- You may wish to consult
The Giftfor other, similarly-named pages.
The Gift was the third story in the audio anthology Doom Coalition 2, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Marc Platt and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Nicola Walker as Liv Chenka and Hattie Morahan as Helen Sinclair.
The TARDIS deposits its crew on Earth in San Francisco, 1906. There they find an actor-manager desperate to stage his definitive production of King Lear. But a real storm is headed their way when he becomes the possessor of a mysterious psychic 'Gift' which is hungry for power and intent on wreaking havoc and destruction. But exposure to so much psychic activity has the Doctor becoming increasingly erratic. Can he battle his demons and save the world?
By light of a candle held by Helen, feeling guilty for convincing him to free Caleera, the Doctor searches for a crank handle to manually open the TARDIS doors. Once the doors are open, he hears music that Liv and Helen cannot and leaves to get a haircut despite Liv telling him that he needs rest.
Ethel Halliday poorly rehearses her role as Cordelia for Mr McLean's production of King Lear and is scolded by him for it. She tells him that her fellow cast-members will not be showing up for rehearsal unless they are paid, which Mr McLean blames on the presence of the opera in the city, and that the manager of the Palace Hotel has kicked him out.
The Doctor wanders the city, looking for a barbershop, and Liv and Helen are looking for him. Finding a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle, Helen finds that it is 17 April, 1906. Liv wonders if Caleera is here.
Mr McLean goes to see Mr Deluca at a grillroom and is invited by Pepé Gonzalez to sit with him whilst he waits. Gonzalez offers to finance Mr McLean, who politely declines before Gonzalez magically pours coins out of his own hands. The flabbergasted Mr McLean is then taken to meet Mr Deluca, with Gonzalez telling him to remember his offer.
The Doctor goes to a laundry and asks the man there for a haircut, telling him that he has a letter of commendation from President Roosevelt. Liv and Helen continue looking for him and hear barking dogs which seem to remind Helen of an event occurring in San Francisco in 1906.
Mr Deluca declines to continue financing Mr McLean due to the lack of sales. Ethel enters, having followed Mr McLean, and runs away upon seeing that Mr McLean is being tortured.
Liv and Helen decide to return to the TARDIS when they hear a strange noise, the street going "all echoey" and a horse being spooked. Ethel runs up to them asking for help, chased by Tony, and is saved by Gonzalez who fires a torrent of silver coins at him. The Doctor senses a psychic tremor and meets Sam Sonora, who is dealing with his barking dog and says that it is because it is the end of the world.
Gonzalez offers Mr McLean his powers, which he accepts despite Ethel's protestations. Liv wonders if the sound that she and Helen heard, which they heard again when the coins were flying, is connected to what the Doctor heard.
As the Doctor left the laundry with his haircut only half-done, Sam cuts the rest of it.
Mr McLean sits down with Gonzalez and asks to be taught his powers, but is told that the Gift cannot be taught but given. After Gonzalez uses his powers on Mr Deluca, Mr McLean begs for the Gift.
Sam tells the Doctor that he was able to see the future after hearing a sound in the High Sierra the previous autumn. He was first able to create money but, after thirty nights, he felt that it was instead a curse, the Gift constantly needing feeding. He passed it on to Gonzalez, who nearly killed him for it, but it still rang in his head.
Gonzalez transfers the Gift to Mr McLean, a change which is felt by the Doctor and Sam and leaves Gonzalez old and grey. The Doctor and Sam arrive and Mr McLean emerges from the rubble of the destroyed room, leaving and starting to dig into the ground with his hands, saying that something is below and will soon emerge. Liv asks if he means an earthquake and the Doctor says that Caleera's plan is to make the 1906 earthquake infinitely worse.
Mr Deluca takes Helen captive in order to get the Gift for himself, which the Doctor tells Liv is a weapon placed there by Caleera to amplify the earthquake and destroy the Earth. Liv goes looking for Helen whilst the Doctor and Ethel go looking for Mr McLean at the Rubicon. They find him and, after being joined by Sam, Ethel knocks him out with a book and they carry him towards the TARDIS.
They come across Mr Deluca, who holds Liv and Helen hostage and demands the Gift be transferred to him. The first sign of the earthquake occurs and the Doctor, Helen and Sam lift Mr McLean again whilst Liv opens the TARDIS door, but she has disappeared by the time they arrive and the Doctor instead uses the spare key. He locks himself and Mr McLean in the TARDIS, which has been rearranged and smells of Parma Violets. Caleera's voice transfers the Gift to the Doctor.
Liv is buried under some rubble as the fire approaches. Helen goes to the Doctor, who is being tempted by Caleera's voice into unleashing the Gift upon the city. He instead orders Helen into the TARDIS and passes the Gift on, outside of Caleera's reach.
Helen tends to Liv in the TARDIS. The Doctor tells them that he placed the Gift inside of the TARDIS, restoring its power and that, before doing so, he had used it to find where Caleera is. The smell returns and the Doctor finds a card on the console. Initially blank, it suddenly says "hello sweetie".
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Liv Chenka - Nicola Walker
- Helen Sinclair - Hattie Morahan
- Caleera - Emma Cunniffe
- Charles Virgil McLean - James Jordan
- Pepé Gonzalez - Paul Marc Davis
- Sam Sonora - Cory English
- Ethel Halliday - Laura Harding
- Aldo Deluca - Enzo Squillino Jnr
- The Doctor has a fire extinguisher in the TARDIS.
- The Doctor mentions the Music of the Spheres.
- Mr McLean stages a production of King Lear to be held at the Rubicon. It concerns a character named Cordelia who leads an army after her father goes insane.
- Reading King Lear, Ethel mentions fumiter, furrow-weeds, burdocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo flowers.
- Ethel's cast-mates include Mr Bernbaum, Mrs Foy, Walter, Solomon and Mrs Nelson, who comes from New York.
- Mr Caruso is doing a production of Carmen.
- Mr McLean gets a message from the manager of the Palace Hotel.
- The TARDIS is on the corner of Sacramento Street and Miles Place.
- Helen picks up a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Mr McLean mentions Alaska.
- The Doctor claims to have a letter of commendation from President Roosevelt.
- Tony is Mr Deluca's bodyguard.
- Sam mentions Nob Hill, Oakland and the Walls of Jericho.
- Sam got the Gift whilst in the High Sierra, a desert.
- The Doctor mentions Laurence Olivier.
- The Rubicon's background for the heath in King Lear doubles for the Battle of Bosworth and the Battle of Agincourt.
- The Doctor quotes Macbeth.
- Mr McLean quotes A Midsummer Night's Dream.
- Ethel says that she never wrote home to her mother.
- The TARDIS smells of Parma Violets, which the Doctor says is romantic.
- Helen once saw a Clark Gable film about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
- Telegraph Hill is on the way to Chinatown.
- Richard Burbage gave William Shakespeare notes.
- This story was recorded at The Moat Studios.
- The Doctor recalls being "dead and born" in San Francisco 93 years from now. (TV: Doctor Who)
- The Doctor notes that he will die again (TV: The Night of the Doctor) and believes that he will one day "run out of deaths". (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- The Doctor mentions the music of the spheres. (TV: Music of the Spheres)
- Helen asks the Doctor if he is suffering from "the headaches again". (AUDIO: Beachhead)
- The Doctor got a haircut in San Francisco once before, in 1997. (PROSE: Vampire Science)
- The Seventh Doctor had briefly been in San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake. (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire; AUDIO: All-Consuming Fire)
- The Doctor has to use the crank handle to open the TARDIS' doors. (TV: Death to the Daleks)
- The Doctor mentions encountering morgrahounds. (AUDIO: The Galileo Trap)