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"The Warriors of Death"
Written by John Lucarotti
Broadcast: 30 May, 1964
Duration: 24 minutes 11 seconds


TLOTOXL: No, no, this is not Yetaxa. This is a false goddess!… (Quietly.) and I shall destroy her…


(BARBARA is alone, deep in thought. The DOCTOR walks in, furious.)

DOCTOR: Well, young woman, I hope you’re satisfied? A happy day for you, eh?
BARBARA: Doctor, please…
DOCTOR: You wouldn’t be advised, would you? Oh dear me no, you knew better!
BARBARA: I couldn’t stand by and watch that man being sacrificed!
DOCTOR: Do you think we felt any differently?
BARBARA: Of course not.
DOCTOR: Then why not leave well alone? Human sacrifice is their tradition - their religion! There’s nothing we can do about it.
BARBARA: I had to try!
DOCTOR: Yes, and what happened? Tlotoxl lost faith in you, our lives are in danger and Susan is locked up in some kind of seminary!
BARBARA: Well at least she is safe there.
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Safe? Safe? My dear child, she was perfectly safe here until you started meddling!
BARBARA: Look, I wanted it to rain without that man being killed! I wanted them to see that his death was unnecessary…
DOCTOR: Don’t you realise he wanted to be offered to the gods? It made him feel one…
BARBARA: I just didn’t think about it…
DOCTOR: Oh, that’s just it - you didn’t think!

(BARBARA starts to break down, and sits on a chair.)

BARBARA: (Sobbing.) Oh, go away…leave me alone…

(The DOCTOR pats her gently on her arm.)

DOCTOR: I’m sorry, my dear. I didn’t mean to be so harsh with you.
BARBARA: No, you had every right…

(He also sits.)

DOCTOR: However, what’s done is done. And now it’s up to you what happens next.
DOCTOR: Yes. You’ll have to hold Tlotoxl off.
BARBARA: How can I? He’s lost faith in me. He thinks I’m a false goddess.
DOCTOR: Oh, not to Autloc.
BARBARA: You want me to play them off against each other?
DOCTOR: Yes, Th…the more Tlotoxl doubts you, you more you must convince Autloc that you are Yetaxa.
BARBARA: And Tlotoxl won’t dare defy Autloc.
DOCTOR: Exactly!
BARBARA: What about you and Ian?
DOCTOR: Oh, Ian can look after himself. And I think I shall know more about the entrance to the tomb tonight. I’ve met somebody that knows how the temple was built.

(He gets to his feet.)

DOCTOR: An Aztec lady.
BARBARA: (Smiles and hugs him.) You’re an old rogue!
DOCTOR: Yes, but really it’s up to you, Barbara. We’re quite safe here so long as you’re here, so…

(He stops as TLOTOXL walks into the chamber.)

BARBARA: (Haughtily.) You enter unannounced.
TLOTOXL: I proclaim myself only to my gods.

(He gives the DOCTOR the briefest of glances.)

TLOTOXL: Let the old man go down to the garden.
BARBARA: (To the DOCTOR.) Enjoy the company of your new found friend.
DOCTOR: (Bowing.) As Yetaxa commands.

(He leaves.)

TLOTOXL: I would ask you: How shall a man know his gods?
BARBARA: By the signs of their divinity.
TLOTOXL: And what if thieves walk among the gods?
BARBARA: (Smiling.) Then indeed, how shall a man know?
TLOTOXL: By the secrets of the gods’ minds!
BARBARA: That is true. Their knowledge will reveal them.
TLOTOXL: How many heavens are there?
BARBARA: (Smiles again.) Does Tlotoxl covet the mantle of the High Priest of Knowledge?
TLOTOXL: How many heavens?
BARBARA: Thirteen.
TLOTOXL: Name them!
BARBARA: If the truth of my divinity lies in my mind, let Autloc seek it.
TLOTOXL: So he shall. Just as Ixta now challenges the servant of Yetaxa.
BARBARA: For what reason?
TLOTOXL: (Smiling.) To discover who shall live to command our armies.

(He walks away from a worried BARBARA.)


(IXTA picks up a spear and throws it at a target on the wall as IAN and AUTLOC watch. IXTA points at his perfect aim.)

IXTA: Thus shall my enemies fall.
IAN: Real enemies can hit back.
IXTA: I have no fear of death.
IAN: Perhaps not. The dead never win.
AUTLOC: (To IAN.) How would you attack?
IAN: I should use more cunning. Surprise my enemy.

(IXTA smiles and turns his back to IAN.)

IXTA: This also I can do…

(He flashes a blade inches away from IAN who laughs and holds up his thumb.)

IAN: This is all I need.
AUTLOC: To win a victory with your thumb needs magic.
IAN: To know your enemies weakness isn’t magic. It’s common sense.
IXTA: (Shaking his head and grinning.) What weakness have I that is vulnerable to your thumb?
IAN: You’d be surprised. (On IXTA’S look.) Oh, I won’t kill you this time. Not this time, Ixta…

(IXTA stands up to IAN.)

IXTA: You mock the arts of war. I defy you to harm me.
IAN: (Nodding at the table.) Pick up your club.

(IXTA does so and IAN grasps his neck with a nerve hold. IXTA gasps and crashes to the table, unconscious. AUTLOC looks on, amazed.)

IAN: (Wiping his hands.) Don’t worry. He’ll be alright.

(TLOTOXL enters.)

TLOTOXL: Autloc, there is a ta…

(He stops dead in his tracks when she sees IXTA. He looks at AUTLOC.)

AUTLOC: No, he sleeps. Yetaxas’ servant won the victory with his thumb!
TLOTOXL: You saw the blow?
AUTLOC: There was no blow. He fought with his thumb!
IAN: (Smiling.) Tell him to have a good rest when he wakes up.
AUTLOC: Where do you go?
IAN: For a walk.

(The two of them walk out. IXTA starts to come round. TLOTOXL helps him up.)

TLOTOXL: Could you not fight against it?
IXTA: I was powerless…

(Another Priest walks in. This is TONILA, AUTLOC’S deputy.)

TONILA: The Perfect Victim desires to be admitted.
TLOTOXL: (With some impatience.) All his requests must be granted!

(TONILA turns to the door and bows as a young and well built man walks into the room. TLOTOXL has suddenly realised something important in what he has just said.)

TLOTOXL: (To himself.) “…must be granted”? (He turns to the PERFECT VICTIM.) You grace us here with your presence. Ixta! (He nods at IXTA as he approaches.) Here is one who would be commander of our armies. His name is Ixta.
TONILA: All have heard of the prowess and bravery of Ixta.
TLOTOXL: There are those who say that the stories and the truth are… (He holds up his hands in the air.) …far apart.
IXTA: No man can win against me!
TLOTOXL: No man? (He holds up one finger.) Not one?
IXTA: I shall lead the armies! It is my right!
TLOTOXL: Yesterday, it would seem so…

(IXTA stalks to the other side of the table. TONILA slides up to TLOTOXL.)

TONILA: (To TLOTOXL.) You would make an enemy?
TLOTOXL: I? I only know that I have seen one that could defeat him.
IXTA: Once - and by a trick (He glares at TLOTOXL.) I tell you face to face, I can pull him down!
TLOTOXL: Perhaps
PERFECT VICTIM: You drive the man. How often have you and Autloc instructed me that small failings in a man may be his saving graces?
TLOTOXL: But you, O Perfect Victim, are as your name implies. When you meet the gods, you will be able to tell them of the Aztecs (To IXTA.) A commander should be as pure, so that his name may be held in very awe and dread.
PERFECT VICTIM: Then he who defeated Ixta should be our commander…
TLOTOXL: It may be that the other won by a trick. A second contest would show, but… (He smiles at the PERFECT VICTIM.) …I cannot order it…
TONILA: Only the Perfect Victim may be obeyed at all times.
PERFECT VICTIM: My faith in Ixta is supreme. I wish to see him meet the other man.
TLOTOXL: So be it. I shall arrange it at the sunset.
TONILA: Ixta could challenge the other.
PERFECT VICTIM: Let it be so.

(He walks out of the room as all bow to him. TONILA leaves as well. IXTA makes to follow but TLOTOXL grabs his arm.)

TLOTOXL: This I promise you. All honour and glory shall be yours…if you destroy him.

(He looks at him meaningfully but also with menace.)


(As their elderly companions wander through the garden, the DOCTOR and CAMECA sit on a stone bench. The other inhabitants hover close to the two of them, interested in their conversation. The DOCTOR examines a leaf that he has plucked from a plant.)

DOCTOR: What leaf is this?
CAMECA: It’s from a herb. The sap is used by our medicine men to induce sleep, but the leaves are harmless.
DOCTOR: Hmm, I think I know about it.
CAMECA: You are a healer?
DOCTOR: No, no. They call me the Doctor. I’m a scientist, an engineer. I’m a builder of things.
CAMECA: (Smiling.) Now I understand your interest in the temple.
DOCTOR: Yes, there are one or two features inside the temple that intrigue me.

(The DOCTOR and CAMECA become aware that they are being listened to and walk a small distance away.)

CAMECA: I have some knowledge of it.
DOCTOR: Yes. For instance, the tomb is s..sealed.

(Yet again they are being closely listened to by an old man. They walk further away.)

DOCTOR: The tomb is sealed. Now surely the builder had some way of opening it…
CAMECA: My knowledge is too limited to answer you, but the builder’s son may know.
DOCTOR: Yes, of course, I don’t wish to pry in family matters…
CAMECA: No one could think that of you. I shall arrange a meeting.
DOCTOR: Oh my dear, how charming of you.
CAMECA: When shall it be?
DOCTOR: Oh, any time…er…today? Mmm?
CAMECA: An interested mind brooks no delay.
DOCTOR: Yes, and I’m sure that’s true of you, too, hmm?
CAMECA: It was true. Now, I am content to spend the time here, like the others.
DOCTOR: Oh, but their minds are old, Cameca. And that’s something I’m sure yours will never be.
CAMECA: (Blushing.) Your heart is young too, Doctor.

(She walks off to find the builders son. Behind her, the DOCTOR gives out a sigh and a smile of contentment.)


(TLOTOXL walks into the main chamber. BARBARA is sat on her throne flanked by the guards and their CAPTAIN.)

TLOTOXL: (To CAPTAIN.) Leave us.
CAPTAIN: Warriors!

(They all file out leaving BARBARA alone with TLOTOXL. He walks right up to her and glares into her face.)

TLOTOXL: The High Priest of knowledge will question you.
BARBARA: If he finds I am the spirit of Yetaxa returned?
TLOTOXL: Then I shall beg forgiveness of the gods.
BARBARA: The High Priest of sacrifice has spoken. (Sharply.) I shall remember his words.
TLOTOXL: Then remember this also. Whilst your divinity is in dispute, only those who serve the temple may approach you.
BARBARA: My servants also?
TLOTOXL: No, you must remain alone.
TLOTOXL: A false goddess and her servants could conspire against us. This is a danger we are not prepared to face.
BARBARA: (Quietly but looking worried.) Then tell my servants that they may not enter here.
TLOTOXL: (Smiling.) They shall be told.

(He walks out.)


(IXTA cradles a club in his hands whilst he rubs the back of his neck, still troubled by IAN’S victory. CAMECA walks in.)

CAMECA: Ixta? (She bows.) You wished to see me?
IXTA: (Also bows.) I greet you warmly, Cameca, and would seek your advice.
CAMECA: If I can give it, I shall.
IXTA: What do you know of magic?
CAMECA: Nothing…though it’s my belief I know one who does.
IXTA: Name him.
CAMECA: The old servant of Yetaxa.
IXTA: (Turns away.) He is of no use to me.
CAMECA: But you can be of service to him. He seeks an interview with you.
IXTA: To what end?
CAMECA: He is interested in your fathers’ work.
IXTA: (Thoughtful.) Does he know my name?
IXTA: Tell him I will speak with him.
CAMECA: Where?
IXTA: In the garden.
CAMECA: (She bows.) I shall tell him, Ixta.

(She leaves.)

IXTA: What better way to destroy your enemies…then to let them destroy themselves!

(IXTA smiles and smashes his club into a target.)


(SUSAN, dressed in AZTEC robes with her hair in the native style, kneels on a straw mattress, reading a book of Aztec manners from a book of hieroglyphs. AUTLOC is instructing her.)

AUTLOC: You have studied the code of the good housewife?
SUSAN: I have.
AUTLOC: I will hear it.
SUSAN: (Remembering the text.) “Tend well your nurseries and your flowerbeds”…ah…”keep clean your pot and stewpan…do not spend recklessly…do not destroy or cheapen yourself”…em…em”

(She stops as she has problems remembering the next line. TONILA enters the room and stands unseen in the doorway.)

AUTLOC: (Prompting SUSAN gently.) “You will never have a house…”
SUSAN: Oh, yes! “You’ll never have a house or a home of your own if you live like that.”
TONILA: She has learned it diligently, Autloc.
AUTLOC: Susan is a good pupil. She uses her intelligence. (He gestures to the newcomer.) Susan, this is Tonila, one of the priests of knowledge.

(SUSAN walks over to TONILA to shake hands.)

AUTLOC: No no, do not greet your elders in such a manner.
AUTLOC: No. You stand still, not looking around. You keep your eyes fixed on the person you are being introduced to - unless you are meeting your future husband for the first time, then you keep your eyes downcast.
SUSAN: Well, how will I know?
AUTLOC: You…know what?
SUSAN: That he’s to be my husband?
AUTLOC: You’ll be told.
SUSAN: Told! I’m not going to be told who to marry!
AUTLOC: (Puzzled.) What say have you in the matter?
SUSAN: It’s my life! I’ll spend it with whom I choose, not someone picked out for me.

(Both priests stare at her in amazement.)


(The DOCTOR is plucking another leaf from the herb plant that he discussed earlier with CAMECA. Unseen by the old man, IXTA enters in full Aztec uniform, including his Leopard headdress.)

IXTA: You are the old servant of Yetaxa?

(The DOCTOR jumps and scratches himself on the plant.)

DOCTOR: Oh! (He rubs his hand.) Yes, ah, yes, uh, yes indeed, I am.
IXTA: My father built the temple.
DOCTOR: Oh, indeed, yes. Well, I find the entrance to the High Priests tomb a particularly fine piece of work.
IXTA: Few temples have an entrance like it.
DOCTOR: Oh, yes, ah, of course, yes yes indeed. He kept that secret, did he?
IXTA: He has drawn it.
DOCTOR: Really? Well, I…I wonder if it would be at all possible that I might see the drawing, hmm?
IXTA: (Smiles and bows.) Can a humble warrior deny the request of Yetaxa’s servant?

(The DOCTOR laughs.)

IXTA: I will bring it to you after sunset, if the gods are willing.
DOCTOR: Oh, I don’t see why not, hmm?

(IXTA looks around him before speaking again and leads the DOCTOR into a quiet corner.)

IXTA: Tonight, at sunset, I have to meet another warrior in combat.
DOCTOR: Oh, I hope…er… not to the death, hmm?

(IXTA stills looks around him.)

IXTA: No, but defeat would be disgrace. No man could look upon me or speak to me for many days.
DOCTOR: Yes, I see.
IXTA: My opponent has been selected. I know his name and I fear defeat.
DOCTOR: And what weapons do you use?
IXTA: Only my hands, My strength lies in the use of a spear or a club.
DOCTOR: Oh yes, indeed. Ah, dear dear dear…ha, and I would have loved to seen those drawings…
IXTA: No more than I desire a victory.
DOCTOR: Yes, uh…may I suggest that we assist each other, hmm?
IXTA: (Smiles and salutes.) I thank the older servant of Yetaxa.

(He leaves. The DOCTOR walks over to the plant he was examining earlier, reaches down and plucks and leaf from it. He pierces the stem with a needle and watches as the sap starts to run out of it.)

DOCTOR: Yes, I think a little horticulture might go a long way…

(He laughs.)


(TLOTOXL watches IAN’S practice drill with a club. IAN looks out of breath.)

TLOTOXL: (With sarcasm.) Does fatigue affect the servant of the gods?
IAN: Does the High Priest scorn my attempts to be worthy of command?

(IXTA walks in and goes up to TLOTOXL.)

TLOTOXL: (In a whisper to IXTA.) Can you conquer him?
IXTA: I know it.

(He walks up to IAN.)

IXTA: Ian?
IAN: Yes, Ixta?
IXTA: I challenge you to a contest of strength.
IAN: A fight?
IXTA: Without weapons. Your hands have defeated me. Let mine try to win a victory over you.

(IAN pauses, puzzled.)

TLOTOXL: Will you deny him?
IAN: (Pauses.) No.
IXTA: We will fight here, as the sun sets.
IAN: Alright.

(IAN walks off to practice again.)

TLOTOXL: (Whisper.) You are confident of victory?
IXTA: (Whisper.) If you wish it, he shall die.
TLOTOXL: (Smiles and nods.) Let him die.


(BARBARA and AUTLOC are alone.)

BARBARA: I tell you, Tlotoxl is determined to destroy me.
AUTLOC: He cannot while I believe you to be Yetaxa.
BARBARA: Yet you question me at his bidding.
AUTLOC: We both serve the gods…
BARBARA: Do you? Were you not angry when I forbade the sacrifice to the rain god?
BARBARA: Do you question the value of such sacrifice?
AUTLOC: I accepted it. But we send messengers to the gods. Why should the gods not send messenger to us?
BARBARA: To say there shall be no more human sacrifice?
AUTLOC: I shall not oppose the gods if it is their will that such sacrifices cease.

(BARBARA walks towards the sacrificial stone, thoughtful.)

BARBARA: The High Priest of knowledge speaks with great wisdom.
AUTLOC: If your words are denied, shall we not be living in defiance of the gods?
BARBARA: (She looks into the distance.) Famine, drought and disaster will come, and more and more sacrifices will be made. I see a time when ten thousand will die in one day.
AUTLOC: (Shocked.) Where will it end, Yetaxa?
BARBARA: In total destruction. Your civilisation will pass forever from the land.
AUTLOC: Your prophesy our doom…?
AUTLOC: Let me think upon these words, great spirit.
BARBARA: As the High Priest desires.

(She leaves a shaken AUTLOC and walks off back into the temple.)


(BARBARA crosses to the throne and rests her troubled head against its back…)


(The DOCTOR passes IXTA the pierced leaf.)

IXTA: The thorn of a cactus will give me victory?
DOCTOR: Yes…and make sure that you don’t scratch yourself.
IXTA: The aged servant of Yetaxa offers poison?
DOCTOR: No, it won’t kill…it will slowly drain away the strength of your opponent. (He point to his own wrist.) And scratch here.
IXTA: (Salutes.) I thank you.

(IXTA starts to leave.)

DOCTOR: Oh, and young man…you, ah, won’t forget the drawing, hmm?
IXTA: I shall be here after sunset.

(He leaves.)

DOCTOR: Yes, so shall I…

(He smells a flower.)


(AUTLOC and TLOTOXL are discussing BARBARA’S words.)

TLOTOXL: She prophesied our doom?
TLOTOXL: To avert her own! I tell you, she is a false goddess!
AUTLOC: I do not know it.
TLOTOXL: You will question her again?

(The Doctor is coming up the steps behind them....Tlotoxl notices him and reacts quickly.)

TLOTOXL: (To AUTLOC.) Conceal yourself.

(They hide behind a corner as the Doctor walks into the main chamber.)

DOCTOR: Barbara? Barbara?


(The DOCTOR enters and find BARBARA pacing the room.)

BARBARA: Doctor, go away!
BARBARA: You’re not allowed in here!
DOCTOR: Oh, nonsense. I’m supposed to be one of your servants?
BARBARA: Well, hasn't Tlotoxl told you that while I’m being questioned no one is allowed to see me?
DOCTOR: All right, I'll go. But first…I think I shall know more about the entrance to the tomb tonight.
DOCTOR: All I had to do was make certain some warrior won a fight.
BARBARA: (Suspicious.) What warrior?
DOCTOR: I don't know...but he had sort of a mask, or a face like a cat...
BARBARA: But that's Ixta! And he's fighting Ian!
DOCTOR: (Shocked.) Ixta...Ixta...I must warn Ian!

(The DOCTOR rushes out.)


(Heeding BARBARA’S warning he crosses the main chamber slowly and quietly but TLOTOXL is hiding in the doorway to the terrace.)

TLOTOXL: Hold him - he has transgressed the law!

(Warriors seize him. He starts to struggle and shout.)

DOCTOR: Sir, I will not have you…
CAPTAIN: Do you wish him confined or taken to the barracks?
TLOTOXL: Take him to the barracks.
DOCTOR: (Shouting as he's hauled off.) I demand to be release! Take your hands off me, Sir! How dare you! How dare you!

(The DOCTOR is dragged away. An angry BARBARA walks up to a troubled AUTLOC.)

BARBARA: He had no right to arrest my servant.
AUTLOC: The old man transgressed the law.
BARBARA: He did not know it. No one told him.
AUTLOC: If that is so, to hold him prisoner would be unjust. I shall obtain his release. (He bows.)
BARBARA: Thank you. (He starts to go.) Autloc? There is to be a contest between Ian and Ixta.
BARBARA: I forbid it.
AUTLOC: Great Spirit, it cannot be avoided. Only one of them can command our army.
BARBARA: Then let it be Ixta.
AUTLOC: You deny your servant honour?
BARBARA: The contest is ill-timed. Ixta has been trained for many months.
AUTLOC: Yet, I have seen your servant defeat him, and it is not a mortal combat.
BARBARA: Then see that it remains so.
AUTLOC: (He bows.) The spirit of Yetaxa has spoken.

(He leaves.)


(The room starts to fill with warriors. IAN and IXTA face each other. The Aztecs bow to first IXTA and then IAN. Both return the salute. The PERFECT VICTIM takes two ceremonial sticks in his hands.)

PERFECT VICTIM: Let the contest begin!

(He clacks the sticks together. The two warriors bow to and salute each other, and then square off. IXTA makes the first move, but IAN reverses it and flips him over. They lock up again, and after several seconds IAN hip-tosses him. Again they crash together, with IXTA getting an arm around IAN’S neck. Again IAN throws him down. Leaning against a table, IXTA pulls out the tranquiliser cactus thorn. At that moment, TLOTOXL and the DOCTOR walk in - the DOCTOR rushes to IAN and grabs him by the wrist.)

DOCTOR: Ian, don't let him scratch you!
IAN: What?

(The CAPTAIN grabs the DOCTOR backs and holds him by the arms as IXTA uses the diversion to sink the thorn into IAN’S wrist, drawing blood. IAN rubs his wrist and then lunges at IXTA, crashing against the spectators to the fight.)

DOCTOR: (Shouting.) Tlotoxl! Stop this nonsense! Stop it!
DOCTOR: Ixta is using the…that magic I gave him!
TLOTOXL: Then you should rejoice! Ixta will win!

(AUTLOC walks in. IAN is fighting valiantly, but he is tiring. Even after one of his arms is twisted almost out of its socket by IAN, IXTA is getting the upper hand. He tackles IAN down to the ground, regains his feet, and starts choking him with his foot.)

DOCTOR: Autloc, stop this!
TLOTOXL: No! Let it continue - to the death!

(IAN’S getting weaker...but manages to fling IXTA off him. He staggers to his feet, swaying. IXTA gets him into a bear hug, but IAN chops at his ribs and forces him off. He goes for IXTA’S arm again, but IXTA reverses the hold, flings him onto the table…seizes up a club to bash IAN’S skull in…)

TLOTOXL: Destroy him, Ixta!
AUTLOC: Yetaxa forbids it!
TLOTOXL: A false goddess forbids it! (To IXTA.) Destroy him!
BARBARA: (Behind them all.) Stop!

(She has entered the room unseen by all. The fight stops. She walks up to TLOTOXL, who looks at her with contempt.)

TLOTOXL: Your place is in the temple.
BARBARA: I am loyal to those who serve me.
TLOTOXL: (Points at the fight.) If you are him!

(BARBARA looks down uncertainly at the groggy IAN...)

Next Episode

Dr. Who

Ian Chesterton

Barbara Wright

Susan Foreman






Perfect Victim

Aztec Captain

Title music by
with the BBC
Radiophonic Workshop

Incidental Music by


Story Editor


Associate Producer


Directed by

(c) BBC tv

Transcribed by

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