The Doctor and Charley are enjoying a meal in Melbourne. While the Doctor chats with a man named Tristan, Charley observes the crowd. An armoured truck pulls up in front of the Brunswick Street Bookstore, and suddenly, Tristan runs to the bookstore. The crowd surges toward the bookstore, and the Doctor heads that way as well, warning Charley to stay back. They see Tristan climb out of an upper storey window, clutching something; he falls to the pavement, surviving only to be kicked to death in the crowd. Charley is almost trampled but manages to get away.
The Doctor and Charley retreat to a café by the beach. Charley is shaken by the violence she has witnessed. The Doctor has retrieved the item that Tristan was carrying. It is a Biblio-Tablet containing The Darvias Saga. The tablet was activated by Tristan, so the Doctor has to adjust its retina scanner so anyone can read the book.
The Doctor has sent Charley to find out about the publishers of the book. Instead, she encounters the Movement for Real Literature, a group protesting The Darvias Saga. When they learn she does not approve of the violence caused by the book's readers, they welcome her enthusiastically to their headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Doctor begins reading the book. He is enthralled. When a boy named Mitch approaches, the Doctor reads the story out loud to him.
Charley and the group have met at leader Bruce Gillespie's house. They watch on the television an announcement made by Darvias author Nathaniel Clamp that a prequel will be released in New York City. The group decide that Clamp must die.
Charley phones the Doctor. He tells her the tablets contain an alien signal. He tells her to convince the group to do nothing until she hears from him again. After he hangs up, the Doctor continues to read the story aloud to a large group of people.
Days later, Charley has not heard from the Doctor. Bruce decides to go ahead with their plan. One of the group members, Henry, obtains weapons and passports and the three travel to New York City.
Several aliens, including Mr Tluss and Mr Marg, are watching the New York restless crowd on a large screen. For them it is entertainment. They learn that the Doctor has materialised in their warehouse and obtains a tablet containing the prequel. He then visits the aliens in their board room. They welcome him and explain that they like to "watch the antics of the lower races". They are behind the whole Darvias scheme. They aren't interested in sales of the book; they are interested in the havoc caused by obsessive fans.
In New York, Charley has a clear line of sight to Clamp. She raises her gun and fires...
In the board room, the Doctor and the aliens watch on screen as the camera focuses on Charley. However, she has not shot Clamp, but instead shot Bruce in the shoulder. An angry Henry prepares to shoot Charley but he attracts the attention of security and is stopped. Meanwhile, the rumour spreads through the crowd that the Darvias prequel is on the internet.
The Doctor explains to the aliens that he uploaded the contents of the prequel onto the internet. Though Mr Marg says they will kill him, Mr Tluss says they are not savages. They will leave Earth and move on to the next thing.
Charley and the Doctor reunite, and the Doctor reassures Charley that she did the right thing in not killing Clamp.
Mr Tluss prepares a pitch to his board of directors. There are nano-cameras on the Doctor, and Mr Tluss promises a new form of entertainment — the Doctor.
- Eighth Doctor
- Charlotte Pollard
- Bruce Gillespie
- Nathaniel Clamp
- Mr Tluss
- Mr Marg
Cultural references from the real world
- Gary Oldman is mentioned as an actor who could play Darvias in a movie.
- Madonna is mentioned as a follower of Darvias' teachings.
- Mr Tluss and his colleagues created chaos on Kelpa by introducing a wooden toy and on Zassaph with a ceremonial headdress.
- Charley tells Bruce that she and the Doctor had been helping native tribes in Africa before arriving in Melbourne.
- The prequel will be launched at a Barnes & Noble in New York City.
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