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THE WEB PLANET
THE ZARBI

Written by
BILL STRUTTON


1: EXT. VORTIS

(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....


2: EXT. VORTIS

(BARBARA gets nearer and nearer to the pool of acid. A small distance away, one of the giant ants waves one of its arms and makes its chirruping noise. As if on command, BARBARA stops, turns to the right, walks a few steps past the pool, turns left, skirts the pool, left again and onwards...)


3: EXT. VORTIS

(IAN lies face down on the sandy surface, unconscious. There is no sign of the stinging web. As the DOCTOR approaches, his shouts can be heard.)

DOCTOR: (OOV.) Chesterton!...Chesterton!

(The DOCTOR comes into view. He looks down at IAN, then reaches towards him. He suddenly pulls back and looks round for the web. Seeing that it has definitely gone, he again reaches for IAN. As he touches him, IAN starts and cries out with pain.)

IAN: Ahh! Donít touch me!
DOCTOR: Are you all right, boy?
IAN: (Sitting up.) Ahh...ahh..

(IAN starts to brush off himself some thin transparent tendrils that cover his head and shoulders. He suddenly grabs his face.)

IAN: Oh, my face...my face.

(He takes his hands away and looks towards the DOCTOR.)

IAN: Whatís the matter with it?
DOCTOR: Itís a little blistered.
IAN: Ahh! Oh, itís feels as is...I fell into a...bed of stinging nettles.
DOCTOR: Whatís happened to that weed, hmm?
IAN: Huh, I don't know. It...it went.
DOCTOR: Went where?
IAN: Well, it just went...(Points.) there...the ground. Oh, what an accursed place this is.
DOCTOR: Yes, accursed place, so barren.
IAN: Oh...

(IAN stands up and holds onto a crag for support. He brushes the reminder of the tendrils off himself.)

DOCTOR: I wonder, yes, accursed. Hmm.
IAN: Come on, Doctor. Letís get back to the TARDIS. Get some...something for my face.

(IAN puts his hands to his stinging face again.)

DOCTOR: Oh, unfortunately, I canít help you at the moment, dear boy.
IAN: What?
DOCTOR: And I...I have a shock for you...the shipís gone, vanished.

(IAN looks at him in disbelief.)


4: EXT.VORTIS

(BARBARA walks on, her arm still outstretched and her face blank. As she passes on, another strange creature jumps into view. Although vaguely humanoid, again it resembles an insect - this time a butterfly. It has two antennae sprouting from the top of itís head, two composite eyes are on its light and dark marked face and its body is covered with light and dark stripes like a wasp. Two large wings adorn its back. With graceful movements, it follows BARBARA.)


5: EXT.VORTIS

(IAN sits on the ground, holding his still stinging face. The DOCTOR, utterly helpless, storms at his surroundings...)

DOCTOR: There must be an answer to it, dear boy. (Shouts to the sky.) There must be answer! (Calmer.) They canít even get in the ship, let alone operate it. Ha ha! The interior of my ship...is inviolable.

(The DOCTOR suddenly leans against a crag, clutching his chest and trying to get his breath. IAN sits up and notices.)

IAN: Whatís the matter?
DOCTOR: My chest. Ahh...ah.

(IAN gets up and stumbles over to him.)

IAN: Canít you breath?
DOCTOR: Oh itís...

(IAN touches one of the small funnel like devices on the DOCTORíS coat.)

IAN: Something wrong with these?
DOCTOR: Yes, itís these ADJ...J coats. Ha, no use after about an hour, theyíre useless.
IAN: Well, can we live without them?
DOCTOR: Just about.
IAN: Well lets take them off shall we? Get used to the atmosphere. Hey? All right?
DOCTOR: Huh, yes, ah.

(They take their jackets off. IAN breathes in the thin air as he does so.)

IAN: Ah, heh, you can certainly tell the difference, canít you?
DOCTOR: (Nodding.) Hmm.
IAN: (Taking deep breaths.) Ohh, Ahh, breathe slowly. Deeply, like a diver.

(They both breathe deeply to get used to the air.)

IAN: Oh, it...itís possible.
DOCTOR: Hmm.
IAN: Eh...?

(The DOCTOR suddenly points to the ground a few feet away.)

IAN: Hmm?
DOCTOR: Look at those ridges, what are those ridges in the sand there? Have a look.

(Still getting used to the air, the two men stumble over to the tracks.)

IAN: (Realising.) The TARDIS.
DOCTOR: I had a TARDIS! Hmm!
IAN: Itís been dragged away. Dragged away!


6: EXT. VORTIS

(Some distance away, the TARDIS is indeed being dragged across the surface - but by no visible force. Instead, it seems to shunt by itself across the sandy ground. One of the ant creatures waves its arm to direct the ship. The air is filled with the chirruping noise of the ants.)


7: INT. TARDIS. CONSOLE ROOM

(VICKI tries to keep her balance as the ship moves along. One violent movement throws her against the console. She watches on the scanner as the landscape passes by. Then to her horror, one of the ant creatures looms into view...)


8: EXT. VORTIS

(The butterfly creature catches up with BARBARA. She is totally oblivious to its presence. Turning her gently round, it guides her into a nearby cave...)


9: INT. CAVE

(...where two more the butterfly creatures wait. BARBARA is led by the first into the centre of the cave and sat down on a rock. One of the other creatures uses a crystalline spear to move BARBARAíS hair as they examine her. Compelled by the force again, BARBARA stands and starts to walk out of the cave but the second creature stops her and carefully pulls the gold bracelet off her wrist and throws it into a pool of acid where it quickly dissolves. BARBARA awakens and looks in puzzlement at her empty arm.)

BARBARA: My bracelet, I...I wa....

(She looks up and sees the three creatures.)

BARBARA: (Nervously.) Who are you? What do you want?

(She makes a rush for the entrance to the cave. Two of the creatures quickly block her path. One of them speaks. It has a gentle feminine voice...)

VRESTIN: Stop her! Stay where you are.


10: EXT. VORTIS

(The DOCTOR and IAN walk round a crag, following their trail. They carry the ADJís in their hands.)

IAN: Oh, those tracks have disappeared.

(IAN throws his jacket away whilst the DOCTOR climbs a small rise.)

DOCTOR: The ground seems firmer here.

(IAN looks round, trying to find the now missing trail. The DOCTOR also dumps his jacket.)

IAN: No sign of it.
DOCTOR: Oh, all...all so strange, so unnatural. Iíve never experienced anything in my life before...like this. But we must continue with our search.
IAN: Yeah.
DOCTOR: (Pointing.) Take a look over there.

(IAN walks off to look where the DOCTOR points. The DOCTOR looks round himself and sees something new in the sandy ground.)

DOCTOR: Well, thatís odd. Those are not track-marks. Those are more like claw-marks, yes, huh! Chesterton!

(A small distance away, IAN literally puts his foot into a small hollow object on the ground. It too resembles an insect.)

IAN: Doctor...
DOCTOR: (Walking up to him.) I think weíre on the right track, my boy.
IAN: Never mind about that.

(He takes his foot out of the object.)

IAN: Look at this.

(They crouch down to examine their latest find.)

DOCTOR: Good gracious! Itís hollow.
IAN: Yes.
DOCTOR: Yes, well preserved. Yes, a vertebrate creature, yes, highly developed, hmm!
IAN: Itís still got itís skin, itís more like a chrysalis.
DOCTOR: Hmm. Menoptra! Yes, does that word mean anything to you, hmm?
IAN: No, nothing. You mean youíve been here before?
DOCTOR: No, no, my boy. No, but itís this rock formation and now this creature, this object, it...suggests the planet Vortis.
IAN: Vortis?
DOCTOR: Hmm.
IAN: What galaxy is that in?
DOCTOR: The Isop galaxy. Yes...many light ear...many light...years...from Earth. And yet the Vortis hasnít the moonís and here, there...there are several, look, you see?

(They stand and look into the dark sky at the many planets.)

DOCTOR: You can see for yourself. Hmm?
IAN: Yes, canít a planet attract satellites to itself, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Oh, yes, yes, yes, but it would need a....galactic explosion, you know, some kind of new force. Whether this Vortis planet has that or not, I...I canít be sure. Anyway, lets, er, come on, over here.

(They carry on their exploration.)


11: EXT. CARSENOME ENTRANCE

(The shifting TARDIS approaches the opening to its destination. The organic entrance is covered with twitching, growing tendrils.)


12: INT. TARDIS. CONSOLE ROOM

(VICKI looks at the approaching edifice on the scanner.)

VICKI: Please help me!


13: EXT. CARSENOME ENTRANCE

(The TARDIS moves through the entrance.)


14: INT. CAVE

(BARBARA is telling her story to the silent, listening butterfly creatures.)

BARBARA: After weíd landed, two of our party went to explore. The last thing I remember was...being in the ship...the doors opening, and then...well then, you came.

(The creatures look at one another. Suddenly one of them raises its crystalline spear and speaks in a male-yet slightly high-pitched voice.)

HRHOONDA: Kill her!
VRESTIN: (Gently restraining its companion.) No.
HRHOONDA: A stranger must not be trusted.
HROSTAR: (To BARBARA, in a hesitant, male voice.) You chose here when you chose to land on Vortis?
BARBARA: (Snapping.) I keep telling you, we didnít choose! Our ship was forced here.
VRESTIN: The Zarbi will treat them as enemies. If we refuse to help them, they will not survive.
HRHOONDA: Her future is no concern of ours. Hrostar, she was under the force of the Zarbi. Why did you break it?
BARBARA: Look, all we want to do is get away from here. These Zarbi that you seem frightened of - maybe we could help you?
HROSTAR: Have you...any...weapons?
BARBARA: No, but we...
VRESTIN: (Interrupting, to HROSTAR.) Watch her.

(HROSTAR, his arms twitching, points to the centre of the cave. BARBARA moves to the place indicated and sits down. HROSTAR follows and watches whilst VRESTIN and HRHOONDA confer on the other side of the cave.)

HRHOONDA: If we let her go, she may tell the Zarbi where they can find us.
VRESTIN: No.

(BARBARA starts to pull a spar of rock that lies on the ground across to herself with her feet.)

HRHOONDA: Even if she does not wish to betray us, they will extort it from her.
VRESTIN: There are few of us and many of the Zarbi. She offers help.
HRHOONDA: She is not to be trusted. I say kill her!
VRESTIN: Hrostar!

(BARBARAíS guard moves to act on the summons and join his companions.)

VRESTIN: The Menoptra do not act without...

(VRESTINíS statement is drowned out by HROSTARíS cry as BARBARA pushes him over with the spar and runs out of the cave.)

HRHOONDA: Stop her! Stop her!

(HRHOONDA throws his crystalline spear after BARBARAíS fleeing figure...)


15: EXT. VORTIS

(BARBARA runs out of the cave. She trips with a cry. She hears the chirruping of the ants - the ZARBI - and gets up and continues her escape.)


16: EXT. VORTIS

(The DOCTOR and IAN continue their trek across the planet. IAN points to the sky.)

IAN: Strange lights in the sky...
DOCTOR: Hmm. Pulsating.

(They climb a small rise.)

IAN: Do you think they could be...natural like the aurora borealis?

(The lights pulse in the star filled sky.)

DOCTOR: No, look down there, my boy, hmm?

(They are stood on a ledge looking down onto a strange organic complex that seems to have grown over the surface.)

IAN: So thatís where theyíve taken the ship to.
DOCTOR: Apparently so. Weíve got to get down there. I wish we had more knowledge of what we were up against.

(They climb down the rise.)

DOCTOR: Ah, this...this wilderness, huh! Ah...

(IAN suddenly stops dead in his tracks with eyes wide open.)

IAN: Doctor!
DOCTOR: Ahh? Hmm?

(Four of the ZARBI and two of the grub-like creatures emerge from behind nearby rocks and surround them. The ZARBI chirrup and twitch their arms as if trying to direct the two men. The ZARBI that is behind IAN approaches him and nudges him with its mandibles. IAN jumps in alarm. The creatures close in on him.)

DOCTOR: The best thing is to stand still.
IAN: Do you think we could talk to them? Make them understand?
DOCTOR: Apart from rubbing our back legs together like some sort of grasshopper? I doubt if we could get on speaking terms with them.

(The ZARBI again start to push IAN. He reacts..)

DOCTOR: Stand still! Obey! These creatures on this planet are completely unknown to me. Now stand still and obey.

(The ZARBI start to herd the two men forward.)

DOCTOR: Remember those claw marks!
IAN: Yes.

(The two men are pushed away...)


17: INT. TARDIS. CONSOLE ROOM

(The TARDIS movement seems to have stopped. VICKI tests her balance on the now still floor. She looks at the scanner but it is blank. VICKI jumps back as the doors swing open silently. A humming noise can be heard from outside the ship.)

VICKI: (Cautiously stepping forward.) Ian? Doctor? Is there anybody there?

(Summoning courage, she steps outside.)


18: INT. CARSENOME. CONTROL ROOM

(The tendril-covered walls of the room outside seem to have been grown rather than built. The chirruping sound of the ZARBI can be heard over the humming sound. VICKI slowly steps forward. As soon as she is a distance from the ship, two ZARBI come out of hiding and cut her off from the TARDIS. She screams and backs against a wall covering her eyes from the sight of the giant ants...)


19: EXT. CARSENOME ENTRANCE

(Accompanied by their captors, the DOCTOR and IAN arrive at the Carsenome. They stop to look at the walls of the entrance which are a mixture of tendrils and expanding globules of matter.)

IAN: Doctor, look at this. Itís growing.
DOCTOR: Organic matter, reproducing itself. Hmm hmm.
IAN: Fantastic.
DOCTOR: Yes, I wonder...I wonder how long itís taken to...grow that size, eh? A hundred or two hundred years, eh?
IAN: Doctor, if your assumption was correct and this is Vortis, what do you know of itís history?
DOCTOR: History! Doesnít mean anything when you travel through space and time. (He laughs.)

(The ZARBI push them forward.)

DOCTOR: All right, all right! Donít push, donít push!


20: INT. CARSENOME. CONTROL ROOM

(VICKI is now somewhat braver and glares defiantly at the ZARBI. One of them steps away and up to the TARDIS doors...)


21: INT. TARDIS. CONSOLE ROOM

(It hesitates on the threshold, then tries to enter the ship. Suddenly, the chirruping noise become faster and high pitched as if it is in pain. It quickly backs out...)


22: INT. CARSENOME. CONTROL ROOM

(The ZARBI turns round and round in distress. As it comes to a halt, a alarm sounds through the room although it seems to emanate from one of the tendril walls. The DOCTOR and IAN walk into the room. The first thing they spot is the TARDIS.)

DOCTOR: My ship! The doors are open!

(IAN has seen VICKI and rushes over to her past the ZARBI guarding her.)

IAN: Vicki!
VICKI: (Hugging him.) Oh, Ian! Ian!
IAN: Itís all right, Vicki, Donít worry. Whereís Barbara?
VICKI: I donít know. I...I was asleep. She must have left the ship.

(The DOCTOR is angrily examining the outside of the TARDIS.)

DOCTOR: Whatís the meaning of this, child, hmm? Who tried to get in here?
VICKI: I donít know! I donít know!

(The DOCTOR furiously turns on the ZARBI.)

DOCTOR: What do you creatures want? Erh? Hmm?

(They quickly surround him.)


23: EXT. VORTIS

(At a loss as to what to do, BARBARA drops rocks into one of the pools of acid. Walking away from the pool, she finds herself surrounded by two chirruping ZARBI who push her to the ground.)

BARBARA: No! Ahh!


24: INT. CAVE

(Inside the cave, the three Menoptra argue in their quiet graceful way over the use of their communications device.)

HRHOONDA: Vrestin, use that and we shall all be destroyed. The Zarbi are all around us. If you break communicator silence, they will know where they may find us.
VRESTIN: If we do not contact our forces, they face destruction. We must warn them of the power of the Animus.

(VRESTINíS alien pronunciation makes this latter word come out as ďAnimooseĒ.)

HROSTAR: And...of the strength...of the larvae gun.
VRESTIN: The Zarbi are matched together against us.

(HRHOONDA walks to the cave entrance and guards it with his crystalline spear. VRESTIN and HROSTAR activate the communicator. This device looks crystalline in manufacture. It hums into life.)

VRESTIN: Pilot party to Menoptra invasion force.

(VRESTIN re-tunes the set by moving several of its spars. The sound of static is all that is heard.)

VRESTIN: Pilot party to Menoptra invasion force. This is Vrestin. Urgent report. Urgent report.

(There is more static.)

HROSTAR: They...are in reach...of the enemy locators. They will not break...communicator silence.
VRESTIN: They will. They can echo their signals to us on satellite Taron.

(VRESTIN re-tunes the communicator.)

VRESTIN: Menoptra spearhead - acknowledge reception.

(The sound of static continues.)

HROSTAR: Vrestin, itís no use. The cave...is cutting off...our signal.
VRESTIN: Yes. We must try again - from outside the cave.
HROSTAR: If they catch us...we must break the transmitter.
HRHOONDA: (From the cave entrance.) Vrestin! Hrostar! The Zarbi!


25: EXT. VORTIS

(Outside the cave, BARBARA again possessed, walks ahead of the two ZARBI towards the Menoptra hiding place.)


26: INT. CAVE

(One of the ZARBI enters first. HRHOONDA hits it with his crystal spear but it is of little use.)

HROSTAR: Vrestin! Smash the crystal! Smash the crystal, Vrestin!

(HROSTAR helps HRHOONDA whilst VRESTIN sabotages the communicator. With a rising noise like a jet engine, one of the larvae grubs fires a shot from its snout, there is a flash and HRHOONDA falls to the floor with a cry.)

HROSTAR: Vrestin, run! Get away! Get away!

(VRESTIN runs through a second entrance to the cave at the back. BARBARA stands in the first entrance. A gold wishbone shaped necklace hangs off her shoulders. Her face is blank. As the ZARBI examine the smashed communicator, HROSTAR pulls the necklace from her shoulders and manages to drop it on the floor before it gains possession of him. BARBARA rubs her eyes as she wakes...)

HROSTAR: We...are safe...for the present.
BARBARA: How did I get back here?
HROSTAR: You...were...morphotised. Look!

(HROSTAR points to the dropped necklace.)

BARBARA: I donít understand.
HROSTAR: The Zarbi...can control everyone - even us, the Menoptra - when they use that metal.

(BARBARA kneels down to examine the necklace.)

BARBARA: Gold!

(She reaches out to it.)

HROSTAR: Donít touch!
BARBARA: I see. So it was the bracelet. What will they do to us?
HROSTAR: We...are to be taken...to the Crater of Needles.
BARBARA: And then?
HROSTAR: They...will put us to work. Once there...you might well wish...that...you had not been spared.

(The venom grub pushes HROSTAR away from BARBARA. The two ZARBI push him to the ground as the grub aims its snout weapon it his wings. BARBARA, horrified, looks away as she realises what is going to happen...)


27: INT. CARSENOME. CONTROL ROOM

(The DOCTOR uses hand signals to try and communicate with the ZARBI. They chirrup away as he points between the TARDIS, himself, his companions and the ZARBI themselves. They make no other response.)

IAN: No, the Doctorís not getting through to them.

(One of the tendril covered walls bursts into life with light and sound. The ZARBI rush over to it.)

IAN: That sounds like an alarm.

(The ZARBI turn back and push the DOCTOR into the centre of the room. A transparent tendril-covered tube descends from the ceiling and over the DOCTORíS head. He stands still as a voice, feminine and full of menace, echoes out of the tube...)

ANIMUS VOICE: Why do you come now?


Next Episode
ESCAPE TO DANGER


Dr. Who
WILLIAM HARTNELL

Ian Chesterton
WILLIAM RUSSELL

Barbara Wright
JACQUELINE HILL

Vicki
MAUREEN OíBRIEN

The Menoptra

Vrestin
ROSLYN DE WINTER

Hrostar
ARNE GORDON

Hrhoonda
ARTHUR BLAKE

Zarbi Operators
ROBERT JEWELL
HUGH LUND
KEVIN MANSER
JACK PITT
JOHN SCOTT MARTIN
GERALD TAYLOR

Animus Voice
CATHERINE FLEMING

Insect movement by
ROSLYN DE WINTER

Title music by
RON GRAINER
and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Story Editor
DENNIS SPOONER

Designer
JOHN WOOD

Producer
VERITY LAMBERT

Directed by
RICHARD MARTIN

(c) BBC tv

Transcribed By
JOHN TOMLINSON

 

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