Saturday, July 19, 2014

Doctor Who Weekend: Time of the Dominion - Episode One

Hi there! 

Dave-El here and welcome to my blog, I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, now fortified with iron and vitamins and mostly magnesium free.  

This is my weekly post of Doctor Who Weekend and today I debut (or inflict, as it were) a brand new fan fiction. Last year I posted an epic serial as my way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the show with a multi Doctor storyline. 

This new work is a bit unusual as it features the 12th Doctor which is a bit tricky. All I've got to go by in terms of characterization are a few post regenerative lines from the Christmas special ("Kidneys! I've got new kidneys! I don't like the color!") and some hints from Steven Moffat that this version of the Doctor is going to be a bit darker in tone than we've seen of late.  

I had hoped by now I may have seen a few more clips to give me a bit more of an idea of how Peter Capaldi will play the Doctor but so far, as I write this, all I've got is "Clara, be my pal and tell me: am I a good man?" 

So this is going to be interesting, eh? 

Like I did with The Nemesis Who Stole Time, I'm writing this new story with a vague idea of where I'm going but no solid outline. Gee, you'd think I would've learned my lesson about that. 

OK, let's do the disclaimer. 

And now, stand by for Episode One of...



Scene opens: Sign for Coal Hill School with the school in the background. The shot widens as we an empty lot next to the school and we hear the familiar sound of the TARDIS materializing. Except the sound seems more stressed and straining that normal.


As the wheezing, groaning sound of the TARDIS continues, the faint blue outline of the TARDIS shimmers in and out of view. Finally as the TARDIS gives one last grating and stuttering VWOOOOORP! VWORP –ORP, -ORP, -ORP, -ORP!, the TARDIS fully materializes into the view with a deafening THUNK!  

The TARDIS doors open and out steps the Doctor, the 12th Doctor with his silver hair and a black suit with a red lined jacket and white shirt buttoned at the collar. The Doctor looks around the police box with an expression of curiosity and worry.

The Doctor: Well, I don’t like this. No, I don’t like this at all.

The Doctor puts a hand gently on the surface of the TARDIS.

The Doctor: Ah, what’s wrong with you, ol’ girl?

Stepping out of the TARDIS is Clara Oswald as she slides a backpack onto her shoulders. 

Clara: Maybe she needs an oil change.

The Doctor arches an eyebrow in Clara’s direction.

The Doctor: An “oil change”? 

Clara (shrugs): Or whatever is the Time Lord equivalent.  Wait a minute.

Clara looks around her and then withdraws her cell phone.

Clara (concerned):  Can this be right?

The Doctor (worried): What is it, Clara? What’s wrong?

Clara (studying her phone screen): Checking my GPS. Hmmm! Today is March 17, 2014, 7:45 AM. And we’re at the Coal Hill School.

The Doctor (puzzled): But that’s the exact date, time and place you needed go.

Clara: I know. Weird, huh?

Clara looks at the Doctor with a grin as the Doctor shakes his head.

The Doctor: Everyone’s a critic.

Clara straightens up to give the Doctor a quick peck on the cheek.  The Doctor looks vaguely uncomfortable.

Clara: Just having a little fun. Seriously, thanks for getting me to work. 

Clara starts walking off towards the school.  She calls back to the Doctor over her shoulder.

Clara: Try to stay out of trouble, OK? See you later.

The Doctor has turned his attention back to the blue box as he mutters to himself.

The Doctor: Yeah, Clara. Later. So what is going on with…

Suddenly something catches the Doctor’s eye beyond the TARDIS.

The Doctor: …you?

Following the Doctor’s line of sight, we see a group of school children walking towards the school down a sidewalk past a playground. 

Beyond the children standing in the middle of the playground is an Ood.

The Doctor’s eyes narrow as he whispers to himself.

The Doctor: The Ood.

The Doctor pulls the door of the TARDIS closed and walks past the laughing, talking school children. Some of the kids pause at the sight of the tall gaunt man in black that is the Doctor although they do not appear to be aware of the Ood standing in the playground as they pass. 

The Doctor stands in front of the Ood. The Odd nods slightly in the Doctor’s direction. The speech orb in the Ood’s hand glows and pulses.

The Ood: Doctor.

The Doctor: You know me? I’ve changed since we last met.

The Ood: Your song is different now, Doctor, but the story goes on.

The Doctor: Why are you here?

The Ood: To deliver a message.

The Doctor: A message?

The Ood: Yes, Doctor. From the elders of the Ood.

The Doctor: What is this message?

The Ood: The time of the dominion is at hand.

The Doctor: I don’t understand.

The Ood: The time of the dominion is at hand.

The Doctor (slightly agitated): Yes, but what does that MEAN? 

The Ood cocks his head slightly.

The Ood: Curious. Could it be you do not yet know?

The Doctor (more agitated): Know? Know what?

Suddenly the Ood is no longer standing in front of the Doctor.

The Doctor: Ood! Where did you go? What…?

Then the Doctor looks down as a young boy is tugging on his jacket.

Boy: Mister? Are you okay? Who were you talking….

The boy looks up into the shadowed face of the Doctor as the last word of his sentence trails off.

Boy: …to…. Er, never mind.

The boy turns and runs to join his classmates. The Doctor stands and stares after the retreating child.

The Doctor: So I scare children now. Good.

The Doctor turns back to where the Ood had been standing. He whips out his sonic screwdriver and begins scanning the area, then he checks the readings on the screwdriver.

The Doctor: Nothing. Probably a psychic projection. But why? What did he mean by the time of…

With an abrupt movement, the Doctor turns back to look at the children as they hurry towards Coal Hill School.

The Doctor (whispers): Time

What the Doctor sees is a shimmering around the children, almost like looking through a hot summer haze. As the boys and girls move along, talking and laughing, their appearances shift: styles of clothing, hair and skin color, etc etc. The children appear oblivious to these changes. Then the shimmering stops and the appearances of the students become stable.

The Doctor (to himself): Time. Something is wrong with time. And it’s focused on the school.

The Doctor strides purposefully towards the school and past the sign that reads:

Coal Hill School, I. Chesterton, Head Master.

The Doctor (walking away from our view): And I know just the man I need to talk to. 

Scene change:  hallway inside Coal Hill School. Teachers and students pass each other on their way to various classes.  Swept alone with the flow of people is Clara Oswald. She is fumbling with something from her backpack when she collides with another teacher. Papers the teacher was carrying fly everywhere.

Clara (frantic and apologetic): Oh no! Oh no! I’m sorry! Here, let me…

Clara reaches down to pick up some of the papers and collides head on with the other teacher.

Teacher: Ouch! 

Clara: Sorry! Sorry!

The teacher is a young black woman, maybe about Clara’s age. She has medium length black hair and is wearing black slacks, a red scoop neck t-shirt and a denim jacket. She’s rubbing her forehead.

Teacher: S’okay. Luckily my mum was right and I have a very hard head.

Clara (laughs): OK, here, let me help you, hopefully without causing further injury.

Teacher: Thanks!

The two women bend down to pick up the papers.

Clara: I’m Clara, by the way. Clara Oswald.

Teacher: Hi, Clara! I’m Meridian Scott.

Clara: Meridian? What a lovely name.

Meri: My friends call me Meri.

Meri takes a sheath of the papers under her arm and extends her hand to Clara which Clara shakes.

Meri: I just started a few weeks ago. I…haven’t seen you around before, have I?

Clara: No, no. I was on a bit of a…sabbatical, if you will. Doing some…travelling.

Clara hesitates as she watches her new found friend.  As Meri sorts through the papers, her appearance has changed: her hair is up in a bun and she’s wearing a grey tweed skirt and blazer over a white blouse buttoned up blouse, like she was straight out of the late 1950’s. But Meri appears unaware of the change.

Meri: Oh, travelling. I would so love to see more of the world.  It’s all I can do to get out of London to go see my mum and dad in Cardiff once…in a…Clara?

Clara blinks and suddenly Meri is once more dressed in her more modern outfit with her hair down again.

Meri (concerned): Clara, are you all right?

Clara: Er, yeah. Sorry, sorry.

Meri: Oh dear, you may have gotten a really bad blow to the head. We should get you to the school nurse.

Suddenly Meri is now wearing a long flower patterned dress with her hair in an Afro. She looks like someone from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. Again, she does not react to this change in dress and appearance.

Clara: No. No! No, I’ll be fine…I just remembered I have this…thing…

Then Meri reverts back to her modern appearance.

Meri: OK, if you’re sure.

Clara: Oh, yes, yes. Look, lovely to meet you. I would love to chat some more. Uh, we should have coffee some time, OK?

Clara begins to walk briskly up the hall way as Meri smiles and waves.

Meri: Take care, Clara.

Then Meri turns and resumes walking the other way. 

Our view turns back to Clara who is anxiously looking around her. The hall way is empty of people now but she notices the posters along the way. One moment they’re promoting bonds for the war effort in WWII. Then there’s a poster a computer class from the 1990s. Then a poster for a 1950’s sock hop. And so on and so on.

Clara (clutching her back pack to her): OK, this…is weird. This is so…

Then Clara stops completely. In front of her is a poster of a most unusual color and texture with words in an odd font. Clara tilts her heads as she examines this message.

It reads: The Time of the Dominion Is At Hand

Clara (whispers): The time of the dominion is at hand?

Then Clara looks around her and all the posters that had been fluctuating in different styles and eras now all have the same appearance, the same message.

The Time of the Dominion Is At Hand.

The Time of the Dominion Is At Hand.

The Time of the Dominion Is At Hand.

Clara stares wide eyed at this.

Clara (quietly): Doctor?

Then Clara takes a step then two and then she begins to run down the hallway.

Clara (loudly): DOCTOR?!?!

Scene change: The Doctor confidently strides through an office doorway. A prim looking woman with black hair pulled back tightly and angular shaped spectacles looks up from her desk. A name plate on the desk identifies her as Ms. Veronica Needham. 

Ms. Needham (very coldly): Yes, how may I help you, Mr…?

The Doctor (smiling): Doctor.

Ms. Needham: Doctor…Who?

The Doctor: Yes, exactly. I was hoping to speak with the Head Master, Mr. Chesterton.

Ms. Needham: I’m afraid Mr. Chesterton is… on leave.

The Doctor: On leave? Oh, I do hope Ian is doing all right.

Ms. Needham: Oh, it’s just a bit of a… much needed holiday. Before the final exams, of course.

The Doctor: Of course. 

The Doctor idly picks up the name plate.

The Doctor: Ms. Needham.

Ms. Needham: Would you like to speak with the acting Head Master?

The Doctor: No, no, that will not be necessary. Actually, yes, yes, I would. I would most definitely like to speak with the acting Head Master.

Ms. Needham rises from her seat.

Ms. Needham: This way, Doctor.

The Doctor (nodding): Of course, Ms. Needham.

Ms. Needham leads the Doctor through the inner office door into a larger office space, opulently decorated as one might expect to find a Head Master’s office, with globes and paintings and books. At the center of the room is a large cherry wood desk.

The Doctor (looking around): Nice place. But the Head Master appears to be out.

Ms. Needham: Oh no! He’s merely resting.

Ms. Needham reaches behind the large desk and produces an odd sort of canister, lifting it by a handle. The Doctor watches with a mixture of curiosity and dread as Ms. Needham gently places the canister on the desk. As she turns the canister, a dark grey metal plate that surrounds half the container gives way to a Plexiglas surface, revealing inside the canister a golden bubbling fluid. And suspended in the fluid is a head, a head with dark shorn hair and madly flaring eyes.

The Doctor (shocked, taking a step back): Oh no! It can’t be!

The cold visage of Ms. Needham allows a slight thin smile to form across her lips.

Inside the canister the head smiles. Then the head begins to laugh, a strange and disturbing sound inside the bubbling fluid.

The cold, evil laugh of the Master: the head of the Master.  

----to be continued---


In our next episode: 

  • The Master's a jar?!
  • The Ood have answers but Clara would like to know the question first.
  • Really, the Master's head's in a jar?!?
  • Time continues to twist and turn around Coal Hill School. 
  • The Doctor discovers things CAN get worse. 
  • And come on, the Master's a jar....and it's laughing?

Episode Two 
Next week.  
Click on the title to link straight to Episode Two 

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