Production Code: 5L
1 - 22/12/1979 18:10
2 - 29/12/1979 17:50
3 - 05/01/1980 18:20
4 - 12/01/1980 18:05
The inhabitants of the planet Skonnos have been promised by an alien Nimon that he will restore their empire to greatness if they in return provide young sacrifices and radioactive hymetusite crystals, both of which they are obtaining from the nearby planet Aneth.
With the TARDIS immobilised for repairs, the Doctor and Romana encounter the Skonnan spaceship transporting the latest sacrificial consignment from Aneth. Romana is captured and taken to Skonnos on board the ship, while the Doctor follows in the now semi-repaired TARDIS. Once there, they are consigned by the Skonnans' leader, Soldeed, into the Nimon's labyrinthine power complex.
The two Time Lords discover that the Nimons are a race of parasites moving from planet to planet like a plague of locusts. The bull-headed creatures send a lone representative to an unsuspecting world, offering assistance in order to gain the trust of its inhabitants, then arrive in force to drain it of its resources.
The power complex, fuelled by hymetusite, uses a black hole to create a space tunnel through which the Nimons cross from one planet to the next.
The Doctor manages to destroy the complex on Skonnos, thereby trapping the Nimons on their last home, the dying planet Crinoth.
The Doctor holds on to K9 in alarm as a planet-sized asteroid approaches the TARDIS on collision course.
The Nimon kills the Skonnan Co-Pilot and advances on Romana and the Anethan youngsters.
The Doctor reacts in horror as Soldeed fires bolts of energy from his staff and puts the controls of the Nimon's transmat capsule out of action, effectively trapping Romana on the planet Crinoth.
The Doctor sets about completing his repairs on the TARDIS control console.
Theseus and the Minotaur.
Moses and the plagues of Egypt.
The Iron Sun.
The Doctor : "Come on old girl, quite a few millenia left in you yet."
Romana : "Thank you, Doctor!"
The Doctor : "Not you - the TARDIS!"
"He lives in the power complex."
"Later, you will be questioned, tortured and killed"
The Doctor : "Well, I hope you get it in the right order."
Nimon : [The Nimon assures us] "The programme will continue."
The TARDIS defence shield can extend outside the ship, maintaining an atmosphere (cf City of Death). Even without it, the hull is hard enough to withstand huge shocks, but [in such a bad state of repair] can't land inside the Power Complex's defence shields.
The Doctor carries adhesive stars. Romana has made her own sonic screwdriver (first seen in City of Death). She can use a gun. K9 can measure radiation and make medical assessments, lock the TARDIS doors, follow the 'psychospoor' of the Doctor and Romana, and is armoured.
Skonnos was once home to an Empire of over a hundred star systems, but it fell into civil war. The Empire still includes Crinoth (devastated by the Nimon) and Aneth [The inhabitants of all three worlds seem to be descended from Earth colonists.]
The Nimon journey from world to world ('The great journey of life') in capsules via small artificially created black holes, draining the worlds they leave of all their energy. They can kill with bolts from their horns and the Sknonnon Nimon has consructed a complex of shifting walls, with 'horns' projecting a defence shield. He gave Soldeed his weapon.
The Doctor has been to 'charming' Aneth, 'but not yet'. He was also involved in the original Minotaur story, forgetting to remind Theseus to paint his ship white (see The Creature from the Pit).
Janet Ellis, later to become a presenter of the popular children's magazine programme Blue Peter, appears here as the Anethan, Teka.
The famous 'Bloodnok's stomach' sound effect from the BBC radio classic The Goon Show is used in a scene in which the Doctor tries unsuccessfully to reactivate the TARDIS control console.
The creatures planning to invade Skonnos are called the Nimon. ('Nimons' is clearly given as the plural of the race's name both in the closing credits and in the story's dialogue.)
The TARDIS console makes various silly 'boing!' noises.
The co-pilot's trousers rip at the end of episode three when the Nimon kills him.
In episode four Soldeed's body disappears from where it fell.
The Nimons' platforms.
The Anethans' karate pyjamas.
Sorak has flares on his flares.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Romana - Lalla Ward
Voice of K9 - David Brierley
Co-Pilot - Malcolm Terris Also in Part Four, as a dead body, but uncredited
Nimon - Robin Sherringham
Nimon - Bob Appleby
Nimon - Trevor St. John Hacker
Pilot - Bob Hornery
Seth - Simon Gipps-Kent
Sezom - John Bailey
Soldeed - Graham Crowden
Sorak - Michael Osborne
Teka - Janet Ellis
Voice of the Nimons - Clifford Norgate
Director - Kenny McBain