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22 October 2014

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Jamie and Victoria rush in to point out a giant creature swelling inside the observation pipe. 'The advance guard,' mutters the Doctor.

They shrink back, horrified at the mass of weed, foam and tendrils.

Price frantically tries to contact Rig D, but the radio silence indicates it has fallen to the same fate as the others.

The Doctor remarks that that the first to have fallen under the weed's influence would have been the engineers attempting to clear it when initially drawn up by the drilling.

Megan says that the infected engineers, whoever they may be, must be kept away from Robson – in his unbalanced state he would make an ideal pawn.

Harris recalls that Victoria's assailant in the oxygen store room was wearing a gas mask. He needs little prompting from the Doctor to conclude that the saboteur would need such protection 'because to him pure oxygen would be toxic.'

Harris suggests using pure oxygen as a weapon against the weed and, although Megan concurs, the Doctor recommends caution.

Outside the door to the oxygen store room, Oak and Quill put on their gas masks before entering.

Price reports that Robson has been located in his cabin. Megan tells Harris she wants to see Robson; they are old friends and she feels he may confide in her.

Megan dismisses Perkins' suggestion that she asks the government to call in the national defences – they cannot risk an attack while there is a chance the rig crews may still be alive.

An armed guard has been placed on duty outside Robson's cabin.

Megan gingerly opens Robson's door and kneels beside the sleeping Controller.

'John,' she speaks softly, 'John... I want to try to help you.' Robson groggily responds that no one can help. He is unable to tell her what has happened.

'Pull yourself together, man!' she orders, and Robson bravely struggles against the mind control before relapsing.

Fearing the worst, Harris rushes in. Robson stares blankly into the distance, oblivious to their presence.

They leave the distressed Robson and discuss possible solutions. They conclude the weed must be destroyed.

'I wish we could go back to the TARDIS,' says Victoria. Jamie once again senses her growing disillusionment with their lifestyle.

The Doctor believes the weed has little alternative but to attack the compound – it is the gas distribution centre. 'We must find a way of attacking its nerve centre before it does,' he urges.

Harris suggests striking back with oxygen and while the Doctor considers this Megan puts the oxygen store room under guard.

'There's something at the back of my mind...' he ponders.

Lying on his bed, Robson finally succumbs to the influence on his mind. His body is already being consumed by the weed growth.

The heartbeat forms an eerie backdrop to telepathic instructions which he immediately obeys. 'Yes...' he intones, 'yes...'

Alien heartbeat

Climbing off his bed he leaves his room, confronting the guard. Opening his mouth he exhales a burst of toxic gas then suffocates him with his hand. Obeying further silent instructions he leaves.

The oxygen store is discovered to be empty, and the Doctor suspects sabotage.

'Someone amongst us here,' deduces the Doctor, 'is under the control of the weed.'

A personnel check, consulting fingerprint records, gets under way. Victoria notices Oak and Quill slipping out of the room, and points out her assailants to Jamie.

They follow the treacherous duo into the corridor.

As Oak escapes, Jamie grapples with Quill. The screams of an alarmed Victoria appear to weaken the saboteur, who then collapses.

The weed in the observation pipe begins to expand, in a similar way to the sample the Doctor examined in the TARDIS.

Alien heartbeat

As the concerned party learns that Robson has attacked a guard, the pipe shatters under the enormous pressure.

A huge weed creature explodes, seething across the room in torrents of foam.

Before the Doctor and Jamie can follow Megan and the beleaguered crew into the impeller room, a safety door slams in their path.

The Doctor rushes to another open exit, and positions himself between the closing doors. Jamie squeezes past and, temporarily safe, they search for Victoria.

Robson drags the kidnapped Victoria through a sea entrance door and into the front of a nearby vehicle.

Throughout the stricken base, emergency klaxons blare out as the crew attempt to seal off the pipeline room and search for Robson.

The commandeered ESGO vehicle speeds towards a waiting helicopter.

The possessed Controller carries his captive out of the vehicle...

... and bundles her into the cockpit of the helicopter.

The rotor blades begin to spin as the helicopter prepares to take off.

Price and Harris monitor the helicopter as it begins its flight. As the Doctor and Jamie rush in, Harris informs them that Victoria is in the helicopter with Robson.

In the cockpit Robson hears a voice on the radio. 'They're trying to control you,' the Doctor warns.

Robson replies that he holds the girl hostage. 'If you want her to live – come over to us.'

Accompanied by the terrified Victoria, Robson continues his flight with grim determination.

The Doctor decides to follow Robson in the hope that he will be led to the weed colony's nerve centre. The Doctor and Jamie head for the airfield.

As Harris continues to monitor Robson's progress, the airborne Doctor reports back his observations. Harris tells the Doctor that Robson has touched down on the control rig complex. The Doctor follows.

From the air, the Doctor and Jamie notice that one of the control rig complex towers is smothered in the foam discharge from the weed.

As their pilot hovers the machine near Robson's parked helicopter, the Doctor and Jamie descend a rope ladder to reach solid ground.

'Come on in,' jokes the Doctor. 'The water's lovely!'

The helicopter pilot agrees to wait for them as they wade through the foam and enter a hatch on the roof of the complex.

'It's like walking into the lion's den,' mutters Jamie.

'We're already in the lion's den,' corrects the Doctor. 'We've got to concentrate on keeping our heads out of his mouth.'

The weed-creature's heartbeat can once again be heard as the Doctor opens the door to a control room. They are confronted by a swamp-like mass of seething foam.

Alien heartbeat

Robson stands calmly in its midst. 'Come in Doctor,' he whispers in a detached and inhuman voice. 'We've been waiting for you.'

NEXT WEEK: How will the Doctor thwart the weed creature?

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