2nd Doctor
by Steve Lyons

Cover Blurb
Written by Steve Lyons
Directed by Lisa Bowerman
Sound Design by David Darlington
Music by Jamie Robertson

February, 1944: France is occupied by the Third Reich, the French Gestapo has an iron grip and the native resistance attempts to overthrow the invaders. On one quiet winter's night, a British plane crashes to the ground, leaving a flying officer desperate to escape via the evasion lines.

Separated from the TARDIS, Ben and Jamie, the Doctor and Polly find themselves with enemies on all sides. Trapped in one of the darkest times in history, Polly discovers that humanity can be just as dangerous as any threat from outer space. She resolves to make a difference - even if it means leaving the Doctor forever...

  • Released: March 2009
    ISBN: 978 1 84435 378 1
Episode One
(drn: 32'20")

The pilot jumped from the burning plane and found himself falling. Overwhelmed by the sound of gunfire and explosions, he lost sight of his fellow crewmen in the clouds. He was alone in the dark, with no idea where he was heading. Eventually he crashed into some trees and his parachute got caught up in the branches. He released himself and dropped to the ground, twisting his knee as he landed. Knowing the parachute would alert anyone nearby to his presence, he spent the next hour or so clawing it down, then he buried it under the dirt as he’d been trained to do. Now all he had to do was survive and stay free in a hostile land.

It was dark and cold when the TARDIS materialised. Polly, Ben and Jamie emerged to find they’d landed across the tracks a railway line not far from a row of trees. The Doctor was surprised as the TARDIS was supposed to have safeguards to prevent them landing in danger, but Polly suggested the line might be disused. They started pushing at the ship to move it to a safe area, but it was too heavy. Jamie suggested they just take off again, but the Doctor didn’t want to leave without finding out where they were. Just then they heard shouting and saw eight or nine armed men running along the train line towards them. The four of them ran, separating to make themselves harder targets. Polly followed Ben towards the trees, but when she heard gunfire, she turned to see Jamie fall to the ground. Ben dragged her away and they lost themselves in the forest. The armed men spread out, but soon gave up searching and moved away. Once they knew they were safe, Ben identified the men as the Milice, otherwise known as the French Gestapo, which meant they must have gone back in time to the Second World War. The Doctor joined them and reassured Polly that Jamie couldn’t have been badly hurt as he’d seen him get back on his feet. However, Jamie was still a prisoner, so the Doctor suggested he and Polly create a diversion and lure some of the soldiers out into the woods while Ben doubled back and tried to rescue their friend.

The pilot trekked across the countryside for three nights. He knew there would be search parties looking for him, so he avoided roads and kept to the woods. During daylight he slept in ditches while he waited for his knee to heal. He had food rations and water purifying tablets, but these were soon exhausted. He had a compass and knew he was deep in the south of France, which had been occupied for over a year. Spain was the nearest neutral country, but it was over 100 miles away and he’d need help to reach it. He came across a lone farmer and watched him for hours, trying to work out whether he might be a sympathiser or even an active member of the French Resistance, or whether he might be a traitor and collaborator. In the end, he realised he had no choice but to approach the man…

The Doctor and Polly shouted at the Milice and threw stones at them, then for half an hour they played cat and mouse in the nearby forest. The soldiers were more persistent than they’d expected and the woods seemed to be full of them, and at one stage the Doctor was forced to grab Polly and physically throw her into a prickly gorse bush while they passed by. Eventually the soldiers gave up and moved away again. The Doctor believed they were in 1943 or early 1944. Polly realised that at this precise time she’d be a one-year old child back in England and her family were actually living through this horror. She’d heard tales of her father’s brother, her Uncle Randolph, who was a war hero, but right now he‘d probably be in the prisoner-of-war camp where he would eventually die. They found themselves back at the rendezvous point where they’d agreed to meet up with Ben once he’d rescued Jamie - but there was no one waiting for them!

The pilot was lucky because although the farmer he approached was reluctant to involve himself, he’d agreed to let him hide in his barn and even brought him some food. He stayed there for the night, but couldn’t sleep for fear that the farmer had deceived him and sent for the Gestapo. Some time later the barn door burst open and another man confronted him, but after the pilot had given his name and rank, the stranger revealed that he was here to help him get home.

The next morning there was still no sign of Ben and Jamie, either at the rendezvous point or back at the TARDIS. The soldiers had long gone and the Doctor suggested he and Polly get a ride to the nearest town where they might be able to find out where their friends had been taken. They found an old tractor in a nearby field and while the Doctor tried to start the engine, Polly had time to ponder what her role was in their team. She always tried hard to be useful and was happy making coffee and mopping brows, but sometimes she wondered whether she ever made a real difference. Just then they were confronted by a woman carrying a pitchfork who demanded to know what they were doing. The Doctor quickly adopted a Cockney accent and pretended to be a mechanic who’d come to fix the tractor, but the vehicle belonged to the woman’s father and she knew he wasn’t telling the truth. He then claimed to be a British prisoner who’d sought the help of Polly, an innocent French girl that he’d encountered during his escape. He claimed to be a scientist working on a top secret project and Polly added that it was weapons research on behalf of the Allies. Seizing her chance, Polly wrestled the pitchfork from the woman’s grasp and called to the Doctor to get the tractor engine started so they could get away - but then another man, dressed in the uniform of a British pilot, emerged from the farmhouse and pulled a shotgun on her. The Doctor calmed the situation down and suggested they all put away their weapons and go inside the farmhouse to talk.

The woman, who gave her name as Jacqueline, told the pilot she believed the story told by the Doctor and his companion, partly because they made such unlikely spies, but also because she knew the look of terror in Polly‘s eyes had been genuine. The Doctor and Polly were allowed to sleep in the hayloft, where the pilot had spent the previous night. Jacqueline had been impressed by the fact that Polly hadn’t turned away the Doctor when he needed her help, but her act of kindness had put her at risk. If Polly’s involvement was discovered by the Gestapo, she’d be sent to a concentration camp or put up before a firing squad like their own group’s forger, Gerard. Without Gerard’s help, it was impossible to provide the Doctor and Polly with false identity cards, but Jacqueline said there was only one checkpoint between them and the nearest town and if it was manned by her cousin she was confident they could get through. The pilot knew that Jacqueline wasn’t an activist by choice, yet somehow she’d become a vital link in the chain he was following. He also knew that no matter how afraid she was, she would do what she believed to be right.

The next day, the Doctor and Polly found themselves hidden beneath tarpaulin in the trailer attached to Jacqueline’s tractor. As they stopped at the nearby checkpoint, Polly had nothing but respect for the woman‘s nerves of steel as she bluffed her way past the Nazi guards. The pilot, sitting beside Jacqueline in the tractor cab, presented his fake identity card and then the tractor was allowed on its way. Eventually they came to a stop and the Doctor and Polly got out to stretch their legs. Polly still didn’t know the name of the pilot, but he told her it was better that way. They’d talked throughout the night, having slept most of the afternoon, and Polly was quite taken by the twinkle in his eye. He told her he’d been on the run in France for almost a fortnight and Jacqueline was just one part of a network of resisters helping to ferry stranded soldiers and airmen across the country. They were nearly at the border now, but this horrified Polly as neither she nor the Doctor wanted to go to Spain and leave their friends behind.

Jacqueline led them through to a busy marketplace and although Polly felt very self conscious, the four of them blended in quite easily. Polly was amazed at how normal everything seemed because the people went about their business as if it didn’t matter that the world was at war. The only things that ruined the illusion of peace were the posters warning of dire consequences for anyone aiding the enemy and the presence of the Milice on the streets. The group stopped when Jacqueline gave them directions to a tailor’s shop at the end of a quiet street and told them to ask for Claude. This was as far as Jacqueline was going and they said their goodbyes. Polly was surprised, but the Doctor said it was important she knew as little as possible about the rest of the escape route.

The tailor was busy with a customer when they arrived, so they had to pretend to be interested in the clothes on display until he was free. The group asked for Claude and the tailor directed them to a door at the back of the shop. They descended down some steps into the cellar where they found three young men waiting for them. While the pilot explained their situation to the men, the Doctor noticed some opened crates nearby which contained plastic explosives. He told Polly this meant Ben and Jamie were in more trouble than they thought. A fourth man entered the room from a hidden doorway and turned a gun on the new arrivals. Realising this must be Claude, the pilot explained that they’d been sent here by Jacqueline, but Claude warned him back and said he had reason to believe one of them was a Gestapo spy. Polly assured him that wasn’t possible, but when Claude asked her how long she’d known the two men she was travelling with she realised she couldn’t vouch for the Doctor as she’d claimed earlier that they’d only just met. The pilot offered to answer any questions Claude might have and began by introducing himself. He said he was flying special duties for the RAF dropping crates for the resistance and that his name was Randolph Wright. Polly was shocked and looked at the pilot in amazement. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t recognised him before - Pilot Officer Randolph Wright was her uncle!

Episode Two
(drn: 29'44")

The Doctor had realised Claude must be a member of the Maquis and it was his group who’d gone to the railway line where the TARDIS had landed, taking explosives with them. Unfortunately the Milice were waiting for them and they were walking into an ambush - but because of the unexpected arrival of the Doctor and his companions, the soldiers had been distracted. Claude knew someone must have tipped off the Milice about their plans, but it couldn’t have been the Doctor or Polly as they’d had no contact with the resistance before yesterday. This meant Wright had to be their main suspect and the pilot conceded that he could have easily overheard something at the farmhouse. He’d been there for three days and had dealings with both Jacqueline and the forger Gerard

Polly insisted that the pilot was innocent and that he’d been totally honest with them, but Claude ignored her and led the man into a private back room. The Doctor tried to reassure Polly, but she snapped at him and pointed out that he’d promised Jamie and Ben would be alright too, yet now it was clear they must have been arrested by mistake instead of the Maquis. The Doctor suggested they earn the trust of Claude and make use of his resources to rescue their friends. Polly already knew what the future held for her uncle and she was horrified at the thought that she might be present at the moment he died. They heard a commotion coming from the back room, followed by cries of pain, but there was nothing she could do to intervene. Eventually her uncle and Claude returned and it was clear he pilot had been beaten quite severely, but Claude seemed to be satisfied. He told the Doctor and Polly the three of them had been booked on an early morning train which would take them to the border. The only problem they might face was if they were asked to show their identity cards, but fortunately the Doctor volunteered himself as a replacement forger.

The group spent the rest of the day in the cellar, but Polly found it difficult to sleep. The Doctor was put to work and sat at a desk strewn with paper and pens. He was even given an old-fashioned box camera which he used to take pictures of the other evaders. Polly began to wonder whether this was the moment her uncle would die and she knew that if the traitor in their midst had already told the Gestapo about this place, it’s possible she and the Doctor might even share his fate. She’d been impressed by how Jacqueline had been able to make a real difference and she vowed to stick close to her uncle Randolph until she could see a way to change his fate and keep him safe.

Jacqueline unexpectedly returned and Claude rebuked her as she could have led the Milice to their hiding place. Jacqueline revealed that the Gestapo were waiting for her at the farmhouse, but a friend was able to warn her and she got away. Her parents had been arrested and although they didn’t know any details of her contacts in the resistance, they would undoubtedly be tortured nonetheless. She didn’t know where else she could go, but now she was considering turning herself in to protect her parents. Claude refused to let her do that as it could endanger the lives of the others in their group. She considered killing herself, but Wright intervened and talked her out of it. He suggested Claude arrange for Jacqueline to join the evaders and flee the country on the morning train. Claude wasn’t happy as it meant more work and more risk for his group, but he also wondered what Polly and Jacqueline planned to do when they reached Spain because French citizens who crossed the border were normally arrested and returned. Wright said he could take them both to the British Consulate who would no doubt welcome them with open arms after all they’d done. When the Doctor said he’d have no difficulty producing yet another identity card, Claude had no choice but to accept their plan.

Polly talked to the Doctor in private and they both agreed they mustn’t get on the train as it would only take them further away from the TARDIS and their friends. The Doctor had already spoken to Claude about Ben and Jamie, and he seemed quite eager to help in return for some more of the Doctor‘s fake documents. Polly was worried that Claude would assume they were the spies if they didn’t board the train, but the Doctor hoped they could slip away without anyone noticing. With their own identity cards they shouldn’t have too much trouble travelling around.

The next morning Claude reported that his contacts had told him a number of prisoners had escaped from the Gestapo as they were being escorted across country France towards Germany. When Polly heard that the two prisoners had apparently started arguing and fighting with each other, then attacked the guards when they intervened, she knew it must be Ben and Jamie. Several prisoners had managed to get away and although there’d been no word of the two who’d originally caused the distraction, they were described as a seaman and a Scot. Polly’s joy was tempered by the sight of Jacqueline, who was greatly distressed by the fate of her parents. Polly knew that France would be liberated in less than a year’s time and that the war would be over a few months after that, but she also knew that would be too late for some people.

The train station was busy when the group arrived. Polly examined her fake ticket and noticed the date was February 1944, which meant it was much later than she‘d thought. There were seven of them in the group and as they approached the platform, Jacqueline saw that one of the Milice on duty was the same cousin they’d met the day before at the checkpoint. She knew he’d never turn a blind eye if he saw her here, so Wright waited until the man was distracted with another passenger, threw his arm around Jacqueline and led her quickly towards the waiting train. The other evaders followed, except for the Doctor and Polly who held back. They were about to slip away when Polly noticed that Jacqueline’s cousin had spotted someone or something unusual and drew out his gun. He shouted a warning and then the crowd starting screaming and panicking as Milice started pouring into the area from all directions. Shots were fired and Polly saw Jacqueline’s cousin and three other soldiers standing over the body of a man she didn’t recognise.

Polly saw Wright and Jacqueline boarding the train while everyone was distracted, then the Doctor joined her, having just realised that the pilot must be her uncle. He told Polly she’d done everything she could, but she wasn’t convinced. The Doctor had certainly done his part by providing identity cards, but was it enough to save her uncle‘s life? She’d expected that if he had been saved, her childhood memories would automatically be re-written so that her uncle had always been there - but that hadn‘t happened. She suspected that she hadn’t really made a difference at all…at least, not yet.

Suddenly the Doctor and Polly were confronted by a ticket inspector. While the Doctor shuffled through his pockets, Polly was hit with the realisation that she’d been brought here for a reason. She turned and raced past the guards on the platform, yanked open the door of the train and jumped aboard just as it began to pull out of the station. Through the window, she saw the Doctor standing on the platform, looking back in dismay, but it was too late for her to change her mind. The carriage door opened and her uncle Randolph joined her. He told her Jacqueline had gone to check that the other evaders had boarded safely, but he assured her the hardest part of their escape plan was over now. He took the opportunity to ask Polly about her family and she told him about her parents and her four brothers. Randolph said the worst thing about the war was how it tore families apart. She asked him about his family and he told her he had two older brothers, a devoted mother and a three-year old nephew. Polly was surprised by this revelation. Randolph went on to say that his brother Edward got married a month before war broke out and he now lived with his wife and son in the country where he practiced as a doctor. Polly asked him about his niece, but Randolph was confused as he’d never mentioned having a niece. Polly made an excuse to leave, but Randolph suddenly became hostile and insisted she stay here with him.

Randolph admitted that he’d thought he’d come through Claude’s interrogation with flying colours, but obviously he now knew he must have betrayed himself somehow. He asked Polly what it was that gave him away, but she refused to answer and accused him of being the Gestapo spy all along. Randolph held a knife to her throat and warned her not to struggle, but she pointed out that she might as well scream, given that the alternative to dying was being tortured and left to rot in a concentration camp. She added that at least if she screamed, Jacqueline might hear her and discover the truth. With nothing to loose, Polly screamed at the top of her voice…

It later occurred to Polly that her real Uncle Randolph must have already been in German hands for some months for the impostor to have learned so much about him as he did. She realised then that she hadn’t really been brought to 1944 to save him. It was just blind chance, and she’d abandoned everyone she loved for a lie. It was Jacqueline who’d saved her from the spy. The arrest of her parents had hardened her and she’d taken a gun from the tailor’s cellar, from under Claude’s nose, and when she stepped into the train compartment and seen the traitor holding a knife at Polly, she hadn’t hesitated to use it. With all the noise coming from the steam engine, no one else had heard the noise, so no one bothered investigating. With the help of the other evaders, Polly and Jacqueline pushed the dead body under the seat and covered it with their coats. Eventually they arrived at their destination and hurriedly disembarked, knowing it wouldn’t be long before the body was discovered. They were met at the station by a man named Paul Bernard, who was the final link in the evasion line and their guide for the remainder of the journey. They stayed for 24 hours at his cottage before starting a two-day hike across the Pyrenees to the border. There would be many guards on patrol, but Paul knew the mountains well and was confident they could avoid them. Polly wanted to go back for her friends, but Jacqueline told her the Germans were losing the war and it was making them more ruthless and brutal. She told Polly there was no place for them back in France and they had to leave the resistance to people like Claude, who could respond in kind. It later occurred to Polly that if she hadn’t jumped on the train, the spy would have been free to expose everyone’s involvement in the resistance. She now knew that she had made a real difference after all.

On their second night in the mountains, Paul Bernard discovered someone had been following them. Spotting someone moving in the shadows, he grabbed the figure and they both ended up fighting. The other evaders rushed to help him, just as two more people emerged from the trees to assist the first. Just as Jacqueline raised her gun to shoot the newcomers, Polly recognised them - it was the Doctor, Ben and Jamie! Polly pulled Paul Bernard away and explained that they were her friends, but Jacqueline was still suspicious and demanded to know how they’d got here ahead of them. The Doctor revealed that he’d easily been able to handle the situation back at the railway station and when he bumped into two more escaping British officers, the three of them found their own transport across the country. Polly realised they must have come here in the TARDIS, so she told Jacqueline she was going to leave their group and continue travelling with the Doctor and his new companions. She added that she couldn’t give a more detailed explanation as it was all bound up in the Doctor’s secret research for the Allies. Jacqueline accepted Polly’s reasons and finally revealed that Jacqueline was only her codename and that her real name was Michelle.

When her friends took her back to the TARDIS, Polly discovered it had landed on a steep slope and slid all the way down to the bottom of the mountain. She was surprised the Doctor had been able to steer the ship here, but Jamie revealed that he and Ben had spent six hours bickering over a map working out her most likely escape route while the Doctor had been tinkering with the controls. They could easily have ended up millions of miles away, but the Doctor thought fate was on their side this time. He admitted that he’d had a quick peek at the Time Scanner before they set off, and although he wouldn’t tell Polly what he saw, he told her that history has a way of protecting itself. Polly wondered how much he really knew about her uncle Randolph, but all the Doctor would say is that he was grateful she was always there when he most needed someone. He said she was an extraordinarily resourceful and compassionate woman and he was sure that one day she’d work out what she was meant to do with her life and then she‘d do it magnificently. All he asked was that she saved her efforts for making a difference in her own time, not in the past.

Source: Lee Rogers

[Back to Main Page]