Reading The Visitor

Episode 1

Tan-Lin was almost at the end of her long journey. She looked at her destination through the round window. It was a planet. In many ways the planet was like her own. It had two big oceans, rivers, continents and high mountains. But in other ways, it was very different. This planet had only one moon. Her planet had two. And the people were different, too. She knew a lot about them and spoke three of their languages. They were dangerous people. They had wars. They killed.
'Are you ready, Tan-Lin?' Mecco asked. 'Yes, I'm ready,' she answered. Tan-Lin sat down in the big seat next to him. She put two big straps around her. One strap was around her legs. The other strap was around the top part of her body. Mecco pushed a button in front of him with one hand. With another hand he turned a small wheel. He pressed more buttons above him with his other two hands. They went down to the dark side of the planet.
When Thomas Farley first saw the light, he thought it was a star. He looked at the light through his binoculars. 'No, it can't be a star. It's moving,' he thought. The light came closer. Then he heard a strange noise. It was a low hum. The light stopped in the sky above him. Then it came down and landed in the field next to him. His mouth fell open. The low hum stopped. The strange object was dark in the light from the moon. Thomas heard another strange noise. A door opened.
Tan-Lin smelt the air of the planet for the first time. She walked through the door and stood on the ground. She looked up at the moon. She turned. Mecco was in the door. 'Goodbye, Mecco,' she said. The robot's one big eye was bright. He did not answer. He went back into the ship and the door closed. Tan-Lin walked to the road. The round object went up into the air. Then it was gone. Thomas watched with an open mouth. 'Nobody is going to believe me,' he thought.
1. Who is Tan-Lin? Describe her.
2. What do you know about her planet?
3. Who is Mecco? Describe him.

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 2

The blue helicopter flew out to sea and turned west. After about twenty minutes the pilot pointed down to the sea below. The passenger was a middle-aged man. He wore a grey business suit. His hair and eyes were grey, too. He looked down. The yacht was there, as it always was. It was a large yacht, and like the helicopter, it was blue. The helicopter landed on the deck and the man in grey got out. He went to a large cabin below the deck. A younger man with cold, blue eyes sat behind a large desk.
'Good morning, Mr Shandor,' the man in grey said. He smiled.
'Good morning, Harlan. Sit down,' the man with cold blue eyes answered. He didn't smile. The man in grey sat down and took some papers out of a grey leather briefcase. He handed them to the younger man.
'Here are the plans for the new robot,' he said. The man with cold blue eyes studied the plans for about five minutes.

'Yes, they're all right. You can go ahead with them, Harlan,' he said.
Harlan took some newspapers out of the briefcase, too. He pointed to a headline on the front page of one of them. 'Company Director Dies in Factory Fire' the headline said. Harlan smiled. 'The police think it was an accident, Mr Shandor. Here. You can read the article.' Shandor read the article. For the first time, he smiled, too. But it was a cold smile, like his blue eyes. 'Very good, Harlan. But I see that the police are investigating the fire.'
'Yes, Mr Shandor. But what can they find out? Nothing!'
'Not if you followed my orders,' Shandor said.
 'Oh, I did, Mr Shandor. I did!'
Shandor looked at his watch. 'And now what about the other business? Yesterday you told me about one of the engineers at our Southampton factory. You say he's giving information to a journalist. Is that right?' he asked. 'Yes, exactly. And we listened to all his phone calls yesterday evening. The journalist phoned him at home. They're going to meet this evening in Southampton, Mr Shandor!' Shandor thought for a moment. Then he looked at the third man in the cabin. The third man sat in front of the door. He never moved. His eyes were open but he never blinked. He wore strange, round glasses. Shandor smiled once again. 'I think this is a job for one of our friends here,' he said. Harlan looked at the third man and smiled, too.
1. Why do you think Shandor and Harlan are interested in the factory fire?
2. What do they say about a journalist and an engineer?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 3

Tony Redford was a journalist. He wrote articles for a magazine called Business News. He was a young man, of medium height. He had rather long, dark brown hair and a small moustache. There was always a very serious look on his face. He looked even more serious that morning. He was in his boss's office. His boss was called Liz Davis and she was the editor of Business News. She was short and had red hair. As usual, she had a cigarette in her hand. She blew a cloud of smoke at him. 'Well, Tony. Your first article about the electronics industry is going to the printer's this afternoon. It's very interesting. But what about your second article? Are you sure you can write two articles about the electronics industry? I mean, isn't one enough?' she asked.

'Listen, Liz, I tell you that the second article is going to be more interesting than the first! Far more interesting!'
Liz looked at him and puffed again on her cigarette. 'Why do you think so?' she asked.
'I'm going to get some information this evening about a small company called Shandor Electronics. The director is probably one of the best electronics engineers in the world. But nobody knows very much about him. Not even where he comes from. He lives on a yacht. He never visits his factory in Southampton. Someone goes to the yacht from the factory every morning in a helicopter.
Now ... I know an engineer who works at that factory. His name is Presley, and Presley tells me that Shandor has plans for a new kind of electronic brain. It's much smaller but far better than other electronic brains on the market today. I'm going to meet Presley in Southampton this evening. I'm going to use the information I get from him in my second article. Presley says Shandor is going to make some new kind of robot, too. But he doesn't know very much about that. It's one of the company's biggest secrets!'
Liz Davis puffed on her cigarette. She looked more interested than before. 'All right, Tony. Go ahead with your second article. But finish it no later than the end of next week! Do you understand? I must have it at the end of next week! No later than that!'.In a street not far away from the offices of Business News, a tall young woman stopped in front of a newspaper stand. She was very polite when she spoke to the newspaper seller. Her English was very careful and very correct. The seller thought she was probably a foreign visitor. The tall young woman stared at one of the headlines in the paper. 'COMPANY DIRECTOR DIES IN FACTORY FIRE' the headline said.
1. Why is Tony Redford so interested in Shandor?
2. Who is Redford going to meet?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 4

John Presley wasn't very happy with his job. He was a computer engineer with Shandor Electronics. He worked in their Southampton factory. In some ways, it was more like a prison than a factory. There was a high fence around it. Men with dogs walked along it, day and night. 'I've been with the company for more than three years but they don't tell me very much. There are all sorts of things they don't want me to know,' he often told his wife. But Presley was a very intelligent man. He found out a lot of things the company didn't want him or other people to know.

He knew a journalist who worked for a magazine in London. His name was Tony Redford. Redford was very interested in Presley's information. Presley came home from work and cooked dinner for himself and his wife. She was the manageress of a supermarket and worked long hours. 'I have to go out again this evening,' he told her when she came home.
'I'm helping a journalist write an article about the electronics industry. I think I can earn some money that way,' he told her.
Presley lived in a small village in a forest near Southampton. He backed his car out of the garage. His wife waved to him. 'Be careful. Don't drink too much,' she said. He laughed and drove away. He didn't notice the light blue car and the dark green van. They were parked near his house. When he left, they followed him. He had to go to Southampton to meet Redford. There was very little traffic on the road. The van and the car stayed behind him. Suddenly the van overtook him. The light blue car was close behind Presley. He noticed its lights in the rear view mirror. He wanted to go faster, but the van in front stopped him. He tried to overtake the van but it went faster, too.
Suddenly Presley felt a bump. It was the car behind. It bumped into him again and pushed him towards the van. He was like a small piece of iron in a magnet! He turned and twisted on his driving wheel but nothing happened! He felt he no longer had control of his car.' The van and the car began to go very fast, and he was between them. He screamed. They came to a bridge over a river. Suddenly the van in front broke free. The car behind drove faster and pushed Presley towards the side of the bridge. He shot through it like a bullet. Presley screamed again. He and his car dropped down into the dark water far below the bridge. The car sank like a stone. The van and the car didn't stop. They turned into a side road before they got to Southampton. Nobody saw them. The next morning the police found Presley and his car in the river. The newspapers said it was a very strange accident.
1. Why do you think Shandor and Harlan are interested in the factory fire?
2. What do they say about a journalist and an engineer?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 5

Harlan showed Shandor Tony Redford's article about the electronics industry. 'As you can see, there's very little about you or our company in the magazine,' he said with a nervous smile. Shandor looked at him with his cold, blue eyes. 'Perhaps Redford knows more about us than is in this article. Do you really know how much Presley told him?' Harlan's smile became more nervous. 'I don't think Presley told him very much. He only saw Redford . . .' Shandor stopped him. 'I want you to find out exactly how much Redford knows! It's another job for one of our friends here,' he said. He and Harlan looked at the third man in the cabin. As usual, he sat near the door and never moved. He was a very big man. He wore strange, round glasses.
'That afternoon, Tony Redford sat in the office of his boss, Liz Davis.
'Presley was on his way to see me when the accident happened. That is, if it was an accident,' he told her.
'What do you mean? Do you think it wasn't an accident?' she asked.
'I don't know. Presley was a very careful driver. How could he lose control of his car like that?'
'But if someone killed him, who was it, Tony? And why? Why, Tony? Why?' Tony didn't answer the question.
A few hours later, the telephone rang in Tony's office. 'I'd like to speak to Mr Tony Redford, please.' It was a woman's voice. She spoke slow, careful, but very correct English. Tony thought he noticed an accent, but it wasn't strong.
'Speaking,' he said.
'Mr Redford, I read your article about the electronics industry. I'd like to ask you a few questions about it.'
Tony looked at his watch. He had a lot of work to do and had very little time for conversations like this. 'Well, I'm afraid I'm very busy at the moment. But if you write a letter . . .'
'No, Mr Redford. I must see you! In your article you wrote about a man called Shandor. I must find out more about him!' Suddenly Tony was more interested. 'Why? Who are you? And what do you know about Shandor?' he asked. 'Please meet me tomorrow evening at nine o'clock. I know you often go to a pub called the Brunswick. Be there, please! It's very important!'
'Just a moment. Who are you? What's your name?' Tony asked. But there was no answer. The woman hung up.ul and very correct. The seller thought she was probably a foreign visitor. The tall young woman stared at one of the headlines in the paper. 'COMPANY DIRECTOR DIES IN FACTORY FIRE' the headline said.
1. What do you think Tony is going to do?
2. What do you think he should do?
3. Why?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 6

The next evening Tony was in The Brunswick.
'Who can she be? Why is she interested in Shandor?' he thought.
At exactly nine o'clock, a tall, thin woman with short dark hair walked in. She looked around the pub and then came over to Tony.
'Good evening. Are you Mr Redford?' she asked.
'Yes, that's right. Are you the woman who . . .?' She nodded.
'I hope you haven't been waiting long. Please ... I have very little time. And I have very many questions to ask you.'
She looked around the pub. It was very crowded. She and Tony sat down at a table in the corner, far away from the other people. She began at once.
'In your article you mention Thomas Shandor and his company. But you say very little about exactly what his company makes. Is it perhaps some kind of electronic brain? A very small one? Better than any other electronic brain?'
Tony stared at her in surprise. 'How did you know about that? It's one of the company's most important secrets!' The woman didn't answer for a moment.
'I've been studying the electronics industry of your country for a long time. Again Tony noticed her careful, very correct English. It was almost perfect.
'Where do you come from?' he asked.
'I am a visitor to your country.'
'That isn't an answer to my question!'
Suddenly the woman turned and looked around the pub. For a moment she looked like a cat who senses danger. Then she looked back at him. She spoke in a low voice.
'Please, you must believe me. I am a friend. I want to help you. But I need your help, too. Where did you get your information about Shandor? You must tell me! Please!'
Tony thought for a moment and then told her about Presley, the engineer who worked in Shandor's factory in Southampton. But he didn't tell me very much. He died in an accident two days ago.'
'An accident? What kind of accident?'
Tony told her about it, They didn't notice the man who sat far away from them, on the other side of the pub, reading a newspaper. He was very tall and he wore strange, round glasses. He listened to Tony and the tall young woman and could understand every word they said. And his eyes were more than eyes. He could see through the newspaper. He sat there, and listened and watched.
1 What is strange about the woman?
2 What is strange about the tall man?
3 Which one of them do you think works for Shandor?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 7

They left the pub and began to walk towards Tony's flat.
'I don't even know your name,' Tony said.
She suddenly turned and looked behind her.
'You can call me Tan-Lin,' she answered.
'What kind of name is that? And what nationality are you?' he asked.
But she didn't answer. She looked behind her again and then began to walk faster. They came to a busy street.
'We can cross at the traffic lights,' Tony said.
'No, let's walk along this street a little,' she said.
He followed her. Halfway along the street, where there were no traffic lights, she stopped. Then she began to cross the road.
'Don't do that. It's dangerous!' he shouted.
But he ran after her. A car almost hit them. She jumped aside, like a cat, and pulled him with her. When they were on the other side, she looked back at the traffic lights again.
'You shouldn't cross a busy road like this in the middle! Why did you do it?' Tony asked.
He looked back at the lights, too, and saw a tall man with round glasses. The man stood there, looking up and down.
'Do you know that man?' she asked Tony.
'No, I don't think so. Why?' She didn't answer for a moment.
'There's something about him I don't like,' she finally said.
She walked so fast it was difficult to keep up with her. She turned into a narrow side street and then walked into an alley that led to another street.
'You know these streets better than I do,' Tony said.
'But you live around here, don't you?' she asked. Tony looked at her.
'How do you know so much about me? And why do you want to know so much about people like Shandor?' he asked.
She turned down another narrow street and looked behind. The tall man with round glasses was no longer behind them.
'I can't answer your questions now. But I will later. I promise. And you must promise me something,' she said.
'Be careful, Mr Redford. You should be very careful. Shandor is more dangerous than you think. And he is planning to build something far more important than an electronic brain. Perhaps he has built it already.'
'What do you mean?' he asked.
'I mean that Shandor can probably build robots that look and act like human beings. Perhaps he can even build exact copies of people. Exact copies of you and me!'
He wanted to ask her more but she left him with the words: 'Remember. Be careful. Very careful. You'll hear from me in a few days!'
1. Why do you think Tan-Lin walked so fast?
2. Have you any ideas about who she is and what she wants to do?
3. Why do you think Tony should be careful?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 8

The next morning Tony left his flat, as usual, at eight o'clock. He always travelled to work on the Underground. As he walked to the station, he thought about his meeting with the strange woman.
'Why didn't she answer me when I asked her about her nationality? Is her name really Tan-Lin? And is it possible that Shandor can make robots that act and talk like human beings?' These were some of the questions in his mind. He thought about them as he stood on the crowded platform.
'The service isn't very good this morning,' someone next to him said.
'No, it's getting worse and worse. I've been waiting for a train for ten minutes now!' someone else answered. But Tony didn't listen to the conversations around him.
And he didn't notice the tall man with round glasses just behind him in the crowd.
Tony was on the edge of the platform. He could hear the sound of a train approaching in the tunnel.
'Thank God, one's coming now! At last!' someone said. Tony stepped closer to the edge and looked down the tunnel. As the train came nearer, he stepped back a little. But it was difficult to stand away from the edge because there were so many people behind him. Suddenly he felt something in his back. He thought it was a hand but he couldn't be sure.
Whatever it was, it pushed him back towards the edge. Then, with the train approaching very fast, it pushed again, very hard.
Tony fell in front of the train.
But somehow, as he did so, he grabbed the edge of the platform. And as he fell, he pulled his body inwards, away from the electric rail and towards the base of the platform below. At this moment, he looked up and saw the big steel wheels of the train. They came closer and closer. There was a squealing of brakes as the driver tried to stop the train. Someone screamed. 'What's happened?' someone else shouted.
'A man is down there!' another voice said.
'He jumped in front of the train!' In the shouting and screaming, nobody noticed the tall man with round glasses. He walked away and up the steps. His job was done. He didn't wait to see the body of the young journalist.
It took the firemen and the police half an hour to free Tony. The man with round glasses didn't know that in many Underground stations in London, there is a gap between the rail and the base of the platform. The gap is just big enough for a thin man or woman. As he lay there, in that gap, Tony thought again and again of Tan-Lin's warning.
'Be careful. Be very careful!'
1. Why did Tony fall?
2. What happened after he fell?
3. What does the tall man with round glasses think?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 9

Harlan was a worried man that morning. As soon as the helicopter landed, he hurried to Shandor's cabin.
'I'm very disappointed, Harlan!' Shandor said. Harlan saw more than disappointment in those cold blue eyes. There was anger there. In fact, Shandor was furious.
'I'm sorry, Mr Shandor. Let me explain,' Harlan began. But Shandor stopped him.
'I'm not interested in your explanations. I want to know only one thing. Why isn't Redford dead? Didn't you follow my orders?' Shandor controlled the fury in his voice. But the look in his eye became colder.
'Yes, of course I did, Mr Shandor. The operator had to choose a good place to kill Redford. And he did. We instructed him to leave the place as soon as possible. He did this, too. He followed all our instructions.'
'Then why didn't he kill Redford?' Shandor asked coldly.
'Because the operator had no imagination.'
'No imagination? What do you mean?' For the first time, Shandor shouted at Harlan.
'Because the operator's computer calculated that Redford must be dead. And the operator couldn't imagine that something could be wrong with the calculations. That's what happens when these things have computers instead of real brains!'
Harlan stopped. He was frightened. Harlan didn't usually speak to Shandor like this.
Shandor thought for a moment. He was still very angry but not as angry as before.
'I'm still not satisfied with your explanation. But I will think about it. We must find another time and place to kill Redford.'
'And what about the woman, Mr Shandor? We still don't know who she is.' Shandor suddenly looked very worried.
'I will think about that, too,' he said. Harlan waited for a moment. Then he took some documents from his grey briefcase.
'I also have the new plans, Mr Shandor.' Shandor stopped thinking about the woman. He smiled.
'Ah, yes. The new plans. This time there must be no mistakes. Let me see them.'
'No , there won't be any mistakes tomorrow, Mr Shandor,' Harlan said. He tried to smile, too.
Now think of some questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 10

Carl Eastwood was a happy, friendly man. He had a good job with the Government. He drove a special kind of van called a 'security van'. Important and valuable things were transported in vans like these. Carl always drove to work the same way. He lived in a small village but worked in Bristol. There are a lot of Government offices in and near Bristol.
That morning Carl came round a bend and saw a dark green van in the middle of the road. There were two men there, too, outside the van. One of them waved to Carl. Carl stopped but didn't get out of his car. He rolled down his window.
'I wonder if you could help us. Something's wrong with the engine. Perhaps if you give us a push, it'll start again,' one of the men said. He was tall and wore round glasses. There was something strange about his eyes. Carl wasn't sure what it was. But he didn't think
about it. He looked at his watch. He still had plenty of time before he had to be at work.
'All right. I'll be glad to help,' he said with a smile.
'Do you want me to give you a push with my car?' he asked.
'No, that won't be necessary. I mean, it'll be better if you and I just push it a bit with our hands. My friend can steer the van,' the other man said. He was tall, too. He wore dark glasses. They looked strange in the early morning light. It was still rather dark and the sun was covered with clouds.
Carl got out of his car. He and the man with dark glasses were behind the van. The other man got inside it, behind the steering wheel. Carl got ready to push. Then he felt something hard in his back. It was a gun and it belonged to the man with dark glasses.
'Get into the back! Fast! Or I'll use this,' he said. He opened the rear doors of the van. There was a third man there, behind them. Carl saw his face.
'It can't be. It's impossible,' he thought. Then everything went black when the man with dark glasses hit him over the head. He and the third man pushed and pulled Carl's body into the van. They shut the doors. Then the third man got out. He walked over to Carl's car and got in. The dark green van drove away. The third man drove away, too, in the direction of Bristol, where Carl worked. He looked just like Carl. He had the same face as Carl. But he wasn't Carl.
1. What happened after Carl stopped?
2. Why was he so surprised when he saw the third man inside the van?
3. What do you think is going to happen now?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 11

There was something strange about Carl that morning. Burt Harris didn't know what it was. Burt worked with Carl Eastwood. He was the guard in the security van which Carl drove. It was his job to stay in radio contact with the Government office they both worked for. There was a special two-way radio in all the vans. Burt could also contact the police on it.
They drove to the airport that morning. Carl didn't talk very much. That was strange, too. Carl usually talked a lot.
‘Not very nice weather today,' Burt said. Carl didn't answer.
When they got to the airport, they went to a special office. There were men in uniform there. Valuable things were often sent to Bristol by air.
Then they were taken from the office to places in and near Bristol. Burt showed one of the men some documents. Then two things were put in their van. One of them was a special sack with diamonds in it. The other thing was a small metal box. The box was locked but Burt knew there was microfilm in it. It came from a Government office in another part of England. The diamonds had to be taken to a bank in Bristol. But the metal box with the microfilm had to be taken to another Government office near the city.
They drove along the main road from the airport to the city centre. Every five minutes Burt told someone at the headquarters of the security company where they were. Carl said nothing. Then, a minute after one of Burt's radio reports, Carl suddenly turned off the main road.
‘What are you doing that for?' Burt asked.
‘I mean, why aren't you going straight to the bank?' Carl didn't answer. Suddenly Burt noticed something else. There was a light blue van behind them.
‘I think that van is following us. It turned off when you did,' Burt said. He reached for the radio microphone. Carl stopped him.
‘No, don't use the radio,' he said in a strange voice. Burt looked at him. He noticed his eyes. They never blinked.
‘What are you talking about, Carl? You know what our orders are. I'm sure that van is…' He stopped and stared. Carl had a pistol in his hand. Carl stopped the security van. They were on a narrow road near a canal. The light blue van stopped behind them, too.
‘What are you doing, Carl? What's happening?' They were Burt's last words. A second later he screamed. Carl shot him between the eyes.
The van was found twenty minutes later. Burt's body was there. So were the diamonds. But Carl and the metal box were gone.
1. What happened to Carl Eastwood in the previous episode?
2. Read this episode and then answer these two questions:
a. Who do you think ‘Carl' really is?
b. Why do you think this?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 12

The helicopter landed on the deck of the large, light blue yacht. A man in grey got out. He was smiling. He went to a cabin below the deck. Shandor was waiting there for him. He looked at him with his cold, blue eyes. ‘Well, Harlan? Did you follow my instructions?'
‘Yes, Mr Shandor. Here is the microfilm. I think it will tell you everything you want to know.' Shandor took the microfilm and put it into a small machine. The machine made the things on the microfilm larger and projected them onto a small screen. Shandor studied the film carefully. ‘Yes, it's all here. Plans for some of the weapons we didn't know about before,' he said.
He looked at Harlan again.
‘And what about my other instructions?'
‘Eastwood's body was thrown into the sea. It will never be found. The police think he was really a criminal or a spy. They'll never know the truth,' Harlan answered.
For the first time Shandor smiled.
‘No, they won't. They could never believe the truth.
Never!' He looked very satisfied. Harlan stepped closer to Shandor's desk.
‘There's still some unfinished business with the young journalist. I wonder if we could talk about that now?' Shandor didn't answer.
Harlan went on.
‘After his little… er… accident… he was taken to hospital. He's still there. Do you think something should be done about him?' Shandor smiled again. It was a cold smile.
‘Mr Redford probably knows far too much about us. What do you suggest, Harlan? Have you got some sort of plan?'
‘Yes, Mr Shandor, I have! We have another operator ready. This one looks just like Redford's boss. I suggest that our operator should visit Mr Redford in hospital.
The operator will give him a little gift. Some chocolate. Some very special chocolate. And Redford will eat it. All of it. Our operator will make sure of that.' Shandor thought for a moment.
‘Yes, I think I know the kind of chocolate you mean. An excellent idea!' he said. Both men smiled coldly.
1. What do you think the ‘operator' is going to do?
2. Who was Carl Eastwood?
3. What happened to him?
4. Which of these do you think is correct? Explain why.
a. The man who looked like Carl wasn't really him at all.
b. Carl was really a dangerous criminal all the time but nobody knew that.

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 13

Tony looked around his hospital room unhappily. It was his second day there. It was a big room and he was all alone in it. The door opened and Liz Davis came in.
‘Liz! Thank God you've come! When are they going to let me out of here?' he asked loudly.
‘When they know you're all right. They have to examine you very carefully. All sorts of things happen to people who have accidents like yours,' she answered.
‘But Liz, I tell you it wasn't an accident! I was pushed in front of that train. I don't know who did it because I didn't see him. But I was pushed!' Tony wanted to say more but he could see that his boss didn't really believe him. He wondered where Tan-Lin was.
‘I hope she comes soon. She'll understand what I'm talking about,' he thought. Suddenly he noticed something strange about Liz. She had a yellow dress on.
‘I've never seen you in a yellow dress before, Liz. I thought you didn't like yellow,' he said. The colour went very badly with her red hair. Liz didn't answer.
‘Is that a new dress you're wearing?' he asked more loudly. But she still didn't answer. She had a box in her hands. She began to unwrap it.
‘I've brought you a gift. I hope you'll like it, Tony,' she said slowly. Tony stared at the box. It was a box of chocolates. But Tony hated chocolates. He never ate them. And Liz knew that very well. For a moment he wondered if it was some kind of joke. But it wasn't.
‘Here. Have one. You'll feel much better if you do. Chocolate gives you energy, you know. It's good for you!' she said. Tony stared at her. She came closer with the chocolate.
‘Well, er… thanks a lot, Liz, but I'll eat them later if you don't mind,' he answered. But she shook her head.
‘No, Tony. You must eat them now.'
‘But I'm not really very hungry, Liz!' She stared at him strangely. ‘It's good for you!' she repeated slowly. She spoke almost like a parrot.
She tried to push the chocolate into his mouth.
‘No, Liz. I don't want it,' Tony said. He could taste some of the chocolate on his lips. And the taste wasn't sweet at all but bitter.
Suddenly Liz gripped him. It was a grip of steel! She forced him down in the bed and stood over him with the chocolate.
‘I disagree, Tony. You want this chocolate. And you will eat it. And all the other chocolates in the box. You will eat the chocolate now! Quickly!' Tony looked into Liz's eyes. There was a cold, terrible look in them. ‘My God, perhaps I'm dreaming. Perhaps it's all a terrible nightmare,' he thought.
1. What do you think Liz is trying to do?
2. Tony Redford is in hospital. Why?
3. Do you think he is in any danger there? Give reasons for your answer.

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 14

‘I hope you won't give me any trouble with the chocolate! What are you afraid of?' Liz said. She was holding him down with only one hand. She had the strength of a tiger. Tony looked up into her eyes and felt more and more afraid. In fact he was terrified. There was no feeling in those eyes. They were cold and they never blinked. He opened his mouth and tried to scream. But she forced her hand into his mouth and stopped him. He tried to bite that hand, but it was impossible. It was like trying to bite a lump of steel. Suddenly, with a sick feeling in his stomach, Tony realised that this thing with Liz's face and voice wasn't really Liz at all. It was some kind of terrible machine that looked like a human being but wasn't.
‘Would you like me to help you? I mean, shall 1 help you to eat this nice chocolate?' the thing with Liz's face asked. It held him down with its knee and forced open Tony's mouth with one of its hands. With the other it forced a big piece of the bitter chocolate into his mouth. And Tony was sure it wasn't chocolate at all but some kind of poison. Tony spat it out. The thing with Liz's face began to force another piece into his mouth. Tony knew he was losing his strength. He was getting weaker and weaker.
But suddenly he saw another face in the room. It was Tan- Lin. The short, red-haired machine with the strength of a tiger turned around very fast, and faced the tall, thin woman. For a moment neither of them moved. Then the machine cut through the air with its hand. That hand was like a knife, but Tan-Lin moved very fast, too. Somehow she moved away.
The machine kicked out at her with one leg. But Tan-Lin moved away from the kick, too. The machine was fast but Tan-Lin was faster. She chopped at its neck, like a karate expert. The machine with Liz's face stopped, but only for a moment. It cut through the air again with its knife-like hand, and Tan-Lin again moved away from the blow. She chopped a second time at the same place on the machine's neck. This time a kind of blue spark came from one of the thing's eyes.
Tan-Lin moved in quickly and chopped a third time at exactly the same place. There were more blue sparks. The thing that looked and spoke like Liz suddenly froze. It stood there but didn't move. Its eyes stared out lifelessly.
One of its hands was still in the air, like a frozen karate fighter.
‘I think I came just in time, don't you agree, Mr Redford?‘ Tan-Lin said softly.
1. Do you agree that the thing with Liz's face is some kind of machine? Give reasons.
2. Who do you think made the machine?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 15

‘You must come with me now, Mr Redford. Quickly! There isn't much time!' Tan-Lin said. But at first Tony didn't hear her. He was still staring at the machine with Liz's face. It was standing there like a frozen statue. Its eyes were still staring out lifelessly. Some smoke was coming from one of its eyes.
‘How did you know what to do… I mean, how did you stop it?' Tony asked.
‘I can explain that later, Mr Redford. Later! But first we have to get out of here. Through the window!' At first Tony couldn't believe his ears.
‘What are you talking about? We have to wait here. The police will want to ask us a lot of questions about… about this thing here!' He pointed to the robot. It looked and smelt more like a burnt-out machine than a human being now.
‘No, Mr Redford. We can't wait for the police and all their questions. It will take far too long. Come with me!' Tan-Lin gripped his arm and pulled him out of bed. Her grip was as strong as the grip of the terrible machine with Liz's face.
‘But I can't! I mean, my clothes!' he said. He was wearing only a thin cotton hospital nightgown. She pulled him with her towards the window. She could hear noises at the end of the long hospital corridor. She knew that people were coming.
‘We can't wait!' she said. She carried him out of the window and down a fire escape just outside the window. When they got to the street below, a few people were walking along it. They stopped and stared at the strange sight. One of them told a newspaper about it later.
‘I was walking along the street when I suddenly saw a tall, thin woman. She was carrying a man in her arms, almost like a baby. He was wearing some kind of nightgown. At first I thought I was dreaming. But she pushed him into a car and drove away. I even heard her say «I'm glad I learnt to drive these primitive machines of yours.» Those were her exact words. She had a strange accent. It wasn't very strong but I don't think she was English,' the man said.
Tan-Lin took Tony first to his flat, where he got some clothes.
‘And now we must go to Southampton,' she said. Tony followed her back to the car.
‘Why do you want to go there? I mean, shouldn't you tell the police about Shandor?' he asked.
‘There's no time for that. I've told you that before. We must get to Shandor before he finds out what has happened to his robot. And Shandor isn't a case for your police, Mr Redford. His case is for other people, somewhere else, not here,' she answered. They got into her car and drove through the night, towards Southampton.
What do you think Tan-Lin means when she says ‘Shandor isn't a case for your police'?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 16

It was almost dawn. Tony and Tan-Lin were standing on a hill overlooking the sea. They were near Southampton. ‘Why have we come here?' Tony asked.
‘Shandor's factory is on the other side of this hill. Every morning at dawn, a helicopter flies from the factory to Shandor's yacht. I don't know exactly where it is. But we're going to find out soon.' Tony didn't really understand but he had another question.
‘Where are you from? If you're a visitor, where did you come from in the first place?'
Tan-Lin smiled and pointed up to the dark sky. She pointed up to a group of stars in the east. It took Tony a few moments to understand.
‘Are you trying to tell me you come from another planet?'
‘Yes, Mr Redford. And so does Shandor. From the same planet, far far away. And on our planet, we use highly developed robots for certain kinds of jobs. These robots look almost like us. Shandor was trained to make those robots. And five years ago he was sent here to find out more about how robots are used here, on your planet.' Tony stared at her with a surprised look on his face, ‘Yes, that is right, Mr Redford. We sometimes send people here to find out what you are doing. You are far behind us in many ways. But not in all. For example, you now have terrible weapons which not even we have. Or rather, it is forbidden for us to make them.'
‘And why have you come here, Tan-Lin?'
‘Shandor has broken our laws. It is forbidden for us to kill. It is forbidden for us to interfere in the affairs of another planet. Shandor is very dangerous. He has stolen Government secrets. These are secret plans. Plans to make more terrible weapons. Perhaps Shandor is planning to make those weapons himself. Or perhaps he wants to sell the information to other governments. We do not know. But he has broken our law and I must find him and take him back. I have known for a long time that he is here. But not exactly where. Now I can find out. Listen!'
Tony heard the sound of a helicopter. Then he saw it. It rose into the sky in front of them and flew out over the sea to the west. Then Tony heard another sound. It was different. It was a low, humming noise.
He looked behind him and saw a round ball of light moving towards them. It was flying very low. The ball of light landed in front of them. Tony saw it was some kind of spaceship, a flying saucer.
A small door opened in the metal skin of the spaceship. Tan-Lin walked towards it. Then Tony saw another figure. It was standing in the door, waiting. The figure looked something like a man. But it had a square head and only one large eye. Tan-Lin spoke to it in a strange language.
Tony saw it was a robot. It turned and went back into the spaceship. Tan-Lin looked back at Tony. ‘If you come with me, Mr Redford, you will see things which nobody will believe.' Tony followed her through the door and into the spaceship. It rose into the sky and followed the helicopter out to sea. The sun was slowly rising behind them, a bright red ball in the still dark sky.
1 Explain why Tan-Lin has come to this planet.
2 What do you think is going to happen now?

Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.

Episode 17

The spaceship was round and flat, like a saucer. It looked small from the outside. But Tony was surprised at how big it seemed from the inside. The robot turned. Its one big round eye was shining brightly.
'You are welcome here, Mr Redford,' it said in a mechanical voice but perfect English. Tan-Lin operated the controls. The robot sat behind her. Through a round window Tony could see the sea below. They were flying just above the waves, and they were rising and falling with them. 'The helicopter is a kilometre ahead of us. It has just landed on the yacht,' Tan-Lin told Tony. She pointed to a radar screen.

In his cabin on the yacht, Shandor was listening to Harlan. There was a worried look on the older man's face. And Shandor looked angry. 'What has gone wrong now, you fool?'
'I'm not sure, Mr Shandor. The operator was programmed exactly as you instructed. It should have gone to the hospital and killed Redford yesterday evening. But it hasn't come back. We've heard nothing from it!' Shandor stood up. For a moment Harlan thought he was didn't hear anything. But then he did. It was a low, whistling noise, almost like the wind. But it rose and became louder. Shandor and Harlan ran up to the deck. The strange noise was getting louder and louder.
Other men ran out on to the deck and looked up into the it didn't help. One by one they fell over on the deck and lay there stiffly, without moving. The spaceship was just above them, turning slowly in the air. The whistling noise stopped and the spaceship landed on the deck.
'Are they dead?' Tony asked.
They were standing on the deck and looking at the men on it.
'No, of course not. They have been . . . what do you say . . . "stunned"'. 'Stunned? By what?'
'By the noise we made. They will wake up soon with terrible headaches. They will never know what has happened. But Shandor will not be here. And his robots and factories will be destroyed. There will be a strange fire in exactly five minutes. This yacht will be destroyed, too. But nobody will die,' Tan-Lin said.
The robot put Shandor in the spaceship. Then Tan-Lin and the robot put Harlan and the other men in a boat.
The spaceship rose from the deck of the yacht a few minutes later. Tony looked down at it from a window. Suddenly it caught fire and exploded. Shandor was in a chair next to the robot.
He was held there by a beam of light, like an invisible chain. He opened his eyes. There was hatred in them. But he didn't speak. It was still early morning when they landed again.
They were on a beach near Southampton. There were no people or houses around them. Tony got out and stood on the sand. Tan-Lin came to the door of the spaceship.
'We must leave now, Mr Redford. We have a long journey. A very long one.'
She held out her hand. Tony shook it. He didn't know what to say. Tan-Lin went back into the spaceship. It flew out low over the waves at first. Then it suddenly went up high in the direction of the rising sun. Tony watched it.
'Nobody's going to believe this! Nobody!' he thought.
Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.