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Mary's Story was the fourth story in the audio anthology, The Company of Friends, which comprised the one hundred and twenty-third release in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Jonathan Morris and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and Julie Cox as Mary Shelley.

It was the fruition of a nearly decade-long gag that had been running through the Eighth Doctor's audio adventures. Since his first such adventure, Storm Warning, he had been dropping hints of a friendship with Shelley, but that relationship had never been depicted until this story.

In October 2011, to tie in with a new series of audio dramas featuring Mary as a companion, Big Finish released Mary's Story as a standalone download.

This story is notable for the fact that the Eighth Doctor acknowledges comics, prose and audio continuities. As of 2019, it is the first and only story to explicitly and unambiguously combine the continuities of these three media.

Publisher's summary[]

Switzerland, 1816: at the Villa Diodati, Lord Byron's house guests tell each other tales to curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart. With a monster on the loose outside, young Mary Shelley isn't short of inspiration.


Mary and Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, Mary's stepsister Claire Clairmont and Byron's physician John Polidori spend time at Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva in June 1816 when a strange sick man knocks at their door. He introduces himself as Dr Frankenstein, speaks incoherently and mysteriously and weaves in and out of consciousness. He seems to have recognised Mary and speaks of a volcano that is the cause of the Year without a Summer.

After being looked after for several days, he appears to have died. Percy suggests to repeat Galvani's experiment with electricity with his body. When the lightning strikes, the body returns to life in a monster-like way. The stranger runs into the forest before seriously harming anybody.

Mary follows him and finds him inside a strange blue hut that looks bigger on the inside but is as battered as the strange man himself. He explains that he is the Doctor and that he and his TARDIS are contaminated with vitreous time. The TARDIS brought him to this time and place remembering that he could be revived by the lightning. However, he has a connection to the TARDIS and neither can be cured without the other. The TARDIS has no power left, and he has sent a request for help.

He asks Mary to tie him up because he feels the monster taking over. But it is too late, and Mary runs back to the villa and barricades the door. While the monster is trying to get in, another similar blue hut appears outside the villa. The same person walks out of it, except he looks much better.

He hypnotises the monster and revitalises the other TARDIS using a power cell from his own TARDIS. He explains that he is a younger version of the same Doctor and is responding to the distress signal from a Time Lord in need of immediate assistance. When the TARDIS of the future Doctor returns to norm, so does the future Doctor himself.

The future Doctor departs, and the younger Doctor offers Mary to travel with him in his time machine. She agrees.



Illustration featured in DWM 410.

  • Lord Byron recites an excerpt from Christabel, a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
  • The Doctor recognises the year as being 1816 by observing the discolouration due to volcanic ash present in the upper atmosphere after the 1815 eruption of Tambora.
  • When the Doctor appears to have died, the initial suggestion is to arrange a funeral in Cologne.
  • The Doctor remembers seeing similar blood-red sunsets on Joe Turner's paintings.
  • Percy Shelley recalls Galvani's experiments with electromagnetism on frogs.
  • The Doctor and his TARDIS were infected with vitreous time during a temporal storm. Apart from causing significant physical discomfort, it inhibits regeneration.
  • The Doctor mentions that John Polidori will write The Vampyre.
  • When Mary was 16, Percy abandoned his wife and child to be with her.
  • The older version of the Doctor mentions that the death of his younger version before reaching his position in the timeline would have disastrous consequences for the Web of Time.


  • This story was recorded on 30 and 31 October 2008 at The Moat Studios.
  • The writer of the story, Jonathan Morris, described it as "Byronic Doctor meets Lord Byron."
  • The beginning of the story features several quotes or close paraphrases from Mary Shelley's introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein.


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