S2-04 "No Control"
A bleak, windswept world of empty moorland punctuated by the occasional vent emerging from the ground. The only noise is the moan of the wind and a sinister mechanical heartbeat. Below ground, in a control room, two female technicians are trying to track a mysterious craft which has swept past the planet but the scanner screens are filling with static. Before they go off completely, they detect something being fired towards them... It is, in fact, a polished spherical escape pod that lands in the moors above. The hatch opens and something emerges, advancing over towards the blockhouse that leads to the tombs. Sunlight bounces off its gleaming silver hide. It reaches the hatchway and forces the door open.
Hearing this in the control room, one tech goes to investigate while the other prepares to send the signal. Outside the control room, in the tomb-lined corridors, the silver figure marches down the steps towards the nearest tomb and opens it. The tech observing tells her fellow to send the signal and goes to confront the intruder while the escape pod is readied. But unfortunately, the static blocks the signal. They are now cut out from the outside galaxy.
The tech confronts the silver figure. It turns around - a Cyberman. Before the tech can fire her gun, POW! She collapses, shot from behind by a second Cyberman who has just entered. The two Cybermen mercilessly advance into the control room where the remaining tech tries to escape. The Cybermen close in...
The two Cybermen open the first hatch, revealing a Cyberleader (a black helmeted version). The two intruders lift out the statue-still Cyberleader and carry him away in silence. They take him to the deserted control room and dump the body unceremoniously in the corner. They return to the empty tomb. The second Cyberman climbs inside and the first closes the hatch. Then, it turns and heads for the surface. In the control room, static is starting to clear the screen... showing another space ship is approaching.As the remaining Cyberman emerges into the cold afternoon sunshine, there is a strange wheezing groaning noise. The silver figure ducks out of sight as a police box appears on a nearby hillock.
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor is rather unimpressed. He set the TARDIS to head for a totally random destination and they've landed somewhere that might as well be Earth! Rose and Benjamin are a bit put out - they didn't know about the random destination. They could have landed in the heart of a sun! The Doctor pooh-poohs the idea; the TARDIS is full of safe guards to stop that happening. And some of them are even working. He decides to have a look around to discover where they are.
Outside, the Cyberman watches the Doctor, Rose and Benjamin emerge. Seasoned traveler Rose immediately twigs that something is wrong with this planet. The landscape too flat and even. The Doctor notes a grille in the ground and it confirms his theory - this planet is artificial. They find the escape pod, fuel exhausted after landing which means that someone else has arrived on the planet as well as them. The Doctor admits he feels like he’s being watched and catches a glimpse of silver in the distance.
Before the Doctor can speak, Benjamin spots the blockhouse nearby and the trio head to visit it. The Doctor spies a familiar stencil logo on the door and tells his companions to return to the TARDIS. They refuse to until he explains. The Doctor promises he will once he gets back - he has to explore this building and can do it better alone. Finally, he admits where they are - Epsilon Mondas. Benjamin and Rose are understandably non-plussed.
"The Last Colony of the Cybermen!" crowes Lindell, an overbearing and extremely sinister man of the thirty-second century. He is aboard his luxury space yacht with a group of his fellow HV (holo-vision) luminaries, who have agreed to go on this mystery trip with the unlikeable Lindell for the promise of a brand new series that could make them all rich. Also, they are either too afraid of Lindell's influence or he has blackmail on them. They are Valron (Lindell’s bitter ex-husband), Toleko (Valron’s new trophy wife), Nestor and Dallin (brother and sister acrobats and comedians), Zelora (an up and coming actress) and Phruga the pilot. Lindell has just - finally - revealed their destination. Lindell explains that he has several reasons for this trip, but it is also to test the courage and conviction of his fellows. For he knows that this seemingly abandoned planet holds a horror. A horror he will show to his troupe...
Well, the next few scenes are Lindell and the Doctor describing the evolution of the Cybermen. The Doctor calls it a tragedy, Lindell a triumph. They explain Epsilon-Mondas and why it exists. Epsilon Mondas is an asteroid that was colonized by the Cybermen and turned into a tomb for their soldiers. There are ninety billion in suspended animation, so the asteroid is large enough to classify as a planet and its surface looks like a normal (if bleak and windy) world. But the Cybermen have never awoken, as the main computer struggles to answer a seemingly impossible question. But it might, one day.
As the ship lands, the TARDIS crew hurry back to the time machine as Lindell and his troupe emerge. Lindell explains that he plans to make a unique HV show from this trip... and warns his fellows that they shall know true terror on this voyage. Should they survive. As the group enter the blockhouse (being stalked by the other Cyberman), Lindell is asked about the techs that should be present.
Fearing the Cybermen reviving, humanity has constructed a monitoring station just under the surface. If they Cybermen awake, the two techs are to send a special alarm and leave in an escape craft at once. Centuries have passed, and the alarm has not been sent - or needed to be sent. Lindell isn't fussed - the first techs went mad and murdered their relief crew; others were found having committed suicide. And many more simply disappeared.... as seems to have happened right now.
The Doctor, Benjamin and Rose creep into the blockhouse after the group. Moments later, the silver shape follows them down into the blockhouse, closing the hatch after itself. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Rose find the barely-conscious techs dumped behind a console. As they revive the techs and find out what happened, Lindell is bragging at the terrors he is about to inflict on the group. Heading for the nearest hatch, Lindell explains that he has decreed it’s time for the Cybermen to awake from their slumber.
Valron and Nestor open the hatch the hatch the Cyberman opened earlier to reveal the dormant Cyberman within. As Valron tries to haul the Cyberman free from the tomb, it suddenly comes to life and grabs him. Lindell laughs insanely as the first Cyberman grabs Valron and the others flee onto to run screaming straight into the other Cyberman who has arrived...
Then Rose rugby tackles the second Cybermen and it collapses! Lindell’s laughter turns to fury as Valron tears free of the first Cyberman and hauls the silver figure from the tomb. As the Doctor and Benjamin arrive, they discover the second Cyberman’s helmet has smashed open... revealing a normal human being underneath.
Lindell furiously berates the TARDIS crew for interfering. The major cliffhanger in his horror broadcast is ruined now – the wrist communicators the troupe are wearing are recording devices, and he was editing this into a horror show as they went. But now the ersatz Cybermen have been revealed, it’s ruined.
The Doctor doesn’t take kindly to Lindell’s attitude: this is the man who sent two stooges (Doran and Hish) to Epsilon Mondas dressed as Cybermen, knocked out the technicians and set up an unimaginative practical joke. Lindell screams that he is one of the most respected writers and directors in history, his work will be lauded and remembered long after the plebs’ descendents have gone to dust!
However, Lindell has a second plan and gets Hish and Doran to collect the lifeless Cyberleader and together they head for a small annex where a Cyber Planner whirs and gyrates. Lindell explains that the Planner decided centuries ago that the time was right to revive the Cyberman, but it has been unable to. It was infected by a computer virus which means until it is solved, the Cybermen remain dormant. The Doctor smugly comments that the only way the Cybermen can solve it is to abandon logic and regain some of their humanity.
Lindell tells him to shut up and using the Planner a hologram appears... of the Ninth Doctor!
NINTH DOCTOR: The last Cybermen in existence. Never did quite understand that the universe never wanted you – otherwise you wouldn’t always be on the verge of extinction, would you? Still, refuse to cooperate with other races, you deserve what you get. Now, if you want to revive your army, all you gotta do is answer me this question one and maybe later you can have some fun. Simple problem: you're on a sinking ship, aboard the final lifeboat, with just one seat left, when two people arrive. One is a young woman, with her life in front of her, the other an old man, his life all behind him. Which do you save?
The Planner insists the only logical answer is to save the young woman, but the hologram shakes his head. The Planner repeats the answer, refusing to accept it’s got it wrong. Each time the hologram says no. It has been going on like this for over two hundred years. And now Lindell prepares to tip the balance. Hacking into the computer, he waits for the question to repeat itself and he will give the right answer.
Rose cannot believe that Lindell wants to bring back the Cyberman, but Zelora timidly points out if revival does start out they will have enough time to flee. Lindell also has the Cyberleader to demonstrate if it works – the revival will cause it to move, giving them an early warning. The Doctor points out that the answer requires humanity, he doesn’t think Lindell can answer it.
Lindell gives his answer to the hologram – save the old man. The hologram shakes his head amused and Lindell is furious. He orders Nestor and Dallin to carry the body of the Cyberleader, which he intends to take back to civilization as a prop. Wearily, the others follow. The Doctor heads off after them, determined to try and talk Lindell into leaving the Cyberman behind. Benjamin is to stay and check on the technicians.
Doran and Hish sneak into the control room and stun the techs once more. Hish goes to tie them up when Benjamin arrives. Doran distracts Benjamin and wonders just what the real solution is to the logic puzzle. Benjamin shrugs and assumes that, judging by the fact the Doctor set it up, the answer would be to stay behind on the sinking ship and let the others escape. Doran uses this distraction to close and lock the door. Realizing he cannot get into the control room, Benjamin storms off to get the Doctor.
Meanwhile, the Planner has been listening and replays a recording of Benjamin’s answer. The hologram looks surprised.
NINTH DOCTOR: Oh well. I wasn’t expecting that. If you lot finally worked out the small things in life are important then there’s hope for us all. If not then I guess it’ll be muggins here who’ll have to sort you out. Oh well, wakey wakey, rise and shine, show a leg – weather’s fine!
The hologram shuts down and slowly lights glow behind hatches. The heartbeat of the planet speeds up.
Lindell has attached a mass of wires from the flight control panels to the back of the Cyberleader’s head and mocking offers a penny for its thoughts. In a halting, mechanical tone the Cyberleader quotes one of Lindell’s plays – the Cyberman is now being remote controlled by Lindell. The others are mildly amused but fake their enthusiasm when Lindell explains he now has a zombie-like slave with the ability to kill each one of them and he might just do that. The Cyberleader stands up and, for a laugh, Lindell forces it to walk repeatedly into a wall. Rose announces that this is sick and Lindell has the Cyberleader parrot her words back at her until she storms off.
Benjamin arrives to find the Doctor and Rose arguing that they should leave. Benjamin reveals the stooges have locked them out of the control room. The Doctor goes to confront Lindell but is taken aback to see the Cyberleader reveal the dirty secrets of the others – Zelora’s a drug addict, Phruga is a smuggler, Nestor and Dallin are cheats and Valron was Lindell’s unfaithful ex-husband. Since all this is being recorded (so Lindell claims) they must now obey him without question if they want this sequence to be edited out of the finished program. The Doctor insists that this humiliation is not worth it, Benjamin wonders if it is his imagination, or has the massive heartbeat of Epsilon Mondas started to speed up? The Doctor listens and realizes the massive refrigeration systems have been thrown into reverse and now the billions of Cybermen are being revived. Either the someone has unwittingly revealed the solution, or deliberately done so, or maybe the Planner pieced it together by listening to their conversations. Either way, they have less than an hour before the Cybermen leave for the surface.
Running up to the flight deck, the Doctor tries to warn Lindell and the others, but they ignore his warnings. All bar Zelora who thinks he might be right. Amused, Lindell contacts Hish – who has just finish trapping the techs in a cupboard – and confirms all the Cybermen are still dormant. He turns to Zelora and orders her to justify her acting talent to the Cyberleader, assuming she can. The Doctor interrupts, insisting that they are fiddling while Rome burns and he’s tempted to leave Lindell with his sadistic behavior.
Zelora agrees with the Doctor that this is sickening. The Cyberman was once a living, breathing person and demands more respect than being mocked. Lindell jeers anyone stupid enough to let the Cybermen turn them into one of his own doesn’t deserve self-respect. Zelora breaks down in tears and begs the Cyberleader to forgive them and Lindell laughs – she’s cracking under the strain of going cold turky from exobriddian addiction. Rose tries to comfort Zelora who sobs and begs for the Cyberleader to understand she is sorry this happened to him.
They are all taken aback when the Cyberleader swivels its head to face her and announces it considers all such moral discussion irrelevant. They are on the planet of the Cybermen. They belong to the Cybermen. They will be like the Cybermen. Immediately all the airlocks open and the engines power down.
The Doctor realizes the Cyberleader has revived and hacked into the flight computer by the connection Lindell made. He snatches up Lindell’s blaster and empties it into the console and all bar Benjamin and Rose try to stop him, knowing that if they damage the ship they’ll be marooned on Epsilon Mondas forever. The control panel explodes, the Cyberleader screams and collapses to the floor. As the smoke clears and Lindell snatches up his weapon, Rose is the first one to notice the rapid heartbeat outside has stopped completely.
Back in the tombs, Doran is collecting his fake helmet when he notices the nearby hatch for the Cyberlieutenant is open, revealing the dormant Cyberman inside. Puzzled, Doran examines the Cyberman, wondering why the hatch has opened. Suddenly the Cyberlieutenant grabs his arm, alive once again. Doran breaks free – and his wrist – as more hatches open. More Cybermen are climbing out of their tombs, fully revived out of every visible hatch. Doran turns and runs for the control room and warns Hish. Hish doesn’t believe him and strides out of the control room to see the advancing Cybermen, who open fire on him. Hish legs it and Doran realizes the Cybermen are outside the control room – he’s trapped!
The Doctor, disgusted by Lindell and now with evidence the Cybermen are waking up, prepares to leave. He wants Rose and Benjamin to head for the TARDIS while he sends out the emergency signal to Earth. It won’t be long before the Cybermen are completely revived and reach the surface. Lindell holds the Doctor at gun point, refusing to let him leave without repairing the damage to flight computer, which Phruga insists is beyond repair. The others are sick and tired of Lindell and are prepared to go home with the Doctor. They leave the flight deck
Doran puts on his helmet and pretends to be a Cyberman as the genuine articles enter the control room and approach him. The Cybermen’s infrared reveals Doran’s human status and they fire their head blasters at him. Doran collapses in a heap and is dragged away. The Cyberlieutenant orders the others to follow the remaining human, while it explores the control room. It quickly finds the closet where the techs are stuck, tied hand and foot. They are unable to scream as the Cyberlieutenant looms over them...
As they head for the air lock and out into the night, the Doctor and Rose are arguing, suggesting they use the TARDIS to head for the control room rather than risking his life. At that moment, Hish bursts out of the blockhouse and runs across the field towards them, screaming that the Cybermen have come to life and are coming for them. Lindell mocks Hish’s ‘bad acting’ before a Cyberman emerges from the blockhouse. Toleko wonders if it’s Doran still dressed up when another Cyberman appears, and another. And another.
The Doctor decides to sprint for the TARDIS when two more Cybermen emerge from the gloom, blocking their path. The group scramble back inside the ship but before Hish can follow, the Cybermen fire a volley of laser blasts at him and he falls. Given up for dead, Phruga closes the airlock, sealing them inside. However, Hish was just faking in the hope the Cybermen would leave him alone. Instead they scoop him up and carry him away as the increasing hoardes of the Cybermen close in on the ship. Inside the humans see Hish’s fate but Lindell insists they must stay inside or else suffer the same fate. The Doctor agrees, but knows that it won’t be long before the Cybermen break inside – and unless the technicians have been extremely lucky than they too have been captured.
Back in the tombs, the Cyber-Deputy monitors the conversion booths. Doran and the two techs are nearly finished Cybermen as Hish is flung, screaming, into the booth. The clamps activate and soon her screams are muffled and then silenced. The other Cybermen return to the surface.
Valron suggests they wait until daybreak and have a better chance of avoiding the Cybermen, since the pitch blackness outside means they won’t be able to see (while the Cybermen will use infrared to track them down). The Doctor points out that more Cybermen are arriving every moment. By dawn thousands will be out there. Outside another dozen Cybermen march silently out into the cold night.
The Cybermen are coming from the blockhouse and are presumably all the active ones on the surface. The group realize if someone can get down to the control centre and send off the signal, it will release the escape capsule and allow that person to flee Epsilon Mondas before the Cybermen catch up. The distraction will also give the others a chance to flee to the TARDIS. Nestor, being the fittest and strongest, has the best chance. Rose suggests the open the main airlock and cause a distraction which the Cybermen will focus on. Then Nestor can sneak out the secondary air lock, past the Cybermen and into the blockhouse.
Outside, the advancing Cybermen stop dead as the hatchway opens and the Doctor jumps out, waves, recites some Shakespeare and re enters. The Cybermen advance once more as the Doctor does this again, this time with Toleko. The Cybermen close in and Toleko is not quick enough. She is grabbed and blasted before the Doctor can save her. The Cybermen reach the airlock and stop the doors closing with their bare hands. As the other Cybermen add their strength, Benjamin gives Nestor the thumbs up.
Nestor heads out the port airlock into the night. Moments later there is a scream. The others head for the door. A single Cyberman was waiting for them and Nestor’s lifeless body lies sprawled on the ground. The Cyberman effortlessly picks up the body, seemingly not to notice the other humans.
The humans retreat from the airlock bar Dallin who, realizing she’s lost her brother, sags with grief in the doorway, turning her back to avoid the sight. Rose warns her to move. Too late! Another two Cybermen hiding outside the airlock advance out of the shadows. She is dragged off screaming into the night. Rose moves to help but the second Cyberman knocks her aside. The Doctor grabs her and pulls her to safety as the two Cybermen hurry off into their night with Dallin wailing insensibly... until she too is silenced.
Benjamin seals the airlocks. Outside, two Cybermen carry a cannon-like sonic lance. They aim the tip against the secondary airlock door and switch on. A small patch of pink light appears on the door, slowly growing to engulf the bulkhead. The Doctor explains the sonic waves are weakening the molecular structure of the hatch. It will take hours to dissolve the bulkhead, but less than one to weaken it to the point the Cybermen can walk through.
Lindell is furious, blaming the Doctor for stranding them and unwittingly mentions the engines are ion drives. Phruga confirms this and the Doctor realizes they have a weapon. Cybermen senses are not immune to ion disruption. Activating the engines would disorientate them – but as Lindell points out, they cannot get the engines to work to that degree now the flight computer is out of commission. It’s only a matter of time until they end up like Dallin and Nestor, who are even now being loaded into conversion units.
The Doctor’s plan is this – they will overload the engines, causing an ionization explosion which will temporarily disorientate the Cybermen. They will use this moment to flee back to the TARDIS. Lindell is against it, insisting this sabotage will ruin the engines of the ship and maroon them on this planet forever. Rose insists the TARDIS can get them out but Lindell doesn’t believe it. Phruga finally overruled him and programs in the controls to overload. The group hurry down to the airlock. The secondary one glows bright pink as the lance eats into the bulkhead.
The Doctor hurries to the flight deck with Phruga, avoiding the body of the Cyberleader and begin adjusting controls. More Cybermen are striding across the moors towards them, having reached the surface from other blockhouses. Trying not to let it bother him, Phruga helps wire up the lever and they hurry back down. In a few moments the engines will detonate. However, nothing happens as the pink bulkhead starts to turn white as the molecules weaken even further...
Suddenly, there is a brilliant, flickering flashing light and a hideous crackling noise as the engines blow. The Cybermen jerk and spasm, staggering around, dazed. The Doctor opens the main air lock and he, Rose, Benjamin, Valron and Phruga run out into the milling Cybermen. One blinded Cyberman drunkenly staggers into the airlock and Lindell immediately abandons his attempts to escape. Zelora cannot get past the Cyberman and so is trapped in the ship as well.
The Doctor reaches the TARDIS and unlocks it. A Cyberman near the door, less effected by the ionization fires an energy blast that floors Phruga. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to hold the creature back as Benjamin enters the TARDIS. The ionization ends and another Cyberman grabs Valron as she bends to help Phruga. The Doctor and Rose flee inside the TARDIS and slam the door shut. On the scanner, Valron and Phruga are dragged away. There’s nothing that can be done. The Doctor activates the TARDIS. The crowd of Cybermen watch silently as the police box fades away... reappearing in the control room. Outside, the techs and Hish now emerge from conversion units – total Cybermen. Toleko, Nestor and Dallin are in units, undergoing conversion. The Cybermen finish installing Phruga and Valron, beginning the process.
Lindell and Zelora retreat inside the ship, followed by the blinded Cyberman. They manage to trap it in the main airlock just as the others burst through the secondary airlock. They flee for the flight deck, but Zelora falls behind. As the Cybermen follow up the stairs, Lindell returns and... throws her into the Cybermen. There is a brief pause of surprise from everyone at this cowardly action, but the delay allows Lindell to dive into the flick deck and seal the door. The terrified Zelora is passed down the line of Cybermen who advance on the door and begin to break it down.
Rose peers out the door and sees the others’ fate. The Doctor sabotages the escape capsule and sends the signal. A Cyberman enters the chamber but Benjamin distracts them long enough to escape into the TARDIS. They take off.
Inside, Lindell tries desperately to repair the sabotage, gives up and crosses to the communicator. Before he can try, the Cyberleader emerges from the shadows and advances on Lindell. At the last moment, Lindell realizes what has is behind him, turns around and screams. He backs away from the Cyberleader and the door bursts open and Lindell is caught in a wave. The Cyberleader repeats – resistance is useless.
Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor tries to cheer them up. They made it out alive and warned Earth. The Cybermen are trapped on Epsilon Mondas and Humanity is aware of the threat. Lives have been lost, but at least some good will come of it. Promising to visit the 32nd century later to see how things develop, the Doctor steers the TARDIS away.
In the tombs, the Cyberleader and the Cyberlieutenant discuss. The Controller is heading for their location and will arrive soon. As instructed, the communications network was sabotaged – the aerial the Cybermen shot to pieces – and so the message was never sent. Repairs are being conducted on the ship but no success as yet. The Cyberleader is now repaired and plans to use the damaged escape capsule as bait for passing space travellers, who will then be converted and their ships stolen. The Cyber Race will continue. They will survive.
They turn and move off, leaving the row of conversion units. Six are occupied – five are nearly complete Cyberman, the other one is Lindell who stares blankly ahead, mouthing that he will not be forgotten. His work will be remembered. He will survive. They will survive. His voice becomes a Cybernized monotone as a face plate is finally lowered over his features. They will survive.
The Doctor.... DAVID TENANT
Rose Tyler.... BILLIE PIPER
Benjamin Chatham....ADAM RICKETT
Lindell.... STUART MILLIGAN
Valron.... SEAN GALLAGHER
Zelora.... MICHELLE DUNCAN
Phruga.... IAN HANMORE
Toleko.... MONA HAMMOND
Nestor.... JAMIE FORMAN
Dallin.... ANITA BRIEM
Cybermen Voices....NICHOLAS BRIGGS