Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 3, Episode 27 - The Plague - full transcript

With the Ark infected with a cold virus, the Doctor must convince the Guardians to trust him so he can find a cure.


I invoke the special Galactic law
against them!

Hold them. Take them into custody.

And later, they'll be made to answer
for the crime that they have committed.

-STEVEN: Don't listen to him!
-Take them away!


-What about my father?
-He may well die.

But then again, so might all of us.

In which case, it was pointless leaving.

STEVEN: What do you think
they'll do to us, Doctor?

Oh, I'm not sure, dear boy.

We shall just have to wait and see.

It's all my fault.

If I'd known
it was going to be like this,

I'd never have come.

Well, you did come, my dear,

so it's too late to worry about that.
And stop snivelling!

I'm not snivelling,
it's me nose running again.

Anyway, I'm feeling better now.

But I don't suppose anyone cares.

But of course they care, my dear.

Now, don't worry.
It's not your fault at all.

If it's anybody's, it's mine.

Look, do you think
this has happened before?

That we've carried an infection
from one age to another,

or even one planet to another?

Well, I don't want you thinking about
it, too, dear boy, it's too horrifying.

Although I must say that
we are usually very healthy.

It'll spread through the whole ship,

become an epidemic.

Well, that depends on the strength
of the virus infection.

If it's half as bad as my cold was,
it will.

Oh, do blow your nose, child!

It's running all over the place.

No, it isn't. I'm crying this time.

Well, look, my dear,
do try and rest, you know.

You may be feeling better,
but you're far from cured. Hmm?

Oh, if only those wretched Guardians
would let us out of here.

Might be able to help. Hmm? Hmm!


That's another victim.

It's not showing any signs of abating.

And look.



That's another victim. Another death.

And more human Guardians
have also been taken ill.

Thank heaven none of them has died yet.

What will happen if one does?

It'll be disaster.
Each man has his allotted task.

No one had reckoned on this eventuality.

There must something we can do about it.

Our micro-virologists
are trying to find the answer.

One of them is with the Commander now.

Is there nothing you can do?

Unfortunately, the data covering this
type of fever was lost long ago,

in the primal wars of the 10th segment.

(WEAKLY) Mellium.

Yes, Father?

I seem to be drifting back and forth

from unconsciousness

to moments of sudden clarity.

Perhaps it's better
that you shouldn't talk.

No, must... I must.

Promise me, Mellium.

Should anything happen to me...

Oh, you mustn't talk this way.

Should anything happen,
do all in your power,

along with the others,

to make sure the voyage continues.

-Of course, Father.

But soon you'll get well.

What happens to me is not so important.

Or you, for that matter,
or any one of us.

But the voyage, and the eventual
landing of our descendents

on the planet Refusis, that is!

That's the only thing that's important.

-Remember that.
-Yes, Father.


What is it?

I don't know.

It sounds like savages.

Proceed with
the preparations for ejection.

Commit the body to space burial.

It is over.

Guardians! Monoids!
Before it is too late,

before we are stricken
by the fever ourselves,

we must make the strangers answer for
the terrible crime they have committed.

FEMALE GUARDIAN: They shall be tried
and punished.

A hearing will commence at once.

As deputy commander, I will preside.

Baccu has undertaken to
put the charges.


Will anyone speak for the prisoners?

-I will.
-And I.

My father would wish it.

His only desire
was that justice should be done

and a sensible solution
to this crisis be found.

Yes, yes.

The law that has been broken
is the following.

Look, Doctor,
they've switched the television on.

"In that the spaceship
represents the only means

"by which Earth life
may be extended and perpetuated,

"the Guardian, for the time being
in charge of the ship,

"shall have absolute power to punish

"or restrain any life form

"that endangers
the success of its mission

"by expulsion from the ship,

"miniaturisation, or such lesser penalty
as he shall deem fit."

It's some sort of trial.

ZENTOS: I call on Baccu
to detail the charge.

Yes, my dear, and we are the accused.

Doctor, Manyak and I believe your story.

We've offered to speak in your defence,

but at least one of you
must give evidence.

Of course.

-I must go.
-DOCTOR: What?

Doctor, I must.
I'm getting stifled in here.

I must go and do something,

even if it's only to show them
how stupid they are,

wasting time with trials and speeches.

After all, the only important thing now
is to let you organise finding a cure.

Very well, then. If only they'll listen.

They'll probably ask you
to speak next, Doctor.

My dear, I only want to help.


My contention is that it was no accident
that this disaster has happened.

I say that you came here intentionally,
to spread the disease.

But that's utter nonsense.
I mean, how can you...

I say that you are agents of the planet

towards which this spaceship
is proceeding.

That you came here to destroy us.

But why? We're human beings
like you are. Why should we?

There's the crux of the matter.

Do you expect us
to believe that nonsense?

That you managed, in that
ridiculous machine called the Tardis,

have managed to travel through time?

Guardians, Monoids, these beings,

whatever they are,
place a heavy strain on our credulity.

Well, that's not very difficult!

If your medical records
are anything to go by,

this segment of time, far from being one
of the most advanced in knowledge,

is one of the worst!

We can cope with all things known
to the 57th segment of Earth life,

but not with strange diseases
brought by you,

as agents of the intelligences
that inhabit Refusis!

Are you still on about that?

I told you before,
we know nothing of that planet!

My instinct, every fibre of my being,
tells me differently.

And that, unfortunately,
tells me only one thing.

What's that?

That the nature of man, even in this
day and age, hasn't altered at all.

You still fear the unknown,
like everyone else before you.

That's true! True!

That won't stop me from coping with it.

How? By destroying us?

By ejecting us into space?

If that is the voted finding
of this hearing, yes.

Steven, prove to us your good faith.

Would your friend the Doctor

have any knowledge
how to deal with this fever?

Yes, he probably would
if you'd let him out of that cell

so that he had a chance to experiment!

Oh, yes, of course he would.
He would love that.

And by such means, spread the fever
even further and faster.

Perhaps even kill one of the Guardians!

-Are we to be fooled by such tricks?
-ALL: No!

-Are we to be taken in by such nonsense?
-ALL: No!

Just because these creatures have
the outward appearance of human beings?

They are our enemies,
they should be punished!

That's right. Let them be taken
to the ejector chamber.


-Look at Steven, is he all right?
-I hope so, my dear, I hope so.

Do you think
he may have caught the fever?

Well, I'm afraid he may have.

It appears that this virus is
more virulent than I suspected.


Guardians, listen to me!

Guardians, listen to me!
This is a court of law!

Let him speak!

This is a fair hearing.

My appeal for reason in this matter
is simple and direct.

The Doctor and his companions
have not denied

that they brought the fever among us.

They say it was an accident.

And I believe them.

-For the simple reason

that if they were in fact
agents of the Refusians,

they could have achieved their objective
in a much simpler way,

one in which they would not have exposed
themselves to this danger.

-But they're Refusians!
-That's no argument.

Then I have another.

The fever is here.
We have no answer for it

and it might well be that they
are the only ones who can cure it.

Our micro-virologists
may still find an answer.

Perhaps, but if we were to agree
that the Doctor and his fiends could,

what is the value in expelling them
from the spaceship?

None at all.

If Manyak and my daughter can see that,
why can't they?


Guardians, listen to me!

I've just had news of another disaster.

One of our kind, one of the Guardians,
has died from the fever.

Do you want to hear more?

Never mind the arguments
of the defender,

because now they are nothing,
now that one of our own kind has died.

So, Guardians,
what is your answer to the charge?

Do you find the prisoner guilty
or not guilty?

ALL: Guilty!

It's your vote that we exact the full
penalty of the special Galactic Law?

ALL: Yes, we do!

So be it!

They shall be taken from this place
and expelled from the ship.

And the privilege of execution,

in that they were the first
to be struck by the fever,

will be granted to the Monoids.

But the verdict is wrong.

Yes, but it is the voted verdict.
There is nothing we can do about it.

Doctor, something is wrong with Steven.

Stop! I demand fair play.

This young man is as ill
as any one of your own people.

How do you expect him to plea
in his own defence, hmm?

The verdict of the court was
that you are guilty.

You and your party have been condemned
by an overwhelming majority

and your sentence is
ejection into space.

Are you aware that you might be
committing your entire community

to a slow extinction?

Trust me! Allow me, help me to find

a new cure for this fever of yours.

The verdict has been given.

-You are right, of course.

Of course, there's no question.

But can we not afford to take a chance?

After all, the old man was
the first to diagnose the illness.

For that reason alone,
he may be able to find a cure.

No. Sentence will be carried out.

Baccu, assemble the Monoids.
They may proceed.

Very well.

Wait! This has gone far enough.

Zentos, this is your Commander speaking.

I order you to release
the travellers immediately.

They will be given
every facility for research.

They may be our only hope. See to it.

But the hearing decided differently,

These people are dangerous.

Don't argue with me, Zentos!
Those are my instructions.

But in case you are right,

I wish the Doctor to use
his young friend as a guinea pig.

If he succeeds in curing him,

then I will set aside the verdict
of the court.

Now, proceed.

Thank you, Father.

Very well.

If he has not decided wisely,
we will not live to know it.

At last we're near a solution!

We must waste no more time.
Now, you two,

get the boy onto the table.

Is there anything
we can do to help, Doctor?

Yes, cover him.
We must keep him warm at once.

Warm? But he's already sweating with the
fever in the same way that my father...

My dear young lady,
please do as you're told.

Now, where is that
other young woman I want?

-Here I am, Doctor.
-Oh, good. Now look here.

Go to the Tardis and bring these
things back for me, will you?

-Will these do?
-Yes, certainly. Fine, fine.

How will I know where to find them?

Well, open your eyes, my dear child,

otherwise you won't be any use to me,
will you?

-What did you say?

-I said okay.
-Yes, I thought you did.

Now, once this crisis is over, I am
going to teach you to speak English.

-And I shall go with her.
-Right, off you go.

Doctor, our virologists are willing
to give you all the help you need.

Can you describe the virus responsible?

-I've wrapped Steven warmly.

Is there anything else I can do?

Yes. Now, I want you to find
all the sick people

in this spaceship
and give them the same treatment.

-You mean keep them warm?
-Exactly, my child, yes.

-Very well.
-Oh, and my child?

-That also includes your father.

Now, this germ. This germ is...

The vaccine was used as long ago
as the 20th century,

and then was lost
in the time of the primal wars.

Is that what he's trying to find now?
The old vaccine?

Yes. He says it's a natural compound
derived from animal membranes.

We only need to take single specimens

and then we can
release the animals again.

But it means that a large-scale hunt
has to be organised

out there in the jungle.

Leave that to me. I'll collect
a party of Guardians and Monoids.

-Tell us what animals you need.
-Well, we need two...

Yes, I know I'm a bit of a quack

but a combination of
these two membrane fluids,

a little at a time, should do the trick.

Ah, thank you. Thank you.

You know, you're far more knowledgeable
than most people realise, aren't you?


Now, my dear Dodo, how is he?

He's conscious, Doctor, but only just.

Are you going to try it now?

Well, I don't see why not.

Yes, now,
where is that sterilised pustule?

Oh, thank you, thank you.

You know, I don't know
what I would do without you.

DODO: Do you really think it'll work?

Well, I don't see why not, my dear.

Providing I've mixed these properly.

DODO: And what if you haven't?

Oh, don't let that cross our minds,
for heaven's sake.

Now, then. Here we are.

Don't you have to squirt it
into his arm?

What, with a hypodermic needle?
Good gracious, no.

That went out a long time ago.

Here we are. Now all we have to do
is to wait and watch.

-Come along.
-Where are you going?

I'm going to treat the others
precisely the same way

as I've treated Steven.

Isn't that a bit dodgy?

I mean, he was supposed to be
the guinea pig, wasn't he?

Well, it's going to be
much dodgier, my child,

as you say, if I just sat
and did nothing. (CHUCKLES)

Come along.

There, now. Just relax and rest.

Is there anything further I can do?

No, it's just a matter of time, my dear.
Come along.

-How long must we wait?
-They weren't sure.

Apparently once the injection
has been given,

there's no way to hurry
the response of the patient.

Zentos is waiting like a vulture,

just in case the treatment doesn't work.

Yes, I think I've given him
the right treatment. Hmm.

Doctor, it's a long time now
since you gave him that stuff

and the fever only seems
to be getting worse.

Hmm? Well, it's about an hour, my dear.

He seems to be reacting quite normally.

Yes, he's fighting it.



-Has something gone wrong?
-The fever's down

-and the temperature's dropped.
-You mean?

I mean he's going to be all right,
my dear.

It's all right. Steven's much better.
Everything's going to be all right!

I told you it would be.

You have nothing further
to worry about, sir.

The sick have been tended to

and the others immunised
against further attack.

Thank you, Doctor.
So you were right after all.

Doctor, the Commander's fever's gone
down so he's going to be all right.

Oh, splendid, splendid!

Look, the scan of Earth!

ZENTOS: The last moment has come.

Now you can continue
with the building of your statue,

and when it's finished, I'm sure
it's going to look very beautiful.

Yes, our descendents
will know its meaning

when they put
the finishing touches to it.

-In 700 years' time.
-Yes, in 700 years' time.

Well, we must be off. Goodbye, sir.

-Goodbye, my dear.

-Goodbye, Doctor.

Doctor, for the fact
that I mistrusted you,

misjudged you, I'm sorry.

Remember, your journey
is very important, young man.

Therefore you must travel
with understanding as well as hope.

-Goodbye, Zentos.
-Goodbye, Doctor.



-Can I go out now?
-You really must let me go first, child.


Well, that's strange.

Something must have gone wrong.

It appears we've landed
back in the same place.

-Take a look at this, my boy.

Isn't that extraordinary?

Well, that's inexplicable.

Mellium! Baccu!

They can't be far away, can they?

I don't know.
Depends on how long ago it was.

-Look, there's nobody here, is there?

We've only been gone a few seconds.

Mellium! Baccu!

Doctor, Steven, look!

What is it my dear?
What have you found. Hmm?

The statue. They've finished the statue.