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by Ben Aaronovitch


"Run!" shouts the Doctor as the yellow-green energy dragon swoops into him again, flooring him. Ace does indeed run into a small opening, hoping it's a way out. It isn't, and she calls back to the Doctor that it's a dead end. A transparent door slides down behind her, and she is trapped in this small alcove, which we now find out is an airlock, for water is now pouring rapidly down on her and quickly flooding the chamber. The Doctor runs over to the door to try and open it, or stop the water flow, or something, anything to stop Ace from drowning. Then, the energy-dragon knocks him down into the wall again, and he lies on the floor apparently unconscious....

The Doctor stirs, and gets to his feet, whilst the dragon circles for another attack. The chamber is almost completely filled with water now. The Doctor runs to a control panel and fiddles with its semi-organic innards. With a look on his face that looks as though a bad smell has come with it, a flashing control unit comes away from the console in his hand. The now completely full chamber suddenly fully vents and opens from the top, shooting a stream of bubbles and Ace up into the lake water above. The Doctor looks for the dragon again, and doesn't need to look far as it again bashes him off his feet.

Peter and Ancelyn are surveying the battlefield archaeological dig. Peter is explaining that this is the place where Arthur and Mordred were supposed to have met at the final battle, and this lake the one where Bedivere threw Excalibur. He quotes Arthurian legend, telling the story of the Lady of the Lake's first bequeathal of the sword. "It's all a myth really," says Peter, and at that moment...

[The sword Excalibur pulls Ace up] and Ace rises from the water, holding the sword above her head, and spitting out a mouthful of water. She swims and wades to shore. Bambera runs to her and asks what she was doing in the lake. Ace says she was drowning, and gives Excalibur to Ancelyn, telling him he can be King of England. Ancelyn recognizes the sword and speaks its name. Bambera asks Ace where the Doctor is and she tells him he's still trapped in the spaceship under the lake, and that they have to help him. Lethbridge-Stewart and Shou Yuing drive up. Shou Yuing shouts down to the others on the lake shore, whilst the Brigadier goes off somewhere on his own. Bambera, Ace, and Peter run up the shore whilst Ancelyn holds Excalibur lovingly in his hands with respect for the legend it is. "Truly," he says, "the time of restitution has come."

The Doctor crouches low on the floor, peering around corners as best he can, looking for the now-hidden energy-dragon. He holds the control unit out in his hand. The light-snake leaps out again and again bashes him into a corner, this time he drops the control unit. The Doctor lies on the floor, exhausted, whilst the dragon swirls for another attack. He gets up, makes for the control unit, and is floored another time, this time with little indication that he'll be getting up in a hurry again. The snake circles once more, and then a booted foot steps into the room, and steps onto the control unit, squashing it. Swirls of light escape the flattened device, and the energy-creature suddenly glows brighter, and disappears... The foot belongs to a man whom the Doctor peers up at, and says his name: "Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. So you recognize me, then," referring to the Brigadier's previous comment: "I just can't let you out of my sight, can I Doctor?" He responds to this new statement, with "Of course, who else would it be?"

At the Gore Crow Hotel, Elizabeth walks across the room, using her guide-cane to pace the floor ahead of her. It taps into something she knows should not be there, and we see it is an armoured foot, belonging to Mordred. Elizabeth realizes it is a man, and she frighteningly asks him who he is and what he wants as he grasps her roughly. She shouts for her husband, Pat, to come quickly.

Bambera, Ace, Peter, Shou Yuing, and Ancelyn are standing around the crater, looking at the entrance to the tunnel. Bambera is criticizing Peter for not telling her that two people had gone down the tunnel, into a trap. Peter protests that Ace got out alright. Shou Yuing tells them that the Brigadier has also gone down the tunnel. Bambera corrects her that she is the Brigadier, but then the Brigadier says he is too, as Lethbridge-Stewart steps out of the tunnel, the Doctor following with a smile. Bambera says she'd heard that Lethbridge-Stewart had retired, and he agrees, he thought he had too.

Morgaine looks ahead of herself. She calls for the Knight Commander, and a young, helmeted soldier responds and steps to her side. She orders him to take his men along the road ahead of them, to seek out those who hold the sword Excalibur, and to take it from them. "And if they resist?" he asks. "Give them an honourable death," responds Morgaine. The Commander leads his troops away.

At the hotel, Mordred is helping himself to a pitcher of beer, one of several already empty. Elizabeth stands in fear behind the bar when her husband, Pat, returns from his brewery/barn (since he was carrying a beer keg with him.) He comes to her side and they embrace in a small hug to give each other security. "Your wife?" asks Mordred. "Yes," responds Pat. "With your aspect, it is well that she is blind, laughs Mordred, and he returns to his commandeered table and his pitcher of beer. Flight Lieutenant Lavel limps inside on her injured ankle, immediately turning to Pat and Elizabeth asking them is they have a phone. Mordred takes a liking to her, thinking that there is light in this grey world after all. He advances on her, and she pulls out her pistol. "Come, drink with me," he asks her, but she refuses and tells him to not move. Mordred's mother, Morgaine, enters casually, starting to speak to Mordred, then noticing Lavel and she asks Mordred who this is. He tells her she is a warrior maid, to which Morgaine responds with happiness, for now she can learn the strength of the Earth forces. She approaches Lavel, and she orders Morgaine to stay back or she'll shoot. Morgaine steps forward, and Lavel fires. Morgaine smiles, catches the bullet in her hand, crushes it, and lets the dust it now is sprinkle down from her fingers.

"Be silent," she says to Lavel. "Rest here, and tell me." Morgaine points to her own feet. Lavel drops her gun, and kneels slowly to Morgaine's feet. Morgaine rests her fingernails in Lavel's scalp, and with a small humming sound, draws the troop information from Lavel's mind. Lavel cries out, and Morgaine tells her child to do this quietly. With the knowledge-tap complete, Morgaine releases Lavel, and she crumples to the floor. "Now we know, Mordred," she tells her son. They begin to leave the hotel, when Pat tells them they can't just leave Lavel like that. Morgaine casually glances at her form, and shoots red electric-fire from her fingernails into Lavel's body. Lavel glows with energy, the glow fades, and all that is left is an ashy form, a ghostly outline of the former French Flight Lieutenant. Morgaine looks at the empty pitchers on the bar, and asks Pat if Mordred drank well. She sees it is so and says she must get the tab. She moves her hand toward Elizabeth, and Pat moves to defend her. Elizabeth flashes her hand to Pat's face, and freezes him and Elizabeth in their tracks. She moves the back of her hand to Elizabeth's eyes, there is the hum of energy, and she pulls away. She flashes open her palm again, and both are released, Elizabeth retching and dashing her hand to her eyes. She slowly opens her eyes, and tells her husband she can see, "Patrick I can see!" She smiles in disbelief and buries her head in the chest of her husband.

At the lake, Lethbridge-Stewart, the Doctor, Ace, Shou Yuing, and Peter climb into Peter's Land Rover. The Brigadier asks Bambera to take the other car, Shou Yuing's. She obeys the order, and she and Ancelyn climb into Shou Yuing's blue "deck chair" as Bambera calls it due to its strange window design. At first, Bambera cannot find the keys, allowing the Land Rover to get a good start up the road on them. Ancelyn playfully holds them up for her to take, and he asks if these are what she's looking for. She says no, but grabs them from his hand and fires up the engine.

The Knight Commander and his troops lay their ambush. An equal number of soldiers deploy themselves on both sides of the road for a good number of yards in length. They hide as the Land Rover approaches.

Inside the land Rover, the Doctor says something is wrong. The Brigadier asks him what is wrong. "We haven't been attacked yet," replies the Doctor.

One of the soldiers throws a grenade at the Land Rover, overshooting slightly and landing to the right of the Rover in the ditch beside the road. It detonates and the Brigadier swerves to evade the blast. The troops come out of hiding and begin shooting at the Rover. The Brigadier shifts the Rover into high gear and dodges the shots. Two troops stand in front of them in the road, but they get off the road quickly as the Brigadier accelerates straight toward them. They step back into the road as the Rover passes and fire at its back, smashing the rear window and ruining Peter's rear-window defogger warrantee. "Now Doctor, we've been attacked," says the Brigadier as they continue up the now-clear road ahead. "Happy?" "Yes," replies the Doctor. "Oh, good!" says the Brigadier. the Doctor explains that as long as Morgaine's people are shooting at them, she won't be using more obscure methods of attack.

Morgaine and Mordred stand inside their commandeered castle. Morgaine raises her fingernails to Mordred's face, and lets him see through her eyes her clairvoyant view of the battle. Mordred insists the Knight Commander will stop them. Morgaine does not agree, and says she will deal with him in her own manner. She raises her fingers to her own face, and concentrates.

Brigadier Bambera holds an R/T to her ear and hears Lethbridge-Stewart on the other end, warning Bambera of the soldiers they have yet to meet in their car. She acknowledges Greyhound's message. She turns to Ancelyn and asks if he is from an alternative dimension. He says yes, she says good. "Don't have cars there?" she asks. No, he says. Good, she responds. "Hold onto this wheel," she tells him, and he leans across the dashboard as Bambera opens the sun roof of the car, stands up, and with her machine gun opens fire on the armoured soldiers they begin driving through. They pass the Knight Commander and he cries out "Magnificent!" in appreciation of her.

The Land Rover is parked on a hill in the road. The Brigadier receives a call on the R/T from "Seabird," (Bambera's code name.) saying it was a piece of cake and they'll be with them shortly. Outside, next to the Rover, Ace is spying the road below with binoculars and sees something. She tells the Doctor that a whole pile of "tinheads" is setting up on the road below. He looks through the binoculars himself, then goes inside the Rover and tells the Brigadier to warn Bambera.

A line of eight to ten knights stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the road ahead of Bambera, and raise their pistols.

Bambera is beginning to relax. She turns to Ancelyn in her seat and asks him if he's married. She turns back to the road, sees the road-block, and swerves into the underbrush as they fire.

Ace sees a cloud of black smoke rise from the trees below. She tells the Doctor they must help Ancelyn and Bambera. The Brigadier asks him what she wants them to do, with the area swarming with Morgaine's troops. The Doctor shakes his head. "Oh, no," mutters Ace angrily as she climbs back inside the Land Rover. The Brigadier restarts the engine and says they better get back to the hotel.

In the drive in front of the Gore Crow Hotel, a UNIT force has arrived, and are evacuating Pat and Elizabeth. The top officer tries to help Elizabeth into a Land Rover, but she insists she can do it herself. She climbs in the back of the truck, and Pat questions the officer. The officer says his name is Major Husak. Pat notices his Czech accent and asks if he's English. Husak says no, and asks Pat to get into the vehicle. The Brigadier and party drive up in their Land Rover and climb out. He introduces the Doctor and Peter Warmsley, the latter of whom Husak recognizes from his evacuation list, and he asks Peter to also get in the vehicle. Both he and Pat immediately start arguing that they have no intention of leaving. The Doctor tells them that they've very angry, and that they want to leave. Peter says, "We do not want to leave!" "Of course you want to leave," whispers the Doctor. He stares into Pat's eyes, [Pat sees the Doctor's eyes changing colour,] and hypnotizes him. He turns to Peter and tells him he wouldn't stand for any nonsense if he were him. Peter agrees that he wants to leave too, and both climb into the vehicle. Major Husak asks where the last evacuee on his last, a young lady, is, and the Doctor notes that she (Shou Yuing) and Ace appear to have both gone. Husak salutes them both, the Doctor raises his hat to Husak, and Husak departs.

The Doctor regards the UNIT troops behind them unloading crate after crate of weapons and ammunition. He insists to the Brigadier that it will be useless. The Brigadier doesn't think so, and calls over one of the soldiers with a box of ammo. He opens the box and shows the Doctor one of the bullets. he explains that it's armour-piercing, with a solid core and a Teflon coating. "A non-stick bullet," remarks the Doctor. The Brigadier insists it could go through a Dalek. He explains how UNIT's been very busy with new ammunition, high-explosive rounds for Yetis, armour-piercing rounds for robots, and gold-tipped bullets for Cybermen. The Doctor asks "No silver?" The Brigadier looks puzzled, and asks "Silver bullets?" "You never know, " says the Doctor as he heads inside the hotel. The Brigadier calls over his quartermaster-sergeant and asks if they really do have any silver bullets.

[It has been wondered how the Brigadier knows gold bullets are effective against Cybermen, since they didn't use that defense against them in "The Invasion." The answer is Harry Sullivan told them after he'd returned to Earth from the Doctor's travels, having learned that in "Revenge of the cybermen" probably mentioning them at first in passing and then in full when the Brigadier would have recognized the name (or Benton).]

The evacuation truck pulls away, and as it does, Ace and Shou Yuing peer from hiding. Shou Yuing whispering how close it was, as she nearly got evacuated. Ace tells her she may wish she had and the two head into the hotel.

Major Husak is out on patrol, and he finds Bambera's battle-scene, finding her cap on the road, but no bodies nearby. He calls to HQ and informs them that the Seabirds are still operational.

The Brigadier, inside the lobby of the hotel, tells the Doctor and shows him a map of the area. He tells them they seemed to be heading north, towards the lake, the dig, and the nuclear missile convoy where Bambera's own UNIT is. The Doctor is extremely worried about engagements near that missile and asks if the Brigadier has a helicopter available immediately to get them there. The Brigadier says he has something better than that.

Outside in the drive, two UNIT soldiers move to a canvas-covered vehicle, and pull back the tarp, to reveal.....


The Doctor smiles in happiness and honks the horn. Ace and Shou Yuing giggle at it. The Brigadier says when the Doctor last went on his travels, he had Bessie put in mothballs. Ace asks if it runs on petrol or steam. The Doctor "very funny" smiles at her.

In the woods, Ancelyn and one of Morgaine's soldiers have a swordfight. Ancelyn gains the advantage quickly and screams out a death-cry. Bambera runs up to Ancelyn and stops him, not necessarily for the soldier's life but more because of Ancelyn's noise. She asks why he can't do anything quietly, as he'll have Morgaine's entire army down on them. He says, "Let them come. Do you not know, I am the best knight in the world?" Bambera tells him of Earth's great and honourable tradition of tactical withdrawal. He smiles at her and says she wishes to run away. He agrees, he says, since there are only 50 of them at the most (wouldn't be much of a fight). She tells him to start running before she kills him herself. "Winifred," he asks with a knowing smile on his face, "Art thou betrothed?" "Not now Ancelyn!" she shouts as three more soldiers approach from the underbrush. Winifred and Ancelyn withdraw, tactically.

Ace and the Doctor stand beside Bessie, the Doctor giving her instructions before he leaves. He conjure-tricks a piece of chalk out of the air (he says he got it in the dartboard) and tells Ace that should she notice anything strange, she is to draw a chalk circle, and she and Shou Yuing are to stand inside it along with Excalibur. She giggles at these instructions, wondering how this piece of chalk will protect her against Morgaine's sorcery. The Doctor climbs inside Bessie, repeating his warnings again. He pulls an electronic device from his pocket, plugs it into the centre knob of the steering wheel, turns a rotational lever on the device, the device flashes and bleeps, and Bessie's engines start, turbines clearly being audible. Ace and Shou Yuing are at first giggling about Bessie's speed: "Nought to sixty in twenty minutes." "As fast as that?" The Doctor tells them appearances can be deceiving, and Bessie TEARS down the road in a cloud of dust. When the dust clears in about two seconds, Bessie, with her new license plates reading WHO 7, is almost out of sight, leaving flaming tire-tracks on the road where it stood a moment ago. "Gordon Bennett!" exclaims Ace. "Wicked!" smiles Shou Yuing.

Morgaine stands in her castle and observes scenes with her crystal ball. She sees the Doctor and the Brigadier speeding away in Bessie. She says Merlin is a fool to place such a trust in children, as she turns to the lobby of the hotel to see Ace and Shou Yuing guarding both Excalibur and the scabbard. "I swear that you will rue this day," promises Morgaine, "if you live!"

Ace and Shou Yuing look at a small box left discarded on a table, filled with silver bullets. Ace picks one up and looks at it for a moment, when suddenly thunder rolls overhead, and the lights in the hotel go out, and so does the light from the sun outside! "What did the Doctor say," asks Shou Yuing, "at the first sign of something strange?"

Morgaine concentrates and looks into her crystal ball, and speaks: "With fire I shall summon you." She purses her index finger and her thumb on the shadowy image of a horned beast in her sphere, as if capturing the shadow, then throwing the shadow on the wall of the castle, and indeed a full-sized, large shadow of the creature appears on the wall. "With silver I shall bind you," she says as she throws the spell, and she gazes in wonder and appreciation at the dark outline....

Ace completes a chalk circle around herself, Shou Yuing, the scabbard, and the all-important Excalibur. "Do you think we should sprinkle holy water or something?" asks Ace to Shou Yuing. she says she doesn't know, this isn't her mythology. Thunder rolls overhead again, and the area in the circle suddenly lights up around them. Shou Yuing asks Ace what's happening.

Bessie drives up to and stops at a hill overlooking the lakeshore, where battle is raging between Morgaine's troops and Bambera's UNIT forces. As the Doctor looks on, the Brigadier tells him he's just had a peculiar report from the hotel, which only said "Night has fallen here." The Doctor says he'll deal with that later after he's put an end to this bloodshed before them. The Brigadier asks him "How, doctor? Stand in the middle and shout stop?" "Good idea," replies the Doctor.

Ace and Shou Yuing sit back-to-back in the circle. Ace mutters "This is stupid." Shou Yuing is angered, thinking Ace called her stupid. She tells her she isn't stupid. Ace thinks she hears something and tells Shou Yuing she is not a freak. Shou Yuing suddenly gets up and threatens "I'm not stupid" in Ace's face. "Then why do you keep saying stupid things?" challenges Ace. "That's good, coming from a reject like you," says Shou Yuing. Ace threatens Shou Yuing, telling toe-face to shut up before she knocks her teeth in. Shou Yuing backs away at first, near the edge of the circle, then moves toward Ace. "I bet nobody likes you," fires Shou Yuing. "Shut up," says Ace, but she is now backing down to Shou Yuing, across the circle. "First chance he got, the Doctor went off without you!" hits Shou Yuing. "Shut up!" says Ace, still backing away, nearing the edge of the circle now herself. "I bet even your parents hated your guts!!" shouts Shou Yuing. Ace explodes, "SHUT UP YOU YELLOW SLANT-EYED..." ...and as she pulls back to ready a blow, her upper body leans out of the light of the circle. She looks in stunned amazement and realizes what's going on, and she collapses back inside the circle, both her and Shou Yuing hugging each other, and Ace telling Shou Yuing, "Someone's playing games with our minds."

Morgaine hmms her slight surprise as she looks on at Ace and Shou Yuing through her sphere. "They breed their children strong on this world," she says. "No matter, there will be an end to these games!" And on the wall of the castle, the dark horned outline rears its head, opens a toothy mouth, and growls deeply.

Battlefield. UNIT troops fly from behind sandbags as a hand grenade detonates behind them. Some UNIT troops manage to gun down some less well armoured knights. A soldier from each side grasp each other in wrestle-holds, to fall as a UNIT bazooka rocket impact behind them. Ancelyn uses his sword to down one soldier, while Bambera covers him, shooting a knight down who had Ancelyn in his sights, whom Ancelyn had not seen. Ancelyn does not stop, but walks proudly through the battle zone shouting for Mordred to come forward.

Flanked by two soldiers, Mordred steps out from the smoke and listens to Ancelyn. "Is your army not enough to give you courage?" taunts Ancelyn. "Courage?" laughs Mordred, "to face you, Ancelyn, who fled the field at Camlaan? Ancelyn the Craven I call you!" Ancelyn smiles and shrugs this off, and answers back, "What care I for the words of a half-man who cowers from a woman's wrath?" New fire lights in Mordred's eyes. Both men raise their swords, shout to the field and run to each other to do awful battle..... when the Doctor runs between them, and shouts so loudly that it carries across the entire field, these words, "STOP!! I COMMAND IT!! THERE WILL BE NO BATTLE HERE!!!!" He rests his arms back to his sides, and looks around. His watch falls on Mordred, who smiles and tells him, "This is no battle, 'tis but a ruse, a diversion!" A pained look crosses the Doctor's face as he realizes his mistake. "My mother has summoned the Destroyed, the Lord of Darkness, Eater of Worlds! Look to your children, Merlin, for soon they will be no more!!!" "Ace, " whispers the Doctor, "What have I done?"

Ace and Shou Yuing crouch in the light of their circle, in the dark hotel around. They become aware of someone behind them, and turn their heads to look.

She stands there, and she tells them, "I am Morgaine of the Faye." She looks down into their circle, "I am power beyond your imagining." She makes her demands of them, "Surrender to me what is mine by right of conquest."

"Give me Excalibur."

"Never!" promises Ace

"Then you shall be given over..." speaks Morgaine.... "To the Destroyer...."

And she looks over to a wall, and it appears, not all at once, clearly cloud-like, but becoming solid in a moment, the Lord of Darkness, a large creature with the body of a man but with a colour of deep blue, the Eater of Worlds, an armoured creature chained with silver.... with a face knotted with muscles and hard calcified blue flesh, a face larger than life, with horns for a beard, a mouth dripping of saliva and jagged with teeth, two dark horns twisting at the top of its head, and two eyes that....... Ace and Shou Yuing look at it, and grasp the sword tighter, and Morgaine, she says...."And become his handmaidens, in hell...."

....two deep eyes that burn with hunger.... and the Destroyer, knots its mouth, ready to devour Creation.

And Ace and Shou Yuing shift in the darkness, in the light of the circle, and in their own terror.....

The Doctor
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Elizabeth Rowlinson
Peter Warmsley
The Destroyer
Knight Commander
Brigadier Winifred Bambera
Shou Yuing
Pat Rowlinson
Major Husak
Flight Lieutenant Lavel
Stunt Arranger
Title Music Composed by
Incidental Music and Theme Arrangement
Special Sound
Production Manager
Assistant Floor Manager
OB Lighting
OB Sound
Visual Effect Designer
Vision Mixer
Technical Co-Ordinator
Videotape Editor
Production Assistant
Assistant Floor Manager
Engineering Manager
OB Cameramen
Video Effects
Graphic Designer
Camera Supervisor
Properties Buyer
Studio Lighting
Costume Designer
Studio Sound
Make-Up Designer
Script Editor
Production Associate
Episode copyright BBC-Tv, MCMLXXXIX
This synopsis by Steven Manfred

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