The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Sirius [Demo]

Another great lost Jonathan Morris story... except this one wasn’t really lost at all, as it ended up being reworked as Max Warp. So this outline contains a few ‘spoilers’ for that story. The most striking differences between this story, The Sirius Difficulty, and Max Warp are that Max Warp was reworked to be a parody of/tribute to Top Gear, and that this outline is for a four-part story, while Max Warp is only 52 minutes long. I think it benefitted immeasurably from being massively compressed. (You can read brief blogs about Max Warp here and here and purchase it here).

My copy of this synopsis is dated 8th March 2001. As I don’t have the emails from back then I’m not precisely sure what happened to it. My recollection is that I submitted it for consideration but never heard anything back, which was not unusual (see here). 


THE SIRIUS DIFFICULTY

Cast:

Doctor (7th)
Mel
Reg Halfcastle (M)
Hook Berriman (M)
President Emmuel Varlon (F)
Co-Ordinator Ms Wade Goulbride (F)
Security Officer Muggeridge (F)
Timothy Schooner-Watts (M)

Plus miscellaneous one-line parts and voice-synthesised robots/Kith

EPISODE ONE

Sirius Major is a ringed gas giant, orbited by fourteen moons. Two empires, the Kith and the Varlon, have recently declared peace after decades of galactic warfare. To seal their five-year truce, they are holding the first Galactic Moonslalom, a sports event intended to bring the two empires’ together in peaceful competition or, as President Emmuel Varlon puts it, ‘to bring together the two hands of friendship in a vigorous shake of co-operation’.

The first heat of the Moonslalom is taking place. The race consists of one orbit of Sirius Major, looping around its various moons. There are over fifty competitors, each from different alien races, but mainly Kith and Varlon.

The race is watched from a commentary box by Hook Berriman and Reg Halfcastle. Hook is the show’s smooth anchorman, whilst Reg acts as his sagely co-pundit, full of tactless reminiscences of his time as a Varlon pilot in the war.

The TARDIS is visited by an AgentBot, a cigar-puffing android with a Bronx accent. It turns out that in a previous regeneration the Doctor acquired the AgentBot’s services when he was forced to record advertising voiceovers to save the planet Pekatoon from destruction. Initially the Doctor is worried that the AgentBot is chasing him for its fee – the Doctor has been deliberately avoiding it for several centuries – but it turns out the residual royalties have more than covered fees and the AgentBot now has some more work for the Doctor. He has been invited to appear as a guest ‘pundit’ commentator at the first Galactic Moonslalom.

Elsewhere in the Sirius Orbital Station, President Emmuel Varlon is welcomed aboard by the co-ordinator of the event, Ms Wade Goulbride, and her security officer Ms Muggeridge. The peace between the two empires is uneasy; Emmuel Varlon faces an imminent electoral defeat at the hands of her more jingoistic opponent, and so she is desperate to placate the nationalists whilst retaining the peace. She is given political advice by her SpinBot.

After the AgentBot has described the highly-charged political background of the Moonslalom, Mel is determined that she and the Doctor should attend. The Doctor reluctantly agrees, and sets the co-ordinates. The AgentBot then attempts to coax Mel into a career on stage – ‘All very classy, ma’am, very tasteful nudity’ before she kicks it violently and it is forced to dematerialise.

The race is underway, and Hook and Reg have a live link-up with one of the competitors, Dexter Dreyfuss. Hook attempts to interview him, but Dexter is very, very boring and always gives the same answers to the same questions. He also used to be a pilot in the Kith-Varlon war, and is something of a public hero.

The TARDIS lands on the Sirius Orbital Station where the Doctor and Mel are greeted by Muggeridge and ushered to the commentary booth.

Dexter Dreyfuss finds his craft spiralling out of control and screams as it plunges into the atmosphere of Sirius Gamma. Hook, Reg, Mel and the Doctor watch in horror as Dexter wrestles hopelessly with his controls - and then the connection is lost as Dexter’s ship explodes. Hook and Reg continue their commentary regardless – this regrettable incident is what is known in the sport as a ‘Moonstrike’.

The race ends, and Hook and Reg turn to their guests on their commentary show; the Doctor and his companion Mel. Mel is outraged at Hook’s callous attitude to Dexter’s death. The Doctor is intrigued, and asks to see Dexter’s death sequence again in slow motion. There is something odd about it, but he can’t quite place what.

President Emmuel is advised by her SpinBot that she should posthumously award Dexter Dreyfuss the Award of the Black Circle. Emmuel is reluctant – that is an honour only for war heroes – but the SpinBot suggests it will play well with the voters, so Emmuel agrees.

Mel and the Doctor relaxes in the Station’s bar, where Mel meets one of the competitors, Timothy Schooner-Watts, an upper-class Biggles-type idiot pilot. She learns that Dexter hated the Kith with a vengeance; she also learns that Dexter believed that someone had been tampering with his spacecraft before launch, and shared his suspicions with the other pilots.

Mel shares her information with the Doctor and they visit Muggeridge and Goulbride. Goulbride assures them that security is the top priority; there are competitors from both empires in the race, and accusations of cheating could easily cause a diplomatic crisis. She refuses to believe there is any way Dexter’s ship could have been sabotaged, and suggests the Doctor re-checks the footage of Dexter’s final moments.

Emmuel Varlon welcomes the Kith Ambassador onto the Station; the Kith are extremely odd, liquid-based creatures that resemble lava lamps, and talk via voice synthesizers. The Ambassador offers condolences on behalf of the empire for the death of Dexter, and then asks to be shown to its quarters.

Muggeridge detects a blockage in one of the Station’s disposal ducts. The Doctor and Mel investigate with her, and discover a corpse, damaged beyond recognition, dressed in security overalls labelled ‘Pettifer’. Muggeridge informs them that security officer Pettifer had recently gone missing, and she assumes the corpse is his. Pettifer’s responsibilities included maintaining the security of the station’s communications. The Doctor’s suspicions are aroused.

The second heat of the race is about to commence and Hook Berriman interviews some of the competitors [via a computercom link] as they make the final launch-checks in their spacecraft.

Emmuel Varlon and Goulbride go to the observation deck to watch the race; Emmuel is due to begin negotiations with the Kith Ambassador, but the ambassador has not yet arrived. Muggeridge is sent to locate the ambassador. Goulbride also makes her excuses and leaves.

The Doctor and Mel are in a private video booth re-watching Dexter’s final moments. It appears that he died simply through poor flying – there is no hint of sabotage, and his ship was functioning perfectly. But he was an extremely experienced pilot. And then there is the hiss of gas and the Doctor and Mel lose consciousness. Just before they black out, they notice someone else is with them in the booth. . .

Reg, meanwhile, is due to commentate on the race via an orbital podule, and he exchanges banter with Hook Berriman as his podule detaches from the Station and flies through space towards the slalom area.

The race starts and the spacecraft are launched and begin to loop around the planet’s moons.

Suddenly Hook loses contact with Reg due to some sort of space static interference. Hook is somewhat unnerved at the loss of his co-presenter; the interference also means that he unable to contact any of the competitors for mid-race chats. And his guest presenters have failed to turn up, leaving him to commentate alone. He interviews two Kith competitors.

The Doctor and Mel wake up on a spacecraft, flying around Sirius Major. They realise their horror that they are taking part in the race. But, almost before they have time to react, their ship is caught in the gravity field of Sirius Beta. The Doctor takes the controls but is unable to steer their ship away, and they plunge towards the surface of the moon and certain death – a Moonstrike. Their ship’s computer counts down to impact, reaching ‘five, four, three, two, one, z-’

END OF EPISODE ONE

EPISODE TWO

Mel is vocally relieved to discover that they were, in fact, inside a flight simulator. The simulation was realistic down to the smallest detail. The Doctor had suspected as much.

They emerge to meet Muggeridge, who explains that the competitors use these simulators for pre-race training sessions. They can even record their flights and play them back for further study.

Emmuel Varlon is joined by Goulbride and the Kith Ambassador. The Ambassador wants to delay negotiations until after the race; it is likely an excited child.

The Doctor and Mel join Hook Berriman in the commentary box. The Doctor quizzes Hook about Dexter; Hook tells the Doctor how Dexter was such a dull interviewee. The Doctor asks for copies of all the recent interviews conducted with Dexter – for ‘insomnia’ reasons he says.

Their conversation is interrupted by a development in the race. Without warning, two of the spacecraft collide. Due to the space static, Hook is unable to contact the pilots for their reactions, and watches in dismay as they both crash into Sirius Gamma.  Other ships are caught in the fray, but manage to cross the finishing line safely. As they arrive, Hook interviews the winner of this heat, Timothy Schooner-Watts, to get his immediate reaction.

Unfortunately both ships had Kith pilots, and the Ambassador is appalled and immediately accuses Goulbride of sabotaging the race. Goulbride denies this, but the furious Ambassador decides it will not negotiate with Emmuel until the matter is resolved. The situation is tense, and Goulbride orders Muggeridge to investigate.

The Doctor and Mel return to the bar to discuss recent events. They are joined by Reg Halfcastle, whose podule has recently returned to the Station. Reg is distrustful of the Kith and suggests that they have made it look as though someone has killed their pilots simply as an excuse to re-start the war.

Emmuel attempts to delay the posthumous Black Circle award ceremony for Dexter Dreyfuss, but her SpinBot advises against it. The Kith Ambassador is angered further at the thought of this Varlon nationalist figure being honoured.

The Doctor leaves Mel; he wants to go through the tapes of Dexter’s interviews that Hook has given him. He briefly believes he is being watched, but whoever it is disappears before he can make contact.

Mel meets up with Timothy Schooner-Watts, who complains about how he was almost killed during the race due to the Kith’s bad driving. Timothy tries to chat Mel up and offers her a quick joyride around the moons. She agrees.

Goulbride and Muggeridge meet up; following the recent events, all ships will be double-checked before the race in case of sabotage. Goulbride is determined that the next heat of the race must still go ahead.

Mel and Timothy are flying around Sirius Alpha when there is a malfunction with the drive unit. Timothy immediately suspects sabotage – someone was trying to make sure that he would be killed in the next round of the race. But they weren’t to know that he would be taking Mel out for a spin. He manages to get them both safely back to the Orbital Station.

Mel looks for the Doctor to tell him about her recent experiences, but he seems to have vanished. She goes to her room to sleep.

The next morning, Emmuel is conducting the Black Circle award ceremony for Dexter. Everyone in the base, including Goulbride, Muggeridge, Timothy, the Kith Ambassador and Mel, are attending the event. Hook and Reg are, of course, providing a commentary.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Doctor turns up and disrupts proceedings. He shows the gathered audience the tape of Hook’s last interview with Dexter, and then compares it to an earlier interview. In the earlier interview, Hook asked the same questions and Dexter gave exactly the same answers. So, the Doctor explains, in the latter interview, Hook wasn’t interviewing Dexter at all – he was merely talking as someone played back the answers to the earlier interview.

He then replays Dexter’s last-minute struggle with the controls of his craft before it plunged into Sirius Gamma. But he points out a detail that everyone missed – Dexter wasn’t flying into Sirius Gamma at all. According to his computer, he was approaching Sirius Beta.

Hook protests – Dexter’s ship was nowhere near Sirius Beta when it crashed into Sirius Gamma. ‘Exactly’, the Doctor responds. The recording of Dexter’s last-minute struggle was not  a live feed from the inside of his ship during the race at all; it was a recording of Dexter practising in one of the flight simulators.

Mel explains what the Doctor’s evidence means. They can now no longer be sure that Dexter was in his ship when it crashed into Sirius Gamma. Perhaps he wasn’t in that ship at all? The Doctor agrees, and proclaims that Dexter Dreyfuss faked his death and  is still alive and well and somewhere on the Station.

At this news, there is consternation and uproar. The Kith Ambassador believes that this provides the explanation for the two Kith ships crashing – Dexter sabotaged them out of hatred for the Kith people. It immediately orders Goulbride and Muggeridge to hunt down this Dexter person, and then retires to its room for its own protection

Goulbride and Muggeridge immediately order a search of the whole Station, putting it on a top security alert. Emmuel cancels the ceremony on the grounds that she cannot posthumously award someone who might still be alive; her SpinBot informs her that this farrago hasn’t gone down well in the polls. Reg and Hook close their broadcast.

The Doctor and Mel leave the ceremony. Mel asks the Doctor if he is sure that Dexter Dreyfuss is really still alive. The Doctor is not convinced, and quietly explains his recent actions. 

Someone has been deliberately laying clues in order to make them suspect that Dexter faked his own death. Hook, for instance, told him about the repetitive nature of the interviews; and someone deliberately placed them in one of the flight simulators. These clues have been too obvious to be coincidental. Someone wanted the Doctor to think Dexter was still alive; and so, to play along with it, the Doctor announced as such at the ceremony to make it look as though he had been taken in.

He thinks that he was brought to the Station for precisely this reason – to act as somebody’s stooge. Whoever it was knew that the Doctor would quickly realise how suspicious Dexter’s death was. . .

Mel thinks Dexter could be the one who gassed them and locked them in the simulator – maybe he wanted them to find out that he was still alive and at large. The Doctor thinks this is a possibility, but tells Mel his second theory. What if someone is trying to make them think Dexter is still alive in attempt to draw suspicion away from themselves?

Suddenly, there is the sound of two laser shots and a scream and the Doctor and Mel rush to the source of the noise - the Kith Ambassador’s apartments. They arrive with Goulbride and Muggeridge in tow, only to discover that someone has attacked the ambassador under cover of complete darkness. The Kith Ambassador is still alive, but its assailant is dead.

Goulbride recognises the body. It is Security Officer Pettifer.

END OF EPISODE TWO

EPISODE THREE

The Kith Ambassador describes what happened; Pettifer burst into its private quarters and fired at him. The Ambassador was so startled that it returned fire, killing Pettifer. There is a mark above the doorway where Pettifer’s laser blast hit it.

Muggeridge is confused; she had assumed that Pettifer was already dead, having discovered his corpse in the disposal ducts the previous day.

The Doctor rounds on Goulbride, demanding an explanation. Goulbride explains that, as the officer in charge of communications and the simulation centre, Pettifer would have had security access to the competitor’s ships. Presumably Pettifer murdered Dexter Dreyfuss and then mutilated the corpse to the point of being unrecognisable, dressed it in their uniform to fake his own death, and then rigged the race broadcasts so that it looked as though Dexter was still alive, having faked his own death.

The Doctor proclaims that Pettifer is – or rather, was -  their saboteur. The Kith Ambassador is delighted at the news that it has single-handedly brought the saboteur to justice, and agrees to allow the Moonslalom contest to continue. Muggeridge and Goulbride take the body away, and the Doctor and Mel return to the bar to discuss recent developments.

Despite what he said, the Doctor doesn’t believe Pettifer was the saboteur. His theory is that Pettifer discovered Dexter Dreyfuss’s corpse and then dressed it in his uniform to give the impression that it was he who had been killed. Pettifer would then have been able to investigate at will; only the murder would have known that Pettifer was still alive and somewhere on the station. Thus the murderer would eventually reveal themselves. . .

Mel asks what Pettifer was doing in the Ambassador’s rooms. The Doctor points out that the mark above the doorway indicates that Pettifer would have been shooting away from the Ambassador at the time of the attack – which doesn’t make sense. The other possibility is that the mark wasn’t made by Pettifer at all, and was in fact caused by the Ambassador returning fire and missing its target. The first laser shot they heard was someone killing Pettifer.

The Doctor believes that Pettifer, having discovered who the murderer was, was attempting to warn the Ambassador. But unfortunately the murderer killed him just as he was entering the Ambassador’s pitch-dark rooms.

Mel is not convinced; she thinks the Doctor knows far more about what is going on than he is saying. The Doctor leaves her to get some sleep, and disappears for a mysterious walk around the station.

The following morning, President Emmuel is informed, much to her irritation, that Dexter Dreyfuss is in fact dead after all and she reluctantly re-awards him the Black Circle. Her SpinBot informs her that the voters are incredulous at this turn of events, to say the least, and this uncertainty has harmed her electoral chances. However, the atmosphere in the base is calmer, the murderer having been found, and Emmuel and the Kith Ambassador begin peace treaty negotiations.

Reg and Hook return to the commentary booth, as the next round of the moon race is about to begin. To fill in time, they discuss the recent murder mystery; Hook wonders why Pettifer wanted to kill Dexter Dreyfuss, but Reg says it was probably some sort of tug-of-love thing.  Hook then asks why Pettifer would want to blow up two Kith competitors, and Reg decides to stop being an amateur sleuth and turns the conversation back to the imminent competition.

Goulbride and Muggeridge, meanwhile, are making the final preparations for the Moonslalom, discussing the security around the competitor’s ships. Nothing must go wrong this time. Timothy Schooner-Watts has already lodged a complaint, asserting that his ship was tampered with before he took Mel out on a pleasure cruise.

Mel goes to wish Timothy luck, but he is extremely bad-tempered before the race and snaps at her.

The Doctor and Mel go to the commentary booth as the race begins. Hook is unable to get into contact with Timothy during the race, Timothy having disengaged his communication computer. Hook and Reg settle for interviewing some more of the other competitors – in this, the final race of the Moonslalom, there are four Kith competitors and four Varlon competitors.

As soon as the race is underway, the Doctor announces live on air that the race should be stopped and that four of the competitors will be killed. He even names which ones they are – they are the four Kith competitors. Reg and Hook attempt to silence the Doctor, and he is escorted out of the studio. He confronts Goulbride, but she refuses to order a halt to the slalom.

Mel remains in the studio, and watches in horror as, a few minutes later, something goes wrong in the race. One of the Kith competitors’ ships goes out of control a crashes into a moon. Another two Kith collide and also hit moons. And then the final Kith burns up in the atmosphere of into Sirius Major. Four Kith competitors dead – just as the Doctor warned.

The remaining three competitors in the race complete the course without incident – one of which is, of course, Timothy Schooner-Watts, who wins the race and thus the Moonslalom competition.

President Emmuel is due to award Timothy with his medal, but before she can do that she is confronted by the Kith Ambassador. The Ambassador is convinced that the Varlon empire has deliberately been killing off the Kith competitors. The Ambassador prepares to leave in both its ship and in a fit of pique and return to Kith.

The Doctor briefly meets with the Kith Ambassador, and suggests they go down to the simulation booths together for a private chat.

Hook and Reg commentate on proceedings, and describe the Kith Ambassador’s ship as it leaves the Station. They briefly interview the truculent Ambassador. It casually mentions that it considers the deaths of its competitors to be an act of war.

Goulbride is convinced that the Doctor is the saboteur. The Doctor is captured by guards in the simulation centre. He protests that if he is the saboteur, why would he do something so stupid as to warn them?  Surely the real saboteur would never do that? Goulbride retorts that that is merely a clever double-bluff. She then gives the order for Mel to be found and arrested.

Mel is forced to flee from guards; whilst attempting to locate the Doctor, she receives a message, purportedly from Timothy Schooner-Watts. He wants to meet her in the lower generator chamber. Alone.

Emmuel is desperate to placate the Kith and prevent a war. Goulbride advises that she should have the Doctor executed immediately as a sign of goodwill. Her SpinBot advises her that recent events have actually put her ahead in the polls, as the antagonism with the Kith has meant she has gained the anti-Kith vote – so, politically, a war would actually be a very good idea.

Seconds later, and the Kith Ambassador’s ship suddenly and inexplicably explodes.

Mel arrives in the lower generator chamber, and is met by Timothy Schooner-Watts. Seconds later, a shot rings out and Timothy collapses, dead. Mel screams.

END OF EPISODE THREE

EPISODE FOUR

Mel is captured by Goulbride’s guards and placed in the cell with the Doctor. She describes what happened to Timothy. The Doctor tells her that Timothy had probably worked out who their saboteur was and was probably going to tell her; but then the saboteur shot him. Mel asks the Doctor if he knows who the murderer was; the Doctor is irritatingly enigmatic as usual.

The Kith Leadership contact President Emmuel. Following the destruction of the Ambassador’s ship, they will be declaring war. A battle fleet is now on its way to Sirius to blow them to their particulate constituents.

At this news, Goulbride orders a complete evacuation. Emmuel thinks that if they execute the Doctor as the saboteur they may be able to placate the Kith and avoid a war; but, just in case, she gives the order for a Varlon battle fleet to also make its way to Sirius.

Hook and Reg attempt to join the evacuation; but as professional commentators, they are ordered to act as war correspondents and describe the imminent space battle to their listeners.

The Doctor is put on trial by Goulbride and Muggeridge. The Doctor protests his innocence, and then dramatically announces that President Emmuel is their saboteur. Under a legal loophole, Muggeridge is obliged to investigate the accusation. Mel is released, as she is presumed innocent.

Whilst the Doctor is returned to his cell, Mel and Muggeridge confront the President. She denies any guilt, even though the recent events have improved her poll rating immeasurably. However, when Mel asks her whether she knows how the competitor’s ships were sabotaged, the President falters, and admits she suspects how.

During the Varlon-Kith war, the Varlon developed a means of destroying enemy ships without needing to physically engage them. But Emmuel protests that the information about this is confidential, and no-one on the base could possibly know about it. Mel suggests they check the military records as to which pilots were involved with testing this ‘weapon’.

The Kith battle fleet arrives. Reg and Hook talk briefly to the Kith Leader via a computercom link. The Kith Leader is a poor interview subject, as he is in a homicidal rage.

Mel returns to the Doctor; she has the evidence they need and the Doctor can be freed. She explains that Timothy Schooner-Watts was involved in tests on a secret weapon during the Kith-Varlon war, and so he was presumably their saboteur – and some philanthropist killed him before he could kill Mel. The Doctor doesn’t believe a word of it, but has cunningly used this information to get himself found innocent and get released.

Emmuel boards her own private ship and leaves the station to direct the Varlon battle fleet, which has now arrived.

As the battle increases in ferocity (though no ships are destroyed), Reg decides to go and join in the battle. As a former pilot, he claims he will be useful in the conflict. Hook is rather confused.

The Doctor and Mel arrive in the commentary box, and are joined by Muggeridge and Goulbride. The Doctor decides to put an immediate end to the war.

He contacts the Kith Leader via a computercom link. The Doctor informs it that they should shut down the engines of all their spacecraft immediately or they will be destroyed.

Some ignore his advice, and lose control and crash into the moons.

The Doctor explains. The communication link between the commentary booth and the ships is made not via normal radio, but through a station-computer-to-ship’s-computer interface – a computercom link. Through this link, it is possible to transmit a computer virus that will make the ship’s guidance computer fail and make any movement or use of weapons potentially fatal to the infected ship. And every single Kith ship has been infected with this computer virus.

The Kith battle fleets come to a halt, suspended in space.

President Emmuel congratulates the Doctor for stopping the Kith fleet; however, the Doctor then informs her that he has just transmitted the virus to her ship and, thus, to every single ship in the Varlon battle fleet as well. They are all forced to come to a halt too.

The computer virus, the Doctor explains, was developed as a secret weapon by the Varlon during the Kith-Varlon war, and was top secret, known only to President Emmuel and the test pilots who used it during the war. In the end use of the computer virus was abandoned, as no cure could be found and it was too dangerous. However, one test pilot who used the weapon was Timothy Schooner-Watts. He must have realised how the competitor’s ships were being destroyed, but was unfortunately killed just as he was about to tell Mel who the saboteur was.

The saboteur was, of course, the other former test pilot on the station, Reg Halfcastle. From his position in the commentary booth, he had an ideal opportunity to guide the transmissions of the virus into competitor’s ships. His intention was quite obvious – Reg Halfcastle is utterly mad and deeply xenophobic, and is still fighting the Kith-Varlon war in his head. He intended to re-ignite the conflict and create a battle where he could use the computer virus to wipe out the Kith once and for all. It was Reg who had transmitted the virus into the Kith fleet, when talking briefly to the homicidally enraged Kith Leader.

His plan was to use Dexter Dreyfuss as a ‘smokescreen’ – by creating the impression that Dexter was still alive on the station, suspicion would be directed towards Dexter and away from Reg. However, Dexter’s freshly-murdered corpse was accidentally discovered by security officer Pettifer, who swapped the uniform on the corpse with his own. As Pettifer realised Reg was the murderer, so Reg had no choice but to kill him too, seconds before Pettifer was about to warn the Kith Ambassador of Reg’s plans.

Mel asks how Reg could have gassed them when he was not on the station at the time – he was in his observation pod. The Doctor says that Reg was, in fact, on the station at the time – the communications from the observation podule were merely pre-recordings, just as Dexter’s last interview and dying moments were pre-recordings.

The Doctor informs the battle fleets that he will begin working on an antidote to the computer virus, but it will take several hours, if not days. In the meantime, he suggests they talk to each other and sort out some sort of truce. Emmuel and the Kith Leader begin negotiations from their two ships, frozen in space a few miles apart.

And Reg? The Doctor spots his ship in orbit around Sirius, preparing to leave the system. Reg has shut down his computercom unit, so the Doctor can’t transmit the virus to his ship.

Suddenly, Reg’s ship is caught in the gravity well of a moon and plunges to his death. Moonstrike. It seems he wasn’t quite the pilot he used to be.  The Doctor, however, is not completely convinced Reg was on board the ship at all – maybe he is still alive somewhere else. . .

Seconds later, Reg enters, holding a gun. He announces that he intents to kill them all, and then he will use the Station’s weaponry to blast the Kith Battle fleet out of the sky. He insanely declares that he has singlehandedly won the Kith-Varlon war.

And then a shot rings out and Reg is killed. It is the Kith Ambassador. It turns out that, on the Doctor’s advice, the Kith Ambassador went to the simulation booths and has been hiding there ever since. When Reg thought he was talking to the Kith Ambassador, he was in fact talking to the Kith Ambassador sitting in a simulation booth, and the Ambassador’s ship was empty as it blew up on remote control.

Several days later, and the Kith Ambassador and President Emmuel have ratified their peace treaty and agreed to further co-operation. With the race over and the threat of war forgotten, life on Sirius Station returns to normal. Muggeridge and Goulbride agree it will be a long, long time before they decide to have another Moonslalom.

Their work done, the Doctor and Mel drain their drinks at the bar and return to the TARDIS. Just before leaving, the Doctor fires his AgentBot.

END OF EPISODE FOUR

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