Daleks: Invasion Earth - 2150 A.D.
First Three Chapters
The ancient city of London lay vast, silent and utterly desolate. Nothing now but a husk of burned out ruins, overrun with weeds, nettles and other wild flora. As the sun rose above it, casting shadows upon its state of decay, the weeds crept across the derelict buildings and empty streets, with a ferocious malignant spread. All along the river, the capital lay devoid of life, just a memory now, propped up by its many vestiges of decaying bridges, rusting buses and other vehicles, all so much twisted browning metal, dissolving with the fall of the next rains. Along the embankment, retail shops lay abandoned to the elements: faded street signs, hung limply over the broken display windows, whilst dusty mannequins rotted in the rising sun. Nothing alive stirred, not even for the sound of birds twittering in the dead trees or cats purring on the roofs of the scorched garden sheds. A city of the dead, deafened by silence, where no life existed above ground, unless it chose to face death but nobody wanted to die. Not unless of course, you had already lost your mind.
Then the silence was suddenly shattered, by the stark crunch of broken bricks, as a boot stepped down upon the rubble with a heavy thud, clad in black leather. Then, one in front of the other, the pair of boots clambered over the debris, that littered the embankment, marching across the broken landscape, its owner clad in black, driving head long, drawn inexorably towards the river and ultimate freedom. The Zombie Soldier stumbled onwards, his gaunt colourless features, wreaking of decay. He thought nothing of disregarding his laser rifle, dropping it to the ground with a clatter, followed by his trusty whip, which he also tossed aside with wanton abandonment, compelled by the one thought that his own madness would finally come to an end.
As he reached the rivers edge, its waters gently lapping before him, he stood there motionless, staring blankly ahead, through the visor of his helmet. With pained deliberation, he clutched the helmet with both hands and yanked it from his head with an agonised, deafening scream. Then, dropping it to his feet, he proceeded to step into the waiting waters, wading out deeper and deeper, until his lonely cries were swallowed up beneath the stirring waves and choking reeds. And then he was gone, leaving behind him, only the silence of the dead city...
Fugue For Thought
The local bobby on the beat, thought the get-away driver, clocking the constable as he approached in the dead of night. Perfect. Just what they needed. He checked his watch: it was getting nearer the time. If he didn’t act quickly he reckoned, then PC Plod over there would ruin everything. It was dark enough though, he could easily take him by surprise from behind. Quietly, he exited the car, hidden in the shadows. As he approached, he sized up the copper as young but not that young: a real plumb, meandering along, as he patrolled the empty high street, mulling over the late night window dressings of the shops and businesses, all locked up and closed for the evening.
Oblivious to his attacker, it was just another late night for one Police Constable Tom Campbell, officer of the law and all that. K-Division no less, patrolling the streets of London’s notorious West Ham. Quiet night tonight though, he thought, nothing much happening anywhere, everyone’s in bed for a change, probably too much to drink from the night before. After all, most of the yobs were presently off to see Southampton play this weekend.
Tom preferred it like this though, no, drunks, no headaches, just peace and quiet for a change. On a quiet night like tonight, he could let his mind wonder, perhaps further than the beat he trod would normally allow. To pass away the hours, he hummed his favourite jazz tunes, some more than others however, would stick in his head like a broken record.
Tonight’s ear-worm was Fugue for Thought, the piano ensemble by Bill McGuffie and his Orchestra. As London’s premier pianist, McGuffie had learned to play with just nine fingers. Imagine that? Nine! I should have taken up piano when I had the chance, thought the constable and then thought better of it. Best just stick to kicking a football around. Which reminded him: he had a game this Sunday with the lads.
Until then, here he was: patrolling the empty midnight streets, essentially doing window shopping, for things he could never afford. In the high street, he spied upon the window displays in a Thomas Cook travel agents: The impressive model of a jet airliner, the large colourful photos of beautiful exotic woman, living the dream in the sun. Places he’d never afford to get to, not on his salary.
He had to get up the career ladder if he wanted to do that: Detective Inspector! Now that was where the real money was. Solving proper crimes. Making a difference. Tom wished more than anything, to get promoted and make a real difference. Instead of this endless plodding, if only to have pleased his strict regimented father, dead these past five years, a former Superintendent, disappointed in his sons lack of initiative.
Time was getting on. How many years had he been in the force now? Six ? Seven? Most of Toms peers had cushy little numbers now, with exotic holidays to boot. But not him. If he was lucky, he might afford a brief holiday in Torquay in Devon but nothing as exciting as a real jaunt: somewhere off the beaten track as it were, a real adventure! Oh he could dream, he smiled.
As the constable leant against the frame of the Travel Agents window display, he became aware of somebody looming in the reflections but turned around too late: his assailant was already upon him. Several blows to the back of his head and that was it, the world went sideways, beaten with his own truncheon. Enraged and frustrated, the mind was still willing, but his body was not.
Suddenly the jewellery shop across the road, exploded. Alarm bells began ringing, Tom looked up dizzily and saw two heavy set men in Burberry Caps, appear from the bellowing smoke, carrying (of all things) Barometers and whatever jewellery they could lay their hands on. Tom couldn’t believe it: London’s notorious Barometer Brothers had struck again! As he lay there bleeding, Tom watched helplessly as the robbers jumped into the back of the getaway car.
Shaking his head, he scrabbled to his feet, blowing his whistle as he futilely tried to pursue them down the road on foot, throwing his truncheon, which merely bounced off the bonnet, as the car sped off into the night. Tom kept running, trying to get the licence plate but it was no use, they were gone.
He cursed his misfortune, had he been paying more attention, he would have surely noticed his attacker clocking him from the waiting getaway vehicle. You idiot Tom! Instead of keeping your eye on the ball, now you were paying the price for your stupid day dreaming! All his training had gone out the window with the barometers. Observe everything. Take nothing for granted.
The Barometer Brothers, (aptly named by the press), had been hitting jewellery shops all over the city and were known for the theft of highly collectable and rare Barometer clocks, that they could then sell onto private collectors. Tonight’s attack would make it their thirteenth robbery in six months and still no leads for Scotland Yard as to the perpetrators identity.
The Jewellers shop front was now in smouldering pieces, with shattered glass sprawling across the pavement and onto the road. Alarm bells echoing down the streets, waking up everyone and his dog. It was not looking good. Tom was in big trouble. There was more at stake here, than just a insurance claim on a handful of jewellery and some bloody barometers.
Tom’s mind raced with thoughts of deliberation: His life was over. How could he let this all happen? How was he going to explain all this to his superiors? So much for climbing the career ladder, he thought. So much for making a difference.
Toms career up to now, hadn’t exactly been exemplary: Only the month before, he completely bungled to stop kids stealing sweets from the local corner shop for the umpteenth time or deterring the drunks from vandalising the high street on a Saturday night. His entire career seemed to be a long string of unsolved crimes and ineffectual policing. Now it was The Barometer Brothers and after all, there was three of them. It was all planned and he had been ambushed. It wasn’t my fault ! It wasn’t my bloody fault !
If his father, the Superintendent was still alive, he would most likely throw the book at him for sure. At this rate he’d be demoted right down to traffic warden.
Staring down the empty street, he saw nothing but the gloom and various house lights flickering on. Then across the road, he saw an old battered Police Box…
It was hard not to miss the flashing blue lamp atop of the old Police Box just across the road: it stood there on the street corner, where no earthly Police Box should be. It was odd because Tom had never noticed it there before and he was sure he knew these streets like the back of his hand…well, he was pretty sure anyway.
Maybe it had just been installed? No. It looked old. Like it had been there for years. Nobody could miss it: a tall rectangle, beat up concrete and wooden blue box, with its stepped pitched roof (in need of repair) and a flashing blue lamp. An old blue box, surrounded by pairs of little square windows on each side of its many panelled facia’s, painted a multitude of times, with a multitude of blue paints, that had flaked off over the years. A weathered veteran of the Metropolitan Police Force, bearing the illuminated signs above its doors, that even said Police (public call) Box and yet…
Doubt is a terrible thing. The presence of it in his life, bothered him even more than the actual crime itself. If he’d failed to even notice it on a beat he’d done a thousand times, then what hope was there of ever reaching the giddy heights of Detective Inspector?
He felt a pain on the back of his head and stumbled towards the waiting Police Box with all the intention to go inside and cry, then work his way up to calling the police station. Perhaps call them first and cry later. Maybe just slump in a chair and then call them. He didn’t know what to do really. His head was throbbing with pain.
Except, as he entered, there wasn’t the usual messy broom cupboard with a table and chair and a telephone: instead there was huge illuminated room, full of computer banks and control panels and flashing neon tubes! A massive control room inside a tiny phone booth! ! What was this place? This was no Police Box ! How could this be? I must be hallucinating! That’s it. He was dreaming. But no, he was awake, he was sure of it, bloody Fugue for Thought, was still worming through his brain, all nine fingers of it.
Either way, this must be real. But how could it be larger on the inside? It just didn’t make any sense! Then he saw three people dotted about it, operating various switches and levers: Two women and an old man. As he entered, they turned to look at him, just as shocked and surprised, before the room began to spin and everything went utterly dark…
A Brief History of Time…
For the first time in a Rellian,* the Dalek Emperor was faced with a real dome-dinger of a migraine. As if his great green brains were being repeatedly pummelled, by a lemon in a wet sock. His many green tentacles curled around him in despair, he sat perplexed and throbbing within his Dalek casing, surmounted by a large golden sphere, that cocooned him from all external elements.
Around him lay the cathedral like throne room: an immense domed chamber, lined with copper panelling, dominated by the great Tele-Visualizer Screen, hanging above it, flicking though various celestial bodies, searching for a compatible donor. He regarded these fleeting images: weighing the pros and cons of each, like a interstellar Goldilocks fretting over the right type of bed, the right type of chair or a bowl of porridge that was just right.
He just wanted things as they used to be, when the Dalek Empire was never having it so good: when great strides had been made in technical advancements, space travel, weapons upgrades and successful occupations of the outer worlds, subjugating all that stood in their way. And yet, despite all this, they were dying.
* Rellian – (Rell-ian): a Dalek measurement of time. Equal to 60 Earth years.
Their great Dalek Armada, was almost depleted from costly battles with the Mechonoids. To make matters worse, their home world Skaro, was running out of resources and the planets electromagnetic core, could no longer sustain the Dalek Empire and its cities.
As the homeland was dying, so too would the military outposts they had set up on the conquered worlds. Even drawing upon energy from their Sun, could not satisfy the requirements of their infrastructure: solar power was too unreliable as a constant power source, due to the nature of inclement solar weather.
There was no two ways about it: the Daleks planet needed a new electromagnetic core. Their survival depended upon it. That much was clear. So the Emperor scanned the heavens for a suitable donor, a compatible substitute, a planet with a rotating core, that’s electro-magnetic revolutions would suffice, in restoring the Dalek Empire to its former glory. He considered the desert planet of Aridious Three and the numerous worlds in the Kelsar System, all of which were either too far away for an extraction or posed too many headaches for a feasible Dalek invasion force.
Then he found it. A small blue planet, orbiting a small yellow Sun, within their locality. A planet with a spinning metallic core of iron, essentially a huge self perpetuating dynamo, giving off all the kinetic electrical energy that they would need. The Daleks had only to draw upon that power, like a light bulb draws from a battery.
But it would entail a great feat of engineering, in order to remove this planet from its current orbit and bring it across the immense void of space, into the heart of the Dalek Empire.
The Dalek Emperor thought long and hard about the provisions for conquering this world. Its biped inhabitants had blown every chance of utilising the planets boundless free energy or they would have exploited it eons ago but instead they insisted on the reliance of inefficient fossil fuels.
Humans. The very thought of them, left the Emperor reeling with disdain. His great golden sphere of a head turned and reviewed the flashing images of Earths past events, on the Tele-Visualizer Screen above. He watched the evolution of man in a blink of an eyestalk: from simple carnivorous cave dwellers, to fashion laden vegetarians, obsessed with mobile communication devices, on a planet that was totally wasted on them.
Yet it didn’t stop there: an entire culture based on an illogical concept they called Love. Yet it wasn’t even real. The Emperor found no empirical evidence to support such an outrageous notion. They even wasted their energies on concocting ridiculous imaginings and holding great gatherings in their fragile cities, to honour them. Worst still, they made something they called Rock and Roll and something called Dancing. The Dalek Emperor saw no point to any of it, as far as he was concerned, such things were irrelevant.
Like many distant worlds spread across the Universe, the planet Earth seemed to be a world totally at odds at itself. While one continent engaged in these so called artistic affairs, another country engage in a more tangible concept the Emperor understood: War!
He mulled over their war like history: littered with atrocities, enslavement, mass genocide, the destruction of their own environment. An endless succession of Alphurians, all fighting to be top dog, making primitive war machines, in order to make the whole business of warfare, that little bit more efficient.
It all reminded the Emperor of his Dalek forefathers, they too were like these ridiculous Earthlings: weak and pathetic. Sooner or later The Human Race would annihilate each other, much as the Dalek forefathers had done and then its survivors, withered and mutated by radiation, would face the inevitable truth: that they would have to embrace the machine, if they were to survive.
They would have to think like a machine, act like a machine and ultimately live within the metal casing of a machine. This was the Dalek Solution and it worked. Daleks never suffered the cold or the heat, they never required companionship or love. They felt no pity or remorse for the countless worlds they had conquered and enslaved and their battle computers kept them occupied with the latest updates on military innovations.
The more the Emperor thought about it, the more his migraine suddenly receded: Few planets in the locality had a heart that beat as strong as the Earths, plus it was a lot nearer (and more importantly), it was a defenceless mess: ruled by selfish, bickering dictators, busy blowing each other to smithereens. It was a done deal. All that was needed was to rally the troops. The time was now, thought the Emperor: Earth was ripe for the taking…
Meanwhile back on Earth, mankind had overthrown its selfish bickering dictators, established an Unconditional Basic Income* for the general well being of all and was finally reaching for the stars. By the middle of the 22nd Century, it had begun colonising the outer worlds, mainly Mars. It wasn’t much but it was a start.
* Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) a periodic cash payment unconditionally paid to everyone, regardless
of their employment status, wealth, marital status, or any other circumstances. An economic safety net, so nobody
lives in poverty which will in turn, free the creative, entrepreneurial instincts of the population.
In England, the New Renaissance had arrived: signalling a new era in art, music and poetry, the likes of which the world had never seen, with London now a swinging hot spot, enjoying a return to a nostalgia based on the popular fashions of the 1960s.
The old Brutalist spikey architecture, that had so blotted the landscape in the century previously, had now been demolished and a new wave of young vibrant architects had sought to restore the older, more Victorian buildings or have them totally rebuilt.
Subsequently old Brickwoods style pubs and cobbled market squares were rebuilt exactly as they had been around the 1960s.
Camden Town, Brick lane, Knotting Hill, Covent Garden, Petticoat Lane, Portobello Road… etc. All would be injected with the architectural flair of the period and the people loved it. By 2135Ad London had essentially transformed from a dirty concrete mess, to a beautiful citadel of striking parks and gardens and retro fitted shops.
The Sixties Revival was now well underway. The return of the old fashioned Red Rout Master London Buses, Red Pillar Boxes, Blue Police Boxes, Mo-peds, Mini Coopers, Panda Cars and Bubble cars.
Tourists dressed in accordance: women in Bombshell hairdos, Flipped Bobs and Beehives etc, men with Mop Tops, Crew Cuts and The Afro and so on.
A return to traditional musical instruments played by real people, old style record players, Tv sets and transistor radios. The previous Brutalist style of filmmaking, (often depicting the future of mankind as depressing and gloomy) soon gave way to remakes of 1960s Ealing Style comedies and musicals.
Even the ever prevalent cellular phones and other personal communication devices, with their endless myriad of applications, that dominated the last two century’s, soon became old fashioned. People wanted old fashioned spin-dial telephones, while the idea of social media was increasingly frowned upon.
No longer were the populace staring for endless hours at computer screens, or living in a computer generated dream world. Now they wanted to go and out and meet real people, at a real old time dance hall or in a retro-fitted pub. In fact, anyone visiting the place would think they were back in the 1960’s, even time travellers…
It was only a year ago, that the young school teacher began her fantastic travels in time. Before that Louise’s life was a mess: A dead end teaching job at Coal Hill School, teaching dead end kids, dead end science, dictated to by an out-dated curriculum, which she had no say over and as a result, none of the kids were remotely interested.
To make matters worse, her marriage was on the rocks: an alcoholic husband who would become violent. It was all getting too much for her. She wanted to change her life drastically. All she wanted was time to think about her future. It was all a matter of Time.
Driven to despair, she approached her cousin Barbara Chesterton about it over coffee and her husband (Ian), suggested she needed to get away. How about staying with Barbara’s Grandfather for a while? An inventor known only as the Doctor. After all, she was his niece. But Louise had reservations about staying with a relative she’d only met on a handful of occasions. They hadn’t seen each other in years, not since the funeral.
All she really knew about him, was that he was a rather quaint and eccentric old man, with a propensity for Victorian clothes, who cared for Barbara’s younger sister Susan, after their parents were killed in an automobile accident.
In the end, Louise packed a suit case and left her old life. She went to the nearest phone box and called Barbara’s Grandfather for help. In a matter of hours, she was on his door step and the Doctor and Susan welcomed her with open arms.
The Doctors house was a small semi detached house in the suburbs, down in Knotting Hill: with thread bare carpets, old ticking grandfather clocks and piles of comics everywhere. He was an avid reader of science fiction but what most intrigued her of all, was his collection of strange mechanical devices and inventions, that lay about the place, that he said belonged to something he was working on but wouldn’t say exactly what.
He was also a dreadful hoarder: collecting bicycle wheels and motor bike engines and salvaging electronic equipment from skips. To top it all, he had a ruddy great Police Box sitting in the back garden, which he was always pottering about in!
That evening, they sat around the large dinning table, tucking into a splendid roast, that Susan had prepared and my! What a change in the girl, thought Louise, fervently bowled over by her cooking but more impressed by her intellect.
For a ten year old, she was certainly bright for her age but also very allusive, especially about what school she was attending, quickly changing the conversation to the subject of science. It was a subject Louise was most passionate about but Susan made her feel like a novice, as if she knew nothing of science at all, particularly when they crossed swords on the school curriculum, regarding relativity.
‘Yes but…’ Corrected Susan tucking into the roast, ‘what about the Fourth and Fifth dimensions?’ Louise looked at her confused and then at the Doctor, who grinned, proud of his young protégée.
‘Well what about them?’ Said Louise, cutting into the roast chicken.
‘Space and Time! The Fourth and Fifth dimensions! Surely we can explore those, as equally as any other dimension?’
‘Well I hadn’t really thought about it Susan. Its not realistically a practical way of looking at the world, now is it?’
‘No…’ sighed Susan in dismay ‘I suppose not.’ And continued to eat in silence. It was clear that Louise didn’t understand where she was coming from. The idea of exploring other dimensions was completely alien to her. Then her Grandfather winked knowingly at her and she smiled. They couldn’t wait to show her the Doctors latest invention: Tardis.
But only The Tardis her self, really knew anything about anything: She knew at least, that the Doctor hadn’t invented her at all. He just assumed he did. After all, he suffered from amnesia. The Time Machine knew that much and would often groan, with a disheartened rasp, whenever the Doctor dropped the ‘the’ from her name and annoyingly referred to her, embarrassingly as: ‘This is TARDIS!’
And only the Tardis knew of their long turbulent journey: of how they had defeated their greatest enemies but not without great cost. How the Doctor suffered a massive head trauma, barely making it back to the ship alive, before regeneration and how in all the chaos, The Tardis, badly damaged, was forced to make an emergency escape from destruction, by flying through The Medusa Cascade.
The Tardis wished she could explain their fantastic journey, (even to another Tardis) of how they had spun for a millennia, falling through a crack in time and space, where she had no option but to jettison her entire plethora of rooms and corridors, in order to make a emergency landing. Everything had to go: the library rooms, the living quarters, even the on-board swimming pool. It was that or not have enough power to safely land anywhere. All that was left was the main control room and the men’s toilets (out of order) as they traversed the great crack in time and space.
A turbulent journey, they arrived on the other side and by some miracle, they had landed back on Earth…
But it wasn’t the same Earth, the Tardis had known, for they had materialised in another universe. A universe where perhaps The Time Lords had never existed, on an Earth which had never known of the threats it would soon come to face. An twentieth century London, England where the Doctor had completely forgotten how to operate the Tardis until decades later, when his new grand daughter Susan had rediscovered the Doctors time machine, calling to her, buried in the bushes and weeds out in his wife’s back garden.
When Louise came to stay with Susan and her Grandfather, she really had no idea what she was letting herself in for. It all came to a head the very next morning, when Louise saw them up at the crack of dawn, messing about again with the old rickety Police Box in the back garden.
From her bedroom window, she spied though the curtains, watching them moving junk back and forth across the garden: big heavy pieces of machinery from the garage, that they carried into the blue box. Over and over they were dong this. At one point she thought they couldn’t fit another thing in there, when to her amazement, into the Police Box again they went, carrying a couch, length ways.
An hour later, Louise was horrified. Susan was still messing about in the garden. It was well after 9am and it was a school day: Surely the girl should be in class? Not flapping about with an old rickety Police Box with her Grandfather. And what were they doing to it anyway? She came down and quizzed Susan in the kitchen, her clothes covered in dust from moving furniture and machinery.
‘We’re fixing TARDIS!’ She said, as the Police Box outside groaned, with another disheartened rasp. She then put her hand over her mouth, as if she had just let the cat out of the bag. Louise looked at her confused.
‘TARDIS? What on earth are you talking about child?’ Susan reluctantly went on to explain that the Police Box was called Tardis and that it stood for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space and that the Police Box wasn’t really a Police Box, it was actually a time machine! Poor child, thought Louise. She’s really losing it. Susan bowed her head and tried to leave but Louise blocked her, putting her hands on Susan’s shoulders.
‘Please Susan. What is going on around here? Why aren’t you at school?’ Susan broke away, insisting on her crazy story about the time machine and that it that had once taken them to another planet, where they fought metal monsters and saved the peace loving Thals from extermination !
Then the Doctor appeared in a similar state and she demanded he tell her what the hell the two of them had been doing all morning in the garden, with that dirty old Police Box. The Doctor smiled in a shifty kind of way and regarded Susan’s rather guilty expression.
‘Oh nothing!’ He smiled with a deep sigh. He then skirted around the question and hummed to himself. ‘Could you put the kettle on dear, I’ll just get changed!’ Louise went after him, as he hummed all the way towards the bathroom.
‘Doctor ! I need to have a word with you – it’s about Susan! I’m worried!’
‘Yes dear…’ He said jovially, washing his hands and face.
‘She’s coming out with fantasy’s about time machines and fighting robots!’
‘Good heavens!’ Scoffed the Doctor chuckling to himself. ‘Is she really?’
‘Well, aren’t you going to say something to her?’ She said exasperated. ‘…and why isn’t she at school?’
‘Oh my dear, she doesn’t need schooling! No-no-no! I teach her here! At home!’ Louise couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
‘You teach her!’ She said in outrage. ‘But she needs a proper school environment, she needs to be around children of her own age!’
‘Oh my dear Louise!’ He said wiping his face with a towel.
‘That dreadful school she was attending wasn’t teaching her anything of use! Did you know they haven’t changed the curriculum in forty years! Forty!’ At least they could agree on something, thought Louise but it wasn’t up to either of them to decide on the education of a child.
‘Further more!’ Added the Doctor, ‘…she can learn a lot more from me, than she’ll ever learn in a class room full of old dusty books!’
‘Such as what?’
‘Science! Real science, with practical applications!’ And before Louise could protest, Susan was calling to them.
‘Teas ready!’ The Doctor changed in the bathroom and re-appeared in his usual Victorian garb and went back downstairs again.
‘But you cant take Susan out of school!’ She protested, running after him. ‘She has to study for her exams, she needs qualifications!’ Susan regarded Louise solemnly, as she followed the Doctor into the kitchen.
‘Don’t worry Louise!’ She said ‘I’m fine, really I am!’
‘You’re not fine!’ Snapped Louise. ‘Uncle please, you’re not listening to me! She has to go to school!’
But the Doctor wasn’t listening. He was already walking back out again into the garden, carrying one of the small complex devices that lay on the kitchen table. Louise stormed after him. How dare he walk away from her! She followed him into the garden, as he quickly disappeared into the old Police Box and closed the door.
‘Doctor?’ She said rapping on the doors ‘Doctor what are you doing in there?’
‘Louise!’ Cried Susan running out to join her. ‘Just let it go!’ She turned to regard the girl. She’s throwing her life away! She thought. She didn’t want Susan to struggle and make the same mistakes she had made. Then she pulled open the blue panelled door and stormed inside…
One year later: Disappointed with his recent visit to the Orwellian Earth of the 21st Century, the Doctor was extremely looking forward to his next trip through time and space, mainly a jaunt to The New Renaissance and swinging London in the mid 22nd Century, after picking up a brochure about it in 2035 at the Mars Colonies.
Subsequently he advised his companions to dress appropriately. Louise however hadn’t quite got the hang of it, dressed in a sort of tweed coat (with wings under the arms) and huge lapels, complete with matching culottes shorts, leading to long black stockings and a pair of white leather boots with two double zippers up the front. Overall she looked like a female Sherlock Holmes.
Then again neither had the Doctor, in his usual white shirt with a high collar surmounted with a blue silk neckerchief, all wrapped within a golden brown velvet blazer jacket, and yellow waist coat, with solid gold pocket watch to boot. Susan seemed to have a better grasp with what she thought most children her age might be wearing: a white shirt and an old fashioned red box jersey pleated dress, with long white socks and brown school shoes, plus a blue duffel coat but she wasn’t terribly happy with it all.
Their attempts to swing by London on March 31st 1966 and go shopping for more clothes, hadn’t quite worked out of course, as they arrived when all the stores had already closed. Stupid machine! Thought the Doctor. It was hopeless at punctuality. Specific times of day, always seemed to overload the ships computers. It was like wrestling with a steam roller in a tight parking space. Perhaps when they arrived in the London of the future, they could do some more shopping, in one of the many retro markets but it would most likely be horribly expensive.
He shrugged and set the controls for Earth, in the year 2135 AD. However, as soon as he reset the old spring operated buttons, the number ‘3’ and ‘4’ buttons pinged off the keypad and disappeared down a grating in the floor panels. Hmmm… thought the Doctor with a frown, he had meant to fix that, now they would have to try another decade and hope London would still be swinging.
He thought about the year 2164 but something in him said he had already been there before... Oh if only he could remember! So long ago, in another universe. Cursing his scatterbrain, he typed ‘2150’ into the keypad. It sounded like a nice round number and the computers liked that. They were almost set to leave, but for the Doctors penchant for a sweet tooth. He de-magnetised the doors with the thought of popping to the local corner shop, to buy some liquorice, before they embarked on their next journey, that is of course, if it hadn’t already closed.
Suddenly they heard an terrific explosion coming from outside, followed by a dreadful commotion, with alarm bells ringing and all sorts. Perhaps they had landed in the middle of a terrorist attack? It was best they kept out of it, whatever it was. So much for getting some liquorish. Time for them to get going. He then approached the steering wheel column, that would drive the time machine off into time and space. However, there was just one slight problem: A Police Constable had just barged in on them and suddenly fainted…
The Time Machine
The Doctor turned in surprise, to see the young constable enter and fall on the floor of his space ship. Susan and Louise ran over to him and turned him over. He was out cold. What on earth had happened to him? Great, thought the Doctor, it was all they needed. How were they going to explain themselves to the police?
‘He must have pulled open the door, just as I de-magnetised it!’ he said, having just unlocked the door controls seconds earlier.
‘He has a terrible bump on the back of his head!’ Said Louise, kneeling over him.
‘Oh, nothing that a little fresh air wont cure!’ Shrugged the old man. ‘I’ll see what’s going on outside…’ He turned a dial on the television monitor, which blinked into life and showed the immediate action in the street outside.
Although the Doctor didn’t mind that his ship was stuck in the guise of a Police Box, it was times like these, when he wished he had it fixed. Much to his alarm, a questionable character was staggering towards them, thinking it a real phone box.
The Chameleon Circuit never seemed to work properly anyway. It required a 13 amp fuse and always blew sooner or later whenever they tried to change it, thus the ship would default to its last disguise, the ever prevalent Police Box.
Even on the few occasions when the circuit had actually worked, they could never remember where they had parked, as it blended in with the scenery. Besides, after a days busy jaunt across the plains of another world, it was far easier to spot a Police Box, rather than a boring boulder. Of course it blended in with the year 1966 rather well. Perhaps a little bit too well, now that everyone and his aunt was barging inside, looking for a telephone.
The Doctor had to act quickly. There was no time to reach the magnetic door locks on the other side of the control room and the others were busy carrying the constable across to the couch. Yet he simply couldn’t have any more uninvited guests blundering into his space ship either. One alone, was by far enough. There was only one thing for it.
‘He’ll just have to come with us, that’s all!’ He sighed and pushed the large red lever on the steering column, that activated the time machine…
Outside on the street, alarm bells were still ringing, as shattered glass and broken window frames lay sprawled across the road from the burning edifice, that was once Samuelson & Growsmith jewellery store, now bellowing smoke in all directions. Meanwhile a large commotion was brewing, as house lights turned on and people in pyjamas stepped out into the smoky street, to see what all the fuss was about. Was it a fire? Had there been a robbery?
Shortly afterwards, Mr Growsmith, the Jewellery Store Proprietor, arrived on the scene: a rather portly balding fellow with thick rimmed spectacles and a great moustache, who lived in the flat above the shop. He ran outside in his dressing gown and night cap and clasped his dropping jaw, as he gawped in disbelief at the smouldering remains of his business. His mind raced with the headaches of sorting out all the insurance claims. The broken windows could be replaced easily but as for the stolen jewellery and gold plated barometers? They had cleared him out. Nothing left now but a few scattered gold chains and a Mickey Mouse Watch.
‘Oh no!’ He bellowed. ‘I shall be ruined! Ruined!’
Meanwhile the inebriated News Vender in a Burberry Cap and cream trench coat, giddily stumbled along the pavement towards the old Police Box standing on the street corner. Where was the police? He thought drunkenly. Had anyone contacted them? It was most likely the work of the Barometer Brothers again, he thought. Who else would be blowing up Jewellery shops? He was sure he had seen the getaway car, stopping at the traffic lights just up the road. If he was quick, he could call the coppers himself and maybe get a squad car to head them off. Maybe he would even get a reward for his diligence in their apprehension. After all, the Barometer Brothers were big news, everyone was talking about them. He could be famous!
‘Eer! The Robbers!’ He shouted. ‘Stop em! They’re getting away!’
He reached the Police Box and grabbed the door handle and was just about to pull it open, when he was suddenly distracted by a man on a bicycle.
‘What’s ‘appened ‘ere mate?’ Said the cyclist, riding by.
‘Smash and grab!’ Said the news vendor, turning around to answer him.
‘What another one? They’re always ‘appening round ‘ere!’
The news vendor nodded and pulled on the door handle. Except the handle was no longer there and neither was the door attached to it. The old Police Box had simply vanished into thin air. In surprise, the vender lost his balance and fell over on the pavement and sat up, looking about in surprise, at the empty spot.
Typical! He thought. ‘They’ll nick anything these days. Even Police Boxes!’
Spinning through a maelstrom, the little blue Police Box navigated through the precarious mists of time itself. A great vortex had erupted up all around it, as the thunderous eddies of time spiralled slowly, like a myriad of multi coloured ink, clouding and swirling in a large basin of water flowing down a plug hole. In and out of it, the time machine winded throughout, as it tumbled down the turbulent corridors of time, speeding faster and faster towards the future…
Inside lay a police man, drifting in and out of consciousness, whilst three time travellers looked on in concern. Semi aware of them, the swimming in his head had now stopped, as the constable drifted back to the strange reality of where he now found myself.
How long had he been this way? Probably not much longer than half an hour for sure. Then he felt a damp rag, draped over his forehead. Tom looked around the strange room he found himself in, that seemed to rock back and forth like a ship on the angry waves. He was lying on a couch of sorts, while his strange companions regarded him with a deep fascination.
First he saw the young girl, dressed in something of a school uniform. She was probably not much older than ten years old, yet there was a fierce intellect behind her inquisitive gaze, watching him intently, as did the others.
The other woman was much older, probably around her mid thirties. She was slender like her companions, with long jet black hair, that seemed at odds with her general Victorian apparel: sitting there crossed legged swinging her foot, regarding him with a strange knowing smile.
Finally, there was the old man and he too was dressed in similar Victorian clothing: the eccentricity was undeniable. He was probably in his late sixties, a flash of silver hair and a short clipped moustache, framing two pale but piercing blue eyes, set into the gaunt and animated face.
There was something extremely odd about him, so young and yet so old. Had I stumbled upon a group of mad eccentrics? Clearly judging by their clothes, they looked and acted as if they had fallen out of a Charles Dickens novel, not to mention this strange blinking room he now found himself in.
And where was that exactly? A room full of neon lights and whirring, ticking, bleeping sounds, rocking gently from side to side. Perhaps it was his head but he was becoming giddy from the motion of the room. The same room he had stumbled into earlier, looking for a telephone. A room that was way too large to conceivably fit into a Police Box. Then the events of the previous hour, suddenly came flooding back and he sat up, pulling the wet rag from his brow.
‘Eer! The Robbers! Can I use your telephone?’
‘Calm down lad…’ Smiled the old man, urging him back into the couch. ‘You’ve had a nasty knock!’ His voice was calming, like that of a academic lecturer, confident, punctual and clear. ‘Can you tell me who you are, young man?’
‘Yes, my name is Tom Campbell, police officer, K-Division.
‘Yes-yes, and can you tell me the date?’ The constable looked at him confused.
‘The Date? Oh I see, you want to see if I’m alright! Yes, its March the 31st- now can I use your telephone?’ Then he heard a strange low whirring noise in the background, like the engine of a plane coming to land.
‘We’re arriving, grandfather!’ Said the young girl, observing a television monitor with a dash of colours spinning round and round, while the turbulent motion of the room began to subside.
‘Oh, good!’ Smiled the old man, he then regarded the constable. ‘I’m afraid you cant use the telephone…’ He said bluntly. ‘For one thing, we haven’t got one and even if we had, I don’t think it would do any good, not in Twenty One Fifty -A.D. !’
Tom looked at him as if he was mad. Sorry? Had he clearly heard the old duffer right?
‘Twenty One Fifty?’ Said Tom. The young woman nodded in agreement.
‘That’s right!’ She smiled, as if it was the most natural thing in the world! As if they were merely arriving on a coach to Brighton or a ferry cruise to the South of France. He looked at all three of them, expecting the punch line, but it never came. They just stood there smiling at him.
Tom looked around sceptically. He had to be at the centre of some strange elaborate joke, he thought. As far as he was concerned, that was it. Clearly they were nuts! He had stumbled upon a house of nutters! That or he was still unconscious. Either way, he had to get away from these lunatics.
‘Allow me to introduce myself…’ Said the old man, shaking his hand. ‘I am Doctor Who…this is my niece Louise and my granddaughter Susan…’ He then began to pace the control room with his hands in the air proudly. ‘And this is my time and space machine: TARDIS!’ Suddenly the time machine groaned again, which everyone seemed to ignore.
‘It is capable of taking us to any age…’ Said the Doctor enthusiastically. ‘on any planet, in any universe! You arrived, just as we were about to leave for London in the year…’ But the constable was already on his feet and heading towards the door.
‘Yes I know!’ He said. ‘Twenty One Fifty! Look, you don’t seem to realise, a serious crime has just been committed. I don’t know what you’re all up to… I ought to report you for this!’
Louise and Susan looked at the Doctor, who rolled his eyes. Here we go again! They thought. Louise reflected on the memories of her first encounter with The Tardis and felt obliged to defend her Grand fathers time machine, by trying to explain it all to Tom but he was having none of it and simply wanted out.
‘He’s telling the truth!’ She snapped defensively. Why was this constable being so obstinate? Usually people entered, said the obligatory: Wow! its bigger on the inside, then stepped out again, walked around it a few times, before asking how it was all done. But no! Not this constable. He was more concerned about the crimes of a world that no longer applied to them anymore.
They were all wanderers in the fifth dimension. They could travel anywhere. All the Doctor needed to do was set the controls and they were off again but for this particular trip it was 2150 AD and swinging London of the New Renaissance.
It would be interesting to see what Tom made of it all. On the other hand, their entire trip could backfire. It would take some doing to convince Tom it wasn’t 1966 anymore. He might even run off and they’d never find him again, not without a lot of embarrassing questions. By now he was at the door and ready to leave.
‘He’s telling the truth!’ She said. Why don’t you believe him? You’ve seen that its bigger on the inside!’ The constable looked at her. Time Machine ! Ha ! Did she think he was born yesterday ? He had seen some fast ones pulled in his time but this really took the biscuit. He couldn’t explain how they did it but it was all some glorified illusion: set up to con people like himself. Maybe they regularly accosted impressionable young school kids (like the one over there) or reeled old ladies into donating them money, to further their own twisted ends.
‘Twenty One Fifty!’ He scoffed and barged through the front doors, finding himself standing in a strange new world…