The Olympian Experiment

by Robin Gordon

Sarah Jane Smith & the Doctor

Episode 4

Auksford crest: great auk supporting a book with the legend "Ex ovo sapientia"
- Auksford 2008 -

Copyright Robin Gordon, 1976 / 2008

SCENE 46 (continued)

The Polyfemos are watching the Cyclopic Eye’s view of the cavern on their screen.  They see the intruders lying unconscious and Sarah in the grip of a gigantic beetle-like monster.

AIAIA: Let the Uperonian-Kentar take the circeoid aliens to their stables.

* * *


A cell off the main cavern. The Doctor, Sarah, Odysseus, Eurylochos and Elpenor are psycho-tranquillised. Each is living in his or her own little world and is oblivious of the others: Eurylochos is feasting, Elpenor gambling, Odysseus arriving home, the Doctor explaining the theory of time-refraction to a fully comprehending Brigadier, and Sarah is conversing with the Young Time Lord.

ELPENOR:  What about your slave girl?  Why don’t you bet her?  I’ll stake my Cretan dagger, the one with the gold hilt.

Elpenor casts an imaginary dice and wins.

ODYSSEUS:  Even my faithful old Argus waiting at the gate.  Come on, old fellow.  Good boy.

He stoops to receive the enthusiastic greetings of a dog visible only to him.

DOCTOR:  … and these chronons, or time particles, then behave in almost exactly the same way as photons, and of course the result is bound to be … that’s right Brigadier.  Are you acquainted with the theorem?

ELPENOR:  All right!  Best of three if you want.  Now let me.

Elpenor casts his dice.

ELPENOR:  I win again.  The gods are with me tonight.

SARAH:  …but if you’re only 749 now, I mean will be 749 when I know you, how can you already be as old as you are 4,000 years ago?  Or, to put it another way …

Eurylochos silently gets to his feet, leaves his imaginary feast and walks out of the cell. The others continue their lives without noticing.

DOCTOR:  Well, if you knew all the time, Alastair, I can’t see why you always pretend to be so … military.

* * *

The Brain Analysis Chamber.  A crystalline table with other crystals grouped around it.  The Polyfemos stand in a weary group at one side of the room.  The Forkiads concentrate on a Cyclopic Screen which shows Eurylochos walking along a corridor or tunnel.

As always Aiaia articulates the collective thought of the Polyfemos, speaking as if musing to himself.  The other councillors moan in agreement or occasionally wail “Aiaia”.

AIAIA:  The Circeoids have immense physical power … but there is no danger … we are stronger … we can control all creatures.  All creatures obey us.  We are the Polyfemos.  We are the High Council of Circe.  We rule the Circeans, and the Circeans will rule the Universe.

POLYFEMOS:  Ai … ai … a …

AIAIA:  Soon our rule will spread to the Seven Galaxies, and if there are worlds beyond the Seven Galaxies they too will acknowledge the rule of Circe.

POLYFEMOS:  Ai …ai … a …

Eurylochos enters the room.  The Polyfemos become  agitated.  Eurylochos stands still.  A Cyclopic Eye floats in after him and comes to rest on the floor.  As it touches down Ogugia buries his face in his hands and slumps exhausted.  Calupso and Nausikaa are not in much better shape.

AIAIA:  We have no need to fear.  The creature is our slave.  We control its thought.

The members of the Polyfemos regain control of themselves.

AIAIA:  Let the Circeoid take its place on the scanning table.

The Polyfemos moan.  Eurylochos lies down on the scanning table.  While he is getting into position Aiaia continues musing.

AIAIA:  Their hands have fingers and opposable thumbs, like ours.  Yet they are as powerful for their size as the claws of an Uperonian-Kentar.  Is our long search ended?  Have we at last found the servants we need?  These Circeoids will carry for us.  They will build and test the spacecraft we need to spread our power through the Seven Galaxies.  Of all the planets in the Universe we shall enslave first the planet of the Circeoids.

POLYFEMOS:  Ai … ai … a …

AIAIA:  It is a pity that this specimen must die.  We have so few.  But we must analyse the brain of one of them.  Let the Forkiads begin their work.

Ogugia concentrates.  The Cyclopic Eye rises from the floor and moves into position above the head of Eurylochos.  As Calupso and Nausikaa concentrate theCyclopic Screen glows, swirls, then shows a succession of images: the landscape of Greece, peaceful life, battle scenes from the siege of Troy, the storm, the shipwreck, the first meeting with the Doctor and the arrival on Circe.  The Polyfemos sigh and moan.  Eurylochos gasps with pain throughout the analysis.  At the end he cries out as a final spasm of pain sears his brain, and he dies.  Calupso and Nausikaa collapse into exhaustion.  Ogugia maintains concentration until the Cyclopic Eye lands, then he too slumps wearily.  The Polyfemos are also tired.  They sigh.
AIAIA:  We have learned much.  Their planet is fruitful.  They have the instinct to fight and to worship.  We Circeans will make ourselves their gods and they will fight in our name … We do not know where to find their planet … we must analyse more brains … but first the aliens must build us spacecraft from the ruins of the ships we have wrecked.  Let us think how we can influence their minds so that they will worship us and serve us for ever.  When that is accomplished we need no longer use our power to keep them psycho-tranquillised and to control their actions.

The Polyfemos sigh deeply.

* * *


The construction site.  A spaceship is being built from the remains of ships which have crashed on Circe.  Various non-humanoids are performing tasks.  The Alpha-Centauran moves among them checking, calculating and pointing out faults to be corrected.  The Doctor and Sarah are working at an open inspection hatch welding together shafts, cables, etc. with the help of a Dalek which is using its blaster as a welding gun.  Cyclopic Eyes hover overhead.

An Uperonian-Kentar trundles up, balancing a massive metal panel on its back.  The Doctor, Sarah, Odysseus and Elpenor leave their tasks and move to unload it.  They rest the panel on the ground and the Uperonian-Kentar lumbers away.  Elpenor stiffens as if hearing a call, then, without a word, he walks away.  The others hold the panel steady while a Dalek drills a row of  neat holes with its blaster gun.

* * *

The Polyfemos watch on a Cyclopic Screen as Elpenor is subjected to the song of the Siren.

AIAIA:  The Circeoid must worship the Circean.

The Polyfemos moan.  Elpenor shudders.

AIAIA:  The Circeoid is made in the image of the Circean.  It must worship the Circean with its body and its mind.

The Polyfemos moan.  Elpenor drops to his knees.

AIAIA:  It is enough.  Let the Siren and the Circeoid return to their stables.

The Siren flies away.  Elpenor remains kneeling.

AIAIA:   The Circeoid must return to its stable.  It is the command of the Circeans.  It is the command of the Polyfemos.

The Polyfemos concentrate harder and moan.  Elpenor does not move.

AIAIA:  Has the time come?  Has our power drained away?  The Circean people have long been near exhaustion.  Each year we have needed more and more of them to support us.  Each year more have been needed to move and operate the Cyclopic Eyes.  But the drain is gradual.  We cannot have lost all our vital force.  The Siren obeyed us.  Let us try once more.  We must concentrate.

The Polyfemos concentrate.

AIAIA:  Let the Circeoid, the Achaian, the creature called Elpenor stand.   It must stand.  Stand! – We must concentrate.  The Circeoids must obey.  We need them.  Let the creature stand.

Elpenor does not move.  The Polyfemos relax their concentration.

AIAIA:  What has gone wrong?  Are the Circeoids immune to our power?  Let the Forkiads show us the other Circeoids.

The Cyclopic Screen goes blank, then shows the construction site.

AIAIA:  Let the Circeoids understand that the Circeans have no further us for them.  They are to be exterminated by the Daleks.  Let the Circeoids line up to meet death.

The Doctor and the Humans line up in front of a Dalek.

AIAIA:  Let the Circeoids resume their work.  Let them understand that they must serve the Circeans.

They return to work.

AIAIA:  Our power is as strong as ever.  We need have no fear.  Soon the worship of all creatures in the Universe will strengthen us.  We will be gods of the Universe.

POLYFEMOS:  Ai … ai … a …

AIAIA:  As for the specimen named Elpenor, our experiments have destroyed its mind.  Let the nearest Uperonian-Kentar return it to its stable.  It will die soon.

* * *


The cell.  The Doctor, Sarah and Odysseus are deep in psycho-tranquillised imaginings.  Elpenor sits glassy-eyed and open-mouthed in a catatonic trance.

SARAH:  I can’t believe it the Tardis has actually worked.  We’re really here.  There’s the Brigadier, and Harry, and Mr Benton too.

DOCTOR: … you see, Zeus, we’ve got to have three players for four dimensional chess, so if Poseidon won’t play we shall have to ask Morbius.  It’s really very simple.  It’s just like three dimensional chess except that instead of merely anticipating all the possible moves stemming from the present position, you’ve got to remember all the possible moves that could have resulted from any of the previous states of the game.  You’ll soon get used to it.

ODYSSEUS:  Gold.  That’s what I’ve brought you Penelope.  Gold and jewels!  Look at these.

Odysseus spreads out imaginary treasures.

ODYSSEUS:  My share of the spoils of Troy and her allies.

SARAH:  I’m going to soak in a nice hot bath for hours … and hours … and hours …

DOCTOR:  Ah, but you can’t do that, because five moves    ago that would have put you in check.

ODYSSEUS:  But best of all, I’ve brought you this.

Odssyeus unties the bag from his belt and brings out the Metabelis crystal.

ODYSSEUS:  There isn’t another one like it in the world.  Look how beautiful it is.

Odysseus looks at the crystal.  It begins to glow.  He stares, fascinated and is immersed in its power.  His head echoes with the sounds of war and the screams of the dying.

ODYSSEUS:  So many brave men … so many … the flower of our nation … never again … never again … I warned then … they wouldn’t listen … I ploughed ten furrows for ten years of war … so many dead … dead …

The sounds of war turn to the blowing of a desert wind and the sighing and meaningless lamentation of dead souls bereft of reason.

ODYSSEUS:  It is the sighing and meaningless lamentation of dead souls bereft of reason … Achilles … Aias … my friends who fell at Ilion … and … Agamemnon …murdered … by his wife … can such things be?

The lamentation becomes a shriek.  Odysseus falls back exhausted as the crystal loses its power.  Then he comes to himself.

ODYSSEUS:  Am I mad? … I was mad … I think the gods have cleared my wits – the gods, or the crystal.  Now I am sane and if I am sane, the first thing to do is … to stop talking to myself.

Odysseus looks around.  The Doctor and Sarah are still immersed in their private fantasies.  Elpenor is still catatonic.

SARAH:  … for hours … and hours … and hours … Ah, that feels so good!

Sarah stretches in her bath.

DOCTOR:  Check mate!  My game I think.

Odysseus picks up the crystal and approaches the Doctor.

ODYSSEUS:  Zeus and all you gods of high Olympos, I pray you not to send him such visions as you sent me.

Odysseus holds out the crystal to the Doctor, who ignores it.

DOCTOR:  Of course I'll give you a game, Morbius, if someone else will play too.  I don't suppose you’ve seen my old chum, the Master, around, have you?  He always liked a gamble.

ODYSSEUS:  I like a gamble too.

DOCTOR:  Who …?

ODYSSEUS:  I am Odysseus of the nimble wits.

DOCTOR:  Can you play four-dimensional chess?  Do you know the pieces?

ODYSSEUS:  What is this piece called?

Odysseus gives the Doctor the crystal.

DOCTOR:  This?  This is the queen … the most powerful piece on the board … the … blue … queen …

The crystal glows, releasing a montage of the Doctor’s past, his various avatars, accompanied by music similar to the theme music.

* * *


The Council Chamber of the Polyfemos.  Aiaia speaks for them and they moan in unison.

AIAIA:  The fright we suffered when the Circeoid did not obey, has drained our energy.  We must be careful.  We must conserve our strength.  We must find new sources of energy.  We could use the Circeoid whose brain we destroyed … No, there is nothing left in the creature but death.  We cannot take more from the vine, or it will cease to bear fruit, and our bodies need the fruit.  We cannot take more from our people or they will die.  We cannot afford to lose any more Circeans until we have enough energy to reproduce.  We cannot use the Circeoids, we need them to build the ship.  Afterwards we may drain their life forces.  Which of the other aliens can we absorb?  We must think … but not now.  Now we are too tired.  Now we must rest.  Only the Forkiads must watch.  Let all our people except the Forkiads and their supporters, rest.

The Polyfemos subside into uneasy sleep.

* * *


The cell.  The Doctor, Sarah and Odysseus are trying to wake Elpenor with the crystal.  Elpenor is thrashing about with his arms and legs and screaming wildly.

SARAH:  We’ll never do it.

DOCTOR:  Don’t give up hope.  He’s much quieter now.  Listen, I think he’s trying to speak.

ELPENOR:  Don’t let it get me!  The fangs!  Help me!  I’m being sucked down.  The jaws!  The vine!  The whirlpool!  I’m drowning.

Elpenor clutches at Odysseus, shuddering convulsively and gasping for breath.  Gradually he quietens and is still.  The crystal fades.

ODYSSEUS:  Elpenor!

No response.

ODYSSEUS:  Elpenor!

Still no response.  The Doctor tips Elpenor’s head back to examine his eyes.

DOCTOR: Are you all right?

ELPENOR:  All righ’ …?  Yes … I’m all righ’ …

DOCTOR:  Do you know where you are?

Elpenor looks around and makes a great effort to think.


ODYSSEUS:  Do you know me?

Elpenor shakes his head in puzzlement.

DOCTOR:  Who are you?  What is your name?

ELPENOR:  Name?  What’s name?

DOCTOR:  He may get better.  I don’t know.

ELPENOR:  I have … heard … the song of the Siren.

DOCTOR:  Let him rest while we think what to do next.

SARAH:  Let's get out of here.

ODYSSEUS:  Don’t forget the Eye.

Sarah peeps out of the cell.

SARAH:  It’s up near the ceiling.

ODYSSEUS:  We’ve got to destroy it.

DOCTOR:  We’d have to find some way of luring it down to ground level without the watchers suspecting a trap, and keep it here long enough to smash it.

SARAH:  How does it work?

DOCTOR:  It must be worked by telepathic energy. That stimulates, the crystal causing minute vibrations which generate electronic impulses, and these are amplified into oscillating currents in the interfaces between the different substances forming the crystalline retina.  Light failing on the retina through the transparent lens amplifies or distorts these oscillations, and these variations are picked up by the telepath.

SARAH:  You mean it’s a long-distance eye?


ODYSSEUS:  Then let’s show it the crystal.

DOCTOR:  It might work.  The only problem is that we’ve got to make the watcher concentrate on the crystal, and to do that we’ve lot to set the crystal off.  It will be dangerous.  We don’t know what effect the crystal may have if it’s used again so soon, and besides whoever uses it may well be totally overwhelmed by the power behind that Eye.  Unless we can snatch him back on time by physical force, he could be totally destroyed.

ODYSSEUS:  There is only one person …

The Doctor nods.

SARAH:  Not you, Doctor.

DOCTOR:  No, not me, Sarah.

SARAH:  You mean … me?

DOCTOR:  It’s not just our own lives that are at stake.  We’ve got to stop the Circeans ever getting off this planet.

ODYSSEUS:  You are the only one who came out of the spell without suffering – and you’re the only one small enough to pull back into the cave without wasting valuable time.

SARAH:  Couldn’t we just sabotage their ship while we’re working tomorrow.

DOCTOR:  By tomorrow they’ll know that they no longer control our minds.  It has to be now.  Will you do it?

Sarah gulps and nods.

* * *


The cavern outside the cell.  Sarah comes out with the crystal.  She holds it up then puts it carefully on a rock.  She waves in the direction of the Cyclopic Eye, which is balanced on a ledge near the roof on the opposite wall of the cavern.  It turns slightly to look in her direction.  She beckons to it and points at the crystal.

DOCTOR [from the, shadows]:  Don’t ham it up, Sarah.  This isn’t a pantomime.

Sarah grins nervously and kneels beside the crystal.  She concentrates and it begins to glow.  The Cyclopic Eye rises slowly from its ledge and comes nearer, drifting lower and lower.

 Suddenly the crystal flares brightly as the Forkiads’ collective mind is entranced.  Sarah opens her mouth in an agonised soundless scream.  The Doctor and Odysseus spring from the shadows, seize her and hurl her back into the cave.  The Cyclopic Eye has come to rest on the floor beside the crystal.  The brilliance of the crystal begins to dim as the Doctor and Odysseus reappear with crowbars and begin smashing the crystalline eye.  Sharp fragments splinter off it.

Elpenor comes out of the cell.

ELPENOR:  Girl sad.  Crying.  What are you doing?

ODYSSEUS:  Smash the evil eye!

ELPENOR:  Smash the evil eye!

Elpenor seizes a rock and crashes it down upon the Eye, which shatters into fragments.

ELPENOR:  I have heard the song of the Siren, but the Evil Eye is dead.

DOCTOR:  Sarah!

The Doctor goes into the cell.

* * *


The cell.  Sarah is lying on the floor sob-grunting.

SARAH:  Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh …

DOCTOR [despairingly]:  Sarah.

He picks her up and carries her out of the cell.

* * *


The cavern.  The Doctor comes out of the cell carrying Sarah.

DOCTOR:  I may have destroyed her mind for ever.  Oh, Sarah!

ODYSSEUS:  What now?  How do we get out of the cavern?

DOCTOR:  There’s only one     way.  Follow me.

The Doctor carries Sarah towards one end of the cavern, followed by Odysseus, who is leading Elpenor.

* * *


The cell of the Daleks.  The Daleks are still circling and muttering “Exterminate!  Exterminate!  The Daleks will rule the Universe!”  Enter the Doctor carrying Sarah and followed by Odysseus and Elpenor.

DOCTOR:  Daleks!  The most vicious and dangerous creatures in the Universe.

ODYSSEUS:  There’s nowhere to hide here.

DOCTOR:  Oh yes there is.

The Doctor lays Sarah on the ground, then he seizes one of the Daleks and manhandles it into a corner, where he swiftly opens the top.  Odysseus looks inside then draws back with an expression of disgust.

DOCTOR:  You’d never believe they were once people like us, would you?  Give me your cloak.

Odysseus hands over his cloak.  The Doctor fumbles inside the Dalek travel-machine and brings out the creature wrapped in the cloak.  He tips it out behind a rock and hands the cloak back.

DOCTOR:  I shouldn’t wear it again if I were you.  Now, all we’ve got to do is take out the creature’s life-support systems, and there will be room for us to hide inside the travel-machines.

Odysseus watches carefully while the Doctor tinkers inside the Dalek travel-machine with his sonic screw-driver.

DOCTOR:  We unscrew this piece here, slide that flange out there, then we undo this, and just another turn here … and this whole section is ready to lift out, like this …

The Doctor is about to lift out the Dalek life-support system when Elpenor interrupts.

ELPENOR:  The girl has heard the song of the Siren.

DOCTOR:  What?

ELPENOR:  She has gone where she is called.

Sarah is wandering down the cavern towards the Humans’ old cell.

DOCTOR:  Sarah!

Sarah does not respond.  She somnambulates on.

DOCTOR:  I must get her back before they bring another Eye.  Wait here!

The Doctor goes after Sarah.

ELPENOR:  The Evil Eye is dead.

Elpenor starts forward.  Odysseus holds him back.

ODYSSEUS:  No!  You stay here.  You must help me.

ELPENOR:  Yes, King … King …

Elpenor struggles to remember.

ODYSSEUS:  Odysseus.

ELPENOR  [as if relieved of a great worry]:  King Odysseus

* * *

The cavern: outside the Humans’ cell.  Sarah drops to her knees and searches among the fragments of the Cyclopic Eye until she finds the blue crystal from Metabelis III, which had fallen from the rock unnoticed and been forgotten.  She holds it up and stares at it.  It remains unchanged.

SARAH:  Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh … Please!  Please!

The Doctor arrives.  He puts his arm around her.

DOCTOR:  Come on, Sarah.  You’re safe now.

Sarah shakes him off, her eyes still fixed on the Crystal.

SARAH:  Please!

DOCTOR:  They’ll have another Eye here soon.  Come on.

He tries to lift her to her feet.  She shakes him off.  The crystal begins to glow.  Her face assumes an expression of agonised ecstasy.

DOCTOR:  Sarah.  Sarah.

He shakes his head, sighs and sits down near her, taking care not to look at the crystal.

* * *


The Council Chamber of the Polyfemos.  Aiaia speaks, the others moan, in unison in time with his expression of their thoughts.

AIAIA:  When the new Cyclopic Eye arrives we shall know what to do.  These Circeoids tire us more than any other species.  We can no longer bear it.  They are beyond our control.  They must be exterminated.

* * *


The cavern: outside the Humans’ cell.  The crystal’s glow fades.  Sarah stirs.

DOCTOR:  Better now?

SARAH:  Oh Doctor, it was horrible.  It was like being sucked down by a whirlpool.

Unseen by them a new Cyclopic Eye has entered the cavern and is watching them from as high up near the roof as it can get.

DOCTOR:  You’re all right now, Sarah.  Can you walk?

SARAH:  I think so.

He helps her to her feet.  She sees the Eye.

DOCTOR:  That’s better.

SARAH:  Doctor!  Look!


SARAH:  Didn’t the plan work?

DOCTOR:  It’s a new Eye.

SARAH:  What do we do?

DOCTOR:  I’m thinking, Sarah.  I’m thinking.

A Dalek comes purposefully down the cavern.

DALEK:  Aliens!  Aliens!  They must be exterminated!

Two more Daleks follow.

DALEKS:  Exterminate!  Exterminate!

The Doctor and Sarah dive into the cell as the first Dalek blasts a nearby rock to atoms.

* * *


 Inside the Humans’ cell.  The Doctor and Sarah huddle together in a corner.

DOCTOR:  Well, goodbye Sarah.

There is another Dalek blast outside.

SARAH:  Goodbye Doctor.

They shake hands.  Two Daleks enter the cell.

* * * * *


Doctor Who: The Olympian Experiment: Index

Episode 5

Index to Robin Gordon's works

Auksford Index

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"Doctor Who" copyright BBC;
"The Olympian Experiment" copyright Robin Gordon 1976/2008.
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