the Doctor faces loss, and, for the first time in the series, does so bravely. Better still, he faces loss with grace. That's a first for Hartnell's cantankerous Doctor--think of his tantrums at Susan when she refused to leave Earth in An Unearthly Child, or at Ian and Barbara in The Edge of Destruction.

No, this moment is huge, especially in context. But it dwarfs the three episodes that precede it, so let's give it its due. And then move on.


Just as well, because "The End of Tomorrow" is almost as lame as its title (The end of tomorrow is, after all. A fancy phrase for "tomorrow night," and isn't given more meaning here.). The Doctor is out cold for the whole episode (Hartnell had been injured in shooting the prior episode); Ian makes his way toward the mines, and Barbara--

--well, once again, Barbara saves the show. Because Barbara hijacks a vintage rubbish cart, and, well, let the dialogue tell the story:
[In the truck]

JENNY: Do you think that Dalek saw us back there?
BARBARA: It must have heard the noise.
JENNY: Then we're in for trouble.
BARBARA: Yes, they're sure to radio ahead. We may have to ditch this at any moment.
(round a corner and)
BARBARA: Jenny, there's a whole bunch of them ahead of us.
JENNY: Shall we jump for it?
BARBARA: No. I'm going through.
(She scatters them like skittles)
JENNY: We went straight through them! Straight through them!
BARBARA: Yeah, it wasn't bad, was it? I rather enjoyed that. We won't be able to stay in this much longer though. They'll be after us with a vengeance now.
(My italics.)

Pity there's no clip of the moment online, because Barbara's face gets a rather manic, but still proper, smile. Barbara Wright is not to be trifled with. And is here enjoying herself a bit too much.

Later, Ian and his companion Craddock meet Ashton the profiteer on the black market, who exploits his fellow humans for profit, only to die at the paws? of the ridiculous Slyther (who wins a point for whining pitiably when it, in turn, is dispatched by Ian). In "The Waking Ally," the pattern repeats--Barbara and resistance fighter Jenny are literally sold to the Daleks for extra food by an old woman and her daughter who collaborate with them by making clothes for slave laborers.

The humanity the Doctor and his companions seek to save here is not idealized.

Meanwhile, the story of Larry Craddock's search for his brother Phil comes to its tragic end. Larry, too wounded to walk, comes face-to-face with Phil, only to discover the latter has been made into a Roboman:
PHIL: (a Roboman) Halt!
LARRY: Phil! It's my brother. Ian, it's my brother.
PHIL: Too many in working party. Dalek Supreme Control recheck. Who are you?
LARRY: Phil? Phil, it's Larry. Your brother Larry. Think, Phil! Remember me!
PHIL: You are both runaways.
LARRY: Angela. Your wife, Angela! I'll take you to her.
PHIL: You must both be punished.
IAN: It's no good, Larry.
LARRY: No, no! No, Ian!
IAN: Come on!
LARRY: Ian, get clear. Run while you've got the chance! Run, Ian. Run.
(Larry throttles Phil while Phil shoots Larry)
LARRY: Run, Ian, run.

[Phil's roboman helmet is shattered; as he dies, he groans one word]

Phil: Larry.
Meanwhile, David and Susan begin to fall in love. We are shown humanity as both loving and at its least loving--Ashton, the old woman and her daughter--while Larry, mortally wounded, fights his effectively dead brother to save Ian. Even Phil has one last flash of his stolen soul, and recognizes the brother he has killed.

Barbara, captured and forced to work in the mines, uses Dortmun's notes to get herself face-to-face with the Black Dalek. She tries to "tell the tale" of a rebellion to get a chance to sabotage the Daleks in the heart of their empire:
BARBARA: Did you see that, Jenny? That's the way they control the Robomen.
DALEK 3: Herd all humans to galleries to nine, ten and fifteen.
JENNY: Perhaps we could put it out of action?
BARBARA: We could do better than that, we could give it new orders. Tell them to turn on the Daleks.
JENNY: Yes! That's a great idea.
DALEK: They are the prisoners that reported the imminent revolt.
BLACK: Speak!
BARBARA: (reading Dortmun's notes.) This bomb is the one with which
BLACK: We are not interested in the bomb. Give your information!
BARBARA: Right. This revolt is timed to start almost immediately. As in the case of the Indian mutiny, which I am sure
BLACK: Indian mutiny? We are the masters of India!
BARBARA: I was talking about Red Indians in disguise! The plan will run parallel with the Boston Tea Party. Naturally, you already have information about this.
BLACK: Wait! Why have I not been informed of this?
DALEK 2: There has been no information.
BARBARA: Good! That means the first part of the plan is a success. Now, I warn you, General Lee and the four, the fifth cavalry are already forming up to attack from the north side of the crater. The second wave, Hannibal's forces, will of course come in from the Southern Alps. The third wave
BLACK: Attention! Attention! Mobilise defence forces!
(Barbara dashes to the Robomen control panel)
BARBARA: Robomen, this order cannot be countermanded. You must
BLACK: Take them! They are lying! Take them! Take them! Take them!
Later, of course, the Doctor and Barbara will use the Control Center to order the Robomen to turn on the Daleks, and destroy them. So this idea of Barbara's in fact turns the tide, in conjunction with as Ian's sabotage of the Dalek's bomb, David and Susan sabotaging the pit.

You'll notice that these are all moments, not essential to the plot, and that I'm not recapping it. That's because the plot is famously bizarre--the Daleks wanting to husk out the planet's core and fly the earth around the universe (yeah, and that idea actually gets another try), the to-ing and fro-ing to pad out the story to fill six episodes--no, this story lives in its moments.

Grace notes, when the dying Larry hears his name on his dead brother's lips after all;
Where Susan sees herself as loved and loving,
or Jenny sees Barbara as her hero,
and David asks for the woman he loves to stay with him.

So, in the last post, I said that the title of "World's End" was, in a sense, true.

The Doctor is alone, except for the friends he's trying to help to leave him. Susan is gone, and with her, his own roots and family, and world.

Where does he go from here?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Shattered Visage: World's End/The Daleks/Day of Reckoning

After the oddball second season opener, the next story arc brought back the Daleks as a far more potent threat than their initial appearance. Where The Daleks was the story of the last remnants of two civilizations trying to revive their dead planet, one by destroying their erstwhile enemies, the other by reaching out to them, these episodes bring us to Earth, and to Great Britain.

A Great Britain more shattered by invasion than was Great Britain by the Luftwaffe, less than two decades before the filming of these episodes.

England--no, Great Britain--no, sorry, the whole Earth is occupied by the Daleks. Not all that many of them, seemingly. But that's all right; they've enslaved the locals, not by fear, or threat, but by stripping them of all humanity, reducing them to automatons with funky headgear, and hollow, sagging voices.

The Roboman is the specter that haunts these episodes, and if you've ever doubted Andrew Cartmel's description of the Daleks as "futuristic metal fascists," the Robomen, with their evocation of the broken spirits Victor Frankl encountered in the concentration camps in which he was imprisoned, cement the identification. The Robomen are our worst fear: that we ourselves could become obedient servants of an oppressor, all humanity lost. That we could all be Winston Smith--worse, even; Winston Smith with even the simulacrum of personality left him by Orwell's Ministry of Love destroyed.

That the visage of humanity could be all too easily shattered.


The TARDIS arrives on a deserted riverbank of the Thames. The TARDIS herself has never looked so beaten up before, her paint scaling, her side windows seemingly stove in--her exterior is almost as dilapidated as her surroundings. The iconic poster forbidding the dumping of bodies, the unexplained signs everywhere reading "VETOED,"--London is in ruins. And when the Dalek arises out of the river, and Ian and the Doctor are well and truly trapped--well, it's a strong ending for the first episode. Before that, we go through some interesting character beats--Susan merrily climbs a wall to see some indicator of when in London's history they are, and promptly sprains her ankle. On the other hand, when she and Barbara are the hands of the resistance (such as it is), and their usefulness is being assessed, she sasses her interrogator:
DORTMUN: Two more pairs of hands. Good, we need--
DAVID: She [Barbara] says she can cook.
DORTMUN: Oh, can you?
DAVID: And what do you do?
SUSAN: I eat.
Susan's quite charming in this moment, and it's a rare chance for her to be the flip, insouciant one of the party.

The Doctor's happy cleverness in working out a scientific puzzle left in the cell occupied by himself, Ian and another captive named Craddock, convinces the Daleks of the Doctor's superior mental agility--and marks him for robotization.

As to the wheelchair-bound Dortmun, obsessively refining his bomb, and launching a doomed attack dependent on its efficacy, without testing it--well, Dortmun makes me wish I believed that Terry Nation had, in creating the Daleks, foreseen Davros. Because like the creator of the Daleks, Dortmun is all too willing to weaponize people and trust to his own genius, sometimes disastrously. Unlike Davros, Dortmun still has his soul, under the obsessiveness. He gives his life testing his bomb himself, but also giving Barbara and Jenny, another resistance fighter, a chance to escape.

Meanwhile, David Campbell and Susan have a good chat about belonging somewhere and needing a real identity--and David turns down the opportunity to escape with Susan and the Doctor from his ravaged planet. He comforts her as Daleks slaughter a resistance eight they had met on the way. A tentative bond has been formed.


But these episodes aren't, at heart, character episodes. Nor are they about the plot--although it moves briskly along. Rather, it's power comes from evoking a legitimate terror, recent enough at the time of initial airing to still chill the hearts of the original viewers.

If The Daleks was a mediation on, and a fable about, nuclear war, with overtones of the Second World War, then these three episodes are peeping through half-opened eyes screened by one's fingers at the great British primal fear--what if that war had gone the wrong way--if Britain had been conquered and it, not Germany, occupied?

That terror is dramatized here, in sci-fi-fi dress, to chill parents and children alike.

It works.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Direct Coercive Advocacy and the Carter Case (Part 2 of 2)

In the first part of this admittedly lengthy exegesis, I summarized the facts of Commonwealth v. Carter, in which a trial court judge has rendered a guilty verdict in a bench trial, and suggested that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had applied an incorrect standard in allowing the case to go to trial, but had possibly reached the correct result. Here, we'll look at the application of the appropriate standard and distinguish Carter from a decision of a very different kind, Rice v. Paladin Enterprises (4th Cir 1997)

The basic legal analysis is adapted from my 2002 article Brigaded With Action: Undirected Advocacy and the First Amendment (you can also read the article, revised in the second edition of my book. The scholarly apparatus is all there, so I'll spare you here.


In Rice v. Paladin Enterprises, Inc., a publisher was held civilly liable for a murder committed by a killer-for-hire who followed the directions in one of its books, Hit Man: A Technical Guide for Independent Contractors. (The book purported to be written by an actual hit man, but the author, under the name "Rex Feral," was in fact a mystery novelist.) The Fourth Circuit found the book to constitute a "steeling to violence" under Brandenburg. Rice is and inconsistent with Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition a subsequent Supreme Court decision, and so is of dubious presidential value at best. The reasons that suggest that the Fourth Circuit got it wrong in Rice, suggest that the verdict in Carter, whether right or wrong, does not violate the First Amendment.

In Brandenburg, I argued in the article and at greater length in the book, speech is only subject to punishment if it is tantamount ti what earlier cases call a "verbal act." As I explained there, the decision in Ashcroft is a powerful reassertion of the primary rule of free speech: that, as a general proposition, speech may only be deemed to constitute part of an illegal action under very narrow factual circumstances in which a specific relationship between speaker and actor correlates the speakers' expression to the fact-specific crime in question. the presumption that speech is inviolate is a precondition to such verbal act analysis. It is only upon a showing that the speech is the functional equivalent of a physical act that proscription and punishment are permitted.

Second, some kind of specific connection to the illegal conduct that resulted from the speech is needed--the causal chain must be sufficiently tight that the line between protected persuasion and unprotected verbal act remains as sharp as possible. Thus, in Brandenburg, and Justice Brandeis' Whitney concurrence, the requirement of both the imminence of the resultant act and a specific context in which the act takes place creates a lack of opportunity for reasoned deliberation and the temporary ascendancy of the speaker over the audience. This is similar to an agency relationship that fairly imputes the listener's act to the speaker.

In fact, the relationship of the audience to the speaker is critical in distinguishing a verbal act from advocacy. A classroom professor who instructs her class from the writings of Valerie Solanas, and urges action on the abstract level is not the same as a speaker who is aware that prompt obedience is likely because of a different relationship context. For example, Professor James Moriarity, known as the “Napoleon of Crime,” instructs his direct subordinate Colonel Sebastian Moran to kill Sherlock Holmes. The power relationship between the two make it expected that Moriarity will be obeyed; violent action on the part of Moran at the behest of Moriarity is within the scope of their relationship as negotiated by them, and as practiced. Moran's act is attributable to Moriarity even if attempted after Moriarity's death. Where the relationship is an explicit one, one agreed upon by the parties and acknowledged by them, the lack of imminence alone does not absolve the speaker. The equation is simply that a relationship plus a command equals causation. A relationship where a command takes place with both parties having reason to believe that the command will be obeyed, makes the speaker liable for the resultant act.

Another example may be helpful. Henry II, at dinner with his loyal barons, fatefully muses about his political conflict with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, asking “will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four of his knights take the King's angry exclamation as an instruction, and butcher Becket in his own cathedral, while at the altar; Henry disavows any intent that they *364 should have so acted. This case posits an interesting question regarding intent: what is meant by a command? If Henry was just letting off steam, and did not intend his knights to act upon his passionate language (an interpretation much in keeping with the King's well-known rages), Henry might persuasively claim that, despite the relationship, his knights did not reasonably take his remark as a command.

That is, Henry might claim either that his statement was not intended to be a command, or simply that the knights unreasonably so interpreted it, regardless of the King's subjective intention at speaking. The latter theory plainly exonerates Henry; if the statement is misunderstood in an objectively unreasonable manner, then the relationship does not act to impute liability to the King. If, however, the King was in the habit of commanding his knights to execute political opponents, and habitually expressed his will so elliptically, the agency relationship might still bind the King, despite Henry's lack of specific intent on that occasion.279
In both of these paradigm cases, immediacy is not required to establish liability because the pre-existing relationship creates a context whereby the speaker knows that the command, if spoken, will be acted upon. Speaker and actor are in a power relationship that supports such a conclusion.

Thus, direct advocacy, under certain circumstances, crosses the line to verbal act status. Thus too, indirect advocacy--Henry II's wishing for the death of the “turbulent priest” to those who feel it their duties to anticipate and fulfill his needs--can also cross this line, under the right set of circumstances. However, undirected advocacy--like Hit Man or the S.C.U.M. Manifesto--can only appeal to reason. No power dynamic between reader and speaker exists to attribute the causation of an act to the following of advocacy that is abstract--in that it is untethered to a specific factual context, not that it is bloodless. The mind of the reader remains free to evaluate, to weigh, to accept or to reject the arguments presented. The acts that result, therefore, are not attributable to the speaker, but solely to the actor. The speaker may be the spreader of error and evil counsel, but she is not herself an actor. To hold otherwise is not only to blur the lines between speech and act--even verbal act--but to reject the central tenet of any notion of free speech: that individuals are capable of receiving and evaluating various messages, and choosing between them.

Michelle Carter was involved in directed advocacy--she was addressing a particular person, trying to induce (so the trial court found) specific action at a specific time. Actually, she was engaged over a period of time, but at the time of the suicide, particularly when he left the carbon monoxide-filled truck and called her, at that precise moment, she commanded him to "get back in." In refusing to dismiss the case, the Supreme Judicial Court called this statement in particular (among others) "coercive" in the context of their discussions.

The Brandenburg rule captures an unspoken power dynamic: the audience may be swept up in the feeling created by the speaker, directed at that moment at a specific target. In short, a temporary ascendancy due to group feeling and manipulated emotion has created a power relationship such that the causal chain is established. Power, not reason, links speaker and actor.

That captures rather well the facts in Carter as found by the Court in its verdict. Whether Michelle Carter has an appeal on other grounds, her conviction does not seem to infringe the First Amendment.

""Get Back In": Commonwealth v. Carter and the Limits of Free Speech (Part 1)

Today's verdict finding Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter is a stage, nearly the final stage, perhaps, in a terrible tragedy. It also raises a paradigmatic case of the limits of First Amendment protection, and the academic manqué in me can't help but want to explore what the case tells us about the First Amendment.

The facts in brief:
A young woman who sent a barrage of text messages to another teenager urging him to kill himself was found guilty Friday of involuntary manslaughter in a case that many legal experts had expected to result in an acquittal.

The verdict, handed down by a judge in a nonjury trial, was a rare legal finding that, essentially, a person’s words alone can directly cause someone else’s suicide.

The judge, Lawrence Moniz, of Bristol County Juvenile Court in southeastern Massachusetts, said the conduct of the woman, Michelle Carter, toward Conrad Roy III was not only immoral but illegal. Ms. Carter, who faces up to 20 years in prison, will be sentenced on Aug. 3.

Ms. Carter was 17 in July 2014 when she encouraged Mr. Roy, 18, whom she called her boyfriend, to kill himself. On July 12, while she was miles away, he drove alone to a Kmart parking lot and hooked up a water pump that emitted carbon monoxide into the cab of his truck. When he became sick from the fumes and stepped out, prosecutors said, Ms. Carter ordered him by phone to “get back in.” He was found dead the next day.
Now, in analyzing the case, I'm going to be relying on the more detailed recitation of facts provided by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, reported at 474 Mass. 624; 52 N.E.3d 1054; 2016 Mass. LEXIS 384 (2016), which gives several key exchanges between Carter (referred to as "Defendant") and Roy ("Victim"):
On July 8, 2014, between 8:09 p.m. and 8:18 p.m., the defendant and victim exchanged the following text messages:

Defendant: “So are you sure you don't wanna [kill yourself] tonight?”

Victim: “what do you mean am I sure?”

Defendant: “Like, are you definitely not doing it tonight?”

Victim: “Idk yet I'll let you know”

Defendant: “Because I'll stay up with you if you wanna do it tonight”

Victim: “another day wouldn't hurt”

Defendant: “You can't keep pushing it off, tho, that's all you keep doing”


The defendant helped the victim determine the method he eventually used to kill himself. On July 7, 2014, between 10:57 p.m. and 11:04 p.m., they exchanged the following text messages:

Defendant: “Well there's more ways to make CO. Google ways to make it. … ”

Victim: “Omg”

Defendant: “What”

Victim: “portable generator that's it”

On July 11, 2014, at 5:13 p.m., the defendant sent the victim the following text message: “ … Well in my opinion, I think u should do the generator because I don't know much about the pump and with a generator u can't fail”

On July 12, 2014, between 4:25 a.m. and 4:34 a.m., they exchanged the following text messages:

Defendant: “So I guess you aren't gonna do it then, all that for nothing”

Defendant: “I'm just confused like you were so ready and determined”

Victim: “I am gonna eventually”

Victim: “I really don't know what I'm waiting for. . but I have everything lined up”

Defendant: “No, you're not, Conrad. Last night was it. You keep pushing it off and you say you'll do it but u never do. Its always gonna be that way if u don't take action”

Defendant: “You're just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it”

Defendant: “Do u wanna do it now?”

Victim: “Is it too late?”

Victim: “Idkk it's already light outside”

Victim: “I'm gonna go back to sleep, love you I'll text you tomorrow”

Defendant: “No? Its probably the best time now because everyone's sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one's really out right now because it's an awkward time”

Defendant: “If u don't do it now you're never gonna do it”

Defendant: “And u can say you'll do it tomorrow but you probably won't”

5 During the evening of July 11, 2014, and morning of July 12, 2014, the victim and the defendant exchanged the following text messages:

Victim: “I'm just to sensitive. I want my family to know there was nothing they could do. I am entrapped in my own thoughts”

Victim: “like no I would be happy if they had no guilt about it. because I have a bad feeling tht this is going to create a lot of depression between my parents/sisters”

Victim: “i'm overthinking everything. . fuck. I gotta stop and just do it”

Defendant: “I think your parents know you're in a really bad place. Im not saying they want you to do it, but I honestly feel like they can except it. They know there's nothing they can do, they've tried helping, everyone's tried. But there's a point that comes where there isn't anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself, and you've hit that point and I think your parents know you've hit that point. You said you're mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn't say anything. I think she knows it's on your mind and she's prepared for it”

Defendant: Everyone will be sad for a while, but they will get over it and move on. They won't be in depression I won't let that happen. They know how sad you are and they know that you're doing this to be happy, and I think they will understand and accept it. They'll always carry u in their hearts“

Victim: “i don't want anyone hurt in the process though”

Victim: “I meant when they open the door, all the carbon monoxide is gonna come out they can't see it or smell it. whoever opens the door”

Defendant: “They will see the generator and know that you died of CO. … ”

Victim: “hey can you do me a favor”

Defendant: “Yes of course”

Victim: “just be there for my family :)”

Defendant: “Conrad, of course I will be there for your family. I will help them as much as I can to get thru this, ill tell them about how amazing their son/brother truly was”

Victim: “Idk I'm freaking out again”

Victim: “I'm overthinking”

Defendant: “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it! You can't keep living this way. You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it babe. You can't keep doing this every day”

Victim: “I do want to. but like I'm freaking for my family. I guess”

Victim: “idkkk”

Defendant: “Conrad. I told you I'll take care of them. Everyone will take care of them to make sure they won't be alone and people will help them get thru it. We talked about this, they will be okay and accept it. People who commit suicide don't think this much and they just do it”

6 At various times between July 4, 2014, and July 12, 2014, the defendant and the victim exchanged several text messages:

Defendant: “You're gonna have to prove me wrong because I just don't think you really want this. You just keeps pushing it off to another night and say you'll do it but you never do”

Defendant: “SEE THAT'S WHAT I MEAN. YOU KEEP PUSHING IT OFF! You just said you were gonna do it tonight and now you're saying eventually. … ”

Defendant: “But I bet you're gonna be like ‘oh, it didn't work because I didn't tape the tube right or something like that’ … I bet you're gonna say an excuse like that”

Defendant: “Do you have the generator?”

Victim: “not yet lol”


Defendant: “You better not be bull shiting me and saying you're gonna do this and then purposely get caught”

Defendant: “You just need to do it Conrad or I'm gonna get you help”

Defendant: “You can't keep doing this everyday”

Victim: “Okay I'm gonna do it today”

Defendant: “Do you promise”

Victim: “I promise babe”

Victim: “I have to now”

Defendant: “Like right now?”

Victim: “where do I go? :(”

Defendant: “And u can't break a promise. And just go in a quiet parking lot or something” (emphasis added).
The Court also added that "Cellular telephone records that were presented to the grand jury revealed that the victim and defendant also had two cellular telephone conversations at the time during which police believe that the victim was in his truck committing suicide.7 The content of those cellular telephone conversations is only available as reported by the defendant to her friend, Samantha Boardman. After the victim's death, the defendant sent a text message to Boardman explaining that, at one point during the suicide, the victim got out of his truck because he was “scared,” and the defendant commanded him to get back in." The Court also found relevant that:
It was apparent that the defendant understood the repercussions of her role in the victim's death. Prior to his suicide, the defendant sought (apparently unsuccessfully) to have the victim delete the text messages between the two, and after learning that the police were looking through the victim's cellular telephone, the defendant sent the following text message to Boardman: “Sam, [the police] read my messages with him I'm done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail.” During the investigation, and after cross-referencing the text messages in the defendant's cellular telephone and those in the victim's cellular telephone, the police discovered that the defendant had erased certain text messages between her and the victim. The defendant also lied to police about the content of her conversations with the victim. Finally, the defendant acknowledged in a text message to Boardman that she could have stopped the victim from committing suicide: “I helped ease him into it and told him it was okay, I was talking to him on the phone when he did it I coud have easily stopped him or called the police but I didn't.

The Supreme Judicial Court found that the First Amendment did not prevent criminal punishment for Carter's role in Roy's death on the ground that "The speech at issue in this case is not protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or art. 16 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights because the Commonwealth has a compelling interest in deterring speech that has a direct, causal link to a specific victim's suicide."

This is, to put it mildly, unpersuasive.

The actual standard applicable to claims that advocacy of unlawful conduct is properly subject to legal sanction is that of Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), providing "that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."

So the Supreme Judicial Court's First Amendment analysis is quite superficial, and doesn't use the right standard.

Which in this case doesn't make it wrong.

Next: Directed Coercive Advocacy and the Carter Case

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Look at the Scale of Things": Planet of Giants/Dangerous Journey/Crisis

Right, there are two ways I could go about this. The first is I could be glib, and say that the primary merit of this three part story (that's the originally aired version available on BritBox, so that's what I watched; I gather the four part version has been reconstructed) is that it preserves the beauty of a particularly nice-looking calico cat.

The other is to admit that the second season of Doctor Who starts with...mot exactly a whimper, but a misfire. It's not that there aren't things to like in this odd story; it's just that it doesn't work as a whole. But the good is quite worth seeing. Let me explain:

The story begins in the TARDIS, shortly after it left Revolutionary France. But not immediately; the travelers have all changed (the Doctor is swanning about in a cloak rather like that he received in The Sensorites, but (so it appears) lighter in color), when suddenly the TARDIS doors try to open in mid-flight, the console is hot enough to burn Barbara's hand, and the travelers barely manage to land intact--in fact, the scanner shatters, when they try to view their surroundings.

Team TARDIS spills out into a canyon, and discovers that they are surrounded by huge (but very, very dead) earthworms, ants and other insects. They wander around in two groups trying to figure out where they are, when they discover that giant humans live on this planet. Giant humans who use giant English products made in (seemingly) giant English manufacturing locales...

In a neat touch, the Doctor (with Barbara) and Susan (with Ian) realize the truth at the same moment, and explain it in the same words: the planet and its inhabitants aren't giants--the TARDIS and its occupants have shrunk, with the travelers reduced to an inch in height. Susan is sharp here, overriding her onetime science teacher with the same authority Hartnell as the Doctor brings to his explanation to Barbara. She is once again the brilliant "Unearthly Child" of the pilot, who has intermittently shown up when she isn't screaming. Carole Ann Ford is great as this Susan, and it's good to see her in a more mature and compelling role.

The travelers try to find Ian (who rather stupidly hid in a briefcase to avoid being spotted, and literally was carried away. Barbara makes the mistake of touching a huge seed, and begins to sicken...

Meanwhile, a greedy investor and an idealistic (albeit obsessed) scientist are hosting (at the scientist's home and personal lab) a government scientist who is testing the safety and efficacy of a new insecticide that will (if it works properly) end world hunger and make the investor a fortune (which he needs, having sunk all his money into it). The regulator realizes the insecticide is too effective--it kills everything, and for decades. When he tells the investor, in the absence of the scientist, the investor, er, kills him. Sorry, old chap. He tells the scientist that Farrow (the government scientist) was corrupt, and going to end the project--and thus no end to world hunger, so the scientist agrees to move the body.

Oh, my insecticide!

If this sounds like a crossover between Doctor Who and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962), well it bloody well feels like one. The two stories run parallel to each other, only intersecting occasionally, and at the end, when the Doctor and Barbara work out the harm the insecticide will do, and they try to get the attention of the police to not just the murder, but the underlying cause. That's when this already odd story crosses over again, this time with Dixon of Dock Green--the local constable, and his telephone exchange operator wife work out that the calls to London are not coming from Farrow, and the constable makes the arrest.

Because of the disparity in size, the travelers cannot make out the voices of the people around them, and can't be heard by them. So these stories only touch so that the big people can imperil the travelers (washing their hands in a sink while the Doctor and Susan hide in the drain), or the travelers try to stop the accomplice's covering up their crimes.

The idea isn't terrible, but because it's so disjointed, it's hard to get invested in the story of the insecticide and murder.

What does work, and works beautifully, is the relationships between the Doctor, Susan, Barbara, and Ian. Ian comes last in this list because he's least well served by the script. William Russell plays his role as stalwart here, but the script makes him repeatedly grab the idiot ball. But he portrays Ian's intrepidity and loyalty simply and convincingly.

Barbara oddly doesn't tell anyone that she's been poisoned, though she works up towards it at least once, only to be interrupted. This doesn't make sense, but Jacqueline Hill puts in a performance of mounting terror and disorientation that you believe it. Earlier in the story, the unaffected warmth between her and Hartnell's Doctor, and Susan, is both charming and earned.

The Doctor is more likable in season two than in the pervious stories--after being curt and dismissive during the initial crisis, he apologizes quite humbly to Barbara, addressing her as "my dear," and treats Ian as a friend throughout. He and Susan trust one another implicitly here, and work well together. Hartnell is quite good here--light where he can be, firm where needed. His boyish enthusiasm for explosions is pure Tom Sawyer, but he sells it.

The Doctor and his companions end up back safely in the TARDIS--with Barbara restored to full size, the poison that entered her system through skin contact is too small to affect her. They realize that they had touched on modern earth, but had to dematerialize to restore themselves to full size; the effort to move in time, but not in space led to an error the shrank them.

So where have they landed now, they wonder?

The next episode's title is "The End of the World."

In more than one way, that's just what it is.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Able I Was: The Tyrant of France/A Bargain of Necessity/Prisoners of Conciergerie

Barbara the bar-maid
In Robespierre's France,
Would spare her enemies if given the chance.
She rather likes dress-up
In sumptuous gowns,
Making the other side fess up
While making her rounds.

Barbara the bar-maid
Keeps stirring the pot,
Simply jolie, not laide,
While moving the plot.


So, when we talk about six-parters, the fact of the matter is, they often sag in the middle, even the classic ones. The Mutants is my go-to story for tedium, but to be fair, I gave up on it at the end of Part 2)> But even the all-time classic Genesis of the Daleks sags a bit. And you've read my sighs on some of the Hartnell six-parters in this first season. Dennis Spooner successfully comes up with a neat solution: each episode has a reason for being there. So, for example, the first three episodes, which (1) resolve the TARDIS team internal conflict and set up the premise; (2) Ian, Barbara and Susan get imprisoned--and worse, Barbara and Susan are sent in a tumbrel to the Guillotine; (3) the Doctor starts bossing his way through revolutionary France; Barbara, Ian, and Susan are freed.

For the second troika of episodes, Spooner keeps up a plot line that minimizes pointless run-arounds. Again, each episode has its own story to tell. In "The Tyrant of France," we meet Robespierre himself. The Doctor, in his guise as a country bumpkin Deputy, manages to evade Robespierre's questions, but goes a little over the top, so that Robespierre wants to meet him again, so Lematire (a name of some significance in the show's history--but not yet) has an excuse to hold the Doctor in custody. In a subplot, Ian tries to find the English agent whose contact dies in his cell, asking Ian's aid. Léon (who was so strongly attracted to Barbara in his first appearance) betrays him.

In "A Bargain of Necessity," Ian resists the pressure to divulge what little he knows to Léon; Jules rescues him, but Léon is killed. Meanwhile, the Doctor has to break Barbara and Susan out of prison. He manipulates the jailer and gets Barbara free, but has to club him over the head to get Susan out of her cell. Alas, they are caught on their way out. This subplot is repetitive, but it's handled as high comedy--each time the Doctor has to snow the jailer, he has to try harder, because the jailer is more skeptical each time. Both Hartnell and Jack Cunningham as the jailer have great comic timing, and they real chemistry. With Susan left behind, the Doctor brings Lemaitre to meet Jules and the TARDIS team.

Finally, there's plenty of plot left for "Prisoners of the Conciergerie." The fall of Robespierre, the scheming to bring Napoleon Bonaparte to the fore, and Barbara and Ian as waitstaff/spies on Napoleon and Barras (the would-be kingmaker). Also, the Doctor and the jailer have one last pas-de-deux, with the Doctor now posing as one of the conspirators who overthrew Robespierre (who is shot through the jaw, and carried through Paris by a mocking crowd--NOT FOR KIDS! as Sue Perryman used to say.) Anyway, LeMaitre was the English agent all along, and the Doctor et al escape. But, as six parters go, it's flip and fun (the last three get a little darker, though).

So why yet another of my sub-Betjamen-esque verses?

BARBARA: Well, not very much, we didn't have a chance. But he'll be here soon, so no doubt we'll get the whole story, several times. What have you done?
IAN: Oh, it's nothing much. Let's just say I fell into the wrong hands, and Jules arrived in time.
BARBARA: And Leon?
JULES: He's dead, Barbara. I killed him.
BARBARA: Killed him?
JULES: Yes. He was the traitor we were looking for.
IAN: It was the only way, Barbara.
JULES: He deserved to die. He was a traitor.
BARBARA: What do you mean, he was a traitor?
IAN: When I got to the church, he turned on me. He was going to kill me.
JULES: He betrayed us, Barbara.
BARBARA: He was a traitor to you. To his side he was a patriot.
IAN: Barbara, we've taken sides just by being here. Jules actually shot him. It could just as easily have been me.
JULES: And what about Robespierre? I suppose you think
BARBARA: Well just because an extremist like Robespierre
IAN: Oh, Barbara, Jules is our friend. He saved our lives!
BARBARA: I know all that! The revolution isn't all bad, and neither are the people who support it. It changed things for the whole world, and good, honest people gave their lives for that change.
IAN: Well, he got what he deserved.
BARBARA: You check your history books, Ian, before you decide what people deserve.
This is classic Barbara; yes, she rather fancied Leon Colbert (who clearly fancied her), but it's the simplification of the man's cause and reasons for his devotion to it that Barbara balks at. The complexity of history, the mixed motives, the confusion of the times--all the reasons that led her to defend the Aztecs when Susan expressed her revulsion at the Aztecs for their practice of human sacrifice.

Barbara will not simplify.

The good is not obliterated by the bad, nor vice-versa.

She will insist on commemorating both, praising the good while acknowledging the bad. And she can mourn for those whom she meets, despite their flaws.

The Doctor has become infuriating, charming, mercurial and resourceful (successfully doing what Colin Baker could not, through no fault of his own);

Ian is brave and stalwart, a science teacher has become a knight;

Barbara is the beating heart of Doctor Who as its first season ends with this story.

See you for Season Two!

Monday, June 5, 2017

"Liberté, égalité, fraternité": A Land of Fear/Guests of Madame Guillotine/A Change of Identity

The story arc collectively known as The Reign of Terror closes out Doctor Who's first season, airing from August 8 through September 12, 1964. Written by So this one is well within the wheelhouse of the BBC, even in 1964. It's the first storyline written by Dennis Spooner, and benefits from his lightness of touch. Even more so than did The Aztecs, this storyline gives William Hartnell the chance to show off his comedy chops, evidenced in these first three episodes by his hard bargaining with a Parisian costumier, and his deadpan double take when he (masquerading as a provincial official and draped in enough bunting to make a good busker in a production of Inherit the Wind) is hauled by a suspicious higher-ranking official to meet Robespierre.

Spooner's script, ably directed by Henric Hirsch, even sends up the Doctor's more, er, sanguinary impulses, with a comic call-back to the Doctor's impulse to cave in (sorry! Za's head with a rock; here, the Doctor, having impressed into a chain-gang, and having gotten pretty damned fed up with being on one, tricks the Foreman into digging for buried treasure, and while his back is turned, the Doctor--you guessed it--whangees him on the base of the skull with a shovel. Unlike the stark drama in 100,000 BC, though, here it's played as Wile E. Coyote pulling a rare successful gambit. It's also sanitized for the children watching--we follow the eyes of the chain gang member looking away as the Doctor swings, and we see the foreman sleeping as the Doctor saunters off.

Spooner's script moves briskly along, with lots of neat character bits. So, at the very beginning, the Doctor wants Ian and Barbara to leave, as at the end of The Sensorites, but in the prelude to teh story, it's made very clear that, although he's nettled at their lack of faith, he's quite sure that they are in fact home. He no longer is willing to harm or abandon them--he's just done it, and is cross that they don't believe him. In fact, he goes out with Ian and Barbara, and brings Susan as well, so they can have a farewell drink to celebrate their friendship.

That they're 200 miles (in the countryside outside of Paris) and nearly 200 years off, well, he doesn't know it at the time. The travelers find a place to doss down, which turns out to be a way station on an Underground Railroad for aristos and others fleeing the Terror; two such refugees hiding in the house the travelers have entered club the Doctor into unconsciousness. Barbara, Susan, and Ian, along with the two fugitives, are captured;the two are summarily killed, the house, with the Doctor still unconscious, set on fire, and Barbara, Susan and Ian are haled back to Paris and swiftly sentenced to death.

Spooner heightens two tropes that have begun to make their way into Doctor Who. First, Barbara is catnip to men in this story. Oh, there had been previous admirers, but here both the jailer at the Conciergerie (whom she slaps, rejecting his indecent proposal that she accept his advances in exchange for her freedom), and the counter-revolutionary Leon Colbert, whom she meets after she and Susan are rescued from the tumbril, fall for her on sight (granted, the jailer is more of a sex pest).

The second trope is the prowess of Ian, who manages to spirit away a key, unlock his cell door, knock out the jailer without rousing any guards, and escape. This maths teachers can, as he already did in The Aztecs, hold his own against pretty stiff odds.

A nice human touch is that as Susan gets ill (poor Carole Ann Ford doesn't get much to do for these three episodes), Barbara suspends her escape attempts--which were well under way--and comforts her. She won't abandon her friend, neither will she upbraid her for her fear and despair. Jacqueline Hill is tremendous in depicting Barbara's low key, but palpable compassion in these episodes.

It doesn't hurt that this episode is completely in the BBC's wheelhouse, even in 1964. It's a historically based costume drama, with some low rent Scarlet Pimpernel-wanna bes cluttering up the background. The Forsyte Saga may still be three years off, but the capacity was there.

These first three episodes have been a high point of this retrospective viewing so far; of all the serials I've seen, it has been the best paced, and the lightest. The Aztecs was a stone classic, The Sensorites was much better--and more fun--than I'd expected it to be, but after watching three episodes of The Reign of Terror at a stretch, I wanted to fire up part 4. That's pretty good TV after 53 years.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"Hail Thee, Festival Day!": A Sermon

[The text of my Sermon on John 20:19-23 & 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, delivered at St. Bartholomew's Church, June 4, 2017.]

Hail thee, festival day!
blest day that art hallowed forever,
Day when the Holy Ghost shone
In the world with God’s grace!

I admit it, I’m a sucker for this hymn. All three versions. You heard me. We get to sing “Hail Thee Festival Day” for Easter, of course (that’s Hymn number 175), where it’s Christ our Lord breaking the Kingdom of Death. Then we get to hear it again then again for the Ascension (now it’s Hymn 216, where it’s about Christ our Lord ascending, high in the heavens to reign.

But we get this hymn one last time, today, for Pentecost. (Hymn number 225). And today—

Well, today, I could shave five minutes off the sermon by having us just sing the hymn again, and, you know, if the lyrics to this version were not so dense with meaning that in singing them, we can miss some of the implications, I’d do just that.

Pentecost is often called the Church’s birthday, and between tongues of flame, and the miracle of the Apostle’s teaching being heard in all the languages of the globe, and understood—well, there’s a lot. Quite a lot, and I haven’t even mentioned the Gospel, or the reading from First Corinthians.

But our opening hymn reminds us that Pentecost is a day of joy, literally a banner day, on which we wear red, unfurl actual banners, and let our flags fly.

Did you ever wonder why?

Let’s begin with something that’s easy to overlook.

In the other two versions of “Hail Thee, Festival Day,” we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection, and his Ascension. We celebrate our Savior, our teacher, our rabbi, who gave his life for us, and that his life did not just end on the Cross. We celebrate that Jesus returned to his friends, his community, and that his death was the beginning, not the end.

But today’s version of the hymn celebrates a different gift to us, a gift that enables us to live in this world as it is, in the day-to-day world. The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, has come. And the Spirit has done something to transform the way in which we are called to live.

There’s a symbolic, a mythic, meaning of the Pentecost story in Acts of the Apostles. When I say the mythic, I don’t mean the miraculous, exactly. I mean that, apart from its historical content, the Pentecost story expresses through its narrative a profound truth that would stand even if you reject the notion that anything like this account occurred. It fits into Biblical history and resonates with its very beginning.

Early in the Book of Genesis—chapter 11—we are told the story of the Tower of Babel. In that story, God, seeing a united humanity, with no division between them, all eager to make a name for themselves, begin to build the tower as a focal point of their ambition. Their mighty building will reflect their might as a people. It’s the first example, as far as I know, of the Edifice Complex.

Seeing these fallen children of Adam and Eve building their monument to themselves, Genesis tells us, God says to Himself, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” So God goes down among them, “and confuse[s] their language,” and they are scattered. The tower and the City are never built, and the remnants of the unfinished building are called Babel—divided.

Not after today.

Pentecost is when the healing begins. The gift of speech is no longer to a threat to us and the rest of Creation. We don’t have to be forcibly divided, so that our fallen nature won’t get out of control. On Pentecost, after the onrush of the Holy Spirit, the gift of shared speech comes back, for the first time since long before Abraham left Haram. The divisions separating God’s children have outlived their usefulness, and it’s time for them to come down.

And that’s just what Paul tells us today in First Corinthians—“For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” Or, as Paul would later tell the Galatians, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

So, apart from the fact that the apostles’ preaching was able to be understood by those who did not speak their language, Pentecost is the end of the epoch in which our divisions were meant to protect us and the rest of Creation from human arrogance, selfishness, and stupidity. For the members of the early Jesus Movement, something has reached a culmination—these disciples are reaching beyond their own people to strangers, and the Holy Spirit is enabling them to do so, confirming to them that the time for division is over.

As we look out at our world, it doesn’t feel that way, though, does it?

We are divided, at home, and abroad. The time for division may have ended, but the curse still lingers, and in some ways seems to be growing worse.

Greater ease in communication has not made our divisions cease; the internet and the 24 hour news cycle may make them seem worse than ever.

Worse still, we seem to have gotten used to division, and it’s not fading away. We are still trying to catch up to Paul’s finest insight, that the labels we have long used to separate ourselves from each other aren’t made for that at all.

But Pentecost tells us that those divisions aren’t right. They do not reflect the destiny of the daughters and sons of God.

Our divisions are to be overcome.

When I used to lead theological reflections in our EFM group, I always used to call the last stage the “so what?” How does whatever we are reflecting on affect our lives, our faith, our approach to being Christians here and now.

In terms of these readings, this Pentecost, this festival day, here’s how:

We’re not alone. We have each other—here, in this congregation, other followers of Jesus, even the ones who we don’t get and who don’t get us, but also in people across a variety of traditions and beliefs who are all seeking to better love their fellow women and men.

Better still, we are told that the Holy Spirit, meaning God, is working to bind up and heal all of creation. We aren’t in charge. John Lennon wisely reminded us not to carry the world upon our shoulders. God’s already doing that, ceaselessly pouring out that Holy Spirit upon all of us, calling us to play our part in healing divisions, restoring the health of the world God created.

So the ultimate healing of divisions is not going to be my project, or your project alone. We each have a piece of that larger project, and are not responsible for the whole thing ourselves.

But how do we know how to play our part?

Paul writes that “there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.” He reminds us that “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

The gifts of the Spirit are in all of us. What is it that the inmost promptings of the heart are calling you to do? Because we can find our part in the work if we can open ourselves to discovering where our “deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Now, I’ve borrowed those words. They’re from Frederick Buechner, and they’re the best translation I’ve come upon for what theologians mean when they talk about God calling each of us, clergy and lay, to a special ministry. It’s finding that place, he wrote, “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

And some of us find ourselves led to ordained ministry, as priests, or, like me, to the vocational diaconate. But all the people who serve here, lay ministers and volunteers, our altar guild, the incredible group of talented musicians who create beauty here every week, are responding to that call. And so are many people whose responses we don’t see, because they pursue that calling outside the church walls, and we’re here as a community and sustenance for them.

The gifts of the Spirit have been given to us for us to use them in the building up of creation, not as a Babel Tower so we can declare our might, but so that we can each of us play that part we are called to in redeeming all the mess and pain in this world.

And the Good News of Pentecost is that the work that calls to our heart, that speaks to each of us, individually, where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet, is right where we are supposed to be.

Hail Thee, Festival Day,
Blest day that art hallowed forever,


Monday, May 29, 2017

Getting to Know You: A Race Against Death/Kidnap/A Desperate Venture

If you think William Hartnell flubbed his lines, he's not the only one--there's an extended flub where one Sensorite blows it, another tries to help, the first tries to jump in, and the whole thing becomes, as they used to say on The West Wing, a thing.

I mention this, not to be harsh to the actors under those masks, but because Hartnell gets a lot of stick for his flubs, and the fact is, they abound around him.

So, The Sensorites is, in essence, a story of recognition, of becoming undeceived. The Second Elder recognizes that, absent their insignia of office, Sensorites are functionally identical to all but their closest family-group members--and uses this knowledge to kill his way toward the top, in the finest House of Cards way (he lacks the panache of Ian Richardson, so he, in another, WestWing steal, he gets Underwood). As he begins with motives that are fear-driven, but not selfish, he also discovers his own lust for power and cruelty.

The First Elder realizes that he has been naive (cue Anthony Ainley!) in assuming his people incapable of greed, malice, deception. The most likable of the Sensorites, and the most complex, he also comes to recognize that humans cannot all be lumped together--that they can be good, brave and kind (like the TARDIS team) as well as grasping, greedy, etc.

Susan recognizes that, although she is not unhappy traveling, she wants "to belong somewhere." To go home, even if it's not her literal home. In a conversation that touches on Susan's views on Barbara and humanity, we get the first description of the Doctor's yet-unnamed world:
SUSAN: Thank you. Please find them, Barbara.
(Barbara leaves)
1ST ELDER: A very capable human being.
SUSAN: Yes, she is.
1ST ELDER: Gentle, yet with strong determination and courage.
BOTH: I was going to
SUSAN: I was going to say, why do you trust your people?
1ST ELDER: Why do you want to make me doubt them?
SUSAN: Trust can't be taken for granted. It must be earned. I trust you, but only because I know you.
1ST ELDER: But Susan, our whole life is based on trust.
SUSAN: Yes, and that might be your downfall. Look you don't trust the ground you walk on until you know it's firm, do you. So why trust your people blindly?
1ST ELDER: When I listen to you, you who are so young among your own kind, I realise that we Sensorites have a lot to learn from the people of Earth.
SUSAN: Grandfather and I don't come from Earth. Oh, it's ages since we've seen our planet. It's quite like Earth, but at night the sky is a burned orange, and the leaves on the trees are bright silver.
1ST ELDER: My mind tells me that you wish to see your home again, and yet there is a part of you which calls for adventure. A wanderlust.
SUSAN: Yes. Well, we'll all go home some day. That's if you'll let us.
1ST ELDER: I think I will.
The Doctor--he realizes that Susan is growing up, growing away from him, showing gifts that he does not expect, and cannot control. He pleads with her to maintain the status quo, for a little longer:
DOCTOR: What's the matter, my child?
SUSAN: I had a talk with the senior Scientist just before we left. It seems that the Sensphere has an extraordinary number of ultra high frequencies, so I won't be able to go on using thought transference.
DOCTOR: Oh, I don't know. It's rather a relief, I think. After all, no one likes an eavesdropper about, do they. No, I think you obviously have a gift in that direction. When we get home to our own place, I think we should try and perfect it.
SUSAN: When will we get back, Grandfather?
DOCTOR: I don't know, my dear. This old ship of mine seems to be an aimless thing. However, we don't worry about it, do we? Do you?
SUSAN: Sometimes I feel I'd like to belong somewhere, not just be a wanderer. Still, I'm not unhappy.
DOCTOR: Good, good.
As for Ian and Barbara, they discover that, improved though the Doctor is, he is still not entirely trustworthy, as the ending demonstrates:
IAN: Well, here we are.
DOCTOR: Always last. I very nearly went off without you.
BARBARA: We were saying goodbye to John and Carol.
DOCTOR: Let's have a look at Maitland and see him off, shall we?
(The scanner shows the ship heading into the stars)
IAN: Well, at least they know where they're going.
DOCTOR: Implying I don't?
IAN: I didn't mean anything
DOCTOR: So, you think I'm an incompetent old fool, do you?
IAN: Now, Doctor, I never said that.
DOCTOR: Since you are so dissatisfied, my boy, you can get off the ship. At the very next place we stop, I shall take you off myself, and that is quite final. Carry on.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

"To Them, We May Appear Ugly": Strangers in Space/The Unwilling Warriors/Hidden Danger

The first thing that grabbed me about the first episode of the story arc collectively known as The Sensorites was the bonhomie between the TARDIS team in the wake of the events of the Aztecs. It's openly acknowledged
IAN: There's one thing about it, Doctor. We're certainly different from when we started out with you.
SUSAN: That's funny. Grandfather and I were talking about that just before you came in. How you've both changed.
BARBARA: Well we've all changed.
SUSAN: Have I?
DOCTOR: Yes, it all started out as a mild curiosity in a junkyard, and now it's turned out to be quite a, quite a great spirit of adventure, don't you think?
IAN: Yes. We've had some pretty rough times and even that doesn't stop us. It's a wonderful thing, this ship of yours, Doctor
The Doctor puts it well, noting that what started as a of mild curiosity in a junkyard, but now it's developed into a great sense of adventure. Barbara and Ian are happy. They like the Doctor and Susan, they like traveling--though ultimately they want to go home, they seem content to go the long way around.

The TARDIS has landed within a space ship from the 28th Century, complete with two dead astronauts, Captain Maitland and Carol Richmond. Except they're not dead; they're asleep, placed in an extended slumber by the unknown aliens, the Sensorites, who refuse to allow humanity to leave "this area of space." The awakened team of 28th Century astronauts are trying to break free from the Senorites, but their hope is low; they persuade the TARDIS team to leave after dropping hints about Earth's future, such as the whole southern half of England is now known as Central City; it hasn't been known as "London" since the 24th Century. The Doctor and Ian's help Carol to avoid a Sensorite trap, pulling their ship into whatever heavenly body it's nearest, but the crew persuade the Doctor and Ian that they cannot safely be helped--until they all smell something burning, and discover the TARDIS's lock cylinder has been removed, trapping them outside of it.

As they try to discern next moves, Susan and Barbara go for water, only to be trapped in a different section of the ship, where they are stalked by the third member of the crew, John. He is vaguely zombie-like, slightly menacing. He tracks Barbara and Susan, only to fall at their feet, crying. Touched, Barbara kneels down by him, and holds him, getting from him that he's ill.

Meanwhile, the Doctor is panicking about Susan's well-being (and Barbara's too), and stirring Maitland to force the door, especially after Carol reveals that John is trapped on the other side, the most thoroughly broken member of the crew, and most under the Sensorite control. The Sensorites draw near, with strange high-pitched noises. The Doctor and Ian attempt evasive action, with some success.

John is awoken, giving rise to a brief fear that he will attack Susan and Barbara, but he avows that he will protect Barbara and Susan. "Yes," Barbara murmurs kindly to this squirrelly, rather broken, man, "You protect us."

Back in the control room, a Sensorite--rather a gremlinish little thing--latches onto the window of the ship.

The Sensorites gets a rough ride from Neil Perryman, so I was expecting it to be deathly dull. Halfway through, it isn't. There are two dramatic movements here that kept me interested: First, the Doctor and Susan being in conflict, with Susan (to my mind) being in the right. She wants to talk with the Sensorites (as does he), but she understands their fear much better than he does, and his brusqueness is harmful to establishing diplomatic relations. Through these three episodes, the Doctor calls on Susan to be obedient, and ultimately prevails, but her gentler approach is in fact more productive.

Susan's telepathy is revealed here, and she is altogether more impressive than in past episodes. Carole Ann Ford is quite effective, much less flustered than she is normally required to be, and Susan's brief rebellion is well played.

Barbara likewise stops Ian from attacking the Sensorites on the spaceship, and this, plus the Doctor's not pressing their advantage when he has blinded them, leads the Sensorites ' First Elder to try a negotiated solution. Susan's growing up, and her greater wisdom here, is a great character beat. The Doctor being wrong (though not entirely) likewise works well. When the travelers are brought down to the Sensphere, the Doctor starts adjusting to the atmosphere, and following the path Susan had initially laid out.

The second major plot line is that the Sensorites are actually quite timid, reluctant to hurt the humans, but desperate to save their imperiled world from further infection. In a gambit echoed in The Zygon Inversion, fear leads to bad decisions--in the Sensorites, it's the terrified junior ministers of the Sensephere who decide to kill the humans (thus endangering the cure to the plague that afflicts them).

The travelers and the crew of the Earth ship go down to the planet, and try to negotiate peace. But Ian, who has drunk of the waters received for the lowest caste Sensorites, is struck down by the plague....

The Sensorite faces are well realized; the bodies less so. Raymond Cusack's design is effective, both on the spaceship and on the Sensphere--two very different future aesthetics, each distinguishable from the other, and from the TARDIS.

It's dated, this parable about making peace, but not as badly as all that--it feels rather like an episode of The Twilight Zone, and that's no bad thing.

Messing About In Boats

So, la Caterina and your Anglocat are on vacation (hence the lack of updates). We've traveled from New York to Baltimore, where we feasted on "ginormous" crabs at LP Steamers (A regular stop for us), drove down in die Saturne to North Carolina, where we are staying with La C's family. In addition to reconnecting with my in-laws, my brother in law reminded me of something I used to greatly enjoy but haven't had much scope for of recent years: messing about in boats.

You see, They live on a lake. Yes, right on the lake.

So two days ago, with several friends and myself, my brother-in-law took me out in a fast-crushing sleek motor boat that made Ratty's contrivance look quaint. And as most of the party experimented on the wake board (my sister-in-law and brother-in-law being especially impressive; for the narrative's sake, we'll call them A and B, respectively), I just enjoyed the sensations of being on the water, zipping through the lake.

Yesterday, A had a wedding to attend, and B very kindly took us out to dinner--across the lake, in a pontoon boat. From our gentle ride over, to the more spirited return (wind in my face, as the sun began to contemplate setting), it was a delicious experience. And the meal was good too. You'd be surprised how fast a pontoon boat can go, too.

I may be Mole, but I can see Ratty's point.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Not One Line!": Doctor Who: The Temple of Evil, The Warriors of Death, The Bride of Sacrifice, The Day of Darkness

I know, I know, the multiple titles are a bit much, especially when the whole story arc is perfectly well known and even celebrated as The Aztecs. And yeah, I could do that. But the thing is, it's not true to how these stories were experienced. Each episode went out under a separate title, so you didn't know the length of one story-arc until the TARDIS left the scene of it. I think that's worth keeping to the forefront.

The love for this story is pretty easy to get: it's a four-parter, not six or seven, and so it's much less padded than were The Daleks or The Keys to Marinus. It's got the first TARDIS team at their best--the cast is working well together, the travelers all care for each other's well being, there's none of the dislike and rivalry that marred their earlier appearances.

The guest actors range from serviceable to excellent, with John Ringham's Tlotoxl either a height or a nadir depending on taste. Tlotoxl is an over the top, scenery chewing villain who breaks the fourth wall to provide the cliffhanger for "The Warriors of Death." Ringham just goes for broke here, and he is compulsively watchable, if way over the top.

The Doctor gets his first (onscreen) romantic interest in Margot van der Burgh's excellent Cameca, an Aztec widow he courts for information, but who genuinely touches him. (Note that the Doctor, on their departure, keeps Cameca's parting gift after preparing to abandon it.) She deftly underplays her scenes with Hartnell, who is (at first) fairly obviously scamming her, but who comes to respond to her with genuine tenderness. It's really quite lovely, and a reminder that, despite the line fluffs (no second takes in early Doctor Who--Hartnell makes the most of them, but they happen to everyone, regular and guest.), Hartnell was a damn fine actor. The comedic courtship by cocoa (the Doctor doesn't know that it's used for betrothal, and he's too self-confident to wonder at Cameca's rapturous response) is as funny as David Tennant in his (*ahem*) Elizabethan phase.

The story is a classic British imperialist trope, but subverted here: the TARDIS crew arrive in Mexico of the 15th Century, and, as so often happens in such tales, one of their number is mistaken for a goddess--Barbara finds herself enthroned, and in complete control. Until, that is, she tries to improve Aztec culture, disregarding the Doctor's famous warning that "you can't rewrite history! Not one line!" At this point, Barbara intercedes to prevent a human sacrifice, with disastrous results--the victim kills himself, and Tlotoxl is determined to prove that she is a fraud. (Ironically, he's right here, and so,awful as he is, he has an element of truth on his side.). The would-be savior of the Aztecs is lucky to escape with her life, and those of her "servants."

But it isn't all waste; Autloc (Keith Pyott, in a thoughtful, sincere performance) is convinced by Barbara's idealism. He leaves, to find peace in the wilderness, to wrestle with the import of the new concepts Barbara has given him. When Clarence Darrow looked for hope, he would say, "there is always one man to state the case for freedom." Thanks to Barbara, the Aztecs may yet have one, if he returns.

It's dated in places, but The Aztecs is a genuine classic; Doctor Who firing on all cylinders.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Spirits in Prison: A Sermon on 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

A Sermon on 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21
April 23, 2017
St. Bartholomew’s Church

In Robertson Davies’s novel The Manticore, David Staunton, a Canadian criminal defense attorney, has reached a turning point in his life, after his father’s mysterious death. His father, a business tycoon and former Governor-General of Canada, drove his car off of a pier, with a round stone in his mouth, and drowned in his car.
David’s father had spent the earlier part of that day with an old friend, a schoolmaster, and a new friend, a world-famous magician. The stone had been given to him by his old friend, who identified the stone as one that back when he was a small boy, David’s father had thrown at his old friend, who dodged it, and a woman walking by was struck by it. She went into labor, and the child she gave birth to grew up to be the magician.

After his father’s death, David interrupted the closing act of the magician’s last show of his Canadian tour, a brazen head that would answer audience questions, by asking out loud who had killed his father. As the brazen head answered, David fled the theater, and accused himself of being mad, and needing therapy. He finds himself guilty, and describes all this to the Jungian therapist he sees as his punishment for causing a scene. His analyst suggests that the best way for them to proceed is for him to lay out his life like a legal brief—to plead his case. She explains to him that he should “let it be a brief for the defense; you will inevitably prepare a case for the prosecution as you do so, for that is the kind of court you are to appear in—the court of self-judgment. And Mr. Justice Staunton, will hear all and render judgment.”

David doesn’t want to be his own judge, and asks his analyst if she can be the judge. She refuses, saying “I will be an interested spectator, and…a figure that appears only in military courts, called Prisoner’s Friend. And I shall be an authority on precedents, and germane judgments, and I shall keep both the prosecutor and the defence counsel in check. I shall be custodian of that constant and perpetual wish to render to everyone his due.”

We all of us have to appear in our own courts. We all have to reach conclusions about our own conduct, and to come to grips with those times in our lives when we feel that we have failed, or, worse, done the wrong thing knowing it was wrong. And if, like me, you’ve been raised in a tradition where God is held out to us as our judge, and as the only righteous judge, you may be, like David Staunton, assuming that righteous judge will be very severe.

Your own inner judge may be like David’s “Mr. Justice Staunton,” severe, harsh, all in the name of righteousness. But as David’s doctor reminds him, “a judge is not supposed to be an enemy of the prisoner.”

In today's Gospel, Jesus doesn’t promise us a judge who will be strict and severe with us. He promises us an advocate. In fact, the Advocate, with a capital “A.” And that Advocate, we are explicitly told, is the Holy Spirit itself. Likewise, in the the Epistle, taken form the First letter of Peter, we are told that Jesus “was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which he also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah.”

Now these two passages have provided grist for an uncountable number of theological mills. The Advocate or the Paraclete has been the subject of whole books, and today’s passage from First Peter has tied up in knots some of the best theologians in the Western tradition; Both St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas westled with it, and in each case it’s frankly like watching a kitten with a ball of yarn. Lots of logic chopping, and sudden movement, but a bit of a mess at the end of the day. Martin Luther just gave up, admitting “a wonderful text is this, and a more obscure passage than any other in the New testament, so I do not know for certain just what Peter means.”

So obviously, I can’t give you a simple, authoritative interpretation of either of these texts. But that doesn’t mean these passages have nothing to say to us. Various books of the Bible resound again and again with rhetoric of judgment. But these readings give us good news, when we’re up against our own courts of judgment, and an insight into what God’s judgment is like.
In First Peter, we are confronted with not just an obscure scriptural text but with an uncomfortable one. For one thing, it presupposes the existence and reality of hell. You know, where, as Jesus himself said, "where the worm diet not, and the flame is not quenched. Hell.

Wait a second, we think, hell? Our living God, our teacher Jesus, is threatening us with what the Anglican novelist Susan Howatch once called “the eternal wienie roast?” How can God love all His children, and condemn some unknown number of us to everlasting suffering?

But in fact our reading from Peter today does mention hell, depicting Jesus, between the crucifixion and the resurrection, going to hell, where he “made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah.” This is what’s known as the Harrowing of Hell, the release of souls from hell.

Augustine and Aquinas get tangled up in the questions of how the release of prisoners in hell could mesh with God’s justice, or how the dead can be saved, but ultimately they agree on one thing: Jesus didn’t go to hell to crow over those who were condemned. And he wasn’t taking a victory lap. Jesus went down in some manner to break the chains of hell.

Now just stop for one minute. Never mind whether you believe in hell, or in God sending the wicked to it. Remember hell got its start as the land of the dead, a mythological depiction of the state of death itself, all the way back to The Epic of Gilgamesh, where the dead are depicted as dirty, bedraggled birds chained in place with nothing but dust to drink, and earth to eat.

The point is, in Peter’s telling, the sacrificial love of God, as represented by Jesus does not give up on us, not even after our death. Not even after, under all the theological constructs Peter would have known, there could be no hope. Even then, God wills to save us, to redeem us.

Which brings me to Susan Howatch’s story of the sheepdog trials, in her novel The High Flyer. Howatch recounts a sermon in about judgment, and what it means. She writes that “You can’t talk about judgment without talking about justice—and justice is the other side of love. If we love someone, we want justice for them. We don’t want them to be treated unfairly, we want them to be treated with love and understanding.” Echoing Davies, himself an Anglican, Howatch reminds us that “people so often think of judgment as something severe, but a great judge will weigh up the good points as well as the bad; a great judge will see that real justice is done.”

And so the sheepdog trials. As she tells the story, a man and his little son on vacation in the Lake District see a sign directing them to sheepdog trials. You know, an open-air exhibition of the skills the dogs need to herd sheep, and the best dog receives a medal. The little boy wants to see them, so the father takes him. When it’s all over, the little boy is confused: Where’s the jury, where’s the prosecutor? Shouldn’t the judge have a big bench?

Of course, it’s not that kind of trial. Not at all.

Howatch suggests that God is like the judge of the sheepdog trials, not like an old school hanging judge. And, she concludes that judgment is the process of being loved and healed by our maker after the tempests and traumas of life, “because nothing in the end can separate us from the love God, nothing, of that I’m quite sure.”

Before we accuse her of sentimentality, let’s remember that her last line is a paraphrase of St. Paul, in Romans chapter 8, where he avows that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Let’s also remember that Peter believed that, God doesn’t give up on us on either side of the grave.

And finally, let’s remember that Jesus himself tells us that you are precious enough to God, we are precious enough to God, that God will be your Advocate, our Advocate, as well as our judge.

In our own court, and in God’s we are not undefended. In fact, the judge is the defense counsel, the Prisoner’s Friend—the authority on precedents, and germane judgments, who keeps both sides in check, and strives for both justice and mercy. The judge who remembers that justice is the other side of love. And who loves us far too much to give up on us.

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Game of Drones: The Snows of Terror, Sentence of Death, The Keys of Marinus

Oh, as usual, dear. The Snows of Terror has the makings of a passable story, and even intermittently works. Very intermittently. It's set in a winterscape very like the North in Game of Thrones, albeit with enough of a budget to buy a cup of Bovril, and the primary antagonist, a trapper who seeks to rob and kill Ian and Altos, and rob and rape the women, presents a threat made all the more credible by its mundanity. (Of course, the sexual politics are reprehensible, but then, that happens more often than we'd like to admit on Game of Thrones, come to that). Admittedly not ideal children's fare, but, hey, nobody is slowly dying of radiation sickness, so we have that going for us.

The problems are pretty simple: First, Ian and Barbara each grab the Idiot Ball and give it a good, long, loving squeeze in this one. Then they do it again. Then again. And then we get a reprise of the most dull portion of The Daleks--a scene where Terry Nation tries to build suspense by making us watch a group of characters, one at a time, cross a chasm.

Welcome to--The Snows of Terror!

OK, the plot, such as it is, goes like this: A trapper named Vasar, who clearly did not attend the educational institution named for him, rescues Barbara and Ian from teh cold, feeds them, and then, while salaciously eyeing Barbara the whole time, gets Ian to leave her with him while Ian goes searching for Altos. Ian sells this travel dial for some furs, and leaves. Barbara, clearing the table, finds the segments of the keys that have been found (wasn't this Sabetha's chain?) and three travel dials. Does she close the door, and try to make a plan? No; she asks Vasar about the chain, and how he got it.

Vasar decides to attack Barbara there and then. It's clearly uncomfortable for both actors, and Vasar seems almost relived when Ian and Altos (he found him, and discovered that Vasar has secreted away Sabetha and Susan) overpower him, after Barbara unbolts the door. They leave--no, really--the keys, the travel dials and Sabetha's chain in the drawer of the table, compelling Vasar to lead them to the cave where he secreted Susan and Sabetha.

Who are now freezing to death, so they go deeper into the cave, Crossing a fragile rope bridge, where they find the key, albeit inaccessibly frozen a massive block of ice, with some frozen knights, and turn back to find their friends have found them. Barbara and Altos cross the rope bridge; Ian grabs the Idiot Ball, and does so too, leaving Vasar behind--oh, he cuts the end of the rope bridge and buggers off home.

I'm sure that was meant to be a shock, but I actually went, "well, ja," and then tested ny recollection of German swear words. (Mem to self: Brush up.)

OK, they go in to the chamber and find a way to melt the ice, while Ian and Altos build a bridge. It needs to freeze into place. As soon as the ice melts, they grab the key--and the knights awake and give chase. Susan crosses the bridge, and the others follow her lead (yay Susan!). The TARDIS party cross one by one, and leave the cave, after Ian cuts the ropes. They go to Vasar's home, break in (Vasar makes a play for the Idiot Ball, by not bolting the door, the schmuck). The knights start cutting their way in, Vasar gets stabbed, we're off to the next destination, and--

Ian is knocked unconscious. Frankly, on this episodes showing, it suits him.


Sentence of Death is a lot better--a taut little kafkaesque legal thriller, where Ian is charged with the murder of the man who was trying to steal the missing key--in league with the Doctor. The burden of proof is squarely reversed, with Ian required to prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. He decries the laws that so reverse the burden of proof, and the missing Doctor at last turns up.

The Doctor is far better in this episode than we have seen him. He's outraged at the injustice of Ian's pre-conviction, wily wrangles an adjournment, and Cooley sends each of the characters about their task: Sabetha and Altos to do legal research, Susan and Barbara to accompany him to the scene of the crime, and Ian--Ian must trust him.

The "reconstruction of the crime" scene is really well done, the Doctor earning his imperiousness by his mind's racing with ideas. He works out the identity of the killer swiftly, and sends Barbara and Susan to try to elicit some details. Thanks to a bold challenge by Susan, it works, and the Doctor uses Sabetha to startle the killer into revealing himself at the trial. (Hartnell is absolutely on fire in these courtroom scenes--much fewer line fluffs, much more crisp delivery. With the right material, he is nailing the part.) When he is killed in turn by his confederates, the tribunal resumes--

--and the plot goes belly up. Rather than have the Doctor pursue his almost successful line of defense, Susan is kidnapped, Ian is hastily threatened with death, even though the prosecution case is a shambles.

Oh, Terry. So bloody close to a classic.


The Keys of Marinus

Another excellent actor in a guest role (he was in the previous episode as well; Donald Pickering, who was such a superb Dolly Lomgestaffe in The Pallisers, and suffered through Sylvester McCoy's first story as the Doctor, Time and the Rani, plays the prosecutor, graciously complimenting the Doctor, who is downcast. The TARDIS crew and Altos and Sabetha come close to finding Susan, but miss the clue, and leave. And then Barbara realizes that one "innocent" knew more than was possible, and Barbara leads a rescue of Susan. The Doctor sets a trap for the remaining conspirator:
TARRON: Kala's made a full statement. She's named her accomplice.
DOCTOR: Ah. Then you can stay the execution.
TARRON: No, I can't. Kala's sworn testimony states that the man she was working with was Ian Chesterton.
DOCTOR: Impossible!
BARBARA: But she's lying.
TARRON: Yes, I have doubts myself. She's a vicious, dangerous woman, but just doubts aren't enough to ask for a stay of execution. They'd need positive proof.
SUSAN: What about that man who called on the phone thing? I heard him tell her to kill me.
TARRON: Did you recognise the voice?
DOCTOR: What else did he say?
SUSAN: Oh, nothing much. Just that he'd collect the key later and then pick her up.
DOCTOR: Collect the key. Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Yes, yes. You understand? The villain that planned all this, the one who planned this whole affair, is now planning to collect the key! What a wonderful opportunity it gives us to catch him red-handed. And to release Chesterton!
(later, the room is dark as a figure enters and unlocks the cupboard. It removes the mace and is immediately pounced on by two Guardians who were hiding behind the desk. The Doctor turns on the lights and removes his hood)
TARRON: Call the prison.
(Later, Eyesen has been taken away and Ian released. The Doctor opens the mace to reveal)
SUSAN: The key!
IAN: How did you know it was there, Doctor?
DOCTOR: It had to be. I knew it all along. Until we knew the culprit, the information was no good.
TARRON: Everyone and everything that went in and out of that vault was checked. Everything except this mace.
So they all head back to Arbitan.

Who's dead of course. (Do try to keep up, as Missy might add.). The Voord, in their bat-gimp suits, with Teletubbie head ornaments are in control. And daft enough to think that a black latex bat/gimp suit with a hood ornament can pass for George Coulouris. It doesn't, and Ian slips the Bat-Arbitan a fake key:
(The Doctor is untying Sabetha and Altos)
DOCTOR: So when Yartek gets the final key, his power will be absolute.
ALTOS: Yes, with the aid of the machine he could control us all.
DOCTOR: And our impulse to leave this planet would be destroyed.
SABETHA: That is true.
SUSAN: Altos, Sabetha.
(happy greetings all round)
DOCTOR: You heard about Arbitan?
IAN: Yes. We met the man who's usurped his place.
DOCTOR: Give me the key. We must have it destroyed.
SUSAN: Ian gave it to him.
DOCTOR: What! You gave it away?
IAN: I gave him a key. Sabetha, you remember that fake key? Barbara found it on the idol.
BARBARA: I remember.
IAN: That was the key I gave him. This is the genuine key.
DOCTOR: My dear boy!
SABETHA: We must go quickly. Leave the building.
IAN: Why?
ALTOS: Yartek may put that false key into the machine at any moment. If he does, it will set the machine in motion, but once it feels the full force of the power, it'll break under the strain.
IAN: You mean the machine'll blow up?
DOCTOR: There's not a moment to loose. Come on!

The machine, which would have preserved peace on Marinus by inhibiting violent emotion explodes, taking the Voord with it. As he leaves, the Doctor comforts and counsels Sabetha:
DOCTOR: I'm glad to have this moment alone with you, Sabetha. I want to speak of your father. You know, he was a very wise and brilliant man, and I know how you felt when you learned of his death.
SABETHA: His life's work destroyed.
DOCTOR: No, no, I wouldn't say that. His work will go on, only not quite in the same way. But I don't believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws, but they cannot preserve justice. Only human beings can do that. Now I only hope that you'll carry on his good work, please. Goodbye. Bless you, my child.
(The Doctor enters the Tardis)
I've said several times that Doctor Who was a different show when it first aired than the one we watch now. That show, which has run ever since had its pilot in Marco Polo. Its leading man, who was a character actor, has found the part, and the Doctor as you know him today, and as I know him, has taken the stage.

The TARDIS and her pilot know who they are. The adventure is begun.