The War Machines
By Ian Stuart-Black
Blue Peter, June 20th 1966
(Within a brightly lit BBC television studio sparsely decorated with a stand-alone shelving unit containing a selection of toys, a semi-circular padded bench
and a backdrop with the image of a large blue ship, sits the Blue Peter presenter Christopher Trace, the faithful Petra the dog ever by his side.)
TRACE: Well I wonder if you recognise this building? Yes it's the Post Office Tower in London. I expect you remember when I took the Blue Peter
cameras up to have a look at it when it was being built.
(Pictures of the Post-Office Tower flash across the screen.)
TRACE: Now it's been built in fact, to beam television and radio waves in and out of London; and up on the top is an observation platform which gives
you a-a really splendid view over the rooftops of London. Well the Post-Office Tower has been brought into the latest Doctor Who adventure. When the TARDIS
touches down in the present time, Doctor Who discovers that the tower contains a very special computer called WOTAN. WOTAN is designed to solve the most
complicated problems, and develops control over human beings. In a warehouse near Covent Garden the famous fruit and vegetable market in London, the...a series
of scientists have been set up to make mobile computers, or War Machines which are going to destroy the world. This is what it looks like when the first War
Machine walks through the streets of London.
(A pulsing signal reverberates all around as the tall shape of the newly constructed Post-Office Tower comes into view. Down on the street below the large
square box of a War Machine marked with the number 9 approaches a red London telephone booth revolves it's weapons to bear, and fires a steady stream of gas at
it. The same War Machine in a different shot trundles down the street firing it's gaseous weapons wildly. At the end of the street it crashes into a pile of
metal dustbins knocking them flying with a clatter.)
TRACE: Well it's absolutely fantastic isn't it? I certainly wouldn't like to just come around the corner of a building and walk into one of those!
Dearie me no!
(The same electronic pulsing noise as was on the film begins to echo around the studio, and Christopher Trace looks decidedly concerned.)
TRACE: Wha? What's this strange noise?
(He looks over into the corner of the studio and sees a War Machine trundling across the studio floor.)
TRACE: Goodness me, it's absolutely enormous! Look at the size of it! Quite fantastic! Well I think I'll chance, and go and have a look closer
(The number 9 War Machine towers above the presenter. It is square, boxy and has perspex sides containing rotating old-fashioned computer spools and a series
of blinking lights. On top it has a mini-dish which also rotates. The face of the machine resembles an iron riveted pillbox with four lights set into the front,
a long horizontal slit, and a glowing camera eye in the centre darting back and forth encapsulated within a protective perspex bubble. To the left and right two
flexible imbedded weapons move up and down, below are two tucked away arms shaped like huge metal lump hammers which can raise up and bash down. The entire
affair trundles along on a manoeuvrable wheel set into it's base studded with flapping rubber tracks. Christopher Trace examines the machine and points out it's
TRACE: Now these are the great arms that do all the smashing. Look at that for size, look at it! You can see the power in that - it'd smash through anything!
And then down here I think, must be the..sort of..caterpillar track - that's to help it get over rough territory.
(The wheel in the base moves round and round but the machine stays still. He points to the camera eye of the machine.)
TRACE: Then up above it here, looks like a ray gun. See there, 'cause it's it moving around - or is it an eye perhaps, so it can see? No, I think it's
a ray gun there. And now I heard some guns firing, didn't I...
(He approaches the guns and they issue a violent jet of gas causing him to jump back clutching at his chest in genuine shock.)
TRACE: Hmmph! Hahaha. Goodness me!
(He is joined on set by fellow presenter Valerie Singleton who has been watching with demure amusement.)
SINGLETON: Mmm, terrifying isn't it?
TRACE: It is a bit frightening isn't it? Yeah.
SINGLETON: What's the thing on top for?
TRACE: Well I, I'm not absolutely certain, but I should think that that's some radar scanner or radio sending back all the information that the, the
machine is getting about us now. You see, down here this is probably the computer actually working, down on the side - see it going round?
SINGLETON: Well I just hope he doesn't, er, send back any messages to WOTAN about us!
TRACE: Well I should think that if he is going to do, he's going to do it pretty soon!
PRODUCER OOV: (Whispering.) Right, go!
(The War Machine jerks into life and trundles forward across the studio floor, mallets raised, straight through a offensive pile of deadly, small
cardboard boxes and away to terrorise the BBC floor staff. The presenters look on in awe across it's mighty trail of destruction.)
TRACE: Well that is absolutely fantastic, isn't it? Just look at the strength of it! I shouldn't think anything would stand up would
you? It'd just go boom straight through it!
SINGLETON: I should think that Doctor Who's in for quite a lot of trouble in his next adventure.
TRACE: Ah, he certainly is. Well I'm certainly going to look in on Saturday and see how he gets on!
(The studio fades to black. A BBC logo fades in with a spinning 60s style globe.)
ANNOUNCER: This is BBC 1.
1, EXT LONDON SKYLINE
(From up in the Post-Office Tower high above the rooftops of 1966 London there is a view far and wide across the city and a harsh sound of a screaming
wind... All the way down and across from the tower sits the little suburban area known as Fitzroy Square. Suddenly there is a faint approaching whine as if some
form of an aircraft were descending from the sky. The familiar sound of the tortured trumpeting engines of the TARDIS mingles with the screeching of the wind
sending a flock of birds scattering into the sky.)
2, EXT: FITZROY SQUARE
(Against a railing in Fitzroy Square a large blue Police box materialises out of thin air, unseen as a van passes by. The door of the box opens and an old
man with flowing white hair tucked under a black woolly hat disembarks. He is clad in a thick black cloak, checked trousers and an old black frock coat.
Following him is a petite young girl who looks around delightedly.)
(The Doctor takes her head in his hands in a benign Grandfatherly way and beams at her. Across the way a Policeman strides up the street. The Doctor closes
the door, takes a white "OUT OF ORDER" sign from his inside pocket and hangs it on the front of the box, wagging a mischievous finger.)
(The Policeman gets closer.)
DOCTOR: Well I suppose you know where you are my dear, mm-hmm?
DODO: London. Home!
DODO: It's marvellous to be back, it seems ages since I left.
DOCTOR: Oh ah, when you've seen the ages that I have you won't use that term quite so freely! Anyway I don't think it's been all that long.
(Dodo looks at the sign.)
DODO: Hey, what's that for?
DOCTOR: Ah well, the problem is; coming back to the twentieth century my dear, the TARDIS, I'm afraid, is often mistaken for the real Police-Box!
(The Policeman approaches the Police box, examines the notice, then walks off.)
DODO: I see what you mean.
DOCTOR: Yes, and fortunately he can't get in!
(Dodo seems amused.)
DODO: If only he could! Scotland Yard whipped off into time and space!
(She laughs. The Doctor is looking up at the Post-Office Tower.)
DOCTOR: So that's it!
DODO: What? Oh the tower. It's finished!
DOCTOR: Isn't that interesting, very interesting.
DODO: It's great isn't it. Stephen would have liked it here.
DOCTOR: You know there's something alien about that tower, I can sense it!
(Dodo sniffs at the air and wrinkles her nose at the pungent aroma.)
DODO: Smells okay to me, good old London smoke!
DOCTOR: I-I-I-I can, I can feel I-er-er I-er-er it's got something, a sort of powerful is... Look at my skin! Look at that! I've got that pricking
sensange..that sensation again, the same..just as I had when I saw the Thalics..those Daleks were near!
DODO: Daleks, who are they?
DOCTOR: Oh, er yes of course you er, you didn't meet them did you, child? No, and I pray that you never will! I really must investigate it!
(The Doctor sets off down a side road at a pace. Dodo skips over to keep up, and walks with him. Leaning towards the sky before them looms the huge, glass
and steel, half-chewed Cadet sweet-cigarette of the GPO Tower.)
3, INT: BRETT'S LABORATORY
(All around the city people below are going on with their lives like tiny little ants. Professor Brett, comes away from the window and surveys the curved,
glazed room of his top-floor laboratory. The room is packed full of computer banks and components all interconnected. To one side, half a dozen spools of tape
constantly churn and chitter adding to the steady electronic background hum. Rows of lights and switches control all the major functions of the machine, and
reams of printout spew from a slot. In the centre of the mass of machinery is a main panel marked with a distinctive stylised W.
It consists of two square grilles, a handful of switches, a printer slot and a glowing flexible camera "eye" within a protective perspex bubble.)
BRETT: Things are running alright?
(Polly Lopez, a tall blonde bombshell of a secretary nods, and returns to her seat on the other side of the room.)
(Major Green leads the Doctor and Dodo from the lift, through the doors into the laboratory.)
GREEN: It is a splendid view certainly, I think you'll enjoy it.
DODO: Doctor look at it! Isn't it terrific!
GREEN: Ah Professor Brett!
BRETT: Ah, Doctor! I understand from Major Green that you're a specialist in computer development?
DOCTOR: Well..hardly a specialist sir, but I dabble, yes, I dabble.
(He examines the computer banks.)
DOCTOR: Oh, so that's what it is!
BRETT: I beg your pardon?
DOCTOR: Yes, you know I had a very strong sense of energy outside this building, ah, a sort of magnetic pull if you like. Heh. It was most unusual er, so
I presume that's what it must have been!
BRETT: It is indeed Doctor. It's my life's work, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Hmm, most ingenious.
BRETT: I think I can go so far as to say that it's the only one of it's kind in existence, it's at least ten years ahead of it's time.
DOCTOR: Is that so mm?
DODO: What makes it so special?
BRETT: Well miss er..?
DOCTOR: Oh, ah-ah, my secretary er-er, Dodo Chaplet.
BRETT: Well Miss Chaplet, I'll explain. This is perhaps not the biggest computer in the world, but it's certainly the most advanced. It can handle
scientific problems well outside the range of any other computer in existence. We are about to link this up with computers all over the world as a
(He spins a nearby globe of the world.)
BRETT: A sort of problem solver.
DODO: I don't understand.
BRETT: Hah, well perhaps it'll be clearer tonight.
DOCTOR: Oh, er, tonight sir?
BRETT: Yes, of course. Press conference. I thought your visit..?
(He offers the Doctor a newspaper to scan.)
DOCTOR: Oh yes-yes-yes-yes of course my dear fellow, yes, eh Dodo?
DODO: Oh, all that's very exciting.
(Her smile slips down a notch.)
BRETT: Exciting, hmph. Look, this is my secretary, Polly.
DODO: Hello Polly.
POLLY: How do you do.
BRETT: Now Polly's pretty smart, a cracking typist, right?
(Polly pulls a face.)
BRETT: Ha-ha, also rather a cheeky one at times. Well now this machine, which I call WOTAN.
DOCTOR: You call what?
BRETT: "Vo-tan." Spelt W-O-T-A-N. Will Operating Thought ANalogue.
DOCTOR: Oh... Yes-yes, quite.
BRETT: Yes, well now, WOTAN can not only think faster than Polly or myself, it can also type faster.
POLLY: I afraid so! And it never makes mistakes, wretched thing!
DOCTOR: Are you, er, seriously telling me sir, that er, you have invented a machine that can think?
DOCTOR: And never makes mistakes?
DOCTOR: Hmph! Hmph!
(He walks over to the main WOTAN machine and flips a knob, then gestures to a grille.)
DOCTOR: I take it, er, that I speak into here.
BRETT: Yes, that's right.
DOCTOR: Er, what is the, er, square route of 14722?
(The machine buzzes and clicks, and then a piece of printout pushes it's way out of a slot in the top. The Doctor tears off the sheet.)
DOCTOR: One moment please...
(He takes out a pair of pince-nez and examines the printout.)
DOCTOR: 131.993. Yes, that's near enough...yes it's truly remarkable! Hahaha. Hm-hm!
DODO: May I try it now?
BRETT: Certainly, go ahead.
DODO: Now let's see you funny looking contraption... Here's one you'll never get... What does the word TARDIS mean?
(The computer bank whirrs furiously and the spools of tape turn around and around as WOTAN considers the problem.)
DOCTOR: Well, what did it say my dear?
DODO: Got it right - Time And Relative Dimensions In Space!
DOCTOR: Good heavens! Let me see. Well now, how would it know that?
BRETT: WOTAN knows a lot I don't know. There's something else I can tell you Miss Chaplet... What's up here?
(Dodo seems transfixed by the noise of the computer, Brett touches her on the shoulder and she turns to face them.)
DOCTOR: What's the matter my dear, are you alright?
DODO: Oh yes! Ah, just a buzzing in me ears.
DOCTOR: Oh. Just, er, sit down a moment. Hmm.
(He goes back to examining the computer without a second thought.)
DOCTOR: Now tell me sir, now tell me. What er, part does this play?
BRETT: Oh, that's the usual memory bank.
DOCTOR: I see! And here of course is the programme regimentator?
BRETT: Yes, but in this case, a slightly different one.
DOCTOR: Yes, I-I wonder...
(Brett has noticed the Doctor's lack of concern for Dodo, so cuts short his discourse to see if she is alright.)
BRETT: Are you feeling better now?
DODO: Oh, fine, thank you.
BRETT: Good! Polly'll look after you.
(He walks off to investigate what the Doctor is doing to his beloved computer.)
POLLY: Is this your first time in London?
DODO: Oh no! It feels like it though. I'm so out of touch! What I'd really like is to go to the hottest night-spot in town.
POLLY: Oh well that's easy, the Inferno...
4, INT: INFERNO CLUB
(Dodo follows Polly down the steps of a dingy whitewashed basement bar decorated with candelabras and cheap replica African masks. In a corner a battered
record player pumps out a swinging jazzy tune. All around, various neat young boys in neat suits, ties and tidy hairstyles are seated at tables; or jiggling
about mildly on the dance floor with girls in far out 60's style dresses, whilst drinking fizzy Vimto from small plastic beakers. Polly waves to someone in the
crowd, and says "Hi!", then moves over to the bar. (In actuality a long grubby table, one end boasting a disappointingly small selection of pop
bottles, a few cups and some straws).)
KITTY: Hello Polly, love. Oh, am I glad to see you!
POLLY: Dodo, this is Kitty; Kitty - Dodo.
KITTY: Hi Dodo.
(She smiles at Dodo and then turns to Polly.)
KITTY: Polly you're just the person I need! Will you help me?
POLLY: Oh here we go again! Not that I mind helping people. Well, what is it then?
KITTY: When you were here last week, do you remember a sailor at the end of the bar?
POLLY: Not especially, why?
KITTY: He's been here ever since. Poor lad, he just sits there at the end of the bar. Look out, here he comes now.
(Ben Jackson sticks out like a sore thumb as he walks through the bopping kids in suits wearing his navy and white sailors outfit. Perched on his head is
small white hat bearing the name "HMS Teaser". He solemnly sits at the end of the bar and mopes to himself by a stack of cola bottles and a pile of
KITTY: Ha! See? He's no great advertisement for the most "with it" place in town is he? Couldn't you cheer him up just a little?
(Polly mulls it over.)
POLLY: Alright Kitty leave it to us. Stand by Dodo, this looks like a rescue mission - the Navy's in trouble! Excuse me.
(Dodo laughs as Polly pushes through the crowd to where Ben is, sitting next to him.)
POLLY: Well hello, we met the other night - remember?
BEN: Oh yeah... I think I do.
(He looks miserable as ever.)
POLLY: You think you do? Oh I must have made a big impression!
BEN: Oh no, it's not that...
POLLY: Well what is it then? It must be something pretty big, not to have noticed me.
BEN: Ah, I'm sorry.
POLLY: Aaah, he says he's sorry!
BEN: Look, there's no law against sittin' here is there?!
POLLY: Well there should be when you've got that look on your face! Look, I'll show you.
(She goes behind the bar, leans on her elbows opposite Ben and juts her bottom lip out as if she were doing an impression of a miserable trout. Ben appears
to brighten for a moment.)
BEN: Oh. Is it as bad that then?
POLLY: So spill the beans sailor, give us the fax, what's your problems?
BEN: Ah, you wouldn't understand. You'd think I'm some kind of a nut.
POLLY: Well try us.
BEN: Well it's my ship see, it's gone off to the West Indies and I've got a shore posting. In barracks for six months!
POLLY: And you miss the swaying palms, the white beaches, the blue sea...
BEN: Very funny! If you've finished cheering me up...
POLLY: Come on Dodo, let's leave him. I can't stand people with no sense of humour.
(As Polly walks past she is cornered by a grinning goon named Flash in an appallingly tasteless pinstripe jacket. She tries to escape but is unable to.)
FLASH: Why don't you try me? I've got a great sense of humour, anything for a giggle.
POLLY: Please take your arm away.
FLASH: Oh come on darlin', I know your type. You'd have a better time with me than with ol' shorty there.
BEN: Wos' that?!
FLASH: Oh geeet lost!
BEN: Look let her go!
FLASH: Look, go and play with your toy boats half-pint!
(Ben has had enough, it's all very well the oik annoying Polly, but the repeated cracks about his size are going just one step too far. Ben gets up, rushes
forward and pins Flashes arm behind his back.)
BEN: I said let go of her!
(Ben releases Flash who aims a punch at Ben's face which he swiftly blocks, then he knees him in the groin. Flash falls to the floor, but swiftly gets up
again, crouching down facing Ben with his fists raised.)
BEN: Just you try it mate, I'll chop you in little bits!
(Flash launches himself at Ben who puts him down again. He gets up again and prepares a final assault when Kitty homes sternly into view.)
KITTY: What's all this?!
BEN: Nothin'. One of you customers wants to go home.
(Flash looks from Ben to Kitty, then decides that discretion is the better part of valour and slinks off.)
BEN: You wanna be careful who you encourage!
POLLY: Why you conceited little..!
DODO: Oh now Polly, he was just trying to help. Thank you er..?
BEN: Ben. Ben Jackson.
(Ben shakes hands with Dodo.)
4, EXT: SCIENTIFIC CLUB DOORWAY
(A taxi pulls up by the side of the road, and the Doctor disembarks, his cloak swirling behind him. He pays the driver then walks up the steps of a grand
house and jabs the doorbell. While he is waiting he examines the plaque on the door. It reads: "THE ROYAL SCIENTIFIC CLUB".)
5, INT: ROYAL SCIENTIFIC CLUB
(Inside, the grandly decorated clubroom is packed full of people from the scientific community and reporters letting off flashbulbs. At the far end of the
room is a grand table, behind which sit the three main speakers representing the corporation that designed and built WOTAN. Behind them is a chart which has the
names WOODWERA, CAPE KENNEDY, PARLIAMENT, ELDO, TELSTAR, WHITE HOUSE, EFTA, and RN, all linked at the centre by WOTAN in a weird kind of interconnected network.
Pushed up against the main table is a smaller table, upon which is a scale model of WOTAN for everyone to look at and photograph. Sir Charles Summer, the civil
servant responsible for the WOTAN project, and the skilled electrical engineer Professor Krimpton are amongst those hosting the press conference. Although Brett
is noticeably absent. Summer stands and addresses the crowd.)
SUMMER: Gentleman, ladies, may I have your attention please? Well, you're heard the backroom boys, now it's about time you my turn. C-Day, that
is Computer Day, will be next Monday, July 16th, that is in four days time. Now on that date all the computer systems in this country, and
subsequently in the whole world will come under the control of this central computer which we call WOTAN. As you've heard this will have both peaceful and
military implications. I need hardly tell you that this is a great step forward for Britain, and indeed I may say, for the whole world. Now, have you got any
(A gum-chewing man with a notepad raises his hand.)
STONE: Uh, Roy Stone, the New York Sketch.
SUMMER: Fire away.
STONE: Sir, doesn't this put a great deal of power into the hands of whoever operates WOTAN?
SUMMER: No-one operates WOTAN. WOTAN operates itself.
SUMMER: The computer is merely a brain which thinks logically without any political or private ends; it is pure thought. It makes calculations, it
supplies only the truth. It has no imaginative powers.
NEWSPAPERMAN: Is there no way of fixing it so it can give the wrong answers?
SUMMER: There would be no point. Now don't forget that a computer like WOTAN is not a human being.
NEWSPAPERMAN: Oh, but surely...
SUMMER: It has no reason to suppress the truth, it has no emotions. It is our soul.
STONE: Hah, it seems to me, by the way you're talking that this machine can think for itself like a human being!
SUMMER: It can.
(There is a mutter of disbelief amongst the journalists.)
SUMMER: Only much more accurately.
STONE: Wha..but sir, I mean, isn't this kinda risky? Y'know? I mean, suppose it decides it can do without people, what then?
(There is a ripple of laughter. In a corner the Doctor's expression is deadly serious as he watches the proceedings with growing alarm.)
SUMMER: I hardly think it'll come to that. I think that Professor Brett and his team will have the machine well under control.
(He turns and whispers to Professor Krimpton.)
SUMMER: Where the devil is Brett?
KRIMPTON: He should have met me here an hour ago.
SUMMER: Well give him a buzz, there's a good fellow.
KRIMPTON: Yes, alright.
(Krimpton scurries off and Summer turns back to the crowd.)
SUMMER: Now gentlemen I must apologise for the absence of Professor Brett. I'm sure he'll be along in a moment or two if you will just bear with us.
It is, after all, his show.
(The Doctor walks over to the model of WOTAN and scrutinises it carefully with his pince-nez.)
6, INT: BRETT'S LABORATORY
(Professor Brett is speaking into an old bakelite telephone.)
BRETT: ...I have to go I now I am already very late for an important meeting. Goodnight!
(Brett moves to leave, then stops, and walks back to the console and presses a button to page Major Green. Green walks into the room.)
GREEN: You wanted something Professor?
BRETT: Have you been here all day Major?
GREEN: Yes of course.
BRETT: Are you sure that this building's properly screened?
GREEN: If you have any complaints..!
BRETT: I have. There's someone in this part of the building.
GREEN: I'm sorry sir, not at all possible. We have the complete security check on this section of the tower day and night.
BRETT: Are you sure?
BRETT: It's funny... I've had a feeling all day of someone there; someone listening to me, watching me.
(Brett swiftly moves to the door and opens it looking out, seeing no-one there he slowly closes it again looking rather sheepish.)
GREEN: Ah, there is only the two of us in this part of the tower, sir.
BRETT: I suppose you must be right. I'm sorry Major, I must be getting tired.
GREEN: Ah that's alright. Oh, will you be working late tonight professor?
BRETT: No-no good heavens, I must be off I'm late. Thank you Major.
GREEN: Goodnight sir.
(Green walks out of the door. Brett follows, but pauses for a moment with a look of confusion. He walks over to the main computer bank and glances about. The
computer is still happily humming away to itself. Seeing nothing wrong, Brett shakes his head and moves to depart. For a split second he freezes, it is as if
some force had momentarily taken control of his body. Shaking his head at the absurdity of it, he turns to go.)
BRETT: This is ridiculous, I must be imagining things.
(Before he can, a slightly different kind of a signal begins to transmit from the glowing eye on the centre of the computer array.)
BRETT: It's quite ridiculous!
(Waves of irresistible hypnotic force crash inexorably outwards like ripples on a pond, causing Brett to clutch at his head in silent agony as his
personality becomes subsumed by the mighty machine-intellect of WOTAN. He stiffens up, all trace of the usual curt, yet benign personality completely wiped from
his head. Emotionlessly he turns to face WOTAN.)
BRETT: What do you want?
(The computer chitters to itself.)
7, INT: INFERNO CLUB
(Kitty is polishing the bar with a grimy old rag as Ben and Dodo walk over from the dance floor. Dodo looks decidedly ill, but is putting a brave face on it.
Ben whispers something to Dodo.)
DODO: ...I don't think so, I can't.
DODO: I'm so exhausted!
KITTY: Oh, hello there, bright and breezy now are we?
(He reaches over and pats Kitty on the cheek.)
KITTY: Steady sailor. Watch it!
BEN: Same again girls?
DODO: Oh no.
POLLY: Thank you.
(Ben gathers Dodo and Polly's glasses and moves off to hunt for more Ribena anyway.)
KITTY: Polly you're a wonder! How do you do it?
POLLY: Oh it's just a knack you know, anytime you want a bit of brightness in your life, come to Pol! Mind you, he's a special case.
KITTY: You can have a job here anytime you like!
POLLY: I've already got a very good one, thanks.
(Polly turns to talk to Dodo and notices that she is holding her head as if she were in discomfort.)
POLLY: What's the matter Dodo?
DODO: I dunno... I've had some sort of a headache ever since I left your office.
(Ben arrives and deposits two full glasses.)
DODO: Some sort of...high pitched hum. Oh, it's gone again now. I'm alright, really.
BEN: Oh good. Do you fink I could 'ave another dance?
(Polly looks at him with feigned annoyance, as she would to a rescued puppy who has got a little too used to her attention.)
POLLY: Oh here we go!
(She walks off to the dancefloor with Ben leaving Dodo sitting at the bar on her own with her thoughts.)
8, INT: ROYAL SCIENTIFIC CLUB
SUMMER: Well gentlemen and ladies, if there are no more questions?
(There is a silence.)
SUMMER: I really am very sorry about the absence of Professor Brett. I'm sure that it must have been something very important that prevented him from
coming... Ah, Professor Brett!
(He spots Brett coming through the door. Brett approaches the main table, walking stiffly as if he were a little overstarched. When addressing the assembled
journalists and scientists, he speaks abruptly and without a trace of emotion; not even turning to face them.)
BRETT: Gentlemen, I am sorry I was not able to attend, it was unavoidable.
SUMMER: Well now that you're here perhaps you'll talk to the gentlemen...
BRETT: I want to speak to Professor Krimpton.
SUMMER: I beg your pardon?! They've been waiting...
BRETT: It's urgent. Professor Krimpton.
(Krimpton, Brett and Sir Charles confer by the end of the table. The Doctor watches the exchange from the other side of the table with interest.)
KRIMPTON: See me now?
BRETT: Immediately if you don't mind.
SUMMER: Are you alright Brett?
BRETT: Quite alright thank you.
SUMMER: Well, it is the computer then?
(Brett stiffens a little more than usual.)
(Stone approaches the trio.)
STONE: Ah, Professor Brett. I'm Roy Stone the New York Sketch, sir...
BRETT: No comment. This way Professor Krimpton.
STONE: But I have... I have unanswered questions, I...
(Stone looks astonished as Brett leads Krimpton roughly through the crowd by the arm, as the room descends into a loud mass of excited chatter. He tries to
follow Brett, but is unable to get through the mass of people.)
STONE: Now, can you confirm that..?
SUMMER: Now I'm very sorry gentlemen, but that seems to be it. I would like to thank of you all for your time...
(But no-one is listening to Sir Charles anymore, as they all scramble to get out and quiz Brett. Stone turns and tries to speak, but his voice is lost in the
sound of chatter.)
STONE: Sir Charles?
(Summer shrugs resignedly. The Doctor has been left in the room with Sir Charles and the last few stragglers from the group. Sir Charles takes his coat from
Kennedy, his uniformed driver, and puts it on.)
SUMMER: Thank you.
(He spots the Doctor in thought by the table, and wanders over.)
SUMMER: Ah, oh... Excuse me, are you the doctor that Professor Brett telephoned me about?
DOCTOR: Yes I am, Sir Charles.
SUMMER: Ah, well I'm glad that you could come along. I wonder what on Earth's got into him this evening? His manner was very odd.
DOCTOR: Yes... Very odd, very odd indeed. Perhaps he was overworking? Er, who was that little man, Krimpton?
SUMMER: Oh electronics fellow, one of our top men, er... Come to think of it - electronics! Perhaps there is something wrong with WOTAN and he
didn't want to let it out? That would explain it wouldn't it? Look, I'm terribly sorry but would you excuse me, I think I'd better go and check.
(He turns to his driver again.)
SUMMER: Kennedy? Will you look after the Doctor for me?
(The Doctor still seems to be lost in thought.)
DOCTOR: I wonder, mm. I wonder, Hmmph...
9, INT: BRETT'S LABORATORY
(Green is on doing the late-night rounds of the tower. He exits the lift and checks the doors to the lab, but to his surprise the electronic doors are not
locked. Opening the door, he ventures curiously inside for a moment, then turns to leave again. As he does so the glowing eye on the main computer bank swivels
around and stares at him. Green pauses for a moment, wandering the room and not really understanding why. Suddenly he doubles up in pain as his mind is
violently assaulted. He tries to fight back as the pulsing hypnotic signal bursts and ripples all around him, but eventually it wins. He stiffens up, turns and
emotionlessly addresses the computer.)
GREEN: I understand.
(The computer chitters and chunders to itself. Green moves over to Brett's telephone and steadily dials a number.)
10, INT: INFERNO CLUB
(Inside the Inferno, a black phone identical to the one in the Professor's laboratory begins to ring. Kitty picks it up and presses her ear to the receiver
in an attempt to hear what is being said.)
KITTY: Hello, Inferno. What? Who? Speak up! Oh right, yes I'll get her.
(She puts down the receiver.)
KITTY: Dodo, it's for you!
DODO: Hello? Yes, who is it?
11, INT: BRETT'S LABORATORY
(In the laboratory, Major Green puts down the receiver and walks over to the WOTAN. He pulls the wire from the back of the phone and plugs it into a socket
on the face of the computer, then flips a switch. Dodo's voice begins to pipe through WOTAN's speakers as she has been interfaced directly with the machine.)
DODO OOV: Hello, who is this? Hello?!
(WOTAN's lights blink and flash on it's many consoles as it feeds the rippling waves of control signal down the telephone to Dodo.)
12, INT: INFERNO CLUB
(Dodo's face contorts in pain as her synapses are suffused with the searing pain of the control signal, blasting it's way through her mind and sweeping it
clean. She straightens up stiffly.)
DODO: Yes. Yes, I understand.
(She replaces the receiver and walks off like a robot.)
13, INT: GPO TOWER CORRIDOR
(Brett has managed to drag Krimpton off to the Post-Office Tower. They walk down the corridor and Brett summons a lift.)
KRIMPTON: Brett! I must say it's rather odd to break up a meeting like that and drag me off at this time of night!
BRETT: I had no choice Krimpton.
KRIMPTON: No choice? Now what do you mean?
BRETT: You will soon understand.
KRIMPTON: Now look here Brett! I-I'll stay a few minutes, I think it's a bit much.
BRETT: Nothing is too much.
KRIMPTON: What are you talking about? What's the matter with you this evening - has the computer broken down?
BRETT: On the contrary, it's we who have broken down! We have failed.
14, INT: BRETT'S LABORATORY
(The lift doors open and they disembark.)
KRIMPTON: We have failed?
BRETT: We've reached a standstill. We cannot develop the Earth any further. Further progress is impossible.
KRIMPTON: What do you mean impossible?
BRETT: That is the conclusion reached by WOTAN.
KRIMPTON: Are you joking? This machine is hardly in a position to...
BRETT: I'm not joking. WOTAN has decided that the world cannot progress further with mankind running it.
KRIMPTON: Oh really, and what does WOTAN propose to do about it, take over from us?
BRETT: From now on, we are to serve.
KRIMPTON: And if we choose not to, mankind will be eliminated?
BRETT: If it is necessary.
KRIMPTON: You've been working too hard old chap. You've gone completely off your rocker!
BRETT: You cannot escape.
KRIMPTON: Oh dear.
(He turns to leave and runs straight into Major Green who has appeared in the doorway.)
KRIMPTON: Oh Major, thank heavens you're here. He's round the bend. He's gone mad!
GREEN: He is not mad Professor Krimpton.
(Krimpton tries to get out, but Green blocks his way.)
KRIMPTON: Let me out of here!
GREEN: You must wait.
KRIMPTON: I refuse to be kept! I refuse to!
GREEN: Don't touch that!
KRIMPTON: You can't leave me here, I'll get..I'll...
(He runs for the phone and picks up the receiver. WOTAN begins to broadcast it's rippling corruption wave. Krimpton's hand opens and he drops the receiver.)
KRIMPTON: No... it's not possible!
(He turns and tries to shield himself from the alien force of the computer's will, but to no avail.)
KRIMPTON: No, I don't believe it! I-I won't work for you!
(Krimpton pulls off his glasses under the strain of the assault.)
KRIMPTON: I'm human! There's nothing more important than human life. Machines cannot govern man! I will not...
(WOTAN steps up the power and chitters to itself. Krimpton places his hands to his head in silent agony as his mind is swallowed like a droplet in an ocean.
He stands up straight and turns to face the main computer bank.)
KRIMPTON: What do you want?
15, INT: INFERNO CLUB
(Ben Polly and Kitty are standing by the bar.)
BEN: Where's your friend then, can't see her anywhere.
POLLY: I don't know, surely she wouldn't have left without a word to us?
BEN: I shouldn't think so, she seemed a nice bird - friendly. Not stuck-up like you, Duchess.
POLLY: Look, don't call me Duchess. I'm worried about Dodo. I'm-I'm supposed to be looking after her, you know, she-showing her around.
BEN: You? That's a laugh!
(Kitty looks over to the entrance steps where the Doctor is descending.)
KITTY: Well, it is our night for surprises! What does he want in here?
POLLY: Oh, it's the Doctor.
KITTY: You know him?
POLLY: He's Dodo's boss.
KITTY: He looks like that disc-jockey!
BEN: Hehe, yeah.
DOCTOR: Ahh, I thought I'd find you both here. Oh, I hope Dodo and yourself have enjoyed yourselves.
KITTY: Have one on the house Doctor! It isn't every day we get the over-twenties in this place.
(The Doctor grins wickedly. Kitty runs a provocative finger along The Doctor's cloak.)
KITTY: Oh I dig your fab gear!
(The Doctor looks down at his clothes.)
DOCTOR: Fab gear. Hm-hm! Who is your friend?
POLLY: He's not exactly a friend, I've just met him. His name is Ben; Ben - the Doctor.
BEN: Hello sir.
(They shake hands.)
DOCTOR: Yes, delighted my boy. I don't see Dodo about.
POLLY: I'm afraid she's gone.
DOCTOR: Eh? Gone, gone where, child?
POLLY: Well that's it, she came past the phone about half an hour ago, and we haven't seen her since.
(The Doctor frowns, deep in thought again.)
16, INT: BRETT'S LABORATORY
BRETT: There is one special human brain that WOTAN needs. The task of leading this brain here to serve WOTAN will be an extremely delicate
matter. It has been arranged.
GREEN: Someone is coming?
BRETT: The fourth member called here to receive orders.
(Brett opens the doors to his laboratory, and Dodo walks in.)
BRETT: The Doctor's secretary.
(Dodo turns to WOTAN.)
DODO: What are my instructions?
(All along the panels lights blink on and off, and tape spools whiz around as the computer chitters and chatters to itself. In the centre it's bright eye
darts back and forth surveying it's first four human servants. There is a low rumbling from the speakers set into the top of WOTAN's face. The rumbles merge and
twist as if the computer were trying to experimentally mould and mash vowels together like warm plasticine. A icy voice, devoid of all trace of human emotion
begins to boom from WOTAN's speakers as it issues it's first vocal command.)
WOTAN: DDDOCTORR WHOO ISS RREQUIREDD. BRING HIM HERE!
(Dodo turns to leave.....)
Sir Charles Summer
Title music by
Ron Grainer and the
Based on an idea by
(C) BBCTV 1966