The Forbidden Time was the ninth story of the fifth series in The Companion Chronicles audio range. It was produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by David Lock and featured Polly Wright and Jamie McCrimmon.
Time Walkers have descended upon the Earth. This alien race, known as the Vist, has claimed an area of time for itself — any species entering into the immediate future will pay the most terrible forfeit.
She has stepped into the Forbidden Time — and this is her story...
A telepathic message is broadcast to every human on Earth stating that they are entering a restricted time zone and that they must either bypass it or pay tolls using their life energy. Polly Wright calls some people together for a conference, some of whom already know about the Doctor and the TARDIS. Using some recordings of Jamie McCrimmon, she explains of how she travelled in time and space with the Doctor and how they, along with Ben Jackson, had visited the restricted time zone, which existed as a "wall" built within the Time Vortex: everything in the universe from 2011 to 2019 is controlled by the Vist.
Polly is showing Jamie how to use the dictation machine when something hits the TARDIS, knocking it off 35 years. It arrives in a grey "shadow Earth", which the Doctor explains exists sideways in time. There is enough energy to have structures like houses, but there is no animal life; the "shadow" is created by the intelligent life of the real Earth, shining like a bright star. Everything crumbles to dust when touched but the Vist attack and seemingly kill Ben before the Doctor and Polly run in one direction with Jamie running in another. The Doctor explains to Polly that since this is a shadow of reality, Ben may still be alive and just need to find an anchor that will bring him back. Because of the Vist's nature, the Doctor and Polly see a hazy scene of the future where they are captured by two Vists. Seeing that they won't be killed, the Doctor leads Polly to surrender.
All three are eventually taken to the Vist's dome because they smell of time energy. They meet the leader and it explains that the Vist walk the fields of time while other races drift across it. It occurred to them one day to fence off sections of time to feed, and then it occurred to them to charge other creatures to enter different times. Jamie attacks the leader and is subsequently killed, reduced to dust like Ben. The Doctor proclaims that his people will not allow them to do this, claiming they were the first to evolve and so had a right to time. Having already told them no one owns time, the Vist retort that they will travel back in time to before his people evolve and claim ownership of time. The Doctor doesn't believe they can do it, but they leave anyway. Even though his people weren't the first to evolve, he tricked the Vist into travelling so far back that they become trapped before the Big Bang where there is no time for them to move across.
Without the Vist to sustain it, the shadow Earth will be destroyed once the time winds break down the wall in the Vortex. The Doctor and Polly hurry to the TARDIS as the world shifts between grey, colour, and people returning to the streets. When they get back to the TARDIS, they find Jamie and Ben returned from "nowhere" as the image of the TARDIS and a car drifted in their consciousness, respectfully, allowing them to come back.
The telepathic message was pre-recorded, meaning that humanity will enter the restricted time zone with no ill-effects. Polly thanks everyone for coming and leaves without taking questions. In a side room, she listens to Jamie's recorded voice and hopes he's well wherever he is.
- Time and space are connected because they came into existence at the same time. Time, like space, has a geography.
- Every time they arrive in London, Ben and Polly look at the latest car and fashion magazines, respectively.
- The Time Vortex is composed of "no-time" and "no-space".
- The Vist remind Polly of Salvador Dalí's painting of elephants.
- The Doctor mentions William of Occam being a friend of his.
- Although it wasn't the first time that either actor was employed by Big Finish, this was the first time that Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines appeared together as their original Doctor Who characters, Polly Wright and Jamie McCrimmon, in an audio drama.
- The Doctor doesn't like to talk about his people. His fifth incarnation later tells Polly he didn't refer to himself as a Time Lord during his early travels. (AUDIO: The Five Companions)
- The Doctor told Ben and Polly about the Dalek invasion of Earth in 2164. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
- The dictation machine was created by Professor Brett. (TV: The War Machines)