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Running time : 24:06

(The TARDIS flying through space..)

My life is an endless journey across the bounds of space and time. A time traveller, drifting amongst the great galaxies of the universe.
The TARDIS made an uncomfortable landing. It was as though it had been plucked from the sky by some vast magnetic force, pulling us down into its web. Of course I had no idea where, or in which period of time we had arrived.

(Sounds of waves at a beach.)

But we had materialized onto an isolated stretch of beach, miles from any visible signs of habitation. It was a cold unwelcoming winter's night with curling white foam gently lapping the shore. And all around us, deep mud banks stretching for as far as the eye could see.

(Sea gulls screech.)

My companion Sarah Jane and I decided to explore our bleak surroundings, but as we stepped out into the freezing darkness of the night, we were both overwhelmed by a feeling of deep apprehension. A feeling that we were not alone.

(A long high whistling.)

Sarah : Doctor? Doctor where are we?

Doctor : I don't know Sarah but wherever it is I have an uncomforable feeling we're not welcome.

Sarah : What do you mean?

Doctor : It's all too quiet. Only the sea and the wind. This beach must stretch for miles and yet I got the feeling we're not the only ones here. As though we're being watched.

Sarah : Doctor, if you're trying to give me the creeps, may I say you're doing a very good job?

Doctor : What month is it Sarah?

Sarah : February I think.

Doctor : We could be somewhere in England.

Sarah : Well how can you tell?

Doctor : Position of the stars. Wind direction. Temperature.

Sarah : Yes I'm glad you mentioned temperature. It's like the Arctic out here! Even my goosepimples have goosepimples. Hey, wait a minute. Hey Doctor come over here have a look at this.

Doctor : What is it?

Sarah : A notice board.

Doctor : What does it say?

Sarah : I don't know until you shine your torch. Ah. Ministry of defence. It is dangerous to swim from this beach at any time. Keep out.

Doctor : Swim? The tides so shallow I doubt there's enough water to paddle in.

Sarah : Then why is it so dangerous? Oh well. I suppose we have to be grateful we're back in good old civilisation again.

Doctor : There's some lights over there in the distance. Looks as though they're miles away on the other side of the bay. We'll never make it on foot.

Sarah : Especially with all this mud around. (She shouts.)

Doctor : Sarah what is it? What are you looking at?

Sarah : Oh on the beach here. Look.

Doctor : Some kind of seaweed.

Sarah : I've never seen seaweed like that before. It's more like a baby octopus! Yes look at that eye. Ugh. Horrible.

Doctor : Yes and the tentacles. Like tinfoil it's made out of some kind of metal substance!

Sarah : You know you're right. It is quiet. There's not even a wind noise. Doctor why don't we just go back to the TARDIS?

Doctor : Listen.

Sarah : What?

Doctor : Shush. Can't you hear it. That sound.

Sarah : I can't hear anything... oh Doctor you're doing it again! You're trying to scare me. Stop it!

Doctor : No Sarah. Listen. Don't make a sound. Don't even breath. Just listen.

(Waves coming out of the sea....)

Something was moving in the sand dunes nearby. Slithering its way towards us along the beach. What kind of beast it was we couldn't tell. But all the time it was getting closer. And closer. Breathing. Searching. Hunting. Then suddenly as the moon began to emerge behind dark clouds we got our first glince at the beast that was stalking us.....

Sarah : Doctor!

(A loud roar!)

We didn't wait to see what it was that had leaped out at us from the shadows. For we just ran and ran faster than I would have thought possible. All I can remember is that we were so terrified I must have tripped over my scarf twleve times or maybe thirteen.

(A louder, longer roar.)

However we soon discovered that our travels had brought us back into the present day. We were on the east coast of the British Isles, where the waters of the great River Thames flow out into the sea. An underwater expedition, organized by the government, had apparently just vanished without trace from the bed of the estuary. They had been searching for some kind of meteorite that had dropped into the sea some years earlier, causing serious flood damage all along the River Thames. Even into the city of London itself. Now as you know, I have spent a great deal of my travels avoiding a dazzling array of meteorites which tumble across the darkness of space like millions of bright stars. So it did seem curious to me, that with all the complicated machinery man has created for himself in this twentieth century; he was unable to locate what is after all, nothing but an old piece of stone. But Professor Emmison, the eminent astronomer assured me that what they were searching for was no ordinary stone. For not only was this their third expedition to be lost without trace, the river itself was beginning to show signs of radioactive contamination. Defying the professor's stern warnings of the dangers involved, I decided to under take my own investigation of the seabed.

(Underwater bubble sounds.)

Down. Down into the murky waters of the estuary I plummeted. It was an awesome experience. Down. Down. My feet finally came to rest on the muddy seabed, sixty feet below the surface of the estuary. It was dark, and the water had clouded with the sand that my own arrival had disturbed. But to my intense curiosity, I was totally alone. No signs of marine life which form such an essential part of an underwater world. No shoals of tiny shimmering fish to dart in and out across my path. I was alone in a deserted wilderness.

My explorations led me to the mouth of a gigantic cavern which I estimated had been formed by the impact of the falling meteorite. Inside the cavern, I follwed the path of an iregular shaped tunnel which had been hollowed out beneath the seabed and with no visible end. The water was becoming colder and darker. A clear sign that the water was plunging down still further into the depths of the sea. It was getting narrower and narrower like the gallery of a vast subterranean catacomb. Eventually I found myself taking a turn to the right. As I did so something brushed against me; I couldn't see what it was. I could feel something entwining itself around my ankle. Holding me in a vice like grip. I couldn't move.

And now my body. All the life was being squeezed out of me. My arm, something was wrapping itself around my arm. I dropped the sea lamp which floated away from me, but as the light filtered out from the darkness, I caught my first glance at the alien force which was slowly curling itself around my entire body. A living weed. Clinging to me like the tentacles of a giant deep-sea octopus. Crushing my bones and preparing to feed off me. It was the same metallic weed that Sarah and I had found on the beach and which was now glistening in the underwater night, a huge emerald eye penetrating the dark. Its tentacles stabbed me. Tugging. Dragging me down. I struggled to free myself, but the dazzling tentacles were cutting into my flesh like sharp wire. The phenomena was all around me. The very blood in my body was being drained away. But suddenly it stopped.

Something had happened. For the tentacles of the alien weed had released their strangle hold on my body, and disappeared into the darkness of the tunnel. Almost as though it had never even existed. But why? Where had the phenomena come from? Where would it go to? Was it the sporn of some greater alien life force, just lying in wait for the intrusion of every unsuspecting underwater traveller? And what was it there to protect? For a few moments, I just drifted alone in the cold waters of the tunnel, trying desperately to regain all the energy that had been sapped out of me by the life and death struggle with the alien weed.

Eventually I managed to recover my sea lamp. But the scene it illuminated was one I never again hoped to witness. All around me, floating up and down rhymically with the movement of the water was all that remained of the underwater expeditions that preceded me. A scattering of disconnected human bones and skeletons, with gaping sockets where eyes had once been. Eyes that had been staring out hopelessly. Begging for the help that had never come.

Moving deeper and deeper into the heart of the tunnel, I gradually became aware of the bright fluescent glare reflected against the tunnel wall just ahead of me. I drifted closer, and I discovered I had reached the final resting place. Not of the meteorite but of some vast cylindrically shaped spacecraft. The remains of its metallic frame glistening in a pool of blinding light.

I tried to shield my eyes. For although the machine had burnt out long ago, its metal structure still retained a high density glow. I moved in cautiously for a closer look. The surface of the machine was scored with deep claw marks. As though the occupant had been involved in a life or death struggle to get out. Suddenly the air in my diving helmet seemed to be getting thinner. There was a pressure in my throat as though I was being strangled.

The heart beat. That same chilling sound I'd heard on the beach. Now it was in the tunnel. As I turned my sea lamp into the darkness I could see...a creature. Propelling itself towards me.. I had to get away. Away. Away! My worst fears had been realized. That tunnel. The burnt out spacecraft. I had seen it all before. A long time ago.

Sarah Jane helped me out of the water and I warned her of the threat we were now facing. I knew the enemy we were up against.

Sarah : Pescatons?

Doctor : Cunning ravenous creatures. Half human half fish. Their origin is in the Carcaridiay.

Sarah : Eh, say that again?

Doctor : Carcaridiay. The deep sea water species like the shark.

Sarah : Shark?

Doctor : Yes. And just as mean. The Pescatons are the most ferocious and hostile creatures I've ever know. They'll attack and feed off anything they come into contact with.

Sarah : Well what do they look like, these Pescatons?

Doctor : Hmm? Well I suppose you can say they have a head and body with the shape and texture of any of the shark species.

Sarah : Teeth?

Doctor : Sharp as nails. Fins like claws. Out of water they tower over any of their human victims.

Sarah : Well how do they move.

Doctor : Slowly on two webbed feet. More like some prehistoric beast.

Sarah : Fish who can build a spacecraft and fly off to other planets?

Doctor : Yes.

Sarah : Sounds a bit farfetched to me Doctor.

Doctor : Sarah. The Pescatons civilisation has developed a technology which is far superior than anything here on Earth. These creatures possess amazing powers.

Sarah : What are they doing here where do they come from?

Doctor : They come from Pesca. A planet that was once covered with vast oceans. Not any more. Now it's nothing but a wilderness.

Sarah : You mean you've actually been to this planet?

Doctor : Well of course I've been there. I think it was some time back in the fifteenth century.

Sarah : The fifteenth century? Just how old are you?

Doctor : Pesca belongs to a dying solar system. As the sun draws it closer and closer towards its centre, every ocean on the planet will evaporate. Do you understand Sarah? The Pescatons are desperate to escape before their planet completely disintergrates.

Sarah : But that creature we heard on the beach and in the sea bed, are you telling me it found its way to Earth across millions of miles of space?

Doctor : Yes. An advanced guard Sarah. The first of the Pescaton migration.

A fool. An eccentric. A liar. That's what the experts called me as they listened to my extraordinary account of the underwater discoveries I'd made inside the cavern on the seabed. Professor Emmison dismissed it as pure fantasy the idea of a sea creature migrating from a planet that he and his astronomer collegues had never even located. Fantasy or not...

(Screams and roars......)

Out it came. Out into the very heart of London itself. The people of this capital were stunned. Helpless against the mighty power of such a gigantic force. Their worst nightmares had become a reality. A creature from another world was amongst them.

(More screams, roars, police car sirens, ambulances....)

As day turned into night...and long dark shadows stretched across cold, frosty pavements, the city became paralized against an ominous silence. There was an air of expectancy as the bewildered people of London waited for the next onslought by their frantically hostile invader from another world. But the Pescaton, now noticeably weaker in its desperate search for salt water had retreated into a canal, to emerge later in somewhat different surroundings.


The creature shuffled its way against the deserted grounds of the London Zoo. Its strenght gradually declining. For like any fish out of water, it couldn't hope to survive Earth's atmosphere for more than a few hours at a time. But the Pescaton threat was far from over. And if it was to be destroyed, the creature had to be denied access to anything that would help to reactivate its main organic system. But time was running out for the Pescaton.

(The Pescaton roars loudly.)

The creature slumped to the ground and lay there like some prehistoric monster. Its heart pulsating, until gradually fading to silence. Not a movement. We waited tensely hardly daring to say a word. Was it all over at last? Was this unparrallel challenge to our logic finally silenced? Several minutes passed. I saw two human figures emerge from the shadows. Defying my warnings they slowly approached the body of the creature lying there crumpled up and lifeless beneath the glare of the great bank of flood lights. There was an air of jubilation in their voices as they called back the news that the creature was dead. More daring figures emerged from the shadows. All eager to satisfy their curiosity. Soon the Pescaton creature was engulfed in a crowd of on lookers. Zoo officials, police constables, soldiers. Newspaper reporters. Everyone agreed that this was a night they would never forget. Little did they know how right they were.....

(The roaring starts up again and there are sounds of screaming and shouting.)

Without warning, the creature reared up again. Striking out at its tormentors with unrelenting fury. The crowd scattered and panicked. Even in the lion house the undisputed kings of the jungle shrank to the back of the cages in terror. But for some it was too late. The creature moved swiftly, plucking out the terror stricken crowd one by one. Tearing at their flesh, hurling them with uncanny strenght against the endless rows of animal cages. But although the Pescaton threat was not yet over, its new found strenght was gradually subsiding. As if drawn by a magnet, the creature's natural instinct led it towards its one last hope of survive.

(Shattering of glass.)

The aquarium house. Here at last the Pescaton would find the potential it was looking for. Salt water and the chance to feed off those other creatures from the deep that would be powerless against such a ravenous attack. The Pescaton had to be stopped! I picked my way cautiously into the long dark aquarium hall. Flanked on either side by huge illuminated glass tanks, bulging with fish. Fins, slimy scales, cells, claws, tentacles. It was an uneasy feeling to know I was being watched by hundreds of penetrating eyes. Waiting. Watching. For a moment I just stood there and listened. Silence. The creature was lurking in the dark somewhere. I couldn't see it, but I knew it was there. And yet, not a sound. Not even a movement. Could it be that the Pescaton strength had finally expired? A heartbeat. Still alive. Rearing out of the shadows at the other end of the hall, I could see the slits of the creature's eyes glaring through the dark like bright emeralds. Suddenly and with super human strength...

(Shattering and roaring.)

The Pescaton lashed out at one of the glass tanks. Water came rushing out in a great torrent sending fish of all shapes and sizes wriggling onto the floor. I tried to get away before all the other huge tanks came tumbling down on top of me. And then, the Pescaton collapsed to the floor. It was all over.

(Loud roaring, gradually dying away...)

For a moment, I just stood there. Too frozen with fear to even move. And as I looked down, before my very eyes the creature's flesh was disintergrating. Within seconds, all that was left was the vertebra of a large fish. It was all over. At last the bewildered people of London were able to return to their daily lives without the constant fear of the unknown. The relief was enormous. But that night, the sky above the city was dazzled by the blinding display of meteorites as they dropped one by one into the murky river of the River Thames...

(Sounds of falling and splashing into water.)

The Pescaton invasion had begun.

The Doctor / Narrator

Sarah Jane-Smith


Voices recorded at Argo Studios, London
Directed by Harley Usil. Engineer : Kevin Daly
Effects and music recorded at Molinare Studios,
London and Electrophon Studios, London
Digital Mastering Services by Gary Moore,
Polygram (London) Ltd
Directed by Don Norman
Engineers : Robert Parker and Brian Hodgson

(C) 1976 The Decca Record Co.Ltd

The Pescatons is available on a single cassette
ISBN : 1 85849 6306

Transcribed by Robert Dunlop


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