Romana quickly locates the Fourth Segment of the Key to Time while the Doctor indulges in a little fishing, but they fail to leave the planet Tara before becoming embroiled in its complex political intrigues.
Science fiction meets swashbuckling in The Androids of Tara
, the fourth serial in the "Key to Time" story arc, which comprised the whole of Doctor Who
's 16th season on the BBC. And while the premise of David Fisher's script is overly familiar (it's borrowed almost whole from The Prisoner of Zenda
--in fact, one of the episode's original titles was "The Androids of Zenda"), it also provides a rollicking adventure for the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Mary Tamm). The search for the fourth segment of the Key to Time leads the Doctor and Romana to the planet Tara. Exhausted by this pursuit, the Doctor intends to devote his time there to fishing, but he's quickly pulled back into action when Romana is kidnapped by the evil Count Grendel (Peter Jeffreys). In his scheme to steal the throne of Tara, Grendel has kidnapped the Princess Strella--a dead ringer for Romana--and replaced her with an android. But now, with Romana in his clutches, Grendel seems a step closer to his goal unless the Doctor can stop him first. Veteran BBC director Michael Hayes and his cast deliver the well-worn story line with typical vigor and good humor, which should please fans of both the series and Baker's serials in particular. --Paul Gaita