Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
It’s Day 2 of ‘Bradley’s Basement’s Advent Calendar 2017’.
Today, we continue ‘The Second Doctor’s Story’ of ‘The Five Doctors At Christmas’ with ‘Part Two’! Last time, the TARDIS landed inside a steam locomotive and the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find themselves meeting Father Christmas. Will they get the answer on where the missing children are? 🙂
‘The Second Doctor’s Story’ of ‘The Five Doctors At Christmas’ is set after ‘Brain and Heart’.
Jamie, Zoe and the Doctor were astonished. Not only did they see the first person aboard the train since they first arrived, but it was Father Christmas! Jamie and Zoe had never believed in Father Christmas when they were little. They hadn’t been brought up to believe in such things. The Doctor however knew what this festive, jolly figure was about.
Making his way forward, the Doctor reached out a hand to greet the red suited figure. “Greetings to you too,” he said. “I’m the Doctor.”
“Ah,” Father Christmas bellowed cheerfully. “A Doctor is it? Well, you are most welcome!” He looked at Jamie and Zoe. “And these two are your children, aren’t they?”
The Doctor let out an embarrassed cough before turning to Jamie and Zoe.
“This is Jamie,” he began, “and this is Zoe.” The Doctor then thought an introduction to the red suited man was required. “Jamie; Zoe,” he said. “This is Saint Nicholas; often known as Santa Claus and very often known as Father Christmas.”
Jamie and Zoe exchanged baffled glances. Father Christmas was someone Jamie never believed in, even as a child, during the harsh time in Scotland. Zoe was also brought up on logic and facts and Father Christmas was never one of them.
“I take it you’re not the genuine article then,” the Doctor enquired, rather shrewdly in fact.
Father Christmas let out another hearty laugh, “Oh no, Doctor. I’m merely performing the part for the children’s Christmas party aboard this train. I was hired by the Severn Valley Railway. We left Bewdley after we left Kidderminster.”
“Ah,” the Doctor exclaimed. “So we’re on our way to Arley then!”
“Where are the children?” Zoe piped up. “If there’s a children’s party, then…”
Father Christmas looked around the train carriage, as if seeing it for the first time. He looked astonished and surprised.
“Why…snowy sleigh bells,” he declared. “That is a mystery! Where are those children?”
“You mean you don’t know?” Jamie enquired.
“That is rather unusual,” remarked the Doctor. “Not to mention disturbing.”
“Their parents should be with them,” Father Christmas mentioned.
“Parents?” said Zoe.
“Yes,” Father Christmas replied. “Or at least the schoolchildren’s teachers should be with them.” The jolly figure thought for a moment, as he tugged his beard. Then he patted his head, as if realising it for the first time. “Of course,” he said. “I should have realised!”
“What, sir?” the Doctor asked, “What should you have realised?”
Father Christmas chuckled as if he had made a joke. “How could I have forgotten? They’re in my Santa’s Grotto aboard this train.”
“Santa’s Grotto?” enquired Zoe.
“Yes,” Father Christmas said. “The children are waiting for me to ask them what they would like for Christmas. I should go over there and see them, shouldn’t I?”
“All the children are in your Santa’s Grotto?” the Doctor asked, getting suspicious.
“Of course,” Father Christmas replied, “All thirteen of them!”
“Thirteen?!” exclaimed Jamie, astonished. “And their parents?”
“And their schoolteachers?” Zoe added.
“Of course,” Father Christmas replied. Then, as if a thought occurred to him, he asked the TARDIS trio, “Do you want to join me and see what I do in my grotto? I’m sure it’ll be very entertaining to see the children’s happy faces when I tell them they’ll get for Christmas.”
The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe seemed unsure at first. Father Christmas noticed this.
“I would appreciate the moral support,” he said. “Handling thirteen children is a big task.”
The Doctor perked up and smiled. “We’ll be delighted to join you in your Santa’s Grotto,” he said. “I’m sure you’ll be splendid. Won’t he, Jamie; Zoe?”
“Oh yes,” Zoe said cheerily. “We’ll look forward to seeing you with the children…in your grotto.”
“Aye, we do,” Jamie said, although he sounded perplexed as usual.
“Excellent,” Father Christmas said. “Just give me a few minutes. I need to go and find my Christmas sack. It should be around here somewhere. I’ll come back once I’ve found it.”
“Please,” the Doctor said, “take your time. We won’t wander off.”
“Is it down there?” Jamie asked, indicating the door where Father Christmas was heading off to for the next carriage.
“Oh yes!” Father Christmas replied, as he moved past Jamie, Zoe and the Doctor. He made his way over to the door of the next carriage. “I’ll back,” he said cheerfully. “Don’t go away!”
With that, Father Christmas opened the door and disappeared into the next carriage. Jamie, Zoe and the Doctor remained, waiting for his return.
As they waited, the TARDIS travellers sat down at a nearby dining table. They became silent for a moment, as they contemplated the experience they just had with meeting Father Christmas.
“Who was that man?” Jamie asked perplexed. “He was a peculiar character!”
“He’s obviously supposed to be part of the Christmas tradition,” Zoe said. “I’m afraid I don’t know a lot about Christmas. The Elite programme didn’t provide that when we were little.”
“That man is obviously hiding something,” the Doctor remarked.
“Hiding something?” Jamie replied. “What do you mean, Doctor?”
“I don’t know,” the Doctor replied. “I’ve just got a feeling. That’s all.”
Just then, a faint sound of sobbing was heard nearby. Curious, the TARDIS trio eventually got up from their dining table to go and search where the sobbing was coming from.
The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe soon came across…a little boy huddled underneath one of the dining tables in the train carriage. The boy had been crying since Father Christmas had left the train carriage. Nobody seemed to have noticed him when he was there.
The little boy looked up to see the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe before him. His eyes were red from crying. Apparently Father Christmas was wrong, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe thought. Not all the children were in Santa’s Grotto.
“Please,” the little boy said pleadingly. “Please! Don’t let them take me! Don’t let them hurt me, please! Please!” The little boy then cried again…
TO BE CONTINUED…
© Tim Bradley, 2017