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Egotistical and quite mad scientist Stahlman (Olaf Pooley) heads a
gouvernment-funded project to drill through the earth's crust to tap into
some rich energy resources right beneath. And while everybody else -
including gouvernment supervisor Sir Keith (Christopher Benjamin), oil
drilling expert Greg Sutton (Derek Newark), UNIT Brigadier
Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), UNIT scientist Liz Shaw (Caroline
John) and of course Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee) - thinks it is sheer madness,
Stahlman presses on and even increases drilling speed way above safety
standards, always knowing gouvernment would be behind him.
But as if a scientist dealing in things that are too big for him and
probably blowing away the earth's crust wasn't bad enough, there is also
some green goo coming out of the drillhole that turns everybody who
touches it into a monster. Stahlman of course toughes it, but somehow he
manages to hide his predicament ...
... and at exactly that moment, Doctor Who decides to make an
experiment in time travel ... only he doesn#t travel backwards or forwards
in time ... but sideways.
Eventually, Doctor Who finds himself in a totalitarian parallel world,
where a parallel Stahlman is working on the exact same experiment as in
the real world, only here Doctor Who is no longer on the advisor's list
but is suspected to be a spy. And he doesn't have many allies, Liz Shaw
and the Brigadier (with an eyepatch) work for the totalitarian gouvernment
and support Stahlman's crazy experiment, while Sir Keith ahs been killed
and Greg Sutton's protests aren't even heard. And everybody seems to be
more than determined to have the good Doctor shot ... that is until the
whole experiment gets terribly out of hand, when on one hand the drilling
causes a massive earthquake and causes the earth to crack open, on the
other hand, Stahlman does turn into a monster, and with other humans
turned into monsters, he goes after the few survivors, Doctor Who, Liz
Shaw, the Brigadier, Sutton and Stahlman's own personal assistant Petra
Williams (Sheila Dunn).
But the worst thing is, the Doctor realizes he can save neither of
them, as their world is doomed as a consequence of the experiment. All he
can do is save himself in order to travel back to his world and save it
frp, a similar fate ... but for that he needs the help of his companions,
and that needs some serious convincing ...
Of course, ultimately the Doctor gets back to his reality (while the
others get eaten up by hot molten lava), and only just can he save his
world from a similar fate ...
If you examine the plot of this Doctor Who-episode too
closely, you might just find out that it doesn't make all too much sense,
there are plotholes and leaps of reason aplenty - however, while watching
the episode this doesn't matter all that much, it's told with an eye for
action and suspense, and the script moves on at a steady enough pace to
keep the audience from second-guessing all that much. It might not be a
piece of great science fiction, however that is not to say that it is not
a piece of good entertainment.
You might just end up loving it !!