Episode 1

Dark SeasonLondon teenagers Reet and Thomas grudgingly walk to school every day with their eccentric junior classmate Marcie, who claims to see patterns and conspiracies almost everywhere she looks. The latest object of Marcie’s fascination is the arrival of mysterious electronics company Abyss Modem at their school, with the enigmatic Mr. Eldritch promising one of the new Abyss computers to every student, free of charge. Marcie is certain that there’s more to this generous offer than meets the eye. Mr. Eldritch selects a random student to receive the first Abyss computer for publicity purposes, and she discovers that the free computer definitely has strings attached…

Dark Seasonwritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Cant
music by David Ferguson

Cast: Tim Barker (Dr. Osley), Samantha Cahill (Olivia), Ben Chandler (Thomas), Rosalie Critchley (Mrs. Polzinski), Brigit Forsyth (Miss Maitland), Victoria Lambert (Marcie), Roger Milner (Headmaster), Grant Parsons (Mr. Eldritch), Cyril Shaps (Mr. Polzinski), Kate Winslet (Reet)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 2

Dark SeasonAfter Olivia’s blinding return to the classroom, Marcie is more convinced than ever that Mr. Eldritch and his company are up to no good. Reet and Thomas, having made off with one of the Abyss computers, try to start it up, momentarily experiencing a surge in intelligence. That brief IQ boost is just enough to make them a danger to Eldritch’s plans, while Marcie is frustrated to find that no one believes her warnings of sinister plans afoot. Those warnings fall on deaf ears as the computers are distributed to every student at the school…

Dark Seasonwritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Cant
music by David Ferguson

Cast: Tim Barker (Dr. Osley), Samantha Cahill (Olivia), Ben Chandler (Thomas), Rosalie Critchley (Mrs. Polzinski), Brigit Forsyth (Miss Maitland), Victoria Lambert (Marcie), Roger Milner (Headmaster), Grant Parsons (Mr. Eldritch), Cyril Shaps (Mr. Polzinski), Kate Winslet (Reet)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 3

Dark SeasonMere hours are left before Mr. Eldritch’s plan comes to fruition: the mass activation of the Abyss computers by their eager recipients will allow him to take over their minds. Eldritch kidnaps Mr. Polzinski and Reet and takes them to the Abyss computer factory, located in a secluded old castle, where he gloats that the former Professor Polzinski’s pioneering computer research has made this event possible. Marcie and Thomas convince their teacher to take them to the Abyss factory; even though she’s skeptical, she drops them off there before returning home. Marcie really has no idea how to stop Mr. Eldritch, but Professor Polzinski – who is not in the Abyss factory – does have a plan.

Dark Seasonwritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Cant
music by David Ferguson

Cast: Tim Barker (Dr. Osley), Samantha Cahill (Olivia), Ben Chandler (Thomas), Rosalie Critchley (Mrs. Polzinski), Brigit Forsyth (Miss Maitland), Victoria Lambert (Marcie), Roger Milner (Headmaster), Grant Parsons (Mr. Eldritch), Cyril Shaps (Mr. Polzinski), Kate Winslet (Reet)

Notes: Dark Season effectively tells two complete stories in its six-episode run, and this episode concludes the Eldritch/Abyss storyline, even though elements of it dovetail in the second story told in the final three episodes. The BBC was reportedly taken aback by the fact that the story seemed to wrap up three episodes into a six-episode run.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 4

Dark SeasonReet and Thomas follow Marcie to get a peek at an operation said to be an archaeological site. The woman running the operation, Miss Pendragon, is unconcerned with their presence; with her seemingly Aryan army of young people, Miss Pendragon is obsessed with releasing a behemoth of Celtic legend. Of particular importance to her is her young protege, Luke, who has no archaeological experience, but was hired because of his naturally blonde hair and his lack of birthmarks or deformities. Miss Maitland’s class is invited to make a field trip to the dig site, and Thomas and Reet follow Marcie again, much to their teacher’s dismay. An explosion at the dig site quickly changes the dynamic: the students are ushered away (though Marcie and Thomas manage to hide away and remain hidden at the dig site), and Luke’s arm is broken, leading Miss Pendragon to declare him “useless.” Now in need of a “perfect” blonde-haired boy to take Luke’s place, Miss Pendragon is delighted to find that Thomas is still on her premises.

Dark Seasonwritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Cant
music by David Ferguson

Cast: Martina Berne (Inga), Ben Chandler (Thomas), Brigit Forsyth (Miss Maitland), Victoria Lambert (Marcie), Jacqueline Pearce (Miss Pendragon), Stephen Tredre (Luke), Kate Winslet (Reet)

Notes: Russell T. Davies’ recycling bin is in evidence here – the idea of a “perfect child” named Luke, to be employed as a human vessel for a vast, otherworldly intelligence, resurfaces in the pilot episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures and that show’s Luke character.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 5

Dark SeasonMarcie and Thomas explore the dark tunnels beneath the dig site, finding abandoned Ministry of Defense facilities rather than the Celtic catacombs spoken of by Miss Pendragon. When Pendragon and her followers corner the two teens underground, it becomes clear that Thomas is the prize, and Marcie makes a run for it with incriminating evidence in hand. She’s unaware that Reet and Miss Maitland have also gotten their hands on documents from the dig site, finding that the Behemoth – whatever it is – is buried underground, with the school built on top of it. Miss Pendragon and her guards take Thomas to an enormous underground chamber, the home of the Behemoth – a never-finished battle computer built under Miss Pendragon’s direction until the government caught wind of her fascist ideals and shut the project down. Behemoth needs a human brain to fulfill its function, and Thomas uses a moment of confusion to shove Miss Pendragon herself into the machine. But her followers continue talking about an illustrious leader. At the school, a car pulls up, and that leader steps out: Mr. Eldritch is back.

Dark Seasonwritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Cant
music by David Ferguson

Cast: Martina Berne (Inga), Ben Chandler (Thomas), Brigit Forsyth (Miss Maitland), Victoria Lambert (Marcie), Grant Parsons (Mr. Eldritch), Jacqueline Pearce (Miss Pendragon), Stephen Tredre (Luke), Kate Winslet (Reet)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 6

Dark SeasonThe Behemoth battle computer, with Miss Pendragon in its clutches, bursts through the floor of the school and locks the outside doors. Mr. Eldritch arrives to give Behemoth its instructions to destroy the entire world and the human race with it, but Marcie challenges that order, forcing Eldritch into a bizarre debate about the merits and foibles of humanity, leaving Behemoth’s own artificial intelligence to decide the fate of the world.

Dark Seasonwritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Cant
music by David Ferguson

Cast: Martina Berne (Inga), Ben Chandler (Thomas), Marsha Fitzalan (voice of Behemoth), Brigit Forsyth (Miss Maitland), Victoria Lambert (Marcie), Grant Parsons (Mr. Eldritch), Jacqueline Pearce (Miss Pendragon), Kate Winslet (Reet)

Notes: Russell T. Davies would later reuse the exchange “Stay where you are!” “Where am I gonna go, Ipswich?” in the 2005 Doctor Who episode The End Of The World. Jacqueline Pearce is, of course, best known as the recurring arch-nemesis of Blake’s 7, Supreme Commander Servalan. Davies later wrote a novelization of Dark Season which hinted at a third storyline, involving a video arcade, but that story never materialized, either on television or the printed page.

LogBook entry by Earl Green