Yep- Part 3 of THE DOCTOR & I! I finally got time to finish some art for it (all by me this time since my talented bud Shawn Van Briesen is busy with SARAH JANE SMITH: FINAL REPORT). But here's another chunk of the script for our "lost" webcomic, bringing it's first "episode" to a close (but there's plenty more to come).
You Art History majors will probably recognize the TARDIS catacombs, as they're shamelessly ripped off from Giovanni Piranesi's "Prisons" etchings: [link] I just tried to fuse those with some of the architecture of the McGann TARDIS.
PAGE 12 12.1 The TARDIS (or another TARDIS, anyway) materializes in a familiar place- the 8th Doctor's console room. It's a bit worse for wear. The Tiffany lamps and potted plants are gone, the books are dusty and scattered. The Doctor hasn't had time to tidy it for quite awhile. Whole sections have been repaired crudely- as if scavenged from other TARDISes. We see some cables here and there that have been badly wired into the console. It's like Terry Gilliam redecorated the place. We see the first signs of the console room becoming the grungy organic affair the Eccleston version of the Ninth Doctor used. It looks dark and foreboding- this is a TARDIS on a "war footing".
TARDIS SFX: VWORP! VWORRRRRRP!
12.2 The Shalka, Eighth, and Cushing Doctors step out, along with Alison. The Richard Griffiths Doctor is nowhere to be seen.
SHALKA DOCTOR: YOU'VE MADE CHANGES IN HERE, HAVEN'T YOU? I DON'T LIKE IT.
ALISON: ARE WE EVER GOING TO STOP CHANGING TARDISES??? I HAD LESS CONNECTIONS WHEN I WENT ON HOLIDAY TO MALAYSIA...
DR. WHO: MMMM. I DON'T CARE FOR IT EITHER. ALL THIS TRAVEL REMINDS ME OF MY DAYS IN THE NAVY.
8th DOCTOR: I THINK WE'RE DONE. SEVEN HOPS SHOULD BE ENOUGH.
12.3 Alison looks at Dr. Who incredulously. He smiles.
ALISON: THE TIME LORDS HAVE A NAVY?
DR. WHO: OH, I MEANT THE ROYAL ONE, MY DEAR. H.M. ARMED FORCES AND SUCH. JOINED WHEN I WAS SEVENTEEN. EVEN SAW ACTION AGAINST THE HUN AT JUTLAND!
DR. WHO: I'M AFRAID I DON'T REALLY KNOW MUCH ABOUT THESE "TIME LORDS" CHAPS- JUST WHAT THIS YOUNGSTER'S TOLD ME.
DR. WHO: I'M AS HUMAN AS YOU ARE. IT'S EVER SO AWKWARD.
12.4 He frowns nervously. The 8th Doctor puts his arm over his shoulder and smiles. Again, he reminds us of his younger, less troubled self.
8th DOCTOR: NO- THAT'S TOTAL RUBBISH. JUST TRYING TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER. I USED TO BE A BETTER LIAR WHEN I WAS YOUNGER. SPEAKING OF-
8th DOCTOR: WE'RE SAFE NOW, EVERYONE.
PAGE 13 13.1 The MARK GATISS and LENNY HENRY Doctors walk out of the shadows, holding some ridiculously inappropriate Big F***ing Guns- like the kind used for killing Daleks in the new series. Gatiss tosses his aside into one of the few remaining comfy chairs. The Henry Doctor is wearing sunglasses. The silhouettes of two more Doctors approach from the right. #8 smiles in the foreground and gestures to the new arrivals.
GATISS DOCTOR: THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT.
HENRY DOCTOR: WHO'S THE NEW GUY?
8th DOCTOR: HE'S A NINTH, ACTUALLY. AND THIS IS ALISON.
13.2 They surround this "new" Doctor curiously. The other two silhouettes are revealed to be JOANNA LUMLEY and NICK BRIGGS' Doctors. The Shalka Doctor timidly shakes hands with Briggs, the closest one. Lumley looks at our Doctor with a sly smile and one slightly raised eyebrow. Briggs smiles warmly but points one finger of his left hand at him, looking a touch condescending.
GATISS DOCTOR: REALLY? ANOTHER NINE?
LUMLEY DOCTOR: MMM. LOOKS MORE LIKE A "TEN" TO ME.
SHALKA DOCTOR: I'M THE, ER-
SHALKA DOCTOR: HELLO. YOU'RE ANOTHER NINE, PERHAPS?
BRIGGS DOCTOR: ER, PERHAPS. PROBABLY BETTER IF I DON'T SAY, OLD MAN. YOU KNOW- "SPOILERS" AND ALL THAT. JUST CALL ME "Nth", OR "FRED", OR-
13.3 Lumley shoves Briggs out of the way and shakes the Doctor's hand energetically. She seems to be pushing her very noticeable cleavage up toward his face just the tiniest bit. Lenny Henry takes his glasses off and waves a single index finger in greeting from over her shoulder. Gatiss leans in and also offers a friendly handshake.
LUMLEY DOCTOR: OH JUST IGNORE HIM- ALWAYS TRYING TO BE IMPORTANT AND MYSTERIOUS. I'M A THIRTEEN, DARLING.
HENRY DOCTOR: SEVEN. HEYA.
GATISS DOCTOR: ALSO A NINE.
13.4 The Doctor shakes Gatiss' hand. Gatiss smiles and nods like he's been through the whole "meeting yourself" drill many times. He has the air of a celebrity at a Comic Con who wants to politely keep the line moving...
PAGE 14 14.1 The Doctor turns at the sound of another, less friendly voice. DAVID COLLINGS (the Doctor from the Big Finish "Unbound" audio FULL FATHOM FIVE) steps from the shadows. He tucks his Walther P38 into a very un-Doctorish shoulder holster beneath his frock coat. He regards the new arrivals with a detached coolness.
COLLINGS DOCTOR: WHERE'S THE FAT ONE? THE OTHER EIGHTH?
14.2 A hand falls on Collings' shoulder. He jumps ever so slightly.
VOICE: THE "FAT ONE" DIDN'T MAKE IT, DID HE?
14.3 He looks over in dead silence. It's the DAVID WARNER Doctor, also from the Big Finish audios. He ignores Collings with a cool disdain, looking over at the Shalka Doctor. This Doctor has an authority about him- the others obviously look to him as a leader, or at least a voice of wisdom.
WARNER DOCTOR: THERE'S ONLY TEN OF US NOW.
WARNER DOCTOR: I THINK YOU'D BETTER COME WITH ME, DOCTOR.
14.4 Flashback to a bit earlier. The Doctor, Alison, #8, and Griffiths are in the console room of Griffith's TARDIS. It's familiar to old-school fans as the "hanging console" design Mike Tucker created for a hypothetical Season 27. The ship is spinning violently out of control, rocked by an unseen force. Griffiths works the sparking, burning controls feverishly as the others run into yet another TARDIS (this time the Cushing movies' clear-windowed version). Alison turns back and calls back to Griffiths, as the Doctor drags her away. #8 calls out too.
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: WE HAVEN'T GOT LONG! ABANDON SHIP!
ALISON: WE CAN'T LEAVE WITHOUT YOU!
8th DOCTOR: C'MON, MAN!
PAGE 15 15.1 Griffiths rushes over and points at the doors. The sound of the strange laughter Alison heard earlier emanates from beyond...
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: IT'S TOO LATE, THEY'RE HERE.
VOICES (o.c.): Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...
15.2 CU of Griffiths mouth, whispering a name that no one dares say too loudly...
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: THE LAUGHING MEN...
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: THE NEVERWERES.
15.3 He grabs the Shalka and 8th Doctors and shoves them into the other TARDIS. Yes- for this brief moment, it's one big Withnail & I reunion.
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: THIS... "TARDIS" IS DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO TRACE. I'LL TRY TO DRAW THEM AWAY.
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: NOW GO, MY BOYS! SAVE YOURSELVES!
VOICES (o.c.): HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...
15.4 Inside the strange interior of the Cushing TARDIS, the Doctor hits the takeoff switch. Alison stands by the doors, freaked out by the sounds on the other side. We can see a great, terrible shadow moving past the windows.
DR. WHO: LOCK THE DOORS! T.A.R.D.I.S. IS TAKING OFF!
ALISON: IT'S THROUGH, IT'S GOING TO-
15.5 CU of the Griffiths Doctor, outside, back against the dematerializing TARDIS' doors. He looks in resigned dread as a huge shadow falls over his face.
VOICES (o.c.): HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: TOO LATE.
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: OH...
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR: ..GOOD LUCK, MY DEARS.
15.6 Back inside, Alison recoils from the door as a bloodcurdling scream comes from the other side. Blood splatters across the TARDIS windows- we can only guess what's happening. She buries her face in her Doctor's arms. He tries to look consoling, but he's obviously quite shaken himself.
GRIFFITHS DOCTOR (o.c.): AAAAAAIIGH!
PAGE 16 16.1 Cut back to the present. The Shalka and Warner Doctors walk through the gothic, torch-lit corridors of #8's TARDIS. Warner's face makes it clear he can't really get emotional about this sort of stuff anymore.
SHALKA DOCTOR: I'M SORRY.
SHALKA DOCTOR: I WISH I COULD SAY HE DIED FOR MORE.
WARNER DOCTOR: ONE OF HUNDREDS, I'M AFRAID.
16.2 They pass through a door into the TARDIS' massive library. A pair of bats fly overhead.
SHALKA DOCTOR: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT THIS?
WARNER DOCTOR: HARD TO SAY. YOU KNOW HOW TIME CAN GET WHEN YOU DON'T LEAVE THE TARDIS... OR TARDISES RATHER... FOR A WHILE.
16.3 They walk through the narrow passages between the ridiculously high shelves.
WARNER DOCTOR: I'D GUESS THE CAMPAIGN'S BEEN SEVEN YEARS AT THIS POINT.
SHALKA DOCTOR: "CAMPAIGN". YOU SOUND LIKE A GENERAL.
16.4 They descend a staircase, going past even more bookshelves. These seem more archaic. Most look Gallifreyan. This is a place of old, old knowledge.
WARNER DOCTOR: MORE OF A GLORIFIED SERGEANT. AT BEST.
SHALKA DOCTOR: WELL, YOU SEEM TO HAVE THE RESPECT OF THE OTHERS ANYWAY.
WARNER DOCTOR: LIKE I SAID- A SERGEANT. BUT I'M TOO YOUNG TO COMMAND. SECOND REGENERATION- ONLY ABOUT 575 YEARS OLD. OUR "GENERAL" IS A GOOD DEAL OLDER. HE'S WAITING FOR US...
WARNER DOCTOR: ... IN THE CLOISTER ROOM.
PAGE 17 17.1 Warner stops on a small landing by a medieval-looking door and turns to look at the Doctor. He fumbles in the inner breast pocket of his trench coat for a key. The Doctor looks at him incredulously.
WARNER DOCTOR: WE'VE MET BEFORE, YOU KNOW.
SHALKA DOCTOR: WE CAN'T HAVE MET BEFORE. I DON'T UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT'S GOING ON, BUT TIME LORDS ARE UNIQUE IN THE MULTIVERSE. THEY DON'T HAVE COUNTERPARTS. RASSILON MADE SURE OF-
WARNER DOCTOR: YOU WEREN'T ALTOGETHER WELL, IT WAS IN YOUR SIXTH INCARNATION. A WOMAN NAMED EVELYN WAS WITH YOU...
17.2 Suddenly the Doctor remembers this. We see a vision of it behind his head. The 6th Doctor (in blue) is shaking hands with Warner and an older, not-so-militaristic Brigadier (see the Big Finish audio "100" for more information).
SHALKA DOCTOR: WHAT?
17.3 Warner unlocks the door and walks into the dark chamber beyond. The Doctor remains on the landing for a moment, a bit thrown.
SHALKA DOCTOR: THAT HAPPENED.
WARNER DOCTOR: YES.
17.4 Warner lights an old lantern that looks vaguely Japanese, casting light on a massive "underground" structure- we're deep into the TARDIS now. The "TARDIS Catacombs" are a vast, cavernous sprawl of column-like structures, meandering staircases, and doors that seem to lead nowhere. Do a Google Image Search for "Piranesi's Prisons" and you'll get an idea of what to go for (heck, just rip off Piranesi- 500 years puts it pretty safely in public domain). It's also a bit shades of David Warner's own "Fortress of Ultimate Darkness" from Time Bandits.
WARNER DOCTOR: AND THEN IN YOUR SEVENTH INCARNATION- YOU VISITED AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE WHERE-
SHALKA DOCTOR: YES, YES, YES. IT'S ALL THERE. NEW MEMORIES.
SHALKA DOCTOR: BUT TIME CAN'T CHANGE THAT DRASTICALLY. TEMPORAL PRIMALITY DOESN'T ALLOW-
WARNER DOCTOR: THE OLD LAWS OF THE TIME LORDS ARE DEAD.
PAGE 18 18.1 The Doctors navigate a treacherous spiral staircase. We're looking from a high angle, and can see that this crazy maze of stairs and landings seems to go down forever. Warner stops at another door, which seems to just be standing over an impossibly long drop, and turns another key...
WARNER DOCTOR: I NEVER CARED MUCH FOR THEM ANYWAY. ABSOLUTE LAWS MUST BREAK ABSOLUTELY. IT'S A PITY OUR PEOPLE WERE NEVER INTRODUCED TO BUDDHISM.
SHALKA DOCTOR (under his breath): OH YOU'RE SUCH A THIRD ME.
18.2 CU of the Doctor, exasperated and weary. He can't stand to be teased with these Earth-shattering hints at what's going on anymore. He stops in his tracks and asks point blank...
SHALKA DOCTOR: DOCTOR...
SHALKA DOCTOR: WHAT'S HAPPENED?
18.3 Warner pushes open the door, revealing warm torchlight beyond. The Doctor's eyes go wide. Of all the horrible surprises he's had today, this may be the worst. A calm, controlled voice comes from within...
WARNER DOCTOR: HE'LL EXPLAIN.
VOICE (o.c.): YES... I THINK IT'S TIME I PROMULGATE OUR PREDICAMENT TO OUR LATEST INCARNATION.
18.4 Through some sort of transcendental magic, the door opens onto the upper landing of the Cloister Room (as seen in the TV Movie). The place has changed a bit, now lined with tables of charts, books and maps- like some arcane wizard's workshop. This is where a very strange war is being masterminded. Standing amongst all this, THE VALEYARD waits with a small smile. He's aged a lot since we last saw him in TRIAL OF A TIMELORD, but it's unmistakably him. He's ditched his Time Lord robes for a black Victorian suit and cape. A small knife (a "sonic scalpel") gleams at a table by his side. He looks eerily like Jack the Ripper. He reaches into a pocket and produces a brown paper bag, holding it up to the Doctor...
Yes, I'll be getting back to "Doctor & I" (and the Sarah Jane webcomic) eventually. The last 6 months have just been very busy professionally, and I haven't had the time these projects need. On the upside, one of the things keeping me away is something official that'll be of interest to Who fans. Expect a very cool announcement around the beginning of March.
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