Dead Time was the second story in the BBC Doctor Who: Earth and Beyond trilogy read by Paul McGann. It was also the eleventh short story in the Short Trips anthology More Short Trips. It was written by Andrew Miller. It featured the Eighth Doctor and Sam.
The Doctor and Sam are travelling in the TARDIS when something goes wrong. There is an explosion and everything goes dark. After turning on the emergency lighting, the Doctor discovers they are in deepest space and have landed "in countless different times all at once".
Outside the TARDIS is also dark, and they go out to explore. As they make their way through the darkness, Sam thinks she sees something, but is hesitant to mention it. They can see distorted shapes that look like faces, and there are points of light that are beginning to coalesce. The lights start moving toward the Doctor and Sam, and they run away. They enter an area that seems familiar to the Doctor. He realises it is an ancient TARDIS, and it is awakening in response to his presence.
The cloud of lights places Sam in a stasis field, and comes after the Doctor. They attack his mind. Suddenly he sees a version of himself from the future, come back to warn him about the alien entity attacking him.
The Other-Doctor tells him the "aliens" are the Forgotten, from Gallifrey's past. They were memory surfers, who figured out how to time travel through a Time Lord's timeline. The side effect is that the host's life unravels. The owner of this old TARDIS was one of their victims, and when he went mad, they did as well.
The Other-Doctor fades away, and the Forgotten start travelling through the Doctor's past in his mind. When they get to the time his first incarnation was about to regenerate, he traps them in a sealed area of his mind.
He and Sam find themselves in the console room of the old TARDIS. This reality starts to dissolve, and they head back to their TARDIS.
- The ancient TARDIS was sent out to map the universe by Rassilon, likely a Type-one.
- The Doctor recalls a time as a child when he witnessed the Gallifreyan Flower of Remembrance at a funeral in the Panopticon.
- A Lucrece shift is a cosmic phenomenon that can affect the TARDIS.
to be added
- The Doctor refers to himself as a wanderer in the fourth and fifth dimensions. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
- Sam's "Richter scale of danger" is used. (PROSE: Genocide)
- The Gallifreyan flowers of remembrance that the Doctor mentions here are the same flowers that his TARDIS takes the form of in PROSE: The Ancestor Cell.
- The Doctor recently regenerated. (TV: Doctor Who)
- The Forgotten travel through Time Lord lifespans. When they leave, the host Time Lord dies at all points in their life. Something similar happened to the Eleventh Doctor when the Great Intelligence steps into his timeline. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)
- The Doctor hates to imagine what the universe would be like without him. (TV: Turn Left, The Name of the Doctor)
- As the Forgotten are attacking his timeline, the Doctor sees San Francisco, (TV: Doctor Who) Cheetah people, (TV: Survival) Daleks, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks) Nimons, (TV: The Horns of Nimon) Kraals, (TV: The Android Invasion) Ogrons and Draconians (TV: Frontier in Space) Drashigs, (TV: Carnival of Monsters) Axons, (TV: The Claws of Axos) the grey-haired dandy born from the pain and dismay of the little dark haired clown, tried and convicted by the very people he was fighting now to save, (TV: Spearhead from Space, The War Games) Krotons, (TV: The Krotons) Ice Warriors, (TV: The Ice Warriors) Yeti, (TV: The Abominable Snowmen) Macra (TV: The Macra Terror) and the Cybermen in Antarctica. (TV: The Tenth Planet)