Doctor Who - Hell Blossom

Doctor Who - Hell Blossom

ACT ONE SCENE ONE

The lights come up a London back street in the 1890'S.
PEGGY, a prostitute, is loitering USR, waiting for a mark.

The door DSL opens. The LANDLORD appears.

LANDLORD
Gerrout an' stay out!

EDWIN mouths incoherent profanities at the LANDLORD closes the door.
He notices PEGGY.

EDWIN
ev'nin'.

PEGGY
Awright Darlin'

Seeing her, EDWIN rifles around in his pockets.

Looking for something, are we?

EDWIN
I might be. So 'appens I might be looking for a trip to 'Airy Ford Shire.

PEGGY
Might you now. Fare's Thruppence.

EDWIN finds a single coin in his pockets.

EDWIN
Tuppence. I got tuppence left.

PEGGY
I'd go 'ome then, if I were you.

EDWIN
I got tuppence.

PEGGY
Every girl's got her price Mister, and mine's thruppence, not a penny less.
I got my self-respect, don't you know.

EDWIN lunges forward, trying to press the coin into PEGGY's hand whilst trying to kiss her.

Get off, you drunken sod! Get off!

She beats him off USR.

Cheeky bleeder. I'm a nice girl. Bloody cheek of it.

There is a hideous scream, followed by the sound of laser fire.
Immediately the SPRING HEELED JACK runs out of the alleyway
USR and looks wildly around.

Seeing PEGGY, he runs USL.
There is a whooshing noise.

EDWIN staggers in backwards from USR, his back to the audience,
his hands covering his face. PEGGY runs to him.

PEGGY
'Ere, did you 'ear that? Did you ever see such a queer lookin' fella' in all your life - the way he leapt.... it were like he were flyin' ! Lord love us and save us, it must be Spring 'eeled Jack 'imself, Gawd help us. Mister? Mister?

EDWIN turns, and takes his hands away from his face. It is a disfigured mass
of tumours. PEGGY screams as he topples dead to the ground.

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE TWO

The lights come up on the DOCTOR and SHA'ATARA in the TARDIS.
They are playing Chess. The DOCTOR moves a piece.

SHA'ATARA
Ha! I have you now, Doctor.

She moves.

DOCTOR
Do you know how nice it is to hear that without having some sort of weapon
poked in my face?

SHA'ATARA
This is a fascinating game, this ... Chest?

DOCTOR
Close enough. I would have thought you would have had a similar game?
Most worlds evolve something similar.

SHA'ATARA
We do not play at war.

DOCTOR
Ah.

SHA'ATARA
We smite our enemies. Strength is all. We rain down upon them like a fiery wind.

DOCTOR
" Rain down upon them like a fiery wind ..?" Thinking on it, I don't suppose that your people's experiences of war do translate easily into a little horse that moves in an L shape. Speaking of which ...

He moves.

Check.

She responds confidently.
Instantly the DOCTOR counters.

And mate. Game to me, I fancy.

SHA'ATARA, livid
What ... How ..?

DOCTOR
Well, while you were busy "raining down like a fiery wind" with your bishop here and your two rooks there and there,

He holds up his knight.

I crept up behind you with my wee horsey here. Fortune favours the sneaky, you see.

SHA'ATARA draws her sword and chops the board in half.

SHA'ATARA
Four years! Four years sharing this space with you ...

The DOCTOR sighs, and begins to pick up the chess pieces and board.

DOCTOR
I will happily drop you anywhere, at any time. You can go home whenever you want.

SHA'ATARA
Not until I have repaid my blood debt to you! Not until then!

DOCTOR
Oh, that old thing. What about that time on Maxima Prime?
I would have been lunch for that Razorclaw if it weren't for you.

SHA'ATARA
But I was only able to save you because you had earlier sabotaged the molecular entropizer in which the Ice Warriors had trapped me.

DOCTOR
Yes, that's true, but ... I mean, really, who's keeping score?

SHA'ATARA, bitterly
27-18 to you.

DOCTOR
Ah, you are ... Oh well, cheer up. You know what I'm like. I'll be chained to a railway track somewhere and screaming for help before you know it.

SHA'ATARA, seriously
That is a comfort.

DOCTOR
Quite.

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE THREE

JOHNNY McARDLE stood in front of his poster.

JOHNNY
Roll up! Roll right up! Roll up and treat yourself to the strangest sight you'll ever see, and for only one thin penny! Roll up and witness a living marvel so astounding it will stay with you until the day you die! One penny for a tale to thrill your children, and their children, a legacy of wonder for generations to come. Why, I guarantee your money back in all the drink your new-found friends'll buy you as they clamour to hear tell of the sight I offer you today! No sir, no madam, no ladies with glued beards or mermaid corpses fashioned out of monkeys, not here ... a real and true scientific marvel, a genuine spectacle! Roll up!

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE FOUR

There is a loud knocking.

GARDENER, off-stage
Yes! All right ... for pity's sake ...

The knocking stops as GARDENER enters in his dressing gown.
THORNE enters from the opposite direction,
leading CHIEF INSPECTOR POTTS.

GARDENER
Chief Inspector Potts!

POTTS
Evening sir ... sorry about the interruption.

GARDENER
It's close to two in the morning, man. I was having the strangest dream ...
No, it's gone. But I'm sure it'll come back to me.

POTTS
There's been another murder, Professor Gardener. The Police Surgeon's had a look, but ... frankly, sir, I've never seen anything like it before, and neither has he, and, well, you were such a help with the case of the Bethnal Vampyre ...

GARDENER
Couldn't it wait?

POTTS
Body's only a few hours fresh, sir. It's the Spring-Heeled Jack again, and, well ... you know what happens to the bodies. Another day and we'll have to keep it in a bucket. What's that noise? Where's it coming from?

The TARDIS is heard to materialise.

GARDENER, frowning
My study ... It's all right, Chief Inspector. I hope.

The DOCTOR and SHA'ATARA enter.

DOCTOR
Professor! There you are!

GARDENER
Doctor!

They embrace.

I heard a Tardis materialise, but I had no idea it was yours.

DOCTOR
Just passing through, cup of tea and a chat and all that.

GARDENER
Do excuse us, Chief Inspector. This is an old student of mine.
I taught him Xenobotany at the academy.

DOCTOR
I believe introductions are in order?

GARDENER
This is Chief Inspector Potts of Scotland Yard.

DOCTOR
Chief Inspector Potts, how delightful, I'm the Doctor, and this is my companion Sha'atara, a Steel Valkyrie from the New Asgard colony.

SHA'ATARA
A slow death to your enemies.

POTTS
Er ... charmed, I'm sure Miss. Are you with the Opera?

GARDENER
Delightful. From New Asgard, you say? There's a rare species of chameloid blood orchid that grows there ... have you ever seen a flower with teeth, Chief Inspector.

POTTS
Can't say I have, Professor Gardener.

SHA'ATARA
It's often the last thing people do see ...

POTTS
This is all very nice, Professor, but ...

GARDENER
I do apologise, Chief Inspector. Thorne, fetch a cab.

THORNE nods and leaves.

SHA'ATARA
Why does that servant wear a mask?

DOCTOR
Sha'atara! You'll have do excuse her, Professor. No sense of decorum. She knows fifty ways to kill a man, but doesn't know how to use a knife and fork. Except as weapons. And why is he masked, while we're on the subject?

PROFESSOR
There was a terrible fire … I'm sure you understand. The poor man was horribly disfigured.

POTTS clears his throat theatrically.

DOCTOR
Are we interrupting?

GARDENER
Just a little business I have to attend to. If you'd care to wait here, I'll be back shortly.

POTTS
And a right queer business it is too.

DOCTOR
Oh? Anything I can help with, perhaps?

GARDENER
Well, I wouldn't want you to-

DOCTOR
Stuff and nonsense!

GARDENER
I really don't think-

POTTS
Well, I would appreciate another professional opinion ...

SHA'ATARA
Is there danger?

POTTS
A half dozen people have died painful deaths under mysterious circumstances, Miss.

SHA'ATARA, enthusiastically
Excellent!

She races out after THORNE.

GARDENER, turning to leave
If you've made up your minds ... I certainly have no intention of going to a morgue in my pyjamas. I'll be with you shortly, gentlemen.

GARDENER exits.

POTTS
Right then ... I'm sorry. Doctor, I don't believe I caught your name.

DOCTOR
I don't believe you did, no.

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE FIVE

The lights come up slowly on the HYBRID, huddled against the wall DSR.
JOHNNY is knelt beside it. The HYBRID groans

JOHNNY
Here ... Are you all right?

HYBRID
Something ... I do not know ...

JOHNNY
Good show last night. Good crowd. Word's getting out. People come, they see there's more to you than greasepaint and paper mache, and they tell their friends ... I knew this little guy, Edward his name was, had a second head, believe it or not. Right on his shoulder, right there. (He pats his own shoulder) Right freakish it was, but that's the point. Made his money, made himself a life, married the dog-faced girl. You'll be fine. You'll see.

JOHNNY puts his hand on the HYBRID's shoulder.

HYBRID
I have dreamed ... ever since I first killed ...

JOHNNY
Yeah, well. My dream's been none too cheerful neither, lately.
We ain't got no choice. But I look after you, don't I?

HYBRID
Yes ...

JOHNNY
There’s lots who'd have found you like you was and just used you.
I splits the takings, don't I? Sixty forty, fair and square?

COLLINS and BARBER have quietly entered USL.

COLLINS
You're a real gent, "Professor."

JOHNNY, rising
Mr. Collins.

COLLINS
Got a job for you again, Johnny. And I do mean again. The same little job your pet monster cocked up last time.

HYBRID
Not again ...

JOHNNY
Like, isn't it enough, Mr. Collins? We scared her, didn't we? That sends a message to Harper's gang, so he knows not to monkey with you no more?

COLLINS
No. Not enough. That tart of his dies.

JOHNNY
The Spring-Heeled Jack was there again. We was nearly caught this time.
Every time he gets a little bit closer.

COLLINS
That Penny Dreadful reject? Again? What's he want with you?

JOHNNY
We don't know. Honest we don't.

HYBRID
Please ... don't force me to kill again so soon ...

COLLINS
Shut it. I'm talking to Organ Grinder, not the monkey ... you owe me, Johnny.

JOHNNY
We do this ... you leave us alone?

BARBER laughs.

COLLINS
We'll consider it.

They exit USL.

HYBRID
No, Johnny ...

JOHNNY
You don't cross a blackmail gang. Not twice, anyway. What's a few bad dreams when the alternative's ... when you look at the alternative. What choice have we got? I know you're scared-

HYBRID
No, not scared. Something in that man’s blood ...

JOHNNY
You have to kill anyway. You have to eat.

HYBRID
Not so much. Not so often.

JOHNNY
Fine. You want to starve, that's your business, but you don't go out and do what Collins wants, his ape'll break me into little bits and chuck 'em in the river. Choice is a luxury. We can't afford luxuries, the likes of us.

Fade to black.


ACT ONE SCENE SIX

SHA'ATARA is sat on a bench in a pub.
PEGGY enters from USL, followed by POTTS carrying two glasses.
PEGGY sees SHA'ATARA, sniggers, then carries on her way.
SHA'ATARA leaps to her feet only to be stopped by POTTS.
She takes her drink, bangs glasses with POTTS, then quaffs
her pint enthusiastically

SHA'ATARA
Hah! Another!

POTTS
Er ... Are you sure you wouldn't rather have a sherry?

SHA'ATARA, suspiciously
Is it like the port and lemon drink you tried to make me have?

POTTS
Well ... they're alike, I suppose ...

SHA'ATARA
I like this! Another, and another song!

POTTS groans.

POTTS
Please Miss, not another song. People are staring.

SHA'ATARA
Why? I hear many of them sing?

POTTS
Yes Miss. But it isn't the songs so much as ... to be frank, I haven't heard lewd language like that since I left the army.

SHA'ATARA
Army? You were in an army? You were a warrior?

POTTS
Well, I was in a war. I suppose I was.

SHA'ATARA
Excellent! Battle is the anvil in which heroes are forged. There is no brother like a brother in bloodshed, no moment more precious than that which may well be your last. War is joy.

POTTS
Excellent? War an anvil? Joy? Are you insane?

SHA'ATARA
What?

POTTS
Have you actually been in a war? I mean actually in one?

SHA'ATARA
I've fought in the games. There have been skirmishes-

POTTS
I was in Crimea. This one time, I remember ... It all happened outside Inkermann. We'd gotten lost, me and Harry McNeill, a carpenter's son as I remember. Wanted a bit of action, did Harry, like me. Had to lie about my age to join, so, what was I? Fifteen? And I’ll eat my hat in Harry was much older. Take the King's shilling, we’d both thought, maybe see the world. So there we were, seeing the world, me half dead through lack of sleep and poor old Harry half dead because of the Russian bullet in his guts. We'd been on a recce when Ivan ambushed our patrol, and me and Harry was lucky to get away, bullet an' all. The rest of our boys weren’t so lucky. High Command knew the enemy was there, but they sent us to look anyway, like poking your hand into a bucket of boiling pitch just to make sure it’s hot. No time so precious as the time which might be your last? It didn't feel precious, I'll tell you that Miss. It felt like hell. Hot and sick and giddy all the time, couldn't even keep down the few rations we did have left. Harry was hot as could be, like carrying coals, and all I could smell was his blood, high and sweet. Still don't like blood to this day.

SHA'ATARA
But surely-

POTTS
So three, maybe four days later, after the ambush, we’re just outside our base camp when we bump into the enemy. Or an enemy. Sixteen or seventeen, if he was a day, by himself, just like us, like a kid playing soldier. I found out later there'd been local skirmishes while we were gone. Probably a stray, as lost as we were.

SHA'ATARA
What did you do?

POTTS
I shot him. That's what happens in wars. Children killing children because, chances are, they'll shoot you as and when they get the opportunity. War is joy?

SHA'ATARA
You saved your friend.

POTTS
My friend? Harry wasn't my friend. I never knew him to call him my friend.
And I was never given the chance.

SHA'ATARA
I ... see.

POTTS
I left the army and joined the police, where I know for a fact the enemy is ... guilty, is the best word. That's the point. Where the enemy is the enemy because they're guilty instead of the other way round. I can live with that.

SHA'ATARA
Yes. I think I understand. It is different here.

POTTS
I don't doubt it, Miss.

SHA'ATARA
Know that my world has not known true peace since the Great Galactic Breakdown. It is a harsh world. Our ancestors were a harsh people, it is in our blood. We have warred so long it has become our way of life. We have a saying, "You are no worthier than the life you take." There is no glory in killing the weak. The strong and willing fight only each other. I think it is very different here.

There is a reflective moment.

Inspector Potts?

POTTS, raising his glass and drinking
Yes Miss?

SHA'ATARA
Are you mated?

POTTS, choking
I beg your pardon?

The DOCTOR, GARDENER and THORNE enter USL.

DOCTOR
Quite, quite astounding.

GARDENER
Yes, indeed.

POTTS
Professor. Doctor. Please, have a seat.

GARDENER sits, while the DOCTOR paces enthusiastically.

DOCTOR
I've never seen a biological process quite like it.

SHA'ATARA
Like what?

DOCTOR
Well, whatever killed ... what was his name?

POTTS, consulting his little note book
Edwin Tully.

DOCTOR
Yes. Poor man ... Anyway, his blood was sucked from his body while a highly corrosive biological agent-

GARDENER
Chlorophyll based.

DOCTOR
Yes, chlorophyll based, possibly even from the actual body of his assailant ... anyway, this biological agent was pumped into Mr. Tully's veins, then, seconds later, his original blood, albeit minus various important salts and proteins was circulated back again, causing widespread tumourous growth followed by total cellular dissolution.

SHA'ATARA
Even the bones?

GARDENER
Yes, even those. It's quite a weapon-

DOCTOR
Weapon? It's clearly some form of feeding process.

GARDENER
Really, Doctor, I can't concur. That's pure supposition. I know of no life-form that feeds this way. An animal, which stores its own blood in its prey while it feeds?

DOCTOR
Possibly not an animal ... no, Xenobotany is your field of speciality. It just seems such a ... convoluted method of killing somebody.

POTTS, to SHA'ATARA
Do you know what they're talking about?

SHA'ATARA
I rarely do, even after he explains. I sometimes think that if it wasn't for me, people we meet would never even know what was going on. Sometimes when we play this game called Chess … have you heard of it on this planet?

POTTS
I beg your pardon?

DOCTOR
Sha’atara, Chess is from this planet.

SHA'ATARA
I thought it was Gallifreyan?

DOCTOR
No, we have … (he frowns) I suppose Rassillon’s Gambit is closest.

GARDENER
Ah, yes. I haven’t played that in a very long time.

SHA'ATARA
And that’s like Chess, is it? (to POTTS) He defeats me at Chess.
I should like to try this game of Rassillon.

DOCTOR
Rassillon’s Gambit. The Game of Rassillon is something else entirely.

SHA'ATARA
You have two games of Rassillon?

DOCTOR
Oh, more than that. And then there’s the eye of Rassillon, the Seal of Rassillon,
the Robes of Rassillon, the teapot of Rassillon. We have pretty much an everything
of Rassillon.

GARDENER
Besides, only a Time Lord can play it, I’m afraid.

SHA'ATARA
Ah.

POTTS
Quite. Well, Science has had its crack. If we can't find out the how of it was done, then we'd better look at the why of it. I've always said that when you're missing pieces of the puzzle, well, you just look at the pieces you do have.

DOCTOR
Oh, I like him.

GARDENER
I do, too.

SHA'ATARA
So do I. Very much so.

POTTS
Er ...

Embarrassed, he takes refuge in his notebook.

Right. We've had four dead bodies in the past three months. Louisa Atkins, Sally Dwyer, Mary Bainbridge and now Edwin Tully. At the scene of each murder a tall masked figure in black - the one they nicknamed Spring-Heeled Jack - is seen. Each time he's witnessed, he apparently flies away, like a bird. No leads there. Louisa Atkins and Mary Bainbridge are, er ... (looks at SHA'ATARA) working for one Dougie Harper. Sally Dwyer's an abortionist and horse-doper, got connections to Harper, again. He's a nasty bit of work, is Harper. Runs a blackmail gang south of the river. Harper's biggest enemy's a thug name of Collins, runs another gang. They've been at each other's throats for years.

DOCTOR
It seems unlikely that Victorian street gangs have the power to do this to one another. What about Tully?

POTTS
Only recently arrived in London as far as we can tell, no fixed trade, lives in a dosshouse not far from where he died. However, when he died he was, er, talking to a young lady name of Peggy McGuire. She works for Harper, like the others, and she's walking out with him to boot.

DOCTOR
Only women have been victims, until now. Is that significant?

GARDENER, distracted
I hope not … (to POTTS) I mean, has it not occurred to you that Miss McGuire may have been this Spring-Heeled Jack's intended victim?

POTTS
It has. But I couldn't hold her long, and I can't put a man on her in that part of the East End. She'd scream blue bloody murder. Even so, I reckon I'm due another word or two with Miss McGuire.

DOCTOR
It occurs to me that the young lady may be in some danger.

SHA'ATARA
Excellent!

She sees POTTS looking at her disapprovingly.

Sorry.

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE SIXb

THORNE waits in the darkness.
There is a whoosh as JACK arrives. He enters from USR.

JACK
It's gone to ground. I can't find it, unless it kills. It's too fast.
How should we proceed now?

THORNE says nothing.

I don't like this. There's something wrong.

THORNE turns and exits USL .

Well, thanks for putting my mind at rest. I don't like this.
Where is it? Where is it?

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE SEVEN

The lights come up on a London back street.
The BOG THING poster is on a wall.

PEGGY is loitering outside the door DSL.
It opens, and the LANDLORD enters.

LANDLORD
Oi. You can't stand around 'ere.

PEGGY
What 'ave I done?

LANDLORD
You're trouble Peggy. Clear off.

PEGGY
I ain't done nothing. Why should I clear off?


LANDLORD
People get killed when you girls is around. No-one wants you, all right?

PEGGY
You didn't say that last Friday night.

LANDLORD
I'm telling you: Clear off.

PEGGY
I knows Dougie Harper, I do. Just you wait 'til I tell him.

LANDLORD
Harper? That dead duck? It's funny, innit, how its just his girls kick the bucket.
Look, go home. It ain't safe. All right?

The LANDLORD closes the door.
PEGGY harrumphs, and moves USR. There is a slithering noise offstage..
Curious, PEGGY goes off USR to investigate

She screams. The DOCTOR, SHA'ATARA and POTTS run on from USL.

DOCTOR
Where'd that come from?

SHA'ATARA
Over there!

There is the sound of laser fire. JACK runs on from USR,
looking wildly around.

POTTS
Blimey! The Spring-Heeled Jack!

SHA'ATARA
Excellent!

She draws her sword. JACK backs off, drawing a staff
from his backpack.

POTTS
She's going to fight him, Doctor!

DOCTOR
Oh, I wouldn't worry, he can probably defend himself.

He drags POTTS off USR.

Come on! It may not be too late to save the girl ...

JACK and SHA'ATARA fight. It quickly becomes
apparent that SHA'ATARA is better than JACK.

SHA'ATARA
Maybe you should surrender ...

JACK backs away warily.

Of course, my people don't actually take prisoners ...

JACK pulls something from his belt and tosses it to
SHA'ATARA. She automatically catches it.
There is a massive flash of light and a zap! noise.
SHA'ATARA falls to the ground and JACK runs off USL.
There is a whooshing noise. GARDENER and THORNE enter USL.

THORNE stands at attention upstage while GARDENER makes directly for SHA'ATARA. He props her up in his arms.

GARDENER
Sha'atara! Are you all right? Good Lord, if he's hurt you ...

The DOCTOR and POTTS re-enter.

DOCTOR
Sha'atara?

GARDENER
It's all right, she's just unconscious.

He holds up the spent grenade.

Neuron Flash Grenade, lowest setting.

SHA'ATARA groans, still unconscious.

POTTS
She'll be all right?

GARDENER
As rain. Don't worry. I heard a scream?

DOCTOR
We were too late to save the girl.

GARDENER
Another useless death ...

DOCTOR
I beg your pardon.

GARDENER
All death is useless.

POTTS, pointedly, indicating SHA'ATARA
If you gentlemen don't mind ..?

GARDENER
I'm sorry, Chief Inspector. She'll be all right, honestly.
We'll take care of her.

The DOCTOR has noticed the BOG THING poster.
He goes over to it and examines it idly.

POTTS
All right then. I'd better get the lads in.

GARDENER
You do that. The Doctor and I will watch over the young lady. We promise.

POTTS
She's a diamond in the rough, no mistake, but I don't think she's as tough as she'd like everyone to think ... still, I'd best be off.

DOCTOR
Yes, yes ...

POTTS exits.

It happens everywhere we go. There's always someone believing that her hard as nails exterior is a front. Which I suppose it is. It's a front for a hard as nails interior.

GARDENER
That's a bit harsh, surely?

DOCTOR
I am, and I say this in all humility, an exceptional judge of character.

GARDENER
No doubt. What have you found?

GARDENER sees the poster and freezes.
The DOCTOR is still too busy looking at it to notice.

DOCTOR
Oh nothing, just a poster for some kind of freak show, an interesting piece of Victoriana ... still, hardly noteworthy to you, I'd imagine. You've lived here so long now, after all.

GARDENER
Yes. I’ve always wondered, and never asked … When we all gave up our names in the Secession … you, me, the Master, the Monk, the Rani, the others … when I chose exile in a deactivated Tardis, here, in this time ... why did you and your Granddaughter choose to flee in that rickety old type 40?

DOCTOR
I've always felt that anywhere is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

GARDENER
I've always loved this period, this place ...

DOCTOR
Yes. The squalor, the hypocrisy-

GARDENER
All of that is true, but still ... You can't judge anything or anyone by its worst aspect.
In this time this tiny little Island ruled half a world. Its manners and ways influenced everything. It was an Empire that should have lasted a thousand years ...

DOCTOR
Empires fall. All things have their time, after all. It rarely helps to interfere.

GARDENER
Strange, to hear that from you.

DOCTOR
I mend as I find, no more.

GARDENER
Of course. Forgive me.

DOCTOR
Nothing to forgive.

He reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a selection of junk, passing it
to GARDENER - some string, a yo-yo, a banana, and a compass.

Ah. I’d forgotten that was there …

Eating the banana, he examines the compass.

Hmm. I thought as much.

GARDENER
What is it?

GARDENER irritably pushes the DOCTOR’s junk back at him.

DOCTOR
The compass needle is spinning like a top. The local magnetic field has been severely disrupted. That "Spring-Heeled Jack" flew off using a grav-belt.

GARDENER
I see. But I don't-

DOCTOR
That's a fairly common piece of equipment, just like the grenade he used against Sha'atara. And there are scorch marks on the wall back by that unfortunate young lady that were clearly made by some sort of focussed energy projector. Again, fairly common. And no sort of distinguishing mark to his uniform.

GARDENER
So we know no more than before ... and he has claimed another life.

DOCTOR
I'm surprised you can still think that ...

GARDENER
Well, he is the most likely suspect ...

DOCTOR
No, he's the only suspect, but the facts don't fit.

The DOCTOR brandishes the spent grenade.

Advanced hardware. This Spring-Heeled Jack uses alien technology, but I haven’t seen any bioweapons, anything biological. Whatever killed Tully was organic in nature. Do you know, I think some sort of animal is responsible for the attacks, and I believe that whoever that is is hunting it.

SHA'ATARA groans, and comes to. The DOCTOR pockets the spent grenade, along with the banana skin.

SHA'ATARA
By the three Hells ...

DOCTOR
Sha'atara! Are you all right?

SHA'ATARA
I declare a blood feud on that, that ...

DOCTOR
I'm glad you're feeling better. (to GARDENER) You see, this mystery man could have killed Sha'atara.

SHA'ATARA
I beat him in fair combat!

DOCTOR
And he beat you in unfair combat. Fortune favours the sneaky, remember?
And if instead of a neuron flash he'd have used, say, a fusion grenade-

SHA'ATARA, testily
All right, all right ...

She gets up.

What now?

GARDENER
I have other business to attend to. I'll get Thorne to take you back to the house. You are, or course, my guests ...

DOCTOR
Thank you. I'd like some time to think ...

The DOCTOR and SHA'ATARA exit USR.
GARDENER and THORNE follow,
stopping only to glance once more at the poster.

The lights fade, leaving only the poster lit, then Blackout


ACT ONE SCENE EIGHT

The lights come up gradually on the hybrid in the form of PEGGY.
She is crouched on the ground wrapped in a ragged blanket, sobbing.

JOHNNY enters from USR.

JOHNNY
'Ullo?

He sees PEGGY.

Who are you? Miss?

PEGGY looks up. There are green veins all over her face.

PEGGY
Johnny.

JOHNNY
It's you, isn't it?

PEGGY
I thought ... I will hold this shape. I will become this person. I will kill no more, but ...

PEGGY spasms. JOHNNY automatically goes to her.

JOHNNY
I don't understand.

PEGGY
When I kill ... I change. And then I change back.

JOHNNY
I know, I know. I just ain't seen you, you know ... human.

PEGGY
There is something in the blood, that drives me …

JOHNNY
Me too …


PEGGY
Since I killed that time before … That which feeds me changes me also. When I hunger I change back, and I hunger again so soon ... I want to be human, Johnny. I want be this way for ever.

JOHNNY
I know, I know

PEGGY
I want to be with you, my only friend.

PEGGY starts to cry and JOHNNY holds her.

And I thought, perhaps I am simply weak. So I have been here, fighting it, fighting the change back to the thing that I truly am. It is so hard, Johnny.

JOHNNY
It's all right. It is. I been working Freakshows since I was a nipper, and I know what's what, really. You got it hard, I'll grant you, but leaves and tendrils is what you look like, not what you are.

PEGGY
No, Johnny. I had thought so. But no.

PEGGY pulls away.

I have worn too many faces now to believe that they are real. I am only human because you believe I am. Without that I am simply a thing that hungers and is alone, but ...

JOHNNY
But?

PEGGY turns, and drops the blanket to reveal her back. It is covered with glistening spore pods.

PEGGY
I will not be alone for long, Johnny.

JOHNNY, horrified
Good God ... what are those?

PEGGY turns to him, pulling up the blanket.

PEGGY
My babies.

JOHNNY
Babies? You mean ... like you? Babies like you?

PEGGY, happily
Oh yes. Just like me. I feel them growing, all of them, just like me. Johnny?

JOHNNY backs away, horrified.

What is it? What have I done?

JOHNNY
All the freaks I ever travelled with, none of 'em would 'ave wished their lot on another soul, and when sometimes one of 'em fell with child, no matter how happy they was they prayed and prayed that their kid'd be normal. And you're happy. Happy 'cos they'll be like you.

PEGGY
I have killed and killed and killed because you told me, more than I needed merely to survive, and this is the result. Choice is a luxury the like of you and me can't afford.
You said that.

JOHNNY
God forgive me ...

COLLINS and BARBER have entered from USR behind JOHNNY.

COLLINS
God help you, Johnny, if that's who it looks like.

JOHNNY
Mr. Collins! What?

COLLINS, pointing at PEGGY
We told you to get your pet monster to kill that tart, not bring her back here for you to play with.

JOHNNY
What? Wait! No. It ain't what it looks like, Mr. Collins ...

COLLINS
Barber, take the tart out back. Finish her.

BARBER strides over to PEGGY and grabs her.

JOHNNY
I wouldn't do that.

BARBER smirks.

COLLINS
You're in no position to-

JOHNNY
No, really Mr. Collins.

COLLINS
Take her outside while I talk to the Professor 'ere.

PEGGY
If you don't take your hands off me-

JOHNNY
No! Please. I can talk to him, no more bloodshed.

Reluctantly, PEGGY nods agreement. COLLINS contemptuously
waves BARBER away. BARBER drags PEGGY off USR.

Now, Mr. Collins, I know what you think, but that isn't who you think it is-

COLLINS punches JOHNNY in the stomach.

Uhf!

COLLINS
What were you thinking? No-one crosses me.

COLLINS pulls JOHNNY up by his lapels.

JOHNNY
If you give me time I'll get your money. There's no need-

COLLINS
I'll be the judge of that.

JOHNNY
But you don't understand-

COLLINS
I don't need to.

There is a hideous scream as the Hybrid kills BARBER off stage.

What?

JOHNNY
I tried to warn you.

The HYBRID enters USL , flinging its blanket aside.
It sees COLLINS grabbing JOHNNY.

COLLINS
Oh Jesus.

COLLINS releases JOHNNY and backs away. The HYBRID advances
on COLLINS. He draws a pistol, and fires several times. The HYBRID
flinches but continues. It grabs COLLINS.

JOHNNY, backing away
Oh no. Oh no.

COLLINS
No!

COLLINS screams, and is killed. JOHNNY flees USR.

HYBRID
Johnny ..?

Realising that it is alone, the HYBRID drops COLLINS
body and roars out in anguish. Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE NINE

The DOCTOR and SHA'ATARA enter GARDENER'S NURSERY
inside his TARDIS. There is a Gene Resequencer, with a row
of empty vials beneath it.

SHA'ATARA
Where should we look first?

DOCTOR
Shouldn't you be advising me to caution? Most of my other companions would be advising me to caution. They'd be telling me what a nice man my friend was and telling me I was a fool to suspect him.

SHA'ATARA
Of what?

DOCTOR
Of anything. Oh, I don't know. Something's ... wrong. Hullo, what's this?

The DOCTOR examines a set of plants.

SHA'ATARA
They look like hibernating Blood Orchids.

DOCTOR
It was a rhetorical question. Why should the Professor be breeding such a potentially dangerous species ...

The DOCTOR sees the Gene Resequencer.

Hello … and what on earth - and eighteen nineties earth, for that matter - is he doing hooking with a Gene Resequencer?

SHA'ATARA
I don't know. Or is that another rhetorical question?

The DOCTOR goes to work on the Gene Resequencer.

DOCTOR
Sha'atara, one of your greatest charms is, without a doubt, your delightful uncomplication ... Hold on a minute. this is very interesting.

SHA'ATARA
It is?

DOCTOR
The Resequencer has DNA traces of other animate and semi-animate plant species. Wolf weed. Vervoid, and ... oh dear ...

SHA'ATARA
Doctor?

DOCTOR
Krinoid. I have a horrible suspicion that my old friend has managed to get his green fingers well and truly burned.

The DOCTOR pulls out a vial. An alarm sounds.

SHA’ATARA
Doctor!

DOCTOR
I can’t leave potentially deadly genetic material where it can be misused, Sha’atara …

He pulls the green matter from the vial and wraps it in his handkerchief.
He places the vial back in place. The alarm continues.

SHA’ATARA
It didn’t work!

DOCTOR
You’re a help, thank you.

The DOCTOR fishes around in his pockets again and pulls out the banana skin.
He deftly pops it in the vial. The alarm stops.

There, see. Nothing to worry about.

THORNE appears from USR.

SHA'ATARA
Doctor!

SHA'ATARA draws her sword and approaches THORNE.
The DOCTOR backs away towards the entrance as they fight.

DOCTOR
Run, Sha'atara!

THORNE manages to wrest SHA'ATARA's sword away from her.

DOCTOR
If Thorne is what I think he is, you can't fight him.

She knocks ways his mask to reveal the hideous tendrilled face beneath.
She yells out in disbelief as simultaneously the exit is blocked by the sudden
entrance of JACK.

JACK
Halt!

DOCTOR
Oh dear ...


JACK raises his gun.

Blackout. Cue music.


INTERVAL


ACT TWO SCENE ONE

The DOCTOR and SHA'ATARA resume their positions inside
GARDENER'S TARDIS. The RESEQUENCER sounds.


The DOCTOR fishes around in his pockets again and pulls out the banana skin.
He deftly pops it in the vial. The alarm stops.

There, see. Nothing to worry about.

THORNE appears from USL.

SHA'ATARA
Doctor!

SHA'ATARA draws her sword and approaches THORNE.
The DOCTOR backs away towards the entrance as they fight.

DOCTOR
Run, Sha'atara!

THORNE manages to wrest SHA'ATARA's sword away from her.


DOCTOR
If Thorne is what I think he is, you can't fight him.

She knocks ways his mask to reveal the hideous tendrilled face
beneath. She yells out in disbelief as simultaneously the exit
is blocked by the sudden entrance of JACK.

JACK
Halt!

DOCTOR
Oh dear ...

He raises his gun.

JACK
Get out of my way! Both of you!

The DOCTOR and SHA'ATARA drop to the ground.
JACK opens fire. THORNE advances.
JACK fire again and THORNE roars with pain, and dies.

SHA'ATARA
You! You saved us!

The DOCTOR examines the corpse.

JACK
It was nothing.

SHA'ATARA
How dare you! How dare you place me in blood debt!


JACK, taken aback
What?

DOCTOR
As I thought. Thorne is no more than a Blood Orchid/Vervoid hybrid drone.
I’m surprised that the Professor only grew the one …

SHA'ATARA
I was going to save us! One step closer to freedom from this ... this ... annoying egotistical little man ...

DOCTOR
Little?! Five foot nine's not little. And as for annoying-

SHA'ATARA
And now it’s all snatched away! 27-18 to the Doctor, and 1-0 to ... to ...
who are you?

JACK removes his helmet.


DOCTOR
My word! Karnak!

JACK
It's good to see you again, Doctor. Who’s this?

DOCTOR
My companion Sha’atara, a Steel Valkyrie. You know of them?

JACK nods.

SHA'ATARA
Who is this? You know this ... this ..?

DOCTOR
A little before your time, Sha'atara. About six hundred years, in fact ...
this is Prince Karnak of the Jocastan Imperium.

JACK
It's just Karnak now, Doctor. I abdicated.

DOCTOR
Abdicated? You? Why on Earth would you want to do that?

JACK
After you managed to stop the Rani triggering a war between my people and the Q'uan Commune, my father and the Q'uan Matriarch decided that a blood match was the best way to seal the new treaty. I woke up one morning and found myself betrothed to a woman I had never even seen. I suppose indirectly I have you to thank for that.
Anyway, I renounced my throne and fled across space.

DOCTOR
Oh dear.

SHA'ATARA
You are royalty?

JACK
Yes, I am. As a matter of fact.

SHA’ATARA
Then an arranged marriage in the best interests of your people was no more than your duty.

JACK
Do you think so? The Q'uan are tentacled insectoids whose word for "father" is interchangeable with their word for "lunch" ... no, thank you.

SHA'ATARA
Oh ... Even so, you would disobey your family even at the price of war?

DOCTOR
I thought you rather liked wars?

SHA'ATARA
That's not the point. I despise cowards.

JACK
Look, it was my father who suggested the match, and the reason he suggested it was because the alternative would have been to give up the mining rights to the Dorani Asteroid Belt. The Q'uan happily settled for that instead, the treaty got signed, peace reigns and I'm still alive to enjoy it. Everybody's happy.

SHA'ATARA
Everybody except your father. What about him?


JACK
My father? Well, he was quite prepared to let me get my head bitten off in some weird alien postnuptial rite. That's not exactly what I'd call concerned parenting.

SHA'ATARA
You are nothing more than a self-seeking coward -

DOCTOR, interrupting
All right, all right, that's quite enough, thank you.
But what are you doing here now?

JACK
I've become a bounty hunter. I was hired by Professor Gardener. He said that there was a rogue alien loose in London, and I've been tracking it for a few months now ... When it feeds it involuntarily emits a subsonic territorial cry –

DOCTOR
Yes yes, no doubt inherited from its Blood Orchid ancestry.

SHA'ATARA, sarcastically.
No doubt.

JACK
- which is how I've been able to track it. I suspected there was something he wasn't telling me when I ran into your friend here earlier -

SHA'ATARA
And I defeated him.

JACK

You defeated me? As I remember-

SHA'ATARA
I would have, easily, if you hadn't pulled that grenade ...

JACK, choosing to ignore this
And she accused me of the murders, and that set me thinking.
I came back here for some answers. Where is the Professor?
DOCTOR
Now that, Karnak, is a most excellent question. Let me think ...

SHA'ATARA
It has escaped you every time?

JACK
It can change colour and shape, and it is fast. I've had it in my sights, blink, and it has disappeared, simply melting into the fog.

SHA'ATARA
What does it look like?

JACK
It has a man's shape, but it is a twisted, pitiful thing. It belongs in a freakshow.

DOCTOR
Yes, it does. In fact, it is! It is in a freakshow!

JACK
What?

DOCTOR
When we talked in that alleyway. The poster on the wall ... I thought it was seeing the death of the girl that had shaken him, but no, it was seeing the image of his creation on that tattered playbill ...

SHA’ATARA
I don’t understand. Why would Professor Gardener create such a creature?

DOCTOR
I have my suspicions … Come on, the pair of you!

They all exit. Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE TWO

COLLINS is lying dead on the ground. There is no sign of the HYBRID.

GARDENER enters from USL, with THORNE, and looks around.
Seeing COLLINS’ body, he stoops to examine it.

JOHNNY, off-stage
What took you so long? There’s two men dead here.

POTTS, off-stage
Just lead the way, Mr. McArdle

JOHNNY, off-stage
Did you bring a gun? For God’s sake tell me you brought a gun?

POTTS, off-stage
Do I need one?

JOHNNY, off-stage
I dunno. It ate Collins’ bullets like they was toffees.
Maybe a bigger gun, like a shotgun? Have you got a shotgun?

Hearing the sound of voices, GARDENER has nervously pulled
a sonic blaster from his pocket and hid USR with THORNE as
POTTS and JOHNNY enter USL.

POTTS
Good Lord, you weren’t lying …

POTTS examines the body.

Where’s the other one?

JOHNNY
Barber’s out back. His ‘ead’s near been torn off his body.

POTTS
Jerry Barber? Collins and Barber, you say? If it wasn’t for all the others,
this Bog Thing of yours would have done us all a favour, I reckon.

The DOCTOR, SHA’ATARA and JACK enter USL.

Doctor! What are you doing here?

DOCTOR
No need to ask you that, I see.

POTTS, seeing JACK
Here, ain’t that -?

DOCTOR
The Spring-Heeled Jack? Yes, it is. And no, he isn’t responsible for the murders, Inspector.

POTTS
I know that. Mr. McArdle here’s been telling me.

DOCTOR
I was rather hoping to find Professor Gardener here. You haven’t seen him, have you?

POTTS
Professor Gardener? No.

A device on JACK’s belt bleeps furiously.

What’s that?

JACK
My sonic tracer. Let me get the co-ords … Hyde Park. It’s killed again in Hyde Park.

JOHNNY
Oh Lord … She’s killed again.

DOCTOR
Excuse me … “she”?

JOHNNY
Well, I never knew before for sure what it was, but now she says she’s pregnant-

SHA’ATARA
Pregnant?

DOCTOR
Tully!

SHA’ATARA
What?

DOCTOR
Edwin Tully! Before Tully the Hybrid’s victims were all women. Ingesting male genetic material must have given it the ability to reproduce ... This is bad. This is quite astonishingly bad.

JACK
How bad?

DOCTOR
Very, very bad. Bad of Mandragora Helix proportions. If the Hybrid is ready to spore, I’d estimate that it needs only to feed a few more times … (to JOHNNY) You’re the “professor” on the poster? You have some sort of relationship with the Krinoid Hybrid?

JOHNNY
I guess.

DOCTOR, to JACK
How many can you carry with your grav-belt?

JACK
Perhaps two.

DOCTOR
You have to fly Mr. McArdle and myself to Hyde Park. Now.

SHA’ATARA
What? Why not me?

DOCTOR
If weapons are needed, Sha’atara, then Karnak has ample. If we need emotional leverage for some reason, then Mr. McArdle will be required. And I have to go. I’m the clever one.

SHA’ATARA
Too clever by half.

DOCTOR
I’ve never understood why that’s a bad thing. I have to go. Be a good girl, stay here with Inspector Potts, and wait for Professor Gardener to show his face. Come on, Karnak.

The DOCTOR, JACK and JOHNNY exit USL. There is a whooshing noise.

POTTS
Well then, Miss … it’s just you and me again.

SHA’ATARA
I hate waiting.


POTTS
Can’t be helped, Miss. “We also serve, we who only watch and wait …”

SHA’ATARA
If you ask me, that sounds like the biggest load of-

She stops, having noticed GARDENER and THORNE who have entered USR.
GARDENER shoots SHA'ATARA with the sonic blaster.
POTTS attacks THORNE and is felled with a single blow.

GARDENER
What have I done? What have I done? Good God …

He moves to leave, and stops.

I can make it right. Thorne, bring Potts and the girl.

THORNE nods and moves towards POTTS’ unconscious body.

I can make it all right … and only the Doctor can stop me.

Blackout.

ACT TWO SCENE THREE

There is the sound of wind, and leafy gobos dress the stage.

TOFFEE-APPLE SELLER
Toffee apples! Toffee apples! Get your toffee apples!

The TOFFEE-APPLE SELLER enters USL, carrying a tray of his wares.
The DOCTOR, JACK and JOHNNY enter from USR.
JACK is reading from his sonic tracer.

JOHNNY
Evening.

The TOFFEE-APPLE SELLER gives JACK a frightened look,
And scuttles wordlessly off USL.

JOHNNY
Charming.

JACK
It’s no good. We’ve lost it.

DOCTOR
Damnation!

JACK
What do you know about this … thing, Doctor?

DOCTOR
Not much. Supposition, for the most part. If it was going to spore, it would have
done so by now. Unless …

JACK
Unless?

DOCTOR
Perhaps it needs to rest. Or to feed again.

JACK
If it feeds again, we can find it.

DOCTOR
And then someone else has to die. This is not an acceptable option.
I have an idea. Give me your tracer.

He holds one hand out to JACK, fishing around in his pocket with the other.

JACK
But we’ll need it to-

DOCTOR
No, we won’t.

JACK hands him the sonic tracer.
The DOCTOR pulls out his sonic screwdriver.

I’ve always said, that if Mohammed can’t find the mountain,
then the mountain must come to Mohammed.

The DOCTOR sits cross-legged, and begins to pull the sonic tracer apart.

JOHNNY
Surely that ain’t right?

DOCTOR
Ssh!

JOHNNY looks at JACK, who shrugs. Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE FOUR

POTTS and SHA’ATARA are sat in chairs tied back-to-back in GARDENER’s TARDIS while GARDENER works at a console.

SHA’ATARA
This is so … so …

POTTS
So what, Miss?

SHA’ATARA
Embarrassing.

POTTS
Ah.

SHA’ATARA
I don’t know why I bother. The Doctor’s going to save my life, again.
I’m going to be in his blood debt forever.

POTTS
Of course, there are other ways of looking at it.

SHA’ATARA
There are?

POTTS
In China – or, at least, I think it’s China – they say that if you save a man’s life you become responsible for it. I always liked that idea myself.

SHA’ATARA
Yes. Blood debt.

POTTS
No. Being responsible isn’t the same as owing.

SHA’ATARA
That’s absurd.

POTTS
Is it? Gratitude shouldn’t make slaves of us. What are we worth then? Maybe the Doctor feels like he’s responsible for you now, but that don’t mean you owe him anything, or vice versa, for that matter.

SHA’ATARA
You say things that are so strange to me … and yet, I know that you are wise.

POTTS
Well, Miss, I’m not that wise. I wouldn’t be tied here in this chair if I was.

SHA’ATARA
Sha’atara. My name is Sha’atara.

POTTS
Mine’s Ernie. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Sha’atara.

GARDENER
For Pity’s sake! I’m trying to work here!

SHA’ATARA, sneering
Why don’t you just kill us, then?


POTTS
Oh, for Land’s sake Miss!

GARDENER, snaps
Don’t tempt me. (immediately apologetic) I’m sorry. I don’t want to kill you,
but I am a desperate man.

THORNE II enters carrying a tray of tools.

You’re only here in case the Doctor turns up and tries to stop me. I will free you after my work is done, I promise.

He takes a tool from the proffered tray and returns to work.

POTTS
What work would that be then, Professor?

GARDENER
I’m going to reverse the temporal flow in space-time and engineer a schism within localised elapsed causality.

POTTS
Ah. So, what work would that be then, Professor?

GARDENER
You, my dear Inspector, are currently sitting inside a time machine.
I’m not human, Inspector. I was exiled here by my race some time ago, and
a block was put in my brain to prevent me from ever using it again.

POTTS
Just as I suspected … (to SHA’ATARA) Mad as a hatter, Miss.

GARDENER
I understand that the same thing happened to the Doctor once … No matter. Unlike him,
I was able to prepare. I cloned the relevant RNA molecules from my body, and hid them. It was an easy process to reinstate them.


SHA’ATARA
Excuse me? What has that to do with anything?

GARDENER
Because it means I can use my TARDIS – sorry, Inspector, my time machine – to reverse the events of the past year so that they never happened. It’ll burn out the time rotor, but it will be worth it. My Hybrid will never have existed, let alone have killed all those innocent people.

POTTS
Why did you create it?


GARDENER
I had a plan … this place, this time, is very important to me. The Hybrid can change into the form of its victims. I had planned to use it to replace Victoria. It would have been a simple matter to keep it fed with the correct nutrients to keep it in that form, and then, through it, control the Empire. It proved less … malleable than I had envisaged. The Union Jack could have flown above a thousand worlds under my guardianship. And it will, I promise. It will.

SHA’ATARA, incredulous
You’re going to grow another one? After what it did?

POTTS
I’ll be jiggered if I’m going to be ruled by a blood-sucking Aspidistra.

GARDENER
A matter of a few hours … every event outside the TARDIS will never even have happened. And then, my dear Inspector, you’re not going to have any choice.

Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE FIVE

The DOCTOR is still working on the sonic tracer.
JACK and JOHNNY wait nervously.

DOCTOR
Bingo!

JACK
Doctor?

DOCTOR
The Krinoid Hybrid emits a Blood Orchid feeding cry – they’re a social species, living in a harsh environment. Hearing another cry, it should instinctively react.

The DOCTOR activates the sonic tracer. It emits a low throbbing noise.

Just you wait.

JOHNNY
I don’t think I can stand no more waiting.

With a roar, the HYBRID enters USL. The spores on its back are huge.

JACK
Your luck’s in.

JOHNNY
Oh my God …

The HYBRID looks wildly around, confused.
The DOCTOR places the sonic tracer on the ground and backs away.

DOCTOR
It doesn’t know what’s happening. It can hear another blood orchid …

JACK
I’ll shoot it-

DOCTOR
No! If you burst that spore sack … You know, you and Sha’atara have a
great deal in common.

JACK
Really? Do you think so?
DOCTOR
You have to reason with it, Mr. McArdle. I can take the Hybrid somewhere where it will be safe to breed and live as it chooses. It doesn’t have to die.

The HYBRID appears to realise that the sound is coming from the sonic tracer. It crushes the tracer, and the sound stops.

JOHNNY, stepping forward
It’s me …

HYBRID
Johnny?

JOHNNY
We can help you.

HYBRID
Help me?

JOHNNY
This Doctor bloke here … he can take you somewhere you’ll be safe.

HYBRID
Safe … my children safe …

JOHNNY
Yeah, at last. You can trust me. You know you can trust me. Ain’t I your friend?

HYBRID
Safe … like I was with you?

JACK
It’s working, Doctor!

HYBRID
Safe in another freakshow? Safe to be gawped at and stared at? Safe until you need me to kill again?

DOCTOR
Or perhaps not.

JOHNNY, moves towards HYBRID
No, it ain’t like that … you don’t understand. I always did the best I could,
didn’t I? Don’t I want what’s best for you? There’s lots who'd have found you like you was and just used you. I split the takings, didn't I? Sixty forty, fair and square?

HYBRID
You’re a real Gent, Johnny.

JOHNNY, relieved
There you go.

HYBRID
The only thing I have ever really feared is being alone, and you were my only friend.

DOCTOR, urgently, to JACK
Whatever happens, whatever I do, no guns. Trust me.

HYBRID
You were my only link to humanity. You were the only thing that made me feel human.

JOHNNY
Well, you ain’t alone.

HYBRID
No, I’m not. And I don’t need you.

The HYBRID grabs JOHNNY. He screams. The DOCTOR leaps forward.

DOCTOR
No!

He grabs JOHNNY and pulls him away from the HYBRID.
JOHNNY lands in a heap and JACK goes to him.

You need a snack? Come one, try me.

The HYBRID hesitates.

DOCTOR
Come on, you overgrown cabbage … come on!

The HYBRID grabs the DOCTOR and begins the feed.
They both scream, and the HYBRID collapses on top of the DOCTOR.

JACK
Doctor!

JACK rushes over to the DOCTOR, and helps him up.

DOCTOR
I’m sorry. I truly am.

JACK
For what? Are you all right?

DOCTOR
I will be … My body’s quite good at processing toxins, and I didn’t get much of the Hybrid’s blood in me. Even so … How’s Johnny?

JACK, examining JOHNNY
Not so lucky.

DOCTOR
Oh.
The TOFFEE-APPLE SELLER re-enters from USL, his tray empty and slung over his back. He is happily counting money in the palm of his hand.

He sees the HYBRID, then the DOCTOR and JACK crouched over JOHNNY’s body.

TOFFEE-APPLE SELLER
Oh my Lord …

He turns and flees USL again.

DOCTOR
We’d best get back to Sha’atara and the Inspector.
I think we’ve done enough here.

The DOCTOR stands and moves away.

JACK
Wait … I don’t understand. What happened to that thing?

DOCTOR
What? Oh, the Hybrid is violently allergic to Gallifreyan blood.

JACK
But how did you know that?

DOCTOR
It was a creation, Karnak. Professor Gardener had created a new and deadly
species, so he built in a fail-safe so that if it ever attacked him …
well, you know. We are both Time Lords, after all.

JACK
Yes, but … Doctor, how did you know?

DOCTOR
Oh, I didn’t know. Where would be the fun in that?

A blue strobe light flickers and a TARDIS time rotor is heard to engage.
JACK kneels back over JOHNNY. When the lights return to normal,
JACK is examining JOHNNY, and the DOCTOR is beside him.

JACK
Not so lucky.

The DOCTOR stands and looks wildly around, startled.
The TOFFEE-APPLE SELLER re-enters, his tray empty and slung over his back. He is happily counting money in the palm of his hand.

He sees the HYBRID, then the DOCTOR and JACK crouched over JOHNNY’s body.

TOFFEE-APPLE SELLER
Oh my Lord …

He turns and flees.

DOCTOR
Did you feel that?

JACK looks confused.

Of course not. You wouldn’t. You’re not a Time Lord. A small scale time schism, a prototype run for something much larger. Oh, Professor …

JACK
I don’t understand … and what happened to that thing?

DOCTOR
I don’t have time to explain. We have to get back to my Tardis immediately!

They race off USR. Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE SIX

GARDENER is still at work at his TARDIS console. SHA`ATARA fidgets.

GARDENER
Will you please stop fidgeting?

SHA’ATARA glares at him defiantly.

Look, I’m nearly done. I’ll free you as soon as the time shift has been accomplished.

There is the sound of the TARDIS door opening. The DOCTOR enters.

DOCTOR
Good evening, old chap.

SHA`ATARA
Doctor!

DOCTOR
Sha’atara. Inspector Potts.

GARDENER
Ah, Doctor. Where’s Karnak?

DOCTOR
Your pet hybrid got him, I’m afraid. Nice piece of work, by the way.

GARDENER
You stopped it. The same way stopped my other drone?

DOCTOR
You’ve cleared that up, I see. You were always very tidy minded, as I recall.

GARDENER
How ever did you pick the lock to my Tardis?

DOCTOR
The benefit of a misspent youth. Why on earth did you create the Krinoid Hybrid?

SHA’ATARA
He said he was going to replace Queen Victoria with it.

DOCTOR.
Ah. I see. You’re not seriously planning to engineer a time shift, are you?

GARDENER
Those people who died … are all dead by my hand, Doctor.

DOCTOR
If you wind it all back, you’ll still have killed them where it counts.

He puts his hand to his temple.

Right here. In your head.

GARDENER
That’s exactly the sort of weak guff you used to complain about being taught back at the Academy, as I recall.

DOCTOR
Time Lords can’t just change their pasts as they please. You know how much power we have. You know what we can do. Can we really trust ourselves not to remake mistakes if we never have to suffer the consequences of them? Should the whole of Gallifrey roll back time so we never made any of our mistakes in the first place?

GARDENER
It’s worth considering.

DOCTOR
I thought we were friends.

GARDENER starts to laugh.

GARDENER
My dear fellow. We were. We are. But what has that got to do with anything?
If my drone here has to kill you, I will be most upset – but please bear in mind that anything inside this Tardis will be unaffected by the rollback. In your case, death will prove unfortunately permanent.

DOCTOR
I expect that the temporal rollback will burn out your time rotor ... Your Tardis will be quite useless. You’ll be trapped.

GARDENER
Yes, well, this is all very interesting, but I’m rather busy right now, so if you’ll just join your friends over there …

DOCTOR
I see. What makes you think I don’t have some sort of plan? What makes you think I’d just walk in here without some way of stopping you?

GARDENER
I taught you. I believe that’s exactly what you’d do. I’ve watched you arrogantly bluff and improvise your way out of trouble again and again. I’ll take the chance.

DOCTOR
So you’re going to go back and try again, are you?

GARDENER
I don’t have time for this.

DOCTOR
Tell me, have you checked your Gene Resequencer lately?

GARDENER
What? What have you done?

GARDENER goes to the Resequencer, and pulls out the vials,
setting alarms off. He pulls out the banana skin.

DOCTOR
You’ve slipped up, Professor …

He looks at POTTS and SHA’ATARA for a reaction. There is none.

Anyway …

GARDENER
Where is it? Where is my Krinoid sample?

DOCTOR
It occurs to me that with a burned out time rotor, you’ll have no way of getting another

GARDENER turns off the alarm.


GARDENER
Tell me where it is!
DOCTOR
Or what? Is that some sort of a threat?

GARDENER
I’ll kill Potts and the girl.

SHA’ATARA, snarling
I would sooner die than be used as a hostage. We Steel Valkyrie do not fear to die.

DOCTOR
Exactly. If I do what you say and save her life again, it’ll just increase her blood debt to me. She’d never forgive me, and between you and me, old man, you’d be doing us both a favour. Kvetch kvetch kvetch, and she can’t play chess for toffee.

POTTS
Hang on … I don’t want to die.

DOCTOR
Sorry, old chap. You’re outvoted three to one. So you can kill them, and you can kill me, but I somehow doubt that Disraeli and the rest of Parliament are going to accept a six-foot banana as the Mother of the Empire. Now what you need is some way to break down my psychic defences, reach into my mind and just take what you want …

GARDENER
Rassillon's Gambit.

DOCTOR
As you say.

GARDENER
I don’t know what you’re playing at, Doctor, but I have your friends.
I hold all the cards.

DOCTOR
Threats, clichés … you’re really starting to get the hang of this villain thing, aren’t you?

GARDENER
I swear, I will have you killed.

DOCTOR, sarcastically
Oh yes, that’ll work. Be a sport, Play the game.

POTTS
What in the name of God is going on?

DOCTOR
Rassillon’s Gambit. It’s a bit like Chess, Inspector, and a bit like wrestling, but you can only play it if you’re telepathic. You don’t have a board: You play directly into your opponent’s mind. You don’t have pieces, as such: You have engrams, memory fragments. You plant a piece of yourself in your opponent’s head, resonating with his memory. He blocks or counters with his remembrances, his experiences. You take turns, and the loser is the one so overwhelmed – with grief, or joy, or anger – that he cannot make his move. Checkmate. It helps to know your opponent’s mind, but, more importantly, you have to know your own.

SHA`ATARA
See? He tells you and you’re still none the wiser.

DOCTOR
Your move first, Professor. Play the game.

GARDENER
Very well …

Fade in the beating of a heart.

I remember leaving Gallifrey in shame. I remember the walk to this Tardis, escorted by Guards who wouldn’t speak my name because it had been stripped from me, knowing my life as a Time Lord was over, that I would never see my friends or colleagues or wife again, and

DOCTOR
and as the door closed and the Time Rotor engaged I knew that Earth would be my home forever. The look on Susan’s face as we fled and she asked again and again for her mother … Never being entirely sure if running was the right thing to do. Never knowing if what I was doing was selfish or for the best and never being able to forget what I had done …

The DOCTOR rallies himself. He counters with:

I recall the Genesis of the Daleks, and the enormity of my decision then, the fate of an entire species lying in my hands, suspended between two fragile pieces of wire.
Did I make the right choice? Should I have killed Davros’ evil then or

GARDENER
or should I have destroyed him and spared the cosmos. Could I really play God in that way? What right do I have? That girl in that alley, like a broken doll …

GARDENER goes on the attack.

All those faces in front of me, all looking for me to tell them about the cell structures and environments of things most would never see and feeling contemptuous, feeling trapped in that role, dreaming of going out into space again, abandoning my life and walking the stars, responsible for no-one, selfish and alone …

DOCTOR
Desolate and alone when Adric died, knowing I couldn’t save him and I couldn’t just turn back time and save him without making a mockery of everything mortal sentients live for.

GARDENER
How could I be so selfish as to imagine that I could decide who should live and who should die for a common good that I decided?

DOCTOR
Bad move, Professor.

GARDENER
I remember …

DOCTOR
I remember …

They stand facing one another, the heartbeat pulsing in the background.

POTTS
What are they doing?

SHA’ATARA
I think … When I play Chess with the Doctor and then I think so hard the world goes away and I do not speak …

There is the sound of a TARDIS. THORNE looks wildly around.

POTTS
Here! I’ve heard that before …

JACK rushes in from USR.

GARDENER, breaking out of his reverie
What?

DOCTOR, distracting him
I remember ….

JACK ducks as THORNE shoots at him.
GARDENER tries to reach the console.

GARDENER
You can’t –


DOCTOR
I remember -

JACK shoots THORNE.

GARDENER, sudden;y caught up in the DOCTOR’s memory again.
My wife’s face as they took her away and she realised it was I who had betrayed her –

DOCTOR
The console, Karnak! As I told you!

JACK activates a control on the console. The time rotor activates.


GARDENER
No!

There is a great flash, then blackout. The lights come up slowly on the DOCTOR, JACK, SHA’ATARA, POTTS and THORNE’s body.
GARDENER is gone.

DOCTOR
Is everyone all right?

JACK moves over to POTTS and SHA’ATARA to untie them.

POTTS
I don’t understand? What happened? Where’s Professor Gardener?

DOCTOR
Oh, somewhere back in his own timeline, I’d imagine. We Time Lords and our Tardis’ share a certain rapport, Inspector. When Karnak here aborted the temporal energy build up, it had to go somewhere, and, as I surmised, it was the Professor who caught the brunt.

POTTS, to JACK
Where did you come from?

JACK
If I’d have come in the way the Doctor did I expected I might be gunned down by Thorne, or maybe one of you might have been hurt. I used the Doctor’s Tardis to enter Gardener’s so I could take him by surprise.

DOCTOR
And, ordinarily, as the Professor would have immediately noticed another Tardis landing inside his own and taken steps, it was up to me to provide a distraction, which I did. Rather elegantly as well, I felt. Do you understand?

POTTS looks at the DOCTOR, then at SHA’ATARA.

SHA’ATARA
Just nod, and say yes. It’s easier.

DOCTOR
Anyway … our work here is done. Where did you leave my Tardis parked, Karnak?

JACK
I’ll show you, Doctor. I don’t suppose I could trouble you for a lift?

DOCTOR
Not a problem at all. In fact, right after I’ve let Gallifrey know to retrieve Gardener’s Tardis, we’ll stop off at Jocasta Prime.

JACK
That’s not a good idea.


DOCTOR
Nonsense! Your father owes me a few favours, so I should think we’ll be able to get it all straightened out and you won’t have to marry anyone who might kill you on your wedding night.

JACK looks longingly at SHA’ATARA.

Unless you want to, that is. Come on, Sha’atara.

SHA’ATARA
I want to stay.

JACK
But your blood debt!

SHA’ATARA
No, I wish to stay here. If the Doctor ever needs me then I will be here for him,
and I will pay what I owe then.

JACK
I meant your blood debt to me!

SHA’ATARA
There is much here I wish to learn. I want to stay with Ernie.

DOCTOR
“Ernie”?

POTTS
I’d like that, Miss … Sha’atara. I never met anyone like you before.

DOCTOR
Have a nice life, Sha’atara. And it’s nice to have met you, Inspector.

POTTS
Likewise, I’m sure – except for the murders and monsters and all the other bits I don’t understand.

Grinning, the DOCTOR turns to leave.

JACK
Put I’m a Prince …

DOCTOR
Oh, do put a sock in it.

JACK and the DOCTOR exit.

POTTS
Well …

SHA’ATARA
Well.

POTTS
What happens now?

SHA’ATARA kisses POTTS aggressively. He stiffens, and then relaxes.
They pull apart.

One thing I still don’t understand.

SHA’ATARA
One thing?

POTTS
Where exactly is Professor Gardener?

Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE SEVEN

There is a loud knocking.

GARDENER, off-stage
Yes! All right ... for pity's sake ...

The knocking stops as GARDENER enters in his dressing gown.
THORNE enters the DSR door, leading CHIEF INSPECTOR POTTS.

GARDENER
Chief Inspector Potts!

POTTS
Evening sir ... sorry about the interruption.

GARDENER
It's close to two in the morning, man. I was having the strangest dream ...
No, it's gone. But I'm sure it'll come back to me.

Cue End Music. Blackout.