The Deadly Assassin

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Template:Doctorwhobox The Deadly Assassin is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from October 30 to November 20, 1976.

Synopsis

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Deadlyassassin.jpg
The Lord President in the sights of the deadly assassin.

The Fourth Doctor is summoned to Gallifrey by a telepathic message that appears to him in a dream. Shortly after he arrives, he is accused of assassinating the President of the Time Lord High Council. His subsequent investigations reveal a plot and its cover up, and he battles against his adversary, the Master, who is trying to gain control of the presidency. The Master is a withered shell having used up all twelve regenerations that a Time Lord has; and is seeking a way to use the President's powers to regenerate once more.

Part of this battle occurs in The Matrix, a virtual reality environment, which the Doctor accesses by linking his mind to the Amplified Panatropic Computer Net. This net contains all the Time Lords' wisdom.

Notes

  1. This is the only serial where the Doctor does not have a companion.
  2. The serial begins with Tom Baker doing a voiceover introduction referring to Time Lords in the third person, over a text crawl similar to that seen in the opening of Star Wars (although The Deadly Assassin predates the premiere of Star Wars by six months). The 1996 television movie is the only other story so far that begins with a voiceover, given by the Eighth Doctor.
  3. This is the first story to state that the number of times that a Time Lord can regenerate is twelve.
  4. The source of the Time Lords' power and that of the TARDIS is the Eye of Harmony, the nucleus of a black hole that lies beneath the citadel on Gallifrey.
  5. The character of Borusa reappears in The Invasion of Time, Arc of Infinity and The Five Doctors, played by different actors and explained away as having regenerated.
  6. The title is a tautology: a successful assassin must by definition be deadly. It was originally called The Dangerous Assassin, though Robert Holmes later changed the title because "it didn't sound right".

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