Salvation was the tenth and final story in the Doctor Who: Redacted podcast series, produced by BBC Sounds. It was written by Juno Dawson and starred Charlie Craggs as Cleo Proctor, Lois Chimimba as Abby McPhail, Holly Quin-Ankrah as Shawna Thompson, Jacob Hawley as Jordan Proctor, Doon Mackichan as Madam Vastra and Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.
Cleo’s been redacted. She finds herself in a weird, empty London full of 9 million ghosts. There’s no Abby to make plans, no Shawna to kick ass. Just Cleo and half an AS level in drama. Oh, and also this weird blue box, with a woman stepping out of it.
In a flashback, Cleo and Abby find themselves in fits of laughter listening to one of Shawna's attempts at explaining events surrounding the blue box during a recording of The Blue Box Files. Abby then turns to Cleo and asks what she thinks the truth of the box is; she replies that it is nice to believe that there is someone out there looking after them all.
Back in the present, in Vastra's underground home, Cleo wonders aloud if she is dead now that the world has gone so quiet. However, the Floater reassures her that she has not fallen to the Redaction - in fact, the opposite has happened: she is the last one left. Everyone else she knows has become a ghost. As the Floater explains that she is her people's final hope, he urges her to run.
Aboveground in London, Cleo finds the city deserted, save for UNIT's ghost beacon, which she turns off for her own safety. Finding a UNIT van with the keys left in, she commandeers it and drives off to escape, wondering how her friends would cope in her place. Quickly realising that she should do the right thing rather than the most sensible one, she turns around and heads for home.
Returning to the Powell Estate, she turns on the beacon once again, hoping it will attract more than just the ghosts, and she is proven right when the Doctor's TARDIS materialises nearby. The Thirteenth Doctor steps out, thinking about how long it has been since she last visited the estate, only to be met by Cleo threatening her with a bat. The Doctor, recognising Cleo from the podcast, tries to explain that she is here to help, but Cleo points the blame on her and adds that if she dies, the ghosts may return to normal. Reluctantly, the Doctor tells her to try, but Cleo loses her motivation and puts the bat down, deciding to walk with the Doctor to the abandoned café.
The Doctor decides to finally explain all. She and her friends recently visited the Unmarked Purlieus star system to try and find life there, but in doing so, she was infected with a psychic virus that spreads through thought and started by wiping out everyone she had ever known, starting with Earth as her most-visited planet. The Doctor speaks with remorse about how in all her travels, this virus was the one thing she could never stop, but promises to try and put it right. She convinces Cleo by showing off her psychic paper. Cleo then asks why she is seemingly immune. When Cleo denies the Doctor access to her memories, the Doctor opens up her memories instead to see if Cleo recognises anything.
Cleo searches through the Doctor's lives, in awe of all she has seen and settles on the Tenth Doctor, seemingly recognising him. At this, Cleo adds that Rose Tyler was her and Jordan's childhood babysitter and opens up her mind to the Doctor, who discovers a psychic barrier blocking out a key memory. Cleo slowly begins to remember, as a young child, taking her father to see her hidden den, but discovering a huge, bright red egg that hatched into a bloodthirsty monster. Her father was killed by the Red Hatching and the Tenth Doctor arrived marginally too late to save him but was able to save Cleo's life. The Thirteenth Doctor deeply apologises and supposes that Cleo subconsciously blocked off the traumatic memory, and all knowledge of aliens, so effectively that it rendered her immune to the psychic virus. Finally, the Doctor reveals that she has a plan, and the two set off.
The Doctor and Cleo return to the beacon as the Doctor fetches part of a delta wave augmenter from the TARDIS and, using her sonic screwdriver on the beacon, decides to use it to talk to the ghosts in their dimension. Climbing into the UNIT van, she tries to broadcast herself to them to override the virus, adding that "a little bit of faith goes a long way". However, as she does, the ghosts begin to attack her in their hundreds as they try to use her to return to reality. The Doctor eventually passes out, telling Cleo that she must make the ghosts remember her. Panicking, Cleo tries the first thing she can think of to get through to Abby and Shawna: playing their podcast over the loudspeaker. However, the ghosts do not slow their advance and they finally capture Cleo.
Cleo wakes up in the ghosts' dimension, now one of them. Noting how cold it is, she quickly meets her mum, who tells her that they need to see to Jordan urgently. In doing so, Monica finally apologises for abandoning Cleo, referring to her as a woman for the first time and admitting she was wrong. Cleo also apologises for pinning her father's disappearance on her and the two slowly begin to make up. However, they are interrupted by the arrival of Abby and Shawna. Cleo explains the psychic virus and in doing so, realises the key: the ghosts' dimension is not real. Like their research on mass hysteria, if they believe enough in the real world, they can return to it. Focusing on the sound of their podcast from the beacon, Cleo uses it to return to reality.
The Doctor wakes up, admitting that she came very close to disaster. Cleo explains her findings and the Doctor calls her a genius and turns the sound of the podcast right up, now transmitting it only to the false reality, powerful enough to cut through the illusion. Within minutes, it begins to work as Monica, Abby, Shawna, and Jordan all return. Abby finds herself in awe at meeting the Doctor in person and she replies that if they make a special episode of their podcast designed for the ghosts, the TARDIS could broadcast it over every affected world and finally stop the virus. Laughing with joy, Monica tightly hugs her children.
Later, the three podcasters gather inside the TARDIS, having recorded their new episode. The Doctor finishes playing it on loop to everywhere in the ghosts' dimension, adding that the virus is already beginning to fade. Shawna finally admits she was wrong about the conspiracies, while Cleo wishes the TARDIS control room looked more silver and Abby enthuses over it being bigger on the inside. Although Abby asks to talk on the podcast about meeting the Doctor, she firmly rejects the idea and adds that they may still forget the events in the long run. Before parting ways to recover her friends and have some stern words with the Ravulox, she tells the girls to keep up their good work and always fight the world's powerful liars. However, Cleo stops to ask the Doctor if she can come too. Despite her pleas, the Doctor says no, both to keep her safe and to allow her to fit back in at home: "You can't outrun your past. Take it from someone who knows."
The Proctors gather in a pub to eat dinner, with Monica and Jordan having already forgotten the cause of their strange feelings. When Cleo shows that she still does not fully trust her mother, Monica relents and again deeply apologises for everything she put Cleo through, adding that Cleo will always be her girl, no matter what anyone says. Cleo replies that that is all she ever needed to hear.
At a train station, Abby prepares to part ways with Shawna and board her train to Glasgow, commenting on how strange it is to be forgetting the ordeal already. They hug and promise to meet up again, with Abby confirming that she has left UNIT due to wanting to be the one that reveals secrets, not keeps them. Shawna then asks to kiss her. Abby replies that last night, she officially broke up with Craig and is now single.
The three friends record another episode of The Blue Box Files, now feigning ignorance over events regarding the Doctor. While Shawna continues to play the role of the sceptic, Abby reveals that she is soon to be a published author on the blue box theory, while Cleo is starting stage school the next week. They begin to talk once again over whether some higher being is watching over them from the blue box. Shawna calls the idea bonkers, but Abby and Cleo are more willing to believe it. After all, as Cleo adds, a little faith goes a long way.
Some time later, Cleo returns to her and Jordan's flat, life having long since returned to normal, as Jordan points her to a large box with her name on it. Confused, as she did not order anything, Cleo reads the attached card: "Dearest Cleo, I suspect you fearless girls won't stop looking for the truth and won't stop heading into trouble, so here's something that'll help. Look after him. Love, Madame Vastra." Pleased, Cleo opens the box and Jordan falls over in surprise and terror as the Floater, complete with jar, exits, happily greeting the Earthlings. Cleo jokes that she and Jordan have a new housemate.
- Cleo Proctor - Charlie Craggs
- Abby McPhail - Lois Chimimba
- Shawna Thompson - Holly Quin-Ankrah
- The Floater - Alasdair Beckett-King
- Monica Proctor - Sarah Thom
- Jordan Proctor - Jacob Hawley
- Madame Vastra - Doon Mackichan
- The Doctor - Jodie Whittaker
- Written by Juno Dawson
- Produced and Directed by Ella Watts
- Executive Producer: James Robinson
- Sound Engineer: Paul Clark
- Studio Assistant: Jacob Tombling
- Sound Design: David Thomas
- Additional Sound Design: Arlie Adlington
- Original Composition: David Devereux
- Production Co-ordinators: Sarah Sharpe and Sarah Nicholls
- Recorded at Sonica Studios, Clapham
- Shawna claims that aeroplane chemtrails are designed to keep the record on the Doctor's TARDIS. The idea of a protector in the TARDIS is called the Guardian Rationale.
- Cleo likens the deserted London to 28 Days Later and considers Abby to be like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- When the Thirteenth Doctor questions where Cleo got a bat from, she remarks they are in "Peckham, not Pittsburgh".
- The Doctor states that if Cleo attacks her, she would just get up again, possibly several times.
- The Doctor mentions battling "monsters and madmen and tyrants and robots".
- The Doctor connects the alien that killed Cleo's dad to the Red Hatching.
- The Doctor likens plans to teabags: they take time to brew and sometimes need to be in hot water to work.
- The Doctor uses part of the TARDIS' delta wave augmenter to communicate to the ghosts.
- In the podcast, Abby mentions the Royal Hope Hospital incident and Shawna mentions Harriet Jones.
- When Abby gets excited at the TARDIS being bigger on the inside, the Doctor admits being pleased that someone said it.
- A Ravulox freighter is spotted by the TARDIS on the edge of the Andromeda galaxy. Cleo nicknames it "Ravioli".
- Monica claims that her friend Val has no memory of the incident and blames it on 5G. Jordan assumes it was the flu or drunkenness.
- Abby later authors a book about the blue box conspiracies called Thinking Outside the Box.
- Jordan assumes that Cleo was boycotting Amazon and thinks the name "Madame Vastra" sounds like a drag queen.
- Salvation has a post-credits scene.
- The two voice-clips of David Tennant's Tenth Doctor saying "Nice to meet you" and "I think I just invented the banana daiquiri a couple of centuries early" are taken from television stories School Reunion and The Girl in the Fireplace, respectively.
- Cleo recalls what Rani Chandra told her about the Doctor. (AUDIO: Hysteria)
- The Doctor mentions having "a friend" from the Powell Estate. (TV: Rose)
- The Doctor recalls leaving Abby a note which she forgot. (AUDIO: SOS)
- Cleo mentions the podcast episode about mass hysteria. (AUDIO: Hysteria)
- While going through the Doctor's mind, Cleo stumbles upon her tenth incarnation at the time he met Sarah Jane again (TV: School Reunion) and when he claimed to have invented the banana daiquiri too early. (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace)
- The Doctor says the death of Cleo's father was connected to the Red Hatching. (TV: Blink)