Colony in Space Retcon;Doctor Who;Jo Grant;Katy Manning;Third Doctor;Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart;Jon Pertwee;Jeri Massi

Colony in Space

retcon additions by Jeri Massi

From a story by Malcolm Huke

A retcon is the deliberate retro-fitting of a story to make it fit the canon. The following story is from the televised canon of Doctor Who, with sections added to smooth it out and make it fit better.

NOTE: Anything that appears in indented boldface type is retcon material that I wrote as additional or changed material. The rest of the text is summary of the canonical version of the story.

The story opens with a meeting of the time lords. They are discussing the most fearsome weapon in the galaxy: a weapon so vast that it takes up an entire planet, and so powerful that it destroys entire worlds. As they discuss the secret of this Doomsday weapon and call up the files to verify them, they see only a note from the Master, thanking them for the information. They quickly convene a council and decide to send the Doctor out after the Master and the weapon. The issue of the Doctor's exile comes up. Realizing that he may not be disposed to help the Council, they agree to let him think he has repaired his TARDIS, and they will direct him to the destination planet, then bring him back to earth.

Jo Grant crammed her ID card into her pocket and passed through the main doors of UNIT HQ. Sgt. Benton, hurrying to the morning conference, gave her a cheery wave to welcome her back. She smiled and waved back but did not stop to talk. On this morning of all mornings she must be punctual.

She went straight down the corridor and took the turn that brought her to the steps. She went straight down them, her heart now starting to pound, and she found the heavy lab doors. She swung one open and entered the lab. The Doctor was inside, looking down at a complex circuit which he had mounted on a special clamp that allowed him to work on it from almost any angle.

Jo wondered for a moment if he would pay her any notice at all. She had joined UNIT a little more than nine months ago, and she knew enough of the Doctor to realize that he was often unpredictable. He might take no notice of her abrupt week of leave. Or he might show considerable offence at her absence, for she had not asked his permission. Or, she thought regretfully, he might inform her that her tenure with him was over.

The Doctor's shifting attitude toward Jo had prompted the Brigadier to suggest a week of leave to her. She had departed UNIT while the Doctor was still collecting his TARDIS from the destroyed laboratory at the Nuton Power Complex.

Jo hesitated for a moment in the doorway and then stepped into the lab. At the sound, he looked up from the workbench. His lined face, curiously youthful, lit up at sight of her, and he hurriedly rose. "Why Jo, you're back!" he exclaimed. "Come on my dear. I've had the tea lady in on her morning rounds."

To her amazement, he sat her down at the workbench and brought her a covered cup of tea.

"Thank you, Doctor!" she said heartily, her dark eyes bright with gratitude at his welcome. She beamed up at him as she accepted the tea. He returned from his place across from her and pulled his own tea closer.

"I would have brought you tea," she added. As his assistant, it was one of her duties to do so.

"It was my pleasure, Jo," he said. "I've missed you around here. Why, I can't find anything. Hardly anything."

Her bright dark eyes swept the gleaming lab. It had seldom looked more orderly. Though Jo had spent many hours organizing the many shelves, cupboards, and inventory sheets for the Doctor, it was evident that he had tidied up a good bit during her absence.

Remorse, she thought, was a wonderful thing. Though at the moment it was a bit awkward. The Doctor seemed impatient to get back to the circuit he had been working on, yet he was smothering it in his determination to welcome her back. Part of this welcome obviously required conversation, and he was sitting there, hoping she might say something that he could chime in on. A few light words from her would cement their tranquility.

But she could think of nothing. Jo Grant had been so busy preparing for the worst that she was not prepared for the happy resolutions of her concerns about her tenure at UNIT. She took a long pull of her tea and tried to think of what to say. Her mind flicked over their brief history:

In spite of his protests that she was too young and inexperienced to be his assistant, she had rescued the Doctor from Rossini's circus during the Auton invasion. Later, in Stangmoor prison, she had protected and cared for him while he was in a coma after the Master's brutal treatment of him.

How odd, that after those two episodes, he had voiced yet another protest over her employment. Only after facing Axos, when all she had done was disobey orders, slow down their escape from the Axon ship, and shed many tears at his supposed treachery, did he seem inclined to accept her with no further protests. Indeed, his actions seemed designed to persuade her to stay.

"Well, I have missed you," he said again.

The silence began to get long.

"What's that thing you're working on, Doctor?" she asked.

"It's a new dematerialisation circuit." He straightened up, obviously pleased with himself. "If everything tests out correctly, I should be able to depart earth anytime I choose."

His confident optimism startled Jo Grant right out of her awkwardness with him. A laugh popped out before she could stop it, and her bright dark eyes beamed at him over the rim of the cup.

Good natured teasing was something he was comfortable with, and he glared at her in mock indignation. "Are you laughing at me, Miss Grant?"

"Well, you're always poking around that old police box," she added. "And you never get it going, Doctor!"

"I took Axos clean away with it!"

"Yes, but you were only gone a moment or two, and it chucked you right back," she exclaimed. "And even to get that far you had to hook in with Axos's drive system and the Nuton Power Complex." She glanced over at the TARDIS, which stood in its corner in the lab. "I don't suppose that thing could have gone anywhere on its own."

"Miss Grant, you have a closed mind," he pronounced. "From now on you shall get your own tea!" He returned to the circuit on the bench and put his jeweler's glass in his eye.

From this point onward in this front section, the dialogue is taken from the BBC TV series, but I have written the narrative text as part of the retcon. I added a few lines of dialogue of my own, but most of it is transcribed directly from the video tape. I had to do this because the Pinnacle book that I am using for the retcon omitted so much from the TV version, and I don't have the Target novelisation to help.

She set down her empty mug, cocked her head sympathetically, and took on a coaxing voice, "Doctor, why don't you give it up? You've been working on that thing for simply ages."

He lifted the complex circuit and scrutinized it through the jeweler's glass. "You know I can't give it up, Jo. It's far too important."

Just then, the Brigadier entered. "Ah, Miss Grant! Welcome back!"

"Thank you, sir."

He cocked an amused eyebrow at the Doctor, who squinted at the circuit through the jeweler's glass. "Still at it, Doctor?"

The Doctor took up a delicate probe and did not look up. "Now don't you start."

The Brigadier came around the workbench, pleased to see that peace reigned in the lab. "The latest field reports are in," he said. "Still no trace of the Master."

Without bothering to afford a glance at the Brigadier for such obvious news, the Doctor grunted and said, "I didn't expect there would be. His TARDIS is working now. He could be anywhere in space and time."

The assurance did not affect the Brigadier. "Yes, that's as may be, but I've got to keep looking."

"You're wasting your time, Brigadier."

The lab telephone interrupted them. Jo sprang up to answer it. "Hello? Laboratory. Yes, he's here." She looked up. "Brigadier."

"Coming." He came and scooped up the receiver. "Lethbridge Stewart." He paused. "Right. Send him into my office." He cradled the receiver and looked triumphantly at the Doctor. "One of my agents thinks he's picked up a trace of the Master."

Unimpressed, the Doctor continued to examine the circuit. "Your agents are always picking up traces of the Master."

The Brigadier's eyebrows went up at the Doctor's dismissiveness. "This particular agent happens to be particularly reliable, Doctor," he said stiffly. He strode to the lab door, his back rigid. "I'll let you know what he says---if you're interested." And he walked out while the Doctor, unperturbed, continued to work on the circuit.

Jo tilted her head. "Oh, Doctor. Now you've offended him." Her tone was half teasing and half coaxing.

"Well." And he relented enough to let the jeweler's glass drop into his hand. He shot her a sly look. "Look what happened last time. The fellow they arrested turned out to be the Spanish Ambassador."

She giggled, and he beamed in satisfaction at the circuit in his hand. "Well, there we are," he said. "That's done it."

She was interested. "Done what?"

"I've made myself a completely new dematerialisation circuit. One that will bypass the time lords' homing control. I hope!" He pocketed the jeweler's glass.

She smiled at him with good natured patience. "Doctor, you don't seriously think you'll get that thing working again, do you?"

Mildly offended, he replied with gentle sarcasm. "Oh no! I've been doing all this for fun!" He stood up and went to the TARDIS. Jo followed him.

"I mean," she added. "It's just a sort of hobby, isn't it? A kind of game."

He turned to look at her. "A game?" he echoed.

"Well---" She threw her glance at the old police call box. "What have you got in there, anyway, a policeman?"

He hesitated so briefly that Jo did not even realize it. "Why not come inside and see for yourself?" he asked her. There was a hint of challenge in his tone, the sort of challenge that children have when they dare each other to climb trees.

Jo had never known him to invite anyone into the sacred confines of the TARDIS. It was his refuge when the walls of earth had him boxed in; his consolation that offered him days and days of work and planning when time dragged. She glanced up at him as she walked past him, and she approached the narrow, open door. He followed her as she passed through the doorway and came into the gleaming control room.

Her mouth fell open, and she stopped for a moment in wonder, then cautiously edged around the room, staying close to the walls. She stared at the gleaming floor, the vaulting ceiling, and the futuristic console. He strode to the console in the center of the room.

"I don't believe it!' she said when she had her voice back. "It's bigger inside than out."

"Yes, that's because the TARDIS is dimensionally transcendental." He pulled open a slot in one of the console's panels. She tore her eyes from the various electronic paraphernalia. "What does that mean?"

He glanced at her. "It means that the TARDIS is bigger inside than out." He connected the circuit and closed the panel. Neither of them noticed the doors as they swung closed in silence.

The Doctor eagerly rubbed his hands. "Now then!" Just as he reached for the testing switch, the central column of the console rose and then fell. He stared at it, amazed. The piston picked up speed and a steady rhythm. "That's impossible!" he exclaimed.

Jo turned and saw the doors. "The doors are closed!" she exclaimed. She turned to him as he checked the controls. "Doctor, let me out of here," she pleaded. Jo was never comfortable with the unknown, and she wanted to be back in the familiar lab where he could explain the wonders of the TARDIS to her.

He quietened his voice. "I can't Jo. I think we're taking off."

Her eyes darted over the moving column in the center of the console. "Well, stop it!"

He quickly checked the controls. "I'm trying to. Something's operating it by remote control."

The curious wheezing, groaning noise that Jo had only heard once before suddenly filled the spacious control room. His eyes narrowed. "The time lords!" he whispered to himself.

Jo's voice shook slightly when she spoke. She tried to sound firm with him. "All right, Doctor, the joke's over. Open the door and let me out?" she pleaded.

He realized that she was truly frightened. Jo Grant was a person who found great security in the ordinary. He quietened his expression and his eyes and come around the console toward her. He looked her in the eye. "I can't, Jo," he said gently. "We've taken off."

She challenged him, still nervous but trying to control circumstances with a good dose of skepticism. "All right then. Where are we?"

"At the moment, we're no where," he told her frankly. He threw his glance to a view screen set into one wall. It was blank, though it flickered.

"Oh don't be silly. We can't be no where," she told him.

"We're outside the space time continuum. Look."

She turned to the screen at his nod. For a moment she was completely unable to realise what was going on. "What's happening? Where are we going?"

"I've no idea. We'll just have to wait until we emerge." He watched the screen. A planet appeared and grew more distinct as they left the vortex. "Planet Zaxarious," he said. "So that's our destination."

Jo made her voice coaxing. "Very impressive. But can we go back to Earth now, please?"

"I don't know, Jo. I just don't know." He returned to the console. She stayed where she was, close to the doors, ready to dart out as soon as she could.

The sound of the TARDIS abruptly ceased. The screen changed to depict a barren, rocky, landscape, surrounded by sharp, bleak hills.

"Is that supposed to be where we are?" she asked.

"That is where we are," he corrected.

She turned to him, her wide dark eyes both frightened and doggedly skeptical. "All right then, if we've landed on another planet, why don't you open the doors?"

"Because the atmosphere out there might be poisonous, that's why. I'll just check. He skimmed his hands over the controls on one panel of the console.

She waited and then demanded, "Is the atmosphere out there poisonous?"

"No, no. It's quite healthy. Similar to earth before the invention of the motor car."

She was impatient and nervous. She went up to the closed doors and then turned to look at him, keeping her distance now that she was forcing him to confront the truth. "Look Doctor, are you going to open the doors or not?"

"I can but try." He activated the door control.

She had her back to the doors, but she heard them swing open to let her escape. "Thank you!" she exclaimed. She turned to escape and then stopped. Before her stretched the vast, unfriendly landscape that she had seen on the screen. "Doctor!" she exclaimed. She turned panicked eyes to him.

He tried to sound encouraging. "That's an alien world out there, Jo. Think of it!"

She ran back to the center of the room, afraid of the vast alien world. "I don't want to think of it! I want to go back to earth!"

He turned startled and disappointed eyes on her. "Look, do you realize how long I've been confined to one planet?"

His words drove home to her the truth that she had missed all along. She realized in an instant what she had missed ever since joining UNIT. "All that talk of yours about traveling in time and space!" she exclaimed. "It was true!" She sounded horrified, and she stared up at him as though she had never seen him before. All the strangeness of the strange world was suddenly hung on him. And she was suddenly alone in a strange world with a stranger.

He came around the console again, his face and eyes calm and kind. "Of course it was all true." And he stroked back her hair in a gesture that restored to her a sense of all that was familiar and safe about him. He looked steadily at her eyes. "Before I was stranded on Earth, I spent all my time exploring new worlds and seeking the wonders of the universe."

The steadiness of his eyes calmed her sudden fear of him. But she was still afraid of the new world.

"But you don't know what's out there!"

"Then let's find out! Don't you want to set foot in another world?" His eyes were so earnest and so filled with longing that her own good nature had to give in at least a little. "Well yes I do, but---"

He slipped around her and went to get his cloak, which hung on a coat stand in the corner. "Good!" He struggled into it while a sudden wind whined down the barren hills outside and echoed in the TARDIS.

She stayed where she was, facing the safe interior, unwilling to turn to the world outside.

He made his voice quiet. "Come on. We'll just take a quick look around, and then I'll try to get you back to Earth. All right?"

She knew then that he was alien, but she was no longer afraid of him. It was clear that he loved the unknown as much as she loved earth. She forced a smile and then turned. "All right."

He led her out onto the new world. The keen wind ruffled back his hair and he gave a sigh of pleasure as he locked the TARDIS doors behind them. In the gray and bleak landscape, a single flower, supported on a tough, rope-like stalk, was thrust up from the rough soil. Jo took hold of it without thinking. It came away easily from the ground, as though ready to be picked. The unearthly beauty of the fragile and broad petals charmed Jo for a moment and even awakened her curiosity as she skimmed one finger along the contour of the velvety, slightly sticky blossom. But she felt open and vulnerable in the barren ravine below the hills, as though unfriendly eyes were watching. She glanced up the walls of the ravine.

The Doctor's face lighted up with sudden interest and a new awareness. He carefully took several paces along a narrow line in the shallow soil, his eyes fixed on the ground.

"What is it?" Jo asked.

"Double line of tracks made by some sort of machine," he told her as she observed the lines in the soil and fell into step behind him. "This planet must be inhabited after all." He looked around, measured with his eye to the top of the nearest steep hill, and said, "I think we'll get a better view from up there." He strode forward.

Uncertain, she stayed still.

After a moment he realized that she wasn't walking after him. He stopped and looked back. "Come on. What are you waiting for?"

Her big dark eyes were doubtful. "I feel a bit scared," she said. The further they pushed from the TARDIS, the more vulnerable she felt.

He made his voice parental: that of a father who is certain that there is nothing to fear. "Come on, Jo," he coaxed. He stepped back towards her and held out his hand. "There's nothing to worry about."

It was impossible to resist him. In spite of the Doctor's early protests about her youth and inexperience, the Doctor had always taken care of her in whatever danger they found themselves. She took his hand and started up the hill with him.

About halfway up, she noticed something and pointed. "Those things up there---" she began.

"Some sort of prefabricated dwelling," he told her. "There's another one, a smaller one up there." And he pointed to another with his free hand. "Let's go and take a look.

"Oh no you don't!" she exclaimed, and a knife's edge of steel entered her voice. "Let's get back to the TARDIS!"

Exploring was one thing, but meeting alien people was something else altogether. Jo had already encountered the Nestenes and the creature from the Keller machine. That was quite enough exposure to extraterrestrial life for her tastes.

He realized that he could push her no further. "Yes, all right," he agreed. To his own surprise, he was not annoyed with her. She had actually ventured out further than he would have given her credit for, and it struck him that she had done so for his sake, trying to understand him. He decided to focus on details that might capture her interest. "Um, do you mind if I take a look at that rock first? It looks rather unusual." He pointed to a long spine of rock that narrowed to a finger and then crumbled into pieces. A narrow vein of silvery ore ran through it, creating a tiny fault from which the crumbling pieces were falling away. They bent to examine it.

It is at this moment that a human named Leeson appears with a shotgun and orders them to stand. The Doctor tries to explain and even tries to talk their way back to the TARDIS, clearly for the sake of getting Jo to safety. But the human orders them forward. They walk before him up the ravine to the prefabricated dwellings and enter a large main building, called the "dome," though it is more like a prefabricated barn or storage warehouse.

Inside, they are taken to a man named Ashe, and he questions them about who they are. The humans on the planet identify themselves as colonists. And their chief concern seems to be about whether or not the Doctor and Jo are miners or prospectors. When the Doctor identifies themselves as explorers, Ashe is not entirely satisfied. He wants identification papers. The Doctor assures him that these are back on their ship.

Leeson is less satisfied with these explanations. One source of Leeson's overall anxiety and hostility is the sightings of huge reptilian creatures in the area of the colony. Another source of concern is the apparent failure of the planet to produce crops. The Doctor is intrigued by all of this, and---against Jo's protests---agrees to stay the night and lead Ashe back to the TARDIS in the morning.

In the presence of humans who need his guidance, the Doctor is once again willing to push Jo off where she won't get in the way. He surprises Ashe with some insightful observations and asks to speak with him. Ashe clearly wants to speak to the Doctor, and they both agree that Jo should go off with Ashe's daughter Mary to have supper.

In spite of Mary's evident hospitality, Jo is nervous to be left among strangers.

Jo took a step closer to the Doctor and looked up at him with anxious eyes. She wanted to go home, and he knew it. But he saw from her eyes that she would what he said, with a little assistance and reassurance.

"It's all right," he told her. "I want to talk to Ashe first. Go with her, and I'll join you later."

"All right," she said quietly. He smiled at her.

Jo goes with Mary to the dining area, where they help themselves to bowls of soup. The colonists seated at the few tables are a work worn lot, thin and tired looking.

Jo learns that this is the year 2972, and that the colonists are people from earth who have pooled all their money for this one great venture of their lives. She also hears talk of the sightings of the monstrous reptilian beasts around the colony. She and Mary have arrived late, and so most of the colonists leave while they are still eating.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Ashe have been having an informative conversation as the Doctor tries to figure out why the crops will not grow on this fertile planet. He also learns from Ashe that there are other inhabitants of the planet, tall, green, man-like creatures called Primitives who save up little trinkets of metal and machinery parts and can communicate with each other telepathically. These Primitives are not a threat except that they do not like to see the colonists in possession of any dolls, and they jealously guard their own city of dwellings from any foreigners. Left to themselves and respected properly, they are not a threat to the colonists.

Their discussion is interrupted by news of an attack on the Leesons at their own dwelling. The Doctor orders Jo to stay with Mary Ashe, and he ventures out with the colonists. Jo does not like this, not out of wounded pride, but because she is genuinely afraid for the Doctor.

The colonists arrive at the Leesons' dwelling in two bands: those from the other dwellings and those already out on patrol. The Doctor talks with Winton, the youthful, somewhat hot headed leader of security for the colony, who also serves as an impromptu second in command for Ashe. Nobody saw the creature clearly, but the Leesons are both dead. Their bodies have been ripped apart by something with enormous claws The Doctor examines the claw marks found in their dwelling. Calculating the height of the creature based on the size of its claws and the descriptions given by the others, he announces that somehow a creature well over 20 feet high would have had to have entered through a door only six and a half feet high to have wreaked the havoc that overturned the place and killed Jane Leeson, who died inside the dwelling from being mauled.

The colonists return to the main dome, stunned at their first tragedy. A new argument starts among the men. There are those who wish to abandon the colony and start over again somewhere else. The heated argument is interrupted when a newcomer staggers in. He is a human, dressed in rags, malnourished, in need of water. He collapses in the doorway.

The colonists rush to help him, and once he has had water and can speak, he announces that there was another colony, a couple hundred miles away, and that everyone is dead. He is the only survivor. He tells them a story of failed crops, and then sightings of deadly giant reptiles, and then finally of the Primitives turning on the colony and killing every man, woman, and child.

In the morning, the Doctor goes out to inspect the Leeson's dwelling. He examines the claw marks and takes a sample for casting. His work is interrupted by the entrance of an enormous robot, followed by a human wearing the uniform of a mining corporation. The human, a geologist named Caldwell, is both friendly and intimidating towards the Doctor. He seems genuinely distressed to find that two people were killed in the dwelling, but he also insists that the Doctor accompany him back to his company's space ship. The Doctor agrees. Enroute to the ship in four-wheel drive vehicle, they pass the site where the TARDIS ought to be, only to find that it has been dragged away. They continue on to the ship, which is owned and operated by the Interplanetary Mining Corporation, or "IMC."

In my retcon, Captain Dent, leader of the mining crew, is a woman.

Caldwell goes to her to report that he has brought one of the colonists in. He also complains about the deaths of the Leesons. Dent, seemingly unaware that anybody was killed, turns to First Officer Morgan for an explanation. Morgan has obviously been placed in charge of intimidating colonists off of planets. He apologizes and says that it was an accident. Dent accepts this, but Caldwell is still upset, angry, and guilty. Apparently he is also party to the policy of forcing colonists off of planets through fear, but he does not want them killed.

Dent does her best to soothe everybody and to reinstate the necessity of IMC delivering the valuable minerals ("duralinium," in this case) back to Earth. She goes off to the recreational area to meet the Doctor, but Caldwell warns her that he is not like most colonists. She is not especially alarmed.

She enters the room where the Doctor has been locked in.

Dent allowed him to get a full look at her. For though she was now near fifty, she had the lithe, athletic body of a young woman. And she wore a uniform customized to accentuate her physical prowess.

But the only reaction to flicker across the stranger's face was one of faint recognition at the extra piping on her collar that marked her as the captain.

Dent's greeting of the Doctor is cool, professional, and business-like. She explains that the colonists have landed on the wrong planet and that this planet has been cleared for mining.

The Doctor is equally cool. He has reviewed the situation of the colonists and does not think that they are in error. Furthermore, he disputes Dent's almost religious zeal to bring minerals back to Earth. Instead, the Doctor tells her, humans need to stop overpopulating earth and settle on new planets to build healthy lives for themselves.

He declines to tell her how or why he has come to this planet, as it is plainly clear that he is not a colonist. He does mention that he has lost his TARDIS, "rather like a tall, blue box," and she tells him, truthfully, that nobody has reported seeing it. She insists that he allow IMC to return him to the colony. And then she leaves, locking him in.

Meanwhile, back at the colony, the survivor introduces himself as Norton. Between eating the food of the colonists and being shown all over the place very openly by Winton, he manages to send a few secret calls off to IMC. He converses briefly with the colony's electrician, an older man named Holden, who is assisted by one of the Primitives. Apparently the Primitive, a gentle member of his species, enjoys the company and gladly accepts whatever trinkets of machinery that Holden gives him.

Norton, now that he has seen that Holden is actually the only one who can keep the place running, stages an ambush for the two innocent beings. He comes back alone to the electrical area, takes up a shovel, and brains the Primitive. As Holden turns, amazed at this unprovoked violence, Norton takes up the Primitive's spear and runs the older man through the chest with it. He then runs screaming to the colonists to tell them that the Primitive attacked Holden and would have killed him as well except that he killed the Primitive first in self-defense.

While this bit of treachery is being played out at the dome, Captain Dent gets a private word with First Officer Morgan. She rebukes him for not reporting immediately about the deaths of the colonists, and he apologizes. But her reprimand is carried out only in the interest of maintaining her level of knowledge at all times. She does not care about the lost lives. She sends Morgan out to take the Doctor back to the Leeson's dome, with orders to kill him and make it look like an accident.

The Doctor, perfectly aware that treachery is probably at hand, allows Morgan to drive him back to the dwelling. They stop to check the tracks where the TARDIS was pulled away, but not finding it, they go back to the Leeson's ruined dwelling. Once inside the dwelling, Morgan uses his handheld control device to call the robot, Charlie, to come inside.

This time, Charlie's hands have been replaced with enormous splayed claws. Morgan pulls a gun to prevent the Doctor from escaping. But knowing that Morgan does not want to shoot him, the Doctor leaps around the room until he places Morgan between himself and the deadly robot. He grabs Morgan and gets control of the gun. To save himself, Morgan switches Charlie off. The Doctor destroys the control device and leaves.

Not knowing that her 2IC has just failed again, Dent brings the space ship down in plain sight of the colonist's main dome, establishes radio contact, and arranges a meeting. The colonists line up outside their dome to wait for her. This is entirely to Dent's liking.

If she had been disappointed in the Doctor's reaction at sight of her, the faces of the men who now watched her more than made up for it. Dent smiled slightly at her private joke.

Owing to antiquated laws that rewarded monogamy as a partial solution to the population boom, people still married on Earth. But leisure time and the ethics of complete equality relegated marriage to being a mere convenience for people. Until they became colonists.

She had seen enough of colonists to know that the current sexual mores did not apply to them. Put them on a hostile planet with nothing but their hands and a few tools to work with, and their society invariably reverted back to patriarchy. The men, who could labor longer at the heaviest outdoor work, suddenly became the rulers of their own fields.

And with that rule came the rulership of their own little economy. The women, afraid of disease and pregnancy in such a tough environment, became much more dependent. Marriage became a foundation stone of security to both genders. And children---viewed as liabilities on Earth---suddenly became assets. Not only assets, but in the absence of sophisticated entertainment and numerous occupations of time on earth, they became the cherished companions of their parents.

Within a generation, a colony would be practically worshiping monogamy and fidelity. And things like modesty---which she especially detested in men---would inevitably become part of the colonial psyche.

But she would be a breath of fresh air from the past. She intended to be. It pleased her to see the alarm in their eyes as they saw her in the tight black uniform, and they remembered the now forbidden pleasures of Earth.

She walked up to the little group of dusty men, looked each in the face, and then spoke in the flat, militarily precise voice that would snap them back to their current situation. It drove home to them that she was not for their pleasure, that they were nothing but miserable and starving colonists, trapped in the lives they had chosen for themselves. And she was about to drive them off the planet. IMC's planet. Her planet.

Dent has a field day with the inexperienced colonists, though her perceptive senses and reason pick out Jo as being a companion to the Doctor and not a run of the mill colonist. She coolly tells the assembled group that IMC has full rights to the planet, and she is ready to prove her claim legally. The colonists are daunted by the prospect of taking on an immense corporation. But Dent unwittingly blunders her first attack when she reveals that she has already met the Doctor and that he left her ship hours earlier. She seems to have the upper hand as she announces that she will send for an Adjudicator to examine the claims of the colonists and IMC. But the Doctor enters just then, noticeably alive, and charges Dent with attempting to murder him. He also explains the trick of putting the claw appendages onto Charlie the robot, turning him into an effective killing machine.

Dent, completely thrown off stride by this intrusion and these revelations, denies all charges but gets away as quickly as she can.

She retreats to the haven of her ship, where she takes out her fury on the luckless Morgan, much to Caldwell's evident amusement. Caldwell is plainly having second thoughts about IMC ethics. Dent threatens him with a charge of insubordination. Her reprimanding is cut off when the security team alerts her that two people from the colony are sneaking into the IMC ship.

Dent orders all hatches closed and sealed and traps Jo and Winton, who have come looking for the claws that the Doctor mentioned. Dent is openly amused by her two captives when they are brought before her and ringed by the IMC security men.

Things at last were going well, and Captain Dent, who never missed details, now regarded Jo Grant with a long, thoughtful expression. "You do not dress as a colonist," she said to Jo. "Your clothing is as outlandish as that other fellow's---the Doctor."

No doubt to Captain Dent this was a valid observation. Jo wore black denim jeans and a knit sweater. Dent stepped back and ran her eyes down Jo from shoulder to foot, and then back again, appraising the young woman's body. The young girl turned away, and Winton actually turned crimson.

"Yet you have the morality of the colonists," Dent observed. "Just like the Doctor. You must not be from Earth." She held out her hand and nodded to the Security man holding Jo's arms. "Keep hold of her, but give me her hand."

The captor instantly pulled Jo's right arm up behind her back to keep her in submission and with his other hand on her left wrist, he forced her left arm out and extended her hand to Captain Dent.

Jo pulled back, resisting this as much as she would have resisted putting her hand in a flame or vice.

Dent took the flinching hand in both of hers and examined it.

"Rings," she said. Her eyes met Jo's. "No, you are certainly not a colonist. You wear rings and your hands are soft." She released the hand, and Jo gladly let the security guard pull it back.

Dent thoughtfully paced to her desk and picked up her swagger stick. It was surprisingly heavy for an accessory that was meant to be ornamental. It was wrapped in double-stitched leather, and one end was padded with sand and criss-crossed with tiny leather bands tightly sewn down.

She crossed back to her captives. She put the weighted, padded end of the swagger stick under Jo's chin and forced the young girl's head up.

"Why don't you leave her alone?" Winton snapped.

Dent ignored him. "Who sent you here?" she asked Jo.

"Nobody sent us," Jo said faintly.

"So you are working with the Doctor?"

"Yes," Jo said. "He's a scientist. He has a ship called the TARDIS, but it hasn't worked in ages. When I teased him about it, he brought me aboard, and we took off. But he couldn't control it properly. It landed here."

"I have seen no other ship!" Dent snapped. "What does it look like?"

"Rather---rather like a tall blue box," Jo told her. Dent forced Jo's chin up further and gazed down at the girl's eyes, then abruptly lowered the swagger stick and stepped back. "Are you a scientist?" she asked.

No," Jo said.

"What then? His mate? His daughter?"

"Just his assistant."

Dent raised her eyebrows. "Is that what they call it now?"

The insinuation brought a laugh from the security team and a blush to the girl's cheeks. "It's not like that. The Doctor is a---a very proper gentleman!" she began, and all of them laughed at her, including Dent.

Smiling, Dent used the padded end of the swagger stick to pat Jo's cheek. "You are very quaint. I shall be pleased to see what sort of gentleman this Doctor is."

Dent orders that Winton and Jo be taken out to a ruined Primitive city to be chained to a bomb. She explains to them that she can detonate the bomb at any time. It will also automatically detonate if they should jostle it in any attempt to escape. She warns them that if the Doctor does not drop his charges against her, she will have them both killed. They are taken away by the IMC men.

The Doctor, busy repairing Holden's electrical generator, is summoned by Ashe with the news that Jo and Winton are now prisoners of IMC. Ashe, very good at organizing for survival but useless at carrying out a war, agrees to let the Doctor go to the IMC ship to negotiate for the return of the two captives.

To his surprise, the Doctor was met by only a single IMC guard when he came aboard the massive, gleaming ship. Instead of being led into the recreation room where he had been kept before, he was led down several long corridors, away from the command centre of the ship. Just as he would have become suspicious, two more guards fell into step behind him, and he was brought through a doorway into a room that he took to be a private office.

There was a desk, but also a couch against one wall, and the room was heavily decorated with exotic bits of art from Earth. The lighting was dim. He was escorted in, but Dent immediately ordered the guards to wait outside. A heavy, sweet scent of either perfume or incense hung in the air.

She had been seated behind her desk, but she stood up as the door closed behind the guards. "I demand the return of Jo Grant and Ellis Winton!" the Doctor snapped.

As she came around the desk, her shoulders relaxed instead of tensed, he realized that she had changed clothes. Then he amended his observation. She had removed the short, long-sleeved jacket reserved for the high ranking IMC personnel. Her shoulders and arms were bare.

"Do you?" she asked him, her voice soft. "Surely you realize that they were trespassing on an IMC spaceship, with intent to commit theft and acts of espionage."

She held his eye with hers, pleased to see that his expression---behind the iron mask of determination---was troubled. She deliberately stepped closer to him, almost pushing into him, but then stopped. She was satisfied to see that he did not retreat.

"I could have your two friends executed for piracy," she said softly.

"That would be unwise," he told her, his voice and eyes stern.

"I think so," she agreed. "They suit me so much better as insurance against any inflated claims you had planned to make to the Adjudicator."

She paused to let her words sink in to him, allowing him to understand her power over him, now that she had his girl captive. At last as he seemed to realize his helplessness, she slid one hand up his shoulder. He glanced down at it, almost as though he did not comprehend. Then he turned his eyes to her as realisation dawned. His face and eyes became quiet.

"You are a very strong man, Doctor," she said. "What is the girl to you? What will you do to make sure that she is treated well?"

"Anything," he told her.

She smiled and watched his eyes, watched to see the disgust, desire, and self-loathing that would be there as he capitulated his will to her will and let her use him. She stroked the back of his neck, and he compliantly bent closer to let her slip her arms around his neck. She raised her lips to kiss him.

The pity in his glance, the patient and disinterested forbearance as she would have kissed him, went over her like ice water dashed into her face. Worse, as he was so close to her, and she was in his arms, his gaze looked directly into her, through her. She could not stop him from seeing her, from brushing aside the leather uniform, the cosmetic perfection, the sight and scent of her. He looked right through her and in an instant saw her as even she did not know herself, found nothing of interest, and withdrew from the inspection, covering her again with her own facade as a man might drape the corpse of a dead woman out of pity for her.

She broke free of his arms and retreated behind the desk. She started punching up buttons in rapid succession while his gaze still rested on her.

The door burst open, and the three security men entered.

"You know the consequences, Doctor! You know the consequences!" she babbled. "The girl is chained to a bomb somewhere with the male colonist. If you betray me, I shall destroy them both---in an instant!"

Still not able to look at him, she suddenly rounded on the guards. "What are you waiting for? Get him out of here! Take him away!"

They shoved him out the door. "You heard me Doctor!" she shouted after him. "You know that I'll do it!"

Meanwhile, Jo and Winton had decided to attempt escape from the bomb. Using packing grease, ore-filled rocks, and some outright shoving and pushing, they both get free of their manacles and make their escape. But the IMC men are on the way to check on them. Jo is almost immediately recaptured by Security Guard Allen. Winton gets further, but Dent gives the order via radio that Winton need not be taken alive. The IMC men pursue him with guns. Caldwell, set up alone in a geologist's survey camp, fools them into thinking that he has gunned down Winton. He sends them away, patches Winton up, and warns him that there is no fighting IMC once it decides that it wants a planet.

Winton gets back to the colony as the colonists are getting ready to go out in search of him and Jo. He tells them that Jo has been recaptured. The colonists decide that they must organise an attack against the IMC people. Hurriedly, the Doctor goes out to find Caldwell to convince him to have Jo freed before she is killed as a hostage.

Caldwell agrees with this and goes to Dent, threatening to go on strike if the girl is not brought back. Caldwell is the only geologist and is crucial to the work. Angry and frustrated, Dent agrees. She radios to Security Guard Allen to free Jo and bring her back.

Allen obeys, but he and Jo are interrupted when three Primitives enter the ruined stone dwelling. The Primitives are surprised to find human intruders in their old city. Jo tries to calm Allen, but he fires his weapon and kills one of the natives. A second one kills him with a spear. The two Primitives take Jo off with them.

Forced by circumstances to assist the colonists before they get themselves killed, the Doctor helps them devise a plan to take over the IMC ship. It works for them, and they immediately start searching for the evidence they need to prove that IMC was behind the deaths of the Leesons. As they are doing this, the Adjudicator ship lands, and the Doctor goes off with Ashe---who has been ousted by Winton---to track down Jo.

Without the Doctor and Ashe around to supervise, Dent and her crafty officers trick the colonists into dropping their guard. They overthrow the takeover just in time to respond to the Adjudicator's first radio contact. They agree to assemble in the main dome of the colony for the initial hearing.

The Adjudicator, who is actually the Master, hears both sides and retires to make his decision. But for once both the colonists and the miners are in agreement that there is something not quite right about this Adjudicator.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Ashe discover the bodies of Allen and the Primitive, and the Doctor goes on alone in search of Jo. Warned by Ashe of the dangers of entering the Primitive city, he goes on anyway, using the land rover left by Allen. He follows the tracks to a blank rock wall. It suddenly opens to reveal a doorway, and he is taken captive by several Primitives and brought inside. He observes that there is another species alive in the tunnels of the underground city: a nearly blind race of shriveled looking creatures all draped in robes.

Before he can find any answers, he is pushed into a holding room where Jo is being kept.

Jo was standing inside, head down, eyes preoccupied with worry.

"Doctor!" She rushed forward and flung her arms around him.

"Jo! You're all right!" And to her surprise, he kissed the top of her head as he caught her. In an instant she realized that he had been afraid for her. "You all right?" he asked anxiously. He tilted her chin up and looked directly into her eyes.

"Yes, quite all right!" she said quickly. She beamed up at him, confident and happy now that he had come. He scanned her eyes quickly, but they revealed a spirit and mentality intact and unharmed. IMC had not seriously hurt her, nor had the Primitives.

Jo surprises the Doctor by taking him to a board of frescoes that she has been studying. Applying his principles of observation, she has figured out that the crude drawings are some sort of history of the Primitives. Together, they figure out that the Primitives once had a thriving culture with three classes of creatures. They had advanced technology, but there came a point when everything seems to have erupted into catastrophe and disarray. Following this great cataclysm, the society has declined to its current state.

The Doctor starts to realize that there is something deadly and dangerous hidden on the planet; something that killed the culture that once existed here, and that is also killing the crops of the colonists. He and Jo attempt an escape, but they are recaptured. The shriveled, priest-like creatures have them taken to a great, gleaming control room. Here, they are to be offered as sacrifices and fed into the core of what appears to be some sort of great nuclear device.

As the Doctor and Jo struggle to get away, a tiny, doll-like creature emerges from the core of the inferno, halts the proceedings, and asks their business. They tell it that Jo was brought against her will to this place, and the Doctor had come to rescue her. The doll-like creature agrees to free them, but warns them that if they should come to the city again, for whatever reason, they will be sentenced to the flames.

They quickly leave the city.

"I'm afraid I left the land rover a good half mile from here," the Doctor told Jo as they trudged away from the Primitive city.

I don't mind the walk," she told him. "I was cooped up in there for ever so long." Her voice was cheerful, but her eyebrows were together, and her dark eyes were perplexed.

"What is it?" he asked.

"Well, when we took off," she said. "You said something about the controls being operated by remote control."

"Yes," he told her. "The time lords most likely." He had nearly forgotten.

"But why?" she asked. "Are they marooning us? Are they still angry with you? Are they on the Master's side?"

He let out a sudden laugh. "Oh no. No, Jo. They are not on the Master's side." He became more thoughtful and then shook his head. "No, I don't think they are especially angry with me, not any more than before. And probably a good deal less. No, I don't know what they're after."

She hesitated. "Who are they anyway, Doctor?"

"Oh . . . " He searched for an analogy to satisfy her. "Sort of like imperious old school masters of mine. Rather stern old chaps and a bit narrow minded. But not---not evil, Jo. Not like the Master. Just---" And he frowned. "Just blasted high handed. Especially when it comes to me!"

She looked up at him as they picked their way over the rough ground. Her dark eyes showed uncertainty. He glanced at her, and he helped her over a shelf of loose rock as they started uphill to the land rover.

"Are you more like us or more like them?" she asked.

"Well, I am a time lord, Jo," he told her. "But the ethics of good and evil, right and wrong, don't change from one species to another. And I like to think of myself as being on the side of what's good and what's right."

This reply suited her exactly. She nodded and smiled up at him, reassured. He pointed out the land rover above them and they toiled up the barren hill. He half expected her to ask about the chances of going home, but she did not. Now caught up in the urgency of the plight of the colonists, she had forgotten her fears for herself.

The Doctor once again found himself revising his opinion of her. He handed her up into the land rover with an old world gallantry that made her laugh.

Back at the main dome, the groups have reconvened to hear the Adjudicator's decision. The Master rules in favor of IMC.

As he exits the room, he runs into the Doctor and Jo, who are just returning. The Master tries not to appear shocked and coolly brushes them off as he arranges to meet with John Ashe and advise him of his rights to appeal the decision.

The Master takes Ashe off alone for a conference. Under the guise of helping him find a reason to declare the planet off limits, he pumps Ashe for information on the history and geography of the planet. IMC, meanwhile, has returned in victory to their ship, to celebrate. Dent tries to make peace with Caldwell. The Doctor and Jo realize that they have been sent to thwart the Master at whatever game he is about.

The colonists, for their part, decide to take up arms against the IMC people and to declare themselves an independent state. While Ashe is busy with the Master and cannot interfere, they break out their weapons and fake a call to the IMC space ship, telling them that the Adjudicator has called a final meeting to close the case and get sign-off. Norton tries to get a warning call off to IMC, but he is caught and is killed.

The hail of gunfire brings Ashe at a run, and the Master attempts to use the battle as a cover for him to shoot the Doctor, but he is interrupted by Ashe. The belligerent colonists obtain surrender from Dent, take away their weapons, and order IMC off the planet. IMC leaves. They also order the Adjudicator off the planet. But the smooth-talking Master convinces them, over the Doctor's protests, that he can offer them legal advice and assistance, and that he has been impressed by their willingness to fight for the land.

The IMC people, beaten but not defeated, check on the Master's identity and find out that he is a fake. They land out of sight and out of contact from the colony and begin to plan a surprise attack.

The Doctor, meanwhile, takes Jo tot he Adjudicator's ship, which is just the Master's TARDIS in camaflouge. Once onboard, they find the records of the real Adjudicator (obviously a victim of the Master). Jo stumbles into the way of the Master's security system, and the two of them are rendered unconscious by anaesthetic gas.

The Master imprisons Jo in a glass cubicle connected to a nerve gas decanter and orders the Doctor to lead him to the Primitive city. He shows the Doctor his handheld control device that will flood Jo's prison with deadly nerve gas if the Doctor does not obey him. The Doctor warns him that he is under sentence of death if he ever returns to the city, but the Master forces him on. The Doctor drops the key to the Master's TARDIS (filched in a bygone era) into the sand by the door of the ship.

As they did before, IMC easily decoys and dupes the colonists and gets their own weapons back. They take control of the colony and order the colonists to get on their space ship and evacuate at once.

While the forced evacuation is taking place, Caldwell and Morgan go to the Adjudicator's ship and try to force their way in but cannot. Caldwell finds the dropped key, and they enter. They free Jo and take her back to the colony where she is to join the evacuation. But Jo convinces Caldwell to take her to the Primitive city to try and intercept the Master and the Doctor. Disgusted with IMC and with Dent, Caldwell agrees. He knows that the colonists' ship is in such a bad state it will likely blow up before it gets into space.

He and Jo leave. As soon as the evacuation is complete and the people have been forced into the ship, IMC clears the area except for a single guard who maintains a safe distance. The ship delays while a minor repair is made, and then takes off. It explodes shortly after lift off.

In the Primitive city, the Doctor and the Master make their way to the central control room, where they are captured again. The Master talks and pleads with the Guardian of the Flames and nearly gets his agreement to allow the Master to have control of the Doomsday weapon. Or so it seems. But when the Master reveals that he wants total control in order to enjoy total power, the Guardian agrees that there can never be any good use for the Doomsday Weapon because there can never be anybody good enough to put total power to good use. He agrees with the Doctor that the Doomsday Weapon---which takes up the entire planet and is able to destroy entire planets in a single blast---has destroyed his own people and is still slowly killing this planet. He agrees to self destruction, though it means his own death.

The Doctor throws the self-destruct switch and pulls the Master away as the place begins to erupt. Jo and Caldwell have gotten inside the city, but they meet the Doctor and the Master as the place is coming down around their ears. The four of them make a hurried escape.

They emerge into the sunlight to find themselves surrounded by IMC guards and Captain Dent. Dent orders Caldwell back into the IMC group and then quickly assembles a firing squad of security men to execute the fake Adjudicator, the Doctor, and Jo. Horrified, Caldwell protests, but to no avail.
"Wait a moment." Dent held up her hand and looked at Jo. "I want her rings."

Jo nearly shrank back but then steeled herself. Dent strode across the space between the guards and the condemned captives. Before she could snatch up Jo's hand, Jo held it out to her.

"Captain Dent, you have saved me from despairing of myself," the Master said icily, staring into the distance. "It's nice to know, at the very end, that I have not sunk quite so low as others."

"Is there nothing too despicable for you to do?" the Doctor asked.

There were a few things I would have tried," she said, as she neatly stripped the rings from Jo's fingers. She slipped one of the rings on and examined her hand. She glanced up at him and met his eye. "But you were unwilling, Doctor."

She took Jo's other hand, removed the rings, and walked out of firing range.

The Doctor glanced down at Jo, and she suddenly gripped his hand, afraid. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "We should have gone back to the TARDIS when you said."

Her eyes were big, and wet with fear, but she shook her head. "No---no, I chose. After a while. I wanted to stay." Her voice gasped, and she would have closed her eyes as Dent gave the order to take aim. But his eyes suddenly held hers, quiet, calm, and powerful. She couldn't look at the guns, but she could look up at him.

The firing squad is interrupted just in the nick of time by the colonists, who order a halt and then open fire on IMC, drawing their fire. The captives get to cover. The Master escapes in the melee. But Morgan is shot dead, and Caldwell refuses to fire on the colonists. IMC surrenders. With several of her men dead, and many others wounded, Dent is now at last defeated. They get back on their ship and leave.

The colonists, it turned out, got on board and waited until just before take-off to leave again. Under pretense of a quick repair, they escaped the ship and went into hiding. John Ashe alone took it up and was killed in the explosion.

With the escape of the Master and the destruction of the Doomsday Weapon, the Doctor's assignment is complete. The TARDIS has been found in the ruined city, and Jo and the Doctor depart. Arriving back on Earth, Jo finds that she has been gone from the lab of UNIT for only a couple minutes.

Read Trumpkin, which is my own story that follows this one
Read the retcon of The Daemons, which is next in the original, televised series.
Back to Jeri's Dr. Who Fiction page!

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