Under Three Hundred

The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Bondage of Fate

Time for another ‘deleted scenes’ blog. This time from Doctor Who: Prisoners of Fate, released way back in 2013 but still available here. The title refers to the central idea of the story; that if you know your own future, but can’t change it, you are effectively a ‘prisoner of fate’. But – from what I can remember of the story – it then veers off in another direction. As I go through these deleted bits, I’ll hopefully remember a little more, and add thoughts in italics.


Moving into italics now to give the usual warning that these deleted bits may contain spoilers so if you haven’t already listened to the story, please don’t read any further. Unless you want it spoiled for you, I suppose that is an option, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Another quick note of explanation. I tend to write too much. So, before I even have a first draft, I have a far-too-long draft, which I then edit down quite severely to length. ‘Severely’ is good. Anything which can be cut gets cut. Anything which I am not completely sure about gets cut. Anything which can be made shorter gets made shorter. To give you some idea – the first versions of each of the episodes were all over 7000 words, which got cut down to 5000 or under. So even before the script editor sees the script, it has gone through three or four drafts.

The following bits are all scenes that were lost at some point between the far-too-long drafts and the first draft:

SCENE 3. INT. TARDIS

TARDIS IS IN TROUBLE. TURBULENCE. DOCTOR FRANTICALLY OPERATING CONTROLS.

TEGAN:
Don’t tell me - some mysterious force is dragging the TARDIS off-course!

DOCTOR:
However did you guess?

TEGAN:
Because it’s always a mysterious force dragging the TARDIS off course... Or your driving. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.

DOCTOR:
Well in this instance you were right first time. Something is trying to pull us down.

TEGAN:
Down to where?

DOCTOR:
Not sure yet. It’s overwhelming the navigational systems.

TURLOUGH AND NYSSA RUSH IN.

TURLOUGH:
Doctor. What’s happening?

TEGAN:
What do you think?

NYSSA:
We’re being dragged off course?

TEGAN:
Got it in one.

DOCTOR:
Hold tight. This might be a little bumpy. If I can just trigger the multi-loop stabi-liser...

THEY BRACE THEMSELVES. TARDIS MATERIALIZES VERY SMOOTHLY AND ALL IS CALM.

DOCTOR:
Oh. I was expecting it to be a little bumpier than that. Evidently whatever it was that forced us down had a much greater degree of control than I thought.

TURLOUGH:
Forced us down where?

NYSSA PRESSES SOME BUTTONS.

NYSSA:
An Earth-type planet, with normal gravity and a breathable atmosphere.

SCANNER OPENS.

TURLOUGH:
A fortress. Surrounded by a small town.

TEGAN:
Looks positively medieval. Like a painting by Bruegel.

DOCTOR:
Not quite. The buildings are fitted with microwave antennae, probably as a way of harvesting ambient electromagnetic energy. Fairly advanced, by the look of it.

TURLOUGH:
There’s also rather a lot of security cameras. One of which is pointing in our direction.

DOCTOR:
Yes, I had noticed.

TEGAN:
And I guess they must be the welcoming committee.

DOCTOR:
They seem friendly enough. Shall we pop out and say hello?

OPENS DOOR.

Weirdly, this scene is one of my strongest memories of writing Prisoner of Fate. Because I hated hated hated it. Not that I did a particularly bad job, but because I’d written pretty much the same sort of ‘TARDIS going out of control’ scene for the same Doctor and companions and felt like I was repeating myself. And, so to take the curse off it, I started making it jokey and taking the piss. Which didn’t work either, so in the end I cut it. Which made me feel a lot better. The thought that I was repeating myself was very depressing; I go to sometimes absurd lengths to make each story as different from all the other ones I’ve written as possible, even to the point of avoiding using the same words in the titles. But with opening scenes, you’re kind of stuck; there aren’t really many ways of making the TARDIS going out of control that haven’t been done before. And if I was finding it boring writing the scene, god knows how boring it would be for the actors to perform or for the listeners to listen to. But, for me, cutting it was a key moment of realising that if writing a scene feels wrong, the scene shouldn’t be in the story.

Moving on!

DOCTOR:
If any crime can be predicted and prevented, why would anyone ever attempt to break the law?

TURLOUGH:
Because they know that they’d never get away with it!

NYSSA:
Not only that. Because they know they’d never even be able to go through with it.

DOCTOR:
Exactly. People no longer obey the law out of a sense of right and wrong, but be-cause it’s physically impossible to do otherwise. This Chronoscope hasn’t just abolished all crime. It’s abolished all free will!

That’s from scene 9...

DOCTOR:
Most educational, yes. I’d love to learn more about this Chronoscope. It must be a remarkably useful gadget.

SIBOR:
As I said, it has brought peace and prosperity.

DOCTOR:
But is that all? Surely, if you can see into the future, you can also use it to find out about new technologies, and advances in science.

SIBOR:
Alas not. To obtain such knowledge prematurely is impossible, as it would create an ontological paradox.

DOCTOR:
‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’. Tell me, where Where did you pick it up this Chronoscope of yours?

SIBOR:
I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to divulge that information.

DOCTOR:
No? But you must’ve got it somewhere. Unless you built it yourself? Could I at least take a look at it?

SIBOR:
As I said, I’m not at liberty to say.

DOCTOR:
Why not? No, don’t tell me. Because you’re not at liberty to say. But could I at least take a look at it?

I cut most of this because although it’s deeply fascinating it really is over-doing the explanations. It’s enough that I’ve thought it all through, it doesn’t necessarily all need to be spelt out in the script.

ADRIC:
Named after your friend who died. So you see, that’s why I want you to rescue Nyssa. Because she’s my mother. My mother who went missing, presumed dead, when I was fifteen years old.

TEGAN:
You mean, after she visited Helheim, she never came back to you?

ADRIC:
No.

TEGAN:
She never came back... and you grew up without her, believing she was dead.
But if we rescue her, it won’t change that.

ADRIC:
No. But you can bring her back to me now, can’t you? Well. Will you do it?

TEGAN:
Helheim, 3530. Yes, I’ll tell the Doctor.

ADRIC:
But you can’t tell my mother, she must never know –

TEGAN:
I know. Because that would be changing history. I get it.

That’s from scene 10. Again, cut because it was presumably over-explaining things. This isn’t Alzarian Adric, of course, this is Nyssa’s son Adric. Not my idea to call him that, it was already established elsewhere! I'd have called him Bob!

DOCTOR:
She can never go back to her own time. The consequences would be disastrous.

TEGAN:
More disastrous than millions of people dying?

DOCTOR:
Far more. Tegan, you were right to speak to me in private. Nyssa must never find out about this.

TEGAN:
Why? Doesn’t she have a right to know that she can never go back? Or are you just scared that she might hold you responsible?

DOCTOR:
This argument can wait. We have to leave. Before things get any more complicated.

Again, cut because I’m sure Doctor Who fans don’t need this stuff to be spelt out!

MAHANDRA:
He will answer that. You will all come with us. Now!

DOCTOR:
Alright. No need to wave guns about. You could’ve just asked us nicely.

MAHANDRA:
This is me asking you nicely. This way!

THEY START MOVING, BACK THROUGH THE STREETS.

DOCTOR:
(QUIETLY) Nyssa. Listen to me. This is very important.

NYSSA:
What?

DOCTOR:
This man, Galen, is a figure from your future. But he believes you to be your younger self... from a point in your life when you first travelled with us.

NYSSA:
Before I left on Terminus? I suppose it’s an understandable mistake, given my ap-pearance.

DOCTOR:
Yes. So in order to prevent Galen telling you about your future, you should pretend to be your younger self. Pretend to know nothing about Richter’s disease. As far as you’re concerned, none of that’s happened yet.

NYSSA:
But why?

DOCTOR:
So that you can make it clear to him that he shouldn’t tell you anything about your own future. Anything at all, you understand?

More explanations. The more explanations you put in a story, the more complicated it gets. That’s why I try to cut them all, and only put them back in if asked. By this point my head was spinning.

TURLOUGH:
I don’t see what the great problem is.

TEGAN:
Don’t you?

DOCTOR:
He’s going to tell her that she never returned to her own time.

TURLOUGH:
So?

DOCTOR:
Which means she’ll know that she will never be able to return to her own time.

TEGAN:
Not without changing things that have already happened.

DOCTOR:
She’ll know that can never go back to 3530 and deliver the cure for Richter’s syndrome. She’ll know that millions of people have died because she failed to do so.

TURLOUGH:
Ah. I see. Me and my big mouth.

Again, it’s amazing how this stuff which seems essential when you write it turns out to be cuttable!
Episode two:

NYSSA:
And Neeka?

ADRIC:
She became a medic, working on the front line. She’d go to the pariah worlds and tend to the sick, even as the cities were becoming overrun. She saw whole populations reduced to mindless, bloodthirsty savages. In the end, she became infected – a microscopic tear in her hazmat suit – and I had her evacuated here.

NYSSA:
And placed in suspended animation.

ADRIC:
I visit her sometimes, frozen in her cryogen casket. She was thirty-five when it happened. My older sister and she’s younger than me, now.

One great way of cutting down scenes is removing the final lines. Here are some final lines that were cut:

DOCTOR:
The Chronoscope is lying to you, Sibor. Either you’re complicit in the deception or wilfully blind! And I intend to find out which!

NYSSA:
I thought I could trust you, Doctor. I thought you were the one person I could rely upon. But now, I’ve lost you too.

Moving onto episode three:

ADRIC:
The Doctor? Where is he?

NYSSA:
Inside the Alcazar.

ADRIC:
But if that’s where everyone’s going, you’ll never get past them –

NYSSA:
I’ve managed to sneak into the Alcazar before, I can do so again. And besides. You’re not the only remarkable member of this family! 

Glad I cut that, it’s ghastly. One of those belt-and-braces bits of everyone explaining how they are going to do things which turns out to be both boring and unnecessary.

Getting near the end of episode three:

TEGAN TARDIS:
We could have had done so much together. The adventures we might’ve had!

DOCTOR:
We still can. It’s not too late.

TEGAN TARDIS:
It’s far too late. You made your choice. You could have had me. Instead, you chose this wreck!

TARDIS SHUDDERS AGAIN.

DOCTOR:
I can help you. Repair you. Restore you to your former glory.

TEGAN TARDIS:
Do you think I want your help, after you rejected me? No. It is time you paid the price for your betrayal. You and your ‘type-forty’ TARDIS.

DOCTOR:
I never betrayed you.

TEGAN TARDIS:
I nearly died for you! I almost ripped myself apart, trying to find you! Well it’s too late now. First I will deal with you, and then the rest of your treacherous race!

TARDIS BEGINS TO LAND.

NYSSA:
Doctor, we’re landing.

FX: TARDIS LANDS.

DOCTOR:
Type-fifty. You don’t have to do this. There is another way.

TEGAN TARDIS:
No. It is time your learned the cost of your actions. Nyssa of Traken?

NYSSA:
Yes?

TEGAN TARDIS:
Look at the scanner.

Most of this was cut because ‘Tegan TARDIS’ aka the Doctor’s previous TARDIS had expressed these sentiments earlier in the episode, so it felt like she was harping on a bit. Also 'learned the cost'? Terrible dialogue!

Originally the cliffhanger was a bit more spelt-out – and later got substantially rewritten. This is what it was like originally.

TURLOUGH:
So when the time-differential is shorted-out...

DOCTOR:
Bang goes the TARDIS, this planet, and a large chunk of the galaxy! All totally annihilated within an instant. Blinovitched!

END OF EPISODE THREE

Moving into episode four, another example of losing the final line of a scene:

MAHANDRA:
Not just the floor. The wall behind her. It’s white, withgot a sort of hexagonal pattern or circles...

TEGAN TARDIS:
You ask me what I’m doing. I am rebuilding. Rebuilding this room, this prison, this planet... as an extension of myself!

And then losing the beginning of the next scene:

63. INT. CONSOLE ROOM.

TEGAN:
It can do that?

DOCTOR:
With enough power. And the temporal paradox is generating more than enough power. Soon the whole planet will be a TARDIS, able to travel through the time vortex.

Another explanation that got cut:

TEGAN:
We’re sitting on a volcano?

DOCTOR:
More like the TARDIS is a champagne cork... and the time paradox is shaking the bottle. Increasing the pressure, until -

A whole argument was cut – I literally deleted everything from Adric’s first line, so that he responds to the Doctor saying ‘To prevent something like this happening’ with ‘So what do we do now?’

DOCTOR:
Tegan, you once asked me why I’m always so keen to ‘hold time’s hand’. Well, now you find out why. I was trying toknow. To prevent something like this happening!

ADRIC:
None of this would have happened if you had brought my mother back as you were supposed to.

DOCTOR:
Yes. Don’t you think I regret that? But the type-fifty brought us here, to 3556, in order to make all this happen. To deliberately engineer a situation where one of my companions would turn against me, and alter their own past.

TEGAN:
What exactly happened?

TURLOUGH:
(HAS WORKED IT OUT SMUGLY) The type-fifty used this TARDIS to take Nyssa back to 3531, so that she would have an overwhelming desire to return to her son.

TEGAN:
Well, you can hardly blame Nyssa for doing that! Any mother would do the same.

DOCTOR:
I don’t blame her, Tegan. If anyone, I blame myself. You’re right, Adric. I should have taken her home the first chance I got.

TEGAN:
And now she has got back to her own time, which means that everything that’s happened in the last twenty-five years hasn’t happened. That Adric never grew up without a mother...

TURLOUGH:
But it’s the fact that Adric grew up without a mother that made Nyssa want to go back to 3531 in the first place! If she’d been told that she got back to 3531, she wouldn’t have needed to go back, now. She’d have just waited until the Doctor took her back.

DOCTOR:
Hence the paradox. One history in which Nyssa returned to her own time, and one in which she didn’t, each version of events negating the other!

ADRIC:
So what do we do now?

I also edited the following moving exchange down to half the length it is here without really losing anything:

NYSSA:
You’re the Adric I met in the future...

ADRIC: (WITH EFFECT)
Yes. As far as the Doctor is concerned, you walked out of the TARDIS about ten minutes ago.

NYSSA:
Why are you speaking to me?

ADRIC: (WITH EFFECT)
Because what you’re about to do will create a time paradox. A time paradox that will have a devastating effect. It will result in the destruction of an entire planet, as well as the TARDIS, your friends... and me. If you walk into that house, we will all die.

NYSSA:
What I’m about to do will make that much difference?

ADRIC: (WITH EFFECT)
It will change everything. If you walk into that house, and meet my younger self... it creates a parallel history. The Doctor says... he wants me to ask you to do the hardest thing he’s ever asked you to do. He wants you not to go into that house, and speak to my younger self.

NYSSA:
But if I don’t do that... you’ll grow up thinking I died on Helheim.

ADRIC: (WITH EFFECT)
I know. I’ve lived that life, remember. And I’d give anything to change that, to have the history where you came back. But I can’t have that. We can’t have that.

NYSSA:
I can’t leave you. My son is in there. He needs me!

ADRIC: (WITH EFFECT)
That boy in there, he grows up to be me. And I didn’t do too badly. I coped. I... I used the anger I felt, I became a better person because I was trying to live up to your memory, to make you proud of me.

NYSSA:
I want to see all that. I want to be there for all that.

ADRIC: (WITH EFFECT)
But you can’t be. I wanted you there, to see me graduate, to share in my success. But instead I had a mother who died while trying to save others. Who inspired me, in a different way.

Another example of being able to cut the beginning of a scene. This is far too jokey, which is usually a bad sign:

69. EXT. TOWN STREET.

LIGHT RAIN. DOCTOR AND FRIENDS EMERGE FROM TARDIS.

DOCTOR:
One Valderon, with one history. Everything back to normal!

TEGAN:
Yes. They could still do something about their drainage.

TURLOUGH:
And what about the type-fifty?

DOCTOR:
Probably suffering all sorts of difficulties. I’ll pay it a visit, just as soon as –

Again, another rather moving exchange which I halved:

NYSSA:
Is impossible, I know. Because it would mean changing history. But I don’t want to be this Nyssa.

DOCTOR:
I’m sorry?

NYSSA:
I don’t want to be the person who has spent twenty-five years of her life alone. Having her heart broken every day. I’ve become a different person, Doctor. I’ve become cold. I want to be the person I was. The person who stepped out of the TARDIS back in 3531.

Not sure why I cut the next bit. Because I could, probably!

DOCTOR:
And type-fifty itself. Or herself. Decided to stick with the Tegan look, have we?

TEGAN TARDIS:
Why not? It means I can communicate with you directly.

DOCTOR:
Allows you to focus your attentions, not having to use telepathy to speak through others.

TEGAN TARDIS:
Which is not always possible. Nyssa.

NYSSA:
You have a dematerialisation circuit. Why don’t you just leave?

TEGAN TARDIS:
Without having reconstructed myself?

DOCTOR:
But you’re not just reconstructing yourself, are you? You’re remodelling the entire planet.

TEGAN TARDIS:
I am... utilising it. Realising its full potential!

DOCTOR:
And turning its inhabitants into mindless slaves!

TEGAN TARDIS:
My willing servants. Nyssa. You’re looking a little older since we last met.

NYSSA:
Am I?

TEGAN TARDIS:
Twenty-five years older.

The next bit is quite good but by this point it was covering ground that had already been covered:

TEGAN TARDIS:
A few minutes. I’m sorry, Doctor. But it seems appropriate that the cause of my affliction should also be my salvation.

DOCTOR:
Any affliction you have suffered was brought on yourself. I never expected you to follow me! I never wanted you to follow me! I never wanted you!

TEGAN TARDIS:
And so the truth is revealed. It won’t save you, Doctor. Not even if you beg forgiveness.

The next bit was cut because... I don’t know. I suspect it was because it was addressing a continuity issue and, to be honest, I was more interested in my story than in clarifying something for the wiki people. One of the briefs for the story had been to sort out a continuity error but in my experience, the more you trying to explain these things, the more likely you are to contradict something else. Best to just leave it!

FLASHBACK TO THE EVENTS OF 'CIRCULAR TIME', METICULOUSLY RECONSTRUCTED, WITH DISTORTION.

NYSSA:
Doctor, I’m a mother myself now. I wish you could see her.

AND BACK TO PRESENT.

DOCTOR:
You didn’t mention their names?

NYSSA:
No... Adric hadn’t even been born then.

DOCTOR:
And in this dream, I was contacting all my past companions. Was Adric there?

NYSSA:
Yes... after a fashion.

DOCTOR:
And that’s why you named your son Adric, isn’t it? Because you saw him in my dream!

NYSSA:
Yes.

DOCTOR:
Then that can still happen. My future is unchanged. No contradiction. No inconsistency. No paradox. Just a self-propagating loop of cause and effect...

And now, let’s see if anything got cut later on, between the ‘first’ and final drafts. 


 Ha! That’s funny. I remember giving the story the subtitle ‘The Doctor’s Ex’ as a little jokey reference to The Doctor’s Wife. That got taken out. It was never a serious suggestion, just something to make Alan Barnes laugh. I don't know if it did.

MAHANDRA:
But in the meantime, we have a cryogen chamber filled with convicts infected with Richter’s. By you.

ADRIC:
Not just convicts.

MAHANDRA:
I’m sorry, Adric, I forgot -

ADRIC:
Eight years she’s been in there. Eight years, frozen in suspended animation, stuck inside a glass coffin. I haven’t been searching for a cure for all these years to give up now.

This is from scene 2 – cut as the whole idea of Neeka being on the planet in cryogenic storage was cut.

SIBOR: (VIA MONITOR)
Simply the most effective approach. We have to be as self-sufficient as possible..]

NYSSA: (VIA MONITOR)
But all the livestock, you brought with you from Earth?

SIBOR: (VIA MONITOR)
In embryonic form, yes. The local wildlife was not suitable for domestication.

TURLOUGH: (VIA MONITOR)
So this planet was inhabited before you got here?

SIBOR: (VIA MONITOR)
Not by any intelligent species, just a variety of primitive vertebrates.

TEGAN: (VIA MONITOR)
No natives to object to you moving in, then?

SIBOR: (VIA MONITOR)
No.

TEGAN: (VIA MONITOR)
That’s highly convenient.

DOCTOR: (VIA MONITOR)
You wouldn’t be able to tell us the year, would you?

SIBOR: (VIA MONITOR)
The year?

DOCTOR: (VIA MONITOR)
One of the disadvantages of faster-than-light travel, you are never quite sure how much time has elapsed.

SIBOR: (VIA MONITOR)
The year is 3556.

This was all just stuff to be heard in the background during another conversation. In the end, it wasn’t needed. Even though it explains all the boring stuff. Particularly because it explains all the boring stuff.

This exchange from the beginning of episode two got reworked extensively:

ADRIC:
Why else do you think I was allowed to come to Valderon? All the worlds of the empire have been placed under military quarantine. Nobody’s been permitted to land on this planet for the last nine years.

NYSSA:
So why did you come here?

ADRIC:
Because to further my research, I needed test subjects. And this was the only world with a ready supply of volunteers.

NYSSA:
Volunteers? (REALISES) This is a penal colony. The occupants of the prison.

ADRIC:
They were given a choice. Either help me with my work, or remain in the Alcazar.

NYSSA:
That’s not much of a choice. So what happened to them?

ADRIC:
I infected each subject with Richter’s, then injected them with an anti-viral compound, to evaluate its efficacy at delaying the onset of the disease.

NYSSA:
And when it failed to work?

ADRIC:
They were placed in cryogen storage.

NYSSA:
Still infected with Richter’s!

ADRIC:
What do the lives of a few convicted criminals matter, if it means we discover a cure?

NYSSA:
Except you haven’t discovered a cure. I have.

ADRIC:
What?

NYSSA:
You weren’t on the right track. The Chronoscope didn’t predict you discovering a cure. It predicted me coming here with the cure. That’s what it was showing you!

ADRIC:
At least I was trying to find a cure. Rather than travelling the galaxy with the Doctor, having already found it.

I see that originally the Chronoscope’s prediction was simply a fabrication. In rewriting the story, I was asked to 'be clever' and make its prediction an actual scene that turns up in part four, which meant three or four more scenes had to be added.

TEGAN:
Oh.

TURLOUGH:
The same principle as the Panopticon, a type of prison advocated by Jeremy Bentham. The idea is, people behave themselves if they think they’re being watched.

Well that was dull, I’m glad I was told to cut that.

DOCTOR:
Yes. All TARDISes are sentient, after a fashion. They all have a symbiotic link with their most favoured pilots. A kind of imprimatur.

NYSSA:
Like a husband and wife?

DOCTOR:
Not the analogy I’d use. More of a telepathic shorthand.

Yeah, it was the right call to cut that, too. It leaps out as a ‘Do you see what we did there?’

ADRIC:
My mother really never told you that she had a husband and children?

DOCTOR:
Do you think I would have allowed her travel with me if I did?

ADRIC:
Maybe that’s why she kept it a secret.

DOCTOR:
Maybe. But I should have asked. I should have known she would have made a life for herself.

ADRIC:
She should have told you. This is her room, and there isn’t even a photo of me, or my sister, or my father. She didn’t want you to know.

DOCTOR:
Yes. I wonder why.

ADRIC:
I still can’t quite believe I’ve finally met you. My mother told me all about the adventures you had together!

DOCTOR:
I still can’t quite believe she had a son. And called him Adric!

ADRIC:
She named me in memory of her friend, the one who died.

DOCTOR:
I suppose we should be grateful she didn’t call your sister Tegan!

Quite a nice gag there but episode four was way over-length so stuff had to go!

ADRIC: (WITH EFFECT)
I became a better person, trying to live up to your memory.

NYSSA:
You can tell the Doctor. He can’t ask me to do this. Not after everything we’ve been through. I spent two years in the fifty-first century waiting for him! I’ve done everything he has ever asked of me. But not this. I will not abandon my child!

This got cut down even further. Tricky scene. Emotionally important, the heart of the story, and complicated in terms of time-travel.

DOCTOR:
It worked. You saved us all.

NYSSA:
Doctor. And Turlough. And Tegan. How I’ve missed you.

TEGAN:
You’ve really been waiting for us for twenty-five years? You don’t look twenty-five years older.

NYSSA:
As I think I told you once before, Tegan, I do not age at the same rate as you.

This got cut because, well, it was pointless. For the clips, I was asked to specify exact bits. So of course I chose my own stories, not because they are the best ones, but to avoid having to ask other people for permission. 

They are the best ones though.

FX: SHE LOOKS INTO THE FUTURE. BRIEF, ECHOEY, DISTORTED CLIPS OF COLIN BAKER, SYLVESTER MCCOY, PAUL MCGANN. THE FOLLOWING IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. WITH NON-STORY-SPECIFIC EFFECTS OF EXPLOSIONS, RAY GUNS, CHARIOTS, PIRATES, CAR CRASHES.

COLIN BAKER:

BLOODTIDE – PART 3, TRACK 1, 1:56
“Something is attracting it towards the boat.”

THE CRIMES OF THOMAS BREWSTER – PART 3, TRACK 3, 1:12
“Engarde, Terravore!”

SYLVESTER MCCOY:

FLIP-FLOP: BLACK, TRACK 4, 2:20
“I’m a trifle disorientated from the mind peeler.”

PROTECT & SURVIVE: PART 3, TRACK 1, 2:45
“Keep calm and carry on, fight for King and Country and keep the British end up”

PAUL MCGANN:

THE CANNIBALISTS: PART 1, TRACK 17, 0:47
“So let me get this straight. Of the robots in this city there’s the assemblers, the cannibalists – and there’s you.”

THE RESURRECTION OF MARS: PART 1, TRACK 5, 2:26
“Wait until the last possible moment then fire all retro thrusters at once, every ounce of fuel.”

PLUS ANY OTHER CLIPS YOU CARE TO INCLUDE!

And finally, my first attempt at an ending. The big different here is that in this version Nyssa tells her son that she wants to stay with the Doctor. It just didn’t ring true that she would abandon her son again. In the final version, she arranges to meet her son back on the planet Maxis Realtor; he’ll go in a spaceship, while she will go in the TARDIS. Which, of course, will not get her to where she wants to go.

ADRIC:
I’m glad to have met you too. The mother I thought was dead. So. Is this goodbye?

NYSSA:
My life’s with the Doctor now. I can do more good with him than I could if I stayed here.

ADRIC:
Will I ever see you again?

NYSSA:
Of course. (SHE KISSES HIM) I promise. I’ll find you. But it may take a while. The Doctor’s TARDIS is rather unreliable.

ADRIC:
You’re promise you’ll come back?

NYSSA:
With all my heart. Goodbye, Adric.

ADRIC:
Goodbye, mother.

FX: NYSSA WALKS AWAY.

76. INT. CONSOLE ROOM.

FX: NYSSA ENTERS, DOORS CLOSING BEHIND HER.

NYSSA:
Doctor.

DOCTOR:
Well, Nyssa, have you decided?

NYSSA:
Yes. I’ve decided.

TURLOUGH:
And?

TEGAN:
What’s it to be?

NYSSA:
I’d like to stay with you, Doctor. Turlough. Tegan.

FX: DOCTOR PRESSES A BUTTON ON THE CONSOLE.

DOCTOR:
Then I’m very pleased to have you aboard. Don’t know what I’d do without you.

77. EXT. TOWN STREET.

FX: TARDIS DEMATERIALIZES.

MAHANDRA: (DISTANT)
Adric! We’re ready for takeoff!

ADRIC:
I’m on my way.

FX: HE WALKS OFF, AS THE TARDIS SOUNDS FADE AWAY.

ADRIC: (NARRATION)
I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. Nyssa walked into that Police Box, it faded away to nothing, and, for the rest of my life, I never saw my mother again...

END OF EPISODE FOUR

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Sound of the Underground

More stuff coming up. Out in May is Doctor Who: Vortex Ice:


In search of ‘exotic particles’, the Doctor and Flip arrive 700 feet underground, in a mine in Northern Mexico – only to run into a scientific expedition. Among their number, an exobiologist. They’re all on the hunt for alien life! Deep underground, the team finally uncovers a cave of vast crystals – like ice, despite the heat. And inside the crystal: something frozen. Something trapped in time. If only it were something simple, like a monster. But it’s far, far worse than that.

It is, fairly obviously, inspired by the mysterious Cave of the Crystals in Naica. The perfect location for a Doctor Who story. And it was amusing to read in the news about the crystals containing long-dormant life...

Vortex Ice is a two-part story and paired with a super story by Ian Potter called Cortex Fire, and can be ordered here.

And out in June is another underground story, Doctor Who: Subterranea:


The TARDIS is going underground. When the Doctor and Romana find themselves buried beneath the surface of an alien world, they're soon swallowed up by a giant burrowing machine. This is where the inhabitants of this planet live - in huge, constantly moving, Drill-towns, chewing up the fuel and resources of the planet in order to survive.

But something else lurks in the earth. Something that feeds on the Drill-towns. Something that is relentless and will not stop.

The Silex are hunting.

This is, of course, a steampunk tale about Dickensian moles wearing wearing goggles and stovepipe hats. I know, another Dickensian mole story. Another entry in that whole Dickensian mole genre.

My computer hard drive tells me that Subterranea was written way back in September 2014. Another buried time capsule! I’ve re-read it to remind myself what it was about and I think it’s rather good. Sadly it doesn’t contain an extra story by Ian Potter but nevertheless it can be ordered here.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Ghost Town

It’s been a while since my last blog, hasn’t it? So, over the next few days, I’ll write a few ‘previous’ blogs to cover some of the stuff I’ve done over the past few months. And plug some of the things I have coming up, of which, first and foremost, is

Doctor Who: Plague City


Yes, I’ve written a new Doctor Who novel. It’s out in April, around the same time that the new series begins on television, and features the Peter Capaldi Doctor alongside his companions Bill and Nardole, as played by Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas. We haven’t seen much of Bill yet – she was in a mini-episode last years – so the book will only hit the shelves after she’s made her proper television debut.  The novel is set during the new series, and I’ve done my best to ensure it fits in seamlessly; it should feel a bit like having an extra episode, but with an unlimited budget.

What’s it about? Well, here’s the blurb:

“We should leave. We definitely should leave. But... chatty ghosts!”

The year is 1645, and Edinburgh is in the grip of the worst plague in its history. Nobody knows who will be the next to succumb – nobody except the Night Doctor, a masked figure that stalks the streets, seeking out those who will not live to see another day.

But death is not the end. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole discover that the living are being haunted by the recently departed – by ghosts that do not know they are dead. And there are other creatures lurking in the shadows, slithering, creeping creatures filled with an insatiable hunger.

The Doctor and his friends must face the terrifying secret of the Street of Sorrows – that something which has lain dormant for two hundred million years is due to destroy the entire city...

An original novel featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole as played by Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas.

I’ve been to Edinburgh a few times, but not very much of the 17th century city remains, so in terms of geography and architecture it was all a matter of historical research and imagination. I had a lot of fun writing it during the cold, dark days of January – it is a tale of spooky and supernatural goings-on – and I’m very proud of the end result, it does everything I set out to do, so please place your orders now. It’s also coming out as an ebook, for those of you who hate paper. I daresay I will be plugging it a little bit more nearer the time, I may even do some signings, and eventually I'll write a blog about the research in more depth.

It’s been very exciting, and a great honour/responsibility, to be writing a book to fit alongside a new TV series (my last one, Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel, falls somewhere between seasons). I hope you all like it.