I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this one. Already found out a spoiler and based on that, pretty sure I have not. Let’s do this!

Episode 1:

A ship flies through space and we hear a voice over, a man sentencing “Eldrad” to obliteration. As he talks, the scene shifts to a dome on a wind-blasted terrain. Inside the dome, a robed figure wipes away frost to look out the window.

Central Command contacts Dome Six, and the robed figure finds his companion dead. The figure sits and responds to Central Command’s communication, reporting that the temperature continues to fall, but the “obliteration module” (the ship we saw flying through space) is still on course. They discuss collapse of some barriers and the impending loss of control and the ability to live on the surface.

Central Command gives the order to detonate the module now, before control is lost. The robed figure argues that if they detonate too soon, there is a slight chance that some particles of Eldrad might survive. Reluctantly, the robed figure obeys the orders and is then told to evacuate immediately.

We are treated to a spinning of stars effect with some grating music. Then a fade to black.

Humans in modern Earth clothing set up explosives in a quarry. They trail away and the TARDIS appears. Sarah and The Doctor step out and try to talk over the siren going off. Sarah complains they’re not where they’re supposed to be.

A man on a high embankment tries to wave them off. They wave friendily to him. He tries to tell the man working the plunger not to do it, and Sarah finally realises that there must be a reason there’s a siren and tells The Doctor to run. They do run but the explosions are set off and they’re covered in the rubble.

The Doctor crawls out and looks at the mass of rubble, fearing Sarah is deep beneath. He sees his coat, which she was carrying.

An ambulance is seen moving through the streets, siren blaring.

Sarah is trapped in a pocket beneath several large rocks. She reaches out and touches a hand with a missing finger. Her screams alert the others to her location. They pull her out but she’s unconscious and has a death grip on the hand she found.

At the hospital, The Doctor is being checked out. The doctor working with him tells him that Sarah is still unconscious but seems otherwise uninjured. Talk of him being a doctor comes up and instead of the usual disclaimer that he’s not a doctor of medicine, he instead says that he’s sort of a doctor and studied at Gallifrey. When the doctor attending him says he’s “not heard of it, perhaps it’s an island?”, The Doctor agrees that perhaps it is.

They go to see Sarah Jane. Her left hand and forearm are rigid, clenched. The object she was holding too was removed and taken to pathology.

At the path lab, The Doctor realises that the hand is from a silicon-based life form. He asks for access to an electron microscope, saying he’s not sure what it is, but it’s no hoax.

Sarah Jane wakes and opens her hand; inside is an object, perhaps a ring, that glows bue. She gets up out of bed.

The Doctor says the answer to the hand, which has been there for 150 million years, might lie in the quarry. He leaves after asking Dr. Carter, the path lab man, to prepare another slide.

The Doctor puts a Patient Not To Be Disturbed sign on Sarah’s door on his way out. She leaves momentarily after he moves on, heading to pathology. There, she slips in and takes the hand. Using the ring, she blasts Dr. Carter, saying “Eldrad must live”. A voice in her head tells her that none must interfere.

At the quarry, The Doctor tells the quarry foreman that he suspects the hand came from outer space – either a space ship or by itself, but he wonders why and where.

Dr. Carter recovers and gets on the phone to the reception desk, telling them to hold Sarah if she tries to leave, but they say she left an hour ago.

The Doctor returns to the hospital to find Sarah gone. He ends up in pathology and talks to Carter, who tells her what happened.

Carter looks at the electronic microscope again, saying it’s changed. The Doctor posits that the sample has been absorbing radiation in the machine, possibly regenerating. He tells Carter to put it somewhere safe and asks where the nearest nuclear reactor is.

Sarah Jane approaches the Nunton Complex R&D facility. An armed guard steps out to greet her and she blasts him with the ring and walks in.

Carter and The Doctor drive, presumably to Nunton.

Sarah enters an R1/reactor area of the complex.

Carter’s car drives, following the signs to Nunton.

Sarah enters a “R2” or Radiation Level 2 area.

The Doctor and Carter are stopped at the front gate by more armed guards.

Sarah has made it to “Radiation Zone Class 3” area. A technician calls out to her and she blasts him with the ring. She moves on to a Radiation Class 4 area, and then approaches a door marked RADIOACTIVE SOURCE EXPOSED DO NOT ENTER.

She winds the crank on the door and enters. An alarm sounds. She sits down and opens the tupperware style container she’s been carrying the hand in. As she watches the hand becomes less fossilised and the fingers begin to move… and the credits roll.

CREEEEEEEEPY. I like it. I have never seen this serial before. I’m excited.


Episode 2:

In the operations center, a higher up is yelling that he can’t think and wants the racket stopped. The alarm is sounding over and over and the call for people to report to emergency stations, this is not a drill, repeats over and again.

The Doctor and Carter give the guards who are bringing them in the slip and head to the command center.

The hand has regrown the missing finger and is flexing. It must be communicating with Sarah, as she says, “Yes, I understand.” She rises and closes the door.

The higher up screams at everyone to shut up. That’s real professional. But it works, so I guess that’s ok. He begins instructing everyone on what to do – gee, you’d think they’d have been trained on what to do and be doing it instead of standing about blabbering so the boss can yell at them.

On the PA, he announces that the intruder has broken into the outer core of the neutron reactor; they don’t know if she’s a suicide job or has the skill to make it go critical but are beginning shut down procedures.

As the shut down procedure on the neutron reactor isn’t working, Mr Driscoll is ordered to get a team of men suited up and armed to get her out of there.

The Doctor and Carter arrive and talk to the top man. Carter is hearing a voice in his head, saying, “Eldrad must live!”

The Doctor asks Miss Jackson for layouts of the building and he punches them up on the computer she indicates.

Armed techs/guards try to open the door but cannot open it – the manual locks are jammed.

The top man tries to talk to her via the PA. When he’s told the levels are rising, he says she’s had it, there’s no way she can live. He orders an evacuation as The Doctor gets on the PA to try to reach her.

Sarah cries out, “It’s no use! There’s nothing more to say, because Eldrad must live!” Carter hears this in his head, in another’s voice.

The Doctor plans to enter via a cooling duct, despite the temperature being 200C. Carter follows him.

Sarah turns off the video monitor, preventing them from being able to see her. The hand begins to crawl out of the tupperware.

The hand crawls to the main reactor door and Sarah begins to pull open the latches.

On the way, Carter attacks The Doctor, saying Eldrad must live, but he falls to his death. The Doctor heads on to the cooling systems.

The head man calls in and talks to his daughter and wife, but he doesn’t tell her anything is wrong, just saying he has to work late.

The Doctor enters the outer core area; as Sarah moves to blast him, he says, “Eldrad must live,” and she holds off. When he gets close, he renders her unconscious. He takes her out, watching the hand, but the ring falls from Sarah’s hand as he slips her out.

The head man gets off the phone saying good bye and to kiss the children, and is about to cry when the alarm ceases. The Doctor contacts, him addressing him as “Professor Watson”, though I haven’t heard his name as yet.

Watson gets on the PA and issues the all clear.

The Doctor checks out Sarah with a rod that seems to be a radiation checker. She is murmuring, half conscious and wakes up. The last thing she remembered was being under the rock, and someone reaching out a hand to her.

Watson comes in and reads her the riot act. The Doctor uses the device to show them that she’s not been irradiated. Watson and Miss Jackson demand an explanation and The Doctor says they won’t believe him, but they press him to try. He begins at the quarry.

The hand is seen crawling to the main reactor door. Back in the command center, The Doctor, Watson, Sarah Jane, Driscoll and Jackson see the hand moving, trying to get in.

Driscoll enters, wearing a radiation suit. He picks up the hand with tongs and puts it in the container. Seeing the ring on the floor, he picks it up. It glows green-blue and he seems in a trance.

They scan it and place it in a decontamination safe. The Doctor asks Driscoll about the ring, but he says he didn’t see anything. The Doctor asks him to go back in and look for it.

The Doctor uses his mental powers to put Sarah in a trance so he can ask her about Eldrad. She just asserts that Eldrad MUST live, we MUST obey. He confirms that Carter “saw the light”.

Driscoll reports that there’s nothing in the reactor room. Watson tells him to leave and he does, pausing to look at the ring, which glows again.

The Doctor uses hypnotic suggestion to free Sarah of Eldrad’s control.

Watson tells The Doctor that Driscoll didn’t find the ring, but the Time Lord figures out that Driscoll must have found it and is under its control.

In the decontamination area, a man hears banging from the safe and reports it in to Watson. The Doctor says he’s on the way down and Watson tells the man to wait. Driscoll shows up and attacks the man and opens the safe. He opens the safe and takes the hand, which grabs his hand.

The Doctor arrives just in time to see Driscoll leave and contacts Watson to tell him what’s going on and to have him put guards on alert for Driscoll.

Driscoll rushes through the compound. Several guards follow, but he blasts them with the ring. The Doctor catches up and Driscoll blasts with the ring, but The Doctor hides behind a console box – the blast scortches the metal, so maybe the ring has different blasts it can do.

Driscoll is back at the reactor, opening the door Sarah could not. He walks in with the hand as Watson issues another evacuation. The Doctor and Sarah pull back from the reactor, seeing the door is open.

In the command center, consoles begin to short out. An explosion knocks Watson to the ground… and the credits roll.

Pretty intense stuff going on here!

Episode 3:

Watson recovers and staggers out the door of the command centre.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane lay on the floor of the corridor, surprised to find out they’re not dead. The Doctor goes in and closes the ginormous vault door, saying an “unexplosion” has taken place.

Watson arrives yelling for them to come out, that the radiation is lethal, but The Doctor says it’s fine, indicating on the wall-mounted sensor. He explains that a nuclear explosion happened but it was absorbed. He posits that Driscoll has been vaporised, but Eldrad is rebuilding himself, using the reactor’s energy.

Watson returns to the command center and gets on the phone to call the military. He comes back to inform The Doctor they have ten minutes.

The Doctor begins to wonder if Eldrad is a threat or just afraid. Watson and Sarah Jane run off, The Doctor lingering behind to watch as the vault door begins to fall apart before catching up with them.

Two jets fly in, part of the tactical strike from the military. The missiles are fired, but there are no explosions. The Doctor advocates trying to communicate with the being.

Inside the reactor, there is a large hole in the door. A voice can be heard, “What is this place, where have I come to,” and a feminine figure covered in silica and rock/crystal formation steps out. It recoils at its appearance; apparently its form has been determined by the creatures around it – perhaps even by Sarah Jane’s touching it (and that would explain it being feminine.)

Returning to the complex, The Doctor leaves the others, but Sarah Jane rushes in after him. They make it to the reactor, where they encounter Eldrad. The Doctor and Sarah Jane talk to Eldrad, discovering ‘she’ absorbed the missiles explosions to complete the regeneration process.

She realises that The Doctor is not from Earth and demands to know why he is there; he explains he’s a friend of the planet and is there to help them. He introduces Sarah Jane, who is very nervous.

Watson makes it to the command center and can hear the discussion between The Doctor and Eldrad. Eldrad demands to know why he tried to destroy her, but The Doctor crosses both his hearts and says, “We’re the ones who saved you.”

Eldrad’s eyes turn blue and The Doctor is transfixed. She reads his mind and sees that he speaks the truth. He tries to explain that the humans sometimes try to destroy what they do not understand.

Eldrad explains she was betrayed, her people tried to obliterate her. She says she will return to get revenge, but The Doctor says it has been 150 million years. Again, she scans his mind. She sees he is a Time Lord. This time, her mind scan of him results in his collapsing.

When Sarah accuses Eldrad of being cruel and destructive, she is almost wounded by the words. She tries to explain – Kastria, her homeworld, was a planet ravaged by the solar winds. She built the barriers to protect the planet, she created silicon forms for their bodies, she created machines to rejuvenate the planet’s soil and atmosphere.

Kastria became a battleground between two alien races, the barriers were destroyed. The aliens manipulated the leaders and discredited her, having her sentenced to obliteration.

Eldrad begs The Doctor to help her save Kastria, asking her to take her back in time to save her planet. The Doctor says he cannot take her back in time, it would contravene the First Law of Time. But he will take her to Kastria in the present.

Eldrad senses another presence; Watson is skulking nearby, and Sarah Jane lies, saying they’re the only ones there. She even gets in (another) dig about the deaths, saying, “The only living ones, at least.”

The Doctor asks Eldrad if she agrees to his conditions and, after a moment’s thought, she does. They step out of the reactor area and Watson opens fire on Eldrad with his pistol that he collected from his office. The bullets do not harm her and she blasts with her ring, but misses. He runs off and she chases him to the command center.

Watson is reloading his gun when she catches up. She tells him he will die slowly, “as traitors deserve,” and uses her mind to envelop him in an aura of pain.

The Doctor arrives and tells Eldrad if she does not let him go, he will never take her home. She releases him and says he will leave and after making sure he is okay, The Doctor and Sarah Jane leave with Eldrad.

Watson stands, befuddled. Miss Jackson arrives with more questions. She claims to have only seen The Doctor and Sarah Jane, but nobody else with them.

Returning to the TARDIS, entering the older control room. Eldrad asks where the TARDIS’ armaments are, and he indicates his head, saying, “They’re in here.”

Eldrad tries using her mental attack, but The Doctor explains that while in there, they are in a state of “temporal grace” and she cannot harm him.

The Doctor explains that he’s not really helping Eldrad, but more helping Earth by getting her off world. Plus, he wants to see Kastria. This upsets Sarah and she storms off.

The Doctor asks Eldrad to help him plot the course to Kastria. She agrees but gets irate when there’s some turbulence and he asks to check her coordinates. She goes on about not trusting anyone and he preaches at her about getting over her paranoid distrust.

They make it to Kastria, outside the dome we saw before. Eldrad tells him, “You will have to trust me, Doctor.” They raise the scanner and see the blasted exterior. The Doctor says the atmosphere is “near enough, Earth normal” though the radiation count is “a bit high”. This seems to please Eldrad, who says, “That is all I should need.”

Judith Paris, who plays Eldrad, is an extremely attractive woman, under the makeup and ornamentation. Well, honestly, even with it, she’s rather attractive. Her smile is quite fetching.

They depart the TARDIS. Eldrad says that Kastria is as it once was, before she built the solar barriers. She claims there will be survivors, living in the thermal caves. When The Doctor says there is no power, she laughs, “Do you think I would not have planned for my return?” She plunges her ring into an impression on a console and the dome lights up and hums with energy – energy from the core of the planet.

Eldrad opens a door, saying they will descend to the thermal chambers, but when the door open, a spear or projectile of some sort pierces her. She spins about, crying out… and the credits roll.

I’m really rather torn as to where this is going and whether I’m supposed to be rooting for or against Eldrad.

Episode 4:

The Doctor and Sarah Jane run over, but she waves them off and removes the projectile from her chest, saying it was filled with an acid designed to neutralise the molecular bonds of her body. She says there is no antidote, only the “regenerator chamber” on level 306 can save her.

They rush her into the elevator.

A robed figure receives a report from a computer about the intruders descent.

Departing the elevator on level 306, Eldrad points the way. The Doctor helps her shuffle out as Sarah heads down the path indicated.

The computer identifies the intruders as two aliens and one Kastrian.

Sarah steps into a trap, but Eldrad says the trap only affects silicon-based lifeforms. The Doctor gives her a hard time for being melodramatic.

Walking into a chamber, rocks collapse from above, but they avoid it. They both help Eldrad walk in. Sarah Jane says, “If they were dead, you’d think we’d see some bodies.” (Not after millions of years, you wouldn’t!)

The Doctor informs Sarah they have – the sand on the floor is broken down silicon lifeform bodies. This squicks her out completely.

The computer asks for orders to activate “automated defense procedures”.

Sarah questions about the aliens, realising that they must have been silicon life forms, too. The Doctor agrees, noting that silicon life forms are very rare and for two such to exist in the same galaxy is quite the coincidence.

Sarah almost falls into an opening. The Doctor saves her and kicks some rocks (bodies?) down.

The Doctor: “It’s an abyss.”

Sarah Jane: “It’s a long way down, too.”

Eldrad indicates they have to cross the bridge over the abyss. Sarah Jane says it’s not safe. The Doctor hoists Eldrad over his shoulders and crosses. Sarah Jane follows, on her hands and knees.

The computer keeps updating the progress of the intruders’ progress, saying they’ve reached the regeneration chamber, but if they enter, they will be eliminated. The robed figure never speaks that we see, at least not yet.

At the chamber, Eldrad moves to use her ring to open the door, but The Doctor stops her. He pushes them to the side and takes the ring to open the door. Sarah almost waltzes in, but The Doctor pushes her away again. Probing the doorway with a extendable stick, he triggers some sort of blast which destroys it.

He collects Eldrad and walks in. Good thing the gun was only a one shot. Cuz, that’s the sort of booby trap I’d set up…

The computer still has not identified Eldrad, yet.

The Doctor realises that the ring carries Eldrad’s genetic imprint, which allowed her to rebuild her body using the radiation on Earth. As The Doctor tinkers with the controls, Eldrad’s body is covered with black marks, perhaps cracks?

Sarah Jane has done a complete 180 degrees, now urging The Doctor to hurry, worried for Eldrad.

The computer identifies Eldrad (probably with the genetic info on the ring). The computer then begins to malfunction.

In the regeneration chamber, a large block comes down and smashes her body. The Doctor says they’ve been used, “they were determined to destroy Eldrad one way or another.”

Sarah says she’s confused, and asks what they should do now. The Doctor says they should leave. Just then, a door slides open, and they hide. A massive, male silicon life form steps out, identifying himself as Eldrad.

The Doctor deduces that Eldrad modeled himself after the first “primitive” he encountered – Sarah. I was right!

Eldrad begins some maniacal laughter, saying that the booby trapped regeneration chamber could not kill him, as he created the chamber, too. He goes on a bit of a megalomaniacal rant about controlling Kastria, his creation.

I liked the feminine Eldrad more better. (Though, interestingly enough, the male Eldrad is played by Stephen Thorne, who played Omega in THE THREE DOCTORS)

On a mirror/monitor, Eldrad’s enemy, Rokon appears and says he has won nothing but defeat and then the screen goes blank. The Doctor asks who Rokon was and Eldrad goes on a rant, revealing that there were no aliens, that the King (Rokon) turned against him, so he destroyed his own barriers.

Eldrad seeks to be the ruler of a conquering Kastria, spreading the rule of silicon life forms across the galaxy. He storms off to find Rokon, but finds only a brittle body.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane follow, watching him discover Rokon is long dead. The Doctor taunts Eldrad, but Eldrad says he will grow new Kastrians from the database, restoring the planet to its former glory and then conquer the universe.

Eldrad enters the database to find nothing, no genetic codes to grow the Kastrian people anew.

Another recording of Rokon activates, explaining that they knew he might return. After the destruction of the barriers, that the only future they had was a miserable existence below ground, the Kastrian people elected to die and destroy the race patterns.

Rokon salutes him, “Hail, Eldrad, king of nothing.”

When Sarah says, “I wouldn’t want to live here, or have him as leader,” Eldrad overhears and says he will take over Earth and use them instead. He wll be their god.

Eldrad demands his ring, which The Doctor still has. The Doctor throws it and when Eldrad runs after it, the Time Lord and Sarah run off and set a trap with his scarf. Eldrad, retrieving the ring, runs into the trap, tripping over the scarf and falling into the abyss.

The gravity of the law finally caught up with him,” The Doctor quips.

They return to the TARDIS and depart. I do love the old feel to the secondary control room. En route, the ship begins casting wildly and The Doctor opens up the console, with Sarah Jane handing him various tools (somehow knowing what each one is. Another ‘gift’?)

She complains that she might as well be talking to the Moon, as he never listens. She sits down, complaining that she’s sick of being tired, cold, wet, savaged by monsters, never knowing if she’s coming or going.

Oh, boy, am I sick of that sonic screwdriver! I’m going to pack my goodies and I’m going home!” She repeats herself but he’s too busy tinkering to notice until she storms off. The Doctor realises there’s nothing wrong with the TARDIS and gets out of the console, only to receive a mental call from Gallifrey.

He realises that he can’t take Sarah to Gallifrey, and must take her home first. She arrives, with her stuff. The Doctor tries to be nice, hoping to break it to her gently that he has to take her home; she mistakes his gentleness for trying to apologise, saying it’s too late, she’s got to go.

The Doctor: “How did you know?”

Sarah, suddenly realising that she’s not in control of this decision, “What?”

The Doctor: “I’ve had a call from Gallifrey. I can’t take you with me, you’ve got to go.”

Sarah: “Oh, come on! I can’t miss Gallifrey. I was only joking, I didn’t mean it. Hey, you’re not going to regenerate again, are you?”

Sarah thinks he’s just trying to trick her into staying.

The TARDIS materialises and The Doctor says they’ve landed, cutting Sarah off from listing a bunch of people she’ll say hello to for him. He tells her they’re at Hillview Road in South Croydon.

That’s my home. Well, I’ll be off, then.” She grabs her coat and possessions and turns to him, “Don’t forget me.”

Oh, Sarah, don’t you forget me.”

Sarah walks to the exit, “You know, travel does broaden the mind.”

Yes. Until we meet again, Sarah.”

Sarah just nods, probably knowing there won’t be much chance of that, at least not any time soon. She exits and watches the TARDIS disappear, then looks around.

This isn’t Hillview Road… I bet it isn’t even South Croydon. Oh… (laughs), he blew it!”

Whistling, she sets off down the road, after talking to a dog… and the credits roll.

Oh, man, I’m crying. Sarah Jane is definitely one of the best companions of all time. I haven’t regretted seeing a companion going since Jamie and Zoe. This was a fun serial, I rather enjoyed the dichotomy of feminine and masculine Eldrads.  

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