War of God
The TARDIS materializes in the midst of a large and bustling, hidden in a courtyard behind a gate. Steven and the Doctor emerge and look around. Steven is worried the TARDIS might be found, but the Doctor is too pleased with the new location to be bothered. He is certain that this is France, and shows Steven a placard in French which confirms it. As to the date, the buildings look medieval, but it could be any time up to the 17th century.
Steven pulls the Doctor into hiding as a man approaches the building nearby and knocks on the door. The man asks for Nicholas Muss and is admitted. The Doctor, taking his cue from the clothing of the man, identifies this as the middle of the 16th century. He is even happier than before, talking of the "strange brotherhood of apothecaries" that existed in France at this time. Scientists. One in particular, Charles Preslin, comes to the Doctor's mind, and he determines that he will find and visit him if he can.
The same man from before emerges from the building, trailing Nicholas Muss, and protesting his innocence in some matter involving Catholics. Nicholas warns his companion, Gaston, that "their kind" - Protestants - are hated here in Paris, but that is no excuse for provoking Catholics into a quarrel. Gaston must calm his temper and keep the peace, especially now.
The Doctor's triumph is complete. They are in Paris in Preslin's time. He drags Steven back into the ship to change into period clothes and to fetch some old papers he wishes to discuss with Preslin.
At a nearby tavern, a large group of men is gathered. It is quickly clear that Paris' religious tensions run high here. Gaston, Viscount de Lerans, is drinking with Nicholas and some other men. He offers a toast out loud to the Protestant Prince Henri of Navarre. However, when another man offers a rebuttal toast to his bride, the Catholic Princess Marguerite, Gaston makes a show of choking on his wine. He then continues the bait by ordering something better than "the thin Catholic brew" his is now drinking. Nicholas tries to stop him, but it is too late. The Catholic man, Simon Duval, calls Gaston on this insult and the two men exchange barbs.
In order to redress the insult, Duval challenges Gaston to drink again to the Princess along with him. Gaston hesitates, as if he is going to choke again, and there is a tense silence. But he drinks and all is well. Duval complains idly to the landlord about the Hugenots, the French Protestants. The landlord is sympathetic, but he must serve them if he is to make a living. Duval asks him to keep an eye on them, nothing their conversations and alliances. His information could prove very valuable. Duval and his comrades make to leave the tavern, only to be stopped by Gaston's impertinent remarks. Duval delivers a stinging rebuke and departs, passing the Doctor and Steven on his way out.
The Doctor is trying to dissuade Steven from accompanying him to Preslin's shop. He orders wine for them, and tells Steven that he is going to the Port St. Martin. It is far away and they will be speaking of germinology, which won't interest Steven in the slightest. He wants Steven to stay in the TARDIS as he knows nothing of the period or the city and it could be dangerous. But Steven insists that he be allowed to go sightseeing at the very least. The Doctor agrees, but warns him to be careful and to speak to no one. They will meet here at the tavern this evening and return to the TARDIS together.
The Doctor bids him farewell, leaving him with some money and a rapier just in case. Leaving the tavern, the Doctor draws the attention of a dour-looking man who gets up and follows him outside. Steven sees this and moves to follow but is stopped by the landlord, who demands payment for the wine. Steven tosses him the coin the Doctor gave him, impatient to get outside, but the landlord won't let him go. He cannot make change for the gold coin and won't release him until he pays.
Nicholas Muss comes to Steven's aid, paying for the wine and putting an end to the argument. He even forces the landlord to apologize for the slight. Looking outside, Steven can find no sign of the Doctor or his "shadow" and returns to ask Nicholas for directions to the Port St. Martin. Nicholas is sceptical that a newcomer to Paris could find it even with directions and wonders why he wants to go there. Steven explains about the Doctor and the man who may have followed him, as well as Preslin and the apothecaries. Nicholas is more concerned about the Doctor mixing with the "heretical" apothecaries than about him being followed. Steven agrees that the Doctor can probably look after himself and accepts Nicholas' offer to join his group for a drink. Nicholas will later escort Steven to the Port St. Martin himself.
Some time later, the Doctor reaches Preslin's shop, unaware that he has been followed all the way from the tavern. The Doctor must knock several times to get a response. Finally, a nervous-looking man emerges and tells the Doctor that Preslin has left Paris. The Doctor responds with effusive praise of Preslin and his work, admitting to being a fellow scientist and a great admirer. He pours it on, saying that he has travelled far to talk to Preslin about his germ theory of disease and to bring him news of the pioneering work in microscopics currently going on in Germany. The man's nervousness melts away, to be replaced by the light of scientific curiosity. The Doctor has known all along that this man is Preslin. Preslin begs forgiveness for his caution. The Doctor understands, leading him inside to continue their talk.
Back at the tavern, Steven is introduced to Gaston, but the young man is not interested in pleasantries. He is here to protect his master, Prince Henri. He rudely tells Nicholas that he should be doing the same for his master, Admiral de Coligny. Steven protests his innocence of the Catholic/Hugenot conflict in France. Even though he is Protestant himself, he explains that he has been travelling abroad - most recently in Egypt - and has no allegiances. Steven realizes that he really must be going. Nicholas offers to conduct him and they leave together.
Elsewhere in the city, a young serving girl bursts from a fine house, obviously terrified. She runs off, pursued by two guards intent on retrieving her. Her helter skelter path through the streets brings her directly to the tavern door just as the guards are about to catch up with her. Steven and Nicholas have just exited and run into her. Steven reaches out immediately to the frightened girl and she sees the kindness in his eyes. She ducks behind him into the tavern and slams the door shut. Steven bars the way of the guards following her. They are very irritated, but Steven refuses to let them pass.
Nicholas recognizes the guards as those of "the Cardinal" and asks why they are chasing the girl. They say she has been chosen for service to the Abbot of Amboise, but Nicholas is certain that she fears some aspect of this service and will not let them pass. Gaston comes out of the tavern and joins them. He baits the guards, who are nearly roused to fight, but they eventually back down and retreat, much to Gaston's chagrin.
Preslin tells the Doctor of the Abbot of Amboise. He not only opposes the Hugenots, but also hates the brotherhood of apothecaries. He is the right-hand man of the Cardinal of Lorraine, but with the Cardinal away in Rome, the Abbot is coming to Paris to take action against all these forms of heresy. The Doctor wonders if it would be valuable to talk to the Abbot, but Preslin says that is far too dangerous.
When Anne finally leaves the safety of the tavern, Steven and the others ask her why she ran away from the Cardinal's house. She explains that she overheard the guard captain and another man mention her hometown of Wassy and how "it" might happen again before the week is out. Steven doesn't understand, but Gaston is riled to new heights of anger. 10 years ago, there was a slaughter of 100 Hugenots by the Catholics at Vase for no reason. Both Gaston and Nicholas fear that it might happen again here. The girl, Anne, is urged to think back and recall all that was said.
At the Abbot's house, the two guards report to Roger Colbert, temporal secretary to the Abbot of Amboise, about their failure to recapture Anne. He is the same man who followed the Doctor from the tavern earlier in the day. Colbert is very angry and interrogates them, trying to find out what was said to frighten her so. When he hears that Wassy was mentioned, he is sure that is it. He orders the captain of the guard to stay in the house to report his failure directly to the Abbot when he arrives. The other guard is sent to find out if the girl has relatives in Paris and if she has fled there. She must be found!
When Anne has reported all she knows, Gaston is content to let her go on her own, but Nicholas still fears for her safety, and the information she carries. He sends her to the house of his master, Admiral de Coligny, for safety. Both Gaston and Nicholas believe Anne's information to be a threat against Henri of Navarre. Protestant Prince Henry yesterday married Catholic Princess Marguerite of France in a marriage arranged by the Queen Mother to try and heal the rift between the religions. But obviously this talk of Vase means the Catholics plan to massacre Hugenots here in Paris, Henri included. Gaston goes off to warn his prince and Nicholas to warn the admiral. Steven is left to wait in the tavern for the Doctor.
Later that evening, Preslin receives another visitor, whose charge it was to show "the old man" the way to his secret destination. The silent visitor has done so, but Preslin still wishes the Doctor good luck...
Simon Duval returns to the tavern to inquire about Anne, but the landlord says he was in the cellar at the time. However, when pressed, he does recall the mention of the Admiral de Coligny. That might be where she went. The landlord also points out Steven as a cohort of Nicholas and Gaston. Duval engages him immediately in conversation, to which Steven responds with undisguised irritation. Duval takes the opportunity to warn the foreigner about the curfew in effect in the city, due mostly to the religious unrest. He persists with his warnings, Steven doing his best to deflect them. He tells Duval he is waiting on a friend and that they will be gone soon enough after he arrives. Duval leaves him alone, but tells the landlord to watch and see who the man meets.
Before Duval can leave, the door opens and he must hide. He watches as Nicholas Muss returns to the tavern. Steven anxiously greets him. Obviously Duval's words did strike a nerve. The curfew bell begins to toll and Nicholas offers Steven a place to stay at the Admiral's house tonight. The Doctor has obviously been delayed and will not reach the tavern tonight. Reluctantly, Steven agrees. Nicholas tells the landlord to let the Doctor know where Steven has gone should he arrive. They then head off. Duval comes out of hiding, having heard the exchange. He is truly worried. He reminds the landlord to note everyone who comes or goes.
At the Abbot's house, Roger Colbert is explaining the escape of the servant to the newly-arrived Abbot himself. The Abbot is clearly perturbed, not speaking but simply slamming down his walking stick in irritation. Colbert tries to minimize the problem, to no avail. However, Duvall enters with the news of Anne's sanctuary in the Admiral's house.
The Abbot finally speaks, ordering her to be returned and brought to him first thing in the morning. The voice and the face are those of the Doctor...
The Sea Beggar
The next morning, Gaston joins Nicholas at the Admiral's house. He is furious as Prince Henri refuses to believe the Catholics are plotting a massacre. Nicholas has had the same response from the Admiral. The nobles apparently believe that the royal marriage has cemented good relations between Catholic and Hugenot and they will not believe the word of a serving girl. Nicholas and Gaston must find more proof.
Meanwhile, Steven has returned to the tavern to search for the Doctor. He must pound furiously on the door to get the landlord's attention. He is less than helpful, but does eventually tell Steven that no one has called for him and there are no messages.
Prince Henri's scepticism seems contagious, as Nicholas too begins to doubt Anne's story, much to Gaston's chagrin. Their argument is interrupted by Steven's return. Not knowing what else to do, he asks again for Nicholas to direct him to the Port St. Martin. They plan to leave immediately, but are stopped by the arrival of Roger Colbert. Nicholas is certain he has come to retrieve Anne.
Sure enough, Colbert wastes no time getting to the point. He does not hesitate to speak of Wassy and what Anne may have overheard. He deems the massacre there "unfortunate business" and assures them that one can speak of the town in conversation without referring to the massacre. That is what happened. Obviously, Anne was frightened more by her own memories of the place than by anything she overheard. Colbert wants her returned, but Nicholas refuses. In fact, when Anne enters the chamber to pour wine, Nicholas denies it is Anne, saying her name is Genevieve and she has been in service here for months. Colbert is not fooled, but leaves anyway.
Steven recognizes Colbert as the man who followed the Doctor from the tavern yesterday. Gaston wonders what the Abbot would want with Steven's friend. Gaston is then startled when, looking out the window, he sees Colbert leave the house and go to speak with the Abbot. The Abbot himself has come to find out the whereabouts of the serving girl.
Steven goes to the window and is astounded to see the Doctor, dressed like a churchman, talking to Colbert. He starts to leave the house to go to him, but an enraged Gaston stops him. He believes that Steven has admitted to working for the Abbot of Amboise; a Catholic spy. Steven protests his innocence, rushing again to the window. But Colbert and the Abbot are gone already. Steven assumes that he must have been mistaken, but Nicholas and Gaston are not easily put off. Steven says that if they go to the Port St. Martin and find Preslin's shop, they will meet the Doctor and Nicholas will see the innocent resemblance. Nicholas fears a trap, but cannot dismiss Steven's story completely. He will go with Steven. For his sake, he hopes they find this "Doctor".
Simon Duval reports the situation with Anne to Tavannes, Marshall of France. Tavannes is upset that the Abbot has taken such high-handed action to try and retrieve her. He is certain the girl is no threat to their plans, as the Hugenots would have acted by now if they had any hard evidence. The Abbot has only succeeded in arousing suspicion. Despite the Abbot's part in the plan - including the hiring of the assassin Bondot - Tavannes doesn't entirely trust the Abbot. He has been acting strangely since he came to Paris. He asks Duval to watch and report his words and actions.
Duval also reports Steven's presence in the house of the Admiral de Coligny. Tavannes immediately wonders if the Admiral is making secret overtures to England. He is suspicious and tells Duval to find out more about the Englishman. He sends Duval back to the Abbot with a message: he will soon have news about "the Sea Beggar".
Duval leaves, but this last comment has been overheard by Admiral de Coligny, who misunderstands the reference. He thinks "Sea Beggars" refers to the Dutch. He believes their fight with Spain is just and merits France's help. Tavannes obviously disagrees, mainly because it is a Protestant country. This is just a continuation of fights in Council which have been going on for some time.
Tavannes turns the conversation to England, trying slyly to inquire if any overtures are being made. The Admiral denies this, explaining that Steven was simply a lost traveller befriended. He takes the Marshall to task for his deep-rooted and wrong-headed suspicions. Tavannes excuses himself to attend a meeting with the Queen Mother.
Steven and Nicholas have searched almost every street in the Port St. Martin with no sign of Preslin's shop. Steven is getting desperate when finally they find it. Steven hurries to the door, nearly running over a woman in the process. He pounds with no response. The woman tells them that no one lives there. Preslin was arrested for heresy nearly two years ago. He is either in prison or dead. Steven's desperation grows, as does Nicholas' suspicion. He believes Steven's friend is the Abbot of Amboise and that Steven is a spy.
Thinking quickly, Steven suggests that the Doctor is impersonating the Abbot. He does not yet know why. He begs Nicholas to be allowed to speak to "the Abbot" to see what he can find out. If there is a plot against the Hugenots, he promises to report it to Nicholas. Nicholas is understandably sceptical and plans instead to return Steven to Gaston and the others to decide his fate. With no other choice, Steven waits for his chance, then trips Nicholas and pushes him into a passerby. He escapes, racing away through the streets.
Duval returns to the Abbot's house, only to find him gone and Roger Colbert unaware of his whereabouts. He suppresses his anger and worry, using the time instead to question Colbert about the Abbot. Duval tries to establish the possibility that there may be someone impersonating the Abbot. Colbert's answers are not conclusive either way. Duval then turns Colbert's attention to Nicholas Muss. Colbert reports the presence of Gaston and Anne at the Admiral's house, as well as a third man whom he did not know. Duval is certain this is Steven, the Englishman. He charges Colbert with the task of finding out who Steven is and what business he has in France.
Gaston and Anne are also talking of Steven while they wait for his return. Anne is certain Steven is no spy, citing his kindness, gentleness, and bravery when saving her from the Abbot's guards. Nicholas returns and Gaston greets him with the news that Prince Henri has agreed to increase his guard retinue in response to their suspicions. Nicholas in turn tells Gaston of Steven's escape. Gaston's temper rises; he is sure Steven is a spy. Anne again tries to protest his innocence and Gaston rashly dismisses her, sending her from the house. When she is gone, Nicholas tells the whole story. Gaston is clearly angry, but he is also certain they know where to find him - with the Abbot of Amboise.
Sure enough, Steven makes his way to the Abbot's house. He knocks out a guard and enters quietly, trying to find the man he is sure is the Doctor.
Instead, Marshall Tavannes is there with Duval and Colbert. Steven listens from hiding as Tavannes berates Duval for not finding and keeping an eye on the Abbot. He gives Duval and Colbert a message to give to the Abbot once they find him: the Sea Beggar dies tomorrow. He will attend an early council meeting at the Louvre. On his return, Bondot will be waiting for him. Tavannes leaves in a huff. Duval is both aghast and relieved. Action will be taken at last against the Hugenots, but the order came from the Queen Mother. She has clearly abandoned her pretense of peacemaking.
Steven makes his way back to the Admiral's house, desperate to pass on the information he has received. Instead of Nicholas, he finds only Gaston, whose high spirits are focused on his anger toward Steven. He draws his rapier and Steven is forced to defend himself. Gaston spares him but drives him from the house before he can speak.
Nicholas returns and Gaston tells him what happened. Despite the evidence, Nicholas still appears to trust Steven. He is sure Steven only came back to bring important information. Nicholas berates Gaston for his rash actions and sends him off to the Louvre and Prince Henry. It is nearly time for the curfew.
Steven is alone on the streets, not sure of what to do or where to go. After a while, he realizes he is being followed. Stopping in the shadows, he reaches out and manages to capture his pursuer. It is Anne, who has followed him from the house. She cannot go back, she tells him. She wishes to go with him. He tries to dissuade her, but realizes that she might be of help. Despite the fact that she does not know who "the Sea Beggar" is, she will be of help in his attempt to stop the assassination. The curfew bell begins to ring and they seek shelter for the night. She will lead them to the Port St. Martin and Preslin's shop. There they will stay.
The council session ends and a triumphant Admiral de Coligny returns home. He informs Nicholas that alliance with the Dutch - in their war against Spain - is almost a certainty. He himself has helped to convince the King. If he has been successful, the Admiral will go down to history as "the Sea Beggar"...
Priest of Death
The next morning, Steven awakes with the knowledge that "the Sea Beggar" dies today and that he is the only one who can do anything about it. He plans to go back to the Abbot's house and find the Doctor, whom he is sure is there. Perhaps he will know the identity of "the Sea Beggar". Anne tries to talk him out of this, frightened that he will be arrested and jailed. Steven is still determined to go, but thinks a disguise might be wise. Searching Preslin's shop, he finds a dirty cloak and a hat - the perfect camouflage.
Meanwhile, the early Council session has begun at the Louvre. The King and the Queen Mother are in attendance, listening to Admiral de Coligny and Marshall Tavannes debating the merits of aligning with the Dutch against Spain. The Admiral believes the common cause will unite the country and defuse the civil/religious strife, while Tavannes argues that the royal wedding has already quelled the strife. The King is simply tired of the endless bickering.
Another Councilor weighs in on the subject of financing the war, hoping to end the deadlock. But the religious and ideological differences between the Admiral and the Marshall appear insurmountable. The King, once nearly swayed toward the Admiral's position, appears to turn the other way. He is bored with this talk of war and will listen to it no more. The Admiral hopes - with some despair - that this short-sightedness does not spark an internal war which he cannot avoid.
Steven is ready to leave, but Anne is being impossible. She is afraid to go with him for fear of being caught, and she is afraid to stay in the shop alone. Steven convinces her that they will be safe if they can find and contact the Doctor. She agrees to go with him. Should anything happen and they get separated, they are to meet back at the shop.
At the King's request, debate has turned to more domestic matters, but the verbal fireworks continue. Admiral de Coligny rails against the abuses suffered by the Hugenots in Paris, but Marshall Tavannes is more than satisfied with the terms of a treaty signed long ago between Catholics and Protestants. Obviously this is because it benefited the Catholics more than the Hugenots. The Admiral not only denounces the treaty, but also the spirit in which it was concluded. This is a direct insult to the Queen Mother, architect of the agreement. The King tries to silence the bickering, assuring the Admiral that he is a friend to all the peoples of France, whatever their religion. But the Admiral will not be quiet, accusing the Queen Mother of wielding greater power for less noble purposes.
The Queen Mother storms out of the chamber in a huff. The Admiral fears the King's wrath as well, but the King actually seems amused as he ends the Council Session until the Feast of St. Bartholomew two days from now. He is happy that the Admiral has upset his mother: now she won't speak to him the rest of the day and he can get some peace! He invites the Admiral to join him for a game of tennis, and won't take no for an answer.
Steven and Anne are shown into a waiting room and told that the Abbot is busy saying his morning prayers. After a tense moment, the Abbot emerges. It is quickly clear that if this is the Doctor, he is unwilling to give up his disguise even for his companion. Seeing no other option, Steven tells the Abbot that he has brought back the runaway servant girl. Anne is frightened by this turn of events, but trusts Steven. The Abbot is pleased with Steven and starts to take the girl into custody when he interrupted by the arrival of Marshall Tavannes. The Marshall is agitated and draws the Abbot away to speak privately. However, Steven overhears part of the conversation and deduces that the Admiral de Coligny is "the Sea Beggar". He takes the opportunity to grab Anne and bolt from the house, heading off to tell Nicholas this news.
Colbert arrives at the house in time to see Steven and Anne leaving but too late to stop them. He reports to Tavannes and the Abbot, telling them that Steven was the Englishman seen in the company of Nicholas and Gaston. Tavannes, enraged, is certain that they overheard discussion of the assassination plot. He sends Colbert after them and turns angrily on the Abbot. Amboise is certain that, even if Steven heard the plan, he will be too late to stop Bondot. The Marshall is not so sure.
Steven and Anne reach Nicholas and tell him of the plan. The Admiral has already left the Louvre and is heading home. Steven tells him the attack is to occur in the Rue de St. Germain and Nicholas rushes there to try and save his master.
Admiral de Coligny makes his way on foot from the Louvre to his house. He walks with a group of other courtiers but remains silent, lost in thought. Passing through the Rue de St. Germain, a shop rings out and the Admiral falls. He is wounded but alive. Nicholas arrives just in time to see the assassin retreat from an upper-storey window. He orders the house searched, but will not leave the side of his Admiral.
Meanwhile, Tavannes and the Abbot await word of the assassination, the nervous Marshall fearing the worst. He promises the Abbot that if the plot fails, it will be his fault and he will pay. The Abbot seems composed, but wishes to retire to his rooms to wait. Tavannes forces him to stay put. It is not long before Roger Colbert returns with the news: Bondot has managed to escape, but Admiral de Coligny has only been wounded. Tavannes reacts angrily, placing the Abbot under arrest. He notes that since the Abbot's arrival all of the Catholics' carefully-laid plans have fallen apart. The implication is clear - he believes that the Abbot is an impostor. He will pay with his life.
The news also reaches the King and the Queen Mother. Their reactions are totally different. The Queen Mother is quietly upset that her planned assassination has failed, but the King flies into a rage at the news. The Admiral is a great friend and a trusted Councilor. He vows that those responsible will be caught and punished and he calls an emergency meeting of the Council.
Nicholas brings the Admiral, bleeding badly, back to his home to await a surgeon. Steven assists. Nicholas wishes that Gaston had listened to Steven before. This whole situation could have been avoided. Steven explains how he learned of the plot and Nicholas believes that the Abbot was behind it. Steven insists that "the Abbot" is really the Doctor in disguise, although he doesn't know why. However, both Steven and Nicholas are shocked when one of Nicholas' friends arrives with the news that the Abbot of Amboise has been killed. What is worse, the Catholics are blaming his death on the Hugenots, in retaliation for the attack on the Admiral. Steven races from the house.
The King wastes no time in getting to the point with his Councillors. Marshall Tavannes insists he knows nothing of the plot against de Coligny and the King appears to believe him. He orders Tavannes to personally see to the Admiral's safety. He house is to be guarded at all times and Catholics are to be cleared from the streets. If anything further happens to the Admiral, Tavannes will pay with his life. The King brooks no opposition to his plan. He is distraught - desperately hoping to hold together the fragile unity in his kingdom - and ends the session abruptly.
The Queen Mother, seeing her son in a moment of emotional weakness, pursues and confronts him. However distraught he may seem over the wounding of his friend, the King is not blinded. He knows that Tavannes and his mother plotted the assassination and threatens to have her sent to a convent if she does not obey him. But her position is one of strength and he could not enforce any action against her. She tries to convince him that the Hugenots are plotting against him. He protests that he loves and cares for all his subjects, no matter what their religion, but the Queen Mother assures him that the Hugenots want him out now that one of their own - Prince Henri - is in line for the throne. This gives him pause.
In the streets, the common people believe the same. A group of them gather outside the Abbot's residence, where the priest's body lies dead. The rumblings against the Hugenots grow louder and more insistent. If they will kill an unarmed priest, they will stop at nothing. Colbert and Tavannes are pleased. The reaction is just as they had hoped.
Steven arrives and bustles through the crowed. He reaches the body of the man he is sure is the Doctor and finds him dead. He asks what happened and he is answered with more anti-Protestant invective. From the window of the Abbot's house, Colbert sees the distraught Steven trying to reason with the crowd. With a perverse delight, Colbert shouts down to the guards outside that Steven is a Hugenot, one of those responsible for the priest's death.
Steven runs, the guards in close pursuit. The crowd's anger rises to fever pitch...
Bell of Doom
The next day, an exhausted Steven reaches Preslin's shop, where he and Anne are reunited. He managed to evade the soldiers but it took him all night. He couldn't get back after the curfew bell rang. He is sure they are still looking for him. He informs her of the death of the Doctor and that he really doesn't know what to do. At last, he decides he must find the TARDIS key and return there. It is his only hope to return home. Steven assumes the key will be with the Doctor's own clothes, which are likely to be here in the shop. He and Anne begin their search.
Simon Duval reports to Tavannes that Steven has not been found but that the search continues. Tavannes insists that he be found by tonight. Tomorrow is St. Bartholomew's Day and it will be too hard to find him during the revelry. Only with his capture and death can their part in the assassination be hidden. Tavannes receives a message to attend the Queen Mother. He leaves immediately.
Anne's search turns up the Doctor's walking stick, but that is all. This gives Steven hope and they continue searching. Anne still does not believe the Doctor was disguised as the Abbot, although she cannot figure what has happened to him. However, all their speculation is moot as the Doctor - very much alive - appears in the shop. Steven is shocked.
Admiral de Coligny is alive and recovering, although still gravely ill. Price Henri has arrived to call on him, barely able to get through the Catholic guard which has been stationed around the house. Gaston tries to warn the Prince that his life is in danger, just as the Admiral's is, but both Nicholas and the Prince urge restraint. Prince Henri refuses to leave the country. While he is more reserved in his fears than Gaston, even the Admiral worries over the further actions which the Catholics might take.
The Doctor will only say that he was unavoidably delayed and chides Steven for getting mixed up in all this intrigue. He has heard all he wants to hear about the situation and insists on heading for the TARDIS immediately. However, Anne says they will not make it across town before the curfew bell and they should wait until morning. The feast day revels will be good cover. The Doctor takes this information with growing dread. Having heard about Admiral de Coligny from Steven and the mention of St. Bartholomew's Day form Anne, the Doctor now knows their precise location in time and is very concerned. He tries to send Anne back to the Admiral's house, but she won't go. She is too afraid. He then suggests her aunt's house, insisting she will be safe there despite her fears. He warns her to be careful and stay indoors on St. Bartholomew's Day. He will say no more, but forces her to leave. Confused and more than a little frightened, Anne does as she is told, bidding Steven a tearful farewell.
Steven angrily asks the Doctor to explain himself. He too fears for Anne's life. But the Doctor says there is no time for explanations and hurries out of the shop.
Tavannes meets with the Queen Mother. She presents him with an order signed by the King, authorizing the massacre of Hugenots in Paris, to take place tomorrow. The Marshall tries to present a list of those to be killed - true Hugenot enemies of France - but the Queen Mother has other plans. She will rouse a mob that will attack all Hugenots, no matter their politics. Tavannes is shocked that the innocent will be killed as well, but the Queen Mother believes there is no innocence in heresy.
Tavannes reluctantly accepts this, thinking they can somehow get away with it, but he balks at the idea of killing Prince Henri. The Queen Mother wishes him punished for his pretensions to the crown, but agrees with Tavannes that there could be serious repercussions for such a rash action. She agrees to spare him, but Tavannes must get him out of Paris tonight or she cannot guarantee his safety. Tavannes agrees, even as he agrees to close the gates of the city so no one else will escape.
Tavannes relays these instructions to Simon Duval, who is overjoyed at the prospect of a Hugenot bloodbath. Appalled, Tavannes charges him with the task of getting Prince Henri out of Paris, depriving him of the chance to kill any Hugenots himself. Tavannes' heart weighs heavily on him as he watches Colbert depart.
The Doctor and Steven have finally made it across Paris as dawn breaks, but cannot reach the TARDIS due to the cordon around the Admiral's house. They watch and wait for their chance to get past. Shortly, Duval appears with a set of guards and relieves the surprised soldiers. They are sent back to their barracks to await further orders. Although confused by this sudden change of guard, the Doctor nonetheless takes advantage of the opportunity. He and Steven skirt round the soldiers and dash through the concealing gate and into the TARDIS.
The ship dematerializes just as Duval and his men begin pounding on the Admiral's door. The massacre has begun....
On board the TARDIS, all is silent except for the sounds of flight. Finally, Steven breaks the silence, angrily asking if there was anything they could have done to help their friends. The Doctor reminds him again that they cannot change history. Ruefully, he relates the facts of events: 10,000 Hugenots were killed in Paris alone. After a couple of days, the massacre spread into other parts of France. The Admiral, Muss, almost all of them were killed.
Steven's suppressed anger bursts forth, putting responsibility for Anne's death squarely on the Doctor. The Doctor reasons that they don't know for certain she is dead, but Steven doesn't accept that. The guards were waiting at her aunt's house, he's sure of that. If the Catholics killed 10,000 in Paris, he is sure she didn't escape. Without rebuke, the Doctor denies responsibility for her death. History took its course and he had to let it.
With quiet resolve, Steven vows to leave the ship at its next landing, wherever it is. If the Doctor's "researches" have so little regard for human life, he wants no more part of it.
The ship travels on in uneasy silence for a few moments more before the Doctor announces that they have landed. The scanner shows an Earthlike scene - trees, grass, a small road. Perhaps a park.
With only a terse goodbye, Steven opens to doors. The Doctor tries one last time to reason with him, explaining that history often gives us a shock. We are all too small in the stream of history to understand its final pattern, but these things are necessary and none of them have the right to change it. Without a word, Steven leaves.
The Doctor laments the departure, sorry that his words appeared not to register. He is at least pleased that he taught Steven to look at the scanner before venturing out.
And so, the Doctor is alone for the first time. Sadly, he laments the loss of all his companions. His beloved Susan, Vicki, Barbara and Ian. They didn't understand either, but they were all friends. And now Steven too. He is all alone.
For a moment, he tosses around the idea of going home, ending his travels. With infinite sadness, he realizes that he cannot.
Outside, the wheels of fate which seem to guide the Doctor's life continue. It is Earth. 1966. Wimbledon Common. A young girl, looking very anxious, runs down the lane beside the TARDIS. She sees the police box and bursts inside. Instead of a small cupboard with a phone, she finds herself - impossibly - in the TARDIS control room.
The girl is looking for a phone and won't take the Doctor's dismissals for an answer. There's been an accident up the road and a little boy has been hurt. The Doctor curtly tells her to find another police box and call an ambulance. But this girl - obviously led by curiosity and adventure - will not leave. Something is going on and she must know what.
In answer to her persistent questions, the Doctor tells her that this is a time machine. She scoffs, sensing more to the story. However, their argument is cut off when Steven bursts back inside. He reports that two policemen are coming over the common, heading for the TARDIS. Steven brushes off the Doctor's questions as to why he has returned and urges him to take off. He does so immediately.
The Doctor tries again to find out why Steven came back, but Steven instead turns his attention to the newcomer. Incredulously, he tries to explain to her what she's in for. They could land anywhere and any time. While the girl is sceptical, she seems excited by the possibility. Steven rounds on the Doctor, angry that he is content to take this girl and not Anne. But the Doctor protests that this was a very different situation. They had no choice but to leave when and how they did. Steven turns back to the bemused girl, badgering her. He tries to impress upon her that they are no longer on Earth and may never get home again. However, the girl is an orphan who lives with her great aunt. No one will miss her if she never returns.
The Doctor is pleased, thinking that the girl looks very much like his granddaughter Susan. Both he and Steven are astonished when she introduces herself as Dodo - Dorothea Chaplet. Despite the odds against, the Doctor thinks that Dodo could be related to Anne Chaplet, especially as her grandfather was French. Perhaps the web of history is not as impersonal as first thought.
The Doctor welcomes Dorothea aboard the TARDIS. She quickly corrects him. Her name is Dodo. And she is here to stay.
|Source: Jeff Murray