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Short Trips: Repercussions
edited by Gary Russell

Cover Blurb
Short Trips: Repercussions

All across the universe, the Doctor is hailed as a hero, a benevolent force, the man who fights the monsters, topples the dictators and frees the oppressed.

Repercussions demonstrates an alternative side to this. What if, whilst doing these good, even great, deeds, the Doctor is unwittingly changing the Web of Time. Giving people knowledge they’re not supposed to have. Empowering races that should have remained in the dark ages. Overthrowing the evil that, had it continued to flourish, might ultimately have brought together agreater force of good to eradicate itself.

Established writers of Doctor Who books and audios are joined in this collection by fresh talent and new voices.

repercussion n. : 1: (often followed by of) an indirect effect or reaction following an event or action. 2: the recoil after impact. 3: an echo or reverberation.

‘Every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped into a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences.’ - Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch

The galaxies are awash with stories, myths and legends of the Doctor, the courageous Time Lord who rights wrongs and brings down the evil dictators.

But does the Doctor always get it right? In his efforts to save the smaller picture, is it possible that occasionally the bigger picture, the Web of Time itself, can be broken by his actions? If so, what can he do to repair it?

Repercussions features sixteen tales set on a strange airship taking its passengers on a trip to... who knows where? Amongst the people aboard is young adventuress Charley Pollard, just a few weeks into her life aboard the TARDIS alongside the Eighth Doctor, a man whose past, she will discover, she knows frighteningly little about. She encounters a diplomat trying to stop a war, a young man seemingly murdered by the Doctor, a tramp, a seismologist and a republican trying to save the life of his plague-stricken daughter. One thing they all have in common -- an encounter with a strange alien visitor who seemed to help them but perhaps should have left them alone.

Learning their stories, understanding their grief, their anger or even their joy, Charley begins to see a new side to this enigmatic man she has chosen to travel the universe with. And she is forced to ask, will she one day also find herself aboard a strange airship, teeming with fellow travellers, all of whom seem to represent a danger to the Web of Time?

  • This is the eighth volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series.
  • Released: June 2004
    ISBN: 1 84435 048 7

The Time Lord’s Story by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett 8th Doctor, Romana II, K9

Upon returning to Gallifrey from an adventure in the outside Universe, the Doctor, Romana and K9 are contacted by a traffic warden named Eltiannachrisanik, who has stumbled across evidence that someone on the High Council has been accessing restricted data files about some of the Universe’s ancient and dangerous races. While Romana enlists the aid of Co-ordinator Vansell, the Doctor and K9 launch their own investigation, accompanied by Tianna, who is eager for the chance to experience something more interesting than her daily routine. The Doctor follows a clue to the ruins of the old city beneath the Capitol, where he discovers that a band of conspirators led by a Time Lord named Handrel have used the Timescoop to bring various alien creatures to Gallifrey, including a Krynoid and an infant Vampire, and are conducting experiments to create Gallifreyan/alien hybrids and acquire immortality. Meanwhile, Romana discovers that Vansell has been monitoring Handrel’s activities for some time, and when K9 contacts her to inform her of the Doctor’s discovery, Romana orders Vansell to send in a squad of Chancellery guards to support the Doctor. Handrel and his men open fire, and in the ensuing exchange of gunfire, Handrel is killed and the Vampire breaks free and tears out Tianna’s neck. The Doctor uses the Timescoop to dispose of the Vampire, but is unable to save Tianna, who has been transformed into an immortal and invulnerable vampire. The Doctor has her sealed in a stasis box, but fears that it may be impossible either to kill or cure her...

Time-Placement: set after the Eighth Doctor version of Shada.

Continuity: Co-ordinator Vansell first appeared in The Sirens of Time, and was last seen in Neverland; in the current Gallifrey audios, the post is filled by Narvin. Also: in the novel Lungbarrow, it’s revealed that the full Gallifreyan name of the Doctor’s companion Leela includes the name of her lover, Andred; another of the Doctor’s companions, Chris, stayed behind on Gallifrey at the end of Lungbarrow; Chris had several lovers during his time as the Doctor’s companion; and Tianna’s full name includes the syllable “chris”. We’re just saying, is all.

The Ghost’s Story by Trevor Baxendale 7th Doctor, Ace

The Doctor and Ace materialise near a deserted colony overgrown with lichen and littered with the remains of people who appear to have died where they lay. Disturbed, the Doctor urges Ace to return to the TARDIS, but when they dematerialise, the ghost of a laughing little girl appears in the shadows and the TARDIS suffers a catastrophic power failure. The Doctor realises that his ship is being affected by the presence of the girl, who should no longer exist. He is forced to return to the colony, where he and Ace track down the body of the little girl. As they watch, the lichen grows over the girl’s skeletal remains and recreates her body in corporeal form. The girl explains that she accidentally brought the lichen back to the colony after she picked one of the glowing flowers outside the town and brought it back with her to show people. Now she believes that she’s alive again, but the Doctor reveals that she’s just a temporal anomaly brought about by some property of the lichen spores interacting with the TARDIS. The young girl tries to board the TARDIS again, but the Doctor seals her out; the girl is no longer supposed to exist, and the TARDIS is reacting to her continued presence in the Web of Time, which is why it suffered the power failure. Despite Ace’s protests, the Doctor takes off again, leaving the ghost stranded in the ruins of the colony.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

The Rag and Bone Man’s Story by Colin Brake 1st Doctor

On the planet Tacunda, the Doctor and Susan acquire a “Blessing Star,” a jewel containing a microscopic empath with the ability to manipulate the laws of probability. When the Doctor tries to use the Star to pilot his ship to its next destination, it burns out the navigational system, stranding him and Susan in 20th-century Earth -- which is exactly where the Doctor planned to put down next. Susan attends school with the other children of her apparent age while the Doctor conducts repairs, but when she uses the Blessing Star in an attempt to fit in, her extraordinary good luck only marks her as more of an outsider. Upset, she buries the Star in with the rest of the junk in the yard -- and inadvertently leaves it behind when she and her grandfather leave 20th-century Earth. In the aftermath of their departure, a Rag and Bone Man is called in to clean out the abandoned junkyard, and when he finds the Blessing Star, his life takes a turn for the better. He wins the pools, meets and marries the girl of his dreams, and finds that the “junk” he’s turning up is increasing in value. Finally, in 1966, he places a large bet on the outcome of the World Cup. As the game plays out, the Doctor shows up; having defeated WOTAN, he’s now tying up loose ends from his previous stay in London, and has tracked down the Blessing Star. The Rag and Bone Man is unwilling to part with his good luck charm, but as he holds it close, there is a close kick into the German goal -- and all of the desires of the English people watching the match focus through the Rag and Bone Man’s wish, causing the Blessing Star to overheat and explode in his hands. The Doctor departs, irritated, as the Rag and Bone Man returns to his home to watch the rest of the match; luckily, he wins, but from then on his luck is no better than average.

Time-Placement: the Doctor tracks down the Blessing Star while visiting London at the time of The War Machines.

The Seismologist’s Story by Peter Anghelides 3rd Doctor, Jo

The TARDIS materialises in 1950s Greece, where it falls down a crevasse into a time loop. Unable to reach it without getting stuck in the loop, the Doctor takes Jo to a taverna to ponder his next move; however, they are contacted by a seismologist named Katsoudas, whom the Doctor senses is an incognito Time Lord. Katsoudas claims that a Gallifreyan prison ship has crashed in the Mediterranean, and that he’s brought the Doctor here to help sort out the situation. The Doctor and Jo accompany Katsoudas and his assistant Nikos back to his research centre, where Katsoudas reveals that his “seismographs” are capable of triggering earth tremors; unfortunately, the suspicious Doctor has sent Jo to investigate Katsoudas’ experiments, and Katsoudas’ demonstration traps her underground on the outskirts of the time loop. The Doctor, Katsoudas and Nikos try to rescue her, but are captured by the Master; he had allied himself with a party of invading Odobendians, but a miscalculation on his part trapped their ship in this time loop. Katsoudas is not a Time Lord, but a human who fell under the Master’s thrall while conducting research on the island; it was the Master’s influence that the Doctor sensed in the taverna. Following the Master’s instructions, Katsoudas has triggered a massive earthquake so the Master can tap the seismic energy to free himself from the time loop, but as a side effect, the resulting earthquakes and tsunami will destroy the entire Mediterranean coast. The Doctor tells Jo to get Katsoudas and Nikos into the TARDIS, but Katsoudas -- who in fact retained his free will, but has now tired of acting as the Master’s pawn -- hypnotises Nikos himself, using the knowledge he was granted by the Master, and sends him to adjust the controls of the Odobendian ship. Nikos and the Odobendians age to death in the ensuing timequake, which erases the entire time loop from the continuum, preventing Katsoudas’ earthquake from occurring. The Master escapes in his own TARDIS as the Doctor and Jo take Katsoudas to safety in theirs. However, Katsoudas now intends to use the knowledge he obtained from the Master to make a name for himself in the scientific community, and the Doctor realises that this is the real problem that the Time Lords sent him to deal with...

Time-Placement: arbitrary, in a period in which the Doctor and Jo are capable of travelling by TARDIS.

The Dead Man’s Story by Andy Frankham 3rd Doctor

Jake Morgan has just accepted his girlfriend Fay’s marriage proposal, but while heading into town to tell his friend Robert, he spots a police box standing on the corner -- and when he walks up to it, curious, a sudden blast of energy from the box knocks him to the ground. A man walks out of the box to apologise, but then becomes disturbed and abruptly retreats back inside the box, which vanishes into thin air. Jake then finds that he has become invisible and intangible, and slowly comes to believe that he has died and become a ghost. Unable to communicate with Fay or Robert, he tries to visit his estranged father, but sees him die of a heart attack -- and does not see his father’s spirit rise from his body. Just as he is coming to believe that he will be alone forever, the man from the police box, the Doctor, contacts him to explain what has happened; his companion, Jeremy, inadvertently released a burst of temporal energy while fiddling with the TARDIS controls, and Jake was caught up in the explosion and shifted into a different phase of reality. Despite the Doctor’s best efforts, he has been unable to reverse the damage; all he can do is take Jake to another reality where he can continue to exist. Before leaving with the Doctor, Jake insists that he give Fay his communications device so he can say goodbye to her properly, giving her a chance to put him behind her and get on with her life before Jake leaves his world behind forever.

Time-Placement: the Doctor seems to be travelling with Jeremy Fitzoliver. According to the author the story is set between Death to the Daleks and The Ghosts of N-Space.

The Inquisitor’s Story by Shaun Lyon 6th Doctor

Soon after touching down on the peaceful planet of Baspral, the Doctor is arrested, thrown into prison, interrogated and sentenced to death in absentia. Shortly before his scheduled execution, he is visited by an Inquisitor who reveals that, on a previous visit, the Doctor intervened to save a young boy from drowning at the hands of an old woman. The old woman, Galena, was in fact a Seer with the ability to foretell the future -- and the young boy grew up to become a brutal dictator who led Baspral into war, killing millions. However, the Doctor reveals that Galena had also foretold his own intervention, and reminds the Inquisitor that Baspral subsequently joined forces with the Earth Alliance to fight off the Daleks, who would have destroyed the planet had Baspral not already been on a war footing. The Inquisitor admits that he witnessed the incident by the river but did nothing, and that he subsequently served the dictator during the war; he was too frightened to act for himself in either case, but he now accepts the Doctor’s argument that all anyone can ever do is what they believe to be the right thing at the time. The Inquisitor cannot reverse the Doctor’s sentence of death, but instead he lets the Doctor escape and stays to take his place in the execution chamber, thus ensuring that an innocent man lives while the Inquisitor himself finally faces justice for what he did during the war.

Time-Placement: arbitrary; placed in sequence with the other Sixth Doctor solo stories.

The Gangster’s Story by Jon de Burgh Miller 5th Doctor, Peri, Erimem

The Doctor, Peri and Erimem contact a gangster named Charlie Shutter, who keeps his gang in line by firing painful bolts of energy from a glove he calls the Lightning. The Doctor turns aside the Lightning when Charlie tries to strike him down, and Charlie, shaken, nevertheless sees an opportunity to learn exactly how the fabric he stumbled across really works. He offers to pay the Doctor handsomely for his knowledge of the Lightning, and the Doctor accepts Charlie’s offer and plans out a series of quick robberies known as the “Lightning Strikes.” The raids draw quite a bit of attention to Charlie’s gang, but the Doctor eventually announces that a mysteriously electrified cabinet has fallen into the hands of the rival Mickey Green gang; this cabinet holds the secrets of the Lightning, and if Charlie agrees to stop the Lightning Strikes, the Doctor will help him to steal the cabinet. Charlie and his reluctant right-hand man, Jack Green, lead the Doctor and his companions to Mickey’s warehouse, but once there, Charlie tries to double-cross the Doctor and steal the cabinet. The Doctor triggers the warehouse’s burglar alarms, and when Charlie tries to strike him down, the Doctor diverts the Lightning into the cabinet, which vanishes in a blaze of light. The Doctor reveals that the power in the glove was the life force of an alien criminal, trapped on Earth and hunted by others of its kind; the cabinet was its spacecraft, and the Doctor has used it to send the aliens somewhere out of harm’s way. Charlie’s glove no longer works, and the Doctor has given the police details of all the Lightning Strikes. Realising that Jack was only working for Charlie out of fear, the Doctor gives him the deeds to a number of properties and sends him on his way before the police arrive to rescue Charlie. Jack makes good his escape, vowing to turn over a new leaf.

Time-Placement: placed in sequence with the Peri/Erimem stories.

The Bushranger’s Story by Sarah Groenewegen 4th Doctor, Leela

The year is 1876. An Australian bushranger named Lillian Robinson is hiding her loot from a stagecoach robbery when the TARDIS materialises before her, spooking her horse, Ben. The Doctor emerges with Leela, and while chatting with the bewildered Lillian, learns that a pack of wolves have been spotted in a nearby valley. Curious, the Doctor investigates and meets a pack of Wolf People, an ancient race of humans with a mystical connection to their wolven companions; this pack was brought over from the old country for the amusement of rich Irish families, but escaped and settled in the wilderness. Lillian, startled by a wolf’s sudden approach, tries to shoot it but injures herself when the gun explodes in her hand. The Doctor gives her a special kind of medicine, and the Wolf People agree to let her stay with them until she is ready to return to her own people; however, she doesn’t have anything special to return to, and by the time she heals, her horse has wandered off, leaving her stranded. Lillian spends decades with the Wolf People as their community slowly dies out, and when one of the women gives birth, Lillian gives the Doctor’s special medicine to the newborn girl, whom she christens Erin. Eventually, they are the last of the community, and as Erin and her wolf go walkabout into the desert, Lillian walks in the opposite direction -- and encounters a strange black highway along which motorised vehicles are moving at incredible speeds. On the verge of the highway, Lillian finds an abandoned newspaper claiming that other mythical creatures have been spotted across the world, but after all she’s seen, she finds this easy to believe...

Time-Placement: Leela has never seen a horse before, placing this at some point before The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

The Schoolboy’s Story by Trey Korte 1st Doctor, Steven, Vicki

Bobby Zierath, a young American boy, starts telling his friends and teachers at school that he’s travelled to other planets and times with a group of friends who returned him home on the very same night that he left. When the teachers and students refuse to believe his stories, Bobby becomes upset and starts getting into fights with them. Eventually, his teachers call child protective services and Bobby is taken away from his father, who obviously hasn’t been taking care of him properly since his mother died. Bobby eventually learns not to tell his stories any more and even begins to doubt whether they actually happened. Years later, the TARDIS materialises in America, and the Doctor meets the grown-up Robert Zierath while tracking down an anomaly in the fabric of space and time. Robert, furious, accuses the Doctor, Steven and Vicki of ruining his life, but the Doctor insists that Robert is mistaken and marches Steven and Vicki straight back to the TARDIS. However, though Steven protests, the Doctor knows that he has no choice but to travel back in time, meet young Bobby, take him on a wild ride through the Universe and then return him home, preserving the Web of Time but ruining the young man’s life. The older Robert follows the Doctor back to the TARDIS and sees it dematerialise, and, knowing at last that his memories are true, he goes home to write of the things he’s seen, hoping to use his knowledge of the future to make the world a better place.

Time-Placement: arbitrary, although at the end of the story, Steven gives away his toy panda, Hi-Fi.

The Juror’s Story by Eddie Robson 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th Doctors

A physicist named Dr Harris is called for jury duty in the case of Dr Foreman, an elderly man accused of shooting and killing his granddaughter’s young friend. Eleven of the jurors find him guilty, but Dr Smith, a young man dressed in a cricketing outfit, points out that Foreman shot the girl with silver bullets and tries to convince the other jurors that the victim, Miss Sampson, was in fact a werewolf. Dr Smith manages to win over two of his fellow jurors, but the others remain sceptical, and Mr Hopkins absolutely refuses to change his vote. When the jury next reconvenes, however, Mr Hopkins’ place is, and always has been, filled by Dr Noble, a white-haired man dressed in a frilled shirt. Dr Noble votes to acquit, and manages to convince two other jurors that, since they have no evidence to disprove the existence of werewolves, they cannot convict Foreman beyond a reasonable doubt. The other six jurors remain firm in their convictions, including the jury’s foreman, Mr Sutcliffe -- except that the foreman is and has always been Dr Bowman, a distracted, animated man with long, flowing hair, who flirts with the female members of the jury and manages to convince most of the others that there can be no other reason why Foreman would have had silver bullets in his possession and chosen to use them. Only Dr Harris and Mr Eastman refuse to change their positions, except that Mr Eastman has never been on the jury; rather, Dr Harris’ fellow juror is Dr Mason, a shabbily dressed psychiatrist with tangled hair. While speaking with Mason over dinner, Harris admits that his older sister died before he was born, and that he’s never felt he lived up to his parents’ expectations of her. Mason suggests that Harris’ refusal to accept the existence of “mythical” creatures is in fact born of his own feelings of inadequacy than on a rational examination of the facts. Harris accepts this argument and changes his vote, resulting in a unanimous vote to acquit the defendant. As Harris leaves the courtroom, however, he begins to feel disoriented, and Dr Bowman is forced to apologise; he’s overwritten history too often, and now the timelines are falling apart. The dazed Harris can offer no protest as Bowman leads him away...

Time-Placement: since it’s the Eighth Doctor who takes Dr Harris away, we choose to use him as the point of view for this story, which presumably takes place before the framing sequence.

Continuity: Dr Foreman is obviously the First Doctor, Dr Smith the Fifth, Dr Noble the Third, and Dr Bowman the Eighth. Dr Mason’s identity is less certain, but he is likely to be the Seventh Doctor in the period just before his regeneration.

The Farmer’s Story by Todd Green 2nd Doctor, Jamie, Victoria

The Doctor and his companions arrive in East Ridge, Texas, where farmer Thomas Watson is being harassed by John Glassman, a representative of a big oil company from New York. Most of the townsfolk, swept away by Glassman’s promises that oil will make theirs the most prosperous community in Texas, are willing to sell their property to him; however, Watson’s farm has been in his family for generations, and he has no intention of giving it up. Since diverting around Watson’s property would deeply inconvenience the oil company, Glassman is determined to get the farm, one way or another. That night, Watson drives two shadowy figures off his land, and finds a scrap of clothing that can only have come from a businessman’s suit. He reports the incident to Sheriff Wilson, but the other townsfolk turn against him -- especially George Dayton, who has visions of owning a general store on every corner of the thriving metropolis Glassman has described. Watson insists that Glassman is spinning tales for the credulous townsfolk, and that his company will simply suck all the oil out of the ground and then move on, leaving East Ridge an abandoned, poisoned ghost town. The other townsfolk refuse to believe this, but the Doctor sympathises with Watson’s position, and helps him to capture the trespassers when they return to his land. Watson turns the trespassers over to the Sheriff, but when Glassman learns that his men have been arrested, he turns to the other townsfolk for help, and soon an angry lynch mob is on its way to Watson’s home. The Doctor allows Watson to shelter in the TARDIS until the Sheriff arrives, and as the sullen mob disperses, Wilson promises to ensure that Watson gets the chance to take his case to the country. Their work done, the Doctor and his companions depart before anybody starts to ask awkward questions about their involvement.

Time-Placement: arbitrarily assigned along with the other short stories in this era.

The Republican’s Story by Andy Russell 4th Doctor, Sarah

The TARDIS materialises in a plague pit in London in the year 1666, and as the Doctor and Sarah explore their surroundings, they are nearly run over by an oddly-dressed figure driving a heavily loaded cart. Elsewhere, in a pub called the White Hart, a Republican named William Rokeby addresses a gathering of like-minded individuals who believe that Charles II should be removed from the throne. Their meeting is being observed by an intelligence officer, Sir Richard Stoneman-Merritt, who has arranged for the pub to be raided by the brutal Sergeant Mullens. The Doctor and Sarah, who is beginning to feel unwell, happen past the pub as fighting breaks out, but when the Doctor spots the Great Fire beginning in the distance, he breaks up the brawl and urges both sides to work together to hold back the fire. However, Sarah collapses while helping Rokeby to rescue a woman and child, and the Doctor discovers that she has caught the plague. Rokeby admits that he too has the plague, and the soldiers’ terror of the disease holds them back while Rokeby helps the Doctor and Sarah to flee. Mullens, already suspicious of the newcomers’ behaviour and clothing, concludes that they must be responsible for the fire. Meanwhile, Rokeby accompanies the Doctor and Sarah back to the TARDIS, where the Doctor gives her antibiotics -- but once Rokeby has overcome his shock at the interior of the TARDIS, he seizes the antibiotics, gives himself a dose and rushes out to save his dying daughter, Polly-Anne. Once Sarah has recovered, she and the Doctor give chase, only to see that Rokeby has run into Sir Richard. The intelligence officer, shaken by the ferocity of the Great Fire, tries to convince Rokeby that they should put aside their differences and work together to build a better future, but Rokeby now believes that he has God’s blessing to put an end to the evils of the hedonistic king, and he attacks Sir Richard, driving him back into the flames. Mullens then arrives and tries to arrest the Doctor and Sarah, who are forced to flee back to the TARDIS and dematerialise; however, the Doctor knows that the Web of Time could be damaged by Rokeby’s possession of the anachronistic antibiotics. Meanwhile, Rokeby returns to home and administers the antibiotics to Polly-Anne, saving her life.

Time-Placement: the Doctor claims to have travelled over 30,000 years to get to the 17th century, which implies that they’ve just returned from the events of Planet of Evil. This is presumably the incident to which the Doctor later referred in Pyramids of Mars when he mentioned that he’d been blamed for the Great Fire of London (although Sarah seemed surprised to learn that).

The Assassin’s Story by Andrew Collins 5th Doctor, Tegan, Turlough

While visiting the year 1984, the Doctor and his companions spot a news report that Margaret Thatcher has been assassinated by a disgruntled Conservative backbencher, Heathcliffe Bower. The Doctor, realising that history has been altered, visits the fete at which Bower is to shoot the Prime Minister, but arrives too late to prevent the assassination. He and his companions travel further back in time to visit Bower in 1979, when he first won the seat in his riding, but he fails to understand their veiled hints and cryptic warnings. The Doctor thus returns to a period after the assassination and breaks the demoralised Bower out of prison. Bower was once a relatively famous actor, but in the Conservative party he was a nobody, relegated to the back of the House and forced to watch in horror as Thatcher’s self-serving politics tore the country apart. He killed her at least partly to get back in the limelight, but rather than being lauded as a folk hero, as he’d naively assumed would happen, he has been vilified by the public while the government lurches on with its destructive policies. Bower accepts the second chance offered by the Doctor, but first asks permission to witness one of his on-stage performances in his glory days; while there, he sees his younger self meet Margaret Richards for the first time, and realises that he got into politics at least partly because he was smitten with the dynamic young woman. The Doctor then takes Bower to meet his younger self a few days before the fete, and Bower gives his younger self a stern talking-to. As a result, Bower chooses not to attend the fete, takes some time off to get his head together, quits politics and enjoys a peaceful retirement. The version of Bower who actually did pull the trigger now never should have existed...

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

The Diplomat’s Story by Kathryn Sullivan 6th Doctor, Evelyn

Human colonists encounter a back-to-nature colony of the deer-like Hufko on the planet Teuba, and, mistaking them for non-sentient animals, some of the humans begin hunting them and taking their heads as trophies. The Hufko military nearly wipe out the human colony in retaliation, but the Doctor and Evelyn arrive and manage to calm things down after the initial battle. In the aftermath, Evelyn meets former schoolteacher Ormsin Ives, whose husband was killed during the Hufko attack, and, unwilling to leave her new friend alone with her grief, Evelyn invites her to attend the peace negotiations. Despite her loss, Ormsin pulls herself together and assists in the negotiations, and Ted Henry, the president of the human colony, decides to appoint her as ambassador to the Hufko once the Doctor and Evelyn have gone. Ormsin has her hands full trying to deal with the mistrustful Hufko while fending off aggressive approaches by Delegate Wolfe, who represents the interests of the human mining colony that had staked claim to Teuba before the conflict. However, Ormsin soon determines that the Hufko colonists aren’t particularly happy with the continued intrusive presence of their military, and when a representative from a resort company approaches her, she opens negotiations with the Hufko to build a resort in the mountains tailored to the Hufko’s needs; there, off-duty soldiers can relax without disturbing the colonists. Ormsin also supplies the Hufko with a selection of fruits, grains and vegetables from Earth, intriguing the herbivores with the exotic tastes. When Wolfe tries to force his way into a meeting with the Hufko, Ormsin has security forces remove him from the building. Thanks to her diplomatic skills, it seems that the humans and Hufko will make peace after all.

Time-Placement: placed in sequence with the other Evelyn stories.

The Steward’s Story by Mark Michalowski 2nd Doctor

While visiting a powerful maharaja, the Doctor inadvertently angers his court magician, Nehra. Suspicious of the newcomer’s intentions, Nehra tries to divine the nature of the Doctor’s strange blue box and has a vision of many such boxes wrapping up the Earth in threads that are apparently choking the life out of the planet. Believing that the Doctor intends to destroy the world, Nehra summons a demon named Vishathra to break the threads woven by the time-travelling boxes. The Doctor tries to convince Nehra that he’s making a mistake, but Nehra refuses to listen to him. Fortunately, Vishathra is not a particularly bright demon, and the first thread he snaps is his own. The Doctor explains to the shocked Nehra that every living being moves through Time in some way, relative to the motion of the cosmos; if Nehra had thought to order Vishathra not to break his own thread, then the demon would have destroyed the entire Universe. Shaken, Nehra listens as the Doctor explains that the threads he has seen are in fact weaving the Web of Time; they are the natural connections that bind one event to another, and breaking them without thought for the consequences could unravel the whole of reality. Realising what a terrible error he nearly made, Nehra begs the Doctor for a chance to make amends, and the Doctor agrees to give him the opportunity to do so. The Doctor then departs in his blue box, only to return moments later, with an entirely different face, to give Nehra the chance he asked for...

Time-Placement: to be perfectly honest, from the description, this could be either the Second or the Seventh Doctor, and the one who appears at the end could be either the Third or the Eighth. However, the Doctor’s characterisation seems to us closest to his second incarnation, and since he’s travelling alone, we’ve chosen to set this during “Season 6b.”

The Tramp’s Story by Joe Lidster 7th Doctor

A homeless man saves up enough money for a bottle of champagne to see in Christmas, but a rushing commuter runs into him on the sidewalk and hurries on without even noticing that he’s caused the tramp to drop and break the precious bottle. Shattered, the tramp crawls into the street and waits to be struck by a bus -- but he is rescued by the Doctor, who feels as though he’s being stalked by Death and has chosen to make a stand against her by rescuing one person who was destined to die. The tramp, suspicious of the Doctor’s motives, remains huddled in the TARDIS for quite a while afterwards, but eventually works up the nerve to join the Doctor on his adventures outside. On one such adventure, they intervene when Mortimus the Monk takes Antonio Salieri back in Time to kill the infant Mozart -- but the tramp notes the Doctor’s argument that taking even one life out of the Web of Time would be like shattering a musical melody, and wonders, if this is the case, what happened when the Doctor removed him from history. He gets his answer on a world ruled by a dictatorial telepath called the Auctor. Intrigued by the tramp’s claim that he comes from a world of individuals, the Auctor reads his timeline and describes what it sees to the tramp -- and the tramp thus learns that the Doctor didn’t intervene to save his life, but that of Rita, the bus drive who would have committed suicide out of guilt after running him down in the street. The Doctor was able to remove the tramp from history because he’s never affected it in any way. Bitter, the tramp storms off once the Auctor has been defeated, leaving the Doctor alone once more.

Time-Placement: shortly after rescuing the tramp, the Doctor remembers recent deaths and failures -- namely, Excelis Decays, Project: Lazarus and Master, in that order. We assume that this story occurs in sequence.

Continuity: the Monk was given the name Mortimus in the novel No Future.

Repercussions... by Gary Russell 8th Doctor, Charley

Charley Pollard falls asleep while reading in the TARDIS library, and awakens on an airship similar to the R101. Human and alien passengers are mingling and chatting in the lounge, and as the Steward passes out drinks, Charley meets the Lady Tianna and hears the story of her encounter with the Doctor on Gallifrey. The Steward himself tells Charley the ghost story behind the bowl of glowing flowers on the table, and the Rag and Bone Man tells her how he used the Blessing Star to make a fortune; unfortunately, his son used his inheritance to fund research into devastating biological weapons, which is why the Rag and Bone Man had to be removed from the timelines, to ensure that this did not in fact occur. The Baspral Inquisitor introduces Charley to Professor Katsoudas and Jake Morgan, and then tells his own story; the Doctor returned to rescue him from the death chamber, but couldn’t allow him to continue living on Baspral, since a guard who had overheard their conversation was destined to make sweeping reforms to the Baspral justice system.

Charley comes to understand that all of her fellow passengers have been removed from the timelines in order to protect the Web of Time, even though the Doctor himself is usually responsible for the effect they’ve had on history. The alien criminals once known as the Lightning may deserve their fate, but Lillian Robinson doesn’t believe that she and Erin deserve to be here, even though the Doctor’s alien medicine extended their lives and caused the age of the Wolf People, and thus the age of mythological creatures, to overlap with the modern world. Robert Zierath now accepts that he was never meant to change the world, while Dr Harris is still too shaken by his experiences on the jury to deal with where he is now. Thomas Watson understands that he was destined to die at the hands of a lynch mob; like William and Polly-Anne Rokeby and Heathcliffe Bower, he is just grateful to be alive. However, Ormsin Ives does not appreciate being removed from history; intellectually, she understands that the war between the humans and Hufko resulted in lasting interplanetary alliances and a more lasting and stable galactic peace, but she remains bitter that the understanding she negotiated between the two species never came to pass.

As the airship nears its destination, the Steward -- who was once the magician known as Nehra -- tells his story to Charley. As he finishes, the other passengers vanish; the only one to remain is the tramp, who has made his decision to remain on the airship rather than go on living with the burden of existence that the Doctor placed on him. Charley leaves the tramp alone with his bitterness, and awakens outside the airship to find the Doctor waiting for her. He admits that this is the heart of the Space/Time Vortex, and since no Time passes here, the passengers will never know that they’re in limbo, eternally heading towards a destination that they will never reach. It’s the best solution he could come up with, since they couldn’t be permitted to cause further damage to the Web of Time; even so, he often returns here to remind himself of the grave responsibilities he carries as a time traveller. Understanding her friend a little more, Charley sets off on new adventure with him, while the Steward and the tramp prepare to set off on another journey to collect another group of passengers.

Time-Placement: set after Sword of Orion.

Continuity: one of the passengers on the mysterious airship seems to be Grant Markham, who more or less disappeared from continuity after his appearances in Time of Your Life and Killing Ground. He is last seen with his arm around a young woman who strongly resembles Sam Jones, the Eighth Doctor’s companion from the early BBC novels; if she has been edited out of time, it would seem to support the implication in Zagreus that the Big Finish audios take place in a different continuity than the BBC novels.

Source: Cameron Dixon

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