Disappearing Act was a story featured in Doctor Who Files 14: The Ood. It was written by Justin Richards.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Fergus Antelect, accompanied by his ill-treated assistant, Ood Delta, is about to perform his stage act once more for the entertainment of some of the universe's wealthiest people while they feast on expensive food and even more expensive wines at their tables at the Galactic Royal Hotel. In the audience is Special Agent Ratner of the Galactic Enforcement Agency (as usual), investigating the mysterious theft of jewellery from the audience of Ratner's shows.

Just as the act is about to begin, the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble grab a seat at Ratner's table and settle down to watch the show. Antelect's act uses the Ood's telepathy to create illusions which the audience believe in: flowers from a hat that change into a rabbit; limbs of volunteers that just disappear and then reappear. Lady Delatron is invited onstage. She wears the famous Gangestic Necklace of perfect crystalline nectar-stone set in diamonds and oolian. Antelect only has to think that the necklace is safe in Lady Delatron's room; through the Ood's telepathy, the thought will be communicated to everyone in the room. This deception lets Antelect remove the actual jewellery, undetected, in clear view of everyone, including Agent Ratner, without suspicion. Like all his robberies, this will happen when Antelect had a water-tight alibi and dozens of witnesses to back him up.

The act takes a turn when Antelect hears himself making a confession. He even explains how he commits the crimes. He realises that someone in the room has a more powerful imagination and grasp on Ood Delta's telepathy. Antelect tries to protest but realises that, to deny time pieces were set with a remote digitiser to give him time to commit the offences, would give the game away. It would amount to another confession.

Ood Delta is asked to confirm Antelect's story of innocence. He does by confirming that Antelect did not use a digitiser or change the clocks. For a moment Antelect believes he may have got away with it because an Ood always tells the truth. However, Ood Delta states that Antelect is guilty of thirty-seven counts of theft, ninety-two counts of misleading the public through illegal telepathic manipulation and one hundred and thirteen counts of cruelty to a sentient life-form – namely Ood Delta.

With Antelect's crimes exposed, security tapes previously overlooked are to be reviewed. Meanwhile, Kalrusian guards secure Antelect. Agent Ratner turns to thank the Doctor and Donna, but finds they have vanished into thin air, leaving empty chairs.

Characters[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity[edit | edit source]

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