Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 7, Episode 12 - The Ambassadors of Death: Episode 1 - full transcript

While the Brigadier investigates a loss of contact with Mars Probe 7, the Doctor realises signals coming from the probe are of extra-terrestrial origin.

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Doctor Who Season 7
The Ambassadors of Death 1 of 7

Original Air Date: 1970/03/21

And one degree.
Are you reading?

I'm reading okay.

One degree,


Manoeuvre completed.

You overshot, Charlie.

Make a two second correction to port.

Two second correction to port,


Error rectified.

You're doing fine, Charlie.

What is my distance from Mars Probe 7?

Distance computation, please.

Distance - five-eight-zero miles.

Seven minutes,
three seconds to objective.


Charlie, how's it going?

No problem, everything's fine.

No contact yet?

There's been no contact
for seven months.

How do we know they're still alive?

They took off from Mars manually.
They must have been alive then.

Something took off from Mars.

How is it going?

They're closing.

- Charlie's a bit edgy.
- Can you blame him?

It is possible he has gone up
to a rendezvous with a flying coffin.

Do you think they're dead?

In seven months space time,
they could've fixed a defective radio.

If they are dead,

it is going to turn public opinion
against our space programme.

Frightened your computer grant
might be cut, Bruno?

What are you going to tell the public?

That's not my job.

In a few minutes we shall know
the answer to the question

that has been occupying the minds of
everyone here at Space control,

since Mars Probe 7,
took off on...

its return journey from the red planet
nearly eight months ago.

What has happened to astronauts
Frank Michaels and Joe Lefee?

Communications remained perfect on the
long outward journey to the red planet,

and throughout the difficult landing.

For a full twelve hours...

they sent back pictures
and reports from the surface of Mars.

Both then seemed in perfect health,

then, silence.

The world assumed
that disaster had overtaken the mission.

But when all hope was gone,

radio astronomers at Cambridge...

reported that Mars Probe 7
had blasted off...

and was heading back to Earth.

What are you doing?

Well, I'm trying to reactivate
the TARDIS's Time Vector Generator.

What's that supposed to do?

Well, it could sent you into the future
if it starts working again.

Particularly if you're standing there.

Come on now, Doctor...

Good grief!


Where are you?


There you are.

Well, what happened?

Well, we both got caught in the time warp
field and were projected into the future.

Into the future?


but only about fifteen seconds.

But I haven't been anywhere
you vanished.

No, no, no, you vanished first,

I only seemed to have vanished
because you went into the future...

and I wasn't there yet.



Wretched thing seems
to have packed up again.

- Still, we're on the right lines.
- Doctor, I still don't understand.


Good gracious!

Lethbridge Stewart.

What on earth's he doing
at Space Control?

Well, something's happened
to the Mars Probe.

And the Brigadier thinks
it's his business?

Well, I suppose he's got to do
something to occupy his mind now,

that he's blown up the Silurians.

You can see from the radar screen,

that's the screen just to the left
of Professor Cornish there,

that the Recovery capsule
and Mars Probe 7 are on convergence.

This is a tricky moment for
controller Ralph Cornish and his team.

The two craft will be linking up
in a moment or two...

and then we shall know
the answer to the mystery...

that has baffled
the world's scientists for seven months.

do you have visual contact yet?

Not yet.
I'm changing attitude of capsule.

I can see it,
I'm up alongside.

Well done, Charlie.

Everything looks good.

Ask him if it's definitely Mars
Probe 7.

- What?
- Ask him.

Charlie, can you give us
definite identification...

it is Mars Probe 7?

No doubt about it.
I can see the markings.

Do you hear anything from them?

Still nothing.

Try to contact once more
before link-up.


Maybe their transmitter's
too weak to reach us down here.

Recovery 7 to Mars Probe.

Do you read me?
I'm about to initiate Link-up.

Do you read me?

Nothing, Ralph.
I'm going to rotate for link up, now.

All right, Charlie, go ahead.

Buffeting slightly.

Firing port retro jets
to compensate.

Moving in for link-up, now.

I have link-up.

Well done, Charlie.
Everything looks fine.

Activating locking clamps, now.

Well, as you've just heard Van Lyden
has succeeded in achieving link-up.

- A beautifully smooth...
- I thought you weren't interested?

Well, they've just linked up.

Anything from the Mars Probe?

No, not a sound.


All right Charlie,
talk us through.

Injecting air into tunnel, now.

Air injected into tunnel.

Is air holding?

Air pressure in tunnel okay.

I'am moving to locking clamps.

Releasing first clamp.

First clamp away.

Second clamp.

I can hear something.

What is it, Charlie?

What do you hear?

I think they're opening
their hatch.

Yes, it's them.

Second clamp away.

Third clamp.


Opening hatch.

Charlie, what's happened?

Control to Recovery 7,
do you read me?

Control to Recovery 7
do you read me?

Doctor, what's the matter?

What is it?

That sound,
I've heard it somewhere before.


- That's just it I can't remember.
- What do you mean can't remember?

Don't you understand?
It's all up here in my mind.

The information's here,
but I can't reach it.

- We'd better go there.
- Where?

The Space Centre, it's not far.

Control to Recovery 7
do you read me?

They've run a complete check on all our
circuits. There's no trouble this end.

Can you send up another
recovery capsule to investigate?

Not immediately.

Control to Recovery 7,
do you read me?

Doctor Taltalian,

do you have any explanation
for that sound we just heard?

At the moment no.

There is a possibility
that it was some kind of static.

Have you ever heard static
like that before?

In space research, one is constantly
encountering new and unexpected factors.

But will you confirm...

that all radio contact
has been lost with the recovery capsule?

For the time being yes,

but temporary loss of communication
is not unusual,

for instance when the capsules
go behind the moon...

But those two capsules
are not behind the moon?

You can rest assured
that everything possible is being done.

Now, if you will excuse me.

Well, as you see, there appears
to be no apparent explanation...

for the sudden breakdown
in communication...

and until the situation becomes clearer
the world must wait and hope.

Control to Recovery 7,
do you read me?

Are they still holding the same position?

Yes, they've kept on orbit.

Have you any idea what might have
happened to Recovery 7?

It could have been
an excess of electricity...

in the Mars Probe solar batteries.

If Lefee and Michaels died
on take off from Mars,

there's have been no-one to control
the power build-up in the solar batteries.

And that would've affected
Recovery on link-up?

When the Capsules were joined...

the electric circuits
linked automatically.

Excess electricity in one could have
blown all the circuits of the other.

Would that have killed the man
in the Recovery capsule?

Not necessarily, he might still be able
to unlink and bring himself back,

but without communications.

My dear fellow,
I simply don't happen to have a pass.

Because I don't believe in them,
that's why.

Take your hands off me, sir.
There you are.

It's all right.
I can vouch for these people.

- Doctor, what are you doing here?
- That sound, have you heard it again?

- No.
- You will.

- He says it's some kind of a message.
- Well, who from?

Have you got a recording
of that message?

- I've no time to talk to the Press.
- Quite right, neither have I.

Now that sound have you got
a recording of it?

Everything here is recorded.

Now, Doctor, everyone here's got
a great deal to do.

No, they haven't. There's nothing
anybody can do for the time being.

Brigadier, who is this?

He's one of my associates.

Will you kindly get
"one of your associates" out of here?

- Come along, Doctor.
- Now you listen to me,

that sound was some kind of a message
and it's going to be repeated.

Will you please get
this man out of here?

We're trying to save the lives
of three astronauts.

Nonsense man,
you're doing nothing of the sort.

There's nothing you can possibly do.

High frequency accelerated impulses.

Now then, I shall need
multi copies of that recording,

unlimited computer time
and somewhere to work.

Miss Shaw I shall need your help...

How did you know that sound
was going to be repeated?

By exercising my intelligence.

Now, since we didn't reply,
the message would obviously be repeated.

Now, we've got to break down that code
and answer them.

Answer who?

The man's a fool!

How can I possibly tell who the message
is from until I know what it says?

Let me explain this
in very simple terms.

He is trying to help you know

you might find him
quite useful.

"Might" find me useful?

I mean you could help
Professor Cornish.

He is in charge here.

Yes, yes, of course.

Look, my dear fella,
do please forgive this intrusion.

But you really must let me
decode those messages,

it could prove of vital importance
to the safety of your astronauts.

I suppose we must try everything.

But how you can be so sure?

It seems you're right.

- I'll see about that computer.
- No, not now.

Do you want to crack the code
send a reply?

That was the reply.

Brigadier, I shall need worldwide
triangulation immediately.

But we know where the transmissions
were coming from, the capsule in orbit.

The first one's yes,
but not that last one.

That was completely different.

Now we've got to find out
where that was coming from.

I'll get on to it.

But aren't we too late now?

The message was repeated
perhaps the reply will be.

All we can do now is wait.

The mystery of Mars Probe 7
has deepened.

Seven and a half months
of total silence...

and now
these strange transmissions for...

which scientists here
have no explanation...

One theory is that it may be
some kind of distress signal.

As it is now some hours
since the last signal,

it's difficult to see what can be done,

short of sending up
another recovery craft.

That's Haystack...

And Algonquin.






I have computerised the factors involved
in sending up a second recovery capsule.

What's the minimum time
for blast off?

- Ten days.
- That's impossible.

- Vorograd.
- Tokyo's just promised full co-operation.

That's good. Tokyo.

Right, that about covers the lot.

Well, if it's from Earth,
this could give us the country,

but that's not accurate enough
we must pinpoint the exact location.

Well, we've got every national radio
service standing by with monitors.

Wherever that signal's coming from,
we'll find it.

Recovery 8 was not scheduled
for lift off until three months from now.

They'll have to speed it up.

You know they've got problems
with the new fuel injection system.

From where?


- Something coming through.
- Oui, merci.

From France.


Yes, London.

- Can't the Americans do something?
- I have checked.

I have no capsule
in go condition anywhere.

Can I get a map of London
on this thing?

- A what?
- A map of London, it's very important.

That machine will give you surface maps
of every surveyed planet.

- But a map of London, no.
- Useless gadgets.

Doctor, never mind the map.

Yes, fine.

Yes, thank you, goodbye.

My people have just done
a local triangulation.

What's the exact location?

An abandoned warehouse,
seven miles from here.

Run the message again,
all the power you've got this time.

Full power, sir?

- Have to risk it.
- Right, sir.


A Section here,
B section there, C section there.

That's enough.

Do you think anyone's monitoring us?

Sure to be.

Finding us is another matter.

Sir, UNIT's outside.

That's very efficient of them.

- Keep them off as long as you can.
- Yes, sir.

Don't kill anyone unless
absolutely necessary.

Take cover!

Send the final transmission.

- Have we time, sir?
- The sergeant will hold them off.

Right, sir.


You can stop right there!

Better put it down.

You're probably right.

You kill me, my men kill you.

Pointless really.

Since you put it like that.

Right now!

Take him.

- Trigger the self-destructor.
- Right, sir.

- Out you go.
- Yes, sir.

- Sir?
- Coming.

All right, open up!

Look, if I'm to help you people,
I need full co-operation.

What's the trouble?

I specified the need
for computer time.

If I'm to decode those messages,
I need a computer.

Go and see Doctor Taltalian
that's his department.

Yes, so he's just informed me.
But he's being totally non-co-operative.

I'll talk to him.

I told you to give the Doctor full
cooperation, see that he gets it.

- Yes, of course, I will.
- Satisfied?

Now, if you'll excuse me.


Houston have just called in.
They can't raise them either.

Well, that's the least
of our worries now.

Athens have reported
a solar flare build-up a big one.

- Well, when do they expect it?
- Anytime within the next 24 hours.

But, they'll never survive
a solar flare radiation.

You'll have to bring them down
on remote control.

They're locked on manual,
there's nothing we can do.

Space control to Recovery 7,
do you read me?

Space Control to Recovery 7,
do you read me?

Athens has reported
a dangerous solar flare build-up.

It is imperative you unlock
manual control...

so that we can bring you down.

I repeat: We have a message
from Athens Observatory.

There is a massive solar flare
building up.

The flare is expected
any time within the next 24 hours.

Space Control to Recovery 7,

do you read me?

Space Control to Recovery 7,

do you read me?

Let's see what he's got to say
for himself this time.