Doctor: Colin Baker (6th Doctor)
Written by: Robert Holmes & Pip and Jane Baker
Directed by: Chris Clough
Background & Significance: If you count The Trial of a Time Lord as one giant serial of fourteen parts and disregard the four-story structure of it, Trial of a Time Lord is the longest Doctor Who story of all time and this last two parter is the thing that puts it over the edge.
So as we mentioned back in "The Mysterious Planet", Trial of a Time Lord was the last thing Robert Holmes ever worked on. The first episode of these final two parts is the last thing Robert Holmes ever completed, and it is a MASTERPIECE. Seriously, I think it's one of my favourite single episodes of Doctor Who of all time. It's dark, elegant, creepy, and amazingly Holmesian in the best of ways. And it's as good as anything we've seen him do so far if you ask me.
For long-time script editor Eric Saward, Holmes's death was the last straw he could take under Jonathan Nathan-Turner. He quit Doctor Who after editing "Mindwarp", but offered to write the final episode based on Holmes's original outline on the condition Nathan-Turner not make him to change anything from Holmes's original outline, which included the planned cliffhanger ending where The Doctor and The Valeyard grappled with each other and over a Time Vent and fell in. The vent closed behind them and the story ended with the fate of The Doctor left up in the air.
Then Nathan-Turner, for some reason, decided that the ending was too much of a downer and asked Saward to change the ending. And really, JNT. Why did you do this? You know how much Saward isn't messing around, you had agreed to the ending with enthusiasm, and everything is going good. What did you THINK would happen? Spoilers! Saward told you!
So now, they're about to enter production and they have neither script nor outline on the last episode. All they have is list of locations and actors. THAT'S IT. I can't even imagine that day for JNT. Musta been awful.
With no other options, JNT (who couldn't even give the new writers any details about the original part two because of Saward's copyright) turned to Pip and Jane Baker, gave them a list of sets and locations, and asked them to write the episode. He could give them part one because it was done and turned in, but all of part two had to be their own extrapolation.
They turned around a draft in three days.
Now, after all this, did they pull it off? I mean, at this point, you gotta know if they did or not, right? You just gotta know...
So let's get to it!