All spoilers, baby.


Episode 5:

 (bout of insomnia, so watching this instead of sleeping. Hopefully it won’t affect the quality of my blogging, such that it is.)

 At penetration zero, there is a huge explosion, most are thrown to their feet. Several of the technicians run off and the guards run after them. Sutton, The Doctor and Stahlman suit up and go in to the drill room, but Stahlman attacks Sutton. The Doctor comes to his rescue and brings out Sutton. Stahlman closes the blast door from inside and begins to expose the other technicians trapped in there to the green effluvium that is leaking out of all the pipes.

 Massive seismic tremors throughout the country are being reported; everyone turns to The Doctor, asking what they can do to cap the bore. He says that no material on Earth can withstand the pressure being released – in a matter of weeks, perhaps only days, the Earth will become a fiery mass.

 As they argue, a technician comes in, skin ruddy and hirsute. The Doctor takes him out with a fire extinguisher. Sutton wants to leave, but the Brigade Leader and Section Leader Shaw say they have orders to remain. The Brigade Leader posts a detail at the door to keep anyone from leaving.

 Petra struggles with the computer, trying to get it working again. Sutton tells her there’s no hope, they’ve been abadoned, left to die to keep any public panic down.

 The Doctor pleads with the Brigade Leader and Shaw to help him return to his world, to save them from making the same mistake there. He takes them back to the hut where the TARDIS console is, but the Brigade Leader refuses to believe it. To offer some proof, he drains the storage unit of the console and does a short leap mere seconds into the future.

 The Brigade Leader asks if he could take others back with him, but he says to do so would cause a “dimensional paradox” and shatter the space-time continuum of all dimensions.

 Petra is alone in the control room, when she hears Stahlman’s voice over the intercom from the drill head room. Sutton, the Brigade Leader, Shaw and The Doctor have returned and hear it as well. He demands that they open the heat shield. Stupidly, they do exactly that, and a green-skinned Stahlman steps out. He removes his heat suit mask to reveal a monstrous visage. The technicians follow out and begin to surround them.

 Benton comes in and is grabbed by them, and Stahlman drops him with a touch. The Doctor lowers the heat shield and while the savage men are distracted, The Doctor and others rush into the office.

 Benton begins to transform, hair sprouting all over, his skin changing, his teeth and body becoming feral.

 Back on ‘our’ Earth, Sir Keith is in the car, when he notices that his driver is taking a different route. He tries to use the car phone, but it’s not working. We learn that he did get the Minister to agree to suspend drilling. It turns out that the driver was given orders by Stahlman to get lost and stage a breakdown to keep Sir Keith from returning to the drilling facility. Sir Keith tells the driver that if he gets him back to the facility in record time, he’ll be willing to forget all of that.

 The driver speeds up, but keeps apologising to Sir Keith, taking his eyes off the road; as oncoming traffic looms, they swerve.

 Back on “Inferno Earth”, the feral men try to break into the office. Inside, The Doctor says he has a plan on getting them out, but says, “It all depends on those creatures out there.” Just then, one of them smashes his arm through a window… and the credits roll.

Episode 6:

 The Doctor blasts the feral man with the fire extinguisher. They come up with a plan to fight their way into the central control room, where the reactor master switch can be rigged to allow power to flow to the TARDIS.

 The Brigade Leader, Petra and Shaw escape while Sutton stays with The Doctor, who is working on the master switch. Sutton asks how The Doctor is going to stop the drilling if he gets back.

 Back on our world, Benton reports in to the Brig(adier). He was sent to fetch Professor Stahlman, who said that he was “too busy to waste time bandying words with a pompous military idiot”. The Brig sends Benton off to bring him back, even if he must carry him.

 Liz is in the workshop, mostly moping about, fiddling with switches here and there, when the door begins to shaking. She opens the door to find Sutton trying to get in. She impresses him with The Doctor’s “door handle”. Sutton seems to be poking around, asking questions, and Liz is prevaricating, covering up. Sutton seems to think that The Doctor blew himself up and she’s doing a cover-up. He tells Liz that Sir Keith has disappeared.

 Stahlman is brought before the Brig and is told about Sir Keith’s disappearance. The Brig formally requests that, until either the Minister can be reached or Sir Keith shows up, that penetration zero be delayed. Stahlman, of course, refuses. He tells the Brig that it will go on schedule, his schedule and when it pierces the Earth’s crust, everyone will see that he was right.

 We transition back to Inferno Earth, where Sutton holds off the feral men with coolant. The Doctor finishes his work and the two men escape. They meet up with the Brigade Leader, Shaw and Petra and take Bessie to the reactor room. As Petra works on the routing circuits, with BL and Shaw with her, The Doctor and Sutton leave to fetch the cable.

 As BL and Shaw talk, we learn the Brigade Leader plans on making The Doctor take them along with him.

 Sutton and The Doctor arrive at the hut. Sutton remarks that he thought The Doctor’s device would be more impressive. The Doctor has a great quote in response: What did you expect, some kind of space rocket with Batman at the controls?”

 As Dr. Williams (Petra) works, the Brigade Leader gets more and more panicked and shows more of his ass. Even Shaw ridicules him a little. The BL is intent on making The Doctor take them along… or he’ll kill him first. Petra completes her work and switches the power on, but nothing happens. Petra works at the wiring again, but Stahlman shows up and chases them off.

 Feral men run about as the BL, Shaw and Petra run, falling frequently because of the tremors. They make it to the hut, where they tell The Doctor that they couldn’t get the power connected. The BL begins to crack, mocking The Doctor’s acceptance of Petra’s apology.

 Sutton confronts the Brigade Leader, mocking him for being a tough guy when he has back up. He pulls his gun, but he’s either out of bullets or it is jammed. The two men fight, but The Doctor tells them to stop fighting. Meanwhile, Petra has run back to the reactor room to give rewiring one more try. Sutton takes off after her.

 Stahlman, who they thought was dead, recovers. Sutton blasts him with the fire extinguisher and he goes down again. Petra finishes her wiring and the power is connected this time. They dash off to the hut, where they arrive just as the TARDIS console reacts to the power.

 The BL draws his gun (wasn’t it jammed/out of bullets?) and says The Doctor is taking them with him. The Doctor refuses, saying he cannot, it would create a cosmic disaster. (The BL fires a shot in the air when Sutton says it’s not loaded, so apparently he reloaded.) He gives The Doctor a three count, but on two, Shaw shoots him instead and tells The Doctor this is his chance to go.

 Outside, we see massive explosions and lava pours out, rushing towards the hut. Petra screams (hey, we needed someone to scream since Shaw doesn’t do that, in either incarnation) as a huge wave of lava flows towards the hut… and the credits roll.

Episode 7:

 After the recap of the ending of last episode, we see The Doctor laying prone in the hut. The doors open automatically and Liz enters. Upon seeing him, she sends Benton to tell the Brig that he’s back.

 The countdown clock shows that there are less then 3.5 hours before “penetration zero”. Stahlman tells Petra to boost all circuits to maximum load for an increase of 3.6 percent. When she talks about the safety margin, he says they’re for “cautious old women like Sir Keith”.

 Sutton sees the worry on Petra’s face and goes off to confront him. She stops him, but agrees to talk to him first. Sutton overhears Benton report to the Brig about The Doctor’s return.

 Petra talks to Stahlman, but he’s dismissive of her, but stops mid-sentence and stares upwards, making bug-eyed contortions. There’s a loud humming sound (in his head, as nobody else responds to it) and ends up walking away from her. Sutton shows up and jumps in with the follow up punch, and again, Stahlman gets bug-eyed and after recovering, he storms off.

 Sutton and Petra confer, discussing that Stahlman had some sort of attack.

 Liz confirms that both of The Doctor’s hearts are beating strong, but she says he’s in a coma. The Brig wants to get him into a hospital.

 Sutton tells Stahlman that the repair work on #2 pipe (from the first episode) wasn’t done properly and he wants Stahlman to slow down the drilling so he can do a proper job. Stahlman accuses him of coming up with transparent excuses to delay progress. Yeah, the same old argument is getting a bit old at this point. Thank goodness it’s the final episode.

 In fact, speaking of same old, Stahlman goes into a rant about “army of experts” once more. Sutton has enough and agrees to leave. Petra tries to get him to stop, admitting that she rather likes having him around. (Awww, it’s wuv!) Of course, this appeases Sutton and he stops to talk, but suddenly alarms sound. We see more green effluvium.

 The Brig, still in the hut, is on the phone, demanding to know why the alarm is sounding. The Doctor begins muttering about “number two output pipe blown” and the Brig is shocked – that was exactly what just happened to trigger the alarm. The Doctor mutters about reversing all systems, that being the only way to fix it.

 Liz arrives at central control to tell Petra about The Doctor’s idea. Instead of consuulting Stahlman, Petra goes ahead and does it. Of course, it works… though Stahlman is very cross with Petra for doing so.

 The Doctor wakes up to find Liz and the Brig hovering over him. He tells the Brig, “You know, you really do look better with that moustache.” (And, you know what, I have to agree. I’m not a fan of moustaches on their own – with a beard or in a van dyke or the like, sure. But most men with just the ‘stache? No, it doesn’t really work. But Nicholas Courtney rocked the ‘stache.)

 “Delirious, poor chap.” – The Brig, to Liz, in response to the ‘stache comment.

 The Doctor tells them about the world he went to. He begins asking questions about what is going on here. Slocum still hasn’t been found, Stahlman is still difficult (but not any more than usual that they’ve noticed). There’s a knock on the door and when Liz opens it, Sir Keith, arm in a sling, walks in.

 The Doctor takes great comfort in Sir Keith’s surviving in this world. He begins to tell Sir Keith the danger.

 Next, we see The Doctor storming into the control centre, ranting like a madman and smashing a console. The Brig’s men grab him and take him off to sick bay. Sir Keith tells Stahlman there’s to be an inquiry, but Stahlman says nothing will happen until the crust is penetrated. (Seriously? Like Sir Keith wouldn’t have the authority to have the Brig arrest him for refusing to listen?)

 Stahlman tells Petra that it is cold and to raise the temperature. She argues that it’s running normally but he insists. She walks off and he has another bug-eyed attack, this time the technicians noticing. (Again, really? Someone better report it to Sir Keith who could then have the Brig arrest Stahlman/put him in the sick bay and let Sir Keith assume control… that’s exactly what would happen.)

 Stahlman chases everyone out of the room, saying he alone will control operations. He drops the heat shield.

 The Doctor, being escorted to sick bay, gets the drop on his two guards. He runs off and climbs up to the top of a tank, where he encounters a feral technician. He uses a fire extinguisher to incapacitate the man.

 Stahlman stares at the green effluvium coming out of the number two pipe, and touches it with one of his furry hands. He takes a handful and rubs it on his face. In the control room, they hear his cries over the PA system. Inside, he’s been transformed to a full-on feral man (looking rather werewolf ala the old movies, by the by.)

 Sir Keith says he can’t give the order to shut down the operation, it must come from Stahlman. So… what was the point of going over Stahlman’s head and getting the Minister to sign off on putting everything on hold IF HE CANNOT ENFORCE THE DECISION?

 Really lame writing here. It’s a shame, because so much about this serial is good.

 The Doctor returns and demands they shut down drilling, but Sir Keith says neither Stahlman’s behavior or the computer’s data is conclusive enough. (Okay, so he’s a typical bureaucrat. Still…)

 The heat shield rises and Feral Stahlman comes out, breaks a chair over The Doctor’s back, and is blasted by fire extinguishers by Sutton and The Doctor. Petra tells everyone to shut down for emergency shutdown. The countdown is one minute thirty seconds… the drill continues on – we learn the buffer controls will keep the drill going for five minutes. Penetraton zero is one minute away, as The Doctor and Sutton find the controls have been smashed and work on them.

 At thirty-five seconds, the drilling has stopped. There’s hugs and celebrations. Sir Keith goes off to get orders to fill in the shaft. The Brig calls for a stretcher party for Stahlman.

 The next morning, we see The Doctor and Liz tinkering (not fiddling, mind you) with the TARDIS console in the hut. Sir Keith and the Brig arrive to announce that the word came in from London, the project is officially shut down. Everyone’s leaving, but The Doctor asks if he’ll be able to use the nuclear reactor one more time.

 We learn that Petra and Sutton left together (aw, it’s wuv!) and Sir Keith says his farewells. The Doctor tells Liz they need to get a move on if they’re going to get the console hooked up to the nuclear reactor again, and she and the Brig start giving him a hard time over it.

 The Doctor gets very upse with the Brig and announces that the TARDIS console is “fully operational” and he’s leaving. He swiches on power, while the Brig comments they’ve heard that before.

 “Goodbye, Liz, I shall miss you, my dear… but I’ve had about all I can stand of this pompous self-opinionated idiot here!” – The Doctor saying goodbye to Liz and the Brig. He flips a switch and the TARDIS console and Doctor disappear.

 “Well, I didn’t know he’d go off like that. The man’s so infernally touchy.” – The Brig

 As Liz gets mouthy with the Brig, he reminds her that she’s still a serving member of UNIT. She says she looks forward to seeing how the Brig’ll get along without The Doctor, when the time lord walks back in the hut, covered in detritus. Seems he ended up in “the rubbish tip”.

 The Doctor humbly asks the Brig if he could borrow a few UNIT chaps to retrieve the TARDIS console. The Brig, rather good-naturedly, quotes The Doctor’s last words to him and the two men walk off as Liz laughs… and the final credits roll.

 Okay, this is still one of my fave serials, but I’m REALLY getting tired of Man In Charge Who Won’t Listen To Anyone And Gets Maniacal/Delusional As The Serial Goes On.  

Advertisements