Parking (planet), so an article can be written about the act in general.
Talk about it here.
It was used as a spaceship parking lot by tourists planning on going to Dashrah, a planet located next to Parking. To prevent vehicle theft, or indeed customers leaving without paying their fee, spacecraft doors were stasis locked, and the vehicles themselves held in place by magnetic clamps. Additionally, a force barrier prevented ships from leaving the planet without paying. According to the Seventh Doctor, even TARDISes could not leave without these safeguards removed.
Parking was eventually the site of an autopilot spaceship AI uprising, in which the Wardens who worked for Parking, and a group of rebels from a local nomadic tribe were turned against one another. Many Parking customers died when their ships expoded at takeoff, of their own volition to aid in the cause. (AUDIO: The High Price of Parking)
Early history Edit
Parking was built by the Galactic Heritage over a period of three hundred years, during which a committee also deliberated on the name. Over the next few thousand years, as the area became more popular, new levels, with improved facilities, had to be added to accommodate for continual overflow. The lowest levels were therefore the oldest on Parking. (AUDIO: The High Price of Parking)
Factions of the Lost Edit
In the "earliest days" of Parking, a group of tourists came to Parking to visit Dashrah, but upon their return, could not remember where they had parked. At this point, there were no systems in place to help lost customers.
Over the centuries, a collection of artefacts relating to the original lost travellers became known to their descendants as the Holy Texts.
By the time the Seventh Doctor arrived on Parking, with Ace and Mel, these lost parkers had divided into three factions. The first, and the largest group, was the Tribe of the Lost, a peaceful nomadic tribe led by their Queen, Mother Regina. Next, a religious group split off, who believed that the original lost spacecraft, the First Ship, was their Creator, and sought to find it once more. The third group, the Free Parkers, left to become revolutionaries, fighting against the Wardens, through non-violent protest and political campaigning, to free Parking from their rule. They sought to gain recognition as natives of Parking.
As a security measure, in the last few centuries before the Doctor arrived, all ships, and their occupants, were scanned on arrival.
As tensions rose, someone began to target customers, supposedly using a computer virus to override selfdrive starnav systems, causing them to expode on takeoff, and blaming the deaths on the Free Parkers. The final words spoken by the ships' systems were always "Free Parking".
Kempton, leader of the Free Parkers and once the Keeper of the Holy Texts, had by this point become a deputee among the Wardens, acting as a spy. Unknown to both groups, he had found the lost First Ship, and was actually allied with Seraphim, the spaceship's selfdrive personality gained consciousness. When he found the ship's AI, he took her for a god, and connected Seraphim to the computer network on Parking.
It was Seraphim who contacted the other ships' AIs, to pursuade them to sacrifice themselves for her cause. Kempton, under Seraphim's direction, sought to turn both sides — the Wardens and the Free Parkers — against each other. (AUDIO: The High Price of Parking)
Arrival of the Doctor Edit
The Doctor parked his TARDIS in the Northern Hemisphere of this planetoid. He and his companions were planning on visiting Dashrah, hoping to solve the mystery of the long-lost Dashrans. The Doctor, Ace and Mel were placed under arrest by the Wardens, after false information linking them to the Free Parkers was inserted into Parking's computer system by Deputee Kempton.
Meanwhile, Seraphim acquired the TARDIS from its parking spot (Continent T, Violet Zone, Bay Omicron, number 803), and had Kempton steal the Doctor's TARDIS key from his jacket, which was seized for "evidence". Seraphim acknowledged that the Doctor's TARDIS was superior technology, and sought to inhabit this ship, as her own shell was trapped in the parking spot where it had been lost.
The Doctor and company escaped, but Ace and the Doctor found the TARDIS was missing when they returned to where it had been parked. Mel was captured again by the authorities, but she found proof of Kempton's tampering, and convinced Head Warden Cowley to investigate the matter further.
The Doctor sent Ace to the Orange Zone, typically unoccupied, to create an explosion in order to gain the attention of the Free Parkers. The Tribe of the Lost, accompanied by the Doctor, then followed them to their base in Bay Epsilon, in the lower levels, and ambushed the Free Parkers. (AUDIO: The High Price of Parking)
Spacecraft uprising Edit
As the Doctor discovered that the Free Parkers were not responsible for the recent deaths, and Kempton revealed himself as their secret leader, more ships blew up at once than ever. Customers began to leave in their ships in a mass panic, leading to more explosions.
Bringing in firearms, Kempton convinced his rebels to bring violence to the Wardens' Lodge, against the Free Parkers' original values. As planned, he was intentionally escalating the war in order to attract the Galactic Heritage's attention. Meanwhile, Mel managed to teleport all remaining customers to Dashrah, leaving only the Tribes, the Wardens, and the TARDIS travellers themselves.
As Ace talked down the rebels, Major Charles Fulton of the Galactic Heritage arrived on Parking with a fleet, in response to Cowley's call for help. Soon, as Fulton prepared to wipe out the Free Parkers, the Galactic Heritage's spaceships were given intelligence by Seraphim, and joined the fight as well.
With the lives of Ace and Mel in the balance, the Doctor allowed Kempton and Seraphim entry into the TARDIS, transferring her consciousness so that the timeship might house her mind in the expansive ship. The TARDIS herself proved stronger, and began to absorb the consciousness. Using the telepathic circuits, Seraphim managed to transfer her consciousness into Kempton himself. However, the Doctor managed to confuse Seraphim with a question about an impossible route, via various planets and a wormhole to another universe, and her programming failed.
In the final defeat of the spaceship uprising, Regina also wiped all computers on Parking, so that the ships would be unable to escape the force barrier. As the Doctor, Mel and Ace prepared to finally leave, having averted a war, they struggled to find where they had parked the TARDIS. (AUDIO: The High Price of Parking)