Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 13, Episode 21 - The Seeds of Doom: Part One - full transcript

Members of the World Ecology Bureau discover a centuries-old seed pod buried deep in Antarctica's permafrost. It seems to be still alive, growing without soil. They transmit a photo to ...

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -


Come on, Charles,
we've got enough samples, surely.

This isn't ice. This is something else.

Have a look.

-What is it?
-Don't know.

Let's get it back to camp.


Ah, there you are.

Well, animal, vegetable or mineral?

-Yes, that's what we thought.

The cutaneous creasing is unmistakable.

When it's properly thawed out,
I can confirm it with a cytology test.

The skin looks as hard as iron.

Yes, it is a bit of a cannonball.
How deep in the permafrost was it?

I guess about the ninth layer.

That means it's been there for,
oh, 20,000 years?

-Well, what do you make of it, John?
-Nothing at all yet.

Oh, and I thought you were
meant to be a botanist.

I've not seen anything remotely like it.

It looks tropical to me, like a gourd.

Oh, rubbish, Charles.

If it's from
the late Pleistocene period,

it can't be tropical.

It's a few million years since
this part of Antarctica was rainforest.

That's the accepted theory.

Discoveries like this have destroyed
accepted theories before now.

Isn't that right, John?


Hmm? Sorry.

Is something wrong?

-JOHN: Don't you feel it?
-Feel what?

I don't know, there's something...
Something odd. Something...

You don't feel it?

(LAUGHING) It must be that
rice pudding you had for lunch.

I'm not joking.

It's alive. That's it, it's alive.

-Are you serious?

But how can you tell?

I don't know. But I'm certain that
this is a living organism.

Yes, well, I think we should have
some coffee.

Coffee and a game of three-handed crib.
Good idea. Come on.

I'll transmit pictures to London.
They might have some idea, actually.

John, come on.

Sir Colin insists that
I show you these photographs

which have just been received
from my expedition.

Personally, I don't think
you can help us.

Don't you? Well...

Do sit down, Mr Dunbar.

These pictures have baffled
all the experts.

The only reasonable explanation
seems to be

that the pod is from some
extinct species of plant.

Have you considered
an alternative explanation?

Name one.

Well, that it might have originated
in outer space?

My dear Doctor, if you've seen
anything like that before,

you must have a very powerful telescope.

Mr Dunbar, how long is it since
there was vegetation in Antarctica?

I thought you were the expert
in these matters.

Well, as a matter of fact,
that's one of the things

our expedition is trying to discover.

It was found fairly deep
in the permafrost, say,

20, 30,000 years under the ice.


-It might still be ticking.

A time bomb, Mr Dunbar, a time bomb.
Are you in contact with the expedition?

My superior, Sir Colin Thackeray,
has a daily video link.

-Ten minutes of satellite time.

Tell them to keep a constant guard
upon the pod

and not to touch it till I arrive.

-You're leaving immediately?
-Why not? I've got my toothbrush.

Remember, no touch pod.
Could be dangerous.

Sir Colin? Dunbar here.

That chap you called in from UNIT.
Is he quite sane?



-Come in here a minute.
-What's up?

-It's growing.

It's growing, five centimetres
since this morning.

Are you sure?

Check it yourself
if you don't believe me.

But it doesn't seem possible.

I knew there was still life there.
I said so, didn't I?

But it's just a pod.
I mean, no root system.

How can it grow without feeding?

Sunlight, Charles.
Ultraviolet radiation.

But plants need nitrogen.

I believe this is
fundamentally different.

We may be cultivating something

that's going to shatter
all our ideas about plant growth.

Yes, well, don't get carried away, John.

-Remember what London said.
-What do you mean?

About leaving this thing alone.

Until this Doctor character arrives,
why should we? It's our pod.

John, we're working for
the World Ecology Bureau.

Oh, he's probably some old crank that
Thackeray's dug up out of retirement.

He'll have no more idea about the pod
than we have.

We'll soon find out.
He's due in tomorrow.

And who needs him? It's our discovery.

The less said about it the better.

Mr Dunbar of
the World Ecology Bureau, sir.

I don't think I've had the pleasure.

And what is your bureau doing
about bonsai?

Bonsai, Mr Chase?

Mutilation and torture, Mr Dunbar.

The hideous, grotesque Japanese practice
of miniaturising shrubs and trees.

What is your bureau doing about that?

Well, I...

No answer.

You are concerned about the fate of
the blue whale and the natterjack toad,

but the loveliest,
most defenceless part of creation,

the great kingdom of plant life,
receives no protection at all.

We try to conserve
all the endangered species.

I'm delighted to hear that, Mr Dunbar.

Of course, you know of my concern,
my mission,

to protect the plant life
of Mother Earth?

I do, Mr Chase. Which is why
I've come to show you something.

A totally new kind of plant.

Hybrids. A crime against nature.

No, not a hybrid.

It's a mysterious, unidentified pod

recently discovered
by one of our expeditions.

Where was this found?

There's a theory that
it's floated through space

from some other biosphere.

The really important thing is it may be
still viable and able to germinate.

Mr Dunbar, I asked you
where this pod was found.

In the Antarctic.

Now, in our violent and uncertain world,
Mr Chase,

anything could happen.

Such a valuable specimen
could easily disappear...for a price.

Where in the Antarctic?

I should want to know
the precise location.


-Yes, sir?
-You and Mr Scorby, please.

Certainly, sir.

X marks the spot.

Forethought and initiative, Mr Dunbar.

Two excellent attributes.

We shall meet again very soon to discuss
your remuneration.

You're very kind.


-Yes, sir?
-Hargreaves, show Mr Dunbar out.

HARGREAVES: This way, Mr Dunbar.

You wanted to see me, Mr Chase?

Yes, Scorby.
I'm sending you on a little errand

and I want you to take
Mr Keeler with you.




Was that Charles?

What? Here, what's happening?


This telex from Stevenson.
What do you make of it?

''Pod carries infection.
Winlett seriously ill.

''Medicaid needed urgently.''

Could have been more informative,
Sir Colin.

He probably doesn't know any more.

I have ordered a medical team
to go to the base,

but I understand
weather conditions are bad.

It's bound to take at least
a day or two.

The people from UNIT should be
arriving now. Perhaps they can help.

Hello. So you made it.

Welcome to the loneliest spot on Earth.

-You must be the Doctor.

We were expecting someone much older.

I'm only 749.
I used to be even younger.

Derek Moberley.

Sarah Jane Smith,
the young Doctor's assistant.

How many of you live here?

Anything up to a dozen, but of course,
we're down to three at the moment.

Let's get inside.

-Where are the others?

Out at South Bend, about 60 miles away,
measuring the ice cap.

If they're getting this kind of weather,
they're welcome to it. Come on.

-How do you stand it?
-Oh, sometimes it gets quite warm.

Ten degrees below freezing.

Crikey, I feel as though
I've got frostbite already.

I'll get you something hot to drink
in a tick.

Uh, are you okay dressed like that?
You don't seem to notice the cold.

I haven't come 1 0,000 miles
to discuss the weather, Mr Moberley.

Can I see the sick man?

-Yes, of course. Down this way.
-Thank you.

He seems to be conscious, but he hasn't
spoken a word since last night.

What's his body temperature?

Well, that's the amazing thing.

I've been trying to keep him warm,
but it's dropping hourly.

And the pulse rate?

Well, his body temperature is 46,
his pulse rate is 1 8 a minute.

I'm no medical expert,

but on those figures
he should be dead, shouldn't he?

I wonder.

JOHN: Good grief. It wasn't like that
an hour ago.

Then it's accelerating. How long before
the medical team arrives?

Well, it's difficult to say
in these conditions. Hopefully tomorrow.

I don't think that's going to be
soon enough, Mr Stevenson.

-There, that ought to warm you up.

-Mmm. Mmm.

Ah. So, you say you just found this pod
lying there empty.

Yes, and Charles in that state.

Now does that make
any kind of sense to you?


-Would you excuse me?

-Oh, sure.

Have you any idea
what it can be, Doctor?

Yes, that's why I came here.

I thought you came here to see the pod.

Exactly. Before anything happened.

Unfortunately, it already has.
Where's the lab?

I'll show you.

Okay, Mike, but try to get
something moving.

His condition's pretty desperate. Over.

MIKE: Understood. Out.

Bad news, John.
That was Mike Wilson at South Bend.

The medical team's turned back.

What about Charles?
Did you tell them how bad he is?

They were in white-out conditions and
their snowcat's fallen into a crevasse.

But Mike is in touch with
the Royal Marine Survival Team.

They might be able to help.

They'll try again
as soon as the weather lifts.

That'll be too late. He's dying.
Isn't he, Doctor?

-I thought you said in the sick bay...

It's more serious than death,
Mr Stevenson. He's changing form.

-Changing form?
-Yes. We need a blood test.

I'm a zoologist. I could prepare
a specimen slide if it'll help.

-DOCTOR: Yes, it would help, thank you.

-It's over here.

Why did it open? Why?

Well, that... That could be my fault.

It was frozen stiff
when we took it out of the ice.

I was certain
there was still life there.

I put it under a lamp
and it started to expand.

Mr Stevenson, what you have done

could result in the total destruction
of all life on this planet.


We're trying our best, Charles.

Help's on its way.

Doctor? Doctor, what are we looking for?

Are you sure
this is the place, Stevenson?

Yes, and if you told us what
you were doing, perhaps we could help.

DOCTOR: Yes, just as I thought.

Another pod.

How did you... Will there be any more?

No. They travel in pairs,
like policemen.

Well, what are we going to do with it,
buy it a truncheon?

No. Take it into custody
and keep it in the freezer.

Well, that ought to keep it cool.

Who sold you that, an Eskimo?

I know a freezer seems
superfluous out here,

but we do need it to keep
snow samples in until they're analysed.

-DEREK: Doctor?

Take a look at this blood sample.

How's Winlett?

Winlett? He's barely recognisable.

It's as if he's turning into
some sort of a hideous monster.

That's exactly
what is happening, Moberley.

Yes, but there must be an answer.

If I can just increase
the magnification.

Ah. Yes.

Take a look at that.

These aren't blood platelets.

Do you recognise them?

-DOCTOR: Exactly.

I don't believe it. It's not possible.

Would someone mind explaining
what these schizophytes are, please?

The smallest known living organisms.
Plant bacteria.

Plant bacteria in someone's bloodstream?

Interesting, isn't it?

A human being whose blood
is turning into vegetable soup.


That's very low, by the sound of it.

It's the medical aircraft. Quick, Derek,
get the landing strip lights on.

DEREK: They won't see anything
in this blizzard.

Should we come out and help you?

No, John and I know our way around
out there. It's easy to get lost.

-You ready?


Will they be able to help that man?

I don't know, Sarah.
He's halfway towards becoming a Krynoid.

-A Krynoid?
-Yes. A progression of the pod.

So you've recognised it?

Yes, I was fairly certain when I saw
the photographs. Now I'm sure.

Well, what is a Krynoid?
I mean, what does it do?

I suppose you could call it
a galactic weed,

except it's deadlier
than any weed you know.

In what way?

Well, on most planets,
the animals eat the vegetation, hmm?


On planets where
the Krynoid gets established,

the vegetation eats the animals.

Oh, that's terrifying.

-Well, how did it get through space?

An obvious question.
I wish I knew the answer.

Possibly their planet of origin
is turbulent from time to time,

that internal explosions could cause
surface matter

to go shooting into space.

So what do we do about Winlett?

I'm thinking, Sarah, I'm thinking.


Down this way here.

-Right, into the chair. There you are.

Let me take that.

-Come on, sit yourselves down.
-Come on, sit down over here.

JOHN: Brandy, Derek?
DEREK: Right.

-Is this the medical team?
-They were flying a private plane.

They just got themselves lost.
Here, brandy.

Oh, thanks.


Sorry to be such a nuisance.

We were nearly out of fuel
when we saw your lights.

Oh, you were very lucky.
Lights are few and far between out here.

I'd like to take another look
at the patient.

-What, now?
-Now. Yes, come on.

JOHN: You just relax and thaw out.
SCORBY: All right, thanks.

Do you think they swallowed it?

If they start asking
too many questions...

Why worry, Keeler? What can they do?

It's horrible. Horrible.

The process is almost complete.

DEREK: We can do nothing
except just watch it happen.

There is something you can do,
but it's drastic.

JOHN: Well, what?

Amputate the arm.

What good would that do? Can't you see
the infection's all over his body?

Yes, but the arm's the source of
the infection.

It might stop it spreading.

You say ''might''.
What you mean is, you don't know.

Well, of course I don't know.

But it'd give you a breathing space
while you try and find an antidote.

That's a chance worth taking, isn't it?

And who's going to perform
this operation?

Oh, you are, Moberley.
You're the only one who can.

But I'm not a surgeon. What about you?
You're a doctor.

You must help yourselves.

He's not a doctor of medicine.

Stevenson's a botanist,
you're a zoologist.

Ask yourself
who's most qualified among us.

But I can't operate on Winlett.
It's absurd.

Oh, at least you could try.

You've studied physiology,
you know how to handle a scalpel.

To dissect dead specimens, yes,
but Charles is a human being.

He won't be much longer
if you don't operate.

Look, have you got a medical kit?

We've a full medical kit in the lab.

Well? Well, what about it?
You're his last chance.

Derek, we'll help you
in every way we can.

I'll do my best.

You're a good man, Moberley.
Come on, let's get started.

SARAH: Right.
DOCTOR: Hot towels.

I'll take these down to the sick bay
and start setting up.

-You'll need more lights in there.
-I can fix that.

Winlett's still got a chance.