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22 October 2014

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Ben is swung over the side of the Annabelle. Captain Trask looks to Solicitor Grey before giving a nod to one of the sailors.

The rope is then slackened and Ben is dropped into the freezing water below. His body hits the surface with a dull splash, and soon disappears from view.

The rope is hauled back up but Ben is no longer attached. 'He's not escaped?' asks Grey anxiously.

On the other side of the ship, Ben surfaces and gasps for air. His chest heaves as he grips the hull.

Gathering his strength, he starts to swim for the quayside.

Before long he reaches the quay, swims past a covered rowing boat, and hauls himself on to dry land. He is immediately confronted by a redcoat, who stands impassively before him. 'Oh no,' gasps Ben. 'Not after all that. I give up.'

The redcoat says nothing, but reaches for his moustache.

He peels it off, revealing a familiar face underneath. 'It's you Doctor!' says a relieved Ben.

'Who else would be walking around the jetty at this time of night dressed like a soldier who'd been wounded in battle?' says the Doctor. 'It keeps the other soldiers away.'

'I'm cold and hungry,' says Ben. 'I know just the place,' says the Doctor. He hands Ben his musket and shows him the contents of the boat. 'Just a few wee gifties for our friends aboard the Annabelle,' he explains.

Perkins hands Grey the signed and attested signatures. 'A little wine for your cold heart, lawyer?' asks Trask. 'I never mix liquor with business,' says Grey. 'I would advise you to do the same. We sail on the morning tide, remember.'

'What happens if it's too foggy to sail? What then?' asks Trask. 'You sail, fog or no fog,' insists Grey.

'And crash the old girl's timbers on Chanonry Point?' says Trask. 'I took you for a seaman,' spits Grey, slamming his tankard down on the table.

'Trask will get your cargo of little booties to Barbados, never fear,' says the Captain. 'That's what really counts, lawyer. Not those dried up bits of parchment of yours.'
Grey corrects him: 'Without these bits of parchment, we would all sail foul of the King's law.'

Trask asks what would happen if the Duke discovered the Solicitor's illegal trade. 'That will never happen, Trask. There are but three of us privy to this secret. I can answer for myself and Perkins. Eh, Perkins?' Perkins nods. 'Oh, yes sir. Yes sir, indeed you may.'

'As for you, Captain, you must answer for yourself,' says Grey. 'It was but in jest,' says Trask. 'You know me, Solicitor, I'm your man.'

Ben, having been fed, is huddling under a blanket while his clothes dry. Polly asks him how he freed himself from the ropes underwater. 'Well it's the old Houdini trick, duchess. You flex your muscles when they tie you up. Then, when you're ready, you relax them.'

Ben's Great Escape

The Doctor appears, wearing his usual clothes. 'I found them thrown out on the rubbish dump, behind the inn,' he says. Ben puts his dry clothes back on and confirms his role in the plan: 'I take you out to the ship in the rowing boat. Then double round the back smartish while they're sorting you out, and then pass the weapons through the porthole.'

'While Kirsty and I just sit here and wait for you to get back – if you ever do. No fear!' says an indignant Polly. 'We've done enough waiting,' adds Kirsty.

'Very well,' says the Doctor, backing down. 'You shall come in the rowing boat. It might be a good idea at that.' He turns to Ben: 'I've got another idea for you...'.

Calm returns to the hold as the prisoners await their fate. 'I can hardly believe it,' says Willy. 'They've played right into Solicitor Grey's hands. My own crew amongst them.'

'Can you blame them?' says the Laird. 'It's a poor choice between the gallows and the plantations. A man will clutch at any straw to save his skin.'

'I fear they will make an example of us, once Trask gets away to sea... If I could see my Kirsty again I'd die content.'

Trask is conferring with Perkins about the collection of payment for the prisoners when one of the sailors announces a visitor. 'I'm delighted to meet you again, Mr Solicitor Grey,' says the Doctor, once again adopting his German accent.

Grey is furious at the Doctor's audacity but intrigued by his offer of 'a small token'. As the Doctor fumbles in his pockets Trask threatens him, suspecting he is stalling. 'I would advise you to find this token quickly, before I leave you to the tender mercies of Mr Trask,' says Grey.

'Got it!' says the Doctor. He hands the ring over to Grey, who examines it carefully. 'The Stuart arms... where did you get this?'
'From the hand of Prince Charles himself,' says the Doctor.

'Prince Charles disguised himself as a Highlander and was taken prisoner with the rest of the rebels,' continues the Doctor. 'Where is he now?' asks Grey. 'I wonder what that information would be worth?' says the Doctor. 'Shall we say, um, ten thousand guineas?'

Kirsty and Polly steer the rowing boat alongside the hull of the Annabelle. Kirsty looks up at the hold portholes.

She cranes her neck and whispers, 'Father, father,' through one of the portholes.

The Laird hears his daughter's voice. At first he thinks he is dreaming, but when Kirsty calls again he realises she is outside. 'Well child, are you well? They haven't harmed you?'

'Father, there's no time to talk,' says Kirsty, passing the weapons through the porthole. 'We've got arms for all of you and a plan. Can you come closer? Right, now listen.'

Grey agrees to the Doctor's price, and the Doctor reveals that the Prince is in the last place he'd think of looking – 'Right here on this ship!'

'Did you mark the young Highlander who was with me? The piper?' says the Doctor. 'Did you notice his hair? Unmistakable, that was the Prince!'

The Highlanders in the hold pretend to be asleep when they hear the trap door above them being unlocked.

'Quiet,' says Grey, following the Doctor and Trask down the steps. 'If they have any suspicion of for whom we're looking and know him to be here...' Trask uses his lantern to illuminate the faces of the sleeping prisoners.

'Come on, Doctor,' says Trask, moving from one prisoner to another. 'Him? Him?'
'Perhaps he is further over,' the Doctor whispers conspiratorially.

'I've found him,' says the Doctor, pointing at Jamie. 'He's the little one, over there.'

'Creag an tuire!' shouts Jamie as the Highlanders spring to life, brandishing their new-found weapons.

The fighting spills out on to the main deck, where Trask is confronted by his former skipper. 'Now I shall relieve you of your command!' says Willy. 'Not yet, Willy MacKay!' spits Trask.

The two are separated, and Trask rallies his battling crew. 'Right lads, to me! Throw these scurvy swabs over the side! I'm still master here!'
'Not for long mate!' says Ben, appearing behind him.

Jamie rushes over to help Ben, and lays into the Captain.

Jamie and Trask wrestle across the deck. When they reach the edge, Jamie hauls Trask over the side. His body drops into the sea below. 'Where's Trask?' asks Willy. 'In the firth,' says Jamie.

Willy steps up to the bridge and addresses his new crew. 'We sail for France on the next tide. I want willing hands.' They happily volunteer.

The Doctor reunites Kirsty with her father. Polly is delighted to see Ben, who warns her: 'The real job's only just beginning. Getting back to the TARDIS with... the whole English army out to stop us.' The Doctor turns his attention to the Solicitor. 'We'll take Mr Grey ashore as a hostage,' he tells the Laird.

'Don't send me ashore with that man, sir,' Perkins begs the Laird. 'Now, if you are going to France, then maybe you can do with a secretary. Especially one who is conversant with the French tongue.'

'Why you...' says a fuming Grey. 'To the last, sir,' replies Perkins.

'I can't even see the ship,' says Polly, peering through the fog on the quayside. 'They said they'd send us a signal before they went,' says Ben.

'Hey look,' he says. 'There it is!'

A lantern signal from the ship penetrates the fog as the boat heads for France.

The Doctor, Ben and Polly are suddenly joined by Jamie, who they thought was on board the ship. 'I fancied my chances here better,' he beams. 'Besides, you'll need someone to guide you through the glens, won't you?' They hear the sound of redcoats approaching, and the bound Grey shouts for help.

The soldiers hear Grey's muffled cries and face the direction of the noise. 'One more move and you're a dead man,' says Jamie, threatening the Solicitor with his dirk.

Ben keeps hold of Grey as the soldiers get uncomfortably close, but lets the Solicitor go to help knock the redcoats unconscious. Polly cannot prevent Grey escaping through a window. 'He was our hostage,' says Ben. 'They'll never let us get to the TARDIS now!' The Doctor is relatively unconcerned: 'We'll find someone else, eh Polly?'

Lieutenant Ffinch steps outside the inn and lights his pipe.

'What the...?' he gasps as he is prodded by the barrel of a flintlock.

'We want your company, mate,' says Ben. 'If you don't mind,' adds the Doctor.

'You won't refuse us, Algy dear,' says Polly, as the Lieutenant fills with dread.

Ffinch's Colonel emerges from the inn to see the Lieutenant leaving with the Doctor and his friends, 'Damn it, man. Where the devil do you think you're going?'

'Doctor von Wer at your service,' says the Doctor, adopting his German accent once more. 'Remedies for the ague, the twitch, the colic, the warts and the gout.'

The Doctor shows the Colonel the Prince's gold ring. 'Where did you get this, man?' he demands. The Doctor points down the road. He persuades the Colonel to let the Lieutenant accompany them to apprehend the Prince. 'We will bring him back to you, sir. Right?' says the Doctor. Ffinch simply sighs.

The Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie return to the cottage with the Lieutenant in tow as insurance against patrolling redcoats. On the way, Polly tells Algernon all about Grey's immoral scheme and hands back his identity tag. When Grey looms out of the fog to apprehend the Doctor and his friends, the Lieutenant rounds on him.

'What wicked times we live in, Lieutenant,' says the Doctor. 'A prison commissioner using his office to smuggle rebels out of the country.' Grey searches in vain for the contracts he claims legitimise his exploits. 'There is only one end for slave traders, Solicitor,' says the furious Lieutenant. 'I'm placing you under arrest.'

'Thank you, Algy,' says Polly as Grey is led away. She leans forwards and kisses the Lieutenant. As Ffinch follows the Sergeant and Grey, Jamie asks what happened to the contracts. 'I've no idea,' says the Doctor, producing the parchments from his pocket.

'You old fraud,' says Ben. 'Come on. We must go.'
As the sound of marauding redcoats grows nearer, Polly asks what they should do about Jamie. 'Doctor, can we take him with us?' she asks. 'If he teaches me to play the bagpipes,' says the Doctor. 'If you want,' says Jamie, smiling.

Moving quickly to stay ahead of the fighting, the party soon arrive at the wooded hollow. The Doctor hands Ben the key to the TARDIS and Ben places it inside the lock. Jamie approaches the police box with some trepidation but Polly reassures him and he steps aboard.

Seconds later, the roof-light begins to flash and a familiar wheezing-groaning sound fills the air.

The TARDIS fades from view, leaving the 18th Century and the Battle of Culloden behind.

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