Eldrad Must Die! was the one hundred and seventy-second story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Marc Platt and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka and Mark Strickson as Turlough.
A nuclear icebreaker, foundering in Arctic waters. Seabirds washed up in the fishing resort of Ambermouth, their wings encrusted with crystals. A shining artefact of uncertain provenance, up for sale on an auction site.
Kate Sherrin is about to head home when she spots a bevvy of people on the shore of Ambermouth harbour — it is the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka, Nyssa and Vislor Turlough. The latter two go to look at rock pools while the Doctor and Tegan paddle. The Australian cuts her foot while doing so. Kate comes over and asks the Doctor and Tegan to leave the beach. When she sees the wound, she offers first aid. Turlough and Nyssa find a gannet, dead and covered in silicon quartz. Kate asks that they forget seeing it and secretes it in her car.
The Doctor and his companions go to the Pescadorian for a drink and some food. There, Turlough meets Gibbs, an old friend of his from Brendon Public School, who finds his friends failure to age remarkable. When he leaves, Turlough is quick to claim they were never friends. Gibbs is in contact with someone, who he tells he has secured the Watcher and that Turlough will carry it for them, owing him a favour.
In the bar, the Doctor approaches Bob Gell, to enquire about hiring a boat. He learns that all the fish have died, followed by the bird — gulls, gannets and puffins. Outside, Turlough meets Gibbs again, who claims he is from Trion. He tells Turlough a job is required of him and then attacks him. Turlough hears a voice saying his name, and when regains his senses is with the Doctor. Nyssa finds quartz growing inside her drink.
Together with Nyssa and Tegan, they head to the Ambermouth Seacology Centre, where Kate works. Jim and Kate are working when the Doctor arrives. Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough discover a beluga whale - called Skipper by Kate. It has quartz growing out of it and is being given morphine. Turlough runs away, still hearing voices in his head. Tegan follows him. He finds Gibbs outside. Suddenly the quartz in his watch starts "biting into [him]". Turlough dreams that he is at school, being told that the watch is part of his "new employer's manifestation". He is told not to fight it and, coming to, declares "Eldrad must die".
Turlough leaves with Gibbs in his car. Tegan tricks Jim, taking the keys to his jeep as she does so. Nyssa gets in the water with Skipper, claiming the whale is trying to speak. It does so, saying "Eldrad must die". Skipper then dies.
Gibbs is talking to Turlough about school as they drive. He can only reply "Eldrad must die". Turlough is still dreaming about being at school. He meets a teacher who looks like Tegan who tells him to fetch the Watcher.
In the Seacology Centre, Kate admits that uranium used to be dumped on the island in the harbour and radiation levels have increased of late. Tegan finds Turlough while he is alone, Gibbs having gone away a moment. She notices that the quartz has spread across his whole hand. He is still dreaming about fetching "dealer" and the Watcher. Turlough's eyes glow and Tegan is incapacitated.
Heading for the island, Nyssa explains to Kate that Kastrians have their "genetic matrix set in stone" allowing them to regenerate from a "tiny fragment", like a lizard. Jim, who is getting the dinghy ready for them to cross, asks Gell for assistance, but then notices his face is covered in crystals. Gell says that the sea will rise and "he will be here", "you will need your armour on". With this, he attacks Jim.
The Doctor and Kate find that several other villagers have their faces covered in crystal — as does Jim. They run back to the Doctor's TARDIS. Turlough and Gibs meet with Rocco, who invites them into his car to complete the deal.
Exiting his TARDIS, the Doctor presents an inflatable dinghy. Suddenly, the beach moves and forms a whirlpool. It swallows the TARDIS. The Doctor, Nyssa and Kate get into the dinghy.
Gibbs pays the money to Rocco and Turlough takes the Watcher — an eye of quartz. Rocco says it has a blue glow sometimes. The voice in Turlough's head warns him not to look at the glow and to bring it to her so that Eldrad can die. However, having gazed upon it, Gibbs decides he has been wrong — Eldrad must live. Turlough runs as Gibbs attempts to take the Watcher from him. He finds Tegan, whom he calls "dealer", and the two drive off.
In the dinghy, Kate notes that the water is crystallising. It becomes solid and the boat becomes still. The Doctor calls out to Eldrad asking him to converse. The solidified sea splits open and a "quartzberg", as the Doctor labels it, emerges from the ground, a hundred feet tall by the Time Lord's estimate. The Doctor inspects it and believes there is something within. Captain O'Brien calls out. His ship, the Alexander is within the quartzberg. The captain and crew have their faces covered in crystal. The Doctor, Nyssa and Kate go aboard.
An interstellar shuttle is onboard the craft. A woman steps out and tells the Doctor, "Eldrad must die, and so must his slaves", with which she attacks him.
The woman releases the Doctor, finding him immune to Kastrian mind control. She declares herself to be Mulkris, a Kastrian executioner. Tegan is driving Turlough back to the Doctor. The crystal is up to his neck now. He is still hearing the voice, that of Mulkris, ordering him to bring the Watcher to her. Gibbs catches up with them and rams them off the road.
Mulkris tells the Doctor that King Rokon had her search thousands of worlds for remnants of Eldrad, leading her to Earth. She says her agents are bringing in the part — an eye.
Emerging from the wreckage of the jeep, Tegan offers Gibbs the eye. It leaps and impants itself in his forehead. He then leaves. Feeling the eye upon her, Mulkris suffers what the Doctor calls a psychic seizure. While she is unconscious, the Doctor, Nyssa and Kate explore her shuttle. They find a set of fossilised remains laid out in the silhouette of a man. It is labelled with the description "here, held in a stasis field, lie the gathered mortal silicon remains of Eldrad, architect and destroyer of Kastria". There are parts missing.
With a road block ahead, Tegan and Turlough abandon their jeep and continue on foot. Mulkris has awoken and the Doctor lectures her on the dangers of collecting the fragments given that, with a dose of radioactivity, any part could become a whole Eldrad. The fragments begin to move and the Doctor tells Mulkris she is being used. He explains that Eldrad is all around them and that he has lured Mulkris to the island where the remains have access to radiation. Mulkris refuses to destroy the remains until all have been given, per Rokon's orders. She does not believe the Doctor's claim that Kastria is a dead world.
Gibbs boards the ship and attacks Mulkris declaring that "Eldrad's rebirth begins". Meanwhile, Nyssa and Kate begin to fall under the Kastrian's influence. Gibbs orders that the ship be readied for the restoration of Eldrad. The Doctor tells him the icebreaker lacks the necessary radiation output, but as he explains this, his TARDIS rises from the crystallised sea and Gibbs tells him it will serve as the power source.
Nyssa is trying to open the door to Eldrad's remains using a lattice key. The code she calculates is corrected by the voice of Eldrad in her mind and is accepted. Tegan and Turlough arrive aboard the ship and hear the Doctor being tortured by Gibbs into opening the TARDIS. His obstinacy sees Gibbs resort to using controlled sand to get inside the lock and open the ship. Distracting him with a fire alarm, Turlough and Tegan assist the Doctor to escape.
Mulkris is trying to contact Kastria. Nyssa and Kate approach her and ask her listen to Eldrad. The Doctor also arrives and confirms again that Kastria is death and asks her to destroy the fragments. Gibbs enters and says that Eldrad will build a new Kastria in his own image. Mulkris threatens him with a dart of the acid Eldrad created. However, he turns it on her and, dying, she asks the Doctor to complete her mission and tells Eldrad he is alone. Mulkris bequeaths her genetic ring to the Doctor. He uses it to vaporise the remains in stasis, but the eye still exists. Nyssa and Kate recover their senses. Gibbs declares that the crystals will soon cover the Earth and the planet will become Eldrad.
The Doctor contradicts him, telling him the crystals that are covering the surface are a mindless mutation. The contamination on Turlough is spreading but, with Mulkris gone, his mind is clearer. The Doctor tells Gibbs that Eldrad must be regenerated and offers to help. Tegan and Turlough join them both in the TARDIS, leaving Kate and Nyssa behind. The Doctor puts his ship in a "holding pattern" so Nyssa will be there when he returns, while allowing him to work on restoring Eldrad without interruption.
While the Doctor and Gibbs go to TARDIS power house, Tegan and Turlough check the flight co-ordinates, which show that the ship is in no holding pattern, they are headed somewhere. Gibbs tells the Doctor that he will require no radiation suit to enter the core, not expecting to survive. The Doctor asks what Eldrad intends for the Earth and he replies that he will armour the people of Earth, making them fighters for his galactic conquest. The Earth, too, will be armoured and be the centre of Eldrad's "imperial army".
Meanwhile, Captain O'Brien is preparing missile, taken from the planes that crashed in the harbour, that will seed the world for Eldrad, now under his control after seeing the eye. Tegan reveals to Turlough that she too has crystals growing on her. The Doctor knocks Gibbs unconscious with a spanner and attempts to pull the eye from his head. He hears Eldrad's voice in his head. The Doctor tells him he will no suffer his restoration. Gibbs wakes up locked inside a boiler room.
Turlough tells the Doctor about Tegan's infection and he tells him he has crystals on his own body. Meanwhile, Nyssa theorises that the crystals have grown too fast. They have used up all the radiation and will soon collapse in on themselves. Kate reveals she is infected too as quartz begins to fall from the sky.
The Doctor searches for Eldrad's ring, unable to remember what he did with it. Knowing that Eldrad could use it for his own ends, he tells Tegan and Turlough they must head for Kastria.
On the desolate planet, Eldrad hears the sound of the TARDIS landing and laughs at the idea of company after so long. In the TARDIS, Gibbs warns Turlough that the crystal armours mind, as well as body, so he will soon follow orders. This takes effect and Turlough releases Gibbs. From him, Gibbs, and therefore Eldrad, learn that the ring is on Kastria.
Looking through the thermal chambers, the underground Kastrian city, the Doctor, Gibbs and party find a statue of Eldrad, twice life size. Pondering how it got there, Gibbs orders Turlough to fetch the ring from its hand. The statue speaks, enquiring as to who disturbs it, and the Doctor realises Eldrad survived.
One the sea, the Alexander is sinking as the crystals collapse. Nyssa advises that the captain and remaining crew flee in Mulkris' ship. The statue recounts how a Doctor threw him down among the dead and he climbed his way back out of the depths. He inscribed the lettering that appears on his chest, identifying him, himself. Eldrad talks to the dust, calling them the dead, it being the remains of the Kastrian species. The Doctor and his companions question his sanity.
Gibbs has Turlough hand him the ring he took and tells Eldrad that he is too old to rule and that he, the new Eldrad, "has the power now". The silicon remains of the dead begin to move, taping into the power of the TARDIS and channelling it to Gibbs. In Mulkris's ship, Nyssa uses the hand of the dead Kastrian to power the ship and tells O'Brien to get his crew aboard.
The eye absorbs the radiation and creates an Eldrad in the image of Gibbs, who declares that Earth will be the centre of his empire, telling the old Eldrad that he can have Kastria, which he labels a "tomb".
Then, the dead Kastrians begin to revive, also taping into the TARDIS's power. The new Eldrad is confused having not ordered this, but the old says his friends have awoken and that they will serve him. With a dart of his poison, he strikes down the new. The acid seeps through his body and he tells Turlough to follow the order he was given and then dies.
On Mulkris' sjip, in flight, the passengers notice that the crystals are diminishing on their bodies. Back in the caves underground, Eldrad realises the Doctor's identity and talks of his dreams of crushing him. He attacks the Doctor and his companions but is interrupted by Mulkris who has been restored due to her ring being in the TARDIS and taping into its power.
Mulkris tells Turlough to destroy Eldrad's ring with the crytals on his arm, which can function as a weapon. He is still dreaming, imagining himself to be a Trion pilot. Together with Tegan, who too has such a weapon, he destroy's the ring. Mulkris uses the dart that killed the new Eldrad against the old and he is killed. In his mind, Turlough is told that his contract is fulfilled. His dream sees him hear the he has completed his mission over the communications of his spacecraft.
The Doctor expresses that he still needs to collect Nyssa. She is with O'Brien who says the Alexander will be subject to salvage. As she expects to stay, the TARDIS lands and the Doctor asks after her well-being. Kate tells Jim that the government want what happened kept secret, so she plans to dump the dead gannets on the ministry's steps, after calling the press.
Mulkris and Turlough are talking. He still feels some residual uneasiness. He turns down Mulkris' offer to pursue further parts of Eldrad and accepts that travelling with the Doctor, and even Tegan, is where he belongs.
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Tegan Jovanka - Janet Fielding
- Turlough - Mark Strickson
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- Eldrad - Stephen Thorne
- Mulkris - Nancy Carroll
- Charlie Gibbs - Pip Torrens
- Kate Sherrin/Waitress - Jessica Claire
- Bob Gell/Captain O'Brien - Brian Protheroe
- Jim/Lt Parker/Rocco - Mark Field
- Gibbs tells Turlough that he is also an exile from Trion and that his family supported the opposing faction in the civil war.
- Skipper is a beluga whale with a silicon quartz infection.
- Mulkris calls the Time Lords "Know-alls".
- Gibbs was one of Turlough's classmates in Brendon Public School in 1983.
- Kate works at Ambermouth Seacology Centre.
- The Doctor and his companions go to The Pescadorian for a drink.
- The Doctor mentions Las Vegas.
- Mulkris has her own genetic ring.
- Eldrad's ring is destroyed by Tegan and Turlough.
- The acid developed by Eldrad is used to kill two of his incarnations and Mulkris.
- Jim drives a jeep.
- Nyssa wins on a fruit machine.
- Trakenites have a natural empathy towards those in distress.
- The Doctor believes the dead Kastrians want to return to life to destroy Eldrad.
- Various species of birds — gannets, gulls, and puffins — died overnight when strange happening first occurred at Ambermouth.
- Gibbs alludes to The Picture of Dorian Gray.
- The Doctor plays ducks and drakes while paddling.
- Tegan has never been surfing. The Doctor has, but not on the sea.
- This story was recorded on 11 and 12 December 2012 at The Moat Studios.
- The title of this audio alludes to "Eldrad must live", a declaration spoken in The Hand of Fear.
- This story was originally released on CD and download.
- Eldrad was first encountered by the Doctor in his fourth incarnation. (TV: The Hand of Fear)
- Turlough and Charlie discuss their time at Brendon Public School. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
- Turlough and Charlie once climbed the wall of the girls' school. When the girls saw them, their screams were so loud that Gibbs fell back over the wall and fractured his collarbone. (AUDIO: The Memory Bank)
- In his dream state, Turlough hears the figure speaking as Nyssa refer to Deela. (AUDIO: Kiss of Death)
- Official Eldrad Must Die! page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Eldrad Must Die! at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide