Category Archives: Tales From /lost+found

Artifacts from an alternative universe where Doctor Who was successfully revived on US TV in 1996

Tales from /lost+found 112: Sideways

1×17 April 11, 1997
SIDEWAYS (Serial 11, Episode 2*)

Setting: San Francisco, California, Present
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Jerry O’Connell (Quinn), Sabrina Lloyd (Wade), Cleavant Derricks (Rembrandt), Kari Wuher (Maggie), Neil Dickson (Rickman)

Plot: Despite his reservations, the Doctor and Lizzie follow the sliders through the wormhole to avoid being crushed. They find themselves in a futuristic world, but one which seems devoid of life. The Doctor is severely affected because the different temporal constants of this universe affect his Time Lord senses. They soon discover that this world was depopulated by a mutant species of insect. They find a group of survivors who treat them with suspicion. Rickman has already been and gone, leaving one of their group comatose. Despite his own affliction, the Doctor devises a treatment that helps Rickman’s victim make a partial recovery. Having watched from hiding as the sliders arrived, Rickman opens a vent to allow the insects into the survivors’ stronghold. While defending himself, Quinn discovers that the signal generated by the timer repels the insects. Quinn and the Doctor work together to create a defense for the survivors while Maggie goes to confront Rickman. Rickman has also learned to use his timer to fend off the insects, and drives them toward Maggie. The Doctor and Lizzie attempt to save her, the Doctor using his sonic screwdriver to interfere with Rickman’s timer, damaging it. In spite of the damage, Rickman manages to slide away. Despite the risk of losing Rickman’s trail, Quinn agrees to use their timer’s recall function to return the Doctor and Lizzie to their own universe after building a device which will protect the survivors on this world from the insects. After returning to the Doctor’s universe with only a few minutes on the timer, the sliders discover that Maggie has been infested with insect larva, which erupt from her body, killing her. In shock from Maggie’s sudden death and unwilling to condemn this world, the sliders allow the timer to run out. Since the insects are still few in number, they devise a plan to use the sonic screwdriver and the timer together to attract and destroy the insects. The insects multiply more rapidly than they expected, and Rembrandt sacrifices himself, remaining behind to activate the makeshift weapon rather than waiting to get to a safe distance. While it is normally forbidden for the Doctor to change the past, he realizes that his instinctive discomfort around the sliders is because they are not part of this universe’s web of time. Leaving Lizzie behind to comfort Quinn and Wade, he disappears in the TARDIS, then reappears a moment later with a surprise: he has fetched Rembrandt and Maggie from the compactor a moment before they slid. He warns that they should not return to this universe, as it may cause a paradox. Quinn reminds him that, having missed their window, they will not be able to slide again for 27 years. The Doctor reveals that he had pocketed the timer before departing and waited out the delay. It now shows only a few minutes before they can slide. Quinn is still unconvinced about the possibility of time travel, but can come up with no other explanation. Once the sliders depart, Lizzie notices that the Doctor seems older, and he confesses that it took him several tries to get back with the right amount of time on the timer.
Note: This episode aired as part of Fox’s “When Worlds Collide” event. Part 1 of this serial aired as Sliders episode 3×20 “What the Doctor Ordered”.

Tales from /lost+found 111: Lockdown

6×01 (5x19a) January 4, 2002
LOCKDOWN (Serial 75)

Setting: Space Station W-9, 22nd Century
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor)

Plot: After dropping off Ruth and Leo for a romantic dinner at a swanky restaurant on Titan, the Doctor takes a tour of Space Station W-9, the local administrative hub, renowned for its view of Saturn’s rings. Shortly into his tour, the station is shaken by an explosion and goes into a security lockdown. The Doctor is sealed in an observation pod with two crew members and five other visitors. The others assume the explosion was an attack by rebel colonists seeking independence. When one of the tourists expresses sympathy for the colonists, he is ostracized by the others and treated with suspicion. They find themselves unable to contact the rest of the station, and begin to fear that more attacks are coming. The Doctor himself comes under suspicion when he displays his advanced technical knowledge in an attempt to reestablish communications. The crew force him to surrender his sonic screwdriver. They notice a tattoo on one of the other visitors associated with a mining colony. As their paranoia grows, she is accused of involvement with the attack. The Doctor attempts to calm the tensions, but when he reveals himself as an alien, one of the crewmen panics and attacks him. He is restrained, but the life support system is damaged in the process. The Doctor begs to be allowed to repair the damaged system, but by now, everyone is too paranoid to allow an alien to use advanced technology on the station. Instead, everyone descends into a service area below the deck to reach an emergency hatch. Because of the damage to the station, some of the systems in the service area are damaged, and the hatch is disabled. One of the visitors is badly hurt by an electrified conduit. The former colonist is accused of sabotage and a fight breaks out. The Doctor tries to intercede but is forced out of the way. The others beat the colonist nearly to death when the Doctor retrieves his dropped sonic screwdriver and uses it to open the hatch. As everyone makes a hurried escape, the damage to the pod causes it to begin to rapidly decompress. The colonist sacrifices herself to force the hatch closed from the inside to protect the rest of the station. A rescue team arrives, and informs the survivors that the initial explosion was caused by a faulty part, not a rebel attack. The humans are left ashamed by their actions, while the Doctor is shaken by his inability to defuse the situation.
Note: This story takes place before “Invasion, Part 1”

Tales from /lost+found 110: The Key to Time

8×22 March 5, 2004
THE KEY TO TIME (Serial 133)

Setting: Space Materials Research Center, 2020
Regular Cast: Rowan Atkinson (The Doctor), Scarlett Johansson (Alice)
Guest Starring: Lucy Lawless (Zoey/Zodin), Anthony Stewart Head (The War Chief), Nicholas Brendon (White Guardian), Kelly Donovan (Black Guardian), David Hasselhoff (The War Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (uncredited)

Plot: The Doctor takes the TARDIS to the Space Materials Research Center in the year 2020. Alice is surprised to learn that there is no key segment here. Rather than risk the War Lords finding the last key segment, the Doctor poses as an aerospace researcher in order to use the center’s advanced “3-D Printer” to create a reproduction. While he works on generating a computer model for the missing segment, Alice learns that there is a growing tension among the staff about the use of their fabrication technology to build weapons. Alice befriends Zoey, an engineer who has serious misgivings about using their technology to produce weapons, but fears that a pacifist stance will cripple progress. Later, Alice finds the War Chief has infiltrated the center and warns the Doctor. The Doctor confronts the War Chief, who claims to be on a pilgrimage and promises not to stop the Doctor’s work, so long as they do not interfere with the debate among the center staff. The Doctor is amused at being asked by a War Lord to leave history to take its own course, and agrees that the decision about the center’s future should be left to humanity. The argument among the staff takes a violent turn and Zoey is accidentally killed just before the 3D print of the sixth segment completes. Hoping that a high-quality facsimile will unlock some of the key’s powers, the Doctor assembles the key with the reproduction. Alice, the Doctor, and the War Chief are transported to the domain of the Guardians, creators of the Key. They explain the function of the key: it is a maintenance device for the web of time, able to change the past and rebalance the universe without creating destructive paradoxes. The White Guardian discourages the Doctor from trying to use the key, while the Black Guardian tempts him with the possibility of using it to restore Gallifrey. However, without the genuine sixth segment, it only has enough power to restrain the War Chief from attacking them. The War Chief deduces what the Doctor has concealed: Alice is the final segment. As a fail-safe against abuse, the sixth segment assumes the form of a living, intelligent being, and can only be converted to its true form willingly. The War Chief taunts the Doctor. He can only use the Key by sacrificing his companion. The War Chief reveals the truth about the War Lords: they are not a race, but a philosophy, spread whenever any civilization embraces the belief that conflict is the true driver of history. The Doctor is already too entangled in the war, and if he sacrifices Alice, he will have become a War Lord himself, and would inevitably impose the War Lord ideal on the web of time. While they argue, Alice notices the symbol a piece of SMRC letterhead she was carrying is similar to the War Lord symbol. She flashes back to her final conversation with the War Doctor, and we hear his whispered message. He had decided not to find another way and not use the Key himself. She looks inside the Paradox Box and finds an anachronistic earlier incarnation of the sixth segment. Before either the Doctor or the War Chief can do anything, she assembles the Key, and orders it to undo Zoey’s death. This small act reverses the critical decision by the humans to pursue War Lord philosophy. However, Alice’s change inadvertently undoes an earlier change to history: Zoey had been living a false life. She reverts to her true identity, the War Queen Zodin. She tries to seize the Key, but is stopped by a disembodied voice that declares, “Did you really think I would leave the universe unprotected?”

Tales from /lost+found 109: Golden Age

2×12 February 6, 1998
GOLDEN AGE (Serial 20, Episode 4)

Setting: New Orleans, Louisiana, Near-Future
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Jonathan Frakes (Blackwood), Bruce Harwood (Swift), Ted Raimi (Dr. French), Dean Cain (Adam Neuman) Paul Eckstein (Voskar)

Plot: Lizzie awakens aboard a space ship, where she is told by its commander, Adam, that she has been in suspended animation for a hundred years, and is currently on a colony ship approaching an Earth-like planet to establish a new civilization. Lizzie becomes suspicious when she recalls the Doctor’s warnings to Rex about the side effects of suspended animation. In New Orleans, the Doctor, Slate and Blackwood search for Lizzie, which eventually leads them to French Technologies. The Doctor recognizes some of the technology they find there as salvage from Jagaroth’s experiments with the time destructor, but is surprised to see Therasapien technology as well. In the space ship, Lizzie finds Adam meeting with Dr. French, who arrives in a space suit, having allegedly space-walked over from a sister ship. When she sees that his scratches have not healed, she follows him out of the airlock, discovering that the “ship” is a simulator. Lizzie takes French by surprise and overpowers him as he confronts the Doctor. French is a radical environmentalist. To save the world from the dangers of global warming, he has built a primitive time machine which will send the unwitting “colonists” millions of years into the past to start over on an unspoilt world. The dinosaurs had been summoned as part of the machine’s calibration process. Swift is part of the conspiracy, having joined French’s group out of guilt after his position as an oil executive exposed him to evidence that the industry had deliberately suppressed evidence of global warming. Voskar comes out of hiding, having been smuggled out of the Therasapien base by Swift. Voskar and Swift had made contact shortly after the Therasapiens awoke, and had plotted the attack as a cover to smuggle Therasapien technology to French. His earlier opposition had been a pose: Voskar wishes to return to his native time, but on his own terms. The Doctor had misunderstood their circumstances; when Greyhorn’s outpost malfunctioned, it caused the other Therasapien shelters to remain in hibernation indefinitely, so Therasapien civilization never awakened after the impact. Voskar plans to travel to the Eocene period and send the activation signal manually, changing Earth’s history so that humanity never evolves. French and Swift are willing to sacrifice humanity so that their colonists can build a better future. The conspirators retreat to the ship and activate the time machine. Blackwood is left behind, but the Doctor and Lizzie are able to fight through the time distortion and enter the ship. The ship is sent back fifty million years, materializing near the entrance to the Therasapien base. With no more use for the humans, Voskar kills French and Swift. He never intended to honor his promise to allow the humans to coexist peacefully with his people. The Doctor, Lizzie, and Adam pursue Voskar into the Therasapien base, but Lizzie goes missing on the way. The Doctor attempts to dissuade Voskar from changing history. Voskar is unswayed, and transmits the awakening signal, but nothing happens. Lizzie appears, and reveals that the base had never malfunctioned in the first place; she sabotaged it. She had easily recognized the sabotage when she first saw the base computers, and discovered a hidden message from her future self giving a cover story to tell. Voskar tries to force Lizzie to undo the sabotage, but in the course of the chase, he encounters his own hibernating counterpart, and the release of temporal energy kills him. With no other way home, the Doctor helps Adam and the other colonists into spare hibernation chambers, where they will awaken with the Therasapiens a century in their own future. The Doctor modifies his and Lizzie’s chamber to activate early, allowing them to discretely slip out during the events of “In Cold Blood”. The Doctor is upset that Lizzie’s sabotage affected the entire Therasapien race, but acknowledges that she had no choice thanks to the predestination paradox. They recover the TARDIS and meet up with Blackwood, from his perspective, only minutes after they left. While skeptical about their story, he contacts his superiors with the recommendation that a permanent taskforce be established to deal with similar matters in the future.

Tales From /lost+found 108: In Cold Blood

2×10 December 19, 1997
IN COLD BLOOD (Serial 20, Episode 2)

Setting: New Orleans, Louisiana, Near-Future
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: James Horan (Greyhorn), Paul Eckstein (Voskar), Bruce Harwood (Swift), John Vargas (Rex), Jonathan Frakes (Blackwood)

Plot: Assuming that the reptilian creature is sensitive to low temperatures, the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to open the coolant pipes that run along the corridor. The creature is forced to retreat to avoid falling into a torpor. The Doctor reasons that the creatures are aliens whose ship had crashed on the ocean floor and perceived the drilling platform as a threat, but can’t figure out why they are only attacking in person now. He tries to modify the platform’s sonar to make contact in hopes of brokering a peaceful solution, while the company men simply want to destroy the creatures so that drilling can continue. The roughnecks reckon that there’s more money to be made by capturing them instead and assist the Doctor, until he sends a message to the ocean floor offering his help in leaving the planet. More creatures attack and several of the roughnecks are killed. The Doctor and Lizzie are locked in a storeroom where they find a cache of dinosaur fossils that had been churned up by the drills. Lizzie realizes that the sabotage to the platform was human in nature: the company men valued the oil more than the fossils, and sabotaged the radio to cover up the find, while the workers, wanting fame, sabotaged the drill to protect the fossils. The Doctor finds a vaguely humanoid skull among the fossils and realizes that the creatures, which he dubs “Therasapiens”, are not aliens, but a sapient species of dinosaur that had been somehow preserved for millions of years. They would have interpreted his offer of help as an eviction notice, prompting their violent response. The Doctor escapes using the sonic screwdriver, finds a Therasapien, and surrenders to it, offering the skull for burial. The Doctor and Lizzie, along with several other captured humans, are taken deep below the surface to meet with the Therasapien leader, Greyhorn. The Therasapiens were the dominant species on Earth sixty-five million years ago. When they detected a comet on a collision course with the planet, they placed themselves in suspended animation deep underground. Greyhorn had commanded a scientific outpost designed to study the force of the impact. Lizzie spots a flaw in the outpost’s systems which caused them to radically over-estimate how long the surface would be uninhabitable. The Doctor hypothesizes that the rest of their species had awakened millions of years ago and had since gone extinct. The Doctor suggests that he could use the TARDIS to return them to a period when their species still existed, but the Therasapiens are divided, with many wishing to remain in the present and reclaim Earth from the humans. Greyhorn persuades a majority of the clan to go with the Doctor, but he is betrayed by his ambitious lieutenant, Voskar. Voskar imprisons the humans and plans to use Therasapien technology to detonate the oil deposit near their base, creating a tsunami that will destroy New Orleans. With help from the dying Greyhorn, the Doctor rigs the base to return to hibernation mode, forcing the Therasapiens back into suspended animation for a century. Rex sacrifices himself by remaining behind to activate the hibernation sequence. The Doctor and the surviving humans escape back to the platform where they meet Blackwood, a government agent dispatched to investigate their disappearance. Swift agrees to work with the government to protect and conceal the Therasapiens until they can be peacefully awakened. Blackwood brings the survivors back to port to make arrangements, but upon arriving in New Orleans, they discover the city is being menaced by a Giganotosaurus.

Tales from /lost+found 108: Genesis of the Cybs

I wonder what else was going on in July of 2002…

7×04 July 26, 2002
GENESIS OF THE CYBS (Serial 97)

Setting: Mondas, 44 BC
Regular Cast: Rowan Atkinson (The Doctor), Scarlett Johansson (Alice)
Guest Starring: Alexander Siddig (Hovard Regnos), Peter Cullen (voice of Cyber-Prototype 001)

Plot: To demonstrate the TARDIS’s ability to travel in time, the Doctor sets out to show her the rise of the Roman Empire. But he has neglected to recalibrate the navigation systems after their recent trip to the Outer Wastes. They think they’ve landed in the 1960s, but the Doctor is troubled because the co-ordinate matrix claims they have landed in the right year but on the wrong side of the sun. Stranger, the weather is wintry despite it being July. Alice sees a newspaper headline claiming that the Earth is drifting away from the sun due to a “calamity” when an experimental space drive in a rival country altered the planet’s gravity, and will be too cold to support life within a decade. The last piece falls into place when the Doctor sees the half-completed Monument Rock in the distance. He adjusts the TARDIS translator, and shows that Alice’s newspaper now identifies the planet as Mondas. Alice wants to stay and try to change Mondas’s fate, but the Doctor wants to leave immediately: even after all this time, he has no alternative for the Mondasians. But the authorities discover and impound the TARDIS, taking it to genius industrialist Hovard Regnos, who is leading efforts to save the planet. Before the calamity, Regnos had been the lead developer of Mondas’s space program. To avoid being forced to reveal the secrets of the TARDIS, the Doctor offers to help Regnos stabilize the planet’s orbit. He discovers that Regnos played a hand in the calamity: he secretly and illegally sold the gravity-drive technology to the rival country after his own government decided it was too dangerous. Moreover, Regnos is not really trying to reverse the calamity. His advanced instruments have detected Earth, and, assuming it to be uninhabited, he wants to relocate a group of Mondasians there instead. The massive device he is constructing, purportedly to reverse the calamity, is in fact secretly a mostly-complete colony ship large enough to carry thousands of Mondasians. But he still has not solved the engine imbalance that triggered the calamity, and worse, the Doctor calculates that no human body could survive the g-force of a gravity-drive powered space ship. Regnos had already determined that and developed an armored exoskeleton and cybernetic replacement organs. While the procedure is not fully reversible, the colonists will be able to produce normal offspring on their new planet. After a prototype destroys itself in horror at its condition, Regnos alters his design to include modifications to the brain. The Doctor manages to tip off Regnos’s government liaison, forcing him to accelerate his plans. He had hoped to hand-pick colonists to build a new civilization on Earth, but with time running out, he orders his prototype Cyber-men to the streets to round up anyone they can find for immediate conversion, and Alice is among those captured. Regnos has himself converted, and the alterations to his brain cause him to lose interest in the colony producing normal offspring. He realizes that as cyborgs, the Mondasians could simply remain on their planet, immune to the worsening conditions: he could “save” his entire race rather than a small colony. The Doctor rescues Alice while Regnos summons all the cybermen to the colony ship for new orders. To put a stop to his plans, the Doctor triggers the gravity-drive on the colony ship, narrowly escaping with Alice in the TARDIS. The ship and the prototype cybermen are destroyed in a recreation of the original calamity. This time, though, the Doctor has oriented the force of the gravitational effect to partially stabilize the planet’s orbit. It will not return to its original orbit, but it should slow the deterioration of conditions on Mondas for several hundred years, long enough for the Mondasians to find another solution. The Doctor and Alice take the TARDIS forward in time a century to check on the results, and are disappointed to see that while the planet has not gotten any colder, Monument Rock has been completed, and bears the familiar shape of a Cyb helmet.

Tales from /lost+found 107: Doctor Who and the Philadelphia Experiment

8×11 August 29, 2003
DOCTOR WHO AND THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT (Serial 124)

Setting: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1943
Regular Cast: Rowan Atkinson (The Doctor), Scarlett Johansson (Alice)
Guest Starring:
Sam Neill (Lieutenant Alderman/Nicolas Flamel), David Hasselhoff (The Eighth Doctor (credited as “The Stranger”))

Plot: Worried about more interference in Earth’s history by the War Lords, the Doctor adjusts the TARDIS to detect damage to the Earth’s timeline, and discovers that history is attempting to rewrite itself without the Earth after 1943. Targeting the epicenter of the disruption, the TARDIS lands at the Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia. The Doctor and Alice discover advanced technology aboard one ship, the Eldridge, which seems to have a temporal component, but does not look to be of War Lord origin. They are apprehended by the authorities, and are subsequently surprised to meet the project lead, Lieutenant Alderman, who is in reality the immortal Nicolas Flamel. Flamel invents a cover story for the Doctor as “Doctor von Wer”, a specialist from Oak Ridge, here to help with the upcoming experiment. The Doctor notices that his old friend seems unusually put-out, and Flamel admits that the mechanized wars of the twentieth century have worn heavily upon him. The Doctor claims that this is just a passing phase, but Flamel is unconvinced, especially after the Doctor tells him about the War Lords, and their repeated campaigns to push humanity onto a more warlike path. Flamel asks for the Doctor’s help. Expanding an idea he got from Nikola Tesla, Flamel claims to have created a form of impenetrable energy barrier that can protect ships (and later, perhaps, whole cities) from enemy attacks. He privately promises that once his work is complete, he will give the technology to all nations, ending war once and for all. The Doctor is suspicious that the War Lords are meddling in Flamel’s project: his perfect defense could easily have the opposite of its intended effect by triggering preemptive attacks against anyone planning to erect a shield. While he helps Flamel, the Doctor has Alice search for evidence of a War Lord presence. She locates the power source for Flamel’s device, the Philosopher’s Stone. Flamel locks her in the power room to stop her reporting to the Doctor: he doesn’t want the Time Lord knowing that he succeeded in creating a Jewel of Time. The Doctor solves the last of the equations that had eluded Flamel, but this leads him to realize that the design of the shield device is flawed, as the power requirements to generate a stable shield are greater than the power level that would cause a catastrophic overload. He rescues Alice, and realizes that, since he is planning to use a Jewel of Time to power the shield, Flamel never intended to create more than one. Flamel activates the device, causing the Eldridge to be pulled into a space-time distortion. He admits his true intentions: after working on the early stages of the Manhattan Project, he came to believe that humanity’s self-destruction was inevitable. He anticipates a series of escalating nuclear wars, and refuses to listen to the Doctor and Alice when they dispute this. His invention does not create a stable defensive shield, but a bubble that disrupts space and time. It will rapidly expand to encompass the Earth. Humanity will die in a painless instant, rather than slow, lingering extinction from nuclear winter. The Doctor points out that, due to his immortality, Flamel himself might survive even that, to be left stranded alone in empty space forever. Flamel accepts this as fitting penance for his actions. Alice suggests that they could spare him from that fate by giving him a ride in the TARDIS, which would kill him. The Doctor, though confused, consents, and Alice suggests he take them to Armstrong Base. Flamel’s health begins to fail rapidly as soon as the TARDIS dematerializes, but he is able to witness the signing of the peace treaty between the Ice Warriors and a united Earth. Alice had intuited that the powerful imagery of Earthrise on the moon as humanity makes peace with an alien race would restore Flamel’s faith in humanity more than words. However, the timeline in which Earth has been destroyed is quickly becoming dominant, and Flamel does not know any way to stop the overload. The Doctor reminds him that he is still connected to the Philosopher’s Stone, and Flamel is able to use that connection to redirect the energy from the distortion into the vortex. His body crumbles to dust. Returning to the TARDIS after retrieving the stone from the Eldridge, the Doctor discovers that the energy release has created a “rainbow road” along which the TARDIS can travel, bypassing the temporal barrier around the events of the Time War. The Doctor pilots the TARDIS along the road to the war-torn planet Arcadia, hoping to learn how he defeated the War Lords originally. Before they can exit the TARDIS, however, a stranger lets himself in. He wears an eyepatch, holds the Doctor and Alice at gunpoint, and demands to know what they are doing in his TARDIS.

Tales from /lost+found 106: The Hen With the Sapphire Pendant

8×21 February 27, 2004
THE HEN WITH THE SAPPHIRE PENDANT (Serial 132)

Setting: Gatchina, Russia, ca. 1870
Regular Cast: Rowan Atkinson (The Doctor), Scarlett Johansson (Alice)
Guest Starring: James Ganfolfini (Tsar Alexander III), Jennifer Beals (Empress Maria), Anthony Stewart Head (The War Chief)

Plot: The tracer leads the Doctor and Alice to nineteenth-century Russia. The Doctor is able to pose as a minor diplomat to gain access to the Gatchina Palace. While they initially hope to avoid local events while they look for the fifth segment, this becomes impossible when they discover the War Chief posing as a German diplomat. At first, they fear that he has already located the segment, but it eventually becomes clear that the War Lords are making a third attempt to change the course of World War I. The War Chief surprises the Doctor by pursuing a peaceful plan: he means to preserve the Three Emperor’s Alliance, strengthening the relationship between Russia and Germany, and preventing the formation of the Franco-Russian alliance. He believes this will put Germany in a stronger position and lengthen the coming war. Part of his plan involves War Lord agents framing the French delegation for an assassination attempt. The Doctor gains the confidence of the Tsar by foiling the attempt himself, but in doing so reveals his presence to the War Chief. Neither the Doctor nor the War Chief can expose the other as an impostor without implicating himself as well, forcing the two into a rhetorical battle to sway the Tsar’s opinion. With comparatively greater freedom of movement, Alice meets and befriends the Empress, bonding over their shared interest in the arts. Alice finds herself inexplicably drawn to a particular Fabergé egg in the Empress’s collection. The Doctor gains the upper hand in his debate with the War Chief, but worries that his adversary does not seem to be taking the argument seriously. This is because he is simply biding his time, distracting the Doctor while a second War Lord strike team prepares to assassinate the Empress. Alice helps Empress Maria evade the assassins and alerts the Doctor. The War Chief is impressed by the Doctor’s ruthlessness when he tricks the War Lords into blowing themselves up. It seems as though the War Chief has won anyway, however, since the dead assassins carry forged French credentials. The Doctor challenges the authenticity of their papers and accuses the War Chief, who submits to being searched as he thinks it will reveal nothing. But the Doctor had earlier pocketed a War Lord icon from the first assassin team and slipped it into the War Chief’s pocket. The War Chief is expelled by the enraged Tsar, who goes on to send for the French ambassador to discuss a treaty. In appreciation for saving her life, Empress Maria gives Alice the egg with which she’d been so fascinated, which turns out to be the fifth segment of the Key to Time. Realizing they have only one segment left to find, the Doctor plugs the tracer into the TARDIS console, but is alarmed by the results and disconnects it, desperately hiding the results from Alice.

Tales From /lost+found 105: Endgame

7×20 April 25, 2003
ENDGAME (Serial 113)

Setting: The Toybox
Regular Cast: Rowan Atkinson (The Doctor), Scarlett Johansson (Alice)
Guest Starring: Julian Richings (The Toymaker), Anthony Stewart Head (The War Chief)

Plot: The TARDIS begins to tear itself apart as the Doctor refuses to close the Eye of Harmony. Insisting that he intends to “destroy the universe”, he releases the massive powers inside the ship, and it explodes, revealing that the Doctor and Alice are, in fact, still inside the Toybox, and never escaped at the end of “Game of War”. He had recognized elements of their encounter with SG-1 and the Goa’uld as contrived and contrary to his knowledge of space and time, concluding that it was a simulacrum created by the Toymaker. The Toymaker appears and admits that he has been manipulating the Doctor as far back as “One Hundred”. The Toymaker has become tired of this universe and wishes to move on to the next one. But before he can do so, he must finally defeat the Doctor, the only opponent to have bested him on so many occasions. The Doctor at first refuses to submit to any more games: he would rather simply spend the rest of eternity in the Toybox, preventing the Toymaker from claiming ultimate victory. But the Toymaker offers to reward the Doctor if he wins by revealing the identity of the true enemy of the Time Lords during the Time War. The Doctor cannot resist, and accepts the wager. Only then does he learn the twist: the Toymaker doesn’t have the power to simply leave one universe for another; he can reach the next universe only by destroying this one. He has turned the Toybox into an inter-dimensional bomb which will unravel the universe unless the Doctor defuses it. The Doctor and Alice race through the Toybox, solving logic puzzles which take them deeper into the Toybox. The Doctor eventually uses advanced Time Lord science to interact with the Toybox in higher dimensions. This causes him to realize that the “bomb” is the nature of the Toybox itself. Its higher-order structure is disrupting the fundamental geometry of the universe, and the damage cannot be reversed so long as the Toybox exists. The Toymaker appears to gloat over his victory, but Alice accuses him of cheating: if the game cannot be won, it isn’t legitimate. The Toymaker concedes the point and reminds the Doctor of their first meeting. The Doctor realizes that the Toybox only exists so long as the Toymaker wills it. The Toymaker offers to will the Toybox out of existence if the Doctor asks him to. However, as they are inside the Toybox, the Doctor and Alice would cease to exist along with it. The Doctor has a better plan, and calls out, “Execute system restore protocol!” The pieces of the TARDIS, ejected when it exploded, reform around the Toybox, causing the TARDIS console to appear beside the Doctor. The Toymaker is surprised by the Doctor’s ingenuity, but thinks this will make no difference, as even the TARDIS can not contain the Toybox. But the Doctor knows something that can. Because the Toybox is a higher-dimensional space, while it is inside the TARDIS, it can move not just in space and time, but in mind. Specifically, the Toymaker’s mind. The Doctor materializes the TARDIS inside the Toymaker’s own consciousness. The Toybox is cut off from the universe. The Doctor and Alice may be trapped forever, but so is the Toymaker: since he only exists in his own imagination, he would cease to exist if he stopped imagining himself there. The Toymaker confesses that when he said he was tired of the universe, he meant that he wished to die, but his pride wouldn’t allow it. Thanks to the Doctor, the Toymaker can now win the game by willing himself to die. In gratitude, he even allows the Doctor and Alice to leave, ejecting the TARDIS from his dying mind. The TARDIS materializes on an alien space ship. Emerging, the Doctor discovers that the Toymaker has upheld their original deal, as he now stands before the race which started the Time War: The War Lords.