Saturday, February 8, 2014

Doctor Who: All Roads Lead To Trenzalore: Part One

Hello and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog where everyday is just like Christmas. (Which may be for you a bitter pit of despair and disappointment so forget I mentioned Christmas.) 

I'm Dave-El, the writer perpetrator of this blog. This is Doctor Who Saturday in which each Saturday I focus on Doctor Who. (Well, duh.) 

Today we forage into the realm of fan fiction again. Last year, from July to October, I posted episodes of a story I called The Nemesis Who Stole Time, a multi-Doctor adventure which featured ALL of the Doctors. (Well, except for the War Doctor but I didn't know how he actually fit into the scheme of things at the time.)  It was a LONG story (13 installments) and a bear for me to navigate in the writing of that LONG story. Steven Moffat was wise to limit the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special to 3 Doctors with all of the Doctors being represented only briefly a couple of times.  

Well, today's story is much shorter (only 3 parts) and covers territory that is much easier to explore without 11 Doctors, a plethora of companions and an alien monster army all flitting about.  

First a disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction. The author (that's me!) does not receive any compensation except for the love and adoration of my many...  This author does not receive any compensation. This story is not intended as part of the official Doctor Who canon. It is just a story that is told by a long time fan of Doctor Who. My thanks and appreciation to all the hard working creators who make the real thing happen with skill and brilliance. 

This story takes place during the 11th Doctor's time on Trenzalore. A new peril visits this besieged world and only an ultimate sacrifice can stop it.

Doctor Who
All Roads Lead To Trenzalore
Part One


Scene opens: Night time against a snowy tableau. We see a well-worn pair of boots crunch through the snow. As our view widens, we see a man dressed for the cold in a rag tag ensemble of a beat up overcoat, tattered scarf and ragged gloves. 

A graphic appears on screen identifying that this is the planet Trenzalore.

The lights of his village, the town called Christmas, twinkle in the darkness behind him. He looks up the gentle slope of a hill and calls out. 

Man: Doctor! 

The Doctor is standing on a hill top on the very outskirts of the town called Christmas on the planet Trenzalore. The Doctor is looking older: his hair is streaked with grey and the lines on his face are a roadmap of the years he has survived in this form, on this world. He’s standing with the assistance of a cane. In his other hand, he holds up a telescope and scans the night sky. Amid the stars appear bright flashes.  

The Doctor (still looking at the sky, not turning towards his visitor): Ah, Barnable! Lovely to see you.

Man: Doctor, I've told you: my name's not-

The Doctor (interrupting): The war up there, Barnable; it seems particularly violent tonight. 

The man who is not Barnable (but we'll call him that) looks up, sees the flashes in the sky. 

Barnable: Still fightin’ amongst themselves, I see.

The Doctor: So unnecessary when a good old fashion game of Scrabble would sort them out.

Barnable: Doctor, what are you doing out here?

The Doctor (looking about him): Oh, nothing. Just out…walking the parapet, as it were. Making sure Christmas is safe and secure. For at least one more night. 

Barnable: Trenzalore, all of us, we...we’re running out of time, aren’t we? 

The Doctor (putting his hand on Barnable’s shoulder): Oh, Barnable, we’re always running out of time. Even me. 

Suddenly there is a bright flash of green light. Barnable is startled but the Doctor barely reacts. 

Mother Superious Tasha Lem appears in holographic form in front of the Doctor.

The Doctor: Ah, Tasha Lem! As lovely as ever, I see.

Tasha Lem: I wish I could say the same, Doctor. The years have not been kind.

The Doctor: Oh the years have been utterly cruel. But the years and I, we’re not done with each other yet.

Tasha Lem: The number of races in orbit over Trenzalore continues to dwindle.

The Doctor: Good.

Tasha Lem: But the number of Daleks increases exponentially.

The Doctor: That’s…Barnable, what’s the opposite of good?

Barnable: Bad?

The Doctor: Yes! Bad! Bad is the word for that.  Still, the Daleks are so dependent on technology, I imagine the barrier you've so helpfully put around the planet is still most problematic for them.

Tasha Lem: Perhaps so but the Daleks are never to be underestimated.

The Doctor (voice rising): Oh, don’t lecture me about Daleks! I never underestimate the Daleks and their capacity for death and destruction.

Tasha Lem: And the Daleks see the Time Lords the same way.

The Doctor (testily): Who’s side are you on here, Mother Superious?

Tasha Lem: I’m on the side of keeping the Daleks AND the Time Lords from destroying all of creation.

The Doctor: This stalemate cannot be sustained forever. The Papal Mainframe needs to pick a side!

Tasha Lem: The Papal Mainframe stands in judgement of both the Daleks and the Time Lords. 

The Doctor: Look, Tasha, the Time Lords are pompous, arrogant and power corrupted and those are their good qualities. But nothing...NOTHING!... compares to the dark depravity of the Daleks. If the Daleks think their grievances are on par with the Time Lords, let me say this:  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

With a flick of his wrist, the Doctor produces his sonic screwdriver and with a high pitching trilling noise, the holographic projection ceases.

SFX: Boom!

The Doctor and Barnable look up anxiously into the sky. A large object hurtles through the darkness, on fire from air friction.

Barnable: Doctor? What’s happening?

The Doctor pulls his telescope from his coat pocket to look at the object racing across the heavens.

Barnable: What is that?

The Doctor (sighs):  The first stone. 

On the horizon, the object impacts the ground with a blinding and resounding explosion.

The Doctor: Hmm! Inevitable, I suppose. (begins to walk away)

Barnable: Where are you going?

The Doctor (gesturing his cane in the direction of the impact): To see what fresh hell this is.

Barnable: I’m coming with you.

The Doctor (stops): And if I said no?

Barnable: I’m coming with you anyway.

The Doctor: Thought as much. Well, come along, Barnable. 

Barnable: Really, Doctor, my name's not-

The Doctor pays no heed to this protest as he begins singing, moving through the snow with the help of his cane.

The Doctor: "Sleigh bells ring; are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. What a beautiful sight, we're happy tonight walking in a winter wonderland."

Barnable just shakes his head, sighs and follows after.  

Scene change: a dark forest of trees that tangle together against the night sky. In the center of the forest is a very large rock, about the size of large tool shed or a garage. It smokes and smolders as an eerie blue glow emanates from the grey surface of the rock.

Approaching from the periphery is the Doctor and Barnable. 

The Doctor (with feigned enthusiasm): Oh look. A rock. 

Barnable: A very peculiar rock. 

The Doctor scans the boulder with his sonic screwdriver. 

The Doctor: It's a missile. Made of rock. Perfect for getting past the anti-technology barrier. First wooden Cybermen, now Daleks made of rock? Blimey. 

Barnable: It's a Dalek?

The Doctor (pacing about the rock, still scanning): Yes! Well, no! It's a Dalek weapon. But "Daleks made of rock" had a bit more...pizzaz to it. 

Barnable: But it's just a rock. Mind you, a very large and glowing rock but...

The Doctor (still pacing and scanning): Oh, more than a rock, Barnable. The resonances I'm getting from inside...remarkable. The design is simple but still impossibly intricate for something made of stone.

Barnable: It's a machine?

The Doctor: Well, some kind of device anyway. Made of rock, not metal. Powered by ambient gravity, not an internal power source. It's must've taken the Daleks centuries to...

The Doctor stops pacing and scanning, takes a step back. 

The Doctor: It's a Pandorica. And it's unlocking. 

The Doctor checks the readings on his screwdriver and the expression on his face is extremely worried. 

The Doctor: Deterium radiation? No, it can’t be! Except…oh my.

The Doctor scans the rock again. 

Barnable: Doctor?

The Doctor checks the screwdriver's readings.

The Doctor: Oh, somebody’s been reversing polarities. 

The Doctor looks up to sky.

The Doctor (shouting): Oy! You lot! Reversing polarities is MY thing! No fair ripping off my material! 

The Doctor begins pacing back and forth, idly scratching his head with the end of the sonic screwdriver.

The Doctor: Barnable, do you know what deterium radiation is?

Barnable: Er, I can’t say that…

The Doctor: It’s an extremely potent energy source for starships, galactic battle fleets and toaster ovens. Very potent and very lethal. Any lifeform that is mostly organic does not stand a chance to survive it. But perfect for tin-plated dictators like the Daleks.

Barnable: That’s what’s inside the rock then?

The Doctor: Exactly! Annnnd…not exactly.

Barnable: Not exactly?

The Doctor: A drawback to deterium radiation is it has a rather quick half life decay cycle. It constantly needs replenishing. But this radiation has been reversed engineered. It won't decay. And when this rocky Pandorica finally unlocks...

Barnable: The radiation will kill us.

The Doctor (grimly): The radiation will kill us all.

Barnable: So...what do we do?

The Doctor: We turn it off. 

Barnable: I know it can’t be that easy.

Female voice from behind: It rarely is.

The Doctor and Barnable turn to face the hologram of Tasha Lem.

Tasha Lem: Doctor! I believe you hung up on me!

The Doctor (sharply): Tasha Lem! What do you know about this?

Tasha Lem: What I suspect you already know.

The Doctor: Yes.

Barnable: Well, one of you want to clue me in?

The Doctor: The stone screwdriver detects a key juncture where the unlocking can be stopped, reversed even. But...

Barnable: But what?

The Doctor (hesitantly): That juncture is part of an inner atrium, too close to the radioactive core. 

Barnable: So whoever goes in there to turn it off…will die?

The Doctor: Yes.

Barnable: Then I’ll do it!

The Doctor: Barnable, no!

Barnable: There’s no choice, Doctor! You said this will kill everything on Trenzalore! I have to stop it!

The Doctor: You can’t do that, Barnable!

Barnable: Doctor, Trenzalore needs you! You are our only defense against the Daleks! It has to be me to do this!

The Doctor: And I said you CAN’T!

Barnable: Just try to stop me, Doctor!

Tasha Lem: He literally means you can’t!

Barnable: What?

Tasha Lem: The lock is isomorphic.

Barnable: What does that…?

The Doctor: It means only I can manipulate it. 

Barnable: What? How…?

Tasha Lem: The stone controls are set to respond only to a Time Lord’s physiognomy. This particular Time Lord.

The Doctor: You certainly know a lot about this situation.

Tasha Lem: I am Mother Superious of the Papal Mainframe, Doctor! I have my sources. 

Barnable: So let me see if I understand this. If you do nothing, the radiation eats through the rock and everything dies.

The Doctor: Yes.

Barnable: But if you go in there and turn off the switch, you will die, Trenzalore is no longer defended and everything dies.

The Doctor silently nods.

Tasha Lem: Doctor, what about regeneration?

The Doctor: I’m afraid, Tasha Lem, that is no longer an option. 

Tasha Lem: You are at the end of your regenerative cycle? I’m…I’m sorry, I didn’t…

The Doctor: If nothing else, it’s worth it to see the look of surprise on your holographic face, Mother Superious of the Papal Mainframe.

Barnable: So what are we going to do?

The Doctor: Well, the good news I have a plan. OK, not a plan, more of an idea. OK, I'm just stalling for time in the vain hope that an idea or plan will pop in my head! So forget I mentioned having a plan. Because I don't. 

Tasha Lem: Surely there are alternatives. 

The Doctor: Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of alternatives and we have the rest of our lives to think of them. 

The Doctor checks his wrist watch.

The Doctor: In other words, maybe 30 minutes. 

Barnable: Ooh boy. 

Tasha Lem: Doctor, I...

The Doctor: Go, Tasha. I've...I've got this. 

The hologram of Tasha Lem nods silently and vanishes. 

The Doctor: Barnable, you mentioned two alternatives. Really, there is only one. 

The Doctor adjusts his bow tie. 

Barnable: But Doctor, Trenzalore needs...

The Doctor: If I do nothing, death is a certainty for all of you. If I do...this, you have a fighting chance. 

Barnable: The Daleks will slaughter us!

The Doctor turns angrily towards Barnable.

The Doctor (yelling): Don't you think I know....?

The Doctor stops himself, takes a deep breath and sighs. 

The Doctor: I'm sorry, Barnable, truly I am.

Barnable: Look, Doctor, if we're all going to die no matter what, at least let me get one thing straight with you. My name is not Bar--

Barnable's comments gets interrupted by a strange but familiar noise. 


The Doctor (eyes wide with excitement): The TARDIS! C'mon, Barnable!

The Doctor hobbles as quickly as he can away from the rock. Barnable sighs and follows. 

Barnable: Could it be your friend, Clara? Maybe she's returned! 

The Doctor: I hope not. It's not safe here for her. Besides its been centuries...

The two men walk out of a cluster of trees to a clearing where standing right in the middle is the TARDIS.  The Doctor and Barnable stop still as the door begins to open. 

We move in for a close up of the Doctor and Barnable. 

The Doctor (whispering): It can't be. It just can't.

Barnable: Who is that?

The Doctor: It'!

Standing outside of the TARDIS is a thin man in a black coat and white hair. He grasps the lapels of his coat and surveys the scene.

It is the First Doctor.

...To be continued....


Next time: 

The First Doctor against the Time Lords. A determination to remain free sets in motion events that will lead to a deadly destiny. 

Doctor Who
All Roads Lead To Trenzalore
Part Two

Next week. 

Lois Lane Vs. Lana Lang

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