Another mostly lost serial, only episode #2 (of six total) exists in video. For the rest, I’m trying a new (to me) reconstruction by “Elaphe”. From what I understand, there’s voice narration instead of text narration to accompany the telesnaps. We’ll see how it is…

Episode 1:

 There’s a campfire on a mountain side; Edward Travers is roused from his slumber at the campsite by the screaming of his companion, John. He grabs his rifle and heads to the sound of the screams, but something snatches his rifle from his hands. His face is contorted in fear and he flees. Behind him, as a giant shadow is cast across the campsite, the twisted remains of Travers’ rifle is cast aside.

 The episode title credits run.

 The Doctor and his companions watch the scanner. The Doctor is excited – they’re at the Himalayas. The Doctor rummages through a large chest, looking for something. Jamie finds a set of bagpipes in the chest. It seems The Doctor is looking for a holy relic, a Tibetan bell.

 While searching, he pulls out a huge fur coat (one that I know he wears in other episodes, as I’ve seen him in it before.) The Doctor slips outside in his coat, leaving his companions to search for the bell and their own coats.

 The Doctor pokes around outside and sees some buildings down below, pleased to see the monastery. On his way back to the TARDIS he finds a giant footprint. A shaggy figure watches him from afar. He returns to the TARDIS to collect the bell and tells his companions to stay – his demeanor suggests to the companions that something is amiss.

 Victoria is bored and wants to go out and Jamie reluctantly agrees to go out with her.

 Making his way down the mountainside, The Doctor finds Travers’ abandoned campsite – small tent, sleeping bags and the twisted rifle are still there. Poking around, he finds the corpse of Travers’ companion.

 Jamie and Victoria see the giant footprints. It seems whatever it was walked around the TARDIS. Jamie gets Victoria to go back in so he can get a warm coat and a sword that he found in the chest while rummaging.

 The Doctor, now carrying Travers’ rucksack, has arrived at the monastery and knocks at the door. When there is no response, he pushes the gate open and enters. Inside it seems to be abandoned, deserted. He approaches the Buddha statue inside, staring at it pensively.

 He pokes around a bit, puzzled at this turn of events. When he turns to leave, he finds a group of warrior monks, weapons at the ready, standing just inside the gates. Travers is with them and accuses The Doctor of being a murderer, since he has his rucksack.

 They take The Doctor away to be locked up. One young monk questions whether or not if The Doctor is the murderer and, if he is, why did he come to the monastery? The Doctor is locked up in a stone cell.

 Victoria and Jamie follow the tracks to a cave. Inside the cave, they see wooden crossbeams – obviously the sign of intelligence, not an animal as Jamie had originally thought. Something approaches from outside the cave and closes the entrance with a large boulder, sealing them in.

 Travers confronts The Doctor, thinking he’s a newspaper man (one that kills, I suppose?) He goes on about how he’s been mocked as “the mad anthropologist” and he’s been searching for “them” for twenty years. And he accuses The Doctor wanting to steal his glory for discovering “the Yeti, the abominable snowman.”

 Jamie explores deeper into the cavern.

 Travers (who, interestingly enough, is played by the father of Deborah Watling, who plays Victoria) is nuttier than an Almond Joy candy bar.

 The monks discuss Travers, the Yeti, the murder of four of their fellow monks. The chief warrior, Khrisong, argues for putting Travers’ accusations against The Doctor to the proof, though at least one other monk says that is sending him to certain death. The other monk says only the Abbot can make that decision. A gong tolls and they go to pray and chant.

 Sapan is the one who counters Khrisong; he is apparently the head lama – a distinction from the warrior monks. Khrisong and Sapan continue to argue – the warrior monk wants to take action while the others meditate and consult.

 Jamie finds a pyramid of silver spheres, each about six inches in diameter. Victoria comes running to him. At the entrance, the boulder is moved and a giant creature comes in – it’s a Yeti! Jamie moves to attack but the creature snatches the sword from his hand and snaps it in two. Victoria screams (of course)… and the credits roll.

 So far, an intriguing premise – a bit of mystery, some politics in the monastery. Looks to be a pretty rounded serial, and it is. Lots of drama, intrigue, mystery. Some excellent performances. The usual silliness here and there, but still quite enjoyable.


Episode 2:

 (the sole full video episode)

 Jamie flees from the Yeti as Victoria points out the roof – dust and rocks are falling. Jamie knocks out a support beam and the roof of the cavern partially collapses on the Yeti, either killing it or knocking it unconscious.

 They investigate the silver spheres and Jamie slips one in his bag. As they depart, the Yeti begins to recover, struggling to get out from beneath the rockfall.

 The Doctor plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on his recorder until a monk, Thonmi, the young monk, comes to bring him to Khrisong. He tells The Doctor about the deaths and the Yeti, though now they suspect him being behind it. He mentions being at the monastery before, in 1630AD, when their holy bell was stolen.

 As The Doctor is about to show Thonmi the bell, warrior monks enter the cell, demanding to know why the delay, and they escort The Doctor out. Thomni remains behind and finds the holy bell, which The Doctor has said must go to the Abbot.

 Jamie and Victoria run, pursued by the Yeti. They head to the monastery to find The Doctor.

 Khrisong argues with the lamas over consulting with the Abbot or not before taking action. Travers gloats over The Doctor’s predicament.

 Thonmi brings the bell to the Abbot, Master Songsten, in an area that only the Abbot is permitted. He presents the Abbot with the bell and asks if it is the holy bell that has been missing; a voice from above, off screen, replies, “It is, my son. Two hundred years or more it has been lost to us. How came you by it?” Thonmi is frightened by the voice, but Songsten tells him, “It is the master Padmasambhava, do not be afraid, answer him.”

 Thonmi, afraid, answers that a stranger brought it. The voice reacts, “The Doctor! So… he has returned” He instructs Thonmi to bring the bell to him and the Abbot opens the doors (from whence he departed to find Thonmi waiting) and the young monk fearfully enters.

 The Doctor is tied up outside as bait. I’m not quite getting how this is a test – I know some cultures had trial by battle, the idea being that if a warrior won a fight, then God was on their side and was innocent.

 Jamie and Victoria come down the hills and encounter Travers, who holds them up at gun point at first. They ask if The Doctor is okay and Travers all but laughs; when he finds out they’ve been to the Yeti’s cave, he makes a deal with Jamie, who will lead him to the cave after he takes them to the monastery.

 The voice of Padmasambhava tells Thonmi to bring orders to Khrisong that The Doctor is an ally and is not to be harmed. Padmasambhava wipes Thonmi of being in the room or of hearing the voice of the master – and is told that he will recall the instructions as coming from the Abbot.

 After Thonmi leaves, Padmasambhava warns Songsten they must be careful of The Doctor. Padmasambhava’s voice changes, becoming more sinister for a bit, saying that The Doctor may threaten the Great Plan.

 The Doctor struggles with his bonds, to no avail; Travers returns with the companions, and Khrisong orders them to be tied up as well. Thonmi arrives to bring the Abbot’s words and news of the holy bell’s return. Travers has finally been convinced that The Doctor is not the murderer.

 After they’ve been brought inside, several Yeti are sighted outside. The warrior monks prepare to defend if necessary, though Travers insist they are peaceful creatures. Jamie tells The Doctor he has an idea how to capture one, and The Doctor acts like that’s a scary proposition – “Jamie has an idea”. I think it’s meant as a comedy moment, but The Doctor’s reaction is far too seriously, almost to the point of severity, to be funny.

 Abbot Songsten meets with his lamas, trying to ease their concerns. One of the lamas speaks critically of Khrisong, saying he is rash and jumped at the chance to treat The Doctor as a threat. The Doctor arrives just then, saying he hopes all that is behind them, and Songsten greets him openly.

 Jamie and the warrior monks ready to defend against one sole Yeti who approaches; they swarm the Yeti and lead it into a trap as the other two watch from afar and turn around and leave. As they drag the ‘corpse’ of the Yeti into the monastery, we see one of the silver spheres in the dirt, nearby, and it begins to move on its own.

 Later, a monk finds a silver sphere at the base of the Buddha statue, inspects it and leaves it there.

 The Doctor inspects the dead Yeti, to discover it is a robot! He finds a place in the robot’s chest, under the fur, where something was – something spherical!

 Again we see the sphere outside, moving, then we see the one at the statue and it begins to move and beep… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

 (Back to the Elaphe reconstruction. I like the verbal narration approach.)

 The inside sphere moves to the cloisters, beeping all the while. The outside sphere is having difficulty moving in the thick dirt and is stuck.

 The Doctor concludes that the control device must have been dislodged during the fight. Khrisong won’t let anyone go outside the monastery – he is suspicious of the strangers once again. He posts a guard at the gate with orders that nobody is to leave. He forbids Travers when he asks permission to leave – Travers wants to go and investigate – he’s concerned that the real Yeti might be endangered by the robotic ones.

 Victoria works out that the silver spheres must be the control units. They go to the Buddha statue, where The Doctor remembers setting it down, but it is not there. They ask the guard at the gate if he has seen it, but he has not. He tells them that Travers has left the monastery (he apparently lied to the guard, saying he had permission.)

 Two of the monks oversee the Yeti; they do not believe it is not a living creature and have built a spirit trap over the monster. The Abbot and Khrisong arrive and the warrior monk trade barbs.

 “Harsh words are like blunted arrows, my son. It is the truth that makes them sharp.” – The Abbot, cautioning Khrisong about his temper.

 As the two men talk, The Doctor and Victoria arrive, to relate that Travers has left. Khrisong orders The Doctor to accompany him and Victoria sees the Abbot in a communication trance. She wants to follow but Thonmi cautions her against it.

 Khrisong goes out to search for the silver sphere that was knocked loose from the Yeti.

 We see a gameboard with Yeti figurines. A claw-like hand moves three of the pieces together and elsewhere, three of the Yeti gather.

 Victoria trails the entranced Abbot to the sanctum, Thonmi cautioning her against following, saying it is forbidden. Inside, Songsten consults with Padmasambhava, who says that if The Doctor learns of their plans, he may oppose them. Padma’s voice chances back and forth. The claw-like hand, seemingly Padma’s, moves two more Yeti on the gameboard, moving them to the monastery – outside, two Yeti approach the monastery.

 Khrisong finds the silver sphere, which begins beeping loudly when he picks it up, but the two Yeti have arrived. They take the sphere from him and depart. In the sanctum, the hand removes the two Yeti pieces from the gameboard. Padma hands Songsten a small pyramid, instructing him to take it to the caves, so that the Great Intelligence “can focus on this planet, grow and take on physical form. At last, its wandering in space will be at an end. My work will then be done.”

 The other sphere continues to move around the monastery. The Doctor says he can trace the signal of the spheres with equipment from the TARDIS and Khrisong finally gives in, allowing The Doctor and Jamie to go outside to fetch the equipment.

 Victoria finds herself alone with nobody to stop her, so she heads back to the sanctum. One of the monks finds her and brings her to Khrisong, saying she must be guarded.

 Outside, Travers follows the two Yeti who took the sphere from Khrisong.

 The guard at the gate sees movement in the shadows and Songsten hypnotises him so that he will not recall seeing the Abbot leave.

 “Me? I just don’t like mysteries.” – Victoria when being scolded for poking around. She is brought to a cell for her safekeeping, but isn’t locked in and slips out when Thonmi goes to get food.

 The Doctor and Jamie give several Yeti a wide berth, on their way to the TARDIS. Shortly after, Songsten arrives with the pyramid, which gives off a signal and the Yeti escort him to the cave.

 Victoria is outside the sanctum and Padma’s voice speaks to her.

 The sphere inside the monastery has finally arrived at the inert Yeti; its chest cavity opens and the sphere slips in. Victoria, spooked by the voice, has returned to the meeting room, where the Yeti is chained. She doesn’t notice the chest flap closing, but screams (of course) when the Yeti comes to life. It snaps its chains and rises from the table… and the credits roll.

Episode 4:

 Thonmi fights the Yeti while Victoria runs out, warning the others. They gather in the lobby and the monks fight it, but it is more interested in departing and Victoria and Thonmi open the gates and the robot leaves.

 The Doctor and Jamie are outside, the former concerned that it is far too quiet. He says there’s something happening, he can feel it.

 Travers watches as Songsten, escorted by Yeti, is brought to the cave. The silver sphere taken from Khrisong is given to the Abbot by a Yeti and he enters the cave, three Yeti guarding the cave entrance.

 The Doctor and Jamie find the TARDIS, but there’s a Yeti guarding it. They hide behind some rocks and try to figure out how to get past.

 In the sanctum, Padmasambhava is communing with the Great Intelligence – whatever force it is that he serves. He speaks of the Great Experiment and of resting. We only hear Padma’s side of the conversation.

 Inside the cave, the control spheres are arranged in a circle. Songsten places the pyramid in the center and it begins to pulse with light as the Abbot departs. Travers again watches as the Yeti accompany Songsten on his journey back to the monastery.

 The Doctor deduces that the Yeti may well be inactive. He strolls up and touches the Yeti, then puts his ear to its chest. He pulls out a screwdriver (not a sonic one, mind you) and with Jamie’s help, removes the control sphere from the Yeti and then The Doctor enters the TARDIS.

 Travers enters the cave, watching the Pyramid. The light emitted by the pyramid intensifies as he enters, and Travers falls to the ground. The pyramid cracks open and a strange mass comes out, spreading across the floor. He frantically crawls towards the cave entrance.

 The Doctor brings out a tracking device just as the sphere comes to life, trying to return itself to the Yeti’s chest. The Doctor tells Jamie to put a rock in the chest cavity of the Yeti and once he does, the sphere’s pull weakens. They figure out that the sphere in the monastery could get back to the Yeti.

 Victoria is accused by one of the monks as bringing life back into the Yeti; when Thonmi argues in her defense, Khrisong (prodded by the monk) has the two of them placed in a cell. Thonmi tells Victoria that the bell wasn’t stolen, but given to a stranger for safekeeping. She realises that it was given to The Doctor, and now he’s brought it back (which is noteworthy, and explains his excitement at the arrival – he actually piloted the TARDIS to where he wanted. This is the first time it has happened in the show, outside of little jumps within the same setting.)

 Thonmi doesn’t find Victoria’s explanation of The Doctor’s time travel that hard to believe – after all, Padmasambhava is said to have the ability to separate from his body and send his spirit on great journeys.

 The Abbot returns to the monastery, again hypnotising the guard, wiping his memory of his return. He then returns to Padmasambhava, who praises him, saying the Great Intelligence is already taking on material form. But it needs to “expand”. Padma tells Songsten that the monks must leave the monastery.

 The Doctor and Jamie are blocked by a Yeti, and then realised they’ve been trapped, as they are surrounded. The Doctor tells Jamie to run, leaving him behind. The Doctor, holding the sphere, rolls the sphere past the Yeti and they turn to pursue it.

 Food and drink is brought to the prisoners and Victoria drinks heavily, but she screams out, clutching at her throat. The monk who brought the food rushes out to get water for her, and while Thonmi is deep in thought, Victoria rises, apologises to him and dashes out, slamming the cell door shut.

 Songsten announces, much to the consternation of the monks, that Padma has advised them to leave the monastery. Khrisong refuses, saying he means to stay and fight, and passes on the news that The Doctor has returned. He storms out, intent on staying.

 The Doctor, Jamie and Khrisong confer. Travers arrives and is let into the monastery, and he’s ragged, wore out and passes out. Songsten and the lamas arrive and argue that they must obey the master. Songsten instructs Khrisong to take his warriors and find Victoria and get ready to depart. Songsten sends Sapan with them to keep an eye on things, and then communes with Padma and receives instructions from the master. The Abbot dismisses the guard at the gate, sending him to assist with the search, and once alone, opens wide the front gates.

 We see the gameboard and Padma puts four Yeti pieces just outside the monastery.

 Just outside the sanctum, Victoria lingers. As she stands there, the doors open on their own, and Padmasambhava invites her in. We see him, he looks rather ancient and wizened and he says, “Come in… you… have… no… al….ter….na….tive…”… and the credits roll. (Amazing, she didn’t scream. Isn’t that what she does?)

Episode 5:

 Victoria apologises for her intrusion, asking Padma for help. He cuts her off, saying the courtyard is empty and he “must do what I am compelled to do.” He shows her the gameboard and the Yeti piece. She recognises it, but he waves his hand in front of her face and she falls in a trance. He then moves the four Yeti into the monastery on the gameboard.

 Four Yeti enter through the open gates and split up.

 In the cell, Travers awakens, screaming. Jamie, The Doctor and Thonmi are locked up with him. Travers is confused, but relates there was something in the cave – a light, a piercing noise… but he cannot recall any more. He speaks of a feeling of evil, a shadow on his mind. He’s rather exhausted and passes out again.

 The monks relate that the Yeti have broken in, but leave the captives in the cell. The warriors and lamas have assembled in the meeting room. Two Yeti wreak havoc in the cloisters and smash the Buddha statue, crushing the one monk (never got his name) who doubted Victoria most recently.

 Padma tells the entranced Victoria that she will assist him in ensuring that The Doctor leaves the monastery, as he is not as easily frightened as the monks.

 With a map of the monastery drawn on the cell wall, The Doctor, Jamie and Thonmi try to sort out where the transmission is coming from. Travers awakes again, seemingly more in control of himself, though still confused. He rises and tries to leave the cell, wondering why the cell door is locked.

 Victoria approaches the monks, entranced, carrying the holy bell. Padmasambhava speaks through Victoria’s body and gives instructions to take the bell away for safekeeping and for them to treat the strangers with kindness. He emphasises that they must leave the monastery.

 The captives have been released and The Doctor and Jamie are reunited with Victoria. She ignores Jamie, only responding to The Doctor, repeating the same sequence of words, “Doctor! There is great danger! You must take me away!”

 The Doctor learns that Padmasambhava knows him from his previous visit, now referred to as over three hundred years (sloppy writing?) ago. The Doctor goes to see Padma, trying to source out what’s happened to Victoria.

 Padma sits in his chair, his face contorted in pain. A cloth has been placed over the gameboard. He speaks out loud, possibly communing with the Great Intelligence? He says something about bringing the world to its end.

 We see the cave; the cracked pyramid continues to empty contents into the chamber, has filled the tunnel and is nearing the cave mouth.

 Padma greets The Doctor, who enters the sanctum cautiously. Padma tells The Doctor that he encountered some alien intelligence while astrally projecting and it has been controlling him. The Doctor says he will help, but first Padma must answer some questions – what is the purpose of the Yeti, why are the monks being driven from the monastery? Padma does not answer, only moans, breathes rapidly and then, apparently, dies. The Doctor checks his vitals and then, sadly, departs. But he does not see the eyes of Padma snap open and watch with a malevolence as he departs.

 Jamie is becoming more anxious over Victoria’s state. He attempts to snap her out of her state by surprising her. When The Doctor returns, she goes through the same series of words. At Jamie’s pleading, The Doctor attempts to break Victoria out of her pre-programmed state. Using his force of will, he tries to over-ride it with his own hypnosis. He successfully does so, making her forget what happened after she was in the cell with Thonmi.

 The Doctor finds Travers, and inquires about going up the mountain with his help. Travers agrees and they go before anyone else can stop them. Halfway up, they stop at seeing two Yeti. The Doctor consults his tracking device, but the Yeti aren’t transmitting, so they need to “stir things up a bit”. As Travers moves to do that, the Yeti become active and move away… but The Doctor has his reading and obviously the result worries him.

 As the monks are ready to depart, Songsten goes to consult with the master one last time. The rest of the monks are outside, awaiting the final blessing, when The Doctor and Travers arrive, revealing that the source of the signal is the monastery! The Doctor realises that it must be Padma and the monks are concerned for their Abbot, who is with Padma!

 At the mention of Songsten, Travers memory returns and he begins to relate what happened in the cave.

 As he does, we shift to the cave, and see the oozing mass of the Great Intelligence pouring out of the cave mouth… and the credits roll.

Episode 6:

 Khrisong has found Songsten outside the sanctum and says he is in danger. Padma invites Khrisong into the sanctum, but first the warrior must hand his sword over to Songsten, who strikes him with it.

 Padma struggles against the control of the Great Intelligence; we see now that the two voices we have heard are of the true Padma and the one controlled by the Great Intelligence.

 The Doctor, Travers and others arrive and disarm Songsten and drag him away. Khrisong lays dying and has final words with The Doctor. He then leaves, and back in the sanctum, Padma laughs evilly.

 Thonmi brings the news of Khrisong’s death to the monks and they question it. Songsten is raving. The Doctor explains that Songsten is a puppet of the master, who is also a puppet. The Doctor advocates that the monks leave, and they see the wisdom and agree to do as he suggests.

 The Doctor says he will stay to fight the evil and asks Thonmi for help. Victoria says she will not go along with the monks when they leave. Travers and Ralpachan (the guard that Songsten kept hypnotising) talk amongst themselves and head to the cave – Travers feels that the danger is there.

 Still, the oozing form of the Great Intelligence pours out of the cave.

 The Doctor has hypnotised Songsten and is learning the answers he needs – the purpose of the Yeti, how they are controlled and so on. Padma built the Yeti over the past two centuries, under the instruction of the Great Intelligence. Songsten reveals that there is a hidden room behind Padma’s throne.

 Padma directs two Yeti via the gameboard. In the night outside, Travers and Ralpachan evade two Yeti who lumber towards the monastery.

 The Doctor, Jamie, Thonmi and Victoria make plans to enter the sanctum.

 Travers and Ralpachan are coming down the mountain, but come to a halt as there are two Yeti guarding the monastery entrance. They see torches, signs that the monks have left. Travers suspects that The Doctor is still in the monastery and wants to stay near there, even if they cannot pass the Yeti. Ralpachan advocates joining the monks, but Travers is resolute.

 The Doctor and company try to enter the sanctum, but the doors are locked. The voice of the Great Intelligence taunts The Doctor from the other side of the doors.

 The Great Intelligence shows off with some levitation, but The Doctor baits him by challenging his courage. The Doctor enters the sanctum and the doors close. The screams of The Doctor can be heard, and Jamie and Thonmi move to go in, but Victoria tells them they must wait.

 Inside, The Doctor is bent over, one hand stretched out towards the throne. Padmasambhava sits, also in pain, but his eyes are filled with malevolence. The Doctor manages to stand tall, exerting his will – the two are obviously in mental battle. The Doctor calls out and his companions and Thonmi enter.

 The Great Intelligence stops the three humans with his mind, until The Doctor attacks with his mind and they are freed. While he battles the Great Inteligence with his mind, the other three rush into the secret room and begin destroying the equipment within, tearing out wires and smashing electronics.

 Padmasambhava moves the Yeti into the monastery. Victoria moves to help The Doctor but is caught in the mental power of the Great Intelligence. The Doctor gives her a mantra to chant to help fight it off.

 The Yeti enter the courtyard, Travers and Ralpachan follow them in. As the Yeti arrive in the sanctum, Jamie smashes a control sphere in the secret room and the Yeti’s chest’s explode. Travers arrives and fires his gun, but Padma catches the bullet in his hand.

 The Doctor tells Jamie to destroy the pyramid that is also in the secret room. When the highlander does so, the pyramid in the cave detonates, destroying the mountain peak. The monastery shakes from the explosion and everyone falls to the floor.

 When they get up, they see Padmasambhava, now free of the Great Intelligence, and free to die, which he does. Thonmi and Ralpachan rush off to sound the gong to signal to the monks that they can return. 

 The next morning, the travelers are ready to depart. They say their farewells to the monks. Travers goes with them to see them safely up the mountain. On their way up, they see the remnants of the robot Yeti.

 While Travers laments that his expedition is a failure, they see a (real) Yeti, who runs from them. Travers chases after, hoping to finally find their home. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria continue on the TARDIS, The Doctor playing his recorder… and the final credits roll.

 Not a bad story, lots of good actiony scenes, good drama. I liked Khrisong a lot, and Ralpachan and Travers and Thonmi were all well done. Padmasambhava and The Doctor had a neat chemistry – would love to see a ‘flashback’ done with The First Doctor’s first visit to the monastery.

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