Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), sophie Aldred (Ace), Beth Chalmers (Raine Creevy), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Winifred Bambera), John Banks (Henrick/Metatraxi), Anthony Lewis (Scobie), Dannielle Brent (Willa), Alex Mallinson (Percy), Clare Fraenkel (Juno)
Margrave University in 2001, and Raine Creevy is enjoying her first trip into the future.
For The Doctor, there are mysteries to solve: what are the alien creatures imprisoned in the science labs? And what are the true motives of the student Scobie and his followers?
With enemies on all sides, The Doctor teams up with his old friend Brigadier Bambera and the forces of UNIT in a battle for the future of the whole world.
The Doctor, Ace and Raine arrive at Margrave University in 2001 and the TARDIS dematerialises of its own accord, leaving them behind. They encounter Brigadier Bambera, who has been given instructions by The Doctor in his personal future and provides enrolment documents for Ace and Raine to go undercover as students as part of UNIT’s investigation into the planned sabotage of the science centre. The two girls go to mix with the other freshers.
The Doctor defuses an explosive device found by Sergeant Achterberg in the server room which was intended to damage the ventilation, after which Achterberg is told to give it to Professor Jefferson for analysis. Bambera then shows The Doctor a carnivorous plant escaped from the greenhouse which he knocks out using oxygen cylinders. Bambera explains that UNIT found the plants in Mauritania whilst investigating a spacecraft in the rainforest.
Ace and Raine are separately invited to an activist meeting space by Raymond W. Scobie, who has built an aerial as part of his degree, and Willa. They try to contact Bambera, but find that their signal is somehow being jammed. Scobie and Willa take them into the flood tunnels below the university and they split into two groups to sabotage different places. On the way, Willa tells Raine that she knows that she is not who she claims to be and Scobie sends Ace to the server room to plant an explosive. She is found by Achterberg, who orders her to turn around so that he can shoot her.
The Doctor and Bambera find Achterberg about to shoot Ace. The Doctor tampers with the explosive device and Bambera admonishes Achterberg, who claims that he had only intended to scare Ace and apologises. The Doctor and Ace put on space suits to protect themselves from the Mauritanian specimen’s venomous thorns and enter the greenhouse, which Scobie, Juno and Percy have broken into. Percy is scratched by one of the specimens and the Doctor and Ace find the three of them.
Willa knows that Raine is working with Ace, having seen them both in the student bar, and claims that she too is trying to stop Scobie and asks her to expose him, Juno and Percy. They enter the greenhouse and, instead of finding the three activists, see the specimens and run. The Doctor contacts Raine and tells her and Willa to go to Ace and the activists at the polytunnel whilst he distracts the specimens. There, Raine admits to being a spy like Ace so that Willa can maintain her cover.
Upon leaving the greenhouse, Scobie is arrested and questioned by The Doctor and Bambera about his war on science given that he received a science scholarship to study at Margrave. He clarifies that he is against weapons development and animal experiments and says that help has been summoned and is on its way. Outside, a spaceship three kilometres in circumference hovers overhead.
The Doctor goes to examine Scobie’s aerial, upon confirming that Scobie summoned the spacecraft, sends a message inviting the aliens to talk. The Doctor, Ace, Bambera and Achterberg are brought aboard the craft on a hovering disc and meet the Numlocks. Meanwhile, Raine lets Willa into the interrogation room with Scobie, but she does not get any useful information from him. They see the craft light up the playing field, which the Numlocks ask to be vacated before destroying it with a cannon.
The Doctor, Ace, Bambera and Achterberg leave the craft with the Seventeenthborn and the Eighteenthborn and give them a plan of the science centre per their demands. Ace tells Raine that the Numlocks have come to free the laboratory animals and have demanded that Scobie is released from custody, although Bambera is unhappy with the arrangements. The Doctor takes Raine aboard her first alien spaceship with Ace and find the Firstborn admiring a group of rescued mice. He explains that the Numlocks are a race of herbivorous scientists who travel the universe on scientific missions and would like to test the blood of those at Margrave University.
Whilst leaving the ship, The Doctor tells Ace and Raine not to let the Numlocks have their blood. Bambera and Achterberg drive the trio away from Margrave University, but the vehicle crashes after seemingly hitting nothing. The Doctor examines the damage and determines that there is a force field around the campus and that nobody will be able to get in orout.
The Numlocks offer the residents of Margrave University a reward of gold ingots in return for supplying samples of their blood, an offer which a great numberof people take up. The Firstborn tells The Doctor and Bambera that the force field is only to prevent contamination, that the Numlocks use a dietary supplement to replace the nutrients lost when they stopped being carnivores and that their experiment has nothing to do with creating a weapon to be used against humans. After The Doctor and Bambera leave, Scobie and Willa complete their tourof the ship and, upon testing their blood, Scobie is seized and thrown into the killing pit as his blood is “impure”.
Ace attacks and flees from the Forty-seventhborn to distract him whilst Raine uses scuba-diving gear to check whether escape by the river is possible; once she has confirmed this, she and Achterberg go to fetch the first group of evacuees but accidentally enter the greenhouse and flee from the Mauritania specimens. The Forty-sixthborn admonishes Ace and confirms The Doctor’s suspicion that all those whose blood was tested and found to contain iron have been taken aboard the ship, resulting in the campus being deserted, and that the Numlocks will soon eat them to supplement their diet. Whilst everybody believed that the Numlocks were promising that they would “come to no harm”, they were actually saying that they would “come to know harm”.
Summoned by The Doctor using Scobie’s aerial, the Metatraxi Attack Unit Leader appears as a hologram and refuses to assist The Doctor, having found that the Metatraxi are the subjects of derision due to the alteration he made to their translation devices. Bambera attacks the Forty-sixthborn and Forty-seventhborn and she, The Doctor and Ace escape to the greenhouse before ensuring that the Mauritania specimens chase The Doctor. He leads them onto the Numlock ship on the hover platform and they attack the Numlocks, allowing The Doctor to return the people in the killing pit to the university. This includes Scobie, who had been slipped an iron supplement by Willa.
Scobie is taken away by UNIT to face charges of sabotage, treason, attempted mass murder and failing to return several library books and says goodbye to Willa. Raine has used a search engine to look up her father and learnt that, by 2001, he has died. The Doctor comforts her by explaining that his death is both the past and still to come, but, when the TARDIS rematerialises, she decides to stay in 2001 for a week to come to terms with it. The Doctor and Ace depart.
- Raine attended King’s College, London in the late 1980s. As a child, she holidayed on the Red Sea and learned to scuba dive there.
- The Doctor) has visited Mauritania and claims that deforestation is a major problem for the country.
- The Doctor’S) pockets contain stamps, a fountain pen, antique coins, a universal comms jack and several Earl Grey tea bags but no torch.
- Ace and Raine pretend to be freshers at Margrave University.
- Animal was a story that would have been a part of Season 27, had Doctor Who continued to be produced beyond Survival.