‘THE FIVE DOCTORS AT CHRISTMAS: THE TENTH DOCTOR’S STORY’
By Tim Bradley
Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna
‘The Tenth Doctor’s Story’ is set after ‘The Vexo Knights Experience’.
The TARDIS materialised inside the living room of a suburban house.
The doors opened and the Doctor and Donna stepped out. They looked around and saw everything was festive. There was a big Christmas tree in the far corner of the room with Christmas decorations sprawled across the walls. There was also a toy train set on the floor that journeyed from all sides of the room. The train chugged alongside the Christmas tree where there were presents underneath.
“Aww,” the Doctor said in awe. “This is brilliant! Isn’t it brilliant, Donna? We’re inside a festive setting. A Christmas tree and a toy train set inside a house. It does feel a lot like Christmas, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah,” said Donna, rather unenthusiastically.
The Doctor noticed Donna’s lack of interest and realised. “Oh yes, of course,” he said. “I remember now! You hate Christmas, don’t you?”
“Yep,” Donna said. “Thanks for remembering.”
“Well,” the Doctor replied. “We won’t be here for long. We just need to check what that temporal energy trace was when we were in the TARDIS. It led us to this peculiar place for some reason.”
“Couldn’t it just be a passing blip?” Donna asked satirically.
“The TARDIS doesn’t just pick up passing blips, Donna,” the Doctor told her. “I know the old girl all too well for that!”
“Well okay,” Donna replied. “Let’s just get out of here as soon as we can! Seeing this living room with the Christmas tree makes me feel homesick.”
Donna had been missing her grandpa and her mum lately. She particularly missed her late dad as well.
The Doctor looked about the living room. “Curious,” he said. “I wonder where everybody is. Surprising nobody heard us arrive when the TARDIS materialised in this living room.”
“Perhaps they’re all in the kitchen preparing Christmas dinner,” Donna suggested. “The walls in the kitchen might be soundproof. It’s the same with our kitchen back home.”
The Doctor looked at Donna approvingly. “Good thinking, Donna,” he said. “Where would I be without you?”
“I shudder to think,” Donna replied coyly.
The Doctor smiled and both he and Donna laughed as they set about to find anyone in this suburban house by going to the kitchen.
The Doctor and Donna eventually found the kitchen and entered it to find a married couple there. The married couple were busy cutting up vegetables and potatoes to prepare for their Christmas Day meal. The two looked up to see the Doctor and Donna entering the kitchen. They smiled happily at them.
“Why hello there,” said the man cheerfully. “Guests already, hey?”
“It’s just as well we’re preparing the Christmas meal,” the woman added. “We weren’t sure whether we had overdone it with purchasing too much food from the shops this Christmas.”
Donna was puzzled as she stood by the Doctor and whispered softly into his ear. “Doctor,” she said. “They don’t seem that surprised to see us. Or be concerned that we’re in their house.”
“Leave this to me, Donna,” the Doctor told her reassuringly. He then addressed the married couple. “Hello there,” he said cheerfully. “I’m the Doctor and this is my friend Donna.”
“Delighted to see you,” the man replied. “I’m Mr. Brooker and this is my wife, Mrs. Brooker!”
“Hello Mr. Doctor; Miss Donna,” Mrs. Brooker said to them both.
“Just call me Doctor,” the Doctor said. “Not Mr. Just Doctor.”
Donna couldn’t help but be bemused at the conversation that was going on, so she interrupted rather forthrightly. “No I’m sorry,” Donna said briskly. “But we’re two strangers in your house. Don’t you find this rather odd?”
The man, Mr. Brooker, didn’t seem to be bothered. “Well we were expecting guests,” he said happily. “It is our annual Christmas dinner for friends and family. You are here for our Christmas dinner aren’t you?”
“But we’re not one of your…” Donna was about to say that she and the Doctor weren’t one of their friends and family and that they hadn’t been invited.
The Doctor however interrupted and said, “Of course we are! Of course we are, aren’t we Donna?! We’ve been looking forward to this Christmas dinner you’ve prepared!”
“Splendid,” Mr. Brooker said.
“Oh absolutely wonderful,” Mrs. Brooker added. “I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to get guests tonight.”
Donna took a moment to take the Doctor to one side as she whispered fiercely to him, “What do you think you’re playing at, Doctor? These people are duds!”
“I know they are,” the Doctor replied quietly to her. “There’s something wrong with these two. Their behaviour is all wrong. Just play along with them, Donna. We may learn something!”
“Why?” Donna asked. “What do you hope to gain from this?”
“That temporal energy trace we picked up in the TARDIS,” the Doctor told Donna. “It may have some connection with this couple and the Christmas dinner they’ve kindly prepared.”
“I don’t see how,” Donna retorted.
“Well,” the Doctor said shrewdly. “You’ll just have to wait and see, won’t you?”
“You’re weird sometimes,” Donna told him.
“Thank you for mentioning it,” the Doctor replied, shrugging at her remark.
Just then, the Brookers interrupted the Doctor and Donna. Mr. Brooker said to them, “We’d like to introduce you to another one of our family.”
“Yes indeed,” Mrs. Brooker said cheerfully. “He’s our son and we’re very fond of him.”
“Here he is,” Mrs. Brooker said. “This is our son…Simon!”
From out of nowhere, a boy appeared to the Doctor and Donna in the kitchen. Donna wasn’t sure how he got there. It seemed like he had always been there without anybody noticing.
Donna didn’t recognise the boy when she first saw him. But to the Doctor…oh he recognised him alright!
“It’s you,” the Doctor said. “You’re that same boy I’ve met! In five previous incarnations over five Christmases!”
The little boy Simon just said to him in a cheerful manner, “Hello, Doctor! Nice to see you back!”
Donna saw the Doctor’s expression. She’d never seen him look so troubled before.
At the dinner table, the Doctor and Donna sat with little Simon. They were waiting for the dinner to be brought in by Simon’s parents. However, Simon’s parents were actually dancing in the living room. They were dancing to Glenn Miller music as it was playing in the background. The current track on the CD player was ‘In The Mood’.
Whilst Simon’s parents danced in the living room, the Doctor addressed the little boy firmly.
“You know who I am, Simon,” the Doctor said to him. “You’ve met me before.”
Simon was silent for a moment. “Yes,” he then said quietly. “I met you before when you were on the train, in the English village, in New York and on that spaceship.”
“What?!” Donna said, bemused.
“It’s a long story, Donna,” the Doctor told her. The Doctor then addressed Simon again, “Tell me, Simon! Why did you bring the TARDIS here? Why did you bring Donna and me here?”
Simon looked curiously at the Doctor for a moment. “You asked me to tell you who I was, what I was doing here and why you keep bumping into me. I made a promise. I’m keeping it and telling you here.”
The Doctor was amazed that Simon had kept his promise. It had been a long time for him. He was a Time Lord and a lot of things had happened to him since then.
“Okay then Simon,” the Doctor said. “Last time I saw you, you told me why you were doing this. Why you were helping in this endeavour to capture five versions of me. You said it was because of Christmas.”
Simon nodded his head, seemingly ashamed. The Doctor had seen him like this before.
“Why, Simon?” the Doctor asked. “Why is all this in aid of Christmas?”
Simon didn’t say anything for a moment. He then looked up at the Doctor and Donna each in turn and said, “I want to go home for Christmas,” he said. “I want to be with my family.”
Donna was bemused as ever. “What are you on about, Simon?” she asked. “Your family’s here! Your parents! They’re dancing in the living room to Glenn Miller music, aren’t they?”
Simon shook his head. “They’re not my real parents,” he told them. “I don’t like them! The bad man gave them to me!”
“The bad man?” the Doctor asked, intrigued. “Who’s the bad man, Simon? Is he a man of disguise? Has he been keeping you here?”
Simon nodded his head and said, “Yes!”
The Doctor and Donna looked at each other for a moment, concerned about what was going on here with Simon. The Doctor then asked Simon again, “Do you know why he’s been keeping you here, Simon?” He then paused for a moment to think. “What planet are we on, Simon? Do you know?”
“We’re on Earth,” Donna said to the Doctor. “Duh! That’s obvious!”
“No, Donna,” the Doctor said to her. “It can’t be Earth! Not really! There’s a connection with my five meetings with this little boy and it’s something to do with where we are!”
The Doctor then addressed Simon again. “Well, Simon? Do you know the name of the planet we’re on?”
Simon seemed reluctant to give an answer. He then said, “I’m afraid to tell. The bad man will get me!”
“We won’t let the bad man get you, Simon,” the Doctor told Simon reassuringly.
“We’ll look after you,” Donna said reassuringly to Simon. “You can trust us.”
Again, Simon seemed reluctant to answer the Doctor and Donna about anything. Eventually however, he then said, “The planet we’re on. It’s called Christmas!”
The Doctor and Donna were now even more puzzled. They weren’t expecting this kind of an answer from a little boy.
“The planet’s called Christmas?” Donna asked, intrigued. “Simon, what do you mean?”
But at that moment, they were interrupted. Just as Simon’s parents…or fake parents as the Doctor and Donna were told to believe…were dancing on their dance floor in the living room…they were instantly exterminated. Mr. and Mrs. Brooker cried out in agony as they crumbled to the floor.
The Doctor and Donna stood up as they saw the Daleks trundle into the living room out of nowhere. Simon became terrified and went over to the Doctor and Donna to be protected by them. Donna held onto Simon as she cradled him in her arms.
The Daleks advanced forward. “Stay where you are,” the Dalek leader said. “You Doctor and your female companion are prisoners of the Daleks! You will come with us! Resist…and you will be exterminated!”
“Daleks,” the Doctor said bitterly through his teeth.
“What do we do, Doctor?” Donna said, terrified. “Where do we go from here?”
“Quickly, Donna,” the Doctor said urgently. “We run! Take Simon with us too!”
The Doctor and Donna took Simon with them as they attempted to make a run for it. The Daleks opened fire with their ray guns at the Doctor, Donna and little Simon but missed.
Just as the Doctor and Donna with little Simon were about to exit from the living room, the French windows were smashed and torn apart. The Doctor and Donna looked to see Cybermen smashing their way through the French windows and marching in. They stomped on the ground as they entered the room.
“Oh no!” the Doctor said, annoyed. “I’d rather have just the Daleks than add you lot!”
“Cybermen,” Simon said squealing.
The Cybermen marched in, stomping, before the Cyber Leader spoke out and said, “You are our prisoners! Resistance is futile! Comply or you will be deleted!”
“These are the guys you were talking about who invaded Canary Wharf,” Donna asked, finding it rather improper to ask that question at this time.
“Yes,” the Doctor replied. “I’m afraid so.”
“How are we going to escape from this?!” Donna asked afraid.
The Doctor and Donna with Simon found themselves being confronted by terrifying monsters all around. The Daleks advanced onto them from their left; the Cybermen advanced onto them from their right.
“Exterminate! Exterminate!” the Daleks chanted. “EXTERMINATE!” they said for a third time.
The Cybermen meanwhile stated, “You will become like us! Resist and you will be deleted!”
There seemed like no chance of escape for the three of them as they were surrounded by Cybermen and Daleks all around.
Just then, Simon stamped his foot onto the floor and shouted, “Doctor; Donna! Hold on!”
Suddenly, the Doctor and Donna found themselves dropping with little Simon as they fell through a trapdoor in the living room of the house…
The Doctor and Donna soon found themselves running with Simon through a dark tunnel underneath the house. They could hear the Daleks chanting “Exterminate!” and the Cybermen chanting “Delete!” as they were being chased by them in the tunnel. Somehow, they managed to get down into the tunnel once the Doctor and Donna with Simon started running. They weren’t sure whether it was done by teleport or some other method.
“The Daleks and Cybermen sound like they’re getting close,” Donna remarked.
“We’ll have to keep going until we get to the end of this tunnel,” the Doctor said simply.
“Oh shame,” Donna scoffed airily. “We could have done with some scooters down here!”
“Simon,” the Doctor began to ask the little boy. “Do you know your way down this tunnel?”
“Yes,” the little boy said softly. “I’ve been down here a number of times in my own dream house for Christmas. I’ve been able to avoid getting captured by the bad man so far.”
“The bad man?” Donna asked.
“Yes,” Simon said. “The bad man always caught me whenever I was trying to show you other Doctors to the alcoves where they were keeping the people.”
“Ah,” the Doctor realised. “That explains why you disappeared when you did on those previous four occasions – on the train; in the village; in New York and on the spaceship. You didn’t choose to leave. Someone chose for you.”
“That’s right,” said the little boy Simon. “But I’ve been able to get away from him this time.”
“Wait a minute,” Donna interrupted. “You said alcoves where they were keeping the people!”
“Yes Simon,” the Doctor interjected at this point. “What were those people in the alcoves for? Why were they there?”
Simon seemed reluctant to answer for a moment. But then he said, “I don’t know really.” He paused for a moment. “But I think they’re to do with me.”
“With you?” said Donna aghast.
“Yes,” the little boy replied. “The bad man…”
“The man of disguise?” the Doctor wanted to confirm.
“That’s him,” said little Simon. “He said they were a power source…for me.” He paused again for a moment. “He said I…was a powerful weapon for him.”
Donna was troubled by this as she looked to the Doctor whilst they ran down the tunnel.
“What does it all mean, Doctor?” Donna asked. “Is Simon a victim of something?”
“I’m not sure,” the Doctor told her. “But I’ve got a feeling behind the back of my teeth!”
“You and me both,” said Donna.
Just then, the Daleks and Cybermen were coming up behind them. They had somehow managed to catch up. The Doctor and Donna thought they’d been slowing down whilst they were having their conversation.
“You cannot escape, Doctor,” the Dalek leader gloated at him. “You and your companions will surrender to the Daleks!”
“And to the Cybermen,” the Cyber Leader added.
“How come you lot are working together?” the Doctor asked. “Daleks and Cybermen in alliance? Last time I saw you two, you were at loggerheads with each other at Canary Wharf in London, Earth.”
The answer the Doctor got was shots fired by the Daleks and the Cybermen from their own weapons. The Doctor and Donna with Simon managed to dodge the shots fired by the Daleks and Cybermen as they ran.
“There’s no need to be like that,” the Doctor said, slightly annoyed. “I only asked.”
“Doctor,” Donna said to him. “We must keep going! We mustn’t dillydally like we are now!”
“Right you are, Donna,” the Doctor said. “Come on!”
“It’s alright,” Simon told them. “We’re nearly there! We’re nearly at the end of the tunnel!”
“Really?” Donna asked. “How do you know that, Simon?”
“Oh Donna, keep up!” the Doctor told her. “Simon knows the way, remember?”
Eventually, the Doctor, Donna and Simon found themselves running into the street of where Simon’s dream home is. They managed to get out by climbing up out of the hole in the ground with the use of a ladder at the end of their tunnel.
The street they were in was deserted. It was a fairly ordinary suburban street. Except, it was foggy and not snowy as the Doctor, Donna and Simon would have expected at Christmas time. This made it more disturbing for the Doctor and Donna in the situation they were in.
“Blimey!” the Doctor exclaimed. “This place is a real pea-souper, isn’t it?!”
“We can’t let fog get in our way,” said Donna forthrightly. “We must keep going! Those Daleks and Cybermen will be onto us any minute!”
At that moment, they heard Daleks and Cybermen behind them. The Daleks chanted “Exterminate!” and the Cybermen chanted “Delete!” as they came up behind them in the fog.
“How is that even possible?!” Donna said, aghast. “We’ve only just got out of the underground tunnel itself and they’re still chasing us!”
“No time to ponder on that now,” the Doctor said. “Come on! Let’s do as you say and run!”
The Doctor and Donna were about to run forward, taking Simon with them.
But just as they ran forward, they saw Daleks and Cybermen appear right in front of them as they came out of the fog. The Doctor and Donna with Simon stopped in their tracks as they saw the foreboding presence of the Daleks and Cybermen before them. They turned back to see Daleks and Cybermen behind them. They were being surrounded. The Doctor, Donna and Simon had never been so terrified in their lives.
“Doctor,” Donna said afraid. “What are we going to do? How do we get out of this one?”
The Doctor struggled to think, as the Daleks and Cybermen with their chants of “Exterminate!” and “Delete!” became increasingly intimidating for him.
“I don’t know,” the Doctor said. “I honestly don’t know.”
Just then, a voice interrupted the Daleks and Cybermen saying, “Silence!”
The Daleks and Cybermen stopped chanting their war-cries, as they allowed a man in a dark, smart business suit to pass and approach the Doctor, Donna and Simon.
“It’s no use trying to escape, Doctor,” the man said. “You have lost this time!”
The man let out an evil laugh. Simon, Donna and the Doctor saw the man clearly now. Simon recognised him well and was afraid. Donna recognised him and thought he was that Prime Minister candidate…Harold Saxon whatever his name is. But the Doctor knew this man well, as he revealed himself to be…the Master!
The Doctor, Donna and Simon found themselves taken to the base of operations held by the Daleks and the Cybermen with their leader, the Master. They were now inside a large control room with huge TV monitor screens about the place.
The Master with the Dalek leader and Cyber leader approached the Doctor, Donna and Simon. The Master knelt down towards Simon and smiled sinisterly at him.
“Really, Simon,” he said. “You thought you could get away from me so easily by blocking your thoughts.” He tut-tutted at that point. “You should have thought better than that!”
Simon turned away, hiding in Donna’s coat.
Donna was completely baffled by this point. “Doctor, I don’t understand,” she said. “How come Harold Saxon is here?”
“Ah” the Master said to Donna. “So you know me as Harold Saxon do you?”
“Of course I do,” Donna retorted.
“Tell me,” the Master demanded. “Am I Prime Minister of Great Britain yet?”
“Not yet it seems,” the Doctor interrupted. He addressed the Master pretty seriously now. “From your point of view, you escaped from Utopia in the year 100 trillion AD.”
“Right you are, Doctor,” the Master replied. “And what wonders I’ve seen in that future…”
“Yeah,” the Doctor interrupted again. “That’s already happened for me. I know what happened with you and Utopia and what you’re going to do to Earth as Prime Minister.”
“Really?!” the Master said intrigued. “So…care to give me a few spoilers. On how I can avoid failure in my plans for world domination…”
“What I don’t understand is,” the Doctor interrupted again. “if you can only travel between two times and places including 21st century Earth and Utopia in the far future, how come you’re here on this plane – whatever this planet is!”
“Yeah,” Donna piped up. “What is this planet we’re on,” she asked. “It’s not Earth surely.”
“This is the planet Christmas,” the Dalek leader answered, eager to butt into the conversation the Doctor and Donna were having with the Master.
“The planet Christmas?!” Donna said, bemused.
“It is the name given to this planet,” the Cyber Leader added. “For this boy’s benefit.”
“So,” the Doctor eventually said. “This was all a set-up. Created by you Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen to trap five versions of myself with my companions, based on little boy Simon’s dream worlds. Dream worlds of Christmas, am I correct?”
“Correct, Doctor,” the Master said cheekily. “You were always a live wire, weren’t you?!”
“Oh I’ve had plenty of lives to work this one out!” the Doctor said.
“What?” said Donna, bemused.
“What I don’t get though is…” the Doctor then enquired, “…how you, the Master, came to work for the Daleks and the Cybermen. Or how they came to work for you?”
“I found the Daleks and the Cybermen when they were trying to escape the void after your battle with them at Canary Wharf tower in London,” the Master answered. “You see, Doctor. I know all about your involvement with Torchwood Tower and how you caused trouble.”
“We agreed to ally ourselves with the Cybermen and the Master to ensure total victory and conquest of the planet Earth,” the Dalek leader declared.
“We likewise did the same,” the Cyber leader stated. “We must conquer Earth and assimilate every human to become like us. The Daleks and the Master have agreed to help the Cybermen in our objectives.”
“Deals with the Daleks and the Master, Cybermen,” the Doctor said, tut-tutting. “Bad idea!”
“We worked together to ensure the traps for your multiple selves was accomplished,” the Dalek leader stated. “The Master was most resourceful in enabling our presence.”
“I was there in all four places where you encountered Simon, the Daleks and the Cybermen,” the Master said. “I was the so-called man of disguise.”
“Yes,” the Doctor said. “I figured that you were.”
The Master continued, “I was Father Christmas aboard that train; Dr. Sretam in the English village; Eric Marest in New York and Captain Terams aboard the spaceship…”
“Yes, yes,” the Doctor said. “I guessed that as well…” The Doctor then trailed off for a moment. He realised something. “Oh yes! Of course!” he said.
“What, Doctor?” Donna said. “Have you discovered something?”
“The Master used anagrams for his last three disguises when I encountered him,” the Doctor explained. “Sretam; Marest and Terams: they’re all anagrams of Master.”
Donna didn’t seem to share the Doctor’s concern over the Master’s name choosing his previous encounters with him on this planet called Christmas.
“You’re concerned about the Master’s names,” Donna said bluntly, “and yet you’re not worried by the fact we’re about to be killed by Daleks; Cybermen and this Harold Saxon bloke or wondering why Simon seems to be the cause of it all.”
“Yeah that’s a very good point, Donna,” the Doctor replied, before he turned back to the Master. “What has little boy Simon got to do with all of this, Master?”
“Your friend Donna’s right though, Doctor,” the Master said. “You should be worried about your own safety and welfare…as well as your companions. Look!”
The Master pointed to the monitor screens. All looked, including the Doctor, Donna and Simon, as they saw four groups of people in trouble. The Doctor recognised who they were.
“They’re me,” the Doctor said. “They’re my previous selves…my Second; Fourth; Fifth and Seventh incarnations. There are also my companions Jamie; Zoe; Romana; K-9; Nyssa; Billy and Ace!” He paused for a moment and realised. “These were when I was snatched away and my companions were left to face trouble by Daleks and Cybermen.”
“That’s right, Doctor,” the Master replied. “They’re all happening at the same time as you see them on the monitor screens! And now it’s time for your companion Donna to face Daleks and Cybermen in little Simon’s home street now!”
“What?!” Donna said, aghast. But before she could protest, she was spirited away via teleport out of the base of operations for the Daleks; Cybermen and the Master.
The Doctor was shocked that Donna was gone. He turned back to the Master angrily, “What have you done to her?! Bring her back!” he demanded. “Bring Donna back this instant!”
“Too late, Doctor,” the Master said gleefully. “Your friend Donna is already in trouble now! She faces death by the Daleks and the Cybermen in a foggy street!”
The Master laughed away maniacally, as the Doctor gritted his teeth angrily at what his enemy Time Lord had done…
‘Donna Noble’ created by Russell T. Davies
‘Daleks’ created by Terry Nation
‘Cybermen’ created by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davies
© Tim Bradley, 2017
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