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of a Time Lord
by Pip and Jane Baker
The ship shakes violently again, and Lasky asks what's happening.
The Commodore says its obvious they're running into turbulence. The
Doctor paces down the corridor and mutters that its rather more than
"Don't talk in riddles, man," demands Lasky.
The Doctor turns and tells her straight up.
"Your colleague is aiming the Hyperion III into the eye of the Black
Hole of Tartarus!"
Lasky stares in shock.
Several Vervoids stand together in their lair. One is breathing out his
thick mist. All of them are breathing heavily.
The Vervoid with the low voice tells the others that Bruchner must be
stopped, and that every Vervoid should make for the bridge area.
They all move as fast as they can towards the same tunnel.
In Janet's cabin, the Vervoid smashes every shelf it can find while still
emitting the thick gas. It then turns into the bathroom and crawls up
a ventilation duct near the floor.
Melanie opens the shower curtain and coughs as she breathes in some gas.
She clutches her face again and leaves the bathroom as fast as she can.
The Doctor and the bearded duty officer hold a laser lance as steadily as
they can as they use its white beam to cut around the lock to the bridge
Janet and the two Mogarians hang on to supporting pillars in the lounge
as tightly as they can to stop themselves from being thrown around the room.
Rudge stumbles over a chair as he makes for an exit.
The yellow crosshairs again focus on the center of the black hole.
Bruchner continues to stare at it in a daze.
Through a vent behind him... a Vervoid watches. It smashes its "fists"
against the vent grille twice, but it doesn't budge. It then starts
spitting its thick gas through the vent into the bridge.
Rudge stumbles up to the bridge doors as the Doctor and the duty officer
finish cutting the lock. The duty officer uses a cloth to shield his
hand from the heat as he pushes the lock free. As soon as it pops out,
thick white gas billows out the newly formed hole and everyone starts
to cough. The officer uses the cloth to try and cover the hole.
The entire bridge is swimming the gas, and Bruchner drowns in it,
collapsing to the floor.
The last of the gas coming through the hole is stopped off and everyone
can breathe easier. The Doctor recognizes it with surprise as marsh gas.
Lasky defines it as a methane derivative.
The Commodore wants to know what the devil's causing it, and he accuses
the Doctor and Lasky of knowing something he doesn't.
The Doctor tells him they'll answer questions later and asks Lasky if smoke
masks would be any good against the gas. She answers that they would be
The Commodore asks if this means no one can go in there, and Lasky answers
that it would be suicide to try.
The Doctor and the Commodore each make for the door and start fighting
with each other about who is going to go in. Each wants to take the
Rudge interrupts them, saying there's no need for heroics from either of them.
He lifts his communicator to his mouth, activates it, and says, "Come to the
The Hyperion III is about to plunge into the mouth of the black hole. . .
The two Mogarians calmly walk onto the bridge. They pass the dead body
of Bruchner and take the seats at the console. They immediately begin
adjusting the controls.
Outside, the shaking continues, and the Commodore notes that if they make
a hash of it in there, they'll be finished. Rudge doubts that will happen.
The Mogarians watch as the black hole passes to the left of the screen
and the course shifts to a tangent away from the hole.
The ship begins to stabilize and the Mogarians turn to each other and bow.
The Hyperion III passes safely around the side of the Black Hole of
Tartarus. . .
The two Mogarians stand on either side of Rudge in the entrance to the
bridge. The Commodore, the Doctor, the duty officer, and Lasky are
still outside. The Commodore thanks the Mogarians and says that now
the air is breathable, he'll resume command.
He begins to walk into the bridge when suddenly Rudge pulls his gun on him
and says he's afraid that will not be possible.
The Mogarian with the red translator activates his translator and says,
"What he is stating, in the usual devious human manner, is that we are
taking over the ship."
"A hijack?" asks the Doctor in disbelief. "You Mogarians are a peace-
loving race. Violence is repugnant to you."
"No one will be harmed if they obey orders," promises the Mogarian.
The Commodore threatens Rudge that he will personally see to it that he
rots in jail.
Rudge tells the Commodore to hold his tongue. "The Mogarians may not
believe in violence, but I don't share their qualms."
The Doctor lunges for Rudge, but Rudge sees it and backs the Doctor off
by pointing the gun at him.
"All my life," says Rudge to the Commodore, "someone like you has been
patronizing me and treating me with contempt. Well, I'd like the
opportunity of settling the score!"
The Mogarian tells Rudge to take the hostages to the passenger lounge.
The Doctor leads the hostage party back down the corridor.
Doland approaches Janet in the lounge. Janet is kneeling down, picking
up debris from the shaking the ship suffered.
Doland asks her if she's been able to contact the bridge, and she tells
him there's still no response.
Mel turns a corner at the same time that the hostage party turns a corner.
The Doctor and Mel see each other at the same time, and the Doctor whirls
around shouting, "Hold on, Rudge!" He stands so that Rudge's view from
the back of the hostage group doesn't let him see Mel.
"If we're being hijacked, I think we deserve an explanation!" shouts
the Doctor in mock anger. He has his hands behind his back, and he uses
one to wave to Mel for her to get back around the corner of the corridor.
She sees and hears it all and heads back for the lounge, unseen by Rudge.
Rudge warns the Doctor that if he gives him any more unexpected moves,
it won't be an explanation he gets.
Melanie runs into the lounge and shouts to Janet and Doland the news
that they're being hijacked. They notice a large security door closing
off the rear exit from the lounge, and Mel suggests that if they don't
want to get caught, they'll come with her out the door.
All three get to the door in time to squeeze under it and out of the lounge.
The Doctor enters the lounge slightly ahead of the others. While he is
out of Rudge's view (Rudge hasn't entered yet), he runs for a door on the
other side of the lounge.
Rudge finally enters after the other hostages, sees the Doctor, and warns
him to come closer to him, away from the door so that he won't be tempted
to try anything stupid.
He turns to the Commodore and demands he give him the keys to the vault.
The Commodore refuses, and Rudge punches him on the back of the neck.
The Commodore slumps to the floor, but he doesn't hit it right away as
Lasky catches him and eases the fall. The Doctor and the duty officer
move on Rudge, but he wards them off with the gun again.
He next tells Lasky to reach into the Commodore's pocket and take his keys.
As Lasky does so, the Doctor asks Rudge what he wants in the vault.
Rudge answers that he doesn't want anything for himself, but that the
Mogarians are after the consignment of precious metals. He holds out his
hand for Lasky to give him the keys as he says the Mogarians have some
quaint notion that the metals were plundered from their planet.
The Doctor doesn't think this is Rudge's motive.
"Its greed," accuses Lasky, and she throws the keys hard at Rudge. He
catches them with his hand and tells them that's not completely it. It
has to do with pride as well.
"After this voyage, I was being written off as a has-been and put out to
grass. So, I decided to arrange a more comfortable retirement." To
illustrate his point, Rudge shakes the keys in his hand.
The Commodore grunts as he starts to regain consciousness, and Lasky
says that if Rudge had any decency left, he'd get the Commodore some
Rudge points to a cabinet on the far wall, saying there's a first aid kit
through there. The duty officer moves to get it.
The Doctor tries to tell Rudge that this is all just a sideshow, and
that there's a much greater menace.
Rudge says its not his problem, as in less than one hour they will
rendezvous with their pick-up.
The duty officer returns with the first aid kit, and the Doctor takes it,
saying, "Here, allow me. After all, I am a doctor." He kneels next
to the Commodore with the kit.
Lasky stands and calls Rudge "nothing but a squallid criminal."
"If I am," answers Rudge, "where does that place you, Professor?"
Doland, Mel, and Janet stop to listen to a message from the Mogarians
over the ship's intercom.
"The Hyperion Three is no longer under the command of Commodore Travers.
All personnel must remain at their posts. If there is any attempt to
approach the lounge or the bridge, the hostages will be killed."
Mel looks at the other two and says she'll put out a call for help.
She turns to the nearest door, which is the door to the communications room.
All three look inside at the wreckage of the room in dismay.
"Oh, great!" says Mel.
Mel closes the door behind her and realizes aloud that they're millions
of miles from anywhere and completely isolated.
Doland asks Janet if she could mobilize a squad of guards, but Janet
protests that they'll kill the hostages if she does.
Doland asks her what makes her think they won't anyway. "You're not
naive enough to accept the word of a hijacker."
Mel agrees, saying they can't just do nothing.
Janet insists that if the guards go crashing in, they'll be signing four
Mel says that's true unless they can find a way of warning the hostages.
She looks significantly at a door grille to the air ducting, which she
walks over to, opens, and enters.
The Commodore and the Doctor confer in whispers. Both are seated on the
floor of the lounge. The Commodore now has his arm in a sling.
The Commodore asks, "You don't believe that Rudge is behind these killings,
"No," answers the Doctor, "He's just a weak man gone rogue."
"So whatever the outcome of this hijack," continues the Commodore, "we're
still at the mercy of a murderer."
"Or murderess," says the Doctor with a look cast to Lasky.
Melanie steps carefully through one of the air tunnels. She thinks she
hears something and stops to listen.
The Mogarians turn from the console and face the door.
"What are you doing here?" asks the Mogarian with the red translator angrily.
"We did not request refreshment!" adds the other Mogarian.
A thick, clear liquid is thrown at their face plates. The plates start
to steam as though burning, and the Mogarians collapse to the floor
crying in agony.
The Doctor is lounging by a wall. High on the wall is an air vent,
and behind it, Mel's face appears. She looks around, sees the Doctor,
and calls to him.
The Doctor looks at Rudge. Rudge is yawning widely and has his eyes off
The Doctor stands casual-like and leans against the wall near the vent.
"What are you doing in there?" whispers the Doctor furiously. "Don't you
know how dangerous it is?"
Mel asks if she should join the Doctor in that case. She then goes on
to warn him that there will be an attack on the lounge, and that when
he and the others hear the fire alarm, they are to duck for cover.
The Doctor tells her no. They are to attack the bridge, as going for the
lounge is too risky.
Mel protests, but the Doctor insists, and then practically orders Mel to
get out of the air duct.
The Vervoids confer again. The first Vervoid notes that they are not
the only ones killing animalkind. In fact, they are killing each other.
The second Vervoid (with the lower voice) says that they have no
respect for any form of life, and orders that they all resume the hunt.
All the Vervoids seperate and head for different parts of the ship.
Doland, Janet, and Melanie stand looking over the dead Mogarians on the
bridge. Their face plates seem to have been corroded, exposing them to
the oxygen atmosphere of the ship, which Doland theorizes is what killed
them as oxygen is toxic to them.
Mel asks how this could have happened and wonders who did this.
Doland stands and advises her to forget playing the detective and
concentrate on the living. "Rudge has to be convinced that the hijack's
a lost cause, and that's going to take more than words."
Mel looks at the Mogarians and suggests that their face plates will do
the trick. She unbuckles one of them, revealing the face of the dead
Mogarian within. His face is much like a human's except that it is
a pale gold color and instead of a mouth he has something that looks like
an air grill.
A Vervoid storms into the isolation room and looks for someone to kill.
It whips away the cover to the oxygen tent and finds the mutant Ruth
Baxter within. As she appears half-Vervoid, it is taken aback at first.
Ruth screams at the sight of the creature, and the Vervoid reaches
for her neck and injects a thorn. Her scream chokes off and she dies.
The Doctor is slowly pacing across the lounge when everyone there hears
a loud pounding on one of the doors.
Mel shouts in to Rudge to hold his fire as they're coming in.
The doors open and Mel, Janet, and Doland all enter. Mel and Janet
hold their hands in the air as Rudge covers them.
Janet tells him the Mogarians are dead.
Doland holds out the corroded face plates for Rudge to see, and he drops
them together at his feet.
Rudge looks at them in panic. He throws the vault keys and his gun
to the floor and runs out the nearest door.
The duty officer begins to pursue him until the Commodore tells him to
leave him to the guards and get up to the bridge. The duty officer
changes direction and runs out the door Mel and the others came in.
The Doctor immediately begins to write something using a small paper pad
and pen he produces from his coat pockets.
The Commodore approaches the Doctor and Lasky, and tells them that once
the ship is on course again, he will want some answers from Lasky and
from the Doctor as well.
The Doctor promises the Commodore that he hasn't been holding out on him
as there is an audio tape that will explain everything.
The Commodore asks why he hasn't heard it, and the Doctor tells him its
because the tape's been stolen. He asks for carte blanche to search all
the cabins, and the Commodore gives it to him right away.
The Doctor also requests that he be given a phaser, and the Commodore
hands him the phaser that Rudge threw on the floor. The Doctor at the
same time gives the Commodore the note he's been writing.
The Doctor turns to leave, and Mel joins him. She asks why he wants a
phaser, as this is very unusual for him.
"Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures," answers the
Mel says she doesn't buy that, and then asks why the Doctor made that
loud announcement about the tape, as everyone could hear.
The Doctor looks back at the small group of Lasky, Doland, and Janet that
are now conferring among themselves.
Mel says she recognizes this innocent look of the Doctor's and asks what's
The Doctor tells her that he entered this affair as a Judas goat and he
now intends to readopt the role. He looks over at Lasky and asks Mel
where she would hide the tape if she were Professor Lasky.
Mel answers that she would either put it in her cabin or in her locker in
the gym. The Doctor waves his hand and Mel heads for the gym.
Rudge runs down a corridor and straight into a Vervoid. Another turns
a corner and cuts off his escape to the rear.
Rudge is paralyzed with fear, and is paralyzed with death when a vent grill
next to him opens and a third Vervoid injects his neck with a poison thorn.
The Doctor is searching Doland's quarters, as seems obvious when Doland
enters, telling the Doctor that if he's looking for a certain tape,
he's not going to find it in the drawer he's looking in.
The Doctor stands with the phaser aimed at Doland. He asks if this meand
Doland has hidden it somewhere else.
Doland sees that a denial is obviously not going to impress him very much,
and asks the Doctor what he's accusing him with.
The Doctor says, "Murder. Amongst other things."
"Murder?" asks Doland in surprise. "Am I supposed to treat this seriously?"
The Doctor tells him he's narrowed the suspects down to two, him, and
Doland suggests that the Doctor search the Professor's cabin.
The Doctor says he already has.
Doland realizes the Doctor really is serious.
The Doctor answers that he's never frivolous about murder.
Doland asks co-operatively if this tape is important, and the Doctor
answers that it is crucial.
Doland tells him he knows he is innocent, and that he can't believe the
Professor is guilty, but he offers to help end this nonsense by showing
the Doctor somewhere else where Lasky keeps things.
The Doctor points towards the door with the phaser and Doland leads the way.
Melanie rummages in Lasky's gym locker. Lasky catches her in the act
and takes a track suit our of her hands, asking if she's finished with it.
Mel mutters that she was just admiring the design of the suit, and Lasky
advises her not to bother to lie as she's not very good at it.
She opens the pockets herself and shows Mel that there's no tape, which
is what Mel was hoping to find.
The Doctor and Doland stand in the shed of the hydroponic center.
Doland leans against a wall as the Doctor tries to open a filing cabinet
drawer. It will not open, and Doland tells him that Lasky has the only key.
The Doctor hopes that Doland will not object if he forces it open, and
produces a small device that looks like a voltmeter with a single large
knob. It attaches magnetically to the metal drawer and the Doctor operates
it. With some electronic bleeps, the drawer pops open.
The Doctor sets the phaser down on top of the cabinet and begins to search
the files inside.
"Doctor," says Doland with a smile, "Your tape."
Doland reaches into a shirt pocket and produces the small, thin cassette.
He tosses it to the Doctor, and while the Doctor is catching it, Doland
lunges forward and grabs the phaser. He trains it on the Doctor and
tells him the tape won't do him much good as he's wiped it.
The Doctor sighs and says he thought that he would have.
Doland looks surprised and asks why if the Doctor suspected him he came
down here alone with him.
The Doctor suggests it was a reckless streak that he's prone to.
"It wasn't difficult to pinpoint you. The first murder could only have
been carried out by someone with access to this unit. The second needed
poison. Even the abortive attempt on Mel's life could only have been
committed by someone who could go unchallenged into the isolation room
and get the anaesthetic."
Doland says this could all have applied to Lasky as well.
"Not the Mogarians," concludes the Doctor. "She was a hostage when they
Doland asks for his theory on his motive, and the Doctor suggests jealousy
and envy, but believes it is the more commonplace avarice.
"Then you're not as astute as I thought," replies Doland. As he continues,
a Vervoid listens from outside the shed...
"Those creatures, we call them Vervoids, represnet vast economic power!"
"Provided you can get them back to Earth," answers the Doctor.
"Oh, but I shall," promises Doland with a gleam in his eye. "No matter
what the cost. And then robots can be dumped on the scrapheap.
Vervoids will run the factories, and at practically no cost. All they
need is sunlight and water!"
The Doctor suggests that Doland already has someone willing to finance this
exploitation. Meanwhile, the eavesdropping Vervoid turns and leaves...
Doland says he has indeed found a consortium with the vision to
recognize the Vervoids' potential.
"Vision?" accuses the Doctor loudly. "You're talking about slave labor!"
Doland makes no bones about this, and is proud to say that the most
enduring and spectacular empire, Rome, was built on slave labor.
"Came to a pretty unpleasant end, though!" reminds the Doctor.
"Which brings us neatly to you," scowls Doland. He presses the trigger
on the phaser and nothing happens. He tries it again and again and still
"I took the precaution of disarming it," smiles the Doctor.
Doland turns around the Doctor and out into the rest of the hydroponic
center. At the door to the rest of the hold, his way is barred by two
armed guards and the Commodore.
The Doctor looks at him from the shed and tells him he also took the
precaution of taking the Commodore into his confidence.
Doland looks at the Doctor in disbelief while the Commodore tells the guards
to throw Doland in the brig. The guards lead him away at gunpoint.
The Commodore lags behind, looks at the Doctor, and then leaves himself.
Rudge has now joined the other bodies in the Vervoid's heap.
"Doland will soon be joining them," promises one of the Vervoids.
One guard is now Doland's escort, and he seems eager for the chance to
fire his weapon.
As they pass a vent grill, a Vervoid opens the grill and stabs the guard
in the neck with a thorn. Doland runs further down the corridor.
Once around the corner, his way his blocked by two more Vervoids.
Others join them and surround him. He looks at them nervously, muttering,
"No," and then louder, "No! I'm not your enemy! Without me, you wouldn't
exist! I'm your friend!"
The Vervoids seem to stop closing in on him, and he smiles at them.
One reaches a "hand" out to him, and he grasps it in friendly greeting.
There is a shooting sound, and Doland feels a pain. He looks at his
hand in shock, seeing the long red thorn there. He faints and collapses
dead to the world.
The Commodore, Mel, Lasky, and the Doctor stand in conference on the bridge.
The Commodore insists that as Lasky created these psychopaths she must now
tell him how to get rid of them.
The Doctor insists that the Vervoids are not psychopaths.
Mel reminds him she heard them say they intended to wipe everyone out.
Lasky theorizes that something went radically wrong with the Vervoid's DNA.
The Doctor asks why it is that none of them can see what is so glaringly
The Commodore suggests that they lack the Doctor's divine insight.
The Doctor says its nothing of the kind, but rather logic. He quizzes Mel
on how the Vervoids described them all when she overheard them.
Mel thinks for a moment and answers, "animalkind."
"Not human beings, not Mogarians," leads the Doctor, "*Animal*kind."
The Commodore hopes this is relevant, and Lasky says it is and that the
Doctor is making sense as the Vervoids are plants.
The Doctor continues that "At some stage, directly or indirectly, all
animalkind consumes plant life! Without it, we'd perish!"
Lasky realizes she was blinded to this by professional vanity, and that
Bruchner saw it.
Mel realizes that if the Doctor is right, then co-existence with the
Vervoids is an impossibility.
The Commodore agrees, saying its a question of kill or be killed.
"A conflict in which there can be no justice," agrees the Doctor sadly.
"Equally, there's no choice," insists the Commodore, "And that goes for
you too, Doctor. We need your undivided commitment!"
The Doctor stops the evidence and gets to his feet, saying "And there you
have it! The direct request! I did not meddle, I was presented with an
appeal, and not just from anyone, but from the man in whom authority was
The Inquisitor seems happy to say, "I accept your argument."
She turns and says, "Nor, Valeyard, can you refute it."
The Valeyard seems unconcerned and suggests, "Perhaps we should await the
outcome of this adventure, my Lady."
The Doctor looks at the Valeyard smugly like he knows he has him beat, and
the Inquisitor asks him if he wishes to continue. The Doctor turns and
switches the evidence playback on.
The entire Court turns to see the screen showing Lasky examining a small phial
of a brown powder.
Defence Interface One "Terror of the Vervoids"
Lasky looks depressed at the contents of the phial and says there isn't
enough left to make a spoonful of herbicide. "The Vervoids must have got
Mel and the Doctor stand behind her, with the Doctor lost in thought.
Mel asks him if he has any more ideas, and he tells her he can't get rid of
the feeling they're approaching this from the wrong way around.
He gets a thought and asks Lasky if Vervoid chloroplasts function normally.
Lasky sarcastically sees the Doctor is now indulging in cytogeneticism,
and she mentions he's a man of many talents. The Doctor asks her not
Lasky tells him that Vervoid chloroplasts do indeed trap sunlight as is
normal with all plants.
The three of them suddenly turn as they hear breathing noises from the
hydroponic center. Mel notes there's something out there.
Outside in the center, cutting off the exit, are a large group of Vervoids.
The three of them leave the shed and look at them in worry. The Doctor
asks if there is another exit, and Lasky says there isn't on this side of
the hold. She then steps forward, saying she is going to talk to the
The Doctor takes her by the arm and stops her, saying they won't listen.
She turns to him and thinks they might listen to her, as she wasn't going
to exploit them like Doland was, and they would know that.
"They'll spare no one!" protests the Doctor, but Lasky is adamant. She
says she has to try and she walks towards them slowly.
Mel calls for the Doctor, waving towards an exit she's found in the form
of another air duct.
Lasky approaches the Vervoids. They stand and listen.
"You must know who I am," she says.
"Yes, Professor Lasky," says the low-pitched voiced Vervoid, "We do."
"Then you must also be aware that I mean you no harm," continues Lasky.
"All animalkind is our enemy, Professor," says the Vervoid, "Even you!"
The Vervoids almost gently inject thorns into her neck and then lift her
dead form together.
An attendant at the pulverizer fights with a Vervoid. He holds a metal
grill between himself and the Vervoid. He maneuvers the Vervoid so
that it is just ahead of the pulverizer. He pushes, and the Vervoid
tumbles backwards into the pulverizer.
A second Vervoid he doesn't see reaches forward from behind him and gets him
in the neck with a thorn.
Melanie and the Doctor continue their flight through the vent system.
They stumble into the Vervoid's lair and the now huge dump of dead crew
members and passengers, from Rudge to Doland to Edwardes to Kimber.
Mel is shocked, and she chokes back sobs, asking the Doctor how the
Vervoids could do this as its obscene.
She turns away into the Doctor's body, and he consoles her with the fact
that this isn't obscene to a Vervoid.
Mel says he can't justify this, and wants to go on, but she breaks down
and cries into his shirt.
The Doctor pulls her away and looks gently into her eyes. He tells her
this is a matter of perspective. He reminds her that in her house in
Pease Pottage she had a large garden. He asks her what she did with the
plants she uprooted.
"Put them on a compost heap," she answers. Her face dawns with realization.
The Doctor tells her they are simply obeying instinct, "like migrating birds
or salmon swimming relentlessly upstream even though they may die."
Mel breaks down into sob again and she rests her head on his chest.
"A compulsive. . . following. . . of the life cycle. . . " he concludes.
He looks up at a small light source on a wall, and his face brightens
with an idea.
He takes Mel by the shoulders and tells her to come on.
Several guards and Janet try in vain to maintain a barricade on doors to
the lounge through which several Vervoids are attempting to enter.
Janet hysterically grabs her communicator and shouts to the Commodore that
. . .
". . . they're everywhere!"
The Doctor and Melanie enter the bridge, and the Doctor asks for the
Commodore's help. The Commodore tells him to just name it.
The Doctor tells him that like the Vervoids they are all being driven by
blind instinct, namely kill or be killed.
The Commodore reminds him impatiently that they've been over this.
The Doctor suggests, "What if instead of bringing their lives to an
abrupt end, we did the opposite? _Accelerated_ the Vervoid life cycle?"
The Commodore asks how in blazes they do that, and the Doctor answers
as though it were obvious. "Vianesium!"
Mel asks what that is, and the Doctor tells her its a rare metal found on
the airless planet of Mogar.
The Commodore adds that its worth a prince's ransom.
"Or a hijack," adds the Doctor with a smile.
Mel asks, "You mean there's a consignment on board?"
The Commodore says she's right, and that its in the vault.
Mel asks how this stuff will accelerate the Vervoid life cycle, and the
Doctor tells her its because its a substance similar to magnesium, whereby
when it is exposed to oxygenated air, it releases incredibly intense light
as well as carbon dioxide.
"Spring, summer, autumn! All condensed into a matter of moments!"
The Commodore says that they are seasons he won't be enjoying anytime soon
if he robs his own vault.
Mel tells him he certainly won't enjoy them unless he does, as they've seen
what these creatures can do.
The Doctor says he's no alternative.
Mel adds that he can't send for outside help as the ship is completely
isolated, and the Doctor is the only hope he's got.
The Commodore reluctantly decides to give the Doctor the vianesium, and so
he gives the Doctor the vault keys. He then asks what the drill will be.
The Doctor tells the Commodore that he must first drive the Vervoids back
to their lair.
The Commodore asks how.
"Plunge the ship into darkness," answers the Doctor.
The guards and Janet are getting desperate. She has to fight off her
now dishevelled hair as she calls on her communicator again that the
Vervoids are never going to give up.
The Commodore stands in front of the bridge console and announces over the
intercom that a major fault has developed in the generators. ..
His announcement goes on to say to all, including a Vervoid in the pulverizer
section, that to affect the necessary repairs, the heating will be closed
down and auxiliary lighting will only be in operation.
As he says this, the lighting in the pulverizer turns to a dim red, and
the Vervoid seems to retreat as though it were tired.
Most of the Vervoids have regathered in their lair, which is just as dark
as the rest of the ship now.
The low-voiced Vervoid asks its fellows if they are all present, and one
answers that there is still one more coming.
Thelow-voiced one thinks that the power fault is some kind of trick.
The other Vervoid asks what there would be for them to gain as animalkind
need the life support systems, and they will have to repair the generator
Unseen by all the Vervoids, the Doctor stands around a corner listening. . .
as does Mel. She holds in her hand a small metal grenade-shaped device.
She looks down at it, and then up as she hears the approaching breathing
sound of a Vervoid. It sees her and paces towards her. She retreats away
from it and straight into the lair of all the other Vervoids.
They slowly encircle her, and she screams.
The Doctor shouts, "The vianesium, Mel!" and he reaches into the lair
and throws down a grenade of vianesium to the floor. The room is bathed
in a brilliantly blinding pure white light, and the Vervoids all try to
cover their eyes. They start to moan like ghosts.
A crew member reaches in and throws down another grenade, as do others.
Mel throws hers, and the Vervoids are now so dazed that the Doctor can
reach in and pull her clear of them.
The last of the packs are delivered, and all the Vervoids now lie moaning
like the wind through autumn trees on the floor. The leaves on their
bodies are turning yellow and brown, and the color of their heads begins
to fade. . . .
The Commodore and the bearded officer listen to the moaning wind sounds
over the intercom. . .
. . . as do Janet and the guards in the lounge. She smiles at one guard
in particular. . .
The Vervoids seem to lose their ability to hold together, and leaves begin
shedding from their bodies. They seem to collapse in upon themselves, and
the leaves begin to crumple.
Mel rests her head on the Doctor's shoulder as the last of the Vervoids'
moans die away along with the Vervoids. The Doctor looks up and keys on
a communicator near his face. He says quietly, "You can restore power.
The Commodore tells the officer to restore power. He operates a control
and the room brightens to its normal levels.
Light returns to normal in the vent, and the Doctor looks around the
scene of the lair. All the Vervoids have diseminated into autumn-colored
leaves that blow in the wind of the air pumps that have reactivated.
The Doctor bends to pick up one leaf in particular. He looks at it
sadly. Mel joins him and looks at it as well. They exchange sad
glances and observe as the leaf withers into nothing in the Doctor's palm...
Janet and the Commodore stand smiling beside the Doctor and Mel in the
hold near the TARDIS.
Janet shakes Mel and the Doctor's hands each, saying, "Until we meet again."
The Commodore tells her not to say that, then smiles and tells the
Doctor that he owes him his thanks, but he'd like to make this the sweet
sorrow of a final parting.
Mel tells him she'll remember that the next time they get a MayDay call.
The Doctor tells them she means it as she has a "memory like an elephant."
"That's his idea of a compliment," says Mel, returning to a joke of
the Doctor's earlier, "comparing me to an elephant."
The Doctor says its so ludicrously appropriate he finds it amusing.
He turns to the TARDIS door and takes the key to it from the green chain
on his vest. He uses it to open the door.
Mel says that at least as long as the Doctor is laughing, he can't be
singing. She asks the Commodore and Janet if they've heard his rendering
of "On With the Motley," and they shake their heads no.
The Doctor enters the TARDIS, and Mel tells them to count their blessings.
She waves goodbye once more as she goes inside the TARDIS, and Janet
returns the wave.
The door closes, and with her customary industrial wheezes, the TARDIS
dematerializes with her police box light flashing in synch to her sounds.
Along with those sounds are the loud and out of tune voice of her owner
singing the first line of "On With the Motley. . . ."
Janet and the Commodore exchange glances, and then walk over the spot
where the TARDIS stood as they leave the hold
Defence Interface One Concludes
The Inquisitor asks the Doctor if none of the unfortunate creatures survived.
The Doctor sadly tells her that none did, as "had even a leaf survived and
fallen on fertile soil, a Vervoid would have grown."
"Every Vervoid was destroyed by your ingenious plan?" asks the Valeyard with
a hint of danger in his voice and a light growing in his eyes.
"Yes," answers the Doctor quietly.
The Valeyard stands and decrees, "Whether or not the Doctor has proved himself
innocent of meddling is no longer the cardinal issue before this Court. He
has proved himself guilty of a far greater crime!"
"You are referring to Article Seven of Gallifreyan Law?" asks the Inquisitor.
The Doctor leaps to his feat faster than he has ever yet during the Trial and
protests, "No, my Lady, that cannot apply! Had a single Vervoid leaf reached
Earth, the human race would have been eliminated!"
"Article Seven permits no exceptions!" declares the Valeyard. "The Doctor has
destroyed a complete species! The charge must now be Genocide!"
The Valeyard The Inquisitor
MICHAEL JAYSTON LYNDA BELLINGHAM
Professor Lasky Commodore
HONOR BLACKMAN MICHAEL CRAIG
DENYS HAWTHORNE YOLANDE PALFREY
MALCOLM TIERNEY DAVID ALLISTER
SAM HOWARD LEON DAVIS
First Vervoid Second Vervoid Ruth Baxter
PEPPI BORZA BOB APPLEBY BARBARA WARD
Incidental Music Special Sound
MALCOLM CLARKE DICK MILLS
BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Production Manager Production Associates
IAN FRASER JUNE COLLINS
Production Assistant Assistant Floor Manager
JANE WELLESLEY KAREN LITTLE
Visual Effects Designer Video Effects
KEVIN MOLLOY DANNY POPKIN
Technical Co-ordinator Camera Supervisor
ALAN ARBUTHNOTT ALEC WHEAL
Vision Mixer Videotape Editor
SHIRLEY COWARD HUGH PARSON
Lighting Director Sound
DON BABBAGE BRIAN CLARK
Costume Designer Make-Up Designer
ANDREW ROSE SHAUNNA HARRISON
(C) BBC MCMLXXXVI
First transmitted on 22 November, 1986.
This synopsis by Steven K. Manfred
Synopsis copyright Aug. 4, 1994.
Permission is given to all to copy this synopsis as long as it is not for
reasons of profit.
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