The first new Doctor Who to be broadcast for more than 18 months started promisingly with a new version of the theme, which I think is one of the better versions of the theme, and a, frankly, amazing piece of model making as the camera swept around the ship which then dragged the TARDIS into a blue beam and then the Doctor into the court room.

This first episode set up the premise of the series well with the establishing scenes set on the space station which also appears to be a time lord court where the Inquisitor presides. We also meet the prosecutor, the Valeyard, who is presenting the case against the Doctor.

The Doctor is suitably peeved at being dragged away from some exciting adventure that we knew nothing about into a court room where he seemed to be the subject of an enquiry about his behaviour.

This episode was basically a mash up of court room sequences which were pretty much just the Doctor arguing with the Valeyard with the Inquisitor trying to control the pair and the evidence presented by the Valeyard, and the presented evidence itself.

In this section the Doctor and Peri arrive on a planet called Ravalox, which is suspiciously like Earth in almost every way apart from its location, and which was apparently ravaged by a solar storm, and should not contain life.

Of course it would be a rather boring story if the planet was empty and wouldn’t be a good piece of evidence for the prosecution. So we meet two characters called Glitz and Dibber. Glitz and Dibber are mercenary’s who will do anything for money and are a pair of well written characters which is often a trademark of Robert Holmes stories and these characters are no exceptions.

For a planet that is not supposed to contain life there are a hell of a lot of people living there both above and below ground including a primitive tribe who live on the surface of the planet and a group of people who live underground who are equally as primitive.

Ravalox sounds like an interesting place which might be a future Earth, but light years away from where it should be. The scenes set underground do appear to be rather London underground like which also indicated that the planet is a version of Earth in the far, far future despite what the Doctor believes due to the planets location.

If anything the court room sequences got in the way of the narrative of the story and it was only the interplay between Colin Baker and Michael Jayston which made those sequences interesting and the constant interruptions to the main action did get a bit tiresome as the stuff on the planet was much more interesting that what was going on in the court room, until the end when the enquiry changed into trial for the Doctor’s life.

The episode then ended with the obligatory close up of Colin Baker’s face, so business as usual there.