edited by Mark Stammers
and Stephen James Walker
TEN STORIES - SEVEN DOCTORS - NO FIXED ABODE
Imaginatively entitled DECALOG 2, this is the second collection of Doctor Who short fiction. And this time the theme is the Doctor's home - inasmuch as a peripatetic Time Lord can be said to have a home.
As before, the editors have gathered a galaxy of star writers to illuminate the theme. Many of the contributors will be well known to readers of the New Adventures and the Missing Adventures series of novels: Daniel Blythe, Paul Cornell, Andy Lane, David McIntee and Gareth Robertrs are prolific Doctor Who authors. And as before this volume also includes contributions from new writers.
In these stories, among many other unexpected occurrences, the Doctor meets a pretender to the English throne, Nyssa meets a ghost, Zoe gets lost in time, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is dismissed from UNIT, and K-9 is in electrifying form. And the Kandyman is on Tara in a verse play in iambic pentameters.
'Vortex of Fear'
by Gareth Roberts
After the TARDIS narrowly misses colliding with a hotel floating in the space-time vortex, the time travellers arrive on board and explore. Zoe finds that the rooms change around her, and hears herself crying out for help minutes before she actually does so; she finds a dead body, but then when she sees the murder about to take place, stops it. The Doctor and Jamie discover that the occupants of the hotel were spending a year suspended in the vortex for tax purposes; unfortunately, a business rival sabotaged the force fields that protect them from the ravages of the time winds, and the occupants are now mere ghosts. There is nothing the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe can do, but when they leave, realise that their own 'ghosts' will also be stuck in the hotel forever too.
*Featuring the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe
*Zoe recalls meeting Ice Warriors, so this occurs after 'The Seeds of Death'
by Tim Robins
Whilst fishing in the canals on Mars, the Doctor and Leela discover that the planet's terraforming has been sabotaged by a genetically constructed 'red bloom', and they attempt to warn the Ares Corporation of the potential disaster. After being caught up in a terrorist attack, the Doctor is accused of leading Crimson Dawn, a fanatical ecoterrorist offshoot of Redpeace, who wish to return Mars to its rightful owners, the Ice Warriors. The president of the Ares Corporation is an octopoid creature called the Last Martian, which was grown from a frozen embryo that was found in the Martian permafrost. After the Doctor discovers that the president is actually a genetic construct, the Last Martian is furious and kills its creator, managing director Paul Ares. However, the creature is destroyed by the red bloom, and after the Crimson Dawn is revealed to be a front for the Ares Corporation to discredit Redpeace, the Doctor awakens a new population of Ice Warriors cryogenically frozen inside the moon Phobos.
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor, Leela and K-9
'Where the Heart Is'
by Andy Lane
UNIT's funding is suspended by cost cutting government bureaucrats, and its duties are given to the Royal Navy. The Doctor investigates the disappearance of a number of important Cabinet ministers, and discovers that the alien Dr Dantalion, who is making a study of human physiology, has dissected them in his country manor. Dantalion claims that his planet's laws justified the murders, as he intends to make use of his work to provide the human race with medical attention, thereby saving countless lives. When Rear-Admiral Zecca takes custody of Dantalion, intending to torture him to discover the 'truth' about an alien invasion, the Doctor is forced to ask the Time Lords for help. They allow him to use the TARDIS to rescue Dantalion from his Navy guards, and in return Dantalion gives the Doctor his manor, before leaving Earth. The Doctor gives the manor to UNIT as a headquarters, and, after the Navy's bungling of the case, Jo Grant's uncle uses his influence to restore its funding for at least another five years.
*Featuring the Third Doctor, Jo and UNIT
*This new headquarters helps explain the new laboratory the Doctor has from 'The Mutants' onwards
'The Trials of Tara'
by Paul Cornell
Returning to the planet Tara to visit old friends, the Doctor hears that King Reynart vanished months ago, and that, under Taran law, Queen Strella must again marry. In order to discourage the evil Count Grendel, she has set a series of perilous tasks for her competing suitors, and the Doctor and Benny (who is now disguised as a man) are forced to take part in the contests. Benny meets Oberon, the king of Tara's android rejects, who has been forced to help Grendel, who holds his wife, Titania, hostage. When the Doctor discovers that one of the suitors, Prince Augmentio, is an android constructed by Grendel, he reprograms it and sends it to rescue Titania. Meanwhile, the Kandyman of Terra Alpha crash lands on the planet, and is conscripted into Grendel's army; the troops attack the castle, and the Kandyman kidnaps Strella. Reynart was trapped in a temporal prison created by three witches working for Grendal, but was freed by the arrival of the TARDIS; he returns just the Kandyman attempts to kill Streela. Grendel's technicians deactivate the Kandyman, and Grendel escapes to fight another day...
*Featuring the Seventh Doctor and Benny
by David A. McIntee
Sarah, K-9, and Mike Yates accompany some graduate students and the rich Count Marius Castillo on a visit to a haunted house. Ghostly visitations appear, and K-9 is sabotaged. One of the students attempts to repair him, but is murdered, shrunken to the size of a doll. The Count is actually the Master, who reveals that the house is built over a time fissure, and is owned by the Doctor. The approach of the TARDIS is conducting artron energy through the water and pipes of the house, causing time distortion, and the Master has set a trap by installing a device that will release the energy from the time fissure and destroy the TARDIS at the moment of its arrival. Yates restores K-9, who destroys the Master's time vector filter, forcing him to abandon his plans and flee.
*Featuring Sarah, K-9 and Mike Yates
'The Nine-Day Queen'
by Matthew Jones
An energy being known as a Vrij - a creature that feeds on, and amplifies, human arrogance and anger - invades the TARDIS, and inhabits Barbara. The ship lands on Earth, where the Vrij leaves Barbara and invades a wolf, but before the creature can attack them, a young woman, Jane Grey, kills it. The Doctor, Ian and Barbara are accused of trespassing by the Duke of Northumberland, but are saved when Jane claims that the Doctor is her tutor. The Doctor realises he is unable to alter Jane's destiny, and so busies himself tracking down the Vrij as Jane reluctantly becomes Queen of England and is challenged by Mary. The Duke gathers an army to defend Jane's right to the throne, but the Doctor confronts him and draws the Vrij out of him, trapping it inside a vortex unit. The Duke's army flees in terror, believing him to have been possessed by a demon. Mary's army storms London and Jane is taken away to await her execution.
*Featuring the First Doctor, Ian and Barbara
by Daniel Blythe
Visiting an asteroid, the Doctor and Nyssa meet Sebastian Musgrove, whose only companion is a hologram of his dead lover, Tarla. Strange power losses have led Sebastian to fear that something living in the wilds outside is attempting to kill him, and he offers the Doctor and Nyssa in his place. The Doctor communicates with the life form, Telxzana, and discovers that it is the last of its race, and is actually attempting to warn Musgrove that it is dying, which will result in the destruction of the asteroid. As the Doctor and Nyssa agree to contact the Earth authorities to arrange for him to be rescued, Musgrove waits out the last days of the world with Telxzana now inhabiting Tarla's hologram, providing him with some much-needed company.
*Featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa
*Reference is made to Tegan having left the TARDIS crew
'People of the Trees'
by Pam Baddeley
The Doctor and Leela receive a telepathic cry for help, and travel to the planet Dascaria, where the Doctor once purchased a plot of land to protect the native People of the Trees from the civilised Urbargalim. The Urbargalim civilisation is based on 'verevan', the belief that there is a bond between land and its owner, and the Doctor's right to own the People's land is proven by his verevan. The theft of two of their three sacred idols has caused the People their distress, something that the Doctor discovers was arranged by Aurelian, a descendant of the Urbargalim that sold the People's land to him. Aurellian still bears the family shame of a broken bond with the land, and will stop at nothing to atone for her ancestor, including the accidents and deaths that have enabled her to acquire the land around the Doctor's holdings. Aurelian kidnaps Leela and forces the Doctor to give her the idol, but the psychic influence of the idols distracts Aurelian, and her attempt to kill Leela and the Doctor instead results in her own. The Doctor realises that the idols focus the People's latent psychic powers, and he returns them to the People.
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Leela
*K-9 is mentioned, but does not appear
by Vanessa Bishop
After Peri finds a note with a set of co-ordinates, the Doctor misreads the final digit, and the TARDIS lands in a holiday time-share building, where temporal technology is used to sell all the time-shares simultaneously. The previous week's visitors, Godfrey and Milly, decided to stay an extra week, as they thought the Doctor didn't use his week's booking, but the Time Lord unknowingly fills the meter, effectively cramming fourteen days into a single week. As the time-shares begin to overlap, Godfrey and Milly flee in terror after seeing ghosts and a hideous alien corpse. Another Time Lord arrives and explains to the Doctor that the corpse, which is that of an alien vampire which died in 1920, was supposed to have been removed by the Doctor, prior to his closing down of the timeshare building; unfortunately, when he misread the note's final digit, he arrived nine years too late. The Doctor returns to 1920, removes the body, dismantles the timeshare meter and rewires it to use up time at an accelerated rate, thereby restoring things to normal.
*Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri
*Seeing as the Doctor and Peri are acting very bitchy to each other, this must occur in season 22
'Question Mark Pyjamas'
After the Doctor, Ace and Benny find that the Doctor's house has been inexplicably transported from Kent to a theme park on a distant asteroid, the Doctor confronts the owner of the park, Garpol. Unfortunately, Garpol is delighted to meet the owners of the house, and promptly imprisons them in it. The Doctor plays along, telling Ace a bedtime story that includes clues within it, and the following day she uses them to find a snowstorm paperweight and a Harley Davison motorcycle in the shed. Ace uses the motorbike to evade the robot guards, returns to the TARDIS, and plugs the paperweight into the console. This opens up a dimensional link between the house and the TARDIS, which the Doctor and Benny use to escape. The Doctor materialises the TARDIS around his house and returns to Earth, planning to inform the Time Lords of Garpol's actions.
*Featuring the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Benny
*The time travellers seem to be over their angst from previous stories, so this probably occurs after 'No Future'