'The Young Lions'
by Alice Cavender
The TARDIS arrives in the quaint village of Little Moreton in 2005, where the Doctor detects anachronistic traces of havinium ions. Suspecting an alien device, the Doctor tracks the energy readings to a nearby army barracks due for decommission and demolition. He and Lucie visit the pub to question the locals, and learn from the landlord that the regiment, nicknamed the ‘Young Lions’ and led by Major Charles Montgomery, was recently merged with regional battalions. The Doctor and Lucie meet local academician Miss Tensing, but are interrupted by the arrival of Sergeant Tanner, bearing news that the major is in hospital after jumping off the barracks roof. The Doctor and Lucie visit the injured officer, only to find that he has discharged himself from the hospital and run away. Lucie meets the landlord’s son, a Lance Corporal named Joe, who reveals how he and other injured soldiers have made amazing and inexplicable recoveries. That night, Lucie, Tensing and Joe break into the major’s cottage; inside Lucie finds an old officer’s diary, and reads of a pact made with aliens to create a regiment of super-soldiers. Meanwhile, the Doctor consults his five-hundred-year diary and remands himself that havinium ions are associated with a race called the Quitoxins. At the demolition site, demonstrators protesting at losing the land to developers watch as telepathically-controlled soldiers restrain the workmen. Arriving on the scene, the Doctor and Lucie feel the psychic presence of a Quitoxin device, a havinium-powered stasis pod buried under the barracks, which has been used to seed its DNA into the soldiers. When the Quitoxin responsible addresses the Doctor through Sergeant Tanner, the Time Lord accuses it of tricking the regiment’s officers with the offer of boosting their soldiers’ strength, so it could take telepathic control of the men. The Doctor offers to take the Quitoxin to another world, but the alien vows to detonate the stasis pod and wipe out the village if its plan is stopped. The alien takes over some soldiers and sends them to attack the Doctor; but Joe intervenes, appealing to his fellows and ordering them to turn on the alien instead. With the Quitoxin rendered unconscious, the Doctor telepathically reprograms the pod’s drive systems, and reassures Lucie that the serum will eventually leave the soldiers’ systems. While Lucie encourages Joe to take over the regiment, the major sees the error of his ways. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to extract the alien pod from the encampment, then he and Lucie depart to safely dispose of it. Back at little Moreton, the protesters continue their fight against the demolition crew…
Stephen Critchlow (Narrator)
*Featuring the Eighth Doctor and Lucie
*A Big Finish Audio Production