OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 520
STORY NUMBER: 107
TRANSMITTED: 08 December 1979
WRITER: Bob Baker
DIRECTOR: Alan Bromly
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: 9.6 million viewers
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who - Nightmare of Eden but the DVD should be out now
Romana & The Doctor hide inside the Eden projection, accessible because of the lack of a key component in Tryst's CET Machine that restricts access to and from the projection. They confront one of the creatures seen on the ship and are saved by Stott, the missing member of Tryst's expedition who has been hiding in the recording. He is a major in the space corp tracking the drugs. Stored in the CET machine the Vraxoin is undetectable. Stott knows the source is somewhere in Eden but can't find it. They escape to the power unit where they meet K-9 who tells them he has seen five of the monsters which Stott calls Mandrells. The Mandrells run amok in the ship to the drugged Rigg's amusement. Tryst tries to persuade Fisk to tranquillise the Mandrells but Fisk orders them killed. The Doctor dispatches his friends on vital tasks while he remains in the power room. While alone he is attacked by a Mandrell. The Mandrell strikes a circuit bank and is electrocuted, reducing it to a pile of Vraxoin, revealing that they are the source of the drug to the Doctor. Romana tells Rigg that the Doctor is about to separate the ship but he, now addicted, demands Vraxoin from her and attacks her, preventing her from activating the power. She is saved by Fisk who tries to arrest her, threatening to shoot if she touches the controls. At the appointed time she activates the drive system and the ships begin to separate.....
There's a lot of running around manically in this episode, but the plot does move on with this missing member of the expedition being revealed and the Doctor putting his plan into action to separate the ships. The end of the episode, as the Doctor fades away, is rather odd as it's just not clear what's going on!
Some of the cast of this story are known to us from previous Doctor Who tales: Captain Rigg is David Daker who was Irongron in director Alan Bromly's only previous Doctor Who story The Time Warrior. Geoffrey Hinsliff, playing customs officer Fisk, was Jack Tyler in Image of the Fendahl. He's most famous for playing Don Brennan in Coronation Street. Peter Craze, as Costa, has two previous Doctor Who's to his name, playing Dako in The Space Museum and Du Pont in The War Games as well as a pair of Blake's 7s: he was in Seek Locate Destroy as Prell and Sand as Servalan's Assistant. He is the brother of Michael Craze, who played former companion Ben Jackson. Finally one of the passengers, Lionel Sansby, would have been seen as Krarg in Shada. Except, as we'll see, he wasn't.
The scenes of the passengers here in their cabins remind me of scenes with ageing passengers trapped in a crashed space liner in the last episode of the second series of The Hitch Hiker's guide to the Galaxy that Script Editor Douglas Adams would have been writing at about the time this story was made.