The Daemons Retcon;Doctor Who;Jo Grant;Katy Manning;Third Doctor;Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart;Jon Pertwee;Jeri Massi

The Daemons

retcon additions by Jeri Massi

From a story by Barry Letts

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.

Jo Grant was nearly perfectly happy. Her own optimistic nature usually required no more than sunlight and fresh air to keep her bright and cheerful, and today she had both. Running on a full tank of optimism, she was keeping up a steady stream of conversation with the Doctor, her supervisor and sometime patron. At the moment he had his head under the bonnet of his beloved Edwardian roadster, Bessy, and so far he had been unenthusiastic about Jo's choices of conversation.

She had gone through the Beatles, Elton John, the Brigadier's recent budget cuts, and the late snow they had seen three weeks earlier, getting only curt or short answers in reply. This was the only crimp in her happiness: the knowledge that in some moments the Doctor's only pleasure seemed to be in letting her know that the enormous gulf of knowledge, experience, and travel that lay between them was not going to be bridged by her.

At the moment he was too busy to even tease her, which lately had been his usual ploy. Teasing her about her limited views, and making quips over her comments, but always with a smile, always with a twinkle in his eyes, so that she could not protest much or justify hurt feelings.

Jo knew that they had seen too many dangers together for the Doctor to really be completely unfeeling towards her, and she understood that he was frustrated and restless with his exile on earth. When in danger with her, he was gentle, even comforting, and had risked his life several times in order to protect her. But when things were quiet, the nervousness and restlessness built up in him.

Now that they had traveled once together in the TARDIS, she possessed a much clearer idea of his nature. He wanted action and complexity and challenge. He had to have change and adventure or be miserable, and---cooped on earth---he was often miserable. So, no matter how pleasant she tried to be, and no matter how helpful, there were days when she was just one more accessory of his imprisonment; one more reminder of the unbreakable ties holding him pinned to the earth.

He broke into her reverie.

"I say, Jo, since you're of no use working on this engine, you might keep up your end of the conversation. What were we talking about anyway?"

Jo prattles on about the Age of Aquarius and the occult. At the Doctor's challenge on this, she questions him about the supernatural. Her belief is that events that cannot be defined or explained by science could be supernatural events, since the known laws of nature cannot account for them. He counters with the premise that all things are natural, and therefore everything has a scientific explanation.

As they are speaking, Bessy suddenly trundles off on her own, much to Jo's amazement. The jaunty roadster turns a couple circles out in the car park, toots her horn when the Doctor rebukes her, and then comes back at his command. After a scolding, she drives off to her own parking space. The Doctor teases Jo over this, asking her if she thinks this is magic.

Jo knows that he is teasing her, and she protests that he's obviously using technology. Mike Yates walks up to them on this, having seen the amazing demonstration. The Doctor teases Jo again about believing in magic, and Jo---embarrassed---ends the conversation and asks Mike for a lift back to HQ so that she can catch the program on television that she wants to see.

She was a little tired of the teasing of the Doctor. And it embarrassed her in front of Mike Yates to be treated so like a child. Mike, she knew, had to work at minding his own business around her. Much as he liked her, he often worried that Jo was in over her head on this job. And he also often disapproved of the Doctor's teasing, though he never dared say so. He and Jo had fought shoulder to shoulder against the Axons, and the effect of a life and death battle together was to make him loyal to her. In spite of seeming a bit of a lad at times, there was a lot of the old British soldier in Mike Yates.

As Jo marched off towards Mike's car, the Doctor shot a grin and a wink at the young Captain. Trying to stay neutral, Yates offered a brief smile back and changed the subject.

Yates invites the Doctor along to watch the program, in spite of the Doctor's objection to the supernatural. But when Mike mentions that the archeological dig, which is supposed to uncover the tomb of a great chieftain, will be held at Devil's End, the Doctor's attention is caught. Mike adds that the disturbance of the ancient tomb is fabled to bring about all kinds of occult curses and dooms. Suddenly galvanized into action, the Doctor insists that they leave for HQ at once to catch the first part of the program.

They gather in the duty room at UNIT HQ, where Sgt. Benton, just coming on duty, has set up the television. The program that they watch is a prelude to the opening of the tomb, which is scheduled for midnight. On location at the remote and barren Devil's Hump, Alastair Fergus, the announcer, interviews the surly archeologist, Professor Horner. Horner's account is that the tomb is the site of a great ancient chieftain. Fergus, grabbing for headline interest, questions the professor on the likelihood of the various occult curses placed on the tomb coming to pass when it is opened. Horner dismisses these.

Watching this from UNIT, the Doctor is drawn, worried, and irritable. He's struggling against the blocks placed in his mind by the time lords.

All her minor grudges and injuries forgotten, Jo spoke up:
Jo asks the Doctor what is wrong, but he does not answer her. On the television, Horner is goaded by Fergus into explaining what Beltane is: the high occult holiday of spring time.

The word reminds the Doctor of something, but nothing is clear. He is obviously struggling to remember something crucial.

The television interview is interrupted when a local village woman, Miss Olive Hawthorne, barges into the archeological site. Miss Hawthorne demands that the dig be stopped and that the tomb be left undisturbed. Horner wants her taken away. But Fergus questions her on the air, and she announces that she is a witch, and she has foreseen that great catastrophe will befall them if the tomb is opened.

At her words, the Doctor suddenly becomes focused. He announces that the woman on the screen is right; he and Jo must get out to Devil's End and stop that dig. Without further preparation, they exit the room and depart in Bessy for the distant village.

Miss Hawthorne, meanwhile, though congratulated by her fellow villagers for getting right onto the air to state her case, is frustrated by her reception from Fergus. Obviously the BBC has not been convinced, and neither has Professor Horner. She bicycles to the manse in search of the vicar.

Vicar Smallwood, previous canon of the tiny village, has been replaced by the suave and dark-eyed Mr. Magister. As Miss Hawthorne goes up the garden path to the vicarage to introduce herself to him, she meets Police Constable Groom. They greet each other, and Groom also congratulates her on taking her case right to the cameras. Yet as Miss Hawthorne walks past him, the uniformed man suddenly goes pale, seems to enter a trance, and then picks up a huge stone from the garden. A fierce wind suddenly batters the garden and hurls debris through the air. Unaware that her fellow villager is stalking up behind her about to bash her with the rock, Miss Hawthorne utters a sacred rune to calm the wind. As the wind is calmed, so is Groom. He comes back to himself, sees the rock in his hands with no trace of recognition, and drops it. Miss Hawthorne goes on to the vicarage.

She is stopped again, but this time not by a friend. Garvin the verger steps in her way and attempts to physically bar her from entering the vicarage. She argues with him and threatens to use violence if he does not let her pass. She is interrupted by the calming voice of the vicar himself. The vicar urges gently that there be no violence, and he sends Garvin on his way.

Miss Hawthorne makes her plea to the vicar. She wants him to join her as a representative of the Church in order to prevent the tomb from being opened. In spite of their vast theological differences, she cites their common ground, the chief of which is an acknowledgement of the Supernatural and a concern for good to triumph. The vicar tries to politely distance himself from her views. When she mentions the care of the souls in the parish, he answers with the memorable lines of the rationalist (quoting Letts here): "The soul, as such, is a very dated idea. The modern view would tend to see the personality as---"

And Miss Hawthorne answers him with equally memorable lines (also quoting Letts here); "You are a blockhead!"

(I'm still not sure how a Buddhist screenplay writer depicting a story that refutes the idea of a literal devil ended up penning two lines of dialogue that a Christian would find so satisfying, but there you have it.)

Olive Hawthorne brushes aside the Master's rationalism with obvious contempt and storms away from the vicarage, ready to battle the dig alone. But the Master (for that is the real identity of the vicar,) summons Garvin with a snap of the fingers and sends the verger after Miss Hawthorne. He follows. Garvin knocks her out, and the two of them tie her up and hide her in a heavy cedar chest in the vicarage.

At UNIT, the Brigadier is on his way out to a formal regiment dinner, leaving the HQ in the charge of Mike Yates, Sgt. Benton, and their shift. While Benton laments over an evening with nothing but corned beef sandwiches and the telly for company, the Doctor and Jo are rushing to the tiny rural village. Unaware that a signpost has shifted 45 degrees on its own in the strong, supernatural wind, they take a wrong turn and get lost. Annoyed, the Doctor blames Jo's map reading skills.

While they fruitlessly wend back and forth seeking their bearings, the broadcast up at the dig begins. Finally, the Doctor locates the village of Devil's End. He and Jo rush into the local pub, the Cloven Hoof, and ask directions. Unfortunately, the Doctor himself is such a seven days' wonder, with his shock of white hair, his fancy dress clothes, and his urgent manner, that the slow-moving villagers at the pub do not warm up to him. They gently tease him and twit him, playing him along as he demands directions. It is Jo, with her earnest eyes and sweet face, who implores the middle aged Squire Winstanly for directions. The Squire gives her the directions at once. Further annoyed by Jo's success where he failed, the Doctor sweeps her out and they rush to the dig. Neither of them see the verger, Garvin, quietly slip out from the pub behind them and creep away to the vicarage.

While they race to the dig in Bessy, Garvin meets the Master in the vicarage, in the entryway that leads down to a vast, underground cavern on which the aged church has been built. The Master listens to Garvin's account of the strange visitor called the Doctor, and then tells Garvin to prepare for the ceremony. Garvin goes out, and the Master dons a scarlet ceremonial robe and goes down to the cavern under the church.

The cavern historically had been the congregating place of covens, and is a historical landmark for tourists in the summer. The Master has revived its ancient use. He meets a coven of hooded and masked men, and they initiate a ritual of chanting and garbled prayer.

At the dig, Professor Horner is fuming with impatience. Fergus finally passes the attention of the camera to him, and Horner scrapes free an ancient brick wall with his trowel. Just as he takes up a stout pry to break through, the Doctor and Jo make their desperate sprint from Bessy to the mouth of the dig itself, which is now draped with heavy canvas and fronded with cables for the camera and sound equipment.

Jo stumbles and falls, and the Doctor rushes on, heedless of her, pushing aside crew men and getting into the mouth of the dig.

At the cavern where the Master is running the ceremony, a stone gargoyle suddenly comes to life under the chanting of the coven. The ground begins to shake.

With the ground trembling under his feet, the Doctor rushes down the makeshift wooden steps into the tomb just as Horner breaks through the wall of the tomb. The tiny hole is blown open with a blast of frigid air that throws down the tomb wall. A wave of frost instantly coats everything inside of the tomb, including the Doctor and Professor Horner. A second later, Jo rushes inside, witness to the frigid air, the collapsed wall that has partially buried both men, and the frost.

Back at UNIT, Benton and Yates have been held in fascination by the latest football tournament. Guiltily realizing that they have missed most of the broadcast from the dig, they tune it in to catch the last couple minutes. They switch it on to see a lopsided camera's view of the tomb, the frost and Jo, scrabbling and calling out. The screen goes dark and is replaced with a bland message that communications have been interrupted and the BBC is trying to reconnect.

The men try to get calls through to the village, but without success. Jo finally calls them from the village pub, but the call is cut off as she is pleading with Yates to come down. All the lines to the village are down. Yates and Benton decide to take the Brigadier's helicopter to the village.

While they are preparing to come down to the rescue, the casualties from the frigid blast have been moved from the dig to the Cloven Hoof, which is being used as an impromptu field hospital. Professor Horner is dead: frozen solid. The village medical doctor also pronounces that the Doctor is dead. But at Jo's pleading he runs a second check. This time he catches a faint pulse. The Doctor is taken upstairs to a bedroom, covered in blankets, and left under Jo's vigilant watch.

The BBC television crew clear their equipment from the dig at a remarkable pace. They nail boards up over the entrance to the tomb. PC Groom, unperturbed by the events of the night, settles down to keep a watch over the silent and deserted Devil's Hump. The dig was not interrupted until just after midnight, and now dawn is less than an hour off. As he dozes off, he is interrupted by a great tromping. It startles him awake. He looks up just in time to see an enormous figure above him, and then he is trampled into the earth by a great hoof.

The dawn finds Yates and Benton closing in on the town in the Brigadier's helicopter. While still in the air, they see enormous hoof prints stamped into the earth of a nearby field. They bring the craft down and take a preliminary look. The hoof prints seem real, and are large enough to accommodate a creature thirty feet high. Quickly, the two men board the helicopter again, determining to see to Jo and the Doctor first, and then investigate the cause of the hoof prints.

They bring the chopper down onto the village green. All is quiet in Devil's End, but Jo has been watching for them, and she runs from the pub to greet them.

Jo's sense of dread was not illusory. Without thinking, Yates and Benton caught her from either side, so that for a moment their reunion was as hearty as that of three long lost friends. Jo caught her breath in with a sigh of relief.

Instantly professional again, Mike straightened and said, "You all right, Jo?" But he glanced around the silent village houses with uneasiness, and was suddenly glad for the handgun in its holster on his belt. Was it just his imagination, or was somebody watching them?

While Yates goes to oversee the Doctor's condition, Benton goes off to do a quick recce of the field and woods where the tracks led. But as the sergeant passes by the vicarage, he hears faint cries of distress. He enters the vicarage, breaks open the cedar chest, and frees Olive Hawthorne.

She tells him that the vicar is behind the devilish business at the dig and in the village. She spies Garvin coming towards the vicarage, and she and Benton sneak down the steps into the cavern to hide. Benton is awed and aghast at finding a center of demon worship under the church, but the runes and signs cut into the floor are absolute proof. After waiting for a few minutes, he and Miss Hawthorne attempt to leave, only to find Garvin behind the door, armed with a shotgun. He and Benton struggle for the gun. Garvin's strength is maniacal, and he pushes Benton onto a section of the floor marked off with runes. Instantly, the young sergeant is pummeled and beaten by invisible forces. They finally throw him outside their sphere of influence. Garvin forces Miss Hawthorne to help him up.

Walking behind them with the shotgun trained on them, Garvin forces the spinster and the stumbling sergeant to precede him up the steps to the silent garden. But outside, they feel the ground start to shake again. A tremendous wave of heat passes over them, and in the glare, all three of them see the enormous creature that made the hoof prints, though it is not as large at the moment as the tracks suggested.

Garvin makes the mistake of firing at it, and it stamps him into the ground. It then passes on its way, dwindling in size. But Miss Hawthorne is too overcome to notice this, and Benton is semi-conscious.

Meanwhile, at the Cloven Hoof, Mike gets the full story from Jo and calls in to UNIT to find that the Brigadier is already on the way, by car. Jo, resuming her vigil by the Doctor's bedside, dozes off in a chair. The trembling of the ground and the sudden, overwhelming wave of heat interrupt the peace and quiet of the room. Jo is thrown from the chair; the china plates and figurines fall from the shelves and are smashed. In the middle of this confusion, the Doctor suddenly leaps up, wide awake.

The earthquake ends and the heat passes. With Jo and Yates fussing over him as he goes, the Doctor comes downstairs to take charge of the situation. Bert the pub owner, who is cleaning up the smashed glasses, is surprised to see him. Before more can be said, the door to the pub is pushed open, and Miss Hawthorne staggers in, trying to keep Benton from falling. The Doctor and Mike take him and bring him to a chair, where the Doctor does a quick examination and announces that Benton has---indeed---been beaten up. He sends Bert back to the kitchen to bring back hot, sweet tea. He asks Miss Hawthorne what has happened, and she declares that she has seen the Devil.

The revelation deeply impresses Jo, but the Doctor scoffs. Miss Hawthorne objects, and he soothes her by agreeing that she saw a truly impressive figure, but it was not the Devil. She goes on to tell her own tale and relates her knowledge of the new vicar, Mr. Magister. The Doctor recognizes the name at once, but Jo is puzzled. "Did you fail Latin as well as science Jo?" he snaps. "Magister is Latin for Master!"

Bert brings the tea to the front and then resumes cleaning up the broken glass, taking the opportunity to eavesdrop as the others confer. The Doctor and Jo leave to go view the dig. Bert manages to slip away and call the vicarage to report these events to the Master.

A radio call from the Brig comes in. He tells Yates that the village seems to be surrounded by a wall of impenetrable heat. It is so hot that a rock thrown into it immediately goes up in flames, yet the heat is so localized that standing a foot or two away from it, the Brigadier cannot sense it. Only the dark, charred strip of earth running in a line over the landscape gives warning of it.

The Doctor and Jo arrive at the dig and find that the boards nailed across the entryway into the tomb have been splintered apart. They also find the mangled body of PC Groom. Jo is obviously shaken by this, perhaps as well by the unearthly stillness at the dig. But when she asks what killed the constable, the Doctor again snaps at her that it was certainly not the Devil.

Jo-like, she says nothing in return, and the Doctor tells her that he is going into the dig itself and curtly asks her if she prefers to stay outside. She says that she wants to stay with him, and meekly adds that she hopes she will not be in the way.

His rebuke about Latin was still fresh in her mind, but the presence of the corpse outside in the stillness was overbearing.

The Doctor caught himself with a guilty twinge at her quiet reply. He looked down at her face, her eyes big with anxious fear, but her features also taxed with weariness from having watched over him all night.

On the way out the door from the pub, he had seen the quick flash of resentment in Mike Yates' eyes at his public criticism of Jo. Guilt nudged him, and he gentled his voice and answered her: "Of course I wouldn't mind," he said. "I'm glad of your company. Come on."

They strip away the splintered boards and enter the narrow tunnel. They pass down into the barrow, seeing that it is not a tomb at all. Once past the fallen rubble, they are able to stand upright in a large, echoing chamber. The Doctor takes up the discarded trowel, clears away some dirt, and points to what looks like a small model space ship on the earth floor. He invites Jo to pick it up. She cannot. He tells her that it ways over 750 tons and asks her to look around the vast room. She does, and she realizes that the chamber is the same shape as the tiny space ship.

The Doctor now tells her that earth is in danger, but before he can continue, they are interrupted by the sound of something entering the barrow. He switches off his flash light. They wait in silence, but whatever has entered is coming further into the dig. They hear it enter the chamber, and the Doctor shines the light directly onto it. It is the stone gargoyle from the cavern under the church. It shrieks at them and comes closer, ready to attack.

The Doctor pulls out the metal trowel and calls out the strong words of an incantation against it. The creature backs away, snarling, but the Doctor keeps the trowel between it and them.

Back at the vicarage, the Master---who is engaged telepathically with the gargoyle---commands the creature, named Bok, to attack. But Bok cannot. Snarling, he flees from the barrow.

Jo, trembling after this incredible visitation, asks the Doctor what it was. He tells her that it was a stone gargoyle, brought to a state of life (meaning animation). He also explains that iron is a magical defense. The trowel, brandished with the right incantation, is a protection against attacks from supernatural creatures. Then he confesses that his "magical incantation" was nothing more than the words to an old Venusian lullaby. She is puzzled over his reliance on magic when he does not believe in magic. He tells her that the important thing is that the gargoyle believed in magic. If it had seen through the Doctor's ruse, the outcome would have been much different. They leave the dig and return to the village and the Cloven Hoof.

The Doctor and Jo return to the pub in time to catch the Brigadier's latest communication with Mike Yates over the radio. The Brig reports that the RAF have confirmed that the village is sitting in the center of a dome ten miles in diameter and one mile high, created by the heat barrier.

While they confer, the Master visits Squire Winstanly, one of the key people of the village. He seeks to win the squire over by announcing that he ahs been running all the events related to the barrow and the dig. But the Squire's response is laughter. The Master convinces him with a ferocious display of power, raising the wind, causing the windows of the Squire's hall to explode into fragments, and shaking the walls of the place. The Squire instantly comes to heel, begs pardon, and agrees to call a meeting of the village there in the hall.

At the pub, as the others are finishing a meal, the Doctor is poring over Miss Hawthorne's collection of occult books. He then takes a slide projector and gives his companions a lesson in his version of history, showing them various gods, demi-gods, and even Moses all sporting horns. Apparently unaware of the fact that Michaelangelo's bestowal of horns on the statue of Moses comes from a mistranslation of the word "rays" in Hebrew, and that the Bible never describes Satan as having horns, the Doctor tells them that horns have always been a sign of power. He relates this to the presence on Earth of an ancient race of horned creatures: the Daemons.

He then explains his view that the Daemons have been guiding man since the dawn of man's history, equipping him with knowledge. This puzzles his listeners. He further explains that the Daemons view mankind as an experiment. And he adds that the Daemons instituted the occult means of making contact between their species and mankind as their way of controlling the communication. I added the following lines to help foreshadow the end of the story and make the final bit more meaningful:

"But they integrate themselves into the culture of a species by creating rules that also bind them to your behaviours," the Doctor added. "The Daemon becomes a part of the culture in many ways, and is subject to what he himself has set up as a cultural frame of reference."

"You mean he has to follow his own rules," Benton said.

"But wouldn't that mean that people well versed in the occult could control the Daemon?" Miss Hawthorne asked.

"To an extent, but the whole system in the long run works out to further the experiment." The Doctor inclined his head slightly. "That's really what the Daemons want. If they can create a species, or a member of the species, who fulfills their objectives, they will pass on their power and leave. And they can be taken by surprise. Some cultures in the human species have always been what you could call 'anti-daemonic' or 'non-daemonic.' The Daemons do not seek to suppress these elements. Indeed, they accommodate to them in many ways to see how the whole experiment will turn out."

The Doctor then relates to them that the Master has established contact with the Daemon in charge of Earth. The renegade time lord is obviously trying to push things to their ultimate conclusion.

The Doctor's team, however, is not entirely convinced by his information. Miss Hawthorne especially objects to the idea that the occult and magic are merely window dressing for the Daemons to exert influence on Earth.

While they continue to argue things out in the pub, the villagers convene at the Squire's great house to hear what the new vicar has to tell them.

The Master starts out ingratiatingly enough, but he quickly comes around to listing out loud the various petty and ugly secrets of some of the prominent people of the village. The people are stunned---and alarmed---by his detailed knowledge of them. Having intimidated them, he begins to make promises to them, enticing them with assurances that they can have all their wishes fulfilled.

For his part, the Brigadier has decided that the best way to handle the heat barrier is the most direct: they will bomb their way through it. He radios the group at the pub to tell them of his plan and to warn them to take air raid precautions in the village. The Doctor grabs the radio and vetoes the Brig's plans, warning him that bombing the barrier will only increase its power, and such a maneuver may antagonize the powers creating it. Frustrated, the Brigadier asks if the Doctor can come up with a better plan. The Doctor announces that yes, of course he can, and he tells the Brigadier that he and Jo are leaving right then to meet the UNIT group at the heat barrier.

As the Doctor signs up, Jo imitates him and makes an acid comment about the Brigadier's idea being idiotic. The Doctor rounds on her in front of the others, rebukes her, and says they must get out there. "Are you coming?" her asks Jo as he sweeps out.

I retconned this bit:

Head down, Jo followed him out. Benton shot a grin at Mike Yates, but the young captain was displeased.

"He speaks to anybody exactly as he pleases," Yates said. "And then becomes angry when she imitates him." Olive Hawthorne looked down but said nothing. Benton went to connect the RT to the re-charger. Yates stayed where he was, looking out the pub door.

Bert has been clearing up lunch during the tail end of the conversation. As the Doctor and Jo exit, he hurries back to the phone to alert the Master of the latest developments.

The Master is annoyed by the interruption when Garvin comes to tell him that Bert is on the phone. The renegade time lord has just succeeded in subduing the crowd. With a snap of his fingers, the Master sends Garvin out to follow and destroy the Doctor. Seeing his utter command over the verger, the villagers become displeased, and Squire Winstanly becomes argumentative. Words are exchanged, and the Squire declares that he's not going along with the vicar. The Master summons Bok, who vaporizes the terrified Squire before the entire town. With Bok glaring balefully down at them, the vicar asks if anybody else has any objections. But the villagers are entirely subdued.

Garvin's best expedient to catch up with the Doctor is to steal the UNIT helicopter. Mike, looking out the pub window, sees the wiry verger ride across the green on a motorbike, stop and dismount, and climb into the chopper. Mike dashes out to stop him. They fight, but Garvin is possessed of a power too strong for Mike to overcome. He ultimately throws Mike to the ground, gets into the helicopter, and takes off. Mike sprints for the motorbike and drives off in pursuit.

The trip in Bessy was silent. At last the Doctor spoke, to make a complaint. "Trapped under a bowl! That's my fate is it? Trapped under this great heat bowl. First trapped here on this planet, alone, reduced even to half my education and memory, and now this! It's like the great cosmic joke at my expense."

Jo made no reply. She often did feel sorry for the Doctor because of his exile. But at the moment she did not.

If the Master won at whatever game he was playing, they were all going to perish together, apparently. And if the Doctor found no warmth or comfort or consolation among the humans who would have been his friends, whose fault was that?

He glared at her, waiting for the sympathy to start, but she had her eyes fixed on the way ahead, grim and set and unwilling to talk with him.

"Look, we're both the worse for wear," he began.

She knew what was coming, some excuse in which he justified his behaviour or pretended it didn't happen. Because the one thing the Doctor never did was apologize.

But he suddenly dropped the conversation, equally grim.

Their silence is interrupted when Jo sees the helicopter coming after them. Thinking it is Yates, they pull up, but the chopper swoops down, trying to take their heads off. As it misses and realigns for another attack, they start off to get away from it. They see Mike driving after them on the motorcycle.

Driving at high speed, the Doctor zigs and zags alongside the heat barrier, getting closer and then swinging wide again and again as the chopper keeps attacking. But finally the Doctor lures him too close to the barrier. The Doctor swerves away just in time, but the helicopter crashes into it and goes up in flames.

In the wild ride, Jo has been thrown from the jeep. The Doctor and Mike both pull to a stop and run to see to her. But the soft, spongy ground of the moor has prevented her neck from being broken. She has been knocked out.

I also retconned this part:

"That's a wicked knock on the head," the Doctor said. "She may very well have broken her neck, but the ground here on the moor is soft.

He finished a quick check of her head and neck, then checked her pulse again. "She needs to be looked after."

"Then I'll look after her!" Mike said sharply. The Doctor shot a glance at him but said nothing. They lifted her into Mike's arms, and Mike carried her to Bessy.

"Get Doctor Reeves," he began.

"I'll see to her, Doctor," Yates snapped as he settled her onto the back seat.

"Young man, I'll thank you to keep a grip on your nerves and watch your tone of voice with me," the Doctor exclaimed.

"So, is rudeness a sign of losing your nerve, Doctor?" Yates asked, snatching the keys and climbing into the driver's seat. "Thanks for the tip!" He started the engine and said, without looking at the Doctor, "She stayed by you when they were ready to take you to the morgue, you know. She never slept while she thought you were in danger."

There was no time to have a decent argument. The Doctor stepped back to let them go. "She did her duty," he objected. "That doesn't excuse insubordination." But Yates pulled out without another word or glance, and the Doctor ran for the motor bike.

The Doctor drives on to the heat barrier where the UNIT people are assembled. The Brigadier has watched his cherished helicopter go up in smoke and tries to bear it well. Calling Osgoode in to take down his instructions, the Doctor describes a device that will cool down the heat barrier on the reverse of the same principle that a microwave oven uses to cook meat pies. They can buffer the molecular movement of the heated air with short wave emanations.

Osgoode and the Brigadier are both dumbfounded by this idea, and the Doctor launches into a description of how to build such a device and how to hook it into the power lines nearby.

Meanwhile, the Master has gone down into the cavern alone. He begins the incantations and quickly is rewarded by the herald of the ground shaking under his feet. A frigid wind blows through the cavern, and an enormous creature suddenly springs up from the runic stones on one side of the coven circle. It advances on the Master and nearly tramples him.

Terrified, but holding onto his words of power, the Master at last orders the creature back to its place on the stones. He greets the thirty foot horned creature as "Azal." Azal, unimpressed with the Master, demands in a roaring voice to know why the Master has called him.

The Master tells Azal that he is laying claim to the power of the Daemons, that he seeks to be left as the custodian of the earth. Azal warns him that this will mean an inspecting of humanity and of the Master himself. If the great Daemon thinks that the experiment with humanity has failed beyond recovery, he will destroy the earth, including the Master. He asks if the Master still wants to proceed, and the Master says that he does. Azal announces that he will come one more time to make his decision. He also questions the Master more closely when he realizes that the Master is not of Earth. And he tells the Master that the "other one" still lives.

At the heat barrier, the UNIT people feel the shaking of the earth. The Doctor knows that the Daemon will appear three times, and he realizes that the creature is making its second appearance. They are running out of time. Trying to hold in his impatience with the helpless Osgoode, he again tries to explain the way to build the negative diathermic heat exchanger.

Back at the pub, Mike and Dr Reeves are just getting Jo into the bed in the upstairs room that the Doctor had occupied the previous night. Jo, troubled by either a premonition or a waking dream begins to ask about the danger in the cavern under the church. In the canon, Dr. Reeves injects her with a sedative. If Jo were suffering a concussion from her fall, a sedative would be the worst and most dangerous thing for her. So I retconned the scene this way:

At sight of the monstrous syringe, Yates instinctively caught the medical doctor's wrist before Reeves could give the injection. "I say, what is that?"

Reeves looked at him and for a moment seemed to go blank. Then with a slightly indignant shake of his wrist, he said, "Be careful, young man. It's a mild sedative. It will help her sleep."

"But she shouldn't sleep with a danger of concussion should she?" Yates asked. "Isn't that dangerous?"

A look of recognition crossed Dr. Reeves' face, but then he frowned. "Out---outdated!" he snapped. "A sedative is what she needs. Now, do hold her steady for me, and be of some help."

Convinced, Mike helps him to give Jo the injection. Jo protests in dazed confusion and voices her fear that the Doctor is in the cavern. After a moment or two, she feels the influence of the narcotic and falls asleep.

Mike and Dr. Reeves leave the room, and that is when the earthquake from Azal's second appearance shakes the pub. Jo wakes up instantly, terrified.

In the canonical version of the story, Jo gets up at this point and sneaks out of the upstairs room by climbing down the roof. Because this strains viewer/reader credulity too much, I brought the following scene forward first, rearranging events slightly to give Jo a better motivation and ability for getting out of the room while drugged up:

Back in the cavern, Azal makes his farewell to the Master, bidding him to bring the other one of his race to him the next time they meet. Azal says that he will return again, for the final time, when all is prepared. He warns the Master to go to cover, lest the manner of his disappearing kill the time lord. The Master retreats into the stairway while Azal dwindles in size and the red hot glare sweeps through the cavern.

The Master retreated up the steps, obedient as great waves of heat radiated from the cavern. He was not eager for Azal to meet the Doctor, yet if it became necessary, there was one way to bring his enemy and to control him at the same time.

In the dark stairway to the cavern, as the heat radiated up, the Master closed his eyes and fiercely concentrated. He felt Bok stir, and he ordered his minion to stay and scan only with his mind. Shortly, it found her, distressed and confused. Reeves had done his part to incapacitate her. The Master focused on her: a warning, a plea for help. The Doctor was in danger. In the cavern. She must come to the cavern. The Doctor was in danger.

This is the summons that brings Jo so purposefully to the cavern. Guided by the Master's will, she climbs out the bedroom window in order to escape notice, shakily makes her way across the green, and then collapses in the church yard garden as the narcotic again takes effect on her.

Meanwhile, as Sgt. Osgoode tries to lash up the machine that the Doctor has ordered, the UNIT people feel the next tremor that tells them the Daemon is going away until the next appearance. The Doctor wants to get back to the village, but Osgoode is still hopelessly confused by the circuitry.

Convinced that Osgoode simply isn't listening carefully enough, the Doctor reluctantly launches into an explanation again.

At the pub, Mike goes to check on Jo and finds the room empty and the window open. Both annoyed and worried, he departs to go look for her in the cavern under the church, leaving orders for Benton to stay in the pub with Miss Hawthorne and to alert the Doctor of Jo's disappearance.

Knowing now from Azal that the Doctor still lives, the Master tries to cover all bases. Though (according to my retcon) he is calling Jo to the cavern to bring the Doctor to him, he still prefers to have the Doctor dead before Azal next appears. The Master calls Bert the pub owner and sends him out on a task.

Not knowing that his old enemy is yet again plotting his death, the Doctor gives Osgoode another lecture in reverse diathermy and finally gets on the motorbike. Telling the Brigadier to bring the machine through as soon as they get it running, he drives off towards the village. Osgoode doggedly gets at the task and begins to understand at last. He runs a preliminary test and blows out half the circuitry. Ruefully, he warns the Brigadier that it will be an hour, at least, before he can get the thing operational.

Mike, meanwhile, unwittingly passes Jo as he creeps through the church garden on his stealthy mission to the cavern. Heedless of him and all else, Jo sleeps peacefully in the long grass. Mike passes into the side door of the vestry and from there down into the cavern.

As the Doctor speeds towards the village across the moor, Bert hides in cover and takes careful aim with his rifle. But Bert is a mere pub owner, not a marksman. He shoots the Doctor's motorbike out from under him but fails to kill the Doctor. Bert fires wildly as the Doctor races into the woods, but it is no good. Once again, the Doctor has escaped. Bert hurries back to report to the vicar.

The Master receives the news with some annoyance, but overall with better temper than usual in such circumstances. He decides to send Bert out to "prepare a suitable welcome" for the Doctor. And then---according to my retcon---the Master turns his attention back to Jo.

The Master paused, seemed to recall something, then said, "Go and summon a few of the villagers I can trust. Start with Thorpe. Wait for me in the parlour when you are finished."

As Bert nodded and strode out, eager to make amends for his failure, the Master cast his mind to Bok, and then through Bok to the girl. Bok, though dormant, was tracking her. She was asleep again, stupefied by Reeves' heavy sedative. The Master closed his eyes, then focused through Bok.

"The Doctor is in danger. Warn him. He is in the cavern. You must come to the cavern. You must find the Doctor in the cavern. Warn him. He is in danger."

In the pub, Miss Hawthorne is coaxing Sgt. Benton into having a cup of tea. But Benton is on edge. The Doctor should be back by this time. Mike has been gone for nearly an hour, and some type of interference is blocking out R/T transmission to the Brigadier.

She confirms that tea is the very thing that he needs, and Benton restlessly goes to lookout the window. He sees the Morris dancers down at the far end of the green, and she comes to watch, telling him that the village always has the Morris dancers at May Day. A May pole has been set up on the green. Though not all of the villagers are present at the festivities---indeed, many are behind bolted doors and windows---there is a fairly large group skipping behind the dancers as they come up to the May pole.

To Benton's relief, the dark, cloaked figure of the Doctor appears on the outer fringes of the dancers. The Doctor tries to make his way across the green to get to the pub, but finds himself continually being stopped by the staffs of the Morris Dancers. Every time he changes direction, the skillful dancers are in front of him again. They close in around him until he is trapped, closed in by their staffs.

Bert the pub owner, dressed as the lord of revels in a coat of rags and newspaper curls, ends the Doctor's struggles by producing a gun and putting it to the Doctor's head.

Seeing this from the pub, Benton draws his heavy revolver and resolutely strides to the door, over the protests of Miss Hawthorne. But one of the Morris dancers is waiting for him. One bash of the quarter staff knocks the gun away. Benton and the man fight, but the Morris dancer is possessed of the same maniacal strength that had possessed Garvin. He gets the better of Benton but is unexpectedly defeated when Miss Hawthorne swings her "reticule" and wallops him over the head with it. Benton is amazed at this, but when she pulls her crystal ball from the large purse, her pronouncement that "in such situations, the outcome's a certainty" leaves no room for argument.

She pleads with Benton to rely on her plan rather than brute force to get the Doctor back. He agrees, and she explains what he should do.

Four of the largest local men pushed the Doctor against the May pole. While two of them inexpertly wrapped the streaming ribbons around him, another produced a length of rough cord. He quickly bound the Doctor's wrists behind his back and behind the pole. When they were finished, the time lord was securely bound to the pole, with the rest of the villagers looking on, some of them uneasily. The Doctor did not struggle, and as his captors stepped away, he met Bert's leer eye to eye. Bert put the muzzle of the gun up to his face, considering the next step. The pub owner was enjoying this rare moment of being in complete control, and the time lord saw the route the Master had taken into the man's desires in order to control him.

But for Bert, there was something unnerving in this helpless prisoner who nonetheless regarded him so coolly and so steadily: not threatening and not begging. There was a quietness in the Doctor's eyes where Bert had expected fear.

The Doctor immediately begins to speak, forcefully and with authority, warning the people that the vicar will enslave them. The power of his voice works to good effect, and Bert counters quickly, denying the Doctor's charges. Bert brings matters to a head by accusing the Doctor of witchcraft, and declaring that he must be burned as a witch.

This judgement frightens a good many of the villagers, and even startles the Doctor. But Bert, forceful and controlling, insists upon it. And with the authority of the terrifying vicar behind him, nobody dares to raise a protest.

The television series did not convey the fear and nervousness of the villagers very successfully. Letts' Target novelisation is much more clear on this account. The people are being driven to this deed, not led, and are ready for a strong person to call a halt to the terrible proceedings, though each of them is too weak to do so. They have not forgotten the example of Squire Winstanly.

But nobody speaks up, and the Master's handpicked slaves take up the cry to burn the Doctor.

While this drama is being played out on the green, Jo awakens and continues her shaky journey to the cavern under the church. Inside, she calls for the Doctor, but there is only silence in the vast, cathedral of darkness. She sees the altar, the runes carved into sections of the stone floor, the pentangle, and---resting as a statue on his pedestal---Bok.

Mike seizes her and drags her back into a corner, warning her that the coven members come in and out. He warns her not to step out onto the floor. And then he rebukes her for coming down to the cavern, and under his rebuke, she comes around to realize that there was no real reason to come to the cavern. The Doctor is not there, and she has endangered both of them.

Mike takes her by the hand to lead her out, but stops as a procession enters the cavern. Mike drags her back into an alcove. From their hiding place, they watch as the ceremony begins.

In the center, clad in his flaming red robes, the Master prepares to offer a blood sacrifice. Jo finds this revolting. She also finds the garbled prayers of the coven revolting. Just as the Master calls for the white hen that is to be sacrificed, Jo interrupts the ceremony, unable to bear any more of it, and refusing to let them carry out a blood sacrifice to a pagan god.

But Jo's own interruption is hardly worth heeding as the great and amazing Azal suddenly makes his third appearance. The ground shakes, and a cold wind howls through the cavern. Azal rises to his full height, his head nearly touching the high stone roof.

Ron Thorpe dropped a thick, bound sheaf of last year's hay atop the enormous pile of wood that had been built up to the Doctor's knees. Watching from the pub window, Benton turned grim and anxious eyes to Miss Hawthorne, whose own expression was steady, though tense, as she watched.

But with her eye on who was most nervous and uneasy with these macabre and terrible proceedings, Miss Hawthorne coaches Benton to wait for the psychological moment. As Thorpe lights the torch intended for the Doctor, she races from the pub as though she has arrived only in the nick of time to stop things.

Thorpe, less addicted to the thrill of power and control than Bert, stops from lighting the pile of kindling at the Doctor's feet. Bert impatiently urges him to get on with it, but Miss Hawthorne is adamant. She tells the village that the Doctor is a great wizard, the great Quiquaequod, and that if they harm him, they will bring retribution upon themselves. Nobody seems ready to believe this, but she stops them with the reminder that she has been right all along, ever since that miserable dig started at the Devil's Hump. This has much greater affect upon them. She rightly predicts that they are all under the control of the vicar, and are afraid of him. Nobody publicly admits this is so, but as it is true, it also has great affect.

The Doctor is impressed with her performance but has no idea what she is talking about. She turns and asks him to demonstrate his great power. Somewhat at a loss, he hems and haws and then asks if she would like to suggest something. She tells him to shatter the glass of the street lamp.

The Doctor commands the glass to shatter. From the upstairs of the pub, firing his revolver with a silencer on it, Benton shatters the glass of the lamp. The crowd is deeply impressed. Bert taunts the Doctor into untying himself if he's such a great wizard, but the Doctor answers him with contempt and refuses to comply. He then orders the people to watch the weathercock on the church tower.

Benton misses this distant target on the first shot, but hits the tail on the second. Bert, knowing it all must be a trick but not knowing how it is done, takes up the torch to light the wood around the Doctor. Seeing this, Benton Shoots the torch from the pub owner's hand. But Bert pulls out his own gun. The Doctor, however, is not alarmed. Using his remote control device in his pocket, he has Bessy trundle across the green to come to his rescue. Bert sees her and tries to run, but Bessy knocks him down, not harming him, but giving Benton enough time to come out and take custody of him while Miss Hawthorne unties the Doctor. A sudden shaking of the earth warns all of them that the Daemon has made its third appearance.

Though things have turned out well for the Doctor, it's a bad situation down in the cavern. While Azal looks on in grim disinterest, Bok comes to life to prevent Mike and Jo from escaping. The Master orders that Mike Yates be bound securely and removed from the ceremony, to be used as a hostage later. He further orders that Jo should be clothed in the ceremonial tabard and brought back, prepared as a sacrifice to Azal. Two of the coven members drag her out. Mike, knocked senseless, is taken up into the vestry and tied up.

The village's white witch is deeply impressed with the Doctor's ability to control Bessy. Even Benton is awed. Miss Hawthorne is ready to declare the Doctor a genuine wizard after all, but he disappoints her by showing both her and Benton the remote control device. The Doctor then admits to the villagers that he is neither witch nor wizard. He has accomplished his amazing feats with science. He tells them further that the vicar also is relying on science to control events. Bert ridicules this announcement, but the rest of the village is convinced, or at least willing to abide by the Doctor's conclusion. Worried by the signal of the return of the Daemon, Benton tells the Doctor that both Jo and Captain Yates are down in the cavern. The news dismays the Doctor, but there is nothing he can do until the heat exchanger comes through.

The machine in question has at last been constructed and tested. Osgoode starts it up as everybody else crosses their fingers. An opening in the heat barrier wavers, forms, and then collapses. Osgoode switches off and attempts to jury rig an efficiency improvement.

While the Doctor impatiently and anxiously awaits word from the Brigadier, Yates struggles free of his bonds and escapes the vestry. He tells the assembled people that Jo is down in the cavern, a captive of the Master and the coven. The Doctor rallies the villagers to surround the church.

But just then the malevolent Bok appears from the door of the vestry. He advances on the crowd, and they fall back. Bert escapes Benton's custody and rather rashly races up the path to the sanctuary of the Master's protection. But Bok does not know friend from foe. He raises a single claw and shoots an energy bolt at the pub owner that vaporizes the man instantly.

But the Brigadier's men have at last gotten things under control, however impermanently. The heat exchanger is working. They get through the heat barrier. But the straining machine is overloading. Osgoode bails out of the truck just in time. The heat exchanger explodes.

Its effect, though temporary, extends even to Bok. The small creature wavers on his feet and becomes disoriented and weak. The Doctor takes instant advantage of the moment to race up the path and get into the vestry, while Bok is unsteady. But the gargoyle regains himself and shoots a useless bolt after the Doctor that scorches the closing vestry door.

While these events have transpired above ground, Jo has been draped in the tabard and brought to the stone of sacrifice. The Master greets her with his mocking courtesy. Earlier, she had said that she would just die if she ever saw the great Daemon, and now she sees him.

Unwillingly, Jo forced herself to lift her eyes. The great cloven hooves were like enormous church bells, the massive hairy legs like tree trunks. She was afraid to look at his face, yet some awe-filled wonder drove her eyes upward. As the coven chanted and echoed the garbled, foreign words of the Master's inverted prayer, she forgot her own impending death for a moment, in the captive fascination of a natural creature for the supernatural. She looked up into the vast, remote face of the daemon. Her knees gave way beneath her, and she felt her captors on either side tighten their hold on her arms until they were all that held her up.

Long ago, in some forgotten catechism class, she had read that one of the torments of Hell was simply to look on the faces of devils. Now she believed it. The face of Azal, so remote that it seemed hardly to be paying attention, so perfectly formed, with eyes and flattened nose, and lips, nonetheless lacked every single feature of a human face. She understood in an instant how deeply his lack of concern for life and joy and human passion made him unapproachable. She to him, was part of a ritual that he and his kind had ordained in imitation of human religion. But she was nothing, her blood nothing, human religion nothing. She suddenly recalled PC Groom and realized the indifference, not the malice, with which Azal had stamped him into the ground.

The Master orders that Jo be brought to the stone. Her captors turn her backwards and drag her back to the altar. The Master toys with Jo's hopes and fears but finally tells her that it is determined that she must be sacrificed. In the Target novelisation, she is laid on the stone altar. In the television series, she is not.

But Azal interrupts the proceedings. He tells the Master that the other prisoner has escaped, and that the humans are now converging on the cavern. Azal's tone is both challenging and mocking. He does not seem to think much of the Master. One of the coven members goes up to take a look and reports that it is true. With a snap of his fingers, the Master sends Bok up to guard the door to the cavern.

Now angry and humiliated, he returns to the ceremony and takes up the knife. The prayers are started again. One of the coven members tries to interfere and save Jo, but the Master dominates him and backs him down. Jo---in my retcon---is forced back, prone upon the altar. It is at this moment that the heat exchanger does its work, and Azal reels back and bellows in pain. But the great Daemon recovers.

Now enraged from all the interruptions, the Master rushes through his incantation.

He turned Jo's head, forced back her chin, and would have drawn the knife across her throat in that terrible smile, when the door to the heavy cavern crashed open.

"Stop!" Azal commanded, and even the Master did not dare disobey.

Eyes clenched closed against her death, it took Jo a moment to realize that the ceremony had been stopped again. As the Master reluctantly released her chin, she opened her eyes and saw the block of light made by the open doorway in the cavern, emitting light from the open doorway at the top of the steps. And, against the light, with his hair whitened by it almost like a halo, the Doctor stood and stared up at the arresting figure of Azal.

She tried to say his name, but no sound came out. Recalled to the urgency of her danger, the Doctor came forward, his eyes still fixed on the great Daemon. But as he reached Jo he dropped his hand to her forehead. It was almost as though he were the high priest of his own religion. He looked at her for a moment, his eyes calm and quiet. "Jo," he said. "I'm glad I found you alive."

She said his name again but could not say anything else.

The Master set the knife aside, suddenly civil again, appearing relaxed. "Oh how very touching," he said acidly. "And how ineffective."

But the comment was wasted on the Doctor. The time lord again looked up at the mighty Azal, but he kept his hand on Jo's forehead, as though making his own claim on her, or perhaps as a plea to the Daemon to spare her. Nobody in the coven dared to move.

Fascinated by Azal, and respectful, the Doctor is interrupted from his reverie by the Master's sarcasm. Azal interrupts any verbal dueling by demanding to know the Doctor's identity. The Master declares the Doctor an enemy and orders Azal to destroy him.

But Azal rebukes the Master's arrogance and announces that he knows that the Doctor is the other of the Master's race. Yet for all Azal's interest in the Doctor, Azal warns him of his impending doom in coming to the cavern.

The Doctor states that he has come to speak to Azal, and he requests that Jo be released. Azal consents to this with a careless wave of his enormous hand. The Master tries to interfere, but the great Daemon casually knocks aside her two captors with energy bolts from his hand. Jo races to the Doctor.

"Are you all right?" he asked her

She could only nod, her eyes closed against him, overwhelmed for a moment. It was not only dying that frightened her, but being so dwarfed into insignificance by this creature of vast power, knowledge, and savagery, and seeing the Doctor so dwarfed, facing a creature who could create rules of his own and had the power to enforce them.

Yet even in this horrible place that reeked of blood and nauseating incense and the smell of animals, she felt that same quietness in the Doctor that she had seen and felt before.

"Stay right here by me," he whispered. He had his arms tightly around her, but after a moment the strength returned to her legs, and she could stand. She did. More able to face the Daemon with the Doctor nearby, she also looked up at it.

The Doctor attempts to negotiate with the Daemon, but he is in a position of absolutely no power. He attempts to intimidate Azal by suggesting that there is another machine like the first one that can drain off Azal's power. But Azal knows that this is a lie. The Master again urges that the Doctor be killed, and Azal agrees.

While this drama is being played out below ground, the UNIT vehicles are trundling into the village above. The Brigadier and his men take up positions to assault Bok, but the little gargoyle quickly proves that he is impervious to bullets and to machine gun fire. He vaporizes two of the soldiers who draw too close. The men fall back, and Benton has a go with bazooka fire. The blast blows Bok to shrapnel, but the pieces quickly reassemble in the air, and Bok is instantly back again.

The Doctor coolly replies to the Daemon that if Azal kills him now, then Azal will wonder throughout the ages if he should have listened. It is a line practically lifted from mythology, with its reference to the torment of a riddle forever left unsolved. Azal lowers his hand and orders the Doctor to talk.

Frustrated, enraged, and threatened by the Doctor's coolness, the Master urges Azal to kill. But Azal cools the Master off by telling the Master that even though the coven called the Daemon to wakefulness, it did so in the time appointed long ago. The Master has acted of his own free will, yet he has acted in accordance with the will of the Daemon. From Azal's perspective, the Master is only an instrument of the Daemon's will. But again the Master urges Azal not to be deterred from granting him the power and authority of the Daemons. The Doctor interrupts this and states his case.

The Doctor argues that the gifts of the Daemons to man---technological knowledge---has not helped man but rather has hurt him. The Doctor urges Azal to simply pass on without bequeathing his powers, to let mankind develop on its own and figure out for itself how to harness the powers of the natural world.

Azal debates with himself that it may be necessary to simply terminate all mankind, and there is a breathless moment in the cavern. But then he makes his decision. He must pass on his powers, for that is his mission. And he has decided to pass them on. The Master begins to thank him, but the Daemon cuts off the thanks. The powers, Azal declares, shall go to the Doctor.

The Doctor is stunned and horrified by this judgement. He vehemently rejects the powers of the Daemons and urges Azal to simply leave the planet for good. Stunned of his own accord by the Doctor's refusal, Azal is at last persuaded by the Master to pass the powers on to the evil time lord. Still amazed that the Doctor has refused his gift, Azal decrees that the Doctor is disruptive and must be eliminated. He points his fingers at the Doctor and sends the energy bolts into him. As the Doctor starts to crumple, Jo deliberately steps in the way. She pleads with Azal to kill her if he wants a life, and not kill the Doctor.

The result is spectacular and unexpected. Azal cringes, drops his arm, and lets out a bellow of pain. He struggles on the runic stones as though in some great mortal agony. At last he cries out for them to leave him, that a Daemon must die alone. As the cavern is filled with his bellowing and the ringing of his hooves, everybody thinks this is a good idea. The Doctor, Jo, the entire coven, and the Master flee at once.

Above ground, Bok suddenly reverts to being a stone statue again. As the people stream from the church, the windows of the sanctuary are glowing a cherry red. The Doctor calls for everybody to get away and get under cover. The villagers clear out and get to safety before the entire church erupts into an explosion.

The Master is quickly taken into custody and put onto a UNIT truck under guard. The puzzled Brigadier cannot figure out what has happened. Just at the worst moment, the entire adventure has ended. The Doctor tells him that Jo has saved them all. But even Jo does not understand the import of what she's done. The Doctor explains briefly that all Azal's power was turned against himself. In the canonical story, everybody accepts this and they actually go and dance around the May pole. This reminds me of those old Star Trek stories where half a planet gets destroyed and Kirk, Bones and Scotty in the last scene are standing around teasing Mr. Spock.

I just don't buy it that after Garvin's death, Bert's death, the villagers' criminal actions in nearly burning the Doctor alive, the coven's willingness to be party to Jo's murder, and the death of two UNIT soldiers, that these people are going to go dance around a Maypole together. Furthermore, the Doctor's explanation of Azal's destruction is lame. And after getting a concussion just three or four hours earlier, being drugged up by Dr. Reeves, and then inhaling demonic incense while waiting to be sacrificed, Jo would not be in a dancing mood. So here is the retconned ending:

The Doctor suddenly caught Jo. She gasped, and with the quick motion one saw only in humans and a few other species, cleared his sleeve and hung over his arm, and was sick.

"Jo, I'm sorry."

"Oh, it does hurt, and I do feel quite ill," she said suddenly.

"The poor child, take her to my cottage," Miss Hawthorne insisted.

The Doctor instantly swept Jo up, just as Mike Yates stepped forward. "I'll look after her, Captain." The Doctor's words were quiet, but there was a chastened look in his eyes. Yates met his glance, but the Doctor suddenly was in control and giving orders. "Find that Reeves fellow. Did he give her medication?"

"A sedative," Yates said.

"What? What was he thinking? Go on then." He glanced down at Jo, whose eyes were closed in pain. "I'll take you to Miss Hawthorne's Jo. We can make you comfortable there." And he carried her across the green.

"My head, Doctor," she whimpered. "My head."

"I know, my dear. This is a nasty business."

She came around much later, toward the warm evening, her head still pounding. The Doctor offered her tea, but she was too sick. Her head hurt so much she could hardly see, but she heard a voice, a voice that she thought was the Brigadier's.

"Oh, some of them thought they should get up a dance around the May pole for the children."

"What about the coven?" the Doctor asked.

"It's amazing how fast they got out of those robes. We nabbed about seven of them. The rest got away. Yates is on guard duty here at the cottage. Just in case."

She heard the Doctor sit down by her. "Most of them were as frightened as Jo here." A warm cloth was pressed on her forehead. "Poor girl. We would have been lost without her."

There was a pause. "So," the Brig's voice said, and it was not without a degree of coldness. "She's won your respect at last."

She did not hear the Doctor's answer. The sounds of music fluttered through the open window, and she shivered.

"Close the door on your way out," the Doctor's voice said, and his strong, warm hand pressed the cloth to her forehead and eyes.

She fell into a dream about dancing around the May pole. It was too bizarre to endure even as a dream, and she struggled to wake up from it. Then she was sick again. Somebody's hand was holding her forehead. It eased her back when she finished. It was going to be a long night, haunted by the distant music.

For a long time, all she knew was the intermittent sound of the music from the green, sometimes real and sometimes simply her mind refusing to let the sound go, and her own bouts of sickness with that same hand holding her forehead. Somebody kept offering tea to her, but she did not want tea. She wanted to sleep and forget.

At long last, a frail and gentle drowsiness stole over her. And the silence of the deep, deep night crept into her and let her rest. She did not stir or even dream again until the first rays of dawn lighted up the room.

The macabre dance around the maypole--was it just a dream? Could she have really joined in a maypole dance with Bert the pub owner just killed, several UNIT soldiers annihilated, and her own life inexplicably saved just as she had determined to give it up? Confused and troubled by new images of carefree dancing around the maypole while the destroyed village church smoldered in the background, Jo tossed in her sleep and struggled to wake up. She heard herself sigh, and the sound helped dispel the troubling images.

Something clinked with the reassuring, familiar sound of the kitchen at home, and the smell of coffee cleared more of the mists from her mind and brought her back from the disturbing fantasies. Some inner sense of time returned to her, and she knew she was in a bed at early morning. She stretched, eyes closed against the intrusive morning light, unwilling to wake up. Most of her aches and pains were gone, and without realizing it she turned her head towards the reassuring sound of cups and saucers being arranged. She was inclined to fall back to sleep until the last bit of headache and nausea went away. But she was troubled by the memory of the maypole and the dancing. "Was it a dream?" she whispered to no one in particular, under the impression that she was at home in her parents' house.

"Not all of it, no," a gentle voice said. "But it's over now, my dear." The voice dispelled the illusion of being at home. She opened her eyes and looked at the Doctor, for it was he who had spoken. He was arranging items on a tea tray. The morning light in the small room was coming in the window behind him, making his hair silvery and white.

The realization that something terrible had happened--or nearly happened--and that she was still in the village of Devil's End brought her more fully awake, though the lingering headache made her weak. "Where am I?" she asked, her eyes narrowed against the light.

"In a room at Miss Hawthorne's," he told her. "We carried you here. Everything is all right, now." He sat down in a straight backed chair by the bed, blocking the glare, and leaned over her. He rested his hand on her forehead. "You seem better," he said. With him blocking the window, it was easier for her to focus her vision. He smiled at her as he saw her eyes adjust. "Let's see how you're doing. Looks like you've still got a bit of a headache." He gently turned her head, and his careful fingers explored the bump above her ear. "I don't know what that fool was thinking to narcotize you when you may very well have had a concussion," he said gruffly. But he instantly gentled his voice again. "Still, I sat with you last night and woke you up now and again. You don't remember, do you?"

"No," she whispered.

"That was because of that incense. Rather numbing agency to it. Somewhat hallucinogenic." Finished, he smoothed his hand over her head. He rested his thumb in the notch between her eyebrows with a firm pressure that eased the faint throbbing behind her eyes and reduced the sensitivity to the light that she had felt on waking. As he let his thumb rock slowly back and forth over the pressure point, she turned towards him to take advantage of the pressure. Her nausea subsided.

After a moment, he deliberately leaned closer to her to block out anything else in her line of vision. He looked down at her with an expression of quietness and tenderness that she recognized. The Doctor had used the power of his eyes, months before, to gently unlock the chains of the Master's hypnotic hold over Jo. And now his eyes quieted her confusion and unease, and stilled her. She returned his gaze with open trust and confidence.

He saw her relax under his gaze. "What am I going to do with you, Jo?" he asked her gently, kindly. "I scold you and snap at you, rebuff you time and again, and then you step in and take my death blow for me."

She didn't answer him. Nothing could protest before the great quietness of his eyes. But she realized that at last she had touched the hearts of this great, austere, timelord. He was grateful to her, touched by her desperate attempt to save him.

"You are my friend, aren't you?" he asked her. "The human ideals of friendship are very important to you, aren't they, child?"

"Yes," she whispered.

He brushed the fine strands of her hair back from her forehead. She thought he would speak again, but he did not, only stroked back her hair, his eyes still holding her in their quiet spell. After a moment he used his other hand to find her wrist, and he gripped it to take her pulse. He used his first three fingers on the pulse line, and he sat and seemed almost to be listening through his fingers. He sat still and silent for a long time, reading the pulse through his fingertips, his other hand still stroking and touching her forehead with a gentle, strange accuracy that lifted the remnants of her headache away.

After a moment, though she wanted to look at his eyes, her own eyes became heavy and nearly closed. Quieted by him, she was able to make some sense and order out of the events of the previous day. She remembered the cavern. That had been no dream, and she remembered her own quick decision to step in front of the Doctor and plead for him. But the sudden end to the entire, horrible situation was inexplicable.

"Why did he stop?" she asked sleepily. "What stopped him? I was helpless."

"Remember what we learned when he met Bok," he told her quietly. "The Daemons put themselves under the strictures of blood and spells, my dear. The willing sacrifice of one pure life, given for another, must always overthrow them. That is their own code that they created as they integrated themselves into human folklore, a sort of fail safe through which the Daemons could use humans to control other Daemons--but only in times of great extremity. Azal was not prepared for it. He had seen precious little self sacrifice in his long career on earth. You took him completely by surprise with the only weapon that really could have defeated him."

She could easily have gone to sleep again, but as he fell silent she opened her eyes again and looked at him. He wanted to tell her something, and she knew it.

"Someday," he told her. "Someday I will be free again, Jo. I'll have my TARDIS working again. I'll be able to go where I like--anywhere in the galaxies. And I will go. You know me well enough now to know that I must leave someday."

She thought that he was warning her of the costliness of her friendship with him, warning her of the separation that would come. After his many rebukes over the past few days, and this new warning that he must leave her behind eventually, no matter how her heroism touched him, her eyes stung with tears. "I don't want that to happen yet," she said. "I know I get on your nerves dreadfully, but I like having you here. I would miss you terribly if you left."

"Oh, my dear, I don't mean to make you cry." He used the back of his fingers to take up her tears. "I was thinking that maybe you would come with me," he told her. "In fact, I am hoping that you will come with me." He smiled faintly. "To be perfectly honest, my plan is to talk you into coming with me--talk you into it now, when you're tired and weak, before you can think better of it."

"Go with you?" she whispered.

"Yes. I could show you all sorts of things. You would love the universe. It's not all Daemons and Nestenes, you know." He smiled again, briefly, and then his expression returned to one of grave kindness. He used a corner of the sheet to carefully pat dry her tears. "Please, come with me. Traveling is meant for companions; A Chinese poet once said that a journey and a friendship are much the same thing, and to venture one without the other is to disrupt harmony."

She realized that he was offering her the noblest gift that he could give; it was his way of at last capitulating to her repeated attempts at friendship. He was personally accepting her, with the humility and graciousness that he had with held up until then. She couldn't speak for a moment.

Puzzled at her silence, but apparently reading from her pulse and eyes that her headache and any lingering nausea were gone, he straightened up, his eyes and voice still gentle. "I brought you coffee," he said softly. "Would you like some?"

"Yes, please."

He reached for the tray that he had set down by the bed, while she struggled up to a sitting position. She was still in yesterday's clothes, and the room was warm. She threw back the covers. He poured her a cup, and as he did, she saw one slight tremor run through his fingers and shake the stream of steaming coffee as it poured out, and then he handed her the cup. She gratefully took it. But though he had brought in two cups, he seemed to forget to pour any for himself. He thoughtfully stroked his chin and looked at her as though she were some enigmatic mathematical problem he could not solve. She took a long sip of the black, strong coffee. "Oh, that is so good," she sighed. She used her other hand to wipe away the traces of her tears that he had missed. "Bit silly, really," she said by way of an excuse.

He did not reply. She knew he was deeply troubled. She summoned up her courage, reached out, and put her hand over his, and his fingers instantly tightened around hers, somewhat awkwardly, but earnestly. Only then did she realize that he was very moved, very unable to express a wealth of emotion in his hearts. Jo already knew that the Doctor could withstand sentiment from those around him only in very small doses, and when the limit was exceeded he would become grumpy and irritable. Feeling a great deal of emotion was apparently completely out of his design, and he did not know what to do. But she had enough sense not to let him off the hook and merely smooth things over. Certain things had to be confronted. As great as her awe of him was, and as much as they had been through together, she knew that she could not endure another week such as this.

"What will you do with me, Doctor?" she asked pleadingly. "While you're still here on earth, I mean." she added. "I know I get into lots of trouble without meaning to, but I want to be your assistant. And I want to travel with you again in the TARDIS someday. But I don't know Latin, and I don't know Greek, and I never was very good at science. We both know that. I can't change myself. Anyway, I can't change any time soon."

He looked down, regretting his previous harsh words to her. She was surprised to feel a certain satisfaction and vindication. But she didn't want to punish him with guilt, only make him see things her way.

"All the same," she added softly. "I know the lab, and I know what you want when you can't think of what to call things. And I can coax anything out of the supply clerks." He still had his eyes down, and she stopped, but then she added, "I can take care of you, Doctor. I'm good at that. Where ever we are, and what ever happens, I do take good care of you."

"Yes, you do," he whispered, and when his eyes looked at hers, they showed her a creature often alone and wandering, so alone that her care for him left him nearly dumbfounded. He would have given up his life for her without hesitation, yet it stunned him to realize that she would do the same for him. She feared death more, and he knew it. He acted on ethic and morality, and she much more on feeling and personal commitment. Perhaps, she thought, he at last understood that her friendship was everything she actually could give him, and at last he valued it. He was not a creature of passion or romance, and his own remoteness and alien nature made it sure that there would be a hundred ways that they would never understand each other. But his hand tightened on hers. "Stay with me," he said. "Until you're a little older. It's a good way to grow up, Jo." He caught himself. "I--I hope you don't mind me saying that. But you're centuries younger than I am."

She smiled. "No, I don't mind a bit. You're a grand teacher." She tightened her hand in affirmation and said, as coaxingly as she could, "Look, I don't expect to be your equal. I don't even want to be. I know I'm human and ordinary and all the rest. I don't even want you to slow down for me all the time--but maybe sometimes, when I'm really out of my depth."

Her humility wrung him, and he instantly leaned closer, overwhelmed, and took her face in his hand, "Jo, I know now that you have many strengths. Thank you, for saving my life." For a moment he seemed nearly overcome. He couldn't say anything at all, but then he told her, "If you travel with me, I know you'll look out for me, and I'll look out for you. I promise you."

His eyes held hers, and she smiled again. She tilted her head and looked up at him with a hint of mischief in her bright eyes. "You know I always want to go with you, where ever you're going," she reminded him. "Your biggest problem will be keeping me out of the TARDIS if you decide to go somewhere in it."

Suddenly he smiled and seemed greatly relieved. He sat back and let her go. "Then it's a bargain, and I must drink to it." He turned to the tray and poured himself coffee.

She glanced around the room and could not repress a sigh. How she hated this place--even the comparative refuge of Miss Hawthorne's cottage. He heard the sigh and read her thoughts. "The heat barrier is gone. I can take you back this morning," he told her. "Or we'll wait until tomorrow, depending on how you feel."

The careless offer made her realize that he had truly changed. Normally the Doctor would have taken Bessy back to his precious lab as soon as he was able to get away. Mike Yates or Sgt. Benton or the Brigadier himself would have seen her safely back to UNIT, and he knew it. But he was waiting for her. And patiently at that.

"Will you have toast?" he asked, reaching for the tray again. "Miss Hawthorne assures me that the butter was in the cow only a few days ago." And he grinned at her.

"Yes, thank you. We ought to hurry, though. The trip is ever so long," she said ruefully, for though she wanted to get away as quickly as possible, she was tired and a long car trip seemed daunting.
He handed her the toast. "But the way is beautiful. And we shall take it together."

Read Strange Darkness, which is my own, complete story that follows fairly soon after this one.
You can also read Chapter One, Blood Dimmed Tide, which immediately follows this one but is only a single chapter of a longer work not available.
Back to Jeri's Dr. Who Fiction page!

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