I’M MISSING MY DOCTOR WHO – so here’s the start of my own Doctor Who adventure…
The Lonely Planet
© 2013 Laura Crean
The largest, reddest, warmest sun he had ever seen seemed to melt upwards from the dark sea as if it were being sucked out of the depths by the very sky itself – this strange, surreal alien sky, rippling with a cosmic light show of blues, purples and pinks. Sparkling with the remnants of the energy trapped in its dense atmosphere.
The Doctor sat in silent reflection on the vast sparkling pink chalk cliffs, with the emerald green ocean spray foaming against the diamond rocks at the base far beneath him and as the day broke in its spectacular wonder, the sky exploded into a dazzling green reflection of the planet’s amazing oceans.
The Doctor sighed. Eyes closed, face upturned to the huge sun’s rays, he bathed in its cleansing warmth and took a deep, rejuvenating breath of the air on this glorious planet; the cleanest, purest air in any universe, completely untainted by any pollutants known or unknown to man. The only place he had ever been able to sit undisturbed by adventure.
He opened his eyes and lowered his head to look out across the ocean and one single tear trickled down his cheek. The loneliness he felt at this moment was so great and so heavy that only this place – the loneliest planet in all of creation could bear testimony to it.
No life had formed beyond the green algae that gave the planet its fluorescent green tinge from space and something in its makeup seemed to ease the pain of regeneration for a Time Lord. He had been here before – a long time ago – too distant in his past to remember clearly – too many faces ago – too many lifetimes. And yet the Tardis had brought him here, she had sensed his pain and she was the only one who knew what he needed to help him complete his transformation this time. He needed …time.
And there he sat, the lonely doctor on the lonely planet as his body continued its rebirthing process, giving life to a new man, another life and another chance to fulfill his destiny. He continued to sit there alone, staring out across the alien seascape until at last the large red sun tired of another day sunk back down into its deep sea bed, its red rays mixing with the green waters and finally disappearing into the darkness.
The Tardis door opened and she called him back to her as her engines started and jolted him from his vision, the memory of the first time he had escaped to this place, when the loss of his family was at its rawest. When everyone he had ever known had been erased from existence in the Time War. He rose slowly wiping another tear from his cheek and entered the Tardis, stroking her frame as he did and patting her like a faithful old pet. “Thank you.” He whispered to her in a voice crackling with emotion, “Thank you my dear friend.”
The Man in the Mirror
Taking a deep breath and wiping the last tear away the Doctor strode over to the controls and said loudly to the Tardis, “Right my old friend, new me, new adventure. You seem to know where I should be at the moment, so I’m leaving it to you – onwards and upwards…
He engaged the time lever gently to a neutral position and performed all his usual operations then he strode around the central unit and climbed the spiral stairway to his dressing rooms. He wandered amongst the garments – clothes from every possible human era and a few alien ones, trying on hats and jackets and browsing the rows of ties and shoes – and as the Tardis fell through the Time Tunnel she had chosen he changed his outfit to suit his new character.
The gramophone was belting out Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ and he laughed childishly as he picked up a hat Michael himself would have been proud of and added it to his costume, the white satin shirt felt cool against his newly regenerated skin. He smiled at himself in the full length dressing mirror, adjusting the hat to just the right slant and twisting around in a Michael Jackson dance move, attempting the moonwalk and falling into the wardrobe. As he picked himself up out of the pile of multi-coloured material the Tardis warned him they were approaching their destination – but where and when?
He slid down the banister like a small boy, leaping off the end with a ‘whoop!’ and danced his way to the doors. Feeling better about this new skin that was so youthful in its appearance and yet so ancient and full of mistakes – “It’s time to make that change.” he said to the air – to the Tardis, “I might not recognize the man in the mirror, but I am asking him to change his ways.” He threw open the doors of the Tardis and stepped out. It appeared he was in the middle of a ruined castle.
Ancient Ruins and New Beginnings
The Doctor stepped out of the Tardis and shut the door. He walked around the ruined enclosure; it was completely devoid of life and if he hadn’t have noticed the modern payment kiosk he wouldn’t have been able to guess ‘when’ he was. There was nobody in the kiosk and he tapped his watch and saw that it was late afternoon. The attraction had closed for the evening. He wandered out of the castle and over the small drawbridge. ‘So’ he thought to himself as he caught sight of the visitor’s information – this was 1066 country – The Battle of Hastings – but why had the Tardis brought him to East Sussex of all places?
He walked down the winding path that led to the outer wall. The place seemed pretty deserted. Then as he walked past the main entrance to the castle grounds a man walked past him into the castle grounds to walk his dog. The man very politely nodded his acknowledgement of this newcomer’s presence. “Good Evening!” The Doctor said to the man, tipping his Michael Jackson hat in the very old fashioned custom. The man smiled blandly and continued his doggy duties.
Directly opposite the castle grounds was a pub, appropriately named ‘The Castle’. There didn’t appear to be much else in this lonely village so he wandered across the car park towards it. Maybe this was just what the doctor ordered – a quiet drink in a quiet rural village to adjust to his new incarnation. “Do I drink?” He asked himself out loud, “I must do” he concluded and headed for the bar.
A girl was standing outside the pub smoking a cigarette. He could tell she had been crying and as she stepped out of the way to let him in she lowered her head in embarrassment that this stranger had seen her at her worst. “Are you going back in?” he asked her quietly, gently, “I could do with someone to share a pint with. All on my own you see, just a lonely traveller.”
She looked up, the tears still evident under a dark bruised eye that was as beautiful as the bruise was ugly. A brilliant emerald green, the colour of the ocean he had been gazing at not an hour before and he let a little involuntary gasp escape his lips. She tried to move her fringe in front of the bruise, “Is it really awful?” She whispered. He lifted her chin with a gentle finger to look her in the eye,
“I was gasping because your eyes are so beautiful. They’re the most vivid green I’ve ever seen.”
She blushed but pulled away from his touch obviously not prepared for this strange man to be in her personal space. The Doctor flinched, she was in a lot of pain, someone had hurt her badly and not just by bruising her eye. “I’m sorry.” he said quietly. “You look like you could do with a friendly ear right now that’s all. I’m a good listener…”He extended his hand to her and introduced himself, “I’m The Doctor”.
The girl looked shocked at his title and stepped back from his hand,
“I don’t need a doctor.” She spat in a defensive tone. He smiled.
“Well that’s OK because I’m not on duty right now, just recovering from a very long shift – you know how it is – Doctors – always rushing around, busy people. I’m on a break.”
She seemed to soften a bit then and stepped forward again, dropping her cigarette on the floor and stubbing it out under her foot and shook his hand. She looked around her as if looking for someone, not sure whether she should accept his invitation or not and she suddenly looked scared, like she really didn’t know if she should go back in the pub with him. He lowered his hand, “It’s OK, you look like you have other plans. It was nice to meet you … I didn’t catch your name!”
The girl’s guard suddenly went down and she seemed to visibly relax, her shoulders lowered and she smiled.
“Oi!” Came a loud shout from across the road. The girl jumped obviously terrified as a tall, gangly looking youth came running across the road towards them, “I thought I told you to go home, you stupid cow, who the hell is this twat?”
The Doctor could sense the girl stiffen beside him and she made a small noise of fear. He stepped out in front of her and extended his hand to the angry guy who was now standing right next to them,
“Hello! I’m the Doctor and you are?”
“I’m none of your bloody business is who I am. Come on you, home!” The man said vehemently and reached around The Doctor grabbing the girl by her bedraggled green jumper sleeve and dragging her out towards him.
She started to cry and The Doctor clearly couldn’t bear to see her suffer any more pain. He stepped in and grabbed the man by his wrist separating him from the girl.
“She clearly doesn’t want to go with you, so I think I am going to have to ask you to respect her wishes and leave her alone.” The girl gently took The Doctor’s hand from her disgruntled boyfriend’s wrist and said with a sudden burst of confidence,
“It’s OK Doctor I can handle this.”
The Doctor stepped back as she stood her ground and said,
“I told you earlier Rob, I’m not coming home. I’ve had enough and I meant it. You don’t own me, I’m not your property and I might not have a job at the moment but I’m not useless either. I’m just thankful we haven’t got any kids because this would have been so much harder. I’m a person, I have feelings. I’m not there just to do what you tell me and have a dinner on the table when you come home plastered from your after work drink with the boys. Forget it, I’m moving onwards and upwards mate!”
Rob looked furious at her defiance of him and he rose his hand to strike her across her un-bruised eye.
“I don’t think so!” The Doctor said calmly as he intercepted Rob’s backhand, “I think you’ve just been dumped mate.” Rob laughed.
“I don’t think so – mate!” he spat in The Doctor’s face. “She’s got to come home sooner or later to pick up her stuff – and then we’ll see just how brave she is.” And he spat on the floor in front of them both and then strode off back across the road.
“Nice fella!” The Doctor laughed and turned to the girl, but she was half way across the car park and heading towards the castle crying her heart out. The Doctor raised his eyes to the heavens and said, “Oh God” What is it with me and damsels in distress?” Then he ran after her.
The Game Plan
He caught up with the girl and she was now hiccupping back the tears and wiping the snot onto her already grubby green oversized granny knitted jumper. The Doctor fell in beside her and said “I still didn’t catch your name.” She turned to look at him as they came across a bench in the castle grounds and she sat down, still looking at him, still furiously trying to be strong and wipe the tears away.
“I didn’t throw it at you!” she said sarcastically and he laughed,
“Oh I see we’re playing games – OK I’ll play along. You’ve been dealt a tough hand, he hasn’t played fair and you’ve struggled to play on by his rules am I right?” She smiled and nodded,
“Yeah something like that.” He nodded and noticed she didn’t feel comfortable making eye contact with him, but he continued to hold her eye trying to make his point.
“But you’ve just played the winning hand my friend. You have called his bluff and now you’re home free. You are on a roll – the question is – are you going to run with it?”
She finally returned his gaze and asked suspiciously,
“What are you a Doctor of? Psychology?” He continued to hold her gaze for a moment and then stood up snorting,
“Time?” She repeated “What does that mean?”
He paced up and down in front of her a couple of times before he sat back down on the bench and watched as the dog walker returned from his daily route, she followed his gaze and they sat there in silence for a moment. Then he said,
“I’ve had a lot of time to study people that’s all and there’s one thing I’ve noticed.”
“And what’s that?” she asked genuinely curious about this man’s philosophy on life, there was just something about him that was so intriguing.
“People are predictable to a point. But when they are threatened, when they are facing a marked point in their life’s journey – that is when they can be spectacular! That is when heroes are born!” She sighed,
“I’m no hero Doctor!” He smiled in a mysterious sort of way.
“I think you are. I think you are the bravest one of all. But we shall see, we shall see.”
The man and his dog started to cross their path and she laughed a little nervously,
“You’re a strange one aren’t you?” He grinned. A really boyish, cheeky grin and answered,
“You have no idea.” He looked up and the man and his dog suddenly disappeared, right in front of their eyes – He was there and then he just wasn’t!
The Doctor leapt up from the bench, “What? What? Where’d he go?” The girl stood up and turned around in a circle looking for the man.
“But…that’s impossible. He was there, I saw him. He was walking his dog right in front of us. What was he a ghost?” The Doctor laughed,
“A ghost? No! I’ve seen ghosts. He was alive, just an ordinary man walking his dog, so the question is – where on Earth did he go?”
The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver from a pocket of the bright blue suede jacket he was wearing and then swiped the air around them in a wide arcing movement, the little purple light on the sonic device showing it was doing some sort of scan of the area. The girl’s eyes nearly popped out of her head when she saw his strange activities, “What the hell is that?” She asked.
He didn’t answer but continued to scan around the path and then all of a sudden a figure appeared out of thin air a few yards in front of them, on the same path. It wasn’t the dog walker – it was what appeared to be a soldier! Not a modern soldier, but some sort of medieval guy in ancient armour, complete with scabbard and sword, which he quickly drew and started charging towards the couple as soon as he clapped eyes on them – complete with what can only be described as a battle cry.
The Doctor smiled
“That’s more like it!” He said laughing and pulled the girl along after him as he started running back towards the castle. The girl asked
“What the hell?”
“Just run!” He shouted as they bolted for the drawbridge.
“No!” She screamed “Not in there. We’ll be trapped!” And she hesitated. He looked her straight in the eye for a second without stopping,
“Believe me, in that castle is the safest place on Earth right now, now come on!”
She looked back over her shoulder and saw the mad man with the sword still charging at them and started to overtake the Doctor, pulling him now –
“If he’s part of some 1066 re-enactment he’s had a bad day!” She wheezed as they ran over the drawbridge and into the castle itself. The Doctor laughed.
“He’s not an actor – he’s real and I need to find out where he’s from because I’m betting that wherever he’s come from is where our lost dog walker has gone and I need to get him back.”
“What are you talking ab…” She stopped mid-sentence when she saw the Tardis and the Doctor run up and open the door and run inside it. She stopped and just stood there staring at it. The door opened again and the Doctor poked his head out and said quite calmly
“Are you coming in or are you waiting to be introduced to him?” And he nodded his head behind her. She turned around and the man was close now and screaming at the top of his lungs. She turned back towards the doctor and he pulled her in to the Tardis and shut the door.
Of course the Tardis was so amazingly bizarre to her and there was so much to take in that she didn’t even notice when the medieval man ran head first into it from outside and the big echoey boom inside at his assault. She stood there, back to the door, eyes wide and started to say the one line he was waiting for, the first thing that comes out of every human mouth as they enter the Tardis for the first time and the Doctor invariably mouths in unison
“But it’s bigger on the inside!”
He beckoned her over to the controls as he nodded and answered,
“I know, I know it’s ‘dimensionally transcendental’ it’s all very odd but you’ll adjust – come over here I want to show you something.”
“Who the hell are you?” She said as she finally pulled herself away from the door and walked slowly over to him trying to take the Tardis in to all her senses as she did.
“I told you I’m The Doctor – but who are you? That’s what I want to know. You still haven’t told me your name.”
“I’m Gemma Stone!” He stopped what he was doing and laughed and then coughed it back and then laughed again.
“You’re kidding! Your name is Gem Stone?” She smiled
“No! It’s Gemma…but most of my friends do call me Gem.”
“Your name is Gem Stone?” He said again and she came over and hit him on his arm, laughing.
“OK Doctor of Time who isn’t a Psychologist.” She stopped and looked at him in a funny way. “You’re a Time Traveller aren’t you?”
The Doctor stopped what he was doing with his controls and looked at Gemma,
“Well! There you are. I knew you were something special when I saw those amazing eyes of yours. Nobody ever says that!” He smiled at her. A big, adorable, bad boy smile and her heart just melted instantly. Wow! He was something else.
“You are aren’t you? You’re a Time Traveller? So what are you Doctor – some sort of mad inventor or something?”
“Or something.” He laughed. “Come here and have a look at this.”
She leant over his shoulder and peered into the instrument he was looking in to. An image of the man outside the Tardis stared back but surrounding him like a subtle purple aura was a strange shimmering static charged light and it seemed also to be surrounding the Tardis.
“What is it?” She asked looking away and letting him look again.
He stepped away from the controls and stroked his chin in a thoughtful way,
“I haven’t got the foggiest! And why is it around the Tardis?”
“The Tardis?” Gemma questioned “Is that what your Time Machine is called?” He nodded,
“It looks like some sort of Time Energy, a bit like what powers the Tardis through the artificial singularity in the Eye of Harmony – but…It’s not huon energy – frankly I’ve never seen anything exactly like it before.” He moved back to the controls and started flipping switches and turning knobs “But I should be able to get a lock on its source and the Tardis can take this man and us back to where he belongs.”
He looked at her, grinning, that boyish, impish grin that she thought she could really get used to, as if he was waiting for her to do or say something and she shrugged her shoulders and raised her eyebrows in question,
“What?” He looked at a big red button in front of him and she followed his line of view,
“Go on – you push it” he said.
“What? You want me to fly your space ship?”
“Well, you know not completely fly it exactly, but, yes! Go on I dare you.”
Gemma smiled and put her hand over the button and then hesitated. “What are you waiting for, push it!” She didn’t have to be told twice; she slammed her hand down on the button and the Tardis spluttered into life with its usual jolt and whining as it tried to fly with the handbrake on. They zoomed through the time tunnel the Tardis had locked onto and in a few moments they materialized at their destination – but where in the multiverse were they?
The Doctor peered into his scanner and sure enough they were in the middle of a medieval battle. The soldier fell off of the Tardis that he had been clinging to for dear life, trying not to fall into the void of space that had surrounded him as they were falling through the time tunnel in the Tardis; and standing back and rubbing his eyes, he looked up at the strange blue box in fear, as he stumbled around the battle field wondering what on Earth had just happened to him. And, as he stumbled around like a drunken Viking he bumped into the dog walker who was also wandering around in bewilderment of why he had suddenly found himself ‘out of his time zone’. The two locked eyes and then suddenly there was a bright flash of green light and purple lightening forks and they were gone again!
The Doctor jumped in shock,
“What is it Doctor? What happened?” Gemma asked, wondering what he could see in his instruments. The Doctor looked up from the scanner and whispered in a bemused fashion,
“They’ve both disappeared now!”
“Well what are you waiting for, follow them!”
To be continued…