I believe this is the beginning of the E-space sequence of serials; I don’t believe I’ve seen this one – in fact, I think I’ve only ever seen one E-space serial. Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll see.

Episode 1:

In the TARDIS, a very nervous Doctor tells K-9 to set the coordinates (not sure why he can’t do it) – when Romana hears the coordinates, she turns around, obviously unhappy about something. He says they cannot resist a summons to Gallifrey and starts talking about seeing Leela and Andred and the previous K-9. While he talks, and has his back to Romana, she slips off, deeper into the TARDIS.

He finds her pouting in her personal quarters. She’s upset that the Time Lords want her back – she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life on Gallifrey. He tells her “You can’t fight Time Lords, Romana,” but she points out that he did. He points out that he lost.

The TARDIS spins through space (not the vortex) – K-9 detects something beyond his comprehension and says he’s lost control of the TARDIS. The Time Lords rush to the control room. K-9 says he has regained control but cannot explain what happened.

Romana says they’ve materialised and they open the scanner; The Doctor says it’s the wilderness outside of Gallifrey, but when they step outside, it most certainly is not Gallifrey. They’re in a lush forest.

In a nearby stream, a group of people harvest melons while others swim and play. Several others, dressed differently, sneak into the encampment and start to steal the melons, but they’re noticed and there’s a chase scene.

The would-be thieves narrowly escape. Their leader, Varsh, is berated by another (named Tylos) who said that he promised it would be easy. A young lady calls their attention to look back at the encampment, where Deceider Draith and his acolyte Dexeter are seen. The would be thieves are worried at the presence of the two men.

Dexeter cuts open one of the fruits, and tells Draith that there is a trace.

Back in the TARDIS, The Doctor checks the scanner screen – it still shows Gallifrey’s desolate wilderness. K-9 asserts the coordinates are correct and Romana confirms it from the console.

The Deceiders talk of signs and theories from fifty years before – each “incident” is preceded by “unfamiliar insect life” and they have found what may be insect eggs in the fruit.

When Dexeter asks if Deceider Draith can confirm the speculation with his sacred knowledge of the system files, Draith chastises Dexeter for asking too many questions, saying the procedure must be obeyed.

In a cave, the thieves, who call themselves Outlers, are approached by a young man who wants to join. His name is Adric and they tell him that he belongs on the starliner. The young woman from before says to ask him the “embarkation question”.

The leader, Varsh, asks Adric, “When the starliner leaves Alzarius, where will you be?” Adric says he believes the starliner will take off, but he won’t be on it, nor will he be on Alzarius, but somewhere else. He says he cannot explain it.

One of the Outlers says there are no Elites allowed in, even for brothers – apparently, Varsh and Adric are brothers, but Varsh says he’s broken all family ties. The young woman mocks Adric, saying he expects special treatment, pointing out his star badge, which he has earned for mathematical excellence.

When she tries to take it from him, he wrestles her to the ground, telling her not to boss him around. When he points out the Outlers can’t even steal fruit, Tylos challenges him to do better.

Two Deceiders and Dexeter are in the lab, examining under a microscope samples from the fruit. The Deceiders say that Dexeter is too young, but one of them says he was a boy when the mists last came.

Adric swims in the water as the Outlers watch from hiding. Adric sneaks into the camp from the water.

Suddenly, the water in the river stars burbling and mist rises up out of it. The people gather about, excited and worried. Deceider Draith and his acolyte arrive, and he pronounces it is mistfall.

Two men swimming in the water thrash about and others rush in to rescue them. Draith calls the citizens together, announcing the coming of mistfall; he assures them there is no need to be alarmed as long as they follow the procedure. He dismisses them, telling them they have two hours.

Adric crawls through the camp sneaking over to the melon pile. Deceider Draith sees him and gives chase. The Outlers split up, heading back to their cave.

Draith chases Adric into the woods. Adric steps into a small hole, falling down. Draith catches up to him, saying he must come, they are closing the starliner. Adric struggles with him and the Deceider is knocked to the ground.

The citizens board the starliner, carrying their possessions. Citizen Login asks if anyone has seen his daughter or any of the Outlers. The two Deceiders from the lab overhear this and approach him. He asks if there’s anything they can do, but the Deceiders say that the Outlers have made their choice. The law cannot be changed for anyone, not even Draith, who has not shown up yet.

Adric tends to the injured, nearly-unconscious Draith. Something in the water pulls Draith in, though Adric struggles to stop it. His last words before being pulled in are, “Tell Dexeter we’ve come full circle!”

The order to sound the siren (a last call for boarding, it seems) is given. The two Deceiders discuss that Draith still has not arrived. If he does not make it, then one of them will be First Deceider, taking Draith’s place. That man says they will need a third and they both regard Login across the room.

Adric rushes through the woods, but stops when he sees the TARDIS.

Inside the TARDIS, Romana hears a banging on the door and opens it, letting Adric in, who collapses.

Back at the camp, Varsh argues with the others, saying mistfall is a myth. Tylos and the girl (who must be Login’s daughter) say the others believe in it, but Varsh scoffs. He claims that the Deceiders have “taking these things and twisted them to their advantage”.

Tylos says if he’s wrong, they’re dead.

The Doctor tends to Adric’s wound. Adric stirs, saying he has to warn them… mistfall isn’t a myth, he has to warn the Outlers.

On the ship, the Deceiders give the orders to seal the doors. Login protests, worried about his daughter. The Deceiders tell him that the air out there cannot support life, they must seal the doors. Reluctantly, Login acknowledges the wisdom and states they must redouble the embarkation efforts.

The new First Deceider applauds his sentiment. The two Deceiders tell Login they thought of seeking his advice on choosing a third Deceider.

The Time Lords discuss the oligarchy of Adric’s people. Romana then mentions that maybe Adric was hallucinating about the mist. Adric wanders into the console room, talking about the blue box.

The Doctor talks about the coordinates, suggesting they’re in negative coordinates. This idea horrifies Romana, who says if that were true, they were out of “real space” altogether.

The Doctor and K-9 go outside to examine the outside; K-9 says the composition of the fog seems to be non-toxic.

When Adric says he must go warn the Outlers, Romana gives him a homing device so he can return to the TARDIS and asks how his knee is. He says it is healed, which Romana questions, until he takes off the bandage to show her – there’s no sign of injury at all!

At the river side, K-9 alerts The Doctor to something. As they watch, humanoid creatures rise up out of the water, looking like Creatures from the Black Lagoon… and the credits roll.

I vaguely recall Adric’s brother, so I must have seen this before, or at least parts. A rather enjoyable one so far, lots of mystery and an interesting set up. And, of course, a rather fun cliffhanger, especially for a Creature of the Black Lagoon fan such as myself.

Episode 2:

The creatures lumber out of the river onto the shore, hissing and making gutteral sounds. The Doctor and K-9 move out of sight.

Adric has made it to the Outler cave, warning his brother and Tylos about Deceider Draith’s death. The girl arrives, confirming that the starliner has been sealed. Varsh says maybe he was wrong, and they’ll have to go to the TARDIS. Adric tries to make excuses to prevent that, even claiming he doesn’t know what it is, but Tylos holds up the beacon that Adric had JUST given him to prove his story. (Adric’s kinda dumb for a smart kid.)

The creatures move about, having some difficulty breathing, and The Doctor speculates that they are acclimatising, and noting they seem to be doing so rather quickly. He sends K-9 to follow them.

Back at the river, a straggler creature comes out of the water and encounters The Doctor. The Time Lord greets the creature, who turns and runs away.

How odd… I usually get along terribly well with children,” The Doctor comments as the creature flees.

Romana works out some figures on paper, murmuring about negative coordinates. The Outlers and Adric arrive, Varsh telling her that they’re taking over her ship.

On the starliner, the new First Deceider, Nefred is approached by by Garif. Nefred has just seen the system files and the knowledge he holds now is overwhelming. (Quick note – Garif is played by Alan Rowe. This is his fourth, and last, appearance in Doctor Who – first seen as Dr. Evans in THE MOONBASE, Edward of Wessex in THE TIME WARRIOR, and most recently as Colonel Skinsale in THE HORROR OF FANG ROCK.)

Garif says that Login would be a great choice for the third Deceider. Login enters just then and says that he accepts the post as Deceider. He confirms that his first responsibility to the community and the embarkation.

K-9 follows the… school? Tribe? Herd… not sure the proper term of creatures.

On the TARDIS, Romana struggles with Tylos, who is trying to force her at knife point to comply with their demands. Adric steps in and struggles with Tylos, the knife falling to the floor. Romana picks it up and hands it to Tylos. She asks them what they want, and Varsh says it’s the mistfall.

Concerned for The Doctor, she steps to the console, and flips a switch, but suddenly, they’re all cast about wildly. Romana seems uncertain of what happened.

The Doctor arrives, to find the TARDIS gone. A creature watches him from afar.

Romana says that something has picked up the TARDIS.

The Doctor walks to the starliner, finding the doors sealed. He presses a doorbell (on a space ship, really?) and knocks. Using his sonic screwdriver, he opens the door and enters. The first gallery is empty, but he finds a fruit and a knife and sticks the knife in the fruit.

He then wanders down corridors, looking for anyone. The creature follows him in and takes the knife. When The Doctor returns to the gallery, he finds the knife missing from the fruit.

First Deceider Nefred speaks to an assemblage, talking of their ancestors journeying from Terradon, saying that they are enclosed in the ship as their forebears once were. He says that though they have lost the planet, they are not of it and the ship is their truest home. His message is broadcast throughout the ship to various groups of citizens who listen and he talks of redoubling their efforts to achieve embarkation.

The Doctor flips through a large tome before deciding to go wandering again. This time he closes the outside door before heading down a corridor.

The TARDIS seems to have come to a stop. Tylos says he wants to get out. Keara, the girl (Login’s daughter), quotes the legend of mistfall, speaking of the giants of the swamp. Romana opens the scanner, but it still shows Gallifrey (though the scene there has changed, too.)

Romana says they’d need a local image translator to see what was outside, but Adric suggests looking out the door. (Yeah, she’s pretty slow at times, too.) When she does, she finds the TARDIS is in a cave, filled with a group of the creatures.

The Doctor moves through the ship, evading a group of citizens. The creature follows him, and The Doctor senses (and smells) it, and finds the dropped knife, but doesn’t see the creature.

A group of citizens see the creature and recognising it as a “marsh creature”, they corner it, but The Doctor tells them to be gentle, that the creature is terrified. The Doctor makes progress with the creature, but one of the citizens attacks him, striking him on the back of the head and then they grab the creature.

The Doctor is brought before the Deceiders and the creature is brought in, trapped in a net. Garif says it should be taken to Dexeter for study, but again The Doctor pleas for treating it kindly. The Deceiders introduce themselves, saying they have to questions for The Doctor.

The marsh creatures bang on the TARDIS, seeking entry. When K-9 arrives, they stop. Romana opens the door and watches as one of the creatures knocks K-9’s head off.

Keara asks why the creatures chose that cave – and Varsh confirms that it was the Outler cave. Romana had made a guess that the marsh creatures think the TARDIS is some sort of boulder. When Romana asks why the Outlers chose that cave, they said because it had a great view of the valley and they could keep an eye on the starliner.

Romana and Adric realise the creatures want to use the TARDIS as a boulder to roll into the starliner.

The Deceiders ask The Doctor about Draith’s death. The Doctor says that Draith was dragged into the marsh (though he doesn’t say how he knows that.) He asks them why the creatures bear the citizens ill will and the Deceiders say they are investigating that but suspect because they are intruders to this world.

It comes about that The Doctor was exposed to the mists; Login questions how this could be if the mists are fatal. Nefred says that, as First Deceider, he knows the mists are not lethal, but he also knows why the citizens must believe that they are. Login realises that Keara may still be alive.

Dexeter enters and they question if he has examined the marsh child. Dexeter says it is useless, it doesn’t demonstrate any of the typical traits – no aggression. The Doctor says he begs to differ and offers a second scientific opinion.

Adric asks how they can operate the ship from within a cave, but before Romana can try to explain, Keara says the creatures are leaving. Romana and the youths exit, seeing a large spider that has frightened the marshmen. As they watch, more hatch out of the river fruit stored in the cave.

The youths run back in the TARDIS, as Romana (rather stupidly, these are the size of housecats) says, “They’re ONLY spiders…” repeatedly. Inside the TARDIS , the youths press buttons until the TARDIS takes off.

Romana meanwhile, suddenly doesn’t feel they’re ONLY spiders, apparently, and starts to panic as one approaches her. She picks up a river fruit to use as a weapon, but a spider pops out and bites her on the face.

She collapses… and the credits roll.

Well, that would be a great cliffhanger, but they’re ONLY spiders…

See you tomorrow for the second half!