Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 18, Episode 21 - The Keeper of Traken: Part One - full transcript

Returning to N-Space, The Doctor and Adric are summoned to Traken, a planet of peace and harmony. The Keeper of Traken is nearing the end of his 1000-year-old reign and one of the Traken consuls is to become the next Keeper. The Doctor, Adric, Tremas (the Keeper Nominate) and Nyssa (his daughter) set about to stop the Melkur, a calcified figure believed to be a "Source of Evil" trying to destroy the Traken Union, only to later discover it is the guise of a old enemy of the Doctor - The Master - who plans to take control of The Source (the keystone of Union) so he can regenerate into a new body.

-So this is N-Space.
Yes, the old home universe.

It's many times larger
than anything you're used to.

-All those stars.

-Do you know them all?
-Well, just the interesting ones.

How can you tell which is which?

Well, law of probability,
that sort of thing, you know.

Anyway, we're supposed to be
on our way back to Gallifrey.

I don't see what
the law of probability's got to do with it.

No... What? Adric.

I give you a privileged insight
into the mystery of time, yes?

-Open your mind to adventures

-beyond imagining, yes?

-And you criticise my logic?

No, I'm just saying that a lot of the time
you don't really make sense.

Ah! Ah! Oh, you've noticed that, have you?
Well, anyone can talk sense.

As long as that's understood,
you and I are going to get on splendidly.

Then where are we?

Metulla Orionsis, I'd say. Does that make sense?

-That's what it says here.
-Yes, that's an interesting planetary system.

-Traken, isn't it?

You're beginning to get the hang of this console.
Yes, Traken.

''Traken Union. Famous for its universal harmony.''

-A whole empire held together by...

Well, by people just being
terribly nice to each other.

-Well, that makes a change.

I don't think I've actually been there.

Just know it by repute.
So I'll tell you all about it sometime.

Well, you won't have to. We're going there anyway.

-Going to Traken? Who said so?
-You set the controls for it.

-You set them.

-No, you must have.
-But I didn't. Did I?

I wonder what the law of probability
would say about that.

-Now, what seems to be the problem?
-We've gone into orbit round one of the planets.

-I thought so.
-Thought what?

I thought you might appreciate it if I gave you
the impression I knew what was happening.

We could panic but where would that get us?

-What's happening?
-I don't know.

-Well, you should know!

-Well, you are a Time Lord, aren't you?

If I knew everything that was going to happen,
where would the fun be?


How do you do?

It's all right, Adric.

-The Keeper of Traken.
-Well guessed, Doctor.

The reports I hear of your intelligence are true,
I see.

Oh, well, it wasn't difficult to guess
who'd taken possession of the Tardis.

There can't be many people in the universe
with the capacity of just dropping in like this.

-You could have told me.

Time reveals everything, Adric.
What can we do for you, Keeper?

Listen closely, Doctor.

As you see,
the passing ages have taken toll of me.

Yes, yes, I know that feeling.

But unlike you, my time of Dissolution is near
and the power entrusted to me is ebbing away.

Oh, come on. It's still fairly impressive.

I mean, I couldn't flit around the universe
in an old chair like this.

I have all the minds of the Union to draw on.

I am only the organising principle.

-It is on that count I ask you to come to Traken.

Think carefully before you agree,
there is great danger in this.

For you and your young friend.

How so, Keeper?

I fear that our beloved world of Traken
faces disaster.

-Universal harmony, you said.

The Doctor does not exaggerate.
Since the time of the Keepers,

our Union has been the most harmonious
the universe has ever seen.

Does the boy not know of this?

Oh, he's not local.

-E-Space, wasn't it? Where's he gone?
-How vain one still can be.

I thought the whole universe knew
the history of our little empire.


They say the atmosphere there was so full
of goodness that evil just shrivelled up and died.

-Maybe that's why I never went there.
-Rumour does not exaggerate, Doctor.

The screen.

-Oh, forgive me. May I borrow it for a moment?
-Oh, please, Keeper, please.

Yes, we have indeed
been visited by evil many times.

Our compassion for these poor distorted creatures

seems to attract them like moths to a flame.

Sometimes they are redeemed.

The Fosters are the guardians
of the spiritual welfare of our capital.

They name such creatures Melkur.


Literally a fly caught by honey.

The Fosters know there's nothing to fear
from these visitations.

So what becomes of this Melkur?

Its baleful influence will not extend
beyond the grove.

And even here it will only produce a few weeds.

Like others before it, the creature will calcify,

and pass harmlessly into the soil.

But the demise of any living thing is painful to us.

And how are you today, you poor Melkur?

The Fosters have appointed me to look after you.

There isn't much I can do.

It must be awful
being rooted to the spot like a tree.

If you weren't quite so evil,
you might be able to move a bit,

just around the grove.

Being so evil you can't even speak.

Never mind.

I'll come and visit you again soon.

Oh. By the way, my name's Kassia.

Well, that particular evil
seems to be well under control.

Seemed, Doctor, that was many years ago.

Young Kassia is now grown up.

Such was her purity of spirit
that she became a consul.

And the day of her marriage to Tremas
has become, somehow,

the turning point for Traken.

Enough, Trakens!

Enough! Applause is heady!

And I've already drunk more wine
than a man of my responsibilities should.

To be a consul and a father,

I thought were duties enough.

But now, once again, to be a husband,

and to Kassia.

My husband is right.

The wine has flowed freely tonight,
perhaps I should take him home.

Already you've begun to pamper him, Kassia.

Like that Melkur of yours in the grove.

People have begun to think she was married to
the statue, all these years she's been tending him.

I hope she looks after Tremas better than
she looks after the Melkur. He's covered in moss.

I'm sure it does not become us to mock Melkur.

I rather think it is you they are mocking, Kassia.

Keeper, you were able to join us.

No affairs of state could keep me
from such an occasion as this.

Come, the pair of you, receive my blessing.

We are honoured, Keeper.

Kassia was right, Tremas.

She promised to tend the Melkur
while its powers still lived.

Who would have thought
its demise could be so protracted.

She has been loyal and we now release her.

Come, Kassia, thank the Keeper.

-But who will tend him?
-The Fosters, perhaps.

Since you drove them from the grove,
it has become neglected.

Fruit trees need some little tending, too,
you know.

No, Nyssa shall watch over your Melkur.

And she must share in the blessing, too.

I, nearing the time of my passing,

bless the marriage of these two,

Tremas and Kassia,

truest of my five true consuls,

together with Nyssa,

now daughter to you both.

Now it begins.
My certain knowledge of the coming Dissolution.

No Keeper lasts forever
and the period of transition is always difficult.

But I sensed more than that,

even as I came to name Tremas as my successor.

Sense what, Keeper?

All-pervading evil.

And somehow nurtured in those three good people

standing before me
to receive the blessing of the Keeper.

Doctor, my time is close.

-I need your help.
-Anything I can do, Keeper.

-Goes for me, too.
-Shh. Well, we'll see, we'll see.

I am fearful even to involve the Doctor.

He will face unimaginable hazard.

Confront power
that would obliterate even a Time Lord.

Even you, Doctor.

Goodbye, my friend. Farewell.

Well, that's a funny way of going about things.

Yes, isn't it?

-What do you make of it?
-Don't know.

-But I do hope we know what we're doing.
-So do I.


If all the stars were silver,

and the sky a giant purse in my fist,

I couldn't be happier than I am tonight.

Poetry apart, Consul Tremas,

I'd rather be rich
than Keeper nominate any night of the year.

I wasn't thinking of state duties, Proctor.

Ha, Kassia, of course.
But she should be with you, surely.

She's gone to the grove to take leave
of her precious Melkur.

-Aren't you jealous, Father?
-His happiness is like the stars, he says.

Plenty to share with everyone, even with Melkur.

You listen so patiently.

And who else could I speak to of my unhappiness?

To be Keeper nominate,
they regard it as a great honour.

But when the Keeper's Dissolution comes,
it will take Tremas from me forever.

And I know his time will be soon.

-I know it will be soon.

You spoke to me.

-Whatever's that?

Accumulated wisdom of centuries.

-A gazetteer?
-Well, they're just a couple of my old time logs.

Do you know, I really may have been to Traken.
It's so difficult to keep track of.

Well, I suppose it helps keeping a time log.

Oh, yes. Mind you,
I don't bother now, much too busy.

Actually, this might not be the right volume.
Here, take that and make yourself useful.

-What am I looking for?
-Well, you know, Traken,

-Keepers, all-pervading evil.
-Universal harmony?

Yeah, anything along those lines.

-Kassia has called a meeting.
-Another of her strange ideas, perhaps.

Kassia is a gifted sensitive.
Her spiritual qualities are beyond question.

But Tremas has yet to persuade her
that we live in the real world,

-not some chaos of superstition.
-So this man's death was natural, you think?

-He was full of years. Old men die.
-I've never seen one die like that.

Pain on his face and fear, perhaps?
Is that natural?

Unexpected, certainly.

But I am never one to jump to conclusions,
particularly in the presence of others.

There is rumour enough abroad.

With all this restlessness
within the Union consuls,

I don't know if
perhaps the Fosters should be armed.

-Armed? That's an unusual suggestion.
-Well, these are unusual times, Consul.

Well, Tremas, has science brought us any nearer
to discovering how the Foster died?

It's so fantastic,
I hardly know whether to believe it myself.


I've scanned the courtyard several times,
something quite strange has registered.

See for yourself.

-It seems our worst fears are confirmed.
-They are?

Tremas has clearly fallen under Kassia's spell
in more ways than one.

Tell the meeting I shall be delayed a moment.
Tremas clearly needs humouring.

-What do these readings mean?
-It's impossible to say.

It's beyond the scope of the instrument
to analyse or measure.

-You're sure it's not an error?
-An error, yes, it must be.

But if the readings are true?

If these readings are true, then obviously
some force is taking possession of Traken.

Ha, ha!

Interesting stuff, isn't it?

-If I could understand it.

Well, look, I read about something
that's just happened.

-Well, the next page says it didn't happen at all.


Oh, but the page says it did happen,
but many years ago.

Ah, yes.
Well, I suppose it is a bit above your head.

Mind you, they did say
I had a very sophisticated prose style.

-As for your handwriting...
-Handwriting? What about my handwriting?

It's marvellous.

We've arrived.

Right. Now let's see
what this place really looks like.

Well, it's a good place
if you fancy a spot of gardening.

Murder? Here, in the precincts of the court?

We don't know that it was murder, Consul Katura.

-You have determined the cause of death?
-I thought it was natural.

There's no need to be alarmist, Tremas.

He died through contact
with some high-energy source.

-How and why it happened, I cannot say.
-A sign. Power of Melkur.

Consuls, I sense some great danger
coming to us all.

The Fosters must be armed.

With respect, Kassia,
we cannot allow superstition to stampede reason.

I have reason.

Then you have only to let
the consuls know what it is.

Well, Kassia?

We are the Keeper's appointed consuls,
let his benevolent wisdom be our guide,

not irrational fears and intuitions.

-Are we agreed to summon the Keeper?
-First we must decide about the Fosters.

I feel that perhaps Kassia's right on that point.
They should be armed.

Send for Proctor Neman.

-Looks almost alive.

Looks pretty well calcified to me.

-I've got the nasty feeling it's looking at us.

I speak for the many peoples of the Traken Union.

They ask why crops fail.

Why droughts and floods disturb our planets.

And now, violent death
in the very precinct of the court itself.

What do we tell them?

Normal events, Consul,
when the span of our Keeper nears its end.

Nothing is normal at such a time.

This Keeper, whose protection we have enjoyed
for 1,000 years, is dying.

The power is growing weaker day by day.

Trakens have survived times like this in the past,
we shall do so now.

Through science and understanding.

Brave words, husband.

But no great comfort to a people being stripped
of their traditional protections.

The Keeper knows our situation.

He'll speak when the time is right.

Put your hands up in the air. Like that.

I wonder what we've done this time.

You the welcoming committee?

We can't afford to stand on ceremony,
Consul Seron.

-I propose we put it to the vote.
-The sooner, the better.

Very well, but you know the law,
the vote must be unanimous.

Consuls, it is proposed
that we summon the Keeper.

Those in favour raise your hands.

Consul Seron.

If the majority are agreed,
then I'll concur, of course.

Open the door.

Consuls, the cause of the evil.
We have found them.

-So, who are you?
-I wondered when you were going to ask.

You know, I hate to say this sort of thing,
but Traken hospitality isn't what it used to be.

He's called the Doctor and I'm Adric.

It's probably the usual misunderstanding.
We keep running into this sort of thing.

-Actually, we were invited here this time.
-It is true.

-Yes, to pitch in, help out, that sort of thing.

Who asked you here?

Well, excuse my name dropping,
but the Keeper, actually.

-You've had contact with the Keeper?
-In a manner of speaking, yes.

I don't follow this at all.

The Keeper said one would come amongst us
to help Trakens.

Could you be this one, Doctor?

Well, unless he's in the habit
of soliciting help, yes.

Sacred law decrees that the Keeper has contact
only through his consuls.

You say, Doctor, that you arrived here
in some kind of craft?

-And landed in the grove?

Yes, we thought we'd walk the rest of the way,
you know, fresh air and stretch the legs.

-Then your craft should still be there?

Proctor Neman, send some of your brothers
to confirm this.

Certainly, Consul.

But if they are indeed known to the Keeper,

can we risk such a grave injustice, Kassia?

They can't be known to the Keeper
or we would have been informed.

-I don't understand what's going on.
Consul Tremas.

Nothing's there?

The Fosters have searched the grove
for the stranger's craft.

-And you have found it?
-There is no craft. The grove is empty.

Does anyone doubt now?

It seems they have indeed been lying to us.

Look, why don't we summon up the Keeper
or something?

-We are about to do so.
-Yes. We will summon the Keeper.

Keeper of Traken, by unanimous consent,
your consul summons you.

Keeper, we have strangers among us
who claim they are known to you.

And dare to say they were summoned here
to Traken at your request.

Bring the strangers forward.

Sorry to trouble you, Keeper,
but we do seem to have a problem here.

-Please tell them who we are, will you?

The sanctum is invaded.

Keeper, tell us.

Consuls, we are invaded.

Evil! Infinite evil.