Passages included found only in the novelization are marked off with (* *).
by Marc Platt
Night is falling on the house, a large Victorian mansion obviously belonging
to someone of great wealth.
Twilight is fading, the deep blue sky becoming deeper and deeper, with
shades of light falling fast....
A lift comes to a stop at the bottom of its shaft, by our standards it is
antique. The doors need to be opened and closed by hand, and so these
oak doors are, folding outwards into a small concrete bricked passageway,
the only light provided being two candles, one each held by the two
women stepping from out the curious perfect circle of light they cast
on the lift behind them.
The leading woman is clothed in the black uniform of a servant, as is
the woman behind her, but the former's clothes are blacker and without
trim, and her severe, almost evil expression, and her lead down the hall
with a single candle clearly indicate she is more senior than the servant
girl behind her, carrying a tray with a full silver set and meal on it,
as well as a second candle.
The two walk swiftly down the passageway, appearing to glide as their
legs are completely covered by their long, wide dresses.
They come to the end of the tunnel, entering a somewhat large circular
chamber, with walls of a dark yellow colour, but most of them covered
by drapes and curtains of nearly the same hue.
The two cross the chamber, stopping before a large, heavy, and dark
wooden door set into the wall, leading to another passage or room or
alcove or *something* beyond.
The leading woman leans to the door, and slides open a small peephole
so that she may peer inside and call to someone on the other side of
this deadbolted door.
"I've brought you your dinner and your copy of 'The Times,'" she tells
the unknown behind the door.
The woman bends over and lifts a panel in the bottom of the door like
a catflap or dog-door, and the maid lowers the tray of food and
newspaper to the floor before it.
And in the blink of an eye, a dark hand or claw or talon (it comes so
quickly one cannot tell what it is) snatches the tray and scrapes it
inside the darkness behind the door.....
A grandfather clock ticks the seconds away, as it's hands tell anyone
in the house that the time is ten to six. No one but us is looking at
the face at this time, however; the only people in this large entrance
hall are a number of chubby women anxiously rushing to get themselves
together as they approach the outer door of the house.
These are the sort of women who look perpetually cheerful, or like the
stereotypical jolly mothers, but these people all now wear faces of
fear of anticipation, as if they all had to be going somewhere urgently,
and not necessarily anywhere in particular as long as it was away from
The eldest of the maids descends the staircase, very worried, and even
more worried when she hears the front doorbell ring.
She goes to the door with her coat and shawl on, and her handbag in her
arm, and is a little disturbed at the sight of the man outside, as
he will most definitely need attending to.
He is dressed as a vicar or priest, taking a large black hat off his
red-bearded head and handing it and his coat to the woman beneath his gaze in a
manner that said he'd dealt with many, many servants in the past and
didn't much think of them as anything other than servants.
He strides confidently into the center of the room, announcing to one
and all that the Reverend Ernest Matthews has arrived, and that they
should tell their master at once.
The women look back at him in only complete confusion, and he makes sure
of his whereabouts by asking "This is Gabriel Chase is it not?"
The eldest maid tells him it is, but that as she understood things he
would not be arriving until later this evening.
"Young woman," he tells her with an angry smile, "My patience has already
been sorely tried by the interminable journey from Oxford."
With two simple groans and flashes of its beacon, the Police Box shell of
the Doctor's Type 40 Time And Relative Dimension In Space capsule
As it thuds with the completion of its journey, an eye watches it, and
flashes with an unearthly glow, a glow all the more unearthly as it coms
from the false, glass eye of a rocking horse.
"Professor! 30 second penalty!" complains the voice of Ace from inside
the TARDIS, and he simply tells her to "Get on with it. This is all
part of the initiative test."
Ace climbs out the door and squeezes between it and the wall of this small
room it has come to time/space rest in. She complains to the Doctor still
inside that he's still a lousy parker.
She frees herself to the rest of the room and begins to explore her
surroundings. "Hey, playtime," she says in response to that which I now
describe: the room is small and tightly confined, walls a mustard yellow
colour. Chairs, real stuffed animals, display cases of a taxidermist's
art, Victorian-era scientific equipment, an abacus, and rocking horses
clutter the already cramped room. Ace declares it to be a laboratory,
or possibly a nursery if the kids were pretty advanced, not to mention
creepy. The Doctor tells her to be concise, so she tells him "It's well
safe, Professor." "Oh, very succinct," he says sarcastically.
She tells him it must be Earth, and that this equipment is prehistoric,
as he finally comes out the badly-faced TARDIS door and slides beads down
the wall abacus. She tells him she does like the toys, though.
he climbs onto one of the rocking horses and gently swings to and fro
on it. Ace turns her attention to some of the dead insect displays and
remarks that they look pretty sick, that she can't stand dead things.
"It must be Victorian," she concludes.
"It's a surprise," says the rocking Doctor.
The clock in the entrance hall now read three minutes to six, and
Mrs. Grose and the day staff are very, very worried. She tells the
others not to worry, their day is done, and they shan't stay here a
moment longer. The other girls rush out the door, while Mrs/ Grose
wraps a shawl over her shoulders. She steps out, looks inside as she
closes the door behind her, and says "Heaven help anyone who's still here
after dark." She closes the door quickly.
....and it locks from the inside.....
The eye of a rocking horse glows softly and swiftly in the little nursery.
Ace asks the Doctor if this is a haunted house, nervously, as she told
him she "has this thing" about haunted houses. He looks at her with
mock forgetfulness and asks if she did tell him that.
He asks how many she's been in.
She tells him only one, and that was enough. She'll never go inside one
The chimes of the clock begin to strike their six bells that the hands
now tell, and instantly two doors beneath the staircases slide open,
and a group of pale-faced and dead-faced maids dressed in black dresses
with white trim glide out into the room. They are the night staff.
In another room, the orange light of a fireplace casts shadows and light
eerily across the face of a young, dark-haired, noble-looking young
woman. As she hears the clock in the other room, her head turns and her
open eyes now look purposeful.
A man is seated before the fire next to her, who rises and places white-
gloved hands on the woman's face. "I think you should go and greet our
guests my dear," says the man in a soft, slightly ghostly voice.
Two maids of the night staff step lightly down a hall in the main hall
of the second floor of the house. From behind a curtain step the Doctor
and Ace out of hiding, looking away after the women.
They step slowly down the hall, slowing at its intersection with another
hall, all the while Ace telling the Doctor about the trips to museums
she and her schoolmates used to go to on school trips. They were always
don't touch, don't wander around, don't give the school a bad name
type of things. "Still did it though," she concludes.
The Doctor points a finger to their right down the intersecting hallway,
and says this is the way to the front door. He sets off down the corridor,
but Ace stops at one of many stuffed animals mounted on the walls, this
one being a bird (mounted on a pedestal). She tickles its inanimate chin
and asks what it's name is. "You got stuffed and it wasn't even Christmas,"
she toys with it. The Doctor turns and asks "Ace?" in the way he always
does when she lags behind. She tells the bird goodbye and sets off after
the Doctor, suddenly stopping when the Doctor stops ahead of her and
turns back up the corridor to the intersection.
He bends down to look at a small metal box on the middle of the rug beneath
their feet. Ace kneels down next to him as he asks what she makes of this.
She examines the fine letters engraved on its cover, and pronounces it
to be a snuffbox. She asks the Doctor whose initials "RFC" (the ones on
the box) are, and he covers up his ignorance by saying it's her initiative
test. "So I'm asking the questions!" she protests.
She tries a tack and asks him when the Royal Flying Corps was invented.
He tells her the name wasn't thought up until 1912 as he pulls out the
radio tracking device he used in "Battlefield," extends its aerial and
looks at a reading before repocketing the device.
And one of the bird's eyes behind their backs brightens at them...
The Doctor tells Ace to ask him another question. She asks who RFC is
as he pulls out another little electronic device, shaped slightly like
a gun. He points it at the box as Ace extends a hand to touch the box,
and the device ticks as it gets nearer the metal, clearly a radiation
detector of sorts. The Doctor slaps her hand away as he shows her the
reading and she asks if it's safe. He tells her there's no such thing
as a safe level. Ace asks what that means for RFC, and the Doctor just
hopes he abandoned the box before he came to any harm.
The metal blade tip of a long, wooden spear taps the ground between them.
The Doctor identifies it as a Zuli assegai. He bends up and tells the
hand that holds it that it's quite lethal.
The hand belongs to a white-haired yet middle-aged man of medium build and
height, wearing a full safari suit as though he were an explorer of the
jungles of Africa. The man asks with a public-school accent where the
Doctor found the box. The Doctor responds he found it here, then quickly
introduces Ace and himself with a doff of his hat.
The man introduces himself as a member of the Royal Geographical Society.
The Doctor shakes his hand happily and responds that he is a member too,
several times over.
Ace asks if this is his snuff box, he turns to look at her late-1980s
clothing and turns away his eyes in fear, saying she's barely dressed.
The Doctor slides in front of her and asks that he forgive his young friend,
as she's from a less-civilized crime. "What do you want me to do? Wrap
up in a curtain?" protests Ace as she tries to crawl round in front of
the Doctor again. He puts her back behind him and tells her "Be quiet,
noble savage." he tells the explorer that he's sure that in Central Africa
this explorer has seen far grislier sights than Ace's ankle.
Ace protests that he can't see her ankle, and he says her boots in that case.
The Doctor asks if the explorer is a big game hunter, and the man replies
that he is, and that he has seen nothing that equals the atrocities that
are rumoured about this house. Ace asks the Doctor if this is the
surprise, because she's not impressed.
The hunter tells the Doctor that he's grateful he's found an ally at last,
and that they've given him the proof he needed.
He bends over, ignores Ace's warning not to touch the box, and picks up
the radioactive snuffbox.
He says this is the first substantial evidence he's found. He is here to
find Redvers Fenn-Cooper, one of the finest explorers in the Empire.
"RFC," mutters the Doctor as the hunter goes on to explain that Redvers is
somewhere in this house. He turns and walks down the hall that the Doctor
and Ace came down in and tells their following figures he's been commanded
to find Redvers, and save him from that blaggard, Josiah Samuel Smith.
And once again, the eye of a bird glows with a yellow light....
A door opens in the main entrance hall, revealing the lift and the two
maids we saw earlier. The junior of the two departs, whilst the senior
maid stands and waits as a door opens from another room and the Reverend
Ernest Matthews enters the hall. He looks very angry, and the woman simply
responds with a very icy glare.
The Reverend asks her if she's been made aware that he had been ringing
for attention since before six o'clock. She says and does nothing but
continue to cast a condescending glare at him.
He steps forward and demands to see her master immediately. And still
she just looks at him.
"This insolence has gone far enough," he warns her. "If I leave now,
madame, Mr Smith will regret the consequences. The condemnation of the
Royal Society can be ruinous."
He now has crossed the room and glares into her vacant eye, and says
"so be it."
He turns to leave, but from beneath the staircases steps the young,
aristocratic lady, who asks Reverend Matthews to please forgive them
for keeping him waiting. She introduces herself as Mr. Smith's ward.
He seems to recognize her from somewhere (*a play in London she and
her warder attended in balcony seats*), and asks if she is Gwendoline.
She smiles and says he is correct here. She says her guardian was most
concerned that he had been kept waiting, and she assures him he will join
The hunter leads Ace and the Doctor into a small room with windows and
glass-paned racks filled with all manner of weapons.
The man tells them that Josiah Smith invited Redvers here. Redvers is
his sternest opponent, and...
"..one of the finest explorers in the Empire," completes Ace.
the Doctor adds to the completion by mentioning that Redvers hasn't
been seen since. Obviously they have heard this story a few times already.
Ace wonders if perhaps Redvers got lost on the way.
The man opens one of the weapons cabinets, looks over his shoulder at Ace
and the Doctor and tells them since Henry Stanley found Doctor Livingston,
he will find Redvers Fenn-Cooper.
He turns to take something from the cabinet and begins freeing the thing
inside, whilst the Doctor takes a quick reading on this man himself.
The counter ticks wildly, indicating he's been exposed to quite a bit
of radiation, whilst the man reacts to the ticking sound and swats unseen
tetse flies away from his face.
The Doctor asks him how long he's been living in this house, but Ace
distracts him when she asks if they can go now, because the whole place
gives her the creeps. The Doctor says he thought it might.
Ace complains that this man is a headcase, and the house is like a morgue
with everything dead.
Dead is a state they could soon be in themselves as the hunter frees a
rifle from the cabinet and points it directly at their faces....
A dark-haired and bearded man stoops over a telephone, telling the person
on the other end that he understands and he will be with him shortly.
The tuxedoed man hangs up the phone, and bends up slightly and turns
to face our view. We see now that he is not quite "normal." He still
has a steep stoop to his back and his face looks primitive and blunted,
with a large, sloping forehead.
We see that he is in the curtained room in the cellar. He crosses to the
heavy wooden cell door and peers in the eyehole. He turns away and says,
"Poor, silent brute," and then walks away.
The eyehole is still open, and from behind it we can hear a guttural and
indistinct voice spit the words..."Not silent now..."
The hunter tries to close the gap between the rifle and the Doctor and Ace,
slowly pacing across the room, the Doctor and Ace backing away at the
same pace. He tells them Redvers heard some stories. The pygmies from
the Oluti Forest led him blindfold for three whole days into uncharted
jungle. They took Redvers to a swamp full of giant lizards like giant
dinosaurs. "Do you know," he suddenly asks over the sight of his weapon,
"Old Conan Doyle just laughed at him. Well, there's doctors for you."
the Doctor tries out an old trick he's used in these situations before,
attempting to ascertain whether or not the gun is a Chinese fowling
piece from the person pointing it at him. The hunter seems to grow more
determined and steps with more confidence and something like anger in
its first shoots of growth. "We're two weeks out of Zanzibar, I must find
Redvers!" he shouts as he points the gun directly at the Doctor's head now.
Ace starts to inch away now that he isn't paying much attention to her.
The Doctor gestures at the man with his hands to come forward with more
information, and asks that he tell him what else he found.
Nothing, says the hunter, though it's clear there was indeed something he
was holding back. The Doctor asks him again to describe what he saw,
and says it's alright to tell him since he's a Doctor.
The man nods now and says that yes, there was Light.
"A bright light?" asks the Doctor.
"Burning bright in the heart of the interior," replies the hunter, "it burnt
through my eyes into my mind, it had blazing, radiant, wings!"
He raises the gun back to his shoulder and starts squeezing the trigger
when Ace throws him aside and spins him in a circle, shouting for the Doctor
to help her. Before he can react, Ace is behind them both and Redvers
has regained control of his footing and is pointing the Doctor back towards
the curtained window with its tip.
"When Redfers was in the Congo," continues the hunter, "he faced a herd
of buffalo head on. He raised his gun, and with one single bullet...."
His finger starts to pull the trigger once again, whilst the Doctor tries
to slide off to the side, inadvertantly dragging the curtain along with
him, revealing the dark window behind. The man suddenly stops and lowers
the gun, transfixed by his own reflection in the glass.
"There you are old chap," he says to his reflection, his face much gentler
now, "Redvers, I've found you. What have they done to you? You look like
Ace asks in puzzlement if this really is Redvers after all, and the Doctor
responds that his mind's snapped. He's seen something too big to handle,
a snuff out, a light. He tells Ace she better go for help.
Ace protests that that'll blow their cover.
The Doctor taps his fist on the table between him and the Doctor and
glares at her with a look that says, "Just do it!"
She agrees and goes to the door, but as she opens it it is also being opened
from the other side. The senior maid, two of her minions, and the
odd-looking butler enter. The senior maid rushes across the room and
tells Mr. Fenn-Cooper that they've been wondering where he's been.
As she passes, the Doctor introduces himself and Ace but the maid just
ignores him. She grabs Redvers' and turns him in a manner that says she's
not going to take any funny business from him, tells him how "worried"
they've been about him, takes the snuff box from his pocket and places it
in her own. Redvers just stands there muttering "Poor old Redvers, poor
old chap." She grips him harshly, tells him to come along, and pushes
him across the room with the help of her minions towards the door.
the Doctor complains that he doesn't want him hurt, and Redvers strugges
against them shouting that he doesn't want to go back into the interior.
Ace shouts that they don't have to twist his arm like that as they drag
him down the hall, and then the butler closes the door to the hall
and apologizes that they had to see this must unfortunate incident.
He asks if they are hurt, and explains that the gentleman has fits of
distracted behavior, that for his own safety he must be confined.
Ace complains that they didn't have to hurt him. The Doctor introduces
themselves to the butler.
The bend-over butler tells them that his master, Mr. Smith, asks that
they join their other guest in the drawing room.
Ace looks the butler over and then asks the Doctor is this place is an
asylum with the patients in charge. "Given the chance," jokes the
Doctor, "It would be bedlam."
He thanks the butler and gropes for his name, and the butler says his
name is Nimrod. The Doctor takes off his hat and gives both it and his
umbrella to Nimrod's charge, as is fitting inside any house with a butler....
Gwendoline is trying to change Reverend Matthews' opinion of her father,
by explaining what a good man he is, and what a great naturalist he is.
"You'll see when you meet him," she promises.
The doors behind them into the main entrance hall open and reveal Nimrod,
the Doctor, and Ace, the Doctor in front. Matthews mistakes the Doctor
for Josiah, and says "So you finally condescend to meet me."
He says he is grateful for Josiah's hospitality as the Doctor steps forward,
puts on a posh accent, and says "How do you do? How nice of you to come."
Now Ernest gets a look at Ace and what she is/isn't wearing, and exclaims
"Good grief!" The Doctor introduces her. Matthews says all the stories
he's heard about Josiah are true. Smith has no shred of decency by parading
his shameless wantons around in front of his guests. Ace asks if he
means her. Matthews says he has it now. Ace is no doubt some experiment
related to Smith's mumbo-jumbo theories, and perhaps she'll evolve into
a young lady. Ace yells "Who are you calling lady, bog-brain?" into
Matthews' face, and he looks away with a stunned expression on his face.
The Doctor likes this new idea, pushes Ace behind him and tells her,
"Be quiet Eliza, I'm making some small talk."
Nimrod steps up to Matthews, to begin to explain the situation, but the
Doctor stops him by stepping forward in his path and says he thinks there's
still some tea in the pot, and that if Nimrod would go and get a couple
of cups, they would thank him very much. He also places something in
Nimrod's hand, and Nimrod looks at it in wonder. It looks like a tooth,
and Nimrod calls it the fang of a Cave Bear. He looks at the Doctor and
says it is a totem of great power. The Doctor thanks Nimrod and sends
him on his way.
Now Gwendoline steps forward and tells the Doctor that she thinks Mr.
Matthews is confused. The Doctor tells her not to worry. He'll have
him completely bewildered by the time he's finished. Ace says she'll
help. The Doctor explains to Gwendoline that they've had some trouble
with their carriage, and that Ace certainly can't go to dinner dressed
like this. Ace interrupts with a "Who says?" but the Doctor goes on
to ask if Gwendoline has any appropriate apparel that she may borrow.
Gwendoline says she would gladly hope, and leads "Alice" out into the
hall, as Ace corrects her saying her name is actually "Ace."
Lightning lights the night sky outside the house of Gabriel Chase....
...whilst inside, the Reverend Ernest Matthews begins to ask who he
believes to be Josian Samuel Smith about his theories.
The Doctor says, "Let me guess. My theories appall you, my heresies
outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie."
Matthews says the Doctor is a worse scoundrel that Darwin.
Gwendoline's uncle enters from the main hall, covers his sunglass-covered
eyes and calls out the word, "Light!" Immediately the bright candles
in the room dim by themselves, while the Doctor looks interestingly over
Josiah is dressed completely in black, wears dark glasses completely over
his eyes as if to protect them, and has a balding head, with wrinkled
and flaky skin. The word "albino" comes to mind.
The Doctor says he must be Josiah Samuel Smith, introduces himself,
and begins to introduce Matthews, when Josiah's smooth voice interrupts
him and does the job for him, also pointing out that Matthews is the
Dean of Morterhouse College, Oxford, and then finishes by welcoming them
to Gabriel Chase.
Matthews slowly sits down and regards this new person who he now knows to
be Josiah Smith, and he begins to ask Smith to account for his theories.
Before Josiah can say a word, the Doctor interrupts them next to ask
about a set of moths mounted in a wall case, and asks if they are
fascinating moths. Josiah crosses the room to the Doctor and tells them
both that he's recently made a study of these moths. There can be a
wide variation in colouring from countryside to town, he explains as
he points at appropriately marked moths on the mounting board. He
says he's certain that they're adapting to survive the smoke with which
industry is now tainting the land.
Matthews dismisses this as "Darwinian claptrap."
Redvers Fenn-Cooper sits crouched in an unlit room, arms strapped behind
his back in a straightjacket. He looks to his right and sees the snuff
box sitting on the floor. It begins to glow with a bright yellow light
that ignites shadows all across the room. He looks at the mounting
brightness with complete and utter terror.
Behind a concealing changing frame, Ace and Gwendoline are happily
trying on period clothes, tossing garments over the frame to hang.
A scream from the voice of Redfers Fenn-Cooper carries down the hall,
a blood-curdling scream of utter and abject horror or terror, that
Ace responds to, saying they had better go after the scream as something's
happened. Gwendoline hesitates, saying she can't go out wearing this,
but Ace insists that she can as she runs out Gwendoline's bedroom door.
Light utterly floods the room now and Redfers stares at the snuff box
source in transfixed terror as lightning strikes nearby, outside, but
for all the flashes of gigawatts of electricity outside, that light
cannot hope to compete with the yellow light in this room...
Outside the room the senior maid looks lazily at her candle.
Ace and Gwendoline come running up the hall, dressed in gentlemen's
tuxedos, and Gwendoline asks "Mrs. Pritchard, what's happening?"
Mrs. Pritchard, almost sleepily, says the door is jammed. Ace tells
the senior maid to stand aside and let her have a go at it. She
doesn't respond, so Ace just pushes her out of the way while she tries
to force open the door, unsuccessfully. She turns to the opposite
wall in this narrow hallway and prepares to try and kick the door down
with her feet while she presses against the opposite wall, when the
Doctor, Nimrod, and Josiah enter the hallway, the Doctor stopping Ace
telling her this is no way for a Victorian gentleman to behace.
She protests she's no gentleman. The screaming is still going on inside
the room, but Josiah seems more interested in Gwendoline's attire,
and Gwendoline defends herself saying it was Ace's idea.
Redfers screams again over the ascending high-pitched whine coming from
the small room, and Josiah orders Nimrod to unlock the door.
As Nimrod squeezes himself throught the crowd, Mrs. Pritchard's candle
strays close to Josiah's eyes, and he winces back in pain at the brightness.
Nimrod inserts a key in the doorhandle, turns the lock and the knob,
and opens the door, allowing the blindingly bright yellow light to flood
the hallway. Josiah, who was nearest the door, cries out in awful pain
and stumbles away from the door. The Doctor looks into the light but
tells Ace to cover her eyes. The Doctor attempts to enter the room
whilst Nimrod attempts to stop him halfway in. The Doctor insists that
Redvers tell him what he saw. Redvers tells the Doctor that Redvers
was so frightened of what he saw in the jungle that his hair turned
completely white, and that Redvers went completely mad. Nimrod starts
forcing the Doctor out of the room and says they must leave.
As the Doctor is bundled out of the room, Ace tries to ask what's
happenning, but Mrs/ Pritchard grabs Ace harshly by the hair and pulls
her down the hallway.
Lightning alights the night skies above Gabriel Chase once again, and
the thunder echoes through the countryside....
Mrs. Pritchard and Nimrod escort an angry Doctor and Ace back into the
drawing room as the Doctor is upset that he didn't get to see Redvers.
Mrs/ Pritchard says that it's quite out of the question and
insists that he'll be well taken care of. Ace snorts her disbelief
by saying "I bet." She then asks the Doctor what that light could have
possibly been, since Redvers was so scared of it.
Nimrod steps forward and tries to calm the Doctor by saying he can
personally assure him that Mr. Fenn-Cooper is being looked after and
will come to no harm. "Only the madmen may see the path clearly through
the tangled forest," quotes the Doctor to Nimrod, who holds up the
cave bear fang and smiles as he tells the Doctor that he has the wisdom
of the elders of his tribe.
Josiah reminds Nimrod that he has duties to perform, and Nimrod takes
his leave of the group. Ace asks the Doctor is she's right that Nimrod
is a Neanderthal, and the Doctor says she's quite correct. Nimrod
is the finest such example the Doctor's seen this side of the Stone Age.
He turns to Josiah and the others and flashes an innocent smile.
Nimrod walks with his cutomary hunch down the tunnel in the cellar to
the main chamber there. He stops at a desk and touches a control button
set into it, which initiates a clearly electronic hum as most of the
yellow curtains in the room ascend to the ceiling, revealing what lies
The room's walls are made of a dull yellow stone shaped into a sort of
saucer as if seen from the inside. The stone appears as a clear blue
stripe along the center of elevation from wall to ceiling in a circle
around the room, stopping at the two doors opposite each other, and
at a large yellow-glowing elliptical shape honeycombed with dark, black
Just before this yellow wall-chamber, on the floor of the room, stand
mounted stone controls like altars with glowing crystal rods rising
from their surfaces. Nimrod approaches the largest and central one,
and kneels before it and the glowing yellow oval as though he were praying.
From behind him, from behind a curtain in a dark corner of the room
steps a large, dark shape that stalks up behind Nimrod. It lashes out with
a long wooden stick onto Nimrod's head, knocking him unconscious to the
floor. "Did that hurt?" it asks in its strange, indistincy voice.
"Good," it says again.
Dinner is being served. On one end of the neatly set volumptious dinner
table sits the Reverend Ernest Matthews. Gwendoline, Ace, the Doctor
line the right end of the table from where Matthews is sitting, and
Josiah sits at the head nearest the door.
Ace comments that she still hasn't worked out where this place is.
Matthews says he's still waiting for an explanation for Mr. Smith's
blasphemous theories. Ace asks him what theories those are, and the
Doctor whispers to her that they're talking about Darwin's theories
of evolution that turned this century's science on its head.
Ace looks at Matthews' getting up from his seat to speak and Ace asks
the Doctor playfully if there is a free lecture thrown in with dinner.
The Doctor plays up to her, remarking that sermons are Matthews' specialty.
Ace asks if they take notes as the Reverend begins his sermon.
"Mr. Smith disputes Man's rightful dominion over nature!"
Mr. Smith, meanwhile, isn't listening, and is instead passing a pot to
the Doctor and asking if he has a taste for calves' brains. Matthews
continues, "He maintains Man must adapt to serve Nature or become
extinct." Josiah now looks up at Ernest and begins to answer when a
telephone's ring from the room behind interrupts him. He asks that thy
excuse him (but not seeming to care whether or not he has their assent),
rises from his seat and walks out the door behind him.
Matthews seats himself, complaining about these infernal telephonic machines.
Ace looks around her in disgust and asks if anyone else would like to ring
out for take-away. "Anyone fancy a curry?"
The Doctor begins to get up from his seat too, saying he knows a nice
little restaurant on theKhyyber Pass as he places his napkin on the table.
Josiah bends over a telephone in the drawing room and and speaks to who
he thinks is Nimrod on the other end. He is angry and reminds Nimrod that
he told him not to ring him now. When Nimrod doesn't answer, Josiah looks
worried and then asks if it is indeed Nimrod.
A whispery voice carries over the wire, into the earpiece where it is
translated from electricity to sound, and into the ear of Josiah Samuel
Smith. It only says two words, but they are enough to bring a look of
worry over Josiah's face that rivals that of Redvers Fenn-Cooper.
The voice says, "I escape."
"Having trouble with your connections?" asks the Doctor from the door to
the dining room. He steps forward and offers his help, but then stops
when he hears Ace calling from the main entrance hall, and says that he
thinks he has an emergency of his own, and that it is time to emerge.
The Doctor pushes open the doors into the main hall and sees a distrauht
Ace calling for him from the center of the staircase, before it splits
into two directions at the rear wall.
The Doctor steps forward and asks what's the matter.
"Face-ache Matthews in there says this place is called Gabriel Chase,"
she tells him with an accusatory tone.
"So?" he asks her.
"It was tumbling down the last time I saw it in 1983," she spits at him,
"You tricked me! THIS IS PERIVALE!!!!"
Doors beneath the lateral staircases slide open and women of the night
staff glide forward. Ace runs up the stairs, but whether she is running
from te servants, from the Doctor, or from herself, it is not clear...
He calls after and runs after his friend....
Ace seeths with anger and hurt in the weapons room where Redvers cornered
"It's true isn't it?" she asks the entering Doctor,
"This is the house I told you about."
He approaches her slowly, and retells the story she told him,
"You were thirteen. You climbed over the wall for a dare."
"This is your surprise isn't it?" she demands of him, "Bringing me back here."
"Remind me what it was you sensed. When you entered this deserted house,"
requests the Doctor of the Ace. "An aura of intense evil?"
"Don't you have thing you hate?" she accuses him.
The Doctor looks at the back of her head with sadness, and moves around
her to try to look in her eyes, but she keeps turning away.
"I can't stand burned toast," he tells her, "I loathe bus stations, full
of lost luggage and lost souls."
"I told you I never wanted to come back here again," she speaks softly and
The Doctor reaches her eyes at last as he tells her the real things he hates.
"And then, there's unrequited love, and tyranny, and cruelty...."
"Too right," agrees Ace.
"We all have a universe of our own terrors to face," he insists to her.
She looks at him and says she faces hers on her own terms.
"But don't you want to know what happened here?" pleads the Doctor, since
he certainly does.
"No," says Ace.
"You've learned something you didn't recognize when you were thirteen,"
he reminds her, hoping to engage her enthusiasm again.
"Like what?" she denies to them both.
"The nature of the horror that you sensed here."
Ace looks at him and realizes what he means now.
Josiah is leading the Reverend into the drawing room and motions for
him to have a seat to the left of the fireplace whilst Josiah himself
sits to its right, in the corner behind the door.
From a nearby conservatory, the sounds of a piano and the singing of
Gwendoline float through the open door and reach our ears.
Josiah apologizes and explains that something unforseen awaits his attention,
and asks that he indulge him a little further.
Ernest insists that having come so far, he has no intention of leaving
until he's gained full satisfaction.
Behind him, unseen by Ernest by not by us, Mrs. Pritchard is readying
a bottle of chloroform and a handkerchief...
"Then we're in accord," says Josiah, "uh, Mrs. Pritchard, see to it that
the Dean's time passes as quickly as possible."
"Very good sir," she tells him as she turns around and slaps the handkerchief
over Ernest's nose and mouth. He inhales the vapors and slumps unconscious
in his chair, as the music from the conservatory sound louder in our ears...
....Gwendoline sings a melodic little tune that hooks our ears as she smiles
an evil, secretive little smile that shows us she knows what's going on in
the next room.....
"That's the way to the zoo,
"That's the way to the zoo,
"The monkey house is nearly full,
"But there's room enough for you,
"Take the bus to Regent's Park,
"Make haste before it shuts,
"Next Monday I will come and bring you
"Such a lot of nuts."
And she punctuates the song with a high sting on the piano keys....
Gwendoline's music still carries upstairs to the weapon's room where
the Doctor stands nearer the door and asks Ace to come back to dinner.
Ace is not hungry, she simply stands and looks into the distance,
and remembers something she'd rather not think about.
And as she begins to tell the Doctor something she'd rather not talk
about, her concentration sets into her memories, the music below
fading away as she begins to speak....
"When I lived in Perivale,
"Me and my best mate,
"We dossed around together,
"We'd outdare each other on things,
"Then they burnt out Manisha's flat.
"White kids firebombed it.
"I didn't care anymore."
"I think you cared a lot Ace," says the Doctor, now next to her shoulder.
"That's when I came over the wall to the house," she tells his eyes,
"this house. I was so mad, and I needed to get away. It was empty,
all overgrown, and falling down. No one came here. When I got inside,
it was even worse! I didn't know then.... It was horrible!"
Ace's increasingly upset voice trails off her soul as Josiah enters the
room and asks for the Doctor. "Tell me, Ace!" he calls after her
retreating form, Ace running past Josiah and out into the dark hall.
The Doctor moves as if to follow her, but Josiah closes the door first.
Ace runs without a real destination in mind, she just needs to run.
She runs down the stairs into the main entrance hall, whilst Mrs.
Pritchard watches from behind the stairs. Ace runs on into an open
door she hasn't seen before, the door into the red-upholstered lift.
Ace goes inside and pulls the lever that sets the lift in motion,
and the lift carries her down.
Josiah tells the Doctor he needs his help.
The Doctor agrees with him, since it can't be easy being so far away from
home, struggling to adapt to an alien environment.
Josiah maintains that his roots are in this house and that he's as humam
as the Doctor is.
"Yes," smiles the Doctor...
Josiah goes on to say how he is afflicted with an enemy.
"A vile and base creature pitted against me. It's waiting for me now."
Josiah pulls a wad of currency from his jacket pocket and tells the Doctor
that he believes he can assist him in defeating it.
The Doctor frowns at him and says he's not interested in money.
He turns back to Josiah, curious to know just how badly Josiah wants this
enemy defeated, and asks how much money.
Josiah tells him he'll give him five thousand pounds to rid him of the
evil brute. The Doctor whistles in apprecitation and says, "Now that's
what I call Victorian value, but I'm still not interested in money!"
the lift reaches the bottom of the shaft, and the door opens. Ace steps
hesitantly out into the gloomy and dark tunnel outside.
Upstairs, Mrs. Pritchard smiles and presses a button near the lift doors...
The doors to the lift close behind Ace, and she whirls around in fear.
As she can't go back, she decides to go forward, and so she does, slowly
walking into the stone chamber ahead.
The lighting is dim, yet she looks around in fascination at the interior
of the chamber, at the Victorian desk and the wooden door contrasting
so ridiculously with the advanced altar-like crystal controls and the
deep blue translucent stones set into the walls.
She sees Nimrod still sprawled unconscious next to the main control altar,
and she goes to see if she can help. While she examines Nimrod, she
hears a whispery voice from inside the wooden door.
"There's a new scent in the dark," it says, "Warm and pulsing. Racing
A curtain in the corner of the room rises, and Ace sees two hideous
things dressed absurdly in full tuxedos. One has a completely reptilian
head, as though it were a lizard, and the other has something resembling
an amphibian's with large, bulbous white eyes.
The two creatures stagger towards Ace, and she backs away in fear.
She suddenly stops as she bumbs into a stuffed bird on a pedestal behind
her, which squaks at her.
The whispery voice continues its bad imitation of human speech as the
two creatures begin to corner Ace....
END PART ONE
Gwendoline Reverend Ernest Matthews
KATHERINE SCHLESINGER JOHN NETTLETON
Nimrod Mrs. Grose
CARL FORGIONE BRENDA KEMPNER
Title Music Composed by Theme Arrangement
RON GRAINER KEFF McCULLOCH
Production Manager Production Assistant
GARY DOWNIE VALERIE WHISTON
Assistant Floor Manager
Visual Effects Designer Video Effects
MALCOLM JAMES DAVE CHAPMAN
Vision Mixer Graphic Designer
SUSAN BRINCAT OLIVER ELMES
Technical Co-Ordinator Camera Supervisor
RICHARD WILSON SPENSER PAYNE
Properties Buyer Engineering Manager
NICK BARNETT BRIAN JONES
HENRY BARBER SCOTT TALBOTT KEITH BOWDEN
Costume Designer Make-Up Designer
KEN TREW JOAN STRIBLING
episode copyright BBC-Tv, MCMLXXXIX
this synopsis by Steven Manfred
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