The Moons of Vulpana was the two hundred and fifty first story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Emma Reeves and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Jessica Martin as Mags.
Publisher's summary Edit
Not the savage Vulpana that Mags was taken from, but Vulpana in an earlier era. The Golden Millennium – when the Four Great Wolf Packs, each devoted to one of the planet's four moons, oversaw the height of Vulpanan civilisation. A time when the noblest families of the Vulpanan aristocracy found themselves in need of new blood...
A golden age that's about to come to a violent end!
Part one Edit
Inside the TARDIS, Mags tells the Doctor to leave her alone as she struggles to stop her transformation in one of the TARDIS' hallways. The Doctor, meanwhile, uses a neutrino-powered sonic modulator to calm Mags down and stop her transformation.
Her and the Doctor argue about how to deal with her steadily uncontrollable transformations. After some back and forth, the Doctor reveals to Mags that they are going to find a way to do it and they'll start by returning to her home.
Mags reveals that her people were forced off Vulpana years ago. They took up all kinds of jobs in all kinds of places, often shady, like for a certain circus. Mags insists that there is nothing left on Vulpana but the Doctor insists that she shouldn't be so sure. He even recounts some Vulpanan history for her, and reveals that it was he who helped to settle the Coyote wars and was there at the coronation of the Golden-eyed Prince and Duchess Ironfang much to Mags' shock.
The Doctor reveals that he has taken her back in time in Vulpanan history so Mags can find out. The TARDIS lands and they step out. Mags notes how beautiful the moon is and recalls she transforms under the second moon and how she was taken from Vulpana as a cub to that moon. The Doctor explains that they ought to find some other "second-mooners", which he dubs Vulpanans born under the second moon, saying that they will accept Mags as they are likely to see her as family. He also notes that the ancient Vulpnanas were quite intelligent creatures.
Suddenly Mags notices someone approaching. They make a run for it but are chased by this strange creature. As they run, the Doctor points out that the creature chasing them doesn't have a pack with them... until they realize that the rest of the pack are waiting straight ahead. The Doctor then uses the sonic modulator to put the Vulpanan wolves to sleep. However one of them seems to evade the sonic modulator and bites the Doctor's leg. Mags then transforms into a werewolf and chases it away.
A young man and his mother and father hear Mags' cry in the distance, noting that it must be a female based on the sound. They believe it is one of their own and race to go help Mags. Mags and the Vulpnan face off with each other. Mags warns the Doctor to run but he cannot as his leg is now injured. More arrive and swarm Mags, but she holds them off. Just then the other three Vulpnans arrive on horseback and the ones that had chased Mags and Doctor earlier all flee. They commend Mags and notes she is a pure-blooded Vulpanan, and ask her to return to her normal form, which she obliges. They reveal that their family name is called Benjer and that they are the leaders of the Second Moon pack and ask her to come back with them. She consents, introduces herself and turns around to introduce the Doctor, only to discover that he has become delirious from the bite. They also reveal that the ones who attacked them earlier are called "poachers", described as vicious half-breed brutes by the family. They apparently have no regard for the moon and its cycles, and simply attack whenever they feel like it. They insist she bring her servant (the Doctor) so that their Doctor may treat him and although she insists the Doctor is not her subordinate, they pay no heed and argue over whom Mags will ride with. Instead, Mags demands she ride alone.
On the trip back, the woman reveals that the young men are her sons, that they are thorough-bred and unmarried. She reveals the importance of pure-blood heritage among the four Vulpanan tribes to a confused Mags. She introduces herself as Ulla, and her sons are Issak and Tob. She tells Mags that they are both alphas and as such would be very suitable husbands for her although she recommends Issak since he is much stronger and dependable, while Tob is more handsome. When asked about her other son, Jaks, she merely replies that he is "smart", but as an old-fashioned type, she says that thinking is better left to females while the males fight.
They arrive at castle Benjio. The sons continue to fight for Mags affection, but she is uninterested. Ulla has the servants come and fetch the Doctor but Mags insists at remaining with him, revealing that he is not from Vulpana, but a Timelord from Gallifrey. They insist that the Doctor will be well cared for by their Doctor and Ulla takes Mags to see her chambers.
The Doctor awakens to meet Dr. Barton. The Doctor explains what happened and accidentally insults Dr. Barton by using the term "werewolf". The term is considered extremely offensive on Vulpana. The Doctor then asks if he is going to turn into a lycanthrope, to which Dr. Barton confirms that this is simply a fairy tale, and the bites do nothing other than hurt. In fact she has been performing tests on herself over the years only to find that they do nothing but give her a slight cold. When the Doctor asks why she would ever test this on herself, she explains it is so that she can become a pure-breed like her superiors. The Doctor is baffled, explaining that as doctors they must see everyone as equal, but Barton simply chides his fuddled assumptions.
Meanwhile, Issak and Tob continue fight over Mags attention. While they go to fetch Mags food, Jaks and Mags talk and he is amused, stating that he never imagined she would be so hunted, but she corrects him and says she does not consider herself a hunter, despite being, as they insist her to be, a pureblood. Mags asserts that she is neither a hunter nor hunted. Meanwhile the other brothers return and offer her food. Their offers are stifled as they continue to fight with each other for Mags attention. Mags herself is not impressed. Ulla orders Jaks to bring her some food but he declines. Mags offers to eat both dishes before things evolve out of hand, but the brothers then begin to argue whose she should eat first.
The Doctor attempts to go talk to Mags but Dr. Barton holds him to back, saying that he cannot go upstairs or he will ruin Mags' chances of selecting a mate. She explains the esteem in which pure-bloods are held and that the reason the boys upstairs are so keen to marry Mags is because the pure-bloods are dying out. The Doctor questions Dr. Barton's beliefs, demanding to know if she really thinks her life would have been better had she been born with the right hair or teeth. Dr. Barton confirms this and says she would have given anything to be born one. The Doctor counters her by saying that she shouldn't be concerned with the constant fighting of inbred aristocrats. He then asks her to take him outside so he can better observe the moons.
Mags has some fun with the brothers and shows the brothers some card tricks. However, their mother comes and warns them to save some tricks for tomorrow when it will be a full moon. As it transpires, they will be holding the celebration and esteemed Vulpananas from near and far of the four great tribes will be in attendance. They tell Mags that they intend to have her as the guest of honour.
The Doctor observes the four moons of Vulpana and quotes some Vulpanan poetry. Barton thanks him for reminding her of how beautiful their planet is sometimes and that they forget how lucky they are. The Doctor then explains that although he can't quite figure it out, something is wrong on Vulpana. Dr. Barton insists that he is delirious but he remains steadfast, reiterating that there is something wrong with the moons. Dr. Barton decides to return to the castle to look at the Doctor's blood samples.
The boys passively argue who will dance first with Mags. She reveals that all the bending and twisting moves she learnt were from with her time with the Psychic Circus and that she has no idea how to dance. Mags is surprised to learn of the family's supportive attitude about a young female Vulpanan travelling, only for Ulla to reiterate that it makes for a better wife and that travelling helps to broaden the mind "before settling down". Jaks laughs at this and the two accuse him of disrespecting Mags. He assures them he meant none but the brothers prepare to fight him. Jaks simply says that he knows the two could beat him in a fight but questions them about what that would achieve.
The brothers, united in disapproval, say that at least they would win. Mags calms the situation down before it escalates. She asks Jaks why he has such a problem with his family's traditions, to which he retorts that since she has been off-world and toured the galaxy, she should clearly know. He continues by explaining that he is disgusted with their traditions of hunting and senselessly killing and says that they should kill only to eat, not for the sport that they hold in such high regard. Ulla says that it is fine if people from other worlds judge them as long as they leave the alone to live their way of life. They ask Mags for her opinion and she says that both arguments have their merits and abruptly excuses herself to go check on the Doctor.
The Doctor and Mags meet outside. He asks if she is ready to move on since they have seen what they came to see. Mags, however, wants to stay for the festival tomorrow though. The Doctor claims he doesn't like the look of the sky but reluctantly agrees to stay one more day. Mags sniffs out a dangerous scent which she believes is located at the clock tower but it disappears almost immediately. Although a little startled, the Doctor assures her it is fine and she goes back inside. The Doctor comments to himself about the almost perfect alignment of the moons. Just then, Dr. Barton steps out and starts walking towards him. The Doctor cordially greets her, but realizes in a panic that she is snarling and brandishing a knife which she flashes at the Doctor...
Part two Edit
The Doctor cries out for help hoping anyone will hear them. Mags enters the castle looking for her room when she encounters Jaks, who claims she is on the wrong side of the castle and she accuses him of stalking her. The Doctor is saved by the arrival of Issak and Tob. Another fight erupts and they challenge each other to save the servant of Mags.
Jaks is intrigued because Mags seems too good to be true since the family hasn't had visitors in a long time. He says her timing is very convenient. They get in a spat and Mags accuses him of being the worst of the lot, the most stuck up and snobbish.
The Doctor manages to subdue Barton with the sonic modulator. Dr. Barton returns to herself but is confused. The brothers ask the Doctor what has happened. They then proceed to punish Dr. Barton by taking her to the dungeon, despite the Doctor's protests to examine her.
Jaks warns Mags not to fall for his mother's traps. They argue as Mags accuses Jaks of being a stuck-up prick. Jaks admits that while he is the runt of the letter, he says he and Mags are the same, trying to rise above what they are and become something better. He attempts to seduce her but Mags, disgusted, leaves.
Dr. Barton is put in a prisoner. The Doctor is concerned for her but the brothers says that she will be appropriately punished. Just then, Mags comes in, concerned for the Doctor having been attacked and having heard about it. She notices that Dr. Barton's transformation is not the same as theirs, because she retains her form despite becoming dangerous. After the brothers assure Mags they will see her in the hunt tomorrow Mags, unnerved, asks the doctor if she can talk with him privately.
They walk around Dr. Barton's study and surgery room where the Doctor sneaks some supplies into his pockets. They talk and Mags reaffirms she's going to the hunt tomorrow. Mags talks about how she feels in control of her transformations and how she likes having this ability at Vulpana and asks him if she should stay. The Doctor says it is her decision and then says it is time to have another look at those moons.
Dr. Barton is brought before Lady Ulla and she begs for her life. Despite this, Lady Ulla says they will see her at the hunt and that her fate is sealed.
Lady Ulla goes to see Mags in her guest room. She tells her that there are guests downstairs eager to see her and that the boys are looking forward to hunting with her. She tells Mags she has left a selection of dresses for her and Mags asks if they can choose one together to which Lady Ulla happily agrees, affirming that she had always wanted a daughter.
Meanwhile at the feast, Lady Ulla presents Mags. The brothers compliment her and while she is flattered she asks to know where the Doctor is. They explain that servants eat in another area but the brothers, unconcerned, start another fight over who gets to dance with Mags. She calms them down and says that she will dance with them both and teach them some moves. Jaks is offered the chance too but refuses, lamenting that he was forced to come anyway.
Mags, having danced the brothers, learns from them that they will soon be going out to hunt. Lady Ulla announces that the prey is kept in cages at the front of the room and that all can come and sniff and see them. Mags is hesitant to participate, citing it doesn't seem right but Lady Ulla insists and explains that the hunt is how they maintain their society on Vulpana and without it all stability would crumble. They take her to see the prey.
The prey turn out to be other Vulpananas, non-pure-blooded ones, among them Dr. Barton. She begs Mags for forgiveness but the family insists she must be punished for insulting their guest with her unexplained actions. Mags speaks out, trying to defend Dr. Barton and saying that, as Dr. Barton claims, she can't explain why she attempted to attack the Doctor, and says that it is no wonder the doctor refused to come along. The family, though Mags is their guest, reiterate that this is what must be done as punishment, saying that all the prey present claim this same "innocence" and that if they spare one person they must spare everyone. Mags is disgusted by this and says that the Doctor told her Vulpananas were intelligent, however, Lady Ulla explains that this is how they keep the intelligent ones by punishing those unworthy unlike the pure-bloods as dictated by the moon. Mags is distraught as she thought the family may be able to help her control her transformations only to find out that all they do is repeat the same problem but dress it up as tradition by throwing this hunt according to said tradition. She promises the people meant to serve as "prey" that she will help them and she will return to help them as she walks off.
Mags searches for the Doctor but bumps into Jaks. She asks him where the Doctor is and he explains the other servants will have gathered to watch the hunt, fighting for the best seats. Mags and Jaks talk and she explains that she thought she was getting answers by coming here when she hasn't. When she asks where the Doctor is again, Jaks reveals that despite his being a poor hunter he has excellent smell, that the Doctor reeks of the smell of danger and that although he has a powerful scent, he, Jaks, cannot smell him anywhere. Mags, upset, bemoans that the Doctor has probably dumped her and gone off somewhere else. When Jaks makes another servant remark about the Doctor, implying Mags must be closer with him than is usual for a pure-blood, she berates him and says that the whole 'serf' idea is stupid and asks who even still has serfs (besides Jaks' family) and why, to which Jaks agrees that it is indeed a stupid idea. For once the two agree on something. Mags, however, wants to find him and Jaks offers to help. While she initially refuses it, he eventually manages to persuade her and they ride off into the night on his horse.
The two ride off to find the TARDIS. Jaks and Mags find the spot where her and the Doctor landed and Jaks smells the faint scent of the Doctor but it appears he has gone. Suddenly they hear the poachers approaching. Jaks says they should return to the castle. However, disgusted with the idea of the hunt and with his family's view of different blood status as inferior, he vocalizes his frustration with current Vulpanan society to Mags, bemoaning how their society rejects science and medicine and continue to rely on their most base instincts. Mags is curious as to why this should be concerning saying that the Doctor told her that usually Vulpana has been left alone by other species. Jaks reveals that while this is true now, Vulpana is rich in minerals and placed in a very hostile yet strategic location for certain off-world invaders who will want to use it and will start to take an interest in their world soon enough. He then exclaims that while this happens the pure-bloods continue in-fighting and holding to the blood laws, tricking themselves into believing that they can and will easily over-power their off-world invaders. Dejected, Jaks then finishes by saying that perhaps genocide is what they deserve. Mags rallies against him saying no one deserves a fate like that, and as the howling grows stronger they decide to head back to the castle.
Two creatures smell the pure-bloods and set a trap. Their horse is injured, and Jaks attempts to free them but the two Vulpanan poachers engage them before Jaks manages to hold them off. Soon they are surrounded. They tease Jaks for being an omega (weak) but Jaks reveals he has something in his pocket, then sets it off. Distracted, him and Mags escape.
As they run, Jaks reveals that he was hiding a laser grenade which he used the sound to hurt the ears of the poachers to distract them long enough. He reveals that while his parents disapprove of his tinkering, he feels it a better use of his time. Jaks then tells Mags that the fastest route back to the castle is a secret passage through the forest and that he built but doesn't know if the poachers are aware of it.
Lady Ulla orders the prey to be silent and that they are to be released for the hunt. The prey flee in every direction. Jaks and Mags hear this happening. Mags decides she's had enough and is going to fight Jaks' brothers.
Lady Ulla argues with her sons as they want to wait for Mags. However, she reveals that they can choose a bride from among the selection present, their first cousins, second, and so on, and that she had hoped to use Mags to introduce new blood into their line but she realizes now that they must simply survive and continue the line of royalty. As she counts down to the start of the hunt, Mags and Jaks arrive with Mags shouting for them to stop. Mags tells them that if they want to continue they will have to get past her. Jaks lets off another laser grenade. The family reveals that they're used to Jaks shenanigans and Ulla tells her sons to prepare to fight their greatest shame but they notice that they are not able to transform. After a row between Issak and another member of the crowd, the family and the other guests present begin to fight each other. Jaks reveals that this is why the hunt was devised in the first place because without prey Vulpanans will turn on their own kind. Jaks says he had always suspected this. Mags is horrified that they cannot control their aggression, but suddenly Mags loses control and begins to transforms herself saying that this is her. Jaks shouts for Mags to stop and that this is wrong and it isn't her, but she pays him no heed, claiming that this is her and has always been her as her transformation grows more fearsome...
Part three Edit
Mags transforms and prepares to kill Jaks but the brothers interrupt her saying that they will kill him and the three prepare to fight.
The Doctor, in the meantime, prepares to enter orbit around Vulpana, declaring his skepticism to the TARDIS about the moons of Vulpana and uses the TARDIS to get a closer look.
Jaks attempts to calm Mags and brings her back to sanity and reveals that he too has learnt how to control his transformations.
The Doctor, perturbed, wonders who put this mysterious thing and realizing his error in leaving Mags on the planet below.
Ulla finds her sons in a right state, both having been badly injured by Mags. Ulla swears vengeance on her.
Jaks takes Mags to his private quarters. She notes that the windows are boarded up. He explains that the moons reduce them all to the level of beast and he tried shutting them out o see if it stopped the change. While it doesn't completely, he reveals that Mags mind is strong and has thus allowed her to overcome her blood-lust while they saw the others all succumb to it very quickly. He says it takes great inner-strength and that this is what Mags has. He asks her what she wants to do now and she says that she wants to try and save the others, perhaps by first getting them out of the moonlight. Jaks agrees but says that sometimes it is better to step back and figure out a long-term solution. He invites Mags onto the bed, and while initially she is concerned with what will happen, he simply reveals that there is a special hatch on the ceiling that they are going to use.
The Doctor arrives and the hunters smell him and go straight at him. He initially fights them off with his new umbrella but after it is destroyed by one of the poachers, he uses the sonic modulator. He then sets off to find Mags.
The Doctor increases the frequency of the sonic modulator as he searches for Mags. Lady Ulla calls out to him and reveals she is dying, and asking him to turn the modulator off. She reveals that they cannot transform and is confounded as to why. She blames the Doctor and his "science" for this and while the Doctor insists it is purely coincidental, she begs to differ, further explaining that Mags has killed her two sons as well. The Doctor is shocked and insists that this cannot be.
Jaks reveals that the device they will use is the most advanced in the entire galaxy and that while his family has scorned the peasants who practice trades like science and medicine, he has tried to learn everything from them and acquainted himself with them. He believes he is on the verge of finding a way to cure their condition building on Dr. Barton's valuable research, which he dubs "lycanthropy" but needs a more pure-blooded test subjects, like Mags and asks her for a sample of her blood. Just then, they are found by Dr. Barton and she reveals that Jaks' brothers are dead. She sincerely apologizes to him for it but he assures her that it is not her fault and that it was their condition that overtook them. Barton reveals that she saw the Doctor there and Mags runs to go find him, revealing that after they will save his family and the whole planet.
The Doctor apologizes to Lady Ulla for the deaths of her sons but she says their deaths are on his hands. Lady Ulla asks the doctor is he has ever had children and experienced deaths of loved young ones but the doctor counters by saying every death is unique and tragic. Lady Ulla begins to collapse and the doctor draws closer.
This turns out to be a ruse and she snags the sonic modulator off him and tells the other Vulpanans that the Doctor is defenceless and they can kill him now.
As the three run Mags blurts out her plan to distract them and lure them inside from the moonlight which Jaks claims is suicide, but having no alternative, she runs off. Barton wonders how they can help her and Jaks says they can, but they have to get to the battlements.
The Doctor is cornered by the pure-bloods but is suddenly rescued by Mags. After a small argument the Doctor says he can explains but perhaps in somewhere more private. They run off to the TARDIS.
Jaks and Dr. Barto arrive to see the two cornered. He decides it best to not get involved as they will be utterly destroyed. He then asks Dr. Barton how his brothers died but she says he should talk to his mother. He calls out to Mags and the Doctor and throws in out another laser grenade, allowing the two to escape. Jaks sees them running into a blue box and is confused but Dr. Barton assures him that it is no ordinary box.
Inside the TARDIS she thinks they are running away but the Doctor reveals that he is not that easily offended.
He has worked out what the moons are trying to tell them. The pure-blooded Vulpanans evolved under the four moons themselves, and that the blood in their veins move with the moons, and that essentially they, the Vulpanans and the moons, are family. Mags is concerned about being related to a giant rock but the Doctor says think about how the moons feel about being related to bags of meat. They then find themselves in orbit and the Doctor tells Mags they are going for a space walk. The Doctor tells her to count the number of moons and although expecting four, she counts five out loud, surprising herself. She asks why she's never seen the fifth moon before and the Doctor explains that it is a "dark moon", fitted with light absorbent panels that shields it from the planets surface and has an erratic orbit, that ducks and hides whenever it would otherwise be out in the open. It turns out to be an artificial moon and the Doctor believes it to be the cause of the Vulpanans not being able to change and their transformations in general.
The TARDIS lands back in Jaks lab. Jaks and Dr. Barton are stunned by the TARDIS and remark on the power of science. The Doctor demonstrates his TARDIS remote for further applause, making the ship disappear and reappear in an adjacent spot. The Doctor then sends it back into orbit to disrupt the fifth moon. They then run off to help the other Vulpanans.
They find the surviving Vulpanans and Dr. Barton prepares to treat them. The three then search and find lady Ulla. She cannot remember what has happened and is clearly unaware of what has happened to her sons, however, is beyond tears to her son Jaks again, much to his surprise. The Doctor tells Mags that they will be fine as long as the TARDIS continues to block the fifth moon, however, if it moves then what has happened will simply repeat itself. She says that they need to find out how to destroy the fifth moons and figure out who built it.
Mags comments to Jaks that earlier he talked about potential off-world invaders and Jaks reveals that while he did, he didn't have anyone specific in mind and is not sure who it would be or is a likely suspect. Mags thinks they should make a list of likely culprits, but Jaks thinks this will be an impossible task, to which the Doctor replies that this will not even be a challenge. He then asks Mags to ask her new friend and Jaks, hesitantly, reveals that they will have to talk in his laboratory.
Dr. Barton attempts to help lady Ulla but she is disgusted with her and claims that science has no place on Vulpana. But Dr. Barton reveals that science and technology are coming to change Vulpana and that the pure-bloods will soon meet their demise.
Inside Jaks laboratory, Jaks is made to reveal that he built the fifth moon with much help and had done it only to, as he thinks, to help his people. Jaks has been experimenting on his people for some time. Jaks explains that he tried to gather data in order to figure out a way to overcome what he dubs the Vulpanan curse. Mags is disgusted with this, pointing out how so many people died in bloodshed to achieve this but Jaks seems unphased by this, even with his own brothers being dead. He reveals that this is for the best as he is now the heir to the throne and plans to rebuild a new and better Vulpana. He then summons his research assistants, the poachers from earlier, now armed with laser pistols, which impresses the Doctor, and demands the Doctor be taken to the dungeon. The Doctor warns Mags to be careful as he is lead away. Jaks then tells Mags that he needs an alpha female to be by his side and that she is the perfect one, and when she demands why he doesn't just marry one of the other women, he reveals that he knows them and they revel in the ancient traditions and would never embrace his vision. Mags sneers that he is looking for an alpha female to protect him then but he continues, saying that since she is open-minded as he is she will be perfect and that either she refuses to go along with his plan and both she and the Doctor will be executed or else if she consents then he will let the Doctor go free. Mags, faced with this dilemma, then agrees to his plan to marry him...
Part four Edit
Lady Ulla addresses the crow of gathered members of all four clans and asks Jaks to come and speak about the atrocity that has afflicted the houses. He asks how can they avenge this when they are both the aggressors and the victims. He chides them of how keeping their traditions have ruined them and that they must change their ways to live for the future. He announces that the house of the second moon will hunt no more and that they must prepare for the modern world. When heckled, he introduces Mags to argue their case. He says that they can learn from Mags and that as they slaughtered their nearest and dearest, Jaks and Mags managed to resist and put an end to the bloodshed. He then announces his marriage to Mags tomorrow, which Ulla is excited for. He faces resistance from the gathered officials of the other tribes but insists that they will work hard to ensure that tragedies such as the ones that occurred yesterday will not happen again. Mags quietly says to Jaks that she could reveal the truth but Jaks threatens her with the implications of what will happen given that the Doctor is still trapped in their dungeon, and she should just keep smiling and waving.
Jaks visits the Doctor and tells him he will have to earn his freedom by helping Jaks to control the moon and that he is frustrated that the Doctor had ruined his discovery. The Doctor, however, reveals Jaks could have stopped the madness at any point but allowed to let it continue for so long, allowing his rivals, i.e. his brothers, to be removed from the picture and give him a straight path to power. Jaks is nonplussed and demands the Doctor show him how the TARDIS remote works so he can remove it from the moon. The Doctor laughs and reveals that the controls are isomorphic and only a time traveller can use them. Jaks reveals that as a man of science, even he knows there is no such thing as time travel to which the Doctor "acknowledges". He tries to force the Doctor's hand by saying Mags is now in his control and he can have her killed but the Doctor laughs this off saying he is no match for her.
He then threatens to have the Doctor killed but the Doctor again laughs this off revealing he would lose the one bargaining chip he has with Mags. The Doctor's shadowy manipulation takes hold. He claims Mags will do whatever he tells her to but the Doctor says they, threateningly, both know that isn't true.
Meanwhile Mags is choosing her wedding dress with lady Ulla and discovers that lady Ulla knows that Jaks orchestrated the whole ordeal and had his brothers killed... except, she reveals, that it wasn't Jaks who had killed them, but she had.
The Doctor offers Jaks a deal, he will destroy the moon and the whole experiment and then he and Mags will be allowed to go free. Jaks, unimpressed, asks what he gets out of this deal and the Doctor tells him that he will not incur the great trouble he is about to unleash on himself by such a poor course of action. Jaks sarcastically proposes a counter-offer, that the Doctor give him back his moon and help him with his experiment because it would helping Mags too since she also wants to find a cure for their condition but the Doctor says what Mags wants and what Mags needs are two very different things and neither involve Jaks. He insists he can give her everything she needs but the Doctor counters by saying that he can offer her nothing and saying that deep down he is still the runt of the letter and not because of size and strength but because he let his brothers define him, and asks if Mags knows whether he let his brothers die intentionally.
Mags begins to transforms in anger from hearing this but Ulla insists that she could not have the other houses gain the thrill of the kill and she chose to end their lives herself. She then insists that Mags will go through with the wedding and Mags will not destroy their last remaining shred of happiness, or else she will kill Mags herself, revealing Mags barely scratched her sons and not to flatter herself and that she did it because her sons would never have survived in this new world anyway. The are interrupted by Jaks and Mags goes with Ulla.
Jaks tries to reassure Mags things will be okay but she says an arranged marriage is an arranged marriage. Jaks says that when he had never planned for her arrival and when she did, he couldn't let her fall for one of his brothers and he chose to make his move. Mags, however, reveals that she came to Vulpana because she can't control her transformations and says that if she goes out of control, won't he just kill her like he threatens or to killed the others. Mags attacks him with other remarks and Jaks meagerly and meekly defends himself. He reveals that he is not the first in his family to marry by conquest and says that he will do anything to make Mags happy. She demands to see the Doctor. He agrees but only after the ceremony. Mags takes this to mean that he has killed the Doctor already. Mags breaks down and Jaks reluctantly agrees to let her see the Doctor and tries to reassure her that everything will work out for the best and then hugs her.
The Doctor, alone in his cell, talks to himself. Jaks and Mags come down and Mags is happy to see him but Jaks prevents them from getting close. Mags demands to at least be able to know he is still alive by touch and Jaks reluctantly allows them to shake hands. He claims that time is up and they must be off, but suddenly her hears the TARDIS. Frightened, he demands to know what is going on and how this is possible but Mags reveals that she swiped back the Doctor's TARDIS remote control when Jaks hugged her, saying that is the only reason she would ever let him get close. The Doctor reveals it is time he was off and dashes into the TARDIS and takes off, seemingly leaving Mags behind. Jaks, infuriated by Mags "betrayal", notices that the Doctor has dropped the TARDIS remote control and demands Mags operate it to bring him back, saying what the Doctor told him and that only a time traveller could make it work. Mags claims at first there's nothing she can do, but then upon hearing the word "time traveller", presses a button she suspects will bring him back and the TARDIS rematerialises. The Doctor, inside, realizes his blunder only too late. As he comes out of the TARDIS he is put under arrest and he berates Mags, saying that he was only leaving to destroy the moon and that he was going to come back and pick her up after since it was a suicidal mission and he didn't want to put her in harms way. The Doctor is to be put under armed guard and Jaks says that they will continue with the marriage or the Doctor will be killed.
The wedding ceremony commences with sister Luma presiding. When Mags is asked if she will take Jaks hand in marriage, Mags decides at the last moment she will not, and refuses to marry. Furthermore she reveals Jaks was the one responsible for everything that was done and the atrocities committed. Sister Luma, who was performing the marriage is revealed to be the Doctor using a modulator. Jaks couldn't smell him because the Doctor used special chemicals to create a cloud of pheromones and got help from the sonic modulator. Jaks claims that this is impossible since the guards searched the Doctor before the wedding before it is revealed that lady Ulla gave it back to the Doctor and then exposes Jaks in front of the gathered nobles of Vulpana calling him a traitor and a disgrace to the noble traditions of Vulpana and she can show them his secret science room in which he tried to control them all and orchestrated the whole massacre. The Doctor and Mags make a break for it.
The two run towards Jaks' lab as the Vulpanans advance on Jaks and prepare to kill him. However Jaks reveals he has brought a laser grenade with him and escapes. Ulla orders the others to search the castle for him.
The Doctor and Mags find Dr. Barton in Jaks' lab where she says she finally understand Jaks' plan but discover she has altered the moon's orbit and that she hopes the pure-bloods will go mad and kill each other so they can start a new Vulpana. She threatens to blast them all to oblivion if they don't step away from the control panel but realises that by blowing it up anyway her plan cannot be stopped and proceeds to allow the explosion to detonate.
Mags awakens in Dr. Barton's studies and Ulla reveals that Dr. Barton was killed in the resulting explosion, Jaks has gone on the run and the Doctor has taken off to try and destroy the moon. Mags, upset at having been dumped by the Doctor three times now, says he's in real trouble with her and for Ulla to tell him that when he gets back and she sets off to hunt for Jaks.
Ulla tells the Doctor he can come out of hiding. She asks what needs to be done and what his plan will be and demands to come with him. After some "coercing" he agrees to let her join him and explains his plan. Originally, the moon was in a higher orbit and the Doctor was just going to tow it away but after Barton's reprogramming it is now in a low orbit locked into such a strong gravitational pull that the only way to get rid of it is to blow it up. Lamenting about not having any bomb powerful enough to do that, Ulla mentions that her son's lair had a vast many of the small laser grenades he had been using and asks if they can use those instead, to which the Doctor realizes that they can.
Mags finds Jaks in his secret escape route she had shown him earlier after sniffing him out and confronts him. She asks him to reveal his secret, how not to be a werewolf, since in all the time she has seen him he has not transformed in front of her once. He agrees but only if she helps him, to which Mags also agrees.
Lady Ulla steps into the TARDIS and is surprised that it is bigger on the inside. The Doctor and her prepare for their mission and while the doctor tries to talk her out of it one last time, she steadfastly refuses, hoping to bring honour to Vulpana after all this shame.
Meanwhile Jaks explains to Mags that she must see past her monster self and that it takes a life-time to master. Mags, suspecting a lie, says she thought he had some kind of gadget he had invented that could help but he reveals he doesn't. They hear voices in the distance saying they can smell Jaks and run off.
The Doctor and Ulla step out onto the fifth moon of Vulpana but Ulla is disgusted by her son and his creation and the Doctor tells her to put the grenades down wherever while he makes some "final adjustments".
The Doctor tells her to go back into the TARDIS but Ulla begins to question how the grenades work, asking why the Doctor isn't coming only to realize that someone has to stay behind with the laser grenades to activate them... and that seems to be what the Doctor plans to do.
Jaks and Mags continue to flee. They see many of the hunters from the noble houses tracking them down. Jaks looks up at the sky and notices that the moon is too close. This scares him. Mags, slightly unnerved, says the Doctor will find a way to fix it. He comments that she continues to trust this small stranger who has abandoned her three times now and laments the fact that he never met anyone in his life whose eyes light up when they mention his name the way Mags does with the Doctor.
Ulla, while awestruck by the Doctor's kindness and willingness to sacrifice himself for the Vulpanans, demands that she be the one to sacrifice herself for the honour of her house and family and that she was mortally injured in the ordeal anyway and will hear nothing of it otherwise. The Doctor darkly relents and says that she wins, after she calls him a peasant and refuses him the honour to save Vulpana.
Jaks claims the moon he built will destroy them all and when they ask why he did this he accuses them of never treating or seeing him as a true Vulpanan and that now he has won. But just then the moon explodes as Jaks watches on in horror and defeat.
The hunters advance on Jaks, asking Mags to step away from him as they bear her no ill-will, only Jaks. She, however, stops them and defends Jaks, claiming that she still wants to know his secret on how to suppress her transformation. However he reveals the truth, that he was never able to transform in the first place. He demands she get away from him so he will be granted the honour of being killed. He then takes out his last laser grenade and rushes some of the hunters, calling out that this is for his glory as a Vulpanan. He is killed in the resulting explosion, taking some of them with him. The Hunters, satisfied, leave. The Doctor arrives and finds a devastated Mags.
The Doctor apologizes to Mags, as ancient Vulpana is not what he thought it was. Mags explains to the Doctor inside the TARDIS that Jaks is right and that other planets will eventually and inevitably invade Vulpana and nothing she has seen today will survive. The Doctor explains that civilizations rise and fall likes ebbs and tides. He asks her how she is coping with her lycanthropy. She wonders if the reason the Doctor brought her here was to make her realize that she doesn't need to change... or that maybe she does. Confused, she asks why he doesn't just tell her these things and the Doctor asks if that is what she wants, an easy life. Laughing, she asks him to take her somewhere new... and that it had better be interesting.
- The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Mags - Jessica Martin
- Ulla - Nimmy March
- Issak - Peter Bankole
- Jaks - Irfan Shamji
- Tob - Sean Knopp
- Barton - Beth Goddard
- The Doctor uses a sonic modulator.
- The Doctor explains that the sonic modulator is neutrino-powered it is tuned at a wavelength that delivers relaxing messages straight into the amygdala of the Vulpanan wolf-brain
- The Doctor claims to have participated in both a siege-run on Coyote Rock and hung out with the Golden-eyed Prince and Duchess Ironfang on Vulpana some time ago
- The ancient Vulpanans were colour-blind and struggled with the colour blue
- The Doctor explains that Vulpanan blood is linked to the same lunar panttern as the moons and that the ancient Vulpanans were actually extremely intelligent.
- While delirious, the Doctor says "two sugars for the Valeyard, Mel, and none for the Rani."
- A fifth dark moon is built and put in orbit of Vulpana.
- The term "werewolf" is disproved of, but "lycanthrope" is acceptable.
- The Vulpanans are referred to as "humans."
- The Psychic Circus travelled across the galaxy on the second circuit.
- The Doctor mentions he has a new umbrella but it is promptly destroyed by a Vulpanan royal.
- The Doctor reveals he has a Christmas card list and that the TARDIS has an infinite filing system.
- The family eat Boar's head and entrails
- Jaks has designed laser grenades.
to be added
- The Doctor previously visited Vulpana. (COMIC: Hill of Beans)
- When the Doctor meets Dr. Barton, she tells him that she was told he is also a doctor. The Doctor corrects her by saying that no, he is the Doctor and comments to himself that they never seem to get that right. The Fourth Doctor made a similar comment to Harry Sullivan upon awakening from his regeneration. (TV: Robot)
- Ulla asks the Doctor if he has ever had children and if so how can he bear watching his young ones killed. The Doctor points out to Ulla that every life and therefore every death is unique and should be mourned. The Doctor would later confront himself about forgetting the deaths of the Children of Gallifrey during the Time War. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) The Doctor, in fact, is very much concerned with the lives of children, as evidenced by his actions multiple times, such as during the last great Frost Fair and the mysterious disappearance of children. (TV: Thin Ice)
- The Doctor reveals that the TARDIS remote control is isomorphic. The Doctor will later encounter other forms of isomorphic technology. (TV: Last of the Time Lords, A Christmas Carol)
- When Ulla steps inside the TARDIS she is shocked and says aloud that it is bigger on the inside. (TV: An Unearthly Child, Smith and Jones, etc. )
- The Doctor mentions that the "adjustments" he needs to make include "increasing the polarity, fluctuating the quantum field and moderating the gluon flow". (TV: The Sea Devils, The Five Doctors, etc.)
- The Tenth Doctor will also encounter other werewolf-like aliens. (TV: Tooth and Claw)