8th Doctor
Dead London
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Dead London
Written by Pat Mills
Directed by Barnaby Edwards
Sound Design and Music by ERS

Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Rupert Vansittart (Sepulchre), Clare Buckfield (Spring Heeled Sophie), Richard Laing (Clerks), Katarina Olsson (Yellow Berryl).

Someone's playing with us. Manipulating time and space for their own ends.

The TARDIS lands in London. But which one? The Doctor and Lucie find themselves trapped in a maze of interlocking Londons from Roman times to the present day.

But they are not alone in this labyrinth: a killer is on their trail.

  • Featuring the Eighth Doctor and Lucie, this story takes place after the Big Finish story Human Resources.
  • Released: January 2008
    ISBN: 978 1 844 35308 8
(drn: ?'?")

The courtroom clerk, Miss Olm, calls for the next case and the Doctor, realising this must mean him, steps forward and faces the judge. The Magistrate begins by questioning the validity of the Doctor’s ’sobriquet’, but the Doctor interrupts and insists that there’s been a misunderstanding. The Doctor faces the charge of leaving a blue box on a double yellow line on Holborn Viaduct, but he says that although he was inside waiting while his friend Lucie went off to do some shopping, he was always prepared to move it as soon as anyone needs the space. The Magistrate realises the Doctor has a habit of doing this and asks for more information about the blue box. When Miss Olm informs him it’s a 1960s police box, the Magistrate asks whether the police have checked inside it, but the arresting Sergeant says they had a problem getting it open. The Doctor says he’d been waiting for over two hours and he was starting to worry because his instruments showed there was a localised temporal shift in the region Lucie was heading for. He stepped outside to look for her and that’s when he was arrested by the police. The Magistrate demands to know why they’re bothering with this case and admits the police can sometimes be over zealous. The Doctor is hopeful that the case will be dismissed, but the Magistrate says not. Suddenly there’s a temporal shift and the Doctor finds himself still in the dock, but this time in a completely different courtroom and before a different Judge. The Judge pronounces the sentence - the Doctor will be taken from here to a place of execution where he will hang from the neck until he is dead. The crowd cheers, but the Doctor is horrified. All this just for a parking offence!

The Doctor realises he’s somehow gone back to the 17th century and he’s in the dock of the Old Bailey. The Judge turns to the jury and asks them to consider whether there’s ever been such a villain on the face of the Earth, but the Doctor insists they must have him confused with someone else. The Judge abhors the Doctor’s watery excuses and compares him to a horse thief and a dishonest beggar. He asks for a candle to be held closer to the convicted man’s face and when he stares more closely at the Doctor he seems to take even greater delight, making the Doctor wonder whether they’ve met before. The Judge says they possibly have, but adds that they certainly won’t meet again. The Doctor demands to know who he is and the man announces himself as Judge Jeffreys, otherwise known as ’The Hanging Judge’. The Doctor remarks that he doesn’t look like George Jeffreys and asks the Judge whether Sarah is any better. The Judge doesn’t seem to remember his wife and when the Doctor asks how his children are, he says they’re both fine, even though the Doctor knows he had seven children! The Doctor demands to know who the man really is, but the Judge insists he is the Lord Chief Justice of England. The Doctor accuses him of being an impostor and says he probably has something to do with the time shift too.

The Judge summons Turnkey and orders him to remove the Doctor from the dock, but the Doctor has no intention of going to Newgate Prison and he thinks it’s time he found his friend Lucie. They watch the next prisoner go before the Judge, a young woman who surprises the court by using her escapology skills to free herself from the irons. The Judge recognises the accused as Sophia Shepherd, a regular visitor to the court, but she greets him like an old friend and says she prefers to be addressed by her professional name - Spring-Heeled Sophie. She regards herself as the finest funambulist in London town, a tightrope walker of such ability she can even dance blindfold on her rope, but the Judge is only concerned with the use to which she puts her skills…

Lucie seems to have got lost during her shopping trip around London, which is not surprising as the streets are pitch black and there seems to have been a power cut. She calls out to a passer-by, but she’s ignored and puts it down to Southerners being unfriendly. Suddenly a woman calls out to her to watch out and Lucie jumps aside to narrowly avoid being knocked down by a tram which crosses her path. The tram driver leaps from the vehicle and demands to know why Lucie wasn’t looking where she was going, but the other woman quickly explains that Lucie is drunk. When Lucie objects, the woman tells her to play along before she gets arrested. The tram driver criticises Lucie then returns to his vehicle, leaving the woman to remind Lucie of the Prime Minister’s warning that they’re fighting Germans, Austrians and drink. As soon as the tram has gone, the woman advises Lucie to follow her. Realising something is very wrong, Lucie asks what year this is, but before she can answer, Lucie sees the woman’s face for the first time and is shocked to see that it’s bright yellow. The woman introduces herself as Beryl, or Yellow Beryl to her friends, and explains that it’s the effect of TNT. She explains that she’s a “canary”, one of the munitions workers who handle the chemical used in shells. Lucie thinks this is terrible and Beryl admits that most people cross the road to avoid her, but at least her skin and hair goes with her uniform. They’re interrupted by the sound of a siren and Beryl tells Lucie the Zeppelins are back. Lucie asks again about the year and Beryl reveals that it’s 1917. They hurry off to find shelter…

Back in the 17th century, Spring-Heeled Sophie assures Judge Jeffreys that she hasn’t stolen anything and it was just a coincidence that those robberies happened close to where she was practising her tightrope walking. The Judge reveals that the stolen goods were found on her person and she begins to cry, but the Judge refuses to be intimidated. Sophie swears she’s just an honest poor girl and the Doctor intervenes on her behalf, pleading with the court that she’s too young to hang. The crowd who are watching the proceedings shout out in disagreement with the Doctor - it seems that everyone likes a good hanging. The Judge orders Turnkey to subdue the prisoner and the Doctor is knocked unconscious. The Judge rebukes Sophie for turning away from an honest life and finds her guilty as charged. She too is sentenced to death and he orders Turnkey to take both the Doctor and Sophie to Newgate where preparations will be made for them to hang.

Beryl tells Lucie she’s just been to visit her friend Freddie at St Bart’s to cheer him up since he returned from the trenches. Somebody in the street shouts out that the Zeppelins are coming, so they take cover. They look up and see one of the giant airships approaching and Beryl shouts out abuse. Lucie thinks it’s moving very slowly, but then it starts dropping bombs! Beryl advises her against leaving to find the Doctor and instead she starts leading her to the nearest Underground station at St Paul’s. Lucie is furious with the Doctor - he was meant to take her to the 21st century, not the First World War!

The Doctor and Sophie are placed inside the condemned cell at the Old Bailey and the jailer advises them not to make themselves too comfortable as they won’t be here long. The two prisoners formally introduce themselves and Sophie immediately begins flirting with the Doctor. He’s worried about Lucie, but Sophie says she knows London like the back of her hand and she could help him find her if only they could get out of here. She thinks the Doctor looks well off and wonders whether he has a pocket watch or some coins about him. If they pool their resources, perhaps they can bribe their way out. Her contribution is a small box with snakes carved into it, which the Doctor recognises as a Cista Mystica, a Roman religious artefact worshipped by the Dionysus who used to keep sacred snakes inside them. Sophie says this one doesn’t have snakes inside, but it does have flashing fairies. She lifts the lid and he sees the box is filled with control lights. He also discovers the box is made of telmonium, a metal that doesn’t come from Earth.

Beryl leads Lucie towards St Paul’s as the sound of bombs gets ever closer. She tells Lucie it’s not safe to stay on ground level and not just because of the Zeppelins - there’s something else out there that’s dangerous. The Blackout Killer, a fellow of frightful appearance, according to the newspapers, has been attacking respectable females recently in the neighbourhood of Newgate. He always strikes when the Zeppelins are coming over so he can take advantage of the blackout to kill his victims. All anyone has heard is the tapping of his stick. Lucie agrees to wait it out with Beryl, but by the time they reach the Underground station they discover the gates at the bottom of the steps have been locked. Suddenly there’s a massive explosion nearby and they both fall to the ground…

The Doctor tells Sophie that telmonium is an incredibly durable metal, but it’s also very rare and as far as he knows it can only be found on Quagreeg, a marsh world in the Sirius System that’s inhabited by unpleasant reptilian lifeforms. He warns Sophie to steel herself as he suspects they’re dealing with something or someone rather nasty. Sophie thinks the snake box is useless and says she’s already pressed the buttons inside, which horrifies the Doctor. Despite her protests that nothing happened, he believes this explains how he got here as the buttons operate invisible tractor beams. The Doctor realises someone is playing with them and manipulating time and space for their own ends. The Cista Mystica is their control box and without it, their opponent is just as lost in the jumble as they are. Unfortunately he has no idea who’s behind it all.

Beryl and Lucie make their way back to ground level and discover how lucky they were as the whole building next to them has come down. Beryl says she needs to get back to the weapons factory and invites Lucie to come with her, but Lucie still wants to find the Doctor. She last saw him at Holborn Viaduct so Beryl gives her directions. They go their separate ways, but within seconds an entire river appears in front of Lucie and she nearly falls in. She calls to Beryl who comes back and tells her the river has a tendency to appear and disappear. She says you can usually find Fleet Street on the other side, but adds that it all depends on what ‘he’ wants. Lucie asks who ‘he’ is, but Beryl makes an excuse and says she has to be getting back to work. She doesn’t think it’s a good idea to ask too many questions and if you do, everything goes fuzzy and things fade away. She advises Lucie to ignore the river like she does. Beryl doesn’t want to go crazy like the others and she’s determined to continue believing the world is firm beneath her feet.

The Doctor needs more information so he urges Sophie to remember anything unusual, anything that doesn’t add up or someone acting suspiciously. He suspects there may be something hidden in her subconscious or on the edges of her mind. She suddenly recalls something pretty strange happening when she escaped from the workhouse. As she was climbing down the outside wall there was a loud “whoosh” and a flash. She was sick for days, but then after that she was alright again. The Doctor is disturbed and says this complicates things. The sound she heard was when she was picked up by a tractor beam and transported somewhere, but this is odd because she’s from the 17th century anyway so she must have been moved in space but not time. He asks her where she got the Cista Mystica and she admits that she stole it from a Roman temple in an underground cave. She describes the statues she saw there and the Doctor thinks it sounds like a temple to the god Mithras. She says it’s located at the end of the river so he asks her to take him there.

Lucie is trying hard to follow Beryl’s advice and ignore the river, but she’s having trouble ignoring the smell. She asks Beryl where she can find the man who moves the rivers about, but all she’ll say is that ’he’s’ everywhere. Beryl surprises Lucie by the casual way she talks about people from different times and Beryl points out that Lucie’s clothes clearly show she must have come from another time. Lucie doesn’t know how she got here but Beryl assumes she must have been sentenced to transportation. None the wiser, Lucie decides to find a way across the river, but Beryl warns her there’ll be hell to pay if ’he’ finds out. Lucie ignores her and says goodbye, so Beryl wishes her luck. She’s going to need it…

Still in their cell at the Old Bailey, the Doctor ponders the fact that the Roman and 17th century versions of London are now sitting side by side. It’s an astonishing piece of temporal engineering and he thinks it’s time he met the person behind it. Sophie tells him to be quiet as a Bellman, or town crier, can be heard outside the court building, reading out the latest public announcements. The Doctor is more interested in the Bellman’s voice as he’s sure he’s heard it somewhere before.

Lucie walks the length of the river, desperately searching for a bridge across. She sees some modern buildings on the other side and realises she must be getting close to one of the ’other times’ that Beryl referred to. Unbeknownst to her, a strange figure is lurking in the shadows not far away. He sniffs the air and chuckles to himself, then heads off after Lucie, his stick tapping away on the ground…

Turnkey brings his horse and carriage to a halt and delivers two prisoners to Newgate Prison, ready for their appointment with the gallows at Tyburn. The chief warder, Jack Ketch, opens the gate and invites Sophie and the Doctor inside. He comments on the Doctor’s coat and says he think it’ll go down well with the crowds. Fortunately, he has permission to take anything he likes from the prisoners’ wardrobes and he’s looking forward to keeping it for himself after the execution. Sophie is starting to get nervous, but the Doctor tells her to hold on for a bit longer as he’s starting to understand what’s going on. Ketch introduces himself as London‘s finest hangman, but the Doctor tells him to drop the pretence and demands to know who he really is. He’s recognised that Ketch is the same man who was posing as the Magistrate, the Judge and the Bellman - but they were just his avatars and he accuses the man of being a shape-shifting alien, most likely from Quagreeg. The alien must have recognised the Doctor in the Magistrate’s Court, but he couldn’t risk dealing with him there because it would have affected the reality of his 2008 version of London, so he moved everything instead to the 17th century where he could execute the Doctor with no questions asked. The Doctor promises him he’ll never get inside the TARDIS if that’s what he’s after, but Ketch makes a thinly veiled threat about making sure it takes a long time for the Doctor to die when he’s hanged.

It doesn’t take Lucie long to notice she’s being followed along the riverbank and she stops occasionally to listen to the sound of the cane tapping on the ground. She hurries up and eventually comes to a pub on the opposite bank of the river with smokers standing outside, which is enough to tell her she’s no longer in 1917 but back in 2008. She calls out to one of the party and asks if there’s a bridge nearby she can use to cross over and join them. A young man offers to help, but then he gets called back inside by one of his friends so he apologises to Lucie and invites her to join them once she’s found a way across. She hears the tapping noise again and calls out to whoever‘s been following her. A man emerges from the shadows and introduces himself as the Blackout Killer…

Inside the carriage taking the Doctor and Sophie to the gallows at Tyburn, the Doctor asks Ketch what he’s really after. The hangman offers to cling on to the Doctor’s legs and end the hanging quickly in return for a small bribe and advises the Doctor to decide soon as they’re nearly at Oxford Street already. The Doctor decides to try another approach and addresses Ketch in an alien language, which translates roughly into a request for him to reveal the origins of his creation. Ketch eventually agrees and miraculously transforms into a hideous alien creature. The Doctor’s theories are confirmed - he is an inhabitant of the planet Quagreeg. The creature explains that he and his other avatars are known on this world as Sepulchre, named after St Sepulchre’s Church which is located close to the Old Bailey and to Newgate Prison.

Lucie races through the dark streets, terrified at the thought of the Blackout Killer closing in behind her. Eventually Lucie finds herself trapped in a dead end. The killer calls out and tells her he can hear every sound she makes and no one has ever escaped from him so far. In his other guise, he’s even been employed to listen out for the approaching Zeppelins because he can hear them long before anyone else. Now he can hear her hiding behind some crates. He pulls down the crates and Lucie backs away, demanding to know why he’s doing this. He explains that they need new blood and then he physically transforms into the same creature confronting the Doctor and Sophie in the carriage. It lunges towards her, but she manages to avoid his clutches. She’s already realised that the Blackout Killer may look human, but he sounds very much like an alien. She distracts it for a second and is then able to push the creature over the edge of the riverbank and it ends up in the water below.

The Doctor is curious about Sepulchre’s affinity with prisons and wonders whether the creature is trapped here too. Sepulchre says he is neither one entity, nor many, and the Quagreegs have a hive consciousness. The Doctor tells Sophie this means he can operate several different avatars in different time zones, but it still doesn’t explain why he brought the Doctor and Sophie here. Sepulchre reveals that everyone they see here has been transported from their original eras into Re-enactment Chambers. They‘re all poor or vulnerable and will therefore not be missed as their lives are of no consequence. The Doctor disagrees with this, but asks why they‘re doing it. Sepulchre says they don‘t do this for pleasure, but if they didn’t kill it would be injurious to their well-being. Sophie likens it to draining pus from a wound and the Doctor says what they’re doing here is grotesque and he‘s going to put an end to it. From Sepulchre’s point of view, the Doctor’s arrival in their world was an unexpected bonus as the death of a Time Lord will greatly enhance his race. Sepulchre transforms back in the image of Ketch and says he doesn’t understand why the Doctor cares about these people.

They arrive at their destination - the Tyburn Tree. A crowd is waiting for them and they begin cheering as the Doctor and Sophie are escorted from the carriage. Ketch politely invites them to bow to their public, but Sophie refuses and spits in his face. He invites the Doctor to make a farewell speech, but the Doctor has something uplifting in mind and Ketch is confused as he doesn’t appear to be afraid of the fate that awaits him. The Doctor points out that none of this is real, it’s just a re-enactment. Sophie notices that everything around them is starting to blur and the Doctor realises that Sepulchre’s authority and grip on this particular reality is breaking down. The Doctor turns to the crowd and confesses to further offences, including bad driving and for the way he’s treated his previous female travelling companions. Ketch tries to intervene on the grounds that he‘s making a mockery of the proceedings, but the Doctor points out that he’s entitled to a speech under Tyburn etiquette. While this is going on, Sophie has released herself from her chains and starts work on the Doctor. When the moment is right, she pulls the lever on the gallows, opening the trap door. Ketch cries out and falls to ground several feet below. As the crowd cheers in delight, the Doctor and Sophie make good their escape.

Eventually Lucie makes it to the bridge that will take her across the river and into the year 2008. She calls out and asks directions to Holborn, but then realises to her disappointment that she’s actually arrived in another time - one that looks suspiciously like the 17th century!

The Doctor and Sophie head towards the River Fleet. It doesn’t look like they were followed and the Doctor thinks it will take Sepulchre some time to reshape that reality. Sophie suggests they take a boat trip and points to a nearby boat that she’d previously purloined and used to get to the Temple of Mithras where she obtained the snake box. The Doctor realises the Re-Enactment Chambers must all be connected by the river, linking each time zone to its neighbour. He asks her to take him to the Temple because if that’s where she found the Cista Mystica, it must be Sepulchre’s centre of operations. Hopefully they can get to meet the real person rather than his avatars. Sophie turns down the request, even when the Doctor points out that they can put an end to a monster who enjoys keeping everyone in terror. Sepulchre wants everyone, including Sophie, to believe they’ll never amount to anything because he thrives on the downtrodden and submissive, but the Doctor reminds Sophie she’s a fighter. She’s finally convinced, but she tells him to keep talking as she’s noticed somebody in the shadows watching them. The two of them raise their voices and put on an act of continuing their argument, but in reality Sophie is preparing to expose the hidden observer. Sophie unties the boat and then hurls the rope into the shadows, lassoing the figure and causing a voice to cry out in alarm. The Doctor recognises the voice and is delighted to be reunited with Lucie. Lucie reveals that she was watching the Doctor to make sure he really was who she thought he was as she’s met a few people today who’ve turned out to be someone else. As Sophie releases Lucie from her lasso, the Doctor introduces them to each other. He realises Lucie has also met one of Sepulchre‘s avatars, but just then, a group of men appear on the riverside and call over to them. They don’t look friendly, so the three of them climb back into the boat and head off down river fast…

Judge Jeffreys encounters the unconscious Ketch beneath the gallows of Tyburn and wakes him up. Ketch is confused as he knows that the two of them shouldn’t be together in the same place, but the Judge says that Ketch’s failure to get rid of the Doctor has caused a breach in protocol. It’s a matter of grave concern that could affect them all, but their escaped prisoners are currently heading down the River Fleet in a boat, no doubt heading in direction of the Primary Being so they hurry off in an attempt to get there first…

As the Doctor and his friends row down the river, he tells them that of all the lost rivers of London, the Fleet is the one most associated with evil. Anyone who fell into its filth usually suffocated and it stinks too. The river leads them underground, so Sophie lights a lantern so they can see their way. Lucie is intrigued to learn that the river connects all the different time zones and the Doctor adds that information flows freely up and down the river keeping each zone updated on events in the other, similar to the way the neural pathways in the mind work. Sepulchre has been kidnapping lifeforms from Earth’s past and re-enacting the more colourful episodes from history to feed off. If he’s right, the Doctor thinks they’ll find the real Sepulchre at the Temple of Mithras. Sophie doesn’t understand why they can’t just use the Cista Mystica on the Judge or Ketch, but the Doctor tells her the avatars are disposable and they have to use it on the source itself - Sepulchre in his true form.

Unbeknownst to them, Sepulchre and his avatars are watching their every move from his centre of operations in the Temple. The creature insists that the light of the Doctor’s soul must be extinguished before he reaches here and there must be no repeat of the confusion that allowed him to escape his earlier fate. The Judge and Ketch both blame each other, but Sepulchre silences them. He decides to send the Doctor and his companions to another time and asks for suggestions. Ketch proposes the time when Roman occupied London was under attack from Queen Boudicca. Sepulchre thinks this is an excellent idea and orders Ketch to bring him the Cista Mystica.

The Doctor isn’t exactly sure where the Temple of Mithras is located and he assumes Sepulchre based it on the temple in Walbrook Street near Newgate, which worries Sophie as they’ve only just come from there. Lucie wonders if this is significant and the Doctor suspects that Sepulchre’s Re-Enactment Chambers are only able to recreate one small area of London so the Fleet must link up with another lost river, the Walbrook. Lucie asks Sophie what she spent her money on after selling all the stuff she pinched and Sophie tells her she bought new clothes and books of fantastic stories of gallantry, heroes and pirates, which she gets a preacher to read to her. Lucie doesn’t think it was worth taking the risk of being hanged just for that, but Sophie has always dreamed of being a heroine. Just then, they arrive at their destination and the Doctor asks Lucie to tie up the boat. This is a scary looking place and Sophie warns them it’s even worse inside. The Doctor is curious about the lock gates as they don’t seem historically accurate at all, which suggests they control the whole of Sepulchre’s river system.

Ketch rushes back to Sepulchre and tells him the Cista Mystica is missing from the inner chamber. They realise it must have been stolen, which explains how the Doctor knew about this place. The Judge realises that the Doctor can use it to destroy them all if he can get close enough. Fortunately Sepulchre is aware of another way to ensure the Doctor is transported to Boudicca’s London. He begins manipulating some controls…

The Doctor notices the lock gate is starting to open, which means the water level will rise and drown them all like rats. Lucie unties the boat quickly and they hang on for their lives as the flood of water begins to drag them away from the Temple. They’re going too fast to steer, so the Doctor tells them to let the current carry them along as if they‘re white water rafting. Fortunately Lucie has had experience of this sort of thing before - when she dumped a boyfriend who tried to get her into extreme sports! Up ahead, the river seems to just vanish and the Doctor realises they’re heading for a waterfall. Seconds later, they go over the edge and scream in pure terror…

The Doctor and his companions find themselves facing a new dilemma. They wake up to discover their boat has been smashed and they’re now 70 feet above Roman London, trapped with about a hundred other people inside a huge Wicker Man. Lucie has seen the movie and knows it’s not going to end well. The Doctor urges Sophie to use her rope-throwing skills to get them out of here, but Sophie reminds him that he and Lucie are complete beginners and will almost certainly fall to their deaths. The Doctor insists they try something or else they’ll all end up burned alive as part of a Celtic sacrifice!

Ketch points out that killing all these people is going to leave them out of pocket, but Sepulchre says they will simply beam more replacements in from Earth, perhaps from another lost legion. The Judge reminds him that to do that, they’ll need the Cista Mystica back, but Sepulchre says they can recover the device from the Doctor’s ashes.

Sophie refuses to cooperate - she’s seen what happens when amateurs attempt tightrope-walking, and it isn’t pretty. Lucie spots a man below them in white robes and a flaming torch. He begins to pray to the Almighty God of the Sun and the Doctor recognises him as Boudicca’s Archdruid, another of Sepulchre’s avatars. The priest plunges the torch into the wood around the feet of the Wicker Man and the structure begins to go up in flames. The crowd cheers…

Ketch and the Judge are satisfied that being burned alive is an appropriate end for the Doctor. Sepulchre tells them to return to their own times while he prepares to ascend to witness the Doctor’s cremation in person, eager to see their enemy’s mortal discomfort.

The Doctor and the others are finding it difficult to breathe through the rising smoke. Lucie asks Sophie if her rope can reach the city gate below as it would be the perfect angle for them to create a Zip Wire using their belts. First they have to break out of the wickerwork, so the Doctor has an idea uses his sonic screwdriver to oscillate the atoms of the wicker to weaken the structure. They manage to break through the wood and then Sophie uses her rope to lasso the city gates below them. Lucie is worried about everyone else, but if the Doctor’s theory is right, only the three of them are truly in danger. One by one, they leap from the Wicker Man and slide speedily down the 70 foot drop, releasing their grip just before they reach the gate and landing softly on the ground below. They dust themselves off and check that nothing’s broken. Just then - and exactly as the Doctor anticipated - the entire Wicker Man vanishes into thin air. He reminds Sophie what happened at Tyburn and says that each Re-Enactment depends on everything running to Sepulchre’s plans, but if someone does something unexpected, his authority breaks down. Suddenly Sepulchre materialises before them and congratulates the Doctor on his excellent reasoning. Lucie is horrified by the creature’s hideous appearance, but Sepulchre points out that her countenance is equally unamiable to them! Sepulchre explains that they’re inside his neural Re-Enactment Chambers and the Doctor chastises himself for not seeing the evidence in front of him all the time. He reminds Sophie and Lucie that he likened the River Fleet to a neural pathway, exchanging information and interfacing with the other time zones like different areas of the brain. But it isn’t just like a neural pathway, it actually is a neural pathway and they’re inside Sepulchre’s brain! Sophie can’t understand how they could all fit inside someone’s head so the Doctor explains that the Cista Mystica operates tractor beams that are dimensionally transcendental. Lucie realises this means Sepulchre has a mind like a TARDIS that’s bigger on the inside than the outside and they’ve materialised inside it.

Sepulchre orders the Doctor to hand over the Cista Mystica, but Lucie asks the Doctor to use the device to send him somewhere really horrible instead. The Doctor refuses as he knows the inversion would kill their enemy - and everyone else who’s currently held within his mind. Sepulchre laughs and tells the Doctor to resign himself to his fate or die an agonising death. The Doctor berates him for cramming all those people into the Wicker Man and treating them like livestock, but Sepulchre believes that’s exactly what humans are - just dumb animals! The Doctor regards himself as an ambassador for all animal kind and tells Sepulchre he’s now breaking off diplomatic relations. He activates his sonic screwdriver and begins shutting off the neural pathways. Each Re-Enactment Chamber will continue to function, but the avatars will no long be able to communicate with each other. Sepulchre cries out as he becomes separated from his other selves…and suddenly the group find themselves back in the re-enactment of Sophie’s home in 17th century London.

Sepulchre turns on the Doctor and swears he will regret what he has done, but the Doctor knows it’ll be the creature who lives to regret what’s happened. The crowd of people around then suddenly become aware of their presence and they start to back away in terror from the ‘snake-demon’ before them. Sepulchre is no longer able to hide behind his avatars and the people can see him for who he really is. Someone calls for the militia and before long, officers arrive to take charge of the monster. They ignore his protests that they must obey his orders and drag Sepulchre away to join Ketch and Judge Jeffreys. As he disappears into the distance, Sepulchre’s finals words are a threat of revenge against the Doctor. Lucie wonders whether the creatures are going to be killed, but the Doctor is confident the people will realise they can’t go that far - after all, they’re still inside Sepulchre’s mind - but it should stir things up a bit and it’s always exciting to see tyranny being overthrown.

Sophie wonders what will happen to her and the Doctor asks her what she’d like to do. She’s been thinking about their earlier conversation about wanting to be the heroine in a book, so she’s decided to write “The Adventures of Spring-Heeled Sophie”. Of course, she’ll have to learn to write first, but she’s sure that can’t be too difficult. Chapter 1 will be about the Doctor, the saviour of London, and Lucie, who saved them from the terror of the Wicker Man. The Doctor thinks they may have to wait to find out more as they seem to have attracted the attention of a mob. A side-effect of the neural isolation means the people here can sense that the three of them are alien to this world, so the Doctor decides it’s time they were gone. Sophie decides to lure the crowd away, so she says goodbye to her friends, then shouts abuse to the leader of the mob and delights as he recognises Spring-Heeled Sophie. The mob start to follow her as she races to the nearest building and climbs up onto the roof. With the rooftops of London being her natural domain, there’s little chance they’ll catch her…

Lucie and the Doctor arrive in the next time zone and they find themselves back in 2008. Lucie was right when she said it would be the next zone along, but it was the Doctor who found the correct bridge to get them across the River. They find themselves near Holborn Viaduct where the TARDIS is still waiting for them…and now covered in parking tickets! Inside the ship, the Doctor confirms that all the different time zones of London will carry on inside Sepulchre’s head, but without him and his avatars calling the shots. To prove this, he operates the scanner and lets Lucie listens to the sounds of London. Different voices can be heard, but fortunately everything seems so alive and normal.

Source: Lee Rogers
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