Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 7, Episode 19 - Inferno: Episode 1 - full transcript

Project Inferno is designed to drill down to the center of the Earth, where it will release a wonderful new energy source called Stahlman's Gas named after the project's director. But the Doctor realizes that unleashing Stahlman's Gas will have horrible consequences from the planet, fears confirmed when a power surge in the TARDIS console sends him to a hostile parallel universe where the project is nearing completion.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -


-Hello, John, how's it going?
-Oh, we're still drilling away like mad.

-You sound more like a flipping dentist.

-Excuse me, Sir Keith?

You called for someone from maintenance.

Ah, yes. I'd like you to have a look
at number 2 output pipe.

On the blink again, is she?

I've had it taken out of service.
We've switched over to 1 and 3.

Okay, let's take a look.

I see what you mean. Okay, I'll fix it up.

As quickly as possible, please.
Professor Stahlman doesn't want any delays.

-Don't worry about it. It doesn't look too serious.
-Good. Thank you.

Sir Keith?

Why has the drilling rate been slowed down?

Oh, number 2 pipe is out of action.
Naturally, we had to decelerate.

-I do understand the technical problems.
-I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

What I don't understand is
why you took it upon yourself to interfere.

Well, I saw the malfunction report
on number 2 pipe several days ago.

I saw no report of its repair.
I assumed you must have overlooked it.

I overlook nothing, Sir Keith.

The malfunction on number 2 pipe's not sufficient
to warrant a stoppage in the drilling,

and you have no authority to order one.

Professor Stahlman, as Executive Director
of this project, my concern...

Your concern is with such important matters

as the canteen facilities
and the new roster for the cleaners.

Anything to do with the drilling is my concern
and mine alone.

And that includes minor maintenance problems.

Surely in a situation like this,
there's no such thing as a minor problem?

Sir Keith, I'll make a bargain with you.

You stay away from my drilling,
and I'll let you run your canteen.

TECHNICIAN: Reading 4.25%.


But why is he so unreasonable?
You'd think I'm some sort of rival.

He's been working on this project all his life.
Naturally he feels possessive about it.

Well, I've got another piece of news
he won't altogether care for.

-What's that?
-I've sent for a drilling consultant.

A chap called Greg Sutton.
One of the most experienced oilmen in the world.

But this isn't an oil rig.
We use a totally different method of drilling.

Yes, I know,
but I'd feel happier if someone on this project

knew a little more about the purely
practical aspects of drilling and its dangers.


Put number 2 pipe back into service
and accelerate drilling speed 3.5%.

-Perhaps we can now make up for lost time.


-Morning, Benton.
-Morning, sir.

It's the best they could do us on such short notice.

-It'll do. Have you contacted the Doctor?
-He's on his way over, sir.

-Anything on Slocum?
-No, sir. The lads are still looking.

-It's a rambling place this, sir,

and Slocum knows it a lot better than we do.

-If we had more men, we could...
-No, we don't want a panic.

Hello, Brigadier. Making yourself at home?

-How are you, Doctor?
-Fine, thank you, fine.

Good heavens. Which one's you?

-Well, don't you recognise one?
-No, no, no, don't tell me. Let me guess.

DOCTOR: Not that one.

Not that one.

What, none of them?

Fifth from the left, third row.

Yes, well, if it's true,
I can see why you grew that moustache.

-Trouble seems to follow you, doesn't it, Doctor?
-What do you mean?

You persuade me to allow you and Miss Shaw
to attend this project as obser...


Miss Shaw may have the misfortune
to work for you, Brigadier.

I am a free agent.

And within a few hours of your arrival,
I have a motiveless murder on my hands.


Late yesterday afternoon, one of the technicians
was beaten to death with this.

-Do you know who did the killing?
-The wrench was found near the body.

It belongs to a drill-head rigger
called Harry Slocum. We're looking for him.

Do you know anything about him?

Seems to have been one of
the most popular men on the complex, sir.

Something else, Doctor. Try touching the wrench.

Oh, it's still warm.

When it was first found, it was red-hot,
as though it had been in a furnace.

Any theories?

If the wrench had been subjected
to intense energy,

it might have disturbed its atomic make-up.

Chase up those patrols will you, Benton?
I want that man Slocum found.

Right away, sir.

Doctor, why are you so keen
to observe this project?

Well, it's a matter of great scientific interest,
my dear fellow.

First penetration of the Earth's crust.

-Well, naturally, I'm interested.
-Yes, of course.

Yes, well, I'd concentrate on finding that rigger
if I was you.

Excuse me, I must get back to work.

-You're taking part in the project?
-Yes, in a way.

Some related experiments, you know.

...getting a respectable tan, bingo!

I get snatched off a drill rig in Kuwait
just when I'm sure we've made a strike,

flown back so fast
my stomach's still over the Med,

and I still haven't the faintest idea
what I'm supposed to be doing here.

Well, I asked for a top oil rig man, Mr Sutton,
and you're the one they sent me.

Well, that's very flattering.

-Now, this is a government project, right?

So I'm a sort of temporary civil servant?

Broadly speaking, yes. How do you like the idea?

No comment.


-What's this supposed to be?
-That, Mr Sutton, is the drill head.

-That is a drill head? You've got to be joking!
-No, it's a drill head, I assure you.

The only one of its kind in the world.

-Well, how deep are you?
-20 miles.

20 miles? Oh, come on now!

You'd get such a whip in the drill pipes,
they'd fracture.

No pipes, Mr Sutton.

A robot drill with its built-in power source,
fed by cables from our own nuclear reactor.

20 miles.

Well, you're liable to wake up Old Nick
going that deep.

As a matter of fact, some of the technicians
have nicknamed this place the inferno.

Come round here.

There's the monitoring system over there, see?

Then over here, we have the alarm circuitry.

What's it all in aid of?

Well, soon we shall penetrate the Earth's crust

and then we'll be able to tap the pockets
of Stahlman's gas that lie beneath it.

-Pockets of what?
-Stahlman's gas.

So named in honour
of the originator of the project.

-You mean like North Sea gas?
-No, no, no, no.

An infinitely more powerful energy source.

What do you do with it once you've got it?

Well, according to Professor Stahlman,
we shall have, quote,

''A vast, new storehouse of energy which has lain
dormant since the beginning of time,'' unquote.

You learn something new every day.

Now, what did you say these pipes do?

They siphon a coolant chemical down to the bore.

Okay, Sir Keith, I get the picture,
but I still don't see where I fit in.

Well, I want someone on this project
who's got a good practical knowledge of drilling

and of coping with any emergencies
that may arise.

-Are you having trouble?
-Not yet.

But you may have.

Well, it's my job to cover any eventuality,
Mr Sutton.

Now, it's time I introduced you
to some of the senior staff.

Petra, this is Mr Sutton,
the oil man I told you about.

This is Miss Petra Williams,

who has been personal assistant to the Professor
for some years now.

-How do you do?

All the better for seeing you, Petra.

-Perhaps you could help me settle in the place?
-How do you mean?

Well, you know, show me around,
dash off a few letters.

Perhaps I could borrow you for a bit.

Mr Sutton, I am Professor Stahlman's
personal assistant, not a typist,

and I'm not available for borrowing.

Will you excuse me?

I'd say I'd been snubbed, wouldn't you?

Come and meet the boss.

-Just take them to the site.
-Yes, sir.

May I present Professor Eric Stahlman,
the instigator of the entire project.

The instigator? You make it sound
as if I'd perpetrated some crime against humanity.

Hardly that, Professor.

This is Mr Sutton.

So I gather.
Another recruit to your cause, no doubt.

What cause?

His crusade to bring this whole operation
to a grinding halt, Mr Sutton.

-Professor, please.
-He's a dedicated man, dedicated to stifling us

with over-caution and an overabundance
of experts and advisors.

We're drowning in them, Mr Sutton.

I didn't volunteer for this job, you know.

How you came here is of no importance to me.

You're here.

We see them everywhere.
Advisors on this, advisors on that.

Look, there's another one!

Our liver playing us up again this morning,
is it, Professor?

-You have problems, Sir Keith.

-Who's the gentleman in the fancy dress?
-That's the Doctor.

A brilliant mind.
We're very lucky to have him as advisor.

I'll introduce you.

Doctor, may I introduce Mr Sutton?

-Hello, Doc.
-Welcome to the inferno, Mr Sutton.

And what do you think of this project, Doc?

Well, I think that certain people
ought to pay a lot more attention

to the warnings of this computer.

-Like him, you mean?

Mind you, I'm not wild about computers myself,
but they are a tool.

If you have a tool, it's stupid not to use it.

Power for my own little project.
Nice to have met you, Mr Sutton.

All those so-called experts,
it's a waste of valuable time and money.

Give that more lateral compensation, old chap,
or you'll blow the main condenser banks.

Cost thousands to put that right.

Waste of valuable time and money.


I'm rapidly losing patience with that man.

-Morning, sir.
-Good morning. Any sign of Slocum yet?

-No, we're still searching for him.

-Nasty business, that.
-Yes. Still, you should be safe in there.

I'm sure this Harry Slocum character
won't have one of your funny gadgets.

Funny gadgets?


It's only a door handle.

Any progress?

-I've isolated one of the faults.

Did you get those figures from the computer?

Yes, but I think you'll find
they only confirm what we already know.

I'll check them again anyway.

How are things at Central Control?

Oh, the usual friction
between Sir Keith and Stahlman.

-Oh, did you see the Brigadier?

There's been a murder, Liz.

I know.

One of the sentries was in earlier
making a spot check.

He told me about it.

It's a dreadful business,
a murder without a motive.

Right, let's get back to work, shall we?

Doctor, you're not still thinking of
making a run with the Tardis console, are you?

-Indeed I am. That's why we came here.
-Now be sensible, it's too dangerous.

Look, Liz...

Look, without the Tardis, I feel rather lost.

A stranger in a foreign land.

A shipwrecked mariner.

When do you want to make this trial run?

-In a minute.
-Hey, you're not serious?

Why the sudden rush?

We've been over this many times.
You know exactly what to do, don't you?

-Well, take up your position,

-and I'll switch the nuclear power through.
-I wish you'd think again.

Liz! Please.

-All right?

Now, at my signal, give me first-stage power
and then full-boost a fraction later.

-Supposing it doesn't work?
-I'll think of something.

I hope.


Yes. Yes, that's right.

All readings normal, no peaks at all.


Look, I've done a complete routine check.

No, everything's very quiet up here.

-Stand by, Liz.
-Standing by, Doctor.

Switch to first-stage power.

Full-boost, Liz.

Too much power, Liz! Too much power.

I can't cut back!
The circuits are locked and overloading.



-Doctor, are you all right?

I still feel dizzy.

I seem to be in one piece, anyway.

What happened? Where did you go?

I'm not sure.

I seemed to be in some sort of limbo.

There was a barrier I couldn't break through.

We must make another trial run.

-After all that?
-Because of all that.

I wonder where I was exactly.

Where I was going.

Wherever you were,
you very nearly didn't get back.

Next time, we must ensure that I do.


The drill head.

We must get through to the main switch room.
This is an emergency.

Sir Keith!

-Did you order those shields to be lowered?
-Yes, I did.

-This is a Red One emergency, Professor.

Is it? I haven't said so yet.

-Surely it's quite obvious?
-Get those shields back up again.

-Anything that happens in this area

-is my responsibility.
-At least order the power to be shut off.

What, and stop the drill?
Petra, have you contacted the reactor yet?

-I still can't get an answer, Professor.
-Well, you must get an answer.

At that depth and that pressure,
you'd never get it going again.

The drill bit would seize up immediately.
You'd have to abandon the bore.

That mightn't be a bad idea.

Try them again
and keep on trying until you get them.

Petra, see if they have the coolant flowing yet.

Hey, wait a minute.

-I wouldn't go in there if I were you.
-Will you let go of my arm?

The pressure in there could
blow the roof right off this building!

Thank you, I know what can happen,
but I have a job to do.

-Just don't interfere.
-Are you some kind of idiot?

Doctor, can you make any sense of this data?

-What's happened, Doctor?
-There's been a nuclear power surge.

Actually, we experienced it ourselves earlier.
It's gone quite mad, the reactor.

There's been another murder. One of my soldiers.

-Where was the body found?
-On the waste ground.

-Anywhere near the reactor?
-Not all that far from it.

Professor, we think we know what's wrong.

-Stop wasting my time, will you?
-Yes. Well, I'm afraid I was wrong, Professor.


It's not so much your liver
as your general disposition.

Brigadier, come on.


-Professor Stahlman.
-What's happening in there?

Coolant controls are jammed with the heat.

I wouldn't go back in there.

Rather nervous for an oil man,
aren't you, Mr Sutton?

I'm not nervous, darling, I'm terrified.
I know what can happen in there.

-And I don't?
-I doubt it.

And you're not brave, you're just plain stupid.

Professor Stahlman knows what's happening.
He can deal with it.

Do you wanna bet?

Okay, Professor, let me have a go at that.

Hold tight, everyone,
we'll soon have it under control.