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24 September 2014

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The Chief Engineer asks Robson for permission to check for blockages in the impeller shaft.

Alien heartbeat

Robson refuses, and strides into the control room for another angry confrontation with Van Lutyens.

In the Harris living quarters, Victoria insists she saw the sprig of seaweed move like a spider. The Doctor gingerly lifts it with a pair of tongs and puts it into a polythene bag.

The Doctor recommends that Harris puts his wife under medical supervision. While he leaves to arrange it, the Doctor and his friends reflect on their newfound freedom.

Content that Maggie is sleeping peacefully, the Doctor takes Jamie and Victoria back to the TARDIS to conduct some experiments on the seaweed.

They fail to notice the weed-growth slowly consuming Maggie's hand.

Alien heartbeat

Back in the Gas Refinery, Van Lutyens is unhappy. 'There's something down there,' he insists. Robson ignores him, and says he wants the impeller working again within half an hour.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor submerges the seaweed in a tank and exposes it to natural gas.

The Doctor and Jamie peer into the tank, looking for any sign of an effect.

Victoria's experiments indicate that the weed is emitting a toxic gas.

Jamie observes a sample of weed under a microscope, and announces he can see 'little wriggly things.' The Doctor tells him that this is molecular movement. 'This,' says Victoria, 'means that the weed is just as much alive as you and me.'

Van Lutyens tries to get Harris's support in the battle of wits with Robson. Harris remains preoccupied with his wife's illness.

Robson is furious that Harris left the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria unattended. He reminds Harris that they are prisoners – and probably saboteurs.

A voice on the intercom announces that the impeller is once again moving. Robson feels vindicated at the news.

It grinds to a halt again in moments. 'Don't you realise that what is going here is beyond your comprehension?' asks Van Lutyens.

The Chief Engineer protests that the fault must be at the base. Robson rounds on the two men furiously before heading for his quarters.

Harris wants to join Maggie, who is being taken to the medicare unit by orderlies. Van Lutyens implores him to stay.

'Robson is cracking up,' Van Lutyens tells Harris. 'You are the only man with authority to take over. We need you here.'

The Chief Engineer reluctantly concurs that Robson is under a lot of pressure.

Harris suggests that they should present a concerted front to Robson – they must find out what's in the impeller shaft.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor shows his companions an 18th century illustration of what he believes is the weed creature. Victoria confirms it is what attacked her in the oxygen store room.

The weed in the tank has grown, and begins to emit toxic gas. It becomes agitated and its tendrils prize off the lid.

Alien heartbeat

The Doctor and Jamie quickly jam the lid back on. The Doctor realises that the seaweed is feeding off the refined gas in the North Sea and emitting a toxic gas of its own.

'I will not listen!' shouts Robson, accusing his colleagues of attempting to undermine his authority. 'I'm in charge here!' he screams before storming out and going to his quarters.

Van Lutyens decides to contact his superiors in the Hague. Robson is clearly no longer fit to command.

A fuming Robson arrives at his quarters and closes the door behind him.

He lies on his bed and tries to relax, but he is soon disturbed.

Someone approaches Robson's quarters.

A gloved hand extends to the controls alongside the door.

Mr Oak and Mr Quill's theme

'Who's there?' calls Robson. 'Go away – I'm not to be disturbed.'

Mr Oak hears Robson calling out but says nothing.

Mr Oak and Mr Quill's theme

His gloved hand operates the emergency vent control and the slats inside Robson's quarters slide open.

Robson chokes as toxic gas fills the room. Hearing a noise he looks up at the ventilation grille.

Weed-impregnated foam swarms through the ventilator – and onto Robson's face.

Alien heartbeat

Robson's frenzied screams alert Harris, who is pushed out of the way as Robson staggers from his quarters.

The Doctor thanks Victoria for helping him through the window of the Harris's locked flat. They soon notice the now familiar stench of toxic gas.

The Doctor sends Jamie to investigate the kitchen. In the bedroom, the Doctor and Victoria see a huge weed and foam-creature surging across the floor.

A huge tendril lashes out at them. Victoria screams, and before their eyes the creature recedes.

Victoria's Screams

In the kitchen, Jamie is trapped by a wall of foam and flailing seaweed. He frantically calls out for help.

Jamie is marooned on a table amidst the swarming weed and its foam.

The Doctor rushes to his rescue, and tears down some long curtains from the hallway.

The Doctor knots the curtains together as a makeshift rope. Jamie ties the lifeline around a table-leg.

The Doctor drags the semi-conscious Scotsman to safety and carries him back to the ESGO compound.

Harris closes the grille in Robson's quarters and tells Price to alert the security posts about Robson's unstable condition. Harris adds that all emergency ventilators are to be kept shut.

Harris contacts Megan Jones, the director of Euro Sea Gas, to tell her that he has assumed command. The Doctor returns to tell him that the intelligent seaweed is responsible for their problems.

'This seaweed happens to be dangerously alive,' says the Doctor. Oak and Quill take careful note of his announcement.

The Doctor adds that the organism is parasitical and potentially lethal.

The Doctor is alarmed to learn that Maggie Harris has not yet been taken to the medicare centre. Where could she be?

Maggie stands on the beach, staring blankly at the sea before her.

Robson appears in the distance, and calmly makes his way towards her. They are both under the influence of the seaweed.

'You know what you must do,' she tells him. 'You will obey.'

Robson watches impassively as Maggie unflinchingly marches into the water.

She wades into the sea, and the waves soon engulf her...
NEXT WEEK: The monster comes to the surface

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