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(The citadel of Peladon is literally carved halfway up the side of a sheer mountain. It turrets, walls and towers are of the same dark rock of the mountain. Hundreds of feet above ground level, it gives the appearance of an impenetrable medieval fortress. The citadel and the mountain are lashed by rain and storm. Winds blow the stark trees at the base of the edifice and flashes of lightning illuminate the impressive scene.)


(The medieval theme is continued within the citadel. Stark passages are gloomily lit by torches affixed to brackets on the wall. Along one of these passages, a man on the cusp of old age strides along. He wears an impressive robe and cloak, both of an imperial purple colour. The collar of the cloak is trimmed with an animal fur. He sports an impressive head of white hair and a similar white beard but both have long streaks of red within them. He walks up to a set of double doors on which primitively attired guards stand on duty with pikestaffs raised. They open the doors for the man and he enters the throne room beyond.)


(This chamber is better lit than others in the citadel. Within the room are more guards with pikestaffs and another figure who is dressed and groomed in identical fashion to the newcomer. This is HEPESH, High Priest of Peladon who bestows on the newly arrived TORBIS, Chancellor to the King, a look of barely concealed contempt which is returned to him. The Monarch himself, PELADON, sits on a simple throne which is one a raised dais at the far end of the room. Barely into his twenties, he too has a white head of hair, also streaked with red but no beard. His clothes are similar to the two other men but his cloak is waist length and has no fur. He presents the appearance of weak youth, struggling to be strong in the face of immense responsibilities. Behind PELADON stands GRUN, the King's champion. An immense man, white haired without the red streak, he is dressed in the uniform of the guards and now stands sentinel in the post of the King's personal bodyguard. TORBIS puts one foot on the steps of the throne and smiles at his King.)

TORBIS: The delegate from Alpha Centauri has arrived, your Majesty. He will present his credentials to you shortly.
PELADON: Thank you, Torbis.
TORBIS: We wait now only for the chairman delegate from Earth, then the discussions can begin.

(HEPESH can stand no more and steps forward, speaking to TORBIS with frustration and impatience in his voice.)

HEPESH: You will persist then in this folly? Nothing I can say will deter you?

(TORBIS sounds weary as he turns and faces his adversary.)

TORBIS: Hepesh, you have already had your say in the Grand Council. The question has been discussed and decided.
HEPESH: Decided by you, Torbis, and the fools who support you! You mislead the King, you abandon the ancient ways of our people!
TORBIS: Nothing but ignorance and superstition.
HEPESH: You will bring the curse of Aggedor upon us!
TORBIS: It'll take much more than your childish mumbo jumbo to frighten me.

(PELADON has been watching the argument with increasing irritation. He holds up one hand and calls out...)

PELADON: Enough!

(PELADON stands and shouts down at the two men.)

PELADON: I will not have my Chancellor and my High Priest squabbling on the steps of the throne!
HEPESH: You Majesty is right to rebuke us, nevertheless I must pursue...!
TORBIS: (Interrupts.) Must I remind you, Priest...!
PELADON: (Interrupts.) My friends!

(They stop squabbling once more. PELADON sighs and steps down to the two men. He speaks with passion.)

PELADON: My good friends. You are more to me than my Chancellors, my regents, much more! It grieves my heart to hear such hate between two brothers.
TORBIS: May I speak, your Majesty?
PELADON: Very well.
TORBIS: It was not I who chose to quarrel. Ever since the death of his exalted Majesty, your father, I have been as a parent to you. If you should forget now all that I have ever taught you, if you should let the superstitious fear of this foolish man...

(He stares at HEPESH who takes the bait...)

HEPESH: The folly has not been mine ___!

(PELADON holds up a hand for silence from HEPESH but TORBIS has already started shouting over him...)

TORBIS: Your Majesty, my whole life would be a failure, as a sacred trust, I am the ___.
HEPESH: (Interrupts, shouting.) Sacred___?!
PELADON: (Interrupts, shouting.) Hepesh, please?!

(He turns back to TORBIS and speaks quietly...)

PELADON: Torbis, I shall not betray you.
HEPESH: But, Sire!

(PELADON swings round on his High Priest.)

PELADON: No, Hepesh! The decision has been taken. If the committee of assessment judges favourably, then Peladon will join the galactic federation. And I shall expect your loyal help and support at this difficult time.

(HEPESH bows his head and sounds sincere but the look of anger and disapproval never leaves his face.)

HEPESH: Your Majesty.

(Having received this gesture, PELADON turns back to TORBIS.)

PELADON: Torbis, please inform the others that Alpha Centauri has arrived.

(He salutes his Chancellor with an arm across the chest and turns back to the throne. TORBIS throws HEPESH a look of barely concealed triumph and leaves the room. HEPESH watches him go with an inscrutable look on his face.)


(Leaving the throne room, TORBIS strides down the passage.)


(He heads down another long, torch-lit passage. As he turns a corner a roar rings out and TORBIS raises his hands in horror. A large fur-covered animal towers over him. It raises a paw and brings it crashing down on the man, who falls to the ground. The creature roars again.)


(The unearthly sound reaches the throne room. GRUN immediately runs out, closely followed by PELADON and HEPESH.)


(GRUN sprints down the passage and is first to reach the stricken Chancellor. As he looks over the barely moving figure, a shadow falls over GRUN and he looks up at the roaring animal. He cowers back as the creature lumbers off into the darkness. PELADON runs up seconds later and sees TORBIS on the ground - now not moving.)

PELADON: (Somewhat distraught.) Torbis! Torbis!

(He cradles the man's head in his hands as HEPESH reaches GRUN.)

HEPESH: Grun, what happened?! What happened, Grun?

(He shakes the huge man as he continues to cower on the ground. GRUN raises his head and makes a strangulated noise. He is a mute. He points up at one of the torch brackets. On its side is the molten image of a horned beast. HEPESH stares at it.)

HEPESH: So, the spirit of Aggedor has risen again. The ancient curse of Peladon...will be fulfilled!


(Lighting flashes and wind continues to batter the citadel. Way below it, on a narrow ledge on the lower slopes of the mountain, the TARDIS materialises.)


(Within, the central column comes to a standstill. The DOCTOR, wearing a checked cloak, and JO, wearing a long velvet evening dress with her hair smartly coiffured, watch it stop. The DOCTOR adjusts controls.)

DOCTOR: There you are, Jo. A perfect landing.
JO: And about time too!
DOCTOR: Now, now, Miss Grant. Let's not be impatient.
JO: Impatient? Look, I'm all dolled up...

(The DOCTOR turns away from her to look over a control. JO walks round to him to get his attention.)

JO: I'm all dolled up for a night out on the town with Mike Yates when you talk me into a joyride in this thing, then...
DOCTOR: (Interrupts.) It's hardly a joyride, Jo. This is the TARDIS' first test flight since I got it working again.
JO: Yes, I know, but you said we'd only...

(The DOCTOR turns away again to look at another control. JO walks round him again to attract his attention.)

JO: You said we'd only be a few minutes, right?

(The DOCTOR is hardly paying attention.)

DOCTOR: Mmm hmm.
JO: Well we've been simply ages. Look, I'm going to be very late, so if you'll just open the doors, ___ I'll be...
DOCTOR: (Interrupts.) One minute, Jo. Routine landing procedures first, eh? Let's see what the scanners have to tell us.

(JO gives up and looks up at the scanner with the DOCTOR. The screen remains resolutely blank.)

JO: Precisely nothing.
DOCTOR: Must be on the blink.

(He moves beneath the console to look for the source of the problem.)

JO: I might have expected it. The TARDIS always is!

(The DOCTOR looks up at her.)

DOCTOR: I hope you're as in good condition when you're as old as she is!

(They both laugh. The DOCTOR returns to his investigations and quickly stands holding a metallic unit in his hands.)

DOCTOR: Now...let's have a look.

(He looks closely at the device.)

DOCTOR: Yes, this is a tiny fault in the interstitial beam synthesiser. Still, I can put that right later.

(He slips it back into his pocket and returns to the console controls.)

JO: Doctor?
DOCTOR: Mmm hmm?
JO: You're sure we're back at base?
DOCTOR: Yes, well everything outside seems perfectly normal. Atmosphere, temperature, gravity -yeah.

(He tickles JO'S chin.)

DOCTOR: Cheer up, Jo. It's a perfect landing.

(Suddenly, the entire room lurches to one side.)

JO: You did say "perfect"?


(The TARDIS is balanced precariously on the ledge, swaying in the strong winds. The doors face towards one side of the ledge, therefore the DOCTOR is able to leap out of the doors. He backs against the cliffside and , blown by the gale, stares down into the abyss below.)

JO: (OOV: Inside the TARDIS.) Doctor, what's the matter?! Where are we?!

(He looks up and gauges their surroundings.)

DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Well, we seem to be half way up a mountain! We're balanced on the edge!

(He looks at the rocking police box.)

JO: (OOV: Inside the TARDIS.) Well, what are we gonna do?!
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Come towards me. Come on!

(JO appears gingerly in the doorway.)

DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Now, give me your hand, very, very gently!

(She reaches her hand out towards his outstretched one.)

DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Ready now?
JO: (Shouts.) Yes!
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Right, jump!

(She half-leaps, and is half-pulled onto the stormy ledge. Like the DOCTOR she backs against the battered cliff-face and clutching each other in the wind, they both watch as the TARDIS pivots off the ledge and, tumbling over and over against the mountain, it falls into the valley below. JO is horrified.)

JO: (Shouts.) It's smashed to pieces!
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Jo, the TARDIS may have its faults, but it is indestructible. Our main worry is how to get to it. We certainly can't climb down there.

(He looks upwards and the flashes of lightning reveal the citadel carved into the rock high above them.)

DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Jo! Jo, look up there!
JO: (Shouts.) Oh, looks a bit doomy.
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Well, we certainly can't recover the TARDIS by ourselves. We'd better get up there and see if we can find help.
JO: (Shouts.) Up there?!
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Yeah, that's right.
JO: (Shouts.) But I'm not exactly dressed for mountaineering.
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Well, you always wait here, I suppose.
JO: (Shouts.) No thanks. Anyway, we don't even know where we are.
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Exactly, so the sooner we find out, the better. Come on.

(He starts to climb.)


(An astonishing creature ambles into the throne room. It has a long yellow body with a green base. Its head is also green and covered in veins and is dominated by one huge eye. From under a long yellow cloak emerge six arms, one of which carries a scroll which it passes to HEPESH as it approaches the throne.)

HEPESH: The delegate from Alpha Centauri, member of the galactic federation, presents his credentials before his Majesty, King Peladon.

(The delegate bows and PELADON, wearing an elaborate studded collar and robe returns a seated bow and salute from the throne. He speaks warmly.)

PELADON: Peladon welcomes the delegate from Alpha Centauri.

(ALPHA CENTAURI speaks in a high-pitched feminine and slightly nervous voice as it twitches away.)

ALPHA CENTAURI: As a member of the preliminary assessment commission, I have great hopes that your planet will be acceptable as candidate for the galactic federation.
PELADON: That is my firm intention. My Chancellor will...

(He stops and corrects himself as a look of sadness crosses his face.)

PELADON: My High Priest will give you all assistance to this end.
HEPESH: (To ALPHA CENTAURI.) We willing accept the hands of true friendship.

(He salutes ALPHA CENTAURI in a similar manner to the King. The delegate bows back.)

HEPESH: Unfortunately, discussions cannot begin until the arrival of the chairman delegate from Earth.
PELADON: He will be here soon, Hepesh, never fear. Earth is many...light years away from us? Is that not so, Alpha Centauri?
ALPHA CENTAURI: Indeed, your Majesty.

(The creature gives out a nervous giggle.)

ALPHA CENTAURI: A remote and unattractive planet at best.

(HEPESH crosses to the King.)

HEPESH: I say again the omens are not good!
PELADON: (Wearily.) Hepesh...
HEPESH: Once before your Majesty saw fit to ignore my warnings, and now your Chancellor, Torbis, lies dead, slain by the wrath of Aggedor...
PELADON: Hepesh, enough!

(But ALPHA CENTAURI has overheard and calls out in a cowardly squeal...)

ALPHA CENTAURI: Slain? Danger here? Then the conference must be cancelled!
PELADON: This is not a matter to trouble the delegates.

(He stands and crosses over to ALPHA CENTAURI speaking as reassuringly as he can.)

PELADON: Torbis, my former Chancellor, died earlier tonight in...mysterious circumstances. But the truth will be brought to light, meanwhile there is no danger to you or to your fellow delegates.
ALPHA CENTAURI: (Unconvinced.) I...accept your Majesty's assurances...
PELADON: Thank you. Lord Hepesh will take you to your fellow delegates.

(HEPESH bows and leads the delegate away. PELADON watches them go with a sigh of relief.)


(Battered by the winds, deafened by the cracks of thunder and startled by the lightning, the DOCTOR and JO make slow and painful progress up the mountain side. JO especially finds the going difficult in her unsuitable shoes, several times losing her foothold. The DOCTOR is slightly ahead of her and reaches another narrow ledge. He pulls her up beside him. She sits and he is about to start off again but JO is exhausted.)

JO: It's no good...I can't go any further...I nearly broke...my neck coming up...this far.
DOCTOR: Well, we certainly can't stay here, Jo. I'll tell you what - let's traverse along this ledge for a bit. I'll see if there's another way out. Have a look that way.
JO: Okay.

(The DOCTOR goes to the left and JO sets off to the right. As he makes his way slowly along, his cloak flapping in the wind, he hears JO'S voice calling from behind him...)

JO: Doctor!
DOCTOR: Well, what is it?

(He looks back but cannot see her.)


(He looks in panic up and down the mountainside.)

DOCTOR: Jo, where are you?! Jo, where are you?!

(She pokes her head out of an opening in the rockface. The DOCTOR crosses to her.)

JO: Over here! Come on!
DOCTOR: What is it?
JO: A tunnel, come on!

(She goes back into the opening and the DOCTOR follows.)


(HEPESH opens a pair of double doors and leads ALPHA CENTAURI into another gloomy torch-lit room.)

HEPESH: This chamber is reserved for the delegate's private meetings.

(Suddenly, they hear a harsh, strangulated vaguely electronic voice.)

ARCTURUS: Greetings - you are the delegate from Alpha Centauri?
HEPESH: The delegate from Arcturus.

(Across the room is another delegate. The base is a square tank-like machine. It is surmounted by a transparent dome which contains a creature which appears to be made up of a wholly skull-like head from which several appendages emanate. A constant stream of live-preserving fluids flow within the dome and a heartbeat sound pulses from within the machine. ALPHA CENTAURI bows to the delegate and crosses over to it.)

ALPHA CENTAURI: Greetings delegate. There has been an incident - a court official has been slain!
ARCTURUS: Slain? There has been violence? I am in danger?
HEPESH: An internal matter, delegate Arcturus. Do not be concerned.
ARCTURUS: The delegation must be concerned! If only for its own safety.
ALPHA CENTAURI: We are committed to the rejection of violence.
ARCTURUS: But we are capable of self-defence, should it prove necessary. Allow me to demonstrate.

(From the base of the machine, a radar dish-type device emerges. A red flash shoots out from this and, across the room, a decorative stone urn on a stand also grows red and starts to smoke. HEPESH flinches as he watches. The red glow disappears and the urn is now a smoking pile of clinker. ARCTURUS' weapon retracts back into the base of its machine.)

ARCTURUS: So, be warned. Do not provoke us.
HEPESH: We desire only your friendship.
ARCTURUS: Then make sure that our mission is not endangered.

(HEPESH bows and leaves the room.)


(The DOCTOR slowly moves along a narrow tunnel. He reaches a grill in the wall beyond which he sees a temple-like room. It is dominated by a huge statute of a rearing horned beast which is lit by flickering torches.)

DOCTOR: Jo, come at look at this.

(JO comes up the tunnel and joins him.)

JO: What on earth is it?
DOCTOR: It looks like some sort of shrine.
JO: I've never seen anything like it before.
DOCTOR: No, neither have I. At least not on Earth. Come on.

(They move off.)


(PELADON and HEPESH stand looking at the empty throne. HEPESH has a hand on the King's shoulder. PELADON, now divested of his elaborate collar and robe, has an attitude that is one of sadness)

PELADON: I remember when you and Torbis first brought me to the throne room.
HEPESH: At first you refused to sit upon the throne. You said that rightfully it could only be your father's place.

(PELADON is emotional...)

PELADON: But Torbis...lifted me up...and set me here. And then you said...
HEPESH: (Interrupts.) And then I said "although the royal blood that flows in your veins is mingled with that of strangers, yet you shall be Peladon of Peladon! Greater than your father, greater than any past or future king"! And then, the Earth woman...

(PELADON interrupts wearily at this description...)

PELADON: And then my mother, Hepesh. She smiled...

(He sits on the throne.)

PELADON: ...and placed my left hand in yours...and my right hand in Torbis'.
HEPESH: And together we made a boy into a king!
PELADON: And now Torbis is dead.
HEPESH: His task was almost done. As mine will be when once I have anointed you king.
PELADON: Why did he die, Hepesh?!
HEPESH: (Passionately.) He saw your future as a servant of the galactic federation! I see you as an independent ruler of a great and glorious kingdom!
PELADON: You really believe he was destroyed by Aggedor, don't you?!
HEPESH: Yes, it was a warning!

(PELADON strides across the throne room.)

PELADON: But the federation delegates are here at my invitation - it should have been me that was struck down!
HEPESH: No! No, it was Torbis blinded by them that would have destroyed your kingdom! You would have become a slave, not a king.
PELADON: But Hepesh, you were always telling me "a king must choose and choose courageously".
HEPESH: Aggedor has shown the way!
PELADON: Backwards into superstition! It was you who taught me to fight, to ride...and to think. Help me to realise my dream. I know what is best for my people.
HEPESH: I do not trust these aliens!
PELADON: Well then trust me!
HEPESH: I tell you, I know their minds! I will not let them lead you into a trap!
PELADON: But their motives are open and honest!
HEPESH: But to them, Peladon, we are merely savages! Savages to be tamed! They despise and distrust us!
PELADON: Then I will talk to them - convince them! Summon the delegates.

(HEPESH hesitates.)

PELADON: (Angrily.) Now, Hepesh!

(The High Priest bows and leaves.)


(The DOCTOR and JO cross through a series of dark tunnels and rock chambers.)

JO: Which way now?
DOCTOR: Which way indeed?

(With no obvious solution, he points one way at a time in four different directions.)

DOCTOR: Eenie, meenie, minie, mo...

(From the fourth direction, there is suddenly the echoing roar of an animal. JO jumps back.)

JO: Meenie?

(The DOCTOR nods and they move off quietly in that direction. As they hear another roar, they come to the end of the tunnel. The cul-de-sac is lit by a single torch on a wall bracket.)

JO: Oh no, it's blocked up.

(The DOCTOR looks at the torch in puzzlement.)

DOCTOR: If the tunnel's never used, why is this torch still alight?

(He reaches for the torch but finds it is affixed to the bracket. He then finds that the entire bracket moves on a pivot and, lowering the bracket, a door in the rock wall behind him suddenly springs open and hits him in the back. JO smiles.)

JO: Right again, Doctor!

(He nods ruefully and they both go through the door.)


(They find that they are behind a tapestry covering one of the walls in a passage of the citadel.)

JO: Where are we?
DOCTOR: Somewhere inside the castle, I should think. Let's take a look around.

(Suddenly, they hear a movement further down the passage and the DOCTOR pulls JO back into hiding behind the tapestry. Once they are concealed, a large being lumbers past. Green in colour, it is covered with a scaly armour and helmet and has two pincer-like hands. It struggles for breath as it walks along past the tapestry. Last seen by the DOCTOR in the Earth's T-Mat control moonbase, a representative of the race of the Ice Warriors is in the citadel of Peladon! The DOCTOR comes out of hiding and, followed by JO, they move to a corner and watch the alien as it continues down the passage. The DOCTOR has a look of intense concern on his face.)

JO: What was that?
DOCTOR: That, Jo, was an Ice Warrior. A native of the planet Mars.
JO: You've seen them before?
DOCTOR: Yes, indeed I have, and believe me, they're not very pleasant company.
JO: Oh, come on, let's get back to the tunnel - quickly.

(They run back to the tapestry but a platoon of palace guards has beaten them to it. Turning back more have appeared from the other direction. They are trapped.)


(The Ice Warrior - SSORG - walks into the throne room. An Ice Lord - IZLYR - awaits his entrance and gestures to his subordinate to stand to one side. IZLYR then turns and bows to the King on the throne. HEPESH and the other two delegates are also in the room and GRUN stands guard again on his monarch.)

PELADON: Thank you. By now, you all know of the tragic incident involving my Chancellor - Torbis. He was more than an advisor, he was, like Hepesh, a trusted friend.

(IZLYR catches his breath and speaks...)

IZLYR: And yet, he was killed - why?
HEPESH: It was a supernatural warning.
PELADON: My High Priest connects this death with one of our ancient legends.
ARCTURUS: Your Priest speaks of a warning. Perhaps it is more than that?
PELADON: Superstition - nothing more!
IZLYR: This incident could well mean a threat...to us, and to the federation.

(PELADON starts to sound desperate.)

PELADON: But it was Torbis who died! The legend only concerns my people.
ALPHA CENTAURI: Your legend seems violent and unpleasant...and rather too convenient.

(HEPESH smarts at this comment...)

HEPESH: The legend of the curse of Peladon has been handed down through countless centuries.
IZLYR: I think, perhaps, we should hear this... "legend"?

(PELADON swallows nervously and nods at HEPESH.)

HEPESH: It concerns the royal beast of Peladon - now extinct. It is written: "Mighty is Aggedor, fiercest of all the beasts of Peladon!" Young men would hunt it to prove their courage, his fur trims our royal garment, his head is our royal emblem.

(He points dramatically at a carving on the wall. Similar pictorial representations adorn the doors within the citadel.)

HEPESH: It is also written that there will come a day when the spirit of Aggedor will rise again to warn and defend his royal master, King Peladon. For on that day, a stranger will appear in the land, bringing peril to Peladon...

(PELADON suddenly sits up as the doors to the throne room are opened and, behind the delegates, the DOCTOR and JO are shown in by the guards.)

HEPESH: ...and great tribulation to his kingdom.

(His voice tails off as all turn and stare at the newcomers. The DOCTOR only has eyes for IZLYR and SSORG who walk menacingly towards him, and then...)

IZLYR: Chairman delegate from Earth...greetings.

(The DOCTOR looks puzzled at this development. Whilst everyone's attention is distracted, HEPESH turns and nods at GRUN. The huge man steps back off the throne dais and ducks behind a wall tapestry to a secret passage as IZLYR introduces himself...)

IZLYR: Delegate Izlyr from Mars. Sub-delegate Ssorg.

(The DOCTOR bows awkwardly. ALPHA CENTAURI holds up one of its six arms for attention.)

ALPHA CENTAURI: Delegate Alpha Centauri. The galactic committee is terribly in need of your experience and judgement!
ARCTURUS: I am delegate Arcturus - you are late!
DOCTOR: Late? Er, yes, my apologies to the committee but, erm, our space-shuttle crash-landed down the mountain. I wonder if something could be done about rescuing it?
HEPESH: That will be arranged. I am Hepesh - High Priest of Peladon.
DOCTOR: How do you do?

(The DOCTOR steps towards him. HEPESH bows and the DOCTOR does the same.)

HEPESH: Protocol demands that you should present formally your credentials to King Peladon. Hand them to me.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid that will not be possible. We have lest everything in the crash.
PELADON: Er, we can deal with protocol later, Hepesh. Present the chairman delegate from Earth - and his companion.

(PELADON is clearly taken with JO - HEPESH less so.)

HEPESH: I presume this female is of royal blood?
DOCTOR: (Nervously.) Well naturally. Why...well, why do you bother to ask?
HEPESH: We are standing in the royal throne room of Peladon. Only men of rank and females of royal blood may set foot here. The penalty for trespass is death.

(The DOCTOR stares at him, thinking furiously. Behind him, JO suddenly speaks out in a haughty, regal tone...)

JO: Doctor, I do not deal through "intermediaries". Kindly present us to our royal host.

(The DOCTOR takes his cue and bows.)

DOCTOR: Yes, of course. (To HEPESH.) Excuse me.

(He somewhat pushes HEPESH aside and approaches the throne. He bends down on one knee.)

DOCTOR: Your Majesty, as delegate from Earth, I greet you.

(He stands and gestures to JO.)

DOCTOR: May I present Her Royal Highness, the Princess Josephine...of TARDIS!

(JO, looking the part in her evening gown, walks forward. The King stands as JO curtsies and then helps her up by her hand. The DOCTOR stands beside them.)

PELADON: Greetings Princess. I'm sorry to hear that your journey ended so...uncomfortably.
JO: The whole affair was most deplorable. The pilot was exceedingly inefficient!

(The DOCTOR shoots JO a look.)

PELADON: Well, I'm glad it was nothing more. You bring a welcome beauty to a serious occasion.
JO: Thank you, your Majesty.


(GRUN comes out from behind another tapestry high up on a ledge which overlooks the passage immediately outside the throne room.)


(Back in the throne room, IZLYR steps forward and addresses JO.)

IZLYR: Your Royal Highness...

(The DOCTOR, alert to the Ice Lord, watches carefully. JO is as taken with the King as he is with her and it is only when the DOCTOR nudges her with his elbow that she turns and faces IZLYR, losing her composure somewhat when she sees that the Martian is talking to her.)

IZLYR: What are your powers on the committee of assessment?

(JO looks at the DOCTOR who thinks quickly.)

DOCTOR: Erm, the Princess is here in the capacity of a royal observer only.
IZLYR: (Satisfied.) Ah, as on my planet, you still retain the aristocratic process.
DOCTOR: Yes, in a democratic sort of way.
ARCTURUS: Chairman delegate from Earth, we are not here to indulge in social diplomacy.
DOCTOR: No, no, of course not, I...
ARCTURUS: (Interrupts.) We are here to consider admitting this somewhat primitive planet into the galactic federation.
DOCTOR: Yes, thank you for reminding me. I...
ALPHA CENTAURI: (Interrupts.) Unfortunately, the success of our mission in threatened - violently!
DOCTOR: Threatened? Perhaps you'd be kind enough to explain that to me from the beginning?
PELADON: Ah, this is an...


(PELADON'S words carry outside the throne room. On the high ledge is a huge statue of the royal beast, AGGEDOR. GRUN is starting to lever the statue off its base with a huge piece of wood.)

PELADON: ...internal affair. We mean no trouble, chairman delegate.

(As GRUN continues with his task, the discussion of the death of TORBIS continues but only the loud electronic words of ARCTURUS reach GRUN...)

ARCTURUS: (OOV: Inside throne room.) By a legend, we are told.

(GRUN presses on the lever as the conversation within proceeds.)

ARCTURUS: (OOV: Inside throne room.) Or a blatant attempt to intimidate this commission.
ALPHA CENTAURI: (OOV: Inside throne room.) I cannot___...

(Through the open doorway, the delegates all begin to show and argue at once. The DOCTOR steps forward.)

DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Gentlemen, please?!


ALPHA CENTAURI: ...are of no concern.

(All the arguing voices tail off. The DOCTOR puts on a show of astonishment.)

DOCTOR: Do my ears deceive me? Members of the galactic federation squabbling like a gang of small children?
HEPESH: You are right, chairman delegate. Moreover the throne room is hardly the place for such discussions.
IZLYR: Then perhaps we should withdraw...to the delegate's conference room?
DOCTOR: That is a splendid idea.

(All the delegates - and the two recent additions to their number - bow to the King and start to leave the chamber. The King stands.)

PELADON: Princess?

(He steps down to JO.)

PELADON: I do look forward to speaking with you again - less formally.
JO: Thank you. That would be very nice. See you later!

(She looks at the DOCTOR who grimaces at this faux pas of protocol and regal language. They follow the delegates as HEPESH watches them go.)


(The DOCTOR follows IZLYR and the other delegates as they step into the passageway. Something catches his eye and he looks up. The statue is falling towards them...)

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