Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 1, Episode 34 - A Race Against Death - full transcript

With Ian having fallen victim to the Sensorites' plague, the Doctor is desperate to find a cure. But the City Administrator is still determined to rid his world of aliens.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
Grandfather, he's unconscious!

There is no hope.

Your friend is dying.

Why has it happened to him and not to us?

Can you do anything for him?

The disease hits all manner of people; suddenly, without warning.

Never the Elders?


It's incredible! The build up in body temperature.

This disease as you call it - is it contagious?


I wonder... Is it a germ in the air?

Grandfather it doesn't seem like a disease at all.

I agree with you.

We've done everything together.

I-we've come from the spaceship together, we've gone through the city together.

Yes, yes, yes.

- ...This room.
- Yes.

The fruit?

No. No-no-no-no, no.

You had some of it.

I know, he drank the different kind of water.

It's the water!

Then why do not all who drink the aqueduct water die?

Well it depends on their resistance, in time of course all will succumb.

You cannot be sure of this!

No I can't, this is all we have to go on.

Send for your servant please.

His eyes are opening Grandfather.


It's alright Chesterton, rest quietly.

This isn't a disease, it's more like poison...

Oh go to your Scientist, now I want some sodium chloride and I want it quickly!

What happened to me?

Hush Ian, just rest.

Do you wish your companion to stay here?

Please, please.

Bring some covers.

Now sir, your indulgence.

Ah, I am distressed by this tragedy, what can I do to be of assistance?

Well, we must make sure that no-one drinks anything but the crystal water.


Fine, and can I work with your Scientists?

They will be honoured.

Splendid, splendid.

How long has he got?

I hear the distress in you mind, I respond to it.

I wish I could be more reassuring.

How long?!

From the first symptoms no-one has lived longer than the third day?

As long as that?

Then we have time.

I have chemicals and equipment on my ship.

Return my lock and I promise you sir that I will not

only cure my young friend, but all your people.

Ah, good.

I must discuss this matter...

With the Second Elder.

But do not delay any longer than is necessary please, thank you.

Now, salt and water, Susan.

An old fashioned remedy but I'm sure it will serve.

Thank you.

Now my boy...


Ian, try and sit up.

Come along old chap.

Oh...feeling very weak Doctor.

Yes, now I want you to drink all of this,

it isn't going to be very pleasant, but it's all for your own good.


That's it.

Will they let me into my ship?

Be guided by me in this matter.

The one they call the Doctor may not be sincere.

But his friend is dying.

Or pretending to die.

Then you let the Doctor into his spaceship.

But would he leave his friends at our mercy?

But who knows what power has in this ship?

Once inside it we may be at his mercy.

Well I believe in them.

The Doctor may go away to bring an army of human beings

and a fleet of spaceships!

This is a terrible picture you paint.

Do you mistrust them as much as all that?

I do not trust them as much as you.

So I advise caution.

I will think of your advice, and weigh up the matter.

How can I help the city Administrator?

Why is this creature here?

We are clearing his mind.

On whose orders?

The First Elder.

It would have been better to kill him than cure him, Scientist.

Leave us.

Once again you question the voice of authority.

Sir, the Elders rule this planet while I am only responsible for this city.

Yet I will do everything within my power to protect and defend that city.

Be careful that power is not taken from you.

These intruders threaten us all!

This creature is being cured!

Yes. We fulfill a promise.

But any moment you will put them in their ship and let them go.

This is madness!

One more insolent word from you

and I shall ask that your collar of office be taken from you.

This man is to be cured, as for the other one...

Which other one?

The one known as Ian Chesterton.

These absurd names they all have!

None of them wear any signs of authority or badges of position.

How are we to distinguish them?

What is wrong with him?

He has caught the disease.

Their commander, the Doctor, believes our water supply is to blame.

What a brilliant scheme.

Evil, but undoubtedly brilliant.


To attack our confidence in one of the necessities.

There is nothing wrong with the water supply, nothing at all.

This is a trick to get us at their mercy!

Evil! Evil!

You see? Even this half-broken creature here admits the truth!

I must warn the First Elder.! Evil is here!

He cannot hear you.

Your mind is closed by the machine, your voice is not believed.

You are my enemy.

I am the enemy of all the Earth creatures,

and any Sensorite who defends them shall be swept away.

I must warn them of your evil. I must...I must...

Your brain is too weak to harm me.

How's John?

Oh I am sorry, I thought you were one of the Scientists.

You can see my collar of office!

I am the city Administrator!

Yes I'm sorry, but when your backs are turned it's very difficult to see.

I don't know what we'd all do if you changed your badges and sashes.

We wouldn't be able to tell you apart.

I have never thought of that.


But he will DIE!

The noise! I beg of you!

But why can't you make up your mind?

Just look at that young man.

I've done all I can for him at the moment, given him salt and water

- he's been coughing his heart out.

I must have chemicals and equipment!

His death will be your fault and yours alone.

Very well, I...


What is it now?

I can't hear very clearly, their minds aren't open to me.

Do you really mean that you can hear their minds talking, Susan?

Yes, but it's not very distinct.

Doctor, I cannot allow you to go to your ship.

Don't set yourself against me.

There is a laboratory here.

You may prove your poisoned water theory there, or not at all.


Grandfather, please!

They think you're attacking them.

We're sorry, there's so much about your planet we don't understand.

That's inhuman!


That's monstrous!

We didn't mean to use sound as a weapon.

We didn't even know sound hurt you.

Very well; but please be careful in future.

I wish to see regular reports on the progress of this theory.

- Theory?!
- Grandfather, please!

I know we have no alternative, but such outrageous behaviour!

Oh forget it, child.

Now I want you to stay here and act as nurse.

Watch his pulse rate will you and I want you to let me know immediately...

Doctor... What happened to me?

How are you feeling?

My throat's still sore.

Any pains elsewhere?

No, but I feel very giddy.

Yes, well you just rest there quietly.

Yes, we'll let him have all the crystal water he wants,

and if his breathing gets feeble artificial respiration.

- Yes.
- Now sir, your laboratory.

And I only hope there's time to save him!

The Second Elder has given the firing key to the Chief of warriors, I saw him.

Then the disintegrator is no longer of any use to us.

How can we destroy these creat...

I have placed our laboratory at the disposal of the Doctor.

See to it that he is given every cooperation.

Yes sir.

More weakness.

These creatures are defeating us with smiles and gentle words;

our leaders listen and agree.

Soon we shall all be slaves.

What shall we do?

Bring the Second Elder to me, alone.

The girl Carol gave me an idea.

How would you recognise the Second Elder at a distance?

By the sash he wears.

Bring the Second Elder to me at the disintegrator room.


We must match cunning with cunning.

Yes, really that was er, fairly comprehensive.

Now gentlemen, time is not on our side.

I believe your people have been dying

because there is atropine poison in the aqueduct water.

Now, allow me, I've made a few notes here which might interest you.

Now this is the, this is the symptoms.

Atropine causes dilation of the blood vessels,

temperature rises and pulse rate becomes very rapid.

A rash may appear, the mouth and throat both become extremely dry.

Now what we have to do with this gentleman;

isolate the poison and then prescribe the remedy.

We give you our assistance.

Good, good.

Though we have tested the water already.

Yes, well then we must try again.

Over here is a sample of the aqueduct water.


You know, the strange thing here is that not all your people died.

Three in every ten. Last year it was two in every ten.

Yes of course, some may be able to resist it,

or perhaps some of the water is good.

But all the water is the same.

Yes, but surely from different outlets?

There are ten districts in this city, but only one source.

Well gentlemen, it's a poison at work here, I know the signs.

Now what you must do is to test samples from each and every district.

Where did that come from?

This Palace, it is district ten.

I see, well now I suggest that you...

You-you sample that bottle and mark it and then start keeping records.

And there's not a moment to lose, and remember

- I want samples from all the outlying districts.

It's imperative!

This one, I've found it!

Yes, and just as I suspected - atropine poison.

That's why your people have been dying off!

But why were some of the districts negative?

Because it varies from place to place,

and when you made your tests you didn't discover it.

And can the Doctor discover a cure?

He says so. Caffeine citrate is the antidote.

Remarkable man, remarkable!

I have an appointment, then I shall return to the laboratory.

Give my Doctor the congratulations on the progress.

He's much easier now.

The Doctor has had some success, a remedy will be available soon.

Oh thank goodness! Ian?

Ian, you're going to be alright.

They are coming now!

Why are we meeting here?

Hold him!

You will be punished for this offence!

I advise you to answer my questions.

Your family group is also in my power.

Wha-what have you done with them?

Nothing so far.

Has the Doctor completed his experiments?


And the antidote is to be given to the young man, Ian?


And then to our people who are also ill?


I do not believe there is an antidote.

The young man pretends to be ill, the Doctor pretends to cure him.

And then he will kill us all with the poison he has made.

That's not true! Our scientists have worked with him, they say that...

Silence! You are a traitor to our people.

You are not worthy to wear this.

Oh What...what are you going to do?

This so-called antidote must be stopped.

The people will obey their Elders.

The First Elder has approved the antidote!

And yet it will be stopped.

The Second Elder will suppress it!

I will not!

I wear your sash of office.

Who is to know that I am not the Second Elder now?

Bind him! Keep him here.

You're tired out Doctor.

Yes, but a happy tiredness, my dear.

How's our friend, mm?

Oh he's improving,

but he still seems to go back sometimes to that old state of confusion.

Yes, you must expect that.

- Ah, my friend. You've prepared the antidote?
- Yes sir.

Splendid. Now I think we ought to start making this in large quantities.

Will you please see that that goes to the First Elder's room?

Give it to my Granddaughter Susan

I'll send a messenger immediately.

Yes well, now we shall soon be off this planet.

When John's cured.

There's no quick antidote for him.

Oh courage my dear, courage.

Of course I'm rather baffled with this atropine poison

because it only seems to appear in one part of the city,

or rather one reservoir at a time. Curious.

Yes but you've discovered an antidote now.

Oh yes, that's a cure alright.

But then why cure something when we can stamp it out, mm?


Mm, what's that my friend?


He's more coherent now.

But it's as if he was living in a dream world where he's surrounded by enemies.

Enemies, yes. Making plots!

I don't know.

He might be more lucid you know, than one should imagine.

Now I'm going off on an expedition,

and I want you to take note of what he says.

Listen to John!

You see, he knows his name.

Now you stay with him, I think he's getting better,

and I'm sure you're going to have a great future between you later on.

Now after my little exploration...

Where are you going Doctor?

I'm going to find the ah, the First er,, Scientist rather.

And we're going off on an exploration, which isn't dangerous of course...

But when I have solved my problem, I'm sure we shall all be out of trouble!

Supposing your disguise is seen through?

You must remember that the First and Second Elders are well known,

only to those in powerful positions.

The people see them rarely, and mostly at a distance.

I greet the Second Elder.

I return your greetings Scientist.



Scientist, come here.

Where are you going?

The man from the spaceship, the Doctor, has found a cure...

Poison within our water supply - here is the antidote.

You take it to the young Earth creature who is ill?


Give it to me, I will deliver it.

Return to your laboratory.

If this Doctor has found a cure...

It is a trick! They are trying to poison us all, I will prove it to you.

They say without the antidote the young man will die

- I say he will live because he is pretending.

This will prove it one way or the other.

Why hasn't the antidote arrived yet?

I do not know.

The Doctor must have run into a snag,

Susan It's not always possible to do these things at the snap of a finger.

Well I'm going to find out why.

May I do that?

Yes. I will have you conducted to the laboratory.

Go with this servant, and give my respects to the senior Scientist.

Here is the entrance to the aqueduct.

Hmph, it's very gloomy.

All our attempts to light it end in failure, for one reason or another.

But that must make it very difficult for you.

The Sensorites dislike darkness don't they?

We avoid this place.

We have no reason to go down to the aqueduct anyway.

Well, it may be because you've neglected it that the water's become poisoned.

Shall we return now?

Mm, return? I don't want to return.

I haven't come here just for a look, I'm going in there!

You must not.

And why?

You will not be able to see.

Oh, ho-ho, but I have a torch.

There are monsters in there.

Indeed, are there?

Yes, we've heard them.

And not seen them?

No, but they are there, the noise is terrifying.

Yes, I think that you should return to the laboratory, I shall be alright.

Leave it to me will you?
I assure you.

How very convenient, yes.

Noise and darkness - the two things the Sensorites dislike.

There's more in this than meets the eye.

Hah, yes!

But I do not understand why the Second Elder did not bring the antidote here.

Well I managed to get some more, that's all that really matters.

Thank you.

Now no running around for a bit Ian.

Yes Matron. Actually I'm quite happy to stay here.

I feel as though someone had given me a good going over with a hammer.

I attend you sir.

My orders have not been complied with.

I asked for regular reports. Where have you been?

Forgive me sir, the Doctor asked me to take him to the aqueduct.


He said that that was where the root of the trouble lay.

I couldn't stop him, he send me away and said he was going in.

Did you not warn him?

Yes, but he took no notice.

Warn him of what?

The aqueduct, it's inhabited by monsters!


What? Well why did you let him go down there?

I couldn't stop him.

Well we must get him out!

Haven't you got someone you can send down there to help him?

The caverns are dark, we are helpless.

Well take some light with you then!

Other expeditions have tried and failed.

Most of our men do not return, and those that do speak of...terrible things.

Well, I'll have to go myself.

Oh no you won't!

Well we can't stay here, Susan!

You're too ill Ian.

I'm not that ill.

Alright. We'll need someone to show us the way.

I-I beg you to change your mind.

You cannot save your friend.

We'll never know 'til we try, will we?

These people have fine qualities.

The second Elder and I have misjudged them; and I will tell him so.

I hear you sir, I hear you.

Someone's mind is in communication with yours?

Whose is it, the First Elder?

Give me the mind transmitter.

Do you think I'm a fool?

You can hear, but you cannot speak your mind without this!

What is he saying to you?

I refuse to tell you.

Think of your family group!

It's safety depends upon you.

It is the First Elder, he says we have misjudged the human beings from Earth.

He's saying that the one called the Doctor has gone down into the viaduct,

that the young man and girl called Susan have gone to rescue him.

He is asking why I don't reply. can come out of the aqueduct alive.

The one that is known as the Doctor is near death,

the other two approach death.

I see victory for all my plans!

- Is this it?
- Yes, take this. It's a radio-electric light.

Thank you. Ian, how do you feel?

If you don't want to go any further just say.

No, I'm-I'm fine. Come on.

Is it?

Yes, I thought so.

Atropa Belladonna - Deadly Nightshade!