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(The DOCTOR, in the happiest of moods, drives Bessie along a perimeter road, "singing" Verdi's "La Donna e Mobile" at the top of his voice, although his grasp of the words in tenuous to say the least.)

DOCTOR: "Ra, ra, rum, rum, da, ra! Ra, ra, rum, rum, dum ,dum! La Donne e Mobile! Ra, ra , rum, rum da, ra! De, dah, da, rum, da, rah! Da ,de, da, dum, da, da, Da, da, da, rum, dum!"

(Still singing, he turns a corner and drives into a vast industrial complex, full of chimneys, cooling towers, railway lines, gantries and various other buildings. Waving to a gatehouse guard as he goes, he drives past a sign which reads "RESTRICTED AREA. KEEP OUT")


(Within the complex, someone else is whistling just as tunelessly as the DOCTOR as he rides his bike. Dressed in a set of white overalls, this is HARRY SLOCUM, a swarthy, moustached, maintenance man who brings his bike to a halt next to set of railway lines. Then, carrying a toolbox from the back of the bike, he walks towards the concrete blockhouse entrance to the central control complex building. As he does so, one of the technicians - BROMLEY - walks out.)

HARRY SLOCUM: Hello, John, how's it going on in there?
BROMLEY: Oh, still drilling away like mad.
HARRY SLOCUM: Sound's more like a blooming dentist!

(The two men part and SLOCUM enters the building.)


(SLOCUM enters the quiet, efficient central control room. A large futuristic computer unit sits in the main part of the floor. The back of the room is on a higher level and has control consoles as a divide between the two sections and also on the back wall. To the right are steps leading to the upper level and also as an exit from the room. To the upper left is a passageway leading to the drill-head and to the left of that is a bunker-type door leading to an office. The area is mostly staffed with technicians in white lab coats but SLOCUM heads for one smartly suited, kindly-looking man in glasses and a bow tie who stands with a clipboard looking over the computer.)

HARRY SLOCUM: Excuse me, Sir Keith?
HARRY SLOCUM: You called for someone from maintenance.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Ah yes. I'd like you to have a look a number two output pipe.
HARRY SLOCUM: Oh, on the blink again, is she?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Yes, I've had it take out of service. We've switched over to one and three.
HARRY SLOCUM: Okay, let's take a look at it.

(SIR KEITH leads SLOCUM down the passageway to the drill-head.)


(Here, the quiet hum of computers is replaced by the roar of industrial machinery. In the centre of the room is a small platform with a large metal tube leading down into the bowels of the Earth. Around it are four slimmer tubes - the output pipes. SIR KEITH leads the way to No. 2 pipe and SLOCUM kneels to inspect it.)

HARRY SLOCUM: I see what you mean. Okay, I'll fix it up.
SIR KEITH GOLD: As quickly as possible, please. Professor Stahlman doesn't want any delays.
HARRY SLOCUM: (Smiles.) Don't worry about it. It doesn't look too serious.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Good, thank you.

(SIR KEITH leaves and SLOCUM begins work.)


(A man and a woman enter the central control room. The man is suited, balding and with a neat pointed beard. He has a perpetual scowl on his face. The woman is younger, blond and attractive and wearing a blue flower patterned dress and carrying a clipboard. They are PROFESSOR STAHLMAN and his P.A. - PETRA WILLIAMS. The PROFESSOR spots SIR KEITH returning from the drill-head and calls over to him.)


(SIR KEITH comes over.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Why has the drilling rate been slowed down?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Oh, number two pipe is out of action. Naturally, we had to decelerate.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Oh, I do understand the technical problems.
SIR KEITH GOLD: I didn't mean to imply otherwise...
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: What I don't understand is why you took it upon yourself to interfere.

(SIR KEITH ignores the insult and smiles.)

SIR KEITH GOLD: Well, I saw the malfunction report on number two pipe several days ago. I saw no report of its repair. I assumed you must have overlooked it.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: I overlook nothing, Sir Keith. The malfunction on number two pipe's not sufficient to warrant a stoppage in the drilling...and you have no authority to order one.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Professor Stahlman, as Executive Director of this project, my concerns...
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: (Interrupting.) Your concern is with such important matters as the...canteen facilities and the new roster for the cleaners. Anything to do with the drilling is my concern and mine alone - and that includes minor maintenance problems.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Surely in a situation like this, there's no such thing as a minor problem?
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Sir Keith, I'll make a bargain with you - you stay away from my drilling...and I'll let you run your canteen!

(He strides off. An embarrassed PETRA raises her eyebrows to SIR KEITH and follows her boss. SIR KEITH, well used to the PROFESSOR'S manner, seems philosophical.)


(SLOCUM continues his repair, pulling at some nuts with a huge wrench. Suddenly, from under the output pipe casing, a small amount of a green smoking slime starts to emerge. SLOCUM hesitantly touches the substance which spurts smoke as he does so. He snatches his fingers back in pain. Opening his shaking hand, he sees that his palm and fingers are now stained a dark green. A strange noise starts to penetrate his head as he stares at his hand in wide-eyed horror...)


(SIR KEITH has managed to get PETRA on her own...)

SIR KEITH GOLD: Why is he so unreasonable? You'd think I was some sort of a rival.
PETRA WILLIAMS: He's been working on this project all his life. Naturally, he feels possessive about it.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Mmm. Well I've got another piece of news he won't altogether care for...
PETRA WILLIAMS: What's that?
SIR KEITH GOLD: I've sent for a drilling consultant - a chap called Greg Sutton. One of the most experienced oilmen in the world.
PETRA WILLIAMS: But this isn't an oil rig. We use a totally different method of drilling.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Yes, yes, I know, but...I'd feel happier if someone on this project knew a little more about the purely practical aspects of drilling - and its dangers.

(Anticipating fireworks, PETRA looks worried.)

PETRA WILLIAMS: When does he arrive?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Oh, anytime now. He's flying in from Kuwait.

(Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, SLOCUM walks out of the drill-head. However his whole manner has changed - instead of his previous jaunty chipper self, he now strides slowly along, staring straight ahead. He passes the computer where STAHLMAN is at work. He gives the maintenance man the briefest of glances as he walks by.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Oh, have you finished?

(SLOCUM speaks in a totally emotionless voice...)


(..and walks out, leaving a satisfied STAHLMAN behind.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Good. (To a technician.) Put number two pipe back into service and accelerate drilling speed three-and-a-half percent.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Perhaps we can now make up for lost time.


(Slightly unsteady on his feet, SLOCUM staggers out of the blockhouse entrance. Carrying his wrench, he makes his way over to the railway line, looking like a man in a daze. He reaches some metal steps leading up to a gantry and falls against them. In a brick blockhouse, a technician sees him and runs out to assist. As he gets to SLOCUM, the maintenance man springs into life with a guttural roar. He pushes the man to the ground, raises the wrench and...)


(...SERGEANT BENTON hammers a nail into a wall. He then hands a framed photograph of a regiment on the nail. Behind him, BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART enters the room through a large bulkhead door which leads off the central control room. He looks over the room.)


(BENTON stands to attention.)

SERGEANT BENTON: Morning, sir.

(He looks over the room.)

SERGEANT BENTON: It's the best they could do us on such short notice.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: It'll do. Have you contacted the Doctor?
SERGEANT BENTON: He's on his way over, sir.
SERGEANT BENTON: No sir. The lads are still looking.

(The BRIGADIER sits at the desk.)

SERGEANT BENTON: It's a rambling place this, sir. Slocum knows it a lot better than we do. If we have more men, we could...
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: (Interrupting.) No, we don't want a panic.

(The door from central control opens and the DOCTOR walks in.)

DOCTOR: Hello, Brigadier. Making yourself at home.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: (Warmly.) How are you, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Fine, thank you, fine.

(He spots another a pile of more regimental photographs on the desk and picks one up, looking over the posed rows of soldiers.)

DOCTOR: Good heavens! Which one's you?
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Well, don't you recognise the one?
DOCTOR: No, no, no, don't tell me - let me guess.

(He looks across the picture.)

DOCTOR: Not that one...not that one...well, none of them?
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Fifth from left - third row.

(The DOCTOR looks and bursts out laughing.)

DOCTOR: Yes, well if it's true, I can see why you grew that moustache!

(BENTON grins until the BRIGADIER gives him a cold stare.)

BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Trouble seems to follow you, doesn't it, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Mmm? What do you mean?
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: You persuade me to allow you and Miss Shaw to attend this project as observers...
DOCTOR: (Interrupts.) Allow? Look, Miss Shaw may have the misfortune to work for you, Brigadier, I am a free agent.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: And within a few hours of your arrival, I have a motiveless murder on my hands.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Late yesterday afternoon, one of the technicians was beaten to death with this.

(The BRIGADIER takes a folder off the top of a tray. SLOCUM'S wrench sits in it. The DOCTOR picks up the tray.)

DOCTOR: And do you know who did the killing?
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: The wrench was found near the body. It belongs to a drill-head rigger called Harry Slocum. We're still looking for him.
DOCTOR: Do you know anything about him?
SERGEANT BENTON: Seems to have been one of the most popular men on the complex, sir.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Something else, Doctor. Try touching the wrench.

(The DOCTOR gingerly does so.)

DOCTOR: Ah, it's still warm.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: When it was first found it was red hot - as though it had been in a furnace. Any theories?

(The DOCTOR leans over the tray.)

DOCTOR: Oh, if the wrench had been subjected to intense energy, it might have disturbed its atomic make-up.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Chase up those patrols will you, Benton? I want that man Slocum found.
SERGEANT BENTON: Right away, sir.

(BENTON leaves.)

BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Doctor, why were you so keen to observe this project?
DOCTOR: Well, it's a matter of great scientific interest, my dear fellow. First penetration of the Earth's crust. Well, naturally I'm interested.
DOCTOR: Yes, well I'd concentrate on finding that rigger if I was you. Well, excuse me, I must get back to work.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: You're taking part in the project?
DOCTOR: Yes, in a way. Some related experiments, you know?

(He smiles and walks out.)


(SIR KEITH is showing a stocky, casually dressed man around the control area. They are walking out of the control room.)

GREG SUTTON: ...Getting a respectable tan - bingo! I get snatched off a drill rig in Kuwait just when I'm sure we've made a strike, flown back so fast my stomach's still over the Med and I still haven't the faintest idea what I'm supposed to be doing here!
SIR KEITH GOLD: Well, I asked for a top oil rig man, Mr. Sutton and you're the one they sent me.
GREG SUTTON: Well, that's very flattering. Now look, this is a government project, right?
GREG SUTTON: So now I'm a sort of...temporary civil servant?
SIR KEITH GOLD: (Smiles.) Broadly speaking - yes. How do you like the idea?
GREG SUTTON: No comment!

(SUTTON sees the five pipes of the drill-head.)

GREG SUTTON: Well, what's this supposed to be?
SIR KEITH GOLD: That, Mr. Sutton, is the drill-head.
GREG SUTTON: That is a drill-head? You've got to be joking!
SIR KEITH GOLD: (Proudly.) No, that's a drill-head, I assure you. The only one of its kind in the world.
GREG SUTTON: Well, how deep are you?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Twenty miles.
GREG SUTTON: (Amazed.) Twenty miles! Oh, come on now! You'd get such a whip in the drill pipes, they'd fracture.
SIR KEITH GOLD: No pipes, Mr. Sutton. A robot drill with its built-in power source, fed by cables from our own nuclear reactor.
GREG SUTTON: Twenty miles! Well, you're liable to wake up Old Nick going that deep.
SIR KEITH GOLD: (Laughs.) Yes! As a matter of fact, some of the technicians have nicknamed this place "the Inferno". Come round here.

(SIR KEITH walks round the small room, pointing out various pieces to GREG.)

SIR KEITH GOLD: There's the monitoring system over there, you see? Then over here we have the alarm circuitry.
GREG SUTTON: What's it all in aid of?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Well, soon we shall penetrate the Earth's crust...and then we'll be able to tap the pockets of Stahlman's gas that lie beneath it.
GREG SUTTON: Pockets of what?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Stahlman's gas - so named in honour of the originator of the project.
GREG SUTTON: You mean like North Sea gas?
SIR KEITH GOLD: No, no, no, no - an infinitely more powerful energy source.
GREG SUTTON: What do you do with it once you've got it?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Well, according to Professor Stahlman, we shall have, quote, "a vast new storehouse of energy which has lain dormant since the beginning of time", unquote.
GREG SUTTON: You learn something new every day.

(He goes back to the pipes of the drill-head.)

GREG SUTTON: Now what did you say these pipes do?
SIR KEITH GOLD: They syphon the coolant chemical down to the bore.
GREG SUTTON: Okay, Sir Keith, well I get the picture, but I still don't see where I fit in.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Well, I want someone on the project who's got a good practical knowledge of drilling...and of coping with any emergencies that may arise.
GREG SUTTON: Are you having trouble here then?
GREG SUTTON: But you may have?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Well, it's my job to cover any eventuality, Mr. Sutton. Now it's time I introduced you to some of the senior staff.

(He shows him out of the drill-head.)


(A countdown clock on the central computer reads 59:28:47 and clicks down a second at a time. PETRA is at the computer frowning with concealed worry as SIR KEITH and GREG walk out of the passage from the drill-head and towards her.)

SIR KEITH GOLD: Petra - this is Mr. Sutton, the oil man I told you about. Er, this is Miss Petra Williams who has been personal assistant to the Professor for some years now.
PETRA WILLIAMS: (Coldly.) How do you do?
GREG SUTTON: All the better for seeing you, Petra. Perhaps you could help me settle in the place?
PETRA WILLIAMS: How do you mean, Mr. Sutton?
GREG SUTTON: Well, you know, show me round, dash off a few letters. Perhaps I could borrow you for a bit.

(PETRA collects her thoughts...)

PETRA WILLIAMS: Mr. Sutton, I am Professor Stahlman's personal assistant - not a typist, and I'm not available for borrowing. (To SIR KEITH.) Will you excuse me?

(She strides off.)

GREG SUTTON: (To SIR KEITH.) I'd say I'd been snubbed. Wouldn't you?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Huh! Come and meet the boss.

(STAHLMAN is on the upper level at the back of the room, giving final instructions to a technician. SIR KEITH and SUTTON walk up to him.)

SIR KEITH GOLD: May I present Professor Eric Stahlman, the instigator of the entire project.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: (Snaps.) Instigator? You make it sound as if I'd perpetrated some crime against humanity.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Hardly that, Professor. Er, this is Mr. Sutton.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: So I gather. Another recruit to your cause, no doubt.
GREG SUTTON: What cause?
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Well, his crusade to bring this whole operation to a grinding halt, Mr. Sutton.
SIR KEITH GOLD: (Embarrassed.) Professor, please...
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Well, he's a dedicated man, you see, dedicated to stifling us with over-caution and an over-abundance of "experts" and advisors. We're drowning in them, Mr. Sutton.
GREG SUTTON: I didn't volunteer for this job, you know?
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: (Smiles.) How you came here is of no importance to me. You're here. We see them everywhere, advisors on this, ha! Advisors on that...

(At the moment, the DOCTOR walks into central control. STAHLMAN gestures at him.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Look, there's another one!

(The DOCTOR is unconcerned at this "greeting".)

DOCTOR: Our liver playing us up again this morning, is it Professor?

(He smiles and walks off, leaving a furious PROFESSOR behind. GREG sidles up to SIR KEITH.)

GREG SUTTON: You have problems, Sir Keith.

(GREG nods towards the DOCTOR.)

GREG SUTTON: Who's the, er, gentleman in the fancy dress?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Ah ha, that's the Doctor. A brilliant mind. We're very lucky to have him as advisor. Come, I'll introduce you.

(The DOCTOR is at the computer, looking over a print out when SIR KEITH and GREG approach.)

SIR KEITH GOLD: Doctor, may I introduce Mr. Sutton.
GREG SUTTON: Hello, Doc.

(They shake hands.)

DOCTOR: Welcome to the Inferno, Mr. Sutton.
GREG SUTTON: And what do you, er, think of this project, Doc?
DOCTOR: Well, I think that certain people ought to pay a lot more attention to the warnings of this computer.

(GREG looks over at STAHLMAN on the other side of the room.)

GREG SUTTON: Like him, you mean?
DOCTOR: Yes. Mind you, I'm not wild about computers myself but they are a tool. If you have a tool, it's stupid not to use it.

(The DOCTOR wanders over to a large power unit on one side of the room and flicks a switch. A red light comes on. He goes back to GREG and SIR KEITH, pointing back at the power unit.)

DOCTOR: Power for my own little project. Nice to have met you, Mr. Sutton.

(They shake hands again and the DOCTOR makes for the exit, but in doing so, he passes STAHLMAN who is loudly expressing his opinion to PETRA.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: All those so-called experts! They're a waste of valuable time and money.

(The DOCTOR stops in his tracks and goes over to a technician stood near to STAHLMAN. He points a control out to the technician, loudly enough for STAHLMAN to hear.)

DOCTOR: Give that more lateral compensation, old chap, or you'll blow the main condenser banks. Cost thousands to put that right. Waste of valuable time and money! (To STAHLMAN.) Mmm?

(He strides out. STAHLMAN looks at the control indicated by the DOCTOR and sees that he is right - losing face in front of the technician by doing so. He mutters to himself...)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: I'm rapidly losing patience with that man!


(The DOCTOR drives in Bessie through the complex. He approaches a Nissan hut-style garage in front of which is passing an armed UNIT soldier - PRIVATE LATIMER. The DOCTOR brakes in front of the double doors to the garage and LATIMER walks up to him.)

PRIVATE LATIMER: Morning, sir.
DOCTOR: Good morning. Any sign of Slocum yet?
PRIVATE LATIMER: Er, no, we're still searching for him.
DOCTOR: Mmm, nasty business that.

(LATIMER nods at the garage.)

PRIVATE LATIMER: Yes, still you, er, should be safe in there. I'm sure this Harry Slocum character won't have one of your funny gadgets.
DOCTOR: Funny gadgets?

(He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his sonic screwdriver. He presses it and LATIMER smiles as the two doors slide open.)

DOCTOR: (Smiles.) It's only a door handle!

(The DOCTOR drives in.)


(He brakes in the garage and stops the engine. He turns round and closes the doors with the screwdriver and then gets out of car. Whistling, he divests himself of his cloak and gloves. The wall of the garage is lined with shelves of untidily stacked books. At the back of the garage is the TARDIS console with LIZ working on it.)

DOCTOR: Any progress?
LIZ: I've isolated one of the faults.
LIZ: Oh, did you get those figures from the computer?
DOCTOR: Yes, but I think you'll find they only confirm what we already know.

(He hands her his print out from the computer.)

LIZ: Well, I'll check them again anyway.

(LIZ goes over to a series of junction boxes and other equipment near the doors to the garage.)

LIZ: How are things at central control?
DOCTOR: Oh, the usual friction between Sir Keith and Stahlman.
LIZ: Oh, did you see the Brigadier?
DOCTOR: Mmm hmm.

(He grows serious.)

DOCTOR: There's been a murder, Liz.
LIZ: I know. One of the sentries was in earlier making a spot check. He told me about it.
DOCTOR: It's a dreadful business - a murder without a motive.

(He comes out of his reverie.)

DOCTOR: Right, let's get back to work, shall we?

(He starts to look over the console.)

LIZ: Doctor, you're not still thinking of making a run with the TARDIS console, are you?
DOCTOR: Indeed I am. That's why we came here.
LIZ: Now be sensible, it's too dangerous.
DOCTOR: Look Liz...

(He places his hands on her shoulders and speaks gently.)

DOCTOR: Look, without the TARDIS I feel rather lost. A stranger in a foreign land. A shipwrecked mariner!

(LIZ smiles and gives in.)

LIZ: When do you want to make this trial run?
DOCTOR: In a minute.
LIZ: (Worried.) Hey, you're not serious? Why the sudden rush?

(The DOCTOR ignores the question.)

DOCTOR: Right, we've been over this many times. You know exactly what to do, don't you?
LIZ: Yes.
DOCTOR: Well then, take up your position...and I'll switch the nuclear power through.
LIZ: I wish you'd think again.
DOCTOR: Liz! Please?

(LIZ goes back to the bank of controls and flicks over some switches. She then crosses over to a junction box on the wall and grasps a circuit handle.)

DOCTOR: All right?
LIZ: Right.
DOCTOR: Now at my signal, give me first stage power...and then full boost a fraction later.
LIZ: Supposing it doesn't work?
DOCTOR: I'll think of something - I hope!


(A green hand covered in black fur edges round a chemical container. It belongs to SLOCUM, fast evolving into a primitive creature and acting like a hunted animal. His face is now the same green colour as his hands. He looks round and then runs to a sliding door marked "NUCLEAR REACTOR SWITCH ROOM". He pulls the door open and enters.)


(Within the building, BROMLEY the technician stands speaking into a wall phone. Computer banks line the wall of the little room and there is a flat-table console in the middle of the floor space.)

BROMLEY: (Into phone.) Yes, yes, that's right. All readings normal - no peaks at all.

(He listens as SLOCUM'S hand edges round the door and he starts to enter the room.)

BROMLEY: (Into phone.) Yeah. Mmm hmm. Look, I've done a complete routine check.

(SLOCUM approaches BROMLEY from behind.)

BROMLEY: (Into phone.) No, everything's very quiet up here.


(The DOCTOR flicks a couple of switches on the TARDIS console and checks a reading.)

DOCTOR: Right, stand by, Liz.

(LIZ is still at the circuit handle.)

LIZ: Standing by, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Switch to first stage power.

(LIZ pushes the handle up and a hum fills the room as the power comes through.)

DOCTOR: Full boost, Liz.

(LIZ pushes a second handle up and a dial on a voltmeter shoots up towards, but not on, the red area.)


(SLOCUM stands over the unconscious body of BROMLEY. Breathing heavily, he then staggers over to a console in the middle of the room. He looks down on it and suddenly puts his hands to his head and cries out in pain. He then pulls a handle on the power switch into the red area. The hum of the reactor rises.)


(The effect on the DOCTOR'S experiment is instantaneous as the TARDIS console begins to shake. He grasps the edge and yells out...)

DOCTOR: Too much power, Liz! Too much power!

(LIZ is desperately pulling down on both the circuit handles.)

LIZ: I can't cut back! The circuits are locked and overloaded!

(She hears the speeded-up sound of the TARDIS dematerialising and sees the shaking console and the DOCTOR fade away.)

19: VOID

(The DOCTOR is in a darkened void. Flashes of light illuminate his distorted face as he gives out a silent scream. Still holding onto the console, he is buffeted about the void. His features seem to be pulled apart and then, he is wrenched from his grasp of the console and into limbo. His face shows agony as he seems to be torn in two...)


(LIZ manages to pull one of the circuit handles down. The voltmeter reduces slightly.)

21: VOID

(There is no noticeable effect on the DOCTOR who is still torn within the maelstrom...)


(LIZ is having no success with the second handle. She looks round and sees a small stick of woos on a nearby bench. She grabs it and puts it behind the stuck handle as a lever and pulls. She manages to yank it back. The voltmeter drops to zero.)

23: VOID

(The two torn images of the DOCTOR blend into one and disappear.)


(The TARDIS console is already back in the garage. The DOCTOR appears on the floor, upside down with his feet on the console's edge. His feet fall and he lies on the floor, somewhat stunned. LIZ makes sure that the power is switched off and then rushes over to him. He is now sat up with his hand to his head.)

LIZ: Doctor! Are you all right?

(He lets out a gasp of breath.)

DOCTOR: I still feel dizzy. I seem to be in one piece anyway.
LIZ: What happened? Where did you go?

(The DOCTOR thinks...)

DOCTOR: I'm not sure...I seemed to be in some sort of limbo...there was a barrier I couldn't break through. We must make another trial run.
LIZ: (Shocked.) After all that?
DOCTOR: Because of all that. I wonder where I was exactly? Where I was going?
LIZ: Wherever you were, you very nearly didn't get back.
DOCTOR: Well, next time we must ensure that I do.

(Suddenly, a strident klaxon alarm echoes across the complex.)

LIZ: The drill-head!

(They rush to Bessie and climb in.)


(Smoke is pouring out of the five pipes at the drill-head.)


(A heat-proof metal blast door slides down over the entrance to the drill-head from the control room. PETRA is on the phone.)

PETRA WILLIAMS: (Into phone.) I must get through to the main switch-room - this is an emergency!

(STAHLMAN strides into the control room where technicians rush about trying to deal with the crisis. One technician follows him.)


(SIR KEITH is with GREG.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Did you order those shield to be lowered?
SIR KEITH GOLD: Well, this is a Red-One emergency, Professor.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Is it? I haven't said so yet.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Surely it's quite obvious?

(STAHLMAN turns to his waiting technician.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Get those shields back up again now.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Professor Stahlman...
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: (To SIR KEITH.) Anything that happens in this area is my responsibility.
SIR KEITH GOLD: Well at least order the power to be shut off.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: What and stop the drill?

(STAHLMAN spots PETRA on the phone.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Petra, have you contacted the reactor yet?
PETRA WILLIAMS: I still can't get an answer, Professor.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Well, you must get an answer!

(STAHLMAN walks over to join her leaving GREG and SIR KEITH alone.)

GREG SUTTON: At that depth and that pressure...you'll never get it going again. The drill-bit would seize up immediately. You'd have to abandon the bore.
SIR KEITH GOLD: That mighten be a bad idea.

(STAHLMAN has taken the phone off PETRA.)

PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: (Into phone.) Look, try them again and keep on trying until you get 'em. (To PETRA.) Petra, see if they have the coolant flowing yet.

(PETRA runs across the room to the drill-head. GREG sees where she is going and runs after her.)

GREG SUTTON: Hey, wait a minute.

(He grabs her arm.)

GREG SUTTON: I wouldn't go in there if I was you.
PETRA WILLIAMS: Will you let go of my arm?!
GREG SUTTON: The pressure in there could blow the roof right off this building!
PETRA WILLIAMS: (Sharply.) Thank you, I know what can happen. But I have a job to do. Now just don't interfere!

(She runs off and GREG shouts after her over the sound of the klaxon alarm...)

GREG SUTTON: Are you some kind of idiot?!

(Meanwhile, the DOCTOR and LIZ run into the control room and join SIR KEITH who is at the computer looking at a print out tape.)

SIR KEITH GOLD: Ah, Doctor, can you make any sense of this data?

(As the DOCTOR studies the tape, the BRIGADIER walks in and joins them.)

DOCTOR: There's been a nuclear power surge. Actually, we experienced it ourselves earlier. It's gone quite mad...at the reactor.
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: There's been another murder. One of my soldiers.
DOCTOR: Where was the body found?
DOCTOR: Anywhere near the reactor?
BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE STEWART: Not all that far from it.

(The DOCTOR goes over to STAHLMAN who is furiously scribbling on a notepad.)

DOCTOR: Professor? We think we know what's wrong.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Doctor, stop wasting my time, will you?
DOCTOR: Well, I'm afraid I was wrong, Professor.
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: (Surprised.) What?
DOCTOR: It's not so much your liver as your general disposition!

(He walks off leaving again a furious PROFESSOR.)

DOCTOR: Brigadier, come on.

(The BRIGADIER follows him out as PETRA runs out of the smoke that fills the passage to the drill-head. Her coughs are mixed in with the klaxon alarm. She goes to STAHLMAN and GREG joins them.)

PETRA WILLIAMS: Professor Stahlman...
PROFESSOR STAHLMAN: Yeah, what's happening in there?
PETRA WILLIAMS: The coolant controls are jammed with the heat.

(STAHLMAN himself runs towards the drill-head. PETRA grabs a clipboard and is about to follow but GREG stands in her way.)

GREG SUTTON: I wouldn't go back in there.
PETRA WILLIAMS: Rather nervous for an oil man aren't you, Mr. Sutton?
GREG SUTTON: I'm not nervous, darling, I'm terrified! I know what can happen in there!
GREG SUTTON: I doubt it - and you're not brave, you're just plain stupid!
PETRA WILLIAMS: Professor Stahlman knows what's happening. He can deal with it.

(PETRA runs off after the PROFESSOR.)

GREG SUTTON: Do you wanna bet?

(GREG follows her.)


(Smoke continues to pour out of the drill-head and the klaxon blares away. PETRA and GREG run into the room as the PROFESSOR and a technician desperately try to turn a wheel on the coolant pipeline.)

GREG SUTTON: Okay, Professor, let me have a go at that.

(GREG takes the PROFESSOR'S place at the wheel.)

GREG SUTTON: Hold tight everyone, we'll soon have it under control!


(The DOCTOR and the BRIGADIER rush into the switch room closely followed by SERGEANT BENTON and PRIVATE WYATT. The DOCTOR instantly spots BROMLEY on the floor.)


(They bend down to examine him. On the other side of the room, another door is thrown open and the roaring, snarling SLOCUM bursts in...)

Next Episode

Doctor Who

Liz Shaw

Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart

Professor Stahlman

Sir Keith Gold

Greg Sutton

Petra Williams

Sergeant Benton

Private Latimer

Private Wyatt

Harry Slocum


Title Music by

Visual Effects by



Film Cameraman

Film Sound

Film Editor

Script Editor



Directed by


BBC 1971


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