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The Clean Air Act was the fourth short story in The Target Storybook.

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Plot Edit

Returning from a scientific conference at Tarminster University, the Doctor and Jo discover a number of people lying in the gardens of a housing estate in Oak Green: all have inexplicably choked to death, except for a young girl named Sally Hesketh, who sits among them unharmed. The Doctor and UNIT are unable to determine the cause of death, although Sally’s parents appear to know more than they let on. Life in the village resumes – until a second incident occurs a few days later, and more of the Heskeths’ neighbours suffocate. Realising that the air around the Heskeths’ house has been drained away, the Doctor confronts Sally’s parents; in response Mrs Heskith turns into a fibrous, vegetable creature, which attacks the Doctor and joins its mind with his. Through their connection, the Doctor learns how Mrs Heskith ate an alien plant that her husband found in Papua New Guinea; the alien parasite has been draining off Earth’s air through a space tunnel, using it to replenish its own dying world. Struggling against the creature, the Doctor is able to cut it off at the roots using the folding metal frame of a sun-lounger. With the alien threat destroyed, UNIT closes down the village, attributing the incident to toxic paint cans buried during the war.

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Continuity Edit

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