|'The Ribos Operation'
Story Code '5A'
by Robert Holmes
The Doctor is summoned by the White Guardian, who charges him with a quest to find the six disguised segments of the Key to Time, a device that, when assembled, will restore balance and harmony to the universe. He is given a new companion to aid him, Time Lady Romanadvoratrelundar - Romana for short - and a tracer device. The location of the first segment takes them to the city of Shur, on the planet of Ribos, currently in its thirty-two year Ice Time, where they become embroiled in the nefarious plans of two Earth con men, Garron and Unstoffe, who are attempting to scam the deposed tyrant ruler of Levithia, the Graff Vynda-K, into buying the planet from them. They have convinced the Graff that the planet is a rich source of the rare mineral Jethrik, which is used in warp drives, a large lump of which is on display in a reliquary. The Doctor realises that this lump is in fact the first segment, but before he can secure it, Unstoffe steals the segment to use in his and Garron's plans. The Graff discovers that he has been tricked, and pursues the con men, the Doctor and Romana, who are now on the run from Riban guards following the theft. Fleeing to the catacombs under the city, which are the home to the dragon-like Shrivenzales, they are eventually captured by the Graff, who has enlisted the aid of a local witch known as the Seeker. But before the Graff can kill them, Riban guards blow up the entrance to the catacombs, and the ensuing rock fall kills the Graff's loyal and trusted first officer, Sholakh. His mind unhinged with grief and anger, the Graff is killed by his own bomb. The Doctor and Romana leave with the segment, while Garron and Unstoffe leave in the Graff's ship, which is filled with his riches.
Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (Voice of K9), Cyril Luckham (The Guardian), Iain Cuthberson (Garron), Nigel Plaskitt (Unstoffe), Paul Seed (Graff Vynda-K), Robert Keegan (Sholakh), Prentis Hancock (Captain); Oliver Maguire, John Harmill (Shrieves); Timothy Bateson (Binro), Ann Tirard (The Seeker)
Produced by Graham Williams
Directed by George Spenton-Foster
Part 1 - September, 1978 @ 5.45pm - 6.10pm
Part 2 - 9th September, 1978 @ 6.20pm - 6.45pm
Part 3 - 16th September, 1978 @ 6.30pm - 6.55pm
Part 4 - 23rd September, 1978 @ 6.20pm - 6.45pm
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor, K-9 MKII, and introducing Romanadvoratrelundar
*First appearance the White Guardian
*Part 1 of the 'Key to Time' story arc
*Working titles: 'The Galactic Con-Man' and 'Operation'