Saturday, November 1, 2008

Series 25: The Happiness Patrol

Having heard the rumours of untoward happenings, the Seventh Doctor and Ace visit a human colony on the planet Terra Alpha where they find unhappiness to be an illegal act. In a perverse society ruled by the vicious and egotistical Helen A, the Happiness Patrol is a secret police force which hunts down killjoys and eliminates them. It also repaints the TARDIS pink as a more joyous colour than blue. The disappearances also worry Trevor Sigma, the official galactic censor, who is visiting Terra Alpha too to discover where so many of the population have gone – 17% at the most recent count.

The Doctor and Ace have a brief period of incarceration to find out more about the society of Terra Alpha, encountering unhappy guard Susan Q who becomes a firm ally. Both split up, with the Doctor encountering another visitor to the planet, Earl Sigma, a wandering harmonica player who stirs unrest by playing the blues. Earl and the Doctor venture to the Kandy Kitchen at the heart of the planet’s governance system, where they discover rebels drowned in fondant surprise, which is the favoured method of execution of the Kandy Man, a grotesque sweet-based equivalent of a robot, created by Gilbert M, one of Helen A’s senior advisers.

The Doctor and Earl effect an escape and end up in the candy pipes below the colony, where dwell the native inhabitants of Terra Alpha, now known as Pipe People. They want to help overthrow the tyranny of Helen A. The Doctor returns to the surface and now starts actively subverting the government system – supporting demonstrations in favour of unhappiness and stirring up the drones to revolt; preventing snipers removing malcontents; and even challenging Helen A face to face to end the monstrosity of her government.

Ace and Susan Q have meanwhile been scheduled to appear in the late show at the Forum, where the penalty for non-entertainment is death. The Doctor and Earl rescue them both and the four head off to Helen A’s palace for a final showdown while a revolution takes full effect outside the palace walls. The first to be disposed of is Helen A’s pet Stigorax, Fifi, a rat-dog creature she used to hunt down the Pipe People, which is crushed in the pipes below the city. Then the Pipe People destroy the Kandy Man in a flow of his own fondant surprise. Gilbert M and Joseph C, the consort of the leader, use the opportunity of the disorder to slip away. Helen A tries to flee too but is challenged by the Doctor about the true nature of happiness, which can only be understood if counter-balanced by sadness. This is a notion she understands only when confronted with the remains of Fifi. The revolution is complete and the Doctor and Ace slip away – but only once the TARDIS has been repainted blue.

Doctor Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor)
Companion Sophie Aldred (Ace)
Guest stars
Sheila Hancock — Helen A
Ronald Fraser — Joseph C
Georgina Hale — Daisy K
Harold Innocent — Gilbert M
Lesley Dunlop — Susan Q
Rachel Bell — Priscilla P
Jonathan Burn — Silas P
Tim Barker — Harold V
David John Pope — Kandy Man
John Normington — Trevor Sigma
Richard D. Sharp — Earl Sigma
Tim Scott — Forum Doorman
Mary Healey — Killjoy
Steve Swinscoe, Mark Carroll — Snipers
Philip Neve — Wences
Ryan Freedman — Wulfric
Annie Hulley — Newscaster

Writer Graeme Curry
Director Chris Clough
Script editor Andrew Cartmel
Producer John Nathan-Turner
Executive producer(s) None
Production code 7L
Series Season 25
Length 3 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally broadcast November 2–November 16, 1988

source: wikipedia

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