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On Gallifrey, a Time-Lord steals the bio-data code of the Doctor and kills a technician who discovers him. The traitor sends the data to the Renegade (Ian Collier), a creature made of antimatter who uses the data to invade the TARDIS and the Doctor’s metabolism. Nyssa helps the Doctor recover. The Renegade is hiding behind the Arc of Infinity, a curve between the dimensions of Quad Radiation which shields antimatter. The Doctor heads for Gallifrey to stop this as the incursion could cause a chain-reaction fatal to the universe.

The High Council of the Time-Lords decides that the Doctor’s TARDIS should be recalled for the same reason. The Chancellery Guard commanded by Maxil (Colin Baker) seizes the Doctor and Nyssa. When the Doctor is brought to the High Council, the new Lord President Borusa (Leonard Sachs) is noncommittal, while Chancellor Thalia (Elspet Gray) and Cardinal Zorac (Max Harvey) are downright hostile. The only person who does not believe he is the guilty party in all this is his old friend Councillor Hedin (Michael Gough). The Council issues a Warrant of Termination on the Doctor so the Renegade can no longer bond with him. The Doctor is taken away. Another old friend, a technician named Damon (Neil Daglish) provides him proof that a member of the High Council stole his bio-data. The Doctor is taken to the dispersal chamber and seems to be killed. The Council does not know that the Doctor’s mind is now in the Time-Lords’ living repository of knowledge, called the Matrix, while his body is hidden behind a force-field. The Renegade contacts him. The Castellan (Paul Jerricho) discovers the phoney execution, tells Nyssa and Damon, then the High Council.

Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, Tegan is looking for her cousin Colin (Alastair Cumming). His friend Robin (Andrew Boxer) explains that Colin disappeared while crashing in the crypt of the Frankendael Mansion. The police are not interested, so they investigate themselves. They find Colin hypnotized and working for a birdlike alien creature. They are rendered unconscious and their minds scanned by the Renegade at his base in his TARDIS at the Frankendael, who now knows Tegan knows the Doctor. The Renegade uses Tegan as bait to force the Doctor to obey him, and releases Colin to show what a nice guy he is.

The Doctor is returned to normal space and appears at the High Council. President Borusa has fallen under suspicion when the Castellan reveals it was his codes that transmitted the bio-data. However, the truth is that Councillor Hedin is the one in league with the Renegade. Hedin wishes to release the raving-mad Omega (the Renegade), first of the Time-Lords and pioneer of time-travel, from exile in a universe of antimatter. There are a number of raving mad bad guys in Doctor Who, but this one has been all alone in his own universe for a thousand years, and he’s seriously pissed about it. The last time he got out, the Time-Lords sent Three Doctors after him. They treat the Doctor like crap, but when you’re really up against it, who you gonna call? The Doctor, that’s who, because he’s the only one capable of thinking outside the box. Pun intended, because he’s been out of the TARDIS and seen the universe, and the rest of them, obsessed with their precious immortality, never leave the damn Citadel.

In order to remain in our universe, Omega (accent on the first syllable) has to bond with a Time-Lord. The Castellan kills Hedin, but Omega uses the Arc of Infinity to control the Matrix and thus Gallifrey. The Doctor and Nyssa slip away and enter the TARDIS. They use knowledge provided by Tegan to learn that Omega is in Amsterdam and go there looking for the Frankendael crypt. They find it guarded by the birdlike creature, the Ergon (Malcolm Harvey) and Nyssa kills it with its own antimatter gun. They reach Omega’s TARDIS just as it is being destroyed and Omega transports to Earth with the Arc of Infinity. He peels away his mask and reveals the Doctor’s face. He flees and the Doctor and Nyssa follow. Omega is a tragic villain, because he spends one summer afternoon strolling about Amsterdam and watching puppet shows, until his flesh begins to decay. If this continues, his antimatter will be released into our matter universe, with horrible consequences. So, they use his antimatter converter to send Omega back to his antimatter universe. Tegan, having lost her stewardess job, rejoins the TARDIS crew.

Colin Baker was chosen to play the Sixth Doctor mostly because of his bombastic portrayal of Commander Maxil. Michael Gough (Councillor Hedin) was the Celestial Toymaker in the largely missing First Doctor story of that name. He has appeared in many movies, including several Hammer horror-films, and was Alfred Pennyworth in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman movies. His third wife was Anneke Wills, the First and Second Doctors’ companion Polly. Leela, who was still living in Gallifrey, was actually written into the script, but Louise Jameson was not available, so her scenes were given to Nyssa, making her unusually aggressive. K-9 did not appear, but the Gallifreyans asked about Romana. Peter Davison’s dual role as protagonist and antagonist shows that he really can act. As always, Gallifrey’s over-the-top wardrobe and Byzantine politics are very entertaining. This was only the second time, after City of Death in Paris, that parts of Doctor Who were filmed on location outside of Britain.

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