[ Index for this Doctor ]
[ Index for this story ]
by Christopher H. Bidmead
1, INT: MINES
(Turlough is being looked after by Range. He is seated in the cave. He looks very dazed. Tegan is also there.)
TEGAN: What happened?
RANGE: I don't know. The Doctor's gone to investigate.
TEGAN: You take care of him; the Doctor will probably need some help.
RANGE: No! Wait!
(Tegan doesn't stop though.)
RANGE: What happened in there? Please tell me. Is my daughter safe?
(But Turlough seems incapable of responding. He looks dazed.)
2, INT: MINES
(In a large cave, Norna is surrounded by a group of scaled, insect-like creatures - Tractators. They seem to be exerting some sort of force on her, holding her immobile. Elsewhere, the Doctor is watching.)
DOCTOR: So they're Tractators.
(Suddenly the Doctor spots Tegan across the other side of the cave.)
DOCTOR: No Tegan! Get back!
(He ducks behind a boulder, and Tegan stays out of view. One of the Tractators, bigger than the others and with a different face, turns around. The Doctor gradually puts his head up to see, but is immediately captured by the force emitted by the Tractator. It is seemingly a tractor beam of some sort and the Doctor is helplessly herded into the circle to join Norna. Tegan has been watching, and she moves behind the Tractators and throws her lamp on the ground, causing a big green flash. The Tractators scatter.)
TEGAN: Are you alright?
DOCTOR: Get her out of here. I'll hold them off.
(Tegan and Norna start to leave.)
TEGAN: But Doctor...
(He gives Tegan his lamp and they run off.)
3, EXT: FRONTIOS
(The Orderlies succeed in breaking down the door of the medical shelter, and they emerge with Brazen not far behind.)
BRAZEN: Alright, listen you lot! The retrograde element is out in strength. Emergency discipline procedures apply from this moment on - desertion, looting, insubordination will suffer the highest penalty! (He calms down) Right. First we find the Doctor.
(They start to walk off, and they see a group of looters running from the ship. Brazen is furious.)
BRAZEN: Alright, you lot! You've got one minute to CLEAR THIS AREA!!!
4, INT: MINES
(Range is still trying to get something out of Turlough. Tegan and Norna return.)
RANGE: Norna! Thank goodness you're safe. Where's the Doctor?
TEGAN: I'm going back for him.
NORNA: No, it's too dangerous!
TEGAN: We can't leave him there!
RANGE: Norna, you stay here with Turlough. I'm coming with you.
TEGAN: No, thanks all the same, but the Doctor's my responsibility.
(She runs off.)
RANGE: No...that's foolish to go into those tunnels alone. Look after the boy. I won't be long.
5, INT: MINES
(The Doctor stands around, until he notices two Tractators coming towards him. He hides behind a boulder. Suddenly the boulder starts moving, affected by the Tractator's power.)
DOCTOR: Oh no...
(The Doctor grabs the boulder, resisting its movement. The Doctor suddenly has an idea.)
DOCTOR: ...On the other hand....just a touch of...spin...!
(He rolls the boulder himself now, gathering momentum, and then, with a tremendous heave, rolls it straight into the two Tractators. The Doctor ends up on the ground.)
(He gets up and runs off.)
6, INT: MINES
(Tegan is elsewhere in the mines.)
TEGAN: Don't tell me you're lost, Doctor. Because if you are...so am I.
(The Doctor walks around until he spots her.)
DOCTOR: Ah, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
(But as he is about to move off, the Tractator's gravity force surrounds him. He tries to walk.)
DOCTOR: Almost like walking through treacle!
(He loses control and falls on his stomach, dragged backwards by the force.)
TEGAN: Hold on Doctor, I'll give you a hand!
DOCTOR: No! Stay back!
(Tegan runs up and grabs his hand, but she can't drag him against the force.)
TEGAN: It's alright Doctor, I've got you... What's happening?
DOCTOR: Some sort of gravity beam - from the Tractators!
(He sees Range approaching.)
DOCTOR: No no! Stay back! Get everyone back to the Research Room!
(The Doctor and Tegan are dragged away by the force. Range also leaves. The Doctor and Tegan are continuously dragged to another part of the mine.)
TEGAN: Doctor, think of something!
DOCTOR: Oh, I am - lots of things - nothing that quite fits the...gravity of the situation!
(They are dragged even further away.)
7, INT: MINES
(Turlough is actually speaking again. It doesn't really sound like him though, more as if he were deliriously rambling instead.)
TURLOUGH: ...My home...Tractators...I've seen all this before...
(Range runs up.)
RANGE: Quick, we must get him to the surface and get help.
NORNA: But he's speaking, Father. I think it's important.
TURLOUGH: They were there...WAITING...destroying us from inside...
NORNA: Sounds like something coming up from his past, like a memory picture.
TURLOUGH: Once...long ago...on my home...
NORNA: You remember them?
TURLOUGH: WE REMEMBER THEM! THE PEOPLE OF MY PLANET WILL NEVER FORGET!
RANGE: It's more than his past. It's more like deep ancestral memory.
TURLOUGH: TRACTATORS! Once...long ago...my home was...AN INFECTION!!!
(Turlough is effectively frothing at the mouth, and he still looks as though he's in a trance from unlocking the memories.)
8, INT: MINES
(The Doctor and Tegan are sliding along, controlled by the force.)
DOCTOR: Give me the lamp!
TEGAN: What are you gonna do?
DOCTOR: Wait until we're closer!
9, INT: COLONY SHIP
(Brazen leads two Orderlies through the corridors of the ship.)
10, INT: STATE ROOM
(Cockerill is packing food into a box. Brazen walks in.)
BRAZEN: You, Cockerill? This is looting! Anything to say?
COCKERILL: What? It's all over. Can't you see that?
BRAZEN: For you, yes.
COCKERILL: For Frontios. Plantagenet's been eaten by the earth.
BRAZEN: Is that what they're saying?
11, INT: CAVES
(Tegan and the Doctor continue to slide.)
DOCTOR: Hold on! Now!
(He throws the lamp, and it explodes. There is a loud noise from the Tractator controlling them, and then they are released from its control. They stand up.)
DOCTOR: Better get out of here.
(They turn and run.)
12, INT: STATE ROOM
COCKERILL: The line of leadership is destroyed, and now it's every man for himself.
BRAZEN: Where do you glean all this information?
COCKERILL: It's common knowledge.
BRAZEN: Common knowledge? You sound like a Retrograde!
COCKERILL: We're all Rets now, Brazen.
(Brazen grabs the box out of Cockerill's arms, then indicates to his Orderlies.)
BRAZEN: Take him away.
(They all walk out.)
13, INT: CAVES
(Norna and Range are effectively carrying the dazed Turlough through the caves.)
RANGE: Steady, young man. Not much further to go.
NORNA: Wait a minute, father...
(She leaves Turlough's side and goes over to pick up a piece of shiny material near them.)
NORNA: It's a map.
RANGE: That's Captain Revere's writing.
NORNA: Then that proves it; he must've known about the caves and tunnels.
RANGE: And more than that perhaps.
NORNA: You don't suppose he knew about the creatures?
RANGE: Well, he must've suspected something if he was down this far.
NORNA: Well, why not tell the people of Frontios?!
RANGE: Hmm. The conspiracy of silence. I've been collecting evidence all these years...
NORNA: You don't think they're connected, the unaccountable deaths and...these creatures?
RANGE: There is a connection. That girl Tegan told me she saw... Come on, we must hurry.
(They go over to the wall where Turlough has made his way to, and try to get his attention, but he flinches when they touch him.)
TURLOUGH: The earth is hungry...it waits to eat...
NORNA: He's forcing himself to remember.
TURLOUGH: I can see them! They are the appetite beneath the GROUND!!
14, EXT: FRONTIOS
(Cockerill is escorted outside. Brazen shoves the box of food back into his arms.)
COCKERILL: You're letting me go?
BRAZEN: I don't need you.
(He starts to move off.)
COCKERILL: This colony is finished, and everyone knows it - except for those who are too stupid to think for themselves!
BRAZEN: You've got enough food there to last...a few days. What then!?
COCKERILL: I don't know.
BRAZEN: It's not easy to live inside this system. But to live outside of it takes more than you've got.
(Cockerill turns to go, but he hasn't gone more than ten metres before a group of Retrogrades set upon him, beating him up and taking the food. Brazen just watches.)
BRAZEN: Leave him be. He's made his choice.
15, INT: MINES
RANGE: We must get help.
NORNA: This may be the help we need, Father. It's here that he remembers best. (To Turlough) You can see them under the ground? What are they doing?
TURLOUGH: ...Growing...Breeding...Spreading the infection.
NORNA: How do they do that?
(Turlough looks like he's in great pain.)
TURLOUGH: ...I can't see it...THERE'S A WALL!!!
RANGE: An emotional block, something he doesn't want to face.
NORNA: Try to get through the wall!
TURLOUGH: ...Black walls...smooth...they shine like glass...
NORNA: You can see through glass - look through it!
TURLOUGH: ...No!...IT'S EVIL!...I CAN'T LOOK!!!
(Turlough collapses, almost in tears, his mind seemingly broken. Range and Norna try and hold him upright.)
RANGE: That's enough; we must get him out of here.
(They have to drag him along as they head towards the exit to the mines.)
16, EXT: FRONTIOS
(Cockerill lies still on the earth, his face bruised and bloodied. Small areas of soil start to slip further down into the ground...)
17, INT: MINES
(Norna and Range bring Turlough towards the ladder. But as Range starts to climb...)
BRAZEN: (OOV) Ah. Mr. Range...
18, INT: RESEARCH ROOM
BRAZEN: We've been waiting for you. I have a file here which contents amount to a charge of sedition! Bring them along to the State Room.
19, INT: MINES
(Range and Norna look around to see Orderlies coming into sight, surrounding them at the bottom of the ladder.)
20, EXT: FRONTIOS
(Cockerill wakes up. He realizes that he is being sucked down slowly into the ground. He looks up and sees the group of Retrogrades watching him.)
COCKERILL: ...help me! Please, someone! Help me!
(They shake their heads. Cockerill now has soil covering most of his arms as he gets sucked further down.)
COCKERILL: Help me!
21, INT: MINES
(Tegan and the Doctor are walking around in the caves quietly.)
TEGAN: If only we knew more about these creatures.
DOCTOR: I suspect Turlough can help us with that, as soon as we get back...
(He quickly stops and turns around.)
DOCTOR: ...Get back.
TEGAN: I heard you the first time.
DOCTOR: Against the wall! There are more of them.
(They see a Tractator with its gravity beam going towards the roof of the caves.)
TEGAN: What's it doing?
DOCTOR: There's someone up there it wants to get down.
22, EXT: FRONTIOS
(Cockerill is that someone, and he continues to plead with the Retrogrades. He is now almost fully submerged.)
COCKERILL: HELP ME!
(He starts to fade away as Plantagenet did.)
23, INT: MINES
(The Doctor has withdrawn a cricket ball from his pocket.)
DOCTOR: I'm going to try...an experiment.
(The Tractator turns around to face them.)
TEGAN: Too late, it's seen us!
24, EXT: FRONTIOS
(Cockerill, no longer in the Tractator's beam, throws himself out of the earth and stands up. The Retrogrades are impressed.)
RETROGRADE: He outlived the hunger of the earth! A man who can do that can do anything!
25, INT: STATE ROOM
(In the State Room, a female deputy is seated and she addresses Range who is on trial. Brazen stands back from the deputy, and Norna and Turlough are back behind Range. Turlough is seated and he still looks dazed.)
DEPUTY: Do I understand then, Mr. Range, that you admit to keeping private and secret medical records?
RANGE: I'm the Chief Science Officer.
DEPUTY: Of course. And these records purport in part to contain a history of...'mysterious disappearances'?
RANGE: The records are accurate. Ever since our first arrival on this planet there have been cases...
DEPUTY: (interrupting) We all know the myths going about the place, Mr. Range. No need to elaborate them here.
RANGE: But are they myths? That's the point!
BRAZEN: Address the deputy, Mr. Range. It's the facts we're after - not a public debate!
RANGE: But these are the facts; bodies of the dead that have not been recovered; work personnel in the quarry unaccounted for. I even have one reliable eyewitness account of a corpse disappearing into the earth!
DEPUTY: Quite. But for some reason you chose to keep these...happenings secret.
RANGE: No, the State made them a secret. I merely collected the records.
BRAZEN: I'm a plain speaking man, Mr. Range. You've been collecting this garbage in order to subvert law and order on Frontios, haven't you? Now admit it!
RANGE: Plantagenet accuses me of that?
DEPUTY: That is correct.
RANGE: Then where is he?
(The Deputy remains silent.)
RANGE: I know why he isn't here. The Doctor's friend told me what she saw in the medical shelter. ‘Frontios buries its own dead', that's what they say, isn't it?
DEPUTY: So runs the myth.
RANGE: She saw that myth. She saw Plantagenet being eaten by the earth.
TURLOUGH: ...eaten...by the earth...
DEPUTY: He has some contribution to offer?
TURLOUGH: They live in the ground below...pulling us to them in our times of weakness...
DEPUTY: Please, we have work to do...
TURLOUGH: DEAD or alive, ...their forces...dug at our bodies.
BRAZEN: What do you know about this?
NORNA: Leave him alone!
RANGE: He's in shock, he needs warmth and rest.
BRAZEN: And I need answers, Mr. Range! (To Orderlies) Wait outside, you two.
BRAZEN: (To Deputy) Off the record, I think. (To Turlough) They...you say. Who are they?
(Turlough looks at Brazen silently.)
RANGE: I warn you as a medical man, he's in no state to be questioned!
BRAZEN: And you're out of order, Mr. Range! If there's a grain of truth in this story of yours, then these are important matters of State! Do you expect me to delay the investigation just because this young man is feeling delicate?! (Addressing Turlough again) Your name's Turlough, eh?
BRAZEN: Well now, Turlough, I want to hear...all about this.
(Turlough stares at him, he looks confused.)
26, INT: MINES
(The Doctor and Tegan still look for a way out.)
TEGAN: We've got to find the way out.
DOCTOR: Well, sometimes it's easier to look for the way in, and then work backwards.
TEGAN: Oh, come on Doctor, all these tunnels look the same!
DOCTOR: Oh, but they aren't...
(He bends down and picks up a handful of chippings from the ground.)
DOCTOR: What do you make of these?
TEGAN: Just loose chippings...
DOCTOR: Hmm...these chippings have recently been machined from these walls.
TEGAN: They have machines?
DOCTOR: Functionally advanced ones, at that. They're creating an extensive and elaborate tunnel system. Oh, insect-like they may be, but they're no ordinary insects. They have highly refined powers of abstract reasoning. These Tractators must be very intelligent beings indeed.
27, INT: TRACTATORS CAVE
(In a massive hollowed out cave the Tractators surround a smallish circular cage in which a man is sitting. The Tractator's leader, bigger and a different colour, speaks. He is the Gravis.)
GRAVIS: It is time we fetched this Doctor to us. Send...'the machine'.
28, INT: STATE ROOM
(Brazen paces around the room.)
BRAZEN: Organised...intelligent... hmm, not much of an enemy profile. What I want to know is what they are about and why!
NORNA: Please, he's in a state of shock.
RANGE: When deep ancestral memory pictures break through the conscious mind like this, dangerous instabilities are created. Now leave the boy alone! If anybody is on trial here, it's me!
BRAZEN: Not a trial, Mr. Range; a pooling of information - something we should've done decades ago!
RANGE: Well, you had the chance.
BRAZEN: No! Because you had all the information locked up! If you'd shown us that, then Captain Revere, who with his bare hands held this shambles we called Frontios together, might still be alive!
NORNA: Captain Revere knew about the creatures, he must have done! It's his fault, why didn't he tell us?
BRAZEN: And add to the rumours and unrest? You can't broadcast socially sensitive information unless you're in control of the facts!
NORNA: But if we'd known for sure...
BRAZEN: We'd have done what?! These Tractators that the boy talks about...they could explain the unspeakable events that we have witnessed.
RANGE: Not witnessed, Brazen, if we're being particular about this. You and I have not actually seen it happen.
BRAZEN: ...I have...Mr. Range. ...Come with me. I want to show you something.
(He walks towards the door and they all follow him.)
29, INT: MINES
(The Doctor takes his finger out of his mouth and holds it up.)
DOCTOR: You're never without a sense of direction while there's an air flow. Air flows from A to B. Usually you want to be at B...or at A...
TEGAN: I don't want to be at A or B, thank you very much. I just want to be out of these tunnels and back in the...
DOCTOR: Yes, well I think you can forget about the TARDIS. It's probably scattered in little pieces across the whole of Frontios.
(They turn and go down another corridor.)
30, INT: RESEARCH ROOM
(Brazen holds a lamp down through a hole in the floor, where a depression in the earth below can be seen. It is in the unmistakable shape of a body.)
BRAZEN: There, you see.
RANGE: But the State funeral? We all saw the body.
NORNA: But not the face.
BRAZEN: Carcasses are plentiful on Frontios. There had to be a corpse, just to...keep public order.
NORNA: It was here he disappeared?
BRAZEN: Sucked into the earth in front of my eyes. He was badly injured by the falling boulders and rubble, but...he would've lived.
(Turlough seems to be almost himself again.)
TURLOUGH: He may still be alive.
NORNA: What do you mean?
TURLOUGH: The Tractators need living flesh. They need minds. As well as bodies...
31, INT: TRACTATORS' CAVE
(The Gravis addresses the person in the cage, Plantagenet.)
GRAVIS: The work of excavation is our task. Beneath the soil we can expand and populate the whole of Frontios. Do you understand? It is important that you understand. ...Speak.
PLANTAGENET: We will defeat your goal!
GRAVIS: You do not know our goals! I have described our means. Once we have full control of Frontios, our plans are only just beginning.
PLANTAGENET: You are evil! We will fight you to the last!
GRAVIS: This is not a war, Plantagenet. It is a...co-operation. You will see.
PLANTAGENET: The colonists of Frontios will never co-operate with you.
GRAVIS: And yet they do! We Tractators have devised an economical technology of excavation. But...it needs a captive human mind to drive it.
PLANTAGENET: Captives? Slaves?
GRAVIS: You will see. You will see... Our old driver is nearing the end of his useful powers, but now we have another to take his place!
(The Gravis creeps closer to the cage.)
GRAVIS: Do we not...Plantagenet?
(Plantagenet stares back, in grim realisation.)
32, INT: COLONY SHIP
(Brazen walks with the Deputy.)
BRAZEN: I want a strategic force of five hand-picked men equipped for a below-ground sortie.
(They arrive at the State Room.)
BRAZEN: Ah...we'll have the briefing in here within the quarter-hour.
DEPUTY: Very good, Chief Orderly.
33, INT: MINES
(The Doctor and Tegan stop as they hear a rumbling noise from somewhere in the caves.)
DOCTOR: Wait...that's the sound.
TEGAN: What is it?
DOCTOR: The machine that did this.
(The noise gets significantly louder.)
DOCTOR: It seems to be coming this way.
(They worriedly go back in the other direction.)
34, INT: RESEARCH ROOM
(The operation is beginning, with Range helping some Orderlies down into the mines with lamps. Brazen is in the background talking to more Orderlies. One Orderly has a gun with him, which Brazen confiscates.)
BRAZEN: That weapon's no good for tunnel work, Jensen...oh, and I'll take the rations. We are going to be privileged to sit down and eat with Plantagenet on our return.
(Jensen is given a lamp by Range and he starts to descend. Elsewhere in the Research Room, Norna is talking to a fully recovered Turlough, who now seems embarrassed by his experiences. He is intently fiddling with a small metal device.)
NORNA: You didn't let anybody down.
TURLOUGH: It doesn't matter. It's not my sort of thing anyway - mooching around in caves and tunnels underground.
(Back in the other part of the Research Room, Brazen talks to Range.)
RANGE: Not Turlough.
BRAZEN: We need someone who knows the terrain.
RANGE: His mental state won't be reliable beneath ground. I'll come with you.
(Norna has joined them.)
BRAZEN: (quietly) I'd prefer you to stay here with your daughter. The Rets are on the rampage, things could get nasty outside too.
NORNA: I don't need looking after.
BRAZEN: (annoyed) Alright Mr. Range, I'll accept your offer...
(Range kisses Norna, and then they help him down the ladder.)
35, INT: MINES
(Range gets to the bottom of the ladder, and Brazen follows him down.)
36, INT: RESEARCH ROOM
(Turlough walks up to join Norna. He stares intently at the manhole.)
37, INT: MINES
(Tegan and the Doctor still go through the mines, trying to get away from the machine. The Doctor suddenly stops and pulls Tegan against a wall.)
DOCTOR: Tractators - dead ahead.
TEGAN: This is ridiculous - running about like rabbits in a hole. If you ask me...
DOCTOR: (interrupting) No one is, Tegan, so shush.
(They wait a few seconds and hear the machine noise getting louder and louder.)
38, INT: RESEARCH ROOM
(Turlough kneels near the hole, deep in thought.)
NORNA: Don't torture yourself. Nobody expects you to go back down there.
TURLOUGH: No, of course they don't.
(He stands up.)
TURLOUGH: I'm Turlough.
(He suddenly holds out both fists to Norna, indicating her to choose one.)
NORNA: What's this?
TURLOUGH: Decision time.
(She picks his left hand. In his hand is a small coin with a hole through the middle. He holds it up and sighs.)
TURLOUGH: That's it then. I'm going.
NORNA: No, don't be silly.
TURLOUGH: You can't argue with fate. Here.
(He gives Norna the coin.)
TURLOUGH: It's a two corpira piece. You blow through it for good luck.
(Turlough holds out his right hand to Norna and shakes her hand.)
NORNA: Wait a minute.
(Turlough smiles as Norna holds up a second two corpira piece. Without another word Turlough grabs a lamp and goes down the ladder.)
39, INT: MINES
(Turlough gets to the bottom and activates his lamp. He then hurries off to catch up with the others.)
40, INT: RESEARCH ROOM
(Back in the Research Room, Norna doesn't see two very hungry-looking Retrogrades peering in through the window at the food rations below them...)
41, INT: MINES
DOCTOR: Excavating machine...or Tractators. Take your pick.
(She points the way of the Tractators.)
TEGAN: ...After you.
(Resigned to their fate, they walk off into the Tractators cave.)
42, INT: TRACTATORS CAVE
(The Doctor and Tegan stop at the entrance, as all the Tractators turn to look at them.)
DOCTOR: It's a bit of a problem this, Tegan.
(They turn to go back the other way, but they stop again. They back towards the Tractators as the excavating machine arrives. It is a vast circular structure with many blades attached, but the main focus is on its very human driver. A pale, staring human head sits in the centre of the front of the machine, with wires coming in and out of it. The machine's grating, scraping noise continues as it gets nearer.)
TEGAN: That's horrible. It's a corpse.
DOCTOR: Not exactly. There's a living mind enslaved in the middle of that lot.
TEGAN: That face...I recognise it from somewhere.
DOCTOR: It's...Captain Revere...
(Captain Revere's unseeing eyes stare blankly out from the machine into nothing...)
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