Essays and short stories on Doctor Who by Guy Blythman, featuring the Third, Fourth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors
Most of the articles and short stories on this webpage originally appeared in the fanzine The Doctor’s Recorder between 1998 and 2005. My thanks to Andy Hardstaffe, Jonty Stern, Chris Murray, Ryan O’Neill, Leighton Noyes, Mark Gardiner, Luanne Sharman and others.
A few changes have been made to the original text.
The article “clichés to avoid when writing science fiction” originally appeared in the fanzine “Mandria”


SEEDS

Harrison Chase was communing again with his plants. It was only when walking among them that he felt truly happy and relaxed.
At such times, he often found himself contemplating his life. He paused to look out through one of the panes of the greenhouse at the vast expanse of well-manicured lawn which seemed to stretch from the huge Elizabethan mansion into infinity.
The scion of a wealthy, aristocratic family, Chase in his youth had had everything but always felt himself entitled to more. His selfish, as others tended to see it, nature had been a cause of friction between himself and his father. One day the antagonism between them erupted in a blazing row which culminated in his father making remarks that suggested he might soon find himself cut out of the old man's will.
Chase could not bear the thought of being disinherited, which might well mean having to work for a living. Wealth and power were important to him because they provided a means of being independent of other people; he found it distasteful to have to be
too reliant on them. He wasted no time. While on his way to the solicitors' in the family car to alter the will in favour of Harrison's younger brother, Chase senior met with a tragic accident. The police investigators would have been able to tell from their examination of the burnt-out vehicle that its brakes had been tampered with, but the contacts Chase had already forged in the legal and political establishment ensured a verdict of accidental death was returned. There was widespread suspicion that he had engineered the crash, but nothing could ever be proved, and that was the main thing. He had long ceased to care what others thought of him.
As far as the law was concerned, Harrison was the rightful inheritor of his father's estate, and he was soon able to take possession of the Manor. On doing so, he evicted the other members of his family from the house. At the same time the aged retainers were ejected from their "grace and favour" apartments, which now served as his principal botanical laboratory. The house was abruptly closed to the general public; Chase didn't want them swarming all over the place running their grubby little hands over everything.
He also dismissed many of the domestic staff; there was less need
for them now that there were only his requirements to be met. For
Chase had no intention of ever getting married. He had no time for the bother that commitment to a wife and family would entail. His inability to form normal human relationships was fortunately matched by his lack of interest in doing so. Chase was totally unimpressed by the physical beauty of women, and in other respects
regarded them as stupid and tiresome. They for their part found him cold, aloof and arrogant. For a time he had experimented with the other kind of love. After a string of casual acquaintances, he eventually found himself a steady boyfriend, but that relationship ended when Chase caught his lover in bed with another man. The boyfriend had paid the price for his infidelity; two hired thugs waylaid him in an alley outside a dubious club in one of the seedier parts of Central London and left him dying in agony from massive knife wounds to his stomach.
After this, all human affairs seemed to Chase thoroughly sordid and distasteful. People were so easily bought, either with money or sex. And so fickle and untrustworthy. They repaid love and affection with deceit and sought to deny you what was rightfully yours, what your breeding and intelligence entitled you to.
He had come to a decision. If this was how the world treated him, he would refuse to accept its conventions. He would shut himself away in the Manor and have nothing more to do with it. But whose company would he seek if not that of his fellow humans?
His mind flashed back to his boyhood, recalling how he refused to
play with other children, instead sitting in the conservatory all
day talking to the plants. His father had brought in various doctors and psychiatrists in a bid to cure him of this tendency, but none of them had succeeded.
As he grew up, this behaviour ceased. But now the adult, like the child, came to prefer plants to people. Whereas humans lied to, cheated and generally mistreated one another, plants just stood there and did nothing to annoy you. And they had a beauty about them which to Chase was greater than that of any woman - or man.
So Chase turned his house into a shrine to them. He established what was possibly the biggest botanical collection in the world -
allowing no-one to see it apart from himself and his staff. He gave money in large quantities to organisations for the study and conservation of plants, while appeals from charities concerned with human welfare were either brusquely rebuffed or simply ignored.
Since people now physically repelled him, he wore gloves all the
time to avoid touching them, and anyone wishing to see him had to
go through a strict vetting procedure to establish whether their
reason was serious. He found these necessary precautions tiresome.
People were such a nuisance. It would really be preferable if they could somehow be got rid of altogether. When one considered the damage they had done to the plant world...he quivered with rage as he thought of the slaughter to which the rain forests were
being subjected. One day, he swore, he would take his revenge for
that.
He continued to acquire more specimens for his greenhouses. It was not only the passion of a collector which motivated him; since he didn't trust other people to take proper care of the planet's botanical heritage, he wanted at least one of every known plant species here in this house where he could keep an eye on it.
He had come to realise that what he sought wouldn't always be obtainable through legal means; he wasn't the only collector who jealously guarded their possessions. He had of course long ceased to value human laws, so the prospect of violating them caused him
no moral unease. He'd just have to be careful, that was all. Those of the domestic staff who couldn't be trusted to keep their
mouths shut if they guessed what was going on would be dismissed.
He'd need someone to help him protect his plant collection from thieves and at the same time make new additions to it; someone with plenty of experience of criminal operations, and just a little more intelligence and cunning than the thugs who patrolled the house and grounds searching for intruders. He'd set his underworld contacts to work looking for the right man. He had only contempt for whoever it would be, but there was no need for him to like them, or vice versa. As long as he paid them well there'd be no problem.

*

Derek John Scorby sat in a dingy rented flat in one of the poorer suburbs of West London, reflecting on his life so far, and in particular the events of the past week.
His girlfriend had just left him, though she was only the latest
in a long series of girlfriends to have done so, because of his ill-treatment of her. Once again he was more or less alone in the world; he never saw the rest of his family, and didn't particularly want to, a feeling which they cordially reciprocated.
Something else had happened too, something which might mean a change in the direction his life was taking, and which demanded a quick response.
Scorby's grandfather had been a Danish sailor who jumped ship at Tilbury and settled in East London, marrying a local girl. His penchant for violence - he was veteran of many a bar-room brawl -
had been transmitted down the generations. Derek proved to be an aggressive and quarrelsome child, mercilessly bullying his peers, his younger brother and sister included. After leaving school he found himself out of work most of the time, due to his inability to control the tendencies which made it impossible for him to hold down a job. He joined the army at one stage, partly as a means of solving his employment problems, but his military career soon ended when he was dismissed for seriously injuring another soldier in a dispute over a minor matter. After this he learned to keep his temper in check a little, but by then it was too late; even to many of the less respectable employers, his somewhat chequered career history suggested he was a bad investment.
Eventually he turned to crime - violent crime. The one thing Scorby had talent for, and which enabled him at last to find his niche, was an affinity with weapons. He was obsessed with them, as the gun catalogues littering his home testified. He loved to instil fear in others, to dominate through terror, and relished the power that a gun gave him. That had been the other main reason why he'd become a soldier.
In the world in which Scorby now moved, a liking for violence was
a positive asset. He was in his element. From protection racketing, robbery and extortion he graduated to even bigger things. Certain people prominent in the fields of international terrorism and international crime were trawling the London underworld for someone who might be of assistance in their schemes, and Scorby came to their notice. After doing one or two jobs for them, he was inspired to become a mercenary, hiring out his skills to anyone who wanted to assassinate their enemies, and
generally spread chaos and fear, for personal or political gain. In this profession - if it could be called a profession - he put his army training to good use, feeling no qualms about perverting the military ethos.
A new and exciting phase of his career had opened. He got to visit many different countries, sampling their women, their food and all their other assets. And he appreciated the opportunities he had for practising his sadistic tendencies. He thought back with relish to the attack he'd led a few months ago on an oil refinery in a developing South American country, as part of a campaign of destabilisation which his employers on that occasion, an extreme right-wing political organisation, had been mounting. The plan had been to round up and shoot all the staff, then blow up the installation. He'd left one girl alive, tying her to a railing with the bomb a few feet away from her. He placed it where she could clearly see the figures on its LCD, started the countdown, then left her to her fate. The thought of her bound and helpless, struggling desperately to free herself while the device ticked away the remaining minutes of her life, had given him a delicious thrill, which became more and more exquisite in the last few seconds before the explosion when he knew her terror would be mounting as her extinction became imminent and her bonds refused to give.
It was a great life; and it seemed set to continue, though perhaps in a slightly different form from before. Yesterday a man had approached him in a pub and told him that a very wealthy person wanted to take him on on a permanent basis, paying him handsomely for his services. When told who that someone was, and what they wanted him to do, Scorby had his misgivings. The whole thing seemed daft somehow; all the plants and that. But it meant the chance to play about with guns and maybe kill or maim a few people (not only on overseas expeditions; if anyone trespassed on
Chase's property they were liable to be shot, for the millionaire's contacts would ensure he escaped being charged with
anything).
Scorby thought about it for a few more minutes, a can of Lager growing steadily colder beside him. There was a certain exhilarating sense of freedom in his current status. But a secure, regular job was in many ways preferable to it. And employment with Chase would give him a protection from the law that he didn't enjoy at present. Once or twice he had nearly been caught; and having all the time to pretend you were unemployed, spending the huge sums of money you had earned as discreetly as possible, was a serious hassle.
The position Chase was offering was like his present job in important respects - the foreign outings and the other perks - but
with added security. It was that thought which finally decided him. He picked up the phone and dialled the number he'd been given.
"Derek Scorby here, calling about your offer. Yeah, I like what you're saying. When does he want me to start...right away? Fine. Next Monday, then. OK, 'bye."
He put down the phone, and sat back for a moment, wondering what lay in store for him in his new post.




MEETING OF MINDS

In a muddy field somewhere in the English Midlands, beneath an overcast sky, a little group of people stood talking, glancing occasionally at the mouth of a tunnel which was being dug in the side of a vast mound of earth.
A sapper emerged from the opening and approached them. "We've found it, Sir. A stone wall, like you said."
The Doctor addressed the solid figure beside him. "All right, Brigadier. You should be able to see into the chamber with the imaging device. We don't want to puncture the wall in any way; if the psionic field is disturbed it could wake up what's inside the ship. Remember what happened at Devil's End."
The Brigadier nodded. "All right, Doctor. Are you coming with us?"
The Time Lord shook his head. "You must handle it yourselves."
Lethbridge Stewart sighed. "As you wish." He set off towards the mound, accompanied by Sergeant Benton and a private carrying the Doctor's imaging equipment.
Further away, just inside the gate of the field, was parked an ancient and dilapidated Austin. At its wheel sat an elderly man, his hair and moustache in the process of turning from grey to white, but his eyes still bright with intelligence. He watched as the sentry approached the Corporal to deliver his message. Was there any point in going through with it, he wondered. It was their responsibility now to deal with things like this. What could he possibly do to help them, anyway? He was just an interfering old…old man.
But as soon as he'd heard about it on the news, about the paranormal happenings which went back almost as far as recorded history, and were centred around an ancient barrow where the various attempts at excavation would have produced frequent disturbances of the ground, he knew he must take a hand. If another of those things had been found...he'd dealt with the one at Hobs Lane, could give them valuable advice.
"Corporal, the old bloke in the car wants to know what's going on here. He's got an MOD pass, but it's years out of date. Funny sort of name, Q-something or other..."
Overhearing these words, the Doctor swung round, his eyes gleaming, his sombre mood abruptly dispelled. "It's alright. Let me deal with him. He's someone I've been wanting to meet for a long time."
He walked briskly towards the car, whose occupant climbed shakily out of it to meet him.
"My dear Professor, how delightful to meet you at last!" He shook the old man's hand warmly. "If only you hadn't been so difficult to get hold of these last few years."
"I'm afraid I got rather disillusioned with everything after they effectively booted me out of the Rocket Group," said the Professor ruefully. "Besides, I'd no idea anyone had any interest in me anymore." He peered keenly at the Doctor. "Tell me, what role do you perform in this organisation?"
"I'm its sort of acting unpaid Scientific Adviser."
The Professor regarded him with a mixture of amazement and amusement. The Bohemian dress, particularly the incredibly long multi-coloured scarf and broad-brimmed hat, hardly suggested a responsible scientist. And yet there was something about the man which commanded attention.
He gazed towards the group of UNIT soldiers, who were busy checking the various items of scientific equipment they had unloaded from the vehicles. "I once suggested something like this myself. A semi-military, semi-scientific organisation for dealing with problems outside previous human experience. Perhaps it was just as well they didn't take it up; they'd only have given it to someone like that poor fool Breen."
For a moment the old man was lost in his memories. Breen, so fanatically rigid, so unable to accept what was happening that he'd stood staring uncomprehendingly at the pulsating, glowing Martian spacecraft until the alien energy had burnt him out, turning him into first a zombie and then a shrivelled, lifeless corpse.
"Ah yes, Colonel Breen. The Brigadier's a bit like him; not happy with things he can't understand. Only he's basically a good man. Someone’s got to do the job, I suppose."
The Professor remembered what had brought him here. He grasped the Doctor's arm. "Tell me," he said urgently, "What have you found in there? I've got to know."
"I'm not sure at present. But if it's what I think it is, I know how to deal with it. I've come across its kind before."
"You have? I don't remember..."
"Oh, this isn't what you found at Hobs Lane. Though I admit there are intriguing similarities."
They chatted about this and that for a few minutes; about the troubles they'd both had with obtuse soldiers and obtuse politicians, and the granddaughters they'd both lost (Granddaughter? Surely this man was far too young to have a granddaughter in her teens. And yet he seemed quite serious).
Then the Doctor cleared his throat. "Now then, Professor. Let me explain why I was so anxious to speak with you. For the last few years I have been, in a sense, the protector of this planet. I can no longer fulfil that role. There are many other inhabited planets in the Universe, each with its own pressing problems to be sorted out." The other's eyebrows lifted.
"Yes...the cosmos is far stranger even than the things you had to deal with showed. But that's not the only reason why I've got to give it up. There are others, to do with things in my own nature I can't escape from. However I don't think I can trust the people of this planet to look after themselves while I'm gone. Somehow Earth and its inhabitants have a crucial role to play in the future of the Universe; but at this rate Mankind will be destroyed through its own ignorance before it can fulfil its destiny.
"I want you to take over from me. This world has produced no-one else with the qualities necessary to perceive the dangers and deal with them."
The old man was silent for a while, pondering the strangeness of what the Doctor had said and its implications. All the time the Doctor watched him intently.
“I don't know," he said at length, unhappily. "To take on again the role I played all those years ago...too much has changed since then. Besides, although it seems things are better now, you still have your problems with the bureaucrats and the soldiers, and I'm too old to fight them."
At that moment the Brigadier and Benton appeared. The former started to say something, then glanced uncertainly at the Professor. The Doctor nodded.
"It was like you said, Doctor. Little metal thing, a bit like a toy spaceship."
"Right, that tomb has got to be resealed; forever. Put up a sign warning people to keep out, pretend it's a nuclear waste dump or something. I'll leave the exact details of it to you."
"We'll see to it, Doctor. But I thought we polished off the last of those Daemon things."
"This could be one of a breakaway faction," the Doctor replied. "That might explain why Azal didn't mention them. Although it seems they have much the same powers."
He turned to the old man. "It's alright, Professor," he said gently. "There should be no danger now. That thing in there is as safe as it'll ever be."
"As soon as possible we'll come back and put a concrete shield around the barrow," announced Lethbridge Stewart. "In the meantime I'll put a guard on the place."
"Are we finished here then, Sir?" asked Benton. The Brigadier nodded. He looked again at the Professor.
The Doctor introduced him to the others. "If the Professor has time, why don't we show him around UNIT HQ?"
The old man smiled. "That's very kind of you, but I think I should be getting back. I've a long drive ahead of me."
"Goodbye then, Professor. I hope we can meet again some day. Please think about what I said; I'm sure there's something you can do."
At these words the two soldiers looked curiously at him, but he didn't afterwards explain what he had meant.
With a final wave to the Professor he got into Bessie and drove away. The Brigadier and Benton said their farewells too, the former departing for London in his staff car while the latter remained behind to supervise the erection of a temporary fence around the burial mound.
The Professor sat for a while in ancient Austin, considering the Doctor's words to him. Eventually he shook his head.
"I'm too old," he said sadly to himself. "Too old..."
So he started the vehicle and drove away, back towards his peaceful little cottage by his peaceful Scottish loch.

With acknowledgements to Peter Burns.



THE MORALITY OF DOCTOR WHO

One thing which has characterised Doctor Who throughout its history has been its high moral tone. It has preached social equality, standing up for Women's Lib in The Monster Of Peladon, and attacking elitism in a legion of stories of which The Savages, where the Doctor challenged the right of the Elders to use the primitive people of the title as they pleased in their scientific experiments, is but one good example. It has denounced the ruthlessness of free market economics (Survival); the notion of war as an honourable and exciting activity (The Armageddon Factor and Planet Of The Daleks); and fraudulent or fanatical religion (The Face Of Evil and Planet Of Fire). It has preached the need not to misuse the environment, making clear the awful consequences if we do so (The Green Death). Perhaps the social evil which has been most frequently attacked is racism (The Mutants, Full Circle, Dr Who and the Silurians, The Sea Devils, Warriors Of The Deep, and, most obviously of all, Remembrance Of The Daleks). Here one could also mention The Ark, in which the Monoids were treated so badly by their human masters that it was not entirely surprising they repaid the latter in kind once they got the chance. The related issue of physical appearance and its irrelevance to the question of morality was addressed in Galaxy Four, where a race of beautiful female humanoids are the villains, and the Rills, ugly warthog-like creatures on whom they prey, are peaceful and benevolent.
What I want to explore in this article is whether or not the moral arguments expressed in Who are fair. Basically they are. In those stories where two races or social factions are seen to be in conflict with each other, for whatever reason, it's often the case that neither side is portrayed in a particularly good light. In Dr Who And The Silurians, both the humans and the reptile people are divided into extremists and those who want to co-exist. The Power Of Kroll, though much criticised both for poor production values and for stereotyping, is a good example of moral balance; while the refinery technicians are money-grubbing and xenophobic, the Swampies practise human sacrifice and have as much contempt for the "dryfoots" as the latter do for them. We frequently encounter the view that even the worst kinds of life are valuable and should not be destroyed. The classic example of this is the Doctor's agonising in Genesis Of The Daleks over whether to destroy his arch-enemies now he has the chance. It is also recognised that those who commit the most terrible crimes may act from the best of intentions. The architects of Operation Golden Age genuinely wanted to create a better world for Man, even if it meant rolling back time and in the process erasing billions of people. Though General Carrington in The Ambassadors Of Death has conceived an irrational hatred of the Martians, leading him to kidnap their ambassadors and thereby provoke an interplanetary war, at the end of the story the Doctor says he understands Carrington's motives and allows him to keep his dignity. (However, this may be because Carrington is insane, in which case he certainly would not be responsible for his actions, rather than because he honestly believes that what he's doing is right. The Doctor surely wouldn't be so forgiving if what we were dealing with here was a case of conscious xenophobia).
Although on the whole the morality of the series is sound, there many cases where it is not. A discussion on the political correctness and heavy-handed moralising of the New Adventures, and of whether it is right for Doctor Who to indulge a left-wing, anti-Christian, anti-conservative bias would require an article to itself. However we don't need to refer to the Virgin novels to highlight the flaws in its ethical judgements; plenty of good examples may be found in the TV series.
Sometimes people are treated with more respect than is really appropriate. I don't find the Sisterhood Of Karn particularly likeable, given that they have a nasty habit of burning alive people who they believe, sometimes mistakenly, to be intent on stealing their Elixir (Terrance Dicks in his novelisation of Brain Of Morbius describes the sides of the stone pillar to which the Doctor is to be tied for his forthcoming immolation as "sinisterly blackened", suggesting it is a regular occurrence). Yet despite this their presentation is more or less sympathetic; they are the innocent victims of Morbius as well as of others who greedily covet their secrets.
Others are portrayed somewhat unfairly. Politicians are almost invariably pompous and selfish (Chinn, Brownrose) and sometimes, like Walker in The Sea Devils, they're xenophobic into the bargain. That they should all be like this appears rather implausible. Some of them - particularly civil servants, who don't have elections to win and aren't so much in the public eye, and thus aren't forced to do everything with a view to their own personal advancement - are just honest people trying to do a difficult and stressful job. The Brigadier is often criticised, whether openly or implicitly, for what might be called his "blast them off the face of the Earth first and ask questions later" attitude, but he's not so much a xenophobe as someone who's overfond of military solutions to problems (unsurprisingly perhaps, since he's a soldier) and suspicious of what he cannot understand - with the greatest respect to the character, he isn't terribly bright after all. He can't entirely be blamed for what he does to the Silurians seeing that all the non-human life forms he has previously encountered have been hostile ones - the Great Intelligence, the Cybermen, and the Nestenes - and the behaviour of Morka in trying to poison the entire human race has not exactly given him cause for optimism regarding future human-Silurian relations.
The Doctor himself appears to be guilty of racism on a number of occasions. "That's the last of the Jagaroth," he declares as he watches the demise of the said race in City Of Death. "A vicious, callous, warlike race. The Universe won't miss them." It seems inconceivable that the Jagaroth could all have been evil; they could of course have wiped out all of their number who weren't, but the Doctor sounds as if he is talking about the species per se. Generalisations like this are no different from labelling all Germans Nazis because of Hitler, or all white people racists because of the past imperialism of countries like Britain, or all Arabs as fanatical terrorists and murderers because of Messrs Saddam and Gaddafi; i.e. they are morally objectionable. It's rather annoying to be lectured on morality and the evils of prejudice when those doing the lecturing are themselves guilty of just the kind of thing they're exhorting us not to do.
The probability is that a Dalek or a Cyberman, or a Sontaran, can't help what it is, because its better qualities have been cloned or programmed out of it. Yet the Doctor always talks about these races as if they're congenitally and wilfully wicked, which has always struck me as more than a trifle unfair.
Altogether, we can say of the morality of the show that its heart is in the right place, but it is often very heavy-handed and does not always stand up to intellectual scrutiny. I wish to show this through three examples, all taken from novelisations of the TV stories or of new adventures (since I can't afford to buy that many videos).

(1)
"Tryst was the worst kind of criminal...the kind who sincerely believes that however appalling his crimes, there is always a perfectly valid excuse {for them}." (Nightmare Of Eden)

Perhaps the criminal who sincerely, if misguidedly, believes in the rightness of their actions, rather than act from prejudice, carelessness or a desire to do evil for evil's sake, is the most dangerous kind, because they are all the more determined to succeed, and can infect others with their sincerity. But in moral terms, they are not really the worst; not if we judge people by their intentions, which is surely the criteria any truly fair society should adopt (this of course makes no difference to the undesirability of their actions and the consequent need to prevent them). It is possible that the villain did whatever wrongful act he was doing so often that he came to believe in its rightness, in which case he would be culpable in the same way that someone who does something dangerous or offensive when drunk, and would not have done it if sober, is culpable (because they have allowed themselves to get drunk), but this needs to be made clear.
Suppose that someone sincerely believed a law was wrong, and that their conscience did not permit them to accept it, and broke the law accordingly. You might actually sympathise with them to a great extent, although you might not go so far as to support them; if so, you certainly would not regard them as the "worst kind of criminal", whether or not you approved of their actions.
(As a matter of fact what Tryst has been up to, namely drugrunning, is so dubious that nobody who was both sane and morally respectable could possibly have an honourable motive for it, despite the benefits in the way of funding for Tryst's conservation projects, so where this particular case is concerned Dicks' assertion is somewhat misplaced).

(2)
"The end never justifies the means." (The Eight Doctors, p38, and various other stories).
The problem here is that whether one says "the end always justifies the means" or rather "the end never justifies the means", one is attempting to apply broad maxims to an extremely complex world. There may be some situations where the end arguably does justify the means, and some where it arguably doesn't. It all depends on the circumstances of each individual case. I would suggest that the end can justify the means rather than that it does (use of the word "can" implies there are some circumstances where it can't). I believe the following criteria should be adopted when dealing with questions of ends and means;
(1) The end must be something very important.
(2) The means which are likely to prove controversial must be the only ones available.
Consider the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima during the Second World War. If they saved more lives than they destroyed by shortening the war - and saving lives on as big a scale as possible is surely what one should aim to do in such situations - then they were justified. Utilitarianism, the philosophy that one should aim for the greatest happiness for the greatest number, has often been attacked, but it can hardly be more morally correct to aim for the greatest happiness ("happiness" was obviously intended by John Stuart Mill to include the continuation of life itself) for the smallest number, or the smallest happiness for the greatest number, or for no happiness at all. One is only justified in censuring such actions if someone commits them in the wrong kind of spirit. It is felt by some that Sir Arthur Harris, Chief of Bomber Command in the Second World War, delighted in the bombing of German cities because the Germans had bombed British ones. In other words, he was acting partly from revenge, and took pleasure in what he did (regardless of whether he would ultimately have done it had there been no excuse for it). If this is true, then he is deserving of our condemnation.
To say that the end always justified the means would make one a Fascist. To say that it never justified the means might lead one to permit some terrible things, the consequence of which might arguably be worse than if one had not acted.
If there really was, or seemed to be, a danger in An Unearthly Child that the Doctor, Ian etc would be captured and killed if they didn't murder the wounded caveman then a moral case could be made out for it (if one defines "murder" as any form of killing, regardless of the motives for it). Not everyone would feel comfortable subscribing to such a standard, and I'm not saying I would do so if the occasion presented itself; all I want to establish is that one can view it as morally justified without being a monster. The killing would have extinguished one life, but saved four more. Ideally, the Doctor should find some wonderful solution to the problem which renders such drastic measures unnecessary. But what if he hadn't been able to? After all, he's not infallible. It is one of those cases where to do a certain thing is forgiveable, but not to do it is saintly.

(3)
In The Tenth Planet, Polly expresses revulsion at the Cybermen's lack of emotion, because it would prevent them caring for someone in distress. A Cyberman replies, "there are people dying all over your world...do you "care" for them?"

The Discontinuity Guide regards the criticism of Polly as "perceptive". And indeed it is, but only in that it highlights an interesting moral issue. Polly's revulsion is not, I believe, hypocritical. In a way, yes, she does care about the millions of anonymous people who die every day in car crashes or from diseases. None of us is perfect, but if you came across a magical device which if you pressed a button on it would immediately cause all death and suffering, wherever and however it took place, to cease, wouldn't you use it? Of course you would. We can't help the fact that we never find ourselves in such a situation.
It's not that we don't care about the multitude of anonymous (to us) deaths; it's merely that we care about them in a different way from that in which we would someone whose death or suffering was taking place in our presence (and/or whom we might know). The reason for this natural safety valve-cum-defence mechanism is rooted in practical necessity. For each of the millions of deaths that take place in the world every day to cause us the same amount of grief as would that of, say, a close friend or relative would be physically and mentally crippling for us (even supposing the brain to be capable of picturing them all in the same way as it can an isolated death, or incidence of suffering, which takes place before one's eyes, which it isn't).

(4)
The Doctor to Jaeger in The Mutants: "You were only obeying orders...it's a common excuse."

What the Doctor means is that Jaeger could and should have refused to assist the Marshal in his obscene experiments with the Solonian ecology. Too often, though, we fail to ask what we would do in such situations. Is it really credible to suggest that we would all nobly sacrifice our lives, without a second's thought? Bearing in mind what regimes such as the Marshal's are like, refusal to obey might sometimes have unpleasant consequences.
Criticisms made by the Doctor and other real or fictional people about the conduct of Jaeger, or the guards in Nazi concentration camps, are based on the assertion that they knew what kind of regime they were serving. But if they knew what that regime was like, they would have known the consequences of non-cooperation. What they should have said at Nuremberg was that they feared they might be killed themselves if they did not, a much better defence than simply to say they were obeying orders. It was wise for the Allies at Nuremberg to confine themselves to the punishing of those who ordered killings rather than those who carried them out; otherwise, any trial of the latter would have hinged on the question of how far the accused were aware of what might have befallen them; we would be entering a moral and legal minefield of horrendous complexity.
Even if the accused themselves had been prepared to die, their families might also have suffered; and it is in my view morally dubious to involve someone else in the consequences of your actions, where these would be undesirable, unless they have first been consulted for their views. They may not always have been treated as badly as, say, the Jews. Of the families of German conspirators against the Nazis some were massacred, while others spent the remainder of the war in concentration camps, from which they fortunately emerged alive. But whatever their actual fate, the risk of something nasty occurring to they or their loved ones - whose lives of course mattered no less than those of Jews, gypsies, etc - would I suspect have been such, in most people's case, as to deter them from making a brave and principled stand against their rulers.
If Jaeger enjoyed what he did (and thus, among other things, would probably have done it whether he had to or not), or just didn't care, which would be equally deplorable (and in fact seems to have been the case), then he certainly deserved to be punished. The trouble is that the law doesn't recognise this distinction; perhaps it ought to.
The problem with my position on this matter, if it is endorsed, is that it may means letting a lot of absolute bastards go free (people may invoke the consequences of refusal in their defense when in fact they would have happily done what they did anyway, and it might not always be possible to tell that that was the case); however this is compensated for by the fact that a great many innocents would be spared unjustified execution or imprisonment. It is sometimes said that this standard should not be adopted in the case of particularly appalling crimes; but the most important factor is not the nature or scale of the crime, however horrendous, but the motives of the person who commits it. Legally and morally, the latter cannot be affected by the former; and we would also run the risk here of becoming drawn into some complex, and invidious, arguments about where the line should be drawn, about whose sufferings were the most horrible, unless we were to abandon the principle of judgement by motive altogether, which I am sure we all agree would be undesirable. Rather than do so, we should instead seek to ensure that no-one is ever placed in a position where they can only preserve their own life at the expense of another's.



SHIPS IN THE NIGHT
The Doctor took a sip from his glass of lemonade and looked around happily, drinking in the warm, friendly atmosphere of the little pub. The riverside spot was one of the places he visited most often when on Twentieth Century Earth.
"I often used to come here when I was working for UNIT," he told Romana. "At times when I'd had enough of the Brigadier. Glad to see the place hasn't changed much."
"It doesn't seem you miss those days, Doctor," remarked his companion. He hadn't often spoken to her about his exile to Earth and his career as Scientific Adviser to UNIT.
"Oh, we had some good times," the Doctor replied, recalling the dashing about in fast cars, the verbal sparring with obtuse bureaucrats. "But eventually being tied to just one planet, one time period, started to get to me. So then when the summons came from Gallifrey...now that I had to go away, it somehow seemed the right time to leave."
The Doctor's expression suddenly changed. His attention had been caught by a square-jawed young man in a blazer who was taking his seat at a table with a group of others.
"What is it, Doctor?"
"Good grief," he exclaimed delightedly. "That looks like Harry." He craned forward to get a better look. Several of the man's companions also seemed familiar.
With mixed feelings, the Doctor realised they'd stumbled on an unofficial UNIT reunion. They were all there; Sarah Jane Smith, Liz Shaw, Mike Yates, John Benton, Jo Grant and her husband, and at the centre of the group the unmistakable figure of Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart.
"What is it?" repeated Romana. The Doctor pointed out his old associates.
"Why don't you go over and say hello, then?"
The Doctor didn't reply. His expressive face looked troubled and at the same time deeply thoughtful.

"So there we were, trapped between the Krynoid and a bomb set to go off in less than a minute. Then the Doctor shouted, "Run, Sarah!" and..."
"Running was something we did rather a lot of, as I remember it,"
chipped in Jo.
"I had a narrow escape in that Kraal business," Benton was telling Yates. "The Doctor reckoned they were keeping the people they'd replaced with their androids alive so they could experiment on them to find a better way of spreading this virus they were going to wipe everybody out with. If the Doc hadn't sorted things out when he did."
Lethbridge Stewart leaned back in his chair, a happy smile on his face. "Well, it's nice to get together again. There's just one thing missing though, isn't there?"
"Yes," sighed Sarah. "If only the Doctor were here..."

The Doctor wondered morbidly long the UNIT party had been there, and how much longer they would stay.
"Why don't you go and speak to them?" said Romana for the third time.
"I can't," he protested. "I wouldn't know what to say to them." How can I face them again? he thought. Several long friendships had been abruptly broken off when he'd abandoned his life on Earth. Seeing his former colleagues again had reawakened doubts about whether he'd been right to cut the tie so completely.

"Don't forget, if he hasn't come back it could be because something's happened to him," Yates was saying. The gloomy thought that somewhere in Time and Space the Doctor had met his death at the hands/suckers of a Dalek, or the Master, had often occurred to them.
"I wish he'd get in touch...just pop round occasionally, so we know he's all right," said Jo.

"Go on, Doctor," pleaded Romana. "Go and have a word with them. It would make their day." Apart from her disapproval of his attitude, his mood of gloomy introspection was rather spoiling the occasion. Since first noticing his UNIT friends he hadn't been particularly talkative.
"Of course," said the Doctor, "It's possible I already have. It's not knowing that I hate."
"Then go and speak to them!" She almost shouted the words.
At that moment Jo Grant got up from her seat to go to the toilet. She passed close to where they were sitting, and for a moment her eyes and the Doctor's met. They smiled at each other, then she had gone. The Doctor relapsed into gloom and didn't notice her as she made her way back to her friends.
After a while he seemed to come to a decision. He made a half-move to get up, but then the UNIT party rose to their feet and headed towards the door.
He sank back into his chair. The moment had passed. “Oh well," he muttered. "Too late now". He smiled weakly and began to make small talk in a brave attempt to cheer up, but he soon gave up so they just sat and sipped their drinks in silence.

"Do you feel...bitter towards the Doctor about the way he left us, Brigadier?" asked Sarah as the party paused for a final chat before breaking up.
Lethbridge Stewart remembered the day she had come to see them, saying the Doctor had told her he had to go away in a hurry and that she'd got the feeling he wasn't coming back.
"No, not really," he replied. "I suppose I'd known for a long time that one day he'd go off and leave us for good. You see, I can appreciate now that the Doctor was an alien...his ways weren't our ways. I'm a little sad that he didn't come and say goodbye to us personally, but then he always was a peculiar sort of chap; had funny ways of doing things. I don't think he liked goodbyes. No, I don't feel bitter about it at all...if he comes back you can bet there won't be any recriminations."
"I suppose that's the way all of us would see it," said Benton. The others nodded.
A final thought occurred to the Brigadier. "Maybe he already has been in touch, if you see what I mean. It's not knowing that I hate."
With that they said goodbye to each other, and consigned themselves to the unknown future.



PARALLELS

Benny jerked into a sitting position, the bedclothes falling away from her sweat-soaked body, and cried out in pain and fear. She trembled violently for a few moments, causing the bed to rock backwards and forwards, then realised to her unspeakable relief that she was safe in her room in the TARDIS. She covered her face with her hands, still feeling the horror of her nightmare. The Doctor burst in, followed by Ros and Chris. The two Adjudicators fell over each other trying to comfort her.
Some months, in real time, had elapsed since she'd been captured by the Nazis on Jersey while working undercover to expose a secret weapon which could alter the course of the Second World War, but the whole terrible experience still haunted her. In order to make her talk, they'd bruised her, burnt her, starved her, deprived her of sleep, pumped her full of all sorts of weird substances, broken her wrist and ripped out two of her fingernails. When she got back to England she was suffering badly from malnutrition and protein deficiency, among other things. She remembered Kitzel, the nurse who had administered much of this treatment, or rather maltreatment; remembered her Slavic features and grey eyes. In other surroundings, in different clothes, she would have been beautiful. She'd reminded Benny a little of an old friend from her early teens. She had been beautiful, too. A few times Benny had thought she saw a look of guilt appear briefly on the nurse's face. Yes, you might feel guilty, she thought. And I know why the guilt doesn't last. You've done it so often you've become desensitised. Because she was not prepared to disown the regime which made her do such things, Kitzel had put herself in a position where, at best, she could do little except stand in the corner and simper. Unwilling to make herself unpopular with her superiors by showing sympathy for her charges - her victims - she had instead developed the same callous and uncaring attitude towards those unfortunates that they displayed.
Later Benny had managed to get hold of a knife and by threatening Kitzel with it forced her to help her escape. Before leaving the hospital Benny had shut her in one of the drawers in the mortuary. She remembered wondering whether the drawers were airtight, whether Kitzel, if she screamed, would use up all her air and suffocate. Probably. Now, as then, she felt no remorse.
The Doctor's voice derailed her train of thought. "The Dream again, Benny?" he inquired gently, clasping her hand.
"Yes, Doctor," replied Benny with a watery smile. "The Dream. I expect I'll shake it off eventually. The intervals are getting longer."
"It's best to let things take their natural course," he said. "But a few days on Transidorn should help."
The planet Transidorn, he explained, was home to a flourishing, and peaceful, civilisation which derived most of its income from tourism. Its multi-coloured skies, benign weather, warm green seas, sweeping golden beaches and verdant, rolling countryside made it one of the most beautiful planets imaginable, and the cities were rich in handsome and well-preserved old buildings. It was a good place to go to to relax and indulge one's favourite hobbies. Benny decided to spend most of her time in Vankara, the capital city, which was situated near the coast with easy access to the beach.
They let Benny wander about on her own, figuring she wasn't in the mood for company. She found the planet every bit as enjoyable as the Doctor had said it would be.
Three days into her holiday, in a little room within a building adjacent to the city's Central Library, Benny made an interesting discovery. Whereas the Time Lords were masters of Time, the Fendrazi, Transidorn's native intelligent species, excelled in the field of dimensional engineering. They had developed craft capable of travelling between parallel universes, and a technology which enabled them to see into the past, present and future of alternative worlds, so that they and others could learn from past and future disasters what kinds of action should be avoided. The building housed the equipment they had developed for the purpose.
Benny was delighted to have found something the Doctor ought to know about but didn't, proving he wasn't as irritatingly (and frighteningly) omniscient as he often seemed. And she was sure she could learn much of interest from using the machine. It could key into any locality, on any one of a million planets, on any date, or follow the timeline of a particular individual from birth to death, within each of the billion different universes which were known to exist. So she paid the fee and seated herself at the machine's control panel. It seemed simple to operate.
She found herself selecting a certain building on the island of Jersey, Earth, in March 1941. Perhaps it was because the matter had been preying on her mind again recently. She ought to try and forget it, she knew, but couldn't help wondering if there was a dimension where the Nazis had never come to power, where none of the traumatic events she'd experienced at first hand had ever happened.
She chose a dimension at random, and waited for an image to appear on the screen. As the picture began to form, she steeled herself to look at it.
There she was, lying on the bed in the ward, and there was Kitzel. In this world the nurse's hair was dark brown, not blonde, but otherwise she looked much the same, and her mannerisms, her body language, were identical too.
Kitzel was standing beside the bed, looking hesitant about something. Benny saw her bend down and whisper in Benny 2's (as she decided to think of her) ear. Benny 2 said something in reply, but it was barely audible. Benny turned up the volume.
The weak voice had tailed away, and Kitzel was speaking again. "Can we make this look as if you knocked me out and escaped?"
She considered the possibility. "I suppose so," she said, answering her own question.
Kitzel undid the straps fastening Benny 2 to the bed. Then she filled a glass of water from a decanter, put it to Benny 2's lips, and waited. Eventually, with an effort, Benny 2 managed to climb out of bed and stand up.
When she judged Benny 2 to have regained something of her strength, Kitzel addressed her urgently, telling her what she proposed they should do. Benny nodded her agreement. The nurse took off her uniform and gave it to Benny 2 to put on, at the same time guiltily handing back the wristwatch she'd appropriated from her prisoner. Then Benny 2 hit Kitzel over the head with the decanter, using just enough force to knock her out without doing any serious damage. The nurse slumped across the bed. With a smile at her, Benny 2 hurried from the room.
Benny felt a surge of goodwill towards this world's Rosa Kitzel. Attagirl, Rosie, she thought. There's hope for us all yet. Warmed, she decided to follow Rosa's fortunes, to find out what had happened to her after the events at the hospital. Keying into Kitzel's timeline, she ran the program forward rapidly for a few moments, stopped it, then started it going again at normal speed. She gazed at the screen.
Flanked by two tough-looking guards, Kitzel was standing in an office before a desk behind which sat a German army officer, resplendent in full uniform. His face was a mask of anger and hatred as he denounced her as an enemy of the Fuhrer and the Fatherland for assisting one of Germany's enemies to escape. The things he said about her made Benny's face contort in disgust. The young woman was trying hard to compose herself, but her fear was written all over her pale features. She swallowed repeatedly, her frightened eyes darting from left to right, trembling as the man's voice rose to a frenzied shout.
The guards grabbed her and bundled her roughly from the room.
Benny stared at the scene, the colour draining from her face and a cold, sick feeling beginning to spread through her body from somewhere deep inside her.
She ran the program on a little more. Now it showed the interior of a small, cramped cell with a little light penetrating through the tiny barred window high up in one bleak concrete wall. In the centre of the room, Rosa Kitzel sat naked in a pool of some brown substance, hugging her calves tightly, her knees drawn up to her chin and her face buried in them. On her bare flesh Benny could see numerous bruises and burn marks.
Oh, no, Benny gasped. Oh dear God, no! Please, NO!
She thought about something the officer had said to Kitzel, and in addition to the shock and horror she was feeling experienced a terrible pang of unease.
Just about everyone who'd ever lived in the million or so universes which were known to have existed was listed in the records that went with the machine, along with their personal details and life story. Benny found the address she was after and programmed the machine to search for it.
The picture of Kitzel in her cell was replaced by one of a house in a tree-lined suburb of some German town or city. A van pulled up outside it and two men in black military-style uniforms and peaked helmets got out. They marched up to the door and banged on it. It was opened, and the two men barged their way in. A couple of minutes later they emerged from the house, herding before them a man, a woman and two children, a boy and a girl. The family resemblance of the man and the children to Rosa Kitzel was unmistakeable.
The children could tell from the soldiers' manner that something was wrong. As they approached the van the little girl started to cry.
White-faced and numb with horror, her mouth wide open, Benny looked on helplessly as the van doors closed on the young family and the vehicle drove off down the street.
She followed the van's progress through the countryside to a collection of ugly concrete buildings surrounded by a wire fence. Benny knew what was going to happen and she didn't want to see any more. Her trembling fingers reached for the control panel, closed around a button and switched it off. The hum of power died away.
The little room seemed all of a sudden to grow very dark and cold. The silence which had now descended upon it was the silence of a grave or a crypt.
Benny felt sick. She stared dumbly at the now blank screen for a period of time she could not ascertain. Then her face crumpled and thick, hot tears welled up in her eyes and trickled down her cheeks until she felt their salty taste in her mouth. Her voice breaking, she stammered out a few words.
"Rosa...I don't know if you can hear me...I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm sorry..."
There was no reply.

Benny's anguished cry echoed and re-echoed through the corridors

of space and time.




THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF TIME TRAVEL, Part One

To prove time travel impossible is perhaps an unpopular thing to do, since it would make nonsense of the majority of the Doctor's adventures. As a philosopher, however, I believe one should search
for the truth, and the truth - much to my regret, in many ways - is that unless you deny logic, you simply can't travel in time.
In science fiction, time travel takes place in two ways. (1) An object or person, or groups of objects or persons, travel bodily backwards or forwards through time, usually in some kind of craft specially designed for the purpose. The rest of the Universe stays
where it is. (2) Time is itself moved backwards or forwards, over
either the whole Universe or a part of it. One might seek to roll
back Earth history to a supposed "Golden Age", as Professor Whittaker did in Invasion Of The Dinosaurs, or cause someone to age to death/rejuvenate by reversing/accelerating their personal "timestream".
(1) entails that the past, present and future are continuously existing places, unless perhaps it is the case that the whole, or a part, of time itself is being moved backwards or forwards rather than that individuals are travelling through time. Apart from the fact that the past and future would not be the past or future - the past never exists because it has ceased to be, and the future never exists because by definition it has yet to be - we would need to ask, if they are all continuously existing places, exactly where they existed, for laws relating to space would still have to apply regardless of what one could or could not do with time.
When a time traveller arrives in, say, Renaissance Italy, they are in a place which clearly has a physical existence, and within which movement between various points is possible, and which must therefore occupy a certain amount of space. Where is that space? It cannot be the space which is taken up by modern Italy. It is probable that there are many points in space which have, either successively or at widely separated points in time, been occupied by more than one object. There may be, say, a spot down the road from me which is now occupied by a 1960s office block, which replaced a Victorian warehouse on the same site, and which in ten years' time will itself be demolished and replaced by a leisure centre. If the world of today occupies the same position in space as that which existed in the fifteenth century or any other period of history before our own, along with that which will exist in the future, then there must, of time travel is possible, be a certain number of objects existing in exactly the same spatial location, something which is physically impossible.
As indicated above, the problem would be overcome if it were the whole world or universe that had travelled back in time. Then, objects would simply return to the positions they occupied before they occupied other positions, or take up entirely new ones; if they were/will be at some point physically broken up, their molecules will disperse into the atmosphere or take up new forms elsewhere. But this is clearly a different sort of thing from what happens when the Doctor goes somewhere (temporally) in his TARDIS. It would also involve certain dangers. In the case of time going forwards, the person wanting to see the future would have to be somehow isolated from the effects of the process; otherwise a point might be reached at which they died (the cause of their death perhaps being something entirely unexpected). If time went backwards they would immediately reach the point just before the process began; it would thereupon cease, and they would never reach their destination.
The point of space where they arrive might become occupied at some stage by a physical object such as a wall, perhaps with nasty consequences. The possibility of ending up in an unpleasant or dangerous environment, such as the interior of a furnace or the bottom of the sea, is a hazard which must face all time travellers whether their destination is the past or the future, and whether they make their journey individually or the whole world is travelling with them (though a lot depends on whether you are inside some kind of machine and whether that machine is indestruc-tible); it means they must have a detailed and 100% accurate knowledge of where they are going in space, which in the case of the future would amount to ESP. Quite apart from the impossibil-ity, unless free will is denied, of ever being able to predict the future - to know what will exist in it, in what form, and where - the knowledge would for both past and present be prohibitively difficult to acquire.
The only other way the physical restrictions on the concurrent existence of a past, present and future might be overcome is if, whenever anything in the world changes, it (the world) is somehow duplicated and the copy transferred to a different point in space from that which will be occupied by the original and still existing world. This process would have to take place every second or so (as change does). Apart from the fact that any time machine which was ever developed would have to have a mechanism for locating, in space, each of the countless worlds which would be created by it, the whole scenario inevitably seems unacceptably absurd.
That's not to say it is impossible. But there is another important reason why rolling time, whether over the whole universe or just a part of it, backwards is unfeasible. It's logically impossible for time to go backwards, whether naturally or as a result of temporal tinkering by intelligent life forms. Nothing can happen without a reason, so everything is a matter of cause and effect ("cause" and "reason" are more or less the same thing, in that both terms mean an explanation for why something happens or exists in the way it does). Since, logically, cause must precede effect - unless it is simultaneous with it, e.g. the withdrawal of heat from the Earth's atmosphere at night is concurrent with its getting cold - events can only happen in a forward direction. If the cause follows the effect, then it cannot be a reason for it, and the effect simply happens. Therefore time, if it moves at all - and regardless of whether it moves of its own accord or is given a push by the hand of some intelligent life form - must move in only one direction, and that is forwards. This is so because logic must apply to all things, time included. What's logically impossible must be absolutely impossible. (1)
If you were to roll time forwards, you could not then roll it back again to the present; so you would not be able to enjoy any of the benefits which might accrue to you from the knowledge you would have gained from the future (such as knowing which horse to bet on in the Grand National). So there wouldn't be any point in accelerating time forwards; all it would mean would be that people would all live faster than normal, and thus be prevented from really enjoying their experiences, and that would be a terrible tragedy, especially when we live much too fast as it is.
It will be apparent that time travel by individuals is also ruled out by the above. One could not go back in time to a point before one was born, since one's birth would have been the cause, albeit indirectly, of one's journey (or one wouldn't have been around to do it), and one cannot arrive somewhere before one has been born (and thus able to set out for one's destination). Neither could you travel to the future, because when you returned to the present you would be affected by things that had not yet happened, possessing memories of things that you experienced in the future time to which you travelled and being able to make decisions and perform actions as a result of them.
Whether I am right in what I say above, i.e. that the impossibility of backwards causation makes travel to the past impossible, depends on the nature of time, because in one sense things would not be happening before their causes. If time were analagous to space in the sense that you could travel backwards and forwards in it, the "cause before effect" principle would not apply. There could simply be two kinds of time, "real" time (in which the time traveller is born and later builds their time machine), and time as it is when travelled through. Though there is still, in a sense, backwards causation, it is not of a sort which makes the temporal journey logically impossible. In an important respect, the causal arrow would still be travelling forward.
We must decide whether, if time were of a certain nature (i.e. analagous to some extent with space), backwards causation could not be said to be involved; whether time being of this nature would infringe, or not prevent other factors infringing, the principle that things cannot happen before their causes? If it does then the possibility of time travel is disproved. We have here a situation where A is an essential truth, and B is incompatible with it, rendering B impossible, but an additional factor, C, which may alter the situation, has been introduced into the equation. Logically, if A is an essential truth C must be compatible with A as well as B if it is to perform the task of reconciling the two.
It is not compatible with it. For time to be analagous to space, in that you can go through it from A to B without contravening any of the rules of logic, would involve the past, present and future being concurrently existing places, which as I argued above embodies a contradiction. This I think is the real objection to the idea of travel to the past. The only way of getting round it is for the whole world to go back in time, and this is not what is normally envisaged when we think and speak of time travel.
If a time traveller goes into the past then he must clearly, in order to make his journey, already exist. Even if it is possible for him to exist before he has been born - to perhaps exist in one timeframe but not in another - where does he exist? Again it is clear there must be a past, present and future existing concurrently. It may also be considered that for him to make his journey implies that the future of the time to which he travels - a future in which he is born, grows up, comes to understand time travel, builds his time machine and pulls its starter lever - is preordained (regardless of whether something shifts it to a different spatial position so as to get round the problem of it existing at the same point in space as the past). This would go against free will, which the evidence suggests we do possess. I shall have something to say on this subject in a separate article.
In any case I do not believe time is analagous to space. It would help here to establish its exact nature. There is no evidence that it is a medium, a substance, through which one could travel, which could be eaten (for example by a Kronovore), or which could be used as an energy source to power a TARDIS.
There must clearly be a fundamental element, which cannot be created or destroyed, at the root of everything, however finite anything else might be. If there weren't, nothing could exist in any coherent form and we wouldn't be around to discuss this article and agree or disagree with its conclusions. There would be no base on which to build an ordered universe. An important part of this fundamental element would be matter, which science says cannot be created or destroyed, and without which the universe would certainly be a very odd place. (For some people the element is God, and those Christians who follow the philosophy of Idealism believe that things exist because everything must be a concept in a mind, His mind or our minds, if it is to have any reality, and that includes the idea of ceasing to be. However, it doesn't matter for the purposes of my argument whether or not we see the issue in sentient terms).
Logically, what cannot be destroyed must continue to be. It is that continuation, the fact that something is enduring, which creates time. Since everything comes in some way or other from the fundamental element, everything endures forever, though not in the same form (the fundamental element, to do its job, must itself be essentially unchanging).
Since time is a property of things (their continuing to be) rather than a thing in itself - you can't point to, or produce in a laboratory, any entity of which it could be said "look, that's continuation" - then it cannot itself have properties, such as extension, and so can't be analagous to space. A property must be a property of something.

*

Going back in time implies the ability to commit actions which in some cases at least would be logically impossible. It may not appear possible to change history in that for things to have happened and yet not happened seems absurd and inconceivable. In one sense it is conceivable. An "event" is not the same thing as a physical object or a thought impulse. It is merely the way in which the object or the thought impulse behaves. Events happen, but they do not exist. The objects whose behaviour constitutes events are composed of particles, and the events are caused by some action or rearrangement of those particles. When we change the past so that different events happen from those which happened in "original" time we are merely altering the positions of the particles making up the entities whose actions constitute the events. To the question of how something can have happened and yet not happened, the answer must be that in a sense everything happens, because events are essentially the actions and interactions of physical objects and energy-states, and the molecules which compose those objects and energy-states will always exist regardless of whether anyone has been messing about with time.
However, there is clearly a qualitative difference between an object when it has any given property or location in space and the same object when it has any other given property or location, regardless of whether it always remains numerically identical with itself, and that qualitative difference is a causal factor of great importance. Let us ask ourselves whether, if time is changed - either deliberately, or accidentally as a result of some natural phenomenon or the unintentional action of a person, we can say that an event/object which was thus prevented from occurring/existing really happened/existed? Yes we can - because if time is now on the course (the "proper" course, or one which results from the interference of some outside agency) onto which it was shifted by the temporal change(s), there must be a reason for that. It was shifted onto it for a reason, and something must have "happened", or existed, to provide that reason. The agency which did the shifting (whether it was human or otherwise) must have shifted it from one course onto another, and its being on its current course is therefore a result, and effect, of having previously been on another (in the case of human action, because someone wanted to change its course). A "change" must necessarily be a transition from one state of affairs to another, and the original state of affairs is the cause of the state to which they have altered. To deny this would entail that things could happen without reasons, without causes, and that would be absurd and impossible. We are presented here with a paradox that proves the impossibility of time travel, because things would both have happened and (because we went back in time and changed the past) not have happened.

(1) Could time ever be made to stand still, as sometimes happens in science fiction? My belief is that no, it can't; at best, the question is paradoxical. If time can be made to stand still, then subsequently it will either continue to stand still or start moving again. It will stop and then remain stopped; or, alternatively, it will stop and then start up again. Either way, there would be continuation, as is implied by the very word "then", and so in a sense time would always be going on.



THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF TIME TRAVEL, Part Two
The premise of Steve Lyons' BBC Who novel The Final Sanction appears to be that everything that happens in the Whoniverse is ordained, except in small details or in the way it happens. This must apply to the whole of time, since it is not clear why it should apply to the past and not the future or vice versa. It's not exactly clear why things should be ordained, rather than left subject to human free will, unless they are ordained by some kind of governing intelligence. And if there is such a being, it's equally unclear why that being should want to ordain things, and thus leave us without the ability to feel a sense of achievement and anticipation. It would at least try to keep us happy by making us think we had a chance of influencing things; unless we desire the guiding force behind the universe to be fundamentally cruel and perverse, and I am sure we don't.
Of course, it is possible to argue, as some do, that free will is nonetheless an illusion, but I do not believe such arguments to be invalid, if only because our everyday experience seems to refute them. This is of course a philosophical issue in its own right, which would require a long time and a lot of pages to discuss; apart from what I've already said above I will therefore confine myself therefore to pointing out that
(a) There are situations where we simply don't know what to do about something, but nevertheless act in the end in one way or another. Where our knowledge of our environment and our commonsense make it inevitable we will do a given thing, unless we are in some way mentally incapacitated, we could say our decisions and thus the resulting actions were determined by those factors. However if there are no such determining factors, but a decision is still made, the decision can only ensue from free will.
(b) When we think we have made the wrong/right decision regarding something we feel a sense of guilt/warm glow of satisfaction, which we don't when we do something because we simply can't help it. This suggests there is a qualitative difference between the two kinds of action, and thus points to the existence of free will even though it may not decisively prove it.

If free will is not an illusion then strict limits on the way one can time travel are implied. If we could travel to the future, our exact destination could not be an object such as a building, or indeed any particular point in space if points in space are to be identified using nearby objects or agglomerations of matter (the planets, land masses etc on which they are located), as is in fact the case. We could not be sure that those objects or matter formations existed for us to travel to (they might have been demolished, or devastated by nuclear war, unless the future is predetermined. (This also means that people from out future cannot travel into their past - our present - to meet us, since they do not yet exist). If we had gone into the future and then returned to the present, we would be travelling back to the latter through territory whose existence would always have been inevitable. The only sense in which we could go into the future would be that of travelling to a point in the past and then journeying back to one's present; one would be travelling through what would to the people living at the point in the past to which we had gone be the future.
Possibly the future exists as a kind of void, in which objects and people appear if, as time moves on, nothing happens to prevent their continuing to be. The only things that would exist there would be those whose nature was such that nothing, natural or man-made, could ever destroy them - the subatomic particles out of which everything is constructed (whether this would have the effect of making the realm look like a void I am not sure, but whatever kind of world we are talking about here would not in the long run be of any great interest to us). As time caught up with one without anything happening to prevent the continued existence of an object, its particles would come together to create it. If we travelled to the future in a time machine, and it really was "the future", we would have to wait for time to catch up with us before anything interesting could be observed. How long the waiting would be would depend on how far into the future one had travelled (although spatially it would have nothing about it to recommend it, time would presumably still be going on in some way). I imagine our time travellers would not be prepared to wait more than a day or two unless they had gone into the future for some very important reason. Waiting for periods such as a billion years would be particularly irksome! But in any case travelling to the future would be rather a dead loss since it would exist only as a void until events caught up with it, after which it would of course no longer be the future but the present.
If, as time moves on, nothing happens to prevent an object from continuing to exist at that point in space, such as its being moved or destroyed (that is, molecularly destructured), and it becomes a part of the future, of what in one sense would be my present, it will materialise at exactly the point where I am standing, possibly with unfortunate consequences for myself, so I would have to have ESP see earlier article. However I doubt on grounds of logic whether such intriguing scenarios are possible; that the future can exist even as a void. If the future cannot be predetermined, then it will not have been "decided" whether it is to be avoid or a place with at least some objects existing in it. It will be neither of those things; and therefore, since it can in fact only be one or the other of them, just as a cat is either a cat or not a cat, it will not exist at all. If it does not exist, one cannot travel to it.
Not everything would of course be affected by the variable of human free will. Anything which wasn't would be found to exist in complete, rather than basic molecular, form, in the future realm. But given the ability of Man to devastate his entire planet, through nuclear weaponry, perhaps even physically destroying it if one or more nuclear bombs were detonated on a major fault line, it seems safe to conclude that the future would be entirely a void, if there is anything existing in in the future apart from in basic molecular form, or performing any particular action, it will have to have been preordained (because of how human free will might otherwise affect things).
Travel into the past does not contradict free will quite so much, because the past events have already happened. By undertaking it we would not be restricting the freedom of people living in it. Indeed, we might be doing quite the opposite.
Once the past happens, its nature must change (assuming that it can be said to continue existing at all). From being creatures possessing a substantial measure of free will - when they did whatever they were doing at a particular moment in time, a moment which became the past, they probably did it willingly - the people there, along with the inanimate objects which exist in their world, become like recordings, which either exist as inanimate particles or are continually performing the same actions, and whatever the way in which they have their being cannot be said to possess free will. If they did have free will, such would imply that the future (our present) had not yet been shaped, and we did not exist to travel into the past and meet them - because any action they might decide to perform, however trivial, could influence history in any number of possible ways, and the future cannot exist until it has been decided upon, much of the future including our own birth would be a non-certainty. Much depends on whether these recordings are interactive - on whether, among other things, we can influence their behaviour. If this is the case then our actions many well change the course of history. We would be altering the pattern of events, just as one can wind back a tape recording and then erase something or record over it. Unless we are impossibly careful, we will do this in such a way as to alter time (partly by creating new possibilities for the people living in the past, reintroducing free will into their lives by performing actions which they might respond to). That would make the future of everything, including ourselves, undecided, and we would consequently cease to be, not coming into existence again unless events should happen to result in our being born. We would have to make absolutely sure that our actions when in the past would not have unfortunate consequences. This would require a detailed knowledge of it which, since we do not always know why a thing happened whether it was a seemingly trivial occurrence or something of global import, or what caused an individual to make a particular decision, and any event however apparently insignificant can change the course of history, would have to encompass not only wars, battles, major treaties, great discoveries and inventions, and the identities of leading politicians and soldiers, but everything that happened, whether caused by human action or something "natural", on every day since the creation of the universe. We'd have to be certain that any action we performed, including scratching an itch, was consistent with the "proper" course of history; it is clear that attempting to satisfy this requirement would be a nightmare. And how could we acquire such knowledge in any case, unless we were omniscient, or were in communication with an omniscient God who could advise us on what to do and not do? Without these safeguards travel to the past would, in view of its potential dangers, be morally irresponsible.
If there are a host of other inhabited planets in the universe, then this information, if we were at all altruistic, would have to include their histories too, especially if we were travelling to their past or future, or they visited Earth at some time and had an influence on its development. We would have to have discovered the existence of all of them, which the size of the cosmos would render a dauntingly protracted, if not impossible, task, if we were not to leave some of them out of our calculations and thus run the risk of interfering in the course of their history with possibly calamitous results. The collection of all this information would be an impossibly tedious business unless entrusted to a computer, and even then it would take an impossibly long time. So Man will probably not be in a position to safely undertake temporal travel for possibly hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
It's possible the race doing the time travelling are themselves not human, and therefore might not encounter such prohibitive obstacles as those mentioned above. Their technology may be far in advance of ours and their psychology very different too. But one has to assume they are capable of making mistakes, and the consequences of such mistakes, which might mean that Hitler won the Second World War, are not nice to think about. If they are incapable of mistakes, they must have evolved to such a degree of perfection that they in effect constitute God.
There have been many occasions in science fiction where the actions of time travellers are actual historical events, or accord so closely with them that no real damage is done. What the time traveller does when he goes into the past is not so much to change history as to fulfil the role it has assigned to him. But he seems to do it so often that free will must be called into question, everything apparently being preordained, unless he is simply being irresponsible; and if he knows it was he and no-one else who performed/is to perform the action which makes history, and has free will, might he not choose to perform a totally different action, or none at all? Maybe it's unlikely he would be so foolish, but it is not impossible unless he is (a) morally perfect and (b) absolutely immune from any disease or other agency which could cause him to behave irrationally or against his will; and for either of these conditions to be met it would be necessary for him to be God. Hopefully, if disaster is to be avoided, either he is God or the latter exists and has created some safeguard against the consequences of his doing the wrong thing; if the latter is the case there would be little point in giving him freedom to change or not change history at all.
It would be irresponsible to travel into the past when the risk of it having unpleasant repercussions (and that's a bit of an understatement) would be so high. From a moral point of view it is therefore undesirable, or only desirable if there is some infallible agency, such as a God, controlling our actions and those of the people we encounter there so as not to produce changes in the course of history. It could be that the actions we commit while in the past would in fact agree with actual historical events; but if this is a way of preventing time travel from having dangerous effects it is a mixed blessing. Only if it was always the case would it be a sure guarantee that no disasters would ever happen, and if it was always the case that would result in the depressing conclusion that everything that happened in the past was predetermined; free will had always been an illusion.
If there is anything existing in the future apart from in a basic molecular form, or performing any particular action, it will have to have been preordained (because of how human free will might otherwise affect things). So if one went into the future one would risk upsetting, by one's actions, a predetermined pattern, just as one would risk upsetting the course of history if one went into the past.



TAINTED TARGETS
Proof positive that W H Allen had admitted to the existence of sex and bodily functions long before the New Adventures:

(1) The Cave Monsters (Malcolm Hulke 1974)
p33 When Hulke talks of Miss Dawson and Dr Quinn, who are clearly romantically involved, visiting Quinn's cottage to "make lunch" together we suspect this to be a code for some more intimate activity.

(2) The Green Death (Malcolm Hulke 1975)
p110-11 When Jo thinks Cliff is patronising her, she asks sarcas-tically if he would prefer her to be topless while making his tea.

(3) Invasion Of The Dinosaurs (Malcolm Hulke 1976)
Whittaker is clearly gay, and fancies the Doctor. On p91, when Butler offers to kill him, Whittaker replies "you'll do no such thing, he's terribly handsome." On p55 he thinks Butler would be very handsome if it wasn't for that dreadful scar.

(4) Horror Of Fang Rock (Terrance Dicks 1978)
p65 Harker refers to Adelaide as Lord Palmerdale's "fancy woman".

(5) The Time Warrior (Terrance Dicks 1978)
p35 The Doctor tells Rubeish to desist from chalking equations on the TARDIS since it is "neither a blackboard or a public convenience."
p63 Lady Eleanor is described as "narrow-hipped." p65 Linx reminds us that we have a "primary and secondary reproductive cycle" involving sexual intercourse.

(6) Image Of The Fendahl (Terrance Dicks 1979)
p19-20 "Leakey was Adam Colby's dog...his name was partly a tribute to the famous anthropologist, partly a reference to an unfortunate habit of occasionally forgetting his house-training."

(7) The War Games (Malcolm Hulke 1979)
p41 Captain Ransom is working on a file relating to the supply and distribution of latrine buckets.

(8) The Keys Of Marinus (Philip Hinchcliffe 1980)
p69 Vasor leers at Barbara Wright "lasciviously".

(9) The Enemy Of The World (Ian Marter 1981)
p29 "That bastard Kent..."

(10) The Caves Of Androzani (Terrance Dicks 1984)
p54 Spectrox, we are told, is prepared from "deposits" left by the giant bat colonies. Presumably, this means shit.

(11) The Invasion (Ian Marter 1985)
p134 Packer: "We'll kill the bastard this time."

(12) The Ambassadors Of Death (Terrance Dicks 1987)
p76 When Liz disappears, having been kidnapped by Reegan's men, and the Brigadier says he'll issue her description to the police, Carrington asks if he expects her to be wandering the streets.

(13) The Time Meddler (Nigel Robinson 1988)
p66-8 Edith is clearly raped by the Vikings (p68: "the Vikings had defiled a woman of the village"). On p88 one of them is described as a "violator of women". (I think someone “stops to relieve themselves” at some point but I can't find that bit at the moment).

So what's the fuss all about?

NB For an example of uncharacteristic, for that time, and therefore shocking violence try this from The Power Of Kroll (Terrance Dicks 1980): p58 "The gun exploded blowing away most of the warrior's head."



DOCTOR WHO TRAGEDIES
During our travels with the Doctor over the last 37 years we have encountered a legion of supporting characters, a lot of whom have died as is necessitated both by drama and realism. Some of those deaths seem particularly sad, and I would like to focus on a few of them. We know the Doctor is always saddened by loss of life, except sometimes where the very worst of people are concerned, but it seems to me that some comment on them is called for.
Sadly, there seems little hope of any of them coming back. Either they are too minor to justify it, or it would be too implausible. Nor does Who seem to believe in a Heaven; is it saying that these characters are gone for good, with no chance of compensation for their untimely and undeserved deaths? I would like to think it isn't; and also that real life should someday cease to be as tragic as Doctor Who - largely for good reasons, to do either with drama or with realism - needs to be on occasions.

(1) Miss Dawson (Doctor Who and the Silurians)
A problem here is that the novelisation of DWATS differs from the TV version, raising the issue of which one should be regarded as authentic. In the latter, Miss D goes down with the Silurian plague, but there is nothing to suggest she isn't cured along with all the others when the Doctor devises an antidote. In the novel she's knocked out by Morka and afterwards suffers from the Silurian "race memory" condition, reverting to a primitive and instinctual mental state. When asked by Dr Meredith how he should treat her, the Doctor replies simply that it should be with tender loving care.
My opinion has always been that if what is in the novel does not contradict what's on TV, then it may be viewed if desired as part of the canon, even though there is no on-screen evidence of it. Where there is a conflict, the televised version should be regarded as the correct one. Therefore, since there is no indication that Miss Dawson is not cured when the Doctor finds an antidote, she must be alive. But what if not all the Doctor's adventures take place in the same universe? What if there is a universe where the scenario related by Hulke did happen?
Hulke tells us that a selfish and possessive elderly mother has retarded Miss Dawson's career and also prevented her from fulfilling her wish to marry, by conveniently falling ill whenever she expresses a desire to leave home. Finally released by her mother's death at an incredibly old age, she takes up the position at Wenley Moor, where she meets Dr Quinn, who seems to be likeable and to like her. The novel makes clear, and the TV version hints, that their attachment borders on the romantic, although Miss Dawson's pleasure at finding friendship prevents her from seeing that Quinn is leading her on.
She is wrong to cover up Quinn's contacts with the Silurians, but she has her motives; she is acting out of loyalty to someone who appears to bestow on her the true affection of which she has for so long been starved. It seems irresponsible of the Doctor, once he guesses what's going on, not to press the matter, as it leads to Quinn's death and Miss Dawson's becoming unhinged.
It would be interesting to know whether a cure was ever found for the affliction. Liz didn't succumb to it when she was attacked by Morka, so obviously there is a factor which makes some people immune, and can perhaps be isolated.

(2) Thea Ransome (Image of the Fendahl)
Thea Ransome is essentially an innocent victim. Like Miss Dawson, this attractive and pleasant young woman is not entirely blameless. She does go along with concealing the death of the hiker, but then so does Adam Colby, who we are clearly not meant to dislike. Most probably the considerations uppermost in her mind are loyalty to her colleagues and fear of the consequences of opposing Fendleman, whose compulsion to recreate the Fendahl makes him dangerously fanatical.
Thea, of course, was in trouble from well before she was born. The genetic programming of her ancestors ensured she would become the Fendahl. Realising this, and thinking the creature would grant him a share in its powers, Maximilian Stael takes steps to make sure things happen as it intended, waylaying and chloroforming Thea. She then spends a whole episode bound and drugged in a cellar helplessly awaiting her fate, which is to be transformed into the evil Fendahl Priestess, in which shape she dies. Due to a tragic conjunction of circumstances, the Doctor is unable to save her from this sad and degrading demise. Aware of the Fendahl's presence within her, and sensing that he can help her, she goes to see him, but by then he has escaped from the storeroom where Fendleman had locked him up, and events have subsequently kept them apart. Then Stael appears, and her fate is sealed.
"That thing isn't Thea now," the Doctor tells Colby in part four. Nevertheless one wonders if her consciousness and personality could have survived, albeit suppressed, within that of the Priestess. But even if it did, Thea's goose was no doubt cooked when the Doctor dropped the skull which served as the repository for the Fendahl's powers in a supernova - something he had no choice but to do if it were to be prevented from ever returning.

(3) Laurence Scarman (Pyramids of Mars)
One of the best-known of Who's more tragic figures, Laurence is the brother of Marcus Scarman, who has been possessed by Sutekh to serve as the agent in his scheme for a comeback. Pleasingly, in the course of the story Laurence becomes a more than minor character, partnering the Doctor and Sarah in their fight to thwart Sutekh, and able to converse with the Doctor on his own level in matters of science and philosopy, most notably on their trip in the TARDIS to 1980 to observe what will happen if Sutekh isn't stopped. The Doctor is annoyed at first by the fussy Laurence ("If I knew the year I wouldn't ask, would I? Don't be obtuse, man!") and later exasperated by his refusal to accept that his brother is irretrievably in Sutekh's power, which places them all in danger; but there is no reason to suppose his apparent indifference at Laurence's death is anything other than an attempt by someone who didn't like admitting they were emotionally vulnerable to hide their feelings under a mask of flippancy (something this incarnation did on many occasions, one suspects). After Laurence's death, Sarah in the novelisation sadly recalls him "scuttling around the TARDIS with bright-eyed eagerness."

(4) The Buller family (Talons of Weng-Chiang)
Emma Buller is hypnotised by Chang while taking part in one of his acts, and falls a victim to the life-absorbing machinery of Magnus Greel, Chang's master. For having the gross temerity to be concerned about his wife, and threatening to report Chang to the police, her husband is murdered by Mr Sin. Evidence of a surviving relative (PC Quick says he visited Buller's mother-in-law, Mrs Nellie Gossett, as part of his investigation into the affair) tells us there are those who are continuing to experience the anguish of bereavement.
Deaths such as these are the most painful in Who history because they appear to involve the destruction of an entire family, or at least one branch of it. The indication is that the Bullers are a young married couple (Quick reports that they had lived with Mrs Gossett since their marriage "six months ago") who have not yet had time to produce children. We trust Mrs Gossett has not been left without anyone to carry on her line.

(5) Mr and Mrs X (The Stones of Blood)
The killing of these two campers by Vivien Fay's Ogri, roaming the moor in search of food, horrifies because it has no relevance to the plot, not does it serve to move the story along; it's there just for the sake of drama (or of padding). What's particularly shocking about it is that this is the Graham Williams era. The scene is in such stark contrast to the light-hearted humour which characterises that period of Who history that it leaves an odd, and rather unpleasant, taste in the mouth, unless we are meant to find it blackly funny. Terrance Dicks tells us they are newlyweds on their honeymoon; a young couple whose life together has been cut short in tragic circumstances before it has really begun. Altogether, given the context in which the incident occurs, it's not really right for a fourth Doctor story.

Besides the above, there are many examples of untimely death in the show which I could discuss but haven't the time or space for at the moment.
Other notable Doctor Who tragedies include Adric, who was allowed to feature in no less than eleven stories before being killed off.



THOUGHT FOR THE DAY 1
Planet Of The Spiders was, and still is, one of my favourite Dr Who stories. For children it works well enough, if my own reac-tions to it are anything to go by. I haven't watched it as an adult because I would inevitably spot the flaws in it and feel that all the magic was being destroyed. Adults tend to forget that they were children once and that a child's point of view isn't necessarily less valid than an adult's; they have to poker-facedly judge everything according to an adult standard by which it will inevitably, in a great many cases, be found wanting.
That one can pick holes in the story is obvious. For example, I have thought a lot about the theme behind it to finally conclude that it doesn't really make sense. Exactly why the third Doctor had to regenerate is not clear. He was more than a little jaded after Jo Grant's departure, and doesn't enjoy the same kind of chemistry with Sarah, but there seems no reason to suppose he would not have got out of this rut in the end.
It has been claimed that in Planet Of The Spiders the enemy the Doctor has to face, becoming a "new man" in the process, is not the spiders themselves - he'd be a bit of a wimp if it was, besides which he has never showed any fear at the prospect of taking on any adversary who threatens the Earth - so much as the realisation that he's an incorrigible meddler whose tinkering and "jackdaw meanderings" (in the words of the Shadow in The Armageddon Factor - which is a fourth Doctor story, but the phrase could accurately describe the third Doctor's behaviour in taking the Metebelis crystal in the first place, and the use of it in connection with the fourth is significant as will be seen below) bring disaster upon himself and others. By voluntary undergoing his trial (going to confront the Great One in her cave, where the concentration of blue crystals to be found there just happen to emit a radiation which has a deadly effect upon the body's cells) he purges himself of his faults and becomes the new man.
However, it clearly does him no good at all since meddle is exac-tly what he does throughout his fourth incarnation and beyond! "Of course we should interfere," he says to Romana in Nightmare of Ed-en. "Always do what you're good at." During The Caves of Andro-zani, where his "death" and regeneration are the culmination of a chain of events set in motion by his insistence on looking inside the gun runners' crates, the fifth Doctor tells Peri "curiosity has always been my downfall." If the Doctor had stopped interfering after Spiders he probably wouldn't have had many more adventures! Barry Letts must have known that. (It's worth remembering that the "new man" theme had to be substituted, as a way of ending the Pertwee era, for a story in which the true relationship between the Doctor and the Master was revealed, the Master then saving the Doctor from some peril only to die in the process while the Doctor regenerated, because of the death of Roger Delgado).
Regeneration as a means of achieving perfection is in any case somewhat dubious since with each new incarnation the Doctor is, perhaps, moving steadily towards becoming the evil Valeyard - the sometimes rather sinister, and morally questionable, actions of the seventh incarnation being perhaps an indication of what is to come, if one accepts the eight, who's far too nice for my liking, as an aberration from the trend.
Did the Pertwee doctor have too much of an attachment to UNIT (one clearly not shared with his fourth incarnation)? Possibly; but he would still have been involved in extra-terrestrial affairs, most likely through the instigation of the Time Lords, if the matter had been serious enough. If regeneration was necessary to part the Doctor from Earth then on its own it clearly didn't work, since even the fourth Doctor was in two minds, unhappily so, about abandoning the Brigadier - see how he's moping about it at the start of Pyramids Of Mars.
The crux of the matter is that Planet Of The Spiders is a self-indulgent Buddhist parable, reflecting the opinions of its producer Barry Letts (who always disliked labels like "Buddhist", but let's face it, if you don't use them you won't have the terms of reference you need to talk about something sensibly).
The moral of the above is, don't knock stories like Planet Of The Spiders but don't forget either that the reasons why we love Who have nothing to do with structural cohesion!



PYRAMIDS OF MARS: an exercise in explanation
Pyramids of Mars has been hailed as one of the greatest Dr Who stories ever; like many of those from the “Gothic” era, a real classic, and none the worse for the fact that its roots tend to show. It has a wonderfully creepy feel, being permeated by a brooding sense of doom, heightened for me by the knowledge that in real life this was the world which in just three years’ time would face the disaster of the First World War, between which cataclysm and the return of Sutekh parallels are inevitably drawn. The period setting, the general theme of the story (something popular in Western culture at that time in history), hale-fellow-well-met types like Dr Warlock, no doubt educated at the best public schools and exhibiting both the faults and the virtues of such institutions, of the sort which populate the ripping adventure stories of the period, gives the whole thing an atmosphere redolent of Rider Haggard.
But is Pyramids Of Mars quite as hot as it’s cracked up to be? It might be described as a triumph of style over rather a lot else. Examined closely, the plot is full of holes. However, in this respect it’s not much different from a lot of other stories from the original series of the show. Rather than deconstruct for its own sake, which is the sort of thing some people are quite fond of doing, the purpose of this article is to show how explanations might be found for these – which it’s actually quite fun to do - taking this story as an example. How about a series doing the same for other stories? It all culminates in the delightful discovery that the show was never quite as naff as its detractors (and sometimes its fans) like to think.
Sometimes the explanations are fairly easy to find, and more or less satisfactory. Sarah says that the design of the Pyramids of Mars reminds her of the city of the Exxillons, when she wasn’t in it in Death To The Daleks. As the Discontinuity Guide points out, it could simply be that the Doctor has shown her some pictures of the place, it being one of the 700 Wonders of the Universe.
Sometimes what appears to be a “blooper” isn’t really one at all. The Discontinuity Guide comments how convenient it is that Sarah puts on a period dress before landing in 1911; but it’s not actually that, being rather mid-Victorian. The Doctor himself says that Victoria Waterfield wore it (it looks not unlike the one from Evil Of The Daleks).
The third category of “gaffe” is that where explanations can be found which I believe make sense, but which some might still disagree with because they aren’t obvious: you’re left to infer them.
(1) The Osiran warning telling everyone to beware Sutekh is in English. Apart from the fact that this is an extension of the translation convention, without which complications would arise that would make it virtually impossible to write the story, which crops up throughout most sci-fi and is generally accepted by fans (so why bother to complain about it?) it could be that the Doctor simply has the skills necessary to decipher it, and his task is made easier by the fact that the most common letter is the equivalent of “e” in English, which language works on similar principles to Osiran. The latter isn’t so unlikely as one might think; it’s been pointed out there are striking similarities between very disparate languages on Earth (see Bill Bryson, Mother Tongue). Taking this a little further, why shouldn’t some things be common to all, or most, languages designed by intelligent life forms?
(2) Why bury Sutekh with everything he needs to escape? Well:
(a) Horus (his brother) was reluctant to punish him too severely and so left him a chance of escape. The Osirans may also have become somewhat amoral, to the extent that they liked to leave serious matters to chance, as if playing some kind of game. Horus must have known that Earth archaeologists would eventually discover Sutekh’s tomb in any case, running the risk of disaster if the knowledge and technology of the period weren’t sufficient to deal with the threat he posed; the Doctor’s is, which is why Sutekh, having originally decreed that all humans within the force field be destroyed, later changes his mind and has a Mummy capture rather than kill Sarah, so he can learn from her more about this alien who presents rather more of an obstacle to his plans.
(b) Sutekh was an Osiran, with almost godlike powers, and probably created some of the equipment through the power of his mind, although the process took thousands of years and required considerable mental effort. The Doctor actually comments that Sutekh has had seven thousand years to build the cytronic particle accelerator with which he powers the Mummies.
(3) Why does Sutekh operate in England and not Egypt? Because out in the open desert the missile would be more noticeable and likely to attract attention, as would all Sutekh’s other activities. Although the force field could still have kept people out, it would nonetheless be a reasonable precaution to take. The Scarman estate is quite heavily wooded and this would have acted as an effective screen. Besides, it would have been bad manners to enquire too closely into what goes on on an English gentleman’s private estate, especially in 1911. Sutekh would have learned all this from Scarman’s mind. As concerns what Sutekh would have had to fear if the authorities did find out what was going on, it seems the Mummies can be destroyed/disabled by explosions and the like, one being put out of action when the Marconiscope blows up, so bombs and heavy artillery such as had been developed by 1911 could have deprived him of a workforce. Like much of the technology of earlier periods, it’s unsophisticated by our standards but nonetheless brutally effective – witness Ernie Clements’ box of gelignite, which takes care very thoroughly of the Osiran missile.
(4) Why is the space-time tunnel called that when it is only, until the Doctor uses it to destroy Sutekh, used for travel through space? And why is it (fortunately for the Universe) the only exit from Sutekh’s prison? My guess is that Horus planned things that way. The Doctor and Sarah have just survived a series of lethal (if they fail) tests set by him; he apparently couldn’t resist giving people a chance, at least, to reach the Eye of Horus and destroy it, thus freeing Sutekh, if they so desired. When they fail to get there in time to prevent this it looks as if Sutekh has won, but then the Doctor realizes that because radio waves take two minutes to pass from Mars to Earth the Eye is still holding him paralysed, giving them enough time to get back to Earth and stop Sutekh by altering the settings of the tunnel and ageing him to death, which they do. In this way the final test was passed. (It would be interesting to know whether Scarman had to undergo the logic test set by the two Guardians and, if so, how he worked out which was the correct answer).
(5) When Marcus Scarman was taken over by Sutekh, according to the Doctor all traces of his human identity were erased and his life force destroyed, leaving him no more than a walking cadaver animated by Sutekh’s will. This, however, was clearly not what happened. There were occasions when Scarman’s human self was clearly trying to break free; when Laurence, his brother, confronted him with a photograph of themselves as boys in a bid to restore his memory of his former identity, he clearly recognized it and became confused and agitated.
Nevertheless the Doctor realised that returning Scarman to his human self, though not impossible, would be very difficult – and, if the attempt failed, dangerous. For his own good Laurence had to be convinced that it was futile, and to this end the Doctor exaggerated the extent to which Marcus lost his humanity. The slightest indication that any of it remained would only have fuelled Laurence’s dangerous optimism. In the end Laurence sadly failed to heed the Doctor’s advice; his attempts to break the Osiran conditioning were unsuccessful, and Marcus killed him.
The Doctor himself was possessed by Sutekh at one point, in order that he could take Scarman to Mars in the TARDIS to destroy the Eye of Horus, but returned to normal once the Osiran had no need of him. So why, then, doesn't the Doctor's body disintegrate, as Marcus' did when he'd served his purpose? Clearly the degree of control here was clearly not as great as in Scarman’s case (when under his influence the Doctor did not exhibit any of the symptoms of possession by Osirans mentioned below). Hence Sutekh’s instruction to Scarman to destroy him when they reached the Pyramids of Mars because Time Lords were a “cunning and perfidious species”. Evidently Sutekh was not able to possess him to the same extent as Scarman, achieving no more than a kind of hypnosis, and indeed thought the Doctor might have succeeded in faking the condition in such a way that it was impossible for the Osiran, despite his ability to read minds, to know for sure.
Sutekh doesn’t spot the Doctor’s deception by dressing up as a mummy, but does the box of gelignite the Doctor has planted beside the missile to blow it up. Scarman should have noticed it too because he controls the mummies telepathically, the more so since he actually meets the disguised Doctor and is perplexed when he fails to obey his commands. The only explanation for is that the telepathy (a) operates through Sutekh alone and (b) is wearing; you can’t use it all the time without sapping your mental energy to some extent.
The supposedly omnipotent Sutekh, who even the Time Lords couldn't have stopped or so we're told, can't be sure of his own mind-controlling abilities. We’ve already seen that he couldn’t completely possess the Doctor when taking him over in episode four. Nor can he prevent the gelignite exploding without subjecting himself to tremendous strain. But perhaps the faculty only works easily at a certain range.
One often wishes that the writers had bothered to EXPLAIN these things at the time. However we ought to be grateful in a way that they did not, because it does allow an interesting and enjoyable exercise in explanation to be carried out later on. I still think it’s better to have things thought out properly, and be consistent, as it can destroy the magic of the series when one’s attention is drawn to the flaws later on; though if it doesn’t, which may be the case, so much the better.
In the fourth category, answers can be arrived at which are at least conceivable but still leave an element of doubt. For the paralyzing ray transmitted from Mars to hold Sutekh, sealed within an Egyptian pyramid, in a state of permanent immobility there would have to be a permanent conjunction between Mars and Earth, which is astronomically impossible. It is possible, I suppose, that the Osirans built a network of relay satellites, which constantly changed position as the planets did. One advantage of this, from the Doctor and Sarah’s point of view, being that it would further increase the time-lag between the Eye being destroyed and the radio beam it was transmitting reaching its destination, giving them more time to stop Sutekh. I’ve no idea if that makes scientific sense, however.
The fifth category is one where no answer, that I can see, readily presents itself. The Discontinuity Guide points out that Marcus Scarman’s tie design changes all the time. I have to admit that this perplexes me too. It’s unlikely that a man so totally in the grip of an alien intelligence he’s little more than a zombie would bother much about fashion. The same with the straightforward mathematical error in the Doctor’s solution of one of the puzzles in the pyramid, which is a fairly simple “odd-man out” affair rather than a complex test of one’s reasoning ability (as is suggested in the story).
I could also add one or two moans of my own. The Doctor describes the Osirans as having dome-shaped heads, but Sutekh’s is that of a jackal. There could, of course, be two different strains of Osiran, the product perhaps of genetic engineering, but the disparity somehow seems too great for that.
In episode one after they escape from Namin the Doctor tells Sarah to fetch Laurence, so he can help get Warlock to safety, even though this is putting him at risk when Namin is roaming about with a gun. This is either simple plot convenience, or an example of the Doctor being rather ruthless – which we know he is at times.
Why all that charade with Namin anyway, when Marcus could simply have done everything by himself? And why does Marcus wear that helmet and robe when he's sent through the Space/Time tunnel? Why does the mummy kill Collins – who was merely dusting down the objects in the Egyptian Room – and how could it do so before Namin activates it with his ring (the only means of doing so, at least that's what's implied, until Marcus takes over). It's only in this story that the respiratory bypass system is seen to save the Doctor when he's strangled - presumably he's in no danger in Robots Of Death and Terror Of The Autons, in which he's nearly throttled by robots and telephone cords respectively, but this isn't the impression given there.
In episode two it appears that tinkering with the Space/Time tunnel can have nasty consequences – but the Doctor is able to do it when he really needs to, at the end of the story when he moves its threshold to the far future and Sutekh’s death.
Answers on a postcard please!
NB: The resolution of The Daemons, in which Jo Grant nobly offers to let herself be sacrificed instead of the Doctor and so confuses Azal that he self-destructs, has often been rubbished but although it seems daft, in the context of the undoubted penchant during the Pertwee era for magic ray-gun endings, does actually make sense. The Daemons were such coldly rational creatures that they couldn’t allow for the possibility that anyone might be prepared to prepared to lose their life for another’s sake. When they were, it came as a considerable emotional and psychological shock to Azal. Now if matter and mind are both of the same basic nature – mind, whose basic characteristic is awareness (thought), is a collection of electrical impulses, and matter composed of atoms which are roughly speaking particles of electricity – and if physical trauma can be triggered off by psychological shock, something which is both conceivable and not entirely unsupported by evidence - then what happens to the mind can happen to the body; Azal is basically a massive electrical circuit which can be shorted through mental distress, resulting in death.



SEEDS OF DOOM - AN APPRAISAL
The release of a Dr Who story on video/DVD, and the publicity this receives in fanzines etc., provides an opportunity to reassess the story's quality and its significance, if any, in the programme's history. I wonder if this will happen with Seeds Of Doom?
Certainly there is much I can find to say about the story 20 years on. This article is concerned both with its value as entertainment and, more particularly, with any aspect of the Who mythos it might be said to throw light on.
In terms of quality it is undoubtedly very good, as one might expect from something directed by Douglas Camfield. The pace is well-maintained and the cast are excellent, with particularly good performances from Tony Beckley (Harrison Chase), John Challis (Scorby), and Sylvia Coleridge (Amelia Ducat). The Krynoid monster, if unspectacular compared to some, isn't all that bad; it suffers from being seen too much of the time in CSO, although the scenes towards the end of the final episode with the adult creature towering above Chase's house are among examples of the more effective use of this process in the show.
The story's biggest flaw, particularly when everything that comes before it is so good, is the ending, with the Krynoid bombed to bits by the RAF. It isn't so much the use of stock footage that annoys me here so much as the feebleness of using conventional means to sort out the threat to civilisation. The Doctor should employ original and interesting methods to defeat his enemies. His loss of touch here is rather alarming! I feel the imagination of the writers deserted them at this point. I also can't help wondering how it would have been if the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton had been in it; one thing it misses is the former saying "Come on, Benton, let's go and turn this bally Krynoid thing into chop suey," or something similar. The better a story is overall, the more we miss the one or two gems which are absent.
There are also a couple of things that don't really make sense. If the Krynoid can be destroyed by conventional weapons, why doesn't the Doctor say so when he discusses the situation with Beresford and Thackeray in Episode Five, rather than wait until shortly before the creature is about to germinate, when he is desperately trying to contact UNIT over a radio he has only just repaired after it was damaged by Chase, handicapped by not knowing Beresford's wavelength? Secondly, after learning from their visit to Amelia Ducat that the pod is probably in Chase's hands Sarah and the Doctor make a foolhardy attempt to recover it on their own, not telling the authorities what they're planning. Had they been killed by Chase and his henchmen, as very nearly happens on several occasions, the pod would have gone on to germinate without anyone outside Chase's retinue knowing about it, with the worst possible consequences for Homo Sapiens. It's just as well Amelia turned out to be an undercover agent for WEB and contacted the organisation after their visit to her (as obviously she did).
It might also be added that much of what happens in the first and second episodes is ultimately inconsequential, although they function well as a stage-setter for the rest of the story (but what six-parter ever worked properly, apart perhaps from Talons of Weng-Chiang?)
I often find myself thinking that Seeds Of Doom would have made an excellent Jon Pertwee story, because of the James Bond antics which take place in it and the prospect of Beckley and Pertwee attempting to out-camp each other (NOT because of the ecological theme, such as it is; to compare it with, say, The Green Death is grotesque considering that Chase's concern for plants leads him to hate other life forms and ultimately ally himself with the Krynoid against Mankind).
More than a few words deserve to be said about characterisation in the story. Seeds of Doom was conceived as good entertainment rather than a psychological study, but as with anything else purporting to be such good characterisation was essential. Some of the characters are merely performing a certain task or series of tasks, such as the UNIT men Henderson and Beresford, and do not need to be particularly rounded; some, like Amelia Ducat and Thackeray, add colour and humour to the proceedings but are otherwise not sufficiently important to justify giving them much attention; and some are notable because of the opportunities they provide for analysis of their personalities and motives (which were not taken up in Philip Hinchcliffe's rather sketchy novelisation of the story).
After the Doctor and Sarah the most important person in the story is Harrison Chase. The first thing which strikes one about this character, other than the power and authority he radiates, is his slightly effeminate manner. It may suggest he is homosexual (children watching the programme would not of course have understood the meaning of the word, let alone connected it with the character), although this would not appear to square with his evident preference for plants over people whatever the latter's gender.
I think Chase went through a "gay" period which ended when one male lover somehow wronged hin; he continued to be unattracted by women, and so his disillusionment at what had happened took the form of an estrangement from the human race in general. I imagine the Chase family were liked and respected before Harrison, earning goodwill by opening their magnificent house to the public. When Harrison came into his inheritance he closed the house to all but his retinue and a few privileged visitors, treating anyone else with the utmost disdain. As well as retaining the effete mannerisms we observe in the "camp" form of homosexual, Chase has all the characteristics of the nastier sort; he is petty, mean (witness his neglecting to pay for Amelia Ducat's painting and then haggling over the price), autocratic and has a strong streak of cruelty. Of course there is no reason to suppose all homosexuals are like him in either their manners or their morals.
One can speculate as to what has been his precise relationship with Scorby and the guards; although they are essential if he is to protect his extensive possessions from thieves and the despised general public, and undertake missions all over the world to "acquire" more plants for his collection, they are probably also leftovers from a time when Chase liked to be surrounded by butch males (who might not themselves be gay). Chase probably despises Scorby for his loutish manner; it is possible that the macho mercenary returns his master's dislike for him, though not openly expressing it, on account of his effeminacy although we suspect he isn’t bothered that much in the last resort as long as he’s paid well.
Then there is Keeler, Chase's principal botanical expert and Scorby's accomplice in stealing the first Krynoid pod. Although seedy, Keeler is not a "bad" character; certainly he is far from being evil in the way Scorby and Chase are. He protests, albeit ineffectually, whenever either of the two plans killing somebody. How exactly did he become involved with Chase?
Keeler is undoubtedly highly intelligent, and at one time it looked as if he had a promising future as a scientist. I think it likely he committed some misdemeanour which although probably not involving harming another person was serious enough for no respectable employer to want to take him on (Chase of course is not “respectable” despite his aristocratic lifestyle and polished manner).
Needing a scientist of ability to help with his botanical research and tend his vast collection of plants, and not being too fussy about whatever Keeler had done wrong (since he was quite prepared himself to ignore the law in order to get what he wanted), Chase recruited him into his service. To Keeler, continually out of work because of the harm his career prospects had suffered, the offer of a job from someone of considerable wealth, who could afford to pay him a handsome salary, must have been a godsend.
Keeler is completely unable to break free from Chase, partly out of weakness of character and partly because he depends on him for his bread and butter. When he tells Sarah that Chase owns him, body and soul, this is not just delirious rambling (he is at this time in the early stages of Krynoid infection); it is entirely true. In a story characterised by death and destruction Keeler is easily the most tragic figure, because of the way his inability to break Chase's hold over him eventually leads to his "death" (assuming he has not somehow become absorbed into the group consciousness of the Krynoids). His mutation into a Krynoid encouraged by Chase in the interests of science, he ends up as just another of his master's experiments.
There is one other character in the story whose role calls for some explanation; Hargreaves, Chase's butler. He appears a staid and respectable figure, and yet what are obviously criminal activities, including attempted murder, go on all around him without his registering much in the way of protest. I think Andrew Martin (In Vision, February 1989) is right in believing Hargreaves to be the old family retainer. He is kept on because he comes in useful in a large establishment such as Chase's. Because of his job he is conditioned to obey, while his loyalty to the Chase family is such that he does not report his master's activities to the police even though he must know perfectly well what is going on. Chase obviously knows he can be trusted, or would have sacked him long ago.
Hargreaves, like Keeler, is a tragic figure. He is something of an anachronism, one of a dying breed if you will pardon the cliche. He must know that the Chase family will eventually die out, since Harrison due to his probable homosexuality and estrangement from the human race in general is unlikely ever to have any children. His commendable, if misguided, loyalty to his master eventually brings about his death; refusing to desert his post when the Krynoid goes on the rampage, he remains in the house and is strangled by plants under its control.
The character of Dunbar is also in some ways similar to that of Keeler. Although his willingness to help Chase steal the pod in return for money shows his corruptibility, he did not realise the lengths Chase would go to to acquire it, and is genuinely shocked to learn of the apparent murder of Stevenson (actually killed by the first Krynoid) and the attempted murder of the Doctor and Sarah. Having said that, he does assist later on in a further attempt to get them out of the way; this is a measure of the extent to which fear that the part he has already played in the affair might be exposed, unless he suffers an even more terrible retribution, if he refuses to co-operate has enmeshed him in Chase's web. Such is Chase's power and influence that no-one can ever entirely leave his service, and he can exact any price to ensure they keep silence about his dodgier activities, or continue to be of use to him when necessary. When he makes his initial approach to Chase Dunbar has a pretty good idea of what the dangers may be; "This was the moment he had been waiting for...the moment he would gamble not only his career but, if the runours about Chase were true, perhaps even his life." He has little excuse for the predicament he has got himself into.
It is only fair to stress that Dunbar's conscience is clearly troubled by what he does. Eventually he redeems himself by confronting Chase in a bid to retrieve the pod, at the risk of his own life. This results in him being killed by the Krynoid as he flees from Chase's men through the grounds of the house. His death, although principally a means of winding up the sub-plot of his treachery in a dramatic fashion, could be seen as a salutary reminder that whether or not we deem it unfair repentance of our sins doesn't necessarily mean we escape their consequences. He realises this at the end. "As he struggled through the creepers and bushes Dunbar cursed his own weakness. Greed, that ancient vice of man, had ensnared him into a lurid web of murder and betrayal. Now, in this tangled wilderness, which plucked his clothes and tore at his skin, he was discovering the price of his folly." The clinging vegetation which hinders his flight from danger is a physical symbol of his entrapment.
What does the story add to our knowledge of the "Whoniverse?" I would say very little. For one thing it is not, in many ways, typical Who. References to the Doctor's alien origins are few (although the "alien knowledge" of his which the Krynoid says it wants to absorb is presumably that he derives from being a Time Lord). The battle with Chase and his minions seems to take up as much, if not more, time as that with the alien menace. The realism in the story, embodied in the violence perpetrated by the likes of Scorby, is such that we find it hard to believe this is the same show as contains elements such as the TARDIS and the Time Lords, with whom the presence of such characters would appear hardly compatible. In Vision (February 1989) tells us the main reason; "Robert Banks Stewart {the story's writer} was not a regular Doctor Who viewer, and he knew nothing of the programme's history. As a result he depicted the Doctor and Sarah as two investigators in the style of The Avengers, a show which he had written for in its Emma Peel era."
Another thing which prevents it from making much of a contribution to the developing mythology of the programme is its lack of originality. The theme of the "blobby green menace from outer space which will destroy civilisation as we know it" had an impressive pedigree by 1976, the year the story was first transmitted, and is even less likely to enthuse today, while the megalomaniac with his private army and apocalyptic designs, who bumps off his enemies in a fiendish machine (the compost grinder) but eventually ends up in it himself, is the stuff James Bond movies are made of.
Seeds of Doom is in part an affectionate tribute to the cliches of mid- and late twentieth century popular fiction (note that we also see an attractive heroine being fed horizontally towards the above-mentioned fiendish machine). Douglas Camfield clearly took his Dr Who work very seriously, but nevertheless had his tongue in his cheek on a number of occasions. There is also a certain anount of sterotyping; of homosexuality (Chase) and perhaps of women (Sarah, who screams and gets tied up a lot, though her treatment is less sexist than that accorded to some of the previous female companions). The story is historically valuable in that it demonstrates just what one could get away with on British television in the mid-1970s. Although some of this might be regarded as ideologically dubious, as well as tacky, like the poor ending it doesn't detract that much from our enjoyment of the story. Camfield realised that a touch of humour in places would do little harm and might even add to the story's appeal, or he would probably not have attempted it. Of course, in being corny and derivative in parts Seeds Of Doom is not out of keeping with the rest of Season 13 (or for that matter one or two stories from previous seasons; consider the King Kong-inspired Robot, or The Daemons which I was surprised to realise is basically a remake of Quatermass And The Pit). But coming as it does at the end of the season, Seeds represents the high-water mark of this tendency in Doctor Who. Never again would the rehash of tried and tested formula from other genre be quite so blatant; producers, and to some extent viewers, would demand something more original and sophisticated. Derivation would not by any means entirely disappear, just as it had not been absent from the programme prior to Season 13, but re-use of elements from other worlds of fiction would be done much more cleverly and stylishly (as in Talons of Weng-Chiang). At the same time changes in social attitudes, at any rate on the part of political activists and television producers, would make it less acceptable to stereotype such groups as gays and women. Just try to imagine Ace getting frequently tied up, or lying helpless in the belly of the compost grinder while its blades bear down on her! Though she would have given Scorby and Chase a good run for their money, as indeed does Sarah. In one sense, if not in any other, the serial marks a turning-point in the programme's history. After it, the unashamed emulation of the B-movie gives way to the "science fiction romance" of Season 14, the clever humour of Douglas Adams (which the appalling special effects of late-70s Who and the embarrassingly over-the-top performance of Tom Baker unfortunately prevent one from appreciating) and the intellectual complexity and pretentious artistry of the Nathan-Turner era. Seeds of Doom was the last of what are now referred to, in the self-parody of the Who concept that has begun to creep into the New Adventures, as the "good old-fashioned alien invasion(s)". It wasn't just the Krynoid, and the Doctor's involvement with UNIT, that died in Episode Six.
One interesting thing about this story is that it sees the Doctor firmly back in his role of defender of the Earth. It is from his post as Scientific Adviser to UNIT that he is called to help identify the first Krynoid pod. He appears to have suppressed for the time being his desire, first evident in "Pyramids of Mars", where it causes an internal conflict which clearly makes him unhappy, to sever his connections with UNIT and resume being just a wanderer in time and space. Nevertheless, throughout much of the story he is in a dark and gloomy frame of mind. During the Krynoid affair much of the less pleasant side of human nature is revealed in the corruptibility of Dunbar and the nastiness of Chase and his sidekicks. This produces in the Doctor a feeling of disgust and disillusionment with the species he has been trying to protect these last few years. At the same time, though, the whole business is a reminder of Earth's vulnerability and his responsibilities towards it. He wonders if Man can ever be trusted to look after himself (witness his impatience with the stupidity of the Antarctic scientists, who allow the first pod to germinate and then fail to realise the danger of the situation they have created). The internal conflict returns, accompanied by a weary bitterness towards the situation he finds himself in; his feelings find expression in the rather startling violence he employs on occasions against Chase and Co.
The final, overwhelming impression left by events on the Doctor (and indeed myself) is one of senseless waste brought about by human greed, wickedness and stupidity. Seeds of Doom is in many ways a highly depressing story. The body count, which includes quite a few characters one has no reason to dislike or who can be pitied even if not altogether respectable, is high, and the destruction of the Antarctic base and Chase's mansion are regrettable. Sergeant Henderson's demise in the grinder leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. At the end of the affair the Doctor and Sarah feel mentally and emotionally exhausted. Hinchcliffe: "The Doctor and Sarah were seated...in Sir Colin Thackeray's office, examining a battered roll of film {of the Krynoid}. "We found it in Chase's camera," explained Sir Colin. "It's a wonder anything survived that inferno," said Sarah, a note of sadness in her voice. The Doctor too looked rather glum, as if the strain of the last few hours had not yet passed from his mind."



THE LAST DAYS OF UNIT
We can only guess at the nature of the process by which the Doctor eventually convinces himself that he is right to leave humanity to face its own destiny, and resume the nomadic lifestyle of his pre-exile days.
Let us take here the opportunity to consider the whole question of the Doctor's association with Earth and UNIT, and the way in which it ended. It is a mistake to see the Third Doctor as firmly tied to UNIT by volition, only getting wanderlust after his regeneration. In the first place he was not on Earth by choice; he had been exiled there by the Time Lords. (I have recently come to believe that the latter, who secretly realised the necessity of his interventions in the affairs of the cosmos at large, had been meaning to do this, rather than execute or imprison him, all along, having been convinced by the Celestial Intervention Agency of earth's importance in the future history of the Universe and the consequent need to protect it. It can't be a coincidence that he arrives on Earth at the same time, and in virtually the same place, as the meteorites which harbour the main Nestene invasion force). He finds the Brigadier irritating and obstructive, the relationship between the two men seeming at times to border on animosity, and is constantly seeking to repair the TARDIS so he can go off in it – permanently – at the first opportunity. However by the time his exile was lifted he had grown sufficiently attached to his life at UNIT not to want to cut his links with the organisation. His feelings, so Terrance Dicks tells us in his novelisation of The Three Doctors, are thus: "Now the ability to take off in the TARDIS was once more within his power, he wasn't sure he wanted to go. He knew he'd miss his friends, Jo, the Brigadier, Sergeant Benton, and his life as UNIT's Scientific Adviser. For the first time, in many years of wandering, he'd found something that could be calld a home, and he didn't want to give it up. Not completely, that was. One or two trips from time to time, of course..." He does go off in the TARDIS quite frequently, and at inconvenient (for the Brigadier) times, but always comes back in the end.
With the Doctor's regeneration his personality changed. In his new incarnation he was less happy to be tied to just one planet and time zone. But he nevertheless felt unhappy about leaving his old friends – or at least continued to feel a sense of responsibility towards Earth, which conflicted with his wanderlust - as his miserable frame of mind at the start of "Pyramids of Mars" makes clear. Here we should note that at some point the Brigadier, whose need to have the Doctor consequently on call obviously conflicts with the latter's tendency to go off on his travels whenever he feels like it, has been given as a compromise a gadget with which he can call the Doctor whenever a real emergency arises on Earth. It is with this "Space-Time Telegraph", as it is referred to in the novelisation of Terror of the Zygons, that he summons the Doctor to Loch Ness to deal with the eponymous aliens. Although it would not have ended the Doctor's angst over his responsibilities - if, while attempting to sort out the affairs of some distant planet (affairs which would matter to him quite as much as those of Earth), he received an urgent summons from the Brigadier, he could not sort out his immediate problems (in the course of which he would have to avoid being exterminated or whatever) and then return to Earth before it was invaded/destroyed because of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect - it could nevertheless have served as the basis for future UNIT stories. It is a great pity this device was not adopted, especially as Nicholas Courtney was quite happy to go on playing the Brigadier for a bit longer. Whatever one might think about the benefits of retaining UNIT in the series, it is odd that the Space-Time Telegraph is never used by the Brigadier's successors, or even referred to again.
The unsatisfactory treatment of UNIT in Seeds Of Doom, with none of the regulars present, highlights the way its phasing-out from the series was botched by Hinchcliffe & Co (although its partial replacement by the World Ecology Bureau as the focus of opposition to the alien menace is interesting, since it provides a pretext for the latter's return in future Earth-based stories, particularly if, as Timothy Combe (director of "Mind Of Evil") once suggested in DWM, the programme should return to our screens attempting to change its direction by focusing again on environmental issues; in this context the organisation's initials are appropriate, since they symbolise the "web" of life).
Hinchcliffe tells us he wanted to get rid of UNIT because it limited the scope of the programme. I can see what he means, but I don't think it should have been written out altogether; the concept could have been expanded, and more fully explored, by bringing in some new characters and showing how the Brigadier is eventually changed by the Doctor's influence from being a rather stupid and chauvinistic (at times) person to someone with a greater understanding of the universe, while retaining the good characteristics he already has). At the time, I felt the departure of the UNIT regulars like a bereavement. This sense of loss was heightened by the failure to properly write them all out. This neglecting to give popular characters a decent sending off illustrates a mercenary attitude on Hinchcliffe's part towards things he didn't like (although I still don’t think he would have gone so far as to have Benton perish in the grinder instead of his replacement, Sergeant Henderson, if the character had appeared in Seeds Of Doom). The last time the regulars are all seen together is in Terror of the Zygons, at the end of which there is no indication that the Doctor is going to part company so drastically with his old friends. The next story to feature UNIT is The Android Invasion, which left me with a feeling of sadness. Although the Brigadier's name is on the door of his office at the Devesham Space Centre it is occupied by a stranger, and the Benton we see is for most of the time not the real one but his cold, emotionless, android copy. This I found at the time to be symbolic, though the symbolism was probably unintentional. In Seeds of Doom we don't see any of the regulars at all although the Brigadier and presumably Harry are still around the place (the Doctor expects to find the former at WEB when he goes there to discuss the Krynoid threat). We don't know whether Benton is alive or dead after the events in Android Invasion (although he definitely blinks after being struck down by his android counterpart, which gives cause for hope). At any rate it’s all very unsatisfactory, and makes one wonder if it wouldn’t have been better had UNIT been written out at the end of the Third Doctor’s era. The last time any of them are mentioned for quite a while is in Hand of Fear when Sarah offers to remember the Doctor to Harry and the Brigadier (not Benton, which we hope isn't significant), and none thereafter appear until Mawdryn Undead.
It doesn't make sense that the Brigadier and Co just disappear, with the Doctor not properly saying goodbye to them, considering he has formed what is clearly a genuine and affectionate (if not without its ups and downs) relationship, and faced many dangers, with them, and it seems rather cavalier when they have been an important ingredient in the show's success in recent years. I understand that problems with his outside commitments were making it difficult at this time to feature Nicholas Courtney in the scheduled stories, but I feel the popularity of the characters with the programme's fans would have justfied any difficulties caused by deciding to have a proper UNIT write-out story and then working around those commitments. (As a matter of fact, what happened isn’t entirely clear; in the commentary on the Seeds of Doom DVD Hinchcliffe says he offered the part eventually played by John Acheson as Major Beresford to Courtney, only the latter had in the meantime concluded he’d been written out and in the meantime made other arrangements. Hinchcliffe may have toyed with the idea of keeping UNIT on for a little longer, for someone went to the bother of slightly redesigning their uniforms. At any rate, the whole thing savours here of cockup rather than conspiracy).
It is regrettable that Terrance Dicks in his novelisation commits the same sin as Hinchcliffe; he, too, makes the Brigadier and Harry disappear while not telling us whether Benton is alive. I hope some future Missing Adventures-type novel will make up for this deficiency by showing us why exactly the Doctor left UNIT, when, and in the way he did, and how his friends in the organization react to his departure.



CLICHES TO AVOID WHEN WRITING SCIENCE FICTION
(1)
Collective intelligences (e.g. Nestenes, Axons, Rutans, Hoothi, Mandragora Helix, the Mara and by implication the Krynoids).

(2)
Races/entities who play on, and feed on, negative impulses, or some variation on that theme. "Sir: I wonder if any other Dr Who fans have noticed the remarkable resemblance between the Malus from The Awakening (a being which feeds upon and intensifies the negative emotions generated during war) and the Diadem from Gary Russell's New Adventures novel Legacy (a being which feeds upon and intensifies the negative emotions generated during war)? Do you suppose they are by any chance related?" With apologies to Private Eye. (They may possibly be first cousins of the Mind Parasite from The Mind of Evil (a being which feeds upon and intensifies negative emotions)).
(Perhaps this could be a regular feature in Dr Who fanzines from now on, a "Look-a-like" column in which the similarities between the Dr Who monsters and villains are pointed out. For the next issue I would suggest "Sir: I wonder {etc etc}...the Exarians from Colony In Space (a race who were once incredibly advanced but have culturally regressed to a state of near-barbarism in which technology forms the basis of a lunatic religion), and the Exxillons from Death To The Daleks (a race who were once incredibly advanced but have culturally regressed to a state of near-barbarism in which technology forms the basis of a lunatic religion)? And of course their names both begin with the same letters!)

(3)
Shape-changing aliens (Rutans, Zygons, Sloathes, Kamelion, Whifferdills, Gwanzulum, Quoll (the last three from Dr Who Monthly/Dr Who Magazine)). Oh, and the aliens in The Death of Art.

(4)
Aliens/villains using androids (Daleks, Cybermen, Tarans, Karfelons, Sharaz Jek, Kraals).

(5)
Aliens using mind control.

(6)
"I'm sorry I got you into this." Usually said by the hero to the heroine (or some other delectable female connected in some way with the plot) while they are chained together with a nearby bomb ticking away the remaining minutes of their lives. In response, the female will either say, "That's all right, it wasn't your fault", or "the thing to do is to get out of it", in both cases displaying a remarkably calm and philosophical frame of mind.

(7)
Never refer to "that mysterious traveller in Time and Space known only as the Doctor."

(8)
If you're Terrance Dicks, please don't keep on saying that Peter Davison's Doctor has a "pleasant open face" or that Turlough is "good-looking in a vaguely untrustworthy sort of way".

(9)
"I should have guessed{you'd be mixed up in all this}" (or words to that effect). Said when the villain(s) of the piece turn(s) out to be an old enemy of the hero. This sort of thing gets said so often that you wonder how the hero ever made it in the Universe-saving business.

(10)
The villain has a mentally retarded, or at any rate not very bright, and possibly physically deformed sidekick who at some stage takes a fancy to the heroine (e.g. Condo in "Brain of Morbius") and objects when the villain threatens her life. His opposition often leads him either to rebel against his master, or to try and stop him killing the girl. He usually dies in the attempt, but at least his intervention buys the good guys valuable time in which to escape, so that's all right then.

ADDENDA
(1) "You know too much". Said by a villain in answer to the hero/ine asking him why he can't just take whatever expensive item or formula they have unsuccessfully tried to prevent him from stealing and leave, and not kill them at the same time.
(2) Captured by the villain, the tied-down or otherwise overpowered hero(ine) looks on as they put their evil scheme into effect, possibly intending to blow the hero(ine) up, or otherwise kill them, at the same time, and says "Tell me one thing, X...why?” "
(3) The Brigadier: "Well, Doctor, what do you think we're dealing with?"
(4) "You shall live long enough to witness my triumph." This could be viewed either as an indication of a villainous character's ego, or as a convenient plot device to explain why they don't kill the hero (and thus render any more adventures impossible for them). Take your pick.
(5) I think we've all had enough of "the Doctor's Time Lord metabolism enabled him to {endure some stressful situation} better than most humans", or words to that effect.
(5) "You waste what little time is left to you in idle chatter."
(6) When someone is tied up and struggling to escape, don't say "{the villain} had made a good job of the knots" (of course they had, they wouldn’t want you to get away). Or that someone struggling to free themselves from bondage is unable to do so because "the knots had been tied with a cruel tightness" (people may start to wonder about you).
(7) "What is going to happen to you will serve as a warning to others who seek to meddle in my affairs."

LOOK-A-LIKE
(1) Sir:
I wonder if any other Dr Who fans have noticed the amazing resemblance between the Fendahl (a dormant entity whose name begins with "Fen" and which has genetically influenced the behaviour of certain humans in order to bring about its recreation) and Fenric (a dormant entity whose name begins with "Fen" and which has genetically influenced certain humans in order to bring about its recreation)?
(2) Sir:
I wonder if any other Dr Who fans have noticed the amazing resemblance between the story "Revenge of the Cybermen" (where the Cybermen try to blow up Voga by detonating bombs beneath its surface, and when they fail send Nerva Beacon on a collision course with it, with the Doctor and Sarah trapped inside) and "Earthshock" (where the Cybermen try to blow up Earth by detonating bombs beneath its surface, and when they fail send the freighter on a collision course with it, with Adric, Briggs and Berger trapped inside)?


FENRIC, THE GUARDIANS AND THE DOCTOR'S DIVINITY
When we first meet the Doctor, all we know about him is that he's an exile from an alien planet, possibly non-human in origin, who wanders in time and space. Such is human nature that the blank sheet of paper we were presented with inevitably got written on. Gradually, the mythology of the series was built up. The Doctor was given a past, a background; we learned he was a Time Lord, a member of an elite caste who ruled the planet Gallifrey. We learned about Rassilon and Omega, and the remarkable powers the Time Lords had acquired, such as their control over Time and their ability to regenerate. The Doctor had found their society to be static and excessively bound by rules and regulations, and eventually stole the TARDIS to roam the universe much as he pleased. All this was, as I say, inevitable, but one unfortunate consequence of it was that a lot of the mystery went out of the concept.
With the advent of Sylvester McCoy's Doctor, and Andrew Cartmel as Script Editor, it was decided to restore that vanished mystery, not so much by announcing that what we had previously been told was the truth was in fact false, but by hinting that it might not be the full story. The Doctor was a Time Lord, but he was more than just a Time Lord, as a scene from Silver Nemesis, along with certain passages excised from the finished versions of Survival and Remembrance of the Daleks, makes clear.
We have not been told exactly who, or what, the Doctor is. One thing seems evident, however. The impression we are given is of a
being with powers verging on the supernatural (many of which were
not fully developed until his seventh incarnation). He has an uncanny prescience, which is linked to an ability to manipulate events in the way he desires. He sometimes appears a Messianic figure, because of his unusual faculties and his ability, recognised well before the sixth regeneration, to "see the threads
that bind the universe and mend them when they break" (Meglos).
Some people would object to the Doctor's being portrayed as a Christ figure. I would like to stress that I don't think there is anything to be gained from identifying him with Jesus or indeed any other religious/supernatural personage. It is in any case better for dramatic reasons that his origins are never fully explained. This has the advantage that Christian fans can go on thinking he's analogous to Jesus (unless that would be blasphemy!) while those who are uncomfortable with such notions may think of him if they like as something different, though what exactly is far from clear.
It would be wrong to make Doctor Who conform too closely with any
one religious viewpoint. Nevertheless the parallels, however unintentional, between it and Christianity (and perhaps other religions, about which I confess I'm less knowledgeable than I should be) are there and they are interesting.
The Doctor would seem to have personal experience of a state of affairs before time, and the universe as we know it, began, and he
is clearly important in the whole cosmic scheme. In The Curse of
Fenric, when Ace demands to know what's going on and what they are
fighting against, he describes the origin of Fenric thus:

"Evil since the dawn of time...the beginning of all beginnings…two forces only, good and evil. Then chaos...time is born. Matter, space...the Universe cries out like a newborn. The forces shatter as the Universe explodes outwards...only echoes remain...but somehow the evil force survives. An intelligence...pure evil..."

He doesn't like to release this information: "Please stop asking me these questions!"
Though novelisations may not be regarded as canonical, extracts from the above-mentioned confrontation as it is related in that of Fenric are worth noting. It is suggested the Doctor came into being at the same time as the cosmos itself and the elementary forces of good and evil. ("Suddenly she (Ace) saw it in his eyes. A momentary glimpse of his birth.") As on television he is reluctant to tell Ace the truth ("His eyes were consumed with torment. "Please don't make me...")
The novelisation also contains an account of Fenric's first clash with the Doctor, in which the Doctor declares he knows Fenric is "the Dark One, who is come from the Time Before Time; as I am Light, so are you dark." Fenric replies, "So, El-Dok'Tar, as you are Light so I am Dark. I think that you also come from the Time Before Time..."
Why is the Doctor afraid to talk about his true identity? Is he
afraid of his heritage, perhaps because his status in the universe
brings with it certain responsibilities, which he has not so far had to face, that are far greater even than those he has been burdened with in the past? It causes moments of doubt and pain -
just as Christ's from time to time did Him.
Whatever the nature of the Doctor's secrets, his reluctance to disclose them is evident in both Fenric and Silver Nemesis (where e will not do so even at the cost of giving the evil Lady Peinforte the statue of Nemesis and thus the power to do more or less whatever she likes). When confronted with his dilemma he appears defeated, telling Ace sadly, "It's all over. My battle; all my battles: I've lost, I can only surrender."
If the consequences of revealing the secret would be worse even than giving absolute power to the likes of Peinforte, it is very difficult to imagine what they might be. Perhaps the answer is that revelation might in some way cause the Doctor personal stress
of a kind so severe that he cannot bring himself to do it even for
the greater good.
It may well be the case that the Doctor did not know who he really was until relatively recently, awareness of his true identity coming at the same time as the appearance of his most striking mental abilities and possibly being linked to them.
The mention of a "Time before Time" recalls certain ideas of St Augustine, who when asked what God was doing before He created the
Universe replied that time was a property of the Universe which did not exist before He created it. It may also be noted that some Christian thinkers have held that Christ existed from the beginning of time and did not come into being only when he was incarnated on Earth in human form for the purpose of redeeming humanity.
If the intention of Who writers is to portray Christianity as at best one viewpoint among many and at worst as harmful - as something which is not, at any rate, compatible with the show's philosophy - as seems to be the case in, for example, the New Adventures, this kind of thing rather defeats that objective in that it makes the drawing of parallels between the mythology of the series and Christian theology more feasible.
In the cosmology of Dr Who the real bosses of the show, even more
important than the Time Lords, are the White and Black Guardians, who represent the ultimate embodiments respectively of good and evil. Their properties are such that they seem very like the God and Satan of Christianity. True, the Black Guardian is unable to breach the TARDIS' defences, but there are important reasons why this is the case. The cosmic struggle between the Guardians of Light and Darkness is conducted in the manner of a chess game, in which certain moves are permitted but not others. In the Black Guardian's case at any rate, the pawns play a leading role. In Mawdryn Undead he engages Turlough to kill the Doctor instead of doing it himself, telling the boy "I cannot be seen to act in this". In the quest for the Key to Time and in Enlightenment the pawns are respectively the Shadow and Wrack.
There are good reasons why the Guardians, if they are to be identified with God and Satan, would wish to withhold conclusive proof of their existence from the universe by working largely through intermediaries. If God is clearly seen to be active in the affairs of the cosmos he will risk making his existence an established scientific fact. This would deny faith (the only means by which, so we are told, we should try to understand him). For his part the Black Guardian/Satan knows that if he is proved to exist, and be active in the Universe, countless people would automatically start believing in God and turn to Him for protection against the diabolical forces. The White Guardian/God would easily win the game. The Guardians' modus operandi would be much the same if they were analogous in the Whoniverse to God and Satan rather than actually identical with them. Good must win but cannot win too easily or the drama will go out of everything, besides which the moral and spiritual benefits that are derived from adversity will be lost. Evil too cannot secure an easy victory, either because it is not as strong as good (that, at any rate, is what we have often been told) or because one of the best things, from its point of view, about a final triumph over Good would be that those who had fought on the latter's side would suffer the pain of knowing they had lost despite all the strenuous efforts they had made, all the trials and tribulations they had gone through, in order to win the day.
By agreement between its participants, if certain moves are made in the game the other side must accept them as constituting a defeat for it even though their value might seem to us to be nil. That is why, when the Doctor sees through the Black Guardian's disguise at the end of The Armageddon Factor and operates the TARDIS' defence systems, the Guardian is unable to breach them. The inability is not a physical one; the Doctor's action is to be
seen as a move in a kind of cosmic game where gestures stand in for meaningful acts rather than a material obstruction to the Guardian's wishes. This convention is necessary because in actual terms the Guardian could so easily gain possession of the Key, and
consequently achieve universal domination, that it would make nonsense of the game. The Guardian must regard the Doctor's otherwise pointless action as a decisive defeat, which enrages him
but cannot be reversed.
From then on the Black Guardian appears bent on destroying the Doctor. It is unlikely that this is out of pique at having been thwarted in his bid to obtain the Key To Time, as we are led to believe. He could not possibly play his part in maintaining a proper balance between good and evil if he was that kind of being - if he intervened in the universe, in whatever way, largely out of personal ire. Rather, I believe he had decided to kill the Doctor before it became necessary to locate and assemble the segments of the Key, and the Doctor's search for them merely provided a good opportunity for him to do so. The quest for the Key was too important a matter to have been purely a trap to kill the Doctor, as the Discontinuity Guide suggests (such would also imply that the search for the Key was initiated purely by the Black Guardian without the White's knowledge or concurrence, and therefore diminish the latter's status to the point where no proper moral balance could be attained). The Doctor, because of the remarkable abilities, latent or realised, that he possesses and his ability to successfully intervene in things on the side of good, is so important a factor in the cosmic moral struggle that the Guardian, if he is to be worth his salt, must at some point make an effort to remove him from the scene. His actions are quite permissible by the rules of the game which he and the White Guardian play, although he must diminish his chances of success by acting indirectly through agents (something he has for other reasons to do anyway).
Even if the Doctor is not Christ, or some similar figure, a study of what we know about him leads to some very interesting and striking conclusions. He is a being of considerable importance in
the Universe, so much so that the Black Guardian makes his destruction a priority (as long as his other enemies fail to dispose of him). One explanation for the statements made in Fenric and quoted in this article could be the existence from the beginning of Creation of a hierarchy of supernatural beings, some demonic and some angelic (such was once a feature of Christian doctrine, where the demons were originally angels but fell from grace with God and were expelled from Heaven, and is still believed in today by certain of the faithful). The most powerful of the demons became the Black Guardian. Among the angelic beings was the entity which later came to be known as the Doctor. This being was sent into the world, perhaps by some Supreme Being, to act as a force for good, becoming incarnate as a biological entity. In the process it lost all awareness of its former identity, but later began to regain it. Making the Doctor a Time Lord would have certain advantages. Regeneration would remove the necessity for reincarnating him every so often (not that a Supreme Being couldn't manage that without any difficulty, but it would be illogical for it to do what it didn't have to, and there is something very neat about the arrangement). Also, the Time Lords were good material for the Doctor to work with (potentially at any rate). They could have done great things in the cause of good, but used their considerable powers merely to gather information, rarely intervening in the affairs of the cosmos at large (when they could have acted as a celestial equivalent of the United Nations, although rather more effective than ours). Whether or not the Doctor was faintly aware of his true destiny at the time he left Gallifrey, his growing realisation of the place he held in
the cosmos would eventually have led him to forsake it regardless
of any other factors which might have impelled him.

No sooner had I completed this article than we learned in the TV movie that the Doctor was half-human! One ought to try to establish what difference, if any, this bombshell revelation makes
to the idea that the Doctor is "more than a Time Lord" (and thus considerably more than a human). It need make none at all if we consider that when we debate who the Doctor's parents were, we are speaking of his purely biological nature. I suggest that he existed from the beginning of time as a spiritual force which later became incarnate in humanoid form, infusing his parents' genes before or at the moment of his conception. Here again it is
possible to see parallels with Christianity. The Gospel tells us that "God so loved the world that He sent His only Son {to redeem sins and thus make Man worthy of going to Heaven}"; the implication seems to be that Jesus existed in some form before his incarnation as a human being (as a saerate entity from God; I don't subscribe to the view, still held by many Christians, that He was God in every sense, as I don't see how an omnipresent being could inhabit a human body given that the latter occupies a limited area of space). Of course Jesus had only one mortal parent, but had he had two it might well have made no difference to the ability of an omnipotent (within the restrictions imposed by sheer logic) God to install his spiritual body within a wholly physical one.
Perhaps something similar happened with the Doctor. There would be value in his being genetically a mix of Time Lord and human; in
him, the knowledge and powers of the Time Lords were allied to human warmth and compassion, as well as with a wisdom as old as the universe and supernatural, if not divine, in nature.



UNIT 2
It is I think accurate to say that the years from 1970 to 1977 were the golden age of Doctor Who, even if other periods of its history have sometimes been underrated. It was during that time that we saw the most popular companions, the most popular monsters, the two most popular and best-remembered doctors - Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker - and the most popular stories. (That City Of Death, transmitted in 1979, performed better in the ratings was largely due to ITV being off the air at the time due to industrial action, excellent though the serial may have been in many respects).
A staple ingredient of Who's success in this period was the UNIT organisation, which the Doctor had joined as unofficial Scientific Adviser. The continued presence of familiar, likeable characters such as the Brigadier and Benton made for a cosy family atmosphere. The Doctor's departure from UNIT in 1975-6 was a bitter pill, the more so because it was followed, though not directly, by a dosage of Graham Williams and Douglas Adams. If our feelings were anything like mine, we experienced a gnawing sense of bereavement. We had lost our old friends and were now plunged into a world where Doctor Who seemed to have degenerated into a grotesque farce. The fact that our favourite programme was aware of, and commenting on, serious contemporary issues had always comforted us in a bleak and violent world. The bizarre and juvenile antics we were now witnessing could have no relevance to that world. John Nathan-Turner of course went to the other end of the scale, taking too poker-faced an attitude towards the mythology and rather devaluing the programme's past by so constantly revisiting it, but that's another story.
UNIT were, of course, gradually phased out from as early as 1971 - in which year, in Colony In Space, the Doctor resumed travelling beyond Earth in the TARDIS - though there is no evidence Barry Letts wanted to dispense with them altogether. This inevitably meant that less interest was felt towards making the characters believable and interesting, the Brigadier in particular coming to seem pompous and Blimpish, most notably in the later Pertwee stories.
The abrupt way in which UNIT finally exited is all the more regrettable since it had been enjoying a strange but pleasant little Indian Summer. Robot and Terror Of The Zygons were both good stories. Barry Letts, who produced the former, wanted to give prominence to the regular companions while Tom Baker settled into the part of the Doctor. Zygons was directed by Douglas Camfield, an ex-army officer who retained a strong affection for things military and wanted to see the organisation portrayed with dignity. Season 12 saw UNIT provide the Doctor with a new companion, Harry Sullivan, who although short-lived has not proved unpopular with fans.
But after Robot and Zygons came the farces, as far as UNIT was concerned, of The Android Invasion and Seeds Of Doom. The Brigadier was absent from the former story, and none of the regulars appeared in the latter. To be fair to Hinchcliffe, Nicholas Courtney was intended to be in The Android Invasion, and both he and John Levene (RSM Benton) in The Seeds Of Doom, but the actors proved unavailable. However, given the organisation's popularity with fans there would have been considerable justification in resolving to do a proper write-out story and then working around Levene and Courtney's commitments.
The failure to do this is rendered all the more galling by two further factors. The organisation's performance in both serials was unremarkable, consisting of little more than being knocked out by the aliens and calling in the RAF. It really deserved a better swansong. Then there is Benton's abrupt disappearance. We see him being overpowered by his android double, and after that he's never seen again, or even mentioned until Mawdryn Undead eight years later, when the Brigadier tells the Doctor he retired from the Army in 1979 to become a used car salesman; and this might not have been true, given that the Brigadier had had a nervous breakdown which could have affected his memory. The evidence suggests the Kraals did not immediately intend to kill the human staff of the Space Centre once they had been replaced by their android counterparts, although the aliens aren't notable for the regard they show for human life. Faraday and Harry Sullivan are kept alive after their capture by Crayford and Styggron, and one android says it regrets having to kill the Doctor as the Kraals "didn't want any shooting until the takeover was complete" (and it isn't quite, at the time the invasion is defeated), presumably because they like to be tidy. But Benton's non-appearance in Seeds Of Doom is nevertheless alarming. If he is dead, then nobody mentions the fact, let alone expresses regret, on screen. To treat in this way a likeable fellow who's given eight years' loyal service to UNIT and the Doctor is a bloody disgrace.
At the end of Hand Of Fear, Sarah has to offer to remember the Doctor to his UNIT friends, and he himself doesn't seem to care whether or not anyone does. Admittedly he's got things on his mind, but the whole scene makes him appear brusque and insensitive. Dicks relates it thus (the dialogue is more or less the same on screen):

Doctor: "We've landed, Sarah."
Sarah: "I'll give your love to Harry and the Brigadier {not Benton!}, and I'll call Professor Watson and tell him you're all right..."
Doctor: "I said we've landed."

Although I'm certain he would have decided to leave UNIT eventually, given his personality and in particular the fact that he disliked being tied to a single planet and time zone considerably more than his previous incarnation, once the exile to Earth had been lifted by the Time Lords, did, the Doctor does seem to have trouble making up his mind on the matter at one stage. Note his miserable frame of mind at the start of Pyramids Of Mars, which he wouldn't be in if he didn't feel some continuing obligation to UNIT despite his resentment at having to "run around after the Brigadier". Oddly, it is never shown how he resolves this conflict, for resolve it he obviously does in view of his happily gallivanting around the universe from Face Of Evil onwards. One is inclined to conclude that he must have had one or more untelevised adventures between Brain Of Morbius and Seeds Of Doom, or between the latter story and Masque Of Mandragora (as well as mid-Robot). Or even later; I doubt if the summons to Gallifrey was the turning point, as some have occasionally suggested; if he hadn't already decided to shake the dust of UNIT off his feet he would simply have come back after he'd dealt with the Master. Even after The Deadly Assassin he's still trying to return to Earth, although he doesn't seem too bothered by his failure to arrive there, and never has any contact with his old friends, that we know of, between then and Mawdryn Undead in 1983.
There's a gap here which ought to be filled. At the moment that's not happening because the powers that be have tended to see little scope for Fourth Doctor/UNIT adventures, even though there isn't actually any good reason why they can't happen (Virgin, in the guidelines it issued to aspiring Missing Adventures writers, put the era from Robot to Hand Of Fear under the heading "Fourth Doctor and Sarah" rather than "Fourth Doctor, Sarah and UNIT", and I sense the BBC has much the same philosophy). But there's room, if not for very many, at least for one or two more.
It was the advent of Graham Williams as producer which sealed the fate of UNIT. To imagine Leela or K9 in a UNIT story is well nigh impossible, although the latter would have made a formidable addition to the organisation's armoury. The jokey flavour of those years would only have destroyed the organisation's dignity. John Nathan-Turner had a different approach, and in 1983 and 1989 brought the Brigadier back; but by then it had become accepted that UNIT limited the show's horizons, and so could not return as a permanent fixture.

It is easier to accept the eventual demise of UNIT if one bears in mind the restrictions from which the format suffered. The organisation is charged with nothing less than the defence of the entire human race against hostile, and often awesomely powerful, alien aggressors. And yet it is lumbered with inadequate resources and, sometimes, unsuitable personnel (meaning the dim-witted Jo Grant and the accident-prone Harry Sullivan). Of course this situation, which is not at all to the Brigadier's liking, is due to budgetary restrictions in both the real and fictional worlds. National governments, whose wishes ultimately count for more than those of the UN, fail to take the alien menace seriously and thus give UNIT the resources it needs to do its job properly. And Doctor Who's budget wasn't enough to permit its having a range of futuristic vehicles and weaponry at its disposal like the SHADO organisation in Gerry Anderson's UFO. Money or the lack of it also explains why the Brigadier doesn't have a Major serving under him for most of the time, and after the exit of Captain Yates has to make do with a mere Sergeant as his sidekick and confidante.
Nevertheless, for the older and more discerning viewer it stret-ches credibility that UNIT would be allowed to go into battle against beings whose technology was clearly far in advance of ours using conventional hardware. They could on occasions be very effective; for example they seem to have little trouble dealing with the Cybermen in Invasion. Dicks in his novelisation of Terror Of The Autons has the decency to let them get the better of the aliens in the battle towards the end of the book - in contrast to what happens in the televised story, or in Spearhead From Space/Auton Invasion, where they are clearly seen to be losing. In The Daemons, the Brigadier spends most of his time trying to get through Azal's heat barrier. Once he succeeds, with the Doctor's help of course, he is totally unable to destroy Bok and thus get into the crypt. If he had got past Bok he would clearly have been unable to do anything against Azal. His presence in the story is inconsequential and therefore unjustified. Generally, UNIT are able to inflict casualties upon the enemy but not decisively defeat it. About the only alien menace - the Silurians, of course, were a home-grown one - which can be destroyed entirely by conventional weaponry is the Krynoid, and UNIT weren't even allowed the honour of doing that themselves!
For much of the time, UNIT's principal role is to keep the enemy occupied while the Doctor works out how to destroy it. Such assistance is valuable enough, but it downgrades the organisation into something which is useful but expendable. UNIT, like the Doctor's regular companions, had in the interests of viewer identification to be seen as less effective than the programme's lead character; and that makes the effort expended on them in terms of casting, props, scriptwriting and money seem rather silly and pointless.
One striking thing, of course, about the Tom Baker UNIT stories is that the military technology in use on Earth is more advanced than we know, of course, to have been the case in real life during the 1970s and 1980s in the real world, or even in the Pertwee period of the show's fictional history; there's the disintegrator gun in Robot, also the laser with which Major Beresford attacks the Krynoid in Seeds Of Doom. This is surprising, given that Robert Holmes and Philip Hinchcliffe had little interest in developing the UNIT concept and were in fact seeking to freeze it out. It has the effect of giving the Baker UNIT stories their own special, and interesting, character, which is unfortunate when the organisation is being written out. Note however that the laser still doesn't harm the Krynoid, as opposed to angering it and distracting its attention from the Doctor and Co. The convention that the authorities can't be too successful in dealing with the monster themselves still has to be adhered to! One might also wonder whether there is any point in issuing armed forces with the disintegrator gun, since a properly aimed bullet or shell can't be much less effective in destroying people or vehicles.
The Doctor really ought to have supplied UNIT with more advanced equipment, of a sort he was certainly capable of making. Had he done so, though, the result would have been a world very different from that we know existed both in real life and in Doctor Who. But otherwise Earth cannot have looked likely to survive, especially if he was going to abandon his regular attachment to UNIT (fortunately, the aliens seem relatively less interested in Earth after he leaves!). UNIT would certainly have desired such help. And yet he was reluctant to give the authorities alien technology which they could easily misuse; see how he "accidentally" wrecks the Master's explosive device while analysing it in his laboratory in Terror Of The Autons.
As time went by the chances of someone getting their hands on inventions like the robot detector he produces in The Android Invasion, the sonic screwdriver, or the IRIS machine in Planet Of The Spiders, would be bound to increase, especially given the Doctor's often careless nature; another reason why UNIT couldn't have gone on much longer without causing the kind of continuity problems mentioned above, and thus damaging its credibility. The problem wouldn't have been solved by giving the Brigadier and Co their own show, as was mooted at one point, since we would still be in the same fictional universe.
All in all it is just as well, looking back, that UNIT ended when it did. Elements such as Bessie, and perhaps UNIT itself, belong more properly to the Pertwee era, and it is rather an assault on that era, a denial of its own unique character, to prolong them too far into the Baker period. The only grouch I have is over the way it was done - although it would be more accurate to say that it was not done. It might, perhaps, have been even better if UNIT had ended with the Third Doctor. Robot gave UNIT fans the impression that everything was going to continue in the same cosy fashion as before; and then when it didn't, we felt cheated (and would have been saddened even if the Brigadier and Co had been given a proper phasing out instead of the shameful treatment they received from Hinchcliffe).
A writer for the fanzine Time-Space Visualiser once expressed the view that Tom Baker's Doctor fitted in well with the UNIT format (1). I disagree entirely. Baker himself was felt by Nicholas Courtney and John Levene to be unhappy with it(2); and though his ego was an important factor, one of the principal difficulties of having UNIT in the show is here highlighted. In any Who yarn you have to keep the Doctor central while at the same time giving a fair amount of attention to his companions. If, as well as the leads, you've also got to write around two or three semi-regulars, e.g. the Brigadier, Benton and Yates/Harry, it makes your task particularly difficult; another reason why the Brigadier's character was at one point allowed to degenerate into buffoonery.
The Brigadier would, in the long run, have found the Fourth Doctor even more infuriating than his predecessor, for he was even less of a military/establishment figure. This could, though, have provided the opportunity for some excellent humour; and it would have been nice to explore and develop the relationship between the two men a little further. There were always problems with the UNIT format, and I have drawn attention to them in order that we can be philosophical about its demise. But if UNIT had to come about at all, it should have been allowed to exit in a less abrupt and more thoughtful manner. One reason Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes decided not to use the Brigadier and Benton in Seeds Of Doom (according to In Vision at any rate) was that they wanted to distance the Doctor from his former role as UNIT's scientific adviser, something they saw as necessary. Why not cut the tie properly, instead of in a curiously piecemeal fashion? The fans would most likely have preferred that, judging by UNIT's general popularity with them - and by what many of them say today. If anything, Hinchcliffe and Holmes were risking alienating the programme's following; and, generally speaking, TV producers should be giving the public what the public wants, and not what they (the producers) want. Insultingly, it is as if we had to be carefully weaned off UNIT like stubborn children who'd become fixated with something they had surely outgrown. That people continued to watch Doctor Who (after all, everyone appreciates that it's about the Doctor and not his friends), when if anything the way in which UNIT were axed was likely to have a negative effect in terms of fan reaction, proves it wasn't necessary for Hinchcliffe and Holmes to do this. It's the one thing that detracts from their otherwise flawless Who careers.

REFERENCES
(1) TVS 44 June 1995, p21
(2) Doctor Who Magazine UNIT Special, Winter 1991, p41



THE TWO BEST DOCTORS?
Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker - an analysis
There are striking similarities between the third and fourth Doctors. As Terrance Dicks in his novelisation of Robot points out, both are tall with unruly hair and a rather beaky nose. Both were commanding, somewhat overpowering characters. Both were possessed of a decided ego; it is perhaps fortunate that Baker did not appear in The Five Doctors, as there might have been an unedifying struggle between him and Pertwee for possession of the limelight. Both would use archaic or upper-crust expressions, calling someone "man" or "my dear chap/fellow" (the fourth less commonly). Neither suffered fools gladly, and in particular disliked those in authority. They also shared a somewhat juvenile streak; the third's unabashed declaration in Terror Of The Autons that he likes being childish is echoed by the fourth's attempt in Robot to defend his immaturity by arguing that "there's no point in being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes".
They are also, in my opinion, the two best Doctors. Not everyone, of course, would agree with that assertion. While Tom Baker seems universally popular, Pertwee is regarded by some as cold, aloof, arrogant and chauvinistic. However, although his demeanour might not be congenial to some - and particularly those of a politically correct stamp - I would have to say I do not find it quite so objectionable. His Doctor may have been autocratic at times, but he was usually right, and he always acted in the best interests of humanity. That he had a lot of obtuse bureaucrats to deal with explains and maybe excuses his short temper. As for calling women "my dear," etc., it could be viewed as a form of bonding, with the same purpose as calling another male "mate" or "old chap." One obviously needs to bond with female colleagues in order to have a smooth working relationship with them, and yet in doing so one isn't likely to address them as "mate"!
The Third Doctor wasn't cold so much as haughty, and perhaps a little affected. He is flamboyant, but not pompous. In fact, he very obviously dislikes the latter quality. If you must see him as pompous then his pomposity, if that's what it is, is not without its appeal. To see him take on self-important authority figures in their own fashion and beat them is a joy. Bear in mind too that the Doctor's own ego is often humorously deflated, both on screen and in the Dicks novelisations. Attention is drawn to the poor quality of his jokes and his rather tuneless singing, and his pride is on occasions deservedly dented, most notably at the end of Inferno (see below). This prevents him from becoming too annoying or intimidating.
What's appealing about Pertwee's Doctor is that he embodies some of the better aspects of the Victorian/Edwardian period - its refinement, elegance, charm and courtesy - while dispensing with its worst (the greed, racism etc). Far from being put off by it, we should remember that it provides the opportunity for some wonderful humour. This is particularly evident in the Doctor's interaction with the Brigadier whom, being an equally strong character with a similar sense of his own importance, is bound to come into conflict with him. The two best examples are the scene at the end of Inferno, when the Doctor calls him a "pompous, self-opinionated idiot" as he prepares to leave Earth, thinking he's got the TARDIS working again, and then has to swallow his pride and ask for his help when he ends up on a nearby rubbish tip, and the "Thankyou, Brigadier, do you think the next time you could manage to arrive before the nick of time?"; "Yes, I'm glad to see you too Doctor" exchange in Mind Of Evil.
I find the Pertwee Doctor a very comforting figure. His civilised values are a bulwark against the nastier features of the Universe. His sense of dignity was an asset, in that it meant that he could not afford to be cowed or crushed in spirit. And if the Doctor isn't cowed, neither will his companions be (if they were, this was essentially because they had to be shown to be less capable than he, for the sake of drama).
Pertwee was reassuring because of his unflappability, which made him dependable; Baker because of his ability to defuse a situation, and ruin a villain's power, by his exuberant and disrespectful brand of humour. In real life, your average nasty villain would probably have floored the Doctor as soon as the first cutting comment was out of his mouth, and possibly taken it out on other innocent victims as well. The Third Doctor seems to have avoided this problem, perhaps because he was judicious in the timing and apportionment of his insults. Of course the Fourth's clowning wasn't just an inevitable ingredient of a wacky personality; in dangerous situations it was intended as a cover, designed to give him time to think while planning his and his companions' escape and also lull the villain into mistakenly concluding he was just a buffoon. That's not to say it isn't extremely irresponsible at times. He comes perilously close to provoking Scorby - not a man to be trifled with - into killing him in Seeds Of Doom. The one time he does goes too far is in Power Of Kroll, where a flippant remark about the danger posed by the monster to his beloved refinery tips the deranged Thawn over the edge. "As he looked at the gaping muzzle of the blaster and at the mad eyes above it, the Doctor realised that at last he'd made one joke too many"(1). He's only saved by the timely intervention of a Swampie spear. But then, it's always been accepted that he's fallible.
Another notable thing about the fourth Doctor is that he seems to be stuck in a certain strait-jacket, in that there is a limit to how adult and realistic those BBC and Virgin novels which feature him are allowed to be. They contain no swearing or references to sexual practices, and generally do not explore sensitive real-life political issues. His exuberant, to the point of being somewhat childlike, personality seems to sit uncomfortably with such things in most writers' and/or publishers' view. I suspect one reason why my Fourth Doctor story was turned down by the BBC was that it contained a rather strong sub-plot about the Nazi Holocaust. This despite the fact that it was set in the Hinchcliffe era, during which the Doctor was for the most part remarkably sane; that Genesis Of The Daleks was really about Nazis and Jews; and that Seeds Of Doom, just after which my own yarn was intended to be set, was a nasty and violent story (and in that sense realistic; Scorby and Chase's penchant for bumbing off their tied-up victims in B-movie fashion - i.e. bombs, grinding machinery - can be put down to their both being psychotically sadistic). Obviously, you can't have the Doctor stride boldy around a concentration camp making flippant remarks; and I don't think he ever would, even in his Baker persona. But I would appeal for a little more latitude to be allowed here, provided the necessary conditions are observed, and that the Doctor is serious or flippant depending on whether the moment is right. He would of course be quite above any sex or violence which took place. It should be remembered that at the beginning of his tenure he was still attached to UNIT, which was an organisation operating in the real world (with the reservation, of course, that Who at its best is still fiction!) and dealing with real, and very pressing, problems.
The best kind of balance between Baker's renowned levity and serious drama was attained in seasons thirteen and fourteen. One's respect for Baker, at this time, was so great precisely because he maintained this balance and did not send up the part the way one might have thought someone like him would. In his first season, his self-restraint is not altogether a plus. The Doctor's sober manner contrasts oddly with his Bohemian costume and generally wild appearance. He does not really behave the way someone dressing like that would do. Watching these stories now, the effect is almost comically strange. Initially, of course, Baker played it relatively straight because he was finding his feet and didn't want to antagonise the producer by seeming to ridicule the show. Gradually he became more confident; and at the same time the controls were being relaxed due to Graham Williams' decision to go for a lighter vein, in response to Mary Whitehouse's complaints about the supposedly horrific nature of Hinchcliffe Who. Once Baker played the Doctor how he wanted to play him, the result in many ways was disastrous. The Doctor's change of mood is so obvious and striking as to demand some explanation. It's disturbing because there seems to be no clear reason for it within the context of the fictional series. The contrast with, say, Season Seven is embarrassing. One is left feeling that one is not watching the same series at all, to a much greater extent than when comparing An Unearthly Child with either Spearhead From Space or Survival.
Also, the new emphasis on humour had an adverse effect on other aspects of the programme which otherwise wouldn't have suffered. If the idea was to take things rather less seriously then there was little point in making the monsters realistic and convincing. Thus we had inflicted on us the laughable Nimon, Mandrels, Jagaroth, etc.
I believe that what at first prevented the Fourth Doctor's true personality being given free rein was his continuing, for the moment, attachment to UNIT. As long as he still had to deal with narrow-minded government ministers, who might not find him a convincing figure and so pay heed to his warnings of world destruction, his levity was comparatively restrained.
It could be argued that the lunatic exuberance of the Graham Williams Doctor is that of someone who has suffered from having to keep their true personality and feelings bottled up too long. The problem with this theory is that there are a number of adventures between The Deadly Assassin and The Invisible Enemy (where the new style first becomes apparent), and it is most unlikely the Doctor had any firm attachment to UNIT during that period, or he wouldn't have been carting around Leela, who was effectively an alien and would also, by her behaviour and costume, have been to say the least somewhat conspicious on C20 Earth! (It may seem startling to suggest the Fourth Doctor, whom we don't tend to associate with UNIT at all, actually lived in his laboratory there the way the Third appears to have done, but it seems significant that when the World Ecology Bureau call UNIT's Scientific Adviser for help in identifying the Krynoid pod, he's immediately available). (2)
Despite all the above, I would have to agree there is much to like in the Williams era Doctor; the exuberant humour undoubtedly has its appeal. It is best appreciated in the Dicks novelisations, from which the worst of Baker's OTT clowning is judiciously excised (for example the "My arms! My legs! My everything!" scene is absent from Nightmare Of Eden).
For one reason or another - though the most likely explanation is that John Nathan-Turner disliked the way he seemed to be sending up the role - Baker had to tone things down considerably for his final season, and I suspect he did not find this to his liking. The subdued and gloomy Doctor of Season Eighteen is not really him at all; though he still performs well, he has lost much of his enthusiasm, knows he's come to the end of the line, and is really just waiting for the end which came with Logopolis. From a subdued start Baker went up on a carefree high, then came down to earth with such force that for what remained of his tenure he wasn't quite himself. His era, more than that of any other Doctor, can be divided into distinct phases according to personality. It rather makes the Doctor seem unstable!
Critically one can have serious reservations about most of the Fourth Doctor's tenure. Apart from in seasons thirteen and fourteen, the superlative Tom Baker whom some regard as the perfect Doctor doesn't really exist; he's largely a myth created by the perceptions we have of what is undoubtedly a formidable, colourful, larger-than-life personality. I would argue however that it is the image of the Doctor which matters. That image is something which can be conveyed in the pages of a novel, where one is not affected by the mistakes of television producers, over-acting, or the interference of "moral majority" activists, as much and as effectively as on the screen. After all, it's a matter of opinion whether the BBC and Virgin novels are not authentic Who with a right to be regarded as part of the series' continuity.
Although it is not out of keeping with his character, the manner in which the Doctor cuts his ties with UNIT fairly early in his career does seem rather abrupt and mercenary, unless of course there is an untelevised adventure. The fact that his "death" and regeneration takes place on Earth, where of course his last such experience did, is appropriate, perhaps poetic; he has come full circle. And diehard UNIT fans may feel it serves him right.
If Baker was the best Doctor it was because of his ability to so completely become the part, and not worry about typecasting. His willingless to continue in it for so long proved extremely fortunate, for it helped extend the life of the series. Pertwee too was much like his Doctor, exhibiting the same flamboyance, authoritarianism and ego. Neither man always resembled our hero in terms of his nicer aspects; both seem to have had a dark side to their personalities. However it has to be accepted that for better or for worse, actors are not necessarily like the characters they play; although, if you are like them, it can be an enormous help, the whole point of acting is after all to act - i.e. to be something you're possibly not.
Tom Baker's mood may vary, but he never acts badly throughout his entire run as the Doctor. As for Pertwee, no-one can say that his portrayal of the character is perfect; far from it. He fawns irritatingly over the Guardian in Colony In Space, constantly calling him "Sir." His gurning when under the Keller machine in Mind Of Evil is hammy, and the way he shouts for help when imprisoned in Rossini's caravan in Terror Of The Autons is also strange. He was often, as one commentator remarked, "excessively actorish and mannered". He lost a lot of his verve after the departure of Roger Delgado and Katy Manning.
Peter Davison's performance in Caves Of Androzani, for example, is better than anything Pertwee ever turned out. In general terms, however, Davison completely lacks Pertwee's presence and authority. To a great extent, actors are only as good as the scriptwriter and the producer; which is why Peri is both a sex symbol and a rounded (in other respects than her physical attributes, I hasten to add!) character in her early stories - something I find rather sweet - but an irritating bimbo subsequently. In Inferno, Douglas Camfield manages to bring out the best in everyone. Judged by his perfor-mance there, you'd never have thought Pertwee was essentially a comedy actor, or that Doctor Who was supposed to be a kids' show.
In assessing the worth of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker compared to their fellow Doctors I have been thinking in terms of how we, if we were real people instead of fictional characters who have to obey dramatic conventions, would feel if we found ourselves in the Doctor's company when trouble struck. Pertwee and Baker get my vote every time. For people to be a prop in time of adversity they have to be likeable and reassuring, thus giving those around them a psychological boost. Hartnell was always rather sinister, and a little amoral. Although of course he does save the day in the end, Troughton's flappability and absent-mindedness would not incline one to rely on him in a crisis; Davison was too vulnerable; Colin Baker so annoying as to be unsympathetic; while there was always something creepy about Sylvester McCoy's Doctor which made you suspect he might be manipulating you (which, to be frank, he was), and not telling you what was really going on. It's hard to know what to say about the Eighth Doctor, as I find he doesn't make a particularly vivid impression on me.
In their very different ways, Pertwee and Baker neutralise the power that the unknown or the wicked has to terrify; the one by greeting them with an urbane charm, the other by an irreverent jocularity that cuts them down to size. It's a pity neither character exists in real life, because the world would be a much better place if they did.
And one with a lot more hope in it.

REFERENCES
(1) Dicks novelisation
(2) It's likely that the Doctor's visit to the Devesham Space Centre with the Brigadier, referred to in The Android Invasion, took place mid-Robot. Since he had to stay on Earth anyway until the Robot affair was concluded, he might as well undertake this and other duties connected with his role as Scientific Adviser. This was most probably the longest period of time the Fourth Doctor spent on Earth with UNIT, although he may also have undertaken a few extra-terrestrial jaunts such as his first visit to Xoanon's planet.

NOTE: that quite a lot of time must have passed, and a lot of things happened (including a final break with UNIT) in Who history between Seeds Of Doom and Masque of Mandragora is further indicated by the fact that in Genesis of the Daleks and Brain of Morbius the Time Lords know who the Doctor is without having to refer to their archives (they keep sending him on missions), but in The Deadly Assassin it seems they don't.



BOXES

Lewis whistled cheerfully as he strolled through the outer suburbs
of the city on his usual Sunday afternoon walk. For the moment the war clouds seemed to have lifted, though he was convinced of the unwisdom of trusting the likes of Hitler, and the writer's block he'd been suffering from lately had now gone. That morning he'd had a particularly good idea for a story, and he was trying to work out its details in his head.
This time he'd chosen a different, slightly more scenic, route, one which for much of the way led past open fields and engagingly ramshackle little allotments, for his walk. The closer he was to nature, the easier he found it to think.
Ahead of him were two people. Though their backs were to him, he could see that one was a short middle-aged man with a Panama hat, dark brown jacket and check trousers, who carried an umbrella, and the other a young woman, also short, who wore her light brown hair pinned back. Lewis was intrigued by the woman's strange clothes, and in particular the baggy coat emblazoned with a variety of colourful badges.
He saw the couple halt at the point where the hedge bordering the road was interrupted by a short stretch of rickety wooden fence, and stand looking about them. He had the impression they were about to do something which they earnestly wanted no-one to see.
Lewis passed them, nodding and smiling as he did so. They both returned the gesture. After he'd walked on a few paces, he stopped and turned to see them climbing over the fence.
Beyond the fence was a patch of waste ground where he knew people got up to all sorts of illicit activity. Lewis waited for a minute or so, then walked back to the fence and peered over it.
The pair were heading towards a Police Box which stood - a little implausibly perhaps, although it was the sort of place where you might get beaten up, especially after dark - in a corner of the waste ground. Lewis' eyes widened in amazement. Though the matter wasn't really any of his business, curiosity got the better of him and he found himself following them.
He was even more alarmed when the man opened the door of the box and the two of them got in. He could see no morally legitimate reason why they should enter such a confined space together. Evidently, they were up to something improper. Normally, he wouldn't have bothered intervening; God had, after all, given Man free will, and he had no right to interfere. It was a cardinal principle of his that one should be allowed to go to the devil in one's own way.
But this case was an exception. The difference between the ages of the parties undoubtedly rendered the act illegal, and the moral and psychological consequences of such things were in his view extremely damaging. He therefore felt it was his duty to prevent it.
"Excuse me," he called out, just as the door of the box started to close, with the girl still half in and half out of it. He was near enough to physically stop her from entering. "Might I ask what you're doing?"
The girl turned to face him. "Nothing," she said indignantly. She had a squarish, rather aggressive face.
"Well, forgive me for seeming sarcastic, but isn't it obvious that..."
"No, it isn't, actually," she said. "Look, just bog off, right?"
Then Ace realised what it must look like to an observer, and her wrath subsided. Lewis interpreted her change of expression as embarrassment.
"I don't know what's going on here, but I think it ought to stop," he said in a benignly admonitory fashion.
The little man emerged from the box, and took off his hat. "Good afternoon, I'm Doctor John Smith. What seems to be the trouble?"
Lewis challenged him to give an account of himself.
Unfortunately, situations like these were always difficult for the Doctor to explain, and Lewis saw his hesitancy as proof of guilt.
He made towards them determinedly. He literally got his foot in the door just as the girl tried to shut it. A struggle ensued. The girl swiped at Lewis with the bag that had been slung over her shoulder; he dodged the blow and grabbed her firmly by the wrists in a bid to immobilise her. She broke free, but in doing so lost her balance and fell. Lewis tripped over her and landed flat on his face inside the police box. Stunned, he lay there more or less unmoving.
"Oh, dear," groaned the Doctor, helping Ace up. "Are you all right?" She nodded.
Through the doors the Doctor could see several people running towards the TARDIS. The commotion had obviously been witnessed. Lewis was a big, heavy man, and by the time they'd got him outside the newcomers would be forcing open the door. That would lead to trouble, serious trouble.
There was only one thing for it. He closed the doors and moved to the console. Hopefully, when the TARDIS did something as improbable as vanish into thin air it would be concluded that the whole episode was merely a hallucination.
"We're not taking him with us, are we Professor?" Ace asked, somewhat perplexed.
"No choice. He needn't stay with us for long. Besides, I'm certain we can come to an understanding with him." He smiled. "I think I know who this is."
"Who?"
"Clive Staples Lewis, known as "Jack" by his friends. Possibly the twentieth century's greatest Christian apologist. They made a film about him, Shadowlands, with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. He's also renowned for writing fantasy. He published several works of science fiction - Out Of The Silent Planet, That Hideous Strength, to name two of them - and a number of stories for children. You must have read some of them when you were little."
Ace wrinkled her nose. She'd always hated the Narnia stories for their tweeness. Lewis' Christianity wasn't guaranteed to turn her on either.
"That's appropriate," she said. "It is bloody fantasy; the Bible and all that, I mean. It's got to be, hasn't it?"
She looked ashamed, realising that Lewis had returned to full consciousness and was clambering to his feet. Fortunately he hadn't heard her remark.
His jaw dropped as he took in the vast gleaming control room with the many-sided console at its centre. He must have been unconscious for much longer than seemed the case.
"Where are we now?" he demanded, annoyed. "What have you done with me?" They must have abducted him in order to prevent him going to the police.
He tried what seemed to be the door, but it refused to open.
"We don't mean to hurt you," the Doctor assured him. "You're free to go as soon as we can find a safe place to leave you."
"I see...hmmmmm."
"You got the wrong idea," Ace told him. "We weren't about to have a legover."
"I'm pleased to hear it," Lewis said sceptically, guessing what the strange phrase must mean. "Now, you didn't answer my question. Where am I?"
The Doctor regarded him with an enigmatic expression. "Come, come, Mr Lewis. You're gifted with a marvellous imagination. Use it."
Since he appeared to be stuck with this strange couple, Lewis decided he might as well humour them. He considered his surroundings. The whole atmosphere of the place suggested something way out of the ordinary. "Is it a spaceship?"
"Warm," said Ace.
"A time machine?"
"Warm," said Ace again.
He put forward all kinds of suggestions, but each turned out to have a temperature considerably below zero. Lewis was puzzled, then in a flash the answer came to him.
"I think I see what you mean. It's a spaceship and a time machine?"
"Correct," said the Doctor.
Something about them told him they were quite sincere. He was almost floored by the realisation; it was like one of his novels come true. He'd thought that after being converted - after meeting God - no other experience could possibly be as wonderful. But this was every bit as incredible. It was a long time before he could speak.
"Why haven't you told anyone you've invented this...this craft?"
"The TARDIS." The Doctor explained that the initials stood for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. "Well, for a start I'm not of this world. My young friend here is, but she comes from a different time period. She's not due to be born for a little over thirty years."
He told Lewis about the Time Lords, and why it was important they restricted knowledge of time travel more or less to themselves. "Oh, and I didn't invent the TARDIS, nor does it really belong to me...but that's rather a long story. Do forgive me, I should have introduced us; I'm the Doctor and this is Ace."
"Clive Lewis." He supposed he should shake hands with them. "What were you doing in Oxford, might I ask?"
"Oh, returning a book I borrowed from the Bodleian in 1857," said the Doctor casually.
"And where are we now?"
"In the Time Vortex - I'll explain what that is later. I think I should make clear that we weren't so uncivil as to kidnap you. Your arrival forced us to make a hurried departure, and we went into Vortex directly from the wasteground."
Lewis stared at him in astonishment. "You mean that Police Box..."
"It’s called the TARDIS. It's what one might call dimensionally transcendental."
Lewis guessed what the phrase must mean, and drew a hand across his forehead. "Bigger on the inside..." His imagination was running wild. Nothing he'd ever written or planned to write compared in any way with this. He realised now that what he'd witnessed at the waste ground wasn't what it appeared to be.
He wandered around the TARDIS with a look of childlike fascination which Ace found genuinely touching. Looking at him, she saw a large, balding, red-faced man in his early forties. He wasn't at all distinguished in appearance; could have been any middle-aged businessman or civil servant.
An arresting thought occurred to Lewis, and he turned to the Doctor. "So you travel in space and time. Does that mean you know the future?"
"Some of it. I can see a few of the strands, but not the whole web. Not always."
"Are you at liberty to tell me any of it?"
At these words, it was as if a shadow, an almost visible shadow, fell over the Doctor's face. Did he tell Lewis all about Joy Davidman; how he would find happiness in his marriage to her only to lose her to cancer within a few years? This was one of those times when his knowledge of things to come was a terrible burden.
"It wouldn't be wise," he muttered eventually. He changed the subject. "Now, Mr Lewis, we must think about getting you home."
"Really? Must we? You're sure I couldn't stay a bit longer? It's been so short..."
The Doctor looked slyly at him. "You want an adventure, don't you?"
"I'd like to see more of the universe you appear to have access to, Doctor."
"All right then, you shall. Now where do we go? Let's try Metebelis Three, I haven't visited it for some time. Trouble with that place is you always have to make sure you choose a time when nothing nasty is going on. Let’s see..."
He tried to set the co-ordinates, watched by a captivated Lewis, but paused when a light began flashing on the console. He let out a long, loud groan.
"The Zaston crystals are worn out. That means we'll have trouble piloting the TARDIS to any specific destination. There are more of the crystals on a planet called Cregus; however, since I can't easily pilot it to any specific destination, that doesn't help us in the least. What a delightful situation."
Ace shrugged. She was happy to roam time and space quite as she pleased, as long as they always ended up somewhere fairly exotic and interesting. "I don't mind," she said.
And nor did Lewis.
*
Lewis' Christian faith saw him through the various nasty situations they encountered. And he was able to impart some knowledge of Christianity to the peoples they met, using his combination of eloquence and intellectual clarity. Some of them rejected his arguments, others didn't. He tried whenever possible to convert the Doctor and Ace, but they proved resistant, though politely so, to his polemics, although the Doctor certainly enjoyed their spirited theological debates, and he was forced in the end to admit defeat.
For none of it had affected his religious faith in the slightest; he'd always felt Christianity to be quite compatible with the existence of aliens. He was delighted beyond measure to find his belief that God's universe could include extra-terrestrial life proved correct.
If he could write the story of those adventures, how the world would thrill to them! Tales about a mysterious, eccentric, benevolent adventurer who travelled the universe righting wrongs in a spacecraft disguised as a police box. Of a race of men who had sold themselves body and soul to technology, becoming unfeeling semi-robots who compensated for their inability to love by developing a lust for conquest and power - and another race, little different except that they sought domination for its own sake, deformed mutants inside mobile mechanical casings who laid waste and enslaved a thousand planets, their screeching, hate-filled metallic voices drowning out all protest; militaristic but honourable Martian aristocrats; dark, Satanic villains with a mastery of disguise and hypnosis; shape-changing collective entities locked in a never-ending interplanetary war with - what was the process the Doctor had said these Sontarans reproduced themselves by - cloned cyborgs...
Eventually, they made it to Cregus and the Doctor installed the new Zaston crystals. Lewis could now be returned to Oxford, which he was beginning to miss. The Doctor told him they would arrive there only a second or two after they'd left, so that his colleagues and students wouldn't notice his absence and start grumbling.
Ace was sorry to see him go. She'd found Lewis a little pompous, and also combative, at times but all the same ended up rather liking him.
"You mustn't tell anyone about what you've seen," said the Doctor to Lewis just before he took his leave. "The best that might happen is that no-one would believe you. And that wouldn't do your cause any good. They'd think you were mad. There are many who think that anyone with a serious Christian belief is in some way cranky, and it would only reinforce their prejudices."
"Don't I know that," said Lewis ruefully.
But if he wrote the stories as fiction...
He told the Doctor what he had in mind.
The Time Lord frowned, evidently uncertain about the wisdom of such an enterprise.
He hesitated. He wasn't supposed to tell anyone about the future, but in this case...
"Jack, on your planet there will shortly break out another terrible war, in which many millions will perish. I think it's far better you explain to people why these things happen, so that they can find faith in God, or at least retain it."
After Lewis had gone Ace looked at the Doctor oddly, as if he were unhinged. "Have you got religion, Professor?"
"No," he smiled. "I haven't."
"What were you playing at, then? I don't think it's a good idea to encourage that sort of thing. I mean, look at all the trouble it's caused. We've seen a lot of it at first hand."
"You can't deny it's also done a lot of good," said the Doctor gently. "It's motivated some people to perform great acts of charity, and given them a prop which has sustained them through terrible adversity." He sighed. "It's a complicated Universe. Lewis' writings will help many people - though not as many as he would prefer, I imagine - to find what to them at any rate is the answer to their problems. Besides, it's infinitely preferable than that he should write about Daleks, Cybermen et al. If he did, even in fictional form, certain people might get suspicious and I'd be in serious trouble."
He turned towards the console. "Right! Now we've got the navigational system repaired, I think a little trip to Segonax might be nice..."

On reaching home, Lewis sat in his garden, pondering what he'd seen on his travels through space and time, and at the same time gradually adjusting to normal life. Momentarily, he again felt the urge to commit his experiences to writing and publish them. Then he shook his head.
He felt more than a little sad about it, but the Doctor was right.
There was something far more important for him to devote his life to. His duty to God lay in justifying the Creator's ways to Man, just as Milton had tried to do three hundred years before with Paradise Lost, not in writing fantasy. He would show why Man needed God and how God used suffering not for its own sake but as the best way to make people turn back to Him.
Lewis went into his study and seated himself at his writing desk. He took out some sheets of paper and on the first wrote down the title: THE PROBLEM OF PAIN.
For the foreseeable future this was the kind of book that would occupy most of his time. The story he'd thought of just before his meeting with the Doctor and Ace would have to be postponed until after he'd finished a few theological works, but he'd definitely write it one day. In fact, some more of its details had lately been suggesting themselves to him. He'd decided before beginning his travels in the TARDIS that it should feature a lion and a witch. Then he'd fallen through a door, the door of a police box, and discovered an entire universe. There must surely be possibilities inherent in that.
He'd already thought of the title. Only "The Lion, the Witch and the Police Box" didn't sound right. Not a police box, then. He reckoned it would have to be something similar in size and shape. What about a wardrobe?

FOOTNOTE
C S Lewis, the renowned Christian writer and author of various works of science fiction and children's fantasy (the latter including The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe), died at his home in Oxford on 22 November 1963, the day before...



CONFRONTATION ON VECTOS

The message had gone out at 8: 000423 Galactic Standard Time. The essence of it was that some kind of uprising of the native population was taking place; the Vectans were attacking the colony in force and seemed likely to overwhelm it despite their primitive weaponry, to overwhelm it. Similar messages were sent out shortly afterwards from the other colonies on the planet.
The distance between Vectos and J'Thara was such that when the messages reached the latter planet it was probably, so the authorities there reckoned, too late to do anything much. The relieving force would not, even with warp drive, arrive in time to
be of any assistance.
But they had to do something, and so Commander Caun was despatched to Vectos with a squad of troopers in ten Class Three combined surveillance and assault vessels to find out what was going on and, if possible, deal with it. Caun was an intelligent and able administrator as well as an effective soldier, although it was more for his martial qualities than his diplomatic skills that he had been asked to undertake the mission. Since the colonial government, whose relations with the homeworld were not good, had proved unable to deal effectively with native unrest it was decided he should assume full executive power over the settlers' lives.
It was about time that a proper military force had been sent to the planet to protect the settlers. If the J'Tharan government had acted much earlier, something like this wouldn't have happened, thought Caun bitterly as he boarded his craft.
He wondered, more than a little apprehensively, what he was going to find when he reached his destination.
The journey took nearly twenty-four hours, by J'Tharan time. On entering the atmosphere the ten ships separated, each heading for one of the widely-spaced J'Tharan settlements. Caun's vessel set course for the largest of them, Endeavour.
It touched down a few hundred yards from the cluster of white plastic domes which made up the colony. There was no sign of native activity. Nevertheless, Caun and his squad kept their blasters at the ready. They stepped from the craft, glancing from side to side, alert for any danger.
There didn't seem to be any J'Tharans about, either. The commander turned to a couple of his men. "Vane, Harker, check the domes." The pair saluted and went over to inspect the nearest of the colony's buildings.
Caun and his remaining men began to spread out, searching for some clues to what had happened between the transmission of the distress call and their arrival.
Something gave beneath Caun's foot and he looked down. He had trodden on a children's toy, a little plastic and rubber spaceship.
There was blood on it.
"Over here, Sir!" someone called. Caun turned and saw the trooper
point towards a large tree. At its base was a heap of ash and human bones, the latter black and charred.
As they explored they found many more corpses, including some of
children. All had been mutilated in a variety of ways; skulls smashed in, eyes gouged out, arms and legs hacked off. A few of the women had been interfered with, whether before or after death they couldn't tell.
Caun surveyed the scene of carnage for some minutes, speechless. A cold anger began to grow inside him. His rage was such that for
a few moments his body shook uncontrollably and he found it difficult to breathe. His eyes narrowed, glinting with hatred.
"Bloody savages," he snarled.

Jebekah had observed Caun's ship emerge from the clouds and descend for a short while before levelling off and heading towards its destination. It was different from the others she had seen over the last few months, being black in colour and considerably bigger. There seemed something sinister and menacing about it. Somehow, she felt she had to tell Arrekh.
She hurried back to the village and over to the chief's hut. The warrior on guard at the door challenged her, and she told him her story. He showed her in. She found Arrekh talking with the latest offworlders to visit the planet.
The Doctor had always wanted to visit Vectos, so he'd told Ros and Chris. It was a pleasant little planet, rather like Earth before industrial pollution ruined it. Its land surface consisted mostly of plains and moorland with a few mountain ranges and patches of forest. The native inhabitants were brown-skinned, dark-haired humanoids; they were a simple people by the standards of Earth in his companions' time, largely pastoral although they sometimes supplemented their livelihood by hunting.
The Vectans were not by nature a hostile race, and the Doctor soon won their trust. He and his companions were able to feast their eyes on their splendid art, listen to their delightful music, watch their elaborate religious ceremonies in fascination, and discuss philosophy with their wise men.
Vectan society was characterised by a strict moral code, based on
respect for the environment as well as for each others' rights, which was intended to govern every aspect of its members' lives. In many ways they were very like the North American Indians of Earth.
The TARDIS crew were invited to meet the Chief of the village near to where they had landed. He told them all there was to know about the planet's ecology and geography, and the culture and mythology of his people. In return the Doctor treated him to an account of various of his past adventures. Ros and Chris listened to their talk with interest, occasionally joining in. Cwej seemed particularly fascinated by the sexual practices of the Vectans, and especially the love potions and aphrodisiacs they used (the prepararation of such things was a field in which they were particularly skilled).
By the time Jebekah arrived on the scene the conversation had turned to more serious matters. Arrekh told the Doctor that a strange new tribe had appeared in the area. They had come down from the sky in what looked like huge metal birds, and were completely unlike the Vectans in their habits and the clothes they
wore. They had arrived unannounced, and without making any proper
approach to the Vectans had occupied large areas of the land the natives used for hunting and grazing. "Their behaviour troubles us gravely," Arrekh said.
"Have you tried talking to them?" asked the Doctor.
"When we tried to protest fighting broke out. And I am afraid there have been some deaths." The settlers had not troubled to learn the natives' language, or understand their culture, with the result that gestures and actions had been misunderstood, sometimes with fatal consequences.
"Of settlers, or of natives?"
"Both."
"You must try and restrain your people," said the Doctor. "Whatever happens they must not harm anyone or damage their property. If they do, it will only incite the offworlders to be more aggressive."
"I am afraid that has already been happening," replied Arrekh, "despite the warnings I have delivered to my people. It is not always easy to keep them under control, such is their anger at the
way they have been treated. And I cannot speak for the other tribes. Still, I shall do my best. "
Just then the guard announced Jebekah's arrival, and Arrekh gave permission for her to be shown into the hut. The herdswoman told the Chief about the arrival of the new skyships, and the Doctor's frown grew increasingly deeper.
"What do you think this means?" Arrekh asked him.
"I think some of the settlers must have reported the trouble to their ruling council on the homeworld. The ship you saw was sent
to restore order. Let's hope they don't do anything foolish."
He stood up. "There may be something I can do to help matters. I'm going to see if I can have a word with the ship's commander."
Leaving the village, they began to make their way back to the TARDIS.
"Sounds to me we're dealing with some kind of punitive expedition," said Ros. "Could mean trouble."
"Judging from my experience, you're probably right," replied the
Doctor grimly. "Too many of these colonial conflicts have resulted in the enslavement or displacement of the indigenous population. I don't want that to happen here if I can help it."
"So what's the plan, then?" asked Chris.
"Take the J'Tharan commander's measure, try to find out what he's got in mind. Then we'll decide on a plan of action."
"Should we really be getting involved in this sort of business?
I mean…"
The Doctor's sensitivity to the timelines always told him when he
should interfere in things, to ensure that history was set on its proper course, and when he should stand aside. “Yes, I think we must. The outcome of this matter will have a profound effect upon the history of this Galaxy and perhaps many others. If Vecto-J'Tharan relations proceed as they should, there will take place a union between the two cultures...a unique fusion of a technologically advanced society with a "primitive" one based on care for, and co-operation with, the natural world. A civilisation
will develop which understands more than any other how to use technology sensibly, and in a way that doesn't harm the environment."
"Sounds like a good thing to me," said Chris. "How are we going to find the commander's ship?"
"Judging from the distance between Vectos and J'Thara, the J'Tharan vessels must have warp drive," said the Doctor. "The technology used in warp drive is similar to that required for time
travel. Even if a warp engine is barely ticking over, it gives off a slight amount of temporal energy which the TARDIS can home in on."
They materialised a few hundred yards from Endeavour, and set off towards the huge J'Tharan vessel. Caun was sitting brooding at a small table he had set up in the open just beyond the shadow cast by the ship. Some of his men were patrolling the vicinity in case of further trouble from the natives, while nearby others were resting or indulging in some form of recreation.
Most of the colony's inmates had been indoors when the attack took place, while others had managed to gain the safety of the domes in time. From interviewing them Caun had been able to piece together what had happened. Using their familiarity with the locality and the skills they employed in hunting, the large party of natives had crept up unseen while many of the settlers were outside enjoying the warm sunshine. They attacked before their victims had time to reach the domes, killing indiscriminately without regard for age or sex.
Most of the J'Tharans were stabbed to death by native spears or their heads beaten to a pulp with the clubs the Vectans carried at
their belts. But one settler who had hidden from the marauders in
the undergrowth and managed to escape discovery told between anguished sobs how the natives had lashed some half a dozen people to a tree, fetched assorted pieces of wood and then lit a fire beneath them, watching with glee as they roasted to death.
Then news had started coming through from the other ships. In five of the other settlements similar incidents had occurred to that at Endeavour. At the remaining four, the ships had fortunately arrived in time to scare off the attackers before they could do any harm.
"I think we should do to the bastards what they did to those women and kids," Caun overheard one of his troopers say to another. “Burn them. The whole shekking lot of them."
He supposed he would have to restrain his men when the time came. If his job was going to be done at all, it was going to be done properly, in a methodical fashion.
He considered his next move. He would have to show the Vectans that they just couldn't do this sort of thing. Public opinion on J'Thara would demand some kind of retribution, and it would in any
case be essential to deter future attacks on the colonists.
A trooper came up to him and saluted. "Someone wants to have a word with you, Commander. He's not a native, I don't think. Name's Dr John Smith."
"And what exactly is his business?"
"I'm not sure, Sir, but he says he's an anthro-something or other."
"Anthropologist." Caun considered. "All right. Where is he?"
"Over there, Sir." The man pointed to where the Doctor, Chris and Ros were waiting. "He's got two of his assistants with him."
Caun went over to greet the trio. "Commander Caun, First Division J'Tharan Space Corps. I believe you wanted to see me."
They saw a tall, vaguely handsome man in his late forties, with an intense, rather hawk-like face and greying blond hair. The Doctor raised his hat and gave a charming smile. "Good afternoon, Commander. I'm John Smith. You're keeping well, I hope?"
Caun nodded briefly. He eyed the Doctor with some suspicion. "And what exactly are you, if you don't mind me asking?"
"I'm many things, Commander, many things. Right now I'm engaged in a detailed study of this planet; of its ecology, its culture. I've been chatting with one or two of the native leaders. As it seems few of your people speak their language, they've asked me to act as their representative in discussing one or two matters of importance."
"I see," Caun grunted. "What matters are you referring to, Dr Smith?"
"Some of the J'Tharan settlers have been behaving in a rather arrogant manner." He related what Arrekh had told him. "It seems there's a strong possibility of trouble between the two sides. In
patching up any differences that have arisen between them, you need to bear in mind that the Vectans can be very difficult if they feel they've been badly treated." Despite their generally peaceable nature and high moral standards, the Vectans were capable of responding with a frightening, primitive savagery once their rights were violated, or their interests harmed, in a big way, and of forming a lasting enmity towards those responsible.
"Now I imagine that the purpose of your expedition is to, er..."
"I'm here in response to a distress signal from several of the colonies. There seems to have been something of a massacre. Quite
a few of our people, women and children included, have been savagely butchered." The restrained anger in Caun's voice was clearly evident.
The Doctor was silent for a moment or two, his face grim. "I'm sorry to hear that," he said softly. "We've obviously got to make
sure such things don't happen again."
"That's what I'm here for."
"May I ask what you're planning to do, precisely?"
"That's classified information," said Caun. "There's no way I'm
going to tell you that."
"I understand, Commander. I'm merely anxious to set the natives'
minds at rest. They're concerned about what the coming of the settlers means for them, particularly after the way some have been behaving, and worried by the arrival of your ships. I'd just like your assurance that you'll respect their rights whatever happens. I'm sure you won't do anything too extreme, but..."
“I appreciate your concern, Dr Smith. I'm quite capable of handling the matter myself. I am here with full authority to negotiate with the Vectan leaders where necessary, and I do have an interpreter on board. Now I'd advise you to stay out of the way, just in case you and your friends get hurt."
"I see," said the Doctor, clearly not reassured by Caun's words.
He smiled. "Very well, Commander. I'd best leave you to it, then.
I hope your misssion is successful." They turned to leave.
"One more thing, Dr Smith," said Caun. "We're on this planet because our sun is dying. We've got no choice but to be here. The
nearest planets to ours are already seriously overpopulated and can't accept any more immigrants. There's no other suitable place
within reach, even with warp drive."
"It's not that I'm objecting to, Commander. It's just that I know from history, and from personal experience, that if matters like this aren't handled carefully a lot of people on both sides can get hurt."
For a while Caun stood looking after them thoughtfully. Then he went back inside the ship to consult the main computer. "I want a run-down on a Dr John Smith," he told it. "Possibly, judging by his name, a native of Earth."
After a moment the stream of information began to flow across the
screen. Dr John Smith, it appeared, was an alias sometimes used by
a space traveller who besides his craft, the TARDIS as it was called, seemed to have no fixed abode. At other times he was known simply as "the Doctor". He'd been involved, one way or another, in a wide range of important matters throughout a dozen galaxies - and, apparently, over a period of several hundred years. He might be from a race whose lifespan was naturally long. There were stories of a race on a planet called Gall- something or other who could live for two thousand years or more; maybe he was one of them.
Caun summoned his second-in-command, Sethran, whose responsibilities included the ship's security. "We'd better watch out for this Doctor character. He's well-meaning, but he tends to have a habit of poking his nose into things. He could be a bit of a problem. If anyone sees any sign of him, they're to report it immediately. I want to know exactly what he's doing."

"Well, Doctor, what's the verdict?" asked Ros. She didn't sound
optimistic about the success of their enterprise.
"I can't say I'm really happy," said the Doctor. "If Caun isn't
telling us what he's planning to do, it must be because he knows we wouldn't entirely approve of it. And somehow I don't think he took kindly to our interest in the matter."
"Did you notice that star emblem on his chest?" asked Ros. "He's a Pa'athist. Pa-athism is a religion a lot of people on J'Thara seem to follow, nominally or otherwise. Plenty of talk about love and peace. Let's hope he bears it all in mind!"
"Many of the Western pioneers, and the Colonial administrators of
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, were deeply religious." The Doctor's tone became angry. "In affairs like this you'll come across plenty of honest, Christian, God-fearing men who earnestly believed that what they were doing was right. They still managed to massacre or displace entire communities, entire cultures. It's that sort you've got to watch out for.
“Besides, he's angry because of the atrocities some of the Vectans have committed. That anger may cause him to respond in kind."
"So what do we do now?" Chris asked.
"We'd better speak with Arrekh first."

Jebekah saw the Doctor and his friends return to the Chief's hut, and wondered if they had had any success in their mission. She hoped so. She earnestly wished for there to be no trouble between her people and the J'Tharans. Despite the way some of them had been behaving, she didn't in principle dislike the newcomers.
They were, to Jebekah, a handsome race. Many of them had fair or
reddish hair, a characteristic virtually absent among her own people and thus a source of fascination to them. The very differences between themselves and her own kind made them attractive to her.
It was such a pity they seemed to have so little respect for the planet and its natives. But reason told her they could not all be bad, because after all her own race had its villains too and you couldn't tell who was good, and who wicked, just by looking at their faces.
When the J'Tharans had first made their appearance she had taken them for gods. However Jebekah like most of her people was not intelligent, and eventually it had dawned on her that their skycraft, and the wheeled things they used to build their strange domed houses and to travel about the planet's surface, were machines, objects manufactured to serve a particular purpose, just
like the tools her people used in agriculture and light industry though obviously far more complex. Rather than be suspicious or afraid of J'Tharan technology, she was fascinated by it and would have liked to learn how to use it, assuming the J'Tharans would let her.
The Doctor gave Arrekh a report of his meeting with Caun. "He didn't tell me enough to convince me you've nothing to worry about. And I'm not sure he's going to take my advice."
"If he wishes to talk I, for one, will be happy to speak with him," said Arrekh. "But," he warned, "we will be on our guard."
"It's important your people don't react with aggression, except when it's necessary to protect themselves. In the meantime, I'll continue trying to find a way to solve the problem."
"I can understand his anger at what has happened to his people," said Arrekh. He was as horrified and revolted as Caun had earlier been to hear about the massacres. "That is something we can talk about. But why would he wish to harm us all, to destroy our way of
life?"
"Such things have happened, I'm afraid," said the Doctor grimly. He decided it would be unwise to go into the details of the horrors experienced by Australian Aborigines, Native Americans, Hith, Alpidae, et al, in case it added to the unease that was growing among the Vectans and incited them to attempt rash actions.
He stood up. "We must get back to Caun's ship without delay."
They headed back to the TARDIS. "Since Caun won't talk from choice, we must get him into a position where he doesn't have any," the Doctor told his companions. "That will involve isolating him from the rest of his force, and from his superiors on J'Thara." He was silent for the remainder of the journey, no doubt working out the details of his plan.
Once inside the TARDIS, he hurried over to the console and began operating the controls. "We need to get on board Caun's ship without being seen. I expect he's going to be staying on here for a while, and during that time he won't be using his warp drive. The engines will be ticking over at most. They'll be unattended apart from the occasional engineer carrying out routine maintenance. So the warp section is where we should materialise."
He muted the sound of the materialisation circuits, just in case anyone should happen to hear it. They studied their surroundings on the viewscreen. The warp drive section was a long low room with the engines positioned against one wall in cylindrical casings. It appeared to be completely deserted.
"Now stand on one side of the door," the Doctor told Ros as they emerged from the TARDIS. "Chris, you cover that ventilation shaft. I want you to stun anyone who comes in."
They took up their positions while the Doctor inspected one of the engine casings. With the tools he had brought from the TARDIS he removed a panel to expose the engine's inner workings.
"What are you going to do, Doctor?" Chris asked.
"Link the engines to the TARDIS." He removed a jumble of multi-coloured wires. "I've disconnected them from the equipment on the bridge. Now I'm going to power them up and use them to send the ship not through space, but time - to an early stage in this planet's development, when there would have been no civilisation on J'Thara either, and thus no-one to pick up any messages Caun sends. He'll be completely cut off from home, and only we can send him back to his own time period. We'll hold all the aces, and he'll have to do things our way."
He set to work. "This may be a long job. I could cut a few corners but that might have dangerous consequences. Fortunately, although the settlements are some way apart, warp drive is really only used for long distance interplanetary travel, so we have some time."
"Do you reckon it'll work?" Chris asked. The Doctor's McGuffins didn't always produce their desired result.
“My dear Chris, if I didn't think it stood some chance of success I wouldn't be trying it. But no, there shouldn't be any side effects. In any case, the risk is justified. If Caun goes over the top and orders a full-scale attack on the native villages, relations between Vectans and settlers will be so soured that no accommodation may ever be possible."
A tremor ran through the fabric of the ship, suggesting its chemical motors had been fired. Caun was under way.
The Doctor fiddled about with the engine's workings for a while, then disappeared inside the TARDIS to return shortly afterwards trailing two cables behind him. He started to attach them to the engines.
The door slid open and an engineer came in with a bag of tools, no doubt intending to carry out routine maintenance. He saw the Doctor at work and stared in astonishment and outrage. Then Ros shot him down and he slumped to the floor, unconscious. Chris and the Doctor dragged his senseless form over to the wall and leant him against it.
When the engineer didn't report back to say he had finished his check-up, his colleagues became suspicious. One went in search of
him, but he too disappeared. The engineering section alerted Sethran, who in turn informed Caun.
"Let's hope it isn't anything to do with the Doctor," scowled the
commander. "I want a full search of the ship, just in case he's up to any mischief. And get some men down to warp drive. We don't know how many people he's got working for him, so you'd better take about a dozen troopers."

Realising that the engineer's disappearance would set alarm bells
ringing, Ros had used her blaster to fuse the lock on the door. Hopefully, if it was realised what was going on, that should give them enough time for the Doctor to complete his task.
There were two ways into the warp drive section; the main door and the ventilation shaft which Chris was guarding. Deducing that the Doctor would have taken account of them somehow, Sethran decided to have three or four troopers cut their way into the section through the wall with a laser.
Ros saw the glowing circular outline appear in the bulkhead opposite her. It would take them as much time to cut through the door - which they were now beginning to do, as the smell of burning from that direction informed her - as it would the bulkhead.
"How's it going, Doctor?" Chris shouted.
The Doctor was moving at frantic speed. "Nearly finished. Should be about a couple more minutes."
Chris listened for any sound of movement from the ventilation shaft, but none came. In fact Sethran had decided to ignore it; only one man could crawl along it at once, and if he were hit and stunned his body would block the narrow passage and have to be removed, taking up time which might be valuable.
A roughly human-shaped outline had now been burnt in the door. A kick from a booted foot sent the cut-out section crashing into the room, and Caun's men proceeded to enter through the opening. In a display of skill which would have delighted her arms instructor, Ros began to shoot them down one by one as they entered, stunning each trooper before they had a chance to react to the fall of the man or woman in front of them.
An opening had now been cut in the bulkhead and a trooper stepped
out of it, carefully avoiding its red hot edges. Chris blasted him into unconsciousness.
The next man dived to one side and Chris' shot went over his head.
Then the trooper fired - but not at Cwej. Just as the Doctor, having finished his last connection, reached for the switch he had
built into one of the warp engines, which when thrown would send temporal energy surging into them from the TARDIS, the blaster bolt severed one of the cables linking the engines to the space/time craft.
Any moment now Chris and Ros' luck would run out. Their marksman-
ship was superb but they were considerably outnumbered. There was
no way he could repair the cable before either they, or he, were shot unconscious. Admitting defeat, he raised his hands. "Ros, Chris, it's no use. Throw your guns down."
His companions let their weapons drop to the floor, and the troopers surrounded them.
In the doorway appeared Caun, hands on hips, flanked by two security guards. He strode up to the Doctor and gave the Time Lord a withering stare.
"Boarding a spacecraft without permission, and attempting to sabotage it, are infringements of Galactic Law...you realise I could have you arrested for this, Doctor, and put on a charge."
"I was well aware of the risks," the Doctor replied, unintimidated. "You left me no choice. Nothing you said at our earlier meeting gave me any indication you would handle the issue sensitively. And if you want to know exactly why I'm so keen to...interfere, read your Galactic History."
"I know all about the events you're referring to, thanks. I promise you, everything will be sorted out."
"If you seriously wish to negotiate, I could help you..."
"We don't need your help, Doctor." He turned to Sethran. "Have them put into SA. That should keep them out of the way until our business is finished. But I want them guarded all the time, just in case." The Doctor, he thought, was a resourceful man. You couldn't be sure he wouldn't find some way out of his imprisonment.
He glanced at Ros and Chris. "I'm sorry to have to do this. My quarrel isn't really with you." They shrugged.
The Doctor and his companions were taken to the chamber where members of the crew could, if they wished, be placed in suspended animation while on particularly long voyages. There they were sealed inside transparent capsules into which a narcotic gas was pumped.
Since he was a Time Lord, the gas did not affect the Doctor's metabolism in the same way that it would a human's. He could pretend to be unconscious, and there seemed to be some mechanism for opening the capsule from the inside. But with the chamber heavily guarded, it wouldn't do him any good if he did manage to get out of it. He'd simply be sent back into oblivion by a blaster bolt.
He sighed. Caun had beaten them. For the time being at any rate; this wouldn't be the end of the matter. The J'Tharan was unlikely to be able to exterminate the entire native population, if that was what his masters back home wanted him effectively to do. Besides, this business was too important for the Doctor to let go of it. Once he was revived, he'd just have to see what had happened and pick up the pieces as best he could.
He suspended all his mental and physical functions so that the J'Tharans would think the gas had done its job, and slept, awaiting the outcome of whatever Caun was now busy doing.

*
The Doctor's eyes opened and he sat up stiffly. Sethran and two other J'Tharans were standing over him, unarmed. Nearby stood Ros
and Chris, who evidently had already been woken; they were unguarded.
"You slept well, I trust?" Sethran grinned.
"Actually, I had a terrible nightmare," the Doctor told him. "About burning villages and mutilated corpses. The air echoing with the screams of the dying. I've had it before, many times."
"Yeah, well, you're free to go now if you want. But the Commander says he'd like to see you before you do."
Sethran showed them to Caun's quarters. They were surprised to find Arrekh there, together with a J'Tharan who the Doctor presumed was the interpreter Caun had mentioned at their first meeting.
"Good morning, Doctor," said the Commander. He indicated Arrekh. "I believe you know this gentleman."
"What's been happening, Arrekh?" the Doctor asked.
"We have been talking," the Vectan replied. "I'm happy to say it
has been a most profitable discussion."
Caun stood up. "Let me tell you precisely what I've been doing. I thought the best way to deter any further attacks by the Vectans
upon our colonists was to demonstrate the effectiveness of our firepower. So each of my ships landed near one of the native settlements and used its neutron cannons to destroy a few thousand
acres of vegetation, not enough to seriously damage the Vectans' livelihood, but sufficient to give them something to think about. I wanted to alarm and overawe them but not to kill them. I felt we needed to negotiate from a position of strength, and that strength had to be demonstrated.
“Then I asked to meet with the native leaders. They agreed, after some consultation, to appoint a single representative to speak for them - this fellow." He gestured towards Arrekh.
"I told them why it was important we came to Vectos. I said it was because a giant snake was eating up our sun; I used natural symbolism to describe the situation as that was the kind of language a people who lived close to nature and allowed it to govern every aspect of their lives would best understand.
“It's been agreed that certain areas will be reserved for our settlers until we have colonised the area to the extent that we need to. There's no chance of the Vectans' hunting grounds disappearing. The distribution of the original settlements was badly planned, but now the whole thing is going to be organised in
a much more sensible way.
“From now on, we'll keep to our own sections of the planet, and the natives will keep to theirs. Vectos is a big planet but a sparsely-populated one, so there'll always be plenty of room for both cultures.
“I managed to persuade the tribes that they form a joint council;
that'd make it easier for them to negotiate with us over matters where there might be disagreement. Otherwise some unscrupulous compatriot of mine might get tired of having to deal with several different authorities, and decide to give up talking altogether and resort to more violent means. If they don't present a unified front it'll be easy for certain people to outwit and deceive them.
Ultimately what we're working towards is a council of both settlers and natives, with an interpreter always present at its meetings, to discuss matters of common concern, and a joint police
force to make sure the boundaries between our territories and theirs are respected. The natives are happy to use our weapons. We've shown them they only need to stun offenders, or "put them to sleep" as they call it - not harm them in any way. That makes the blasters and stuff seem less frightening.
“As for the question of future relations between our two peoples, I said I would try to interest our side in the native way of life so they'd come to value it a bit more." He indicated the interpreter. "My colleague here is giving the troops full and compulsory instruction in the Vectans' culture and language, so they know how to deal with them properly. I'll be encouraging the
civilian settlers to take an interest too; I can't force them to do so, but I'm not without prestige among J'Tharan society, and I can use that to influence the way they think about the natives.
“There are certain industries, certain arts, which the Vectans are far better at than our people, and which can be used to improve the quality of life for everyone here. If Arrekh and I can make the natives seem indispensable to the planet's economy, as well as a positive cultural force giving a lot of pleasure to J'Tharans and Vectans alike, it won't be seen as productive to mistreat them.
“Concerning the Vectans who butchered our colonists...well, I felt some restitution was called for, if possible. The best solution was to punish them according to native law, and that has been done. I told Arrekh and the other leaders I'd have to take action myself if they didn't, but they understood that.
“The offenders are being executed as we speak. I don't entirely care for capital punishment, but respecting other cultures often means swallowing bitter pills.
“For our part, I made clear I was sorry for the crimes our settlers had committed. They too have been punished, by our law. I've had them imprisoned for a lengthy spell, and the ones who've murdered natives without reasonable provocation have been sentenced to death. Again, that's not something I really wanted to do, but..."
He sighed.
The Doctor considered all this for a while. Then he spoke. "But what about the government on J'Thara? Can you be sure they won't
disagree with what you've done, and force you into something much
less altruistic?"
"J'Thara is a long way away, Doctor. I was sent here to protect the settlers and punish their murderers - which I have done. I can pretend the situation is still difficult, and so be empowered to remain here as long as I think necessary. That'll give us a chance to see that things develop the way they should. By the time I eventually leave, the native and J'Tharan cultures will have learnt to coexist, to such an extent that serious friction, of the sort which might provide an excuse for repression, is unlikely. The settlers will be hostile towards any clumsy action which might upset the apple cart, to use an Earth metaphor, and cause trouble for everybody."
The Doctor glanced at Arrekh, who nodded. "He speaks the truth,
Doctor. I do not think we have anything to fear from him."
The Doctor had come to know Arrekh well over the past few days. The Vectan was a sensible man, not likely to be easily deceived by
smooth talk and charisma, to be fooled by mere words into sacrificing his people's best interests.
"I admit it wasn't easy remaining objective, Doctor, knowing what
some of the Vectans had done to our women and children," Caun confessed. "I was strongly tempted to go beyond what was strictly necessary to pacify them...but I didn't. The Pa'athek religion teaches about love and co-existence between all cultures. There may be many - too many - who disregard that rule, and turn their religion into an excuse for all sorts of atrocities, but I don't have to be one of them. Besides, if I don't do what my faith tells me to, including respecting other cultures whatever they might have done to mine, I won't be assured of salvation. Nor will I deserve it. My religion gave me the power to do what was right - although I suppose I ought to have done it anyway.
"Now, Doctor, may I ask what you were trying to do in messing about with my warp engines?"
The Doctor told him. "But there was no need for any of that. Why
didn't you tell me what you had in mind? I'd have gone along with
it, apart maybe from one or two points."
"I couldn't be sure you'd agree with it. And if you didn't, you might try to mess things up somehow. I might have been wrong. But
I didn't want to take the risk. I know all about you, Doctor; about the sort of things you get up to, and the way you operate. You've left your fingerprints on quite a few pies.
“You might mean well - which is why I've decided to let you go without pressing any charges. But you can't be trusted because you never trust others. You've always got some hidden agenda of your own, and you never tell even your closest associates what you're planning. And I know the reason why. You never tell them because you're afraid they might not like it. After all, your solutions have been known to involve destroying entire star systems.
“Everything's under control here, Doctor. So you can go back to your TARDIS and let us get on with our jobs in peace."
For a long moment the Doctor was silent. Then he turned to Arrekh with a smile. "It seems my task here is finished. It was nice to have met you; I dare say I'll drop by again sometime."
He shook the Vectan's hand, then Sethran escorted them back to the TARDIS.
Glancing at the Doctor as he operated the controls, Ros thought the look on his face was like that of a schoolboy humiliated in some manner by his tutor. Then he started to laugh. He laughed long and loud, in a way she and Chris found rather disturbing.



ALL OUR BATTLES
(written in 1995)
It was the occasion of Chief Inspector Paynter's retirement party, and someone had asked him what had been his most memorable experience during his forty years or so at Hartsbury.
"Well," he replied, "I suppose it would have to be the Bateson business. Not the kind of thing that happens every day. And that's rather a pity."
"I don't think I've heard of it," said the questioner, a young constable named Roger Wyman. Wyman had felt rather overawed in the presence of such a distinguished figure as Paynter, and wasn't quite sure what to say to him. He'd been desperate to break the ice, and the question had seemed a good one to ask.
"That's not surprising. You weren't even a twinkle in your father's eye when it happened, I imagine. But it was quite a sensation at the time. You'll find it in those books Reader's Digest do: "Strange But True", "Amazing Stories And Unsolved Mysteries", that sort of thing.
"And," he grinned, "I can say I was closely involved in it. Yours truly was the principal actor in the drama after Bateson himself."
By now a genuine interest had been stimulated in those gathered around him. "Tell us all about it then, Sir," someone urged.
"Well, this chap Bateson, Reginald Bateson, was the brains behind a series of pretty vicious armed robberies in Hartsbury and a few other towns in the area. We got a tip-off from one of his gang who'd been upset with the way they'd split the proceeds after their last job, and his house was raided. Unfortunately he found out we were on to him and did a runner. A countywide search was organised - one of the biggest I've ever known. Four or five days into it someone rang us to say they'd spotted him in Hubbleston, and gave us a pretty accurate description. We surrounded the village and sealed it off. Bateson was pretty desperate by then, and he managed to break through our cordon. He stole a car and drove out of the village towards Felpringham.
"Later that day we found the car abandoned on the edge of Copthorne Wood. It was obvious he'd gone in there; he'd lived in Hubbleston as a kid and knew all the best hiding places. It covers an area as big as a dozen football pitches, and you could hide an army in it for weeks without anyone realising it - I'm only slightly exaggerating there. "Oh bugger," we thought.
“Anyway we made sure the outskirts of the wood were covered, and began to search the place, telling ourselves we'd cover every square millimetre if we had to. And Bateson would have to come out sometime, unless he was going to live on nuts and leaves like a squirrel. So we split into pairs, and each one went on its way.
“Hours later I was lucky enough to spot him. We ran after him, but it wasn't easy to move fast in that thick undergrowth, and with the trees growing so close together the way they do in that place. All we managed to do was warn him we were there. He must have thought the game was almost up, and got really desperate, because he decided to try and ambush us. He wasn't the sort of villain who gives up without a fight.
“He hid himself in a thicket and waited. I'm sorry to say we walked right past where he was; an easy thing to do in those surroundings. He jumped out, taking us completely by surprise, and shot both of us with an automatic pistol. My colleague was killed instantly, but I got it in the shoulder and fell.
"Bateson shot me twice more, in the leg and in the stomach just above the groin. He picked up our guns and threw them away, then came and stood over me, gloating. I knew what his game was; he hated the police, and one thing he really enjoyed doing other than robbing banks was killing policemen, preferably in such a way that they died slowly and in pain. Besides which he had a particular grudge against me, because I'd helped run him in quite a few times for various offences.
"Don't be in a hurry to go, copper," he said. Then with a laugh and a wave he was off.
"I must have been there altogether for about half an hour, getting weaker all the time, and in agonising pain as you can imagine. I started to shout for help but no-one heard me, and soon my voice was coming out as just a feeble sort of croak. I managed for a time to staunch the bleeding from the stomach wound by putting my hand over it, but eventually the effort of keeping it there got too much. I felt the blood trickling through my fingers and gave it up. I knew that even if anyone found me in time to save my life - not a likely prospect in that jungle - I would probably be paralysed for life.
“Eventually I guess I got a bit delirious. My vision was blurring. Then I heard a foot snap on a twig and the sound of someone coming towards me. "This is it," I thought. "He's come back to finish the job."
“What happened next felt so unreal it was like a dream. Bateson bent over me and examined my injuries, then took out a handkerchief and tied it around the wound in my leg in a clumsy attempt to stop the bleeding. He stood up and called out at the top of his voice, "Here! Over here! Quickly!" At that point I blacked out from the shock and pain I'd been through. When I recovered some hours later I was in hospital. After no-one had heard his call for help Bateson had gone off and found some of my colleagues and led them to me. At the same time he gave himself up.
"As for me, the doctors did a pretty good job, and I was able to resume my career, although it was desk jobs only from then on, unfortunately.
“And there you are. Bloody weird business, eh? I expect any long-serving policeman, anywhere, will tell you he's never heard anything like it. Why should a hardened criminal like Bateson, one never before known to have shown compassion and consideration for anyone - we're talking about a multiple murderer, a man for whom human life had little value - change his behaviour in the way he did? He had quite a good chance of escape - probably thought he had, at any rate. Although as I said the outskirts of the wood were being watched, he'd have known it was too large an area for us to be sure of covering it all effectively. There've been few things like it in criminal history.
“The case attracted international attention. The churches got very excited about it; they said it was a miracle, because not long afterwards, while he was in his cell before the trial, Bateson had some sort of religious experience and became a born-again Christian. It was a pity he didn't become a Catholic, or they'd have made him a saint. The Archbishop of Canterbury described Bateson's repentance as "a sign of Man's innate goodness and ability to redeem himself", or something like that. There were calls from some quarters for him to be let off, although the judge wasn't having any of it. The death sentence was commuted to thirty years' imprisonment. He got elected a member of the Royal Society, and there was some pressure to give him an OBE. He won all sorts of "Man Of The Year" awards from newspapers and magazines, and if it had been possible there'd have been television appearances, speaking tours...
“The general public were rather confused as to what they thought about the man; they like things in black and white, and they're unhappy about what they can't understand.
“After his release Bateson lived a fairly quiet, normal life. He went ex-directory and never told anyone except his immediate family and a few close friends his private address. Lived as a recluse for the rest of his days, embarrassed by all the publicity. Not that he need've worried about it - by then interest in the business had died down, as happens with all media sensations eventually."
"What's the general theory as to why he did it?" asked Wyman.
"There isn't any one theory, but all sorts of ideas were put forward. He was interviewed by various psychologists, but none of them came away any the wiser. Bateson couldn't satisfactorily account for his behaviour. What he said was, "I shouldn't have shot all those people...it was wrong, wasn't it? And I couldn't have left that bloke lying there. I had to go back for him." It wasn't really adequate as an explanation for what happened."
"How are your feelings about the case today?"
"Well, it seems odd to say this when you consider what he'd done, but if he did genuinely...repent then I suppose one ought to admire him. I mean, it's the sort of thing that restores your faith in human nature, isn't it?"
It seemed that with this remark Paynter had said all he felt there was to be said about the matter.
"Another thing I often find myself remembering was....."
Out of politeness Wyman listened patiently to the subsequent anecdote, but he found it hard to pay as much attention to it as he had to the veteran's account of the "Bateson Case".

"I think you've got an obsession with it," remarked Wyman's landlady, nodding towards the huge pile of books and newspaper cuttings, all of them concerned with, or having some bearing on, the Bateson affair, which had spread halfway across the kitchen table so that there was little room for the tea and cakes she had brought her lodgers.
"You do get an obsession with this sort of thing," Wyman responded.
"It's easy to see why," added David, the student with whom Wyman shared the house. "I mean, if you could find out what made him do it and isolate it, just think how it would reduce crime levels. The world would be a much better place."
"Oh, I don't know about that," said Mrs Addison. "It sounds rather horrible, the idea of making people good...like something off a conveyor belt. Goodness has got to come from the heart, that's what I always say."
"Do you remember the case?" asked Wyman.
"I do," she replied. "And if you ask me, he only did it because he knew he was going to be caught, and he thought it'd make things look better for him."
"That's what a lot of people said. But I'm sure there's more to it than that." Mrs Addison snorted.
People had felt as she did, Wyman mused, because they were unable otherwise to rationalise the whole extraordinary episode. It showed how little they were acquainted with the facts of the case.
"It doesn't square with what we know about the criminal mentality," he continued. "A villain like Bateson would have tried to shoot it out, I'm sure."
"I was under the impression he had some kind of religious experience," said David. "I mean, I don't have much time for religion, but it does seem to be the only thing which makes people like Bateson mend their ways. Maybe if someone's mentally unstable, and they have some further psychological upset, they can change in the way Bateson did...but from what you've told us about him Bateson wasn't mad, just plain evil."
"There's been a lot of talk about the religious aspect of it. All of it obscures the fact that his conversion took place after what happened in Copthorne Wood, not before. The two things were probably connected, but the conversion was an effect of something - not its cause."
"You make it sound as if it isn't very important," said Mrs Addison, who was a regular churchgoer, disapprovingly.
"Do you think you're anywhere near cracking it, then?" asked David.
"Not yet, I'm afraid. I can tell you one thing, though. I think people have been looking at the business the wrong way. We're assuming it was something within Bateson that brought about the change in him, some internal factor. {At this point Mrs Addison, sensing that the conversation was becoming too "deep" for her, made her exit}. What if it was something else, something external? It's my belief he had some kind of frightening experience in Copthorne Wood which sobered him up and turned him into a reformed character - something he couldn't or wouldn't talk about."
Perhaps it would help, he thought, to take a trip there, to see the place for himself. And so he took advantage of his next off-duty spell to take his private car and drive out of Hartsbury in the direction of Hubbleston, equipped with an Ordnance Survey map.
Shortly after leaving the attractive village with its grey stone buildings, he turned off the road onto a dirt track which led across a piece of waste ground to where the wood began. There he stopped the vehicle and got out.
As he was about to enter the wood something to his left, just within his field of vision, caught his attention. Half obscured by foliage was a stone tablet, roughly the size and shape of a tombstone and cracked and weathered by age. He squatted down and with difficulty prised away the thorns and weeds while he inspected it. It bore an inscription in old-fashioned characters, timeworn and almost indecipherable. He tried to read it: "Let not the something something something..." No good, it was hopeless.
He let the foliage fall into place and resumed his walk up the hill. As he proceeded the vegetation grew thicker and taller, the light dimmer, and the path narrower.
The paths were not well maintained and in places were completely blocked by foliage, to force a way through which was a frustrating, time-consuming and painful business.
Although the wood probably hadn't changed much in the meantime, there was no way of identifying the spot where, in 1957, Bateson had shot Paynter and left him to die. One part of the place looked just like any other. So he might as well take where he was now as his starting point.
He set his mind to work. What might have happened in the thirty minutes between Bateson's leaving Paynter and his repentant return? Where had Bateson been, what had he done, in that time? He could only have gone deeper into the wood, so that was what Wyman did.
After a while he became aware of something odd. Although it was a normal, sunny day in late spring, no animal life was to be seen or heard. Surely there should at least be a little birdsong? Yet there was nothing; only the plants and the trees, silent and unmoving. And as he ventured further into the wood they continued to grow thicker, seeming to close menacingly around him. The vegetation was more than tropically dense.
Everything seemed to grow together, joining to make a solid roof and walls of green which shut out the sky so completely that not a chink of daylight was visible. And yet it wasn't dark; he found he could see everything with perfect clarity. Where could the light be coming from?
As Wyman stood there he began to feel increasingly uneasy. The atmosphere in this part of the wood was strange and unsettling. But he wasn't a cowardly man - in his profession, he couldn't afford to be - and so he pressed on with his investigation. He went on walking for some time, but saw nothing more that could be called unusual or disturbing.
He realised it would soon be getting dark. Time to return to the car; the prospect of losing one's way in this spooky place wasn't alluring. As he made his way back he tried to draw some conclusions from what he had found. He was inclined to think that if there was anything strange in the wood which might have caused Bateson's astonishing change of character it was to be found in the place where the light was unusually bright, and the atmosphere so peculiar.
And what exactly had he discovered there? Nothing on which any firm conclusions could be based. True, the place was a little odd in one or two ways, but he reckoned it must have been something more than that which had brought about Bateson's transformation.
The next step, he thought, must be to learn something about the history of the place, although this was a task he could only undertake as duty permitted.

The Doctor had often felt remorseful about the rather abrupt way in which he'd left UNIT, though he didn't usually care to admit it. He was also mindful of the unfortunate fact that his human friends had much shorter lifespans than he. Lately he'd frequently found himself thinking that he ought be making the most of them while they were still around. So he had begun to make a point of attending each of the organisation's annual reunions, marking the date in his 500-Year Diary.
It was at one of these events, while they were all sitting chatting on the terrace of a little pub by the Thames, that the Brigadier made him a proposition.
"While you're around, Doctor, I'd like you to have a look at an installation we've recently established. I can't tell you much about it in public, but we've got some stuff of yours there that you left behind when you, er," he grinned, "went away. We had a clear-out of your old laboratory a few months back, and there were quite a few things we reckoned you ought to come back and collect. That IRIS machine, for one. After what it did to that chap Clegg I thought it was best nobody else touched it."
I hope they didn't, Brigadier, the Doctor thought.
"Very sensible of you," was what he actually said. "I should have done something about it myself, before I "went away"." His fourth incarnation had been really rather irresponsible at times, he reflected. "Yes, it sounds like a good idea. I'd be delighted to see this establishment."
"We'll have to get you fitted out with a new pass, of course, since your old one will have expired about 20 years ago. And Professor Summerfield will need some sort of clearance too; if she's coming, that is?" He looked questioningly at the Doctor's current companion.
Benny considered. Although to an archaeologist everything was potentially a subject of interest - you couldn't tell whether at some time in the future it wouldn't get buried in the ground, or come to be regarded as an ancient monument - it somehow didn't seem her kind of thing. And the mention of clearance created impressions of pettifogging bureaucracy.
So: "It doesn't seem my kind of thing, I'm afraid. If you don't mind, I'd rather check out the local archaeology instead."
"Whatever you like. As a matter of fact, there's a village not far away from our place, called Hubbleston, which has some kind of Bronze Age settlement near it, and it's got a museum too. You might find that interesting. We can take you there before going on to the Foundation."
And so, on the morning of the following day, the Brigadier drove them to Hubbleston in his private car (taking the TARDIS might of course have attracted unwelcome attention) and dropped her off outside the village inn.
Benny made her way up the main street, flanked by attractive Georgian and half-timbered houses, towards the museum, which inhabited a grey stone building that had once been the post office. The small entrance fee posed no problem; she had enough knowledge of this time period to understand the principles behind the currency, and the mint in the TARDIS - an essential accessory for travelling Time Lords - had supplied her with the right coins. The collection of items from the area's history, which included tools and other items found at the site of the Bronze Age village, Roman coins and pottery, medieval swords and suits of armour, and Second World War gas masks, were interesting enough, although a place like this could hardly compare with what she'd seen in the great intergalactic museums of her own time. There was nothing there which someone reasonably familiar with Earth history might find exceptional.
As much to pass the time as for any other reason, she got chatting with the museum guide, a professional-looking middle-aged woman with faded blonde hair, about the village and its history.
"Are you going to take a look at the settlement itself, while you're here?" the woman asked. "There's nothing left above ground level, I ought to point out."
"I might as well do," said Benny, trying to sound enthusiastic about it.
"But the place is interesting because of its history. Some rather strange things have happened there, you know."
She proceeded to talk about the Bateson case - among other things.

The Combined Sciences Research Foundation, as it was officially known, was situated for security reasons in the open country between Hubbleston and the town of Hartsbury, surrounded by trees at the end of a seemingly endless drive from the main road. The car came up to the gates, and Lethbridge Stewart and the Doctor had their passes checked. It drove on towards the cluster of concrete and metal buildings, the sight of which brought back memories of the many such establishments he'd visited as UNIT's Scientific Adviser. To the outside world, they housed a government "thinktank" organisation whose purpose was to undertake new scientific projects under one roof in such a way as to ensure they were efficiently co-ordinated.
Parking the car, the Brigadier led the Doctor inside the largest of the buildings and down a flight of stairs to an underground room which seemed to be the centre of interest. It was a high-ceilinged and spacious affair, where white-coated figures laboured at benches on which were set out assorted pieces of equipment, most of them not of Twentieth-Century Earth manufacture. Among them the Doctor recognised partially dismantled Autons and Cybermen, components from a Kraal android, the lower half of a Dalek, and various other items which were unmistakably weapons. The Brigadier picked up one of the latter, an odd-looking type of handgun, and turned to the Doctor with a smile. "Recognise this?"
"It's an Ogron disintegrator gun...picked up after the attack on Auderly House, I presume." He remembered the test he'd carried out with one of the guns in the early stages of that affair, grinning affectionately at the vision which came into his head of Jo absent-mindedly pointing it straight at the Brigadier.
"Once we've established the principle on which it works, our boffins reckon it should be possible to design a larger version,"
Lethbridge Stewart told him.
"Yes, I thought you'd get around to doing something like this eventually," said the Doctor grimly.
The Brigadier smiled. "I knew you weren't happy about the idea. We'll talk about the pros and cons of the matter later, if you like."
The Doctor nodded briefly. They resumed their tour.
Once he had seen everything there was to see in the laboratory, the Brigadier led him through a door at the far end of it which opened into a smaller room, mostly taken up by a huge tank of fluid. Inside the tank, perfectly preserved, floated the bodies of a Zygon and a Kraal. Charts on the walls showed the anatomy and metabolism of each alien and various organs, some similar to those found in the human body and others weird-looking and of indeterminate function, were preserved in fluid-filled glass cases.
"I'm not sure this is ethical," remarked the Doctor. "You should really be giving them a decent burial."
"We don't know what religion they were, if any," the Brigadier replied. "Besides, all this stuff is here for a purpose. It's to show our political leaders, both here and in the world at large, what we have to fight against."
He gestured towards the alien bodies. "There have been quite a few black jokes going around the place about the next-of-kin coming to claim the remains. With the weapons we're developing here, we'll be ready for them when they do."
"Well, I don't suppose I need to warn you again about the dangers involved in it."
Lethbridge Stewart smiled grimly. "No, you don't. We understand them perfectly. The weapons will be used for defence, and nothing else. And the risk of them being misused is entirely justified. That's what I come away thinking every time I examine my conscience over this matter, which I assure you is on a regular basis." There was a note of annoyance in his voice. "Earth has the right to protect itself. Many of the aliens who've attacked us in the past have been technologically far more advanced than we were. If you hadn't been there they'd probably have defeated us. Now I think one of the reasons you left us was because you felt it was time we learned to protect ourselves without you. Well that won't be possible, Doctor, without the work that's being done here. Only by understanding the aliens' technology, so we can use it against them, will we survive."
The Doctor was silent for a few moments. Then he nodded slowly, telling himself his old friend was right. In fact, the Brigadier had put these arguments to him many times in the past, and despite his unhappiness at the soldier's proposals, which had been such as to seem like opposition to them, he had never, at heart, fundamentally disagreed with Lethbridge Stewart's thinking.
"Well, that's really all there is to see," he told the Doctor. "Your equipment is stored elsewhere on the site. You can bring the TARDIS here any time you like and collect it. Is there nothing more you'd like to see here?"
"I don't think so."
"Right then, let's get on and pick up your friend, then we'll be on our way back to Headquarters."

Colm Kearney, Frankie Burke and Janet Devlin had come to Britain from Ireland two years previously, ostensibly to look for employment. They had rented a somewhat run-down semi-detached house in one of the less salubrious parts of Hartsbury, which was to be the base for the work they did as a sideline to their regular Monday to Friday occupations. Recent unexpected events had for a time invalidated the real reason for their immigration. They remained stuck in their small house, where they constantly got on each other's nerves, and in low-paid jobs which didn't allow them much of a standard of living, with two of them at least feeling rather disenchanted, and rather silly, about the whole thing.
But now the Ceasefire had broken down, and in their cramped and dingy living room they were discussing the implications of this, Colm with particular eagerness. Kearney had been certain the Ceasefire was pointless, and been strongly tempted to ignore it. Now that the bombing and the killing was to start all over again, he would make up with a vengeance for what he considered to be lost time. And he wasn't even going to wait for instructions from the General Council. He had a pet scheme of his own he was anxious to proceed with, regardless of what his masters over the Irish Sea thought of it.
"I think we should try to hit that big Army place on the road to Hubbleston. Going by what I've picked up from the bar talk, I reckon it's some kind of weapons research establishment. Mayhew was right when he said we'd never be defeated militarily - of course he was - though he shouldn't have been daft enough to say so out loud, for the sake of his own reputation. But I guess he was talking in terms of conventional weapons. The Brits are working on something pretty big at that place - something that's going to tip the balance in their favour."
"It isn't a British job, Col," said Janet, sighing wearily. "The people there are UNIT - the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. They're some kind of international organisation, though I've no idea what they do exactly."
"Most of the soldiers and the civilians who work there are British."
"That's because we're in Britain, Col."
"They're just pretending to be UN, that's all. It's a ruse. Anyway, why are there so many ordinary army troops about the place?"
Janet continued to look somewhat sceptical. She knew Colm would suspect the British of just about anything. She wasn't particul-arly fond of them, though she got on well with individual Brits, but she didn't particularly hate them either - to her, the Cause had been a necessary struggle against an imperialistic clique, one which unfortunately involved killing innocent people from time to time, rather than an entire people - and Colm's passionate dislike for them rather left her cold. Perhaps you could understand it when you considered he'd lost a brother in an incident with a British patrol; all the same, he did take it to ludicrous lengths. And there were times when its intensity wasn't just stupid, but downright frightening as well.
"How are we going to get in there anyway?" asked Frankie. "The security's tighter than anywhere we've tried to hit before."
"Which means there must be something pretty important there," said Colm, eager to seize any opportunity to press home this point.
"Don't change the subject, Col," said Janet. "He's asking how we're actually going to get in."
"I know a sure way," he replied with a grin. "I've already got all the details planned. If you can't beat the security system itself, you can get at the people who run it."
"Whatever it is you're planning, I don't want to be a part of it," Janet said.
"You're not by any chance turning into a little Brit-lover, are you Janet?" he said menacingly.
"I just think it's a stupid idea which isn't worth the risk. There's not enough proof the place is what you think." She daren't tell him her objections went further than that, that she had grown increasingly sick of the murders they had committed in the name of a United Ireland - an idea which she had come to realise was not likely to be practical for a long time, whatever the justice of it might be. Unlike Colm she had welcomed the Ceasefire, and was bitterly disappointed by its breakdown.
"Well, I say we're going through with it," he said firmly.
She glanced at Frankie; his face was impassive. The pathetic little shit, she thought angrily. He didn't have the courage to disagree openly with Colm. She was a fine one to talk, though. In truth she was equally scared of him. His undoubted personal magnetism and dark good looks had long ago ceased to inspire her, but other things about him had an effect which was equally likely to deter disobedience.
Colm seemed to have assumed the matter was now decided. "Make sure we're well stocked up with food, Janet. We might have a little guest staying with us for a day or two."

Benny had now seen all there was to see at the museum, but there was still some time to go before she was due to meet the Doctor. To pass the time, she seated herself on a bench beside the green and started to read about Copthorne Wood from a pamphlet she'd bought at the museum on the village and its history.
"The Wood has always had a sinister reputation. This is connected with the Bronze Age burial mounds located near it, such places tending to be associated with the supernatural both in the past and in modern mythology. Certainly strange events have from time to time been reported there. In 1906 local historian and naturalist Geoffrey Waddell was walking near the Wood when he heard a strange noise, which he later described as "a kind of hissing and slithering," coming from it. He wrote in his diaries, "I felt sure it must have been made by some kind of animal, a very large one and totally unfamiliar."
“Shortly afterwards, an odd discovery was made in the Wood by Geoffrey Waddell. He found a number of holes, fairly recently made and measuring several feet in diameter, in the ground, whose purpose and origin were difficult to estimate. If they were artificial, it is difficult to see what purpose they would have served. If they were the tracks of some kind of animal then it seems unlikely to have been a mammal, and from the positions of the holes may have had more than four legs, which for a creature of the size they indicate would clearly be absurd. The holes were roughly circular, and tapered inwards to blunt points."
“A curious incident occurred in the Wood in 1755. A disreputable character called Josiah Hurnett who then lived in the village lured a local girl to the spot, intending or so it was thought to rape and then murder her, but something frightened him there and he ran screaming down the hill into the village and up to the church door, banging on it and yelling for sanctuary. Hurnett's request was granted, and from then on he was reluctant to ever leave the church. Accommodation was found for him on the premises and he helped with preparing for the services, among other tasks. For the rest of his days he lived a spotless Christian life; unfortun- ately, whatever experience he had undergone while in the Wood also affected his mind, with the result that he became what we would call the village idiot."
The writer then went on to compare the case of Josiah Hurnett with that of Reginald Bateson.
The rest of the pamphlet's contents held no interest for Benny. She decided to take a look round the site of the settlement and then go back to the pub and wait for the Doctor and the Brigadier to arrive. It might not prove to be as boring as the guide's comments had suggested: she might well spot something the archaeologists of this time, with their relatively primitive methods, had missed. So she proceeded to trudge up the hill which overlooked the village to Copthorne Wood.
She noticed the inscription, and unlike Roger Wyman was able, thanks to her specialist knowledge and the benefit of her own time period's more advanced techniques, to decipher it.
"Let not the wicked enter this place, lest they be rendered unable to make their peace with God."
She felt the strange atmosphere of the place, which couldn't be called evil, or sinister, but was disturbing in a very different way, one that couldn't easily be described.
And she found something which Wyman had missed. In that part of the wood with the strange light and the unusually dense vegetation, an odd-looking thing caught her eye. Sticking up from the ground, and half obscured by vegetation, was a jagged fragment of yellowish material. It was semi-transparent, and inside it swirled an unidentifiable dark blue liquid. The object's texture was like toughened glass.
At once she knew it ought not to be where it was. She pocketed it, deciding it might repay analysis back in the TARDIS.
Benny went on exploring for a little longer, then set off down the hill towards the village. Using much the same kind of reasoning as Wyman, she decided that whatever had caused the mysterious events that had taken place here must be in the odd part of the wood where she'd found the alien object.
Altogether, Hubbleston had turned out to be far more interesting than she could possibly have expected. Maybe the Doctor would know what to make of the things she'd found.
Had she left the wood a little later, and if he had not been so careful to avoid being spotted, she might have seen Colm Kearney arrive to retrieve something from the cache of arms and explosives which he and his fellow terrorists had hidden in Copthorne Wood - easily the best place in the neighbourhood for concealing such items - before the Ceasefire, and which had remained there in case of any future resumption of hostilities against British imperialism.

They discussed what Benny had learned at Hubbleston on the way back to UNIT Headquarters, which the Doctor had decided on as the most logical, and safest, place to leave the TARDIS, the co-ordinates for his former laboratory there still being registered in its data banks. It was a reasonable enough decision, although the room's current user, Dr Franz Beckermann - UNIT's present Scientific Adviser - rather resented it, as he did most aspects of the Doctor's occasional interventions in what he regarded as his own territory.
"What I'm most interested in is this," the Doctor said, fingering the fragment of yellow material. "It's clearly not a product of Earth technology."
Benny nodded. "That's what I thought. We'll examine it in the TARDIS laboratory, shall we?"
"I think that would be a most profitable exercise."
"Do you think it might have some connection with all the other weird things about the place?"
The Brigadier had been listening to their conversation with mounting interest. "Is this something which ought to concern me, Doctor?"
"I'm not sure, yet. If I find out it is, I promise you I'll be in touch. If it's something left over from a previous alien visit, then its makers will have made their mark on things and gone. They'll already have become a part of the planet's history."
"Wouldn't someone have noticed it before, though?" asked Lethbridge Stewart, frowning.
"Possibly not, if the place had a sinister reputation and people didn't very often go there, which seems to be the case. I imagine that wood has remained relatively the same since this planet's prehistory. However, as we know from experience, the fact whatever-it-is has been there a long time doesn't necessarily mean it's harmless. Remember the business at Devil's End. And the Silurians."
As he said these words, the Brigadier began to feel uneasy. Whatever incarnation the Doctor was in when you met him, you could always tell when he was worried. And it was his reckoning that whatever worried someone like the Doctor certainly ought to worry lesser beings like oneself.

They snatched the teenage girl while she was walking home that night from a drink with some friends. Her companion had been struck a savage blow on the head by Colm, a blow which was to leave her suffering from severe headaches, loss of concentration and a degree of brain damage, all of which ruined what would otherwise have been a quite promising academic and professional career.
There had been dangers involved in the snatch - as with the whole of this crazy, to Janet, business - but it had been accomplished without any trouble. Colm was an expert at kidnapping, as he was at many other nefarious activities.
The terrified girl had been quickly bound, gagged and bundled into the car. A vicious punch in the face from Colm, followed by his threatening more of the same, and a knife pressed to her throat, ensured she kept quiet and gave no trouble. A blanket was then thrown over her. They drove through the night to the house, Frankie all the time keeping a firm grip on the girl through the blanket. On arrival the car was brought into the garage, which helpfully had a connecting door to the house, ensuring nothing untoward would be observed from outside.
The girl was taken upstairs and dumped roughly on a bed in one of the rooms. She lay there trembling so violently that it shook and rolled backwards and forwards. Colm bent down to speak into her ear.
"Now listen, darling," he said, slowly and softly. "You don't give us any trouble, all right? If you do, you'll be going back to your family with one or two bits of you missing. Every time you misbehave I'll be cutting something off. So just lie there and think of this shitty little England of yours, OK?"
She managed a nod. Colm made to leave the room, then turned back to the girl and looked at her thoughtfully for a moment before finally going out. "Right, let's get ourselves something to eat, Jan."
Janet looked at the girl, down whose cheeks silent tears were streaming. As she stood there, feeling helpless and angry, muffled sobs began to issue from beneath the gag. She knelt down to speak to the captive, placing one hand upon her shoulder.
"Look, sweetheart, it's like this. Just do what he says and you won't get hurt. All right?" She put as much compassion into her voice as she could.
The girl didn't reply, just went on sobbing. Janet stood up and left the room. Her face was solemn as she locked the door and began to descend the stairs.

Later on Colm drove some thirty miles out of Hartsbury, found a call box, and dialled a number the girl had given them.
"Mr Baines?"
"Yes, can I help you?"
"I expect you've been wondering what's happened to that lovely daughter of yours. Well, where she is now I'm afraid I can't tell you, but if you want to see her again you're gonna have to fix us up with some passes; the sort of thing that'll get us into the place where you work. You understand what I'm saying?"
There followed a long silence.
"Hey, are you there?" Colm snapped.
"You...you can't be serious, whoever you are. I...I don't believe you."
"No? Well you'd better start trying, Mister. Now listen. Tomorrow morning, round about eleven, you're gonna join us for a little chat. I'll tell you then what's expected of you." He gave details of the meeting place; it was a lonely spot a couple of miles outside the town, easy to find but not somewhere they were likely to be disturbed. "Take some time off work, pretend you're ill or something. I'm sure you'll think of an excuse.
“I don't suppose I need to tell you that if you go to the police, you won't be seeing her alive again. Do forgive me - I guess that's a bit of a cliche now, isn't it?
“Got everything, have you? Be there tomorrow or you'll be getting one of her ears through the post."
He replaced the receiver.
In his home, the girl's father slumped weakly into a chair, white-faced with shock. He'd always known there was a possibility something like this might happen; all the same, it was several minutes before he could collect his thoughts.
He couldn't possibly sacrifice his daughter's life. And he knew his superiors would forgive him if he didn't. But that would make no difference to the consequences of what he was being forced to do.
"May God forgive me," he murmured, burying his face in his hands. His wife came into the room. "Who was that on the phone, dear?" she asked nervously. She'd heard bits of the conversation and realised something was wrong. He wondered how best to break the news to her.

In the TARDIS, Benny was re-reading the section on Copthorne Wood in the pamphlet from the museum when the Doctor appeared from the laboratory. "It's crystalline in composition. Living - at least it was living, there's no activity there now - silicon, grown and engineered to perform a certain purpose. A component of some kind."
"Does that give us any clues to the mystery?"
"Unfortunately not," replied the Doctor. "It just makes it a little more mysterious, that's all."
"Doctor, what exactly is bugging you about this thing? Because it's obvious something is."
"I don't know what's bugging me," said the Doctor. "Maybe I'll find out in due course. I think I'll start by taking a look at the place myself."
The Brigadier still kept Bessie, the Doctor's Edwardian car, on the premises, in the hope that he might one day return to work for UNIT full-time; something which understandably annoyed Beckermann. Requisitioning her, they headed in a north-westerly direction towards their destination.
They found the holes in the ground gone, no doubt long obliterated by rain. For a few moments they stood looking around, the Doctor taking in the strange, unsettling atmosphere of the place. "Is there anything else we can do?" asked Benny.
"No," said the Doctor. "I've seen and heard enough. Let's get back."
"So, do we know now what exactly is going on here?" asked Benny as they walked back to the car.
"Not yet. But certain things will probably come back to me before too long." For once, the Doctor was not merely being his usual secretive self. A being who lived as long as he could not possibly remember all the experiences it had had, all the knowledge it had absorbed, all the time. Parts of his memory switched off, as it were, enabling others to be revived. But when something was sufficiently important, some feature of his Time Lord brain enabled him, after a while, to recollect all its details.

With his special pass, declaring him to be a Ministry of Defence official, Colm had had no trouble getting into the Combined Sciences Research Foundation. When the sentry at the gate rang the father of their hostage to check with him that the visitor was who his pass said he was, his identity was confirmed. His accent was no problem, since he'd had plenty of practice by now at disguising it.
He thought it might be useful, before he found a safe place to put the bomb and left, to spend half an hour or so looking around, to see what exactly the Brits were doing here. Because Colm did, to some extent, believe the place was a weapons research establishment. He needed to find out exactly where most of the work was going on; the nearer the bomb was to it, the more chance there'd be of wrecking it.
Coming upon the underground stairs, he descended them and found the laboratory. This area seemed to be the most intensely guarded, and his interest was aroused.
He saw the big metal door, on which was marked in red "TOP SECRET: ONLY PERSONNEL IN CLEARANCE CATEGORY A TO BE ADMITTED." Entering the room, he saw the scientists working at their benches, and the clutter of alien-looking equipment. He watched as one of the scientists picked up a strange-looking kind of gun, pointed it at a wooden target shaped to resemble a human figure, and pulled what was obviously the trigger. To his amazement the target glowed briefly, then appeared to vanish into thin air.
He shook his head and blinked, puzzled. What he'd just seen was some kind of illusion, surely, though what its purpose might be he was at a loss to guess. Intrigued, he went over and placed a hand in the spot where the dummy had been.
There was nothing there. Nothing at all. The gun had disintegrated it, blasted it clean out of existence. One of the technicians saw his astonishment and grinned.
Colm continued on his tour of the laboratory, awestruck. The next things he noticed were the Autons and Cybermen. Robots! The Brits were building robot soldiers! No, wait...they were dismantling them. Maybe they'd been tested and found not to work properly.
This was getting more and more fantastic by the minute.
Finally he entered the small room at the rear of the laboratory, stopping in amazement as he saw the alien bodies.
He stood motionless as realisation of what he'd stumbled on sunk in. Through his mind flashed thoughts of all the rumours there'd been about flying saucers and alien visitations, and, in partic-ular, the one about the Yanks capturing an alien together with its ship and keeping them at one of their army bases without telling anyone. He'd never considered there might be any truth in such stories.
It all seemed too much for him to take in. And yet it couldn't be some kind of elaborate hoax, a ruse to disguise the establishment's true purpose; the atomized dummy made that clear.
A thrilling possibility occurred to him. Obviously what one had here was a military technology far more advanced than anything else on Earth. If the Brits had been intending to use it against the IRA, as he now firmly believed was the case, then their plans were about to backfire disastrously.
He considered carefully how best to pull it off. The risks had to be faced, whatever they might be. This was too good an opportunity to lose. After a moment he returned to the main laboratory, went over to the workbench where the disintegrating weapon lay, and started to examine it. It was fairly easy to work out how to use; he'd seen the guy pull the trigger. Besides, he'd had plenty of experience in handling weapons, and a gun was a gun.
The scientist saw him examining the blaster, frowned, and made to stop him. "I'm sorry, I really don't think you should - "
Colm aimed the gun at him and fired. The man's body glowed and vanished. His colleague turned and saw Colm holding the weapon, but before he could react he too was blasted out of existence. Brilliant! No bodies to have to hide, no clues that anything was amiss. The way was clear.
Colm opened the briefcase and removed the box containing the bomb, concealing it behind a crate. It would be activated by remote control as soon as he'd reached a safe distance from the establishment.
Inside the briefcase he now placed the Ogron gun, along with anything else he could fit in - a few of the other weapons, and what looked like plans and diagrams showing how everything worked. Then he left.
It was unfortunate for Colm that shortly afterwards a colleague of the two missing scientists came in search of them, in connection with some professional matter or other. He saw no sign of them - and noticed that the Ogron blasters were missing too. With horror he realised what happened, and immediately sounded the alarm.
RSM Benton, currently in charge of security at the Foundation, organised a thorough search of the laboratory to determine whether anything else was missing. This led to the discovery of the bomb, fortunately just in time to defuse it.
Colm had just reached the gate when he heard the alarms go off. A policeman came out of the concrete blockhouse and approached him. "I'm sorry, Sir, I'll have to check your briefcase. Seems there's been some kind of incident."
"Oh come on, you surely don't think I..."
"I'm ninety-nine per cent certain you haven't, Sir," he grinned. "But I'd still like to be sure, if you don't mind."
Colm smiled. "You're right, of course." Before the man could make a move he had knelt down, put the briefcase on the ground and opened it. "Here, I'll do it for you..."
He brought out the Ogron gun and fired. The policeman's body exploded into nothingness. His colleague was momentarily frozen with horror, and before he could gather his wits he also had been blasted into oblivion.
Colm knew he had to abandon the car; the security barrier was constructed in such a way that attempting to crash a vehicle through it would result in a nasty shock. He ducked under the barrier and pelted down the road, more alarms ringing behind him. Veering to the right, he scrambled over a hedge and started to run across the field beyond.
While Warrant Officer Frank liaised with the police, Benton was on the phone to Lethbridge Stewart in London.
"He took one of those disintegrator guns and a Kraal neutron blaster. And a lot of plans and stuff."
"Priority Red One!" barked the horrified Brigadier. "Make sure the police know exactly what we're dealing with. I'm coming up there right away."
Lethbridge Stewart turned to his Number Two, Captain Michael Farmer, a handsome, solidly built young man with fair hair and, when on duty at any rate, a fanatically determined expression.
"Somehow I think the Doctor ought to be told about this. Where's that Space/Time telewhatever..."
At that very moment the Doctor and Benny came bursting into the office.
"Doctor! We've got an emergency on our hands." The Brigadier explained what had happened at the Foundation.
All thought of the mysteries of Copthorne Wood was superseded in the Doctor's mind by this new, and for the time being greater, emergency. "I suggest we fly, Brigadier. I take it you've still got my other car?"
"The one that looks like a flying saucer? I'm not going in that, Doctor." He wasn't sure whether the peculiar-looking vehicle was as ridiculous, or slightly less ridiculous, than taking Bessie.
"Come on, Lethbridge Stewart. Speed is of the essence. You want to avert a disaster, don't you?"
They hurried for the UNIT garages.

After crossing several more fields, Colm came upon a small farmhouse with a car parked outside it. He proceeded to requisition the vehicle from the farmer and his wife, who could see the disintegrator was some kind of weapon although it didn't look like any gun they'd ever seen. He killed them before driving off, of course, so they wouldn't report what had happened to the police. Keeping just within the speed limit, he took the main road in the direction of Hartsbury.
In the house, Janet was sitting in the living room, doing nothing, but looking extremely thoughtful. She kept on glancing upstairs, thinking uneasily about their captive.
The girl wasn't allowed to eat or drink, since that would have meant having to take the gag off. And despite the state of absolute terror she was in, which made it unlikely she would attempt to escape, Colm had been reluctant to let her use the toilet, eventually relenting on condition that Janet accompanied her and that she remained gagged and her hands bound. Janet had to perform most of the tasks involved in the operation for her, which she found embarrassing despite having had to do this kind of thing on several previous occasions. The girl probably found it just as bad.
She considered what the consequences might be if she did go to the authorities. They'd probably deal with her leniently, maybe let her off altogether. Not that there was really any need to give herself up; she could just make an anonymous phone call to the local police station. The problem was the possibility of reprisals from her own people (in so far as she could still call them that), particularly if Colm managed to avoid capture.
Just then she heard the car screech to a halt on the forecourt. Seconds later Colm was pounding furiously on the door. "We've got to get out, Janet. They're after us."
"You stupid sod! I knew something would go wrong."
"Stop frigging whingeing and grab that girl. She's gonna be our ticket out of here. And get the car ready."
"Where are we gonna go?"
"We've got to get out of this country and back home."
"What about Frankie?"
"We'll just have to leave him, won't we? If he's got any sense he'll keep his head and not do anything stupid. The risk is something we've got to take."
While Janet went upstairs to fetch their hostage, Colm swiftly gathered together all the stuff they would need for their journey, including their passports and anything which might provide clues as to where they were heading.
Janet came down the stairs, the bound girl in her arms. She carried her into the garage and laid her gently in the boot. Minutes later they were racing through the town's northern suburbs towards the junction with the M1.
The police seemed to be everywhere. People were being stopped, and their cars searched, entirely at random. Halting to ask a passer-by what was going on, they learned that the whole town, along with several of the nearby villages, had been cordoned off. "What are we going to do?" said Janet, almost hysterical. "They'll search everywhere, they're bound to find us in the end..."
"We'll just have to take a chance. Don't forget we've got a hostage."
"How are we doing for fuel?" Janet asked anxiously.
Colm glanced at the dashboard. "Oh shit," he snarled.

The Brigadier's office at the Foundation had been turned into an incident room. In it at that moment were Lethbridge Stewart, Bernice and the Doctor, Beckermann, Farmer and a Police Sergeant. "We think we know who's behind it," the latter was saying. "Some things we found in the car gave us valuable clues. It looks like an IRA unit."
The Brigadier groaned. "That's all we need."
"We've suspected there's been one operating in this area for quite a while. The leader is a chap called Kearney, Colm Kearney. Even by their standards he's a bit of a hard case. He doesn't always obey instructions from their General Council. Given them quite a few problems over the past few years, according to intelligence sources.
“You might be interested to know that in one of his previous incarnations Kearney controlled a lot of the organised crime in the Province, plus a lot of outwardly legitimate businesses. He's also wanted in the Irish Republic for a string of offences there. Now I can't be sure he didn't dump someone alive in an old car and then put it in one of those crusher things, as is rumoured, but... well, put it this way. It sounds like something from out of a bad thriller, but from some of the things we know he has done, I wouldn't absolutely discount it.”
Nor would I, thought the Doctor. Given Man's ingenuity and enthusiasm throughout the ages in devising cruel and unusual methods of execution and torture, he could quite believe the rumour.
The Brigadier shuddered, a vision in his mind of the man lying bound and helpless, struggling desperately to free himself from his fast-contracting world of metal. Probably something pretty vital would have snapped at an early stage in the proceedings, and the man if still alive would not have felt anything much afterwards; that didn't take away the horror of it. Had the man had a wife and family? He considered the insulting grotesqueness of being left with not a proper body of your loved one but a blood-spattered cube of compressed metal. Probably the man had been a criminal like Kearney, a rival or perhaps a double-crossing accomplice, but that made little difference to his feeling of revulsion.
The policeman's radio bleeped. "Yes?"
"Sarge, they've been spotted. Two people, a man and a woman. They've abandoned their car outside Copthorne Wood. Seems they ran out of fuel and decided to try and hide out in there for a while."
Bernice glanced at the Doctor. She was bound to be struck by the fact that this was the place whose strange history and atmosphere had lately been the cause of so much interest to them.
The Doctor had stiffened, and an intense look appeared on his expressive face. She could tell that frenzied activity was going on in his mind.
"The Response Team are on the spot and we've sealed the wood off. Trouble is, an eyewitness reported they had a hostage, a young girl. What do we do now?"
"Nothing until I get there. I'm coming over right away. Out."
He told the Brigadier what had happened. "Let's be going there, then," snapped Lethbridge Stewart. "Doctor, Professor Summerfield, Dr Beckermann..."
They all climbed into the police car, and set off in the direction of Copthorne Wood. Throughout the journey everyone was grimly silent.
Arriving at its destination, the car joined the cluster of other police vehicles, which included the vans containing the Response Team. A few yards away stood the farmer's car, abandoned now. One of the Sergeant's colleagues came over to greet them, and a conference began.
The Sergeant turned to the Brigadier. "About these weapons. I was thinking they might use them on us. How difficult are they going to make it for us to catch them?"
The Doctor was about to answer the question, but decided to let the Brigadier do it. If these matters were to be UNIT's responsibility and not his, they must be allowed to speak for themselves.
It was Beckermann, a large man with a lined face and a shock of grey hair, who spoke. "Not that difficult, Sergeant. For one thing there's just the two of them, not an entire army. If your men are any good at their jobs they'll stand just as much chance of hitting them, and of avoiding being hit, as if they were using conventional weapons. The only difference is that if anybody does get hit there may not be any bodies for their relatives to bury, depending on which of the weapons he decides to use. The real danger, as we've told you, lies in what might happen if they get away with them."
The possibility had occurred to Beckermann and Lethbridge Stewart that the IRA might use the stolen weapons in their military operations against the British. In addition, it had always been fairly certain they had contacts with other terrorist organis-ations, and with states that sponsored terrorism. It was therefore feasible the latter - people like Libya's Colonel Gaddafi - would get to acquire them too. And that was undoubtedly a frightening thought. Some of those people might have the resources to develop what Colm had stolen into something much more devastating.
The Doctor guessed and understood their fears, knowing what he did about Earth's geopolitical situation at this moment in its history. "Surely, they must realise we're never going to let them get away with them," said Farmer.
"You're probably right there," agreed the Sergeant. "In any case it's only a matter of time before we find them, though it'll probably be a long time. However there's one other problem I have to consider, and that's the girl they've taken hostage. At some point Kearney's bound to threaten to kill her if we don't call off the search."
"I don't like to say this, but there's a lot more at stake than just one life," said the Doctor quietly.
"Of course. But if the girl can be got out of it safely, it's my job to do that. I was thinking it might be possible to make a deal with him. There's no way we can let him escape with those weapons, but we might be able to get the girl back in exchange for giving him his freedom. I'm not happy about allowing a dangerous terrorist like him to go free, but..." He shrugged. "I can't see myself or anyone else being prepared to sacrifice the girl's life for anything less than the weapons."
"I don't think he'll go along with it unless he's allowed to take the girl with him," said Bernice. "He'll need a hostage until he's somewhere you aren't going to find him easily. Is he likely to harm her in any way?"
"He won't kill her, I don't think. But that isn't my only worry. Apart from the other things I told you about, Kearney has a history of rape...and the girl's not unattractive, from what I hear. As soon as he gets the chance, it's fairly certain he'll try to have his wicked way with her."
"A raped girl's better than a dead girl," said Lethbridge Stewart, with brutal but unassailable logic.
The Doctor had been grimly silent for the last few minutes, but now spoke. "Sergeant, I think I know how we can save that young lady and capture Kearney. But I'm not sure about certain details of my plan. Can you let me have a few minutes to think about it before you do anything?"
"What is it you've got in mind?" asked the policeman.
"You should find that out in good time...depending on what I decide." The Doctor turned, walked a few yards away from them, and stood in silent thought among the trees. The Sergeant stared at his back in astonishment.
The Brigadier smiled. "His ways are strange. But don't worry, I've worked with him for over twenty-five years and I'm certain he knows what he's doing."

The two terrorists and their captive, whose feet were now unbound so that she could walk, had nearly reached the hollow where the arms were kept. Janet carried the case with the weapons inside, while Colm held the shotgun, prodding the girl in the back with it from time to time as he forced her on. Despite the capabilities of the weapons he had stolen, he somehow felt happier with something more familiar in his hand.
He looked at the girl and felt the surge of lust within him. She was a dark-haired job, not unattractive, and, he reckoned, just old enough for what he wanted to do to her not to count as paedophilia (although his revulsion at such things was of a different kind from that which respectable members of society would feel). He'd had it in mind ever since they'd kidnapped her, but had resisted the temptation in case it caused problems on the eve of a vital operation. As soon as they were safely secreted somewhere...first he'd have to get Janet out of the way somehow, because despite the hold he exercised over her he wasn't sure if she'd stand by and let him rape another woman. (For a time she herself had served his sexual needs, but after a while had lost enthusiasm for their love-making, and for the sake of the cell's cohesion he'd decided not to cause any hassle by forcing himself on her). And then he'd have his fun.
But first, they needed to be sure they'd shaken off the police. Colm somehow felt that hiding out in the wood, where it wouldn't be easy for anyone to find them and they could be certain of remaining undetected for quite some time, was their best bet. He felt a lot safer that way. The hollow where the arms had been hidden could serve as a convenient place of concealment for people too, if necessary. They could rest there for a bit, have something to eat. Also, it would help to equip themselves with some more weapons. Sooner or later they'd have to try and make a break for it, and if it came to fighting it out with the police, who would outnumber them considerably, some of the stuff in the hollow might help to even the odds. And in the last resort there was always the girl.

If it was a question of the weapons, thought the Doctor, there was no doubt what he was contemplating would be right. But he couldn't see how the terrorist could avoid having to agree with the Ser-geant's plan. If he did the weapons would cease to be a factor. There would only be the girl.
In a way it seemed worse than risking her death. But that was illogical, surely? As a Time Lord, he should be adopting a more rational standard of morality.
But he understood how important sexuality was to humans, how much it could enrich their lives. The brutal violation of the young girl's body might scar her mind, perhaps permanently; it might destroy her ability to appreciate the delights of a normal physical relationship, creating fears and inhibitions which would ruin the quality of her life.
But hadn't what he'd done to Ace, in dragging her back to Gabriel Chase so she could face up to her past, so he could subject her to a cleansing, if traumatic, experience, been a form of rape, a rape of her psyche?
No, that was utter rubbish. There was no comparison between the two situations. Arguably, his treatment of Ace had been for her own good. And at the time he'd had strong doubts that he was doing the right thing.
The Sergeant had been looking on in amazement at his motionless figure. "So this is his way of making decisions, is it?"
"There's a lot about the Doctor that's odd, and aggravating," replied the Brigadier with a sympathetic smile. "But as I said, he knows what he's doing."
"Well, I can't wait for him to make his mind up any longer. I'm going to talk to Kearney." He made towards one of the vans, intending to fetch a loudhailer from it. But as he did so the Brigadier nudged him.
The Doctor had turned and was walking back towards them.
If anything disastrous does come out of this, it'll be their own fault as much as mine, he was thinking. They've got free will, and they're responsible for the consequences of their own decisions.
"Sergeant, there's a certain place where you have to meet Kearney if the plan is going to work. Do you have a large-scale map of the wood?"
The Sergeant produced the folded-up map from his pocket. The Doctor inspected it, then took out a pen and drew a circle around a small part of the wood. "That's where it is. Don't ask me why I'm telling you to do this. With any luck you should have the answer in due course."
"All the same I think I'd like to know more," said the policeman sceptically.
"I can't tell you more," the little man replied. "And I can't tell you why I can't tell you."
"I see," grunted the Sergeant. "All right then. But I just hope you know what you're doing."
"Do you want any help?" asked the Brigadier.
The policeman shook his head. "It's got to be just me. More than one person on the spot, and he may get panicky and start shooting." He turned to his colleague, PC Dickinson. "OK Bob, you can start the search now. But don't go too close to the centre of the wood. Just make sure that wherever Kearney is he can hear the dogs."
The Sergeant fetched the loudhailer and hurried off into the trees.
"Can you tell us what you're up to, Doctor?" asked the Brigadier. Receiving no reply, he looked round. They realised the Doctor was nowhere to be seen.
"Where the hell is he?" snapped Beckermann.
"I think I know," replied the Brigadier. "He's gone to the rendezvous point. Go after him, Mike, I don't want him to come to any harm. He's too valuable to us. If there's anything you can do without causing Kearney to shoot him, do it." Farmer nodded briskly, and moved off.
"I'm going too," said Benny, and made to follow the Captain.
The Brigadier shook his head. "That wouldn't be wise. You heard what that Sergeant said, and he was right. There are already going to be two more people on the scene than is really preferable. I just hope the Doctor does know what he's about."

The Doctor had decided that the need to see for himself what happened outweighed the dangers his presence on the scene might cause. He made his way cautiously through the wood towards the spot he'd marked on the Sergeant's map. He was finding his way quite easily, his phenomenal memory recalling every part of the wood from his previous visit. His small size diminished the chances of his making a noise and alarming the terrorists, but he'd better take care not to do so all the same.

The Sergeant stood surrounded by clinging, unnaturally dense vegetation, and illuminated by a weird unearthly light.
He raised the loudhailer and spoke into it, knowing his voice would carry to every part of the wood. "Kearney, I'm sure you can hear me. You obviously know the power of the weapons you have stolen. You must realise we're never going to let you get away with them. The wood is surrounded and my lads are all over it. You can hear the dogs, can't you?" The barking was now clearly audible from where he stood.
He hesitated before saying his next words, wondering what their effect might be on the terrorist's captive. "If you kill the girl, it only means you'll have another murder to your credit, when we eventually catch you, and society another reason for despising you. You'll achieve nothing by it. Now I'm going to make you a deal. Give us back her and the weapons, and I can call off my men and let you go."
He lowered the hailer and waited for the terrorists to respond. He thought he heard someone shout something, but couldn't be certain. I'll give him half an hour, he decided.
In another part of the wood, Colm and Janet were in the act of checking over the contents of the arms dump, making sure nothing had been disturbed, when they heard the Sergeant's voice.
They considered the implications of the situation they now found themselves in. No amount of bombs and guns would help them now. Even if they threatened to blow up the whole wood and everybody in it, there was no way they'd be allowed to escape to freedom with what they'd stolen.
When the deadline he'd set was almost up, the Sergeant heard a harsh, unpleasant voice calling out to him.
"I heard you, pal. All right, I'll give you back the weapons. But not the girl, she's my ticket out of this country. You try to follow me and she's dead."
"I guess that's all I can expect. OK, I'll guide you to me with the hailer."
Not far away, the Doctor heard these words and hurried on towards his destination. Captain Farmer heard them too, and made in the direction the Sergeant's voice had come from.
The Sergeant waited for ten minutes or so, tense and anxious, before foliage rustled and Colm, Janet and their captive came into view. The two men faced each other.
"Throw your gun away," snapped the terrorist.
The policeman hesitated, then told himself the whole strategy would be blown if he didn't comply with the request. The gun fell with a soft plop into a bush.
"Now call off the dogs like you said." The Sergeant gave the instruction into his radio, and they waited while the barking receded into the distance.
Kearney put down the box containing the weapons, and backed slowly away. "We'll get you bastards in the end, I promise you," he snarled.
The denseness of the foliage meant that even a small man like the Doctor found it hard to avoid making a noise as he moved closer to where the voices of Kearney and the Sergeant had come from. The Irishman heard the rustle of leaves and whirled round, letting go of the girl who slumped weakly to the ground. He forced himself to calm his nerves. For all he knew, the sound could have been made by some kind of animal.
But it would be as well to make sure. "Come on out!" he barked, aiming the shotgun at the spot from which the noise had emanated. "Come on out, or I'll shoot!"
Slowly the Doctor emerged, his hands raised and a terrified expression on his face.
"And just who the fuck are you?" hissed the terrorist.
"I…was out for a walk and got lost," replied the Doctor shakily, pretending to be just a harmless and frightened little man. "I don't know what this is about, I promise. Please, let me go."
Hearing the voices of Kearney and the Doctor, Farmer drew his gun and moved stealthily in search of their owners. Finding a gap in the thick vegetation, he slipped carefully through it.
It sounded as if they were only a few yards away now. His uniform blended in well with the trees, giving him valuable camouflage. And his military training had told him all he needed to know about the importance of stealth, and how to achieve it, in situations like these. But even so, the risk of discovery could never be entirely eliminated. As he moved as close as he reckoned was safe, listening carefully to what the voices were saying so he could work out what was going on, something, a branch or a twig, snapped beneath his boot.
Kearney's nerves snapped too. He spun round and fired, all doubt that he had been deceived now dispelled. The Doctor took advantage of the distraction and hurled himself at the terrorist, grappling with him and trying to wrench the shotgun from his grasp. To the Sergeant he seemed to exert astonishing strength for a man of his small size. Janet hovered uncertainly at the edge of the clearing, trying to work out which way things would go, and whether she should seize the chance to make a break for it and cut herself free from Colm and the IRA, hopefully for good.
The Sergeant knew there was no time to try and locate his gun. As he made to help the Doctor, Kearney flung the latter away. Aware of the Sergeant lunging towards him, the terrorist turned to face the policeman, bringing the shotgun to bear on its target.
On hearing the crack of the branch breaking, Captain Farmer had instinctively thrown himself flat on the ground. At the same time, Kearney's nerves had affected his aim. The bullets had riddled the vegetation around him, leaving him unharmed. Hearing the sounds of struggle, he forced his way through it and ran to help. He took in the scene, and knew he had only a second or two to save the Sergeant's life.
His gun came up, but in the event neither he nor Kearney fired.
In the heat of the moment, none of them had felt a strange tingling in the air, as if it were charged with electricity. A warbling noise, which somehow sounded partly natural and partly artificial in origin, filled the clearing and Kearney's body was surrounded by a yellowish light. He turned this way and that, puzzlement and fear in his face, trying to work out what was happening.
The onlookers had an impression of something vague and formless, resembling a cloud of greyish vapour, leaving Colm's body. For a moment it hovered in the air before him, then began to solidify, at the same time taking on a definite shape.
Colm's eyes widened, bulging from their sockets in terror, and his face turned the whitest possible shade of pale. A foul stench assailed their nostrils as the terrorist lost control of his bladder and bowels. He staggered backwards, the shotgun falling from his trembling hand.
In the clearing with them was a...
A Thing.
It most closely resembled an enormous spider, as big as a man if not considerably bigger. But its body appeared to be carried in a vertical position, on four, three, maybe even two - it was difficult to tell which - of its eight limbs. Some species of spider, when asserting their mating rights, throw themselves back on several of their legs and wave the others threateningly in the air to ward off their rivals. The effect was rather like this, except that the creature was actually walking on the former. With a hissing, slithering noise it advanced towards Colm.
The creature was hideous, thought Farmer. It wasn't the black, hair-covered body and bulbous abdomen, or the long, waving limbs which repelled him most about it. The most terrifying part of a spider's anatomy, although not often commented upon because it is normally seen in detail only through a microscope, or in a blown-up photograph in a book, is its face. It is more repulsive in some species than in others; this one's was just as bad as any of those. Farmer shuddered at the domed head with its cluster of black, glinting, pupil-less eyes - four large ones grouped together in the centre of the noseless visage, with four smaller ones arranged in a row above them. In their unblinking stare was absolute evil, evil in its most concentrated and frightening form. Beneath them great curved mandibles worked hungrily.
Colm let out an appalling scream of sheer terror and ran. Fran-tically, his fingers clawed at the thick foliage, struggling to clear a way through, but it refused to yield, and his efforts only succeeded in entangling him further in it.
With a rushing sound, the creature fell upon him and grasped him with the serrated claw on one of its forelimbs, pulling him round. Colm screamed again as he found himself staring directly into the hideous face. The forelimbs pounded at his body with all the proportionate strength of a man-sized spider. Then they folded around it, drawing him towards the gnashing mandibles. It now hid Kearney from the onlookers, but they could see those terrible jaws working furiously.
Recovering from the initial shock of seeing the monster, Farmer dashed across to where the girl lay quivering with fear. He picked her up in a fireman's lift and carried her away from the thing in the clearing.
The Doctor was staring at the creature in horrified fascination.
The Sergeant was about to radio his colleagues for help, though what they could do when they got there he wasn't quite sure. But as he took out his radio the creature's shape blurred and vanished, the alien sound dying away at the same time. An eerie kind of silence descended on the clearing.
Glancing at Colm, they saw him for a moment as a heap of mangled, bloody flesh, unrecognisable as a human being. In the next, though, he appeared alive and unmarked. He sat there in a pool of his own faeces and urine, curled up in as tight a ball as was possible, with his hands clasped to his face. His body shook uncontrollably and he whimpered like a lost puppy.
The Sergeant could tell the matter was finished. He spoke into the radio. "Tell the Chief it's all over, Bob. I've got him. The girl's OK too, but probably suffering from shock. Get an ambulance over here, will you?"
He rounded savagely on the Doctor. "What the bloody hell did you think you were doing? You nearly ruined everything!"
"I had to see what happened," the little man replied. "For the same reason that you mustn't speak to anyone about this. The reason is itself part of the secret."
Sergeant Roger Wyman, as he was now, stared at the Doctor for a few moments, then nodded. Still reeling from what he had seen, he didn't bother questioning the other's words. "Well...as long as it took care of our friend here, I guess that's all that matters. I suppose you can't say what that creature was?"
"You suppose correctly. It's like those weapons...a dangerous secret the world isn't ready to know yet."
Wyman turned his attention to the former hostage, who in the shocked and terrified state she'd been in since her initial kidnapping didn't appear to have seen the spider-creature. He untied and ungagged the girl, comforting her as she began to sob. The Doctor and Farmer tended to Janet, who was in a similar state of shock to Colm. Then Wyman handcuffed the two terrorists, more as a matter of course than anything else, and the little group began to make its way out of the wood.
Wyman began slowly to collect his thoughts. It had not escaped his attention that the place where the Doctor had told him to meet Kearney was also the place he had become so closely interested in after hearing from Chief Inspector Paynter about the Bateson Case. He had himself considered whether the forces which apparently inhabited this part of the wood might be harnessed to capture the terrorist, but he'd banished the notion from his mind, thinking that if he started basing strategies for catching criminals on the supernatural his colleagues would question his sanity, probably leading to his dismissal from the force.
But evidently there was something very out of the ordinary in Copthorne Wood, and somehow the mysterious Doctor knew about it. But what was it? What was the explanation for the things he had seen? And why was it so important that he keep the matter secret?
On the way back to the Foundation Lethbridge Stewart questioned the Doctor about the events in the wood.
"So what was that thing? What exactly happened back there?"
"Have you ever wondered, Brigadier, what evil would look like if it had a physical form?"
The Brigadier found the thought made him shudder. "Something not very nice, I expect."
"Is that what that thing was, then?" asked Benny.
The Doctor nodded. "About a million years ago, this planet was visited by a humanoid race called the Skax. They were attempting to colonise it - I think the object we found in the wood was from some kind of permanent structure, not a spacecraft - but for some reason they failed, and the installation in Copthorne Wood was abandoned.
“The Skax were renowned criminologists. They were always trying to find new ways of fighting crime. At some point they decided that the best way to combat evil in people, to make the wicked see the error of their ways, was to give their evil side a physical form and then turn it against them. Only then could one bring home to them what a terrible thing it was, and how nasty for other people to experience. So they built machines for that purpose. There was one in the settlement at Copthorne, and it got left behind when they abandoned Earth. Although over the millennia it got deeply buried in the ground, it remained more or less functional, and when someone with a high enough level of evil in them came within range of its influence, it was triggered off. I don't know if it was always meant to work like that, or whether it malfunctioned in some way."
"The mind parasite inside the Keller machine," said Beckermann. "It could frighten someone to death by making them think they were drowning...and in doing so actually produced the physical symptoms of drowning. When you consider that kind of thing, it certainly seems feasible. This machine's powers are just an extension of what the mind parasite could do."
"So all the strange stories about the place," began Bernice. "The sound Waddell heard…
"The voice of a spider. Something an inhabitant of twentieth century Earth wouldn't normally get to hear."
"But the machine couldn't have transformed something like that into a physical form, surely?" objected the Brigadier. "I thought it wasn't possible for spiders and things like that to grow anywhere near as big as the creature you saw. Something to do with having their skeleton on the outside, and the way they breathe, isn't it?"
"Many scientists think it's at least feasible giant arthropods existed on this planet at some time in its prehistory," replied the Doctor. “Or will do so in its future. Whatever was within the range of physical possibilities, the machine could do."
"So that's what evil would look like, is it...a spider?"
"Well, spiders seem hideous and threatening to humans, so…I suppose there are other images the machine could have chosen. For some reason it seems to have gone for this one."
"But why are we still sealing off the wood? I don't see that the machine's so dangerous. I mean, if it makes the bad sorts see the error of their ways...all in all, it sounds like a jolly good thing to me."
"It is not a good thing!" the Doctor exploded. "It is an extremely bad thing! It's more dangerous than a billion Cybermen, or Axons, or Autons! Or Kraals or Zygons! Or Daleks or Krynoids! Or even Sutekhs or Fenrics!"
Beckermann looked at him oddly, wondering whether perhaps he'd gone mad. The Doctor calmed down, realising some of the names he was rattling off wouldn't mean anything to the others. "Brigadier, have you still got the Space/Time telegraph I gave you before I left UNIT?"
"Of course."
"When they decide what's going to happen to that Kearney fellow, I want you to contact me with it. I won't be anywhere where anything serious is likely to happen to me. In the meantime, make sure nobody apart from us knows what's in the wood, except for those people you have to tell as a matter of procedure. The site must be excavated and the machine, along with anything else you find there, taken back to UNIT and kept there for good. And I mean for good."

At his trial, Kearney was entirely cooperative and gave no trouble whatsoever. He said nothing that wasn't absolutely necessary, and his manner was nervous and withdrawn. No more drastic change from the arrogant villain he'd been before could possibly be imagined.
For his various crimes he received the equivalent of a life sentence. He accepted his fate without protest.
Janet didn't appear to have been affected by events in the wood in the same way as Kearney. She too was sentenced to life imprisonment, on account of her part in a number of previous IRA operations some of which had resulted in deaths. It was felt however that her behaviour since her arrest, which indicated a genuine renunciation of terrorism, would probably secure a reduction of the sentence at some point.
Shortly after Kearney began his sentence at one of the country's largest maximum security prisons, the Doctor and Lethbridge Stewart paid a visit there. Benny had decided instead to explore the archaeology of a particularly interesting planet in the Magra System.
The Brigadier explained to the prison authorities that they needed, for reasons connected with the nature of their work, and which must remain a secret, to glean some details of Kearney's behaviour since he had been with them. It was suggested they should have a word with the Roman Catholic Chaplain, who since Kearney's arrival there had seen more of him than anyone else, in his office.
The Chaplain was a grey-haired, scholarly-looking man in his fifties. They found him intelligent and perceptive, though rather melancholy at times. It seemed the cause of the latter quality was the refusal of the greater part of society to embrace Christian doctrine or values, and the awful catastrophe which would therefore overtake them at some unspecified time in the future.
"He's given no trouble at all," the Chaplain told them. "Spends most of his time in the chapel, reading the Bible. Doesn't like to leave it in fact. Never gets into squabbles with the other prisoners, and he's always willing to lend a hand with anything that needs doing. His mind is completely free of wickedness. I might add that all his interest in politics, if that's the polite way to describe his involvement in terrorism, has disappeared. That's about all I can say."
The Doctor was silent for a moment. "You'll have been told we're from UNIT," the Doctor went on. "That we investigate...things beyond conventional understanding. Now, you seem to be a fairly intelligent sort of chap, so I sure you'll be open-minded about what I'm about to say. And as a priest, you'll be bound to respect confidentiality. I want to know whether you think the change in Kearney is a positive thing. I'm asking because your job means you'll have a particular understanding of...moral issues. After all, they ought to be an important part of theology. And something tells me your opinions on the subject will be particularly pertinent." He went on to tell the Chaplain what they had seen in Copthorne Wood, and what it meant. "Are you prepared to accept the truth of what I'm saying?"
The Chaplain smiled. "Well, the Pope did once say there were intelligent life forms on other planets, and we ought to go out and convert them to Christianity...I must say I've never seen any reason why the existence of such things should be incompatible with my faith. After all, the Bible doesn't say they don't exist. No, I can accept what you say. However I'm not convinced what you've found in the wood is a good thing."
"It was a traumatic business for the subject, or for those who witnessed it," said Lethbridge Stewart. "But I can't help wondering how society might benefit if we could find out how to use the machine ourselves. I'd have liked to use it on Sutcliffe, or the Moors murderers, and seen them go through what Kearney did. Or people like Hitler..."
"I'm not sure I could approve of that," said the Chaplain. "Quite apart from the unsettling effects it has on the subject, there's another consideration involved, though I'm not sure you could fully appreciate it unless you were believers. You're not - are you?" He glanced keenly from one of his visitors to the other.
The Brigadier nodded, but looked rather uncomfortable at the question. The service family from which he came had been very much a part of the "Establishment", embracing religion basically out of veneration for tradition, and because the outward forms of it, at least, seemed essential in a civilized society, besides giving one a vague feeling of wellbeing. It had no other relevance, as far as they could see, to the human condition, and should be kept distinct from most other areas of human conduct. He'd never really questioned such attitudes. Occasionally, when faced with someone who, like the Chaplain, really believed in it, that made him feel a bit guilty. Perhaps, since he wasn't getting any younger, it was time to think about changing his ways...
"I am what I am," said the Doctor quietly. The Chaplain appeared perplexed by this; he glanced at the Brigadier, but Lethbridge Stewart's face was impassive.
"Do carry on," said the Time Lord.
"These aliens could not have understood anything of Christian doctrine, or had any experience of it. If they had, they would have realised that becoming a Christian, responding positively to Jesus' message and taking it up, has to be through choice. Otherwise it's meaningless; it reflects no credit on the part of the convert. If we don't do it of our own free will - if we couldn't have chosen otherwise - then we cannot be considered worthy of salvation."
“What affected Kearney more than anything else about his experience was the knowledge that in a sense this...spider-thing, this monstrous creature he saw before him, was him. How could anyone, the idea having been implanted in them that that was what they carried about inside them, ever act in an evil fashion again? There's a demon in all of us and it comes out whenever we're angry, or feel hatred towards something, or harbour evil in our souls. It's there beside us, throwing back its head and roaring, and raking the air with its claws, although we never see it.
"Made aware of the true nature of the horror within him, Kearney could not possibly have acted wickedly again, because to do so would be to place himself in that demon's power; more than that, to become it. And, unable otherwise to live with the knowledge of what he harboured inside him and seeking to escape from it, he turned to Christ as the only true protection against it - the vanquisher of evil, and a source of supreme Good. Like most people he probably had a rudimentary idea of what Christianity was about, although he had never as an adult subscribed to its teachings, and that would have helped. It's a common occurrence among people who have done evil and suffered from it in some way. And in this case the shock was so profound that its consequence, the identification with Christianity, was correspondingly more far-reaching. He's totally unable to countenance a remotely unChristian thought or act, or to bring himself to doubt the truth of the Bible. His Christianity is solely due to an experience he did not seek and which has made him constitutionally incapable, I believe, of contemplating any other way of life. And that will always be the case, because he's never likely to forget what happened to him." The Chaplain described how Kearney saw spidery shadows on the wall of his cell at night, and went into screaming hysterics. "All element of choice is absent from it. Kearney isn't saved; he's merely a pathetic figure, pathetic because he can't do anything else. I'm sorry for his sake that his conversion should have happened in this way. Some theologians might disagree with what I'm saying, but...well, I'd just feel happier if it was something he'd done on his own account." He smiled apologetically at them. "I'm preaching to you, I suppose. Do forgive me.
"If the aliens tried their process on every member of their species, in order to create a perfect society - I can see how they might have been tempted to do so - any Christian mission which came to their planet would have been wasting its time. That's why I earnestly hope no more of these things are found, and that they don't manage to get the machine working. There are already enough people who, if they ever become Christians, will do so for the wrong reasons. They refuse to seriously consider it until they are growing old and heading for death, or some catastrophe seems about to overwhelm the world; in such circumstances conversion would be predictable, not commendable. The Almighty won't be impressed, I can tell you. That's how it'll be on the Day of Judgement."
He sank once more into uncommunicative gloom, and it was in this frame of mind that they left him.

The Brigadier and the Doctor were some way into their journey back to London when Lethbridge Stewart spoke. "Well, Doctor, what do you reckon we've learned from that?"
The Doctor paused before saying what he wanted to say, choosing his precise words with care.
"You'll remember, of course, a little matter concerning some Silurians?"
The Brigadier nodded. "Yes, Doctor," he said quietly. "I remember."
The Doctor coughed. "I don't suppose you like to be reminded of it, however you may feel about it now. All I'll say is this. I thought at the time, and I still do think, that you were in the wrong. You're well aware of that. What happened was bad for two reasons; because you shouldn't have blown them up, and because you deceived me as to your true intentions. I'm not sure which was worse."
"Well, the United Nations is supposed to value and protect all races. I suppose that includes reptile men as well as humans. Don't think I've learned nothing from you in all the time we've known each other. But why are you bringing this up again, might I ask?"
"Because now, more than at any time in the past, I need to trust you."
"What would I want to deceive you about this time?" said the Brigadier crossly. "It isn't something to do with that machine, by any chance?"
The Doctor nodded. "It's vital it stays exactly where it is; that nobody ever touches it. You must make absolutely sure of that. It is the most dangerous thing we've ever had to deal with. And I'm worried that someone will try to touch it.
“Your planet is at this moment going through a grave crisis. All sorts of things are going wrong. One of the most serious problems is the rising crime rate in Western countries, as population growth gets out of control, and numbers make you more and more aggressive. The politicians can't do anything about it. Frustration, and revulsion at the ever more unpleasant forms crime is taking, will drive people to attempt more and more severe measures. That trend is already starting."
"You mean abolishing the right to silence, and that sort of thing?"
"Yes. And there's worse to come - much worse. At some time in the future, I'm certain someone will seek to use that machine, assuming they know of its existence, as a weapon against what they consider to be evil.
“And the machine is the deadliest weapon it's possible to imagine. Not just to those it's used against, but those who use it...to everyone on this planet, in fact. In developing it, the Skax made a terrible mistake. They thought they were doing their society the greatest possible good. In fact they destroyed themselves, morally and spiritually...and they would have done the same to everyone else in the universe, if plague and famine hadn't wiped them all out. That chaplain was right about one thing. If goodness is to be goodness - to be something indescribably wonderful, the greatest thing in creation - it must come from the heart. People must be good because they choose to be good, not because they aren't able to act otherwise. If it isn't there for the right reasons, it'll be debased forever. That would be worse, or as bad, as the triumph of evil...as if the Daleks or the Cybermen had taken over the whole universe. You don't have to bring religion into the matter to understand what I'm saying.
“Whatever Kearney was, whatever he'd done, he had the right to decide for himself whether to follow the path of evil or the path of good...and so ennoble himself if he chose the latter. The same with Bateson, Hurnett and everybody else. Lethbridge Stewart - if people should try to use that machine as I think they will, and succeed, then all our battles will have been lost. Everything you and I have ever fought for will be utterly destroyed.
“It's not only the terrorists and the criminals, the Fascists and the racists, who harbour negative thoughts and do negative things...who sin, as our clerical friend back there would probably put it. It's all of us, at some time or another. I'm not convinced the machine won't start to affect all the negative impulses, not just the strongest ones, particularly if someone actually wants that to happen or doesn't take care with it...and if it does, human society will become morally impoverished. It may have other side effects as well, probably of an unpleasant kind.
“I ought to take it with me in the TARDIS, and drop it in the heart of a supernova. But I don't...because it's time humanity and I learned to trust each other. I'm taking a terrible, terrible risk there. Of course, you may disagree with me...in fact I'm sure you do, going by what you've said so far about the machine and its merits.
“You had a right to deceive me over the Silurians, because in a sense you were my superior officer. And now, of course, I'm just someone who helps out occasionally. The real issue is whether your true intentions were just, and sensible."
After a long time the Brigadier spoke.
"Well, don't forget I'll be retiring in a year or two's time...and I can't bind my successors. But if what you're afraid of does happen, it won't be because of me. This may surprise you, Doctor, but I agree entirely with what you've been saying."
Certain things the Chaplain had said, coupled with the Doctor's words just then, had had a profound effect upon him.
The Doctor smiled, sensing his sincerity. "Then that is all I can ask of you." He felt a wonderful sense of having achieved something.
After a while, though, he grew sombre and uncommunicative. It was the Brigadier who eventually broke the resulting silence.
"Do you think you made the right decision in that wood?" he asked.
"I don't know, Alastair," sighed the Doctor. "I really don't know. It's often like that."

Roger Wyman was among the group of people who stood watching as the prisoner was led handcuffed into the plain, white-walled room, looking bewildered and apprehensive. He was made to sit in the chair, and fastened into it by thick straps around his wrists and ankles. Electrodes leading from the machine, which stood directly opposite him at the other end of the room, were attached to his head. The machine was a weird-looking affair; it was made entirely out of the yellow crystalline material, and resembled a bizarre-looking tree in appearance, its branches forming intricate and convoluted shapes. A white-coated orderly operated the control panel which had been built into it since its discovery, and it began to emit its warbling sound.
"Could you all leave the room now, please," asked the prison doctor.
"This is common procedure whenever we use the machine," he told Wyman as those who had been invited to observe the process filed out. "Only the prisoners themselves are ever affected by it."
I'm not particularly bothered about it on their behalf, thought Wyman.
The guests were led down several corridors to a waiting area; there they would be unable to hear the appalling screams which would shortly issue from inside the room.
"How many times have you used it?" Wyman asked the doctor.
"Only once before. It certainly worked then. Chap who nearly beat his wife to death. I don't think he'll ever do anything like that again. To be honest, it seems silly, and wrong, to keep him in prison any longer, except for his own safety.
"Yes," he went on, "We thought it was only fitting you should be invited to this demonstration, after the important part you played in bringing this matter to light. You've done everyone a great service. As you'll probably know, there was some resistance to the idea. But with the fabric of society breaking down everywhere...I'm just glad we've finally found a way to teach the rapists and the murderers a lesson. If we can do it without hanging them, it's got to be a good thing. And they become useful members of society, don't they?"
After a couple of minutes he glanced at his watch. "Should be safe to go back now." They returned to the Processing Room, and a warder unlocked the door.
The prisoner was just as Kearney had been in the wood: pale and trembling, and staring ahead with a terrible look of fear on his face. His teeth chattered uncontrollably. The straps were unfastened, the electrodes removed, and the man helped from the chair and out of the room. The handcuffs were not replaced.
Wyman nodded. "Yes...it certainly works all right. I was worried about the possibility of others besides the subject being affected, but that doesn't seem to be a problem."
"That's right. The process only affects those with evil in their hearts." He grinned. "I'm sure people like you and me don't have to worry about it."

"I see," said the State Department official. "So we smuggle one of these things into Iraq and somehow get to use it on Saddam Hussein. He sees himself as some horrible thing or other, gets a bit of a shock and becomes a real nice guy; stops knocking the Kurds about, doesn't try to invade Kuwait ever again, and abandons his nuclear weapons programme." He sounded rather sceptical about the idea. He now realised why British Intelligence had been more secretive about this new scheme of theirs than even the nature of their profession inevitably entailed. If they'd said precisely what it was at the outset, it was a pretty safe bet his people would merely have laughed at them.
"It sounds a bit far-fetched, I know," smiled the Foreign Office Minister. "But the device can be perfected. All I need to know is whether you're prepared to help us in doing it. Right now, the world needs something like this more than ever. I mean, there's no doubt people like Saddam, and Gaddafi, are evil. And evil is just what this machine is designed to destroy."
The American nodded. "They're evil, all right. But...I mean, you people obviously believe this thing can be made to work..." He turned and gazed thoughtfully out of the window. "I'm just not sure that I do."
"You've already seen how it works among individual criminals." Both Britain and the United States now used the Skax machine as part of penal reform schemes. "It should be possible to build a larger version of the machine, with an influence that can cover a much wider area - such as the whole of Iraq. We'd be sure of hitting Saddam then."
"How long will it take to do that?" asked the man from Washington. He felt a certain enthusiasm for the machine begin to grow in him, countering his misgivings about it.
"A few years. Possibly, Saddam won't be a problem by the time it's finished; he may have been overthrown, or gone on another trouble-making spree and been really clobbered by us and our allies. The other big troublemakers we can't be sure about. But there'll always be a Hitler type here or there...until our machine gets to work on them, that is."

The night after his visit to the prison, Roger Wyman had a vivid and terrifying dream. A man had been arrested in connection with a particularly nasty case in which a child had been sexually abused, and it had fallen to him to interview the suspect. The man had exploited his rights to the full, refusing to say a single word or to co-operate in any way. Wyman felt sure he was guilty, and began to lose his temper. He shouted, swore, pounded the table and all but struck the man.
In the end he was forced to suspend the interview and go to the men's washrooms to cool down. As he walked down the corridor he realised people were cringing away from him in terror.
The washroom had only one mirror, of the large kind that took up most of the wall. Catching sight of himself in it, he recoiled in horror. The reflection's body and limbs were human, but the head was that of an enormous spider.



THE LOGIC OF EMOTIONS

Whether intelligences without emotion, such as the Cybermen or the Borg from Star Trek, can possibly exist is an interesting philosophical question. Unfortunately, a completely unemotional intelligence is so difficult for us to conceive of that unless one
actually is possible, and we happen to meet it, we have no way of
being able to answer that question. However, my own reflections on the matter suggest to me that if there is an answer at all, it is most likely to be no. This article is an attempt to explain why, taking the Cybermen as a case in point.
There seems to be plenty of evidence from the TV series that the Cybermen are not as emotionless as they would have others believe.
In Earthshock, Revenge of the Cybermen and The Five Doctors they frequently express emotional concepts; for example they have enough pride to refer to themselves as warriors. The outstanding case of emotional behaviour on their part is found in Revenge where, among other things, they tie up the Doctor and Sarah and leave them to perish on Nerva beacon which they have loaded with bombs and set to crash into the planet Voga. This is sadistic more than anything else. Its value as evidence against the Cybermen's being truly emotionless lies in its manifestly not serving the Cyber cause and in fact positively working against it. Given the Cybermen's overwhelming need, since they can no longer reproduce biologically (having divested themselves of both their physical bodies and the urge to have sex), to maintain and increase their numbers through conversion of organic life forms, it would have been far more sensible for them to have Cybernised the two humanoids. And of course if they'd done that, or just shot the Doctor, they'd have avoided their subsequent problems with him and would now be well on the way to becoming masters of the universe!
These things must be the result primarily of bad scripting or characterisation, so obvious is their incompatibility with everything else we know about the Cybermen. But if one has to find explanations for them in terms of the developing mythology of the fictional series, as is necessary in order to make them seem less excruciating, what would those explanations be?
Where the Nerva incident concerned, the only conclusion must be that some residual emotion had got out of control; a properly functioning Cyberman would not normally behave in such a way. It is true that a similar incident occurs in Earthshock (one of several striking similarities between that story and Revenge!), where Adric, Briggs and Berger are left with two Cyberguards on a freighter which has been programmed to crash into the Earth, but this is for the purpose of studying human reactions to stress, no doubt in case the knowledge gathered proves useful in some way to the Cyber cause.
In other instances where the Cybermen appear emotional, displaying such qualities as anger, hatred, cruelty or exultation, either it is intended to frighten human enemies and so ensure their submission (as in Steve Lyons' Missing Adventures novel Killing Ground), or is because the intensity with which the Cyber cause, if that cause is important enough to its followers, is pursued must inevitably lead to something analogous to, but not necessarily identifiable with, emotion, at moments equally of success and frustration (as suggested by David Banks in his excellent Cybermen book). These instances do not prove the Cybermen ultimately to be emotional beings; what does, in the end, is a philosophical study of the nature of emotion and of the mind.
An intelligent life form whose brain, or brain-equivalent, was functioning rationally would orientate its behaviour around some kind of purpose. Our own example, which is the only one we have to go by, suggests that the pursuit of happiness, in whatever form, is the only purpose there could possibly be to life. Although history has known many people who have wreaked havoc and caused misery on a massive scale in order to satisfy their negative emotions, there has never been anyone who has consciously tried to eradicate emotion altogether, whether from their own life or the lives of others. There are undoubtedly people who lack humour, and sometimes seek to deny others the opportunity to experience pleasure; these people, however, act in the way they do because they have been unsuccessful at achieving happiness. There is usually some sort of psychological trauma at the root of their behaviour. It is conceivable that some individuals, if they were particularly perverse, might seek to eradicate emotion from society out of spite because it would make for a dull and uninteresting existence, but we would still be talking about an attempt to satisfy an emotion, albeit a negative one (i.e cruelty). And a sadist wouldn’t want to erase feeling from others because then he couldn’t make them suffer and so get his kicks.
Similarly, if the Cybermen pursue the way of logic because it has
for them a kind of beauty (as it does to many human philosophers),
or because they think they will be happier without the hang-ups and stress emotions cause, then their ultimate motive is still emotional, whatever they might say.
For ourselves, and I believe any other intelligent life forms which may exist in the cosmos, reason is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end. That end is the gratification of emotion (hopefully of a positive kind). Reason, argued the eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume, should be the slave of the passions, and invariably it is. We use logic as the means by which we can best solve problems which threaten the continuation of our existence (if we do not exist at all, we can’t debate this entire issue), reduce the quality of that existence by causing pain, ill health or poverty, or stand in the way of us improving it – in other ways, prevent happiness. If we are angered by someone's acting in an illogical way, it is because their behaviour is an obstacle to those all-important goals. If reason is ever the master, rather than the slave, of the passions it is for the passions' own sake.
One can, of course, have emotion without reason. Because emotion is the ultimate purpose of life in any case we may sometimes, when
the brain is not functioning properly or our nature is simply flawed, convince ourselves that we have no need of anything else. (Most people, of course, actually condemn illogical emotion, even if sometimes they are still guilty of it). But this is one truth whose converse does not apply; though you can have emotion without reason you cannot have reason without emotion, since the latter is the whole purpose of the former.
Logically, one can only either like to exist (or not like to exist, i.e. be in a suicidal frame of mind - in other words be acting emotionally, the emotion experienced being sadness) or simply exist. If the latter is the case, then existence is simply existence. It has no purpose and is therefore illogical, unless one is a life form which has no concept of "existence" at all - in other words is not sentient.(1)
For this reason a sentience which does not possess emotion is to me inconceivable. Of course, in a person who has been drugged emotion may be dulled or even suppressed entirely, but in their drugged state they could not in any case be counted as fully sentient.
Since the gratification of emotions is the only purpose for the existence of sentient life forms, to reject emotion would if anything be irrational. If, therefore, creatures like the Cybermen could actually exist in real life, it must be accepted that they would not, strictly speaking, be emotionless, although they might perhaps believe themselves to be - liking to think, if the unemotional life is supposed to be superior, that they have something don’t - or find it advantageous to portray themselves as emotionless to other races – so as to appear less vulnerable, and so more frightening, to their enemies.
A desire to destroy emotion and replace it with logic would itself constitute an emotion; so if we are not talking about a contradiction in terms, the Cybermen must at most be practising emotion of a sort which is simply different from that experienced by humans. The cause of pure logic would have to be a passion in itself, and if believed in sincerely enough would have to be pursued with sufficient emotional intensity for the whole point of
it to be destroyed. Maybe this is what has happened to the Cybermen, although they do not realise it (that they are intellectually blinkered is suggested by their failure to, for example, appreciate that changing history by causing Halley's comet to crash into the Earth in 1985 might have catastrophic repercussions, for themselves as much as anyone else, through its
effect on the timeline).

NB Since emotional gratification is the one and only reason for human existence, the transformation of the humanoid Mondasians into Cybermen must have taken place either very slowly or very quickly, so that they could not have been aware of what was happening (we must assume the Mondasians to have been emotionally very like ourselves, or there would be little point in the Cybermen serving as an example of the dangers of over-reliance on technology, as they are meant to do). If they had been aware of it, they would most probably have aborted the process. It is most unlikely that a conscious decision was ever taken to proceed with full Cybernisation. To practise emotion but in a form different from that found among Earth humans the Mondasians would have either to have been considerably different from them in the first place, or to have evolved much further, the change either occurring over millions of years or in an evolutionary jump so sudden that they didn't realise what had happened to them.



THREADS
The tall man was walking slowly down a busy London thoroughfare, his hands thrust deep into his pockets. Happening to glance to his left he saw a little square, adjoining a grassed area around which a number of benches were positioned, and headed towards it. He stood in the middle of the square for a moment or two, casting his gaze around him at the crowds who thronged it, then selected a bench and went to sit on it.
Since the changes that had recently occurred in his life, he'd felt rather confused and directionless. He still didn't know what to do with the freedom that had suddenly been returned to him; whether he should take advantage of it to abandon all his respon-sibilities. It was partly as a means of possibly appeasing his conscience that he had undertaken this little journey. It might show him, he thought, whether this world would be a better place for all the time he was spending on it.
The air seemed less fresh than he was accustomed to, which was saying something. There seemed to be more people about, and more cars. He felt unpleasantly hemmed in by the teeming mass of bodies. He was also struck by the number of people who stopped and stared at him as he strode past, often making rude remarks that were clearly meant to be heard by their subject (the yobbish sort were even yobbier than before, far less inhibited about openly ridiculing what wasn't to their liking). To the general public, the clothes he wore were even more showy and out-of-place than they had been in the period of his enforced exile here. And from what he knew of these years, there were those who would find his way of speaking, his manner, too old-fashioned and intimidating. Not quite politically correct.
The tall man thought about his life and a feeling of deep sadness came over him. He had a sense that things were coming to an end, that there would have to be some profound change.
He had just about decided to go home when his eye fell on the poster affixed to the wall of the ornamental pavilion nearby. The name of the person who was to give the lecture it was advertising caught his eye.
And the eye, in fact both his eyes, lit up. He'd been meaning to drop in on the fellow for some time, but there were reasons why it might be a bit uncomfortable for them both.
But if he went now, that might not be a problem. The fellow would get a bit of a shock when he saw him, of course, but he'd adjust to it soon enough.

The short man was sauntering among flowers and trees beneath a glorious blue sky. The strains of blues music drifted to his ears on the gentle summer breeze. It was a time, a place, to reflect on things.
He knew himself to have acquired abilities far in advance of anything he'd possessed in the past. With those powers came responsibility. He could do things which would inevitably hurt people, because the scale of his influence was so much greater, the stakes so much higher.
He'd certainly been prepared to use that influence. The feeling it gave him was intoxicating at times, but also troubling. He couldn't believe some of the things he had done recently. He knew full well that others, including those close to him, felt his schemes were the product of a dark and twisted mind.
With any luck, this latest one would turn out to be justified.
He wandered about the gardens until long after the band had finished playing and darkness was starting to fall. From nearby Heathrow Airport, he could just about hear the sound of an aircraft engine powering up prior to take-off. He paused to listen. He lifted his eyes skyward as the sound rose to a pitch, and a minute or so later saw the massive, graceful form of the Boeing 747 soar into view above the trees and houses, its wheels retracting into its belly as it climbed towards the heavens.
With a grim smile, he turned away and walked briskly in the direction of the gates.

Security had improved considerably after Lockerbie, because nobody wanted a tragedy like that to happen again. But as time goes on, people tend to grow lax. Lockerbie was over a decade ago, and it wasn't deeply imprinted in the public mind any more. And the very infrequency of airline bombings during the past few years, due to better security and the relative easing of tension in the Middle East, had led to complacency. So it was that a deranged employee of the airline had managed after long weeks' careful planning to smuggle an explosive device onto the 747.

She'd saved up for the holiday in America because she felt she needed it. She just wanted to get away, if only for a short time, from a life which was increasingly bleak and depressing.
She had looked at herself in the mirror that morning and had not liked what she saw. Her fair hair had darkened to a mousy hue, as so often happens with age. It symbolised, she felt, the fall of darkness over her life, the extinguishing of all that was young and beautiful and radiant. And now, in addition, the laughter lines were suddenly more pronounced, more deeply etched. She was looking not so much like a middle-aged woman as an old one.
It was caring that aged you, she thought bitterly. Working hard at a succession of boring, stressful, low-paid jobs in order eventually to scrape together enough money to send your son to university.
She shouldn't really be doing this. The cost of the holiday would set back her efforts to provide for her son's future. But without a break she felt she ran the risk of collapsing into depression.
The idea of going to live in America permanently appealed to her. If she could accumulate enough cash, and show that she had the right skills, she could build a new life in a society much more vibrant, prosperous and optimistic than the one she'd be leaving behind. But she couldn't do that until her son had been fully provided for.
It seemed as if she was fated never to achieve what she wanted and needed, because the need to balance her own wellbeing with that of her offspring meant neither was ever fully satisfied. She was like an athlete running towards some finishing line and always finding themselves back at the same place no matter how fast they were going.

His long brown hair was streaked with grey now, and his face was looking haggard and careworn. He was a lecturer at a London polytechnic. He liked the job, he supposed, but it didn't pay that well. He lived a lonely life, none of the succession of relationships he'd been through in recent years having resulted in anything permanent.
And it wasn't only himself he grieved for. He'd always wanted to do the best for his fellow humans, but all his strenuous efforts over many years to change the world, and the ridicule he had incurred because of them, had been for nothing, absolutely nothing. In fact things were far worse than when he had started on his crusade so long ago. He was certain they were staring Armageddon in the face. His depression had mounted progressively over the years and there were times when it felt silly to carry on.
Then he'd got the letter from America. What it said sounded exciting, and he'd simply had to respond. They'd said they were sorry at the short notice, but there'd been a bureaucratic slip-up and until the day before they'd thought the letter had gone out when in fact it hadn't. It was probably too late now, but if he could manage to get to Washington in time for the conference tomorrow his presence there would be very helpful and greatly appreciated. The letter had included a cheque covering the cost of his airline ticket.

She had taken her seat first. The plane was already more or less full up by then. A minute or so later, she chanced to look round and saw him coming down the aisle towards her.
She gave a little start, and a mixture of different feelings stirred within her.
He didn't recognise her at first, perhaps because she looked different now. But her reaction made him stop for a moment and stare at her, disquieted.
With a shock she realised he intended to sit down next to her. She didn't really want that. But, glancing around, she saw that all the other seats in the cabin were taken.
He lowered himself into the seat. "Hey, do I know you?" he inquired nervously, turning to her.
Then, seeing her face close-up, he had his fears confirmed. "Oh, er...hi!" he gasped.
"Hi," she said, pleasantly enough.
"Haven't seen you for ages," he offered, thinking it was a stupid thing to say.
"I'm OK. And yourself?"
"All right, I suppose."
"And Matt?"
"Just starting sixth form."
"Great. Send him my regards, won't you?"
"Of course."
"Are you off on holiday?"
"Yep. Felt I needed it. How about you?"
"Got this conference in America I've been invited to."
"So you're still doing all the old stuff?"
"Whenever I can. What are you up to these days?"
"Trying to support myself and Matt on two part-time jobs. It doesn't quite make ends meet, I'm afraid."
"I'm sorry to hear that," he told her, after an embarrassed silence.
"That's alright."
"Well what an incredible coincidence," he grinned, referring to their unexpected meeting.
"Isn't it."
After the reservoir of small talk had been exhausted, they fell silent. By now it was time for take-off.
The only good thing about air travel, they thought, was that orgasmic feeling you got when the plane left the ground and the aerodynamic forces pressed you back in your seat. After that it settled down to being boring.
There was nothing to do except occasionally get up and walk about for a bit, to minimise the chances of getting a blood clot, and of course nothing to see out of the window except the black night sky. She immersed herself in a paperback novel, he in some papers he needed for the conference. Hopefully that would serve to pass the time.
It was fifteen minutes into the flight that they heard the ex-plosion. The plane gave a sickening lurch, as if they had run into turbulence only much more violent.
Immediately screams of terror rang out. Everyone in the cabin turned to each other, their faces white and wide-eyed, filled with fear and panic.
He reacted instantly, grabbing her hand and squeezing it tight. "It's all right, it's all right," he whispered. His arm encircled her shoulders and hugged her tightly against him.
Her mind was taken up with one single thought. The explosion to her meant only one thing; they must surely be about to die. The plane would disintegrate around them and they would be plunged into a nightmare world of whirling debris as they fell down through the freezing cold air. Her fear was that if they were still alive when they hit the ground, and were not killed by the impact, they would lie there horribly broken and mutilated and unable to move until they died from exposure or injury, long before any rescuer could reach them. That had happened before.
With one exception it had been many years since she was last exposed to danger like this. She was going to die and she didn't want to. At best death amounted to a frightening uncertainty, an open door with darkness beyond in lay no-one knew what. At worst it was the end, the irreversible extinction of all life and all consciousness. And she couldn't let that happen while all her dreams remained unfulfilled.
They heard the crackle as the intercom clicked on. The pilot was about to speak.
"Ladies and gentlemen, there has been an explosion on board the aircraft. I am attempting to make an emergency landing. Please remain in your seats and do not panic." His voice was calm, but the repressed fear in it could easily be detected and it did little to reassure them.
It was when they saw the smoke coming along the aisle towards them from beneath the cabin door that they gave up all hope. They wrapped their arms tightly around each other and he buried his face in the soft, fine hair which had one been golden blonde. Through her sobs she told him repeatedly how much she loved him, while he found himself softly whispering things of the sort he hadn't said to her since their marriage nearly thirty years before.

*

It was a miracle that the pilot managed to land the plane safely, considering it was dark and the smoke that had begun to fill the aircraft was preventing him from seeing his instruments properly. But land it he did, in a field only a few miles from the coast. It was a bumpy touchdown the force of which caused the wheels to collapse.
No-one was killed in the crash. A few were seriously injured, but they were each to make a full recovery. The crew and passengers were helped from the plane by the rescue services, to sit huddled in blankets while volunteers fetched them food and cups of tea or coffee, and doctors sought to comfort them after their ordeal. A team of reporters arrived to interview rescued and rescuers alike and tell the camera that after this incident there must surely be a major overhaul of airline security.
He sat with his arm around her for a long time, neither of them saying anything, just staring blankly into the ether.
Then, sensing someone come to stand beside them, they glanced up. The little man with the wryly humorous face and the Panama hat smiled...well, wryly. "I think the pair of you have a lot to talk about, haven't you?"
Professor Cliff Jones peered curiously at the little man. "Er...excuse me, but who are you?"
"How did you know about..." began Jo Grant, formerly of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.
"Who are you?" Cliff repeated, an edge to his voice now.
"I'm known to both of you," the little man said. "Although the last time you set eyes on me," he told Jo, "I was rather taller than this, with long hair and a nice line in Victorian clothes. And when you last set eyes on me…”
Realisation dawned on Jo and her face split in a broad delighted grin. "You're not...the Doctor?"
Cliff gaped in disbelief. "Have you gone crazy? He can't be the Doctor. Like he said, the Doctor was a tall bloke with white hair and - "
"There's a lot I never told you about him," said Jo.
"The funny thing is, I'm not the Doctor who you met in Africa. I will be, at some time in the future. But not just yet."
"Oh, I see," muttered Cliff. "Right." Giant maggots he could take, but this really was blowing his mind.
The Doctor became apologetic. "I'm afraid there isn't an American Institute for Alternative Energy, they didn't invite you to their annual conference, and they haven't discovered a revolutionary new way of tapping the Earth's internal heat."
"You set this up, didn't you?" Jo said, her tone a cocktail of admiration, astonishment and annoyance. "Doctor, we could have been killed!"
"But you weren't," he smiled. "I knew the crash was going to happen. I knew that everyone on board would survive. I also knew there were a couple of seats that hadn't yet been filled, and I made sure you two got them."
"How?" demanded Cliff. "It...it's not possible."
"Well, for one thing I'm a Time Lord. More than that, I'm afraid I can't say. Except that I'd worked out the disruption which might occur, if all that changed was that you two were on the plane, would be minimal."
What puzzled Jo most was how he had arranged the matter of the tickets, which seemed to her to constitute a particular problem. But before he could explain - supposing that to have been his intention - Cliff was speaking again, angrily, his Welsh accent more pronounced than usual. "So...you stage-managed it all?" His tone was one of betrayal.
"But what if I hadn't?" the little man said. "It doesn't make any difference whether I did or not. I think I've made my point. Haven't I?" He nodded towards the arm clasped round Jo's waist. "I could have done without the bloody fright we got," Cliff said.
The Doctor indicated the arm again. "Could you?"
Cliff was silent for a moment, then slowly smiled.
"I should stress I couldn't have prevented the crash," the Doctor told them. "That would have messed up too many things, even though nobody was killed. I thought I might at least make sure something good came out of it."
"I...I don't think it would work out," said Cliff, apolo-getically. "We've been apart for too long."
"That first love you both felt for each other was very strong. Strong enough for it to be put back together again if it ever fell apart. That's what I'd always felt.
“The passage of time can be an advantage in many ways. Take Matthew, for example. Soon he'll be grown up and can take responsibility for his own affairs, and then he won't be a problem. There'll be no need for the two of you to fall out over him, will there?
"Cliff's got a lot of good work to do. The job will be a lot easier if he has you beside him, Jo."
"Why did you wait for so long before doing something like this?" Jo asked the Doctor curiously.
"My future incarnation's meeting with you was all too brief," he said. "It was the one you knew. The dandy. He asked me to do it, because out of us all I was the best at this kind of thing.
“He didn't get a chance to talk to you at the lecture, Cliff; you didn't even notice him. You were in a hurry to leave. But I think he guessed from the sight of you there was something wrong; that you weren't a happy man. Then someone mentioned to him that your marriage had broken up.
“He felt he had to do something. It hurt him to lose you, Jo. It had to happen someday, of course. But it hurt him very badly. He decided the only thing - but the best thing - he could do was make sure you had a happy and lasting relationship with the man you'd chosen to spend your life with."
Jo found her eyes filling with tears. It was a minute or so before she could speak.
She looked up at the Doctor. "If we...get back together again, surely that's changing things?"
"Only if you weren't meant to. Not everything is fixed, Jos-ephine. Some things are...malleable. Toodle-ooh." With a final cheerful smile, he spun on his heels and marched off.
"Well I still don't know what to make of it all," said Cliff. "But I think he's right. We do have a lot to talk about. Are you OK now?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"Then let's go home and do it," he said firmly.
Their eyes met, and they giggled childishly at the unintentional double entendre.

There was a spring in the Doctor's step and a smile in his voice as he made his way back to where he'd left Ace, humming a cheerful little tune as he went. Once again, things had turned out more or less the way he wanted. His self-doubt had entirely evaporated.
It had been said of him that he saw the threads that bound the universe and mended them when they broke. He liked to think this was true. Sometimes it was the whole of the garment that needed repairing; sometimes it was a single strand, such as an individual person. Or two strands that needed to be woven together. But repair it he would.
Where discord, fear, anxiety and strife were to be found he banished them and made good the damage they had done. All the wounds that societies and individuals might suffer from, he healed.
He was a Doctor.

PAYING ONE'S RESPECTS

Featuring the Eighth Doctor
The Doctor got out of the car and walked slowly towards the gates of the cemetery, carrying a bunch of flowers in each hand with a third tucked underneath an arm. It was one of those irritating days which were both sunny and chilly at the same time.
He considered what the Brigadier had told him that morning. It seemed the Master was active on Earth again; though why, nobody was quite sure. For a time he had played about with its inhabitants for his own amusement; then, losing interest in the game, he'd moved on to bigger things, seeking instead to start intergalactic wars or appropriate the powers of the Time Lords for himself. However, he had been known to return from time to time, attempting to change the planet's history or spread chaos and destruction among its nations. What was he up to now?
Perhaps there was something here he wanted. His presence on Earth had, in one or two cases, been motivated by a serious desire for some really big prize; when he'd found out about Azal, for instance. Or possibly he was here because, Earth being the Doctor's favourite planet, he liked to spite his enemy by doing anything he could to terrorise its inhabitants or disrupt its timeline. Guiltily the Doctor reflected that his interest in Earth was bringing danger to it. But without that interest, of course, it might not have survived as long as it had. And perhaps the threat was less serious than in the past. Nowadays, thanks partly to the Doctor's prodding, UNIT was much better organised and funded, and had the equipment it really needed if it was to stand a chance of defeating invaders as technologically advanced as Daleks, Sontarans or renegade Time Lords.
He wasn't sure if there was any need for him to be involved. And he certainly didn't like to be constantly summoned from his travels to sort out Earth's problems. Particularly when it was high time Earth dealt with them itself. As, indeed, it now seemed to be doing. This current visit had been largely for the purpose of looking up old friends.
He knew where the graves he was looking for were to be found, having been here before on quite a few occasions. Passing through the gates, he scanned the rows of tombstones and statues, won-dering whether the dead people had managed to live happy lives and where, if there was any kind of existence after death, they might be now.
His thoughts turned again to the Master. He suspected his old adversary was in it for the fun, as much as from a desire for power and wealth, though he would certainly take those things if they became available to him. Well, if it was a game the Master was playing with him, the Doctor was tiring of it. Let the Brigadier and his friends deal with the problem. And this time, Master, you'll find them a lot harder to outwit.
It took him a few minutes more to reach his destination. He saw that someone else had been there recently, leaving flowers by each of the three marble tombstones which stood side by side in this quiet little corner of the graveyard. Reverently he knelt down and placed his own offerings. His long hair blowing in the wind, he stood by the three graves for a while, head bowed and hands clasped together in front of him.
He studied the inscriptions they bore. JOHN FARRELL 1906-71, REX FARRELL 1935-71, MARY FARRELL 1911-72. A whole family, more or less, destroyed by the Master in his cold-blooded pursuit of his evil aims. He had been in alliance with the Nestenes, assisting them in their second attempt to invade Earth. Hypnotising poor, weak-minded Rex Farrell, whose father John had put him in charge of the family plastics business much against his (John's) better judgement, the Master had used the factory to produce more Autons, along with various other things which, made of plastic, a substance for which the Nestenes had a strong affinity, could serve as a container for their malignant consciousness. When Farrell senior, still the major shareholder in the company, and the power behind the throne whenever he chose to be, had realised to his concern that something strange was going on at the plant and begun investigating, the Master had him killed, strangled by that dreadful doll thing. His wife Mary had entered their living room to find his lifeless body lying on the floor and the doll jammed halfway through the window as if trying to get out.
Rex hadn't even come to the funeral. The Master still had need of him, and after the defeat of his plans used him to cover his escape and at the same time dispose of his nemesis. Disguised as the Master, Rex attempted to kill the Doctor and was shot dead by UNIT. Mary Farrell did not long survive the loss within such a short time of both her husband and her son.
The Doctor knew there was nothing more he could do here. He turned to go, and as he did so something about one of the bunches of flowers which had been left there earlier caught his attention. He bent down to inspect it, and frowned.
He examined the other two bunches. They were just the same.
They were plastic flowers.
The Doctor regarded them for a minute or so in astonishment and outrage. Slowly he straightened up. If there was ever such a thing as a cold fire, it burned right now in his intense blue eyes.
He quivered with repressed fury. His face was something like that of a stone statue, set in an expression both grim and angry.
He took the plastic flowers and set off back to the car, where the Brigadier stood waiting for him. Passing a rubbish bin on the way, he deposited them inside it unceremoniously.
"Are you all right, Doctor?" asked Lethbridge Stewart as the Time Lord rejoined him.
The Doctor didn't answer the question. "There's been a slight change to my plans, Brigadier," he said fiercely. "I'm going to be staying here a little longer. We've got a job to do together."
His companion glanced at him uneasily. The look in his eyes was rather frightening.
I'll get you, the Doctor vowed inwardly. I'll get you in the end. No matter how long it takes. I won't give up, do you hear me? I won't give up.
The Brigadier started the car.