‘The Prime Factor’, Part One, Chapter 1

1. Beaches, Cricket and Dances

BILLY
‘All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.’ – John Gunther.

NYSSA
‘Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.’ – Lewis Carroll.

DOCTOR
‘If it’s difficult, I’ll do it now. If it’s impossible, I’ll do it presently.’ – Don Bradman.


Roll original 1982 Peter Davison opening credits


SCENE #1 – INT – LIVING ROOM, NO. 25 – DAY, EVENING

BILLY (V’O)
(narrates) “Ah, hello! My name’s Billy Walker. Yes, I suppose you want to hear the story. The one where it happened at my school and Earth was invaded by aliens. Well, I suppose that’s a good story to tell.” (Pause) “Who am I, you ask? Do you really want to know? Oh dear. I sound like a movie character recounting the events of his life, don’t I? Well, there’s no better place to start with that question.” (Pause) “I come from nineteen sixty-three. On Earth, that is. I lived in Churchwood Street, Cardiff. I’m a space and time traveller. And this isn’t fantasy by the way. This happened. It’s all based on a real-life experience by me. Whether you believe this story or not, it’s up to you.” (Pause) “So, you have an idea of who I am and where I come from. I’m not going back to the beginning on how I became a time and space traveller. That’s something you’ll have to find out in a story called ‘The Railway of Time’ by me.” (Pause) “How do I tell this story where the Earth got invaded whilst I was at school though? Well, I suppose I’d better start with the week where I stayed at my uncle and aunt’s.” (Pause) “My parents had to go and see an old friend of theirs for about a week. I was fourteen and a half at the time. November nineteen fifty-seven, I believe. I didn’t want my parents to go and I didn’t want them to leave me behind with my aunt and uncle. I wanted to go with them. But my parents said I had to go to school. So I stayed with my Uncle Brawn, Auntie Emily and cousin Hannah.” (Pause) “I know I make my uncle and aunt sound like the worst people in the world. But having to spend a week with them was just unbearable. I don’t have happy memories of them.” (Pause) “I arrived on the Saturday. I said goodbye to my parents as they left. My Uncle Brawn was not altogether welcoming. Auntie Emily was no better. Hannah liked eating crisps all the time. Don’t ask me why. My cousin was weird.” (Pause) “On the first evening, my uncle, aunt and cousin were watching TV. Yeah! They loved watching TV when at home in the evening. They were addicted to it. And this was in the black and white days of TVs. You couldn’t get colour TV back then.” (Pause) “Once I’d settled in, I came downstairs to see my uncle and aunt. I wanted to ask them something.”

Young Billy goes downstairs to meet his Uncle Brawn and Auntie Emily with Hannah in the living room as they watch TV.

YOUNG BILLY
“Uncle Brawn; Auntie Emily. Can we go to the park tomorrow please?”

BRAWN
(belches) “The park? What do you want to go to the park for?”

YOUNG BILLY
“To take photos with my new camera.”

BRAWN
(laughs; scoffs) “To take photos with your new camera?”

YOUNG BILLY
“Yes. I had it for my birthday, you see.”

BRAWN
(scoffs) “What, you want to be a photographer or something?”

YOUNG BILLY
“Yes. I do, Uncle Brawn.”

BRAWN
(laughs; scoffs) “Ha! Why do you want to be a photographer when you can watch TV? Oh I wish we could have TV for twenty-four hours a day.”

AUNTIE EMILY
“Twenty-five.”

BRAWN
(retorts; to Emily) “Twenty-four!” (to Billy) “Besides! Photography’s boring!”

YOUNG BILLY
“But I want to do something tomorrow, uncle. I don’t want to sit around.”

BRAWN
“I’ll tell you what you can do tomorrow. You can get ready for school on Monday. That way you can do things better with your life.”

YOUNG BILLY
“But I want to be a photographer, uncle! I’m a good photographer!”

BRAWN
“I don’t care! Now go away and let your auntie and me watch TV!”

HANNAH
(to Billy) “Excuse me?”

YOUNG BILLY
“Yes?”

HANNAH
“Want some crisps? Try it out!”

Billy sighs as he leaves. Uncle Brawn belches loudly as he goes.

EMILY
(tells him off) “Oh Brawny!”

Emily continues to scold Brawn whilst Billy walks back up to his bedroom.

BILLY (V’O)
(narrates) “So yeah! Living with my aunt, uncle and cousin wasn’t the best of times. My uncle kept thinking I was twelve. When I told him I was fourteen and a half, he told me to stop lying.” (Pause) “But things were much worse when I went to school the following week.”


SCENE #2 – INT – CLASSROOM, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, MORNING
In the next scene, there’s a school classroom full of pupils talking to each other. The teacher Danny Simmons calls out names from a register.

DANNY
“Hands up when I call out names please.” (Pause; reads names) “Paul Adams.” (Pause) “Luke Bailey.” (Pause) “Joy Baker.” (Pause) “Eva Carter.” (Pause) [“Michael Dylan…”]

BILLY (V’O)
(narrates) “But wait! School wasn’t always like that. Oh no! For the most part, school was pretty good and bearable as I was growing up. But this particular week was weird and hard-going for me.” (Pause) “You see, we had a new headmaster. The old one was in hospital after a car accident. The new headmaster’s name was Mr. Lewis. And he was unfriendly!” (Pause) “I recall one day of that week when we were in the classroom with Mr. Simmons. He wasn’t the headmaster by that point yet. Mr. Simmons was checking the register to see that all of us were present. Sean and Alexandra were there that day too. Halfway through taking the register, Mr. Simmons was interrupted by Mr. Lewis who walked in.”

The classroom door slams open as Mr. Lewis enters. Everyone becomes quiet and terrified once Mr. Lewis enters.

BILLY (V’O)
(narrates) “There was no knock on the door, no word of warning. He just walked in. We were all terrified. Even Sean was a little terrified that day. Mr. Simmons was definitely terrified once he saw Mr. Lewis.”

DANNY
(terrified) “Why Mr. Lewis! We weren’t expecting you! How may we help you?”

Mr. Lewis says nothing as he eyes the classroom, ignoring Mr. Simmons. He eventually comes into the middle of the classroom. After a short while, Mr. Lewis turns around to face Mr. Simmons.

LEWIS
“Mr. Simmons! Have these…pupils been informed about me?”

DANNY
(chuckles; nervously) “I expect everybody knows you already, Mr. Lewis…”

LEWIS
(threateningly; impatiently) “Answer my question!”

DANNY
(gradually; scared) “Yes. Yes Mr. Lewis, they do. They know who you are.”

A moment of silence ensues.

LEWIS
“Good.” (Pause) “Good.”

Mr. Lewis then turns back to the rest of the class. Another moment of silence ensues before he returns to the front of the room to face the pupils. He stands next to Mr. Simmons at his desk.

LEWIS
(threateningly) “I’m not one for taking fools lightly…children.”

Lewis then takes out a pistol from his jacket. He clicks the trigger. A moment of tension ensues as everyone gasps and becomes terrified.

BILLY (V’O)
(narrates) “Yes! He had a gun! I didn’t know at the time how he got the authority to keep a gun when he was in the school. It terrified us! I’m thankful we had just one week of him.”

Lewis snorts with derision, seeing everyone terrified of him.

LEWIS
(menacingly) “Yes! You should be terrified of me! I carry this gun around with me for special purposes. To make sure everyone is on their best behaviour…” (trails off; angrily) “You!”

Another moment of tension ensues.

LEWIS
“Boy! Third row, centre seat!”

ROY
(puzzled) “What me?”

Lewis makes his way over to the boy in the centre seat of the third row.

LEWIS
“Get up!”

The boy does as he’s told. He stands up to face Lewis. Lewis points his pistol at Roy, clicking the trigger as he does so.

LEWIS
“Bookworm, are you?”

ROY
“My name is Roy, sir.”

LEWIS
“I didn’t ask for your name!”

ROY
“Yes sir.”

Another moment of tense silence ensues.

LEWIS
“You’ve got a book open on your desk, boy! What is it?”

ROY
“It’s a science book, sir.”

LEWIS
(unconvinced) “Oh really!”

Lewis picks up the book off Roy’s desk to check and see what it is. He opens the book and flicks through the pages as he does so.

ROY
“Yes sir, really. It’s a science book. I was looking through it to check some homework whilst Mr. Simmons was reading out the register. I wanted [to…”]

Lewis closes the science book and shoots it with his gun. Everyone gasps horrified, once they see Lewis shoot a hole through Roy’s science book.

LEWIS
(bitterly) “Shut your faces, you insignificant flesh-balls!”

ROY
(protests) “Hey! That was my book! There’s a hole in it now!”

Lewis points his gun threateningly at Roy.

LEWIS
“Don’t question my authority, boy!”

ROY
“But sir…”

LEWIS
(shouts; angrily) “Are you questioning my authority?!”

Another moment of silence ensues.

ROY
(scared; stammers) “N-N-N-N-No, sir! Not at all, sir!”

Another moment of tension ensues.

LEWIS
(to Roy) “No reading books in class whilst your teacher is reading out the register! Do you understand?”

DANNY
(interjects) “I really don’t mind, Mr. Lewis…”

LEWIS
(angrily; to Danny) “I wasn’t talking to you, Simmons!”

DANNY
(scared) “Yes sir. Sorry, sir.”

Simmons sits back down behind his desk, before Lewis turns back to Roy who remains standing behind his desk.

LEWIS
(to Roy) “Not another word out of you, you pipsqueak. You make sure you pay attention in class whilst I’m in the room. Is that clear?”

ROY
(scared) “Yes sir. I understand, sir.”

LEWIS
(bitterly) “Then sit down!”

Roy obediently does as Lewis says as he sits down behind his desk. Lewis takes a moment to observe the classroom again before returning to the front to face the pupils.

LEWIS
(hypnotically) “There are going to be a few changes in this school from now on. Listen to what I have to say, class!” (Pause) “On Friday, it’ll be a special day. I don’t want anyone to miss it!”

The class continues to be scared as Mr. Lewis is in the room.

BILLY (V’O)
(narrates) “I didn’t have good memories of that week in school. Friday was the worst day. Though my memories of Friday aren’t as good for the rest of the week. Keep listening and you’ll understand why.”


SCENE #3 – EXT – SWANSEA BEACH, SWANSEA – DAY, MORNING
In this scene, the waves of the sea crash onto the shore of Swansea Beach on a sunny day in 1930.

BILLY (V’O)
(narrates) “When I look back on my school life, I’m happy that those days are behind me. I’ve now got a good life going for me. I’m happy with the adventures I’ve had with my best friends – the Doctor and Nyssa.” (Pause) “We’ve had many adventures through time and space. We’ve faced Daleks, Dwaxi, Sontarans and all that. They were terrifying times but we also had the good times too.” (Pause) “The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He has a time and space machine called the TARDIS that’s disguised as a blue police box. The Doctor is like the older brother I never had. And he looks after Nyssa and me in our travels.” (Pause) “Nyssa…oh she’s the love of my life! I never thought I would fall in love with anyone as lovely and kind-hearted as Nyssa. She’s from the planet Traken. It’s amazing I’m travelling with two people who look, sound and behave like humans but are actually aliens. It doesn’t bother me as they’re good people to be with.” (Pause) “Anyway, how does this story begin for us three? Well, it starts in Swansea, nineteen thirty. Yeah. How random is that? Swansea nineteen thirty is one of the rarest times we three had a proper holiday. It was a gloriously sunny week for us. We would often walk on the beach to enjoy the sunshine after we’d had our morning breakfast.”

We cut to the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy walking on the beach and enjoying the Swansea 1930 sunshine.

NYSSA
“So, you’re taking part in a cricket match are you, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Indeed I am, Nyssa. The Swansea Cricket Club heard about my cricketing prowess from our hotel manager no doubt. One of the members invited me to partake in a game they’re having today at the St. Helen’s Rugby and Cricket Ground. How can I refuse such a kind offer?”

NYSSA
“At least you’ll be doing something different today. Instead of exploring Swansea itself with me and Billy.”

DOCTOR
“Yes, Nyssa. You and Billy are of course welcome to watch me play.”

NYSSA
“Thank you, Doctor. We should like that.” (to Billy) “Won’t we, Billy?”

BILLY
“Yes! I’m looking forward to seeing the Doctor play a proper game of cricket. Not simply watch one with him as we did in Stockbridge.”

DOCTOR
“Yes well, thankfully I won’t have to play a game of cricket with Sontarans this time. Just proper Welsh players with an enthusiasm for cricket.”

BILLY
“I can’t wait to have sandwiches and tea in the cricket pavilion in the interval.”

NYSSA
(teasingly) “Oh Billy! Must you think of your stomach?”

A ripple of amusement occurs between the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Enjoying your holiday so far, you two?”

NYSSA
“Yes, Doctor. Thank you so much for bringing us here. I haven’t enjoyed a peaceful holiday as this for a long time.”

BILLY
“Me neither. I feel so calm and relaxed here. This is definitely what the Doctor ordered.” (to Doctor) “Hey Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes. Though if you want my opinion, we could easily have visited the Eye of Orion. The most tranquil [place…”]

BILLY
(interrupts) “No, Doctor! Not the Eye of Orion!”

DOCTOR
(perplexed) “What’s wrong with the Eye of Orion? As I was about to say, it’s the most tranquil place in the universe.”

BILLY
“I didn’t want to spend a holiday on a planet that’s cold and wet. I’ve had enough of that with holidays in North Wales after a thunderstorm, thank you.”

DOCTOR
“Really Billy. Have you no sense of taste?”

NYSSA
“I concur with Billy, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(shocked) “Nyssa!”

NYSSA
“A sunny restful holiday on Earth in Billy’s favourite time period is very appealing and more to my taste.”

BILLY
(jokingly) “Really Nyssa? Did they have nineteen thirties jazzy-styled holiday resorts on Traken too?”

NYSSA
(ruefully) “Stop it, Billy. You know what I mean.”

Nyssa and Billy laugh whilst the Doctor’s slightly put out.

BILLY
“Anyway, I’m glad we didn’t end up in two thousand and nineteen Swansea. There’s more of a romantic feel having it in the nineteen thirties as opposed to having it in the future.”

NYSSA
“I’m pleased we can have a holiday at all. What happened, Doctor? Every time we visit a place and time, there’s always trouble. What’s so special about Swansea in nineteen thirty to be spared that?”

DOCTOR
“Not everywhere we go is filled with danger and invasions, Nyssa. At least, almost not everywhere. Just be thankful I managed to find us a time and place where we can enjoy ourselves. We’ve earned it as I’m sure you’ll agree.”

NYSSA
“I do agree, Doctor. I hope we can spend one more week in Swansea without any trouble.”

BILLY
(eagerly) “Oh that’ll be fantastic! We can see more late night music concerts at the hotel we’re staying at, can’t we?”

NYSSA
(teasingly) “You and your late night music concerts, Billy.”

BILLY
(to Doctor) “Could we, Doctor? Could we spend another week in nineteen thirties Swansea like Nyssa suggests?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t see why not. If the Swansea Cricket Club approves of my prowess, they might persuade me to play another match the following week. I wouldn’t deny the possibility of another week here.”

BILLY
“That’s great! Thanks Doctor!”

NYSSA
“Yes thank you, Doctor. I can’t wait to do more ballroom dancing in the time we spend here in Swansea.”

BILLY
“Ballroom dancing?”

NYSSA
“If I can put up with your late night music concerts and cinema goings, surely you can humour me with some ballroom dancing, Billy?”

BILLY
(grudgingly) “Oh I suppose I could. Might help to give me some more practice.”

NYSSA
(cheerily) “That’s the spirit, Billy dear.”

BILLY
“I still haven’t got the knack of Trakenite dancing yet, Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“Oh Billy, you do Trakenite dancing beautifully. The more I teach you…”

Nyssa trails off mid-sentence as she notices the Doctor is distracted.

NYSSA
(concerned) “Doctor? What’s the matter?” (Pause) “Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(snaps out of it) “Sorry what, Nyssa?”

BILLY
(concerned) “Doctor, you seem distracted or preoccupied by something? Have you seen a ghost?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “You could say that, Billy.”

NYSSA
(puzzled; concerned) “What do you mean, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Well, I couldn’t help noticing…but I’m sure I saw my former self. The original you might say. Standing on the beach from a distance and watching us.”

Nyssa and Billy get concerned whilst the Doctor’s preoccupied with seeing his former ‘original’ self from a distance. They continue walking on the beach in the sunshine.


SCENE #4 – EXT – ST. HELEN’S RUGBY & CRICKET GROUND, SWANSEA – DAY, AFTERNOON
Later that day, the Doctor plays cricket in the cricket match at the St. Helen’s Rugby and Cricket Ground in Swansea. The Doctor bats a number of overs with his cricket bat in the match. Cheers and rounds of applause come from the watching spectators. Nyssa and Billy are among the spectators as they sit together on deck chairs.

BILLY
“The Doctor seems to be doing well. That’s four overs and seven runs he’s made since he’s been batting. He’s still in after eight runs!”

NYSSA
“I can never fully understand the rudiments of the game. But one thing’s for certain. The Doctor’s never an easy opponent to bowl out during a cricket match. He’s managed to hit the balls thrown at him so far.”

BILLY
(chuckles) “Yes. The chap who’s bowling must be exasperated. And he’s the third man who’s tried to bowl the Doctor out.”

NYSSA
“How long has the Doctor been batting then?”

BILLY
(thinks) “Err…almost half an hour I think. I don’t know if that breaks any records at the Swansea Cricket Club.”

NYSSA
“I wouldn’t be able to help you with that, Billy. I’m not an expert on the club.”

A moment of silence ensues as Nyssa and Billy sit hand-in-hand whilst watching the cricket match.

BILLY
“Once this match has finished and when the Doctor’s out of course, what would you like to do afterwards? We can go for another walk on the beach; see a film; have dinner; watch a concert; do ballroom dancing or something.”

NYSSA
“I really don’t mind, Billy. Anything you prefer. I’m happy to go along with it.”

BILLY
(gradually; teasingly) “Alright, how about we do all the things I’ve suggested in one evening?”

NYSSA
(amused) “Billy, don’t be silly.”

A ripple of amusement occurs between them.

BILLY
(gradually) “Whatever we do, I’m happy to spend it with you.”

NYSSA
(gradually) “Thanks, Billy. Likewise with you.”

Nyssa and Billy then kiss each other. The Doctor makes an over whilst the match goes on. Cheers and applause occur as Nyssa and Billy stop kissing. A tender silence then occurs between them for a moment.

BILLY
(gradually) “Nyssa, I know we spoke about this a few times…” (Pause) “…but perhaps we should consider our future together.”

NYSSA
“How do you mean?”

BILLY
(gradually) “Well…it’s like what you said when we were inside that miniscope thing. Perhaps we should think in the long term about our relationship.”

NYSSA
(apprehensively) “Billy, I said for us not to rush into things…”

BILLY
(interrupts) “I know, I know. I’m not proposing marriage to you yet, Nyssa. I mean…maybe…we can speculate on what happens in the future between us.”

NYSSA
“Speculate?” (considers) “I see what you mean. What ideas had you in mind?”

BILLY
“Well, we’ve had experience of being together when you elected to stay with me in Churchwood Street in the nineteen sixties.”

NYSSA
“Yes, I recall. It was a happy experience that time I had with you, Billy.”

BILLY
“We also spent some time living together in that house in Swansea in two thousand and twelve. During that Christmas when Cuddles came alive.”

NYSSA
“Yes, I remember.”

BILLY
“Well, in both instances, you had jobs that were in scientific research. But you weren’t utilising your scientific talents to greater use.”

NYSSA
“I never complained, Billy. I was content to have those jobs whilst spending my time with you.”

BILLY
“Yes but the point I’m trying to make is; would you prefer to live in an environment that limited your scientific capabilities like on Earth for example…or would you prefer to live in an environment, say the future on an alien planet or a space station, where your scientific capabilities were put to great effect?”

NYSSA
(gradually) “Ah, yes.” (Pause) “You’ve got me there, Billy.”

BILLY
(gradually) “I know what we have is great. But…would you want to limit your horizons in the scientific training you’ve had when you grew up on Traken?”

NYSSA
(thinks; gradually) “I can’t deny that living in a secluded environment on Earth hasn’t been all that beneficial.” (Pause) “A scientific career in the future on an alien planet or a space station would be ideal.”

BILLY
“I see.”

NYSSA
(gradually) “But there’s also you I have to consider. If you live with me whilst I embark on a scientific career, would you be happy in a futuristic environment?”

BILLY
(hesitates) “I…I think I’d manage.”

NYSSA
“What would you do whilst living with me in that futuristic environment?”

BILLY
(hesitates; thinks) “Oh…I’d think of something. Have a newspaper job or continue being a photographer. They’d still have newspaper companies and provide jobs for photographers in the future, wouldn’t they?”

NYSSA
“Those jobs wouldn’t match to your standards though, would they?”

BILLY
(gradually) “Well, I’m a quick learner. I’m sure I can manage.”

Moment of silence.

NYSSA
(reassuringly) “Anyway, let’s not talk about it now. Let’s enjoy what we have left of this holiday while we still can.”

BILLY
“Yes, let’s. Good idea, Nyssa.”

As the cricket match goes on, Nyssa becomes distracted by something whilst Billy talks away.

BILLY
(muses) “I wonder if they’ll have chicken and ham sandwiches available today. And lemonade or orange juice to drink. Tea’s alright too, but it’s never good to have in the pavilion whilst you’re out on a hot day…” (trails off; puzzled) “Nyssa, are you alright?”

NYSSA
(preoccupied) “Billy, look over there! Do you see him?”

Billy turns to look and see where Nyssa is pointing. But by the time he looks, the person Nyssa’s seen has gone.

BILLY
(puzzled) “What? See who?”

NYSSA
(realises) “He’s gone!” (Pause) “Didn’t you see him, Billy?”

BILLY
(gradually; thinks) “Well, I saw a glimpse of someone. He looked a bit like Harpo Marx. With the curly hair I mean.” (Pause) “And he had a long scarf I think. It was all too quick. I didn’t see him properly.”

NYSSA
(realises) “It was him! It was the Doctor!”

BILLY
“What? The Doctor?”

NYSSA
“Not our Doctor. I mean…the one I met when he came to Traken for the first time. Except he was…older-looking.” (Pause) “He wore different clothes when I just saw him now. He wore a grey coat and his scarf was multi-coloured.”

BILLY
“You mean…you saw the Doctor…before he became our Doctor?”

NYSSA
“Yes. But why was he here? And why was he watching us?”

Nyssa ponders as she and Billy sit in their deckchairs with the cricket match going on in the background.


SCENE #5 – INT – BALLROOM, GRAND HOTEL – DAY, EVENING
At the Grand Hotel in Swansea in the evening, Nyssa and Billy dance together. They’re in the ballroom and a band plays Artie Shaw music in the background. At a distance, the Doctor sits at a table watching his two companions dance.

NYSSA
“Feeling dream-like tonight, Billy? By the look on your face?”

BILLY
“Do I look loony when I dance with you then?”

NYSSA
“I’d say ‘happy’ would be a nicer description.”

BILLY
“Yeah well, with hearing Artie Shaw’s music and dancing with you, I feel every Christmas has come for me at once.”

A tender silence before Nyssa and Billy kiss each other.

NYSSA
(content) “I’m so pleased you’re happy in my company.”

BILLY
“Oh I am. We seem to work out well as a couple, don’t we?”

NYSSA
(teasingly) “Yes. So far.”

Nyssa and Billy giggle.

BILLY
(happily) “Oh I wish I could take you to a starry cloudy night sky and dance to the music. Like they did at the end of ‘Sleeping Beauty’.”

NYSSA
(puzzled) “Sleeping Beauty?”

BILLY
“The Disney film. I’ll have to show that film at our next cinema visit.”

Another tender silence ensues.

BILLY
(dreamily) “Do you remember we danced to music like this at the space hotel? With Mr. Rotenhend the hotel manager.”

NYSSA
“How could I forget? We had to solve a murder mystery, didn’t we?”

BILLY
“Yes we did.”

NYSSA
“That was your first trip in the TARDIS. After we sorted out that steam railway of time business with Sinroth and the Vegrons.”

BILLY
“Yes. It was the first of many adventures for me, wasn’t it?”

Nyssa and Billy dance contentedly for a while before turning to see the Doctor at a distance.

NYSSA
“The Doctor’s waving to us from a distance.”

BILLY
“Yes. So he is.”

Nyssa and Billy wave back.

BILLY
“Do you think he minds us being together? I can’t help feel we’ve hampered his style somehow when he sees us together.”

NYSSA
“I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s probably his way of coping with the fact that we may not travel with him very much if we continue our relationship and leave.”

BILLY
“Which we’re not doing yet of course.”

NYSSA
“Indeed not. We can’t be that cruel. After all he’s done for us.”

As Nyssa and Billy dance together, Billy spots someone at a distance.

BILLY
(confused) “Nyssa! Look behind you!”

Billy turns Nyssa around as they dance.

NYSSA
(gradually; confused) “Yes, Billy. I see him. Who is he?”

BILLY
(confused) “I don’t know. A man in a long trench coat with a pinstripe suit underneath. And he’s got white shoes on too.”

NYSSA
(confused) “Why is he watching us do you think?”

BILLY
(realises) “It’s not just us he’s watching! He’s watching the Doctor too.”

NYSSA
(realises) “Yes! I see!” (Pause) “The Doctor’s just as confused as we are.” (Pause) “And it’s almost as if he recognised the man.”

BILLY
(realises) “Hang on! The man in the trench coat. He’s gone.” (Pause) “He looked sad as he went.”

Nyssa and Billy continue dancing as they ponder these things. Eventually, the dance and music come to an end. Everyone claps in applause once it’s over. Nyssa and Billy clap too, but are anxious.

BILLY
“What do you think’s going on, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“I don’t know.” (Pause) “Come on. Let’s re-join the Doctor.”

With that, Nyssa and Billy go off to re-join the Doctor at his table.


SCENE #6 – INT – BALLROOM, GRAND HOTEL – DAY, EVENING
At the Doctor’s table, he looks up to see Nyssa and Billy.

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Ah Nyssa; Billy, there you are! Did you enjoy the dance! The musicians were good, weren’t they?”

NYSSA
“Doctor, we saw the man who was watching us from a distance.”

BILLY
“Yeah, the one in the trench coat. Did you recognise him?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Yes, I did actually.” (Pause) “He happens to be one of my future selves.”

NYSSA
(astonished) “One of your future selves? How come you know that?”

DOCTOR
“I’ve met him once before in the TARDIS. Well, when our two TARDISes accidentally time-crashed into each other and we nearly caused a hole in the space-time continuum the size of Belgium. We sorted it all out in the end.”

BILLY
“But he was standing there at a distance watching you, Nyssa and me. What was he doing here?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t know, Billy. It all seems coincidental.” (Pause; ponders) “We’ve seen three incarnations of myself today. One on the beach this morning; one that Nyssa saw whilst I was playing cricket and one this evening whilst you two were dancing.”

BILLY
“You think there’s something more to this? That there’s a connection with us seeing different versions of you both past and future.”

DOCTOR
“I don’t know, Billy. I just don’t know. It seems curious and rather worrying.”

NYSSA
“This means that our holiday is going to be ruined, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Oh don’t be downhearted, Nyssa. I’m sure it’s nothing too serious. We’ll find out eventually once our holiday is over.”

But Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor continue to ponder these things as they sit at their table before more dancing and music occurs.


SCENE #7 – INT – HOTEL ROOM, GRAND HOTEL – NIGHT
That night, Billy struggles to sleep in bed as he’s having a bad dream. Nyssa comes over to Billy as she tries to wake him up.

NYSSA
(concerned) “Billy! Billy, wake up!” (Pause) “Billy, please wake up!”

At that, Billy wakes up with a start. Nyssa tries to calm him down.

NYSSA
(reassuringly) “Billy! Billy, it’s alright! Calm down Billy, you’re safe with me!”

Eventually, Billy calms down and realises where he is with Nyssa. He breathes a sigh of relief.

BILLY
(relieved) “Thank goodness! Nyssa, it’s you! I thought I was…I thought I was…”

Billy struggles to think before he sighs deeply.

NYSSA
(reassuringly) “Stay there, Billy. I’ll fetch you a glass of water.”

With that, Nyssa goes to the nearest table and pours out a glass of water from a jug for Billy. She eventually returns to Billy, who is still shaken, and hands him the glass of water.

NYSSA
“Here.”

BILLY
(grateful) “Thanks.”

Billy takes the glass from Nyssa as he drinks down the water steadily. Once finished, Billy breathes deeply, handing back the glass to Nyssa.

BILLY
(relieved) “That’s much better. Thank you, Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“That’s alright.”

Nyssa places the empty glass on a nearby bedside table.

NYSSA
(gradually) “Now, tell me what it was you were dreaming about, Billy. Unless you’d rather not talk about it…”

BILLY
(interjects) “No, no. I don’t mind talking about it.” (Pause) “There was this school headmaster I had back when I was young. Mr. Lewis his name was.”

NYSSA
“Someone you didn’t like was it?”

BILLY
“You could say that, yes.” (Pause) “He was the headmaster at my school for just one week. I was living with my aunt and uncle at the time whilst my parents were away.”

NYSSA
“You had him just for a week?”

BILLY
“Yeah. He was a stand-in for the previous headmaster who was injured in a car accident. So we were told.” (Pause) “My memories of Mr. Lewis aren’t pleasant ones.”

NYSSA
“He wasn’t nice to you at school?”

BILLY
“He wasn’t nice to anyone. He was mean to the teachers and the other kids I knew at school.”

NYSSA
“Sounds like you had a terrible week.”

BILLY
“Yes.” (Pause) “Except…”

NYSSA
(intrigued) “Except what, Billy?”

BILLY
(gradually) “Well, I can’t remember what happened on the last day when Mr. Lewis left the school. Mr. Simmons then became headmaster. You remember Mr. Simmons, don’t you?”

NYSSA
“Of course. Alexandra’s dad, wasn’t he?”

BILLY
“Yes! Anyway, I remember Mr. Simmons taking over and everyone felt relieved after Mr. Lewis had gone. But how Lewis left on the Friday of that week, I don’t remember. I seem to have lost my memory on it.”

NYSSA
“When did this happen? When you were at school, I mean.”

BILLY
“Oh I was about fourteen and a half years old back then. Back in nineteen fifty-seven, I believe.”

NYSSA
“And you can’t remember how Mr. Lewis left your school.”

BILLY
“No. And I don’t know how it is I came to dream about him. Maybe it was when the Doctor talked about seeing his past and future selves or something.” (Pause) “It’s as if…” (gradually; realises) “…as if…”

NYSSA
(finishes) “As if someone blocked your memories long ago and they’re now resurfacing somehow.”

BILLY
(realises) “Yes.” (Pause) “Should I be worried about this?”

NYSSA
(concerned) “I don’t know. Probably not.” (Pause) “But I suggest we talk to the Doctor about this. Over breakfast tomorrow.”


SCENE #8 – INT – DINING ROOM, GRAND HOTEL – DAY, MORNING
Next morning, Billy shares his dream to the Doctor. The trio have breakfast in the dining room of the Grand Hotel. The Doctor eats some toast whilst Billy shares his dream to him.

DOCTOR
“Really, Billy! I don’t see why you should be concerned. You forgot how Mr. Lewis your stand-in headmaster left your school. No big deal!”

NYSSA
“Doctor, be reasonable.”

DOCTOR
“I am being reasonable, Nyssa. I don’t see why Billy should be so concerned.”

BILLY
“Because I would’ve remembered the day Mr. Lewis left. I have a photographic memory, remember?”

DOCTOR
“Seriously, Billy.”

BILLY
“I am being serious, Doctor. I recall vivid details of my school life including the bad ones. Mr. Lewis stuck in my mind for most of that week but not on the Friday. I have a nasty feeling about this.”

DOCTOR
“Billy, there’s no need to…”

BILLY
(interrupts) “Something’s bothering me, Doctor. I spent a week with my aunt and uncle and I had to endure a week of school with a nasty headmaster. I can’t remember how it ended.”

NYSSA
“Do you remember reuniting with your parents after the week was over, Billy?”

BILLY
“Of course I remember. I was happy to be back with my parents once the nightmare week was over.”

DOCTOR
“Well, surely they told you what happened. They might’ve known something.”

BILLY
“I don’t remember. My memory’s fuzzy on that.”

DOCTOR
(reassuringly) “Look, Billy. Sometimes it’s best to forget these things. If you had a bad experience of something, it’s best to put it behind you. We have to forget the bad things in life, because we must. We look forward to exciting and new pleasurable things like the holiday we’re having in Swansea nineteen thirty. Just like you and Nyssa wanted.”

BILLY
“But the thing is; I can’t shake off this nagging feeling I have that there might be something more to what happened with my memory being hazy. It could be blocked or tampered with like Nyssa says.”

NYSSA
“And you’re bothered about it because you can’t remember. You want to find out why that is.”

BILLY
(to Nyssa) “Yes, Nyssa. That’s it, definitely!” (Pause; gradually; to Doctor) “Look Doctor, I know this is a lot to ask. But could we go back in time and find out what happened and why I can’t remember the last day of that week I had at school?”

DOCTOR
(apprehensively) “I’m not sure about that, Billy.”

BILLY
(interjects) “I know, I know. It’s dangerous to go back in your own past…”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “I can’t just break the rules to satisfy your own curiosity, Billy.”

BILLY
“But we don’t actually have to be there inside the school. We can just…watch from a distance. Or even better, make ourselves invisible or something.”

DOCTOR
(shrewdly) “Really, Billy! I’m not a magician!”

BILLY
(abjectly) “You have a box of wonders, Doctor! The TARDIS is more than a time machine. Surely you can conjure up something to make you, me and Nyssa invisible.”

NYSSA
“Yes, Doctor. You must have something to enable that. A cloaking device.”

A moment of silence ensues.

DOCTOR
(thinks; gradually; apprehensively) “Well, there is the perception filter technology I’ve been developing. To prevent us from being seen with the naked eye.” (Pause) “But it’s in the experimental stages. There’s no guarantee it’ll work.”

BILLY
“Well, maybe this is the best time to test it. To find out if it really works.”

NYSSA
“And as Billy suggested, Doctor. We only need to see events from a distance. Not actually get involved in them with the perception filters on.”

Another moment of silence ensues.

DOCTOR
(sighs) “Oh alright, I suppose we can give it a try.” (Pause) “But under protest mind. This is something I wouldn’t normally do.”

NYSSA
“We understand, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“We’ll have to go back to the TARDIS of course.”

BILLY
(realises; interjects) “Actually, no. Maybe we’d better not do this, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Billy, if this gets your curiosity satisfied…”

BILLY
(interjects) “No. No, it’s not that. It’s just…” (Pause) “I don’t want to spoil our holiday. Especially for Nyssa. We were having so much fun.”

NYSSA
(reassuringly) “Billy, I’ve been enjoying myself so much on this holiday too.” (Pause) “But I want to look out for you as well. If there’s something that’s worrying you, then we can postpone our holiday for a short while. We’ve got something to look forward to and come back to once we’ve finished this business, haven’t we?”

BILLY
(gradually) “Yeah.” (Pause) “Okay then. Thanks Doctor, Nyssa. We’ll go back to the TARDIS and try out those perception filters like you said.”

NYSSA
“Excellent. That’s settled then.”

DOCTOR
“No! We can’t go back to the TARDIS just yet.”

NYSSA
(puzzled) “Really? Why not, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “We haven’t finished our breakfast.” (to Billy) “More sausages for you, Billy?”


SCENE #9 – INT – TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM – N/A
Eventually, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy return to the TARDIS. In the console room, the Doctor demonstrates his perception filter technology to his friends.

DOCTOR
“Now, I’ve applied three pieces of the TARDIS to three TARDIS keys. We wear these keys around our necks like necklaces and we’ll be able to blend in. Just like the TARDIS is able to blend in with her surroundings. At least that’s the theory anyway.”

BILLY
“So…these perception filters will make us invisible when we’re back at my school in nineteen fifty-seven. Neat.”

DOCTOR
“No Billy, no. The perception filters won’t make us invisible. They just shift a person’s perception a tiny bit. We won’t be noticeable by anyone.”

NYSSA
“That’s rather risky, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“It is. That’s why I’m rather uneasy about this endeavour. We could easily be spotted if I don’t apply the right amount of low level perception filter properties to each key we use.”

BILLY
“Well, we can just start by standing outside the school entrance and see if anyone will notice us. Work out our way from there.”

NYSSA
“Billy’s right, Doctor. If the perception filters don’t work, we can abandon this endeavour altogether.”

DOCTOR
“Yes, I suppose that’s feasible.”

BILLY
“So, does that mean we still go ahead?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Yes Billy, we do!”

BILLY
(pleased) “Right then.”

DOCTOR
(stresses) “Just remember, Billy. We can’t interfere with any events in your personal timeline at this school.”

BILLY
“I understand, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“No interfering whatsoever. Nyssa and I will be with you at all times to keep reminding you of that.”

BILLY
“No interfering whatsoever. Got you, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(satisfied) “Good.” (Pause) “Well, I suppose we’d better get started then.”

NYSSA
“You’re going to set the coordinates for Billy’s hometown and time, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(to Nyssa) “Yes, Nyssa.” (to Billy) “Churchwood Street, Earth, nineteen fifty-seven in November wasn’t it, Billy?”

BILLY
“That’s it, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Right! Well, I’ll set in those coordinates and we’ll…”

But before the Doctor can set in the coordinates, the TARDIS suddenly jerks violently and takes off without warning. Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor go off balance, before holding onto the console as the TARDIS takes off.

BILLY
(bewildered) “Steady on, Doctor! I’m not in a hurry to go back to my past!”

NYSSA
(annoyed) “Doctor, you could’ve given us some warning!”

DOCTOR
(protests) “It’s not me! I didn’t do anything! I didn’t press the take-off lever! I didn’t even have a chance to set the coordinates for Billy’s time in the past.” (Pause) “Hang on!”

The trio keep holding onto the console as the TARDIS is in flight. The Doctor gradually checks the TARDIS instruments to see what’s happening.

DOCTOR
(realises; shocked) “Oh no!”

NYSSA
(concerned) “What is it, Doctor? What’s wrong?”

DOCTOR
“The TARDIS is being operated by remote control! And we’re being summoned back to Gallifrey!”

BILLY
“Gallifrey?! Is that your home, Doctor? The home of [the…”]

DOCTOR
(finishes) “…the Time Lords. Yes, Billy.”

NYSSA
“Why are we being summoned to Gallifrey, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t know, Nyssa. I’m pretty sure we’ll find out once we get there.”

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy keep holding on for dear life as they’re utterly surprised by the TARDIS being summoned back to Gallifrey.


© Tim Bradley, 2019

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