Intuition was the eighteenth Subscriber Short Trips audio story. It was written by Rob Nisbet and featured the Sixth Doctor and Melanie Bush. It was released as a subscriber-only download, available to subscribers who purchased The Butcher of Brisbane.
The Sixth Doctor and Mel are in the Swiss mountains for some rest and relaxation after recent exertions. But soon the Doctor finds himself involved in a mystery, as those working in the resort's hospitality prove preternaturally willing to help.
Is it just mere chance? The Doctor's intuition is that something is wrong: but intuition could be the very problem here...
The Doctor scans a breakfast menu in a hotel in the Swiss mountains, while Melanie Bush is skiing. Despite her instructions to eat healthily, the Doctor is tempted to help himself to the cheese, meats, a pastry and mineral water. The Doctor decides on a hot chocolate. The Doctor pulls out a leaflet that shows the cable car on the mountain, which claims to be the tallest mountain in Switzerland.
A waiter comes over and places someone else’s food and drink before him, much to the irritation of the Doctor. The waiter reveals that he had chosen the food as an estimate to the Doctor’s order. Upon analysing the tray, the Doctor sees cheese, meats, the pastry he had seen in the window and a glass of mineral water, much to the confusion of the Doctor.
The Doctor raises this confusion to the Maitre D’. The Concierge walks over to his table and explains that he has organised a daytrip especially for the Doctor. The Doctor challenges the Concierge by suggesting that maybe he doesn’t want the daytrip, despite knowing full well that it was exactly what he had previously planned. This confuses the Concierge. The Doctor wonders whether they have maybe picked up on his thoughts or maybe people were suffering from an abnormally large amount of precognition. The Doctor is uneasy at the thought of being controlled. The Doctor questions whether choosing this hotel at a whim had been just that. Maybe someone had chosen it for him. The Doctor decides to go along with the plan.
Stefan is sitting at his kiosk at the train station playing his usual game of guessing what the customers wanted, at which he was very good. Noticing the Doctor approaching, he reaches a conclusion that the Doctor would rather explore the paths than any physical activities. The Doctor reaches the desk and invites Stefan to guess what his tickets are for without seeing them. Stefan indulges the Doctor and guesses that he’s going up the mountain via cable car and down by railway. Stefan and the Doctor both know that he’s right. The Doctor then asks Stefan to guess his age. Stefan flippantly suggests that despite looking forty-five, the Doctor could be over a thousand.
On the cable car, the Doctor finds himself concerned. Firstly, he’s concerned that Stefan had accurately guessed his age, and secondly, that he had asked Stefan to play a guessing game that he was already intending to play. The Doctor then realises that he knew Stefan’s name without even asking.
He looks around the mountain top, disappointed that he hadn’t been met by someone with an explanation. Using his instinct, the Doctor follows a path to his right, leading to another peak of the mountain and a platform overlooking the mountain village below. The Doctor jumps over the railing and into the snow below, continuing along the mountain. He somehow knows which parts are dangerous and unstable. Upon gazing around the horizon, the Doctor’s eyes fall upon something that he’d already expected to see – a creature, domed and undulating.
The Doctor walks towards the creature but it quickly vanishes. The Doctor wonders whether seeing the image of something was the next stage of the precognition, no longer a thought. Continuing onward, the Doctor finds a cave and peers in. To his further confusion, he remarks that the cave is filled with ‘everything’, every colour and every image, leading him to lose his mind temporarily. The Doctor comes to his senses and then becomes aware of the creature standing by his side. He realises that it’s either a projection or a hallucination, due to the lack of footprints in the snow.
The Doctor notes the creature’s head is domed, its flesh is rippled like a brain and its arms and legs extrude along its flattened base. The Doctor begins a conversation with the creature, which calls itself ‘Ur’. The creature admits he’s the one who had brought the Doctor by manipulating the cause and effect of time. Ur explains that he doesn’t just experience precognition, but rather it plagues him. Ur knows everything that will happen.
Ur deadens the precognition enough for the Doctor to safely enter the cave. The projection vanishes, the Doctor strokes his lucky cat badge and enters. The Doctor likens the swirling images in his mind to his previous regeneration. Stepping forward, the Doctor gains images from Ur’s past, including the crash of his spaceship. The Doctor finds the spaceship imbedded in the cave wall. The projection of Ur explains to the Doctor that he’s dying.
The Doctor demands that Ur let him inside the ship so that he can help the real Ur. Ur doesn’t want the Doctor’s help. Instead he simply wants the Doctor to listen to his story. Ur explains that he’s the first to leave his world. He’d ended up in orbit around Earth, acting upon ‘intuition’ and since then he has been bombarded with the agony of intuition and foreknowledge. The Doctor acknowledges his pain. His mind filled with the pain, Ur had lost control of his ship and crashed to Earth.
Despite his pleas, Ur tells the Doctor that he has foreseen this conversation being his last. The Doctor asks Ur why he had chosen him, to which Ur explains that being a Time Lord makes the Doctor more understanding of foreknowledge and its burden on a person. The Doctor doesn’t accept that time works that like but Ur explains that he had seen many endings, and that this was the one he had selected. Now the Doctor seems to understand.
The Doctor sees the bruise on the projection’s skin extend and understands further that it isn’t a case of suicide, rather of terminal illness. Ur states that the crash to Earth was a relief, but not intentional.
Later, the Doctor explains the situation to Mel. The Doctor explains that Ur’s world was charged with an Anti-Sciatic Atmosphere, meaning that it deadened any natural psychic ability. Mel understands that the population of the planet evolved psychic capabilities to even out the suppression. When Ur had left the planet, Mel correctly guesses that he no longer had his original powers suppressed, making its brain flood with intuition and thus crashing its ship. He further explains that the crash of the ship weakened the Earth’s crust, split the tectonic plates and created the mountains known as the Alps, millions of years ago. The Doctor had understood whilst in the cave that the crash had killed Ur but Ur had had the foreknowledge to invent a program capable of conversing with the Doctor, millions of years later.
Mel asks the Doctor what Ur had wanted him to do. The Doctor explains to Mel that Ur’s ship had filled with water that had caused the body’s DNA to decompose and enter the local water supply. The precognition of the people on the mountain had been due to them ingesting the DNA filled mineral water. The waiter brings over two glasses of carrot juice, which Mel remarks is a much safer drink.
to be added
- On 29 September 2017, this story was made available for general release as part of the Short Trips Rarities range, with a new cover by Tom Saunders.
- This story was recorded on 29 November 2014 at Ladbroke Audio.
- The Doctor references that he and Mel had grown more friendly since his trial. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)
- Upon entering the cave, the Doctor likens the swirling images in his head to his previous regeneration. (TV: The Caves of Androzani)