Mummy on the Orient Express
Doctor Who Logo 'Mummy on
the Orient Express'

(Story Code 8.08)

by Jamie Mathieson
Look out for the mummy!

“Start the clock!” - The Doctor

Aboard the most beautiful train in history, the famous Orient Express, a light flickers, a clock begins counting down from sixty-six seconds and a terrifying, ancient Mummy shambles towards its latest victim. In the dining car an elderly woman, Mrs Pitt, sees the Mummy coming for her, but her daughter Maisy and the rest of the diners are unable to see the apparition. The Mummy reaches out its decaying, bandaged-wrapped fingers and grabs Mrs Pitt’s head, killing the old woman instantly; as the diners react in terror, the Orient Express continues on its journey, speeding through space… In the baggage car, the TARDIS materialises and the Doctor and Clara emerge: both are dressed in 1920s outfits that match the faithfully recreated décor of this future version of the Orient Express, and both are feeling decidedly uncomfortable in each other’s company. Clara has taken weeks to reconcile her hatred of the Doctor, finally realising that she doesn’t actually hate him after all. But Clara has also decided that this will be her final voyage in the TARDIS – a ‘last hurrah’… Entering the dining car the Doctor and Clara hear about the recent death and the legend of the Mummy; however, when the man in charge of the train, Captain Quell, attributes Mrs Pitt’s death to a heart attack, the two travellers decide to retire to their cabins rather than look for another dangerous adventure. That night, while Clara calls Danny with her souped-up mobile phone, the Doctor tries to stop himself from thinking about the Mummy; he fails completely, and after talking himself into investigating he begins searching the train. The Doctor soon comes across Mr Pitt’s ‘Excelsior Life Extender’ chair, which had kept the old bag alive for over a century, but his examination is interrupted by the arrival of Chief Engineer Perkins, who is equally as interested in the murder and the legendary Mummy. Clara leaves her room and looks for the Doctor; finding his room empty she then sees Maisy Pitts walking dazedly towards the car containing the body of her mother. When the train’s computer, Gus, refuses Maisy entry, the distraught girl smashes the lock with her shoe and goes inside, closely followed by a concerned Clara. Returning to the dining car, the Doctor consults Professor Emil Moorhouse, an expert in alien mythology who has knowledge of the Mummy: also known as ‘The Foretold’, this five-thousand year-old myth kills its victims sixty-six seconds after they see it; the creature can be stopped with a single word, but no-one knows what it is... Meanwhile, in the kitchen, one of the cooks sees the monstrous Mummy – and before the astonished eyes of his colleagues, the poor man is killed by an unseen assailant sixty-six seconds later. Back in the freight car, Clara and Maisy find themselves locked in with a large, suspicious-looking sarcophagus; confessing that Mrs Pitt was actually her gran, Maisy goes on to tell Clara how she often wished the difficult old lady were dead. After Captain Quell refuses to take action against the Mummy, the Doctor receives help from Perkins and Professor Moorhouse; together they check the train’s passenger manifest and watch the train’s CCTV recording of the Mummy’s victims. Using his sonic screwdriver to upgrade a phone handset the Doctor is able to call Clara and learn that she and Maisy are trapped. Rushing to the carriage the Doctor is refused entry by Gus; he tries sonicing the door, but thanks to a suppression field he activates the Sarcophagus instead. As the lights flicker again, the coffin begins to open... but to Clara and Maisy’s relief, the sarcophagus only contains red lights and bubble-wrap! Captain Quell arrives on the scene with some armed guards and arrests the Doctor on suspicion of murder; but when the Mummy claims its third victim, one of the guards in the dining car, Quell is forced to release his prisoner. After warning the passengers of the monster on the loose aboard the train, the Doctor realises that everyone around him is an expert in their field – someone has orchestrated the whole trip to bring them together. At that moment the engines stop, the doors lock, and carriage’s furnishings change from the luxurious fittings of the Orient Express to those of a high-tech laboratory. Not only that, but half of the people in the carriage flicker and vanish – they were actually hard-light holograms! The voice of Gus announces that the remaining experts must find a way to stop and capture the Foretold, then reverse-engineer it to discover its power; their only clue is an ancient piece of parchment hanging behind glass on a nearby wall, a scroll that is linked to the monster’s appearances. As the lights flicker again Emil is shocked by the sight of the Mummy advancing towards him; initially he tries to describe it to the Doctor, but is quickly reduced to pleading for his life as the creature finally reaches out and kills him. Clara phones the Doctor with the information that the sarcophagus is a secure stasis unit, which the Time Lord identifies as a prison for the Foretold. Clara and Maisy have also found records of other missing space ships, whose passengers have all failed to stop the Mummy, and who have all been given ratings for their performance. When the Doctor ignores Gus’ orders to stop speaking to Clara the computer decompresses the kitchen, sending the cooks to their deaths in the vacuum of space. Ending the call, the Doctor works out that the Mummy’s victims were all ill – the Foretold is picking off the weakest first. Quell reveals that he refused to help because he has post-traumatic stress from his time in the military; his admission is his undoing, as the lights flicker and the Mummy comes for him. When Quell fails to stop his attacker with bullets the Doctor tries to block its way, but the Foretold just walks straight through him, teleports behind the captain and then kills him. With Perkins’ help, the Doctor works out that the Mummy is draining all the energy from its victims; the power flicker is caused by the monster’s ancient tech taking its prey out of phase, a process that takes sixty-six seconds, and why only the victim can see their attacker. Realising that the traumatised Maisy will be next, the coldly-clinical Doctor instructs Clara to bring her to him so he can learn from her death. Promising that the Doctor will save her Clara leads Maisy from the car, en route she tries hiding in the TARDIS, but there is a force field around the TARDIS. Entering the laboratory with Maisie, Clara asks the Doctor how Gus knows about the TARDIS. When the Doctor admits that Gus has tried to lure him aboard the train before using free tickets, Clara is furious, even more so when she points out how she lied to Maisy for him. As the lights flicker and the Mummy appears before Maisy, the Doctor uses a device to scan the terrified girl’s brainwaves and then map them onto his, swapping places with her. Convinced that it is still after Maisy, the Foretold takes the Doctor out of phase and staggers towards him. His mind in overdrive, the Doctor deduces that the ancient scroll is a flag, and that the undead Mummy is a soldier kept alive for centuries by its malfunctioning phase camouflage implant; the Doctor then says the one word that will stop the creature in its tracks: “surrender”. Now visible to all, the ancient Mummy straightens up and salutes the Doctor; in return the Time Lord relieves the soldier from duty, allowing it to finally crumble into dust. As the Doctor removes the implant from the soldier’s remains, a triumphant Gus begins extracting the air from the train in order to dispose of the survivors. As everyone passes out, the Doctor hurriedly works on the teleporter in the ancient tech – and then the train explodes…

A while later, Clara wakes up to find herself with the Doctor and the TARDIS on the boulder-strewn beach of an alien planet. The Time Lord explains how he used the teleporter to beam everyone safely aboard the TARDIS, and how his attempt to hack Gus and find out who was behind everything set off a failsafe that blew up the train. While he dropped everyone off at the nearest habitable planet, the Doctor let Clara sleep. Clara works out that the Doctor deliberately lied to her so that Gus wouldn’t work out his plan, although the Time Lord is somewhat evasive as to whether or not he knew his plan would work, he just made the only choice he could. Inside the TARDIS the Doctor finds Perkins happily examining his ship’s engines; the Time Lord offers the engineer the opportunity to travel with him, but Perkins tactfully declines and then says his goodbyes. Having seen how the Doctor is addicted to his life of adventure and danger, Clara realises that she is too. After taking a call from Danny, Clara lies to the Doctor, telling him that her boyfriend is fine with her staying in the TARDIS for another adventure…

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Samuel Anderson (Danny Pink), Frank Skinner (Perkins), David Bamber (Captain Quell), John Sessions (Gus), Daisy Beaumont (Maisie Pitt), Janet Henfrey (Mrs Pitt), Christopher Villiers (Professor Emil Moorhouse), Foxes (Singer), Jamie Hill (Foretold)

Directed by Paul Wilmshurst
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
11th October 2014 @ 8.35 pm

*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Clara and Danny

*This episode was actually broadcast at 8.37 pm, the latest that any story has been premiered in the entire history of 'Doctor Who'