Production Code: YY
1 - 08/03/1969 17:15
2 - 15/03/1969 17:15
3 - 22/03/1969 17:15
4 - 29/03/1969 17:15
5 - 05/04/1969 17:15
6 - 12/04/1969 17:15
The TARDIS materialises in Earth's future on a space beacon just before it is attacked by pirates. The travellers find themselves trapped in a sealed section of the beacon as it is blown apart and flown to where the pirates will plunder it of the precious mineral argonite. They then witness a conflict between the pirates and the Interstella Space Corps, led by General Hermack and Major Warne.
The ISC are convinced that the pirates' mastermind is an innocent yet eccentric space mining pioneer named Milo Clancey, while their true leader is a man named Caven. Caven has a secret base on the planet Ta and is assisted by Madeleine Issigri, daughter of his ex-partner Dom, who - unknown to her - is now his captive.
When Madeleine discovers Caven's full treachery she helps to bring him to justice. The time travellers are given a lift back to the TARDIS by Clancey in his rickety old ship, the LIZ 79.
Beacon Alpha 4 is exploded into sections and the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are thrown to the floor.
Milo Clancey boards the segment of the beacon in which the time travellers are trapped and shoots Jamie with a gun. Zoe screams that he is a murderer.
Chased through tunnels on Ta, the Doctor and his friends fall into a black pit.
Milo leads ISC Lieutenant Sorba and the time travellers to Madeleine's office on Ta. Suddenly Caven and his men burst in. Sorba reaches for a gun and is shot dead. The pirates' weapons are then trained on the Doctor and his friends as Caven comments: 'You must have walked in here with your eyes open, Clancey... How very naive of you...'
The Doctor is searching for Jamie and Zoe beneath the LIZ 79 when Caven decides to launch the ship by remote control. The Doctor is caught in the blast as the ship lifts off into space.
With Madeleine under arrest and the pirates vanquished, the time travellers face the daunting prospect of a trip in the LIZ 79 to find the TARDIS.
The works of Gerry Anderson.
Contemporary NASA missions.
Zoe : "Milo, there's one thing I don't understand."
Milo Clancey : "Well you're very lucky, girl. There's about a hundred thousand things I don't understand but I don't stand around asking fool questions about them, I do something useful. Why don't you do something useful? Why don't you... um... make us all a pot of tea or something?"
The Doctor : "Oh... the TARDIS... well that's no problem. It's orbiting Lobos, Milo's home planet, in one of the beacon sections."
Zoe : "Well, no problem, eh? Well how are we going to get to it?"
The Doctor : "Well, Milo's very kindly offered to give us a lift in the LIZ."
Jamie : "Oh no... not the LIZ again. Frankly I'd rather walk."
The Doctor : "You never know... you might have to!"
Jamie : [To Zoe, when she proves unable to open a door] "You'll have tae eat more porridge."
Amongst the types of ships featured are the V ships (Hermack's is V 41), Minnow [fighters], the C-class freighter LIZ 79, Floaters and Beta Darts (fast, atomically powered ships used by the pirates that cost over 100 million credits). Mention is made of Martian missiles [an Ice Warrior weapon?].
Argonite, a metal, is the most valuable mineral known to man, and is only found on certain planets of the fourth sector of Earth's galaxy, including Ta in the Pliny system. It is practically indestructible, and a black market exists for it on Ruta Magnum [a Rutan colony?]. Zoe has never heard of it [so this must take place after her time].
The Doctor uses a normal screwdriver (cf Fury from the Deep). He has some marbles (green ones are his favourites), a collection of pins and a tuning fork in his pockets. Madeleine kisses him at the end (he's rather embarrassed).
Ta and various spacecraft and beacons (the TARDIS lands on beacon Alpha 4), [some time in Zoe's future].
Earth - normally known as 'the Home Planet' - is ruled by a single government. Information regarding flight plans and the like is normally transmitted back to Central Flight Information. Navigation beacons are constructed from argonite, and are frequently destroyed and then plundered by pirates.
The Space Corps (see Nightmare of Eden) enforce law and order in an area where pirates also steal shipments of argonite ore. Argonite mining is almost always done by large companies, including the Issigri Mining Company [which later became the Interplanetary Mining Corporation: see 'Colony in Space'].
There are some fine model effects courtesy of designer John Wood. Wood was at this point a freelancer but had previously worked for the BBC, where his assignments had included designing the sets for The Web Planet, The Chase (with Raymond P Cusick), The Myth Makers and The Celestial Toymaker.
The story title, episode number and writer's caption credits for each episode are shown in black against a white background following (except in Episode 1's case) the reprise from the previous episode.
Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury appear only in pre-filmed inserts in Episode Six as they all were away on location for The War Games. This thus became the only sixties episode apart from Mission to the Unknown to have none of the regulars present for a studio recording.
Clancey has a terrible temper. He's likely to explode like glyciltrinitrate.' The unit that remotely operates the LIZ is 'transistorized'.
Zoe does not know how candles work. However, in The Mind Robber she recognised them without hesitation.
In the cliffhanger to episode three the screams of the Doctor and the others can be heard for ages: in the next episode they've only fallen a few feet.
There are noisy explosions in space, but no stars.
Technician Penn has a horrible droopy moustache
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
Jamie - Frazer Hines
Zoe - Wendy Padbury
Caven - Dudley Foster
Dervish - Brian Peck
Dom Issigri - Esmond Knight
General Hermack - Jack May
Lt. Sorba - Nik Zaran
Madeleine Issigri - Lisa Daniely
Major Ian Warne - Donald Gee
Milo Clancey - Gordon Gostelow
Pirate Guard - Steve Peters
Space Guard - Anthony Donovan
Technician Penn - George Layton
Director - Michael Hart