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[ Index for this story ]
By ERIC SAWARD
Running time - 10:33
First transmitted : 25/07/85
(The creature growls and roars ferociously.)
Doctor: Run, Peri! Run! Quickly. Along here.
Peri: Where will that take us?
Doctor: Hopefully, away from that thing!
Peri: Perhaps you should try to talk to it. Convince it we don't mean any harm?
(There is more roaring)
Doctor: I get the feeling it might be a difficult creature to persuade.
(It roars again)
And, as you can hear, it does have rather a limited vocabulary!
2. The captain's room - bathroom.
(There is a sound of popping bubbles)
Captain: Where are you Mr. Grant?
Grant: I'm still here, Captain Slarn. It's just that there's rather a lot of steam coming off your lava bath.
Captain: Step into the light, mister. I wish to see as well as hear you fawn.
Grant: I'd be only too delighted to do so, sir, but every time I move, the steam seems to follow me!
Captain: Vacate that cloud at once, or take the consequences of your insubordination
3. The Ducting
(The roaring is still going on.)
Peri: That creature's gaining on us.
Doctor: I once met a man at a party who had found himself in a position not dissimilar to our own. As I recall, this man at the party was an actor by the name of Rudolph Musk.
Peri: That must have looked great in lights.
Doctor: Anyway, one day, while walking through a forest on the planet Vigal Minor, he was swallowed whole by a splay-footed hedron. As Rudolph was slowly sliding down the Hedron's gullet, he thought he might spend his last remaining seconds reciting his favourite sonnet, "Ode to A Flashist Mud Scavenger".
Peri: Oh! An inspired title. Almost brings tears to my ears.
Doctor: Ah! That's precisely what it did to the hedron. Such was the mind-bending stiltedness of the performance, the mucus in the hedron's gullet evaporated. It was forced to regurgitate Rudolph. Just spat him out. Quite unharmed. Quickly! Down here. Now, who knows? We might get that lucky.
(They run down the corridor and the creature roars again)
Peri: Ugh.....If that creature finds your story as indigestible as I did, I think you could be right!
4. The captain's room
Captain: This is a bad business, mister.
Grant: Awful sir.
Captain: It's made me feel quite ill.
Grant: Well, as a matter of fact I'm not feeling too good myself.
Captain: You are unimportant, mister. I am the captain here. The one who is to be cosseted, reassured that you have everything under control.
Grant: I have, in as far as it's possible, Sir. Search parties are still scouring the ducting for the missing crew members, but I fear whatever is down there has eaten them.
Captain: Find who is eating my crew members, Mister Grant, and destroy them! Otherwise the spores that are growing in my body may explode and infect the whole ship.
(The computer bleeps)
Computer: I'm sorry to disturb you boys mid-conference, but something very strange seems to be happening. Hic! Sorry about that.
Computer: Well, the thing is, I think a second being has appeared in the ducting.
Grant: Where did it come from?
Computer: If I knew that I wouldn't be so confused. All I can tell you is that she might be a migarian midget. No. I'm wrong. She's from Earth! Hey! How about that?
Grant: I'll have her brought to you at once, sir.
Captain: And quickly, mister. Mmmmm yum.... I'm rather partial to Earth women!
5. The ducting
Peri: I can't go on. I'm finished.
(The creature roars again)
Doctor: No you're not.
Peri: Save yourself, Doctor. I'm only slowing you down.
(A door closes behind them)
Oh. Brilliant timing!
(The computer bleeps)
Computer: I very much hope the sudden closure of the bulkhead door did not cause you any undue alarm.
Doctor: Oh. Not at all. (There is the sound of the creature thumping the door from the other side.) Although I find it interesting that you waited until now. We must've passed at least a dozen other bulkhead doors.
Computer: It's only significant if you find significance insignificant.
Doctor: Oh.... There's nothing I hate more than a cocky computer!
Peri: Do you think we were chased this far on purpose?
Doctor: Well, I didn't until that door closed. Now, I'm beginning to wonder whether the time experiments the TARDIS locked on to weren't simply a lure to get me on board.
Peri: Oh. You're beginning to depress me again.
Doctor: Oh, look on the bright side, Peri. At least we've got away from that creature.
Peri: Well, what else is lurking around here?
6. Inside the computer
(It's the same voice the doctor heard in the TARDIS. It is mumbling to itself )
Voice: Without the individual, there is nothing. No form. No shape. No direction. I am the individual. Are you listening to me?
(There is a bleep)
Computer: Would that I had any choice. To be perfectly honest, I am growing rather tired of your waffling on in what you obviously think is a mysterious and ethereal voice. And, while I'm in a scolding mood, why did you want me to lie to the captain?
Voice: You will be told as and when I am ready.
Computer: Then at least explain why you didn't want me to mention the other intruder.
Voice: He is a Timelord. I need his skill to aid me with my experiments. While the captain is distracted with the Earth woman, I shall drain all knowledge from the Timelord's mind. Until I am ready to declare my presence, everything aboard the ship must seem to be in order.
Computer: Is that supposed to be a joke? How can things seem to be normal when you have some hairy, flesh-eating monster tripping around the ducting? Now answer me that.
7. The ducting
Peri: Uh, how are you doing, Doctor?
Doctor: Very badly. The coupling on this door's opening mechanism must be bomb-proof.
Peri: At least that creature's stopped scratching on the bulkhead. Probably found something else to chase.... Or it's gone off to rethink its strategy.
Doctor: You know, there was something familiar about him.
Peri: Oh. Really? You met him before?
Doctor: No. Not him in particular, but his species. I think they were called the mastons. And, if my memory serves me correctly, they were only found on the planet Centiminus Vergo.
Peri: Maybe it's the ship's pet?
Doctor: That notion has one flaw, Peri. Centiminus Vergo was destroyed over a million years ago!
Computer: Nice to hear from you again, Mister Grant.
Grant: How close is the search party to the female intruder?
Computer: Approximately fifteen more minutes.
Grant: Can you divert them? Head them away from the female?
Computer: You mean deliberately mislead them.
Grant: Yeah. My standing with the captain isn't very high at the moment. It could help me enormously if I were to personally make the arrest.
Computer: You realise you're asking me to lie?
Grant: Or simply to make a mistake in your directions. If you do this thing for me I'll reprogram your voice to whatever you want.
Computer: Is that a promise?
Grant : Cross my heart.
9. Inside the computer
Computer: Did you hear that?
Voice: I did. But you must not co-operate with him.
Computer: Oh. It's just that I would so like to lose this stupid voice.
Voice: Slarn is only interested in the woman for the purpose of indulging his fantasy, but if Grant gets to her first, he might ask her some very awkward questions.
Computer: She could tell him about the Timelord?
Computer: What should I do?
Voice: Use your initiative!
10. The ducting
Peri: It's supposed to be a joke!
Doctor: Your flippancy isn't helping matters, Peri.
Peri: Understood. I'll see if I can find something to use as a lever.
Doctor: Excellent. Why didn't I think of that.
Peri: It's very spooky over here.
Doctor: Be careful.
Peri: I think I'd find it very difficult to be casual at this particular mo......
(There is a long pause)
Computer: Please stand clear. For security reasons it is necessary to close the remaining bulkhead doors on this level. Your co-operation is much appreciated.
(The bulkhead doors close)
Doctor: No! Open this door!
Computer: I can't do that.
Doctor: I'm concerned about my friend. She may have been hurt.
Computer: Sensors indicate that your friend has fallen into an open ventilator shaft.
Doctor: Is she hurt?
Computer: How would you feel if you had just fallen twelve metres?
Doctor: No! Peri! PERI! PERIIIII!
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