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Staggering Stories Podcast #355: He Oods Me Not
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Big Finish’s Doctor Who: He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not and episodes one to three of His Dark Materials season two, talk about media we’ve been consuming, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #354: Battle Beyond the Creature from the Pits
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 15 Nov 2020 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: Creature from the Pit and the 1980 film Battle Beyond the Stars, discuss a couple of recent episodes of The Mandalorian, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #353: Holmesian Horror
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 08:43

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: All-Consuming Fire and the 2020 film Enola Holmes, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:08 — Welcome! 01:39 – News: 01:49 — Doctor […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #352: Animated Ensigns
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: Pest Control and the first season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 00:56 — Welcome! 01:49 – News: 01:58 — […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #351: Fury of the Fantasy Films
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 04 Oct 2020 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Jean Riddler and Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: Fury from the Deep and the 1982 film The Sword and the Sorcerer, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:20 — Welcome! 02:33 – News: 02:46 — Doctor Who: New York Comic […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #350: Masters of Beasts
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 20 Sep 2020 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon and the 1982 film The Beastmaster, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:22 — Welcome! 02:16 – News: 02:29 […]

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Doctor Who: The Ashes of Our Fathers

By Paul Cornell


The Doctor stood a little distance from the TARDIS console, hands clasping his lapels, pondering.

He'd beaten them, the fools of Gallifrey. He'd laughed in another of their courtrooms, and been cleared of the charges against him. But only after a revolution.

It had been too easy.

He'd spent the last two hours interrogating his new companion, Mel, about her life and how they were going to meet. Now she was sleeping, and the Doctor was pondering his feelings of doubt.

He felt heavy with fate. The business of Gallifrey was always stage-managed, but this felt even shallower. Peri hadn't died, the Master had offered his help... the Doctor sighed. The only real good that had been done was the revelation that someday the Doctor would become his own worst enemy. Out of the Pit of his mind would explode the Valeyard, the personification of all his mistakes.

And there had been many of them. He was starting to see that. It was as if there was an intelligence behind the whole farce. But what was he supposed to do about it?

"To be or not to be..." he raised one hand to hold an imaginary skull.

"I can offer an answer."

The Voice was softer than his own, precise and cutting. But where had it come from?

The TARDIS bucked as though something had hit it. The Doctor was thrown across the console room.

Something dark stepped from the shadows.

"All the world's a stage..." murmured the Seventh Dotor. "And I'm forgetting my lines."

"Who are you?!" bellowed the Sixth Doctor. "What do you want?"

The new Doctor's voice was a murmur as he stepped forward, apparently unaffected by the ship's violent concussions.

"I docked the TARDISes. Quietly. Mel's lost in the labyrinth between them. She'll assume it's because she's new here. Poor girl. So many knots in her time stream. She's almost a fictional character..."

The colourful Doctor glared up at him, in puzzlement. "You're me, aren't you? What are you going to do?"

"Change. It's time. And it seems not a moment too soon."

The intruder reached out and tapped a series of controls on the console.

The Sixth Doctor stared for a moment, a terrible fear overcoming him. He closed his eyes, and felt Time's hand gently soothing his troubles away. Then he played the part he had to play.

He lept up angrily, putting every ounce of hurt pride into his exclamation.

"Stand aside from the console! You may be me, but for the moment this is my TARDIS!"

And, with those dark eyes watching him, he reached out to reset the controls.

The blast of energy ripped through him, cells juddering with the blaze of death. For a moment, his face creased into what might have been, the dark shadow of the Valeyard dying in a bonfire of possible futures.

The Doctor released the controls, and, staggering, looked up at his killer.

The new Doctor, his face emotionless, reached out with his umbrella, deactivating the security circuits, and set the TARDIS into a collision course with the Rani's beam.

Then he turned to his former self. "You did well," he said. "Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust."

And then he left.

The Doctor swayed on his feet as he felt the TARDISes detach. He was splitting also, potentials dying in every spasmodic clench of his hands.

Assassinated, he fell against the console, and grinned with a final truth, blood tumbling with his words.

"Et tu..." he began.

And the rest was silence.

 

 

Not to be reproduced without the express permission of the author.