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"Phil won't leave his room" - A Doctor Who Production History

When the Poirot chapter goes up (it'll be a guest post by Mark Edward of this parish) there'll be an image not a million miles away from yours.

The Cuthbertson is from a still from the Railway Children, but I added a hairpiece and changed the colour of his cravat.

A bit of background. This came about when I started a watchalong of Doctor Who (63-89) with my wife and, this is a terrible confession, neither of us really liked any of the Doctors after Troughton (except for one). So we started discussing alternate castings and I did what I usually do in such situations, I Photoshopped some stuff up. This timeline is actually just a home for my Photoshops. So far, only the Britbox image and the DVD cover are new to this TL (Edited to add: and the Gabriel Baine and Sexton Blake images). All the others have been sitting on my harddrive for nearly three years.

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I can't help notice that Cuthbertson has something growing on his face, is this some sort of alien parasite?
"Uncle Abanazar!"
"The Ghost of Christmas Present, I presume."

Speaking of Cuthbertson's Doctor, I don't know how he managed to wangle a place in McGann's TARDIS.

Screenshot from Pip Madeley on Twitter
Great minds think alike. I did have a slide prepared but it ended up in the outtake pile because I preferred the slide I did for Don by himself. I have a little rule I set myself that DVD covers aside, I wouldn't feature the same source twice for an image and even a BBC2 slide was too close to a BBC1 one.

Part 15 - The Six Doctors
Opening caption:

"At the end of time, and at the end of space, there is a planet where the TARDISes go when their owners have finally passed on. A planet where they wait and mourn, in an eternal temporal loop, in silent remembrance of the Time Lords who piloted them. That planet is the most sacred space in the universe. And someone has violated it."

The Fifth Doctor and Sophie land on a planet whose co-ordinates they can't fully identify. It's in some sort of pocket dimension or something -- the Doctor can't figure out exactly where, and the TARDIS is being curiously recalcitrant about giving him information. "It seems like she doesn't even want to land here at all". It seems almost completely deserted and empty.

While the Doctor and Sophie are investigating this, they come across a group of Ogrons. The Doctor says "Ogrons! Wherever they are, the Daleks are sure to be somewhere around", but they watch them and notice that the Ogrons seem vastly superior, mentally, to the ones the Doctor knows. And this supposition is confirmed when one of them sneaks up behind them and shoots the Doctor in the back with some sort of ray gun. It's not a direct hit, and Sophie manages to drag the Doctor into a sheltered cave, where the Ogrons can't get to them. From the cave they hear what sounds like multiple TARDISes dematerialising. They peek out, and the Ogrons are gone.

There follows an insert from The Space Museum -- a scene where the Doctor, Ian, Vicky and Barbara are talking about crossing their own timelines. There's a sudden flash of light, the sound of two TARDISes, and when the light fades we're now in colour. The Third Doctor and Kay arrive in a modern recreation of the same set we just saw, identically framed except that the Doctor is not there, while the other three have become transparent flickering black-and-white ghosts, frozen in time. Kay goes to put her hand through them, but the Doctor stops her. "If you do that, you'll get trapped just like them!"

The Doctor has found a hypercube, like the one from the end of The War Games, used as a distress signal to call for the Time Lords -- but it was sent out by his own first self. He doesn't remember doing this, and says to Kay "Something is being done to alter the very fabric of time. My own past is changing under me. We must be on our guard -- literally anything could be happening."

The Doctor pulls out his temporal calibrator, and determines that his earlier self was there mere moments before, and disappeared at the exact moment his own TARDIS arrived. He hits the calibrator a couple of times, and looks at it curiously. Kay asks what's going on, and he says that he should be able to follow the time trails, "but they lead to nowhere and nowhen". But then he smiles at her and says, "But then, I've always wanted to go nowhere. It should make a pleasant change after several centuries of being somewhere."

The 5th Doctor and Sophie become aware that they are not alone in their hiding place, after a tense few moments, they discover The second Doctor and Zoe are also hiding, but from Yeti rather than Ogrons. The Yeti, too, seem to have vanished with TARDIS noises.

On a viewscreen, we see The Third Doctor's TARDIS landing. A distored voice murmurs "How perspicacious. I didn't need to set a trap for this one. His own curiosity has brought him within my grasp."
After some action, involving Daleks that, just like the Yeti and the Ogrons, seem curiously out of character, Doctors Two and Five meet Doctor Three. All have been suddenly weakened upon coming to this planet, but Five seems worst affected of all. Piecing it together they establish that this is connected to Doctor one's disappearance and suppose that Doctor Four might be similarly lost.

Once again we see things through a viewscreen. The distorted voice speaks loudly, "They've got it. I'm sorry, Doctor, I underestimated you. I thought I'd have a bit more fun with them before they worked it out. You always did spoil my fun." Camera turns around to Doctors One and Four who are trapped in two of five bays on a gigantic contraption which also has five TARDIS consoles attached to it. They're grimacing in pain, with electrodes attached to their heads.
The three Doctors who are free go into telepathic contact with each other, and try to see if they can find the other Doctors. All they get is the telepathic message "Don't. Don't come. He's going to..." and then a gigantic scream, which the Fifth Doctor echoes as he collapses completely.

But the Fifth Doctor has collapsed precisely because, as the most recent Doctor, he was able to make contact with both his other trapped selves, unlike the Second and Third Doctors. Even though he's horribly weakened, he's got a fix on where his other selves are. He puts his arms around the shoulders of the other two Doctors, and they drag him along, feet trailing limply on the floor, as he tells them which direction to go in. They reach a giant building which has a faint hum, as of a TARDIS, and are then captured by the Ogrons and placed in the other three bays of the contraption, electrodes attached to their heads. Their companions are turned into the same flickering shadows as Ian, Barbara, and Vicky were at the beginning. The giant building is, in fact, the Master's TARDIS.

The Master greets them, saying "Ah, my dear Doctors, welcome to Eternia. I see you recognise the name. Yes, you're on the fabled TARDIS graveyard, where TARDISes come to mourn their dead pilots."

"We can't be. There are no TARDISes here. We'd have seen them."

"Ah. Well, that's because I destroyed them. I took the dematerialisation and telepathic circuits of those I had no use for, and implanted them in my servants, the Ogrons, Daleks, and Yeti. The Daleks put up a little bit of a fight, of course, but it's amazing what you can do with a sonic scalpel and a stomach for mechanical screaming. The rest of the TARDISes disintegrated without those components, of course."

The Doctors all look sick. This is the ultimate desecration -- the Master has come into a hallowed space and killed the mourners and used their parts to make slaves out of sentient beings.

"I see you are impressed. You should be. But you haven't yet understood the full implications of my plan. I said that I destroyed the ones I had no use for, but of course there are those I did have a use for. Five of them, to be precise. The five that most closely matched your different incarnations. The five that would have bonds with you almost as strong as those with their original operators.

"Ah, I see realisation start to dawn. Those electrodes on your scalps are hooked to the console of my own TARDIS. The commands I give to my TARDIS will be relayed to your brains, and thence to those other consoles. With an array of six TARDIS consoles all under my control, I can gain total control of the timestream. Of course, the temporal radiation does have some... unfortunate... side effects."

The Master lifts his mask, revealing hideous scarring.

"Luckily, I realised that in time and built this mask to protect myself. You all have this to look forward to. But not for long. With my control of the timestream, I am able to rewrite the whole history of the universe. I shall erase the Time Lords altogether, and put myself in their place, as the sole controller of the universe. You have no need any longer to call me Master. You can call me instead The Time Lord. The definite article, you might say."

The Fifth Doctor realises there's only one way to solve the problem. He must force his own hearts to stop. He's weak, but the combined willpower of the other Doctors, with whom, unbeknownst to the Master, he's still in telepathic link and has been talking telepathically all through this, allows him to do it. He regenerates, and is no longer a match for the console he's linked to. As a result, the TARDIS consoles start to make a shriek, somewhere between a scream and their normal noise, and they all disappear, leaving the Doctors free and the companions returned to their normal selves.
They escape as the Master's own TARDIS console explodes. He keeps frantically punching buttons, but nothing happens. His own TARDIS is dead.

The companions ask if they're going to take care of The Master, but The Doctors say something far worse than him will be arriving any moment. The Time Lords turn up and say to the Master "You will face the ultimate punishment".
Back in the TARDIS, Sophie nervously approaches the new Doctor who is rifling through a huge, wicker chest of clothes.

"It's still me, Sophie." says the Sixth Doctor. "Different body, but I still love answering questions and I know you have one."
"What will happen to the Master?"
"Well, if they're lenient, they might just kill him. Otherwise..." The Doctor wanders to an adjacent room.

From the other room, he shouts, "They might sentence him to an eternal time-loop on Eternia, surrounded by the ghosts of the TARDISes he killed. I doubt he'd like that. No, I hope they'll be merciful and just kill him. That's what he wanted, and it's the one thing he could never bring himself to do. And that's how I defeated him, of course."

"What do you mean, Doctor?"

"Oh, it's simple enough, child. He didn't have anything at all to live for, but he was too scared to allow himself to die. And when you're as evil as the Master is, you can't imagine anyone else not thinking the same way. He didn't understand that I did have a reason to live, and precisely because I did, I wasn't scared to die."

The Doctor has re-entered the console room. We don't see him, but we hear him say "Sophie?" Sophie turns around and reacts with some surprise at his sartorial choice.



This plot breakdown was written from my brief outline by my friend Andrew Hickey. If you'd like to try more of his writing, both fact and fiction, start here
Edited to add: I finally found some reliable image aging stuff at artbreeder.com, so this image has been changed since its original uploading.
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Whilst I love the image, shouldn't Cuthbertson and Delgado look older?

I did think about that, but as it's a "painting" I'm handwaving it with "lack of photo reference for the artist". I experimented with an aging programme for a later image that I might not use and I'm not sure about the results.

Brigadier Julian Knight. An appearance in the 1998 series slips in a reference to him having a cousin called Emma.
I did think about that, but as it's a "painting" I'm handwaving it with "lack of photo reference for the artist". I experimented with an aging programme for a later image that I might not use and I'm not sure about the results.

Brigadier Julian Knight. An appearance in the 1998 series slips in a reference to him having a cousin called Emma.
Thanks. Perhaps you could simply make their hair grey.