‘The Railway of Time’, Part One, Chapter 1

1. Temporal Anomaly

Roll original 1982 Peter Davison opening credits


SCENE #1 – EXT – TIME VORTEX – N/A
The TARDIS whirls around in the time vortex, making its journey through time and space. This sequence lasts for twelve seconds.


SCENE #2 – INT – TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM – N/A
Inside the TARDIS, the console time rotor rises up and down, whirring away. Beside the TARDIS console, the Doctor and Nyssa play a game of snap with cards. They sit on chairs with a small table between them next to the console. Nyssa is winning, as she places a card on top of the pile and immediately slams her hand down.

NYSSA
“Snap!”

Nyssa takes the pile off the table while the Doctor clears his throat; slightly annoyed. The two play again, each taking it in turns as they place cards on the table to form another pile. Nyssa then slams her hand down again onto the pile.

NYSSA
“Snap!”

Nyssa takes the next pile off the table. The two play again as they keep placing cards onto the table to form another pile. Nyssa slams her hand again for the final time.

NYSSA
“Snap!”

Moment of silence.

NYSSA
(teasing) “Does that mean I win?”

No response, as the Doctor folds his arms in a sulky manner.

NYSSA
(joyously) “It does, doesn’t it?”

Nyssa takes her winnings from the table and shuffles the cards in her hands.

DOCTOR
(suspiciously) “Are you sure you’ve never played this game before on Traken?”

NYSSA
(reproachfully) “Doctor, do you seriously expect me and my people to have played this game?”

DOCTOR
(grumpily) “I suppose not. Why do I have to be a bad loser anyway?”

NYSSA
“I don’t see why you enjoy playing this game, Doctor. It’s not really challenging. Nor is it creative. It’s just silly.”

DOCTOR
(shocked) “Nyssa! How can you say such a thing? This game has been around since the nineteenth century. It was around when Charles Dickens wrote ‘Great Expectations’. Humans have been playing this card game for centuries!”

NYSSA
“I’m sorry to hear that.”

DOCTOR
“The Americans consider this a top quality game from Britain! Although they got it wrong, since ‘Snap’ is actually connected to the Egyptian Ratscrew.”

NYSSA
“I don’t see the objective of the game, Doctor. I mean, why do we play it? All we’re doing is putting cards on a table and slamming our hands onto the pile whenever we like!”

DOCTOR
“Well, I thought you might appreciate experiencing playing one of the quaintest card games ever invented in human history.”

NYSSA
“I’m sorry I’ve disappointed you, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“The point of the game Nyssa is to get all the cards. The player with the most cards wins. The player with the least cards loses. It’s perfectly simple!”

NYSSA
(unconvinced) “I see.”

DOCTOR
“It’s supposed to relax one’s mind after a long day. And it’s to challenge your wits and speed on chances on winning the game. I thought you’d appreciate refreshing your brain power when calculating mathematical problems and scientific equations in your experiments.”

NYSSA
“I see.”

DOCTOR
“Just remember Nyssa. I can be quite ruthless when playing ‘snap’!”

NYSSA
“Of course.”

DOCTOR
“I’ve even played ‘snap’ in tournaments on the planet Monga-Goola! They have Snap tournaments every month! In their calendar, they have three months with sixty days in each month. That’s quite a short lifetime for a Monga-Goolan.”

NYSSA
(sadly) “How terrible.”

DOCTOR
“Yes, it is. But ’snap’ keeps them occupied. They’re absolutely mad about it!”

NYSSA
“Hence why it’s a silly game.”

Before the Doctor can answer, the TARDIS jerks suddenly as it slips sideways in time. Nyssa falls off her chair whilst the Doctor crashes onto the table which breaks up. The TARDIS resumes back to its original state, as the Doctor and Nyssa slowly regain their balance.

NYSSA
“Doctor! That was a temporal instability. Some sort of turbulence. The TARDIS must collided it with whilst we were still in the vortex. What could have caused that?”

DOCTOR
“A quantum singularity? I’m not sure, Nyssa. It could be anything. Like a simple crack in the time track. It only needs a little repairing. Let’s see what the TARDIS has to say!”

The Doctor makes to check the TARDIS computer. The TARDIS then shifts sideways again and both the Doctor and Nyssa fall forwards to be saved by the console.

DOCTOR
“What?!”

NYSSA
(wryly) “Still think it’s a simple crack in the time track?”

DOCTOR
“This can’t be!” (Pause; agitated) “It simply cannot be!”

NYSSA
“What is it?”

The Doctor presses a few buttons on the console, as the TARDIS scanner is activated. The screen rises to show what’s outside.

DOCTOR
“Look Nyssa! See outside!”

Moment of silence.

NYSSA
(gradually; confused) “There’s nothing out there! It looks normal to me. Just the temporal interior of the time tunnel as you’ve shown me before, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Oh there is something out there Nyssa! Something that’s right out there in the vortex that is out of the corner of your eye. Look again!”

Moment of silence, as Nyssa looks at the scanner screen again. Something flickers on the screen and she gasps, startled and surprised.

NYSSA
(startled) “Doctor There was…”

DOCTOR
“Yes Nyssa, I know. As you said yourself. It’s a temporal instability.”

NYSSA
“The time vortex just frazzled for a short moment. Like something was trying to break through.” (Pause) “Is it a temporal anomaly, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes! Something has disrupted the balance of the temporal-spatial placement within the vortex. Something has affected its stability. I want to find out what that ‘something’ is!”

Just then, there is a chugging sound and a train whistle echoing from outside in the vortex. The Doctor and Nyssa hear it as the chugging and whistling gets louder.

NYSSA
(surprised) “Doctor, what was that?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t know. It sounded like a train.”

NYSSA
(surprised) “Did you say a train?!”

DOCTOR
“A train, Nyssa! It sounded like a steam locomotive. Like the ones I told you about when we were in the 1920s. Remember?”

NYSSA
“But that’s impossible! A train can’t travel in time we do in the TARDIS.”

DOCTOR
(disturbed) “I wonder Nyssa. I wonder.”


SCENE #3 – EXT – ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE – NIGHT – SPRING 1963
On the planet Earth in 1963, a train chugs on a railway line. It steams through the English countryside as it makes its journey through the night. The whistle is blows loudly as the train chugs on.


SCENE #4 – INT. STEAM ENGINE CAB – NIGHT – SPRING 1963
Inside the cab of the steam engine, two train drivers Wilfred and Harry are working hard keeping the train going as they make their way through the night. However, all is not calm inside.

WILFRED
(impatiently) “Harry! How are we doing on the track?”

HARRY
(nervously) “Oh uh…quite well Wilfred.”

WILFRED
“Keep your eyes straight ahead, Harry lad. I don’t want you losing your concentration. If you do, we’re bound to crash into an oncoming train on the track, remember?”

HARRY
(dolefully) “Yes Wilfred.”

WILFRED
“Please, please, be calm, Harry. I don’t want you to go panicky. It gave the passengers and the station master at Kelton a shock when you overshot the mark at Platform #1.”

HARRY
“I can’t help it, sir. I get nervous now ever since I heard the news that trains are disappearing into thin air. Surely you get nervous about it too, Wilfred?”

WILFRED
“If only I could find time to be nervous.”

HARRY
(hotly) “How can you say that, Wiflred? The evidence was there in black and white!”

WILFRED
(retorts) “Yes. In the newspapers.”

HARRY
(admonishingly) “You don’t believe that it’s happening, do you Wilfred?”

WILFRED
(reassuringly) “Don’t trouble yourself over it, lad. Trains disappear all the time!”

HARRY
(surprised) “Really?”

WILFRED
“Of course they do. You know that that Dr Beeching fellow is closing down railways every day. I tell you there’s a simple explanation for all of this.”

HARRY
(fascinated) “You really think so?”

WILFRED
“Of course I do!” (Pause) “You just think of that gorgeous bird you’re going out with at the end of the week. Emily, wasn’t it?”

HARRY
“Oh yes! Emily’s gorgeous, Wilfred! I find it amazing to believe she’d go out with a puppy like me. She must really fancy me, hey?”

WILFRED
“Yes well never mind that, lad. Just keep your eyes on the track!”

HARRY
“Yes Wilfred.”

WILFRED
“And please, please don’t panic, Harry! Don’t panic!”

Wilfred slaps Harry on the back. Harry staggers once he is slapped on the back.

WILFRED
(sighs) “Calm down lad! It was just me, slapping your back!”

Harry calms down. The two train drivers are silent for a short wile as the train continues chugging on the line.

WILFRED
(gradually) “Harry? You do know that we’re approaching a tunnel?”

HARRY
“Yes Wilfred. I know.”

Moment of silence.

WILFRED
(agitated) “Well don’t just stand there gawping, lad! Switch the headlights on!”

HARRY
“Oh, right. Yes Wilfred.”

Harry tugs the whistle cord. The train whistle blows loudly.

WILFRED
(annoyed) “Alright Harry. There’s no need to blow your whistle!”

HARRY
“Sorry.”

Despite Harry’s apologies, Wilfred goes to stack more coal into the hot boiler.

WILFRED
“Let’s hope we’ll finish this late night shift as soon as possible.”

HARRY
“I don’t like this tunnel, Wilfred. It’s spookily dark in there.”

Wilfred ignores Harry as he keeps on shoveling more coal for the train to keep going. Harry keeps looking ahead as he drives the train.


SCENE #5 – EXT – ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE – NIGHT – SPRING 1963
The train is heard making its way towards the tunnel as it chugs on the railway line. The train disappears through the tunnel. As it disappears through the tunnel an eerie sound is heard like a wave crashing onto the beach in slow motion almost as if the wave was breaking up. The train whistles and chugs whilst this sound of a wave crashing is heard.


SCENE #6 – INT – TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM – N/A
Meanwhile back in the TARDIS, the Doctor is pressing some buttons on the console, as he is trying to figure out what is happening. He is too focused while Nyssa observes.

NYSSA
“Have you found the source for the disturbance, Doctor?” (Pause; prompting) “Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Hmm?! What was that Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“I was asking whether you’ve managed to find out what was causing the temporal anomaly.”

DOCTOR
“Ah! Err…no Nyssa. I’m still working on it! It’s just taking some time for the TARDIS scanners to actually pinpoint the source.”

NYSSA
(gradually) “We can make estimates on where this source came from.”

DOCTOR
“Yes we could Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“The disturbance could have come from Earth…”

DOCTOR
“Or there could be a chance somebody’s directing the anomaly from somewhere else!”

NYSSA
“You mean…from another planet?”

DOCTOR
“Perhaps, yes. It’s best to keep these possibilities open, Nyssa.”

A loud beeping echoes from the TARDIS console.

DOCTOR
(cheers) “Yes!”

NYSSA
(joyously) “You’ve found the source.”

DOCTOR
“Yes! Well…the TARDIS scanners have been able to identify the projection of the anomaly!” (crestfallen) “It is directing from Earth as you said!”

NYSSA
(surprised) “Why Earth?!”

DOCTOR
“I don’t know. But Earth has been the victim of a number of temporal convergences or alien interventions in the past. Believe me, I’ve been there.”

NYSSA
(shrewdly) “I do believe you, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(ashamed) “Yes of course. Sorry I didn’t mean to insult your intelligence, Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“Do we know how the anomaly’s being projected?”

DOCTOR
“No, not yet! That’s the trouble with temporal anomalies! There tends to be barriers blocking out whoever’s projecting them! I can never understand why that happens!”

NYSSA
“So what do we do now?”

The Doctor thinks for a while.

DOCTOR
“Well, the only way we’re going to be able to find whoever’s responsible for projecting this anomaly is to go to the source of its location.”

NYSSA
“On Earth, I take it?”

DOCTOR
“Yes.”

NYSSA
“But that means we’ve got to set the coordinates for the TARDIS to find the anomaly’s location.” (Pause) “We don’t have those coordinates, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(reassuringly) “Not to worry! I’ll set the TARDIS to follow the path of the projection in the time vortex. Then we’ll be able to reach the time and place of where the anomaly is situated.”

NYSSA
(matter-of-factually) “You seem sure about it.”

DOCTOR
(reassuringly) “Oh I’ve done something like this before a while back.”

The Doctor moves around the console, flicking switches and pressing buttons, focusing on the task at hand.

NYSSA
(gradually) “How long will it take to find the path of the anomaly’s projection in the time vortex?”

DOCTOR
(reassuringly) “Just a few minutes. I’m adjusting the temporal tracker now.”

The Doctor adjusts the temporal tracker on the console to locate the projection of the temporal anomaly in the vortex.

DOCTOR
“I am good aren’t I Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Pardon?”

DOCTOR
“I was lucky with discovering that temporary anomaly hitting us, wasn’t I?!”

NYSSA
“Actually Doctor. It was I who discovered it!”

The Doctor doesn’t take notice of Nyssa’s statement, as he presses more buttons on the console. He grabs onto the console tightly at his end.

DOCTOR
“Hold on tight, Nyssa!”

NYSSA
(baffled) “Sorry?”

DOCTOR
“I said ‘hold on tight’, Nyssa! The TARDIS is on its way to Earth!”

Nyssa holds tight onto the console at her end. The time travellers hold on for dear life as everything goes at top speed.


SCENE #7 – EXT – TIME VORTEX – N/A
The TARDIS zooms off down the time vortex, making its journey via the projection of the temporal anomaly to make its way towards Earth. The sequence lasts for thirty seconds.


SCENE #8 – INT – STATION MASTER’S OFFICE, HUTTLE STATION – DAY – SPRING 1963
Back on Earth, station master Mr. Jeffries flicks his way through some papers at his desk in his office at Huttle station. He hums a little tune with birds twittering in the background. There is then a knock on the door, stopping Jeffries through his work. He stacks his paperwork togetherand opens a drawer. He puts his work in before closing the drawer. As Jeffries speaks, he sounds sinister yet posh.

JEFFRIES
“Come in?”

The door opens and two train drivers, Thomas Padbury and Percy Watling enter the office. They shut the door once they’re inside.

JEFFRIES
“Ah! Mr Padbury and Mr Watling. You’re the two new train drivers for the eleven thirty train I asked for from Head Office yesterday.”

THOMAS
“That’s right, sir. We just got in off taking the train from Bassett to Huttle. We came as soon as we could.”

JEFFRIES
“I’m sure you both did. I’m sorry for all of this being short-notice. This was urgent.”

PERCY
“That’s alright, guv. We know that you’re having problems at your end at this station.”

THOMAS
“Especially at a time like this, what with train services being harassed every day. It must be keeping you busy.”

JEFFRIES
“Quite gentlemen, quite.” (Pause) “Now listen. You two are to take the eleven thirty train in normal conditions. Follow the same destination points to Kelton and Thursdan as per your instructions. I assume Head Office did give you the instructions I asked them to pass onto you.”

THOMAS
“Yes sir.”

PERCY
“Does that mean we have to go through the tunnel?”

JEFFRIES
“My dear gentlemen, you have nothing to fear. Besides I shall be coming on this train journey today. I’d like to see for myself whether these recent rumours are true.”

PERCY
(mock chuckles) “Yeah, don’t we all?”

THOMAS
“We really appreciate you coming along, sir.”

JEFFRIES
“Not at all, gentlemen.”

Jeffries then opens a drawer and takes out two items, before placing them on the desk. He then closes the drawers.

PERCY
“Uh, Mr Jeffries…what are those things you’ve taken out from your drawer?”

THOMAS
“Are they watches, sir?”

JEFFRIES
“Yes. I suppose you could say they are watches.” (Pause) “They’re for both of you, chaps.”

PERCY
(baffled) “Hey?”

THOMAS
(surprised) “For us, sir?”

JEFFRIES
“Yes. Please, do take them.”

Jeffries hands the watches to Thomas and Percy. Thomas and Percy take the watches without objection and examine them with interest.

JEFFRIES
“Oh and please. Put them on!”

Puzzled by Jeffries’ request, Thomas and Percy put the watch-like items on and tighten the straps on their wrists.

PERCY
“Here! What are these crystal things in the centre of our watches?”

JEFFRIES
(charmingly sinister) “Just wear them gentlemen. Wear them whilst driving the eleven thirty train and everything will be alright!”

Jeffries lets out a small laugh, that is quite chilling.


SCENE #9 – ADAM’S BEDROOM, ADAM’S HOUSE, HUTTLE – DAY – SPRING 1963
Meanwhile in a house not so far away from the station, Mr. Henry Adams is in bed snoring away loudly with dawn about to break. His wife Alice calls up to him as she walks up the stairs to his bedroom.

ALICE
(calls) “Henry? Henry! Come on love, its nine o’clock in the morning! You’re going to miss the eleven thirty train if you snore away like that!”

Adams rouses from his sleep and groans, annoyed. He slowly comes round and sits up in bed, trying to focus and shrug his sleepiness off.

ADAMS
(mutters) “Why is it that the wife always wakes me?”

There is a persistent knock on the door from outside.

ALICE
(calls) “Henry? Henry, wake up!”

ADAMS
(calls back; irritably) “I’m up, dear! Don’t knock so loud, my dear.”

ALICE
“Well can I come in? I’ve got your tea and newspaper waiting.”

ADAMS
(irritably) “Yes, yes. Come in!”

Alice enters, carrying the tray with tea and newspaper on it and making his way to Adams. She places the tray neatly on her husband’s lap whilst in bed.

ALICE
(cheerily) “Morning, dear! Sleep well last night?”

ADAMS
(grumpily) “Yes, for what it’s worth.”

ALICE
“Well enjoy your newspaper, dear. Don’t let you tea get cold now.”

ADAMS
(pleased) “Yes thank you, my dear! Where would I be without you with the newspaper and a cup of tea to start the day?”

Adams begins looking through his newspaper, whilst Alice takes the cup of tea from his tray and places it on his bedside table.

ALICE
“Your tea’s right here on your beside table when you want it, dear.”

Adams doesn’t respond as he’s absorbed in his newspaper.

ALICE
“By the way dear, can I use the car today? I’ve got to pop into town.”

ADAMS
(distracted; disturbed) “Oh no!”

ALICE
“Does that mean I can’t?”

ADAMS
(shocked) “Oh no! No, no, no!”

ALICE
(concerned) “Are you alright, Henry? What’s the matter?”

ADAMS
(hotly) “No I’m not alright, dear. In fact I’m horrified. I’ve never read such shocking news in all of my life!”

ALICE
“Can I at least know what is it that’s troubling you, dear?”

ADAMS
“A train disappeared last night. It’s happened again and without trace.”

ALICE
(concerned) “Oh no. That’s terrible. Did they say when it was last seen last night.”

ADAMS
“Not really. The paper says that the six thirty train that left Huttle station never arrived on its way to Kelton. It disappeared mysteriously as before.”

ALICE
“Oh dear. That’s the third time that’s happened these last few weeks. And one of the express trains no doubt.”

ADAMS
“Yes. I want to know why this is happening. And I want to know now!”

Alice lifts the cup of tea from Adams’ bedside table and passed it to him.

ALICE
(gently) “Drink your tea, dear. I’m sure you’ll sort this out in due course.”

Adams shoves the cup away, to which Alice accidentally drops and smashes to the floor.

ADAMS
(crossly) “Haven’t got time for tea, dear. I’ve got to get dressed!”

Adams gets out of bed, as he makes a dash for the bathroom.

ALICE
(calls) “What are you going to do, dear?”

ADAMS
“I’m going to see Mr. Jeffries, the station master! I’m going to make him stop the eleven thirty train from Huttle today! I’ll show him how serious this business is this time! This newspaper says it all.”

Adams waves the newspaper in his hand, before making for the bathroom. Alice remains silent for a moment, before picking up the pieces of broken cup from the floor.


 © Tim Bradley, 2016

 Go back to

‘Introduction’ to ‘The Railway of Time’

Go next to

‘Part One, Chapter 2’ of ‘The Railway of Time’

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Return to ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’
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2 thoughts on “‘The Railway of Time’, Part One, Chapter 1

  1. I’m speechless, utterly speechless, this is a amazing first chapter Tim, you really captured the Fifth Doctor era & the characters of the Doctor & Nyssa quite brilliantly my friend, your storytelling flows off the page, Big Finish adapt this to audio now & give Mr Bradley a job.

    I’ll be sure to continue reading this story but next time with a nice cup of hot chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Timelord Simon. Glad you enjoyed the first chapter of my story and that it made you speechless. Hope you continue to enjoy reading more of the story with your hot chocolate. 😀

      Very pleased that you think I’ve captured the Fifth Doctor era and the characters of the Doctor and Nyssa in my story.

      I look forward to hear more feedback from you soon on ‘The Railway of Time’. I hope to upload the rest of my story soon. Thanks. Tim. 🙂

      Like

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