Doctor Who Logo 'Forest of the Dead'
(Story Code 4.10)

by Steven Moffat
The Doctor and Donna

“In a way we are all dead here, Donna. We are the dead of The Library.” - Miss Evangelista

Trapped by the advancing shadows and the animated corpse of Proper Dave, the Doctor, River, Lux, Other Dave and Anita face imminent death from the Vashta Narada – until River uses her squareness gun to create a hole in the nearest bookshelf, giving everyone the opportunity to escape. Running for their lives, they are unaware that they are being watched by the little girl on her television set; somehow, all the channels are broadcasting the Doctor and his comrades – all except one, which shows Donna arriving in an ambulance at the CAL nursing home. After being wheeled in on a stretcher, Donna then finds herself dressed in pyjamas and meeting her psychiatrist, Doctor Moon, who reminds her that she has been his patient for two years; Donna is confused to then find herself transported outside mid-conversation, where she meets a fellow patient, a handsome, stuttering man named Lee MacAvoy. The next seven years pass in a blur for Donna, as she falls in love with Lee, marries him, and has two beautiful children, Ella and Joshua. When Doctor Moon pays Donna a visit to tell her how pleased he is with her progress he shimmers out of existence for several seconds, replaced with an image of the Doctor; Doctor Moon then returns to normal, and accepts Donna’s offer of a cup of tea. Back in The Library, the Doctor, River and the others pause for breath; however, they have no chance for rest, as the shadows hosting the Vashta Narada are still closing in. While the Doctor ponders why his sonic screwdriver isn’t working properly, River faces her team’s questions about her relationship with the Doctor. When River gives the Doctor her sonic screwdriver he asks how she comes to have his future self’s device; but River refuses to answer, citing ‘spoilers’ as her excuse. After Lux accuses them of squabbling like an old married couple, River convinces the Doctor that she can be trusted by whispering a single word in his ear; although shaken and confused by this revelation, the Doctor manages to pull himself together; springing back into action, he determines that his sonic is being blocked by the moon; Lux explains that the satellite is artificial: colloquially known as ‘Doctor Moon’, it acts as a virus checker for the main computer. Pointing his sonic at the moon above, the Doctor briefly sees a hologram of Donna, which shimmers out of existence as his device is blocked once again. Just then Anita announces she has two shadows. Knowing that the Vashta Narada have latched onto the woman, River uses Anita’s helmet to seal her suit, while the Doctor tints the woman’s visor in an attempt to trick the Vashta Narada. Then the animated corpse of Proper Dave arrives, sending everyone running for their lives once more. Watching these events on her television, the little girl then sees Donna, her husband and their two children. As Donna’s life jumps forward again, she finds herself preparing for bed with Lee, as a letter is delivered to their door by a mysterious woman dressed in black; the letter states that “The World is Wrong”, and asks to meet Donna the next day. The next day, Donna keeps the rendezvous at a children’s playground, and learns that the funereal woman is all that remains of the late Miss Evangelista; she tells Donna that time is moving like that in a dream… Back in The Library, River, Lux and Anita rush on ahead, while Other Dave stays with the Doctor as he attempts to reason with the Vashta Narada inhabiting Proper Dave’s body. Using the neural relay on the cadaver’s suit to communicate, the Doctor asks the Vashta Narada why they are in The Library, when their usual hunting grounds are forests; the Vashta Narada reply that they come from The Library – the billions of books throughout the complex were made from trees that contained their microspores. Learning that Other Dave has now been devoured and taken over by the Vashta Narada, the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to activate the hatch beneath his feet, allowing him to clamber his way to safety along the underside of that section of the Library. Watching the Doctor’s escape on her television set, the little girl then sees Donna’s conversation with Miss Evangelista, as the P.A. shows Donna the truth that she has been denying herself: all the children around her are based on the same boy and girl; badly shaken, Donna tears away Miss Evangelista’s black veil and is shocked to see that the woman’s face is horribly distorted. Rejoining River and her comrades, the Doctor notes that Anita still has two shadows, but appears to still be unharmed. Recalling the message in the data fragment, “4022 saved. No survivors”, the Doctor realises that when the Vashta Narada hatching cycle activated, the central computer used The Library’s teleport system to literally save everyone – by storing their energy signatures on its hard drive. Meanwhile, Donna continues her conversation with Miss Evangelista, and learns that they are in fact inside a specially constructed virtual reality world in cyberspace; anyone using The Library’s teleport is automatically saved by the computer, but Miss Evangelista was saved via wifi after becoming a data ghost, so transcription errors have damaged her face, while boosting her intelligence. When Miss Evangelista mentions “CAL”, the little girl becomes distraught; shouting at the television she inadvertently shuts off the image of her father using her remote control, and when she throws it to the floor, she accidentally triggers The Library’s self-destruct system. Back in The Library, the Doctor discovers that in just twenty minutes the planet will crack into two; Lux reassures him that Doctor Moon will prevent that happening – just as, in her living room, the distraught girl uses her remote control to deactivate her psychiatrist. Realising that the only way to prevent their destruction is to reach The Library’s data core, the Doctor, River and Lux use a gravity platform to take them to the centre of the planet. Meanwhile, Donna and her children brace themselves for the end of the world, as the sky above turns red; jumping forward in time again, Donna tucks Ella and Joshua into bed and is shocked when they tell her that they know they are not real – and then, to Donna’s horror, they vanish before her eyes... With fifteen minutes to auto-destruct, the Doctor, River, Lux and Anita arrive at the data core, where they hear the voice of a little girl calling out for help; finding the computer in sleep mode, the Doctor desperately tries to wake it, but to no avail. Knowing that the computer is dreaming of a normal life, Lux activates a control, which cause the statue-like Main Command Node to manifest the face of the little girl. Lux reveals that the girl is CAL: Charlotte Abigail Lux, his grandfather’s youngest daughter; many years ago, the girl was dying, and so Lux’s grandfather secretly placed her living mind inside The Library’s computer to allow her the chance to live a semblance of life in peace. It seems that the girl has saved everyone inside The Library in her ‘dreams'…With just ten minutes to annihilation, the Doctor proposes to link himself to the main computer, hoping that by providing it with more memory it can download everyone into the teleports and abort the self-destruct sequence. While he makes the necessary preparations, the Doctor turns to Anita – knowing that she has been dead for some time, and has since been animated by the Vashta Narada. The Doctor makes the voracious creatures an offer: if they allow everyone to leave he will give them The Library in which to live; in response, the Vashta Narada try to attack the Doctor with their shadows, but when they realise how determined he is, they allow him a day to make good on his offer. The Doctor resumes his work on the computer systems, only to be punched into unconsciousness by River; when the Time Lord finally comes to, he finds himself handcuffed to the wall, watching helplessly as River completes the work that will allow her to link with The Library’s computer. River tells the Doctor that she has worked out that throughout their time together he always knew how she would die, but never said; the Doctor offers to change history, but River insists that he not change a thing; the Doctor is still unsure of his future relationship with River – but the fact that she told him his real name speaks volumes… River connects the cables, and a blaze of white light explodes from the Library’s systems… As her world dissolves into whiteness around her, Donna grabs Lee and vows to find him in the real world… In the Shop, Lux is overjoyed to see the room suddenly fill with people – everyone has been saved! However, his elation is not shared by the Doctor, who lies on the floor, filled with remorse at River’s untimely death… Some time later, Donna rejoins the Doctor; she has been unable to find Lee amongst the survivors, and believes him to be a construct of the virtual world. Although the Doctor refuses to tell Donna of his own experiences, she knows that he too is far from all right. Tragically, as the two time travellers set off for the TARDIS, Donna fails to see the real Lee – and as the teleport sends him home, Lee’s stutter prevents him from calling out in time… The Doctor shows Donna his future diary and sonic screwdriver; knowing that they contain spoilers, he leaves them behind – until he suddenly realises that the screwdriver contains a data chip on which his future self has saved River! Rushing back to The Library’s core, the Doctor connects the sonic to the computer systems, downloading River’s being into CAL’s virtual world; restored to life inside the computer, River materialises outside the nursing home, where she meets the little girl and Doctor Moon – as well as Anita, Miss Evangelista and the two Daves. While an overjoyed River is reunited with her friends, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS, opening the doors with a click of his fingers, before joining Donna inside. Back in The Library’s core, River tucks Ella, Joshua and the little girl safely into bed.

David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Alex Kingston (Professor River Song), Colin Salmon (Doctor Moon), Harry Peacock (Proper Dave), Steve Pemberton (Strackman Lux), Jessika Williams (Anita), O-T Fagbenie (Other Dave), Eve Newton (The Girl), Mark Dexter (Dad), Jason Pitt (Lee), Eloise Rakic-Platt (Ella), Alex Midwood (Joashua), Jonathan Reuben (Man)

Directed by Euros Lyn
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies, Phil Collinson and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

7th June 2008 @ 7.00 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor, Donna and River Song

*Part two of a two part story

*Working title: 'The Doctor Runs', 'Forest of the Night', 'Darkness in the Library', 'The Saved', 'CAL', Rise of the Forest', 'River's Run', 'Beneath the Library', 'Heart of the Library', 'A River Song Ending' (note the acronym of the last one!!)