In a TV news bulletin, the newsreader reports that local Councillor Fleming has denied claims that the flu outbreak in Brighton and Hove has already reached epidemic proportions, but he’s confirmed that both Brighton General and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath had been put on emergency standby. He’s declined to comment on suggestions that a team from DEFRA were investigating the possibility of an outbreak of the H5N1 avian flu.
In another report, a Sussex toymaker has turned what was once a cottage industry into a global brand. Reporter Miranda Evenden visits the place where it all started in Shoreham, a huge warehouse that looks abandoned from the outside and has been branded ’The White Elephant’ by local residents. The company is best known for producing the Cuddlesomes, the most popular must-have toy from the 1980s…
The report shows an old advert for the Cuddlesomes and middle-aged viewer John Dixon remembers with affection that he used to own one, but his partner, Angela Wisher, says they look horrible and describes them as pink vampire hamsters. She says they’re hideous, but John loved his and took it everywhere with him.
The reporter Miranda Everton begins an interview with the Cuddlesomes’ creator Ronald Turvey, who claims that the toys call him ’Daddy Turvey’. He’s been a recluse ever since the original factory went out of business 25 years ago but now he thinks the time is right to bring the popular toys back. Kids these days may be into text messaging and ’beat-them-up’ computer games, but he believes a good old-fashioned furry friend will never go out of fashion and you‘re never too old for a cuddle. In fact, he says the Cuddlesomes were never really designed for kids anyway and what made them special was a voice recognition system that was way ahead of its time. He produces one of a new range of toys which have been specially designed for the collectors market and he introduces it to Miranda. He activates the toy and gives it time to process Miranda’s vocal pattern, then in a clichéd American voice, it acknowledges her as its new owner.
John switches off the TV in disgust, complaining that the makers have changed the Cuddlesomes’ voice. He gives Angela his best impression of the old version and tells her it was the coolest thing on the planet, but she thinks it sounds absolutely vile. John thinks he might still have his one somewhere, and to Angela’s despair, he decides to climb up into the attic to get it.
John sorts through various boxes until he finds his old Cuddlesome, then he calls down to Angela in the front room to ask if they have any batteries. Suddenly, the toy activates itself and greets John in a cute voice, asking him how he’s been. The toy tells him to come closer so it can give him a cuddle, which worries John as he doesn’t remember it ever saying that before. The toy says John’s been naughty and must have forgotten about it, because it’s been waiting for him in the dark all this time. It says it’s been lonely on its own and comments on how big John has become. It starts moving towards him, which freaks him out and he backs away, nervously. Without warning, it leaps forward and bites John, then it advances towards him again and asks for another cuddle. Downstairs, Angela hears John scream, followed by the sound of objects being knocked over. She rushes up the landing and finds John lying on the floor under the door to the attic. John tells her the toy bit him, then he passes out. Angela hears the Cuddlesome calling his name, so she closes the attic door.
Some time later, the TARDIS materialises inside the greenhouse attached to Angela and John’s house, but the police box is too large and as it solidifies, it smashes through the glass panes. The Doctor emerges sheepishly and looks around, realising he obviously hasn’t landed in 1818 as he expected. Angela calls out and the Doctor apologises for what‘s happened, explaining that the lateral balance cones have gone off line, but when she interrupts him and asks if he’s the Doctor, he wonders how she knows his name. She blames herself for not getting the front door bell fixed and explains that her partner John is on the landing. She says she decided not to move him as it was quite a fall and the Doctor realises she must have called for help and thinks he’s a medical doctor.
Angela takes the Doctor to where her partner is lying on the floor and she assures John that he’s going to be alright now. John doesn’t respond and Angela thinks he must have concussion, but the Doctor can see straight away that it’s considerably more than that. Angela knows she should have called for an ambulance, but she says she wasn’t thinking straight and rang NHS Direct instead. The Doctor takes out a strange device and starts taking readings, which only confirm his suspicions. He tells Angela to keep John as warm and still as she can while he goes back to the greenhouse for some more equipment.
Later, the Doctor injects John with a hypospray which he says should slow down the infection, but he can’t be entirely sure which until he’s done a fuller analysis. He recognises some of the symptoms, and just about refrains from adding that he’s never seen them on Earth before. He points to some bite marks on John and asks Angela if she knows what could have caused it, but she doesn’t know. The Doctor says John will be better off in hospital until the bacterial antigen has done it’s work and they should count their blessing that he was able to help before the infection reached any vital organs. Angela asks about the freckles and the Doctor is shocked to learn that John never had them before. Unfortunately this is further evidence that the poison is extra-terrestrial. Before he can explain further, they hear a banging noise coming from the attic above. Angela thinks John must have rigged up his Cuddlesome with wires as a practical joke, but the Doctor warns her to stand back. He opens up the hatch and they see the cuddly toy moving of its own accord. The Doctor invites it to come closer, but it leaps past him and drops down onto the landing before fleeing off out of sight.
Later, the Cuddlesome arrives at the factory and tracks down its creator ‘Daddy Turvey’. The elderly inventor is delighted to discover that his toys still work after all these years. He welcomes it back to the Pleasure Palace but when it starts to greet all the other Cuddlesomes individually, he stops it and says they’ll be here all night. The toy, designated Cuddlesome 2705A, asks what it should do and Turvey tells it to stand down as its mission has already been accomplished. The toy downloads its customer information into the factory database and Turvey checks the record of John Dixon, then congratulates 2705A for getting here so quickly after delivering its virus. Just then, a deep voice booms around the factory, causing the Cuddlesomes to shake in terror. Turvey assures them it’s nothing to worry about and says the voice belongs to his associate, Mr Tinghus. The voice complains that Turvey is playing with his prototypes again and the inventor reassures his toys that although Tinghus is fierce and not very nice, ’Daddy Turvey’ can take care of him. Tinghus calls Turvey a fool and a cretin and warns him there’s a trespasser on the premises. Caught red handed, the news reporter Miranda Evenden emerges from her hiding place and tells Turvey not to bother denying anything as she has the whole thing on tape. She plays back the recording in which Turvey states that the virus was ’delivered’ to John Dixon this evening. Turvey orders her to leave and warns her Mr Tinghus doesn’t take kindly to trespassers and likes to have them obliterated. Turvey starts to talk to the Cuddlesomes but Miranda points out they’re not real and says he should drop the barmy old inventor shtick. In unison, the Cuddlesomes all turn on Miranda and charge towards her. She cries out in alarm…
The ambulance leaves Angela’s house to take John to the hospital. Angela makes an excuse to the Doctor for not going with him and promises she’ll visit him later, but she says right now she needs a drink. She’s already phoned John’s sister Briony and she was hysterical, so Angela wants to get her breath back before meeting her at the hospital. The Doctor thinks the toy looked familiar, but he can’t quite place it. Angela explains that they’re Cuddlesomes - hideous, mass-produced tat from the 80s. The Doctor asks if he can see another one and she says they should have some in Bellbottom’s, a shop in the Lanes that specialises in 70s and 80s memorabilia. The shop won’t be open at this time of night, but they might have one in the window. She promises to drop the Doctor off on the way to the hospital on condition that he tells her who he really is. He reveals that he’s a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, but he demands the car keys from her and says he’ll have to drive as she’s been drinking.
Miranda Evenden has already done her research and knows Turvey’s company went out of business because he’s spent the last few years in prison for tax fraud. Turvey takes her to the manager’s office on the second floor, which resembles a large steam room. The voice of Mr Tinghus booms out and orders him to bring the trespasser nearer. Miranda complains that she can’t see who the voice belongs to and he says that’s because he’s having one of his special baths. When Tinghus climbs out of the water and emerges from the steam, Miranda is horrified. Tinghus explains that he has a skin condition, but the nutritional restoration of the bath has been adequate. He asks Miranda why she came here and she says she wanted to find out more about the Cuddlesomes and learn how Turvey managed to secure an overseas manufacturing deal so soon after spending 20 years in jail. Tinghus explains that it was outsourced to one of his own contacts, which is just one of the ways he’s improved the operation here. Turvey admits he isn’t entirely happy and complains about the poor craftsmanship of the new toys, but Tinghus orders him to be quiet. Miranda realises the mystery virus originates from here and she suspects the toys are being made in the Far East and might be contaminated with bird flu. Turvey scoffs at Miranda and points out that she doesn’t really care about the millions who’ve died and is only interested in boosting her journalistic career. Tinghus reveals that the toys carry something altogether different - as she’s about to discover. He summons Unit B9, and one of the ’new improved’ Cuddlesomes emerges and greets Miranda in its fake American voice. Turvey makes an excuse to leave the room as this sort of thing turns his stomach. He says goodbye to Miranda, then Tinghus orders the Cuddlesome to infect her. The tiny creature advances towards her and it starts to laugh…
When the Doctor and Angela arrive at the Bellbottom’s toy shop in the Brighton Lanes, they discover it’s been broken into and the main display window is smashed. As they go inside, Angela says she’s worried they’re going to get arrested, but the Doctor assures her it’s just part of the job description. She wonders if that’s why Time Lords do - nick cars and rob banks - but he says it’s mainly about saving planets. The Doctor points out that the broken glass from the window is outside on the pavement, which means the shop wasn’t broken into, it was broken out of. It seems likely that the Cuddlesomes have come to life and escaped, but then they hear a noise coming from the storeroom and suspect one of them might be locked inside. The Doctor produces a tracking device and says they’re going to let the Cuddlesome escape and see where it goes. To the Doctor’s surprise, Angela takes out a hammer from her bag and prepares for action. Just then, they discover the dead body of a teenager, who Angela recognises as Luke, one of the shop assistants. He’s been dead for about three hours and his skin is covered in ugly lesions. The Doctor says this is the same thing that happened to John, but fortunately because John is older his metabolism is slower and they got to him just in time. The Doctor slowly opens the storeroom door and one of the Cuddlesomes walks out and greets them cheerily. When they don’t respond, it waves goodbye and then leaves. The Doctor and Angela start to follow…
Another Cuddlesome returns to the factory and downloads its customer information into the database. The latest victim of the virus was Dominic Martin. Turvey congratulates the Cuddlesome and all the other toys cheer in support. The deep voice of Tinghus booms around the factory, summoning ’Turtle Turvey’, but Turvey complains that he doesn’t like being called that. Tinghus accuses him of wasting time and orders him to stop the recall of his 80s prototypes as it’s endangering the success of their decontamination project. Turvey refuses and Tinghus says he knew he’d be like this so he sends in the Unit Bs to take control. As the new faux-American Cuddlesomes swarm into the factory, Turvey protests that they don’t belong in his Pleasure Palace. Tinghus gives orders for the recall signal to be terminated, then he tells the new Cuddlesomes to attack the earlier prototypes and destroy them! Turvey his horrified…
The Doctor and Angela are struggling to keep up with the fleeing Cuddlesome, but just as they arrive down on the seafront, the signal they’re following suddenly stops. They can see the Cuddlesome standing under the pier and Angela wonders if its batteries have gone flat. They cautiously approach it and discover it’s still humming, so the Doctor switches it off and opens it up to reveal that the viral container, a poison sac connected to the teeth, is now empty. Angela can’t believe that anyone would want to sleep with such an ugly creature on their pillow, but the Doctor says he had a bear once, although he had to release it back into the wilds when it started biting chunks out of his bedroom furniture. He discovers that the Cuddlesome’s recall circuit is still tuned in and he works out that its intended destination was three miles west of their current location. Angela says that must be Shoreham Harbour, but there’s not much there apart from a lifeboat, a power station, some warehouses and the White Elephant. The Doctor is curious about the latter and Angela explains that a Japanese electronics firm came in and redeveloped a huge area of the docks in the early 90s. They tore down a whole lot of factories and warehouses and then put up some new ones that they never used. When they pulled out and left the new development empty, the locals nicknamed it the White Elephant. Suddenly she remembers from the news report from earlier that night that one of the factories was owned by Turvey Co, the company that made the Cuddlesomes. The Doctor realises the creatures must be going home!
When Turvey refuses to let his early prototypes be destroyed, Tinghus orders the new Cuddlesomes to restrain him, then he gives orders for all the original 80s Cuddlesomes to be totally obliterated. Turvey argues that they’re living works of art and the prototypes beg ‘Daddy Turvey‘ to help them, but there’s nothing he can do. The new creatures ignore the protests and open fire, completely destroying their counterparts…
In the hospital, the doctors discover that the vaccine in their latest patient’s body seems to be working perfectly and John is showing signs of making a complete recovery. They local staff have no idea where the vaccine came from but the ambulance staff said something about a police box. Nevertheless, the doctors start preparations to mass produce the stuff to deal with the epidemic in the region. However, unbeknownst to them, John is becoming delirious and starts thrashing about on his bed, apparently in telepathic contact with the Cuddlesomes who’re being destroyed in the factory. John realises he can’t let them die. Barely coherent and mumbling about total obliteration, he climbs out of his bed and starts screaming. The doctors and nurses try to restrain him, but he pushes them aside and flees…
The Doctor and Angela manage to break into the Turvey factory, but everything looks empty. The Doctor confidently announces which direction they should go in and Angela calmly reminds him that they really ought to be whispering. The Cuddlesomes report to Tinghus that more trespassers have been spotted on the ground floor, so Tinghus gives orders for their total obliteration too.
The Doctor leads Angela to a staircase and they head down. Angela can smell something that reminds her of burnt hair and the Doctor casually asks her if she has a torch in her bag. She does, but the batteries have gone so she suggests he try the light switch. That works and the room is flooded with light - and to their shock, they find themselves looking at the burnt remains of hundreds of Cuddlesomes. Angela is horrified and thinks it’s like something out of a horror film. The creatures are covered in green goo which the Doctor identifies as a lubrication agent, the Cuddlesome equivalent of blood. In a way, the creatures really were alive and the Doctor thinks he can still detect a slight telepathic resonance that’s making his elbows itch. He wonders why the toys returned home and he’s sure they wouldn’t have come back just to die. Angela says this is what salmon do, but he corrects her and points out that salmon actually go home to reproduce…which gives him a nasty idea.
They hear the sound of a lift door opening and assume it must be whoever was responsible for killing the toys. They’re shocked when one of the Cuddlesomes approaches and denounces them as trespassers. The Doctor disagrees and claims to be from Trading Standards doing a snap inspection, but the Cuddlesome isn’t convinced and immediately opens fire. The Doctor and Angela flee for their lives, but the creature is now between them and the exit. The Doctor is hit in the arm and falls to the ground. The Cuddlesome says it’s going to count to three and then he’ll be totally fried, and the Doctor realises this must be a new model, a variant on the original design. The countdown reaches zero, but before the creature can fire again, Turvey arrives and picks it up and proceeds to smash the Cuddlesome against the wall, completely destroying it. The Doctor thanks Turvey, who introduces himself. They assume he must have killed all the other Cuddlesomes too, but Turvey denies this and says he regards himself as the creatures’ father. He tells them it was the new versions, these tawdry monstrosities, who were responsible.
The Doctor accuses Turvey of plotting to wipe out an entire generation with an alien virus and guesses he planned to send out a radio signal that would activate every Cuddlesome and tell them to infect their young owners. Angela recalls that back in the 80s everyone had a Cuddlesome, right across the world. Turvey agrees that his company was the most successful toy manufacturer in the world, but he says he had no intention of targeting children. He explains that it’s not children he despises, it’s what they grow into. He had a teddy bear once called Mr Cuddles. It was his best friend and he took it everywhere. He loved it more than anyone and told it all his secrets, hopes and fears. When he was 18 he was sent to a University to read biochemistry alongside lots of beer-swilling boys who were only interested in playing rugby and girls with no morals who were only interested in make-up. Turvey, with his milk-bottle glasses and books, and who was always punctual, was bullied and found himself being called him ’Turtle Turvey Tick Tock’. At the end of the worst term, they broke into his room and found Mr Cuddles. They tore the teddy bear to shreds like a pack of animals, howling and laughing.
On that day, Turvey swore he would have his revenge. He resents the fact that children are told to grow up and put away childish things, only to replace them with cars and houses. To him, being adult means status, peer pressure and self-loathing. He decided to punish those who forgot what it was like to be a child and who betrayed their own innocence. If anyone has left their Cuddlesome unloved for too long, they’ll soon be dead. Turvey claims the idea was given to him by the ghost of Mr Cuddles, which had grown inside him like the voice you hear inside your head in the middle of the night. Angela reminds him that all this happened 25 years ago and the Doctor wonders why it’s taken him so long to put his plan into action. Turvey blames Mr Cuddles and says he was too greedy and wanted so much more, so he had to find money from somewhere. They would have got away with it too if it wasn’t for the Inland Revenue who imprisoned him for tax fraud. He says Mr Cuddles couldn’t send the activation signal without him as they’re a double-act. In prison he was given drugs for depression, but he believes they were actually trying to stop him seeing Mr Cuddles. He says his time in prison was wasted, so he did everything he could to make the authorities think he was a reformed character. He was released three years early for good behaviour, but by then the factory had gone. Now that he’s free, he’s bringing the Cuddlesomes back and nothing in the world can stop him now!
Angela says she doesn’t believe in the ghost of Mr Cuddles and the Doctor wonders who made the new revised Cuddlesomes. Turvey says they weren’t his idea and he hates the repulsive things, but just then the voice of Mr Tinghus booms around the warehouse and announces that he was responsible for making the mark two versions. The lift doors open and an army of the new Cuddlesomes swarm onto the floor with orders to capture the trespassers and ‘zap’ Turvey. They carry out their orders and Turvey is blasted to the ground, but the Doctor discovers he’s not dead, just unconscious, which means the Cuddlesomes‘ weapons must also have a non-lethal setting. The Doctor and Angela are outnumbered and are forced into the lift.
The Doctor and Angela are brought before Mr Tinghus in the steam filled office and are surprised to see that he’s a giant Cuddlesome. The Doctor introduces himself and realises he’s addressing the Tinghus, the stuff of nightmares. The Tingha are a race of psychic brood parasites, like intergalactic cuckoos. A Tinghus will start its life as an idea or an intense fear, then it will find an appropriate host and gestate inside them until it’s fully grown. As long as the nightmares continue and the fears remains, the Tinghus feeds on them and grows until it obtains a physical manifestation. It’s like having an imaginary friend who suddenly becomes real. In this case, the host was Turvey himself - his introspection and self-loathing was ideal growth fodder for the Tinghus, and it never stopped because Turvey never grew up emotionally. The Tinghus says Turvey has served them well, but he’s now surplus to requirements and will die with the rest of the world when they decontaminate the host species. The Doctor isn’t so sure and doesn’t think the Tinghus can survive without Turvey, which would explain why it didn’t kill him earlier. The Doctor says they failed before and he doesn’t see why this attempt will be any better. The Tinghus says things are different this time and the decontamination will occur as planned because the objective isn’t obliteration, but mutation - full conversion!
The steam begins to clear and the Tinghus asks Miranda Evenden if she enjoyed her bath. The mutated form of Miranda climbs out of the liquid and says her experience was extreme. Angela recognises her from the TV news report and the Doctor asks what they’ve done with her. The Tinghus explains that she is now the mark three Cuddlesome. Miranda says she feels stronger and Angela notices that she‘s sprouting hair. The Doctor realises she’s become a Tingha/human hybrid. He demands that they reverse the process immediately, but the Tinghus tells Miranda that the trespassers look like they need a cuddle and asks her to oblige. Miranda demonstrates her big new claws and plans to try them out by ripping their faces off. The Tinghus recommends that the Doctor and Angela run, and they don’t need to be told a second time. They race towards the stairs, with Miranda racing after them, growling.
The Doctor and Angela desperately try to escape and they follow the green arrows directing them to the exit. Eventually they find themselves in the reception area, but Miranda isn’t far behind them. They race to the doors, but they’re electronically operated sliding doors and the Doctor no longer has a sonic screwdriver. The glass looks breakable, so Angela uses her hammer to smash their way through. To her surprise, the Doctor suggests that instead of escaping outside, they take cover behind the reception desk. As they hide, they watch as the hideous creature that used to be Miranda climbs out into the street, threatening to chase them for as long as it takes. She disappears into the darkness outside and the Doctor and Angela emerge from their hiding place. The Doctor casually asks Angela why she’s carrying so many tools around in her handbag and she tells him she’s a plumber. Suddenly the sound of an alarm fills the factory and the Tinghus announces that it’s decontamination time.
On the streets not far away, a distraught and confused John Dixon dodges the traffic as he heads towards the factory. The hybrid Miranda approaches him and asks if he’s seen a blond man and his lady friend that she’s planning to eat, but John doesn’t know what she’s talking about and says he needs to find his Cuddlesome. Miranda looks at John and thinks he looks quite tasty, so she decides to eat him instead…
From their hiding place, the Doctor and Angela watch as a vehicle reverses into the factory, apparently making a delivery despite the late hour. They duck down as the Tinghus arrives with a group of Cuddlesomes, cheerily giving orders for the occupants to be released. With horror, Angela realises the lorry driver has also been turned into a Tingha/human hybrid, just like Miranda, which proves that Tinghus meant what he said about turning everyone into Cuddlesomes. The doors to the vehicle open and thousands more Cuddlesomes climb out and join their colleagues.
Ronald Turvey prepares to make changes to one of his few remaining Cuddlesomes. The creature asks if it’s going to hurt and he assures it he’d never do anything to cause pain to his little ones. Turvey is furious that the Tinghus seems to think he’s better than him and he thinks it’s about time he showed the Tinghus what he’s really capable of. Just then, John Dixon arrives at the factory, still calling for his Cuddlesome. He sees Turvey about to ‘operate’ on the creature and tries to stop him, but the Cuddlesome assures John that his creator is just trying to make him better. Turvey promises John that he’s going to change the world and when he’s finished his work he asks the Cuddlesome how it’s feeling. The creature isn’t sure so Turvey asks him to open a channel, explaining to John that the toy used to be a receiver but it’s now a transmitter. The Cuddlesome is successful and soon begins sending out a recall signal. It’s more powerful than ever before and will encourage toys from all over the world to rise from the attics and cupboards where they’ve been left forgotten and come home…
The Tinghus orders the new Cuddlesomes to go out and convert people. From where they’re hiding, the Doctor tells Angela he can’t allow this to continue, but he hasn’t got the faintest idea how he’s going to stop it. He tells her to stay under cover, then he gets up and confronts the Tinghus. The enormous Cuddlesome asks him what he’s done to Miranda, so Angela also comes out of hiding and says she’s probably half way to Worthing by now. She stands next to the Doctor and tells him she’ll see the whole thing through alongside him. The Doctor asks the Tinghus what it plans to do with all the new Cuddlesomes and learns there are now 20,000 brand new toys, all precision manufactured in the Far East, that will create hybrids of their owners, who will then go on in turn to make even more hybrids. Soon there won’t be a single ‘contaminant’ left on the entire planet. Angela is confused and the Doctor explains that the Tinghus regard adults as ‘contaminants’ because although they feed on human growth hormones while they’re gestating, once they’ve manifested, those same hormones brings them out in a very nasty rash and then they explode. The new Cuddlesomes contain a different virus that doesn’t simply kill people, it converts them. The Tinghus points out that his new virus won’t work on the aged or inform, so in Angela’s case it’ll mean she’ll die. He adds that the hybrids will be regarded as second-class slaves to the pureblood Tingha.
Just then, one of the new Cuddlesomes reports that they have a problem as the recall signal seems to have been reactivated. Turvey joins them, accompanied by John’s converted toy, and he proudly announces that he’s not got just one prototype Cuddlesome on his side, but an entire furry cavalry is on its way. Suddenly hundreds of the early Cuddlesomes appear in the building, responding to his recall signal, and all cheerily singing the song that accompanied the adverts in the 1980s. A massive fight begins between the two rival groups of Cuddlesomes, until the Tinghus orders his new toys to withdraw back into the factory to get some accessories. Just then, there’s an enormous explosion and John appears from a cloud of smoke and explains that the accessories - crate loads of mini-guns - have just gone up in flames. John and Angela are amazed to see each other here and the Doctor explains to the Tinghus that John not only survived the virus, he’s also developed a telepathic relationship with his Cuddlesome. The Tinghus surprises everyone by producing his own personal accessory and shoots John’s Cuddlesome at point-blank range. Angela and the Doctor race forward to help John who is deeply distressed and although they manage to drag him away, it’s too late to save his Cuddlesome.
The remaining Cuddlesomes resume their battle but it isn’t long before the Tinghus realises the early prototypes are much stronger than the new versions he’s produced. The Doctor, Angela and John decide to move away while Turvey stays behind to supervise the fighting. He tells the Tinghus that he made three million Cuddlesomes back in the 80s and they’re going to keep on coming until the new army has been wiped out. He says he couldn’t stop them now even if he wanted to because it’s become tribal warfare and a matter of survival of the fittest for the Cuddlesome race.
As the Doctor and the others get clear of the factory they hear another explosion which triggers the sprinkler system. John has suffered a massive psychic trauma due to the death of his Cuddlesome, so the Doctor asks Angela to stay with him and keep him calm. He tells her the Tinghus would have been dormant all the time Turvey was in prison, so he needs to find a way to make him go dormant again. He wonders if it had anything to do with the anti-depressant drugs Turvey was given. If he’s right, the Tinghus is psychically connected to the Cuddlesomes so if he can take them away from the telepathic resonance they’ll just become harmless toys. He proposes sabotaging the Tinghus’s nutrient tanks to knock out some of the more active chemicals and he asks to borrow Angela’s hammer. She wonders if he plans to kill the Tinghus, but the Doctor says that’s not his style. John suddenly revives and demands that the Tinghus dies. He pushes the Doctor and Angela aside and races off with the intent of attacking his enemy.
Turvey confronts the Tinghus in the management office and suggests it might be time he took another bath. He believes the new generation of Cuddlesomes is on the point of defeat, but the Tinghus refuses to listen to him. Turvey warns him that his prototypes will soon be coming for him too, so the Tinghus sends out an call summoning his own army to the office to protect him. John arrives on the floor, closely followed by Angela and the Doctor, and he launches himself in an attack on the Tinghus, swearing revenge for the death of his Cuddlesome. The Doctor manages to tackle John to the ground, thanks to some lessons he got from Webb Ellis, and he asks Angela to sit on him to stop him getting up again.
Turvey is disappointed that the Doctor didn’t let John kill the Tinghus, but the Doctor is furious with his reaction and accuses them both of thinking about nothing but murder and mutation. He even blames them for being cruel to the Cuddlesomes and says they’re telepathic and sentient and they too can feel pain, sadness and love. He decides it’s time someone put a stop to all this, but before he can act the Tinghus produces a weapon and fires it at him. The Doctor cries out in pain and the Tinghus reveals that he knew he was planning to sabotage the nutrient bath to send him to sleep. Turvey insists that if anyone is going to get rid of the Tinghus, it’s going to be him, but the Tinghus warns him that if he dies, Turvey will only be killing himself - and then what would happen to the Cuddlesomes if they lost their ’daddy’? The Tinghus starts to mock Turvey in the voice of his old school bullies, but Turvey has heard enough. He says the Tinghus pretended to be his friend but in fact he was no different to all the others, laughing at him and treating him like dirt. He realises that John loved his Cuddlesome so much they actually became linked and if he can survive without his Cuddlesome, then maybe the other creatures can survive without their ‘daddy’. Turvey wonders if the world might actually be a better place without him or the Tinghus, but before he can act, the Tinghus produces a sword and runs it right through his old friend.
Turvey collapses to the floor. Angela goes to help him and John joins her, pleading with Turvey not to die…but it’s too late to save him. The Tinghus gloats in his actions, but the moment Turvey dies he starts to feel odd and seconds later he is covered in a rash and then he literally explodes across the room. Eventually, all that’s left of him is a pile of goo. Angela is sickened but the Doctor explains that Turvey and the Tinghus were symbiotically linked and they couldn’t survive without the other after all. They can hear the Cuddlesomes milling around in confusion and the Doctor guesses that the shock of contact being severed from their creators has shattered whatever sentience they had. Unfortunately they’re all going to die - and so will John and Miranda if they can’t get them to a hospital.
Much later, Angela is at home, making herself a cup of tea and listening to the radio when the peace is shattered by the materialisation of the TARDIS in her greenhouse again. The Doctor emerges and realises he’s done it again. He apologises to Angela who says she’s only just finished paying to have it repaired after his last visit and she had to have her neighbour’s fence replaced too. She demands to know what he’s doing back here after all this time and although he thinks it’s only been a couple of minutes since he left, she says it’s been three years! He sheepishly hands over her hammer and says he accidentally forgot to return it. He asks her how John is, but Angela says she doesn’t know as he’s Miranda Evenden’s partner now after they met up in hospital and discovered they had shared experiences that brought them together. His therapist told him he didn’t need to be mothered any more, whereas her therapist said she needed to get in touch with her ‘inner child’, so they both hit it off and the wedding is planned for June. Angela says she hasn’t decided whether she’ll be going yet. The only consolation for Angela is that Miranda apparently still has a patch of fur on her shoulder that the electrolysis treatment can‘t remove. The Doctor says he did warn them the vaccine might be a little unstable, and Angela thinks that’s a fairly good description of the Doctor too. She finds it quite endearing. The Doctor decides to be on his way, but Angela says there’s still one more thing she needs from him - a cuddle!