Sunday, May 1, 2016

Doctor Who: Lifetime Companion - Episode One

And lo it has come to pass that a new Doctor Who fan-fiction has invaded I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You.

You're welcome. 

And I'm sorry. 

Dave-El here and what kicks off today is a multi-part serial featuring the 12th Doctor in the aftermath of Series 9.*

*You may ask, "Hey, does this take place before or after The Husbands of River Song?" Hey, do I have to work everything out here? You guys figure it out.

It's a story that has been kicking about in my head for quite awhile, the idea of the Doctor having a rather unique and long term relationship with a companion. Maybe its a subject that has been explored in some of the expanded media (books, Big Finish audios, comics, etc) but not one that I am directly familiar with and certainly not one touched upon in the TV show. 

So indulge me if you will. 

As always I do these things in script format instead prose to save some time (I don't do this for a living, you know) as well as perhaps call up a sense of watching this on TV. 

So let's do the disclaimer....

And here we go! 

Lifetime Companion
by David Long 
Episode One 


Scene opens: A bustling city street, neon lights everywhere. We're in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our focus zooms in on a specific night club. As we pass through a pulsating mass of dancing and screaming young people, the smoky air is shredded by the howl of an electric guitar. 

Moving above the throng, we see a stage awash in bright spotlights. On that stage are 4 men, three of them in jeans and ragged t-shirts, playing keyboards, bass guitar and drums respectively. They are all young with long hair with some degree of facial hair. But the 4th member of the band stands out. He’s flailing away at his electric guitar like a madman. He’s dressed in a black jacket and slacks with a dark purple t-shirt. He’s wearing black shades on his lined face. His hair is an unruly mass of silver-grey curls.

The Doctor is hard at work unleashing his inner rock ‘n’ roll monster as the crowd cheers him own. The Doctor’s fingers fly across the strings as his guitar builds to a crescendo. Like Pete Townsend, the Doctor pinwheels his arm around, flailing at the guitar as he brings the song in for a crashing crescendo and the crowd goes wild!

A woman jumps to the stage and takes the mike.

MC (exuberant): Yeah! Rock ‘n’ Roll! Let’s hear it for the Dreamboys!!!!

As if the crowd needed further encouragement but their applause and shouts grow louder still.

MC: After that amazing set, let’s give the boys a bit of rest but they’ll be back so stay ready to ROCK!!!

The crowd claps and screams some more as the Dreamboys exit the stage.

Scene change: back through a storeroom to a doorway that leads to an alley, the shadows of night being chased away by the pale yellow glow of a street light. The Doctor and the bass player step out into the alley.

Craig (Scottish accent): Wow! That was some serious jams in there, Doctor!

The Doctor: Thanks, Craig! I have to admit, I’m having a blast!

Craig: I was worried when Petey took ill, we would have to cancel the gig. But, man….you’re somethin’ else. Like from another world or something!

The Doctor: That’s one way to look at it.

Craig: You know, I was wonderin’…

The Doctor: Yeah?

Craig: How ‘bout makin’ this a permanent gig?

The Doctor: No!

Craig: Yeah!

The Doctor: No!

Craig: Think about it! The Doctor and the Dreamboys! Huh?

The Doctor: The Doctor and….

Craig: Yeah!

The Doctor: Look, Craig, I’m flattered but…

Suddenly a strange electronic beeping noise is heard. 

Craig: Where’s that noise coming from?

The Doctor reaches inside his jacket and produces a shiny, blinking gizmo.

The Doctor: Uh oh!

Craig: What the hell is that?

The Doctor: A Chronoton Wave Micro Distortion Detector!

Craig: I repeat, what the hell is that?

The Doctor holds the gizmo in his hand and stares at it anxiously.

The Doctor: It detects microscopic distortions in a chronoton wave field!

Craig: Wha…?

The Doctor: I’ve got to go!

The Doctor starts to run off.

Craig: Wait! We gotta get back on in 20 minutes!

The Doctor continues to run away but calls back to Craig.

The Doctor: Don’t worry! I’ll be back for the show! I promise! Rock ‘n’ roll, Craig!

The Doctor disappears around a corner.

Craig stands in the alley dumbfounded.

Craig (quietly): Yeah, mate. Rock ‘n’ roll. 

Scene change: on a busy street corner stands the TARDIS. For all the pedestrian traffic, not one seems to pay any heed to the blue box as the Doctor rushes up, unlocks the door and disappears inside.

At that very moment, an elderly couple approaches the box.

Man: I told you, we’re not lost! I just need to get my bearings.

Woman: Rubbish! We’ve been wanderin’ up and down this street for ages. Look! Here’s a police call box!

Man: I thought they're getting’ rid of these things!

Woman: Nonsense! We just need to….

At that moment, the TARDIS makes its distinctive VWORP! VWORP! sound and vanishes. 

Man: What the bloody hell?

Woman: Well, things do change so quickly these days.

Scene change: Interior of the TARDIS as the Doctor takes his gizmo over to a monitor screen. The screen shows 3 pulsing lights in motion. The Doctor frowns as he manipulates switches on the console. 

The Doctor: What I was afraid of: Chronoviruses. Hard to get a complete lock but….Ha! Gotcha! Just a jump to the left….

The Doctor flips a switch.

Scene change: a park in late afternoon. London. The sun shines from a blue sky dotted with white clouds. The air is fractured with the laughter of children playing on the playground equipment.

Over to the side are various mothers and fathers keeping watch over their kids while chatting with each other. One black woman is sitting alone, watching intently as her 8 year old son scampers around the playground. Her name is Claire Parker.

Claire (calls out): Toby!

The boy stops still.

Toby: Yes, mama?

Claire: Slow down, you’ll get hurt!

Toby: Yes, mama!

Toby resumes playing while Claire looks down at the crumpled sheet of paper in her hand. We can make out key words: Medical. Prognosis. Child. Terminal. A tear forms and rolls down Claire’s cheek.

Claire (whispers): Toby.

Suddenly, we hear voices:

“Do you see that?”

“What is that?”

“What’s going on?”

Claire looks up and sees what the other parents are pointing at. Even against the light of the afternoon sun, three glowing pinpoints of light can be seen flitting over the park. Then the parents hear a voice call out.

The Doctor (off screen): Everyone! Get away!

The parents turn towards the voice and the Doctor runs up with his sonic screwdriver at the ready.

The Doctor: C’mon, pudding brains! Move!

If the strange lights weren’t disturbing the parents enough, the strange Scotsman with the angry eyebrows certainly does the trick.

Claire: Toby! Come here! Now!

The other parents also call for and gather their kids. Then a shrill whistle is heard as a policeman approaches.

Policeman: Oy! What goes on here, then?

The Doctor: They’re Chronoviruses! I need to contain them before…

Policeman: You causing all this disturbance then?

The Doctor: What? Me? No! Where did you get that stupid idea? I’m trying…

Policeman: You’re trying my patience, sir, getting these folks and their kids in an uproar over…

The Doctor: NO!

Another policeman is approaching the scene, walking near the flickering lights.

The Doctor: No! Stand back!

But in the next second, one of the three lights breaks off and strikes the 2nd policeman. The officer, a young man in his 20s, stands there for a moment or two, immobilized, surrounded by a glow of green light. Then he begins to age a decade a second before the man is reduced to a decrepit shell of ragged skin and bone and falls into dust.

Everyone watching this screams in horror. 

The Doctor yells at the 1st policeman.

The Doctor: Get those people out of here! NOW!

As the policeman hurries off behind the retreating crowd of parents and children, the Doctor lunges towards the pile of dust as the pin point of light rises.

The Doctor: No! You’ve killed for the last time!

The Doctor aims his sonic screwdriver at the light which freezes in midair. With his other hand, the Doctor withdraws the gizmo he had earlier. The device emits an energy beam that strikes the pin point of light and draws it towards the device. The pin point sparks and flashes as if resisting the pull of the gizmo but it enters the device which clicks and the light vanishes.

The Doctor places the gizmo back in his jacket pocket and looks down at the pile of dust.

The Doctor: I’m sorry.

The Doctor turns away.

The Doctor: Now what happened to those two other timorous beasties…?

Suddenly a woman’s screams shatters the air.


The Doctor runs towards where the parents who were fleeing have stopped. The Doctor pushes through the crowd where he sees Claire Parker on her knees weeping over the prostrate body of her young son Toby, surrounded by a green glow.

Claire: Toby! No!

The Doctor crouches to the woman’s side as he anxiously scans the boy with his sonic screwdriver.

Claire: Help him! Help my baby!

The Doctor: I'll do what I can! 

Claire: My baby! He just turned 8! 

The Doctor (scanning): I'm...

The Doctor stops scanning, looks sad.

The Doctor: I…I’m sorry…there’s…

At that moment, the glow abates with Toby unaged at all.

Claire: What….what happened? Is he…?

The Doctor looks puzzled as he leans forward and puts his hand to Toby’s cheek.

The Doctor: Hey…

Our focus shifts to Toby’s face, his eyes closed. Then they slowly open and he mumbles something. From his view, he sees the Doctor leaning over him, out of focus. Except the Doctor is wearing his white shirt buttoned at the collar. 

The Doctor (echo): Toby. It’s time.

Back to Toby looking bleary eyed.

Toby (mumbling): It’s time.

Back to the Doctor with Claire leaning over the boy.  Claire weeping tears of joy scoops the boy up in her arms.

Claire: Oh God! Toby! Toby, I thought I had lost you! I…

Claire hugs Toby tighter.

Claire (whispers): I wasn’t ready. 

Claire turns towards the Doctor with tears in her eyes, still clutching her son tightly. 

Claire: My name's Claire...Claire Parker. Thank you. Whatever you did, thank you for saving my son's life. 

The Doctor nods. Claire stands and Toby stands next to her, clutching his mother's hand. 

Toby (shyly): Thank you, sir. 

The Doctor manages the slightest of smiles as he nods towards Toby. 

The Doctor: Thank you, Toby. 

Toby and Claire smile and turn to walk away. The Doctor stands silent witness to this moment as the parents move on with their kids and the policeman is on the radio with his headquarters. The slight smile is gone as the Doctor looks grimly towards the departing Claire and Toby. 

The Doctor (quietly to himself): I’m sorry. There was nothing I can do.  

Fade to black.


Next week...

There's a robot on Mars looking at rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. Nothing but rocks. 

It's enough to drive a robot insane. 

And just when the Doctor and Toby Parker decide to pay a visit. 

And just what is the deal with our new young friend Toby anyway? 

The mystery will unfold a little bit more with Episode Two of...

Lifetime Companion 

That's posting next Sunday but a new post on some thing or another will be coming up tomorrow. 

Until then, remember to be good to one another. 

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