Otherwise known as Doctor Who and the Space Tories… I wrote this during lockdown, when my frustration with the government and it’s Hard Right, Brexiter agenda boiled over. Who better than the Third Doctor, to bring down a corrupt, xenophobic regime?
1. EXT. Outside a nightclub in the centre of Prague. Or what we think is Prague. The time is not immediately apparent.
The ancient figure of Death on the famous Astronomical clock, rings out 2:00am. The sound of intoxicated but harmless merriment which greets it, gives way to shouted farewells and footsteps on cobbles, as MAGDA and FRANTIZEK depart the revelry. They are friends, sometimes a little more, both in their late thirties, and happy, if clearly the worse for wear. They speak in Czech accents.
MAGDA : Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, eh?
FRANTIZEK: What? How much have you had?
MAGDA: (Laughs) Death up there, on the clock with his bell. Never mind, it’s just an old, old poem.
FRANTIZEK: Man, I’m too old for ancient poems, and I’m far too old for all this! It’s going to take me all week to recover.
MAGDA : And some of the next! But what a night! It’s not too often the likes of us can enjoy a night in the Centre, these days; I’ve been saving up for months for tonight.
FRANTIZEK: Worth every penny! It’s, ah… it’s still early if you fancy getting up to anything else?
MAGDA : (Laughs) Not this time, you lecherous old goat, I don’t care how open you say your relationship is, I can do without the aggro. And it’s only early if you’re an Owl or a Fox.
FRANTIZEK: We don’t get many Owls in Prague anymore.
MAGDA: And you’re my friend and I love you, but you are no Fox. Now, go on, home to him before he starts worrying. We both have to be at work in six hours anyway – office toilets don’t just clean themselves you know.
FRANTIZEK: Are you sure you don’t want to stay with us? It’ll take you an hour to get home and an hour back in. Seriously, no funny business, I’ll make up the spare room and you can…
MAGDA: (Interrupting) Listen to you two argue all night? No mate, it’s lovely of you to offer but I need my own bed, even if it’s only for a couple of hours, and I can’t turn up to clean the office in a cocktail dress and heels.
FRANTIZEK: No, but it’s a long way to travel on a filthy train and you never know who is around at this time of night, especially when a girl is on her own.
MAGDA: Well, we can’t all live with rich sugar daddies on Wenceslas Square, and this girl can take care of herself, so stop worrying. Anyway, the curfew started last week, there’s none of that lot allowed out at this time anymore, so nothing to be scared of. Give me a hug and I’ll see you at work, ok?
FRANTIZEK: If you say so, MAGDA. (They embrace) But just remember the deal.
MAGDA: I know, I know. Whoever gets in last has to clean out the Executive bathroom on Floor 23. See you at work…
2. EXT. The Train station on the outskirts of the City.
It is an hour later, and MAGDA is nearing the end of her Journey. We hear the tired engine whir to a halt and an automatic door opening. MAGDA has been the sole passenger, and she steps out to walk the rest of the way home. There is no sound other than the echo of her footsteps on the cobbles and her increasingly nervous breath. Despite her earlier sentiments, her discomfort is growing.
MAGDA : (To herself) Now, stop it MAGDA, you silly cow. None of them are allowed out anymore, and you’re only a couple of streets from home.
Sound of a bottle smashing in the distance.
MAGDA: (Gasps then pauses to collect herself) I said, Stop it, MAGDA!
Sound of MAGDA reaching into her bag for her keys, to hold through her fingers.
MAGDA: Keys through my fingers! I’ve not had to do this in a while…
An electronic buzz Flickers briefly behind her, followed by the sound of something coming towards her, slapping onto the stone cobbles as it gets closer. She stops walking, her panic increasing, though she remains defiant.
MAGDA : (Shouting) Whoever you are, you won’t be the first guy waking up in hospital after trying something on me. One step closer and I’ll… Oh, God….
The slapping noise quickens in pace, something is scrambling over the cobbles to reach her.
MAGDA : Oh, God, oh, God, n……
With a half roar, half gurgle, whatever it is has reached her and MAGDA cries out her last in vain.
3. EXT. Old Town Square, by the Astronomical Clock Tower, at dusk.
The clip-clop of horses’ hooves and the footsteps of passers-by are disturbed by the sound of the TARDIS materialising. The door creaks open, and the THIRD DOCTOR and JO GRANT emerge.
JO: Oh, DOCTOR, it’s just as beautiful as I thought it would be!
DOCTOR: It certainly is, JO! That over there is the Church of…
JO: (Interrupting) Our Lady before Tyn, I know. Look at those spires!
DOCTOR: (Smarting a little at JO’s knowledge) Well, Prague is known as the City of a Hundred Spires, you know? Not just on Earth, but right the way through the cosmos. Though, given your species’ predilection for self-destruction, it’s amazing that they survived long enough for the Galaxy to admire them.
JO: (Appeasing his pricked ego) Ok, DOCTOR, you can play tour guide. Show me the full works. I’ve wanted to come here ever since I was a little girl, and with the state of the world in my time, that’s hardly ever likely to happen, unless the Brigadier ever sends me here under cover.
DOCTOR: And I’d have something to say about that if he tried…
DOCTOR: (Chastened) Yes, alright JO. Well, if that’s the Tyn Church, then this right here should be…. (he pauses to check the surroundings) Yes! The good old Clock Tower. Right on target, Old Girl (he pats the TARDIS). Come around here, JO, take a look at this.
We hear them walk to the other side of the Tower, upon which the clock is mounted.
DOCTOR: What do you make of this?
JO: (Excited) The Astronomical Clock!
DOCTOR: Yes, the Prague Orloj, to give it it’s proper name. By your time, it’s the oldest working astronomical clock in the world.
JO: Dating back to 14…10, right?
DOCTOR: Yes, that’s right. Old Mikuláš knew a thing or two about clock making. Mind, you, he did have help.
JO: Let me guess…
DOCTOR: Well, I am a Time Lord, JO! We give chronometers to our children, as humans give rattles to theirs, in actual fact, I’d made at least a dozen astronomical clocks before my first molar came through.
JO: (Giggling) Yes, I’m sure.
DOCTOR: And it looks like we’ve arrived just in time for Death.
JO: (Taken aback) What?
DOCTOR: Look up there, do you see?
JO: (Laughing) Oh, the skeleton!
DOCTOR: (Laughing) What else? Yes, the bony chap up there is the traditional representation of Death. And every hour, on the hour, Death rings his bell, and those other sinful chaps up there with him, all shake their heads. Apparently, they’re not too keen on being forcibly evicted from life.
JO: And that’s when the models of the apostles, appear at the windows.
DOCTOR: That’s right, and they should be appearing, any second… now.
The bell begins to chime, and we hear the drag of casters as the mechanism creaks back into life and ancient figurines shift into movement. Finally, the clock rings seven times. When the chimes finish, we hear various cheers from people on the square, who then continue about their business.
DOCTOR: Hmm… Well, some folk certainly seem happy about a new evening in Europe’s ‘Golden City’.
JO: Well at least it’s some sign of life. It was beginning to feel a bit quieter than I expected. Hey, you haven’t landed us here during the Cold War, by mistake, have you?
DOCTOR: No! (his defiance becomes uncertainty) No, I don’t think so…
JO: Oh, well that’s just marvellous. A member of UNIT and an alien super-genius captured by the KGB…
DOCTOR: Actually, it’s the StB in Czechoslovakia, JO, you should know that, and we’ve been captured by worse, before. (Confidently) Anyway, you needn’t worry, we’re probably only a couple of years out one way or another, and there are too many coffee shops and bars around the Square for this to be the Cold War era.
JO: (With warm acceptance) They’re not very full though, are they? You’re sure we’re here at the right time?
DOCTOR: As sure as an alien super-genius can be.
JO: (Laughing) Come on then, DOCTOR, I’m in your hands.
DOCTOR: Excellent. Now, the evening is ours! What do you say we take advantage of the light all these gas lamps are affording us and take a leisurely stroll around Old Town, followed by a horse drawn carriage ride back to the Square?
JO: Ooh, perfect! Don’t you want your cape, DOCTOR?
DOCTOR: No, I don’t think so, it feels quite balmy, as a matter of fact.
JO: That’s a point, it does feel warm, doesn’t it? But…
DOCTOR: But what?
JO: Well, the sun’s gone down, and it looks a bit cloudy up there.
DOCTOR: Oh, I shouldn’t worry about that JO, I expect we’ve landed during the summer, that’s all. Bohemian nights in August can get notoriously warm, as I recall… Now if I remember rightly, there’s a fascinating little street just down here…
Their voices fade as the DOCTOR begins to lead JO away.
4. EXT. Old Town Square.
Across from the DOCTOR and JO, watching them walk away, is FELICITY (FLIC) MARSH, a female, Officer of the State Loyalty Department, in her mid-thirties. She is of guarded temperament, and sits at a bar, waited on by the OWNER. FLIC speaks with a received English accent, as does the OWNER.
We hear the clink of a shot glass on a glass table.
OWNER : Another one, Madam?
FLIC:No. Give me the bill, please.
We hear the sound of paper money being exchanged.
FLIC: Here’s a little extra for you. You see those two, over there? The ones heading away from the Tower?
OWNER: (Bemused) Yes, Madam?
FLIC: Call this number.
OWNER: To bring a Patrol?
FLIC: Not quite.
OWNER: Then, who…?
FLIC: Never mind who it is. Just tell them two potential suspects, have been spotted in the vicinity of Old Town Square, and I’m keeping them under surveillance. The rendezvous will take place tonight, as arranged. Understand?
We hear FLIC pass a business card to the OWNER
OWNER : (Nervously) Yes, Madam… of course.
FLIC: Good. And, er, I’d keep this to yourself, if I were you. I’m sure you understand.
5. EXT. The Vltava riverside.
A short time later. The DOCTOR and JO are walking alongside the Vltava, we hear the ripples of the water gently playing against the shore, the sounds of civilisation are quieter here.
DOCTOR: … I say, while we’re here, you really ought to try a glass or two of Slivovice. I remember saying to old le Carré, that a bottle of that stuff would warm even the coldest spy…
His speech is interrupted by the booming sales pitch of a pleasure cruise VENDOR, endeavouring to drum up business from the almost empty streets, with considerable passion. He speaks in a noticeable Cockney accent.
VENDOR: Come one, come all! See the sights of the city from the Sea and the Old Town from the Ocean! Two for one special offer, can’t say fairer than that!
JO: We’re nowhere near the sea, the Vltava is a river!
VENDOR: And why let a little thing like that get in the way of a good pitch, darlin’?
DOCTOR: Well, considering you’re advertising your services as a tour boat operator, I imagine little things like basic local geography are rather important, sir.
VENDOR: Only, if you’re looking for a science lecture, guv. If you want a good time, on the other hand, a gentle night-time cruise, illuminated by the lights of this beautiful old town, then I’m your man. Now what do you say? You buy a ticket, and I’ll let your lady friend here on for free, eh? For a Gold Standard ticket, you can have the lower deck to yourself and I’ll throw in a bottle of top, …er, mid-ranged champagne and sail you up and down the river all night, if you like. Or however long you need, anyway, sir, if you know what I mean?
DOCTOR: (In full pomp) Now, look here, my man…
JO: (Interjecting) It’s alright, DOCTOR. (To the VENDOR) You know if you think a free ticket and a ride on your grotty looking boat give you the right to go around making insinuations like that, I’m not surprised you haven’t got any passengers!
DOCTOR: Absolutely! Geographical ignorance is one thing but rudeness, sir, is unforgiveable. In fact, I’ve a good mind to make a complaint about your behaviour.
VENDOR: (Suddenly scared, the bluster falls away from his voice) No! No, don’t do that, if you please, Sir, Miss. My apologies. Business has been a bit scarce of late and a man like me has to keep his options open, if you get me? Cater to all clientele, as it were?
JO: (Trying to calm her friend down) DOCTOR…?
DOCTOR: Yes, yes alright JO. Apology accepted, sir, for the sake of my companion here and so not to spoil our evening. But I suggest you make efforts to adapt your repartee, lest you find your next potential customers in less amiable mood.
VENDOR: (Sighing) If only I had some next potential customers, sir. I’ve hardly had sight or sound of any business in months. If this goes on much longer, I don’t know what I’ll do…
JO: (Trying to encourage him) Well, it’s dark now, but surely people still like to take cruises in the daytime?
VENDOR: No, Miss, not anymore. No-one wants to go near the waterways anymore, since the Governors took them over, and erm, what goes on, these days…
DOCTOR: What does go on, precisely?
VENDOR: Oh, nothing, sir, nothing to worry about, I’m sure. The Governors commissioned a report, they did, and it says everything is handled proper, so that’s that. It hasn’t half made things difficult for blokes like me though, and I paid my local Governor a fortune for this patch n’all… Still, how’s about a quick trip up and down the river, then?
DOCTOR: Actually, we were just on our way for a bite to eat, as it happens, perhaps another time.
VENDOR: I’ll have you back in no time, sir. On the house, n’all, to make amends for our little misunderstanding just now, if you’ll forget about any official complaints, that is. Up and down the river and we’ll be back before curfew. If you’ll just let me scan your flags, I can cast us straight off… hang on a mo’ where are your flags?
JO: What flags?
VENDOR: (Incredulously) Your flag badges, like mine.
We hear him tapping a metal flag pin, hung gaudily on his tunic.
VENDOR: (Cont.) Hold on, you’re not a couple of those whingers, are you?
Flag badges and whingers? My good man, I’m afraid we haven’t got the foggiest idea what you’re rambling about.
VENDOR: (Becoming aggressive) Blimey, ‘ere I am bowing and scraping to a couple of do-gooding whingers! Well let me tell you ‘ere and now, I wouldn’t be seen dead with the likes of you on my vessel, wouldn’t be seen dead, I tell ya! I’d rather go out of business and starve than be associated with the likes of you!
JO: So much for catering for all tastes…
VENDOR: The tastes of normal people, darlin’! Decent, patriotic, normal people who consort with other decent, patriotic, normal people, not those bloomin’ murderin’ creatures your type, fawn over. I hope the bleedin’ Patrols get you, I really do. Now go on, get out of it!
DOCTOR: One step closer, sir and I’ll show you precisely how ‘my type’ deal with violent assaults! Come along, JO, let’s leave this ‘gentleman’ to his frothing.
VENDOR: That’s right, keep walkin’! And don’t you or any of your creature lovin’ friends come back this way!
His voice crescendos as the DOCTOR and JO’s footsteps recede.
6. EXT. A Jetty by the Vltava.
The VENDOR has returned to his boat, still muttering vociferously about ‘whingers’ and ‘Creatures’. We hear the water lapping with more calmness than he displays.
VENDOR: Bloomin’ whingers, tryin’ to get a free ride on my boat, bloomin’ disgrace, that’s what it is. No respect for tradition, that lot, no bloomin’ pride in the badge…
Something disturbs the water, and we hear the same slapping noise which foreshadowed MAGDA’s demise, as something forces itself onto the Jetty.
VENDOR: Who’s there? There’s rock all in the takings, if that’s what you’re after!
The slapping, scrambling noise continues.
VENDOR: If that’s you two bloomin’ whingers, I’m not scared of the likes of you, I’m a bleedin’ patriot, I am, I’ll … (in horror) Oh, blimey…
The now familiar gurgling roar sounds. We hear the noise of a struggle and the VENDOR’s terrified scream, along with the roar, are cut off as he is dragged beneath the water. The sound of a calm ripple quickly resumes.
7. INT. The Office of LYSSA MANIAE, the JUSTICE & SECURITY GOVENOR,
LYSSA is a callous politician, whose respectable veneer does little to mask the cruelty beneath. She is in exasperated conference with RADEK, an official who is doing his utmost to remain calm in the face of the verbal barrage she is unleashing on him. Her contempt for her underling is palpable and obvious. Nothing as yet indicates the era we are in…
RADEK: …I understand your frustrations, completely, Ma’am, but I assure you….
LYSSA: (Interrupting) Oh, you assure me, do you? Well, I have to break it to you that I feel rather less than assured. Three Sleeper agents uncovered in the last quarter alone!
RADEK: All of whom were in non-critical positions with limited access to sensitive information, which suggests, Ma’am, that our security measures are effective.
LYSSA: If they were effective, RADEK, we wouldn’t have any Sleepers here in the first place!.
RADEK: (Trying to remain patient) With respect, Ma’am, the State which never finds itself compromised through espionage has never existed. Provocateurs are everywhere, we find some of theirs, they find some of ours, it’s how the counter-espionage game is played.
LYSSA: (With measured anger) Well from this moment on, I’m changing the rules. I see you have the captured Sleepers scheduled for consensual exchange, yes?
RADEK: Of course, Ma’am, that’s standard procedure. They’ve been thoroughly questioned and roughed-up a fair bit, we’ve got all we’re likely to get out of them and we will recover three of our own captured operatives in exchange.
LYSSA: I want the exchange cancelled.
RADEK: (Incredulous) Ma’am?
LYSSA: Cancelled, RADEK! There will be no more tax-payer-funded, comfortable rides home for saboteurs and enemies of the People.
RADEK: So, what shall we do with them, Ma’am?
LYSSA: Put them on the next Barge.
RADEK: (Shocked) The Barge, Ma’am? But that means…
LYSSA: (Interrupting) I know what it means, and I know I want it done, now!
RADEK: Yes… yes, Ma’am… erm…
RADEK: You do understand what this mean for our own operatives, we’ve been trying to get back, don’t you?
LYSSA: They should have thought of that before they let themselves get captured. They knew very well they’d be on their own.
RADEK: Yes, Ma’am, only…
LYSSA: Only, what?
RADEK: Well, they are still our citizens, Ma’am, shouldn’t we at least try and repatriate them?
LYSSA: Not anymore, RADEK.
LYSSA: I revoked their citizenship, this morning. Now, not only do we deny having employed them, we deny their very nationality, as well. One can’t be accused of spying on allies when all they have in their cells are citizens of nowhere.
RADEK: But that’s…
LYSSA: That’s what, RADEK? Brilliant, I presume you’re about to say?
RADEK: (Fearful and hiding disgust) Yes, Ma’am. Quite brilliant…
LYSSA: We need to be far more vigilant, when it comes to threats like these, RADEK, and far more ruthless in our response. We have a happy community here, of decent, law abiding folk, and the very last thing we need are outside influencers disturbing the balance. We’ve enough nonsense with the whingers and that lot on the city outskirts. Is that understood?
RADEK: Understood, perfectly, Ma’am.
LYSSA: And on that point, I want to make it top departmental priority to double down on our actions to crush these malcontents. I want official eyes on every single person of suspicion out there and to that end, I’ve received authority to double the Public Informant Awards – a few extra notes in their pockets should persuade the patriotic public to shop the dodgy ones, I’m sure.
RADEK: (Uneasy) Yes, Ma’am, but how exactly do we define ‘suspicious persons’?
LYSSA: (Chuckling) Oh, don’t worry about that, RADEK. Suspicious Persons have a way of making themselves known…
8. EXT. The streets of ‘Old Town.
The DOCTOR and JO are walking through Old Town. We hear their feet on the stone cobbles and the sound of people going about their business, though precious few of them. There is no traffic, at least that we hear, while above, rain has started to fall.
JO: Looks like you could have done with your cloak, after all!
(Silence from the DOCTOR)
JO: DOCTOR, are you alright?
DOCTOR: Yes, why do you ask?
JO: Well, you’ve been as quiet as a Church Mouse for the last hour but before we met our friend the boat captain, you’d hadn’t stopped talking since we left the TARDIS. Look, I know he was horrible but let’s not let him spoil the whole trip.
DOCTOR: It’s not just him, JO.
JO: What is it then? Come on DOCTOR, you can tell me.
DOCTOR: (A slight chuckle) I can’t keep anything from you, can I, Miss Grant? No, it’s just that…
JO: Just that, what?
DOCTOR: You know, JO, I’ve been to Prague, many times. I’ve seen it in war, in peace, conquered and conquering. I’ve seen Golems, made from clay and space ports made from stardust. But I’ve never seen it quite like this.
JO: I didn’t like to mention it, but something about this place just hasn’t felt right since we landed, it’s almost like I don’t quite feel safe, here. Are you sure we’ve not just ended up stuck behind the Iron Curtain, at some point?
DOCTOR: Well, the levels of paranoia, as exhibited by our nautical friend, back there could almost be in keeping with how things were during the Cold War, but no, too much about this place is wrong. All this talk of ‘whingers’, flag badges and Governors… none of that is in keeping with that period. And even our would-be host, himself! In even its most relaxed moments, one would be unlikely to hear a Cockney accent on the banks of the Vltava, under Communism. And then there’s these ‘creatures’ he went on about…
JO: So, which period do you think they are in keeping with?
DOCTOR: Well, that’s just it, I don’t know. It’s not the past, it’s not your present or near future, I’m certain of it. And if it’s in your far future, where are the hordes of intergalactic tourists? If we’d travelled too far you could expect to see at least some non-human faces. And this rain only confuses things further…
JO: Apart from soaking us through, what’ wrong with the rain?
DOCTOR: Smell it and see for yourself.
(She sniffs the air)
JO: It smells faintly like… like at the fairground, on the dodgems!
DOCTOR: Top of the class, JO, that’s ozone. Not what one would normally expect to find in a natural rainfall. In fact, it’s rather more akin to an artificial weather control system, or more accurately an Atmospheric Containment Field.
JO: Why would Prague need anything like that?
DOCTOR: I don’t know, JO. Technology of that nature is only utilised where the environment outside the Field is unremittingly hostile… Something’s not quite right here.
JO: (Reassuring her friend with light-hearted fatalism) So, the TARDIS got it wrong again, eh?
DOCTOR: I’m afraid it rather looks like it. I should have spotted it sooner, but I was too busy… well, too busy showing off.
JO: That’s alright, DOCTOR. I quite enjoy you showing off to me – sometimes.
DOCTOR: At least that’s something I think I can promise more of in the future.
JO: Back to the TARDIS, then? Let the Old Girl have another go?
DOCTOR: Yes. Yes, alright, JO. Just as soon as I’ve figured out what all this is about!
JO: Could it be a facsimile? Like a mock-up or a theme park, or something?
DOCTOR: That’s not a bad idea, as it happens, but we’ve walked quite some way already and there’s no sign of any exits or branded merchandising or anything like that.. And the smell of the river, the touch of the clock tower, when we landed… I know these things, JO, I’ve walked these places with many good friends and believe me, they’re real. This really is Prague, it’s just that nothing about it is making any sense. Aesthetically, this all does look rather like the old place did in the 1960’s, but there are so many anachronisms, it can’t be… Perhaps we can find someone who might be happy to answer a couple of questions and help us.
We hear loud shouting in the distance, accompanied by the smashing of glass and a scream of fear. Someone is scared for their life.
JO: Sounds like someone else could use a bit of help, too. Maybe those creatures, or Patrols that man mentioned are up to their tricks.
DOCTOR: Well, whatever is responsible, someone needs assistance. You stay here, JO, I’ll go and see.
JO: No chance, DOCTOR, I’m coming with you, anyone who screams like that needs all the help they can get!
DOCTOR: Right, come on!
WE hear their feet, running on the cobbles as the shouting and hubbub continues.
9. INT. LYSSA’s Office.
LYSSA’s conversation with RADEK has moved on to a new subject. Her manner is no less bullying, nor his, any more comfortable.
LYSSA: (Aggressively quizzical) How many does this make?
RADEK: Well, including the bodies recovered from the city perimeter…
LYSSA: (Shouting over him) Who asked you to include them? I’m talking about real people, the decent folk like us, living in the centre!
RADEK: Oh…, well, discounting perimeter fatalities, it looks like twelve, so far. That we know of, that is.
LYSSA: That we know of?
RADEK: Well, you have to understand, Ma’am, that the state some of the bodies have been found in, well we… we can’t discount the possibility that there may be more victims that have been, well…
LYSSA: Well, what?
RADEK: Taken whole, Ma’am.
LYSSA: (Laughing) Don’t let your imagination run away with you, RADEK. We’re not dealing with a monster, here, we’ve a murderer on the loose, that’s all.
RADEK: A pretty savage murderer, Ma’am…
LYSSA: But just a murderer, nonetheless. Our only problem is he’s taken to plying his trade in the better areas of the City. I want to make sure the investigation focusses on the centre, no diverting precious resources to the outskirts; it’s not exactly unknown for that lot to get blind drunk and kill each other, we won’t find anything of interest there.
RADEK: (Uncomfortable) Yes, Ma’am, it’s just…
LYSSA: Just what?
RADEK: My Mother lives in the outskirts, Ma’am, it’s where I grew up.
LYSSA: Yes, and now, thanks to this Government’s Outreach programme, you’ve pulled yourself out from there, haven’t you? Though, how long you remain in more comfortable accommodation is up to you.
RADEK: Yes… yes, Ma’am. I’ll ask for an update on the investigation before the next press release. We’ll do our best to avoid panic.
LYSSA: (Cruelly) Oh, there’s no rush, RADEK. A touch of panic and the odd dash of fear can be quite useful, certainly in helping with some of our other problems…
RADEK: (Sighing) Yes, I… I see that.
LYSSA: And after we’ve used the panic to get what we want, we can stoke up a bit of good, old fashioned bloodlust, when we catch the killer. Being tough on criminals, especially one responsible for all this, will go down a treat with the public.
RADEK: Shouldn’t we clear all this with the Head Governor, Ma’am?
LYSSA: I am in charge of security and justice, here, RADEK! Me!
RADEK: (Sheepishly) Yes, Ma’am.
LYSSA: And anyway, you needn’t worry, he’s arriving back in town, later tonight, with the Safety Inspector from the Galactic Trade Bank, so I’ll brief him of my intentions then. You know him, he loves nothing more than putting on the old ‘tough guy who loves his People’ act. Make sure the Press Release is very clear about where the blame for these attacks should be apportioned, won’t you RADEK? The usual target groups. Unless you haven’t the stomach to serve the public in this role, any longer?
RADEK: No! No, that’s fine, Ma’am.
LYSSA: Good. Because I do worry, sometimes that your Mummy might be missing you a little too much, back in the old home, you know? And even though you have your uses, you’re sadly far from being invaluable, RADEK. It’s the easiest thing in the world to arrange a little ‘re-deployment’, you’d do well to remember that.
The office door opens – a normal, handle door, not electronic – and the footsteps of an underling entering are heard.
A piece of paper is passed to RADEK, the footsteps recede and the door closes.
RADEK: Reports of a disturbance, in Old Town, Ma’am.
LYSSA: Whingers, again?
RADEK: No, Ma’am, it seems some of the local residents have taken note of your advice on who to blame for the murders and are taking justice into their own hands.
RADEK: I’m told they’re on their way. There are also reports of, erm, ‘suspicious persons’ in the vicinity, Ma’am.
LYSSA: (Pleased) Really? Well, see to it they are brought in for immediate interrogation, RADEK. See to it, personally, do you understand?
RADEK: (Unsure) I shall, Ma’am. I’ll attend to this right away.
We hear him walk away, closing the office door behind him.
LYSSA: (Sinisterly quiet) And, I, young RADEK, will soon be attending to you.
10. EXT. Old Town Square
The DOCTOR and JO are running, trying to find the source of the commotion. They come to a breathless stop, in the otherwise empty Square.
DOCTOR: Can you see anything?
JO: Not a dicky bird, the place looks deserted! Hey, didn’t that man say something about a curfew?
DOCTOR: (Thoughtfully) Yes… Well, someone must be around, JO, they made enough of a racket. And listen, it sounds like there’s plenty going on behind closed doors in some of these bars, roundabouts, doesn’t it?
JO: You’re right. Maybe whoever screamed has gone inside to look for help?
DOCTOR: Perhaps, but there’s no sign of who or whatever caused them to scream, either.
We hear more smashing glass and shouting from nearby, and the return of the frightened scream.
JO: DOCTOR, look! Down that alley, I think someone’s being attacked!
DOCTOR: Well, that settles it, JO: there were never any turquoise people in Cold War Czechoslovakia! Come on!
We hear them running towards the alley.
10 a. EXT. An alley, off the Old Town Square.
On the cobbles, has fallen the body of the woman they had seen. We hear them kneel down beside her. The rain continues to fall around them.
DOCTOR: (Sadly) It’s no good, I’m afraid, JO. Whoever she is, we’re too late to help her.
JO: Be careful, DOCTOR, her killer might still be close by!
DOCTOR: I rather hope he is!
JO: (Distressed) It’s horrible. Who could do something like this?
DOCTOR: I don’t know, but from the fruits of their handiwork, somebody with a particularly unpleasant streak of cruelty. I can’t say I recognise the poor girl’s species…
JO: It doesn’t matter what her species is, DOCTOR, someone’s murdered her!
DOCTOR: (Calmly) Alright, steady on, JO. I’m just trying to determine what might have happened here and why. I think that’s the least we can do for her, wouldn’t you say?
A noise sounds behind them as a figure, the woman’s KILLER, steps from the shadows. He is a young, man, who speaks with what is usually a cultured, professional accent, but is now breathless and shaken from his act of murder. In his hand, he holds a knife.
KILLER: I don’t believe it, where the hell did you two spring from?
DOCTOR: Ah! I see the perpetrator has hung around to admire his handiwork. We might not be able to help her, JO, but at least we can apprehend the poor woman’s murderer. No, stay by me, JO, he’s still got the knife he used on this poor woman. He’s obviously suffering from a sick mind and an appallingly casual attitude to violence!
KILLER: (Resentful) No! No, that’s not fair, I’m not a violent man!
JO: (Enraged) Not a violent man?!
JO: How dare you? How DARE you? We’re standing over the body of a woman half your size, who’s dead because… (She fights to speak through her anger) because you killed her!
KILLER: Oh, give me a break, she had it coming!
DOCTOR: (Incredulous) Had it coming?
KILLER: Don’t pretend you don’t know, you’re after the same thing I am!
DOCTOR: Right now, my man, the only thing we’re ‘after’ is justice for your victim.
KILLER: Rubbish! You’re after the jackpot money, just like I am, admit it!
JO: (Confused and disgusted) Jackpot money?
KILLER: Well, this one is mine, and I’m not sharing!
He lunges towards them with his knife. We hear a scuffle, and the sounds of the DOCTOR using his Venusian Aikido.
The knife clatters to the stone cobbles and the KILLER is pinned against the alley wall by the DOCTOR’s aikido pressure point hold.
KILLER: Get off me!
DOCTOR: Kick the knife away, JO.
We hear JO scramble to kick the knife. In the background, we hear the ominous sound of some kind of creature, slowly scrambling and slapping through the darkness, towards them.
DOCTOR: (To the KILLER) Now, what was that you were saying about not being a violent man?
KILLER: (Struggling) Let go of me!
DOCTOR: Not until the authorities have arrived and you pay for what you’ve done.
KILLER: Alright! I’ll split it with you, 50-50!
DOCTOR: (Confused) What?
Something catches JO’s eye, a movement in the darkness, we hear the movement of the creature closer now, almost upon them, and it half roars, half gurgles with ravenous ferocity.
JO: DOCTOR, behind you!
The DOCTOR breaks his hold of the KILLER and moves to protect JO. The noise of the creature intensifies.
DOCTOR: JO, get back!
KILLER: What the….? The deal’s off, I’m out of here!
The KILLER begins to run.
DOCTOR: Not that way, man, you haven’t a chance!
The creature’s gurgle/roar crescendos and it locks it’s jaws? Around the KILLER’s leg, dragging him to the floor and into the darkness.
KILLER: No! NO! Get if off me!
The DOCTOR grabs the KILLER’s hand, trying to save his life.
DOCTOR: Give me your hand! Come on man, fight it! Kick!
The KILLER screams in terrified desperation as he is pulled from the DOCTOR’s grasp. We hear the sound of him being dragged away, then the noise of a man-hole cover clattering on the cobbles. The KILLER screams once more, the cry echoing as he is taken, followed by silence.
DOCTOR: It’s gone into the sewer system!
JO: What was it?!
DOCTOR: I haven’t the faintest idea!
We hear the sound of boots on cobbles, running towards the pair, who still stand close to the unidentified body, and the click of guns being readied to fire. A two person Patrol has entered the alley and are closing on the DOCTOR and JO. An OFFICER steps forward and begins to speak loudly and deliberately clearly.. She speaks with a Northern English accent.
OFFICER: (To her subordinate) Contact the Station. Report that suspicious persons have been located in Jakubská, Staré Město, alongside the body of a Bregalian female, apparently the victim of multiple knife wounds to the back, the suspected weapon is still on scene. Requesting recovery team prepped to attend three bodies.
JO: Three bodies?!
OFFICER: (To the DOCTOR and JO) In accordance with Statute, I hereby notify you of your impending execution, to be carried out immediately. For the benefit of any witnesses, you do not have to say anything, but it may harm your relatives and associates if you do not exonerate them of all participation in your wrongdoing, prior to your termination. I now invite you to make any final declaration, and inform you that political statements, commercial advertisements and anti-government propaganda are not permitted.
DOCTOR: (Shocked) Execution?
JO: No, you can’t!
OFFICER: (Sounding bored) For the benefit of any witnesses, I will take your responses to imply you have no final declarations to give and now invite you to take this final moment to make peace with your deity of choice. Execution will be carried out in fifteen seconds.
JO: No, wait a moment, you can’t! We didn’t kill this poor woman!
OFFICER 2: That’s not why you’re being executed, Miss.
DOCTOR: Then for God’s sake, why is it?
OFFICER: (Sinisterly) Because you tried to save her.
DOCTOR: That’s ludicrous! What kind of people are you?!
OFFICER: Five seconds. Four, three…
The execution is interrupted by the arrival of FLIC.
FLIC: Hold your fire!
Guns are lowered and heads turn to the newcomer at the end of the alley. It is FLIC, the undercover Officer who observed JO and the DOCTOR in the square.
FLIC: Felicity Marsh, State Loyalty Department.
OFFICER 2: That’s as maybe, Miss but we’ll let your credentials confirm that, if you don’t mind.
FLIC: See for yourself, Officer, here is my Level 3 Flag Badge.
FX – We hear the sound of an electronic scanning device, as the lead OFFICER scans FLIC’s flag badge.
OFFICER: (To her subordinate) Would you believe, it, the flamin’ SLD!
OFFICER 2: Always where you don’t want ‘em to be…
OFFICER: (Resentfully) This is no business of the SLD, ma’am. This is a lawful termination, as authorised by the Criminal Rights Waiver Act, Section forty-two, paragraph three. These people are subject to the harshest penalty.
FLIC: And naturally, you’ll have their Section forty-two consent documents on file?
OFFICER: Of course, we do! I mean, everyone ‘consents’ don’t they? You can’t even get a tenancy agreement in the city without consenting.
FLIC: (More forcefully) You’re quite sure, you have their, express consent, on file, Officer?
OFFICER: (Lying) Yes.
OFFICER: I scanned their flag badges, didn’t I?
FLIC: A remarkable achievement, OFFICER, considering they aren’t wearing any.
FLIC: I’ve been observing these two for some time and am content that whatever else they’ve done, they’re not responsible for this death. I’m taking them into custody, myself, for questioning.
OFFICER: ‘Ere, hang on! We caught these two, we should….
FLIC: (Interrupting) You should ‘what’, OFFICER? Perhaps you mean you should face inquiry for attempting to carry out a double execution without checking the proper consent documentation is on record? Or even whether you’re shooting the right people?
OFFICER: (Chastened) No, ma’am. My apologies.
FLIC: Well while you’re busy apologising, open a file on the poor woman lying there.
OFFICER: (Confused) Woman? Oh, the Bregalian! A file, ma’am? Really?
FLIC: Yes, a file. I should think her family would be keen to know what happened to her and that the authorities are taking it seriously.
OFFICER 2: Well, if it wasn’t these two it must just have been a fight that got out of hand. And who can blame anyone for doing away with one of that lot? Natural justice, if you ask me.
FLIC: Multiple stab wounds to the back look neither very natural nor very just, to me. Before you arrived, I witnessed these two tackling a young man, no doubt the real offender, here. (With heavy irony) I must say, I’m surprised you didn’t notice him, yourself…? Take care of it personally, OFFICERS.
OFFICER: Personally? (Disgusted) You expect us to waste our time hand-holding some nest of sweaty Bregalians? No chance!
DOCTOR: I say, see here…!
FLIC: (Cutting him off) Nobody asked you, fancy pants, you both remain in my custody and believe me, after you’ve properly made the acquaintance of my colleagues and I, you might well wish I’d left you to these two and their itchy trigger fingers. (To the OFFICERS) And as for you, OFFICER, I’d advise you to carry out your instructions, unless you particularly welcome the closer attentions of my department?
OFFICER: (Through her anger) No. Ma’am.
FLIC: (Relishing her victory over the uniforms) Well then, on you get with it.
DOCTOR: Now look, if someone could just explain what on earth’s going on here, perhaps we might be able to help each other.
JO: This poor woman was murdered by a man in cold blood! The DOCTOR and I were trying to save her, now these two want to execute us for it and I’d quite like to know why!
DOCTOR: Yes, I’d rather appreciate an answer to that myself. And, for that matter someone needs to tell me what that creature was that did away with the unfortunate wretch responsible for the murder.
OFFICER: Creature? What do y…
FLIC: (Cutting her off) He’s talking about more Bregalians, OFFICER, use your brain, there must be more of them running around after curfew. Perhaps you and Tweedle-Dum should keep an eye out for them while the grown-ups get to work. (To the DOCTOR and JO) This way, both of you, in front of me, and believe me if I decide to fire, I don’t have to make sure my paperwork’s in order, first. Move.
We hear the footsteps of FLIC, the DOCTOR and JO, recede – the rain is still falling.
OFFICER: (Bitterly) Bleedin’ SLD…
11. INT. LYSSA’s OFFICE. LYSSA works at her desk, alone. We hear the sound of her muttering to herself as she taps at her keypad.
LYSSA: (Quietly, as she reads reports from a screen) So, that’s one hundred and forty-three for the quarter, but that’s taking into account the pre-election amnesty…
FX – An intercom sounds. LYSSA responds, it is RADEK’s voice.
RADEK: An update on the commotion from earlier, Ma’am.
RADEK: Patrol reports finding the body of a Bregalian female, Ma’am, apparently killed by…
LYSSA: (Interrupting) I’m not interested in dead Bregalians, RADEK.
RADEK: (Awkwardly) Er… no, Ma’am. Also, a reported fatality among the human population. No body has been recovered as yet but it seems the two Suspicious Persons were somehow involved.
LYSSA: Were they, indeed?
RADEK: Patrol reports the pair claimed he had murdered the Bregalian woman and was then himself killed by…
LYSSA: By what, RADEK?
RADEK: (Nervously) … by some kind of creature, Ma’am.
LYSSA: (Despairingly) I see… And where are these ‘Suspicious Persons’ now?
RADEK: Patrol reports they were taken for questioning by an agent of the State Loyalty Department, Ma’am.
LYSSA: I thought it wouldn’t be long before the SLD stuck their noses in. RADEK, I want to know who these people are and what their involvement is, understand?
RADEK: But, SLD reports directly to the Head Governor, Ma’am…
LYSSA: The Head Governor, RADEK, is there to smile at cameras, rake in investment and get the chaff out to vote! When it comes to security and counter-intelligence, the Head Governor couldn’t find the seat of his pants with both hands and a compass. I need to know who these people are, and believe me, I’m going to find out.
RADEK: (Uncertain) Yes, Ma’am. There is also a message for you from the Head Governor, as it happens.
RADEK: You are to meet him at the space port when his shuttle arrives later tonight.
LYSSA: Out of the question, it’s already late and I’ve a full day of commitments, tomorrow.
RADEK: No, Ma’am, the message is most insistent. In fact, it’s…
LYSSA: It’s what?
RADEK: It’s an order, Ma’am.
12. EXT. The Streets of Old Town. FLIC is holding the DOCTOR and JO at gunpoint, walking them via the backstreets in the direction of the Charles Bridge. The rain has stopped though droplets still fall, and we hear the splash of puddles and shoes on wet stone.
FLIC: (Forcefully) Come on, keep moving, down this way.
We hear the DOCTOR’s shoes scuff to a standstill, followed by the others.
DOCTOR: No. No, that’s far enough.
FLIC: I’ll decide what far enough looks like, Prince Charming.
DOCTOR: I said no! My young friend and I are soaked, cold and, frankly, rather confused. And no matter how many insults you throw around, until one or two things are made clear, we have absolutely no intention of taking another step. Right, JO?
FLIC: I could just shoot you right here, you know?
JO: But you won’t, will you? I mean, why would you, after you stopped those other two from doing it? It wouldn’t make any sense.
DOCTOR: Exactly, JO. If you wanted us dead, you’d have let them kill us, or killed us yourself already, and between ourselves, you don’t look to be handling that gun of yours with very much enthusiasm at all. Now, I’m known as the DOCTOR, and this is my friend, JO GRANT. And without wishing to sound ungrateful, why did you help us back there?
FLIC: (Frustrated and trying to keep quiet) Keep your voices down, unless you want any more trigger-happy idiots turning up with questions! (She sighs). I was trying to leave you to your own devices, and make sure you kept out of trouble, but you were obviously determined to do otherwise!
JO: (Aside) No change there, then…
FLIC: Having a pop at the tour boat guy was bad enough but then you had to go and stick your neck into that poor girl’s murder…
DOCTOR: How long were you following us, Madam?
FLIC: Oh, ‘Madam’ is it? Very Old School. Since I spotted you in the square, and your damn lucky it was me and not one of my esteemed colleagues, most of whom are pretty Old School themselves, especially when it comes to thumb screws and hot coals. You know your way around, I’ll give you that but purple velvet and striped trouser suits aren’t exactly the most inconspicuous attire for enemy agents to sport.
DOCTOR: (Incredulous) Enemy agents?
FLIC: OK, I know, we’re not technically enemies, at least not officially, but things are hardly friendly at the moment, are they? I heard your lot were sending someone in to help, I’ve been on the lookout for them for ages, but I must admit I’d thought it’d be one of the regular faces, someone who knows how to behave around here. You two didn’t even bring flag badges with you! Once you’d got mixed up with the patrol, I had to get you away.
JO: But we’re not ‘enemy agents’, we’re not trying to make contact with anyone, we just came here for a trip!
FLIC: Look, you don’t have to keep up the pretence with me, it should be pretty obvious by now that I’m trying to help you.
DOCTOR: It happens to be true. I was bringing my companion to Prague, simply to show her the sights.
FLIC: A trip? You came to New Prague for a trip? Blimey, it’s not just the clothes, is it? You really must be mad.
DOCTOR: New Prague?
FLIC: (Frustrated) Alright, I get it; that’s your cover story and you’re sticking to it. But I warn you, if you get caught, it’s not going to wash with my colleagues either.
DOCTOR: I say, you really are beginning to try my patience. It’s not a cover story, we’re not any kind of spies and we’re not here to meet anybody!
JO: It’s the truth!
FLIC: (Laughs) And I suppose ‘JO Grant’ and ‘the DOCTOR’ are your real names, are they? You must think I was born yesterday.
DOCTOR: It’s a pity you weren’t, we could have made better progress on your intellect.
We hear FLIC’s gun click back to readiness.
FLIC: (Quietly, more threatening) Careful, ‘DOCTOR’. If you don’t want to break your cover with me, that’s fine. I’m not your contact, I couldn’t care less. But nobody arrives on New Prague in a box like yours with just a walk up the Tower on their mind. What was it, some kind of transference capsule to get through the Field?
DOCTOR: You wouldn’t understand.
FLIC: Perhaps not. But I do understand that we need help, help was expected and then you two show up, blundering into anything and everything that normal people round here do their best to avoid. Something tells me you’re going to be useful, either willingly or otherwise, so you’re coming with me.
FLIC: To meet some friends of mine. Your contacts, as it happens.
DOCTOR: I want some answers, first…
FLIC: (Interrupting) And while I don’t particularly want to use this gun, I will if I have to. On the off chance you really aren’t the contacts we’ve been expecting, you two running around, poking your noses into everything isn’t going to help anybody, and I really can’t afford to let you blow my cover. Let’s move, and quick.
JO: Well, DOCTOR?
DOCTOR: It appears we’ve little choice in the matter JO. All we can do is play along and see what we can learn from our friendly double agent, here, or whomever she intends to introduce us to.
JO: And hope we don’t run into one of those things, again.
DOCTOR: Quite. For now, at least, it seems there’s nothing else for it than to play Agents of Innocence…
We hear the three begin to walk again.
13. INT. Spaceport VIP lounge. What once was Vaclav Havel Airport, is now a bustling spaceport, and LYSSA waits in the VIP Lounge for the arrival of her Leader. Muffled through the closed doors, we hear the sounds of space age commuting and boarding announcements for transport craft. The voice of an ANNOUNCER plays through the speaker in the room.
ANNOUNCER: Flight 1743 from Astralgia has landed at Terminal B. Passengers are reminded that those travelling on Travel Passes from Astralgia, and all Unity Alliance planets are subject to enhanced security vetting and can expect to be delayed by up to six hours. Thank you.
LYYSA: (To herself) Damn Astralgians… If we can increase the security delays to eight hours, we might stop them coming over here altogether….
An electric door opens. In strides the Head Governor, HECTOR GRANGE. GRANGE is a middle-aged charismatic man, with a rich, fruity voice, which masks the vacuousness of his oratory. While outwardly populist, he is man of no real conviction, other than to keep himself in comfort and his wallet well lined. Accompanying him is DIBDEN BARONET, the Safety Inspector for the Galactic Bank. BARONET is older than GRANGE, and quietly well-spoken, with a sharp intelligence and a keen eye for detail.
LYSSA: Head Governor! Such a pleasure to see you so soon after your landing, I wasn’t expecting to meet with you until tomorrow.
GRANGE: Oh, LYSSA, LYSSA, LYSSA, I’ve told you a million times, call me HECTOR.
LYSSA: Of course, HECTOR, I’m sorry.
GRANGE: Can’t expect the plebs to do it if my own Cabinet keep forgetting, eh?
LYSSA: No, indeed.
GRANGE: You remember old BARONET, of course, don’t you? I say, BARONET, old man, you remember my Justice and Security thingy, LYSSA MANIAE, don’t you?
BARONET: Absolutely, Head Governor. In fact, I dare say there aren’t many of us in the Unity Alliance who’d fail to recognise the author of those policies which have caused our citizens such dismay.
LYSSA: (Defensively) New Prague is not a member of the Unity Alliance anymore, Mr BARONET, and our immigration policies are entirely…
GRANGE: (Interrupting) Now, now, we don’t want to get off on the wrong foot, do we? I’m sure BARONET here was just having larks. It’s all just larks at the end of the day, LYSSA. In fact, BARONET, I need to have an urgent word with LYSSA about that very topic. I wonder if you’d mind waiting in the Travel Pod? One of the agents will go down with you, ok?
BARONET: Of course, Head Governor. I remind you that my Inspections of the Ground Lab and the Sky Lab are scheduled to begin first thing in the morning; I would suggest we don’t leave here too late.
GRANGE: Oh yes, that’s right! I’ve asked a few peeps from the press to pop along too, Just for the photo ops, hope you don’t mind. You know, two galactic powers, standing on the edge of a new vision, that sort of thing?
BARONET: (Uncomfortable) Well, I imagine it’s too late to change those arrangements, so I’ll make sure to put on a clean shirt. I’ll await you, outside.
He walks away.
The electronic door slides open for him and closes behind.
GRANGE: (Now more earnest) Right, now what’s the latest on these deaths?
LYSSA: There’s nothing to worry about, Head Governor, most of the fatalities are confined to the perimeter of the City and the public are blaming the alien population. Support for our curfew and Off-Worlding programme is skyrocketing.
GRANGE: Any connection to the, erm… to the ‘you know what’?
LYSSA: (A little too forcefully) No! No, no, no connection at all.
GRANGE: Well, thank God for that. I can’t stress enough, LYSSA, how much we need this Trade Agreement to be signed off. If BARONET doesn’t give the ok to the safety and stability of the Atmospheric Containment Field, then the investment won’t be coming in, and my HAVEN programme can go whistle… I just hope we can get his visit over and done with without any more bodies popping up. Are you sure we’ve no suspects?
LYSSA: A Patrol did report coming across a couple of strange characters, this evening, as it happens. They’d gotten involved in a Curfew Hunt being run from one of the Old Town bars, where a Bregalian was killed.
GRANGE: Oh, lord, people been getting tanked up and going after curfew breakers, are they?
LYSSA: That’s right, sir, it’s actually been pretty good for us, our supporters certainly enjoy it. Sometimes they can get a bit out of hand and instead of just reporting them to the Patrols, they put bets on who can kill one first. Officially we disapprove, of course, but they’re quite good at helping with the alien population problem…
GRANGE: Oh, quite, quite. So, these two look like our people, do they?
LYSSA: Unknown as yet, sir. Patrol wanted a quick contractual execution but the SLD took over and have taken them for questioning. I expect they’ll be reporting to you presently.
GRANGE: Good old SLD, eh? Well, I hope they do it quickly and quietly. See here, LYSSA, everything is riding on a successful inspection of the Field. Everything. And I can’t allow central zone deaths or stories of monsters to jeopardise that, so I’m counting on you to keep things under control.
LYSSA: To ensure that, Head Governor, I would appreciate access to SLD files.
HECTOR: Oh, I’ll bet you would, but the SLD reports to me only! Though I of course trust you implicitly, LYSSA, my dear, it’s not wise to have every source of intelligence concentrated solely in your hands, I’m sure you’ll agree.
LYSSA: I naturally agree entirely, for any other case but this. Sir, there has been a significant escalation in espionage activities from our friends and partners in the Unity Alliance, amongst others. It isn’t unwise to suspect that with Trade and Investment activities at such a crucial stage, more such activities will be taking place, indeed, there are audible rumours to that effect among my contacts. The Patrol who found these two reported some unusual behaviour from the SLD operative involved, and I feel it prudent to know every aspect of what is going on.
(Her tone becomes more aggressive)
Unless, of course, you don’t feel that Mr BARONET’s visit is important in sealing the necessary deal.
HECTOR: (Suddenly less avuncular, quietly threatening) Is that an ultimatum, LYSSA?
LYSSA: No, sir. Merely, an observation borne from mutual self-interest.
HECTOR: You said these two were just a couple of murderers, that the bodies were nothing to do with… other things.
LYSSA: I can’t be certain of that, sir. Not without the SLD files. And even if… other things… are responsible, you only need me to keep the blame focussed on the community sectors we want it to be focussed on, and fear at the appropriate level for the duration of the visit. With sight of the files, I can guarantee that.
HECTOR: Guarantee is a dangerous word, LYSSA.
LYSSA: I understand that. And I use it unreservedly. Give me what I need, and your inspection will be a success.
HECTOR: (With a peculiar viciousness) I hope so, LYSSA. Because your place in HAVEN depends on it.
14. EXT. Kampa Island, under the Charles Bridge, at night. The rain has stopped but we hear the sound of wet shoes on cobbles and occasional feet in puddles. An ancient, wooden water wheel continues to turn. There are no passers-by. FLIC has led the DOCTOR and JO here
FLIC: This is far enough, we wait here.
JO: Wait for who?
FLIC: For your contacts.
DOCTOR: Look, we’ve already explained…
FLIC: (Interrupting) And I’ve already said I don’t want to hear it.
The DOCTOR laughs in frustration.
FLIC: There’s nothing to laugh at out here.
DOCTOR: Perhaps not. Tell me, have you ever considered swapping the spy life for a career in the military? With a mind as stubbornly closed as yours, I should think you’d be a natural fit.
DOCTOR: What is it, JO?
JO: Over there, by the water wheel!
The trio are stood on a stone wall alongside the water. The water wheel is a few yards across the water from them. Two figures, FRANCIS and VIKTOR KRAAL (Known as VIK) have emerged into view. VIK is a Half Bregalian Slavic man similar in age to FLIC, his former lover, and the reluctant necessity of their continued association is apparent in his voice. FRANCIS, meanwhile, is openly hostile to her and indeed anyone he views as failing to match his own ideological purity. FRANCIS is an anti-governor activist, while VIK simply wants a quiet life, reluctantly acting as contact for FLIC for FRANCIS’s benefit, despite the distrust between them.
FRANCIS: Well, well, well. Look what your girlfriend brought us. The only question is why?
VIK: (Resentful) Shut it, FRANCIS. (To FLIC) Who are these two?
FLIC: Nice to see you, VIK.
VIK: I wish I could say the same. I’ll ask again; who are these two?
DOCTOR: I’m sorry, there really seems to have been some sort of misunderstanding. My friend and I were just in town for a spot of…
FRANCIS: (Interrupting & mimicking the DOCTOR) Oh, ‘there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding’ has there? I’ll say there has. (To VIK) These two are the emergency, are they? These two are the reason we risked breaking curfew to come out here and meet your traitor girlfriend?
VIK: I said, SHUT UP! I didn’t ask to be dragged into your battles, did I? And you wouldn’t have had any access to the stuff FLIC’s got for you from the inside all this time if I hadn’t kept in touch with her, would you? (To FLIC) One more time, FLIC. Who are these two and why have you brought them to us?
FLIC: (Uncertain) Isn’t it obvious? We still haven’t found what the Governors are hiding and you said you were expecting help from your contacts to get to the bottom of it all. I’ve been tailing these two all evening, since they arrived in a transference capsule in the Square. They damn near got themselves executed by a Patrol until I pulled them out. They were acting like such a couple of sore thumbs I thought they must be the ones you were expecting.
JO: Now do you believe us?
FRANCIS: (Laughing cruelly at FLIC) You, assumed, did you? It’s no wonder New Prague is going to hell in a handcart, if you’re the finest the Great State has to offer!
FLIC: You mean..?
VIK: FRANCIS’s contact has already arrived.
FLIC: When? Who?
FRANCIS: None of your business, Agent MARSH!
FLIC: It’s my business every bit as it is yours, FRANCIS! You’re not the only one being stamped on by this system!
FRANCIS: Maybe not, but most people are being stamped on a lot harder than you are, aren’t they, FLIC? And they don’t pay their rent by dobbing in their mates and nicking innocent people, do they?
VIK: That’s enough! FLIC’s put her neck on the line coming over to you, as well you know, FRANCIS, and precious few others would do what she’s done.
FRANCIS: (Indignant) Well, forgive me for not dropping to my knees in thanks! It might have escaped you that for all the help of your double agent-ex, we’re no closer to finding out what the Governors are up to, are we?
FLIC: What, still nothing?
VIK: No. And a hell of a lot of people have been Off-Worlded trying to find out. Most of the old crowd are gone, and now you swan up with these two…
DOCTOR: (Apologetically) Look, we did try and explain all this, you know.
FLIC: (Frustrated and irritated) I know we’ve lost people, for God’s sake! Who do you think has to look through the Off-Worlding schedule every day? That’s why I thought these two were the ones; a couple of new faces my lot wouldn’t have on the books…
FRANCIS: Well, you were wrong, weren’t you? You’ve just picked up a couple of nutters and dragged them through the streets to us!
FLIC: Look, it doesn’t matter who they are, they have to go with you now, anyway. They’ve been swanning around Old Town for hours without even a flag badge between them and are getting all sorts of unwanted attention. If I let them go, they’ll be killed in a heartbeat and I can’t take them back to HQ.
FRANCIS: Why the hell should we take them?
VIK: (Incredulous) Because they haven’t anywhere else to go, FRANCIS, for God’s sake…
Before tempers can escalate, a mighty splash, followed by the now familiar gurgling roar, is heard, as one of the creatures breaks water and launches itself onto the wooden pier with a crash. Screams and exclamations sound from our four antagonists in response.
FRANCIS: What the…?!
Two more splashes as VIK and FRANCIS are knocked into the water by the creature.
JO: We’ve got to get them out!
DOCTOR: It’s not going for them, JO, look out!
The creature roars again as it hurls itself over the divide, landing with a thud and a crunch, alongside the DOCTOR, JO and FLIC, this time knocking JO into the water – she screams as she falls.
DOCTOR: JO! JO, swim for the other side, as fast as you can!
JO: (Struggling in the water) DOCTOR, look out, it’s coming for you!
The slapping, scrambling noise abounds as the creature rounds on the DOCTOR and FLIC.
DOCTOR: Stand back, get behind me!
FLIC: Yeah? And what are you going to do, measure it up for a suit? Out of the way!
FLIC draws her gun and unloads three energy rounds into the creature. It winces in pain, but the damage is only minor.
DOCTOR: Careful, it’s coming again!
Another three shots. This time the creature turns and slides back into the water, gurgling as it goes.
DOCTOR: JO! Look out, it’s coming back for you!
VIK: I’ve got her!
VIK has made it back to the pier and reaches back to help JO and FRANCIS who remain in the water.
VIK: Give me your hand!
JO: It’s too close!
VIK: No, it isn’t, give me your hand!
A heaving sound as VIK pulls JO to the pier, and JO drags air into her lungs.
JO: Thank… thank you!
DOCTOR: JO, are you alright?
FRANCIS: VIK! I can’t get up!
A sickening roar, a scream and splashing water. Then silence. FRANCIS has been taken.
FLIC: VIK! VIKTOR! You have to go!
VIK: (Distressed and unfocussed) What?
FLIC: Patrols will be swarming all over this place any second, you have to get her out of here!
JO: Hey, wait a minute!
VIK: What about him?
FLIC: I’ll take care of him, run!
DOCTOR: Now, wait just a moment!
A siren sounds in the distance and getting nearer as the raindrops begin to fall again.
FLIC: No time to argue! If we’re still here when the Patrol arrives, you’ll wish that thing had taken you, too. We’ll find them later, now run!
DOCTOR: JO! JO, I’ll find you!
VIK: Come on!
The sirens continue to get closer while we hear the DOCTOR and FLIC, and JO and VIK hurriedly depart in opposite directions…
15. EXT. The Streets of Malá Strana. JO and VIK are fleeing through the narrow alleyways and cobbled streets, their shoes skidding and sliding on wet stone. Patrol sirens blare in the rain filled air, and they are getting closer, cutting off the directions in which the pair can flee.
JO: (Breathless) Where are we going?
VIK: Just keep running!
JO: It’s no good, the sirens are everywhere!
VIK: We have to keep moving! These streets are a maze, they can’t check them all at once.
The sirens get louder, now coming from the air and accompanied by the whoosh of an airborne Travel Pod, searching for the pair from above.
JO: It looks like they’re giving it a good try!
VIK: Damn it, they’ve got the searchlights out! There’s only one thing for it, we’ll have to get down into the sewers.
JO: The sewers? That’s where those creatures are coming from!
VIK: Have you got a better idea? Look, there’s a manhole down this way.
They run into the next street, the sirens and vehicle noise growing louder. A voice on a loudspeaker begins to sound.
PATROL VOICE: We have you surrounded! Remain still and await processing!
VIK: Not on your life, mate!
JO: Or ours, more like!
VIK: Exactly! Give me a hand with this!
Together, they heave open the rusty manhole cover and slide it away.
JO: How do we know there are none of those things down there?
VIK: We don’t! We either risk running into one of them or stay here and let the Patrols take us. At least down here we’ve a chance of getting out alive! Look, I’ll go first and check it’s clear, then you climb down after me, ok?
JO: Ok, but be careful!
VIK heaves himself down through the manhole. The approaching Patrols continue to get louder.
VIK: (Shouting back up to JO) Alright, it’s clear! Come on down!
The sirens are here and a Patrol Travel Pod shudders to a halt in the alley JO stands in. The voice speaks again through the loudspeaker.
PATROL VOICE: Halt! You are in breach of curfew; remain where you are!
JO: It’s too late, they’re here!
VIK: Climb down, JO, quick!
JO: You have a better chance if you leave me here, just go! Find the DOCTOR, he’ll help you!
PATROL VOICE: Remain where you are!
JO begins to shift the manhole cover back into place.
VIK: What are you doing?!
JO: Tell the DOCTOR, I’m sorry. Now run, VIK!
The cover slips back into place over VIK’s protestations.
PATROL VOICE: Stand up, with your arms above your head and walk towards the Officers!
JO: Alright! Alright, I’m doing as you ask! (To herself) Well, DOCTOR, maybe it would have been better if we had just landed in the Cold War…
16. EXT. New Prague’s Atmospheric Containment Field Ground Lab, located at what was once Petřín Tower. It is dawn. We hear the sound of complex machinery, coming from inside the complex. BARONET is about to conduct his first inspection. The whir of cameras and hustle of Journalists dominate, as GRANGE treats the occasion as a publicity exercise – he is moving steadily into full throttle in his pantomime…
GRANGE: (To the Journos)… and furthermore, as I and my Governors have often said, New Prague’s departure from the Unity Alliance should not in any way be viewed as a backwards or isolationist step. No! Rather, it will enable us to become to develop a truly Galactic outlook.
Agreeable murmuring from the assembled press, most of whom are supportive, save for one voice which struggles to be heard in the crowd – that of MONIKA MOROVA, a fiercely independent Journalist.
MONIKA: (Shouting over the general praise) Mr GRANGE! A question, please!
GRANGE: And let’s not forget that our good friends in the Unity Alliance, are every bit as keen as we are to agree this brilliant new trade and investment arrangement. In fact, one or two might even say they’re rather more keen than we are, eh?
Laughter and a spattering of jingoistic remarks from the assembled press.
MONIKA: Mr GRANGE! Could I ask a question, please!
GRANGE: (Deliberately ignoring her) But now is not the time to dwell on who holds which cards, now is the time to celebrate this fantastic achievement, which will guarantee massive investment in New Prague…
MONIKA: Mr BARONET! A question, please for Channel 633!
GRANGE: (Cutting her off) I think Mr BARONET is keen to get cracking on seeing off the formalities as quickly as possible, actually, let’s save the questions until later…
BARONET: (Interjecting) Oh, I’m not inclined to rush a task like this, Governor GRANGE, but I think I can just about manage to squeeze a question in, don’t you? (To MONIKA) Please, ask away.
MONIKA: Thank you, Mr BARONET. MONIKA MOROVA, Channel 633 News: Governor GRANGE and his team have been very keen to spread the message that your inspection of the Atmospheric Field Generators is just a piece of theatre on your part and the investment of the Galactic Bank is a foregone conclusion. Isn’t the truth that unless this colony’s new generators pass your rigorous scrutiny, the promised investment will never materialise?
Heckling and aggression from the other Journos.
GRANGE: Now, you see, that’s a ridiculous question, and frankly, MONIKA, I think you should be ashamed of yourself for not believing in the future of this colony a bit more…
BARONET: Actually, Governor GRANGE, I will answer that question. MONIKA, I have absolutely no wish to get into who has said what and why, I’m a simple functionary and the orations of the mighty are none of my concern. However, I will say that I have been a technical trade specialist for a great many years, and in all that time, no deal has been signed, and no investment made, in any colony or system whose safety and atmospheric equipment has failed to pass my scrutiny. And that being the case, I think I’d better make a start. Don’t you agree, Governor GRANGE?
GRANGE: (Caught a little off guard and covering his embarrassment) Absolutely! Let’s crack on and get this over with! This way, BARONET…
More approving murmurs from the press – the cameras start up again.
GRANGE: (To himself) And I think it’s time one or two other things were ‘over with’ too. Or perhaps, one or two people…
17. INT. The Safe House – an untidy, Panelák apartment on the outskirts of the City, used by FLIC as a safe house. The construction and décor is reminiscent of a typical such apartment in the 1960’s, complete with rickety furniture and period amenities, save for a monitor built into the wall. The front door opens and FLIC enters, followed by the DOCTOR.
FLIC: Come on, get in, get in, before anyone sees.
The DOCTOR closes the door behind him.
DOCTOR: Not exactly in keeping with the period, is it? Though I suppose anywhere that it takes all night to walk to is welcome comfort.
FLIC ignores the comment and walks to the window, opening it slightly. We hear the sounds of a city creaking into life.
FLIC: Let’s get some air in here, at least; it’s been ages since I had to use this Safe House.
DOCTOR: So, it would seem, judging from the state of the place.
FLIC: There should be some food left over somewhere; I’ll get the kettle on.
DOCTOR: No, wait a moment. Considering what my young friend and I have been through since we arrived here, I think I’ve shown exceptional patience in not demanding answers. You said we couldn’t talk freely outside, so now we’re here – wherever here is – it’s time for you to start talking. And then you’re going to help me find Miss GRANT.
FLIC: (Sighing) Ok… ok. (She laughs) Blimey, you really don’t have a clue what’s going on, do you?
DOCTOR: That’s what I’ve been endeavouring to tell you since we met. Now, I gather we’re on some sort of colony, but the craftsmanship in replicating the original Prague is like nothing I’ve ever seen – it’s incomparable to the point of brilliance, in fact.
FLIC: That’s probably because you’re right on both counts, DOCTOR. Yes, this is a colony, and yes, it’s the original Prague.
DOCTOR: (Confused) What?
FLIC: We’re a Domain World.
DOCTOR: A Domain World…? Yes, of course! During the middle period of Earth’s empire, a number of colonies started began replicating some of Earth’s most famous cities, and called themselves Domains, correct?
FLIC: They did a lot more than replicate them, DOCTOR, they relocated them, quite literally. A lot of Earth’s original colonies were founded by idealists and pioneers, but the Domains were created by corporations of the ludicrously rich, who physically transplanted entire cities light-years across space to whichever planets or asteroids took their fancy. They’d terraform where necessary, displace whichever species happened to be living there, and call it their new Domain. They called it ‘taking the best of Earth to the Stars’.
DOCTOR: (Disgusted) They displaced other species?
FLIC: Well, they didn’t call it that. Quite often, they’d hold out the hand of friendship and offer a golden future, only for it to be one of servitude and oppression in the outskirts of the colonies. For the ones who took it, that is.
DOCTOR: And those that didn’t? Let me guess. And humanity flocked to these new ‘Domains’ I take it?
FLIC: Well, not exactly, DOCTOR. These places were built for the wealthy and those hoping to one day be wealthy. The service industry workers, cleaners, carers and the like were forcibly transferred with the cities and made to live in places, well, places like this. Most people in the Domains are either desperate to get out of the outskirts, or desperate to make sure they don’t end up in them.
DOCTOR: And people don’t leave?
FLIC: Where would we go? The Domains have been in business a long time, people like me were born here. Things were better for a while when we part of the Unity Alliance, and we had free inter-planetary movement, but New Prague pulled out of that a few years back and relationships have been edgy since. Plus, leaving has given the Governors the chance to blame anything and everything on the alien population, and there are a fair few people happy to take out their frustrations on a Bregalian or two. You heard for yourself, when you were arguing with that boat vendor, how people talk about other cultures, here.
DOCTOR: (Sickened) You mean, when he complained of ‘creatures’ he wasn’t talking about whatever is doing the killing, he was talking about other cultures? Other people?
FLIC: Not that they’re people in his eyes, DOCTOR, just aliens to blame his problems on and to be gotten rid of.
DOCTOR: Like that poor young woman, last night.
FLIC: Quite. Officially, the Governors say other races are our friends and partners, but that’s not how it is in practice. Scapegoating and gaslighting are routine, and as you saw last night, even law officers are happy for drunk rich kids to play ‘hunt the alien’ for a cut of the sweepstake.
DOCTOR: Yes, and to kill anyone who tries to get in the way.
FLIC: They’re not all like that, I assure you, but too many are. Since the curfew was brought in when the deaths started, rogue Patrols have carte blanche to police as they see fit.
DOCTOR: Surely the Governors must know that the deaths are caused by the attacks of large reptiles, like the ones we’ve seen?
FLIC: Oh, they know alright, but admitting that doesn’t help their agenda, when they can keep enough of the people onside with a touch of jingoism and xenophobia, and stay in power.
DOCTOR: But even a system as callous as you describe can’t keep the existence of these animals, whatever they are, under wraps forever?
FLIC: So far, they have. Most of the attacks have been in the poorer areas on the outskirts, and, well, nobody cares what happens there. But you see, DOCTOR, sickening though it is, I think their desire not to shine a light on these things isn’t just about perpetuating racism; I think they’ve known about them all along.
FLIC: And there are a hell of lot more of them in New Prague than you could even dream about.
18. INT. DETENTION CENTRE. JO finds herself in a room with a dozen or so other people of various species, all recent arrestees. There is a soullessness to the room, exacerbated by the occasional sound of muffled weeping and shivering. She is sitting next to an old woman, EVA, who speaks with a Czech accent, and next to her, RADEK, who once worked on LYSSA’s staff. A Guard stands by the door.
GUARD: (Bellowing) Detainees will remain seated until otherwise instructed!
RADEK: But, I need… I need the…
GUARD: I said remain seated!
We hear the sound of the butt of a weapon connecting with RADEK, who exhales in pain.
JO: Hey, there’s no need to hurt him!
GUARD: Sit down, Miss, unless you want the same?
EVA: Calm yourself, my dear.
JO: I can’t just stand by and watch them hurt him.
EVA: You can. You must. Because hurt him they will, whether you object or not, and the more you object, the more they will hurt him.
The GUARD strikes RADEK once more, who supresses his cry and sits back down next to EVA.
RADEK: (Through gritted teeth) Never mind, I guess I’ll go later…
EVA embraces RADEK, who begins to comfort her.
RADEK: It’s ok, Mama, I’m fine.
JO: This is your son?
RADEK: My name’s RADEK, this is my mother, EVA.
JO: I’m JOSEPHINE GRANT, everyone calls me JO.
RADEK: The guards here won’t. What have they got you for?
JO: The truth is I’m not really sure. First of all, it was something about not wearing a flag badge, or something, then they said I was breaking curfew and after that they said espionage! I’m a stranger here, I was just visiting with a friend and things have been crazy ever since we arrived.
RADEK: Where’s your friend, now?
JO: I wish I knew. Some kind of creature attacked us, and we got separated, that’s when the Patrol caught me.
EVA: A Chort.
JO: Excuse me?
RADEK: The creature you saw. A Chort is an old Slavic myth from centuries back; a malign creature out to do harm to men and capture their souls. It’s what Mama calls the thing you saw.
JO: What are they?
RADEK: Nobody really knows, at least nobody outside the Government. Most people around here haven’t seen or even heard about them. When people started dying, the Governors blamed political opponents and malcontents among the alien population.
EVA: And the people believed them, just as they blame other races for all their woes: unemployment, crime, even being stuck in the queue for the Hyper-Train.
JO: I’m afraid that’s something that happens where I’m from too. I’d rather hoped it was a trait humanity would have lost by now.
RADEK: Not much chance of that, I’m afraid. Look around you, there are four, five different species here, all brought in for minor infractions: being out after curfew, being late with the rent. If you’re not a human on New Prague, the rules demand absolute perfection in return for the absolute minimum, and you’d better be damn grateful to get that.
JO: And the humans here?
EVA: The people who object a little too vociferously, or who refuse to renounce ideals the Governors decry as extreme. All variously damned as traitors, disruptors and enemies of the People.
JO: So, it’s a Dictatorship?
RADEK: Not exactly, there are free elections and everything, it’s just that with gerrymandering and a friendly press, everything’s stacked in the Governors’ favour.
JO: But don’t people care what’s going on?
EVA: Of course. But the opposition Parties are so split, and their supporters so busy demanding purity and perfection from them, they offer no threat to the Governors.
RADEK: It doesn’t need to be a Dictatorship, because the way things are, nothing’s going to change, and too many people are content to close their eyes and carry on, as long as they’ve got money in their pockets and they’re not the ones in rooms like this.
JO: And is that what happened to you both? You were too vocal, caused too much trouble for the Governors?
RADEK: Not quite. In fact, I was a part of this regime.
EVA: You were never one of them, RADEK, you tried to do good!
RADEK: I was an aide to the Justice Governor, LYSSA MANIAE, until she found out I’d been leaking information to the Opposition. That’s when they came for me. And for Mama… (suddenly distressed) Mama, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…
EVA: (Embracing him) You have nothing to be sorry for, laska moi. Nothing.
JO: What will happen to you?
EVA: I think… I think we are prepared for what will happen to us. The question, my dear, is what will happen to you?
Boots approach and a new GUARD stands in front of JO.
NEW GUARD: GRANT, JOSPEHINE. You have been allocated a seat on the Barge. You will step this way.
JO: (Nervously) I think I’m about to find out…
19. INT. The Safe House. FLIC is still filling in the DOCTOR with what she knows of the creatures.
DOCTOR: Look, don’t you think it’s time we tried to find JO and your friend, what was his name? VIKTOR?
FLIC: He’s not exactly my ‘friend’, DOCTOR, at least, not for a long time…
DOCTOR: Well, whatever he is, JO is in his care in a world with a hostile government on one hand and a host of carnivorous life forms on the other. I’ll feel an awful lot better when we’ve met up, and then perhaps we can get to the bottom of your problem.
FLIC: It’s not as simple as that, DOCTOR. Corrupt though it is, I’m an Officer of the State Loyalty Department, and VIK is a half Bregalian, known political malcontent. It doesn’t do either of us much good to be seen talking too often. You might have gathered after last night that I’m not exactly flavour of the month with some of his friends.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, I understand all that, but it strikes me that unless all of you opposed to this regime, whether everyday folk with banners and placards or double agents like your good self, embedded in the system, actually start working together, your hopes of success are rather slim. And that’s not even considering the added threat these creatures, whatever they are, pose.
FX – An electronic alarm begins to bleep.
DOCTOR: What’s that?
FLIC: One of the many ways our beloved leaders stay popular with the masses: twice daily public deportations.
The Monitor fizzes into life, we hear a series of electronic beeps.
DOCTOR: Deportations on every video screen? And people enjoy this?
FLIC: A good many who like to blame all their problems on outsiders do, for others it’s a potent warning of what could happen if they step too far out of line. I’m afraid you won’t like this one, DOCTOR. At 9:00am and 7:00pm each day, anyone found to have no legal status on New Prague is forcibly removed. ‘Off-Worlding’ they call it.
DOCTOR: Is this a live stream to the Space Port?
FLIC: Not quite, DOCTOR, Off-Worlding is via the Vltava. Those being removed are placed in secure automatic barges, like that one setting off now, you see? The whole thing is timed to coincide with the clock in the Old Town Square; at precisely 9 and 7, the barges penetrate the Atmospheric Field to the outside, (with heavy contempt) and our people cheer the expulsion of anyone who doesn’t look, talk or act like them…
DOCTOR: And what precisely happens then?
A data stream appears on the screen alongside the images of the barge.
FLIC: The passenger manifest has just loaded.
DOCTOR: (Angrily) A public tarring and feathering for the already condemned?
FLIC: (Reading) Hranold Zlegic – a Bregalian activist with an expired residency permit, Karol Prager – a political activist and Priest whose sermons weren’t to the Governors’ taste… (Shocked) Oh, no… DOCTOR, I’m sorry.
DOCTOR: Sorry? Why?
FLIC: DOCTOR, it’s JO. JO’s on that barge. (Distracted) But why isn’t VIK there too? What could have happened to him…?
DOCTOR: Well, quick, come on, we’ve got to get down there!
FLIC: We’ll never make it, DOCTOR, we’re too far away, the barge will be through the field in moments.
DOCTOR: (Becoming desperate) Then we’ll have to try the TARDIS! If I can bypass the temporal displacement circuits and keep her in real-time, I’ll be able to track that barge ship wherever it goes.
FLIC: (Confused) There’s no point.
DOCTOR: (Angry now) What do you mean ‘there’s no point’ damn it!
FLIC: I’m sorry, DOCTOR, I thought you realised…
DOCTOR: Realised what?
FLIC: (Uncomfortable) What deportation means on New Prague. The City, quite literally is the colony. There isn’t anything beyond the barrier.
DOCTOR: No relocation camp? No refugee centre?
FLIC: No, DOCTOR. Nothing. When the companies built the Domains, to keep costs down and profits high, terraforming was limited solely to the areas of the planetoids due to be populated and contained within the Fields, it wasn’t deemed cost effective to bother with the rest. Nothing human can survive beyond the barrier.
DOCTOR: (Realisation dawning) But that would mean… No, it can’t be!
FLIC: ‘Off-Worlding’ is just a euphemism, on New Prague, DOCTOR, a way of getting rid of people without leaving a mess. When the barge passes through the barrier, there’s nothing but death waiting on the other side.
DOCTOR: But that’s monstrous, that’s…!
FLIC: Yes, it is! JO isn’t just being deported from the colony, DOCTOR; she’s being deported from life!
The sound of the bell in the Clock Tower beginning to chime is piped through the screen, accompanied by the dreadful crescendo of people cheering.
20. EXT. Outside the Detention Centre. JO is not dead. We find her being frog-marched away from the Detention Centre by the NEW GUARD.
NEW GUARD: Come on, come on, keep moving!
JO: This doesn’t look very much like a barge to me, where are you taking me?
NEW GUARD: I said, keep moving!
Their footsteps continue towards the main street, where the sound of futuristic traffic grows louder.
NEW GUARD: Down here.
They divert down a side street, away from view.
JO: Look, either you tell me where you’re taking me or I’m not moving another inch.
NEW GUARD: You’re in no position to make demands, Miss!
JO: Why not? I don’t see why I should be especially compliant if all you’re going to do is kill me anyway, do you?
NEW GUARD: (His voice softer) You’re no less stubborn for your time inside, I see.
JO: That voice…, you’re…
We hear the NEW GUARD remove his helmet.
VIK: In the pale blue flesh. Come on, let’s get out of sight, down here.
They continue moving, VIK discarding the remnants of his uniform, as they go.
JO: What are you doing here, how did you get in?
VIK: I know the routes of a lot of the guards here and followed one who has a habit of harassing aliens on his way to work. I managed to ‘persuade’ him to leave his latest target alone, but unfortunately my persuasion left him unable to make his shift, this morning. So, I borrowed his uniform and came to get you. I promised I’d get you back to this DOCTOR of yours, after all.
JO: How did you know where to find me?
VIK: An undocumented immigrant in New Prague? There was only one place you could be.
JO: What about all those people, back there, we can’t just leave them!
VIK: JO, they’re dead, already!
JO: No, they can’t be, we have to go back…
VIK: (Emotional and desperate to get away) We can’t help them, JO! Look, I feel the same as you believe me, more so if anything. I’ve seen how people are treated here for years and I hate it. But if we try to go back for the others now, all we’ll do is fill two more seats on the next barge. We have to get into the city, now come on!
There footsteps hurry away.
21. EXT. The streets of New Prague. The distraught DOCTOR has stormed from the Safe House and is making his way, back into Old Town. FLIC, follows behind him, trying to reason with him. We hear the sound of people on the streets and transport pods passing by.
FLIC: DOCTOR! DOCTOR, wait!
DOCTOR: Wait for what, precisely? Until it’s my turn to have my death cheered on by the flag waving hypocrites of your colony?
FLIC: I know you’re upset about JO, but…
DOCTOR: (Furious) Upset? Upset?! Miss Grant was my friend, my best friend, and she was here under my protection. I’d promised her a trip to a city she’d dreamed of seeing and instead I’ve led her to death at the hands of degenerates, while the callous and the apathetic looked on. So, believe me, Felicity, ‘upset’ doesn’t begin to describe my current state.
FLIC: I know. I know and I’m sorry, but DOCTOR, you have to think very carefully before doing anything?
DOCTOR: Do anything? What makes you think I’m either inclined, or capable of doing anything about this cesspool you’ve built for yourselves, here?
FLIC: Because I’ve known people like you before. I’ve seen that look you’re wearing on a hundred other faces before; people so consumed by their own grief and righteous anger at this injustice or that, that they bid cautioned be damned and march into Old Town trying to bring the Governors down. And do you know what, DOCTOR? They all lose. All of them. Most are dead, and the handful that are left are living like rats on the run.
DOCTOR: At least they’re trying to do something. Even they don’t succeed, that separates them from the ranks of the brain-washed and the brain-less, who celebrate the deaths of unfortunates they haven’t even met, because their system tells them to.
FLIC: Most people don’t know the truth of the barges, DOCTOR, most think deportation means just that.
DOCTOR: How many of them even care?
FLIC: Some. Some… but DOCTOR, even those who don’t are as much prisoners of this place as the most oppressed Bregalian on the outskirts. And it will take making them see that if we’re going to change things, that’s what I’m trying to do. And we need your help to do that.
DOCTOR: My dear girl, I’ve helped topple more dictators and overthrown more regimes than I care to remember. Never before have I walked away. But aside from the temptation of simple revenge, give me one good reason why I should fight to save a people who have no desire to be saved and who merrily applaud abuse and death, as long as it isn’t they who suffer it. Especially when even trying to do so has cost the life of my friend?
FLIC: Because the rest of us can’t just step into a box and fly away! We’re trapped here, DOCTOR, trapped in a system most of us hate and can’t do anything about. And even though I’ve only known you a short time, I know that you can help us do something about that.
DOCTOR: Believe me, FLIC, I’d be delighted to. But how do you save a society where apathy to the plight of others has taken root so deeply? Don’t you see? It doesn’t matter a Jot which Governor, Ruler, or Emperor for life is toppled if the people being ground beneath them don’t care enough to want to be saved!
Before FLIC can respond, we hear a travel POD approach and come to a halt beside them. Out steps an SLD OPERATIVE.
OPERATIVE: Agent MARSH, you failed to respond to Control as requested, this morning.
FLIC: Apologies, Ma’am
OPERATIVE: I don’t require apologies, MARSH, simply an explanation. (Noticing the DOCTOR). Who is this man?
FLIC: I’m just asking him some questions, Ma’am.
OPERATIVE: A suspicious person?
DOCTOR: Am I? Yes, I suppose I am. I’m the DOCTOR, how do you do?
FLIC: I do very well, thank you, DOCTOR, very well indeed, and I intend to keep on doing so. You can ride with me, MARSH, you and your medical friend, here. You can continue your ‘questions’ back at Control. (With heavy sarcasm) If you don’t mind being delayed for a while, ‘DOCTOR’?
DOCTOR: Certainly not (To FLIC) I mean, it’s not as though I can just get in a box and fly away, is it?
22. EXT. The Skylab at the inner summit of the Domain. BARONET is continuing his inspection – we hear the murmur and buzz of equipment in the background.
BARONET: (To himself) But this is… this is ludicrous! That would mean… No, no there must be some sort of error here.
He crosses to a console and presses an intercom link, we hear it bleep into life on the other end, where GRANGE answers.
GRANGE: BARONET, my good man, to what do I owe the pleasure?
BARONET: Governor GRANGE, thank you for accepting my call. It’s about the inspection so far. I’m currently in the Skylab at the pinnacle of the Domain and have made reached some troubling conclusions. We need to meet urgently to discuss my findings.
GRANGE: No, I’m afraid that’s quite impossible, BARONET, I’m a busy man, lots to do. That’s the way things are on New Prague, none of your little siestas like your lot get up to in the Unity Alliance, eh?
BARONET: It really is of the utmost urgency. The state of your Containment Field, Head Governor, it’s… well, it’s appalling!
GRANGE: Appalling? Surely, you’re Joking, BARONET, it was built by the finest specialists in the system!
BARONET: I don’t know anybody who would call them the finest, HECTOR. In fact, before your Domain commissioned them to replace your atmospheric shell, they’d built their reputation in the manufacture of Hyper-Fleet lavatories.
GRANGE: Well, there we have it! Expert inter-planetary engineers of the highest quality!
BARONET: HEAD GOVERNOR, they’re toilet attendants!
GRANGE: Well, there’s nothing wrong in a company working its way up from the bottom, so to speak, BARONET. And I can’t imagine why you’d have anything against lavatory makers; where would we all be without them, hey? Quite literally in the…
BARONET: (Cutting him off) They might produce the very finest in the known universe, Head Governor, but that does not make them competent in replacing an Atmospheric Containment Field responsible for literally millions of lives. Neither does their other peculiar side-line – Galactic Pest Control, I believe?
GRANGE: If you say so, BARONET.
BARONET: There are already fluctuations in the system which could cause weather anomalies and even breaches in the field itself!
GRANGE: (Laughing) Breaches in the field? You sound like you expect something to come piling in from outside, DIBDEN. The Field is perfectly stable, and even if something could penetrate it, there’s nothing beyond the barrier in the first place. Nothing can survive out there.
BARONET: Nothing humanoid perhaps, but who knows what manner of pests inhabit the wastelands beyond the Field? I’ve heard one or two disturbing rumours since my arrival.
GRANGE: Have you, indeed? Well, you shouldn’t let yourself be troubled by a lot of rumours and scaremongering.
BARONET: What troubles me more is that it’s obvious the Field has been in a state of disrepair for some time, but the damage has been covered with a mish-mash of patch up jobs, I believe deliberately designed to fool inspectors into believing everything is working properly.
GRANGE: (Less avuncular, a hint of threat in his voice) That’s quite an accusation, BARONET. Surely the Galactic Bank wouldn’t accuse us of falsifying records and attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of such an esteemed dignitary as yourself, just to secure a little investment, would they?
BARONET: (Steely, refusing to be intimidated) If my bank decided that investment were to go ahead, Governor GRANGE, where would it be directed?
GRANGE: To a carefully selected contractor, who would be charged with the complete revamp of New Prague’s infrastructure, helping us herald a bright new age of prosperity for all our People, BARONET, as well you know.
BARONET: Yes… and this ‘carefully selected contractor’ who will bring about your ‘bright new age’ wouldn’t happen to be the same company who installed a defective Field replacement in the first place, would it? Hyperspace Havens, I believe they call themselves.
GRANGE: Who can say, BARONET? I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of our procurement process, you know.
BARONET: Only I happened to learn, quite by chance, you understand, that a number of very senior prominent public figures on New Prague, Party donors, media moguls and the like, have interests in Hyperspace Havens. Including, I believe, yourself… Governor?
GRANGE: (A pause. All remaining Joviality has gone) It’s such a shame, BARONET, that you didn’t take my advice of just enjoying a relaxing few days with us and not looking too hard into things. Perhaps instead, you’ll take another piece of advice from me. I suggest taking a Travel Pod back down to the surface and strolling along to Wenceslas Square. You may be interested to hear a speech, my friend LYSSA and I are giving, later.
BARONET: And is there any particular reason I should wish to fill my day with the hot air?
GRANGE: Let’s just say it might ‘add context’ to what you think you’ve seen so far.
GRANGE: That’s right. Oh, and BARONET? Don’t send that report of yours anywhere until we’ve had a chance to look at it together, there’s a good man. We wouldn’t want anybody to get the wrong idea, would we?
The screen bleeps off.
BARONET: (To himself) The wrong idea, Head Governor? Oh, don’t worry about that; I think I have a very good idea of what you’re up to. A very good idea…
23. INT. VIK’s apartment. JO and VIK have made it back to his small, dirty apartment on the outskirts of the City. We hear them enter through the front door – a normal door, not automatic – and JO sits, while VIK begins moving around the kitchen.
VIK: Go ahead, sit down, I’ll get us some coffee, you look like you need it.
JO: Do you think they’ll look for us, here?
VIK: Anything’s possible, JO. Patrols usually stay away from the outskirts, if they can avoid it, and I don’t think anyone saw us come in. We should be safe for now.
JO: I wish I could say the same for those poor people on the barge…
VIK: (Softly) I know, so do I. I’m afraid the barges are a perpetual abomination, there’ll be another tonight, then another in the morning, and so on and so on, while a half rabid, half disinterested population cheer them as they go.
JO: Why are people so apathetic here? I mean, the way you describe it, even if everyone knew what the Off-Worldings really were, some would wave their flags, regardless, while the rest wouldn’t even care.
VIK: I was probably being unfair when I said that. The truth is people do care, a lot of people, but the ones that would cheer their deaths anyway, are a, how should I say, particularly vocal group.
JO: A sort of ‘un-silent minority’?
VIK: Yes, if you like. Living on New Prague, JO, is like being in a bar with a group of louts, intimidating the other punters, burping along to the National Anthem and alternately leering at or insulting the bar staff for not being born here. Only for most of us, we can’t just get up and go to another pub.
JO: So, people don’t ask questions and just go along with things for an easy life?
VIK: A lot do, yes, including, I’m ashamed to say, me. At least until FLIC and I… If you’re lucky enough to have a decent Job and live near the centre, then things can seem more or less alright. You have credits in your pocket, as many channels on your holo-box as you can afford and a bunch of poor people and aliens you can blame for any and all problems that befall you, and all with the Governors encouragement.
JO: The DOCTOR will help change things, VIK, he’ll make people see!
VIK: (With resignation) There are too many people who don’t want to see, JO. However great your friend sounds, I doubt even he can save a world that doesn’t want to be saved.
JO: It sounds like apathy is contagious on New Prague. You went to all that trouble in rescuing me, and now you’re just going to give up?
VIK: (Becoming frustrated) JO, rescuing you was about the only practical thing I’ve done in months! My role was just to pass messages between FLIC on the inside and FRANCIS out here, and that was it. I’m no fighter! You heard how things are with us, last night! Our intelligence is a shambles, our attempts at sabotage are all crushed. And now we’ve lost FRANCIS, too to whatever those things… (his voice cracks with emotion) and… and…
JO: (Softly but with passion) And so the barges will keep sailing, the Bregalians and the others will keep being targeted and the People will keep turning blind eyes. And the Governors will keep doing nothing about the Chorts and blaming the deaths on whomever takes their fancy!
JO: Those creatures, that’s what they’re called. At least, that’s what EVA called them before you got me out of the holding pen… (her own voice begins to creak).
VIK: There was nothing you could do for them, JO. You can’t feel guilty about being the one who got away.
JO: (Suddenly taken with righteous anger) Why can’t I? We might have been able to save some of them, or even just one…
VIK: I’ve already told you, we would have been killed! And even if we weren’t, even if we were able to get someone else away, would you be asking them to feel guilt over leaving the others behind?
JO: No, of course not!
VIK: Then allow yourself the same freedom from judgement. This system is just too damn strong, JO. We can’t save everyone, and we can’t do everything we want to do.
JO: (Quietly determined) You mentioned just now how great the DOCTOR sounds, well you don’t know the half of it. We’ve been through so much together and I admit there have been so many times when I just wanted to give up, when I thought the odds were so stacked against us that there was no way we could win. But do you know what he taught me? He taught me that everyone has the power to do something, however small. Maybe you and I aren’t great orators, or campaigners, maybe we don’t have armies behind us, or newspapers to write for us, or even the funds to get them, but each of us has the power to make every day a little better, to win a new, small victory every day. And every day that we do that makes the next victory easier. Maybe you’re right, VIK, maybe we can’t save everyone, or do everything we need to do, but we can do something. Together.
VIK: (Quiet for a moment) Do you know something, JO GRANT?
VIK: I think the DOCTOR isn’t the only new arrival in the Domain who deserves to be called ‘great’.
The kettle boils behind them.
VIK: Now then, cups, cups…
JO: Oh, here’s one.
We hear her pick up a mug and hand it to VIK who refuses to take it.
VIK: (Sadly) No, not that one, JO. That belonged to FRANCIS.
She replaces the mug.
JO: (Softly) I’m sorry. Were you two…?
VIK: No, no not anymore. Not for a while, now…
JO: It doesn’t make the pain any easier though. I really am sorry, VIK.
VIK: Don’t be, it’s fine. (Trying to stifle his sudden tears) He was a cantankerous old bugger, you know? And talk about a purist! He wouldn’t trust anyone who didn’t hold the same dyed-in-the-wool convictions as him (he laughs) I’m not even sure he completely trusted me.
JO: He didn’t seem too pleased to see the DOCTOR and me, that’s for sure.
VIK: No, and especially not FLIC, though that’s probably more to do with the fact that she and I used to be…
VIK returns to hunting for cups, opening a cupboard to retrieve two. He pours coffee into both and hands one to JO.
JO: (Raising her coffee in a toast) To FRANICS.
VIK: (Softly) To FRANCIS. And to everyone we couldn’t save.
JO: And to all those that we will. Right, VIK?
They clink their cups.
24. EXT WENCESLAS SQUARE. A rally is taking place. We hear the noise of a crowd in eager appreciation of the speakers – GRANGE and LYSSA.
GRANGE: …And I tell you, my friends, my fellow Governors and I have been working tirelessly… Tirelessly, I say… to keep you and your families safe during these difficult times, and my heart has been warmed daily by the camaraderie, and the pride in New Prague, that I see whenever I visit factories, and schools, or whenever I stop for a quick pint, after a hard day..
Cheers and approval from the crowd.
GRANGE: (Continuing with showmanship)… and I am determined, more than ever, to re-double our efforts in bringing the perpetrators of these vicious, senseless attacks, to a very full and final justice.
GRANGE: Now it goes without saying, that the vast majority of our non-human residents here on New Prague, the Bregalians, the Uzkaterians, the Uncle Tom Cobblians and all…
Laughter and xenophobic jeering.
GRANGE: … the vast majority are decent, law abiding folk, who enrich our lives and whom we sincerely want to see stay with us, in the New Prague family, and for whom we are deeply sorry about the very necessary restrictions brought about by the curfews. However…
Grumbles and murmurs.
GRANGE: However, the fact remains that these murders, which have begun to take place in the centre of the Colony, can only have been committed by radicalised, extremist factions, from within those same populations!
Anger and racism from the crowd.
GRANGE: Which only goes to show the necessity of keeping the curfew and employment restrictions in place!
GRANGE: Now, my friends, I am here today, to tell you that there is an end in sight to these troubles which have blighted our lives! I am able to advise, that this government’s System-beating scientists have devised a new, crime detection and prevention technology, which will eliminate, once and for all, the threat posed by these extremists, and alongside me today is LYSSA MANIAE to announce it to you.
LYSSA: My friends, you know how long I have toiled to keep you safe and to make every citizen of New Prague proud to wear our flag! I am delighted to announce, that we intend to introduce a new system of mandatory DNA identification passports, for all non-humanoid residents of New Prague!
Agreement and racism from the crowd.
LYSSA: Our new system, will ensure that everyone with non-human DNA will be required to wear bio-synthetic identity patches, in order to gain access to any workplace, any building, any street in the entire colony!
LYSSA: Our bold, System-beating new scheme will eliminate the need for curfew, while ensuring that you, our People, are kept safe from extremist elements within non-conformist communities!
GRANGE: Alas! Alas, my friends! Though we have achieved a great victory in designing the technology, funds and resources on the colony are precious and cannot be squandered. We have the utmost respect for our friends and partners in the Unity Alliance, and in the Galactic Bank and Investment Board, but should they, for narrow, political reasons, choose not to authorise the massive investment we so desperately want to make on New Prague, then this golden project will never truly shine.
Boos and disappointment from the crowd.
GRANGE: And should that be the case, we will be forced to enact our fall-back option. (To LYSSA) LYSSA?
LYSSA: In that event, the Governors would have no choice but to increase curfew measures on the non-human population, up to and including travel and employment restrictions and bans on receiving any form of aid from financial institutions, and, yes, inevitably, Off-Worlding will naturally increase in consequence.
A mixture of agreement and questioning murmurs. There are ripples of dissent in the crowd which we hear being shouted down.
GRANGE: Just until we can figure out what, on Jupiter, is going on.
LYSSA: We have absolutely no desire to inconvenience or cause disruption to our friends in the non-human community, but our priority, at all times, is to keep the population of New Prague, safe, and for that reason, our new system is essential.
GRANGE: And so, today, my message to the Inspection Team, and to our friends and partners in the Unity Alliance and the Galactic Investment Bank, is: Work with us. Be flexible. Be proactive. Because believe me – friends – the alternative, doesn’t bear thinking about…
25. INT. Interrogation centre. The DOCTOR is undergoing a brutal interrogation the hands of an unnamed QUESTIONER. We hear the hum of his electronic bonds and the sounds of a physical interrogation.
QUESTIONER: Answer the questions, DOCTOR. Believe me, you won’t enjoy the alternative.
DOCTOR: (Breathlessly) Having experienced a taste of the alternative already, I’m inclined to agree with you, even if I can’t congratulate you on your originality.
QUESTIONER: Ah, well… I’m afraid austerity cuts have reached everywhere, DOCTOR, even here. I assure you, in years gone by, I had an interrogation centre the envy of the entire System, but, alas, we’re forced to work with what we’ve got.
DOCTOR: Well, you know what they say about workmen and tools. In any case, I’ve already told you, I’ll only cooperate with Agent MARSH.
QUESTIONER: Out of the question, DOCTOR. I am charge of interrogations in this establishment, not Agent MARSH. And if I have my way, she’ll soon have one or two questions of her own to answer, like why she interrupted your execution but failed to bring you in personally.
DOCTOR: I’ve already explained that she has been interrogating me herself, and with a great deal more competence than you have displayed so far, I may add!
The QUESTIONER strikes the DOCTOR.
QUESTIONER: That’s a matter of opinion, DOCTOR, and right now, mine is the one that matters. Now, let’s try again. Who are you, and why are you here?
DOCTOR: (Defiantly) No comment!
QUESTIONER: (Laughing) Oh, you’ll comment, DOCTOR, sooner or later. It’s only a matter of time until you tell me everything I want to know, but the question you should ask yourself is what state you’ll be in by the end…
26. INT. GRANGE’s Office. GRANGE sits at his desk, in self-congratulatory mood. We hear him pour himself a drink.
GRANGE: That was quite the performance you gave today, Head Governor GRANGE, quite the performance indeed. Top larks, if I say so myself. If that doesn’t convince our friend, BARONET, of the need to sign off on the investment package, nothing will. The Field just needs to hold a little while longer and I can kiss goodbye to this pseudo-historical rock, once and for all…
A door chime beeps.
GRANGE: Come in!
LYSSA: Head Governor.
GRANGE: LYSSA! Come in, come in. I was just going over the detail of this afternoon’s rally; I thought it went rather well, don’t you? How about a drink to celebrate?
LYSSA: No thank you, Head Governor.
GRANGE: ‘Head Governor’, really, LYSSA, I’ve told you a hundred times, call me HECTOR.
LYSSA: If you insist.
GRANGE: (Tutting) It’s such a shame, LYSSA, that you cling so possessively to formality. If it weren’t for that stick up your backside, we could be an awful lot closer, you know? You’re a very beautiful woman, even despite…
GRANGE: Never mind, never mind. If you aren’t here for a drink or to chew the fat, what can I do for you?
LYSSA: Well, for starters, Head Governor, you can cut the bluster.
A pause – GRANGE is not used to being spoken to so, especially by LYSSA.
GRANGE: (Cautiously) Can I indeed? And what ‘bluster’ might that be?
LYSSA: All of it. The chummy demeanour, the faux concern for our citizens, the ‘larks’ even your performance, today. It’s all been an act ever since you crawled into public life, but today you pushed it further.
GRANGE: Really, LYSSA….
LYSSA: I said, enough! Today, you openly blackmailed the Chief Prudence Inspector of the Galactic Bank!
GRANGE: You’ve no need to worry, that’s not how it will be reported.
LYSSA: I don’t care how it’s reported, I just care about why. And I cared enough to look into the details of your Haven Project.
GRANGE: (Angry) I expressly forbade you from looking into the Haven Project!
LYSSA: Then you shouldn’t have given me access to the SLD files! It’s too late to worry about protocol, Head Governor, you’re abandoning New Prague, and the place you promised me is taken by a handful of super-wealthy donors.
GRANGE: ‘Abandoning’ is such a strong word, LYSSA. I prefer to consider it an early retirement.
LYSSA: To be spent where?
GRANGE: Oh, somewhere far away from this system, in absolute luxury and free from any, erm, legal repercussions, shall we say?
LYSSA: And what kind of ‘legal repercussions’ might those be?
GRANGE: Oh, that hardly matters, LYSSA, you know how our opponents will make up any old nonsense about us. What should concern you, though, is your promise to me to keep this ‘murder’ business contained for the duration of BARONET’s visit – a promise which you have quite spectacularly failed to keep! How many new deaths have there been?
LYSSA: We’ve stopped recording cases from the outskirts and attacks in the centre are still negligible.
GRANGE: How many, in the centre?
LYSSA: Another three today. (Aggressively) If you want me to stop them, you need to let me police the non-humans in the manner I have repeatedly suggested! And I get the distinct impression, Head Governor, Sir, that you have been less than honest with me about how many of those… things… are inside the Field!
GRANGE: Well, perhaps I have, LYSSA, perhaps I have. But does it really matter? The deaths will peter our sooner or later and in the meantime, you get to grind the faces of the alien trash a little harder. That’s really all you’re interested in, isn’t it?
LYSSA: (Resentfully) I am dedicated to ensuring the safety of the colony!
GRANGE: Oh, of course, you are, of course you are. It’s just a happy coincidence that most of the threats to the colony come from those… erm… less desirable sections of society.
LYSSA starts to object.
GRANGE: No, I’m not mocking you, LYSSA my dear, I’m really not. In fact, I admire your dedication to keeping things under control. That’s the kind of skill that could really come in useful with the Haven Project, don’t you think?
LYSSA: There’s still a place for me?
GRANGE: There for the taking. If you can show you really want it… I’m sure you understand.
She turns to leave, the door opening for her.
LYSSA: Oh, yes sir. I understand…
27. EXT. The streets of New Prague. JO and VIK have returned from witnessing the rally at Wenceslas Square. JO is storming ahead of VIK who shouts after her.
VIK: JO! JO! Where are you going?
JO: (Outraged) As far away from Head Governor GRANGE and whoever that horrible woman was, as possible. Did you hear them VIK? Demanding massive investment to pay for oppression on pain of worsening that same oppression, tenfold! I’ve never heard anything so disgusting in all my life!
VIK: (Catching up with her) I know. JO, I know! I’ve been hearing speeches like that from GRANGE and everyone who came before him, my whole life, do you think I enjoy it?! You heard the way he was talking; no-one who looks like me will ever completely ‘belong’ on New Prague. As far as the Governors and a huge chunk of the ‘People’ are concerned, this is a colony for humans only, and the sooner everyone else is Off-Worlded, the better.
JO: So, why has it taken you so long to do anything about it?
VIK: (Indignant) Hey! That’s not fair, JO!
JO: No… no, I’m sorry. I just don’t understand how any society can stand back and whistle dixie while so much evil is carried out under their very noses!
VIK: Because in this society, you’re bred to look out for yourself, and yourself alone, JO. Most people are just trying to make sure they don’t find themselves in a targeted group, so the vocal minority run roughshod over the rest. It’s been that way for years.
JO: We need to find the DOCTOR, he’ll know what to do. Have you had any luck contacting your friend?
VIK: None, though I didn’t expect I would. Like I said, FRANCIS was always the activist, but going through me was the only way FLIC could get in contact with the dissidents, not that FRANCIS was too keen on the idea. I’ve always had to wait for her to make contact, not the other way around.
JO: There’s no way you can contact her?
VIK: None I can think of. Unless…
VIK: There was a safe house she used, on the outskirts. We went there once to… to reminisce.
JO: You don’t have to explain. Do you think she’d go back there now?
VIK: It’s worth a shot, I suppose. There’s not too much we can do on our own.
JO: We can talk to people, VIK, try to make them see the truth of what’s happening here…
VIK: The talkers are gone, JO. The only ones left are splintered into so many dozen different opposition groups, all arguing between themselves that nobody even listens to them anymore.
JO: So, you and I have to find a way to make them listen!
The sound of footsteps approach, scuffing to a standstill in front of the pair. When the new arrival speaks, we hear that is BARONET.
BARONET: And how would you go about doing that?
VIK: Sorry, friend. JO, stand here with me, let this gentleman pass.
BARONET: I’m afraid, this ‘gentleman’ has no intention of passing, Mr KRAAL. In fact, I’ve come a long, long way to see you…
28. INT. The Laboratory. We hear the sound of a fist connecting with the head of the DOCTOR, who grunts in pain.
QUESTIONER: (His voice charming and calm) You know we really would get on a lot better if you would just answer my questions.
DOCTOR: (Defiant as ever) Would we indeed? Well, as I prefer not to get too chummy with bullies who use their fists when they aren’t getting their own way, you’ll forgive me if I beg to differ.
The QUESTIONER strikes him again.
QUESTIONER: You’re going to answer me, you know? Sooner or later, everyone does.
The door to the lab slides open. HECTOR GRANGE enters the room.
GRANGE: Really, now, is this any way to treat our guests?
QUESTIONER: (Panicked) Head Governor! I…
GRANGE: Yes, I know, I know; he’s on the verge of telling you everything, right? You just need a little more time? Well right now, it’s time for you to take your lunch break.
QUESTIONER: I’m… I’m not hungry, Head Governor.
GRANGE: You are now.
QUESTIONER: Of course, Head Governor.
The door operates again as the QUESTIONER leaves.
GRANGE: I really must apologise for your treatment, er… DOCTOR, is it?
DOCTOR: That’s right. And I note your contrition doesn’t extend to releasing these energy bonds.
GRANGE: Oh, all in good time, DOCTOR, all in good time. I take it I’m the target of whatever your mission here is, am I?
DOCTOR: Head Governor – that is what you call yourself, isn’t it? I hate to crush your ego – though I imagine that would be no mean feat in itself – but I haven’t the foggiest idea who you are. Though, I can make an educated guess that you’re the person in charge of all this.
GRANGE: And I hate not to give your charade more credit, DOCTOR, but frankly there’s not a life-form in this part of the galaxy who doesn’t know who I am. Whether they love me or loathe me, none of them can ignore me.
DOCTOR: I’m sure many of them try. I assume that you’ve come to ‘deal with me personally’ or whatever it is people like you say on occasions like this?
GRANGE: Oh, nothing so crude, DOCTOR, though I confess, between ourselves, there’s little I take more seriously than my own gratification.
DOCTOR: I’m sure. It’s rather a pity that’s a concern you don’t extend to the people who live under your rule.
GRANGE: People? Or aliens?
DOCTOR: (Furious) That remark, sir, only deepens my contempt for you. Now, do you mind telling me what exactly it is you want from me? Or shall we get back on with trying to beat none-existent answers from me?
GRANGE: Answers? My dear DOCTOR, I’m not interested in your answers! The Unity Alliance have been sending operatives into New Prague ever since we left, and the mission is always the same. No, I’m more interested in your brain. That ‘screwdriver’ of yours, my agents took from you is like nothing they’ve ever seen. And you mentioned to them that you arrived in some kind of transference capsule, what did you call it? A TARDIS! What exactly are you a DOCTOR of?
DOCTOR: Everything I’ve ever needed to be. Which expertise, precisely, are you looking for?
GRANGE: Well, let’s just say that I find myself seeking a certain assistance in zoology, specifically, reptile disposal systems.
DOCTOR: I see. Your little pest control problem is getting out of hand, is it?
GRANGE: Something like that. You’ve seen the Chorts, I take it?
GRANGE: It’s what some of the chaff on the outskirts call them, an old Slavic folk tale of monsters and mayhem. All nonsense, of course, but the name seems to just ‘fit’ if you know what I mean? The thing is, DOCTOR, there are far more of these creatures on New Prague, than anyone knows about. Mostly outside the Atmospheric Protection Field, but they’re breaking through.
DOCTOR: And you need someone to help keep them out?
GRANGE: In a manner of speaking. When I agreed to let the Company bring them here, in return for a healthy profit, of course, I had no idea they could survive outside the Field, but they’re positively thriving! Fascinating, really…
DOCTOR: You brought them here? With millions of intelligent, humanoid life-forms on the other side of your flimsy, inefficient Field barrier?
GRANGE: Oh, don’t be so righteous, DOCTOR! The profit opportunities were enormous, and the Field has kept them out for years.
DOCTOR: Only now it’s breaking down.
GRANGE: You see, the thing is, DOCTOR, that I need to make sure the Galactic Bank sign off on this investment programme and many more Chort related deaths will seriously jeopardise that. Oh, I can keep on blaming the problem on our ‘friends and partners’ in the ‘deeply valued and appreciated’ alien communities of New Prague, but the trouble is not everyone buys into that, and sooner or later, there’s always a chance one of these things will end up on camera somewhere, and one of our less, erm, patriotic broadcasters will give the game away to the whole colony, and we can’t have that.
DOCTOR: And so, you imprison me, hoping for what? That I’ll devise a way to subdue the ones already here and keep the rest out?
GRANGE: No, my dear DOCTOR, I want you to devise a way of killing the ones already here and wiping the rest out! They’re scum! Of no value to anyone, except in the transporting of them away from their own world, to make it ripe for further colonisation. What do you say?
GRANGE: What? DOCTOR, you don’t seem to understand…
DOCTOR: (Interrupting) I understand only too well, Head Governor! You present yourself as an entrepreneur, a staunch defender of traditional values, too often sneered at by those who don’t understand, but the truth, sir, is quite different. You are a vacuum, sir! A charlatan who believes in nothing but money and his own acquisition of it, and to hell with the consequences!
GRANGE: DOCTOR, I object..!
DOCTOR: (Enraged) Be damned to you and your objections! You paint a flag on your prejudices and wave them to a population you care nothing about! New Prague is nothing but a grotesque continuation of the age-old human practice of the hostile environment, rooted out and dragged with you across the stars! Humanity continuing its glorious tradition of colonising every planet it lands on, then complaining about foreigners, two hundred years later! Established communities, whole races, supplanted in the name of human patriotism and forced to toil as an underclass for their new masters and be grateful for the privilege, on pain of displacement and death! You might have allowed your own greed to add to your problems, Head Governor, but that doesn’t incline me to commit genocide for you, to solve them!
GRANGE remains quiet for a moment. We hear him walking to another part of the room. When he talks, his voice is measured and cool.
GRANGE: This isn’t just a prison for people, you know, DOCTOR? Not even just for aliens. I also keep a couple of pets here, purely for research purposes, you understand. Allow me to show you.
A wall slides open, revealing a Chort, struggling against electronic manacles and making its gurgling/roaring noise.
DOCTOR: Good heavens, man, what do you think you’re doing?
GRANGE: One of the benefits of having the SLD report directly to me, DOCTOR. A group of them were able to capture this little beauty a short while back and it’s been studied ever since. Remarkably resilient, you know? We could destroy this one, certainly, but what I really want is to use it to find a way to quickly destroy all of them. You’re going to help me with that, DOCTOR, or else you’re of no use to me.
DOCTOR: You know, seeing that poor creature over there in the same predicament I find myself in, electronically manacled and, yes, and frightened, I wonder quite who the monster in this room really is.
GRANGE: (Laughing) That’s an ancient trope, DOCTOR, and you know it.
DOCTOR: But rarely more accurate.
GRANGE: Perhaps. Your last opportunity, DOCTOR, help me or die.
DOCTOR: (Bitterly) If only you hadn’t allowed this system of yours to murder my young friend, you might have had something to bargain with.
GRANGE: Oh, so this is personal? You won’t avenge any late friends by letting yourself be killed, you know?
DOCTOR: I’m not interested in vengeance, Head Governor, I only wish to honour her memory. And that certainly won’t be achieved by helping you.
GRANGE: I see… A pity, but the choice is yours. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for a fund-raiser. I’ll leave you two to get acquainted, oh, I should point out, DOCTOR, that the energy restraints on our friend here will be deactivated once I leave the room, but don’t worry, guards will be in eventually to attend to you… or whatever our friend here leaves of you. Goodnight, DOCTOR.
The door opens and GRANGE leaves. We hear the Chort’s energy manacles dying away – the DOCTOR’s remain intact – and the creature’s ominous gurgling and roaring begins.
DOCTOR: I say, now steady on, old chap…
The Chort’s roars grow louder as it rears up to attack – the DOCTOR is helpless.
29. INT. Interrogation chamber. The Chort continues to growl and gurgle in a murderous rage.
DOCTOR: Well, come on then, old boy, get on with it.
More growls and gurgles and the hum of the DOCTOR’s restraints. As the creature gets nearer, the hum gets louder and the Chort winces in pain, backing off only to come forward and repeat the process again.
DOCTOR: What are you waiting for?!
A repeat of the failed attack.
DOCTOR: (In realisation) Of course, that’s it… you can’t attack, can you?
The door to the chamber slides open and in rushes FLIC.
She draws her weapon and fires off a shot at the Chort.
DOCTOR: No! No, don’t shoot it!
FLIC: It’ll kill you!
DOCTOR: No it won’t! It’s the energy projected by my restraints, don’t you see? It can’t penetrate them, the energy causes it too much pain!
FLIC rushes to where the DOCTOR is secured and begins to fiddle with the restraints.
DOCTOR: What are you doing?
FLIC: Energy manacles like this are portable, for use in transporting prisoners, if I can get them off you without interrupting the flow, we can push this thing somewhere it won’t cause any harm. The only trouble is…
DOCTOR: Is what?
FLIC: Is if I interrupt the flow…
30. EXT. The outskirts of the City. People are going about their day. Electronic crackles begin to sound, followed by the slither and slap of a handful more Chorts slipping through cracks and onto the ground. The Field is failing. Passers-by witnessing the arrival of the creatures begin to scream. There is no dialogue in this scene – instead the initially every-day, calm air, becomes quickly filled with a combination of panic and the noise of the Chorts.
31. INT. Interrogation Chamber. FLIC has succeeded in releasing the DOCTOR’s bonds and keeping the energy active. The pair are gently pushing the Chort back towards the alcove from where it was released – the creature is angry but receding.
DOCTOR: That’s right, old chap, back we go, back into our little pen. Right, FLIC, it’s in, close the hatchway!
The wall slides back with the Chort behind it, cutting off the sound of its roars.
DOCTOR: (Sighing in relief) Well, while I wish it wasn’t the case that you knew your way around this chamber and its equipment, on this occasion I’m glad that you are.
FLIC: (Accepting the jibe) Nice to see you again, too. Are you alright?
DOCTOR: I am now, thanks to you.
FLIC: So, GRANGE and the Governors have known about these creatures all along?
DOCTOR: Some of them, perhaps, the Head Governor, certainly, he was responsible for bringing them here.
FLIC: He brought them here? Why?!
DOCTOR: Political expediency and a tidy profit, that’s why. He thought they’d die outside the Field, but instead, they’ve thrived and are breaking through. It’s to be hoped this is the only Domain facing problems like this.
FLIC: The only Domain filled with aggressive, uncontrollable animals wreaking havoc on normal people? I wouldn’t bet on it, DOCTOR, you should see New Benidorm…
DOCTOR: Hang on, is the energy from the restraints the same that’s used in the Field Generators?
FLIC: Yes, essentially. The Field is enormously more powerful though, obviously.
DOCTOR: Well, that explains why the Chorts are coming in!
DOCTOR: Yes, like our friend behind the wall, there. The Chorts are instinctively attracted to the energy produced by the Field, even though it causes them pain, like moths to the flame.
FLIC: And the cracks in the Field are letting them in.
DOCTOR: Precisely. Now we have to find a way of repairing that Field and making sure that the Chorts on this side of it can’t do any more harm.
FLIC: But we don’t know how many of them there are, or how to kill them.
DOCTOR: We’re not going to kill them, FLIC, they may be highly aggressive life forms but it’s not their fault they were dragged onto this planetoid and they shouldn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s crime. No, what we need is to harness sufficient of the energy to project into their hiding places and keep them contained there until they can be relocated.
FLIC: Oh, yes? And I’d like a golden toilet, like the Head Governor’s but we don’t always get what we want!
DOCTOR: A golden…? Look, we’ve a fair idea that these things are hiding in the sewers, there must be some way of channelling energy down there.
FLIC: I don’t know… I used to work on the generators, back in the day. It’s maybe possible, but only from the Ground Lab on Petrin Hill.
DOCTOR: Can you get us in there?
FLIC: Maybe, but I’m not exactly the most trusted operative around here right now, DOCTOR, and once they find you and I gone, well, that’ll be it.
DOCTOR: Then we’d better move quickly, come on!
32. INT. GRANGE’s Office. He is pacing behind his desk in increasing frustration. The door chime sounds.
GRANGE: (Angrily) Come in!
LYSSA: Head Governor.
GRANGE: Back so soon, LYSSA? No good deportations to go to?
LYSSA: (Missing the sarcasm) Not until this evening, sir.
GRANGE: (Laughs bitterly) You really enjoy all this don’t you? I mean, it’s not just a Job for you, you actually, sincerely enjoy it.
LYSSA: I entered politics to make things better, Head Governor.
GRANGE: But only better for some, eh, LYSSA?
LYSSA: Head Governor?
He remains quiet, as though lamenting the situation he finds himself in.
LYSSA: Head Governor, are you alright?
GRANGE: (Sighing) Fine, LYSSA, absolutely splendid. So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your latest visit?
LYSSA: These creatures of yours, sir. They’re everywhere.
GRANGE: So, you’ve finally found out how the Chorts got here, have you?
LYSSA: With respect, sir, you hadn’t exactly covered your tracks well. As soon as you gave me access to the SLD, it was a relatively simple matter to find out what you’d been hiding from me.
GRANGE: And I suppose you intend to use this information to guarantee your place in the Haven Project, eh?
LYSSA: Something like that, sir, yes.
GRANGE breathes in deeply, pondering the matter.
LYSSA: Excuse me? I don’t think you understand…
GRANGE: (Interrupting) No, you don’t understand, LYSSA. You don’t even really know what the Haven Project is, do you? I’ve been in politics a long time now, and I’ve sailed through scandals that would have broken anyone else, and why? Because for whatever reason, people like me. They don’t trust me, for sure, but I entertain them, and as long as I wave the flag high and give them people to blame when their lives turn sour, they’ll back me. They love the larks, you see? Everything else is forgivable as long as I give them a good laugh about it. But it hasn’t all just been about popular appeal, you know.
LYSSA: So, what has it been about?
GRANGE: To guarantee the support of so many influential media barons, wealthy donors and inter-stellar conglomerates, I’ve had to make many… ah… associations, in my career, associations which now find themselves subject to a rather unnerving level of scrutiny. The Field is collapsing, as soon as we have the money from the investment, we’ll be gone and New Prague…? Well, let’s just say the Haven Project is an escape for a select few of us from that unpleasantness.
LYSSA: So, why would that stop me coming too?
GRANGE: Because it’s also an escape from people like you.
LYSSA gasps in offended surprise.
GRANGE: Your grandparents were refugees, as I recall, from one of the outer planets in the Huxley System? You can hardly tell you know? It’s just every now and then, when the light catches you in a certain way, you can still make out the ridges at the edge of your hairline, and that slight, turquoise tinge is so hard to fully disguise. I’ve always found it rather alluring, personally, but there we go.
LYSSA: (Angry and indignant) I was born and raised on New Prague! My family…
GRANGE: Your family’s history does not go back quite as far as my associates in the Haven Project would like, so I’m afraid your seat is taken, my dear. Bigotry is such an odd thing, isn’t it? I’m not sure I’ve ever wholly understood it but, like everything else, it’s too late now. I have made my bed, as it were.
LYSSA: And you think I’m going to let you just fly off and sleep in it and leave me in this chaos!
GRANGE: Of course I am, LYSSA, and what’s more, deep down that’s exactly what you want me to do.
LYSSA: (Enraged) I want you to?
GRANGE: Absolutely! With me gone, whom do you think the Head Governorship will fall to? You, LYSSA. The Field can be repaired, and in the meantime, you have the perfect excuse to bring in whatever control orders your fury little heart desires. Think of it, LYSSA, mass arrests, martial law, whatever you wish. New Prague will be in the mire after I’ve gone, it will need someone strong to restore order. That someone is you…
LYSSA: (Laughs, slyly) You think you can manipulate me so easily, don’t you? If I go out there and tell everyone about your little monsters, I’ll still end up in charge and you’ll never reach your precious haven.
GRANGE: Perhaps not, but If you bring me down, LYSSA, I’ll take all of you with me. Think of it! This works for both of us. The choice, my dear, is entirely yours…
33. EXT. Outside Central Control. FLIC has managed to lead the DOCTOR out of the building, and they are poised to make their getaway into the streets.
FLIC: Quick, behind here… (Breathless) I don’t mind admitting, DOCTOR, that wasn’t as tricky as I feared it would be. It’s lucky my Flag Badge hasn’t been deactivated.
DOCTOR: Well, let’s get moving before our luck runs out. Do you know the way to the Ground Generator?
FLIC: Yes, Petrin Hill isn’t too far away; it’s getting in there that’ll be the problem.
DOCTOR: We’ll worry about that when we get there, come on.
The pair go to move but a third figure has approached them: BARONET.
BARONET: Going somewhere, DOCTOR?
DOCTOR: And who, the devil, are you, sir?
FLIC: Inspector BARONET! DOCTOR, this is the man sent by the Galactic Bank to inspect the soundness of the Atmospheric Containment Field before investment can be approved.
DOCTOR: Ah, well, with the state of the Field as it is, I imagine you rather have your work cut out for you, my good man.
BARONET: You could say that, DOCTOR, fortunately I have a little side line to distract me.
DOCTOR: Do you, indeed?
BARONET: I do. Perhaps you’d be good enough to take a look at my Communicator? There’s someone who wants to say hello…
We hear BARONET’s communicator ping into life. On the other end, is JO.
DOCTOR: (Emotional) JO?! JO, you’re alive! But how…?
JO: VIK saved me from the barge!
VIK: Then he has my thanks. Are you with him now?
JO: Yes, he’s here. DOCTOR, it’s evil what they’re doing here, all those people being sent for deportation, as if that weren’t bad enough, but really, they’re being sent to their deaths outside the Field!
DOCTOR: I know, JO, I know.
JO: And those creatures! DOCTOR, they’re called Chorts, at least that’s what some of the people stuck in the outskirts are calling them…
DOCTOR: (Interrupting) Yes, JO, I know…
JO: …and Inspector BARONET says that the Head Governor brought them here, himself! He…
DOCTOR: (Speaking over her again) Yes, JO. JO? JO!
JO: Yes, DOCTOR?
DOCTOR: (Warmly) It’s so good to see you.
JO: You too.
DOCTOR: Now, Inspector BARONET, do you mind telling me what on earth’s going on?
34. EXT. Outside the Tyn Church in Old Town Square. GRANGE is posing for a photo op, alongside a giant flag of New Prague.
GRANGE: …and furthermore, Ladies and Gentlemen, and, ah, assorted others, contrary to what our critics say, this ancient and beautiful Church here, is the absolutely perfect place for the installation of this new flag-pole!
Cheers from the crowd and camera flashes from the media.
GRANGE: For unlike them, my friends, we are proud of our flag, and all it represents, and make absolutely no apology for flying it high, and…
MONIKA: (The Journalist interrupts him) That’s all well and good, Head Governor, but no-one is questioning your love of the flag.
GRANGE: And I should hope not! For never let it be said, that…
MONIKA: (Interrupting again) So, don’t you think, instead of waving flags, you should be focussing on the deaths that continue to plague the colony? Because many eye-witnesses are claiming that they aren’t caused by Bregalian extremists at all, but by some kind of creatures.
GRANGE: (His confidence shaken at the unexpected question) Creatures? No, no that’s absolute nonsense, I’m afraid.
MONIKA: Nonsense, Head Governor? Well Channel 633 has received footage taken by one of the witnesses, that clearly show some kind of unknown creature, escaping into the sewer system. What do you say to that?
The crowd begins to murmur, in uncertainty. GRANGE, for the first time in his political life, is lost.
GRANGE: (Trying to regain his pomp) What I say to that, young woman, is that you and your friends in the liberal media, really ought to try and be a little more patriotic!
A few cheers begin to sound in the crowd again.
GRANGE: (Confidence returning) I really have never heard anything so ridiculous! My friends, our opponents are so desperate to stand up for those in the non-human communities who would wish to do us harm, that they invent this utter nonsense! I can tell you all, categorically, here and now, that there are not, have never been and never will be any such ‘creatures’ as this silly woman here describes, on New Prague!
A scream in the crowd. Chorts have risen from the sewers.
MONIKA: (Shouting over the panic) Oh, really, Head Governor? Then what do you call that?!
The crowd descends into panic. We hear screams, cries and the gurgle and roar of aggressive Chorts.
GRANGE: (To himself) No, no, no! I just needed another day!
FX – GRANGE has pulled out a comms device and speaks into it.
GRANGE: This is GRANGE, the Haven shuttle needs to pick me up today. I don’t care if the others aren’t ready, I said TODAY!
35. INT. The Safe House. JO and VIK are waiting inside for the DOCTOR, FLIC and BARONET to arrive.
VIK: It’s all over the news, JO, there are Chorts everywhere! Even the Governors’ media supporters can’t keep it quiet!
JO: I just hope the DOCTOR can figure out how to round them up and keep everyone safe!
The door opens.
DOCTOR: I’m working on it, JO.
JO: DOCTOR! It’s so good to see you!
She rushes to embrace him, and he warmly reciprocates.
DOCTOR: You too, JO, you, too. VIK, I believe I have you to thank for rescuing Miss Grant, here, from that accursed barge?
VIK: Don’t mention it, DOCTOR. As it happens, JO has done her best to return the favour.
FLIC: Has she indeed?
VIK: (Nervously) It’s good to see you, too, FLIC.
FLIC: (Unusually shy) Yeah… right back at you, VIK.
BARONET: Isn’t anyone going to say they’re pleased to see me?
DOCTOR: We all are, Inspector BARONET, not least, I’m sure, VIK and FLIC, here!
FLIC: I’m just sorry I dragged you into this whole mess, DOCTOR. I just wish FRANCIS had trusted me enough to tell me that BARONET was the contact he was expecting; if I’d known, I’d never have accosted you in the first place.
JO: It’s a good Job you did, or else we’d have been dead the moment that Patrol found us, remember?
BARONET: Don’t judge FRANCIS too harshly, FLIC, it was essential my identity was kept from all but a select few, to ensure the mission’s success – GRANGE’s Justice Governor has proven quite adept in recent times at uncovering our agents. I’m just glad he shared your details with me…
FLIC: You’re right. And, VIK, I’m sorry about… what happened.
VIK: (Softly) I know. Thanks…
DOCTOR: Well, now that we’re all sure of who’s who, we have to do something about what’s going on in this colony. When I was being interrogated, the Chort kept at Central Control was both attracted to, and repelled by, the energy of my manacles, right, FLIC?
FLIC: Right. And the DOCTOR thinks that if we can channel enough of that same energy, somewhere safe, like into the sewer system, the Chorts will be drawn to it and can be contained there. We thought the Field Generator Ground Lab could do it.
DOCTOR: What do you say, BARONET? You know the principles of those systems better than anyone.
BARONET: (Sighs) I suppose, it’s possible, DOCTOR, with particularly sensitive adjustments, to turn a portion of the projector into a transmitter and project that energy in the way you describe, but there are two problems.
DOCTOR: Name them.
BARONET: One, there are two labs, the ground lab and the floating sky lab at the summit of the Atmospheric shell, both would require adjustments for your plan to succeed.
VIK: No problem, FLIC knows those systems, she could handle one lab while you work on the other, couldn’t you, FLIC?
FLIC: I might be able to, but it’s been a while, and that still leaves the other problem.
BARONET: That the energy, needs to come from somewhere. The Field is already in a bad state, we all know that, that’s how these Chorts got through in the first place. If we divert energy in the manner you describe, there’s a chance the whole thing could collapse completely.
JO: So, what’s the alternative? Letting them run riot and kill who knows how many people until the Governors wipe them out?
VIK: And huge swathes of the colony will blindly support the Governors, whatever they do, they still think they have their interests at heart.
FLIC: There might be a way, you know?
BARONET: Really? How?
FLIC: Well, the system works on several levels, doesn’t it? The atmospheric shell and the holo-projectors. I’ll need help, but if I can get into the Ground Lab, I can work on the adjustments there, and, DOCTOR, you and BARONET can put temporary seals into the Field and channel the holo-projection energy into the sewers, meaning…
DOCTOR: Of course! Without the holo-projectors, the population will see what’s really on the other side of the Field!
VIK: But there’s nothing there, just barren planetoid and space…
DOCTOR: And the creatures, VIK! For once, the people of New Prague will have no choice but to see the danger their Governors have put them in, how little regard they have for their safety! Let’s see how blissful ignorance is when the scales quite literally fall from their eyes!
36. EXT. Outside Ground Lab. FLIC, VIK and JO are approaching with stealth. The gates to the site are guarded.
FLIC: OK, keep down everyone, we have to figure out a way to get past those guards and into the lab.
VIK: Can’t you just use your Flag Badge?
FLIC: If it hasn’t been deactivated already that still wouldn’t get you two in with me.
JO: What if VIK and I caused a distraction?
FLIC: No, the adjustment BARONET and the DOCTOR need us to make need two pairs of hands, I need you with me.
VIK: Then take JO with you and I’ll lead them off.
JO: What?! I haven’t got a clue about these systems, I should be the one to…
There is movement close by.
FLIC: Quiet, you two!
VIK: (To JO) She hasn’t changed, still ordering everyone around.
FLIC: I said quiet! Look!
JO: I see it! By the gate!
VIK: A Chort! There must be a sewer outlet close by.
FLIC: However, it got here those guards had better be careful, the Lab channels an awful lot of energy.
A crashing noise comes from within the Lab, followed by screams from within which quickly spill outside as the occupants flee. Accompanying the cries is the familiar gurgling roar of a Chort.
VIK: One must have got inside!
JO: And those people are running just running into the one out here!
More growling and screams.
FLIC: What are the guards waiting for?!
Shots begin to sound as the guards cover the retreat of the fleeing Lab occupants. The angry Chorts give chase.
VIK: (Cheekily) Better late than never, eh, FLIC?
FLIC: You tell me, Mr Hard to Get.
JO: And it’ll be better for all of us if we’re not late getting in there while we can! Come on, you two, you can finish whatever this is inside! Let’s go!
FLIC: OK, come on, and watch out for Chorts!
VIK: I hope the DOCTOR and BARONET are getting on ok!
The three scramble up and head into Ground Lab.
37. INT. The Travel Pod Port at Sky Lab. BARONET and the DOCTOR have made the journey to the summit of the Atmospheric Shell, where the Lab is situated. We hear other pods taking off in the background as they walk across the landing pad.
DOCTOR: I can’t exactly say it was the most comfortable ride of my life but the technology of these Travel Pods is hugely impressive.
BARONET: They’re not exactly designed with luxury in mind, I agree, DOCTOR, but there are few modes as efficient at getting one to the Field Summit so quickly. The Sky Lab itself is hugely impressive, too, if I may say so, at least in principle, if not so much the application in this particular case. A perpetual floating platform in perfect geocentric symmetry with its Ground Lab counterpart, providing for the atmospheric, environmental and aesthetic needs of the population below. When properly maintained, these systems are unparalleled.
DOCTOR: How far up are we, precisely?
BARONET: Practically Space Level, give or take a mile or two. Now here, DOCTOR, take this…
He hear him pass something to the DOCTOR.
DOCTOR: What’s this?
BARONET: A counterfeit Flag Badge my people gave me for emergencies, it should help us get through without too many awkward questions. And when we get inside, please, leave the talking to me.
DOCTOR: My dear chap, I wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise.
BARONET: Good. Now keep schtum, here comes the reception committee…
They reach the Lab entrance and meet a LAB GUARD coming the other way.
BARONET: Ah, there you are! I still have a number of systems to inspect before I complete my report, and I brought along a friend here to…
LAB GUARD: (Interrupting) You can inspect what you like, chum, just don’t expect me to hold your hand while you’re at it!
DOCTOR: Excuse me?
LAB GUARD: Haven’t you heard? There’s chaos on the surface, there are creatures everywhere! I’m taking a Pod and getting my family somewhere safe!
BARONET: Well, where are all the Lab personnel?
LAB GUARD: Gone, mate, I’m the last one, you do what you like!
BARONET: But the Field needs to be constantly maintained!
LAB GUARD: Then you’d better go ahead and maintain it!
He runs toward the landing pad.
DOCTOR: Well at least there were no awkward questions!
BARONET: Maybe not, DOCTOR, but our Job just got a hell of a lot harder, we have to get in there now!
DOCTOR: Right, come on!
They run into the lab.
37. INT. SKY Lab. We hear the DOCTOR and BARONET charging into the Lab. Awaiting them is a scene of electronic chaos, with the unmaintained systems running haywire.
BARONET: My God! The fools have left the system completely unattended; the whole thing could come crashing down and bring the atmospheric shell with it!
DOCTOR: Then the Chorts are the least of our worries! Quickly, BARONET, help me with the stabilising gyros!
We hear the pair frantically working controls together. Energy crackles and sparks fly around them.
BARONET: It’s not good, DOCTOR! There isn’t enough power to reboot the stabilisers!
DOCTOR: The Holo-Projection system!
BARONET: We’ve no time for that now!
DOCTOR: Damn it, BARONET, listen to me! Reverse the polarity of the Holo-Projection system and what happens?
BARONET: The… the Hologrammatic controls default to their secondary system at Ground Lab!
DOCTOR: Where with any luck, JO and our friends are already working, and freeing up enough Sky Lab energy to reboot the stabilisers!
BARONET: If, JO and the others have managed to get in, DOCTOR, and if the polarity shift doesn’t fry the circuits up here!
DOCTOR: We have to take that chance. Reverse the polarity, man!
38. INT. GRANGE’s Office. The Head Governor is in a panic, we hear him muttering to himself gathering things as he scrambles to leave. He is becoming unhinged and voicing blustered justifications of his actions.
GRANGE: (To himself) It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t my fault, I only transported the Chorts to ensure the financial stability of the Colony. Though I gave the contract to a company I have a personal interest in and took a modest retainer for my services is beside the point, my goal was always the well-being of New Prague…. No, no, no. I know! I’ll blame them on the Bregalians! Yes, that’s it! The extremist Bregalians smuggled them in, with the help of the Unity Alliance! Yes, yes I can sell that… It was all just larks, you know? Damn it, when will the Haven ship be ready?!
FX – A Comms device bleeps. LYSSA is contacting him.
GRANGE: (Irritably) Yes?
LYSSA: Head Governor.
GRANGE: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. In a couple of hours, I will be light years away from you, New Prague and that title, just as we agreed.
LYSSA: Perhaps so, but that’s still a couple of hours away, and until you are in your Haven, you’re as trapped in this situation as the rest of the colony. The attacks by these creatures are escalating.
GRANGE: Then deploy the Patrols to contain them!
LYSSA: They have been deployed.
GRANGE: Then deploy more!
LYSSA: My Patrols can handle the creatures, Head Governor (she uses the title with heavy irony) but more worrying are the continuing fluctuations in the Field.
GRANGE: What, more?
LYSSA: Not just cracks but fluctuations in the Holo-Imaging systems.
GRANGE: Well can’t the personnel there deal with it?
LYSSA: They’ve gone, Head Governor.
GRANGE: What do you mean, gone?
LYSSA: They’ve fled, either to help fight the creatures or to make sure their families are safe from them.
GRANGE: So, the place is deserted? Good G…
LYSSA: Oh, no, Head Governor, there’s someone there.
LYSSA: That’s precisely what you’re going to find out.
GRANGE: Me? What makes you think that I…
LYSSA: Your Haven ship is in orbit outside the Field, waiting for you. I declined it permission to land at the Space Port.
GRANGE: (Apoplectic) You did what?! Who gave you the authority to block my ship?
LYSSA: You did, Head Governor, when you chose to abandon your position. If the Holo-Generators fail then the entire colony will be able to see what’s on the other side of the Field, and that would be petty uncomfortable for all of us, but mostly, I suspect, for you.
GRANGE: I’ll have your head for this, you traitorous little mongrel!
LYSSA: You’ll have nothing of the kind – Head Governor – New Prague is mine now, and if you want to make it to your precious Haven, you’ll go to the Sky Lab now and correct whatever damage has been done.
GRANGE: Now, you say?
LYSSA: Right now, Head Governor, if you want your ship to dock. Oh, and safe journey, I can’t wait for the postcard…
39. INT. Ground Lab. JO, FLIC and VIK are facing similar scenes as their counterparts in Sky Lab, with most personnel having fled. We hear similar electronic rumbles, interspersed with the cries of an angry Chort, engaged in a pitched battle with the remaining security officers, which rescinds into another corridor, out of earshot. One scientist, JANA, has remained at her post, trying to keep things stable as our trio enter.
JO: Look at the state of this place, it’s bedlam in here!
FLIC: The Field is at breaking point, that must be what’s rattled the Chorts so much!
VIK: As long as they don’t rattle in this direction!
FLIC: Here! Take my gun and keep an eye out for any more!
She throws her weapon to VIK, who catches it.
The trio run further into the complex, attracting JANA’s attention.
JANA: Who are you?! What’s going on?!
FLIC: State Loyalty Department, we’ll take over now! Where are the others?
JANA: All gone!
JO: But you stayed at your post?
JANA: The system has to be constantly maintained, I’m the only one left who knows how!
FLIC: Very commendable of you, but you’re not alone anymore. JO! Come over here with me.
She runs over to FLIC.
FLIC: See this?
JO: This is a Comms Unit. There should be a direct channel through to Sky Lab; see if you can make contact with the DOCTOR and BARONET and find out what state they’re in up there.
We hear the sound of dials being twisted.
JO: Come in, Sky Lab. Come in Sky Lab!
FLIC: Good. Now, how are we for Chorts?
VIK: Looks like there are a few in the complex but the Patrols are keeping them busy!
FLIC: Let’s just hope they keep them away from here. (To JANA) Now, you! What’s your name?
JANA: OK, JANA, let’s get this Field stabilised!
FLIC joins JANA at the controls. We hear a transmission coming through the Comms system.
JO: Something’s coming through! I think it’s the DOCTOR!
We hear the DOCTOR’s voice coming through, softly and distorted at first, then stronger.
DOCTOR: Ground Lab? Is anyone receiving? Over.
JO: DOCTOR, it’s me!
DOCTOR: JO! Thank heavens you’re safe! What’s the situation down there?
JO: It’s pretty chaotic to be honest, DOCTOR, but we’ve managed to get in without too many problems. FLIC has taken charge of the control room and VIK is keeping a look out for Chorts. They seem to be everywhere!
DOCTOR: Yes, the strain on the FIELD is reaching breaking point, it’s agitating the ones inside and drawing more of them to the cracks all the time. Listen, JO, this is very important: tell FLIC that BARONET and I have channelled control of the Holo-Emitters to you at Ground Lab, she needs to project that energy down into the sewer system as quickly as possible. It’s the only way to contain the Chorts while we stabilise the atmospheric shell. Have you got that?
FLIC: (Shouting) I heard!
DOCTOR: Good. Let me know when things have stabilised at your end!
JO: Will do. Good luck, DOCTOR!
DOCTOR: You too. Take care, JO. Sky Lab out.
JANA: Who the hell was that? Is he serious?
FLIC: You’d better believe it, JANA. Now follow my lead: we’ve got some descaling to do!
40. INT. Sky Lab. The DOCTOR has finished his message to JO, and BARONET is working at the controls. The sound has begun to stabilise, and the chaos is receding.
BARONT: Did you manage to get through to Ground Lab, DOCTOR? Have they succeeded?
DOCTOR: They’re working on it now, it should only be a matter of time before…
GRANGE has arrived, albeit reluctantly. Now at the peak of his desperation, he holds the DOCTOR and BARONET at gunpoint, interrupting their conversation.
GRANGE: It should only be a matter of time before the Patrols arrive and stop whatever you and your little friends are up to.
BARONET: HECTOR, for Heaven’s sake, it’s over!
GRANGE: Don’t ‘HECTOR’ me, DIBDIN! I should have known from the start what you were. I knew I could never trust anyone who loved the Unity Alliance so much.
DOCTOR: You’re hardly in a position to preach to anyone about trust, Head Governor. Your own greed has endangered your People and brought your Field to the point of total collapse.
GRANGE: I never meant any real harm, DOCTOR.
DOCTOR: And nor did you do anything to prevent it, sir! In fact, you positively contributed to the harm wreaked on thousands in this inimical domain of yours!
GRANGE: It was just larks, DOCTOR, all of it.
DOCTOR: Larks?! How dare you trivialise the suffering you’re responsible for, sir?! It’s time for you to face the consequences of your actions!
GRANGE: Oh no. Oh, not me, DOCTOR. I have a ship ready and waiting for me to disappear off the face of this corner of the galaxy.
BARONET: But let me guess, you can’t get on it while we are still alive, correct?
GRANGE: Something like that.
DOCTOR: Don’t be an imbecile, GRANGE! We’re still trying to get things stable here, if you kill us the whole Field will collapse!
GRANGE: Not my problem, DOCTOR. Soon, I’ll be far away from here and I won’t be looking back.
A powerful electronic noise fills the air. The friends at Ground Lab have succeeded in redirecting the energy, and the Hologrammatic Image is beginning to crumble.
BARONET: But not soon enough, HECTOR!
GRANGE: (Panicking) What…? What’s happening?
DOCTOR: New Prague is about to see something it’s enjoyed precious little of under your tenure, Head Governor: the truth.
GRANGE: Truth? What truth? I don’t understand!
DOCTOR: Thanks to our friends at the Ground Lab, the energy utilised by your Holo-Emitters has been taken from projecting a natural image of the Prague skyline and is being channelled, instead, into the sewers.
GRANGE: The sewers? Why?!
DOCTOR: Because there, it can be used to attract and contain the creatures that are already inside, while BARONET, here, seals the cracks that allowed them through. The added bonus being every resident of the colony, human and non-human alike, will finally be able to see what lies beyond the Field barrier, and more importantly, see just how little value you and your Government have placed on their safety and well-being for so long.
GRANGE: (On the brink of collapse) But that’s… that’s…!
BARONET: You might be able to spin the Headlines, HECTOR, but I doubt even you can spin the evidence of people’s own eyes.
HECTOR: Damn you! Damn you both!
He fires his weapon, but wildly, in panic.
DOCTOR: Get down!
We hear the sounds of a scuffle, ending with GRANGE pointing his gun at the DOCTOR.
GRANGE: Goodbye, DOCTOR!
BARONET disarms GRANGE with a Venusian Aikido chop. GRANGE curses and runs to the Travel Pods.
DOCTOR: Thank you, my good man! But where on Earth did you learn Venusian Aikido?
BARONET: Not on Earth, that’s for sure. No, a strange chap I came across on a Job a few years ago, taught me some basic moves. Oddly enough, he used to call himself ‘the DOCTOR’ too…
DOCTOR: Really? I’ll look forward to it.
DOCTOR: No time right now, old chap, I have to get after GRANGE! Can you handle things here?
BARONET: (Shouting after the DOCTOR, who is running in pursuit of GRANGE) The system is rebooting nicely but be careful DOCTOR! There will still be cracks in the Field for the next few minutes! Be careful!
41. EXT. Balcony of New Prague Castle. LYSSA is making a televised address to the colony, relishing her new position and the powers that come with it. People watch her in the courtyard below.
LYSSA: … And Head Governor GRANGE, whom you have long trusted with your support, and your votes, has done me a further great honour, today. For the period of his recuperation from his sudden and unexpected illness, he has invested full powers in me and granted me the title of Acting Head Governor.
Murmurs of approval from below.
LYSSA: And as your Acting Head Governor, I can tell you now that intelligence has uncovered the sickening truth behind these creatures and their vicious attacks. The creatures have been smuggled into New Prague by Bregalian extremists, who intend nothing but harm to the majority, human population! Believe me, my friends, these terrorists will be thoroughly dealt with to the fullest extent of the law, but it doesn’t stop there! In taking these actions, these extremists have also condemned their Bregalian brethren to even harsher restrictions! They…
She stops as she realises nobody is listening to her. The sound of the Field collapsing begins to sound, softly at first, before rising to a crescendo, as the image of New Prague’s skyline dissolves from the top, down to ground level.
LYSSA: What the….?
The truth is laid bare for all to see. The cold, cruel landscape, now visible through the Field, is swarming with thousands of Chorts, some gathered at the base of the now transparent Atmospheric shell, while others are climbing up it, search for ways in. Chaos erupts in a cacophony of screams and panic. We hear cries of ‘They’re everywhere!’ and ‘They’re coming through the Field’ coming from the panicking residents. LYSSA tries desperately to regain control.
LYSSA: (Shouting over the chaos) My friends! This is just another Bregalian trick! This is…
She is interrupted by a musical fanfare as the public Television in the courtyard pings into life, and the face of MONIKA MOROVA appears on it – her voice echoing around the city.
MONIKA: This is MONIKA MOROVA with an urgent update. Do not panic. I repeat, do not panic! Channel 633 has received a top-secret communication direct from the Ground Laboratory installation at Petrin Hill. The creatures, known to some as ‘Chorts’ are being contained – thanks to the efforts of a team of specialists, the energy powering the Holo-Emitters has been redirected into the colony’s sewer system. The creatures already within the Field will be drawn to and contained there. We urge you not to confront these creatures yourselves – they are already beginning to withdraw.
The panic begins to ease slightly, people are listening to her.
MONIKA: Furthermore, a second team of specialists is repairing the cracks in the Field, ensuring no more of the Chorts can break through.
A few cheers, audible relief.
MONIKA: But the most crucial update sent to us by Ground Lab, is the news that these animals were not – could not – have been brought to New Prague by Bregalian extremists, or activists of any kind. They were brought here by our own Governors.
There are gasps from the crowd, anger begins to swell. LYSSA is outraged.
LYSSA: Don’t listen to these lies, my friends!
We hear jeers and abuse coming from the crowd. LYSSA turns to her two Security GUARDS flanking her.
LYSSA: Where the hell is her transmission coming from? Get it terminated at once, and bring that damn reporter in for questioning.
A pause. Neither GUARD is inclined to obey.
LYSSA: Didn’t you hear what I said?!
GUARD: Actually, Ma’am, I think it might be you who needs to answer some questions…
42. INT. The landing bay at Sky Lab. GRANGE is clambering into a Travel Pod, pursued by the DOCTOR.
DOCTOR: (Shouting) Get back man! Where can you go?!
GRANGE: (Shouting back) Anywhere but here, DOCTOR!
GRANGE seals his Pod and launches. The DOCTOR quickly does likewise.
43. EXT. The sky outside Sky Lab. GRANGE begins to accelerate upwards. The DOCTOR follows suit. We hear the exchange of the characters on a Comms channel between the Pods.
DOCTOR: DOCTOR to GRANGE, DOCTOR to GRANGE. Come in Man! It’s hopeless, you can’t escape in that thing!
GRANGE: To hell with you, DOCTOR!
DOCTOR: Damn it GRANGE, use what’s left of your intelligence! Even if you made it to your ship, you can’t avoid responsibility forever! All of us have to face up to our actions, one day! Without the investment from the Galactic Bank, you can’t afford to just ‘disappear’!
GRANGE: There are always other planets, DOCTOR! There’s always someone ready to believe the lie, ready to blame these filthy, mongrel aliens for their problems!
We hear the pods swoop and spin as the pair push them to their engineering limits. Their power is reaching breaking point.
DOCTOR: GRANGE! You’re heading to that crack in the FIELD! The cracks are sealing man, you’ll never make it through, and even if you did, your pod isn’t designed for space flight, there’s no way you can rendezvous with your ship!
GRANGE: I’m the Head Governor, here, DOCTOR! Nobody tells HECTOR GRANGE what he can’t do!
GRANGE’S Pod accelerates still faster towards the last crack in the Field.
GRANGE: I’m going to make it, I’m going to make it!
DOCTOR: Pull away, man!
GRANGE’s mania is absolute and so is his delusion. We hear his Pod begin to buckle from the overstrain. But just as he thinks he can make it through the other side of the crack, we hear the gurgle and roar of a final Chort, breaching the crack from the other side.
GRANGE: Nearly there, nearly there!
DOCTOR: GRANGE! There’s a Chort coming through, you’re going to collide!
GRANGE: (In grim realisation and resentful of being faced, finally, with the consequences of his own actions) No! No, it’s not fair!!
The Chort slips through the final crack just as it seals and falls onto GRANGE’s Pod. The Head Governor screams in impotent rage as the impact disrupts the failing Pod’s systems and it smashes, in a fiery, electronic fury, against the edge of the freshly rebooted Field.
The DOCTOR swerves his Pod away from the impact and begins to return to Sky Lab.
DOCTOR: (Breathing heavily, he laments to himself) All of us have to face up to our actions, one day, Head Governor. All of us…
44. EXT. Old Town Square. The DOCTOR and JO have returned to the TARDIS, VIK, FLIC and BARONET accompanying them.
DOCTOR: … and that was the end of poor old Józef, the Golem. For the time being, of course.
BARONET: So, this is the infamous TARDIS, of yours, Miss GRANT has told us so much about. Is it really as big you say on the inside?
DOCTOR: And infinitely larger, old chap!
BARONET: I’m happy to take your word for it.
JO: What will happen to New Prague, now?
FLIC: Well, after the government collapsed, for once the opposition Parties have agreed to work together to get things back on track.
VIK: And the first thing they’ve done is lift the curfew on non-humans and abolish Off-Worlding.
JO: Thank heaven for that.
BARONET: And now repair work on the Field is well under way, the Galactic Bank will be happy to agree the investment package – payable to someone other than Haven, of course.
DOCTOR: Speaking of whom, what’s going to happen to them?
BARONET: Already taken care of, DOCTOR. Their assets have been frozen pending investigation of their deals and the prosecution of those involved in this disgrace. I don’t think I’m giving away any secrets when I say that those assets will be used to fund the relocation of the Chorts to somewhere they can cause no more harm and be kept safe to live as they should.
DOCTOR: And perhaps you can start the debate about the return of these ‘domains’ to their rightful places, on Earth?
BARONET: You have my word.
JO: And LYSSA?
FLIC: She’ll face trial, alongside a good many others.
VIK: Under a far more humane system than she oversaw.
JO: So, things will really change for the better, now?
FLIC: Yes… and no. For most people, the fall of the Governors has been like the lifting of an enormous weight from our collective shoulders, but for others…
VIK: Others are busy trying to make excuses for their tacit consent in a system which caused so much pain. And now the Holo-Projector has been repaired, and the Chorts aren’t a constant sight, it’s easier for them to try to forget their complicity.
DOCTOR: Then you must make sure they remember, VIK, all of you. And not because of vindictiveness, or for any negative reason, but to make sure nothing like this can ever happen again. When the ignorance that leads to the type of ideology that took root here, rears its head, and it will, then don’t shy away from that challenge. Call it out, loudly and clearly, and make people see that there’s a better way.
VIK: We will, I guarantee it.
JO: We should be getting back, DOCTOR. And you still owe me a trip to the real Prague, remember?
DOCTOR: This is the real Prague, JO!
JO: Well, when it was where it’s supposed to be!
FLIC: DOCTOR, before you go, I have to ask. When we’d escaped from Central Control, when you thought JO was dead, you could have just come back here to your TARDIS and flown away.
DOCTOR: That’s right.
FLIC: So, why didn’t you?
DOCTOR: Because of what you said, FLIC. Not everybody had the luxury of just leaving. And because not too long ago, I was as trapped in a system I despised as much as you and VIK were trapped in this one. I couldn’t leave even though I was desperate to – and I got through that with the help of people like Miss GRANT, here, and a good friend who, frustrating as he can sometimes be, made sure he always had my back, when needed. As a matter of fact, you remind me a little of him, as it happens!
JO: And that’s who we need to get back to see.
DOCTOR: Indeed, we do. After a little detour or two, perhaps…? Goodbye all, and I wish you the very best of luck!
JO: Me too, take care of yourselves!
BARONET: We will, Miss GRANT, and of each other, too.
They all give their goodbyes.
The Bell of the Astronomical clock tower, begins to chime, heralding our heroes’ departure just as it did their arrival.
JO: Listen, DOCTOR, its’ the clock tower again.
DOCTOR: Yes, JO. And let’s hope that this time, they’re ringing in a bright future.
We hear cheers in the background of a freed and awakening people. The future, is one of hope.