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First Broadcast: 08.02.64
Running Time: 25 minutes 04 seconds
Written by David Whitaker


(The DOCTOR enters from the living quarters and crosses over to the control panel. He looks at a set of controls and his hands falter in mid air. Suddenly, he turns around and a pair of hands grips his neck. It is IAN who looks as if he is in a trance. The DOCTOR thrusts him off and IAN falls to the floor with a wide-eyed cry. BARBARA enters, wearing a long black dressing gown and rushes over to IAN who is lying unconscious on the floor.)

DOCTOR: So it was you?
DOCTOR: It's no use pretending.
BARBARA: Well help him.
DOCTOR: Help him? You saw him. You saw trie…what he tried to do.
BARBARA: But now he's fainted just like Susan did.
DOCTOR: She didn't faint. It was you that told me she fainted, and I very nearly believed you.
BARBARA: Oh, what does it matter?
DOCTOR: Matter? Matter? Young lady, he very nearly tried to strangle me!
BARBARA: But he has fainted, look at him.
DOCTOR: (Dismissive.) Oh, he's play-acting.

(The DOCTOR walks away. BARBARA stands up and trails him.)

BARBARA: No he isn't! (Quieter.) Oh Doctor, don't you see? Something terrible’s happening to all of us.
DOCTOR: Not to me, nothing's happened to me. This is a plot between the two of you to get control of my ship.
BARBARA: Oh, that isn't true!
DOCTOR: Can't you see I've found you out? Why won't you admit it? Hmm?

(While they are arguing, SUSAN has come in unnoticed.)

SUSAN: (To BARBARA, coldly.) Yes, why don't you.
SUSAN: You've been behaving very strangely. Both of you.
SUSAN: (Crossing to the DOCTOR.) I think you're right Grandfather.
BARBARA: But you're wrong. I swear we haven't done anything.
DOCTOR: I told you I'd treat you as enemies.

(The DOCTOR looks meaningfully at SUSAN who realises what he is implying.)

DOCTOR: There's no other way.
BARBARA: Well what are you going to do?
DOCTOR: That is my business.

(BARBARA rushes over to IAN.)

BARBARA: (In a panic.) Ian, wake up! For heaven's sake, wake up Ian!

(She turns IAN over and looks up at the DOCTOR who stares back at her. She turns back to IAN.)

BARBARA: Ian! Ian, help me!

(IAN becomes conscious.)

IAN: Eh.... I... I...
DOCTOR: There's no alternative. Your little trick endangered our lives.

(SUSAN crosses over to IAN and BARBARA.)

SUSAN: How did he get like this?
DOCTOR: Oh, it's all a charade.
BARBARA: He went near the control panel.

(SUSAN turns to face the DOCTOR.)

SUSAN: It did happen to me, grandfather.
BARBARA: (Grabbing her.) Yes, you remember! You lost your memory, and there was this terrible pain at the back of your neck.
SUSAN: (Remembering.) Yes. Yes, that's true.
BARBARA: What do you think we've done? Hypnotised you? Drugged you? Susan, we wouldn't do anything like that, believe me.
DOCTOR: I see, divide and conquer eh? (To SUSAN.) She's trying to poison your mind against me.

(Suddenly, IAN sits up but he is delirious...)

IAN: (Shouts.) Don't touch it Doctor!

(He falls back, unconscious again.)

SUSAN: (To BARBARA.) I do believe you. (To the DOCTOR.) Grandfather, they couldn't have done all the things that have happened to us.
DOCTOR: Oh, yes I admit they were very smart.
SUSAN: No, it's not a question of being smart.
DOCTOR: Don't you see I wouldn't allow them to hurt you child? They're very resourceful and cunning. And it leaves…only leaves me one recourse. They must be put off the ship.
SUSAN: No, you can't do that!
DOCTOR: I can, and I must.
BARBARA: But you can't open the doors.
DOCTOR: Don't underestimate u... underestimate my powers young lady.
SUSAN: Look grandfather, you’ve no means of telling what's out there. There may be no air, it may be freezing, it may be too hot to exist.
DOCTOR: Yes, or it might be the Earth in the twentieth century. Hadn't it occurred to you? My ship is very valuable remember.
BARBARA: Why are you so suspicious of us?
DOCTOR: Put yourself in my place, young lady, and you'd do precisely the same thing wouldn't you? Hmm?

(IAN is recovering slowly again on the floor.)

IAN: What are you two saying to each other?
DOCTOR: You're getting off the ship Chesterton.
IAN: Now?
DOCTOR: Yes, now! Get up!
IAN: Hmmph.

(IAN tries to get up, but he can't.)

IAN: (Still slightly delirious.) You'll have to help me Barbara.
BARBARA: Yes. I...
IAN: You'll have to help me Barbara.
IAN: I'll be all right when I get outside.
SUSAN: Grandfather, he doesn't know what's happening. I won't let you do this!
DOCTOR: If, of course, they'd like to confess to me what they have done to my ship, I may even change my mind.

(A loud noise, similar to a foghorn blares out from the TARDIS console. The DOCTOR and SUSAN turn round suddenly.)

BARBARA: Wha... what was that?
SUSAN: The danger signal!
DOCTOR: (Shouting.) The fault locator!

(He rushes across to it. The panel is ablaze with light.)

DOCTOR: (Pointing.) The whole of it!

(IAN sits up.)

IAN: Ah! Don't touch it Doctor!
BARBARA: It's all right.
IAN: No! No! You'll get knocked out!
BARBARA: It's all right!
SUSAN: Grandfather, tell me.
DOCTOR: The whole area of the fault locator has just given us a warning.
SUSAN: Well everything can't be... everything can't be wrong.
DOCTOR: That's what it means child.

(IAN kneels up and reaches his hands round BARBARA'S neck. Just like he did with the DOCTOR. The DOCTOR watches with shock as BARBARA takes IAN’S hands away and quietly speaks to him,)

BARBARA: No, Ian. Ian, it's all right. It's all right. It's all right.

(IAN is sitting on the floor shaking.)

IAN: I pulled you away. The controls are alive.

(IAN becomes unconscious again. BARBARA looks round, and looks up at the DOCTOR who is towering over her. She looks frightened.)

DOCTOR: No, you mustn't be frightened of me. Not now, please. I can't explain, but I've just realised the danger we're in.

(The 'danger' signal sounds again and SUSAN returns from the fault locator.)

SUSAN: They're off again, Grandfather.

(She returns to the panel.)

DOCTOR: Oh, er…look. We must pull him round.

(The DOCTOR kneels down. IAN begins to stir.)

DOCTOR: You see that panel up there? (He indicates the panel.) You've heard me refer to it, the fault locator?
DOCTOR: If one small piece of apparatus fails, a little valve illuminates and tells me precisely where the fault is. Can you imagine what would happen, if the whole of it lights up?! Hmm? (He stands.) It means, that the ship is on the point of disintegration. You're not to blame. All four of us are to blame!

(IAN recovers.)

IAN: Oh, you're all right. Ha. That drink you gave us?
DOCTOR: Oh, a mere harmless sleeping drug.
IAN: Ah, I thought so.
DOCTOR: Yes, you rather suspected I was upset…up to some mischief.
IAN: Yes, and I... I told you not to go near the control column. I told you. You'll electrocute yourself.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid I…must have misjudged you both.

(The 'danger' signal rings out. SUSAN returns from the fault locator.)

SUSAN: Fifteen seconds. It's happening every fifteen seconds.
BARBARA: But all the clocks are...
SUSAN: I counted.
DOCTOR: Well, please go on counting.

(SUSAN nods and runs back to the fault locator. BARBARA and the DOCTOR help IAN up.)

DOCTOR: Now both of you, listen, can you concentrate?
IAN: Yes, I think I'm all right.
DOCTOR: We're on the brink of descrus...of destruction, so the…all four of us must work closely together. We must find out where we are and what is happening to my ship.
IAN: Just a moment. Why did you say that, the brink of destruction?
DOCTOR: There's a strong force at work somewhere, which is threatening my ship. It's so strong that every piece of equipment can be out of action at the same time.
IAN: What?! Total disintegration?
DOCTOR: Precisely. We haven't crash-landed otherwise I would have discovered that immediately. And I don't believe there is an evil intelligence in the ship. Just at the same token, I don't really believe that you, either of you, have been the cause of this trouble.
IAN: Well what is then?
DOCTOR: I don't know, but we must find out.
IAN: Yes, but how long have we got?

(The 'danger' signal sounds again. SUSAN enters.)

SUSAN: It's happening every quarter of a minute.
IAN: Well what does that prove?

(BARBARA suddenly realises what has been going on.)

BARBARA: That we have a measure of time as long as it lasts. Yes of course, that explains the clock face. We had time taken away from us, and now it's being given back to us... because it's running out!

(The TARDIS console is rocked by an explosion again, throwing everyone off balance. They stumble about the room. The control column moves.)

SUSAN: The column!
DOCTOR: But it…it's impossible!

(IAN moves round to the DOCTOR.)

IAN: Doctor, I thought it only moved when the power was on.
DOCTOR: Yes. The heart of the machine is under the column.
IAN: Well what made it move?
DOCTOR: The source of power. You see when the column rises, it proves the extent of the power thrust.
BARBARA: (Scared.) Then what would have happened had the column come out completely?
SUSAN: (Shocked.) Well, the power would be to escape!
DOCTOR: Can it be possible then…that this is the end?
IAN: (Angry.) The end! What are you talking about?
DOCTOR: We have ten minutes to survive.
BARBARA: Ten minutes? As little as that?
DOCTOR: Maybe less.

(The DOCTOR crosses over to the panel with the scanner switch.)

IAN: Be careful, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Oh, it's quite safe here. This is where I stood when I tried the scanner switch.

(Something appears to click in BARBARA'S mind.)

BARBARA: Yes! Yes! Why is that part safe?
SUSAN: (Hysterical.) We'll never stop it in time.
BARBARA: Don’t Susan…

(BARBARA goes over to stop her panicking.)

BARBARA: Please don't.
DOCTOR: I don't know even where to begin, Chesterton. If only I had a clue.

(Suddenly BARBARA knows exactly what has been happening. She looks as the broken clock.)

BARBARA: I think…I think perhaps, we've been given nothing else but clues.
IAN: (Unconvinced.) Have we..? (Suddenly getting the point.) Like the food machine you mean!?
IAN: It registered empty, but it wasn't.

(BARBARA points at the clock.)

BARBARA: But the clock is the most important. It made us aware of time.
SUSAN: By taking time away from us.
BARBARA: Yes. And it replaced time, by the light on the fault locator.
IAN: Yes, it did!
DOCTOR: (Coming forward.) It? It? What do you mean? My machine can't think.
BARBARA: You say it has a built in defence mechanism?
DOCTOR: Yes, it has.
BARBARA: Well that's where we've been wrong. Originally, the…machine wasn't at fault, we were. And it's been trying to tell us so ever since.
IAN: A machine that can think for itself?
IAN: Is that feasible, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Oh, think, not as you or I do, but er, it must be able to think as a machine, you see it has a bank of computers.

(BARBARA crosses over to the safe panel and looks at the central column.)

BARBARA: You say the power is under this column?
BARBARA: And the column holds it down?
BARBARA: Well then, what would make it want to escape?
DOCTOR: I've been racking by brains. I don't know.
IAN: (Nervously.) Something outside?
DOCTOR: Yes, possible.
IAN: A magnetic force?
DOCTOR: Well, it would have to be a gigantic one. A one as s…strong as a solar system.

(There is another explosion. They are almost rocked off their feet.)

BARBARA: You see? The machine's been warning us all along. All those blackouts we had.
SUSAN: Yes. But only if anybody went near the control column.
IAN: But it could be the power escaping.
DOCTOR: No, no it couldn't. If you felt the power dear boy, you wouldn't live to speak of it. You'd be blown to atoms in a split second.
SUSAN: Besides, it’s the part of it that's safe.
BARBARA: Yes, the scanner. I wonder..?

(The DOCTOR understands her meaning.)

DOCTOR: Well try it, but we're clutching at straws.

(There is another explosion. The DOCTOR regards SUSAN and BARBARA.)

DOCTOR: Now Susan, and you young lady, should those doors open again, I want you to be standing by them, and tell me whatever it is you see outside, understand?

(BARBARA and SUSAN move off. The DOCTOR snaps his fingers at IAN who comes forward.)

DOCTOR: (Quietly.) I lied, deliberately, so that they won't know.
IAN: Won't know what?
DOCTOR: We have five minutes only. When the end does come, they won't know anything about it.
IAN: There's no hope then?
DOCTOR: I can't see any. Will you face it with me?
SUSAN: (From near the doors.) What are you two talking about?
IAN: Oh, just a theory of mine that didn't work.

(The DOCTOR nods and adopts a jaunty tone, so as not to disturb the girls.)

DOCTOR: Yes, we must solve this problem you know! We must.

(The DOCTOR turns on the scanner. On the screen is the image of the field. The TARDIS doors open and BARBARA and SUSAN shield their eyes from the glare outside. They look through the open doors.)

SUSAN: There's nothing there! Nothing. Nothing. (Starting to cry.) Nothing but space.

(SUSAN breaks down.)

BARBARA: It's all right Susan.

(The image on the scanner changes to that of Quinnis.)

IAN: Barbara could be right, Doctor.
BARBARA: I am right, I know I am.

(The TARDIS doors close.)

BARBARA: Whenever there's a good picture, the doors open because it's safe for us to go outside and then it shows us a terrible picture and the doors close again.
DOCTOR: Yes, then we have the sequence.

(They all look up at the scanner. It shows the picture of the planet.)

DOCTOR: A planet.

(The image changes to that of the planet from a distance.)

DOCTOR: A planet in the solar system.

(The image changes to that of the galaxy.)

DOCTOR: Getting further away.

(The screen flashes and then, goes blank.)

DOCTOR: A blinding flash... destruction. Yes, of course, it's our journey
BARBARA: And….and the ship refused to destroy itself.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes.
BARBARA: (To SUSAN) The defence mechanism stopped the ship, and it's been trying to tell us so ever since!
DOCTOR: Of course. Of course!

(There is another explosion. The DOCTOR grabs onto the console. Everybody else stumbles out of sight. The console room is in darkness.)

DOCTOR: Oh. I know, I know. I said it would take the force of a total solar system to attract the power away from my ship. We're at…the very beginning, the new start of a solar system. Outside, the atoms are rushing towards each other. Fusing. Coagulating. Until…minute little collections of matter are created. And so the process goes on, and on until dust is formed. Dust then becomes solid entity. A new birth of a sun and its planets!

(He begins giggling. IAN comes up to him and they both turn in the direction of the scanner.)

IAN: Doctor, where are we? When we left the planet Skaro, where did you ask the machine to take us to? Think Doctor!
DOCTOR: I, er, had hoped to reach your planet Earth. Skaro was in the future and…I used the fast return switch.
IAN: The fast return switch? You've sent us back too far.
IAN: Doctor show me. Show me that switch. Where is it.
DOCTOR: Well... I... I... I can't very well see it without a light can I?

(IAN and the DOCTOR mutter to each other as SUSAN discusses the fast return switch with BARBARA.)

SUSAN: It's near the scanner switch.
BARBARA: Really? But that's the part of the control that's safe.

(SUSAN nods. The DOCTOR is looking for his torch in his jacket pockets.)

DOCTOR: ... strange.
IAN: Doctor, we haven't got very much time left.

(He finds the torch. The 'fast return' switch is a button built into an outer casing.)

DOCTOR: Yes, I see. I…I…here it is, here. You see? Now, look. There's the switch. You see?
IAN: Yes, well how does it work?
DOCTOR: Well, you merely press it down, and...

(He tries to press it, but nothing happens. He turns to IAN in excitement.)

DOCTOR: It's stuck. It hasn't released itself.
IAN: What? You mean it's been on all this time?
DOCTOR: Yes, it must have been.
IAN: Well come on, Doctor. Let's get it unstuck!
DOCTOR: Hold that.

(IAN takes the DOCTOR'S torch.)

DOCTOR: Yes, just a minute now.

(The DOCTOR begins to remove the outer casing.)

DOCTOR: Ah. Yes. There you are you see.
IAN: What's wrong?
DOCTOR: The spring's not connecting. It's come off the base.

(He removes the button….)

IAN: Hurry, Doctor, hurry!
DOCTOR: There we are, we’ll take it out. Now luckily we can turn it over, and now it should work. There, ah, that's all right.

(He replaces the casing and presses the button. The console room lights up. The instruments burst into life and the familiar hum of the room builds up. The central column begins moving. The DOCTOR sets the controls. All of the panels are now safe. IAN places his hand on the DOCTOR'S shoulder and BARBARA and SUSAN walk up to the console. SUSAN hugs the DOCTOR.)

SUSAN: Oh, we're safe now.
BARBARA: Are you sure?
DOCTOR: Yes. We can all relax. We're quite safe now. But it was a narrow squeak.

(IAN and BARBARA walk away. The DOCTOR gives a sigh of relief.)

SUSAN: Grandfather?
DOCTOR: Yes, my child?
SUSAN: What happened?
DOCTOR: What happened? It was the switch, it was still in place. You see there is a little spring inside it and it was stuck. It hadn't released itself.
SUSAN: But why didn't the fault locator tell us?
DOCTOR: Well, the switch hadn't broken down, therefore the fault locator couldn't give us any recognition. You see, let me give you a demonstration.

(He holds out the torch. He presses the button and the light goes on.)

DOCTOR: Now look, when I put my thumb…on there, the light comes on. And it only stays on, so long as my thumb is pressing that switch. As soon as I take it off....

(He removes his thumb and the light goes out.)

DOCTOR: ... a little spring inside releases the... the switch here, and out goes the light.
SUSAN: Oh, I see. So if the spring were broken, it would be as if your finger were pressing it down all the time.
DOCTOR: Precisely. As simple as that.
DOCTOR: You know, my dear child. I think your old grandfather is going a tiny little bit around the bend. (They both laugh.) Well I think you were very brave, and I…I was proud of you.
SUSAN: Grandfather,?
SUSAN: What about them? You said some terrible things to them.

(She nods towards IAN and BARBARA who are standing silently against the chair.)

SUSAN: When I thought he was going to attack you, even I was against him.
DOCTOR: (Embarrassed.) Ah, er, yes, I, I, I, er, I, er, er, well...
IAN: (Coming over.) Don't bother to say anything, Doctor. (He laughs.) You know there are times, when I can read every thought on your face.
DOCTOR: (Laughs.) Really? And I always thought you were a young man, without any recrimination in you. (He laughs again.)

(He taps IAN on the shoulder and they all look at BARBARA. She is still stood silently against the chair, gazing into space. The DOCTOR goes over to her.)

DOCTOR: Well, er, as for you, young lady, well, er, you were absolutely right. With your instinct and intuition against my logic and you, er, succeeded. I mean, the blackouts and the still pictures and...and…and, er... and, er, the clock. Well, you read a story into those things and was determined to hold on to it. We all owe you our lives.
BARBARA: (Upset.) I... I...

(BARBARA leaves, unable to say anything.)

DOCTOR: You know, I really believe I have underestimated that young lady in the past, Charnow.

(IAN cringes at the mispronunciation. The DOCTOR taps him on the shoulder and returns to the control panel.)

DOCTOR: Well now, we can all start again eh? Yes... we can... er... Yes...

(He looks at the controls and then back at IAN.)

DOCTOR: But which? Hmm?

(IAN begins to laugh.)

DOCTOR: What are you laughing at, dear boy? Oh, really, you are...

(The DOCTOR activates the controls and the familiar dematerialisation routine begins...)


(The DOCTOR enters. He no longer wears his bandage. He stops as he sees BARBARA seated on a settee, a hurt look on her face. She too has changed her clothes. The DOCTOR crosses over to her.)

DOCTOR: I'd like to, er, talk to you, if I may. (He sits next to her.) We've landed on a planet and the air is good, but it's rather cold outside.
BARBARA: Susan told me.
DOCTOR: (Quietly.) Yes, you haven't forgiven me, have you?
BARBARA: You said terrible things to us.
DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose it's the injustice that's upsetting you, and when I made a threat to put you off the ship it must have affected you very deeply.
BARBARA: What do you care what I think or feel?
DOCTOR: Well, as we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.
BARBARA: Perhaps.
DOCTOR: Oh yes. Because I accused you unjustly, you were determined to prove me wrong. So, you put your mind to the problem, and, er, luckily you solved it.

(SUSAN runs in. She is wearing a duffel coat and a pair of mittens.)

SUSAN: Grandfather, we're going out now.
DOCTOR: Oh, please, yes. Do open the doors will you?
SUSAN: (To BARBARA.) Are you coming?

(The DOCTOR looks at BARBARA.)

BARBARA: (Smiling.) Yes.
SUSAN: Good.

(SUSAN runs back into the console room.)

DOCTOR: Oh, by the way, Susan has left you some wearing apparel, for outside. You know, we have a very extensive wardrobe here.
BARBARA: Yes, she gave me these.

(She indicates her trousers.)

DOCTOR: Yes, I think they're rather charming. We must look after you, you know? You're very valuable.

(The DOCTOR crosses to the table and lifts a coat from it. He holds it up with a dramatic flourish. BARBARA laughs and the DOCTOR helps her to put it on. He then offers her his arm.)

DOCTOR: Shall we go?

(She links her arm with his and they head for the door.)


(The DOCTOR and BARBARA enter. IAN is standing there in a large coat. He spins in front of them.)

BARBARA: Oh, very chic.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes.
IAN: Hmm.

(SUSAN runs in from outside. Out of the doors can be seen a snowy mountain range.)

SUSAN: (Excitedly.) Look! Look!

(SUSAN throws a handful of snow at BARBARA who screams and chases her out of the doors.)

DOCTOR: Well, I think that's absolutely splendid Chesterton. Yes, it suites you. Always a trifle big for me.
IAN: Yes!
DOCTOR: You know I acquired that Ulster from Gilbert and Sullivan.
IAN: Oh, really? I thought it was made for two. Well, shall we join the ladies, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Yes, why not. (He laughs.)

(They link arms and head for the exit. They stop as they hear SUSAN'S voice over the scanner.)

SUSAN: Grandfather, look.


(SUSAN and BARBARA are kneeling next to something in the snow.)

SUSAN: Look, look at this huge footprint. It must have been made by a giant!

(In the area of snow by the girl’s feet, there is a large indentation. It is unquestionably a footprint, but it is enormous...)

Next Episode

Dr. Who

Ian Chesterton

Barbara Wright

Susan Foreman

Title music by
BBC Radiophonic Workshop


Associate Producer


Directed by

(c) BBC tv

Transcribed by

Updates / Corrections by


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