Recap: The Doctor brings Ace to a mansion called Gabriel Chase, one she visited in the 1980s, but it’s almost 100 years earlier. It was a rundown haunted house in Ace’s time, but strange things are about even now. There seems to be an alien presence there…

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Gwendolyn enters the sitting room and opens a drawer. It’s filled with moths. She closes it and opens the next, and again, then the third. The Doctor creeps in, watching her.

The third drawer has a man in a police uniform in it. Gwendolyn says it’s one of her favourites in the whole collection, “It’s from Java.” She’s either completely nuts or is under some control to not realise what it is.

She says Reverend Matthews will be going to Java soon and wonders if he’ll see her father. She says Uncle Josiah sent her father to Java, “After he saw what was in the cellar.”

In the cellar, Ace struggles with the two creatures. They drag her over to the door where the voice calls “Revenge, Ratkin!”

Nimrod comes to Ace’s rescue, holding the creatures off with a lamp, but the voice orders them to get rid of the lamp and one of them smashes it out of Nimrod’s hand.

The Doctor finds Josiah, demanding to know where Ace is. He says he doesn’t know. Smith asks if The Doctor has considered his offer, but the Time Lord says he won’t play the part of assassin for him.

Miss Pritchard tells The Doctor that Ace has retired for the evening, and offers to show him to his room. Gwendolyn comes up behind him with a candle “to light you to bed”, she tells him.

The Doctor refuses, saying Ace needs his help. He blows out the candle and storms towards the doors to the lift, but several maids armed with guns stop him.

Nimrod struggles with Ace (who wants to smash things), saying the sleeping one must not be woken. As they struggle, they both crash into a glowing eye-shaped wall.

Alarms go off and the maids seem to lose (or perhaps regain) control of their selves. The Doctor pulls out his radiation detector and places it to the back of Josiah’s head, who was distracted, wondering what they’ve done. He orders the maids to open the lift.

The eye pulses and there seems to be gas/pressure escaping from somewhere, but I don’t see it. Ace calls out to Nimrod, but he kneels upright, motionless, unresponsive.

Lightning crashes outside.

The Doctor and Josiah make the basement and find Ace. Josiah demands to know what has been done to his “observatory”. The Doctor gives Ace the gun and orders her to keep Smith covered.

Gwendolyn begins crying. The maids and Pritchard watch as the girl sits down, whining about why her daddy went to Java and where her mama is.

Pritchard chastises her, saying her mother would be ashamed if she could hear her, seeing her “dressed like a music hall trollop”. Pritchard says it’s The Doctor’s fault.

The Doctor patches the leak and says that Nimrod disturbed whatever is hibernating within the glowy eye shaped thing. Josiah pleads with him not to touch it.

Ace says he’s scared of it, too, like the others. Josiah says that he must stop the energy escape.

Don’t worry, I always leave these things until the last moment,” The Doctor says.

Genetic codes show up on the view screens. Ace realises that they’re in “a stone spaceship”. The Doctor says the owner won’t be pleased.

Josiah gets a gun, pointing it at them (since Ace walked over to view the genetic codes, like a dumb ass), saying, “I am the real owner”. The Doctor scoffs, calling him “part of the cargo”, but stops when he sees the gun pointed at him.

Smith goes on, “You’re so smug and self-satisfied, Doctor.”

I try,” The Doctor replies.

Ace, pointing her gun (bit late for that, dumb ass), tells him to drop his, but he knows the ‘gun’ is a radiation detector and tells her so. He tells The Doctor they’re going to help him stablise the reactor before it explodes.

The voice/thing behind the door is watching all this, whispering about being free.

The Doctor and Ace approach the console with has rods and he whispers to her, “Just do what I do when I do it.” She snarks, “Very helpful!”

The Doctor and Ace quip about “skeletons in the closet, husks in the basement” and “bats in the belfry” as Josiah yells at them to lower the first rod. The Doctor tells him he’ll “never evolve into a nice gentleman if you continue to shout”.

Ace asks if the husks (the ones that attacked her and Nimrod) used to be Josiah, something The Doctor asserted earlier. The Doctor replies, “Yes. Not much improvement on the reptile, is he?”

Smith gets closer, shoving his gun in The Doctor’s face, demanding he do as he orders. The Doctor yells, “Now,” and he and Ace shove the rods down. The Doctor pulls something off the wall and gas pours out.

Smith is caught in the face and falls to the ground, clutching his face. Ace grabs his gun and levels it at him while The Doctor tampers with the eye-shaped bit, and the light behind it changes from amber to azure.

The Doctor says congratulations are in order, but Ace doesn’t think so, indicating the husks, which are animated again.

The voice cries out, “Give me freeness!” The door begins opening and everyone, including Nimrod, runs to the lift. The voice speaks, referring to itself as ‘Control’, saying it deserves to be free, locked away for so long.

Smith, devoid of his glasses, tells The Doctor that it is a depraved monster, but the Time Lord asks, “Depraved or deprived?” One of the husks’ arms has impeded them from closing the lift door, but they finally fight it off and are able to ascend.

Pritchard and the maids stand, waiting. She tells them, “They’re coming,” and then looks at the clock, which reads 4:35, saying, “It’s almost first light.” Wow, the sun rises early…

Smith is weak, unable to stand. Ace says he’s getting weak and The Doctor says he’s evolving to his next stage. Some of Smith’s skin is flaking off his face.

The Doctor and Ace exit the lift, but are greeted by gun-weilding maids. Smith steps out, saying, “I’ve sealed the lower observatory, let Control rot down there!”

Pritchard is worried about Smith and has several maids help him to the upper observatory. He says it’s getting light and gives orders to secure the house. Gwendolyn, standing above, calls out, “Uncle,” in concern.

The Doctor, watching all this, tells Ace, “We won’t see them until nightfall.” They help Nimrod out of the lift, The Doctor making a joke about Smith changing into one of those husks.

Gwendolyn follows them.

The sun rises outside.

Reverend Matthews is sleeping until Smith, looking far the worse – large flaky bits falling off his face, fires a gun (at a target of Queen Victoria, not sure the relevance of that) to wake up the religious man.

Somehow, he’s not remotely upset at being woken in such a fashion. Me, I’d be pissed off if someone woke me with a gunshot. Instead, he bitches about being kept waiting so long.

When Matthews sees Smith isn’t feeling well, he suggests it’s “divine retribution for your blasphemy”. Yeah, not a fan of Josiah Smith, but still not liking Matthews, either. They debate evolution and the like. Smith offers Matthews some fruit and the Reverend takes a banana, while proclaiming that Man has been the same since the Garden of Eden, “…and he was never, ever a chattering, gibbering ape.”

That’s funny. Banana, while discussing evolution. (Yes, I know we’re not directly descended from apes, more the shame, but that’s still funny.)

Josiah laughs, much to Matthews’ consternation. Suddenly, the Reverend sees that his hands are becoming hairy and ape-like.

Gwendolyn asks if Nimrod can be woken, but The Doctor tells her not to rush him, saying they’ve got all day before Josiah shows his face. Ace is reading a book, meanwhile, seemingly intently.

She says that Josiah is “lucifigus”. The Doctor quips, “Yes. He doesn’t like light, either.”

The Doctor then answers Ace’s question about the spaceship, saying he fixed it and Josiah “knows as much about it as a hamburger knows about the Amazon desert.”

Ace scores some points with her reply, “Sounds a bit like you and the TARDIS.”

Gwendolyn realises that it’s light outside and shouts, “Light,” dashing from the room. The Doctor tells Ace to let her go and again asks his companion what frightened her so much when she entered this house in 1983. However, Ace has fallen asleep already.

Gwendolyn returns to her Uncle Josiah, who is still seated with Matthews. She is worried about his state, his health. He replies that he is sick at heart, but soon will restore the British Empire to its former glory.

Matthews, half-talking, half-making chimp noises, says they’re no better than animals. Smith says Matthews is becoming tedious and gives Gwendolyn the chloroform, saying it’s time for the Reverend to go.

And where is he going,” Gwendolyn asks.

To Java,” is Smiths’ reply.

The Doctor says it’s time to call out the constabulary, and opens the drawer with the police officer in it. He snaps his fingers until the Inspector’s eyes open.

Ace wakes up in bed, when the day serving lady opens the curtains in her room. She sets down a tray of eggs, toast, kedgeree, kidney, sausage and bacon. Damn.

Ace replies, “Cholesterol City,” but she corrects her, “No, dear, Perivale Village.”

The woman tells Ace that The Doctor and the “police gentleman” are expecting her, but she says she’ll pass, wanting to check out the village before lunch. Ace is shocked to learn it’s almost five pm.

The woman says she must hurry, “No one in their right mind stays in this house after dark.”

The Doctor tends to Nimrod, who is still out. He says if he didn’t know better, he’d think this was deliberate, and remarks it only took ten minutes to revive the civilised police inspector.

Speaking of, the inspector comes in, eating a sandwich, saying the house is deserted. The Doctor says that Smith will appear. The inspector, seeing Nimrod, shows his Victorian bias, judging him to be a foreigner, likely “gypsy blood” and saying they’re all lazy.

9+666666666666666666666666666666666666**9———————————–

That last line was courtesy of one of my cats, not sure which. But there you have it.

The Doctor tells the inspector that Nimrod has been mesmerised.

From beneath the lift, a hand reaches up. Control’s sibilant voice says, “Control is free to chaaaaaange…”

Ace arrives and The Doctor tells her that Inspector MacKenzie has been there for two years, in a cupboard, as he was originally sent in 1881 to investigate the disappearance of the owner, George Pritchard.

The Doctor makes introductions and the inspector tries to get some answers from her, to no avail. The Doctor finally gets Nimrod to respond to the word “light”. He calls upon the fang of the cave bear to get Nimrod to speak.

Outside the door, a hooded/cloaked figure, presumably one of the husks, or perhaps Control itself, stands.

Nimrod takes the fang, fully animated now. He speaks of herding mammoths, wise men using hunting magic. Ace asks The Doctor if this is racial memory, but The Doctor says no, these are Nimrod’s own recollections.

Nimrod says the wild world is gone, replaced by “a desert of smoke and straight lines”. That’s a great way to describe a city.

The figure at the door leaves.

Light will return,” Nimrod says, and the figure echoes it, as it enters the lift and descends.

The Doctor, Inspector and Ace leave the room. The Inspector says he wants to search the house once more. The Doctor says that’s a good idea, but to be back by six, as “the forces of darkness don’t wait until midnight”.

Ace recognises that the lift is repaired and points it out to The Doctor. He tells her he repaired it. He speaks loudly, obviously intent on Control hearing him, saying that he fixed the lift and hoped Control would bring something with it.

As they walk away from the lift, Ace asks what’s going on. She follows him back into the study, asking again. He tells her to be quiet and starts pacing, saying that Josiah and Control are afraid of it, Fenn-Cooper saw it and lost his mind, Nimrod worships it.

The Doctor says, whatever it is, is asleep in the spaceship, and Josiah doesn’t want it awoken. Ace suggests it might be a good idea to leave it alone.

It’s very, very old,” he replies, “perhaps even older. Just one chat.” Ace turns away, disappointed, and notices Nimrod is gone. When she asks The Doctor where he went, the reply is, “Gone to see a man about a god.”

They hear chirping of insects and open a drawer, seeing the moths are alive. He sends Ace to fetch the Inspector, saying things “are hotting up quicker than I expected”.

Nimrod goes to see Fenn-Cooper, seeking wisdom. He tells him that the Burning One is waking and asks what to do. Fenn-Cooper says to seek out what he must, but be warned, he may find it. Nimrod offers to free Fenn-Cooper of his bonds, but F-C opens his arms, saying The Doctor did so hours ago.

In the spaceship, control pushes the rods down, saying the light is angry, but not at him. As the rods are pushed in, the glass eye (glowing yellow anew) shatters and control and the husks recoil.

The Inspector pokes around, and stops, hearing a screech. Ace finds him, but a door that had been locked opens as they talk and Ace enters.

The Doctor talks to a bug (looks like a roach), saying not to worry, it’ll work it’s way up, but he must go as things are happening.

Ace uncovers the husk of Smith, telling the Inspector that is all that is left of Josiah Smith. She says they should get out, but the Inspector says it’s not dangerous. Other forms are there, covered in sheets and the Inspector uncovers one, identifying her as “Lady Pritchard”.

Ace is surprised at the title. The Inspector says she is Sir George’s wife. He uncovers Gwendolyn next. Ace asks if Gwendolyn is their daughter, but the Inspector doesn’t answer, but wonders, “What is happening in this house?”

They’re just toys, they’re just Josiah’s toys,” Ace says.

They uncover Reverend Matthews, who is mostly transformed into a chimp-man. Ace feels sick.

The Doctor finds Nimrod outside the lift, and asks where Ace is. Nimrod says he does not know, but he must find the Burning One. The Doctor says to wait, “I’ll save you a trip.” He tells Nimrod he’s made “a deal with its agent.”

The lift is active, rising from below. The Doctor wonders where Ace has gone to. Though it is not dark yet, The Doctor says he doesn’t want Josiah to miss the show, and forwards the hands on the clock to six. The clock bell tolls.

Panels open and the evening maids exit from cubbyholes they were standing in all the while, it seems.

Ace wants to leave, but Josiah, Pritchard and Gwendolyn come to and grab them. A younger Josiah enters from another part of the room, laughing. Ace tries opening the curtain, but it’s dark out and he says he needs no longer crouch in shadows.

Pritchard and Young Josiah grab her. Ace says he’s no gentleman, beneath the Victorian veneer, there’s something nasty beneath. He says he’ll see The Doctor squirming yet and they leave, Ace being brought along.

The Inspector frees himself of husk-Josiah.

Nimrod is impressed by The Doctor, saying he is as powerful as he is wise. The Doctor says his action is anything but wise.

The lift is glowing and Nimrod says the Burning One is coming. The Doctor tells him to step back from it, “To catch a wolf, I may have unleashed a tiger.”

Josiah and crew come down the stairs, Smith ordering the lift to be stopped. The Doctor mocks him for evolving into a Victorian, but Smith orders Nimrod to stop the lift.

Nimrod does not listen, and the serving maids grab The Doctor.

The Inspector arrives at the top of the stairs.

The Doctor calls out, “You can come out now, we’re all waiting,” and the lift doors open and a shrouded figure exits.

Control, quintessence of wickedness,” Josiah says, “corruption incarnate!”

Thank you for trusting me, Control,” The Doctor says.

Control removes the shroud, revealing a female form. She says her half agreeing done, what he desires is in the darkness. Josiah rushes forward, to close the lift door, shouting, “Don’t let it out,” but there is a surge of energy and he is cast back.

Control growls, “Too late!”

The Doctor, still restrained by the maids, calls out, “Light?” The lift doors fly open and there is a bright burst. The maids let The Doctor go, Gwendolyn shrieks… and the credits roll.

Okay, so that’s a pretty good one in the “not sure what’s going on, really” sense.

Guess we’ll find out Friday?

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