‘The Prime Factor’, Part One, Chapter 2

2. Strange Planet

SCENE #10 – INT – SECURITY COMPOUND, CAPITOL – NIGHT
Within the Capitol on Gallifrey, the TARDIS materialises in the security compound. The TARDIS whooshes and grinds loudly before making a loud thump as it lands. Eventually, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy step out and take in their surroundings.

DOCTOR
“Welcome to Gallifrey, Billy!”

BILLY
(delighted) “Gosh! My first visit! It’s taken quite a while but you got me here in the end, Doctor.”

NYSSA
“What is this place, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“One of the security areas in the Capitol of Gallifrey – the Time Lords’ citadel.”

NYSSA
“Security area?”

DOCTOR
“The security compound if I’m not mistaken.” (realises) “I recognise this place. I was summoned back to Gallifrey quite a while ago at the time the President was assassinated. They have redecorated a bit mind.” (Pause) “I don’t like it.”

BILLY
(delighted) “This is incredible!” (Pause) “I’m curious though as to what’s going on. I thought we were supposed to go to Churchwood Street in Cardiff nineteen fifty-seven. My home.”

DOCTOR
“That was what I intended, Billy. But clearly the Time Lords have other ideas.”

The Doctor eventually goes over to the locked doors.

DOCTOR
(thoughtful) “Hmm. They seem to be using hand-print activation technology for the lock. Must be a recent upgrade.”

NYSSA
“So we can’t get out.”

DOCTOR
(confidently) “Oh I don’t know. With the use of indent kit from the TARDIS…”

NYSSA
(interrupts) “Ssh!”

DOCTOR
(puzzled) “What is it, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
(hushes) “Ssh! Listen!”

The trio listen as footsteps approach from the other side of the locked door.

BILLY
(realises) “Someone’s coming!”

NYSSA
“Some people. There must be a crowd behind that door.”

DOCTOR
“Maybe I won’t need to use my indent kit after all.”

The locking mechanism bleeps from outside.

DOCTOR
“Seems I was right.” (insistently) “Nyssa; Billy, stand back.”

The Doctor urges his companions back from the compound doors.

BILLY
“What’s wrong, Doctor? For all we know, we might get a friendly reception.”

The doors open and a squad of the Gallifrey Chancellery Guard enter the security compound. They surround the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy at the TARDIS, before they point their staser pistols at them. A tense silence ensues.

NYSSA
(wryly) “You were saying, Billy?”

BILLY
(confused) “What is it we’ve supposed to have done?”

DOCTOR
“More like what is it I’ve supposed to have done. I usually get into trouble with the Time Lords.”

Another moment of tense silence ensues.

DOCTOR
(clears throat; cheerfully; to Chancellery Guard squad) “Err…hello gentlemen! I don’t suppose any of you can tell me why me and my friends have been summoned here?” (Pause) “Anyone? No?”

The Chancellery Guard squad don’t respond. They still point their weapons at the TARDIS trio. Billy then coughs.

DOCTOR
“Billy, don’t interrupt when I’m demanding to know what’s going on!”

BILLY
“I’m sorry, Doctor. I can’t help it if I cough.”

NYSSA
“Seems like you’re not getting anywhere, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(slightly annoyed) “Pity. Such a shame I’m not the President of Gallifrey anymore. I could then impose my authority on these guards.”

BILLY
(surprised) “Wait! You were the President of Gallifrey once?”

DOCTOR
“Of course! I stopped an invasion of Vardans and Sontarans when I was the President once!”

BILLY
“How come you gave it up?”

DOCTOR
“Not sure. Memory’s still hazy you see…”

MAXIL
(interrupts) “That’s enough talking from you three!”

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy turn to see the commander of the Gallifrey Chancellery Guard enter. He is Commander Maxil.

MAXIL
“You’d be advised to cooperate, Doctor. Gallifrey is under strict security as we speak here.”

DOCTOR
(confused) “I’m sorry I haven’t had the pleasure. You are…?”

MAXIL
“Commander Maxil! Of the Chancellery Guard!”

DOCTOR
(dismissively) “Never heard of you.”

MAXIL
(insistently) “You are to come with us, Doctor. You and your companions.”

DOCTOR
(demands) “Why have I been summoned back to Gallifrey?”

MAXIL
“The Castellan will explain. He has all the answers you need.”

DOCTOR
(mock-amazed) “The Castellan! I should be honoured. I don’t get to have a nice friendly chat with the Castellan these days.”

MAXIL
(insistently) “I have my orders. You are to come at once, Doctor. You, the girl and…” (disapprovingly) “…that human.”

BILLY
(puzzled) “Is he talking about me?”

NYSSA
(consolingly) “Billy, don’t worry about it.”

DOCTOR
“What’s this about, Commander?”

MAXIL
“I don’t answer to you, Doctor. I answer to the Castellan. Now move!”

Maxil points his staser pistol threateningly at the Doctor.

DOCTOR
(sighs; reluctantly; to Nyssa; Billy) “Come on, Nyssa; Billy. Let’s find out what the Castellan wants!”

With that, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy get escorted by Maxil and the Chancellery Guard squad. They make their way out of the security compound and are taken to see the Castellan on Gallifrey.


SCENE #11 – INT – CASTELLAN’S OFFICE, CAPITOL – NIGHT
In his office, the Castellan is working hard on some papers he has on his desk. The electronic doorbell rings as he works.

CASTELLAN
“Come!”

At that, the door opens. The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy enter, escorted by Maxil and the Chancellery Guard squad. The Castellan looks up and rises from his seat to meet them.

DOCTOR
“Castellan.”

CASTELLAN
“Doctor! How good of you to come so promptly.”

DOCTOR
“I didn’t have much choice.”

MAXIL
(interrupts) “I have brought the prisoners as instructed, Castellan.”

DOCTOR
“Prisoners? Not honoured guests then.”

CASTELLAN
“Thank you, Commander Maxil. You have done well.”

NYSSA
(puzzled) “Doctor, who is this man?”

CASTELLAN
(interjects) “We have met before, Nyssa of Traken.”

NYSSA
(surprised) “We have?”

CASTELLAN
“Yes. Though for you it has yet to happen. For me and Maxil…events of a recent incident have occurred already.”

DOCTOR
“So that means…I’ve been here before too. For this recent incident.”

CASTELLAN
“Exactly, Doctor. Though for you, it has yet to happen of course.”

DOCTOR
“You’ve taken me out of my personal timeline to a point where I’ve been here recently but not yet. That’s very dangerous, Castellan. Crossing me over my personal timeline in that manner.”

BILLY
(puzzled) “Nyssa, what are they talking about? Another wibbley-wobbly, timey-wimey thing again?”

NYSSA
“Don’t let it bother you, Billy. It’s nothing to worry about.”

BILLY
“That’s what’s worrying me!”

MAXIL
(interrupts; to Nyssa; Billy) “Be silent, the pair of you!”

Maxil prods Nyssa and Billy with his staser pistol. Nyssa and Billy become silent.

BILLY
(whispers; wryly) “Friendly lot these Time Lords.”

NYSSA
(whispers) “Be quiet, Billy.”

Meanwhile, the Castellan continues.

CASTELLAN
“Doctor! The Lord President doesn’t know anything about this meeting.”

DOCTOR
“The Lord President, hey? I take it you mean President Borusa.”

CASTELLAN
“He is currently undergoing a regeneration. Nothing to concern you with.”

DOCTOR
“So you decided to abduct my friends and me for a quiet little meeting whilst the Time Lords are in their beds. I take it that’s why the corridors are empty. And that it’s night-time on Gallifrey. I noticed as I was looking out of the windows.”

CASTELLAN
“This meeting between us is under maximum security. Commander Maxil has seen to it.”

DOCTOR
“I’m sure he has. But what is all this about? Abducting me and my friends when we’re about to go on one of our jaunts. It’s very rude of you to interrupt us like that.”

CASTELLAN
“We’ve been monitoring your TARDIS as well as your current timeline in the Capitol’s computer rooms.”

DOCTOR
“That’s very nosey of you. Prying into my private life. How would you like it if I did the same to you, Castellan?”

CASTELLAN
“Records indicate that you and your companions were on your way to the planet Earth in the year nineteen fifty-seven. Am I correct?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Yes we were. Just for a little curiosity trip.”

CASTELLAN
“The Time Lords have a certain amount of concern over the incident that your young friend…the human…Billy Walker…was involved in when young.”

BILLY
(puzzled) “You mean…your people are interested in that week I had at school with a terrible headmaster called Mr. Lewis on Earth?”

CASTELLAN
“Yes.” (expresses disgust) “Not that I expect your human mind to understand. You’re lucky enough to be on Gallifrey at all. Humans aren’t allowed here but you’re a special case in this instance.”

BILLY
(taken aback) “What?”

NYSSA
(protests) “Billy is a valued friend of ours! To me and the Doctor. He’s very loyal. If you treat me the same way as you do the Doctor, then you should treat Billy the same way.”

CASTELLAN
(dismissively) “It is irrelevant in this matter.”

NYSSA
(protests) “I’d say that it’s very relevant!”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “Tell me, Castellan. Why isn’t the High Council taking an interest in this matter? How come you and your Chancellery Guard are involved?”

CASTELLAN
“Like I said, Doctor. We’ve had to make sure this meeting is under maximum security. No-one must know about this meeting.” (Pause; slightly embarrassed) “That is why I’ve enlisted the CIA to keep this meeting a secret.”

DOCTOR
(realises) “Ah, the CIA! I should’ve realised this was their handiwork.”

CASTELLAN
“It’s not something I’m proud of, Doctor. As Castellan, I hold a great deal of office. I’m risking my livelihood to have this meeting.”

NYSSA
“Doctor? The CIA. Are they…?”

DOCTOR
(finishes) “…the Celestial Intervention Agency yes, Nyssa. The group of Time Lords that conduct underhand matters related to the Web of Time. To preserve reality in whatever state they call safe.”

BILLY
“Like when you were made to kill Davros, the creator of the Daleks, against your will, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“You still remember that, Billy?”

BILLY
“My memory’s still hazy, but yes I vaguely remember that.”

CASTELLAN
(interrupts) “We wish you, Doctor…that is myself and on the behalf of the CIA…to undertake a mission of the highest priority. A mission of observation, surveillance and retrieval connected to your friend’s…’bad school week’ on Earth, nineteen fifty-seven.”

BILLY
“Wait! You Time Lords want the Doctor to do a mission on your behalf…whilst we three are finding out what happened to me at the end of my bad week at school…when I lost my memory on how my headmaster Mr. Lewis left.”

CASTELLAN
(gradually) “In a way, yes. That is sufficient enough.”

DOCTOR
“Why should I do this mission for you, Castellan? What interest do you have in Billy’s nightmare week at his school?”

A moment of tense silence ensues.

CASTELLAN
(gradually)The Prime Factor, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
(gradually; realises; astonished) “The Prime Factor?!” (Pause) “Has it come to that then?”

CASTELLAN
“Indeed, Doctor. You can see now why the CIA and myself are interested.”

Another moment of silence ensues. The Doctor thinks for a bit before he addresses Nyssa and Billy.

NYSSA
(concerned) “Doctor, what does he mean? What is this Prime Factor?”

DOCTOR
(seriously) “Nyssa; Billy, please listen to me. The trip we were about to undertake has become more dangerous and important.”

BILLY
“Dangerous? How?”

DOCTOR
“I can’t explain. Not yet anyway.” (Pause) “But if we’re to go through with going back to your past Billy, I need you two to trust me.”

NYSSA
“We do trust you, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Really? Do you really trust me? There’s nothing I’d like better than to share this Prime Factor thing the Castellan mentioned to me. But I can’t. At least not yet.” (Pause) “I need to have assurance from you two that you won’t ask me questions regarding what the Prime Factor is when we’re on Earth, nineteen fifty-seven. Do you understand?” (to Nyssa) “Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“I understand, Doctor. I won’t ask any questions.”

DOCTOR
(to Billy) “Billy?”

BILLY
“Yes of course. I won’t ask any questions either.”

Another moment of silence ensues.

DOCTOR
(satisfied; happily) “Good! Good!”

With that, the Doctor turns back to the Castellan.

DOCTOR
“Very good, Castellan. We’ll undertake this mission that you ask of us. At least I’ll be taking it. Nyssa and Billy will be observers and helpers during the mission. If that’s agreeable with you.”

CASTELLAN
“Excellent! I knew you’d see sense, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“I suppose you’ll order your Chancellery Guard to escort us back to the TARDIS then.”

CASTELLAN
“There is one more condition, Doctor.” (Pause) “Commander Maxil is to accompany you.”

DOCTOR
(objects) “Out of the question!”

CASTELLAN
“He will be there as a Gallifreyan witness. To make sure that you conduct your mission thoroughly.”

DOCTOR
“Why don’t you just plant a bugging device on my TARDIS? You lot are very good at that!”

CASTELLAN
“This mission is too sensitive, Doctor. I can’t risk any of our technological capabilities to be interfered with whilst we witness and monitor your efforts. Commander Maxil will maintain and block any interference caused to monitor your activities and ensure that the mission is complete.”

DOCTOR
“I will not have one of the Gallifreyan Chancellery Guard – especially a commander – snooping around my TARDIS whilst my friends and I are off to Earth in nineteen fifty-seven. It’s like you lot don’t trust me.”

CASTELLAN
“But that’s just it! We don’t trust you, Doctor. Once you and your friends are inside your TARDIS, you can easily escape and not carry out the mission as instructed. Maxil will accompany you to make sure you do the mission as we order you to.”

MAXIL
(clears throat) “Castellan, sir. I’m willing to accompany the Doctor. But if the Doctor is uncomfortable about me joining him…I can always have one of my guards accompany him. Someone…less lenient than me.”

At this, the Doctor is stumped at Maxil’s words. Eventually…

DOCTOR
(sighs) “Very well, Castellan. Your Commander Maxil may accompany me and my friends as you request it.”

CASTELLAN
(pleased) “Excellent, Doctor. Once more, you begin to see reason.”

DOCTOR
“Yes and a lot of prying eyes into my personal life lately.”

CASTELLAN
(to Maxil) “Commander Maxil! Have your guards escort the Doctor and his friends back to their TARDIS. Have them wait there. I wish to have a private word with you about the mission.”

MAXIL
(to Castellan) “Yes Castellan.” (to guards) “Escort the Doctor and his friends back to their TARDIS in the security compound!”

The Chancellery Guard squad obey as they take the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy out of the Castellan’s office. They head off back to the security compound where the TARDIS is.

BILLY
“Well, there goes my brief visit to Gallifrey. In and out as they say.”

NYSSA
(to Billy) “I doubt either of us are welcome here, Billy. Gallifrey doesn’t seem to be the ideal holiday resort.” (Pause; realises; concerned; to Doctor) “Doctor, are you alright? You look preoccupied.”

DOCTOR
(preoccupied) “Just mulling things over, Nyssa.”

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy are escorted out of the Castellan’s office, whilst the Castellan has a private word with Maxil about the mission.


SCENE #12 – INT – TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM – N/A
Later on, back inside the TARDIS, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy wait in the console room for Maxil.

BILLY
(impatiently) “What’s taking him so long? Surely it doesn’t take that long to choose something to wear.”

NYSSA
“He has to choose something depending on his tastes, Billy.”

DOCTOR
“Besides, he can’t walk around wearing Chancellery Guard commander clothes when we’re in your home town on Earth in nineteen fifty-seven, Billy. He needs something to blend in.”

BILLY
(scoffs) “Oh you mean like…what you wear whenever we visit Earth, Doctor. You’re never out of your cricket outfit!”

NYSSA
(tells off) “Billy!”

DOCTOR
“I suggested that he wear a standard suit with tie and everything. It’s probably taking him a while to decide which suit he likes.”

BILLY
(shrewdly) “Don’t see why that should be a problem. He’d be out of place anyway wherever and whenever we go.”

NYSSA
“Billy, please!”

BILLY
“I’m sorry, Nyssa. But that guy gives me the creeps. He’s got an unfriendly look about him. I don’t like people who are unfriendly.”

NYSSA
“I don’t care for him much either, Billy. But we have to put up with him for a while. We just have to make the best of it.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. And I suggest you two be on your best behaviour whenever Commander Maxil’s around. This is especially in regards to the mission we have.”

Eventually, the door opens and Maxil enters the console room. He’s now in a standard suit and tie.

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Ah Commander, there you are! Is that suit to your liking?”

MAXIL
(solemnly) “It is adequate for the occasion. I presume this will help me to blend into the environment we land upon.”

DOCTOR
“Quite. You should blend into nineteen fifties Earth very nicely.”

MAXIL
“Shall we get on with it, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes of course. Now if I just…”

MAXIL
(interjects) “Set the coordinates for Earth in the year nineteen fifty-seven. In the area where your young friend comes from. I assume you know where that is, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Yes, Commander. I was about to set it for that destination before you lot summoned me back to Gallifrey.”

MAXIL
“I wish for this mission to be completed as soon as possible, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“So long as you don’t boss me around, everything will be alright.”

The Doctor presses buttons on the TARDIS console to enter coordinates for Billy’s school on Earth in 1957. This takes a short while.

MAXIL
(gradually) “Coordinates set, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes Commander, they are. Locked in!”

MAXIL
“Then let us be off, shall we?”

BILLY
“The Doctor said no bossing about, mate!”

NYSSA
(quietly) “Billy, don’t.”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “TARDIS taking off…now!”

The Doctor presses the button and the TARDIS takes off, leaving Gallifrey behind. The TARDIS whooshes and grinds as the time rotor oscillates up and down to indicate the ship’s on its way.

DOCTOR
(satisfied) “There! We’re on our way to Churchwood Street in Cardiff, Earth nineteen fifty-seven. All is going according to plan. The TARDIS is on its way.” (Pause) “Anything else, Maxil? Do you mind if I call you Maxil?”

MAXIL
(ignores Doctor) “I require solitude in another room. Where are the nearest guest quarters, Doctor?”

BILLY
(shrewdly) “Oh! Moving in, are you?”

DOCTOR
“Come this way, Maxil. I’ll take you to one of the guest rooms.”

With that, the Doctor opens the door out of the console room. He leads Maxil to where the guest rooms are. Once the Doctor and Maxil are gone, Nyssa and Billy let out deep sighs.

BILLY
(sighs) “We have to put up with his gloomy face, do we?”

NYSSA
“Billy, I know it’s hard. But try and be friendly with him. We need to work together if he’s helping us.”

BILLY
(gradually) “Yeah I suppose so.” (Pause) “I didn’t like the way he and that Castellan bloke made disapproving looks at me. What is it the Doctor’s people have got against me and humanity? Are they so snobbish and superior?”

NYSSA
(gradually) “I don’t have the answers, Billy.” (Pause) “Let’s be thankful the Doctor isn’t like his people. He’s like you and me where we’re not disapproving of others.”

BILLY
(gradually) “Yeah of course.” (Pause) “I’m so lucky to have you and the Doctor as my friends, Nyssa.”

Billy wraps his arm around Nyssa in the console room.

NYSSA
“Before long, after this mission is over, we’ll be back in Swansea nineteen thirty before you know it.”

BILLY
(chuckles) “That’ll be splendid!”

Just then, the Doctor re-enters the console room.

DOCTOR
“He’s satisfied with the room I’ve chosen for him. It’s the best I can offer.”

NYSSA
“He should be grateful. Your TARDIS guest rooms are of fine standards.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you for your faith in me, Nyssa.” (Pause) “But like I said, we have to be on our best behaviour and put up with him. Try and be friendly with him.”

Just then, one of the TARDIS instruments bleeps strangely. The Doctor examines the TARDIS instrument.

DOCTOR
(gradually; confused) “That’s odd. That’s very odd indeed.”

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

DOCTOR
(gradually) “The TARDIS. She seems to have been diverted off course. To an unidentified alien planet.”

Nyssa and Billy get concerned as they join the Doctor at the console to see for themselves what this TARDIS instrument is registering.


SCENE #13 – INT – TARDIS, GUEST ROOM – N/A
In the guest room allocated to Maxil, he places a device on the wall. He switches it on and it makes bleeping noises. Maxil then raises his wrist and switches on his wrist communicator. A moment of static occurs before the Castellan answers.

CASTELLAN (V’O)
“Commander Maxil?”

MAXIL
(through wrist communicator) “Yes, Castellan sir. I’m here.”

CASTELLAN (V’O)
“Report, Maxil!”

MAXIL
(through wrist communicator) “Everything going according to plan. The Doctor suspects nothing. Nor do his companions. I’ve placed a device in one of the guest quarters to record, monitor and access any experience made by myself, the Doctor and his two young friends as well as any other third party for Matrix purposes. They are to be collected within range of the Doctor’s TARDIS.”

CASTELLAN (V’O)
“Very good, Maxil. You know what you have to do?”

MAXIL
(through wrist communicator) “I do, Castellan. Monitor any activity the Doctor makes whilst he’s on this assigned mission. Report any discrepancies should they arise and which may interfere with the mission objectives.”

CASTELLAN (V’O)
“Precisely. I should expect a mission report every hour you spend in the mission you’re on with the Doctor and his friends. Make sure you report in every hour, Commander. I expect punctuality to be fulfilled to the fullest!”

MAXIL
(through wrist communicator) “Understood.”

CASTELLAN (V’O)
“Good, good. Then we have everything in order. Report to me in the next hour. Castellan out.”

The Castellan breaks off the communication at his end. Maxil switches off his wrist communicator, just as he gets interrupted by the Doctor who calls from outside his quarters.

DOCTOR
(calls; from outside) “Maxil! Commander Maxil, come to the console room! Quickly, this may be important!”

Moment of silence, as Maxil doesn’t answer instantly.

DOCTOR
(calls; from outside) “Commander Maxil, do you hear me?!”

MAXIL
“I’m coming! I’m coming now, Doctor!”

With that, Maxil leaves his guest room.


SCENE #14 – INT – TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM – N/A
In the TARDIS console room, the Doctor enters to re-join Nyssa and Billy.

BILLY
“Well?”

DOCTOR
“Yes, he’s coming. I’ve just called him and he’s coming.”

NYSSA
“Thank goodness for that.”

Just then, Maxil enters to join the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.

MAXIL
(insistently) “What is it, Doctor? What’s gone wrong?”

DOCTOR
“The TARDIS has been drawn off course.”

MAXIL
“What?”

NYSSA
“The TARDIS instruments register that we’re being diverted to an unidentified planet about a few hundred light years away from Earth.”

BILLY
(jokingly) “All these fun and games and we’ll never get to my home town in the past, will we?”

MAXIL
(accusingly) “If this is your doing, Doctor…”

DOCTOR
(interjects; objects) “This has nothing to do with me, Maxil. I’m as baffled as you are. The TARDIS has been caught in an energy beam and we’re being redirected to another planet.”

Maxil examines the TARDIS instruments himself as he sees the one bleeping strangely on the console.

MAXIL
(accusingly) “Why didn’t you avoid this random energy beam when we came across it, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Because I didn’t know it was there! You can’t expect me to be good at everything or be quick off the mark like you seem to make out, Commander.”

BILLY
“Does this planet have a connection to Earth then? Why are we being diverted to this planet when we’re supposed to go to Earth?”

NYSSA
(thinks) “The energy beam must have something to do with it.”

Nyssa checks the TARDIS instruments. The Doctor, Billy and Maxil wait patiently as Nyssa checks.

NYSSA
(gradually) “Yes! I see it now.”

DOCTOR
(intrigued) “What is it, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
(gradually) “The energy beam directed from the unidentified planet…is being directed to Earth itself. And it seems to be specifically on Billy’s past time zone in nineteen fifty-seven.”

BILLY
(astonished) “That’s amazing!”

NYSSA
(to Doctor) “Is it a time corridor, Doctor? Like the Daleks use?”

DOCTOR
(uncertain) “It could be anything, Nyssa.” (Pause; checks) “At present, according to the instruments, the energy beam is drawing us back to the unidentified planet.”

MAXIL
“What do you suggest we do then, Doctor?”

The Doctor thinks for a moment.

DOCTOR
(gradually) “I suggest we investigate this planet first to find out why we’re being diverted there. Perhaps the answers on why Billy can’t remember the last day of his bad week with headmaster Mr. Lewis will be there.”

MAXIL
“That’ll be a waste of time. I see no point in going to this unidentified planet.”

BILLY
“Couldn’t we break free from the energy beam, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“No, Billy. I need a massive energy burst from a supernova to make us jump out of the energy beam. That’s something we don’t have right now.”

MAXIL
“You must find a way out of this, Doctor. You will find a way!”

DOCTOR
“No, Maxil! I’m determined to investigate this planet. I suggest you take an interest too.”

MAXIL
(dismissively) “I see no point…”

DOCTOR
(encouragingly) “Oh come on, Maxil! Aren’t you the least bit curious? There could be answers to what’s going on perhaps far more than you realise. Especially concerning the Prime Factor.”

Maxil stops being dismissive at that point. Eventually, the TARDIS continues making its way towards the unidentified planet connected to Earth via the energy beam.


SCENE #15 – EXT – HILLTOP, UNIDENTIFIED PLANET – DAY, MORNING
On the top of a hill on the unidentified planet, the TARDIS materialises. The ship whooshes and grinds as it arrives before making a loud thump as it lands. Eventually, the TARDIS doors open and the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Maxil step out. They take in their surroundings.

NYSSA
“There seems to be a lot of junk piled about the place.”

BILLY
(surprised) “Yeah. A stone wall, copper-made cups, different types of swords and shields.”

MAXIL
“I thought this planet was supposed to be uninhabited.”

DOCTOR
“We weren’t to know what to expect, Maxil. This planet should at least be uninhabited. The TARDIS scanners didn’t pick up any life-forms when I checked them.”

MAXIL
(scornfully) “And a very reliable model your TARDIS is too.”

DOCTOR
(objects) “What’s that supposed to mean?”

MAXIL
“Oh come on, Doctor. You know your TARDIS is outdated.”

DOCTOR
(affronted) “Outdated?!”

NYSSA
(interrupts) “What do we do, Doctor? Where do we go from here?”

The Doctor thinks for a moment.

DOCTOR
(gradually) “I suggest we split up and explore.” (to Maxil) “Maxil, you have a tracking device on you?”

MAXIL
“I always come prepared.”

DOCTOR
“Good, good.” (observes) “Now we seem to be at the top of a hill.” (to Nyssa) “Nyssa, you come with me and we’ll explore the top.” (to Billy) “Billy, you go with Maxil and explore the bottom…”

BILLY
(protests) “Hey, hey, hang on! That’s not fair! Why do I have to go with him? Can’t we explore together as a group?”

DOCTOR
“There’s too much ground to cover, Billy. Up top and below. It’ll work better if we split up.”

NYSSA
(reassuringly) “Don’t worry, Billy. We’ll be in close proximity to each other. The Doctor and I won’t be far.”

BILLY
(grudgingly) “Oh very well.”

DOCTOR
(to Maxil) “If either of us detects anything unusual on our trackers, we let one another know and regroup to collate our findings. Right, Maxil?”

MAXIL
(shrewdly) “Of course. I’m not a fool, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Of course not.” (Pause) “Right! Better get started! You two go down there and Nyssa and I will go up there.”

With that, the group splits up. Maxil and Billy go downwards whilst the Doctor and Nyssa go upwards. The Doctor uses his tracker and it bleeps frequently. A short silence ensues between Nyssa and the Doctor as they go up the hill.

NYSSA
“What are you hoping to find, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Anything regarded as abnormal or has temporal particles according to this tracker of mine. Maxil should do the same. If anything belongs to Earth in nineteen fifty-seven that shouldn’t be of this world…”

NYSSA
(finishes) “Then we’ll know we’re on the right track to where we’re heading.”

DOCTOR
“Exactly!”

NYSSA
“Will we break free from the energy beam in order to get off this planet and reach Billy’s past time on Earth?”

DOCTOR
(uncertain) “I’m not sure.” (Pause) “Hopefully if the energy beam works like a time corridor, we should be able to traverse along it to get to Earth in the required time period.”

NYSSA
“Provided it ends up in Churchwood Street, Cardiff on Earth as well as the required time period.”

DOCTOR
“Yes, well…one step at a time, Nyssa.”

With that, the Doctor and Nyssa continue scanning at the top of the hill.


SCENE #16 – EXT – BOTTOM OF HILL, UNIDENTIFIED PLANET – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile, Maxil and Billy go down the bottom of the hill. They pass various items of junk whilst Maxil uses his tracker.

MAXIL
(muses) “The tracker is picking up a faint signal as we speak.” (Pause) “If we get close to it, we may know if there’s something out of place on this planet.”

BILLY
“Is your tracker very reliable?”

MAXIL
(shrewdly) “My tracker is of the latest state-of-the-art Gallifreyan technology.”

BILLY
“Sorry I asked.”

A moment of silence ensues, as they continue to follow the faint signal on Maxil’s tracker.

BILLY
(gradually; tries to be friendly) “So, you’ve been a Time Lord commander for how long?”

MAXIL
“I’ve been working my way up to be commander of the Gallifreyan Chancellery Guard for many years. It’s been a long road but it has been rewarding.”

BILLY
“I see. And you chose this career of yours willingly, did you?”

MAXIL
“Every Time Lord is required to take a certain career after attending the Academy. Mine was security. Security is something I find essential on my home planet.”

BILLY
“Right.” (Pause) “How many years did you spend in the [Academy…]”

MAXIL
(interrupts; dismissively) “If this is your way of doing…what is it…small talk, then don’t bother with me. I’ve no desire to make friends and I certainly don’t wish to make friends with you. I simply do my job and that is all. Do I make myself clear?”

BILLY
(slightly affronted) “Yes. Perfectly clear.”

Another moment of silence ensues; Maxil continues to use the tracker he has before the signal gets stronger.

MAXIL
(realises) “My tracker’s found something at last!”

BILLY
(gradually) “How far away is it?”

MAXIL
(checks) “About twenty yards away. Due north west. Not far.”

BILLY
(calls) “Doctor; Nyssa! Maxil and I have found something!”

With that, Maxil and Billy head off north-west. After a minute, they eventually come to the item that Maxil’s tracker picked up. Maxil and Billy become silent by what they see on the ground.

MAXIL
“You recognise this item on the ground, young man?”

BILLY
(gradually) “I do. Yes, definitely.”

At that, the Doctor and Nyssa turn up.

DOCTOR
“Ah! There you are, you two! Glad we’ve found you!”

NYSSA
“Did you two find something significant?”

The Doctor and Nyssa then see what Billy sees on the ground.

DOCTOR
(realises) “Oh! Yes! I see! Yes, I definitely see!”

NYSSA
(realises) “This is the flag of your home country isn’t it, Billy?”

BILLY
“Yes, Nyssa. That’s right!” (Pause) “This flag on the ground…is the Welsh flag. White on top; green below and fierce red dragon all over.”

DOCTOR
“So, we’re definitely on the right track.”

The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Maxil become mildly concerned as they see the Welsh flag on the ground before them on the unidentified planet.


SCENE #17 – EXT – CHURCHWOOD STREET, CARDIFF – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile on Earth in Churchwood Street, Cardiff, 1957, a school bus arrives outside Churchwood High School. The bus doors open and a number of school kids step out and make their way to enter the school premises. One of the school kids is a young girl named Amanda Wheeler. As she walks to the school, Amanda checks her school bag to make sure everything’s in it.

AMANDA
(checks; to herself) “Science textbook; apple; lunch; pencil case…” (stops; realises) “Wait! Where’s the spare pair of glasses I usually bring with me?”

At that moment, her friend Chester Blurr literally appears in a flash. Amanda gets startled once Chester appears before her.

CHESTER
(cheerfully) “Hello! How are you, Amanda? How are you?”

AMANDA
(startled; annoyed) “Chester Blurr! I wish you’d stop doing that!”

CHESTER
“Doing what?”

AMANDA
“Coming right before me without warning!”

CHESTER
“Oh sorry, Amanda. I can’t help it. I’m so excited I get so fast like this!”

AMANDA
“It amazes me how the school keeps you on being able to walk so fast.”

CHESTER
“Well they like me, don’t they? Absolutely, positively, definitely! They can’t get enough of me! The teachers, the other kids. Nobody can get enough of me!”

AMANDA
(ruefully) “I’m sure they can’t.”

CHESTER
“And you like me too don’t you, Amanda! You’re my friend, right?”

AMANDA
(impatiently) “Yes I am your friend, Chester. Now let’s get inside before the school gates close.”

CHESTER
(talks fast) “Right you are! Let’s get inside!”

With that, Amanda and Chester enter the school grounds as they pass through the front gates.


SCENE #18 – EXT – PLAYGROUND, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, MORNING
In the school grounds, Amanda and Chester walk together whilst the other school kids mingle about in the playground.

AMANDA
(dubiously) “So…what is it about today that got you so excited, Chester?”

CHESTER
“Me! I’m taking part in the twenty thousand mile race in two weekends’ time!”

AMANDA
“Oh. How lovely for you.”

CHESTER
“It is lovely, yes! I’m so excited! I’m going to win!”

AMANDA
“You never doubt your speed and agility do you, Chester?”

CHESTER
“I must never doubt! Never ever! I’m going to be the fastest boy in the school! In the community of Churchwood! I am the fastest boy aren’t I, Amanda?”

AMANDA
(irritated) “Yes Chester, you are! You’ve told me that so many times!”

CHESTER
“I’ll show you how fast I am, Amanda. I’m going to give a demonstration!”

AMANDA
(backs off) “No Chester, no! That won’t be necessary!”

CHESTER
“I’m going to prove it! Watch!”

AMANDA
(insistently) “Chester, don’t!”

But it’s too late as Chester zooms off and zooms back to Amanda in a flash.

CHESTER
“See! I’m fast! Weren’t you impressed, Amanda?”

AMANDA
(annoyed) “I am impressed, Chester! I’m incredibly impressed with how incredibly fast you are. Now please shut up!”

CHESTER
“I’ll show those bullies at school how I am with my fast speed! You’re so jealous aren’t you, Amanda?”

AMANDA
(ruefully) “And you’re so modest aren’t you, Chester. It’s a wonder the school hasn’t kicked you out yet.”

CHESTER
(puzzled) “What do you mean, Amanda?”

At that moment though, they’re interrupted. The school doors open and Mr. Lewis the headmaster steps out. Everyone becomes silent once they see Mr. Lewis. Everyone becomes terrified.

AMANDA
(whispers scared) “Speaking of bullies Chester, here’s one of them now. The headmaster – Mr. Lewis.”

CHESTER
(whispers; scared) “Oh dear! Just when my day was going so great!”


© Tim Bradley, 2019

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