Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 1, Episode 13 - The Brink of Disaster - full transcript

The Doctor becomes increasingly suspicious of Ian and Barbara but when the occurrences aboard the TARDIS become even stranger he realises they are in even greater danger than they realised.



-DOCTOR: So, it was you?

It's no use pretending.

-Well, help him.
-Help him? You saw him.

You saw what he tried to do.

But now he's fainted just like Susan did.

She didn't faint. It was you that told me she
fainted and I very nearly believed you.

-Oh, what does it matter?

Matter, young lady?
He very nearly tried to strangle me.

But he has fainted. Look at him!

-Oh, he's playacting!
-No, he isn't.

Oh, Doctor, don't you see?

Something terrible is happening to all of us.

Not to me. Nothing's happened to me.

This is a plot between the two of you
to get control of my ship.

Oh, that isn't true.

Can't you see I've found you out?
Why won't you admit it?

Yes. Why don't you?

-BARBARA: Susan!
-You've been behaving very strangely.

-Both of you.

I think you're right, Grandfather.

But you're wrong.

I swear we haven't done anything.

I told you I'd treat you as enemies.

-There's no other way.

-Well, what are you going to do?
-That is my business.

Ian, wake up.

For heaven's sake, wake up, Ian!


Ian, Ian, help me.

I.... I....

-There's no alternative.

Your little trick endangered our lives.

-How did he get like this?
-Oh, it's all a charade.

He went near the control panel.

It did happen to me, Grandfather.

Yes! You remember.

You lost your memory.

And there was this terrible pain
at the back of your neck.


Hypnotised you? Drugged you?

Susan, we wouldn't do anything like that,
believe me.

I see, divide and conquer, eh?

She's trying to poison your mind against me.

Don't touch it, Doctor!

I do believe you.

Grandfather, they couldn't have done
all the things that happened.

Oh, yes, I admit they were very smart.

No, it's not a question of being smart.

Don't you see I wouldn't allow them
to hurt you, child?

They're very resourceful and cunning.
And it only leaves me one recourse.

They must be put off the ship.

-No, you can't do that!
-I can and I must.

But you can't open the doors.

Don't underestimate my powers, young lady.

Look, Grandfather,
you've no means of telling what's out there.

There may be no air, it may be freezing,
it may be too hot to exist.

Yes or it might be the Earth in the 20th century.

Hadn't it occurred to you?

My ship is very valuable, remember?

Why are you so suspicious of us?

Put yourself in my place, young lady,

and you'd do precisely the same thing,
wouldn't you?

-What are you two saying to each other?

You're getting off the ship, Chesterton.

-Yes, now.

Get up.

-You'll have to help me, Barbara.

-You'll have to help me, Barbara.

I'll be all right when I get outside.

Oh, Grandfather.

He doesn't know what's happening.

I won't let you do this!

If, of course, they'd like to confess to me
what they have done to my ship,

I may even change my mind.


BARBARA: What was that?

The danger signal.

The fault locator!

The whole of it!

Oh, don't touch it, Doctor!

-It's all right.

-No! You'll get knocked out!
-It's all right, Ian.

-Grandfather, tell me.
-BARBARA: It's all right.

The whole area of the fault locator
has just given us a warning.

But everything can't be....

-Everything can't be wrong.
-That's what it means, child.

No! Ian!

Ian, it's all right.

It's.... It's all right.

It's all right.

I pulled you away.

The controls are alive.

No, you mustn't be frightened of me.
Not now, please.

I can't explain,
but I've just realised the danger we're in.

It went off again, Grandfather.

Hurry. Look.

We must pull him round.

You see that panel up there?
You've heard me refer to it?

-The fault locator?

If one small piece of apparatus fails,

a little bulb illuminates and tells me
precisely where the fault is.

Can you imagine what would happen
if the whole of it lights up? Hmm?

It means that the ship

is on the point of disintegration.

You're not to blame. All four of us are to blame!

You're all right.

That drink you gave us.

Oh, a mere, harmless sleeping drug.

I thought so.

Yes, you rather suspected
I was up to some mischief.


And I told you not to go near the control column.

I told you

you'll electrocute yourself.

I'm afraid I must have misjudged you both.

Fifteen seconds.
It's happening every fifteen seconds.

-BARBARA: But all the clocks are....
-I counted.

Well, please go on counting.

Now, both of you, listen.

Can you concentrate?

Yes, I think I'm all right.

We're on the brink of destruction,

so all four of us must work closely together.

We must find out where we are
and what is happening to my ship.

Just a moment. Why did you say that,

''the brink of destruction''?

There's a strong force at work somewhere,
which is threatening my ship.

It's so strong that every piece of equipment
can be out of action at the same time.

What? Total disintegration?

Precisely. We haven't crash-landed, otherwise
I would have discovered that immediately.

And I don't believe
there is an evil intelligence in the ship.

Just at the same token,
I don't really believe that you, either of you,

have been the cause of this trouble.

-Well, what is then?
-I don't know, but we must find out.

Yes, but how long have we got?

It's definitely every quarter of a minute.

Well, what does that prove?

That we have a measure of time
as long as it lasts.

Yes, of course.

That explains the clock face.

We had time taken away from us,
and now it's being given back to us...

because it's running out.

The column!


It's impossible.


-I thought it only moved when the power was on.

The heart of the machine is under the column.

-Well, what made it move?
-The source of power.

You see, when the column rises,
it proves the extent of the power thrust.

Then, what would have happened
if the column had come out completely?

(QUAVERING) Well, the power would be...

free to escape.

Can it be possible then,

that this is the end?

The end?

What are you talking about?

We have ten minutes to survive.

Ten minutes?

As little as that?

Maybe less.

-IAN: Be careful, Doctor.
-Oh, it's quite safe here.

This is where I stood
when I tried the scanner switch.



Why is that part safe?

We'll never stop it in time!

Don't, Susan.

Please don't.

I don't know even where to begin, Chesterton.

If only I had a clue.

I think....

I think, perhaps,
we've been given nothing else but clues.

IAN: Have we?

-Like the food machine, you mean.

It registered empty, but it wasn't.

But the clock is the most important.

It made us aware of time.

-By taking time away from us.

And it replaced time

by the light on the fault locator.

Yes, it did!

''It''? ''It''? What do you mean?
My machine can't think.

-You say it has a built-in defence mechanism?
-Yes, it has.

Well, that's where we've been wrong.

Originally, the machine wasn't at fault, we were.

And it's been trying to tell us so ever since.

-A machine that can think for itself?

-Is that feasible, Doctor?
-Oh, think not as you or I do,

but it must be able to think as a machine.

You see, it has a bank of computers.

-You say the power is under this column?

-And the column holds it down?

Well, then, what would make it want to escape?

I've been racking my brains. I don't know.

-Something outside?
-Yes, possible.

-A magnetic force?
-Well, it would have to be a gigantic one.

A one as strong as a solar system.

You see?

The machine's been warning us all along.

-All those blackouts we had.
-SUSAN: Yes.

-But only if anybody went near the control column.

-But it could be the power escaping.
-No, no, it couldn't.

If you felt the power, dear boy,
you wouldn't live to speak of it.

You'd be blown to atoms in a split second.

-Besides, it's the part of it that's safe.

The scanner.

I wonder....

We'll try it, but we're clutching at straws. Come....

Now, Susan, and you, young lady,

should those doors open again,

I want you to be standing by them,

and tell me whatever it is
you see outside, understand?


I lied, deliberately,

so that they won't know.

Won't know what?

We have five minutes only.

When the end does come,

they won't know anything about it.

-There's no hope, then.
-I can't see any.

Will you face it with me?

SUSAN: What are you two talking about?

Oh, just, er...

a theory of mine that didn't work.

Yes, we must solve this problem,
you know. We must.



There's nothing there!



Nothing but space.

It's all right, Susan.

Barbara could be right, Doctor.

BARBARA: I am right.

I know I am.

Whenever there's a good picture,

the doors open because it's safe for us
to go outside.

And then it shows us a terrible picture
and the doors close again.

Yes, then we have the sequence.

DOCTOR: A planet.

A planet in the solar system...

getting further away.

Blinding flash.

Destruction. Yes, of course!

It's our journey.

-And the ship refused to destroy itself.


The defence mechanism stopped the ship,
and it's been trying to tell us so ever since!

Of course, of course!

I know.

I know.

I said it would take the force
of a total solar system

to attract the power away from my ship.

We're at the very beginning,

the new start of a solar system.

Outside, the atoms are rushing
towards each other.

Fusing, coagulating.

Until minute, little collections of matter
are created.

And so the process goes on, and on

until dust is formed.

Dust then becomes solid entity.

A new birth,

of a sun and its planets!


But, Doctor, where are we?

When we left the planet Skaro,
where did you ask the machine to take us to?

Think, Doctor!

I, er, had hoped to reach your planet Earth.

Skaro was in the future
and I used the fast return switch.

The fast return switch?

-You've sent us back too far.

Doctor, show me. Show me that switch.
Where is it?

Well, I can't very well see it without a light, can I?

-It's near the scanner switch.

-But that's the part of the control that's safe.


Doctor, we haven't got very much time left.

Yes, I see. Here it is. Here, you see?

Now, look. There's the switch. You see?

Yes, well, how does it work?

Well, you merely press it down, and....

It's stuck.

It hasn't released itself.


-You mean it's been on all this time?
-Yes, it must have been.

-Well, come on, Doctor. Let's get it unstuck.
-Hold that. Yes, just a minute now.

DOCTOR: Yes. There you are, you see?

-IAN: What's wrong?
-The spring's not connecting.

-It's come off the base.
-Hurry, Doctor, hurry!

There we are. Take it out. Now...

luckily we can turn it over, and now it should work.

There. Ah, that's right!



We're safe now.

Are you sure?

Yes. We can all relax.

We're quite safe now.

But it was a narrow squeak.


Yes, my child?

What happened?

What happened?

It was the switch, it was still in place.

You see, there's a little spring inside it
and it was stuck.

It hadn't released itself.

But why didn't the fault locator tell us?

Well, the switch hadn't broken down,

therefore, the fault locator
couldn't give us any recognition.

You see, let me give you a demonstration.

Now, look, when I put my thumb on there,
the light comes on.

And it only stays on
so long as my thumb is pressing that switch.

As soon as I take it off,

a little spring inside releases the switch here
and out goes the light.

Oh, I see.

So if the spring were broken,

it would be as if your finger were
pressing it down all the time.

Precisely. As simple as that.


You know, my dear child,

I think your old grandfather
is going a tiny little bit around the bend.

Well, I think you were very brave
and I was proud of you.


What about them?

You said some terrible things to them.

When I thought he was going to attack you,
even I was against him.


(STUTTERING) Yes, I, I.... Well....

Don't bother to say anything, Doctor.

You know there are times
when I can read every thought on your face.


And I always thought

that you were a young man
without any recrimination in you.

Well, as for you, young lady,
well, you were absolutely right.

It was your instinct and intuition

against my logic and you succeeded.

I mean, the blackouts, and the still pictures
and the clock.

Well, you read a story into all these things
and were determined to hold on to it.

DOCTOR: We all owe you our lives.



You know, I really believe

I have underestimated that young lady
in the past, Chartow.

Well, now, we can all start again, eh?

Yes, we can....


But which?


What are you laughing at, dear boy?

Oh, really, you are....



I'd like to talk to you, if I may.

We've landed on a planet and the air is good,
but it's rather cold outside.

Susan told me.

Yes, you haven't forgiven me, have you?

You said terrible things to us.

Yes, I suppose it's the injustice
that's upsetting you,

and when I made a threat to put you off the ship
it must have affected you very deeply.

What do you care what I think or feel?

Well, as we learn about each other,
so we learn about ourselves.

-Oh, yes.

Because I accused you unjustly,

you were determined to prove me wrong.

So, you put your mind to the problem,
and, luckily, you solved it.

Grandfather, we're going out now.

-Oh, please, yes. Do open the doors, will you?

Are you coming?



Oh, by the way,
Susan has left you some wearing apparel,

for outside.

You know,
we have a very extensive wardrobe here.

-Yes, she gave me these.
-Yes, I think they're rather charming.

We must look after you, you know?
You're very valuable.


Shall we go?

-Oh, good taste.

Oh, very chic.

Look, snow!



Well, I think that's
absolutely splendid, Chesterton.

Yes, it suits you.

-Always a trifle too big for me.

You know, I acquired that ulster
from Gilbert and Sullivan.

Oh, really? I thought it was made for two.

-Well, shall we join the ladies, Doctor?
-Yes, why not.

Grandfather? Look.

Look at this huge footprint.

It must have been made by a giant.