The Black Hole was the third story of the second series of The Early Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Simon Guerrier, narrated by Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling and featured the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield.
The story is notable in that it offers an alternate account of the Second Doctor's history with regard to The Two Doctors to the Season 6B theory, explaining why the Doctor was working for the Time Lords and why Jamie was aware of their existence. This puts it at odds with the earlier novel World Game, which takes place, and therefore places The Two Doctors, after The War Games.
On a research station near a black hole, time keeps standing still. Investigating the phenomenon, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria discover a power far greater than any of the monsters that have challenged them on their travels... The Doctor's own people.
But nothing is ever as simple as it appears. And if you can use the Doctor's compassion against him, you have the makings of a perfect trap...
Jamie, Victoria and the Doctor are traveling inside the TARDIS when it is mysteriously drawn off course and lands them in a mysterious space station. Venturing into the station, they find it is packed with people but a mysterious time anomaly, that freezes everyone for a few seconds, occurs but doesn't affect them, mystifying them. They decide to go look for whomever is in charge to find out what's going on. Eventually they stumble on the central control room and meet Commander Flail, who, after the Doctor reveals he is aware the effects must be caused by a near-by black hole, holds them at gun point. After she explains the situation, the Doctor offers his help but is nervous as they discover that the black hole was likely to have been "artificially created", which is supposedly impossible. The Doctor claims he has "specialist equipment" in the TARDIS that he needs to get in order to help them. Flail accompanies them, keeping them at gun-point, when another time anomaly hits partially freezing her and freezing everyone else, but she is still able to move and fires blasts at them as the Doctor makes a run for it and instructs Jamie and Victoria to follow suite.
Inside the TARDIS the Doctor explains to the two that there are people who can control black holes, his own people, and that is why they must leave but after Victoria tries to argue with him about how they would be abandoning all the helpless people on the station, he has a change of heart and they go outside to be greeted by Flail. The Doctor reasons with her after his display and they make a plan for him to find the person responsible for this, whom she knows, on the lower deck laboratories because the three of them are immune to the time dilation. After some protest from Flail whom they leave behind since the dilation affect her as well, they reach the lab and meet Pavo of the Chapter 9 police force, who tells the Doctor that just by being on the station he has already broken a law and reveals that their punishment is death...
They stop Pavo by pointing out that he is also in violation of protocol as well and Pavo reveals that someone else is controlling the black hole and that currently the station is in a 'quantum mixed state' with the people phasing in and out because their probability of existing is being lowered as the state is being tampered with by the black hole. They create a plan to try and stabilize the black hole, involving the Doctor going into the center of the black hole. They decide to use Commander Flail's help and split up, the Doctor in the TARDIS while Victoria goes with Pavo in his TARDIS and Flail remains in the space station with Jamie. The operation commences but Pavo, linked to his TARDIS as the Doctor explains, falls ill due to the harsh effects of the black hole on his TARDIS. The operation is a success but Pavo and Victoria are left in a terrible state.
A week later they materialise inside a library inside the station and meet with Pavo where they confirm that everyone on board the station has been saved and things have returned to normal. They had hoped bringing Victoria to the library would help her regain her senses. It seems Pavo sacrificed his TARDIS to save them and the symbiotic link had caused permanent damage to him as a result, while Victoria is in a near catatonic state. Pavo explains to the Doctor that the Stattenheim remote he had hooked up and that changed his TARDIS interior's appearance means that their people now have dual control of his TARDIS much to his annoyance. Pavo explains that to complete his mission he is to go and arrest genetic engineer Joinson Dastari. The Doctor, claiming to be an old friend, convinces Pavo to let him go in his place and perhaps settle the situation in a more fair manner. Jamie and the Doctor leave to fulfill the task after Pavo promises to take care of Victoria for the time being. Pavo and Victoria then do some research into where the black hole may have come from, reading logs, entries and accounts by previous station inhabitants for clues about time distortions and any other related phenomenon. Victoria, using the principles of reasoning that she learned from her father, manages to deduce that the black hole did not simply arise out of nowhere but may have been created over a period of time. Suddenly they are interrupted by Commander Flail who contacts Pavo over the terminal screen interface and asks him if they are ready, with two ominous, shadowy figures lurking in the corner of her office, which Pavo says they are indeed. Victoria, by now, has figured out the plan and Pavo reveals his true identity to her and that the entire operation was a set-up to trick their people into thinking the Doctor is the real culprit, throwing off any suspicion directed at him, and he is free to continue his research on the black hole as he has sent the Doctor and Jamie into the middle of a Sontaran battle with no hope of survival. He finally reveals to Victoria that he only pretended to be Pavo, points his weapon at her, and that he has had many disguises over the years but he first met the Doctor while posing as a monk...
The Doctor and Jamie return to the station's laboratory, having been gone a few weeks and been on a few adventures, only to find that the same problem as before has resumed. They hide themselves and go investigate. Eventually they accidentally stumble on the Monk's arrival at the station where he is interrogated by Pavo. They realise they have arrived at the station at an earlier point when the Monk first arrived, and witness him almost kill Pavo, take his form using his special ring, stuff the body in his TARDIS and then sets it on fire and leaves, disguising himself with Pavo's appearance thanks to the ring. The Doctor and Jamie manage to rescue Pavo and try to get him to the TARDIS by taking him through station.
The Monk, disguised as Pavo, uses this new image to take command of the station and to be left alone in peace to do his work. Meanwhile inside the Doctor's TARDIS, Pavo regenerates into Commander Flail and the Doctor begins to understand. Flail attempts to take charge of the station but the Doctor explains that stopping the Monk now will cause a paradox and so they need to let the events happen and they make a plan.
Ten days later, Flail contacts "Pavo" (the Monk) who has Victoria in his company as they are researching the clues about time distortions and any other related phenomenon aboard the station as from earlier and the shadowy figures, unbeknownst to them are Jamie and the Doctor. The Monk confirms with Flail that all is fine and then Victoria reveals she has figured out the plan so the Monk takes her prisoner. Jamie and the Doctor go to investigate his lab, unaware of the changed circumstances. They find the Monk's TARDIS, which turned out to not have been destroyed when he "rescued" them by sacrificing it and "destroying" the black hole. Just then they are found by the Monk who reveals his plan and why he wanted to create the black hole: he wants to free the Seeth from their pocket dimension and help them conquer the planet before the earth empire rises to power in two hundred year's time and makes doing so impossible thanks to amassing an army during the Analogue wars. He then manages to deduce what the Doctor has done and been up to all this time, since the Doctor's TARDIS was counteracting the Monk's TARDIS and his attempt to warp space and time to make a black hole. He shuts off his TARDIS's power and a black hole finally emerges, and the Seeth begin to break through from their pocket dimension and enter the station...
The Seeth break into the station and cause mass panic. Meanwhile, Flail, in the Doctor's TARDIS, unintentionally rescues Victoria who was trapped by being locked in the library by the Monk after revealing his identity and leaving. She explains to Victoria that she can't detect where the Doctor or Jamie are or even if they're even alive at all. She reveals that she needs to call in their people as the situation has become too difficult to handle but finds she cannot contact them. The Doctor and Jamie wake up in the center of the black hole, stuck in a singularity. He manages to summon the TARDIS back having swiped the control off the Monk earlier and they find Victoria safe and sound inside, but the Doctor, to his horror, realises that the Monk still has the TARDIS key. Flail reveals to the Doctor she can't contact their people for help but he assures her that they can find a way, and he does, managing to freeze everyone to prevent further deaths by having his TARDIS jam the Monk's using the Stattenheim remote. The Monk, confronted by a Seeth captain, uses his Stattenheim remote to reverse the effects. The Doctor and the Monk continue to battle using the Statenheim remotes until they reach a stalemate where the Seeth can't get onto the control deck but the four of them can't leave it. The Monk contacts them to request a deal initially but reveals he has the upper hand as he has a Seeth army at his disposal and takes control of and orders them to find the humans and kill them unless the Doctor surrenders.
The Doctor uses the Stattenheim remote to inadvertently cause the Monk's TARDIS to malfunction, the black hole to appear at that TARDIS and suck most of the Seeth back into it. Then, using the ring the Monk stole earlier from Pavo to control the is hand, they make him open his TARDIS door and get sucked out. Their objective accomplished, they breathe a sigh of relief.
Victoria and Pavo/Flail talk on a bench while the Doctor and Jamie return from helping those aboard the station. The three prepare to leave but Flail explains that the Doctor has broken a number of laws relating to time and she therefore must arrest him, however, without his help she would never have been able to stop the Monk. So as a sign of gratitude she says she will let him go but has the Doctor return the Stattenheim remote and erases their memories in the process. The three suddenly come back to their senses inside the TARDIS and prepare to embark on their next adventure, having no idea of the events that had transpired.
- Jamie McCrimmon/The Doctor - Frazer Hines
- Victoria Waterfield - Deborah Watling
- Constable Pavo - Rufus Hound
- Commander Flail - Janet Dibley
- The Seeth - Anthony Keetch
Narrated by David Warner
- Victoria does not know what a black hole is.
- The Doctor uses parsecs.
- A woman in the library reads Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to a group of children.
- A Stattenheim remote is used on the TARDIS.
- Pavo says he has previously disguised himself as a policeman, an emperor and a TV host over the centuries.
- During the couple of weeks that the Doctor and Jamie travel together without Victoria, they visit the City of Owls and help out the people of Mackenzie.
- The Monk's TARDIS features a chair littered with children's comics and a burnt Van Gogh-style painting.
- Jamie knows about bank holidays.
- People in the future, both men and women, wear make-up.
- The windows of the station are made of a polymer that absorbs light.
- The Doctor has the TARDIS key in his pocket.
- The Doctor uses a tennis ball for gravitational testing.
- A Stattenheim remote may be used to freeze time capsules in accordance with the Prevention of Temporal Interference Measures.
- The Doctor breaks the First law of time and has done so many times.
- This story was recorded at The Moat Studios.
- Unusually for an Early Adventures story, it is narrated by an actor who does not appear during the performed elements of the story.
- Coincidentally, Rufus Hound's first appearance in licensed Doctor Who material was in the 2013 documentary The Science of Doctor Who, where he participated in a demonstration on black holes.
- Janet Dibley is married to Tyler Butterworth, whose father Peter Butterworth played the First Monk in TV: The Time Meddler and TV: The Daleks' Master Plan.
- Although never stated in the story, Simon Guerrier intended for Pavo to be an early incarnation of the Master.
- When the Monk kills Pavo and puts him in his TARDIS, he says "Sorry, not much room, is there?" This may be a reference to the state the Monk found his TARDIS in after the Doctor shrank it and left him stranded in Northumbria in the 11th century. (TV: The Time Meddler)
- Victoria mentions to Flail that the Doctor has taken her to one hundred years in her future. Depending on when this adventure takes place, she could be referencing a number of different adventures including TV: The Abominable Snowmen, TV: The Web of Fear, or many possible AUDIO and PROSE adaptations.
- This story attempts to explain things using Quantum Mechanics. It, of course, should not be taken realistically.
- The Doctor's companions tease at how he landed the TARDIS the correct way up this time. The console room is still a mess from the previous landing. (TV: The Ice Warriors)
- When Jamie asks why he, the Doctor and Victoria, are unaffected by effects of the black hole warping space and time, the Doctor says that travelling in the TARDIS grants them a "different relationship" with time (TV: Flesh and Stone) along with some immunity (TV: Reset) or sensitivity.
- Victoria recalls encountering evil scientists, including Theodore Maxtible (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) and Eric Klieg. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
- The Doctor tells Jamie and Victoria that if they encounter his people, it will mean the end of their travels together. The Doctor wonders if he will be arrested by the Time Lords. (TV: The War Games)
- Victoria asks the Doctor if he ran away from his people. (TV: An Unearthly Child, AUDIO: The Beginning et al.)
- After these events, the Doctor and his friends have their memories erased, which is why Jamie does not know of the Time Lords when the Doctor summons their aid. (TV: The War Games)
- The TARDIS' interior is modified to contain a dual control with Gallifrey. (TV: The Two Doctors)
- Victoria is studying graphology in the library. (TV: The Two Doctors, AUDIO: Helicon Prime)
- Victoria talks about how her father was a scientist. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
- The Monk says he first met the Doctor when disguised as a monk. (TV: The Time Meddler)
- The Monk engineers a Sontaran attack. Jamie mentions meeting the Sontarans a couple of weeks ago, before returning to where they originally landed. (TV: The Two Doctors)
- The Monk thinks Dastari could provide a good distraction for the Doctor and Jamie. The Doctor says that as he was busy with the Sontarans, they will pop back and visit him later. (TV: The Two Doctors)
- Pavo is able to regenerate into a female form, like many other Time Lords. (TV: The Doctor's Wife, Dark Water, Hell Bent, Twice Upon a Time)
- Jamie asks if it's the Daleks controlling the black hole, since in a previous encounter they could already travel through time. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
- When Commander Flail discovers that the Doctor has broken the first law of time and reiterates that meeting an earlier version of oneself "never goes well", the Doctor muses "Oh I don't know about that..." In this context, the Doctor had just met his sixth incarnation a little earlier before arriving back on the station, and occasionally the Doctor often teams up with their past or future self. (TV: The Two Doctors, The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, et al.)