THE SUN MAKERS
November – December 1977
“He appears to have a long history of anarchic violence, and the causing of economic disruption. He is not commercially orientated!”
The Collector discussing the Doctor, episode 3
When the TARDIS lands on Pluto, millions of years in the future, the Doctor is amazed to find a colony of humans there, living under the light of several small artificial suns, and all working for a mysterious ‘Company’ that seems to control their lives.
Tom as the Doctor and Richard Leech as Gatherer Hade in the Sun Makers.
Picture © BBC
He and Leela meet Cordo (Roy Macready), a low-grade worker who is on the verge of suicide because he is unable to pay the punitive taxes levied on him by the Company. Cordo takes them to an underground area of the city where a group of fellow tax exiles are in hiding.
Keen to help these impoverished rebels the Doctor attempts to defraud a Company bank, but he is captured by the city’s administrator, Gatherer Hade (Richard Leech) and shipped off to a correction centre. Leela and K-9 attempt to rescue him, but Leela is captured, while the Gatherer releases the Doctor in the hope of tracking him to the rebel camp.
Evading the city’s monitoring systems the Doctor leads the rebels on a mission to disable the central air conditioning plant, which also circulates a gas keeping the workers docile. Just as Leela is about to be publicly steamed in front of the Collector, Pluto’s main ruler, the rebels seize controls of the plant, creating a distraction that allows the Doctor to rescue Leela.
With the gas no longer subduing them, the workers rise up against their masters. The Gatherer is thrown from a skyscraper roof, while the Doctor infiltrates the Company’s headquarters, the Inner Retinue, and confronts the Collector, a shrunken creature and a member of the Usurian race. The Doctor introduces the concept of hyperinflation into the Collector’s computer system, wiping out his Company's profits and driving its alien owners into a financial meltdown that literally causes the Collector to shrink to the size of a small parasite. Humans regain control of Pluto, freed from the shackles of alien taxation.