Terror of the Vervoids

Original Airdate: 1 Nov, 1986

Part Nine

[Trial room]

(The Doctor returns to the dock looking very solemn. He speaks slowly, and after initial pauses to think.)
INQUISITOR: We are all aware of your feelings of sorrow, Doctor. Has the recess given you sufficient time to overcome the distress of your bereavement?
DOCTOR: I doubt that there will ever be sufficient time for that, my lady.
VALEYARD: May we not proceed, my lady? The cavalier manner in which the Doctor permitted his young companion to be destroyed militates against this charade of concern.
INQUISITOR: The Doctor is fighting for his life, Valeyard. However, I do take your point. Doctor, are you ready to present your evidence?
DOCTOR: Yes. Yes, I am grateful to you, madam, for according me the same privilege as the Valeyard that allowed me access to the Matrix. My excursion will be into the future.
VALEYARD: The future? Is it going to be the Doctor's defence that he improves?
DOCTOR: Precisely.
VALEYARD: This I must see.
DOCTOR: My submission concerns a crisis which threatens the lives not only of a group of people confined together with no means of escape, but would, if unresolved, threaten every mortal being on the planet Earth.
INQUISITOR: Proceed.
DOCTOR: Mogar, a planet on the Perseus arm of the Milky Way.

[Space]

(As we move in on a red planet we see a spacecraft in orbit.)
DOCTOR [OC]: Rich in rare metals. A top priority consignment of these precious metals is being loaded aboard Hyperion Three, an intergalactic liner that ferries between Mogar and Earth. A scheduled flight in the Earth year two thousand nine hundred and eighty six.
(We travel along the side of the liner to a window that looks down into a passenger area with rattan chairs and tables. There is a spiral staircase from an upper level.)

[Lounge]

DOCTOR [OC]: The crew is aboard. The last passengers are reporting in. Many will never complete the journey, for, in order to protect a secret hidden on the space liner, one will become a murderer.
(A blonde woman in pink marches across the room to the reception desk. Everyone say Hi! to Honor Blackman, aka Cathy Gale or Pussy Galore, whichever you prefer.)
LASKY: Am I expected to trust my life for millions of millions of miles to a bunch of incompetents who can't even get my luggage aboard without losing it?
JANET: Your luggage, Professor? It's not in your cabin?
LASKY: Really, do I have to repeat myself?
JANET: I'm sure we can sort it out.
(An older man in mostly black uniform comes over.)
RUDGE: Problems, Janet? Let me help.
LASKY: And who are you?
RUDGE: Security Officer Rudge, Professor. Now, which cabin did you go to?
LASKY: You're asking, and you're the Security Officer? Cabin six, where else?
RUDGE: May I see your key, please?
(Lasky hands it over.)
RUDGE: Ah, no. The other way round, I think. You are in cabin nine, and that is where you will find your luggage, Professor.
(Lasky snatches back the key.)
LASKY: Let's hope so.
(Lasky rushes away. A middle-aged man with a bushy beard and dressed in a turquoise suit come up to sign in.)
JANET: You're in cabin six, Mister Grenville.
GRENVILLE: Thank you.
RUDGE: Mister Grenville, Security Officer Rudge. If you have any problems
(They are interrupted by an old man.)
KIMBER: Mister Hallett, how pleasant. At least one face not belonging to a stranger.
GRENVILLE: I'm sorry, I think you must be mistaken.
KIMBER: Oh, surely not. We met three years ago on Stella Stora. You came to investigate shortages in the granary.
GRENVILLE: My name is Grenville, and I've never been to Stella Stora. You're obviously confusing me with someone else.
(Grenville leaves with everyone staring.)
RUDGE: Maybe the gentleman has a doppelganger.
KIMBER: But I could have sworn. Even the voice is the same.
(Lasky is with her assistants.)
BRUCHNER: An investigator?
LASKY: Bruchner, go and check the safety measures for the Isolation room, immediately.
(Grenville goes to his cabin and throws is briefcase down, furious. Then he has an idea, and leaves again.)

[Cargo hold]

(Grenville goes down to the main hold, where workers in protective suits and welders masks are loading boxes. He takes a suit to disguise himself.)
GUARD: That's the final batch. Get your men ashore.
(The men walk away from the orange barrier labelled Warning. High intensity light forbidden. Infra-spectrum light only. Grenville joins them.) 

[Trial room]

VALEYARD: An objection.
INQUISITOR: Relevant, I hope.
VALEYARD: Completely. When, may we ask, is the Doctor going to embroil himself in this saga?
DOCTOR: Now I object. Am I not to be protected from the prosecutor's insinuations? On what evidence does he conclude that I embroil myself?
INQUISITOR: None. I shall ignore his terminology. But I do confess I share his curiosity.
DOCTOR: I fail to see why you're so curious, madam. Surely you must know where my Tardis is?
VALEYARD: Obscurity is a recognised tactic for subterfuge.
DOCTOR: And posing unnecessary questions in order to score cheap points is the tactic of a prosecutor who has no case. You have been monitoring my Tardis. You claim it's been bugged with a listening device. So you tell the court where my Tardis is.
INQUISITOR: I require you to respond to the challenge, Valeyard.
VALEYARD: It has entered the sector the Hyperion Three is traversing.

[Bridge]

COMPUTER: Hyperion flight one one three is now in progress.
(The space liner leaves orbit.)

[Tardis]

(A slim young lady with a mass of curly red hair and wearing a cream cat suit is leaning against the console with a stop watch. Beat music is playing. Everyone say Hi! or maybe Eek! to Bonnie Langford.)
MEL: Twenty three, twenty four, twenty five
(The Doctor is on an evil exercise bike where the handles drop down to below his knees with every turn.)
MEL + DOCTOR: Twenty six, twenty seven, twenty eight, twenty nine, thirty, thirty one, thirty two, thirty three, thirty four
(Mel goes into the interior and the Doctor stops exercises, but keeps counting.)
DOCTOR: Thirty five, thirty six, thirty seven, thirty eight
(Mel comes back with two small glasses. He resumes.)
MEL + DOCTOR: Thirty nine, forty.
MEL: This will wake you up.
DOCTOR: Carrot juice?
MEL: It'll do you good. Honestly, carrots are full of vitamin A.
DOCTOR: Mel, have you studied my ears lately?
MEL: It's your waistline I'm concerned about.
DOCTOR: No, no, seriously, though. Is it my imagination or have they started to grow longer?
MEL: Listen, when I start to call you Neddy, then you can worry. Drink up.
DOCTOR: You'll worry sooner when I start to bray.
(The Doctor sips his juice and pulls a long face.)

[Corridor]

(The stewardess, Janet, is leading a Mogarian. This is a alien race who are completely covered and wear a metal helmet. Distant cousins of the Breen, perhaps?)
JANET: Perhaps when you've unpacked, you'd like to join the other passengers in the lounge for refreshments.
(Meanwhile, the radar in the Communications room picks up something. Warning, unidentified craft grid reference -22.26.8 extreme range no id possible.
The stewardess Janet is walking along carrying a drink when a gloved hand touches her shoulder. She spins round.)
JANET: You startled me.
(It is another Mogarian. He beeps and chirrups at her.)
JANET: You haven't got your translator switched on, sir.
ATZA: Why did we not depart on schedule?
JANET: We were delayed for a late arrival. A gentleman from your planet, as a matter of fact.
ATZA: A Mogarian?
JANET: Yes, sir.
(Atza leaves. Janet goes through the door at the end of the corridor labelled Crew Only.)

[Communications room]

JANET: Anything interesting?
EDWARDES: Maybe. Unidentified craft. I've tried all the standard frequencies.
JANET: Without response?
EDWARDES: Not a bleep.
JANET: Perhaps it's a piece of space flotsam.
EDWARDES: You make delicious coffee, Janet.
JANET: Oh, well, if you don't want the benefit of my advice.
(Janet leaves.)
EDWARDES: Let's try you on hyper-frequency.
(The door opens quietly behind him, and a hand gives him an injection in his neck. Edwardes slumps across the control panel. The hand then uses a knob to send a Morse-style signal.)

[Tardis]

(The Doctor is getting tired watching Mel use a skipping rope. Something beeps.)
MEL: Sixty nine, seventy, seventy one, seventy two
DOCTOR: Quickly, Mel, press the red button. Get the message on the screen. Press it. Press it!
MEL: I have. You said red.
DOCTOR: Did I? Must be the carrot juice making me colour blind.
MEL: Colour blind?
(The message comes up on a console monitor. Mayday. Perative traitor be identified before landing Earth mayday end.)
MEL: Cryptic.
DOCTOR: Unsigned.
MEL: Mayday call? We have to respond.
DOCTOR: Practically on our doorstep.

[Cargo hold]

(The Tardis materialises.)
MEL: Come on, Doctor. Come on, hurry.
DOCTOR: How I keep up with you is a constant source of amazement to me.
MEL: No one sends a mayday call unless it's a matter of life and death.
DOCTOR: Yes. Let's exercise the grey cells for once, shall we, rather than the muscles.
(A guard is on the upper catwalk.)
DOCTOR: That was no ordinary mayday call. It was beamed specifically at the Tardis.
MEL: So it's from someone who knows you.
(A Mogarian ducks out of sight.)
DOCTOR: In which case, why wasn't it signed?
MEL: Panic? Desperation. Well, we won't find out by hanging about in here, will we?
DOCTOR: We won't go blundering into a trap, either.
MEL: I've never seen this side of you before. You're usually the one who goes charging in regardless.
DOCTOR: Can't you sense it, Mel?
MEL: Sense what?
DOCTOR: Evil. There's evil in this place.
(A guard sneaks past some equipment.)
DOCTOR: I've got a better idea. Let's go to Pyro Shika, a fascinating planet
MEL: Doctor!
(A guard is holding a weapon to Mel's head.)
MEL: Doctor.
DOCTOR: So much for your enthusiasm. Let me do the talking.
(Another guard jabs his weapon into the Doctor's back.)
DOCTOR: Now listen, my man, I can explain. We're
GUARD: Shut up. Move.
DOCTOR: I said I can explain.
GUARD: And I said move.
DOCTOR: He did, didn't he.
MEL: You certainly talked us out of trouble there.
(When they had all left, a Mogarian comes out of hiding and examines the barrier across the back of the cargo hold.)

[Bridge]

RUDGE: You never heard anything?
EDWARDES: Not a sound.
RUDGE: Nor saw anything?
EDWARDES: I've already told you.
RUDGE: No one's blaming you, laddie, but I thought perhaps now that your head is clearer.
EDWARDES: I was concentrating on the unidentified craft.
RUDGE: From which you failed to get a response.
TRAVERS: Mister Edwardes, what about the security tape?
EDWARDES: Deactivated, sir.
TRAVERS: Which indicates knowledge of our procedures.
RUDGE: Just my thoughts too, Commodore.
TRAVERS: I'm sure. How about the rest of the equipment?
EDWARDES: In perfect order, sir.
TRAVERS: That leaves only one objective your assailant could have had.
RUDGE: To send a message.
TRAVERS: I was trying not to state the obvious, Mister Rudge. That'll do. Report to the medic before returning to duty.
EDWARDES: Thank you, sir.
DOCTOR: Will you please stop poking that contraption into my spine.
(The Doctor and Mel are escorted in.)
GUARD: We heard a noise in the cargo hold, Mister Rudge, and found these two.
DOCTOR: Is it? Yes, it is. Captain Tonker Travers.
TRAVERS: Commodore.
DOCTOR: Oh.
TRAVERS: Of all the places in this infinite universe, you have to turn up on my ship.
DOCTOR: Commodore? That means this is a grade one security craft.
RUDGE: Yes, and I should like to know how you got here.
TRAVERS: Don't bother, Rudge. I know how. What I don't know is why.
DOCTOR: But didn't you send the mayday call?
TRAVERS: Me?
MEL: We had to respond.
EDWARDES: That's true, sir.
TRAVERS: I am fully conversant with the navigational code, Mister Edwardes. I thought you were reporting to the medic.
EDWARDES: Yes, sir.
TRAVERS: I authorised no mayday signal. My Communications officer is attacked and then you appear.
MEL: And a fat lot of thanks we've got for our pains.
TRAVERS: If I seem to lack gratitude, young woman
DOCTOR: Melanie. Known as Mel.
TRAVERS: It is because on the previous occasion that the Doctor's path crossed mine, I found myself involved in a web of mayhem and intrigue.
(This was not a televised story, however.)
DOCTOR: Ah, saved your ship, though, Commodore.
TRAVERS: Yes, you did, though whether it would have been at risk without your intervention is another matter.
MEL: Whatever happened in the past doesn't alter the fact that a mayday call was sent.
DOCTOR: Not by you, though, Commodore, so let's make this hail and farewell, shall we?
TRAVERS: Stand easy, Doctor. You're not leaving.
DOCTOR: We're not?
TRAVERS: I'd rather have you where I can see you than swanning around outside. Conduct them to the lounge. Consider yourself restricted to passenger quarters.
MEL: In other words, welcome aboard.
(Mel and the Doctor are escorted away, still at gunpoint.)
RUDGE: Stowaways. I could have done without that on my final service report.
TRAVERS: If you're expecting an easy ride on your last voyage, Mister, I'm afraid you're not going to get it.
RUDGE: I think you're being a mite unfair, sir.
TRAVERS: Am I? Well, don't be too diligent in policing the Doctor.
RUDGE: Can I have clarification of that instruction, sir.
TRAVERS: Give him enough rope and he will snare our culprit for us.
(Down in the cargo hold, a Mogarian has broken into the curtained-off area. Here there are man-sized pods with green light pulsing inside where the light from the small laboratory touches them. The Mogarian pours a pile of silver discs from a jar labelled Demeter, turns off the light and leaves. The pulsing stops.)

[Lounge]

(The Doctor has his feet up on one of the small tables. He picks up a bowl of nibbles, but Mel makes him put them down again.)
DOCTOR: Far cry from the carefree life of Pease Pottage, eh, Mel?
MEL: I'm not complaining. You're really worried, aren't you?
DOCTOR: I can't rid myself of the feeling I'm being used. Whoever sent that message knew me.
MEL: There's a made to measure candidate.
DOCTOR: There is?
MEL: The Commodore. He's met you before.
DOCTOR: He'd have said.
MEL: Would he admit he needs outside assistance?
DOCTOR: Intriguing possibility, but that's all.
(A Mogarian walks past.)
MEL: Look, the quickest way out of this is to solve the mystery.
DOCTOR: That could also be the quickest way into trouble.
MEL: Why don't you ask for a passenger list?
DOCTOR: Don't hustle me, Mel.
MEL: Who's hustling? All I'm saying is that you might recognise a name. Simple, isn't it?
DOCTOR: Hmm. Meanwhile?
MEL: Meanwhile, I wander around, poke my nose into a few nooks and crannie and see if anyone tries to make contact. Remember, we were restricted to the passenger quarters. This is only the lounge.

[Corridor]

(Mel is about to go into cabin 8 when Rudge comes along. She turns to look at a diagram of the ship on the wall instead.)
RUDGE: Looking for something, miss?
MEL: I see you've a gymnasium.
RUDGE: Needed on a long trip like this.
MEL: I thought I might do a bit of limbering up.
RUDGE: That's the spirit. Let me take you there.
MEL: So you can keep tabs on me?
RUDGE: Why would I want to do that?
MEL: This way?
(Rudge follows Mel out of sight. A guard takes up position by a door.)

[Lounge]

(The Doctor goes to the reception desk.)
DOCTOR: I wonder if you can help me.
JANET: I'll do my best.
DOCTOR: I'd like to see a copy of the passenger list.
(A man in a surgical gown pulls a mask over his face and enters the Isolation room. A guard stands outside.)

[Gymnasium]

(Rudge watches through a window as Professor Lasky does some serious sit ups and Mel swaps her boots for plimsolls.)
RUDGE: Put the headset on, Miss.
(Mel does, and Rudge slides the volume to max. She pulls the earpiece away.)
RUDGE: Sorry. If you get tired of aerobics, just select another tape. They come complete with instructions and music.
MEL: Thank you.
(Rudge leaves. Doland comes in and whispers to Lasky while Mel skips.)
DOLAND: Professor, we have a problem in the Hydroponic Centre.
LASKY: The Hydroponic Centre? What's happened?
DOLAND: It's been broken into.
LASKY: Get Bruchner down there. He's in the Isolation Room.
(Doland leaves. Lasky grabs a towel from a passing attendant and follows him. Someone switches off Mel's aerobics tape.)
MEL: Yes? Yes, I heard, but who's speaking?
(The control booth is empty as Mel rushes in and through to the corridor.)

[Lounge]

(The Doctor produces a fake bouquet with a flourish.)
JANET: You're very persuasive, Doctor, but I can't possibly
(Rudge enters.)
JANET: Ah, here's the man who could give you permission.
DOCTOR: No, no, no, no, don't bother.
RUDGE: Permission for what?
DOCTOR: Ah, it's not important. It's just a whim. I'm subject to whims, so I'm told.
JANET: The Doctor wants a passenger list.
RUDGE: Why not? Indeed, the idea makes good sense.
DOCTOR: Mmm. Well, if I could I could just spot a familiar name
RUDGE: We'd get our culprit, you'd bid us farewell. I should have thought of that myself, Doctor. Sign of age. I'm due to retire after this voyage.
(The Doctor looks down the PADD. Mel enters.)
DOCTOR: No, no, all complete strangers, I'm afraid.
RUDGE: Pity.
DOCTOR: Thank you.
(The Doctor goes over to Mel.)
MEL: He's been in touch. He wants you to meet him in cabin six.
DOCTOR: Did you see him, get a name?
MEL: No, just a message. Let's go.
DOCTOR: Now, before you go rushing off, Mel, do you know what a Judas goat is?
MEL: Er, yes. It's a decoy goat that's tied to the stake to lure the tiger out into the open.
DOCTOR: Getting badly mauled in the process. I think I shall refuse the role.
MEL: Then where are you going?
DOCTOR: For a non-provocative stroll around the deck.
MEL: But what about cabin six?
DOCTOR: Tiger trap.

[Cargo hold]

(It would appear that the Hydroponics centre is the bit behind the orange plastic. Bruchner goes straight in.)
LASKY: You appalling dunderhead, Doland. Couldn't you have repaired this?
DOLAND: I assumed you'd want to see the damage for yourself, Professor.
LASKY: And I suppose it never penetrated your thick academic skull to check the pods.
DOLAND: That was the first thing I did. They're stable.
(Bruchner comes out with the empty jar.)
BRUCHNER: Professor Lasky! The Demeter seeds, they're gone.

[Cabin 6]

(Mel knocks and enters to a total mess. The seeds are scattered on a file on a table, and single shoe sits on an open plastic case on the bed.)
MEL: Hello? Anyone at home?
(The bathroom door slides open and she grabs the shoe.)
DOCTOR: You're not supposed to be in here.
MEL: And what about you?
DOCTOR: Hmm?
MEL: Going for a stroll? You just said that to put me off.
DOCTOR: Well, there's no sense in putting two heads into the noose.
MEL: Ever heard of safety in numbers?
DOCTOR: Hmm.
MEL: Looks like someone's been in a fight for their life.
DOCTOR: Yes. The question is, did they succeed?
(He picks up the Demeter seeds and examines them.)

[Bridge]

(Commodore Travers answers the comm. beep.)
TRAVERS: Yes?
RUDGE [OC]: Would you come down, sir?
TRAVERS: Where?
RUDGE [OC]: Waste disposal unit. There's been an accident.
TRAVERS: Accident? Can't you deal with it?
RUDGE [OC]: I think you should be here, sir.
TRAVERS: Very well. What I have done to be landed with him, I fail to comprehend. Take over.

[Corridor]

(An alarm is sounding.)
DOCTOR: What is it?
JANET: Emergency in the waste disposal unit.
MEL: This way.
DOCTOR: Yeah, this way.

[Waste disposal]

(The Commodore is kneeling by an injured crewman. Rudge is next to the glowing red entrance to the actual waste disposal unit.) 
TRAVERS: I see. Cut the klaxon. Accident? Why can't you use plain language, mister? Whoever's been dumped in there has been pulverised into fragments and sent floating in space, and in my book that's murder. Have you called a medic for this man?
RUDGE: Of course, sir. Straight away.
TRAVERS: Then I suggest you begin earning your salary and find out who that belongs to.
(Rudge is holding a shoe like the one from Cabin 6. The Doctor and Mel enter.)
DOCTOR: I may be able to help you there, Commodore.
TRAVERS: Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.
DOCTOR: If you'd rather I left it to Mister Rudge?
MEL: The passenger in cabin six sent for the Doctor. When we got there, he was gone.
TRAVERS: Doesn't follow that he wound up in the pulveriser.
DOCTOR: The room was a wreck.
MEL: And there was a single shoe, exactly the same pattern as that.
DOCTOR: To be complete, the syllogism only requires its grim conclusion.
TRAVERS: And naturally you have never met the man or know why he sent for you.
MEL: We don't even know his name.
RUDGE: It was Grenville, sir. A mineralogist.
TRAVERS: Any suggestions why a mineralogist who wanted to see you should be killed?
DOCTOR: None at all.
TRAVERS: Or why it is that every time you appear on the scene, people begin to die?
MEL: Hey, I don't care who you are, you've no right to say that to the Doctor.
DOCTOR: Yes, he does, Mel. He has every right. It happens to be true.

[Lounge]

(Professor Lasky is reading Murder on the Orient Express when Bruchner enters.)
LASKY: Well?
(Mogarians walk past.)
LASKY: Never mind them. Is the Isolation Room safe?
BRUCHNER: Yes, the emergency was in the waste disposal unit.
LASKY: Then we can relax. Nothing to do with us.
BRUCHNER: That's your assessment, is it, Professor? The danger's passed?

[Gymnasium]

DOCTOR: Well, that's it, then. End of the line.
MEL: What do you mean?
DOCTOR: Well, our contact. Obviously he's the one who's been pulverised.
MEL: So we give up?
DOCTOR: What else?
(Someone leaves the control booth.)
MEL: The Hydroponic Centre. I told you about the sudden panic when I was in here.
DOCTOR: Irrelevant and immaterial.
MEL What?
DOCTOR: My dear Melanie, if you wish to pursue this completely arbitrary course, pray hurry along to the Hydroponic Centre and leave me to my static and solitary peregrinations.
(The Doctor uses the treadmill.)

[Trial room]

DOCTOR: Hold it! Just a minute, I don't remember that.
INQUISITOR: How could you remember? These events are in your future.
DOCTOR: But, I reviewed that section earlier when I was preparing my defence. There have been changes. That isn't what happened. The girl, Melanie. Her information was important. I wouldn't have just ignored it. Completely uncharacteristic. And the words, misused, didn't even sound like mine.
VALEYARD: What isn't completely uncharacteristic is this resort to excuses and subterfuge. To gloss over the death of Peri, the Doctor conveniently presents us with another companion.
INQUISITOR: Hardly a convenience, Valeyard. These events are in the Doctor's future. He would not have met the young woman yet.
VALEYARD: I stand corrected. But my assumption of why he has pursued such an arbitrary course in aborting this tale still remains.
DOCTOR: Arbitrary course?
INQUISITOR: Your assumption, Valeyard?
VALEYARD: That she, too, is going to her death.
DOCTOR: No! No, look, I'm sorry, madam, I can't explain, but I have a feeling I am being manipulated, that the evidence is being distorted.
VALEYARD: Preposterous! Absolutely preposterous! Forgive me, Sagacity. The idea the Matrix could lie. No, it is we who are being manipulated.
DOCTOR: No!
VALEYARD: To obscure the damaging truth.
DOCTOR: No, this is total fabrication.
VALEYARD: The truth, Doctor! You sent your companion down the cargo hold into a situation which you described, I quote, can't you sense it, Mel? Evil. There's evil in this place.
DOCTOR: No! No, this is all wrong. Every instinct of which I am capable would have made me prevent her.
VALEYARD: Yet you did not.
INQUISITOR: Doctor, either you continue with your submission or I must consider the evidence for the defence to be concluded.

[Cargo hold]

EDWARDES: What are you doing prowling around down here?
MEL: Prowling? Why should I be prowling?
EDWARDES: Because this if off-limits, and I suspect you know it.
MEL: I just wanted to have a peep at the Hydroponics Centre.
EDWARDES: Any reason in particular?
MEL: I think it might tie in with that mysterious mayday call. I'm not going to touch anything. What harm could it do?
EDWARDES: I'll no doubt regret this, but come on, a conducted tour only. No wandering off on your own.
MEL: Tell me, who's the woman with the dragon's voice?
EDWARDES: Professor Sarah Lasky. She's an agronomist. So are her two assistants, Bruchner and Doland.
MEL: So was the Hydroponics Centre set up specially for them?
EDWARDES: Yes, we had to allocate part of the hold.
MEL: Why is only low spectrum light allowed in the place?
EDWARDES: Something to do with photosynthesis. Low spectrum light allows the plants to stay dormant.
(Edwardes uses a palm print lock.)
EDWARDES: Now, I'll go first. We don't want you breaking your neck. At least, not until
(Edwards touches a metal mesh and gets electrocuted. Mel screams in perfect pitch with the theme tune. The electricity runs through the hydroponics area, and several pods become active.)

Part Ten

[Cargo hold]

(Mel runs past the Tardis into the arms of two guards.)
GUARD: What are you doing here? You were told not to come down
MEL: Back there! Edwardes, he's dead! He just touched the fences.
(The other guard rushes to the Hydroponics Centre.)
GUARD: Save your explanations for the Commodore, lady.
GUARD 2: He's dead, all right.
GUARD: Stay with him. I'll send help. Move.
(The guard takes Mel with him. In the Hydroponics Centre, something creeps up on the other guard.)

[Trial room]

VALEYARD: Another death, Doctor? But for the caprice of chance, the victim would have been your companion, Mel. Your culpability is beyond question.
INQUISITOR: You could have prevented her from going into the cargo hold. Instead, you appear to encourage her.
DOCTOR: When I viewed the Matrix earlier, that isn't what happened.
VALEYARD: More futile grasping at straws. When the facts tell against you, you cry fraud.
INQUISITOR: Do you wish to reconsider, Doctor?
DOCTOR: No, madam. I am being manipulated, but the only way to discover why, and by whom, is to press on.

[Outside the Isolation room]

(There is the sound of breaking glass and plates, then Doland comes out carrying a large platter, with half the food splattered on his scrubs.)
DOLAND: Just an accident. No cause for concern. The stewardess will take care of that.
(Doland hands the platter to the guard and leaves.)

[Gymnasium]

(The Doctor is stationary on the treadmill, winding his pocket watch. Lasky enters.)
LASKY: Why aren't you wearing a pulsometer? The heart should be monitored while exercising.
DOCTOR: Which heart would you suggest, madam? Unfortunately, that doesn't register a double pulse.
LASKY: A double pulse? What are you, a comedian?
DOCTOR: No, more a sort of clown, actually. Would you care to hear my rendering of On With The Motley?
(Lasky moves away. Rudge enters with two guards.)
RUDGE: Doctor, you're required on the bridge.
DOCTOR: Ah! The Commodore wants a chat. Good, I shall enjoy that.
RUDGE: I don't think you'll find enjoyment's on the agenda.

[Bridge]

MEL: I don't need anyone to speak up for me. I'm quite capable of defending myself.
(Rudge and the Doctor enter.)
TRAVERS: How long have you known this woman?
DOCTOR: Er, time is a comparative concept, Commodore.
MEL: Not now, Doctor. Just answer the question.
TRAVERS: I should accept that advice and drop the sophistry. Can you vouch for her?
DOCTOR: Completely. Utterly. What's all this about, Mel?
MEL: The Communication's officer's dead, and they think I did it.
RUDGE: She was caught running from the scene. She can't deny that.
MEL: I haven't tried. I persuaded Edwardes to show me the Hydroponic Centre. It was booby-trapped.
DOCTOR: Booby-trapped?
(Rudge's communicator beeps.)
MEL: If it hadn't been for Edwardes, it would have been me who was killed.
RUDGE: (into comm.) What? are you certain?
TRAVERS: What is it?
RUDGE: It's the medical team. They say they can't find Edwardes anywhere in the hold, sir.
MEL: But he must be there.
DOCTOR: Or perhaps he wasn't dead. The weird atmosphere down there could lead to phantasmagoria.
MEL: Oh, come on, you know me. Am I prone to that sort of imagination?
DOCTOR: Well.
TRAVERS: I thought you'd left a man down there.
GUARD: I did, sir.
TRAVERS: Well, where is he? Rudge?
RUDGE: They say there's no sign of him either, sir.
MEL: The guard's disappeared too? Well, now perhaps you'll accept that I'm not responsible. You've had me in custody!
DOCTOR: The perfect alibi, Commodore.
TRAVERS: Organise a search, Mister Rudge. I want those men found.
RUDGE: Yes, sir.
(Rudge and the guard leave.)
TRAVERS: Now, since you've put in an appearance, first a passenger, now my communications officer and a guard have gone missing. Two, if not all three, murdered. You, standing there in your divine state of innocence, you can't tell me what's happening, can you?
MEL: I can. The answer's simple enough. You've got a killer on board.
(Down in the Hydroponics Centre, a Mogarian is creeping around. It picks up a leaf, then stops to listen to a noise.)

[Corridor]

(The Doctor and Mel walk past the guard on duty outside the Isolation room, then round the corner.)
MEL: Look, Doctor, you can't just play a passive role. We were sent for, remember?
DOCTOR: I'm cogitating.
MEL: About what?
DOCTOR: Whether his job is to keep unwanted visitors out or
MEL: Keep someone in.
DOCTOR: Hmm. Intriguing, isn't it.
MEL: Does seem strange, I admit. An armed guard outside an Isolation Room.

[Cargo hold]

(A Mogarian hides.)
BRUCHNER: No matter how you and Professor Lasky rationalise the situation, we should never have proceeded to the point we've reached.
DOLAND: How you became a scientist, Bruchner, baffles me. You have the temperament of an overcautious rabbit. Did you leave the gates open?

[Hydroponics centre]

BRUCHNER: Doland, the pods!
(The pods have burst open.)
BRUCHNER: Every one of them. Empty.
DOLAND: Some fool must have introduced high intensity light into the Centre.
BRUCHNER: We're confronted with a catastrophe and that's your reaction? Don't you realise what's been unleashed?

[Outside the Isolation room]

(The guard hands another rejected meal to Janet.)
RUDGE: Not again.
JANET: What's going on in there?
RUDGE: Don't ask me, I'm only the Security officer.

[Lounge]

(Lasky and Kimber are sitting reading.)
MEL: Where are they?
DOCTOR: Where are who?
MEL: You know exactly what I mean. Where are the seeds? The ones you picked up in the wrecked cabin, or did you think I'd forgotten.
(The Doctor takes them from his pocket but holds them out of Mel's reach.)
DOCTOR: Uh huh.
MEL: Oh, come on.
DOCTOR: What do you want them for?
MEL: Professor Lasky. She's an agronomist. I'm going to ask her.
DOCTOR: Is she? An agronomist, huh? You'd better leave me to cope with this.
MEL: You?
DOCTOR: Mmm. This is a situation that requires tact and finesse. Fortunately, I am blessed with both.
(He goes over to the Professor.)
DOCTOR: Professor Lasky.
LASKY: Oh, it's you, the comedian. What do you want?
DOCTOR: I understand that you're an agronomist.
LASKY: A thremmatologist, to be precise.
DOCTOR: A thremmatologist? Then you're well qualified to tell me about these.
(The Doctor shows her the Demeter seeds.)
LASKY: Stewardess! Stewardess!
(Janet comes over.)
JANET: Something wrong, Professor?
LASKY: Fetch the Security officer.
JANET: Can I help?
LASKY: At once!
JANET: May I be told what's wrong, Professor?
LASKY: This man's a thief.
(Janet uses her comm. device.)
JANET: Mister Rudge to the passenger lounge, please.
MEL: Tact. Finesse. Now what have you landed us in?

[Hydroponics Centre]

(In the doorway to the small lab at the back.)
BRUCHNER: What was that?
(Something runs away.)
DOLAND: Nothing. Pull yourself together, Bruchner.
BRUCHNER: There's someone in the hold.
DOLAND: Bruchner, you're allowing hysteria to take
BRUCHNER: I know what I saw. There was a movement.
(The Mogarian hides behind some barrels. Eventually he makes a break for it, and Bruchner and Doland give chase.)

[Lounge]

LASKY: That puts an entirely different complexion on the situation. Pity your friend the comedian wasn't as lucid.
DOCTOR: I never had a chance to be
LASKY: I can't understand why they were in cabin six, or why a mineralogist would steal them.
MEL: Are they special, Professor?
DOCTOR: Yes, just what I was going to
LASKY: Demeter seeds? Yes, they are. They represent a tremendous advance, a colossal leap.
DOCTOR: Do they?
MEL: What did you call them? The Demeter seeds?
DOCTOR: The name of a god
LASKY: Food of the gods. Bruchner, my assistant, bit of a romantic, highly strung, he christened them.
(Rudge enters and talks with Janet.)
DOCTOR: That still doesn't explain
LASKY: He wasn't just being pretentious. They'll increase potential yield threefold. And even more, they'll grow in desert sand.
RUDGE: Er.
LASKY: What is it, man? Don't stand there hovering.
DOCTOR: You sent for him.
LASKY: I did? Oh, yes. Not to worry.
RUDGE: But I do worry, especially when serious allegations are made. You accused the Doctor of being a thief.
LASKY: Oh, that. A mistake. The fellow may be a fool, but he's not a criminal.
(The Doctor huffs, tosses a Demeter seed into the air, catches it in his mouth and eats it.)

[Bridge]

TRAVERS: Project our course through the sector ahead. Put us onto a straighter course. Reduce the diversion to a point naught three safety margin.
OFFICER: I estimate that brings our ETA forward by seventy two hours, sir.
TRAVERS: Seventy two hours closer to getting expert investigators on board. Carry on.

[Lounge]

(Two Mogarians are playing Space Invaders on a hologram screen between them. The game finishes and the screen vanishes. Janet brings Mel and the Doctor tea and biscuits.)
MEL: No, Doctor.
DOCTOR: No.
(The Doctor lets go of the biscuit, and Janet moves on.)
KIMBER: No, thank you.
(The liner judders, and Kimber staggers. Commodore Travers catches him.)
TRAVERS: No need for concern. Just a navigational adjustment. As you can see, it doesn't even require my presence on the bridge. Now, for your information, the change of course will bring our landfall forward by seventy two hours.
(The Mogarians chatter at him.)
TRAVERS: Switch on your translator.
ATZA: Surely we are approaching the sector with the Black Hole of Tartarus.
TRAVERS: That's correct.
ATZA: If you are saving time, we must be going closer to the black hole.
(A third Mogarian joins them.)
TRAVERS: There's no danger. The safety margin is more than adequate.
(The second Mogarian turns on his translator.)
ORTEZO: That is hardly a denial.
(The third Mogarian speaks without his translator on. The Doctor notices.)
ENZU: Simply a bromide.
TRAVERS: You sought reassurance, I've given it.
ORTEZO: That word reassurance, bears sinister undertones for we Mogarians.
TRAVERS: Indeed?
ORTEZO: It is the word the Earthlings used when first they persuaded us to allow them to sink mines on Mogar.
ATZA: A limited concession was all they requested, and now they are stripping our planet bare.
ENZU: Truth is a stranger to the Earthlings.
TRAVERS: If you'll excuse me, politics do not come into my realm of influence.
(Doland and Bruchner are talking to Janet.)
DOCTOR: Then they should.
(Travers leaves.)
ATZA: Who are you? Another prospector?
DOCTOR: Only of knowledge. I have visited your planet. It's very rich in natural resources.
ORTEZO: Which will soon be exhausted if these Earthlings are not restrained. They are going through the universe like a plague of interplanetary locusts.

[Trial room]

VALEYARD: Are we to be subjected to a dissertation on interplanetary politics now, Sagacity?
DOCTOR: Is that all you think it was?
VALEYARD: Mining rights, Mogarians versus Earthlings. What else would you call that?
DOCTOR: You are so pathetically intent on incriminating me you haven't been watching what's going on!
VALEYARD: My eyes never left the screen.
DOCTOR: Well, you may have been selected to prosecute me, Valeyard, but I hope you'll never be chosen to defend me.
VALEYARD: An occasion that will not arise, Doctor. Your lives are forfeit, as I have ably proven.
DOCTOR: Something vital just happened in that scene, and the Valeyard perversely switched our attention to more trivial matters.
VALEYARD: Then for pity's sake tell us what it was that happened and enjoy your moment of triumph.
DOCTOR: Triumph? There's no cause for celebration. One of the occupants of that lounge is about to die.
VALEYARD: Another murder?
DOCTOR: Yes. And if you had been watching, you would know who was the intended victim.
INQUISITOR: Gentlemen, is this case to be resolved with a battle of words or to be conducted via the Matrix?

[Lounge]

(The three Mogarians are sitting at a table. Janet brings Enzu a drink and he sips it through a straw.
Travers and Rudge are on an upper catwalk, watching.)
TRAVERS: You've drawn a blank where Edwardes is concerned?
RUDGE: Yes, sir. Perhaps we should search the passenger cabins.
TRAVERS: No. The passengers are already uneasy. Do you want them to realise they're trapped with a killer on the loose?
(Professor Lasky gets up and goes to whisper with Bruchner and Doland.)
DOCTOR: You're very quiet, Mel. Not quite your style to go into a brown study.
MEL: Brown study? Is the vocabulary of all the Time Lords so antediluvian?
(Enzu gets up, choking then collapses. The Doctor rushes over and tries to remove his face plate. Travers stops him.)
TRAVERS: Are you trying to kill him?
DOCTOR: I'm trying to save him!
ATZA: He will die if you remove his helmet.
RUDGE: Mogarians can't breathe oxygen. Surely you're aware of that?
DOCTOR: He's not a Mogarian!
MEL: He's not?
TRAVERS: Then who is he?
DOCTOR: If you'll kindly allow me to remove his face plate? I fear this poor fellow is beyond help.
JANET: It's Grenville!
DOCTOR: Grenville?
RUDGE: The passenger from cabin six.
TRAVERS: The man who's supposed to have been dumped in the pulveriser.
DOCTOR: His name isn't Grenville. It's Hallett.
(Travers checks for a pulse then uses his comm.)
TRAVERS: Send a stretcher party to the lounge.

[Bridge]

OFFICER: Yes, sir. I'll organise that immediately.

[Lounge]

TRAVERS: Carry on, Mister Rudge.
(Travers leaves.)
KIMBER: Poor Mister Hallett. I knew it was Hallett. I recognised him, remember?
DOCTOR: You recognised him?
KIMBER: Yes.
RUDGE: But he denied it. He insisted his name was Grenville.
DOCTOR: Well, he would.
MEL: Well, whether his name's Grenville or Hallett, why did he stage his own death in the pulveriser?
DOCTOR: This gentleman's just given us the answer.
KIMBER: I have?
DOCTOR: Hallett had presumably been assigned to investigate something or somebody on this ship. Then he had the bad fortune to be recognised. A chance encounter that put his entire mission in jeopardy.
RUDGE: Are you saying we had an undercover agent aboard and I wasn't informed?
DOCTOR: Well, you may have been a suspect.
RUDGE: Me?
DOCTOR: Together with everyone else on this voyage.
RUDGE: Is all this guesswork, or have you any more tricks up your sleeve?
DOCTOR: No tricks, Mister Rudge. I knew Hallett, and admired him. But I assure you, until I removed that face plate I had no idea he was on board.
RUDGE: All nice and lily white, Doctor, but it does leave one nasty little problem.
DOCTOR: It does?
RUDGE: How did you know the dead man wasn't a Mogarian?

[Trial room]

VALEYARD: Yes, how did you know? Have you been editing the Matrix and denying the court all the evidence to which it is entitled?
INQUISITOR: That would be a serious offence, Doctor.
DOCTOR: At the risk of appearing impertinent, Sagacity, I would point out that you, the Valeyard, and everyone here present could have acquired the same knowledge.
INQUISITOR: Perhaps we may hear your explanation.
DOCTOR: With respect, you will not hear it from me.
(The Doctor turns on the Matrix screen. It has gone back to the point where the Mogarians first approach Travers about the course correction.)
TRAVERS [on screen]: Switch on your translator.
ATZA [on screen]: Surely we are approaching the sector with the Black Hole of Tartarus.
(The Doctor winds forward.)
TRAVERS [on screen]: There's no danger. The safety margin is more than adequate.
(The second Mogarian turns on his translator.)
ORTEZO [on screen]: That is hardly a denial.
ENZU [on screen]: Simply a bromide.
DOCTOR: As you saw, the bogus Mogarian did not switch on his translator.
VALEYARD: Very astute of you, Doctor, but don't stop there. Let us assume the murdered man was responsible for the mayday call. Perhaps you'll now direct your deductive gifts towards justifying his extraordinary behaviour.
INQUISITOR: Yes, the investigator Hallett's methods were very unorthodox.
DOCTOR: Agreed, and I am indebted to the prosecutor for putting his finger on the nub of my defence, the reason why I could no longer stay on the sidelines.

[Lounge]

(The Doctor and Mel are looking down from the catwalk.)
MEL: Anyone there could have poisoned his drink.
DOCTOR: Providing us with a plethora of suspects.
MEL: Us? Do I detect a commitment at last? Because of Hallett's death? You said you admired him.
DOCTOR: I did. He was one of a rare breed. A maverick. Even the highly organised society of the thirtieth century has need of his kind. He'll be missed. And he left these seeds for me to find.
MEL: To lead you to where I've been telling you all along. The Hydroponic Centre.

[Corridor]

(The guard on duty at the Isolation room goes to investigate a rattling grill.)
BRUCHNER: What are you doing away from your post? The Isolation room is under no circumstances to be left unguarded. If it happens again, I shall report you to the Commodore.

[Cargo hold]

MEL: Hallett must have sent that mayday call.
DOCTOR: Yes, he wanted me here as a catalyst, and to divert attention away from his own activities.
MEL: You'd do that without being asked.
DOCTOR: Hallett was an unorthodox man, but he was also a subtle man. So why did he resort to such blunderbuss tactics? Why use me as a Judas goat?
MEL: Well, he was running out of time. The mayday message said as much. Perative traitor be identified before landing Earth. I'd guess the incomplete word was imperative, wouldn't you?
DOCTOR: Do you know, I've always envied you that.
MEL: I shall probably regret this, but go on, I'll buy it. Envied me what?
DOCTOR: Your amazing ability for almost total recall.
MEL: Compliments. You are undergoing a change.
DOCTOR: I could have been comparing you to an elephant. Well, figuratively speaking. They never forget.
MEL: Doctor, I realise you're trying to take my mind off poor Edwardes.
DOCTOR: If you'd rather wait here
MEL: No.

[Hydroponics centre]

MEL: What have you got there?
DOCTOR: A leaf from Hallett's pocket.
MEL: I didn't see you take it.
DOCTOR: Ah ha! Neither did anyone else. Another one of my tricks.
(He makes the leaf disappear from one hand and reappear in the other.)
DOCTOR: What do you make of these pods, Mel?
MEL: I'm not into agronomy. Ask the professor.
DOCTOR: Ah. Thremmatology. The professor said she was a thremmatologist.
MEL: You're going to have to enlighten me. It's out of my range.
DOCTOR: The science of breeding or propagating animals and plants under domestication.
MEL: I'm not much wiser.
DOCTOR: Well, think, Mel. You've got a good brain. Think.
(The Doctor steps inside an empty pod.)
DOCTOR: I wonder what came out of this?
(Probably the thing with green-tinged vision making its way through the service tunnels of the liner.)

[Gymnasium]

BRUCHNER: Will you end this charade, this pathetic pretence at normality. Can't you accept we're on the brink of disaster?
DOLAND: Bruchner, will you stop panicking? Our work must remain secret whatever the cost.
BRUCHNER: You're completely without conscience, Doland, I'm aware of that, but I expected the professor to grasp the enormity of our folly.
DOLAND: So you're suggesting that we jeopardise years of scientific research for the sake of some hypothetical danger?
LASKY: Exactly. We've no reason to believe the results of our experiments are other than benign.
BRUCHNER: Benign? Have you been in the Isolation Room lately?
LASKY: An unfortunate mishap that has no relevance to this situation. In any case, it's academic now.
BRUCHNER: I lack your lofty detachment.
LASKY: Do you also lack loyalty, Bruchner, to your colleagues. Before we left Mogar, we agreed that our discovery should be divulged to no one, no one, until we reached Earth. Unless you have concrete evidence to prove there is danger, I expect you to keep your word.
BRUCHNER: You simply don't understand, do you. The crime we are committing in the name of science will make us infamous!
(Something is watching them through a grill.)
BRUCHNER: That's assuming there's anyone left to pass judgement.

[Outside cabin 8]

(Just down from the Isolation room.)
JANET: Decided to get some rest, Mister Kimber?
KIMBER: Yes, though I doubt if I'll sleep. At my age, one doesn't like to be reminded of mortality.
JANET: May I fetch you a warm drink? It might help.
KIMBER: Thank you. That's very gracious.
(Janet leaves.
Inside his cabin, something watches him undress from the bathroom. Kimber slides the door back and gets a thorn stuck into his neck by a hand made up of leaves. He collapses.
Janet returns with the hot drink and knocks on the door.)
JANET: It's the stewardess, sir.

[Cabin 8]

(Janet knocks on the bathroom door.)
JANET: I've brought your warm drink, sir. Shall I leave it on the dressing table?
(The leafy hand turns on the shower. Janet leaves.)

[Corridor]

(The Doctor and Mel pass Janet, and see Lasky leaving the Isolation room.)
DOCTOR: What's a thremmatologist doing in an isolation room wearing a surgical mask?
MEL: Seeing as there's only one way to find out, you've got two problems.
DOCTOR: Two?
MEL: Apart from getting rid of the guard, you're going to need a mask, and you can hardly ask the professor to lend you hers.
(Something rattles in the bulkheads. The Doctor takes an axe and sets off the fire alarm.)
MEL: Did you hear that?
(The guard rushes up.)
DOCTOR: Quickly, the lounge! There are passengers trapped! On the double, man! There are lives at stake.
(The guard takes the axe and runs off.)
(The Doctor and Mel take smoke masks from the fire point and enter -)

[Isolation room]

(The Doctor turns on the lights and raises the corner of a black plastic tent over coffin sized box by the wall. There is a woman there with strange growths over her face. She opens her remaining eye and Mel does her perfect pitch scream.)

Part Eleven

[Isolation room]

RUTH: No. Stop her. Stop Lasky.
(Ruth starts to sit up and we see that she has a large leaf growing up behind her head.)
RUTH: Got to stop her, stop her. Stop Lasky.
(Lasky enters with Doland and Bruchner.)
DOLAND: Out! Out!
(The men hustle the Doctor and Mel out while Lasky puts a gas mask with a small canister over Ruth's face.)

[Corridor]

DOCTOR: What's going on in there? What are you trying to hide? Will you please stop mauling me?
DOLAND: I should drop the innocent party act if I were you. Any moment now, that guard will be back. He's going to be even less enchanted by your antics.
MEL: Never mind the guard. That monstrosity, what is it in there?
DOCTOR: Does the Commodore know what's being isolated in there?
DOLAND: I don't know by whose authority you ask, but if it'll put a stop you your meddling, I'll explain. That monstrosity, as you call her, is my lab assistant, Ruth Baxter. We're taking her to Earth in the hope that we can reverse her condition. Our facilities on Mogar were too primitive.
MEL: What happened? How did she get in that state?
DOLAND: The experimental nature of our work entails some calculated risks.
DOCTOR: Calculated risks? Are you telling me that sad travesty is a statistical possibility?
MEL: The word should be criminal.
DOLAND: Very well, perhaps I should have said unforeseen. During a particularly delicate cross-fertilisation, a speck of pollen penetrated a minute scratch on my assistant's thumb. She should never have left the wound uncovered.
GUARD: There he is! Halt, or I'll fire.
RUDGE: Oh, Doctor, you do have the knack of landing yourself in hot water.
DOCTOR: Satiable curtiosity, like the Elephant's Child.
MEL: Never mind the Just So stories. That guard looks trigger happy to me.
RUDGE: Simply doing his duty, miss. The regulations are quite specific. Anyone setting off a false alarm on an intergalactic liner is to be arrested forthwith.
DOCTOR: No need to quote the book. I can explain.
RUDGE: Not to me, to the Commodore. He's expecting you. Take him.
DOCTOR: No, that's all right. I know the way.
MEL: Doctor?
DOCTOR: Hmm?
MEL: That way.
DOCTOR: Yes, I know. It's that way.

[Trial room]

VALEYARD: Stop the Matrix. I fail to comprehend this evidence. The Doctor is on trial for his life, yet in his defence he presents us with a situation in which he is deliberately flouting accepted authority.
INQUISITOR: Much of your evidence does seem to contradict your stated aim, Doctor. Are you saying the Matrix is again being falsified?
DOCTOR: No. And if the Valeyard would exercise the same restraint as I showed during his presentation of his case against me
VALEYARD: Ha!
DOCTOR: And could suppress his bloodlust
INQUISITOR: Doctor! This court is dedicated to giving you a fair trial. Do not abuse its indulgence.
DOCTOR: I apologise.
INQUISITOR: The Matrix, Doctor. I suggest we return to the Hyperion Three.

[Bridge]

(The space liner is making another course correction.)
TRAVERS: Bring us in closer. Reduce the margin by a factor of point naught one to naught two.
DOCTOR: Very narrow margin of safety, Commodore.
TRAVERS: Not to a ship of the Hyperion class.
DOCTOR: Still risky, though. Quirky phenomena, black holes. They can gulp with unpredictable turbulence.
TRAVERS: When I want your advice, I'll ask for it. (to guard) I'll handle this. Get back on duty.
(The guard leaves.)
TRAVERS: What I do want to hear from you is a reason why I shouldn't throw you in the brig. Fire alarms are not playthings for irresponsible buffoons.

[Corridor]

(Rudge and Mel are putting the smoke masks back at the fire point when Janet comes running.)
JANET: Mister Rudge! Mister Rudge.
RUDGE: What is it, Janet?
JANET: Mister Kimber has disappeared. He didn't report to the fire assembly point and he's not in his cabin.

[Cabin 8]

JANET: He hasn't touched the drink I brought him.
RUDGE: Well, maybe he just wandered off, absent minded.
JANET: Without his jacket or his watch?
RUDGE: Now, when did you last see him?
JANET: I didn't. See him, that is. He was in the shower. I spoke to him through the door.
(Rudge looks inside the bathroom.)
JANET: Where can he have got to? With all these killings
RUDGE: That'll do. Pull yourself together. Going to pieces won't help. We'll search the passenger quarters before we start assuming the worst.
(Mel, who has been listening outside, waits until Rudge and Janet have gone down the corridor, then slips inside the cabin. She finds a large leaf in the grating under the sink, and runs out with it.
Meanwhile, in the service ducts, several large plant beings are piling up bodies. They look like what Ruth is turning into.)

[Bridge]

TRAVERS: A grim picture.
DOCTOR: I've no reason to lie, Commodore.
TRAVERS: I'm not questioning your honesty, simply your methods. However, I'm left with little alternative but to begin to cooperate.
DOCTOR: Begin? I take it you mean begin overtly to cooperate. You've been using me, Commodore. I would never have been allowed to run free if you hadn't condoned it.
TRAVERS: Fair comment.
DOCTOR: Frankly, I think you should notify the authorities about the death of the investigator Hallett, and insist on being given full details of his mission.
TRAVERS: You underestimate me to that extent, do you?
DOCTOR: Sorry. They refused.
TRAVERS: Top secret. By the time they've gone through channels, we'll probably have docked.
DOCTOR: Well, that can't happen.
TRAVERS: No one will be allowed to disembark. The murderer won't escape.
DOCTOR: Murderer? Yes. You'll let me know as soon as you get a reply?
TRAVERS: Certainly, Doctor. I'll match you for candour.

[Lounge]

(Janet puts down the reception desk telephone as Rudge enters.)
JANET: Did you find him?
RUDGE: Not a sign. And you?
(Janet shakes her head.)
RUDGE: I left a report we've lost another passenger. That'll improve the Commodore's temper, I'll guarantee.
ATZA: Mister Rudge.
RUDGE: Er, later.
ATZA: Wait. Come here. We want to know what is happening.
ORTEZO: Yes, where was the fire?
RUDGE: It was a false alarm. There is nothing to worry about. You must excuse me. I have urgent things to do.
ORTEZO: Sit down, Rudge.
ATZA: There is only one thing you have got to do.
ORTEZO: That is to tell us exactly what is going on.
ATZA: And I suggest you do so right now.

[Bridge]

(In a corridor, the guard investigates a rattling grill. One Vervoid attacks him from the front, another comes out of the grill and sticks a thorn in his neck. He falls with his activated communicator in his hand.)
TRAVERS: Yes? What is it?

[Corridor]

TRAVERS [OC]: State your position.
VERVOID: Help me with this.
(The two Vervoids carry the guard into the service ducts.)

[Bridge]

TRAVERS: Who the blazes was that? Trace that call.

[Hydroponics Centre]

(Doland goes into the small lab at the back to find Bruchner destroying computer printouts.)
DOLAND: Have you gone out of your mind?
BRUCHNER: I have been, but not any more. I've regained my sanity.
DOLAND: It's not only your own work you're destroying. Other people have contributed. You've no right to do this!
BRUCHNER: You long ago lost sight of the difference between right and wrong.
DOLAND: Why? Because of some unexplained incidents?
BRUCHNER: On my way down here, I heard of another unexplained incident. That harmless old man is missing. How many more, Doland, before you and Lasky accept responsibility?
(Bruchner continues to shred paper so Doland locks him in the little room.)

[Gymnasium]

(The professor is on the static bicycle.)
LASKY: I've no time for a horticultural discussion now, young woman. You and your erratic friend have already disrupted my routine.
MEL: I only asked you if you'd tell what this leaf is.
LASKY: After my workout, and that's final.
(Doland enters.)
DOLAND: I need to speak with you privately, Professor.
LASKY: Really! Not now, Doland!
(Mel moves away.)
DOLAND: I know how much you object to your work schedule being interrupted, but this is absolutely vital.
LASKY: Well?
DOLAND: You must speak with Bruchner, calm him down.
LASKY: Can't you?
DOLAND: Look, he won't listen to me.
LASKY: Where is he?
DOLAND: In the Hydroponic Centre.
(Lasky throws her towel at Doland and leaves.)
MEL: Mister Doland.
(Mel opens the laundry box and he puts the towel in.)
MEL: Let's pick up where we left off while you're in the mood for explanations.
DOLAND: Did I give you that impression?
MEL: What are those pods in the Hydroponic Centre?
DOLAND: The results of another experiment.
MEL: I could have made an educated guess at that. What was in them?
DOLAND: Giant fruit. And anticipating your next question, we left the fruit on Mogar. We're merely taking the shucks as an example to fellow agronomists in earthbound laboratories. Now, if you'll excuse me.
(Doland leaves. Mel hears heavy breathing coming from the air vent near the ceiling. She climbs the wall bars to listen, then goes back down and gets one of the aerobics headsets and puts its microphone through the vent before running into the control booth.)
MEL: Think, think.
(She starts adjusting controls.)
MEL: Amplifier.
VERVOID [OC]: We must not make animal-kind aware of our existence. They still outnumber us. If we are to kill them all, we must hunt them down secretly.
(A hand in a white glove puts an anaesthetic gas mask over Mel's face. She screams.)

[Lounge]

(The Doctor enters. It is deserted.)
DOCTOR: Is there anybody there, said the traveller. Perhaps she's in the gym.

[Gymnasium]

(Mel is in laundry basket number 126. Someone puts a towel over her and shuts the lid, then a worker enters and exchanges it for a new one. The Doctor enters by another door.)
DOCTOR: Ah, allow me. Wish I could get rid of my waste as easily, eh?
(He pats his waistline. The worker leaves silently. The Doctor goes into the control booth and sees the Record light flashing on the console. He stops it, rewinds the tape and plays.)
VERVOID [OC]: We must not make animal-kind aware of our existence.
(The worker takes the laundry basket to the waste disposal, where others are being emptied into the pulveriser.)
VERVOID [OC]: We must hunt them down secretly. (Mel screaming.)
DOCTOR [OC]: Ah, allow me. Wish I could get rid of my waste as easily, eh?

[Lounge]

DOCTOR: The waste bins, where do they go?
JANET: Waste bins?
DOCTOR: Quickly, woman. Where are they taken?
JANET: Well, the pulveriser, but why
DOCTOR: The pulveriser!

[Waste disposal]

(The Doctor runs through the corridors. Mel's bin is next in line for the machine.)
DOCTOR: Stop!
(Just in time. The Doctor removes the lid and then the towel to reveal Mel. She begins to wake.)
DOCTOR: Don't throw the towel in, Mel.

[Bridge]

(The space liner is approaching the area of the black hole.)
TRAVERS: Why in Hades haven't you reported before now? As a security officer, you're an unmitigated disaster.
RUDGE: That's hardly fair, sir.
TRAVERS: We've had a passenger murdered. According to you, another one's disappeared. Three crew members are missing, unaccounted for, and you haven't a clue as to why they've gone or where they are.

[Vervoid lair]

(The guard is added to the pile of bodies.)
VERVOID: We are doing splendidly.
VERVOID 2: Congratulations must be delayed until that is full.
VERVOID: We shall not have long to wait.

[Gymnasium]

(The Doctor runs into the control booth, followed by Mel.)
DOCTOR: Doh! It's gone.
MEL: What has?
DOCTOR: The tape. The proof we need to force Lasky's hand.
MEL: It's a waste of time. Our killer's obviously removed it.
DOCTOR: Just as he tried to remove you.
MEL: He? Why not she?
DOCTOR: Lasky?
MEL: Or the stewardess, Janet.
DOCTOR: Janet? No.
MEL: It wouldn't have taken a man's strength to lift my weight. A woman could have dumped me in the waste bin.
(They climb the wall bars to where the headset is still stuck in the grill.)
DOCTOR: What are they, and how do they link with these murders?
MEL: Whatever they are, they're not human. And we're all to be destroyed, remember?
(They jump down again.)
DOCTOR: Still got that bit of leaf?
(The Doctor compares her specimen to his.)
MEL: Where are you off to?
DOCTOR: Hydroponic Centre. There has to be a connection.
MEL: And what about me?
DOCTOR: Follow your lead. See if Janet has got the tape. But Mel, be careful, hmm?
MEL: You too, Doctor.

[Lounge]

JANET: Can I tempt you with a coffee, sir?
ATZA: No, thank you.
JANET: How about you, sir?
(The other Mogarian knocks the tray out of Janet's hands, spilling the coffee down her uniform.)
ORTEZO: Sorry.
JANET: Not to worry. It's easily changed.
(While Mel searches Janet's wardrobe, a shadow falls across the door outside. Then we switch to a view of the Doctor holding an axe amid wrecked computer equipment.)

[Trial room]

DOCTOR: I didn't do that!
INQUISITOR: Stop the Matrix.
VALEYARD: Are we to be subjected to more chicanery, Sagacity?
DOCTOR: It wasn't me in there.
VALEYARD: Ridiculous. We all saw you. You're hardly mistakable in that outfit.
DOCTOR: I didn't smash the equipment!
INQUISITOR: Are you saying the communications equipment was not sabotaged?
DOCTOR: No, no, it had to be to prevent the Commodore getting information from Earth, but I didn't do it.
INQUISITOR: Then who did?
DOCTOR: The murderer.
VALEYARD: The murderer? I think, Inquisitor, the Doctor is telling us more than he realises.
DOCTOR: The prosecutor delights in scoring cheap victories, my lady. I swear to you, when I viewed that section earlier, I was nowhere near the Communications room.
VALEYARD: So once again the defendant is accusing the Matrix of being wrong.
INQUISITOR: Are you, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Yes! Yes, I am.
INQUISITOR: If you are questioning its veracity, is there any point in continuing with the Matrix?
DOCTOR: But what else have I got? Without evidence to prove my innocence, I'm condemned.
VALEYARD: And with it you are also condemned, it seems, Doctor. Shall we continue?
INQUISITOR: Doctor? Shall we continue? You had, as before, sent your companion into danger.

[Communications room]

(In Janet's cabin, Mel hears the doorknob turning, and hides in the shower. It is a Vervoid. Meanwhile, the sabotage has been discovered.}
TRAVERS: Let's hope we don't need to call for outside help. There's no way we can repair this. We're completely isolated.

[Hydroponics Centre]

(Lasky tips burnt paper from the waste bin onto the bench.)
LASKY: Sheer vandalism, and utterly useless.
BRUCHNER: Is that how you see it, Professor?
LASKY: How else?
BRUCHNER: Because I put an end to this obscene experiment?
LASKY: I should think that when man first discovered fire there were those who were equally appalled and wanted it suppressed.
(Vervoids are listening through a grating.)
LASKY: If they'd prevailed, the human race would still be cowering in caves.
BRUCHNER: To use your own phrase, that's all academic now.
LASKY: If you were rational, you'd realise how pointless this is. We can't unlearn knowledge. You're no illiterate. How often does a great advance produce this reaction. Think of Galileo.
BRUCHNER: Galileo? Oh, is that it? You see the name Lasky inscribed in the history books.
LASKY: Rubbish. This has been a team effort.
BRUCHNER: With you as leader. Well, you fulfil that role to the last. You've led me to see the fault in my strategy. You, me, Doland, even the creatures we've spawned, the sole representatives of this great advance, and we're all encapsulated on this ship. On this ship.
(Bruchner suddenly grabs something from the bench and attacks Lasky.)

[Cargo hold]

(Bruchner pushes past the Doctor as he runs away.)
DOCTOR: I didn't even hear the dinner gong.
(The Doctor finds Lasky unconscious.)

[Vervoid lair]

VERVOID 2: That man must be stopped. We are unique, the only members of the Vervoid species. If he succeeds in eliminating us, Vervoids will cease to exist.
VERVOID: Forget your previous orders. Bruchner's death is now our priority. He cannot be permitted to prevent us from reaching planet Earth.

[Hydroponics Centre]

(Bruchner knocks out a guard outside cabin nine.)
LASKY: I don't care what you heard on some mythical tape.
DOCTOR: You're letting arrogance blinker you, Professor. It may not be your intention, but you are in danger of joining an extensive roll of dishonour. Misguided scientists who claim the pursuit of truth as an excuse for immoral experiments.
LASKY: This is no time to debate ethics. I made that mistake with Bruchner. I tell you the man's demented. He's out to destroy this ship and everyone on it.
DOCTOR: Yes, but
(Lasky pushes the Doctor out.)

[Corridor]

(In a corridor, a grating opens and a Vervoid tries to get at Bruchner. He slams the grating shut and runs. Meanwhile, the Vervoid trashes Janet's cabin. The Doctor and Lasky find the fallen guard.)
LASKY: First things first. Let's find Bruchner.
DOCTOR: But. He'll live.

[Bridge]

(Bruchner zaps Travers' hand away from the controls.)
BRUCHNER: Get out of here. Now! Or I'll kill both of you.
(Travers and the officer leave, and Bruchner seals the doors. Then he sits at the controls and starts altering the ship's course.)

[Outside the Bridge]

TRAVERS: Later. Get the laser lance up here immediately.
(The officer leaves. The Doctor and Lasky arrive, and see the Commodore's burnt hand.)
LASKY: Bruchner?
TRAVERS: Yes, but why? What's his motive?
DOCTOR: I rather think his intention is the vital question.
TRAVERS: All right then, what's? (pain) Just tell me, Doctor.
DOCTOR: He's determined to destroy this ship.
LASKY: And the rest of us with it.
TRAVERS: Does the lunatic know anything about flying a spacecraft?
LASKY: Bruchner's been trained as an astronaut. One of the team had to be. Obligatory requirement.
TRAVERS: Very thorough.
(The Hyperion changes course and heads directly for the black hole.)
DOCTOR: Can the power to the bridge be cut off?
TRAVERS: No, it's designed to be hijack proof.
(The ship starts shaking. The Vervoid in Janet's cabin starts steaming.)
LASKY: What's happening?
TRAVERS: Isn't that obvious? We're running into turbulence.
DOCTOR: I'd say rather more than turbulence.
LASKY: Don't talk in riddles, man.
DOCTOR: Your colleague is aiming the Hyperion Three into the eye of the Black Hole of Tartarus.

Part Twelve

[Vervoid lair]

VERVOID: Bruchner must be stopped. Get every Vervoid to the bridge area.

[Outside the bridge]

(In Janet's bathroom, pots fall from the shelves as the Vervoid crawls into the air duct. Mel escapes, coughing on the gas the Vervoid was secreting.
Meanwhile, the laser cutter has arrived, and the Doctor is helping the officer use it.)
LASKY: How long before the ship reaches the point of no return, Commodore?
TRAVERS: That's a question no one has survived to answer. 
(In the passenger lounge, Janet and the Mogarians are hanging onto stanchions for dear life.
The Vervoids batter at the grill in the bridge then expel gas.
The Doctor and the officer finish cutting the door lock and the officer punches in the hole. Gas pours out and they plug it again. Inside, Bruchner collapses.)
DOCTOR: Marsh gas?
LASKY: A methane derivative.
TRAVERS: Marsh gas? Where the devil's that come from? What is it you two know that I don't?
DOCTOR: Questions later. Will smoke masks be any good?
LASKY: No, they'd be completely inadequate.
TRAVERS: You're saying that none of us can go in there?
LASKY: It'd be suicide.
DOCTOR: Here, let me.
TRAVERS: It's my ship. If there's a risk to be taken, I'll take it.
DOCTOR: No!
RUDGE: There's no need for heroics from either of you.
(Rudge speaks into his communicator.)
RUDGE: Come to the bridge.
(The two Mogarians enter the bridge and sit at the controls.)
TRAVERS: If they make a hash of it in there, we're finished.
RUDGE: I doubt if that will happen, Commodore.
(The Hyperion veers away from the black hole and the gas clears.)

[Trial room]

VALEYARD: The mortality rate that attends your meddling is appalling.
DOCTOR: You hold me responsible for Bruchner's death?
VALEYARD: Can you nominate a single incident where your presence has stemmed the tide of disaster?
INQUISITOR: Are you arguing that the submission for the defence should be curtailed?
VALEYARD: A verdict of guilty can be the only conclusion.
INQUISITOR: Sit down, Valeyard. In my court, I decide the verdict. Proceed, Doctor.

[Outside the bridge]

TRAVERS: I'm grateful to you both. Now that the air is breathable, I'll resume command.
RUDGE: I'm afraid that isn't going to be possible, Commodore.
ATZA: What he is stating, in the usually devious human manner, is that we are taking over the ship.
DOCTOR: A hijack? But you Mogarians are a peace-loving race. Violence is repugnant to you.
ATZA: No one will be harmed if they obey orders.
TRAVERS: Rudge, I will personally see to it that you rot in jail.
RUDGE: I should restrain that tongue of yours, Commodore. The Mogarians may not believe in violence, but I don't share their qualms. All my life, someone like you has been patronising me, treating me with contempt. Well, I'd welcome the opportunity of settling the score.
ATZA: Mister Rudge, take the hostages to the passenger lounge.

[Lounge]

DOLAND: Surely you can contact the bridge now?
JANET: Still not responding, Mister Doland. I've just tried.

[Corridor]

(The Doctor sees Mel approaching, and gives her a chance to run.)
DOCTOR: Hold on, Rudge. If we are being hijacked, I think we deserve an explanation.
RUDGE: Any more unexpected moves, and it won't be an explanation you'll get.

[Lounge]

MEL: We're being hijacked! If you don't want to get caught, come on! Quickly!
(Mel, Doland and Janet get out underneath a descending shutter. The Doctor enters and sprints for the far exit.)
RUDGE: Oh no, Doctor. Over there, away from the door. Then you won't be tempted to try anything stupid. One moment, Commodore. I'll take the keys to the vault.
TRAVERS: The blazes you will.
(Travers turns away, so Rudge hits him on the back of the neck. He falls.)
RUDGE: Stay back. Professor Lasky, reach into the Commodore's pocket and take out the keys. Carefully.
DOCTOR: Now, what do you want in the vault?
RUDGE: For me, not a thing. The Mogarians are after the consignment of precious metals. Got this quaint notion it was plundered from their planet and they're just recovering stolen property.
DOCTOR: That can't be your motive.
LASKY: It's greed.
(She throws the bunch of keys to Rudge.)
RUDGE: Not completely. Pride as well. After this voyage I was being written off as a has-been and put out to grass, so I decided to arrange a more comfortable retirement.
LASKY: If you've any decency left, you'll get this man some medical treatment.
RUDGE: There's a first aid kit in the cabinet.
(The officer goes to fetch it.)
DOCTOR: Rudge, this hijack is just a sideshow. There's a much greater menace.
RUDGE: Not my problem, Doctor. In less than an hour, we will rendezvous with our pickup.
DOCTOR: Here, let me. After all, I am a doctor.
(The Doctor sees to Travers.)
LASKY: Rudge, you're nothing but a squalid criminal.
RUDGE: If I am, where does that place you, Professor?

[Corridor]

ATZA [OC]: Pay attention. The Hyperion Three is no longer under the command of Commodore Travers. He is our prisoner, together with three other hostages. All personnel must remain at their posts. If there is any attempt to approach the lounge or the bridge, the hostages will be killed.
MEL: I'll put out a call for help.

[Communications room]

MEL: Oh, great.

[Outside the Communications room]

MEL: Millions of miles from anywhere and we're completely isolated.
DOLAND: Can you organise a squad of guards?
JANET: But you heard what the Mogarian said. They'll kill the hostages.
DOLAND: What makes you think they won't anyway. You're surely not naive enough to accept the word of a hijacker?
MEL: He's right, we can't just do nothing.
JANET: But if the guards go crashing in, they'll be signing four death warrants.
MEL: Not unless we can find a way of warning the hostages.
(Mel opens a grating and steps through.)

[Lounge]

TRAVERS: You don't believe that Rudge is behind these killings, do you.
DOCTOR: No. No, he's just a weak man gone rogue.
TRAVERS: So, whatever the outcome of this hijack, we're still at the mercy of a murderer.
DOCTOR: Or murderers.

[Bridge]

RUDGE [OC]: Have you got a sighting yet?
ATZA: No, but we are on schedule for our rendezvous. We should complete the mission as planned if your humans refrain from interference. What are you doing here?
ORTEZO: We did not request refreshment.
(Someone throws liquid onto their face plates, and they fall to the floor, screaming.)

[Lounge]

(Mel has made her way safely to a grill high in the lounge wall.)
MEL: Doctor. The air duct.
(The Doctor looks across at Rudge, standing by the reception desk and yawning, then gets up and leans against the wall below the grill.)
DOCTOR: What are you doing in there? Don't you know how dangerous it is?
MEL: Shall I join you? There's going to be an attack on the lounge. When you hear the fire alarm, dive for cover.
DOCTOR: No.
MEL: What do you mean, no?
DOCTOR: Too risky. Attack the bridge.
MEL: The bridge?
DOCTOR: You heard. Now get out of that air duct, quickly.
MEL: Okay.

[Vervoid lair]

VERVOID 2: It is not only we who kill animal-kind. They kill each other.
VERVOID: They have no respect for any form of life. We shall resume the hunt.

[Bridge]

(Doland, Mel and Janet have found the dead Mogarians.)
DOLAND: Death must have been instantaneous. Oxygen's toxic to a Mogarian.
MEL: Yes, but how? I mean, who could have done this?
DOLAND: Forget playing the detective. Let's concentrate on the living. Rudge has to be convinced that the hijack's a lost cause, and that's going to take more than words.
MEL: Well, those face plates. They'll do the trick.
(Meanwhile, a Vervoid gets into the Isolation Room, rips back the cover and stabs the half-Vervoid Ruth as she screams.)

[Lounge]

(The Doctor is pacing when someone knocks on the door.)
MEL [OC]: Mister Rudge, hold your fire. We're coming in.
(Mel, Janet and Doland enter with hands raised.)
JANET: The Mogarians are dead.
(Doland is holding the face plates. He drops them and knocks the gun out of Rudge's hand. Travers catches it. Rudge flees.)
TRAVERS: Leave him to the guards. Get up on the bridge, now.
(The officer leaves.)
TRAVERS: Once I get this ship back on course, I'll want some answers from you, Professor. And that goes for you too, Doctor.
DOCTOR: I haven't been holding out on you, Commodore. There's a audiotape that'll explain everything.
TRAVERS: Then why haven't I heard it?
DOCTOR: Because it's been stolen. I would like carte blanche to search all the cabins.
TRAVERS: You've got it.
DOCTOR: Another request. I need a phaser.
(Travers gives him the one Rudge was using. The Doctor gives Travers a slip of paper. Travers leaves.)
MEL: A phaser? You?
DOCTOR: Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures.
MEL: I don't buy that. And why the public announcement about the tape? Everyone could hear.
DOCTOR: Could they?
MEL: I recognise that innocent tone. What's going on?
DOCTOR: Mel, I entered this affair as a Judas goat. I intend to re-adopt the role. Now, if Professor Lasky had the tape, where do you think she'd hide it?
MEL: Lasky?
DOCTOR: Mmm.
MEL: Her cabin, or her locker in the gym.

[Corridor]

(The fleeing Rudge is surrounded by Vervoids.)
RUDGE: What are you?
(He is stabbed and carried into the service ducts.)

[Cabin]

(The Doctor is looking under the pillow when Doland enters.)
DOLAND: If you're looking for a certain tape, Doctor, I don't think you'll find it in there.
DOCTOR: Does that mean you've hidden it somewhere else?
DOLAND: Obviously a denial isn't going to impress you. May I know of what I'm accused?
DOCTOR: Murder, amongst other things.
DOLAND: Murder? Am I supposed to treat this seriously?
DOCTOR: I have narrowed the suspects down to two. You and Professor Lasky.
DOLAND: Then I suggest you search the professor's cabin.
DOCTOR: I already have.
DOLAND: You really are serious.
DOCTOR: I'm never frivolous about murder.
DOLAND: So, this tape, it's important?
DOCTOR: Crucial.
DOLAND: I see. Well, I know I'm innocent, and I can't believe the professor's guilty, but if it'll end this nonsense, then, I know of another place where the professor keeps things.

[Gymnasium]

(Mel is going through the contents of Lasky's locker.)
LASKY: If you've finished with my tracksuit?
MEL: I was just admiring the er, the design.
LASKY: Don't bother to lie. You're not very good at it. No tape. That's what you were hoping to find, wasn't it?

[Hydroponics Centre]

(The locked drawer won't open.)
DOLAND: I'm afraid the professor has the only key.
DOCTOR: And you're not going to object if I force it open?
(The Doctor puts a box-like device on the drawer, it burbles and the drawer opens. The Doctor puts the phaser down to riffle through the contents.)
DOLAND: Doctor. Your tape.
(Doland tosses it to the Doctor and picks up the phaser.)
DOLAND: Not that it'll do you much good. I've wiped it.
DOCTOR: Yes, I rather thought you might have done.
DOLAND: You still suspected me, yet you came down here?
DOCTOR: A reckless streak. I'm prone to them. It wasn't difficult to pinpoint you. The first murder could only have been carried out by someone with access to this unit. The second needed poison. Even the abortive attempt on Mel's life could only have been committed by someone who could go unchallenged into the Isolation Room and get the anaesthetic.
DOLAND: All this could have applied to Lasky.
DOCTOR: No, not the Mogarians. She was a hostage when they were slaughtered.
DOLAND: And my motive?
DOCTOR: Could be jealousy, professional envy. I'd say it was the more commonplace avarice.
DOLAND: Then you're not as astute as I thought, Doctor. Those creatures, we call them Vervoids, represent vast economic power.
(And one is listening to this conversation.)
DOCTOR: Provided you can get them back to Earth.
DOLAND: Oh, but I shall, no matter what the cost. Then robots can be dumped on the scrap heap. Vervoids will run the factories and farms at practically no cost. All they need is sunlight and water.
DOCTOR: I take it you have someone willing to finance this exploitation?
DOLAND: A consortium with the vision to recognise the potential of the Vervoids.
(The Vervoid leaves.)
DOCTOR: Vision? You're talking about slave labour.
DOLAND: The most enduring and spectacular empire, Rome, was built on slave labour.
DOCTOR: Came to a pretty unpleasant end, though.
DOLAND: Which brings us neatly to you.
(Doland squeezes the phaser trigger, but it doesn't go off.)
DOCTOR: I took the precaution of disarming it.
(Doland leaves the lab and walks straight into Travers and two guards.)
DOCTOR: I also took the precaution of taking the Commodore into my confidence.
TRAVERS: Throw him in the brig.

[Vervoid lair]

(The pile of bodies grows.)
VERVOID: Doland will soon be joining them.

[Corridor]

(A guard is pushing Doland down a corridor when a Vervoid comes out of a grating and kills him. Doland runs round the corner to be surrounded by more of them.)
DOLAND: No, no. I'm not your enemy. Without me, you wouldn't exist. I'm your friend.
(Doland tries shaking the 'hand' of one of them. It shoots a thorn into his palm.)

[Bridge]

(Mel and Professor Lasky have joined Commodore Travers and the Doctor.)
TRAVERS: You created these psychopaths. Now tell me how to get rid of them.
DOCTOR: The Vervoids are not psychopaths.
MEL: Doctor, I heard them say they intended to wipe us out.
LASKY: Something must have gone wrong, radically wrong. A malfunction of the DNA.
DOCTOR: Why is it none of you can see what's so glaringly obvious?
TRAVERS: Maybe we lack your divine insight.
DOCTOR: No divine insight, just logic.
MEL: Logic?
DOCTOR: When you overheard the Vervoids, Mel, how did they describe us?
MEL: Er, wait a second. Animal-kind.
DOCTOR: Not human beings, not Mogarians, animal-kind.
TRAVERS: I hope this is relevant.
LASKY: It is. He's making sense. The Vervoids are plants.
DOCTOR: At some stage, directly or indirectly, all animal-kind consumes plant life. Without it, we'd perish.
LASKY: I must have been blinded by professional vanity. Bruchner saw it. I should have, too.
MEL: Doctor, if you're right, then coexistence with the Vervoids is an impossibility.
TRAVERS: It's a question of self-preservation. Kill or be killed.
DOCTOR: A conflict in which there can be no justice.
TRAVERS: Equally, there's no choice, and that goes for you too, Doctor. We need your undivided commitment.

[Trial room]

DOCTOR: And there you have it. The direct request. I did not meddle. I was presented with an appeal, and not just from anybody, but from the man in whom authority was vested.
INQUISITOR: I accept your argument. Nor, Valeyard, can you refute it.
VALEYARD: Perhaps we should await the outcome of this adventure, my lady.
INQUISITOR: Doctor, do you wish to continue?
DOCTOR: Providing we can trust the Matrix, my lady. And I won't know that until I see it.
(The Doctor starts up the Matrix again.)

[Hydroponics Centre]

LASKY: There's not enough left to make up a spoonful of herbicide. The Vervoids must have got here first.
MEL: Any more ideas, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Why can't I rid myself of the feeling we're approaching this the wrong way round? Professor, do Vervoid chloroplasts function normally?
LASKY: A cytogeneticist now? You're a man of varied talents.
DOCTOR: Don't prevaricate, Professor.
LASKY: Yes, Vervoid chloroplasts trap sunlight as is normal with all plants.
MEL: Doctor, there's something out there.
(Lots of Vervoids.)
DOCTOR: Is there another exit?
LASKY: Not this side of the hold. I'm going to talk to them.
DOCTOR: They won't listen.
LASKY: Perhaps they will, to me. I wasn't going to exploit them like Doland. They'll know that.
DOCTOR: They'll spare no one.
LASKY: I have to try.
(Mel finds an entrance to the service ducts behind the little lab.)
MEL: Doctor!
(Lasky walks up to the Vervoids.)
LASKY: You must know who I am.
VERVOID: Yes, Professor Lasky, we do.
LASKY: Then you must also be aware that I mean you no harm.
VERVOID: All animal-kind is our enemy, Professor. Even you.
(They stab her and carry her away.
(Meanwhile, a worker has managed to push one Vervoid into the pulveriser, before another gets him in the back.)

[Vervoid lair]

(Mel has lead the Doctor into the ducts, and they have found the stash of bodies.)
MEL: How could they? It's obscene.
DOCTOR: Not to a Vervoid.
MEL: You can't justify it. It's just
DOCTOR: It's a matter of perspective, Mel. In your house in Pease Pottage, you had a large garden. What did you do with the plants and weeds you uprooted?
MEL: Put them on a compost heap.
DOCTOR: They're obeying instinct, like migrating birds or salmon swimming relentlessly upstream to spawn even though they may die. A compulsive following of the life cycle. Come on, Mel.

[Lounge]

(The wicker furniture isn't making a very good barricade. Janet reports in on her comm. device.)
JANET: It's useless, Commodore.

[Bridge]

JANET [OC]: They're everywhere!
DOCTOR: We need your help, Commodore.
TRAVERS: Name it.
DOCTOR: Like the Vervoids, we're being driven by blind instinct. Kill or be killed.
TRAVERS: We've been over that.
DOCTOR: What if instead of bringing their lives to an abrupt end we did the opposite, accelerated the Vervoid life cycle?
TRAVERS: How the blazes do we do that?
DOCTOR: Vionesium.
MEL: Vionesium?
DOCTOR: A rare metal found on the airless planet of Mogar.
TRAVERS: And worth a prince's ransom.
DOCTOR: Or a hijack.
MEL: You mean there's a consignment on board?
TRAVERS: That's right, in the vault.
MEL: But how will this vionesium accelerate the Vervoid life cycle?
DOCTOR: It's a substance similar to magnesium. Exposed to oxygenated air, it releases incredibly intense light and carbon dioxide. Spring, summer, autumn, all condensed into a few moments.
TRAVERS: Seasons which I may be a long time enjoying again if I go robbing my own vault.
MEL: Seasons you can forget if you don't. We've seen what these creatures can do.
DOCTOR: You've no alternative, Commodore.
MEL: You can't send for outside help, the ship's completely cut off. The Doctor's the only hope you've got.
TRAVERS: All right, Doctor, you can have the vionesium. What's the drill?
DOCTOR: First, you must drive the Vervoids back to their lair.
TRAVERS: Me?
DOCTOR: Plunge the ship into darkness.

[Lounge]

JANET: They're never going to give up!

[Lounge]

TRAVERS: Attention all passengers and crew. A major fault has developed in the generators.

[Service duct]

(A Vervoid stops to listen.) 
TRAVERS [OC]: To effect necessary repairs, the heating will be shut down and auxiliary lighting only will be in operation.
(The red emergency lighting comes on.)

[Vervoid lair]

VERVOID: Are all the Vervoids here?
VERVOID 2: There is still another to come.
(The Doctor and others are listening.)
VERVOID: This power fault could be a trick.
VERVOID 2: What can they gain? Animal-kind need the life support system. They must repair the generator to survive.
(The last Vervoid approaches Mel's position. She screams. The rest of the Vervoids turn on her.)
MEL: No!
DOCTOR: The vionesium, Mel!
(The Doctor throws down a globe and it burst into an intense white light fireball. The others throw their globes and the Doctor pulls Mel clear of the disorientated Vervoids, who begin to go brown and collapse, wailing in the autumn of their lives. Soon there is nothing left but silence and leaf litter. The Doctor contacts the bridge.)
DOCTOR: You can restore power. It's over.

[Bridge]

TRAVERS: Restore power.

[Vervoid lair]

(The lights come back up. The Doctor picks up a leaf and watches it disintegrate in his hand.)

[Cargo hold]

JANET: Till we meet again, Mel.
MEL: Yes.
JANET: Doctor.
TRAVERS: No, don't say that. I owe you my thanks, Doctor, but let's make this the sweet sorrow of a final parting, hmm?
MEL: I shall remember that the next time we get a mayday call.
DOCTOR: She means that, too. Memory like an elephant.
MEL: That's his idea of a compliment, comparing me to an elephant.
DOCTOR: But so ludicrously appropriate, I find it amusing.
MEL: Well, at least if you're laughing you can't be singing. Have you ever heard his rendering of On With The Motley? Count your blessings. Bye.
(Mel follows the Doctor into the Tardis and it dematerialises to the sound of the Doctor singing.)
DOCTOR [OC]: Vesti la guibba e la faccia

[Trial room]

INQUISITOR: Did none of the unfortunate creatures survive, Doctor?
DOCTOR: No, my lady. Had even a leaf survived and fallen on fertile soil, a Vervoid would have grown.
VALEYARD: Every Vervoid was destroyed by your ingenious plan.
DOCTOR: Yes.
VALEYARD: Whether or not the Doctor has proved himself innocent of meddling is no longer the cardinal issue before this court. He has proved himself guilty of a far greater crime.
INQUISITOR: You refer to Article seven of Gallifreyan law?
DOCTOR: No, my lady, that cannot apply! Had a single Vervoid reached Earth, the human race would have been eliminated!
VALEYARD: Article seven permits no exceptions. The Doctor has destroyed a complete species. The charge must now be genocide.

To Part Thirteen >

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