The Reaping
Serial 6Z/C
Written by Joseph Lidster
Directed by Gary Russell
Sound Design, Post-Production and Music by David Darlington

Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Claudia Christian (Janine Foster), Stuart Milligan (Anthony Chambers), Jane Perry (Kathy Chambers), Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor (Nate Chambers), Vincent Pirillo (Daniel Woods), John Schwab (Lt. Doyle), Denise Bryer (Mrs Van Gysegham), Allison Karaynes (Natalie Hamilton), Nicholas Briggs (Cybermen).

On the morning of 9 May 1984, Peri woke up. She was expecting to spend the day relaxing in Lanzarote and, that evening, leave her mother and stepfather to go travelling with some guys she'd only just met.

But things don't always go as expected ­ as her friends and family discover when, four months later, she returns home having travelled further than anyone could have imagined.

Meanwhile her friend, Katherine Chambers, mourns her father and Peri finds herself meeting some other familiar faces.

  • Released: September 2006
    ISBN: 1 84435 196 3
Part One
(drn: 64'06")

Lanzarote, 1984. Janine Foster answers a knock on her hotel room door and asks Mrs Van Gysegham to let Peri in. Her daughter announces that she won’t be joining them for their visit to the caves today, which pleases Mrs Van Gysegham no end. Janine is more worried about what her daughter is going to do with herself, but Peri is sure she can find something… Her stepfather Howard is already out on the boat looking for archaeological treasures, so she plans to drop by and see him first. Janine notices something odd about her behaviour, as if she’s keeping something secret, but Peri’s 18 now and there’s nothing much she can do if she wants to explore the island on her own.

The TARDIS materialises and the Doctor is excited about showing Peri the Ice Caves of Shabadabadon, but he wants to take a slight detour first. They’ve arrived at the Gogglebox, one of the human race’s greatest achievements. Peri is surprised to notice that all the other visitors are alien, and the Doctor explains that this is one of the periods when the people of Earth had temporarily left this area of space, no doubt due to solar flares or intergalactic war. The Gogglebox is deep down inside the Moon, a fact which genuinely impresses Peri. The Doctor summons a tour guide, Alan 56, who claims to be overjoyed to be asked to show them around, although his attitude and weariness suggests otherwise. Perhaps not surprising as Alan is one of 108 identical clones of the original Alan and he’s personally been conducting the same tour for over 2,000 years.

The Gogglebox is an access system that lets visitors view every recorded media event from the human race’s history. It lets people experience anything from the first television appearance of the Pussycat Dolls, the opening of the Jupiter colonies, every Police Academy film, the creation of the Euro Combine, even mankind’s momentous first encounter with the Mysterious Mim! The Doctor is distraught when Peri asks Alan 56 to find her some news reports from America in 1984 as she wants to see what everyone’s doing back home. The Doctor decides to leave her to it while he looks for the most important book in space and time, on which the fate of the entire Universe could depend, and which he left here accidentally after his last visit. Peri steps into a booth and Alan 56 plugs her in…

Peri is welcomed by an automated voice that thanks her for choosing Booth 71. She asks for the news from 1984 and skims through various headlines before deciding to narrow the search down to Baltimore in America. The first report she hears is of the brutal murder in St Anne’s Graveyard of 42-year old father of two Anthony Chambers. Peri jumps up in distress and races from the booth. She calls over several of the Alan clones and asks to be taken to the Doctor. She finds him still searching for the missing book and demands they go straight back to the TARDIS. She tells him about the murder and explains that he was someone she knew, but he points out that they’re thousands of years in the future. Peri becomes very upset and says she needs to speak to her mother and her best friend Kathy, the murder victim’s daughter. He reluctantly agrees to take her back home.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor reminds Peri that he can’t take her back to change what happened, but she only wants to go to the funeral. They tune in a local news broadcast by reporter Natalie Hamilton to get more information and they learn that an unnamed vagrant, who was sleeping in the graveyard, is currently being questioned by police, but he’s apparently denies any involvement in the undertaker’s murder.

The Doctor takes Peri back to Baltimore on 29th September 1984. They arrive at St Anne’s Graveyard where the funeral of Anthony Chambers has just taken place and they see Peri’s mother Janine thanking the vicar for the service. Among those attending are a ghastly woman with purple hair, who Peri identifies as Mrs Van Gysegham, and Peri’s friend Kathy and her brother Nate, but oddly her stepfather Howard is missing. Peri asks the Doctor not to turn this into a big adventure - this is her home and these people are her family and friends. He agrees that it’s best if she catches up with her friends alone, so he decides to find out more about the vagrant who’s been accused of the murder. Peri nervously approaches the group where Janine is comforting Kathy and Nate. They’re all surprised to see her, but Peri is hurt by the hostile reaction she receives from her mother. Janine leads the others away and Peri is left behind at the cemetery. She goes to Mr Chamber’s grave and apologises for not being there for him, then she breaks down in tears.

The Doctor leaves the cemetery and spots Mrs Van Gysegham. He claims to be an old friend from Lanzarote and deliberately confuses her with bogus anecdotes until she ’remembers’. They agree that recent events have been terrible, but Mrs Van Gysegham is not so sure the police have caught the murderer. She offers to tell him more on the way to the wake, so he accepts a life in her car. Despite risking life and limb due to her extremely dangerous driving, and despite having to wade through the tedious life history of the Van Gysegham family, the Doctor finally brings the conversation back round to the murder. She tells him the clues just don’t add up: Anthony Chambers was quite a healthy man, and yet the alleged murderer - an elderly vagrant called Daniel Woods who was sleeping in a tent in the graveyard - was supposed to have snapped the man’s neck. When he learns that the vagrant is now being held at Fells Point Police Station, the Doctor confesses to Mrs Van Gysegham that he’s not just here to mourn the death of Mr Chambers - he’s a secret agent working for British Intelligence and is here to investigate the murder! He asks her to drop him off at the police station and she puts her foot down…

Peri continues to grieve over the coffin containing her friend’s father and talks about her recent visit to the Moon, which she knew would have delighted him. She talks about the future and other planets, then makes her final farewell. As she leaves, she’s unaware that her conversation has being monitored electronically...

The Doctor arrives at the police station and promises to meet Mrs Van Gysegham later at the wake. Inside, he approaches Lt Doyle, the officer on duty, and asks to see Daniel Woods. When his request is refused he claims he’s been asked to represent UNIT at the personal request of the Secretary General as this case has ramifications not just for America, but for the entire planet. Lt Doyle asks for identification and the Doctor starts emptying his pockets, unaware that his actions are also being monitored. A voice analysis confirms this is their old enemy, the Doctor…and then Doyle surprisingly gives him permission to see the prisoner. The Doctor notices the officer is now speaking in a monotone voice, and as he’s being led to an interview room, he also spots a strange metal device in the man’s ear.

The Doctor is left alone with Daniel Woods, and is surprised when the suspect believes he’s come here to kill him! He accuses the Doctor of being one of the monsters, or at least is being controlled by them, but when he insists on checking the Doctor’s ear, there’s nothing there. He reveals that he saw the undertaker’s killer and claims he was six feet seven inches tall! At that moment, Lt Doyle returns with some coffee, but his insistence that the Doctor drink some straight away arouses his suspicions. He examines the coffee and instantly recognises the smell of cyanide!

Peri returns to her family home and rings the bell. Janine lets her in, but she continues to get a very frosty reception from her mother. It’s clear that there’s a lot of hostility between them, but Janine doesn’t want to get involved in a row while she has a house full of mourners. When Peri asks where her stepfather is, Janine says she accused him of murdering Peri when she disappeared and their marriage is now over. Peri is shocked to learn that her mother thought she was dead, but Janine refuses to discuss it any further.

Peri is hiding out in her old bedroom when she gets a visit from Kathy. It’s been a hell of a day for both of them and they both accept that so much has changed since they last met. Peri offers Kathy sympathy, but she’s been getting that all day and what she really needs now is the support of her best friend. Kathy admits that Janine’s comments about Howard murdering her were not serious - in fact Howard had already told her that Peri was planning to go travelling for a while. The real reason they split up was because he never gave Janine the respect she deserved. Kathy is curious about where Peri’s been for the last four months - yet Peri has been away for years! They gossip about some of their old school friends (and discuss the fact that Peri and Kathy’s brother Nate were nearly an item), and then suddenly Kathy says ’8687’ for no obvious reason. Before Peri can get an explanation, Janine enters and tells Kathy she needs to say goodbye to some of the mourners. Once they’re alone, Peri and her mother start to talk more openly.

In the police station, Daniel is shocked to hear that Lt Doyle was trying to poison the Doctor. This confirms his suspicion that everyone is involved in a conspiracy - a fact which the Doctor agrees with, especially when the police officer refers to him as a Time Lord! He threatens to throw the poisoned scalding coffee into Doyle’s face and points out that the logical thing for Doyle to do in this situation is to let them both go unharmed. The Doctor and Daniel start walking out and ponder who could be controlling the lieutenant and how many others are affected. They get their answer when the other police officers in the station surround them. Using the coffee as a threat, the two of them escape while the officers are awaiting new orders. They decide to return to the scene of the crime - the graveyard - to see if they can find out what happened.

Janine demands to know where Peri has been and she refuses to accept answers like “travelling”. They argue and Peri becomes upset and accuses her mother of moving on from the death of her first husband, Peri’s father, too quickly. Both women regard the other as selfish and Peri realises that coming back was a mistake - so Janine offers to get her suitcase so she can leave properly this time!

The Doctor and Daniel arrive at the cemetery. The Doctor asks him why he was sleeping in a tent in the graveyard and he explains that he and his wife were happily married for 31 years, but a month ago she was hit by a bus at the age of 68 after surviving the war and fighting cancer for seven years. They arrive at his wife’s grave. This is where he saw the monster which he describes as a silver ghost…

Peri is convinced that she’s no longer wanted at the family home and overhears her mother and her best friend talking. Kathy has said goodbye to the last of the mourners and is clearing away some of her father’s possessions. She’s been treating Janine like her own mother since her dad died and she even admits that when she was younger she wondered what it would be like if Janine had married her father. The conversation comes around to Peri herself and Kathy confesses that she’s been finding it difficult to relate to her friend since she got back. It’s almost as if things were better when she wasn’t here. In fact, people have started to notice Kathy more since Peri’s been gone and she’s been quite happy spending time with Janine, her dad and her brother. They notice a video cassette of her dad’s 40th birthday celebrations and they decide to watch it. They call Peri down to join them…but she’s been on the staircase listening to every word they’ve said.

Daniel is worried that the Doctor thinks he imagined the ghost and he explains that he was sleeping not far from the office next to the church. It had been empty for years and then one day the undertaker, Mr Chambers, bought the premises and moved in. On the night of the murder, he heard Chambers shouting out to someone, begging them to kill him. Daniel starts getting uncomfortable and wants to leave, saying there’s nothing they can do for the victim now. The Doctor agrees and suggests they can use the same excuse the next time the silver ghost decides to murder someone. He also points out that his wife was given the all-clear from the cancer three years ago, but perhaps the doctors shouldn’t have bothered, given that she was going to die anyway. Was it really worth it? Daniel becomes incensed until he realises the Doctor is making a point about not giving up. The Doctor admits he’s scared too, but they have a responsibility to do their best and keep trying.

Peri comes downstairs and the group watches the video, which shows Janine leading the celebrations for Anthony’s birthday. In fact, she’s a little embarrassed at Peri, Kathy and Nate watching her flirt so blatantly with him. In return, Peri is embarrassed when Anthony refers on the video to the stress her mother was under when she disappeared. Anthony also admits to having been a bit moody ever since he moved into the new premises at St Anne’s and he promises to change even if it means quitting his job. When Janine notices the batteries on the camera are getting low, he asks her to focus on him - and then tells his kids that if they’re watching this video, they should keep playing… Then the picture cuts out. For Kathy and Nate they finally accept that their dad won’t be part of their life anymore, but Peri is intrigued by Anthony’s last words. It was as though he somehow knew he was going to die. She believes it was intended as a message to them, but the others find her attitude bizarre.

Daniel tells the Doctor that he heard Chambers shouting “It’s all over now, just kill me”, then Chambers and the silver ghost came out of the undertaker’s office, walked over to the grave and the monster killed him. The Doctor is sure there must be more and he realises that Chambers probably knew Daniel was within earshot, so he must have deliberately made the monster follow him to where the vagrant was sleeping so he’d be a witness to his final words. He remembers the silver monster telling Chambers that he’d served his purpose, but whatever they’d been using to control him, it wasn’t working any more. Daniel is convinced that the monster’s now going to be coming after them!

Peri insists that they give her the video so she can keep playing it. Kathy and Nate are becoming upset by her behaviour - but then Peri discovers another clip from their father which was obviously recorded further into the tape. On the clip, Chambers tells his children this is a message from beyond the grave. He tells them not to be sad as he’s free now. He explains that a monster had been controlling him, making him do things, but somehow he broke free and realised what was happening. But there’s some sort of mental block that’s preventing him for explaining more, so all he can say is that he loves them… He asks them to do two things - firstly, they’re not to say anything to the police as they’re being controlled too, and secondly they mustn’t go back to the graveyard as the monster is still there. They’re to get out of Baltimore altogether and be safe somewhere else. In the meantime, they must beware the Cybermen!

Radio news reporter Natalie Hamilton arrives at Fells Point Police Station to interview Lt Doyle. He shows her a written statement they’ll be issuing and her first reaction is that it’s a little extreme. As a professional journalist, she’s uneasy about publishing the statement, but he grabs her and places a metal object in her ear. She immediately stops resisting and states that she now understands. Doyle tells her she will be like them…

The Doctor promises to keep Daniel safe. The vagrant remembers one more thing - the silver monster said the words “You will be like us”. The Doctor finally realises who he’s up against. He tells Daniel about the Cybermen and explains that they used technology that enabled them to survive by becoming invulnerable, but they lost their individuality and their souls. They became monsters. He knows Mondas is due to be destroyed in two years time, so the Cybermen have obviously come back here to convert humanity and they won’t stop until every living creature on the planet has become like them. He asks Daniel if he’ll help him save the Earth and he agrees. Just then, Peri arrives with Janine, Kathy and Nate - and suddenly Kathy says ’8687’, again for no obvious reason.

Natalie Hamilton begins her radio broadcast by introducing Lt Doyle of the Baltimore Police. He announces that the vagrant Daniel Woods, who was charged with the murder of Anthony Chambers, has escaped from custody and is on the run with an accomplice known only as the Doctor. These two dangerous criminals will stop at nothing to escape justice, and until they are caught everyone in the area is to stay in their homes.

Both the Doctor and Peri have realised that Chambers was being controlled by the Cybermen and they fill each other in on what’s been happening since they last saw each other. There are introductions all round - and Kathy and Nate are horrified to find they’re now in the company of the man accused of murdering their father. Kathy is particularly distressed and runs off into the night. The Doctor is sure he knows Kathy from somewhere, but he can’t quite remember…perhaps she becomes famous one day? Janine is confused by Peri’s involvement with the Doctor and her daughter explains that this is what she does now - she deals with monsters!

There’s a scream from Kathy and everyone races off. The Doctor catches up with her first and asks what’s wrong, but she just repeats the number ’8687’. Peri asks what happened and she tells them she heard a sound, like scratching, coming from her father’s grave! Everyone starts arguing and the Doctor insists they keep quiet. They all hear the sound coming from the grave - then suddenly the coffin smashes open and Kathy and Nate’s dead father comes up through the earth. He’s a Cyberman!

Part Two
(drn: 69'28")

Lt Doyle radios the other police officers, telling them the two suspects have been spotted in St Anne’s Graveyard and they are to proceed to the area immediately. They are to be considered highly dangerous and can be taken dead or alive.

The Doctor warns Kathy and Nate to keep away from the Cyberman as he’s not their father any more. The Doctor asks the Chambers/Cyberman whether he recognises anyone in the group, but he seems confused as he hasn’t been fully converted. He does recognise the Doctor and Peri as enemies, but everyone else is irrelevant and will be converted. The Doctor tells Peri to take the others home quickly while he searches Chambers’ old office - but then the police arrive and surround them. Janine believes they’ve been saved, but the police open fire and everyone races back into the cemetery. They take refuge in the undertaker’s office, but the police headlights are blinding them and they’ve lost sight of the Chambers/Cyberman. Doyle reports to the Cybermen that the group is trapped inside the building.

The Doctor checks that everyone is alright and Janine orders the youngsters away from the windows. She demands explanations from the Doctor and she particularly wants to know why he seems to be endangering her daughter. Daniel intervenes and tells them that if they don’t join forces to help, then what happened to Chambers and the police is going to happen to them too. The Doctor wonders why the Cybermen chose Chambers and Peri theorises that it has something to do with his job. For some reason, the Cybermen seem to have chosen a different mode of operation and instead of converting the living, they seem to be concentrating on making the dead walk! Chambers had only been working here for three months and it was just after he started that people noticed he had changed, becoming quiet and distant. The Doctor deduces that the Cybermen made him install a conversion unit into the coffins. In the last three months there have been at least twenty burials, so there may be another twenty Cybermen underground, waiting to be activated. Daniel suddenly realises this will include his wife, Maureen! Janine wants to know why the Cybermen recognised her daughter, which reminds Peri that her last meeting with them was in 1985 - next year! That means these Cybermen are from the future.

Janine agrees that they can’t wait around to be killed or converted and the Doctor suggests they search for the unit controlling the police officers. If it’s here in the building, then unfortunately there’s likely to be a Cybermen operating it. Behind the main office is the area where the bodies are kept and upstairs is the home where the Chambers family lived for a while, so the Doctor asks Peri to take the others upstairs while he looks around. Peri insists on staying with the Doctor, and then Janine insists on staying with Peri, so Daniel is asked to look after the two youngsters.

Lt Doyle encounters the Chambers/Cyberman and discovers he is starting to remember his past life. The police officer explains that he can hear the voice of their leader, who assures Chambers his feelings of fear will soon pass. In the meantime, he is to seek out his old family and make them like him. He is guided to a window on the first floor of the undertaker’s office… Meanwhile, Kathy and Nate creep slowly up the stairs to their old home. They’re worried the Cybermen will be waiting for them, but convince themselves that the conversions were being conducted downstairs, so they should be safe.

The Doctor and Peri search the office and mortuary and tell Janine to look out for alien technology. Peri’s mother is amazed to discover that she’s been travelling in time and space, so Peri takes the opportunity to explain exactly what happened to her after she said goodbye in the Lanzarote hotel room. Janine warns her that if this all turns out to be a big practical joke, she’s going to slap her into next week! The Doctor finds a radio and decides to find out what’s being reported on the news. He listens to Natalie Hamilton warning residents in the area to stay indoors and it’s immediately obvious that she’s being controlled too. He believes people are being deliberately encouraged to remain in their homes so they’ll be trapped when the Cybermen come for them. Peri argues that it takes ages to convert someone into a Cyberman, but the Doctor reminds her that these Cybermen are from the future. He shows her a coffin containing some of the most advanced Cyber-technology he’s ever seen. It appears that a tiny needle that injects the subject with a virus is all that’s needed to complete the conversion. If twenty Cybermen can be resurrected in the graveyard, they can march through the streets of Fells Point, safe in the knowledge that every resident is locked up in their own homes in fear for their lives. A quick injection and a new Cyber-race will be born!

Kathy and Nate check the upstairs section of the house while Daniel keeps an eye on both of them. For Kathy in particular, this is an upsetting experience as they keep getting seeing everyday things that remind them of their father. Kathy is now studying medicine at Boston University and plans to be a doctor, so she can understand what Daniel has gone through in recent years with his wife’s battle against cancer. That was why he slept in the graveyard, to be as close to her as he could. Suddenly the window smashes and the Chambers/Cyberman leans in and grabs Daniel, killing him instantly.

Downstairs, Peri thinks she heard something, but no one else noticed anything over the torrential rain so she goes off to explore alone. The Doctor is curious to discover that Chambers had covered the outside yard with tarpaulin and wants to investigate further. Peri returns to the house and goes upstairs, calling for her friends. The Doctor finds what appears to be a huge white egg, some kind of pod which undoubtedly contains a Cyberman. Janine wants to destroy it, but the Doctor insists they open it. Before they can do anything, a hatch on the pod starts to open of its own accord…

Peri reaches the upper floor she finds her friends cowering from the Chambers/Cyberman as it stands over Daniel’s dead body. Peri encourages her friends to follow her out, but Kathy explains that every time they move, the Cyberman just comes closer, repeatedly stating that “the dead will walk”. Peri grabs the video cassette from her bag and switches on the family TV set. The Chambers/Cyberman watches the recording of his 40th birthday celebrations and Nate tries to engage him in conversation while Peri and Kathy slip out unnoticed…

The hatch on the pod finishes opening and the Doctor and Janine are about to look inside when Kathy and Peri race out and tells them Daniel is dead. Janine is concerned at the way the Doctor appears to dismiss his death while he concentrates on more important things. Janine wants to go back for Nate, but the Doctor is sure he’ll be OK as long as the Chambers/Cyberman is being distracted by the video. He sends the three women back into the house and tells them to collect Nate and lock themselves in the bathroom, then as soon as the police leave Peri is to take them all to the safety of the TARDIS. She insists on staying with the Doctor, but Janine refuses to let her. The Doctor enters the pod and is surprised to find that it’s bigger on the inside than the outside. The hatch closes behind him and the pod dematerialises!

At home alone, Mrs Van Gysegham telephones the hospital and asks to speak to her husband. She wants to apologise to him for everything that’s happened and to tell him she loves him…

Peri is distraught, but there’s nothing anyone can do for the Doctor now. Janine and Kathy are worried by her obsession with him, but she explains that he once died for her and she regards him as her best friend. They learn about his sacrifice on Androzani Minor and how he gave up his life for her, regenerating into a new person. Janine thinks Peri stays with him out of guilt, but she assures her mother that the she loves him. They agree that the only thing they can do now is go back to the TARDIS and wait for him to return. They go to collect Nate, but Kathy is upset when Peri reminds her that they can’t take her father with them.

Inside the pod, the Doctor hears the voice of the Cyberleader weakly summoning him closer. The pod is enormous and he walks through the darkness until he comes across the dying form of the leader. The Cyberleader repeats the number ‘8687’ and the Doctor wonders why people keep saying that. The leader, who is evidently close to termination, explains they are currently waiting in the Vortex. He is one of the last few Cybermen as most of the race has been destroyed in the Wars. The Doctor isn’t surprised to learn that this ship is based on Time Lord technology. He finds the equipment which controls the police back on Earth and tries to switch it off, but the Cyberleader grabs him and threatens to kill one of his friends is he doesn’t assist them. He shows the Doctor an image being transmitted through Chambers’ eyes and as a demonstration of his intent, he orders the Chambers/Cyberman to attack Nate. The Doctor is horrified and swears vengeance against the Cyberleader!

The Cyberleader wants the Doctor to help him change the past. The Doctor refuses - and then realises the whole thing has been one big trap. Everything from Baltimore, Anthony Chambers, the corpses, all of it had been set up with one intention - to lure him here! The Cyberleader knew he would not be able to resist investigating and even the attempt to poison him with the coffee was just to distract him and he knew the Doctor would never drink it. The leader says he’s been on Earth for 630 days. He found the pod abandoned on a planet destroyed by fire and used it to travel into the past to create a new Cyber-race, but he was unaware that Time Lord technology is based on a link between the pod and its user and therefore wasn’t protected against the energies of the Vortex.

The Doctor checks further and discovers the Cyberleader didn’t pilot the ship at all, it simply crash landed back in 1982 with him aboard. Anthony Chambers stumbled upon the injured Cyberleader and it took control of him using the ear-disc and then killed him to attract the Doctor’s attention. The leader has access to the entire Cyber-history and knew of his relationship with Peri, so it engineered the whole situation just to lure him here. But the Doctor is curious - why didn’t the leader just use the virus, the coffins and the brainwashed policeman to take over the Earth? The Cyberleader reveals that there is no virus. Anthony Chambers was converted before he was buried - he is the only Cyberman on Earth. The climate of fear they created was not directed at the people of Fells Point at all, but at the Doctor! He needs the Doctor to take him back to the beginning to ensure that the human race becomes the Cybermen…

Peri urges Janine and Kathy to show more caution as they approach the room where Nate is watching the video with the Chambers/Cyberman. They need to stay calm so as not to get themselves killed. Peri and Janine start to argue about who’s actually in charge, and in the end it’s Kathy who leads the group into the upstairs living room. The sight that awaits them is greeted with a scream!

The Cyberleader wants the Doctor to pilot him back to the beginning of life on Earth. He refuses and the leader threatens to have Peri, Janine and Kathy killed, so reluctantly the Doctor sets the co-ordinates. He’s ordered to pick up a Cyber-conversion device that looks like an egg that can be split into two pieces. By placing one half on each side of a person’s head, their flesh is transformed into Cyber-technology. The Doctor’s task is to convert the first human beings so they’ll have the knowledge and ability to develop further Cyber-technology in the future. From their birth, the human race will be Cybermen. As the Doctor was responsible for destroying the Cybermen in the future, it is fitting that he be responsible for creating the new Cyber-race in the past. After that, he is to pilot the pod to the future and see the results of their work.

Kathy discovers Nate is still alive but the Chambers/Cyberman is standing over him as if awaiting further orders. Nate is seriously ill and they need to get some medical attention to him urgently, but he can’t be moved as his back is broken. Peri becomes inconsolable and turns to her mother for help. Janine orders the two girls to lock themselves in the bathroom while she tries to lure the Cyberman away. If anything should go wrong, they’re to go to the TARDIS and try to summon help from the Doctor’s alien friends.

The ship has arrived at its destination and the Doctor tries one last attempt to convince the Cyberleader that humans are not meant to be logical. Chaos and emotion is what life is all about. The Cyberleader rejects that argument - it has studied time and has observed patterns that suggest every aspect of life is part of something greater. It orders him to leave the ship…

Janine talks to the Chambers/Cyberman and tries to get him to remember his previous life, including his kids and his late wife. It dismisses such thoughts as irrelevant, but Janine refuses to accept this. The Cyberman appears to want to sleep, which she encourages - but when Peri tries to leave, the creature reawakens and grabs her.

The Doctor returns to the ship and tells the Cyberleader that he’s converted eight of the prehistoric humans and they’ve already started converting the others. He left the device with them, and now it’s time to go to the future and see the results of his handiwork. He sets the temporal co-ordinates for 1984, ironically the year that everyone is supposed to conform. No emotion and no chaos - the Orwellian nightmare come true! The Doctor has created a new history and the Cyberleader believes he should feel pride. They arrive at their destination and the Time Lord invites him to use the last bit of his energy to go outside…and when he sees the new world he describes it as perfect. The Doctor tries to leave, but the Cyberleader demands he stay to look at the future. Suddenly the leader realises the Cybermen around him are inferior, and while he’s distracted, the Doctor manages to get back inside the pod which dematerialises. The sick Cyberleader is approached by an early Mondas-type Cyberman who believes the new arrival is in need of repair. The year is indeed 1984, but instead of arriving on Earth, he’s been taken to Mondas itself! Commander Zheng is ordered to take the leader away for reprocessing.

At that moment, the Chambers/Cyberman aborts his termination of Peri and goes into standby mode, awaiting further instructions. The Doctor arrives and is relieved to find his friend is safe. He shows her the police officers outside are now looking very confused, wondering why they’re standing in a graveyard. He explains that he took the Cyberleader back to Mondas, which will be destroyed in two years’ time. He gives Peri the Cyber-conversion egg from the future while he examines the injured Nate.

Much later, Peri asks the Doctor if she can keep the conversion egg as a king of memento. The hospital staff help Nate settle into his room, but unfortunately there’s nothing they can do about his broken back - he’ll be paralysed for life. Peri tells the Doctor that she’s decided to remain here on Earth and move back in with her mother. She makes a tearful goodbye and asks him to promise he’ll look her up sometime. Saddened, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS alone.

The Doctor returns to the Gogglebox where the Alan clones offer to help him find his missing book, but somehow it just doesn’t seem so important anymore. Instead, he asks to be shown to one of the booths so he can check up on how Peri got on without him. Moments later, he bursts out in distress and races back to the TARDIS.

Back on Earth in 1984, Mrs Van Gysegham makes an unexpected visit to the Foster household. Peri is enrolling at the University and Kathy is visiting Nate, so she goes upstairs and joins Janine who is tidying up one of the girl’s bedrooms. She finds half of the alien conversion egg which she thought had been stored in the basement, but as she picks it up they hear a warning about an unauthorised use and the device sets to self-destruct. Seconds later, the house explodes… The police and fire-fighters race to the scene, but it’s too late. Later, Natalie Hamilton reports on the news that there’s been a massive explosion in the Fells Point area which the police are treating as suspicious. The two dead women have been named as Janine Foster and Dominique Van Gysegham.

The Doctor catches up with Peri at her mother’s grave. She still can’t believe what’s happened and breaks down in tears. There’s nothing the Doctor can say to make things any easier. Kathy seems to have disappeared and Nate has been transferred somewhere, but Peri doesn’t know where. Now she’s all alone. The Doctor reminds her that the Universe is meant to be chaotic and can be a mystery and Peri wonders whether the Cybermen actually have the right idea - at least they don’t have to go through this suffering. There’s nothing here for Peri any more. Later, the TARDIS dematerialises…

Travelling with the Doctor is the strangest, maddest experience. One minute your life is small, nine to five, the next you’re seeing - well, everything. And it’s terrifying, but brilliant. Then one day, like all things, it ends. You leave him, you go home, and everything’s small again. But you get used to it. The last thing you ever, ever expect is for him to come back…

Source: Lee Rogers

Continuity Notes:
  • The story of Katherine continues in The Gathering, where she meets the Fifth Doctor & Tegan who help her deal with the aftermath of this story.
  • The energy spike the Doctor investigates is picked up by the 5th Doctor in The Gathering.
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