Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 16, Episode 1 - The Ribos Operation: Part One - full transcript

The Doctor is chosen for a quest by The White Guardian to go in search for the six segments to the Key to Time, that have been scattered and sent throughout the time/space continuum. With the Key to Time, The White Guardian will restore balance to the universe. Joined by a young time lady named Romana, The Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark 2 begin their quest and arrive at their first destination, The medieval Russian like world Ribos, where a conman named Garron bids to sell Ribos to a exiled tyrant known as Graff Vynda K, where Unstoffe, Garron's assistant uncovers Garron's scheme and is unaware he is in possession of the first segment of the Key to Time.



It works, K9. It works. Listen.

-I've got a little surprise for you.

-You and I are going away on holiday.

-A nice long holiday.

-Would you like that, K9?
-Affirmative, affirmative...


Halergan 3 is lovely, K9.
You'll really like it.

Beaches, palm trees, sunshine all day.
Hot and...



Your presence is required.


I don't wish to appear rude, but...

Who are you?

Do you really need to ask, Doctor?

Well, only a guardian...

Oh, I see.

Well, in that case, sir...

You will come to no harm.

Just as you say.

Doctor, you have been chosen
for a vitally important task.

That's very flattering, sir.

It concerns the Key to Time.
You know of the Key to Time?

Well, I've heard a few stories,
legends, myths, that sort of thing.

-It is no myth.
-Sorry, sir.

The Key to Time is a perfect cube

which maintains
the equilibrium of time itself.

It consists of six segments,

and these segments are scattered
and hidden throughout the cosmos.

When they are assembled into the cube,

they create a power which is too
dangerous for any being to possess.

-Well hidden, then, I hope, sir.

There are times, Doctor,
when the forces within the universe

upset the balance to such an extent

that it becomes
necessary to stop everything.

-Stop everything?
-For a brief moment only.


Until the balance is restored.

Such a moment is rapidly approaching.

These segments must be traced and
returned to me before it is too late,

before the universe
is plunged into eternal chaos.

Eternal chaos?

Eternal as you understand the term.

I'm sure there must be plenty of
other Time Lords who'd be delighted...

I have chosen you.

Yes, I was afraid
you'd say something like that.

Ah, you want me to volunteer.
Isn't that it?


And if I don't?


-You mean nothing will happen to me?
-Nothing at all.



What do they look like, these segments?
How will I know them?

-They're all disguised.
-Yes, I thought they might be.

They contain the elemental
force of the universe.

They can be in any shape, form or size.

-Then how will I recognise them?
-You will be given a locator.

-Thank you.
-And an assistant.

An assistant?

Please, sir, on an assignment like this,
I'd much rather work alone.

In my experience,
assistants mean trouble.

I have to protect them and show them
and teach them.

Couldn't I just...
Couldn't I just manage with K9?

-K9 is a mere machine.
-He's a very sensitive machine!

Sorry, sir.

You will find your assistant
waiting for you in the Tardis.

Very well, sir, if you insist.

-One final thing, Doctor.

I am the White Guardian.

In order to maintain the universal
balance, there is also a Black Guardian.

And he also requires the Key to Time,

but for a different purpose,
an evil purpose.

He must not get it.

Doctor, at all costs,
you must prevent that.

How am I to prevent that?

-Beware the Black Guardian.
-Beware the Black Guardian.



-I'm so sorry, K9, the holiday's off.
-WOMAN: Doctor?

(WHISPERING) That's the new assistant.

My name is Romanadvoratrelundar.

I'm so sorry about that.
Is there anything we can do?

The President
of the Supreme Council sent me.

I was told to give you this.

What's this?

According to my instructions,
it's the core to the Key of Time.

-Very exciting, isn't it?

Yes, I suppose it must be for someone
as young and inexperienced as you are.

I may be inexperienced,

but I did graduate from
the Academy with a triple first.


I suppose you think
we should we be impressed by that, too?

Well, it's better than scraping through
with 51 % at the second attempt.

That information is confidential!

That president!

I should have thrown him
to the Sontarans when I had the chance.

-Do you want to know how that works?
-I know how it works.

You have to plug it into
your Tardis controls, just there.

A hole.

-What's a hole doing in my Tardis?
-I put it there.

You... You put a hole in my...

Never mind, old girl. Never mind.
I'll soon have it fixed.

When plugged into the control console,
the core indicates

the space-time coordinates
of each segment of the Key.

Oh, that's clever. That's very clever.

-Ah, 4180.
-I'll look up the coordinates, shall I?

There's no need.

Don't you want to know
what planet it is?

I know. Cyrrhenis Minima.

-Just a matter of experience, you see.

-Yes, of course.
-What else does it do?

Well, it locates the segment
at close range

once we've landed
on the appropriate planet.

Uh-huh. Well, that could be very useful.

And then, when it's brought into contact
with a disguised segment,

it converts it back
into its proper form.

-What would you like me to do?

I'd like you to stay out of my way
as much as possible

and try and keep out of trouble.
I don't suppose you can make tea?

-No, I don't suppose you can.

They don't teach you anything useful
at the Academy, do they?

Gadgets and gimmickry. Never touch...
Never trust gimmicky gadgets.

-That's hardly a gimmick, Doctor.



The coordinates have changed,
they're different already.

Unstoffe, you blithering idiot!

Give me a hand!

UNSTOFFE: Don't tread on the edge,
it's slippery.

Not only slippery, it's perishing cold.

Now, come on. Let's get cracking.

Now, quiet. If we get caught up here...


-The curfew.

The moment it stops, drop the meat.


-You sure that'll work?
-Don't worry. The ladder.

Come on.

Get the grapples on, that's right.

-The other one.

Drop it. That's the idea.


Why is it always me?
Why do I always get these jobs?

You're young,
I'm too old to go down there.

I want a chance to be old, too!

Do you think at your age
I wouldn't have climbed down there?

Without the ladder, I'd have gone.
I love danger.

Ah! Now you admit it, it is dangerous.

Don't make me lose faith in you, my boy.
Now, it's time you went.


-Have you got the jethrik?
-Of course.

Well, don't drop it whatever.
Guard it with your life.

-I mean, just guard it.

Remember its value.


You're sulking.

I'm not sulking.

That's ridiculous
for somebody as old as you are.

-I'm not old!


756. That's not old,

-it's just mature.
-You've lost count somewhere.

I ought to know my own age!

Yes, but after the first few centuries,

I expect things get a bit foggy,
don't they?

Now, listen.
It's no good, this isn't going to work.

Doctor, you're not giving me a chance.

It's funny, you know, but before I met
you, I was even willing to be impressed.

-Oh, yes.

Of course, now I realise that
your behaviour simply derives from

a sub-transitory experiential
hypertoid-induced condition,

aggravated, I expect,
by multi-encephalogical tensions.

What's that supposed to mean?

Well, to put it very simply, Doctor,

you're suffering from
a massive compensation syndrome.

Is that the sort of rubbish they're
pouring into your head at the Academy?

Do you know, I might even
use your case in my thesis...

I'll show you whether I'm suffering
from a massive compensation syndrome.

And you're not going back to Gallifrey,
not for a long time yet,

I regret to say!

Read out those coordinates again.

4940, vector's unchanged.

Same as before. Distance?

116 parsecs.

116 parsecs.
Must be the planet of Ribos.

If it changes again while
we're in the vortex, we could lose it.

-On the other hand...
-Oh, take a chance.

-I'll make the decisions here.
-Well, what shall we do?

We'll take a chance.


Yes, what is it, Garron?

The Graff Vynda-K is arriving.
I've got to go and meet him.

GARRON: This is Blue 40 signing off.
Wilco, Graham, out.

Roger. It's ''Roger'',
you stupid old Blue 40.

Allow me to present my credentials.

Can't we get out of this wind first?
It's cutting through me like a laser.

I have quarters prepared for
Your Highness, but your escort...

What about them?

Well, my letter did stress
the necessity for discretion.

I mean, soldiers stamping about,
you know.

The Graff never travels
without his personal guard.

Please! These are primitive people,
easily panicked.

If you frighten them,
they could turn very nasty.

We don't want any unpleasantness
at this stage, do we?

Oh, let's get inside.
Send the guard back, Sholakh.

Highness. Royal guard,
return to your ship. Dismiss!

This way, Highness, if you'd be so kind.



It's bitter.

If you can't stand the cold,
stay out of the freezer.

-Which way?

-Well, you've got the core.
-Oh, yes.


-Through there. It's a strong signal.
-Good, now pay attention.

I'm not anticipating any trouble

but it's as well to be prepared
for these things.

Ground rules.
Rule one, do exactly as I say.

Rule two, stick close to me. And
rule three, let me do all the talking.

-Is that perfectly clear?
-You couldn't make it clearer.


One more thing, your name.

-What about my name?
-It's too long.

By the time I've called out,
''Look out...'' What's your name?


By the time I've called that out,
you could be dead. I'll call you Romana.

I don't like Romana.

It's either Romana or Fred.

-All right, call me Fred.

Come on, Romana.

-Here, try that for size.

The secret of survival
is always to expect the unexpected.



Ah! I think this is to stop animals
wandering into the city at night.

There's a cocking lever
just below the keystone.

Yes, I wondered if you'd notice that.
That's good. That's very good.

Ribos orbits its sun elliptically,
so its climate is one of extremes.

For the natives, the seasons are called
Icetime and Suntime.

How long are the seasons?

Approximately 32 of your years,

Unfortunately, of course, you're not
seeing the planet at its best just now.

If I bought it, Garron,
it would not be my intention

to spend a lot of time here.

For someone in your
exalted position, Highness,

I should've thought it would've made
an ideal second home.

I get very few properties
so central and so convenient.

Only three light centuries
from the Magellanic Clouds.

-Is Shur the only city?
-The principal city.

There are several settlements to
the north, though I've never seen them.

Incidentally, if anybody asks you
where we're from, just say the north.

I've arranged a travel pass
in case of any problems.

-Do they know anything of other worlds?
-Nothing, Highness.

They know that this planet is
within the Greater Cyrrhenic Empire

and that they are protected
by the force of the Alliance?

Beyond their comprehension.

They're only primitive,
brutish peasants, you see.

The property becomes
more unattractive every minute.

There is a great demand for planets that
are completely unspoiled and so central.

There are very few of them
coming on the market today.

A predictable reply, Garron,
you're interested in making a sale.

And you are interested in buying,
Highness, or you would not be here.

So we're really discussing how much
you're willing to pay. Am I right?

A great deal less than
the 10 million opeks you're asking.

The Magellanic Mining Conglomerate
set that valuation.

But you are empowered
to accept an offer?

I'll leave the documents of title
and mortmain with you for you to read.

And tomorrow,
if you're still interested,

it will be my pleasure
to show you over the city.

Until then, may you rest in peace.

I think he'll take six million.

Highness, this is interesting.

What is it?

The Conglomerate's mineralogical survey.

It's almost 50 years ago,
that's soon after they acquired title.

''Bismuth, cadmium, iron...''

-What is it, Highness?

''.0001% of mass.'' That's not possible,
Sholakh, it must be a mistake.


Jethrik, the rarest and most valuable
element in the galaxy.

As you say, a mistake.

If it were true,
the Conglomerate would not selling.

Ah, but wait, there's a condition.

''Whilst relinquishing freehold
and suzerainty in the planet Ribos,

''in the constellation of Scytha,
Magellanic Mining etcetera, etcetera,

''retains to itself,
its subsidiaries and appointed agents

''the exploitation of the mineral wealth
of the said planet in perpetuity.''

They know about it, Sholakh!

Does this affect your Highness's plans?

Sholakh, jethrik could guarantee success

and quicker than ever seemed possible.

GRAFF: (OVER DEVICE) This planet
contains a fortune, don't you see?

And all we have to do is dig it out.

Good thinking, Graff.


4:00 and all's well!

-What is?

Well, you heard.

4:00 and all's well?

Obviously just a ritual
greeting and reassurance.

But he said in a Somerset accent.
Somerset's one of the Earth counties.

Ah, but there's no space service
to Ribos, Doctor.

According to
Bartholomew's Planetary Gazetteer,

it has a protected class three society.

So there can't be any
Earth aliens on Ribos.

Maybe he's a cricket scout.
They could do with a good leg-spinner.

-What's that supposed to mean?

Nothing, nothing.
Remember rule one. Come on.

we must not lose sight of our plan.

Do you think I ever shall?
Do you think I can rest for one moment

until I have won back the
Levithian crown which is mine by right?

Everything... Everything must be
subordinate to that purpose.

Forgive me, Highness, I know that
nothing will ever weaken your resolve.

Correct, Sholakh.

But it would seem that providence

has placed in my hand
a weapon already forged.

I don't understand.

Sholakh, this planet is ideally placed
for use as a forward base.

But to give it technology, to train
primitives in a thousand skills,

to raise a battle fleet with which
to conquer our homeland

would be the work of a lifetime.

There's no better way
to spend a lifetime, Highness.

But if we can find this jethrik,
if we mine it and sell it,

we could hire an army
and 100 battle cruisers.

-You mean from outside the Alliance?
-Of course!

Pontonese ships,
mercenaries from Shalankie.

Why, it might not even be necessary
to sell the jethrik.

We could trade with them directly.

Oh, dangerous if it came to the ears
of the Alliance.

The time saved would be worth the risk.


It's something through there.


Did they teach you anything about locks
at the Academy?

No, of course not.

Sonic screwdriver. You'll like this.
Keep an eye on the sentry.


Sleeping on duty's a serious offence.
If anyone comes, you can wake him up.

You do know that sarcasm's
an adjustive stress reaction?

-Very impressive.
-It's nothing.

Ceremonial regalia, sacred relics.

-Must be the state strongroom.

-Magnificent jewellery.
-Never mind that.

Just find the segment,
it'll be daylight soon.

-It's something in here.

Let's locate it, convert it and get out
of here before the locals wake up.


Top of the morning to you, my friend.

Why's it taking so long?

Because they're
multi-levered interlocks.

Well, get on with it, then.

Get on with it? Get... Get...

Gee, you might as well finish it off.

Any more of that stuff, and I'll not be
able to blow the Shrieven...

Shrievenzale in for its feed.

-Here, let me give you a hand.

Is the beast waiting there already?


I... I can't see!

My eyes.


One more lock to go.

Right, lower away.



Doctor, I'm over here.



Doctor, do something!