by WILLIAM EMMS
first broadcast - September 25th 1965
(VICKI turns, her eyes reacting in horror to what she sees. She screams.)
(THE DOCTOR turns and looks. He is also riveted by what he sees. In the middle of a door, that they had not previously noticed, is a window. Beyond the window, in a cloud of swirling ammonia, are two large scaly eyes staring out at them.)
(A CHUMBLEY moves along. It reaches the end of the passageway and moves off into another.)
(THE DOCTOR and VICKI turn as they hear the sound of a CHUMBLEY approaching.)
THE DOCTOR: There's a Chumbley coming! Quickly!
(They both rush toward one of the passageways and pull to a halt as they see a CHUMBLEY coming toward them. They turn and flee down another passageway. The noise of the CHUMBLIES is loud in their ears.)
VICKI: Oh, Doctor!
THE DOCTOR: Hurry! Quick!
(THE DOCTOR and VICKI hurry along, the sound of pursuing CHUMBLIES not far behind them.)
THE DOCTOR: Come on!
VICKI: (Breathlessly) Come on, Doctor!
THE DOCTOR: (Breathlessly) This way. Come on! We'll make it!
(They come to an intersection. THE DOCTOR points the way ahead.)
(They reach the entrance, THE DOCTOR a little way ahead of VICKI, who turns to look behind her.)
(THE DOCTOR emerges and turns back to VICKI. As she is about to exit, a heavy iron grill slams down in front of her. She grips the bars frantically and looks out.)
THE DOCTOR: Oh! Ah!
VICKI: Oh! Doctor! Doctor!
(VICKI turns as the CHUMBLEY sounds grow louder. THE DOCTOR runs over and examines the bars.)
THE DOCTOR: (Breathlessly) I can't move it! It's immovable! Wait, wait, wait! I have an idea.
(He grasps the grill and tries desperately to push it up.)
(THE DOCTOR looks around and sees the mechanism on the wall he examined before.)
I might be able to sabotage them. Now be patient.
(He moves across to the mechanism and takes out a screwdriver from his pocket. VICKI waits, grasping the bars while looking behind her, expecting the CHUMBLIES at any minute. THE DOCTOR quickly examines the air-converter unit.)
We know what this machine's for. This is to convert air into ammonia gas.
VICKI: (With desperation) Doctor, hurry up!
THE DOCTOR: Yes, well, have patience child. When I've finished with this machine, I'm sure they will release you.
(He continues to work on the mechanism.)
VICKI: Never mind about that, release these bars!
THE DOCTOR: No! No! That's the last thing we do. This is the thing that gives them the gas to breathe with.
VICKI: You don't know that for certain!
THE DOCTOR: My dear child, the Rills can't go outside. It's a foregone conclusion.
(VICKI turns once more and looks down the passageway.)
(CHUMBLIES moves along the passageway and reaches VICKI. THE DOCTOR appears on the other side of the bars and looks in. THE CHUMBLIES make signs just as the one they first met did.)
VICKI: (With fear) Doctor! Then... I think they want me to go with them.
THE DOCTOR: Well, I think you... you'd better do what they want, hmm.
VICKI: (With great anxiety) But Doctor, that thing in there, that thing looking out of the window... what...
THE DOCTOR: Yes, that was one of the Rills, I suppose.
VICKI: (Softly) Doctor, I'm so scared.
THE DOCTOR: Now, look, you go with them, quickly, but don't cause any trouble. It'll give me time to see if I can help you. I think perhaps I can do something to that machine, but I must have time! Hmm? Yes?
VICKI: Alright. But be quick.
THE DOCTOR: Alright, don't worry. Goodbye!
(VICKI eyes the CHUMBLEY and moves toward it. THE CHUMBLEY backs away.)
(VICKI moves down a passageway followed by the CHUMBLEY. Another CHUMBLEY moves to meet her, and they nudge her toward the central chamber.)
(THE DOCTOR moves away from the bars and resumes work on the air-converter with his screwdriver.)
(STEVEN is still in the padded corner. He is lying down, apparently asleep.)
DRAHVIN TWO: Maaga, shall we go?
DRAHVIN TWO: To patrol.
MAAGA: I see no need.
DRAHVIN TWO: To see what the other two are doing.
DRAHVIN TWO: But, Maaga...
MAAGA: Can you hear me?
DRAHVIN TWO: We always go out on patrol at this time.
MAAGA: Yes, but not now.
(The three DRAHVINS look uneasily at one another.)
Soldier Drahvins, you can't understand anything that's different, can you? You are made unintelligent, and you remain that way for the rest of your lives.
(MAAGA turns away, talking almost to herself.)
(Sighing) I told them soldiers were no good for space work. All they can do is kill. But they wouldn't listen. If you are to conquer space, they said, you will need soldiers. So here I am confronted with danger, and the only one able to think!
(She turns back to the others.)
Very well. I am your commanding officer. I am your controller, am I not?
DRAHVIN TWO: Yes, Maaga.
MAAGA: And you obey my orders?
DRAHVIN TWO: Yes, Maaga.
DRAHVIN TWO: Because you are our leader.
DRAHVIN TWO: You think.
MAAGA: And you don't know what that means.
(The DRAHVINS are silent.)
But because I think, I order that there'll be no patrol now. We have a prisoner. In order to save him, the other two must help us.
DRAHVIN ONE: I do not understand why they would want to help a friend.
MAAGA: I know you don't.
DRAHVIN ONE: We would not. We would leave him here.
MAAGA: (Laughing) Yes, we would. But I have heard of creatures like these. They help one another.
DRAHVIN THREE: Why, Maaga?
MAAGA: I don't know. I have heard, that on occasions, they even die for one another.
DRAHVIN THREE: Die? For their friends?
MAAGA: There are many strange things in the universe.
DRAHVIN TWO: I do not understand.
MAAGA: I know you don't. But, despite that, you will obey orders!
(The three DRAHVINS bow their heads submissively. After a pause, MAAGA speaks softly, almost to herself.)
It may be that we shall kill neither the Rills nor these Earth creatures. Not with our own hands, that is. It may be better for us to escape in the Rills' spaceship and leave them here. And then, when we are out in space, we can look back. We will see a vast, white, exploding planet and know that they have died with it.
DRAHVIN ONE: But we will not see them die.
MAAGA: (Softly) You will not! But I, at least, have enough intelligence to imagine it. The fear. The horror. The shuddering of a planet in its last moments life. And then they die.
(Sighs) But that is for later.
(She turns back to the DRAHVINS and issues instructions to them each, in turn.)
(To each of her soldiers)
You will rest.
You will guard the prisoner.
You will go out and look for the Earth creatures. Open the door.
(DRAHVIN ONE leaves the spaceship. DRAHVIN TWO moves round the table, picking up her gun as she does so. She crosses to a chair near STEVEN and sits down, the gun across her lap. The other DRAHVIN goes into the inner room. MAAGA goes over and looks down at STEVEN.)
DRAHVIN TWO: He sleeps.
MAAGA: But you will not. He must not move.
(DRAHVIN ONE nods. MAAGA goes into the inner room. As she does so, STEVEN opens his eyes slightly and squints up at DRAHVIN ONE, who is staring straight ahead.)
(A CHUMBLEY backs in followed by VICKI. She searches about her and looks nervously at the place where she saw the watching eyes. The shutter on the door is closed. Another CHUMBLEY comes out of the passageway. The two CHUMBLIES chatter to themselves for a moment, then, from the CHUMBLEY facing VICKI, comes a high-pitched sound. VICKI stares at it blankly. It stops, twitters at her once or twice more, then falls silent. The CHUMBLEY behind VICKI nudges her. She puts up with this for a few moments then angrily reacts.)
VICKI: Stop doing that! What do you want, anyway?
(At once a series of varying sounds comes from the CHUMBLEY, then suddenly...)
CHUMBLEY: What do you want anyway? What do you want anyway? What do you want anyway? What do you want anyway? What do you want anyway?
(There is a chattering sound and then silence. Then from the CHUMBLEY, as though it has now deciphered VICKI's words, comes intelligible speech.)
We are sorry to separate you from your friends, but it was necessary.
(VICKI is surprised. She jumps as the shutter barring the RILLS from her slides open. A RILL can be seen looking through at her. VICKI looks from the RILL to the CHUMBLEY.)
VICKI: (Fearfully) Who are you?
CHUMBLEY: Who are you?
VICKI: (Fearfully) We're, umm... we're time travellers. From the planet Earth.
(There is a pause as the RILL studies her.)
CHUMBLEY: I see. You were sent here by the Drahvins?
CHUMBLEY: To do us harm?
VICKI: (Fearfully) No. No, you see the Drahvins are keeping a friend of ours prisoner. So, we had to do as they said.
CHUMBLEY: What was that?
VICKI: (Reluctantly) To capture your spaceship.
CHUMBLEY: Why do they want to capture it? We have offered to take them with us.
VICKI: They didn't tell us that!
(VICKI moves slightly as she speaks. The other CHUMBLEY hustles her back into place.)
CHUMBLEY: No. They would not. They would rather kill. They hate us.
VICKI: Well, you did kill one of them.
CHUMBLEY: We kill no one!
(VICKI, who is still being pushed by the other CHUMBLEY, is suddenly exasperated.)
VICKI: But they... Look, who is talking? Is it... is it this Chumbley, or is it...
(She looks toward the open shutters.)
CHUMBLEY: You call the machines Chumblies?
CHUMBLEY: The Chumblies have a speaker in them. They are transmitting our thoughts.
VICKI: Your... your thoughts?
CHUMBLEY: We do not speak like you. We have no vocal chords. We communicate in thought.
VICKI: Who are you?
CHUMBLEY: We are the Rills.
VICKI: Why can't I see you?
CHUMBLEY: It is better that you do not. Not all the dominant species in the universe look like humans. Our appearance might shock you as it shocked the Drahvins.
(THE DOCTOR has now removed some of the top plates from the air converter and is peering in. He is hard at work with his screwdriver.)
THE DOCTOR: Hmm!
VICKI: The Drahvins said that you attacked them.
CHUMBLEY: That is short of the truth. We were investigating outer space when we encountered a strange ship. Rills do not attack or kill without good reason, so we stopped our ship. Their ship also stopped. We hung in space facing each other. We could have turned and gone away, but we were afraid that we would be attacked.
VICKI: Yes. Well, what happened?
CHUMBLEY: For four dawns we hung there. Then we decided to turn. As we were doing so the Drahvins fired. Immediately we did the same, and both ships crashed. When we escaped from our ship we discovered that we could not breathe the atmosphere here, but we had a small supply of our own, and set out to help the Drahvins.
(As the RILL speaks through the CHUMBLEY, we see what happened as a flashback through the RILL's eyes.)
(Glimpses of other RILLS can be seen, but none clearly, as they are at the edge of vision. As the RILL looks around, a DRAHVIN is seen, lying face down on the ground.)
CHUMBLEY: (oov) The first one we found was badly injured. We started to help the soldier. Then Maaga, their leader, appeared. She started to shoot at us, so we left.
CHUMBLEY: We could have fought back. Our weapons are superior to theirs. But, we do not kill! The Drahvins do!
(MAAGA aims her gun at the injured Drahvin and fires.)
CHUMBLEY: (oov) When we looked back, we saw Maaga kill the injured soldier.
VICKI: But all the Drahvins believe that you did that!
CHUMBLEY: We know. That is why they keep attacking us.
VICKI: Would you really have taken those people off with you?
CHUMBLEY: Why not? What do we gain if they die?
(VICKI looks at the RILL through the open shutters.)
We will help you rescue your friend.
(VICKI does not respond.)
Something is worrying you?
VICKI: Yes, I... I wish I could see the whole of you.
CHUMBLEY: It is better that you don't. Besides, we cannot come out. In order to live we must have ammoniac gas. So we live in here in a compartment where it is filtered in.
VICKI: (Horrified) You mean you can't breathe oxygen at all?
CHUMBLEY: No. Our home planet...
(VICKI tries to leave, but the CHUMBLEY blocks her path.)
What is it?
VICKI: (With desperation) You must let me out quickly, or you'll all be killed!
CHUMBLEY: (Horrified) Killed? By whom?
VICKI: The Doctor. He's trying to wreck your machine for making ammoniac gas!
(THE DOCTOR is working feverishly at the air-converter mechanism with his screwdriver, talking to himself.)
(STEVEN is still pretending to be asleep, but is squinting at the DRAHVIN that is guarding him, who is herself nodding off to sleep. Slowly, STEVEN eases himself up into a sitting position. He eases his legs down to the floor. There is a creak. The DRAHVIN reacts slightly but continues to doze. STEVEN slowly reaches toward the DRAHVIN's gun. With one movement he snatches the gun, clasps a hand over the DRAHVIN's mouth, and keeps moving forward so that the DRAHVIN and the chair she is sitting on topple over backwards. Holding the gun, STEVEN prepares to cover the DRAHVIN, but he realizes that the fall has knocked her unconscious. He listens. All is silent. He moves toward the lever that opens the door. There is a humming sound and the door begins to slide open. At the same time, the door to MAAGA's compartment opens, and MAAGA stands there, gun in hand.)
MAAGA: He's trying to escape!
(STEVEN leaps toward the outer door, but it is closed. He turns back to see MAAGA, by now joined by the other DRAHVINS, approaching. He points his gun at them.)
(They halt. MAAGA comes forward.)
MAAGA: Don't shoot. You can't escape. Give up and we will not harm you.
STEVEN: (Breathlessly) I'd be a fool to believe that, wouldn't I?
(He glances to the side and sees two buttons on the wall. While still pointing his gun at the DRAHVINS, he presses one button and the inner door slides shut, sealing him off from the DRAHVINS. He presses the other button, and the outer door opens. He exits.)
(STEVEN emerges and looks warily about. He is about to move off when he sees a CHUMBLEY approaching. He stares at it, gun at the ready, then looks back at the spaceship. He makes his decision and heads back into the airlock. He presses the button to close the outer door, and as it closes behind him, the CHUMBLEY moves in and waits. He turns toward the inner door and, through the porthole in the door, is startled to see MAAGA standing there, a cruel smirking grin on her face.)
(THE DOCTOR is reaching into the machine. With a grunt of pleasure he brings out a small metal plate and drops it on the ground. Then he peers in again. Afterwards, he picks up the screwdriver and poises it over the machine. He soon starts to cough.)
VICKI: (oov) Doctor! No!
(THE DOCTOR turns in surprise.)
Don't do it, Doctor! Doctor!
THE DOCTOR: (Coughing) Oh! Child!
(THE DOCTOR, coughing, moves away from the machine. VICKI and the CHUMBLEY come into view from the passageway as the bars slide up out of sight.)
VICKI: (Breathlessly) Oh! Oh! I was going to be too late.
THE DOCTOR: Are you sure you're all right, child, hmm? Hmm? Hmm.
VICKI: Yes, and the Rills won't harm us. They want to help.
CHUMBLEY: We were told your friend is in danger.
(THE DOCTOR starts back, surprised by the fact that the CHUMBLEY can talk.)
THE DOCTOR: Is... (stutters) is that a Rill talking?
VICKI: Yes. Well, answer him.
THE DOCTOR: (Shouting) Oh yes, you were told correctly!
VICKI: Doctor, they're not deaf!
THE DOCTOR: Oh, I... I mean... Oh, I'm sorry. I beg your pardon. I...I thought you couldn't hear.
CHUMBLEY: We are not deaf, you know.
THE DOCTOR: Ah.
CHUMBLEY: Perhaps you will both come inside.
THE DOCTOR: Ah, yes. It does occurs to me that, ah, if we do that we, ah, might be trapped, hmm.
VICKI: Doctor, if the Rills wanted to harm us, the Chumbley could shoot us now.
THE DOCTOR: Well, yes. Indeed. Of course, child. Yes, it's quite true, quite true. Yes. Well, lead the way. Ah... Eh, lead the way. Heh, heh.
(Chuckles) As it happens, I'd like to take a good look round. Ah, what's this? What's this fellow doing, hmm?
(The CHUMBLEY turns and leads the way back. As they move another CHUMBLEY passes them, going in the opposite direction.)
CHUMBLEY: Going to repair the damage you have done.
THE DOCTOR: Ah, yes. Quite so. Hmm. hmm. Hmm, hmm. Hmm.
(He nods to himself, looks apologetic, and grimaces at VICKI. They moves down the passageway. Meanwhile, the other CHUMBLEY reaches the air converter and starts to examine it, making the usual chumbley sounds as it does.)
(THE DOCTOR and VICKI move along after the CHUMBLEY.)
THE DOCTOR: Tell me, what do these Rills look like, hmm?
VICKI: They won't show themselves, Doctor!
THE DOCTOR: Oh? Why ever not, hmm?
(THE CHUMBLEY halts and turns.)
CHUMBLEY: Because our appearance would not be pleasant to you.
THE DOCTOR: Oh, what nonsense! We're not children, you know?
CHUMBLEY: It is best you do not see us.
(THE CHUMBLEY turns and moves off.)
THE DOCTOR: Oh, very well. Carry on, carry on. Oh, what utter rubbish, isn't it? Hmm, hmm. Hmm. Hmm.
(They move off after the CHUMBLEY.)
(The CHUMBLEY enters and halts, followed by THE DOCTOR and VICKI. THE DOCTOR looks around and taps the CHUMBLEY with his stick.)
THE DOCTOR: Oh, yes. This... uh, this drill rigging here. Eh, tell me, what is it you drilling for, hmm?
CHUMBLEY: Power. We must have power for launching our spaceship. The suns are too weak to supply this power, therefore, by drilling we may find some in the ground.
THE DOCTOR: Very well, if you take my advice, you'll get a move on. There's very little time left.
CHUMBLEY: You know about the explosion of this planet?
THE DOCTOR: Oh, yes! We know more than you. Your timing is wrong. The disintegration of this planet is not fourteen dawns away. It is now less than two dawns.
CHUMBLEY: Two dawns!
THE DOCTOR: Two dawns.
CHUMBLEY: Then we have no chance of survival!
VICKI: But you've repaired your ship.
CHUMBLEY: Yes, but the only power we find is a gas, and that is of no use to us. We have no means of converting it into the sun-ray power we need.
THE DOCTOR: I think I might be able to supply you with the power you need. Yes, I think I'll help you, since you're so willing to help us.
CHUMBLEY: We would be deeply grateful.
THE DOCTOR: Hmm.
VICKI: You keep saying we. How many of you are there?
VICKI: That doesn't seem many for manning a spaceship.
CHUMBLEY: We were twelve. Eight of us died in the crash.
(THE DOCTOR nods sympathetically and then is immediately business-like.)
THE DOCTOR: First I will need some metal-cored cable.
CHUMBLEY: We have some!
THE DOCTOR: Splendid. Splendid. I think I can put into effect the transference of power from my ship to this. Now, first of all, I must... I must have a conversion. Now is that possible?
CHUMBLEY: We shall do all that you say, you are our only...
(The CHUMBLEY stops talking and starts chittering. There is the sound of machinery, as though from a control panel in the RILLS' chamber.)
THE DOCTOR: Ah.
VICKI: What's that?
THE DOCTOR: What's the matter, hmm?
CHUMBLEY: We have just received a message from a machine.
VICKI: A Chumbley?
CHUMBLEY: It is by the Drahvin spaceship. It reports that a being, not Drahvin, came out of it.
CHUMBLEY: It detected that he was a friend of yours, but before contact could be made, he went back in again.
VICKI: He still thinks the Chumblies are dangerous, you see. Doctor, let me go and tell him...
THE DOCTOR: That won't be necessary, my dear. He's quite capable enough of looking after himself.
(To the CHUMBLEY) Now, the cable, please, the cable!
(STEVEN is looking out at the CHUMBLEY. He looks up when MAAGA's voice comes from a loudspeaker in the airlock.)
MAAGA: (oov) Do you hear me, Earthman?
STEVEN: Yes, I hear you.
MAAGA: Throw down your gun, and we will set you free.
(STEVEN looks at his gun and grips it tighter.)
Very well, but if you try to come through here, you may kill one of us, but we will surely kill you.
(STEVEN turns and looks through the outer door.)
Yes, outside a Rills' machine waits to kill also.
STEVEN: All right. I'll stay here. I may be trapped but you can't harm me.
MAAGA: You are in the airlock. On the wall are some dials. They are pressure gauges.
(STEVEN looks toward them.)
MAAGA: We can empty the oxygen out of that section, and you will suffocate.
(STEVEN looks around and moves to touch the button that opens the outer door.)
If you touch that, the door will open completely, leaving you at the mercy of the machine.
(MAAGA signals to the DRAHVINS. DRAHVIN TWO and DRAHVIN THREE move to the wall and grasp a wheel.)
DRAHVIN TWO: Ready?
DRAHVIN TWO: Normal.
DRAHVIN TWO: Normal.
MAAGA: Good. Empty the airlock.
(The DRAHVINS start to turn the wheel.)
(STEVEN looks at one of the dials. The needle is flickering and drops very slightly.)
MAAGA: Yes, Earthman. The air is already leaving the airlock. You have three choices.
MAAGA: Stay there and die, go outside and be killed by the machine, or surrender!
(STEVEN looks around desperately. The needle on the dial drops further.)
(VICKI is helping THE DOCTOR with some cable. The CHUMBLIES are there and the RILL watches from the other side of the shuttered door.)
THE DOCTOR: Yes, good. Good. Yes, I think that's enough. That should be all right. Now then, let me have your arm. That's splendid. Now, follow me to the ship.
CHUMBLEY: Our thanks.
(There are more noises from the control panel.)
VICKI: What does that mean?
CHUMBLEY: The Chumbley has reported that your friend is still in the ship. But he is making noises that it cannot understand. It says they sound like cries of distress!
THE DOCTOR: I must go at once!
CHUMBLEY: You cannot help him alone! We will send two more Chumbley machines with you.
THE DOCTOR: (Shouting excitedly) But what can they do?
CHUMBLEY: (Shouting) Cut open the ship, if necessary!
(Another CHUMBLEY enters the room, its light flashing furiously.)
VICKI: Doctor, come on!
THE DOCTOR: Hmm?
CHUMBLEY: Go! Quickly! The Chumbley reports that the sounds are weakening!
THE DOCTOR: You stay here, child!
VICKI: No, I'm coming with you!
(THE DOCTOR is annoyed but has no time to argue. He turns to the CHUMBLEY who has been speaking.)
THE DOCTOR: All right! Come, then, come! Come along! And you - stay here until you receive a message! Come on! Quickly! Quickly! Quick!
(THE DOCTOR and VICKI follow the other CHUMBLIES into the passageway.)
(The CHUMBLIES, THE DOCTOR, and VICKI rush along the corridor.)
(The CHUMBLIES exit, followed by THE DOCTOR and VICKI. Together they hurry off in the direction of the DRAHVIN spaceship.)
(They approach the DRAHVINS' spaceship. Without warning, DRAHVIN ONE appears. She aims her gun at them.)
DRAHVIN ONE: Halt or I fire! Do not move!
THE DOCTOR: What is wrong?
DRAHVIN ONE: Where are you going?
THE DOCTOR: Back to your spaceship, of course.
DRAHVIN ONE: The machines are our enemies. Why do you bring them too?
THE DOCTOR: We're going to help you and Maaga and the rest of them to get to the Rill spaceship. We wish to save lives, not to destroy them.
DRAHVIN ONE: Maaga does not trust you! I do not trust you!
VICKI: Listen, we have captured these machines. They do anything we tell them now. Watch.
(To the CHUMBLIES) Come forward. Stop. Go back. Stop.
(The CHUMBLIES do as VICKI commands.)
(DRAHVIN ONE turns and fires at one of the CHUMBLIES. VICKI struggles with her and manages to get the gun.)
DRAHVIN ONE: (Struggling) Oh! Ah!
THE DOCTOR: Down, madam!
DRAHVIN ONE: Oh!
THE DOCTOR: Listen to me!
DRAHVIN ONE: Kill me now! I have failed my duty!
THE DOCTOR: Nonsense! Well, let us stop this thought of killing anyone. Now, madam, back to your spaceship. Back please.
VICKI: Go on! Hurry!
(The CHUMBLIES chitter away, sending a message back to the RILL center.)
(STEVEN is now much the worse for wear. His mouth is wide open and gasping for air.)
MAAGA: Why do you not give up, Earthman?
STEVEN: (Gasping) I'd rather face the Chumblies than you any day.
(He stares in hatred at MAAGA though the porthole, fighting for breath. He almost drops his gun but manages to retain it. He staggers against the wall and rests his forehead and palms against it. He tries to push the outer door button.)
MAAGA: (Evil laughter) That will not work now. The pressure has locked the door. You must surrender, or die!
(The dial is now very low. It drops further. STEVEN starts to slide down against the wall.)
NEXT EPISODE - THE EXPLODING PLANET
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