Hampton, Yorkshire… 1908
The episode began with a group of miners going down into the mines for another hard shift at work. They were explaining how hard done by they were by their boss Mr Donaldson and were stating that some of their friends had met with accidents in recent months, especially since Donaldson had opened up a new seam and closed the old one off. As they were approaching the coal face, the miners heard a faint call for help coming from a tunnel that led to the old coal seam. As they moved closer, they saw one of their old friends with a strange green luminescent mist wisping around him as he turned a corner at the far end of the tunnel. Concerned, the miners went forward to investigate and found their old friend (who had been reported killed in a mining accident about a month ago) stood still with his hands stretched by his sides and his head down. He didn’t respond to the miners attempts to communicate with him but instead started to eminate more of the green mist. Slowly, the dead miner turned to reveal his glowing green eyes and screamed at the terrified bunch of men; finally emmiting a skeletal ghost covered in green mist. Stood still and terrified the miners looked onwards as the ghostly figure shot towards them…
Cue Theme Music
The Doctor continued his journey with the peculiar robotic life form known as The Artificer or Arty for short. In addition, he had also picked up a new companion, a young geeky looking boy with an amazing knack for empathy. His name was Terrence Phillips or Terry for short. The Doctor explained of the exciting places he would take them on their adventures and landed the TARDIS. After a small amount of banter, the group decided to find out where they were.
The group found themselves on a village green in a picturesque Yorkshire Village. The Doctor excitedly hurried off to mingle with the locals, Arty engaged his camoflague unit so that he looked like a working class woman of the period and hurried after him. Terry stared in disbelief that he was in a really boring place! It wasn’t long before the group managed to talk to the locals including a post office worker, a pub owner and a local Police Officer who was scratching his head at the sudden appearence of a Police Public Call Box on the middle of the village green! The locals all expressed their distrust of the group, believing they were sent by Mr Donaldson. It was during these conversations that an old mining cart came careering down the hill with an unconscious miner on board and was heading straight towards a small boy in the middle of the road. Leaping into action, the Doctor called for Terry to save the young boy whilst he and Arty stooped the horse. The excitement of it all caught Terry flat footed and he didn’t manage to save the young boy but all was not lost as Arty and the Doctor managed to grab onto the cart and pull it away, ending up back on the village green and thrown off the cart onto the floor as it came to a stop. The group helped bring the unconscious miner to his local house.
When the group return to the miners home, he recovered and explained his encounter with the ghosts in the mine that started attacking and possessing his friends. The community began to call for strikes and the group decided to pay a visit to Mr Donaldson the leader of the pit.
The Doctor and his companions enter the compound of the pit where they find Donaldson in an unusually middle class home. After passing themselves off as inspectors, the group questioned Donaldson about the unusual encounters. Donaldson gave little away but professed innocence and stated that they were more than welcome to go down the pit and see for themselves.
The Doctor agreed but whilst being lowered down the shaft, the cage / basket stopped and they could see faint wisps of green mist at the top of the shaft. Then the thick ropes that held the cage began to be cut through. Just before the cage plummeted to the bottom of the shaft, the group managed to find a tunnel into which they jumped. Unfortunately, this left them in the eerie mine alone and with no source of light.
Hampton Mine Shaft
The group explored the mine and found a bloody skeleton with exploded body parts around it. The body had a strong presence of Hydrogen. At that point the companions heard a faint call for help and upon investigating, found the stationary form of a miner with his hands outstreatched to the side, his back to them. He emitted the green mist and the ghosts came after them, attempting to possess them. Luckily after a brief struggle the group managed to find a strange pipe on the shafts ceiling that was pumping water into the mine. Using this pipe they managed to fend off the ghosts for a while but eventually, the sheer number of their attackers that continued to appear caused the group to retreat back down the tunnel. Making twists and turns down the old shafts, the team eventually came into a long tunnel that led to a strange metal airlock to which the group narrowly avoided capture and managed to seal themselves within.
Finding themselves in this strange airlock, the group soon discovered that they were in an ancient spaceship filled with dust. Whilst examining their surroundings they discovered that the ghosts could obviously control the ships systems and came over the intercom demanding the Doctor and his companions surrender. They then began pumping Hydrogen into the area. Trying to find a way out, the group discovered a couple of clues including a mummified alien body in a space suit which contained an old celluloid note entitled “The Doctor” and a series of numbers, and also a ships log that noted the ghosts as the Plactoras. The Plactoras were described as a viral life form that possessed beings and scoured the galaxy. They were hunted to almost extinction until presumably they crashed on Earth.
As the Hydrogen levels rose, the group deduced that the string of numbers were for a teleport base code and found a Transmat terminal which they used to escape after rigging the ships engines to self destruct.
The Doctor and his companions found themselves in a water house based on a river just outside Hampton that contained a large hydroelectric generator and had various pipes that carried both current and water (in seperate pipes of course) underground. This was in no doubt beyond early 20th Century design. The Doctor reasoned that these were the pipes they used to help hold off the attacking Plactoras. The group began making their way back to Hampton.
When they got back to the village, the group immediately went up the hill to confront Mr Donaldson about what they had found. Donaldson and his servant made no attempt to hide their involvement with alien beings and held the group at gunpoint demanding that they surrender. The Doctor was defiant and Arty decided to drop his camoflague suit which shocked the two men into firing upon the robot, badly disabling it. with further violence deterred by the Doctors surrender, Donaldson decided to take the group to the Hydrogen Chamber and leave the destroyed robot on his study floor. Without further delay, he revealed another transmat terminal in his study and the group departed.
The Doctor and Terry found themselves in an underground chamber with a big glass domed device in the centre. The various pipes from the water house led to the device and carbon rods were lowered into water bowsers. Donaldson revealed that the Plactoras were hydrogen based life forms and multiplied in the hosts bodies, bursting forth when they had replicated enough. Although they could possess individuals at will, to reproduce they needed strong levels of Hydrogen present. For this they used the Chamber that used electrolosis of the water to break it up into its components and thus pump Hydrogen into the chamber.
As the Doctor was placed into the chamber at gunpoint by Donaldson, Arty’s voice came over the communications array. Luckily he had not died and when Donaldson left him for dead, he had gone over to the Transmat terminal and teleported back to the Ssazik ship, then re-engaging the engines to self destruct. Despite warnings, the Plactoras did not surrender and Arty was forced to detonate the engines, causing panic amongst the green misted ghosts. In the confusion, Terry and the Doctor managed to escape before the shaft was destroyed and Donaldson was burried amongst his dreams of power with the Plactoras.
The group returned to the TARDIS on the village green and said their goodbyes to the village folk including the confused Police Officer. Just before they left, three remaining plactoras emerged and denounced the Doctors actions, telling him that because of what the group did, they had committed genocide and there was no longer reason for the Plactoras to continue on as he had sealed their fate. With that they screamed and disipated into thin air, presumably demised.
Slowly the Doctor, Terry and the Artificer once again entered the TARDIS.