(The Pirates Beta Dart turns round and leaves the beacon.)
(PENN turns from the huge scanner.)
PENN: They're leaving Beacon Alpha 4 sir.
WARNE: It's exactly what happened before.
HERMACK: What is our arrival time?
PENN: Still ninety minutes to go sir.
HERMACK: (furious) We are going to be too late again!
WARNE: The beacon should blow any second now.
(Beacon Alpha 4 explodes.)
(The TARDIS crew are thrown to the floor screaming.)
by ROBERT HOLMES
first broadcast - 15th March 1969
running time - 25mins 02 secs
(The V-Ship flies towards us.)
(Technician PENN stares intently at the space radar screen, uncomfortably aware that General HERMACK is leaning over his shoulder.)
HERMACK: Penn! Give me a bearing on that pirate ship.
PENN: I can't pick her up, sir.
HERMACK: (furious) WHAT?
PENN: The debris from that beacon's jammed the signals.
HERMACK: Oh Penn, you are an incompetent, useless...
(With a sort of a choked-off growl, HERMACK turns and strides away. Major WARNE, who has been hovering discreetly in the background, gives PENN a reassuring tap on the shoulder.)
WARNE: Keep trying, Penn.
PENN: (gratefully) Yes sir.
(WARNE moves to the far end of the bridge to join HERMACK. The General is standing by a refreshment station, watching black coffee trickle into a plastic cup.)
HERMACK: Ah, coffee?
WARNE: Yes please sir.
(HERMACK passes a cup to WARNE.)
(For a moment the two men stand sipping the bitter coffee in silence. HERMACK sees the look on WARNE's face.)
HERMACK: All right, I know. The men are doing their best.
HERMACK: Isn't that what you were going to say?
WARNE: Something like that, yah.
(HERMACK turns and moves back to the space radar screen, which has the traces of the debris on it.)
HERMACK: You see? They're moving out of range already.
WARNE: (ruefully) If only we could have sustained continual main boost, it might have been a different story. They must have a base somewhere in this system. We're more than fifty days out from home planet.
HERMACK: Quite, they can have main boost the whole time. Our only chance is getting close enough to launch the minnows.
WARNE: Or locate their base. They must have dispatched pieces of that beacon to it. If we could just locate one of the pieces.
(HERMACK shakes his head.)
HERMACK: Can't be done. If those auxiliary rockets cut out, we've nowhere to track on.
(He gestures towards the screen. Each piece of the beacon is disappearing.)
You see - there's nothing left now!
WARNE: We've got the tactile scanner, sir.
HERMACK: (dismissively) That would be like looking for a single speck of dust at the bottom of an argonite mine.
WARNE: (staring at the screen) Do you think there's any chance they're still alive out there?
HERMACK: You mean Sorba's men?
HERMACK: I doubt it. I doubt if anyone's alive on that beacon now.
(He stares over at PENN's huge scanner screen.)
(But General HERMACK was wrong. We see all the beacon segments floating in space and close in on one of the centre segments. A little air still remains in this one. Inside, the DOCTOR, JAMIE and ZOE are just beginning to stir.)
(PENN spots a reading on his scanner.)
PENN: Major Warne!
(WARNE hurries over.)
WARNE: What is it, Penn?
PENN: Rocket ship sir.
WARNE: Are you sure?
PENN: No doubt of it sir, and she's right in the area where Beacon Alpha Four went up!
(WARNE hurries over to controls and starts turning them.)
WARNE: Right, can I get it on the TS?
PENN: We should be able to sir, bearing starboard nineteen from SDC.
WARNE: (to himself) Nineteen SDC...
(HERMACK spots what's happening and comes on over.)
HERMACK: What is it, Ian?
WARNE: Something on the radar, sir.
HERMACK: The pirates?
WARNE: Well, if it is, there's something wrong with their ship. She's hardly moving.
HERMACK: But they don't even know we're in the same area.
WARNE: Oh I don't know, sir. They must be aware that there's a V-ship in the system. They ran into our picket on Alpha Four. Which is why somehow, I don't think this can be their ship.
(HERMACK is not to be thrown off.)
HERMACK: But according to flight information, there should be nothing in this solar system for the next eighty hours.
(On a nearby screen, the shape of a rocket ship starts to become clear.)
WARNE: There she is, sir. And that isn't the ship we saw before.
HERMACK: No, it isn't.
(to PENN) Can you get a closer shot?
(PENN punches controls, and the image on the screen grows larger. It now shows a battered, stubby, curiously old-fashioned rocket ship. Its battered hull is dented and pitted by numerous meteor scars, and it bears the insignia LIZ 79, painted in sprawling letters on the clumsy nose-cone. WARNE stares at it in disbelief and starts to laugh.)
WARNE: That's one of the old C-class freighters, sir. I didn't know they were still flying.
(Inside the battered old spaceship that is causing the V-Ship so much concern, an equally battered old space pilot is about to start breakfast. An egg comes out from a small black machine, as the owner comes into the room. MILO Clancey is a stocky, heavily-moustached man in his early sixties. He comes into the main room of the ship and sits down in the pilot's chair. It is a stark metallic flight cabin, surrounded by old-fashioned patched-up controls. He's currently wearing the trousers to an old-fashioned heavy-duty space-suit (the tunic is draped over the back of his chair) together with a garish tartan shirt and a gaudy neck-scarf. He is staring expectantly at a slot in his control console. The slot gives out a sudden puff of steam and another boiled egg rolls into the container below. Scooping up the egg, MILO pops it into the egg-cup which stands with a coffee pot and mug on a nearby tray. Drawing a formidable-looking knife from its belt-sheath, MILO lops off the top of the egg. He then stares expectantly at a smoking metal container on top of the console. The hinged lid of the container suddenly snaps back. Two blackened objects, that had once been slices of toast, shoot out. MILO looks at them in disgust, and then, since the burned toast is still too hot, he drops them onto the floor.)
MILO: The last of me nutty sliced bread! Rubbishy new-fangled solar toasters!
(He gets ready to eat again but a power drain causes the room to go dark and MILO hops on his chair over to a nearby control and hits it, causing the power to come back on.)
Ah. That's better.
(Above his head, as he tries to eat his breakfast, an illuminated panel bearing the word "CALL" begins flickering feebly. He puts on a pair of head-speakers. MILO flicks a switch, and a speaker gives out a roar of static. He twiddles a knob and a familiar voice emerges through the crackle.)
HERMACK: (oov) This is V-41. V-41 calling LIZ-79. LIZ 7-9, can you hear me?
(MILO flicks another switch, shoves a spoonful of egg in his mouth, and says indistinctly: )
MILO: LIZ-79. LIZ-79. I can hear you V-41. Go away!
(Another sputter of static and HERMACK replies: )
HERMACK: (oov) WHAT?! Now listen, this is General Nikolai Hermack. Commander of the Space First Division. Give me your identity registration.
MILO: A general, a real general. Oh General, why don't you take yourself off? I'm trying to have my breakfast!
(He digs out another spoonful of egg.)
(PENN and WARNE are straight-faced, and trying not to look at each other as HERMACK is slowly turning an alarming shade of purple. As WARNE hurries to a computer terminal, Hermack snarls into the microphone: )
HERMACK: LIZ 79, give me your identity registration. That is an order.
MILO: (oov) Oh come on, General, I lost that thing about thirty years ago. Now why don't you go about your business and leave me alone.
(Just in time to avert an explosion, WARNE hurries up with a computer print out. He feeds it into the console and on the mini-scanner screen data appears.)
WARNE: That's LIZ 79's registration, sir. She's a real old-timer - she's been afloat for about forty years.
(HERMACK looks at the information sheet and starts laughing.)
HERMACK: Milo Clancey! I might have known.
WARNE: You know him, sir?
HERMACK: Of him. Out in Reja Magnum, where I did my first tour, he was something of a legend.
(HERMACK turns back to the communicator microphone.)
Milo Clancey! I have your identity registration here.
MILO: (oov) I'm very glad for you, General. That's great work. That's very good. Now... now good day.
HERMACK: (just holding onto his temper) Listen Clancey! Where are you from and where are you bound?
MILO: Might I ask, General, what tarnations business that might be of yours?
(HERMACK's patience snaps.)
HERMACK: (oov) Clancey, I'm coming alongside with a boarding party. I warn you, don't try and resist.
(MILO shrugs philosophically.)
MILO: I won't tangle with you, General. You come on in, join the party. Oh, mind you don't scratch your nice shiny white paint.
(On board the now detached main segment of Beacon Alpha Four, the DOCTOR suddenly rolls over and sits up, clutching his aching head. He looks at his two motionless companions and shakes them gently in turn, in an attempt to rouse them.)
DOCTOR: Jamie, Jamie.
(Neither of them move. Looking round the cramped cabin the DOCTOR sees an oxygen tank clamped to the wall. Struggling to his feet he unhooks it and starts to carry it over to his unconscious companions.)
(WARNE comes on the deck and salutes.)
WARNE: I've sent a guard aboard, sir, to pick up Clancey. I don't think he'll give us any trouble.
HERMACK: Yes... Well he won't co-operate though. Ian, have you ever run across any of these old-timers?
WARNE: No sir.
HERMACK: They think they're a law unto themselves. They don't like the Space Corps either.
HERMACK: Well these old mining prospectors - like Clancey - were the first men to go out into deep space. For a time they had the place to themselves. Roaming the space-ways, looking for planets, jumping each other's claims. They were a wild breed, Ian, and they learned to live without the law.
IAN: And then the Space Corps came along and started to enforce law and order, right?
HERMACK: Yes - much to their resentment. Clancey must be the last of the type.
(As if to prove his words, MILO Clancey shambles onto the bridge, under the escort of a couple of nervous young troopers. MILO is still wearing his ancient space-suit trousers and tartan shirt. The only addition is an old, but still serviceable, blaster rifle resting casually over one shoulder. So far no one has felt like trying to take it away from him.)
MILO: (looking around) My, my, my. Well they certainly do you slickers proud don't they. Aye, this is like a whole flying fun-palace up here!
(HERMACK decides it is time to take control of the interview.)
HERMACK: Clancey! I am General Hermack.
HERMACK: And this is Major Warne, my ADC.
HERMACK: What are you doing in this system and why you are not on feed-back to Central Flight Information?
MILO: Oh, am I not General?
MILO: Oh... No you're right, no you're right. I remember now. That old feed-back of mine, it just sort of fell to bits about err five year ago now.
HERMACK: Five years?!
MILO: Or could it be ten? Yep. Certainly could be ten. I've been always meaning to get that thing fixed.
(WARNE is shocked.)
WARNE: You know it's an offence to operate without a feed-back to CFI?
MILO: An offence?
MILO: I didn't realise that, sonny, no. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. There are so many offences these days.
HERMACK: (sternly) Clancey, what are you doing in this system?
MILO: Well I am the head of the Milo Clancey Space Mining Company.
(HERMACK brandishes the print-out.)
HERMACK: Yes, we know all about that, we have your identity registration here.
MILO: Oh, that must be great for you, General, to have all of those facts at your fingertips like that.
HERMACK: Get to the point, Clancey.
(MILO's voice hardens.)
MILO: You would know the point if you'd been reading my reports I've been sending to you the last two years.
WARNE: What do you mean?
MILO: Argonite pirates. That's what I mean sonny.
HERMACK: Go on, Clancey.
MILO: Over the last two years, I have lost five floaters carrying argonite ore back to home planet. They were hijacked, General, and they were brought into this system.
WARNE: You reported this you say?
MILO: Ah, aye, I reported this, sonny, about a dozen times I reported it but it didn't do me any good did it? So I said to myself, all right, all righty, I'll just have to do something about this myself!
HERMACK: How much argonite did you have on each floater?
MILO: I had a full load. Fifty thousand tons unrefined ore.
WARNE: What makes you so sure that your floaters were bought into this system?
MILO: Time, sonny, time. This system is the closest to where they left the space-way. And my old err... floaters, they've got no propulsion units - they're... they're unmanned - they don't move very fast sonny...
WARNE: I know that!
MILO: (to HERMACK) Oh, he's a good lad. He's a bright lad this boy of yours. Good thinking. Is it all right if I blow my nose, or is that another offence?
(Without waiting for a reply, MILO produces a grubby handkerchief and blows a resounding blast.)
My old nose. I can't get used to all your fancy air-conditioning.
HERMACK: That's a pity Clancey but I'm afraid you'll have to put up with it a bit longer. Now, how long have you been in the area of Beacon Alpha Four?
MILO: Beacon Alpha Four?
MILO: Oh, ah, have you a chart, General?
(HERMACK jabs a finger at the star chart on a nearby table.)
(MILO peers at the chart.)
MILO: Err... oh... that's where we are! Well, well, well. You see my charts don't pick up these new fanged beacons. I don't trust them.
WARNE: Just an astral pointer and a piece of string, huh?
MILO: That is right, sonny.
(He looks at the map again.)
Hey listen, I can't see Beac... Beacon Alpha Four here either. That's what I'm telling you. They're unreliable. It's a waste of public money.
HERMACK: (snaps) Beacon Alpha Four is not registering because it's not there any more.
WARNE: The Argonite pirates blew it up three hours ago.
MILO: Oh did they so? Well that'd be for salvage I guess. Yeah, that would be it...
HERMACK: (coldly) You don't seem very surprised, Clancey.
MILO: No, no I'm not, General. This is clearing up a whole heap of things in my head. I can lose every floater I've got and your fancy Space Corps won't do a thing about it. But the government loses one government beacon and that's a different matter - then you come running. That's what you're here now for...
HERMACK: Well if there is any truth in your story, Clancey, and we do catch up with the pirates, you'll be entitled to put in a claim for compensation.
MILO: Ho, ho! If I waited for you to catch these critters, I'd catch my death of cold, waiting forever. I should think this old crate of yours has about half the speed of a Beta Dart. Right?
WARNE: (with suspicion) Our speed is classified information.
MILO: Oh, that may be, sonny. But this marauding band of sharks, you know they're using Beta Darts - one of the latest. You're in the wrong league, boys. Why don't you just go home where you came from!?
WARNE: How do you know what ship they have?
MILO: Because I crossed their thieving flight path a couple of times. And if my old LIZ had any speed about her, I'd have rammed them!
(The DOCTOR is standing on a box and peering through a small observation port set high in the wall. In the distance he can see other segments of the beacon, floating in a silent, eerie convoy.)
ZOE: Can you see anything, Doctor?
DOCTOR: I'm... I'm coming down, look out.
(He climbs down.)
JAMIE: Well what's on the other side? Could you see?
DOCTOR: (looking very worried) Jamie, I'm a... I'm afraid that there's nothing on the other side. Just space...
DOCTOR: It appears that this machine we're on has been blown into about eight separate pieces.
ZOE: (looking amazed) Are you sure?
DOCTOR: Well of course I'm sure. Get up and look for yourself if you don't believe me.
ZOE: Well then that must have been the explosion.
(JAMIE still looks baffled, but his practical mind goes straight to the main problem.)
JAMIE: Doctor, does... does that mean the TARDIS has gone?
DOCTOR: Yes, Jamie.
JAMIE: Well that means we'll never get it back.
ZOE: I don't understand. Why would anybody want to blow up a space machine?
(The DOCTOR shrugs.)
DOCTOR: Sabotage perhaps.
(JAMIE has a look through the window.)
ZOE: But what about those men that tried to killed us?
DOCTOR: I... I... I think they were here to defend the machine. That would explain why they were so unfriendly towards us.
JAMIE: Well, what you're saying is that we've landed ourselves in the middle of some sort of war in space!
ZOE: And now we're just floating aimlessly on a bit of debris.
DOCTOR: No Zoe, not aimlessly. There appear to be rockets attached to each part of the machine. And they're all moving along together.
DOCTOR: Well as you know Jamie, when something explodes in space, all the pieces separate and go on separating indefinitely, but this machine has separated just so far, perhaps a mile and now, as I say, they're all moving together at the same speed.
ZOE: Because of the rockets. Oh I see. So whoever broke up the machine, is sending all the pieces to the same place?
DOCTOR: It looks like it Zoe.
JAMIE: Oh, so we can get back to the TARDIS then? If it's only a mile away...
DOCTOR: (gently) A mile in space, Jamie, with no oxygen or means of propulsion?
ZOE: It might just as well be a thousand miles.
JAMIE: (disgusted) Oh, that's just fine then.
(The DOCTOR suddenly presses his ear to a section of wall. He seems to be listening intently.)
ZOE: Have you got an idea, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Shh, shh. Just a minute.
(There is a faint buzzing.)
Now what on earth is that?
(MILO has finally lost patience.)
MILO: Oh look here General. If you've finished with all your fool questions, I've got work to do, I want to get back to my ship.
HERMACK: (peacefully) All right, Clancey, I'm sorry to have detained you.
WARNE: (puzzled) Sir?
MILO: (cautiously) What... What, you mean I can go?
HERMACK: Of course.
MILO: Oh that's great. That's very kind of you. I'll... I'll just say goodbye then General... Goodbye.
(HERMACK smiles coldly as he watched MILO go. When the old-timer's shambling figure has left the flight deck, HERMACK glances quickly at WARNE catching his aide's expression of shocked disapproval.)
WARNE: (in a tight sort of voice) The navigators are standing by for orders sir.
HERMACK: Obviously you think I've done the wrong thing.
WARNE: It's not for me to say General.
HERMACK: You think I let Clancey go too easily?
WARNE: I would have put him through the mind probe, sir.
HERMACK: That did occur to me. He does seem to be mixed up with these argonite pirates.
WARNE: Too much.
HERMACK: You think he's in league with them?
WARNE: It's possible, sir. You said he's no respecter of the law. That story about floaters and pirates could have just been a cover story.
HERMACK: I quite agree.
WARNE: (thrown) You agree sir?
HERMACK: Oh yes, Ian. Not only do I think that Milo Clancey is in league with the argonite pirates, I think he is the mastermind behind the whole organisation - which is precisely why I let him go!
(With the aid of his trusty sonic screwdriver, the DOCTOR has succeeded in removing an inspection panel and is examining the circuitry behind it. JAMIE and ZOE watch him from the steps.)
JAMIE: Oh, what's he doing now?
ZOE: No idea. Ask him!
JAMIE: Oh, what's the use? He's got his mysterious face on.
ZOE: (quietly) Well I think he's just trying to keep our hopes up.
ZOE: By looking busy. There's nothing anyone can do now. I'd say we've got a few hours at the outside.
(JAMIE stares at her in alarm.)
JAMIE: What do you mean by a few hours?
ZOE: Haven't you noticed, Jamie? Haven't you noticed how difficult it is to breathe properly now?
(JAMIE looks worried and feels his throat.)
(WARNE talks into the communicator microphone.)
WARNE: Bridge to armoury, this is Major Warne. I want a minnow readied for immediate launching. Fit contact warheads to the Martian missiles.
(We see a long shot of the V-Ship in space, and then close in on the main centre part of the ship. A small ship appears from the lower centre on a ramp which rises to the top. The small ship takes off with a great burst of speed, and flies off into space.)
(HERMACK is pacing up and down the flight deck.)
HERMACK: Navigator Penn.
HERMACK: Keep contact with Major Warne in the minnow, until he reports he's within visual range of LIZ 79.
PENN: Very good, sir.
(He turns to the main communicator. Meanwhile, HERMACK snatches up a communications microphone.)
HERMACK: V-Master to X-X 1. Come in, Ian.
(We see a shot of WARNE in the small ship.)
WARNE: OK, General. I'm following Clancey without his knowing.
(Back to HERMACK.)
HERMACK: Yes, but remember he's no fool. If he suspects he's being followed, you'll be in trouble. Meanwhile I'm going in to land on Ta. Relay reports to the nearest beacon.
(The DOCTOR is moving and mixing around some of the circuits and wires in the panel. However, all three are now finding it very difficult to breathe.)
ZOE: Oh Doctor, can we have some more oxygen?
DOCTOR: I'm afraid not, Zoe. We've got to conserve it.
JAMIE: Oh, what's the use. We'll never get out of this.
DOCTOR: Come here, both of you.
(ZOE and JAMIE heave themselves to their feet and slowly walk over to the DOCTOR.)
Look! (pauses) Look at these.
(He points at two big boxes in the panel.)
JAMIE: What are they?
DOCTOR: They're solar powered magnets. It's a force field!
DOCTOR: Well don't you see. The explosive charges that blew this machine apart didn't damage its structure. They simply divided it along the lines of its electromagnetic fields.
ZOE: How do you know?
DOCTOR: Because there was no damage to the structure.
ZOE: You mean the machine was built in separate sections and assembled in space by magnetism.
(JAMIE still looks puzzled.)
DOCTOR: Yes, you see Jamie, opposite poles attract and...
(The DOCTOR digs out two magnets from his pocket and shows JAMIE that the opposite ends of the magnets lock together.)
and... and the same poles repel.
(The other ends of the magnets push each other away.)
You see, try it. There...
(He gives the magnets to JAMIE, and as the DOCTOR and ZOE talk, JAMIE plays with them.)
ZOE: Oh, so the explosion was just strong enough to break the magnetic attraction between each section?
JAMIE: But that doesn't do us any good does it?
DOCTOR: Yeah but it just might Jamie! Supposing I could step up the electromagnetic power enough to bridge the space between this section and the next...
ZOE: You mean draw it towards us.
DOCTOR: Yes, and then repeat the process with each section and so on until we reach the TARDIS!
JAMIE: (looking happier) Hey well do you think you could do it?
DOCTOR: Well, I've got a screwdriver.
(He holds up a screwdriver. JAMIE groans.)
DOCTOR: I've... I've got a slight knowledge of electromagnetism.
ZOE: Yes, there's just one thing, Doctor...
DOCTOR: Oh, err... Jamie, would you move this cylinder out of the way?
(JAMIE does so.)
ZOE: How do you know the next section to this one is an opposite pole?
DOCTOR: Well I don't know.
ZOE: Well, if it's similar, your idea won't work, will it? We'll just shoot off in the opposite direction.
DOCTOR: (reproachfully) Zoe... Don't be such a pessimist.
(Undeterred by ZOE's doubts, the DOCTOR sets to work.)
(We see a small planet in the distance. The big V-Ship starts to fly towards it.)
(MADELEINE Issigri, the president of the Issigri Mining Corporation, is fully as impressive as her office. A tall, dark-haired, strikingly beautiful young woman, she has the kind of well-groomed aloof and good looks that keep others at a respectful distance. Her manner has the calm authority of someone accustomed to wealth and power. At the moment she is leaning back in her chair, a faint smile on her lips, watching as General HERMACK listens to WARNE's report. A female secretary comes in with a big flask of liquid.)
WARNE: (oov) 13:00. X-X 1 to V-Master. I have made visual contact with LIZ 7-9. We're still orbiting in the same dimensional plain. Nothing further to report.
(The screen goes blank.)
MADELEINE: It must be very uncomfortable, after a few hours, in one of those minnows, General.
HERMACK: Ah, it is.
(MADELEINE pours a drink into the General's glass.)
Thank you. But then after a week you get quite used to it.
(She calls up LIZ 79's information on the screen.)
MADELEINE: I thought so. LIZ 79 is Milo Clancey's ship.
HERMACK: (laughs) Ha, Ha, your records are very comprehensive.
MADELEINE: Why is he being followed?
HERMACK: Well I explained to you the purpose of this mission. I believe that Cal... Clancey has connection with the argonite pirates.
MADELEINE: That seems unlikely.
HERMACK: Oh why?
MADELEINE: He has argonite mines on the planet Lobos.
HERMACK: Which I hear are pretty well worked out.
MADELEINE: They used to say this planet was worked out. But I brought in new machinery and today it's the most productive in the galaxy.
HERMACK: I must say I'm... surprised to find you of all people defending Clancey.
HERMACK: Well because of the rumours connecting him with the death of your father - Dom Issigri.
MADELEINE: Well I tried to prove that at the time but... but nobody knows what happened between them so... now I prefer to forget it.
HERMACK: But you took over the argonite holdings from your father and split away from Clancey.
HERMACK: And now you run the most successful argonite mining business in the galaxy, while Clancey because of your competition must be pretty nearly bankrupt.
MADELEINE: Is that why you think he's taken up with piracy?
HERMACK: Well, jealousy of your great success would be a pretty strong motive. Unless of course you disagree.
MADELEINE: Oh you may be right. But I haven't seen him since the day the partnership was dissolved, so... well I don't know what he feels.
HERMACK: Well I can understand it. For a man like Clancey, to be defeated by an attractive woman like you at his own game - he'd take any risk to get his revenge.
(MADELEINE thinks about this.)
MADELEINE: Well I wouldn't like to think that that was true.
HERMACK: Your concern does you credit. But I'm convinced I shall have the proof I need within a few hours.
MADELEINE: Really? How?
HERMACK: Warne has reported that Clancey is still on the same dimensional orbit as he was when we left him. Obviously he is expecting a rendezvous.
MADELEINE: With the pirate ship.
HERMACK: I think so.
(The DOCTOR gives JAMIE and ZOE a brief blast of oxygen.)
DOCTOR: (softly) I think that's all we can spare.
JAMIE: How much longer?
DOCTOR: I've nearly done it, Jamie. I've just got one more connection to make.
JAMIE: Aye, well, I just hope it works.
DOCTOR: Yes, of course it will work. The theory is perfectly sound!
(JAMIE looks at the wiring, as the DOCTOR starts to make the final connection.)
JAMIE: Aye, maybe. That wiring looks like a cat's cradle to me.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes... it is a little bit in a mess, Jamie, but I assure you it's... it's thoroughly functional. Thoroughly functional. Here we are, now... you two had better hold on.
(JAMIE and ZOE grab the rail by the steps.)
DOCTOR: Are you ready?
ZOE: Yes, ready Doctor.
DOCTOR: Hold tight. Here we go.
(The DOCTOR pulls a switch and a low humming noise fills the little cabin. All three start to lie back as the force pushes hard against their bodies. Rising steadily in frequency, the noise soon turns into an ear-splitting shriek.)
Oh, oh, oh.
JAMIE: What's happened?
ZOE: Oh Doctor, you've got it wrong! We're gathering speed!
(The whole cabin starts to vibrate.)
DOCTOR: I know! I know! I... I... I...
(The DOCTOR tries to pull back the switch, but it won't budge.)
I can't turn it off! Ah!
DOCTOR: (continuing to pull the switch) Ah! Ah... ah no! It's stuck. The power's too great.
JAMIE: Well isn't it working?
ZOE: Oh yes, it's working all right but the wrong way! We're being sucked further into space!!
(The beacon segments are all together... until the far right segment flies off to the left and into space.)
ZOE: Oh Doctor, for goodness sake, DO SOMETHING!!
DOCTOR: I'm trying to, Zoe. I... I'm trying to.
(JAMIE and ZOE are thrown about the cabin like dice in a shaker, while the DOCTOR holds on with one hand and desperately struggles to shut down his magnetic lash-up with the other. The DOCTOR succeeds at last; the high-pitched howling dies away and the cabin becomes still.)
ZOE: Oh thank goodness.
JAMIE: Are we all right now?
DOCTOR: No Zoe, I... I'm afraid we're not. Even if I could reverse the magnetic field, I'm afraid we're too far away from the next section.
ZOE: Then we're worse off now. Just floating hopelessly in space.
DOCTOR: Yes. Oh dear. What a silly idiot I am!
(No one disagrees.)
MADELEINE: Well, naturally General, I'm prepared to give all the help I can.
(The communicator bleeps and the screen comes alive, showing WARNE's face.)
WARNE: (oov) 13:10. X-X 1 to V-Master.
HERMACK: (to MADELEINE) Something must be happening. He's not due to report.
WARNE: (oov) LIZ 7-9 is now on retro-drive. She's linking with a section of Alpha Four. Standing by for orders.
HERMACK: (triumphantly) You see? Clancey's in the collection area. He's awaiting the beacon sections.
MADELEINE: It could be coincidence. He's seen the drifting wreckage and he's curious.
HERMACK: Madam, you'd need a 90M computer to work that out. No, this is the proof I need.
MADELEINE: What are you going to do? Arrest him?
HERMACK: Could I use your audio-board?
MADELEINE: Of course.
(HERMACK leans forward over the microphone.)
HERMACK: V-Master to X-X 1. Can you hear me Ian?
WARNE: (oov) Yes sir. LIZ 7-9 is now completing the link-up. I'm standing by for orders.
HERMACK: Good, that means he can't make a sudden move. I want you to go in and arrest him.
MADELEINE: Tell your man to be careful, General. Clancey has a terrible temper - he's likely to explode like glycerol trinitrate.
HERMACK: (into microphone) Ian, if he shows any sign of resistance, use your missiles. Otherwise escort him back here.
WARNE: (oov) I understand, sir.
HERMACK: Report back when the arrest is made.
(Behind him, MADELEINE turns toward us and we see her smile, as though something is going very well for her.)
(JAMIE and ZOE are slumped back, scarcely able to move. The DOCTOR divides the last squirt of oxygen between them.)
DOCTOR: Here you are.
(The two humans breathe in the air. JAMIE turns the wheel on the oxygen cylinder but nothing happens.)
ZOE: Oh Doctor, what about you?
DOCTOR: I... I don't need so much as you.
(Suddenly a loud, grinding thump comes from outside.)
JAMIE: What's that?
DOCTOR: Just a minute, Jamie, listen...
(Bolts begin dropping from the sealed door one by one.)
ZOE: They're cutting through the bolts in the hull.
(JAMIE staggers to his feet.)
JAMIE: We've been discovered!
(He starts to stagger to the newly-cut entrance.)
DOCTOR: Wait a minute, Jamie!
(A bulky space-suited figure appears, covering them with a blaster rifle. JAMIE spots it.)
JAMIE: Oh no you don't!
(And he springs to the attack.)
DOCTOR: Jamie! No!
(But it is too late. There is a fierce crackle of energy from the blaster, and JAMIE falls to the ground.)
ZOE: (shrieking) You murderer!
(The blaster rifle swings round to cover her...)
General Nicolai Hermack
Major Ian Warne
Title Music by
and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Incidental Music by
LEE HORTON (LeeH@tcp.co.uk)
Forward to Episode 3.
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