12.4. Nikola Tesla's Night Of Terror

Series 12 - 2020

Writer: Nina Metivier
Series Producer: Nikki Wilson
Director: Nida Manzoor
Music: Segun Akinola


At Niagara Falls Nikola Tesla is looking for investors in his latest idea: a world wireless system where energy is transmitted wirelessly around the world. He is struggling to raise the $50,000 he needs, and when he tells people he received radio signals from Mars people start to walk away. The appearance of <> telling Tesla there is an emergency doesn't help. A man has been killed, and eletrocution is suspected.

Miss Skerritt suggests Tesla investigates, and he finds that some components have been stolen. When he hears a noise in what should be an empty warehouse Tesla investigates and comes across a floating green sphere. Miss Skerritt appears and she and Tesla run when they hear someone. With doors locked they try to hide as one of the investors, Mr Baday, shoots at them before he is shot by a laser. The Doctor enters the room and Miss Skerritt and Tesla follow her out. They get the next train heading to New York where they meet up with Graham, Ryan, and Yaz.

The dead man from the warehouse follows the Doctor, Tesla, and Miss Skerritt, onto to the train. The Doctor is able to disarm the man, who has a Sulurian blaster, and trap him in the last carriage of the train which is left behind when the Doctor separates it from the rest of the train. The Doctor is concerned not only with the Silurian weaponary, but also the energy source that Tesla has found. As he won't give it to the Doctor she tells him that she won't leave him out of her sight until she has worked out what the energy source is.

In New York Tesla leads them to his laboratory where they are accosted by protesters protesting about the AC current, saying that Tesla's machines are not safe. The Doctor is a little underwhelmed when Miss Skerritt lets her into Tesla's laboratory, which is very sparse. Inside Tesla shows the Doctor the sphere. The Doctor recognises it as an Orb of Thassor. The Thassors built the orbs to spread information across the Universe. The Doctor scans the Orb with her sonic screwdriver which gets Tesla's attention.

Whilst he is talking to the Doctor Tesla receives a letter handed to him by Miss Skerritt: Mr Morgan is pulling his funding from Tesla's Wardenclyffe project without which Tesla will be unable to complete it. The final straw is when one of Thomas Edison's men tries to take pictures through the window. Wondering if Edison is also after the Orb the Doctor, Graham, and Ryan, go to investigate.

Edison is trying to spread word that Tesla's AC is dangerous and the Niagara generator should be shut down in favour of Edison's DC and the Edison generator. When the Doctor talks about alien weapons Edison laughs and saya she should be talking to Tesla, but when Ryan discreetly shows him the Silurian blaster he offers to talk to them inside. Edison says Tesla originally worked for him fixing a generator for $50,000. Tesla fixed the generator but when Edison didn't pay Tesla quit to dig ditches.

In Edison's laboratory a scientists drops a grounding coil, and as he crouches down to pick it up he watches as the dead man from the train appears and, which a burst of power, kills all the other people in the room. In his office Edison is loosing his patience and asks the Doctor about his man he left spying on Tesla's Niagara warehouse. That's when the dead man, Harold Green, Edison's spy, enters the office. The Doctor scans him but gets odd readings. Fleeing from Green they run through the main laboratory, where Edison sees his dead employees, before finding the chemical laboratory, where they find the body of the real Harold Green. Using chemicals in the laboratory the Doctor is able to trap the fake Green in a ring of fire where she demands he reveals his true form.

In Tesla's laboratory Tesla and Yaz are examine the Orb. Using Tesla's equipment they can see the Orb is emitting distinct waves of energy, as though it is scanning its environment, looking for something. As they work Yaz gets a call from the Doctor warning her about aliens that can look like people, and that they should get out. As she ends the call Miss Skerritt enters followed by two aliens in human form. One of the aliens says they are not there for the orb - they are after Tesla. One of the aliens grabs Tesla, just as Yaz does, and they are transported to a spaceship, leaving Miss Skerritt alone.

Inside the spaceship, which is floating above New York but is invisible, the leader of the scorpion like aliens tells Tesle she wants him to work on repairing her ship. The technology amazes Tesla, but he angers the alien leader by saying he will not repair the weapons. The alien leader threatens to kill Yaz, followed by everyone on Earth.

In Tesla's laboratory Miss Skerritt is not alone for long as the TARDIS materialises soon afterwards. Inside the Doctor analyses the Orb and finds it has been repurposed to scan the Earth. But with no way to find where Tesla has been taken Miss Skerritt realises the signal Tesla received from Mars could be the answer, and that Tesla's notes are at the Wardenclyffe tower - along with the Teslascope. Not risking taking the TARDIS the Doctor find a way to teleport to the ship where learns who the alien leader is - Queen of the Skithra. The Doctor recognises the Venusian ship and sees that the stolen ship, with stolen technology inside, is breaking down.

The Doctor keeps the Queen busy whilst the teleport recharges. As soon as it is recharged she, Yaz, and Tesla, teleport back, but not before taking a picture of the Queen first. Back inside the TARDIS the Doctor tells the Queen to leave Earth's orbit. The Queen responds with an ultimatium: Give her Tesla or everyone on Earth dies. The Doctor refuses to hand over Tesla, and instead asks him about Wardenclyffe. The Doctor realises that with enough power the tower could send a beam of lightning up to the ship.

Preparing for a Skithra attack the Doctor extends the TARDIS shields and helps Tesla finish the tower. Edison and Yaz start to clear people from the streets whilst Graham, Ryan, and Miss Skerritt, find anything they can use for defence. With Skithra attacking the Doctor says the TARDIS can produce the power, but that during the 30 seconds required the shields will drop, which would allow the Skithra in. The Doctor's plan was to destroy the ship which would kill the Queen. Being a hive species killing the Queen would destroy all the Skithra.

But things go awry when the Queen transports down to Wardenclyffe. The Doctor tricks the Queen into taking her teleport device. When activated the Queen is teleported back to her ship. When Tesla fires up his tower the Skithras' ship is destoryed, along with the Queen and the Skithra on Earth.

Regular Cast

  • Graham O'Brien: Bradley Walsh
  • Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
  • Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill

Guest Cast

  • Nikola Tesla: Goran ViĆĄnjic
  • Thomas Edison: Robert Glenister
  • Queen Skithra: Anji Mohindra
  • Dorothy Skerritt: Haley McGee
  • Harold Green: Paul Kasey
  • Bill Tallow: Robin Guiver
  • Mr Sorensson: Erick Hayden
  • Mr Brady: Russell Bentley
  • Mr Martin: Brian Caspe
  • Foreman: Shaun Mason

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 4. Nikola Tesla's Night Of Terror Sunday, January 19, 2020 7:10 PM - 8:00 PM 5.20M 79

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC