The TARDIS materialised next to a tall, slender radio mast rising up against a white sky from a white snowscape. Sarah Jane Smith looked at it on the viewscreen and turned to The Doctor.

“Where are we? Antarctica?”

“Greenland,” The Doctor replied, looking at the monitor on the console. To be precise, the Summit Station at the highest point on the Greenland ice cap – hence Summit. Established in 1989. This is June 2011, summer on the ice cap.”

“This is summer?” Sarah Jane looked at the white wasteland disdainfully.

“Come along,” The Doctor said, reaching for his tweed cloak and passing Sarah Jane a hooded, fur-lined suede coat that happened to be hanging on the coatstand even though their last destination had been a desert planet where no coats were needed. She put it on and followed The Doctor out into the snow.

“This way,” he said, setting off briskly towards a low two storey building with blue painted walls that stood out against the white. “That looks like the main administration building.”

“This is a scientific research facility,” Sarah Jane said. “Are they just going to let us in without a by your leave? Won’t they wonder how we got here?”

The Doctor ignored the second part of the question and reached into his pocket for a set of papers. Sarah Jane looked at them briefly and noted they were permits from both the Danish Polar Centre and the Greenland Home Rule Government for The Doctor, as U.N.I.T.’s chief scientific advisor and one assistant, to visit any of the research facilities on the ice cap.

They were dated May, 2011. Either they were really good fakes or The Doctor had even more influence than she thought.

“Remind me when we leave here to nip to Copenhagen in May of this year and apply for these,” The Doctor said. “Otherwise it will be a dreadful paradox.”

“You… cheat!” Sarah Jane teased him. The Doctor smiled widely, his eyes twinkling and the lines of his face crinkling even more than ever.

When they reached the blue building, The Doctor got ready to show his papers. To his surprise, the building was locked up tightly. After knocking for several minutes while Sarah Jane shuffled her feet and refrained from mentioning how cold they were, he took out his sonic screwdriver and applied it to the door.

The building was empty. Even from the moment they walked in, they knew it. There was a stillness and quiet that only an empty building has. There was nobody in the tidy reception area. The radio room was unmanned, too. Sarah Jane looked in the dining room and large recreation room and found those empty, as well.

“Is it Sunday?” she asked. “Do they have a chapel or something?”

That was a plausible explanation but The Doctor shook his head. He looked worried.

“Let’s look around outside,” he said, and strode off. Sarah Jane ran to catch up with him.

“Is this bad?” she asked. “I mean… could there be a reason why there’s nobody here? Could they have gone off on a field trip? No, that doesn’t make sense, does it? The whole base wouldn’t go. Somebody would be looking after the place, listening out on the radio in case of accidents or something.”

It was a large complex. Another permanent building proved to be a bunkhouse and kitchen and bathroom facilities for up to a dozen people. The beds were made and the kitchen clean and tidy. Elsewhere there was a large canvas structure with a surprising sense of permanence about it. That proved to house a generator to provide electricity and water to the building. It was still running, but there was nobody maintaining it. Outside a trio of snow-ploughs stood silent. A rime of frost over them suggested that they hadn’t been used for at least a day.

A short walk from there brought them to a place where at least two dozen one man tents were pitched. They were modern, thermal lined affairs, but even so Sarah Jane wondered if it was possible to live that way in the snow.

“In summer, it is,” The Doctor replied. “In winter a much smaller crew would hunker down in the permanent base.”

Sarah Jane opened one of the tents and crawled in to look. She was amazed to how warm it was. She noted that everything was neat and tidy inside. The bed was made and the individual camper’s few possessions were in good order.

All the tents were the same, very neat and tidy and unoccupied.

“What do you think, Doctor?” Sarah Jane asked. “Is it a Marie Celeste in the arctic?”

“Interesting analogy. But on the Marie Celeste there were signs of people having left in a hurry.” The Doctor said that with the kind of absolute certainty that told Sarah Jane that he had seen the evidence first hand. “There were half eaten meals, cupboards open and in disarray, the ships log left out on the captain’s desk. Think about what we’ve seen here, in comparison.”

Sarah Jane was an investigative journalist. She was good at noticing things. Her mind went back over what she had seen so far.

“The kitchens in both buildings were neat and tidy, everything put away. No food left out. No washing up. The dining room was clean. The recreation room… all the books and games were stacked on the shelf. The television was switched off. Same story with the tents, all nice and neat. It’s as if they tidied up before they left.”

“Which suggests that they left voluntarily. But where did they go? This facility is meant to be manned all year round.”

The Doctor turned and walked back to the main building. Sarah Jane followed.

“Please let there be some sensible, ordinary explanation for all this,” she said to herself. “Not the sort of thing The Doctor gets mixed up in. Please don’t let them all be kidnapped by aliens or….”

The Doctor went to the camp leader’s office. Sarah Jane found the kitchen and put the kettle on. She looked in the cupboards. Most of the food, of course, was tinned or long life produce. In the refrigerator was an open tin of evaporated milk. It had a use by date of 2013, but obviously it would not last that long once opened. She tasted a drop. It was still fresh. If she had to guess she would say that it had been there about twenty-four hours. There was bread in the refrigerator, too, and a block of butter. Both were still good. She buttered several slices and opened a tin of ham to make sandwiches to go with the tea. She tidied up after herself and then brought the tray to the office. The Doctor took the cup of tea that was offered to him, and ate two of the sandwiches as he read through the camp director’s diary.

“It’s all perfectly normal up until a week ago,” he said. “They’ve been doing some new core drilling experiments. The ice sheet upon which the camp sits has actually moved considerably since the site was established. They are no longer in their original latitude and longitude, and they’ve been finding out exactly what is underneath them in the new position. A chap called Anders Nielsen from the botanical department at the University of Copenhagen is very interested in microscopic spores found in the core samples that prove vegetable life once existed in these parts. Among other things, his findings prove the continental drift theory that would have placed Greenland much closer to the equator millions of years before.” The Doctor smiled wryly. “Of course, it was. I remember visiting Pangea when I was in my hundred and nineties. That’s what your Earth scientists called the supercontinent that broke up to form the world you know today. It was a tropical rainforest then, with all kinds of exotic creatures living in it. Fascinating place. Darwin would have loved to see it. Poor man. He always had that shadow of a doubt about his evolutionary theories. Even when I told him he was spot on….”

“Doctor….” Sarah Jane was well used to The Doctor’s rambling stories by now, and any other time she would have loved to listen to his adventures on Pangea. But right now there were more pressing things to think about. “What about the staff… the crew… whatever they’re called. What happened to them?”

“I’m getting to that,” The Doctor replied. “That’s where it all starts to get strange. First Neilsen got really excited because they brought up a deep core sample – from four kilometres down in the ice – and it had more than just frozen spores in it. He found wheat grains. Not just wild seeds, but what he believes to be cultivated seed.”

“Prehistoric seeds?” Sarah Jane asked despite thinking that all of this sounded irrelevant to the missing men.

“It would be virtually impossible to date them. Frozen in the deep ice they would be timeless. Carefully defrosted so as not to damage the wheatgerm, they could be viable, still. But that deep in the ice, they would have to be millions of years old. He’s right. It is an interesting idea. It means that the hunter-gatherers had become farmers long before anthropologists previously thought.”

“But what does it have to do with missing men?” Sarah Jane insisted.

“In itself, it doesn’t,” The Doctor admitted. “But it was after those core samples were brought up that some of the men reported seeing strange women around the drill site.”

“Strange women?”

“There weren’t any women actually on the base,” The Doctor noted. He noticed Sarah Jane’s expression and smiled. “No, it’s not a sexist thing. Four women were meant to be part of the summer crew but one got appendicitis and was sent back, one was pregnant and pulled out of the mission before it started and the other two changed their minds about coming on a six month posting in the middle of nowhere.”

“Four women out of a crew of thirty-five is still sexist, Doctor,” Sarah Jane pointed out. “But anyway, strange women….”

“Tall, slender, alabaster skin, fair hair and piercing blue eyes,” The Doctor read the description from the diary. “Wearing long, flowing silk dresses. They walked across the snow and came up to the men working at the drill site and invited them to join them.”

“Join them?”

“That’s what it says. They asked them to join them – and then walked away again. They reported the incident to the director – a chap called Steffensen - and he put it down to hallucinations. He put them all on the sick list and confined them to the base house. But the next day the relief crew reported the same thing - women walking across the snow in surprisingly skimpy clothing and asking them to join them. Only this time, two of the men accepted the invitation and went with them.”

“And never came back?”

“No, they came back the next evening and told the other men that they had been to an amazing place, a world under the ice itself with trees, flowing water, fresh food and drink, and women who wanted them to be their husbands. They came back to persuade the rest to go with them.”


“And Steffenson put both of them on the sick list, too. But the next day the women came right into the camp. The director saw them for himself, and that’s when he decided that they would all go with them. He told the men to tidy the camp and put everything in order. His last entry was yesterday when he reported that they were setting out to meet the women.”

“That’s really strange.” Sarah Jane commented. “How could there be a bunch of women living under the ice? I mean… it’s just ice, isn’t it?”

“There is strong evidence, from the sort of research Mr Neilsen was carrying out here, of sub-glacial environments. There may well be fresh-water lakes beneath the ice, even relatively warm water in volcanic regions.”

“Yes, ok,” Sarah Jane conceded. “But people couldn’t live there, could they?”

The Doctor didn’t answer her. Sarah Jane considered some of the things she had seen since meeting The Doctor and wondered if she could be wrong.

“There is this,” The Doctor added. He unfolded a large sheet of paper that was folded into the diary. It was a drawing done with coloured pencils, a very good drawing by somebody with a talent for art. It depicted an idyllic scene with a lake and a flowing waterfall, vegetation hanging over it, and beautiful women in silk dresses. “Either a figment of the imagination or a first hand account of Shangri-la beneath the ice. And whether we believe the director’s account or not, everyone in the camp packed up and left taking no provisions or kit, nothing but the clothes they were wearing.”

“If they were deluded, then they could all be wandering out on the ice, freezing to death. We should call somebody on that radio and get a search going.”

“Yes,” The Doctor agreed. “That would be sensible.” He closed the diary and stood up. “Then again, perhaps somebody has done that already.”

Sarah Jane didn’t know what he meant at first. Then she, too, heard the sound of an aeroplane circling above the camp. She rushed to follow The Doctor out of the building. She shielded her eyes against the sun glare and watched as the plane, fitted with skids instead of wheels came into land on the ski-way to the south of the camp. They walked out to meet the men who disembarked from the plane.

“Good afternoon,” The Doctor said politely. “I hope you had a comfortable trip.” He glanced at the six men. They all had name tags on their jackets. The leader was called Larrsen. He stepped forward and regarded The Doctor coolly.

“Who are you?” he demanded. “What are you doing here?”

“I am The Doctor,” The Doctor replied. “This is Sarah Jane Smith, my assistant. I am scientific advisor to the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. I am here to observe the ice core project. I have my permit right here.” The Doctor reached into his pocket for the papers he had shown Sarah Jane earlier. Larrsen read them carefully and thrust them back at The Doctor.

“Where is everyone else?” he demanded. “When we flew over, there was no sign of any activity, and nobody has responded to the radio for over twenty-four hours.”

“That’s a very interesting question,” The Doctor said. “If you come back with me to the main building I can show you what I know so far about the situation.”

Larrsen and his men did as The Doctor suggested. Sarah Jane went back to the kitchen and prepared more tea. It seemed the only useful thing she could do. The men accepted her hospitality but Larrsen was less than satisfied with what he had found at the camp, and still less with The Doctor’s explanation of what had gone on here.”

“How do I know you haven’t killed everyone?” Larrsen demanded.

“Don’t be daft,” Sarah Jane responded. “We’ve only just got here this afternoon, and everyone was already gone.”

“So you say, but how do I know that’s the truth? How did you get here? Our plane is the only one on the ski-way and there are no overland vehicles here.”

That was a good point. Sarah Jane didn’t feel qualified to explain about TARDIS travel.

“Where did you bury the bodies?” Larrsen demanded.

“How could the two of us have killed thirty-five people and disposed of their bodies in only twenty-four hours?” The Doctor pointed out the impossibility of that idea. “Not to mention cleaning up all evidence of the crime.”

“It makes more sense than this diary. Jens Steffensen isn’t the sort of man to make up fantastic stories. I’d trust him with my life. This is utter nonsense.”

“It may well be, but it was written by the director in his own hand, in his diary. If you compare the handwriting with earlier entries….”

Larrsen looked back in the book at Steffensen’s close, neat handwriting. The earlier entries matched the most recent ones. Even so, he wasn’t convinced. He reached into his jacket and produced a gun that he levelled at The Doctor.

“I’m putting you and the woman under house arrest until I know more about this situation,” he said. Don’t make any trouble.”

“My dear fellow,” The Doctor replied calmly. “I am not the one you need to worry about.”

He raised his hands. Sarah Jane did the same. Larrsen had two of his men check them for concealed weapons and confiscated The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. Then he directed them towards a very small, windowless room off the kitchen that was used as a storage cupboard. They were locked in.

“Why is it, when I’m with you, I’m always being locked up?” Sarah Jane asked, sliding to the floor dismally.

“Those men are in danger,” The Doctor said. “They don’t have any idea what they’re dealing with.”

“Do you?” Sarah Jane asked.

“I have a very strong suspicion.”

“Trouble is, I don’t think they want to listen.”

“I’m afraid you’re right,” The Doctor sighed. He sat down on the floor, too, and went quiet for a long time. Sarah Jane watched him and wondered how he could be so calm.

“It’s really boring being a prisoner,” she said after a while. “Why don’t we break out of here?”

“They took my sonic screwdriver,” The Doctor replied. “I can’t unlock the door.”

Sarah Jane regarded the door thoughtfully. It was only a simple mortise lock.

“Aren’t you any good at lock picking?” she asked.

“Yes, but I’d need something long and metallic. They searched my pockets.”

“They searched me, too,” Sarah Jane said. “But they were a bit cagey about it, me being a woman, as you might have noticed.” She rummaged in her pockets and found a nail file. “Would that do?”

The Doctor smiled widely and took it from her. He set to work on the door and in a very short time there was a satisfying clunk as the catch engaged. He opened the door slowly and cautiously, and then closed it again.

“The women… they’re here. Just as Steffensen described.”

Sarah Jane came to the door and opened it a crack. She looked out and saw one of Larrsen’s men walk past with a woman at his side. She closed the door again.

“Doctor… what did they look like to you… these women?” she asked.

“Tall, slender, alabaster skin, fair hair and piercing blue eyes….” The Doctor replied.

“The one I just saw was tall, all right,” Sarah Jane confirmed. “But it was an old hag with wrinkles on her wrinkles and scraggy grey wisps of hair on a nearly bald head. As for the eyes….”

She shuddered. The eyes hadn’t been focussed on her. If they were, she thought she would have shrivelled up and died. The expression ‘if looks could kill’ might have been made for eyes like that.

“You can see them as they really are. They make men see something else.”

“I never thought of you as a man,” Sarah Jane commented. “I mean… of course, you are. But… you’re from another planet. You have two hearts. You know perfectly well what I mean. If even you see what those men see….”

“They may have fooled me with their appearance,” The Doctor said. “But that is as far as their glamour extends. I don’t have any urge to follow them. I’m different enough from Human men in that respect.”

“What are we going to do?” Sarah Jane asked.

“We’re going to follow them, of course.” He turned and looked at the shelves in their temporary prison and smiled triumphantly as he held up a white arctic survival jacket and matching trousers.

“I hope they’ve got my size,” Sarah Jane commented.

They didn’t. Even the smallest jacket completely swamped her.

“I feel like a polar bear,” she complained as she did her best to match The Doctor’s pace across the hard packed snow, following Larrsen and his men as they trekked south in company with the sinister women.

“A very charming polar bear,” The Doctor assured her. Sarah Jane made a disgusted noise in her throat. “A feminist polar bear who won’t take a compliment even when it is well meant,” he amended. “For what it’s worth, Sarah, I think I DO need you with me. If I do find myself under the thrall of these hags, I will need you to give me a thorough slap in the face.”

“And don’t think I won’t,” she responded. “Just because you’re a friend.”

“I should think not,” The Doctor returned. They both grinned. They understood each other. They were trekking across a frozen wasteland in pursuit of a group of confused men and some very sinister women who might be even more dangerous than they looked, but they had trust in each other and they knew it would be all right.

“What exactly do they want with the men, anyway?” Sarah Jane asked.

“Exactly what Steffensen said in his diary,” The Doctor replied. “Husbands. They’re Varias… a rather odd race of women who ordinarily live for hundreds of years, but for most of those years they are old, withered – as you saw them. If they can take a husband they can become young again. But as you can imagine, there is a price to pay. He becomes old and withered and dies within a very short time.”

“Then the first men they took might already be dead?”

“They won’t perform their ‘wedding’ ceremony until there is a husband for each of them. They must have been a few short because they came back for Larrsen and his men. There’s still time.”

They had walked two miles when they passed the place where the crew had been drilling. The rig was silent and still, the metal starting to frost over in the cold. The same was true of the snow plough and a dozen two man snow-mobiles parked there.

Larrsen and his men kept on walking past the drill site. So did The Doctor and Sarah Jane, keeping their distance, but not so distant that they could lose sight of their quarry.

Then the quarry vanished.

“Where did they go?” Sarah Jane asked.

“I think I know,” The Doctor replied. He broke into a run. Sarah Jane made haste to follow him. He stopped at a spot that looked just like any other until she was close up. Then she noted that the snow was melted and rapidly re-freezing in a perfect circle about three yards across. The Doctor was examining the circle with his sonic screwdriver.

“I thought Larrsen confiscated that.”

“I went and got it from the director’s office while you were changing into the polar bear outfit,” The Doctor replied. “As I thought, ion particles. A short range teleport.”

“Teleport? So… they’re not from around here, then?”

“No, indeed,” The Doctor confirmed. “Ah. Stand close to me, Sarah. Teleports are ghastly things. They can make you thoroughly nauseous. But the effects are lessened if there’s more than one body in the system.”

“I hope it knows which body is which,” Sarah Jane commented just before The Doctor pressed a button on the sonic screwdriver and she saw the world around her wobble and dissolve.

When it resolved again they were in a cave of ice that looked as if it was lit from within the frozen walls themselves.

“Ice-mites,” The Doctor said. “They give off a natural light just like glow-worms.”

“There must be a lot of them in the ice to light it up like that.” The idea just made Sarah Jane feel itchy.

“Yes,” The Doctor replied. “And they’re not indigenous to Earth, either. These women are seriously interfering with the natural ecology of the ice sheet.”

A tunnel led from the cave. There was light there, too. They followed it cautiously until they emerged into a cavern – except that word didn’t quite describe it. Sarah Jane mentally compared it to some of the largest buildings she had ever been in and decided seven or eight Albert Halls and the Departure lounge at Heathrow might just about do it.

And it WAS beautiful. If The Doctor was right about the women not being able to affect her mind, then this was a fabulous place. Much of the ground was covered in a huge lake of crystal clear water which was replenished by a waterfall. The rush of water from it was a constant background sound.

There was vegetation, too. Trees rather like weeping willows overhung the lake and vines that looked as if they might bear some sort of fruit wound themselves up around the edges of the waterfall. Elsewhere there was meadow grass.

It was warm. Sarah Jane pushed the hood of her snowsuit down and breathed in the moist warmth. It was like being in the tropical house at Kew Gardens.

“That lake is hot,” she said, noting the steam coming off it in places. The waterfall must be heated water… it’s a big hot bath.”

“They’ve harnessed the power of a sub-glacial volcano,” The Doctor said. “Using geo-thermal energy. Brilliant. If humans could only make use of such technology they could do magnificent things. They could populate icy wastelands like Greenland and relieve the over-crowding elsewhere, grow food in places they never imagined they could do so.”

“But humans haven’t made use of it,” Sarah Jane pointed out. “Those creepy women have.”

“Yes, unfortunately. And I don’t know any way of stopping them without destroying this environment completely.”

“But you DO know a way?” Sarah Jane asked.

“I do. It’s dangerous. I ought to send you back up to the surface. But I need you to get the men out.”

Sarah Jane looked around. The men were on the far side of the steaming lake, bathing. How was she supposed to get them out?

“Use this,” The Doctor said, adjusting the sonic screwdriver. “I’ve set it to emit a wide-ranging pulse that will disrupt the parts of their brain affected by the women. It will wake them up to reality.”

“I hope so.” Sarah Jane looked across the lake. “Is it my imagination, or are they all starkers?”

“I’m afraid so,” The Doctor looked apologetic. “You’ll just have to avert your eyes when they get out of the water.”

“What are YOU doing meanwhile?” Sarah Jane asked.

“Heating things up around here,” he replied. “Go on. Quickly. The bathing is a preliminary to the ‘wedding’. We haven’t much time.”

“Let’s hope the women think it’s bad luck to see their grooms before the ceremony,” Sarah Jane joked. She took the sonic screwdriver and used the trees beside the lake as cover as she moved closer to where the men were. As she drew nearer she could hear their voices. They sounded as if they were enjoying their path.

She glanced around and saw The Doctor climbing up the side of the waterfall, using those vines as ropes. He was making good progress and he hadn’t been spotted by anyone but her.

There weren’t as many trees on the side where the men were bathing. She had to come out into the open. There still weren’t any hags around, but the men noticed her. She was rather annoyed when Larrsen made a comment to one of his friends. She heard it in English, of course. But it was a Danish expression very much like ‘don’t fancy yours much’. Clearly a petite brunette wasn’t as attractive to them as a tall blonde.

Well, they were in for a shock. Sarah Jane held up the sonic screwdriver and pressed the button as The Doctor had shown her. She blinked as a blue light pulsated several times. It was bright enough to illuminate the whole cavern and all of the men were aware of it.

“What… the devil are we doing here?” Larrsen asked, staring about at his friends and colleagues. “Steffensen… I was searching for you. How….”

“Never mind that,” Sarah Jane told them. “You’re in serious danger. Get out of that water, now, and put some clothes on.”

She used her most haughty tone. She almost sounded like her old school gym mistress. The men must have had similar experiences of teachers because they immediately obeyed. Sarah Jane turned away as they scrambled around in a pile of discarded clothing on the lakeside. When she looked again they all had trousers on and were struggling into shirts and shoes and outdoor jackets.

“Aiiiiigghhhh!” A shrieking cry split the air and four of the hags rushed towards the men, who recoiled in horror. A dozen more were behind them.

“Not so fond of them now, are you?” Sarah Jane commented. “I don’t normally hold with men hitting women, but after all, I do believe in sexual equality. So whack them.”

She got stuck in herself. The hags were strong, despite their decrepit appearance, but they were not invincible. Sarah Jane knocked one out cold with a well-placed right hook that Sergeant Benton had shown her how to use in self-defence. She elbowed another one into the lake where she floundered and shrieked as if she was melting like the Wicked Witch of the West. The men were having their way, too. They fought their way through the hags and headed towards the teleport room.

“Is it me, or is it getting hotter?” Steffenson asked as they looked back to see the hags struggling to follow them. Not only was the ice beneath their feet melting, but they seemed to be suffering from the decidedly stuffier atmosphere.

It was raining in the cavern. The ice ceiling was melting and water was pouring down. It must have been warm water, because the women didn’t find it refreshing in any way. Rather it seemed to make their situation even more distressing.

“The Doctor did something,” Sarah Jane said. “Look, there he is!”

He was abseiling down the waterfall, using the vines as descending ropes. He landed in a pool of meltwater and waded through it. He shuffled through the slush of melting snow until he reached Sarah Jane and the men.

“As I thought, they have been using geo-thermal heat. But they themselves can’t take very high temperatures. They’re from an ice planet. I disabled the thermostat. Unregulated volcano-heated steam is pouring in. Pretty soon the lake will overflow. It might even fill up the cavern.”

“They’ll drown?” Sarah Jane was a little bit appalled by that. Yes, these women were alien trouble-makers who wanted to use humans in a terrible way. But she couldn’t quite come to terms with The Doctor just letting them die.

“Maybe not,” he said. The hags were not following them to the teleport. They were moving as fast as they could in the opposite direction. But The Doctor didn’t say anything else. He turned and led Sarah Jane and the men to the teleport chamber. He told them all to stand close together and then used the sonic screwdriver to activate it.

Moments later they were all standing on top of the ice sheet, some four kilometres above the cavern.

“Are we safe?” Sarah Jane asked. “Everything below is melting.”

“It will take a long time for that much permanent ice to melt,” the man called Neilsen said. “The superheated steam would run out first.”

The Doctor was about to confirm his assessment when the ice beneath their feet rumbled and shook. Sarah Jane grabbed The Doctor’s arm and kept her feet. Some of the men fell down. They had picked themselves up again in time to see a huge white object like a giant golf ball – or a snowball – rise up out of the ground and hover briefly before streaking up into the sky.

“They got away,” Sarah Jane noted.

“Yes.” The Doctor nodded in satisfaction. “They won’t be back. They know the men of this planet can fight back.”

“The men of this planet shouldn’t have been so stupid in the first place,” Sarah Jane commented, looking around at the rather sheepish looking group. Few of them were fully dressed to be out on the ice, and they had dressed quickly without drying off from their bathing.

“Quick march as far as the drill site,” The Doctor said. “You’ve got snow mobiles there. We can hitch a ride.”

Sarah Jane was as glad as the men were of the promise of transport. When she got on the back of one of the snowmobiles with The Doctor, she was a little less enchanted. Of course, he drove it like a demon, speeding over every bump in the snow. She hung on tight and thought of a nice cup of tea back at the base.

And somebody else could make it, she thought. Just because she was the only woman there didn’t mean she was in charge of the kitchen.

Somebody else did make the tea. She drank hers while listening to The Doctor instruct Larrsen and Steffensen to tell the authorities that their radio aerial had been down for twenty-four hours, and that the crisis was over. He also advised Steffensen to alter his diary entries before anyone else saw them or he’d be the one in sick bay having a psychological evaluation.

“Neilsen,” he said when that was settled. “I don’t suppose you got a very good look at the cavern, seeing as you were bamboozled by those women most of the time?”

Anders Neilsen admitted as much gloomily.

“Underground caverns, geo-thermal heat, you’ve got the start of a thesis about the possibility of viable living under the ice. It’ll take your lifetime to get the idea accepted in scientific circles, but it’ll be worth it.”

Neilsen’s eyes lit up in a way that The Doctor, a born scientist himself, fully recognised.

“Well, that’s that,” he said. “Sarah and I have enjoyed our visit….”

“Enjoyed?” Sarah Jane protested. “Locked up at gunpoint, traipsing all over the place, dealing with a bunch of naked men and another bunch of mad women! That’s not my idea of enjoyment, thank you very much, Doctor!”

He grinned and reached for her arm as they turned to leave.

“I still don’t know how you got here, Doctor,” Larrsen pointed out. “You don’t have a plane.”

“No,” The Doctor replied. “I’ve got a TARDIS. Best transport in the universe.”