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(Lightning, thunder and wind batter the citadel of Peladon...)


(In the throne room, all the delegates, the DOCTOR, JO and HEPESH stand before the throne. PELADON looks torn and nervous.)

PELADON: I have no alternative, Doctor. To this charge, the laws of Peladon allow of no defence, and only one punishment - death.

(There is a slight gasp from the assembled delegates.)

DOCTOR: But there was no sacrilege intended, sir.
HEPESH: Only the alien's death can purify the holy temple of Aggedor.
DOCTOR: I had no idea that the tunnels would lead there.

(PELADON is instantly alert...)

PELADON: Tunnels? I know of no tunnels, Hepesh?
DOCTOR: Surely your Majesty must know that beneath the citadel there is a network of secret passages?
HEPESH: He is lying, your Majesty. There are no such passages!

(The DOCTOR stares are HEPESH, almost in realisation. The High Priest coolly returns the stare. The DOCTOR turns back to the King.)

DOCTOR: King Peladon, I swear to you that I am telling the truth. I am innocent.
HEPESH: Your Majesty...

(JO runs up to the throne.)

JO: (Begging.) You've got to believe him!
IZLYR: His ignorance of the law at least deserves consideration.
HEPESH: No, his crime is too great!
IZLYR: A Royal pardon would could highly with the federation.
HEPESH: The federation cannot override our holy laws. It is forbidden by its charter.
ARCTURUS: That is correct. Galactic articles of peace: paragraph twenty-nine, sub-section two.
ALPHA CENTAURI: Then we are powerless to interfere!

(From the steps of the throne, JO shouts down at the other delegates.)

JO: But you can't just let him be killed!
HEPESH: You cannot prevent it!

(She turns on him...)

JO: No...but a King can!

(She looks imploringly at PELADON and moves closer to him, putting her face in front of his.)

JO: You asked me once if I believed in you. I want to believe in you, and here is your opportunity to show that you are a civilised King.

(PELADON swallows nervously.)

HEPESH: He can do nothing - this is ancient law!
PELADON: Hepesh is right. I am powerless to save him.
JO: (Tearfully.) I'm begging you! Please...?

(PELADON looks closely at her, then stands and looks closely at the DOCTOR.)

PELADON: There is one alternative...trial by combat.

(The delegates twitch in shock.)

HEPESH: But the Earth delegate is not of noble blood!
JO: (Disgusted.) That's barbaric!
PELADON: It is all I can offer.
HEPESH: He cannot be given an honourable alternative.
PELADON: (Snaps.) You forget, Hepesh, he is a man of rank, and as such, an honourary nobleman of the citadel. (To the DOCTOR.) What do you say, Doctor?

(The DOCTOR looks round briefly, then.)

DOCTOR: Very well, your Majesty, I accept the challenge. But who do I fight?
PELADON: (Reluctantly.) You will be held captive in your room until dawn. Then you will lowered into the pit beneath the citadel, where you will engage in combat to the death...with the King's champion, Grun.

(The DOCTOR looks at the massive man who he is to fight. JO looks even more tearful than before. Only HEPESH seems pleased...)


(HEPESH leads a procession of two guards and the DOCTOR down a torch-filled passage. The lead guard opens the door to a room and the DOCTOR is about to enter when he stops and looks back at the waiting HEPESH, a smile on his face.)

DOCTOR: Yes, you're a wily old bird, aren't old you, Hepesh? But you do realise, don't you, that my death could cause a major interplanetary scandal?

(HEPESH remains stony-faced. The DOCTOR is in the doorway when he once more offers a piece of advice...)

DOCTOR: Consider the consequences, Hepesh.

(He enters his room. HEPESH'S face betrays a touch of uncertainty.)


(JO and PELADON are left alone in the throne room, apart from some guards. JO looks disconsolately down at the floor as she paces. She turns and looks up at PELADON who stands at top of the throne steps.)

JO: (Upset.) How can I ever believe in you now?

(PELADON walks down to her.)

PELADON: I'm sorry. But there are some things I cannot change even for you.
JO: Don't you even want to? What do mercy and compassion mean to you? (Shouts.) You need someone to die to justify your own stupid superstition!
PELADON: (Shouts.) I want no one to die! (Quieter.) Can't you see I've done all I can?

(JO restrains a sob and moves off a few paces.)

PELADON: He means a great deal to you.
JO: Yes.
PELADON: Princess, I'm helpless. Don't hate me for that.
JO: (Passionately.) I don't hate you.

(PELADON looks sad and moves up the steps to the throne. He looks at the chair.)

PELADON: Both Torbis and my father died before they could break the traditions that bind us. But my mother taught me all she could of justice, compassion...and love. She knew the time would come.

(He sits down. JO rushes up to him.)

JO: Then make it now! Be the King she wanted you to be. Be the King I want you to be!
PELADON: Oh, there's so much I could do if I had someone by my side to help me. Oh, Princess, will you not give your Royal agreement to an interplanetary marriage with me?

(JO is stunned.)

JO: You know...I just don't understand you! I...I really don't! One minute you're condemning the Doctor to death, and the next minute you're proposing to me!
PELADON: Josephine, the matters are completely separate! I had to condemn the Doctor - that was my duty as a King. What I'm trying to say to you now, that comes from my feelings as a man.
JO: Then there's connection between the two?
PELADON: But of course not.

(JO can contain herself no longer. She runs from the room. PELADON shouts after her.)

PELADON: How could there be!


(The DOCTOR lies on his bed, utterly relaxed while HEPESH paces the room.)

HEPESH: The door of your room will be left open. There will be no one there to stand in your way.
DOCTOR: I see. Killed while trying to escape - is that it?

(HEPESH speaks with conviction...)

HEPESH: I don't want your death - trust me.

(The DOCTOR rises slightly from his reclining position and looks at the High Priest with interest.)


(IZLYR, ALPHA CENTAURI and SSORG enter the conference room. ARCTURUS is already there.)

ARCTURUS: The facts point to one thing; a unilateral blood alliance between Peladon and Earth.
IZLYR: It is unusual to celebrate such an event with an execution.
ARCTURUS: That possibility is obviously intended to confuse us.

(ALPHA CENTAURI looks from ARCTURUS to IZLYR and screeches out...)

ALPHA CENTAURI: I do not understand! What is happening?
ARCTURUS: This is a conspiracy to destroy federation unity and we are to be the victims.


(HEPESH has placed a parchment map of the tunnels on a table in the DOCTOR'S room. He traces a route through the tunnel with a flint-like primitive pen.)

HEPESH: There lies your route to freedom. Take it, leave our planet and live.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid I can't.

(HEPESH puts the pen down and looks at him.)

DOCTOR: Well, not without my space shuttle.
HEPESH: A large blue box was found on the lower slope of the mountain.
DOCTOR: Yes, that's it. Where is it now?
HEPESH: It is being brought to the citadel.
DOCTOR: Well, that's splendid. And what about Princess Josephine?
HEPESH: She will be allowed to leave with you.

(He heads for the door...)

DOCTOR: Hepesh?

(...but stops in his tracks.)

DOCTOR: Why do you go to so much trouble? You could simply have me killed.

(HEPESH comes back into the room.)

HEPESH: I do not mean to have this planet destroyed in retaliation by the spaceships of the federation.
DOCTOR: Yet you slap the federation in the face by sabotaging the commission, why?

(A note of fear comes into HEPESH'S voice.)

HEPESH: Because I'm afraid.
DOCTOR: Afraid? Afraid of what? The federation is your safeguard.
HEPESH: (Fiercely.) That is not true! I know the federation's real intent.
DOCTOR: The federation's real intent is to help you.
HEPESH: No! They'll exploit us for our minerals, enslave us with their machines, corrupt us with their technology. The face of Peladon will be changed, the past swept away, and everything that I know and value will have gone.
DOCTOR: The progress that they offer - that we offer - isn't like that.
HEPESH: I would rather be a cave dweller and free.
DOCTOR: Free! Your people imprisoned by ritual and superstition.
HEPESH: We need Aggedor.
DOCTOR: You can hardly expect your pet ghost to take on the whole federation single-handed, can you?
HEPESH: (Smiles.) We do not stand alone.

(The DOCTOR takes up on this...)

DOCTOR: Oh, who stands with you?
HEPESH: Take your chance while you still can.

(He moves the map slightly to remind the DOCTOR of its existence...)

HEPESH: It will soon be dawn.

(...and leaves the room. The DOCTOR watches him go.)


(JO has gone to plead with the other delegates in their conference room. ALPHA CENTAURI twitches with nervousness...)

ALPHA CENTAURI: But Princess, we must leave. If only in order to avoid violence!
JO: But you can't just scuttle off and leave the Doctor.
ALPHA CENTAURI: What will the grand council say?
JO: That you have no power to cancel a mission just like that.
IZLYR: The Princess is right. Federation authorisation would be required.
ARCTURUS: If we stay, we risk being taken as hostages.
ALPHA CENTAURI: (Panicking.) We must leave! While we have the chance. We're in terrible danger!
JO: But so is the Doctor!
ARCTURUS: This is a very delicate political situation.

(JO starts to lose her temper.)

JO: It'll be even more delicate if the Doctor is killed!
IZLYR: Yes, that would amount to a declaration of war.
ARCTURUS: An interesting problem.
IZLYR: And the federation would totally destroy Peladon.
ALPHA CENTAURI: Yes it would!
ARCTURUS: Therefore, we must do nothing.
JO: Oh, great! Thanks a lot!

(She pushes her way between IZLYR and SSORG and runs from the room.)

IZLYR: Ssorg.

(IZLYR indicates with a clamp-like hand for him to follow JO.)


(The DOCTOR has made some adjustments to his sonic screwdriver. A small metal rod extension has been screwed to the end and on top of this, he attaches a small round mirror on a bar. He spins this round and it gives out a hypnotic sound. The DOCTOR stares at the light given out, falling fast under the effect of the device. He blinks rapidly and rubs his eyes to recover from the spell. Stopping the mirror from spinning, he smiles, puts it in his breast pocket and starts to leave the room, coming back briefly to pick up the map.)


(JO stalks down one of the passages when she hears a voice behind her.)

SSORG: Princess...wait.

(SSORG lumbers into view.)

SSORG: Delegate Izlyr must talk with you.

(He opens the door to the Ice Warrior's room.)

SSORG: Will you enter, please?

(In none too good a temper, JO stalks into the room.)


(JO waits impatiently. After a moment, IZLYR enters followed by SSORG who shuts the door.)

JO: (Curtly.) Well?
IZLYR: You left the meeting in anger?
JO: Not much else I could do once you lot had ganged up to leave the Doctor stranded.
IZLYR: We have not, as you say, "ganged up". Arcturus is a coward by logic, and Centauri is a coward by instinct. But they will not leave the Doctor stranded.
JO: And why the sudden change?
IZLYR: Because federation law allows only unanimous decisions...and I voted to stay.
JO: (Puzzled.) You? Why would you do that?
IZLYR: You remember when the statue fell? The Doctor saved my life. Now I intend to save his.
JO: You really mean it?


(Out in the passage, a listening device has been attached to the door which extends from ARCTURUS' casing. The delegate is listening to every word said in the room...)

JO: (OOV: Inside room.) You'll help me save the Doctor?
IZLYR: (OOV: Inside room.) Yes, it is essential that the Doctor escapes.
JO: (OOV: Inside room.) You go and get the Doctor, and meet me at the tunnel. He'll show you where it is. All right?
IZLYR: (OOV: Inside room.) Right.

(ARCTURUS glides away. A moment later, the door opens and the three come out. JO goes in one direction and IZLYR and SSORG in another.)

IZLYR: Come, Ssorg.


(The DOCTOR reaches the tapestry behind which is the entrance by which he and JO entered the citadel. He looks round to make sure that he is not observed, pulls the curtain aside and lowers the torch bracket to open the secret door. He walks through.)


(Once through, he lowers another torch bracket to close the secret door.)


(HEPESH is with a bearded GUARD CAPTAIN.)

HEPESH: Gather all our men, captain. Search the catacombs and the dungeons, and remember - the alien is dangerous. If he resists, kill him.

(The CAPTAIN walks off to carry out the order.)


(The DOCTOR makes his way through the tunnels, following the map. Suddenly there is a roar and AGGEDOR starts to lumber out of the darkness. The DOCTOR stops and takes the mirror device out of his pocket.)

DOCTOR: Yes, I rather hoped I'd meet up with you, old chap.

(He starts it spinning and walks forward.)


(JO walks up to the same tapestry-covered entrance to the tunnels that the DOCTOR used. She repeats his movements and goes through the secret entrance.)


(GRUN is now with HEPESH.)

HEPESH: Our ally has plotted well, Grun. Whatever the Doctor does now, he'll be discredited.

(GRUN looks almost as if he is sulking.)

HEPESH: Oh, I know you wanted to kill him yourself, fulfil your oath as King's champion, but never fear. He is moving into ever greater danger. I promise you - the King's honour will be maintained. Trust me.

(GRUN looks with some suspicion at HEPESH.)


(IZLYR and SSORG walk up the passage to the DOCTOR'S room. They see the open door.)


(They look in through the door with suspicion and see that the room is unoccupied. IZLYR looks at SSORG and then they both enter.)

IZLYR: It seems that the Doctor has escaped without our help.
SSORG: Or he has been eliminated.
IZLYR: If that is so, Hepesh and this planet will have much to answer for!

(Angered, he stalks out of the room with SSORG following.)


(Sat on a rock, the DOCTOR holds the mirror directly in front of AGGEDOR'S eyes. The monster crouches and roars but makes no move to strike. As the DOCTOR gently moves the mirror to and fro, AGGEDOR'S head movements follow it. The DOCTOR sings an alien song to a haunting melody.)

DOCTOR: "Klokleda Partha Mennin Klatch, Haroon Haroon Haroon!"

(AGGEDOR'S roars have reduced to a gentle growl.)

DOCTOR: "Klokleda Shina Tierra Natch, Haroon Haroon Haroon."

(The mirror is slowing down its spin. The DOCTOR flicks it back into full speed and carries on with his "song"...)

DOCTOR: "Haroon, Haroon, Har-oon, Haroon, Haroon, Haroon."

(He lowers his pitch, letting the refrain die away quietly...)

DOCTOR: "Haroon, Haroon, Har-oon, Haroon, Haroon, Haroon! Haroonnnn....."

(He lowers the mirror. AGGEDOR gently rocks on the spot.)

DOCTOR: Well, I must say, you seem quite partial to old Venusian lullabies, don't you, Aggedor, old chap, mm? Right, let's see how friendly you really are.

(He raises a hand to AGGEDOR'S head...)

DOCTOR: Right, take it easy.

(...and gently rubs the scalp. AGGEDOR'S growls start to increase.)

DOCTOR: There, that's it. There's a good chap.

(AGGEDOR suddenly roars and rears upwards.)

DOCTOR: Oh, sorry! Not quite under!

(He sets the mirror spinning once more and starts to sing again.)

DOCTOR: "Klokleda Partha Mennin Klatch, Haroon Haroon Haroon! Klok..."


(Hearing the roars ahead, JO pulls a flaming torch from its bracket and runs on.)


(AGGEDOR is quiet again...)

DOCTOR: "...Tierra Natch, Haroon Haran Haroon."

(Torch in hand, JO comes running out of the darkness.)

JO: (Shouts.) Hang on, Doctor!
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) No, Jo, keep back!
JO: (Shouts.) I'll scare him off!

(The DOCTOR jumps to his feet as JO starts to thrust the torch at AGGEDOR who runs off from the fire roaring. JO gives chase.)

DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Jo, keep back!
JO: (Shouts.) Get back! Go on! Back!
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Jo!

(Her mission accomplished, JO comes back.)

JO: Are you all right?
DOCTOR: Oh, Jo, you idiot!

(He sits back down in disappointment.)

DOCTOR: I'd just started to get through to him.
JO: (Puzzled.) How?
DOCTOR: By a kind of technical hypnosis.
JO: You weren't...talking to him?

(She sits next to the DOCTOR.)

DOCTOR: No, not exactly, merely...merely empathy.

(He sets the mirror spinning to demonstrate. JO, staring over his shoulder, is immediately drawn to its effect.)

JO: Empathy?
DOCTOR: Yes, it's a kind of telepathic understanding, Jo.

(He gets no answer.)


(He looks at the girl and sees that she is looking at the mirror in a wide-eyed trance.)

DOCTOR: Oh, good grief!

(He snaps his fingers in front of her face.)

DOCTOR: Jo, snap out of it!

(JO jumps to her feet, her hand to her head.)

JO: What? What happened?
DOCTOR: Well, you just ruined a very promising experiment - that's what happened.
JO: (Sorrowfully.) I'm sorry. I thought you were going to be killed. I only wanted to help you.
DOCTOR: (Smiles.) Yes.

(He gets up and speaks gently.)

DOCTOR: Yes, of course you did. And very brave you were too. Come on. Let's see if we can find King Peladon.

(His arm round her shoulder, he leads her away.)


(IZLYR and SSORG have an audience with the King. GRUN, HEPESH and the GUARD CAPTAIN are also there. IZLYR demands some answers...)

IZLYR: Where is the Doctor? And where is the Princess?

(PELADON glances at HEPESH and licks his lips nervously.)

PELADON: It seems they have escaped.
HEPESH: A coward admitting his guilt. His life is forfeit. He will be hunted and killed like an animal!


DOCTOR: I'm sorry to disappoint you, Hepesh.

(The DOCTOR and JO stand in the doorway. All turn to look at them.)

HEPESH: Guard!

(The GUARD CAPTAIN gestures and the two guards at the door cross their pikestaffs in front of the two newcomers.)


(The pikestaffs are pulled back. The DOCTOR and JO step forward and bow.)

DOCTOR: Your Majesty. I bring you a message...from Aggedor.
HEPESH: (Furiously.) He commits ever greater sacrilege! No one sees Aggedor and lives!
DOCTOR: Well we just did. And I must say, he's quite pleasant company...for an animal. He didn't even seem to mind when I scratched him behind the ears!
HEPESH: (Furiously.) He defiles everything that is sacred. He must be silenced!
IZLYR: Let us hear what he has to say.
PELADON: (Snaps.) We shall hear him, Hepesh. (Gently.) Doctor?
DOCTOR: Aggedor is no spirit, your Majesty, but a truly noble beast. But his power is being used falsely, however, to prevent any chance that you may have of entering the galactic federation.

(HEPESH stalks down the steps of the throne and up to the DOCTOR.)

HEPESH: You lie! The spirit of Aggedor will take his revenge! His manifestation is holy!
DOCTOR: Rubbish! His manifestation, as you call it, is solid, hairy, fact!
JO: It's true, it's no ghost. I've seen it as well.
HEPESH: Then produce this creature, if you can.
DOCTOR: He lives in the tunnels beneath the city, sir.
PELADON: Tunnels? You spoke of them before, Doctor, yet I know nothing of them.

(As the King is speaking, a desperate HEPESH runs up to him and speaks over him...)

HEPESH: There are no tunnels, your Majesty.
DOCTOR: The entrance is hidden, your Majesty.
IZLYR: Then we must organise a search.
HEPESH: No! This is merely a device postpone the trial by combat.
DOCTOR: Once I have proved what Aggedor really is, the trial by combat, sir, will hardly become necessary.
HEPESH: So you want us to spend a lifetime searching for these mythical tunnels. A coward's devious excuse. Take him to the pit.
JO: No!

(She rushes to the throne.)

HEPESH: Let him face his challenge.
JO: Peladon?! You can't!

(The King looks torn.)

HEPESH: Peladon!

(PELADON gives in and nods to HEPESH.)

HEPESH: Take him away.

(PELADON is unable to look JO in the eyes. She drops her head as the GUARD CAPTAIN escorts the DOCTOR from the room.)

25: INT. PIT

(PELADON, JO and the delegates come onto a balcony that looks onto the darkened pit. SSORG carries his sonic gun. The pit itself is beneath them and is surrounded on all sides by a net of ropes that stretch high up to the ceiling. The spectators on the balcony look upwards and watch as the DOCTOR and GRUN shimmy down on two ropes onto the sand covered floor of the pit. Once there, they each pick up a pikestaff which rest on a large log in the middle of the pit and bow to the royal box. PELADON salutes them and bows his head back. He then takes his seat. The DOCTOR and GRUN nod to each other and then the two ropes by which the combatants accessed the pit are raised. The DOCTOR is distracted by this action and GRUN takes the opportunity to charge him. The DOCTOR parries the blow and manages to get several of his own back with GRUN successfully blocks. The two men trade thrusts and swings of their pikestaffs, both the end with the blade and the handle. GRUN rushes at the DOCTOR who steps to one side and GRUN falls against the rope net. JO looks pleased at this. GRUN is quickly on his feet and rushes at the DOCTOR who almost manages to trip his opponent once more. A series of vicious blows send the DOCTOR tripping backwards and lying back on the log. He manages to dodge out of the way just before GRUN crashes down his pikestaff. Unfortunately he gets his staff stuck in the log and the DOCTOR approaches him, his own staff raised. GRUN backs up against the nets as, up on the balcony, the GUARD CAPTAIN silently unsheathes his sword. GRUN edges round the pit, the DOCTOR in careful pursuit. From up above, HEPESH calls down...)


(...and drops the CAPTAIN'S sword into the pit. GRUN catches it and, with muted cries, starts to swing it at the DOCTOR. After several attempts, he succeeds in chopping the blade of the DOCTOR'S pikestaff off and then cuts at the handle that the DOCTOR holds up as his only weapon. With several blows, he cuts the handle to pieces and then succeeds in knocking what remains from the DOCTOR'S hands. As an agonised JO watches, GRUN chases the DOCTOR round the pit, swinging his sword as he goes. The DOCTOR manages to avoid several thrusts of the sword and then is able to grab GRUN by the arm and round the neck, pulling him to the ground. He bangs GRUN'S hand against the log until the champion drops the sword. The two men are then in unarmed combat as they wrestle in the sand on the floor. GRUN manages to throw the DOCTOR and then rushes at him but the DOCTOR is able to throw the large man himself. GRUN rushes back at the DOCTOR. They grapple on the ground again and GRUN manages to pick the DOCTOR up and throw him onto the ropes, trapping the DOCTOR'S ankle in the net. In an astonishing show of strength, GRUN picks up the log and is about to throw it at the DOCTOR who manages to dislodge his foot and jump out of the way. GRUN launches himself at the DOCTOR who once again dodges and the larger man is on the floor. Quickly on his feet, the two men circle each other whilst up on the balcony, the skull-like head of ARCTURUS twists to look at HEPESH. Down below, the DOCTOR drops to one knee, as if hurt and GRUN, smiling, runs at him. It is a ruse and the DOCTOR is able to pull GRUN down by his leg, lift him over to the ropes and thrust his head into the net. The DOCTOR pulls the net taught, trapping and choking the man. PELADON stands whilst down below, the DOCTOR steps back and looks down at his defeated opponent.)

DOCTOR: All right, live, Grun. I would not kill the King's champion.

(The DOCTOR looks up to the balcony where PELADON holds up a hand to show that the fight is finished. Others have different ideas however and from his casing, ARCTURUS' weapon emerges. ALPHA CENTAURI screams and PELADON and the DOCTOR both look round sharply to see what is wrong. SSORG fires his sonic gun...)

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Jo Grant





Alpha Centauri

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