Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Warhead of the Daleks 1 (b)


Turlough is now lying in the recovery position, the Doctor checks his pulse.

He’s alive. He should be all right. Get Kamelion to find the medical kit.

The Doctor rises and crosses to the console. Tegan stays where she is.

Kamelion? We don’t even know if he’s still on board after Frontios...

Then this is your chance to find out!

Why? Where are you going?

Tegan, someone or something has punched two holes through the fabric of the space-time continuum and scorched a corridor between them. Not the sort of thing you’d expect to find on twentieth century Earth.

Tegan’s voice is surprisingly bleak.


The Doctor speaks brightly, missing her distress.

Yes, home again. 1984 I think, but the instruments are still slightly out of synch.

The Doctor thumps the console with his fist.

Turbulence... Right, I’ll be off. You stay here until I return.

He opens the doors and crosses to them.

But what are you going to do?

I want to find out what all this about, now for the last time, Tegan, stay here!

He strides out. Tegan scowls and closes the doors.

I’m getting sick of this...

She crosses over to Turlough and starts to tend to him.


There is no sign of the policemen. The Doctor steps from the TARDIS and looks around, taking his hat from his pocket and unfurling it.

The River Thames... and the Tower Bridge just upriver... we’re on the South Bank.

He winces and scratches the back of his hands. Frowning, he puts on his hat and starts to walk away. His footsteps are soon lost in the sound of the breeze.


An otherwise empty room in the TARDIS. It contains only a Louis XIV chair and an occasional table on which lies a guitar. KAMELION, in his default silver android shape, sits in the chair, staring into space. There is a knock at the door. Kamelion turns his face to look at the doorway.

Yes, Miss Jovanka?

The door opens and Tegan enters cautiously.

Are you all right, Kamelion?

I am functioning within my specified parameters, if that is what you mean, Miss Jovanka. Is there any service I can perform for you?

Turlough’s hit his head. I need help to get him to bed. Do you know first aid?

I know many things, Miss Jovanka.

Well don’t just sit there, you great pile of nuts and bolts, do something.

Yes, Miss Jovanka.

He is enveloped for a moment in sparkles of silver light, shimmering before assuming a new form – a middle-aged man, short, stocky with muddy blonde hair. He wears casual clothes of the 1980s.

Who’s that supposed to be?

It is a new form I have been compiling from data in the TARDIS computers. Entirely original, even down to the vocal patterns.

At least you’re not copying me again.

You implied there was some urgency, Miss Jovanka?

Tegan still stares at him.

Yes. Come on.

She hurries off. Kamelion follows.


A large, fearsome-looking space cruiser hangs in the void. Zoom in on it.


Similar is appearance to the reception area. A brightly glowing crystal sphere is mounted on a pedestal in the centre of the chamber. There are various items of equipment that troopers are working on. Lytton is now dressed similarly and is studying the sphere. It clears to show the stars outside. Grogan approaches.

Yes, Grogan?

The checklist is completed, Commander. All systems are functioning.

Lytton nods.

What about the time corridor?

All interference has been cleared and the androids have increased their patrol around the warehouse for any disturbances.

They are not to shoot first, is that understood?


Very well. Prepare for transference. Power up the warp drive. Coordinates – 341 by 986, the orbit of the planet Cassius.

There is a background whir of engines. The troopers move quickly between controls. Lytton continues to stare into the crystalline sphere.


A rather grubby room containing a bunk and a desk. Several crude artworks are propped up against the wall, and some strange electronic version of Baker Street plays from a console. CAPTAIN DORAN is leaning back in the chair, reading a clipboard-sized computer monitor, whistling along with the music. He is in his late thirties, with ragged blonde hair and mocking, brown eyes. There is a chiming noise. Doran looks up, picks up a bit of an engine part on the table and hurls it at the wall. There is a clang and the wall judders and slides up to reveal Mercer, who is startled at the sudden change.

Ah, evening Lieutenant, er... Roylan Mercer, isn’t it?

Yes sir.

I thought you’d be in the recreation centre with the rest of the new intake.

I swung by, but it wasn’t my idea of a good night.

Oh, no. Don’t tell me Tarrant had started stripping the newbies naked and strapping them to the snooker table again, has he? It doesn’t matter how many statistics he shows you, it is not and never has been an initiation ceremony...

Uh, no, sir.

Well, you know what they say. 37% of all statistics are useless.

Sir, I wanted to your permission to send a communication to Earth. If I may.

On your first day? You forgot to say goodbye to someone?


Well, what is it for?

It’s personal, sir. You don’t need to know.

For the first time, Doran doesn’t seem entirely friendly.

Act like a fool all you like, Mercer. But don’t treat me like one.

All right. I want to contact the Prison Station Control Authority.

Doran smiles broadly.

Well, you only had to say. Permission granted.

Mercer double takes, unable to believe this.

Uh, I, er, thank you, sir.

Doran picks up his clipboard again.

No worries, Mercer. Close the door on your way out, though, would you?

Still slightly dazed, Mercer nods and heads for the door. Doran doesn’t look up from his reading as he calls out.

You want the Internal Investigations Core, it’s on frequency 434. Ask for Sonheim.

Mercer freezes.

Styles told you, didn’t she?

Styles and I don’t talk much, Mercer. You think I’m an idiot? You’re a new security officer, outside the system for the first time. Of course you’re going to try and follow the rule book. Even though the book is only useful when there are rules.

Mercer turns to face Doran.

I don’t pretend to understand this game you’re playing, Captain, but I am going to contact Earth and you are going to replaced and this station pulled into order.

I don’t doubt you’ll contact Earth. But I do doubt I will be replaced and I have no illusions this station will be ‘pulled into order’ as you put it.

Why? Do you have blackmail on everyone in the empire?

Doran looks up, chuckling.

Blackmail? Oh no. Just truth. If there’s a difference. Do you know why Cassius Four was converted into a prison, Lieutenant Mercer?

Oddly enough, sir, yes I do.

Your friend, what’s his name, Phin told you?

Mercer frowns.

Yes. He always researches his assignments.


Some Empire prisoners managed to escape Dalek space and capture a mutant humanoid. They managed to rig up a cryogenic unit to put him in suspended animation so he couldn’t signal for help or try to escape. He taken to Earth, tried for crimes against all sentient life and he was condemned to be contained here – close enough to Earth so no one would be prepared to attack and far enough away so if they do attack, the home world will be threaten.

And how long has the prisoner been frozen?

A century?

Ninety-three years, but close enough. How long before he’s defrosted?

I don’t know.

Neither do I. Mercer, this station won’t last forever. We can’t keep the prisoner frozen forever. And we weren’t meant to. He was supposed to be here for as long as the Last Dalek War – which ended within the month, if you’ll remember. But we kept on with the prisoner in cold storage for several reasons. First as a hostage to stop any further aggression. Secondly, in the hope he might break and reveal some useful information. And thirdly, and most importantly, it was too difficult to do anything else.

Earth knows about the situation here?

The Empire’s not doing too well. That blight on the outer colonies, the third consecutive recession, the Draconians’ sudden hypochondria about more space plagues... It’s too much trouble to fix Cassius Four or close it down. We’re left out here until things change. And it won’t. I’ve been here twelve years. Trust me on that.

Mercer snorts in disbelief.

So this is all some big conspiracy?

If it makes you feel better, you can look at it that way.

And what about the last few security officers. If they were never going to challenge you, why did you have them killed?

Killed? I didn’t kill them. Or, through inaction, allow them to come to harm.

So it was just a happy accident that all these troublemakers died conveniently?

A wise man defined life in the universe as a happy accident.

Very philosophical, Captain, but I’m not giving up. So, what are you going to do with me then? Kill me?

Oh no.

Then what?

I’m going to put your enthusiasm and skills to the best of all possible uses.

Mercer’s stern glare starts to crumble as Doran smiles happily up at him.


The cruiser rotates and begins to move. It suddenly shifts, ripples and fades away. A smear of light continues moving before that two disperses entirely.


We see an area in shadow due to the second story of the warehouses connect above the road, making a dark tunnel. The Doctor emerges into the daylight. He looks around, absently scratching the back of his hands. He pauses at the intersection of two roads, then turns and looks up at the doors to the warehouse.


The Doctor moves forward then stops. The noise of a van can be heard – shockingly loud in the silence. The Doctor retreats into the shadows. A large van turns the corner with a familiar UNIT emblem on the side. The Doctor sees it and smiles, but still keeps out of sight as the van pulls to a halt.


The passenger door opens and COLONEL ARCHER, a fit, middle-aged man with greying hair and in uniform, emerges and crosses to the back of the van. He bangs on them with the palm of his hand, and SERGEANT CALDER, a portly, red faced and genial man emerges, followed by three younger SOLDIERS and PROFESSOR ANNIE LAIRD – a middle-aged bespectacled woman in a blue parka and dark trousers.

As the Doctor watches on, we zoom out to see the rusty iron catwalk high above them. Standing there, effectively invisible to those below (who aren’t even looking, after all) are the two policemen. They look down, expressionless and silent.

Calder is checking down things on a clipboard as the three soldiers carry boxes of equipment from the van into the warehouse. Laird helps. As the Doctor watches, Archer closes the van doors and waves to DRIVER of the van. It U-turns and drives off as Archer and Calder enter the warehouse. Calder closes the doors.

Well, well, well... UNIT already investigating. How convenient. Or perhaps not.

The Doctor creeps up to the doors. He takes the rusty handles in his hands, then whips back as if burnt. He stares in pain at his hands – unmarked. Suddenly, his eyes widen and he whirls around, looking up at the walkway high above. It’s empty. The Doctor stares up at it, absently scratching his hands.


A rather gloomy chamber lined with computer consoles and displays – most non-operational. Its not particularly tidy, and several other CREWMEMBERS are present, playing cards, reading or listening to music. It’s more like a student squat than the bridge of a space ship. Mercer sits in a chair, marking a clipboard with a pen. OSBORN, a young woman in a similar uniform enters, sipping from a tankard.


Mercer glances up at her, smiles weakly, then looks down at his clipboard. Osborn leans forward. She is ever-so-slightly drunk and smiles at him.

How long’s your tour of duty?

Mercer is startled by her voice. And just how close she is.

Oh, er, two years.

How long you been here?

Two days.

And you’re already Officer of the Watch? The Captain usually lets the new arrivals settle in before forcing you into that tedium. How did you upset him?

Mercer shrugs, trying to make light of it.

I complained.

Osborn cackles.

Someone shoulda warned you.

They did.

Well, there ya go.

I had every right!

A large, friendly-looking man, PHIN, approaches, very much relaxed. He slips an arm affectionately around Osborn and she giggles.

Roylan letting his paranoia out for a walk again?

You’ve adapted quickly, Phin.

You really should learn to lighten up, Roylan. Go with the flow.

Go with the flow? I’m sitting in the command chair, in control of the entirety of Cassius Four and over thirty other people – and I still can’t change a damn thing.

Aw, poor little lieutenant. Young, idealistic, and frustrated.

These things are not unconnected.

They both laugh. Mercer scowls.

Have we been introduced, Phin?

Osborn is definitely paying more attention to Phin’s neck.

I’m Aliza Osborn, pleased to meet you.

Roylan Mercer, security officer.

Why did you have to go and complain, anyway, Roylan?

Why didn’t I, more like. Have you seen the state of the defense system?

There’s a defense system?

She laughs.

Oh, relax Mercer. The Exclusion Zone around us and Cassius is a dozen thousand kilometers in all directions and no one and nothing goes through. The only ship we ever see around here is our own supply vessel. And there isn’t going to be one for another two months.

In short, Roylan, relax. We’re all alone up here.

That’s not the point.

Phin rolls his eyes and finally releases Osborn and sits down beside Mercer.

It never is. OK, Roylan, what’s really bugging you?

The cruiser shimmers back into existence into space, slowing down almost a halt.


As before.

Reorientation complete. Targeting systems have confirmed the location of the Cassius Four space station. Plotting course to intercept now.

A tall, gaunt and sinister trooper enters. This is KISTON.

Commander Lytton?

Lytton glances at him.

What is it, Kiston?

Foreign object re-materialized at the other end of the time corridor. An unidentified humanoid has emerged and is investigating the area. What action is to be taken?

None as yet. Keep him monitored. Download all relevant information from the androids into the main battle computer here.

What about our masters?

You don’t need to bother them.

All outside information is to be reported to them.

There’s little point. They won’t come up with any useful strategy – that is why we are here, remember, Kiston?

We have our orders.

Lytton glares at him.

Then do so, but the attack run begins now. Whatever madness they come up with, it will have to wait until after we have taken the station. Grogan!


Raise the force shield. All troopers to battle stations.

Kiston turns and leaves.

Force shield raised. All troopers at battle stations confirmed.

The lights dim and turn blood red.

Intercept the station at battle speed on my mark.


A beat. Lytton almost smiles.



A red light flashes on the console. Absolutely no one notices.

You’re joking, right?

It could happen! That’s why the prisoner was brought he in the first place – he’s the progenitor, they’re bound to want him back.

But they’re all extinct. Aren’t they?

Course they are. After they wiped out the Sirian space colony, the deep space fleet went to attack...

Three years after the attack, though!

It still counts. Not one of the metal gits. Nothing. Ships deserted. Slaves free. Their ‘territory’ is now part of the terrestrial empire. They are gone. Caput.

You’re the history fetishist, Phin, why did they die out?!

How should I know? Maybe they just ran for it – and smart move. Our forces would have wiped the spaceways with them. Whatever happened to them, they are in no position to enter the galaxy, let alone attack the solar system of all places.

We’re around Cassius, the outermost point...

Are you always this neurotic?

Anyone with a pulse is neurotic compared to you, Osborn.

Osborn tutts.

You’re not even trying to fit in, are you?

A run-down-sounding klaxon blares. A crewmember cranks up the music, irritated. Mercer rises and crosses to the console.

He never tries to, Aliza. High and mighty, has been ever since the academy...

You know him well then?

You will too at the end...

They snuggle and laugh dirtily. Mercer frowns and checks the controls.

Oh, control yourselves, you two!

Jealous, eh, Roylan?

Phin, shut up! The sensors are detecting warp drive movements inside the Exclusion Zone.

Inside?! There isn’t anything for the next two months.

Well, there is now. All the systems confirm it!

Maybe it’s the freighter coming back for some reason?

Why haven’t they contacted us, then?

I dunno. Maybe there’s a problem with their comms...

We should inform the Captain.

Osborn seems to snap out of her daze. She rises and tries to block Mercer from reaching the communications section.

We shouldn’t bother him! Not yet, anyway. It could be anything.

Oh, has Doran got blackmail on you too?

It’s page one, you idiot – you never distract the Captain until absolutely necessary.

The regulations specifically state that the Captain is to be informed!

Look what happened the last time you spoke to him.

We’ve got those one-seater fighters, don’t we? Send them to check it out.

Oh, Phin, either go and shut up or sober up! Preferably both!

I’m serious. If it’s hostile, they can deal with it.

Those tin cans couldn’t deal with an Alpha Centaurian that had been dead for a week!

Osborn nods thoughtfully and picks up a communications headset and

The pilots would be grateful for practice...

I can’t believe this. Are you all out of your skulls?! This is serious!

Phin unsteadily jabs Mercer in the shoulder.

You have said that, oooh, fifty-eight times now. You were wrong each and every time!


Four silver shapes leave the four sides of the space station.

The battle cruiser approaches.


Osborn takes off her headphones and plugs them into a console. Mercer shouts at the rest of the crew, who are still relaxing deeply.

This station has been here for over a hundred years. Not even the big meteor storm of 43 budged it. This place is as stable as... something very stable.

Terra firma?

Even more stable than that.

Red alert! Go to red alert, you bone-idle time-wasting parasites!

The crew jeer at him and go back to their various activities.

Ejlan, are you receiving me?

Hey, Aliza, we’ve sighted the ship. Big grey, mean looking thing.

That’s all you got? You’ve made visual contact, what is it?

Can’t you patch into our scanners?

No, that system has been cannibalized for the easy-listening music system!

Phin laughs aloud at the thought. Mercer glares at him.

Is it a battle cruiser, Ejlan?

Well, it might not be. But if it isn’t, it’s doing a very good impression of one...

Have you been on the voxnic?!

Yep. Thirteen years now. Never had a hangover.

Try to communicate with the ship.

You wanna know how?

Osborn, tell him to hail the cruiser.

I never stopped drinking it! How smart is that?

Ejlen, focus! What is the ship doing?

Oh, it’s turning to face us. Those pointy, gun things are aimed at us. Is that bad, do you think?

Mercer can’t believe he’s hearing this and tries to think of something to say.

... get out of there! You don’t stand a chance!

Sorry? I can hardly hear you.

Can we give them any supporting fire?

With what?

The laser canon, you idiot, what else!

There is a loud, building crackling noise to be heard.

Maybe I am having a hangover after...

There is a loud crackle, an explosion that is suddenly cut off. Silence.

Ejlen? Ejlen! Report! Tarnig? Polard? Jame!!! Answer!

A beat. Phin looks ill, and not just from alcohol poisoning. The crew have all fallen silent. Music blares inappropriately. Mercer swallows and crosses to an isolated, dusty control.

Anyone got an objection to informing Captain Doran now?! Phin! Operate the deflector shield, seal the airlocks!

He presses the control. A stronger-sounding alarm cuts through the music.

Uh, where are the airlock controls?

Didn’t you pay attention at the briefing? Over there!

Phin stumbles over in the direction Mercer points. Six levers are illuminated. He hauls down one and it extinguishes. He repeats this again. Mercer turns to Osborn who is staring at the speaker in shock. Mercer speaks to her gently.


Osborn, please. We need to move.

They’re dead.

And we’ll be joining them, now please. Help me charge up the laser canon and the shield.

She numbly crosses to the controls and adjusts them. Phin pulls down the last lever. It moves very easily – but stays illuminated. He tries again. Same result.

It’s not working! Airlock three won’t seal!

Airlock three? That’s the one... next to that damaged area! THE IDIOTS!

Mercer gnaws his knuckles in anxiety.


As before.

Scanning complete. 80 per cent of life signs register in area designated recreation centre, on the outer hull of the ship.

Target and fire two barrages. I want total...

Lytton laughs coldly.


to be continued...

YOA Review!

The familiar trio sit on the sofa, pausing the VCR.

NIGEL: That's it? That's the big differences that prove he's a better writer? Pull the other one!

DAVE: Come on, Nige, it's only the first few minutes.

NIGEL: I am perfectly capable of judging anything after the first few minutes, Dave, and if you shared my gift, your UAI wouldn't have been so appallingly low. Is this really an improvement?


NIGEL: Oh, shut up, Andrew, what do you know!

ANDREW: Well, look at the beginning. A bunch of workers get assassinated. Nice, shocking and brutal.

NIGEL: And exactly the same as the original.

DAVE: Nah, the original had those alien prisoners. Who were locked in the warehouse because, er, actually we never do find out why they were trapped there. Or even who they were. Or why they got shot down if they were so damn valuable. Plus this gets rid of the Stein subplot.

NIGEL: And just what was wrong with the Stein subplot, Restal?

ANDREW: How long a list would you like? No, this is very good. What's more, I like how the builders were ordinary 1980s joes and so their deaths cut home a lot more. And scenes are establishing drama instead of cutting back and forth.

NIGEL: That's a directorial touch and you know it.

DAVE: It fleshed out the prison crew. We found out their names.

NIGEL: We already knew their names, Dave! It's not necessary to rewrite four episodes of televisual brilliance just because the author wasn't paying attention.

ANDREW: Nor was anyone else who has ever reviewed this story. Have you visited the Doctor Who Ratings Guide lately?

NIGEL: Hell no. A) I am not a geek. And B) Ron Mallet lurks there.

DAVE: Ew. Good point.

NIGEL: The best.

ANDREW: Yeah. Still, it cleared up all the names and the motives and just what happened to the security officers. And the TARDIS gets out of the corridor right away instead of bouncing around off screen for the best part of the episode. Let's face it, this story actually cares about the characters.

NIGEL: Yeah, guess so. But so far I could have got the same result with editing software.

DAVE: You sound suspiciously knowledgable about this, Nige.

NIGEL: Oh, never mind, Dave, let's change the topic.

DAVE: What topic?

ANDREW: Are you ever going to put it up on youtube?

NIGEL: Hahaah, what a joker you are, Andrew. Let us move on.

DAVE: Put what up on youtube?

NIGEL: Shut up, the pair of you!

ANDREW: "Styles And Her Jailbait Assistant Get It On In Hardcore Girl On Girl XXX Action"...


ANDREW: Got to admit, they did seem a bit close...

NIGEL: Shut up, the next bit's on!

Eve enters, reading a copy of MX.

EVE: Is David Tennant in this one?

DAVE: Nah, it's the dad from At Home With the Braithwaites.

ANDREW: Which, coincidentally, is another one Nigel put up on youtube...

NIGEL: We're not interested in that, Andrew.

EVE: Oh yeah, Ashley wants a copy of it.

DAVE: What?

EVE: "Virginia and Tamsin Braithwaite Get It On In Hardcore Girl On Girl XXX Action With Bollywood Soundtrack."

A pause.

NIGEL: I notice they named one of the builders Jerry, after that really unlucky cameraman in Drop the Dead Donkey.

Another pause.

DAVE: Nigel, I seriously think you have a bit too much time on your hands.

Warhead of the Daleks 1 (a)



The grey overcast sky can be made out through the crisscrossing rusty catwalks linking tall, imposing brick warehouses. It is early morning and drizzle has made puddles. A TRAMP is sitting in a doorway, lighting the first cigarette of the day. He freezes as he hears footsteps, echoing.

Two POLICEMEN are walking down the street, still some distance away. They are traditional bobbies, dressed for the weather and seem to be casually strolling through the area. They might even be chatting about something... but they are not speaking. At all. The Tramp’s alcove allows him to spot them before they can see him. He moves back, unnerved.

Suddenly, there is a loud crashing noise. The tramp and the policemen immediately turn their attention to the source of the noise – a set of heavy warehouse doors are crashing open. Five BUILDERS scramble out. Dressed in dusty denim suits and hard hats, they are all terrified. One runs off, moaning with fear. One calls after him.


Come on, let’s get out of here!

No, wait!

He starts to close the doors. The others turn and lend their aide to closing them. The policemen approach, looking curious. The doors are almost closed... then they start to open. The builders throw all their weight against the doors, but can’t close them.

Run for it!

They turn and for the first time register the policemen behind them. The leader brightens immediately and steps forward... and the policemen raise stubby, automatic machine guns fitted with silences. The leader’s face falls.

You can’t...

The closer policeman fires. There is a soft thud and the builder drops dead. The others scatter. Calmly and quickly, both policemen fire on the crowd. Three shots later the other builders’ bodies are sprawled on the floor. The second policeman trains his weapon on the fifth builder who is still running. The policeman fires. A moment later, the fleeing builder drops dead to the ground.

The tramp stares at this display in mute shock. The policemen are right in front of him now, but are turned away and appear not to know he is there. Suddenly, they turn in unison. The tramp swallows and opens his mouth to speak. One of the policeman fires a single shot. The tramp slumps back, dead.

The doors to the warehouse finally burst open. A tall, gaunt man dressed as a senior police officer – he wears a blue coat and a peaked cap. This is GUSTAVE LYTTON. He is alone in the warehouse. He looks around, expressionless. The drizzle is forming puddles around the bodies. He looks up at the policemen. They look back.

Lytton steps out into the street, letting the doors swing closed behind him and takes a handheld yellow remote from his pocket. With a gloved thumb he adjusts a slide control. The six dead bodies are bathed in a ruby red glow. They fade from sight, leaving the red glow a silhouette. Those fade, leaving no trace of the massacre.

Lytton looks around the street. He and the policemen are the only ones there. He adjusts the control in his hand to full. This time, Lytton glows ruby red and fades away. The red glow disperses. Unsurprised, the policemen turn and wander off, on the beat and continuing their silent conversation.


A room completely white, so it appears to be a void. The white void turns pink, then red, then suddenly Lytton and the corpses appear. The bodies of the five builders and the tramp are lying in the same pattern they fell, but close together. Lytton stands over them, like a triumphant warrior. Annoyed, he takes off his hat as glow vanishes and a segment of wall slides up. Lytton strides over to it.


A circular chamber marked in white, grey and black. There are corridors leading off in four directions. The doorways are low, meaning people have to stoop slightly to move through it. Six TROOPERS enter. They wear bronze armor that seems almost fused to their bodies, their faces unremittingly hard and mean. They move across the area to the far wall where the panel is rising to reveal the terminal room beyond. Lytton ducks through as the door continues to rise, thoroughly annoyed. One of them, GROGAN, steps forward, calm and emotionless.

Were you successful?

It was a shambles.

Lytton throws the hat at Grogan and starts to remove his coat.

They were prevented from contacting the authorities.

They managed to get out of the warehouse.

The escape was prevented.

It should never have happened.

He hands Grogan his coat. Grogan folds it expertly without looking. The troopers enter the terminal and are dragging the bodies out.

And who ordered the use of machine pistols?

Standing orders. Nothing anachronistic is to be taken to Earth.

So instead we have just slaughtered six valuable specimens.

Standing orders. Nothing anachronistic is to be taken to Earth.

It is an unacceptable stricture. Next time, stun lasers are to be used.

Lytton strides down one of the corridors, unbuttoning his jacket as he goes.

Now that has been dealt with, prepare the ship for travel. The attack will be carried out at once. Start the checklist and prepare for battle.


Lytton calls over his shoulder.

And check the orientation circuits on the time corridor. There’s some kind of interference in the system, something must be caught in it.

That is not possible.

Check it anyway. We cannot afford any mistakes!


TEGAN and TURLOUGH are present, standing around the console. The low whining of the TARDIS systems is strained. Suddenly, the internal door opens and THE DOCTOR strides inside, crossing to the console and talking all the time.

Now, listen you two. If the Time Lords ever hear about our little trip to Frontios, there will be serious trouble...

There is a loud groaning noise from the engines. Frowning, the Doctor puts his hear to the console. He bangs his fist against the console. The noise continues.

What would have happened if we HADN’T been there, Doctor?

Well, the TARDIS engines would be working properly, for one thing.

Oh, there’s nothing wrong with them.

Then why are they making that funny noise?

We’re going far too fast, Doctor.

The noise gets louder. The Doctor moves around the console. The noise gets worse. Turlough is forced to shout over the noise.

Stop the engines!

No, no, leave them! This will pass shortly, they’re all right...

The noise changes to a clanking, violent jolt. All three are flung against the console and grip it as the room shakes violently around. The groaning noise is louder and even more strained than before. The Doctor finally looks anxious.

What’s happening?

The Gravis?

Oh, no, this is something much more powerful... we’re being pulled into a time/space induction tunnel, a sort of corridor. Trying to pull against it... Course corrections...

The Doctor punches some controls. The room shakes even more.

A time corridor?

If you like.

To where?

I don’t know – but I think we’re about to find out...

There is another, violent lurch.


We focus on a space station hanging in the void. A square, metallic framework holding linked cuboid units. Etched on the scaffolding is CASSIUS IV. A large, rectangular space craft is accelerating away from it.


An outer corridor of the station. It is lit randomly – several light fittings are broken or flickering, and the floor is littered with junk. Staring out a grubby observation port is a young, prim black man called MERCER, wearing a neat, brand new uniform. Beside him is a similarly neat woman, STYLES. She is attractive, in her early forties and wears a white head band to stop her blonde hair falling her eyes. She is stern and tired. They both fit badly into their decayed surroundings.

You haven’t seen a freighter leave before?

I’m beginning to wish I was still on it.

I’ve had that feeling for the last three years.

She turns and strides off.

If you want the tour, Lieutenant, you better keep up.

Mercer tears his eyes from the port and hurries after her. He trips on a couple of bits of rubbish that have been there so long Styles steps over it without even noticing it. She doesn’t look back at him as they talk.

Please, call me Roylan, Miss...?

DOCTOR Styles. Don’t you pay attention? Some security officer you are.

It is only my first day.

Then it’s all down hill from here.

They turn a corner. Mercer stops and stares – a chunk of wall has rusted away and the cables beneath are held together with straps. They spark occasionally. More dangle over the corridor. Styles moves around them.

When’s that going to be repaired?

Styles spares it a glance.

When it totally breaks down.

How long has it been in this state?

It’s been like that since before I arrived.

That’s three years ago... How long since the maintenance teams did their work?

Since regular inspections ceased.

Styles keeps walking. Mercer follows her, flinching slightly as there is a mild explosion of sparks. They turn around another corner. This area is slightly cleaner.

This station is falling apart!

You’re seeing it on a good day.

Styles stops by a blank section of wall and punches – literally – a control next to it.

This is a death trap!

If you wanted to see everything spin and span, you shouldn’t have asked for a transfer to a prison station, should you?

I didn’t volunteer for this place. The Prison Station Control Authority is where I asked to be transferred to. On Earth!

Well, we’re about as far from Earth as you can get and stay inside the star system. That’s why they don’t bother to check on efficiency. We’re too close to be shunted over to Leonis System authority and too far out to bother keeping an eye on.

She punches the control again, angrily.

But if there’s an attack...

Attack? No chance. We were put out this far for a reason. Some of the crew have lived here for decades. The closest we got to anything life threatening was when the viston seeds turned toxic.

She punches the control, then kicks the wall angrily.

Come on, COME ON!!

There is a loud whine and the wall jerks upwards.


A long thin chamber, bright, white, clean and tidy. There is a work bench with neat equipment. Another woman, ZENA, is present. A teenager, dressed similarly to Styles with even the headband, is working on a microscope. Styles and Mercer enter, the wall sliding closed afterwards. Mercer looks around.

Is this part of the station?

Of course it is Lieutenant. Pay attention.

It’s so clean... Why is the rest of the station such a wreck?

Because this is my territory and I have standards.

Standards? Obsession, more like...

Spend the best part of your life here and you’ll understand. Zena?

Styles crosses over to her.

Yes, Korin?

You finished with those slides?

Just about.

Mercer follows, still looking around, impressed.

How do you cope with that mess outside?

By ignoring it.

Don’t you care?

Not particularly. I am only concerned for the medical welfare of the crew and the prisoner on this station, not the station itself.

Mercer glares at her, finally getting irritated.

Does everyone around here have such a narrow view of their responsibilities?

It’s the only way to stay sane. This is, Zena, by the way.

Zena turns and holds out a hand, smiling shyly.


Oh yes, Zena. This is... what’s your name again?

Roylan Mercer. Lieutenant Roylan Mercer. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Zena.

Zena giggles.


Don’t get too attached, Zena – he’s the new security officer.

Zena’s cheer dwindles visibly.

Oh. Well, er, it’s nice to meet you anyway.

Why? Is security unpopular around here?

Security is nonexistent around here. Take the rules seriously and most of the crew deserve harsher sentences than the prisoner.

She laughs humorlessly.

Maybe THAT is why we’ve all got stuck out here. Divine retribution.

Mercer pauses, noticing a hatch in the far wall.

Is that an escape capsule?

One of them.

You just happen to have an escape craft at the back of your laboratory.

You said yourself – this place is a death trap. At least I know I’ve got a way out.

And what about the rest of the crew?!

If the Captain doesn’t care, why should I?

Why? You’re a doctor, of course you should care!

Oh, shut up, will you, Mercer. You’ve only been here a few hours. You know NOTHING!

Zena moves forward, placating.

Korin, let it go.

Oh, get back to work, Zena.

Yes, that will improve morale no end. Is everyone despairing like you are?

Styles sighs and rubs her eyes.

Look, Lieutenant. My tour of duty on this station ends in eight weeks time. If I want it to end with a promotion, I need the Captain to give me a good report.

I see...

No, I don’t think that if you do. If Captain Doran does NOT give me a good report, I could be stuck on Cassius Four for at LEAST another two years!

He’s blackmailing you?

Indirectly. He’s blackmailing us all.

Mercer looks at Styles, realizing how miserable she is.

Look, Doctor Styles, the Prison Station Control Authority is supposed to stop these sort of industrial situations from happening. It’s part of their charter that they drew up...

No one cares about the rules if it will cost money.

If we let Control know just what’s going on, they’d have to do something about it or lose credibility! The first thing they’d do is replace Doran as Captain, wouldn’t they?

Zena looks hopeful.

You really think it could work?

He’d be instantly relieved of command. Just knowing the level of morale here would be enough to do that.

Styles shakes her head.

It’s been tried before, Mercer.

And failed.

And it is usually by inexperienced new boys like you.

This time it will be different, Doctor Styles.

How? You can’t contact Earth without getting the Captain’s direct permission. He’s hardly going to let you stab him in the back – and when he finds out what you’re up to... The way you’re carrying on, you’ll finish up just like the others.

Mercer frowns.


You’re the third security officer we’ve had in two years, Lieutenant.

What happened to the others, were they dismissed?

Zena swallows.

No. They’re dead.

A look of anxiety crosses Mercer’s face, then it becomes cold reserve.

Like I said. This time, it’ll be different.


The room is still jolting violently. The trio cling to the console for dear life.

There must be some way to get free!

We’re not fully inside it, we’re caught on the edge...

Isn’t there anything you can do? Materialize?

Half in and half out of the time corridor? We’ll be ripped apart!

The Doctor hauls himself around the console. He reaches out to touch a red button, eyes fixed on the scrolling information on the monitor.

The turbulence must stabilize soon, and when the time stress on the TARDIS fluctuates the right way we can break free. The readings are starting to converge at optimum, and if we pick the right moment...

I feel sick. It’s like being stuck in the middle of the Harbor during a storm... Can I get to my room?

Too late, Tegan – hold on!

He flips the switch. The room dips at an angle of forty-five degrees. Turlough manages to grab Tegan by the waist, stopping her from flying across the room. The room and its contents ripple and distort violently, distorting their voices.

Hold on... hold on...

Doctor... I can’t take... much more...

There is another lurch and the room steadies out, the ripples clearing as Turlough is flung across the room and strikes a pillar. He slides to the floor, unconscious. The Doctor and Tegan still cling to the console. The engine noises are fading.

There! We’re free of the corridor, but we’ve still travelling parallel to it.

Tegan lifts her head, looking unwell. The Doctor looks at her in concern.

Is it over?

For the moment. Are you all right?

I think so.

The Doctor brightens immediately and pats her on the back.

Good! You can check on Turlough.

The Doctor moves around the console as Tegan crosses to Turlough. She checks him over but he’s out for the count. The Doctor checks the displays, not noticing.

We’re weaving in time... Still we’re well back inside the Gallifreyan noosphere. That’s something. We just have to follow the corridor until it terminates and from there we can pick out next destination... Once I’ve had a word with whoever’s responsible.

Tegan touches the back of Turlough’s head. Her fingers are red with blood.


The Doctor looks up, realizing the seriousness in her tone. He crosses to her as the lights on the console flash and the familiar sounds of materialization fill the air.


It is now afternoon, not too far from the industrial area. On one of the empty wharves, at the end of the street leading up between the disused warehouses, the TARDIS materializes. Once it finishes there is silence. There is no sign of anyone or even traffic. At the end of the street, however, appear the two policemen.

to be continued...

If *Someone Who Gave A Damn* Wrote Season 22...

Firstly, let me say this. Eric Saward is a great writer.

He is also a terrible human being.

And if any one person should be blamed for the crashing and burning of Doctor Who in 1985, it's him.

A script editor that dislikes the main characters, the regular actors and his boss quite clearly isn't suited for the job, yet Saward was. Season 22 is full of pointless, violent and abrupt stories that for the most part sideline the one Doctor that needed time for us to get to like him. Saward's decision to make Season 23 a "screw you" to the BBC rather than say, try and get the show to survive is damning in itself. I've read his final script for the show he didn't care about.

We lost NOTHING.

So, I - and some like minded but far more talented individuals including published author Cameron J Mason, Jared Hansen and Miles "Balls of Steel" Ried - intended to do rather than say. If say, some freak time storm deposited us back in 1985 with the opportunity to write for the series with the same basic plots, sets, actors and even titles, could we have done a better job?

I honestly believe it would be a close-run thing, but I'm not arrogant enough to think we'd win effortlessly.

And so, a quick guide to Doctor Who if *we* wrote it...

Warhead of the Daleks by me
The story that kicked off Season 22 in style and content, and arguably the most confused script outside Dimensions in Time, well, Resurrection of the Daleks needed a rewrite like an ameba needs a nervous system

Planet of Fire by Peter Grimwade
The Caves of Androzani by Robert Holmes
We don't have any problems with these.

The Twin Dilemma by me
Now, you really cannot have a go at Eric Saward for this one - as he was rewriting an unfinished script by someone who was so out of it he thought his typewriters were trying to kill him. But if there's a more important story in canon that screwed up this bad, let us know.

Attack of the Cybermen by Jared Hansen
Definitely where the rot set in, but mastreo of characterization JH intends to turn it fantastic. Check it out on his blog. He'll post it in his own time, but it will be worth the wait. It's brilliant.

Vengeance on Varos by Jared Hansen
The one everyone seemed happy with. Well, we thought different. If the original creeps you out, the remake will make you sleep with the light on from hereafter.

Hex by Cameron J Mason
The Mark of the Rani is too good to be rewritten directly, but too poor to be left alone. CJM takes the lateral approach of replacing it with a "missing story" with suspiciously similar themes. Looks to be good, but don't hold your breath. (Just joshing, Cam. Please don't kill me.)

The Enemy Within by me
Yes, I'm back. It's time that title was used on a proper story, and this will not allow you to look at the main characters of Doctor Who quite the same way ever again.

SlipBack by Miles Read
Were underwhelmed by the radio version? This time and space hopping rewrite full of lethal androids, swauve brain donors and far, far too much voxnic will wish you were in the parallel universe when things were ALWAYS this good.

The Androgum Inheritance by Jared Hansen
It's The Two Doctors. Only better. Much, much better.

To Catch A Thief by Jared Hansen
A proper historical! No aliens, time machines or Torchwood here, thank you very much. Doctor Who meets Dick Turpin!

The Riddle of the Styx by Cameron J Mason
Another story you definitely won't see coming, as Doctor Who enters... unexplored areas.

TimeLash by Miles Reid
Miles Reid has no conception of mortal terror. Which is what coursed through the rest of us at the thought, the concept, of doing this story. Then he added another two episodes. If there is a way to become the literary equivalent of Mohammed Ali, then this is it.

The Song of the Space Whale by me
Remember Turlough? You will.

In The Hollows of Time by Cameron J Mason
If there is such a thing as good fanwank, this is the story it will be in.

The End of the Road by me
I started, and I might as well finish, in this, the ultimate challenge to improve the story all the retarded grass-munching baby boomers thought impossible to make better... Revelation of the Daleks!

The rewriting of history begins here and now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Parody # 15: Tooth and Claw

Some crap I wrote in the last five minutes AND I HAVE WITNESSES!

C Tooth and Law

Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor finds a CD of the Sex Pistols and puts them on. He casually acknowledges to Rose that his new identity is still in flux and malleable, and wants to check out if he still enjoys agonizing 1970s punk rock. Rose ponders if the Doctor might not be a bit impressionable, but the Doctor laughs off her concerns.

Five minutes later the Doctor has his hair in spikes, safety pins through his nose and insists he will from now on be called "Scumbag" as he spraypaints Gallifreyan Swastikas over the walls, all the time shouting "Oi!
Oi! Oi!"

The Doctor sets the TARDIS to land in 1979 so he and Rose can smash up the English state and provoke anarchy. Unfortunately, the TARDIS arrives in 1879 and, not realizing the woman in front of them is the real Queen Victoria and not a reactionary stereotype, start spitting on her and shouting "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN FROM THE FASCIST REGIME!"

Five minutes later, the Doctor and Rose are handcuffed and being dragged along the ground behind Queen Victoria's coach. "1879, 1979, it's still a bunch of tossers lording it over the young!" the Doctor muses
philosophically. "FUCK SOCIETY!!!"

Queen Victoria decides to stop for burgers and chips at the Touchwood Estate, a subterranean laboratory built over a rift in time and space but used generally at a bed in breakfast. Curiously, all the usual staff have
been replaced with sumo wrestlers and the owner Sir Robert, has a gun pointed to his head by his butler.

Assuming they have caught Sir Robert in some kinky sex antics while his wife was out, Queen Victoria politely declines to comment and goes to have a Happy Meal.

Meanwhile, the wrestlers find the Doctor and Rose covered in mud and grass and lying behind the coach.

"What are you doing here?"


Soon, however, the Doctor and Rose are locked in cages along with the estate staff and a few Amway salesman, along with a strange hairless monk from Da Vinci Code.

The monk explains he is in fact a werewolf, but doesn't like to go on about it, and muses how when he joined the local martial arts group they made him their god and locked him in a cage every night. As every twenty-eighth night he turns into a psychotic killing machine, he can't really complain.

Rose points out that surely the werewolf is strong enough to break out of the cage, despite the Doctor's noticeable screams of "SHUT UP, ROSE! JUST SHUT UP! STOP TRICKING ALIEN KILLING MACHINES INTO ESCAPING THEIR DUNGEONS! DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM LAST TIME??!"

Too late, the monk does just that, and promptly bites the head off a nearby sumo wrestler and dabs SMASH THE STATE in the human's blood.

"Aw, that's beautiful," the Doctor gasps.

The Doctor's enthusiasm starts to wane as the werewolf goes off camera and slaughters the sumo wrestlers in a sequence not even Ken "Wong" Russell would want to film. Deciding that discretion is the better part of having one's intestines hauled out of one's nostril, the Doctor and Rose run up some stairs. For a long time.

Along the way, the werewolf uses the other speaking parts as dental floss, leaving only the Queen Victoria.

Finally, the Doctor and Rose are left trapped in a room with a sword, a telescope and a Postideon Mark & Anti-Werewolf spray... DAMN IT! THERE'S NEVER ANYTHING USEFUL WHEN YOU NEED IT!

The werewolf bursts in and the Doctor climbs in front of the telescope and gurns in front of it. The sight of a gurning David Tennant blocking out the sun proves too much for the werewolf who vanishes in a puff of plot contrivance.

Queen Victoria stumbles in, bitten by the werewolf and sharing its deep abiding love of air guitar and mindless violence. Headbutting Rose, she creates the Touchwood Institute, an organization which will celebrate the spirit of the Sex Pistols forever more, defending Earth against the Reggae Horde... and maybe reverse engineering xenotech on slow weekends. She then banishes the Doctor and Rose forever, as they are clearly not nearly "high enough on the Syd and Nancy scale".

The Doctor sniffs sadly at the thought of being rejected by human monarchies, and warbles a heartbreaking rendition of "I Did It My Way."

He then pulls out a sawn-off shotgun and blows Queen Victoria's head off, and jumps up and down on the body shouting: "PUNK'S NOT DEAD, BUT IT'S CERTAINLY AGING FAST, TRYING TO DIE A DEATH THAT LIVES UP TO ITS PAST! BWA HAHAHAHAHAAHAH!"

Rose suggests that slaughtering the ruling monarch of the British Empire might have some kind of knock-on effect on history. The Doctor disagrees - it's not like there was a BUTTERFLY involved, is it?

He and Rose bounce off to the TARDIS making fun of royal families that won't exist and the Doctor shouting he bets all the other lame, ITV shows are probably sucking up to the Queen on her birthday while he will reveal the truth: she's a variable wavelength haemovarioform AND she stinks!

As the TARDIS takes off, we see it had landed on a butterfly that twitches in a pathetic "the end... or is it?" moment before dying.

"Continuity" by SkyHooks

More continuity
Right there on my TV
Right there on my CV
Right there, it ain't PC
Shockin' me right outa my brain

Touch Wood to get ya in
Get right under your skin
With Captain Jack? Remember him?
Oh yeah!

It tries to be a thriller
It fails to be a chiller
The dialogue's a killer
Oh yeah!

The plots are a-crashin
The CGIs are a-smashin
Morality takes a-bashin
Oh yeah!

The cast are a-shagging
The writers are a-bragging
The fans are a-gagging
Oh yeah!

You think it's just a spin-off
And written by people
More talented than you and me

Maybe you don't care
If the show gets a season
Why does it exist?
This story's the reason!

More continuity
Right there on my TV
Right there on my CV
Right there, it ain't PC
Shockin' me right outa my brain

The public's don't miss
Plot, content and this
Show is taking the piss
Oh Yeah!

They do a lotta swearing
It gets really wearing
Kids and adult aren't caring
Oh yeah!

More continuity
Right there on my TV
Right there on my CV
I ain't talking shit
People think Touch Wood
Is a successful hit!
People think Touch Wood

Is a successful hit!

Starring Dylan Moran as... Doctor Who...

An old script I hacked up back way back when I saw Black Books: The Grapes of Wrath and remembered a letter from Daniel O'Mahony suggesting his own candidate for the Ninth Doctor... I give no guarantee to its quality...


It is late at night, somewhere in Southern England. For a moment, all is quiet and still. Then, a strange noise is heard. It grows louder, and clouds begin to swirl across the sky, faster and faster. The clouds gather, smothering the sky as lightning crackles between them. Snow begins to fall over the station as the noise reaches a crescendo. The clouds swirl further – and suddenly the spinning TARDIS bursts free and spirals down through the air, to crash-land on platform two. The noise and lightning end, but the snow continues to fall. After a moment, the Doctor staggers out. Smoke wafts from the interior.

Doctor: [coughs] Any landing you can walk away from is a good one, I suppose. [coughs] Nik? Are you all right?

Nik staggers from the TARDIS, pulling the door closed.

Nik: [coughs] Better than your parking? I told you to make sure you programmed in the axial tilt!

Doctor: Oh, whine, whine, whine!

Nik: And the diurnal rotation! And the orbital parabola!

Doctor: Yes, yes, ‘one day you’ll land us in the sea’!

Nik: ‘Only if I want to swim!’ Honestly!

Doctor: Oh, come on. Let’s see where we are?

Nik: Earth again. Probably twentieth century. Can we go, now?

The Doctor moves towards the main entrance.

Doctor: No. We’ll let the old girl cool down before we try again. Besides, you can’t go round the universe, convinced you know where you are. Sooner or later, you’ll be wrong, and then where will you be?

Nik: Devastated, I suppose.

Doctor: No, WHERE will you be? You won’t know, will you? Come on.

Nik: [rubs arm] But it’s so cold out here?

Doctor: Ah, you’ll live. The youth of today, no moral fibre!


The snow is getting worse. The Doctor and Nik emerge from the station.

Nik: Where is everyone?

Doctor: Indoors, probably. There’s a storm coming. Besides, it’s quite late, according to that clock over there. [indicates] Still, there should be a pub open or something. Come on.

Nik: [teeth chatters] Are you sure about it?

Doctor: No, I’m never sure. Now come on!


A bright green speck of light appears in the depths of space, growing larger and closer. It is heading for Earth.


The trees and ground are now smothered in snow. The Doctor and Nik walk down the road. Nik now wears the Doctor’s jacket, not that the latter notices the weather.

Doctor:, you see, Strobilus was a compulsive liar about things like that, so it was obvious to Captain Yates about what to do. He dropped his gun, raised his hands, and then dear old Liz walked in. As you can imagine, the whole thing went to hell after that...

A strange roar, like static, can now be heard.

Nik: Doctor?

Doctor: Did I ever tell you about Liz? Not a patch on Sarah Jane...

Nik: Doctor?

Doctor: Yes, what is it, Paddywack?

Nik: That noise?

Doctor: What noise?

The roar gets louder and louder.

Nik: THAT noise.

Doctor: Well, what about it?

Nik: What is it?

Doctor: Oh, how should I know? Probably a train heading for the station or something. You learn to get use to it when you’re on a planet as noisy as this...

A sickly green glow is cast over the street, getting stronger and brighter as the noise increases.

Doctor: Ah.

Nik: What the hell is that?

Doctor: Something nasty – this way coming! Get down!

They dive for cover as a circular green glow pierces the thick storm clouds above them. Then, an enormous fireball – the source of the sickly green glow – rips through and hurtles over their heads. It flies past them, skimming over trees and houses. It is sparking, allowing green flame to cascade over the ground it passes.


Edmond, a middle-aged vicar, is getting ready to leave the deserted church. Then, the green glow fills the room and the static-like roar is heard. He looks up in shock.


The green fireball fills the sky as it hurtles towards the church.


A middle-aged woman runs to the window as the noise and light increase.

Agnes: Saints preserve us...


The fireball clips the church spire, tearing through it and hurtling towards the vicarage. Edmond runs from the church.

Edmond: AGNES!

The fireball strikes the vicarage and the building explodes spectacularly, leaving shattered rubble burning with eerie green fire. The shock wave floors Edmond, who stares at the green inferno, aghast.

Edmond: [sotto] Agnes?


The roar of the explosion settles to a sinister background buzz. The Doctor leaps to his feet as a cascade of burning green liquid splashes onto the road, debris from the fireball.

Doctor: Ach! Pastel colours! Gah!

He helps the dazed Nik to his feet. More liquid strikes the ground and there is a fantastic explosion. The Doctor and Nik are thrown to the ground again and, in the distance, there are more explosions.


Screams and howls can be heard as chaos reigns. Edmond stumbles across the yard towards the blazing vicarage, when some more debris combust, throwing him against a headstone. He cries out.


The Doctor moves into view, waving away some choking white mist. It clears to show some thin metallic residue on the ground. He bends down to examine them. Nik joins him.

Nik: [wheezes] Is it safe to touch them?

Doctor: No idea. But the reaction seems to have died off.

The Doctor produces a car aerial and prods the residue.

Doctor: That stuff wasn’t liquid – it was shavings from some kind of bulkhead. That fireball was a spacecraft or something. Probably out of control.

He picks up some of the powder and sniffs it.

Doctor: Varinium? It is! Pure Varinium...

Nik: [points] Doctor, look!

The Doctor looks up. A coiling surge of white smoke pours from the hulk of the church – damaged and lit by a green glow.

Doctor: That thing has crashed, all right.

Nik: And that residue has probably wiped out half the local population! Even the screams have stopped...

Doctor: Don’t be gruesome. Come on, let’s head to that church. See if they’re any survivors. We can use what’s left of that spire to check on the town. It might not be that bad. Come on...

They run down the road.


The dazed vicar staggers to his feet. Blood trickles down his face.

Edmond: Agnes? Agnes! I’m coming for you!

He staggers drunkenly towards the burning building.

Edmond: The Devil can’t stop me now, Agnes! I won’t give in!

The vicar staggers and then all but collapses. He peers myopically up at the broiling white smoke and green light. The static roar begins to pulse, getting louder and louder.

Edmond: [groggy] As I walk in the shadow of the valley of death...

The Doctor and Nik enter the yard, see the situation and run over to the stricken Edmond. They help him into a sitting position.

Doctor: Easy, easy now.

Nik: He’s had a nasty bang on his head.

Doctor: He’s luckier than the others.

Edmond blinks himself awake. Immediately, he struggles out of their grip and tries to stand up. Nik supports him.

Nik: Careful, mister.

Edmond: Agnes? Agnes, where are you?

Doctor: I’m the Doctor, that’s Nik. Who’s Agnes?

Edmond: My... my wife. She’s in the vicarage, I’ve got to save her!

He pushes them aside and runs down the hill towards the inferno. The Doctor grabs him and drags him back effortlessly.

Doctor: No, there’s been enough death already.

Edmond: No! Agnes! I can’t let the Devil get to her! I can’t!

Nik: Vicar, there’s no way she can have survived that explosion. Is there, Doctor?

Doctor: Nothing human, no.

Edmond: It is the Devil! He’s fighting us! We must have faith!

He tears free and runs down to the edge of the flames. Shapes begin to move within as the pulsing static begins to get louder and louder.

Edmond: Agnes? Is that you? Agnes!

A line of silver shapes emerges from the billowing flames.

Nik: What are they, Doctor?

Doctor: Nothing human, I fancy.

The silver shapes of the Daleks emerge, undamaged, from the writhing flames. They begin to glide up the hillside, guns unfolding. The Dalek Leader leads the advance. Edmond stares at them, awed.

Edmond: Satan and his demons...

The Dalek Leader fires twice – a blue glow slams the vicar against a gravestone. His blasted body collapses to the ground. The Daleks silently turn to face the Doctor and Nik.

Doctor: Get down!

Another salvo flies past them, triggering more explosions. The Doctor gets back up and runs for the church. Nik follows. The Daleks fire at them, destroying more parts of the churchyard. They continue to glide up the hill after their prey.


The Doctor and Nik slam the doors closed and begin to pile furniture over the door. The background static noise steadily gets louder.

Nik: Those things – they just killed him without blinking!

Doctor: And they’ll do the same to us if they catch us.

The Doctor turns around – and we see a shattered hulk looming out of the darkness, clearly a Dalek. They start, but the machine is inactive.

Doctor: Don’t panic, it’s quite dead.

Nik: How did that get in here?

Doctor: The hole in the roof. When the fireball struck, it must have been ripped apart. This hunk of metal crashed in here... The roof! Of course! We can get out through there!

Nik: You have got to be kidding me!

Doctor: Oh, I’m distinctly serious, Czar Nicholas! Now, unless you want to face our homicidal metal friends out there, you might as well try and help me out of –

There is the sound of the Dalek Leader firing again and the barricade is blown apart. Smoke wafts through the gap and the Daleks begin to emerge. The Doctor and Nik run for the various exits, but Daleks enter via these, blocking them at every turn. They are trapped.


The Dalek Leader glides forward. The other Daleks close in, forcing the time travelers to shuffle forward towards the Dalek Leader.


Doctor: Yes. That’s me. What, do you want an autograph?


Nik: Why?


Doctor: No chance! Why, you haven’t even said ‘please’, yet!


Nik: Earth has been attacked more times than you can count! Mankind has fought off everyone else – why should you win when the Bandrils, the Cybermen, the Yeti, the Ice Warriors couldn’t?


Another static-like howl is heard. The Doctor and Nik look up. Through the gaping hole in the roof, the sky is steadily blocked out by the underside of a vast ship, seemingly made of emerald light.

Nik: Ah.

Doctor: Yes, I think that about sums it up.



The gigantic ship hangs over the church. Already, similar ships are appearing in the sky and hurtling towards the ground. Suddenly, a beam of light snaps on, shining down through the hole in the church roof.


The eerie glow surrounds the Doctor, Nik and the Drones.

Nik: Um, how are we going to get out of this one, Doctor?

Doctor: Oh, I’ll think of something.


Doctor: If we’re lucky.

The glow intensifies and the group dissolve like smoke.


The beam snaps off.


The eerie glow fades to leave the wrecked Dalek alone and silent.


The ship turns and flies up off into the night, as thousands upon thousands of ships sweep through the sky.

To be continued...

...yeah, right...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Alixion Part Three!


The Doctor and the Abbot stand on a ledge, overlooking the arena.

Doctor: [moves forward] Obviously it’s a secretion of some kind, condensation of gases maybe?

The Abbot moves puts his foot out, tripping the Doctor. The Time Lord stumbles and plummets downwards, falling into the cavern below. The Doctor picks himself up off the ground and looks up at the Abbot on the ledge above him.

Doctor: [dusts himself off] Oh, it takes more than that to hurt me, Abbot! Just what exactly are you playing at?
Abbot: A game with high stakes, Doctor.

Doctor: And how high are they?

Abbot: Higher than you can comprehend. And you’re not playing any more. You’ve won the booby prize!

Doctor: Really? How very amusing!

A low chirruping sound becomes audible. The Doctor frowns and looks around the area he is in. there are various cave holes dotted in the walls. The noise is getting louder.

Abbot: You see, Doctor, this planet is inhabited, but not by human beings. I’m sure you’d like to meet the native creatures of Alixion – because they definitely want to meet you.

The chirruping reaches a crescendo, and a six-foot-long beetle emerges from the cave near the Doctor. Horned, with huge clawed hands and a slavering mouth full of thick, blunt yellow teeth. We see it’s POV as it closes in on the Doctor. The Time Lord inches away from the creature as it chirrups louder and scuttles towards him.

Abbot: Goodbye, Doctor.

The Doctor turns and breaks into a run. The beetle chirrups and roars as it scuttles after its prey. The Abbot laughs as the Doctor runs down the slope towards a cave exit. Just as he reaches it, another beetle emerges, waving its claws. The Doctor skids to a halt and turns to run back, but he is trapped.

Doctor: Ah... Hello! I’m the Doctor, how do you do?

The beetle pauses in its approach.

Doctor: As I thought... I would like to communicate with you? Can you understand me?

The Doctor is backing away slowly. The beetles are grouping together, watching him cautiously. The Abbot watches on frowning. The Doctor backs away slowly.

Doctor: You’re obviously hungry... Would you like a jelly baby?

The Doctor empties the jelly babies onto the ground and back away further. The leading beetle inches forward and starts to munch on the sweets, and then spits them out.

Doctor: [shrugs] Well, they are an acquired taste!

The Doctor turns and runs for the ledge. The beetles roar and then start to run, scuttling after him. The Abbot watches them, speechless with rage.

Abbot: What is wrong with you? Destroy him! Kill him!!

The Doctor has now clambered back onto the ledge. The Abbot grabs the Doctor and lifts him up into the air and shakes him violently. The Doctor slides out of his jacket and with a short series of blows, knocks the Abbot down onto the ledge.

Doctor: Excuse me...

The Doctor runs down the tunnel. The Abbot tries to follow, but a kick from the Doctor sends the old man sprawling. He falls backwards and into the open area. The beetles close in around him, jaws chomping. The Abbot hastily hauls out a medallion-sized heart-like shape that pumps. The beetles stop chirruping and back away. The Abbot sighs in relief.


The Doctor runs for his life down the passage and out of sight.


Michael continues to aim the blaster at Kate, who is sweating with fear. He grins at her discomfort.

Kate: [swallows] Well? What are you waiting for?

Michael: This and that. But you’re right, you’re right.

He prepares to fire when Gabriel leaps into view and strikes Michael over the back of his head with a staff. Michael collapses to the ground. Kate boggles, shocked.

Kate: Gabriel!

Gabriel: Shut up, Kate!

He runs forward and starts to untie her.

Kate: Gabriel, you saved me...

Gabriel: SHUT UP! My entire life has just gone to hell in a hand basket, all thanks to you! So – just – shut – up!

Kate nods. The monk unties her hands and they turn and run.


A barren rocky hole in the ground. Huge sacks are dumped around it. Kate and Gabriel run outside and collapse, panting.

Gabriel: Come on, let’s go!

Kate: How did you know I was here?

Gabriel: Instinct. I remembered you talking about it, and judging from your previous behaviour you were likely to be foolish enough to try and break in. And if your theory was right, then you were probably going to be tied to a chair and then executed.

Kate: Ah, thank god for smart clergymen.

Gabriel: Come on!

Gabriel grabs her and they run down a side tunnel and out of sight.


Some monks are setting up the area for the evening meal. Two of the monks Michael were with rise and head for the hallway.


The gates grind open, and the monks arrive. They see Michael sprawled on the floor and immediately runs over to him.

Archibald: Michael! Michael ore you all right?

Michael groans and the others help him up.

Michael: [woozy] The girl... got away...

Archibald: How?

Michael: She had help!

Timothy: The Doctor?

Michael: No, the Abbot’s dealing with him.

Timothy: Then it must be one of us?

Archibald: [sarcastic] Oh, you think, Brother Timothy?

Michael: But who is it? They attacked me from behind.

Archibald: And thanks to the Order of Koporahn we don’t know anything about who it could be.

Michael: There is one way of finding out.

Timothy: See is isn’t at dinner tonight?

Michael: [frowns] Yes. And even if they are there, the body language will give it all away to us. [grins] Heightened senses, remember?

Archibald: Which we won’t have if we don’t get the elixir ready for the evening meal. Come on, you two, let’s get to work.

The three monks start to make preparations, and start to pour the distilled liquid into the cauldron.


The cross-junction of two tunnels, with an extra one branching off. The Doctor runs down one corridor and looks around. He takes out, a double-headed coin, flips it, sighs, gives up and starts to walk down one tunnel. He stops, and chooses the tunnel next to it. Then, he changes his mind and heads into the first tunnel he chose. Immediately he runs into Kate and Gabriel.

Kate: Doctor!

Doctor: Kate! And Brother Gabriel, too!

Gabriel: We should keep moving.

Doctor: Why? What’s chasing you?

Gabriel: Nothing.

Doctor: Yet – I’ve met the native life form of Alixion. They’re responsible for the death of that poor monk.

Kate: But, Doctor, monks have been disappearing for months!

Doctor: Really?

A loud chirruping fills the air. They whirl around and see a beetle clambering through the tunnel towards them. they turn and start to run down the nearest tunnel and out of sight. Chirruping loudly, the beetles continue to follow them.


The Doctor runs into the cavern and looks around, interested. Gabriel and Kate enter. Chirruping noises can now be heard.

Doctor: Fascinating...

He opens a sack to reveal a strange mushy gunge. He scoops a handful.

Doctor: [peers at it] Very fascinating.

Kate: Come on, Doctor, let’s go!

Doctor: Kate?

Kate: Yes, Doctor?

Doctor: Do you know what this is?

Kate stares at him. The chirruping noises are much louder.

Kate: I don’t care what it is! We’ve got to get out of here before that bug reaches us! [pause] Well, come on.

Doctor: [waves sludge] This is what it’s all about! The elixir which increases the intelligence, the reason why things are like this!

Gabriel: Doctor! It’s coming.

Doctor: Right. Come on, you two.

The Doctor turns and starts to climb up the cavern wall, over the uneven rocks until he is over the doorway. He turns back to the others.

Doctor: Well, come on!

Kate: We don’t have a chance!

Doctor: So? Do it anyway!


The beetle reaches the end of the tunnel. It roars/chirps.


The Doctor is back on floor level. As the sounds of scuttling grow louder, he waves at the others to climb up the ledge. The beetle’s eyes glow in the darkness of the tunnel, and the Doctor runs behind some sacks. The beetle enters, sniffing the air.

Kate presses herself against the wall, looking down at the monster. Fortunately, it doesn’t look up, but merely scans the room. We see the beetle’s P.O.V., which picks out the sacks and the hole in the ground. Normal view: the beetle crawls down the shaft and out of sight. The Doctor sighs with relief and steps out of the shadows.

Doctor: Well, that was a near thing. Come on down, you two, be...

He breaks off as another pair of red eyes appears in the darkness. The Time Lord scrambles up the wall and joins the others just as the second beetle enters, followed by two more. They scan the place, sniffing around the area the Doctor was in. One of then chirps and runs down the hole. The other two stay, sniffing.


Archibald and Michael are carrying the cauldron of elixir up the steps and out of sight. Timothy closes the grating and then produces a blaster and starts to leave for the cavern. As he turns a corner he comes face to face with a beetle. It roars and Timothy manages to raise his gun before being cut down. His screams fill the air as the beetle leaps onto him and starts to bite and chew.


There are some short, muffled shouts from the hole. The beetles immediately whirl and scuttle down the hole. The Doctor sighs and creeps down the side of the wall. He looks out into the tunnel.

Doctor: It’s all clear. Come on, we’ve got to get back to the TARDIS as soon as possible.

Gabriel: [climbs down] Your space-craft?

Kate: [follows] Why there?

Doctor: If I’m right, those thing hunt by scent. That’s what’s led them here. And they’ll keep following us until their hunger is satisfied. The TARDIS is the only safe place.

The Doctor grabs the nearest sack and struggles to lift it. Gabriel moves to help. Kate eyes the hole, nervously.

Kate: What do you gained their attention?

Doctor: Some poor monk at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope they don’t pick up any fresh scents.

Gabriel: Or?

Doctor: The human population of Alixion will be reduced drastically. Come on, help. We need to analyze this stuff and see how the Abbot is getting it and how.

The Doctor and Gabriel carry the sack out. Kate eyes the hole again, and follows them out.


The trio head down the tunnel and turn out of sight. A few moments later, the Abbot strolls into view. The strange heart-like pendant throbbing. He smiles knowingly and moves on.


Everyone is eating their food silently. Archibald rises and, having finished his food, heads for the main hallway. Archibald catches Michael’s eye, then leaves.


Archibald heads down the steps towards the doors, and opens them. He wrinkles his nose at some foul odor, but enters anyway.


Archibald enters. The place has been wrecked, with machinery knocked over and elixir, in both states, spilled over the floor. Archibald boggles and heads for passage way leading outwards.

Archibald: [scared] Timmy? Tim? Timmy!

A shadow falls over him, and his eyes widen.

Archibald: [wretchedly] Oh no.

A beetle claw clamps around Archibald’s neck and he screams horribly. As he tries to get free, the beetle is drawn into the light. Another beetle leaps into view and grabs the first beetle. Archibald manages to get free and falls at the feet of a third beetle – which is munching on the bones of Timothy. It notices Archibald and growls.

Archibald: NO! No, no, no – ARRRGGGGHHHHHH!


Archibald’s screams rent the air. Immediately Michael and several other monks get to their feet and run towards the source of the noise. Other stop eating to see what happen. The remainder ignore it.


Michael and five other monks, male and female, run towards the archway. Immediately, a beetle jumps out and lands onto the nearest monk, dragging him to the ground. As the doomed monks screams hysterically, the beetle scans the other terrified clergy in its P.O.V.: Michael turns and runs for it.


The remaining three beetles scuttle towards the noise. The last one is still gnawing on the bloody remains of Archibald, but after munching on the skull for a few moments, follows.


The Doctor and Gabriel are dragging the sack towards a tunnel. Kate follows. The air is thick with beetle chirruping, which randomly grows louder and softer.

Gabriel: Nearly there, Doctor.

Doctor: Good, good. Any sign of the beetles yet, Kate?

Kate: No. [hysterical] Oh, they’re bound to have worked out where we are by now! They’re just going to get us!

Doctor: Kate!

Kate: [stops] What?

Doctor: Shut up. [hands her key] Go and unlock the TARDIS doors.

Kate nods and heads for a tunnel. Immediately, a beetle emerges from it and grabs her arm in its claws she screams and drops the key. The Doctor takes hold of the sack as Gabriel runs and frees her from the claws, only to be caught himself.

Kate: Doctor! Do something!

Doctor: Oh, all right.

The Doctor strolls forward and flicks the beetle on the ‘nose’. It stops its roaring and stares at the Time Lord as if stunned.

Doctor: [softly] Right you two. When I saw run, run.

The monster stares at the Doctor, who returns his gaze. The beetle’s grip slowly slackens on the others, who gently pull themselves free. The Doctor continues to stare at the monster.

Doctor: Run.

Gabriel and Kate turns and start to run for their lives across the cavern. The beetle suddenly roars, and the Doctor ducks out of the way as the monster rushes after them. The Doctor scoops up the sack and runs into the tunnel.


The Doctor reaches the TARDIS, dumps the sack and then snatches the key. He unlocks the doors and throws the sack inside. He turns and shouts down the tunnel.

Doctor: Come on, you two!


The beetle is closing in on Gabriel, who is trapped against the rock. Kate sees this and starts throwing rocks at the creature. the beetle roars and turns to face Kate, and Gabriel escapes. Jenny reaches the tunnel before the beetle reaches her.


The Doctor ushers Gabriel and Kate inside the police box. He enters and slams the doors before the beetle can reach the TARDIS.


The Doctor flips the control and the doors slide closed. They all sigh and relax. Gabriel looks around, amazed.

Doctor: Well, we’re safe for the moment. Now, to see what this magical elixir is?

He crosses to the sack and opens it.


Michael and two other monks race for the exit hallway. Meanwhile, a giant beetle is buzzing in the air above the dining table, carrying a screaming female monk. It starts to eat her. Another monk runs behind a heavy tapestry and hides. He is lit by a red glow. He turns and looks up – a giant beetle is on the wall, looking down at him. It roars.


Two monks are hiding behind a statuette as a beetle munches on several hapless humans. It roars angrily.

Tabon: [sotto] We’re dead meat.

Delbane: [sotto] If we can get past that thing and out of the church, we have a chance.

Tabon: [sotto] No, we won’t make it.

Delbane ignores him and sprints for the end of the hallway. She manages to avoid the beetle, which only makes a token attempt to grab her before returning to eating its meal.


Delbane just manages to leave the hallway, but she is immediately scooped up by another flying beetle. She struggles and kicks, but the monster is soon chomping into her.


Another monk is cut down before he reaches the doorway, and his companion manages to haul open the doors – only to be faced by another ferocious beetle drooling fluid. It lunges forward and in one bite manages to close over the top half of the monk.


Tabon continues to hide behind the statuette. The beetle finishes with the monk and wanders off. Tabon sighs with relief and scrambles to his feet and runs for the safety of the Abbot’s quarters. He tries the door, but it is locked. He wails and then whirls around as he senses something behind him. It is the Abbot.

Tabon: Abbot! Abbot, you’ve got to help us!

The Abbot shrugs, grabs the monk and hurls him to the floor. Tabon grunts with pain as the doors open and the Abbot enters. Tabon struggles to reach cover. Suddenly, a beetle claw clamps itself around Tabon’s leg and the monk is hauled into darkness, screaming.


The Abbot listens to the screams and grins broadly.


The Doctor has set up a table beside the console. On it are various scientific equipment. A dollop of mush has been feed into various sensors. The Doctor checks over the displays and then crosses to the console. Gabriel has changed into some twentieth-century clothing.

Doctor: Ah, feeling better?

Gabriel: Yes, it’s good to be back in proper clothing.

Doctor: I know. It’s hard to break the habit, isn’t it?

Kate: [sighs] Oh, bad one, Doctor.

Doctor: [grins] Possibly. Now, let’s see what the computer have come up with on this wonderful chemical, eh?

He flips switches on the console and the scanner shows numerous images of the substance in various lights and colours. Then, the image changes to a molecular make up and a bar graph.

Kate: What is it saying?

Gabriel: It’s not pure.

Kate: Oh.

Doctor: No, it isn’t, is it? You can see why they have to filter it and then ferment it into the elixir? This is definitely a waste excretion from some kind of animal.

Kate: [winces] Waste?

Doctor: Yes, sweat or some other thing. Probably from the beetles – after all, what other life is here?

Gabriel: But what does this have to do with the Order of Koporahn?

Doctor: That is what I’m trying to discover. Haven’t you ever wondered where all the monks have been disappearing to? These beetles could storm your little church and eat everyone in it in no time, but they allow you to wonder around quite happily nine times out of ten.

Gabriel: This is interesting, Doctor, but why should the beetles be special? Their waste creates the elixir, but that is all.

Doctor: Then why doesn’t the Abbot just capture a beetle and use it as a never ending supply? No I feel that there is something very special about this. Let’s try the Boray band sweep.

He flips more switches and a shimmering display of grey-light light surges and froths on the screen.

Doctor: That’s odd.

Kate: What?

Doctor: That pattern... It’s like some kind of pattern... Of course, an RNA pattern! That’s it, of course, that’s why the Abbot set up the Order and why he made sure of the rules!

Gabriel: What are you talking about?

Doctor: The elixir is created by the beetles once they’ve eaten a human brain! The RNA patterns are absorbed by the creature and flushed out as waste matter. The Abbot then makes the RNA patterns edible and those patterns are then imprinted on the monks!

Kate: What are RNA patterns, anyway?

Doctor: Oh, a kind of chemical transcript of a thought. Don’t you see, Kate, he’s trying to perfect a serum for total intelligence? The smarter the person, the more intelligent the elixir makes you. He sends a smart person out there, turns him into elixir, and gives to another smart person. The smart person becomes even smarter, is turned into elixir and so on.

Gabriel: And he set up the religion to attract the brightest people for a constant supply. And the rules of the order made sure no suspicions were raised.

Doctor: Yes, and I think I know what that Abbot is up to.

Kate: Well, what do we do now?

Doctor: We check up on the monastery. Besides, we’d better make sure that those beetles haven’t turned up. If they have, well... Come on, you two.

He opens the doors and leaves. Kate and Gabriel follow.


The Doctor strides into the cavern, and heads for the exit passage. Before he can, however, Gabriel grabs him and drags him undercover. Seconds later, a beetle scuttles down the exit passage and crosses the cavern. It looks around, chitters and roars. Kate emerges into the cavern, and stops dead at the sight of the beetle. It roars again. The Doctor leaps out of the shadows.

Doctor: Hello, there! Could I interest you in a brand new lower intestine, sir or madam?

The beetle rounds on the Doctor, looking almost confused.

Doctor: [eyes fixed on the beetle] Kate! Run!

Kate does so. The beetle tries to keep track of her, but the Doctor leaps in front of it – and we see its P.O.V as the Doctor’s grinning face fills the view. Back in normal vision, Kate runs to Gabriel.

Kate: We can’t leave him!

Gabriel: Well, I’m going to try! Come on!

Gabriel runs down the exit passage. Kate hesitates.

Doctor: Go on, Kate! Go!

Kate finally turns and leaves. The Doctor continues to concentrate on the beetle. Slowly, it seems to be relaxing.

Doctor: Yes, that’s it. You’re hungry, aren’t you? You poor thing – you must be at the edge of starvation. But, since you’ve come from the monastery, I think you might have had a good meal. Now, I’d like to talk to your leader. Would that be all right?

The beetle nods. The Doctor grins.


The monastery stands dark, and silent. Gabriel and Kate run up to the doors, looking around. He moves to bang on the door, but stops.

Kate: What is it?

Gabriel: These doors. They’re usually locked. [sotto] Be careful.

Gabriel gently pushes open the doors and steps inside. Gingerly, Kate follows. Once they are out of sight, a shadow falls over the doors.


Blood is splashed over the walls, and bone-like remains litter the floor, Gabriel and Kate cover their mouths, eyes wide at the horror before them.

Kate: The beetles... they must have got here first...

Gabriel nods dumbly and they move onwards.


Utter chaos. A small fire is burning in the corner. Mutilated bodies are dumped here and there. The duo enter, staring around in horror.

Gabriel: They must have broken in through the distillation section.

Kate: Do you... do you think anyone got out?

Gabriel: It doesn’t look like it.

Kate: Come on, let’s see if the abbot’s still alive.

Together they head for the main hallway.


More blood and bones. Gabriel sees the slaughter on the stairs.

Gabriel: [wheezing slightly] Keep going, Kate.

Kate: [coughs] What is it?

Gabriel: Something you don’t want to see.

Kate nods and keeps going up to the doors. Both are breathing heavily now. Kate stumbles, but Gabriel catches her.

Gabriel: Are you all... alright?

Kate: It... it’s just... difficult to breathe...

Gabriel: [nods] Some... things... taken away... the... oxygen...

Kate collapses to the floor. Gabriel tries to help her, but slumps against the door to the abbot’s room. He slides down the wall and slumps, unconscious. The door opens to reveal the Abbot. He stares down at the two lifeless bodies and grins.


The Doctor is herded down a tunnel by the beetle.

Doctor: Interesting. Do you know how long before we get there?

The beetle chirrups.

Doctor: That long, eh?

The beetle indicates that he head into a cavern.


The Doctor enters the cavern, where two more beetles are waiting. They roar and try to get him, but the Doctor’s beetle chirps, hisses and roars. The beetles freeze and back away. The Doctor grins.

Doctor: Shall we go?

The entourage moves up another tunnel.


Kate and Gabriel are tied to chairs, back to back. They are both unconscious. Michael and several other monks are carrying clear bottles (the type used in water coolers) through an airlock and out of sight. The Abbot watches them for a moment, and then crosses to Kate. He takes out a small vial from his robes and empties some of the contents down Kate’s throat. Immediately, she starts to cough and splutter. The Abbot smiles and repeats the treatment with Gabriel.

Kate: [groggy] Oh... Where am I?

Abbot: Welcome back from the abyss, Tollinger.

Kate: [peers at him] Oh, it’s you. You survived then?

Abbot: Evidently.

Kate: Did anyone else make it?

Abbot: Save a few helpers, no.

Gabriel groans.

Abbot: Ah, the treacherous Brother Gabriel awakes.

Kate: If anyone’s a traitor around here, it’s you, "abbot"!

Gabriel: Kate? [sighs] What happened?

Abbot: Oh, just one of many little tricks and booby-traps fitted into the church. In this case, it was a force-field placed around you two. The air was drained from around you, and well... here you are.

Gabriel: What are you going to do to us, Abbot?

Abbot: Bad things, Brother Gabriel. Terrible things.

He grins at them.

Abbot: Now – where is the Doctor?!


The beetles and the Doctor stand on the shelf overlooking the area.

Doctor: [to beetle] Where to now?

The beetle chirrups and starts to climb down onto the arena. The Doctor follows, and climbs down. He slips and nearly falls, but the beetle above him grabs hold of his arm, supporting him.

Doctor: Ah! Thank you.

The Doctor’s beetle spreads its wings and flies up. The other beetles releases the Doctor and he falls onto his beetle. The Doctor’s beetle flies down to the ground and the Doctor disembarks.

Doctor: Thank you, again. Which way, now?

The beetle leads the way to a hole in the rocks and indicates the Doctor enters. The other beetles make hungry noises, but the Doctor’s beetle snaps at them in its own language.


The Doctor creeps down the passage. The beetles warily follow.


A large cavern, but there is a huge, slime-like web across one wall. The membranes and thick and translucent, and something can be seen inside. The web gives off a faint glow. Beetles with a slightly darker colour of carapace are patrolling the web. The Doctor and his beetles enter. The Doctor looks around in awe.

Doctor: Of course. This planetoid is a hive for your species.

The Doctor’s beetle chitters and nudges him forward. The Time Lord heads for a slime tube leading up to the web. Immediately, a darker-beetle leaps in front of him and roars.

Doctor: I am the Doctor, President-elect of the High Council of Time Lords. I call upon your leader to grant me an audience to resolve the situation your Hive has been dragged into.

The beetle-warrior chirps and studies the Doctor. Then, it moves aide. The Doctor takes a deep breath and, after giving a wave of farewell to his beetle, heads up to the tube.

42. HIVE

The Doctor emerges from the tube to face a blinding curtain of light.

Doctor: Ah. Am I glad to see you.


Michael and his fellow monks emerge from the airlock. The Abbot is staring at the captive Kate and Gabriel.

Abbot: I ask for the last time. Where is the Doctor?

Kate remains silent. Michael glares at the Abbot, but remains silent.

Abbot: A stubborn pair. I will kill you, if I have to. [sotto] But, if I threaten to kill you and I don’t, it weakens my position. On the other hand, if I kill one of you, it will only strengthen the resolve of the survivor. [grins] An interesting problem, don’t you think? And of course, the best way to deal with a problem is to use a random factor to examine it more closely.

He pulls out a small, compact blaster and fires it at one of the monks. A loud, ethereal pulsing noise fills the air. It grows louder, and the air around the monk turns red. The monk blackens to a silhouette in the glow, and collapses. The glow and noise fade away.

Abbot: Now, unless you want more people to die, I must ask you to give me the information I require.

Kate spits at him. The Abbot grins and aims at her head. Her resolve crumples and her eyes moisten. Continuing to smile, the Abbot fires at the other monk. There is the same effect, and the monk drops dead to the floor. Michael swallows, stunned.

44. HIVE

As before.

Queen: [VO] WHO ARE YOU?

Doctor: I am the Doctor, a visitor to your world.


Doctor: I am attempting to restore life to its proper course, not interfere. This planet was once lush and fertile. What happened to it?


Doctor: I told you. I’m repairing the damage someone else has done. He calls himself the Abbot. What has he done? Did he interfere?


Doctor: Those food animals are his own kind! Living, breathing, feeling people! They have as much right to live as you do!


Doctor: And you don’t care that your food animals have conquered half the galaxy? I understand this is difficult, but your animals – the ones you ate before – were they sentient? Did they build cities and fight wars and create art?

There is silence.

Doctor: Well?

Queen: [VO] NO.

Doctor: All right. You want food? You’ll get it – on one condition.

There is silence.



As before.

Abbot: No answers? Well, maybe this will gain some reaction.

The Abbot crosses to a wall and presses a button. A segment of wall slides forward and adjusts at an angle so you can lean against it. A large section of floor slides back and a large console rises out of the floor. It is a massive glass dome, surrounded by a ring of controls and filled with spinning vanes. The centrepiece is a large, jagged crystal.

Gabriel: What are you doing?

Abbot: If you will not tell me the truth, I will... deduct it from you. When the elixir is allowed to solidify, they become Mnemonic crystals, a method of retrieving fading memories and storing new ones. I have... adapted the methods so that it drains the mind from the subject completely. The intelligence, personality, the mind itself is transferred to a computer disk which I can study at my leisure.

Michael takes Gabriel and braces him against the upright bench, and clamps close around the monk’s body, holding there. The Abbot starts busying himself around the console. The device powers up, the vanes start to spin.

Abbot: I call it ‘the Mind Rapist’. If you do not answer me, I will start the process. Now.

Kate: No, you can’t do that! It’s inhuman!

Abbot: What a shame. You have five seconds.

Gabriel: NO!

Abbot: Three seconds.

Michael: Abbot, you can’t be serious.

Abbot: Time’s up.

The Abbot moves to activate the control.

Kate: We don’t know! We don’t know where he is!

Abbot: [about to press control] Really?

Gabriel: Yes, really. He distracted a beetle, and we don’t know where he is now! Just... please, just don’t press that button.

The Abbot shrugs... then presses the button. Gabriel screams in pain as images wash through the strut of crystal. His back arches and he is suddenly still. The crystal grows brighter and brighter, and there is the sound of devices powering up. At the last moment, Michael leaps at the Abbot and smashes him away from the control. The Abbot’s gun comes free and clatters onto the floor.

Abbot: [punches him] It’s a bit late to acquire morals, Mike!

Michael: It’s never too late!

As the two clerics fight, Kate manages to grip the gun between her feet. She manages to aim it the Abbot and fires it. The air turns red and there is an explosion. In shock, Kate drops her gun. The Abbot shimmers in and out of existence, turning completely white, then black, and then white, as if being slowly torn apart. In an instant, the Abbot completely disappears.

Abbot: No!

Michael: [stunned] Did you mean for that to happen?

Kate: [stares] Of course... not.


The Doctor and several beetles are heading for the church.

Doctor: Did I ever tell you about the time I went to Cambridge University? [beetle chirps] Yes. [beetle chirrups] Terribly nice place. [more chirps] Yes, but then again, the Earth is generally a terribly nice place. [a belch] It’s nice. Like Paris. Quite nice. [chirp] Another pretty little place on Earth. [beetle chirrups] Yes. Yes, Earth again. What’s wrong with Earth? Hmm? [chirps] What’s Paris like? Very much like Cambridge. [more chirps] What’s Cambridge like? Oh, nice. Very nice. Like Paris.

He opens the doors to the monastery and enters. The Doctor’s beetle follows him inside.


The Doctor and the beetle enter.

Doctor: Oh dear. Dear, dear, dear.

The beetle makes ‘sorry’ noises.

Doctor: You weren’t to know. Come on.

The Doctor heads for the hallway.


Michael is untying Kate.

Kate: Why did you do it, Michael?

Michael: Look, mate, I had no idea he was feeding people to those beetles. All I knew was that they made the elixir. And I had nothing to do with that beetle attack.

Kate: How did you escape?

Michael produces an organ-like pendant like the one the Abbot used.

Michael: We were all given one of these. It makes the beetles think you’re one of them. Look, I couldn’t save them but I could save those people in there.

Kate: Yeah. Right. Look, this isn’t getting us anywhere. Let’s see where the Doctor is.


The Doctor, looking rather unwell, drinks from a ladle of elixir. He swallows it, belches, and drops the ladle inside the now-empty cauldron. Jenny and Gabriel.

Kate: Doctor!

Doctor: [weakly] Ah, Kate, there you are!

Kate notices the beetle and retreats.

Kate: Doctor! Run!

Doctor: Don’t worry, Kate, he’s on our side. [to beetle] Go back to the queen and tell her everything is in order. We’ll be off shortly.

The beetle chirps and scuttles off.

Doctor: I’ve had a talk with the beetle queen. We’ve got two weeks to leave Alixion and have no more human existence here. But, er, you do have to supply them with some cattle for the next 500 years.

Kate: What?

Doctor: They have to eat something, Kate. Our Abbot made sure there was nothing else to eat here apart from people. Where is he, anyway?

Michael: Oh, he... he just vanished.

Doctor: Yes, well, he wasn’t real in the first place. Hologram.

Kate: How could you tell?

The Doctor taps his nose. The Abbot steps out of the shadows, now wearing a business suit and is clean-shaven. The Doctor pales.

Doctor: [sotto] Kate, listen to me. Don’t let him near you. When I say run –

Manager: You’ll be dead if you move.

Doctor: Ah, there you are. Been enjoying yourself?

Manager: Immensely.

Doctor: How did you discover time travel?

Manager: By the Order of Kaporahn, of course. But the theories have rarely worked. I’ve barely been able to stay in another timezone for more than a few days. That is why I decided to lure you here.

Kate: Who are you, anyway?

Manager: I am the Manager, Kate Tollinger. And I am responsible for your very existence.

Kate: Oh, really?

Doctor: He’s telling the truth, Kate. He’s been tampering with history. He created chaos in the future, around the Federation’s contact with the Metatraxi. He then caused the Martian situation which led to Jarga fleeing to Earth.

Manager: Yes, and when you followed and pushed history back on course, you delivered young Kate here. In the original course of events, she died. Her mother miscarried while her father was out.

Doctor: All for one reason – to lure me here.

Manager: Of course, Doctor. You are the only possible hope I have for mastering the powers to travel through time and space.

Doctor: How many other people’s life have you influenced, Manager? Your scheming has destroyed planets, created dictatorships and who knows how much else – and those are just the ones I know about. You sit here, cracking jokes and sipping cocktails, manipulating everyone here just because you like it!

The Manager listens to this, nodding agreeably.

Doctor: You’re a foul excuse for existence, Manager, and I will bring you down. Whatever it takes, whatever the cost, I will bring you down. It ends here.

Manager: Well, you’ve got that right, Doctor. Your actions have been quite diverting. Especially your determination to get me at all costs. You didn’t even try to save the monks here. In fact, he caused their deaths.

Kate: How?

Manager: The beetles hunt by scent and will hunt until they get a kill. He managed to escape, and so the beetles came here, searching for the Doctor. They didn’t find him, but they found other food. [smiles cruelly] Need I go on?

Doctor: [sighs] No. You can’t escape the consequences of your actions by refusing to act. And you’ve been doing that all along.

Manager: Really? I use other people. Like you do.

Doctor: [angry] Shut up!

Manager: Well, Doctor, you have cleaned up the situation here on Alixion quite well. I do so hate leaving loose threads everywhere. Now, I am going to leave, and you, Doctor are going to give me your mind.

Doctor: Never! It wouldn’t be fair.

Manager: I’m sorry, are you used to living in a fair universe? I’d no idea. You must show it to me some time. Oh, Doctor, you have gone down hill. Whatever happened to the man who destroyed whole species for the greater good? He would never have let me got this far.

Doctor: I am not going to be made jealous of myself, Manager. It’s absurd.

Manager: So is travelling through time and space in a police box.

The Manager turns and guns down Michael. Kate backs away in horror.

Manager: Oh dear. Look what I’ve done.

The Manager takes aim at Kate.

Manager: If you want me to let her live, give up, now.

The Doctor stares at him for a long moment.

Doctor: No. I’m not going to be like you.

He sighs and raises his hands.

Doctor: [smiles] I win Manager.

Manager: So you do. Fancy that.

The Manager blasts the Doctor, who crumples to the floor. Kate turns and runs for it. The Manager laughs, and the doors slam shut.


Kate stops as the doors close. She turns and bangs on them angrily. Then, she pulls out her tools and starts to attack the lock.


The Doctor is now straightjacketed. The Manager presses him up against the desk and secures him to it, then starts flipping switches on the control console.

Doctor: [groggily] Oh, no. [sighs] I can’t die here, 945 years in the business. It would be too undignified – I’d never hear the end of it.

Manager: I need your knowledge.

Doctor: I need it, too!

Manager: True. [sets controls] This is going to be the beginnings of the greatest empire the cosmos has ever seen. Judging from what I have concluded about your TARDIS from our periodic encounters, I can adjust any spacecraft of present design to travel with time and space by fitting a relative dimensional stabilizer to it. Goodbye.

The Manager gives a predatory smiles and starts the process.

Doctor: [desperate scream] If anybody’s thinking of rescuing me – I suggest THEY GET THEIR SKATES ON!

It powers up, internal components spinning and gyrates. The crystals pulse with light. The Doctor is wracked in pain. Images of the previous few adventures wash over the surface of the crystal. The Manager laughs. The Doctor’s head slumps back against the bench as the humming increases. On the floor, Michael slowly lifts his head. He is alive, but badly wounded.


Kate listens to the events happening and continues on the lock.


The Doctor lies against the table, staring blankly ahead. The jagged crystal shows a shimmering array of images, mostly of the Doctor. As the Manager watches, images of other Doctors and the TARDIS start to appear. The process completes itself and a computer disc emerges from the machine. The Manager pockets it, and releases the Doctor, who flops lifeless onto the floor. Meanwhile, Michael slowly picks himself up, and sees the Manager’s gun, which has been abandoned on the table. Michael smiles weakly.


The Manager dumps the Doctor’s lifeless form in the corner and leaves. The door slides shut. We see the Doctor isn’t breathing.


Michael steps into the airlock as the Manager, oblivious, presses a few buttons on the console. The doors open and Kate bursts in. She skids to a halt as she realizes the Doctor is no longer present.

Kate: Doctor! Doctor!

Manager: Too late, my dear. The Doctor is finished. Forever!

Kate: What have you done?

Manager: [pats Mind Rapist] I told you This could extract the mind from a living being. I must say, I’m surprised the Doctor allowed himself to be destroyed by this thing.

Kate: Destroyed? The Doctor’s dead?

Manager: [laughs] Merely brain dead. His mind has been wiped clean.

Kate: But he’ll be all right?

Manager: No. He will remain mindless, for the rest of his life. If you don’t feed him, that shouldn’t be more than a few weeks.

He enters his ship, and the wall closes over the entrance. Kate turns and rushes over to the cell.


A large segment of rock slides back on the surface of Alixion. We see the complex, cylindrical craft zoom away.


The Manager sits in an ornate, wooden chair with an oak keyboard attached. He laughs merrily and types out at the keyboard. Hieroglyphics wash over a screen ahead of him.

Manager: [laughs] Wake up, universe! It’s time to meet your god!

He starts to operate controls.


A familiar wheezing groaning sound is heard as the craft fades, reappears, fades and starts to reappear.


Michael stands in the airlock, gasping for air. He brings the blaster down heavily on the coolant pipes opposite him and gas starts to emerge. Coughing, Michael groggily raises the blaster, and fires.


An explosion blossoms from the side of the Manager’s ship. The craft seems to explode and then is swallowed up with a final howl. We dissolve to the following shot:


Kate stops attacking the lock as she notices the abandoned sketch pad she and the Doctor used to communicate earlier. She flips to the last page. We hear the Doctor narrate:

Doctor: [VO] Kate. If you're reading this then there is a good chance that I lost the game and the Manager won. I'm not sure what's going to happen but I have a shrewd idea or two, and the Queen suggested he might have some kind of device that destroys mental energy. Now, if it works on the Skaagra-Caldera principle, it must works by completely copying every last though in your head, copying it, and destroying the original. But, it only expects there to be so much data in any one brain. All you have to do is make sure you have more thoughts than it expects you to, and you’re fine. Which is why I'm going to drink as much of this cauldron of beetle juice. If I'm lucky, he won't steal my brain, just the excess intelligence generated by the elixir. If it's worked, sorry in advance for the scares, but then the Manager might have found out and just zapped me again. I know my amazingly complex and intricate plans astound and amaze you, but we have an appointment on the other side of the universe. But if it hasn't worked, well... I have faith in you Kate. Don't grieve for me.

Kate drops the book and attacks the lock of the confinement cell with more energy. After a few seconds, the metal door slides away, revealing the grey cell and the lifeless shape of the Doctor inside.

Kate: Doctor!

Kate scrambles over to his body and feel at his neck.

Kate: Oh, Doctor... played for and lost.

She tries some primitive CPR on the Doctor before sighing and dragging him out of the cell. The Doctor’s hat is left behind in the cell.


Kate reaches the police box, and searches the Doctor’s trouser pockets for several seconds before producing the key. She unlocks the door and opens both doors. She drags the Doctor inside.


Kate releases her grip on the Doctor once they are inside. She studies his still features for a moment, sighs, and crosses to the console. She closes the doors, and hurries back to the Doctor. She closes his staring eyes. She get up and crosses over to the console. The instruments inside the time rotor start to piston up and down. Kate lowered he head, her face in her hands. The music swells.


The TARDIS’s lamp starts to flash. The police box glows a bright blue that ripples and distorts before fading away. We pull out from the tunnel.


We can still hear the noise. The asteroid grows smaller and smaller. The TARDIS spins away, entering the swirling lights of the vortex. It tumbles and pitches through the maelstrom. We zoom in and mix to:


Kate lifts her head and looks down to the Doctor. Her eyes widen. The little body is bathed in a strange shimmering glow.

Kate: Holey moley.

The glow fades to reveal a larger, younger man with longer hair lying on the floor. He cracks open his eyes.

New Doctor: Not again.

Doctor Who will return in Back from the Dead

The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Kate Tollinger Julia Sawahla
The Abbot/The Manager Bob Monkhouse
The Queen Virginia Hey
Michael Mark Anton
Gabriel Alan Butler
and introducing Neil Pearson as The New Doctor