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24 September 2014

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Kewper collapses, Cherub's knife protruding from his back.

The others can barely register what has happened before a deafening gunshot rings out.

Polly screams as the Squire clutches his shoulder and falls to the ground. Cherub walks over to Kewper's corpse, retrieves his knife and wipes the blade clean on the body. 'Is there any more fancies a free trip to Davy Jones?' he enquires.

'You had us all at your mercy,' says the Doctor with barely concealed contempt. 'There was no need to kill Kewper.' Cherub is unmoved, and demands to know the secret of Avery's gold.

The Doctor refuses to tell him, so Cherub looks over at Ben and Polly. 'Do you fancy these lads of yours meeting their Maker so young, eh sawbones?'

'I'm not going to bargain with you sir,' says the Doctor. 'Where is your Captain?'

'You fancy you'd twist him round to your way would ya? There's only one skipper here - me!'

Polly and the Doctor ask that Cherub shows some mercy to the wounded Squire. Cherub tells Polly to give the Squire some water, but as she reaches for it he grabs her and presses his pistol to her head. 'Now sawbones - talk or the young lad dies!'

While the drama unfolds in the crypt, Blake's horse gallops across open fields on its way to the militia outpost.

As Cherub continues to threaten Polly, the Doctor tells Ben they must play for time.

'I must admit the churchwarden did tell me something,' confesses the Doctor, 'but to be quite honest with you I am baffled.' He recites the rhyme, and asks Cherub if Ringwood, Gurney and Smallbeer were the names of nearby villages.

'I know those names,' chuckles Cherub. He explains that old Jack Ringwood was a master gunner with a wooden leg. Old Zeb Gurney was a ship's chandler and Daniel Smallbeer was a violent man and a drinker.

Cherub goes on to reveal that Avery's galley boy was called Tim Deadman, and is the fourth person referred to in the rhyme. 'Is that all he told ye?' asks a suspicious Cherub. 'Four names to Avery's gold?'

'Avery's curse,' splutters the injured Squire. 'What of that, eh? Remember Avery's end - did he not die a pauper?'

'They say he bargained for his life - his soul in return for the souls of those who come after seeking and finding the cursed treasure.' The Squire says he was a fool and ill-led to have searched for the treasure. Cherub's patience wears thin and he tells the Doctor he has just one minute to explain the meaning of the riddle.

Pike leads his men on to the beach and up the cliff. He is surprised not to find Cherub waiting for him and sends one of his pirates to locate him.

Scouting ahead, Pike arrives at the deserted graveyard.

Imitating a bird call, Pike signals to his men, who quietly follow him into the graveyard.

They gather around the stone sarcophagus that contains the contraband.

Copying the actions shown to him by the Squire, Pike operates the secret mechanism that activates the lid.

The pirates help their Captain lift off the lid, and gaze at the treasures inside.

'Unload the tomb,' orders the Captain. 'Set the goods upon the shore. We go at my signal.'

'It'll be dry work Cap'n,' says a one-eyed pirate called Gaptooth. Pike gives his men permission to break open one of the casks of rum - when they've finished.

'Inside,' asks Gaptooth, indicating the church. 'Is there more loot there?' Pike rounds on him angrily. 'Did I say there was? Do as I bid ye, dog, or I'll leave ye in a coffin as a souvenir.'

'Get to it, lads,' orders the terrified Gaptooth as Pike approaches the vestry door alone. He wonders out loud where Cherub may have gone.

As the pirates ransack the tomb, Blake heads back to the village with a squad of jogging militia men in tow.

In the crypt, Cherub is warning the Doctor that his time is up when Pike appears behind him. Pike accuses him of deserting the ship, but Cherub protests that he was simply trying to get the Doctor to talk.

'I wasn't gonna let no one do you down, Cap'n,' says Cherub. Pike adopts a quiet, chilling tone. 'No, Cherub?'

Pike turns to face the Doctor and Cherub spins round, pointing his pistol at his Captain. Pike is too fast for him, however, and knocks the gun away with his sword.

'By the Black Albatross, you've met your doom now, my Cherub!'

'Not from such a black pig as ye!' snarls Cherub. The two begin duelling furiously, both mad with rage. 'Watch the hook, boy,' warns Pike, 'for when it whistles it's the end of ye!'

'Doctor, it's just like the Squire said,' exclaims Polly. 'Avery's curse!'

In the graveyard, the pirates ignore their Captain's orders and begin drinking from a keg of rum. A nervous Gaptooth sends two pirates, Daniel and Spaniard, to the beach, laden down with contraband.

'Now's our chance!' exclaims Ben as the duel continues. The Doctor sends Ben and Polly back to the TARDIS, promising to follow on as soon as Blake returns with the militia. As Ben and Polly open the entrance to the passage, Cherub grabs Kewper's discarded pistol and shoots at Pike.

Cherub throws his knife into the shadows where Pike hides, but still cannot be sure he has killed his opponent. Cherub edges forward into the darkness, but is taken by surprise when Pike leaps out from behind a tomb. Pike pins Cherub against a stone angel.

'Back to your hell-hole, Cherub!' sneers the Captain, and skewers Cherub with his cutlass. Cherub dies at his Captain's feet. Pike immediately turns to the Doctor.

Pike notices that the two 'lads' have gone, and asks the Doctor if there is another passage out of the crypt. 'Tell him nothing,' asks the injured Squire.

'Still alive, eh, gentleman Squire?' mocks Pike. The Captain advances on the Squire but the Doctor distracts him by saying that he wishes to keep his side of the bargain. He adds, however, that he wishes to alter the terms of the deal.

Daniel and Spaniard discard their contraband on the beach and sit down to wait for their colleagues.

When no one comes, they walk along the beach until they come across the TARDIS. They gaze up at the police box in bemusement. Walking beyond the police box into the cave, they come across the entrance to the smugglers' tunnel.

The Doctor explains that Pike can have all of Avery's gold on the condition that he keeps his men away from the village. 'Strange terms indeed,' says Pike. 'I prefer to call them humane terms,' says the Doctor. 'There is no need for innocent people to suffer.'

'Well said, Doctor,' adds the Squire. 'I've been a rogue, I frankly admit it. The generosity of this stranger has shamed me. But I've never spilt blood in my villainy. I beg you - as a fellow rogue if you must - spare my poor villagers.'

The Squire questions Pike's authority over his bloodthirsty men. 'They'd do as I say or die of it,' says the Captain, who agrees to comply with the Doctor's request - as soon as he has Avery's gold.

'And take heed of Cherub yonder, eh sawbones?' says Pike, indicating the pirate's body. 'Out with it then!' he tells the Doctor. 'Show me the gold!'

At the top of the cliff, Blake and the militia men spy the church in the distance. Blake divides the squad into two groups.

In the dank tunnel Polly collapses on the uneven ground. 'How much further is it?' she complains, clutching her ankle. Ben reluctantly agrees to go back for the Doctor while Polly carries on alone. 'Polly,' Ben calls out behind her, 'put the kettle on!' Polly groans.

Blake orders one squad of soldiers to head for the church via the road, while he takes the other squad to the crypt, via the passage in the cave. He leads his men down on to the beach.

The Doctor recites Longfoot's riddle to Pike, pointing to Deadman's name, which is carved on one wall of the crypt. Pike recalls that all four men were members of Avery's crew - and is baffled, since all four died at sea. The Doctor suggests that the names were changed by the churchwarden. 'Aye. Like a marker, eh?' asks Pike.

The riddle is solved

The Doctor points to a flagstone which lies at the intersection of the four names. 'Stand aside,' growls Pike, who wrestles the slab away to reveal a hole in the ground.

Pike initially finds nothing, but when he reaches deeper into the hole he emerges grasping a long string of pearls. 'What now?' he asks, breaking into maniacal laughter. 'What price that damned Avery now?'

He is distracted by the sound of gunfire coming from the graveyard. He turns to the Doctor. 'If this is a trap, sawbones, I swear you'll lie beneath that slab yourself.'

The militia men easily get the better of the undisciplined and drunkard pirates. The soldiers soon have the graveyard surrounded.

The soldiers tighten the noose surrounding the pirates, who beat a haphazard retreat towards the vestry door.

The militia reload their muskets and advance further, forcing the pirates into the church.

Polly limps out of the tunnel and makes her way towards the TARDIS. Before she gets there, she is ambushed by Daniel and Spaniard who tear the shirtsleeve from her arm.

She wriggles free from their grasp and dashes back into the tunnel, but Spaniard follows her. She calls out for Ben but Spaniard grabs hold of her arm. Daniel goes ahead of Spaniard and draws his knife before walking into the darkness.

Ben creeps up behind Daniel and jumps on him, knocking him unconsciousness. Ben then moves towards the mouth of the cave and helps Polly. He launches an attack on Spaniard, carefully dodging the pirate's razor-sharp knife.

Blake and his men move into the cave, where Ben is fighting Spaniard. Blake raises his flintlock and fires a single shot at the pirate, who falls to the ground.

As the Doctor tries to find the mechanism revealing the secret passage, the tomb slides aside and Ben, Blake and the other militia men emerge. Realising that he is now surrounded, Pike draws his sword and threatens the Doctor.

'Sawbones, you Neptune's curse!' he bellows. 'Ye's laid a trap, and for that you'll die by the Pike!' Pushing flailing bodies aside, the Captain advances on the Doctor. Elsewhere in the crypt, Gaptooth becomes the latest of Pike's men to die at the hands of the soldiers.

'Come on Doctor,' urges Ben, 'let's get out of here!' The Doctor tells Ben that first they must help the Squire. The Doctor is relieved to find the Squire alive. He crouches down to treat the Squire's gunshot wound. Pike, meanwhile, lunges at the Doctor and the Squire struggles to his feet to defend him.

'Here's an end to ye, sawbones!' screams Pike, brandishing his sharp hook. Pike is about to stab the Doctor when Blake fires a single gunshot. The Squire grabs Pike's arm before it crashes down on the Doctor, and the Captain's lifeless body collapses in a heap, surrounded by Avery's glittering treasure

As Ben and the Doctor dash into the secret tunnel, Blake helps the Squire to his feet. The two men congratulate each other, but when Blake tries to thank the Doctor he realises he has gone. He looks towards the secret passage and says, 'God speed, old man...'

The three travellers are finally reunited on the beach. 'Thank heavens you're both safe,' says a relieved Polly. An exhausted Doctor unlocks the TARDIS and ushers Ben and Polly into the Ship.

Ben tells Polly about the fierce battle in the crypt. Polly then realises that all those who craved Avery's gold have died. Pondering the curse of Avery's gold, the Doctor tells Polly, 'Superstition is a strange thing my dear, but sometimes it tells the truth.'

The TARDIS dematerialises, leaving the Cornish coastline behind.

'Where will we go to now, Doctor?' asks Polly. 'Will we go forward or back in time?' The Doctor reiterates that he has no control over their destination. As a freezing Polly rubs her bare arm, Ben says, 'It had better be 1966 or I'm in dead trouble Doctor!'

Ben also notes the sudden drop in temperature. 'Just look up at that scanner,' says the Doctor, indicating the screen above them. 'We have arrived at the coldest place in the world!'

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