Skip to main content
Access keys help
Explore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated.
Find out more about page archiving.
24 September 2014
The Classic Series
The Wheel in Space
Episode Five contact sheet
Edging down the steps towards the loading bay floor, the Doctor and Jamie soon discover the crate's false bottom. Hearing a movement behind them, they duck behind the crate.
A Cyberman descends the steps, crossing over to one of the boxes of Bernalium rods. It effortlessly lifts the box, carrying it back to the steps. It quickly ascends, vanishing from sight.
The Doctor is puzzled by the Cybermen's tactics. 'I don't understand them,' he whispers, 'they obviously don't want to destroy the Wheel.' He decides their first priority must be to protect the crew.
'Now what's the thing we need to survive which the Cybermen don't?' the Doctor asks Jamie. 'Food!' the Scotsman decisively replies. 'You're always thinking of your stomach aren't you? No. Air, Jamie, air!'
Using a nearby video screen, the Doctor confirms to the others that the Cybermen have infiltrated.
He recommends they seal the airlock doors in case the Cybermen try interfering with the air supply.
Jamie then notices a noise behind them. He turns to see a scuttling Cybermat nearby.
The Doctor and Jamie draw back, wary of the approaching device.
Frantically, the Doctor asks the crew to transmit a variable audio frequency to prevent the Cybermat tuning in to his and Jamie's brainwaves. Gemma instructs Enrico to comply.
Cadences of sound are transmitted through the communications link, shattering the uneasy calm.
The Cybermat, which has now been joined by an identical device, begins to spasmodically lose control. They unite in a disturbing display, spinning round and colliding as the cacophony rises and falls in pitch and intensity.
One of the Cybermats, which simply spins round in circles, begins to emanate thick smoke.
The other slams into a wall, disintegrating in a flash of light.
Cautiously picking up the smouldering device, they hold it up to the video screen. 'What is that thing?' asks Tanya. 'It's a Cybermat,' replies Zoe.
In the power room, a Cyberman crouches before a small box containing a small communications console. As the receiver powers up, a light flashes and the image of the Planner appears.
The Cyberman informs the Planner of the Cybermats' destruction, the repair of the X-ray laser and the damage to the Earth communication beam. 'The space station is to be taken over,' instructs the Planner. 'Complete Phase Six.'
In the operations room, damage assessment following Bill Duggan's attack continues. It transpires that the radar is intact, although the radio is damaged beyond use. Concern continues to grow about the first wave of meteorites.
Gemma, meanwhile, is counselling the almost catatonic Jarvis Bennett. He fails to even acknowledge the existence of the shattered Cybermat Zoe shows him. The Doctor tells Gemma that, as second in command, she must take over.
Zoe is acutely aware of their predicament. 'There's too much I don't know,' she tells Jamie. 'I was trained to believe that logic and calculation would provide me with all the answers. I'm just beginning to realise there are questions which I can't answer.'
Jamie reassures her, saying that she simply hasn't been trained for this kind of emergency.
'That's the whole point!' she replies. 'I've been created for some false kind of existence where only known kinds of emergencies are catered for. What good is that to me now?'
'And if we survive? What then, Jamie? Suppose we do get ourselves out of this mess – what have I got left? A blind reliance on facts and logic!' Zoe walks away, her self-confidence in tatters.
Leo's attempts to raise anyone in the oxygen supply room fall on deaf ears. The communications unit goes unanswered as another body is casually abandoned by a murderous Cyberman.
Leo then attempts to make contact with the power room.
As Flannigan is about to answer the signal, Laleham and Vallance emerge to confront him. They persuade him to ignore the incessant intercom. Vallance brings the stilted conversation to an abrupt halt by drawing his blaster.
A violent struggle ensues, Flannigan knocking the weapons from both men's hands.
Flannigan is more than capable of holding his own, even when Laleham brandishes a metal bar against him. Vallance, meanwhile, dives to retrieve his blaster.
Firing into the struggle, Vallance unwittingly shoots Laleham in the back. The man crumples, collapsing onto the floor. Momentarily shocked free from the Cybermen's control, Vallance stares at his dead colleague, unable to grasp the consequences of his action.
A door opens behind Flannigan and the Irishman stares in horror at the silver giant which confronts him. The light beam in the Cyberman's forehead is activated.
Flannigan is powerless to resist.
'The Earth machine has been installed?' asks the Cyberman. 'Yes,' replies Vallance in a familiar slurred monotone.
'A force field has been set around the operations control room,' it continues. 'How is it operated?'
'Only from within the operations room,' replies Vallance. The Cyberman then instructs the humans to dispose of Laleham's body.
Zoe attempts to feed Jarvis some water, but he responds by angrily pushing the bowl away.
On learning that not all the crewmembers have had the signal-blocking metal plates fitted to the backs of their necks, the Doctor advises Gemma that the program should be completed quickly.
The radar indicates that the meteorite storm is now under a million miles away and closing on an elliptical path. Concern is alleviated, however, by a communication from Flannigan who informs them that the lasers are now repaired and ready to be tested.
A partition opens on one of the outer sections of the Wheel, spawning a huge laser cannon. The weapon slowly repositions itself as the crew calibrate a new angle. With a relatively short effective range there is little room for error.
Leo demands a power reading from Tanya, who crosses to an instrument panel displaying flickering needles and dials. 'Power maximum and normal,' she reports as the laser fires.
'Well everybody,' Leo announces confidently. 'I think we stand a chance.' Meanwhile, a shower of huge meteorites - some weighing as much as two or three hundred tons - rushes inexorably towards them.
The Doctor suggests that the Cybermen caused the nova to prompt the use of the laser. The search for the necessary Bernalium would have necessitated a visit to the Silver Carrier – the Cybermen's hiding place. 'It was the only way they could get into the Wheel,' he concludes.
'This isn't just an attack by an alien race on a space station,' the Doctor warns. 'The Cybermen have another purpose. They have an overriding ambition to invade the Earth, plunder its mineral wealth. Somehow they can see a way of doing it through this Wheel.'
Remembering the missing time vector generator, the Doctor volunteers a reluctant Jamie to cross over to the Silver Carrier to retrieve it. Gemma agrees to spare an experienced crewmember to make the crossing with him.
While Vallance stares blankly ahead, the Planner communicates with the attentive Cyberman. It orders the completion of Phase Six.
When the Cyberman mentions the establishment of a neutron field barrier around the perimeter of the operat1ions room section, the Planner orders the initiation of Plan Three. The Cyberman rises, turning to Vallance. 'Follow me,' it orders.
Leo is furious that Zoe will be accompanying Jamie to the Silver Carrier. He argues that the dangers between the Wheel and the rocket will include bombardment by small debris, radiation and thermal shock. The Doctor claims Zoe has calculated all the risks.
Gemma, Zoe and Jamie briefly switch off the field barrier to get into the oxygen supply room. There they find the murdered crewman. Gemma wishes the youngsters luck as they use the emergency exit to find the space equipment.
Gemma communicates the safe departure of Zoe and Jamie to the Doctor in the operations room. Leo, meanwhile, oversees the final laser calculations.
The main concentration of meteorites comes into range.
Hearing a noise behind her, Gemma ducks for cover as Vallance and the Cyberman enter the oxygen supply room. 'This controls the oxygen of the space station?' asks the Cyberman. 'Yes,' replies Vallance.
The Cyberman orders Vallance to open a box of small silver capsules. It then instructs him to insert one capsule into each section's displayed oxygen supply. 'The oxygen will turn into pure ozone,' it grates. 'The humans will die.'
Gemma tries to make contact with the Doctor in the operations room.
'They're going to poison the air supply,' she tells him. 'Tell Leo Ryan to switch over to the sectional supply unit. Do you understand?' The Doctor agrees, then tells Gemma to get away from there immediately. Gemma calmly switches off the set, aware she has been seen.
Raising her blaster, she fires repeatedly at the advancing Cyberman and tries to manoeuvre her way to the door. The giant staggers momentarily and Gemma runs for the exit. However, the Cyberman composes itself quickly and activates its weapon.
As the blinding white flash subsides, the room seems to shudder with the force of the blast from the Cyberman's chest unit.
Instantly killed by the alien weapon, Gemma's limp body slowly sinks to the ground.
Horrified, the Doctor watches the events unfold before him on the communications screen, powerless to help. Meanwhile, the laser continues to have a devastating effect on the meteorites.
The Doctor is distracted by Zoe and Jamie's voices on the operations room intercom. It seems their space walk has run into difficulties.
'The meteorites!' the girl cries hysterically, 'they're heading straight for us!'
NEXT WEEK: The thrilling conclusion.
Launch Classic Clips video player
The Daleks' Master Plan 2
The Power of the Daleks
The Underwater Menace
The Macra Terror
The Faceless Ones
The Evil of the Daleks
The Abominable Snowmen
The Ice Warriors
The Enemy of the World
The Web of Fear
Fury from the Deep
The Wheel in Space
About the BBC
Privacy & Cookies Policy