Doctor Who Logo 'The Impossible Planet'
(Story Code 2.8)

by Matt Jones
The Doctor and Rose

"The Beast and his armies shall rise from the pit to make war with God..." - The Ood

The TARDIS experiences a strained landing, materialising inside a small storeroom on a mining base. Exploring their surroundings, the Doctor and Rose discover the words “Welcome to Hell” painted on a wall, together with some alien symbols that the TARDIS is unable to decipher for them; from this the Doctor surmises that they have arrived far into the future, beyond the reach of the ship, but his musings are interrupted by the arrival of several squid-faced aliens, each dressed in identical coveralls, who advance menacingly on him and Rose chanting “we must feed”… However, the creatures’ translator units then correct themselves, as the aliens enquire if the time travellers want refreshments. Momentarily thrown, the Doctor and Rose then encounter a party of crewmen, who are astonished to find new arrivals on their base. When an alarm sounds, warning of an imminent collision, the Doctor and Rose are quickly ushered to the main control room, where they are introduced to the rest of the crew of ‘Sanctuary Base’. As the base is rocked from the attack, acting captain Zac Flane orders the crew to strap themselves in; then something massive impacts with the station, causing an earthquake that results in the loss of several storage areas. As the incident subsides, the Doctor asks where he and Rose have arrived; Science Officer Ida Scott responds by opening the protective screen above the control room, revealing a massive, ravenous black hole overhead. To the Doctor’s astonishment, he learns that he and his companion are in deep space around the black hole K37J5, on a planet colloquially known as Croctor – translated as “The Bitter Pill” – a world impossibly locked in geo-stationary orbit around a black hole. All around them are the remains of planets and solar systems, each breaking apart and impacting with the planet as it is inexorably drawn into the maw of one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It seems that something on Croctor is generating a colossally powerful gravity field that counters the pull of the black hole; it also generates a gravity funnel, which the survey team used to fly down. After the ship crashed, killing the captain, the survivors, now led by Flane, are drilling down through the planet’s mantle in order to discover the source of the power, which they hope will help humanity. In the process they found evidence of an ancient civilisation, including symbols similar to those copied onto the wall, which archaeologist Toby Zed is attempting to decipher. While Rose talks to one of the Ood, becoming uncomfortable that mankind is using a slave race that only lives to serve, the Doctor voices his excitement at being a part of such an amazing situation and his awe of humanity’s bravery. However, he then realises that the TARDIS was in the storage area that was lost in the earthquake: his ship has fallen into the very heart of the planet – marooning him and Rose. The crew continue with their duties: Danny supervises the Ood; Mr Jefferson oversees security; while Toby works on translating the symbols – and hears a mysterious voice calling out his name, even though no one is there… Rose talks to the Ood dispensing dinner, and is surprised to hear its malfunctioning translator talk of a beast rising from a pit; Flane catches a glimpse of a demonic face in his holoscreen; while Danny hears the station computer state the words “he is awake”. After Toby hears the voice again, the symbols vanish from the stone fragments he is examining and transfer to his skin; with his body covered in tattooed symbols, Toby passes out. The Doctor and Rose ponder life without travelling in time and space, contemplating the prospect of settling down somewhere and finding mortgages – either separately, or perhaps together. Then Rose’s mobile phone rings, and she hears a terrible voice declare “he is awake”. Intrigued, the two of them seek out Danny to question him about the Ood; Danny attributes the voice on the telephone to stray signals caused by the destruction around the black hole, remarking that the Ood are a herd race with only a telepathic field of Basic 5; however, the Doctor points out that the computer monitoring the aliens is now registering Basic 30, indicating that something is screaming in the Oods’ minds. As one, the Ood turn and announce that “he is awake”… Meanwhile, Scooti goes looking for Toby, only to find that he has walked out an airlock without a protective suit; however, instead of decompressing in the vacuum, Toby is still alive – now covered in symbols, his eyes glowing red. As Scooti looks on, Toby causes a window to shatter, sucking her out onto the surface of the planet. The base is rocked by the breach; as everyone makes for safety, the station’s systems seal the breach. Everyone seems to be safe – including a restored Toby – but when the Doctor and his associates follow the signal transmitting from Scooti’s implant, they find her lifeless form floating outside the dome, drifting slowly towards the mouth of the black hole. At that moment the drilling stops: they have reached Point Zero. The Doctor volunteers to join Ida on an exploratory mission; after donning a protective suit and bidding goodbye to Rose, he and Ida enter the capsule and head down the mine shaft, eventually arriving in a massive cavern. Here they find an ancient stone temple, containing a massive, circular seal covered in alien letters, set into the ground. Back in the base, the Oods’ telepathic level has reached 100, which should indicate brain death. Toby begins translating the symbols as the words of ‘the Beast’; as he turns to Rose and the others, they see that his entire body has become covered in alien symbols, his eyes glowing a terrifying red. Jefferson aims his weapon in warning, but Toby merely taunts him, before the symbols float wraith-like off his skin and merge with the Ood. Their eyes glowing red, the Ood speak as one, announcing themselves to be “the Legion of the Beast” – a demonic creature of mythology that is now rising from the depths of the planet. One of the Ood steps forward and kills a crewmember with a blast from its translator globe; as the creatures advance on them murderously Rose, Jefferson, Danny and the others make a hasty retreat, only to find the doors have been sealed by the station computer. In the cavern, the seal slowly grinds open. Then the base shakes as the gravity field suddenly drops – the planet is losing orbit and falling into the black hole. Looking into the pit, the Doctor and Ida hear a terrible voice boom out from below, as the thing below them announces that it is free at last…

David Tennant (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Danny Webb (Mr John Maynard Jefferson), Shaun Parkes (Zachary Cross Flane), Will Thorp (Tobias 'Toby' Zed), Claire Rushbrook (Ida Scott), Ronny Jhutti (Daniel 'Danny' Bartock), MyAnna Buring (Scooti Manista), Paul Kasey (The Ood), Gabriel Wolf (Voice of the Beast), Silas Carson (Voice of the Ood)

Directed by James Strong
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

3rd June 2006 @ 7.00 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Rose

*Part 1 of a 2-part story

*Music: 'Boléro' composed by Maurice Ravel