4th Doctor
The Ribos Operation
Serial 5A

Graham Williams

Script Editor
Anthony Read

Ken Ledsham

Written by Robert Holmes
Directed by George Spenton-Foster
Incidental Music by Dudley Simpson

Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (Voice of K9) [1,3-4], Cyril Luckham (The Guardian) [1], Iain Cuthberson (Garron), Nigel Plaskitt (Unstoffe), Paul Seed (Graff Vynda-K), Robert Keegan (Sholakh), Prentis Hancock (Captain); Oliver Maguire, John Harmill (Shrieves) [1-2]; Timothy Bateson (Binro) [3-4], Ann Tirard (The Seeker) [3-4].

The Doctor and K-9 Mark 2 are sent on a mission by the immensely powerful White Guardian. The six segments of the Key to Time, currently disguised and scattered throughout the cosmos, need to be brought together. Once assembled, the Key will allow the Guardian to restore balance and good to a universe that is descending into evil and chaos. It will also thwart the plans of the fearsome Black Guardian!

As if accepting such a daunting task wasn't enough, the Guardian appoints a new young assistant for the Doctor, Romadvoratrelundar - or Romana for short. Fresh out of the Time Lord Academy, the 140-year-old Romana is confident that their mission will be easy and, if the Doctor can curb his irrational behaviour, can be rapidly completed.

Using a special Tracer, the TARDIS locates the first segment on the feudal planet of Ribos, where two inter-galactic criminals are using a lump of Jethryk as bait in a plot to trick a visiting nobleman into buying the planet - which is not theirs to sell. The Doctor finds himself drawn into the con-men's fiendish plan while Romana has to confront the monstrous Shrievenzale...

Original Broadcast (UK)
Part One		      2nd September, 1978		5h45pm - 6h10pm
Part Two		      9th September, 1978		6h20pm - 6h45pm
Part Three		      16th September, 1978		6h30pm - 6h55pm
Part Four		      23rd September, 1978		6h20pm - 6h45pm
  • Released on video and DVD in episodic format. [+/-]

    U.S. Release U.K. Release

    • U.K. Release: April 1995 / U.S. Release: September 1996
      PAL - BBC video BBCV5607
      NTSC - CBS/FOX Video 8435
      NTSC - Warner Video E1336

      U.S. DVD Release
    • U.S. Release: October 2002
      NTSC Region 1 - Warner DVD E1336

      • Commentary by Tom Baker and Mary Tamm.
      • Production Information Subtitles.
      • Photo Gallery.
      • Who's Who.

      Also available as part of the Key to Time Boxed Set [Warner DVD E1692].

  • Novelised as Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation by Ian Marter. [+/-]

    Paperback Edition

    • Hardcover Edition - W.H. Allen.
      First Edition: December 1979.
      ISBN: 0 491 02429 0.
      Cover by John Geary.
      Price: 3.75.

    • Paperback Edition - W.H. Allen.
      First Edition: December 1979. Reprinted in 1980, 1982 and 1983.
      ISBN: 0 426 20092 6.
      Cover by John Geary.
      Price: 75p.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Archive: Summer Special 1995.
Part One
(drn: 25'02")

TARDIS: the Doctor has built a new K9 and plans a nice long holiday. Halergan 3 is a beach world, hot, sunshine all the time, palm trees. The lights go out and the TARDIS seems to stop. From outside a voice calls, requiring his presense, lights glow from outside and from the roundels. The Doctor realizes only a guardian can do this. His upper lip looking cut, the Doctor straightens his scarf and goes out to a bright world where low chimes ring. In a wicker chair appears a man in white with a white hat and suit. The Doctor has heard stories, legends, and myths about the Key to Time, something the White Guardian tells him is no myth. It is a perfect cube which maintains the equilibrium of time itself, consists of six segments, scattered and hidden throughout the cosmos. Together, assembled, they create a power too dangerous for any being to possess. The forces of balance sometimes upset to such an extent that everything must stop for a brief moment until the balance is restored. Such a time is approaching. The segments must be found and returned to him before it is too late and the universe is plunged into eternal chaos, eternal as the Doctor understands the term. The Doctor suggests other Time Lords. The Guardian wants him to volunteer. If he doesn't ...nothing will happen to him...ever. Each piece is disguised and contains the elemental force of the universe...they can be any shape, size, or form. The Guardian explains he will give the Doctor a locator and an assistant. The Doctor begs him not to give him an assistant: in his experience they mean trouble, "I have to protect them, and show them and teach them." He wants only K9 but the Guardian tells him he is just a machine. The Doctor doesn't want K9 to hear this. The Guardian explains he is the White Guardian and to maintain the balance of the universe, there is also a Black Guardian, who also wants the Key to Time. "Beware the Black Guardian," the White takes a drink and slowly vanishes.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor leans down to K9 and tells him the holiday is off. The new assistant calls to him. A raven haired beauty with her hair up in ties. She is in a long white gown and explains her name is Romanadvoratrelundar. "I'm so sorry about that...is there anything we can do?" She thinks the President of the Supreme Council assigned her to this mission and gives him the locator. The Doctor calls her young but she tells him she did graduate from the Academy with a triple first. It's better than scrapping through with 51 percent at the second attempt---she counters when the Doctor asks if he and K9 are supposed to be impressed and he laughed. The Doctor stands up, telling her that info is confidential -- "I should have thrown him to the Sontarans when I had the chance." She tells him the locator plugs into a hole she put in his console. The Doctor apologizes to the "Old Girl" -- the TARDIS and he kisses it. When plugged into the console the core indicates the space time coordinates of each segment. Romana dusts the console with her hand. She asks if the Doctor wants to know the coordinates of the first segment but he knows them by heart: the planet is Cyrrhenis Minima at 4180. The locator finds the segment at close range and also can converts it back to its proper form. She asks him what he would like her to do. He does tell her: stay out of his way as much as possible and stay out of trouble. He tells her not to touch or trust gimmicky gadgets. The coordinates have changed; they different already.

On a snowy area of a cold planet, Ribos in the constellation of Skytha in the future, skinny Unstoffe climbs up to a castle turret and helps the chubby Garron up the slippery side. If they get caught lifting the cover off an entrance on the roof...

A guard below rings a bell for a curfew. A Captain of the guard passes a torch extinguisher over some flame to put out the lights in a room where many gold and silver jewels and crowns are. With much rigor and formality, the guards are dismissed and he too leaves. First, the monsters that guard the room must be allowed to have their wall door opened, giving them access to the room of the crowns.

Unstoffe drops meat down the hole in the roof to the growling sounds of a monster "guard" below. Using a grapple hook, Unstoffe starts to climb down but complains why he has to go down. He wants to get old too... as Garron is telling him he is too old at his age. Garron is originally from Earth from Hackenywick, Somerset but had to flee because he refused to sell the Sidney Opera House to a rich Arab. Unstoffe tells Garron he has the Jethryk with him. Garron slips and tells the boy to guard it with his life but then to just guard it. Unstoffe climbs a ladder to pass the drugged monster reptile guard, a Shrievenzales, four footed, green, and lizardian. He approaches the crown and from his bag, takes out a suction cup device which he uses to cut the window on the crown...

In the TARDIS, Romana is combing her hair out, while looking into a mirror and tells the Doctor he is sulking, which is ridiculous for someone as old as he is -- 759. The Doctor snaps, "756!" He tells her that is not old, just mature. Romana thinks, "You've lost count somewhere." He tells her he ought to know his own age. Romana tells him after the first few centuries she expects things get a bit foggy. He is sitting against the TARDIS doors but now stands up and comes over to her, throwing his scarf down, "Now listen, it's no good, this isn't going to work!" Romana tells him that he isn't giving her a chance, "You know, it's funny but before I met you, I was even willing to be impressed." She goes on to tell him that now that she has met him she realizes he is suffering from a sub transitory experiential hypertoid induced condition aggravated she expects by multi and cathelogical tensions: a massive compensation syndrome. She might even use his case in her thesis when she gets back to Gallifrey. He asks if that the rubbish the Academy is pouring into their heads on Gallifrey. He tells her she is not going back to Gallifrey for a very long time, he regrets to say. He asks her to read out the coordinates again. She is in a silver wire chair. She does: 4940 vectors unchanged, 1oo and 16 parsecs. If it changes while they are in the vortex...they could lose it. She combs her hair and snobbishly says they should take a chance, saying it in a way to patronize the Doctor. He tells her he will make the decisions here. Smiling, she asks what they will do and he tells her they will take a chance.

Unstoffe is continuing his stealing. Actually he puts some rock into the casing but Garron calls him. Garron has to met the Graff Vynda-K, who's spacecraft has arrived. Garron uses the out signal of "Wilco Graham out." Unstoffe mocks him after Garron signs off, "It's Roger, you stupid old blue 40."

Garron greets the Graff but complains about his frightening metal clad guards who are commanded by Graff Vynda-K's main man, Sholakh. Sholakh sends the guards back to the ship. When the Graff, Sholakh, and Garron leave, the TARDIS appears. The Doctor comes out, finding the cold invigorating and fresh. He has a fluffy hat and cape attachment to give Romana, who finds the cold bitter. He tells her if she can't stand the cold to stay out of the freezer. Romana's hair is different again, tied up partly and down partly. He tells her he is not expecting any trouble but one should be prepared for these sort of things. The core points and is strong signalled. He gives her some "Ground rules: rule one: do exactly as I say, rule two stick close to him and rule three: I'll do all the talking." He starts out but stops again and tells her one more thing: her name is too long: by the time he's called out... he asks her her name again and she tells him it. By the time he's called that out, she could be dead. "I'll call you Romana," the Doctor says. "I don't like Romana," she says. "It's either Romana or Fred," he says, angered. "Allright, call me Fred," she says. "Good. Come on, Romana," he says. He gives her the hat and cape. As she puts it on, he moves forward, telling her the secret of survival is always expect the unexpected and walks right into an animal trap which serves to stop animals from going into the city at nighttime. Romana comes and examines the Doctor hanging sideways in the netting. She sees the cocking lever just below the keystone. He wondered if she noticed that.

In the city, Garron has the Graff and Sholakh to quarters. He explains the planet has an Icetime and Suntime, each 32 years in length. Ribos orbits the sun elliptically. Graff doesn't like it and this principal city is Shurr. Graff wants to buy the planet but not to live here. It is three light centuries from the Magellanic Clouds. There are settlements to the north. They are to make themselves off as from the north. The people of Ribos know nothing of other worlds, Garron tells the two men. Sholakh, his eye scarred, asks if this planet is within the Cyrrhenic Empire. The people here are brutish peasants. Megellanic mining will prove profitable to the Graff. Garron wants ten million opeks for the planet. He has the title and documents of the deed and leaves them for the night. Graff thinks Garron will take 6 million for the planet. Sholakh gives him a mineral survey of the conglomerate (of Garron's) that was taken 50 years ago, soon after their acquirement: .001 percent of Jethryk in this grade 3 planet, so graded by the Alliance of Cyrrhenic Empire. Graff could win his war if they can mine this planet but knows the people of the planet know about the mineral wealth. The planet also has cadminium, bismuth, and iron but Jethryk is the rarest and most valuable element in the galaxy. The mining must have an agent. Garron, who has planted a listening device, the receiver in his watch, overhears the Graff's plan about digging out the Jethryk. Garron makes as if he is a time caller: 4' o'clock and all is well. The Doctor and Romana pass by and hear this and the Doctor immediately picks this up. He knows Garron is from Somerset on Earth--he said it in a Somerset accent. Romana differs: according to Bartholomew's Planetary Gazetteer the planet is class 3 society, there is no space service here. The Doctor thinks maybe, jokingly, he is a cricketeer scout. He can do with a good leg spinner. The Doctor thinks he could do with a good leg spinner. The Doctor makes a move with his arm. Romana asks what that mean. He tell her nothing and for her to remember rule number one.

The Graff makes plans with Sholakh, who tries to keep him on task: to get the Levithian crown back from his half brother. Everything must be subordinate to that. The crown is his by right. For use as a base, this planet is in a good spot. Graff thinks they cannot take all the time to build the army here needed if they can use the Jethryk to buy an army outside of the Alliance. Sholakh thinks it is dangerous to do without consent of the Alliance. Mercenaries from Shalankie. Pontonese ships.

Romana and the Doctor enter the city and pass a sleeping, snoring guard. The Doctor asks about the sonic screwdriver and locks at the Academy. She tells him of course not. He tells her to watch the sentry -- sleeping on the job is a serious crime, if anyone comes, she can wake him up. Romana tells him that sarcasm is an adjust to stress reaction. He uses the sonic screwdriver ("You'll like this!" he tells her) to open the door. She is impressed by his opening of the door. "It was nothing," he tells her. Inside this state strong room, Romana finds magnificent jewellery. But the locator beeps when it comes near something in the glass case...the thing of rock Unstoffe put in.

Daylight arrives as the Doctor expected. Bells ring out as a guard comes to the roof door to close the monsters' guard room. Unstoffe comes to the guard, "Top of the morning to you, my friend." He gives the guard drink and tells him to finish the drink off. Any more and the guard will not be able to put the beast into its feed. The guard is helped by Unstoffe to open the door. But he cannot see and he feels his eyes are affected. He falls. Unstoffe takes the horn of the guard and blows it. While this goes on, Romana asks what is taking so long...multi levered interlocks. "Well get on with it then," she tells him and leaves. He repeats her as if he is trying to recall what it means.

Romana wanders under a doorway that is partly open. Unstoffe blows the horn at this moment as the Doctor has one more lock to go. The Captain and guards return to the crown room and lower the door down, locking the creature inside... and Romana too. The door comes down as Romana gets to move under it... but gets stuck. She calls to the Doctor. The Doctor runs to her and blocks it with his own body...Romana yells, "Doctor, do something!!!" On the other side of the door, the Doctor's face is right toward the bloody jaws of the Shrievenzale... as the thing moves its jaws and roars... the Doctor stares at it...

Part Two
(drn: 24'46")

When the guards lowering the wall feel it hit something, the Captain orders them to take it up as it could be the monster guard. The wall goes up and the Doctor and Romana dashout just in time. One guard prays they haven't hurt it: it is dangerous enough. The Captain calls him a dolt. That is why it is there. The guard raises the wall some more to make sure it is not caught. Romana has buried her head in the Doctor's chest, afraid. The Captain orders the wall lowered. Romana never imagined a creature like that. "Are there many creatures like that on other worlds?" The Doctor rubs his neck, "Millions, millions." He tells her she never should have came on this mission if she is afraid of a little thing like that. She starts to tell him she is not scared. They hear noises and the Doctor decides they should hide. The guards would have their heads off as soon as they could say Rassilon's Rod. Romana wonders what that means. The Doctor tells her they might not chop their hands off but feed them to the Shrievenzale. They hide behind see through partitions. Romana points to the locator and moves out but the Doctor warns her back. He retrieves it and puts it in his mouth like a flute! The guards enter seconds later... they give thanks to the dawn of a new day and the retreat of the night into the powers of darkness. The Captain does the ritual and orders the men to light the torches. Garron comes in and tells him he is from the North and shows him his pass. He claims to be a merchant. It is no pleasure crossing the tundra, the Captain claims. Garron tells him that a colleague of his has more than a million opeks. Garron worries they could be murdered in their beds if word of this got out. He thinks this money should be put into safe keeping here. The Shrieves at arms, the Captain's men could guard it at day. This relic room is a holy place but Garron thinks a 100 or a 1000 gold opeks would be good payment for this services. The Captain agrees. Garron leaves. Two guards are left to talk. While they do, the Doctor and Romana slip out.

Garron greets Graff and Sholakh awake. Graff tells him he has slept in worse places. Graff's appeal to the High Court of the Empire was rejected when he found his half brother on his throne. Sholakh calms him and tells him to think of the future. The Doctor and Romana listen at the door.

Outside the door, Romana tells the Doctor they should ignore this stranger and work on getting the first segment out of the strong room. Holy music plays. The Doctor tells her the stranger might be after the same thing they are after. He tells her not to jump to conclusions about anyone or anything, it may lead her astray. She will try to remember. He also tells her not to be sarcastic, that could also lead her into trouble. Thinking to himself aloud, the Doctor thinks the stranger could just be an agent of the Black Guard... he covers his own mouth before he can say it. Romana asks what he said. There might be some competition in their search he explains. She wishes he would stop treating her like a child. She is nearly 140. He whispers that she is in wonderful condition. She thanks him. She wonders about the Doctor's wondering.

Graff asks Garron why Magellanic Mining Company, the company Garron is supposed to work for as an agent, wants to sell the planet. They talk about the condition of retaining mining rites. The Ribos people haven't invented the telescope. Many still think the planet is flat. It would need grade 2 status before they can mine. The natives protect the planet. The trio go to the crown to admire the workmanship. Graff asks about the blue stone... Jethryk. Garron asks a guard about it... the guard is Unstoffe in disguise. He calls it sringe stone which keeps one warm. There used to be a lot of it about but three ice times, they lost the secret of where the Jethryk be. A glacier moved the rocks about -- Unstoffe says. All the old miners is dead now and no one wrote anything down -- there were no scholars in those days. Unstoffe's story: his poor old dad found this piece just before he died. The Doctor is listening, his face and nose pressed against the glass of the far end of the casing. Romana is next to him. Garron steps on Unstoffe's foot. Sholakh thinks the man is making it up but Graff tells his man that no one messes with him. Unstoffe gives Graff a rough map that was his father's... the way to the sringe stone.

The Doctor and Romana come out of hiding as Unstoffe leaves. The Doctor introduces Romana as his friend. Unstoffe had an honest open face, Romana comments. The Doctor claims he and Romana come from the North. The Doctor knows the stone is Jethryk. The Doctor explains that Unstoffe's story was old guff. She claims he has such an honest face. The Doctor explains that you can't have a successful career as a crook with a dishonest face. "Oh," she says.

In their rooms, Graff offers 8 million opeks. Garron has a shuttle hidden near the city but there can be no direct communication from here. He would have to go to Starpros and link by hypercable -- 3 weeks to a month and his clients would demand a deposit--2 million opeks. Garron tells him a handshake would be enough if it were for him alone but his clients want more. Graff explains he doesn't have that much with him but maybe a 1000 opeks is possible. The money will be lodged here with the Captain of the Shrievalty here. Graff sends Sholakh to get the money. Garron goes with him to the city wall. Graff warms his hands by the fire but finds a small bugging device. He replants it.

Romana sits with her legs crossed. She wishes he would explain what is going on but the Doctor tells her she has all the facts--she should study them. "Oh that's very helpful," Romana said. He tells her for an Academy Graduate she doesn't need things explained. Romana will not give way to feelings of psycho fugial hostility. The Doctor walks on the cracks in the tiles. Romana tells the Doctor they have a negative empathy.

Garron is about to strangle Unstoffe over his bad mine story. They are outside in the snow. Unstoffe asks about his accent. Garron tells him his past life passed before his eyes. The Graff will kill them if he feels he is being double crossed. Unstoffe asks why don't they mug Sholakh. Garron tells him they will stick to the plan. They must meet at the shaft again. Unstoffe asks if he noticed the big fellow, the one with the girl. Garron has been noticing him a lot lately.

The Doctor opens the shaft cover on the roof. It is the other way in. After seeing the grappling iron marks, the Doctor thinks the two crooks are trying to sell the map to a non existent mine. Romana tells him that is none of their business. The Doctor covers it, agreeing, "I wouldn't think of interfering." He also tells her the monster was drugged, otherwise he and Romana would have been killed by it when they were down there. He asks her what they do next but tells her: the crooks have to come back and when they do: the pair of them will be waiting for the two crooks.

Graff show a returning Sholakh the bugging device and knows Garron planted it. They discuss why Garron has done this. Graff thinks about the guard and knows it is not the truth. He also thinks that this crook probably doesn't know what the Jethryk is really worth. If Garron is playing him false, Garron will die.

Garron goes to the Captain with the million opeks. The captain has no time to count it but gives his signature to Garron about the money, the captain using the back of Garron. Graff and Sholakh watch. They all retire for the night as the bells ring. Garron wants to watch the ceremony but doesn't.

Unstoffe and Garron are on the roof. The Doctor wants to get down before the two crooks. He leaves Romana to watch them. Garron has palmed keys before Unstoffe was born. He gives Unstoffe the key to the safe where the money is locked away. Unstoffe wants to wait a bit longer... the creature's teeth were large when he last saw it.

The Doctor sneaks past a sleeping guard in an alcove. The guard wakes up though and asks who he is. "I couldn't sleep either," the Doctor says. He asks the guard not to blow the alert whistle. No one is allowed out after curfew without permission. The Doctor takes out his permission: a large time piece which he sways in front of the guard to hypnotize him. Unstoffe sneaks in and gets the Jethryk with the suction device while the Doctor puts the guard back to sleep. Unstoffe then starts on the money and gets it as well. The Doctor takes the block off the door and uses the sonic screwdriver to get inside. Unstoffe slips out and traps the Doctor inside, then runs. The guard awakens again and blows the whistle. The Doctor moves out via the monster's cell, the door of which is open again, tutting the thing as if it were a cat or dog.

The Doctor pops up from the shaft to Garron. Romana has him covered with the Doctor. He will come quietly. The Doctor shakes his arms. They take Garron toward the TARDIS. Waiting there is the Graff Vynda-K, Sholakh, and their men in metal helmet masks. He thinks the Doctor and Romana are Garron's accomplices, "No one makes a fool of the Graff Vynda-K and lives." Graff orders Sholakh to execute them. Sholakh sets the men as a firing squad to take aim and prepare to fire... the Doctor gawks at them as they begin to do this. He opens his mouth...

Part Three
(drn: 24'42")

The Doctor yells for the guards not to shoot and they listen to him! Garron cries and sinks to his knees while the Doctor puts him in front of him and ducks with him as he ducks. Graff yells, calling Garron a cringing curr; the Doctor concurs and calls Garron a cringing curr. They pull him up and the Graff tries to hit Garron but the Doctor grabs him and stops him, "Don't hit a cringing curr!" Graff slaps him with his glove but the Doctor grabs it and slaps the Graff, who yells at his guards. The Doctor puffs out his mouth and rubs his sore cheek. Sholakh decides the Graff should take them to his quarters and the Graff agrees.

The Captain and his men find only the gold gone. Graff comes yelling for him. The gold is gone...stolen. The Captain has summoned the Seeker to find it. The Jethryk is also gone. The Captain tells Graff he does not know what sringe stone is.

In the Graff's quarters, Sholakh asks Romana to explain the locator but the Doctor stalls, telling him it is used for telling time on 19 different planets, modifying detheramanic isolations, cleaning your shoes, sharpening pencils, and petering apples. Laughing the Doctor taps Sholakh with the locator. The Doctor orders Romana to sit down with him and tells her he gets on well with the aristocracy. Garron's wrist radio beeps and Sholakh finds out there is another accomplice and their whole dirty gang will die together. He slam the hand and breaks the radio. The Doctor asks Romana if they are a dirty gang. "Of course not," Romana says.

An old man looks out as Unstoffe tries to call Garron. This old man is Binro.

Romana checks Garron's hand which his wounded. He tells them about his accomplice...Unstoffe, who has an open honest face as the Doctor overheard. He nearly bumped into him in the Relic room--he's very light on his feet. Romana cleans Garron's wound to stop the bleeding. He tells her she is very kind. He will tell Graff they are not part of his team but the Graff won't believe it. Garron tells the Doctor that dying is the last thing he always wanted to do. The Doctor laughs. He asks Garron why try to sell Graff a mine if Garron is a bloodthirsty maniac. The Doctor tells Garron he knows mines are Garron's game. "If mine's mine, what's yours?" Garron asks the Doctor of his own game. Romana tells him they are searching for the key to time's first segment. The Doctor tells her never mind about that, "Let's get out of here." He calls K9 using the dog whistle, telling the other two to cover their ears. The first blow doesn't seem to work. He looks up and blows again.

The TARDIS doors open and K9 comes out.

Binro calls Unstoffe over to his small enclosure. A guard tells him about the thief who broke into the Relic Room tonight. The guard calls Binro's home filthy. Binro has covered Unstoffe with a filthy flea covered fur. The guard knows Binro -- he remembers he was Binro the heretic. Binro asks the demeaning guard if he cares for a lout's opinion. The guard tells him to hold his tongue, his old neck would snap like a dried twig.

The Seeker, a white faced lady calls upon the bones of their fathers and kings to seek and find -- to show what she seeks. She has a fire lit in a small cup and screams. He is at the place of fires...the concourse which was searched by the Captain. The Seeker will seek him out. Graff and Sholakh will get the guards and follow to take the Jethryk even if they have to fight their way out of the city.

K9 continues toward the Doctor, who is asking Garron when he left the Earth. He was just a boy when he left. He had trouble with a client, an Arab who was sold Sidney by Garron. Garron was asked by the Arab to sell the Opera House too and Garron refused. Romana paces and listens at the door. The Arab came after him with a machine gun after took the documents to the government. Romana yells that there are men out there preparing to kill them and they sit there chattering. The Doctor explains when you've faced death as much as he has, this is more fun. He asks her to sit down next to him and she does. He also tells Garron to explain about the Jethryk to Romana, who doesn't know about it. Romana snobbily asks what is so special about it. Garron calls that ignorance so she tells him not to patronize her, just tell her. Without Jethryk there would be no space warping. His piece was stolen, the Doctor claims. Garron doesn't sell mines, he sells planets! Alliance Security is after him for selling a Ravenous planet to three different purchasers. Romana figures his social maladjustment is due to a deep rooted sense of rejection. He spreads around the wealth to those who need it from those who have it. He keeps the economy in balance. Romana asks why he doesn't sell the Jethryk. Garron explains about the Graff going off on a war and not being able to rule when he came back. Graff wants to raise a new army to return to his planet and force his people to take him back.

Sholakh explains to the metal helmeted headed men that they will kill all the men and those they find at the Concourse: no survivors. They take the gold and the Jethryk. The natives are going to raid it to find him but they and the thief will be killed. Graff and his men go back to the ship. Sholakh leaves one man named Kro to listen for the firing of guns...when he does, he is to kill the prisoners.

The Doctor, Romana, and Garron are listening. "I don't like the sound of that," the Doctor says as Sholakh and the other men leave. They have to nearly dawn. When the Romana asks, the Doctor admits he's frightened. "Alot of people are going to die if we don't get out of here," he says. "Including us," Garron adds. The Doctor cannot do anything with the radio but Garron gives the Doctor the bugging device he planted. Using it and the remainders of the radio, the Doctor might be able to do something.

Binro bonds with Unstoffe. Binro knows what it feels like when everyone's hand is against you. Binro asks if Unstoffe has looked up at the little lights in the sky. He knows they are not ice crystals but other suns and other suns have other worlds such as Ribos is another world. Unstoffe tells him it is an interesting theory. Binro thinks in the North they are a different, more open minded people. Binro has taken readings and tells him Ribos moves around the sun, which is why they have two seasons. No one believes him. They believe Ribos is some kind of battle ground which houses the fight of the Ice and Sun gods and if Binro didn't recant his ideas, the gods would destroy his world. In the end, after torture, Binro recanted. Unstoffe tells Binro the truth: he comes from one of those other worlds. Even in Ribos in the future, men will turn to each other and say Binro was right. Binro cries.

The Doctor asks Romana to put her finger on the device. He tells Garron to keep his fingers crossed. Romana crosses her fingers on the device. "Not you, Romana." The Doctor works on the radio.

Using stun mark 7, K9 stuns Kro, "Most satisfactory."

The Doctor gets the radio to beep at Unstoffe. The Doctor gives it to Garron to use. He also has an eyepiece in his right eye. Unstoffe cannot answer but Garron tells him to get out of the concourse. The Doctor puts Kro in the room... he'll be out for hours. The foursome leave, the Doctor grabbing a torch... and telling K9 not to stop at all the corners.

Spouting to shine with the Ice light, the crow light and more stuff, the Seeker does more mumbo jumbo and screams while Graff and Sholakh watch. Their men have covered all the exits...no one will escape.

Binro takes Unstoffe to an underground chamber with candles, the Hall of the Dead. He takes Unstoffe toward the catacombs.

Garron leaves one way to find a way out. The Doctor tells Romana the crown is not the segment to the Key to Time. The tracer is pointing in the opposite way of the Relic Room. Romana has the tracer. The Doctor knew the segment is the Jethryk... which moved between the readings they took in the TARDIS. Not the crown which is moved twice a century. Romana is impressed by the Doctor's figuring, even though he tells her she is a bright girl. Garron and Unstoffe planted the Jethryk -- the first segment. Garron tells them the way is clear and returns to them. The trio take off after Unstoffe.

The Seeker tells the Captain that the one they seek is no longer here but in the Catacombs...where the thief will die. His men will not go to the catacombs..an ancient labyrinth...home of the long dead and the ice gods. And where both groups...the Doctor, Romana and Garron... as well as Binro and Unstoffe are heading into.

Binro and Unstoffe hear the sound of a growling Shrievenzale... a colony lives down here. The one that guards the Relic Room is a small one. There must be another way up on the surface. The animals hunt on the surface and return here to sleep. Unstoffe wonders if they can tiptoe past them.

Romana, the Doctor, and Garron pass the tombs and go straight into an alley way of holes...alcoves which K9 tells them to get into...sentient life forms are following them. Romana and Garron dive into one; the Doctor into another...into a skeleton. Garron is under Romana but his hands are over her...

The Graff and Sholakh, their men behind him, march down the alley way. The Doctor hugs a rib. But his movement with his foot causes the skull on the body to fall off and hit the ground. "Now we have him! He cannot escape and no one will ever know how he tried to trick the Graff Vynda-K!" The Doctor moves his eyes from the area of the Graff to where the skull fell...

Part Four
(drn: 24'50")

A Shrievenzale monster comes stalking as the Doctor blows on the dog whistle to bring it toward them. It makes the Graff and his men take cover until it passes. Sholakh mentions the labyrinth they fought in on the planet Freytus: every forward step had things crunching under their feet. Graff mentions it also: they were almost a year without sight of sky. Natives wouldn't come into the labyrinth due to stench of death. Sholakh mentions the Seeker, that old bone shaker to find their quarry. Graff thinks this a good idea and he leaves to get her.

Unstoffe tells Binro to rest. Space travel is hard on the muscles. Binro agrees to rest but asks Unstoffe how they travel between the stars. Unstoffe cannot explain even if they have all the time in the world.

The Doctor gets into the crypt hole ontop of Romana and Garron. Romana tells him he almost got them killed. "If you call that nearly being killed, you haven't lived yet," the Doctor explains, "Just stay with me and you'll get a lot nearer." Romana tells him he has an unconscious death wish. Garron yells at them not to bicker and the Doctor repeats it to Romana who repeats it to Garron. They talk about what to do now... "you go that way, I'll go this way." Garron asks what way. "That way," the Doctor answers. They run, the Doctor meets K9 and tells him not to explain but to look after those two: Romana and Garron. The Doctor goes back to the city.

Binro looks at the Jethryk. Unstoffe explains he was supposed to meet Garron at the concourse, their contingency rendezvous. He tells Binro they worked together for a long time, this was to be their last job, and Garron talked about going to back to Hackneywick, just a mud patch in the middle of nowhere. Binro thinks he should go back and look for Garron. The deeper they go, the better the chance of getting eaten or of the roof caving in. Binro tells Unstoffe he wouldn't understand why he is risking his life for him. For years he was derided and jeered at. He doubted even himself but now Unstoffe came along and told him he was right. To know that for certain is worth a life. Unstoffe gives Binro the radio wrist communicator.

The captain tells the Graff the Seeker will come in her own time. Graff figures he has a right to be angry. Graff uses a ray gun shot slightly high and to the left to kill a soldier of Ribos. The captain knows they are not from the North. The Doctor is listening, hiding at a corner. The Doctor returns to the Relic Room.

Garron imparted a message to K9 that he was going to see a man about a dog. Romana is with K9 and realizes Garron stole the tracer, "Oh how could I have been such a fool." K9 tells her the question is not understood. K9 will run through info for help. Romana covers K9 with her gown, calling him a very irritating computer but apologizes. He tells her they have to think.

Sholakh hurries the Seeker along, threatening to kick her. If she is a charlatan they will use her carcass for target practice. A guard of the Graff's is lagging behind but Sholakh calls him along.

Garron uses the tracer to find Unstoffe, who tries to tell Garron that money isn't everything. Garron will settle for 90 percent... not everything.

The Seeker sees death ahead and tells them all but one of them is doomed to die. Thus it has been written.

Unstoffe tells Garron they have to wait for Binro to come back. Garron explains about the Seeker. Garron also tells him about the girl wandering about down here and that he was temporarily allied with the Doctor and the girl. Unstoffe asks how he could leave the girl. Garron tells him he had a struggle with his conscious and fortunately he won. Unstoffe is frustrated.

Binro is found by the Graff's men. Binro tells him he is looking for fossils... he sells them sometimes. Sholakh finds the strangest fossil... the communicator. They hurry Binro along and the last guard... the one lagging behind has the Doctor's multi colored scarf hanging out of it. This is the Doctor.

The Captain has a cannon pointed at the catacombs... quoting that "they" say no one leaves the deep catacombs and if any of them do, they will not get very far.

Graff and his men approach Garron and Unstoffe. Binro rushes out toward them and the Graff orders Binro shot and a guard shoots the old man in the back. Binro dies in Unstoffe's arms, dreaming of the stars. Garron thinks Binro is a charming fellow the little he saw of him. Unstoffe gets angry and rushes at the Graff but is shot in the shoulder. Part of the roof falls in. Unstoffe throws the Jethryk to the Graff. Graff questions Garron about the Doctor and the girl. Garron tells him the two are security agents and that they only know about the Graff because he drew their attention out. Through his alien mask, the Doctor blows the dog whistles. The Graff has Garron and Unstoffe stood against a wall to be shot. Garron's throat is too dry to make a speech. The Shrievenzale arrives. Romana asks K9 if he can find the others due to the noise. She calls him a good computer.

The Captain is planning to close the catacombs forever and lights the cannon. A shot brings down the walls and the ceiling to cover everything in rubble. Sholakh is covered in heavy rubble, but he pulled Graff back. Graff will not leave him. Sholakh tells him his guts are flat. The Seeker tells Graff that he is dead and the Graff yells at them to leave him. They do and Graff closes the eyes of his dead friend. He vows to bombard this planet until it is a stinking hole in space. He kisses the sides of his friend's face and leaves.

Unstoffe is trying to get Garron up. Garron claims his foot was shot. They will be buried alive. Garron doesn't like the options they are getting. On the other side of a rock, Romana and K9 hear someone and Romana cannot move it. K9 tells her to stand back and he uses his red nose ray to make the barrier of rock vanish. Garron gives her the locator back. "You dropped this." Romana says, "Into your hands, yes. Let's go shall we." The Graff is going insane now...wanting revenge for his friend's death. He will blow up the caves behind him. The Seeker protests. She tells him the prophecy again and kills the Seeker. The soldier (the Doctor in disguise) tried to stop him but he tells the last of his Levithiian men he has plans for. Graff mentions his other battles: Skarrn, Crestus Minor, and Freytus Labyrinth. It was on Crestus Minor he saw Sholakh plant his standard in the heart of a Christian general. Graff puts a bomb onto the metal of the Doctor's armor and tells him there is no greater honor than to serve with his life. Graff hugs the guard (Doctor) to him. Graff calls Sholakh to him and he moves into the alleys of the catacombs, yelling. The bomb blows up and kills the Graff. The Doctor switched the bomb with the Jethryk.

Later as they go out and it is snowing, Garron asks the Doctor how he made the switch. Sleight of hand, trained by Mescalin. Romana calls it quite clever really but the Doctor dislikes faint praise -- it was astoundingly clever. Garron asks if he can just handle the Jethryk one more time. The Doctor lets him and Garron turns around and puts it in his coat. The Doctor hugs Garron goodbye and asks Unstoffe his name. He says goodbye to him too. K9 arrives after the Doctor goes into the TARDIS. Romana says goodbye, then ushers K9 inside the TARDIS. Unstoffe and Garron can now claim Graff's spaceship and go straight. The Graff's ship is stuffed with 18 years of loot. Otherwise he would have noticed: he took the Jethryk. The TARDIS vanishes. "That's a queer takeoff," Unstoffe states. Garron thanks goodness the Doctor is gone. Otherwise he would have caught him but when Garron pulls out what he thinks is the Jethryk...he finds ordinary stone. "Oh Unstoffe, is there nobody you can trust these days!" Garron cries as he realizes the Doctor switched the Jethryk back. Garron moves off and Unstoffe follows.

Romana puts the first segment down. The Doctor asks Romana is she would like to do it but she defers to him. He will just stand there and watch as she does it. She moves the tracer to the Jethryk and it transforms slowly into the Key to Time shape of the first piece. "Only five more to go," the Doctor says.

Source: Charles Mento

Continuity Notes:
  • The Black Guardian mentioned by the White is not the only other Guardian; the Doctor's old foe the Celestial Toymaker is another Guardian, the Guardian of Dreams, as revealed in Divided Loyalties. There is also the Azura Guardian of Equilibrium, the Gold Guardian of Life, and the Red Guardian of Justice, who some speculate may be none other than the Thirteenth Doctor (See Aspect of Evil).
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