Klein's Story was the one-part story comprising part of the one hundred and thirty-first release in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by John Ainsworth and Lee Mansfield and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Tracey Childs as Elizabeth Klein.
It was the final of the single part stories released together with a three part story. This story is primarily set in Elizabeth Klein's timeline. It also featured Paul McGann as Johann Schmidt, an alternate version of the Eighth Doctor from Klein's timeline. However, McCoy and McGann's characters never meet.
Elizabeth Klein is an anomaly, a renegade from an alternate future in which the Nazis won World War II. To get to know his latest companion, the Doctor invites Klein to tell him how exactly she came to be in possession of his TARDIS and of the events that led to her trip into the past to Colditz Castle.
The Doctor and Klein finally find the TARDIS after having seen the British army arrive to help Sylvia O'Donnell and her husband. The Doctor ponders about what to do with Klein, while she rebuffs him with the fact that taking her with him was his idea. The Doctor makes it clear that he'll constantly have his eye on Klein so as to ensure that she doesn't attempt to use his TARDIS to recreate her original timeline. The pair enter the ship where Klein expresses surprise about the change to the TARDIS interior. The Doctor programs a destination for the TARDIS, but Klein is still not contemned with the idea of being a forced travelling companion, nor is she happy with the Doctor's notion that she is merely an anomaly in time. She dictates that the she and the Doctor know nothing about each other and henceforth have no reason to trust nor like each other. The Doctor agrees and decides that they have to find some even ground on which to cooperate. He suggests that, in an attempt to get to know Klein, she could tell him about her original timeline; the timeline that she lived in before she took his TARDIS back to Colditz Castle in 1944. Klein concurs with this idea and the Doctor asks her to tell him the details about what made her take her first voyage in the TARDIS.
Klein tells him that in 1962, she was researching physics at Cambridge when she was called upon a airship bound for Berlin, where her arrival was awaited by Jonas Faber, a Nazi Major. On her arrival on the airship, Faber greeted her warmly and told her that he travelled all the way from Germany to recruit Klein for a special project that he is overseeing, the he feels her characteristics and work establishment would be vital for. Faber informs her that, to Klein's scepticism, that the Nazi's had been privy to the knowledge of extraterrestrial incursions previously and that Klein had previously speculated on the possibility. Klein enquires as to what her role in the project is. Faber tells her that she will be working with recovered alien technology to investigate and research their properties for the benefit for the Third Reich. He claims that the reason for the research only just started being conducted was due to Hitler having the technology taken and hidden away with their existence denied, a policy which was lifted after his recent suicide. Klein eventually accepts to role.
The Doctor finishes making the tea and Klein tells him about the types of technology she was given access to for the benefit of her research, over a variety of species. The Doctor speaks very nonchalantly about the existence of other races, but Klein again rebuffs him based on her feelings about life-long beliefs being proven. Klein tells the Doctor that despite all the technology she was given access to, she wasn't allowed access to the TARDIS until a lot later, after she had become romantically involved with Faber.
During a dinner date with Faber, Klein tells him about the progress of her work, when she broaches the possibility of her work resulting in the invention of time travel. Upon hearing this, Faber becomes intrigued. When Klein claims surprise that none of the species she is utilising the technology of have been capable of time travel, Faber relates to her a incursion at Colditz Castle back during the war. He tells her that back in 1944, two time travellers, and man and a girl known as 'The Doctor' and 'Ace', arrived at Colditz from the future, when the girl was executed but the man escaped into his time machine. He reveals that what came to be known as Laser technology was found in a small device left behind by the Doctor, much to Klein's delight. He then reveals that the Reich have the time machine in a security bunker; the Doctor returned 10 years later at a border checkpoint where he was gunned down and killed by border patrol who mistook his umbrella for a rifle. Klein asks why she hasn't been given access to the time machine, when Faber queries whether she's considered the implications of examining it's technology, such as changing history.
The Doctor lectures Klein about the responsibility that comes with the ability to change history, which Klein turns on him as a hypocritical statement. He insists that he isn't sure why he returned to 1955 as that event never ended up happening to him. When the Doctor inquires how she convinced Faber allow her to investigate to the TARDIS, she tells him that after Hitler's death and a period of political unrest, she was eventually given access to it and permitted to study it.
To be continued...
- The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Elizabeth Klein - Tracey Childs
- Johann Schmidt - Paul McGann
- Major Jonas Faber - Rupert Wickham
- In Klein's timeline, the Seventh Doctor fled Colditz Castle after Ace was killed by the Nazis. Immediately afterwards in his personal timeline, he returned to Germany in 1955. The TARDIS materialised near a border checkpoint in the West. As he appeared to be carrying a weapon, the Nazi soldiers on duty shot him immediately. After examining his body, they realised that it was in actuality an old umbrella. Although the TARDIS was captured, the Doctor's body seemingly disappeared. While the Nazi assumed that it had been stolen by trophy hunters, its "disappearance" was due to the fact that the Doctor had regenerated into his eighth incarnation and absconded. He adopted the alias "Johann Schmidt" and later told Klein that he was a collector of sorts who had stolen the Doctor's body and gained possession of the TARDIS key. Klein describes him as being "handsome, in a Gothic sort of way."
- Between 1955 and 1965, the Doctor helped political prisoners escape the clutches of the Nazis and disrupted the Third Reich's "ethnic cleansing programmes." Consequently, he attracted the attention of the Nazi authorities but nevertheless maintained his liberty.
Colleges and universities
- In her timeline, Klein was conducting research at the University of Cambridge in 1962, when she was recruited by Major Jonas Faber to study and unlock the secrets of alien technology stored in a bunker in Berlin. She and Faber became lovers.
- The Doctor mentions the science fiction series Professor X. He claims that he always thought that it was better in the 1960s than it was later during its run until he actually watched several of the early serials including Vault of the Cyborgs, one of the series' best regarded stories.
- The Führer Adolf Hitler was reluctant to acknowledge the existence of superior alien civilisations and technology and therefore ordered all evidence of this to be placed in the bunker. After his death in 1961, policy was changed and research into the alien technology began in earnest. However, the succeeding ruling body was soon weakened by divisions and internal conflicts.
- Klein had been studying a Dravidian power drive. She learned how to operate the device but remained ignorant of how it worked. Consequently, she was unable to duplicate the technology.
- Faber tells Klein that, using the laser technology obtained from Ace's Walkman shortly after her execution at Colditz Castle in October 1944, Germany developed nuclear weaponry. They subsequently bombed New York City and Moscow, forcing the surrender of the Allies and winning World War II for Nazi Germany.
- Paul McGann stars as an alternative version of the Eighth Doctor from Klein's timeline in this story.
- Klein claims that she was unaware of the proper name of the TARDIS until she learned it from the Seventh Doctor in Colditz Castle in October 1944. However, she referred to it as such in AUDIO: Colditz before the Doctor ever used the name. However, it is possible she recalled the name from when "Johann Schmidt" used it, or was told the name by a member of the staff of Colditz who had been alerted to its name by the Doctor.
- Unlike previous Big Finish releases of three part/one part story combinations, Klein's Story precedes Survival of the Fittest in this release.
- The Doctor's reference to Professor X refers to an episode of Steven Moffatt's children's television programme Press Gang, which revolved around one character's relationship with a creaky old television show that he watched as a boy; the show, Professor X, was very clearly patterned on Doctor Who. Professor X himself was played in this episode by Michael Jayston, who had already appeared in Doctor Who as the character of the Valeyard. Moffatt has joked in interviews that after the end of his series Coupling, the main character, Steve Taylor, is a scriptwriter who now works on a modern revival of Professor X.
- The reference also functions as a good-natured poke at the lower quality of earlier Doctor Who episodes, since he says that he thought the show was better in the 1960s until he went back and actually watched the episodes. The title Vault of the Cyborgs is a reference to TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen. Lost for many years, all four episodes of The Tomb of the Cybermen were recovered and rushed onto video in the early 1990s, at which point its reputation as a classic underwent radical, albeit temporary, reappraisal.
- Along with AUDIO: Zagreus, AUDIO: The Four Doctors and AUDIO: The Light at the End, this is one of four Big Finish audio dramas in which both Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann appear.
- The story was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra on 24 May 2012 as the first part of Survival of the Fittest.
- The Doctor tells Klein that the British Army has arrived in Kenya and that Sylvia O'Donnell and her husband Heinrich will be safe. (AUDIO: A Thousand Tiny Wings)
- The TARDIS' design in this story is the same as in TV: Doctor Who. Klein mentions that the Doctor has "redecorated" the ship since she last saw it when he was travelling with Ace.
- The scene from TV: The Three Doctors in which the Second Doctor voices his displeasure with the new design of the TARDIS is echoed in a similar remark from Klein.
- The Doctor mentions the TARDIS' "leopard skin" desktop theme. (TV: Time Crash)
- For her second trip in the TARDIS, the Doctor considers bringing Klein to Florana. (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Death to the Daleks; AUDIO: The Elite)
- Klein had been studying a Dravidian power drive. (TV: The Brain of Morbius, The Shakespeare Code; PROSE: The Planet of Oblivion)
- In the alternative timeline, the Seventh Doctor regenerated for the same reason as in TV: Doctor Who.
- "Johann Schmidt" is a German variation of the Doctor's usual alias "John Smith". The Seventh Doctor had previously referred to himself as "Johann Schmidt" while impersonating the Reichsinspektor General in May 1951 in another alternative timeline, (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) and the Sixth Doctor used the alias while presenting himself to Hitler as a Major General of the Fifth Medical Corps in Berlin when meeting Hitler in 1942 and 1945. (PROSE: The Shadow in the Glass) In the proper timeline, the Eighth Doctor would later use the name once more while posing as a German spy aboard the British airship R101 in October 1930. (AUDIO: Storm Warning)
- Official Klein's Story page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Klein's Story at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide