- You may be looking for the reference book of the same name.
Scream of the Shalka was a Flash-animated Doctor Who serial with Richard E Grant as the voice of an alternative Ninth Doctor. Its animation was produced by Cosgrove Hall. The serial was webcast by the BBC's official Doctor Who website in November and December 2003, tying in with the show's 40th anniversary.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 DVD, video and other releases
- 8 Novelisation
- 9 External links
- 10 Footnotes
The Doctor's TARDIS materialises in the village of Lannet in Lancashire. An annoyed Doctor, who has apparently been transported here against his will, finds the village silent. Its inhabitants are all living in fear except for a barmaid, Alison Cheney. The alien Shalka have taken up residence beneath Lannet in preparation for a wider invasion. Despite his initial reluctance, the Doctor finds himself having to save the world again, aided by Alison and an enemy who has become an ally.
A flaming rock hurtles towards Earth.
Two men, Dawson and McGrath are out in the middle of the desert. Dawson is trying to communicate with a tracking aircraft via radio but can’t seem to get through. McGrath is curious as to what could be interfering with the signal out there but Dawson remarks that it’s probably a new radio station called “Volcano FM” which McGrath finds interesting. Dawson then spots what he thinks is the aircraft but McGrath realises it’s a meteorite and that it’s going to land close by. The two men eagerly set off after it. Dawson is fascinated at the sight of it but McGrath thinks he can see something moving in the crater. Dawson initially believes it to be smoke but soon realises McGrath is right. They’re curious as to what it is but Dawson thinks it’s some type of worm and tries to grab it. The creature lets out a scream and disappears. Dawson realises that it dug into the rock and has somehow made it molten. McGrath then starts coughing; struggling to breathe due to the gas that’s emerging from the crater but Dawson replies that this is discovery is huge and they need to get a crew over there. McGrath continues to cough and Dawson realises he can’t move. The ground begins to shake and McGrath can feel there’s something beneath them. The two men become increasingly panicked but their cries are cut out by an ear-piercing scream.
The TARDIS materialises in a dark street. The Doctor steps out and shouts back into the TARDIS “No! It’s not where we’re supposed to be!” and adds that he’s going to take a look around before closing the door. There’s a beeping sound and the TARDIS light turns off. The Doctor shouts that he doesn’t want to be there and whatever it is, he doesn’t want to do it. He takes a sniff and determines from the air that he’s in England, 2003 but something is not right and he wonders where everyone is. Very frustrated, he takes a portable phone from the TARDIS and walks off.
In a nearby pub, barmaid Alison Cheney serves a client his drink and tells him it’s on the house as she can’t use the till due to a sore throat. The client, clearly drunk, tells Alison that he loves her and wants her to marry him. She sarcastically asks him if he’s going to take her away but her boss, Max, then tells her not to give the beer away. She asks why not as they’re not going to get any more but he replies “it might just stop”. She remarks that she’s not getting paid enough but he continues to state that it’s going to stop, “it has to”. She says that everyone has been saying it’s going to stop since it started but no one is actually doing anything about it as they are all too scared to leave their homes. Max is getting more and more agitated, saying “I don’t agree with her! This is all her! I told her to shut up!”
The door then opens and the Doctor walks in. He asks Alison for a very complex type of whiskey but she, very flatly, tells him that they only do dry or sweet and he replies that he doesn’t do sweet. He reads her name on her payslip and asks if she’s any relation to Lon Chaney who he describes as a wonderful chap with hairy hands. She’s curious as to what he’s talking about and Max tells the Doctor that he hasn’t seen him around before. He replies that they probably don’t get a lot of strangers in a bustling town on a Saturday night. He drinks his whiskey and realises that Alison is scared; but less so than the two men are. She replies that’s why they are looking at her in the way that they are; they’re scared of anyone who isn’t scared. The Doctor walks over to the jukebox, curious that none of them are going to tell him anything; they haven’t thought to charge him for his drink and there’s no Paco Bell on the jukebox. The Doctor then leaves.
Alison then opens the front door and looks outside. The Doctor has gone but she sees a strange figure lurking in the shadows. She tells the figure that they are all being good and closes the door. The figure then breathes heavily a few times and lets out a scream.
The Doctor is looking down a drain cover and is hearing a strange sound coming from below. He concludes that either something odd is happening down there or that the rats have discovered the delights of the D’Oyly Carte. As the Doctor walks away, a plume of gas emerges from the drain.
At the TARDIS, the ground begins to shake and crack. Alison watches in shock as the TARDIS is swallowed by the Earth.
The Doctor then comes across a figure made of solidified lava. A voice from the shadows then utters “never knew what hit him”. The Doctor then sees an old homeless lady and asks if she’s referring to the figure in front of him but she replies that she actually means “my Oswald”; remarking that he was run over in 1987 and adds that he was such a lovely kitten that grew up to be an awkward cat. The Doctor then remarks that he must have used up all his nine lives; much like him. He asks the old lady her name and she introduces herself Mrs Mathilda Pierce. He then kisses her hand and greets her warmly. She asks him what he’s doing and he replies that he doesn’t know; adding that “they” keep putting him in places where terrible things are going to happen though she is confused by his answer and asks him for spare change. The Doctor quickly rummages through his pockets and produces a number of alien items that would be worth nothing to her and she, angrily, says that he’s being cruel to her but he reassures her that he isn’t; adding that he’s also homeless and gives her all of the items from his pocket. He then asks her what she knows about the solidified figure. She suddenly seems very nervous but the Doctor doesn’t notice this; adding that she’s the first person he’s seen on the streets and would like some help. She mutters that she has nowhere else to go as she left her house because “the floor wasn’t solid”. The Doctor is curious as to what she means but she continues talking, remarking that she used to have twenty-eight cats but they all ran away. All the cats, dogs and birds have left the town. The Doctor asks her why and she replies that cats are scared of things they can hear and it’s like how a tiger marks its territory. While she’s talking, the street lamp begins to flicker. The Doctor realises it’s like a low frequency sound that keeps other predators away but that doesn’t explain why there are no people around. Mathilda is looking more and more anxious and tells the Doctor he should keep his feet off the grass. He asks why and she replies “it’s down…. there” while looking downwards. The ground then starts to shake again and Mathilda becomes very worried. The Doctor tries to calm her by saying it’s merely an Earth tremor but it gets worse and she screams very loudly. The shaking stops and the Doctor checks if Mathilda is alright. But he quickly realises that she’s dead, making him very angry.
Alison returns home to her boyfriend Joe and he asks her about her day at work. She tells him about a weird guy who came in asking questions leading Joe to remark “you always get the nutters”. She goes to switch the TV on but Joe stops her. She merely wanted to see what was on but knows she can’t raise the volume loud enough for them to actually hear anything. Joe remarks that he likes how quiet it is in their house and out in the street which angers Alison. He apologises and said he went into his surgery and that were even a few patients there. All of them had throat complaints and Alison says she’s been getting rather hoarse as well. Knowing she hasn’t been shouting at anyone, she assumes that a bug must be going around. She wants things around them to change but Joe is happy with the way everything is. He tells her that they must keep on living.
There’s suddenly a knock at the door and Alison answers it to find the Doctor standing there. She’s very surprised to see him and he marches in, remarking that a lovely old lady has just died and is wondering if anyone cares. Joe is curious as to whom this stranger is and Alison tells him it’s the man from the pub. The Doctor knows that Alison cares as she was going to tell him at the pub. He’s desperate to know what’s going on and why everyone is staying off the streets. She asks how he found her and he replies that her address was on her payslip. He remarks that the phones don’t work, there are no current newspapers or magazines and there’s no one on the streets. He adds that the town has been cut off for around three weeks and no one else in the rest of the country seems to have noticed. He asks what they’ve allowed to happen; remarking “as you humans allow so many things”. Alison queries what he means by “humans” but Joe is outraged that the Doctor has come into their house and is accusing them of such things when a mug suddenly falls on the floor and breaks. Joe looks very alarmed at this and the Doctor realises he’s scared of something coming out of the ground; adding that they’re acting like they’re walking on eggshells and he tips a load of plates onto the floor. He takes a threatening step towards Joe and says that if they don’t tell him what’s going on, he’ll keep making noise until he finds out for himself. Alison goes to slap him but he quickly grabs her wrist, realising that she seems to be the only one willing to fight. She says that if he gives her a way to fight then she will. Joe says that Alison doesn’t know what she’s talking about but the Doctor ignores him and presses Alison for more information.
She explains that three weeks ago a vibrating sound started deep underground. It could be heard through the pipes and it was there when they slept “right at the edge of hearing”. Joe warns her to stop but she tells him she has to; someone has to and the Doctor says that he’s heard the sound himself. He says that they’re “living above an angry landlord with a very long broom handle who wants you to stay very, very quiet.” Alison says that she sometimes sees one of them on the street watching her and that she saw it earlier that night. Joe says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about; he hasn’t seen anything and everything is perfectly normal. He asks the Doctor to leave but he ignores him and asks Alison about the solidified lava; deducing that it was a person. She replies that it was Kim, her friend from work. She was disliked by Max because she talked too much and she wanted to get a message out to someone, to try and do something about their situation. Then when she was walking home one night, the ground opened up and she started covering herself in lava. She was smearing it all over her body and was screaming the whole time for them to stop her but Joe says that they couldn’t. Alison says they physically couldn’t move and then eventually Kim didn’t have hands any more so she dunked her face in the lava and then she solidified.
The Doctor apologises for their loss and promises them that this is going to end tonight and Joe sarcastically thanks him; adding that they are probably going to see some of those punishments now. The lava is for the ones who really push it and that “if you’re lucky you’ll just get your brain fried by the sound.” Joe asks him if he knows what it’s like to be a doctor and not be able to do anything about these problems. The Doctor sighs and says there are so many answers to that question but is not interested in giving them. He realises why they are all afraid and Alison adds that the sound makes them afraid.
The ground starts to shake again and the Doctor tells Alison and Joe to get behind him. Joe says “They say they’re down there. In the rocks. They say they’re monsters” and the Doctor says that’s why he’s been sent there. Alison asks who he is and he says that he knows about monsters and declares that he is the Doctor.
At that moment, two large, hooded, worm-like creatures burst out of the ground in front of them and start screaming.
The Doctor tells the creatures that they must be the aliens he’s heard so much about. He adds that it’s been a long time since anyone screamed at him and that was merely because they were waiting for Elvis to come on.
He grabs a lamp and swipes at one of the creatures which decapitates it. The other continues to scream at the Doctor but he holds up a tray in front of it which deflects its screams back at it and its head explodes.
The Doctor orders Alison and Joe to run. Alison shouts that he killed them and he angrily replies that he never kills. He says that they must be bio-plasmic creatures; meaning that their outer bodies are like a crust and they are just masses of goo inside. As the Doctor picks the lock to a shop next door to the house, he says that the creatures will knit themselves back together and also says that their eyes don’t seem to be good; meaning that they probably live underground using sound to navigate and their hoods act as a sonic weapon to stun their prey which, at the moment, is them. He finishes picking the lock and orders them to step inside.
Back in the house, the creatures have indeed restored themselves. They dive into the ground, which is now molten.
In the shop, the Doctor lifts the lid off a bin and Alison is wondering what they’re doing there but he quickly orders them to fill the bin with fertiliser bags and newspaper. Joe calls the Doctor insane and asks what he thinks he can do and he replies “Resist them! Surprise them! Oh and possibly perform a few show tunes so hush!” He tells Alison not to just stand there but she replies that she wants to move but it’s like there’s a terrible fear, the vibrations… The Doctor reminds her that she was able to fight it before and urges her to do so again. He asks if she’s the same as all the other “sheep”. She tells him to be quiet and to show her.
A series of cracks begin to run along the ground accompanied by the sound.
Joe says that he’s not a coward and that he would join an army if there was one. But it’s only them and he doesn’t understand how what they’re doing can work. The Doctor gets tired of his moaning and says if he can find something to add to their little concoction then these aliens will get a nasty surprise. Joe asks the Doctor why he’s not afraid of the sound and he remarks that he’s let that slip before. They work out that he’s not human so Alison asks him what he is and he replies “mildly annoyed”. He then lights a match and touches it to the ‘fuse’ of their mixture.
The cracks appear at the front of the shop.
The fuse continues to burn and the Doctor urges Alison and Joe to run.
The creatures burst out of the ground inside the shop and start screaming but they stop once they notice the fuse burning.
Alison asks how big this is going to be as it’s “right next to –” but before she can finish her sentence they are rocked by a huge explosion that destroys the shop and their house. She then concludes her unfinished sentence by saying “– our house.”
The two creatures swirl and warp into the ground below.
The Doctor is thrilled by what he’s accomplished so Joe asks him what he’s done and he replies “Everything!” He states that the sonic pulse from the explosion will stun the creatures into staying underground for several hours. The ones that were in the shop will take days to reform themselves. The sound from underground has stopped and they hear the sound of cheering coming from all the locals. The Doctor declares that they are now free. He tells Alison that he kept his promise of eliminating the threat that night and bids her a fond farewell. As he’s walking away, as an afterthought, he apologises for their house.
While the locals continue to cheer, one of the creatures, which has a more humanoid appearance that the rest of them (which is also the figure that Alison saw earlier) silently observes this scene for a moment, screams and then disappears into the ground.
The Doctor arrives back at the spot where he left the TARDIS to find it has gone. He angrily shouts that he’s done enough and that the people are going to be fine. He takes out his phone and calls the Secretary General, saying that he’s in “a spot of bother” in Lancashire and requests a team of speleologists.
Underground, the creatures continue to scream and are staring at the TARDIS which is sitting atop a small mound. The humanoid creature descends from above and steps towards the TARDIS. It screams at the doors until they eventually burst open. It enters the TARDIS and discovers there is someone inside: the Master. He seems a little wary of this intruder but speaks to it in a pleasant manner; asking if it wishes to commandeer the TARDIS. The creature orders him to stand aside but he replies that he’s a dedicated companion to the owner of the ship and refuses. He then compares their intelligences and quotes “empty vessels make the most noise”. The creature disagrees and begins to scream but the Master presses a button on the console which erects a force field that expels the creature from the TARDIS. He then remarks “as you just found out for yourself”. He tells the creatures that he can reflect all their screams but he will find it rather tiresome.
A helicopter is flying over the town and a voice is stating that a convoy heading for the north of England and Scotland will be departing in five minutes. It adds that only those with the surnames Adams to Matthews may come aboard. Nelson to Zuma must continue to queue at the clock tower and will not be allowed on the transport.
The Doctor is at the army headquarters (which have been set up in a school) and is greeted by Major Thomas Kennet who is in charge of the operation. Though the Doctor is not in the mood for pleasantries, saying that he specifically asked for a team of speleologists so he can recover the TARDIS and leave. Kennet tells him the evacuation will be done by 8pm and then says he will need the Doctor’s help. The Doctor replies that he’s put everything he knows about the creatures on record and listed the names of a dozen academics and linguists who can help the army communicate with them but the Major says that they can talk to them once they’re no longer a threat. The Doctor replies that he won’t be there when that happens. Kennet tells the Doctor that he’s read his file and found it exciting; adding that if he helps them then they will get his TARDIS back. The Doctor finds this ridiculous and remarks that he always seems to attract the military; “They’re either arresting me, making strong, sweet tea or killing my friends!” And he orders Kennet to find someone else to play his games with and begins to walk out but the Major tells him that the estimated civilian death toll is 637; adding that it is their job to prevent that and that the Doctor will get to be “superior and eccentric”. The Doctor relents and begins drawing on a chalkboard, asking Kennet if the controlled people were doing anything in particular. He replies that they were at home and that they were allowed to go to work but most of them were so scared that they didn’t leave their houses. The Doctor is curious that no one else entered the town and Kennet tells him that they simply didn’t think to. Delivery lorries would drop their cargo on the edge of the town and then report back as normal. The Doctor mutters that it’s amazing control and Kennet tells him that only one person reported seeing a creature before he brought them out of hiding but he already knows the Major is referring to Alison. Kennet is wondering why this is happening just in that particular town but the Doctor has figured that out: it is sitting on top of a plume of ancient volcanic rock and that the creatures probably evolved on their home planet to be able to manipulate that type of rock with their sonic screams. The Doctor points to his drawing, showing the spot at which the volcanic rock meets metamorphic rock and caves that allow access to that point. He begins to say that he and his team of speleologists will go in but the Major cuts him off by saying that him and his men will be accompanying the Doctor down there and that he will then get to see what a TARDIS looks like.
The creatures continue to scream underground.
Alison and Joe are in the back of an army truck being driven away. He sarcastically remarks that they are “getting out of small town” and going back to the big city, which he does not want to do. Alison assures him that this is their chance to have a fresh start. They start to hear a rumbling sound which Alison hopes is the truck shaking. The driver sees something ahead and swerves off the road to avoid it. The ground beneath them then opens up and a creature appears in the back of the truck. It then dives back underground, taking Alison with it…
Kennet is talking to someone via radio and orders them to engage with high explosives. He tells the Doctor that he’s just received word from a helicopter unit that an evacuation truck is being attacked. The Doctor is annoyed as he thought the explosion would be enough to hold the creatures off. He remarks that they are surprising him which is both worrying and odd. He’s curious as to why they are continuing with all the punishments after the town has been evacuated. Lieutenant Greaves, Kennet’s deputy, begins to give a humorous response but the Major silences him. Kennet states that this is a reconnaissance mission; they must find their enemy, determine their position and then either retreat or call in reinforcements but the Doctor cuts in that he’s only interested in getting his TARDIS back. Kennet offers the Doctor a gun who reminds the Major that he’s there under duress and sternly warns him never to offer him a gun again.
Underground, Alison is chained up among the creatures who continue with their screams. She shouts that she is not going to let them control her but the humanoid creature merely screams in her face and she passes out. It then digs a sharp claw into her forehead.
The Doctor and the soldiers have begun walking through the caves. Kennet asks Greaves which way they need to go but the Doctor answers for him (much to Greaves’ annoyance), saying that he can sense the TARDIS. He also warns the soldiers that if they see they creatures, they are not to shoot at them but Kennet angrily tells the Doctor that he’s not allowed to give his men orders.
They then hear a load roar and a very large creature is seen lumbering towards them. Kennet asks what it is and Greaves replies that it’s a “dirty great alien monster sir! Just a guess”. The Doctor realises that it’s actually dozens of them which have joined together to form a “colony creature”. The Doctor then shouts for the men to scatter and Kennet orders them to throw grenades. The Doctor adds that they should throw them into the corner as the sound will hurt the creature so Kennet re-iterates this. The Doctor then points out that he did just give the men orders “and it felt so good!” The Doctor then runs forward just before the grenades detonate. The explosions trigger an avalanche that leaves the Doctor and the colony creature on one side and the soldiers on the other. Kennet realises that the Doctor did that intentionally.
The colony creature is bearing down on the Doctor but he is fascinated by it. Hoping that he doesn’t taste of boot polish, he dives into the creature’s mouth. Standing among its teeth, he orders it too take him home and lets out a triumphant “Yee-Ha!” as it sets off.
The Master is still inside the force field in the TARDIS and remarks that every day presents a new challenge to his dignity. The phone then rings but it is outside the force field so the Master is unable to pick it up. The answering machine then kicks in and plays the Doctor’s recorded message in which he sounds like he is being tickled – leading the Master to comment that the Doctor really needs to change that message. He then hears a roar from the phone and the Doctor asks if he’s there and the Master mutters that he’s trying to get there. The Doctor tells his fellow Time Lord that if he can hear him then he should consider setting up the secondary configuration suite, knowing that it will mean nothing can get in but he’s never encountered this species before and that there’s something worryingly confident about them. He then hangs up. The Master sighs and flicks a switch on the console which closes the doors. He then exasperatingly asks himself why he chose to continue to exist and listen to the Doctor being right all the time when he could have had a slow and painful death.
The colony creature has arrived in the area where the TARDIS is. The Doctor warmly greets the horde of creatures staring at him and spots the TARDIS, remarking that it’s time he must be leaving but the humanoid creature blocks his path. It asks him “what are you?” but he replies that the correct question is “how are you?” and he then asks that question to the creature. It replies that it is Prime, War Chief of the Shalka Confederacy but the Doctor, clearly unimpressed, points out that is “who are you?”. He introduces himself to Prime and remarks that he is from a highly advanced alien species very different to theirs and that he only comes to Earth for the wine and the total eclipses. He also adds that he loves a good old fashioned invasion and that the troops before him could do with a spot of regime change. He then realises that there are so many and tries to do a quick estimation but Prime cuts in saying that there is “a bridgehead force of two-thousand Shalka!” and asks the Doctor if that that’s the information if he was after. He says that he’s never heard of the Shalka and remarks that they can’t be that important which angers Prime. The Doctor then notices a wormhole on the other side of the room and wonders if that’s what the Shalka call it. Prime tells the Doctor to stop acting like a fool and just ask his questions. He asks Prime why they invaded just a small part of Lancashire and she replies that they have a far greater ambition. The Doctor asks if she means Nottinghamshire, angering her even further. He then remarks that he likes her humanoid form as it distinguishes her from her “hench-worms”; she can speak and breathe air whilst they can’t. She says that she values understanding her enemy and that she’s experienced “so called” human culture. Lower creatures such as humans are not united like the Shalka are. The Doctor comments that their technology is based on sound which they’ve linked to their natural attack mechanism; making it advanced enough to control a black hole and hollowed out spaces like the one they are in within the space of a few weeks. He admits that he’s impressed and remarks that if this is a “dying home world job” then they don’t need an invasion as humans don’t use the interior part of the Earth so the Shalka could easily inhabit underground and co-exist with the humans. The Doctor adds that they would probably have to take a turn cleaning out Wookey Hole but Prime replies that their home world is not dying; it is the centre of their empire of a billion worlds. The Doctor is not interested in this and begins walking to the TARDIS, quoting “I’m not human and I don’t care.” But Prime stops him and briefly screams in his face before remarking that he is a lower creature too.
Alison is then brought in and is being restrained by a Shalka. Prime says that he has the same weaknesses as a lower creature. The Doctor questions if this means that they are going to cook. Alison screams in terror as her face is held close to a blowhole spewing lava. The Doctor yells for them to stop and agrees to do what they say as long as they don’t hurt her. Prime declares that, as a lower creature, he will do as they say.
The Doctor steps into the TARDIS and the Master greets him, asking him where he has been. He also asks the Doctor not to tell him that he’s done something foolish, again. The Master says “I won’t let –” but the Doctor presses a button on a remote and the Master stops talking and his face opens up, revealing a robotic face underneath. Prime is unimpressed by this “simple toy” and says it was hardly worth the Doctor’s humiliation.
The soldiers are continuing to make their way through the caves while being pursued by Shalka. Greaves reports to Kennet that there are at least three of them and the Major orders his men to retreat.
The Doctor and Alison have been imprisoned together. She is trying to say that she didn’t do anything but the Doctor keeps shushing her. He angrily asks why she’s down there and she explains how the Shalka kidnapped her and that their sound protected her from the lava. He yells that he should have let her die as that would have made the Shalka see him as “the detached alien observer. But no! As always, only the monsters know me! Only they know how weak I really am!” She assures him that he gave in because they threatened her and that anyone else would have done the same. He remarks that he did try something else the last time something like this happened which is ultimately why he told himself that he would never get into similar situations again. She asks what happens but he mumbles that it doesn’t matter. He then starts chuckling, leading Alison to get rather annoyed as this situation is not her fault and she asks how they can get out. He replies that if he was on his own he would improvise something but it’s not as easy these days when he has someone else to worry about. He asks her why she didn’t offer to sacrifice herself as it was all down to him. She sternly replies that she’s not going to sacrifice herself for Lannet as it’s “the dullest place in the universe”. The Doctor disagrees, saying that she should see his home planet. She says that she was thinking about leaving Lannet when all of this kicked off. He asks if she was going to leave Joe but she’s not sure. She was hoping that he would come too. He asks if Joe knew how she felt and she says she was about to start telling him how unhappy she was but then the town was invaded by aliens which obviously changed her priorities somewhat. She is now hoping that Joe will not get killed, given the current situation between them. She believes that sounds very selfish but the Doctor assures her it isn’t and that he understands. Alison then gets a sudden pain in her head and the Doctor notices the cut on her forehead, asking her where she got it but she doesn’t remember. She says that she’s been getting headaches ever since the Shalka brought her down there and the Doctor remarks that’s due to the atmosphere. Prime keeps air circulating down there rather than breathing it but there is a lot of volcanic gas in the air. The Doctor removes an inhaler and puffs it into the air. He asks Alison if she fancies “a puff of my huffer” but she seems rather repulsed at the thought.
At that moment, a door opens and Prime steps in. She says that they now understand the principles of the TARDIS. He asks her if she could explain them to him but she ignores this and calls it “a simple cause and effect device” and that they will easily be able to operate it meaning that the Doctor will now die.
The Doctor and Alison are standing in front of the wormhole. He says that her plaintive cries didn’t help but she shushes him. Prime explains that the space time tunnel to their home planet is created by the sonic control of a singularity. With this setup, they can transport their armies across thousands of light-years in an instant. But she then changes the setup and the wormhole changes into a black hole which Prime states “crashes whatever is thrown into it down to a mathematical point” and that they use it to dispose of their waste. The Doctor asks what they will do with Alison but one of the Shalka begins moving him towards the black hole. Alison yells for them to leave him alone, leading Prime to comment that lower creatures always believe that their cries will have some effect on them which she finds strange. With a final push from the Shalka, the Doctor is thrown into the black hole.
Alison has once again been imprisoned among the Shalka. Prime and the other Shalka let out a scream which sends a shockwave of cracks up towards the surface.
In the TARDIS, three Shalka are flicking switches on the console when the Master starts making sounds and moving. The Shalka curiously watch as the Master suddenly finishes his sentence from earlier “– you hurt yourself again.” He then closes his face plate and remarks that his plan worked perfectly. The Shalka begin snarling at him but he seemingly doesn’t notice this, remarking that it was definitely a plan. He knew the Doctor would deactivate him because otherwise he would prevent the Doctor from hiding the secrets of the TARDIS. The Shalka then stand down a bit and the Master points out that they now need him to show them how the real system works in return for safe passage off Earth. He then asks the Shalka where they will begin.
On the surface, Greaves is telling Joe that the area is still not safe as there is a possibility of lava becoming dry later on. Joe shouts that he can’t believe Alison is gone but Greaves ignores him and says that the next evacuation truck will come along in ten minutes and that he is going to be on it. Joe says “I’m not going anywhere without –” but then the ground starts to shake and a series of cracks appear on the ground. There’s a flash of light and they see Alison standing there. Joe runs to her and Greaves calls for a stretcher party. Joe asks her if she’s ok but she seems to be in a bit of a daze and asks where she is. He replies that she’s back in Lannet and she realises that the Shalka let her go which she doesn’t understand. She then also realises that they killed the Doctor but Joe assures her that she’s safe now and that they’re leaving.
The Doctor is falling through an infinite void. He calls Kennet using his portable phone but the Major does not answer. He leaves him a message saying he’s about to die and the aliens are called the Shalka. He also explains about the wormhole and that if the army can destroy it then the Shalka may do a deal with them. He then laments how he got Alison killed and that it’s not the first time so that means it’s best that he not do this anymore. He also says that he has some last words for the universe; “they are……battery low??!!” when he notices his phone is low on power. He then uses the sonic screwdriver to try and fix the phone, declaring that he will have his last words. He says that this is not how he wanted to spend his last remaining… But his sentence drifts off as he thinks about time and that then makes him think of the TARDIS; realising the phone he’s holding is part of the TARDIS and tries to make the phone remember that using the sonic screwdriver. The doors to the TARDIS then begin to appear in front of him piece by piece. The Doctor shouts that he only needs a handle and not to worry about the sign! With that, a handle appears and the Doctor opens the door and pulls himself inside the TARDIS.
He finds himself facing the Master and the three Shalka. The Master is thrilled that the Doctor is alive but one of the Shalka hisses at him so he instead tells him off for profaning a craft of the Shalka Confederacy with his presence. The Doctor politely introduces himself to the Shalka as he walks towards the console and then he introduces the Master who, he notices, isn’t holding onto anything. The Master then quickly grabs a nearby handrail and the Doctor presses a button on the console which opens the doors and sucks the three Shalka out of the TARDIS and into the void of the black hole. The Master prepares to explain himself but the Doctor tells him he doesn’t have to which pleases him and he asks the Doctor if he’s saved the day. He replies that he hasn’t and tells the Master to help him; adding that there is a chance she may still be alive. He begins to say that they need to do a biological scan of the caves but the Master cuts in by asking who the Doctor is referring to. He replies that he means Alison and the Master, disdainfully, says “A young woman?! Again?!” The Doctor re-affirms this and the TARDIS begins to take off but he tells the Master to stop as they can’t leave yet because of the Shalka force field. But the Master cuts in by saying that it’s now been set to hold the TARDIS in the secondary configuration mode. The Doctor tells him that he has to be sure but the Master replies that the programming the Doctor did on his electronic brain is quite specific: they leave Alison behind. The Doctor sighs that he can’t do this anymore but the Master points out that he just did. As always, he is at least two things at one which the Master calls his “most infuriatingly human trait”. The TARDIS dematerialises from the cave as a few Shalka watch.
It rematerialises in Kennet’s office. The Doctor steps out and the Major remarks that he’s surprised to see him. The Doctor apologises for his earlier behaviour towards Kennet and his men but the Major cuts in that the reason for his surprise is that Alison told them that he was thrown into a black hole. The Doctor is astonished that she’s alive but questions why the Shalka let her go. Kennet replies that she doesn’t know and they will bring her in to get the full story from her which the Doctor agrees needs to be done quickly but adds that, for the moment, he would rather she keep away so that she and Joe can talk. Kennet then beholds the TARDIS and finds it fascinating. He remarks that he hasn’t seen one since he was a young man. He asks the Doctor, now that he has the TARDIS, why he’s still there and he replies that it’s because of the message he left for the Major. Kennet then begins to play back the message but the Doctor stops it after a few seconds, saying that it’s nothing the Major needs to hear. He asks Kennet if they can now manage on their own and he confirms that they can but the Doctor tells him that he has now found some form and may not be quite so useless. Kennet replies that it’s a pity they won’t get to find out when Greaves suddenly steps in, gasping for breath, and reports that they’ve managed to capture one of the Shalka. He then notices the Doctor and is disappointed, hoping that he got crushed under the avalanche but Kennet silences him. Greaves apologises and asks for permission to speak freely and retroactively which Kennet grants. The Doctor begins to ask if he can see the captured Shalka but stops himself. However, Kennet tells him that he can.
Max, and several other townspeople, have all gathered on the outskirts of Lannet and they are beginning to march together.
Alison and Joe are outside her mum’s house and she has just been informed that the Doctor is still alive, much to her disbelief. Joe remarks that it doesn’t look like her mum is home. She reminisces about her childhood memories of the area and says that she’s now there talking about outer space! Joe is very uncomfortable and says he doesn’t want to be there. She asks if they can talk about that later but he means that he doesn’t want to be here as he can feel that something is not right. A soldier then tells them he will be leaving when Joe punches him hard across the face, much to Alison’s shock. He yells that he didn’t mean to do that and that he had no control. Alison asks if the soldier is alright and Joe replies that he’s still breathing. The ground then starts to shake again and Alison quickly realises what this means. Joe is getting back into the truck but he cannot stop himself from doing so. Alison sits beside him in the passenger seat and asks what is happening. Joe starts the engine and they drive off. Alison tries to call the Doctor but she physically cannot bring herself to push the buttons on her phone.
A soldier is telling the Doctor about how they captured the Shalka. She explains that it was crossing the road and she was afraid to brake because they were carrying oxygen cylinders. The Doctor then realises that the Shalka inhaled some of that oxygen which knocked it out. Kennet says that they can’t simply advance on them with pure oxygen which the Doctor agrees with but says they can set up some kind of oxygen tent and Kennet says they can get one from the hospital. The Doctor orders them to wrap up the Shalka, keep feeding it oxygen and take it to the chemistry lab at the school. Greaves says to the unconscious Shalka “Whatever he’s planning to do you fella, I wouldn’t be in your…… whatever you do for shoes.” The Doctor tells Greaves not to bully it and Kennet re-iterates this.
Joe and Alison are driving through a thick mist and she has just woken up with a thumping headache. She asks how long she was asleep and Joe replies it was for a couple of hours and that he has no idea where he’s driving to. He says that his throat is feeling sore and he laments over the soldier he punched. She reassures him that it wasn’t his fault and remarks that, wherever they end up, she needs to get her head checked and he says that they will. She says it feels like there’s something inside.
The captured Shalka has been contained in a tent and is still being fed oxygen. The Doctor apologises to it, saying that they can’t allow it to communicate with its comrades. He turns up a dial and says that it’s going to get enough volcanic gas to keep it alive so that it can talk to him. A screaming sound then plays and the Doctor tells the Shalka that humanoids could be part of their sonic network and that they’re not as primitive as the Shalka think they are. Greaves then brings in a cup of coffee for the Doctor but he tells him to put it some distance away and says he’ll get to it eventually. Greaves says that when he looks at the creature, it makes him glad he took the ring back to the jewellers. It lets out a small hiss and Greaves remarks that it’s a lot more powerful than them and that if the rest of the Shalka knew it was there then they would come for them. The Doctor reminds Greaves that he fought them in the caves and asks him if he was afraid but he, unconvincingly, dismisses that notion. The Doctor asks him how his throat is and he replies that it could be better and that he thinks he’s getting laryngitis. The Doctor asks Greaves to keep an eye on the Shalka, saying that he’s popping out to do something…… eccentric. He then steps out and the oxygen flow being fed into the Shalka stops. It then rises up behind Greaves and screams as it manages to get out of its tent. Greaves cautiously backs away from it and calls for the Doctor just as it menacingly advances on him. He inhales some of its volcanic gas and starts coughing as the Doctor comes in with an oxygen cylinder and uses it to subdue the creature. Greaves then realises that the Doctor wanted it to get free and he replies that the Shalka scream does more than just simply scare their victims into obeying; “it softens them up for a long term control”. Greaves doesn’t understand what this means and the Doctor says that if you live above an angry landlord for a long time then it will get to the stage where he doesn’t have to keep bashing on the ceiling. Greaves asks where that gas came from and the Doctor replies “Out of your mouth! In a manner of speaking”. He then orders Greaves to get the creature back in its tent. He then walks out and Greaves mutters that he could sue the Doctor for that; if he could get a lawyer to believe it.
The Doctor runs into Kennet’s office who then remarks that he was just about to come and see him. The Doctor works out that something has happened to the evacuees. Kennet confirms this because they have received calls from relatives who were supposed to provide homes for them but none of them have arrived.
Alison and Joe have arrived at their destination which is in the middle of a forest. Alison wonders why the Shalka wanted them to stop there. They then see several people coming them towards them and Joe realises it’s everyone they know from Lannet. Alison says that the sound is still controlling them even though they can no longer hear it. Joe then spots Max who tells them that the soldiers evacuated them all but instead of going to their intended destinations they came to the forest instead. Alison asks if everyone has got something in their head but he replies that they haven’t. Joe decides to have a quick look at the wound on Alison’s forehead and he quietly mutters “oh dear.”
The Doctor asks Kennet where all the evacuees are and Kennet replies that they are in a place called Edale Wood in the Pennines. There are thousands of them there and the police thought it was an illegal rave so they have called for back-up. The Doctor comments that the area is not on volcanic rock so the Shalka must be using some form of direct control.
Joe is still inspecting Alison’s cut and concludes that it must be something that she got from the explosion at the shop. He wants to give it a squeeze but is worried he might hurt Alison but she doesn’t care and tells him to get it out. Joe suddenly looks a bit alarmed at what he’s seeing but keeps trying to get it out. He then stares in horror as a small Shalka parasite emerges from Alison’s forehead.
The screaming has starting again but is now coming from the Shalka in Alison’s head, much to everyone’s discomfort. They are starting to move again but still have no control over their movements. Someone shouts Alison’s name and she replies that there’s nothing she can do to stop it. She realises that the only option they have left is to shout for help and she encourages all the people to do just that.
An elderly caretaker and his younger colleague are standing outside near a warehouse when they hear the people shouting. The elder one wonders if this is a rave and why they would want to get in there. They arrive at the fence and the younger caretaker shouts that they’re locked up for the weekend and tells them all to go away. Max urges the two men to step back as “they’re making us do this!” The elder caretaker tells his colleague to call the police. But the people put so much force on the fence that it collapses to the ground and they advance on the two caretakers. Max, unwillingly, strangles the younger one.
Similar events are happening all over the world and each group is being led by one person who has a Shalka parasite in their head.
The TARDIS materialises amongst the group of people from Lannet. Greaves marvels at the TARDIS being bigger on the inside which Kennet agrees with. The Major and the rest of his men run out of the TARDIS and he orders them not to shoot unless absolutely necessary. The Doctor shouts for Alison and quickly spots her. Joe begins to move his hands towards the Doctor’s throat and apologises as he can’t control himself. The Doctor says that he knows and punches Joe across the face. He then notices the creature in Alison’s head and asks what the Shalka have done to her. The soldiers are firing a few shots in the air to try and gain control of the situation. Greaves declares that they will fire on them if they have to. Max shouts that it’s not them who are doing this. The people begin to advance on the soldiers and Kennet orders the men to hold their fire. He shouts for the Doctor and he replies that the creature in Alison’s head is the conduit; the Shalka are using it to control all the people and that parasite is living off of Alison’s body. He grabs her head and furiously shouts that he will not allow that. Max is beginning to advance on Greaves who fires a few shots in the air to try and ward him off but is clearly prepared to shoot him. The Doctor then finally removes the parasite which stops everyone shouting and the Doctor then promptly collapses.
He wakes up a short while later to see Alison and Kennet leaning over him. Alison tells the Major that she can’t find a pulse which leads the Doctor to reply “and with so many to choose from!” He gets to his feet and contains the parasite in a jar. He declares that the score is now 2:1 to him in the game of “I thought you were dead, Doctor”. He congratulates Kennet for not shooting anyone and the Major remarks that it’s about time they got some luck. The Doctor then adds that it’s about time they made their own and questions why the Shalka are still controlling people and why they had the people march on a warehouse. Greaves then reports that it’s not just happening there.
Back at HQ, they learn that twenty-six communities have been mobilised all over the world and that there may be others that they don’t know about. The Doctor says that they’re arranging themselves precisely around the planet and asks if there’s a map of their exact positions. Greaves begins to bring that information up and the Doctor adds that if they can get a satellite photo of an area of Siberia then they will find controlled people there too. Greaves then brings up a picture of China from an American satellite and they see that the controlled people there are all just standing still. The Doctor declares that they have to stop all these people from reaching their destinations and that they have to try and coordinate the armed forces in those areas. Greaves reports that the Chinese have started shooting and Kennet tells the Doctor that soon this will be the story everywhere. He replies that the Shalka will protect them but, at the same time, they can afford to lose a lot of their slaves. He doubts that the loss of the Lannet group will make a difference to their plan and Alison asks what that plan is. He asks her and Joe if they’ve still got sore throats and Greaves replies that he has too. Joe affirms that a number of patients have been suffering from sore throats for several weeks and the Doctor realises the Shalka are using humans to transmit the scream; they’ve been subsonicly training them while they’ve been under the Shalka’s influence. Alison asks why they’ve done this and he replies that it’s because human vocal chords have evolved in Earth’s atmosphere whilst theirs haven’t. He then opens a cylinder releasing a gas into the room which makes everyone start coughing and so he quickly turns it off. He tells them that is the Shalka’s preferred atmosphere which is typically found deep inside a planet rather than on the surface. That is what the captured Shalka got Greaves to make: a chemical reaction caused by severe agitation at the molecular level. The scream turns the oxygen and nitrogen in the air into the complex compounds that the Shalka prefer. Alison questions why they can’t simply do that themselves and he replies that they are using a fast track invasion plan: get the humans to do it for them. He adds that they’ve been waiting these past three weeks so that they can activate all their human slaves at once; each group being led by someone with a Shalka parasite in their head. Kennet begins to question about the new atmosphere the Shalka have planned but the Doctor cuts in that they won’t be able to breathe it and he doubts that it will be able to absorb solar radiation; meaning the weather is about to become their biggest enemy. The Shalka will be able to move freely on the surface while the chaos unfolds and finish off any remaining survivors. Kennet asks how long they’ve got and the Doctor replies that the atmosphere is a very sensitive system and given the number of release sites, he concludes that once the controlled people start screaming they’ll have, maybe, an hour.
The Shalka slaves across the world have now begun to scream.
Kennet states that their only option, regrettably, is to bomb all the slaves or at the very least, eliminate the ones with the parasites in their heads. The Doctor questions whether all the governments of the world could be persuaded to do that within an hour. Kennet concedes the point and asks what else they can do. He replies that he can think of many things but, for now, he tells the Major that he is just going to have to trust him and Alison. Joe is confused by that and the Doctor tells Alison that humanity only has minutes to live and that he has to engage the Shalka which he can’t do without her. She is willing to help though Kennet begins to argue but the Doctor tells him there’s no time. Joe tries to dissuade her but she sternly asks him whether he’s really going to ask her to stay with him given the circumstances. He replies that he won’t and she says they can talk when she gets back. He urges her to go and save the world so the Doctor takes her hand and they leave. Greaves tells Kennet that he’ll see to the troops and tells Joe to come with him. As the TARDIS is dematerialising, Kennet wishes the Doctor good luck and god speed.
The slaves are still screaming and a few Shalka are now among them. Two fighter planes are flying near one of the groups. A Shalka seems to concentrate its scream on one of the planes which makes it explode. They then do the same thing to the other plane.
In the TARDIS, the Master tells Alison that she, horrifyingly, reminds him of “all the others”. She challenges him about that remark and asks who he is. He says to her, in a sinister tone, “I am the Master. And you will –” but the Doctor then steps in so the Master quickly says “–come to like me once you get to know me my dear Miss Cheney.” The Doctor tells them that he’s just been in an extreme state of meditation so as to prepare himself for what is about to come; remarking that it’s hard to clear one’s mind of all its baggage in five minutes. He then sings quite loudly for a moment and asks Alison and the Master what they think. They exchange a sideways glance and the Master replies “just a touch flat”. The Doctor says he learned to do that from Dame Nellie, leading the Master to comment that he would never have guessed. Alison asks the two Time Lords what they’re talking about, stating that this is serious. The Doctor replies that he is being deadly serious.
The TARDIS materialises back in the cave of the Shalka. Alison asks if the Master is coming with them and the Doctor replies that he can’t leave the TARDIS. They step out and the Doctor comments that one can really admire the architecture of the cave now that there are less Shalka in it. He points to a spiral on the ceiling and Alison remarks that it’s very Gaudi, leading the Doctor to comment that he was a man who knew a thing or two about string; and that he was very lucky that the Doctor was there when he ran out. He then tells Alison that she’s a very informed barmaid and she replies that she gave up a degree in history to be with Joe. Prime then approaches them and she tells the Doctor that, despite the technology he possesses, he distracts, de-emphasises and he talks. She adds that she thinks that is all he does and he merely comments, sarcastically, that she sounds happy. She ignores this and declares that in a few moments Earth will be added to the Shalka Confederacy. He then tells Prime that he now has a horrible idea that he knows where their empire of a billion worlds is. She disagrees but he tells her that he used the TARDIS scanner to search for recent meteor debris and traces of radiation that suggest a miniature wormhole. He says that they’ve been targeting worlds that are in “ecological trouble” and she remarks that they take the weakest of the herd. She names three other planets that they have claimed and the Doctor replies that those planets were all dead with lost civilisations and that history records claim that they destroyed themselves. Prime says that they did most of the damage and then the Shalka merely finished them off. Those worlds are now occupied by billions of Shalka that reside underground and therefore don’t get into “ridiculous wars” like lesser creatures. She says that the Shalka now inhabit eighty percent of worlds in the universe; those which the Doctor rates as “dead”. The Doctor then calls Prime the “great limiting factor of the cosmos” and the “death principle” among other things and she replies that once the Earth’s atmosphere is gone and the surface is infected with solar radiation, the Shalka will arrive through the worm hole and live off pure volcanic energy.
Back at the army HQ, a storm is raging outside and Kennet is on the phone, stating that he knows there is utter chaos outside. A window then breaks and then he orders to be put through to someone in the Cabinet Office. Another window then breaks as the storm continues.
The Doctor realises now that this is why he was sent to Lannet. He adds that in all his years of travelling through time he never saw it. He declares that the Shalka are not predators, they are death incarnates.
Kennet is still on the phone but the line has gone dead. Greaves then runs in and tells the Major to keep away from the window because the sun is emitting raw radiation. The clouds then part revealing the sun and Kennet realises the ozone layer has been stripped away. He declares that they need to organise the men to get some kind of protection but Greaves tells him that it’s too late for that and that it’s the end of the world.
Similar freak weather events are happening all over the planet as the screaming continues.
Prime laughs and mutates into a larger, more grotesque creature and says “Call us ‘death’ if you wish Time Lord; for we bring extinction to the entire human race!”
The Doctor and Alison have been chained together on a giant stalagmite. Alison asks why the Shalka are still screaming and he says they use it as a way to transport messages between each other at high speed. She refers to it as a sonic internet and he gestures to a nearby machine; saying that it adds co-ordination by ensuring that all the slaves are doing as they’ve been instructed without the Shalka having to think about every single command. Alison asks the Doctor what he’s going to do and he’s trying to reach into his pocket to find the hairpin he used to open the door to the shop earlier. He then frees himself and proceeds to do the same for Alison.
Carnage is unfolding across the world due to the freak weather events as a tanker ship is sunk by a lightning strike, meteor showers rain down and hurricanes are blowing. All the while, the Shalka slaves are still screaming.
The Doctor is picking the lock to Alison’s chains and he says that Andy Warhol once told him “They always say that time changes things. But you actually have to change them yourselves”. He proclaims that Warhol was a wonderful man and that he wanted to paint “all nine of me”. As he frees Alison, she questions what he’s talking about he replies that he’s just getting his courage together. She thanks him and he hopes that in time she will allow him his eccentricities; adding that sometimes they are all he or the world has. She asks if he brought her down there purely so he could save her life and he replies that that would be shear vanity and that he needs her in a practical way. He then opens the jar containing the Shalka parasite and swallows the creature. It then begins to manifest inside his body and Alison quickly slaps him. He marvels at what it must be like to “escape the reliance of all life on other life! To take sustenance directly from worlds!” He tells her that the Shalka take good care of the worlds they’ve invaded after they’ve transformed them. She tries to break him out of this trance by continually slapping him until he stops her by grabbing her wrist. He tells her that it was linked to his neurons and that he was learning from and reprogramming it. He now understands the scream and all the information that goes with it. He adds that that was the pleasurable part; the dangerous bit comes now. He orders Alison not to move until he says.
He then moves towards the machine with hordes of Shalka all around him and he begins to sing. This doesn’t seem to affect the Shalka so he begins trying to rile them and it works as they then start screaming. He then falls to the ground but quickly gets up; telling the Shalka they’ll have to do better than that. He then proudly stands in front of them, declaring how strong he is and calls them “a bunch of one penny jelly snakes!” They then scream even louder and it looks to be too much for the Doctor to bear as he sinks to the ground once again. A small trickle of blood emerges from his nose but he quickly sniffs it back up and comically remarks “Hit me again George!” They continue to scream and so he lets out a scream of his own which makes all the Shalka explode one by one. He calls that “Perfect pitch! Finally!”
The Shalka slaves are still screaming as Prime watches over the chaos.
The Doctor proudly declares “I think! Therefore, I win!” but Prime tells him he hasn’t won. He comments that she’s kept her human vocal chords and she replies “Which doesn’t stop me from doing this!” and she screams at the Doctor; knocking him over. She calls him an amateur and declares that he could only destroy an untrained or inexperienced Shalka. She says that they have a tradition of sonic combat and he retorts that he has a tradition of getting in the way. She says that in delaying her, he is not preventing Earth’s destruction. The scream is continuing to operate without her having to oversee it but he says that, now he has the entire knowledge of their system in his head, he is eventually going to get the hang of it. He tries his scream again but hers prove too strong; ultimately forcing him further backwards. But it turns out that was part of the Doctor’s plan as Prime’s screams have propelled him right next to the machine and he pulls a lever which converts the wormhole into the black hole. Both Prime and the Doctor are sucked towards it but they grab the very edge. Alison is hanging onto a rock and Prime is wrapping her tentacles around the Doctor; in an effort to drag him in with her. She urges the Doctor to die and he replies that’s just it: life won’t die and he plants a firm kick in Prime’s face; sending her into the black hole. The Doctor then shouts for Alison to hit the button on the machine to convert the black hole back to the wormhole and she does so.
The Doctor then runs over to Alison and tells her they have to move quickly; there are hundreds of Shalka just under the surface that are directing and protecting the slaves. They’re starting to question why they haven’t had any central commands for several minutes but they are capable of finishing the job on their own. Alison asks how long they’ve got and he replies that the atmosphere could change at any time and asks her if she trusts him. She confirms that she does and the Doctor says that this is why he brought her. He regurgitates the parasite and says that he wants her to take it back.
Alison has removed the plaster on her forehead and is ready. The Doctor tells her that he’s put it into a deep sleep; as it’s a Shalka, it can communicate with the others via the scream and, as it grew inside a human brain, he was able to easily reprogram it. Now it will link her brain to the Shalka network and he puts the parasite back into the wound on her head. She questions whether she will be alright and he says that he would not risk losing her. She begins to comment how it feels when she suddenly feels strange. The Doctor tells her that she is in charge now; she must tell the slaves to be quiet and fend off any Shalka that try to stop her. She closes her eyes and concentrates.
The screaming is continuing across the globe but Alison orders all the slaves to listen; declaring that she is now one of them and orders them to stop screaming as they are now free. She tells the Doctor that the Shalka are trying to force her out and regain control. He reminds her that she had the strength to resist them on her own before; now all of those people are on her side and she can do it! The colony creature then lumbers in and the Doctor mutters there’s been a change of plan. He taps a glowing orb on the machine and talks into it; asking if he is now speaking to the Shalka and Alison confirms that he is. He asks them if they are all on the surface trying to control all of those humans themselves “spinning all those plates at once” and Alison replies that they are. He then declares “Well then, this how it feels to drop them!” He then lets out his own scream again which makes the colony creature explode, along with every single Shalka around the world. The parasite in Alison’s head then disappears and the Doctor proudly mutters “come to the cabaret!” Alison then realises that the Shalka are gone and the Doctor confirms that all of them, including the parasites, have been vaporised; “amateur indeed!” Alison then points out they could have used the scream to fix the atmosphere rather than just defeat the Shalka. She says that if she’d had just a few more seconds but the Doctor cuts in that he would never have allowed that; “humans can sort out the problems they make themselves”. She begins to say that every time she thinks she understands the Doctor but he cuts in that he feels the same way; “I don’t like the military but I have so many friends in it. I say I do not kill but then… I exterminate thousands!” Alison tells him that to do his best to keep all the plates from smashing and that he doesn’t have to be perfect. He smiles and says that he will. He then asks her if she wants tea to which she smiles.
Back at the army HQ, the storms have stopped but it is still raining. Kennet is treating Greaves with antiseptic for burns though the Lieutenant is finding it rather unpleasant. He asks for permission to howl which Kennet denies. The Major then looks out with window and relishes the smell of the clean air.
Alison is stirring her tea inside the TARDIS and remarks how big it is. The Master tells her that she’s only seen a small part of it and asks if she’s planning to stay long enough to see more of it. She’s initially unsure what he means by this but soon realises and says that she doesn’t think she’s been invited. The Master says that the Doctor would never invite her and neither would he; saying that he’s not all that fond of her. She asks why he keeps calling her “my dear” and he replies that he calls everyone that. However he does, reluctantly, admit that she offers the Doctor a companionship that he does not; which is something that the Doctor has not allowed himself in a long time. She asks what happened to make the Doctor such an “emotional island” and he replies that it’s for the Doctor tell her the story though the Master reckons that the Doctor sees an echo of it in her. She asks if the two of them have always travelled together and he replies “By no means! I was of aid to the Doctor after he had lost…… during the events that so damaged him” and that in return he offered the Master a last chance at salvation which he, rather foolishly, accepted. He also doubts that they will ever reach, as the Doctor promised, a place he calls Bognor Regis. But the Master is certain that the Doctor wants Alison to stay so as to have someone to share his exile with. Alison questions what the Doctor is exiled from but then the man himself enters, carrying an umbrella. He tells the Master off for, yet again, leaving the umbrella stand in the zeppelin hanger.
The Doctor and Alison step out of the TARDIS, sheltering from the rain under the umbrella. She asks whether he could have landed back at the school and he replies that his control over the TARDIS is somewhat erratic. She also asks if he could have, at the very least, got her back after the rain had stopped but the Doctor tells her that the rain is going to continue for a long time yet as the Earth needs to sort itself out. He remarks that the English will probably love it and want to conquer the world all over again which, he adds, would be bad. She asks, if she stays with him, whether they could go back and see the Pyramids so as to find out who really built them and the Doctor replies that the TARDIS can go to any time and any place. Joe, Kennet and Greaves then arrive in an army truck. The Major informs the Doctor that the Prime Minister and the US President have extended their gratitude, the UN has already been in touch and there’s even talk of a parade. The Doctor is clearly unimpressed and tells Kennet to leave the getting mushy to the Shalka. The Doctor is preparing to say goodbye to Alison though she is looking sad at the thought. Joe tries to talk to her and the Doctor begins walking back to the TARDIS but she urges him to wait. She tells him that she has to say goodbye to Joe which surprises both him and the Doctor. She tells her boyfriend that the Doctor can drop her off at her mum’s house. The Doctor then notices the burns on Greaves’ face and calls it a tan. The Lieutenant asks for permission to thump the Doctor but Kennet tells him that it suits him. Alison tells Joe that she’s bored and that this is her chance to do some travelling in a time machine! Joe asks the Doctor if he’ll be able to get her back. He then says, because it’s a time machine, she’s probably already back and tells him to call her mum. He does so but she is not there. She seems a little uncertain but affirms that they now know. Kennet then tells the Doctor that he can’t simply go off again all on his own and he agrees but he is not on his own. Kennet then asks the Doctor if he needs any extra help but he tells the Major that there is no extra room. The TARDIS light then switches on which the Doctor recognises as the Master indicating that he wants to go. It begins to make its signature noise and Alison asks if it always makes that “awful racket” and the Doctor replies that she’ll simply have to get used to that. She asks if there’s anything else she’ll have to get used to and he quickly runs through the ship rules: no running, no jumping, no pushing and no slapping. She seems rather disappointed at the last rule as she steps into the TARDIS. Joe, Kennet and Greaves watch as the TARDIS departs.
- The Doctor - Richard E Grant
- Alison Cheney - Sophie Okonedo
- Dawson / Greaves - Conor Moloney
- Max - Andrew Dunn
- Joe - Craig Kelly
- Mathilda Pierce - Anna Calder-Marshall
- The Master - Derek Jacobi
- Shalka Prime - Diana Quick
- Major Kennet - Jim Norton
- McGrath/Caretaker 2 -Ben Morrison
- Writer - Paul Cornell
- Director - Wilson Milam
- Producer - Muirinn Lane Kelly, Jelena Djordjevic
- Executive Producer - James Goss, Mario Dubois, Martin Trickey
- Editor - Ian Garrard
- Animator - Cosgrove Hall
- Animation Director - Jon Doyle
- Researcher - Daniel Judd
- Theme music - Ron Grainer
- Incidental Music - Russell Stone
- The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to turn his mobile phone into a door into the TARDIS.
- The Doctor is thrown towards a black hole.
- It appears the Doctor is working for the Time Lords.
- An android version of the Master is in the Doctor's TARDIS.
- In introducing himself to Alison, the Master starts to say "I am the Master and you will obey me", but is interrupted by the Doctor, so instead says "And you will... come to like me once you get to know me."
- When the Doctor first meets Alison Cheney in the pub, he asks if she's related to Lon Chaney, stating he had very hairy hands.
- The Doctor tells Alison that Andy Warhol wanted to paint "all nine" of him.
- If the viewer right clicks and selects play after the end of episode 3, an alternate version of the closing credits plays, followed by the final part of the episode.
- To give the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures an ongoing thread of foreshadowing to Scream of the Shalka, Justin Richards introduced a disembodied version of the Master permanently trapped in the machinery of the Doctor's TARDIS in the novel Sometime Never..., with the appearance of the Scream of the Shalka Master. The Eighth Doctor has several conversations with this Master in the later EDAs, with Richards intending that this Master would later be transferred into an android body by the Doctor. (DWM 338)
- Around the time of providing the voice of Alison, Sophie Okonedo also filmed a role in the movie Hotel Rwanda, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award; this makes Okonedo, to date, the only companion actor to have been nominated for an Oscar. Okonedo would eventually return to televised Doctor Who in the 2010 series as the recurring character Elizabeth X.
- Richard E Grant previously played a Tenth Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death and would later play Walter Simeon in TV: The Snowmen.
- This story was later released as part of The Animation Collection.
- Appearing in a cameo role in the serial was actor and Doctor Who fan David Tennant, who would go on to play the Tenth Doctor. He was not originally cast in the production, but Tennant happened to be recording a Radio 4 adaptation of The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents in a neighbouring studio. When he discovered what was being recorded next door, he convinced the director to give him a small role. (DWM 336)
Scream of the Shalka was produced to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who. It was originally posted in six weekly parts from 13 November to 18 December 2003 on BBCi's Doctor Who website. Although it was intended to be an "official" continuation of the television series that had ended in 1989, the revival of the programme in 2005 relegated it, and the Richard E Grant's Doctor, to "unbound" status.
Previous Doctor Who webcasts were produced with limited animation which was little more than a series of still illustrations. This story was the first-ever officially licensed fully animated Doctor Who story. Doctor Who had suspended production in 1989. Aside from charity specials, it had only resurfaced as an American-funded television movie in 1996, which hadn't garnered enough ratings to go to a regular series. When Shalka was announced in July 2003 for broadcast in November, the possibility of Doctor Who returning to television screens still seemed remote as BBC Worldwide were shopping around for another possible movie deal. As a result, BBCi announced, with BBC approval, that the Doctor appearing in Shalka would be the "official" Ninth Doctor. However, events rapidly overtook this.
In September, the Controller of BBC One, Lorraine Heggessey, persuaded BBC Worldwide that, as their plans for a Doctor Who film were nowhere near fruition, that BBC television should be allowed to make a new series. A deal with Russell T Davies to produce the new series was quickly struck, and on September 26, the BBC announced that Doctor Who would return to BBC One in 2005, produced by BBC Wales.
As a result, the "official" nature of the Shalka webcast was in doubt from even before it was released. After the web cast, in February 2004, plans for sequels were indefinitely shelved. For a period, it was unclear if the new television Doctor would be a new Ninth Doctor or a regenerated Tenth Doctor, but this was settled in April 2004 when in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Davies announced that the new television Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston), would be the official Ninth Doctor, relegating Richard E Grant's Doctor to unofficial status.
Grant's incarnation of the Time Lord (often referred to as the "REG Doctor" or the "Shalka Doctor" by fans) has since appeared in an online short story, The Feast of the Stone by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. Paul Cornell, who wrote Scream of the Shalka, has also referred to this story as his "unbound". 
Original website release/broadcast
- Episode 1 - 13 November 2003
- Episode 2 - 20 November 2003
- Episode 3 - 27 November 2003
- Episode 4 - 4 December 2003
- Episode 5 - 11 December 2003
- Episode 6 - 18 December 2003
- The cut on Allison's forehead originally appears on her right, but later appears in the middle.
- When Greaves is introduced in Episode Two he is a Lieutenant but in Episode Six Kennet refers to him as Sergeant.
DVD, video and other releases
- Audio commentary with writer Paul Cornell, director Wilson Milam and producer James Goss
- Carry On Screaming - Making of with executive producer Martin Trickey, producers Muirinn Lane Kelly and Jelena Djordjevic, animation director Jon Doyle, writer Paul Cornell and researcher Daniel Judd. Presented by James Goss
- The Screaming Sessions - Archival interviews from 2003 with actors Sophie Okonedo (Alison Cheney), Jim Norton (Major Kennett), Diana Quick (Prime), Craig Kelly (Joe), Anna Calder-Marshall (Mathilda Pierce) and director Wilson Milam
- Interweb of Fear - Brief history of the BBC website and the role Doctor Who has played over the years, with internet consultant Martin Belam, editor Ian Garrard, producer James Goss, commissioner Martin Trickey, rights expert Ann Kelly, iPlayer inventor Ben Lavender and Doctor Who executive producer Russell T Davies
- Photo Gallery
- Soundtrack Album
- Production Notes Subtitle Option
- Main article: Scream of the Shalka (novelisation)
Paul Cornell wrote a novelisation of Scream of the Shalka, which was published by BBC Books. This marked the first publication of a novelisation under the BBC Books paperback line since Doctor Who was so adapted in 1996, and the first novelisation of a non-televised Doctor Who story since The Ghosts of N-Space in 1995; it is also the only webcast to be so adapted. The book was augmented with a section chronicling the making of the webcast.