of the Ice Box - Part One
Written by Bruce Stewart
Liz and Simon emerge from the time barrier not in 1970, as they
expect, but in an icy landscape. In the biting cold, they both
Back in 1970 Jean is sharing the experience and is shivering.
Frank notices this but Traynor comments that she isn't actually
cold. Franks wonders what has happened to Liz and Simon and says
that in order to return to the present they only had to crawl
through the hole in the fence. Traynor states that they're still
learning about the time barrier.
A red-suited figure crosses the icy landscape and makes an examination
of two large ice blocks, which have gauges on the side. The figure
notices the two unconscious figures and lifts Liz, carrying her
back across the wasteland to a sliding door that lets into a futuristic-looking
installation. A woman meets the figure and he explains that there
is 'another one outside.'
Elsewhere in the installation, in a control room, a curly headed
figure walks from his control desk over to a man who is encapsulated
in a transparent tube, apparently hooked up to instrumentation
via wires attached to his head and body. The figure in the tube
appears comatose and is muttering technical jargon.
Liz and Simon are wheeled into the infirmary by their rescuer,
Dr. Bukov and Beth (the woman he met at the door with the unconscious
Liz). The children are being attended a middle-aged woman, Dr.
Joynton, who is puzzled by there lack of frostbite. Beth postulates
that the children might have arrived by the carrier drop that
was due that day, but Bukov dismisses this, as this was only for
supplies and not personnel. Dr. Joynton suggests the use of the
resuscitation tents, which are lowered into position. Beth has
a funny feeling about the 'girl'... Dr. Joynton asks Beth if the
Director has been informed of the situation. Beth tells her that
the Director is still 'programming the computer.'
In the Computer Room the Director, still unconscious, continues
his strange muttering.
In the field adjacent to the old naval station Jean, Frank and
Traynor are looking for Liz and Simon but there is no sign of
them. Traynor asks Jean if she has lost touch with the children
and she replies that she appears to have done so after the feelings
of being cold. Frank asks Traynor what he thinks but Traynor tells
him that this is an area where he is 'still learning' and suggests
they repair to the hotel.
Back in the Computer Room the Director emerges from his coma
and tells Larry to put the computer back under auto control. He
berates Larry for a mistake he made that morning over the dosage
of 'HA57.' Larry apologises for his error and goes on to mention
a fault in the water supply the previous evening that the Director
was going to investigate during brain-link. The Director replies
that it was 'human error' as the computer doesn't make mistakes.
As the Director leaves Larry clearly isn't satisfied.
In the corridor outside, the Director meets Beth who explains
about the children. However, the Director knows about their arrival
through the brain-link. The two enter the Director's office.
In the infirmary, Liz regains consciousness to find Dr. Joynton
leaning over her. She asks where she is and the Doctor explains
that she and Simon are in the 'Ice Box'. She goes on to tell Liz
that the 'Ice Box' is a name given to the International Institute
for Biological Research. At that point Simon stirs. Liz is rather
alarmed to find that Dr. Joynton thinks Simon is first, her brother
and then her boyfriend! The doctor is still rather puzzled that
the children managed to survive so long in the cold without ill
effects. Liz attempts to fill Simon in with what she has learned
so far from Dr. Joynton. Still confused, Simon asks Dr. Joynton
where exactly the Ice Box is located. Both Liz and Simon are amazed
to discover they are under the Antarctic, just a few miles from
the South Pole!
The Director and Beth are in the process of receiving a message,
via special headsets, from the computer. The message refers to
volunteers and states 'Expect arrival soonliest' (sic) The Director
is satisfied that all is as scheduled and asks Larry, via the
video-link, to check on the instructions regarding experiment
AB-494-Z. Larry informs the Director that there was no indication
that Central Control had sent any volunteers and so the experiment
was not yet underway. The Director reiterates that as he had programmed
the computer, there could be no error. He warns Larry off pitting
wits with the computer. The Director tells Beth that he will one
day bring the computer to perfection and 'remake the imperfect
world .... to advance the human species beyond its own understanding.'
Clearly uneasy with the Director's prophesising, Beth changes
the subject and asks him if he wants to see the new arrivals...
but the Director seems preoccupied and tells Beth he has other
things to attend to. He instructs Beth to show the new arrivals
around but before she leaves, the Director admits to Beth that
she is the only one who seems to understand him. Once Beth has
left the office, the Director goes to the rear wall, operates
a secret switch and a pair of sliding doors part, revealing a
darkened inner room from which electronic sounds (the same as
those in the Computer room) are heard.
Dr. Joynton shows Liz and Simon the Fantasy room. Dr. Bukov,
now off duty, is in there reading. Dr. Joynton tears off a printout
and passes it to Dr. Bukov. It is his daily newspaper! Dr. Joynton
explains that in the Fantasy room any newspaper can be printed
out, any television station in the world can be received and a
special area of the room, although small, can reproduce music
as if in a concert hall. Finally she leads Liz and Simon over
to a small recess with two easy chairs in it. She explains that
this area is what gives the room its name, describing it as 'The
Fantasy Apparatus.' Dr. Joynton explains that by connecting to
the machine, it can make your dreams come alive and you can go
anywhere. She gives the children a demonstration by imagining
herself back home in New Zealand. Dr. Bukov joins the fascinated
children and finally introduces himself as their rescuer. Simon
is curious about the base's computer. Dr. Bukov explains that
it is even more important than the base personnel as it controls
all of the Ice Box's functions and acts as a guide to the research
undertaken there. Bukov talks about the AB experiment that he
believes Simon and Liz are there to participate in. Simon hesitantly
confirms Bukov's assumption. Dr. Bukov goes on to tell the children
about the preparations they must undergo prior to the experiment
beginning, including the administration of 'HA57'. Before he can
explain what 'HA57' is, Beth enters to collect Liz and Simon.
In the corridor outside, she confronts Liz telling her she has
no right to be there and questioning why she has followed her.
Liz is mystified by Beth's inexplicable hostility and odd remarks.
Meanwhile Simon pauses outside the door to the Director's office.
Beth catches up and, noticing his interest, warns him never to
go in to it without permission.
The children are shown into the Computer room where they meet
Larry, the technician who services the computer. Beth leaves them
in his company and he goes on to explain about how the computer
works and where the daily dosage of 'HA57' is dispensed. Once
again, Simon asks what it is and Larry tells him that it is a
"longevity drug" which decelerates the aging process.
All the Ice Box personnel take it. Larry surprises the children
by telling them that Dr. Joynton is actually nearly one hundred
years old! He tells the children something of the work that is
done at the Ice Box and explains about brain links being perfected
in 1985... and that was five years ago! The year is now 1990.
Liz and Simon slip out of the Computer room and make for the
main entrance, stopping to put on thermal suits. They are anxious
to leave and return to their own time, not wanting to be part
of any experiments.
Outside the Fantasy room, Dr. Bukov is stopped by Beth who is
apparently not satisfied with Liz and Simon's story. She tells
him she will have another talk with them.
Having got their survival suits on, Liz and Simon are about to
leave the base when Liz mistakenly opens the door to a nearby
side room. She is astonished to see her mother there. Before either
can react, Simon plucks Liz back and thrusts her through the main
entrance onto the ice beyond. Bukov sees the children trying to
leave and vainly calls after them.
Outside on the ice field, Simon is struggling with a protesting
Liz who is desperately trying to explain the familiar face that
she saw in the side room...
Complete cast for part one
Cheryl Burfield (Liz Skinner), Spencer Banks (Simon Randall),
Derek Benfield (Skinner), Iris Russell (Jean Skinner), Denis Quilley
(Commander Traynor), John Barron (Devereaux), Mary Preston (Beth
Skinner), Peggy Thorpe-Bates (Dr. Edith Joynton), John Barcroft
(Dr. Bukov), Robert Oates (Larry).
Script Editor Ruth Boswell
Scientific Adviser Geoffrey Hoyle
Designer Michael Eve
Director Peter Jefferies
Producer John Cooper
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