Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 15, Episode 1 - Horror of Fang Rock: Part One - full transcript

In Victorian times, the Doctor and Leela arrive on Fang Rock, an isolated crag where something starts killing the local lighthouse keepers. Simple, dark and very atmospheric drama, perhaps inspired by fanciful stories which followed the tragic loss of three lighthouse workers in 1900, on Eilean Mor in the remote Flannan Isles of Northwest Scotland.



'Ere, Reuben. Come and look.

- What is it?
- This light shot across the sky.

It went under the sea,
and the sea was glowing. Over there.

- Nothing there now.
- Well, it went under the sea.

It could have been a meteor.

Mmm. Weren't far off.

Oh! Sightseeing now, are we?

Hoping to spot bathing belles
on the beach, eh?

Vince has been seeing stars.

I saw a light. Went under the sea.

- Shooting star, eh?
- Weren't no shooting star. Seen them before.

- Bring you luck, boy, that will.
- On this rock?

- Not till my three month is up.
- Well, it's gone now.

If it's no hazard to navigation,
we needn't bother with it.

- It were all red and glowing.
- Aye, well, that's enough.

I'm off downstairs for my supper.

You just forget it.


The old days were simple.
You just filled her up,

and that lamp burned steady as you like.

It wasn't only the lamp
that burned sometimes.

What about all those fires?

Towers gutted, men killed.

Carelessness, that was. That or drink.

- You're safe enough if you treat her right.
- I've seen the inside of them old...

- I've served 20 year in one.
- Like the inside of a chimney,

grease and soot everywhere,
floor covered with oil and bits of wick.

- Never, mate. Never.
- And as for the light, oh, dear, oh, me!

You couldn't see it from inside,
never mind out.

Thick black smoke, soon as they were lit.

If electricity's so good,
why are they going back to oil?

That's an oil vapour system.
That's a different thing altogether.

They reckon as how that's cheaper, see?

- Course it's cheaper.

By the time they've paid for all that coal.

- Ahoy.
- That you, Reuben?

King Edward, eh?

Well, Your Majesty, tell the principal keeper

that there's a fog coming
like nobody's business.

- Vince says there's a fog coming up.
- Fog?

There weren't no sign of that earlier.

He reckons it's a thick 'un, Ben.

I'd best go and see for myself.
After all, the boy's only learning.


I never seen a fog come in like that afore.

And thick.

Worst thing for sailors...that ever was.

- Do you feel that cold?
- Aye.

- Come from Iceland, I reckon.
- Come from where that thing fell.

Get along with you, boy!

It's about time you got that siren started.

He might be right, Ben. It do seem unnatural.

Not you too?

And I want a blast every two minutes,
and I don't mean ten.

With oil, you get a better light in fog.

- Oh, rubbish!

Electricity's just as good
and a darn sight more reliable.

Reliable? (CHUCKLES)

(LEELA) You said I would like Brighton.
Well, I do not.

- (DOCTOR) Does this look like Brighton?
- I do not know.

It's not even Hove.

- It could be Worthing.
- The machine has failed again?

Not really.
We're on the right planet, right time,

roughly in the right direction...
assuming this is Worthing.

- (LEELA) You cannot tell.
- The localised atmospheric condensation

caused a malfunction
in the visual orientation circuits.

To put it another way,
we got lost in the fog.

Never mind.
Easy enough to pop back in and try again.

- That's odd.
- What is?

A lighthouse without a light.



Hey! Good old Ben. Didn't take him long.

Working, not working -
you never know where you are with it.


I just came for my heavy jersey.
It's freezing.

It's worse in the generator room,
even with the boiler.

- You repaired her, anyway.
- No. Lights came on by 'emselves.

- What? For no reason?
- It's got me flummoxed.

There's something going on here tonight,
something I don't understand.

Look. The light is shining in that tower.

Good. We'll just ask for directions
and be on our way.

- What is that noise?

- A foghorn.
- (SHOUTS) What?


I said it's a foghorn.

- It warns the ships off these rocks.

Mightn't spot the light in this fog.
You know what ships are.

We saw some on the Thames, remember?

I feel something wrong here.

- Old Ben's worried.
- So he should be.

- His precious electricity...
- Writing it in the log, he is.

Says he can't understand it.

- Done it again! See?
- He'll be spitting blood, won't he?







- Over two minutes.
- Reckon it's not coming on.

Make no difference in this weather.

Have their bows right on Fang Rock
afore they see our lamp.

This is a queer 'un. No cause for it.

It's cold air and warm air mixing.

I've been 30 years in the service.

One look in the sky,
and I know when fog's coming.

Today was clear as clear.

I'll see if Ben needs a hand.

You do that, boy.

T'ain't natural.

(WHISTLES) Keeper?

The generator's working. Where's the power?

I'm not a teshnician.

- It could be shorting out.
- And you are going to mend it?

Without permission? I wouldn't dream of it.
Let's talk to the crew.


- (DOCTOR) Anyone at home?
- That you, Ben?

No, it isn't.

- 'Ere, who are you?
- I'm Leela.

I'm the Doctor. Having trouble?

- How'd you get here?
- In the Tardis.

Our craft's on the other side of the island.

- Oh. You got lost in the fog, did you?
- Yes.

Come up to the crew room.
Where was you heading?

- (DOCTOR) Worthing.
- Brighton.

You did get lost. I'll get you some vittles
when we're sorted out.

You can't go on in this. Small craft, is she?

- Yes.
- No.

- Well, small in some ways.
- But big in others.

- What's the trouble?
- Generator's playing up.

Lights go off and on again for no reason.

Tricky things, the early generators.

Ours is the latest modern design.

Still, it's driving Ben wild.

- Ben? Who's Ben?
- He's the engineer?

- Just the two of you?
- Three, sir. Reuben's in the lamp room.

- He's fit to bust.
- He's crippled?

No. I mean,
he's one of the old-fashioned sort.

Never been happy since they stopped oil.

- Hates electricity.
- I know the type.

In the early days of oil,
he'd have preferred a candle.

Aye, that's Reuben right enough.

- Where's Ben now?
- Eh?

Ben. Why isn't he working on the generator?

He is. You must have seen him.

No. No, I didn't.

He must have stepped out.

- I would have heard.
- I'd better look for him.

That's all right. What's your name?

Vince Hawkins.

I'll go, Mr Hawkins. I'm an engineer myself.

- You look after the young lady.
- Right you are, sir.


- This is quite a treat, miss.
- Is it?

Don't touch that, please.

Oh, it's a lonely life, up in the lighthouse.

I sometimes talk to the seals,
just for a change from Reuben and Ben.

- Seals are animals?
- Yes.

That is stupid. You should talk
with the elders. That is the way to learn.

- I'll get you a hot drink.
- I need dry clothes more.

- We don't have nothing for a lady.

I'm no lady. The clothes you are wearing
will be most suitable.

These are men's clothes, working cloth...

Um... I'll er... I'll go and find something.




No Ben.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Well done, sir.
You're an engineer and no mistake.

Doctor, where are you?

- I'm over here.
- Oh. Found the trouble, then?

- Yes, I always find trouble.
- Ben'll be pleased.

- I doubt it.
- Oh, he will, sir.

- I wonder where he's got to.
- He's over there. Dead.

He's been dead some time.


Ben... Oh, no!

- (LEELA) What killed him?
- As far as I can tell, an electric shock.

The generator? But he were always so careful.

- It was very dark.
- He had a lantern.

Oh, I don't believe it.

Vince, you'd better go
and tell old Reuben what's happened.

Right, sir.

You do not believe the machine killed him?
Then what?


I thought there might have been
something nasty in the coal-hole.

There's something nasty somewhere.

- A sea creature?
- What?

That can open and shut doors
and doesn't leave a wet footprint

and has the ability to drain electricity?

What is wrong?

That's Ben's lantern.

Ben knew every blessed inch
of that there machine.

- Don't make sense, boy.
- That's what this Doctor says,

electric shock.

- Foreign, is he?
- I don't think so.

Though the young lady
speaks a bit strange. Why?

- Could be spies.
- Spies?

What would spies want on Fang Rock?

There's the Frogs, Russkis, Germans too.

- Can't trust none of them.
- They ain't spies.

All this started as they got here.

You don't think...? You ain't saying
that they might have done for Ben?

I'm saying there's strange things
afoot here tonight.

Them two could be at the bottom of it.

Reckon I'll just go and take a look at 'em.

'Ere, Reuben. You'll have to send a message
to the shore station.

We'll want a relief take Ben away.

Aye. I'll see to it, boy,
as soon as it's light.

- Where is he?
- Generator room. It don't sound respectful.

- That it don't.
- It's only till the boat gets here.

- It won't rest easy, you know, boy.
- Eh?

If Ben was killed by that blasted machine,

there'll be anger in his soul.

And when they die like that,
they'll never rest easy.


This is very interesting, Leela.

It's called a Marconi Wireless Telegraph.
You can send messages...

- Leave that be, if you don't mind, mister.
- Sorry.

Shouldn't you report Ben's death with it?

Wireless won't bring Ben back, will it?

- No.
- I'll use the semaphore in the morning.

- You know how to operate it?
- We all does, but Ben...

- Was the expert.
- I'll use the semaphore tomorrow.

- Likely the police will want to see you.
- Very likely.

- Do you mind?
- What is it for?

- Shroud.
- What is that?

In England, it ain't fitting
for a body to be left.

- Do you think we were involved in this?
- I know what I think.

- Incontrovertible.
- Don't start talking your own lingo.

- Won't have that.
- Are you going to clap us in irons?

I'm senior in this station now.

- Reuben, we're only trying to help...
- We'll manage, thank you, mister.

I'll just go and tend to Ben.

Stubborn old mule.

Doctor, do you think this creature,
whatever it is, will return?

- I don't know.
- If it is out on the rocks, we must hunt it.

I don't fancy playing tag in the fog
with something that can do that.

I think I'll go and have a word with Vince.


- A fireball?
- Yes.

- What time was that?
- Couple of hours ago, near dusk.

Then it went into the sea over there.

- How far away?
- Mile or two. Dunno how big it was.

Then the fog came down and it got cold.

Yes. Yes, I noticed the cold.

- You're a good lad, Vince.
- Thank you, sir.


On Pharos, they had slaves
to keep the bonfires going.

I suppose it's all different abroad.

- Didn't know they still had slaves, though.
- Oh, yes, and on Gallifrey...

- Gallifrey?
- Yes, Gallif...

I'll take over. Get some supper.

- I'm all right.
- Long night ahead of us.

- Expect you'll be tired.
- Not a bit. Don't mind me.

I um...stoked the boiler, made Ben decent.

Off you go, boy.


- Is someone down there?



Reuben! It's Ben! He's walking!

What's that? Pull yourself together, boy.

I tell you, he's not down here now.
He's gone!

- You said he wouldn't rest...
- Vince, come out here! What is the matter?

- Vince?
- There's a light out there.

- What?
- A light.

The dead do not walk. That is not possible.

Well, I heard a dragging noise,
and when I came down, he'd gone.

- Well, there was something on the rocks...


Right. It's Reuben.

There's a ship off the rocks.
She's going to strike.

You'm right. Steam yacht, by the look of it.

- And going fast.
- He's a fool to be going at all in this.

- Warning devices, Vince.
- Got 'em.

Take over this siren.
She'll strike any minute.

(WOMAN) Help! Please! Somebody help!

(MAN) Steer the boat!

It's no use.
They're too late to alter course.

She's going to strike.