‘The Railway of Time’, Part Two, Chapter 6

6. Seeking Information

SCENE #54 – EXT – PORTER’S STREET, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
The Doctor and Adams are now walking on Porter’s Street in Kelton as they are on the search for local information about anything out of the ordinary. Whilst they’re walking, the Doctor updates Adams with events that have occurred before meeting up with him.

ADAMS
“Two thousand and sixty-three and dog-like animals from another planet?! That’s absurd!”

DOCTOR
“Absurd but true Mr. Adams! If you hadn’t been so preoccupied with going on ahead of me, Nyssa and Billy; you might have witnessed it yourself.”

ADAMS
“Don’t talk nonsense, my dear man. There are no such things as Egors…”

DOCTOR
(corrects him) “Zegors.”

ADAMS
“…or whatever you call them. And we certainly haven’t travelled in the future. That’s all the fiction of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. Friendly people actually. They would be most interested in my theories and accounts unlike someone who has a closed mind to things which are beyond his understanding.”

ADAMS
“Don’t insult me, man. I know that time-travel isn’t possible! I would feel sick at this moment if the world revolved at rapid pace in orbit!”

The Doctor stops walking and Adams stops too.

DOCTOR
(impatiently) “How do you explain the jerks that occurred through the tunnel?” (Pause) “We’re still in one piece, Mr. Adams. If we had jerks on a train journey like that, we should have crashed. We should be dead, but we aren’t. Unless there is a theory for breaking the laws of physics which I know is a definite impossibility unless you’d rather be in a universe of anti-matter or infinite improbability!”

ADAMS
(thinks) “You…you seem very well-minded for a hold of imagination, young man. And I commend you for that.”

DOCTOR
(matter-of-factually) “And you Mr. Adams are very reluctant to open your eyes to things which you know are there but are unwilling to adapt to your conscience.”

Moment of silence.

ADAMS
(anxious) “I just can’t grapple with the things you’re saying. I’ve been hoping that there would some explanation to the sudden change to this village. But I hoped it wouldn’t come to this.” (Pause) “I have a wife back in Huttle, Doctor. If what you say is true…if we have travelled in time to the year two thousand and sixty-three…my wife is gone. I will never see her again!”

DOCTOR
(compassionately) “Don’t worry Mr. Adams. I’ll see to it you get back home safely. Come on!”

The Doctor and Adams carry on walking down the street.


SCENE #55 – INT – KELTON LIBRARY, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
Nyssa and Billy meanwhile are at Kelton Library. They make their way to reception, lowering their voices as they speak in the library.

NYSSA
“Here we are. Your sense of direction and assumptions of geography served us well Billy.”

BILLY
“Yes.”

NYSSA
(concerned) “You look troubled.”

BILLY
“It’s this library. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen. It’s so…dazzling. Too bright. It’s not the sort of library I was expecting.”

NYSSA
“I hope we’ll be able to get information about the topics we want in this place. Let’s see if we can ask someone at reception for help.”

BILLY
“Okay.”

Nyssa and Billy soon start to make enquiries at reception.


SCENE #56 – EXT – PORTER’S STREET, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
The Doctor and Adams meanwhile arrive outside the front of a newsagent in Porter’s Street. They make their way to the front door.

DOCTOR
“Ah! Newsagents! Should have some luck here!”

Before the Doctor makes to go in, he turns to Adams.

DOCTOR
“Uh. Mr. Adams. You stay out here and wait for me!”

ADAMS
(shocked) “I beg your pardon?”

DOCTOR
“While I make the investigations you wait out here.”

ADAMS
“I came to understand it you required my help! Not to stand around being bored to death.”

DOCTOR
“Oh I do need your help Mr. Adams. I do. I was hoping you would keep watch for anybody who might turn up. Any passers-by.”

ADAMS
(realises) “Ah I see your thinking. Prepare for an attack. Keep watch for the enemy. Make sure I had a sheet wrapped round him to prevent his escape!”

DOCTOR
(uneasily) “Well I wouldn’t quite put it like that, but a guard would be required.”

ADAMS
“I shall stay out here and do as you command!”

DOCTOR
“Don’t get over-enthusiastic, Mr. Adams please.”

The Doctor leaves Mr. Adams outside, whilst he goes inside the newsagents.


SCENE #57 – INT – NEWSAGENTS, PORTER’S STREET, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
Inside the newsagents, we hear a couple talking to each other though in different parts of the building, as the woman is at the counter talking to a man in the stockroom at the back. The woman’s name is Tina whilst the man’s name is Mike. Tina happens to be enthusiastic and rather excited.

TINA
“So as I said Mike. He was definitely trying to halt the train. He wouldn’t let her get away!”

MIKE
“Oh yes?”

The Doctor enters the newsagents with the door bell ringing, whilst Tina talks to Mike.

DOCTOR
“Ah!”

TINA
“I mean just think. The nerve of the man.”

The Doctor approaches the counter as he tries to get Tina’s attention.

DOCTOR
“Uh, excuse me.”

TINA
“Just a minute, sir.” (to Mike) “He was actually bargaining with the station master to stop the trains and he wouldn’t listen either.”

DOCTOR
(tries to get word in edge-ways) “I really won’t keep you a moment, but I really…”

TINA
(to Mike) “Then there came the accident!”

MIKE
“Oh! Oh deary me!”

DOCTOR
(intrigued) “Accident?”

TINA
“Yes. It was like it came out of nowhere! One minute the train’s going. The next it got into trouble!”

DOCTOR
(intrigued) “Now that is a coincidence!”

TINA
“And even he got panicky! After all that time he attempted to stop the train to reach her! And he actually said, ‘this tragedy came out of nowhere and changed everything!’”

DOCTOR
“Uh excuse me, miss. But who said that?”

TINA
(gradually) “Johnny Platt, sir.”

DOCTOR
“And when did he say it?”

TINA
“Last night, sir. Coronation Street. ITV One.”

The Doctor becomes slightly annoyed by the information he received.

TINA
(cheerfully) “And what can I do for you, sir?”

DOCTOR
“I was wondering if you can help me with some questions. Questions about railways.”

TINA
“Railways, hey? Well you’d better ask my husband on that. He’s quite an expert on railways. I’ll call him. (calls back) “Mike! There’s somebody who wants to ask about railways. Can you come out here?”

MIKE
“Alright! I’ll be out there in a minute.”

TINA
(to Doctor) “He’ll be out in a minute.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you.”

TINA
(gradually) “You’re new here, aren’t you?”

DOCTOR
“Yes. Just arrived in Kelton a few hours ago.”

TINA
“So I see! And in a fancy outfit too!”

Mike enters, coming out from the back to meet Tina at the counter.

MIKE
“You wanted me for something, dear?”

TINA
“Yes! This young man requires your help.”

MIKE
“Very well.” (to Doctor) “Yes sir. What can I do to help?”

DOCTOR
“Um. Yes. I understand that you’re an expert on trains.”

MIKE
“Expert? I used to be a station master!”

DOCTOR
“Really! And would you happen to know anything about steam locomotives?”

MIKE
“Steam locomotives?” (chuckles) “That’s a transport gone out of date!”

DOCTOR
“Yes I realise that. But would you know anything about them?”

MIKE
“Well…only what I know from my father.”

DOCTOR
“Oh you’re father was a station master as well?”

MIKE
“No! My father was a signal man!”

DOCTOR
(puzzled) “Anyway, do you know anything of trains disappearing during the 1960s?”

MIKE
“Well that’s going back a bit. What year of the sixties would we be talking about?”

DOCTOR
“Nineteen sixty-three.”

MIKE
(chuckles) “Good lord! I wasn’t even born then!”

DOCTOR
“It is rather important!”

MIKE
(thinks) “Well there’s not much to tell from what my father told me. Apart from a strange experience he had with a woman and an unusual couple.”

DOCTOR
“Pardon?”

MIKE
“Yes. He told me of a train disappearance from Huttle to Kelton in nineteen sixty-three.”

DOCTOR
“Yes I know. I’ve just been…err…did he say when it happened specifically?”

MIKE
“I can’t really remember. But he did tell me that before the train disappeared, a woman – can’t quite remember who he said she was, but somebody of importance to the Huttle community – had burst her way into the signal box before a young couple entered into his signal box abruptly. The woman then threatened both my father and the couple, before being attacked by a sudden noise. It knocked my father out. And when he woke up, he found the couple and the woman had gone. With no trace of them ever being there.”

DOCTOR
“I see.”

MIKE
“It wasn’t before long that he found out that the train from Huttle and Kelton had disappeared afterwards. That experience was something that my father has since regretted if he’d stayed away to stop the train disappearing.”

DOCTOR
“Well I can’t really say I’m satisfied. It’s not much to go on.” (Pause) “Uh, one more thing. Could you help with identifying something for me?”

MIKE
“Of course. What is it?”

DOCTOR
“A medallion. There.””

The Doctor takes out the device he’s been carrying in his coat pocket, and shows it to Mike. He lets Mike observe it carefully before asking him further. He allows ten seconds.

DOCTOR
“Have you seen anything like that before?”

Mike looks for a while.

MIKE
“Well I can’t really say I’ve seen something like this before. But I think my wife Tina might have something to say about it.” (calls) “Tina? Tina? Can you come out here, please?”

Tina re-enters as she’s just come from the back and approaches the counter.

TINA
(cheerily) “Yes Mike. What is it?”

MIKE
“This man has shown me a medallion thing, and has asked if I’ve seen it before and I told him I haven’t. Have you seen something like this?”

Tina looks at the medallion for a little while to make her own opinion of it.

TINA
“Hey! I think I’ve seen something like that before!”

MIKE
“Really?”

DOCTOR
“When did you last see it?”

TINA
(thinks) “I don’t know. Can’t quite remember actually.” (Pause) “But I remember seeing a design of it!”

DOCTOR
“A design? Where?”

TINA
“Wait a minute, let me think.” (Pause) “At the church cemetery. On one of the grave stones. St. John’s Church I believe it was.”

DOCTOR
“Could you remember which grave stone it was on?”

TINA
(thinks) “No. I’m afraid I can’t remember.”

DOCTOR
(slightly disappointed) “Ah well, never mind. Is this church far?”

MIKE
“It’s only a few minutes away from Lutton Street.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you so much. You’ve certainly helped me out.”

The Doctor takes the medallion back and slips it into his pocket. Just then, Adams enters in rather annoyed.

ADAMS
“Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Ah! Mr. Adams!”

ADAMS
(annoyed) “How much longer do you want me to stay out here waiting for you to come out? I’ve been doing nothing but going back and forth getting bored out of my wits seeing…”

DOCTOR
“Come on, Mr. Adams! We’re leaving!”

ADAMS
“What?”

DOCTOR
“We’re leaving! Come on!” (to Mike; Tina) “Thanks again, you two!”

The Doctor and Adams leave the newsagents, leaving a baffled Mike and Tina at the counter.

TINA
“Well. That was rather odd. What do you suppose he was getting at? With the medallion and things?”

MIKE
“I don’t know. But I’m going back in the stock-room to store something.”

Mike heads back into the stockroom in the back, whilst Tina remains at the counter completely baffled.


SCENE #58 – EXT – PORTER’S STREET, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
The Doctor and Adams go outside the newsagents and discuss the information that has been gained so far.

ADAMS
“Well Doctor? Did you get anything worth knowing?”

DOCTOR
“Yes. Apparently this medallion the Zegors are wearing has made a mark in a cemetery at St. John’s Church.”

ADAMS
(confused) “I don’t understand.”

DOCTOR
“According to that woman, she’s seen something like it on one of the cemetery memorial stones.”

ADAMS
(stutters) “Oh. Uh d-d-d-d-does that mean we’ve going off to the cemetery now?”

DOCTOR
“Unless you had somewhere else in mind to go?”

ADAMS
“Well not necessarily.”

DOCTOR
“Then let’s go! Or at least let me go to satisfy my curiosity.”

The Doctor heads off to find Kelton cemetery, whilst Adams remains behind rather disturbed.

ADAMS
(calls) “Uh, w-w-w-w-wait a minute! You can’t just go off and leave me here to find out whatever’s in the cemetery.”

DOCTOR
“And why not?”

ADAMS
“Well…it’s not comradeship-like! We men must stick together!”

Adams follows after the Doctor on the stone pavement crunching underneath his feet.


SCENE #59 – INT – NEWSAGENTS, PORTER’S STREET, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
Back in the newsagents, Mike is heard stocking away some supplies back in the stockroom as he presses buttons to indicate there are technological innovations in the storage facilities of newsagents. He is heard mumbling and groaning as one of the boxes is not shutting quite properly, and he slams his fist at the storage unit.

MIKE
(mutters) “Stupid technology! Nothing works properly!”

Just as Mike is about to sort the mess out with the storage units, there is a faint growling in the corner. Mike stops tending to the boxes as he hears the growling.

MIKE
(calls) “Hello? Anyone there?”

No answers, but there is still growling. Mike stands up and backs away.

MIKE
(calls) “Tina? Tina?”

Tina comes back into the stockroom as she responds to Mike’s call.

TINA
“What is it?”

MIKE
“Can you hear that?”

TINA
“Hear what?”

MIKE
“That growling. It’s in the corner.”

They listen to hear the growls as it keeps on.

TINA
“What could it be?”

MIKE
“I don’t know. It sounds like some kind of wild animal. Must be from the zoo!”

They listen for a while as they try to interpret or comprehend the source of growling. Just then, the growling turns to whining as the creature slowly steps out to be seen.

MIKE
“There it is.”

TINA
(admiringly) “Aww! Look! It’s a dog!”

Tina makes her way towards it.

MIKE
(snaps) “Tina! Get back!”

TINA
“There’s no need to get so worked up about a dog!”

The ‘dog’ grunts ferociously as it comes closer to Tina, and she starts to tremble.

TINA
“A very big dog!”

The Zegor roars terrifyingly and Tina screams out loud. It then leaps up onto her as it attacks.

MIKE
(cries) “Tina!”

TINA
(screams) “Mike! Mike, help me! HELP ME!!”

Mike runs over to Tina’s rescue, whilst the Zegor makes a savage and brutal attack on Tina. Tina screams desperately as there is a sound of claw marks slashing at her and fangs gnashing into her.

MIKE
(terrified) “My Tina!” (at Zegor) “Get off her! Get off her you thing!”

There is a terrible pandemonium of horror and brutality as the Zegor keeps on attacking Tina whilst Mike tries to save her.

MIKE
(yells) “Here! Take this you monster!”

Mike strikes something at the Zegor which causes the monster to howl and writhe in pain. Tina no longer screams and seems to be lifeless. Mike meanwhile hasn’t forgotten the Zegor as he takes delight in his attack against it.

MIKE
“There! My old dad’s shovel sorted you out! And you’ll better keep your ghastly fangs and terrible claws off my wife before I’ll…”

The monster roars with venomous determination as it then turns on Mike and makes to attack again. Mike screams with terror as he’s being towered over by the Zegor.


SCENE #60 – INT – KELTON LIBRARY, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
At Kelton library in one of the study areas, Nyssa is using a laptop to access the internet as she’s typing away at some keys on the keyboard. Very soon Billy turns up as he carries a bundle of history books and newspapers in his arms. He places them on the table rather abruptly, before giving a sigh of exhaustion after carrying the weight he’s had. He sits down next to Nyssa.

BILLY
“Here we are! Books and newspapers. Or what’s left of them.”

NYSSA
“Will you be able to find what you’re looking for?”

BILLY
(uncertain) “Well I hope so. Depends though what we’re looking for anyway.”

NYSSA
“See if you can find any information in those texts about train disappearances, whilst I’ll look on the Internet to do the same.”

BILLY
(sighs) “I don’t think that receptionist was very helpful. Or friendly. She didn’t seem to take any interest or be bothered about what we’re looking for.” (Pause) “How are you doing with…this…Internet thing?”

NYSSA
“I’ve only just started. Hopefully I should be able to find what I’m looking for with temporal engineering incidents that coincide with historical or current events.”

BILLY
“Well good luck with that. I doubt I’ll be able to find anything with what I’ve got here. These newspapers appear old and ragged. And somebody’s not cared for the bindings of the books here.”

NYSSA
(compassionately) “Find what you can, Billy. I’m sure any information in those sources will be of help. We’ll make some deductions afterwards.”

BILLY
“Alright then.”

People in the library hush at Nyssa and Billy to keep them quiet. Nyssa and Billy carry on with their research in quiet. Billy opens a history book whilst Nyssa types away on the laptop. Billy observes Nyssa typing away at the laptop. They speak quietly whilst researching. 

BILLY
“You seem to be working well on that contraption.”

NYSSA
“This is rather primitive technology for me. But at least it’s adequate with my research.”

BILLY
“Well it’s good you understand it. I thought computers were massive compared to what I saw in magazines and newspapers.”

NYSSA
“The evolution of information technology and systems grows at a quick pace compared to biological evolution.”

Moment of silence.

BILLY
“You travelled with the Doctor long?”

NYSSA
(gradually) “Yes.”

BILLY
“I see now what you meant by ‘travelling far and wide’. I didn’t realise it involved something as incredible as this.”

NYSSA
“You seem to be taking everything calmly, Billy.”

BILLY
(thinks) “Maybe it’s because I have to.” (Pause) “I did say I hope that aliens would exist, but I didn’t think my hopes would be realised this fully. The Doctor’s really an alien, then?”

NYSSA
“He’s a Time Lord.”

BILLY
“And you knew that…when travelling with him?”

NYSSA
“I did.”

Moment of silence, as Billy ponders on everything he’s coming to terms with.

NYSSA
“I think we should get back to our research.”

Nyssa carries on typing at her laptop whilst Billy, still mystified, eventually gets to do his research with the books and newspapers.


SCENE #61 – INT – STEAM ENGINE CAB, TRAIN EXPRESS – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
Back at Kelton station, in the train cab of the steam express, the two train drivers Thomas and Percy are still hypnotised and upright. The diamonds on their watches still whir and glow as they stand. They are silent, whilst the railway station is gloomy and cold and it seems it’s about to rain.

Suddenly, the diamond on their watches stops whirring as it makes an occasional beep which has pauses that last for five seconds in-between. Thomas and Percy startle once the occasional beep occurs. They are still hypnotised and controlled. As they speak, their voices are without emotion.

THOMAS
“Percy.”

PERCY
“Thomas?”

THOMAS
“Our masters have instructions for us.”

PERCY
“What instructions do they have for us?”

THOMAS
“We are to drive the train into the heart of Kelton.”

PERCY
“I understand.”

THOMAS
“Put some more coal on then.”

PERCY
“Right.”

The two of them set about their tasks, as Percy uses a shovel to put more coal on whilst Thomas sounds the whistle to make aware to anyone that the train’s moving.


SCENE #62 – EXT – ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
The train express slowly but bumpily moves on the railway track as it departs from the old Kelton station. The train eventually chugs on at a pace as it makes it way for a new destination. Smoke rises from the funnel and steam fuming through the steam engine valves as it pulls its carriages behind.


SCENE #63 – EXT – ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
Meanwhile on top of a hill close to Kelton station, a hiker is walking by as he spots the steam train moving on the abandoned railway line. He stands there perplexed and astonished, as he cannot believe what he’s seeing.

HIKER
(chuckles) “A steam train. I sure haven’t seen anything like that before in a long time.”

The hiker continues watching as the train steams past.


SCENE #64 – INT – STEAM ENGINE CAB, TRAIN EXPRESS – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
Back inside the steam engine cab, Percy keeps shovelling more coal into the engine’s furnace whilst Thomas is at the wheel.

THOMAS
“That should be enough coal to be going on with, Percy.”

Percy stops shovelling coal; places the shovel down and closes the furnace. He makes to stand next to Thomas, as they observe the train’s journey on the track. Percy then spots the hiker up on the hill close by.

PERCY
“There is a man out there. Up on the hills. Watching us. Do we deal with him?”

THOMAS
“No. He doesn’t seem to be a threat!”

They carry on in silence for a while.

PERCY
“When we get to the heart of Kelton, what are we to do next?”

THOMAS
(chillingly) “We are to collect our passengers!”


SCENE #65 – INT – KELTON LIBRARY, KELTON – DAY – AUTUMN 2063
Back in the study area of Kelton library, Nyssa and Billy have being doing their research for quite a while by this point. Billy is still looking through books whilst Nyssa carries on searching on the Internet. We then hear Billy scribbling away on a notepad with a pen, as he seems to be taking notes from a source he’s just found.

NYSSA
“How are you doing, Billy? You’ve found something?”

BILLY
“Uh yes. Just taking some notes down from this newspaper. I think I might have something.”

NYSSA
“Good. Well we’ll look at your findings as soon I’ve finished here. I haven’t much luck here. There’s not much to explain the temporal dysfunctions and incursions on this Internet to link to what’s happening here.”

BILLY
“Well just give me a minute, and I might be able to tell you what I’ve discovered.”

NYSSA
“Alright then.”

Nyssa types away on the laptop as she collects her information, whilst Billy collects his.
Billy eventually stops scribbling on his notepad and puts his pen down.

BILLY
(nervously) “Yeah. Uh…I was thinking.” (Pause) “Do you like dancing, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
(gradually) “Yes. I do like dancing. Though I haven’t danced in a while.”

BILLY
“I like going to dances back home. Where they’ve got really good music. Glenn Miller. Cole Porter. Tommy Dorsey. Mostly it’s swing music I like.”

NYSSA
“Really?”

BILLY
“Oh I do like the dances too. The waltz; twist and the Charleston.”

NYSSA
“Charleston?”

BILLY
“You like the Charleston?”

NYSSA
“Yes. I have done the Charleston before. I even went to a fancy dress ball in the 1920’s.”

BILLY
“The nineteen twenties! Oh I’ve always wanted to go there! Back to a time when things were jolly and merry!”

NYSSA
“Well I certainly enjoyed going to that period of Earth’s period – well almost all of it. There was some trouble. But I’d grown to like the dances of that period then.”

BILLY
“So you like the sort of dances and music I like.”

NYSSA
“Yes I suppose so.”

BILLY
“That’s great!” (Pause; nervously) “So…um. Once we finish this business with the trains and time-travelling and get back to nineteen sixty-three…well…uh…”

NYSSA
“Yes?”

BILLY
“Well…would you like to…go to a dance with me?”

Moment of silence silence, as Nyssa becomes hesitant and uncertain. Billy, though a little nervous, waits patiently as he observes Nyssa’s shyness.

NYSSA
“No.”

Moment of silence.

BILLY
(slightly disappointed) “Oh, okay. Okay err…I had to ask!”

There is now an uneasy tension between them. Billy then takes his notepad as he attempts to change the subject to show his findings to Nyssa.

BILLY
(nervously) “Err…Do you want to see what I’ve discovered?”

NYSSA
(shyly) “Yes. Yes of course.”

BILLY
(stammers) “Well…um. This…um…might be a just theory and it might not have any significance. But I was looking for information on what happened when the train disappearances occurred in 1963 and see if they solved the mystery.”

NYSSA
“And have they?”

BILLY
“No. Apparently not. But then I discovered something rather odd. Apparently the train disappearances occurring in 1963 have been increasing throughout the year and all of them are connected with British steam railways.”

NYSSA
“Sorry?”

BILLY
“Yeah. According to this twentieth century history book, the train disappearances occurred at old fashioned railways in many parts of England and northern parts of Scotland and Wales.”

NYSSA
(fascinated) “A spread of temporal imbalance.”

BILLY
“Pardon?”

NYSSA
“There’s something on the web I found earlier.”

Nyssa shows Billy the page on the laptop.

NYSSA
“It says here that the temporal stratosphere imbalance theory can stretch as far at any variance with the focal points attached to specific representation networks.”

BILLY
“Like a telephone line. Having phone stations across a number of networks in various locations.”

NYSSA
“Whoever is causing this temporal anomaly has been setting this network of temporal points in order for the transfer of matter to different time frames to be executed. I wonder whether the usability of that network is manual or automatic.”

Billy takes out his notes.

BILLY
“There’s something else.” (Pause) “Here! These train disappearances have been occurring for the past few hundred years when the train services started. When I say train services I mean British railway services. The first occurrences of train disappearances happened in eighteen sixty-three.”

NYSSA
“Eighteen sixty-three?”

BILLY
“Yes.”

NYSSA
(thinks) “Eighteen sixty-three; nineteen sixty-three; two thousand and sixty-three.” (Pause) “I’m beginning to see a connection.”

Nyssa types away on the laptop.

BILLY
“What are you doing?”

NYSSA
“I’m trying to see if there are any news items about train disappearances happening now in two thousand and sixty three.”

It takes a while for Nyssa to find what she looks for. A few minutes pass. Eventually…

NYSSA
“Yes. Here we are!”

BILLY
“What have you found?”

NYSSA
“There have been recent people disappearing in rural towns and villages. Some scientists and investigators have concluded they are connected to British steam railways that have not be used in decades.”

BILLY
“Hey?”

NYSSA
“By this point Billy, the steam trains you’re accustomed to will have gone and be replaced by more powerfully electronic trains – according to the Doctor.”

BILLY
(saddened) “What a shame. Beeching, you naughty man!” (Pause) “And does it say where these disappearances have taken place?”

Nyssa reads the information from the laptop.

NYSSA
(gradually) “Apparently…these occurrences have been taking place in many parts of England… (realises)…and northern parts of Wales and Scotland.”

BILLY
(astonished) “Just like the train disappearances that have happened in the past few hundred years.”

NYSSA
(deduces) “And all of them have been connected…to steam locomotives.”

Nyssa and Billy ponder as they try to comprehend what they’ve discovered.


  © Tim Bradley, 2016

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11 thoughts on “‘The Railway of Time’, Part Two, Chapter 6

  1. Timelord-007

    How could Nyssa turn down going dancing with Billy down?, my heart actually sank reading that scene, you really write great emotion & i love the Doctor’s flippant attitude towards Adams.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Don’t worry about it, Timelord Simon. Nyssa might change her mind in the story. You never know. Glad you like the emotion in the story and how I wrote the Doctor’s flippant attitude to Adams. It was fun to write, especially with Adams’ dialogue. Thanks. Tim. 🙂

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  3. darrowby85

    Poor Billy 😦 Maybe Nyssa will be more enthusiastic about a date once they have sorted out all the time-space issues. Perhaps she’s the sort of girl who prefers to concentrate on one thing at a time!

    So there will still be Coronation Street in 2063! I liked the way you made 2063 not that different from now. I think in the 1970s and 80s, people assumed that by 2018 we’d all be flying around with jetpacks and hovercars, eating hydroponically produced protein pills and wearing skinsuits whereas in reality many aspects of life have remained pretty similar since then, apart from the Internet and the proliferation of computers and mobile phones of course. Also I was interested to see how you have made some things derelict in 2063. So often, visions of the future make things either very tidy and shiny with no mess at all, or completely falling apart as in Frontios. It’s interesting to see Billy get to grips with modern technology. He seems to be adapting pretty well. I like the way you’ve made him a positive and helpful person. (Yes, he obviously likes Nyssa but he gives the impression that he would be positive and helpful anyway and he isn’t *just* being like this to try to impress her.) There was far too much whining and bickering in the Fifth Doctor’s era but I think companions who are (at least usually) positive, friendly and interested are easier for an audience to identify with. Many of the audience would love to go travelling with the Doctor and it is a bit offputting when the companions who get the chance to do so don’t seem to appreciate it!

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      1. Tim Bradley Post author

        Hi Vicky.

        Very pleased you enjoyed Chapter 6 of ‘The Railway of Time’.

        I’m glad how you reacted to Nyssa turning down a date from Billy. Yeah it is sad Billy didn’t get a ‘yes’ from Nyssa to go out on a dance. Yeah maybe Nyssa will say ‘yes’ after this crisis is over and when she gets to know Billy more. At this point, Nyssa wouldn’t be sure what to make of Billy yet as he’s still a stranger to her.

        Yeah defining the future is always difficult even for a ‘Doctor Who’ story. Since this story is mostly set in the countryside, I decided not to have too many flashy things to make it look futuristic. After all, 2063 could still be like 2018 as we speak. But then again, my depiction of the future in my ‘Doctor Who’ can always be wrong just as much as 26th century settings in ‘Doctor Who’ like ‘Frontier In Space’ and ‘Earthshock’ could be wrong. After watching ‘Earthshock’ recently, I doubt we’ll be reduced to having 80s technology considering we have iPads and iPods these days.

        Well, I wanted Billy to a positive-thinking companion instead of being whiny and difficult like many of the Fifth Doctor companions tended to be like Tegan, Adric and Turlough. I mean yes, they had positive aspects to them but it’s always the negative attitudes that come across to the fore. Nyssa wasn’t like that and for this series of Fifth Doctor stories by me, I wanted to include another companion that was on the same wavelengths as Nyssa and the Fifth Doctor. Billy was that companion and I wanted to make sure he was helpful in a situation as well as taking an interest in Nyssa who he clearly has a crush on. I wanted to develop this gradually as I was writing the stories. I’m glad you see it that way in that Billy’s a helpful companion as well as taking an interest in Nyssa.

        Glad you like the photo of the village and find it pretty. I don’t know what the name of that village is, I’m afraid. I found it whilst googling for an English village photo and it’s on pixdaus.com. The name of the image is called ‘an english village by arizonafriend’. The link for the image is here – http://pixdaus.com/an-english-village-by-arizonafriend-england-village/items/view/251116/ . I hope the user won’t mind, but I just found it a good image for an English village that would be well-suited for Kelton. Originally I was going to have Kelton as a town instead of a village, but I must have realised in the re-writing process that a town would be busier than a village – so a village it became instead.

        Thanks Vicky.

        Tim. 🙂

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  4. darrowby85

    I think re. the future scenarios, it depends what the story is about, doesnt’t it? For some sci-fi stories, the major premise is a ‘what if’ scenario (what if there were sentient robots who were indistinguishable from people, thought police, a new plague, humans augmented with bionic parts, a drug that enabled people to live for hundreds of years, an environmental catastrophe or whatever) and in that case the fictional future would necessarily look different from the present, although even then, I think stories like that work better on an emotional level when the protagonists are enough like us that we can empathise with them. This story, from what I’ve seen so far, isn’t actually *about* a Britain-in-2063 scenario per se, but about the time-travelling trains and who’s making that happen and why. So I think having characters in 2063 who are called Mike and Tina and watch Coronation Street rather than some outlandish futuristic scenario was a really good decision because it avoids distracting attention from what the story is about.

    Of course, you might decide to take the story in a different direction entirely and Mike and Tina might turn out to be robots or something, but I’m just writing based on my impression so far!

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    1. darrowby85

      By the way, re. the companions, I didn’t mind Turlough so much because he did have a story arc, although there were a few episodes where he just hung around looking a bit shifty and whining. The way Tegan, Adric and Nyssa were written was quite weird, wasn’t it? They had all suffered traumatic experiences, and how this affected their character development could have provided interesting drama, but this was never really explored. They didn’t really seem to be written as every(wo)man-type audience identification figures, either. Nyssa comes the closest to being an identification figure since she is postive and friendly, but she does tend to get pushed into the background by the louder Tegan and Adric. I read somewhere that Adric was supposed to be an identification figure for young male viewers who were into maths and computers and maybe a bit nerdy, but that he turned out not to be popular with this demographic after all. I don’t actually mind him all that much, because a lot of the time it’s obvious that he’s just a kid and sometimes gets a bit overwrought. Tegan, though, is supposed to be more mature and should really have a bit more control over her emotions and learn to be a bit more friendly even to people she doesn’t like much if she’s going to work as a flight attendant!

      It’s strange, but there were quite a lot of interesting one-off characters in the Fifth Doctor serials who might have made good companions for a few serials, such as Todd in Kinda who was a bright and go-ahead sort of person who actually seemed to enjoy the Doctor’s company and laugh and joke with him rather than complaining at him all the time…

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    2. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Vicky.

      I’m pleased you liked my decision to have Mike and Tina watching ‘Coronation Street’ by the time we come to 2063. It was more of a joke when the Doctor was thinking Tina was talking about a real mystery involving trains whereas in fact she was talking about a fictional mystery she enjoyed watching. The Doctor would clearly get annoyed by this misunderstanding, wouldn’t he?

      Hmm. Mike and Tina becoming robots. I wonder if that will happen in the story as you read on. 😀

      Tim. 🙂

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    3. Tim Bradley Post author

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the companions, Vicky.

      Yeah Turlough did have a story arc which at times could be interesting, especially when his background was vague and he was working for the Black Guardian. I think the frustrating part is when he tended not to do much and he was being shifty a lot as you say. I feel the Big Finish audios handle the companions well compared to the TV series. They don’t make Tegan, Adric and Turlough as whiny as they should in the TV series. They do develop some interesting traits and I wish their character journeys were explored further in the TV series.

      I like Adric too, although I don’t think he was as strong a character as he could’ve been in the TV series. He tended to be annoying and useless which isn’t necessarily a good thing for a companion to be. I wonder if being a boy into maths and computers was really a thing in the 80s. I suppose it must have been. It’s very different to how you compare it today. Interesting that Adric didn’t gel well with the demographic he was aimed for. I wish that Tegan was less moaning, complaining and loud as she was in the TV series. She doesn’t do that so much in the Big Finish audios. Yes Tegan could take up most of the space with her voice which often sidelined Nyssa. The reason why I enjoy Nyssa as a companion was because of her quiet, compassionate nature which is something I can’t really warm to with Tegan’s character. But the various character traits in Nyssa, Tegan and Adric were enjoyable and interesting to watch and listen to. I wish that the TV version of Season 19 had a stronger character journey for all four TARDIS regulars as they could’ve had some really good outings for Peter Davison’s era.

      By the way, I’m sure you’ve noticed it on my ‘Castrovalva’ page, I wrote an article about ‘The Crowded TARDIS’ exploring the pros and cons of the Season 19 crew of ‘Doctor Who’. Please feel free to check it out.

      Speaking personally, I would’ve liked it if Richard Mace from ‘The Visitation’ was a companion who joined the Fifth Doctor with Nyssa, Tegan and Adric on adventures in time and space. He would’ve had an interesting companion, even though it would’ve crowded the TARDIS more. 😀

      Tim. 🙂

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      1. darrowby85

        Hi Tim,

        I don’t really know what it would have been like being a boy who was into computers and maths and so on in the 1980s and how unusual this would have been. Perhaps things that now would be regarded as quite normal subjects for young people to be interested in such as computers and programming would have seemed more “nerdy” then because only a few households had computers and I guess for most people who did have one, it was more of a hobby item than a practical everyday tool.

        I agree that the Big Finish audios handle the companions much better. Even when they are complaining, they do it in a much more light-hearted, ironic tone and it feels as if there is an underlying fondness and friendship that didn’t come across on TV. The whole thing seems much more grown-up and mellow and characterisation is taken more seriously. I also really like some of the companions who have been created for the audio adventures, especially Evelyn and Charley. They are great characters!

        Yes, I’ve read your article on ‘The Crowded TARDIS’ and I agree with what you say there. It does seem strange that they decided to pair a gentler, more understated Doctor with rather combative companions in Tegan and Adric. In the original concept for the characters, they don’t seem to think how they might have interacted with one another and with the Doctor. There doesn’t seem to be any of the sense of wonder and adventure there either. (Maybe the fact that they are travelling in space isn’t a big deal for aliens such as Nyssa and Adric but Tegan should be amazed by it.)

        Oh yes, Richard Mace was great too. Fun and flamboyant. And one of my other favourite characters I would have loved do see travel with the Fifth Doctor was Shardovan, except of course he isn’t real and he sacrifices himself. He was such a great character, and I wish he had been on screen for more than 2 episodes. I liked the way he was so curious, perceptive and courageous.

        Vicky

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tim Bradley Post author

        Hi Vicky.

        Yeah I suppose many UK households in the 1980s didn’t have a computer like we have nowadays. I didn’t think of it like that. It’s the same with TV sets and VHS recorders as not many people had those back in the 80s.

        I think the latest Fifth Doctor audios with Nyssa, Tegan and Adric have the characters more mellowed and as a team. Tegan seems to be comfortable with travelling in the TARDIS and even had a romantic fling with someone recently, played by Samuel West. I’m pleased with how Big Finish have taken care of the companions compared to what the TV series did. It’s an issue I had whilst watching the stories on DVD and I’m pleased the audios highlight unique interesting aspects to their characters like we’ve never discovered before, especially with Nyssa’s character. Yes Evelyn and Charley are great companions in the Big Finish audios. I enjoyed listening to them when I get a chance to hear their stories. I especially enjoy the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex stories too.

        I’m glad you enjoyed my article on ‘The Crowded TARDIS’ from Season 19 and agree with my thoughts on the subject. It’s something I wanted to explore and analyse myself, especially in comparing how the companions worked in the TV series and Big Finish audios with the Fifth Doctor. Season 19 is my favourite season from ‘Doctor Who’ and it was nice to explore the pros and cons of the regular characters featured in that season. Yeah I agree. Tegan should be amazed by what she sees with spaceships and travelling in the past instead of what Adric and Nyssa do when they’re used to this sort of thing involving space travel.

        Shardovan?! Hmm, interesting choice and idea, Vicky. I suppose he would’ve made a great companion for the Doctor. He certainly seemed open-minded compared to Ruther and Mergrave. Shame he wasn’t real though. Who knows? Maybe the Castrovalvans had an existence after that story ended. But I suspect not. 😀

        Tim. 🙂

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