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24 September 2014

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'The Cybermen are threatening this space Wheel,' insists the Doctor. Jarvis Bennett remains incredulous, reluctant to believe the existence of the alien menace.

'They were once men,' the Doctor explains, 'human beings, like yourself, from the planet Mondas. Now they're more robot than man... They're ruthless inhuman killers!' Bennett greets his concern with mocking laughter.

On the Silver Carrier, the hypnotised Laleham and Vallance receive their instructions from the Cybermen. 'You will ferry us to the Wheel. Inside the Wheel you will help us.'

The Cybermen climb into an empty crate and the two men duly fit false bottoms. They then stack Bernalium rods above the prostrate Cybermen.

'Nothing just comes in and out of this Wheel,' snaps Jarvis. 'What do you think this is – a jet heliport?' As the pressure begins to show on the frantic man's face, he storms out.

'Jarvis was right about one thing, Doctor,' says Gemma, 'these Cybermen of yours can't just walk into the Wheel you know.' The Doctor is careful not to underestimate his old foes. 'They will find a way...'

Laleham and Vallance spacewalk back to the Wheel, trailing the large crate behind them.

Enrico now mans the communications console, and transmits advance weather information to Earth. He then receives a message from the survey party, who request an airlock for themselves and their newfound Bernalium.

Tanya asks Jarvis for clearance. He immediately grants it, overjoyed at the news of the crewmen's timely discovery.

The loading bay is cleared for their arrival.

Gemma takes the responsibility for allowing Bill to leave his quarters. He joins the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe in examining the X-ray of the Cybermat, confirming it is identical to the 'creature' he encountered earlier.

'It's an alien machine,' intones the Doctor. 'Destructive. Capable of killing.'

Zoe decides to continue her meteorite calculations. On learning of the Wheel's other space defences, the Doctor becomes curious about the Cybermat's real motives for destroying the Bernalium.

Laleham and Vallance's spacewalk nears its end. Bringing the large crate with them, they go through the loading bay doors...

... and enter the Wheel with their deadly cargo.

Zoe records her data calculations from the control complex display.

And makes no attempt to hide her irritation at Jamie's enthusiastic interruptions.

Leo Ryan, Flannigan and another crewman attempt to effect repairs to the damaged X-ray laser.

Leo's colleagues are given a break as Jarvis and Bill arrive. 'I'm giving you Bill Duggan,' Jarvis tells Leo. 'No reason why he can't make himself useful.'

He leaves Leo and Bill to their work, but fatigue gets the better of the Australian. Bill continues the work with Chang.

The Doctor talks to Gemma about her past, and they share their concern over Jarvis Bennett's mental health.

'One does wonder what a man like that will do when faced with a problem for which he has no solution.'

Jarvis arouses silent suspicions about his behaviour from Tanya as he breezes through the Wheel...

... on his way to the medical unit.

Much to Gemma's alarm, the Doctor decides to get up. 'Gemma, be reasonable,' he pleads. 'I know the dangers. The Cybermen need to colonise. They must have the treasures of Earth.' The abrupt arrival of Jarvis soon curtails the argument.

Jarvis cheerily greets the Doctor and even suggests he gets someone to show him round the Wheel. Brushing aside Gemma's concerns about the Silver Carrier, he adopts the Doctor's idea that the guard outside would make a suitable guide.

The strangely distant controller then begins talking to himself, eventually agreeing with his own conclusions about his tiredness. He retires to get some sleep, leaving the others confused about his behaviour.

In the power room, Bill comes to the conclusion that their Bernalium rods have been ruined. He sends Chang to the loading bay to collect a dozen of the rods Laleham and Vallance retrieved from the Silver Carrier.

The loading bay is seemingly deserted as Chang descends a ladder to examine the opened Bernalium boxes. However, the open crate with an obviously false bottom soon arouses his curiosity.

A stubby metallic hand clutches his shoulder before he can continue investigating. He staggers back in horror on realising the threat posed by the powerful silver giants. Laleham and Vallance stare impassively, ignoring Chang's screams for help.

Chang makes some desperate gestures of resistance, but the aliens terminate his life by activating lethal energy bursts from their chest units. Laleham and Vallance then pick up the boxes of rods and carry them up the ladder.

In the operations room, Tanya notices an unauthorised use of the waste incinerator in the loading bay. The discrepancy is duly logged.

Bill is working hard in the power room when Laleham and Vallance enter, carrying the boxes of Bernalium rods.

The two men's excuses for the disappearance of Chang, and their uncanny knowledge of the mechanics of Bernalium rods, are delivered in slurred monotones.

Bill's suspicions are further aroused when the two men persistently enquire about the duration of the laser repair period. 'Now,' he talks over his shoulder, 'if you really want to make yourselves useful...'

He abruptly stops, aware of a presence behind him. He slowly turns to face a giant metallic figure which emits a mesmerising lightbeam from its forehead.

Bill falls to his knees and lets out an agonised scream.

Facing his new master, Bill receives his instructions. 'The Wheel must be protected from the meteorites,' the alien grates. 'We will assemble your laser defence rays. You will go to central control.'

Zoe tells Gemma that she was ordered to 'forget' a recent report by Jarvis Bennett. Her calculations on the orbital path of the meteorite storm included a new element indicating a critical state. Gemma is unsurprised by this latest occurrence of disinterest.

Zoe says that Jarvis has chosen an inconvenient time to be ill. Gemma is disgusted at the girl's lack of emotion. 'My head has been pumped full of facts and figures which I reel out automatically, when needed, but,' Zoe pauses, 'I want to feel things as well.'

During the Doctor's tour of the Wheel, Tanya and Leo show him a device which indicates energy consumption, however small, in every area.

Zoe tells the crew that her new calculations show that the meteorites are heading towards the Wheel faster than they thought. The Doctor asks if the laser cannon can be repaired in time.

Zoe explains that two men have brought back some Bernalium from the Silver Carrier – to the Doctor's obvious concern.

The Doctor turns to Gemma, leaving Jamie and Zoe talking together.

The Doctor tells Gemma that he believes the two men sent to the Silver Carrier have fallen under Cyber control.

As Bill Duggan enters the operations room, Tanya checks the Wheel's Silenski capsules to see if any of the crew are hypnotised.

As Duggan heads for the radio complex, Tanya detects that somebody in the room is under an external influence.

Determinedly raising a spanner Duggan starts attacking the communications equipment. Enrico is hurled from his chair and Jamie is casually thrown aside by the possessed man.

Leo pulls a blaster and shoots before any more damage can be done.

As the blaster haze subsides, the Doctor pronounces Bill dead.

'Now listen everyone,' the Doctor announces. 'The Cybermen are here, in this Wheel. They took over this poor fellow to stop you signalling for help.' He tells Gemma that she'll need something stronger than drugs to prevent the crew being taken over.

Under instructions from the Doctor, Leo and Tanya begin assembling metal plates and transistors to absorb the Cyber control signals. These will then be attached to the crewmembers' necks.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Jamie investigate the loading bay. In the darkness, Jamie points to something in the open crate. 'Yes,' the Doctor whispers. 'Come on.' Behind them, a Cybermen descends the steps...

NEXT WEEK: Jamie and Zoe space-walk to retrieve a vital TARDIS component.

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