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DOCTOR: I wouldnít had thought it possible but somehow weíve materialised for a split second of time...and been imprisoned in some kind of force. I simply canít break its hold. Somewhere, somehow, the...weíre being slowly dragged down. Hmm (Laughs nervously.)
IAN: Dragged down?
IAN: To what?

(The DOCTOR looks straight at IAN. He has no answer...)


(The planet is bleak and desolate. Crags and craters sparsely populate the surface. A large number of moons hang in the cloudless, dark, star-filled sky. Webs hang between the crags and a strange mist is permanently in the soundless air. With a roar of its engines the TARDIS materialises...)


(This is the un-welcoming sight that appears on the TARDIS scanner. The DOCTOR, changed out of his toga and back into his normal clothes, stands before the screen. With his finger tips together and a stern look on his face, he contemplates the TARDISíS latest landing place.)

DOCTOR: All responses...negative. Air thin and static. Hmm!

(The DOCTOR turns back to the console as BARBARA, also changed, comes out of the living area. She carries one of the Roman goblets in her hand which she is drinking out of. She too looks up at the scanner.)

BARBARA: Crags and pools...

(She walks over to a corner of the console room where an alcove contains several pieces of instrumentation. IAN sits before it as he finishes changing by putting on a pair of shoes.)

BARBARA: Oh, itís like a cemetery, itís so quiet.
IAN: Yeah, no vegetation and I havenít seen anything move yet. (He digs her with his elbow.) Weíre on the moon!

(VICKI, now back in her original dress from Dido, comes out of the living area.)

DOCTOR: (To himself.) Hu hu! What is holding us here? What force, hmm?
VICKI: That looks a bit grim. Where are we?

(The DOCTOR continues to make ďHmmĒing noises to himself as he contemplates the console. He seems utterly perplexed by their predicament.)

IAN: Doctor, canít there just be something wrong with the TARDIS?
DOCTOR: Wrong? My boy, weíve been dragged off our course. The question is, is it some natural phenomena or...is it intelligent, deliberate, or...for a purpose, hmm?
BARBARA: Oh, youíll find the answer, Doctor. You always do.
DOCTOR: Er, what? Hmm?
BARBARA: Youíll find the answer.
DOCTOR: Oh yes, my dear, yes, I...I...Iím confident that I can counteract it with more power. Yes, now let me see, er.

(As the DOCTOR returns to his instruments, VICKIíS face contracts in pain...)


(Outside the TARDIS, an unusual and alien creature scurries into view. Although the height of a man, it resembles nothing less than a huge black ant. It gives out a high pitched warbling chirrup which brings another of its kind from around one of the crags. They chirrup to each other.)


(The DOCTOR activates several controls...)

DOCTOR: Good! Good, the power response is satisfactory.

(VICKIíS face is still contorted...)

VICKI: Can you hear it? Listen!
DOCTOR: Er, hmm?
VICKI: What is it?
DOCTOR: (Dismissing her complaints.) Oh!
VICKI: Ian, Barbara, what is it?
IAN: What can you hear, Vicki?
VICKI: (Putting her hands to her head.) A sort of...humming. Oh! Canít you hear it?

(VICKI staggers in pain. BARBARA rushes to her assistance.)

IAN: Do you hear anything, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Oh, sheís probably heard an extra-sonic sound. You know, the...thing that young people and young animals hear. (Laughs.) Excuse me, youíre in the way.

(IAN steps out of the way so that the DOCTOR can circle the console.)

VICKI: (With relief.) Oh, itís stopped. Barbara, itís stopped!
BARBARA: Are you all right now?
VICKI: Yes, yes thanks.

(BARBARA crosses to the DOCTOR.)

BARBARA: Doctor?
BARBARA: Doctor, we must get out of here.
DOCTOR: Oh yes, I quite agree. I quite agree. The power build up is strong enough. Yes, quite satisfactory. Well now the motorís ____.

(The DOCTOR checks another control.)

DOCTOR: Yeah... (Laughs.)


(One of the ant creatures scurries over to where another alien creature waits between two crags. This one resembles a large grub. It moves forward on its myriad number of legs...)


(The DOCTOR mutters and laughs to himself as he attempts to free the TARDIS from the force that is holding it. IAN and BARBARA look at each other.)


(The TARDIS fades out of and into view but it cannot break free of the force. One of the ants chirrups to the grub creature. It shuffles between the two ants. Their arms twitch as they continue to chirrup. A web starts to appear in front of the TARDIS.)


(The column on the console falls and the hum of the TARDIS instruments die down. The four travellers stare at the dead instruments. Suddenly the chirruping of the creatures is heard inside the ship. As BARBARAíS hands fly to her ears, the whole room lurches to one side and the four companions are thrown to one side. As IAN catches hold of the DOCTOR, BARBARA crouches down by the console and stares up in terror at the scanner. The ship steadies down.)

IAN: Whatís happening, Doctor, whatís happening?
DOCTOR: We seem to be caught! Trapped somehow. Is it...some strange phenomena? (He indicates the console.) Thereís no power in the ship - itís useless!
BARBARA: (Now stood up.) Ian, Doctor, look!

(The scanner image is also steady. It displays several of the crags. They all look up at it.)

BARBARA: I saw a flash - behind one of those crags.
IAN: Where?
BARBARA: Out there - I saw it! I saw it!
IAN: Well, itís not there now.
BARBARA: (Angrily.) Well I can see itís not there n...
DOCTOR: All right, all right, donít ..t..snap at each other, my dear.
BARBARA: Iím sorry.
DOCTOR: You probably saw some cosmic ray which is causing the interference.
BARBARA: Well, I was almost...Vicki?

(BARBARA sees that the young girl is still on the floor and slightly stunned. BARBARA goes over to her.)

VICKI: The noise - itís stopped?
BARBARA: Yes. Itís all gone now. Come on, I think youíd better lie down for a while.

(She helps her up and over to the living quarters.)

DOCTOR: So disturbing all this interference.
IAN: Well, Doctor?
DOCTOR: I canít understand it. Well, thereís nothing for it, my boy, but we shall, er, itís a matter of, er, exploration. We shall have to go and find the trouble of this, er, interference and then learn how to counteract it.
IAN: Oh...
IAN: No need for the other two to come. Iíll go and tell them.
DOCTOR: Quite so.

(IAN walks over to the living quarters and meets BARBARA coming out.)

IAN: Oh, how is she?
BARBARA: Oh, sheís better.

(IAN goes into the living quarters.)

BARBARA: Oh, Doctor?
BARBARA: Do you have such a thing as a sedative?
DOCTOR: Of course, my dear. Itís in the first aid box. You know where it is - there, itís facing you.

(The DOCTOR points to a box which is among many pieces on a table in the alcove.)

BARBARA: Oh, yes.

(BARBARA goes over to the alcove and starts rummaging round the items on the table.)

BARBARA: Oh, Doctor! What a mess. Honestly, one of these days, Iím going to have a jolly good spring clean around here.

(IAN comes back out of the living quarters as BARBARA picks up a small tube-like container.)

IAN: Sheís asleep already. Oh, er, Barbara. The Doctor and I are going outside to have a look around.

(BARBARA is about to say something but IAN wonít let her.)

IAN: Now, donít worry. I wonít let him out of my sight.
DOCTOR: (Coming back into console room.) Nearly done, my boy? Hmm.
IAN: Yes, er, weíre ready. (To BARBARA.) Weíll be all right.
BARBARA: Be careful - both of you.

(BARBARA takes the container into the living quarters. The DOCTOR has changed into a hooded white jacket. He holds up another for IAN.)

DOCTOR: (To BARBARA.) Yes, yes, yes, of course, of course. (To IAN.) Now, I want you to wear this ADJ.
IAN: This what?
DOCTOR: Itís an Atmospheric Density Jacket, to be precise.
IAN: Oh...

(The DOCTOR helps IAN on with the jacket.)

IAN: I see. Is the atmosphere a bit thin?
DOCTOR: Yes, Iím afraid itís rather sub-normal.
IAN: Hmm. Hello?
IAN: Whatís this extraordinary thing?

(IAN is looking at two metallic tubes which come out of the front of the jacket and face up towards the face of the wearer.)

DOCTOR: Oh, these are what they technically call, er, respiratory compensator.
IAN: Oh, I see. A sort of, er, advanced oxygen mask, eh?
DOCTOR: Exactly, exactly.
IAN: Well, come on then Doctor.

(He walks towards the doors but suddenly stops...)

IAN: Ahh! How do we open the doors? We have no power.
DOCTOR: Er...ah...

(The DOCTOR tries the door control but, of course, there is no response.)

DOCTOR: Ah, dear, dear, dear, dear, dear! Hmm. Itís one thing after another...
IAN: (Smiling.) Hmm?
DOCTOR: Yes, well, I, er, I, er...

(The DOCTOR glances at the large ring on his finger. He seems embarrassed.)

DOCTOR: I didnít want to, er...
IAN: Hey?

(The DOCTOR takes the ring off.)

DOCTOR: Er, this is, er, not merely a decorative object. (Laughs.)

(He walks over to the alcove in the corner.)

DOCTOR: Come along, come along.

(A puzzled IAN follows. The DOCTOR flicks a switch on one machine and another switch on a second machine from which a photo-electric cell lights up. The DOCTOR waves the ring, now back on his finger, several times in front of the cell. As the DOCTOR chuckles, the doors swing open silently. The DOCTOR, still laughing at his ďvictoryĒ over IANíS pessimism, puts on a white Astrakhan hat and scuttles out of the ship. IAN with a glimpse at the photo-electric cell follows. The doors swing closed behind them.)


(VICKI lies on one of the beds which slide down out of the wall. BARBARA enters with the tablets and container from the first aid box and a small metal goblet of water.)

BARBARA: Vicki, here, take these. Youíll feel much better.
VICKI: (Taking the tablets.) What is it?
BARBARA: Oh, itís just something to make you sleep.
VICKI: May I see the container.

(BARBARA passes her this as well as the goblet. She sits on the other bed.)

BARBARA: Any aches or pains.
VICKI: No I didnít hurt myself. My ears still sting a bit, but thatís all.

(VICKI reads the label on the container.)

BARBARA: Well, have you decided yet whether to take the prescribed dose?
VICKI: It looks a bit medieval.
BARBARA: What do you mean?
VICKI: Well, you wouldnít like it if I wanted to stick leaches all over you, would you? And I mean, it boils down to the same thing. They might have taken these in your time, but that doesnít mean...
BARBARA: Now, wait a minute. You canít blame my generation for everything and those pills belong to the Doctor.
VICKI: Well, he must have picked them up on his travels then because Iíve never seen ďAs-per-inĒ before!
BARBARA: Oh, so you studied medicine at school, did you?
VICKI: Yes, of course I did. Didnít you teach it?
BARBARA: No. We worked upwards from the three Rís.
BARBARA: Reading, writing, Ďrithmatic.
VICKI: Oh, it was a nursery school!
BARBARA: (Snaps.) It was not!
VICKI: Oh...I wish Iíd gone to your school. We had to take a certificate of education in medicine, physics, chemistry...
BARBARA: Now, wait a minute, how old were you?
VICKI: Well, I was ten when I took those...
BARBARA: Ten! Ha, what did you do in your time - live in the classroom?
VICKI: Live in the what?
BARBARA: Classroom... (VICKI is unsure what she means.) lecture hall.

(VICKI is still no clearer. BARBARA gives up with that line of questioning.)

BARBARA: How long did you study?
VICKI: Almost an hour a week! We had these machines, you see, and we...

(BARBARA decides to give up on the conversation.)

BARBARA: All right, Vicki. Now look, you donít thereís anything wrong with those pills, do you?
BARBARA: Well, why donít you just pander to my...old-fashioned medieval superstitions and take them for me?
VICKI: Well...
BARBARA: After all, it would save me having to put make-up on and a mask and dance round a fire in order to get rid of the evil spirits!
VICKI: (Laughing.) All right!

(VICKI swallows the tablets with a grimace. She notices that BARBARA is admiring the gold bracelet that adorns her arm.)

VICKI: Thatís nice, Barbara. I havenít seen you wear it before.
BARBARA: Mmm, the bracelet? No, I havenít had it for very long.
VICKI: Was it a present?
VICKI: From Ian?
VICKI: (Lying back.) Oh...
BARBARA: From Nero as a matter of fact.

(She sits up in shock.)

VICKI: From Nero? But it couldnít have been, we...
BARBARA: I havenít had a chance to tell you before but Ian and I went to Rome also.
VICKI: What...I...I...
BARBARA: Iíll tell you all about it when you wake up.

(BARBARA pushes her back down on the bed. VICKI looks at her with a suspicious smile on her face.).)

VICKI: Iím not sure whether youíre making it up or not. Iíll ask Ian. Heíll tell me.
BARBARA: Well you do that. (Walking out.) Heíll be back soon.

(VICKI sits up again.)

VICKI: Back?! (Worried, to herself.) Heís gone outside...


(Several yards from the TARDIS, IAN looks their surroundings whilst the DOCTOR examines a rock formation with his monocle. The strange mist hangs as a distortion in the air. In the thin atmosphere of the planet, their voices have a slight echo.)

DOCTOR: Well, well, well, that is remarkable! Hmm! (Laughs.) Gracious, er, during all my travels, I donít think Iíve ever come across this. Magical? Isnít it extraordinary. I say, are you there, my...Chesterton? Chesterton, what are you doing, dear boy? Fiddling and gaping over there. Come over here and learn something. Look here, do you see what this is? Mica, hmm?
IAN: Yes, one of the silicates.
DOCTOR: Capable of, er, withstanding great heat, hmm.
IAN: Quite.
DOCTOR: Have you got something sharp I can have for a moment, hmm?
IAN: Er...oh! Try my pen.

(IAN takes a gold pen that it hanging inside his collar. Itís immediately snatched from his hand and flies off at great speed...)

IAN: What on earth?
DOCTOR: (Laughs.) Oh, thatís very clever! Very clever! You know, youíve never done that before! Thatís a remarkable conjuring trick!
IAN: That was no conjuring trick, Doctor.
IAN: That was my pen, it...vanished into thin air.
DOCTOR: Oh, my dear man...
IAN: (Cries out.) Vanished!

(IANíS cries is immediately repeated by a series of echoes which vary in pitch and repeat and repeat...)

IAN: (Echoes.) Vanished...Vanished...Vanished...Vanished!!!

(The DOCTOR and IAN are amazed by this display of acoustics.)

IAN: (Shouting at the echoes.) Yes, my gold pen!

(The shout is repeated and mingled with the earlier cry.)

IAN: (Echoes.) Pen...Vanished...My gold pen...Vanished...!!!
DOCTOR: (Intrigued.) Gold!

(He laughs to himself.)

IAN: What is it Doctor?
DOCTOR: Mmm? (Cries out with his arms outstretched.) Echoes, dear boy!

(The DOCTORíS cry is now repeated.)

DOCTOR: (Echoes.) Echoes...echoes...!!!

(The echoes die down.)

IAN: I donít mean that. I mean this place. I have a feeling...
DOCTOR: Hmm? What sort of feeling?
IAN: I have a feeling weíre being watched. Havenít you?
DOCTOR: No. (He looks round.) No, no, no, no, I...canít see any spooks or anything, er, I donít think so, no. Not particularly, no. I must say that if I lived here and I heard you roaring your head off, Iíd probably come down and take a look at you! (He laughs.)
IAN: Then take my pen...?
DOCTOR: (Thoughtful.) Yes, what if the powerís thatís got hold of the TARDIS has taken your pen, of course! Ha ha! Now then, thereís something for us to solve. Come along, come along, come along.

(He scuttles off. IAN watches him for a second, then follows. Suddenly, he stops. He whirls round and looks behind him, towards the TARDIS. He sees nothing but the cold surface of the planet. Then runs off after the DOCTOR.)


(As she promised earlier, BARBARA is cleaning up the items in the alcove in the console room. She glances up at the scanner, then walks towards it. It shows the DOCTOR walking across the planet, followed by IAN struggling to catch up. As she watches, her left arm, the one adorned by her gold bracelet, rises up into the air by itself - then pulls her suddenly towards the doors. She staggers and then regains her balance. BARBARA clutches her arm, then hugs herself, partially in panic, partially in reassurance. Extremely un-nerved, she walks through the door to the living area.)


(VICKI is asleep. BARBARA enters and sits on the end of the second bed. She looks worried at her recent experience and briefly examines her arm. VICKI stirs.)

VICKI: Barbara?
BARBARA: Oh! Sorry, did I wake you?
VICKI: No... (Stretching.) the others back yet?

(BARBARA gets up and tries to sound natural.)

BARBARA: Er, no, not yet.
VICKI: Is something wrong?

(BARBARA sits next to VICKI.)

BARBARA: No...why?
VICKI: Donít know. You seem nervous.
BARBARA: (Smiling.) Oh, thereís...thereís something about this place.
VICKI: I know. I wished weíd materialised in some really luxurious place, you know. Lotís of lovely things to buy and...eat and...wear.

(As VICKI is speaking, BARBARAíS arm starts to stretch out again. With a look of pain and determination, she pulls it back.)

VICKI: Is your arm hurting?
BARBARA: No! Vicki, I...I know this sounds silly, but...it doesnít feel as though it belongs to me. A little while ago it moved without my intending it to.

(VICKI laughs.)

BARBARA: Well...itís those things we...donít understand that...frighten us. Iím sure thereís a perfectly simple explanation, itís...Iím just letting my ima...

(Suddenly getting emotional, BARBARA gets up and leaves the room. VICKI worriedly watches her go.)


(The DOCTOR and IAN are still exploring the planet. As they circle round a small crag, the DOCTOR points something out and chuckles. IAN looks in a different direction and suddenly stops dead.)

IAN: Doctor!
IAN: Look!

(IAN points to a huge sculpted crag on top of which is a statue. The mists and the height of this edifice mean that the definition of the statue cannot be properly seen but it vaguely resembles a winged figure.)

IAN: That was built.
DOCTOR: Yes, but when? Itís old, so old. (Chuckles.) Look at the state itís in.

(Still chuckling they walk towards it until they stand at itís very base. They are dwarfed by the object.)

DOCTOR: Hmm! Itís a pity we didnít bring a ladder with us. We might be able to see whatís on the top.
IAN: Well, it isnít Nelson.
DOCTOR: No. No, pity.

(They step back.)

DOCTOR: Er, well, itís something that has nothing to do with holding the ship here, dear boy. Hmm.
IAN: Curious though.
DOCTOR: Yes, itís curious, yes, yes, yes, but we must find something more tangible, hmm? Come along, come along.
IAN: Oh, Doctor. Look.

(IAN has spotted a small pool at the base of a crag. He walks towards it.)

IAN: Oh, it must be water. Any form of life would need that, eh?

(IAN kneels down and leans his hands towards the liquid.)

DOCTOR: Wait! wait!
IAN: Huh? Whatís the matter?

(The DOCTOR joins him.)

DOCTOR: Youíre a little premature. Hmm. Letís have your tie.
IAN: Well, I havenít got one.
DOCTOR: I know youíre not wearing one, dear boy, but the one round your middle, hmm?

(IAN starts to undo the tie which holds his trousers up.)

IAN: I hope my pants stay up!
DOCTOR: Yes, well thatís your affair, not mine!

(IAN passes the tie to the DOCTOR.)

IAN: There you are.
DOCTOR: Thank you. Now then...
IAN: Huh?
DOCTOR: Yes...letís see.

(The DOCTOR dips the tie into the pool.)

IAN: Now just a minute!

(The base of the tie begins to smoke.)

IAN: Wha...
DOCTOR: Eh, there you are, look! See that! Erh....There you are, you see. Ha ha!

(They stand. The base of the tie is charred where the acid has eaten it away.)

IAN: Yes, I do see - youíve ruined it! That was my Coal Hill School tie! Youíve just...just...
DOCTOR: Saved your life! You were about to have a wash in there, werenít you? Or probably drink some of it? Ha! We very nearly had the remnants of a Coal Hill School teacher in there instead of his wretched old, ragged old tie!

(Laughing, the DOCTOR passes the tie to IAN.)

IAN: Never mind about that, what is it?
DOCTOR: Er, lets see now, now, what have we got? Hmm? Echoes...interference...gold. And now, acid, yes, similar properties to formic acid. Hmm! Yes, itís strange, isnít it? Itís very strange.

(He walks off. IAN starts to follow but stops to throw the tie into the pool. As he does so, a rock falls into the pool from the crag above. IAN does not spot the ant-creature on top of the crag that quickly dips out of site.)

IAN: Doctor!

(IAN runs back towards the pool and points at the liquid.)

IAN: There!
DOCTOR: What is the...
IAN: Thereís something in there! I saw a light, it...it broke the surface.
DOCTOR: Light? Is it reflection from a planet?
IAN: No, no! It was in there. I saw something in there, I tell you!
DOCTOR: Now, my young man. If this is your idea of revenge for that tie then I ta...I think it a pretty poor effort, eh?
IAN: Doctor, this is not revenge, I...
DOCTOR: Now listen, we came here to find out the source of interference. Now I suggest we keep our minds on this subject. Youíre rambling on! Come along, thatís it.

(They step away, the DOCTOR muttering to himself. Suddenly, the high-pitched warbling of the ants is heard again. The DOCTOR and IAN look around them.)

IAN: What is it, Doctor?


(BARBARA can also hear the sound. She holds her hands against her ears with a look of pain on her face...)


(The sound, increasing in pitch and speed, also reaches the bedroom. VICKI stirs in her sleep.)


(Still holding her hands to her head, BARBARA looks on in shock as the TARDIS doors swing open. A table in the alcove seems to jump by itself which causes BARBARA to jump back and scream. The entire console swivels round on its base. BARBARA runs towards it as it stops moving, then feels her arm rising into the air again. The sound reaches a crescendo. BARBARA cries out as her arm takes on a life of its own. As the sound continues, BARBARAíS struggles cease and her face clears and becomes blank. Possessed, she walks through the doors which close behind her.)


(The DOCTOR and IAN discuss the continuing sounds as they briskly walk across the surface of the planet.)

IAN: You mean, the noises are messages?
DOCTOR: It probably comes from some sentient thing, or a machine operated by it. We must find the source of this interference. Now come on.

(They continue on...)


(The console is spinning round again...)


(The sounds die down. VICKI stirs out of her sleep.)

VICKI: (Sleepily.) Barbara?

(She gets off the bed.)

VICKI: Barbara?


(VICKI enters the console room.)

VICKI: Barbara?

(VICKI suddenly sees that the doors of the TARDIS are open again. She runs towards them.)

VICKI: (Panicking.) Barbara! Where are you?

(She shouts through the open door.)

VICKI: Barbara! Barbara!


(VICKIíS cries carry across the planet as echoes.)

VICKI: (Echoes.) Barbara..bara..bara...Barbara...bara
IAN: Thatís Vicki! Somethingís wrong back at the ship!
DOCTOR: Theyíve probably left the doors open, come on!

(They run towards a gap between two crags. The DOCTOR suddenly signals to IAN to come back.)

DOCTOR: Look out!
IAN: Doctor!!

(A web rises from the ground and traps IAN within its tendrils. He cries out in pain as the strands sting him.)

IAN: Donít come near, Doctor! Go back to the ship! Go back to the ship!


(BARBARA, her arm still outstretched and her face showing that she is still possessed walks across the planet. The chirruping sounds still echo through the thin air. Ahead of BARBARA is a bubbling and smoking pool of acid. She walks to the very edge...)


(IAN is still struggling as the DOCTOR tries to free him.)

DOCTOR: Stand still!
IAN: Ah! It stings!! And hurts!!
DOCTOR: Iíll go back to the ship and try and find something. Can you wait?
IAN: Yes, all right!

(The DOCTOR runs off with a cry of anguish.)


(VICKI goes to pick a box up off the floor. It shoots to one side as the entire ship lurches off its base. It lurches again to the other side. VICKI makes a grab at the console and starts pulling at the controls. As the image on the scanner also swings from side to side, the dematerialisation noise of the ship also fills the room. With a cry, VICKI tries more of the controls...)


(The DOCTOR reaches the point where he knew the TARDIS to be. He stops dead in his tracks and looks around himself in disbelief.)

DOCTOR: (Stunned.) My ship...my TARDIS....

Next Episode

Dr. Who

Ian Chesterton

Barbara Wright


Zarbi Operators

Title music by
and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

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