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The Tenth Doctor wakes in a strange room, without the TARDIS or the sonic screwdriver, with only Martha Jones for company. Together they explore the building, soon learning that it is a museum dedicated to the Doctor.
The displays consist of various items, such as a Dalek gun, the Seal of Rassilon and a Voord helmet. They enter a large room where the Doctor's clothes from nine of his previous incarnations are found, along with items he used during each incarnation, including jelly babies, a walking stick, a recorder and psychic paper. The Doctor states that he'd be lost without his previous incarnations, saying he particularly loved his fifth.
A strange man in a darkly lit room decides to test that theory. The Doctor suddenly becomes very weak. He realises he can't remember anything from before his encounter with the Sycorax on Christmas Day a couple of years ago.
Martha brings him his walking stick from his first incarnation and he tells her a story of his travels with Susan, Barbara and Ian, where he saved a pharaoh's life with that staff. He also tells her how and when he dropped Ian, Barbara, and Susan off. Martha asks if he thinks that Susan is dead and he replies in the affirmative, stating that, as far as he knows, he is the last. The Doctor mentions he left Susan on a future Earth with a freedom fighter she fell in love with. The strange man chuckles, saying "If only that were true." He reveals that he will force the Doctor to regenerate so he can steal the Doctor's remaining incarnations. The Doctor suddenly tells Martha that one of his hearts has stopped, and collapses into unconsciousness.
The Doctor has fallen into a coma. Martha performs CPR on him and he wakes up. The Doctor and Martha explore more of the museum and find the recorder he played in his second incarnation. He tells Martha about this incarnation.
The Second Doctor is on a spaceship with Jamie and Zoe. They find it has been attacked by snake-like creatures. They help the crew of the spaceship defeat them by playing on the recorder. Back in the museum the man watching the Doctor and Martha releases an Auton, ready to kill the Doctor and Martha.
The Doctor remembers his third incarnation as Martha hands him the keys to Bessie, the car he used to drive while he worked for UNIT. He, the Brigadier and Jo Grant are in a car, chased by giant, spider-like robots, with humanoid dogs as drivers. Jo uses her make-up mirror to aim the laser beams at the ships and the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to destroy the dog-like aliens, with Captain Yates's help.
Back at the Museum the Auton approaches the Doctor and Martha. The Doctor fires a can of Nitro 9 at the Auton, killing it. The Doctor checks the readings of the TARDIS key. Horrified by the absolute lack of response, he tells Martha that it means the TARDIS has been destroyed.
He recalls taking Romana to Paris for the second time, in the year 2000. Romana notices a mime posing. She thinks he is trapped in time, but a time hole appears near him. The mime, the Doctor and Romana fall through the hole and land in a late 17th century sewer. They are soon questioned by guards; the Doctor makes up an alias so he can have an excuse to boss them around. Following the trail, they reach the exit door, which is guarded by Taureau the Minotaur, who agrees to let them pass if they answer his riddle. When Romana fails miserably to answer correctly, the Doctor opens a wall, causing an explosion, killing Taureau and the mime. The Doctor and Romana escape through it.
Back at the museum, the Doctor says to himself that Romana did pretty well for herself—until the Time War. He notices Martha has gone. He finds a cricket ball in his pocket. He thinks about his fifth incarnation.
The Fifth Doctor is playing cricket near Allen Road. Tegan Jovanka and Vislor Turlough are watching. All of a sudden a Judoon ship flies over. The Doctor asks Turlough to fetch his five hundred year diary, while he and Tegan go to meet the Judoon. It turns out the Judoon have landed on Earth in search of the Eye of Akasha. Turlough returns and the Doctor fetches the Eye from the TARDIS before doing a switch with his cricket ball. He gives the Judoon the ball.
In the museum the Doctor is looking for Martha. She is holding Ace's baseball bat, ready to defend herself. The strange onlooker releases a swarm of giant spiders from Metebelis III, surrounding Martha...
The Doctor arrives and distracts the Metebelis III spiders with the crystal from his sonic screwdriver, which is similar to the type they search for. He and Martha Jones escape and the Doctor vaguely recalls the phrase "There's something on your back." He collapses and begins to fade again. Martha hands him his sixth incarnation's cat brooch and goes off to hunt for the "Time Bracelet thing" and another screwdriver in the Fourth Doctor's costume, while the Doctor recalls a memory from his sixth life involving the brooch.
He remembers when he and Peri Brown were in the court of an animal people with Peri accused of the first-degree murder of Professor Mis'Kin Karac. On the first day of the trial, Peri tells the court how while in the market, a boy pushed a gun into her hands. It fired, killing the professor as he left the building. Peri says she never meant to kill anyone and the Doctor calls off questioning.
On the second day, Professor Karac's assistant offers evidence against Peri and the judge calls a recess until the next day. The Doctor gets the assistant's permission to check out the lab, where the professor and he had been working on quantum flux technology. The Doctor finds the murder weapon in the lab and comes up with a plan.
The next day in court, the Doctor pulls out the gun and aims at Peri, explaining that it is tagged with a genetic signature which the bullet uses to find its target. He also explains this was why the professor's assistant was behind Peri: so he could fire through her at the professor and make it look like she, being the one with the gun, had done it. He tells the assistant how he is currently wearing a cat brooch doused in chronal energy and with a drop of his blood on it. If he fires, the bullet will kill him, not Peri. The assistant confesses and is taken away. As Peri and the Doctor leave, the Doctor explains that the gun wouldn't have worked. He was bluffing, a bluff which the assistant fell for.
Back in the museum, the Doctor speaks through a camera to the mysterious onlooker, who says that he and the Doctor have much in common, except for the obvious, and that he should have left him in the Crucible. The Doctor challenges him to come out, holding up an umbrella and remembering his seventh incarnation.
He recalls the time that he and Ace ended up in the war of Agrovan Seven, which was declared a non-intervention site by the Time Lords. Someone had given the Strykes a Gallifreyan virus to use on the Marats and the Doctor had to stop it. They were captured by the Strykes, but escaped due to an air strike. They met a Marat, who took them to the Marats infected by the Strykes' new bioweapon. The Doctor met with Doctor Treykan and gave her the antidote to the plague, hidden in his umbrella. He seemed to talk to the current Doctor, telling him to fight to survive.
Back in the museum, the Doctor finds the same restorative inside the umbrella and begins to hear the Cloister Bell. He declares the impossibility of this, as it can only be heard in the TARDIS, the Time Lord Matrix or on Gallifrey, none of which they are at--or are they?
Martha demonstrates knowledge of the Cloister Bell she shouldn't yet have and the Doctor remembers her saying he isn't the only doctor in the TARDIS, though she's only a medical student. The Doctor wonders again what's really going on. The mystery onlooker says they can't have the Doctor remembering his future just yet and sends out a Clockwork Droid and a Sandminer robot. In the TARDIS, the Cloister Bell tolls, the interior is red and an alien life form has attached itself to an unconscious Doctor...
After the Cloister Bell rings, the Doctor begins to question who or what Martha Jones really is. They are attacked by a Clockwork Droid and a Sandminer robot. The Doctor and Martha escape. Martha hands the Doctor a cravat from his eighth incarnation and the Doctor begins to tell Martha about that life.
The Doctor was alone in a prison cell on a planet, wondering whether the Last Great Time War was still being waged, when the cell door opened and the guards threw a new prisoner into the cell. Sixteen days later the Doctor and his new cellmate, Chantir, saw through the cell window a spaceship land. The Doctor said it was time to escape. The Doctor slowed his heartbeats to almost nothing and Chantir called in the guards. The Doctor and Chantir overpowered them and stole their laser weapons. The Doctor opened all the other cells to allow the other prisoners to escape.
They travelled to the end of the hall and blasted open the door. Inside, the Great Key stood on a pillar in the centre of the room. The Doctor picked it up and told Chantir he planned to use it to recreate the De-mat Gun and possibly even modify the original to increase its lethality to remove millions from time and space at once. The Doctor and Chantir escaped from the prison by sliding down a power cable on the outside wall of the prison. Chantir left the Doctor to find his crewmates and the Doctor walked a few miles to recover his TARDIS.
Martha asks if the Doctor was always alone in that regeneration. The Doctor explains to Martha that his eighth incarnation started and ended alone, because the Last Great Time War happened. He remembers how he saw Arcadia destroyed, laughed in the face of the Nightmare Child, Gallifrey sacrificed, which burned when the Cruciform fell, and how he ended the Time War with the Great Key that turned "the lock" and doomed everyone.
Martha has the Doctor acknowledge that the victims knew the cost of what the Doctor did- saving everything else. She makes the Doctor focus his thoughts on what happened immediately after the war, such as meeting Rose, and gives him the psychic paper. The paper displays the message, "Everything is not as it seems". The Doctor ponders that he spent much more time in cells and brigs than saving the universe before he had this utility and he remembers his ninth incarnation.
The Doctor and Rose arrived in a World War I trench on Christmas Day and the Doctor showed the British occupants documents identifying him as Brigadier Bambera with the psychic paper. A football landed in the trench and the Germans asked the British to hand them back their football. The Doctor challenged the Germans to a football match for their ball. As the British played football with them, the Doctor refereed. After the match, the Doctor and Rose left in the TARDIS.
Martha hands the Doctor the Chameleon Arch biodata module and the Doctor regains the last of his memories. At that very moment, an individual resembling the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor, but calling himself the Valeyard, arrives with the Clockwork Droid and the Sandminer robot and threatens to steal the Doctor's regenerations so he can regenerate himself.
As the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor finishes his threat, the real Doctor laughs mockingly. He claims to have known it was a bad fake made by the creature who was responsible for the entire mess, using bits and pieces of the Master, the Valeyard and the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor to fabricate a poor amalgam to bedevil the Doctor.
Infuriated at his plans being exposed, the being identifies itself: Es'Cartrss of the Tactire, a parasitic race known as the Cranial Parasites. It tells him of how his planet was one of the many the Daleks had stolen to power the Reality Bomb. He infiltrated the Crucible until its destruction, then entered the Doctor's TARDIS and attached itself to him in the effort that began the story.
The Doctor uses the distraction to flee and "Martha" gives him the final clues to realise what she truly is - the TARDIS' own mind, desperately trying to help its pilot shake off the parasite. The entire museum was actually the TARDIS matrix. Upon discovering this, the Doctor realises that the TARDIS could assume the form of anyone who had ever travelled with him.
Prompted by the Doctor, the TARDIS assumes a variety of disguises of many past companions geared for combat, such as Steven Taylor, Leela and Harry Sullivan, while the Doctor examines the baseball bat. He realises it was, in fact, a chameleon circuit covering the Great Key of Rassilon, the final key to the last door of the Matrix, the one the robots had been so desperate to keep them away from.
The TARDIS begins assuming other shapes better suited to specific tasks, like Kamelion, who shrugged off attacks by the Sandminer robot and the Clockwork Droid to open the door with the Great Key; Sarah Jane Smith; and Adric, whose intellect allowed him to design a way to break the parasite's hold on the Matrix by blowing himself, the infected Matrix components and the droids, with one of Ace's old Nitro 9 cans.
Confronted by the last of the Tactire, the Doctor implements his plan - reminding the Matrix there was only one Time Lord in existence: himself. As he speaks, the power of the items he has gathered coalesces, and summons his nine previous incarnations- ten Doctors against a Tactire. He offers his enemy a final chance and Es'Cartrss rejects it. Sighing, the Doctor asks the Matrix to eliminate all non-Time Lords from itself, purging the system of Es'Cartrss.
The Doctors converse briefly. The Tenth is surprised, not realising it could be done, despite some squabbling and complaining on every side. Leaving his memories, the Doctor and "Martha" walk through the museum to the exit, modelled after the TARDIS. Having lost his key, the Doctor wonders how to open the doors, until Martha reminds him River Song already taught him how. Smiling, the Doctor thanks her and snaps his fingers. The doors open and flood the museum with light. Before leaving, he asks the TARDIS to assume a final form and she agrees.
Susan Foreman appears before her grandfather, who begs her forgiveness and asks if she's had a good life. She hugs him and soothes him, saying she understood his thoughts and that she always knew he was doing the right thing. She beckons him to walk into the light, and the dream ends.
The Doctor awakens inside the real TARDIS, and kicks the now-mindless Tactire out of the way. Reflecting how he's never truly alone with his oldest companion, he thanks her and decides to go on a little adventure - to Barcelona.
- First Doctor
- Second Doctor
- Third Doctor
- Fourth Doctor
- Fifth Doctor
- Sixth Doctor
- Seventh Doctor
- Eighth Doctor
- Ninth Doctor
- Tenth Doctor
- Ian Chesterton
- Barbara Wright
- Susan Foreman
- Jamie McCrimmon
- Zoe Heriot
- Jo Grant
- The Brigadier
- John Benton
- Mike Yates
- Romana II
- Tegan Jovanka
- Vislor Turlough
- Peri Brown
- Rose Tyler
- Martha Jones
- Alvarian space wyrm
- Space Greyhounds
- Judoon captain
- Mis'Kin Karac
- Clockwork Droid
- Sandminer robot
- Prison guards
- It is revealed that it is the TARDIS matrix that has taken the form of Martha throughout the story; the Matrix proceeds to take on the forms of Harry Sullivan, Leela, Mel Bush, Steven Taylor, Sarah Jane Smith, Adric, Nyssa, Kamelion, and, finally, Susan Foreman. Although he isn't impersonated, Sabalom Glitz is also mentioned, creating confusion as to whether Glitz has travelled with Doctor or not.
- The First Doctor mentions that the Egyptian gods Sutekh and Horus were aliens.
- The Controller of the museum unleashes a number of 'relics' to attack the Doctor and Martha. These include: Clockwork Droids, members of the Eight Legs, an Auton, and a Sandminer robot.
- Inside relic cases are a number of familiar creatures and devices, including a Cybermat, a Cybus Cyberman, Sister of Mine of the Family of Blood, a Weeping Angel, the head of a Mondasian Cyberman, what appears to be a Time Lord breastplate, an Ice Warrior helmet, a Quark head, and a Vespiform.
- The Fifth Doctor encounters a team of Judoon.
- The Fourth Doctor faces a Minotaur.
- The Second Doctor says he "always hated" the song Jamie started to sing in order to distract the snake aliens, the song being "Who is the Doctor" by Rupert Hines.
The Doctor's items
Each of the previous Doctors had a display dedicated to their particular incarnation. The display consisted of their outfit, plus an item associated with them. These items include:
- The First Doctor's walking stick
- The Second Doctor's recorder
- The Third Doctor's keys to Bessie
- The Fourth Doctor's bag of jelly babies
- The Fifth Doctor's cricket ball
- The Sixth Doctor's cat brooch
- Used by the Doctor to covertly collect a blood sample.
- The Seventh Doctor's umbrella
- Used by the Doctor for its secret compartment, containing an elixir.
- The Eighth Doctor's cravat
- The Ninth Doctor's psychic paper
- The Tenth Doctor's Chameleon Arch biodata module fob watch
- Since the Tenth Doctor was the current incarnation, he did not have a display in the museum.
Other relics of the Doctor's past adventures include:
- The Forgotten was a comic book mini-series produced by the American company IDW Publishing in the fall of 2008, following on from its initial Doctor Who title Agent Provocateur.
- This was the first officially sanctioned spin-off to feature all ten (at the time) of the Doctor's incarnations.
- It was collected and reprinted as the graphic novel The Forgotten in April 2009.
- Due to a printing error, the dialogue balloons on Page 1 of Issue 6 were left blank. The absence of the dialogue had caused confusion over whether the villain was meant to be the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor or the Valeyard, since most references to it were on this page (although the Doctor refers to the villain as the Valeyard on a later page). Tony Lee posted the missing dialogue on IDW's web forum , and the dialogue was fixed in the trade paperback release.
- The fact the villain takes the form of the Meta-Crisis Doctor, and refers to himself as the Valeyard, added credence to the theory that the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor could be destined to become the Valeyard. The Doctor, however, laughs at the idea. Until such a time as a connection is actually made, the fact the villain chooses "the Valeyard" as his alias means that, regardless of his appearance, the villain being impersonated here is indeed the Valeyard.
- This story contains several plot points reminiscent of the novel The Eight Doctors.
- The Tenth Doctor loses his memory, like the Eighth Doctor.
- The Doctor revisits, after a fashion, the events of his past adventures.
- The Doctor has an encounter with his previous incarnations, though in this case it is mental projections of them rather than the genuine articles.
- During the First Doctor's vignette, presented in monochrome as a reference to the early seasons of the series being aired as such, the Doctor hopes the TARDIS team doesn't end up in an Aztec temple. The Doctor and his companions did this in TV: The Aztecs.
- The Doctor encountered Kublai Khan in TV: Marco Polo.
- The Tenth Doctor recalls Susan's departure in TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth and the return of Ian and Barbara to more-or-less their original time in TV: The Chase. The Doctor states that he doubts that Susan is still alive, and adds that, although he "can't prove it", he believes all the Time Lords are gone. This follows on from his earlier discussion of the Last Great Time War with Martha in TV: Gridlock and the return and death of the Master in TV: Utopia and Last of the Time Lords.
- The Third Doctor tale is set in 1972 during the Doctor's exile on Earth.
- Peri mentions having just left Killingworth. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)
- The Doctor remarks upon the similarity of the beard sported by the apparition of the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor become Valeyard to that sported by the Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley incarnations of the Master.
- The Tenth Doctor has experienced heart stoppage on prior occasions, beginning in TV: The Christmas Invasion.
- The final issue establishes that the events of The Forgotten occur immediately following the final scene of TV: Journey's End.
- A Heavenly Host's disk is in a glass case in the TARDIS Matrix. (TV: Voyage of the Damned)
- In the Third Doctor's story, the Master is said to be locked up on a secure island. (TV: The Sea Devils)
- The Third Doctor calls the Fourth "all teeth and curls." (TV: The Five Doctors)
- The Sixth Doctor tries to bring up how "invaluable" his experience against the Valeyard in the Matrix would have been. (TV: The Trial of a Time Lord)
- The Eighth and Ninth Doctors make comments about how young and innocent their predecessors are compared to the Tenth, having not yet faced the Last Great Time War. Clara Oswald made a similar comment regarding the War Doctor, knowing he was younger than the Tenth and Eleventh because he had more hope in his eyes. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- The Tenth Doctor makes a comment about seeing the Fifth Doctor again, (TV: Time Crash) which the latter believes to be "timey wimey stuff". (TV: Blink)
- The Tenth Doctor playfully calls the Ninth "Marley's Ghost" in reference to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol; the Ninth has coincidentally met Dickens at Christmas before. (TV: The Unquiet Dead) Here he calls the Tenth Doctor "fantastic!" (TV: Rose, et al.)
- In Christmas 1914, a "Captain Harkness" is noted to be recovering from a shot to the head. Jack will note to the Tenth Doctor that he was killed during World War I. (TV: Utopia)