Lt. Hoffman is caught in the middle of a terrorist bombing of a pub in London, but lives long enough to call Colonel Dalton and identify the attackers who sweep through the rubble, murdering survivors, as Scottish. Other attacks follow, and the media quickly dubs the night “Britain’s 9/11.” As Colonel Chaudhry races to meet reporter Francis Currie, who calls her claiming to know who’s behind the rapidly escalating series of attacks, Dalton listens as reports emerge in the news media about Muslim attackers – not Scottish. More suicide bombings take place, and Major Kirby of ICIS puts pressure on the Prime Minister to put Britain under martial law – and to put ICIS in charge. When Chaudhry meets Francis Currie, she’s amazed when the reporter tries to strangle her. She incapacitates him and finds that he’s under some form of mind control – and increasingly, it appears that all of the incidents involve similar mind control, all seemingly triggered by random phone calls from “help lines.” But Chaudhry and Dalton soon find that the trail leads to ICIS itself – and that even UNIT’s finest aren’t immune to the mind control.
Cast: Siri O’Neal (Colonel Emily Chaudhry), Nicholas Deal (Colonel Robert Dalton), Scott Andrews (Scott Christie), Sara Carver (Andrea Winnington), Robert Curbishley (Lieutenant Hoffman), Georgina Field (Nisha Townsend), Michael Hobbs (Francis Currie), Harry Myers (PM’s Aide), Steffan Rhodri (Prime Minister), Vineeta Rishi (Meena Cartwright), Johnson Willis (Major Philip Kirby)
Notes: The reference to Albion Hospital could be a nod toward the new 2005 series of Doctor Who; by the time this story was recorded, fan photos had leaked out showing a Cardiff location being redressed as “Albion Hospital” for the episode Aliens Of London, which also featured UNIT. Colonel Chaudhry’s reference to a “John Smith” situation is followed up by Colonel Dalton’s reference to shop dummies, an equally handy Auton reference; it’s unknown if this is a reference to a situation that has been connected to the Doctor, a situation that might be solved easier with the Doctor’s intervention, or something else. (“Doctor John Smith” was the alias used by the Doctor when the Brigadier put him on UNIT’s payroll in Spearhead From Space.) Reporter Francis Currie, sacked by the BBC, is now working for the Planet 3 network, which happens to be Sarah Jane Smith’s former employer in Big Finish continuity. Currie also mentions that a female reporter from Planet 3 exposed Major Kirby’s secret “a couple of years ago”, which may also have been Sarah.
LogBook entry by Earl Green