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 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.

Tales from /lost+found 104: The Twin Planet

1×09 December 20, 1996
THE TWIN PLANET (Serial 7, Episode 1)

Setting: Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 2003
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Ed Begley, Jr. (Director Slate), Don S. Davis (General Cutler), Peter Cullen (voice of the Cyb Leader)

Plot: The Doctor brings Lizzie to the Kennedy Space Center, several years in the future, to watch the first VentureStar launch. He gets the date and place slightly wrong, and materializes a day late and in the middle of the launch pad. They are apprehended by security and brought to the director, but their interrogation is interrupted when the orbiting spaceplane reports detecting a large body approaching Earth. The space center detects nothing, but when the Doctor points out a glitch in their video feed, Lizzie is able to reprogram their computers to reveal that a new planet has appeared in orbit near Earth. The Doctor points out that the planet’s arrival must have been intelligently controlled since it exploited advanced knowledge of Earth’s technology to hide in the “blind spots” of NASA’s space telescopes. Director Slate admits that conspiracy theorists have been making wild claims about sighting a phantom planet for months, but he believes it to be some kind of technological hoax, especially when space telescopes show the planet’s continents as a mirror-image of Earth’s. The spaceplane Constitution is pulled out of orbit by the gravitational effect and NASA loses contact due to a global telecommunications blackout. While they scramble to prepare the second spaceplane for a rescue mission, the Constitution reappears without explanation and lands on its own. Ignoring the Doctor’s warnings, NASA officials approach the craft and are killed by armored cyborgs which emerge. They identify themselves as Cybs, short for “Cybermen”, and quickly take over mission control. Their planet, Mondas, had once been like Earth, but had been pushed out of orbit during the Time War, forcing the once-human inhabitants to adapt using their technology. The military attempts to liberate the space center, but their technology fails. The Cybs explain that, to save their dying planet, they are siphoning off Earth’s electromagnetic and geothermal energy and Earth will soon become a dead planet. The Cybs round up NASA experts, including Director Slate, to be taken to Mondas and converted into Cybs themselves. The Doctor demonstrates his advanced intelligence and is also selected, but he prompts Lizzie to pretend to be a secretary so that the Cybs ignore her, claiming that she “Doesn’t even appreciate the gravity of the situation.” More Cybs arrive across the world via Verne gun and begin transporting more selected humans to Florida. The Doctor and Slate are forced aboard the spaceplane Constellation and taken to Mondas.

Tales From /lost+found 103: Ghost in the Machine

1×02 November 1, 1996
Ghost in the Machine (Serial 2, Episode 2)

Setting: Seattle, WA, Present
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Allan Royal (Professor Talman), Eric Balfour (Bryce), Jeffrey Combs (Vardan Commander)

Plot: To the surprise of Professor Talman, the Doctor manages to reassert control of himself after infecting Lizzie. His Time Lord mind can contain the Vardans temporarily. Assuming Lizzie will soon be under Vardan control, Talman retreats from the server room. The Doctor determines that the Vardans have spread far enough that Lizzie’s virus would need to destroy Earth’s entire technological base to eradicate them, and even this would not stop the Vardans who have transferred into human minds. Already, the number of infected humans is growing across campus. Lizzie offers to remain behind because of the Vardan in her mind. Remembering how the Vardan-controlled robot had reacted to the ultrasonic test chamber, the Doctor reasons that Vardans can be rendered dormant with certain frequencies, and programs his sonic screwdriver to act as a Vardan-repellant to buy Lizzie time. The Doctor and Lizzie avoid the infected and make their way back to the lab, hoping to refine the virus so that it can destroy Vardans but leave the internet intact. They find Talman already there, in the process of connecting the Chair to the internet so that the rest of the Vardans can transfer into human bodies. Lizzie pushes him into the chair and the Doctor uses the virus disk on it, causing the virus to be uploaded to Talman’s mind, which frees him of the Vardans but also erases his memory, leaving him in a child-like state. Lizzie hacks into the campus PA-system allowing the Doctor to broadcast an ultrasonic pulse that puts all the Vardans on campus into hibernation. They are found by Bryce, who has also been taken over by a Vardan. His cochlear implants protected him from the hibernation signal. Threatening to reactivate Lizzie’s Vardan, he forces the Doctor back to the lab and into the Chair.  Bryce and Lizzie watch on the screen while the Doctor, in his own mindscape, faces off against the Vardan Commander in his true form. The Doctor brags that his mind is too powerful for a single Vardan to control. The commander responds by using the Chair’s internet link to summon all the Vardans from the internet to colonize the Doctor’s mind and steal his Time Lord knowledge. The Doctor uses his mental defenses to confine the Vardans to the parts of his mind containing his encyclopedic knowledge of the universe, leaving his personality and free will unoccupied. While arguing with the commander, he makes a strange reference to his coat pocket, which Lizzie understands as a message to her. In the Doctor’s coat pocket, she finds a note explaining that she is not really infected; the Doctor tricked the Vardans by infecting the mental copy of herself created when they had used the Chair together earlier. Since Bryce now holds no power over her, she punches him. The Doctor had manipulated the Vardans into concentrating their entire invasion force into several specific areas of his brain, and on his signal, Lizzie uses the virus on the Chair to erase those regions, wiping out the Vardans. The commander promises to start again with the remaining Vardans in the Mindscape, but the Doctor explains that the mindscape itself is part of the Chair, rather than part of his mind. Lizzie pulls the memory circuits out of the chair, trapping the remaining Vardans in inert silicon. The Doctor modifies Bryce’s implant to make it vulnerable to the hibernation pulse, and declares that, without any conscious Vardans to send the reactivation signal, the infected humans can live out their lives as harmless carriers of the inert Vardans. The Doctor has sacrificed most of his knowledge of the universe to defeat the Vardans, but he doesn’t mind, as he’d gotten bored with knowing everything already and looks forward to learning it anew. Lizzie finds that she intuitively knows where his TARDIS is and what it is, because of her experiences in the Doctor’s mindscape, so he offers to take her with him. Lizzie asks the Doctor his name, and he evades the question, but his reaction hints that he may have forgotten it himself.

Tales From /lost+found 102: A Time to Reap

Of course, I missed this one when it aired originally. I was otherwise occupied that night…

4×11 December 3, 1999
A TIME TO REAP (Serial 48)

Setting: Seattle, WA, UNIT-time
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Denis Forest (Malcolm), Jonathan Frakes (Agent Blackwood), Paula Devicq (Agent Sarah Hatcher), Peter Mark Richman (Craig Toynbee)

Plot: While leaving his office for the night, a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is cornered by a Morthrai agent and interrogated about a recent article on the reclusive scientist Craig Toynbee. The reporter is turned by the Morthrai when he won’t reveal the location of the professor’s lab. At UNIT, Agent Blackwood thinks recent thefts of high-tech equipment might be related to the Morthrai, but the Doctor isn’t interested. The Doctor reads the article about Toynbee and becomes concerned when he learns that a human scientist is experimenting in time travel. Agent Blackwood suggests that the Doctor could help him complete his experiments safely and agrees to set up a meeting, hopeful that the Doctor will finally share Time Lord technology. Toynbee is initially suspicious of the Doctor, but opens up with the Doctor displays his profound knowledge of time. Studying the professor’s work, he confides to Lizzie that while Toynbee is advanced for his time, he is not close to making any key breakthrough. Losing interest, he returns to UNIT, thus failing to discover that Toynbee has been approached by the Morthrai, who have presented themselves as friendly aliens hoping to guide humanity toward “enlightenment”. Blackwood thinks that the Doctor’s interest in Toynbee was just about hoping to find a way off Earth, and tries to convince the Doctor to reveal some of his Time Lord secrets. As soon as Blackwood leaves, a time distortion occurs causing the argument to repeat. Only the Doctor, Lizzie, and Agent Hatcher are aware of the distortion because they have traveled in time. To Blackwood’s befuddlement, the Doctor quickly agrees to investigate Toynbee further. To his horror, Toynbee has solved one of the key equations necessary to manipulate time. Because Toynbee did not perceive the time distortion himself, he does not believe the Doctor’s warnings about the dangers of his work. Agent Hatcher is convinced by the Doctor’s concerns, but UNIT has no authority to intervene. On her own initiative, Lizzie sneaks back into Toynbee’s lab and sees him meeting with Malcolm. She is captured, but escapes thanks to another time distortion. Back at UNIT, the Doctor appeals to Blackwood, who is more interested in the continuing high-tech thefts. When the Doctor hears that the thefts have included a large number of beryllium clocks and ultra-high-precision mirrors, he deduces that the thieves are doing time manipulation experiments, which is enough to convince Agent Blackwood that the Morthrai are involved in Toynbee’s work. This is confirmed by Lizzie when she makes it back to UNIT. Agent Blackwood authorizes a team to secure Toynbee and his work. They fight their way to the laboratory to find Toynbee has completed his time machine under duress, having realized the Mothrai deception when Lizzie seemed to vanish earlier. Agent Hatcher is killed, but the Doctor uses the Toynbee Engine to create another distortion to undo her death, but Toynbee reveals that he rigged the engine to explode. But this turns out to be exactly what the Morthrai planned: they mean to send the engine back one hundred years, where the explosion will decimate the west coast, slowing human technological progress. The Doctor tries to deactivate the engine, causing more distortions, which leaves everyone but the Doctor, Lizzie, and Agent Hatcher frozen in time. The Doctor can prevent the explosion by redirecting the energy, but resolving the time distortions will restore time to the point where Hatcher died. She starts the redirection herself, sacrificing her life. The engine sends out a wave of time energy, and when it fades, the Doctor and Lizzie find themselves in the wilderness. The Doctor explains to a horrified Lizzie that redirecting the overload has sent them back in time two thousand years.

Tales From /lost+found 101: He Jests at Scars that Never Felt a Wound

4×20 March 3, 2000
HE JESTS AT SCARS THAT NEVER FELT A WOUND (Serial 56, Episode 2)

Setting: Washington, DC, 210X (UNIT-era +100)
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Denis Forest (Malcolm), Jonathan Frakes (Agent Blackwood), Armin Shimerman (Steve Whitman), John Lithgow (President Arnold Tannen)

Story: The broken, wheelchair-bound man Lizzie discovers is a version of the Doctor who led humanity to victory over the Morthrai in the year 2000. He gave humanity Time Lord technology after his version of Lizzie was killed by the Morthrai, and was subsequently mutilated and imprisoned when he tried to stop them from abusing the technology to become a totalitarian police state.  Whitman claims that if the people saw what the regime had done to its greatest hero, they would rise up and overthrow Tannen’s regime. President Tannen tells the younger Doctor that he wants to reform the Alliance to make humanity “great again”, and claims that his “law and order” image is a necessary deception because the citizens are so accustomed to populist strongmen that they wouldn’t trust a genuine reformer. The Doctor says he agrees, but secretly realizes that the stress of micro-managing the entire world has left Tannen unbalanced. Tannen promises to release the Doctor and Lizzie in return for performing at the Centennial celebration – by executing Malcolm. Such a show would cement Tannen’s power, giving him the leverage to enact his reforms. In Cell 2, Lizzie tries to help the older Doctor escape, but he refuses to believe she is anything but a figment of his imagination. Whitman motivates him instead by threatening to kill Lizzie. The younger Doctor is horrified by the prospect of killing Malcolm and refuses, but Tannen also threatens to have Lizzie killed. At the Centennial broadcast, the Doctor is introduced with much fanfare and presented with an energy weapon of Time Lord design, while Lizzie is held under guard by Whitman, out of view of the cameras. Malcolm is brought out in chains, and Tannen orders the Doctor to kill him, but he shoots Malcolm’s chains instead. When Whitman turns to aim at Malcolm instead of Lizzie, she surprises him with a kick and disarms him. Tannen again orders the Doctor to kill Malcolm, but the Doctor hands the gun back to him, telling him to do it himself. Tannen has ordered the deaths of many, but finds he can’t do it himself. The Doctor challenges him on his “reforms”, but Tannen can only speak in meaningless platitudes about “huge changes”: all his ideas have come from Whitman. Tannen is a vapid narcissist whose “reformer” posturing is merely a messiah complex, while Whitman is a scheming sociopath who engineered Tannen’s rise so he could seize power. Whitman’s henchmen overpower Lizzie and bring out the old Doctor. With Tannen exposed as a puppet, Whitman simply shoots him once he has his gun back, and declares himself the new President of Earth. He can’t kill the Doctor on live television, but he can cement his power by performing the execution of Malcolm. As he shoots, though, the old Doctor throws himself forward out of his chair, taking the shot. Whitman desperately orders his guards to kill everyone, but finds they no longer respect his authority. Malcolm, who has been watching in silence the entire time, dispassionately takes Tannen’s fallen weapon, kills Whitman, and then himself. The Doctor asks his dying counterpart why he “didn’t” (regenerate), and he tells him to “save Lizzie instead,” and gives him his TARDIS key as he dies. Touching the two identical TARDIS keys together creates a “temporal short circuit” which summons the TARDIS, now regenerated from the geode he had buried in Syria. The TARDIS reacts violently when Lizzie enters it, and the Doctor has to disable the safety features to make it dematerialize. They arrive one hundred years earlier at UNIT, where Agent Blackwood informs them that the main Morthrai fleet has been detected in orbit.