Another serial I know nothing about. Very interested to see what it’s about.  Five episodes, three today, two tomorrow.

Episode 1:

It is a dark and stormy night (no, really.) A man departs the pub with his dog, who gets loose and runs off into the nearby cemetary. He follows and we hear the dog yelping. The man rounds a corner and faces…. something, the camera is from the view of whatever he’s facing… and we hear a strange alien sound and the man’s face shows horror.

The next morning, Miss Hawthorne is walking next to a man, arguing that “the man died of fright”, though the man (a doctor) doesn’t seem to want to have this conversation.

The doctor says it was a heart attack as he gets in his car to depart. Miss Hawthorne says she cast the runes that morning and something wrong is afoot. She claims if Professor Horner opens the barrow, it will bring disaster upon them all.

A TV crew is set up at the barrow, readying to televise the uncovering of the barrow.

Jo tells The Doctor that it “really is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” and as such, “the supernatural and the magic and all that bit” could happen. The Doctor criticises her ideas as Bessie starts up and drives off. He chastises it as she drives back and honks at him. He shows Jo and Yates the remote control device he has for her.

Yates and Jo are going off to view the televised uncovering, and The Doctor scoffs until he hears the name of the village – Devil’s End. This strikes some chord with him, but he says he’s going to watch the programme, suddenly.

We see the televised introduction from within the barrow, talking about pagan rituals, witches hiding, witch-finders, and strange things happening. Then, live, we see them standing outside. At midnight, there will be a live telecast of Horner’s work… but Horner cuts off the tv man and leads them down into the barrow. He shows them “the Devil’s hump”, saying there will be treasure from the Bronze Age inside. 

When the TV man asks Horner why midnight on that particular night, Horner replies that April 30th is Beltane, and reveals that the real reason for his scheduling is that his new book is released on May 1st.

Miss Hawthorne shows up at the dig, making a protest. She says Horner is tampering with forces that will bring death and disaster. When she claims to be a witch, the professor says, “See? I told you she was daft!”

After watching all this, The Doctor says he and Jo are going to Devil’s End to put a stop to Horner, before it’s too late. Yates and Benton watch them leave, a bit perplexed.

In the local pub, the residents discuss the ongoings. Strange events, Jim’s death, cows going dry, hens not laying eggs and the like. Mostly the talk is good natured jest but still…

Miss Hawthorne talks to a constable. As she passes by, a terrible wind starts blowing and the constable, in a trance-like state, picks up a rock and approaches her from behind, making to strike her with it. She’s preoccupied with the wind, calling upon the elementals to go away. She manages to do so, and as the wind subsides, the constable lowers the rock and seems himself again.

As we see The Doctor and Jo in Bessie, we see a wind (the very same wind?) spin a directional sign at a fork in the road, so the pointer to Devil’s End is in the wrong direction. The Doctor and Jo pull up to the crossroads and take the wrong path.

Miss Hawthorne goes to the church, and encounters Garvin, one of the workers there. She demands to see “the real vicar”, but the man reinforces the story she’s already aware of, that Smallwood took ill and had to leave, mysteriously in the middle of the night, then.

Mister Magister, the new vicar shows up… and shocker of shockers, it’s The Master!

At UNIT HQ, the Brig is in fancy dress uniform and tells Yates and Benton that he’s off, but they know where to reach him if they need him. After the Brig leaves, Benton complains about being stuck at work with nothing but television and corned beef sandwiches.

Hawthorne pleads to Vicar Magister to stop Horner, saying he must not open the tomb, not on Beltane of all nights. The vicar tries to dispell her concerns, being dismissive. He then tries force of will, but Hawthorne shakes it off easily enough – her mind is strong enough to resist, it seems. She calls him a fool and says she will find someone to help her. Garvin is sent after her.

The Doctor and Jo are driving about in the dark, lost.

At the dig, the television reporter is very irate and stressed. Horner is sitting about, drinking tea. He’s an ornery codger, the professor.

Yates and Benton are about to turn the telly to the dig telecast when the game highlights they’re watching catch their attention and they keep it on that channel instead.

The Doctor and Jo arrive at the pub in Devil’s End, asking for directions to the Devil’s Hump. The locals are rather uncooperative, not understanding that he’s in a rush, but eventually give him directions after some verbal barbs.

Girton, one of the townfolk, reports to The Master about the stranger with white hair and fancy dress. The ‘vicar’ asks if he was called ‘The Doctor’, which Girton confirms. He tells Girton to hurry and get changed for the ceremony.

In the catacombs, we see The Master, in a red robe, enter. Others are there in black robes and hoods, carrying goblets and other ceremonial doodads.

The dig goes on live air.

The Master performs a ceremony, surrounded by his acolytes, beckoning “the dark one” to come.

A tree falls across the road, impeding Jo and The Doctor’s progress. They continue on foot.

Horner sits at the stone wall, talking to the camera. In the catacombs, the ritual continues with chanting and walking and incantations and a smoky pot and flash powder.

The Doctor and Jo run to the dig, Jo falling and getting up on the way.

The Master’s conjuration continues; he seems to be summoning a being called “Azal”.

As The Doctor enters the dig and yells not to pull the stone, Horner does exactly that. A terrible burst of wind exits the burial chamber, blasting the surface crew, knocking down their equipment and sending people flying.

The Master laughs maniacally as one of the stone gargoyles’ eyes burn red and it starts looking about.

Jo arrives inside the dig, seeing The Doctor and Horner prone, covered in dirt (and maybe snow?) The tunnel shakes and Jo screams… and the credits roll.

Episode 2:

Benton and Yates switch over to the dig, just in time to see Jo crying over The Doctor, and then the signal is cut. Yates tells Benton to contact the Beeb, while he tries to reach the Brig.

Jo and some of the TV crew try to uncover The Doctor and Horner.

The Master calls out, greeting Azal, offering his servants to be his servitors. He speaks in formal ceremonial speak, but seems to be asking/telling this Azal to wait here to meet with him. He then dismisses the cultists, telling them to tell nobody and await his commands.

Jo and the producer discuss what to do – The Doctor seems to be frozen in ice.

Yates cannot raise the Brig, and Benton isn’t getting any luck with his line, either. Yates wants to go to the dig, but Benton says the Brig’ll “go spare” as they could get news any minute.

The town’s doctor says The Doctor is a goner, just like the professor. As Jo cries, the doctor changes his proclamation, saying he felt a pulse. Then, listening, he says he hears an echo, as if the man had two hearts. They cover him with blankets, as Jo calls Yates, but the line is suddenly cut.

The TV crew packs up and leaves, the constable from earlier left on duty at the dig. As he closes the gate to the location, we see glowing red lights coming from behind.

The Doctor is unconscious in a bed, Jo at his side.

The Master, dressed as a vicar again, seems to be awaiting something inside the catacombs. He checks his watch, then approaches the ritual are and start chanting in whispers.

Above, it is morning, and the constable is on duty at the dig. The ground starts shaking, there’s a loud thumping and he turns and looks up before crying out.

The Master’s eyes suddenly snap open and he smiles, then departs.

A helicopter approaches and lands, Benton and Yates on board. They see giant hoof marks in the countryside near the dig. They land and check out the hoof marks. Yates speculates that any animal making them would be at least thirty feet tall. They get back in the copter and land in the village.

Jo’s face lights up as she hears them land and goes out to see them.

The Brig is in bed, on the phone to UNIT HQ, discovering that The Doctor and Jo are gone and that Yates and Benton took his ‘copter to Devil’s End. He tells them to send his car.

Benton, scouting the village, hears a woman crying out. He goes inside the church building and finds Miss Hawthorne and frees her. They go downstairs to hide from Garvin and end up in the catacombs. Hawthorne realises that the gargoyle is gone.

She tells Benton that the vicar must be behind it all, as they discover the accoutrements of ritual worship. Garvin comes down with a gun, but Benton disarms and they struggle, but Benton is thrown onto the stone marked with evil signs (used in the ritual) and is nearly knocked unconscious after writhing in pain for long moments.

Yates tries to get The Doctor to wake, to no avail.

As they leave the church, something giant looms over them; Hawthorne and Benton run off as Garvin fires his rifle, but he is blasted into nothingness.

Jo and Yates get up off the floor (apparently the ground was shaking throughout the village as this happened) and The Doctor sits up, exclaiming, “Eureka!”

The Master is seen looking upward, his eyes shifting, saying, “Azal, I welcome thee!”

A man driving a lorry down a road outside of town pulls over and gets out, clucthing his ears. The lorry bursts into flames.

The Doctor tells Jo and Yates he knows what’s going on, but he won’t tell them until he confirms it. So I guess he doesn’t know what’s going on, just thinks he does? As The Doctor is about to leave, Hawthorne arrives with Benton and The Doctor tends to him. She tells them that the elementals in the catacombs were what beat up Benton.

The Doctor scoffs when she goes on to saw she saw The Devil. She tells him about the cult holding a sabbat the night before. When The Doctor hears that the leader of the cult is a man named Magister, he makes the connection to his enemy.

The Brig and his driver are stopped by the lorry driver, who tells them that he stopped during the tremor and when he was about to get back in, his lorry caught on fire. The Brig points in the direction of Devil’s End and the point of his crop (like a riding crop, he almost always walks around with it) bursts into flames – from this and the scortch on the road, they deduce there’s some form of heat barrier.

The Doctor and Jo move the tree and get in Bessie and drive back to town.

On the south side of town, the Brig finds signs of the heat barrier there as well. He radioes in and talks to Yates, who fills him in.

I see, Yates. So, The Doctor was frozen stiff at the barrow and then was revived by a freak heatwave, Benton was beaten up by invisible forces and the local white witch claims she’s seen the Devil?” – the Brig

Yates also informs him The Doctor and Jo have gone to the dig and The Master is behind it all.

Jo and The Doctor arrive at the dig. After they go inside, over the rise the gargoyle from the catacombs approaches.

Inside, The Doctor says that everyone in the whole world is in danger. The Doctor begins to explain to Jo, “about 100,000 years ago” but suddenly the gargoyle enters the chamber and they recoil… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

The gargoyle approaches them, making horrible sounds. The Doctor pulls a piece of iron out of his pocket and yells out in some strange language, and the gargoyle recoils from him.

We see The Master, standing still, focusing his will, as if directing the gargoyle, also perhaps forcing his will against The Doctor’s? He speaks out loud, “What’s happening, Bok, why do you not attack?”

Bok, the gargoyle, stands still, its head shaking. The Master says it is just mumbo jumbo, but then allows for Bok to return.

When Jo questions that The Doctor doesn’t believe in magic, he says he didn’t have to, but the gargoyle did. He explains the words he spoke were the first line of a Venusian lullaby. “Roughly translated it goes, ‘Close your eyes, my darling… well, three of them, at least’.” And we have the comic relief moment, apparently.

The Doctor says they’re not dealing with “your mythical Devil, Jo, no. Something far more real… and far more dangerous.”

Reverend Magister is meeting with Winstanley (one of the patrons from the pub, one who gave The Doctor a hard time, even mocking his ‘wig’). The Master is telling the man to “call a meeting of the village and start behaving like the Squire.” The Master uses his will to push Winstanley into agreeing with him, telling him he controls a power that can help them rule the world.

The Master tells Winstanley he controls the power of Devil’s Hump, but Winstanley demands proof. Closing his eyes, he makes a wind burst the doors open and blast around the room until Winstanley begs him to stop.

The Doctor argues with Hawthorne – “Magic!” “Science!” “Magic!” “Science!”

He says he’ll tell them what they’re dealing with, if there arent’ any more interruptions, but just then, the Brig contacts Yates on the radio, demanding an update. The Brig still can’t get past the barrier – it’s a circle around. The RAF has determined the barrier extends one mile high.

The Doctor breaks out a projector (the same prop as used in THE MIND OF EVIL) and explains to Benton, Jo, Yates and Hawthorne what’s going on. He shows pictures of creatures from mythology. Hawthorne comments that horns have been symbols of power since the dawn of mankind.

The Doctor explains that while man has turned them into myths like the Devil and other horned gods or devils, there are actual beings, aliens from the planet Dæmos, sixty thousand light years away. They’ve been coming to Earth as far back as 100,000 years ago.

The Squire has called together a town meeting. The vicar has been asked to addressed the townfolk.

The Doctor says that in the barrow their ship is buried, albeit miniaturised; the process of miniaturisation and growth has been causing the sudden temperature anomolies.

Yates’ reply is classic, “I see, so all we’ve got to deal with is something which is either too small to see or thirty feet tall, can incinerate you or freeze you to death, turns stone images into homicidal monsters and looks like the very Devil!”

The Doctor says the Dæmons have been helping mankind, helping Homo Sapien “kick out Neanderthal man”, as well as influencing Greek civilisation, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and more. He explains that they’re not evil, perhaps amoral. Earth is just a science experiment for them.

The Master has forged a link with them, using their technology in the trappings of ritual, and that is where the true danger lies. They could be facing the very end of the world.

Reverend Magister appeals to the crowd to listen to him, that this could well be “the most important day” in their lives. He begins to single out people and air their llies, cheats and crimes. He tells them if they do what he says, they can have whatever they want in the world.

The Doctor says the Dæmon will appear three times – on the third, it likely will reveal their fate. Currently, it should be in the cavern, awaiting The Master’s second call. When Benton asks why they don’t go see the Dæmon, The Doctor says he’s so small he’s practically invisible.

The pub proprietor (who I believe is one of the cultists) asks The Doctor and crew if they would like a bite to eat. Benton says yes, but Jo shoots it down. He says he’s going to do some cleaning if they don’t mind.

The Brig contacts Yates to say they’re going to try blasting their way in. The Doctor gets on the radio and tells him that he will do no such thing and tells him he needs them to build an “EHF wide-band width variable phase oscillator, with a negative feedback circuit tunable to the frequency of an air molecule at the temperature of the barrier”, but the Brig’s technical man has no idea what any of that meant.

The publican is listening in to all of this from across the room. He departs as The Doctor tells the Brig he’ll come out to explain things. After he gets off the radio, Jo regurgitates The Doctor’s usual rhetoric about idiotic plans and blowing up things and The Doctor, rather surprisingly, chastises her:

Jo, the Brigadier is doing his best to cope with an almost impossible situation. And, since he is your superior office, you might at least show him a little respect.”

The Master continues his sales pitch to the townsfolk, but the publican comes in to tell The Master about The Doctor. The Master then sends a crony out. That done, he tells the people, again, they can have whatever they want, he needs only their obedience and their submission. The Squire challenges this, saying he thought they were going to rule.

You rule? Hah! Why, you’re all less than dust beneath my feet!” – The Master’s response. This of course only makes the townfolk more upset with him, so he switches tack – “You choose to question me, do you? Very well, I’ll give you another choice – obey me or I shall destroy you!”

The Squire says he’s leaving and tells the others they should go with him. The Master summons Bok, who attacks and destroys the Squire with a burst of energy. He asks if there are any others who feel as the Squire did, but wisely, none speak up. He dismisses them, telling them to go enjoy May Day with their families, he will summon them when he has need of them.

The Master’s crony runs to the helicopter and gets in and starts it. Yates pulls him out of the cockpit and they fight. Yates throws two punches that hit the man solidly in the face, to no effect. He drops Yates with one blow and steals the ‘copter.

Yates fires his gun, with no effect, then grabs a nearby motorbike and races off.

The Doctor and Jo, driving in Bessie, spot the ‘copter. It buzzes them, though they don’t realise it’s not being manned by Yates and Benton until after the second buzz. Yates arrives as The Doctor tries to evade the ‘copter.

The Brig watches via binocs as the copter tries to drive The Doctor into the barrier. The Doctor drives straight forward towards the barrier, the copter is close pursuit. He turns at the last moment, and Jo is thrown out of Bessie. The ‘copter slams into the barrier and bursts into flames.

Yates takes Jo back to the pub in Bessie while The Doctor hops on the motorbike to go consult with the Brig (though the heat barrier, of course.)

The Master, again dressed in red robes, and Bok enter the ritual room.

The Brig is not happy about the ‘copter. The Doctor tells him and his technical man what they need to do.

The Master begins the ritual to summon Azal. A tremor shakes the village and surrounding area. The Master cringes and backs away from the Dæmon, ordering it back to the mark, saying it will destroy him, crying out, “No!”… and the credits roll.

Ooooh, interesting cliffhanger there.

See you Friday for the last two episodes!