Beachhead was the first story of Doom Coalition 2.
In addition to marking only the second appearance of the Voord in a Big Finish audio after Domain of the Voord, Beachhead introduces the first taste of the second box set's overarching plot with the mystery of the destruction of their homeworld.
Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]
In an attempt to recharge his batteries after his confrontation with the Eleven, the Doctor takes Liv and Helen to the sleepy English seaside village of Stegmoor. But they find the village in turmoil and, to make matters worse, their arrival uncovers a mystery from the Doctor's past which threatens the future safety of the planet. Can the Doctor prevent the Voord from invading Earth? And more importantly why have they come in the first place?
Plot[edit | edit source]
In 2017 Stegmoor, Matilda goes to her local shop for toilet roll and is served by Lilly, with whom she has a secret romantic relationship. They discuss the area's poor broadband and Matilda's headache when the river bursts its banks and Lilly is swept away whilst Matilda manages to drive off.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor feels some power trying to work the console, but ignores it to take Liv and Helen for some peace and quiet in Stegmoor, which he recalls having visited some time ago. They materialise at the bottom of a mudstone cliff.
Matilda returns home to her mother and tells her what has happened, although Mrs Gregson is initially sceptical due to having seen no sign of danger at the reservoir during her last visit. Using binoculars, she spots the TARDIS.
The Doctor, Liv and Helen exit the TARDIS and quickly re-enter when Liv hears the flood. They struggle to close the door and find that the TARDIS has been shut down and is being pushed along the beach by the water. Matilda and Mrs Gregson head to the beach to check if there had indeed been people. Mrs Gregson worries about her daughter's headache, which she has been keeping from her.
Somewhere, a female voice says that "the power is rising".
Matilda and Mrs Gregson reach the TARDIS and see Liv and Helen carry the Doctor, who suffered a headache, out of it. Matilda tells her mother to take the newcomers to the Gregsons' house whilst she goes to the village. Before leaving, Helen takes the Doctor's TARDIS key to lock the door and Mrs Gregson tells Matilda that she remembers a police box showing up once before. Liv and Helen spot the hull of a shiny black spaceship in the sea.
Liv and Helen lay the Doctor by the fire at the Gregsons' house and Mrs Gregson shows familiarity with his name. Matilda says that the phone line is down and is joined on her way to the village by Liv, who offers her skills as a med-tech for the injured. Liv asks Matilda about her headache, which she tells her her father suffered from, whilst Mrs Gregson tells Helen of the time she met the Doctor. After a near-miss, Liv and Matilda hit a figure in a black protective suit. The Doctor wakes up, tasting a familiar energy in the air.
Liv identifies the figure as a non-human and tells Matilda that there is a spaceship in the sea. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver and finds that the taste is van Cassadine energy, which was likely responsible for the flooding and the TARDIS's shutdown. Liv and Matilda carry the figure into the car and turn around to take her to the Doctor. The Doctor confirms to Mrs Gregson that he is the same Doctor that she once met and remembers investigating a fallen object with Liz Shaw and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Mrs Gregson tells him that the object had knocked her husband out and left him with a headache until the day he died.
The figure, identifying as Scout-Ship Commander Ishtek and a Voord, wakes up and tells Liv and Matilda that she has recently woken up and is confused. The Doctor surmises that the TARDIS had tried to guide him towards the van Cassadine energy when Mrs Gregson, who had stormed out, returns with a shotgun and demands the truth. Liv and Matilda return and bring Ishtek inside. Ishtek demands access to the TARDIS as her ship has been in a reenergising cycle for some time and pulls a gun on Mrs Gregson, who shoots and wounds her. The Doctor, Liv, Helen and the Gregsons flee towards the TARDIS.
The Doctor and co. spot an air-sea rescue helicopter which is shot down by Ishtek. Whilst Matilda and Mrs Gregson go to attract the attention of a helicopter further inland, the Doctor, Liv and Helen head into the Voord spaceship and find the device that has been sucking the energy from the freak weather conditions, its method of camouflage and that Ishtek had apparently been calling for reinforcements. After finding cryo-bays, Ishtek and a male Voord enter the ship, demanding to have access to the TARDIS's power in order to return to the Voord survival flotilla.
At gunpoint, the Doctor, Liv and Helen are led back towards the TARDIS. Ishtek tells them that her planet is dead, shooting down another helicopter when the Doctor volunteers to take the Voord to a new world. Matilda and Mrs Gregson return and become further hostages. They are seen by a police sergeant who calls in backup after the Voord fire at him.
The Doctor agrees to give Ishtek the power she needs, although she insists that she will conquer Earth once he has, and Tellat is sent into the TARDIS with him to supervise and kill the hostages if necessary. The Doctor transfers the power that Ishtek needs and her spaceship transforms into sand and rocks. He and the women are then saved from Tellat by anti-terrorist police, who shoot and kill Tellat. The police sergeant searches them all before informing Matilda that nobody died in the flood and that Lilly is safe. Lilly runs up to her and they hug with Mrs Gregson's blessing.
The police sergeant attempts to question the Doctor, Liv and Helen, but they escape into the TARDIS where the Doctor tells them that he had potentially crushed the Voord to death, or otherwise they were trapped. Whilst Helen questions whether or not it was moral to kill them, the Doctor and Liv excuse it by reminding her that he had given them several warnings. The Doctor dematerialises the TARDIS and muses on the Voord homeworld, knowing that it is not supposed to die at any point around the 21st century.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Liv Chenka - Nicola Walker
- Helen Sinclair - Hattie Morahan
- Matilda Gregson - Rebecca Night
- Phillipa Gregson / Dispatch - Julia Hills
- Ishtek / Lilly - Kirsty Besterman
- Voord Guard / Police Sergeant / Mr Rogers - Andrew Dickens
References[edit | edit source]
- The local doctor at Stegmoor is Doc Ariely.
- The Gregsons own a Land Rover.
- Helen gives the Doctor some herbal tea made by Liv.
- Helen notes that 2017 is still within her personal future, as she's probably an old woman if she's still alive.
- The Voord use van Cassadine energy.
- The Voord possess cryo-bays.
- Their ship camouflages by mimicking the molecular structure of the surrounding rocks and sand.
- Ishtek attempts to contact the Voord survival flotilla.
- The Third Doctor previously visited Stegmoor with UNIT, the Brigadier, and Liz Shaw.
- The Voord homeworld did not die anywhere near the 2017 time zone, meaning someone has changed established history.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This story was recorded at The Moat Studios.
- As of October 2019[update], this is the only Voord story in a performed medium not to feature the First Doctor.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor has previously encountered the Voord on Marinus and Hydra. (TV: The Keys of Marinus, AUDIO: Domain of the Voord, COMIC: The World Shapers)
- Helen realises that some of her family might still be alive, but she is told by the Doctor not to try to contact them. She would later do just that when they visited Calcot in August 1998. (AUDIO: Absent Friends)
- Helen says she used to work for the National Museum. (AUDIO: The Red Lady)
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