The Wrong Doctors was the one hundred and sixty-ninth story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Matt Fitton and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush.
Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]
With Evelyn gone, the Doctor sets course for his destiny... in the form of his first meeting with Miss Melanie Bush, a computer programmer from the village of Pease Pottage, currently busy rehearsing with the local Amateur Dramatic Society — and blissfully unaware that her future is on its way, in his TARDIS.
Make that two TARDISes. Because at that very moment, a slightly younger Doctor is flying into Pease Pottage, too — returning his future companion Melanie Bush to her rightful place and time, after they were flung together during the course of his Time Lord trial.
Time travel is a complicated business — the iguanadon terrorising Pease Pottage being a case in point. But how much more complicated could things possibly become, if the wrong Doctor were to bump into the wrong Mel?
Plot[edit | edit source]
Part one[edit | edit source]
The Doctor finishes the last piece of chocolate cake that Evelyn Smythe baked, noting that there won't be any more. Lonely, he thinks it's time for Melanie Bush to enter his life.
Meanwhile, Mel is auditioning with Mr. Petherbridge, who goes outside to deal with a driver, telling him he should have followed the detour signs as Pease Pottage is closed for heritage matters. The driver refuses to turn around and is attacked by a territorial iguanodon.
The TARDIS arrives in the village: the Doctor is dropping Mel off in her correct time and place, following her relocation to Space Station Zenobia during his trial. After he leaves, Mel notices a cat similar to one she recalls from prior to her travels with the Doctor, and realises that they are one and the same: the Doctor has brought her to the wrong time. The future Doctor arrives at her house, and is surprised to find out Mel already knows him. She explains how the younger Doctor dropped her off after the events of the time lord trial. They both work out that this Doctor is older than the one that dropped off Mel, but younger than the Doctor Mel knows. The older Doctor quickly leaves the house, telling Mel to forget that she ever saw him.
Meanwhile, the younger Doctor is on his way back to his TARDIS when he notices smoke. He follows the smoke and finds the crushed vehicle with the driver still inside. He notices the claw marks on the vehicle and recognises that they belong to an iguanodon. He is stopped by the younger Mel, who accidentally hits him with her bike. He finds out that this younger Mel works at the radar station but doesn’t know about computers, which the older Mel knew lots about. After the younger Mel leaves, the younger Doctor is stopped by Mrs. Wilberforce. Both the younger Mel and Mrs. Wilberforce fail to notice the fatal crash which has happened right in front of them, which immediately disappears right after the younger Doctor mentions it to Mrs. Wilberforce.
The younger Mel arrives at the radar station interrupting Petherbridge contacting someone: she fails to notice this. Just after, Jedediah Thurwell knocks on the door. The younger Mel asks Petherbridge not to answer it: she and Thurwell had a fall out and now she refuses to talk to him. Petherbridge goes outside to speak to Thurwell, who apologises for not turning up to the auditions. Petherbridge instructs Therwell to hold up a carriage, which Thurwell agrees to. The younger Doctor overhears their conversation and, using the information the younger Mel gave him, assumes that Petherbridge is one of these men after Thurwell calls him ‘Mr. P’. He also notices that Thurwell is wearing clothes not from the current time period. Once Petherbridge and Thurwell have gone, the younger Doctor sneaks into the radar station, where the younger Mel is cleaning. Against the younger Mel’s protests, the younger Doctor interferes with the equipment and discovers that the radar station is contacting a spaceship in the woods a few miles away. These were the people Petherbridge was talking to. Suddenly, a time explosion goes off, but the younger Mel says it’s nothing to worry about and that Petherbridge told her what it was. The younger Doctor begins to suspect Petherbridge. He leaves to investigate, telling the younger Mel to stay.
On the Mardaxs’ spaceship, Captain Ksllak contacts Vaneesh. He explains how his troops are ready and asks if her presentation is ready. She explains how it is but there’s a lot of slides. Ksllak reveals that their mission was originally a training flight but they had to change it.
The younger Doctor is looking around for where the explosion could have come from and sees the older Doctor, who falls into a trap hidden in the middle of the street. The younger Doctor runs up to him and asks if he’s the Doctor or not. He answers his question by contacting him telepathically.
Meanwhile, the older Mel is sitting in her house when Mrs. Wilberforce comes in. The older Mel is confused: she’s never met Mrs. Wilberforce in her entire life. She explains that she’s looking after Mel while her parents are on a cruise. Mrs. Wilberforce notices that Mel looks older and before she can explain, Mrs. Wilberforce finds out that the older Mel is from the future. Mrs. Wilberforce tells the older Mel her life story and that she died in 1964 at the age of 80. Mrs. Wilberforce suggests to the older Mel that they ask Petherbridge about there being two Mels.
The older Doctor, now rescued, escorts the younger Doctor back to where he parked the TARDIS, telling him that the longer he stays, the more Mel’s future is at risk. They return to where both of their TARDISes were parked to find them both gone.
The older Mel and Mrs. Wilberforce step out onto the street to find the iguanodon chewing plants and a barryonix, which is carnivorous. The barryonix sees the older Mel and Mrs. Wilberforce and chases them down the street.
Part two[edit | edit source]
Thurwell sees the older Mel and Mrs. Wilberforce being chased down the street and the three quickly hide inside Thurwell’s house. Before the barryonix can break down the door, the younger Doctor appears and uses K9’s old dog whistle to try and calm the dinosaur. Instead, the barryonix turns to the younger Doctor before disappearing just like the vehicle. The younger Doctor enters the house to make sure everyone’s alright, which they are. The older Mel is puzzled by Thurwell’s name and he confesses it’s from the 1800’s and that he died in 1884. Thurwell quickly leaves, leaving everyone else puzzled on why he had to go so quickly. The younger Doctor asks what’s happening and Mrs. Wilberforce says he should ask Petherbridge. The younger Doctor and the older Mel then leave. While walking down the street, the younger Doctor tells her that his older self is getting the younger Mel and meeting them, that both their TARDISes have gone and that Pease Pottage has been taken out of time.
The younger Mel is still in the radar station when the older Doctor appears. The younger Mel mistakes him for the younger Doctor and asks if he wants to see Petherbridge. He refuses and tampers with the equipment again and finds out that the radar station is contacting the spaceship in the woods. The younger Mel is confused since the younger Doctor had already worked this out. Suddenly, another time explosion goes off. The younger Mel explains to the older Doctor that Petherbridge said it comes from the woods: the same place the spaceship is. The older Doctor decides to explore the woods and asks the younger Mel to come with him. She agrees but says she must tell Petherbridge first. While the younger Mel phones him, the older Doctor leaves. Over the phone, Petherbridge tells the younger Mel that she can go. She hangs up the phone and afterwards Petherbridge reveals his true nature and that he got rid of the dinosaurs and the vehicle.
Thurwell meets up with his accomplice, Pete, after telling him that Petherbridge wants them to hold up the carriage which has gold in it. It eventually arrives and Thurwell, Pete and a few others stop it. Pete and the others open the crates, which only has black powder in them. Just then, the soldiers on the carriage disappear. Pete and the others question what Petherbridge has got them into. Thurwell reveals it was a trap for them Pete and the others disappear until only Thurwell, the carriage, the powder and the horses remain. Thurwell meets up with Petherbridge and gives him the powder. Mrs. Wilberforce arrives on a vehicle and Petherbridge tells her and Thurwell to go to the radar site with concrete.
The two Doctors and the older Mel meet up. The older Doctor explains how the younger Mel will be along and that they’ll investigate the woods. The younger Doctor suggests he should go instead, which everyone agrees on. The younger Mel arrives and the two Doctors quickly push the older Mel into a bush so they can’t see each other because it might overload their minds. The younger Doctor goes with the younger Mel towards the woods while the older Doctor and the older Mel try to find Petherbridge.
The younger Doctor and the younger Mel journey into the woods and find a golf course where they find the spaceship. The younger Doctor tells the younger Mel that the Mardax are business consultants. On the spaceship, Vaneesh gives her business presentation, which no one likes. Ksllak releases his troops, who carry digging equipment. The younger Doctor and the younger Mel see the troops, and the younger Doctor wants to get their attention. He picks up a dropped golf ball and throws it at them. It gets the attention of Vaneesh. The younger Doctor tells her to leave the planet. She finds out he’s a Time Lord and prepares to incinerate him because he’s a higher species and threat to them.
The older Doctor and the older Mel find Petherbridge in the hall. The older Doctor demands to know where the TARDIS is. A group of people suddenly appear cheering. Petherbridge says it was the Queen’s visit in 1887. A wagon also appears with people getting off it. One of them is Thurwell. The other Thurwell, who has just arrived, is shocked. Petherbridge tells him to go to the woods, which he does. The other men with Thurwell are Pete and the others. Thurwell grabs the older Mel while Pete grabs the older Doctor. Pete ties the older Doctor to a cart full of gunpowder. Petherbridge gives Thurwell a stick with fire on it and Thurwell lights the rope attached to the gunpowder.
Part three[edit | edit source]
to be added
Part four[edit | edit source]
to be added
Cast[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor - Colin Baker
- Melanie Bush - Bonnie Langford
- Stapleton Petherbridge - Tony Gardner
- Jedediah Thurwell - James Joyce
- Mrs Wilberforce - Patricia Leventon
- Vaneesh / Millicent / Christine Bush - Beth Chalmers
- Ksllak - John Banks
References[edit | edit source]
- When the older Doctor realises that he has crossed his timestream, he is relieved that it is not another incarnation with their scarves, frills or celery.
- When she first met the younger Doctor, the younger Mel believed that he was going to audition for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
- At the age of eight, Mel committed the names of 150 different species of dinosaurs to memory and is therefore able to recognise an iguanodon on sight.
- Stapleton Petherbridge was born in Pease Pottage in 1758. He was impressed into the Royal Navy in 1810 and was killed during the War of 1812. He was possessed by a time demon.
- Jedediah Thurwell was born in 1812. He was deported to Victoria, Australia, where he met a woman named Patsy. They later married and had four children and fifteen grandchildren. He died on his farm in 1884 at the age of 71.
- Muriel Wilberforce was born in 1884. She and her husband Francis Wilberforce were married in 1910 while their son Francis Wilberforce, Jr. was born in 1912. Her husband was killed in the First World War in 1914. After World War II, she continued working at the Pease Pottage Post Office until she was well past retirement age. She was the chairwoman of the Pease Pottage Women's Institute from 1922 to 1964, serving in that position for longer than anyone else. She died in 1964 at the age of 80. During the 1980s, her grandson Martin Wilberforce ran the post office.
- After naming "Mel A" and "Mel B" the two versions of Melanie, jokes about the Spice Girls (which included Mel B and Mel C among its members) are made, including a pun to the title of the song Spice Up Your Life.
- Pease Pottage is in a pocket of cauterised time, detached from the mainstream of time.
- Mel was born in 1964.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This marks the first appearance of Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush in a Big Finish audio drama since The Vanity Box in July 2007, while also, technically, being as the first chronological story of the character in the DWU.
- This audio drama was recorded on 1 and 2 May 2012 at the Moat Studios.
- This story has some resemblance to the second serial of Sapphire and Steel, where an entity makes deals with deceased people and manipulates time.
- Big Finish released the first episode of the story as a podcast prior to release.
- The cover for this story features a new version of the Doctor Who logo, which appears in a motif similar to the title sequence from the William Hartnell era, and was also used for other Doctor Who related merchandise.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- In the older Doctor's personal timeline, his companion Evelyn Smythe has recently left the TARDIS to marry Justice Rossiter on Világ. (AUDIO: Thicker Than Water)
- Mel's address in Pease Pottage is 36 Downview Crescent. (PROSE: Business Unusual; AUDIO: The Juggernauts)
- Mel tells the younger Doctor that she is supposed to be reunited with his future self on Oxyveguramosa. (PROSE: Business Unusual)
- The younger Doctor thanks Mel for testifying on his behalf at his trial. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)
- The younger Doctor mentions that his future self is wearing Necros mourning colours, namely blue. (TV: Revelation of the Daleks)
- The younger Doctor uses K9 Mark II's dog whistle to control the Baryonyx. (TV: The Ribos Operation)
- The older Doctor refers to his encounter with Harry Houdini. Prior to their arrival in 1963, his first incarnation and his granddaughter Susan Foreman met Houdini in the United States. Houdini taught the Doctor how to perform sleight-of-hand tricks. (PROSE: The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
- The older Mel mentions taking dancing lessons from Miss Fairs (PROSE: Business Unusual) and visiting the museum with her uncle John Hallam (AUDIO: Catch-1782) during her childhood.
- As the younger Mel dies, she tells the older Doctor that she prefers his multi-coloured coat. He promises to begin wearing it again. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids)
- The older Doctor advises his younger self to brush up on his history and recommends that he take a trip to Sheffield Hallam University. (AUDIO: The Marian Conspiracy)
- Petherbridge refers to the Vortisaurs, (AUDIO: Storm Warning) the Chronovores (TV: The Time Monster) and the Pantophagens. (AUDIO: The Foe from the Future)
- When Petherbridge talks about wiping the Doctor from existence, he refers to his travels with the scholar, the thief and the girls you met and never met...or are they yet to come.
- In an alternate timeline, Ace likewise compared the Sixth Doctor to Joseph from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. (AUDIO: The Light at the End)
- The older Doctor proves his identity to the younger by telepathic contact. (TV: The Three Doctors, et. al)
- Melanie has an eidetic memory. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids, AUDIO: Spaceport Fear)