Attack of the Snowmen was a December 2011 online short story published on the BBC's Doctor Who Website as part of the 2011 Adventure Calendar.

Summary[edit | edit source]

A missing businessman, odd snow, and a strange man in a bowler hat drag the Doctor and his snowbound friends into an alien mystery.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Part one[edit | edit source]

Businessman Geoff Bluth is caught in a snowstorm and can't find his hotel. While on the line he stops to ask a mysterious man in a bowler hat and grey pinstriped suit what street they are on. He screams...

Over a week later, the town is still snowed in and the power and all phone service is out. The roads across Europe are blocked and the petrol stations are out of fuel. Louie Rollins has borrowed his neighbour's daughter's snowboard and is using it to make his way into town. As he reaches his Aunt Rachael's house, he zigzags around the numerous snowmen outside, clipping one and careening, narrowly managing to reach the door to crash into the kitchen, amusing Aunty Rachael. Millie comes in and the three chat until Millie's phone rings. It takes a moment for all three to realise that the battery is dead and there's no reception. Millie answers, then rushes to the door to let in the Eleventh Doctor. They catch up, and he tells them that he was on the way to visit the creation of the Salcreyan Nebula when the TARDIS was dragged off course by something alien and powerful. His scans didn't find anything, so he asks them if they'd noticed anything unusual since the beginning of the storm. Rachael mentions the missing businessman, and Millie has noticed that the snow is still light and fluffy and hasn't melted even though daytime temperatures have been above freezing.

The Doctor examines the snow, which looks and smells like snow, but he says he has a very sensitive tongue that can tell by taste that there are trace amounts of phosidium, a substance that shouldn't exist on Earth or in this solar system. The Doctor bids them goodbye, planning to use the TARDIS to track down any more concentrations of phosidium, but Rachael doesn't care to just sit and worry. She declares they're coming with him, and the Doctor just smiles. They head off, but Millie drags behind, thinking she saw something odd about a snowman. The Doctor catches sight of his TARDIS and a man in a bowler hat and pin-striped suit. A power line falls to the ground, sparking. As the trio backs away, Millie screams as a snowman with glowing red eyes rises and glides toward her.

Part two[edit | edit source]

Rachael turns at her daughter's scream, and the live cable leaps at her. Louie tackles his aunt out of the way as the Doctor reaches for his sonic screwdriver and uses it to disable the wire, which explodes and falls to the ground, lifeless. They run for where they heard Millie's scream. The Doctor tries to hide a small amount of blood, but Rachael spots that he's hiding it. She blames herself for insisting on coming. Louie and the Doctor comfort her. There aren't any footprints but theirs, so the Doctor says they stick with the plan, back to the TARDIS, to track Millie and the phosidium. They reach the TARDIS and the Doctor insists that they change into warm, dry clothing while he runs the search.

The Doctor runs down his search results with Louie and Rachael. He explains that Millie, having travelled in the TARDIS, has trace elements of chronon energy that he could trace. He's traced her to a building that Rachael identifies as an old manufacturing plant, and he's pretty sure because there's a concentration of phosidium there, too. Louie asks if they'll take the TARDIS, but the Doctor pauses. He suggests that they may have taken Millie as bait for him, so it's best not to risk it. Besides, he has an idea.

Millie wakes, cuffed to an angled table. There is a man her mother's age on a similar table next to her. He's very pale and doesn't answer her. She looks around and works at freeing her hands from the cuffs. She is interrupted by a door opening to reveal a thin man in a bowler hat. He taunts Millie, who pretends not to know which Doctor he means. He removes his hat to show he's an alien with horns on his head. He threatens her and the doctor, then leaves the room.

The Doctor has brought out Rory's hoverboards. Rachael is a bit apprehensive, as she can't even roller skate. Louie asks if the boards will be all right on the frozen river, but the Doctor seems to hear a different "River", and crashes his board.

Millie has reached her tube of chapstick, and the lubricant allows her to get out of the cuffs. She makes sure the man is alive, and promises to go for help. He says his name is Geoff. She runs off, before the alien returns. He needed her for bait, so he calls to activate the sentries. Snowmen all over Europe show red eyes and levitate. Millie makes it outside, but needs to duck and hide from a sentry snowman.

Rachael and Louie don't know how to stop or get off the boards and go back to the Doctor, so they decide to use the snowmen to help stop. They as for the snowmen, and two of them rise into the air with eyes ablaze and they feel a heat wash over them. The Doctor scrambles to his feet and grabs his hoverboard just in time to see them disappear.

Part three[edit | edit source]

The bowler hat alien, Fashieth, quarrels with a similar alien, Hazneer. Hazneer says that the others of their kind are negotiating with the Zu'nar and shoring up their military defences. Fashieth believes that all twelve should be here to capitalise on the rare chance at the Time Lord. They know that Millie has chronon energy. Hazneer berates him for losing her, when the sentries bring in Louie and Aunty Rachael. Rachael is relieved to hear that Millie escaped, but not for long, as they began to scan Louie. The aliens find that children are more resilient than adult humans. They pass the information on to the Zu'nar, then reveal to their captive humans that they're planning to sell human children to them. Fashieth orders the sentries to kill the adults.

Millie evades the sentry and runs for the woods. She makes it a little way into the woods but is forced to hide due to the sentries. As the snowman that attacked the others advancing, the Doctor decides to use the woods, after all. He finds Millie just as she's about to move. Later, he finds a side door, but the lock is rusted and his sonic screwdriver won't work to open it. He begins to pick the lock with a piece of wire.

Hazneer stops the sentries from killing the adults, as Rachael could be useful to keep Louie in line. Fashieth observes that Geoff is nearly dead and has him removed. He says the Doctor is here, but they'll let him think he's unobserved as they summon the others. The Doctor hears a woman in pain and follows the sound. The aliens are gloating about their plan as the Doctor appears and calmly states that it's illegal. He assures Rachael that Millie is safe, then identifies the aliens as Scrollnée, and wonders how got into slave trading. They reveal that they're the former rulers, who were deposed and killed in a Scrollnée uprising. Now they are the Council of the Dead. They don't fear the Judoon, because their wealth has bought them weapons and armies.

The remainder of the Council arrive and seize the Doctor. They strap him into one of the machines. They reveal that they're looking to steal the Doctor's regeneration energy so that they can bring their dead bodies back to life. The machine starts to drain his energy, he begins to lose consciousness, and yellow light starts to come from his fingertips.

The TARDIS arrives, and Millie steps out, holding an egg shaped device. She asks them to stop, but the Scrollnée ignore her. She presses an indentation on the device. They scream, and lose control of theories dead bodies, which fall to the floor, twisting as they fall into dust. Rachael and Millie release Louie and the Doctor, as the Doctor confesses that he knew it was the Council and set up this plan. He deactivates the snowmen sentries and says the Zu'nar will withdraw once he's explained the truth.

Millie looks around for Geoff, crestfallen, as she'd promised to save him. The Doctor says he'd found him in the corridor. He's still alive and they get him to a hospital.

Several days later, the snow is melted, and the Doctor takes Millie and Louie to see the Salcreyan Nebula.

Characters[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • The Doctor plans to see the birth of the Salcreyan Nebula before he is pulled off-course.
  • People who travel in the TARDIS are left with traces of chronon energy.
  • Amy bought Rory several hoverboards.
  • Phosidium is a substance that can be used as a part of a compound that imitates snow, but with a different freezing point. The Doctor can detect trace amounts by taste. It does not exist in our solar system.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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