Eighth Doctor
An online drama webcast on the BBC website
Written by Douglas Adams
Adapted for audio by Gary Russell
Directed by Nicholas Pegg
Sound Design and Post Production by Gareth Jenkins
Music by Russell Stone

Paul McGann (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), John Leeson (K9), James Fox (Professor Chronotis), Andrew Sachs (Skagra), Sean Biggerstaff (Chris Parsons), Susannah Harker (Clare Keightley), Hannah Gordon (The Ship), Stuart Crossman (Constable / Motorist / Shada Voice / Krags), Nicholas Pegg (Think Tank Voice), Barnaby Edwards (Caldera / Krag Commander).

The Doctor has a spot of unfinished business. Reunited with his old friends Romana and K9, he answers a summons from Professor Chronotis, a retired Time Lord now living the academic life in a Cambridge college.

But the Doctor isnít the only visitor to Cambridge. Somewhere in the city is the sinister alien Skagra, who is intent on stealing an ancient and mysterious book brought to Earth by the Professor many years before.

What is Skagraís diabolical masterplan? And who or what is the mysterious Shada? To discover the truth, the Doctor and his friends must embark on a perilous journey that will take them from the cloisters of Cambridge to the farthest reaches of deep space, risking deadly encounters with a sentient spaceship, the monstrous Krargs, and an ancient Time Lord criminal called Salyavin. As the Doctor soon discovers, the fate of the universe hangs in the balanceÖ

Original Webcast

Episode 1				2nd May, 2003
Episode 2				9th May, 2003
Episode 3				16th May, 2003
Episode 4				23rd May, 2003
Episode 5				30th May, 2003
Episode 6				6th June, 2003

Each episode was first made available on the BBC website Friday at noon GMT. They are approximately ten minutes long and are divided into smaller chapters.

  • Featuring the Eighth Doctor, Romana and K9, this story was originally published on the BBC Doctor Who website, and is based upon the unfinished Season 17 story Shada.
  • An expanded audio-only version of the story was released on CD by Big Finish in December 2003
    [ISBN: 1 84435 039 8].
  • The expanded story was broadcast on digital radio station BBC 7 in omnibus format on 10th December 2005. It was broadcast again on BBC 7 in six weekly parts beginning on 16th July 2006.

On the rain-swept planet of Gallifrey, a weary President Romana is greeted by an annoyingly cheerful Doctor. Heís overjoyed to see that K9 hasnít aged a bit and hasnít got a speck of rust on him, and he also comments on the scale and grandeur of her rooms -- dark and mysterious, Gallifrey at its most typical. Romana compliments him on his new body, but although sheís delighted to see him sheís curious to know why he breached the Transduction Barriers and materialised his TARDIS right outside the Presidential Palace. He tells her that he needs her and K9 to accompany him back to Cambridge on Earth in 1979. They were there once before, in the old days, and he reminds her of the time they punted up the Cam only to be abruptly taken out of time, kept in stasis for a while, then put back again. Theyíd intended to visit Professor Chronotis, an associate of the Doctorís who resides at St Ceddís College -- but neither he nor Romana can remember why they were there. K9 recalls that the two of them were gone for nearly two and a half hours and when they returned the Doctor announced it was time he made some changes as they were going to Brighton instead. Whatís odd is that the Doctor had a dream about Chronotis last night, in which he saw his old friend calling to him. Perhaps he still needs them to do whatever it was he wanted them to do in the first place? Romana points out that the Doctor could easily go without her, but he doesnít want her to be plagued by the mystery and he suspects that theyíll all be needed if itís going to be solved properly. He pleads with them to go back with him... back to Cambridge, 1979.

Part One
(drn: 21'43")

In deep space, the Institute for Advanced Scientific Studies is under quarantine and a recorded message warns ships in the area not to approach. Professor Caldera contacts Skagra, demanding to know whatís going on, but the strange scientist merely tells him that the others are waiting for him in the main laboratory. Skagra explains that he's called everyone together to tell them about the emergency, but when Caldera arrives heís shocked to see their fellow scientists are all completely motionless and attached to a hexagonal unit. Skagra claims that theyíve had some sort of accident and that he was hoping Caldera could help. Theyíre not physically dead, but Skagra doesnít think theyíre ever going to be quite right in the head again. He offers to show Caldera the end result of Think Tankís work and proudly produces a large white sphere. Skagra explains that the scientistsí minds are now contained inside the sphere... and Calderaís is about to join them! Caldera screams out in agony as the sphere attaches itself to his head.

In Cambridge, the post-graduate student Chris Parsons arrives at St Ceddís College and asks for directions. Moments later, he knocks on the door of Professor Chronotisís rooms and finds the elderly lecturer making tea in an adjoining room. Chris introduces himself and apologises for intruding on his time, but the Professor says that at his age time doesnít matter too much, not that he expects Chris ever will get to his age. He recalls talking to the last Master of the College but one (or it may have been three) -- a nice young chap who died rather tragically after being run over by a coach and pair -- but then he forgets what they talked about as it was such a long time ago. Chris reminds the Professor that they met at a faculty party a few weeks ago, and he was kind enough to say he would lend Chris some books on carbon dating. Chronotis returns to the kitchen area and tells Chris to help himself, but his directions are rather garbled and because Chris is late for a seminar, he collects several different volumes at random. As heís preparing to leave, Chris asks Chronotis about the old police box in the room, but the Professor doesnít know anything about it and assumes someone left it there while he was out. It fits quite nicely in the corner though.

The Doctor and Romana make their way through the streets of Cambridge, guessing that the reason K9 never accompanied them on their last visit was because he couldnít get over the cobbles. Itís the middle of the afternoon and the note on Professor Chronotisís door said heíd be back by tea-time. Since then, the Doctor has taken Romana on a tour of four colleges, six second-hand bookshops and an art gallery, but with any luck the Professor will have returned by now and put the kettle on. Romana thinks itís odd that heíd arrange an appointment with them and then go out, but the Doctor thinks that sounds exactly like Chronotis as it would be terribly unfashionable to have tea ready before they got there. The Doctor is in the middle of recalling a charming evening he spent with Chronotis on Lake Geneva with Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, when Romana tells him she can hear voices...

Chris returns to his college laboratory and calls out to his colleague Clare Keightley, telling her heís got the book he needed from Chronotis. Thereís no reply, but he thinks thatís typical for Clare as sheíd be late for her own funeral. He examines the first book and realises straight away that itís not the one he wanted -- and that itís written in a strange language.

The Doctor and Romana finally arrive at St Ceddís College, Cambridge, which the Doctor proudly declares was founded in the year something or other, by someone whose name heís forgotten, in honour of someone who for the moment escapes him completely. St Cedd, probably. Suddenly the Doctor spots a face he recognises and goes over to greet the college porter, Wilkin. Heís surprised when the porter remembers him, but then he did take an honorary degree here in 1960. Wilkin also recalls that he previously visited Professor Chronotis in 1964, 1960 and 1955, and the Doctor points out he was also here in 1958, although he was in a different body then. He and Romana bid goodbye to Wilkin, knock on Chronotisís door and are welcomed in. The Doctor instructs Romana to sit down and correctly predicts that their host will ask them if they want tea, then ask if they want milk, whether they want one lump or two, and then finally whether they want sugar. The old man emerges from the kitchen and greets his friend the Doctor warmly. He introduces Romana, and Chronotis is sure heíll have heard so much about her soon. He explains that when Time Lords get to his age, they tend to get their tenses muddled up. After offering biscuits, he then suggests crackers, to which the Doctor agrees ďsometimesĒ.

Wilkin is engaged in a telephone conversation with another prospective visitor to the College when heís approached by Skagra, the strange scientist dressed in flamboyant futuristic clothing. He rudely addresses Wilkin as ďlittle manĒ and demands to see Chronotis! The porter explains that the Professor wonít want to be disturbed as heís with the Doctor, a very old friend. Skagra informs him he will return later and leaves.

Chronotis tells the Doctor and Romana that heís lived here in the same set of rooms for 300 years, ever since he retired from Gallifrey. One of the delights of the older Cambridge colleges is that everyone is so discreet that no oneís noticed heís been here so long. He asks what he can do for them, but the Doctor points out that they came here at his request after he sent them a telepathic message. Chronotis denies sending any message, but then he has an idea who might have sent it -- himself... but it was so long ago he's forgotten why. He assumes the Doctor must have a better idea what it was about, since he heard it more recently, and the Doctor wonders if it has anything to do with the babbling inhuman voices Romana heard earlier. Chronotis thinks thatís probably just the under-graduates talking to each other, which heís been trying to get banned, but they think it sounded more like ghosts screaming. The Professor suddenly remembers why he asked them here -- itís a rather delicate matter regarding a book...

Chris telephones Clare and tells her to stop being busy as heís got something important to tell her. If she wants to see the world of science turned on its head, she should come to his lab right away. He tells her heís got the most amazing thing -- a book with a molecular structure unlike anything heís ever seen. He thinks it might be extra-terrestrial, and heís run all the obvious tests including x-rays and spectrographs, but now he wants her to see it for herself.

Skagra is nearly knocked over by a car as he walks down the middle of a quiet country road. The car screeches to a halt and the driver gets out to accost him, then realises the man is acting strangely and offers him a lift. Skagra accepts and manhandles the man back into his own vehicle, telling him he needs his help. He asks the driver if he knows how to operate the car, and as it turns out heís actually treasurer of the Ford Prefect Society and knows the vehicle backwards. Skagra explains that he needs to get to a field a few miles away and the driver assumes he must have broken down there. Without warning, Skagra produces the large white sphere and it floats towards the driver and attaches itself to his head. The man screams in agony... and moments later, the car drives off with Skagra at the wheel.

The three Time Lords in Chronotisís rooms are certain they just heard voices, very faintly this time, and the Doctor wonders if it has anything to do with the book Chronotis mentioned. He assures them itís just a book he accidentally brought back with him from Gallifrey, although he then admits it wasnít an accident and he overlooked the fact that he deliberately decided to bring it. Romana is horrified that he kept such things for study and the Doctor agrees they could be terribly dangerous in the wrong hands. Chronotis agrees, and now that heís getting old, he was hoping they might take the book back to Gallifrey for him. The Doctor and Romana start working their way through the enormous collection of titles on Chronotisís shelves, and stumble upon a huge text covering the five principles laid down during the great days of Rassilon, but this is just a Gallifreyan nursery book which Romana read as a Time Tot. Chronotis tells them this isnít the one he meant and admits to bringing back the odd two or seven books, but thereís only one that was in any way dangerous. Itís called The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, a little red book about five inches by seven. The Doctor is outraged that such a book was removed from the Panopticon Archives but Chronotis argues it was safer with him (in theory). The book dates back to the days of Rassilon and is one of the Artefacts. They have no idea what might be in the book, as Rassilon had secrets and powers that the Time Lords of today donít understand, but at least there isnít much chance that anyone else will understand it either. As they resume their search of the shelves more urgently, Chronotis recalls that the book might actually be green...

Skagra drives into the empty field and orders the driver of the car to stop breathing. He then enters his Ship, where heís greeted by the warm female voice of the computer, and he demands to be fed and rested. Although he wasnít successful in finding the book, heís confirmed its location and is confident it will soon be in his possession. He asks the Ship about the man called the Doctor and a rapid series of images from the Doctorís past flash onto the screen. Skagra is dismissive -- even as a renegade, the Doctor appears to have no more power than the other Time Lords. Only one has the power he seeks and when he has the book, that power will be his! He tells the Ship to open up communication with his carrier ship and asks for a report from the Krarg Commander, a creature that appears to be made of rock, but with burning eyes. All appears to be going well, so Skagra plans to join the Krargs soon -- and then the Universe should prepare itself for him...

Part Two
(drn: 21'50")

The books in Chronotisís study continue to pile up... Rogetís Thesaurus, The British Book of Bird Life in Colour, Alternative Betelgeuse, The Time Machine, Wuthering Heights, Little Grey Rabbitís Birthday, Tandoori Chicken for Starters and Sweeney Todd... but thereís no sign of The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. The Doctor is starting to wonder whether itís all that important anyway apart from its historical value, but Romana reminds him that each of the Artefacts was imbued with stupendous power, and although the meanings may be lost now, the powers and the rituals remain. As President of the High Council, Romana has no choice but to report Chronotisís actions, but the Doctor thinks a wise President would be able to see the bigger picture. He argues that leaving a powerful Time Lord relic lying around on a Class 3 planet like Earth is really only a little crime, and in any case the High Council wouldnít know how to react. Romana believes this is nonsense and reminds him of what happened to Salyavin. True, he was a great criminal, but he was also a boyhood hero of the Doctor's as he had great style, flair and panache. The Doctor never met Salyavin as he was imprisoned centuries ago, even before the Doctor was born, but oddly neither he nor Romana can recall where. Realising Chronotis was a contemporary of Salyavin they ask him if he remembers, but he changes the subject, having remembered the student who came here earlier to borrow some books. Chronotis struggles to recall his name and starts working his way through the alphabet A... B... C...

Clare has joined Chris in his laboratory and agrees that the results heís shown her are incredible. Theyíve used a top of the line electron microscope and discovered the book doesnít seem to have any molecular structure, as if itís made of pure non-atomic matter. This is clearly impossible and she thinks he may have rigged the equipment for a joke. Chris denies this and points out that the book also seems to be absorbing radiation from the air around it, even when there isnít any to absorb. He suggests they conduct another experiment on a more practical level...

Chronotis has nearly reached the end of the alphabet when the letter Y finally prompts him to remember young Chris Parsons -- born in 1957 and graduated in 1978 with an Honours Degree in Chemistry and currently engaged in post-graduate studies on sigma particles. He tells the Doctor that Chris is likely to be in the physics lab in St Simeonís College and gives him directions. The Doctor leaves, promising to be back in 15 minutes, but whispers to Romana that if heís not back in two hours sheís to lock herself and Chronotis inside the TARDIS and send out an all-frequency alert. After heís gone, Chronotis starts to wonder if he gave the Doctor accurate directions, but itís too late now anyway. He offers Romana another cup of tea.

Chris asks Clare to try tearing one of the pages from the book, but she canít. She canít even cut it with scissors. She thinks itís probably made of some kind of plastic, but Chris has already checked and thereís not a single polymer in sight, nor is there any crystalline structure. Half of it seems to be stable all the time, but the other half isnít stable any of the time. It also behaves like a super-conductor one minute, then blows up his equipment the next. Thereís no way of telling what itís made of, so Clare suggests trying a spectrographic analysis, but again heíd already tried that and it caused the machine to blow up. She asks him what the bookís actually about but he doesnít know as it reads like a cross between Chinese and algebra. She suggests the obvious thing to do is ask Professor Chronotis and sheís surprised that he hadnít thought of that.

The Doctor approaches Wilkin outside the college, gets clearer directions to St Simeonís and notes that itís almost exactly where Chronotis said it wasnít. After he leaves, the porter is accosted again by Skagra, who is this time wearing clothes stolen from the driver he killed earlier. Wilkin confirms that the Professor is now alone, although heís not sure he should let the visitor go up without an invitation. Skagra pushes him aside in frustration and heads for Chronotisís rooms. He examines the sphere and tells it that it will soon feed on a mind of quality...

Disaster strikes when Chronotis finally runs out of milk. Heís still feeling angry with himself for losing the book, but Romana assures him theyíll find it eventually. He notices sheís shivering and she admits to feeling unnerved by the voices. He goes to make her a cup of tea, then remembers he has no milk. He offers to go and buy some more, but Romana doesnít think thatís a good idea and she goes to fetch some from the TARDIS instead. He recognises the ship as a Type 40, which first came out when he was a boy, and says one of the main complaints about it was that the kitchens were an intolerable distance from the control room. After Romana goes inside the ship, Chronotis is left to consider the fate of Salyavin, who he dismisses with the words ďgood riddanceĒ. Thereís a knock at the door and he invites his new visitor in for a cup of lemon tea. Skagra enters carrying the sphere, and the babble of so many inhuman voices causes concern for the Professor as he only has seven cups. Heís therefore surprised to be confronted by Skagra, who demands he hand over the book he took from the Panopticon Archives. Chronotis tries to bluff ignorance, but Skagra threatens to "deduct" the information from his mind if he doesnít co-operate willingly. He sets the sphere loose on Chronotis and warns him not to fight against it or he will die.

The Doctor arrives at Chris Parsonsí laboratory, but Clare says heís just missed him and offers to take a message. The Doctor spots what heís looking for on the table and when Clare tells him itís an odd book, he says its owner is an odd fellow too. He asks her if sheís read the book and when she says she couldnít, he wonders if she means she canít read. Sheís curious about the origins of the book as the writing looks like an explosion in a spaghetti tree, and when she tells him it blew up the spectrograph, he decides to take a closer look at the equipment.

Inside the TARDIS Romana invites K9 to join her outside as itís turned out not to be just a routine social visit after all, but first she asks him to check how old the milk from the kitchen is. He tells her that itís been in the stasis preserver for 32 years and is still perfectly fresh. They return to Chronotisís study and are shocked to find the old man apparently dead on the floor. Thereís another knock at the door, and Chris enters and sees Romana crouching over the body. K9 reports that the Professor is still alive, although heís in a deep coma. Chris explains that he came to enquire about a book that Chronotis lent to him, and she realises heís the young man theyíve been looking for. When he says he just came from his lab, she asks why the Doctor didnít come back with him and it becomes clear that they missed each other. K9 analyses the Professor, and discovers that heís been subjected to psychoactive extraction and his chances of survival are uncertain. Someone has stolen part of his mind and his attempts to resist have caused severe cerebral trauma. Heís weakening fast, so Romana asks Chris to collect the medical kit from inside the TARDIS; though shocked by the size of the interior, he does so. She tries to communicate with Chronotis, but the part of his mind that remains is now totally inert. Chris returns with the equipment and Romana attaches a strange collar to the Professor. Heís still breathing and his hearts are beating, so the collar can take over those functions and leave his autonomic brain free to think. Chris points out that the human brain doesnít work like that, but Romana reveals that Chronotis isnít human!

The Doctor has confirmed that the book appears to have no detectable atomic structure whatsoever. He believes the book had stored up a vast amount of sub-atomic energy and suddenly released it when the spectrograph was activated. Itís a very odd way for a book to behave and he concludes that it isnít actually a book at all. Just then, the results of Chrisís carbon-dating test arrive and apparently show the book is 20,000 years old -- but the Doctor points to a minus sign that Clare missed, which means it is minus 20,000 years old. Not only is the book not a book, but time is running backwards over it!

Skagra returns to the Ship and tells the computer he was successful. He requests a playback from the sphere and sees images from Chronotisís mind. He begins with the moment he attacked the Professor in the study, then rewinds to earlier memories. The images are indistinct and Skagra realises Chronotis had great control over his own mind, but his efforts to resist will almost certainly prove fatal. Skagra decides to find the Doctor because if the Professor didnít have the book, then presumably the Doctor does, or at least knows where it is. The Ship detects the Doctor leaving St Simeonís College and cycling back to St Ceddís. Skagra is unfamiliar with the term "cycling" and the Ship explains that itís a very primitive form of transport used on this planet. She recommends that he use the stolen automobile to intercept the Doctor at the riverside, so he picks up the sphere and prepares to leave.

Romana asks K9 to scan for any sign of conscious thought from the Professor, but itís far too early to tell. Chris is starting to realise that a lot of things he thought were impossible are actually possible. Heís realised Romana is not from Earth either, but before she can explain her origins, K9 reports that Chronotis is deteriorating rapidly and thereís nothing they can do now as the condition is terminal. He can detect minimal cerebral impulses, so although Chronotis canít talk, he might still be able to hear them. Romana asks if K9 can amplify his heartbeats, and sheís delighted to discover that the Professor is beating his hearts in Gallifreyan Morse code. She reads back the words ďbeware the sphere, beware Skagra, beware ShadaĒ, but before he can finish his message the heartbeats start to fade and K9 concludes he is dying. At that moment all life function ceases -- the Professor is dead.

The Doctor is cycling through Cambridge when he sees a strange ball floating in the air in front of him. Sensing the voices from inside it, he realises straight away that the sphere is not from around here. He races off at speed, hoping to shake the sphere off, but it zooms along after him. Pedestrians dive for cover as the sphere chases the Doctor at speed through the city, even going the wrong way down a one-way street and then down some steps, until he comes to a main road. Heís nearly hit by a passing car, but when the driver gets out it is Skagra. He identifies himself and demands the Doctor hand over the book, and although the Doctor denies any knowledge of it, Skagra can see it poking out of his pocket. The Doctor refuses to give him the book and says heís taking it to a place of safety, so instead Skagra decides to take everything in the Doctorís mind. The sphere attacks the Doctor, causing him to drop the book, and as Skagra picks it up, he tells the machine to drain his enemyís mind completely...

Part Three
(drn: 20'03")

The sphere moves away from the Doctor as the TARDIS suddenly materialises in the street where the Doctor is lying. Skagra decides to withdraw and drives off with the sphere as the TARDIS door opens and Romana rushes to the Doctorís aid. She helps him back into the ship and explains that K9 was able to trace the babble of voices. Unfortunately the Doctor has lost the book, so he asks K9 for an analysis of the sphere, but the machine is unable to identify its planet of origin. He plans to ask Professor Chronotis once they get back to St Ceddís and is horrified to learn that his friend is dead. Romana tells him the sphere stole the Professorís mind, and the Doctor is angry with her for leaving him while she was supposed to be looking after him.

In his study, the apparently dead body of Chronotis completely vanishes into thin air, making Chris jump to his feet in shock. The TARDIS rematerialises in the corner and the Doctor comes out and introduces himself to the young student. He accuses Chris unfairly of being responsible for everything thatís happened, then they realise theyíve now lost both the book and the Professor! The Doctor examines the area where Chronotisís body disappeared and guesses he was on his very last regeneration. He remembers Skagra threatened to steal his mind too, but at least now he knows the name of their enemy. Romana and Chris recall that just before he died, the Professor told them to beware the sphere, beware Skagra and beware Shada. The name Shada doesnít mean anything to them, but Skagra has now killed a Time Lord and a very old friend of the Doctorís, so he thinks itís time they had a little chat. The Doctor asks K9 to trace the sphere, but unfortunately the signal is far too weak to get a bearing so theyíll have to wait for it to become active again. They agree to wait inside the TARDIS, and invite Chris to come with them.

In the laboratory, Clare telephones Chris but gets through to his answering machine. She leaves a message telling him his teleprinter has provided more pearls of wisdom and she needs to speak to him as soon as possible. In the meantime, she decides to visit Professor Chronotis herself and consults the university directory to find out where he lives. Unfortunately St Ceddís is right across town -- no wonder the Doctor wanted to borrow her bike! Eventually she arrives outside Chronotisís rooms and knocks on the door. Thereís no response, but when she hears a strange wheezing, groaning noise coming from inside, she decides to investigate. The rooms appear to be empty, so she calls out...

The Doctor fills the others in on the details of his recent encounter with Skagra. K9 then reports that the sphere has become active again and heís tracked it down to a location nearly six miles away. The Doctor is grateful and wonders how heís been able to cope without K9 these last few bodies. The TARDIS materialises in a field just outside Cambridge. The Doctor and the others emerge just in time to see the sphere floating up into the air and then completely vanishing. He asks whether anyone else saw what he didnít see, then they head in the direction where they saw the sphere, carefully trying to avoid any cowpats. Inside his spaceship, Skagra asks the computer about the device the Doctor escaped into after their last meeting and learns that it displayed characteristics of a Gallifreyan time capsule, either a Type 39 or possibly a Type 40. Itís currently in close proximity and intruders have been detected approaching the Ship. The sphere recently returned with more minds, so Skagra realises the Doctor must have traced it back here.

As the Doctor explores the apparently empty field, he bangs his head on something he canít see and realises thereís something invisible in front of him. K9 knew it was there, but didnít warn anyone as he wasnít aware that no one else could see it. He tells them itís a spacecraft of very advanced design and many of its functions are beyond his capacity to analyse. Chris comments that if he had something that clever, heíd want people to see it! Thereís not enough data to work out where the ship came from or how itís powered, but they work out that itís over 145 metres long. There must be an entrance, so they start to explore the outline of the ship -- then suddenly Chris bumps into what appears to be a ramp. A door opens at the top and when they enter, Chris is particularly impressed -- itís much better than the inside of a police box! K9ís sensors are confused by all the signals heís receiving so the Doctor thinks it might be better if the others all wait outside for him, but before they can argue they completely disappear before his very eyes. Skagraís face appears on a nearby scanner and he assures the Doctor that his friends wonít be harmed... for the moment. The Doctor refuses to be impressed by such party tricks, so Skagra invites him to join him in the control room.

As they come face to face again, the Doctor asks him what heís done with the Professorís mind and Skagra informs him it will be put to a more useful purpose. He doesnít care that Chronotis is dead as it was only his mind he wanted, and he accuses the Time Lords of having a very proprietorial view of the Universe. He refuses to disclose any information about himself, and instead produces the book and asks the Doctor to read it to him, but the Doctor says he has a very boring reading voice and that by the time he got to the bottom of the first page Skagra would probably be asleep. Skagra refuses to argue so the Doctor sits down and starts reading. Naturally the text sounds like complete gibberish, as itís written in Gallifreyan code. Skagra orders the Doctor to decode it, but the Doctor claims to be too stupid. Tired of his resistance, Skagra lets the sphere loose on the Doctor and as it connects to his head, he collapses into his chair.

Romana, Chris and K9 are trapped inside a room with no door, having been brought here by some sort of matter transference. K9 is unable to pick up any trace of the Doctor as the room is shielded, so he suggests that Romana manually reconfigure his scanning wavebands. As she does so, Chris ruminates about a lecture he was due to give later tonight to the Astronomical Society in which he was going to finally disprove the possibility of life on other planets; he can still deliver it next month, although heíll have to completely re-write it. The walls are made of a curious substance, and when the frustrated Romana shouts "blast it," K9 misunderstands and tries to blast it with his nose laser. The ray ricochets around the room, narrowly missing everyone as they drop to the floor. Just then, K9 starts to pick up some faint signals and he plays back the sound of the inhuman babble coming from the sphere. They notice it sounds different this time -- and K9 realises a new voice has been added... that of the Doctor!

Clare races across the courtyard at St Ceddís and literally bumps into Wilkin. She apologises and asks where Professor Chronotis has gone. He doesnít know but offers to pass on a message, so she tells him about the dangerous book. Wilkin thinks people shouldnít really publish things if they donít want others to read them, but she tells him the book itself is atomically unstable and is absorbing radioactivity. Although Wilkin doesnít understand what sheís saying, he appreciates the urgency and sends her back to wait in the Professorís rooms while he rings around to find the Professor.

K9 is no longer able to receive any signals on any frequency. Romana is frustrated and wishes she could get out of the locked room -- and then she suddenly vanishes in a beam of light. Chris is amazed and thinks he can do the same just by wishing out loud. It doesnít work and K9 has insufficient data to explain why.

Outside the cell, Romana reappears before Skagra and demands to know what heís done to the Doctor. He explains that heís taken the Doctorís mind and then drags her physically out of the spaceship. Accompanied by the sphere, they cross the field and head for the TARDIS. She refuses to let him in, but it doesnít matter as heís already stolen the key from the Doctor. Inside, Skagra tells Romana he can operate the ship himself using the information contained within the sphere. He programmes the controls and the ship dematerialises...

Clare paces up and down the Professorís room in desperation. Eventually she decides to leave, but accidentally bumps into a cabinet. It opens up and amazingly, itís filled with futuristic controls. She flicks a switch and all the windows automatically seal shut. An alarm sounds and the room itself starts to shake, as if in an earthquake. Then the sound of a TARDIS dematerialising fills the air... Moments later, Wilkin arrives outside the Professorís door and calls out for Clare. Thereís no answer, so he tries the door -- and finds a shimmering blue void on the other side. The Professorís room has completely vanished!

Back in Skagraís Ship, the Doctor slowly comes back to consciousness, still repeating how stupid he is. He calls out for Skagra and the computer informs him that her lord has departed. He asks about his companions, but Ship refuses to answer as heís the enemy of her master and therefore regarded as hostile. The computer doesnít understand how he can still be moving since heís obviously dead, but the Doctor explains that he was able to prevent his entire mind from being stolen by the sphere by pretending to be stupid so the machine didnít pull hard enough. It effectively extracted a copy of his mind, but left the original intact. The Ship's confusion gives the Doctor an idea: he suggests to Ship that she was right all along -- he is indeed dead, and as such, he cannot pose a threat to Skagra. Convinced that a dead man's orders are no longer of any consequence, Ship agrees to his request to release his companions. The Doctor then notices itís starting to get a bit stuffy and the Ship explains that she's programmed to preserve resources. As thereís no one alive in the area, she's decided to shut down the air supply -- after all, dead men do not require oxygen. Slowly, the Doctor starts to suffocate and collapses to the floor, struggling for breath...

Part Four
(drn: 26'07")

Chris and K9 reappear inside one of the spaceship corridors, although theyíre unaware how they managed to escape. K9 says itís imperative they locate the Doctor straight away and prepares to blast open the door to the control room, but Chris suggests they try pressing the íopení button first. They race inside and the oxygen levels are restored immediately by Ship once their presence is detected. The Doctor starts to wake up, realising heís been too clever by three-quarters, but insists that heís still dead so the computer will continue to obey him. Fortunately the Ship is only programmed to obey instructions blindly, not to think about them. He then realises Romana is missing; itís obvious Skagra has taken her somewhere, together with the book and a copy of the Doctorís mind inside the sphere. The only good thing is that the Doctor deliberately avoided thinking about the code to the book just in case his mind was taken. He starts off for the TARDIS to follow the trail of their enemy, until K9 tells them the TARDIS has gone too!

Skagra boasts to Romana that everything is proceeding smoothly, but she tells him the main controls are booby trapped to prevent people stealing the TARDIS. He knows thatís not true as his sphere holds all the information he needs. He tells her not to come too close as the sphere can do far worse things to her than she can do to it. She canít understand why he would want to steal the TARDIS when he has a perfectly good invisible spaceship of his own, but as heís the designer of the ship he knows it has certain limitations and he needs Time Lord technology to find what theyíve hidden. He asks her if sheís ever heard of a man called Salyavin...

The Doctor wonders whether Skagra stole the TARDIS in order to travel in time -- but why would he kidnap Romana as well, since everything in the Doctorís mind is already at his disposal? Thereís only one thing Skagra doesnít know -- that the Doctor is still alive -- but the list of things they donít know is huge: they donít know where Skagra has taken Romana, why he wants to book, or what he wants to do. Thatís enough donít knows to win an election. The Doctor commands the Ship to tell him where Skagra has gone, but she doesnít have that information. Chris thinks theyíre back to square one -- and the Doctor realises thatís exactly where they need to go if they want to find out who Skagra is and what heís up to. He orders the Ship to take them back to the last place Skagra went to before arriving on Earth. The Ship tells him the location was the Think Tank, and although the Doctorís never heard of it he thinks it sounds terribly grand so heís keen to find out more about it. As the order doesnít conflict with the ship's programmed instructions, she agrees to activate launch procedures and takes off...

The TARDIS lands inside Skagraís command ship in deep space. Skagra is greeted by the Krarg commander, whom Skagra says has a rudimentary intelligence gleaned from various silicon-based life forms he cannibalised. Itís very big, very strong and very loyal. He advises Romana not to get too close as the rivulets running through the cracks in the creatureís masonry are white hot lava. Skagra shows her a hologram of the outside of the ship, which shows billions of stars that he says are spinning uselessly through the void, along with trillions of people spinning uselessly through their lives. He shows her another image of billions of atoms spinning at random, expanding energy, running down and achieving nothing. He tells her the one thing that stands against entropy and random decay is life; then he shows her yet another image where the atoms are arranged so they have meaning and purpose. And he believes the best place to find meaning and purpose is inside his own mind. Romana mocks him, but he believes she doesnít understand because her own mind is too limited.

The Krarg commander says they will shortly be needing new personnel, so Skagra grants him permission to activate the vats. He invites Romana to watch as the commander approaches a series of 50 vats, each containing enough raw material to make an entire Krarg army. Skagra proudly boasts that he makes sure thereís at least one vat on each of his Ships as you never know when you might need a friend. The commander switches on the equipment and inside one of the vats a fibre optic wire skeleton lights up. Black crystals begin to form around the skeleton and before long a brand new Krarg has been created. It asks for orders and Skagra tells Romana that with an army like that, no one can oppose him.

The Ship tells the Doctor their journey will take 39 astrasiderial days, which is the equivalent of nearly three months. Theyíre already travelling at full warp drive, but they have hundreds of light years to cover. Chris thinks thatís an incredible speed, but itís not nearly fast enough for the Doctor, so he arranges for the Ship to alter its own circuitry so he can introduce it to a few new concepts. Once his verbal reprogramming is complete, the Ship activates its realigned drive circuits and continues the journey. K9 tries to attract the Doctor's attention, but the Doctor ignores him, telling Chris that heís constructed a primitive form of dimensional stabiliser by remote control so now the journey will only take a couple of minutes. The Ship comments that for a dead man, heís extremely ingenious.

K9 continues trying to attract the Doctor's attention as the Ship approaches the Think Tank. The Doctor still has no idea what Skagra is planning, but they know they have to put a stop to it as mind control is the most horrible thing he knows. A physical threat can be fought, but once someoneís lost control of their mind, theyíve lost everything. Suddenly that thought starts to ring a faint bell for the Doctor, but heís not sure why, although he suspects it would help if he knew who or what Shada was. K9 then interrupts and tells them thereís a large unidentified hostile lifeform at large on this vessel. His sensors indicate it was created on board their Ship as an automatic self-defence procedure while they were travelling, no doubt triggered by the Doctorís modifications. He predicts that it will arrive on the command area in 21 seconds, and the Doctor berates K9 for not telling him sooner... The Ship is mere seconds away from docking at the Think Tank when the door to the command deck opens and a huge Krarg storms in and strides towards the Doctor and Chris. It accuses them of being trespassers and prepares to kill them, but K9 is able to hold it off for a while with its blaster. The docking bay is opened and the Doctor and Chris flee for their lives...

Skagra tells Romana that the Doctorís mind continues to live within the sphere, and somewhere in there, he's convinced, is the code that will unravel the secrets of the book. She wonders whatís so important about the book and he tells her itís actually the key the Time Lords use to imprison their most feared criminals, such as Salyavin. The sphere completes its analysis of the Doctorís mind and Skagra is outraged to discover that he didnít know the code to the book after all. It suddenly occurs to him that a Gallifreyan code would have to include the dimensions of time, so he searches the sphere for some more of the Doctorís recent memories and discovers that time runs backwards over the book. He decides to run a little experiment in the Doctor's TARDIS.

Inside Chronotisís study, Clare is confused by whatís happening -- and is even more shocked when the Professor appears and asks her what sheís been doing with his machine! He checks the controls and stabilises the room so that itís no longer shaking. He makes her a cup of tea and tries to introduce himself, but he struggles over a satisfactory form of grammar to cover the situation of timelessness. Right now theyíre both standing obliquely to the time fields, and he tells her she achieved this by activating the controls of his TARDIS. Itís a very old model that he literally rescued from the scrap heaps and heís not really supposed to have it, but her timely mishandling of the ship meant she tampered with his own time field at the critical moment. He now regards himself as a paradox within an anomaly. Their first priority is to track down Skagra as he now holds the key to Shada, the ancient prison planet of the Time Lords. Theyíve been induced to forget about it, and if Skagra is meddling with time control and mind transference, he can only be going to Shada for one particular reason -- or rather, one particular person -- and itís imperative he be stopped!

The Doctor and Chris emerge onto the Institute for Advanced Scientific Studies, aka the Think Tank, and they hear the emergency announcement warning people not to approach as the station is under quarantine. They wonder what Skagra was doing here, but as they explore Chris asks how they were able to travel faster than light since Einstein states this is impossible. The Doctor is amazed that Chris understands quantum theory as well as Planck, Newton and Schoenberg, and tells Chris that he has a lot to unlearn. They find the main laboratory, and inside, they encounter a wizened ghostly figure which emerges from the shadows and begs for their help... Meanwhile, back on Skagraís Ship, K9 is struggling to hold the Krarg back and calls out to the Doctor for assistance...

In the Doctorís TARDIS, Skagra has conducted an experiment which proves time runs backwards over the book. As he turns the pages within the time field of the machine, it actually operates the controls. He believes turning the last page will take them to Shada! He returns to his command carrier and orders the Krargs to prepare to leave. He then tells Romana to get ready to meet one of the greatest and most powerful criminals in history, a man who the Time Lords have chosen to forget -- Salyavin, who will be the lynchpin to his plans!

The ghostly figure on the Think Tank turns out to be Professor Caldera. Heís barely alive, but the Doctor and Chris soon find themselves surrounded by five more decrepit scientists. The Doctor realises that although the scientists' intellectual powers have been stolen by Skagraís brain drain sphere, their memories might still remain. The Doctor asks Chris if he can give Caldera temporary access to his intelligence reserves, as it might be enough to allow the scientistís brain to function. The Doctor uses the equipment in the laboratory to link Chris and Caldera together, then switches it on. Chris jolts for a second and passes out, but the result is immediate and Caldera sits upright and shouts out Skagraís name. The Doctor introduces himself and discovers Caldera is the famous neurologist, one of the greatest intellects of his generation. All the scientists here are (or were) among the greatest minds in existence, including Thira the psychologist, Santori the parametricist, Ia the biologist, Professor Akrotiri -- and Dr Skagra, the geneticist, astro-engineer, cyberneticist, neuro-structuralist, moral theologian and too clever by seven-eighths. They donít know where Skagra originally came from, but he offered very handsome fees so they all agreed to set up the Think Tank. It was Skagraís idea all along to pool intellectual resources by electronic mind transference, and by the time they realised what he intended, it was too late and he stole their minds. But he still needed one more victim, the unique mind of a man named Salyavin! Caldera loses consciousness and a few seconds later, Chris revives and the Doctor tells him that he's learned enough to scare him out of his wits. At that moment the door bursts open and the huge form of the Krarg enters the laboratory, closely followed by the apologetic K9. The creature moves menacingly towards the Doctor and Chris...

Part Five
(drn: 22'52")

The Krarg is burning and crackling, having absorbed all the energy from K9ís blaster, and it looks as though itís going to explode at any moment. The Doctor asks Chris to distract the creature while he struggles to revive Professor Caldera and the other scientists, but thereís not enough time, so they have to flee and abandon the scientists. As the three of them race down the corridor back towards their own Ship, the Doctor regrets not being able to save the scientists -- he knows Caldera was already dead, but he wasnít able to check on the others. K9 reports that the only viable human life signs on board are the Doctor and Chris, which is some relief to him. The Shipís computer tells them the Krargís metabolism has reactivated the Think Tankís power systems and the destruction of the station is imminent, so she initiates emergency escape procedures. The Doctor realises the Shipís engines will not get them away in time, so he orders the computer to dematerialise using the reprogrammed circuits he designed earlier. The Ship disappears just as the station explodes spectacularly.

The Doctor regrets the loss of all those brilliant minds, but congratulates the Ship on learning some new skills. However, theyíre still no nearer to finding Skagra and heís not sure what to do next. He tries asking the Ship again, but she responds that her master did not reveal his destination to her. However, she does know about the carrier ship. The Doctor asks her to take them there instead. The Ship is starting to feel uncomfortable about following the instructions of a dead man, but he manages to convince her that Skagra will be anxious to pay his last respects to him. Being literal-minded, the computer accepts his argument.

Professor Chronotis is attempting to get his old TARDIS working again and is worried that the movement from Cambridge was just a dying spasm. Theyíre now jammed between two irrational time interfaces and time is actually moving away from them. Even if they disentangle themselves, heís going to have to be very careful or he may end up dead again. Clare asks him about Salyavin and he tells her that he was a criminal, although the stories of his exploits were undoubtedly exaggerated as he was really just a brilliant but hot-headed young man with a peculiar talent. Chronotis is struggling with the repairs as the interfacial resonator needs two operators. Clare offers to help, but she doesnít really have sufficient knowledge... and then a thought crosses the Professorís mind. He tells her heís about to do something and she must never speak of it again to anybody. He asks her if she knows what a certain piece of equipment is, and obviously she doesnít -- but then he stares into her eyes and tells her to let her mind go blank. Then he asks her the same question and she immediately identifies the equipment as a conceptual geometer relay with an agronomic trigger and a totally defunct field separator. More importantly, she knows they can afford to dispense with it if they can get the interfacial resonator working again. They get to work...

Skagra is confused when the Krarg commander reports that his Ship has docked with them and Romana theorises that perhaps the Ship missed him. Fortunately he now has a full complement of Krargs at his disposal, created with rudimentary movement and understanding of basic commands. Romana wonders what he wants with an army of witless thugs, but he tells her they have an important part to play in his later plans. Just then, the door opens and Skagra is shocked to see the Doctor, Chris and K9 enter, accompanied by some Krarg guards. Skagra asks how he survived the sphere and the Doctor explains that it only looks for what it expects to find, so he just made it look for the wrong things. He accuses Skagra of wanting to take over the Universe, but he laughs at such a limited and childish vision. The Doctor agrees -- itís a troublesome place, difficult to administer and as a place of real estate itís worthless because thereís no one to sell it to. Skagra reveals that his purpose is to fulfil the natural evolutionary goal of all life. With the aid of the sphere, he plans to make the whole of creation merge into one single godlike mind -- the Universe will actually be him! The Doctor offers to discuss things over tea but Skagra explains that heís ready to start and thereís nothing anyone can do to stop him. He orders them all to be locked up and for the key to be melted down, but the Doctor tells K9 to open fire and in the distraction heís able to escape with Chris, although Romana is quickly recaptured. Skagra orders the Krargs to hunt them down and destroy them while Romana will accompany him to Shada. They prepare to leave straight away in the Doctorís TARDIS.

The Doctor and Chris are soon lost in the corridors of the command ship and things get worse when K9 arrives to report that Romana is not with them. Chris thinks Skagra is mad, but the Doctor says thatís a matter of opinion and his own opinion is that heís mad and infinitely dangerous. K9 detects more Krargs approaching and as the group moves back down the corridor they think they can hear the hum of the TARDIS. They turn a corner and find a door thatís inconsistent with the rest of the ship and wasnít there when they passed this way earlier. Itís made of wood and has a little name-plate on it that reads ďChronotis, Professor J FĒ. K9 tells him the Krargs have spotted them and are converging on the area, and not for the first time the Doctor realises how much heís missed having him around to point out the patently obvious. They have no choice but to go through the door--

--where they find themselves back in Professor Chronotisís study. The Doctor, Chris, Clare, K9 and Chronotis are all amazed to see each other, but fortunately thereís a pot of tea available to calm everyoneís nerves. They hear the Krargs banging on the door, but the Professor isnít worried and asks the Doctor what he thinks of his TARDIS. He admits that itís strictly unofficial and heís not really allowed to have one, so what better way to hide it than to actually live in it? Neither Chris nor Clare have any idea how they got here, but Chronotis suspects Skagra is heading for Shada. The Doctor is surprised to realise heíd forgotten all about the Time Lordsí prison planet -- but he does recall that Salyavin had unique mental powers and had the capacity to project his mind into other minds. With Skagra itís quite the opposite; he has the ability to take peopleís minds out of them, but he canít put other minds into them. Heís obviously going to Shada to capture Salyavin within his sphere. It will make him omnipotent and able to move into every mind in the Universe so theyíll all work together like a single organism. It might take thousands of years, but heíd become immortal and spread like a disease. Chronotis suggests they follow the space-time trail of the Doctorís TARDIS, which was the method they used to come here in the first place.

The Doctorís TARDIS materialises on Shada and Skagra emerges with Romana. The book worked perfectly by programming the ship to bring them here and unlock the door to the prison. They hear a recorded message warning them that unauthorised entry is punishable by matter dispersion, but Skagra ignores it and when Romana protests, he orders the Krarg commander to keep her silent. He finds the prison index and passes over Rungar (who was sentenced for war crimes) and Sabjatric (the mass murderer), before he comes to Salyavin, who was imprisoned in perpetuity for mind crimes. The prisoners of Shada are all kept in their own separate cryogenic cells, alive but perpetually frozen. Romana refuses to comment on the morality of Shada, claiming that she isnít answerable for the Time Lords -- but he reminds her that sheís their President even if she isn't responsible for previous administrations. In any case, the Time Lords will soon be irrelevant.

Not long after, Chronotisís TARDIS also arrives on Shada. The Doctor orders Chris and Clare to stay behind while he explores with K9 and the Professor. Chronotis leads them in the direction that Skagra would have gone, and when the Doctor asks how he knows, he claims he heard footsteps. The Doctor considers retrieving his TARDIS so that Skagra would have no means of escape, but Chronotis believes itís more important to stop him before he reaches Salyavin. K9 discovers the TARDIS is being guarded by two Krargs, so the Doctor has no choice but to go along with Chronotisís strategy. The Professor instructs K9 to destroy Skagraís sphere if he tries to use it on anyone else.

Chris is getting frustrated about being left behind and comments on how odd the day is turning out to be, but Clare thinks thereís something even odder about the Professor. When Chris complains that theyíre being treated like idiots just because they donít have the remotest idea how any of the equipment works, she surprises him by admitting that she understood everything, at least for a while after the Professor did something to her mind. She explains that Chronotis just walked into her mind as if heíd just barged through her front door and started shuffling things about. The Doctor told Chris earlier that this ability is unique to Salyavin, the man Skagra has come here to find... which means Chronotis is Salyavin! Chris rushes Clare to her feet and they race out into the prison.

Skagra and Romana arrive at the cabinet containing Salyavin, but just as heís about to release the prisoner, the Doctor and Chronotis leap forward to stop him. Skagra orders the Krargs to ďpersuadeĒ the new arrivals to stay away, then activates the release button. The cryogenically sealed door slowly opens... to reveal it is empty. Skagra is horrified and demands to know where Salyavin is, and Professor Chronotis steps forward and says he would have thought the answer was obvious: he is Salyavin and he escaped from his cell years ago! Thatís why he wanted no one to come here, so that he could live out the rest of his life in peace and forget the stupidities of his past. Heís suppressed his powers for years, except when it was necessary to cover his tracks. He urges Skagra to leave and forget his insane plan, but he refuses. In fact, with Salyavin here, Skagra now has everything he needs. The sphere rises into the air and heads towards Chronotis, so the Doctor orders K9 to shoot it, but his weapon is useless. The sphere lands on the Professorís head once again and he collapses to the floor screaming. Then Skagra turns on the Doctor and orders his army of Krargs to grab him. Romana realises Skagra deliberately created mindless versions of the Krargs so that the sphere can put new minds into them. He successfully completes his objective and when the Krargs all turn in unison and speak with the voice of Skagra, the Doctor and Romana realise theyíre witnessing the beginning of his universal mind...

Part Six
(drn: 24'48")

Chris and Clare race to the scene, and before the Doctor can shout a warning, the sphere attaches itself to Chrisís head. Within moments, heís possessed too and joins the universal mind of Skagra, stalking towards the Doctor like a zombie. During the distraction, Romana tells K9 to open fire, but this time not at the Krargs but at the walls to create a series of ricochets that will act as a barrier them and their attackers. It works, and the Doctor collects together his friends and they make their escape, regrettably having to leave Chris and Chronotis behind. Skagra realises the blaster fire cannot harm the Krargs and orders them to step through and bring the intruders back.

The Doctor leads Romana, Clare and K9 to the Professorís TARDIS. They race inside and close the door, finally able to rest for a breather. They analyse what theyíve seen and realise that all Skagra has to do now is think of something and the zombie Krargs will do it. Even worse, the universal mind also contains the great intellects of the Think Tank scientists as well, and with Salyavin in the melting pot too, Skagra can now control anyone and everyone. Then Romana reminds the Doctor that his mind is also in there...

The Krargs begin banging on the door to the Professorís TARDIS, but to no avail. Skagra joins them with several of the controlled prisoners he's released from their cells, but now he believes the Doctorís actions are merely those of an insect threatened with inevitable extinction and heís content to leave him there to amuse himself. Instead, he leads his group into the Doctorís TARDIS and prepares to return to the carrier ship. From there, a fleet of small craft will take each of them to selected population centres and the great mind revolution can begin.

The Doctor has proposed a dangerous plan to Romana, and he warns Clare to hold onto something as he and Romana begin operating the controls to Chronotisís TARDIS. The result is immediate and Skagra realises an external influence has taken over the controls of the Doctorís ship. He opens the scanner and sees the Professorís college room floating next to them in the space-time Vortex, generating a force field around them. Fortunately for him, the force field is getting weaker already and he estimates it will dissipate completely within two minutes.

The Doctor congratulates Romana, but they havenít got to the hard bit yet. He instructs Clare on how to assist Romana, then warns them both to hold on as theyíre in for a very rough ride. He starts making a speech to motivate them, but by the time he reaches point 23, Romana orders him to get a move on! He points to an area in the middle of the room and asks her to switch off the Vortex shields to create a small piece of timelessness and spacelessness just behind the tea trolley. Itís a difficult manoeuvre, but with care and precision, theyíre able to achieve it and then the Doctor prepares to demonstrate a little trick he learned from an space-time mystic in the Quantocks. He steps towards the tea trolley and completely disappears...

Skagra admires the Doctorís resourcefulness and realises heís used the force field that was created by the two TARDISes trying to move through the same part of the Vortex to make a tunnel between the two crafts. But the force field is fading fast and Skagra is confident it will be a futile attempt. In Chronotisís TARDIS, Romana is having the same worries and asks K9 to check out the sub neutron circuits. He detects a malfunction and he wonít be able to do the repairs in the time available, so instead he attempts to slow down the deterioration as long as possible. Clare is holding down a switch, but itís starting to get very hot. Romana urges her to hold on, or else the Doctorís force field will lose cohesion and heíll be sucked into the Vortex. The switch is starting to burn, so Clare reaches for something to hold it down with, but thereís an explosion near the console and everyone in the room is thrown to the floor.

Skagra and his mindless prisoners struggle with the controls of the Doctorís TARDIS and eventually theyíre able to stabilise it. They make an excellent team, and now that the Doctor appears to have failed in his attempt to stop them, they can continue. In the other TARDIS, Romana and Clare wonder what happened to the Doctor as they werenít able to give him as much time to make the crossing as heíd asked for. K9 predicts he has a 0.47 percent change of survival after the tunnel collapsed, so all they can do is go ahead with their plan as arranged. Unbeknownst to anyone else, the Doctor has materialised inside the workshop aboard his own TARDIS. He starts rummaging through the equipment and collects together what he needs, rejecting a rubber duck but choosing instead a crash helmet that Evel Knievel gave him. He pieces together the equipment using the sonic screwdriver and attaches it to the helmet. Heís going to look very silly, but even if it doesnít work at least his enemies will be paralysed with laughter. He heads for the control room and hears the distinctive sound that means the TARDIS is landing.

Aboard the carrier ship, Skagra issues orders to his new army then tells the Krarg commander to start up the vats again so he can have more troopers. To his deep irritation, heís interrupted by Chronotisís TARDIS materialising, as K9 was able to complete the necessary repairs. K9 emerges and orders Skagra to cease his operations and surrender immediately, but Skagra urges the Doctor not to hide behind his metal dog and come out to face him properly. Heís surprised when Romana and Clare come out, and even more so when the Doctor then emerges behind him from his own TARDIS. Skagra announces that thereís no place for the Doctor in his new Universe and prepares to kill him, but the Doctor activates his crash helmet and turns to face Skagra. At that moment, everyone in Skagraís army turns to face him too. The helmet not only protects the Doctor from the sphere, it also reflects back the brainwaves, giving him equal control over the zombie army. Itís now down to sheer willpower -- the Doctorís against Skagraís. Skagra urges his army to face the Doctor, but he only succeeds in controlling three of them. The Doctor reminds him that his own mind is contained within the sphere as well, and Skagra is straining too hard on the army to control the sphere too, so the Doctor is easily able to take control of it and pass it to Romana for safekeeping. The mental battle between them continues for a while, leaving the zombie army confused as to what their instructions are. They are no longer a universal mind following one master.

Chris returns to normal and is greeted warmly by Clare before he passes out. The Doctor orders K9 to fire upon the Krarg commander and the creature starts to absorb too much power. Romana instructs him to keep firing and drive the creature towards the vat areas, and just as it reaches them, it explodes, taking the entire annexe of the carrier ship with it. No longer able to create any more replacement Krargs, Skagra runs off, threatening to make the Doctor pay for what heís done. The Doctor seems quite happy to let him go and says their priority is to go back to Shada to find Chronotisís body. He congratulates everyone, then he takes his own TARDIS while Romana takes the Professorís.

Skagra races back into his own Ship and orders it to take off immediately -- but then he suddenly disappears... and reappears in the cell area where Romana and Chris were imprisoned earlier. He demands to know why heís been transported to the brig and the calm voice of the Ship explains that she can no longer follow his orders as he is an enemy of her lord, the Doctor. Skagra insists that he built her and is therefore her master, and he orders her to release him -- but she is more interested in telling him more about the Doctor. She says heís done the most extraordinary things to her circuitry, and if Skagra wants, she can tell him all about how truly wonderful the Doctor is. In fact, she wants to start from the very beginning, and Skagra falls to his knees and screams...

On Shada, Clare is still worried about Chris, but Romana thinks heíll be alright and he seems to be sleeping peacefully now. The Doctor returns and says heís found Professor Chronotis, but heís still in a coma and itíll be a while before he gets his mind back. Now they have to decide what to do with him. The Doctor proposes leaving him here on the prison planet and letting the Time Lords sort it out as he has no wish to play judge and jury. He reminds Romana that Shada was only forgotten by everyone because Salyavin stole the book and made them forget in order to prevent his escape being discovered. Romana points out that it was Salyavin himself who contacted the Doctor about the book as he knew he was reaching the end of his lives, and she thinks it seems harsh to put him back into prison when all he wanted to do was make amends. Heís an old man and an old friend. The Doctor says that as sheís President of the Time Lords, it should be her decision whether he can go back to Cambridge. She makes her decision and they prepare to head back for Earth. Heís pleased to hear that, and is reassured that sheís a wise President who can see the bigger picture after all.

At St Ceddís College, the porter Wilkin has reported the disappearing rooms to the police and heís now escorting a constable back to the scene of the crime. The officer is rather sceptical about the story as itís his experience that people donít usually steal rooms; in fact, he canít think of a single example of it happening. After all, whatís the point of stealing a room -- there isnít much of a black market in them. Wilkin doesnít appreciate the constableís sarcasm, so the officer asks him to run over the salient points again for him. Wilkin reminds him that when he opened the door to Professor Chronotisís room, there was absolutely nothing behind it except for some sort of blue haze. The constable thinks the íblue hazeí might be the vital missing clue and Wilkin assures him he wasnít drinking. They arrive at the door in question and the officer notices that itís taken a bit of a beating recently. He knocks on the door and a female voice invites him in. It seems that whoever stole the room has decided to bring it back!

The constable and Wilkin enter Chronotisís study and are greeted by the Professor himself, whoís having tea with the Doctor, Romana, Chris and Clare. The officer tells them heís making a routine enquiry following a report that this room has been stolen. Obviously this isnít the case, but Clare does take the opportunity to report her missing bicycle. Chronotis offers Chris some aspirin as heís still recovering from the brain drain, which makes the constable suspect there might have been some ícelebratingí going on last night. The usual sort of high jinks for students, such as roaming the streets and stealing bollards and policemanís helmets. Just at that moment he spots the police box in the corner of the room and his worst suspicions seem justified. The Doctor claims that it belongs to him and he and Romana enter, saying goodbye to everyone and promising to keep the Professorís secret (and his book). The TARDIS dematerialises. The officer is shocked, and when everyone denies any knowledge of the police box, he insists they accompany him down to the police station.

Aboard the TARDIS, Romana wonders how Skagra was able to find out so much about the Time Lords. K9 reveals that his metabolic analysis shows Skagra came from the planet Dronid, and the Doctor recalls that there was once a schism in the College of Cardinals and the rival President set up shop on Dronid. The Time Lords forced him to come back in the end by totally ignoring him. It seems hard to believe that Chronotis was really the legendary Salyavin, as he seems such a nice old man, and Romana suspects the stories about him may have been exaggerated. The Doctor agrees that the Time Lords overreact to everything and in a few hundred years theyíll probably say the same about him -- is that really the Doctor? How strange, he seems such a nice old man!

Source: Lee Rogers

Continuity Notes:
  • The Doctor's reference to an evening on Lake Geneva with Byron and Mary Shelley may be referring to the untold story also mentioned at the beginning of Storm Warning.
  • For further continuity notes, see the Fourth Doctor version of this adventure, under Shada.
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