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SUSAN: (Screaming.) Go away. Go away!

(BARBARA approaches her.)

SUSAN: (Panicking.) Oh, go back!
BARBARA: What is it?
SUSAN: Oh, don't stay here!

(IAN, SABETHA and ALTOS come running up to join them. SUSAN visibly relaxes.)

SUSAN: It's stopped.
BARBARA: Well what did you see?
IAN: What's the matter?
BARBARA: Susan, answer me.
SUSAN: Well didn't you hear it?

(The others look blank.)

ALTOS: There could be animals in this jungle around us.
SUSAN: No. No, it wasn't anything like that.
IAN: Well now, take it easy, Susan, and try and tell us what it was you heard.
SUSAN: Well it was... It... It was horrible!

(She falls into BARBARA'S arms and begins sobbing.)

BARBARA: She'll tell us in time.

(IAN nods and moves off to join ALTOS and SABETHA who are exploring the jungle.)

BARBARA: Look Susan, whatever it was, it's gone now.
SUSAN: I did hear it, you know.

(Behind them, ALTOS has found an old stone wall behind the dense foliage.)

SABETHA: This is a dead place.
IAN: Yes, it’s a bit quiet, isn't it?
SABETHA: That isn't quite what I meant.
ALTOS: The key must be on the other side of this wall.
IAN: Yes. (Points.) There's some sort of an archway.

(They move over to look at it. It is almost completely blocked by vegetation.)

IAN: Look at these creepers!
ALTOS: Some of them almost as thick as small trees.

(A few feet away, SUSAN and BARBARA are still talking.)

SUSAN: A-a-and was grandfather all right?
SUSAN: I didn't want to stay until the last possible moment. I…I don't like to say goodbye.
BARBARA: No, I know.

(SABETHA and ALTOS are trying in vain to move the creepers aside.)

SABETHA: I suppose we could cut them down.
IAN: Not unless we have to. Take us the best part of a day to hack that little lot down. The best thing we can do is take a walk round these walls.
ALTOS: Oh yes, that would be wise. Then we might find another entrance.
SABETHA: I'll go with you.
BARBARA: Ian. Susan and I will stay here.
IAN: All right. We won't be long anyway.
BARBARA: We'll look around for some branches and things in case we have to force our way through that arch.
IAN: That's a good idea but don't do anything until we get back, eh?
BARBARA: All right.
IAN: (To ALTOS and SABETHA.) Come on, let's try this way.

(They march off.)

BARBARA: (Looking after them.) I do wish Ian wouldn't treat us like Dresden China.
SUSAN: (Laughing slightly.) I think it's nice the way he looks after us all the time.
BARBARA: (Smiling.) Yes, I know. But just once in a while...
SUSAN: ...You rebel.
BARBARA: Yes. How are you feeling now?
SUSAN: (Embarrassed.) Oh, I'm alright, thank you.
BARBARA: Susan, what did happen?
SUSAN: ...Well it was a sound, a noise, like…like tapping and…and whirring mixed up with a sort of screeching. I…I've heard it before.
SUSAN: Well that's just it, I can't remember. I…I just recognise it as…being something evil.

(BARBARA goes to examine the wall.)

BARBARA: You know, I've never seen vegetation as dense as this before. It'll overrun the building in time.

(SUSAN sits down on the jungle floor.)

SUSAN: Do you think the key's inside, Barbara?
BARBARA: Oh yes, it must be. It's a funny old place, isn't it?

(SUSAN lies down. A short distance from her, one of the creepers begins to move of its own accord.)

BARBARA: You know, in a few years these walls will be so weak you could push your way through.

(The creeper begins to move towards SUSAN.)

BARBARA: You know Susan, looking at this archway, I'm not at all sure...

(The creeper has by now reached SUSAN'S leg but she simply kicks at it idly. BARBARA continues, oblivious.)

BARBARA: …it isn't half as dense as it looks. I'm sure we could get through.

(SUSAN turns round and sees the creeper wrapped round her ankle.)

SUSAN: (Screaming.) Aah…aah! Barbara! Barbara! My leg...

(BARBARA pulls the creeper off and smashes at it with a rock.)

SUSAN: It was alive! It was alive!...snake crawling all over me!
BARBARA: (Soothing.) No, no, it must've fallen on you from the trees.
SUSAN: (Hysterical.) No it didn't, it's…it’s alive!
BARBARA: (Firmly.) Now stop it, Susan, stop it!
SUSAN: It was trying to twine all round me!

(She breaks off into sobs as BARBARA hugs her.)

BARBARA: Look, it was just your imagination.

(SUSAN recovers herself.)

SUSAN: I'm sorry.
BARBARA: It couldn't move by itself. You know it couldn't.
BARBARA: Come on. Over here and help me at the archway.

(She helps SUSAN to her feet and over to the archway.)

BARBARA: You know, you…you'll frighten me if you go on like this.
SUSAN: Oh, look, you can move some of these back quite easily.

(She brushes back some of the undergrowth.)

BARBARA: Yes, I thought so.

(She steps through the gap that SUSAN has made...)


(…and into a narrow passageway surrounded either side and above by more plants.)

SUSAN: (OOV.) What is it?
BARBARA: I'm not sure. It's so dark in here. There's a…a statue at the end of the tunnel, a, an idol or something.


(SUSAN peers in from the other end.)

SUSAN: Be careful, Barbara.

(BARBARA does not reply.)

SUSAN: Barbara!…Barbara!…Are you all right?


(BARBARA is venturing up the passageway adorned with classic statues that ends in a huge carved image. It resembles a sitting Buddha with a face that has a crude resemblance to a human being but with large spiked hair. Its arms are outstretched.)


SUSAN: Oh please don't go any further!

(BARBARA calls back.)

BARBARA: (OOV.) It's alright , I can see it now. It's a big, grotesque statue.

(IAN comes up to the archway.)

IAN: Ah, there's no other way in, Susan.
SUSAN: Oh Ian, thank goodness you're here.
IAN: What? (He looks around.) Where's Barbara?
SUSAN: She's gone down here.
IAN: What...? Barbara! What are you doing? I told you to wait until we got back.


BARBARA: I thought there was a way through.

(She runs up to the huge statue.)

BARBARA: (Excited.) Ian, look! The key, the micro-circuit, I've found it!

(It is sitting on the head of the statue.)

IAN: (OOV.) Hang on, I'm coming!
BARBARA: No no, it's all right. I can reach it.

(She clambers onto the lap of the statue.)


(ALTOS and SABETHA return.)

ALTOS: What's happening?
IAN: Barbara's found the micro-key!
SABETHA: Wonderful!
ALTOS: (To BARBARA.) Can you manage?


BARBARA: Yes, I... I think I've got it.

(BARBARA manages to reach the key but as she takes it there is a grinding of gears and the arms of the statue close in around BARBARA'S legs.)

BARBARA: (Screaming.) Ian! Help me!


IAN: (Alarmed.) Barbara!


BARBARA: Help me!

(The statue is in an alcove that rotates on a pivot taking both the statue and BARBARA round the other side of the wall, leaving a blank wall in its place. Moments later IAN and ALTOS run up to the same spot. IAN tries in vain to move the wall back round.)

IAN: You see what happened?
ALTOS: Yes. Is there no break in the wall? Perhaps there's a hidden spring.
IAN: Well if there is, I can't find it.
ALTOS: Well we must get inside.
IAN: Yes, but how? Oh, let's get out in the open, I can't think in here.

(IAN runs back out. ALTOS glances down at the ground and picks something up. It is the key that BARBARA found.)


(IAN emerges from the archway to SUSAN and SABETHA'S enquiring stares.)

IAN: Barbara's disappeared. That... idol thing was on some sort of a pivot.
SUSAN: Oh no.

(ALTOS joins them.)

ALTOS: At least we've found the micro-key.
IAN: Oh, I don't care about that now. The only thing that matters is getting Barbara out of there.
ALTOS: Yes, I agree. Here Sabetha, you'd better take this. Keep it with the other and keep it safe.
SABETHA: Thank you.

(She takes the key and puts it on the chain around her neck with the other one.)

SABETHA: Look, I don't want to raise false hopes but perhaps things aren't as bad as they seem.
IAN: What do you mean?
SABETHA: Well Barbara was wearing her travel dial, wasn't she?
SUSAN: Yes, none of us have taken them off.
SABETHA: Then as long as she wasn't injured when she was trapped, she can escape whenever she wants.
IAN: It's a possibility.
ALTOS: Well, I'm sure she would've thought of that.
IAN: Yes, of course. But she may not have taken advantage of it yet. Anything might've happened to her.
SABETHA: But if she was in danger, she'd have to use her travel dial.

(The grinding of gears it heard again. SUSAN rushes to the archway.)

SUSAN: It's turning again.


(The wall rotates and the statue re-emerges but there is no sign of BARBARA.)


SUSAN: Now the arms are open.
ALTOS: Well that means it either must've released her or she's escaped.
IAN: She may have been injured, or even...
SABETHA: But if she used her travel dial and has gone on to the next destination, we don't know what danger she may be in there.
IAN: No. Well we must cover all possibilities to the best of our abilities. You'd better go on ahead with Susan and Altos.
ALTOS: Yes, that's wise, I think it is the wisest course.
SUSAN: Ian, what are you going to do?
IAN: I'm going back in there. If that idol works once as a trap there's no reason why it shouldn't work again. Once inside, well if there's no sign of Barbara, I'll follow you as quickly as I can.
ALTOS: Well if that's settled there's no point in delaying. You ready, Sabetha? Susan?
SUSAN: Can't I come with you, Ian?
IAN: No Susan, better not.
SABETHA: We'll wait for you, Ian.
ALTOS: And I'll be your guardian, Susan.

(He holds out his hand and SUSAN takes it.)

IAN: Look after her, Altos.
ALTOS: Take care, my friend.
SUSAN: Goodbye, Ian.
IAN: Good luck.

(SABETHA drops the key as the others disappear. IAN picks it up and hands it to her.)

IAN: Here. You'd better put this on your chain with the other one. We don't want you losing it somewhere in outer space.
SABETHA: That would be terrible. There. I think that's safe enough.

(She looks at it more closely.)

SABETHA: This isn't it!
IAN: What?
SABETHA: It's just an imitation. Look, Ian. This edge is a fraction shorter.
IAN: Are you absolutely sure? I mean, isn't it possible that there was some…genuine variation in the original micro-keys?
SABETHA: No. They all look absolutely identical, so this one must be an imitation.
IAN: (Sighs.) We're no further on than when we arrived here.
SABETHA: Do you want me to stay with you?
IAN: No. You go on ahead with the others. They'll be worried already. Tell them what happened and tell them I'll follow as soon as I've found the real micro-key.
SABETHA: Please be careful.
IAN: I will. Off you go.

(She does so. IAN makes for the archway.)


(He comes up to the statue and stands in the same position as BARBARA. Sure enough, the statue holds him in position and rotates again.)


(IAN emerges on the other side of the wall and the statue releases him. He is in a courtyard full of plants and statues that is all overgrown. He moves forward in front of a statue of a WARRIOR holding an axe in order to have a look around. He treads on a loose paving stone and a grinding noise begins. He looks around for the source unaware that it is the WARRIOR statue behind him, lifting up the axe. BARBARA emerges from round a corner and sees it.)

BARBARA: Ian, behind you!

(IAN ducks out of the way as the axe hurtles to the ground. He runs over to BARBARA.)

BARBARA: You not hurt?
IAN: No, just a bit shaken. Barbara, if you hadn't shouted...
BARBARA: Never mind about that now. Ian, I've been so frightened. If you hadn't turned up in another half an hour, I was going to turn the travel dial.
IAN: I'm glad you didn't. That micro-key you found, it was a fake!
IAN: Yes. The real one must be in here somewhere.
BARBARA: Then I warn you, its not going to be easy to find.
IAN: Oh?
BARBARA: This whole place is one big booby trap. It's full of things like that statue. I'd only been here a minute when part of the wall crashed down just where I'd been standing.
IAN: Well we'll take it very slowly.

(He looks at a doorway in the building across the courtyard.)

IAN: That doorway looks a good place to start. Any idea where it leads to?
BARBARA: No. Into the building I suppose.
IAN: Well that's a likely place to hide a key. Come on.
BARBARA: You know, these vines are everywhere. They seem to be crawling all over the building.
IAN: Not only the vines. It's all vegetation. Look at that wall!

(He points at another of the walls that is completely covered by bushes.)

BARBARA: Seems to be trying to get in...

(IAN looks at her sharply.)

IAN: Let's get the micro-key and get out of here.

(They try to open the door but it is stuck. IAN tries to force it.)

IAN: Oh, it looks as if we're going to have to break this door down. (He pushes against it again.) No, it's pretty solid.

(He hits the door and then looks round his surroundings.)

IAN: I shall need something to... I wish I could...
BARBARA: I saw some iron bars in an alcove down there.

(She points to another part of the courtyard. IAN heads for it. BARBARA stands, waiting, unaware that a creeper is silently descending near her head.)


(DARRIUS, an old bearded man wearing robes similar to ARBITAN'S peers through a gap in a barred window within the building. He leaves his position and goes out through a door.)


(The door opens, seemingly of its own accord. BARBARA turns round and sees it but remains oblivious to the creeper which hurriedly withdraws. She looks briefly through the open door.)

BARBARA: (Calling.) Ian! Ian!

(IAN is examining the bars in an alcove.)

IAN: I'll be right with you.

(BARBARA enters the door.)


(BARBARA moves cautiously through the building. Suddenly a net falls on her. She screams as she is dragged to the floor. Above her the ceiling of the hallway, covered with daggers protruding from it, begins to descend towards her. She screams even louder.)


(IAN reacts in alarm. He quickly tries to wrench out one of the bars but it is attached to a chain. A portcullis falls over the alcove, trapping him completely. BARBARA calls.)

BARBARA: (OOV.) Ian! Ian!

(He attempts to use another bar to force two bars apart.)


(The daggers get closer.)

BARBARA: (Calling.) Help me, Ian! Help me!

(Through the open door, the feet of DARRIUS appear…)


(IAN is having no success in forcing the bars.)


(As is it is about to reach BARBARA, the ceiling suddenly stops, then withdraws. BARBARA looks up to see DARRIUS standing over her.)

DARRIUS: Why have you come in search of the keys?

(BARBARA struggles against the net.)

BARBARA: Help me!
DARRIUS: Who are you? What interest have you in the keys?
BARBARA: Look, I…I can't talk to you like this. Let me go.
DARRIUS: Are you a Voord? You do not resemble their race and yet...
BARBARA: Arbitan sent us.
DARRIUS: That is a lie.
BARBARA: No, its true, he…he was alone on the island, he couldn't send anyone else.
DARRIUS: How can you prove it?
BARBARA: I don't know. Look, where's Ian. What have you done to him?
DARRIUS: (Persisting.) How can you prove that Arbitan sent you?
BARBARA: Oh, the travel dial. On my wrist.

(BARBARA manages to get her hand out of the net. DARRIUS removes the travel dial.)

DARRIUS: I will examine this…and if it is set correctly with the proper journey programmed, I shall know that you speak the truth. Only Arbitan could set your complete journey.

(He goes through the door to the other room. BARBARA tries calling after him.)

BARBARA: Er, what have you done with Ian?


(IAN is still struggling. Suddenly one of the bars falls out. Smiling in surprise he quickly slips though.)


(DARRIUS is standing by the barred window struggling with a creeper that has come through the gap and shouting weakly.)

DARRIUS: Help me! Oh, help me! Help me! Help me!


(DARRIUS' shouting can be heard as BARBARA struggles to get the net off her.)

DARRIUS: (OOV.) Help me!

(IAN rushes in.)

IAN: Barbara!
DARRIUS: (OOV.) Help me!
IAN: Are you alright?

(IAN helps remove the net.)

DARRIUS: (OOV.) Help me!
BARBARA: In there.

(She stands up.)

IAN: What?
DARRIUS: (OOV.) Help me!
BARBARA: In here.

(She points to the door.)


(IAN and BARBARA enter and see DARRIUS struggling.)

DARRIUS: Help! Help me!

(IAN tries to snap the creeper but it is too strong. Finding a stick on a nearby table, he beats the creeper until it lets go. The two of them lead him over to a bed where he collapses.)

DARRIUS: (Gasping.) It's coming again. The jungle is coming, when the whispering starts. It's death, I tell you, death…


(BARBARA is sitting by DARRIUS' still form while IAN is peering out of the window.)

BARBARA: He's coming round, Ian.

(IAN comes over.)

BARBARA: Ian, I think he's dying.
DARRIUS: You must not…stay here.
IAN: Listen to me. Where is the micro-key? We're looking for it. Do you understand? Arbitan sent us.
DARRIUS: Has Arbitan sent someone at last?
IAN: Yes.
DARRIUS: The idol... (Choking.) I put a false key on its head.
BARBARA: Yes, I found it.
DARRIUS: I know...system of mirrors. When the false key was taken…I put my…traps in motion. Only those…warned by Arbitan could avoid them.
BARBARA: He's getting weaker, Ian. I wish there was something I could do, I...I feel so helpless!
DARRIUS: I haven't long to live, have I?
IAN: You must trust us. Tell us. Where is the micro-key?
DARRIUS: Closer...

(IAN leans closer.)

DARRIUS: D-E-three-O-two.
IAN: What do you mean? I don't understand.
DARRIUS: (He looks round in fright.) Quickly, the darkness, the whispering will start…

(He falls back and stops moving. BARBARA covers him with the blanket. After a brief pause she moves over to a door on the other side of the room.)

BARBARA: He pointed to this door. What do…do the numbers and the letters mean?
IAN: I don't know. Could be the combination to a safe. Let's go and see.

(They go through the door.)


(IAN and BARBARA find themselves in a laboratory, the tables of which are full of books and all kinds of plants. They stare around in amazement and BARBARA eyes fall upon a safe.)

BARBARA: Ian, you were right, it is a safe!
IAN: And a combination one at that!
BARBARA & IAN: D-E-three-O-two.

(IAN examines the lock.)

IAN: Hello, it's only got the letters on. Perhaps the figures were the number of turns.
BARBARA: Yes, try it.
IAN: I’ll try it, yes.

(IAN reads out the letters and numbers as he turns.)

IAN: D, E, (Three turns of the lock.) 1, 2, 3, O, (Two turns of the lock) 1, 2.

(He tries to turn the handle on the door.)

IAN: It doesn't work. You sure we got it right?
BARBARA: Yes, certain.
IAN: Try again. (He retries the combination.) D, E, 1, 2, 3, O, 1, 2.

(Still nothing happens.)

IAN: No, no, it doesn't work. Well I suppose he could have hidden the combination somewhere.
BARBARA: Yes, I suppose so. There's also a possibility that he didn't mean the safe at all. Judging by the traps and decoys around here, I should think the obvious hiding place is the least likely.
IAN: Hmm, we must go over this room inch by inch, eliminating everything but the safe. And if we haven't found it, it must be in here.
BARBARA: I’ll start over here.

(They begin to look around…)


(Unsuccessful in her search, BARBARA is sitting down as IAN leafs through a book.)

BARBARA: Ian, I've been trying to think back. What did he mean "darkness, the whispering will begin"? Whispering? I wonder if that's what Susan heard?
IAN: I don't know, I think he was rambling. It didn't mean anything.

(He holds the book up.)

IAN: I'm hoping to find a lead in here. It's a diary of his experiments.
BARBARA: Oh, what was he working on?
IAN: Biology seems to have been his field as far as I can make out.
BARBARA: Well, judging by the specimens in here, I'd say he was very successful.
IAN: Yes. Last couple of entries are a bit strange. All about the balance of nature and increased destructive forces. Listen to this. "Nature has a fixed tempo of destruction, water dripping on a stone may take a thousand years to produce any sign of wear."
BARBARA: Well that's not very original.
IAN: It is if you could speed up everything. The wear on the stone could happen in one day.
BARBARA: But that's ridiculous!
IAN: Is it? He didn't seem to think so. He ends up by saying, "The growth accelerator has changed nature's tempo of destruction entirely."

(BARBARA stands up.)

BARBARA: Yes, well that may all be very fascinating…but we are supposed to be looking for the combination to that safe.
IAN: (Laughing.) All right, all right.

(They resume rummaging through the equipment. IAN picks up another book. BARBARA looks through a shuttered window.)

BARBARA: You know, it's quite dark outside.

(She comes over to IAN and picks up another book.)

BARBARA: Have you looked through this one?
IAN: No.

(She opens it and begins reading. Quietly at first, the screeching noise that SUSAN heard earlier begins to build up. They look up in surprise.)

IAN: What's that?
BARBARA: I don’t know, it sounds like whis...

(IAN stands up in alarm.)

BARBARA: (Realises and is shocked.) Whispering! He said it would begin when darkness came. This must be what Susan heard.
IAN: Well, what’s causing it?
BARBARA: Shh! Listen!

(They pause as the sound continues.)

BARBARA: It's like someone trying to get in!
IAN: You said that when we were outside, about the jungle!
BARBARA: (Panicked.) But it couldn't, Ian. It couldn't!
IAN: Look!

(He points to the window where several creepers, much larger than the ones before are beginning to force the bars apart, knocking specimen jars over as they enter the room.)

IAN: Oh Barbara, don't you see? That's what he meant, the tempo of destruction! I mean, normally it would take fifty or a hundred years for the jungle to overrun this place. Now the whole process has been accelerated!
BARBARA: You mean the jungle is attacking us?

(They back away from the window as it breaks, allowing the creepers in. Suddenly BARBARA screams as one of them wraps itself round her leg. The two of them desperately try to unwind it and in the struggle, IAN knocks over a jar. Casting the creeper aside he sees a label on the jar reading “NH4NO3”.)

IAN: (Excitedly.) Look, Barbara! Of course, it's a chemical formula! DE3O2! The micro-key's in one of these jars. Come on, quick! Let's find it!

(They each rush to the two different sets of shelves containing similar jars and looking desperately as the jungle surges in around them. Suddenly BARBARA comes across a jar with the correct label on it of “DE3O2”. She pours the contents of it onto the shelf and, among a powder, is the genuine second key.)

BARBARA: Ian, the key!

(She takes it over to IAN. The room is now full of twitching creepers and their screams fill the air.)

IAN: Barbara, you've found it! Let's get out of here quickly. Turn your travel dial. Now! Now!


(IAN and BARBARA are in a frozen tundra with snow on the ground. It is obviously freezing, a howling wind blows and they huddle together for warmth as they fall to the ground.)

BARBARA: Oh, it must be far below zero!
IAN: Barbara, this wind's going right through me. We must move!
BARBARA: No, I can't. I, I can't move, Ian. I'm…I’m too cold.
IAN: Barbara, we've got to. We must move! If we don't find shelter we don't stand a chance!

Next episode

Dr. Who

Ian Chesterton

Barbara Wright

Susan Foreman





Title music by
with the BBC
Radiophonic Workshop

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Transcribed by

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