Have never seen this to my knowledge, don’t have the foggiest idea what it is about. Let’s find out, shall we?

Episode 1:

We open with an austere looking house. Inside, an elevator opens and two women, one a serving maid, exit. A secret door is accessed and behind that is an iron door. The non-maid woman (dressed all in black and looking severe) opens a slot and says, “I’ve brought you your dinner and a copy of the Times,” and then she shuts it. Using a rod, she opens the bottom part of the door, sliding it up.

The maid places the tray she carries inside the hole and it is snatched away violently.

We see a clock. The time is 5:50, presumably in the evening.

Someone is rining at the door and a woman opens the door, letting in a man who introduces himself as “the Reverend Ernest Matthews”. The servant is surprised, saying he was not expected until that evening.

The TARDIS materialises. Ace exits, saying it’s either a laboratory or a nursery. Apparently, she’s being tested, evaluating where they are on her own. She calls out to The Doctor, describing it, saying it’s safe, that she’s presumes they’re on Earth. She calls the equipment “prehistoric”.

The Doctor gets out and sits on a rocking horse. She guesses they’re in a Victorian time, but he says, “It’s a surprise.”

The clock shows 5:55 now. Several women servants make a rush for the door, saying, “Heaven help anyone who is still here after dark.”

Ace asks if this is a haunted house, saying she’s got “a thing about haunted houses” and that “one was enough… never again.”

The clock chimes six. New serving maids are seen. A man (whom we don’t see much of) tells a severe looking young woman that she should go greet their guests.

Ace and The Doctor poke about. Ace chats up a large preserved (stuffed/mounted) bird. The Doctor doesn’t find it funny. They stop, seeing a snuff box that turns out to be radioactive, but also marked with the letters RFC. As they examine it, they meet a man who is part of the RGS – Royal Geographic Society – and says he’s in search of Redvers Fenn-Cooper and this is the first piece of evidence he’s seen.

He is, of course, horrified by Ace’s state of undress (you can see her shoulders and her ankles, apparently.) After taking the snuff box, he walks off, and they follow.

All the while, a stuffed bird seems to be watching them with glowing red eyes, though they don’t notice.

A secret panel in a door opens and the severe woman and maid exit. The maid lines up with a bunch of other maids.

The Reverend enters the room, irate that he’s been “ringing for attention since before six o’clock” and demands to see the master of the house. The severe woman approaches him silently. He says that if he is not satisfied, he will be forced to leave with bad news and the “royal society” will condemn the master of the house.

As he turns to leave, the young woman we saw earlier (dressed in all white, thus far, unique) enters and apologises to Reverend Matthews. She introduces herself as “Mister Smith’s ward,” and the Reverend identifies her as “Gwendolyn”.

She assures him that Mister Smith will be joining him soon.

The explorer continues to walk about and talk, The Doctor and Ace following. They enter a room filled with hunting/exploring trophies of all sorts. Ace wants to leave, saying it gives her the creeps and their companion is a “head case”.

As they talk, the “head case” takes a rifle out of a cabinet and levels it at them.

spoiler warning

A man on a phone (or maybe an in-house communication phone) assures someone he will be there shortly. As he turns about, we see he is… well, he looks a bit neanderthalic. Hunched over, big jutting brow. He goes over to a door (looks to be the same that the food was passed through) and says “Poor silent (unintelligible).”

After the neanderthal turns away, we see someone behind the door is looking out through the peep-hole and says in a sinister/metallic voice, “Not silent now,” but apparently the neanderthal is already far enough away not to hear.

The man with the gun talks about Redvers encounter with pygmies and talking about Conan Arthur Doyle appreciating the story. The Doctor tries to placate him, asking him to tell him what else he’s discovered here. He talks about bright light, burning through his eyes into his mind.

Ace tries to disarm him, to no avail. He goes on talking about Redvers hunting and when The Doctor dashes away, before he can fire the gun, the curtain on the window is pulled aside and the man sees his reflection.

There. There you are, old chap, Redvers, I’ve found you. What have they done to you, you look like a ghost,” he says to his reflection. (Yeah, had a feeling that was the case.)

The Doctor tells Ace that the man saw something “too big for him to handle” and it broke his mind. He sends Ace to fetch help, even though she complains it would blow their cover.

As Ace opens the door, the severe woman in black and several maids enter. She addresses Fenn-Cooper saying she’s been worried. She ignores The Doctor’s attempt to introduce himself and Ace and takes the snuff box out of F-C’s pocket.

She strong-arms F-C and he begins begging “Not the interior, please,” as she guides him away. The maids follow, leaving the neanderthal with The Doctor and Ace. The neanderthal/butler explains that the “gentleman has fits of distracted behavior and for his own safety, must be confined.”

The butler says that his master, Mister Smith, invites them to join the other guests. We learn the butler’s name is Nimrod. The Doctor says they would be delighted.

Gwendolyn tells the Reverend that “Uncle Josiah” is a great man, as Nimrod leads The Doctor and Ace into the waiting room. The Reverend mistakes The Doctor for Mister Smith and greets him. The Reverend is taken aback by Ace’s exposed flesh.

The Reverend says the stories are true, he has no decency and parades his “wantons” about in front of his guests. The Reverend suggests this is one of “Mister Smith’s” experiments, taunting that perhaps she’ll “evolve into a young lady”.

No such luck,” The Doctor says as Ace gets in the Reverend’s face. He pulls Ace away, calling her Eliza. I wonder if we’ll sing about the rains in the plains of Spain?

Nimrod tries to explain, but The Doctor cuts him off, giving him a fang of a cave-bear and sending him to fetch some tea.

Gwendolyn says she thinks Reverend Matthews is confused. “Never mind,” The Doctor replies, “I’ll have him completely bewildered by time I’m finished.” Ace chimes in, “I’ll help.”

The Doctor asks if Gwendolyn can help Ace find something more suitable to wear. Gwendolyn happily agrees and takes “Alice” away for that purpose.

The Doctor, still intentionally not correcting Matthews of his error, confronts him about his theories appalling the religious man.

Matthews says, “You are a worse scoundrel than Darwin.” Wow, that’s pretty impressive.

Just then, a man in sunglasses enters, complaining about the light. The lights in the room are dimmed. The Doctor guesses this must be Smith and introduces himself and the Reverend.

The Doctor sees some mounted moths, and Smith goes on about the variety within a species and their adaptation, suggesting it is in relation to the smoke from the factories.

Darwinian clap-trap,” Matthews asserts.

Outside, lightning flashes and thundre rumbles.

Inside, Fenn-Cooper sits in a room, in a straight-jacket. Something in the room begins glowing brightly.

Ace and Gwendolyn are, presumably changing clothes when they hear a scream. Ace says something is happening and they should investigate. Gwendolyn says she can’t go out dressed like that, but Ace says she can.

Fenn-Cooper screams, looking at the glowing whatever it is.

The severe woman stands outside F-C’s door, holding a candle. The girls, dressed in men’s clothing, arrive, Gwendolyn asking Miss Pritchard what is happening.

Ace struggles to get in, but cannot. The Doctor and Smith and Nimrod arrive and The Doctor tells Ace this is no way for a gentleman to behave. She protests she’s no gentleman. Smith is curious about Gwendolyn’s transformation, and she says it was Ace’s idea.

Nimrod is instructed to open the door and he gets the key from Pritchard. As she walks past Smith, her candle flares, hurting his eyes. Nimrod opens the door and the bright light within does the same to Smith.

The Doctor orders Ace to shield her eyes. He goes in with Nimrod, who tries to stop him from approaching Fenn-Cooper. F-C goes on about how “he went quite mad, you know?”

Nimrod pushes The Doctor out and Pritchard grabs Ace by the pony tail and they go down the hall. They’re led back to the waiting room, The Doctor demanding to see Fenn-Cooper, but he is told that is out of the question and he’s being taken care of.

Ace wants to know what the light was and why Fenn-Cooper was scared of it.

Nimrod personally assures them that Fenn-Cooper is being “made comfortable and will come to no harm.”

Only the madman may see the path clearly through the tangled forest,” The Doctor says. Nimrod replies that The Doctor has the wisdom of the elders of his tribe.

Smith sends Nimrod off to perform his duties.

Ace whispers to The Doctor, asking if Nimrod is a neanderthal. The Doctor confirms that he is, saying he’s the finest example he’s ever seen.

Nimrod goes to a room and walls slide away, revealing some high tech console. He kneels before it, placing his hands upon it.

We see through the viewpoint of someone else, approaching Nimrod from the side. Nimrod is clubbed and we hear the metallic voice ask, “Did that hurt? Good.”

At dinner, Ace says she still hasn’t worked out where this place is. Matthews says he is still waiting for Smith’s “blasphemous theories” to be explained.

Ace asks what theories, but The Doctor says it’s Darwin’s theories. They mock Matthews, stage-whispery, and the Reverend stands up, going on about Smith’s theories about man serving nature else they become extinct.

Before Smith can do more than seem surprised that Matthews knows his theories, the phone rings and Smith goes away. “Damned telephonic machines,” Matthews grumbles.

Smith gets on the phone machine, yelling at Nimrod not to call him now. There’s no response and Smith calls out for Nimrod, but the metallic voice replies.

The Doctor appears and asks if he can help, but Ace starts calling out for him and he leaves to find her. She’s finally realised this is Gabriel Chase and they’re in Perivale. She’s mad at him for tricking her and runs off.

He gives chase after a hesitation, and finds her in one of the studies. He asks her what she sensed when she was thirteen. She says she never wanted to come back here again. He asks if she wants to learn what is here and she says no, but he keeps pressing.

She finally says that whatever she sensed her was alien.

Matthews joins Smith in another sitting room and asks the Reverend to give him further indulgence, as some other matter has arisen that demands his attention. Matthews says he’s come this far, he’s not leaving without “full satisfaction”.

Pritchard covers Matthews’ face with a cloth soaked in chloroform or summat, right after Smith asks her to make sure Matthews’ time goes as quickly as possible. Smith laughs as he watches.

Gwendolyn plays a tune on a piano and sings.

Ace tells The Doctor that as kids, she and her best mate used to out-dare each other. She talks about white kids firebombing some flat. She says after that she didn’t care and that’s why she took the dare to go into Gabriel Chase. She needed to get away, but it was horrible within.

He asks her to tell him what she saw, but just then Smith enters, calling out to The Doctor. Ace dashes out and Smith closes the door, with a somewhat menacing demeanor to his approach.

Ace dashes down the staircase, observed by Pritchard. Ace takes the elevator down.

Smith tells The Doctor that he needs his help. The Doctor says that it can’t be easy, “so far away from home, struggling to adapt to an alien environment”.

Smith claims to be “as human as you are,” and The Doctor agrees. Smith says he’s afflicted with an enemy, a vile creature waiting for him and asks for The Doctor’s assistance, offering him money, even though Smith offers him five thousand pounds.

Ace exits the elevator. Something is watching her through a peephole. She wanders about the basement, and finds Nimrod. The metallic voice calls out to her, sibilant and almost unintelligible, other than “Ratkin.” A curtain pulls aside and two humanoids, one with an insect head, the other either lizard or fish, stand but gesture to her.

Ace backs away as the voice keeps calling “Ratkin,”… and the credits roll.

Meh. I mean, the story is cool, but the cliffhanger is meh.

Wednesday, folks!

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