London, 1889 and a time-stranded Doctor needs the help of an old friend to fix the TARDIS... but is beset by pursuers sent by Queen Victoria herself! How is this connected to a previous tale of the Sixth Doctor — and a Fourth Doctor adventure that hasn't happened yet? And what will happen if the Doctor is captured by the Torchwood Institute? A special standalone tale!
London, 1889: H.G. Wells and Jonathan Smith are talking about the Doctor. They enter a little passageway and see the Tenth Doctor. The Doctor says the TARDIS is out of power. He would go to Cardiff to fuel up, but can't due to threats such as Torchwood.
Elsewhere two Torchwood agents are tracking Chronal signals. They finally figure that the Doctor is trapped.
Jonathan touches a device which sends out chronal energy. The Doctor decides he needs to go and find some things. He changes into Victorian clothes and they exit, only to come across the two Torchwood agents. Luckily, they escape without being seen, but the power on the chronal energy detector goes mad. The Torchwood Agents know the Doctor is there. They are chased. The male Torchwood agent fires, hitting H.G. Wells and stunning him. The two agents take Wells back to the Torchwood Base at the West Indian Docks.
At the Docks, Herbert is interrogated about the Doctor. Wells tells them about his meeting with the Sixth Doctor and his "young assistant", who appeared out of nowhere and took him to the planet Karfel. He tells them that they fought Morlox and the Borad and then sent him home after.
The male Torchwood agent asks if the assistant was female, young and indecently dressed. Herbert replies yes and asks how they know this. The man says Queen Victoria met the Doctor when he saved her from a werewolf ten years ago in Scotland. The female agent says Torchwood has followed the Doctor to places like America, Krakatoa and Perivale and missed him every time. They learn the Doctor has changed, fitting their description of him.
Inside the TARDIS, Jonathan and the Doctor are busy. Herbert arrives and tells Jonathan about Torchwood and how they are waiting for the Doctor outside. Jonathan confronts the Doctor, saying that once Torchwood captures him, Jonathan will be able to have tea with Queen Victoria. Outside, Wells shows the Torchwood agents where the Doctor is. They surround the TARDIS, demanding the Doctor come out.
The Doctor figures out Jonathan is a time traveller from the 51st century. He wants revenge for what the Doctor did to Magnus Greel. The Doctor says he did not kill Magnus Greel; cellular degeneration killed him and technically it has not happened yet. Jonathan says he is here to stop the Fourth Doctor from killing him; he found the secret diary of H.G. Wells on the planet Biblios documenting the Doctor's death. The Doctor outsmarts Jonathan and the TARDIS fades without him, revealing Jonathan to the Torchwood Operatives. They think he is the Doctor and stun him.
As Wells is walking, he bumps into the Tenth Doctor, who encourages him to write War of the Worlds. Wells wonders what happened to Jonathan, and the Doctor explains that Jack Harkness will eventually convince the staff that he's not the Doctor. The Doctor leaves, but Wells is stunned to find the TARDIS arriving again, with the Fourth Doctor and Leela emerging. He wonders to himself how many Doctors there are. The Fourth Doctor and Leela walk off to see Li H'sen Chang, master of magic mesmerism. Wells decides to write a book called The Time Machine.
- The Doctor mentions wanting to see Little Tich.
- The Doctor makes a veiled reference to Jack Harkness, although Jack had not yet joined Torchwood.
- The Torchwood agents refer to the Doctor's visits to Krakatoa and Perivale.
- Announced by IDW Publishing at the New York Comic Con in February 2009, The Time Machination is set in Victorian London and reportedly features the first Doctor Who comic book reference to the Torchwood Institute. That fact Queen Victoria is involved would make this a followup to the televised story Tooth and Claw.
- This story was reprinted in the graphic novel Through Time and Space.
- The story is a semi-sequel to both Timelash (and arguably Tooth and Claw) and (due to time travel) both a sequel and prequel to The Talons of Weng-Chiang. A reprise of a scene from the latter appears from the point of view of H. G. Wells.
- The Torchwood agents state that they have followed the Doctor to the United States of America in October 1881, (TV: The Gunfighters) Krakatoa in 1883, (TV: Inferno, Rose) and Perivale in 1883. (TV: Ghost Light)
- The Doctor refers to Professor Chronotis. (TV: Shada)