- Auksford 2008 -
SCENE 32 (continued)
The sounds of a Tardis
taking off are heard. Sarah swings round in wild alarm.
Doctor! The Tardis!
The Doctor is
It’s all right, Sarah.
He indicates the Tardis,
still where they left it.
But … how did you know?
Do you think I don’t know the sound of my own
Tardis? Come on!
He leads the way back to
Another Tardis? But where?
Who would notice an extra rock among this lot?
They re-enter the Tardis
and close the doors. The Tardis takes off.
A hilly landscape on the
Circe. A sprawling vine with spikes of white flowers and
bunches of fruit, covers the ground. The rock which was in
docking bay of the Olympos materialises with the typical sound of an
elderly Tardis. A door opens in its side, and Odysseus,
Eurylochos and Elpenor come out looking bewildered. They look around
then turn in surprise as they hear the sound of a Tardis taking
off. The rock disappears.
That’s another fine mess you’ve got us
into. Will you
never learn not to insult people before you know who they are?
He was a barbarian – wearing breeches like the wild men of
You must learn
not to judge by appearances. Breeches or not, his magic has
banished us to the fields of asphodel where the shades of the unhappy
dead walk amid the pale flowers.
There are fruits too, my lord.
I don’t think we can be dead, my lord, unless the dead feel
hunger for mortal food.
Elpenor picks one of the
fruits and sniffs it. He touches it with his tongue and is
about to put it into his mouth.
Wait! What do you think, Eurylochos? Is it safe?
I’ve never seen a vine like this.
If this is not the land of the dead, the natives must eat
something. Better wait and see what it is they eat.
And starve to
death in the mean time? No! Do you think the gods
save us from shipwreck just to poison us? I’ll take
Elpenor eats the fruit.
enquiringly at Odysseus.
Let’s see what effect it has on Elpenor.
I’m still perfectly all right.
Ah! Odyssysseuss … sss …
The others try to raise him.
…’s not time to ge’ up ye’
… Mmmmm … Aaaargh!
Elpenor clutches his
stomach in a
spasm of pain, then he relaxes humming nonsensically. Then
the others are speaking in the next part of the scene, he alternates
between relaxed sleep and bouts of pain in which he clutches his
stomach or threshes about wildly. Odysseus and Eurylochos
him in helpless perplexity. The Doctor and Sarah come up
You really should be more careful what you eat.
Odysseus and Eurylochos
rise to their
feet. Odysseus mutters something to Eurylochos as the Doctor
advances to look at Elpenor. Suddenly Odysseus and Eurylochos
attack and capture the Doctor. Sarah rushes forward but is
aside and falls among the vines. She gets up shaking her head
dazedly and watches as Odysseus and Eurylochos force the Doctor to
kneel beside Elpenor with a knife at his throat.
Now, Magician, take us back to the world of living men, or you die!
strangled]: That's exactly why I’ve
come. If you’d just loosen your grip a little
we’ve heard of you before, Proteus. Before we knew
you’d turn into a swallow or a fish and slip through our
There’s not much water here for a fish, nor is there a crock
of gold at the end of my scarf.
Odysseus snarls and
makes an angry threatening movement.
Odysseus starts, looks
towards her, puzzled then remembers.
Let him go! He’s come to help you.
Odysseus loosens his
grip and signs
to Eurylochos to do the same. The Doctor, Odysseus and
rise. The Doctor straightens his coat and scarf.
That’s better. Now, if you’d just let me
look at your sleeping friend, perhaps we can be on, our way.
Are you a surgeon?
No, but I’ve picked up quite a bit of useful knowledge in my
Eurylochos aside to talk privately. The Doctor examines
Elpenor. Sarah kneels at his side.
What are we going to do?
What we were sent to do.
Even though it’s him.
for me that it was him, and that he recognised you after all this time
– and don’t make that joke about its being only
Can you cure him?
mind is completely imprisoned by the drug. There’s
thing that will cure it. We’ll just have to take
with us as he is and hope Athene can help.
Not now, Sarah. [To
Odysseus]: Tie him up with my scarf, then
we’ll carry him back to my … er … ship.
But, Doctor …
In a minute, Sarah. This is important. [To Odysseus]:
Be sure he can’t move his arms or legs.
a circle round him thrice
close your eyes with holy dread,
he on honeydew hath fed
drunk the milk of paradise.”
While they bind Elpenor,
Sarah quietly brings out the blue crystal.
Wouldn’t it be easier to use this?
Where did you get that?
You gave it to me. Of course you were much younger then.
She hands it
over. The Doctor
holds it in front of Elpenor’s eyes as he begins to thresh
about. The blue crystal begins to glow, Elpenor quietens and
concentrates on it. The glow fades and he becomes
Why am I tied up?
It’s all right, Elpenor. [To Eurylochos]:
Elpenor. The Doctor gives the crystal back to Sarah.
Let me see that.
Odysseus takes the
The crystal has power to liberate a mind enslaved, but it can also
overthrow a free mind’s reason.
In that case, I’d better keep it safe.
Odysseus puts the
crystal back in its bag and hangs it from his belt.
And now, perhaps you’ll tell me who you are.
I thought you
knew: Artemis and her barbarian friend. We met once before
– at Aulis when you were about to sacrifice Iphigeneia.
Even after ten years I never forget a face. But you're no barbarian,
even if your garb is outlandish – and she’s no goddess.
I’m Sarah Jane Smith, and I’m a British subject.
And I’m nobody.
Well, Sarah Jane Smith and Nobody, I am Odysseus King of Ithaca.
And inventor of the wooden horse.
My name is not quite unknown, I see. Tell me, Nobody, is this
the world of the dead?
No. it's a world like many others.
savage place! As holy and enchanted
if there are any wailing women here, they’ll be alive just as
e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
woman wailing …”
In that case, I invite you to join the Royal Ithacan expedition to
explore this world.
We humbly thank your royal Majesty.
The Doctor and Odysseus
The Doctor indicates
several ways in rapid succession and chooses the least expected.
They set off.
On Circe: They come to a
well-used track, pause for a moment to choose their direction, then
follow the track. Elpenor strides out ahead.
They hear a shout of
surprise from Elpenor and hurry forward.
The track leads directly
side of the hill. Where there should be the entrance to a
the way is blocked by a massive boulder overgrown by the vine, the
sparse-leaved stems of which, with their sad flowers and occasional
clusters of fruit, stretch out from one side and almost cover the rock.
The track’s blocked.
It must have led into a cave.
A fall of rock.
It’s been there a good while – look at the
thickness of the vine.
Yet the track is
still clearly marked, and there are other signs that it has been used
recently. Look at those marks where something has been
along, see, quite sharp and distinct. And there –
leaves have been broken off very recently.
doesn’t add up.
massive boulder is a door. See how the vine grows only from
side, leaving the other free to swing open.
Who could open a door that size?
Or people who have learned to harness the forces of nature.
No man can do that.
No man in your
time, Odysseus, yet you have harnessed horses. Perhaps your
grandsons will harness the power of a stream to turn a stone to grind
May the river gods forgive him!
It could be done … with paddles attached to a wheel
… then a shaft …
He who can harness a stream can harness the wind.
All right, we know it can be done, but how does that solve our problem?
The stone is
probably delicately balanced so that it can be moved with a minimum of
power. If we can find out how, we may be able to lever it
The Doctor and the
Greeks begin to
examine the rock and to try to lever it out with their hands, their
knives, odd sticks or rock splinters.
Why don’t we all just go home?
Oh come on now, Sarah. You’re spoiling our fun.
I think the king should decide. He must be dying to see his
wife after all this time.
After ten years, what do a few more hours matter? Besides,
there may be gold in the cave.
Unseen by them all a
sphere floats over the ridge behind them, moves down towards the valley
and comes to rest among a convenient outcrop of rocks from which it can
observe them. It is a Cyclopic Eye.
It would be easier if we cleared away some of these vines.
I’ll do it.
Elpenor draws his knife,
branch of the vine and begins to hack at it. Immediately all
flowers snap shut, the leaves begin to rattle and a branch twines
around his leg and pulls him off balance. He falls.
branches curl around his arms, body and neck. He threshes
in helpless agony as the vine chokes him. The others rush to
aid, and, after a brief struggle, succeed in pulling him
Elpenor begins to recover, coughing and rubbing his throat.
We should destroy it.
It almost killed him.
He attacked it
first, it only defended itself. Wouldn’t you fight back if
someone came at you with a knife? Besides, I think
key to the cave.
So if we destroy it we can get in.
Instantly the vine
rattles its leaves and writhes towards Elpenor, who is beyond its reach.
That proves my
point. The vine can understand us. Either it can
sound or it’s sensitive to telepathy.
So when the owner of the cave comes along, he just says "Open
Sesame” and the vine does the rest. Watch!
The Doctor advances
towards the vine.
Be careful, Doctor!
[to the vine]:
I must apologise for this little misunderstanding. I am
friends and I did not properly appreciate the situation. You
we’re not from this planet, and we’ve never
being quite like you before. Let me assure you that we mean
no further harm.
A branch of the vine
writhes slightly towards Elpenor then returns.
Elpenor acted in ignorance when he suggested burning you …
The vine rattles its
… he was
frightened – after all, you did almost kill
We’ve learned by experience. All we seek now is
The vine relaxes and
some of its flowers open.
help. You see we were following this track and we want to
on inside the cave. It really
would be very
nice if you could open the door for us.
Come on, you know the sort of thing: "Open Sesame” and all
Perhaps it hasn’t read the Arabian Nights.
Do you really mean you expect this plant to obey you?
You have servants to guard the door of your palace and open it for you,
don’t you? It’s exactly the same
It all seems
rather far-fetched to me. But if you say is true, perhaps
better try. I'm used to commanding men, I might as well
try my hand at giving orders to a plant.
Thank you, general.
look here … er … plant, I am Odysseus, son of
King of Ithaca and member of the High Command of the Achaian
forces. I order you to open the entrance to the cave.
Open the door, or we'll burn you!
The vine snaps its
flowers shut, and rattles its leaves. Several branches rise menacingly.
Well, obviously it’s never been in the army.
Burn it, I say.
The vine rattles and
I don't like the idea of harming a sentient being without good reason.
Let me try.
A woman’s touch. It’s much more likely to
She advances towards the
seen such a beautiful vine as you. I’ve certainly
any plant half as intelligent as you. We’re not
hurt you. Why don’t you relax?
The vine relaxes.
That’s better. Why don't you show us your lovely
The vine snaps its
You must be the most intelligent plant in the whole Universe.
I bet you could even open the cave door for us.
The vine tenses and
opens the door. The massive boulder swings easily on its
pivot. Sarah turns to the others.
See, nothing to it. Come on.
She enters the
follow. The Cyclopic Eye rises from the rocky outcrop and
towards the cave entrance. It halts and hovers a short
away. The cave door closes. The Cyclopic Eye moves
Inside the cave.
The door’s closed.
That’s all right. When we want to go out
I’ll just ask the vine to open it.
I hate to be a wet blanket, Sarah, but I’m beginning to
wonder if that plant was obeying you or someone else.
Watch this. Um, Vine! Beautiful vine!
Could you open the door again, please?
Oh well, I’ll just have to shout a bit louder.
do any good – and I don’t advise anyone to do any
until we know what’s at the end of this tunnel.
He leads the way
cautiously along the tunnel.
The end of the tunnel
opens into a
large lighted cavern around the walls of which are smaller openings,
which, though this cannot yet be seen, lead to shallow caves or
cells. The intruders stop in the shadow at the mouth of the
tunnel and look around cautiously.
It doesn’t look like the sort of place you’d be
likely to find a hoard of gold and jewels.
I don’t know … It’s a bit like an
Sarah has gone to look
at one of the
lights on the rock wall of the cavern. Suddenly she
screams. The Doctor bounds to her side.
Doctor! It moved!
I’m not surprised. It is alive, after all.
SARAH: What is it?
DOCTOR: A sort of giant glow-worm.
Obviously the owner of the cave uses them for lights.
ODYSSEUS: We harness horses, he harnesses vines
DOCTOR: I’d like to see
what’s in those caves. Careful!
They move cautiously round the wall to the nearest cell, from which is
coming a high-pitched humming. Inside the
cell they see an Alpha-Centauran staring into space and humming an
DOCTOR: How nice to see a friendly face.
The Doctor enters the cell.
DOCTOR: How do you do? I
don’t think we’ve met,
but one of your people was a particularly dear friend of nine: the
Ambassador to Peladon. I don’t suppose you know
him, do you?
The Alpha-Centauran continues humming.
The Alpha-Centauran’s view: a hazy pattern of lights forming
kaleidoscopic rhythm, and a comp1ex piece of Alpha-Centauran music with
the melody led by the Alpha-Centauran’s humming. A
darker, vaguely Doctor-shaped pattern appears and the
words “How do you do?” in the Doctor’s
heard. The rest of his speech is incorporated into the music.
DOCTOR: Poor fellow. He must be
drugged or hypnotised.
SARAH: Should we use the crystal?
DOCTOR: It would
probably kill him. You
can never tell what kind of effect it will have on
Let’s see what else is here.
As they move cautiously round the cavern peeping into the cells, all of
which contain non-humanoid creatures, a Cyclopic Eye, hovering near the
roof of the main cavern, follows them.
The chamber of the Forkiads. Calupso, Ogugia and Nausikaa are
seated at a globular crystal similar to the Cyclopic Eye.
is concentrating on this Cyclopic Screen, in which appears the cavern
as seen by the Cyclopic Eye, with the Doctor and his Human companions
looking into the cells. When Calupso speaks, her
like that of every other Circean is thin, reedy, weak, sexless, and
weighed down by the immense weariness of near exhaustion that afflicts
the whole of that unhappy race.
CALUPSO: The intruders are in the
stables. Let their presence be made known to the Polyfemos.
Nausikaa sighs heavily and concentrates.
The Council Chamber of the Polyfemos or High Council of
globular Cyclopic Screen is in a prominent position. The
of the Polyfemos is Aiaia. He articulates their collective
thought while the other members moan in weary agreement or
AIAIA: Our quest is hopeless.
They moan sadly.
AIAIA: In all the Seven Galaxies we Circeans are
Our search for living beings of similar bodily conformation to our own
Ai … ai …a …
AIAIA: The Forkiads have discovered alien
intruders in the stables. Let us concentrate.
The Polyfemos moan and concentrate on the Cyclopic Screen. A
picture of the intruders in the cavern appears. The Polyfemos
gasp in astonishment, and the image wavers then steadies.
The cavern or stables. The Doctor and his companions look
another cell. The Doctor holds the Greeks back from getting
They peep cautiously into the cave, hiding from its occupants, five
Daleks, which are circling their cell muttering to themselves.
DALEKS: Exterminate! Exterminate!
We must exterminate all living creatures!
The Daleks will rule the Universe!
We are the supreme beings!
DOCTOR: Even if they are drugged, we
don’t want to get too close.
The intruders move on to the next cell. Sarah wanders ahead
to another cell. The Cyclopic Eye follows her.
The Council Chamber of the Polyfemos. Aiaia and the other
Councillors are looking at the Cyclopic Screen, which shows Sarah
entering the cell, at the mouth of which is perched a beautiful
creature like a bird of paradise. Sarah approaches it.
AIAIA: The Circeoids do not recognise all dangers.
The Polyfemos sigh.
AIAIA: Shall the intruder hear the song of the
us awaken the Siren. Let it wither this creature’s
drink its blood.
The Polyfemos concentrate and moan. The Siren raises its head
revealing a beautiful face. It fixes its eyes on Sarah and
its mouth in song. She is entranced and bends towards it.
AIAIA: The alien is under the spell of the
Siren. Let the
Cyclopic Eye move closer. Let the Polyfemos see death strike.
The image on the Cyclopic Screen zooms in closer to Sarah.
in a trance. As she bends closer to the Siren it unfurls its
wings, revealing cruel claws which it prepares to plunge into her
neck. At the same time its gently parted soft lips are drawn
to reveal sharp fangs eager for her throat. Sarah remains
blissfully entranced and moves closer.
Suddenly she is hurled aside by the Doctor who has seen her danger end
dived to her rescue. The Siren’s claws close on
and it screams in fury and beats its wings in rage.
The Polyfemos gasp in astonishment.
The cavern. The Siren is screeching with rage and beating its
wings. Gradually it subsides and goes back to sleep without
following the Doctor and Sarah or attacking the Greeks who have rushed
to defend their friends and are facing the Siren with drawn
knives. The Doctor and Sarah get to their feet.
SARAH: What happened?
DOCTOR: You almost become a Siren’s
dinner. It seems
to have gone back to sleep, so we might as well see what else there is
in this interplanetary zoo. Come on, and don’t get
close to anything.
The Doctor leads the way jauntily along the cavern.
ODYSSEUS: Ought we not to keep to the shadows?
DOCTOR: There’s no point.
They’ve had their eye on us for some time now.
Hadn’t you noticed?
The Doctor indicates the Cyclopic Eye, then leads the way
onward. Sarah stops, looking ill.
DOCTOR: Come on!
SARAH: Yes, I … Oh, that’s
better – Aahh!
Sarah staggers. They leap to her side. She recovers.
SARAH: It’s all right. I
just felt suddenly dizzy – almost as if a gust of wind
knocked me off my feet.
The Council Chamber of the Polyfemos. They are watching the
Cyclopic Screen on which they see the Doctor and the Greeks attending
to Sarah. The Greeks fetch a suitable piece of metal from a
nearby pile of spaceship debris so that she can sit on it.
AIAIA: That was a force of 145 romins, but it
scarcely moved the
smallest of the aliens, yet the big circeoid moved it easily.
are amazed at their physical strength, but even so, their minds will
not stand against us. No mind can stand against us.
the Polyfemos of Circe. Let us concentrate.
The Polyfemos moan and concentrate. On the Cyclopic Screen
see the intruders stagger, put their hands to their heads, reel and
drop. The Cyclopic Eye zooms in for a closer look at the
intruders. It comes to Sarah. Her inert form is
slightly. A massive, pincer-like claw has grasped
image moves back to show that she is in the grip of a huge alien
creature shaped like a giant beetle.