‘The Space Hotel’, Part One, Chapter 3

dining room

3. Evening Arrangements

SCENE #19 – INT – HOTEL BAR #5, LEVEL #5 – 37TH CENTURY – AFTERNOON
It is now the afternoon. At one of the hotel bars on Level #5, the Doctor is having a reconstituted lemonade with ice. He sips his drink, whilst reading some magazine at the bar. The barman walks by.

BARMAN
“Enjoying your lemonade, sir?”

DOCTOR
“Yes, thank you.”

BARMAN
“More ice?”

DOCTOR
“Crushed, please.”

BARMAN
“Very good, sir.”

The barman walks away behind the bar, as the Doctor continues reading. He turns over a page to see something of interest to him.

DOCTOR
(astounded) “What?!” (Pause) “Zetrax Seven one hundred and thirty eight to nine…Googlo two hundred and four! Googlo won by sixty runs!” (sighs) “I don’t know what this game’s coming to!”

ADMIRAL
“You’re into cricket, sir?”

The Doctor is startled, as Admiral Brown comes up and stands next to him.

DOCTOR
(startled) “Yes! Yes I am!”

ADMIRAL
“I wondered why you were wearing that cricketing gear! I thought you’d just put that on for laughs!”

DOCTOR
(chuckles) “Yes, I do tend to have that effect.”

Moment of silence.

ADMIRAL
“Brown. Admiral Jonathan Brown!”

DOCTOR
I’m called the Doctor! Nice to meet you, Admiral”

Both men shake hands.

ADMIRAL
(puzzled) “Have I met you somewhere before?”

DOCTOR
“Possibly. But with a different face.”

ADMIRAL
(thinks) “Was there…a man and a woman with you?”

DOCTOR
“Yes, and my grand-daughter, Susan.”

ADMIRAL
“Yes of course!” (dreamily) “A beautiful woman that Barbara!” (Pause) “We certainly met last year!” (puzzled) “You look younger though.”

DOCTOR
(apprehensive) “I may look young but I can still remember Chesterfield’s name!”

There is then a commotion outside, as people are running past the bar area.

ADMIRAL
“I say! There’s a crowd running out into the promenade! Something’s taken their fancy! What’s all the commotion?”

DOCTOR
(concerned) “What indeed? I wonder!”

The Doctor gets up from his seat.

ADMIRAL
“Doctor? Am I to understand you are following that crowd?”

DOCTOR
“I certainly am, Admiral! I certainly am!”

The Doctor heads out of the bar to follow the crowd.


SCENE #20 – INT – CORRIDOR, LEVEL #59 – 37TH CENTURY – AFTERNOON
A crowd has gathered outside the entrance to the simi-suite #3 on Level #59. Hotel guests are curious; concerned and horrified, as the dead bodies of Joe and Jo are carried out from the simi-suite. The security guards try to keep the crowd back with dodgy results.

SECURITY GUARD
(shouts) “Get back! Get back, all of you! There’s nothing to see! Only a few dead bodies!”

The Doctor then arrives, as he passes his way through the crowd.

DOCTOR
(shouts) “Excuse me! Excuse me! Coming through! I’m the Doctor! The Doctor’s coming through!”

The security guard blocks the Doctor’s path.

SECURITY GUARD
“Sorry, sir. I’m afraid there’s been an accident! I’m going to have to ask you to stand back!”

DOCTOR
“I realise that! But I’m the Doctor! And have you seen two friends of mine?”

NYSSA
(calls) “Doctor!”

BILLY
(calls) “Over here!”

DOCTOR
(calls back)“Nyssa! Billy! Coming through”

The Doctor makes his way past the security guard once as he hears Nyssa and Billy call to him. Nyssa and Billy are where the dead bodies lie at the simi-suite entrance. The Doctor meets up with Nyssa and Billy, before he sees the bodies.

DOCTOR
“Oh my! How untidy!” (to Nyssa) “Nyssa? Are you hurt?”

NYSSA
“No, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Billy?”

BILLY
“I’m fine.”

DOCTOR
“I was so worried about you two I thought something really bad had happened!”

BILLY
“But something bad has happened!”

NYSSA
“Doctor, this couple were hanged from a castle wall inside simi-suite #3!”

DOCTOR
“Let me see.”

The Doctor kneels down to inspect the corpses. Admiral Brown meanwhile pushes his way through the crowd.

ADMIRAL
“Excuse me? Coming through.”

The security guard blocks his path.

SECURITY GUARD
“Sorry, sir! You can’t come through here.”

ADMIRAL
“I am Admiral Brown, young man. I’m a resident in this hotel!”

Before the security guard protests, the Admiral passes by him to reach the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.

ADMIRAL
“Now, what’s going on here…?”

The Admiral sees the dead bodies.

ADMIRAL
“Oh I say! What is that couple doing lying on the floor for?”

The Doctor meanwhile takes a closer look at the corpses.

NYSSA
“The simulation must have initiated some psychological imbalance to cause their deaths. Or perhaps the induction coils or safety valve protocols aren’t working.” (Pause) “Any opinions, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(intrigued) “I can’t say yet!” (Pause) “I can’t see either! Where are my glasses?”

The Doctor fumbles in his pockets, takes out his glasses and slips them on.

BILLY
“I didn’t know you wore glasses, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Only occasionally, Billy.”

Nyssa and Billy watch, as the Doctor carefully examines the corpses. Whilst this happens, the security guard stops another person passing through the crowd.

SECURITY GUARD
“Sorry, sir! You can’t pass here!”

GORDON
(shouts angrily) “Can’t pass! Can’t pass! I’m the owner of this hotel, you bumbling guard!”

SECURITY GUARD
(trembles) “I-I-I-I…I’m sorry, sir. I…I didn’t realise…”

GORDON
(shouts) “Get out of my way!”

Gordon pushes the security guard out of the way, sending him to the floor. He then witnesses the horrible sight on the floor.

GORDON
(aghast) “Aww! What a mess! Who left these two on the floor?”

ADMIRAL
“It’s a very fascinating sight, isn’t it?” (to Gordon) “Any sign of the papers, Rotenhend?”

GORDON
“No not yet, Admiral!”

Meanwhile…

NYSSA
“Doctor? Any theories now?”

The Doctor finishes examining the corpses and becomes grimly silent before answering.

DOCTOR
“Yes, Nyssa. They’re definitely dead.”

NYSSA
(exasperated) “We know that, Doctor!”

GORDON
“Duh! We can see that from here!What do we do with them now? Do we give them a haircut for the funeral? Do we eat them? Do we hang them up in the trees and let the birds get them? Do we bury them? Or what?”

DOCTOR
(abjectly) “Those suggestions won’t be necessary, Mr. Rotenhend.”

NYSSA
(appalled) “They’re utterly ghastly suggestions!”

ADMIRAL
“Shot, were they?”

BILLY
“No, they were hanged!”

DOCTOR
“They weren’t hanged, Billy!”

BILLY
(objects) “But Nyssa and I saw them, Doctor! They were dangling from the castle wall!”

DOCTOR
“That maybe so. But hanging didn’t kill them!”

NYSSA
“How can you tell?”

DOCTOR
“Look at their necks! No swelling or cuts on the two of them! In fact, there’s no mark on them to say that they were shot, stabbed or hanged in any form!”

BILLY
“So they didn’t get shot then.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. I believe I did say that!”

NYSSA
“Then what was the cause of death?”

The Doctor takes his glasses off first before answering.

DOCTOR
(perplexed) “I don’t know.” (thinks) “Who are these two people any way? Did you know them?”

NYSSA
“No we didn’t. They were dead when we saw them!”

DOCTOR
“I see.” (to Gordon) “Mr. Rotenhend? Would you happen to know who this couple are?”

GORDON
(raises voice) “Who this couple are?!”

DOCTOR
“Yes.”

GORDON
(shouts angrily) “You expect me to know who this couple are?!”

DOCTOR
“Yes.”

GORDON
(gradually; softly) “I shall go and find out, Doctor. Be back soon.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you.”

Gordon leaves to find the information at the Doctor’s request.

DOCTOR
(to Nyssa) “Was this the simi-suite that you found them in? Simu-suite #3?”

NYSSA
“Yes.”

BILLY
“Could this be a homicide or something?”

NYSSA
“There could be many causes to their deaths? Sleep disorder. Atomic radiation. Holographic caesura. Or even some form of radiation leakage.”

DOCTOR
(impressed) “Very good theories, Nyssa!”

NYSSA
“Thank you, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“But I’m afraid not much help right now. We need facts!” (Pause) “Come on!”

BILLY
“Where are we going?”

DOCTOR
“To see if we can find any answers in here. In the simi-suite.”

The Doctor makes to enter the simi-suite, before he takes something out from his coat pocket.

DOCTOR
“And I’ll be able to put this to good use!”

NYSSA
“Your new sonic screwdriver, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
(excited) “Yes! Let’s go!”

The Doctor makes his way into the simi-suite with his new sonic screwdriver in hand. Nyssa and Billy follow.


SCENE #21 – INT – LOBBY, LEVEL #1 – 37TH CENTURY – AFTERNOON
At reception in the lobby on Level #1, a man named Mr. Stedman enters. He walks in, feeling rather queasy and stiff, but maintaining control. He walks up to the reception desk, where he rests his hand on it, breathes deeply and sighs with exhaustion.

STEDMAN
“Oh dear me.”

Joel Rotenhend then enters, as he sees Mr. Stedman at the reception desk.

JOEL
“Why Mr. Stedman!”

STEDMAN
“Oh. Hello Joel.”

Stedman then starts to feel a tummy ache, as Joel comes behind the reception desk.

JOEL
(concerned) “Are you feeling alright, sir?”

STEDMAN
“No, not really. I’ve just had a business meeting with some friends of mine on Vigilantusberisnon. We went for a meal and the food has upset me.”

JOEL
“Oh I’m sorry about that. Would you like me to fetch you something to…?”

STEDMAN
“No, no. I’ll be fine. Just need a rest that’s all. Could I have my key please?”

JOEL
“Of course. Number eighty-eight, isn’t it?”

STEDMAN
“That’s right.”

Joel fetches the key.

JOEL
“There you are, sir.”

STEDMAN
“Thank you.”

Stedman then feels queasy again.

JOEL
“Are you sure you don’t want anything…?”

STEDMAN
“No, no. I’ll be fine. Thank you.”

Mr. Stedman walks off, as he makes to head for his room. Gordon then enters and he sees his son at the reception desk.

GORDON
(shouts) “Ah! So you finally came to your senses at last, my son.”

JOEL
“Bye, Dad!”

GORDON
“Don’t walk away from reception! Or from you dad! Come back here!”

But Joel has already gone and left reception. Gordon tuts, as he goes behind the reception desk.

GORDON
“Kids these days!”

Gordon then accesses the reception computer, as he looks for details of the couple who have just died. He presses a few buttons on the keyboard.

GORDON
“Entering search…”

Then he presses a button to begin the search.

GORDON
“Then…enter!”

The search begins but takes a while for the information to come up. Moment of silence, as Gordon fumes impatiently.

GORDON
(impatiently) “Come on! Come on! What’s the matter with you?”

He bangs his fist on the reception desk which vibrates loudly. Elizabeth then enters, as she approaches Gordon at the reception desk.

ELIZABETH
“Gordon? Have you managed to put the pictures up in corridor one hundred and one point twenty-four?”

GORDON
“No.”

ELIZABETH
“Have you put the moose’s head up in the bar?”

GORDON
“No.”

ELIZABETH
“Have you dealt with the builders with that hole in the cargo hold wall?”

GORDON
(shouts) “NO! No, no, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!”

Moment of silence.

ELIZABETH
“But…”

GORDON
(shouts) “I SAID NO! NO! No, woman! I haven’t done the pictures; I haven’t put the moose’s head up and I haven’t done that ‘blasted’ hole in the cargo hold wall!”

ELIZABETH
“It’s your job as hotel…”

GORDON
“Do you tell me how to do my job, Elizabeth?!”

ELIZABETH
“What are you doing anyway?”

GORDON
“There’s a dead couple dumped outside one of the simi-suites! The Doctor asked me to find out what the names of that couple was!”

ELIZABETH
“The Doctor? The Doctor asked you?”

GORDON
“Why not? He is a Doctor!”

Bob then enters, as he approaches the desk.

BOB
“Excuse me?”

GORDON
(shouts) “What do you want?”

ELIZABETH
“Hello, Mr. Hill? What can we do for you?”

GORDON
(shouts) “I was here first!”

ELIZABETH
“Well it’s my turn now then, okay?” (to Bob) “Do go on, Mr. Hill!”

BOB
“Could we have two sandwiches and a pot of tea for two sent up, please? Both with chicken and stuffing?”

ELIZABETH
“Of course.”

BOB
“And can we make a reservation for dinner tonight?”

ELIZABETH
“Of course. I’ll check the schedule.”

Elizabeth checks the schedule for tonight’s dinner.

ELIZABETH
“Err…would seven thirty be alright for you and Mr. Cooper?”

BOB
“Yes. Seven thirty would be great!”

ELIZABETH
“Okay. I’ll just put it down on the computer.”

Elizabeth enters the information on the computer before Gordon finishes his search and leaves the reception desk.

GORDON
“Right that’s me done!”

ELIZABETH
“Gordon? Where are you going?”

GORDON
“I’m going to see the Doctor, dear. He’ll need this information!”

Gordon leaves the lobby, whilst Elizabeth still tends to Bob’s request.

ELIZABETH
“There we are, Mr. Hill. You and Mr. Cooper have been entered for dinner at seven thirty. The dining room’s on level forty-one.”

BOB
“Thank you.”

Bruce the android then enters.

ELIZABETH
“Ah, Bruce! There you are!”

BOB
“Hello, robot!”

BRUCE
(drearily; annoyed) “Oh what’s the point?”

ELIZABETH
“Bruce. See to it that two chicken and stuffing sandwiches and a pot of tea for two are sent to Room two twenty-five at once, please.”

BRUCE
“Can’t Truk the chef, do it?”

ELIZABETH
“No he can’t, Bruce.” (matter-of-factually) “Because he has to make the sandwiches, and you’ll have to deliver them.”

BRUCE
(glumly) “Oh.”


SCENE #22 – INT – SIMI-SUITE #3, LEVEL #59 – 37TH CENTURY – AFTERNOON
Meanwhile in simi-suite #3 on Level #59, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy investigate what’s caused the deaths of Joe and Jo. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver, as it whirs and buzzes away.

BILLY
“This place seems so dull and empty now! What are all these grids?”

NYSSA
“This setting is the default mode for the holographic base where the simulations take place, Billy. The grids are membranes to generate the images, people and places anyone wants.”

BILLY
(sadly) “It’s a shame that couple were real. If they weren’t, then they wouldn’t be dead.”

NYSSA
(to Doctor) “Has the sonic screwdriver detected anything, Doctor?”

The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver.

DOCTOR
“The screwdriver’s picked up some random emissions. The oscillating frequencies are still normal. The holographic emitters are registering. But nothing to indicate that anything harmful or toxic interfered with the operations of this streamline base.”

NYSSA
“What about the synthetic stabilisers?”

DOCTOR
“They’re functioning alright. There’s no evidence here to indicate the couple’s death was accidental or homicidal!” (Pause) “Unless the screwdriver’s playing up!”

BILLY
“The cause of death could have been before they went in the suite? They might have eaten something that’d given them stomach aches or something.”

DOCTOR
(thinks) “Possibly. Though I daresay there’s a lot more to this.”

NYSSA
“You discovered something earlier?”

DOCTOR
“Yes I did. Or something that concerned me.”

BILLY
“What was it, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Well two men arrived from a crashed spaceship that was announced about earlier. They were carrying some equipment that seemed rather disturbing. Holo-emitter stabilisers!”

NYSSA
“What were they doing with those then?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t know. But I suspect there’s something fishy about this!”

BILLY
“And what are…holo-emitter stabilisers?”

NYSSA
“They’re generator packs which are meant to maintain a virtual reality scenario for longer periods of time.”

DOCTOR
“But beyond the confines of a simulated base. They can conduct holographic simulations without actually being in the selected environment for a holographic simulation such as this simu-suite.”

NYSSA
“But that would require huge amounts of electron particles and mathematical computations and models! A systems modelling unit would have to be implemented.”

DOCTOR
“I’d say it would be a very huge amount! Say…a hundred thousand or so.”

NYSSA
“Or five hundred thousand.”

DOCTOR
“Or a million.”

BILLY
“A million?!”

DOCTOR
“Yes. Even a billion or a trillion. High level of infinite improbability.”

NYSSA
“But where would they get that sort of power from?”

DOCTOR
“Well that’s what I wanted to find out. But the two gentlemen seemed reluctant to disclose any details. Which raises the question – why?”

BILLY
(baffled) “Sorry. I’m not following this. How does this relate to the couple who died?”

Before the Doctor can answer, the suite doors open and close as Gordon enters.

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Ah! Mr. Rotenhend! Did you manage to find out who that couple were?”

GORDON
(grimly) “I did! And a very common couple if I may so! Their names were Joseph Fielding and Josephine House. They were in room sixteen and messed about all over the place in the most appalling and disgusting manner!”

DOCTOR
“Yes. Well it’s such a shame they’re dead. I would have liked to have known what caused them to die!”

GORDON
“Well if you ask me, they got what they deserved. Such complaining and unsatisfied pests they were! The woman kept saying her prawns were off when she had them…”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “Thank you, Mr. Rotenhend. You may go.”

GORDON
(self-satisfied) “Well, not at all! Glad to be of help!”

Gordon makes to leave before turning back to them.

GORDON
“On behalf of the hotel, we would like to offer you dinner tonight as our guest, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you! I’ll consider it!”

GORDON
“Thank you! And do bring your other guests, Miss…”

NYSSA
“I’m Nyssa of Traken.”

GORDON
“Traken.” (guesses) “Lady, I presume?”

NYSSA
“Yes. I am a Lady.”

GORDON
(pleased) “Splendid! Splendid!” (to Doctor) “You have such good company, Doctor. Bring Lady Nyssa with you, and of course young Sir Walker.”

BILLY
“Oh, I’m not a sir.”

GORDON
(coldly) “What?”

BILLY
“I’m just a ordinary mister. Mr. Billy Walker.”

GORDON
(gradually; disappointed) “I see.” (Pause) “I’ll be off now.”

Gordon heads out of the simi-suite. The doors open and close as he leaves.

NYSSA
“Doctor! Mr. Rotenhend wasn’t concerned at all about the couple that died! He didn’t consider the impact it might have on his hotel!”

DOCTOR
“Oh I don’t think we should judge Mr. Rotenhend too much as of yet! Besides…Mr. Rotenhend is class conscious.”

BILLY
“Well he certainly didn’t look favourably at me! When I said I was just an ordinary person, he seemed disgusted!”

DOCTOR
“Oh don’t put yourself down, Billy. It’s not your fault that you weren’t brought up to be a lord and a lady like Nyssa and me.”

NYSSA
“What do you plan to do, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Be at this dinner that Mr. Rotenhend’s so kindly offered to me.”

NYSSA
“You think those two men you met earlier will be there?”

DOCTOR
“You read my mind, Nyssa. And I hope they’ll be more co-operative this time round. Or at least they’ll provide a lead to whatever they’re planning to do.”

BILLY
“Does that mean we all go?”

NYSSA
“We can’t go, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Oh?”

NYSSA
“Billy and I have a dinner date to a dance later on. In one of the simi-suites. Unless you’d advise us not to go in one of the simi-suites again.”

DOCTOR
“No, no of course not. Just don’t go into this one again. It still could be hiding something we’re overlooking. Try the next level down. They have some suites there.”

NYSSA
“Thank you, Doctor.”

BILLY
“Are you sure you’ll be alright with that, Doctor? With me and Nyssa going to the dance?”

DOCTOR
“Yes. You two enjoy yourselves.”

BILLY
“We don’t want to put you out.”

Nyssa takes Billy with her.

NYSSA
(insistently) “Billy. The Doctor said we can go. Now you go and arrange a booking to one of the suites on level sixty and see to it that our evening’s ready.”

BILLY
(pleased) “Oh. Alright then.” (to Doctor) “See you, Doctor.”

NYSSA
“Look after yourself, Doctor.”

The Doctor is left alone, as he switches on his sonic screwdriver.

DOCTOR
“Yeah. I’ll be dappling around a bit here with my sonic screwdriver just to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything. Check for any thermal or spatial variances. Then I’m off for dinner.”

As the Doctor works away, Nyssa leads Billy out of the simi-suite.

BILLY
“What will you be doing, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
(realises) “Oh. I’ll be going back to the TARDIS.”

BILLY
“Why?”

NYSSA
“I need to fetch something for this evening.”

BILLY
(intrigued) “Oh.”

The suite doors open and close, as Billy and Nyssa leave the Doctor to his work.


SCENE #23 – INT – DINING ROOM, LEVEL #44 – 37TH CENTURY – EVENING
That evening at 7:30, the dining room on Level #44 is almost packed. Waiters and waitresses serve various guests at tables, carrying trays containing drinks and plates filled with meals; or pulling trolleys with meals on them. Larry and Bob enter the dining room, as they wait to be attended to.

LARRY
“Well, well, well. This is nice isn’t it, Bob? And to think, it’s all ours!”

BOB
“There are other guests here, Larry. Remember that.”

LARRY
“What are you going to have?”

BOB
“Say, Larry? We’ve got to be careful how we spend our money! We haven’t got much in terms of cash you know.”

LARRY
“I know that. What are you going to have?”

BOB
“Well I’ll just have to see what’s on the menu, won’t I?”

Larry pats Bob on the back.

LARRY
“That’s a good idea!” (calls) “Garcon! Garcon!”

Bruce the android then comes to meet them.

BRUCE
“Yes. What is it?” (glumly) “Oh. It’s you.”

LARRY
“Well, hello there! It’s our mechanical friend!”

Both Larry and Bob chuckle away, whilst Bruce is not amused.

BOB
“Could we have a table for two, please?”

LARRY
“That’s what I was going to say! Anyway it’s three since we’ve got our client to come as well” (to Bruce) “So can we have a table for three, please?”

BRUCE
(drearily) “Here. Come on. I’ll take you to your table. Not that I’d like to bother, but there you are. That’s life for me. Oh life.”

Bruce drearily escorts Larry and Bob to their table. Larry and Bob follow on happily. Meanwhile, the Doctor enters the dining room. Enuji comes by him, as she collects drinking glasses from tables out of random and puts them on a tray to be taken away. She huffs and puffs doing this job and doesn’t notice the Doctor as he watches her.

DOCTOR
“Good evening.”

ENUJI
“Na!”

Enuji carries on taking glasses and putting them on tray, before turning to the Doctor again.

ENUJI
“Ceset not easy for me! Mema homesick! Ballas dura on frey!”

DOCTOR
“I’m in room two-sixteen. I would like to have a table to sit at, please!”

ENUJI
“Coo?”

DOCTOR
(slowly) “Table…to sit at.”

Joel then enters.

JOEL
“It’s alright, Enuji! I’ll deal with this.” (to Doctor) “If you’ll follow me, sir!”

DOCTOR
“Thank you.”

The Doctor follows Joel to be taken to his table.

JOEL
“Here’s your table, sir.”

DOCTOR
“Not sir. Call me Doctor.”

JOEL
“Very well, Doctor. I’m sorry about her. She’s new and apparently doesn’t speak much English.” (Pause) “Shall I fetch you a menu?”

DOCTOR
“Err, yes. Thank you!”

JOEL
“I’ll go and see if I can find one.”

Joel goes off. Meanwhile Bruce attends to Larry and Bob, as he finds them a table. They both sit in their chairs.

LARRY
“Ah! This is nice!” (to Bruce) “Thank you, android!”

BRUCE
(abruptly) “Wait a minute. You’re not allowed to sit here.”

LARRY
(shocked) “What?”

BOB
“What?”

BRUCE
“It’s been reserved. Come on. Move over.”

The two men sigh, dissatisfied at being moved, as they go to the next table by Bruce the android.

BRUCE
“Here you are. Come and sit here.”

The two men settle into their seats at this table, though apprehensively.

LARRY
“We’re allowed to sit here?”

BRUCE
“Yes.”

BOB
(challengingly) “Are you sure?”

BRUCE
“Yes.”

Moment of silence.

LARRY
“You’re doubly sure?”

BRUCE
(impatiently) “Yes. I said it three times. Now if you excuse me. I’m busy.”

Bruce the android walks off.

BOB
(self-satisfied) “Well! At least this is nice!”

LARRY
“Hey! We haven’t got a menu!”

BOB
“Oh don’t worry! I’ll sort that out!”

Bob goes over to the next table.

BOB
“Excuse me!”

Bob snatches and takes a menu from the male guest sitting at the next table. The male guest is flabbergasted when this happens, as Bob returns to his table with Larry.

MALE GUEST
“Hey!”

BOB
“Sorry! I’ll return it!” (to Larry) “Here we are, Larry.”

LARRY
“Good. I’ll take that.”

Larry snatches the menu from Bob abruptly, to which Bob is bewildered. Larry opens it to look through it.

LARRY
“Now then! Let’s see what they’ve got, shall we?”

Larry looks through the menu, humming a little tune to himself. Bob then looks to see something that worries him.

BOB
(whispers) “Uh…Larry?”

LARRY
“What is it, Bob?”

BOB
(whispers) “There’s that Doctor fellow. Sitting at the far end of the room.”

Larry takes a swift glance before he sees the Doctor.

LARRY
(coughs quietly, whispers) “Well pretend you haven’t seen him.”

BOB
“Right.”

LARRY
“And hide yourself. Then we won’t get spotted.”

BOB
“It’s easy for you to say. You’ve got the menu.”

Bob and Larry do their best to not be seen by the Doctor in the dining room.


SCENE #24 – INT – CORRIDOR, LEVEL #26 – 37TH CENTURY – EVENING
Billy is waiting outside Room #126 in the corridor on Level #26, as Nyssa is still inside getting ready for the evening. He knocks on the door.

BILLY
(calls) “Nyssa? Are you ready yet?”

NYSSA
(calls within) “Not yet! Just give me a few seconds more.”

Billy paces away from the door and looks out of the window to see out into space.

BILLY
(to himself) “I still can’t believe that I’m in space. It’s a dream come true!” (Pause) “I always knew that there were stars in the sky! And that there were worlds out there that existed with all sorts of life!” (Pause) “But I never even thought it would be as beautiful as this!”

NYSSA
“Be careful what you wish for, Billy.”

Whilst Billy has been talking to himself, Nyssa comes out of the room quietly as she’s now wearing her evening dress for the dance.

BILLY
(amazed) “Nyssa! Well…I must say…you look absolutely stunning!”

NYSSA
(shyly) “Thank you. That’s very kind of you.”

BILLY
“No, I mean it! You look beautiful!” (Pause) “Have you had that dress long?”

NYSSA
“Not really. It was something I wore at a fancy dress ball on Earth in the nineteen twenties. It was meant to resemble something called a…a butterfly! But I decided for this evening to go without the head dress and come with my hair down.”

BILLY
“Well you look lovely!”

NYSSA
“So do you!”

BILLY
(laughs nervously) “Oh this isn’t really the bow tie or tuxedo that some wear at dances. But…I feel it’s appropriate.”

NYSSA
“You’ve set up the program?”

BILLY
“Yes. And I’ve got the music sorted.”

NYSSA
“And the dances?”

BILLY
“Yes. And the dances.” (charmingly) “So, my dear Lady Nyssa. Will you accompany me?”

NYSSA
(plays along) “I’d be delighted!”

They both go off arm in arm, as they make their way to the simi-suite for the dance.

NYSSA
“Which suite have you held the dance in?”

BILLY
“Oh in suite five on level sixty, I believe. Hopefully some people should be there since the hotel computer thing made an announcement about it.”

NYSSA
(concerned) “Well let’s hope no accidents will happen tonight.”

BILLY
“Have you heard anything from the Doctor?”

NYSSA
“No I haven’t.”

BILLY
“I’ll try my best to be…a good dancer by the way!”

NYSSA
“Of course. Just don’t eat too much while we’re there!”

BILLY
(baffled; puzzled) “What’s that supposed to mean?”


SCENE #25 – INT – DINING ROOM, LEVEL #44 – 37TH CENTURY – EVENING
Back in the dining room on Level #44, Joel returns and gives the menu to the Doctor.

JOEL
“Here’s the menu, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you.”

JOEL
“I’ll be back soon to attend to what you’d like to order.”

Joel leaves, whilst the Doctor looks to the menu. Larry and Bob meanwhile keep hiding from the Doctor, as Bruce comes over to their table.

BRUCE
“Hey! You two! What are you doing on the floor?”

Larry and Bob look up as they see the android standing above them.

LARRY
“Doing? What are we doing, Bob?”

BOB
“Err…we lost a spoon. So we went down to pick it up!”

LARRY
“Yes, that’s right!” (play-acting; relieved) “Ah! Found it! Thank you, Bob!”

BOB
“Not at all, Larry!”

The two men get themselves back onto their chairs, being cheerful, whilst trying to avoid the Doctor’s attention.

BRUCE
(drearily) “Anyway. I’ve got a message for you two.”

LARRY
“Oh really. What message is that?”

BRUCE
(drearily) “Your third guest has been delayed. So she can’t come. That is all.”

Bruce then walks off drearily, as he attends to another table.

BOB
“Well of all the low-down, inconsiderate…”

LARRY
“Come on, Bob! We must go now!”

BOB
“But, Larry…”

LARRY
“Don’t you see, Bob? Whilst we’re away, we won’t have to worry much about that Doctor fellow anymore.”

BOB
“Ah. I see.”

LARRY
“So come on!”

The two men slowly get themselves out of their seats, as they make to move quietly from the dining room. But then…SMASH, as a glass falls to the floor.

LARRY
“Bob!”

BOB
“Sorry. Accident.”

LARRY
“Well don’t do it again!”

Moment of silence.

BOB
“Err…Larry!”

LARRY
“What is it?”

BOB
“That Doctor! He’s spotted us!”

LARRY
“Oh no!”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully; from a distance) “Ah! Hello there, Mr Cooper; Mr Hill!”

LARRY
“Quick, Bob! Leg it!”

BOB
“Right you are, Larry!”

The two men make a dash for it out of the dining room. The Doctor watches them go.

DOCTOR
“Oh dear. They seem to be uncooperative again.” (Pause) “Oh well. I suppose I better catch them up.”

The Doctor gets up, as Joel then comes by.

JOEL
“Are you ready to order, sir?”

DOCTOR
“No time sorry! Got to dash now!”

Joel is completely baffled, as the Doctor leaves. Bruce then comes by.

BRUCE
“Is there anything the matter, Master Rotenhend? Not that I bother asking mind.”

JOEL
“I think we have another unsatisfied customer, Bruce.”

Gordon then enters.

GORDON
“Hello, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(hurriedly) “Hello, Mr. Rotenhend! Can’t stop!”

The Doctor dashes past Gordon in a rush. Gordon fumes furiously after the Doctor’s gone.

GORDON
(shouts; furiously) “Joel! Joel! What have you been saying to that Doctor? Have you upset him already?”


© Tim Bradley, 2016

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‘Part One, Chapter 2’ of ‘The Space Hotel’

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11 Responses to ‘The Space Hotel’, Part One, Chapter 3

  1. IWishIHadATardis says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Chapter Three, Tim.

    I like that the Admiral has found a connection with the Doctor, that’s very intriguing! Made me chuckle to hear the Doctor trying to defend his recall of Ian’s name.

    The Doctor is doubly intrigued now, with Bob and Larry’s mystery, and with the mystery of the deaths.

    I liked that he went off to dinner like that, and was going to keep an eye on Bob and Larry, while Nyssa and Billy had their evening planned. That was nice to bring Nyssa’s dress from Black Orchid into the storyline.

    This is a really intriguing story, Tim, and I’m looking forward to reading Chapter Four next.

    I really can’t imagine where this story is going to go, and I’m looking forward to finding out.

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley says:

    Thanks Leigh. I’m glad you enjoyed reading Chapter 3.

    Glad you like the connection made between the Admiral and the Doctor in this story so far.

    So the Doctor has been to Rotenhend Hotel 360 before then with Ian; Barbara and Susan. What did you make of that? I’m glad you saw the joke with the Doctor recalling Ian’s name.

    Did you like the moment when the Doctor put his glasses on and Billy was surprised. Were you surprised that the sonic screwdriver makes an appearance in this story?

    Yes the Doctor is doubly interested with the murders and Larry and Bob. Did you like the moments when Larry and Bob try to avoid the Doctor seeing during dinner and failing miserably?

    I’m glad you like how the Doctor splits up from Nyssa and Billy to watch over Larry and Bob, whilst Nyssa and Billy enjoy their evening dance together. Glad you like me bringing Nyssa’s dress from ‘Black Orchid’ into the story. It thought it’d be a nice touch and appropriate for Nyssa when going out for a dance with Billy.

    Did you like the in-jokes and references from ‘Fawlty Towers’ put into this story? Have you spotted many so far? 😀

    Thanks for your lovely comments, Leigh. Glad you’re enjoying this story. Hope you’ll find it interesting later on.

    Hope you’ll enjoy Chapter 4 next. Look forward to hearing your comments on that. BTW, ‘Part Two’ is now online on ‘Bradley’s Basement’.

    Thanks. Tim. 🙂

    Like

  3. IWishIHadATardis says:

    Yes, I was very intrigued by the connection the Admiral made with the Doctor. I bet there’s a story there somewhere – obviously the Admiral was rather taken with Barbara, which I thought was funny! Ian wouldn’t have liked that. The fact that the Doctor has been to Rotenhend Hotel 360 before made me wonder if he knew something about what happened to the other 359 Rotenhend Hotels! Wouldn’t surprise me!

    Yes, I liked it when the Doctor put on his glasses and Billy queried him about it. I suppose Billy would have thought that advanced beings wouldn’t need glasses at all! It’s nice to see the sonic screwdriver in this story, the Doctor always likes using that, doesn’t he?

    The dinner scene is very funny, with Larry and Bob trying to avoid the Doctor seeing them. Of course the Doctor isn’t fooled, and I like that he never got to order his dinner, after all that waiting about beforehand.

    It was nice for Nyssa to have the dress from Black Orchid again, and to think that it was appropriate for her evening out at a dance. A very nice touch, and very ‘right’ for the circumstances.

    I definitely noticed the Fawlty Towers references! I’m a big fan of Fawlty Towers – I noticed the one about the builder, and the stuffed owl, and all the little funny asides. Definitely made me chuckle.

    You’re very welcome indeed, Tim, I’m really liking these stories, and I’m thoroughly enjoying having the chance to read through them.

    I will be on to Chapter Four of Part One, and then get to Part Two next!

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tim Bradley says:

    Thanks Leigh for your kind comments on the latest two chapters you’ve read.

    I won’t mind admitting to you that ‘The Space Hotel’ was a tough story to write in terms of its complexity and ambitious ideas. But it was great fun to like and I enjoyed doing a ‘Fawlty Towers’-style of story with the Doctor; Nyssa and Billy.

    I did attend a writers’ club session at Big Finish Day 6 back in January 2015. John Dorney; Andrew Smith and Simon Guerrier were there, and they had an interesting take on how to approach writing ‘Doctor Who’ stories when they were explaining it to us as the fans who took an interest. I wish I took some notes down, but at the time I just casually went in and didn’t think of it which is a shame. But it was interesting to see how they did it and explained it to us.

    Did you like how Gordon seems to treat the Doctor and Nyssa well, seeing them as a lord and lady? He seems to mistreat Billy after finding out he isn’t lordly as the Doctor and Nyssa are. The Doctor and Nyssa don’t seem to look down on Billy, even if Gordon seems to.

    That’s interesting the point you’ve made about the Doctor, when he’s tetchy with Nyssa and Billy, he’s comfortable with having them around. I suppose that’s true in a sense when the Doctor has companions around him that they tend to get on his nerves even though he’s very fond of them.

    Yes I like the Dixon Hill episodes with Picard too, especially the ‘Clues’ one where Whoopi Goldberg comes in as ‘Gloria’. The word ‘simi-suite’ is actually taken from the word ‘simulation’ in case you didn’t know, which is to distinguish from the word ‘holodeck’ that’s in the spin-off ‘Star Trek’ series.

    Regarding the Doctor’s previous visit to Rotenhend Hotel 360 a year before, I have written the story where the First Doctor; Ian; Barbara and Susan visit the space hotel. This was when I was writing a series of short stories to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ with each of the eleven Doctors in it. The First Doctor story is called ‘The Zondor Robbers’ and Gordon Rotenhend is in that too. Hopefully I’ll post that on my blog someday 😀

    I’m glad you like the moment Billy was surprised by the Doctor wearing glasses. The Fifth Doctor only wore his glasses in a few stories of his TV tenure in ‘Doctor Who’ as well as ‘Time Crash’, and I thought it’d be nice to add in. Interesting about your insight that Billy thinking that advanced beings like the Doctor doesn’t need to wear glasses. I like that.

    Yes! I love the sonic screwdriver and it’s a shame it got destroyed in ‘The Visitation’ for the Fifth Doctor and he never used it again after that. It got a little annoyed when in the TV stories and in the Big Finish, the Doctor and companions kept repeatedly saying ‘if only we still had the sonic screwdriver’. The Doctor said in ‘Circular Time: Summer’ that he ‘must get around to making one’, so for this story by me, he actually makes it and gets to use it. Yes you’re right. I think he likes using the sonic screwdriver, even though it took him a while to get to use it again by Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann’s Doctors.

    I’m glad you like the dinner scenes with Larry and Bob avoiding the Doctor. I thought they’d be funny to write when I wrote them. I thought it’d be funny if the Doctor just saw them and said “Ah, hello there!” before they ran away.

    Well Nyssa deserves a break doesn’t she from all the hard work she has helping out the Doctor in his adventures. And it’s nice to share that with Billy. I liked the idea that Nyssa goes to the dance without the head dress for the occasion. There’s a very nice piece of fan artwork with Nyssa in her fancy dress from ‘Black Orchid’. I’ll have to use it for one of the chapters in the story.

    Oh good! I’m glad you’re a big fan of ‘Fawlty Towers’. Glad you can see the references from the sitcom series and that they made you chuckle. My favourite episodes are ‘Communication Problems’; ‘Gourmet Night’ and ‘The Kipper and the Corpse’. There are some nods of ‘The Kipper and the Corpse’ in this episode and in ‘Part Two’ in case you haven’t discovered them yet.

    Thanks for your kind comments Leigh.

    I’m really looking forward to reading your feedback on ‘Part One, Chapter 4’ and then eventually on ‘Part Two’.

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

  5. IWishIHadATardis says:

    You’re very welcome, Tim; it’s been a pleasure to read your ongoing story.

    I should imagine The Space Hotel was tricky to write; you’d have to blend not only the narrative with the Doctor in it, but also the elements you’re bringing in from outside, with the comic and the farce elements into the serious sci-fi story. Very tough, I should think.

    That writers’ club session would have been most interesting! Three writers who always write such well-paced and fascinating stories, filled with really intriguing ideas and great elements of characterisation; that would have been most interesting. With any luck, they might have another session at one of the Big Finish Days again.

    I found it amusing the way that Gordon didn’t treat Billy very well when he found out he wasn’t a lord. The Doctor and Nyssa don’t look down on Billy at all; sometimes in some stories Nyssa seems to be very conscious of her status as a lady of Traken, but she never uses it against those with whom she is friends and companions.

    I think the Doctor feels free to be tetchy with his friends, as he knows that they know that he’s only letting off a little steam; he would never intentionally insult or upset anybody he cared about, so if he’s comfortable with someone, he knows that he can be a little short and sharp with them, knowing that they know he doesn’t mean it as a personal insult. Like the way he gets a bit shirty with Tegan sometimes; he really does care, of course, but it’s a way of allowing his frustration out.

    I did pick up on the origins of the word simi-suite, I thought that was very clever. Perhaps you should patent it, before someone invents them!

    Oh, that’s very interesting that you’ve written the story of the Doctor’s previous visit to Rotenhend Hotel 360 as the First Doctor, with Ian, Barbara and Susan. That would be great if one day you were able to put those stories on your blog. They would be very interesting, I know.

    The Fifth Doctor, like the Tenth Doctor, only brings out his glasses on the odd occasion, doesn’t he? I think he brings them out when he needs time to think about something, and really concentrate on it, and isn’t quite sure what to make of what’s going on around him. The Tenth Doctor seems to get them out when he’s really concentrating on something that requires extra thinking, and I think the Fifth Doctor did a similar thing. Thanks, Tim, I’m glad you like my thought about Billy’s thinking the Doctor wouldn’t need such things.

    I think the sonic screwdriver is a great tool, but sometimes, especially in the series lately, it has become too over-used and too much of a ‘get out of every situation without difficulty’ tool, where it should really be used as a tool, not that fixes every single thing, but one that the Doctor uses when his own ingenuity isn’t quite enough on its own. Over-use of it makes it seem less special, and the sonic screwdriver is a special thing. I like the sonic screwdriver, as well.

    I did like the dinner scene – having the Fifth Doctor saying that like that is exactly right for him – you could imagine him doing it.

    I think you’re right, it’s nice for Nyssa to have some time to be a young lady, instead of having to deal with all the trouble and stress that she sometimes has to bear when travelling alone with the Doctor. That would be very difficult to have to deal with all the time, so it’s nice for her to have someone more her own age, as well as someone who can introduce her to leisure and fun activities that she may not be familiar with, like the cinema and the dance.

    Definitely made me chuckle with the Fawlty Towers references.

    You’re very welcome, Tim. I shall be getting on to Chapter 4 next – pacing myself so I don’t get too far ahead too quickly!

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tim Bradley says:

    Thanks Leigh for your kind comments.

    Well with Nyssa, I always felt that writers tended to focus more on her serious side and being a technical person which she’s very good at. I wanted to explore more of Nyssa as a person and to enjoy herself more in the TARDIS when travelling with the Doctor. So having Nyssa spend time with Billy at a dance allowed her to enjoy herself and get to show her sense of humour more.

    Yes the sonic screwdriver (or ‘sonic shades’) have been used too much lately. It wasn’t a deliberate plan of mine to have the Fifth Doctor use the sonic screwdriver so much after this story, but just to have him use it for this one so that he had got round to making a sonic screwdriver and that there’s always one at hand in a drawer full of sonic screwdrivers should he need it whenever.

    I like the comparisons you’ve made about the Fifth Doctor and Tenth Doctor and how they wear glasses in your comments. Very intriguing insight into this and ones which I concur with. 🙂

    I don’t know when I’ll get round to posting that First Doctor story with Ian; Barbara and Susan, but hopefully it’ll be sometime soon.

    Thanks Leigh. I laughed at that when you suggested about patenting for simi-suites. 😀

    Yes that’s true about the Fifth Doctor letting off steam, especially when he gets shirty with Tegan. Although Tegan was sometimes difficult for the Doctor to deal with, as she was complaining and wanting to get back to Heathrow Airport. The Doctor doesn’t have that same problem with Nyssa and Billy as they want to be there with him in the TARDIS (though the Doctor is still getting to know Billy at this stage).

    I really like your insight in the comments you’ve made about the Doctor; Nyssa and Billy, especially with Nyssa who doesn’t look down on people like Billy as she’s a lady herself and doesn’t let her status interfere with the friends she makes.

    What did you make of Larry and Bob’s interaction with Bruce the android?

    Thanks again, Leigh. I’m going to respond to your feedback on Chapter 4 now. Tim. 🙂

    Like

  7. IWishIHadATardis says:

    Thanks, Tim.

    Ha, I like the idea of the Doctor having a drawer full of sonic screwdrivers – the image made me chuckle!

    I think the thing with people like Larry and Bob is that they seem very rooted in a world that isn’t really technological, don’t they? Part of that is in their approach to things, so it’s odd to see them being involved with technology, which is what has interested the Doctor in their activities. But aside from that, it makes them somehow more able, and less able, to deal with someone like Bruce. They try to relate to him on a human level, but Bruce, while more emotive than a real human, is still technology, so they’re a little less able to relate with him. Interesting juxtaposition of the two cultural viewpoints, from that of Larry and Bob, to that of Bruce. None of them really fit into the world in which they find themselves, but they’re better at trying to make the world round them fit with their own view of it.

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Timelord007 says:

    Wow, talk about writing a Doctor Who/Agatha Christie mystery, I’m loving this story mate & there’s surely something strange about Larry & Bob apprehension with the Doctor, then again there’s something weird about The Admiral, does he know more about the Doctor than he’s letting on perhaps?.

    I did’t like how Gordon spoke to Billy just because he ain’t a Lord, his character is one of those love to loathe characters in Doctor Who.

    Oh & I’m keeping a eye on Bruce the android lol

    You written another gem here Tim, your writing of characters & pacing is outstanding my friend, you hook the reader in immediately & write solid strong plots.

    I could see this easily adapted into a Big Finish audio drama mate again your storys are very easy to visualize.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tim Bradley says:

    Thanks Simon!

    I’m pleased you’re enjoying ‘The Space Hotel’ so far with its Agatha Christie elements in it.

    I’m glad you’re noticing Larry and Bob’s apprehension of the Doctor so far in this story. What could they be up to then? They’re certainly having a job trying to hide from the Doctor during dinner, aren’t they?

    Interesting that you’ve noticed something weird about the Admiral. Perhaps he does know something more about the Doctor. Or perhaps there’s something to the Admiral than the Doctor knows. Who can say? You’ll have to read on! 😀

    What did you make of the deaths of Joe and Jo then? Did that shock you?

    Yes Gordon’s snobbery comes through when he discovers Billy isn’t a Lord like the Doctor and he disregards him. It shows Gordon’s true colours there. Billy’s naturally put off. I’m glad that moment stood out for you, Simon.

    Oh are you? Do you think Bruce the android has something to do with the murders then? I shall be intrigued to find out what you make of him later on.

    Nyssa and Billy are about to enjoy themselves going to the dance at the hotel, aren’t they?

    I’m pleased I’ve got you hooked with this story, Simon. I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of ‘Part One’ as well as the rest of this story. I look forward to hearing your thoughts by the end of this episode.

    I’m pleased you find this story easy to visualise for Big Finish audio adaptation. It’d be nice if BF could do that for ‘The Space Hotel’ definitely.

    Thanks Simon.

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

  10. Timelord007 says:

    There’s so much going on with these characters but it doesn’t feel crammed or overbearing, i haven’t a clue were your taking this story but i can’t wait to read more & find out.

    Yes Jo & Joes deaths came as a shock, unlike a certain script editor your not afraid to kill off characters lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tim Bradley says:

    I’m glad you don’t things too overbearing and crammed with the story and characters, Simon. I’m sure you’ll enjoy more about what goes on with the mystery in this story. I hope it won’t be disappointing! 😀

    Well with a murder mystery, you need to start off with a shocking murder of characters don’t you. I don’t like killing off characters, but this is something that can happen in ‘Doctor Who’ can’t it?

    I assume you’re referring to a certain head writer who has cheated death with some of his characters in ‘Doctor Who’. 😀

    Thanks Simon. Tim. 🙂

    Like

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