Doctor Who Logo 'The Satan Pit'
(Story Code 2.9)

by Matt Jones
The Doctor and Rose

“The pit is open… and I am free!” – The Beast

As the Ood close in, Jefferson and the security guard open fire, sending the advancing aliens crashing lifeless to the floor. A terrified Danny rejoins Rose, Toby and the others as more Ood arrive and kill the guard with a blast from a translator device; Jefferson holds the creature off while the door is secured. In the control room, Captain Flane discovers that the planet’s orbit has restabilised; but his joy is short-lived, as Ood appear at each entrance and attempt to gain entry. Sealing himself in, Flane orders Jefferson, Toby, Danny and Rose to withdraw, while he begins Strategy 9: sealing the station personnel in secure areas, and then opening the base’s airlocks so that the Ood are flushed out into space. When the Doctor tells Rose over the intercom that the seal has opened, his companion recalls the Ood’s prediction of the release of the Beast – could this refer to Satan? The Doctor surprises himself by not succumbing to curiosity, taking the option to avoid investigating the pit. Jefferson is all for shooting Toby, but Rose manages to convince him that the archaeologist is now free from the Beat’s influence; Toby himself is horrified that the Devil was inside him. Flane prepares to commence Strategy 9, but the power is cut; speaking through the Ood, the Beast declares that it is in control. Using the radio system, the Doctor challenges the Beast, asking which devil it is; the creature counters by declaring that it knows of him as “the killer of his own kind”. The Beast reveals that it was defeated by the “Disciples of Light”, who imprisoned it in the pit at a time before this universe began – a concept that the Doctor is unable to believe. When the Beast taunts each of the survivors with their inner doubts and fears, the Doctor attempts to reassure them; but he is interrupted when the capsule cable snaps, and he and Ida only just manage to clear the pod before it is smashed to bits by the falling steel line. It seems that the Doctor and Ida are now stuck in the pit, with only fifty-five minutes of air remaining, and no hope of rescue… The Ood begin using cutting tools to break into the control room and shaft rooms. With contact lost with the Doctor, Rose bravely spurs everyone on; Flane works out that they can re-route the rocket’s independent power supply to allow them to escape. Ida decides to use the broken cable to abseil into the pit, but the Doctor insists that he be the one to go down there. Danny creates a computer programme capable of using the base’s monitors to broadcast a signal flare that will cause the Oods’ brains to disrupt; the best place to activate this is in the Oods’ habitation room, so Danny, Rose, Toby and Jefferson head into the ventilation shaft while Flane vents oxygen to them along the way. When the Ood follow them into the shaft, Jefferson holds back in order to give the others time to escape; however, his exit is cut off by a security door, and as the Ood close in on him, he asks the Captain to vent the air and suffocate him before the aliens can reach him. Rose, Danny and Toby reach another blast door, only to find that the Ood are lying in wait behind it; as Danny and Rose scrabble up a ladder, Toby reveals to the Ood that he is still possessed by the Beast; he then follows after his unsuspecting comrades… The Ood succeed in breaking into the control room, but as they advance on the Captain, Danny activates the programme, transmitting a brainstorming signal that sends the Ood falling in agony to the floor. The Doctor descends into the black depths of the pit, pondering the nature of the universal legends of the devil, and hypothesising that they may all stem from the Beast that lies below; after running out of cable, and with no way of knowing how far he still has to go, the Doctor decides on an act of faith, and, against Ida’s protests, he releases his harness and plummets into the void… Rose makes radio contact with Ida, only to be hit by the news of her friend’s apparent death. She, Danny and Toby are joined by Flane, who gives the order to abandon the mission and leave in the rocket; when Rose refuses to leave, choosing instead to wait for the Doctor, Flane drugs her and carries her to the rocket; along the way they have to avoid the Ood, whose telepathic field is now reasserting itself. Coming to on a ledge, the Doctor realises that his ability to breathe indicates that his fall was stopped by an air cushion. Rose wakes up to find herself strapped into a seat on the rocket, as it takes off and heads away from the Black Hole; she tries to use a bolt gun to force the Captain to return, but he merely points out the futility of such an action. The Doctor discovers a series of pictograms painted on the rock walls that depict the battle against the Beast; these include images of two jars – the same two jars that are standing on pedestals right next to him. As the Doctor touches one of the containers, a gigantic horned creature appears before him, bellowing in ferocious rage as it strains against the chains that bind it to the rock wall. Back in the rocket, Toby is ecstatic to hear that their passage down the gravity funnel will allow him to escape the pull of the Black Hole – they are now on course for Earth. The Doctor attempts to communicate with the Beast, only to find that it is a mindless creature; he surmises that the monster’s mind must be elsewhere – it is still in Toby. The Doctor deduces that the Beast’s jailors had a plan: if the seal was opened, the gravity field would drop, sending the evil creature and the planet plummeting into the Black Hole; however, if the creature’s mind was freed, then collapsing the gravity funnel would cut off its escape route – therefore, to destroy the creature, the Doctor must sacrifice Rose. On the ship, Rose realises that their escape was too easy; they were allowed to escape. Toby once more manifests the symbols of the Beast, his voice triumphantly gloating of his escape. Back in the pit, the Doctor is torn over his decision – until his trust in Rose leads him to a single choice: he destroys the vases, cancelling the gravity funnel and causing both the planet and the rocket to be dragged back into the Black Hole. As Toby / the Beast continues to revel in his freedom Rose seizes the bolt gun and shoots out the ship’s main window; she then hits the release button on Toby’s seatbelt, causing him to be sucked out into space and into the hungry maw of the Black Hole. The Captain activates the emergency shields, but gesture is a futile one – the ship is still being drawn into the mouth of the hole… In the pit, flames consume the gigantic demon; the Doctor runs for his life, and suddenly finds himself faced with the reassuring sight of the TARDIS. Rose, Flane and Danny prepare for death… just as the ship inexplicably turns around and heads away from the Black Hole; then the Doctor’s voice comes over the radio: having collected Ida he is now using the TARDIS to tow the rocket to safety. Having allowed Ida to rejoin Flane and Danny as they make the return voyage to Earth, the Doctor and Rose bid goodbye to the survivors of Sanctuary Base 6 and set off to continue their journeys through space and time…

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), 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

10th June 2006 @ 7.00 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Rose

*Part 2 of a 2-part story

*The 'Torchwood' Files: the crew of Sanctuary Base represent the Torchwood Archive

*TARDISODE: On Sanctuary base, crewman Curt goes through the possessions of the deceased Captain Walker, and learns that something called the Beast is coming… [Cast: Kenon Mann (Curt), Alys Thomas (Chenna)]