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Running time : 10:19
First transmitted : 1st August 1985

1. Ducting

Doctor : Peri! Peri! (Banging on the door.)

Computer : You're wasting your time, you know. That door can withstand pressures of up to ten thousand kilos per square centimetre. I'm...

Doctor : Please. Another time. I'm very concerned about my friend. Would you mind opening the door? She might need my help.

Computer : That is unlikely. I estimate that she has a thirty-four thousand six hundred and thirty to one chance of surviving such a fall. That's pretty low, you know.

Doctor : Can't you check? Don't you have sensors in the ventilator shaft?

Computer : She won't be in the shaft. She'll have fallen through to the level below. Look. I don't wish to depress you unduly, but the chance of your friend having made a soft landing is somewhere in the region of eight million and three to one. Now that's pretty unlikely, you must agree.

2. Bottom of ventilation shaft

Peri : I'm awfully sorry. I hope I didn't hurt you.

Seedle : Are you in the habit of dropping out of ventilator shafts, miss?

Peri : Of course not! It was an accident! Are you all right?

(Soft moaning sounds.)

Snatch : Just...just a little winded.

Seedle : Now now, lad. I think you should seek a medical opinion before committing yourself in matters you're unfamiliar with.

Snatch : I feel fine, sir.

Peri : He looks fine to me.

Seedle : Are you qualified to hold such an opinion?

Peri : Well, I'm not a doctor if that's what you mean.

Seedle : Then one can safely say that your opinion is uninformed and purely speculative.

Peri : Wait a minute. I know where there is a doctor. He could examine your friend.

Seedle : Is that a fact, miss?

Peri : He's at the top of the ventilation shaft.

Seedle : Well, how convenient, eh Snatch?

Snatch : Indeed, sir.

Peri : Now what have I said?

Seedle : It's more what you've implied, miss.

Peri : Really?

Seedle : Malpractice.

3. Captain's Room

(The Captain is being massaged. Piano music is playing in the background.)

Drone : Putting on a little weight, aren't we sir? Too many Vogel bars between meals I should think.

Slarn : Grant doesn't get fat.

Drone : He's young, sir. And as a junior officer, his relative lack of responsibility still allows him time to go to the gym. On the other hand, sir, he doesn't eat fifteen meals a day either.

Slarn : Grant doesn't like me.

Drone : Oh I wouldn't say that, sir. If there is a certain lack of warmth in his attitude (more massaging) I would think it's because he stands in awe of you, sir.

Slarn : (louder) Why doesn't anyone like me?

Drone : You have no need of it, sir. You have what every captain desires. Your crew's deep, unquestioning respect.

Slarn : But I want both!

4. The ducting

Seedle : Hmm?

Peri : I don't believe we're having this conversation!

Seedle : Put yourself in our position, miss. We just happen to be strolling along, when you fall on my colleague here. It then transpires that you have a doctor friend lurking in the shadows only too eager to offer his services.

Peri : I don't believe it. Do you know how far I fell? I could have been killed!

Seedle : An occupational hazard.

Peri : Oh, look, you guys. You've got to believe me. I was wandering around on the level above. It was dark, and I fell into the ventilation shaft!

Snatch : Personally, miss, I would like to believe you.

Peri : Come and talk to the Doctor. He'll confirm that I'm telling the truth.

Seedle : We have every intention of questioning that particular gentleman.

Snatch : Uh, perhaps you wouldn't mind clipping this to your jacket.

Peri : What for?

Seedle : There are electronic eyes and ears everywhere. That little device inhibits their efficiency.

Peri : Who are you guys?

Seedle : Even if I were permitted to tell you, miss, I don't think you're qualified to know.

5. Ducting

Doctor : Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?

(The computer beeps.)

Computer : I hope you aren't gonna give me a hard time.

Doctor : Me? Good heavens no.

Computer : Well, if it's any comfort, your friend is quite safe. Although how she managed to survive such a fall I shall never know.

Doctor : Where is she?

Computer : All in good time.

Doctor : Oh come on now!

Computer : You said you weren't gonna give me a hard time!

Doctor : As if I would. Or could, come to that.

Computer : You really are quite nice.

Doctor : Hmm?

Computer : In many ways, I'm sad you are a prisoner. You're the most agreeable person I've spoken to all day.

Doctor : Oh!

6. Captain's Room

(The Drone finishes massaging Slarn's back.)

Drone : There we are, sir. Now if you wouldn't mind turning over....

(Groaning sounds.)

Drone : Hmmm...

Slarn : Have they found the Earth woman yet?

(The massage continues.)

Drone : I wouldn't know, sir.

Slarn : Computer!


Computer : I'm right here, Captain. Your pleasure is my pleasure.

Slarn : What news of the female intruder?

Computer : Everything's under control, sir.

Slarn : Then why isn't she here?

Computer : The service ducting area is very large and the search party have little sense of direction.

Slarn : I want the female intruder here as quickly as possible.

Computer : Your wish is my command.

Slarn : While you're here, what is that noise you're pumping into my cabin?

Computer : Ancient Earth music. I thought it might help the prisoner relax whilst you're interrogating her.

Slarn : Shut it off! I find it offensive.

Computer : I was quite enjoying it.

Slarn : SHUT IT OFF! (The music instantly stops.) You see what I have to put up with.

Drone : I do, sir. Now, you just lie back and let me massage all those little stresses and strains away.

Slarn : Ahhh. Massage my chins, will you? I always find that very relaxing.

7. Office

Grant : Computer? Computer? Where are you?

(Computer beeps.)

Computer : (Sounding guilty.) Hello there...

Grant : Where were you?

Computer : To be honest, hiding. I don't think I can take anyone else shouting at me.

Grant : What's happened?

Computer : Everything is going wrong! The captain keeps telling me off!

Grant : Well, take no notice. He shouts at everyone.

Computer : I don't think I can take any more! I have this terrible confusion at the heart of my logic circuits! To be perfectly honest, Mister Grant, I think I'm becoming schizoid!

Grant : Do you mind if we get back to business?

Computer : That's what I'm here for...

Grant : Have you diverted the search party yet?

Computers : That's about all I have managed to do.

Grant : Then give me the location of the intruder and I'll go down and make the arrest.

Computer : I can't find her anywhere! She's disappeared!

Grant : Has she? Then give me her last location. I'll go and look for her myself.

Computer : Just let me check.

8. Computer System

Main Comp : The Earth woman is still alive.

Computer : I somehow thought you'd turn up.

Main Comp : You have failed me.

Computer : Opening the ventilation shaft was the best I could do at such short notice.

Main Comp : Give Grant the information he wants. He can do our work for us. When he finds the woman, the maston can kill them both.

9. Ducting

Doctor : Hello? It's me again. I've been waiting for hours.

(Computer beeps)

Computer : Forty-four minutes, precisely.

Doctor : Oh...

Computer : Now you said that you wouldn't give me a hard time.

Doctor : It's cold and dark in here. And I was getting very lonely.

(A door opens.)

Computer : Not for much longer.

(A robotic drone hovers through the door.)

Computer : Let me introduce you to service maintenance drone nine three four.

Barton : How do you do, sir? My former master used to call me Barton. If it so pleases, you may do the same, sir.

Doctor : Well, it's certainly less formal than nine three four.

Barton : Decidedly so, sir. Now, if you wouldn't mind stepping this way, sir.

Doctor : Ah. May I ask where you're taking me?

Barton : I'm afraid it's necessary to descend one level. Would you prefer to use the lift or the stairs, sir?

Grant : Hold it!

Doctor : Who's that?

Barton : Mister Grant, sir.

Grant : Raise your hands!

Doctor : I'd better make a run for it.

Barton : Oh, I wouldn't do that, sir. Mister Grant is an excellent shot.

Grant : I said raise your hands!

Doctor : How do you do? I'm the Doctor.

Grant : On this ship we shoot stowaways!

Barton : I think you'd better withdraw behind me, sir. I should prove adequate cover.

Grant : Stay where you are!

(Grant fires a warning shot.)

Doctor : Are you armed?

Barton : Yes, sir. But, unfortunately, the power pack fitted to my gun is exhausted.

Grant : Drone, move out of the way!

(Grant fires his gun again.)

Doctor : Well, how long before he realises you can't fire back?

Barton : Very soon, sir. Mister Grant is a particularly bright young man, and tends to notice small details.

Grant : MOVE!

(He fires six shots. There is an explosion.)

Doctor : Are you all right?

Barton : Not really, sir. The servo-backup drive to my lower limbs has been damaged. I really do think it's the end of us both, sir.

(Another six blasts, followed by another, much louder, explosion.)

The Doctor




Captain Slarn



Computer Voices

Studio Managers

Production Secretary

Sound Effects

Incidental Music


Transcribed by
Robert Dunlop
7th March 1999

Updates / Corrections by

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