Victoria Waterfield has come to the Det-Sen Monastery claiming that the voice of her father called her here. The Lama warns her that it could be a demon or a hungry ghost telling her what she wants to hear. A voice within the monastery calls out to her. The Lama tries to get her to leave now before it’s too late, but Victoria won’t listen. Realizing he’s done all he can, the Lama let’s her pass. He gives her his staff and wishes her luck. Victoria smashes her way through the web filled archway to get to the voice. Eerie green light fills the room and a figure emerges from the darkness demanding the ‘locus’.
Fifteen years later…
Two Children of the New World (“Chillys” for short) are watching the houseboat home of Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. Kate calls a friend, Beth, to look after her son, Gordy, while she tries to figure out how to deal with this. She’s reluctant to go to her father. It has been six years since she spoke to him. Her computer keeps crashing so she can’t work. She feels like she’s under siege. Outside she collects Gordy, who, much to her dismay, has been playing soldier again. She tells him to wait inside until Beth comes. Kate then yells at the Chillys to leave them alone and throws a stick at them. The Chillys barely blink.
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, meanwhile, is dreaming about walking leisurely on a beach, drinking tea. All of a sudden, there is a loud roar. He finds a ‘Piccadilly Circus’ sign and a large footprint. The teacup and tray turn into a pistol. Then the Brigadier finds himself in full uniform, ready for action.
At New World University, Anthony the DJ is broadcasting to the, largely oblivious, students.
One student, Daniel Hinton, a former pupil of the Brigadier who was expelled from Brendan School for experimenting with the occult, is trying to hack into the New World Database.
Sarah Jane Smith arrives for an appointment with the New World University Vice Chancellor, Victoria Waterfield. She is slightly unnerved by cool, remote attitude of the students and staff. All the students are wearing headsets and they all look up in unison when she announces herself. Christopher Rice, Marketing Facilitator, meets Sarah at the desk. He apologizes for keeping her waiting and takes her to see the vice chancellor. In the lift they discuss certain profiles the school asked her to obtain. Some of which, are government classified.
Daniel is so far, not having any luck in accessing the database. When he uses ‘WATERFIELD’ as the password, the computer grants him full access.
Sarah questions Victoria and Christopher about the people they asked her to look up, but gets very little answers. She gets a reaction when she mentions the ‘London Event’, the incident that connects them. Christopher says it was a wasted opportunity to connect with a higher form of intelligence. Victoria states that they are going to try again and opens a box with a control sphere inside. Sarah knows they have more accurate sources and asks why they need her.
Daniel finds the Brigadier’s file and wonders what New World want with “old Stew-pot”.
Christopher explains about UNIT and the Brigadier. Sarah feigns ignorance about either and denies she had anything to do with UNIT. Victoria claims that the Brigadier committed a great crime. There is so little information about Lethbridge-Stewart that he could easily be dead. That’s why they hired Sarah - to find the Brigadier.
Daniel is discovered. Victoria orders him to be found but not hurt. Christopher takes the Control Sphere and sets off to find Daniel. While Daniel eludes capture from the zombie-like students, Sarah tries to learn more about New World from Victoria. There are no lectures or tutors; everyone is tutored off the mainframe computers. Then there is the mysterious chancellor. Apparently, nobody sees him. (“He has taken the path of truth,” Victoria states cryptically). Daniel is eventually cornered. Christopher arrives and tells him, rather unconvincingly, he has nothing to be afraid off. After trying unsuccessfully to warn the other students, he jumps over the edge of a connector bridge in a desperate attempt to escape. Victoria watches telepathically, horrified as Daniel plummets to the ground. On her computer screen, the words ‘Find the locus’ and a picture of the Brigadier appears.
The Brigadier, still dreaming, changes back into his civvies and meets a small boy playing in the sand. Then Daniel Hinton appears and the two reminisce about their time at Brendan, all the while being watched by Victoria Waterfield. When the Brigadier points out they’re being watched, Daniel disappears. Victoria approaches him and asks, “Where is the Locus?” A Yeti appears behind her and roars. The Brigadier reaches into his pocket only to come out covered in a web-like substance.
Lethbridge-Stewart wakes up in his rooms at Brendan School. Evidence around his apartment indicates that he has been asleep for three days. Six bottles of milk left on his doorstep; spoiled food in the refrigerator; and three days’ worth of messages (he missed his retirement party). Two messages in particular gets his undivided attention. One from Kate, the daughter he hasn’t heard from in years and another in which the contents are simply: “Greyhound must call Trap Six.” He receives another call, this time from Sarah Jane Smith.
Sarah tries to warn him that he might be in danger, but is cut off. She flees when she finds a Chilly watching her through her car window.
Unknown to Sarah, Victoria has monitored her phone conversation and now knows where the Brigadier is.
Anthony, the DJ, tries to see the Vice Chancellor but Price politely tells him that she’s unavailable. Anthony complains about there not being any people left at the university, just brain-dead Chillys. Price smoothly puts off all of the DJ’s questions. A piece of paper Anthony found outside his office is covered with a web-like substance.
Victoria pleads with a disembodied voice speaking from her computer to give her more time. The Great Intelligence simply demands that the Locus be found and be released. It sooths Victoria when she becomes depressed about being out of her own time. It promises she will receive her truth, but now she isn’t so sure. (“I think I’m going to scream.”)
The Brigadier returns Trap Six’s call. Despite the bad connection, he receives his message. He collects his old service pistol before leaving.
Seeing the Chillys have gone, Kate leaves her houseboat and goes to meet her father.
Victoria gets an update on their progress from Christopher and is appalled to learn the Daniel has vanished and trying to de-program himself. Christopher slyly remarks that she hasn’t found the Locus yet, but she isn’t concerned. Aside from the missing Locus, everything is going according to plan. The Chancellor is coming home!
Daniel is sleeping uneasily in the shack of Harrods, a local tramp. Harrods sifts through the young man’s pockets and finds a roll of bills. Daniel grabs the vagrant’s arm. Harrods claims he was only looking.
London is suffering from a series of apparently random power failures that are playing havoc with the traffic lights causing serious traffic jams. Stuck in one of these jams, the Brigadier fights for consciousness and has another vision of Victoria.
An old man with a walking stick is making his way to Harrods and Daniel. Harrods, meanwhile, is still trying to pry himself loose from Daniel’s grip. Then he hears someone approaching. Daniel begins to come around, but Harrods quickly covers his mouth.
Londoners are getting frustrated with the lack of progress with the traffic, the Brigadier among them. He knows something is coming. Suddenly Daniel appears in the back seat and asks if he has something it want’s. The Brigadier doubts that, especially after all this time, but remembers what it was.
The Brigadier and Daniel find themselves back in the dream, where the Brigadier tells Hinton about the Great Intelligence and its first attempt to invade London. Daniel tells the Brigadier that the Intelligence is still on Earth and it wants Lethbridge-Stewart.
Daniel snaps awake as the old man approaches. Harrods tries to keep him quiet.
The Brigadier asks what Hinton has to do with this. Hinton simply tells him not to trust anyone and walks away.
Lethbridge-Stewart wakes up back in his car. Fed up with waiting, the Brigadier abandons his van and sets out on foot. As soon as he steps out of his vehicle, a Yeti appears and advances on him menacingly. The Brigadier pulls out his pistol, but the Yeti disappears. (“Damn traffic,” the Brigadier tells a startled family in the car next to him. “Brings out the worse in you, doesn’t it?”)
The Great Intelligence in his human body comes for Daniel. Daniel pushes the borrowed frail old body down and flees with Harrods. The Intelligence tells him there’s no where for him to run.
Cars, planes and subways are shutting down all over London. Even computers are also acting up. After hearing this over the radio, the Brigadier abandons his vehicle and heads out on foot. Along the way two Chillys accost him. He tries to politely rebuff their attempts to introduce him to New World University, and continues on his way.
Back at the New World University radio booth, Anthony receives a frantic call from Daniel telling him to warm everybody that the Great Intelligence is coming, but Anthony doesn’t understand. Suddenly an envelope on the switchboard begins to pulsate and webbing begins to grow from it.
Wracked with pain, Daniel tries to fight off the Intelligence’s influence. Harrods recounts how Daniel glided down to the ground after his jump. Daniel persuades Harrods to help him. They then set off to find the Brigadier.
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart arrives at Forte Crest followed by the two Chillys.
The time is near, the Chancellor is coming. Rice mocks Victoria’s opinion of the Chancellor. He is a lot more than a pseudo-father figure for her, he is power. Victoria is adamant that the Chancellor will bring the light of truth to the world. Something the materialistic Rice could ever understand.
The DJ tries to broadcast the truth over the New World intercom system, while webbing fills the radio booth. Anthony tries to escape but Rice as already locked him in.
The Brigadier meets UNIT Captain Cavendish. The two exchange quips and stories before Cavendish begins to question the Brigadier about whether or not he kept any souvenirs, which he denies. The two Chillys who harassed the Brigadier earlier arrive and try to place a headset on the Brigadier. Cavendish turns out to be in league with the Intelligence. The Brigadier holds Cavendish at gunpoint long enough to escape.
The Great Intelligence arrives at New World in the body of Professor Travers to assume hie position as Chancellor. Much to Victoria’s dread, as she still hasn’t found the locus.
The Chillys search for the Brigadier through the London traffic, while the Brigadier calls Sarah Jane and gives her secret codes to contact UNIT. Meanwhile, electronic equipment around London is going haywire. Daniel and Harrods are stumbling around London searching for the Brigadier. Sarah is trying to get through with the Brigadier’s codes but isn’t having much luck. Eventually Yeti are mentioned and that gets Sarah’s undivided attention.
The reunion between the Lethbridge-Stewart’s is uncomfortable. They haven’t seen each other in six years. Kate tells her father about the Chillys and almost slips about Gordy. She thinks she’s being silly, but the Brigadier thinks otherwise.
Victoria welcomes Travers warmly. Travers wishes to know if she’s done everything he instructed her to. The seeds of doubt are germinating when Travers mentions that its web will soon encompass the Earth. For the last 25 years the Intelligence has been trapped on Earth without form. Very soon it will be released, but only after the final locus has been found.
The Brigadier and Kate continue to catch up. She thinks he sacrificed his family solely for his career, completely unaware of the enormity of his responsibilities. (Her mother used to tell people that he was a spy just to make it sound interesting.) Because of the Official Secrets Act, he can’t explain more. The Brigadier has another vision of Victoria in the park. Then Daniel appears and reminds the Brigadier not to trust anyone. Kate thinks he’s just trying to get rid of her and storms off. The Brigadier chases after her and the two meet up with the Chillys after him. The Brigadier manages to fight then off but is injured in the process. Harrods arrives. (The Brigadier looks up at him and mutters “Have you changed again,” before passing out.)
On the astral plain, Victoria struggles to free herself from a web-covered hand. She knows it isn’t Professor Travers and demands to know who he is. The Intelligence just mocks her. It finally lets her go only to be grabbed by a Yeti.
The Brigadier comes too on Kate’s boat and is reunited with Daniel Hinton. The Brigadier goes atop deck and meets Harrods who is steering the boat. Harrods reveals that he used to be a flight sergeant in the airforce until his squadron was disbanded. The Brigadier knows how that feels (“It’s like loosing your family”). Kate and her father go back down below, where Daniel is searching through Gordy’s toy box. He manages to cover up what he’s doing before the Brigadier and Kate arrive. Daniel warns that it isn’t safe here and that the Intelligence is hunting them both. The Brigadier asks if Daniel is one of the Chillys. Daniel explains that New World is a front for the return of the Great Intelligence. Kate thinks they are both crazy. The Intelligence has virally infected the Internet and is going to use that as its new body. But it won’t stop there.
Harrods sees a group of Chillys waiting for them on the riverbank with an active control sphere.
The Brigadier is adamant that the Intelligence was driven off the Earth, but Daniel begs to differ. The Intelligence is trapped until all its icons of power have been destroyed: only one is left. The Brigadier recalls Cavendish asking him about keepsakes then remembers that he did have a chess piece-like Yeti carving, but lost it years ago. Kate announces she has it.
The motor stalls and the boat begins to drift towards shore, and despite Harrods best efforts, right where the Chillys are waiting for them.
Kate finds the Yeti statue in Gordy’s toy chest. Before the Brigadier can get rid of it, the boat runs aground. Harrods arrives to warn everyone that they’ve been boarded. Daniel tries to take the statue from the Brigadier. The Intelligence has been using him to find the final locus. Daniel was the trap! When he tries to take the locus again the Brigadier pulls out his gun, much to Kate’s despair. The control sphere rolls onto the deck and jumps into Daniel’s hands, turning him into a Yeti and seizing the locus and returns to NWU.
Kate is almost in a state of shock over everything she’s just seen. She demands to know exactly what her father did for the military. The Brigadier and Harrods prepare to follow, but first he asks why Kate has a box of toys. Kate shows him a picture of her son, Gordon James. The Brigadier is almost driven to tears of joy at discovering he had a five-year-old grandson. He promises to return and explain everything.
A storm is brewing over NWU (literally). The final locus is turned over to the Intelligence. Much to Victoria's surprise and hurt, Christopher is given the honour of destroying the locus. The Intelligence is released from its prison.
Students throughout the university chant “om mani padme hum”.
Travers’ personality reasserts itself. He remembers his daughter, Anne, and that he died fifteen years ago. Victoria halting remembers her father. Travers blames himself for all this. He brought the Great Intelligence back from Tibet, and nobody listened to him. Victoria realizes they have both been tricked. There is no inner truth. There is only the Great Intelligence and it will soon take over the world.
The storm over NWU is getting worse and spreads over London. Kate finds her fathers gun, then sets off to returns it.
The Brigadier and Harrods arrive at the school, where the Brigadier realizes too late that he left is gun at Kate’s boat. It is too late for him to go back for it, so they go on.
The Great Intelligence, now inhabiting Christopher Rice’s body, senses their presence and sends Yeti to capture them.
The Brigadier and a nervous Harrods enter the darkened university to find the computers covered with webbing. They enter the elevator where Daniel suddenly appears. The Brigadier gives up and asks point blank if he’s hallucinating or if Daniel is a ghost. (Daniel: “I never took philosophy, sir.”) Actually, Daniel managed to download his consciousness into the computer system. He’ll try and get the Brigadier in as far as he can and asks the Brigadier to trust him (“You asked me that before.”).
Kate arrives at NWU and is surprised to find Daniel sitting at the reception desk computer terminal. Daniel instructs her as to how to release her father and Harrods from the lift.
The Brigadier and Harrods exit the lift into the web-infested halls of the university. Along the way, the Brigadier picks up a makeshift weapon in the form of a fire extinguisher. They pass the body of Anthony, suffocated in is radio booth. Harrods and the Brigadier also find the main computer lab and the student inside completely encased in webbing. Fearing a trap, the Brigadier decides to double back. After they leave, the students begin to stir.
Something moving the elevator and despite their best efforts, Kate and Daniel can’t stop it.
The Brigadier and Harrods encounter Victoria who tries to warn them away. The Brigadier thinks he is just hallucinating and at first ignores her despite her pleas. She realizes she has made a terrible mistake. They are suddenly surrounded by Chillys. Victoria tries to order them away, but they don’t obey. Victoria, Harrods and the Brigadier try to escape but are attacked by more Chillys. The Brigadier and Harrods try to fight them off, but are overwhelmed by numbers. The lift arrives at its destination. There is a flash of light and Daniel disappears. The Chillys force the lift doors open and a Yeti steps out.
Travers arrives and tries to use his authority as Chancellor to make the Chillys release the Brigadier. The Yeti arrives and kills Harrods. The Brigadier is then recaptured. Travers tries to shut down the database, but the Intelligence reasserts its control over him.
Three more students are transformed into Yeti.
Sarah arrives at NWU with a squad of UNIT soldiers. While the soldiers battle the Yeti, Sarah meets Kate inside and together they go try and help the Brigadier. The UNIT soldiers are out matched by the Yeti and wiped out.
Victoria and the Brigadier are escorted to the university courtyard, where Rice, Cavendish and the Chillys are waiting around the Intelligence’s control sphere pyramid. Victoria wants the Brigadier to make a distraction so she can shut down the mainframe, but its too late – the Great Intelligence has arrived. Its web now encases the entire planet. While the Intelligence in Travers’ body confronts the Brigadier, Victoria escapes. The Intelligence orders Rice and a Yeti to find her and kill her. The Brigadier keeps the Intelligence talking.
Meanwhile, Sarah and Kate continue to search for the Brigadier. Kate tries to give Sarah the Brigadiers gun, but Sarah claims to be a rotten shot. Sarah wonders where the backup’s gone not knowing that the soldiers have all been killed.
At first the Brigadier seems impressed with the Great Intelligence’s plan and praises it accordingly. But when the Intelligence asks which part of its plan Lethbridge-Stewart thinks is most strategically sound. None of it, as far as the Brigadier is concerned. Despite everything it has done, the Intelligence is still trapped. Just in a different prison. Its power extends no further than the campus mainframe. Seeing Sarah Jane on one of the upper levels, the Brigadier states loudly that to stop the Great Intelligence, all somebody has to do is pull the plug. Sarah tells Kate to stay put and rushes off to shut down the mainframe. The Intelligence orders some of the Chillys to guard the generators.
Kate is captured and brought to the Intelligence and the Brigadier.
Victoria is trying to disconnect the mainframe with no success. Christopher Rice and a Yeti arrive to stop her. But before Rice can shoot her, Sarah Jane attacks him and the gun goes off, shooting off one of Rice’s fingers. Sarah tries to hold the Yeti back while Victoria continues to try and shut down the power.
The Intelligence decides to turn Kate into a Yeti. Cavendish takes a control sphere and prepares to give it to Kate.
Sarah isn’t having much luck using the gun on the Yeti. Victoria knows that the Yeti was once Daniel. She urges him to hold on to his identity. Rice mind finally snaps and the Yeti/Daniel kills him.
Cavendish puts the sphere on the ground and it begins to roll towards Kate. As it jumps towards her, the Brigadier intercedes and catches it himself. The Brigadier struggles to hold back the sphere. Desperate, Kate shoots Travers, then drops the gun in hooro of what she’s done.
Sarah pushes the Yeti that was Daniel into the generators, which he attacks causing them to explode.
With its power source destroyed the Great Intelligence is once again dispersed into nothingness. Possessed victims of the Intelligence either collapse or die. Travers’ body dissipates into webbing and vanishes. The Intelligence’s influence fades from the Earth. Kate, Sarah and the Brigadier celebrate while watched by Victoria from a distance. Victoria slips away unnoticed.
The Brigadier and Sarah discuss Victoria and her possible connection to another ‘old friend’. Kate introduces the Brigadier to his grandson. Gordy mentions his new imaginary friend, Danny. And in the distance, the transparent figure of Hinton can be seen. Then fades away. While Gordy goes to introduce his granddad to Danny, Sarah and Kate ‘go for a pint’.