The Architects of History was the one hundred and thirty-second story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Steve Lyons and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Tracey Childs as Elizabeth Klein.
The year is 2044. Earth is enjoying a Golden Age of peace, prosperity and technological advancement... but somebody is plotting to destroy all that. The Selachians, shark-like alien monsters, launch a crippling attack on Earth's Moonbase, using deadly weapons from the future.
Help is at hand. A police telephone box appears in a Moonbase hangar. A time-travelling hero has returned in the hour of Earth's greatest need. Now, Elizabeth Klein must fight to save not only the Galactic Reich but Time itself from the mysterious prisoner who has orchestrated these fateful events... the Doctor.
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- The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Elizabeth Klein - Tracey Childs
- Rachel Cooper - Lenora Crichlow
- Sam Kirke - Ian Hayles
- Major Richter - Jamie Parker
- General-Lieutenant Tendexter - Lloyd McGuire
- The Selachian Leader - Chris Porter
- Feldwebel / Computer Voice - Rachel Laurence
- Pilot / Selachian - David Dobson
- In the alternate timeline, Rachel was working in a garage on Earth when she met the Doctor and became his companion. They fought the Daleks on more than one occasion, the Sontarans, the Selachians and the Autons. The last time they fought the Daleks, they threatened the entire universe. She considers the Doctor her best friend. He eventually returned her to her old life but ensured that she would be reassigned to the Moonbase within days. Once on the Moon, she found that the Doctor was a prisoner and he had left her a list of instructions. According to Rachel, their plan was to meet at Hangar 14 after the Selachian incursion had begun and to travel back in time to restore the proper timeline.
- The Doctor remembers Klein stealing his TARDIS on the Vrill colony and time reshaping itself around him over and over again until he found himself in his cell on the Moonbase three days earlier. He has no memory of his alternative self's intentions or actions prior to his consciousness replacing that of his counterpart. Consequently, he is unaware of the location of his alternative self's TARDIS.
- Oberst Klein and Major Richter are the director and assistant director respectively of Temporal Affairs of the Reich.
- Sam was brought to the Moonbase from the future by the Selachians as a spy. He was instructed to get close to Rachel. A device was implanted in his brain which uploaded his memories to the Selachian mothership every time he slept because they could not risk ordinary radio communication. This indicates the Selachians that the alternative Doctor was plotting against them all along.
- In the proper timeline, the Doctor and Rachel never met, as evidenced by the fact that he did not recognise her name when Klein mentioned it to him. Consequently, Rachel is left behind on the Moonbase as it is destroyed. Before she dies, Rachel says that her biggest fear is that the Doctor will never find her in the proper timeline and she will live out "her humdrum life" never knowing what she could have been and what else she could have seen. She laments that while she is not afraid of dying as everyone eventually dies, she is terrified of never having truly lived.
- In the proper timeline, Dr. Elizabeth Klein was born in the United Kingdom to German parents. She became known for her triumphs working for UNIT. Her personality appeared to be the same except that she devoted her talents to the protection of Earth. On meeting the Doctor, she recognised him slightly although the experiences of the alternative Klein had been erased from history.
- In the alternate timeline, 2044 is the hundredth year of the Golden Age of the Galactic Reich.
- Klein tells the Doctor that, in 2044, a unified Earth government has eradicated famine, averted wars and repelled alien invasions.
- Klein has bought about the defeat of the Sontarans and the Daleks in the alternate timeline. Dalek technology has been integrated into the Reich ships being built at the Moonbase.
- The Selachians are walking armoured sharks who are ruthless and entirely without pity. They were the scourge of their galaxy and it took Klein many months and many trips in the TARDIS to prevent them from conquering the Milky Way Galaxy. In 2044, they had not developed either their armoured suits or space travel. They refer to humans as "plankton." The design of their ships is also reminiscent of sharks.
- The alternative Doctor provided the Selachian Empire with time travel technology which enabled six of their ships to travel back in time to the Moonbase in 2044. He also gave them explicit instructions on how to conquer it, telling them to destroy the protective dome around the base. He made a deal with the Selachian Supreme Leader that Klein would be turned over to him. However, he seemingly underestimated the Selachians' intelligence as he did not anticipate that they would be able to recreate the time travel technology.
- Rachel tells Sam that the Selachians are all equipped with organically grown transmat modules which are reminiscent of worms and have a distinctly unpleasant smell. The Zygons have a similar technology.
- The console room of the alternative Doctor's TARDIS has black walls and low lighting.
- Richter sets course for the Central Records Office in Berlin in 2144 in order to learn the outcome of the Selachian incursion on the Moonbase. However, the device which Rachel had Sam Kirke place on the TARDIS anchored it to 2044, triggering the Cloister Bell. It eventually rematerialised a hundred metres away from its previous location. The device tore the internal dimensions of the TARDIS from its external dimensions, turning it into an ordinary police box.
- The alternative Doctor programmed the perception filter of his TARDIS to make it appear as a stone ziggurat which no one other than himself and Rachel would be able to see.
- The alternative Doctor did not travel to the Moonbase to execute Klein but to erase her from history, which could be achieved by pushing a button on his TARDIS console. The Doctor from the proper timeline eventually does this.
- Klein and Richter travelled back in time to the Moonbase to arrest a traitor, Karen Montoya, before she had a chance to betray the Reich. They were authorised to do so by a future version of General-Lieutenant Adolf Tendexter, the commander of the Moonbase.
- In the alternative timeline, the Doctor and Klein first met in his cell on the Moonbase several months earlier. She tells him that, in another timeline, they travelled together in the TARDIS.
- After gaining possession of the TARDIS, Klein attempted to restore her timeline (which she regards as the original one) but the TARDIS would not allow her to cross her own time track.
- Prior to her arrival on the Moonbase, Klein's last encounter with Tendexter in her personal timeline was in 2048.
- In the current timeline, Tendexter was decorated for his role in the Dalek War. In the previous timeline, however, he cracked under pressure when the Dalek fleet arrived at the Moonbase. In another timeline, he reacted in a similar manner when the Sontarans arrived.
- Klein tells the Doctor that she has performed hundreds of revisions to the timeline.
- Richter's weapon, a plasma pistol which fires plasma bullets, was "built by the finest weapon-smiths of the 31st century." His body armour is from the same era and, unlike Selachian armour, is able to withstand the full force of Selachian weapons fire.
- During the Selachians' attack on Earth, the pilot Eagle-114 witnesses entire continents burning.
- The Moonbase's operations centre is reinforced by twenty metre Dalekanium bulkheads.
- While the Selachian leader was distracted by his dealings with the Doctor, Tendexter set the Moonbase's reactor core to explode. He adjusted the frequency of the reactor core output so that it bounces the Selachians' transmat signals back towards the Moonbase.
- Steve Lyons is also the author of AUDIO: Colditz and the creator of the character of Klein.
- This story marks the first appearance of the Selachians in an audio drama. They were another of Steve Lyons' creations, originated in the novel The Murder Game.
- This audio drama was recorded on 1 and 2 August 2009 at The Moat Studios.
- The story was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra on 30-31 May and 1 and 4 June 2012, forming a radio season with the prior Klein stories.
- Subscribers whose subscriptions included this story also received the audio short story The Doctor's First XI.
- This story is set after Survival.
- This story was originally released on CD and download on 10 March 2010.
- The Doctor mentions Klein's lover Major Jonas Faber from her original timeline in 1965. (AUDIO: Klein's Story)
- The Doctor refers to his and Klein's encounter with the Cheylis in British Kenya in 1953 (AUDIO: A Thousand Tiny Wings) and their visit to the Hatching Yard of the Vrill colony (AUDIO: Survival of the Fittest).
- The Doctor previously encountered the Selachians on at least three occasions during his second incarnation in the proper timeline. (PROSE: The Murder Game, AUDIO: The Selachian Gambit, PROSE: The Final Sanction)
- In the proper timeline, Klein recognises the Doctor from descriptions of his appearance and mentions his presence during the Shoreditch Incident in 1963 (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks), in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising in 1953 (AUDIO: A Thousand Tiny Wings) and at the Shangri-La holiday camp in Wales in 1959 (TV: Delta and the Bannermen). The Doctor tells her that he also visited Colditz Castle in October 1944. (AUDIO: Colditz)
- Official The Architects of History page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Architects of History at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide