Story Code '5R'
by Andrew Smith
The TARDIS passes through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment, a spatial anomaly that leads to the smaller universe of E-Space. It materialises on the lush and verdant world of Alzarius, where the Doctor, Romana and K-9 encounter a community of humanoid Terradonians, descendants of a starliner that crashed on the planet forty generations ago. They are ruled by a group of three Deciders, who have preserved and maintained the ship in the hope that one day they will be able to leave the planet and return to Terradon. The Deciders warn the colonists that Alzarius is about to enter the mysterious phase of Mistfall, a time when fog descends over the planet's surface, venomous spiders hatch from eggs inside the river-fruit that the colonists harvest, and fearsome creatures rise from the marshes. However, their claims are ignored by a group of young Outlers, led by Varsh, who believe Mistfall to be nothing but a myth. But the mists do appear, and while the Doctor and K-9 witness savage Marshmen rising from the lake, Romana meets up with the Outlers, who accidentally activate the TARDIS, stranding her in their cave, where she is attacked and infected by Marshspiders. The Doctor rescues Romana and takes her and the Outlers to the Starliner, where the Terradonians are now sheltering. With the help of Varsh's brother, Adric, the Doctor realises that the colonists are actually the descendants of the Marshmen; the creatures slew the Starliner crew and then evolved at a rapid rate to become the normal humans that now live on the planet. Furthermore, he discovers that the Starliner is in fact ready to leave, and has been for years, but the Deciders have kept this a secret as they do not know how to pilot the ship. The Marshmen break into the ship and begin to kill the colonists, including Varsh. The Doctor cures Romana, and manages to coerce the Marshmen into leaving the liner. He then shows the Deciders how to pilot the ship, and as the colonists leave for Terradon, the Doctor and Romana leave, unaware that Adric has stowed away on board the TARDIS...
Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Romana (Lalla Ward), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Voice of K9 (John Leeson), George Baker (Login), Leonard Maguire (Draith), James Bree (Nefred), Alan Rowe (Garif), Tony Calvin (Dexeter), Richard Willis (Varsh), Benard Padden (Tylos), June Page (Keara), Andrew Forbes (Omril), Adrian Gibbs (Rysik), Barney Lawrence (Marshman), Norman Bacon (Marshchild)
Produced by John Nathan-Turner
Directed by Peter Grimwade
Part 1 - 25th October, 1980 @ 5.40pm - 6.05pm
Part 2 - 1st November, 1980 @ 5.40pm - 6.05pm
Part 3 - 8th November, 1980 @ 5.40pm - 6.05pm
Part 4 - 15th November, 1980 @ 5.40pm - 6.05pm
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor, the Second Romana, K-9 MKII, and introducing Adric
*Part 1 of the 'E-Space Trilogy'
*Working title: 'The Planet That Slept'