Tardis
Advertisement
Tardis
RealWorld.png

And You Will Obey Me was the two hundred and eleventh story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Alan Barnes and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Geoffrey Beevers as the Master. However, as revealed in the subsequent installments of the "Multi-Master Trilogy" (Vampire of the Mind and The Two Masters), the Master in the story is not actually the Decayed Master, but Alex Macqueen's Reborn Master occupying the body of his earlier incarnation.

Publisher's summary[]

The Decayed Master: wanted for crimes without number, across five galaxies.

The Master: escaped his pursuers. Last known location: rural Hexford, England, Earth.

The Master: dead and buried in an unmourned grave, in a lonely churchyard.

Apparently.

Plot[]

Part one[]

At an auction in the small British village of Hexford, the Fifth Doctor and a young woman in green both bid furiously on an ordinary grandfather clock, as does a chavvy young man called Colin — only for all of them to lose the thing to a mysterious phone bidder. After the auction wraps up, the Doctor and Annie exchange wary introductions while Colin catches up with his associate Helen. As she questions the Doctor about his interest in the clock, Annie is finally told the truth: that the Doctor believes the clock to be the time machine of his old friend and fellow alien, the Master.

The Doctor, meanwhile, learns from Annie that the clock is the only object to have survived a fire that destroyed the derelict cottage of one "Michael Masterson", who the Doctor correctly guesses was "a recluse with a hideously deformed face" — none other than the Master in his decayed form. She talks her into visiting the ruins of the cottage, where they find Michael Masterson's grave. The Doctor begins to dig it up, intent on checking that the body within is indeed that of the Master and not a decoy. He finds the earth disturbed and the coffin empty, and guesses that the Master must have regenerated after burial and crawled out of his grave. As this is going on, the two are being observed by a pair of alien beings, a young female one and her superior the Dragonmaster.

The Doctor learns that the reason Annie was at the auction was that she still possesses the Master's TARDIS key found in the wreckage of Masterson's house; she had been planning to sell the key to whoever bought the clock. Deducing that the Master must still be on Earth, if indeed it is him who bought the clock, the Doctor resolves to find it, heading for the auction-house. There, Colin and Helen have been trying to get the name of the phone-bidder out of the auctioneer, resorting to suspiciously Master-like hypnosis to do so. However, all their plans are interrupted by the descent of the buyers — or rather, their agents: Russian KGB members inexplicably wielding Gallifreyan stasers

Part two[]

The mercenaries, led by Grigor, hold the Fifth Doctor and Annie at gunpoint. As they sound each other out for information, it becomes clear that the mercenaries are not, or, in any event, do not believe that they are, working for the Decayed Master, with Grigori revealing that his "master" is in fact female. The Doctor and Annie are serendipitously saved by the arrival of Gomphus and Jade Nymph, whom the Doctor recognises as Dragonhunters, with Nymph rendering Grigor unconscious with her stinger to neutralise the threat of his staser.

The Doctor discourages the Dragonhunters from liquefying the unconscious Grigor's brain for information by showing them the Master's TARDIS key and telling them he will help take them to the Master's TARDIS so long as they refrain from killing. Though mistrustful of Time Lords, and not yet convinced that the Doctor and Annie are not bounty hunters seeking the Master for self-serving reasons, the giant alien dragonflies accept the bargain. The Dragonhunters abruptly pick up the Doctor and all three fly off. Left on solid ground, Annie tells Colin and Helen, whom the Doctor also convinced the Dragonhunters to leave alone, to come out of hiding. She voices her intention to wake up and interrogate Grigor. As he wakes up, Grigor can only repeat the word "strekozy" ("dragonfly" in Russian) over and over; Helen suggests to Annie that Colin tie him to a chair.

Meanwhile, the Doctor has succeeded in convincing the Dragonhunters to land near his TARDIS instead of continuing the journey through flight. He invites them in and explain to them that he is using the telepathic circuits to home in on the Master's TARDIS on the basis of the key. However, the short-wave transmissions, long-wave transmissions, frequency modulated transmissions and microwave transmissions at "ground level" drown out the signal, forcing the Doctor to take the TARDIS up vertically "a few thousand feet up" in the hope of being able to home in on the "whisper" of the other TARDIS.

Meanwhile, the interrogation of Grigor is interrupted by the Auctioneer, objecting to the use of his auction house as a "torture chamber", just as Grigor is starting to wake up, but Annie uses the staser-gun to stun the auctioneer so they can continue in peace. Grigor jeers that "interfering" English civilians won't dare to hurt him, and vows to tell them nothing — prompting Annie to reveal both to him and to Helen and Colin that she's actually part of MI5. Frightened, Grigor gives her the GPS coordinates of the abode of the "mistress". The three rush out, but Annie goes back in, claiming to have forgotten her handbag, just long enough to shoot Grigor with the staser again (despite her reassurance to him that she wasn't going to). On the way there, Annie, Helen and Colin exchange data about the Master.

Meanwhile, the "mistress", Janine, has the Master's TARDIS unloaded from the mercenaries' helicopter as it arrives at her helipad, only to be threatened by a man in sunglasses who reveals himself as her old acquaintance, the real Michael Masterson. Looking into Janine's eyes as she attempts to hypnotise him, Mikey realises that "he is inside [her]!". It is at this point that the Doctor arrives. Janine reveals to him that Mikey is the Master's son, and claims that he is working for his father.

After the Doctor successfully defuses the situation, the three head into Janine's high-tech, voice-controlled house for a drink and a chat. Janine and Mikey reveal that they grew up together and that, in 1984, they fell out of the bus on the way back from school, and this was how it all started. Aghast, the Doctor points out that 1984 is also the year he came to 2016 from.

Part three[]

The Doctor gets Mikey to recount the story how it all started, prompting a flashback. After getting off the bus, the four teenagers — Colin, Helen, and Janine and Mikey themselves — bicker about whether Mikey knows the way back as he claimed. Before things can get too far, however, they see the Master's TARDIS plummeting to the ground, causing tremors as though a bomb just dropped.

Making their way to the flaming barn into which the timeship crashed, they hesitate with coming closer until the Master emerges from the "capsule", asking for help. He grouches and complains as they help him up, however, and threatens them with a staser gun when they try to call for medical assistance. After they recant, he tells them that his facial disfiguration is nothing new, and that what ails him as the result of his crash is trauma to his genetic structure. Not realising when and where he is, he asks for directions to a genetic therapy clinic; when Janine tries to have a joke at his expense, he drops any pretense of affability and demonstrates his hypnotic control over her, spooking the others into obedience. He then reads Mike's mind to see his greatest desire (that his wounded brother be healed) and promises it to him in exchange for total submission to his will. He soon repeats the same offer to the other three.

Mikey and Janine go on to chronicle how the Master transferred parts of his essence and thus hypnotic powers to them, so that they could "steal" various electronic components on his behalf by simply walking into shops and demanding to be given them. The Doctor notes that it only makes sense that he would have "infected" those close to him with parts of his being, if his "genetic structure" had been damaged.

Still in Mike's telling, the Master grows increasingly desperate over weeks living in the Hexford house, with the machine he is putting together not working properly and his unstable form "dissipating day by day". Mike helps him somewhat by using anti-burn cream to help his charred skin heal a little, confessing that his own brother sustained heavy burns from his experience in war. Mike comes to see the Master as an adopted father, to the Master's mild bemusement. Eventually, the Master learns that there is a nuclear-armed air base close by.

While Mike is telling the story, the present-day Colin and Helen make their way to the old air base in question, even as Mike's story reveals how, back in the day, they used their hypnotic powers to sneak into it and steal a uranium core. After they hypnotised one soldier to drive them out, the Master demanded that Michael shoot him with his staser, so that he would go missing and the authorities would blame him for the theft. Mike suggests that the shock of seeing the dying man's face shocked him out of his hypnosis-aided faith in the Master, "breaking the spell".

He tried to tell the one person he trusted, his favourite teacher, about the Master. However, when he visited her house, she was away, and he saw none other than the Fifth Doctor himself. Not daring to tell him anything, he claimed that he wanted to see Miss Hampden about his exams and was on his way, meekly returning to the meeting point of the Master and his other "children", who are still completely under his hypnotic control. His story sees the Master reveal that he directed his crashing TARDIS to 1984V Hexford in the first place looking for the Doctor, wanting to use him as a "donor" to repair his own failing body, but was unable to locate him after the crash (since he'd, unbeknownst to the Master, left for 2016), forcing him to "improvise" by letting some of his nucleii take root inside the children, who served as "incubators". The machine he has built is meant to extract them (killing the children in the process) and transplant them into him, restoring him to health.

However, while the nuclei are flowing into him, the Master is invulnerable, but immobilised. Resisting his control, Mike uses his father's old gun to shoot the machine, causing the machine to explode. The Master then finally dissipated into nothingness. The Doctor and Mike's conversation fills in the gaps of what happened thereafter: having kept the Master's TARDIS, it was Michael who put it up for auction as bait when he suspected that the Master had returned and killed his brother. Janine, Colin and Helen, still looking sixteen because the Time Lord nuclei in their system kept them young, are also trying to lay a trap for the Master, as they believe he is returning to life due to having had increasingly frequent visions of him in the past few years.

However, the Doctor points out that something still doesn't make sense: if the Master killed Mikey's brother, why did he not take back his TARDIS right there and then? Just as alarms begin blaring, signaling that Janine's house's protections have been breached, the Doctor, Michael and Janine realise that it was the Master who was really using the clock as a lure — for them, to draw his "children" together again.

Part four[]

The intruders turn out not to be the Master and his minions, but Annie with Colin and Helen in tow. The Doctor realises that the "children"'s visions of the Master, and the signal the Doctor tracked on his own TARDIS, were triggered by someone putting the key to the Master's TARDIS in the lock. He further guesses that Annie was responsible, leading Mike to a muted realisation that she must have been the one who actually killed his brother. The Doctor gives Mikey a key to his TARDIS and sends him and the other three "children" to take refuge there. Running to the police box, they find a space-ship hovering above it demanding that they surrender themselves, in service to the Transhuman Sisters of the Unholy Protocol.

Meanwhile, the Doctor realises that Annie is in the service of the Transhuman Sisters and was sent in pursuit of the Master, just like the Dragonhunters. After switching off her "personality matrix" to become a dispassionate node of the hive mind once again, she explains that after the Master's TARDIS's telepathic circuits reactivated, they awakened the nuclei inside Colin, Helen and Janine, which still contain enough of the Master's essence for him to potentially be resurrected. To complete her mission, she therefore intends to destroy them, as they "are" the Master now.

Unable to get to the TARDIS without getting shot down, Colin, Helen, Michael and Janine commandeer one of the helicopters, wagering that the Transhuman Sisters won't shoot it down with the Master's TARDIS inside. However, they simply use a tractor beam to draw the helicopter into their own spaceship. The Doctor, however, makes them an offer: as a Time Lord, he can draw the Master's stray nuclei back into himself, becoming the Master by the Transhuman Sisters' standards. As their strict utilitarian calculations consider it better to have one host to kill to get to the Master rather than three, they accept the offer.

In their cells, the three immortal friends and Mike catch up on how they've spent the last decades. It transpires that, although she is not entirely comfortable with her frozen age, Janine is the only one to have actually made something of the time she had, while the other two simply did their best to stay under the radar and lived mundane, repetitive lives. Finally, the Doctor, the Transhuman Sisters and the "children" are reunited. The Doctor asks to have access to the Master's TARDIS so that he can switch off its telepathic circuits and thus draw out the Master's nuclei.

In the control room, they begin to hear the Master's chuckles around them, coming from everywhere at once. The Doctor realises that another fragment of the Master's consciousness has been residing inside his TARDIS itself, a "ghost in the machine", and he goads him into showing himself on the scanner. Outside the TARDIS, meanwhile, the Transhuman Sisters' ship is attacked by the Dragonhunters. They absorb the robots' knowledge and decide to rip off the "three Masters"'s heads rather than risk absorbing the Master's consciousness, which they suspect might be toxic to them. Before they can do so, however, Annie kills both of them.

Inside the control room, Mike is goaded by the Master into reaching out to the telepathic circuits interface in an effort to destroy him. As soon as he touches it, Mike becomes frozen in place, screaming in pain, as the Master takes over his body. Possessing Mike, the Master walks out of the TARDIS and shoots Annie with Mike's gun before she can destroy the other "children". Within minutes, the Master's essence "rots Mike's body from the inside", returning the Master to his old cadaverous self, corporeal once again. Taking back hypnotic control of the "children", he has them take him into the clock TARDIS so that he can switch bodies with him.

However, the Doctor appeals to the three, reminding them of their "heart's desires" that the Master never granted, and pointing out that he has in fact just killed Mikey. Managing to free themselves from the Master's control, they turn his psychic power back on him, attempting to force him to die, although the Doctor stops them from going that far. Running into his TARDIS, the Master takes off and escapes.

After warning the surviving "children" that, with the Master gone from their time-zone, the nuclei in their systems will atrophy and they'll catch up to what their physical age ought to be, the Doctor leaves — though not before advising Janine to contact UNIT to get the KGB off her back. He returns to 1984, leaving Colin, Helen and Janine to contemplate where they will go from here.

Cast[]

References[]

Geography[]

Individuals[]

  • Colin sarcastically refers to the security guard as "Stretch Armstrong", and Annie to the Russian mercenary Grigor as "Boris-not-Johnson".
  • Colin was a Sea Scout when he was younger.
  • Mikey's elder brother fought in the Falklands War and his face was badly burnt.
  • The Master arrived in Hexford in 1984.
  • Colin and Helen were born in 1968.

Organisations[]

  • The Russian KGB had a file on the Master.
  • The Doctor briefly wonders if Annie is working with MI5 or UNIT, but cuts himself off before he reveals the latter name to her.

Popular culture[]

Technology[]

Notes[]

Continuity[]

External links[]

Advertisement