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24 September 2014

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There is the sound of a pounding heartbeat.

Heartbeat atmosphere

A man stares ahead...

Heartbeat atmosphere

As the heartbeat fills the air...

Heartbeat atmosphere

...his eyes open wide in terror.

Heartbeat atmosphere

Majorettes perform to the accompaniment of an abrasive synthesised tune while two men look down on the happy scene. 'Splendid!' exclaims the first man. 'You've got a very good band there Barney.' 'Thank you, Pilot,' replies his companion.

Colony band music

Barney and the Pilot's conversation is interrupted when a man pushes through the crowd, pursued by guards. 'Medok!' cries Barney. 'It's for your own good,' says the Pilot in a condescending voice.

Ola, the portly captain of the guards, explains that Medok resisted 'treatment' before trying to escape. 'Get after him,' says the Pilot. 'He must not get away.'

Medok clambers across the rough terrain outside and climbs a rocky outcrop. As a pounding heartbeat fills the air, Ola's guards follow from a distance.

Heartbeat atmosphere

The heartbeat grows faster as Medok ducks down, waiting for the guards to bypass him. He is surprised by a wheezing, groaning sound behind him. A large blue box appears out of thin air.

Heartbeat atmosphere

The Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly emerge. Jamie has seen a giant claw on the TARDIS's Time Scanner screen and prepares to defend himself with a piece of wood.

'Look out Jamie!' screams Polly as Medok jumps on Jamie. There is a scuffle, and Ben and Jamie succeed in pinning down their assailant. Ola and a squad of guards soon arrive.

'We are grateful,' Ola tells the strangers. 'Medok is one of the last patients in the Colony. We've done our best for him but he gets worse day by day.' As the Doctor bends down to examine the soil, Ola invites the strangers back to the Colony so the Pilot can thank them in person.

'According to my calculation we are certainly in the future,' says the Doctor, 'and on a planet very like the Earth.'

Ola introduces himself as the chief of police, and proudly explains that he takes his orders from the Control Centre. As they set off, the Doctor takes pity on Medok and tells the guards not to tie him up too tightly.

As the Doctor and his friends enter the Colony, female voices sing a jingle announcing the end of shift number one and the beginning of shift number two.

The Pilot steps forward and thanks the newcomers for tackling someone as 'disturbed' as Medok. He suggests they take advantage of the Colony's Refreshing Department. As the annoying music rings in their ears Jamie whispers to Polly, 'Keep your eyes skinned.'

'Why, what's the matter?' says Polly. 'They're a weird sort of folk,' replies Jamie. 'I don't know that I understand them.'

In the luxurious surroundings of the Refreshing Department a man lazily reclines on a couch and calls for attention.

As Barney and female members of staff attend to his needs the Pilot enters and is informed by a colonist that Control wishes to welcome the guests.

'Switch on, my dear,' the Pilot asks the colonist and a screen illuminates. 'He looks smashing,' says an impressed Polly, looking at the picture. 'That's our Controller,' says the Pilot. There is a five-note sequence and a disembodied voice thanks the visitors before urging the colonists back to work.

Announcement chimes

The Pilot leaves the visitors in the care of Barney, for whom nothing is too much trouble: 'Steam baths, beauty treatments, perhaps a massage… Your sir,' he tells an indignant Doctor, 'of course would like your clothes cleaned.'

The Doctor declines his offer, but Polly asks for a shampoo. Ben and Jamie are dragged off into cubicles for some grooming of their own as the Doctor laughs.

A short while later Barney compliments Polly on her new look, and says she is sure to be voted the Colony's next Beauty President. 'Thank you very much,' smiles Polly bashfully. Ben, meanwhile, receives a massage while basking in artificial sunlight.

Jamie is rather less comfortable, and asks Barney to call the ladies off.

'Let me out of here!' asks the Doctor. 'I'm done to a turn.' He steps from the machine looking immaculate. As Ben and Polly laugh at him he eagerly enters the 'rough and tumble' machine. He emerges looking like his old self. 'That's more like it!'

Elsewhere, Ola warns the watching colonists that Medok is violent and suffering from delusions. 'I'm not the one suffering from delusions,' says the prisoner. 'It's you! All of you! You don't know what's happening in this colony!'

Questa, one of Medok's old friends, is dismayed and asks him, 'What's all this about you seeing things?' 'I don't see things Questa, you fool,' snaps Medok. 'There are things! Creatures infesting this camp at night!'

'There will be fun for all!' promises a benevolent voice, announcing a reception for the strangers. Questa asks Medok to join them. 'Have fun while you can,' sneers Medok, 'before they crawl all over you!'

In the Refreshing Department the Doctor tries to talk to Medok before Ola interrupts and locks Medok into a cell.

When he is left alone, the Doctor picks the lock and slips into the cell. 'I'm going to set you free,' promises the Doctor. He asks Medok about the 'things' he has seen, but Medok is suspicious and escapes.

An alarm rings out and Ola and the Pilot arrive. Ola accuses the Doctor of allowing Medok to escape, but the Doctor is unrepentant.

Polly protests that the Doctor is unaware of the laws of the Colony, and the Doctor adds that he released someone who he helped catch in the first place. The Pilot remains calm, and tells Ola to despatch a patrol.

'He can run, you know,' says the Doctor knowingly. 'He's got legs; he doesn't have to crawl over the ground.' Ola is curiously agitated by the comment, and asks the Doctor, 'Why do you say that?' The Doctor remains tight-lipped.

'Take the strangers to the Labour Centre,' the Pilot orders Ola. 'See they learn something about us.'

Medok hides within one of the part-finished structures in a nearby building site.

He hears the sound of the Doctor's party approaching, and retreats into the shadows.

The Doctor spots him but says nothing.

In the Labour Centre, the reassuring voice of the Controller informs the colonists that their 'unfortunate companion' Medok has been allowed to escape but that he is sure to be caught before nightfall.

Announcement chimes

The lyrics of a tune announce a change in shifts, and another jingle claims the colonists are 'Happy to work, happy to play...'

'It is a privilege to work for the Colony,' states official Alvis, who tells Jamie that their duties involve tapping and refining gas. His faltering explanation comes to halt when an alarm sounds.

There has been an accident in the mine. Two men stagger in and Alvis orders an oxygen supply to be brought. 'It can't be helped,' Alvis tells a concerned Polly.

During the confusion the Doctor slips away and heads for the building site. He wins Medok's trust and asks him about the creatures he has seen. 'They move at night, in the dark,' he says. 'Horrible creatures, like giant insects'

The Doctor asks if anyone else has seen the creatures, and Medok explains that anyone who reports such a sighting is locked up in the correction hospital.

An alarm sounds and Medok panics. He urges the Doctor to make his way back.

'Is someone looking for me?' asks the Doctor nonchalantly as he wanders back into the Refreshing Department. He reassures his companions that he has just been looking around.

'It's dangerous to go off on your own after dark,' warns Ola. 'Anyone who wanders round the Colony at night may be killed.' As Control announces the curfew, Barney shows the Doctor and his friends their quarters in the Refreshing Department.

Announcement chimes

Inside his cubicle, the Doctor listens as Barney's footsteps recede into the distance.

Confident that he is alone, the Doctor carefully opens the door and heads back through the Refreshing Department.

The Controller appears on a screen and a voice urges the colonists not to go outside as a dangerous man is in hiding. 'Our patrols have orders to shoot on sight,' it continues. 'Happy sleep time, everybody.'

'And the same to you,' mutters the Doctor, no longer convinced by the superficially cheery atmosphere in the Colony.

He hides as an armed patrol marches past.

The Doctor heads for the construction site and searches for Medok. Eerie pulsating noises echo down the corridors.

Mqedok listens as Ola instructs his patrols in the darkness. 'If you see him,' he shouts, 'shoot to kill!'

The Doctor finds Medok, but Ola hears the sound of their voices. 'Have a look in those new houses,' he points to the construction site. 'I heard something.'

The Doctor finds an opening and tells Medok to crawl through when he gives the word. Medok is about to go when he shrinks back in horror. 'No,' he says, 'look out there.' The Doctor peers into the darkness. 'I don't see anything.'

'It that patch of moonlight,' says Medok. 'I told you I'd seen them.' A huge creature crawls towards them...

As Ola and his guards close in, the Doctor and Medok are transfixed by the glowing eyes that illuminate the darkness.

As the creature lumbers closer, a huge claw snaps at them through the mist...

NEXT WEEK: No one in the Colony believes in the Macra. But why?

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