The Wreck of the Titan was the one hundred and thirty-fourth story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Barnaby Edwards and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Frazer Hines as "Jamie".
"It's the biggest ship the world has ever known — and in just twenty minutes' time it's going to hit an iceberg the size of Ben Nevis!"
The North Atlantic is a treacherous place at the best of times. 14 April 1912 is the very worst of times. The Doctor and Jamie find themselves trapped aboard the RMS Titanic, 400 miles off Newfoundland and heading towards a conclusive appointment with destiny.
But the iceberg isn't their only problem. Down in the inky depths, something is hunting: something huge, hostile and hungry. This should certainly be A Night To Remember.
The TARDIS arrives on a ship in the mid-Atlantic ocean. The Doctor believes it is the Queen Mary and plans to surprise Jamie with it being his first proper TARDIS trip. Jamie finds a drinks menu and points out to the Doctor that they are on the Titanic on 14th April 1912. Checking the time, the Doctor realises it is twenty minutes before the Titanic hits an iceberg and sinks. The Doctor and Jamie try to go back into the hold where the TARDIS is, only to find the door jammed because the Doctor slammed it too hard earlier. They are noticed by first class passenger Tess, who tells her friend Teddy, the first officer, that the Doctor and Jamie are trying to get into the hold. Assuming they are saboteurs, Teddy goes to confront them, followed by Tess.
The Doctor suggests that Jamie should try to find another way back into the hold. After Jamie has left, Teddy arrives and demands to know what the Doctor is doing. The Doctor says he is checking to make sure the lifeboats are in order. Knowing the Doctor is lying, Teddy locks the Doctor in a nearby library. While there, the Doctor begins reading a book about the Mary Celeste only to find no writing in the book.
Tess finds Jamie checking the other doors. They discover that they only lead to blank steel walls. Teddy arrives and puts Jamie in the library too. While there, the Doctor convinces Teddy to let him have a look at a cocktail party going on. The Doctor tells Jamie that the band in there have been playing the same song three times since he was locked in the library and wants to prove to Tess and Teddy that there are no other passengers on the ship.
Arriving at the cocktail party, they find that there are no other passengers. Tess and Teddy are suddenly knocked out and the Titanic suddenly transforms into another ship called the Titan. Tess and Teddy have now turned into different people named Myra and John. As the Doctor begins suspecting that there is something connecting the Titanic and the Titan, a crew member in the Crow’s Nest cries out that there is an iceberg ahead.
The Titan collides with the iceberg. The crew member in the Crow‘s Nest is killed and the Doctor and John are thrown off the ship. Jamie and Myra manage to stay on the ship. As the Titan begins to sink, Jamie tells Myra that the TARDIS would still be in the hold. They manage to make it there and open the door only to find the TARDIS gone. Accepting their fates, Jamie and Myra stay in the hold and wait for the inevitable.
The Doctor regains consciousness to find that him and John are on the iceberg. John tells the Doctor that the Titan sunk with Jamie and Myra still on board. They quickly discover that there are bears on the iceberg with them. The Doctor and John quickly climb to the top of the iceberg. While there, the Doctor realises that the reason the Titanic transformed into the Titan was because of a Time Fissure. The Doctor guesses that if him and John could swim back to the point the Titanic changed, they could escape. While on their way back down the iceberg, the bears manage to find the Doctor and John. The bears injure John but he is saved by a foghorn. The Doctor discovers that it is the horn of the Nautilus from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Nautilus surfaces and Jamie appears out of the hatch at the top asking if the Doctor and John need a lift.
There is a flashback to Part Two when Jamie and Myra give up and accept their fates on the sinking Titan. They are interrupted by knocking which Myra realises is Morse Code for ‘back’. They step backwards and the door opens. They are rescued from the Titan and brought on board the Nautilus. After a while, the Nautilus tracks the Doctor and John as they are walking down the iceberg. After seeing the bears attack John, the Nautilus’ foghorn is sounded and, as the Nautilus surfaces, Jamie lifts open the hatch and asks if the Doctor and John need a lift.
John is taken to the sickbay where the Doctor bandages his wound. The Doctor meets the Professor of the Nautilus and secretly takes a test tube from his lab containing “black water”. The Doctor is then asked to see the Captain on the bridge. As the Doctor leaves, Jamie finds a book which attracts his attention. The Professor asks if Jamie wants a tour of the Nautilus. Jamie accepts and goes to ask Myra, who is in the sickbay with John. Myra says she wants to go on the tour and leaves with the Professor. Jamie quickly gives John the book he found and follows Myra. John looks at the book and is confused. The book is called ‘The Wreck of the Titan’.
The Captain greets the Doctor and tells him that he was sent to get him but will not say by who. The Captain has been tasked to get the Doctor to the “centre”. The Doctor theories that him and Jamie landed in a computer game and the “centre” is the computer’s brain. The Doctor is interrupted when a giant squid suddenly appears and attacks the Nautilus, which quickly surfaces.
Jamie, Myra and the Professor are in the observation room when the attack happens. One of the squid’s tentacles starts breaking the glass of the observation room.
In the bridge, John arrives. He asks the Doctor what is happening. The Doctor explains that the giant squid from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea is attacking them. Another of the squid’s tentacles smashes the glass and grabs the Doctor.
John saves the Doctor with an axe attached to the wall. He stabs the tentacle, which releases the Doctor.
In the observation room, Jamie and Myra have been so busy looking at the squid that they haven’t noticed that the Professor has left. When they finally realise, Jamie also discovers that he locked them in. Jamie contacts the Doctor over the radio and explains their situation. The Doctor sends John to release them while he and the Captain electrify the Nautilus’ hull to electrocute the squid. The plan works and the squid is knocked out.
The Professor escapes on his own ship, taking all the “black water” and shooting a crewman while doing so. The Captain eventually finds out and tells the Doctor that the Professor must be an agent for their enemies, but still won’t say who they are. The Doctor asks about the “black water” and is told that it is actually ink.
The squid begins waking up but instead of going after the Nautilus, it attacks the Professor’s ship, destroying it and killing the Professor. The Nautilus manages to escape before the squid can attack it again.
The Doctor explores the submarine’s library after Jamie tells him about the book he found and gave to John. The Doctor finds the same Mary Celeste book that was on the Titanic except this one has writing in it. He finds other books that point to the Doctor and Jamie being in a game. There is a book titled ‘Tess on the Titanic’ and the novelisation of ‘20000 Leagues Under the Sea’. The Doctor explains to Jamie that Myra, John, Tess, Teddy, the Captain, the Professor and the squid are all fictional characters.
Eventually, the Nautilus reaches the “centre”, which is a whirlpool. The Nautilus begins to get sucked into it. As everyone hangs on for their lives, Myra tells John she loves him while the Captain says goodbye to the Doctor.
The Doctor and Jamie wake up in a white void. The Doctor finds books lying beside them. He realises that they were what Myra, John and the Captain were all along. He then realises that him and Jamie aren’t in a game. They are in the Land of Fiction. Suddenly, they are surrounded by the White Robots.
- The Doctor - Colin Baker
- Jamie - Frazer Hines
- Captain - Alexander Siddig
- Professor - Christopher Fairbank
- Tess/Myra - Miranda Raison
- Teddy/John - Matt Addis
to be added
- The story shares its title with Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan, a novella by Morgan Robertson that was published in 1898, but which eerily predicted many aspects of the 1912 Titanic disaster. A 1912 reprint of the book is featured in the narrative.
- This leads directly into the concluding story of the trilogy, Legend of the Cybermen.
- This audio story was recorded on 15 and 16 October 2009 at The Moat Studios.
- The Doctor has referenced being on board the Titanic on several occasions, while TV: Rose established that he was present for her launch (but apparently not on board) during his ninth incarnation. The Ninth Doctor also said in TV: The End of the World that he was on a ship that was unsinkable and ended up clinging to an iceberg. He could be referencing this story since the Doctor is thrown off the Titan and onto an iceberg. The Tenth Doctor found himself aboard a spacecraft duplicate of the Titanic in TV: Voyage of the Damned.
- Jamie refers to his recent encounter with the Kelpie. (AUDIO: Night's Black Agents)
- The Doctor mentions the Drashigs and the miniscope. (TV: Carnival of Monsters)
- When Jamie asks if the TARDIS can withstand a squid attack, the Doctor states that he once survived a giant squid attack on one of the moons of Delta Magna. (TV: The Power of Kroll)
- When the Doctor figures out the circumstances, he refers to the events of TV: The Mind Robber.
- Official The Wreck of the Titan page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Wreck of the Titan at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide