This story debuted with either the Second or Third Doctor, then was reprinted with the Fourth Doctor. It may have had different companions in the reprint, as well. From an in-universe point of view, it's unclear which Doctor lived through these events.
After a successful moon landing, the crew of the Achilles spot a deep, cylindrical shaft into the lunar surface. On Earth, the Doctor's warning against any exploration of the shaft are ignored. When Major Bill Franklin disappears after descending the tunnel, the mission is aborted. However, as the returning space capsule enters the Earth's atmosphere, the astronauts and it are turned to stone. The Doctor attributes this to fragment of the mineral Crunthel collected by the astronauts from the tunnel floor. Joined by CIA agent Harry Godino, the Doctor travels in the TARDIS to the moon. There they discover that the tunnel leads to the burial chamber of a member of an ancient alien race. Trapped in the tomb, the travellers' only hope of escape is for the Doctor to make contact with the aliens — the Lords of the Ether themselves.
to be added
- Third Doctor or Fourth Doctor
- Harry Godino
- Major Bill Franklin
- Captain Serge Sillikin
- Sir Geoffrey
- Grigori Sukov
- French delegate
- Air stewardess 1
- Air stewardess 2
- Crunthel is common is Galaxy 402.
- The spacesuits worn by the Doctor and Harry are similar to those seen in the ITC science-fiction adventure series UFO (1970-71).
- The Doctor calls Harry "Joe" in one panel. This error was corrected for the Fourth Doctor reprint.
- The recap at the beginning of part two mistakenly gives Major Bill Franklin's name as "Major Bill Stokes".
Original print details
- (Publication with page count and closing captions)
- TVC 1191 (2 pages) The Doctor makes a grim discovery soon!
- TVC 1192 (2 pages) A mystery man trails the time-traveller soon!
- TVC 1193 (2 pages) Has the Doctor made the wrong decision?
- TVC 1194 (2 pages) Will the Doctor's desperate plan work?
- TVC 1195 (2 pages) Next week: stepping into space!
- TVC 1196 (2 pages) What's behind the barrier? See next week!
- TVC 1197 (2 pages) Power of a super-stone next week!
- TVC 1198 (2 pages) A new way-out adventure adventure begins with the Doctor next week!
to be added