He Jests at Scars... was the fourth Doctor Who Unbound audio story produced by Big Finish Productions. This was the first story not to feature an alternate Doctor, instead featuring Michael Jayston reprising his role as the Valeyard, whom he had last played in 1986's The Ultimate Foe. Bonnie Langford also reprised her role of Melanie Bush. However, like other characters in the Unbound series, these reprisals were of alternate versions of their characters, changed by the scenario presented in the story. The events shown here touch upon what might have happened if the Valeyard had won his trial against the Sixth Doctor and then stole his remaining regenerations.
What if... the Valeyard had won?
The thing about meddling with time is that one moment something is real, the next, it's been erased. Probability becomes just a possibility. Established truth becomes a theoretical falsehood. Like dominoes, as one timeline falls, the others come cascading down around it. You can engineer new timelines, new possibilities, but before long, the distinction between what is, what was, what might be and what never can be becomes blurred.
Out of this grow myths, lies and legends. The Doctor was one such legend, but no one knows whether he truly ever existed. Well, not now they don't. The Mighty One, ruling the multiverses from the eternal city of Chronopolis, has made sure of that.
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- The Valeyard - Michael Jayston
- Melanie Bush - Bonnie Langford
- Coordinator Vansell - Anthony Keetch
- The President - Tim Preece
- Ellie Martin - Juliet Warner
- Nula - Jane MacFarlane
- Gerrof - Mark Donovan
- Pakhar / Tannoy Voice / Matrix Voice - Gary Russell
- The megabyte modem is mentioned twice.
- A time ram is accidentally initiated by the Valeyard to the Fourth Doctor, when attempting to keep his younger self from reaching Logopolis with the Master.
- Mel is given a Time Ring.
- In various alternative timelines, Mel died of a brain tumour on Earth in 2012, on the colony planet Heritage in the 61st century, and in the crash of the spaceship Nosferatu II while travelling with Sabalom Glitz.
- The Valeyard tells Mel the names of various companions which whom the Doctor might have travelled in another timeline: Peri Brown, Evelyn Smythe, Ace, Hex, Charley Pollard and C'rizz.
- The title is a reference to the line from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: "He jests at scars, that never felt a wound.", which is quoted directly in and thematically relevant to the story. The title of the previous Doctor Who Unbound audio, Full Fathom Five, was also a Shakespearean quotation. Both stories are also about dark and tragic versions of the Doctor.
- This story marked the first appearance of the Valeyard in an audio drama. Jayston later reprises the role in AUDIO: Trial of the Valeyard in 2014.
- This audio drama was recorded on 26 June 2003.
- The Valeyard mentions Hex and C'rizz among the companions with whom the Doctor might have travelled. This foreshadows their respective introductions in The Harvest and The Creed of the Kromon.
- This story was originally released on CD. It is now available as a download only.
- Ellie complains that the Valeyard criticises her for carrying weapons unless it suits him. In the proper timeline, the Seventh Doctor's companion Ace frequently raises similar objections. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- The Valeyard implies that he's picked up a weapon which belonged to Jack the Ripper. (PROSE: Matrix)
- Vansell observes the Valeyard and Ellie onboard the Hyperion III in the place of the Sixth Doctor and Mel in the proper timeline. The Valeyard leaves Commodore Travers and his entire crew dead, as well as leaving the "augmented aubergines" to their own devices. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids)
- Vansell compares the Valeyard to the inchoate form of a Watcher (TV: Logopolis) but claims that it is unprecedented for such a being to achieve independent sentience, implying either that the Time Lords are unaware of the existence of Cho Je or that he was something else entirely. (TV: Planet of the Spiders)
- Vansell refers to the Time Lords once sending the Doctor on an ultimately unsuccessful mission to destroy the Daleks after the Valeyard has altered history by giving the Thals a formula to wipe out the Daleks before their creation. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- Nula is from the planet Archetryx. (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element)
- The Valeyard intends to stop his fourth incarnation from destroying Logopolis and to steal the Master's TARDIS. (TV: Logopolis)
- The First Doctor, Steven Taylor and "an extinct bird" visited Logopolis after leaving 13th century Kiev. (PROSE: Bunker Soldiers)
- Vansell observes the Valeyard and Ellie visiting a Silurian bunker in the Galapagos Islands. (AUDIO: Bloodtide)
- Official He Jests at Scars... page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for He Jests at Scars... at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide