Relative Time was the fourth story in the audio anthology The Legacy of Time, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Matt Fitton and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Georgia Tennant as Jenny and John Heffernan as the Nine.
Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]
Disaster strikes inside the Time Vortex, and the Fifth Doctor is thrown together with someone from his future… someone claiming to be his daughter! Kleptomaniac Time Lord, the Nine, believes it’s his chance to steal something huge. But Jenny just wants her dad to believe in her.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Inside the TARDIS, the Fifth Doctor is trying to get back to the Amsterdam but before it can reach its destination, it collides with another time ship. The Doctor picks up a distress call from Jenny, who has recognised the TARDIS and demands to know who the driver is. The Doctor decides to materialise the TARDIS on-board what appears to be Jenny’s ship.
Meanwhile, the Nine enters the cargo hold of the ship, attempting to help himself to the trinkets when he’s interrupted by a woman. Elsewhere, the TARDIS materialises in front of Jenny. Jenny is impressed when the Doctor introduces himself but is equally as confused by his different appearance. Regardless, she instinctively trusts him as he patches up her attempts to stop a time explosion.
A huge foghorn rips through the room and the door is blown off its hinges by the captain of the ship, which is in fact a time cruiser, and armed stewards. The Doctor learns that Jenny is a stowaway. When Jenny calls the Doctor ‘dad’, the Doctor immediately knows something is awry. The captain is interrupted by a passenger, Mr Grigorian who wants to know when the canapes will be handed around.
The Nine claims that he was checking on his valuables before killing the interrupting woman. On the bridge, the captain finally believes Jenny regarding the upcoming time explosion. Jenny isn’t too pleased with her Doctor for leaving her behind, but the Doctor really doesn’t understand. Jenny explains that she is here because she sensed a massive timey-wimey explosion in the future and came aboard the cruiser to try and stop it from happening. The Doctor wishes to know where Jenny thinks she comes from.
As the Nine is helping himself in the cargo when the mysterious woman comes back to life. She makes him aware that not only is she also a thief, but she’s the last of the Abway, a species who can only die from old age, rendering the Nine’s gun useless. Interested in the value of the last of her species, the Nine becomes somewhat besotted.
Meanwhile, the Doctor refuses to believe that his future self would simply give away his DNA, and furthermore refuses to be a part of her life. Jenny produces her handmade set of sonic keys to help escape their cell. Elsewhere, the captain is trying to the passengers to evacuate the ship via the lifeboats.
The Nine and the woman, Thana, are stealing items in the cargo bay. Together they enter the Nine’s TARDIS. He sets coordinates but the ship fails to leave. Meanwhile, the Doctor wishes to know what brought Jenny to the cruiser. She explains that she was indeed hijacking the cruiser. She goes on to say that the bridge is detachable and would be a useful addition to a ship of her own that she is trying to build. The Doctor scolds her for being so reckless.
The Doctor tells Jenny that they need to return to the TARDIS as the explosion is accelerating. In the Nine’s TARDIS, the Nine identifies the future explosion too. The Nine analyses the explosion and discovers that the future explosion is an ancient TARDIS, perhaps the first ever. The captain is apologising to the passengers as they disembark. The technical staff board the first escape capsule, which launch into the Vortex. Mr Grigorian spots a huge shadow moving in the Vortex.
The Doctor is having a tough time accepting that Jenny may be his daughter and has no intention of finding out. Inside his TARDIS, the Nine explains that due to temporal physics, the explosion happened thousands of years ago yet it hasn’t happened yet. He notes that the Vortex is filled with splinters of shattered history. Locating a dampening field, disabling him from leaving, the Nine uses his TARDIS to locate the source: the Doctor’s TARDIS.
In the Vortex, the capsules are coming under attack from something, which the Doctor explains to the captain and Grigorian are Vortisaurs. Without the technicians, they can’t pilot the ship away from them. They evacuate the lifeboat bay and seal it. A stressed Nine starts to lose control of his personalities, leaving Thana to think it merely a trick. Thana is uninterested and takes the Nine to find the Doctor, to see if they can work together to find a way out.
The others are continuing to run from the Vortisaurs. The captain points her gun at the Doctor and Jenny as they revel somewhat in the situation. The Nine and Thana approach them and the Doctor recognises the Nine upon sight. The captain takes the remaining passengers to the lounge while the others work together. Jenny explains to them that they’re all caught in a slow time explosion. The Doctor and Jenny convince Thana to put the passengers somewhere where they would be safe should the worst happen and she begrudgingly agrees.
The Doctor requires the Nine to link his TARDIS’s force field with his own, which will create a small pocket in the Vortex. Meanwhile, Thana places the passengers in the ballroom. The Doctor and the Nine successfully join their force fields. The Doctor rushes to the bridge to show Jenny how to use the pocket to navigate through the Vortex. The Nine patches through and tells them a swarm of Vortisaurs is breaking into the ballroom. Thana uses the fire shields to strengthen the walls.
Being an Abway, the Vortisaur is not interested in her. She uses this to her advantage and removes it from the ballroom. The Nine is struggling to keep his personalities under control. He keeps them amused by the shattered remains of a planet’s timeline in the Vortex. One of the Nine’s personality reminds him that he knows which planet it is. At that moment, Thana enters his TARDIS with the Vortisaur to add to the Nine’s collection. Seeing his collection, Thana intends to make herself at home.
Jenny comes up with a plan to use the background radiation of the Vortex, or ‘Vortex Stuff’, against the Vortisaurs. She suggests using the TARDIS to make a filter to flush the Vortisaurs out. In the Nine’s TARDIS, he finally realises that he’s not just flying through any old timeline, it’s the Earth’s entire history being pulled apart. The Doctor hails his TARDIS to make him aware of Jenny’s plan but the Nine cuts him off, more interesting in owning the Earth. Upon explaining it to Thana, she shows her complete disinterest in staying in his TARDIS forever. She does, however, like the sound of gaining access to unlimited treasures from the planet and joins the cause. The Nine instructs her to get rid of the Doctor first.
Jenny’s flying finally gets them out of the distortion, and the Doctor prepares to use Jenny’s plan to remove the Vortisaurs. Together, they enter his TARDIS. She’s not entirely impressed by the simplicity of it. The TARDIS recognises Jenny instantly. In the ballroom, all the Vortisaurs disappear and the passengers are lead by the captain to the flight deck.
Now outside of the anomaly, the Doctor can recognise the timestream as Earth’s. The Doctor notes that the Nine’s TARDIS is in the centre and that he has desynchronised his shields to absorb the timestream. The Vortisaurs and other scavengers are also returning, ripping the cruiser apart. Together, Jenny and Doctor work at the TARDIS controls.
As the captain prepares to separate the front of the ship, a hologram of Thana appears. She bangs on the Doctor’s TARDIS door but enters anyway. Thana hopes to stop the Doctor from rescuing the passengers by explaining that those aboard the cruiser are here specifically to watch the Earth burn. Jenny is aware but the Doctor seems unaware and extremely disappointed. Jenny suggests that they should let the spectators die but the Doctor refuses to let that happen. He explains that that decision is not theirs to make. Jenny recalls ‘the man who never could’.
The Doctor appeals to the Nine to help him cauterise the wounds in the Vortex by working together, to which he refuses and cuts communication. The Doctor then attempts to materialise around the Nine’s TARDIS and cut it off from the Vortex, which the TARDIS refuses to do. Jenny decides to persuade the TARDIS personally before leaving the TARDIS to attempt to save the others.
The Doctor prepares a time ram into the Nine’s TARDIS. He warns Jenny that when they both leave cauterised time respectively, they may not remember this adventure. He states that if he were her father, he would be proud before losing connection. Thana convinces him to escape before the Doctor can time ram him. Jenny successfully manages to escape the Vortex and park the cruiser bridge in normal space, giving the passengers a hefty warning about rubber-necking on planetary disasters. She makes them aware that Galactic Heritage are on their way when suddenly everyone loses their memories, including her.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Jenny - Georgia Tennant
- The Nine - John Heffernan
- Thana - Ronni Ancona
- Captain - Mandi Symonds
- Mr Grigorian - Christian Brassington
References[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor sees Vortisaurs in the Vortex.
- The Doctor thinks that evolution in the time vortex is a fascinating subject.
- Thana is the last of the Abway, a species who can only die from old age and thus can never be killed.
- Jenny senses the slow time explosion before it happens.
- On hearing that Jenny is the Doctor's daughter, the Nine asks who the lucky mother is this time, and adds on "or father".
- Jenny instinctively knows how to pilot the Doctor's TARDIS.
- Jenny calls in the Galactic Heritage.
- The Nine is surprised that there are creatures living in the Vortex.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The original brief for the episode featured Abby and Zara from Graceless instead of Jenny. (BFX: The Legacy of Time)
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor is aiming for Amsterdam. (TV: Arc of Infinity)
- Jenny asks the Doctor why he left her, not knowing that said event has yet to happen for him. (TV: The Doctor's Daughter)
- Jenny describes the collision with the Doctor's TARDIS in the vortex as a "time crash". (TV: Time Crash)
- Jenny calls the Doctor the "man who never would". (TV: The Doctor's Daughter)
- The Doctor says that if he were Jenny's dad, he would be proud. The Tenth Doctor went on to say something similar to Wilfred Mott about if Wilf were his father. (TV: The End of Time)
[edit | edit source]