Publisher's summary Edit
Stockbridge used to be such a lovely place. The loveliest village in all England, according to the guide books. But hardly anyone visits Stockbridge now: a few tourists, a couple of Trust guides, the odd beady-eyed raven.
But something is coming to Stockbridge. Something which turns village cricketers into ravening zombies — a plague such as the Earth has never seen, falling through history from a time when humanity's greatest enemy was a race known as the Daleks.
Part 1 Edit
Nyssa and the Doctor have undergone temporal transference after the explosion of the time bubble and have been anchored by a space-time event. It appears they have landed in Stockbridge in an old, dusty building, on observing Sir Justin's statue, and realise they are in a church. They decide to go out and ask someone where they are and if they can find the TARDIS. They arrive at the Green Dragon but it is empty. Suddenly they are greeted by an old woman, Ms. Margery Withers, the sister of Alice Withers. When they ask her what year it is, she ignores them and goes to get their food and drink. The Doctor, based on the technology in the bar, including a touch-screen register, places it in the early 21st century. Finding the food rotten and stale, they pay, leave a tip and head back outside. Out in the winter storm, they hear noises and spot carrion crows which attack the Doctor. Fearing a second one, they duck into a nearby cottage.
Inside, the Doctor says that the crows could've easily killed them but didn't, so perhaps they were trying to warm them. Moving through the cottage, they look out through the back where the weather has turned to spring. They step out and notice the winter snow is quickly melting away and they hear a cricket match in the distance, deciding to go have a look, perturbed by the time fluctuations. They go to talk to the spectators to see if they've seen a blue police box but suddenly the players stop, and ominously begin to approach them. They then see a spaceship overhead. They ask the spectators who's in the ship but receive no useful reply. The ship lands so they go and greet the new arrivals. The Doctor introduces himself and Nyssa but the two arrivals, Isaac and Lysette Barclay, are startled at their presence since it shouldn't be possible given the obscurity of the location. Isaac asks if they're "Trust Inspectors", here to shut down their tour program and the Doctor confirms this, only for the sake of learning more. He assures Isaac though that they just want to observe and they don't necessarily file any closure report. It turns out they run a Stockbridge Historic Heritage tour along with their technician Dobson to show people an example of a preserved old English village and bring passengers from outside the galaxy to have a holiday and learn about the place. The Doctor explains to Nyssa that in the 45th century most of the earth's population has left and the solar flares make the planet almost uninhabitable. Isaac explains that they have brought a new lot of passengers to Stockbridge in order to learn more about the place. He reveals to the Doctor privately that tour sizes have been dropping and he partially blames the lack of funding which the Doctor agrees. He tells Isacc they would like to help in the preservation. Isaac, upon hearing this, warms up to the Doctor. Nyssa asks about the villagers where it is revealed that they're actually clones whose lives are shortening due to repetitive cloning. The Doctor asks if this is the case with the wildlife, such as the crows but Isaac says there should be artificial life-forms known as owls. Nyssa asks whether the problem is time itself leaking because earlier they had heard carols coming from the Church and other strange noises, as if the past was bleeding into the present but Isaac laughs and explains that they use a sound archive and play sounds during the tour to enhance the experience for the tourists/guests. Lysette tells Isaac she's ready to take the guests around the village and the Doctor agrees with Lysette's request to take Nyssa (so she can keep an eye out) with her while the Doctor says he's going to go take a look at the environment system with Isaac's permission since Isaac wants to check on them to know if that was the cause of their earlier disturbances.
On Lysette's tour they encounter many oddities of the village. One appears as a black cloud over the green fields. The Doctor takes a look at the environment systems and is rather worried about how advanced the system is, asking if they had outside help in creating this while Isaac reports that the authorised tech is on the way, and they aren't allowed to touch it without permission. Suddenly outside the villagers begin to collapse as rain pours, seeming as if they're being burned by acid, and the Doctor is worried for Nyssa and Lysette...
Part 2 Edit
The Doctor asks Isaac for a comm-link to try and contact Nyssa and Lysette. Suddenly the villagers outside begin to get up again and head towards them. Not knowing whether the clones outside are friend or foe, they let one, Mrs. Sowerby, inside to check. They subdue it and the Doctor theorises that whatever is in the rain is controlling them, much to Isaac's disbelief. Their shelter holds them at bay at first, but it may not be enough...
Nyssa and Lysette observe the cloud and speculate what it is. The tour guests are irked by the turn of events and the two are berated by Alexis Linfoot for going too quickly, as she and her husband Vincent Linfoot have come for Mr. Linfoot to confirm his genealogy, which he has traced back to Stockbridge.
The Doctor uses the weather machine to analyse Mrs. Sowerby's saliva sample. Mr. Linfoot finds his ancestor and prepares to take a picture, noting the rain overhead. Inside the Church Nyssa and Lysette discuss the food reservation units in the Green Dragon and why the food they had earlier was rotten. Suddenly, it begins to rain outside. Mrs. Linfoot complains that it should be sunny in this quarter of the season cycle. Suddenly they hear Mr. Linfoot screaming outside and Mrs. Linfoot demands that Lysette go help him. However, Nyssa holds her back, telling her there may be something wrong with the rain. Mrs. Linfoot, fed up, runs out into the rain to help I'm but begins to experience the same agonising pain.
Isaac recommends that they start shooting the clones but the Doctor refuses to harm them, even if they attacking. The Doctor's machine's analysis reveals that there is some microorganism inside them that is controlling them. Fed up with Dobson's absence, the Doctor plans to reach a relay station in order to make contact with Nyssa and the others. Mrs. Linfoot is brought inside as only her hand was in the rain and Professor Jabbery helps confirm her stability. They try to decide what to do but hear strange noises outside, so Nyssa and Professor Jabbery go to investigate while Lysette stays with a now awoken and complaining Mrs. Linfoot. She berates them for not saving Vincent despite them trying to explain the situation. They prepare to go get Vincent but he awakens in a zombie-like state and they decide to retreat back into the church instead. The Doctor dons an environment suit and prepares to leave while Isaac is to create a distraction. Mrs. Linfoot tries to stop Nyssa and Lysette and the others barricading the door and she goes to greet Mr. Linfoot. They note from her hand that she's beginning to transform as her hand is blackened and decayed. Convinced her husband won't hurt her, she let's him in despite the other's cries not to and she is killed by Vincent. Isaac distracts the zombiefied villager clones and the Doctor makes a break for it. Lysette, Nyssa and Professor Jabbery find somewhere to hide. Nyssa theorises that the hostiles may have already been inside the bubble over Stockbridge for a long time, possibly waiting for something, but they cannot think of what this something would be. They agree they need to find another way out of there. Nyssa discovers a crack that ends up revealing a dark passageway. They begin to move through it when suddenly they hear something approaching. Nyssa recognises the noise and warns the others not to do anything rash because they have been discovered by a Dalek...
Part 3 Edit
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- Isaac Barclay - Keith Barron
- Lysette Barclay - Liza Tarbuck
- Alexis Linfoot - Richenda Carey
- Vincent Linfoot - Barry McCarthy
- Professor Rinxo Jabbery - Richard Cordery
- Mrs Withers/Mrs Sowerby/Computer Voice - Susan Brown
- Cricketer/Dobson/The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- The Doctor offers Nyssa a macaroon.
- Alexis says her back feels like it went through a fusion grinder.
- The Daleks use artificial crows to observe the Doctor and Nyssa.
- The Daleks have been in cryogenic suspension for 17 centuries.
- In the 45th century, Earth becomes uninhabitable due to violent solar flares.
- Nyssa mentions Global warming as a potential cause of the sudden weather changes.
Food and Drink Edit
- The Doctor orders a ginger beer in the bar.
- The working title for this story was Village of the Damned.
- This audio drama was recorded on 1 and 2 July 2009 at The Moat Studios.
- This audio release also included the tenth episode of The Three Companions, "Brewster's Story", as well as interviews with the cast and crew.
- This story is set between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity.
- This story was originally released on CD and download.
- Nyssa previously encountered the Daleks in two alternative timelines (AUDIO: The Mutant Phase, Renaissance of the Daleks) and would later do so again on Traxana (AUDIO: Alien Heart) and on Florana. (AUDIO: The Elite)
- During her tour, Lysette makes a few mentions about a buried Rutan spaceship in the 12th century and a play that the villagers would use to re-tell the story of the invaders and the ship's explosion from said century in the 19th century. (AUDIO: Castle of Fear)
- Lysette also mentions a spot where the villagers would perform witch trials by testing to see if the accused floated or sank, thereby confirming they were a witch and condemning them to death. The Doctor, in his thirteenth incarnation, experienced a variant of this test which was also used as a death penalty method, termed ducking, when she fought the Morax in the 17th century. (TV: The Witchfinders)
- While Mr. Linfoot goes through the different grave markers of past inhabitants of Stockbridge looking for his ancestor Edward Linfoot and reading out the names to himself, he mentions seeing graves for Jane Potter, whom he notes died young and Lizzie Corrigan, whom he mentions as having lived to 112, among others. (AUDIO: The Eternal Summer)
- Several references are made to the Dalek invasion of the Milky Way Galaxy, which marked the beginning of the Second Great Dalek Occupation. (AUDIO: Invasion of the Daleks)
- The Doctor orders a ginger beer, just as he did in the previous story AUDIO: The Eternal Summer and in the Oseidon in his fourth incarnation in TV: The Android Invasion.
- Official Plague of the Daleks page page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Plague of the Daleks at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide