A time disturbance leads the Doctor and Charley to a remote research station. Unable to form memories, the crew believe someone is doing their work while they sleep. The truth, however, is far more insidious.
Charley has been working for the Viyrans for countless years, being kept in stasis until such times as the Viyrans need her to act as a human liaison. She has been awoken to give her testimony of her visit to a particular space station during her travels with the Sixth Doctor.
Inside the TARDIS, Charley is disappointed that they have landed on a research station instead of the airships of Jupiter, but promptly forgets about the Jovian skyline upon seeing the thousands of stars through the station's transparent walls. The Doctor, having detected a distress signal, walks around until he is stopped by a researcher who assumes that he has come from HQ and tells him about how the researchers seem to have all done two weeks' worth of work overnight without remembering doing so. She determines that somebody else must have done it for them.
Charley suggests that everybody might have done the work before forgetting, something that the woman considers for a moment before apparently forgetting the suggestion. Dr Martin Chisleworth tells the Doctor and Charley that for weeks he has been trying to get through to the researchers on this matter without any success and takes the pair to meet Professor Artemis Vane. The Doctor believes that the phenomenon has been caused by a parasite and switches off the lights, allowing them to see crab-like creatures latched onto the researchers' mouths, noses and eyes, phasing through time and feeding off of the electrical impulses associated with the perception of time.
The Doctor admonishes Charley when she suggests some sort of pest control and starts building something with Artemis. Marty tells Charley that he believes the Doctor plans to flood the station with chronon particles to sour the crabs' food supply and close the rip in time through which the crabs arrived following their departure. She asks Marty about his relationship with Artemis, believing that the professor seems to know him very well considering they only knew each other for two weeks. Marty simply says that Artemis is very observant.
Due to a misunderstanding, Marty is electrocuted whilst holding wires for the Doctor, greatly frightening Artemis. The Doctor brings him around after a few minutes and they take him to the medical bay where Artemis takes care of him, giving Charley the impression of someone used to attending a sick bed. The Doctor confronts the professor, accusing her of having travelled through time and caused the rip that the crabs came through, an accusation that she admits is correct. However, she denies having brought the crabs on purpose and that she has some plan.
Over cups of tea, Artemis explains that she is Marty's future wife and has travelled back in time through the incision in the space-time continuum, twenty-one years after his death, to make his time on the station less lonely by making his acquaintance for a few weeks. The Doctor is angered at the risk she has posed to the timeline, saying that Marty's lonely years might have been formative and that no relationship can be built on a lie, but Charley can relate to her and attempts to defend her actions. Charley sends the Doctor away to inspect the incision and talks to Artemis.
Artemis says goodbye to Marty, complimenting him but trying not to make herself too memorable. Marty, however, stops her and asks who she is, wondering why she would have chosen to eat with him rather than one of the galaxy-class scientists aboard the station. She tells him that she is nobody and leaves with the Doctor and Charley in the TARDIS, the incision having been stitched up and the crabs having left. The Doctor leaves her on a beach planet in her own time before he and Charley set off for another adventure.
Recounting the adventure, Charley says that that was the day that she realised she would have to leave the Doctor on the day that he found out who she was, knowing that he would disapprove of her actions and not understand them. However, looking back, Charley has no regrets about the months that she got to spend with him after the apparent death of her own Doctor.
to be added
- This story was recorded on 14 February 2019 at WiseBuddah.
- Performed in the style of The Companion Chronicles, this story was told from Charley's perspective.
- This story is available as a download only.
- Charley remembers when she saw her Doctor die (AUDIO: The Girl Who Never Was) before being rescued by a younger Doctor. (AUDIO: The Condemned)
- Charley also refers to working for "them". (AUDIO: Blue Forgotten Planet, The Lamentation Cipher)