Saturday, 21 July 2012

So you were probably thinking Ithrat Cordwallis was dead?

Nae - he has been but hibernating, and now that the summer sun once again shines upon the interwebs she/he/it is ready to regale you with tales of wit and brilliance straight from a most piquant imagination... did you enjoy it? Excellent - see you in another six months.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Quiet

Hello to you, whoever you are, wherever you may be. If you found this post, congratulations - you have achieved the first of the impossible things you had scheduled before breakfast.

So what has been Ithrat Cordwallis been up to? Well, I've been building a bridge; it starts and finishes at the same spot, so there are some who'd have you believe there's no bridge there at all, but don't you believe them!

Aside from the bridge, I've been writing some more, although nothing but frivolities, which you can read by linking on the Doctor Who fictions page. And before you think it, 'fanfic' is not a dirty word. It's a <i> very </i> dirty word, but I am whore, and both of us are happy, especially given I offer my services for free. Right, okay, nothing off-colour in that paragraph... 

In other news, my important novel, now in its seventh year of gestation, still has only stumpy extremeties and an ill-formed limbic system, but I'm hoping to have it to you by 2015 at the latest; one to watch out for, I fancy!

And those are the headlines.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Three Word Title

In one of many dozens of boxes discovered in the basement of 2495 Glendower Avenue following the death of the property’s owner was a yellow quarto notepad date-stamped 1956. Within that notepad, and surrounded by hand-written notes and amendments, was a double spaced, type-written story. The story was interesting for many reasons; not for its noticeably parochial English style and setting, which was a hall-mark of many pieces of the period, but for the manner in which it foreshadowed a number of notable fictions that followed. Reproduced below, with permission, is that story’s full text; the handwritten notes are not included, as to do so would diminish the narrative flow that the original author presumably intended.
***
 It was nearing closing time at ‘The White Hart’ when a frantic Harry Purvis burst in through the King’s end doors and knocked Eric Russell’s drink clean from his hand.

 ‘Mr. Purvis, it is most unlike you to dash,’ said a laughing Drew, as he languidly polished the hand-pumps behind the bar, ‘care to tell us the reason for this energetic display?’
 A good number of eyes were already on Harry Purvis, given his uncharacteristically energetic entrance, and they remained on him as he ordered six pints of lager and three packets of peanuts, which he paid for, also uncharacteristically, with his own money, and rather more of it than was necessary; in this case, a crisp new five pound note.
 ‘Five pounds, Mr. Purvis? I say,’ said Drew, cheerfully.

 ‘Are you buying a drink for everyone, or is the world about to end?’ asked Sam Youd, to laughter.

 Harry Purvis downed one of the pints and sat down on a nearby bar-stool, breathing heavily, apparently unable to focus his mind, whilst the clearly rapt audience watched as Harry filled his briar pipe with tobacco.
 ‘Gentlemen, I have seen a ghost,’ he said after almost forty seconds of silence, something of a record for an evening in the White Hart.
 ‘A ghost? Poppycock!’ said John Christopher, ‘You’ll be saying you saw walking plants next!’
 Harry Purvis started on his second pint and shakily lit his pipe.  ‘Well you may scoff,’ he said, ‘but I know what I saw, and it was quite the uncanny thing.’
 ‘Which was what, exactly?’ asked Eric Russell, helping himself to one of Harry’s remaining drinks as a replacement for the one that had been knocked from his hand.
 ‘I saw myself,’ said Harry.
 ‘Introspection, or in a mirror?’ asked John Christopher.
 ‘Neither,’ replied Harry Purvis. ‘What I saw, gentlemen, was something with a genuine presence outside my own mind, out by Cheapside, and I watched as he, or indeed I, pointed at me, or indeed him, prior to one or other of us vanishing into a police box.’
 ‘Nothing special about that; people often go into police boxes,’ said Drew, ‘it was probably just a man who looked like you?’
 ‘No, it was indisputably me,’ replied Harry, ‘I would never fail to recognise my own humble gaze.’
 There was a murmur of laughter from one of the pub’s darker corners, but even this was insufficient to abate the portentousness that filled the air.
 ‘That’s not all,’ continued Harry, ‘for the moment my other self vanished, so too did the police box.’   With that, he downed the remainder of his second pint and started on his third.
 ‘Were you drinking somewhere other than my hallowed establishment from some point this a.m., Mr. Purvis?’ asked Drew.
 ‘I wish,’ said Harry Purvis, ‘but my concern is that if what I saw was real, I fear it does rather herald the end of the world.’
 It was on this interjection that the door at the King’s end burst open again and another Harry Purvis walked in; or, at least, a facsimile of Harry Purvis so thorough that it may as well have been created by a machine.
 ‘I probably shouldn’t be here,’ said the second Harry Purvis, pointing towards the first, ‘but you have a traitor in your midst.’
 The first Harry Purvis looked up, startled.  ‘Surely you don’t mean me?’ he asked.
 ‘No, I mean me,’ replied the second jovially. Sidling up next to the first, and his drinks, the second continued, ‘mind if I have one of these? Looks like you have some spares.’
 One of those spares was immediately claimed by George Whitely, who had dropped his own in astonishment, but it still left Harry’s double with a double to choose from. As he chose, the public bar was very quiet. The assembled throng, who were used to Harry Purvis’ elucidative silences, waited to see what would happen next, and what happened next was this: the second Harry Purvis whispered something into the ear of the first, who then rose and left the White Hart via the door through which he had entered.
 ‘So, as I was saying, I saw a man walk into a Police Box,’ said the Harry Purvis who remained.
 ‘That sounds like the opening to a very bad joke,’ said Drew, ‘and I believe it was the other you who spoke those words.’
 ‘Another me? Sounds to me like you’re the one starting a very bad joke,’ said Harry Purvis.
 Had this been an ordinary group of ordinary people being given the ordinary run-around, they may well have been vexed by the elliptical evasiveness of Harry Purvis’s replies, but regulars in the White Hart were used to this kind of thing, and knew it would simply be a case of waiting out the mystery until Harry chose to elucidate, and this he did once he had finished the remainder of the beer.
 ‘John, your question about the type of me I saw earlier was on the button,’ said Harry, eventually. ‘And the answer is “neither”. I know that usually when I tell you of fantastical things, they relate to incidents involving associates or acquaintances of mine, but in this instance, the incident happened to me and I couldn’t help but share it with you.’
 ‘But so far you’ve shared nothing, and you certainly haven’t explained your duplicate,’ said John Christopher.
 ‘Oh, but I have,’ replied Harry, ‘to myself, at least. Okay, let me start at the end. Just after I left here a moment ago, I was walking by St. Pauls and I was accosted by an odd-looking fellow in an astrakhan hat. He told me that the very future of the world was at stake, and that I was to go with him at once, so I did.’
 ‘He told you the future of the world was at stake and you believed him?’ asked George Whitely, incredulously.
 Harry Purvis shrugged.   ‘It isn’t so much that I believed him; it’s more that I’d just chanced upon a double of myself in the pub, which would doubtless faze you should it happen to you, and given I had nothing in my diary for a couple of hours, what did I have to lose? That’s why I went with him. All that transpired is that we ran around London’s sewers for a bit, threw a helix of semi-precious stones at some ill-lit men we happened upon down there, and these ill-let men then turned into gas before vanishing. So, the odd-looking fellow and I retired to the aforementioned police box --which, I ought to add, had greater dimension on the inside than out, and also, so the fellow told me, had some 387.44 million miles of corridors within it-- and before I knew what else, I was transported to some place called Algernon, where I was introduced to the walking, and indeed talking, plants that ran the place. Then I was taken to a town called Arrowhead, which was full of Americans, so you can imagine what that was like. There was no particular logic to any of this, mind; not that I could tell, because straight after that the odd-looking fellow said to me, ‘Thank you very much,’ returned me to a sunlit Cheapside, intimated that it was now somewhat earlier in the day than when we had left and, as a result of which, I ought to avoid the White Hart for a significant while. Now, I believed I had done just that until I ran into myself, in here, a moment ago, and on meeting myself again I was obliged to tell myself to go outside and get some air, such that everything could fit back together as it should.’
 There was a brief silence.
 ‘That’s quite the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever told us,’ said John Christopher, ‘and despite your air of mystery, some of the chaps here have evidence that there is a twin brother Purvis, and it is therefore quite probable that the two of you are on some sort of wind-up.’
 ‘Ah, you know of my other?’ asked Harry Purvis, dejectedly.
 ‘Finding out such things is most certainly distinguishable from magic, Mr. Purvis, yes,’ replied Drew.
 ‘And your story was pretty unbelievable,’ said George Whitely. ‘The biggest clue, of course, being that you started it by spending your own money in here!’
 There was suddenly a twinkle in Harry Purves’ eye.  ‘Oh, I borrowed that fiver on Algernon,’ he said. ‘I suspect very strongly that it’s from the future.’
 ‘Really?’ said Drew and he took the five pound note from the till to take a closer look. As he held the note in his hand, it crumbled to nothing. This, Harry suggested, was the Universe’s way of balancing out the entropy that had been displaced as a result of his recent temporal jaunt.
 ‘Oh, I see,’ said Drew, sceptically, ‘I suppose you’re suggesting that your dodgy fiver isn’t just a bit of sleight-of-hand? Well, no matter, Mr. Purvis; I’ll just put the drinks on your tab.’
 ‘Oh, add another couple,’ said Harry Purves, smiling.
 Drew pulled two more pints then looked up at the clock behind the bar.  ‘Goodness, it’s getting late?’ he said, then added with a flourish, ‘Time, gentlemen, please!’

***

 The existence of the notepad and its story prior to their discovery had long been the subject of rumour, the most famous of which was started by an inebriated John W. Campbell at the 1959 Hugo Awards, but the furore that greeted their discovery was even more well known, no doubt as a result of the fist fight between Neil Gaiman and Harlan Ellison outside Sotheby’s in August 2010, but unknown to the public until now are two very important facts.

 Firstly, despite it bearing many of the hallmarks of Arthur C. Clarke, the story was actually written by the real Harry Purvis, who was in fact responsible for all of the 'White Hart' stories, the conception and execution of which were as a web of autobiographical metaphors that related his dissociative psychosis before it finally overwhelmed him, causing him to leave England to join the Merry Pranksters in the early 1960s. Secondly, despite the notepad being date-stamped 1956, and despite its existence being widely rumoured since 1959, both it, and the character of Harry Purvis as presented here, are themselves fictions, created by the real Harry Purvis for reasons that remain obscure but were nevertheless recorded for posterity by the aforementioned Arthur C. Clarke. When these facts are considered alongside what may be generously described as the story’s prescience, most notably with regards to motifs usually accredited to Sydney Newman, it should not come as any surprise that Harry Purvis vanished from public view when he did, nor that the notepad stayed in private hands for so long.
 Nevertheless, even since the Sotheby’s incident, questions regarding the notepad’s provenance are regularly asked; indeed, there are rumours that the essay you are reading constituted the handwritten notes and amendments that surrounded the original story. Suffice to say, there is no foundation to these rumours, other than their truth.
The notepad is now back in private hands, and is likely to remain so indefinitely. This essay, however, is available for public consumption.
Addendum:
 Whilst searching the web for inspiration for a story, I came across a series of academic essays on an MSU server that detailed how the written word had risen from humble beginnings to being the major arbiter of the historic record, albeit with the significant caveat that without corroboration and substantiation, that record was open to abuse and falsification. The ideas I took from these essays were necessarily general, but my search was clearly logged somewhere because shortly afterwards I received an anonymous e-mail from somewhere in Argentina. The e-mail was encrypted with a hexadecimal key, but once decrypted, I was presented with an equally anonymous essay entitled, ‘Three Word Title.’ This essay had ostensibly been accepted for publication in July 2011’s ‘SF&F Review of Letters’ but was yet to be published, and the e-mail intimated that as the essay could somehow be considered to be in the public domain, I should do with it as I felt fit. What I felt fit was to appropriate its title, and to quote its text verbatim, both of which I’ve done above. The e-mail then ended, as is usual with this kind of thing, with the disclaimer, ‘If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, then it was meant for someone else,’ and that was it. I attempted to reply to the e-mail, but my attempts kept bouncing back, so I had to assume that the essay was addressed to me all along. That said, I’ve found little on web to verify the essay’s claims, the Sotheby’s incident notwithstanding, but even if everything in the essay were true, it hardly fulfils any notions of ‘fair usage’--I can see dozens of copyright infractions with only a cursory examination. Plus I can barely understand the excitement the notepad and its story caused, given that similar notepads, with similar stories, can be found for a dime a dozen in any library from Los Feliz to Buenos Aires. Those things aside, the essay did give me a concrete idea for a story; a story that, you’ll be pleased to know, is now finished.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Breakfast bar


Now for something quick and dirty. I don't really know what to say - is it a script for a sketch? Is it a vignette? Is it something whose only purpose is to exist? Who knows. What I can tell you is that the title gives a good clue as to what it's about.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here it is:

 A man sits at the counter of a busy breakfast bar. In front of him is a small carton of cornflakes, an enamel bowl, a cup of coffee, a plate of toast and a moist towelette. The man sips the coffee, bites a slice of toast, lifts the carton of cornflakes and pours its contents into the bowl. Then he stares forlornly at the results and reads the side of the carton. A busboy wanders over, coffee pot in hand.
 ‘You know they’re broken, don’tcha?’ says the busboy, pointing at the cornflakes.
 ‘I beg your pardon?’ replies the man. ‘Broken? I don’t believe I poured them too hard when I shook them from the box.’
 ‘No, not like that broken.  I mean they don’t work.’
 The man looks again at the cornflakes, takes a further sip of his coffee and returns his gaze to the busboy.
 ‘I’m afraid I don’t follow, young man.  The box says they’re high in fibre and vitamin enriched.’
 ‘Ah, but check out the tagline – “everything you need for a proper breakfast” ’
 ‘Uh-huh. I still don’t follow you.’
 ‘Well, for my money, a proper breakfast needs whisky and hookers. Certainly gets me going in the morning that does.’
 ‘Oh yes, I see, yes; I can understand why you might think that these cornflakes would be distressingly ill-equipped for that, yes.’
 ‘Mind you, if you pour milk on them...’
 ‘And that would get you whisky and hookers, would it?’
 ‘No, but it would give you moist soaks who won’t give you ‘no’ for an answer; close enough in my book.’
 ‘Hmm – I’m afraid I have no idea at all what you’re talking about.’
 ‘Nah, well, you wouldn’t mate,’ says the busboy. ‘And between you and me, I don’t trust your toast, neither.’
 ‘Why?’
 ‘Well, I don’t trust our short order chef.’
 ‘Well, why on earth not?’
 ‘Cause he’s only got one leg.’
 ‘Surely that’s not a problem in this day and age?’
 ‘Nah, well, I’d normally agree with you, just yesterday he had two legs, and this morning we had a freezer full of chops.’
 ‘Oh, goodness, is that so? I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation.’
 ‘You mean, like, he’s been storing frozen meat down his trousers for the last eighteen months?’
 ‘Quite conceivably, I’m sure.’
 The man notices he has finished his coffee.
 ‘Pour me some more coffee, would you?’ he asks.
 ‘Coffee’s off.’
 ‘So what’s that in your pot?’
 ‘Well, our maitre d’s got to go the diabetes clinic as a result of eating too many blackjacks and this is his sample. Nah, I’m just messing with you; here you go.’
 The busboy pours some coffee and the man sips at it, then immediately spits it out.
 ‘This coffee is terrible!’ he says.
 ‘Yeah, I know. I was just messing with you when I said I was messing with you. Our poor maitre d’; he’s not a well man, as you can taste. But y’know, he thinks on his feet, leads from the front and that.’
 ‘Oh my – this really is...? Oh my!’
 ‘It’s a speciality, isn’t it? Like Kobe beef or shitake mushrooms. Waiter’s water we call it.  It’s got a lovely liquorice thing going on, don’t you think?’
 The man looks at his coffee cup in disgust.
 ‘Good god, no, I don’t want any more of this.’
 ‘Nah, well, it is a bit of an acquired taste.  I dunno – maybe it could do with more boiling. Say, you want some pancakes?’
 ‘There’s nothing wrong with them, is there?’
 ‘How do you mean ‘wrong’?’
 ‘Young man; by your own reckoning the cornflakes are broken, the toast is suspicious and the coffee is... watery, so the question is, will I be safe if I eat the pancakes?’
 ‘Well, if you mean, ‘No bad consequences as you sit here in this lovely breakfast bar,’ then of course not - they’re perfectly safe, oh to be sure, mate, yeah.’
 ‘Ah, good then.’
 ‘But if you mean, ‘Still alive tomorrow morning and not suffering from a severe and hideous mangling of your internal organs,’ I wouldn't guarantee it.’
 ‘Oh, right.’
 The man dabs at his lips with the moist towelette.  
 ‘Could you just get me the bill please?’ he asks.
 ‘The bill?’
 ‘Yes please.’
 ‘Bill!’
 From the kitchen emerges a short, one-legged short chef who swings at the man with an axe.
 ‘But he’s only got one leg!’ cries the man, and he runs out, screaming, the moist towelette reeling in his wake.
 'I did try to warm you!' says the busboy. He looks at Bill.
 ‘Axe over easy, you said,’ says Bill.
 ‘I do the jokes,’ says the busboy.
  
The End.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

*vworp vworp vworp*

So, here it is, the reason that 97.6% of you are here: my Inspector Spacetime Doctor Who novella fanfic thing, notionally entitled "The final drop of truth". Some quick disclaimers: The copyrights for Doctor Who, the Tardis and various other bits and pieces are owned by the BBC. All hail the BBC! Everything else has been created by Ithrat Cordwallis or variations thereon, and is owned by those same persons. Any similarities to real persons or events is... unfortunate.

Also, this piece was originally written as an entirely non-Doctor Who related piece, but I crow-barred the good Doctor into it and have re-written other bits to accomodate him. Since I last gave *this* version of the story serious attention it has become non-Doctor Who related again, but the version I present here has been polished to within an inch of its composite shell and so I hope you enjoy it. Note that it features what is essentially a composite Doctor, but could realistically be any of them, mostly the 10th; the secret is to remember that the Doc's had a bit of a shock and that's why his actions are a bit incongruous.  Note also that as the story below is presented in screenplay / teleplay format, much of the scene description is necessarily perfucntory; forewarned is forearmed. 

So, on with the show, and cue Murray Gold...



1         1 INT. YARD-UM'S STUDY, COLONY X – DAY 2 MORNING

An academic study much destroyed. A man sits in a chesterfield chair, covered in frost and detritus. Beside him, beneath a fallen bookcase, a pair of shoes is slightly visible. A glass goblet falls from a table and smashes on the floor. A light flashes. The man in the chair does not react.


2         2 INT. REFECTORY, ARK SHIP – DAY 13 EVENING

HYTHE stands at a lectern, facing a crew who wear one-piece overalls replete with epaulets and over-sized pockets. The refectory view-port looks out over complete desolation.

HYTHE
- So we have to conclude that the Inner Colonies did not stand a chance at all.

There are mutterings of discontent from the crew.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
We did, however, receive a signal from Outer Colony X. A team has already been dispatched and I expect good news shortly.

HYTHE turns to face DOVER who sits at a nearby table, drinking a cocktail through a straw.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
Dover, have we made any headway with any of the other Outer Colonies at all?

Dover makes to stand up but remains seated.

DOVER
Nope, none whatsoever; I’ve been monitoring all the transmissions but all I’m getting are these 'plok - plok - plok’ noises, which either means that they've all got broken transmitters or we're talking a lot of evaporated solar systems here.

DOVER pours ice cubes into his mouth and chews on them.

HYTHE
I see. We shall have to assume good news from only Colony X, then. But rest assured, all of you - this setback shall not be the end of us; do not doubt that. We may number a few, but we are the best few around.

DOVER 

We’re the only few around.

HYTHE
Like I said - the best few.

HYTHE looks at another officer sat at the table: HASTINGS, mid 30's, blonde.

HYTHE
Hastings, I want your ordinance reports, ASAP.

HYTHE then looks at ROMNEY on the same table, mid-40s, portly, hair styled in a Mohican.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
And Romney, I want good news regarding our engines sooner rather than later.

HYTHE surveys the crew again.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
Everyone else, make hay.

The crew rise and depart the refectory.

HYTHE
They are good children but I fear they shall never see the Kingdom.


3         3 INT. YARD-UM'S STUDY, COLONY X – DAY 14 EVENING   

A door in the corner of the study snaps open. A further bookcase falls. Enter WINCHELSEA (male, mid-30s, looks like Tim Vine) and RYE (female, mid-to-late 20s, looks unlike Tim Vine), both of whom are wearing black space-suits. Beams from head-mounted torches bounce around the study and eventually settle on the seated man. WINCHELSEA presses a button on his chest-pack. All conversation is via intercom.

WINCHELSEA
He's here.

RYE
The sole survivor.

RYE and WINCHELSEA walk towards the seated man.

RYE (CONT'D)
This place – how can he have survived?

WINCHELSEA
I don't know.
                       
RYE
I mean, that carpet is disgusting, and those curtains - 

WINCHELSEA and RYE reach the seated man. It is THE DOCTOR. RYE places a mask over THE DOCTOR's mouth and nose, and clips a small audio receiver to his ear.

RYE
Can you hear me, Doctor?
    
RYE places a small black box into THE DOCTOR's hand and a light on the box flashes. The frost on THE DOCTOR's face melts and THE DOCTOR gasps.
                            
THE DOCTOR
Where am I? Who are you?
(to RYE)                  
Are you an angel?
    
WINCHELSEA
(to THE DOCTOR)
No, sir – we're from UNIT.

THE DOCTOR rapidly gains composure.

THE DOCTOR
UNIT? Oh no, something terrible has happened, hasn’t it?
WINCHELSEA
(to RYE)
He must be delirious.

RYE
(to THE DOCTOR)
It's worse than you can possibly imagine, Doctor.

WINCHELSEA
We're here to help; assistance and clemency.

RYE removes the black box from THE DOCTOR's hands and places it on his legs. THE DOCTOR's legs defrost. THE DOCTOR looks down.

THE DOCTOR
Would you look at that? 

RYE pats the black box.

RYE (CONT'D)
That's the idea of it.

THE DOCTOR
I presume that means you'd like me to get up now?

RYE removes the black box from THE DOCTOR's legs and clips it to her chest-pack.

RYE
You’re even smarter than the records suggest, Doctor.

RYE and WINCHELSEA lift THE DOCTOR from his chair, and THE DOCTOR sees a small personal organizer device on a nearby table. He stumbles to surreptitiously grab it. RYE and WINCHELSEA then guide him through the door by which they entered.

         
4         4 INT. CORRIDOR, COLONY X – DAY 14 EVENING

THE DOCTOR, RYE and WINCHELSEA walk along a frost covered corridor that becomes less academic, more futuristic along its length. They pass a number of dead, frozen bodies as they walk.


5         5 EXT. OUTSIDE RESIDENCE BLOCK, COLONY X – DAY 14 EVENING.

FX: A shuttle-craft sits beneath a shattered massive plastic dome, through which leaks green and yellow gas. THE DOCTOR, WINCHELSEA and RYE walk towards it.

THE DOCTOR looks at the personal organizer and looks up again, uncertain. All three continue to talk via intercom.

                         THE DOCTOR
This isn’t good, this isn’t good at all – one of you lot should get fired for it. What happened here?

WINCHELSEA
We don't know.

RYE                
The great destruction came from nowhere, and the lights went out across the sector. They're saying it was the Dogs of War.
    

6         6 INT. SHUTTLE-CRAFT – DAY 14 EVENING

THE DOCTOR, RYE and WINCHELSEA enter the shuttle-craft through an airlock. WINCHELSEA straps himself in and signals to RYE, who straps THE DOCTOR and herself in. THE DOCTOR looks at the personal organizer - the word 'Yard' is scratched on the cover.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
The Dogs of War, eh?  Sound nasty. And by sector you mean?

RYE and WINCHELSEA both remove their space helmets, RYE signals and THE DOCTOR removes his face mask.

WINCHELSEA
Galactic Sector. A whole swathe of the sixth galaxy. Gone, just like that. Stars, nebulae, globular clusters, everything.

RYE
You're the only survivor we've found, Doctor. We need your help.

THE DOCTOR
Yes, sounds like you do; I just hope I'm not too late. Question is, why am I stuck here on - where am I again?

WINCHELSEA
Colony X.

THE DOCTOR
Colony X, yes, in the sixth galaxy. You said. Okay. What am I even doing here?

WINCHELSEA
We were under the impression you'd never want to leave.

THE DOCTOR
Really? Why’s that?

RYE
Because you loved it here.

WINCHELSEA
Because you built it.

THE DOCTOR looks up from the personal organizer.

CUT TO:

TITLES.
CUT TO:


7         7 INT. SHUTTLECRAFT – DAY 14 EVENING

THE DOCTOR leans forward as the shuttle-craft accelerates.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
I built it?

RYE
Bits of it.

WINCHELSEA
Bits of what's left of it.

THE DOCTOR
I see.

THE DOCTOR resumes playing with the personal organizer.


8         8 EXT. SHUTTLECRAFT  - DAY 14 EVENING

FX: The shuttle-craft continues through wreckage and reaches another air-lock.


9         9 INT. SHUTTLECRAFT – DAY 14 EVENING

WINCHELSEA and RYE remove their straps. RYE unstraps THE DOCTOR and beckons him to follow.

RYE
The outer lock's still functioning, Doctor; we need to transfer you to the landing craft.

THE DOCTOR
Now wait a minute; UNIT never went off-world – not officially, anyway, and certainly not as far as the sixth galaxy – so I don't think you're UNIT at all, assistance and clemency. Who are you exactly?

WINCHELSEA
Okay, you’ve got us. We were making that up to reassure you.

              RYE
But you've had extensive dealings with UNIT, haven’t you, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR
Yes.

RYE
Then surely -  

THE DOCTOR
I have known UNIT since their foundation, so I know better than anyone how entirely un-reassuring they can be. I would be so very happy if you told me who you really are, and make sure you don’t say enlightenment and persuasion. Names, if you please.

WINCHELSEA
Okay, you’ve got us; I am Winchelsea and this is my colleague Rye.

RYE
Hi! And we’ve come to take you to the Ark ship Albyun Yung.

THE DOCTOR
Oh, dear no, not an Ark ship.

WINCHELSEA
You dislike Ark ships, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR
Can't stand them.
(to Rye)
Even more than you couldn't stand that carpet and curtain combination back there.

RYE
Wait, you heard that?

THE DOCTOR
I was merely frozen and unconscious – I wasn’t dead. Mind you, if you're going to be putting me on an Ark ship, perhaps we’d all be better off if I were. This ark-ship of yours – is it a new one?

WINCHELSEA  
Comparatively, yes. Fastest ever, in fact, and it can get up over light-speed.

                             THE DOCTOR
It's not fueled by the psychic energy of a giant space whale, is it?

RYE
What? No, Doctor.

THE DOCTOR pats down his clothes.

THE DOCTOR
Good. And it's got showers?

RYE
Thousands.

THE DOCTOR
Excellent. And answers - it has those?

WINCHELSEA
It's got an IBS - 

THE DOCTOR
An IBS, eh? Splendid!

THE DOCTOR turns to RYE and shrugs.

WINCHELSEA(CONT'D)
So I'm sure it will have the answers you're looking for. Come now, Doctor.

THE DOCTOR rises. WINCHELSEA gives THE DOCTOR two capsules from a canister on his chest-pack marked “g-force suppressants”.

THE DOCTOR
Ah, no, I really don't think -

WINCHELSEA
You'll need them, Doctor.

THE DOCTOR
But pills? Those witchcraft placebos? But I'm already so tired -

RYE
Please -

THE DOCTOR shrugs and palms the capsules from WINCHELSEA.


10       10 EXT. AIRLOCK, COLONY X – DAY 14 EVENING

FX: The Bramjet Jinn launches from beside the air-lock, destroying the air-lock's bulk-heads.


11       11 EXT. OUTER SPACE – DAY 15 MORNING

FX: The Bramjet Jinn flies past a large chunk of rock.

WINCHELSEA (V.O)
Bravo-alpha-log, reporting a sighting of detritus from Colony X; estimated mass, approximately ten billion tons, very odd energy signature.
(beat)
Doctor, take a look at this.

RYE (V.O)
He's asleep.

WINCHELSEA (V.O)
Didn't I give him the non-drowsy ones?

RYE (V.O)
Nope.

WINCHELSEA (V.O)
(beat)
Remind me to clean the drool off the porthole window before we arrive back at the ark-ship, Rye.

RYE (V.O)
Affirmative.

WINCHELSEA (V.O)
Oh, and take the Doctor to meet the Captain when we dock; I have errands to run.

RYE (V.O)
Aye aye, Winchelsea.


12       12 EXT. OUTER SPACE – DAY 16 AFTERNOON

FX: The Bramjet Jinn docks with the slightly pointed end of a slowly rotating asteroid.


13       13 INT: DOCKING PORT, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 AFTERNOON

The docking port is futuristic and functional. By its main exit doors stands HYTHE; beside her an engineer operates some controls. The doors open. RYE and THE DOCTOR enter.

HYTHE
Doctor Yard-Um? Welcome to the Albyun Yung - this is a great pleasure. I am Captain Hythe.

THE DOCTOR looks quizzical, then slightly relieved. HYTHE puts out a hand. THE DOCTOR shakes it.

THE DOCTOR
Captain Hythe, a pleasure. Before we go on, I should perhaps inform you that I am not your Doctor Yard-Um.

HYTHE looks at RYE. RYE looks confused.

HYTHE
Wait a moment.

HYTHE steps back.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
Certainly.

HYTHE steps forward.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
Were you not in Yard-Um's study? Are you not the only survivor from Colony X? Surely you must be Doctor Yard-Um?

THE DOCTOR
I was, no, but I'm not. Sorry.

HYTHE
Rye; did you not check that he was Yard-Um before you rescued him?

RYE
Captain, how could he not be? He even looks like Yard-Um!

Rye points at THE DOCTOR. HYTHE nods her head and THE DOCTOR follows suit.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
Do I?

RYE
Yes!

THE DOCTOR looks on wide eyed. HYTHE shakes her head.

RYE (CONT'D)
No.  I don't know - we don't have any pictures. Not recent ones. But even if we did, Yard-Um might have had surgery - they were always doing odd experiments on Colony X, after all - are you sure you're not him?

THE DOCTOR
I'm certain. Pretty certain. Totally certain.

RYE
Why didn't you tell me this before?

THE DOCTOR
You didn't ask!

HYTHE
So who are you?

THE DOCTOR
Yes, in a manner of speaking. I am the Doctor.

HYTHE
THE Doctor? How - definitive of you. How - did you get into the study of Doctor Yard-Um?

THE DOCTOR
Actually, I don't know. I've been trying to work that out myself.

THE DOCTOR waves Yard-Um's personal organizer about.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
I didn't get much from this at all.

HYTHE
Where did you get that?

THE DOCTOR
From Yard-Um's study, obviously. All it  tells me is that this Yard-Um liked to keep himself to himself back there on the Kappa Colony, as he liked to call it, that he tended to ignore calls from the President of the Council, and that next week he was due to have a meeting with UNIT. Which, I discover, was the name of the Colony's gardening club. Ex gardening club.

HYTHE
That is about as much detail we had on Yard-Um ourselves, Doctor.

RYE
Although we didn't know about the meeting with the gardening club.

HYTHE
Doctor, you must understand something – from all reports, Yard-Um and the Colony were a great success. We needed his expertise to help us rebuild civilization, now that it looks like everything has been destroyed. We cannot travel forever, as fine as our ship is. At the moment we can barely travel at all; our engines, you see.

THE DOCTOR
Perhaps I can help you, then; I'm rather good with engines; other people’s, at least.

HYTHE
That would be most wonderful.

THE DOCTOR
Once I've had a shower.

HYTHE
Of course! Miss Rye?

RYE
Yes Captain.

RYE leads THE DOCTOR through a second set of doors in the docking port and turns left. HYTHE follows them through the doors and turns right.


14       14 INT: HYTHE'S QUARTERS, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 AFTERNOON

HYTHE's quarters contain a lozenge-shaped bench, a computer terminal and a small cabinet. A bed is visible behind a partition. HYTHE enters, draws a cup of coffee from a pump by the door, sits on the bench and sips the coffee.

HYTHE presses a button on the computer terminal.

HYTHE
Hastings?

HASTINGS' face appears on the terminal, the ship's bridge visible behind him.

HASTINGS
Right at your service.

HYTHE
What do you have for me?

HASTINGS
Well, the channels are open and we’re getting the hyper-space transmissions that were all go when the great destruction was at its worst, but as you can imagine, they're pretty sporadic. On the basis that the Dogs of War were behind this, despite how little we got from the colonists, then we should be seriously worried, because it looks like they were using a virtual weapon so far beyond our capabilities it was idiotic for us to have even been in the same galaxy as them.

HYTHE
A virtual weapon? I am not familiar.

HASTINGS
One that uses virtual particles to allow the effects of a single device to penetrate a huge volume of space at almost infinite speed, and also allows the owners of that weapon to act, react and interact over those same distances. It’s pretty dangerous, Captain, I can tell you.

HYTHE
Sounds like it.

HASTINGS
Let me give you an idea of what we've got so far.

HASTINGS' face disappears and the monitor goes black.

FX: On the computer monitor, a simulation of a massive explosion, destroying stars and worlds. At the edges of the image are spikes moving apparently at random.

The monitor returns to black. HASTINGS' face reappears.

HYTHE
That is not good.

HASTINGS
No, it isn’t. There is one small consolation in all this, though.

HYTHE
And what is that?

HASTINGS
I’ll let you know once I've figured it out.

HYTHE
Thank you.

HASTINGS
So, this Doctor Yard-Um; can he help?

HYTHE
Alas, our guest is not Doctor Yard-Um.

HASTINGS
So who is he?

HYTHE
I do not know. He refers to himself only as The Doctor, but he knows much, I think. I will have him see Romney and Dover, and I expect you will meet him after that.

HASTINGS
Thank you, Captain. Ah, I’ve just thought of that consolation.

HYTHE
Yes?

HASTINGS
I’ve got some wonderful biscuits to go with your coffee.

HYTHE
Thank you, Hastings; over and out.

HASTINGS disappears from the monitor. HYTHE presses another button on the computer terminal.

HYTHE
Romney?

ROMNEY's face appears on the terminal, the engine decks behind him.
ROMNEY
Captain?

HYTHE
I have set a course; be prepared to engage on my mark.

ROMNEY
Captain, you know that we're -

HYTHE
Yes, and I am sending our guest, the Doctor, to help you. When he becomes effusive, as I am sure he will, be ready to engage him.

ROMNEY
Engage him?

HYTHE
Yes, engage him. Over and out.

HYTHE presses a button on the terminal and ROMNEY vanishes.

HYTHE
Computer – we will get nothing from the other colonies. Lay in a course for the nearest hospitable system you can locate and undertake on my mark.

The monitor flashes green and beeps.

HYTHE
Good.

FX: A shaggy, translucent red figure walks outside HYTHE's door, accompanied by white noise; the figure vanishes as HYTHE turns to look.


15       15 INT. CORRIDOR, ARKSHIP – DAY 16 AFTERNOON

THE DOCTOR and RYE walk along a silver lined corridor. THE DOCTOR peers into the rooms they pass. RYE beckons him on.

RYE
- I guess I just don’t like dogs, of war or otherwise; that's all.

THE DOCTOR
You wouldn't have liked Colony X, then. From what I can tell, their entire Human Resources department was staffed almost exclusively by dogs.

RYE
Dogs? What do they know about HR?

THE DOCTOR
More than most people do; do you think they learnt nothing from being man’s best friend for - wait, what year is this?

RYE
It's Caleb 29/C ZZ 9 Plural Z Alpha.

THE DOCTOR
Caleb 29/C... you don't happen to know that in Gregorian, do you?

RYE
You'd like me to chant it for you?

THE DOCTOR
The Gregorian Calender -

RYE
Oh. Well, I guess it must be about, ooh, fourteen thousand, five hundred and ninety-something.

THE DOCTOR
So you think dogs learnt nothing in forty-two thousand, nine hundred and thirty-something years? Compared to people, dogs are wonderful at HR; cheaper to feed, cheaper to train and marginally less likely to fiddle their expenses; how couldn't they be?

RYE squints at the Doctor. In front of them is a door made of plastic blocks.

RYE
I’ll need to open this up as you’ve not got your codes yet.

RYE taps a small panel by the door. The door opens.


16       16 INT. THE DOCTOR'S QUARTERS, ARKSHIP – DAY 16 AFTERNOON

THE DOCTOR's quarters are similar to but smaller than HYTHE's. THE DOCTOR squints.

THE DOCTOR
I'm not sure which is more upsetting; the obliteration of the whole corner of this galaxy or these quarters you've assigned me.

RYE
Oh, Doctor! How can the two compare?

THE DOCTOR
Yes, you're probably right. My mind is on other things, you see, but I've warmed up, thank you, so I expect I’ll be more agreeable now. You know, before I was on Colony X I believe I was traveling with some companions.

RYE
Doctor, if your companions have recently been anywhere near Colony X then I don't like to think about what’s happened to them.

THE DOCTOR
If I survived, they must have survived too; goes without saying. Question is, how did you lot survive?  And why were you even here – an ark ship in a fully colonized sector?

RYE
I don't like to think about that, either. This ark ship was something of an anachronism, and a very lucky one at that.

THE DOCTOR stretches his arms.

THE DOCTOR
Rye, could I have a little time to myself a while?

RYE
Doctor?

THE DOCTOR points towards the bathroom

RYE
Oh yes, of course.

RYE leaves the room. THE DOCTOR walks to the bathroom and stops. He hears a white noise behind him and turns. Nothing. THE DOCTOR enters the bathroom and closes the door. The shower starts. The bathroom door opens again, THE DOCTOR throws his clothes out and then re-closes the door.


17       17 INT. THE DOCTOR'S QUARTERS, ARKSHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

The bathroom door re-opens and steam pours out. THE DOCTOR walks through in a dressing gown. RYE stands there holding a black flight suit with flared sleeves and a matching leather cap. THE DOCTOR points at the flight suit.

THE DOCTOR
I can't wear that; it's horrible.

RYE
Standard ship-guest issue, plus your other clothes have been taken for cleaning. Pop this on and I'll take you to see Romney.

RYE hands THE DOCTOR the jumpsuit.

THE DOCTOR
Forty-four minutes of bliss in a box smaller than my own armpit; what price for peace now? Can I at least wear my own coat?

RYE
Yes, but please come along, Doctor.

THE DOCTOR sighs, picks up his coat and follows RYE from the room.


18       18 INT. MAIN ENGINEERING, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

ROMNEY stands on the upper deck of the engine complex amidst much noise. He inhales.

ROMNEY
Ah, sweet emissions.


ROMNEY looks up, sees an engineer on a gantry and waves; the engineer presses at some panels, turns and walks away.

ROMNEY (CONT'D)
What are you doing to me?

THE DOCTOR, in flight-suit plus coat, walks down a staircase to the engine decks. RYE remains at the top of the stairs, waves at both then exits through a door.

Note: Until the engines are quietened, all dialogue between ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR is shouted.  

ROMNEY
Romney, Chief Engineer. Good to meet you.

THE DOCTOR
Doctor, The. Likewise, I’m sure.

ROMNEY 

I hear you’ve Ark-shipped before?

THE DOCTOR
Years ago, thank goodness.

ROMNEY
Well, now you get to see what years of progress can accomplish.

Romney points ahead. The two men walk.

FX: A translucent red figure, shaggy around the edges, walks across a gantry, unseen by ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR. It presses some buttons on a panel, turns and vanishes.


19       19 INT. ENGINEERING CORRIDORS, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

THE DOCTOR and ROMNEY walk through grimy corridors carved into the rock. THE DOCTOR looks around but sees nothing.


20       20 INT. LEOXAE DRIVE CAVERN, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR enter. In the middle of the cavern is a frame on which are ten jewel-encrusted silver boxes. On each box is a wheel. Around the wheels' edges are smaller silver boxes, on some of these boxes are spheres and on every surface is golden wire.

THE DOCTOR
These are a bit flashy, mind.

ROMNEY
Like I said, decades of progress, Doc. We're still powered by normal hydrogen engines for sub-light speeds, but for anything faster than light, these new Leoxaes take over. They're powered by imaginons, whose masses are multiples of the square root of minus one, which are synthesized in here -

Romney points at the large silver boxes.

ROMNEY (CONT'D)
In the c-complex pseudo-Kinemassic arrays. And set into the arrays are the Alcubierric interference devices, and around those are the seventy-eight Casimir inhibitors.

THE DOCTOR
And those little spheres?

ROMNEY
They sit there and look pretty; I reckon Leoxae just put them on there for a laugh.

THE DOCTOR and ROMNEY walk around the cavern.

THE DOCTOR
Leoxae, Leoxae - all the way out here, an independent re-discoverer of faster than light travel, and I've never heard of him?

ROMNEY
Doctor, you surprise me. Her. She was a legend, designing the most incredible engines imaginable, and she made them beautiful, too - we’ve had quite a few people down here who’ve got to the end of the cavern then wondered where the gift shop was.

THE DOCTOR
And do you have a gift shop?

ROMNEY
(beat)
No. Nor do we have a barter system, before you ask.

THE DOCTOR
Pity.

ROMNEY
More of a pity was Leoxae driving her speeder over that cliff, taking all her notes with her. They never found her body, you know that?

THE DOCTOR
I had no idea.

ROMNEY
Damned shame, really. She was insanely brilliant, from first principles to last; but, I'll tell you what, there are some people on board ship who reckon that since the whole concept of imaginons is absurd, not only are these engines dangerous but actually they're impossible.

THE DOCTOR
They might be right.

ROMNEY
But these are the same kind of people who reckon that water isn’t wet and fire isn’t hot, and what use is that when your engine room's burning down? So I tend to ignore them; do you know what I mean? Truth is, the only bad thing about these engines right now is that they're on the fritz.

THE DOCTOR
Oh, I'm sure we can fix that.

THE DOCTOR removes his sonic screwdriver from his coat pocket and points it at the Casimir inhibitors. The sound does not change.

THE DOCTOR
Well that's not right.

THE DOCTOR shakes his sonic screwdriver. ROMNEY grins, looks at a dial, presses a switch marked “Gerausch”. The engine noise abates. ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR speak at normal volume.

ROMNEY
Whatever you did seems to have done something... but sorry about it not being obvious. My boys and girls like the noise, see; reminds them they’re dealing with big mechanical beasties, so we have engine noises playing in here. I can get the system to pump out the sound of chirping birds or meowing kittens if you’d like?
  
THE DOCTOR
No, no, that won't be necessary.

ROMNEY
We're just ticking over at the moment. We’ll be cycling the engines properly shortly, fingers crossed - we’re heading off somewhere exciting, apparently - but you'll miss that, because you’re off to see Dover. Or so I’m told.

THE DOCTOR
You don’t believe what you’re told?

ROMNEY
When it comes to Dover – no. Anyway, Doctor – come with me.


21       21 INT. ENGINEERING GANTRY, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR walk along a gangway to a secured gull-wing mounted on a seam of rock.

ROMNEY
I'll open up because you haven't got your codes yet.

ROMNEY leans over, taps a code on a pad and the gull-wing door opens. ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR climb through.


22       22 INT. TEMPORAL CHAMBERS CAVERN, ARK SHIP - DAY 16 EVENING

ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR emerge in a cavern filled with knee-deep gas and enormous, gunmetal beehives that buzz like hornets on diazepam.

ROMNEY
Now, you’ll love some of the Leoxae drives’ peripherals, Doc. You see, when you manipulate complex mass in the Leoxaes you don't get the problems you usually get with ultra high-speed travel, like the old ‘twin paradox’: the faster you go, the less you age; time dilation  and all that, right?  Because, you see, the Leoxaes siphon off all the time dilation and dump it into these temporal chambers here, which you can then use to experience any length of time you want, in any direction, assuming they're fully charged up and the engines are cycling properly. Now, we happen to use these chambers to grow Clones super-fast, like, or to fix up injuries that are too much trouble for the infirmary - reverse the flow of time around the wound, see? Some of the lads even use them to grow sprouts if they need them in an emergency, but we tend to frown on that kind of thing.

THE DOCTOR
Very commendable, Romney, I’m sure, but can these chambers undo the trauma of traveling on an Ark ship?

ROMNEY
Ha! No, they can’t; neural pathways are too complex to be overridden by a simple time reversal. Shame, really, otherwise the chambers would be great for hangovers.

THE DOCTOR looks up.

THE DOCTOR
And how are they with those?

ROMNEY
Those?

THE DOCTOR
Yes, those.

THE DOCTOR points to a nearby temporal chamber.

FX: A shaggy, red translucent figure, accompanied by white noise, is stood there. It turns to face THE DOCTOR and ROMNEY, hits the chamber with its fist and vanishes.

ROMNEY
That - What was that?

THE DOCTOR
It was either a ghost or - it was something else. Did it look real to you?

ROMNEY
Doctor, that's exactly the kind of philosophical question I became an engineer to avoid. But I definitely saw something; it was real all right.

THE DOCTOR
Tell me, Romney, how much do you know about the Dogs of War?

ROMNEY
Other than them causing the great destruction, nothing. Listen, I'd never even heard of them until a couple of weeks ago, then I hear they've got a virtual weapon so powerful it allows them to be in multiple places at once and to blow up half a galaxy.

THE DOCTOR
Nasty critters, then?

ROMNEY
Well exactly. But those ghosts we just saw couldn't be the Dogs of War, could they? Why would they want to come and mess with my engines? And, now I think of it, how do I know you're not colluding with them, whatever they are? I mean, you're not one of us, are you; no-one can survive being under a leaking Buckydome for as long as you did?

THE DOCTOR
Mr Romney, perhaps I should share a little truth with you. You are correct - I am not one of you. I am a Time Lord. I was able to put myself in a respiratory trance to conserve oxygen. I think. I don't really remember. But what I do remember -

THE DOCTOR waves his sonic screwdriver.

THE DOCTOR(CONT'D)
- is that we should be fixing your engines.

ROMNEY
Doctor – effusiveness! Excellent! Come, there's something else I must show you.

ROMNEY leads THE DOCTOR back to the gull-wing door.


23       23 INT. COMPUTER LABS – DAY 16 EVENING.

DOVER leans against a computer terminal. He looks across to a clock on the wall and tuts.


24       24 INT. GANGWAY, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR walk hastily along a further gangway.


25       25 INT. ANTECHAMBER, ARKSHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

ROMNEY and THE DOCTOR emerge into a very busy antechamber.   Many engineering staffs circulate a series of large tables.

THE DOCTOR
Schematics?
ROMNEY
Nope; Ping pong.

ROMNEY takes two paddles from a locker mounted on a nearby wall and gives one to a reluctant DOCTOR.

THE DOCTOR
Do we have time for this?


ROMNEY
There’s always time for Ping Pong. I'm engaging you; Captain's orders.

Several nearby engineers cheer. ROMNEY gets ready to serve and a small buzzer sounds on his elbow.

FX: Small text-filled screen flicks up from a band on ROMNEY's elbow: “I’m waiting. Dover.”  

ROMNEY
Dover’s being impatient; I best send you up. You’ll be all right?

THE DOCTOR nods. ROMNEY points towards a door up ahead.

ROMNEY
Okay, getting to Facilities is easy. Through there, second door up, third lift to deck 12, take the walkway north-north-east ship dimension for 167 yards, second left, third right and keep going until you find someone to tell you the way. Got all that?

THE DOCTOR
Shall we just assume that I have? Oh, and one more thing -

THE DOCTOR waves his sonic screwdriver and all the 'ping pong' tables light up to show maps, engineering charts etc. The engine noises start up in the antechamber.

ROMNEY
You fixed them!

THE DOCTOR
Easy peasy!

The engineers cheer. THE DOCTOR heads towards the door.


ROMNEY
Oh, Doctor – if you do get lost, try not to panic, because if you do, the sensors will detect it, seal all the internal doors and you'll asphyxiate.

ROMNEY returns to his serving pose.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
That's comforting.

ROMNEY
Yes it is! See you later!

THE DOCTOR leaves the room. All the 'ping pong' tables die again and the engine sounds go off. The engineers groan and ROMNEY slams down his paddle in disgust.


26       26 INT. OUTER DOCKING PORT, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

THE DOCTOR walks into the docking port via a side door. FAVERSHAM, in a white lab coat, presses buttons on a control panel near to an airlock, which he then walks into.

FX: A shaggy red translucent figure appears and appears to start pressing on similar buttons. A siren whirs and the airlock closes behind FAVERSHAM. FAVERSHAM looks around and sees the shaggy red figure. He turns and sees THE DOCTOR, a longing in his eyes. An automated voice speaks out.

COMPUTER
Airlock evacuation activated. Airlock evacuated activated.

THE DOCTOR looks across at the shaggy red figure, which vanishes. THE DOCTOR runs to where the figure was standing and starts pressing at the controls.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
Oh no you don't.

FAVERSHAM starts banging on the inside of the airlock, shaking his head, panic stricken.

COMPUTER (CONT'D)
Airlock evacuation in five, four -

FAVERSHAM stops banging. THE DOCTOR looks up briefly then looks down again at the controls.


COMPUTER (CONT'D)
Three, two, one - 

The siren stops.

COMPUTER (CONT'D)
Evacuation sequence terminated.

The airlock opens, FAVERSHAM stumbles out and falls to his knees.

FAVERSHAM
Oh god, oh god, oh god -

THE DOCTOR
'The Doctor' will do.

FAVERSHAM looks up.

FAVERSHAM
Are you trying to be funny?

THE DOCTOR
Sorry.

FAVERSHAM stands. THE DOCTOR sees FAVERSHAM's name badge, which also reads 'Computer Technician'. THE DOCTOR looks at him quizzically.

THE DOCTOR
Would you like me to escort you back to your quarters? You've had quite a shock.

FAVERSHAM
No, no, quarters are no good. I need to get out of here.

THE DOCTOR
Yes, me too. Strangely enough, I was on my way to the computer labs.

FAVERSHAM sighs loudly.

FAVERSHAM
I'll take you.

THE DOCTOR
That's very kind.

FAVERSHAM
Don't mention it.

THE DOCTOR
Very, very -

FAVERSHAM
I said don't mention it!

FAVERSHAM walks towards the far doors. THE DOCTOR follows.


INT: HYTHE'S QUARTERS, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

HYTHE rises from her seat and walks to the coffee machine.

FX: A shaggy red translucent figure appears behind HYTHE.  The white noise gets louder as it walks up. The figure reaches out to strangle HYTHE but HYTHE sees it in a mirror just in time, ducking out of the way.

HYTHE
(shouting)
No!

The figure vanishes. HYTHE sits back down, breathes deeply and presses a button on the computer terminal. A green light flashes.


27       27 INT. PLASMA LIFT, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

FX: THE DOCTOR and FAVERSHAM sit in the plasma lift and emerge into an area where much of the inside of the ship is visible; plasma tubes crisscross the inside of the asteroid and upside-down botanical gardens fall away beneath them.


28       28 INT. OUTSIDE COMPUTER LABS, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 EVENING

THE DOCTOR walks up to a plain white door and presses a buzzer. DOVER speaks over an intercom.

DOVER (V.O)
Dover - talk to me.

THE DOCTOR
The Doctor.

DOVER
The damned fool hasn’t turned up yet. I’ve been waiting for well over an hour.

THE DOCTOR
'The damned fool' is here now; would you like to let him in, or would you prefer he reports you to the Captain first?

With a ping the computer lab door swings open and reveals a large, clinical whiteness interspersed with light blue cubes, wafer-thin consoles and DOVER.


29       29 INT. COMPUTER LABS – DAY 16 EVENING

THE DOCTOR walks into the lab. DOVER walks towards him.


DOVER
So, you got here, then?

THE DOCTOR
Your Faversham guided me the last few yards before he scampered off to the lab next door.

DOVER
Faversham’s back is he? Excellent. Look, first things first: why am I showing you all this? What makes you so special?

THE DOCTOR
It's the jump suit, isn't it? You see someone wearing a jumpsuit, you think, 'Ah, there's an idiot!' I'm only here because they tell me I need computer access.

DOVER
And so you do. Sit down there and I’ll show you how to use the system.

DOVER pulls up a couple of ergonomic blue chairs that  materialize from nowhere, presses an invisible button and a transparent keypad pops out from an imaginary compartment, along with a stick-mounted microphone.

DOVER
Primary systems are verbal so I'll need you to confirm you're okay with that in writing.

DOVER gives a snarky grin, taps the keyboard and two small blue cubes above THE DOCTOR's head light up. DOVER hits them with his fist and they go out again.

DOVER
Right, Doctor, regular security questions: father’s name, mother’s name, favourite breed of pigeon and so forth. Tap your answers in here.

DOVER swings the keyboard to THE DOCTOR, who arches his eyebrow then types. The same two blue cubes light up again.

DOVER
Right, we’re good - ask the computer a couple of questions.

THE DOCTOR
Are you sure it will work?


DOVER
Do you mock me, Doctor? Of course it will work. Ask your questions.

THE DOCTOR
Right then. Okay, computer?

A female voice responds from every point of the room simultaneously.

COMPUTER
Fitter, happier and more productive.

THE DOCTOR
Very good! Computer?

COMPUTER
Yes?

THE DOCTOR
(to Dover)
I'll try and make this as easy as possible.

THE DOCTOR uncovers the microphone.

THE DOCTOR
Where is the Captain?

COMPUTER
Captain Hythe is a hermaphroditic Clone whose emergence from a temporal chamber almost exactly corresponded with the time of the great destruction - 

FX: A projection on the wall of the lab shows HYTHE's eyes visible through a temporal chamber window which merges into a shot of the temporal chamber opening.

COMPUTER (CONT'D)
And who was still recovering from temporal sickness when the call came to assume command. As many - 

THE DOCTOR and DOVER speak over the COMPUTER as it continues to answer.

THE DOCTOR
That's not the question I asked it.

DOVER
Bear with it.

COMPUTER (CONT'D)
- Of our social systems use this type of neuter clone, all eventualities are programmed into their genetic matrices, except those involving the non-continuation of civilization, given the impossibility - 

FX: A projection on the lab wall of DNA strands being imparted information.

THE DOCTOR
Can't you shut it up?

DOVER
You’d have thought so - but no.

COMPUTER (C0NT'D)
Of creating and generalizing those algorithms, as it is assumed civilization will not meet with complete failure. Despite this, Captain Hythe met the emergent annihilation with no apparent loss of integrity, almost as if the eventuality had been expected.

FX: a projection of HYTHE looking serene.

The projection vanishes.

THE DOCTOR
(beat)
Is that it?

DOVER
Yup.

THE DOCTOR
If I had to hazard a guess, Dover, I would say that your computer is broken.

DOVER
No, no, no, it works just as I designed it, just some idiot placed a terminal down in the engine decks and the radiation there makes it go all screwy. Plus all its resources are being used to decode a bunch of transmissions that are only going to tell us what we already know – namely, that everyone's dead and that we're likely to follow them.

THE DOCTOR
Oh, so defeatist! Tell me something, Dover – your Faversham kept muttering something about the IBS being dead and him wanting to join it. Care to explain?

DOVER
Not really.

THE DOCTOR stares at him.

DOVER (CONT'D)
Oh, very well; the IBS is the Informational Black-Hole System, a super-fast, zero-evaporation, hair-free singularity chip with near infinite capacity that stores pretty much every piece of information in history; trillions of bits and rewrite cycles, wildly more reliable than tape. Did I say 'is'? I meant 'was'; that idiot Faversham dropped it into his coffee whilst he was eating a bun, and I don't know about you but I really hate it when that happens. Claims he saw a ghost, too. A ghost! And the chip he drowned was our back-up; the original was burnt out by the great destruction when it was also destroying our computer core. So, I was pretty livid, as you can imagine, but all Faversham did was get seriously depressed about it all, the silly bugger. He’s attempted suicide about a dozen times now and succeeded at least twice – that's why he's always going to the air-locks. It’s a major inconvenience getting him into a chamber before the vacuum of space destroys him, so you've saved us a fair bit of bother this time around. 

THE DOCTOR
Oh, I don't think it was suicide this time, Dover.

DOVER
No? So what was it?

There is a white noise.

FX: a shaggy red figure appears at a nearby console and starts tapping at a keyboard. It looks across to DOVER and THE DOCTOR.

Dover leaps to his feet, grabs a large piece of circuit board without looking and runs towards the figure.

FX: The figure screams and vanishes.

DOVER
What the hell? It vanished.

THE DOCTOR
Yes. Were you planning to hit it with that?

DOVER looks down and sees the large circuit board, which is now barely hanging together with wire.

DOVER
I could have tried strangling it.

DOVER pulls a small bottle from his pocket and pours a couple of tablets into his mouth.

DOVER
I'm sure these things -

DOVER points to where the shaggy red figure had been.

DOVER (CONT'D)
 - will get rid of those things.

THE DOCTOR
Are those G-Force suppressants?

DOVER
No – Confirmation Bias pills.

THE DOCTOR
And what bias are you looking to confirm?

DOVER
I don't know.

DOVER takes another couple of pills.

DOVER
That ghost – was it a Dog of War?

THE DOCTOR
It must have been.

DOVER
Question is, if they're here, what do they want with my broken computer system? They can't be after the IBS, surely? Oh, and look; whatever happens now, don’t mention the IBS business to the Captain; it all happened around emergence time and there’s never been a good time to mention it.

THE DOCTOR grins wryly and shakes his head.

THE DOCTOR
I shall try not to, Dover. Look, our translucent friends appear to have vanished. Can I use your computers now?

DOVER
Yep, they’re yours to get whatever you can get from them. Your user-name is “Username” and your password is “Password”.

THE DOCTOR
That doesn’t sound very secure to me, Mr Dover.

DOVER
But it’s easy to remember; simplicity is the key, don’t you agree?

THE DOCTOR
To save us an argument, let's assume I do.

DOVER
Excellent. Right then, I think you’re done with me here. I’ll send you back to the Captain. Computer - please give me a precis of the Captain’s analyses of recursive feedback algorithms and their role in mutually assured destruction scenarios.

COMPUTER
Hythe is in Captain's quarters, floor 12.

The terminal spits out a hand-held processor tablet into THE DOCTOR’s hands.

DOVER
That way.

DOVER does not point.


30       30 INT. HYTHE'S QUARTERS, ARK SHIP – DAY 16 AFTERNOON

THE DOCTOR enters and sits on the bench. He looks at the computer monitor.

FX: A chaotic star chart is displayed, with the caption “Captain Hythe Report v1.1: Secondary Technical Overview” beneath it - it is an extension of the simulation run by HASTINGS.

THE DOCTOR turns his head. HYTHE stands next to the partition.

HYTHE
Doctor - I have been expecting you.

THE DOCTOR stands up; he is positioned where HYTHE was when the shaggy translucent figure attempted strangulation in scene 26.

THE DOCTOR
You’re not going to give me a tour of something, are you? I'm very tired of tours.

HYTHE
No, Doctor, I have only words for you, not tours. I have a very close bond with this ship, this crew, yet something troubles me. There is something aboard this ship that is not crew, and is not you.

THE DOCTOR
I'd noticed.

HYTHE walks across to the DOCTOR and stands in the position the shaggy red translucent figure was earlier.

HYTHE
Just a while ago I was stood as you are, and something wished to strangle me. It came up behind me, like so.

HYTHE walks to where THE DOCTOR stands, hands lifted. THE DOCTOR sees HYTHE in a mirror and grins. HYTHE's hands drop.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
And then it vanished. Doctor, it is many weeks since the disaster and you are the only survivor we have found. And now there are these... occurrences. None of this can be mere coincidence. You know more than you are letting on, I think.

HYTHE sits. THE DOCTOR nods towards the computer monitor.

THE DOCTOR
By the looks of it, the same could be said of you.

HYTHE
I do not mean that; that is just a graphic based on information gathered by my crew. There is something else happening and I want to know what it is.

HYTHE and THE DOCTOR stare intently at one another.

THE DOCTOR
I know only that I survived, and did so in a somewhat curious manner. I seem to have a history of such things.

HYTHE
You do? Perhaps you should tell me about them. They might be important.

THE DOCTOR
Oh, I don't think now is really the time.

HYTHE
This is my ship, Doctor, so that decision is mine to make.

THE DOCTOR
Speaking of time, though, I really do think that I have been pulled out of it somehow.

HYTHE
Pulled out of time? How - 

The room shakes violently.

FX: white noise, gradually replaced by grinding engine sounds.

THE DOCTOR
(shouting)
What in the name of flatulence is that?

HYTHE
That is the sound of the Leoxae drives coming on-line.

HYTHE presses a button on the computer terminal.


HYTHE
This is your Captain speaking. As you are aware, our recent sortie to Colony X confirmed our worst fears. After due consideration, we shall not be visiting any other colonies. We shall instead be traveling to the nearest empty hospitable planet, which our computer suggests is just over ten parsecs away, a journey of 33.1 days. Message ends.

THE DOCTOR smiles but stops smiling when he realizes the ship isn't going to stop shaking.

HYTHE
There is nowhere on the ship unaffected by the Leoxaes; its effects persist for as long as the engines are cycling.

THE DOCTOR
How long will the ship take to get up to full velocity?

HYTHE
About two weeks.

THE DOCTOR
It’s going to be like this for two weeks?

HYTHE
Four weeks, if you count the deceleration as well. There will be a window of perhaps four days when we shall be traveling at constant speed. Perhaps you will enjoy that.

THE DOCTOR
How do you lot tolerate this?

HYTHE
With good humour, Doctor. Or with the narcotics that are available in every quarters.

THE DOCTOR
And you people wonder why I cannot stand Ark ships.

HYTHE
I do hope my suggestion has not offended you? Perhaps you could try reading?

HYTHE takes a bracelet from the top of the cabinet and hands it to THE DOCTOR.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
Here.

HYTHE motions for THE DOCTOR to place the bracelet around his wrist, which he does. THE DOCTOR presses a small switch on it.

FX: a holographic projection above the bracelet spells out: The Dart Chapter One.

THE DOCTOR
What is this?

HYTHE
The crew tell me that it is most enjoyable. Shake your wrist to turn the page.

FX: THE DOCTOR scans a quick-rolling projection, shakes his wrist a few times and a look or derision crosses his face.

THE DOCTOR
It’s a bit -

FX: A red, shaggy figure appears behind THE DOCTOR in a blaze of white noise and grabs him by the shoulders.

HYTHE
Doctor!

THE DOCTOR spins to face the figure, which holds onto THE DOCTOR's shoulders and roars at him.

THE DOCTOR
Blin of a vitch!

THE DOCTOR collapses to the ground. HYTHE runs to the computer terminal and presses a button.

HYTHE
Winchelsea, get a medical detail here immediately! Medical emergency!


31       31 EXT. ARK SHIP – DAY 40 EVENING.

FX: Ark ship slowly rotating against a black background.
Caption: Twenty-Four Days later.


32       32 INT. INFIRMARY – DAY 40 EVENING

THE DOCTOR lies in the only occupied bed, one of a dozen in total. All beds are linked by narrow tubes to a bank of processors on the far wall. Next to the bank of processors is a gull-wing entry hatch to the temporal chamber repository. The entire room vibrates.

DOVER
Doctor - wake up.

DOVER places a small black box on THE DOCTOR's forehead. A light on the box flashes. THE DOCTOR stirs.

THE DOCTOR's POV: Dover comes into focus.

THE DOCTOR
Where am I? Who are you? Are you an angel?

THE DOCTOR blinks repeatedly.

THE DOCTOR
Oh, it’s you.

THE DOCTOR lifts his head and looks around.  

THE DOCTOR(CONT'D)
This looks like an infirmary.

DOVER
It is. Captain’s orders. You were moved here for observation.

THE DOCTOR
I see. Well, that would explain the pyjamas, the cardio-pads on my chest and the rather cold tube stuck up my -

DOVER holds up his hand.

DOVER (CONT'D)
Nearly three weeks you've been here.

THE DOCTOR
So I missed the shake-free window?

DOVER
Yup.

THE DOCTOR
So why didn’t you wake me up before now?

DOVER
The medics didn’t know what would happen if they did - we still don't know exactly what the thing that attacked you was, or what it did to you. Plus, Romney mentioned about you not actually being one of us, and that kind of changed things a bit.

THE DOCTOR
Changed things? How so?

DOVER
The Medics got spooked. They'd never even heard of Timelords before, so they didn't want to chance using this guy again -

DOVER waves the small black box.

DOVER(CONT'D)
- before they knew what it would do.

THE DOCTOR
So why did you take the chance?

DOVER
Because I was bored, basically. I have no idea when, or even if, the Medics were going to use it because they wouldn’t tell me. Do you want to get up?

THE DOCTOR
Of course I want to get up.

DOVER
Great. I’m glad.

THE DOCTOR pulls cardio-pads off his chest. A nearby processor bank beeps. Dover flicks his wrist. The beeping stops.

DOVER
I’ve fed your monitor through a simulation I’ve got running in the lab.

DOVER lifts his sleeve to reveal a remote control device.

DOVER (CONT'D)
A project I’ve been working on, makes it look like you're still plugged in, just to rile the medics; neat, huh?

THE DOCTOR
Very neat.

THE DOCTOR stands, lifts the black jump suit from beside the bed, puts it on and suddenly goes into spasm. DOVER taps the communicator on his other wrist.

DOVER
(into communicator)
Faversham, I may have just misjudged something.

FAVERSHAM (V.O)
Dover?

DOVER
(into communicator)
Back up simulation processor number nine, would you? Thanks and over.

DOVER looks at THE DOCTOR, who is gasping for breathe. DOVER grabs THE DOCTOR from behind. THE DOCTOR spins around.

DOVER
Doctor!

THE DOCTOR falls towards the ground. DOVER catches him and pulls THE DOCTOR back towards his bed, leaning down to pick up the cardio-pads.

THE DOCTOR
I am - near - whatever those Dogs of War did to me, I think I’m dying! Get me into one of the chambers!

DOVER tries to re-attach the pads to THE DOCTOR's chest.

DOVER
I can't – not while the engines are cycling.

THE DOCTOR
The engines will be safe! Now move!

DOVER pulls THE DOCTOR to the entrance to the temporal chamber repository. THE DOCTOR screams in pain.

DOVER
I should get you a Medic.

THE DOCTOR
I am a Medic! Get me in a chamber, Dover! You know my codes!

DOVER taps on the key-pad and the gull-wing door opens.


33       33 INT. TEMPORAL CHAMBER REPOSITORY – DAY 40 EVENING

DOVER pulls THE DOCTOR through knee-high gas, taps on a keypad and chamber number '508' opens amidst mechanical noise and buzzing. A smaller panel on the chamber displays the number '496'

Wide angle: Chamber 508 is the same chamber HYTHE emerged from in the earlier projection during scene 29.

DOVER heaves THE DOCTOR into the chamber and presses on the keypad to close the door. THE DOCTOR's eyes are visible through the temporal chamber window. THE DOCTOR is bathed in blue light. A massive quake rocks the ship. DOVER's communicator bleeps.

HYTHE (V.O)
All officers to the bridge at once.

DOVER
(into communicator)
Captain, I have an issue at -

HYTHE (V.O)
At once!

DOVER
(into communicator)
Fine!

DOVER looks at THE DOCTOR in the chamber.

DOVER
(sotto)
What have we done?

DOVER taps on his wrist communicator and starts running to the exit.

DOVER (CONT'D)
(into communicator)
Winchelsea, get a team to the chamber repository. Winchelsea!

DOVER runs past a chamber, through the window of which stares out WINCHELSEA.


34       34 EXT. ARK SHIP – DAY 40 EVENING.

FX: The Ark ship in space, surrounded by a swirling mass of gas and strange lights.

HYTHE (V.O)
This is your Captain speaking. Officers to the bridge, all other crew prepare for evacuation. Message ends.  

35       35 INT. TEMPORAL CHAMBER REPOSITORY – DAY 40 EVENING.

Amidst much smoke and noise, chamber 508 re-opens and THE DOCTOR steps out. He is considerably younger than he was. The smaller panel of the chamber now displays the number '495'; many of the other chambers display the number zero.

THE DOCTOR
Oh, youth! Oh, memory! What the hell happens now?

The ship quakes with a further explosion.

THE DOCTOR
Oh yeah! Run!

THE DOCTOR runs towards the gull-wing door, pulls out the sonic screwdriver, waves it and the door opens.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
Oh yes!

THE DOCTOR exits the chamber, turns right, grabs a tablet processor and slips over, banging his head.
 

36       36 EXT. ARK SHIP – DAY 40 EVENING.

FX: Further shot of the Ark ship in space, surrounded by a swirling mass of gas and strange lights.

37       INT. SHIP'S BRIDGE – DAY 40 EVENING

THE DOCTOR runs into the main bridge and stares up in awe. A small amount of blood drips from his forehead.

FX: Tendrilesque supports hold up a massive arching ceiling.

HYTHE rushes up behind THE DOCTOR, RYE next to her.

THE DOCTOR
Ah – the local dignitaries!

HYTHE
You should not be on the bridge; you should be preparing to evacuate or -

HYTHE sees the blood dripping from THE DOCTOR's forehead.

HYTHE (CONT'D)
You should be in the infirmary. Either way, you should definitely not be wearing that house-guest jump suit.

THE DOCTOR
I didn't have time to change; there was an emergency happening – alarms and things. You must have noticed it?

HYTHE stares at him.

THE DOCTOR
Quite. Look at me - I am your resident Timelord! Now, do tell - is it normal to experience massive ship-quakes when you’re a few days out from a new and exciting planet? 

HYTHE
Doctor? You have abused the temporal chambers. And you have hurt your head.

THE DOCTOR
Correct on both counts, well done – who's a clever captain? And -

THE DOCTOR sniffs.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
You smell quite lovely for a clone!

HYTHE
We shall discuss your transgressions and flippancy later, Doctor, but first, you must come with us; there are problems with the engines. Your sharp mind, and perhaps your youthful body, may be able to assist us.

HYTHE runs towards the centre of the bridge. RYE grabs THE DOCTOR's hand and pulls him along. She also removes the personal organiser from her pocket and passes it to THE DOCTOR. It is as good as new.

RYE
I thought Yard-Um wouldn’t have a use for it so I fixed it up for you. I went down to stores and replaced the front cover, the back cover, the sides and all the internal circuitry too.

THE DOCTOR
Thanks, I think.

THE DOCTOR puts the organizer in his pocket, and then takes it out again.

38       38 INT. SHIP'S BRIDGE CENTRAL CONSOLE – DAY 40 EVENING

Around a console sliced from an ellipsoid of onyx stand ROMNEY, DOVER and HASTINGS in animated discussion.

FX: a three-dimensional hologram of the Ark-ship floats above the console; it is surrounded by distortions.

HASTINGS
 - If you flushed out the Hobbs end?

ROMNEY
(stressed)
Please don't make it sound like you know how to do my job!

HYTHE and RYE run up with THE DOCTOR, who is still holding the personal organizer.

HYTHE
(to RYE)
Miss Rye; coffee.

RYE runs off.

HYTHE
(to HASTINGS)
Hastings; I do not believe you have met the Doctor.

Hastings glances at THE DOCTOR. The other two officers stare; HYTHE nods to assure them.

HASTINGS
Hastings – munitions. Love the jump-suit, by the way. Not so sure about the 'blood all over the face' look, but if that’s your thing-

THE DOCTOR
I fell.

THE DOCTOR scratches at the cover of the personal organizer with a small piece of discarded metal.

THE DOCTOR
Hastings, quickly now - this ship revolves every 137.26 seconds, correct?


HASTINGS
Yes Doctor.

THE DOCTOR
Good, just checking.

FX: Further odd, cloudy distortions pierce the edges of the three-dimensional hologram of the Ark-ship.

HASTINGS
(to THE DOCTOR)
The engines have sprung a leak and are pulling us apart! Look here at these exhaust plumes!

THE DOCTOR slams the personal organizer down on the onyx ellipsoid. ROMNEY runs around to stand next to HASTINGS.

ROMNEY (CONT'D)
It can’t be!

THE DOCTOR
I thought this sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen?

ROMNEY
It’s not.

THE DOCTOR
I recognize those patterns. But - no. Wait - they’re from the Captain’s Secondary Technical Overview report, version 1.1! But what I saw on that report looked nothing like this. But they’re the same; I know it.

HASTINGS
Which report?

HYTHE
It was one I ran several weeks ago. A star map, a pretty one. I shall call it up.

HYTHE types at a keypad.

FX: the two-dimensional image “Captain Hythe Report v1.1” appears next to the floating hologram of the Ark-ship.

DOVER
Right, okay; run a simulation of the interference patterns in EM bands one to four and bulk out the Captain’s star map to 3-D.

HASTINGS
Yep, okay, and we'll add in what my team processed this morning.

FX: Planes of figures appear in front of HASTINGS, who taps at them.

FX: The floating technical overview builds in complexity, and expands into a third dimension. The graphic ends up identical to the graphic showing the distortions around the Ark ship.

HYTHE
That is remarkable.

THE DOCTOR
I’m impressed I spotted that. Please feel free to remember I'm a genius.

ROMNEY points at the graphics.

ROMNEY
That’s a coincidence, right?

DOVER
No, it’s not. Running the results of our recent engine malfunction back through the computer, it says that our leakage here - you know, the one that’s got us into the right state were in at the moment - has been, will have been and is going to have to have been through an exponential expansion, a spatial displacement and, at some point, a negative temporal shift of about forty days.

HYTHE
That does not sound good.

DOVER
(to HYTHE)
It certainly doesn’t.
(to ROMNEY)
Engineer Romney, it would appear that not only have your pride and joy gone wrong, they’ve gone so wrong that their amplified effects have gone backwards in time and wiped out the past. Congratulations.

ROMNEY
The engines fail us, and so badly?

HYTHE
Dover - can we be certain?

The console pings and Dover nods.

FX: A heads-up display materializes in front of DOVER and scrolls through reams of figures. ROMNEY also stares at them.

ROMNEY
This isn’t right, this isn’t right at all. Bang, just like that. Blimey – I don’t think this will be covered by the warranty.

FX: The console pings again and scrolls more figures, this time in front of ROMNEY, who squints at them.

ROMNEY
Wait, now, wait just a minute - these ones are saying there was a massive overload in the temporal chambers just before the leakage. That would have played havoc with system stability, and should have been over-ridden by the safety mechanisms, unless someone had been messing with the security protocols. I don't have access to those protocols, so I couldn’t have foreseen this, Captain, much less prevented it.

ROMNEY puffs out his cheeks in relief and shakes his head.

HYTHE
So who exactly was responsible for those temporal chamber overloads?

ROMNEY
Just getting that. Okay, the codes of the person responsible for destroying everything: User-name is User-name. Password is Password.

Silence.

HYTHE
Preposterous! I have been nowhere near the temporal chambers!

HASTINGS looked at HYTHE.

HASTINGS
Wait – those are your codes? Last time I checked, they were mine.

ROMNEY
And mine.

THE DOCTOR
Hey - guess what?

HYTHE

Mr Dover, why do we all have the same codes?

Everyone turns to face the Facilities Officer.

DOVER
What can I say? It’s never been a problem before.

DOVER shrugs. The table’s processor pings again, a small green light on the console starts flashing and the shaking of the ship recedes slightly. RYE reappears with coffee.

DOVER
Wow - it’s all happening at once. Looks like the quaternary channels are here -viva diplomacy. Shall we hear what they said just before they stopped saying anything at all?

HYTHE
Punch up the signals, Mr Dover. We will discuss your transgressions later.

THE DOCTOR
Wait - you’re still receiving communications from seven weeks ago?

HASTINGS
We’ve always had prioritized communications channels, Doctor. The most important ones, carrying technical specs, weapons recon and re-runs of Disco Time — those were transmitted at a few thousand c and got to us within a few days of the big boom. That’s how we knew what had happened.

DOVER
And the least important ones, carrying personal mail and political communique, were transmitted much more slowly, to save energy, and here they are now.

Dover presses a large button. From the speakers comes garbled speech, screaming and white noise, along with distorted snippets of conversations. Over and above this there is a distorted voice.

DISTORTED VOICE
<Who exactly was responsible for> <causing the great destruction?> <Us> <Never!> <There was> <perhaps> <a small thermonuclear device> <dropped in> <to a central sun>; <sorry about that>, <it> <won’t happen again>. <You sent> <forty-two thousand nine hundred> <local dignitaries to> <barter> <for peace>; <listen> <as they> <meet with complete failure> <and> <space> <inexplicably expires>.  <Your council president’s calls> <for> <assistance and clemency?> <Ignored!> <Never!> <Never!><Dogs of War!>

The voice gets drowned out by distorted noise, which crescendos then vanishes. All the while, the lights flicker.

DOVER
Well, that’s a bit of a -

A fitting above the console explodes. HASTINGS hits it with his fist.

Silence.

ROMNEY walks to a nearby workstation and enters a command onto a keypad.

FX: The vibrations of the 3-D ship projection subdue to nothing.

ROMNEY
I’ve bypassed the mainframe and vented the engines.

HYTHE
Good job. Very good. Call off the evacuation. I do not imagine we shall blow up now.

ROMNEY returns to the console, taps on an onyx block and the lights stop flickering.

ROMNEY
Done.

The Captain walks to the main view-screen at the front of the bridge and looks out.

FX: An enormous flash directly in front of the ship.

The onyx console pings again.

HYTHE
Oh, for the sake of pity! Someone please tell me what just happened?

Dover taps furiously at the console.

DOVER
The star we’re heading towards just went nova. We’ve had all the computers processing the home-world signals, so we’d not picked up on it at all.

HYTHE
What caused it?

DOVER
No idea. Probably an aftershock.

HYTHE
So our destination has been obliterated before we even get there?

DOVER
Yep.

HYTHE
Oh, as you were. Let us explore - there is no point in us turning back now. Are you okay, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR
Okay? Okay? I'm still wearing this ridiculous jump-suit!


39       39 EXT. ARK SHIP – DAY 41 MORNING.

FX: The Ark ship moves into geostationary orbit, above a planet whose crust has been scorched by the belches of a dying sun.


40       40 INT. BRIDGE, ARK SHIP – DAY 41 MORNING.

HYTHE sits in the captain’s chair and taps its arm. A heads up display pops up. Maps and figures are reflected on HYTHE's face. THE DOCTOR walks up, still in the jump-suit. He looks at the maps and figures.

THE DOCTOR
If I didn't know better, I'd say that at some point in the not very recent past, this was the destination of numerous star-ships, probably Dogs of War ones.

HYTHE
Yes. And it looks like many battles have been won and lost here.

THE DOCTOR
Hmm.

HYTHE
I think it would be most appropriate to take just a small crew to the surface to start with. But first -

HYTHE taps on the armrest of her seat.

HYTHE(CONT'D)
Could someone in the computing department tell me why our records told me that this planet was uninhabited when, quite clearly, it was not? The IBS is meant to provide us with accurate information, is it not?

FAVERSHAM’s face appears on a nearby view-screen.

FAVERSHAM
Ah, there was a problem.

HYTHE
What kind of a problem?

FAVERSHAM
Just, no, just - but, um - just leave me out of this, okay?

HYTHE
Mr Faversham, I shall deal with you later. It is clear to me that the devastation on the surface below us is complete and there shall be no threats to us down there.

FAVERSHAM shakes his head and vanishes from the view-screen.

HYTHE
Okay. Dismissed.


41       41 EXT. ARK SHIP – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

FX: The Bramjet Jinn launches from the Albyun Yung's nose.


42       42  INT. BRAMJET JINN – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

Strapped in to the Bramjet are THE DOCTOR (still in the jump suit), HYTHE and RYE. There is significant turbulence buffeting them.

HYTHE
Remind me again, Miss Rye – why have you scheduled us to land at your chosen co-ordinates?

RYE
Because it's right next to a really cool looking monument, which is the only thing on the whole planet worth landing next to.

THE DOCTOR
And remind me again; why did my clothes get shot into outer space?

RYE
That was an accident!


43       43 EXT. PLANET'S SURFACE – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

HYTHE leads the group across a rust-coloured landscape just past the memorial. Turning to face THE DOCTOR, HYTHE addresses him over the intercom.

HYTHE
We never did finish our conversation all those weeks ago, did we?  Nor did I reprimand my crew; at least, not before I threw the worst offenders into the brig, but now -

A high-pitched shriek rings out over the intercom.

HASTINGS (V.O)
(shouting)
We’ve got some serious problems up here, Captain. It's Faversham. He doesn’t just want to kill himself anymore; he wants to kill us all.

A further high-pitched shriek rings out over the intercom.

FAVERSHAM (V.O)
(emotional)
From the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach, I just don’t have the passion anymore. Damn the IBS, and damn you all! You should have let me jump out the airlock when you had the chance!

HASTINGS (V.O)
(shouting)
Faversham, don’t even think about it. We don’t know what -


44       44 EXT. ARK SHIP – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

FX: The Ark ship vanishes and is replaced by a splatter of colour and light.

CONTINUED, INTERCUT WITH -

45       45 EXT. PLANET SURFACE – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

FX: The sky lights up. Rock, lights and swirls of red fall from the sky along with detritus from the Ark ship, accompanied by the sound of distorted applause. A temporal chamber falls from the sky and crushes RYE.


46       46 EXT. OUTER SPACE – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

FX: Warps in space shoot out from the planet. The Ark ship reforms in space and zips away from the planet and goes backwards in time, accompanied by red fizzing and white noise.


47       47 EXT. OUTER SPACE – DAY 1 MORNING

FX: Suns are forced nova and nebulae are blotted from the sky.


48       48 INT. COMPUTER LABS, ARK SHIP – DAY 1 MORNING

FAVERSHAM is drinking coffee, holding an IBS chip.

FX: A warp in space accompanied by red fizzing and white noise causes the IBS chip to oscillate wildly and fall into his cup of coffee. A red translucent figure (in the position and pose of DOVER during scene 29) appears and vanishes.

FAVERSHAM shrieks and drops the cup of coffee.


49       49 EXT. OUTER SPACE – DAY 1 MORNING

FX: A hundred million helical shards of light devastate the sector and consume suns as they tear through space and time. One of them hits a cruising TARDIS and sends it spinning.


50       50 INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM – DAY 1 MORNING

THE DOCTOR and his companions hold on to the control column. THE DOCTOR is swathed in red light and vanishes.


51       51 INT. TEMPORAL CHAMBER REPOSITORY – DAY 1 MORNING

FX: images of the destruction, and of red, translucent figures mirroring crew members' actions, flash piecemeal in front of HYTHE, who is visible through a temporal chamber window.


52       52 EXT. COLONY X – DAY 1 MORNING

FX: A huge red flash. The Colony blows up.


53       53 INT. YARD-UM'S STUDY, COLONY X – DAY 1 MORNING.

FX: A huge red flash. THE DOCTOR appears, fresh from the TARDIS. The room shakes and THE DOCTOR collapses to the ground. There is a flash behind him. A thud can be heard outside in the corridor.


54       54 EXT. PLANET SURFACE – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

THE DOCTOR holds his head and looks up to the sky. The colours fade and the sound of applause fades away. THE DOCTOR stands next to RYE. She is dead. THE DOCTOR looks around at the wreckage and his eyes drop.

HYTHE
Quadrillions of cubic miles of space wiped clean, and all of this happened because it was always going to be this way – it was never just a small thermonuclear device dropped into a central sun.

THE DOCTOR
No -

HYTHE starts to fade away.


HYTHE
I am ending.

THE DOCTOR
What? You can't just -

HYTHE
Doctor - the great destruction we have just witnessed also burnt out my temporal chamber. I have been living on borrowed time – I am here now only because I absorbed something from the Timelord who later shared that same chamber. Future actions reflected backwards in time – is it not always so?

DOCTOR
But -

HYTHE
Doctor, I do not fully understand this all myself. But if I am correct, then I owe you my life and I believe I shall soon be repaying that debt.

THE DOCTOR realizes how everything fits together. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the personal organizer and the pills from WINCHELSEA he palmed earlier.

THE DOCTOR
Then you'll be needing these.

THE DOCTOR passes HYTHE both. HYTHE holds up the pills.

HYTHE
Yes. How dangerous are these pills to you?

THE DOCTOR
Oh, well, they'll kill me - eventually – but they'll protect me long enough for Rye and Winchelsea to rescue me.

HYTHE
Thank you, Doctor. How do I die?


55       55 INT. YARD-UM's STUDY - DAY 1 MORNING, FLASHBACK

HYTHE appears with a flash and struggles to get THE DOCTOR into the chair and the pills in his mouth. HYTHE is consistently hit by falling debris but manages to place the organizer on the table.

56       56 EXT. PLANET SURFACE – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

THE DOCTOR looks wistful.

THE DOCTOR
Magnificently.

HYTHE
You shall have your kingdom now, Doctor.

THE DOCTOR looks at HYTHE with confusion. HYTHE vanishes. THE TARDIS materializes a short distance from the DOCTOR and its door opens. THE DOCTOR walks in. 


57       57 INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM – DAY 41 AFTERNOON.

THE DOCTOR's companions are stood at the central column.

THE DOCTOR
Come on, let's go.

COMPANION #1
What? Who are you?

THE DOCTOR
I am the Doctor, and this is my Tardis.  

COMPANION #2
Doctor? But how? You only vanished from here a second ago, just before we landed!

THE DOCTOR
It's a long story. And you -

THE DOCTOR bangs on the central console.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
You abandoned me! If I didn't know you better, I'd accuse you of cowardice. And that would make me so very sad. 

THE DOCTOR looks across at COMPANION #1.

THE DOCTOR
You see that pod lying outside? I think we should keep it as a souvenir.


58       58 EXT. TARDIS IN SPACE – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

FX: The Tardis flies through space.


59       59 EXT. PLANET SURFACE – DAY 41 AFTERNOON

Wind blows across the planet's surface.


THE DOCTOR (V.O)
Cause and effect often dance a broken jig that sends waves of destruction each and every way across infinity. But it feels different this time.

There is some movement beneath the wreckage
.
THE DOCTOR(CONT'D) (V.O)
We are, all of us, haunted by our actions, even sometimes by our future actions. But sometimes they ask too many sacrifices from us. Too many!

FX: A distorted red arm holds up one of the spheres from the Leoxae drive in triumph.

THE DOCTOR(CONT'D)
I think I need a holiday.

END.

Any questions? I *do* hope so!