Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



You may be looking for The Rise and Fall (comic story).

Rise and Fall was a 2010 Big Finish audio short story read by William Russell. It featured the First Doctor and Ian Chesterton. It was the only story on Short Trips - Volume I by an author who was not making a Big Finish debut, as George Mann had previously written The Pyralis Effect in 2009. It was also by far the longest story on the anthology, being essentially the length of a televised episode from the First Doctor era.


Looking for a respite after their involvement in the French Revolution, the TARDIS materialises on a planet to which the First Doctor has never been before. While the girls enjoy themselves in the TARDIS wardrobe, Ian and the Doctor step out onto a verdant, but scarcely populated world.

There, they encounter an equine humanoid species. In moments they watch the civilisation rise, flourish and fall. The perspective of the planet's inhabitants is entirely different.

Decades after the Doctor, Ian and the TARDIS had first appeared on the planet in the accelerated time stream, the aliens are at a stage of development similar to the primitive humans who lived during Earth's prehistory. One of the primitives who is reaching the end of his life reflects that the Doctor and Ian have been there for as long as he can remember. While he does not have the intellectual capacity to comprehend his approaching death, he can sense it on an instinctual level.

During the hunter-gatherer phase of the aliens' history, the Doctor and Ian came to be regarded as religious icons. They were known as the Unmoving Ones to the primitive tribe which lived near the hill on which they were standing. Tradition stated that they were spirits who had stood in the same spot for generations. When children come of age, they have to bring an offering of food to the Doctor and Ian. The females collect the food through hunting while the males would prepare it. Idols in the shape of the TARDIS were made of bone and carried for luck. The tribe learned to create their clothes by studying those worn by the Doctor and Ian while their houses were modelled on the TARDIS. Ultimately, the aliens' entire civilisation comes to be based around the Doctor and Ian. In the normal time stream, Ian sees buildings such as these as well as considerably more advanced ones rise and fall in a matter of seconds.

After the aliens' civilisation has become industrialised, a scientist named Pol determines that the Doctor and Ian, who are still called the Unmoving Ones, are alive and as they are not immobile but are in fact moving infinitesimally slowly, making their ancient name a misnomer. Pol rejects the notion that they are remnants of a long extinct civilisation which existed prior to the rise of his own. Archaeological research suggests that the so-called Unmoving Ones have been present since his people were little more than animals. Pol is seemingly the first person in his planet's history to determine that the Doctor and Ian exist in a different time stream but does not reveal this to his fellow scientists as he believes that doing so will make him a laughing stock in academic and scientific circles.

Centuries later from the aliens' perspective, a long feared war has begun between the planet and the separatist colonies on its moon, who are seeking independence from the planetary government by means of a revolution. A young boy named Call Box, who is too young to fully understand the reasons for the war, cowers in his bedroom as the bombs begin to fall on his home, clutching toys of the Doctor and Ian to his breast. In the normal time stream, the time travellers witness the aftermath of the destruction of all life on the planet by the lunar separatists. Hundreds of years later in the aliens' time stream, the city built near where the TARDIS had materialised is in ruins. From the Doctor and Ian's perspective, less than a minute passes from the beginning to the end of their civilisation.




  • Neither the natives of the planet nor the planet itself are ever named in the story.
  • The rise and fall of the time rotor is an explicit metaphor for the rise and fall of the planet's civilisation.
  • This story was made available from the Big Finish podcast on 29 December 2010.


  • The Doctor refers to the TARDIS crew's recent escapade in France in July 1794. (TV: The Reign of Terror)
  • Ian thinks the Doctor's manipulation of the TARDIS console is apparently competent for once. He and Barbara had previously doubted whether the Doctor actually knew how to fly the TARDIS, partly based on his own admission that he could not really control it. (TV: An Unearthly Child, et al.)
  • The Eighth Doctor would later watch another civilisation rise and fall in mere moments, from his own perspective, this time due to Time Lord intervention during the Last Great Time War. In both cases, the Doctor and company seem completely stationary to the locals, caught in one moment throughout their lifetimes. (AUDIO: One Life)

External links[]