THE MACRA TERROR
by IAN STUART BLACK
first broadcast - 18th March, 1967
1. THE BUILDING SITE
DOCTOR: Right. Now!
MEDOK: No. Look, out there.
DOCTOR: I don't see anything.
MEDOK: In that patch of moonlight. I told you I'd seen them!
(The Doctor and Medok briefly glimpse the crab-like creature. It vanishes into the night.)
MEDOK: Ah! That proves it! I wasn't seeing things!
DOCTOR: Medok - the guards. They'll hear you.
MEDOK: It doesn't matter. They can't lock me up again. Now I can prove it. We know they're real.
OLA: Medok. I know you're in there. Come out quietly.
MEDOK: You can put that gun away. I'm coming.
OLA: Who's with you?
MEDOK: The Doctor.
OLA: What are you doing here?
MEDOK: Don't waste time. Come on over here.
OLA: Stay where you are.
MEDOK: Listen, I came out to show you.
OLA: Stand still!
MEDOK: It's the Macra, Ola! They are real! Ask the Doctor. He'll tell you.
DOCTOR: Yes, I think I can confirm...
OLA: We don't want to know what the strangers think.
DOCTOR: Well, it might be as well to...
OLA: Ha, ha, ha. Where do you think you're going?
DOCTOR: I just thought I'd go and have a look.
OLA: Stay where you are. Guards - search him.
DOCTOR: (To Medok.) What will they do to us?
OLA: I'll tell you. You're going before the Pilot. You are in the company of an escaped criminal. And you were out in the Colony at night.
MEDOK: I'm sorry, Doctor. I thought he'd listen to reason.
DOCTOR: Reason's the last thing a man like Ola will listen to.
MEDOK: You're going to be in trouble, and it's my fault.
OLA: Silence! Pilot's headquarters. Move!
2. PILOT'S OFFICE
(The pilot is speaking into a microphone.)
PILOT: ...shifts to stand by for greater efforts during working hours. The gas from the pits must be kept in constant supply at even greater
pressures. Remember the life of the colony is dependent upon this gas. All industry and activity...
(An alarm sounds.)
VOICE: Emergency call. Emergency call.
PILOT: Yes. Go ahead, emergency.
VOICE: Ola requests audience immediately. Ola requests audience immediately.
PILOT: Look, I'm extremely busy. Unless this is a major crisis, I really don't...
VOICE: Medok has been taken prisoner and one of the strangers has been captured with him.
PILOT: Bring the stranger in.
(The Doctor enters.)
DOCTOR: Good evening, Pilot. Oh, what a very nice office you have here.
PILOT: Now what's this all about, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Well, I...
OLA: We found both of them in the new buildings, Pilot.
PILOT: At night? How did he get there? Wasn't there a guard on his sleeping quarters?
OLA: All my guards were out looking for Medok, Pilot.
PILOT: I see. Very well. You may leave us, Ola. I will conduct the investigation myself.
DOCTOR: Oh, forgive me. This is interesting - a telescopic viewing machine, hmm? I imagine you can keep track on the entire Colony from here and direct
intercommunication between all parts. Hmm. Very up-to-date, I imagine. Excellent, excellent. And what...
PILOT: You don't seem to realize how serious this business is, Doctor. You have committed a crime.
DOCTOR: A crime?
PILOT: What were you doing with Medok? You know he's a dangerous man.
DOCTOR: I'm not so sure, Pilot.
PILOT: You have already been told. He has refused to cooperate and to obey orders. He suffers from hallucinations.
DOCTOR: Ah, that's the point. Does he?
PILOT: And what exactly do you mean by that?
DOCTOR: Let me perhaps explain.
(The intercom sounds.)
PILOT: Well, what is it now? I've already said that I don't want to be interrupted.
OLA: Ola reporting, Pilot.
PILOT: Well, what is it?
OLA: Medok has made a statement. It completely changes the situation.
PILOT: Oh, very well. Bring him in.
DOCTOR: I hope you are not going to listen to everything that Medok tells you?
PILOT: Why, Doctor? Are you afraid of something he might say?
DOCTOR: Well, in his state of mind he might say anything.
(Ola and Medok enter.)
MEDOK: Doctor. How have they been treating you?
DOCTOR: Perfectly all right, thank you.
OLA: Medok's made a further statement, Pilot. It's about the Doctor.
PILOT: Yes, Medok?
MEDOK: The Doctor wasn't helping me. He was trying to make me give myself up.
PILOT: Well, that was extremely brave. Why didn't you tell us this?
DOCTOR: Well, as a matter of fact...
MEDOK: Captain Ola didn't give him a chance.
PILOT: I see. Well, it seems we owe you an apology, Doctor.
MEDOK: It's better we tell the truth, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Yes. Thank you Medok. I... I quite understand.
PILOT: Take him away.
OLA: Come on Medok.
(Ola and Medok leave Pilot's office.)
PILOT: Well, I'm extremely sorry about it, Doctor, and of course you're free to go.
DOCTOR: What will happen to Medok?
PILOT: Oh. Well, he'll be taken back to the hospital for correction. He'll be given another course of treatment. And when he returns to the Colony, Medok
will be a changed man. He will cooperate and he will obey orders. He'll be just like the rest of us.
DOCTOR: Why do you want everyone to be the same?
PILOT: Doctor, this colony was founded many centuries ago by our ancestors who came from the Earth planet, like your young friends. Our ancestors
believed in the virtues of healthy happiness and we have tried to keep their ideals alive. Sometimes, alas, it is necessary to use force. (To intercom.)
The Doctor will be returning to his quarters now.
VOICE: The Doctor's escort is ready.
PILOT: Well, I'm sorry to have disturbed you, Doctor, and many thanks again for your help.
DOCTOR: Not at all. Thank you. Goodnight.
(The Doctor goes to open the door, but it is locked.)
PILOT: Oh, I'm so sorry.
(Pilot unlocks the door.)
(The Doctor leaves. The screen with the static image of the Controller lights up. A fanfare sounds.)
VOICE OF CONTROL: The Doctor and his friends are to be given the advantage of high powered adaption at once. They must begin to think like members of
the Colony. They are to have deep sleep and thinking patterns. We cannot have criticism from these strangers! The work to do it - it must begin immediately.
PILOT: (To intercom.) Emergency order from Control, top priority. Are all the cubicles connected?
VOICE: The rest cubicles for the four strangers are all connected for deep sleep and thought patterns.
PILOT: Very good. The process is to begin immediately. (To Control.) Your instructions are being carried out.
CONTROL: That is good. This is an emergency. Control must be believed and obeyed! No one on the Colony believes in Macra! There is no such thing as
Macra! Macra do not exist! There are no Macra!
3. JAMIE AND BEN'S REST CUBICLE
(Ben sleeps soundly, but Jamie less so. A quiet, calm voice is piped into the cubicle.)
VOICE: The sleeper must relax and believe. Everything in the Colony is good and beautiful. You must accept it without question. You must obey orders.
The leaders of the Colony know what is best. In the morning when you wake up you will be given some work. You will be glad to obey. You will question nothing in
JAMIE: (Whispering.) Ben? Ben?
BEN: Huh? What is it?
JAMIE: I heard something.
BEN: Oh, you're always hearing something.
JAMIE: I never heard a voice like this before. Ben?
BEN: I'm asleep.
JAMIE: It was evil, Ben - an evil voice. An evil that spoke so gently and yet... yet I almost believed what it said.
BEN: Oh, look, mate. Get some sleep. We got a hard day's work ahead of us tomorrow.
JAMIE: Why do you say that?
BEN: Well, we've got to do something to help in the Colony. We can't just eat their nosh without helping out.
JAMIE: You sound just like that voice, Ben.
BEN: Oh, what are you on about? This colony's all right. It won't be too bad to work here.
JAMIE: I never heard you talk that way before, Ben.
(Ben sleeps on.)
VOICE: You will not resist the sleeping gas. Breathe deeply. In the morning, when you wake, you will obey.
4. POLLY'S CUBICLE
(Polly is asleep. The Doctor enters, trying not to wake her. He examines the wall, and finds a concealed wire. He shorts this out, causing a small
DOCTOR: Wake up, Polly.
POLLY: Doctor? What on earth are you doing?
DOCTOR: I've been scotching a rumour. Or should I say, scorching.
POLLY: What happened?
DOCTOR: Polly, I think you've been listening to some very bad advice.
POLLY: But I've been asleep.
DOCTOR: Yes, I know you have. Fast asleep. Very fast asleep. Polly, do you smell anything? A sort of sweet perfume?
DOCTOR: Never mind. Polly, I want you to forget everything that you've been dreaming.
POLLY: Why do you say that?
DOCTOR: Well, it's just possible that you've been given a series of orders while you've been asleep. You know, do this, do that, do the other thing. My
advice to you is don't do anything of the sort. Don't just be obedient. Always make up your own mind. What am I thinking of? Ben and Jamie!
5. BEN AND JAMIE'S CUBICLE
(The Doctor enters.)
BEN: (Waking up.) Hello, Doctor. Is it morning?
DOCTOR: No, not yet. Nearly so.
BEN: What are you up to?
DOCTOR: Well, by my calculations, there should be a thin strand of wire in the wall here, like a nerve tapping the subconscious of the human brain.
BEN: Lay off, mate. You'll find yourself on a charge.
DOCTOR: Should be here somewhere. Ah!
BEN: Pack it in, Doctor. The way you mess about you could do some damage.
DOCTOR: Better some damage than loss of will power.
BEN: What are you on about? Look, get out of it. It's against the law.
DOCTOR: What law?!
BEN: The law of the Colony. Don't do that!
(The Doctor shorts the wire.)
BEN: Now you'll get chucked in jail.
(Polly hears the Doctor and Ben arguing.)
POLLY: What's the matter with you, Ben? Since when did you start to worry?
BEN: He thinks he knows best all the time, but this time he's wrong.
JAMIE: Hey, what's all the noise?
DOCTOR: Jamie, how did you sleep?
JAMIE: Oh, very badly, Doctor. I told Ben I kept hearing wee voices.
DOCTOR: That's a good sign. That means they haven't been able to get very deeply into your brain.
JAMIE: Eh? I don't understand?
DOCTOR: I'll show you. Watch this.
(He burns out another circuit.)
BEN: You're fools, all of you! Just look what you've done! You've smashed up all this equipment!
POLLY: Yes, but look here. If they were trying to make us believe a whole load of rubbish...
BEN: Rubbish? It's not rubbish. Control knows what's best for us. They want us to cooperate. We should be helping.
POLLY: What's the matter with you Ben? This doesn't sound like you at all.
BEN: We should learn to obey. The Doctor's causing trouble. I'm going to turn him in.
JAMIE: You don't know what you're doing, Ben.
(Jamie attempts to stop Ben leaving.)
BEN: Get off me!
POLLY: What's the matter with him?
DOCTOR: I'm very much afraid I'm too late.
BEN: Let go of me.
(He goes outside.)
POLLY: Don't let him go.
DOCTOR: No, it's no use, Jamie.
JAMIE: But we cannot let him go, Doctor.
DOCTOR: You'll have to. Violence will get you nowhere.
POLLY: Doctor, he's going to go and tell the guards. We've got to get you out of here.
DOCTOR: We can't leave Ben.
JAMIE: But he betrayed you.
DOCTOR: No, no. Not Ben. He's not in control of his actions. He's been given a series of instructions and he can't help himself.
POLLY: Yes but he...
(Ben returns to the cubicle with Ola.)
BEN: That's Him! He prodded about in the wall and smashed up our equipment.
OLA: This time we've got the evidence, and from one of your own friends. Come on, Doctor.
JAMIE: Leave him alone.
OLA: Get out of my way. That's an order.
JAMIE: I take orders from no one but the Doctor.
OLA: All right, you're coming too. Get out both of you!
DOCTOR: Thank you, Jamie, but I'd better go with Captain Ola.
POLLY: But Doctor, what will they do to you?
BEN: He should be in that hospital of yours.
JAMIE: You traitor. You...
OLA: That's enough!
(Ola leaves with the Doctor and Jamie.)
BEN: The hospital. He needs correction more than Medok does.
6. HOSPITAL WARD
(Medok is strapped to a bed. A voice over the loudspeakers repeats endlessly.)
VOICE: You wish to cooperate. You have seen no strange creatures. You will work hard and happily. Hard and happily. You wish to cooperate. You have
seen no strange creatures.
PILOT: It's a very difficult case, I'm afraid. Nothing much we can do. He's too far gone to help. No, he'll never be happy like the rest of us. All we
can do is send him to the pits for life.
MEDOK: Can't hide the truth.
(An alarm sounds.)
PILOT: Yes, what is it? What's that? The Doctor? I'll come at once. Keep at it.
(Medok is still trying to resist.)
7. REST CUBICLE
POLLY: What did you do it for? The Doctor's our friend.
BEN: I had to do my duty.
POLLY: Well, you go on doing it, then. I'm going to go and find out where the others have gone.
BEN: Look, Polly, you'd better stay here.
POLLY: Go on, report me.
BEN: Now look. Come back, Polly.
(She leaves the room.)
BEN: Polly! Polly!
8. BUILDING SITE
(The strange noises of the Macra are heard. Ben is searching for Polly.)
BEN: Polly, where are you? Polly? You'll be in trouble.
BEN: Don't fool about, Polly. You must obey Control.
(Ben moves a piece of timber.)
(He finds her.)
POLLY: Leave me alone.
BEN: You're coming back to the guard.
POLLY: What's the matter with you, Ben? Wake up!
BEN: You're coming with me, girl. You broke the Colony law.
BEN: What's the matter with you?
(She points into the darkness.)
BEN: There's nothing there.
POLLY: But, there was! I saw it! A huge face, like an insect, or a giant crab. It was horrible and it was looking at us and... and... and it had claws.
Claws like we saw on the time scanner.
BEN: There's nothing there. Come on.
POLLY: No, not that way.
BEN: Look you're just trying to dodge off.
POLLY: No, no. Please no. I'm not, but... but please look.
BEN: There is nothing there!
(A creature appears.)
POLLY: What is it?
BEN: I... I don't know.
POLLY: Well, what are we going to do?
BEN: There is nothing evil or harmful in this colony.
POLLY: How can you believe that, studge?
BEN: It stands to reason. It's safe. There is nothing here.
(A giant claw grabs Polly. Ben grabs a piece of timber and desperately beats at the claw.)
POLLY: (Screams.) Ben, what is this? Get it off me, Ben! It's got my foot! Ben, help!
(She screams. Ben fights the creature. The creature releases Polly and moves away.)
POLLY: Oh, it was horrible!
BEN: It's all right. I think it's going away.
(Polly is still shaken.)
POLLY: Ben, behind you! There's another one! Ahh! Ben, they're all around us!
BEN: Polly, you make a run for it, and I'll keep them here.
POLLY: No, you won't stand a chance.
BEN: We can't stop here. Come on, quick! Ahh!
9. PILOT'S OFFICE
(The Doctor and Jamie stand before Pilot's desk.)
PILOT: You have destroyed three nerve circuits, Doctor. You have burned them out. What have you to say?
DOCTOR: Rather neat, don't you think? And so simple. I did it with this.
PILOT: You admit it?
DOCTOR: I'm proud of it.
(The Doctor looks at Pilot's wall.)
PILOT: What is it? What's the matter?
DOCTOR: My dear Pilot, your wall? Even you were subjected to this form of subconscious control?
PILOT: Leave that alone.
(The Doctor finds another circuit and proceeds to short it.)
DOCTOR: That's better.
PILOT: You will be punished for this.
DOCTOR: The least you can do is to say thank you.
OLA: (OOV.) Pilot!
PILOT: What is it?
OLA: It's the young man who reported the Doctor, Pilot.
PILOT: What about him?
OLA: He has another report, Pilot. An urgent one.
PILOT: Very well, Ola, you may leave. I will deal with it.
(Ben and Polly are shown in. Polly is still visibly shaken.)
JAMIE: Who are you stabbing in the back this time?
DOCTOR: Polly? Polly? What's the matter?
POLLY: Doctor, it was horrible. A great insect, like... like a crab. It got hold of me. Ben got me free.
JAMIE: Ben did?
POLLY: And he was nearly killed himself.
PILOT: Silence. (To Ben.) Did you protect the girl from such creatures?
BEN: She ran away. I went after her.
PILOT: Did you protect her, and were there such creatures?
BEN: No. There were no such creatures.
BEN: There are no such things as Macra.
POLLY: But you saw them!
BEN: There were no such creatures! There are no such things as Macra!
DOCTOR: Don't blame him, Polly.
JAMIE: But you heard him.
DOCTOR: I told you. Ben has come under control of the evil forces at the heart of this colony.
PILOT: That is quite untrue. Control always acts for the best.
DOCTOR: Who is Control?
PILOT: You've seen our Controller.
DOCTOR: Have I? I don't remember.
PILOT: Well switch on then. We've nothing to hide.
(The screen lights up.)
CONTROL: Controller speaking. We know everything that's happened. The poor girl has had hallucinations.
JAMIE: That's not the Controller. That's just a picture of a man.
PILOT: It is a picture of our Controller.
JAMIE: Well, where is he? I'll wager he doesn't exist.
PILOT: Of course he does.
JAMIE: Well, let's see him then.
PILOT: That's not necessary.
JAMIE: Well, I don't believe he's there.
PILOT: Of course he is, you've heard his voice.
DOCTOR: Why don't you show him to us then?
PILOT: Well all right. If you wish, I'll ask. Ah, as you can hear, Control, they... they ask to see you in person.
DOCTOR: That set the cat among the pigeons.
JAMIE: They've not got him there.
(On screen we see a frail old man. He stands silently.)
VOICE OF CONTROL: This is your Controller. This is your Controller.
JAMIE: But he's an old man.
PILOT: Well, now you've seen the Controller.
JAMIE: Well let him speak.
VOICE OF CONTROL: Be silent! That is an order!
POLLY: Let him speak.
PILOT: Be silent!
JAMIE: Ah, he's not giving the orders. He can't talk.
VOICE OF CONTROL: This is the man. You will hear him speak. Speak, Controller, speak!
CONTROLLER: Speak? Am I to speak?
VOICE OF CONTROL: Tell the strangers to believe and obey!
CONTROLLER: I... I will tell them. I will tell them. I... I'll do what you say. Keep away. Don't touch me. I'll obey.
(A claw is seen on screen dragging the old man off.)
JAMIE: What's that? What's happening!
POLLY: Doctor, that was it - that thing in the picture! That was the claw! They're in control.
PILOT: Take them out of here. They are condemned to the pits!
PILOT: Take them away!
POLLY: They're in control!
and THE DANGER GANG