Written by William Emms
Directed by Derek Martinus
The Doctor and Vicki meet The Rills and get their side of the story. Meanwhile, Steven attempts to escape The Drahvin ship.
Steven makes an attempt at escaping, but gets trapped in The Drahvin airlock. He has armed soldiers on one side and a Chumblie on the other. Sadly, he still believes the robot to be a threat, so he is stuck. Maaga starts draining the air from the airlock, ensuring Steven will suffocate. The Doctor and Vicki rush to help, their new allies sending Chumblies to help.
As for The Rills, they cannot breathe oxygen (as predicted). They have no vocal chords, communicating with each other via telepathy, and with The Doctor and Vicki via Chumblies which can read Rill thoughts. Their ship has been drilling for fuel, but they lack the capacity to convert what they collect, especially in the amount of time left before the planet explodes. The Doctor offers to use power from The TARDIS to help them. The Rills, it seems, were not being threatening toward The Drahvins. The latter made all the aggressive moves, and now both ships are stuck on this dying planet.
Experiencing this story episodically certainly makes it less tedious than listening to it in one go. However, this episode seems a bit predictable and not much of interest happens. It has been insinuated since Part One that The Drahvins were lying and The Rills were good. We have it confirmed here. It would be interesting if there were a last-minute double-cross in Part Four, showing both sides to be self-serving, but there is a genuineness to The Rills that makes that unlikely. No, The Rills are pretty much what they seem: nice. They have offered to take The Drahvins with them, but that offer has been rejected. This episode, more than those before, really seems to support the beauty versus ugly theme. I suppose I was hoping for something more clever with this story, but unless The Rills represent something that I have yet to discern, I can’t quite see any larger themes or deeper subtext.