A hunt for the lost Ninth Roman Legion leads the Doctor, Bill and Nardole into the middle of an ancient battle that could cast humanity into the dark forever.
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Judy! Judy what are you doing? Come on!
I want to hear the music!
You're going to get me in trouble.
Everyone knows there are ghosts in the hill.
Wait! You'll hear it in a minute.
If you stay out here listening to ghosts,
they will come out of the hill and eat you.
And I'll get the blame. Now, come on.
I can hear it.
-I'll put the story in the stone.
Put your name there.
Doc-tor! Doc-tor! Doc-tor!
-Oh, where are we now?
-Aberdeen, Scotland, 2nd century AD.
THE DOCTOR: You weren't complaining when it was Mars, were you?
So why is Scotland suddenly more important
than guarding the vault and keeping your sacred oath?
She thinks she knows more about Romans than me.
Oh, well that's explained everything, thank you(!)
You don't know more about the Ninth Legion than me. You don't.
I read the book. I loved the book. I read everything...
-Except they didn't.
They were annihilated in battle.
Then where's the big pile of bodies?
So where's the Ninth Legion?
If they'd left, they should still be leaving.
Can you see 5,000 Roman soldiers marching south?
Down there, by the river.
They'd have followed the river, that's what they did.
There is so much that you don't understand about Roman Britain.
-I got an A star.
-"Got an A star."
I've lived in Roman Britain. Governed. Farmed.
And speaking as a former vestal virgin, second class,
I can assure you...
I bet you there's a Roman legion down there.
Hang on. Second class?
Fine. You go and check the river.
I'll go and find their last battlefield.
Fine. I'll meet you back here with a Roman soldier.
Yeah, but seriously - second class?
Yeah, it's a long story. Come on.
-I honour you, Mother.
I honour you.
I honour all our dead.
-I honour you, Father. I honour all our dead.
I honour you, Mother. I honour you, Father.
I honour all our dead.
5,000 Roman soldiers. Eyes peeled.
they must have left some kind of mark on the landscape.
Burning huts, slaughtered locals, sweetie wrappers.
Look, a stone cairn - Pictish civilisation.
What about it?
It said "dark".
Yes, well that's why we're hurrying,
because there's not much light at this time of day.
But it talked!
Well, of course it did. It's a crow. All crows talk.
-They don't talk in the future.
-Course they do.
Human beings just stopped having intelligent conversations with them.
And they all took a bit of a huff.
Crows in the future are all in a huff?
Course they are. Haven't you noticed that noise they make?
It's like a mass sulk.
Come on. The sooner we get there, the sooner we'll know the answer.
-Yeah, I know, but...
-Picts, early Celts. Loved stone cairns.
They built them under the ground but close to the sky.
They think they're doors between worlds.
Iron age churches.
What do you always find near churches?
Women in hats.
Exactly. Human settlement.
It's all a bit damp, though, isn't it?
It's Scotland, it's supposed to be damp.
A Roman soldier!
I wish I'd studied Latin so you could understand me.
I understand you.
-I understand you.
But you're... You're speaking English.
-Er, what you're speaking in.
-You're speaking Latin.
That's Latin. You just said that in Latin.
Ah! It's the Doctor!
Or the TARDIS, or both. Something, a telepathic link.
Auto-translate. That's why everyone in space speaks English.
What on earth are you talking about?
Oh, my God, it even does lip-sync.
-Who are you?
Are you from the Ninth Legion?
Yes! Where have you been?
-Don't you know?
Did you see what happened to us?
It's as if his bones have disintegrated.
But what could do that?
A complete and total absence of any kind of sunlight.
Death by Scotland.
-It should take decades.
This happened a short while ago.
This is alien.
Question is, where are the rest of them?
-Just want to go back to bed.
Well, there they are. The Ninth Legion.
Great big pile of bodies.
It's not always fun to be right.
This wasn't long ago. Whatever did it is close by.
-We need to find Bill.
-Don't move! Stay where you are!
The Barbarians dug these traps everywhere.
-What was that?
-It's what slaughtered the Ninth.
Can you see it?
They attacked us with a... A thing. A monster.
There's nothing here.
I've got to go back to the others.
You said they were wiped out.
There are survivors, a handful. I can't leave them.
-We found a hiding place. We might still be safe there.
-So what was it like, this monster?
-I don't know.
We deserted. We were the ones who couldn't face it.
Roman soldiers don't run, and we did.
CRASHING AND GROWLING
They're underground, by the river. There's a carving of a fish.
Is that it? The monster?
ROARING AND SCREAMING
SHE YELLS IN PAIN
Block the entrance! Quickly, hurry up!
GROWLING AND HISSING
-How long will that hold?
-Not for long.
Now bring her through, where we can have a better look at her.
You do realise the beast now knows where we are?
-You're not one of the barbarians.
-So, you're the Ninth Legion?
-We are what's left.
Simon should be back.
He was looking for the road. Our route south. Did you see him?
-Well, where is he?
I'm sorry. That creature killed him.
What is it? That thing, where did it come from?
It killed him?
Yeah. He was covered in this, like...black slime.
It knows where we are, and we'll all die here, in the dark.
No-one is going to die!
Oh, for heaven's sake.
How long are you going to keep us here?
Couldn't we have seats? What about the Wi-Fi code, how about that?
Don't move. Don't speak. Kar will be here soon.
The keeper of the gate. My sister.
Well, let's hope she's the brains of the family, because there's
a big bad wolf of a monster out there and you live in a house of sticks.
Nice here, isn't it?
Yeah, yeah, I like what you've done with the place. Yeah.
Yeah, would you like some popcorn? Won't take me a jiffy to make.
What are you doing?
I'm ingratiating myself.
-Stop it. It's nauseating.
-It's called charm.
I'm against it. I'm against charm.
Yeah, we all know that.
-I said don't move!
Shh! Did anybody hear that?
Do you know what that sound was?
That was the sound of my patience shattering into a billion little pieces.
Now, there are only two things that I need to know.
Where is my friend and what destroyed the Roman army?
I destroyed the Roman army.
What? You, just on your own? That's quite a trick.
I am the gatekeeper.
Gatekeeper. What gate?
Didn't you hear the call? Where were you?
I had to find the gatekeeper's things.
Sorry, wait a minute.
Are you the mighty warrior that we've all been waiting for?
Where are all the grown-ups?
There was a great battle, a great battle, and we beat the Romans.
Kar beat them. That's all that matters.
Yes, but she's not a warrior. She's an embryo.
What did you do? Throw your action figures at them?
We're not Roman. We're not part of the Roman army.
No, we're not even slightly Italian. I mean, I do a mean spag bol.
Let me tell you about the Romans.
They are the robbers of this world.
When they've thieved everything on land, they'll rob the sea.
If their enemies are rich, they'll take all they have.
If their enemies are poor, they'll make slaves of them.
Their work is robbery, slaughter, plunder.
They do this work and they call it empire.
They make deserts and they call it peace.
Yeah, but you've got to love the indoor toilets, yeah?
They're not conquerors, they're cowards.
They're also all dead.
There's an awful lot of dead cowards out there,
and I don't believe that you killed them.
Because the thing is, you said gate,
and you called yourself gatekeeper, and you mentioned gate weapons,
so I've got to wonder -
what kind of a gate is that, and what's on the other side?
And yes, you're absolutely right.
-I am extremely quick.
Listen, you are all very, very angry,
but really you're just very scared.
For now, would you mind awfully all just jumping out of your skins
and allowing Nardole and I to escape in the confusion?
-Who are you?
-Let me explain.
POPCORN POPS AND BANGS PICTS GASP IN FRIGHT
We're looking for Bill, right?
No, we're looking for the maximum danger in the immediate area
and walking right into it.
Yeah, but what about Bill?
If she's there, we're saving her, if she's not, she's safe already.
Trust me, this is not my first rodeo.
Now, they think these cairns are gateways between worlds.
And given that they keep going on about gates,
possibly they're right.
The gate's opening. Your friend won't be coming back.
-The way I heard it, the human ship was called the Mary Celeste.
Something like that. Anyway,
the Enzomodons assumed that any species they encountered would
communicate as they did, by digesting each other.
The Enzomodan ambassador got through the whole crew
and then very sadly choked on a lifeboat So...
They said you would probably never come back.
I was in there for seconds.
It's an inter-dimensional temporal rift.
A second in there equates to days of time on this side.
I was in there for two days?
And eight hours, five minutes, and...
-Well, that's good, then, isn't it?
Plenty of time for you to find Bill.
I looked. They helped me look.
How hard did you look?
I think we've lost her, Doctor.
No. No, no, no. We just don't know where she is.
Not the same thing at all. Come on!
I'll tell you about the Lusitania later.
Oh, keep an eye out for Bill.
You have to move again.
Stay in the sunlight, it burns off the slime.
Are you hungry? Come on. You have to eat.
-How much food have we got left?
-Shut up, Cornelius. Go on, eat it.
It's two days, you haven't had anything.
I've never been lost this long, I need to find him.
-The Doctor, my friend.
I don't know what I'm going to do if I can't find him.
Well, we'll look after you.
I'll have to find my way home somehow.
This is the safest place to be.
The beast is still out there.
-You came back.
-Did you know what was in there?
A portal between dimensions, do you know what's on the other side?
You don't know anything, do you?
You just stand around making speeches and waving a TV aerial about.
Shall I tell you what's in there?
No. It's called the Eater Of Light, and we held it back.
Every generation, a new warrior went into the gate and fought
the Eater Of Light so it couldn't break through.
But the creature did break through.
It broke through and it destroyed the whole Ninth Legion.
It's weak, it's nearly dead. It will die soon.
Well, let's hope so, because there are millions more just like it,
on the other side, and very soon all of them will find their way
through to this dimension.
-Then I'll hold them back.
-You'll hold them back?
What, with your lollypop and your kiddy face paint
and your crazy novelty monster killing tool?
-Are you holding that thing the right way up, by the way?
-I don't want your help!
But I'm all you've got. Believe me, I'm on your side.
-Come on, let's go!
We're all in this together. You're going to be fine.
Marcus was hurt, like you, and the sunlight healed him in the end.
-I am feeling better.
Yeah, don't worry, Bill. Lucius'll look after you.
Shut up, Cornelius!
Oh, Lucius. Erm...
Right, listen, there's something I should explain.
This is probably just a really difficult idea.
I don't like men...that way.
What? Not ever?
No. Not ever.
Oh! All right. Yeah, I got it.
You're like Vitus, then.
-He only likes men.
Some men. Better looking men than you, Lucius.
I don't think it's narrow-minded, I think it's fine.
You know what you like.
And you like both?
I'm just ordinary. You know, like men and women.
Huh! Well, isn't this all very...modern.
Hey, not everyone has to be modern.
I think it's really sweet that you're so...restricted.
-We can be friends, though.
I did save your life, that means we're friends forever.
-Yeah. I can deal with that.
-Why's it going dark?
-The sun's setting.
No, it's the beast.
It's circling us, it's looking for a way in.
It's getting stronger again. It's strong enough to feed.
Every hour of sunlight that feeds it makes the world darker
and the beast stronger.
We've got very little time.
I have to stop it. This is my fault.
I'm the keeper of the gate. I have to put this right.
So you were supposed to guard the gate while everyone else went off to war.
But you had strangers at the door, and a guard dog in the attic. So you let the beast come through.
It was the only thing that could defeat them.
So you thought the Eater Of Light could destroy a whole Roman army?
And a whole Roman army could weaken or kill the beast?
Well, it didn't work.
You got a Roman legion slaughtered and you made the deadliest
creature on this planet very, very cross indeed.
To protect a muddy little hillside, you doomed your whole world.
One man. You think one man can save us all?
Come and meet him. He came here to meet you.
He's met loads of people like you - the terrified, the desperate.
And he always helps. He always makes a difference.
There are painted barbarians up there. They outnumber us.
There is a beast of darkness that laid waste to an entire legion in less than an hour.
No one man can make a difference to that.
Maybe that's what you don't learn when you think it takes
5,000 highly trained soldiers to slaughter a bunch of Scottish farmers.
Yes, one man can. And he's here.
If you're calling us cowards, carry on.
We already ran away - we know.
You're not cowards. You're scared.
Scared is fine, scared is human.
But I'll tell you what it isn't. It isn't a plan.
-Why are you even listening to her, Grandad?
Because no-one else is saying anything.
We need a plan.
A real commander would have a plan.
Why did he call you Grandad?
They always call me Grandad.
I'm the command,
I'm the oldest one left.
How old are you?
Right, listen to me. All of you.
I'm going up there to find my friend.
If you come with me, I can't promise that you won't all die.
But I can promise you this.
You won't all die in a hole in the ground.
We have to drive it back through and close the portal behind it.
Now, the gate only opens when the dawn sun hits it. Why's that?
Our ancestors couldn't close the gate completely,
but they built the cairn to control it.
Like venting an oil gush. If they let the portal open a few
moments every year, they stop the whole thing ripping apart.
It's quite clever, really.
Are you sulking?
I'm remembering the dead.
Oh, right. Well, save that for old age.
They're dead because of me.
You know, every moment you waste wallowing about in that
happy thought means more of the living are going to join them.
When you want to win a war, remember this - it's not about you.
Believe me. I know.
Time to grow up, Kar.
Time to fight your fight.
How does this work?
It poisons the light as the beast eats it.
Good. We'll need more of this.
It has optical cancellation properties.
Now, we have one chance.
Right now it's weak, it's injured, it's starving.
But when the sun comes up, it will feed and grow strong.
We have to lure it back through the portal before that happens, before sunrise.
Now, I've got a plan.
But I need your help.
I am afraid.
But you've still got to face your beast anyway.
Can you do that?
It's the wind in the rocks.
Forward, centurion, keep going.
There are lots of entrances the beast could get through.
It's a labyrinth
This is where we hear them. The barbarians.
Right up there, up above us.
Are you sure your friend will be with them?
Yeah. Basically, he always ends up being boss of the locals.
-Usually by annoying them.
What was that?
All right, centurions, stay sharp.
That's the way out. So let's get out.
Easy, Cornelius, let's make sure we know what we're walking into.
No. Let's go.
Quick! Douse the fire! Quickly!
Shift your arse, Roman!
Close the trap door.
Block it off! We have to block it off!
Centurions, defence formation.
It's falling back. It's waiting.
It's waiting to feed off the sunlight, to grow to its full strength.
I brought you the Ninth Legion.
Whoa, there they are. The lost Legion of the Ninth.
-Totally found them.
-Yeah, you totally did.
Nardole, what happened to you?
Oh, I'm blending in.
-Welcome to our land.
Drop your weapons.
Oh, for goodness' sake! We don't have time for this!
-Lucius! Stop it!
Are you their champion now?
-There is no time for fighting!
We never wanted to fight.
We lived in peace, and then you came and laid waste to
everything and everyone we loved.
All you understand is war.
No. He understands.
Don't you? And now he's wondering why.
-You speak Latin?
Neither do I. Not a word.
And I don't speak whatever they speak either.
-It's you, isn't it?
-Yes. It's me.
Something to do with the TARDIS, maybe? Telepathic field?
So now that we all understand each other, how do we all sound?
-You sound like children.
-You sound like children, too.
-You all do.
-Is this what happens?
When you understand what everyone in the universe is saying,
everybody just sounds like children.
There are exceptions.
-Thank you very much.
OK, kids, pay attention.
She slaughtered your legion.
You slaughtered everything that she loves.
Now you all have a choice.
You can carry on slaughtering each other
till no-one is left standing, or you grow the hell up!
Because there's a new war now.
I think these creatures are light-eating locusts.
Looking for rents and cracks between worlds
to let themselves into dimensions of light.
Once they break through, they eat.
They will eat the sun,
and then they will eat the stars.
And they will keep eating
until there are no stars left.
So, whose side are you on now?
Because as far as I can see, there's only one side left.
If it helps,
I do have a plan.
It feeds on light but it homes in on sound.
-So what's going to happen?
Bit of noise, lure the beast here,
Drive it back through the gate.
But how do we keep it there? I mean, you said,
all those things are going to come through, right?
-They can only come through one at a time.
That's why guarding the gate worked.
One Pict in there, fighting it off for a few minutes,
that adds up to 60 or 70 years out here -
I get it, yeah, and then the next one goes in.
But what do we going to do this time?
Or are you going line up Picts
sacrificing themselves until the end of the world?
I've got a better idea this time.
-Which is the part you never tell me.
I probably just get interrupted.
PICTS CHEER AND LAUGH
This is worse than jazz.
Nothing, there's nothing.
Maybe it won't come.
No, no. Nardole.
It's probably a bit tricky for you, that, innit?
Channel the light!
Keep it here!
We've got to hold it here till sunrise.
Keep it there! Keep it there!
Turn it, the sun is rising!
Back! Back to the void!
It'll only stay open as long as the sunlight's on it.
-Give me your weapon.
-What are you doing?
-This is the clever bit.
-Well, tell me.
The gate has to be guarded, there's no other way.
The trouble is, human life spans, they're tiny.
They're hilarious. You get used up too quickly.
So what's the answer? Go on, figure it out.
The answer is me. I go on for ages.
I don't even really die, I regenerate.
I can hold that gate till the sun goes out.
No, you can't!
Course I can, I'm going to.
This is not your job.
No, it isn't, Bill. It's who I am.
I've been standing by the gates of your world,
keeping you all safe, since you crawled out of the slime.
-I'm not stopping now!
Listen! The TARDIS will take you home, return journeys are easy.
-Listen to me!
-Leave the instruments on the current setting,
just hit them with a spanner.
-The weapon. Now.
-Give it to me. Come on.
You'll be safe, tomorrow you'll be farming. You can name a cow after me.
What about the other gates that you have to guard? What about the vault?
The vault will never exist, if I let those things come through.
-Then someone else better stop them.
-Nobody else can!
What are you saying?
Time to grow up, Doctor. Time to fight my fight.
I'm sorry, no.
No-one else can do this, not like I can.
I'm ready. I'll guard the gate with you.
I'll fight by your side.
Awesome! Brilliant! You'll be a hero for two seconds.
And then the whole solar system will be devoured.
This is my destiny. My fight.
-Out of my way. Now!
-We'll take it in turns.
Two of you can't hold the gate.
Two of them? I'm counting more than two.
The Legion of the Ninth stands ready to serve.
Oh, stop being brave. I can't bear brave people.
I'll put the story in the stone. I'll put your name in the air.
They'll see it for hundreds of years.
-They'll know your name forever.
No, listen to me! No, listen!
You're wrong, Doctor. It's their destiny, not yours.
Sorry. You're going nowhere.
-Bill! Bill, stop it!
-Soldiers of the Ninth! Advance!
TRADITIONAL MUSIC PLAYS
What's that? What's happening?
Too many of them going through at once. This place is unstable.
We need to get out of here. Now!
I know you're inclined to bear a grudge,
so just remember I know about 10% of your secrets.
The dark secrets.
And I'm the only one in the TARDIS who knows where the tea cakes are.
She's holding the gate. Remember. Her name is Kar.
You were wrong. The crows aren't sulking.
The crows are remembering.
-Kar! Kar! Kar!
I'm sorry, Doctor, but you have a vault to guard.
You can't take on every fight.
All right. I was wrong.
I didn't know what really happened to the Ninth Legion.
No, we were both wrong about that.
They were never really missing.
They've always been here.
The Ninth Legion and the Keeper of the Gate.
Seizing the day till the sun goes out. Holding back the dark.
DISTANT TRADITIONAL MUSIC
I thought... Did you hear that?
I thought I could hear the music. But I can't, can I?
They're in another time.
Music's funny like that.
Right, shall we go back home?
Time you were guarding that vault, we don't want Missy getting any ideas.
Oh, one should always try to avoid those.
You lot were ages, I was getting ever so worried.
How did you get out of the vault?
So, what do we do, how did this happen?
It's all right, Nardole, she's been doing some work for me.
Sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I assumed they knew.
Should I have stayed below decks?
No, no, no. It's fine.
She's supposed to be in the vault.
How were the engines?
Better than you deserve. You are naughty.
Do you ever do basic maintenance?
-No, but I've got a plan for that.
Seriously? What, she's doing chores for you now?
Sir, I must to protest in the strongest, most upset terms possible.
Don't make me go squeaky voiced!
Do relax, you two. I'm biolocked out of the controls.
I can't even get through those doors.
I'm as much a prisoner here as I am in the vault.
No, you most certainly are not.
Doctor, seriously, why did you let her out?
I think you may be forgetting how we got home from Mars.
What, so now you trust her?
No, so now he's getting TARDIS maintenance for free.
Let's not get carried away.
So what have you been up to? Did you watch us?
-Some of it. A little bit.
-What did you think?
Oh, is she reviewing us now?
All those little people, trapped in a hill, fighting forever.
Is that really up to your bleeding heart standards?
Well, they're not trapped and they're more than just fighting.
And there's music. Always music.
Well, team, who's going to help me hide his gee-tar?
See, that's what I'm trying to teach you, Missy.
You understand the universe, you see it, you grasp it.
But you've never learned to hear the music.
I don't even know why I'm crying.
-Why do I keep doing that now?
-I don't know.
Maybe you're trying to impress me.
Yes, probably some devious plan.
That sounds about right.
The alternative would be much worse.
The alternative is that this is for real.
And it's time for us to become friends again.
Do you think so?
I don't know. That's the trouble with hope.
It's hard to resist.
I pick a scenario, we drop her down into it and we see how she does.
Hello, I am that mysterious adventurer in all of time and space,
and these are my disposables.
Promise you won't get me killed.
I said this was a bad idea.
A 400-mile ship reversing away from the gravitational pull
of a black hole.
So sorry, but you're the reason that they're coming.
What are they?
A Mondasian Cyberman!
Give us a kiss.
A hunt for the lost Ninth Roman Legion leads the Doctor, Bill and Nardole into the middle of an ancient battle that could cast humanity into the dark forever. What is inside the cairn? And how far will they have to go defeat the terrifying alien Eaters of Light?