Publisher's summary Edit
"Apparently, it has been ten years since Tom's adventures aboard Iris Wildthyme's transdimensional double-decker bus. Tom has now settled into a life of writing weird and wonderful novels (his description; I call them schlocky) about his erstwhile friend in order to support himself and, of course, his best real friend, me! One small, highly intelligent and terribly sophisticated Panda.
Then, one night at a book launch, there was a ruckus in the signing queue. Suddenly, the loud-mouthed floozy of the multiverse was back in his life, no, our lives... I ask you, how rude is that? Anyway, she embarrassed him in front of his fans and caused a punch up. Before Tom even knew it, Iris had entrusted him with her most precious possession, ridden off into the night with Robin Hood, and revealed that she was being hunted by evil forces from a higher dimension... Of course, they both needed me to save the day..."
- Panda (X)
At a book reading/signing, Lucretia (a bookseller) tells the crowd to form a line, if they want their books signed by the author, Tom. Tom goes to the front of the queue, as a fan approaches him, and as they're talking, the fan deduces that the main character of Tom's novels, Iris Wildthyme, is actually real, which Tom implicitly confirms. All of a sudden, a brash, loudmouthed woman barges through the crowd, exclaiming that she's come back for Tom. It's Iris Wildthyme. Tom invites her out for dinner later, and Iris accepts.
At the restaurant, Iris and Tom talk about how they left each other, and she entrusts Tom with a Memory Crystal from the Mines of Marlion, which contains all of her memories. She gives it to him hastily, before she's picked up by her ride, Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
In the Greenwood, Iris camps out with Robin and his gang. Little John alerts Robin that Friar Tuck and Maid Marian have been taken hostage by the Sheriff, and the only way to get them back is to trade Iris and her double decker bus.
The next morning in Tom's home, he decides to stop writing books about Iris, and he and Panda head off to the publisher, Satan & Satan Ltd..
With Iris tied up, the Merry Men are hauling Iris' bus with ropes through the forest, and Little John alerts them that they're nearing the castle.
Tom and Panda arrive at Satan & Satan Ltd., and Mida Slike welcomes them into her office.
At the castle, Robin announces that he has brought Iris and her "magic conveyance", and an escort of Normans takes them into the castle.
After Mida inadvertently insults Panda by calling him a "bear", Mida happily tells Tom what a runaway success his third book has been, but after Tom tells her he wants to stop, she turns nasty.
As they get taken deeper into the castle, Iris and Robin realise that they've been separated from the Norman guards, and they find themselves being locked in a dungeon.
Mida tries to get Tom to change his mind, mentioning that he signed a contract. Tom tries to explain why he does not want to write anything more about Iris, but Mida refuses to listen. After Mida starts acting suspiciously, Tom and Panda run, and Mida sends Lucretia and Hortensia after them.
In the dungeon, Iris strikes a match to illuminate the darkness, and Robin begins trying to open the door. Robin them asks Iris about the jewel she showed Tom, and Iris tries to claim that it's worthless, but Iris knows that Robin knows what it actually is, and Robin reveals (in a higher pitched voice) thst he's "working for a higher power".
Lucretia reports back to Mida, telling that they haven't been able to catch Tom and Panda yet, but Mida is confident that they will.
Robin takes Iris to see the Head, who is quite literally a head on a stake. Iris asks why the Head went to so much trouble to try to take the Memory Crystal from her, but the Head remains ambiguous about it. The Head teleports himself, Iris and Robin to outside the castle. The Head gives Iris an offer, to go free in exchange for the Crystal, and she tells him she does not have the Crystal with her.
Tom and Panda run into a dead end, and Mida and her cronies catch up to them. Tom asks who Mida really is, and she reveals thst she's the head operative of MIAOW. Mida tries to convince him that they're trying to help Iris.
The Head tells Iris that he believes her, that she does not have the Memory Crystal. Robin realises that she must have given it to Tom. The Head teleports them into the bus, and the Head uses its powers to compel Iris into piloting the bus to the 21st century, to Tom.
Tom questions Mida about her plan, and Panda tells Tom not to believe her. Suddenly, the Head, Iris, and Robin appear, and the Head forces everybody to their knees. Iris tells Panda he's the only one who can do anything, as the Head's powers don't affect him. The Head forces Tom to give him the Memory Crystal, and then Panda grabs the Crystal, and upon Iris' instruction, Panda destroys it. While the Head is distracted, his control over everybody slips, and Iris tells Tom and Panda to get on her bus. Iris' memories return, but they're "vague and swimmy". The Head fades away, and Iris forces Mida to terminate Tom's contract, and with Iris' and Tom's friendship rekindled, Iris, Tom, and Panda set off for new adventures in time and space...
- Iris Wildthyme - Katy Manning
- Tom - Ortis Deley
- Panda - David Benson
- Mida Slike - Ann Bryson
- The Head - Stephen Chance
- Robin Hood - Duncan Wisbey
- Lucretia - Lucy Beresford
- Fan - Lizzie Hopley
- Fan - Simon Guerrier
Characters without actors
- When Tom realises he does not have a pen, Lucretia jokes that he should have one "beamed up".
- It has been almost ten years since Tom and Iris last saw each other, in the late 1990s.
- Panda refers to Tom as an ingrate.
- Iris refers to Robin's native time as the Dark Ages.
- Iris comments that she has a memory like an Elephant.
- Panda knows Jujutsu.
- After Tom went on Everybody's on the Settee with Phelula and Ken, his third book became extremely successful.
- In castle, Iris gets gooseflesh from fright.
Food and drink Edit
- Iris drinks Pinot grigio.
- At the restaurant, Iris eats garlic bread and anchovies on pizza, and Tom eats dough balls.
- Iris likens putting her memories into the Memory Crystal like "pouring brandy into a decanter".
- Panda likes nibbling bamboo at meetings.
- Iris is glad Alan-a-Dale stopped playing his instrument, which is either a mandolin or a bango. She likened the music it played to world music.
- Iris thinks that Will Scarlet was giving her the "glad-eye".
- Lucretia, Cassandra and Hortensia are MIAOW operatives.
- According to Iris, Panda does not have a mind.
- Iris' bus has a device that can hone in on a person's bio-rhythm.
- This audio drama was recorded on 4 September 2005 at The Moat Studios.
- This story was originally released on CD.
- In track five, a rendition of Greensleeves plays.
- Although the location of the contemporary scenes was not stated within this story, The Dreadful Flap and Enter Wildthyme reveal that Tom lived in London, giving a clear location for this story.
- Iris and her companion Tom first appeared in PROSE: Verdigris.
- Details about Tom's departure were first given in PROSE: Preface.
- Iris mentions the Mines of Marlion, (PROSE: Mad Dogs and Englishmen) and Jenny Winterleaf and her irritable bowels, who was Iris' companion, first mentioned in PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion.
- Mida Slike had appeared in PROSE: Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
- This incarnation of Iris had previously appeared in AUDIO: Excelis Dawns, AUDIO: The Plague Herds of Excelis and AUDIO: The Wormery.