by Brian Hayles

first broadcast - 9th December 1967

running time - 24mins 25secs


(THE DOCTOR is in the ice warriors spacecraft, talking to VARGA who is on a small video screen)

VARGA: Who are you?

DOCTOR: I never answer questions until I'm properly introduced.

VARGA: You will answer now.

(THE DOCTOR defiantly ignores him)

VARGA: Very well. You are standing in the airlock to this spacecraft. Unless you answer my questions within ten seconds, I will take the atmospheric pressure around you down to zero.

DOCTOR: But ... but if you do that my body will explode!

(A dial next to the monitor slowly decreases)

VARGA: One ... two ... three ...

DOCTOR: Oh alright! Alright! But I don't think much of your hospitality!

VARGA: Identify yourself.

DOCTOR: Me? I ... I'm a scientist. I've come to talk with you.


(VARGA is talking to THE DOCTOR on a video screen, while ZONDAL watches)

DOCTOR: To help you.

VARGA: A scientist?

DOCTOR: Yes, yes you could call me that.

ZONDAL: You do not look like a scientist.

DOCTOR: Well looks aren't everything you know!

VARGA: You look more like a scavenger. We kiled him.

DOCTOR: Well if you kill me, you'll ruin any chance you may have of escape.

ZONDAL: Do you think he can help us?

VARGA: He cannot afford to lie. Allow him to enter.

(THE DOCTOR enters)

DOCTOR: Ah, thank you very much, that's very civil of you.

(Seeing the ice warriors, he tries to ext, but the door quickly closes)

DOCTOR: Oh, my word!

VARGA: You claim to be able to help us.

DOCTOR: No ... I am sure I can help you. On certain conditions.

VARGA: You are our prisoner. It is we who set conditions.

(There is another rumble from the ever-advancing glacier. The room shakes)

DOCTOR: On the contrary, it is you who are the prisoner, and I can help you!

VARGA: Not on your terms.


VARGA: Bring in the girl. Now we will have two hostages.

DOCTOR: Well what good will that do? You are buried alive in the heart of this glacier. Time is desperately short! You've got no time to bargain over hostages.

VARGA: Inside our spaceship, we are safe. And with you here, your base will dare not use their secret weapon against us.

DOCTOR: Weapon? But, but the ioniser is not a weapon!

VARGA: You know how it works?

DOCTOR: Yes of course! It'll melt the ice and set you free!

(From the other side of the room, VICTORIA enters)

VICTORIA: You're hurting me!

DOCTOR: Victoria!

VICTORIA: Oh Doctor!

DOCTOR: Victoria.

(They embrace)

VICTORIA: Oh dear but they've got you too.

DOCTOR: It's alright. We are not beaten yet.

VICTORIA: Jamie ...

DOCTOR: He's alive!

VARGA: If what you say is true, why have you not freed us before?

DOCTOR: Well, there are difficulties.

VARGA: What are they?

DOCTOR: Well ...

VARGA: You will tell us.

(He threatens THE DOCTOR with his gun)


(PENLEY drags JAMIE through the snow towards the base. JAMIE is on a sled-like arrangement, and is wearing goggles. Howls can be heard from some sort of animal)

PENLEY: ??? Well it's not ... it's not much farther now, lad.

JAMIE: How far are we?

PENLEY: Well, we're at the edge of the woods fringing the camp perimeter.

JAMIE: Can we not rest a while?

PENLEY: (sounding exhausted) I think so but a couple of minutes, no more.

JAMIE: Aye, you're right. The Doctor needs help right away.

PENLEY: I wasn't thinking only of the Doctor.

(There is another howl)

JAMIE: Wolves!

PENLEY: Yes. Here we're more or less safe, but the last stretch is open country.

JAMIE: I don't help much, do I?

PENLEY: Well I'm not exactly a man of action myself. Storr should be here now, I miss him.

JAMIE: Have you no weapons?

PENLEY: Arden's tranqueliser gun, that's all.

JAMIE: Aye, it's not much.

PENLEY: Storr was a huntsman. An expert with a bow and arrow.

JAMIE: Uhh, it's no good wishing.

PENLEY: Well, I'd better carry on.

JAMIE: Aye, lead on McDuff.

(PENLEY spots something)

PENLEY: Keep very still.

(A bear coomes into the open, sniffing around for food. PENLEY and JAMIE look at it in horror)


(VARGA is still talking to VARGA, while ZONDAL holds VICTORIA)

VARGA: So, you are afraid of us.

DOCTOR: No, but of your ship. If the ioniser sets off a nucular holocaust, it will all have be in vain.

VARGA: That is good. In that case you dare not act.

ZONDAL: But if you thought there would be no explosion?

VARGA: Well?

DOCTOR: Well in that case we'd have ... we'd have no choice.

VARGA: You would use the ioniser.

DOCTOR: But it wouldn't harm the ship, it would release it!

ZONDAL: There would be floods.

VARGA: Our engines would be useless.

ZONDAL: We would be at your mercy.

VARGA: Why did you come here?

ZONDAL: To spy, to betray us?

VARGA: But you could not hope to escape to tell the tale.

DOCTOR: Oh, I always live in hope.

VARGA: You have some kind of communicator.

DOCTOR: You do realise, don't you, that after a certain point, my base will ...


(CLENT and GARRETT listen to THE DOCTOR on their communicator)

DOCTOR: ... have to activate the ioniser regardless of the consequences?

VARGA: And destroy you and themselves as well?


DOCTOR: Is that what would happen?

VARGA: Give it to me.

(THE DOCTOR reluctantly hands over the communicator. VARGA grasps it between his pincer-like hand)

VARGA: Ah, they would never know.


VARGA: They would never know.

(The communication ceases. GARRETT and CLENT look at each other)

GARRETT: The Doctor. You heard what he said.

CLENT: Regardless of the consequences. Yes. Yes, he's telling us to take the risk.

GARRETT: But we can't give the computer the information it needs. It can't instruct us.

CLENT: Can the ioniser hold?

(She inspects an instrument)

GARRETT: Present power it's ... steadily losing ground. But we dare not increase!

COMPUTER: Summary of orders to all World Ioniser Stations: The new equation originated from Brittanicus Base will be adopted to conditions prevaling in each sector. All bases will prepare to use full ioniser attack on the ice in concerted action. Zero hour in six hours exactly. Report readyness one hour.

CLENT: We can't do it.

GARRETT: But if we don't the whole plan must fail.

CLENT: But if we act and there is an explosion ... apart from destroying this base, the contamination could easily ...

GARRETT: (interrupting) We must state our problem to World Control, now.

CLENT: No wait! We'll give our computer all the information we have.

GARRETT: It isn't enough!

CLENT: It may be. Er, it may be.

GARRETT: I know what the computer will say.

CLENT: No no no no no. Let the computer speak for itself.

GARRETT: There's only one answer it can give!

CLENT: Come on, quickly. Put the situation to the computer.

(She hesitates)

CLENT: Do as you're told!


(PENLEY and JAMIE still cautiously watch the bear)

PENLEY: He's sizing us up.

JAMIE: Can you not run for it?

PENLEY: I don't intend to leave you here as ???

JAMIE: Well the gun! Use the gun!

PENLEY: I could hit the side of the mountain. I'm a scientist, not a gladiator.

JAMIE: Well at least you can try!

PENLEY: Alright. Cross your fingers. Here goes.

(He fires the gun, but misses. The bear starts to move towards them)

JAMIE: Quick get me out of here, I'll tackle him! Get a hold of yourself man! Quick, he's nearly on us!

(The bear rushes towards them, and PENLEY fires the gun in one last desperate attempt)


(THE COMPUTER is giving CLENT and GARRETT its reccomendations)

COMPUTER: Set up all circuits to new equation. And wait. Further information essential before decision can be taken. Prepare to notify World Control in event of emergency.

CLENT: Of course, the computer's right. We must be prepared. And we must wait.

GARRETT: It is the answer I expected.

CLENT: But you don't realise why it made this choice, do you?

GARRETT: Because it is the most logical answer in the circumstances.

CLENT: Of course. And because it's so logical, it can't gamble, it can't take risks.

GARRETT: That is its function. To be totally impartial. To serve the community.

CLENT: Exactly. And one more aim in its life: to survive.

GARRETT: It has given us its decision.

CLENT: It is no decision. The computer is playing for time.

(He addresses the room)

CLENT: Now listen! All of you! We risk destruction either by a radioactive explosion, or, by the slow grind of the glaciers.

(He points to the monitor showing the ices progress)

CLENT: Now there you see that the ice has advanced 100 metres today. Now either way ...

GARRETT: The computer is destroyed.

CLENT: So that, by demanding a decision, we are asking it to commit suicude.

GARRETT: It can't do that!

CLENT: Then what is the answer?

GARRETT: We can escape. There's still time to evacuate.

CLENT: Perhaps you could face world opinionata. I couldn't.

GARRETT: You must notify World Control eventually. The other bases will be waiting.

CLENT: I will decide exactly when. For now we do as the computer says. Prepare the ioniser, and wait. Now, complete data check please, Miss Garrett.

(He begins to check the stations)

CLENT: Miss Curtis(?), report to me the moment ??? four reaches one-five-oh-oh. One-three-seven-nine, now.

(He contiues to check instruments. WALTERS is standing by the door)

CLENT: Well, what do you feel about all this Walters? Bet you didn't think you'd have ice monsters and things like that to deal with when you volunteered for the job, did you?

(He is silent)

CLENT: Well, did you?

WALTERS: I didn't volunteer.

CLENT: Ah, yes, well ... good man, anyway.


(PENLEY has succeeded in shooting the monster, but has come off badly)

JAMIE: Penley! Penley, are you alright!

PENLEY: I'll get up ???

JAMIE: You sure you're alright?

PENLEY: Well he's clawed me, that's all.

(There is a large gash on PENLEY's face)

JAMIE: Now we better get away quick. He won't be any friendlier when he wakes up!

(They move off)


(The engine room door opens and VARGA and THE DOCTOR step out)

VARGA: (to another warrior) Close engine room. (to THE DOCTOR) Well?

DOCTOR: It's an ion reactor, isn't it? Hmm. It could be dangerous, but it wouldn't neccesarily explode.

VARGA: True. But your friends do not know that.

(He indictes the communicator he still holds in his hand)

DOCTOR: Now why don't you let us help you?

VARGA: We can get what we want without your help.

DOCTOR: But, but what else do you need, apart from escaping from the ice?

VARGA: We have had enough of your questions. Now you will give me answers.

DOCTOR: Well, I've told you all I can about the ioniser.

VARGA: That is only a toy. The base - what is its power source?

DOCTOR: Why on earth do you want to know that?

VARGA: Answer.

(There is a look of realissation on THE DOCTOR's face)

DOCTOR: Oh, so that's what you need is it?

ZONDAL: Answer the Commander's questions.

(ZONDAL holds his gun to VICTORIA's head)

DOCTOR: Fuel! Fuel for your reactor! And suppose I don't tell you?

VARGA: The girl dies, now.

VICTORIA: Doctor, don't tell them!

DOCTOR: Yes, you'll find what you need at the base.

(VICTORIA rushes over to THE DOCTOR)

VICTORIA: You shouldn't have!

DOCTOR: But you, you won't find Leader Clent easy to pursuede. He's a very ??? man!

VARGA: He will listen to our sonic cannon.

ZONDAL: We must act quickly, Commander.

VARGA: Isbur and Rintan: wait for me at the entrance to the cave. Zondal, you will man the sonic gun.

VICTORIA: You won't succeed! You can't be so inhuman.

VARGA: We only fight to win.


(GARRETT is checking figures on one of the control panels)

GARRETT: Ion density reading at 1000?

PANEL: 74 ???

GARRETT: 2000?

PANEL: 62 ???

GARRETT: 3000?

PANEL: 43.3 ???

GARRETT: 4000?

PANEL: 39 ???

GARRETT: 5000?

PANEL: 35 ???

(The communicator beeps, and CLENT moves over to it. It is WALTERS)

WALTERS: Reception check-point to Leader Clent.

CLENT: Yes, what is it?

WALTERS: Two new arrivals, Sir.

CLENT: Well I don't wish to be disturbed by trifals!

WALTERS: These aren't scavengers Sir. It's the lad that came with the Doctor and Scientist Penley.

CLENT: What?

(The screen now shows PENLEY)

PENLEY: Clent, I must talk to you. I have news of the Doctor.

CLENT: Walters!

(WALTERS comes back onto the screen)

CLENT: Bring the arrivals to me at once.


(GARRETT is now getting information from the main computer)

GARRETT: Density compensator setting, please.

COMPUTER: Density compensator setting: zero-three-nine. Seven-seven-seven. Zero-one. Sequence ends.

GARRETT: Take all systems up to this level. (to CLENT) Everything seems to be proceeding satisfactoraly.

CLENT: Is it?

GARRETT: What's wrong?

CLENT: Penley's come back.

GARRETT: Of his own choice?

CLENT: Apparently.


CLENT: We shall soon see. If he tries to start any trouble ...

GARRETT: Well, he can't be allowed to interfere with the program. Not at this stage.

CLENT: No. I no longer need to be tolerant with him. 'Cause he's no longer my equal. He's an outsider.

(WALTERS and PENLEY enter, dragging JAMIE, who can still not move his legs)

WALTERS: Come on then.

PENLEY: Put him over here.

(He indicates one of the chairs)

WALTERS: Take it easy.

PENLEY: Rest on that Jamie.

JAMIE: Thank you.

WALTERS: Alright there, lad?

JAMIE: Thank you.

(WALTERS begins to leave)

CLENT: No stay, Walters. You may be needed.

PENLEY: I'm not liable to be violent.

CLENT: What do you want?

PENLEY: Well I brought this lad. He's in desperate need of medical supervision.

GARRETT: We are not a first-aid center.

PENLEY: He's paralised.

CLENT: How did it happen?

PENLEY: He was shot down by the warriors guns.

CLENT: Well thank heavens. Their weapons don't deal fatal blows.

PENLEY: Well they killed Arden.

JAMIE: Look you've got to help.

CLENT: Er, yes of course boy. Um, Walters will take you to the Medi-Control Centre.

JAMIE: No I didn't mean me, I meant Victoria and the Doctor! Look, they're inside the alien spaceship! You've got to help them .

CLENT: That isn't possible.

JAMIE: Well why ???. You've got to do something!

CLENT: No, we lost contact with the Doctor over an hour ago. I'm afraid there's no hope.

PENLEY: You mean hope happens to be inconvenient! You've got to stick to your precious schedule, is that it? You've got to wave your splendid ioniser about to prove that it works and never mind about human beings!

GARRETT: The computer has decided!

PENLEY: The compu ... Over-ride it! Let the ioniser wait. The computer isn't gonna fall apart because it has to mark time for an hour!

CLENT: We are marking time. We're not using the ioniser under instructions from the computer itself.


GARRETT: The spaceship may contain a reactor system that could wipe us off this island if we cause it to explode.

PENLEY: So what are you gonna do?

CLENT: We obey the computer. We will wait.

PENLEY: Wait? But that's suicide! The glacier's practically on top of us!

CLENT: We still have time in hand.

JAMIE: Yes, but if the Doctor, if he's ...

CLENT: (interrupting) No.

PENLEY: If the Dooctor doesn't contact you, what hope is there?

CLENT: There is hope.

PENLEY: Oh don't be a fool, Clent! You're not a man, you're just a machine slave.

CLENT: Don't you spit your stupid liberty in my face, Penley. We know your kind of freedom - freedom to run away. From responsibilities, from service. From moral judgement. I may be a physical coward, Penley, you're a coward in the mind.

PENLEY: Well at least I have a mind and not a ??? junction box. I would act, but you daren't. And so you're going to be destroyed, along with your mechanical master.

JAMIE: Look, you've got to help us man.

(JAMIE touches CLENT on the arm, who is now standing next to him)

PENLEY: Jamie, I don't think you're ...

(A struggle ensues)

PENLEY: Jamie, take it easy.

(The shouting continues until WALTERS shoot both PENLEY and JAMIE)

CLENT: (exploding) Ahh! Now, get them out of here!

GARRETT: (to WALTERS) You'd better take them to the Medi-Control Centre. Get someone to look at the boy. Make sure there's a guard for when they come to.

WALTERS: Right. (into his wrist communictor) Get two guards to control.

CLENT: Penley. He's nothing!

GARRETT: Our trust is in the great computer. With its aid, we cannot fail.


ZONDAL: (to THE DOCTOR and VICTORIA) They are now outside their base.

VARGA: (on the communicator screen. Behind him is the Brittanicus Base) Stand by, gun control. Take target readings.

(The sonic gun on the outside of the spacecraft moves into position. Inside, the screen focuses on the base)

ZONDAL: Ready.

VARGA: (his voice only can be heard) Vertical bearing: minus point nine.

(ZONDAL makes the setting. On the screen the aiming cross moves up into position)

VARGA: Lateral bearing: three-five.

(ZONDAL makes the changes. The cross moves across. The gun moves again)

VARGA: Prepare to charge to frequency three-five.

ZONDAL: Frequency three-five.

(ZONDAL turns a dial. A scale above the aiming cross moves into the correct position)

(In the background, THE DOCTOR motions to VICTORIA to pretend to start crying. She does so. THE DOCTOR produces his phial)

DOCTOR: It's all right Victoria, don't cry.

(She cries more. Meanwhile, THE DOCTOR gets out a hankerchief)

DOCTOR: It's alright. There's nothing to be afraid of.

ZONDAL: But if Varga Rintan is triumphant, then you will have cause to cry.

DOCTOR: Come along, Victoria, blow. Blow.

(THE DOOCTOR makes a sound like a nose being blown)

DOCTOR: That's better, that's better.

(VICTORIA continues crying)

DOCTOR: We can try and escape with this.

(He shows her the phial)

VICTORIA: What is it?

DOCTOR: Ammonium sulphide.

VICTORIA: Ammonium sulphide? It's only a stink bomb.

DOCTOR: Yes, you've had the benefits of a classical education. Yes, it is what you'd call a stink bomb.

VICTORIA: What use is that?

DOCTOR: You'd be surprised. Harmless to humans, but to aliens very possibly deadly!

ZONDAL: The gun is ??? ready, Commander.

VARGA: (now back on the screen) Good Zondal. We will now contact the scientists. On my command you will fire once. Do you understand?

ZONDAL: Yes, Commander.

VARGA: Good.

VICTORIA: (trying to distract him) Zondal! Zondal, look!

ZONDAL: What is it?

(Behind him, THE DOCTOR tries to open the phial, only to find the stopper is stuck. He wrestles with it, while VICTORIA plays for more time)


ZONDAL: Do not try any tricks.

VICTORIA: There's, there's water, seeping into the ship. Just there.


VICTORIA: Er, over in the corner there.

ZONDAL: You tricked me. There is no water.

(He turns and sees THE DOCTOR still trying to open the ammonium sulphide)

ZONDAL: What is that? Let me have it. Give it to me at once.

VARGA: (on the communictor) Zondal. Zondal fire.

(THE DOCTOR has opened it, and VICTORIA throws the liquid at ZONDAL's face. ZONDAL staggers to the ground, barely ably to breath)

VARGA: Fire now. Zondal fire. Zondal fire. Fire now.

(As ZONDAL falls, he makes a lunge for the firing control. THE DOCTOR tries desperatly to stop him, but one final effort he manages to reach it, and fire the sonic gun at the base)

Dr. Who



Miss Garrett





Varga, the Leader




Voice of Computer

Title Music by
and the BBC
Radiophonic Workshop

Incidental Music by

Story Editor



Directed by
BBC tv

Transcribed by

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