The Rapture was the thirty-sixth story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Joseph Lidster and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace.

This was the fifth audio story to feature this pairing of Doctor and companion. Each episode featured remixes of the Doctor Who theme, a device employed by Big Finish on numerous occasions.

Publisher's summary Edit

Ibiza, 1997, and thousands of young people are acting like mindless zombies.

Which is to be expected. Ibiza, the island of dance music, sex, drugs and alcohol, is the ultimate hedonistic paradise.

God has sent help from on high to save the sinners of Ibiza. He has sent His angels to save their souls.

Which would be simple enough if these souls didn't include an alien time-traveller working in a bar, a woman who disappeared in 1987, a young man carrying a photograph of a girl he's never met and an Irish girl who doesn't even know who she is anymore.

Plot Edit

Part 1 Edit

Ibiza, 14 May 1997: A new club, the Rapture, has opened on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Its owners and DJs, Gabriel and Jude, call it a spiritual experience. In the crowd are Liam and Caitriona, two young partygoers; Caitriona is already high on a mix of pills, though their guide, Brian, thinks the drugs are unnecessary—the Rapture is an experience on its own. He may be right; the music and the laser show synchronize with the sunset over the smaller island of Es Vedra, making it practically entrancing.

Ace and the Doctor arrive in the evening. Ace continues to struggle with the deaths of the Nazi Kurtz and the art patron Madame Salvadori in their recent adventures, and she worries that her travels with the Doctor have inured her to all the deaths. Trying to distance herself from that aspect of her personality, she has given up her nickname, and chooses to be called by her surname, McShane. The Doctor takes her to Ibiza to rest and recover, and introduces her to a time-displaced friend, Gustavo Riviera, whom the Doctor once rescued from the Spanish Civil War. He runs a bar in Ibiza now; and he suggests to McShane that she might find some rest at the Rapture. She leaves the Doctor with Gustavo and goes to visit the new club. Meanwhile, Gustavo describes the two DJs as “angels”, a term they use for themselves; the Doctor is not reassured, as those who call themselves angels are often the opposite. The Doctor goes to see the club for himself.

At the Rapture, McShane meets Brian and hits it off with him, drinking and talking. Liam and Caitriona are on the dancefloor; Caitriona is having a good time, but Liam has his concerns. He is interrupted, however, when he sees McShane across the room. He recognises her as Ace; and he shows Caitriona a picture of her for identification. She urges him to speak with Ace alone and introduce himself. The duo introduce themselves; Caitriona nearly gets into a fight with another clubgoer, but Liam stops her, and with McShane they head onto the dancefloor. Above, in the DJ box, Gabriel watches the crowd with doubts of his own; his brother Jude reassures him, and refocuses him on their mission and the faith necessary for it. They are spreading the word of the Lord; and soon He will descend and save the believers.

Liam tries to find out more about McShane’s life for the past decade; entranced by the music, she doesn’t notice. Over the speakers, Gabriel begins quoting scripture as the sun sets beyond the club’s windows; he talks about the biblical Rapture before cranking up the music. The crowd is enthralled, including Brian, who does not drink or use drugs. As the music peaks, the clubgoers become silent and fully entranced. Alarmed, Brian goes to the DJ room to try to stop the situation—but only Jude is there. The self-proclaimed “angel” shoots him with a laser pistol for interfering.

Outside, the bouncer will not let the Doctor in—until the bouncer too falls under the spell of the music. Slipping inside the club, the Doctor finds he cannot rouse any of the audience—and Gabriel is starting up the music again.

Part 2 Edit

The music climaxes—and suddenly returns to normal. The crowd awakens with no memory of anything unusual. The Doctor tries to warn McShane, but she takes it as more manipulation, and loses her temper at him. Reluctantly, he leaves her alone. Brian is nowhere to be found, and Liam is sick in the restroom; Caitriona is still partying, and so Liam and McShane leave together. Meanwhile, Gabriel finds Brian’s body on the floor of the DJ room, and is upset; Jude says that the man lacked faith, but that Gabriel is doing well. When Gabriel leaves to play more music, Jude calls their unseen benefactor and assures him that all is going well. When the club at last closes for the night, Jude awakens Brian—who was only stunned—and promises to make him immortal. Brian begins screaming.

At Liam and Caitriona’s apartment, Liam explains about his relationship with Caitriona, who suffers from mood swings. However, he slips up and calls McShane “Ace”, a name she has not told him. She becomes furious and confronts him; her rage grows when she sees he has a picture of her. She assumes he is manipulating her like so many others—but he stuns her to silence when he reveals the truth: his name is Liam McShane, and he is her younger brother.

With the Rapture closed for the night, Caitriona visits Gustavo’s bar for something to eat. In line, she meets Gabriel, and eventually leaves with him, just missing the returning Doctor. The Doctor discusses the odd happenings at the Rapture with Gustavo; Gustavo brushes off his concerns, saying that the youth are looking for meaning in the music and the atmosphere—much like a religious experience. Gustavo reveals his concern for the youth of the day, who have nothing to believe in or fight for; do they not need guidance from their elders? The DJs may not be the angels they claim to be, but they offer guidance. Then again, Ibiza has been visited by angels before...a 19th-century monk named Francisco Paolo claimed to have been visited by angels on Es Vedra. Meanwhile, Caitriona is talking to one of the erstwhile angels. She admits that she is very depressed, and hates herself, though for no apparent reason; she claims that Gabriel’s music is the only thing keeping her going. He insists he is really an angel, and offers her “angel dust” to help her fly to Heaven with him. She accepts the dust.

Liam explains that he was born when Ace was four years old. Shortly afterward, their mother Audrey was caught by their father Harry having an affair with Harry’s best friend. Rather than stay to retaliate, Harry simply snatched up the infant Liam and left, never to return; he only left Dorothy—Ace—behind out of necessity, as she was at playschool at the time. Liam never knew about her until four years ago, when Harry had a heart attack and revealed the truth. He left to find his mother and sister, but when he found Audrey, she revealed that Ace had been missing for several years. When he returned home, Harry was dead; Liam missed his father’s death by an hour. He produces a letter from their father as proof, and Ace breaks down, realising her life could have been very different. She tells him about her life—but then shuns him, insisting there is no room in her life for a brother. Angry and hurt, he storms out, leaving her to sleep on the couch; she wrestles with her own hurt and guilt. Meanwhile, Caitriona is very high; she sees a rainbow of colours, and hears hints of Liam and Ace’s argument. Gabriel leads her through these alleged revelations, but she is confronted with her own dark side and worst fears. She sees the Doctor as well; in her visions he is cast as the evil, soul-devouring Sandman. She feels herself falling, and the vision tells her to kill Ace to save herself; under the force of her will, she sees the apartment collapsing, crushing Ace to death.

Part 3 Edit

15 May 1997: In the morning, Caitriona awakens with a headache and no memory of the end of her evening. She thinks nothing odd of this as Liam returns. Ace is gone, and so Liam takes Caitriona to Gustavo’s for breakfast; Gustavo tells her she left with Gabriel. Liam suggests returning to the Rapture to piece together what happened to Caitriona.

Ace meets the Doctor on the beach, and makes up with him (temporarily at least); they see Gabriel putting an odd parcel onto a boat. They slip aboard the boat, which heads for Es Vedra. En route, he reveals that he met Liam during the night. He suspects that Ace uses the TARDIS to hide from real life; this is why Kurtz's death, which happened in the TARDIS, hit her so hard—it was within her safety zone. She is not convinced; but someday she must stop running. On Es Vedra, they follow Gabriel into a cave, as the Doctor fills her in on the biblical doctrine of the Rapture, which the alleged angels are abusing. They witness Gabriel speaking to what he claims to be God, via a large glowing orb; he voices doubts, and explains that he is haunted by memories of a war that never happened. He has come to present a sacrifice: the still body of Brian. Ace slips and gives away their presence; Gabriel confronts them. Ace covers by claiming they are here seeking salvation. He is pleased, and offers to take them back to the Rapture, his “church”; however, they will have to take the boat, as he is out of angel dust, which would let them fly. He explains that tonight is the night of the ultimate communion, in which everyone in the Rapture will be, well, enraptured; the Doctor suspects this is cover for a planned mass kidnapping.

Liam and Cat split up inside the vacant Rapture. Liam goes to the office, and meets Jude, who claims he is here to save the world’s youth. Liam counters with his own faith in God, which tells him this angel is an imposter. Jude admits as much—but before he can act further, Gabriel arrives with the Doctor and Ace. Jude sends Gabriel to prepare for tonight’s activity, leaving the Doctor and Ace behind to be “baptized”. The Doctor confronts Jude, and reveals that the “angel dust” is the drug by that name, also called PCP or Phencyclidine—this explains Caitriona’s visions last night. However, he is confounded by the fact that Gabriel really believes himself to be an angel. He threatens to reveal the truth to Gabriel, forcing Jude to confess. They are aliens, exiles from the Euphorian empire; their peaceful society was attacked and overrun by the Scordatura. Though they fought, they were beaten, leading to the conscription of non-soldiers to fight, including composers such as Gabriel. Gabriel could not cope, and went mad, killing his commander; Jude rescued him from court-martial. They knew of a dimensional portal which led from their world to Es Vedra; they had used it as children, leading to the “angelic” encounter recorded by Francisco Paolo. They escaped to 1997 Ibiza to recover; and there, Jude decided to take new recruits from the local population to become soldiers for the Euphorians. He combined the drugs and the music to give Gabriel a new personality; but now it is failing. Adapting texts from the Bible that Paolo had long ago given him, he created the Rapture and its dogma to bring in the youths who would become their soldiers when they inevitably return home.

Although the Doctor is disgusted by Jude’s choices and methods, he is sympathetic to the cause, and offers to help Gabriel in some other way—but he won’t allow the kidnapping and conscription. These guideless children of Earth will soon enough have their own wars to fight. Jude is intrigued by the offer; but as the Doctor and Ace leave, Liam threatens to kill Jude if anyone he loves is hurt by this situation.

Downstairs, Gabriel finds his recent disciple Caitriona. He leads her to the dancefloor, then retreats to the booth to play music for her; the music has the sound of Brian’s screams cut into it. It overwhelms her, and she begs Gabriel to save her from madness. She falls into a trance as the Doctor, Ace, and Liam arrive. Gabriel offers to introduce the Doctor to their benefactor, who made this possible; the Doctor is horrified to see Gustavo enter the club.

Part 4 Edit

Gustavo explains that he funded the Rapture in the belief that Jude and Gabriel would bring purpose to the youth of Ibiza. He expected them to persuade the young people, not enslave them. Gabriel summons Caitriona to the DJ booth; seeing that she is entranced, Gustavo realises the truth. The Doctor tries to calm Gustavo while Jude tries to explain to Gabriel about the change in plans; but they are interrupted by Ace, who has realised that the screaming in the music is a recording of Brian’s death. Gustavo declares Gabriel to be evil, and attacks him; both of them fall burst through the glass of the booth and fall to the dance floor—and their deaths. Gustavo holds on just long enough to give the Doctor a CD prepared by Gabriel. Jude is grief-stricken; the others retreat to the office to give him a moment to mourn. This proves to be a mistake; for Jude decides that humanity must pay for his brother’s death—and they will suffer through Gabriel’s music. He locks the Doctor’s group into the office.

The Doctor realises he has misunderstood Jude. The key is Ace; just as she has hidden from her reality in the TARDIS many times, Jude used his extensive care for Gabriel’s madness to keep his own madness at bay. Now, it can be unleashed. There is one chance: the CD left by Gabriel and given to the Doctor by Gustavo. As evening arrives, the club’s doors open, admitting thousands; and with this event’s publicity, millions more will listen in by radio. Liam locates a ventilation shaft, and helps the Doctor to escape through it; the Doctor promises to save Caitriona, and heads for the DJ booth. Meanwhile, Ace and Liam try to shout warnings to the clubgoers, but they can’t make themselves heard. Jude begins to play Gabriel’s last composition—but he has remixed it, and now it will make the hearers die in pain.

The Doctor arrives in the DJ booth and tries to reason with Jude. Jude will have none of it, and sends Caitriona to retrieve Ace and Liam, whom he calls “Satan’s disciples”. Caitriona places them in the lift while Jude makes his point: the Doctor wants him to forgive his brother’s killers, but would he do the same if Jude forces Caitriona to murder Liam and Ace? He starts the final segment of music, and orders Caitriona to use his laser pistol and kill them; but she cannot bring herself to do it, and turns the weapon on herself. In a rage, Liam attacks Jude, who overpowers him; Jude grabs Ace and dangles her over the dance floor. If he lets go, she will die like Gabriel. The Doctor begs him to wait; he produces the CD, and promises that it will restore Jude’s faith. Jude allows it, and the Doctor stops the music, waking the clubgoers from their trance. He plays the CD, and reveals that it contains a confession, made by Gabriel to Brian after Brian’s murder. Gabriel admits that he killed Brian to save him, because Jude had taught him that the dead would rise during the Rapture. The thing he wanted most was for Jude to be proud of him. He reveals that despite his delusions, he was aware that Jude was saving him from a madness even worse, and he felt that Jude might resent him for it. In Caitriona he had found a kindred spirit, and so he was drawn to her; if he could save her, he could make Jude stop regretting his relationship with his brother. Jude is abashed; he in fact never regretted having a brother. Confronted with what he is doing, he realises that if he kills Ace, he is inflicting the same fate on Liam that has been visited on him—a life without a sibling. He lets her down safely, giving them a chance. Jude declares that he will return to his homeworld and face justice; Ace argues against it, saying it will allow him to get away with his crimes here—but he slips away while she argues. Caitriona then awakens; the Doctor reveals that he had seen her subconsciously set the gun on “stun” before she used it. Even in her trance, on some level she had still been herself. The Doctor starts to address the crowd—but Ace cuts him off by simply turning on some more Earthly dance music and restarting the party.

Over a few days, Liam and Ace grow acquainted, but he chooses not to join her in her exotic life. He stays behind with Caitriona. Ace, meanwhile, will keep on—but now she has something to look forward to at home. The TARDIS departs, having seen the last of Jude...or maybe not. Later, an office worker in London receives an email with a music file attached—and when she plays it, the minds of all the office workers are blown.

Cast Edit

References Edit

The Doctor Edit

Individuals Edit

Earth history Edit

Television series Edit

Notes Edit

The Rapture Comic Preview

Comic Preview from DWM 322. Illustration by Martin Geraghty.

The rapture clean

Textless cover art

Continuity Edit

External links Edit