Script for Ultraworld

by Trevor Hoyle

(c)1980 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a complete dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1994 by Ruth Hanson and Micky DuPree.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon
Dayna Mellanby
Del Tarrant
Vila Restal
Ultra 1
Ultra 2
Ultra 3 Relf

[EXTERIOR. Multiple views of a star field]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. A strong signal is visible on the detector screen accompanied by regular audio signal.]

AVON(standing at flight position) What do you make of it? Pulsar?

CALLY(at weapons position) The sequence is regular enough, but no, I don't think so.

AVON(moves next to Tarrant at main pilot's console) Anything on the star charts?

TARRANTNot within this quadrant. Nothing listed, not even a Federation beacon.

AVONIt couldn't be that?


AVONThis has never been a transit lane for Federation ships. It's unlikely to be one now, wouldn't you say.

TARRANTAt the rate Servalan's empire is expanding, anything's possible.

AVON(moves down to stand in front of Zen) Zen, are we within visual scanner range?


VILA(seated in central area with Orac, laughs)

AVONWe're not disturbing you, I hope.

VILAWhat? No, not at all. Carry on. I'm just teaching Orac some new tricks.

AVONVila is teaching Orac? No, it doesn't make sense.

DAYNA(at communications position) Avon, it could be a false echo on the medium range detectors.

AVONYes, it could be. Zen, supply all available data on object bearing zero one, intersect five seven. Cally, what's the distance?

CALLYThree million spacials.

AVONWell Zen, we're waiting.

ZENPreliminary scan registers nil reading.

TARRANTNothing at all?

ZENThat is correct.

DAYNAWhat about its electromagnetic spectrum?

ZENThe object has no electromagnetic spectrum.

TARRANTBut it must have.

AVONZen, are we within visual scanner range now?


AVONAll right, let's see what this mysterious lump of nothing looks like.

[Main view screen display activates. It shows a large, silver globe rotating slowly.]

TARRANTWhat the hell is that?

DAYNAWhatever it is, I don't like the look of it.

AVONQuestion is, does it like the look of us?

TARRANTDon't deny us the benefit of your brilliant insights, Avon.

AVONYou don't have to be brilliant, just observant. There's only one thing it can be, an artificial planet.

DAYNAArtificial? You mean man made?

CALLYOr made by an alien life form.

VILAAlien. What? Where? Who's talking about aliens.

DAYNAGo back to your class, teacher.

AVONAs Cally says, it seems likely that was constructed by an alien life form which would explain the absence of any electromagnetic spectrum. There must be some kind of surface shielding that blocks radiation leakage. All we've picked up were reflections.

TARRANTBut it looks dead. No atmosphere. Nothing could live on that, surely?

AVON(moves to communications position next to Dayna) Not on it, no. But inside it. (manipulates controls on communications console. Speaker emits static.)

DAYNAWhat are you doing?

AVONNothing, on all channels. Either it is dead, or there's a total radio blackout. I wonder what they have to hide.

DAYNAI'm not keen on finding out.

TARRANTWell, this time, neither am I.

AVONDon't you find it interesting?

DAYNAYou'll be telling us next, we can learn a lot from whoever built it.

AVONWell, we certainly have nothing to teach them, unless it's how to remain ignorant. What do you think, Cally? Shall we stay and observe or shall we scuttle off with our closed minds intact?

CALLYIt would be dangerous to go too near.

TARRANTMy feelings exactly.

AVONAll right. We'll put the Liberator in orbit a thousand spacials out.

DAYNAAnd just observe?

AVONIs that safe enough for you?

TARRANTAll right, I'll set a course to bring her in.

[EXTERIOR. Liberator moving through space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILANo, Orac, you don't understand. I say 'Where to space pilots leave their ships?' and you say 'I don't know, where do space pilots leave their ships?'

ORACAnd supposing I don't wish to know that?

VILABut you've got to say it or the riddle won't work.

ORACIt is plainly nonsensical.

VILAOf course. That's the whole idea.

ORACI fail to see why I take part in a meaningless, illogical conversation. It doesn't make sense and is therefore a waste of time. I'm shutting down.

VILADo it for me this once, Orac, please. Ready? Where do space pilots leave their ships?

ORACI don't know. Where do space pilots leave their ships?

VILAAt parking meteors. (laughs)

AVONHe's getting worse.

TARRANTIf that's possible. Course laid in.

AVONZen, confirm acceptance.

ZENNavigation computers on line. Acceptance confirmed.

AVONAll right. It'll be a while before we reach it. In the meantime, I suggest we all get some rest.

TARRANTWhy not. (dims lighting on flight deck)

[Dayna, Vila and Avon exit from the flight deck on one side, Tarrant the other. Cally remains behind. She watches the image on the main view screen then brings her clenched fists up to cover her eyes, gradually lowering them once more to stare in fascination at the object.]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator travelling through space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator crew cabin]

VILA(into a recording device) Which lock can't be opened by a key? An airlock. (laughs)

DAYNA(entering cabin) Vila.

VILAJust a minute. Listen to this.

DAYNAVila, have you seen Ca...?

[Vila replays the recording.]

Tape: Which lock can't be opened by a key. An airlock. (laughter)

VILAYes, that's funny. Don't you think that's funny?

DAYNAHave you seen Cally?

VILAEveryone's a critic.

DAYNAHave you seen her?

VILANo, why? What's the matter?

DAYNAI'm not sure. Someone's been tampering with the teleport controls.

VILAWhat do you mean tampering?

DAYNAThe coordinates have been realigned.

VILAWell don't look at me.

[Communicator chimes]

AVON(v.o.) Vila, come to the flight deck. Right now, Vila.

[Dayna and Vila exit cabin.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Avon and Tarrant are present.]

TARRANTAre you sure? I didn't hear it.

AVONWait a minute. Let me get a fix on the signal.

TARRANTFrom the planet?

AVONSomebody's trying to contact us. Listen.

CALLY(v.o. faintly) Liberator...

VILA(entering flight deck) Where's the fire?

[Dayna follows him in.]

CALLY(v.o. faintly) Calling Liberator.

AVONBe quiet, Vila.

CALLY(v.o. signal is distorted and weak) I don't know where I am.

VILAThat's Cally's voice.

AVONCally, this is Liberator. Where are you? State your precise location.

CALLY(v.o. still faint) Help me, please. I don't know where I am.

AVONCally, where are you? We need your location.

CALLY(v.o.) I don't know. I don't know where I am.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld Control Room. A recording device rotates. Teleport bracelet is on top of the device]

CALLY(recording of her voice) Help me. Help me. Help me.

[A hand turns off the device and picks up the teleport bracelet.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Open communications channel emits static.]

AVONIt's no good, we've lost it.

TARRANTI don't understand. How did she get down there?

AVONShe must have used Orac.

TARRANTThat's not what I meant.

VILAYou'd better tell them, Dayna.

AVONTell us what?

DAYNAThe teleport coordinates have been altered to a new alignment.

AVONSo that's how.

TARRANTHow, but not why. What's the reason? Why suddenly decide to teleport down to a strange planet?

VILADay trip?

AVONWhen the planet was on the screen, did anyone notice Cally's reaction?

VILAI didn't.

AVONYou were too busy teaching Orac nursery rhymes.


TARRANTLook, this isn't going to get her back. Let's get moving.

AVONI wouldn't advise it.

TARRANTOh, and what would you advise? That we sit around exchanging speculations? You heard the transmissions. Cally's in trouble. She needs help. In my book you don't ignore a call from a fellow crew member.


TARRANTMeaning I'm going down. Look, if we use the same coordinates we should find ourselves... the same trouble that Cally's in.

TARRANTWe'll see.

AVONWait. That's an artificial planet out there, probably constructed by aliens, certainly unknown and possibly beyond our comprehension. And you are planning to go charging in without knowing what it is like or what to expect.

VILAYou've convinced me.

DAYNAWhich is a pretty strong argument for not waiting a second longer. We can't plan for something of which we've no earthly knowledge.

AVONMaybe you're right. Let's go.

TARRANTTouch of conscience?

AVONMore like insanity. You really believe in taking risks, don't you?

TARRANTCalculated ones.

AVONCalculated on what? Your fingers? (exits flight deck)

TARRANTLooks like you've been elected to mind the ship, Vila.

VILAOh really, what a shame. Never mind.

DAYNAI'll stay behind instead if you like.

VILANo, no, no. I wouldn't want to deprive you. I can see you're 'raring to go.

DAYNAYou sure you won't be lonely?

VILAI've got Orac for company.

DAYNAOh, I hope the two of you will be very happy.

[Vila exits]

TARRANTI still can't see why she would want to go down. It doesn't make sense.

DAYNADoes what we're doing?

[EXTERIOR. Ultraworld]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Avon, Tarrant and Dayna teleport in.]

AVONLet's go.

[Avon leads them down a corridor, running. They descend a staircase and run along a second corridor. Avon stops to study a drawing attached to the wall of the corridor.]

DAYNAWhat is it?

AVONLook. (indicates diagram)

TARRANTA circuit diagram?

AVONOf a computer.

DAYNAWhat's it doing here?

AVONIt's a map.


AVONOf this. We are inside a computer.

[They continue down the corridor at a walk. A bright light is emitted from a room as they pass the doorway. Tarrant stops and looks in.]

TARRANTAvon. Dayna.

[Avon and Dayna rejoin Tarrant. They all enter the room. Inside they are met by three aliens.]

ULTRA 3We are the Ultra.

ULTRA 2Welcome Avon, Tarrant, Dayna.

ULTRA 1Welcome to Ultraworld. [ Liberator crew members follow the Ultra farther into the control room. The Ultra seat themselves behind a console.]

TARRANTSo you know our names. What about you?

ULTRA 1We are the Ultra.

TARRANTSo you said.

ULTRA 1Our sole function and purpose is to gather and accumulate information.

DAYNAAll this? Just to collect information?

AVONData processing. Storage and retrieval. Ultraworld is a computer. Possibly the greatest concentration of computer power in the known systems.

ULTRA 3You speak knowledgeably.

AVONI can recognize germanium circuitry when I see it.

ULTRA 2Avon, yes of course. The electronics expert who single-handed embezzled five hundred million credits from the Federation Banking Cartel. An audacious theft.

AVONIf it had worked.

ULTRA 3And you, Del Tarrant. Graduate of the Federation Space Academy. Posted as missing along with the Federation pursuit ship which you used to run contraband in the outer planets.

AVONYou seem to know everything.

ULTRA 1That is our mission. To gather and accumulate information on all known worlds and civilization.

[Avon, Tarrant and Dayna holster their weapons and take seats opposite the Ultra.]

ULTRA 1Our memory banks contain a considerable amount of data about Earth.

[Ultra reaches out and activates a view screen. The screen displays the planet Earth]

ULTRA 2Third planet of an unremarkable star.

ULTRA 3Planetary mass is of an order which is common enough.

ULTRA 2The atmosphere is an unremarkable mix. Principly oxygen and nitrogen. All in all your world is...


ULTRA 1Except for the dominant species it gave rise to.

DAYNAOh, well at least it's got something of interest then.

ULTRA 3Everything has something of interest.

TARRANTYes, well. So much about us. What about you? You built all this?

ULTRA 1Not quite.

DAYNAThen how?

ULTRA 2It built itself. We are merely the custodians.

ULTRA 1You were not strictly correct in calling Ultraworld a computer. Ultraworld is much more than that. It possesses consciousness, self-awareness.

DAYNAYou mean it's alive?

ULTRA 3By any meaningful definition of the word, yes.

TARRANT(rises) We're wasting time.

AVONWait a minute. Germanium circuitry is clever stuff, but to the best of my knowledge it cannot think for itself nor can it reproduce its own structure.

ULTRA 1You have an astute mind, Avon.

AVONIf you say so.

ULTRA 2There is another process involved. Nucleoplasmic absorption.

TARRANTOh, well that's a relief. I thought it might be something complicated.

ULTRA 1The process is extremely complex.

AVONIgnore him. That's what passes for wit on board our ship.

DAYNAYour profile on our species should have included our sense of humor.

TARRANTAs you're so wise and all knowing, no doubt you can tell us what's happened to our crew member and where we can find her.

[Ultra reactivates view screen. The image displayed is Cally in a sleep cell. Avon and Dayna rise, all three Liberator crew draw weapons.]

DAYNAWhat's the matter with her? Is she all right?

ULTRA 1The female Cally is in a state of natural sleep. She is recovering.

TARRANTFrom what?

ULTRA 2She has undergone a severe mental trauma. We have placed her in a sleep cell to facilitate recovery.

DAYNAWhat caused this trauma?

ULTRA 2We do not know.

ULTRA 3Our instruments can detect no physical damage.

TARRANTWe want to see her.

ULTRA 3Of course.

ULTRA 1A most fascinating type of humanoid species, this girl Cally. One of the few telepaths we have encountered.

AVONHave you encountered many species?

ULTRA 1Millions.

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILAKnock, knock.

ORACWho's there?


ORACAtch who?

VILASorry, I didn't know you had a cold.

ORACA cold what?

VILANo, not a cold what. Just a cold. You know, cold, chill.

ORACI am not subject to colds and chills. Some trace deposits on my anodizers perhaps, but I am quite capable of dealing with that myself.

VILAForget it. Go back to sleep.

ORACIs this another riddle?


ORACThe idiosyncratic syntax of riddles interests me. They seem to depend for their effect on solecisms and grammatical discrepancies.


ORACDo you have another riddle for me to analyze?

VILAYou'd only spoil it.

ORACI thought you liked riddles.

VILAI do when I'm allowed to tell them properly. All you're interested in is the idiotic tintax or something.

ORACThat's very clever.

VILAWhat is?

ORACFor idiosyncratic syntax you substituted idiotic tintax. Yes, very good.

VILAIs it?

ORACAnother one, please.

VILARight. What's the best cure for water on the brain?

ORACI don't know. What is the best cure for water on the brain?

VILAA tap on the head.

ORACA tap on the head. Yes, I see. In this instance the word tap has a double meaning, as in to strike something and as a device for controlling the release of fluid from a tank or pipe. The fluid referred to is water, therefore, tap on the head has two ambivalent meanings, one pertaining to the striking of the cranium...

[Vila grabs his head in frustration.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon, Dayna and Tarrant look at Cally, still apparently asleep.]

DAYNAWell, she looks all right. She's breathing normally. Perhaps the Ultras were telling us the truth.

TARRANTI don't know. Avon?

AVONThey've presented no threat so far.

TARRANTMaybe they're biding their time.

AVONWhat for? They could take us out quite easily with their technology.

TARRANTDamn their technology. Is that all you care about? What about Cally? How did she come to be here? Why are they holding her?

AVONAccording to the Ultra, Cally is suffering from some kind of mental disturbance. They put her in here for her own good.

TARRANTBut for how long?

AVONPresumably until she recovers.

TARRANTAnd you're willing to take it all on trust?

AVONI don't take anything on trust. But it would be the height of stupidity to interfere and thus endanger Cally's life if that's what you were thinking of. We seem to have no choice but to accept the Ultra's word for it and also to accept that their sole function is to gather information.

TARRANTAnd because they said it we're supposed to believe them.

AVONWhat else are we to believe? I told you they could take us out like that. (snaps fingers) Why should they bother to lie?

[Tarrant exits]

DAYNAWhat was that about nucleoplasmic absorption? I didn't understand.

AVONNeither did I. It's outside my field. Something to do with cellular regeneration, I think.

DAYNAWell then maybe Ultraworld is a living organism.

AVONMaybe. We'd better contact Vila, make sure he's awake. (into bracelet communicator) Vila. Do you read?

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILAKnock. Knock. Who's there? The invisible man. Tell him I can't see him. (laughs)

AVON(v.o.) Vila. Where are you, Vila?

VILAYes, all right. I'm here. What is it?

AVON(v.o.) I told you to stand by. Not lie down.

VILAI was standing by. Anyway, what's going on?

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

AVONNot a great deal. We found Cally. She seems to be all right.

VILA(v.o.) Are you ready to teleport?

AVONNot yet. But I want you to be.

VILA(v.o.) You don't want me to come down.

AVONI want you to be ready to teleport us up.

VILA(v.o.) I was. I am.

DAYNAAnd Vila prime the neutron blasters just in case.

AVON(from near Cally) Dayna.

DAYNAWhat is it?

AVONWe seem to have lost Tarrant.


AVONYou'd better find him.


[Dayna exits sleep cell.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Tarrant retraces his steps to the control room. He enters and examines a rack of tubes. He takes one out and inserts it into an orifice in the control console. A view screen activates showing the head and shoulders of a man.]

TARRANTWho are you I wonder?

RELFSpecimen pee seven nine four three oh one one, humanoid vertebrate. Subcategory menial. What information do you require?

TARRANTSpecimen. But your identity. Who are you? Where are you from?

RELFMy name is Relf of Probus Four.

TARRANTBut if your thoughts, your memories are contained in this cylinder, where are you?

RELFNo knowledge, cannot answer.

TARRANTAre there others like you?


TARRANTAnd where are they?

RELFSome menials like me. Others absorbed in the core.

TARRANTCore, what's that?

RELFNo knowledge, cannot answer.

TARRANTThey exist in the core?

RELFThe core lives to expand. It must expand to live.

TARRANTYes, but what is it? What is the core? Where is it?

RELFNo knowledge, cannot answer.

[There is a noise from the corridor. Tarrant removes the tube and replaces it in the rack. He conceals himself behind a panel and draws his weapon. Ultra enter the room.]

ULTRA 3Sleep cell.

ULTRA 1Status?

ULTRA 2Transference is proceeding normally.

ULTRA 3Complete mental profile and personality spectrum is filed in memory store.

[View screen displays image of Cally in sleep cell.]

ULTRA 1Physiological characteristics.

ULTRA 2Transferred. Soon she will be wiped clean, ready for absorption.

ULTRA 1Fine specimen. Categorize as humanoid vertebrate. Subcategory, telepath.

ULTRA 3Very shortly we can remove her from the sleep cell.

ULTRA 2And the others?

ULTRA 1They will be dealt with in due course.

[Tarrant steps from concealment.]

TARRANTUnless the others deal with you first. (Ultra turn around) I just hope for your sakes the process is reversible. Because if it isn't...

[Ultra advance on him.]

TARRANTKeep back. Keep back.

ULTRA 1You cannot resist the power of the core. It overcomes everything.

ULTRA 2Everything.

ULTRA 3Everything.

[Tarrant appears to be going into trance. One of Dayna's self propelled explosives coming running along the floor and explodes, releasing a dense cloud of smoke. Ultra cough and choke. Their link with Tarrant is broken.]

DAYNATarrant. This way. Quickly.

[Tarrant follows Dayna out.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon is alone with Cally. He starts to contact Liberator, then stops and examines Cally's wrist. She is not wearing a teleport bracelet.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld. Dayna and Tarrant run down a corridor and ascend a staircase.]

TARRANTWe've got to warn Avon and get Cally out of that thing.

DAYNAWhat have they done to her?

[Down an adjacent corridor menials approach.]

TARRANTWe have to get out of sight quickly.

DAYNALike where, for example?


[They retrace their steps. Tarrant conceals himself under the staircase. Dayna follows.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

AVON(into communicator) Vila, do you read?

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck.]

VILAYes, go ahead.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

AVONEver alert as usual.

VILA(v.o.) You know me. What's up?

AVONWe could be... correction, we are in trouble. Stand by to bring us up. I'll keep this channel open.

VILA(v.o.) I'll get back to the teleport. What's the problem?

AVONRight now, your guess is as good as mine. But it doesn't look promising.

[Relf grabs Avon from behind, silencing him]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILAGo on, Avon. Are you there? I'm here. Are you there? Avon. Oh no. Oh please, no.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. A group of menials pass through the area. Dayna rises and levels her weapon at them. Tarrant restrains her and they hide once more.]

DAYNAWhat now?

TARRANT(into bracelet) Avon, this is Tarrant. Come in.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. The room is empty and Avon's teleport bracelet is on the floor]

TARRANT(v.o.) Avon, are you there? Do you hear me? Avon? Cally is in danger. Avon, do you hear? Cally is in danger.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor, still by the staircase]

DAYNACally. What have they done to her?

TARRANTSomething called transference. Ever seen a lizard suck a bird's egg dry? Well, that's what they were doing to Cally's brain. Draining her memory and personality and transferring them to the memory store.

DAYNAThat was the purpose of the sleep cell. And afterwards what happens to...

TARRANTWhatever's left? I don't know. The Ultra talked about absorption, whatever that is. Or maybe the victims end up like those. Walking dead.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1Step forward menial.

[Relf steps forward.]

ULTRA 1You have your next instructions. You understand them?

[Relf nods.]

ULTRA 1Proceed.

[Relf starts toward the exit]

ULTRA 1So now there are three left.

ULTRA 3For a supposedly intelligent species they are remarkably stupid.

ULTRA 2And when we've taken all five?

ULTRA 1Then we take the prize exhibit for the museum. The ship.

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILA(paces, then approaches Orac. He opens his mouth to speak, changes his mind, then takes out Orac's key.) You'd only bite my head off anyway. (puts key back) Orac, can you give me some advice?

ORACPlease do not waste my time with foolish generalities. I must insist you ask specific questions.

VILAOh, shut up you arrogant pile of junk. (takes key out and tosses it across the flight deck)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Tarrant and Dayna have been running. They pause.]

TARRANTNow where?

DAYNAWell, we're lost.

TARRANTPerhaps not (moves to a map and examines it) We're here. That's where we are. Here. (moves off in another direction)

DAYNATarrant, where are you going?

[Dayna follows him. A loud, regular throbbing sound can be heard.]

DAYNATarrant, what is it? What's that sound?

TARRANTThere's a door back there, quick.

[Menials approach. Dayna and Tarrant turn and run back to a door. They step into the room.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room]

TARRANTDayna. (closes the door)

DAYNAIt's cold in here.

TARRANTIt's freezing.

DAYNAWhat do you suppose this is?

TARRANTA store room, I would say if there was anything stored here. Shh.

[Sound of approaching footsteps is heard from the corridor. They gradually fade into silence.]

TARRANTThey've gone. (turns on the light)

[Dayna looks around. Three mind wiped people are propped up on supports. Dayna gasps.]

TARRANTYou wanted to know what happens to them afterwards. Here's your answer.

DAYNAAre they dead?

TARRANTIf they're not, they soon will be. No organism could withstand this temperature for very long.

DAYNAWhat's going to happen to them?


DAYNAAbsorbed? Into what? The memory store?

TARRANTNo. Their brain patterns are already stored there. These are just the empty husks, their minds wiped clean. Perhaps they're food.

DAYNAFood? For what?

TARRANTFor thought.

DAYNAYou mean their bodies have... (interrupted by sound of approaching footsteps)

[The door to the storage room opens. Three menials enter. One is Relf. Dayna holds her weapon on him. He watches as the other two menials remove one of the stored bodies. Dayna sneezes. Relf turns at the sound, but does not respond. She tests his response and gets none. The other two menials rejoin Relf, and all three exit.]

DAYNAWhat now?

TARRANTLet's follow, see where they go.

[INTERIOR. Sleep cell. Avon is restrained in the sleep unit.]

ULTRA 2Sleep will soon come. And when it does transference will take place. It is quite painless. You'll feel nothing. (destroys teleport bracelet) Ever again. Your mind will be released from your body. That is all.

AVONFirst of all you have to make me sleep. I tend to suffer from insomnia.

ULTRA 2You will sleep.

AVONI don't plan to.

ULTRA 2Do you suppose you have a choice. (adjusts the mechanism controlling the sleep unit)

AVONI will not sleep. I will not sleep.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld conveyor room. The room is full of equipment and a conveyor with restraints which leads to the core. Menials are loading bodies onto the conveyor and moving them for absorption.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld observation room. Dayna and Tarrant enter a small room which has a large glass window overlooking the conveyor.]

DAYNAYou were right. They're feeding something.

TARRANTBut what?

DAYNAThe planet. The Ultra said it was alive. That it possessed awareness, consciousness.

TARRANTBut it's a computer, not a living organism. Memory banks, germanium circuitry. We saw it all on the screens.

DAYNAPerhaps not all, Tarrant. (throbbing sound becomes louder) Listen.

TARRANTIt's coming from over there.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant emerge from the observation room and go down the corridor to a second room. They enter.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. A huge mass that resembles brain tissue is in the center of the room.]

TARRANTAbsorbed in the core.


TARRANTThis is what happens to the brains when they've been wiped clean. With every new victim the core expands, increases in brainpower. It's grown this big by absorbing the billions of intelligent creatures fed into it.

DAYNAWell, it's growing all the while. Becoming more and more powerful. Cally. What about Cally?

TARRANTWe may be too late.

DAYNAShe could be... in there.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. An image of Avon, still struggling to stay awake, is displayed. Ultra observe him.]

ULTRA 3A strong mind. Most would have succumbed by now.

ULTRA 2It will not be long. They struggle. They fight against it, but none can resist the power of the core.

ULTRA 3This specimen is strong in body too. He would make a good menial when transference is complete.

ULTRA 1No. After his brain has been cleansed it will be absorbed. The core needs new cellular tissue of such high caliber. The other male.

ULTRA 2The one called Tarrant.

ULTRA 1We will take him as a menial. The female will be absorbed.

[At the console the Ultra activate a view screen. It shows a diagram with a moving light point representing Dayna and Tarrant.]

ULTRA 3They are now in section delta one.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant advance.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Ultra 1 gestures for a long rod with and touches it to the screen.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. As Dayna and Tarrant advance an explosion goes off. They turn back.]

DAYNAWhat caused that?

TARRANTI'm not waiting to find out. Come on.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1One male, one female. I think we might try a small experiment.

ULTRA 2Experiment?

ULTRA 1It will be useful data for the memory store. (touches the screen again with the wand)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Another explosion forces Dayna and Tarrant to change direction again.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1No, not that way. We need you for our experiment. (to Relf) Find them. Take them unharmed.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Ultra 1 repeats the process]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant are still running. The descend a staircase. Menials are moving closer.]

TARRANTThey're trying to drive us back to the core.

DAYNAI'm too young to be absorbed.

TARRANTI know where we are. This way.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room. Tarrant closes the door.]

TARRANT(gestures) Over there.

[Dayna and Tarrant flatten themselves against one wall. Relf enters, looks around. He apparently does not see them and then leaves again.]

DAYNA(gasps) Cally. (stands in front of Cally, who is propped up waiting for absorption)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon is still struggling to stay awake. Finally, he falls asleep.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room.]

DAYNACally, it's me Dayna. Cally, can you hear me? Do you understand? (shakes her) Cally, wake up. (to Tarrant) It's no good. There's nothing there. What can we do?

TARRANTReinstate her memory.


TARRANTBy reversing the process.

DAYNACan it be reversed? (pause) Well, can it.

TARRANTI don't know. The Ultra transferred her brain patterns to a memory tube. All her thoughts, memories, emotions have been filed away. First we have to find that tube.

DAYNAWell then, let's find it.

TARRANTDayna, wait.

DAYNAWe haven't time to wait.

TARRANTSoon we may have all the time in the world.

DAYNAWhat do you mean?

TARRANTLook, let's use our brains instead of having them transferred. Getting caught isn't going to help Cally. Let's think about it.


TARRANT(into bracelet) Vila, this is Tarrant. Do you read?

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

TARRANT(v.o.) Tarrant calling Liberator. Vila, are you there? Come in.

VILAThank heavens for that. I thought you'd all gone and left me.

TARRANT(v.o.) Gone where? Listen Vila, this is important.

VILAWill somebody please tell me what the hell is going on? And where's Avon? Is he with you?

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld storage room.]

TARRANTNo. We tried to contact him and couldn't. Have you heard from him?

VILA(v.o.) Yes and no.

TARRANTThis is no time for riddles.

VILA(v.o.) You're telling me that. I was talking to him and he suddenly broke contact. Not a word of explanation.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Tarrant is visible on the view screen]

TARRANTAll right, we'll see what we can do. But we've got problems of our own with Cally.

VILA(v.o.) Cally's there with you.

TARRANTIn a manner of speaking.

VILA(v.o.) What do you mean by that?

TARRANTNever mind. We may have to get her up there fast. So stand by the teleport.

VILA(v.o.) Why not? What else is there to do except stand by the teleport?

[Ultra activates a device and the two previously inert menials in the storage room attack Dayna and Tarrant.]

VILA(v.o.) Did you hear what I said? Tarrant. Dayna. Hello. Hel... (Menial destroys teleport bracelets)

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILAHello. Goodbye.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld conveyor room. Avon and Cally are wheeled in by menials.]

[INTERIOR. Confinement cell. A bed sits in the center of the room. Dayna stands nearby. Tarrant sits on the bed.]

DAYNANo. We won't do it.

ULTRA 1(v.o.) Do you speak for both?

TARRANTYes, she does.

DAYNAThat is one thing you can't make us do.

ULTRA 1(v.o.) Perhaps not. Though we might offer an inducement.


[Diamond shaped view screen shows Ultra 1]

ULTRA 1Your fellow crew members are still alive. Whether they remain so is up to you. We require the human bonding ceremony.


ULTRA 1The accumulation of data is our sole function and purpose, as we have said.

DAYNAFor your cosmic encyclopedia?

ULTRA 1We have collected a great deal of information about earth and its dominant species, with one important omission. We intend to rectify that deficiency.

DAYNAAnd if we agree?

ULTRA 1We shall reconsider the fate of your friends. And, of course, yourselves.

TARRANTIs that the best you can do? No deal.

DAYNATarrant, just a minute. Could you give Cally her memory back?

ULTRA 1Perhaps.

DAYNASo it is possible to reverse the process.

ULTRA 1It is possible.

DAYNAAnd would you release us, all four and allow us to return to our ship?

ULTRA 1That decision must be referred to the core.

DAYNAThe core will decide?

ULTRA 1Of course. The core is the living consciousness of the planet. We are its servants. We obey without question.

DAYNATarrant, I think we should accept the offer. Then we can return to the Liberator.

TARRANTYou can't be serious. You don't believe what they say.

DAYNAWe have to believe if we hope to survive. Kiss me.


DAYNAI said, kiss me. Come on. I can't be all that repulsive.

[Dayna leans over and kisses Tarrant. On the view screen the Ultra observes the activity. An observation device lowers, closer to the couple.]

ULTRA 1Has the bonding ceremony begun?

DAYNAYou could say so. But we do better without interruptions.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1Are you ready.

ULTRA 2The core is awaiting the signal.

ULTRA 3Wave emissions increasing. Locked onto space craft.

ULTRA 1Focus emissions.

ULTRA 2Is the remaining crew member capable of piloting the space craft alone?

ULTRA 1According to the female Cally's memory traces, we should have no trouble. He is weak willed and easily lead. The ship's master computer Zen will operate all primary functions on his command. But any intelligent creature with a rational thought process is as capable of being manipulated. This one is no exception.

ULTRA 3Wave emission at optimum.

ULTRA 1Give the signal.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. There are signs of increased activity from the core]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator stationary in space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILACome out. Come out, wherever you are. Help. I'm being got at. Orac, do something. You've got to help me. Help me. Activator. Activator. What did I do with it. I'll never call you names again, Orac. Never again, I promise. (finds key and activates Orac) Orac, I need your help. There's something here.

ORACNot now. I am busy analyzing the semantic structure of synonyms and antonyms as it pertains to the specific instance of riddles.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Image of the bed in the confinement cell is on the screen.]

TARRANT(adjusts pillow) How's that, darling? More comfortable?

DAYNAOh yes. Much better. Thank you, darling.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld confinement cell. Dayna removes a small object from her mouth.]

TARRANTI've heard of people having tricks up their sleeve. But this is...

[Dayna bites down to activate the device]

TARRANTHow long?

DAYNAAll of ten seconds.

TARRANTAs much as that?

DAYNALess now. About seven.

TARRANTOr nearer five. (They silently count down to zero)

DAYNANow. (She tosses charge at door)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. An explosion rocks the room]

ULTRA 3(at the sound of explosion) Is that the bonding ceremony?

[Image on the view screen of the empty cell. There is a large hole where the explosive detonated.]

ULTRA 3We must find them.

ULTRA 2Leave them. They have nowhere to go.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Dayna and Tarrant are running.]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator moving through space]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILAThere was young lady named Perkins, who was very fond of small gherkins. One day at tea, she ate forty three, and pickled her internal workings.

ORACExcellent. Another one, Vila.

VILADon't know any more.

ORACAnother one.

VILACan't remember.

ORACA riddle. A limerick. A word puzzle. Think, Vila, think.

VILAThere was a young man from... from...

ORACFrom where? Think.

VILACan't remember.

[EXTERIOR. Ultraworld]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator manoeuvering to dock with Ultraworld]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Ultra observe the docking]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld docking bay. Metal rods descend to hold Liberator in place]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld conveyor room. Cally is loaded on the conveyor and the menial sets it in motion. Tarrant and Dayna enter. Tarrant attacks one of the menials. Dayna stops the conveyor. A fight ensues. In the struggle, Tarrant knocks a menial into a shelf of memory tubes which fall and shatter. All of the menials are frozen in place.]

DAYNAWhat's happening?

TARRANTDo you mind if we talk about it later? Come on.

[They free Cally from the conveyor and locate Avon.]

TARRANTGet these two back to the sleep cell, I'll get the memory tubes.


[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The throbbing from the core has increased. Surface eruptions are occurring.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 2Frequency wave emissions out of phase.

ULTRA 3Primary circuits register overload.

ULTRA 2Wave emissions approaching critical.

ULTRA 1No. No. Impossible. The core is self-compensating. Check for malfunction.

ULTRA 2Critical status is confirmed. The core is unstable.

ULTRA 1No. Check again.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The throbbing is louder. Surface eruptions have increased, green fluid oozes from the breaches in the surface.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Cally and Avon have been placed back into the sleep unit. Dayna keeps watch]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Tarrant enters quietly. He notes Liberator on the view screen.]

ULTRA 1Section beta.

ULTRA 2All circuits register overload.

ULTRA 1Attempt manual compensation.

Ultra 2 Negative response.

ULTRA 1Operate primary fail-safe terminals.

ULTRA 3Confirmed.

[Tarrant retrieves the memory tubes and leaves the control room.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The noise levels have increased. Eruptions have grown worse.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 1Stabilization.

ULTRA 2Negative response.

ULTRA 3Entering critical phase.

ULTRA 2But how? The wave emissions were at optimum. Nothing can resist the power of the core.

ULTRA 1Something did. Something we couldn't foresee and didn't allow for. Something on that ship.

ULTRA 3We were in control. We brought the ship in.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. Breaches in the core are larger and more violent]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room]

ULTRA 2Terminal condition imminent.

ULTRA 3Without the core, Ultraworld cannot exist.

ULTRA 2We cannot survive.

ULTRA 3Can we prevent it?

ULTRA 2We must.

ULTRA 1Activate final fail-safes. Now. Something on that ship.

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILAIf a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon and Cally are being restored.]

DAYNAIt's so slow. Can't we speed it up?

TARRANTWe daren't risk it. If the memory traces aren't implanted exactly as before they'll end up with scrambled brain cells.

DAYNAWhat's the matter?

TARRANTThe memory tubes. I just hope they're in the right order.

DAYNAYou mean you could have got them... (Dayna crosses one hand over the other) Well, that could be interesting.

TARRANT(at the sound of an explosion) The core. It's having some kind of brain storm.

DAYNAWhat do you think's causing it?


DAYNAOf what? A brain that size could cope with anything.

TARRANTYou know what they say. The bigger they are... Think of the problems the human brain has and multiply that be a couple of billion.

DAYNAThat could be quite a headache.

TARRANTWe've got one ourselves. Come on. Come on.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. The sound of explosions continues. Menials are disoriented, stagger and fall or stop where they stand.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. Major breaches are occurring.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell. Avon and Cally are conscious]

TARRANT(to Avon) Are you all right? Cally?

CALLYYes, I think so.

TARRANTGood. Right, let's get out of here.

AVONWe have no bracelets.

TARRANTThey brought the ship down. It's here in Ultraworld.

AVONHere? Can you find it?


AVONThen let's go.

TARRANT(to Dayna) Bring Cally.

DAYNA(to Cally) You all right?

[Cally makes a gesture for Dayna to wait]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Avon and Tarrant ascend a long flight of stairs.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld sleep cell]

DAYNABetter now?


DAYNARight. Come on.

[Dayna starts out the door. Cally follows and is attacked from behind by Relf. Dayna returns and struggles with him and overcomes him.]

DAYNACome on.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Avon and Tarrant enter. Avon picks up a weapon]

AVONWatch the door.

[Avon throws Tarrant the weapon and picks up his own. He moves to a control and activates the Ultraworld communications]

AVONVila, are you there?

VILA(v.o.) Who else could it be? Look just what is going on? Will somebody...

AVONShut up. Open the starboard airlock. We're on our way.

VILA(v.o.) Why not teleport? It'll save time.

AVONDo it.

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

VILARight (moves to the controls to obey)

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld control room. Tarrant shoots two of the Ultra as they enter.]

AVONYou finished?


AVONThen let's get out of here.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator is still berthed.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator begins powering up. There are explosions.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator corridor leading to starboard airlock. The four crew members run in. Avon stops at a communication station beside the entry.]

AVON(into the communicator) Vila, ninety degrees lateral thrust. Now.

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Vila responds to Avon's command.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator begins to free itself.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck. Four crew members rejoin Vila.]

VILAI wish I knew what was going on.

TARRANTVila, get to your place.

AVONFull thrust. Give it everything you've got.

TARRANTBrace yourselves.

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld space dock. Liberator breaks free and heads for space.]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld corridor. Menials are lying in the corridor, inert]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld core. The core is self-destructing.]

[INTERIOR. Ultraworld observation room two. The last Ultra moves to a console and manipulates some controls. He begins to die before he can finish the process]

[EXTERIOR. Liberator moves away from Ultraworld. A flare erupts as Ultraworld explodes]

[INTERIOR. Liberator flight deck]

DAYNAWhat did you feel like, Avon?

AVON(distracted) What?

DAYNABeing an entry in an encyclopedia.

TARRANTOh, he wouldn't mind so long as they filed him under genius.

VILAYou'd have all been filed away if it hadn't been for me. And Orac, I suppose.


VILAYes, me.

AVONWhat precisely did you do?

VilaWhat did I do? Only saved your neck. That's what. Ask Orac. Go on. (inserts Orac's activator key) Ask him.

AVONOrac, is it true that we have an unsung hero in our midst?

ORACTo whom are you referring?


ORACVila served a useful purpose in distracting and confusing the energy waves emanating from the planet.

VILAUseful purpose.

ORACMeanwhile I was able to project those same wave emissions back to their primary source.

AVONIn other words, Vila acted as a kind of mental decoy.


CALLYSo the core was subjected to its own emissions.


TARRANTSelf brain washing.

DAYNAThere's poetic justice for you.

AVONTell me, Orac, how precisely did Vila confuse and distract Ultraworld?

ORACQuite simple. With a series of random and illogical brain impulses. The planet was programmed to assimilate orderly coherent thought patterns. Anything else confused it.


AVONYou mean Vila spouted nonsense.

VILAI resent that.

AVONOh, I wouldn't if I were you. Orac is saying that a logical rational intelligence is no match for yours.

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