7th Doctor
The Rapture
Serial 7V
The Rapture
Written by Joseph Lidster
Directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
Music by Jim Mortimore and Jane Elphinston

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Tony Blackburn (Himself), Matthew Brenher (Jude), Neil Henry (Gabriel), Carlos Riera (Gustavo), David John (Liam), Anne Bird (Caitrona), Daniel Wilson (Brian) [1-2].

Ibiza, 1997, and thousands of young people are acting like mindless zombies.

Which is to be expected. Ibiza, the island of dance music, sex, drugs and alcohol, is the ultimate hedonistic paradise.

God has sent help from on high to save the sinners of Ibiza. He has sent His angels to save their souls.

Which would be simple enough if these souls didn’t include an alien time-traveller working in a bar, a woman who disappeared in 1987, a young man carrying a photograph of a girl he’s never met and an Irish girl who doesn’t even know who she is anymore.

  • Featuring the the Seventh Doctor and Ace, this story takes place immediately after the Big Finis story Colditz.
  • The final track of the disc contains a trailer for The Sandman and 9'06" of trance music.
  • Released: September 2002
    ISBN: 1 903654 74 2

Friday, 14 May 1997. Tony Blackburn is broadcasting live from the city of San Antonio on Ibiza, but tomorrow night he’ll be broadcasting from a brand new club called the Rapture. The DJs who run the club, brothers Gabriel and Jude, claim that a night in their club is a real spiritual experience, and tomorrow everyone will know just what that means...

Part One
(drn: 23'03")

Young clubgoers Liam and Caitriona are anticipating their night out at the Rapture. Cat’s already taken pills to “enhance” her experience, but according to their tour guide, Brian, the experience is spiritual enough by itself. The DJs have timed their music to synchronise with the sunset over the islands of Es Vedra, and when combined with the laser light show and the wild trance music, it makes a night at the Rapture a rave to remember.

The death of Kurtz has hit Ace hard, and she’s beginning to question why she travels with the Doctor. When Madame Salvadori was attacked by the Krill above Duchamp 331, Ace found herself thinking how normal it was that a few people would have to die before the evil was vanquished. She’s now dropped her nickname, asked the Doctor to start calling her McShane, and requested one normal night out on the town. The Doctor has thus taken her to Ibiza, to a bar run by his friend Gustavo Riviera near the town of Cala D’Hort. The Doctor saved Gustavo’s life during the Spanish Civil War, and brought him to Ibiza to recover from his experiences. The Doctor is wary of reminding McShane of the horrors of fascism, but she promises not to let it get to her tonight. Gustavo, concerned that she remember to fight for her beliefs, suggests she might find the peace she’s looking for at a new club called the Rapture...

McShane sets off to enjoy a night on her own while the Doctor busies himself helping Gustavo behind the bar. However, when Gustavo casually assures him that the angels at the Rapture will help his young friend, the Doctor is deeply disturbed; in his experience, people claiming to be angels are never what they seem. Gustavo is sure that the DJs’ claim to be angels is only an act, and recommends that the Doctor let Dorothy find her own peace on Ibiza as Gustavo has, rather than acting like an overprotective parent. However, the Doctor remains concerned, and sets off to investigate the Rapture for himself.

Dorothy arrives at the Rapture and allows Brian to buy her a lager. As they talk, elsewhere on the dancefloor Liam and Cat are having the time of their lives... on the surface. Though Liam obviously cares deeply for Cat, she’s high on drugs and there’s an unpleasant undercurrent when she teases him about how dull he is. Liam then sees Dorothy and recognizes her at once -- as well he should, for there’s a photograph of her in his wallet. Panic-stricken and drunk, he’s entirely unprepared to do what he was told to, but Cat insists that he introduce himself and try to get Ace alone. Meanwhile, Brian tells Dorothy that, unlike the other clubgoers, he doesn’t drink or do drugs; he’s a travel agent and he’s just here to try to get some action. Cat and Liam then introduce themselves, but as they do so Cat bumps into another clubgoer and lashes out at him in a rage. Liam pulls her back before the argument can escalate, and they and Dorothy hit the dancefloor.

The DJ Gabriel watches the clubgoers, who are all having the time of their lives, and nearly loses himself watching them. His brother Jude brings him back down to earth, but senses that Gabriel is having doubts about their mission. He reminds Gabriel to have faith in himself, and sends him out to spread the truth and love of the Lord. Soon the Son of Man will descend from the clouds and all believers will be given salvation...

Dorothy is losing herself in the music, and doesn’t notice that Liam is trying unsubtly to find out where she’s been for so long. Cat is enraptured by the colours of the sunset streaming in through the Rapture’s picture window, and lashes out at anyone who tries to spoil the miracle by explaining it. Gabriel passes through the crowd and takes a lift to a glass booth set up high above his “congregation”, where he quotes scripture, recites the doctrine of the Rapture, and begins to play his “hymns” to the captivated crowd. Even Brian is swayed by the power of the music, so much so that he begins to suspect his mineral water has been spiked. Something odd is happening; as the music hits a crescendo, everyone in the club falls silent, entranced by the music. Unable to wake his friends, Brian seeks help in the room Gabriel emerged from, but finds only Jude -- who is upset that Brian has resisted the music, and shoots him with a laser pistol. Jude will allow no one to interfere with his plans...

The Doctor arrives at the Rapture, but he can’t get past the bouncer -- at least not until the trance music kicks in. Even outside, the bouncer feels its power, and the Doctor manages to slip past him and into the club. However, once inside he finds that he can’t wake anybody from their trances, not even Dorothy. As the Doctor desperately tries and fails to wake up the entranced clubbers, Gabriel starts up a new track. “This one’s going to completely blow your minds! Amen!

Part Two
(drn: 27'18")

The music builds to a climax -- and then snaps back to a regular pulse-pounding beat. Everyone wakes up as if nothing had happened. The Doctor tries to warn Dorothy that something odd is happening, but she’s infuriated to find him here interfering in her time off. The Doctor reluctantly concedes that everything seems all right again, and withdraws to let her spend one normal night with friends. Liam throws up in the bathroom and decides to call it a night, and though there’s no sign of Brian, Liam and Dorothy depart together, leaving Cat to enjoy herself on her own; for her, the night is just beginning.

Gabriel returns to the office, uplifted by the effect his music has had, but is upset to find Brian lying there; one of the sinners on the dancefloor didn’t believe enough. Jude assures Gabriel that he’s very proud, and sends him off to play more music. He then calls the man who helped him and Gabriel to set up their club, and assures him that everything is going well. Eventually, the Rapture closes for the night, and once they’re alone, Gabriel wakes up Brian and promises to make him immortal. Brian begins to scream...

Liam takes Ace back to the apartment which he and Cat have rented, and tells her he’s known Cat since University; she got him through some bad times, and he tries to help her cope with her own mood swings in return. But as he makes tea for Dorothy he slips up and calls her “Ace”, a name which she’s been careful to avoid using all night. Dorothy is furious, even more so when she sees that he’s been carrying a picture of her. Once again, she’s been manipulated and lied to when all she wanted was one free night, but as she prepares to storm off, Liam admits the truth -- his name is Liam McShane. He’s Ace’s younger brother.

Cat stops in at Gustavo’s bar looking for tortillas, and is surprised when Gabriel arrives and offers to buy them. As the two leave together, the Doctor returns from a long walk and warns Gustavo that there’s something unholy happening at the Rapture. Gustavo dismisses his claims, insisting that the youths are just losing themselves in the pulse-pounding beats, letting the music take them away from their troubles. In a way, it’s like a religious experience for them. The Doctor reminds Gustavo that Franco once used religion to justify atrocities, but Gustavo feels that the Rapture is different. He’s more concerned with the emptiness he sees in today’s youth; with nothing to fight for or believe in, they turn to hollow pleasures to fill the void in their lives. Do their elders not have the right to guide them? Gustavo isn’t saying that the DJs really are angels... but on the other hand, it’s been said that angels have visited Ibiza before. Intrigued, the Doctor listens as Gustavo tells him of Francisco Paolo, a 19th-century monk who was once visited by angels on Es Vedra -- the island over which the rays of the setting pass as they enter the Rapture...

Caitriona, delighted to be talking with an angel, admits to Gabriel that his music is the only thing that keeps her going sometimes. She’s always depressed; she hates herself, her family and her friends, and she doesn’t know why. There’s nothing really wrong in her life, and she hates herself even more for feeling this way for no reason. In the back of her mind, she fears that Liam secretly thinks her selfish and self-centred. Gabriel seems to understand, tells her that he really is an angel, and offers her “angel dust” from God’s kitchen to help her fly up to Heaven with him. Caitriona accepts the offer, and the dust takes effect immediately...

Liam was born four years after Dorothy, and shortly afterwards, their mother had an affair with their dad’s best friend. When he learned the truth, he simply took Liam out of his crib and left Perivale forever. Dorothy was in playschool at the time, and her mother never told her the truth. Four years ago their father had a heart attack, and admitted to Liam that he had a sister. Liam tried to track down his mother, but Audrey turned him away, telling him only that his sister had started calling herself Ace and had then vanished. By the time Liam returned home, their father was dead. Liam shows Dorothy a letter from their father, and Ace realizes that her whole life could have better were it not for her mother’s lies. She tells Liam the truth -- the whole truth -- and Liam, who’s somewhat of an X-Files fan as well as a Christian, is stunned and delighted to learn that the sister he’s been looking for for years is actually a time-travelling crusader. But his delight turns sour when she tells him that she wants nothing to do with him; she’s finally got her life sorted out, and there’s no room in it for a brother. Liam, deeply hurt, storms out for a walk, leaving Ace -- or whatever she wants to call herself -- to bed down on the couch, feeling hurt and guilty herself.

Cat feels herself flying high and sees a rainbow of colours. She even thinks she can hear Liam and Dorothy arguing, but the sensations are too much for her. Gabriel guides her through her revelations as she hears her own darkest thoughts made manifest as a talk show, hosted by Tony Blackburn and featuring Liam and Ace as the guests. All of Cat’s worst fears come to life as Liam and Ace tell the audience that they’re delighted to have found each other at last; their lives are just perfect, and Liam admits that he’s never really liked Cat, who messes everything up. Cat’s visions turn dark and violent; the Doctor appears, claiming to be the soul-eating Sandman, and Cat begins to panic as she sees angels falling from a burning sky. Tony tells her to stop the nightmare by killing Dorothy, and Cat chooses to save herself, manifesting an act of God that apparently causes the apartment to collapse. Dorothy is crushed to death by the falling rubble as Cat becomes lost in her rapture...

Part Three
(drn: 26'39")

Saturday morning dawns, and Cat wakes with a splitting headache, unable to remember much about her hallucinatory experiences of the night before. Which isn’t unusual. Dorothy has gone, and Liam, sure he’s seen the last of her, takes Cat to Gustavo’s for breakfast. Trying to make sense of her flashbacks, Cat learns from Gustavo that she and Gabriel left together last night, and Liam, trying to forget his disastrous family reunion, suggests that they visit the Rapture to find out what really happened to Cat.

Dorothy catches up with the Doctor by the beach, and as they talk they see Gabriel lugging a suspiciously-shaped parcel onto a boat. They slip aboard while he isn’t looking, and as the boat takes them to Es Vedra, the Doctor quietly informs Dorothy that he met Liam last night after he walked out on her. The Doctor knows that she has been using her travels in the TARDIS to run away from her real life -- and that Kurtz’s death hit her hard because he died inside the TARDIS, her safe haven. She’ll have to stop running eventually. The boat arrives at Es Vedra, and the Doctor and Dorothy follow Gabriel to a nearby cave; on the way, the Doctor tells Ace about the doctrine of the Rapture, the fundamentalist belief that before the coming of the Antichrist and the Great Tribulations, all true believers will be taken up to Heaven by the angels of God.

In the cave, the Doctor and Dorothy find Gabriel speaking to a large glowing orb which he seems to believe is a hotline to God. Gabriel admits that despite Jude’s attempts to help him keep the faith, he has been having doubts, and sometimes he is haunted by strange memories of a war which can’t be real. To show that he is truly devoted, he presents to God a sacrifice -- and Dorothy reacts and gives herself away upon seeing Brian’s body. When Gabriel confronts her and the Doctor, she covers by claiming that they are here to accept Gabriel’s salvation. Gabriel, delighted, offers to take them to take them back to the Rapture, his “church”. They’ll have to take the boat, however, as Gabriel has run out of angel dust. The Doctor, beginning to guess the truth, learns that tonight is to be the night of the ultimate communion; Gabriel’s music will entrance every youth in the Rapture, and though he believes he’ll be saving their souls, the Doctor suspects that he and Dorothy have stumbled across plans for a mass kidnapping.

Liam and Cat split up to explore the deserted Rapture, and Liam finds his way to the office, where he meets Jude. Jude invites Liam to join him in prayer, and claims that he and Gabriel have come to save the world’s youth before the Great Tribulations begin. Liam doesn’t believe a word of it -- not because he doesn’t believe in God, but because he does, and he knows that whatever Jude may be, he’s no angel. Jude admits that Liam is quite right, but before he can do anything, Gabriel arrives with his two new “disciples”. Jude praises him and sends him off to prepare for the night’s events while he “baptizes” the Doctor and Dorothy.

The Doctor then confronts Jude, having guessed that Gabriel’s “angel dust” is exactly that -- PCP, a drug which causes violent hallucinations, feelings of floating, and other effects which could explain Cat’s experiences last night. However, the Doctor has also realized that Gabriel genuinely believes himself to be an angel. He threatens to destroy Gabriel’s illusions unless Jude confesses the truth, and Jude thus admits that he and his brother are exiles from the Euphorian Empire. The Euphorians were once a peaceful race before they were attacked by the evil Scordatura; after that, they had to fight to protect themselves. When their armies were overrun and destroyed, they conscripted soldiers from the “non-essential” areas of society: artists, writers, musicians and actors -- and composers...

Gabriel was once a gentle, sensitive musician who composed melodies that would make grown men weep. Unable to cope with the horrors of war, he went mad and killed his own commander. Jude rescued his brother from his court-martial, and, seeking somewhere to hide, he remembered the dimensional portal to Es Vedra; he and his brother had passed through it once before, which is when they met the monk Francisco Paolo. Just as the Doctor did with Gustavo, Jude brought his brother to the paradise island of Ibiza to recover from the horrors of war. Gabriel had been driven mad by his experiences, and Jude, inspired by the Bible which Paolo had given him, used angel dust and Gabriel’s music to give his brother a new identity. But Gabriel’s patchwork new personality is failing, and his true memories are breaking through. Jude now has no choice but to take his brother home for treatment, and to avoid being court-martialled and executed, he has decided to return to his superiors with an army of brainwashed young soldiers to help fight in their war...

The Doctor sympathizes with Jude, but won’t allow him to kidnap innocent youths and enlist them in someone else’s war. Jude claims that the young people of Earth don’t appreciate what they have, and wallow in self-pity with no causes to believe in -- but the Doctor informs him that the children of Earth will soon have their own wars to fight. If Jude agrees to abandon his plan, the Doctor promises to help Gabriel get the help he needs. Jude considers and accepts the Doctor’s offer, but as the Doctor and Dorothy leave to fetch Gabriel, Liam hauls Jude aside for a warning. He’s disgusted with Jude for using the name of God for his own ends, and if Caitriona or Dorothy or anybody else Liam loves gets hurt because of what Jude has done for his brother, then Liam will kill him.

Gabriel is delighted to find his disciple Caitriona alone in the club. She’s no longer high as she was last night, and she apologizes for not remembering him -- but he remembers everything, and insists that he knows the truth about her. Though she tries to hide it and behave as she believes others want her to, deep inside, she has a black soul... just like Gabriel. Gabriel leads Cat out onto the dancefloor, enters his glass booth and turns on the music -- music with the sounds of Brian’s screams mixed in. Though she tries to resist, the music is too much for her to handle, and she soon gives in, lets go and begs Gabriel to save her from her madness. The Doctor, Dorothy and Liam arrive too late, and as the Doctor tries vainly to wake Cat from her trance, Gabriel welcomes all his disciples and offers to introduce the Doctor to the man who has made this all possible. The Doctor is horrified when Gustavo enters the club...

Part Four
(drn: 30'22")

Gustavo believed that Gabriel and Jude would give the directionless youths of Ibiza a purpose lacking in their lives, but he’s coming to realize that he’s made a grave error by helping to fund the construction of the Rapture. He thought Gabriel and Jude would simply explain their predicament and let the youths choose for themselves whether to enlist, but he sees now that they intended to brainwash and kidnap them instead. Gabriel, still believing that he’s saved Caitriona’s soul, invites his “disciple” Gustavo up into the glass booth, but when Gustavo sees the brainwashed Cat he finally realizes what he’s been participating in. The Doctor tries to calm down the enraged Gustavo while Jude explains to the confused Gabriel that the Doctor’s here to help him. Both fail, for Dorothy realizes to her horror that the screaming in the music is an actual scream, the sound of Brian’s murder. Sickened by what he perceives as Gabriel’s evil, Gustavo attacks him, and both fall from the glass booth to their deaths.

Gustavo gives the Doctor Gabriel’s CD as he dies. Gabriel dies in his brother’s arms, and the Doctor and the McShanes retreat to the office, giving Jude a moment to grieve alone. But they have made a terrible error in judgement, for the loss of his brother is too much for Jude to bear, and the angel locks them into the office and swears a terrible revenge upon humanity. Those who killed Gabriel will suffer through his music. The Doctor realizes he’s misjudged Jude; just as Liam uses his friendship with the depressive Caitriona, and just as Ace uses her travels in the TARDIS, so Jude has been avoiding dealing with his own problems by devoting his life to his brother -- and now that his brother has been taken from him, his own madness is free to manifest itself. The only weapon they have now is the CD which Gustavo gave to the Doctor before he died...

Saturday night, 15 May 1997. Tony Blackburn is live on Radio ACL, and within minutes, millions of listeners will be tuned in to the music from the Rapture -- along with the thousands now pouring into the club. The only people who can save them are still locked in the office, at least until Liam notices a ventilation shaft which the Doctor can use to escape. Promising to save Caitriona, the Doctor crawls through the shaft, heading for the DJ’s booth. As he goes, Dorothy and Liam hear the music starting up and try to shout warnings to those in the club, but their calls go unheard. Gabriel’s last symphony is engulfing the clubgoers -- and Jude has remixed the tune himself, to ensure that those who took his brother from him die in agony...

The Doctor reaches the booth and tries to talk sense to Jude, but Jude, beyond reason, sends Cat to fetch “Satan’s disciples” to him. The clubgoers assume that this is all part of the show and do nothing as Cat herds Liam and Dorothy to the lift at gunpoint. Jude wants to prove a point; the Doctor has told him to forgive those who killed his brother, but will the Doctor forgive Jude if Jude forces the innocent Cat to murder Liam and Dorothy? As the final dance mix begins, heralding the deaths of thousands, Cat turns Jude’s blaster on her friends -- but can’t bring herself to pull the trigger. Torn between Jude’s orders and her own conscience, she turns the gun on herself instead.

Jude overpowers the enraged Liam, seizes Dorothy and holds her over the dancefloor. All he has to do is let go, and she’ll fall to her death, just as Gabriel did. But the Doctor pulls out Gabriel’s last CD and promises to play something that will restore Jude’s faith. Jude allows him to do so, and the Doctor stops the music, snapping the clubgoers free of its spell. He then plays the CD -- which contains Gabriel’s confession, spoken to the dead Brian. Gabriel killed Brian because he knew the dead would rise when the Rapture came, and he wanted Jude to be proud of him for saving the sinner who wouldn’t listen to his hymns. As Jude listens, he learns the truth; even in his delusional state, Gabriel knew his brother was saving him from an even worse madness, and sometimes he feared that his brother resented having to take care of him all the time. Worse, he sometimes hated his brother for pitying him instead of respecting him. Last night, he followed Caitriona out of the club because he sensed a kindred spirit in her -- and he hoped that by saving her soul from despair, he could prove himself and make Jude stop regretting that he ever had a brother.

Jude, who never regretted having a brother for one second, finally seems to realize what he’s doing; he’s caused the death of Liam’s friend and is about to kill his sister. A life without his brother would not have been worth living, and Jude lowers Dorothy to safety, accepting that she and her brother deserve the chance to get to know each other. It seems that Jude now has no choice but to return through the portal and face the authorities of his home dimension. The Doctor is willing to let him do so by himself, but Dorothy argues that this is tantamount to letting Jude get away with his crimes; however, as they argue, Jude slips away, rendering the argument moot. Cat then stirs, not dead after all; despite Gabriel’s conditioning, she was still herself at heart, and when Jude gave her the gun she subconsciously set it to stun so she wouldn’t kill her friends. The Doctor seizes the DJ’s mic to address the bewildered clubgoers, but Dorothy delivers the best moral by simply turning on the music and letting the party resume. It’s time to stop whining, and start living.

Liam and Dorothy spend the next few days catching up, but eventually the time comes to return home. Liam knows he could never handle the kind of life Dorothy lives now, so he’ll stay on Earth with Cat. Dorothy will continue to travel with the Doctor, fighting evil, but now she knows she has something on Earth to return to one day. Liam and Cat watch as the Doctor and “McShane” enter the TARDIS and depart. The Doctor thinks he’s seen the last of Jude, who will never be able to set up another club like the Rapture without Gustavo or Gabriel to help him... but some time later, a young office worker in the city of London receives an anonymous e-mail with a music file attached. Despite the risk of unleashing a virus, she opens the attachment -- and the music echoing through the office blows everyone’s mind...

Source: Cameron Dixon

Continuity Notes:
  • Ace remembers telling the Doctor that the sea made her insignificant in The Curse of Fenric. Later, she describes some seaweed as killer, which worries the Doctor until he realizes it’s just an expression.
  • The Eighth Doctor also participates in the Spanish Civil War, albeit in an unusual capacity, in History 101.
  • The Rapture claims that 14 May 1997 was a Friday, when in reality it was a Wednesday, exactly two dates earlier. However, The War Machines claims that 16 July 1966 was a Monday, when in reality it was a Saturday... exactly two dates earlier. In other words, although neither date is correct according to the real calendar, the “mistakes” are internally consistent. No, really.
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