‘The God Machine’ (Annual)

‘THE GOD MACHINE’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

The North Tribe and the Doctor rescues Nyssa and Tegan

The second story of the 1983 ‘Doctor Who Annual’ is ‘The God Machine’. This is a better story than ‘Danger Down Below’, though Nyssa and Tegan don’t have any dialogue. Mind you, they become the Doctor’s concern when he looks for him after they’ve been taken by a bolt of lightning in the tale.

The story takes place on an unnamed planet that has pyramids similar to Egypt on Earth. After a terrible thunderstorm, the Doctor goes out to look for Nyssa and Tegan after they’ve gone missing. He comes across this primitive tribe led by this old man called Sorl who immediately knocks him out.

This story had me gripped because it was well-written with tension and pace. I wish there was more of Nyssa and Tegan, but I like how the Doctor works out that the North Tribe’s god called Vi’Al is actually ruse by some pirates who want to steal the treasures of the tribe for their own wealth here.

It did seem peculiar that the old man Sorl would knock the Doctor out instantly because he’s a stranger. But at least the Doctor gets help from a young girl as well as members of the tribe to get into the pyramid where tributes and sacrifices are made to the god Vi’Al before lighting strikes again.

The story’s climax does seem rushed. The Doctor manages to free Nyssa and Tegan as well as other members of the North Tribe in captivity from the pirates. It also ends on a bit of a gruesome note where the North Tribe members take revenge on these pirates as the TARDIS trio leaves this planet.

There are three features after ‘The God Machine’ in the 1983 ‘Doctor Who Annual’. There’s ‘Coming In To Land’, ‘What is a Light Year?’ and ‘Behind The Scenes at Doctor Who: The Producer’.

‘The God Machine’ rating – 6/10


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