‘FRED AND THE DOCTOR’
By Tim Bradley
Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Fred Walker.
Set sometime between ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ and ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’.
Fred Walker found it a struggle to celebrate on that Wednesday the 8th of May 1945. It was V.E. Day and the United Kingdom had won the Second World War. The Nazis had been defeated; the flags were waving; people were cheering in the streets. Everything had been as everybody had hoped for. There were trials and tribulations on the way, but they managed to come out of it alright in the end.
That wasn’t what Fred Walker felt as he stood outside a café in Churchwood Street in Cardiff that V.E. Day. He’d been through a lot in the war. He’d seen so many horrors. Fighting in the war had not been easy. He was an airline pilot who served in the Royal Air Force. He didn’t actually fight or kill any Nazis. But he did have to fight through pockets of turbulence in the sky as well as opposing German bombers on the way.
But that wasn’t what was worrying Fred at this precise time on V.E. Day. He’d been contemplating what to do and was still contemplating now. He had so many plans for when the war was over before he actually went into it. Fred was idealistic and positive-thinking before he contributed to the war effort. In fact, you could almost say he was slightly naïve as a youth in the late 1930s. He wasn’t so now in 1945, years older and wiser.
Before the war, Fred had proposed marriage to the girl of his dreams – Enid Phillips. Enid said “Yes!” without a word of hesitation. Fred was gobsmacked. He couldn’t believe that Enid had actually said “Yes!” That was before he was drafted into the war and piloted planes in war-torn skies.
He came back after the war to be reunited with his beloved Enid. But somehow, Fred felt he had lost something. He’d lost the youthful spirit he once had before the war. Enid had noticed this as they celebrated V.E. Day in the café two hours ago. Fred had just left Enid inside the café to go out and get some fresh air.
People told Fred that he was lucky. Not many men fighting in the war came back home to be reunited with their loved ones. Many were reported dead or missing in action. Not Fred. He had survived and was lucky to be alive. Lucky was the catch word for Fred.
But Fred didn’t feel it. He didn’t feel so lucky. Why was he feeling so miserable? Why was he feeling numb? Was it because he was afraid to go through with the wedding? Yeah. That was probably it. Fred was afraid. He had seen so much death during the war that he felt disheartened about going through with the wedding. Fred didn’t feel the same man anymore. Why couldn’t he be happy? How could he get back what he had lost during the war? What was the point of going on with life, he wanted to know.
It was while Fred was contemplating this that he looked up and saw a man coming down the street towards him. Fred couldn’t help noticing the man coming because he was wearing a multi-coloured coat. Fred wondered how this man could wear such ridiculous garb. Then he wondered whether he was some entertainer. Whether he was a clown coming to entertain everybody because the war was over. Yes that was it, Fred thought. He’s come to cheer everybody up in the café. Maybe that’s what Fred needed. He needed someone to cheer him up and that had to be a man willing to wear such ridiculous clothes.
If that was the case though, why was the man coming straight towards him with a serious face. No really. That’s what the man was doing. He was coming straight towards Fred…with a serious face.
The Doctor approached Fred Walker, not knowing who he was at first. He went straight to the point. No nonsense.
“Excuse me, young man” the Doctor began to ask. “Have you seen a shifty little man going inside that café behind you?”
Fred was startled. He didn’t expect to be questioned by a man in a multi-coloured coat, especially on V.E. Day. And especially when he was in one of his moods.
“Come on, young man,” the Doctor demanded impatiently. “Answer me! Did you see a shifty little man or not?”
Fred struggled to find the words.
“No,” he then replied. “No I haven’t seen anybody. I don’t think I’ve noticed anyone pass by me whilst I’ve been standing out here.”
The Doctor then took out a tracking device from one of his coat pockets. He switched it on and scanned the area vigorously in order to pick up the signal he was looking for. He failed to notice Fred looking startled to see him carrying such a device in his hand.
“The signal’s not far off,” the Doctor then said. “And it’s definitely coming from the café.” Speaking more to himself than to Fred, he said, “He must have used his invisibility cloak to enter the café undetected.” He then looked at Fred. “It’s probably the reason why you didn’t notice him. Although you could have done so if you paid attention to other things rather than your own human problems.”
Fred was about to protest at that point, but the Doctor ignored him as he went on ahead to go inside the café.
But Fred wouldn’t be ignored as he then asked, “Look, what’s all this about? Who is this shifty little man you’re looking for? What’s he done? Are you the police?”
“No, I’m not the police,” the Doctor replied testily. “And no I haven’t got time to explain it all. You probably wouldn’t understand anyway. Excuse me, but I really need to get inside this café and find him.”
With that, the Doctor opened the door and entered the café, leaving Fred to stand there watching him go in. Fred realised that he had been left standing there to watch this strange, mysterious man going into the café. Well, he wasn’t going to be left standing there. No, he was going to do something about it. That’s right. He was going to make sure everything was alright and nothing would happen to Enid, especially with this strange shifty little man that the multi-coloured person was looking for. He eventually followed the Doctor in.
Fred entered the café and found that the strange person with the multi-coloured coat was still using his tracking device to…well, scan the area. He was surprised nobody noticed this jester figure of fun enter the café. He could see everybody was enjoying themselves on V.E. Day. Fred looked to see if Enid was still where he had left her. Thankfully she was. She was still alone and no shifty man had come to trouble her. That was a relief. He would go over to Enid and check on her further. But first he had to ask this mysterious stranger, who he’d just met, an important question.
Fred went over to the figure and asked, “Who exactly are you, sir?”
The Doctor, who was still focused on his tracking, replied, “I’m called the Doctor. Now please don’t interrupt me, I’m very busy.”
Fred was astonished at the abruptness of the Doctor’s manner. He could see that he was very worried and didn’t have time for small chat. It must be something very serious indeed.
“Are you someone from the government?” Fred then asked, realising how stupid that must have sounded, especially with what the man was wearing. But he couldn’t help it. He then asked, “Are you a spy or something?”
“I’m none of the above as you so mildly put it,” the Doctor then replied. “I’m a traveller in time and space. I’m an alien who comes from the planet Gallifrey. And by hearing me say this you don’t believe a word I’m saying.”
Fred didn’t know what to make of the Doctor’s statements. He sounded so sincere and serious when he said them. He wanted to say, “Of course I don’t believe you. What do you think I am, an idiot?” But instead Fred said, “I…err…um…”
“Very wise, I must say so,” the Doctor then replied. He was then distracted by something on the tracker. The Doctor shook the tracker vibrantly before he said, “There’s another signal coming from the tracker. It seems pretty urgent. It’s almost as if it were intermittent. As if…”
The Doctor stopped mid-sentence. He then looked up with an expression of horror on his face. Fred noticed it almost immediately.
“What is it?” Fred asked. “What’s wrong?”
The Doctor turned to Fred and asked, “What’s your name, young man?”
Fred was perplexed and then said, “Fred Walker. My name is Fred Walker…”
“Fred Walker,” the Doctor interrupted urgently. “Get down!”
“What?” Fred started. “But I…”
He was then pushed down to the ground by the Doctor. The Doctor called out to everyone. “Everyone, get down! GET DOWN NOW!!!”
Many people responded to the Doctor’s call. Some were confused and puzzled. Some were already drunk with joy about the V.E. victory that they didn’t even acknowledge the Doctor’s shout to ‘get down’. But, no matter how many people responded to the Doctor’s call, it happened. An explosion occurred.
The explosion was pretty loud and caused some of the ceiling in the dining area and bar area to collapse. Many screamed. Many shouted and cursed as the explosion occurred. Fred felt like he was back fighting in the war again. He hoped something like this wouldn’t happen. He hoped he didn’t have to fight in his home town with smoke billowing and fire everywhere. Fred then realised that the Doctor was lying next to him on the floor.
After a number of seconds, Fred and the Doctor slowly got up from the floor. He couldn’t help coughing from the smoke and fumes of the explosion that had occurred. It was then that one thought and person came into Fred’s mind.
“Enid!” Fred then shouted. “Where’s Enid?” He then called out. “Enid?”
The Doctor then stood up from the floor beside Fred before he shouted and pointed. “There he goes!” he said.
“Who?” Fred asked, confused.
“That shifty little man who came into the café,” the Doctor answered. “The one I was looking for. I see him! He’s running out via the back door in the kitchen.”
Fred then got distracted as he heard his Enid call out from a distance. “Fred,” she cried. “Fred, where are you?! Fred?!”
Fred sighed with relief. He was glad to see Enid was still alive. He was even more pleased when people came over to see Enid to check to see if she was alright and asking who this Fred was she was looking for.
Fred was about to go over to Enid and answer her call. But the Doctor stopped Fred from doing that, as he pulled his arm and said, “Come on, Mr. Fred Walker. We’ve got to stop that man from getting away. Who knows what other trouble he may cause?”
Fred found himself reluctantly pulled away by the Doctor from his Enid as they headed for the kitchen to make for the back door entrance.
“But my Enid,” Fred protested to the Doctor. “She’s…”
“No time,” the Doctor insisted. “Come on. I need some assistance with capturing that fiend. Onwards! The chase is on!”
With no further argument, Fred found himself running with the Doctor as they headed for the back entrance to chase after the shifty little criminal who had caused the explosion in the café. Just as they were about to go out through the back door, Fred looked back to see his beloved fiancée Enid looking left and right and all around for him. Fred promised himself he would get back for her. Eventually, Fred didn’t see Enid anymore as he and the Doctor were out of the café via the kitchen.
Outside, Fred and the Doctor looked to see if they could find the shifty little man anywhere in the street before them. Thankfully they did, as they saw a struggle going on nearby. A man and his wife had been pushed aside on the pavement by someone who was getting into their car. The person had managed to force his way into the car and got into the driver’s seat. The Doctor could see clearly who this troublesome person was.
“It’s him,” the Doctor announced. “That’s the shifty little man I’ve been looking for.”
Fred saw this shifty little man for the first time. He was surprised by his appearance. The shifty little man had one side of his face looking completely human. The other side…well, it was hardly recognisable. It looked all so wrong. The eyes were not where they should be and the mouth was on his forehead instead of underneath his nose. It was pretty disgusting. Even the married couple who had been pushed aside were horrified by this man’s peculiar, grotesque appearance.
The shifty little man in the car then drove away, heading off down the end of Churchwood Street for the north.
“We need to get after him,” the Doctor said urgently. “There’s no knowing what that monstrosity can do to disrupt the evolution of the human race.”
Fred could sense how urgent the Doctor’s needs were and he said, “My car is at your disposal, Doctor. I’ll drive you and follow that little man in the stolen car to wherever he goes.”
“Good man,” the Doctor patted Fred on the back. “Where is your car? Hurry, there’s not much time.”
“Down here,” Fred indicated, as he ran towards where his car was parked near the café.
They eventually got into the car and Fred drove at an incredible speed, chasing after the shifty little man in the stolen car, heading north out of Churchwood Street. Fred and the Doctor hoped there was still time to catch up with him.
Inside the car, Fred kept his focus on driving in pursuit of the shifty little man in the stolen car. But he couldn’t help but ask the many questions he wanted to ask the Doctor since he’d got himself into this mess.
He started off with the most obvious question. “Who is that little man then?” Then he asked. “What is he? That face of his!”
Fred didn’t expect the Doctor to answer any of his questions. He expected to get a blunt, abrasive answer as the Doctor had a lot on his mind.
Fortunately the Doctor was willing to answer Fred’s questions as he replied, “He’s called Gotho. He’s an escaped war criminal from the planet Demeanos, hence his scarred face. He was fighting in the gamma atomic war on his home planet.”
“I see,” Fred replied, clearly not seeing at all. This was all getting too much for him. All he wanted was to have his married life with Enid. Wow, he realised. It just occurred to him how much he wanted that.
The Doctor continued, “It was an accident me bringing him here to Earth. I promise it was. I was trying to get him back to his home planet where my companion and friend Peri was waiting. Unfortunately he outwitted me and the TARDIS got side-tracked to Earth 1945. I’ll have to make use of that magnetic chair I once had. I haven’t used it for a long time.”
This again was all too much for Fred to take in as he drove the car forward in pursuit of their criminal. All he could say was, “So you really are a time-traveller then.” He then added, “And an alien.”
“I told you I was,” the Doctor replied bluntly. Then he added, “I’m a Time Lord if it makes any easier for you. And yes, I’m one of the friendly aliens. So you needn’t worry about me invading your planet.”
“I’m not,” Fred claimed. “I see now why you wear that technicolor coat of yours. You think it would be friendly for us humans to appreciate. But since you’re alien, you don’t know what counts as acceptable human attire.”
“Excuse me,” the Doctor objected hotly. “I’ll have you know that this coat of mine is the height of fashion.”
“Okay, okay,” Fred replied. “Whatever you say, Doctor.”
Fred could see the Doctor was put-off by the remarks he made about his clothing. The Doctor clearly took offence to it.
Then the Doctor had a curious expression on his face. He had a closer look at Fred Walker whilst the driver in question was still driving.
“Fred Walker, you said,” the Doctor declared.
“Uh, yes,” Fred replied. “Yes, I am Fred Walker.”
A moment of silence ensued.
The Doctor asked, “Have we met somewhere before, Fred?”
Fred became puzzled and he replied, “I don’t think so, Doctor.” He paused for a moment. “I would have remembered recognising a face like yours as well as the clothes.”
“Let’s not go into all that business again, shall we?” the Doctor remarked patiently.
“Sorry, sorry,” Fred replied.
They kept on driving as they were now catching up to their criminal in stolen car ahead of them.
“Where do you think this criminal of yours is heading for?” Fred asked.
“Not sure,” the Doctor replied. “But it can’t be good.” He then stressed his word very fiercely to Fred. “Just keep your eyes on the road; keep driving and don’t lose sight of him. Alright?!”
“Whatever you say, Doctor,” Fred answered.
Another moment of silence ensued between them.
Then the Doctor perked up cheerfully and said, “Nice to meet you by the way, Fred.”
Fred looked at the Doctor momentarily before his eyes to the road again.
“Nice to meet you too, Doctor,” Fred replied.
Fred couldn’t help noticing the look on the Doctor’s face when he did. He saw a smile on his face, as if he was genuinely delighted to meet him. Perhaps he knew who he was already. But how could that be? They’d never met each other before. Fred was sure of it.
Anyway, it didn’t matter. Fred kept his focus on the driving and pursued after Gotho the war criminal. He couldn’t believe how ridiculous that sounded.
It was fifteen minutes later that the Doctor and Fred’s pursuit ended up in an airfield. This was about five miles outside where they left Churchwood Street. The place was completely deserted. No-one was using the planes in that airfield. Everybody had gone off celebrating the V.E. victory in Churchwood Street and in the Cardiff streets nearby. Fred wondered why there weren’t any guards around. He eventually found out that they had been knocked out by Gotho when he came into the airfield itself. The Doctor told him as much as they entered the airfield and parked the car once they’d stopped.
They got out of the car and took in their surroundings, trying to see if they could locate Gotho anywhere in the area. They spotted the stolen car Gotho had taken. When they looked inside the car, they could see no sign of Gotho anywhere.
“He can’t have got far,” Fred said optimistically. “If he’s an alien, he won’t know how to fly these planes will he?”
Seconds after Fred had said that, a strange buzzing sound was echoing nearby. The Doctor tugged at Fred’s shoulder and pointed urgently.
“Maybe not,” the Doctor replied testily. “But he’s going to try, isn’t he? Look!”
Fred looked to see what the Doctor meant. Then he realised that Gotho had acquired a spitfire plane in the airfield. More accurately, Gotho was stealing the spitfire. Just as he’d done with stealing that married couple’s car back in Churchwood. Fred got a sense that Gotho had a habit of stealing things. Was this what he did in the wars on his home planet, Fred wondered.
“Fred,” the Doctor shouted urgently. “Get out of the way! Get out of the way Fred, now!”
It took seconds to register why the Doctor told Fred to ‘get out of the way’. Then Fred saw the spitfire that Gotho was piloting was heading straight towards them. The Doctor jumped out of the way falling to the left side, whilst Fred jumped out of the way falling to the right.
Thankfully the plane missed the Doctor and Fred by a mile. The Doctor and Fred recovered as they looked to see Gotho escaping in his lately acquired and stolen spitfire. The Doctor and Fred got up to their feet, trying to run after and catch up with the plane in the vain hope of stopping it taking off in the air.
Unfortunately however, the spitfire began to take off and was soon up in the air heading off into the sky. The plane had gone too fast for the Doctor and Fred by that point and they’d stopped chasing after it, puffing out of breath.
“Well,” Fred then said, puffed out and defeated. “At least we can say we tried.”
The Doctor however was having none of it. “We’ve got to stop him getting away,” he insisted. “Wherever he goes in that spitfire will cause a cataclysm of intergalactic proportions. The whole Earth not to mention the universe will be at stake.”
Fred wasn’t sure whether to believe the words the Doctor was saying at this point. But then this was turning out to be a strange day for him, so who was he to question it.
“But how are we going to catch up with him?” Fred asked, quite reasonably he thought.
“Use your head, Fred Walker,” the Doctor said. “Use your head. He…” the Doctor indicated Gotho, “…is in a spitfire. What should we do to chase after him?”
Fred thought for a few moments and then realised how stupid he must have been. “Oh of course,” he replied. “We chase after him in a plane of course.”
“Come on,” the Doctor said urgently. “Let’s get into one of these planes and get up after that war criminal.”
“Have no fear,” Fred declared. “I’m an air pilot myself. I’ll get chasing after that criminal for you.”
As they were heading for the nearest plane, the Doctor was rather astonished with Fred.
“You mean to say you’re an air pilot, and you never thought of chasing after Gotho in a plane in the first place,” the Doctor said.
“It’s been one of those days,” Fred replied. “I’ve got a lot on my mind. And that includes my Enid too.”
“Enid?” the Doctor said. “Is that your wife?”
Fred looked to the Doctor and said, “She’s my fiancée.”
“Ah,” the Doctor said. “Well, I was close.”
Eventually, Fred and the Doctor got in a plane and began to chase after Gotho. Fred took charge of the pilot controls with the Doctor sitting behind him. They put their air pilot headgear on too. Within minutes, Fred and the Doctor’s plane took off.
Fred and the Doctor managed to catch up with Gotho in his spitfire. They had been chasing Gotho for quite some time now. They were still no closer to bringing him down. Gotho had managed to outwit them at every manoeuvre they had used to catch him. Fred felt this was the longest flight he’d taken in flying a plane. He wasn’t even fighting in the war anymore. It felt unreal.
“Goodness this customer’s clever, Doctor,” Fred remarked. “For a newcomer to our planet, this man’s really into flying a spitfire.”
“Oh he and his kind can adapt to new technologies pretty well, Fred,” the Doctor replied. “Don’t be too surprised to find yourself facing an alien who’s more capable of handling pieces of technology and aircraft than you are.”
“I haven’t met any aliens before, Doctor,” Fred said. “You’re the first one I’ve encountered today. I’ve yet to make the acquaintance of Mr. Gotho.”
“And let’s hope you never have to, Fred,” the Doctor replied. “Mr. Gotho’s not the type of person to have friendly chats with.”
It was at that moment Fred and the Doctor realised something.
“Doctor,” Fred warned. “Something’s happening. Mr. Gotho in his spitfire has turned around towards us.”
“So he has,” the Doctor replied. He was rather surprised himself.
They watched as they saw the spitfire plane veering around and heading straight towards them. Gotho seemed to be coming towards them with menacing intent.
The Doctor soon realised what Mr. Gotho was up to and he cried out to Fred, “Quick, Fred! Evasive manoeuvre! Get out of his firing range now!”
Fred did as the Doctor said and just in time, as Gotho fired upon them. The plane with Fred and the Doctor inside lifted its right wing up as the shots missed completely. Fred piloted the plane forwards in the sky, attempting to get away from Gotho’s line of fire. Very soon, Gotho’s spitfire was chasing them. The tables had been turned.
“Oh no,” Fred declared. “He’s chasing us now! I suppose he figured out how to use that machine gun of his in that spitfire plane.”
“Very likely,” the Doctor said. “He was biding his time whilst we were chasing him. That’s very typical war criminal thinking especially from the likes of someone from the planet Demeanos.”
“I’m sorry for not getting us a spitfire plane like his, Doctor,” Fred apologised. “We’d be able to outwit him and be able to gun him down. Just didn’t think of it.”
“Don’t worry about it, Fred,” the Doctor reassured him. “Ordinarily I would detest using violent methods. We’ll just have to think of some other method to bring him down whilst avoiding his line of fire.”
“I don’t mind admitting it to you, Doctor,” Fred then said. “But I feel rather scared. I know I’ve faced death in battle in an aeroplane or spitfire. But I’ve never felt so afraid to be fighting in something outside the war. I hoped I’d be lucky. But now I suppose this is the end for me.”
“Never think like that, Fred Walker,” the Doctor said to him. “Never! Just think of the family you and your future wife Enid will have when this war is over.”
Fred looked surprised at the Doctor. This was the first time that it had even been considered – he and Enid having a family when married. Also, the Doctor sounded certain that he and Enid were going to get married.
“How can you be so sure Enid and I will get married, Doctor?” Fred asked him. “How do you know we’re going to have a family one day?”
“Trust me, I know,” the Doctor insisted. He then added, “That is if I can stop old Gotho here from preventing it from ever happening.”
“What?” Fred asked, perplexed.
The Doctor continued, “And I believe I have just the thing to lessen Gotho’s chances of firing us down from the sky.”
The plane then buckled as a shot fired upon them. Fred and the Doctor shuddered in their cockpits once this happened. They managed to keep their flyer hats on. They realised that Gotho had managed to catch up with them and was firing upon them again.
“But I’ll have to do this quickly in order to increase our chances of success,” the Doctor said.
The Doctor then fumbled in his coat pockets, as he took things out one by one. These included a piece of string, a yoyo, a banana and a sieve for some strange reason.
“What thing?” Fred then asked him.
The Doctor then took out a small mirror from his left-hand coat pocket. He checked to see whether it was suitable enough for his purposes. Once satisfied that it is, the Doctor then turned to Fred.
“Fred,” he said, “head straight for the sun. If I can get the angle of inclination right, I’ll be able to reflect the beam of sunlight onto Gotho in order to distract him. Then we’ll be able to crash him down.
Fred was appalled at this. “Straight for the sun,” he said. “You can’t ask me to do that. We’ll be burned alive.”
“Trust me,” the Doctor said. “I know what I’m doing.” He then added, “At least…” he paused for a moment. “…I’m pretty certain this will work.”
A moment of silence ensued. Fred hesitated longer on the Doctor’s suggestion to head straight for the sun. Then a shot of fire came at them from the machine gun of Gotho’s spitfire. Thus, Fred’s mind was made up.
“Alright, Doctor,” Fred said, “whatever you say. Straight for the sun it is.”
With that, Fred piloted the plane towards the sun. This must be the maddest thing Fred had ever done in his whole life. But with the Doctor’s certainty of him having a future with his future wife Enid and having a family, Fred put his trust about the future in the Doctor’s hands.
It was getting hotter and hotter as they got closer to the sun. Fred wasn’t sure he could stand any more of this. He hoped the Doctor would say something to take them away from the sun when they needed to. So far, the Doctor hadn’t said anything. He was just keeping silent whilst adjusting the alignment of his small mirror towards the sun. Fred noticed the red frame the mirror had as the Doctor held it in his hands.
Just then, Gotho fired again. The shot made the plane judder slightly as Fred piloted it. Fred refocused to keep his mind on flying the plane as best as he could.
“I’ve not met Mr. Gotho yet,” Fred said, “and already I don’t care for him much.”
“I’m nearly there,” the Doctor said in reply. “We just need to get a little closer to the sun to make sure I get the alignment just right.”
“Just right for what?” Fred asked, anxiously.
“Enough for me to reflect the sun rays from the mirror to blind Mr. Gotho in his spitfire,” the Doctor replied.
Fred did his best to be patient for a little longer. He hoped the higher he went and closer he got to the sun, he’d be closer to heaven than he intended. Maybe if he was married to Enid already, it would be literally a match made in heaven, he thought.
Eventually, after ten seconds more, the Doctor exclaimed, “Got it! Get to work, you sun ray!”
And as if by the Doctor’s commands, a blinding light came from the mirror he was holding. This was at the same time as Gotho fired again at the Doctor and Fred in their plane. It was good timing, for the blinding light had blinded Gotho the moment he fired. The shots that came out from the machine hit the underside of Fred and the Doctor’s plane. Whilst no damage was caused, the shot ricocheted all over the place.
One of those shots that ricocheted hit the engine of Gotho’s spitfire. This caused an explosion and began to send the spitfire plane twirling down with Gotho still inside the cockpit.
Fred and the Doctor watched from a distance as they saw Gotho’s spitfire going out of control.
Eventually the Doctor said to Fred, “Quick man. Get us out of the sun’s rays. We’ll get caught in a collision course if we remain on this path.”
“You get no argument from me,” Fred replied.
With that, Fred piloted the plane out of the sun’s direction. He and the Doctor flew at a safer distance away from the sun. The Doctor and Fred continued to watch the spitfire’s descent from the cockpit of their plane.
“You got him down, Doctor,” Fred said. “Well done.”
“Yes,” the Doctor said regretfully.
Fred was puzzled. “You don’t sound pleased,” he said. “I thought that’s what you wanted.”
“I wasn’t expecting him to fire upon us and his shots ricocheting from us to hit his plane’s engine,” the Doctor replied. “I had hoped for another means of bringing Mr. Gotho down without that.”
“Really?” Fred said. “What had you in mind to bringing him down then, Doctor?”
The Doctor was about to answer Fred’s question, when he considered and then said, “Oh it doesn’t matter.”
“Well I certainly hope he gets out by parachute,” Fred said. “I’d hate to see him burning in a fiery plane once it hits the ground.
The Doctor and Fred watched as the spitfire plane continued its descent towards the ground. For some time, the Doctor and Fred had expected Gotho to parachute out at some point. He did not. The Doctor and Fred were puzzled as well as anxious.
“Doctor,” Fred said.
“He hasn’t got out of the plane, I see,” the Doctor replied. “I can’t even see a little figure.”
“He can’t know how to use a parachute surely,” Fred stated.
But the more they watched, the more the spitfire plane got closer to the ground.
“Doctor?” Fred prompted.
“I think this is one of those times when Mr. Gotho doesn’t know everything regarding British planes in the Second World War, Fred,” the Doctor said.
Fred was astonished. “But that means…” he began.
But within moments, Gotho’s spitfire plane crashed down to the ground and blew up in a ball of flames. There was no sign of Gotho jumping out as the plane crashed to the ground.
The Doctor and Fred were astonished to see this happen as well as appalled!
“Is he dead then?” Fred asked apprehensively.
A moment’s silence ensued before the Doctor could answer.
“Let’s find out,” the Doctor said.
Very soon, Fred piloted the plane over towards a safer part of ground. He headed away from the burning inferno, but close enough for him and the Doctor to reach Gotho inside the spitfire plane and to find out whether he was alive or not.
On the ground, the Doctor and Fred got out of their plane and ran over to where the crashed spitfire was smouldering away. They carefully made their way through the wreckage to see whether they could find Gotho. Thankfully they’d brought with them some fire extinguishers – well to be accurate, the Doctor had some fire extinguishers in his coat pockets. Fred was astonished he had such things tucked inside his coat pockets. The Doctor told him his coat pockets were bigger on the inside. Fred didn’t understand that.
Anyway, once they’d got most of the fire out, they managed to find Gotho stuck underneath some aircraft wreckage. After getting most of the wreckage off him, the Doctor knelt down to check on Gotho. Fred was surprised to see how Gotho looked now. All the sides of his face were burned. Beforehand, it was just one side of his face burnt. Now it was both. Fred wondered if this is what happened to German pilots that crashed their planes. He was thankful that he hadn’t crashed a plane once in his service during the war.
Gotho looked dazed and defeated as he lay on the ground amongst the spitfire wreckage. When he spoke, his voice sounded gnarly and mechanical. Fred wondered if many aliens spoke like that.
“So,” Gotho began. “You’ve caught up with me at last then, Doctor. I see you had some assistance. That’s typical of you to pick companions from your little favourite planet Earth.”
The Doctor took no nonsense from Gotho as he lay there. He took him by the arms and said, “It’s over for you, Mr. Gotho. It’s time for you to come back with me to Demeanos to answer for your crimes. I’m taking you into custody.”
Gotho scoffed at that. Fred was startled when Gotho spat at the Doctor.
“Who are you to lay the law down on me, Doctor,” Gotho said defiantly. “You don’t make the laws where I come from. You have no jurisdiction over me.”
“Maybe not,” the Doctor replied. “But I was asked to take you back to your home planet by your own people. I intend to see that is carried out. Also you have a friend of mine trapped inside your prisons. Only you know the access codes for that.”
“You’ll have to probe my brain for that,” Gotho scoffed. “And it can be very painful for me. I know you’re sentimental, Doctor. You wouldn’t dare probe my brain for those access codes to hurt me.”
“Not my problem,” the Doctor said. Fred was taken aback by the coldness in the Doctor’s tone. “Your people will be the ones doing the probing, not me. Besides, it won’t last long. You’ll survive long enough after the procedure to probe your brain takes place.”
“But it will never go away,” Gotho said, mock-pleading. “The pain will never go away.”
“So long as I get you back to Demeanos where I can see Peri set free,” the Doctor said, “it’ll be good enough for me. And next time you’ll have to sit in my magnetic chair for the duration of the journey back to your home planet.”
“Oh come now, Doctor,” Gotho said, mock-pleading again. “Have a heart.”
“I do have one,” the Doctor replied. “Two in fact. And I’m not wasting any sympathies on the likes of you. Especially a war criminal.”
Fred wasn’t sure whether the Doctor was joking about having two hearts. But then again, he was an alien after all, Fred thought.
Gotho hissed bitterly at the Doctor and then said, “Curse you, Doctor. This isn’t the last you’ll see of me. I’ll have my payback on you, Doctor. You’ll be seeing me again once I get out of prison. And you’ll be sorry.”
“Not for a long time I should imagine,” the Doctor rebuked him.
The Doctor then proceeded to take Gotho away from the fallen plane wreckage.
Turning to Fred, the Doctor said; “Come on, Fred. Help me escort Mr. Gotho back to your car where I’ll take him back to my TARDIS. It’s not far from where I met you outside that café.”
Fred was in deep thought for a moment. Then he nodded his head and said, “Yes, yes, of course. I’m happy to help.”
With that, Fred and the Doctor escorted Gotho back to where they had left his car in the airfield. It was approximately three miles away. The Doctor told him to keep alert and not let Gotho escape. Fred did as he was instructed. He had had a strange, exciting day. Not what he would usually do especially to celebrate V.E. Day. But he was looking forward to seeing Enid again. He felt that excitement and enthusiasm return to him. And now more than ever, he didn’t want to leave Enid’s side ever again.
It was that evening that Fred was reunited with Enid. They were all outside now. The evening sun came out and everybody was enjoying drinks and cakes on a table in the middle of a street. Everybody had happy smiling faces. Fred had a happy smiling face. So did Enid. He told her how much he was looking forward to them getting married and she said the same thing to him. It was like Fred’s youthful enthusiasm had returned. Perhaps it had never left him at all. He wondered how he came to think he’d lost it. It was all thanks to the Doctor anyway.
“But where have you been?” Enid asked her future fiancée. “I was so worried about you ever since that explosion occurred in the café. Where did you go to? What happened?”
Fred placed his hands on her shoulders and said, “No need to worry, Enid dear. I had to help someone with a problem he had. It’s all sorted now.”
Enid was relieved, but then she said, “But what was that explosion? Where did it come from? I hope it wasn’t a rogue Nazi that came to our street. The police said they were investigating but haven’t found anything yet.”
“Perhaps we’ll never know,” Fred answered her.
Enid smiled. “No, I suppose not,” she said.
A moment of silence ensued between them.
Fred then spoke, “You know, I’ve always fancied living in No. 8 Churchwood Street, Enid.”
“What?” Enid said astonished. “That old house?”
“Yes!” Fred replied. “I know it’s been left abandoned all this time, but I’m sure I can make it like the abandoned house that was in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, remember? We’ll get a flat first and then I’ll save enough money for us to purchase the old house from someone. It’ll be the perfect place for us to have kids in, won’t it?”
“You’ve worked all this out, haven’t you?” Enid said happily.
“Not really,” Fred replied. “It just sort of came into my head. I still need to get a job first. It’ll be a long queue with the war being over.
Enid laughed and then she and Fred kissed each other passionately. They then hugged each other. Whilst Fred hugged Enid, he saw the Doctor a fair distance away. He seemed to be heading for a battered old police box at the end of the road.
Fred let go of Enid.
Enid asked him, “What is it, Fred? What’s wrong?”
After a moment’s silence, Fred said, “Just give me a few minutes, Enid. I need to see the man who had a problem earlier. Need to thank him for letting me help him with his problem. Don’t go away. I’ll be back with you soon.”
With that, Fred went off after the Doctor in the distance. Enid watched Fred go. She became curious, despite saying, “Yes of course,” as she watched Fred go.
The Doctor saw Fred coming to him as he reached the TARDIS. He turned to face him, as Fred had his happy face all over him.
Fred stopped, gasping for breath, before he said, “I see you’re about to be off then.”
“Indeed,” the Doctor replied.
“Off to see your friend Peri, is that it?” Fred asked.
“Yes,” the Doctor said. “And making sure Gotho stays in his prison where he belongs.”
“Have you put him in that magnetic chair of yours like you said you would?” Fred asked.
“Yes,” the Doctor assured him. “He’s safe and sound in the magnetic chair in the cloister room. I would’ve put him in the Zero Room, but somehow criminals like him don’t subjugate to tranquil rest so easily.”
“Right,” Fred said uncertainly before he added, “I have no idea of half the things you say to me, Doctor.”
“No?” the Doctor enquired. And then he said, “Perhaps it’s for the best.”
The Doctor was about to enter into his police box before Fred stopped him and said, “No, no, wait.” The Doctor looked back to him and Fred continued, “Thank you, Doctor.”
The Doctor looked puzzled. “For what?”
“For giving me some excitement today,” Fred answered. “I’d forgotten what it meant to be alive after fighting in the war. And I’m thankful you put that life back into me somehow.”
The Doctor considered for a moment. Then he smiled and said, “You know, Mr. Walker. I was tempted to invite you to accompany me as my travelling companion in the TARDIS. But somehow I doubt you’d be able to take it all in travelling with me in my ship.”
Fred shrugged. “I’ve got a life here anyway, Doctor. I’ve got to look after my Enid. And I don’t think she’ll fancy having trips in time and space even if I asked her.”
“Wise choice,” the Doctor said.
A moment of silence ensued between them.
Then Fred asked, “Will I ever meet you again, Doctor?”
The Doctor didn’t answer for a moment. Then he smiled and said, “Oh absolutely. Dead certain of it! I know your son.”
Fred was quite startled by this revelation. “My son?!” he exclaimed with delight. He began to ask, “But how…?”
“That’s for me to know and you to find out,” the Doctor cut him short.
Fred smiled at that. Then he said, “I look forward to seeing you again, Doctor.”
The Doctor smiled for a moment. And then he seemed sad. Fred didn’t know why. The Doctor then told him, “Your son will become a great young man, Fred Walker. Trust me. You’ll soon find out for yourself what he’ll be like.”
Somehow Fred found that comforting. He didn’t know why. “I look forward to when that day comes, Doctor. To the day when I eventually see my son as you have seen him.”
The Doctor gave one more smile to Fred and said, “Take care of yourself, Mr. Walker. Take care of yourself.”
The Doctor then went inside the TARDIS and closed the door behind him.
Fred made his way back to re-join Enid at the V.E. Day festivities. As he walked back, he thought he could hear a wheezing, groaning sound behind him. He turned back, wondering if it was the Doctor somehow. Then he saw that the blue box had gone, taking the Doctor with him. Fred wondered how that happened. Perhaps he should have stayed watching the blue box long enough to find out.
But that didn’t matter. He couldn’t wait to get back to Enid and soon start his new life with her. And from this day forward, he would never forget his encounter with the Doctor who had the multi-coloured clown outfitted coat.
Years later, Fred hoped to tell his son how he met the Doctor he knew back on V.E. Day in 1945. But his son had somehow met up with another Doctor as well as his future girlfriend from an alien planet. He’d gone missing once before and now he’d gone again. Fred wondered whether he would ever tell his son about the Doctor he knew on V.E. Day in 1945. The Doctor with the multi-coloured clown outfitted coat.
‘Fred and Enid Walker’ created by Tim Bradley
© Tim Bradley, 2018
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