Luke has a vivid nightmare involving the return of Mrs. Wormwood, the alien who genetically engineered him as an archetype for a new evolutionary stage of the Bane species. Sarah dismisses it as a normal childhood nightmare, but then more disturbing news arrives: Rani’s mother has vanished from her flower shop. Sarah finds a clue at the shop that leads her to a meeting with Mrs. Wormwood in person. Outcast from the Bane, she’s searching for an alien artifact called the Tunguska Scroll, which is one of many alien artifacts contained in UNIT’s Black Archive. She claims that this item will help her stop the Bane’s advance across the galaxy – it will save Earth and many other worlds, and will help her get her revenge. Sarah reluctantly agrees to help, and goes to see Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, retired from UNIT (but still subject to being pressed into duty as an advisor or “special envoy”). Rather than alerting UNIT to the Bane’s approach – which would draw unwelcome attention to Luke’s alien nature – he helps to sneak Sarah into the Black Archive to “borrow” the Tunguska Scroll. But while Sarah is doing that, Mrs. Wormwood’s true agenda – and her real allies – are revealed.
written by Phil Ford
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold
Guest Cast: Mina Anwar (Gita Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Samantha Bond (Mrs. Wormwood), Nicholas Courtney (Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart), Anthony O’Donnell (Kaagh), Simon Chadwick (Major Cal Kilburne)
Notes: Aside from the generally-discounted-from-canon Dimensions In Time and an appearance in the 1995 fan-produced video Downtime – which also starred Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah – this marks Nicholas Courtney’s first on-screen appearance as (now retired) Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart since the opening story of classic Doctor Who’s final season, Battlefield (1989). His first appearance in the role was 40 years before this episode’s premiere in The Web Of Fear (1968)). Even after the end of the original television series, Courtney reprised the role of the Brigadier in productions like Downtime, BBC Radio’s two Jon Pertwee plays, and Big Finish audio stories such as The Spectre Of Lanyon Moor, Minuet In Hell, and even a UNIT-centered audio miniseries. Lethbridge Stewart’s visit to Peru – mentioned in the Doctor Who episode The Poison Sky – is something for which he’s only just now being debriefed by UNIT. Kaagh, last seen in The Last Sontaran, returns here, as well as Mrs. Wormwood, who was seen in the Sarah Jane Adventures pilot, Invasion Of The Bane.
LogBook entry by Earl Green