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Leviathan was the third story of the first series of The Lost Stories, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was adapted by Paul Finch, from the original script by his father Brian Finch, and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri Brown.

Publisher's summary[]

No one lives to old age in the village. When their Time is come, they are taken and never seen again. That is The Way. And, should anyone try to break with the established order of things, then the fury of Herne the Hunter is unleashed...

When the TARDIS materialises near a castle in this mediaeval society, the Doctor and Peri befriend Gurth, a terrified youth who is attempting to flee his fate. And Herne is closing in...

Why does the local baron impose the culling? What is the secret of Zeron? And who are the Sentinels of the New Dawn?

The answers lie within a cave...


Part one[]

Experiencing technical issues, the TARDIS lands in a forest near a castle and Peri sees Gurth being chased by the antlered and skull-faced Herne on the scanner. She learns from the databanks that Herne is a 22nd century biomechanoid used as an assassin by the Sentinels of the New Dawn, a fact that makes the Doctor change his mind about not helping Gurth, whose uncle Father Osbert has refused to let him into his home. They help him flee from the Herne and his dogs to a cave from which they see a group led by Wulfric launch a failed attack on the hunter. Edgar and Thurstan are apparently killed and the survivors flee, leaving a destroyed dog which the Doctor finds is an android.

Wulfric and Eada capture and interrogate Peri and Gurth and are soon joined by Thurstan, who explains that he was separated from the group and managed to escape the Herne. He hands over a laser crossbow which Wulfric considers using on Peri until Siward persuades him otherwise, although Eada is suspicious of Peri's knowledge of lasers and believes it to be evidence that she is with the Baron. The group, known to the villagers of New Haven as the Pariah, plan to infiltrate the Baron's armoury to steal more laser crossbows and leave Gurth behind to guard Peri in her cage. Peri manages to persuade him to let her go, however, and they go to get the Doctor's help.

Avoiding being seen by the Baron and his men at the cave, the Doctor meets Osbert, his housekeeper, Maude, and the young girl Althya. He realises that the people are too advanced for it to be the Middle Ages as he initially believed it to be and is arrested by the Master-Sergeant and his men, whom Osbert sent for and who take him to the castle dungeons. When Wulfric, Eada, Siward and Thurstan use a laser crossbow to blow their way into the castle, the Doctor claims responsibility in return for their help, only to be taken before the Baron by the Master-Sergeant. He learns that the Baron serves the voice of the Zeron, which orders the Baron to interrogate him with a sensory manipulator.

The alarm sounds when the Pariah try to infiltrate the armoury and the Baron sends his guards and the Herne to kill them. The Doctor defeats him in a swordfight and confronts the Zeron about the symbols of the Sentinels of the Rising Sun that he has seen since landing, but he soon has to flee and saddles some horses in a stable. Peri and Gurth, who has been denounced by the villagers as a Pariah and replaced with an identical boy proclaimed the new Gurth, hide in the stable with the villagers chasing them and join him in riding away to the Pariah's cave. The Doctor shares his assessment that the world seems to be for show rather than genuinely mediaeval and finds a hidden room with a porthole through which he, Peri and Gurth see that they are on a spaceship.

Part two[]

The Doctor, Peri and Gurth see another spaceship on a parallel course and are almost trapped by containment doors, but they escape through a rusty one and the Doctor explains that they are on a Leviathan, a 22nd century colony ship made obsolete by the interstellar drive and run by the Zeron computer program. They free the Pariah from the castle dungeons, destroying the android Master-Sergeant, and the Doctor saves Wulfric from being tortured with the sensory manipulator whilst Peri and Gurth act as a rearguard. To save himself and Eada, the Doctor inverts the power feed of a laser crossbow and creates a reverse detonation that destroys the dungeon and badly damages the android Baron.

The Zeron receives orders to have the Baron "recycle" the entire generation of people aboard the Leviathan and the Doctor and Eada follow the Baron as he melts Siward's body in a machine beneath the throne room. They discover that those who reach the age at which they begin questioning society aboard the Leviathan are recycled into younger versions of themselves in tanks and the Baron reveals that the Zeron and the ship were damaged in a meteor storm less than fifty light years from its destination: Phlegethon. The Doctor and Eada escape to the village when they hear a bell being rung and witness Osbert rounding up the youth to be taken to the castle for recycling; the Doctor tries to persuade Althya that what is happening is not right, but instead resorts to having her tell Osbert that the Pariah are in the undercroft.

When Osbert goes into the undercroft to investigate, the Doctor traps him inside and puts on a habit to take his place on the cart and take the youth away from the village. Eada makes Althya send some of the Baron's androids ahead to keep an eye out for the Pariah, giving the Doctor the opportunity to run them down and Peri, Wulfric and Gurth to launch an ambush in which the escaped Osbert is destroyed. The youth join the Pariah and head to the castle whilst the Doctor and Peri return to the TARDIS, finding no record of what happened to the Sentinels in the databanks and meeting Crewman (First Class) Soltan of the Icarus, the nearby freighter, when he knocks on the door. He tells them that Captain Chandris has hacked into the Zeron to wipe out the people aboard the Leviathan so that he can sell it as salvage.

The Doctor and Peri get Soltan into the TARDIS when he is shot by a sniper and leave him there, unconscious, to join the Pariah at the castle. Passing the destroyed Baron, they lock themselves in the recycling chamber to keep out the Herne and find hundreds of dead Sentinels of the New Dawn in faulty cryosleep cubicles still being fed by the recycling plant, having long since suffocated following the meteor storm. The Doctor gets Wulfric's help to destroy the throne with the sensory manipulator, revealing the Leviathan's command chair which he uses to get control of the Zeron; he immobilises the Herne, deactivates the other androids and uses Soltan's teleport belt to travel to the Icarus and confront Captain Chandris and First Mate Gregorian with the Herne.

The Doctor orders Captain Chandris to transfer everybody, including the foetuses, from the Leviathan to the Icarus and threatens him with the Herne when he refuses. Captain Chandris and Gregorian are locked in the brig with the Herne standing guard whilst Soltan calls for a rescue shuttle, the forest of the Leviathan being left behind to be tended to by the Zeron. The Doctor and Peri dematerialise in the TARDIS, but they are plagued once more with technical problems.




  • The Doctor believes that the Middle Ages is "an interesting period in its way, but in increasingly small doses."
  • Faster-than-light travel was invented in the mid-22nd century, rendering the Leviathans obsolete before they could be used.
  • Peri recognises the robotic hounds as a form of android.
  • Maude gives the Doctor bread and cheese.
  • The Zeron originally ran automated prison craft.
  • Phlegethon is in the Naiad system.
  • The crew of the Icarus use teleport belts.
  • The Doctor suspects that the Herne's axe is made from tungsten carbide and capable of cutting through anything.


Leviation Big Finish Story Art

CD sleeve illustration, showing a scene from the story.

  • Unlike the other Lost Stories in the series, Leviathan was not written for Season 23. It was dropped at the last minute, having rehearsal scripts set up; the reasons for its cancellation are unknown, although David Richardson has suggested it was most likely for budgetary reasons.
  • The script for this serial was sent in after Paul Finch read about the Lost Stories series in Doctor Who Magazine. Recording for the series was already nearing completion. After reading the script, Richardson arranged to extend the originally planned seven stories, which were already at the tail end of production, to include it as an eighth.
  • This audio drama was recorded on 28 and 29 April 2009 at The Moat Studios.
  • Due to the large number of characters featured, each of the secondary cast had to perform several roles.
  • This story is set between Revelation of the Daleks and The Trial of a Time Lord.


External links[]