From the title, I don’t believe I’ve seen this. Guess we’ll find out.

Episode 1:

Two scientists debate a skull – according to her tests, the area the skull was found was buried in lava twelve million years ago, but he says that is eight million years before it could have existed. A third comes in, asking for the “corrected coordinates”. One he has them, he departs, but not before the first male scientist gives him some playful banter.

A man walks through a forest, at dark or perhaps in twilight. He hears some noise that unnerves him and he starts whistling “The Entertainer”.

The man who got the coordinates arrives at a computer room, handing them off to Dr. Fendelman, the head of the project. He is very happy to get the figures and says at last they can begin. He and the other sit at different banks, activating mechanisms.

Back in the other room, the skull begins to glow. The female scientist, Thea Ransome, notices and approaches it.

Dr. Fendelman orders for full power on the scan. In the room where the skull is (interesting that they’re scanning some regular room with a person in it…) the lights dim and for a brief moment, the skull takes on the face of a woman – flesh and hair. Not fully enough to see who it is… or perhaps we’re just seeing the skull and Thea’s face overlaid.

The man in the woods runs, no longer whistling; he’s panicked. He calls out, “I can’t, I can’t!”

Thea and the skull are overlaid again. Is the skull affecting her?

The man in the woods grabs his head, screams and collapses.

Thea holds her head and collapses.

Dr. Fendelman commences the scan.

The Doctor is working on K-9; seems he has some corrosion in his circuits. The Doctor corrects Leela for calling K-9 a “he” and she points out he calls the TARDIS a “she” all the time. He denies this.

And another thing, it’s quite clear to me that you cannot control this old machine, anyways.” – Leela

What did you say?”

I said..”

I heard what you said.”

Then why ask?”

Again, I do love the conflict between Leela and The Doctor. She’s one of the few companions to ever continually stand up to him. She calls him on so many things.

The Doctor asserts that he’s “in complete and constant control” of the TARDIS, and just then, the TARDIS tilts at a forty-five degree angle. The Doctor makes it to the console and notices someone is doing a sonic time scan, causing the trouble – and a hole in time.

They sort out the control issues and The Doctor traces the signal back to Earth.

The next morning, Thea sits, reading the newspaper at a kitchen table. Dr. Fendelman comes in, asking if she’s feeling better, and she says that she is. She doesn’t recall what happened.

Fendelman and Max say they’ve been working all night and have just come in. Fendelman says that even Colby (the fourth member of their team) will be impressed.

Meanwhile, Adam Colby is exercising the dog. The dog finds the body of the man in the woods. He rushes back to the cottage/house/whatever, to inform the others about the corpse. He says it doesn’t look like he died easily.

It is never easy to die,” Max intones.

Fendelman tells him not to call the police. He says with the death, there would be publicity, and he seems to feel that would be problematic for their work. With Fendelman’s persuasion, Adam agrees that it might be best for the body to be found elsewhere.

Fendelman steps aside with Max, instructing him to contact London to have an armed security team sent in two hours, and that he wants Max to do a post-mortem on the corpse.

The Doctor and Leela arrive on Earth, in a field surrounded by cattle. The Doctor quickly deduces the cows have nothing to do with the time scanner.

Max reports to Fendelman that the man obviously died recently, but the body is decomposing as they watch. He confirms that the security team is in place. Fendelman instructs him to dispose of the body, saying nobody must know of this.

The Doctor is taking a nap when Leela wakes him, having taken a landscaper captive. She mistook him for a hunter, saying he was armed. The landscaper takes Leela to be an escapee from an asylum. The Doctor offers him a jelly baby.

You’ve both escaped, haven’t you?”

Frequently,” replies The Doctor.

The landscaper ends up telling The Doctor about Fendelman and his group of scientists; seems he holds them in poor regard.

At the house, Mitchell, the security team leader butts head with the house’s cook, not letting her into the house.

Adam and Thea are surprised to learn that there are new rules and procedures now; even leaving the house requires authorization from Fendelman. Adam storms off to talk to Fendelman, entering his computer room. Fendelman is nowhere to be found, and Adam stares at the machinery, whispering, “What on Earth is he playing at?”

Fendelman walks in behind Adam and asks if he’s impressed. Fendelman begins explaining about some “sonic shadow”.

Leela and The Doctor skulk outside the gate to the house. The Doctor talks her out of attacking the guard (“it will make the dog sad”) and they slip around to try entering through the rear.

Adam is telling Thea that Fendelman claims he can see into the past with his computers. Adam thinks he’s completely nutty. It seems that Fendelman says the machine only works at night.

Night is falling as The Doctor and Leela make their way through the woods.

Thea enters the computer room, having a look around. She sits down and spins a dial, starting up the machine. The skull, back in the other room, begins to glow again.

The Doctor and Leela get separated. Leela makes her way to the house.

Thea seems almost in a trance as she increases the power of the machine. Again, we see her face and the skull’s, each imposed over another.

The Doctor stands in mist, and something is approaching him.

Leela opens the door to the house and someone, likely the security chief dude, opens fire.

The Doctor stands, the camera view getting closer and closer… and the credits roll.

It’s official, I have no recollection of this serial whatsoever. Very curious to see what’s going to happen. Wonder why K-9 is on the fritz – perhaps having him outdoors was too hard to manage, so they wrote him out of the story? Or is there some further plot device involving that?

Curiouser and curiouser…

Episode 2:

Leela pulls back away from the door as the shot(s) are fired. Must have been her heightened intuition/senses that tipped her off.

The Doctor seems to be immobilised; whatever is approaching him seems to be tied to the skull, to the scanner. He talks to himself, urging his legs to move, to lift. Slowly he begins to stagger, then run.

Ted Moss, the landscaper, is the one who shot at Leela – apparently it was his house she approached. She takes the gun from him, but then another fellow, Jack, shows up and takes the gun from her, demanding to know what the two of them are doing in his gram’s cottage.

Adam finds Thea in the computer room, saying, “Fendelman will go barmy… well, barmier if he found you messing…” he stops mid-sentence, realising she’s in some trance-like state.

Mitchell sits at the kitchen table, sipping coffee or something, and reading the paper. He hears a strange noise outside (noises we’ve heard associated with the skull) and he rises, grabbing his gun. The door flies open.

Adam tries to get Thea to snap out of it. He finally turns off the machine and this does the trick, but at the same time, Mitchell’s scream can be heard. Thea is oblivious to all of that, but Adam drags her off to investigate.

They find Mitchell’s corpse in the kitchen; Adam says the expression on his face is the same as the man he and the dog found earlier. Thea suddenly grabs her head and collapses.

The Doctor walks in, instructing Adam not to touch her. He demands to know how many deaths there have been. Adam says this is the second.

Thea’s body begins to glow and two snake-like creatures are visible, as if sitting on her. They fade from sight and the glow follows. The Doctor says they looked like “embryo Fendahleen”.

He helps Thea up, and then explains to Adam that Fendhaleen are from his own mythology and have survived twelve million years, since the fifth planet broke up (the old fifth planet from the sun broke up and became the asteroid belt beyond Mars bit?) The period of “twelve million years ago” resonates with Adam, of course.

The Doctor asks who is in charge, and Fendelman enters, saying he is. The Doctor begins barking orders, but Fendelman has him taken away by the security team.

Adam says he will call the police, but Fendelman asks what he will tell them about not calling before.

The Doctor is locked in a storage room and pulls out his sonic screwdriver, to try to get out.

Jack doesn’t believe Leela’s story. Ted Moss tries to be rough with her, but she puts him in his place. Jack chases them off, and then talks to Leela, explaining that his gram is involved in something strange with Moss and his associates – something to do with the Old Religion (witchcraft, I presume, as there are Tarot cards laid out on the table in a reading spread.)

Unable to sonic his way out, The Doctor kicks a crate. Suddenly, the lock jangles and the door opens, seemingly on its own.

Thea and Adam discuss phoning the police. He picks up the phone, but the line is dead. They suddenly realise they are trapped. Thea says it was planned, though Fendelman is only part of it. She says that she planned it, but Adam isn’t having anything of it. She ends up staring at the skull until he drags her away from it.

Back in the kitchen, Adam and Thea confront Fendelman, accusing him of cutting the phones. Adam says he’s mad, and Fendelman says if this is so, then perhaps Adam should humour him, for his own safety. (All the while, Fendelman is stroking his pistol. No, that’s not a euphemism.)

Fendelman explains that he believes the skull is extra-terrestrial in origin. Adam mocks him, talking about “little green men from Venus”. Adam insists the skull is human and Fendelman agrees. Adam realises that Fendelman suspects that humans are “all aliens”.

Jack and Leela prepare to depart, but she hears something outside. Jack grabs the door and opens it, but it’s his gram!

Moss is in the estate house, reporting to Max, warning him about The Doctor; seems the two of them are associated in something nefarious and Moss thinks The Doctor and Leela are investigating them. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with Fendelman (or rather, he’s not part of their little group.)

As Max escorts Moss out, they talk of the coven; Max says there must be twelve, but Moss says the old ways say there must be thirteen.

Adam argues that Fendelman’s evidence is all circumstantial. Fendelman says there is something else he has not shared – he has traced the moment of death of the alien traveler and detected a major surge of energy, as if being stored.

Adam learns that Fendelman and Max have been conducting experiments on the sly on the skull, without Adam’s knowledge. Thea suddenly leaves at the talk of X-rays.

Adam and Fendelman agree that The Doctor must have been spying on them. Fendelman then invites Adam to follow him and he will share what they learned after X-raying the skull.

Leela and Jack tend to his gram. His grandma is the kitchen woman who Mitchell wouldn’t let into the house. She seems to have sensed whatever has been killing people and is traumatised by it. Leela leaves to find The Doctor.

Fendelman shows Adam the X-Ray of the skull; there is a pentagram-like pattern in the skull and Fendelman says that it is a neural circuit and is where the energy is stored. He posits that it is a beacon, set to activate and contact the others of its kind.

Leela attacks a guard outside the house and seeks entry.

Thea opens the door where they put The Doctor and she whispers into the darkness that she needs help. Realising that he’s not in there, she closes the door and crosses the hall to the computer room, turning on the light panel with the X-ray.

Seeing the X-Ray, and the pattern, she reacts, holding her head. Max walks in and addresses her, snapping her out of whatever was happening. She chastises him for “creeping up” on her. He closes the door and asks what she’s doing there. She says she’s looking for the stranger, but Max says where he is is not important.

Max says the stranger has escaped, but it is “too late for all the meddling fools”. She tries to leave, but he won’t let her. He starts talking about her being the key to his power, calling her the chosen one, and knocks her out with a rag covering her mouth.

The Doctor slips into the room with the skull. He pokes about, looking at the equipment and maps. He then finds the skull and sits down, having a look at it. He offers it a jelly baby.

The skull begins to glow and pulsate. The Doctor seems to be under a compulsion, and though he fights it, he ends up touching the skull. He cries out and the skull glows brightly… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

Leela slips into the kitchen. Hearing the sound coming from the skull, she heads in that direction.

The skull grows brighter, The Doctor struggles to pull away but he cannot.

Leela runs through the house, then hears his scream. She enters and moves to pull his hand away, but he tells her no. Thinking quickly, she kicks the chair he’s sitting on out from under him, and he falls atop of her, breaking contact with the skull.

In unison they ask each other, “Are you all right?” Leela, still under him, remarks, “You’re very heavy.” She asks if she saved his life and when he admits that she did, there’s a look of great pleasure on her face.

The Doctor says that the skull is rebuilding itself, feeding on life force – he says it is a Fendahl, a soul-eater. Leela realises that Jack’s gram must have sensed it, for she talked about it wanting her soul. The Doctor says he wants to see her. When Leela brings up the sonic time scanner, The Doctor says he can use it for about a hundred hours before it becomes a true danger.

Fendelman shows Adam a tally on the use of the scanner – almost ninety-nine hours so far! He explains that some of the components have a limited life span and that is why he’s keeping a log on how many hours.

Adam remains resistant to Fendelman’s postulation of their descending from aliens. Fendelman says he’s set the scanner to show a visual result and starts the scanner again. The tally begins counting higher…

Max has Thea in a dark room. She’s tied up and he has a syringe, with which he administers a shot. He tells her she is the medium for the ancient power in the house – the power has been awoken by the scanner. He says through her, he shall control the power of the ancients. She scoffs and he leaves her there.

Leela brings The Doctor to see Mrs Tyler. The Doctor sends Jack to make tea and get some fruitcake ready.

Max enters the computer room as Fendelman and Adam stare at the screen, waiting for some result. Max pulls out a pistol and demands that Fendelman turn off the scanner. Adam obeys when Fendelman refuses to do as Max instructs. He says he is not yet ready, his followers are not yet assembled. He orders them out of the room.

Mrs Tyler is finally roused from her stupor. The Doctor wants to know how long she’s lived there, but she’s reticent to answer. He suspects she’s been there all her life, explaining her powers of second sight as a result of living near a time fissure for so long.

After talking to her for a bit, The Doctor asks Jack to keep an eye on the Priory (Fendelman’s base), wanting to know who comes and goes. He leaves, saying they’ll be back by sundown. Mrs Tyler gives Leela a charm of protection, one she made for Ted Moss, but she says it’s too late for him.

After they leave, Mrs Tyler confirmed to Jack that she dreamt of the figure The Doctor wanted to know about (did the creature have a human form, he asked her, to which she said no), and that it was a woman’s – seems she fears for Leela in this regard.

Max has Adam and Fendelman tied to pillars in the chamber where Thea is unconscious. A ritual place, it seems.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor talks about the fifth planet. He tries to explain race memory to Leela, comparing it to deja vu, but the reference is lost on her.

Jack watches as a car full of men arrive at the Priory and disembark.

The Doctor says there’s no record of the fifth planet in the databanks, which upsets him greatly. He quickly deduces that there is a time loop around the fifth planet, keeping all information on it away from others. He says that only a Time Lord could do such a thing.

Mrs Tyler is doing a tarot reading; she turns over The Tower and reacts in shock, perhaps fear. Jack enters, and we can see it’s pitch black outside. “Sundown, he said.. still no sign of ’em.” Jack and his gram argue over her beliefs, but she finally gets him to accept a charm.

Tyler fills two shotgun cartridges with salt, saying that’s the best weapon against evil.

Ted Moss, in robes, sets the skull atop an altar. Max hooks up some wires to it, connecting it to the scanner. Other men stand about Thea, each of them robed. She is still unconscious.

Leela remarks they’re going to be late and The Doctor snaps, then apologises immediately. He is busy trying to figure out where the skull is getting the power from, then it comes to him – when the scanner damages the time fissure, there is energy released as a by-product, and the skull must be absorbing it.

Why didn’t I think of that before?”

Leela replies, “You can’t think of everything.”

I can’t?”

No.”

Oh. Well, I should have thought (of) it.”

He goes on to explain that, as a child, he was frightened by a “mythological horror” – too frightened to think clearly. Leela makes sympathetic noises.

Max orders his followers to ready themselves and they drop to their knees. Fendelman begs, orders Max not to do it, pleas for the cultists/coven to listen to him, saying they’ll all be killed.

Leela and The Doctor walk through the misty woods.

Fendelman says he understands now – his name means “Man of the Fendahl” – this has been set up in advanced, they are all being used, mankind has been used. Max is threatening him with the pistol all the while, but Fendelman doesn’t pay him any mind.

Jack and Mrs Tyler sneak about the house. They hear a gun shot in the cellar.

Max has shot Fendelman, persumably in the head, as there is a trickle of blood coming from Fendelman’s temple. (Remember, it’s still a kid’s show.) Adam calls Max a “murdering lunatic” but Max pays him no mind.

Mrs Tyler has hurt her ankle and Jack tends to it.

The ritual begins, Max saying the way to power is opened.

The pentagram in the floor of the cellar glows. Thea lays in the middle of it, extending her arms outwards, like a Christ-figure.

The Doctor and Leela find Jack and Mrs Tyler. Jack says he’s glad to see them, not a moment too soon. Mrs Tyler says, “No, a moment too late, listen!”

They hear a sound, a shuffling, shlurping sound.

We see something, slug-like, crustacean-like perhaps, moving, crawling along the floor. Something – ichor, blood is left as a trail.

Jack, Leela and Mrs Tyler suddenly cannot move their legs. Gram Tyler points down the hallway, “Look, look!”

We see a full sized Fendahleen, a good twelve plus feet in length… and the credits roll.

Episode 4:

The Doctor approaches the Fendahleen and shoots it with Jack’s gun (with the rock salt ammo). The creature flees and The Doctor tells them to run for their lives.

In the pentagram, Thea is transformed into something else, something more than human. She rises, not by standing, but by levitating upright. Her skin is dark, almost metallic in texture. She turns and points at Ted Moss, who screams and is transformed into a small Fendahleen. She does it to another, as Max shouts, “This is not how it was meant to be!”

The Doctor catches up with the others, telling the Tylers to stay while he and Leela investigate the cellar. There’s a cute bit where Mrs Tyler tells her grandson there will come a time where she’ll be too old for this sort of thing.

The Doctor and Leela free Adam; he tells her to take him out of there, instructing both not to look into Thea (who is a Fendahl now?)’s eyes. As they flee, Max, who is on his knees near Thea (who is gesticulating with her arms, rhythmically), begs for help.

The Doctor moves to Max, but says it’s too late, he’s already looked into her eyes. Max asks The Doctor to get his gun off the altar; when The Doctor says it will have no effect on her, he says it’s for him. As The Doctor leaves, Max shoots himself.

Finding the Fendahleen he shot, they find that it is dead, a result of the salt.

The Doctor realises that the Fendahl is not yet complete; Max shot himself, and The Doctor killed one Fendahleen – the Fendahl is a gestalt creature that requires one host and twelve Fendahleen to reach completion.

Jack refills his cartridges with salt from Gram Tyler’s charms. The Doctor sends Leela to stand guard with him. Gram is sent to fetch as much salt as she can find. The Doctor and Adam talk, The Doctor filling Adam in on what happened on the fifth planet – apparently, when the Time Lords discovered the Fendahl and that they fed on life itself, they decided to wipe out the planet.

The Doctor theorises that the skull ultimately affected the evolution of mankind, into something it could use.

In the hall, the Fendahl and a Fendahleen appear. Jack looks into her eyes and cannot fire the gun, so Leela strikes him and takes the gun, trying to aim without looking into the Fendahl’s eyes.

The Doctor and Adam hear a gun shot, and The Doctor sends Adam to assist Mrs Tyler in fetching more salt. He runs out and finds Leela and Jack prone, next to a dead Fendahleen. He praises her marksmanship, which pleases her greatly.

In the cellar, the Fendahl waves her arms about and becomes a Fendahleen.

Jack and Gram wheel in a cart of all the salt she could find. Adam shows up with a box marked with the radioactive symbol. The Doctor sends Jack and his Gram back to her cottage, telling Jack he knows what to do. The Doctor tells Adam to wait until he and Leela have gone down into the cellar to get the skull, then switch on the scanner for two minutes, and only two minutes, then get out – as he rigged it to blow three minutes after it is shut off.

Leela gives Adam a kiss on the cheek for good luck.

The Doctor carries the radioactive box, Leela carries a basket of salts, and they head into the cellar. Seeing a Fendahleen (the Fendahl?) they throw salt at it. Two embryonic Fendahleen guard the skull, but The Doctor carefully takes it and places it in the box.

Adam turns off the scanner after the two minutes have elapsed and then takes off.

The Doctor and Leela escape the cellar; the Fendahl appears, apparation-like, but they avoid looking into its eyes and pass through (though Leela drops the basket of salt, I wonder if that has any import.) She disappears, returning to the pentagram.

The Doctor and Leela run out of the house.

Adam joins Gram and Jack in their cottage, hiding under a table.

The Doctor and Leela run through the woods as the house begins to warble and shake and great explosions destroy the building.

Jack asks Gram to put a kettle on.

In the TARDIS, Leela is primping in the mirror, asking what The Doctor will do with the skull. He plans to find a star about to go super-nova and drop it in the vicinity, saying not even that could withstand those temperatures.

The Doctor compliments Leela on her dress (though its her old hunting garb) and then says it’s time he finished repairing K-9. He calls the dog ‘him’, which Leela crows about (as they were arguing the point in the beginning.) The Doctor says “I can call him ‘him’ if I want… after all, he’s my dog. Aren’t you boy?”

K-9 nods his agreement as Leela looks on, flabbergasted… and the final credits roll.

Seems like explosions are a theme as of late in the defeating the Big Bad. This was a good serial, I really liked Jack and Gram Tyler, and the other characters were all pretty fun.

As for K-9, he was only added on as a companion after this script was already written, so it wasn’t possible for him to have a full role yet.  

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