The third of four programs on this asset. One in a series of fantasy/science fiction programs about the Doctor, a mysterious man who travels through time in a device shaped like an English police call box. The Doctor narrowly avoids the strange creature's burning attacks. The humanoid creature claims he means Sarah Jane no harm, introducing himself as "Bellal." Bellal explains that he is a member of the offshoot race which opposes the Exxilons, forced to live in the underground tunnels beneath the forbidden city. He and Sarah Jane hide when the Daleks arrive and one of them goes after the Doctor. Sarah Jane begs Bellal to let her go help him, but he refuses and says they cannot aid him now. The Doctor cleverly hides in a side passage as the Dalek and the monster fight each other; the Dalek is destroyed by the serpentine creature's burning touch. The Doctor emerges from the tunnel and reunites with Sarah Jane. He explains what happened and estimates that the creature was a mechanical "root" of the city's underground support system. They flee with Bellal to escape the remaining Dalek, retreating through a secret passageway. The Daleks force Exxilons to dig up parrinium and order Galloway to secure more workers, threatening to kill the Exxilon leaders if they don't cooperate. Bellal explains to the Doctor that thousands of years ago the ancestors of the Exxilons were a highly advanced spacefaring race who pooled their knowledge to construct a city capable of repairing and sustaining itself through the ages. They granted the city an intelligence of its own as well, but the city decided that it had outgrown its creators and destroyed them. The remnants of the ancestral race became the modern-day Exxilons and Bellal's people. The Exxilons worship the city as a god, but Bellal and his folk are determined to destroy the city in order to save their race from extinction. The Doctor agrees to help Bellal do so. The Daleks plan to conduct a scientific survey of the city before destroying the beacon at its apex with explosive charges; they have determined that this beacon is the source of the planet-wide electrical power failure. One of the city's "roots" emerges from beneath a pond and kills an Exxilon worker and one of the Daleks before it retreats, apparently damaged in the fight. Bellal shows the Doctor a drawing of some of the symbols carved on the city's exterior, and the Doctor recognizes them from an old Peruvian temple on Earth. He deduces that the same race which built the city must have visited Earth at some point in its ancient past and imparted building techniques to ancient humans. He also determines that the "roots" draw energy from the planet itself, whereas the beacon atop the city drains electrical energy from the planet's atmosphere. The Daleks move to a new area to continue mining parrinium. They take Jill with them to help them collect the material while Galloway and Peter are brought with another party of Daleks to help set up the explosive charges on the city. The Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Bellal reach the city, but the Doctor instructs Sarah Jane to convince Galloway to obtain the parrinium and be prepared to leave the planet when the electricity comes back on. He predicts that the Daleks will attempt to blow up the Earth ship once they are capable of doing so. They say goodbye and the Doctor tries translating the symbols on the city's outer wall, which appear to be touch-sensitive. He finds the correct symbol to open a hidden door into the city just as a pair of Daleks comes around looking for them, thus evading them. The Doctor believes that the city is protected by "tests of intelligence" and sets about the next one, a touch-sensitive maze on the wall. He solves it and progresses to the next corridor just as the Daleks figure out how to get inside. He and Bellal move through the city but stop just before what appears to be some kind of trap on the floor. (Continues in ACCNUM 110609).


  • DATE: March 9, 1974
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:24:25
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 110608
  • GENRE: Drama, fantasy/science fiction
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, fantasy/science fiction
  • SERIES RUN: BBC - TV series, 1963-1989; 2005-


    • Barry Letts … Producer
    • Michael Briant … Director
    • Terry Nation … Writer
    • Carey Blyton … Music by
    • London Saxophone Quartet, The … Music by
    • Ron Grainer … Theme Music by
    • BBC Radiophonic Workshop … Theme Music by
    • Jon Pertwee … Cast, The Doctor
    • Elisabeth Sladen … Cast, Sarah Jane Smith
    • Duncan Lamont … Cast, Dan Galloway
    • Julian Fox … Cast, Peter Hamilton
    • Joy Harrison … Cast, Jill Tarrant
    • Arnold Yarrow … Cast, Bellal
    • Roy Heymann … Cast, Gotal
    • John Scott-Martin … Cast, Dalek Operator
    • Cy Town … Cast, Dalek Operator
    • Murphy Grunbar … Cast, Dalek Operator
    • Michael Wisher … Voice, Daleks