‘The Five Doctors At Christmas: The Fifth Doctor’s Story’


By Tim Bradley

Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy

‘The Fifth Doctor’s Story’ is set after ‘Chieftain’s Caves’.

The TARDIS materialised on 34th street in New York City on a snowy, wintry day.

The door opened and the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy stepped out. They looked around, seeing the sights of New York before them. They could see the Empire State Building from where they were as well as many other tower blocks in the area.

“This is New York, isn’t it?!” Billy said amazed.

“Well spotted, Billy,” the Doctor replied. “Your visual perceptions in time travel are improving greatly indeed!”

“There’s no need to be sarcastic, Doctor,” Nyssa reprimanded him.

“I’ve always wanted to come and see New York,” Billy said excitedly. “I never thought I would actually get the chance to do so. But with you Doctor…anything is possible.”

“I’m not holy and divine,” the Doctor informed Billy teasingly. “So don’t worship me yet!”

Billy smiled. He knew when the Doctor was trying to make a joke out of it. He’d been travelling with the Doctor and Nyssa for quite some time now.

“So, what time period are we in on Earth?” Nyssa asked.

The Doctor checked his watch on his left arm. He then answered, “Not sure of the exact date. The chronometers on my time sensor aren’t accurate, but by the look of things we seem to have come at Christmas time.”

“Works for me,” Billy replied. “I’ve always wanted to see what New York is like at Christmas time. I’m glad I’m not disappointed. It really does snow in New York as is shown in those Hollywood Christmas films at the cinema.”

Nyssa looked puzzled. “Don’t they have snow at Christmas time where you live…Cardiff, Billy?”

“We’re not so lucky in the UK,” Billy replied. “The Americans have the luck with snow. At least North America has. Since…well, they’re close to the north aren’t they?”

“Anyway,” the Doctor interrupted. “Let’s go and have a little ‘explore’. I’m sure there’s a diner where we can have some breakfast or lunch or something to keep our appetites happy.”

“Breakfast at a New York diner,” Billy said happily. “At Christmas time?! I can’t wait for that!”

“Neither can I,” Nyssa added. “I’m most intrigued.”

Billy took Nyssa’s hand and both smiled at each other happily. They had become a couple fairly recently. They walked hand-in-hand as they followed the Doctor further down 34th street.

“34th street!” the Doctor exclaimed. “That’s the name of this street! I recognise it!”

“You know where we are then, Doctor,” Nyssa said reassured.

“Absolutely,” the Doctor replied. “I’ve been to New York many times and know all the ins and outs of this city. 34th street is very famous for the setting of two films under the title: ‘Miracle on 34th street’! Rather appropriate considering what time we’re in.”

At that moment, a man came up to meet the TARDIS trio. The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were surprised by the man’s appearance. He had just spotted them arriving when they stepped out of the TARDIS. He came into their sights now and was looking at them with utmost amazement and admiration.

“It’s you, isn’t it?!” he spoke in a strong Brooklyn accent. “It really is you three! I can’t believe my own eyes!”

“I’m sorry,” Nyssa enquired. “Can we help you?”

The man they had just met held out his hand to the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy. “Oh I do apologise,” he said. “My name is Marest. Senator Eric Marest.”

The Doctor politely took the man’s hand and shook it gently.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Marest,” the Doctor said. “You seem to recognise us somehow.”

“Indeed I do,” Mr. Marest replied. “As does every fellow American in New York City! Look about you and see!”

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy looked about them and saw that everybody in 34th street was staring and pointing at them in amazement. Some were happy and overjoyed to see them as they began gathering around the TARDIS trio.

One of them said, “Doctor! Mr. Doctor! May I have your autograph?”

Another one said, “Miss Nyssa! You make my daughter so happy! She’s so happy that you, the Doctor and your Billy keep New York safe!”

And another one said, “Hey Billy boy! When are you and Nyssa going to get married? We hope you do! It’ll be a match made in heaven!”

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were utterly baffled by what was going on.

“Mr. Marest?” the Doctor asked. “What is all this? How come my friends and I are being treated like heroes and celebrities?”

“Because you are heroes and celebrities, Doctor,” Mr. Marest replied. “Look! See for yourselves! You three are on the posters and the billboards in the area!”

Sure enough, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy could see that they were being hailed as heroes on the billboards and posters identified in the 34th street area. One of the posters said: ‘THE TARDIS TRIO, GO!’ Another one said, ‘NEW YORK IS SAFE, WITH TIME-TRAVEL HEORES LIKE THESE!’ And one of the billboards had big letters clear as day saying, ‘THE DOCTOR, NYSSA AND BILLY – THE FUTURE IS SAFE!’

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were amazed and aghast by what they saw. They couldn’t believe it. They’d only been in New York for two minutes…and already they were hailed as heroes. It was hard to take in.

“Doctor, what’s going on?” Nyssa asked. “Have we done something to save New York that we’re unaware of?”

“Is this some timey-wimey thing that we three are going to do in the future?” Billy asked.

The Doctor was at a loss for words to understand what was going on. He then turned to Mr. Marest. “Mr. Marest?” he began asking. “Apologies for us being a little out of our depth, but could you tell us what it is we’ve done to save New York and be proclaimed heroes already?”

“You don’t know?” Mr. Marest asked, seemingly surprised.

“Well,” the Doctor began…and he couldn’t think of what else to say next.

“Well,” Mr. Marest then said reassuringly. “It doesn’t matter. All that matters is to get you three to your special apartment arranged for you in New York.”

“Apartment?!” Nyssa asked. “We have an apartment in New York?!”

“On the east side of Manhattan,” Marest added. “Don’t worry! We’ll hail a taxi and have you three taken there directly.” Marest then whistled and raised his hand out to the road. “Taxi,” he cried.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy went along with this, but were still puzzled…and a bit curious…

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy found themselves in their New York apartment on the east side of Manhattan. It was a very luxurious apartment. The Doctor was examining the furniture and mantelpiece within the apartment, which had a box of toffees conveniently laid out for them.

“This is nice,” Billy said. “I never expected us to be living in luxury in New York. We seem to be lucky.”

“Yes,” Nyssa replied. “And because we’re heroes! I couldn’t believe the news stories Mr. Marest was showing us to keep us up-to-date on what we’d done to gain this position.”

Apparently, according to the news stories, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy had saved New York from an armada of Daleks and Cybermen attacking the city before Christmas began. It took them three days to defeat the monsters, but they fortunately won.

“Yeah,” Billy said. “And we haven’t done anything to save New York from Daleks and Cybermen. Perhaps it happens in the future. I mean…our future…when we save New York.”

“It must be,” Nyssa concurred. She then turned to the Doctor, who was standing by the mantelpiece, looking thoughtfully at the box of toffees he had just opened. “What do you think, Doctor?” she asked. “Is all of our saving New York about to happen in our future?”

The Doctor didn’t say anything for a while, as he was considering his thoughts on the matter. He eventually gave his answer.

“I’m not convinced we saved New York from Daleks and Cybermen, Nyssa; Billy,” he replied. “In fact, I’m not convinced that we are in New York.”

“What?” Billy said, surprised. “How can you be so sure? We saw the news stories. They looked real with all that real-life footage they got of us fighting Daleks and Cybermen. That’s got to be us!”

“News stories can be faked, Billy,” the Doctor stated. “Digital footage can be faked. Someone could be conjuring up something to make us appear as heroes to the citizens of New York. Again…if this is New York at all!”

“Yes,” Nyssa then piped up. “I can see what you mean, Doctor. I wasn’t sure about that theme song they put on for us when announcing our heroism in saving the city. It felt…too energetic for my liking. Making us look energetic. As if we excessively fight Daleks and Cybermen with ‘POW’ and ‘ZAS’!”

“Just like they do for the ‘Batman’ TV series with Adam West,” the Doctor added. “We can’t be that convincing.”

‘Batman’ TV series with Adam…who?” Billy asked.

“Way before your time, Billy,” the Doctor told him. “Don’t worry about it.”

“In any case,” Nyssa then pointed out. “What evidence do you have that all of this is an illusion and not real New York as it seems to be.”

The Doctor was rather glad that Nyssa had asked that question at that moment. At that cue, he picked up the toffee box from the mantelpiece, opened it and showed it to Nyssa and Billy. He placed it on the coffee table before Nyssa and Billy sitting on the sofa.

“Look at these toffees in this box,” the Doctor told them. “Tell me if you find anything unusual about them?”

Nyssa and Billy examined the toffees inside the box before them. They took a while before making any conclusions.

“I can’t see anything wrong with them,” Billy stated. “They look like ordinary toffees to me.”

“Really?” the Doctor said unconvinced. “Look again!”

Billy took another look. He still couldn’t find anything wrong with them. But then Nyssa noticed something.

“The texture of those toffees is all wrong,” she said. “It’s rather thin layered. Not strong as a normal toffee would be.”

She then picked up one of the toffees and examined it closely in her hand. She then took a piece of the toffee from the box and began to pop it inside her mouth.

“Don’t swallow that piece, Nyssa,” the Doctor told her, “Whatever you do.”

Nyssa took the Doctor’s advice as she made sure she didn’t swallow the toffee piece she had popped into her mouth. She felt the texture of the piece with her tongue. It had a tangy taste about it. Eventually, she took the piece out of her mouth and placed it onto the table with a tissue underneath it.

“Doctor,” she then looked up at him. “These toffees are imitations, aren’t they?”

“Exactly,” the Doctor replied. “They’re made of wax these toffees.”

Billy brightened up. “What?! Like in that film with Laurel & Hardy called ‘Sons of the Desert’? Where Stan Laurel ate an apple that was made of wax?”

“Spot on, Billy,” the Doctor declared. “And I imagine these waxworks of toffees are meant to poison us. Or knock us out completely for whoever wants us to be taken away to their base of operations.”

“You seem to have worked this out thoroughly, Doctor,” Nyssa observed.

“I have, haven’t I!” the Doctor replied. “And it’s all very disturbing, I assure you.”

“What can we do now then?” Billy asked. He and Nyssa didn’t feel comfortable living in luxury in their apartment now.

“Well,” the Doctor then suggested. “The first thing we need to do is not to eat anything that’s in this apartment. Secondly we keep our wits about us. That in mind, we can…”

At that moment, the Doctor trailed off mid-sentence. He seemed to be distracted by something. Nyssa and Billy noticed this and went over to the Doctor with concerned faces.

“Doctor, are you alright?” Nyssa asked him. “What’s wrong?”

“Hey, Doctor,” Billy waved his hand over the Doctor’s face. “Wake up! Wake up for us!”

But the Doctor didn’t respond.

“The Doctor’s caught in a trance, Billy,” Nyssa observed. “It’s like he’s in some kind of telepathic conversation.”

And indeed he was. For in the Doctor’s mind, he could see a young-looking man with dark spiky hair, wearing glasses and a pinstripe suit before him. The young man seemed in earnest as he relayed his message to him.

“Listen to me,” the young man said excitedly. “Listen to me, Doctor! This is me…well you…I mean, you in the future. Anyway, you’ve encountered me before during that time crash with our TARDIS!” He paused for a bit and then continued. “You need to beware of two things. One: the man in disguises. B…no, two: the little boy Simon is the key!”

“Simon?” The Doctor uttered the word stiffly in his trance. “Who’s Simon?”

But at that moment, the young-looking man in pinstripe was gone from the Doctor’s mind. And very soon, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were gone too as they were teleported out of their New York apartment…

When they woke up, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy felt disorientated. They got up from a smooth metallic floor. Once on their feet, they realised that they were being contained inside a force-field. The energy barriers felt pretty lethal to the touch.

“Doctor,” Nyssa said, “we’re not in the New York apartment anymore!”

“No,” the Doctor replied. “We’re not. We seem to have been brought here.”

“By whatever it was that trapped us into thinking we’re heroes of New York,” Billy suggested, feeling rather disappointed.

“Exactly,” the Doctor said.

“Silence!” grated a harsh, alien voice.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy turned round to see Daleks before them. They were keeping them contained inside the force-field. The Doctor grimaced; Nyssa shuddered and Billy trembled once they saw the metallic foes before them.

“You will remain silent!” grated the Dalek that had just talked to them. “You are the prisoners of the Daleks!”

“I should have known,” the Doctor said bitterly. “You’re always behind every dastardly trap that presents itself to be the real thing but isn’t.”

Nyssa tugged at the Doctor. “Be careful, Doctor,” she said. “The Daleks are easily trigger-happy if you antagonise them.”

“Trust me, Nyssa,” the Doctor reassured her. “I know what I’m doing.”

“You were told to remain silent,” grated the Dalek, who was obviously the group’s leader.

“Or what?” said the Doctor. “You’ll exterminate me? But you would have done that already. No, no. You need to keep me alive for some reason. Some reason to involve time-travel.” The Doctor thought for a moment. “Of course,” he then said. “You lured us in so that we can see we were hailed as heroes in New York for you to capture us. Thus we can do some dirty work of yours to invade the real New York.”

“Invade the real New York?” Billy said surprised. “You mean to say the New York we were in wasn’t real at all?”

“What do you base that theory on, Doctor?” Nyssa asked, curiously.

“Remember the toffees, Nyssa; Billy?” the Doctor reminded his companions. “They were waxwork intimidations! I assume everything else in that New York apartment we were in was Dalek duplicated technology. Aren’t I right?” he addressed this last question to the Dalek leader.

“You are correct,” the Dalek leader said, contemptuously. “The trap was to lure you and your companions into a false sense of security. The trick has done its work. The New York citizen’s praise of you as heroes was a falsehood.”

“But a convincing one at that,” Billy remarked.

“Well it won’t work,” the Doctor said to the Daleks. “We won’t work for you. You can’t make us do what you want us to do to destroy the real New York on the planet Earth. I suspect the New York intimidations we were in was a test ground.”

“You are incorrect, Doctor” the Dalek leader said. “New York on the planet Earth is not our main objective!”

The Doctor looked confused. And felt quite insulted. How could his deductive reasoning be outwitted by the Daleks at that moment?

“What?” he then asked surprised.

“The Daleks need you, Doctor,” the Dalek leader stated. “At least five aspects of you are required in order to complete the Dalek-Cybermen operation on this planet.”

“So you are working with the Cybermen,” Nyssa realised, matter-of-factly.

“How come you lot are working with the Cybermen?” Billy asked. “Usually you work by yourselves. You use people and other alien races, yes. But you exterminate them once you’ve finished with them.”

“Exactly Billy,” Nyssa said, proud to see that Billy was using his brain at that moment. She turned to address the Daleks. “Why are you working with the Cybermen? What do you hope to gain? And why do you want five incarnations of the Doctor?”

“That is not your concern,” the Dalek leader told them.

“It wouldn’t have to do with a certain man of disguise,” the Doctor asked the Dalek leader. “Or a certain little boy named Simon?”

“Silence,” the Dalek leader stated bitterly to the Doctor.

“Only asking,” the Doctor said, feeling bemused.

“You will all remain here in this Dalek base,” the Dalek leader said.

“Somewhere in the fictional New York City I suppose,” the Doctor butted in.

The Dalek leader ignored the Doctor. “Very soon, the Daleks will be triumphant. We shall conquer all of time and space with the acquisition of your five selves, Doctor. We have selected specifically which of your five selves shall be essential in our operation.”

“That’s you and the Cybermen, I take it,” the Doctor enquired.

“Yes,” the Dalek leader replied.

“And this man of disguise we were told about,” the Doctor added.

Nyssa nudged the Doctor and whispered. “Doctor? This man of disguise you mentioned. He wouldn’t be…would he…?”

“Later,” the Doctor said. “I’ll tell you later, Nyssa.”

The Dalek leader again interrupted and addressed the TARDIS trio.

“You three will be taken to your holding cells,” the Dalek leader said. “There we will come to you when you are needed. You and your other selves will assist us!”

“If there’s one thing you should know about me, Dalek,” the Doctor said, “is that you should never expect five of me to willingly obey your commands. As a fivesome we’re a match for you! You’ll see, Daleks! You’ll see!”

The Dalek leader then turned to one of its subordinates. “Take these prisoners to their holding cell at once!”

“I obey,” the Dalek subordinate replied.

The forcefield was taken down and the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were then escorted away to their holiding cell inside the Dalek base.

Nyssa then nudged the Doctor again. “Doctor,” she whispered. “That man of disguise. It couldn’t be…you don’t think it could be…the Mas-”

The Doctor interrupted Nyssa. “I should say it’s very likely,” he said. “The Daleks and the Cybermen with the Master could be a deadly combination.”

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy felt very worried indeed…

In the holding cell allocated for them, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were trapped. They seemed to have no avenue for escape. The cell doors were sealed tight. Even if they could find a way to insulate a Dalek’s casing when it was inside the cell with them, they wouldn’t get far. They were certain the Daleks would sound the alarm sensors all around the base.

“I could strip off my shirt, place it on the floor and let you Nyssa and the Doctor try to distract the Dalek in order to get it onto the shirt” Billy suggested.

“No Billy,” Nyssa said. “I wouldn’t want to see you exterminated by a Dalek bare-chested.”

“I’m not afraid to die,” Billy said bravely.

Nyssa could see Billy’s lips tremble as he said those words. She held his hand gently, stroking it. “I know you aren’t,” she said and kissed him.

Nyssa and Billy hugged each other whilst they were in the prison cell. The Doctor however was deep in thought as he sat on the bench beside his companions.

“The Daleks with the Cybermen must be using advanced scientific technology to achieve what they’re doing,” Nyssa remarked. “To acquire five versions of the Doctor as well as creating scenarios to trap the relative groups of Doctors and companions like us.”

“You’re saying it could be the Master?” Billy asked carefully.

Nyssa looked up at Billy and nodded her head. Billy knew how sensitive Nyssa was about the loss of her home planet and family.

“Time Lord technology!” Nyssa declared. “That’s it isn’t it, Doctor?”

Nyssa and Billy turned back to look at the Doctor. He was still deep in thought.

“Doctor?” Nyssa knelt down beside the Doctor to ask him again.

Eventually, he turned to address Nyssa and Billy. When he did, his tone became serious.

“I recollect something like this happening before,” the Doctor remarked. “Where there were two instances of a Dalek and a Cyberman encounter. And it was from my past!”

“So you’ve experienced this twice before,” Nyssa remarked. “That means you must be the third Doctor that the Daleks, the Cybermen and…the Master have acquired.”

“We can’t be certain it is the Master,” the Doctor told Nyssa. “The message I had said that it was a man of disguise. It can’t be the Master as we know him.”

“Wait a minute,” Billy interrupted. “You said you had a message. Who was it from?”

“Did you recognise the person, Doctor?” Nyssa asked. “Was it a ‘he’ or a ‘she’?”

“It was a ‘he’,” the Doctor replied. “It was me! At least, it was another ‘me’ from the future!”

“One of your future selves,” Nyssa remarked.

“Yes!” the Doctor stated. “And I’ve met him before! When my TARDIS time-crashed into his!”

At that moment, the cell door opened. The TARDIS trio looked up, waiting expectantly to see who it was. No one came to the door. Billy was puzzled. Nyssa was worried.

The Doctor stood up from his bench and stepped forward slowly to take a look. “Hello,” the Doctor called out, “Anyone there?”

There was still no response. Nyssa and Billy became worried as they held onto each other.

The Doctor tried a different tactic. “There’s no need to be shy,” he said cheerfully.

They waited for a moment. It seemed like there was nobody there outside the holding cell.

Eventually, someone did appear before the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy. It was a little boy. Nyssa and Billy were surprised to see him. The Doctor looked curiously at the boy.

“Ssh,” said little Simon to the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy. “Please be quiet. They’ll hear you! Those nasty Dalek things will hear you! I’ve come to take you away! Follow me! Quick!”

With that, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy followed little Simon out of their holding cell.

Eventually they came to a large room. The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy had followed Simon down a long corridor once they had escaped from their holding cell. As they entered, they saw a large alcove full of people. Some of them, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy recognised. They were the New Yorkers they had seen when they had arrived in the city.

“What are all these people doing here?” said Nyssa aghast. “There’s so many of them!”

“And they’ve all got tubes and wires connected inside their bodies,” Billy noticed.

This was true. All the people in the alcove were connected by tubes and wires. There was also a green light glowing from the alcove. Nyssa went forward to examine the New York victims. She recognised the readings on one of the computer terminal outlays.

“These people’s life-signs are minimal,” she said. “They seem to be in a comatose state. But they’re not dead, that’s for certain.”

“Well that’s a relief,” Billy said.

The Doctor spun round as he had a ‘eureka’ moment when he addressed Nyssa and Billy.

“I remember,” the Doctor declared.

“What?” Nyssa asked. “What do you remember, Doctor?”

“I recall the connection between the two instances where my companions and I faced Daleks and Cybermen,” the Doctor said. He compiled his thoughts together for a moment. Then he said. “They both occurred at Christmas time! And they involve a little boy called Simon! Simon is the key! Isn’t that right, Simon?”

The Doctor turned to face Simon. But he then realised that Simon had gone. Vanished in fact! The TARDIS trio were startled by this.

“Where’s he gone?” Billy asked. “Where did that little boy go? Simon you called him, Doctor?”

“I don’t know where he’s gone,” the Doctor said. “But I have a nasty feeling that I…”

Suddenly, the Doctor vanished too as he was snatched away from Nyssa and Billy via a teleport beam.

“Doctor,” Nyssa called out.

But it was no use. The Doctor had gone.

Suddenly, Daleks entered the large room and they began to surround Nyssa and Billy, pointing their gun-sticks at them.

Nyssa and Billy held onto each other as the Daleks chanted, “Exterminate! Exterminate!”

Holding tight to each other and realising they were in trouble, Billy said to his girlfriend, “Nyssa dear?”

“Yes Billy?” Nyssa replied.

“I wish we had our cuddly toy dog Cuddles with us.” Billy said.

Nyssa smiled weakly at Billy, as she held his hand whilst they were about to face ‘extermination’ by the Daleks…

‘Nyssa of Traken’ originally created by Johnny Byrne
‘Billy Walker’ created by Tim Bradley
‘Daleks’ created by Terry Nation

© Tim Bradley, 2017

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