Doctor Who Logo 'The Next Doctor'
(Story Code 4.14)

by Russell T Davies
The Doctor, 'The Doctor'and Rosita

“I am the Doctor. Simply the Doctor. The one, the only, and the best!”

The TARDIS lands in London on Christmas Eve, 1851, where the Doctor is delighted to find himself in the middle of a snow-clad Victorian marketplace. Hearing his name cried out, the Doctor races to the aid of a terrified young black woman standing before a door that is under attack from something dangerous trapped within. When the Doctor reassures the girl that he has answered her call she has no idea what he is talking about – she is calling for another man, a dapperly dressed adventurer who arrives on the scene and introduces himself as a Time Lord called the Doctor. As the doors burst open to reveal a savage, black furred creature with the head of a Cyberman, the Doctor pulls out his sonic screwdriver and takes aim – just as the other ‘Doctor’ does the exactly same… When the creature leaps up the side of a nearby building ‘the Doctor’ lassoes it with a rope, only to be dragged along after it; the Doctor grabs the rope too, and together the two adventurers are pulled up the wall by the Cyber-creature. As the monster races through a window and makes for another at the end of the room, the two Doctors are saved from plummeting to their deaths by the intervention of the girl, who severs the rope with an axe. Breathless with excitement, the new ‘Doctor’ introduces his companion, Rosita. The Doctor is puzzled as to why his apparent next – or future – self fails to recognise him, but attributes it to some kind of post-regenerative trauma, and to protect his own identity, introduces himself as ‘John Smith’. ‘The Doctor’ explains that he has some memories missing, which he lost in an encounter with mechanical aliens known as Cybermen, who fell out of the skies over London in a blaze of light. Meanwhile, the escaped creature – a primitive conversion known as a Cybershade – returns to its base, where a Cyberleader accesses its surveillance records; seeing the recording, the Cyberleader identifies his enemy, the Doctor – but points at the other Time Lord. After ordering his troops to prepare for an attack on London that afternoon, the Cyberleader meets with his ally, an arrogant yet attractive woman; together they look forward to the rise of ‘The Cyberking’… Bidding goodbye to ‘John Smith’, ‘the Doctor’ and Rosita set off to meet a funeral procession, arriving on the scene as a group of elderly, black-clad men follow a horse-drawn hearse containing the body of the late Reverend Aubrey Fairchild, as it makes its journey through the snowy streets of London. ‘The Doctor’ slips away to search the Reverend’s house for clues, only to find that the Doctor has already gained entry via the front door. Surprised to find that that his future self’s “sonic screwdriver” is merely a normal screwdriver, the Doctor agrees to help search the house. ‘The Doctor’ finds himself trusting his new friend ‘John Smith’, and reveals that he is investigating the murder of a mathematics teacher called Jackson Lake, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances, his body never found; ‘the Doctor’ believes this death is linked to a spate of child abductions and the death of several people, all killed by electrocution. Seeing that his future self has a fob watch, the Doctor wonders if it is a Time lord device, but is disappointed when the device turns out to be just a broken timepiece. Searching the premises with his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor finds two cylinders of alien metal: info stamps, one of which contains data on the history of London from 1066 to the present. Seeing the images projected onto a nearby wall, ‘the Doctor’s memory is triggered, and he sees a confused jumble of images from the night he lost his mind and regenerated. Opening a nearby door, the Doctor is confronted by a Cyberman; slamming the door closed, he and his future self race into the hall, only to encounter another of the metal monsters. Heading upstairs, the Doctor grabs a cutlass and holds off the attacking Cybermen, stalling for time by telling them that he is the Doctor; as the terrible creatures advance, ‘the Doctor’ finds that he knows how to activate the info stamps, and he uses the devices to send a beam of energy that overload the Cybermen’s brains with data, causing their heads to explode. Elsewhere, at the cemetery, the reverend’s body is lowered into the ground while the assembled mourners listen to the words of a vicar; however, the sombre ceremony is rudely interrupted by the arrival of the red-dressed woman, whose outfit causes an outrage amongst those assembled. The woman, Miss Mercy Hartigan, Matron of the St. Joseph Workhouse, contemptuously informs those around her that she had the reverend killed in order to gather them all together; she then calls out to her friends, and watches with cold satisfaction as a squad of Cybermen and Cybershades stomp into view. At Miss Hartigan’s instruction, the Cybermen massacre all assembled, except for Mr Cole, Mr Scoones, Mr Fetch and Mr Mulligan, whom the evil matron wants kept alive…The ‘Doctor’ takes his new friend to his temporary base, a stables filled with the luggage of the late Jackson Lake, where they rejoin Rosita. After learning how ‘the Doctor’ saved Rosita from the Cybermen, the Doctor is then taken to see the TARDIS – but instead of a blue box, he is amazed to find a huge hot air balloon tethered in the yard! Explaining that “TARDIS” stands for Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style, ‘the Doctor’ admits that he has never flown the balloon, vowing only to use it once London is safe. This information is the final clue the Doctor is looking for – he now knows who his ‘future self’ really is… Meanwhile, Miss Hartigan surveys her four prisoners, each now under her control via Cyber-implants; after despatching the quartet of elderly men to their appointed tasks, Miss Hartigan departs in a horse-drawn carriage driven by a Cybershade. The Doctor sits down with his two friends and explains the truth: several years ago, he defeated the Cybermen by sending them into the Void; when that domain recently perished [due to Davros’ Reality Bomb], the last of the metal monsters fell through the dimensions and backwards in time, arriving in Victorian London, where they were found by Jackson Lake – the man currently calling himself ‘the Doctor’. Pointing out that his new friend’s fob watch is stamped with the initials ‘JL’, the Doctor continues: Jackson found one of the Cybermen’s info stamp, which contained a database on the Doctor stolen from the Daleks. Jackson had suffered a recent trauma that sent him into a fugue state, something that caused the information on the Doctor to imprint itself on his mind, imbuing him with the Time Lord’s determination to fight the Cyberman threat. When the Doctor plays back the recording in the info stamp, Jackson sees images of the Time Lord’s previous incarnations, including that of his current face. As church bells ring out the start of Christmas Day, Jackson recalls the events that caused his trauma – when the Cybermen killed his wife, Caroline. At that moment, all the info stamps collected by Jackson suddenly activate, signalling the Cybermen’s call to arms; the Doctor immediately races outside and sees Mr Cole leading all the children employed in his workhouse through the snowy streets of London. As Jackson struggles to come to terms with the revelation of his real identity, he sends Rosita to help the Doctor; the girl joins the Doctor as his attempt to help Mr Cole is stopped by a Cybershade guard. Beating a hasty retreat, the Doctor and Rosita race for another workhouse, only to find that its owner, Mr Mulligan, is herding his child labourers too. Mr Cole and his prisoners reach the entrance to the city’s sewers, where two Cybermen are waiting. Helpless to stop the terrified children from being led inside, the Doctor and Rosita then come face-to-face with Miss Hartigan and two more of the metal creatures; realising that the ruthless woman is working with his enemies the Doctor hands over the info stamp containing his files, proving that he is the real Doctor. Miss Hartigan callously gloats that the children are her work force, to be used in the birth of the Cyberking – and the death of the Doctor. But as the two Cybermen close in on the Time Lord and Rosita they are destroyed by a blast of energy – Jackson has arrived on the scene, armed with more of the info stamps! Pausing to punch Miss Hartigan in the face, Rosita races after her two friends, who are now heading for Jackson’s rightful home; Jackson now recalls seeing the Cybermen in the cellar of the house he and his wife had just bought, and hopes that this will provide an alternative way into the Cyber base. Furious that her quarries have escaped, Miss Hartigan brings her plans forward; after killing her four mindless slaves with a lethal overload into their brains she orders her unwilling child slaves to begin operating a gigantic electricity generator, which the Cybermen have constructed under the city. As the energy levels rise, the Cyberleader takes Miss Hartigan to the throne of the Cyberking... Arriving at his house, Jackson zaps a lurking Cyberman, enabling the Doctor to examine the device it was guarding: a dimension vault stolen from the Daleks. To Miss Hartigan’s horror, the Cyberleader reneges on their deal: instead of becoming its herald, she is to become the Cyberking itself! The Cybermen tie the protesting woman to their throne, and then crown her head with a metal skull that transforms her into one of them... Making their way through the sewers, the Doctor, Jackson and Rosita come across the huge engine beneath the city. Accessing a control panel the Doctor learns that the power has reached ninety percent capacity, but is puzzled when the system then registers a power fluctuation. Back at the Cyberking throne, Miss Hartigan’s dominating mind overpowers her former allies’ software, rewriting the technology and bending it to her will. Smiling in triumph, Miss Hartigan proclaims that she will create a new race of Cybermen, bred with their logic and strength combined with her fury and passion; she sends out a beam of mental energy that destroys the Cyberleader, and then, as her power increases, takes over the minds of all the Cybermen and Cybershades in London. When the power reaches a hundred percent Miss Hartigan orders the deletion of her workforce. However, Jackson and Rosita zap the nearest Cybermen, while the Doctor orders all the children to leg it to safety. As Rosita leads the kids outside, Jackson has another memory flash, this time seeing his son Frederick carried off by a Cyberman; looking up, Jackson sees his abducted son, now routed to the spot in fear on a high ledge. Flanked by her subservient Cybermen and Cybershades, Miss Hartigan orders the Cyberking to rise; as vast motors whir into life, the platform on which she sits begins to rise, breaking though the surrounding equipment and causing it to break up. As explosions go off all around, the Doctor grabs a rope and cuts its tether free, sending him shooting up to the ledge where Frederick is trapped; grabbing the boy, the Doctor snatches hold of another rope and swings them both to safety, just as the wall behind explodes. As the place goes up, the Doctor, Frederick and Jackson race outside, only just reaching street level before the entire base blows up. Meanwhile, Rosita looks on in terror as the figure of an enormous Cyberman rises up from the depths of Thames, Miss Hartigan and her entourage ensconced within its mouth – the Cyberking has risen! The Doctor recognises the construct as a Dreadnaught-class Cybership, the front line of an invasion with a factory at its centre. Furious that instead of rejoicing, her new subjects are terrified of her, Miss Hartigan sends the Cyberking stomping across London, crushing buildings and people as it goes. As people flee in terror, the Doctor sends Jackson and Frederick to safety and then sets off after Miss Hartigan, clutching part of the dimension vault in his hands. Miss Hartigan speaks to the world, instructing its governments to surrender to her – and to make her point, she opens fire on London, using the Cyberking to launch a fusillade of terrible missiles onto the streets below. The Doctor reaches the stables and grabs all the info stamps he can find; then, after leaping into Jackson’s ‘TARDIS’, he instructs its engineer, Jed, to cast off. As the Doctor flies off in the balloon on an intercept course with the Cyberking, Miss Hartigan turns the colossal construct to meet her approaching enemy. The Doctor attempts to reason with Miss Hartigan, offering her the chance to go to a new world via the dimension vault, where she and her new Cybermen can live in peace; Miss Hartigan flatly refuses, leaving the Doctor no option but to unleash the contents of the info stamps at her, breaking her connection to the Cybermen and opening her mind to the realisation of what she has done and what she has become. Confronted with the full horror of her actions, Miss Hartigan screams in shock and then destroys herself and her minions with a lethal blast of energy. As the Cyberking goes out of control, explosions breaking out across its vast bulk, it begins to topple onto the city below; but the Doctor is prepared, and he activates the dimension vault, sending the Cyberking into the vortex to disintegrate harmlessly. Overjoyed that the Doctor has saved London, Jackson encourages the assembled masses to cheer the Time Lord in thanks. Up above, the Doctor happily basks in the attention, and then settles back to enjoy the spectacular view of the city at night. Some time later, the Doctor rejoins Jackson and advises him to take on Rosita as nanny for Frederick. Jackson invites the Doctor to a feast to celebrate their triumph over the Cybermen, and to remember those lost, but the Doctor politely declines, preferring to slip away quietly. Reaching the real TARDIS, the Doctor allows Jackson to have a look inside, but the experience of such “wonderful nonsense” is too much for the teacher and he quickly heads back outside. Answering Jackson’s question as to why he travels alone, the Doctor sadly admits that losing his companions breaks his heart; however, this admission also helps change the Doctor’s mind, and he decides to accept Jackson’s offer of dinner after all…

David Tennant (The Doctor), David Morrissey ('The Doctor' / Jackson Lake), Dervla Kirwan (Miss Hartigan), Vellie Tshabalala (Rosita), Ruari Mears (Cybershade), Paul Kasey (Cyberleader), Edmund Kente (Mr Scoones), Michael Bertenshaw (Mr Cole), Jason Morell (Vicar), Neil McDermott (Jed), Ashley Horne (Lad), Tom Langford (Frederick), Jordan Southwell (Urchin), Matthew Allick (Docker), Nicholas Briggs (Cyber Voices)

Directed by Andy Goddard
Produced by Susie Liggat
Executive Producer Russell T. Davies
A BBC Wales production

25th December 2008 @ 6:00 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor

*This special is sixty minutes long

*As well as David Tennant, David Morrissey was also credited during the main titles

*As part of 'Children in Need', the BBC showed an exclusive preview of the first two minutes of 'The Next Doctor' on Friday 14th November @ 7.00pm on BBC 1

*The story was repeated on New Year's Day 2009 at 2.50 pm, and then on BBC3 the following day at 7pm, this time with a special commentary available via the BBC's Red Button feature