Production Code: RR
1 - 16/03/1968 17:15
2 - 23/03/1968 17:15
3 - 30/03/1968 17:15
4 - 06/04/1968 17:15
5 - 13/04/1968 17:15
6 - 20/04/1968 17:15
The TARDIS lands on the surface of the sea, just off the east coast of England. The time travellers use a rubber dinghy to get ashore, where they are shot with tranquiliser darts and taken prisoner by security guards as they have arrived in the restricted area of a gas refinery.
At the refinery base, run by a man named Robson, the Doctor learns that there have been a number of unexplained problems with the pressure in the feed pipes from the offshore drilling rigs. It is later revealed that one of the rigs has sucked up a parasitic form of seaweed, which is capable of releasing poisonous gas or a strange kind of foam that allows it to take control of the minds of those it touches.
The weed spreads rapidly and seems set on establishing a huge colony centred around the rigs. The Doctor makes the chance discovery that it is very susceptible to high pitched noise; consequently he is able to use the amplified sound of Victoria's screams to destroy it. Victoria elects to stay with the family of one of the refinery workers, Harris.
The Doctor, although sharing Jamie's sadness at her departure, understands her decision to settle down to a quieter life.
Victoria, trapped in a store room at the base, screams as foam pours in through an open grille and advances toward her. Within the foam are fronds of animated weed...
Supported by the base's Chief Engineer, the Dutch consultant van Lutyens makes a renewed attempt to persuade Robson that the heartbeat-like sound that they can hear emanating from the pipeline is made by something alive. 'It's down there. In the darkness. In the pipeline. Waiting...'
Maggie Harris and Robson, both infected by the weed creature, meet on the beach. The former tells the latter that he will obey his instructions. Then she turns and walks straight out into the sea, eventually becoming completely submerged beneath the waves...
'The advance guard,' mutters the Doctor as a mass of weed creature is seen writhing inside an observation pipe. Motioning his companions and the base personnel to remain where they are, he advances toward the pipe...
The Doctor and Jamie enter the central area of the control rig to find themselves confronted by the terrifying sight of Robson standing in the middle of a mass of weed and foam. 'Come in Doctor,' he whispers. 'We've been waiting for you.'
As the image of Victoria waving goodbye recedes on the TARDIS scanner screen, the Doctor reminds his forlorn companion, 'I was fond of her too, you know, Jamie.'
Day of the Triffids (the plant monster).
Quatermass II (the installation setting).
The Troubleshooters (the technical challenge of exploration for natural resources).
Victor Pemberton's radio play The Slide (mind controlling mud with a heartbeat).
The Kraken Wakes.
Van Lutyens : "Whatever it is that's in the pipeline, that's jamming the impeller, that's taken over the rigs, is a menace and a threat to us all."
Megan Jones : "What's happening?"
The Doctor : "The first part of the invasion."
Victoria : "Doctor, don't go near."
The Doctor : "It's begun. The battle of the giants!"
Victoria : [To Jamie] "Why can't we go somewhere pleasant? Where there's no fighting, just peace and happiness?"
The Doctor : "It's down there. In the darkness. In the pipeline. Waiting."
"He's beginning to give me the willies."
The TARDIS can hover and float [perhaps the Doctor got his drift control sorted out: see The Time Meddler] and can take off like a rocket. It also contains a laboratory. This story sees the first appearance of the sonic screwdriver which the Doctor uses to open a release valve on an outlet pipe.
The drug U4 is used as a neural stimulator.
The refinery supplies all of the Euro Sea gas for Wales and the south of England.
The Doctor finds a reference to the weed creatures in a book of 18th Century marine legends.
The Doctor has terrible trouble flying a helicopter, having to be directed by radio. Victoria, having grown weary of being scared witless five times per episode, elects to stay with the rather wet Frank and Maggie Harris.
Euro Sea Gas Corporation refinery and an oil rig, [South coast, possibly Dover - the Doctor refers to white cliffs. Robson mentions pre-decimal currency, so possibly a late 60s setting?].
Episode 1 features the debut appearance of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, used to unseal a pipeline inspection hatch.
The scene of the weed-infected technicians Quill and Oak attacking Maggie Harris is one of the most terrifying in the show's history.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
Jamie - Frazer Hines
Victoria - Deborah Watling
Carney - John Garvin
Chief Baxter - Richard Mayes
Chief Engineer - Hubert Rees
Guard - Peter Ducrow
Harris - Roy Spencer
Maggie Harris - Jane Murphy
Megan Jones - Margaret John
Oak - John Gill
Perkins - Brian Cullingford
Price - Graham Leaman
Quill - Bill Burridge
Robson - Victor Maddern
van Lutyens - John Abineri
Director - Hugh David