Characters: 13th Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, Graham
Season 11 has been a bit dull for me. So I wondered if editing the scripts might improve it.
This is a revised version of the Doctor Who episode "Ghost Monument." Edited to remove repeated dialogue, clarify explanations, shift some dialogue to different characters, and fix some scenes that seemed out of character. Hopefully this will make the story more exciting and flow smoother. See if you can find the changes, and let me know what you think works.
(NOTE: The story is written in transcript style. All the dialogue is there, but with minimal description. It assumes you've seen the episode and can envision this from those images. If you notice any dialogue missing, it's because it's been deliberately edited out.
All copyrights belong to Chris Chibnall and the BBC. I simply did it as an editing exercise, to show how editing can improve a script, it should fall under fair use for educational purposes.)
The Ghost Monument
The Doctor and her Companions hang in the vacuum of space. A spaceship flashes in from hyperspace. A door opens, it extends a claw.
Ryan hyperventilates, his eyes filled with the horror of space. Someone shines a light in his eye, water drips through a tube. A mask is lowered over his face.
His eyes clear. Graham comes into view.
Graham: "Breathe slowly, son. That's it. Well done."
Ryan: "I'm alive? We are alive, right?"
Graham: "As far as I can tell, yeah."
Ryan tumbles out of a horizontal medipod and slams down on a grate floor.
Ryan: (disoriented) "Where are we?"
Graham: "On a spaceship."
Angstrom: "My spaceship! (The female pilot swings down into the cargo area.) "I scooped you. That was a very sneaky trick of his, especially coming out of hyperjump. You could've been killed!"
Ryan: "Hyperjump? Where in space are we?"
Angstrom: "Just off the Final Planet. Which is out of orbit. But I still found it."
Ryan: "Out of orbit? What do you mean, Final Planet? How can a planet be final?"
Angstrom: "You are a very funny little bonus."
Ryan: (to Graham) "Where's Yaz and the Doctor?"
Graham: " I don't know. I've been trying to get her to look for them. I said there was four of us."
Angstrom: "And I said, I only saw the two of you. I mean, things were moving pretty fast. Speaking of which... Landing ahead. Lock yourselves back in."
Graham: (facing off with her) "We're not doing anything unless you turn this thing around and go look for our friends."
Angstrom: "There'd be no point. If they were still there, they'd be dead."
Yasmin wakes up in an upright medipod. She hears the sound of muffled arguing voices and heads toward them. A hatch opens.
Doctor: "None of the equipment on this thing makes any sense!"
Epzo: (aggressively) "Leave it alone. I don't need your help."
Doctor: "Yes, you do! Your power's failing across three sections, the ship's on the verge of total shutdown."
Yasmin: "Hi. I can smell burning."
Epzo: "You were right, she is still alive."
Doctor: "There! The planet's there."
Epzo: "How can a planet be in the wrong place? It should've been on the other side of the sun where I scooped you. We should be in its orbit by now."
Doctor: "Well, we're not."
Epzo: "I can see that."
Doctor: "Does it even have a name?"
Epzo: "Only a symbol, or a warning. Closest word is... Desolation. Right. I can do this. I am not going to be beaten. Move! I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve."
He shoves Yaz aside and pulls up a deck grating.
Doctor: "Manual shield activation? Wow, and I thought the Tardis was an antique."
Epzo: "Right, blast shields up. Don't know how long they'll last."
Doctor: "Brilliant. About to crash land on Desolation. But the shields might hold."
Epzo: "Don't you understand? I can't even get us there... because of the fuel I've wasted scooping you up."
Yasmin: (dazed) "I'm on a spaceship. Okay."
Doctor: "I can get us into the atmosphere if we jettison the rear section."
Epzo: "Nobody is jettisoning anything. This is the Cerebos, all right? She's the envy of millions."
Doctor: "She's not going to be the envy of anyone, if we don't take drastic action right now."
Yasmin: "We're about to die?"
Doctor: "Sorry, Yaz, not right now... Drive systems down, six minutes left on life support. Are we doing this or what?"
Epzo: "Oh, rekk. Let's do it. Last stage, anyway."
He snatches a couple of packs from the rear compartment.
Epzo: "Catch! And you."
He tosses one to each of them and closes the bulkhead door.
Yasmin: "What's happening?"
Doctor: "No need to panic, Yaz, we're just going to blow the back off this spaceship."
They pull the plugs.
Angstrom's ship has landed. They step out onto the surface.
Hot, dry, dusty.
Graham: "I couldn't have put it better."
Ryan: "Hey! Where are you going?"
Angstrom: "Getting my bearings. Need some elevation." She holds up a tracker.
Ryan: "We're on an alien planet, Graham."
Graham: "Three suns in the sky are a bit of a giveaway."
Ryan: "So, what do we do?"
Graham: "Follow her?"
All of them frantically working controls.
Epzo: "All systems offline! We're not going to make it!"
Doctor: "Yaz! Hold this down."
Epzo: "Come on."
Yasmin: "You can be honest with me. Are we going to die?"
Doctor: "One day, yes. But not right now. This ship is old school. I'm good at old school. Manual stabilizers. Leave that. Pull these two levers up. They'll pull down and to the left. Pull them up and to the right as strong as you can."
Yasmin: "Got it."
Doctor: (stands up and scans the data screens) "That descent pattern won't work."
Epzo: "We're about to die and you're still having a go? You think you can do better?"
She takes the pilot's seat.
Yasmin: "Doctor, these stabiliser handles don't feel very stable."
Doctor: "And, by the way, level three shield hazing."
Epzo: "What, seriously? Drive power gone. We're hitting the gravity field..."
Ryan, Graham, and Angstrom are walking down a dry gully. A bright light in the sky behind them is getting closer.
Graham: "Whatever you think we are, we're not, all right?"
Angstrom: "Are you still pleading ignorance?"
Ryan: "Do you guys hear that?"
Angstrom: (turning) "Finskad! How did he even make it?"
Ryan: "It's another spaceship!"
Graham: "Another spaceship about to crash land."
Ryan shoves between them and takes off.
Angstrom: (to Graham) "Don't just stand there, run!"
They pelt down the gully, Epzo's ship just behind them. Ryan falls. Angstrom and Graham try to pull him up. The bow wave shoves them over.
Angstrom, Ryan, and Graham tumble down the embankment.
The Doctor appears out of a haze of dust.
Doctor: "Sorry about the mess."
Yaz stumbles out after her.
Ryan: "Yaz, you're alive!"
Graham: "We thought you were dead."
Yasmin: "We thought you were dead."
Doctor: "Right, quick update. We shouldn't be here. I'm going to fix it and get you home. Soon as I figure out where we are."
Graham: "How are you going to do that?"
Doctor: "Not sure. Treating it as a chance to surprise myself. Oh, by the way, welcome to what I presume is your first alien planet. Don't touch anything.
(Off to the side.)
Angstrom: "Look at you, Epzo. So you can't even control your own ship now? You nearly killed us!"
Epzo: "Yeah, well, I'll try harder next time? Where's Kornlite, and Fythen?"
Angstrom: "Failed hyperjump, both of them. It's just you and me left."
Epzo: "You're kidding me. You have got so lucky. How did you even make it this far, Angstrom? You're nothing. Still, makes the next bit easy."
Angstrom: (laughing) "You would really love that, wouldn't you? But I've got two bonuses, same as you."
A klaxon sounds.
Ryan: "What's that?"
Angstrom: "Here we go."
Graham: "Going where? To what?"
Angstrom: "Come on, bonuses."
Trudging over the sand dunes. They're following the pilots.
Graham: "All this sand is getting in my eyes something rotten."
Doctor: "Oh, I forgot I put stuff in these pockets. Want to borrow my shades?"
Graham: "Oh, ta."
Doctor: "Like an old pair of mine. I say mine. Can't remember who I borrowed them off now. It was either Audrey Hepburn or Pythagoras."
Graham: "What? Pythagoras never wore shades."
Doctor: "You obviously never saw him with a hangover."
They top a dune to see a tent in the middle of the desert.
Ryan: "What is that?"
Epzo: "It's a tent."
Graham: "Obviously, it's a tent. How did you know it was here?"
Epzo and Angstrom head toward the tent, not answering.
Graham: (to the Doctor) "What is going on?"
The Doctor: "Not sure yet." (she saunters down the dune with her hands in her pockets. The others follow.)
None of them notice the tattered piece of clothing in the sand.
[Outside the tent]
Angstrom: "Losers first."
Epzo smirks and goes inside.
The Doctor studies the tent and starts to enter.
Graham: "Doctor, hold up. Can I ask, if we are on an alien planet, with aliens, how can we understand them? Ain't they talking alien?"
Doctor: "Let's have a look."
The Doctor reaches around and pulls down the back of Graham's collar. There's a glowing star on the back of his neck.
Doctor: "Yeah. What I thought. Medipods put implants into each of you. Standard procedure. Checks for a universal translator, implants one if you don't have one."
Graham: "Eh? Well, can people and things stop putting stuff inside me without my permission!"
Doctor: "If I had my Tardis, you wouldn't need them." She nods toward the tent and makes eye contact with each of them. "Be careful. This could be dangerous." She ducks inside. They follow.
The tent opens up around them. Rich with furnishings, tables, brass lamps, pillows and rugs. A man sits on a dais like a nomadic chieftain.
Doctor: "This is lavish, for a tent. I'm the Doctor, these are Ryan, Graham and Yaz." She holds out a hand to shake. When he ignores it, she waves her hand through the seated figure and both he and the tent flicker.
Doctor: "Hologram. Thought it might be. Good one, though. What are you, reality projection or AI interface? Cos if you're an interface, those are excellent nose hairs."
Ilin: "Who are these people?"
Ilin: "I told you, bonuses and snaketraps are over."
Epzo: "They were hanging in the starfield when we exited hyper. Are you saying we scooped them for nothing?"
Epzo: "I sacrificed my ship!"
Doctor: "Yeah. Some of this is my fault. Faulty transport coordinates. Grateful you two came along. Can I ask, what is actually going on here?"
Ilin: "You're intruding on the final stage of the last ever Rally of the Twelve Galaxies."
Doctor: "What, like Paris-Dakar, in space? You're space-racing each other?"
Angstrom: "We're the finalists."
Ilin: "Four thousand entered, two are left. Only one will claim the prize."
Ryan: "What's the prize?"
Ilin: "For the final ever race, 3.2 trillion krin."
Doctor: "3.2 trillion what?"
Doctor: "How much is a krin?"
Angstrom: "200 kavlons."
Epzo: "94 valars."
Angstrom: "4,000 trynties."
Epzo: "Well, in old money."
Doctor: "Bit behind on my exchange rates."
Ilin: "Enough to provide a lifetime of comfort on a safe world for the winning pilot and their entire clan."
Ryan: "Are we eligible too?"
Angstrom and Epzo: "No."
Epzo: "You're irrelevant. (to Ilin) Get on with it. Tell us the task."
Ilin: "The final challenge is to cross the terrain, survive the planet, make your way to the other side of the mountains, and the first one to get to the site marked as the Ghost Monument will be crowned the winner and transported off this planet. The loser will not."
Angstrom: "You can't leave one of us here! The ships are out of fuel."
Ilin gets in her face.
Ilin: "Don't tell me what I can and cannot do with my own race. You knew the risks when you joined. Biggest ever prize, biggest ever risk."
Graham: "Oi, hang on, what about us?"
Epzo: "Shut up. You're not part of this."
Graham: "'Scuse me, we are human beings. Show a bit of solidarity."
Epzo: "I'm Muxteran. She's Albarian."
Angstrom: "Never even heard of Moomanbeans."
Ryan: "Beings. Human beings. Earth?"
Doctor: "Pretty cruel race, leaving the loser stranded."
Ilin: "The rally is a test of survival. How far will we go? How will we react when challenged? It's the ultimate test."
Doctor: "Interesting use of the word "we," seeing as how you're not here." She scanned him with a quick contemptuous blast of the sonic, read it. "Projected in from a very long way away."
Ilin: "I started the rally. I competed and I won, and now I'm going to end it." (he turned to the contestants) "No sabotage, no injuries and no killing each other."
Ilin: (glares) "Instant disqualification applies. Now, take your meds, don't travel at night, and don't drink the water. In fact, don't even touch the water. This entire planet has been made cruel."
Doctor: "Made cruel how?"
Ilin: (he ignores her) "This stage must be completed before one full solar rotation. You have one single piece of assistance. Transport, provided by the water. Get across the water, through the ruins, and the site of the Ghost Monument is on the other side of the mist swamps. Your route trackers are over there. Good luck."
Angstrom: (Finding equipment on a table.) "I've got my tracker, I'm good to go."
Epzo: "See you for the prize, Ilin. I'll finally get to light my Althusian cigar. Saving it for the win."
Epzo and Angstrom leave.
The Doctor steps in front of Ilin.
Doctor: "What is it, this Ghost Monument?"
Ilin: "The site was named by the ancient settlers. It appears in exactly the same place every thousand rotations."
Doctor: "What does it look like, this monument?"
Ilin: "What does it matter?"
Doctor: "If we're expected to walk across this planet to find it, I'd rather like to know what it looks like."
Ilin shrugs and calls up a hologram of...
Graham: "That's an old police box."
Yasmin: "Yeah, like the one on Surrey Street. Only the one in town's green. This doesn't make any sense."
Doctor: (relieved) "Makes sense to me. Thank you."
Ilin: "Well, I'm sorry I can't be of any more help."
Doctor: "I don't think you are."
Ilin: "You're right."
Ilin and his tent vanish.
Doctor: "Bye, then. He was a bit full of himself."
Yasmin: "I've got a couple of questions."
Graham: "A couple? I've got a book full. But shouldn't we keep up with those two before they get too far away?"
Doctor: "Yes. Let's get a shift on." They start following the others. She explains while walking. "What he called the Ghost Monument, that's my ship. It's here."
Graham: "What, that old police box?"
Ryan: "Didn't look all that."
Doctor: "It's very all that, thank you very much. Don't you see? I tracked my Tardis here, but the planet was out of place. We landed where the planet should've been. It looks like the engines are stuck in a loop, phasing in and out of time and space. It must be affecting the planet. If we get to it when it phases in, I should be able to stabilise it. Then I can get you back home."
Yasmin: "Definitely? If we get there, you can get us off this planet, alive?"
Doctor: "If we stick together, if you trust me, we can get out of this. I'm really good in a tight spot."
Walking through the dry shattered stumps of a forest, bits of old fabric here and there.
Ryan: "Do you think she's telling the truth? Do you really think she can get us off here?"
Yasmin: "She saved Karl. She got the better of Tim Shaw. And she did jump a crane."
Graham: "Yaz is right."
Ryan: "Except she did send us into space."
Graham: "Maybe so, but she's still our best hope."
Ryan: "Guess so. Don't argue with the wisdom of Graham, eh?"
The boat sits high in the water, with a curved canopy keeping the sun off most of the deck.
Epzo: "I said stay away from the boat."
Angstrom: "You don't get this to yourself."
Epzo: "This blaster says I do."
Doctor: "Put the blaster down. We all know you're not going to use it. No injuring, no killing, no sabotage, isn't that what whatsisface said?"
Epzo: "Yeah, well, maybe I don't play by the rules."
Doctor: "Who does?" She holds up her little finger. "See this?" She jabs his neck, pressing in. Epzo is paralyzed.
Angstrom: "Nice move."
Doctor: "Thanks. Venusian Aikido. Grand Master Pacifist. Temporarily paralyses. But otherwise harmless. Very clever, those Venusian nuns. Shall I let go?"
She does and Epzo gasps for breath.
Angstrom: "And this boat doesn't work."
Doctor: "I'll take a look."
Ryan: "So what do we do in the meantime?"
Graham: "He's taking NVQ classes, maybe we can help. An engine's an engine."
Ryan: "Not a space engine."
Doctor: "Not so different. Consider it extra credit." She heads for the boat.
Epzo: "You don't get to take charge here. This is about me and her fighting to win."
Yasmin: "We're all going to the same place, and that boat is big enough for all of us."
Doctor: (stopping) "Yaz is right. If we get it started, we all get on board."
Epzo: "I know what this is. You're part of Ilin's game. Saboteurs, sent to throw us off."
Angstrom: "You think the whole universe is out to get you."
Epzo: (snide) "How's your family, Angstrom?"
Angstrom's face shuts down.
The Doctor edges along the outside of the boat, checking the solar panels. Her foot accidentally knocks a coil of rope into the water. Yaz instinctively reaches to grab it.
Doctor: "Don't touch it!"
Yaz yanks her hand back. The Doctor jumps down to the dock and kneels by Yaz. She sonics the water.
Doctor: "Yeah, figures. Flesh-eating microbes, millions of them living in there. That's why he told us not to touch the water. Dead planet, killer water. Very dangerous place this, Yaz. Don't take anything for granted." She pockets her sonic.
[In the Boat]
Graham: (climbing out of the engine compartment) "You were right, not like any engine I've ever seen."
Ryan is moping, fiddling with an alien spanner. Graham sits down next to him.
Graham: "Are we ever going to talk about your Nan? I mean, just cos all this is going on don't mean to say it didn't happen. You see, I cope myself by asking the question, if Grace was here, what would she say?"
Ryan: "What do you reckon?"
Graham: "Well, right now, she'd be going, "What's the matter with you? You're on another planet. How cool is that?"
Graham: "Yeah. And we're all here together. I'm going to look out for you, son."
Ryan: "I'm not your son."
Graham: "Oh, okay. Well, I was hoping you'd say, "I'm going to look out for you, too."
Ryan: "You talk about this stuff way too much."
Graham: "Mmm hmm. And you don't talk about it enough."
Ryan: (looking out over the engine block) "That's not an engine. It's more like a massive battery. What if it's solar?"
Doctor: "Look at you boys. Light years from home, figuring things out. Yep. Three suns in the sky, tri-solar engineering panels on the outside, powering that battery."
Graham: "Well, if it won't start, maybe the panels aren't lined up."
Ryan: "Or maybe they're not feeding the battery properly."
Doctor: "Loving your work, boys. Let's take a look."
[By the water]
Angstrom: "I've never seen so much water."
Yasmin: "You're Albarian, he said?"
Angstrom: "Yes. The planet of Albar. It's tiny. Crammed full of rusting high-rises. Everyone wants to leave any way they can. Even more so since..."
Yasmin: "Since what?"
Angstrom: (pulling off her goggles and turning away) "I don't know you."
Doctor: "Up and running. All aboard."
Angstrom is at the tiller.
Ryan: (craning to look around at the scenery.) "Hey, Yaz, can you believe it? I've never seen a place like this."
Yasmin: "I know."
Doctor: (scanning something in her hand) This planet doesn't make any sense. No other life forms except us and the microbes in the water. No people, no animals, no insects. But he talked about the old settlers. What old settlers?"
Epzo: "No-one cares."
Angstrom: "Don't take him personally. He treats everyone like this."
Epzo: "I don't need other people."
Graham: "We all need other people, mate."
Epzo: "We're all alone. That's how we start and end, and it's the natural state of all points in between."
Graham: "Were you born that miserable, or did you have to work at it?"
Epzo: "You know, when I was four, my mum told me to climb a tree. She made me climb until I was too scared to climb any higher. Then she told me to jump into her arms. "Don't worry," she said, "I'm your mum, I'm here for you, I'll catch you." So I jumped. And she moved out of the way."
Yasmin: "Sorry, did you say your mum did this to you?"
Epzo: "I smashed into the ground. Broke this arm, shattered that ankle. And she stood over me and she said, "Now you've learned. You can never trust anyone in this life."
Ryan: "That is messed up."
Epzo: "Best thing she ever did for me. I loved my mum."
Graham: "Yeah, she sounds terrific."
Doctor: "Who took care of you while you were healing?"
Epzo: (glaring, disquieted) "My mum."
Doctor: "Think about that."
Later, Epzo is asleep.
Graham: "I see your mate's dropped off. It's nice to see him quiet."
Angstrom: "Yeah. He can nap anywhere. Famous for it."
Doctor: "How many stages are there in the rally?"
Angstrom: "This time? 209 terrains, 94 planets. We start the race with nothing and barter our way up."
Doctor: "Is it worth it?"
Angstrom: "To ensure enough for my family's safety? Yeah. Albar is being systematically cleansed. Half of my family are in hiding. The others are on the run. This is my only chance to bring us back together."
Yasmin: "So you left your family to do this?"
Angstrom: "I left my family to try and save my family. They told me to. If I win, I find them, rescue them. If they're alive to be rescued. Whatever happens here, it's a better chance than I had back home."
Yasmin: "You're making me miss my family. That's quite some achievement, considering my dad drives me bananas and my sister's trying to get me to move out so she can have my bedroom. And I only saw them yesterday."
Angstrom: "Don't ever take them for granted." (pause, as she looks around at them.) "God, you all look shattered."
Doctor: "You should all rest. I'll wake you when we get there."
Graham: "Ryan. Ryan. Wake up, son."
Ryan: "I'm awake. I'm awake." (He looks around blearily.) "Not a dream then?"
Graham: "No. Time to get off the boat. Come on."
Angstrom: "Have you seen yourself, Epzo? I'd say you love that cigar more than you've loved any person."
Epzo: "Have you any idea how rare and expensive these are? It takes half an Althusian lifetime to make one of these. To make them, roll them, age them, and then, they make them self-lighting." (He grins.) "One click of the finger and it lights itself. Want a sniff? Closest you'll ever get to victory."
Angstrom: "Bad for your health."
Doctor: "Big set of ruins. I wonder what they were for?"
Epzo: "What does it matter? Bye." (Epzo sets off up one side of the hill.)
Angstrom: "Good luck."
Epzo: "You've already lost, Angstrom!"
Angstrom leaves, heading up the opposite side of the hill. The Doctor sonics the ruins.
Graham: "What, we're just letting them go? How do we know what to do, where to go?"
Doctor: "First thing we have to do is make it through those ruins safely. Because these readings are all over the place."
Epzo breaks an infrared beam as he walks up some steps. Angstrom walks down inside a cloister.
The Doctor and Companions look out over the ocean from a shattered upper floor.
Doctor: "Those suns are starting to set. They're moving way faster than I realized."
Graham: "Well, back in the tent, that bloke, Ilin, said do not travel by night."
Doctor: "Then we need to find some sort of shelter, fast."
They turn to see several armed figures behind them.
Graham: "Whoa! They weren't there when we came in."
Ryan: "Where did they come from?"
Doctor: "No sudden moves." She sonics them with the sonic held down by her side. She glances down to read it.
Graham: "So much for no life forms on this planet."
Doctor: "They're not alive. They're robot guards. Leftovers, probably. Good news is, they're not fully active. So, what we all need to do is very slowly, totally unthreateningly, edge out of here." She urges them sideways, away form the guards.
In a corridor below, Epzo shoots one of the robots. It shoots and hits him before going down.
Up above, the robots come alive.
Doctor: "They've been activated! Run!" They run up a staircase, and along a roof gallery.
Graham: "Move! Move, everyone!" The robots start shooting at them.
Doctor: "Swerve! Don't run straight. They're predicting our path!
The Doctor ducks into a lower chamber, sand has blown in through circular openings.
Doctor: "In here!"
The others scramble in.
Doctor: "All accounted for? Good, nice running." Metal shapes pop up out of the sand. "Ah! Oh! Okay, come on. Look for another exit. Oh! What have we here?" She runs over and sonics an old fallen robot lying in the sand.
Yasmin: "Anything useful, Doctor?"
Doctor: "Information. Oh, that's bad. They're SniperBots. They must have been programming it. We're in the middle of the shooting range. Everything in here's a target."
Graham: "And looking on the negative side, they're human-shaped targets."
Ryan: "If that's the way it is, time to stop messing about." Ryan picks up the robot's weapon.
Doctor: "What are you doing?"
Ryan: "Fighting back."
Doctor: "There are better ways than guns."
Ryan: "They're shooting at us."
Graham: "He's got a point, Doc."
Doctor: "Put the gun down, Ryan."
Ryan: "What's your better idea?"
Doctor: "Out-think them."
Graham: "You can't out-think bullets."
Doctor: "Been doing it all my life."
Ryan: "Uh-uh. Sorry. "Call of Duty," man. I've trained for this."
Ryan bursts outside, throws himself behind a pillar and starts shooting the robots, one after the other.
Ryan: "See, that's what I'm talking about! Taking out the aliens! That's how you deal with things."
The fallen robots get back up, and start advancing, firing on his pillar.
Ryan: "No, no, no! You can't do that." (He tries to shoot, but his gun stops firing.) "Where's the reload? Where's the reload!"
He runs back inside screaming. Shots going off all around him.
Ryan tumbles inside, panicked.
Doctor: (stands up from working on the robot) "Now do you see why I don't like guns?"
Ryan: "Don't go on about it."
Doctor: "I will. They followed you. Take cover!"
The Doctor drags the wrecked SniperBot behind a pillar with her. The robots start blasting.
Yasmin: (huddling with Ryan behind another pillar, frantically looking around as chips fly) "They've covered all the exits!"
Doctor: (still working on the robot) "Yep!"
Graham: "No way out." (He ducks as a shot hits the target he's hiding behind.)
Doctor: "Always a way out. You just reached for the wrong thing."
Ryan: "What are you talking about?"
Doctor: (still digging into the android) "The best thing about robots is, they're powerful. They literally have an internal power plant." (She pulls out a couple of wires and touches them together, triggering a pulse that washes out through the ruins. All the robots fall over.)
Yasmin: "What did you do?"
Doctor: "Electromagnetic pulse. Disrupted their systems. I reckon we've got about five minutes before they reboot and recover. See? Brains beat bullets. Come on."
Angstrom: "Epzo, is that you? Oh, my God, what happened? Do you need help?"
Epzo: "Not from you."
DOCTOR [O.C.]: "Let's try through here."
The Doctor and Companions walk in.
Epzo: "What just happened?"
Doctor: "What do you care? You don't care about anything. Ooo, tracker, thanks."
She takes Angstrom's tracker device.
Angstrom: "How did you even do that?"
Doctor: "Lots of experience." She fiddles with the tracker.
Angstrom: "Thank you."
Doctor: "You are very welcome. Amazing what you can learn from a SniperBot. Like where their control commands emanate from. Also, maps. Which leads us... here."
[A sealed hatch.]
Doctor: "We need to get down there. The suns are about to set." She tries to turn the wheel, it sticks. "Give us a hand." Ryan helps. It won't budge. She sonics the axle and cracks it loose, allowing him to turn and open it.
Doctor: (looking down the shaft.) "I want answers to this planet and I think they're down there."
Graham: "You sure about this?"
Doctor: "Nope. Come on."
Ryan: (sighs) "Why is it always ladders?"
The suns go down.
Ryan steps down off the end of the ladder.
Yasmin: "See? Second nature now."
Ryan: "No, not really. But my Nan was right. Practice. Thanks for waiting."
The group walks down a huge dank tunnel.
Doctor: (studying the tracker) "These tunnels runs under half of the planet. Think of the technology, the civilisation required to build all that. How's the injury?"
Epzo: "It's painful."
Doctor: "Hope it's made you reconsider your entire philosophy."
Graham: "Doctor?" (he points) "Scorch marks all along the walls."
Doctor: "Not exactly encouraging, is it?"
Doctor: "Still, best feet forward." (further along) "Oh, big locked door. 'No admittance'. Even better." She sonics it open and turns to them. Grinning. "Answers."
Jars full of mould, broken equipment. Overturned chairs.
Doctor: "What happened in here?"
Yasmin: "There's another room next door. We'll take a look?"
Angstrom: "I don't want to be here. We're off route. We need to move on."
Doctor: "You went into the ruins without knowing what was there. Do you want to keep going without knowing why it's bad to travel at night?"
Epzo: "Whatever happened here, it's in the past. What does it matter?"
Doctor: "This was a living, breathing planet once, with an ecosystem, organic life, and a population. There was a catastrophic event here. Knowing what might help us. Besides, I'm curious. So fix your wound, take one of your heroic naps, and we'll wake you when we leave, if you're lucky."
He stalks off and finds a shelf to lie down on. He props his boots on his backpack, not noticing the twitching of the cloths at his feet.
Doctor: (pulls out the sonic) "Now do me a favour. Give me something that will finally make sense of this planet."
The Doctor scans the lab. A screen flickers on with some power left. She activates a map of the tunnels.
Doctor: "There. That's more like it. Angstrom, bring me that route mappy thing. If we sync it, this shows us the whole network of tunnels. Your friend, Ilin, warned us not to travel at night. We could use the tunnels to keep moving while it's dark, avoiding whatever's on the surface."
Angstrom: "It's better than that. Look. There's the site of the Ghost Monument. This network could help us cut a diagonal through the route, then bypass most of the mountain terrain. We could cover the distance in half the time."
Graham: "If you leave now, you could get there before Sleeping Beauty. You could win."
Machinery starts whirring off screen.
Graham: "What's that?"
Doctor: "There's something through there."
Yasmin: "Ryan, have you seen this? Surveillance footage."
Ryan: "They've found the hatch."
The floor is covered with curlicued chalk drawings.
Doctor: "Inscriptions on the floor."
Graham: "What is it, some sort of cave painting?"
Doctor: "Almost. Presumably left by the people who worked here."
Graham: "Can you read it? What does it say?"
Doctor: (following the course of the words) "Forgive us. We are scientists. Abducted, tortured and made to work, while our families are held hostage. We are forced to find new ways of destruction. Poisons, weapons, creatures. We gave them our minds and they made us the creators of death. This planet has been left scorched and barren from our work. Killing machines and creatures inhabit every corner. We had no choice but to obey... the Stenza. We are trying to destroy all of our work before they use it against others." There's two words below that. "They're coming." That's how it ends."
Graham: "The Stenza? That's the thing we stopped in Sheffield, right?"
Angstrom: "You know the Stenza, too?"
Graham: "My wife died because of them."
Angstrom: "Mine too. I'm sorry. They took our planet, sent us into hiding, cleansed millions of us."
Epzo is asleep, not noticing the cloths lifting and winding around him like snakes. Until it covers his nose and mouth and wraps tight. The group hears his muffled screams. They run.
He's being suffocated by the flailing cloths.
Angstrom: "Oh, my God."
The others struggle to free him. The Doctor sonics to no effect.
Doctor: "Nothing's working."
Angstrom cuts through the cloth with her knife, the cloth flaps like a severed limb and frees him. It flies around, whipping menacingly.
Graham: "We've seen them before. All over the planet. Like they were lying dormant."
Doctor: "Lying dormant until night, across the whole planet... clearing up the wounded."
Yasmin: (bursting in) "Doctor! The SniperBots are on their way down after us."
Ryan: (rears back from the flying cloths) "Whoa!"
Doctor: "We need to get out of here. Go!"
They run down the corridor, the Doctor locking each bulkhead door behind them as they pass.
Yasmin: "Why have we stopped?"
The noise of machinery has ceased.
Doctor: "They've shut down the life support systems, depriving us of air."
Graham: "A man could really take against those robots."
Doctor: "We need to get out of the tunnels."
Graham: "But it's night!"
Angstrom: (checking her tracker) "This ladder will take us up and out to the surface."
Yasmin: "What's up there?"
Angstrom: "Acetylene fields."
Ryan: "Acetylene, like the gas?"
Yasmin: "That doesn't sound good."
Doctor: "We're running out of options, so up we go."
Graham: "Right." Graham goes first.
Doctor: (to Ryan, who is studying the ladder) "You okay?"
Ryan: "Yeah." (he mutters to himself) "Practice. Practice." (He takes a deep breath.)
Doctor: "Can I just say? Your Nan would be proud."
Doctor: "If it helps, think about something else as you climb. Did you cover acetylene in NVQ?"
Ryan: "Think we might've done, yeah."
Doctor: "Think about that. Let's go."
Yasmin: "Whew! That's some smell."
Graham: "What is that, garlic?"
Ryan: "Wait. Everyone, stop. Look, it's like the ground's moving."
The snake-like strips of cloth weave towards them flying around them.
Remnant: "Finally, a big feast of lives."
Yasmin: "They can talk?"
Doctor: "The talk is to distract you, demoralize you. Ignore it."
Epzo: "Don't let them touch you. They'll squeeze the life out of you."
Remnant: "Yes, squeeze the life from all of you."
Doctor: "Everybody stand still."
Remnant: "You can't save them. We smell your fear too. The strongest of all."
Doctor: "You want fears? I've got a dozen lifetimes' worth."
Remnant: "A dozen lives? We'll take you first."
Doctor: "Remember any facts, Ryan, as we climbed?"
Ryan: "It's lighter than air."
Doctor: "Yes. Smells like garlic and lighter than air. And one other thing about it, but we'll all have to dig deep for that, right?" (She starts shuffling her feet, shoving away the sand.)
Epzo: "What are you talking about? What are you doing?"
Angstrom: "Shut up and dig, Epzo."
They shuffle their feet in the sand, digging holes for themselves.
Remnant: "You lead but you're scared, too, for yourself and for others."
Doctor: "Yeah, well, who isn't?"
Remnant: "We see deeper, though, farther back. The Timeless Child."
Doctor: (shocked, startled) "What did you say?"
Remnant: "She doesn't know."
Doctor: "What are you talking about? What can you see?"
Remnant: "We see what's hidden even from yourself, the outcast, abandoned and unknown."
Doctor: "Get out of my head."
Remnant: "Now we crush those fears from you."
Doctor: "Enjoy your feast, whatever it is. You know what some people like after a feast? Graham?"
Doctor: "Not me. Some people." (She nods at Epzo's belt.)
Graham: "Oh, yeah. A nice cigar."
Epzo: "Do it."
Graham takes Epzo's celebration cigar from his belt and throws it into the air.
They all fall flat on their backs in shallow holes, the Doctor snaps her fingers. Boom! The cigar lights and ignites the gas layer above them, destroying the remnants.
Doctor: "Third fact, acetylene ignites easily. See? Teamwork. Now, move."
They crawl away under the flaming layer of air.
The three suns rise. They climb wearily up a rocky hillside.
Ryan: "We must be near now."
Angstrom: (consulting tracker) "Says we're close."
Doctor: "There. Your finish line."
The tent sits on the summit.
Epzo: "Ah, we made it."
Yasmin: (looking around) "But where's your ship? Where's the Ghost Monument?"
Graham: "We did all this for nothing?"
Angstrom: "Not nothing. I'm going to claim my prize."
Epzo: "What? Your prize?"
Angstrom: "I saved your life. You'd be dead without me. And if I raced you now to that tent, you'd be dust. You're a wreck, Epzo."
Epzo: "Who had the cigar, eh? Me. That was mine. That cigar saved us all."
Angstrom: "Seriously? Don't even think I'm going to lose to you now."
Doctor: (looking back and forth between them like a tennis match) "Er, could I make a suggestion?"
Epzo and Angstrom walk into the tent perfectly in step.
Epzo: "Dead heat."
Angstrom: "Joint first. Dual winners." They clasp hands.
Doctor: (stepping up) "With witnesses."
Ilin: "What? No. There's never been a joint winner of the Rally."
Angstrom: "There has now."
Ilin: "No. I will declare the final race null and void."
Epzo: "Ilin, you've made this a living hell for us. You've made more money on this race than you'll ever pay out. And it's all been broadcast." (He taps the tattoo below his throat. Angstrom taps the tattoo on her neck.)
"If we don't get what we fought for, if you try to leave us here, someone will come for us. And I promise you that whatever happens, I will hunt you down and ensure that whatever time you have left is both short-lived and agonizing. Now," (he steps back) "recognize your equal winners."
Angstrom: (getting in his face) "Pay the prize, or pay the price."
Ilin: (Sits back and stares at them. Then,) "I'm honored to declare a unique joint victory... and equal split."
Epzo: "Now, get us off this rock."
Angstrom: "And them."
IIlin snaps his fingers, and they all disappear. Angstrom's protest fading with them.
The Doctor, Yaz, Graham, and Ryan stand alone on the desolated hilltop.
Ryan: "They're gone."
Graham: "So, we're stuck here now?"
Doctor: (turning in a circle, looking around. Worried.) "We're in the right spot."
Ryan: "What if we're too late? What if it's already been and gone?"
Yasmin: "It's a thousand rotations. Can we survive that long?"
Graham: "What? With those cloth things, and the robots, and who knows what else? We'll be dead in one rotation."
Ryan: "So what do we do?"
Doctor: "We're not without resources, we've got the boat, we've got Angstrom's ship."
Graham: "If we can get to them."
Yasmin: "There's plenty of dry wood, we could make torches against those cloth things."
Ryan: "If we can find some way to bottle the acetylene could we use it for fuel? Or the solar panels?"
Doctor: (smiles, strained) "You're learning."
Graham: "But what about food, and water..."
Yasmin: "Can you hear that noise?"
A faint sound, getting louder. The groan of ancient time engines.
The Doctor spins around. The Tardis starts to materialize, sketchy, erratic, in and out, fading, struggling.
The Doctor whips out the sonic.
Doctor: "Come on, come on. It's all right, it's me! Come to Daddy. I mean Mummy. I mean, come on. Stabilise. We really need you old girl."
The Tardis materializes with a decisive thud.
The Doctor runs over.
Doctor: "My beautiful Ghost Monument." (she practically hugs the ship) "Hello, you. I've missed you." (She strokes the Tardis, then notices the new woodwork and sign.) "You've done yourself up. Very nice." She shrugs sheepily. "Lost my key. Sorry."
The Tardis clicks open with a creak. She grins.
Ryan: "But it's just an old police box."
Doctor: "Sort of. Not really."
Graham: "You expect us all to fit inside there?"
Yasmin: "At the same time?"
Doctor: "Wanna try?"
Yasmin: "Yeah. After all, I am a policeman."
The Doctor grins.
Doctor: "Oh, word of warning. I left it in a bit of a mess."
The Doctor steps in and halts, looking around.
Doctor: "Oh. You've redecorated."
She walks in and looks around. New walls, new columns, new console. She walks up to the console dias.
Doctor: "I really like it."
The others creep in behind her, timid, and a bit overawed.
Doctor: "This is my Tardis."
Graham: "But, it was a police box."
Doctor: "It still is on the outside."
Graham: "How do you fit all this stuff inside a police box?"
Doctor: "Dimensional engineering."
Yasmin: "You can't engineer dimensions."
Doctor: "Maybe you can't."
Ryan: "Can I press any of...?"
Graham: "It's a spaceship?"
Doctor: "And a timeship."
Ryan: "Get out."
Ryan: "This... is proper... awesome."
Doctor: "So, home then?"
Yasmin: "You can really get us there? Really?"
Doctor: "Start believing."
The Doctor grins and starts setting controls. She pulls down a familiar handle.
Outside, the Tardis groans and wheezes. And fades away.
What did you think?
Please leave a comment.