This title SOUNDS familiar. I’m not sure. Let’s find out?

Episode 1:

A large ark-like ship flies through space. There’s jaunty peppy score playing as the ship seems to phase out of sight. (Hyperspace?)

Two men in a control room sit, monitoring the instruments. It seems they are ahead of schedule, which delights the junior crewman, Secker. The other, the captain, announces to the crew that they’re coming out of warp in thirty seconds.

Passengers in seating not unlike an airline talk excitedly. They wear silver shiny body suits and have dark sunglasses on. The “flight computer” comes on to announce that they’re about to be in orbit around the planet Azure. Once the blue light comes on, the passengers will be allowed to leave their seats, but are to keep on their protective coveralls until instructed.

They are also cautioned that the Empress (the ship) will be at 7/10ths normal gravity.

As the captain works the controls, it seems there’s a problem – Secker, who seems almost high at this point, has entered the wrong coordinates. The captain says they’ve entered orbit around the wrong planet, which will lead for delays. Secker is completely nonchalant, replying, “So?” to several of the captain’s complaints.

Suddenly, the worst concerns become reality as the Empress materialises in the same location as another ship! The captain sounds the alarms and sends out a mayday.

Damage reports come in; the two ships are merged together – thus far, there’s no pressure issues or explosions. The captain is (understandably) frantic, pushing the still far too nonchalant Secker out of the way to check on things himself.

The TARDIS materialises on the ship and the Time Lords and K-9 exit. They see one of the areas where the ships are merged. K-9 informs them the ‘overlap areas’ are unstable. (K-9 is no longer played by John Leeson, it seems, and we’re stuck with the very obnoxious new voice…)

There’s a cute moment when Romana says she doesn’t think they should interfere. The Doctor says they should, and backs it up with, “Always do what you’re best at, that’s what I say.”

The commander of the other ship comes on board to speak to the Empress’ captain. The captain assures him they’ve covered for all damages, but his concerns are with his ship, crew and 900 passengers. As they argue, The Doctor, Romana and K-9 arrive. The Doctor claims that they’re there in response to the mayday, representing “Galactic Insurance and Salvage”.

The captain of the Empress introduces himself as Captain Rigg, the owner of the other craft is Mister Dymond. As they return to the argument over blame and protection, The Doctor and Romana suggest trying to recreate the circumstances to seperate the ships. However, Rigg complains that he doesn’t have the power he needs.

Rigg orders Secker to take The Doctor and K-9 to the power unit. Romana and Dymond are invited to wait in the lounge, leaving the captain in the command by himself. Once alone, he looks up Galactic Salvage and Insurance, discovering that the company was formed in London in the year 2068, but liquidated in 2096.

Secker refuses to take The Doctor and K-9 all the way down, stoppign and giving them directions, saying he’s too busy – suddenly, he’s not nonchalant, he’s brusque and irritated and seemingly uncomfortable, if not in pain. He storms off and The Doctor and K-9 follow him, curious as to his behavior.

Secker staggers down the hall, clinging to the walls for support. Behind him, The Doctor and K-9 watch as he opens a bin and retrieves something from it. H leaves and The Doctor opens the bin. He takes out a sample of whatever Secker took, which K-9 identifies as a fungus, the source of the drug XYP, also known as Vraxoin.

The Doctor knows of Vraxoin, saying he’s seen entire planets destroyed by it – it induces warm apathy and complacency.

In the lounge, Romana has met some of the passengers, including two zoologists, Tryst and Della. Tryst laments the lack of funding for his research. Romana is curious about his machine, the CET – Continuous Event Transmuter. It is an invention of his own, a device where creatures are turned into electronic impulses and stored on crystals and the machine allows them to be viewed as they continue growing, living and evolving.

Hey, didn’t we do this in a serial called CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS? (Yes, yes we did.) Also, very worth nothing, Lewis Fiander, who plays Tryst, did of the voice of airship engineer Kemp in the Academy Award nominated short film, “The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello “ (Which if you have not, seen, do.)

Romana cautions against possible problems, suggesting that the collision might create problems with his machine’s dimensional matrix. Tryst becomes offended that she seems to be claiming greater knowledge than he.

Captain Rigg reports to Azure that they’re working sorting things out. The Doctor returns to inform him that Secker ran off. He asks Rigg if there’s any stops Secker could have gotten ahold of Vraxoin (a charge that Rigg doesn’t seem to be remotely startled by), but the captain says no, nor from the passengers.

He does imply that possibly Tryst, but the captain is more interested in The Doctor, saying Galactic went out of business twenty years prior. “On, I wonder why I hadn’t been paid,” the Time Lord quips, but that’s not good enough for the captain. The Doctor pushes aside his questions, saying he can help them separate the ships if he lets him do his thing and tells him to find Secker and bring him to the longue.

Secker is wandering about the ship, in a smoky area, giggling and in his own world. Rigg calls Secker over the PA, but he doesn’t seem to notice. Secker walks into the glowing smoke.

The Doctor questions Tryst as to where he’s been. After rattling off a bunch of locations, he gives The Doctor a hardcopy of his log, which he published to accompany his lectures.

The Doctor says that he knew of a professor Schtein who worked on a similar technology to the CET; it turns out that Schtein was Tryst’s mentor.

Dymond interrupts, frustrated over the lack of concern over the ships. Rigg arrives to say they cannot find Secker. The Doctor asks Rigg to take him to the power station, but before they depart, the Time Lord makes clear his displeasure with Tryst keeping the creatures in a portable zoo.

Romana apologises for The Doctor and inquires how many people were on Tryst’s ship; it seems there were ten, but one died, though the zoologist knows nothing of the circumstances.

En route to the power station, The Doctor, K-9 and Rigg are blocked by an overlap point. K-9 says that they are becoming more unstable. The Doctor says they are rejecting each other like a body might an organ transplant. Rigg says there’s another way.

Romana activates the CET; there are eight faces on the dial, each set to a different world. The first is a peaceful, sun shiny place, the second a windy, rainy terrain. The third, labeled EDEN, is a dark forest, full of animal sounds. There seems to be a man in the jungle watching.

Della arrives and turns it off, saying that Tryst doesn’t like people looking at it. Romana asks if she could see EDEN one more time, but Della says it brings back unpleasant memories for her. That was where the crew man died.

Della says that the man who died was more than a friend, “But it doesn’t matter now.”

The Doctor and Rigg enter the area we last saw Secker. They discuss the overlap being in the way down here, too, when they hear a scream. They dash into the smoky area, dragging out Secker, whose face is covered in large scratches.

K-9 goes into the mist to scan, but he comes back out to say his sensors will not function in the overlap. Secker is taken to sick bay.

The Doctor heads back to the bin, which is open; just before he got there, a hand was going through it, looking for something. The Doctor suddenly notices someone is there (seemingly in the grey coveralls that the passengers were wearing earlier) and turns. The person has a gun on them, and he begs them not to shoot, but they do.

The shooter rifles through The Doctor’s pockets, taking the Vraxoin device.

As the medtechs attend to Secker, Rigg and Della (ok, that’s interesting) stand outside, watching, discussing it. Tryst arrives, saying he got the captain’s message. Rigg asks if the zoologist brought any live specimens, but Tryst says all his specimens are “laser crystal recordings”.

This seems to answer the captain’s concern, and he returns to the window to watch, but one of the medtechs approaches and shakes his head – it seems Secker did not make it.

K-9 leads Romana to where The Doctor is laying on the ground. He recovers, stating that he has been bushwhacked. He realises that the Vraxoin has been taken from him. Romana says she thought that Vraxoin was wiped out and The Doctor says the origin planet was incinerated, but someone has found another source.

Dymond complains to Rigg about The Doctor coming up with ideas, getting their hopes up and doing nothing about it. Rigg complains about The Doctor wanting to blast holes in his ship and his concerns about a dead navigator. Both complain that they wish The Doctor would get things sorted out as they both have schedules to keep.

Romana brings up her concerns about the CET, that Tryst is leaving “bald patches” on the planets he’s visited. The Doctor compares it to a zoo. She says it is an unstable technology and the ship is filled with unstable zones. When she says that it wasn’t a mirage that attacked Secker, The Doctor’s brow furrows, as he sees where she’s going.

Rigg appears at this time, having heard Romana’s comment, and corrects her – Secker was killed by whatever attacked him. The Doctor sends Romana to “take care” of the CET machine, while he, K-9 and Rigg go to attend to the separating of the ships.

Romana activates the EDEN projection, and stares into it again.

K-9 begins cutting through the wall at the designated location.

Romana stands in front of the projection of Eden, but some light shape seems to fly out and ‘sting’ her. The Time Lady drops to the floor.

The Doctor and Rigg remove the part of the wall that K-9 cut away and behind it is a green-eyed clawed monster… and the credits roll.

Okay, not bad of a cliffy, and a decent story so far. Far superior to CITY OF DEATH or CREATURE FROM THE PIT.

Episode 2:

Rigg and The Doctor recoil from the monster until K-9 blasts it into submission. Rigg demands to know what’s going on, but The Doctor has no answers. They put back the piece of wall and K-9 seals it.

Rigg asks if that’s what killed Secker, and The Doctor says it probably was, but tells Rigg about Secker’s Vraxoin habit, saying he was a dead man already. They discuss trying to find it and get it off the ship. Again, Rigg demands to know who The Doctor works for.

The Time Lord replies, “I don’t work for anybody – I’m just having fun.”

Everybody works for somebody,” the captain insists as they walk on.

They return to the bridge of the ship to scan for Vraxoin. The scan comes up negative and the captain insists that any shielding would be too small for any sizeable quantity.

The discussion returns to separating the ships; The Doctor says he can use his ship to facilitate matters and gives the instruction to have Dymond be ready to put the ship on full power.

Someone stands over Romana’s prone form, but then runs off. Just then, Della comes into the lounge and helps Romana up. Romana is startled when she sees the projection is not on any more. Della goes off to fetch Romana a drink.

At the beverage dispenser, Rigg interrupts, and as they talk, a hand dumps… something, possibly Vraxoin, into the drink. The captain says he was going to get a drink and takes the one for Romana (the spiked/poisoned one) instead.

K-9 predicts only sixty percent chance of success for The Doctor’s plan. They go off to find Romana.

Tryst tries to play peacemaker as Dymond and Rigg cast blame at each other again. He insists that everyone should support The Doctor’s plan. Rigg agrees, but brings up that he wishes they knew more about him and then brings up The Doctor’s concerns over drug smuggling. This seems to alarm Tryst.

All the while, Rigg is drinking his spiked beverage.

Romana tells The Doctor about the creature that come from the projection – so she did see it. She tells him it was the Eden setting the creature came from. The Doctor says the name Eden rings a bell, but before he can say any more, Tryst comes in to say he has a message.

Again, they get to talking about the CET machine and The Doctor realises that the machine is even more unstable than he thought. Tryst says he will shut the machine off because of The Doctor’s concerns. He passes on the message that Dymond is ready and the Time Lords and K-9 depart as Tryst turns off the power on the machine.

Rigg seems to be under the effects of the drug-spiked drink, making light of the situation, saying his ship is eating Dymond’s. Romana is on the TARDIS, to operate things from there. The Doctor sends K-9 to take some readings at one of the overlap areas.

Rigg leaves, saying he’s thirsty.

K-9 goes to an overlap, which seems to disappear and then he passes through, and it appears again.

Dymond says his ship cannot take any more and insists on shutting down. The Doctor goes looking for K-9. He sees a man and tries to speak to him, but the man (wearing the coveralls and sunglasses of a passenger, and brown boots, which we saw standing over Romana) runs off. The Doctor gives chase (it IS Doctor Who, after all), taking the stairs when the man takes the lift.

The man exits the lift and we see scratches on his face. The Doctor gives chase as they go through passenger compartments as passengers begin to complain about the delay.

Eventually, The Doctor catches up and chases him into the misty overlap area Secker was attacked in.

Rigg is giggling over the little ships in big ships and ships in bottles and the Russian dolls, while Tryst and Romana tend to him. Romana leaves to find The Doctor and see what he’s up to. When she leaves, Rigg says The Doctor and Romana are the drug smugglers.

The Doctor chases the man through the overlap – time or space or both is distorted. The Doctor calls out that he just wants to talk to the man.

Rigg now espouses the theory that The Doctor is a narcotics agent. Tryst seems curious to finding out if Romana is one, too. He gives Rigg another drink (I wonder if this one is spiked.)

The man attacks The Doctor from behind. During the struggle, The Doctor finds himself face to face with the monster.

Romana approaches the overlap area, and the monster comes out, threateningly towards her. Someone with a gun shoots four times before the creature backs off back into the mist. The Doctor crawls out on his hands and knees and Romana helps him up, going on about the creature (that he would have just passed, so surely he knew of it).

The Doctor got the radiation band off the man while they struggled – it’s from the Volante, the ship Tryst was on.

Tryst is fiddling with the CET machine when Della comes in. Tryst explains that The Doctor is a narcotics agent and is looking for a Vrax smuggler. He says it’s time to put their own house in order and brings up Stott, the lost crewman, and his strange behavior on Eden. Tryst speculates that perhaps Stott discovered a new source of Vrax.

Tryst says that he must determine whether or not the Volante was used to transport Vrax. Della insists it wasn’t Stott, he wouldn’t do such a thing, but she cannot explain why Stott disappeared for two hours the day before he died.

The Doctor and Romana discuss Tryst and Della being the only ones who came aboard from the Volante, and then Romana informs The Doctor about Rigg’s behavior – he quickly guesses that he’s on Vrax. The Doctor says they’ll have to get inside the CET machine, as he feels that inside a projection is the only likely place the Vrax could be hidden.

Tryst shows up, saying he can help with the drug problem. He asks to speak to The Doctor alone, and Romana steps off. Tryst says he thinks one of his crew smuggled the drugs aboard the Volante, the man who was killed. But he thinks the drugs were given to Della, though she denied it.

Suddenly, The Doctor is called to the bridge over the PA. They split up, and The Doctor rejoins Romana, who was listening from around the corner. They both scoff at the assertion that it was Della.

K-9 faces two monsters at the power unit location. He seems to be sending a signal to The Doctor, asking for further instructions.

Officers Fisk and Costa from the Azurian Excise Service have arrived aboard the Empress and are waiting in the bridge, along with Dymond. They demand to see The Doctor and Romana’s ident plaque. The officers demand to know their names and dates of birth, but The Doctor is trying to tell them about the danger of the Vraxoin.

Costa scans both Time Lords with a scanner wand – Romana is clean and traces of Vrax are detected in The Doctor’s pocket. Before they’re taken under arrest, The Doctor distracts them in the most stupidest way (points, “Look!” and they do) and he and Romana run off.

Sigh. That’s just stupid. Really.

The officers give chase. They get to the lounge and Romana turns on the CET machine, set on Eden. The Doctor fries the door lock and says he wants to test a theory. Romana argues that it is unstable, but The Doctor says they must and they run and jump into the projection… and the credits roll.

Okay, not a surprising cliffy, but an effective one. We’ll see you Wednesday.

Happy Labour Day!

Advertisements