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(The surface of Solos is a cold desolate wasteland. Bare stunted bushes and shrubs litter the ground and the air is permanently filled with a floating mist. Gasping for breath, an old man comes running into view through the decayed flora. He has long straggly white hair and beard and his clothes are little more than rags. His face looks terrified. He stops to gain his bearings and to try and look through the murk. Suddenly he hears a harsh voice calling out from nearby...)

MARSHAL: (OOV.) Over here! Move in! ___, he's heading for the ___! This way!

(The mists seem to clear slightly and the old man sees an empty path ahead. He starts to run down it. His back is revealed to be a series of ridges which seem to be sprouting from underneath the material of his ragged top.)

MARSHAL: (OOV.) Over here!

(The owner of the voice comes through the mist. He is a large portly man, dressed in a uniform of black with silver braiding. He wears a similarly coloured helmet on his head with a visor and a small compact gas-mask over his mouth. In one hand he carries a futuristic gun and in the other a small detector which gives out a series of static bleeps. The man moves with a determined speed, despite his bulk. He suddenly stops, rips of his mask and screams viciously into the mist...)

MARSHAL: Mutt! Mutt!

(He turns and shouts behind him into the mists.)

MARSHAL: Hurry, you men - hurry!

(He turns and gives another yell at his quarry...)


(...and seeing him slightly ahead, gives a yell of rage as he starts to run faster after the old man. Such is his haste and anger that he drops his gas-mask. A moment later, two men in similar black and silver uniforms reach the spot and see the mask lying on the ground. The smaller of the two, a white man called STUBBS, picks up the object and yells into the white vapour...)

STUBBS: Sir! Marshal - your mask!

(His companion, a tall lithe black man called COTTON pulls his own mask off to speak with disgust...)

COTTON: Mutt mad he is. Sport to him.
STUBBS: Kill one before he passes out.
COTTON: Solos - stinking rotten hole. Can't even breathe - what a planet.
STUBBS: Not long now, soldier.

(STUBBS runs after the MARSHAL.)

COTTON: Should have given them independence years ago.

(COTTON follows.)


(The MARSHAL walks slowly ahead to where the old man lies dead in a muddy pool of water. He stares down at the corpse as STUBBS and COTTON catch up.)

MARSHAL: Look at it! Disgusting mess. Get rid of it.

(STUBBS hands the MARSHAL his mask.)

MARSHAL: Make out a report - Mutt found dead...as usual.

(The MARSHAL heads off. STUBBS stands momentarily to attention and then speaks into a receiver which pokes out of the front of his uniform jacket.)

STUBBS: (Into radio.) Stubbs calling Skybase. Returning shortly.

(He checks his watch.)

STUBBS: (Into radio.) ETA - forty-two, zero, six. Have dealt with mutant native alert, area seven. Mutant tracked and found dead on arrival...

(He speaks with a mixture of sadness and disgust...)

STUBBS: (Into radio.) Cause unknown.

(They move off.)


(Stood before his bench with a screwdriver in his hand, the DOCTOR works at a small electronic unit. Dressed in a brown top and patterned trousers, JO watches with boredom.)

JO: Doctor?
JO: Are you going to be very much longer?
DOCTOR: No, nearly finished, Jo.
JO: What are you doing anyway?
DOCTOR: I'm making a Minimum Inertia Superdrive for Bessie.
JO: Oh. Well, for your information, it's well past lunch time, and I'm...
DOCTOR: Eh...?

(JO stops speaking as an object suddenly appears on the bench in front of them. Sized and shaped roughly like a football, it is dark brown in colour and covered with a series of rough, differently sized plates, giving at a look almost like crazy paving.)

DOCTOR: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!
JO: Lunch?
JO: (Slightly nervous.) Bomb?
DOCTOR: No, nothing so exciting.

(They crouch down to look at it.)

JO: Well?
DOCTOR: It's an assignment.
JO: Well then, it is exciting!

(The DOCTOR gives her a withering look.)

DOCTOR: No, it's a container of some kind, Jo - from them.
JO: Time Lords?
DOCTOR: That's right.
JO: Well, aren't you going to open it?
DOCTOR: Mmm, I'm not allowed to open it.
JO: Huh?
DOCTOR: Well, I couldn't, even if I wanted to. No, I'm not meant to. I couldn't open it, even if I wanted to. No, it's only meant for one person...and/or creature. And it will only open for one person.
JO: And/or creature?
DOCTOR: Yeah, that's right. Yes, I'm just the messenger boy.
JO: Well, can't you just refuse?

(He picks the container up and starts to look over it.)

DOCTOR: Well, they only send these things in a real emergency, Jo. It's top priority - three line whip. No, no, I've gotta go.
JO: How do you know where to deliver it?

(They suddenly hear a hum from the TARDIS sat in the corner of the laboratory and its roof light starts to flash.)

DOCTOR: I think that has already been decided.

(The TARDIS door buzzes open and the DOCTOR walks across the lab to fetch his cloak. JO grabs her jacket which is of the same pattern as her trousers.)

JO: Hang on. Wait for me. I'm coming too.
DOCTOR: That's out of the question. It's bound to be dangerous, probably difficult.
JO: All the more reason. You need me to look after you.
DOCTOR: Sorry, Jo, that's a lot of rubbish. Not this time. Au revoir!

(He steps into the TARDIS.)

JO: Oh, no you don't!

(JO dashes across the lab and through the TARDIS door before it can close. The Police Box dematerialises...)


(In space above the surface of Solos, a large impressive craft orbits the planet. It is made up of two globes, one much larger than the other, connected by a central ridged section and two support struts. Its surfaced is patterned with lighted windows and various radar dishes and aerials decorate the surface. This is Skybase One.)


(The TARDIS rematerialises within a metallic room. There is one blue oval door leading off the room and a porthole type window in another wall. JO and the DOCTOR step out.)

JO: Well? Where are we?
DOCTOR: It looks a bit like the tradesman's entrance, isn't it?
JO: What do you mean?

(She wanders over to the window while the DOCTOR glances round at the few white storage boxes which sit in the room.)

DOCTOR: Well, I don't see any red carpet - do you?

(She looks through the small window.)

JO: Doctor, look! We're flying!


(JO'S face appears at the porthole. She steps aside for the DOCTOR to take a look. Below the skybase is the surface of the planet - cratered, mountainous and covered with the thick grey mist.)


DOCTOR: We're not exactly flying, Jo. We're in planetary orbit. We must be on a...

(He stops speaking as a two note klaxon bell alarm rings out followed by a cold metallic voice...)

TANNOY VOICE: Skybase One. This is Skybase One.
DOCTOR: ...A Skybase.
JO: (Mocking.) Amazing!
TANNOY VOICE: Duty personnel to reception and transfer section. Clear visiting party.
DOCTOR: We are expected then.
TANNOY VOICE: Next, escort them through bacteriological decontamination hall. Skybase One - out.
JO: Bacteria what?
DOCTOR: Well, put less delicately, Jo - delousing!
JO: Cheek!

(She flinches and starts to scratch herself. The DOCTOR laughs and she joins in.)


(Two sets of people are collected in the well-lit transfer and reception of Skybase. First, a number of guards, dressed in the same uniform as STUBBS and COTTON stand with guns warily cocked. Secondly, the Solonians who wear a mixture of long colourful robes, leggings and sets of chain mail. Some are adorned with primitive jewellery and wear their hair long and sometimes braided. The reception area is a series of archways which lead off which form a sort of cloister to a number of corridors. The archways are circular and the walls are made up of triangular cell-like patterns. On one side of the transfer section are two transportation cabinets. In between them are three signs. One reads:



The other two point to either cubicle. One states OVERLORDS and the other SOLONIANS. From the latter cubicle steps a tall good-looking young man. He steps down and smiles at an older pugnacious looking Solonion with long braided hair and an ornamental sword at his side. This is VARAN, one of the Solonian tribal leaders and the young man is his SON. Their place their right hands on each others right shoulders in a sign of salute.)

VARAN'S SON: Father.

(There is an electronic noise and the Solonian cubical glows with a bright blue light. When it has faded, another Solonian is revealed within. He opens the door and steps out. He is younger than VARAN with short dark hair and equally dark eyes. His attitude is lithe and alert. He wears tribal clothing including a leather jerkin and several long chains round his neck. He looks coldly at VARAN and steps down towards him. The two men start to speak in strong colonial accents.)

VARAN: Greetings, Ky.
KY: I knew you would be here, Varan - with your Overlord masters.
VARAN: And why are you here?
KY: I was summoned.
VARAN: You will attend the conference?
KY: The conference? More lies from the Overlords, more promises of freedom.
VARAN: Yet Ky still came?

(KY raises his voice in order that all around him can hear.)

KY: I came to demand that the Overlords stop murdering our people!
VARAN: The mutants must be rooted out. They are evil and diseased.

(Near to VARAN, one of his men, his bodyguard, twitches his arm and hides it beneath his cloak.)

KY: Who tells us that?
VARAN: My eyes tell me.
KY: No, Varan, the Overlords tell you. They tell you to kill and you kill!
VARAN: My people are warriors. It is honourable to fight.
KY: (Cries out.) Where is the honour in hunting down unarmed creatures?!
VARAN: Their duty, Ky. They are diseased.

(KY tenses up.)

KY: Well, if it is a diseased, what has caused it?

(He stalks round the transfer section, looking into the eyes of the other Solonians.)

KY: Once we were farmers and hunters, the land was green, the rivers ran clear, the air was sweet to breathe! And then the Overlords came, bringing Earth's poisons with them - calling it progress. We toiled in their mines, we became slaves! (Shouts.) Worse than slaves!
VARAN: (Shouts.) Liar!
KY: (Shouts.) Murderer!

(The two men face each other and raise their arms to fight.)

KY: You have nothing else to hunt, so you hunt your own kind.

(VARAN rushes to grab his sword as a guard steps between them with his gun raised in one hand and grabbing KY back in the other. STUBBS turns a corner and steps into the middle.)

STUBBS: So! You've arrived, Ky.
KY: As you see, Overlord. We come when we are called.
STUBBS: Well, don't just stand there making speeches, get into decontamination.

(STUBBS nods his head in the right direction and KY stalks off through a doorway.)

STUBBS: And the rest of yer!

(VARAN'S SON and all the other Solonians except VARAN and his bodyguard follow.)

STUBBS: Varan, the Marshal wants to see you.

(VARAN and his bodyguard start to go through an archway in another direction.)

STUBBS: Alone!
VARAN: (To his bodyguard.) Wait.

(The bodyguard stands back and VARAN moves off. STUBBS also sets off leaving the bodyguard and one Skybase guard. The bodyguard desperately tries to keep his left hand behind his back and the Skybase guard becomes suspicious. He grabs the hidden arm and pulls it out. He sees that the human looking hand has become replaced by a scaly looking one. He instantly yells down the corridor.)

GUARD: Mutt!

(The bodyguard grabs the man round the neck and clubs him to the ground. He then pulls the unconscious man into one of the teleport cubicles and sets off into the interior of the Skybase.)


(The DOCTOR steps out of the TARDIS again.)

DOCTOR: Taking their time, aren't they, Jo?

(He sees that he is seemingly alone in the room.)


(He starts to look round the back of the TARDIS.)

DOCTOR: Jo, where...

(JO steps into view from where he is searching.)

DOCTOR: Oh, they you are.
JO: Doctor?
JO: Are you sure we're in the reception area? Looks more like a broom cupboard. Where exactly are we - time wise?
DOCTOR: (Pained.) Don't use expressions like that, Jo, please?
JO: Alright - century wise?

(She giggles.)

DOCTOR: According to the TARDIS's instrument readings, we are now in the thirtieth century empire.
JO: I see. (Puzzled.) What empire?
DOCTOR: Well, your empire - Earth's empire. Yes, great colonists - Earthmen - you know, Jo. Once they'd sacked the solar system, they moved onto pastures new. Solos is one of them - one of the last. Do you ever read Gibbon's "Decline and Fall"?
JO: No, is it good?
DOCTOR: (Patiently.) Jo, this is like that, you see?
JO: No.
DOCTOR: Oh, well empires rise and empires fall. And if this is their idea of a reception, this one has obviously crumbled!

(They laugh. The DOCTOR inspects the door. Next to it is a panel with sensors in the shape of a palm-print.)

DOCTOR: Oh, to get out of here, I've obviously got to try and break the circuits.

(He takes out his sonic screwdriver and starts to adjust it.)


(VARAN, escorted by two Skybase guards, steps into the MARSHAL'S office through a blue oval sliding doorway. The office has a raised area along the back wall with a small railed podium on the right hand side and the MARSHAL'S metallic desk on the left. In the centre of the room is a circular table with seats below the platform. The back walls are adorned with diagrams resembling neutrons around an atom. The MARSHAL is within his domain and turns to face the visitor.)

MARSHAL: Ah, Varan?
VARAN: Why has Ky been summoned to this conference?
MARSHAL: Oh, you've seen him then?

(He sits at his desk.)

VARAN: He called me murderer. Me - Varan. I should have finished with him there and then.
MARSHAL: Oh now, Varan, we want no martyrs. I have other plans for Ky.
VARAN: You said I would represent my people.
MARSHAL: You will be there. You and Ky. Now listen...

(He leans forward...)


(With an explosion of sparks on the panel, the door slides open under the assault of the sonic screwdriver. The DOCTOR is about to step out but JO holds him back.)

JO: The box.
JO: The box!
DOCTOR: Oh yes, of course.

(He hurries back into the TARDIS and emerges with their consignment.)

DOCTOR: Here, you take it.
JO: Alright.

(She takes the box as they step into the corridor.)


(The DOCTOR looks round. There is a sign on the wall which reads:


...but the corridor is otherwise empty.)

DOCTOR: It's alright. There's nobody about - come on.

(JO follows him but they have barely taken a few steps when the bell-klaxon rings out again.)

TANNOY VOICE: Attention. Attention. Computer confirms door malfunction in storage area four.
JO: That's us.
TANNOY VOICE: Investigation please.
DOCTOR: Yes, I know. I'm not sure I like being described as a malfunction.

(They laugh and move on.)


(STUBBS and COTTON are playing chess using a futuristic metallic set in another storage area. STUBBS makes a move followed by COTTON.)

COTTON: Check.
TANNOY VOICE: I repeat: Investigation please.
STUBBS: That's us.
COTTON: What is it?
STUBBS: A door.
COTTON: Door? All the way over there for a door?
STUBBS: Yeah, seems a bit pointless, doesn't it?
COTTON: Ah, leave it. Leave it till morning. We have only just got back up here after that Mutt hunt. Tell you what...?
COTTON: You won't catch him rushing about tonight.
COTTON: His Nibs - the Marshal.

(They return to their game.)


(The MARSHAL finishes giving VARAN his instructions.)

MARSHAL: You understand? I want a man I can trust and trust absolutely.
VARAN: All my warriors can be trusted. They will fight to the death for Varan.

(The MARSHAL passes VARAN a small rectangular piece of red plastic.)

MARSHAL: Then you will need this pass.
VARAN: It is good.
MARSHAL: Hmm! I doubt if Ky will think so. Varan, I shall want to see this man of yours myself.
MARSHAL: Afterwards.

(VARAN steps out of the office. The MARSHAL watches him go and mutters to himself...)

MARSHAL: The fool!


(The DOCTOR and JO make their way down one of Skybase's corridors - still unchallenged.)

DOCTOR: Hello?

(They turn a corner and look round. The DOCTOR calls out louder...)

DOCTOR: Hello?

(A wall sign shows that they are now also in storage area 5. The DOCTOR spots another door closed by a palm-print panel and takes out his sonic screwdriver to deal it.)

JO: (Warning.) Doctor...
DOCTOR: Well, we can't wander around here all night with nobody noticing, now can we?

(As the DOCTOR stands one side to avoid the sparks when he operates his screwdriver, JO looks round and spots the approaching figure of the mutating Solonian bodyguard.)

JO: Doctor!

(The bodyguard starts to draw his sword. The DOCTOR destroys the panel and he and JO dive through the doorway as the Solonian rushes at them. Once through, the starts to close behind them but the Bodyguard manages to get his mutating arm through...)

TANNOY VOICE: Attention. Attention...


(In another part of the storage area, the chess game between STUBBS and COTTON continues...)

TANNOY VOICE: Door malfunction in storage area three. Immediate investigation ordered. Possible emergency - out.

(Looking worried, STUBBS puts his gloves on and starts to collect his helmet and gun.)

STUBBS: We should have gone the first time - come on.
COTTON: Oh, we couldn't have known.
STUBBS: Come on! We're in enough trouble already. Two malfunctions, eh? I don't like the sound of that.

(They go through a palm-print doorway and out.)


(The Solonian Bodyguard's arm claws through the doorway. The DOCTOR strains on the other side as he desperately tries to keep it closed.)

DOCTOR: I can't hold it much longer!
JO: Well, what is it?
DOCTOR: I've no idea but whatever it is, it isn't friendly!

(Another door opens and STUBBS and COTTON step through, guns raised.)

STUBBS: Away from that door.
DOCTOR: Look, you fool...!
STUBBS: (Shouts.) Away from the door!
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Look at his hand!

(COTTON rushes at the DOCTOR and pushes him and JO away. Immediately, the bodyguard springs through the door. He quickly looks round and focuses on STUBBS. With his sword raised, he gives a roar but STUBBS fires his gun. The flash downs the bodyguard. He passes his gun to COTTON and draws up his uniform microphone.)

STUBBS: (Into microphone.) Stubbs and Cotton investigating malfunction - storage area three. Mutant native contacted and destroyed. Two other non-personnel found and held. Report ends.

(He takes his gun back off COTTON and points it at the DOCTOR.)

STUBBS: Good evening, sir. Will you please come with us to reception?
DOCTOR: I assume I have no choice?
STUBBS: This way, sir.

(He steps back. The DOCTOR, about to follow, looks down at the dead Solonian.)

DOCTOR: "Mutant native", you say?
STUBBS: That's right, sir.

(The DOCTOR leads JO by the hand towards the door. She is still carrying the Time Lord's container. The body of the Solonian has a series of ridges growing out of its back...)


(The MARSHAL receives the news in his office through a baton he carries, the top of which extends to become a radio.)

MARSHAL: (Into radio.) Mutt? On my Skybase? How?
STUBBS: (OOV: Over radio.) He was Varan's bodyguard, sir.
MARSHAL: (Into radio.) Mmm, Varan's bodyguard? Get me a full report at once. Hold the other two, and get Varan.

(He pushes the end of his baton in as the door to his office opens and a man steps through. He is dressed in a uniform somewhat like the rest of the Skybase crew but with a longer knee-length jacket, denoting seniority. The man is in his forties, slim, dark-haired and with a cold face.)

MARSHAL: I've asked for a full report, Administrator.
ADMINISTRATOR: I should think so. What happened to your security arrangements? And why wasn't I informed that Varan was here? Really, Marshal - on the eve of the independence conference?
MARSHAL: They'll be a full security clampdown. The Solonians will never know. As for Varan, he was merely reporting on Ky's activities.
ADMINISTRATOR: (Coldly.) Spying for you, you mean?

(The MARSHAL tries to smile.)

MARSHAL: Oh, all part of security.
ADMINISTRATOR: Security? Such as we have tonight? Natives and the devil knows who else running amok. Good heavens, man! We're not at war with the Solonians - we're giving them independence.
MARSHAL: (Scoffs.) Oh, eventually.
ADMINISTRATOR: Not eventually, Marshal - now. Total and absolute independence. We're pulling out.

(The MARSHAL looks devastated and finds it difficult to find the words...)

MARSHAL: Pulling out?
ADMINISTRATOR: I take it you've been too busy with security to study the latest reports from Earth? We can't afford an empire any more. Earth is exhausted, Marshal - finished. Politically, economically and biologically - finished.
MARSHAL: Then why go back? We could keep Skybase on Solos - take over the whole planet.
ADMINISTRATOR: Out of the question. Apart from the Solonians themselves, there's the problem of the atmosphere.
MARSHAL: Well, they're both problems that can be solved.
ADMINISTRATOR: Ky's already making political capital out of your... "experiments" in that field.
MARSHAL: Hmm! The Mutants!
MARSHAL: (Defensive.) There is no proof that my atmospheric experiments have anything at all to do with these mutations. The Mutts are a menace and must be wiped out.
ADMINISTRATOR: And that's your alternative to independence? Genocide?
MARSHAL: Mmm, give them independence, they'll starve out of total incompetence.
ADMINISTRATOR: (Angrily.) Nevertheless, they shall have their independence! Whether they're ready for it or not.
MARSHAL: When you summoned this conference, Administrator, I assumed it for your usual line.
MARSHAL: Oh, fob them off with promises, a few minor concessions - it's always worked before.
ADMINISTRATOR: Well, this time I'm conceding all Ky's demands.
MARSHAL: But...!
ADMINISTRATOR: (Interrupts.) We have no choice! We must return to Earth.
MARSHAL: But I've put years of my life into this planet! The whole...my whole career...!
ADMINISTRATOR: (Interrupts.) Yeah, well, I'm afraid things are going to be a bit...tricky for ex-colonial officials. Still, don't worry, old chap, we'll...find you something.

(He heads for the door but stops for a final gibe with a faint smile on his face...)

ADMINISTRATOR: The Bureau of Records, perhaps? Something clerical.

(He goes out. The MARSHAL, a furious look on his face, walks up to his desk, thinking furiously. He opens up his baton...)

MARSHAL: (Into radio.) Get me that fool, Varan.


(It is the next morning. Light floods through one of the portholes. JO goes up to it and looks through wearing some sunglasses from her pocket for protection from the glare.)

JO: Doctor?
JO: You can see the planet in daylight now.

(The DOCTOR joins her.)

DOCTOR: Oh, yes, so you can.


(In the light of Solos' sun, the mists on the planet appear even thicker.)


JO: It's not like our Earth, is it? It's all grey and misty.

(They step away from the window.)

DOCTOR: Well, the Earth these people know now, Jo - the thirtieth century empire - is even more grey and misty.

(JO takes off her glasses as they sit on a bench.)

JO: It can't be!
DOCTOR: Mmm, land and sea alike- all grey. Grey cities linked by grey highways across grey deserts.
JO: Really?
DOCTOR: Yeah. Slag, ash, clinker - the fruits of technology, Jo.

(They are in a small room guarded by STUBBS. The door opens and the ADMINISTRATOR walks in.)

DOCTOR: Good morning, sir.
ADMINISTRATOR: I've seen your statements. What is it you want? As briefly as possible.
DOCTOR: We come from Earth.
ADMINISTRATOR: Who sent you?
DOCTOR: Overlord centre.
ADMINISTRATOR: (Puzzled.) The council, you mean?
ADMINISTRATOR: The council has no further interest in Solos.

(The door opens again and the MARSHAL enters with another guard.)

DOCTOR: Well, they certainly had when we left.
MARSHAL: Just, er, when did you leave, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Sometime ago now.
MARSHAL: He's lying. He's got no pass.
DOCTOR: Look, this was an emergency.
MARSHAL: There have been no shuttles, no departures from Earth, no arrivals on Skybase in weeks.
DOCTOR: For goodness sake, does it matter how we got here?
MARSHAL: They must be from Solos!
ADMINISTRATOR: Let him speak. (To the DOCTOR.) Why are you here?
DOCTOR: This is why. Jo?

(JO fetches the Time Lord's container and passes it to him.)

DOCTOR: Thank you.

(The DOCTOR holds it out expectantly to the ADMINISTRATOR with a slight bow. He takes it and looks it over but nothing else happens.)

DOCTOR: Yes, well, obviously it's not for you.

(The DOCTOR takes it back from him but the MARSHAL snatches it from his hands. The DOCTOR waits a second, sees that the result is the same and takes it back.)

DOCTOR: Nor you, it would seem.
ADMINISTRATOR: Some kind of a joke? Who is it for? What is it anyway?
DOCTOR: Well, it's a container of some kind, but I must have confess that I...
ADMINISTRATOR: (Interrupts sharply.) Then open it!

(The DOCTOR stares at the interruption and then speaks down to the ADMINISTRATOR.)

DOCTOR: Can't!

(The MARSHAL hands his baton to STUBBS, taking his gun in return. He points it at the DOCTOR.)

MARSHAL: Open it!
DOCTOR: You're wasting your time, Marshal. This box will only open for the person to whom it was sent.
MARSHAL: We shall see. Stubbs?

(The MARSHAL gestures to a tall flat stand. STUBBS takes the container from the DOCTOR and places it on the stand.)

MARSHAL: Stand back.

(They all do so. The MARSHAL fires two shots. The container glows with an opaque light. There is a small explosion and some smoke creeps out from beneath the object but otherwise it looks undamaged. The MARSHAL hands STUBBS his gun back and walks forward to examine the container. The DOCTOR, JO and the ADMINISTRATOR join him. The DOCTOR taps the container.)

DOCTOR: Do you see?
ADMINISTRATOR: You must know who it's for?
MARSHAL: They were found with the Mutt. They must be saboteurs.
DOCTOR: Oh, don't be a fool! If we were saboteurs, that'd be a bomb and thanks to you we'd all be blown to smithereens by now.

(The door opens and COTTON steps in, standing to attention before the ADMINISTRATOR.)

COTTON: Sir, the Solonian delegates are ready for you.

(He looks again at the container.)

ADMINISTRATOR: Well, whatever it is, it'll have to wait. Marshal?
MARSHAL: Be with you in a moment.

(The ADMINISTRATOR leaves and the MARSHAL turns to the two prisoners.)

MARSHAL: Now, perhaps you'll tell me just what this is really all about.
JO: But he has! What he told you was the truth.
MARSHAL: (To the DOCTOR.) What are you - some sort of special agent for the council? Sent to check on me?
DOCTOR: If you really want to find out what's in this...
MARSHAL: (Interrupts.) I shall find out!
DOCTOR: May I suggest that you take it to the conference. It could well be for someone there.
MARSHAL: Could it? I think there are more important things.

(He heads for the door and opens it.)

MARSHAL: Far more important things. Stubbs!
MARSHAL: Don't let these two out of your sight.

(The MARSHAL and his guard leave. The DOCTOR gestures to JO to re-take her seat on the bench and he joins her. They stare at STUBBS with the friendliest of smiles.)


(KY, VARAN and three Solonians are gathered in the MARSHAL'S office. A Solonian keeps KY and VARAN from approaching each other to continue their dispute. Apart from these two warring leaders, the others are sat at the table in the middle of the room. The door glides open and the MARSHAL enters. Over his uniform, he wears a sleeveless ceremonial tunic. He is followed by two guards and VARAN'S SON. As the guards search this latecomer, VARAN and the MARSHAL stand together and quietly confer.)

MARSHAL: Which is he?
VARAN: By the door.
MARSHAL: Does he understand the new instructions?
VARAN: He understands.
MARSHAL: Is he reliable?
VARAN: He is my son.

(The MARSHAL looks surprised.)

MARSHAL: Your son?
VARAN: You asked for someone in whom we could trust.
MARSHAL: Yes, good Varan.

(He hands VARAN a small object like a leather pouch and steps away as VARAN'S SON approaches his father. VARAN hangs the object round his SON'S neck as KY watches in a mixture of suspicion and pent-up hatred. The klaxon bell rings out.)

TANNOY VOICE: His Excellency - the Administrator.

(The ADMINISTRATOR walks in. He too wears a ceremonial tunic. He steps onto the platform which overlooks the central table.)


(In the centre of the DOCTOR and JO'S room, an object like a crystal ball has now been placed on the central stand. On this appears a distorted image of the events in the MARSHAL'S office. STUBBS watches with them.)

TANNOY VOICE: Skybase one, Skybase one, this is an Overlord telecast.

(A piece of militaristic electronic music starts to be played.)

DOCTOR: Bombastic signature tune, isn't it?
STUBBS: Well, it always impresses them on Solos.
DOCTOR: (Sarcastically.) Does it really?

(They see all the Solonians taking their places with KY taking a seat at the round table that keeps his back to the ADMINISTRATOR on his podium.)

TANNOY VOICE: His Excellency, the Administrator, is about to make his final statement of terms relating to the question of independence in the presence of the Solonian all-peoples union.
DOCTOR: What's your view, Stubbs?
STUBBS: Independence? Yeah, the sooner the better. Let's get off and home. Plenty to sort out there.
DOCTOR: Yes, quite so.

(Whilst STUBBS is looking at JO, the DOCTOR gestures to her with his fingers to keep him talking. She takes the hint...)

JO: Have you got a family back on Earth?
STUBBS: Oh, I hope so, Miss.
JO: Do you hear from them very often?

(The DOCTOR slowly starts to walks behind STUBBS.)

STUBBS: Oh, I get reports, you know? The odd video.
JO: No letters?
STUBBS: Letters?
JO: Mmm.
STUBBS: What the...

(The DOCTOR places two hands on STUBB'S shoulders in a nerve-pinch. The man looks pained and sinks to the floor.)

DOCTOR: Sorry about that, Stubbs. Well done, Jo, you did that beautifully.
JO: Pity, he was rather sweet.
DOCTOR: Do you think so?
JO: Mmm.
DOCTOR: Come on, let's go to that conference.

(He operates the door and JO passes him the container.)

JO: Here, you take that.


(The ADMINISTRATOR gazes down at the small group of Solonians, including a visibly tense and impatient KY.)

ADMINISTRATOR: Some five hundred years ago, we Earthmen - Overlords, as you call us - arrived on Solos. Our ancestors, yours and mine, made a solemn treaty - a pact, a bond, an act of friendship...

(KY mutters loudly enough to be heard to a Solonian next to him.)

KY: Treachery...
ADMINISTRATOR: ...and mutual co-operation between our two peoples.

(Sat at his desk, the MARSHAL watches impassively.)

ADMINISTRATOR: A bold concept - two...different cultures, far apart in terms of development...

(The MARSHAL nods at VARAN'S SON...)

ADMINISTRATOR: ...uniting together to create a new society.

(VARAN'S SON starts to examine the pouch.)

ADMINISTRATOR: A new and richer world. Now, after five hundred years of...
KY: (To the Solonians.) Exploitation.

(The ADMINISTRATOR ignores the comment.)

ADMINISTRATOR: ...expert scientific and technical aid, we have steered you to the verge of...

(KY turns in his seat and yells up into the ADMINISTRATOR'S face.)

KY: Disaster!
ADMINISTRATOR: ...to the verge of independence.


(The DOCTOR and JO enter the deserted transfer section. They see the designated transport cubicles.)

DOCTOR: Segregation.
JO: Mmm.

(They look round.)

DOCTOR: This way.

(They head off.)


(The conference continues...)

ADMINISTRATOR: ...rights and privileges as citizens of empire. You, the peoples of Solos, have given us much. And we in return have given you...
KY: (Loudly.) Mutts!
ADMINISTRATOR: ...a strong and stable system of government.

(KY has had enough. He mutters to the Solonian on his right...)

KY: Freedom now!

(The Solonian nods. KY turns to the one on his left...)

KY: Freedom now!

(He too nods.)

ADMINISTRATOR: Despite, I say, recent acts of terrorism, violence...

(The Solonians start to chant, their voices rising in pitch...)

SOLONIANS: Freedom...freedom...freedom!
ADMINISTRATOR: ....and subversion.

(The ADMINISTRATOR raises his voice to make himself heard as the SOLONIANS chant.)

SOLONIANS: (Shout.) Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
ADMINISTRATOR: (Shouts.) The only black mark on the history of amicable relations unparalleled throughout the empire!

(KY thumps the table and jumps to his feet.)

KY: (Shouts.) We want freedom and we want it now!


(The DOCTOR and JO round a corner and find themselves outside the door to the MARSHAL'S office. COTTON is there with his gun raised.)

COTTON: Where do you think you're going?
DOCTOR: Well, to the conference, of course.
COTTON: Not without a pass. Sorry, sir.
DOCTOR: Pass, what pass?
COTTON: Nobody in without a pass, sir.
DOCTOR: Look, all this has been arranged by the Administrator.
COTTON: Sorry sir, that Mutt - extra security all over.

(The DOCTOR holds up the container.)

DOCTOR: Look, this thing contains important documents - details of the whole independence agreement, ready for signing.
COTTON: Open it up, please sir.
DOCTOR: (Shocked.) What?
COTTON: Can't risk weapons in there, sir.


(As VARAN'S SON points the pouch at the ADMINISTRATOR, he and KY are both shouting, both making impassioned speeches and shouting over one another...)

ADMINISTRATOR: Now it is my duty to set out the final conditions that Earth Council has laid down!
KY: (Shouts.) Do you hear that, Varan? Hundreds of years of oppression and slavery!
ADMINISTRATOR: Good friends! I beg you to listen!
KY: (Shouts.) You pollute the lands we live by!
ADMINISTRATOR: (To KY, urging.) We have no need to quarrel.
KY: (Shouts.) Now you want to take from us the very air we breathe!
ADMINISTRATOR: Look, Earth government...

(The MARSHAL stands and points to KY as VARAN'S SON aims...)

MARSHAL: (Shouts.) Guards, arrest him!
ADMINISTRATOR: Earth Government is prepared to concede if you will only let me finish!

(The guards rush KY and they start to struggle. VARAN'S SON fires what would appear to be a small poison object at the ADMINISTRATOR who clutches his cheek in shock. A guard rushes to assist him. KY fights off his guards.)

KY: (Shouts.) Out! Go!

(KY runs for the door.)

MARSHAL: (Shouts.) Stop him!
KY: (Shouts.) Get back to Solos!
MARSHAL: (Shouts.) Stop him!


(KY runs into the corridor where the DOCTOR is still arguing with COTTON.)

DOCTOR: No, I can't open it!
KY: (To the DOCTOR.) Out of my way, Overlord!

(KY pushes past him, touching the container in the process. The top of it starts to rise upwards and KY runs off.)

DOCTOR: (Shouts.) The box - it's opening! Wait - this is for you!
JO: I'll get him, Doctor.
DOCTOR: (Shouts.) Wait!

(JO runs off after the fleeing Solonian as the guards and the MARSHAL pour out from his office.)

MARSHAL: After him! After him! He must be stopped!

(They all give chase.)


(KY runs into the reception and transfer section. Hearing JO coming up behind him, he hides round a corner.)

JO: Wait! Listen! I've got to talk to you! Listen...!

(KY grabs her and uses her as a shield as he backs towards a transport cubicle, hearing the MARSHAL shouting to the approaching guards.)

MARSHAL: (OOV.) Stop him!
JO: What are you doing?
KY: They will not shoot an Overlord.
JO: But I'm not an Overlord! I've come to help you!

(KY and JO enter a transport cubicle. The MARSHAL, the DOCTOR and the guards, weapons trained, stand before the row of cubicles.)

MARSHAL: Now, you fool! Shoot!
DOCTOR: No, you can't!
MARSHAL: I said fire!

(The guards fire and the cubicle explodes...)

Next Episode

Dr. Who

Jo Grant







Varan's Son

Title music by
and BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Incidental Music by

Special Sounds by

Film Cameraman

Film Sound

Film Editor

Visual Effects Designer

Costume Design


Studio Lighting


Script Editor



Directed by


BBC 1972


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