by Chad Denton
The TARDIS is dragged down by an unknown force to a planet named Vortis that appears completely desolate. While the Doctor tries to counteract the force, Vicki claims she can hear an intense humming noise. Suddenly the TARDIS is attacked by something that shakes the entire vessel. The Doctor is convinced that it’s a natural phenomenon, but Vicki becomes nervous. Ian and the Doctor set out to try to find the cause of the trouble, while Barbara begins to feel the strange urge to leave the TARDIS, an urge that finally overcomes her. Vicki screams for Barbara, which gets the attention of Ian and the Doctor. On their way back, Ian is caught in a web and the Doctor returns to find that the TARDIS along with Vicki is gone. Inside the TARDIS, Vicki sees through a monitor that the ship is being dragged by ant-like beings. Meanwhile Barbara finds herself among three winged aliens called the Menoptra, who interrogate her. Barbara learns that she was under the control of the Zarbi, the Menoptra’s enemies. While the Menoptra debate over what to do with her Barbara escapes, only to be captured by the Zarbi, who turn out to be the same entities that took the TARDIS. The Menoptra, who are scouts sent ahead of an invasion force, try to warn their leaders but are killed by the Zarbi except one, Hrostar, who is taken prisoner. Hrostar explains to Barbara that the Zarbi exercise their control of beings through gold (Barbara was wearing a gold necklace she had received from the Emperor Nero) and that they will end up as slaves. Elsewhere the Doctor frees Ian from the web and together they track the TARDIS to its location. There the Doctor, Ian, and Vicki are all seized by the Zarbi, who take them to an organic structure, the Carcinome, where their master, the Animus, resides.
Leave a Reply