edited by Gary Russell
The galaxies are awash with stories, myths and legends of the Doctor, the courageous Time Lord who rights wrongs and brings down the evil dictators.
But does the Doctor always get it right? In his efforts to save the smaller picture, is it possible that occasionally the bigger picture, the Web of Time itself, can be broken by his actions? If so, what can he do to repair it?
Repercussions features sixteen tales set on a strange airship taking its passengers on a trip to… who knows where? Amongst the people aboard is young adventuress Charley Pollard, just a few weeks into her life aboard the TARDIS alongside the Eighth Doctor, a man whose past, she will discover, she knows frighteningly little about. She encounters a diplomat trying to stop a war, a young man seemingly murdered by the Doctor, a tramp, a seismologist and a republican trying to save the life of his plague-stricken daughter. One thing they all have in common - an encounter with a strange alien visitor who seemed to help them but perhaps should have left them alone.
Learning their stories, understanding their grief, their anger or even their joy, Charley begins to see a new side to this enigmatic man she has chosen to travel the universe with. And she is forced to ask, will she one day also find herself aboard a strange airship, teeming with fellow travellers, all of whom seem to represent a danger to the Web of Time?
Repercussions is based upon an original idea by John Ainsworth and Gary Russell and is compiled and edited by Gary Russell, who is one of the producers of the Doctor Who audio adventures as well as the author of a number of Virgin and BBC Books Doctor Who novels.
by Gary Russell
Having spent the last few days experiencing the excitement and danger of being the Doctor’s latest companion, Charley decides to take the Time Lord’s advice, and she begins reading through the TARDIS’s history books in order to prepare herself for travelling with him. While reading a particularly dull tome Charley dozes off to sleep, but when she awakes, she is surprised to discover that she is no longer on board the TARDIS, but is now aboard an airship, inside a bar filled with strange and peculiar people. Talking to the bartender, Charley learns that the passengers are all on a journey, and that she, the Steward and the Doctor are merely along for the ride. While awaiting the arrival of the Doctor, Charley meets a Time Lady named Tianna, who tells her her story…
*Featuring the Eighth Doctor and Charley
'The Time Lord's Story'
by Iain McLaughlin
and Claire Bartlett
Bored with her work in the Department of Administrative Records, Time Lady ‘Tianna’Eltiannachrisanik whiles away her time researching into her pet project, the histories of Time Lord renegades. On one occasion she notices that someone has recently been through the records, something that only an operator with High Council-level clearance would be able to achieve. Concerned at this breach of security, Tianna decides to turn to one of her favourite rogues, the Time Lord known as the Doctor, currently travelling with the Lord President Romana and the robotic K-9, and she diverts his TARDIS to her office. Informed of events, Romana is disturbed to realise that Coordinator Vansell is already aware of the security breach. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Tianna and K9 investigate the source of the terminal used during the infiltration; they track its location to the old Capitol that lies beneath the existing one, where the Doctor discovers a group of fanatics who have used a Timescoop to capture ancient monsters. It seems that their leader, Handrel, plans to combine the creatures’ DNA with that of Gallifreyans’, enabling him to achieve immortality through perpetual bodily regeneration. The Doctor distracts the extremists, enabling Tianna and K9 to contact Romana and request help. As the Lord President and her troops arrive, a pitched battle breaks out; Handrel and his followers are killed, but one of the holding containment cylinders is shattered, allowing the vampire inside to break free and attack Tianna. The Doctor uses the Timescoop to return the hijacked creatures back to their rightful times and location, but Vansell’s attempts to kill the now-vampiric Tianna prove useless, as she continually regenerates. When Romana orders that Tianna’s body be placed inside a stasis box, the infected Time Lady begs for death, but the Doctor vows to find a way to save her, come what may…
*Featuring the Eighth Doctor, the Second Romana and K-9 Mk II
*Time-placing: ignoring the fact that this story makes a reference to the apocryphal ‘Comic Relief’ television special, ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’, it still fits into established canon, following on immediately after the BBCi webcast of ‘Shada’
'The Ghost's Story'
by Trevor Baxendale
Aboard the airship, the Steward tells Charley that the beautiful ‘Ghost Flowers’ on display are the Doctor’s choice, and that they are commemorative as well as decorative…
The Doctor and Ace arrive on an apparently uninhabited world, where the night sky is lit up by the bioluminescence of thousands of beautiful flowers. While investigating the ruins of a nearby series of ancient and abandoned buildings, the two travellers see a strange mist; the Doctor attributes the effect to settling lichen spores, but still hurries his companion back to the ship. However, once the TARDIS has dematerialised it begins to behave erratically: Ace and the Doctor hear strange, mischievous laughter, and then see the ghostly figure of a young girl. When the TARDIS rejects the ghost, the Doctor is inadvertently struck by an electrical discharge from the ship’s console; the time / space vessel then returns to the ancient world, and a mysterious force leaves the ship. The Doctor and Ace return to the ruins, where the Doctor realises that the pictograms on the walls show that the colonists were killed by an indigenous life-form: the lichen. In the thick dust beneath the Doctor and Ace’s feet lie many skeletons, their desiccated bones seeking solace in one another in death; there is one lone figure of a small girl – and as the Doctor and Ace watch, her body is regrown by the lichen. This simulacrum tells them that the girl found the sentient lichen by the moonflowers and brought it into the colony, and when the spores began preying on people, the colonists realised that the girl was to blame, and so shunned her, even up to the moment of their deaths. When the ‘girl’ asks the Doctor for his help in making her live again, the Time Lord agrees; however, his complicity is merely a trick, allowing him and Ace to escape in the TARDIS, leaving the ghost to turn to dust and spores one more…
*Featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace
*Time-placing: Ace still seems quite young, trusts the Doctor and is afraid of ghosts; this is probably quite early on in their travels together, so I'm placing it before 'Ghost Light'
'The Rag & Bone Man's Story'
by Colin Brake
Concerned that his wandering through time and space is having a detrimental effect on his granddaughter’s mental development, the Doctor decides to settle down for a while so that Susan can improve her education. By connecting the TARDIS controls to an alien crystal known as the Blessing Star – which he ‘picked up’ from the altar of the primitive Tacunda People - the Doctor is able to use the microscopic empath living within to take them somewhere conducive to his wishes. Responding to the Doctor’s desires, the creature lands the TARDIS in a London junkyard in the early 1960s; however, the strain of the forced journey causes the ship’s systems to be damaged, and the central console explodes; the Doctor is unworried, but believes that it may take some while to effect repairs. Susan enrols at a nearby school, Coal Hill, but finds it difficult fitting in with her classmates; she attempts to use the Blessing Star’s ‘magical’ properties, but her new-found popularity swiftly turns to mistrust and only serves to alienate her further. She decides to rid herself of the crystal, hiding it amongst the junk surrounding the TARDIS… Some time later, once the Doctor and Susan have been forced to leave in their ship along with two unwelcome passengers, a rag and bone man arrives at the junkyard to clear away the bric-a-brac within. After finding the curious impression left by the departing TARDIS, Joseph Galloway uncovers the alien crystal. His luck immediately changes for the better, as he wins the football pools, his business booms, and he finds himself a wife… Three years later, the Doctor finds himself back in London, and decides to track down the Blessing Star. He traces its location back to Joseph, arriving at the man’s house as the 1966 World Cup is nearing its conclusion. Joseph refuses to surrender the device, as he has a huge bet on the outcome of the match; however, as the England team score the winning goal, the combined desires of thousands of fans cause the crystal to shatter. The Doctor leaves Joseph to make his own luck from now on…
Back in the airship, Joseph tells Charley that his use of the crystal threatened the Web of Time: after his death, he left all his money to his son, who used it to create a deadly weapon. The Doctor brought Joseph to the airship so that, without a body, there was no will; Joseph’s son never received his inheritance, and the weapon was never made. Charley then meets a mysterious, robed man – an Inquisitor from Baspral - who introduces her to a man named Doctor Katsoudas…
*Featuring the First Doctor and Susan, and Dodo
*Time-placing: the first section occurs prior to 'Ash', whereas the latter part takes place after the Doctor and Dodo's arrival in London during the first episode of 'The War Machines'; this is the story when the Doctor and Susan arrive at Totter's Lane and begin their stay on Earth
'The Seismologist's Story'
by Peter Anghelides
Arriving in the Mediterranean in the 1950s, the Doctor and Jo immediately experience an earthquake; the TARDIS is sent plunging down a cliff – and then falls again and again and again… Realising that the time / space vessel is trapped in a causal spiral the Doctor and Jo head off to find the source of the effect. They encounter Professor Katsoudas, whom the Doctor recognises as a Time Lord; the professor informs the Doctor that he is on a mission for their people: a group of Time Lord renegades had been placed inside a Time Loop and sent off into space, but their ship crashed in the Aegean Sea, and it is now causing the time disruptions. After eliciting the Doctor’s help, Katsoudas introduces him and Jo to his colleague Niklos Spiridakis; Jo is enamoured with the handsome scientist, but is alarmed when the Doctor points out that the man’s white hair and broken nails are signs of time distortion. While Katsoudas shows the Doctor their seismic outpost, Jo and Niklos head down to the bore hole; however, Katsoudas’ demonstration of a controlled quake only succeeds in trapping Jo and Nicklos. While the Doctor and Katsoudas attempt to rescue their trapped friends, Jo encounters a strange, walrus-faced monster; when the Doctor and Katsoudas finally reach Jo and the injured Nicklos they find an alien spaceship, whose crew of Odobenidans are all trapped within a time-loop - and trapped with them is the Master. Reunited with Jo and Niklos inside the time disturbance, the Doctor learns that the Master had offered his services to the Odobenidans, but his actions inadvertently trapped them inside the causal spiral; when the Master later encountered Katsoudas and his team, he hypnotised the professor, and used the man’s eyes and ears to bring the Doctor to him. The Doctor refuses to help his nemesis, concerned that his plan to free the Odobenidans ship with a massive earthquake will cause the entire Mediterranean to be destroyed. Finding that his TARDIS has been retrieved and is now in the Master’s control room, the Doctor instructs Jo and Niklos to get inside while he stops the Master; but before he can act, Niklos disrupts the renegade Time Lord’s controls, unleashing time eddies throughout the room; the conflicting time spillage kills the Odobenidans and Niklos, but the Doctor, Jo, and a restored Katsoudas manage to escape in the TARDIS, leaving the Master to his fate. Katsoudas tells the Doctor that he wishes to continue his work into controlled earthquakes, but the Doctor has other ideas…
Charley, the Braspalian Inquisitor and Katsoudas meet Jake Morgan – a man who holds the Doctor responsible for his death…
*Featuring the Third Doctor and Jo
*Time-placing: The Doctor is unsurprised that the Master is behind events, so this probably takes place not long after Season Nine; seeing as the Doctor is able to use TARDIS ito travel once more, this should be placed not long after 'The Three Doctors'
'The Dead Man's Story'
by Andie Frankham
It is a Leap Year, 2004; on February 29th, Jake Moran’s girlfriend Fay proposes to him, and he happily accepts. Later, Jake leaves his house to get something to drink, and encounters a police box, standing in the street where it wasn’t the day before. As Jake goes to look inside, the door is blasted open by a rush of air and noise, throwing Jake to the ground; when he finally gets up, a white-haired man emerges and apologises to him - then looks puzzled and leaves in the police box, which vanishes into thin air. Jake returns home, only to find that he is now apparently a ghost, unable to touch anything, and unseen by all he meets. Distraught that Fay cannot see him, Jake leaves the house, and soon encounters the mysterious man once more; the man seems to see him, but only for a moment. Jake decides that he must be dead, and resolves to make peace with his former life so that he can move on to the next plane of existence. To this end, he visits his father in his nursing home, but as Jake apologises for his behaviour over the years, his father experiences a heart attach and dies. Jake waits to see his father’s ghost, but none appears – Jake is all alone. Returning home, Jake once more sees the police box, but instead of investigating, he decides to say goodbye to Fay. After a heartbreakingly one-sided conversation Jake leaves, but can find no sign of the police box. Jake spends the next two weeks in a state of depression, following Fay and his friend Robert as they carry on with their lives, believing Jake to be dead. Finally, Jake again encounters the police box, but this time its occupants, a young man named Jeremy, and the older stranger – the Doctor – are able to talk to him using a device attached to their eyes and ears. The Doctor explains that Jake is not dead, merely trapped in a reality bubble caused by the energy release from his vessel; he informs Jake that he cannot restore him to normal, but can take him to another reality where others can see and hear him. Jake agrees to go, but persuades the Doctor to give Fay the device so that he can say goodbye to her properly. After a tearful farewell, Jake leaves Fay to begin his new life…
Aboard the airship, the Baspral Inquisitor tells Charley his tale…
*Featuring the Third Doctor and Jeremy
*Time-placing: The Doctor is travelling with Jeremy Fitzoliver, who previously appeared in 'The Paradise of Death' and 'The Ghosts of N-Space; author Andrew Frankham tells me that the story is intended to be set after "The Monster of Peladon"; for some deleted scenes and more info, head on over to Andrew's website
'The Inquisitor's Story'
by Shaun Lyon
Whilst enjoying a quiet drink in a café on Braspal, the Doctor is arrested by two security guards and thrown into a prison cell. He is confronted by an Inquisitor, who informs the Time Lord that he is to be held accountable for his crimes – and that only one of them will leave the room alive. Recalling his previous visits to Braspal – once during a terrible war, and again during a time of great peace – the Doctor surmises that his crime is connected to the occasion when he saved a young boy from being drowned in a stream by an old woman. The Inquisitor tells the Doctor that the boy grew up to be a vicious dictator, whose campaigns led to ‘The Great Cleansing’, in which millions died; the old lady was a seer, and having seen the future, she attempted to prevent it by killing the boy. The Inquisitor reveals that he was an adjutant in the militia attached to the Seers, and saw the Doctor save the boy – and if it weren’t for the Doctor, countless deaths could have been prevented. The Doctor argues that what he did was right: he saved a boy’s life. He argues that the seer would have foretold his intervention and so could have chosen another location for her attempt to kill the boy, but instead she chose not to – meaning that the Doctor’s actions were correct. Furthermore, the Great Cleansing strengthened the people of Braspal, enabling them to join Earth’s forces in defeating a Dalek attack. The Inquisitor admits that he thought this all along, but was troubled by his belief; he gives the Doctor the key to the cell and allows him to escape, choosing to remain behind to take the Doctor’s place when the executioner arrives…
Charley learns from the Inquisitor that just as he was about to be executed, the Doctor arrived in the TARDIS and rescued him; it seems that their conversation had been overheard by a sympathetic guard, who aided them in their escape. The guard later became an Inquisitor, and was able to change Braspal’s justice system from within. The Inquisitor, however, was brought to the airship… After learning from the Steward that the Doctor will not be joining them, Charley meets an Australian woman, her daughter Erin, and a bizarre, dog-faced boy; when the woman points out a group of people gathered around a wooden box, the Steward explains the origin of the container…
*Featuring the Sixth Doctor
'The Gangster's Story'
by Jon de Burgh Miller
The East End of London is ruled by gangster Charlie Shutter and his hitman Jack Green. The key to Charlie’s reign is a special glove, which dispenses painful lighting at his merest whim. Charlie is about to mete out a dose of lightning to Jack, following his failure during a botched bank robbery, but they are interrupted by the arrival of a man calling himself the Doctor, and his two companions, Peri and Erimem. When the Doctor is able to resist the lightning, Charlie realises that the man holds the key to his ambitions, and he allows the Doctor to examine the glove; he tells the Doctor that he obtained the material from an antiques dealer that owed him a favour, and, realising its energy-generating ability, decided to turn it into a weapon. The Doctor tells the gangster that he encountered the material while in India, but then lost track of it; having now traced it back to Charlie, the Doctor offers to help the gangster organise a crime spree – provided that no-one gets hurt. Over the next few days, the Doctor helps Charlie to amass a fortune, and the newspapers dub the crime spree the ‘Lighting Strikes’. The Doctor then informs Charlie that his rival, gangster Mickey Green, has secured a device that shares the same properties as Charlie’s glove: a strange wooden cabinet unearthed in Dorset, which, if taken by Charlie, will make him unstoppable. Breaking into Green’s warehouse, Charlie, Jake, the Doctor and his companions secure the box; however, Charlie double-crosses the Doctor, instructing Jack to kill him and his friends. But the Doctor turns the table, triggering an alarm that will bring the police there in moments. Charlie tries to kill the Doctor with the power of his glove, but the Doctor resists and sends the lighting into the box; he reveals that the lighting is a criminal alien intelligence, and is on the run from others of its kind. Fearing that the aliens’ power would endanger the Earth, the Doctor set about trying to prevent a confrontation amongst them; the continual use of the glove increased the creature’s sentience, and now that the Doctor has trapped it inside the box, he can take it somewhere out of harm’s way. Furthermore, the Doctor has told the police everything about Charlie’s operation – the gangster’s criminal career is over. Knowing that Jack has wanted to go straight, but has lived in fear of Charlie, the Doctor offers him a new life provided that he turns over a new leaf…
Aboard the airship, the Australian woman tells Charley her story, and that of her daughter Erin and the bizarre, dog-faced boy...
*Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem
'The Bushranger's Story'
by Sarah Groenewegen
Not long after robbing a stagecoach’s passengers, bushranger Lillian Robinson encounters a mysterious blue box containing a man called the Doctor, and his companion, a tribal woman named Leela. The Doctor is disappointed to learn from Lillian that he and his friend have arrived in New South Wales in 1876, as they were hoping to visit P.T. Barnum’s circus of freaks. Lillian suggests that they look for the ‘Wolf-People’, a tribe of natives who live closely with a pack of wolves in the Australian outback; she takes the two travellers to where the Wolf-People live, but one of the wolves attacks her, and she breaks her arm in a fall before the creature can be called off by the tribe’s leader. Having befriended the tribespeople, the Doctor gives Lillian a dose of some special medicine, which sends her into a deep sleep; when she awakes, Lillian feels much better, but the Doctor encourages her to stay with the pack until she has fully recovered. Before he and Leela depart, the Doctor tells Lillian that the Wolf-People were originally brought over from Ireland for the amusement of the families of the old country; however, when the families eventually died, the people escaped and have lived in the wild ever since. Lillian stays with the pack for many years, and uses the last of the Doctor’s medicine to help feed a newly-born baby named Erin, and a wolf-cub born at the same time. However, as the years draw on, the pack dies out, and soon only Lillian, Erin and her wolf remain. Leaving her surrogate children to go Walkabout, Lillian returns to civilisation. But even though she still looks in her mid-forties, Lillian is really over a hundred – and the world has changed significantly since her departure from society: newspapers now report sightings of unicorns, a Pegasus and even a Bunyip terrorising the population…
Charley realises that Lillian misused the drug that the Doctor gave her, which the Steward notes contained microscopic robotic creatures named nanites; the use of this technology years before it was invented created anomalies and threatened the Web of Time, and so the Doctor was forced to bring Lillian to the airship. Charley surmises that everyone aboard the vessel has also threatened the Web of Time in some way, and that only intervention by the Doctor has prevented disaster. Wondering over her own effects on the natural course of time, Charley then meets an American named Robert, who tells her his story…
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Leela
*Time-placing: Leela has never seen a horse before, so I would suggest that this story ocurrs prior to 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang', in which she encountered horses in Victorian London
'The Schoolboy's Story'
by Trey Korte
Schoolteachers at Wilson Elementary in Indiana are concerned with the recent behaviour of one of their young pupils, Bobby Zierath. It seems that Bobby has been telling some very tall tales: of finding a spaceship in his closet; travelling through space and time with three strangers known as “The Doctor”, “Steven” and “Vicki”; and of fighting ancient Romans, talking mushrooms named “Mooshroos”, and monsters such as “Conidrons” and “Zaksi”. Knowing that Bobby’s mother died in a car accident not long ago, the school principal, Arlene Santiago, calls his father into school to discuss his son’s actions. Victor Zierath denies any knowledge of these strangers, despite the fact that one of them gave Bobby a toy panda named “Hi-Fi”. Concerned for the child’s welfare, a representative from Protective Services declares Victor unfit to look after his son, and has Bobby taken to a foster home… Many years later, Bobby – now calling himself ‘Rob’ – meets three people who bear an astonishing resemblance to ‘The Doctor’, ‘Steven’ and ‘Vicki’ in the café where he works; he accuses them of ruining his life, having suffered humiliation from his friends and schoolmates and endured many hours of counselling. However, the Doctor tells him that they have never met, and promptly leaves the café with his two companions. Unbeknownst to Rob, the Doctor has been tracking a time anomaly, only to discover that it is actually himself, Steven and Vicki; the Doctor realises that Rob’s claims mean that he and his companions must now travel back in time and befriend the young boy, thereby ensuring that the Web of Time is kept on course. Against Steven’s protestations, the time travellers leave in the TARDIS…
When Rob reveals that he had hoped profit from his knowledge of the future by writing a book of prophesies, Charley realises that that is why he was brought to the airship. The Steward then tells her the story of a gruff man named Doctor Harris…
*Featuring the First Doctor, Steven and Vicki
*Time-placing: not long after the TARDIS crew's encounter with the Meddling Monk
'The Juror's Story'
by Eddie Robson
In a court of law, in 1963, an old man known as Doctor Foreman stands accused of murdering a young girl named Roberta Sampson, who had apparently befriended his granddaughter. Amongst the jury is Doctor Harries, who resolutely believes that the defendant is guilty; the rest of the jury members also share his verdict – all except one, a fair-haired man named Doctor Smith. Harries listens on in amazement as Smith hypothesises that Roberta was in fact a werewolf, due to the fact that she was shot with silver bullets. Smith’s argument is very persuasive, and, much to Harries’ amazement, several of his fellows find themselves agreeing with him. Strangely, over the next few days, the jury members are replaced by other doctors, namely Doctor Noble, Doctor Bowman and Doctor Mason – although no-one seems to notice the substitution, believing instead that the men have always been on the jury. The jury members steadily change their minds to a verdict of not guilty, and soon only Harries’ decision remains unchanged… until psychiatrist Doctor Mason finally talks him round. With the jury’s decision unanimous, Doctor Foreman is declared innocent and is allowed to go free. Harries leaves the court, but suffers a dizzy spell; the foreman, Doctor Bowman informs him that this is due to the effects of time travel, and leads Harries away…
Robert Zierath introduces Charley to an American named Thomas Watson, who tells his story…
*Featuring the First, Second, Third, Fifth and Eighth Doctors
*Time-Placing: The author, Eddie Robson, informs me that from the point of view of the First Doctor ('Doctor Foreman'), this occurs pre-'Unearthly Child'. As for the other Doctors: the Second Doctor ('Doctor Mason') is travelling alone, so this fits into season 6a; the Third Doctor ('Doctor Noble') is also solo, so I’m placing this between 'The Green Death’ and 'The Time Warrior'; the Fifth Doctor ('Doctor Smith') is alone as well, so I'm putting the story during the early part of season 20; the story also fits in at the start of the Eighth Doctor ('Doctor Bowman')’s adventures.
'The Farmer's Story'
by Todd Green
In the small American town of East Ridge, farmer Thomas Watson is under pressure to sell his farm to New York businessman John Glassman, who believes that there are oil reserves under the property. Watson refuses to sell, stating that the farm has been in his family for many years, and will continue to be for many more. Glassman is furious, and after threatening to use the law against the farmer he storms off in anger. That night, Thomas sees off two men trespassing on his land; he reports the incident to the sheriff, but the lawman is unable to do anything without proof that Glassman was involved. Overhearing their conversation, a small, scruffy man named the Doctor offers to help Watson obtain evidence against the unscrupulous Glassman. That night, the two of them lie in wait, and it is not long before the two men return once more; the Doctor uses hypnosis to subdue the men, whom they tie up and take back to the sheriff the following morning. Hearing the trespassers’ admission of guilt, the sheriff locks them both up; however, Glassman is unperturbed, and instead turns the townsfolk against Watson, claiming that the farmer’s refusal to sell will prove detrimental to the town’s prosperity. An armed mob forms, and pursues Watson back to his farm; when a gunshot is fired, the Doctor pushes Watson into a strange blue box – and into a huge, white-walled room. The sheriff arrives at the farm, accompanied by the Doctor’s friends, Jamie and Victoria, and the mob is quickly subdued. With news of the imminent arrival of an arbiter, Watson hopes that Glassman’s dishonest actions will be exposed, putting an end to his plans to strip-mine the farm.
Back aboard the airship, Watson believes that he is being taken somewhere better, while Robert Zierath states that they are going somewhere safe. A man in Seventeenth-Century dress then approaches Charley, introducing himself as William Rokesby, and his daughter as Polly-Anne. He then tells Charley his story…
*Featuring the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria
'The Republican's Story'
by Andy Russell
The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Sarah to London in the year 1666, as the town is caught in the grip of the terrible plague known as ‘The Black Death’. After witnessing a group of townsfolk casting the bodies of their loved ones into a charnel pit, the Doctor and Sarah see the flames of a burning building not far away – the Great Fire of London has begun. The two time travellers decide to warn the authorities, and, having seen a party of soldiers only moments earlier, they set off to inform them. Meanwhile, republican William Rokeby has been stirring up his comrades in a back room of the White Hart pub, inciting them to rise up against their decadent king, Charles II. However, unknown to Rokeby, a beggar sitting in the audience is in fact Sir Richard Stoneman-Merritt of His Majesty’s Intelligence Service in disguise. Stoneman-Merritt sneaks out of the premises and joins Sergeant Mullins and his men, and together they mount a raid on the public house. A battle swiftly breaks out, but just as Rokeby and Stoneman-Merritt begin a swordfight, they are halted by the commanding voice of the Doctor. The Time Lord informs them of the fire, and encourages everyone to put aside their differences and help fight the flames. While, everyone forms a human-chain, passing buckets of water drawn from the river Thames to help tackle the growing conflagration, Rokeby saves a woman and her child from a burning building. Sarah falls ill, having succumbed to the plague, but when the Doctor asks for help he is confronted by Sergeant Mullins, who believes him to be responsible for the fire. Rokeby intervenes, and holds the soldiers at bay with his sword. Carrying the unconscious Sarah, the Doctor reaches the safety of the TARDIS, followed by Rokeby. The Doctor uses the ship’s medical supplies to cure Sarah, but Rokeby also swallows the drug, and then, seizing the remaining supply, rushes from the ship so that he can administer it to his daughter, Polly-Anne, who is dying from the plague back at their home. The Doctor and Sarah give chase, only to watch on as Rokeby and Stoneman-Merritt once more engage in a duel; when the two men are seemingly crushed to death by a section of burning masonry from a collapsing building, the Doctor and Sarah depart in the TARDIS, leaving London to its fate. Meanwhile, Rokeby reaches his house and gives the antibiotic to his daughter…
Appreciating why Rokeby and Polly-Anne are aboard the airship, Charley then meets Heathcliffe Bower, self-proclaimed thespian, with, raconteur and murderer…
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Sarah
'The Assassin's Story'
by Andrew Collins
Enjoying the shops along Oxford Street in London, 1984, the Doctor is concerned by a newspaper headline declaring that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been assassinated. Knowing that this event never occurred in history, the Doctor races back to the TARDIS, followed by Tegan and Turlough. Suspecting that time has gone awry, the Doctor sets the ship’s control’s to take them back in time, to the moment when the assassin, Heathcliffe Bower, shot the ‘Iron Lady’ while she was opening a summer fete; it seems that Bower, an ex-actor turned politician, had become disillusioned by Mrs Thatcher’s policies, and, believing that she was ruining the country, decided that the only way to save Britain was to kill her. However, before the Doctor can to stop Bower he is stopped by policemen, and can only look helplessly on as Bower shoots the P.M. dead. With the help of some “friends in high places” the Doctor is released, and he immediately decides to try Plan B: he and his friends travel further back in time, to election night in 1979, in the hope of persuading Bower into taking another path for his future. When this attempt also fails, the Doctor and his friends take drastic measures, springing Bower from prison and taking him into the TARDIS. The Doctor takes Bower back to when his earlier self first met Margaret Thatcher – then Margaret Roberts - in a theatre bar after his performance in ‘The Mousetrap’, a meeting that caused Bower to develop a crush on the woman, which in turn lead to him giving up acting and taking up politics. >From his time spent in prison, the older Bower has see his country decline further and further into depression, and he now realises that he was mistaken in his belief that Mrs Thatcher was to blame. With the Doctor’s help, Bower pays himself a visit on the night before the murder, and is able to convince his earlier self of the error of his ways. With history back on course, the elder version of Bower is now a paradox, and so the Doctor and his friends take his away in the TARDIS, leaving the ‘real’ Bower` to retire from politics and spend time with his family…
The airship is now approaching a mountain range. Charley meets a woman named Ormsin Ives, the only traveller on the airship who resents the Doctor’s decision to bring her aboard…
*Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough
'The Diplomat's Story'
by Kathryn Sullivan
A distant Earth colony has been under heavy missile attack from the planet Hyko, following a misunderstanding between their people. It seems that the humans believed the antelope-like colonists on the planet where they had settled were nothing more than simple animals, and so they hunted them for sport. The terrible destruction is halted by the intervention of a traveller known as the Doctor, and his companion, Evelyn Smythe. Together with the Earth colony’s President Henry, and the assistance of a retired schoolteacher named Ormsin Ives, whose husband was killed during the attack, the Doctor manages to negotiate a ceasefire. Pleased with Ives’ help in forging relations with the Hykos, Hanry asks Ives to become a diplomatic representative for the colony, in the hope that she will create a friendly relationship with the Hykos. Ives accepts, and over the next few years, she succeeds in creating a strong bond of friendship between the Earth colony and that of the Hyksos.
Ives bitterly tells Charley that the Doctor brought her to the airship because she was never meant to hep forge a peaceful relationship between the two races. The Doctor should never have interfered, as Earth and Hykso were meant to have waged a terrible war in which millions died. Although Charley can see the big picture, appreciating the Doctor’s actions, this is of small consolation to Ives, who walks away in anger. The Steward then decides to tell Charley his story…
*Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn
'The Steward's Story'
Centuries ago, in the east, a maharaja was visited by a magician calling himself ‘The Doctor’. The maharaja and the Doctor became good friends, but this displeased the court magician, Nehra. When his attempts to open the Doctor’s blue box fail, Nehra uses his magic to learn the secrets of the object; in a vision he is dismayed to see countless versions of the box, seemingly weaving a web of evil around the Earth. Concerned at this threat to his world, Nehra calls up a demon, Vishathra, and commands the creature to sever the strands. The Doctor appears, but instead of stopping the demon, he encourages it to complete its task. Vishathra carries out Nehra’s bidding, and promptly disappears – the first strand that the demon broke was its own. The Doctor tells Nehra that the strands make up the Web of Time, and convinces the magician that his actions are purely for good. Realising that his error could have destroyed everything in the universe, Nehra vows to make amends. The Doctor promises to return one day, and then leaves in his blue box; then, in a matter of seconds, the box reappears, and a different man – also calling himself the Doctor – emerges and takes Nehra into his service…
The airship has now landed, and all but Charley, the Steward and a tramp remain on board. The Steward, Nehra, bids Charley farewell, and then vanishes before her eyes. The tramp tells Charley that he will never leave, but decides to tell her his story before she goes…
*Featuring the Second and Third Doctors
'The Tramp's Story'
by Joe Lidster
One Christmas, a lonely tramp buys himself a bottle of champagne with the money that he has scraped together from begging. However, before he can drink it, someone barges into him, knocking the bottle to the ground, where it shatters. Distraught and angry at his life, the tramp decides to give up, and he curls up into a ball and lies in the road in the path of an oncoming bus. However, the tramp’s plight has been seen by two people: the Doctor, and Death. Waving two fingers at Death, the Doctor saves the tramp and takes him back to the TARDIS, where he cleans him up and offers him food. But the tramp refuses to eat, and demands to know why the Doctor saved him. The Doctor does not answer, and his continued attempts to feed his new companion are met with the same lack of success; however, he continues to try, in between his travelling and saving the universe. Eventually the tramp agrees to eat, and he decides to join the Doctor in his fight against injustice. Together they share many adventures: helping a villager named Hanse to save his village from an oppressive emperor; preventing the insanely jealous Antonio Salieri from killing an infant Mozart, after he was transported into the past by Mortimus, the Meddling Monk; and freeing the inhabitants of a distant world from the mind-control of a misguided crystal brain named Auctor. However, this last encounter results in the tramp learning why the Doctor saved him: the Time Lord wanted to save the life of just one person who should never have been allowed to live. In this case, it was the bus driver, Rita, who, having run over the tramp, would have then killed herself in an act of uncontrollable remorse; however, the Doctor needed to act indirectly, otherwise the Time Lords would have stopped him, so, by saving the tramp, an inconsequential person overlooked by everyone, he was able to achieve his aim. The tramp bitterly points out that he is indeed inconsequential, and that no one even knows his name; he asks the Doctor to take him somewhere where he can hide away for all time…
Charley awakes and finds herself with the Doctor, on the grass next to where the airship now rests. The Doctor tells her that they are in ‘Penance’, the very heart of the space / time vortex, and the only place where the passengers can do no damage to the Web of Time. The Doctor is aware of his guilt, but knows that he does good; he needs to have a sense of perspective, knowing that he is not infallible. Charley tells him that she still wants to travel with him, and so they leave in the TARDIS together. The Steward and the tramp watch them go, and then head back to the airship for its next voyage…
*Featuring the Eighth Doctor
*Published by Big Finish
*Featuring the Eighth Doctor and Charley