Production Code: 5K
1 - 24/11/1979 18:00
2 - 01/12/1979 18:00
3 - 08/12/1979 18:00
4 - 15/12/1979 17:55
The TARDIS arrives on the space liner Empress which has become locked together with a private ship, the Hecate, after colliding with it on emerging from hyperspace.
The Doctor and Romana meet the scientist Tryst, who has with him a Continuous Event Transmuter (CET) machine containing crystals on which are stored supposed recordings of planets that he and his team have visited.
Someone on board the liner is smuggling the dangerously addictive drug vraxoin, and to complicate matters the interface between the two ships allows some monstrous Mandrels from the mud-swamps of Eden to escape from the CET machine - which does not merely take recordings but actually displaces whole planetary areas into its crystals.
The smugglers are revealed to be Tryst and the Hecate's pilot, Dymond. Vraxoin is in fact the material into which the Mandrels decompose when they are killed. The Doctor thwarts this plan, separates the two ships and returns the Mandrels to Eden.
Finding their progress through the Empress impeded by its interface with the Hecate, the Doctor instructs K9 to cut a hole in the wall to allow access. When he and the liner's Captain Rigg remove the cut metal panel, a huge monster rears out of the hole and, growling menacingly, starts waving its arms about.
The Doctor and Romana have sealed themselves in the lounge to escape the excise men Fisk and Costa. Romana calls up the image of Eden on the CET machine. The Doctor then tells Romana that he intends to test a theory, and the two of them leap into the projected image.
The Doctor plans to separate the two ships. Romana activates the drive of the Empress at the appropriate moment, but the Doctor is trapped in the interface and blurs and vanishes as the ships separate.
With Tryst and Dymond arrested, the Doctor takes charge of the CET crystals and intends to return all the projections to their correct planets of origin. Romana notes that she can think of one animal that would be at home in an electric zoo but, when asked, declines to name it.
Airport style disaster movies.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (the Doctor's dog whistle leads the Mandrels into the CET).
The Doctor misquotes Captain Oates ('I may be rather a long time') and Henry V ('Once more into the...').
Romana : "I don't think we should interfere."
The Doctor : "Interfere! Of course we should interfere. Always do what you're best at, that's what I say."
Tryst : "I am helping to conserve endangered species."
The Doctor : "By putting them in this machine?"
Tryst : "Oh yes."
The Doctor : "Ah yes, of course. Just in the same way a jam maker conserves raspberries."
Rigg : "First a collision, then a dead navigator and now a... monster roaming about my ship. Well it's totally inexplicable."
The Doctor : "Nothing's inexplicable."
Rigg : "Then explain it."
The Doctor : "It's inexplicable!"
Captain Rigg : "Galactic went out of business 20 years ago."
The Doctor : "I wondered why I hadn't been paid..."
The Doctor : "Oh... my fingers... my arms... my legs... ah... my everything... aaargh!"
Romana : [The Doctor tells Romana she has two minutes 58 seconds to rebuild the CET] "I'll need a screwdriver."
K9 can track the Doctor. His scanners won't work in a 'matter interface'. The Doctor says K9 has saved his life many times and beat him at chess (once). The Doctor thinks his date of birth is 'some time quite soon' [is he joking?] and says he can start 'anything from a steam engine to a TARDIS'. The Doctor's ability to suspend his breathing whilst in a vacuum (see Terror of the Zygons) is again witnessed.
The Empress, with 900 passengers, commutes between Station 9 and Azure in the Western Galaxy. The drug XYP or Vraxoin is a fungus. The Doctor has seen 'whole planets' destroyed by the drug which induces apathy.
Tryst's research hit funding problems due to 'the Galactic recession'. On his Volante expedition, Tryst mentions visiting the Cygnus Gap and three planets in System M37. Examples of life from various planets are stored in the CET, including Eden, Gidi, Zil, Bros, Vij, Darp, Lvan and Ranx. The Continual Event Transmuter converts specimens to electromagnetic signals, stored on laser crystals. The Doctor sees the Eden Project's projected profits (z9,100,000 cal credits).
The Cruise Liner Empress, orbiting Azure, [c. 2116].
Galactic Salvage Insurance, whom the Doctor claims to work for, was formed in London in 2068 and was liquidated in 2096. Stott is a Major in the intelligence section of the Space Corps (see The Space Pirates). He estimates he was in the Eden projection for 183 days.
The Doctor knew Tryst's mentor, the late Professor Stein.
The idea of the CET machine and its stored life-forms recalls that of the Miniscope in season ten's Carnival of Monsters.
The Doctor asks whether the CET features a spatial integrator, a transmutation oscillator, a hologistic retention circuit or a dimensional osmosis damper. Tryst and Dymond plan to smuggle vraxoin with an entuckor laser.
The Doctor leaves the TARDIS doors open.
In episode two, when K9 seals up the wall panel, a hand emerges to hold the thing in place.
When Della gets shot in the face in episode four, she clutches her stomach.
Romana's maternity dress.
Fisk's leatherman outfit.
Rigg's neck ring.
Monsters with flares.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Romana - Lalla Ward
Voice of K9 - David Brierley
Costa - Peter Craze
Crewman - Richard Barnes
Crewman - Sebastian Stride
Crewman - Eden Phillips
Della - Jennifer Lonsdale
Dymond - Geoffrey Bateman
Fisk - Geoffrey Hinsliff
Passenger - Annette Peters
Passenger - Lionel Sansby
Passenger - Peter Roberts
Passenger - Maggie Petersen
Rigg - David Daker
Secker - Stephen Jenn
Stott - Barry Andrews
Tryst - Lewis Fiander
Director - Alan Bromly