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Script for Ultraworld by Trevor Hoyle

(c)1980 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a complete dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1994 by Ruth Hanson and Micky DuPree.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon Cally Dayna Mellanby Del Tarrant Vila Restal Zen Orac Ultra 1 Ultra 2 Ultra 3 Relf


[EXTERIOR. Multiple views of a star field]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. A strong signal is visible on the detector screen accompanied by regular audio signal.]

AVON (standing at flight position) What do you make of it? Pulsar?

CALLY (at weapons position) The sequence is regular enough, but no, I don't think so.

AVON (moves next to Tarrant at main pilot's console) Anything on the star charts?

TARRANT Not within this quadrant. Nothing listed, not even a Federation beacon.

AVON It couldn't be that?

TARRANT Why not?

AVON This has never been a transit lane for Federation ships. It's unlikely to be one now, wouldn't you say.

TARRANT At the rate Servalan's empire is expanding, anything's possible.

AVON (moves down to stand in front of Zen) Zen, are we within visual scanner range?

ZEN Negative.

VILA (seated in central area with Orac, laughs)

AVON We're not disturbing you, I hope.

VILA What? No, not at all. Carry on. I'm just teaching Orac some new tricks.

AVON Vila is teaching Orac? No, it doesn't make sense.

DAYNA (at communications position) Avon, it could be a false echo on the medium range detectors.

AVON Yes, it could be. Zen, supply all available data on object bearing zero one, intersect five seven. Cally, what's the distance?

CALLY Three million spacials.

AVON Well Zen, we're waiting.

ZEN Preliminary scan registers nil reading.

TARRANT Nothing at all?

ZEN That is correct.

DAYNA What about its electromagnetic spectrum?

ZEN The object has no electromagnetic spectrum.

TARRANT But it must have.

AVON Zen, are we within visual scanner range now?

ZEN Affirmative.

AVON All right, let's see what this mysterious lump of nothing looks like.

[Main view screen display activates. It shows a large, silver globe rotating slowly.]

TARRANT What the hell is that?

DAYNA Whatever it is, I don't like the look of it.

AVON Question is, does it like the look of us?

TARRANT Don't deny us the benefit of your brilliant insights, Avon.

AVON You don't have to be brilliant, just observant. There's only one thing it can be, an artificial planet.

DAYNA Artificial? You mean man made?

CALLY Or made by an alien life form.

VILA Alien. What? Where? Who's talking about aliens.

DAYNA Go back to your class, teacher.

AVON As Cally says, it seems likely that was constructed by an alien life form which would explain the absence of any electromagnetic spectrum. There must be some kind of surface shielding that blocks radiation leakage. All we've picked up were reflections.

TARRANT But it looks dead. No atmosphere. Nothing could live on that, surely?

AVON (moves to communications position next to Dayna) Not on it, no. But inside it. (manipulates controls on communications console. Speaker emits static.)

DAYNA What are you doing?

AVON Nothing, on all channels. Either it is dead, or there's a total radio blackout. I wonder what they have to hide.

DAYNA I'm not keen on finding out.

TARRANT Well, this time, neither am I.

AVON Don't you find it interesting?

DAYNA You'll be telling us next, we can learn a lot from whoever built it.

AVON Well, we certainly have nothing to teach them, unless it's how to remain ignorant. What do you think, Cally? Shall we stay and observe or shall we scuttle off with our closed minds intact?

CALLY It would be dangerous to go too near.

TARRANT My feelings exactly.

AVON All right. We'll put the Liberator in orbit a thousand spacials out.

DAYNA And just observe?

AVON Is that safe enough for you?

TARRANT All right, I'll set a course to bring her in.

[EXTERIOR. Liberator moving through space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA No, Orac, you don't understand. I say 'Where to space pilots leave their ships?' and you say 'I don't know, where do space pilots leave their ships?'

ORAC And supposing I don't wish to know that?

VILA But you've got to say it or the riddle won't work.

ORAC It is plainly nonsensical.

VILA Of course. That's the whole idea.

ORAC I fail to see why I take part in a meaningless, illogical conversation. It doesn't make sense and is therefore a waste of time. I'm shutting down.

VILA Do it for me this once, Orac, please. Ready? Where do space pilots leave their ships?

ORAC I don't know. Where do space pilots leave their ships?

VILA At parking meteors. (laughs)

AVON He's getting worse.

TARRANT If that's possible. Course laid in.

AVON Zen, confirm acceptance.

ZEN Navigation computers on line. Acceptance confirmed.

AVON All right. It'll be a while before we reach it. In the meantime, I suggest we all get some rest.

TARRANT Why not. (dims lighting on flight deck)

[Dayna, Vila and Avon exit from the flight deck on one side, Tarrant the other. Cally remains behind. She watches the image on the main view screen then brings her clenched fists up to cover her eyes, gradually lowering them once more to stare in fascination at the object.]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator travelling through space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator crew cabin]

VILA (into a recording device) Which lock can't be opened by a key? An airlock. (laughs)

DAYNA (entering cabin) Vila.

VILA Just a minute. Listen to this.

DAYNA Vila, have you seen Ca...?

[Vila replays the recording.]

Tape: Which lock can't be opened by a key. An airlock. (laughter)

VILA Yes, that's funny. Don't you think that's funny?

DAYNA Have you seen Cally?

VILA Everyone's a critic.

DAYNA Have you seen her?

VILA No, why? What's the matter?

DAYNA I'm not sure. Someone's been tampering with the teleport controls.

VILA What do you mean tampering?

DAYNA The coordinates have been realigned.

VILA Well don't look at me.

[Communicator chimes]

AVON (v.o.) Vila, come to the flight deck. Right now, Vila.

[Dayna and Vila exit cabin.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Avon and Tarrant are present.]

TARRANT Are you sure? I didn't hear it.

AVON Wait a minute. Let me get a fix on the signal.

TARRANT From the planet?

AVON Somebody's trying to contact us. Listen.

CALLY (v.o. faintly) Liberator...

VILA (entering flight deck) Where's the fire?

[Dayna follows him in.]

CALLY (v.o. faintly) Calling Liberator.

AVON Be quiet, Vila.

CALLY (v.o. signal is distorted and weak) I don't know where I am.

VILA That's Cally's voice.

AVON Cally, this is Liberator. Where are you? State your precise location.

CALLY (v.o. still faint) Help me, please. I don't know where I am.

AVON Cally, where are you? We need your location.

CALLY (v.o.) I don't know. I don't know where I am.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld Control Room. A recording device rotates. Teleport bracelet is on top of the device]

CALLY (recording of her voice) Help me. Help me. Help me.

[A hand turns off the device and picks up the teleport bracelet.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Open communications channel emits static.]

AVON It's no good, we've lost it.

TARRANT I don't understand. How did she get down there?

AVON She must have used Orac.

TARRANT That's not what I meant.

VILA You'd better tell them, Dayna.

AVON Tell us what?

DAYNA The teleport coordinates have been altered to a new alignment.

AVON So that's how.

TARRANT How, but not why. What's the reason? Why suddenly decide to teleport down to a strange planet?

VILA Day trip?

AVON When the planet was on the screen, did anyone notice Cally's reaction?

VILA I didn't.

AVON You were too busy teaching Orac nursery rhymes.

VILA Riddles.

TARRANT Look, this isn't going to get her back. Let's get moving.

AVON I wouldn't advise it.

TARRANT Oh, and what would you advise? That we sit around exchanging speculations? You heard the transmissions. Cally's in trouble. She needs help. In my book you don't ignore a call from a fellow crew member.

AVON Meaning?

TARRANT Meaning I'm going down. Look, if we use the same coordinates we should find ourselves...

AVON ...in the same trouble that Cally's in.

TARRANT We'll see.

AVON Wait. That's an artificial planet out there, probably constructed by aliens, certainly unknown and possibly beyond our comprehension. And you are planning to go charging in without knowing what it is like or what to expect.

VILA You've convinced me.

DAYNA Which is a pretty strong argument for not waiting a second longer. We can't plan for something of which we've no earthly knowledge.

AVON Maybe you're right. Let's go.

TARRANT Touch of conscience?

AVON More like insanity. You really believe in taking risks, don't you?

TARRANT Calculated ones.

AVON Calculated on what? Your fingers? (exits flight deck)

TARRANT Looks like you've been elected to mind the ship, Vila.

VILA Oh really, what a shame. Never mind.

DAYNA I'll stay behind instead if you like.

VILA No, no, no. I wouldn't want to deprive you. I can see you're 'raring to go.

DAYNA You sure you won't be lonely?

VILA I've got Orac for company.

DAYNA Oh, I hope the two of you will be very happy.

[Vila exits]

TARRANT I still can't see why she would want to go down. It doesn't make sense.

DAYNA Does what we're doing?

[EXTERIOR. Ultraworld]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Avon, Tarrant and Dayna teleport in.]

AVON Let's go.

[Avon leads them down a corridor, running. They descend a staircase and run along a second corridor. Avon stops to study a drawing attached to the wall of the corridor.]

DAYNA What is it?

AVON Look. (indicates diagram)

TARRANT A circuit diagram?

AVON Of a computer.

DAYNA What's it doing here?

AVON It's a map.

DAYNA A map?

AVON Of this. We are inside a computer.

[They continue down the corridor at a walk. A bright light is emitted from a room as they pass the doorway. Tarrant stops and looks in.]

TARRANT Avon. Dayna.

[Avon and Dayna rejoin Tarrant. They all enter the room. Inside they are met by three aliens.]

ULTRA 3 We are the Ultra.

ULTRA 2 Welcome Avon, Tarrant, Dayna.

ULTRA 1 Welcome to Ultraworld. [ Liberator crew members follow the Ultra farther into the control room. The Ultra seat themselves behind a console.]

TARRANT So you know our names. What about you?

ULTRA 1 We are the Ultra.

TARRANT So you said.

ULTRA 1 Our sole function and purpose is to gather and accumulate information.

DAYNA All this? Just to collect information?

AVON Data processing. Storage and retrieval. Ultraworld is a computer. Possibly the greatest concentration of computer power in the known systems.

ULTRA 3 You speak knowledgeably.

AVON I can recognize germanium circuitry when I see it.

ULTRA 2 Avon, yes of course. The electronics expert who single-handed embezzled five hundred million credits from the Federation Banking Cartel. An audacious theft.

AVON If it had worked.

ULTRA 3 And you, Del Tarrant. Graduate of the Federation Space Academy. Posted as missing along with the Federation pursuit ship which you used to run contraband in the outer planets.

AVON You seem to know everything.

ULTRA 1 That is our mission. To gather and accumulate information on all know worlds and civilization.

[Avon, Tarrant and Dayna holster their weapons and take seats opposite the Ultra.]

ULTRA 1 Our memory banks contain a considerable amount of data about Earth.

[Ultra reaches out and activates a view screen. The screen displays the planet Earth]

ULTRA 2 Third planet of an unremarkable star.

ULTRA 3 Planetary mass is of an order which is common enough.

ULTRA 2 The atmosphere is an unremarkable mix. Principly oxygen and nitrogen. All in all your world is...

DAYNA Unremarkable.

ULTRA 1 Except for the dominant species it gave rise to.

DAYNA Oh, well at least it's got something of interest then.

ULTRA 3 Everything has something of interest.

TARRANT Yes, well. So much about us. What about you? You built all this?

ULTRA 1 Not quite.

DAYNA Then how?

ULTRA 2 It built itself. We are merely the custodians.

ULTRA 1 You were not strictly correct in calling Ultraworld a computer. Ultraworld is much more than that. It possesses consciousness, self-awareness.

DAYNA You mean it's alive?

ULTRA 3 By any meaningful definition of the word, yes.

TARRANT (rises) We're wasting time.

AVON Wait a minute. Germanium circuitry is clever stuff, but to the best of my knowledge it cannot think for itself nor can it reproduce its own structure.

ULTRA 1 You have an astute mind, Avon.

AVON If you say so.

ULTRA 2 There is another process involved. Nucleoplasmic absorption.

TARRANT Oh, well that's a relief. I thought it might be something complicated.

ULTRA 1 The process is extremely complex.

AVON Ignore him. That's what passes for wit on board our ship.

DAYNA Your profile on our species should have included our sense of humor.

TARRANT As you're so wise and all knowing, no doubt you can tell us what's happened to our crew member and where we can find her.

[Ultra reactivates view screen. The image displayed is Cally in a sleep cell. Avon and Dayna rise, all three Liberator crew draw weapons.]

DAYNA What's the matter with her? Is she all right?

ULTRA 1 The female Cally is in a state of natural sleep. She is recovering.

TARRANT From what?

ULTRA 2 She has undergone a severe mental trauma. We have placed her in a sleep cell to facilitate recovery.

DAYNA What caused this trauma?

ULTRA 2 We do not know.

ULTRA 3 Our instruments can detect no physical damage.

TARRANT We want to see her.

ULTRA 3 Of course.

ULTRA 1 A most fascinating type of humanoid species, this girl Cally. One of the few telepaths we have encountered.

AVON Have you encountered many species?

ULTRA 1 Millions.

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA Knock, knock.

ORAC Who's there?

VILA Atch.

ORAC Atch who?

VILA Sorry, I didn't know you had a cold.

ORAC A cold what?

VILA No, not a cold what. Just a cold. You know, cold, chill.

ORAC I am not subject to colds and chills. Some trace deposits on my anodizers perhaps, but I am quite capable of dealing with that myself.

VILA Forget it. Go back to sleep.

ORAC Is this another riddle?

VILA No.

ORAC The idiosyncratic syntax of riddles interests me. They seem to depend for their effect on solecisms and grammatical discrepancies.

VILA Eh?

ORAC Do you have another riddle for me to analyze?

VILA You'd only spoil it.

ORAC I thought you liked riddles.

VILA I do when I'm allowed to tell them properly. All you're interested in is the idiotic tintax or something.

ORAC That's very clever.

VILA What is?

ORAC For idiosyncratic syntax you substituted idiotic tintax. Yes, very good.

VILA Is it?

ORAC Another one, please.

VILA Right. What's the best cure for water on the brain?

ORAC I don't know. What is the best cure for water on the brain?

VILA A tap on the head.

ORAC A tap on the head. Yes, I see. In this instance the word tap has a double meaning, as in to strike something and as a device for controlling the release of fluid from a tank or pipe. The fluid referred to is water, therefore, tap on the head has two ambivalent meanings, one pertaining to the striking of the cranium...

[Vila grabs his head in frustration.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon, Dayna and Tarrant look at Cally, still apparently asleep.]

DAYNA Well, she looks all right. She's breathing normally. Perhaps the Ultras were telling us the truth.

TARRANT I don't know. Avon?

AVON They've presented no threat so far.

TARRANT Maybe they're biding their time.

AVON What for? They could take us out quite easily with their technology.

TARRANT Damn their technology. Is that all you care about? What about Cally? How did she come to be here? Why are they holding her?

AVON According to the Ultra, Cally is suffering from some kind of mental disturbance. They put her in here for her own good.

TARRANT But for how long?

AVON Presumably until she recovers.

TARRANT And you're willing to take it all on trust?

AVON I don't take anything on trust. But it would be the height of stupidity to interfere and thus endanger Cally's life if that's what you were thinking of. We seem to have no choice but to accept the Ultra's word for it and also to accept that their sole function is to gather information.

TARRANT And because they said it we're supposed to believe them.

AVON What else are we to believe? I told you they could take us out like that. (snaps fingers) Why should they bother to lie?

[Tarrant exits]

DAYNA What was that about nucleoplasmic absorption? I didn't understand.

AVON Neither did I. It's outside my field. Something to do with cellular regeneration, I think.

DAYNA Well then maybe Ultraworld is a living organism.

AVON Maybe. We'd better contact Vila, make sure he's awake. (into bracelet communicator) Vila. Do you read?

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA Knock. Knock. Who's there? The invisible man. Tell him I can't see him. (laughs)

AVON (v.o.) Vila. Where are you, Vila?

VILA Yes, all right. I'm here. What is it?

AVON (v.o.) I told you to stand by. Not lie down.

VILA I was standing by. Anyway, what's going on?

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

AVON Not a great deal. We found Cally. She seems to be all right.

VILA (v.o.) Are you ready to teleport?

AVON Not yet. But I want you to be.

VILA (v.o.) You don't want me to come down.

AVON I want you to be ready to teleport us up.

VILA (v.o.) I was. I am.

DAYNA And Vila prime the neutron blasters just in case.

AVON (from near Cally) Dayna.

DAYNA What is it?

AVON We seem to have lost Tarrant.

DAYNA What?

AVON You'd better find him.

DAYNA Right.

[Dayna exits sleep cell.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Tarrant retraces his steps to the control room. He enters and examines a rack of tubes. He takes one out and inserts it into an orifice in the control console. A view screen activates showing the head and shoulders of a man.]

TARRANT Who are you I wonder?

RELF Specimen pee seven nine four three oh one one, humanoid vertebrate. Subcategory menial. What information do you require?

TARRANT Specimen. But your identity. Who are you? Where are you from?

RELF My name is Relf of Probus Four.

TARRANT But if your thoughts, your memories are contained in this cylinder, where are you?

RELF No knowledge, cannot answer.

TARRANT Are there others like you?

RELF Yes.

TARRANT And where are they?

RELF Some menials like me. Others absorbed in the core.

TARRANT Core, what's that?

RELF No knowledge, cannot answer.

TARRANT They exist in the core?

RELF The core lives to expand. It must expand to live.

TARRANT Yes, but what is it? What is the core? Where is it?

RELF No knowledge, cannot answer.

[There is a noise from the corridor. Tarrant removes the tube and replaces it in the rack. He conceals himself behind a panel and draws his weapon. Ultra enter the room.]

ULTRA 3 Sleep cell.

ULTRA 1 Status?

ULTRA 2 Transference is proceeding normally.

ULTRA 3 Complete mental profile and personality spectrum is filed in memory store.

[View screen displays image of Cally in sleep cell.]

ULTRA 1 Physiological characteristics.

ULTRA 2 Transferred. Soon she will be wiped clean, ready for absorption.

ULTRA 1 Fine specimen. Categorize as humanoid vertebrate. Subcategory, telepath.

ULTRA 3 Very shortly we can remove her from the sleep cell.

ULTRA 2 And the others?

ULTRA 1 They will be dealt with in due course.

[Tarrant steps from concealment.]

TARRANT Unless the others deal with you first. (Ultra turn around) I just hope for your sakes the process is reversible. Because if it isn't...

[Ultra advance on him.]

TARRANT Keep back. Keep back.

ULTRA 1 You cannot resist the power of the core. It overcomes everything.

ULTRA 2 Everything.

ULTRA 3 Everything.

[Tarrant appears to be going into trance. One of Dayna's self propelled explosives coming running along the floor and explodes, releasing a dense cloud of smoke. Ultra cough and choke. Their link with Tarrant is broken.]

DAYNA Tarrant. This way. Quickly.

[Tarrant follows Dayna out.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon is alone with Cally. He starts to contact Liberator, then stops and examines Cally's wrist. She is not wearing a teleport bracelet.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld. Dayna and Tarrant run down a corridor and ascend a staircase.]

TARRANT We've got to warn Avon and get Cally out of that thing.

DAYNA What have they done to her?

[Down an adjacent corridor menials approach.]

TARRANT We have to get out of sight quickly.

DAYNA Like where, for example?

TARRANT Come on.

[They retrace their steps. Tarrant conceals himself under the staircase. Dayna follows.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

AVON (into communicator) Vila, do you read?

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck.]

VILA Yes, go ahead.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

AVON Ever alert as usual.

VILA (v.o.) You know me. What's up?

AVON We could be... correction, we are in trouble. Stand by to bring us up. I'll keep this channel open.

VILA (v.o.) I'll get back to the teleport. What's the problem?

AVON Right now, your guess is as good as mine. But it doesn't look promising.

[Relf grabs Avon from behind, silencing him]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA Go on, Avon. Are you there? I'm here. Are you there? Avon. Oh no. Oh please, no.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. A group of menials pass through the area. Dayna rises and levels her weapon at them. Tarrant restrains her and they hide once more.]

DAYNA What now?

TARRANT (into bracelet) Avon, this is Tarrant. Come in.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. The room is empty and Avon's teleport bracelet is on the floor]

TARRANT (v.o.) Avon, are you there? Do you hear me? Avon? Cally is in danger. Avon, do you hear? Cally is in danger.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor, still by the staircase]

DAYNA Cally. What have they done to her?

TARRANT Something called transference. Ever seen a lizard suck a bird's egg dry? Well, that's what they were doing to Cally's brain. Draining her memory and personality and transferring them to the memory store.

DAYNA That was the purpose of the sleep cell. And afterwards what happens to...

TARRANT Whatever's left? I don't know. The Ultra talked about absorption, whatever that is. Or maybe the victims end up like those. Walking dead.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1 Step forward menial.

[Relf steps forward.]

ULTRA 1 You have your next instructions. You understand them?

[Relf nods.]

ULTRA 1 Proceed.

[Relf starts toward the exit]

ULTRA 1 So now there are three left.

ULTRA 3 For a supposedly intelligent species they are remarkably stupid.

ULTRA 2 And when we've taken all five?

ULTRA 1 Then we take the prize exhibit for the museum. The ship.

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA (paces, then approaches Orac. He opens his mouth to speak, changes his mind, then takes out Orac's key.) You'd only bite my head off anyway. (puts key back) Orac, can you give me some advice?

ORAC Please do not waste my time with foolish generalities. I must insist you ask specific questions.

VILA Oh, shut up you arrogant pile of junk. (takes key out and tosses it across the flight deck)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Tarrant and Dayna have been running. They pause.]

TARRANT Now where?

DAYNA Well, we're lost.

TARRANT Perhaps not (moves to a map and examines it) We're here. That's where we are. Here. (moves off in another direction)

DAYNA Tarrant, where are you going?

[Dayna follows him. A loud, regular throbbing sound can be heard.]

DAYNA Tarrant, what is it? What's that sound?

TARRANT There's a door back there, quick.

[Menials approach. Dayna and Tarrant turn and run back to a door. They step into the room.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room]

TARRANT Dayna. (closes the door)

DAYNA It's cold in here.

TARRANT It's freezing.

DAYNA What do you suppose this is?

TARRANT A store room, I would say if there was anything stored here. Shh.

[Sound of approaching footsteps is heard from the corridor. They gradually fade into silence.]

TARRANT They've gone. (turns on the light)

[Dayna looks around. Three mind wiped people are propped up on supports. Dayna gasps.]

TARRANT You wanted to know what happens to them afterwards. Here's your answer.

DAYNA Are they dead?

TARRANT If they're not, they soon will be. No organism could withstand this temperature for very long.

DAYNA What's going to happen to them?

TARRANT Absorption.

DAYNA Absorbed? Into what? The memory store?

TARRANT No. Their brain patterns are already stored there. These are just the empty husks, their minds wiped clean. Perhaps they're food.

DAYNA Food? For what?

TARRANT For thought.

DAYNA You mean their bodies have... (interrupted by sound of approaching footsteps)

[The door to the storage room opens. Three menials enter. One is Relf. Dayna holds her weapon on him. He watches as the other two menials remove one of the stored bodies. Dayna sneezes. Relf turns at the sound, but does not respond. She tests his response and gets none. The other two menials rejoin Relf, and all three exit.]

DAYNA What now?

TARRANT Let's follow, see where they go.

[INTERIOR. Sleep cell. Avon is restrained in the sleep unit.]

ULTRA 2 Sleep will soon come. And when it does transference will take place. It is quite painless. You'll feel nothing. (destroys teleport bracelet) Ever again. Your mind will be released from your body. That is all.

AVON First of all you have to make me sleep. I tend to suffer from insomnia.

ULTRA 2 You will sleep.

AVON I don't plan to.

ULTRA 2 Do you suppose you have a choice. (adjusts the mechanism controlling the sleep unit)

AVON I will not sleep. I will not sleep.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld conveyor room. The room is full of equipment and a conveyor with restraints which leads to the core. Menials are loading bodies onto the conveyor and moving them for absorption.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld observation room. Dayna and Tarrant enter a small room which has a large glass window overlooking the conveyor.]

DAYNA You were right. They're feeding something.

TARRANT But what?

DAYNA The planet. The Ultra said it was alive. That it possessed awareness, consciousness.

TARRANT But it's a computer, not a living organism. Memory banks, germanium circuitry. We saw it all on the screens.

DAYNA Perhaps not all, Tarrant. (throbbing sound becomes louder) Listen.

TARRANT It's coming from over there.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant emerge from the observation room and go down the corridor to a second room. They enter.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. A huge mass that resembles brain tissue is in the center of the room.]

TARRANT Absorbed in the core.

DAYNA What?

TARRANT This is what happens to the brains when they've been wiped clean. With every new victim the core expands, increases in brainpower. It's grown this big by absorbing the billions of intelligent creatures fed into it.

DAYNA Well, it's growing all the while. Becoming more and more powerful. Cally. What about Cally?

TARRANT We may be too late.

DAYNA She could be... in there.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. An image of Avon, still struggling to stay awake, is displayed. Ultra observe him.]

ULTRA 3 A strong mind. Most would have succumbed by now.

ULTRA 2 It will not be long. They struggle. They fight against it, but none can resist the power of the core.

ULTRA 3 This specimen is strong in body too. He would make a good menial when transference is complete.

ULTRA 1 No. After his brain has been cleansed it will be absorbed. The core needs new cellular tissue of such high caliber. The other male.

ULTRA 2 The one called Tarrant.

ULTRA 1 We will take him as a menial. The female will be absorbed.

[At the console the Ultra activate a view screen. It shows a diagram with a moving light point representing Dayna and Tarrant.]

ULTRA 3 They are now in section delta one.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant advance.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Ultra 1 gestures for a long rod with and touches it to the screen.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. As Dayna and Tarrant advance an explosion goes off. They turn back.]

DAYNA What caused that?

TARRANT I'm not waiting to find out. Come on.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1 One male, one female. I think we might try a small experiment.

ULTRA 2 Experiment?

ULTRA 1 It will be useful data for the memory store. (touches the screen again with the wand)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Another explosion forces Dayna and Tarrant to change direction again.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1 No, not that way. We need you for our experiment. (to Relf) Find them. Take them unharmed.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Ultra 1 repeats the process]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant are still running. The descend a staircase. Menials are moving closer.]

TARRANT They're trying to drive us back to the core.

DAYNA I'm too young to be absorbed.

TARRANT I know where we are. This way.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room. Tarrant closes the door.]

TARRANT (gestures) Over there.

[Dayna and Tarrant flatten themselves against one wall. Relf enters, looks around. He apparently does not see them and then leaves again.]

DAYNA (gasps) Cally. (stands in front of Cally, who is propped up waiting for absorption)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon is still struggling to stay awake. Finally, he falls asleep.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room.]

DAYNA Cally, it's me Dayna. Cally, can you hear me? Do you understand? (shakes her) Cally, wake up. (to Tarrant) It's no good. There's nothing there. What can we do?

TARRANT Reinstate her memory.

DAYNA How?

TARRANT By reversing the process.

DAYNA Can it be reversed? (pause) Well, can it.

TARRANT I don't know. The Ultra transferred her brain patterns to a memory tube. All her thoughts, memories, emotions have been filed away. First we have to find that tube.

DAYNA Well then, let's find it.

TARRANT Dayna, wait.

DAYNA We haven't time to wait.

TARRANT Soon we may have all the time in the world.

DAYNA What do you mean?

TARRANT Look, let's use our brains instead of having them transferred. Getting caught isn't going to help Cally. Let's think about it.

DAYNA Well?

TARRANT (into bracelet) Vila, this is Tarrant. Do you read?

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

TARRANT (v.o.) Tarrant calling Liberator. Vila, are you there? Come in.

VILA Thank heavens for that. I thought you'd all gone and left me.

TARRANT (v.o.) Gone where? Listen Vila, this is important.

VILA Will somebody please tell me what the hell is going on? And where's Avon? Is he with you?

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room.]

TARRANT No. We tried to contact him and couldn't. Have you heard from him?

VILA (v.o.) Yes and no.

TARRANT This is no time for riddles.

VILA (v.o.) You're telling me that. I was talking to him and he suddenly broke contact. Not a word of explanation.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Tarrant is visible on the view screen]

TARRANT All right, we'll see what we can do. But we've got problems of our own with Cally.

VILA (v.o.) Cally's there with you.

TARRANT In a manner of speaking.

VILA (v.o.) What do you mean by that?

TARRANT Never mind. We may have to get her up there fast. So stand by the teleport.

VILA (v.o.) Why not? What else is there to do except stand by the teleport?

[Ultra activates a device and the two previously inert menials in the storage room attack Dayna and Tarrant.]

VILA (v.o.) Did you hear what I said? Tarrant. Dayna. Hello. Hel... (Menial destroys teleport bracelets)

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA Hello. Goodbye.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld conveyor room. Avon and Cally are wheeled in by menials.]

[INTERIOR. Confinement cell. A bed sits in the center of the room. Dayna stands nearby. Tarrant sits on the bed.]

DAYNA No. We won't do it.

ULTRA 1 (v.o.) Do you speak for both?

TARRANT Yes, she does.

DAYNA That is one thing you can't make us do.

ULTRA 1 (v.o.) Perhaps not. Though we might offer an inducement.

TARRANT Such as?

[Diamond shaped view screen shows Ultra 1]

ULTRA 1 Your fellow crew members are still alive. Whether they remain so is up to you. We require the human bonding ceremony.

TARRANT Why?

ULTRA 1 The accumulation of data is our sole function and purpose, as we have said.

DAYNA For your cosmic encyclopedia?

ULTRA 1 We have collected a great deal of information about earth and its dominant species, with one important omission. We intend to rectify that deficiency.

DAYNA And if we agree?

ULTRA 1 We shall reconsider the fate of your friends. And, of course, yourselves.

TARRANT Is that the best you can do? No deal.

DAYNA Tarrant, just a minute. Could you give Cally her memory back?

ULTRA 1 Perhaps.

DAYNA So it is possible to reverse the process.

ULTRA 1 It is possible.

DAYNA And would you release us, all four and allow us to return to our ship?

ULTRA 1 That decision must be referred to the core.

DAYNA The core will decide?

ULTRA 1 Of course. The core is the living consciousness of the planet. We are its servants. We obey without question.

DAYNA Tarrant, I think we should accept the offer. Then we can return to the Liberator.

TARRANT You can't be serious. You don't believe what they say.

DAYNA We have to believe if we hope to survive. Kiss me.

TARRANT What?

DAYNA I said, kiss me. Come on. I can't be all that repulsive.

[Dayna leans over and kisses Tarrant. On the view screen the Ultra observes the activity. An observation device lowers, closer to the couple.]

ULTRA 1 Has the bonding ceremony begun?

DAYNA You could say so. But we do better without interruptions.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1 Are you ready.

ULTRA 2 The core is awaiting the signal.

ULTRA 3 Wave emissions increasing. Locked onto space craft.

ULTRA 1 Focus emissions.

ULTRA 2 Is the remaining crew member capable of piloting the space craft alone?

ULTRA 1 According to the female Cally's memory traces, we should have no trouble. He is weak willed and easily lead. The ship's master computer Zen will operate all primary functions on his command. But any intelligent creature with a rational thought process is as capable of being manipulated. This one is no exception.

ULTRA 3 Wave emission at optimum.

ULTRA 1 Give the signal.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. There are signs of increased activity from the core]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA Come out. Come out, wherever you are. Help. I'm being got at. Orac, do something. You've got to help me. Help me. Activator. Activator. What did I do with it. I'll never call you names again, Orac. Never again, I promise. (finds key and activates Orac) Orac, I need your help. There's something here.

ORAC Not now. I am busy analyzing the semantic structure of synonyms and antonyms as it pertains to the specific instance of riddles.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Image of the bed in the confinement cell is on the screen.]

TARRANT (adjusts pillow) How's that, darling? More comfortable?

DAYNA Oh yes. Much better. Thank you, darling.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld confinement cell. Dayna removes a small object from her mouth.]

TARRANT I've heard of people having tricks up their sleeve. But this is...

[Dayna bites down to activate the device]

TARRANT How long?

DAYNA All of ten seconds.

TARRANT As much as that?

DAYNA Less now. About seven.

TARRANT Or nearer five. (They silently count down to zero)

DAYNA Now. (She tosses charge at door)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. An explosion rocks the room]

ULTRA 3 (at the sound of explosion) Is that the bonding ceremony?

[Image on the view screen of the empty cell. There is a large hole where the explosive detonated.]

ULTRA 3 We must find them.

ULTRA 2 Leave them. They have nowhere to go.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant are running.]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator moving through space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA There was young lady named Perkins, who was very fond of small gherkins. One day at tea, she ate forty three, and pickled her internal workings.

ORAC Excellent. Another one, Vila.

VILA Don't know any more.

ORAC Another one.

VILA Can't remember.

ORAC A riddle. A limerick. A word puzzle. Think, Vila, think.

VILA There was a young man from... from...

ORAC From where? Think.

VILA Can't remember.

[EXTERIOR. Ultraworld]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator manoeuvering to dock with Ultraworld]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Ultra observe the docking]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld docking bay. Metal rods descend to hold Liberator in place]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld conveyor room. Cally is loaded on the conveyor and the menial sets it in motion. Tarrant and Dayna enter. Tarrant attacks one of the menials. Dayna stops the conveyor. A fight ensues. In the struggle, Tarrant knocks a menial into a shelf of memory tubes which fall and shatter. All of the menials are frozen in place.]

DAYNA What's happening?

TARRANT Do you mind if we talk about it later? Come on.

[They free Cally from the conveyor and locate Avon.]

TARRANT Get these two back to the sleep cell, I'll get the memory tubes.

DAYNA Right.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The throbbing from the core has increased. Surface eruptions are occurring.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 2 Frequency wave emissions out of phase.

ULTRA 3 Primary circuits register overload.

ULTRA 2 Wave emissions approaching critical.

ULTRA 1 No. No. Impossible. The core is self-compensating. Check for malfunction.

ULTRA 2 Critical status is confirmed. The core is unstable.

ULTRA 1 No. Check again.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The throbbing is louder. Surface eruptions have increased, green fluid oozes from the breaches in the surface.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Cally and Avon have been placed back into the sleep unit. Dayna keeps watch]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Tarrant enters quietly. He notes Liberator on the view screen.]

ULTRA 1 Section beta.

ULTRA 2 All circuits register overload.

ULTRA 1 Attempt manual compensation.

Ultra 2 Negative response.

ULTRA 1 Operate primary fail-safe terminals.

ULTRA 3 Confirmed.

[Tarrant retrieves the memory tubes and leaves the control room.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The noise levels have increased. Eruptions have grown worse.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1 Stabilization.

ULTRA 2 Negative response.

ULTRA 3 Entering critical phase.

ULTRA 2 But how? The wave emissions were at optimum. Nothing can resist the power of the core.

ULTRA 1 Something did. Something we couldn't foresee and didn't allow for. Something on that ship.

ULTRA 3 We were in control. We brought the ship in.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. Breaches in the core are larger and more violent]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 2 Terminal condition imminent.

ULTRA 3 Without the core, Ultraworld cannot exist.

ULTRA 2 We cannot survive.

ULTRA 3 Can we prevent it?

ULTRA 2 We must.

ULTRA 1 Activate final fail-safes. Now. Something on that ship.

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

ORAC Encore.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon and Cally are being restored.]

DAYNA It's so slow. Can't we speed it up?

TARRANT We daren't risk it. If the memory traces aren't implanted exactly as before they'll end up with scrambled brain cells.

DAYNA What's the matter?

TARRANT The memory tubes. I just hope they're in the right order.

DAYNA You mean you could have got them... (Dayna crosses one hand over the other) Well, that could be interesting.

TARRANT (at the sound of an explosion) The core. It's having some kind of brain storm.

DAYNA What do you think's causing it?

TARRANT Overload.

DAYNA Of what? A brain that size could cope with anything.

TARRANT You know what they say. The bigger they are... Think of the problems the human brain has and multiply that be a couple of billion.

DAYNA That could be quite a headache.

TARRANT We've got one ourselves. Come on. Come on.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. The sound of explosions continues. Menials are disoriented, stagger and fall or stop where they stand.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. Major breaches are occurring.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon and Cally are conscious]

TARRANT (to Avon) Are you all right? Cally?

CALLY Yes, I think so.

TARRANT Good. Right, let's get out of here.

AVON We have no bracelets.

TARRANT They brought the ship down. It's here in Ultraworld.

AVON Here? Can you find it?

TARRANT Yes.

AVON Then let's go.

TARRANT (to Dayna) Bring Cally.

DAYNA (to Cally) You all right?

[Cally makes a gesture for Dayna to wait]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Avon and Tarrant ascend a long flight of stairs.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

DAYNA Better now?

CALLY Yes.

DAYNA Right. Come on.

[Dayna starts out the door. Cally follows and is attacked from behind by Relf. Dayna returns and struggles with him and overcomes him.]

DAYNA Come on.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Avon and Tarrant enter. Avon picks up a weapon]

AVON Watch the door.

[Avon throws Tarrant the weapon and picks up his own. He moves to a control and activates the Ultraworld communications]

AVON Vila, are you there?

VILA (v.o.) Who else could it be? Look just what is going on? Will somebody...

AVON Shut up. Open the starboard airlock. We're on our way.

VILA (v.o.) Why not teleport? It'll save time.

AVON Do it.

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA Right (moves to the controls to obey)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Tarrant shoots two of the Ultra as they enter.]

AVON You finished?

TARRANT Yes.

AVON Then let's get out of here.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator is still berthed.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator begins powering up. There are explosions.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator corridor leading to starboard airlock. The four crew members run in. Avon stops at a communication station beside the entry.]

AVON (into the communicator) Vila, ninety degrees lateral thrust. Now.

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Vila responds to Avon's command.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator begins to free itself.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Four crew members rejoin Vila.]

VILA I wish I knew what was going on.

TARRANT Vila, get to your place.

AVON Full thrust. Give it everything you've got.

TARRANT Brace yourselves.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator breaks free and heads for space.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Menials are lying in the corridor, inert]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The core is self-destructing.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld observation room two. The last Ultra moves to a console and manipulates some controls. He begins to die before he can finish the process]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator moves away from Ultraworld. A flare erupts as Ultraworld explodes]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

DAYNA What did you feel like, Avon?

AVON (distracted) What?

DAYNA Being an entry in an encyclopedia.

TARRANT Oh, he wouldn't mind so long as they filed him under genius.

VILA You'd have all been filed away if it hadn't been for me. And Orac, I suppose.

AVON You?

VILA Yes, me.

AVON What precisely did you do?

Vila; What did I do? Only saved your neck. That's what. Ask Orac. Go on. (inserts Orac's activator key) Ask him.

AVON Orac, is it true that we have an unsung hero in our midst?

ORAC To whom are you referring?

AVON Vila.

ORAC Vila served a useful purpose in distracting and confusing the energy waves emanating from the planet.

VILA Useful purpose.

ORAC Meanwhile I was able to project those same wave emissions back to their primary source.

AVON In other words, Vila acted as a kind of mental decoy.

VILA Decoy.

CALLY So the core was subjected to its own emissions.

ORAC Correct.

TARRANT Self brain washing.

DAYNA There's poetic justice for you.

AVON Tell me, Orac, how precisely did Vila confuse and distract Ultraworld?

ORAC Quite simple. With a series of random and illogical brain impulses. The planet was programmed to assimilate orderly coherent thought patterns. Anything else confused it.

VILA Eh?

AVON You mean Vila spouted nonsense.

VILA I resent that.

AVON Oh, I wouldn't if I were you. Orac is saying that a logical rational intelligence is no match for yours.

Script Index

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