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The Becoming was the fourth story in the audio anthology, The Memory Bank and Other Stories, which comprised the two hundred and seventeenth release in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Ian Potter and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Mark Strickson as Turlough.

Publisher's summary[]

A young woman climbs a perilous mountain in search of her destiny. The Doctor and Turlough save her from the monsters on her trail – but what awaits them in the Cavern of Becoming is stranger, even, than the ravening Hungerers outside.


The Doctor and Turlough arrive in an unmapped section of the Pandana system and the Doctor insists they be the "first" to explore. The Doctor spots irrigated land below the stormy mountain environment they've landed in, suggesting intelligent life and they decide to go there to get shelter from the storm. Meanwhile, Waywalker is guided by the voices of "Spring" and "Autumn". The voices lead her to a nest and tell her to open the ambricore (yellow fruit thing). The voices leave her and she calls out to them but gets no response... until the Doctor arrives just in time to save her from falling off the branch of the life tree where she obtained the fruit. Waywalker reveals she needs the ambricore for her "becoming". Just then they hear voices which are identified as entities called the "Hungerers", which begin to surround them, preparing to hunt them. The three try to head down after Waywalker asks the old ones (voices) for advice. The Doctor manages to cause a landslide to stop the creatures pursuing them, however, Waywalker ends up breaking her leg. Waywalker explains that she needs to get to the "Cavern of Becoming" before the ambricore goes off otherwise she will fail. The Doctor consents but convinces her to first let them gather some material to create a crutch support for her injured leg. They depart but just then Waywalker catches up and it is revealed she is quickly self-healing although they do not know why.

They ask her why she is doing this and she reveals that the "ritual of Becoming" is how they learn what they should "become" in their society and their identity is based upon they path they take. They travel to the Cave of Becoming.

When they arrive, Waywalker is instructed to break the ambricore and drink the fluid inside, which the Doctor realizes is the same as the "jelly" substance surrounding them, called the "Pathmaker". Waywalker walks into the large gelatinous mass and although Turlough tries to stop her, the Doctor prevents him and insists she be allowed to follow her own directions and they should not interfere with what the Doctor sees as a natural process. The Doctor surmises that the two have a symbiotic relation and that those that enter the Pathmaker are absorbed into the tree and are remade into ambricore. Turlough, against the Doctor's warnings, thinks something is wrong and dives in to save her. Once brought out, she reveals that the Pathmaker attacked her and rejected her because the voice of the elders did not leave her.

They begin to head back to the village and Waywalker explains that although she has failed she was able to keep her form and she seems to have gained new knowledge as she explains that the Doctor has revealed to her that the land is changing and new knowledge to survive may be required. The Doctor says they ought to be heading back to the TARDIS and when a protesting Turlough asks about the Hungerers, Waywalker reveals that they only detect/hunt Waywalkers, to Turlough's annoyance at not having told them before, and they then part ways.

The Doctor explains to Turlough the relation between the Pathmaker and the Waywalkers, but says that the changing sun causing the current cold climate is bothering him, and on top of this, he can't quite understand where the Hungerers fit into this ecosystem until he makes a startling realisation and runs to the village with a confused Turlough following in his wake.

Waywalker returns and reveals her failure to the villagers but explains that she has learned that their planet is changing and that they must find a new way to live as the old ways will not allow them to survive, however, uninterested, they remind her of the penalty. Just then, she begins to transform into a Waywalker and the Doctor, with Turlough in tow, explains that the failed Waywalkers become Hungerers. They arrive to see Waywalker transforming and the Doctor tries to save her using a psychic link but she says she is too far gone and it is too late to stop it. The Doctor offers to destroy the Pathmaker to end this but Turlough rebuts that this would end their entire civilization and the Doctor would have to take over the role of Pathmaker, make every decision for the society and rule over them and says that if he won't do this then their best option is just to go. Waywalker assures the Doctor that Pathmaker was not able to take all her thoughts and she may still be able to try and find a way to save their civilization. A distraught Doctor is finally persuaded by Turlough to leave and return to the TARDIS, expressing to Waywalker that he hopes she will find a way to save her civilization.



  • The name "Turlough" originally meant "prompter" or "spur to action" on Earth but not on Trion.
  • Waywalker is translucent because she was born on a planet that didn't have as a harsh a sun than Turlough and the Doctor.
  • Turlough describes the Hungerers as looking like ape creatures.
  • The Doctor uses his cricket skills to cause a landslide by throwing a cricket ball and creating a large echo.
  • The Doctor sympathizes with individuals naming themselves after titles. The Doctor calls himself "The Doctor", which in one case is a name for an earth practitioner of medicine.


  • This story was recorded on 26 or 27 May at The Moat Studios.
  • When Turlough asks the Doctor what the Pathmaker was, disbelieving something like that could have grown up by chance, the Doctor rebuffs him by asking why not, since one can believe in giraffe necks or the social structure of an ant's nest and that it's a big universe, so many things are possible, evolutionary speaking. The giraffe's neck refers to the original Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's theory of Acquired Inheritance, a theory used before and later influenced the formulation of Charles Darwin's "Theory of Evolution". The inheritance of longer giraffe necks passed down to off-spring is the popular example used to illustrate this falsified and abandoned theory. Its importance was that it spurred interest in the development of a theory to explain how organisms on planet earth first arose and why they have the traits/characteristics they do today.


  • The Doctor refers to the fact that the Tractator invasion of Trion etched itself onto the racial memory of the Trions. (TV: Frontios)
  • The Doctor mentions "if any of my friends had ankles like yours..." after Waywalker regenerates her broken leg very quickly. Many of the fifth Doctor's companions sprain their feet/ankles, for example Adric does so while they run away from the highwaymen in the forest in Heathrow near London is the 17th Century. (TV: The Visitation)
  • The Doctor tells a disbelieving Turlough why it is possible and entirely logical that a symbiotic relation between the Pathmaker and Waywalker life-forms could have evolved to be what it is, saying it is just as likely as the symbiotic evolution of "the vestiges of some old colony ship, an organic computer and its gestalt crew". (TV: The Face of Evil)

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