THE CREATURE FROM THE PIT
October – November 1979
“There’s only one problem with that scenario. In a very few hours all that will be left of this planet is several trillion tons of deep-fried rubble. Still fancy going into the metal business?”
In answer to a distress signal, the Doctor, Romana and K-9 land on Chloris, an abundantly fertile planet on which metal has become a highly valuable commodity. They fall into the hands of Lady Adrasta (Myra Frances) whose power and wealth are derived from her virtual monopoly of the planet’s meagre metal stocks. Adrasta polices her subjects with carnivorous tumbleweeds (‘Wolfweeds’) under the direction of her Huntsman (David Tefler). Those who displease her are thrown into The Pit, an abandoned mine wherein dwells a huge multi-tentacled creature.
Myra Frances as Adrasta and her soldiers ambush the Doctor in the forest in
The Creature from the Pit. Picture © BBC
Having been thrown into The Pit by a suspicious Adrasta, the Doctor meets Organon (Geoffrey Bayldon), an astrologer of sorts and the only one to have survived being hunted by the creature. The Doctor comes face-to-face with the monster and discovers it is an alien ambassador, named Erato, who came to Chloris to suggest a mutually beneficial trading agreement – exchanging metal for chlorophyll. But because Adrasta stood to lose her power by such a deal, she deprived Erato of his communications device and lured him into The Pit.
Unfortunately, a distress signal improvised by Erato has recently triggered the despatch of a dense, neutron star from his home planet, programmed to collide with Chloris’ sun. With Erato’s help the Doctor deflects the star from its course, then helps set up a trade deal between the two planets. Adrasta is killed by Erato, and Chloris is left in the enlightened hands of her former aide, the Huntsman.