The Doomsday Men
Lieutenant-General McLelland
Episode Information
Series Original Series
Season # 2
Episode # 3
Number of Parts 4
Original Airdate(s) 8 April 1974 - 6 May 1974
Writer(s) Roger Price
Director Roger Price
Previous "A Rift in Time"
Next "Secret Weapon"

"The Doomsday Men" is the third and final episode of season two of The Tomorrow People Original Series.

Stephen infiltrates Glen College, a school in Scotland, in order to investigate a militaristic group called The Doomsday Men.

Plot SummaryEdit

Part One: Dressed To Kill (8th April 1974)

Stephen and Chris are driving in Chris' van when it breaks down on a double yellow line. A traffic warden fiddles with a parking meter so it reads empty, booking the car. He then spots Chris' van and reacts gleefully. Stephen jaunts back to the lab and asks to borrow John's new matter transporter. Elizabeth reminds Stephen she needs his measurements. Stephen jaunts back to the van and links up the matter transporter. As the traffic warden is about to put the ticket on it, the van disappears and he falls flat on his face.

John and Elizabeth are playing a game in the lab. Elizabeth calls out to Stephen, saying they want to see what he looks like. TIM suggests that he's shy. Chris comes round to thank Stephen and Stephen is even more reluctant to emerge. When he does appear, he is wearing a kilt, to Chris' amusement: It is his new school uniform. John asks Chris if he's heard of the Doomsday Men. The Tomorrow People explain they're a secret society who want to preserve war and prevent a peace treaty being signed. Despite their secrecy, they believe the group's leader is Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur McLelland. TIM reads his military record. John says McLelland's only living relative is his grandson Douglas. He goes to Glen College, the school Stephen is joining, and the Tomorrow People think the school has a link to the Doomsday Men.

Another boy, Paul Fraser, shows Stephen to his bed in their dorm and points out Douglas' bed. He warns him of the consequences if he fails inspection. Stephen notices there is no glass in the window. Paul says Dr. Laird believes they need fresh air and that if he's wearing anything under his kilt he should remove it before Laird finds out. Left alone, Stephen contacts the lab telepathically to give them an update and confirms that "they don't". Douglas enters and tells Stephen he's his captain. He tells Paul to show him around, before they give him a welcome.

Later, Paul tries to convince Douglas to go easy on Stephen but Douglas reminds him it's a tradition. Stephen comes back from meeting Laird. Douglas notices Stephen's jaunting belt: Stephen says it was his grandfather's and a family tradition so Douglas allows it. Douglas tells him they have to make him into a man. John is alone in the lab when Stephen jaunts in with his hands tied behind his back, saying they left him outside on the fire escape in the cold. John chides him, ignoring his protests, and has TIM jaunt him back. After he's gone, John feels guilty and admits he feels like a Scarlet Major. With some prompting, TIM quotes the First World War poem he's referring to and John finishes it.

Stephen struggles with his bonds, forbidden to use his power. He sees McLelland and Laird coming past. McLelland thanks him for letting him see Douglas one last time and worries the boy might be used against him "when the time comes". Laird promises his assistance. McLelland reminds him he moulds the Doomsday Men of tomorrow. Douglas returns to the dorm and wakes up the other boys to boast about his dinner. He asks after Stephen. Paul reminds him he told him he wasn't allowed to look. Douglas gives him permission to fetch him in, saying the meal made him feel generous and merciful. Paul unties Stephen. Douglas is impressed that Stephen doesn't complain.

Next morning, Stephen again communicates with John and Liz telepathically. John apologises for sending him back but Stephen says it's a good job he did, relating what he heard of McLelland and Laird and that McLelland seemed to think of it as a suicide mission. Stephen senses the food they're eating, while he had cold porridge. Later, Stephen joins the other boys in rugby and obstacle courses.

Back at the dorm, Douglas compliments Stephen on his performance. Stephen says his grandfather told him courage is overcoming fear. Douglas asks Stephen what he wants to do when he leaves. Recalling John's instructions, Stephen says he wants to get a commission in the army. Douglas complains about the peace treaty and Stephen pretends to agree with him. Douglas is impressed and gives him permission to use his first name. He says they're part of a society and if the others agree he can join.

Later, Stephen stuffs himself with pizza at the lab. He tells John the Doomsday Men's codeword is Operation Silversword. John thinks it refers to the Damocles space station, one of the reasons for the peace treaty. Elizabeth scoffs at the idea of a weapon like that causing peace. John worries about the Doomsday Men hijacking it but TIM says that is impossible: It is under the control of the United Nations and can destroy any rocket that approaches. Thinking Stephen has brought them useless information, John angrily orders him back to the school.

Stephen jaunts back to the dorm and is found by Paul, who says Douglas wants him in the gym. He warns him to take care and not trust him. Stephen enters the gym, which appears to be deserted. Someone throws a sword down at his feet. Douglas calls out from hiding that if he wants to prove he's a Doomsday Man he needs to prove he can fight. Stephen picks up the sword and realises that it's sharp. Douglas and two other boys emerge and Douglas says theirs are sharp too.

Part Two: The Burning Sword (15th April 1974)

Stephen rapidly disarms his first two opponents, then defeats Douglas in a longer fight, before asking if he passed. Later, at the lab, he insists he didn't use his powers and Tim says he used to be a high school fencing champion. He tells the others that Operation Silversword is the next day and is to do with the Damocles. Back at the school, Laird and Douglas discipline Paul for not keeping his bed area clean. Douglas talks to Laird about Stephen.

At the Damocles, an astronaut, Lee Wan, is on a space walk. He accidentally triggers an explosive bolt and is blasted into space. Tim picks up his communication and relays it to the Tomorrow People. Lee states there is no chance of him being retrieved but he will wait until his air supply runs out rather than using his suicide capsule. John is relieved the Doomsday Men haven't taken over. Liz thinks they should use their powers to rescue Lee. John is reluctant to get involved in the affairs of saps. Liz is angry and disagrees with John's assertion that Lee's status as a Damocles crewmember makes him a warmonger. John and Stephen agree to help.

The traffic warden sees Chris' van abandoned in a field and goes to check on it. John, Stephen and Liz, clad in AE suits, jaunt inside and fail to see him. They matter transport the van into space just as the traffic warden is about to put a ticket on it. The trio spot Lee drifting and matter transport close to him. Tim reports to Chris that they have rescued him. Stephen matter transports the van back to the field.

The traffic warden sees the Tomorrow People and Lee, all clad in suits, in the field by the van, just before they all transfer back to the lab, with Lee using a matter transporter. Chris is intrigued by the fact saps can now effectively jaunt. Lee recovers and wonders where he is. Liz assures him he is safe. The traffic warden's superior joins him at the field and rejects his attempts to book the van for not being roadworthy.

Lee and the Tomorrow People have finished their introductions. Stephen demonstrates jaunting to him but Chris says he can do that as well and matter transports to the van. The traffic warden sees him and also sees Stephen jaunt in to collect him but they have disappeared by the time he gets his superior. Lee is worried his work has been rendered obsolete by the Tomorrow People's contact with other worlds. John explains they're worried the authorities will see them as a threat or a weapon, but people who do see them aren't usually believed. At that moment, the traffic warden is being stripped of his official uniform. Seeing Stephen matter transport the van back to the garage is the last straw.

John tells Stephen to get back to his Doomsday Men friends. Lee is shocked but John explains the Tomorrow People are trying to stop them. He then reflects on what to do with Lee. Chris wonders if they could get him back to the space station and suggests they could make out he drifted back. Tim agrees that the Damocles could attract him back eventually. John thinks the crew would be able to explain away how he survived after his air ran out.

Douglas checks on Stephen and says they will induct him into "the brotherhood" that night. Laird carries out a ceremony using a burning sword, with Douglas and Paul among those present. Once he's back at the lab, Stephen relates to John, Liz, Lee and Tim that Laird told them the Doomsday Men would strike the next day. Tim asks Lee when the Damocles crew is about to be relieved and Lee says it is right then. Sure enough, a shuttle is just being launched. However, Lee dismisses the idea of the relief crew being Doomsday Men. John agrees, thinking it will be an attack on the ceremony and the security people can handle it. However, when the relief crew arrive they gun down the two existing crewmembers: Their leader is McLelland.

Part Three: Run Rabbit Run (22nd April 1974)

Tim reports that the Doomsday Men have taken control of the Damocles. Lee says they have control of 50,000 tons. Tim says the relief crew was replaced and an American Air Force major, Longford, is missing. John wants to launch an attack on the Damocles with stun guns but Lee tells them there is a deadman's switch: Once pressed, it will fire as soon as it is released, meaning they can't just shoot the person at the control. John says they need to check if the switch has been pressed. Liz points out that if one of them suddenly appears, it might cause someone to let go of the switch. John decides to use Lee's spacesuit to jaunt into space and pose as him.

Longford shows McLelland around the Damocles. It would have been his third term of duty. McLelland congratulates him on staying hidden. Longford shows him the top security channel. At the lab, John has got suited up. Lee gives him directions to the portals he will be able to look through. He arrives in space, with Tim having set him on a course to drift to the station. A proximity alarm goes off inside and McLelland and Longford see him, assuming it is the missing astronaut. McLelland wants him blasted with the laser guns but Longford says he is too close, inside a blind spot. John sees the third Doomsday Man is pressing the deadman's switch, relaying the information telepathically. He is unable to confirm that McLelland is there. Tim tells him to keep drifting. McLelland tells Longford to fire once he's in position. John is apparently vaporised by the blast.

Tim says something went wrong with jaunting John back and he lost him. The traffic warden is now fishing when he spots John, wearing the space suit. He runs off. John gets back in touch with Tim and the others, unsure where he is. Tim jaunts him back, just as the traffic warden returns with another fisherman. Finding nothing and being disbelieved again, he jumps into the river.

John asks Tim if there have been any developments and Tim says the treaty signing has been postponed. He plays the message the Doomsday Men sent to the United Nations, threatening to destroy capital cities if anyone tries to take back the station, and says that government and civil officials are being quietly evacuated. Stephen wonders if the voice was McLelland's and Tim says he will need an example of his voice to check.

Stephen returns to the school and is greeted by Douglas, who breaks out a bottle of whiskey to celebrate the victory over the treaty. Douglas is dismissive of Laird's authority but Stephen refuses to drink. He notes a tape recorder that Douglas uses to exchange messages with McLelland. Back at the lab, John asks Lee for a map of the station. Later, Douglas boasts to Stephen and Paul about beating them at cross country. Stephen manages to take a tape of McLelland's voice and briefly jaunts back to the lab to give it to John.

The boys are enduring an arduous run through the woods, with Douglas in the lead. Laird and two other men watch them; Laird tells the pair to make sure they're seen. Meanwhile, Lee and Tim have finished the reconstruction of the inside of the Damocles. Tim confirms to John that the voice on the tape matched the one from Damocles. John notes Douglas is now an important part of their plan. He contacts Stephen telepathically and tells him to keep an eye on Douglas, but he is having trouble keeping up. Chris starts to suggest he jaunts, then remembers Stephen isn't wearing a jaunting belt. John says he doesn't need it for short distances and passes the message on to Stephen.

After getting out of sight of the other boys, Stephen jaunts in front of Douglas. Douglas is surprised to see him and wonders if he took a short cut but Stephen reminds him they've been running in a straight line. Douglas soon has a lead again though. However, when Stephen rounds a bend, he sees Douglas grappling with the two men. He goes to help but one of them overpowers him. Douglas gets in the land rover with the men and they drive off, leaving Stephen unconscious.

Part Four: The Shuttlecock (6th May 1974)

Liz realises something has happened to Stephen but John is unable to contact him and realises he's unconscious. John tells Tim to jaunt him back but he only manages to bring his belt back. They have no way of finding him quickly but John reassures Liz that he'll be all right. Stephen is found by Paul and the other boys and tells them Douglas has been kidnapped. However, Douglas is chatting to his supposed kidnappers in a friendly manner. The engine suddenly overheats and Douglas tells them they'll have to walk.

Once Paul leaves him alone, Stephen communicates with the lab telepathically and tells them Douglas was kidnapped. John tells him to stay where he is, and is more worried about the Doomsday Men than finding Douglas. On the Damocles, Longford relieves McLelland on the deadman's switch. Longford says his only relative on Earth is his mother, while McLelland eulogises about preserving war for Douglas.

Stephen tries to give a description of the kidnappers and their car to the police but Laird dismisses him as an unreliable source and ushers the policeman out, then gets Douglas' clothes. Stephen telepathically tells John Laird might know something. Paul returns and tells Stephen he thinks Laird knows where Douglas is, and is working for the pacifists, using Douglas to blackmail McLelland. He thinks they should rescue Douglas themselves.

Stephen contacts the lab and tells John and Liz to send him his jaunting belt and two matter transporter belts. Stephen and Paul hide in the school land rover, which Laird drives to an abandoned windmill. There, he tells Douglas and the two men that everything has gone to plan. One of the men catches Stephen and Paul outside, holding them at gunpoint, and brings them inside. Douglas is amused. Laird says they will have to keep them there. Douglas explains his "kidnappers" are Major Price and Captain Bosworth, two loyal Doomsday Men. They were supposed to kidnap him in front of witnesses, but in the end only Stephen saw. They were worried the government would use him against McLelland so faked the kidnapping. Laird worries that Stephen and Paul going missing will increase the police search: He plans to kill them so the discovery of their bodies will draw attention away. Stephen suddenly activates the matter transporter belt Paul is wearing, then uses the distraction of his disappearing to put the other belt on Douglas. They disappear as well.

At the lab, Paul is being restrained by John as Stephen and Douglas appear. Stephen assures him he's safe. On the Damocles, Longford tells McLelland they have had no response. McLelland thinks the governments will wait until the ultimatum runs out in six hours. He has been given an envelope containing the names of three capital cities: They will destroy them one minute after the deadline passes.

Douglas and Paul have had headsets placed on them. Lee worries they are being brainwashed but John and Liz insist it is "re-education", teaching them the truth about war. Tim tells them they will be able to make up their own minds afterwards. The re-education ends; both Douglas and Paul are shocked by what they saw and accept war isn't right. Stephen asks them to help and they agree.

Douglas matter transports back to his dorm room. Laird appears and aims a gun at him but is stunned by Stephen. Douglas retrieves some bagpipes from his cabinet and they jaunt out. Tim charges up the life support on Lee's spacesuit, which John is wearing again. He once more drifts to the space station and is picked up by the Doomsday Men. Longford offers to fire on him again but McLelland tells him to get some rest. John sees McLelland is the one at the controls and tells the others they're ready.

McLelland hears bagpipe music over the station's speakers, the work of Tim. Douglas matter transports in with the bagpipes and warns McLelland not to let go of the switch. He tries to convince McLelland he is just an image from his mind, reassuring him when Stephen and Lee also appear. Longford enters and fires his gun at the newcomers, wounding Lee. McLelland grapples with him and Stephen stuns them both but McLelland has already let go of the switch. John and Liz enter in suits. Lee says the countdown can be stopped by the port key but Stephen stuns the other Doomsday Man just too late to stop him flushing it down the waste disposal unit.

John and Liz jaunt into space and try to redirect the Damocles away from Earth. Lee leads Stephen and Douglas to the main power unit: jamming it could make the Damocles spin. Douglas throws the bagpipes in and the base spins rapidly, throwing it off its target. A short while later, John and Liz reflect that all the missiles went into the sun and Lee says it will be a while before it can be used as a missile base again. Lee is left behind with the captive Doomsday Men to await the arrival of a relief shuttle, with Liz noting that since he can't tell anyone about the Tomorrow People he'll be treated like an international hero.

John, Liz, Stephen and Douglas return to the lab, with John noting they'll have to send the boys, including Stephen, back to Glen College to turn it into a proper school. Tim announces that he, Chris and Paul have prepared food for them. Douglas is delighted at the dish but John, Liz and Stephen are shocked, but not unappreciative, when Tim reveals it is haggis.

Guest CastEdit

  • Douglas McLelland - William Relton 
  • Lt. General McLelland - Lindsay Campbell 
  • Lee Wan - Eric Young 
  • Paul - Simon Gipps-Kent 
  • Major Longford - Derek Murkott
  • Dr. Laird - Arnold Peters 
  • Traffic Warden - Nigel Pegram 
  • Doomsday Man - Bill Treacher