So although we’re technically already done with the monthly Main Range, this and the next story are actually the last of the Main Range, it’s just this story was delayed due to a significant part of the plot being rather similar to a certain global pandemic and so as a knock on effect the following release was also delayed (due to referencing this one, I assume). So what’s The Lost Resort like? Does it follow on the whole “Marc is Cyberman-ized and The Doctor ran for it before coming back” storyline? Well… oddly it mostly focuses on a much older storyline…
Reunited with his companions, the Doctor’s plans to travel home to Gallifrey are cast aside when the TARDIS materialises on the Soresia: a planetoid with an unusual temporal atmosphere, home to the Welkin Sanatorium; seemingly an ideal place to recuperate. But the patients – like the Sanatorium – are mere shadows of their former selves. Decay has taken hold… yet their secrets remain as strong and healthy as ever.
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
The Lost Resort does a great job of building tension as The Doctor and his three companions are about to go to Gallifrey so they can have a proper mediated talk about everything that happened but as per usual they end up somewhere else entirely, in this case the planet Soresia. It’s quite the place, with a floating swampy gas ocean in the sky that you have to sail across via robot-controlled boat and a dilapidated old Victorian house with several rather odd guests. It’s all very imaginative (well, the first bit, the old Victorian house part maybe not…) and fun to hear about. There are more robots in the house as well and they’re all linked up together and called Fabrico (Julia Sandiford), while the guests include old couple Nora and Aether (Alibe Parsons & Anna Barry), Sylvie and her robot son Thad (Chandrika Chevli and Clare Louise Connolly) and a pair of current and former viscounts, one named Franco and the other just wanting to be called The Viscount, even speaking in third person (both played by Glen McCready). It’s quite the odd group but they’re fun to listen to.
While there are quite a few breadcrumbs and cliffhangers leading to it I’ll just straight to the point: it turns out that everyone bar Aether died of a deadly virus but they were kept alive by a device Aether created that stores the memories and personalities of someone and brings them to a ghost-like life, and much to the distress of The Doctor, it manages to create a version of Adric after he was hooked up to the machine unknowingly. By Part 4 everyone has also caught the disease and it became a matter of if they should become weird ghosts or accept death, though The Doctor and Nyssa are sure they can create a cure but the Viscount is trapping them due to having vocal control of the Fabricos and generally being a git.
During the course of the story the Fabrico discussed a yearning to be free and eventually befriended Nyssa and Marc, so it manages to disobey its order to kill them and help them escape. Meanwhile ghost Adric decides that this is no life at all and full in the knowledge that turning off the machine will erase him but also erase the Viscount and therefore give The Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Marc a chance to survive and create a cure, he switches it off, saying that this time he’ll die for something, before The Doctor gives him a proper goodbye. Great, powerful stuff. I know Adric came up when Marc was Cyberman’d but it was odd that it was really the Adric storyline and The Doctor’s inability to cope with the loss that was addressed here, rather than Marc himself! Still, bloody good stuff. The Doctor does manage to create a cure and even saves Aether, leading to Fabrico, Aether and now motherless Thad to start a new life as an adventuring trio.
Back in the TARDIS The Doctor finally gives in and apologises to his companions, saying he’ll stop treating them like children and that he’s finally come to terms with Adric’s death, he’s not okay with it and never will be, but he’s learned to cope with it as part of who he is. A nice sentiment…
Another reason I wish this had been released as part of the Main Range is separate covers. Look at all those Daleks and they’re only in two of the eight episodes featured on the set!
Nothing really. I just wish it hadn’t been delayed because this deserved to be part of the Main Range’s swan song, though I completely understand how a story about a deadly virus killing everyone and The Doctor worrying about not isolating and therefore potentially spreading it wouldn’t have been a great thing to release in 2020…
I suppose you could say again that this started because Marc pretty much suffered the same fate as Adric and yet in this story he’s relegated to observer who has one big rescue scene but that’s it. He even seems to have come to terms with his robo-life without much worry… ah well, let’s hope he gets a good send-off in the next story/ies.
Apart from picking up after “Madquake” and lots of talking about Adric’s death in “Earthshock”, there isn’t much to link this to anything.
The Lost Resort is an outright classic, showing how The Doctor deals with grief head-on and creating a great story around it. Kind of a shame Marc is relegated to background player but I can forgive it thanks to the story it created and how it does still play off why The Doctor ran off a while ago. The next double-bill will have a lot to live up to! Hell, the rest of 2021’s release schedule will have a lot to live up to!