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The Two Irises was the fifth release in the Iris Wildthyme audio series. It was the third story in the second season. It was written by Simon Guerrier.

Publisher's summary[]

Iris is dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. She sacrificed herself to save her best friend, Panda, then exploded inside her time-travelling bus.

On Earth in the year 2108, the North Bloc and the South Bloc teeter on the edge of terrible nuclear war. The fate of the whole world rests on a not-very-good disco in Spain. One run by the dastardly alien Naxians...

Iris Wildthyme is as dead as a doornail. But her new incarnation is going to have to get stuck in. Poor bloke doesn't stand a chance.


Iris announces her retirement and wishes her replacement the best of luck.

Panda wakes up in the bus to find that Iris has saved the universe by baking a cheesecake from the milk of a gigantic bat. To his surprise, a man appears, claiming to the next incarnation of Iris. According to him, the previous incarnation died from a plague as there was only enough cheesecake cure for Panda.

Panda wakes up, thinking that Iris' new identity was merely a dream. He has trouble accepting the man as Iris, although he does appreciate the man's suit. The new Iris throws out their best booze, much to Panda's chagrin. They proceed to fight over Panda's hip flask, which Iris wins by tickling the bear.

Iris takes Panda to an extravagant Roman party, yet Panda spends his time sulking in the corner, clutching his hip flask. Panda insists that this new Iris is too different from the previous incarnation. He goes to the bus, where he finds the phone ringing.

Iris comes back to the bus and Panda gives him a message from Roger, the man that was on the phone, although Iris does not recognise the name. They go to the coordinates as instructed by Roger to find that he is a Naxian. Iris and Panda flee. Iris notices that his new body is adept at running. The Naxian sneaks up on them and takes them prisoner in an old retro dance club.

Although Iris disapproves, Panda clutches to his hip flask as he finds it comforting. Panda condemns Iris for not having an escape plan. Roger, a Naxian warlord enters the room. He claims to have been at Radio Yesterday, and he begins weeping after Iris fails to remember their prior romance.

Roger grew weary of war after being dumped by Iris, and decided to live in the past and run a night club instead. During this time in Earth history, there are two opposing military forces: the North Bloc and the South Bloc. The club is technically in an independent state, however it is being attacked by both sides, as they fear that copious "cheap music" has the power to corrupt the world. They are still alive because of the electro-shield, however this shield also blocks radio waves from leaving the shield. Roger believes that "through the power of disco" he can create world peace. Roger reveals that he has named his club after Iris.

Iris decides to help Roger. In private, Iris tells Panda that he is no longer interested in Roger, partly due to the Naxian's gender. Iris is planning on running out once the situation is pacified.

Roger tells Panda that he doesn't care about physical gender. Iris fixes the radio, allowing the radio waves to exit the electro-field. As a side effect, the radio waves activate the nuclear weapons of both major powers. Panda realises that the entire event has been planned by Roger in order to lure Iris to save him. Panda and Iris try to leave, but Roger reacts in anger and refuses to let them leave. He combines with the other Naxians, creating one unified Naxian beast.

Iris is unsure of what to do. In response, Panda opens his hip flask, and the previous incarnation of Iris appears outside the bus. The female Iris is annoyed to learn that the male Iris has thrown out all the booze. Iris reveals that Panda's hip flask is actually a temporal link to the "rehab dimension", where the female Iris was taking a vacation.

The female Iris expresses pleasure in returning to this dimension as the rehab dimension was quite dull. The female Iris approaches Roger. Iris agrees to go out to dinner with Roger if he will turn off the music. The male Iris is impressed at the speed at which the female Iris has fixed the situation. Panda informs them that the nuclear arsenals of the two major powers have been armed in response to the music.

Iris then contacts the military leader of the North Bloc, but he claims that he can't disarm the weapons.

Iris informs Roger that the male Iris isn't actually a real person. He is actually a "hyper personality construct", a computer program created by the bus. The male Iris overhears this information because the real Iris accidentally announces over the intercom. The male Iris has trouble coming to terms with his lack of identity. Both Irises use their buses to circle around the Earth so fast that they catch up with their own temporal exhaust in an effort to confuse the missile systems. The plan fails, however, and the missiles lock onto the buses.

They begin travelling toward the sun, planning to dematerialise at the last minute, leaving the missiles to detonate harmlessly into the sun. Unfortunately, because the missiles are locked on to the temporal exhaust, they will be able to follow the buses through space and time.

The male Iris considers sacrificing himself to save Earth, as he is only a computer construct. Before doing so, he asks the original Iris why she programmed him in the first place. Because she would eventually die, she programmed a replacement in order to prevent her enemies from taking advantage of her absence and causing mayhem around the universe without anyone to stop them.

Roger objects to the male Iris' sacrifice, as he prefers the male version of Iris. However, the male Iris' bus then breaks down, and the missiles catch up, destroying the bus. The female Iris then travels back in time, inside of the other bus, taking Panda and the male Iris to safety. She is able to do this because both buses are actually the same bus.

The problem isn't solved yet, as the two buses are now stuck together, and they are unable to move without detonating the bombs. The male Iris sacrifices himself to save the others, but Roger, driven by love, chases after him. Although Iris and Panda think the male Iris and Roger are dead, it turns out that Roger used his sticky spittle to attach themselves to the outside of the bus.

They go to the disco to celebrate, where they find out that world peace has been restored. Because all the missiles in the world have been detonated, the world powers have no choice but to live in harmony. The male Iris, who has now taken the name of Hilary, decides to stay on Earth and help Roger with his dance club.





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