The Doctor and Evelyn make their way through the marketplace of ancient Rome, dodging tradesmen selling food, shoes and even magic spells. The Doctor is delighted to be experiencing such culture, but Evelyn complains that the heady scent of fish is overwhelming. He’s disappointed by her reaction and reminds her this is one of the birthplaces of civilisation, but she says she was expecting to see civil wars and the overthrowing of Kings rather than hot pie stalls and lucky charm salesmen. Although he agrees that this period is known for the odd monarchical displacement and even the occasional military squabble, it’s also the time of Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes and Euclid. Evelyn reminds him that none of them were actually Roman, so instead he suggests Catullus, Cicero and Caesar, all of whose cultural significance cannot be denied. Evelyn agrees that they sound much more exciting so she asks which of them they’re going to visit first. Unfortunately if the TARDIS’s time monitor is correct, this is 101BC, which means the poet Catullus has been dead half a century, the philosopher Cicero is only five years old and Caesar won’t be born until next year. Evelyn is intrigued by the idea that Caesar’s parents are out there somewhere right now, with no idea that they’re about to produce one of the most important figures in history who’ll be remembered for millennia to come. As she celebrates the name of Julius Caesar, a passing man stops in his tracks and asks why she was calling his name. Evelyn is momentarily flummoxed until the Doctor intervenes and explains that the man must be Senator Gaius Julius Caesar - the elder. Desperate for a reason to explain why she called him over, Evelyn asks how the Senator’s wife is and Gaius is delighted to discover that they know his wife Aurelia. He tells them she is well and invites them both for dinner, convinced it would be good for Aurelia to see some old friends again. Evelyn tries to make an excuse, but the Doctor interrupts her and says they’d be delighted.
The Doctor and Evelyn travel with Gaius to a very impoverished part of town. Evelyn can’t believe the first man in Rome really came from a place like this - it’s like discovering the Queen had given birth to Prince Charles in Hackney! The Doctor tells her that by all accounts Aurelia is indeed very Queen-like, which makes Evelyn even more worried. The Doctor is confident they can bluff their way through it and in any case, Aurelia will be far too polite to mention the fact that she doesn‘t know them. Eventually they arrive at the Caesar home and Gaius invites them in to sit down. He calls his wife and tells her he has a wonderful surprise for her - but to the Doctor and Evelyn’s acute embarrassment, Aurelia calls back to Gaius in a very seductive manner and emerges from the bedroom dressed in a way that suggests she was definitely not expecting company that night! She stops in her tracks when she sees their two guests and although she returns their greeting politely, it’s clear that their presence is unwelcome. Evelyn nervously claims that they haven’t seen each other for an awfully long time and says she wouldn’t be surprised if Aurelia doesn’t remember them, but Aurelia icily replies that she could never forget them. Gaius invites the Doctor and Evelyn to sit down while he attends to a few small matters in preparation for the forthcoming Festival of Mars. He asks Aurelia if she’ll look after their guests and she agrees, albeit through gritted teeth.
Once they’re alone with Aurelia, the conversation soon dries up and the Doctor and Evelyn both sit twiddling their thumbs in front of the evidently hostile woman. Then Aurelia makes an excuse to leave the room. Evelyn whispers to the Doctor that the ’Queen’ doesn’t seem very pleased to see them, but then the raised voices of Aurelia and Gaius drift through from the next room. Aurelia is furious with her husband for inviting them back, especially if he wants a son and heir, and Evelyn realises the woman had a rather different kind of evening planned. She points out to the Doctor that this is October, which means that in nine months time it’ll be July, the month that will later be named after the birthday of Julius Caesar himself. The truth slowly dawns on the Doctor. They’re all for being present while history is being made, but this is a bit too close. The Doctor agrees it would probably be best if they left, so they slip out quickly while their hosts are out of the room.
Returning to the TARDIS, the Doctor notes that Evelyn didn’t seem too taken with the glories that were Rome. She admits that it was smellier, noisier and grottier than she expected, but it doesn’t matter really and stepping into the pages of history is always special to her. She considers the fact that in nine months time, the first ever caesarian section will take place and out will pop baby Julius. To her surprise, the Doctor tells her this is actually a myth and although it’s widely believed the procedure was named after him, the truth is that Aurelia survived the birth, which certainly wouldn’t have been the case if she’d gone under a Roman surgeon’s knife. He turns to programme the TARDIS for their next destination, but Evelyn stops him and poses a problem. She wonders if Aurelia survived because she wasn’t attended by a Roman surgeon after all. Perhaps it was a doctor…from the future! The Doctor is horrified at her suggestion that he deliver Julius Caesar, especially as it isn’t his area of expertise. Evelyn tries to persuade him, convinced that his knowledge will help nudge people in the right direction. She says they can’t afford to ignore the possibility that their actions might save a life and although the Doctor ponders the point for a moment, he reluctantly agrees to go forward in time nine months…
Outside the TARDIS, Evelyn notices that it seems a bit chilly for July, but the Doctor reminds her that before Caesar reformed the calendar, the months of the year were all over the place and no two years in a row contained the same number of days. For a historian, her ignorance sometimes astounds him! In any case, they’ve landed some distance from the Caesar home, so the walk should warm her up. They arrive at the house and knock on the door, and although the Doctor hopes the couple remember them after so long, Evelyn hopes they don‘t! As the door opens, a flustered looking midwife greets them and they hear Aurelia screaming in the next room. The woman tells the Doctor this isn’t a good time for visitors, but Evelyn insists they go in as it’s obvious that things aren’t going well. They push the midwife aside and rush over to assure Aurelia that help has arrived, but to their surprise they find the exhausted woman lying beside her newly born baby. Evelyn is shocked and, without thinking, asks if the baby is supposed to look like that. Hearing the Doctor’s name, Aurelia asks if everything is alright and is reassured to learn that things seem to be fine. The midwife turns angrily on them and accuses them of barging in. Now that they’re here, they might as well make themselves useful, so the midwife asks the Doctor to pass her a knife so she can cut the cord. Unfortunately the Doctor reacts to her request too slowly and when the angry midwife moves him aside to get it herself, the Doctor accidentally cuts his finger in the confusion. Evelyn realises she must have been wrong as Aurelia obviously didn’t need their help after all and this time everything seems to have gone alright. In a way it’s quite nice for a change not to have the hand of fate on their shoulders. The midwife hands the baby to its mother and Aurelia is delighted to learn that she has a beautiful baby girl. Evelyn is shocked, especially when Aurelia decides to call the baby Julia!
As they stride back to the TARDIS, Evelyn urges the Doctor to slow down, but he insists they don’t have time to dawdle. She knows things are bad and that they’ve somehow changed history. She remembers when they last met Aurelia nine months ago and how their arrival disrupted her plans to spend time with her husband. As a result, no son and heir was conceived that night and by the time Aurelia actually did get pregnant, nature had decided to arrange things with two X chromosomes instead. The Doctor tells her they have to find a way to reverse the damage and quickly.
They enter the TARDIS and the Doctor activates the Fast Return switch to take the ship back to the very moment when things went wrong. Evelyn puts a plaster on the Doctor’s cut finger, but his mind is on a completely different baby - the ‘great’ Julius Caesar is now a girl. He decides they must return to Gaius and Aurelia and make sure that things get back on the right track. Evelyn doesn’t sound so sure and has taken offence to his implied suggestion that a female version of Caesar couldn’t be just as great. He reminds her this is ancient Rome and women aren’t even allowed to hold office. Evelyn thinks that’s the problem and can imagine how much better the world would have been if the most important Roman of all time was a woman. It could even be the catalyst that changes all of history. The Doctor insists this is precisely what they’re trying to stop, but Evelyn still thinks it would be a change for the better and believes this was all somehow ’meant’ to happen. The Doctor argues that the only thing they achieved when they intervened in the childbirth was to scare the mother half to death when Evelyn asked if the baby was “supposed to look like that”. Evelyn is embarrassed and admits that she’s never seen a newborn baby before. As she’s never had children, it bothers her that the family tree will end with her. She believes travelling with the Doctor has become her destiny, and perhaps the baby Julia was meant to be born and their interference is an important part of history. She reminds him of their encounter with Mozart - before they intervened he was only remembered for his lift music and film soundtracks. When the Doctor admits that he can’t be absolutely sure, Evelyn is even more determined the baby Julia will be born. She believes the future will be better if women are in charge - there’ll be no wars, no poverty and no size zero models! The Doctor refuses to divert the timeline and insists they put time back on the right track, but Evelyn says she won’t let him do that as this is too important. The Doctor sighs and asks her to put the kettle on so they can discuss it further over a cuppa. The TARDIS lands and he opens the door, saying he’s going outside to check the atmospheric conditions. Evelyn isn’t fooled for a second, but the Doctor closes the door behind him and tells her he can’t let her come out. She bangs on the door angrily, but it’s no good.
The Doctor arrives outside the Caesar house. He can hear the voices of Gaius and Aurelia coming from inside and it’s clear they’re still arguing about their unwanted visitors. When he hears Aurelia say she’s no longer in the right mood, he knocks on the door. Gaius greets him rather uncomfortably, but Aurelia makes no attempt to disguise her anger. The Doctor says it was rude of him to leave without saying goodbye, but Evelyn was feeling a little off colour. He noticed their presence caused a little tension earlier and he’s decided to make it up to them both with a bottle of wine. On the basis that music is the food of love, he then begins to play them a snatch from ‘Greensleeves’. Almost immediately the mood in the house starts to lighten and Aurelia apologises to her husband for being so cross, but before he can respond, Evelyn arrives and spoils he Doctor’s gentle performance by humming along with a comb and tissue. She explains that the Doctor left the TARDIS manual lying around so she was able to work out how to override the lock. She innocently apologises if she spoilt the mood, but then the Doctor makes an excuse and drags her outside.
He reminds Evelyn that he’s trying to stop the Web of Time from unravelling and possibly destroying the entire world, but she protests and says she’s just trying to make that world a better place. The Doctor insists that you can’t just re-knit the unravelled timelines into something better, then he asks if she’s prepared to come back inside and make polite conversation or should he take her back to the TARDIS. Reluctantly, she agrees so they both return to the house.
Later, Evelyn makes a great show of trying to be nice to the Caesars. The Doctor is busy preparing dinner for the couple, which embarrasses Gaius as they have slaves to do that sort of thing. Evelyn assures them the Doctor is a dab hand in the kitchen, then she casually asks if they’ve ever heard of Typhoid Mary? They haven’t, so she explains that Mary was a cook who didn’t realise she had typhoid fever so she passed it on to everyone who eat her food. She can’t explain what made her think of that and asks them to forget she mentioned it and just get on and enjoy the meal. The Doctor returns with a delicious banquet for the couple, but when he tells her he and Evelyn will be joining them, Aurelia becomes uneasy. The Doctor dishes out the starter course - asparagus - and again Evelyn casually drops into the conversation that she can’t eat it herself because it’s a diarrheic and it tends to make her ’go’, which leads to an unpleasant smell. The Doctor suggests they leave the couple alone to enjoy their meal, but it’s too late and the damage is done. Aurelia and Gaius push their plates away and say they’ve had enough. The Doctor refuses to be beaten and produces the second course, with a secret ingredient - slithers of truffle, one of the greatest delicacies known to man. Evelyn tells them the truffle is a particular favourite of the amorous pig because the thing the Caesars have on their plate contains a chemical which mimics the reproductive hormones of swine. Frustrated, the Doctor decides to skip straight to dessert - strawberries. Before he serves it up, he asks Evelyn if she has anything to say about that. She feigns ignorance and then helpfully points out that the fruit is grown in manure. Angrily, the Doctor apologises to Gaius and Aurelia and then drags his companion forcefully from the house.
Outside, Evelyn protests that she was simply making polite conversation, but the Doctor knows very well that she was deliberately sabotaging his efforts. He tells her he’s placing her under TARDIS-arrest until the proper timeline is back on track, but she protests that he’s dragging her far too fast and her poor knees are starting to suffer. He says she can rest all she needs once they’re back in the ship, but she insists that she needs to sit down right now. When she starts to cry out in pain, he reluctantly agrees and they come to a stop near a fountain. Evelyn says she’s be alright after a rest and a couple of her pills, but then she realises her handbag is still back in the TARDIS, so she asks the Doctor if he can go back and fetch it. He tells he’ll only be a few minutes and asks her to wait here, but as soon as he’s disappeared from sight, Evelyn jumps to her feet - miraculously recovered. She races back to the Caesar house, determined to ensure that Julia Caesar comes into existence, whether the Doctor likes it or not.
Evelyn arrives back at the house but to her surprise, the door opens and she finds the Doctor standing before her. He announces that he’s come from her own personal future with a message from herself, warning her to stop this course of action now. He says he comes from a time where the world is doomed, thanks to her meddling! The air is aflame, the seas have boiled dry and no creature can live on the Earth. For weeks they watched the death throes of her planet, and during all that time her future self blamed herself and said she’d do anything for an opportunity to stop her earlier actions. For a moment Evelyn is horrified, but then she notices the Doctor still has the sticking plaster on his finger. If they’ve been watching the end of the world for weeks, surely it would have recovered by now? She rips the plaster off and discovers the cut is still fresh. He also appears to be out of breath from running to get to the house before her. She accuses him of trying to deceive her, and he reminds her that she also lied about the condition of her poor knees. Did she really think he would be fooled into leaving her alone after her last performance? She regrets worrying him by pretending to be in pain, but when he reminds her that he’s trying to save the world, she insists that he’s simply trying to perpetuate a patriarchal society.
Their argument begins to erupt again until eventually Gaius and Aurelia emerge from the house and ask what all the noise is about. They’re not surprised to see that the Doctor and Evelyn are responsible for the commotion, but the worst part is that they’ve woken up baby Julia. The Doctor and Evelyn are shocked by this revelation, but this surprises Aurelia as they were both present when the baby was born. It was only nine months ago - surely they can‘t have forgotten so quickly? Aurelia certainly hasn’t forgotten the moment when they barged in and said rude things about her baby. Realisation dawns on Evelyn and she now knows why Aurelia recognised them when they first arrived at the house earlier tonight. She wasn’t just being polite - in fact, she had to bite her tongue to hold back from saying what was really on her mind. Gaius becomes angry too. Had he realised they were the same two visitors who trespassed on his wife’s childbirth nine months earlier, he’d never have allowed them in the house. The Doctor mumbles an embarrassed apology and says it’s time they were going. Gaius tells him that’s a good idea and adds that if he ever sees them again, he’ll have them flogged. Aurelia is impressed by the manly way her husband is standing up for her and begins to see him in a rather amorous light. The Roman couple cuddle and go back into the house and Evelyn suggests to the Doctor that his work here might actually be done.
Evelyn realises they never really were in 100BC after all and the Doctor has no intention of going there now. Caesar will be born without any interference from them! Obviously they went nine months into the past instead of nine months into the future as they intended. The Doctor’s mistake was not to realise that if they’ve arrived in years BC the years are count backwards. At first the Doctor tries to blame the TARDIS for getting confused, but then he concedes that it’s automatic to add rather than take away when you’re going into the future. Evelyn is worried about the future, but the Doctor assures her it’s safe and was never actually at risk…except from her. She still believes the world would be a better place with women in charge, but the Doctor knows that wasn’t what this was about. He tells her that although her personal bloodline may not go forward, she herself is definitely part of the future. Julia was always meant to exist, even though history barely remembers her. But right now, at this moment, that doesn’t matter, at least not to baby Julia. Evelyn accepts that if she had had a child, it wouldn’t be about giving herself a future, but about making sure her child was a part of the present. The Doctor asks if she still has regrets about never having a baby and she tells him she does, but he reminds her that she’s saved many lives and made other people’s lives better.
All Evelyn wants right now is a hot pie - as long as it’s not asparagus or truffle, but when the Doctor tells her flamingo tongues and peacock brains used to be a delicacy here, she decides that a pie wasn’t such a good idea after all. She thinks a cake should be fairly safe, but then the Doctor tells her wedding cakes used to be broken over the bride’s head to ensure fertility…
My Own Private Wolfgang
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is demonstrating his latest work to his butler when he finishes the performance abruptly. The butler asks if he intends to finish it like that, but the composer assures him he’s just taking a breather as he thinks his work is rubbish. The butler doesn’t agree and says he was rather enjoying it, especially the ‘diddly-dum’ bit in the middle, but Mozart is frustrated and says it hardly rates alongside ’The Magic Flute’ or his ‘Requiem‘. The butler concedes the point as the ‘Requiem’ is his masterpiece and nothing’s ever going to compare with that, but his latest composition still has charms all of its own. Mozart says he’d burn it if he had any integrity, but the butler thinks it’s just his nerves talking because tonight’s performance. Mozart wonders who’s been invited, but the butler says they’re just friends so there’s nothing to worry about. Mozart knows he doesn’t have any friends apart from the butler. After all these years, he’s reduced to being pally with the hired help! The butler advises him not to become too sentimental and save it for the music, where it’ll be less embarrassing. He reminds him that the guests will be arriving in a few hours, so he should get back to the composing. They’re all expecting his new symphony and he doesn’t want to end it too abruptly as no one likes things that sound unfinished. Mozart asks for reassurance that it’s going to be alright and the butler asks him what could possibly go wrong..?
The Doctor had promised to take Evelyn to a concert and she was expecting something good, so she’s surprised that he’s brought them to see Mozart. The Doctor assures her Mozart is alright, and in fact some of the tracks on his ‘Greatest Hits’ CD are really rather nice. Evelyn didn’t even think there was a real Mozart. He’s been composing for hundreds of years and no one can live that long, so she just assumed it was a name musicians used to hide behind when they didn’t want to be linked with something really bad. The Doctor has always felt the same way, especially as Mozart has begun work on his 10,000th symphony. But here they are, ready to meet the man himself. Evelyn doesn’t mind having a mystery to solve, but she was hoping there’d at least be an interesting musical accompaniment. They’ve gone back in time to a ball commemorating Mozart’s 100th birthday party and the invitation insisted that guests bring their own masks. Evelyn is anticipating a very irritating evening - not only is her nose starting to itch, but they’re going to have to listen to Mozart of all people. The last thing she heard from him was his soundtrack to the remake of “The Italian Job”, and even the Doctor admits that by Evelyn’s time, Mozart’s work had started to go off the boil somewhat. Personally, he doesn’t think things were ever the same after Mozart started to use electronic drum kits. Once you’ve heard one ambient concept album, you’ve heard them all.
The butler arrives and offers the Doctor and Evelyn a fruit scone, assuring them Mozart made them himself. When they reluctantly accept, the butler clearly hears a woman’s voice coming from behind Evelyn’s mask and he asks where they got hold of their invitations? The Doctor explains that his spaceship intercepted them in the Time Vortex and at first the butler says that really shouldn’t have happened. Then he remembers he’s from 1846 and claims to know nothing about time vortexes, advising them not to confuse his well-trained reserve with anything anachronistic. When he leaves, the Doctor puts the scone in his pocket, complaining that it contains too much sugar. Moments later, the butler takes to the stage and calls for the attention of the audience. He introduces the star of the show and leads everyone in a round of applause.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart thanks everyone for their warm reception. He reminds the audience that at the age of six he performed before the crowned heads of Europe, but now at the age of 100, he’s relegated to playing before a bunch of strangers with their faces covered with masks. He thanks them for coming anyway, to witness what he hopes will be his greatest performance. He recalls a time when he used to be asked what makes great art, but no one ever asks him that now, which is a shame because he finally has the answer. He says great art is simply a matter of knowing when to stop. That’s all there is to it. He says he has some music to play them, although it’s not very good. The notes are alright and nothing’s discordant, but it has no soul and there’s no point to it. It’s just a pretty noise and he has nothing to actually say anymore. In fact, he’s had nothing to say for years, and when he looks back he wishes he‘d died young, before he became just another mediocrity. To everyone’s shock, he pulls out a gun and announces this is to be his performance. The butler rushes forward, but Mozart says this moment is long overdue. He then turns the gun on himself and fires point blank into his own head. However, although the bullet enters his body, it has no effect on him. He fires again and again, until he finally gives up and declares himself to be a failure who can’t even kill himself properly. He storms off the stage, pushing everyone aside. The butler asks the audience to congratulate the master for his new ‘avant-garde’ performance, which he calls ‘Concerto with Firearm’. The crowd claps nervously and the butler invites them to enjoy the rest of the refreshments. He heads for Mozart’s private quarters and stops to remonstrate with the Doctor and Evelyn who are also trying to gain entry. The Doctor argues that Mozart will be in urgent need of medical treatment, but the butler insists he is the one who may administer any help, should his master need it. The butler then produces his own gun and orders them to stand back. The Doctor calls his bluff, confident that he wouldn’t want to disrupt the party any more than it already has been. The butler is forced to accept the point, so he allows them to accompany him into the room, warning them to be sensitive as Mozart hates to meet his public.
Inside his quarters, Mozart is remorseful because his performance didn’t go as well as he’d hoped. He’s even more annoyed when the butler enters and introduces the Doctor. When he’s asked how he’s feeling, he admits to being rather sore - and more than a little disappointed - after firing three bullets into his temple and surviving. He didn’t tell the butler what he was planning because he knew he’d try to talk him out of it. He admits to having tried this before, but neither stabbing nor hanging have worked, so he seems to be stuck here! Evelyn asks Mozart why he wants to kill himself, but before the man can answer he convulses and the three bullets pop out from inside his head. Evidently his body heals very quickly. The butler tells him his visitor is due to arrive very shortly and Mozart is upset because he was really hoping to be dead by then. The butler leaves and the Doctor asks about the strange visitor. Mozart says he doesn’t know the man’s name, but he came to him years ago when he was very young. He was dying at the time and the man appeared from nowhere, wearing a black mask. The stranger told Mozart he could save his life and allow him to live forever, on condition that on he would visit him on every birthday and be presented with a new symphony. The Doctor can understand why he was tempted, but Mozart now knows it was a trap. All he wanted was to go on producing music and change the world with the beauty of operas and concertos, but the sad thing is he thought his inspiration would never run dry. Evelyn asks whether he ever considered trying something else, and he tells her he experimented with pottery, poetry, even pastry making - but there’s always someone down the road that can do it better. He explains that if you have a genius for something, it’s very hard to put with being just ‘all right’. If only he hadn’t signed the visitor’s contract, he’d be dead by now and would be remembered as a somebody. Evelyn suggests he tell the visitor he’s changed his mind, but Mozart thinks the man is the Devil and is therefore unlikely to accept the offer. Just then, the butler returns and informs Mozart that his guest has arrived. The Doctor asks if he can meet the masked man too, but the butler says he will only speak to Mozart. Evelyn backs the Doctor up and claims Mozart has a headache after shooting himself, so they both demand the butler takes them to him…
The butler shows the Doctor and Evelyn into the room where the visitor is waiting. The Doctor greets him warmly and asks whether he really is the Devil, as Mr Mozart suspects, but the man in the mask asks them to leave, saying he will speak only to Mozart. Evelyn explains that the composer is otherwise indisposed, then the Doctor announces himself as Mozart’s legal representative and says there’s a problem with the contract between them. The man refutes this, but the Doctor points out Article 37, subsection 3, which he claims is a standard clause that says no contract is binding if either party does business behind a mysterious mask. The Doctor and Evelyn decide to see who’s really behind it, so they leap forward and rip the mask off the man’s head. They’re both stunned and confused to discover whose face is revealed, and as they freeze in shock, the man activates a device and with a great flash, both he and Evelyn disappear into thin air. The Doctor calls out to her, and then turns to the butler and accuses him of being the man behind the mask! The butler claims to be just as surprised as everyone else and says that if he wasn’t so adept at reigning in his feelings, he’d probably be gawping right now. The Doctor has heard enough. His friend is in danger and he’s in no mood for any more secrets. He demands to know who the butler is - and is once again shocked when the butler introduces himself as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart…
With a great flash, the masked version of Mozart and Evelyn reappear in a new location. Evelyn struggles to free herself from his grip, but he warns her to be careful as time travel hops can make one a bit giddy. She demands to know why he’s kidnapped her, but he assures her he hasn’t and it’s not his fault if she got too close to the time warp field. She asks to be taken back to the Doctor, but he can’t do that as he only gets so many time travelling privileges per week. He says he’s a working man and only gets Sundays off. They appear to be inside an enormous kitchen with an even bigger amount of washing up to do. Mozart promises that if Evelyn gives him a hand with the dishes, he’ll tell her whatever she wants to know.
The Doctor has heard about artists being self-obsessed but the idea that someone would employ themself as a butler is surely taking things a bit far? The butler version of Mozart asks him to keep the secret to himself as he would hate his master to find out. The Doctor is surprised to learn that the older Mozart doesn’t already know, but the butler says the poor chap has no friends or family any more. He only has his music, and even then he’s been scraping the bottom of the barrel since the 1800s. He’d have no reason to get out of bed or even open his eyes if it wasn’t for his loyal and trusted companion. Imagine how he’d feel if he discovered that the only person who gave a d**n about him was himself? The Doctor asks if the butler is here just to make himself feel better about himself, but the butler explains that Mozart will never die and he knew that after his music had faded away into obscurity, he’d need someone to care for him. So he travelled back in time, to pledge his allegiance to himself and protect him forever. The Doctor is intrigued - where exactly does a time travelling Mozart come from?
As they do the dishes, Mozart explains that he was once considered the greatest composer that ever lived, but Evelyn has heard his Eurovision entries and finds that a little hard to believe. Mozart insists that history once knew him as a wonder child, composing operas at the age of ten, but before things were messed up, he died in 1791 with his masterpiece, his Requiem, completed by his bedside. The world thought they’d been robbed of one of their greatest geniuses. It was sublime music that made the listener realise there was no limit to what man could achieve, so he doesn’t blame the people for what they did. Thousands upon thousands of years later, when cloning was child’s play, they went back to Salzburg in Vienna, scraped Mozart’s fingerprints from his long-rusted harpsichords and created him anew from the DNA. The model has become a big seller and nearly every home now has its own Mozart, designed to suit a mass audience and with the German accent smoothed out. It can play arias or whistle symphonies on request, but it can also do the washing up, the ironing, the supermarket run and even baby-sitting.
The Doctor is horrified to learn that there are around 800,000 Mozarts in existence now! The butler explains that there would be even more of them if they weren’t so very expensive. They come with a lifetime guarantee and have self-regenerating fluid in their blood, which doesn’t come cheap. But in recent years, attitudes have changed and Mozart simply isn’t as fashionable as he used to be. The butler is no longer with his owners and got thrown out into the street, along with lots of others. They found themselves homeless and unwanted, so the butler collected together enough money to fund one time-travel trip and came straight here. He then arranged this concert, sending invitations through time to all the other rejected Mozarts who had nowhere to live, just so they could all see the original version and understand why they were created in the first place. The Doctor realises the entire audience outside is made up of other Mozarts who no longer have any meaning in their lives. The butler points out one of the audience members and says he was a Mozart whose owners kept him in a kennel. Another one was worked day and night by his owners without any sleep until he eventually collapsed, then he was thrown out with the rubbish. He points to a child and says that was Mozart as a twelve year old, marketed as the Deluxe Children’s Model.
The Mozart with Evelyn in the kitchen explains that his plan was to change history by going back and killing the original Mozart as a baby, but he eventually decided this would be unfair. He then realised that only the good die young and the mediocre stick around forever, so instead he saved Mozart’s life and encouraged him to keep composing more and more work until the world was sick of him. He then hoped that no one would want clones of him in the first place and the multiple versions would never be made. Evelyn thinks this is a rather convoluted way to kill yourself, but Mozart says he doesn’t want death, he wants oblivion! He popped back to 1791, pumped the original Mozart full of self-generating fluid to clear his tuberculosis and then told him to get working on some new music. And he’s delighted to be able to say that Mozart’s latest material is absolute rubbish. Evelyn thinks this is terrible and accuses him of wrecking a man’s posterity, but he says he never intended to hurt the man. This way, Mozart gets to go on living and the clones will never be born, so everybody’s happy. Evelyn reminds him that the original version clearly isn’t happy as he tried to shoot himself, and although the clone tries to explain it away with excuses, he eventually realises she’s right. Evelyn doesn’t care if the clone writes himself out of history, but when someone is obviously striving to rise about the rest and make something of their lives, how could he bear to stop that? In protest, she refuses to dry the saucepan he’s just passed her and points out that there are still marks all over it.
The TARDIS materialises before an incredulous Mozart and when he sees the Doctor emerge in his brightly-coloured costume, he takes this as confirmation that he’s definitely dying. This is the original man, the one and only Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, on his death bed in 1791. The Doctor explains that he’s come here on a matter of life and death. He knows Mozart has no reason to believe him, but he’s brought with him someone he will recognise. The butler emerges from the TARDIS and the bed-ridden Mozart is shocked to see that he’s a younger version of himself. The butler tells Mozart that yet another version of himself is due to arrive shortly, but he mustn’t believe a word he says. Mozart is understandably confused - a man who is him, is telling him that he mustn’t trust another man who is also him - but the Doctor congratulates him on accurately summing up the situation. Suddenly, out of thin air, Evelyn and the other Mozart appear in the room and are delighted to find themselves in the correct place and time. The butler tells the sick Mozart that the new arrival is the man he’d warned him about. The version of Mozart with Evelyn assures the sick Mozart that he means him no harm and says that Evelyn has shown him how wrong he was, so instead he‘s come to help. Evelyn tells the Doctor that she’s spent the whole of the last week just washing up and they must do something to help the slave clones. Evelyn’s Mozart tells the composer that another man is coming who can’t be trusted, but Mozart already knows that.
The Doctor says this is where it gets confusing - the man who’s coming to see Mozart later is actually an earlier version of the new version who’s just arrived with Evelyn. Unfortunately the butler version warned the ill version not to believe anything the new version said, but now everyone seems to be saying that he can trust the new version after all. The butler version corrects him and says it’ll actually be an earlier version of the new version that can’t be trusted. All of this is starting to make the ill Mozart very peckish, so the Doctor offers him a scone he’d picked up earlier - one that was made by Mozart himself. Suddenly, out of thin air, yet another version of Mozart appears. This is an elderly version of the same man who’s currently on his sick bed. He reveals that he’s 100 years old today and accuses Evelyn’s version of himself of being a whipper-snapper who’s been interfering in his life. He urges the sick version not to even think about signing anything that would elongate his life as it’s not worth it. He warns him that a man is about to arrive soon wearing a mask, but when he does he’s not to believe a word that he says.
The Doctor is concerned that the visitor seems to be taking his time getting here, but just then the air shimmers and a masked figure appears from nowhere. He grandly announces to the man in the bed that he’s come here to change his destiny, but then he notices he has company. The Doctor tells him they all know who he is and what he wants, but the ill Mozart is finding the experience of identical versions of himself popping up around his death bed very disconcerting. He apologises for not rising from his bed, but the latest arrival offers Mozart a proposal that will give him immortality. The ill Mozart realises immediately that this is the version of himself that he shouldn’t trust, but when the man promises him that if he does what he says, he’ll be able to continue composing his music forever, he starts to have doubts as it sounds like a good idea. The Doctor points out that at this moment, Mozart is the greatest composer that’s ever lived, but by the 28th century his work will be restricted to the bargain bin. The new arrival reminds Mozart how much talent he still has to offer the world, but the man in the bed remembers the scone that the Doctor claims he made earlier. It wasn’t very good and he wonders whether his future music will be just as bad. The Doctor says it will be even worse once he discovers hip hop, and Mozart agrees that this sounds ghastly.
The ill composer turns to the formerly masked version of himself and turns down the deal. The masked version becomes desperate and pleads with his many other versions to talk some sense into the sick man, but the Doctor insists that the maestro has spoken. The masked man says that by dying now, the original Mozart will condemn hundreds of thousands of clones to slavery, forever wiping dishes and mopping up baby sick - but the Doctor insists that the masked man is himself responsible for that because his actions allowed their owners to get fed up with his music and treating them like skivvies instead. All the unemployment and homelessness they experienced was down to him because he damaged Mozart’s reputation. The masked version asks how he can destroy the music (he even considers making the composer use pan pipes), but the Doctor points out that even if he makes Mozart write bad music, there’ll always be enough people left who’ll remember his good work before he ’jumps the shark’. All the while Mozart has his masterpiece, the people of the future will never stop cloning him and churning out new versions.
Everyone in the room agrees that Mozart’s Requiem is something to be proud of. The sick version has only just written it and is delighted to have completed it before he died. The Doctor picks up the only copy from Mozart’s bedside table and starts flicking through the pages. He has no wish to rob the world of this masterpiece, but maybe if it was a little less masterly..? He suggests removing the last six pages or so, but Mozart tells him it’s a really good bit of work so he’d better removed the last dozen pages. The Doctor slowly rips out the pages, confident that his actions will ensure that Mozart’s genius remains intact. There will still be clones in the future because he’ll always have fans (and, of course, fans NEVER know when enough is enough) but at least this way there won’t be a demand for quite so many of them and the ones that are made, will be custom made rather than mass produced and will actually be wanted by their owners. Everyone in the room agrees that this might just work and nobody minds being the clone of an 18th century composer so long as they get a bit of respect. The original Mozart considers the implications of having an unfinished Requiem and likes the sound of it. Evelyn wonders whether just chopping off the end will be enough to restore Mozart’s damaged reputation, but the Doctor doesn’t see why not. After all, no one likes things that come to an abrupt e____.
Old Jacob puts his young son to bed and says there’s time for just one more story. For a moment he considers “Sleeping Beauty“, but then he decides it’s time he told his son about when he met the Doctor. It started just after his father’s first funeral…
After the service, the whole family went back home to feast on dog-eared sandwiches and flaky sausage rolls and to share their memories his father, Frank Williams. It’s not long before Jacob’s mother Mary begins to wear everyone down with her constant complaints about the state of the world today. No subjects are spared her wrath, whether it be the NHS, dustbin collections or even Jamie Oliver and having pink custard for school dinners. At this stage in his life, Jacob is still a young man with a beautiful fiancé, Talia, and their young baby who’s asleep in Jacob’s old room.
Auntie Julia and Uncle Patrick sit silently and politely as Mary continues to rage against the world’s injustices, but Jacob turns to Talia and asks whether it’s wrong to be bored at your own father’s funeral? She sympathises as Mary launches into another tirade about the new supermarket she’s discovered in Harrogate. Fortunately they’ve already warned her they won’t be staying for the night and that their last train is just after 11pm, but this just gives Mary another reason to complain. Jacob runs his own company in London designing the internet and Mary clearly doesn’t think Talia is good enough for her son, dismissing her as a girlfriend rather than a fiancé. When she makes a barbed comment about Patrick and Julia’s daughter being just a waitress, Julia makes an excuse about having to leave, but when she looks to her husband for support, he’s fast asleep on the settee. As Mary turns her attention to Patrick and Julia’s organic farm, the mood is lightened by a ring on the doorbell, heralding some unexpected visitors.
As he answers the door, Jacob is greeted by a cheery and enthusiastic Doctor, accompanied by Evelyn, Jacob’s former lecturer. Although it takes Evelyn a few moments to recognise him, he remembers her straight away and she guesses it’s because her disappearance made her quite infamous for a while. He says it’s more to do with remembering how quickly she was able to down a pint of Guinness, but the disappearing certainly helped, as did her excellent lecturing abilities. He wonders why she’s here and she tells him she read about his father’s death and wanted to say how sorry she was. Mary calls out from the front room, so Jacob invites them to join the family. Evelyn warns the Doctor to be on his best behaviour!
When they return to Mary, they find her complaining about the lack of parking spaces in the area. Jacob introduces the new arrivals and says that Evelyn was his old history tutor. Mary remembers the stories of her disappearance and always assumed she’d run off with one of the students. The Doctor explains that he and Evelyn are travelling together and, to his Doctor’s surprise, Evelyn stresses that their relationship is just a friendship as he’s far too old for her. Mary wonders what brought them to this neck of the woods and the Doctor tells her they’d just stopped off for a scone at the delightful tea rooms on Smithers Street and when Evelyn popped out to get a paper, she read about Jacob’s father and wanted to offer her condolences.
Later, the Doctor joins Jacob in the kitchen and comments on the fact that neither he nor his mother seem exactly stricken by grief. Jacob assures him they are, but they were prepared for it as they knew his father was going to die, and in fact Mary is going to die soon as well. The Doctor is sorry to hear that, but is surprised when Jacob tells him she’s not ill. It’s all because Jacob now has a son, a baby boy. He’s asleep at the moment in another room with a baby monitor set up, because Mary is terrified of him and doesn’t want him in the same room. The Doctor asks why she’s scared of her own grandson and Jacob says it’s a family thing - his father died because he had a son. He’d always known that his parents would die as soon as he became a father and it’s happened in their family throughout history. On the day his son Paul was born, Jacob’s father died and his mum is due to die sometime this week, possibly even tonight. The Doctor is furious that Jacob just accepts this, but the young man says it’s one of the reasons he wanted to go back to London tonight. The family doesn’t like to talk about such things and if it happens, then it happens. The Doctor insists on helping, so Jacob offers to show him some research his father had done into the family tree that goes back all the way to the 1600s. The Doctor calls out to Evelyn in the front room and says he’s going to look at the Williams’ family tree, but she turns down the offer to join him and says she’d rather stay here with the other girls.
As Jacob loads his father’s research on the study computer, he comments to the Doctor how much older Evelyn seems than he remembers. He recalls how much of a party animal she used to be, but now she only seems to be interested in drinking tea and gossiping with old ladies.
In the living room, Evelyn spots some cake and shares it out, with help from Talia. Mary takes the opportunity to have another go at Talia, and when the young woman decides she’s had enough and challenges her, all hell breaks loose. When Mary announces that Talia was never good enough for her son, Evelyn tries to make an excuse to leave, but Mary insists that she stays as it makes a nice change to have someone intelligent around to talk to. She turns back to Talia and calls her a dirty little trollop. Evelyn tries to get everyone to calm down, but it’s too late and Mary accuses Talia of killing her husband, saying Frank is dead because of the baby. She believes the child is evil and says they should never have come here today. She works herself up into a state of distress and then starts to go into a seizure, as if choking. Evelyn and Talia rush over to help her, but Mary knows there’s nothing they can do. The old woman tells them it’s all Talia’s fault and then she screams out in agony before collapsing to the floor, apparently dead. Just at that moment, they hear the sound of the baby crying in the other room. Evelyn sends Talia to look after her son, then asks Auntie Julia to call for an ambulance.
Moments later, the Doctor bursts into the room with a smile on his face, satisfied that he’s finally worked out what’s going on. He’s shocked to see Mary lying on the floor, but when Jacob joins them he appears resigned to what’s happened, almost as if it was just on cue. The Doctor examines the body and finds no pulse or heartbeat, but amazingly he announces that she’s not dead. There’s no time in her body and she’s just frozen in the moment - but she’s definitely alive! It’s like she’s a zombie, dead but alive at the same time. This is worse than everyone thought. Jacob suddenly realises his dad might not be dead either…and he was buried that afternoon. The Doctor tells Mary’s sister Julia to wake up her sleeping husband. If Frank Williams is still alive, he could be fully aware of everything that’s happening to him, so they must go to the church immediately and free him from his coffin.
Evelyn asks the Doctor for an explanation and he tells her Frank’s research has confirmed that for hundreds of years, every time a boy is born, the grandparents have died. Except they don’t die, as he’s just discovered, they‘re simply frozen in time and fully aware of everything that happens to them. There have been so many of them, all buried alive and lying awake in their coffins until their minds break! Evelyn wonders if there’s some sort of virus at work, but the Doctor says this isn’t a natural illness or accident, it’s pre-meditated and only happens when a grandson is born. From the other room, Talia contacts the group over the baby monitor and asks if they can keep the device switched on so she can hear their voices. The Doctor continues to think through the problem and realises that by waiting for a grandson to be born, the family itself is guaranteed to continue. This suggests someone or something hates the Williams family so much, they’ve spent centuries getting close to them, waiting for the wonderful news of a new baby boy and then callously sentencing the grandparents to a living hell. But who and why? Jacob assumes it’s revenge, but Talia thinks it sounds more like love. Mary hated Talia, but only because she loved Jacob so much and wanted to protect him. She’s worried about her son, but the Doctor points out that he should be safe, at least for another 50 years or so anyway. Jacob goes to comfort Talia in the other room and while the Doctor takes a closer look at his mother, Evelyn offers to make them all a cup of tea.
The Doctor finds that even Mary’s watch has stopped. He’s confident she can hear him, so he tells her not to worry as he’s sure he can put an end to this. Over the baby monitor, he calls to Jacob in the other room and asks everyone to think. Whoever’s doing this must be long-lived, which suggests they’re dealing with a creature who’s possessed by a hatred of one particular family. If they‘re right, the perpetrator probably wants to witness the results of their actions personally and actually see the family suffer. That means they must have been here when Mary was attacked, but how could someone get that close to them for generation after generation without anyone noticing? Evelyn suggests it might be Talia - after all, she isn’t part of the family. The Doctor doesn’t think this is likely as it would mean she was planning to kill her own son in the future. He thinks it’s more likely to be a shape-shifter, an alien who can take the form of anyone and must still be here among them. As Evelyn hands the Doctor a cup of tea, he tries to work out how the crime was actually committed and eventually he realises it must have been done with poison. He orders Jacob and Talia to stay where they are, then he turns to his companion and demands to know where the real Evelyn Smythe is!
The woman disguised as Evelyn tells him his friend is sleeping. The Doctor is furious with himself for not spotting it earlier. Even Jacob noticed how strange she was behaving, talking about tea and girls all the time instead of taking an interest in the family tree. The real Evelyn would have worked most of this out for herself rather than asking silly questions and she certainly wouldn’t have stood there helpless while Mary was dying. The woman mocks him and says the real Evelyn dislikes the fact that he thinks he’s so clever. She reminds him of their visit to the tea room when Evelyn went out to get a paper. That’s when she gave her a ’magic potion’ to send her to sleep in a nearby field and then replaced her. Then she returned to the tea room and insisted they came to pay their respects to the Williams family. The Doctor shouts out to Jacob and tells him to call the police and ask them to search the fields near Smithers Street, then bring Evelyn’s body back here. Jacob doesn’t think the police will believe him, but the Doctor insists he make them. The woman in Evelyn’s image knows all about the Doctor and his time machine and she’d love to taste his mind too. She taunts him about sending Mary and Frank to sleep and says she plans to disappear and return later for Jacob when his own grandson is born. She agrees to tell the Doctor her story…
The woman says she was lost in the darkness for many centuries. Then, years ago, she fell to this world. It was so primitive and emotional that she was drawn in like a moth to a flame. She took human form and in 1695 she met a man, Tobias Williams, and they fell in love. The feelings were alien to her, as she knows they are to the Doctor. She and Tobias were to be married, but then she made the mistake of telling him what she really was and he spurned her as a witch. She was burned at the stake, but the pain she felt inside was far worse. She escaped from the fire because her true form can’t be destroyed by simple elements, but the hatred continued to burn inside her and she swore that her lover would never be happy. She watched as he met someone else and fell in love again so easily. A year later she took on the form of a humble maid and listened at the door as his new wife read a bedtime story to their baby son. The story was “Sleeping Beauty” and she knew then what form her revenge would take - one hundred years of sleep for Tobias and all his sons and grandsons and their descendents who should have belonged to her.
The Doctor feels sorry for the woman. She didn’t just sentence the Williams family, she sentenced herself too. She claims to have fallen in love, but she can’t even comprehend the evil she’s committed. She’s sentenced hundreds of people to sleep, but the thing she discovered about revenge is that it’s not much fun unless she can tell people about it. Over the years she’s sat in pubs, hotels and tea rooms and told her story to so many people and then given them a few drops of her ‘magic‘ to make them sleep for a hundred years. Always aware, always watching and listening as their families mourn for them, trying to scream out but remaining silent. The Doctor believes she’s the personification of hatred, but now she says it’s his turn to sleep. Suddenly the door bursts open and Talia races in, telling the alien woman that this time she’s got it wrong. It’s time Jacob knew the truth. She admits that his mother was right about her all along - she really is a dirty little trollop. She begins to cry and says she cheated on him. Jacob is horrified to learn that the baby isn’t really his and Talia has been secretly having an affair with a guy at college who he hates. She asks for his forgiveness, but with his mum and dad gone he can‘t cope with what he‘s being told. He grabs the magic potion from the alien woman and swigs it back. He starts choking and within seconds, he drops to the floor as if dead.
The Doctor turns to the alien and says the story has now ended. Jacob was the last of the Williams family and the woman has made her last mistake. Her entire existence became about revenge, but with Jacob sleeping, she has nothing left to live for. The woman becomes hysterical as the Doctor urges her to go, then she screams and vanishes before their eyes. When everyone’s had a chance to recover, the Doctor congratulates Talia on her performance - it was so good, it almost had him convinced too. As he suspected, Talia reveals that she was lying all along and she would never cheat on Jacob. The Doctor admits that he can’t bring Jacob and the others back as he doesn‘t know enough about what method the creature was using. All he can do is take them all away in his time machine. He can show them the Universe for the next hundred years and then bring them back to the present. It’ll be like they never went away…
Old Jacob bring his son’s bedtime story to a conclusion. He explains that the Doctor took his sleeping body, together with Frank, Mary and Evelyn, into his time machine and showed them everything. He showed them the stars and gave them the sweetest dreams. After a hundred years, they woke up and he brought them back to that very same night, then he and Evelyn went back to their adventures and were never seen again. Everyone left behind lived happily ever after. Then Old Jacob reveals the horrible truth. In reality he is the shape-changing creature and the ‘son’ he’s been talking to is the real Jacob, now an elderly man. The Doctor didn’t fool him for a second, not after everything he’d learned from Evelyn’s mind, nor was he convinced by Talia’s lies about Jacob’s son being illegitimate. They all thought they were being so clever and assumed he’d died - but instead he just reverted to his natural form. After a while he went back to the tea rooms, found a young waiter called Elliot and sent him to sleep, then took his form. Then he waited and waited, until Jacob’s son Paul had his own son. And now he’s come back for Jacob. He asks the sleeping man if he enjoyed his cup of cocoa. The Doctor isn’t here and there’s no one to help him. This time, there’ll be no happy ending…
100 Days of the Doctor
The Doctor sets the controls of the TARDIS and Evelyn is relieved that they’re finally on their way. She never knew bargaining for their lives could be so tiresome, but the Doctor was always confident he could answer any question the Inquisitor of Shraam put to him. Evelyn wonders whether he really had to do it without hesitation, deviation or repetition, but the Doctor says he likes a challenge. She’s about to take issue with him, but he says if he has one defining characteristic, it’s that he’s different from everyone - even from his other selves, and there aren’t many people who can say that. Evelyn is worried that she’s hurt his feelings, but he assures her she could never do that.
The Doctor decides to put the kettle on, but as he turns to leave he suddenly loses all control of his legs and collapses to the floor. He warns Evelyn away as his arm starts to move of its own volition. Then, a strange voice announces that it has taken control of the Doctor’s speech centres. The voice greets Evelyn and introduces itself as the Texineurons, an intelligent virus that’s infested the Doctor and multiplied to the extent that it can now control his body. The voice explains that it is a weapon of revenge against the Doctor after he caused great irritation to its creators, the Grand Tex of the Tharsis Acumen. They employed an assassin to fire a micro-dart containing a culture of the Texineurons into his skin. Over the next hundred days, the virus will gradually start shutting down the Doctor’s systems in a way that will cause him the maximum possible suffering. Such is the price for offending the Tharsis Acumen. With that, the virus returns control of the Doctor’s body to him while it heads off towards his kidneys. Seconds later, the Doctor revives and tells Evelyn the Texineurons were telling him the truth. He rejects her suggestion of going to hospital as no facilities exist that can treat this condition. He refuses to accept that he only has one hundred days to live and instead prefers to think that he has one hundred days to save himself.
He tells Evelyn the Tharsis Acumen are a technocracy, a civilisation ruled by scientists and therefore riddled with bureaucracy. It took him days just to get some opera tickets and it was there that he discovered the Acumen were experimenting on prisoners. Some of the scientists involved were in the theatre box next to him and he could hear them chattering all through the encores. The Doctor deliberately got himself thrown into jail, where he formed a small theatre group who performed for the Governors. This allowed him to tamper with the Commandant’s desktop computers and free all the political prisoners into the sewers. Now he knows why he was shot, all he needs to do is work out where and when it happened. He knows the Tharsis Acumen only lasted for a few centuries, that they never developed time travel and their influence was limited to one spiral arm of the Milky Way. He calculates that it would take no more than ten years for the virus to infest him, so he uses the TARDIS computer to compile a list of all the places within the range of their assassin where he’s landed during that time. There are still a lot of possibilities and they only have a hundred days to investigate them all. As he plots the course to the first of those locations, the Doctor feels a sudden twinge of pain in his kidneys…
The Doctor takes Evelyn to the first of the possible locations where he may have encountered the assassin,. He explains to her that she’s about to see one of his earlier incarnations who was here to celebrate the inauguration of the Three-Bodied Lustresness of the Vyx. He doesn’t like to speak ill of his earlier self and wants Evelyn to make up her own mind, so he’ll only reveal that this incarnation is interested in sport and has terrible dress sense. Evelyn likes the sound of him already. Suddenly the Doctor cries out in agony, but when Evelyn tries to help him, he warns her that she’s bound to see him suffer from all manner of minor weakness over the next few weeks and he’d rather she didn’t mention every wince and stumble. He apologises for being so brusque but she tells him he can be as grumpy as he likes.
It sounds like the party is in full swing and Evelyn thinks she’s spotted the earlier Doctor in the crowd. The Doctor confirms that she’s right and he also points out his companions at the time, Peri and Erimem. Evelyn is impressed with the dashing younger Doctor and points out how thin he is, which earns her another rebuke from her Doctor. She’s still baffled as to how he can be have a different body and a different personality as people are shaped by their lessons and life experiences, but the Doctor explains that regeneration allows Time Lords to take those lessons and see them in a different way. She also notices that the younger Doctor appears to have his arm around one of his pretty companions, but her Doctor assures her it’s entirely platonic. He cries out again in pain and suspects the virus knows what they’re doing and is reminding him how much damage it can cause. Evelyn notices how well liked the younger Doctor seems to be, but the older version insists that’s not the be all and end all of what he’s about. It’s more to do with being many different things at once and sometimes that means being unpopular. He believes that what’s ‘right’ is often the exact opposite of what the majority think it is. The Doctor tells Evelyn they have to search the crowd for a potential assassin, so they split up. He warns her not to make contact with his earlier self even though she’s sure he’d never notice her anyway amongst all the pretty girls.
Later, the Doctor and Evelyn meet up again, but they haven’t had much luck. For a moment, the Doctor thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye, but it could just have as easily been a trick of the light. Suddenly there’s a tremendous explosion and the crowd begin screaming. Evelyn assumes this must be the work of the assassin, but the Doctor remembers this happening last time he was here - one of the Three Bodies of the Lustresness wanted all the power and had set up the party as a trap! Fortunately his earlier self was able to turn the tables. Fighting breaks out and they watch as Erimem grabs a sword and organises people to stop them running into danger. The Doctor also recalls how impressed he was by how much Peri changed after Erimem arrived. They became such good friends and sparkled in each other’s company, which made him very content. The fighting gets closer, so the Doctor and Evelyn move away to get a closer view of his earlier self.
Despite the Doctor and Evelyn visiting six more planets and sharing six more sightings of the Doctor‘s earlier travels, there’s still been no sign of the assassin. On one of those worlds they even had to hang around for a whole seven days while the earlier Doctor was painting. During this time the Doctor has been trying to hold back the pain by meditating, which is probably why the virus has given him a very distracting headache. Oddly, he doesn’t recall ever coming to their current location. They both take cover when they hear voices approaching and, from their hiding place, they see another Doctor and two new companions being held at gunpoint. This version is a little man in a hat, who the Doctor recognises as his next incarnation. Evelyn realises that if this is a future Doctor, then surely the current one must survive, but the Doctor tells her time is infinitely changeable. He could still die now and then the future version will cease to exist too. The Doctor realises the TARDIS must have included all its future landings in the map it gave them. This hugely complicates their task as it can’t be where the Doctor was shot with the virus, so they’re going to have to sort through endless times like this, wasting the precious days he has left. Unfortunately he’s been to so many times and places he can’t easily remember them all and the virus seems to be deliberately damaging his memory cells too.
As there’s no point staying here Evelyn suggests leaving, but the Doctor is fascinated by his future self. He seems so sure of himself. Not only is he always a step ahead, he’s prepared to do things his current self would never do. Evelyn is surprised as he seems a rather jolly man and has made another family of companions for himself. The Doctor agrees this is often when he’s at his happiest (with present company excepted, of course) and the new companions are a rather dashing chap and a slightly older girl who look like brother and sister. They note that the future Doctor is waiting for them to do something about their captors and Evelyn’s Doctor realises he’s teaching them. That sounds unlike the future Doctor he’s heard about, who’s more known for blowing up planets. He finds it ironic that the audience - those who pay attention to his travels - often regard his current incarnation as the aggressive one. Evelyn thinks he must be hallucinating if he thinks there are people watching, and in some cases listening, to his adventures, but he reveals that he’s talking about the Time Lords, his own people who are always interested in what he gets up to. She remembers all the political intrigue she witnessed on Gallifrey and found it absolutely fascinating. She wonders if his ‘audience’ could possibly help the Doctor, but he interrupts her and shows her how the future Doctor’s companions are distracting the guards. Moments later, the girl attacks them with a baseball bat and a battle ensues. The Doctor and Evelyn decide it’s time to go, but he tells her he’d like to see some more of himself in the future before his hundred days are up. They may even be the only future he has now. Evelyn is determined not to let him give up hope - even if it means finding her own baseball bat…
The next location visited by the Doctor and Evelyn looks like a bit of a dive. This is the American frontier in the 1870s, but still within the reach of the assassin. Evelyn reminds the Doctor of their agreement that if this encounter is with another of the Doctor’s future selves, they should leave straight away. She notes that recently he seems to have been deliberately taking his time. She wonders why they’ve never meet any of his first four incarnations, but he thinks it’s sheer coincidence. They look around, wondering which of the people in the saloon could be the Doctor, given that everyone here seems to be wearing a frock coat, but the Doctor says he’ll be the only one not wearing a gun. They spot two men playing poker who look like suitable candidates but then they notice the players are both versions of the same man! The Doctor assures her this can happen and if the circumstances are safe, it can even be fun. Evelyn says he looks nice, which irritates her Doctor as it sounds as though she thinks she drew the short straw. She tells him she meant the future Doctor looks charming and relaxed, as though he has all the time in the world. The Doctor tells her many of his incarnations have lived a long time and he was worried at first that his current body would be short and sweet. Then he hoped he‘d be given the gift of growing old gracefully, to mellow and have the chance to explore. Evelyn tells him to stop talking as if his life was over.
As they turn to leave, the Doctor notices his future self’s companions - with beautiful dresses and feathers in their hair. One seems very posh, but the other appears more ’mainstream’. Suddenly Evelyn notices something move in the corner and wonders if it could be the assassin, but they realise it must be yet another companion. The Doctor’s impressed as he’s never had a non-humanoid companion before. Now that he’s seen his future selves, he’s even more determined to survive for their sakes. Evelyn tells him they’ve already used up 65 of their days, so she helps him back to the TARDIS.
Eventually, they arrive at a location of sand dunes where they spot another version of the current Doctor, being accompanied by Evelyn herself, both wearing long desert robes. They both remember their encounter with the sand creatures that live here, but seeing the two versions of the same Doctor together only highlights how pale and strained he’s become. The virus is clearly taking its toll and the pain is now quite extreme, in every joint and every muscle. He dreads to think what damage is being caused to his internal organs. He recalls this place was where they both helped out an archaeological expedition funded by Irving Braxiatel. Evelyn wonders whether they could ask for his help, but the Doctor says the only thing he’ll be good for is being condescending. Brax was always the sensible one, up to his neck in affairs on Gallifrey and then later setting up his Collection where he stayed put and looked after himself! Evelyn admits that she didn’t really like the look of him and thought he was untrustworthy. They spot Professor Bernice Summerfield, the leader of the expedition, and Evelyn recalls having some wonderful chats with her while the Doctor was out searching for the creatures, although she did drink rather too much and had some relationship issues. Bernice has had plenty of adventures of her own, it seems.
Although the sun here is very bright and it’s difficult to see things properly, the Doctor is convinced he’s spotted something moving in the shadows. Evelyn looks and realises the shadow itself is moving. They follow it into a nearby cave but suddenly the shadow vanishes before their very eyes. The Doctor suspects he was using a sophisticated camouflage device and has now teleported to a waiting space craft somewhere nearby. Evelyn wonders if this is was the moment when the Doctor was shot, but he thinks it’s unlikely given the long robes they were wearing. The intelligent virus is very expensive to manufacture and the assassin will only have one shot, so he’d have been reluctant to risk wasting it on this occasion. He uses a scanner to confirm that the assassin has instead placed a tracer on the earlier Doctor. This is good news as it narrows the assassin’s opportunities down. All they need to do now is check the planets visited by the Doctor and Evelyn after this one. They only have 16 days left and the Doctor convinces himself that that’s plenty of time.
Back inside the TARDIS, the Doctor checks the computer and limits his search to just one planet. He starts to set the ship for their destination but then cries out again in pure agony. As his fingers crash heavily on the controls, Evelyn realises his body is no longer under his own control and the virus that‘s making him do it. She tries to drag him away from the console, realising they must be getting close to the answer. They both fall to the floor and the Doctor reasserts control over his body. He tells her the virus made him sabotage the controls and it’s sent them sideways in time into the gap between realities. It’s like a labyrinth of all the moments that might have been, and he knows they’re going to need help to find their way out of it.
After exploring the strange world, the Doctor and Evelyn head back to the TARDIS, surrounded by parallel versions of themselves from timelines where things happened slightly differently. During their time here they’ve saved the United Nations and even stopped an annoying man from deploying his Krynoid pods. Everyone is celebrating and they can be confident that at least these different parallel versions of the Doctor will survive. One of the versions of the Doctor here actually likes his exile on Earth with the Brigadier and that new version of UNIT, and he couldn’t stop talking about their time in Hong Kong. He even gave them the dimensional control from his own TARDIS so that the Doctor and Evelyn could escape back to their own world. They now only have one day left before the Doctor is finally overcome by the virus.
Inside the TARDIS, Evelyn urges the Doctor to hurry up, but he seems to be overwhelmed by a feeling of defeatism. She orders him to plug the dimensional control box in, start the ship moving and get them back to their own Universe! The Doctor mumbles about how the others will all keep on going perfectly well without him - UNIT, Sarah Jane, and all the other continuing stories. Evelyn grabs him and forcibly drags him over to the console.
The TARDIS materialises and the Doctor and Evelyn emerge at the one final location where they know the assassin is waiting to attack. Evelyn remembers immediately that this is where they spent a pleasant afternoon just flying kites. She points to a pile of different kites which the locals wanted them to try and the Doctor agrees that this was one of his favourite days. It’s typical that something bad had to happen on it. They can see their earlier selves on the horizon, but how are they going to spot the assassin? The air here, which is home to so many lifeforms from this world, is so clear that their prey will be able to hide easily. Just then they see what appears to be a cloud of steam or volcanic smoke floating across the hill which Evelyn doesn’t remember seeing on their first visit. The Doctor urges her to look for a shape within the cloud and she soon spots a shadow. As the assassin takes aim, the Doctor and Evelyn grab a nearby kite and, despite the best attempts of the virus to stop his body obeying, they launch it into the air. The assassin fires his shot just as the kits swoops down and strikes him to the ground. Evelyn knows they were too late to stop him hitting his target, but the Doctor seems surprisingly confident.
The Doctor races over to the disorientated assassin and wrestles him to the ground. However, the assassin remains jubilant and points to the earlier version of the Doctor who is now making his way back to the TARDIS, unaware that he was hit and that there’s a virus in his system. The present Doctor tells him it was never his intention to stop the assassin shooting him and says his reason for coming here was simply to take revenge on his own murderer. The assassin isn’t convinced because everyone knows the Doctor would never kill in cold blood, but the Doctor points to Evelyn face which clearly shows that after the hundred days they’ve just experienced, she’s no longer sure what action he’ll be prepared to take. He produces a medical container which holds another sample of the same virus he’s been infected with. Ignoring Evelyn’s pleas, he forces it under the assassin’s nose and makes sure he’s infected too. Now the assassin really knows what it’s like to be the Doctor. He releases the assassin then invites Evelyn to go with him somewhere where he can die in peace, but Evelyn is shocked by his behaviour and says she can‘t believe what he‘s just done. The Doctor whispers in her ear and points out that the assassin is reaching for something in his backpack. The Doctor races back and grabs the man by his arms. What could the man could be searching for - could it be what any good assassin would need if they were trailing their quarry across light years of space while carrying something deadly and fragile? It’s the antidote, which the Doctor happily snatches from the man’s hand. He opens it and breathes deeply from the vapour inside until it’s empty. The virus calls out for him to stop and says that it’s dying, but the Doctor orders it to be silent - there’s nothing more boring than a touch of the sniffles with ideas above its station!
The Doctor proudly declares that he’s feeling better already. The assassin asks what’s going to happen to him, but Evelyn knows only too well that he has nothing to worry about. The Doctor confirms that the assassin’s only problem is how he’s going to explain things to the Tharsis Acumen. There was nothing inside the vial he cracked open under the assassin’s nose. Every now and then, the Doctor is still able to astonish even Evelyn.
They make their way back to the TARDIS and take off for their next destination. The Doctor reminds Evelyn that she was about to go and make the tea, but she points out that in fact it was he that was going to do it. However, after his illness she thinks he deserves a bit of a sit down, but he says he’s back to full fitness and is even capable of being tricked into making the tea! She begins to wonder whether all that time they spent looking at future versions of him was just to make sure she had the right look of incredulity on her face when he tricked the assassin. He laughs at the idea that he could ever plan things with that degree of cleverness. He hopes that at the very least, she’s no longer tired of him being simply him, but she says she has long given up hope that he could be anything else.
|Source: Lee Rogers