Saturday, July 26, 2014

Doctor Who Weekend: Time of the Dominion - Episode Two

Hi there and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You where our haggis doesn't skimp on the sheep stomach, laddie! 

I'm Dave-El and this is the weekly post thing I call Doctor Who Weekend and sweet, buttery Rassilon, I'm writing another fan fiction! And one starring the 12th Doctor although I have very little to go on.  There's at least one line from the post regeneration scene in Time of the Doctor and I may channel a wee bit of Malcolm Tucker in another bit.  

Last week I posted Time of the Dominion - Episode One. (Click on the link to get last week's adventure.)  

Today we're on to Episode Two

But before we get to that, let's do the disclaimer: 

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



Scene opens: the office of the Head Master of the Coal Hill School. On the desk is a translucent canister with a human head suspended in bubbling liquid. The head is that of the Doctor’s old enemy, The Master (from his time as Harold Saxton), his eyes wide and flaring madly as his laughter burbles strangely through the fluid and Plexiglas. Standing to one side is Veronica Needham, ostensibly the Head Master’s “executive assistant” whose mouth is fixed in a leering smile. And also in the room is the Doctor, his eyes wide with alarm at what he sees.

The Doctor: The Master!

Floating in the canister, the Master’s head continues to laugh. And laugh.

And laugh. 

The Doctor’s expression changes from shock to bemusement. Meanwhile Ms. Needham’s thin wicked smile fades to irritation as the Master continues to laugh. To be honest, it’s getting a little awkward. 

The Doctor: Aye, he’s…he’s not going to do that all day, is he?

Needham (sighs): Oh no! This is…

She strides across the carpeted floor towards the desk.

Needham: He gets stuck sometimes.

The Doctor: Stuck?

Needham gives the canister a sharp rap on the top with her fist. Abruptly, the Master stops laughing. He gulps and blinks his eyes.

The Master: Oh. That’s better. Thank you, Ms. Needham.

Needham nods slightly as she moves away from the desk.

Needham: I live to serve…Master.

The Doctor leans forward, staring into the canister.

The Doctor: What the hell happened to you?

The Master: Well, you’re a fine one to talk. Finally decided to look you age, huh?

The Doctor: And you’re a head in a jar! A little perspective please!

The Master: Ah, my current state! It’s not the curse you may think it is, Doctor! It’s astounding the clarity of thought the mind has when it doesn't have arms and legs to waggle about.

The Doctor: Still, how did you come to this?

The Master: I…I don’t…

Then the Master stops. For a moment, his expression is one of puzzlement, maybe even worry.  Meanwhile at the back of the office, Needham looks apprehensive.

The Doctor: You…don’t…

Then the Master’s face changes to a more resolute expression.

The Master: I don’t think it’s any of your concern, Doctor. What should be your concern is what’s happening here at this petty little school with its petty little children.

The Doctor: Yes, the fluctuations in time! What’s your game here?

The Master (smiling): Oh, no games, Doctor! This is very serious indeed!

The Master’s expression goes from smiling to stern.

The Master: The time of the dominion is at hand!

Scene change to: the field outside the Coal Hill School where the TARDIS is parked. Clara Oswald is frantically running towards it.

Clara (shouting): Doctor!

Clara races up to the door and puts the key in the lock. However, the door does not open.

Clara (frustrated): What? C’mon, open up! I thought we were friends now!

Clara struggles with the key but the door remains closed and locked.

Clara (pushing back the hair from her eyes): Was it the crack I made about needing an oil change? For crying out loud, it was just a joke!

Clara pulls on the firmly closed doors and then steps back with a sigh.

Clara: Fine. I’m sorry.

At that moment, the TARDIS door opens on its own.

Clara sighs again and walks into the TARDIS.

Clara: You and I need to have a chat about your sense of humor.

Scene shift: interior of the TARDIS. Clara approaches the console while looking around.

Clara (calling out): Doctor?! Doctor, are you here? 

Clara frowns.

Clara: OK, so something weir’s going on with time at the school and, big surprise, the Doctor isn’t here. Of course he’s probably already in the middle…

Clara turns and there’s an Ood standing in front of her.

Clara: ..of it? (shrieks in surprise and shock) 

The Ood (speech orb pulsing): Clara Oswald.

Clara stares at the alien being, her breath coming out in gasps.

Clara: Who…who…?

The Ood: I am…Ood.

Clara: Ood? Your name is…Ood.

The Ood: I am Ood because I am of the Ood. The Ood are many and the Ood are one. We are Ood so I am Ood.

Clara’s breathing settles down a bit and she cocks her head to one side, trying to make sense of all that. 

Clara: You are…? I mean, the Ood are…? Oh never mind. You know me?

The Ood: You are Clara Oswald.

Clara: Well…if you say so. 

The Ood: I have a message for the Doctor. You must warn him.

Clara: A message? A warning?

The Ood: Yes. The time of the dominion is coming.

Clara: What?

The Ood: The time of the dominion is-

Clara: Yes, I heard you. But….you’re a little late, I think. This “time of the dominion” isn’t coming. It’s here! It’s at hand.

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

Clara: Well, that was what it said on the poster.

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

Clara: Yes! But what does it mean? Something’s gone wrong with time and that message is everywhere and…

The Ood: I must tell the Doctor.

The Ood vanishes.

Clara (loudly): The Doctor?! Wait! Don’t go! What is….

Clara stands alone inside the TARDIS.

Clara (quietly): …going on? 

Clara looks around her in frustration. 

Clara: Why is it so hard to have a reasonable conversation in this place?  Well, the Doctor isn’t here and there’s nothing I can do.

Clara strides back towards the TARDIS door and looks outside. The Coal Hill School still shimmers in the distance as if caught in a heat wave. Within the shimmering field, Clara can see people, clothes, cars and more shifting from time period to time period. 

Clara: All the children. The teachers. I don’t know what danger they’re in but this can’t possibly be good. We need the Doctor.

Clara pauses a moment.

Clara (whispers to herself): I need the Doctor.

Clara steps outside the box and closes the door behind her.

Clara: I’m not sure what I can do but that never stopped the Doctor and I can’t let it stop me. 

Clara hurries back in the direction of Coal Hill School.  

Scene change:  A classroom at Coal Hill School. Meridian Scott (“Meri”) is handing out test papers to the students seated at their desks. As she moves about the classroom, Meri periodically furrows her brow as if wincing in pain. 

Meri: OK, class! You have your test papers and your pencils so let’s get to work. And no talking. And Jeremy, no chewing gum in my class.

A boy who is sitting behind Meri hastily takes out a piece of gum from his mouth and sticks it under his desk.

Meri (with her back still to the boy as she finishes handing out papers): And no sticking it under your desk either.

The boy removes the gum, wraps it in a piece of foil and tosses it in the trash can with a barely audible, “Yes’m.” 

Meri (as she approaches the seat to her desk): Good lad, Jeremy. 

Meri sits down while pressing the fingers of both hands into her head.

Meri (muttering to herself): I thought I was the one with the hard head. That Clara….

Meri takes a deep breath, reaches into her desk drawer for a slim modern calculator. Then she reaches into another drawer for a sheath of papers which she lays on the desk. Then Meri is momentarily taken aback when the modern calculator now appears as a bulky, heavy adding machine. She blinks and the machine is now a calculator again. 

Meri looks around the room as the kids continue to scratch away with their pencils on their test papers, their heads down. She looks again at the calculator but now it’s an abacus. Meri audibly gasps.

Some of the students look up from their tests.

Jeremy: Ms. Scott?

Meri shakes her head and the abacus is back to being a calculator but her expression remains one of confusion.

Jeremy: Ms. Scott? Are you all right?

Meri (distracted): Hmm? What? Oh, fine. Fine. Back to work, everyone. Back to…

As Meri looks at the assemble kids in her class, she sees them all dressed in late 19th century attire.

Meri stands up somewhat unsteadily from behind her desk.

The students are back to normal dress again.

Meri (very unsure of herself): Uh….

Female student: Ms. Scott? Do you need…

Meri: …to see the school nurse? Y-yes, quite…

Meri moves towards the door of the class room. She sees a fellow teacher passing in the hall.

Meri: Uh, Geoffrey?

The young man stops.

Geoffrey: Hey, Meri! What’s…oy, are you…

Meri: …feeling all right ? No, I need to see the nurse.

Geoffrey: Do you need me to…

Meri: …take me there? No, no. I…I can manage. Just watch the children for me. I’ll try not to be long.

Geoffrey and the students watch with concern as Meri leaves the classroom. Our view follows Meri as she walks carefully up the hall way, eyeing everything warily. From her perspective all the sounds of the school are muffled, like being underwater. Objects have a vague sort of haze about them. 

Then she notices a poster on the wall. It’s an old style of typeface with an announcement for military exercises to take place later that day, March 17, 1914. 

Suddenly a buzzing sound catches Meri’s attention. Gliding along the floor by her feet is a small robot drone that appears to be cleaning the floor. Meri looks back to the poster which is now a holographic image announcing try outs for the magno-ball team that day, March 17, 2082.   

Meri steps back, more and more shaken and unsteady.

Meri: Wh…what’s going on? What’s hap…happening to….?

Then the post morphs once again to the same type Clara saw earlier, a poster with a strange sort of coloring and lettering, a poster that proclaims…

The Time of the Dominion is at hand! 

Meri staggers as if about to faint when suddenly a pair of arms catches her. It’s Clara Oswald. 

Clara: Meri! Meri, are you all right?

Meri first looks stunned then somewhat relieved to see Clara.

Meri: Clara? Oh, God, Clara! Something strange…well, I don’t know…

Clara: Tell me, Meri! What do you see?

Meri: Things keep…shifting, changing. Like…like from different years or…

Clara: You can see it? You can see it too?

Meri (puzzled): Too? You mean, you can…?

Clara: I thought it was just me but apparently you can…

Clara takes Meri’s hand and begins to hurry down the hall.

Clara: C’mon! We have to find the Doctor!

Meri: A doctor? I don’t think a doctor can help with…

Clara: Not A doctor? THE Doctor!

Scene shift: a close up of the Doctor.

The Doctor: The time of the dominion? 

The scene pulls back as we see the interior of the Head Master’s office, the head of the Master in the canister and Ms. Needham in the background.

The Master: Yes, Doctor, the dominion!  Surely you’ve heard of the legends.

The Doctor warily circles the canister as he moves towards a window.

The Doctor: No, I can’t say that I….

Then the Doctor pauses. He turns his head towards the canister.

The Doctor: The Eternals?

The Master: Yes, Doctor! The Eternals, older and wiser than even the Time Lords. But not so old or so wise as to hide their secrets from me, even their greatest secret ever.

The Doctor ambles over to the window and gently pushes back part of the curtain. Outside, kids are at recess and the Doctor sees the fluctuations of time still continue while everyone is oblivious to them.

The Doctor: Their greatest secret, hmmm? And what, pray tell, would that be?

The Master: Why, Doctor, that would be…would be…

The Doctor moves away from the curtain and approaches the canister, his head cocked to one side as he observes the Master’s head.

The Doctor: Go on… Master.

The Master: …would be none of your concern.  Suffice to say that I….

The Doctor makes a sudden move as his fist pounds down on the top of the canister.

The Doctor: Suffice to say that I have had enough of this nonsense. 

With the blow to the canister, the light inside goes dim and the Master’s eyes close as if asleep. The fluid around the head continues to bubble but with less energy. 

The Doctor whirls around to face Ms. Needham who is standing next to a bookcase looking annoyed.

Ms. Needham: Well, I should’ve known that wouldn’t work.

The Doctor moves closer to Ms. Needham, his lined brow furrowed and his eyes piercing with rage.

The Doctor: I’m not in the mood for games. I think you and I should have a little chat, hmm? Ms. Veronica Needham. Or should I say… The Rani! 

Ms. Needham blinks a bit with surprise then she smiles.

The Rani: Oh, Doctor! How clever you are! Although I must admit I thought you took long enough to…

The Doctor (coldly): I knew…when I first walked into the door of your office!

The Rani (looking somewhat taken aback): I am impressed! Bravo! You played the string to see where it would lead! A man after my own hearts! I suppose you have a lot of questions: How I survived the Time War, how I’ve escaped your notice for so long, how…

The Doctor (snapping at the Rani): I just have one question, Rani: how do you stop this thing, this temporal distortion? There are innocent people… children!... caught in the middle of this!

The Rani: Ooh! Righteous indignation! No matter the face, you still play that well! Yes, we MUST protect the children! But I’m afraid you won’t be able to hear any answers in about…ah, 12 seconds.

The Doctor (puzzled): What?

The Rani: Oh, how rude of me! I forgot to mention the gas.

The Doctor (looking a bit worried): Gas?

The Rani: Colorless. Odorless. Affects only men, wouldn’t you know? And it’s been pumping into this room since we first walked in. And it should be taking effect about right…

The Doctor (takes a step forward): You’re… bluffing…

Suddenly the Doctor’s eyes roll up in his head as he falls into a crumpled heap onto the floor. 

The Rani (sighs): …now. Oh, the things I have to do to get ahead in the universe.

The Rani looks down at the inert canister and the still, quiet head of the Master. 

The Rani: Get…a head? A head? Oh forget it! You’re just as useless without a body as you are with one.

The Rani walks across the floor and opens the curtains to the office wide with a  flourish. Outside the distortions in time are become more frequent. The Rani smiles.

The Rani: Yes! Yes, this will do quite nicely. The time of the dominion is at hand!  

----to be continued----

In our next episode: 

  • The Doctor at the mercy of the Rani!
  • Clara and Meri trapped in a time storm! 
  • The Master's head is still in a jar? Weird!
  • The Ood's prophecy... of doom! 

Episode Three 
Time of the Dominion
Next week.  

Counting Down To Infinity