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Stop the Clock was the fourth and final story in the audio anthology Doom Coalition 4, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by John Dorney and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Nicola Walker as Liv Chenka and Hattie Morahan as Helen Sinclair.

Publisher's summary[]

The time has arrived. Events are in motion. The end of the universe is at hand and the Doctor and his friends have one hour to save eternity. Starting now.


Padrac admits Caleera into his office, having sent the Eleven to fetch her. He charms her, telling her that Gallifrey needs her and saying that she is very special.

Locked onto the Eleven's Time Ring, the Doctor, Liv and Helen travel to Gallifrey an hour before the time stipulated by the Doomsday Chronometer and are impeded by the transduction barriers, forcing them to materialise in real space to complete the journey.

Now Lord President, Padrac tells the Sonomancer to enter the now complete Resonance Engine, saying that the pain she will experience is necessary. She agrees to.

Whilst the TARDIS lands outside the Capitol using codes remembered by the Doctor, the Eleven finds that he has been prevented from returning and that the Doctor was right about Padrac. Holding the Eleven at gunpoint, Tessno confiscates his Time Ring and prepares to kill him before the Doctor arrives, convincing her that the Eleven could help them get into the Capitol.

Tessno takes the group to the opposition, led by Councillor Alekall in a tent. The Doctor asks the Eight what Padrac is planning and learns about the Resonance Engine and the access tunnel to the Capitol which Padrac closed off. The Doctor takes his Time Ring and uses the psychic cloak to disguise himself as the Eleven, tasking Helen with evacuating the Time Lords and Liv and Alekall with placing bombs around the transduction barriers once he is able to drop the force field for a brief time. He tells them that doing so will force the Sonomancer to chose between ending the universe and saving the planet from the alien ships above.

Padrac and Ladonne help the Sonomancer into the Resonance Engine, causing her pain. He makes a speech reassuring the Time Lords about the barrage and the safety of Gallifrey when the Doctor arrives, disguised as the Eleven. After seeing the Resonance Engine, he heads to look at the shields, leaving Padrac and the Sonomancer to discuss the Eleven's further uses. Padrac departs and has Ladonne step up the power.

In the TARDIS, Alekall gives Liv a staser and materialises inside the Capitol once the Doctor has the field down. Although the Doctor tries to keep their presence secret, Padrac sees them both on a monitor.

The Eleven is guarded by Tessno and asks her why she hates him so much. She tells him that her squad had once caught the Ten on Dalgar before he hypnotised them, having them shoot and kill one another and forcing her to shoot her friend. The Eleven convinces Tessno to untie him so that she might kill him, giving her the opportunity to steal her staser and kill her.

Liv and Alekall reach the engineering section of the Capitol and flee from Time Lord guards. Meanwhile, the Doctor approaches the Sonomancer in the Resonance Engine and tells her that he thinks the resonance will build uncontrollably and that she will die when she tries to destroy the universe. When Padrac enters, the Sonomancer chooses not to ask about the Doctor's claims.

The Eleven holds Helen hostage and the Five taunts her by saying that they would have preferred Liv as a hostage. The Eleven shoots a Time Lord and steals a Battle TARDIS.

As the Sonomancer feels her power building, Ladonne informs Padrac that the optimum time to destroy the universe will be in twenty minutes. Padrac has the power ramped up further and receives a call from the Eleven, exposing the Doctor when he threatens to kill Helen. Padrac tears the psychic cloak and has Ladonne restrain the Doctor before refusing to allow the Eleven in, deeming him unworthy of his utopia. The Doctor manipulates the Sonomancer into looking into the Matrix to determine the truth about her relationship with Padrac.

Liv and Alekall decide to blow up the Capitol shields instead of the transduction barriers whilst the Eleven fires at Helen.

In the Matrix, the Sonomancer sees Padrac telling people to break her confidence down and make her hate the universe, ordering that her powers be suppressed and that she is given a lowly job at the archives, calling her pathetic, insane and worthless. She returns to consciousness and realises that the Resonance Engine will kill her but is unable to escape, fail-safes having been installed. Although she refuses to believe that Padrac has no love for her, she reaches out into the Matrix on the Doctor's suggestion.

Aboard the Battle TARDIS, the Eleven and his gunshot are frozen, stopped by Helen's mind. The Sonomancer informs her that she has transferred her powers to her and that she has saved her so that Helen might save her in return. Meanwhile, Liv hears a voice that sounds like the Sonomancer or, rather, the girl that she once was and decides to return to the Doctor's TARDIS with Alekall. The Sonomancer tells Helen to fly the Battle TARDIS at the Resonance Engine, killing her and possibly killing Helen. Helen agrees to do it, feeling that she needs to matter, and destroys the Engine, leaving herself, the Eleven and the Sonomancer lost in the Time Vortex. The Doctor's TARDIS arrives and saves the Doctor and Padrac from being sucked into the Vortex.

The Doctor visits Padrac, having been told that he is going to be frozen, and tells him that Alekall is reassembling the High Council and that the alien races have been placated. Padrac says that he has doomed Gallifrey, which the Doctor says is a price that he is willing to pay before leaving. Padrac complains to a guard about a discolouration on the wall which looks not unlike a woman.

The Doctor meets with Liv and tells her that he has detected a trail from the temporal implosion belonging to the Battle TARDIS, meaning that Helen might be alive. Not wanting the trail to go cold, the Doctor and Liv head off in the TARDIS to find her.

Padrac is locked into place to be frozen and continues to be fearful of the image of a woman, saying that it has come closer and believing it to be what is left of Caleera. She whispers to Padrac, calling him her love and saying that she has been searching for him for a long time. As Padrac is frozen, she tells him that they will be together forever, forcing him to look her in the eye.




Textless cover.


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