In episode two of The Trial of a Timelord we find out a bit more about Ravalox’s underground civilisation which seems to be ruled by a being known only as the immortal by all of the people living under the ground. This immortal is actually a robot who has controlled the underground civilisation for centuries and gives them food and water, unless they disobey him when all of that stops, so he isn’t a very benevolant leader.
He also selects two people from the city to enter his castle and they are the only people who are allowed to see the immortal. Noone else knows what the immortal looks like as he speaks to them through headseats and there are cameras all over the city where they can contact him but of course they are a one way communication device for them to talk to the immortal.
It is a bit strange that Immortal only wants young men to enter his castle and it is rather noticeable that there are very few women in this story. It is also noticeable that the Immortal is not very keen on letting people go up to the surface as it is clear that the surface is not the dangerous place that it once was and is perfectly safe to live on, not that the people who live underground believe that it is thanks to the immortal careful management of them and also his rather barbaric practices of killing people who disagree with him, apart from a select few people who he has not managed to pull the wool over their eyes.
Once again the guest characters get all of the best lines in this episode mostly Glitz and Dibber who are really growing on me as characters. I am not too sure that Tony Selby is that convincing as a a totally immoral mercenary, but he is certainly channeling Arthur Daley a bit too much if you ask me, as I think that he is not meant to be a lovable rogue, but a rogue plain and simple.
Dibber on the other hand is a bit more how I would have expected Glitz to be like, to the point and dangerous to know, which you don’t get that impression from Glitz, or at least I don’t.
Merdeen is also not quite the character that you thought he was from the first episode and in this episode we find out that he is actually a good guy and whenever the immortal orders people to be stone he sees them to the surface of the planet, he is setting them free onto the surface. What a nice chap Merdeen is.
We of course get more court room sequences but a little less than the first episode and whilst they are quite nice and Michael Jayston is superb as a the Valeyard I do wish they would just forget about them and just have the Ravalox stuff, but as the story is called The Trial of a Timelord it cleary is not going to be forgotten about, more’s the pity.