The Horror at Bletchington Station was the twenty-sixth Subscriber Short Trips audio story. It was read by Stephen Critchlow. It was released as a subscriber-exclusive download, available with subscriptions that included The Peterloo Massacre.
Summary[edit | edit source]
The Doctor and Dodo seek shelter from a heavy storm in a rural Victorian setting, but it's not the thunder and lightning that's caused nearby railway labourers to flee in terror. Something has been disturbed, something that should have been left alone. But is that really the reason the Doctor's so distracted?
Plot[edit | edit source]
The TARDIS materialises during a storm and the Doctor and Dodo enter a nearby inn, the Doctor holding his frock coat over the both of them. The Doctor asks the landlord for lodgings for himself and his "granddaughter" and the travellers sit down to eat, learning from a newspaper that they are in the 19th century. Dodo notices that the Doctor is acting strangely, being quiet and less curious than usual, but is unable to think why. Before she can ask, the landlord returns and they learn from him of the queer behaviour of the platelayers building a new railway nearby and rumours of a beast.
Dodo suggests visiting the platelayers the following day but the Doctor says that it is not a good idea and that they will be leaving first thing, which Dodo again found odd. In the morning, she sneaks out to Bletchington Station, leaving a message for the Doctor with the landlord, and hears from Jim, Henry and Jay about the supposed beast. Dodo suggests that they find out what is going on when they hear noises from the woods and Jay insists that they investigate.
In the console room, the Doctor has been working on calculations and is undecided about what he wants to do, considering leaving as anything that diminished his curiosity must be dangerous. He thinks about the humans that he has travelled with and their impact on him as his hand hovers over the dematerialisation switch.
Dodo, looking through the woods, thinks about whether or not she would have done such a thing if she had never entered the TARDIS. Shaking the thought from her mind, she tells Jay that she is okay and continues on. Meanwhile, the Doctor returns to the inn looking for Dodo and learns from the landlord that she has gone to the railway. Dodo encounters the beast and flees with Jay as it kills the others, bumping into the Doctor who tells them to go back to the inn. However, Dodo follows the Doctor.
At the station, the Doctor realises that Dodo is following and begrudgingly allows her to accompany him, telling her that he knew what was going on but had no desire to share it with her. They enter a cave and find an unearthed capsule which the Doctor begins working on when the beast arrives, edging towards them but apparently wary of the capsule. A light issues from the capsule at the creature and it shrinks, burrowing away to safety, and the Doctor tells Dodo that it was a European mole.
They hurry out of the cave and the Doctor explains that the capsule was an unmanned timeship sent out to survey the Time Vortex which had been damaged and, to defend itself, hyper-evolved a nearby mole. He has sent the timeship back to its owner and it is time for them to leave, although Dodo wants to check on Jay. As the sound of a TARDIS blares in the woods, the Doctor gravely says that it was "almost too close this time" and departs with Dodo.
Characters[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor tells the landlord Dodo is his granddaughter.
- The TARDIS arrives on Earth almost 100 years before Dodo's time.
- "Platelayers" are the men laying down tracks for the new railroad.
- Dougie Stiles gives people rides into town on a donkey-drawn carriage.
- The Doctor thinks of Susan, Barbara, Ian, Vicki, Steven, Sara, and Katarina.
- Temporal energies upset Dodo's senses.
- The craft beneath the station is an early unmanned Time Lord time capsule cast out to survey the time vortex. It hyper-evolved the nearest lifeform, a European mole, to act as a defence mechanism.
- The Doctor programs the craft to return to its owners, and rushes Dodo back to the TARDIS before the craft dematerialises, commenting that it was "too close."
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Critchlow uses a northern accent for Dodo, just as Jackie Lane did in The Massacre.
- The Doctor remembers all of his past televised companions. An oddity for Big Finish, he skips over audio-exclusive Oliver Harper.
- This story was recorded on 27 August 2015 at Ladbroke Audio.
- This story takes place between The Savages and The War Machines.
- Originally released to the subscribers of the Monthly Adventures range, the story was made available commercially in September 2018.
- As of November 2020, this is the only audio story to show Dodo travelling with the Doctor without Steven Taylor.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- Steven Taylor recently parted company with the Doctor and Dodo, (TV: The Savages) but they've had several "fine" adventures since then. (PROSE: Tarnished Image, There are Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden)