Ah, Meglos! As I alluded to in my first post, classic Who certainly has its share of cheap, cheesy rubber monsters. Here, we have perhaps the cheapest effect I can remember seeing: a cactus. With a menacing voice-over. Yes, the villain in this story is a plant. Granted, he's from the desert planet Zolfa-Thura so it KINDA makes sense and thankfully they get him up and around pretty quickly by merging the cactus with an inexplicably present human being. Then, he goes and traps the Doctor and Romana in a time loop (so we get to see the same little sequence far more often than I felt was necessary) and takes on The Doctor's image. Why all the effort? So he and his equally inexplicably present band of Space Pirates can go from Zolfa-Thura to the lush jungle plant Tigella, also in this star system, and impersonate the Doctor. Meglos wants to steal the Tigellan's source of power, the Dodecahedron - a source of immense power sources apparently named after it's shape. OK, so they're not the most imaginative people, these Tigellans. The Tigellans fall into one of three camps. In a nutshell, they're either scientists (yay!), religious nuts (boo!) or you're a leader (Zastor - friend of the Doctor). The religious ones worship the Dodecahedron while the scientists want to study it and harness it's power. Meglos, however, knows how it works and wants it back as it's a Zolfa-Thura artifact.
So the Doctor and Romana break out of the time loop, land on Tigella and doppelganger-y hijinx ensue. Well, not really hijinx as Meglos does steal the Dodecahedron. What happens next? <RiverSong>Spoilers!</RiverSong>
This was a fun little episode. Not quite as interesting as The Leisure Hive, but I always appreciate a good struggle between science and faith. The goofiness of the bad guy was a bit of a detriment to this episode, but Tom Baker again gets some interesting makeup and gets to play the villain a bit, so that was fun. Now, if you'll excuse me, we're introducing a new companion in the next episode, so I need to get to watching.