Doctor Who-Leave The Dead To Dust [A Short Screenplay]

Zygon

“LEAVE THE DEAD TO DUST”

A SHORT SCREEN PLAY BASED OFF OF “HELL BENT”

 

  1. EXT- DESERT-DAY

Several Gallifreyan younglings are playing a game of tag with one another when a stern, commanding middle-aged woman urges them to seek shelter within-she has spotted someone approaching in the distance.

This person- THE DOCTOR- his coat slung over his shoulder, his head flooded with sweat under the searing sun of his homeworld. He has walked many miles and the fatigue is visible on his weary head.

Still, he walks with purpose, heading towards the hut. It is a place very familiar to him-very personal-he begins to reminisce…

CUT TO-

  1. INT-HUT-NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Flashback to “LISTEN”, where CLARA OSWALD’s familiar voice sooths the frightened and distressed YOUNG DOCTOR. She assures him all is well.

CUT BACK TO:

  1. EXT-DESERT-DAY

A CLOSE UP OF THE DOCTOR’S FACE,  there is clear and visible anger here…a man driven to his limits. Clara’s voice can still be heard to echo all around our ears.

CUT TO:

  1. INT-HUT-DAY

The Doctor enters the hut and is greeted by the woman, the younglings cowering behind her. CLOSE UPs of their frightened faces. The woman looks concerned…for a moment.

The Doctor does not say a word. He lets his eyes do the talking. 

The Woman’s facial expressions go through a series of expressions-curiosity turns to excitement-she recognizes him!

Then, as quickly as that expression appears-it’s gone, as a looming dread washes over her.

Her hesitation to speak ends abruptly.

WOMAN:

They’ll kill you

CUT TO:

OPENING TITLES

CUT BACK TO:

  1. EXT-GALLIFREYAN CAPITAL-DAY

Within the domed capital of the planet GALLIFREY, we see panic on the streets as the familiar tolling of CLOISTER BELLS ring from every corner of the city. 

We PAN UPWARDS from the streets of the city to a majestic ,gleaming TOWERING STRUCTURES. Buildings belonging to the most elite and privileged of Gallifreyan society-THE HIGH COUNCIL OF TIME LORDS.

We steadily ZOOM IN on the central tower. Peering out of the structure is a robed figure- a stressed and perturbed expression on his features, his head resting against the metallic hand he has leaned on the glass of the window giving him a view of the city

CUT TO:

  1. INT-HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER

It is a frantic and bustling scene as Time Lords of supreme stature receive a visit from the captain of the CHANCELLERY GUARDS. He leans down on one knee and bows before the assembled Time Lords

GUARD CAPTAIN:

My Lord President

The President turns from the window to address the captain

LORD PRESIDENT

The entire cloister is ringing Captain Gastron…how many of the Wraiths are active?

GASTRON:

All of them sir.

LORD PRESIDENT

Then we are facing great danger

Another of the assembled Time Lords, THE GENERAL, last seen in “DAY OF THE DOCTOR”,  intercedes

THE GENERAL:

What of The Doctor?

GASTRON:

Returned  to his roots sir, the orphanage just east of the capital.

LORD PRESIDENT:

Despatch a squadron to retrieve him immediately.

The General takes The President aside

GENERAL:

Lord President, I have been in contact with Karn. Ohlia of the Sisterhood requests an audience

LORD PRESIDENT (angry)

They are exiles, cut off from our society, they should have no influence on the affairs of this planet!

GENERAL:

Now is not the time to remind us of how divided we are. The hybrid is a danger that threatens all corners of the Universe.

The President’s ire is quick to fade , his face one of solemn resignation to the matter at hand.

LORD PRESIDENT

Very well

CUT TO:

  1. INT-BARN-DAY

The Doctor is enjoying a piping hot bowl of soup. The Woman keeps the children at arm’s length, watching The Doctor silently. The Doctor does not say a word, he takes a few spoonfuls.

One child chooses to be brave and breaks off from the sheltered group to ask The Doctor a question

CHILD

You’re sad. Most sad. I can see it in your eyes. Why is this so?

The Doctor stares coldly at the child, there is no compassion even in moments where there should be.

The Woman pulls the child back, The Doctor resumes his meal.

A distant rumble can be heard in the distance. Steadily, the noise gets louder, the table and soup bowl begins to shake.

Some of the children begin to talk amongst themselves. Some are frightened.

THE WOMAN

Wait here

She exits through the main door, the bright and searing sunlight seeps into the room, illuminating The Doctor. The children remain transfixed by him…and somehow all their fears evaporate

The Woman steps back into the barn, she steadily approaches The Doctor, anxious, but resolute.

THE WOMAN

They’ve come for you

The Doctor stares back at the children. He slowly rises to his feet and walks up to the Woman.

THE DOCTOR

Tell them everything will be alright

The Woman finally permits herself a grin. The children smile too. Though his soul is lost, The Doctor is not without heart.

The Doctor pats the Woman tenderly on the shoulder and opens the door

CUT TO:

  1. EXT-BARN-DAY

The Doctor peers out of the door to find a small platoon of Gallifreyan storm troopers awaiting him. Towering high above them is a Gallifreyan assault ship, it’s weapons firmly and locked on to the soil on which The Doctor stands.

The leader of the platoon, BESTRAL, approaches The Doctor and extends his hand in a gesture of friendship

 BESTRAL

Doctor, I am Captain Bestral, on behalf of the high council, I welcome you back…

The Doctor has no time for pleasantries, especially from this type of person. He quickly takes a few steps backwards back into the barn and slams the door firmly shut, leaving the guards flabbergasted.

BESTRAL

Put me through to the High Council

CUT TO:

  1. INT-HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER-DAY

Bestral is granted an audience with the assembled Time Lords. The President a tad overeager for progress to be made. His iron gauntlet shimmers with sheer power as if to more clearly convey his frustration as he tries to maintain a sense of composure.

LORD PRESIDENT

Why do you delay?

BESTRAL

                 He is being… difficult…Lord President, as you had foreseen

The President turns to The General, his features contorted as he juggles disbelief and paranoia.

LORD PRESIDENT

What does he want?

THE GENERAL

What any victim of the confession trials want and seldom never receive my Lord…a reckoning.

CUT TO:

  1. INT-BARN-DAY

The child that had noted The Doctor’s sadness from earlier spots the Time Lord searching through a casket. He removes several items, including several fob watches and an Edwardian era Jacket. At one point, he finds a packet of Jelly Babies. He takes a few out and offers them to the boy.

THE DOCTOR

Care for one?

CHILD

No one’s supposed to touch anything in there

THE DOCTOR

Because a grownup said so?

CHILD

We have to obey orders, they say we’ll become soldiers one day

THE DOCTOR

How long has it been since this planet last saw war?

CHILD

They say war is as eternal as time.

THE DOCTOR

And just like time…it inevitably passes.

The Doctor finds what he is looking for, a musical instrument, a wooden, six string guitar, he plays a solemn version of Clara’s theme on it. The children all gather around him as he plays, transfixed by the occasion. Even The Woman, trying to maintain a semblance of structure and attempting to pry the children’s attention away from The Doctor, cannot help but be moved.

CHILD

There was such sadness in your eyes…now there is pain in this song. This one, does it have a name?

The Doctor spots something in the crate, the small soldier figurine from “Listen”, he stares at it, a sense of longing in his ancient face

THE DOCTOR

I think it’s called…Clara

A voice from behind the door swiftly interrupts them

BESTRON

Doctor, this is your last warning. Accompany us to the capital, or we will be forced to remove you from this dwelling by force

CHILD

What are you going to do?

The Doctor begins playing a different track on the guitar, “Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky”

THE DOCTOR

Don’t worry, it’s empty words. I trust them to follow their conscious. They know what I did in the last war.

CHILD

What did you do?

THE DOCTOR

I did some counting

  1. INT-HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER

We find the President  is again in great distress, his frustration knows no limits as the guards delay outside the hut

LORD PRESIDENT

Who do they think he is to warrant more delay?

THE GENERAL

The man who won the time war sir

Ohlia and the Sisterhood of Karn enter the chamber, flanked by guards

OHLIA

I see The Doctor’s homecoming has not come without it’s inevitable problems

LORD PRESIDENT

He blame us for the horrors he faced in the confession dial

OHLIA

No, not at all..he just blames YOU

CUT TO:

  1. INT-HUT-DAY

The Doctor is perched on a straw bed, hearing the music he’d been playing earlier played back to him by the child, who he is now allowing to play with the guitar. He hears another loud hum overhead. He steadily rises to his feet, he seems to know this is the kind of  house call he had been desiring. His reckoning is here

  1. EXT-HUT-DAY

The President of the Time Lords, flanked by Bestron and his guards, stand outside the hut

  1. INT-HUT-DAY

The Doctor takes the Edwardian jacket from the pile left on the floor and puts it on. He make his way to the door. The woman and children are there to greet him. The woman is conflicted, not wanting to defy the President, but does not desire The Doctor to give himself up when he has brought much joy to her children.

WOMAN

He’s waiting for you…I don’t think we should delay any further. If you knew the stories about what he can do…I don’t wish for that on the boys, you understand of course.

THE DOCTOR

Yes. I know. This is where we part, thank you for all you’ve done for me

The child, still holding the guitar in his right hand, tugs at The Doctor’s coat with his left.

CHILD

Will we see you again?

THE DOCTOR

In time…and maybe in space. It’s a big universe. You could do with running straight into it when you’re older

The Doctor pats the child on the head and boldly takes steps to exit the Hut.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT-HUT-DAY

The bright searing Gallifreyan sunlight bursts forth and some of its rays illuminate the tense showdown between The Doctor and the President

LORD PRESIDENT

We did not go to this much trouble for you to create discord upon your return

THE DOCTOR

Get off my planet

The President laughs

LORD PRESIDENT

You have no gratitude. Were it not for my orders, you would not standing before me now with a new face…a new life

THE DOCTOR

This face is old, this life is scarred. Also by your orders. Another life has been lost. I do not forget these deeds.

LORD PRESIDENT

Your companion’s death was a result of her own reckless overconfidence

THE DOCTOR

You set a trap for me and she walked straight into it

LORD PRESIDENT

We required your assistance

THE DOCTOR

You could have summoned me

LORD PRESIDENT

And give our location away to our enemies? We are more vulnerable now than ever Doctor, we have seen much conflict since returning to this universe. Many have tried to stand in Gallifrey’s ruins.

THE DOCTOR

There were other ways

LORD PRESIDENT

You would have been difficult to deal with if merely summoned. You may not have been willing to tell us all you know about the Hybrid, a danger to us all

THE DOCTOR

The Hybrid was a story

LORD PRESIDENT

Every story ever told is history Doctor, history that has either been prevented by us, or history that is bound to happen if we leave it unchecked

THE GENERAL

You said you were the Hybrid Doctor

THE DOCTOR

Yes I did, and no, I didn’t. Have you been paying attention to history?

LORD PRESIDENT

Tell us what you know

THE DOCTOR

Get off my planet

LORD PRESIDENT

Gallifrey is mine

The President raises his iron glove, it begins to glow

THE GENERAL

Lord President, please, this is not the way

THE DOCTOR

No, let him sic his mitten on me, it’s bringing out the colour in those ice-cold cheeks

LORD PRESIDENT

I do not jest Doctor, I shall go to any lengths to get the truth. In the confession dial you died time and again…and where we come from, time has no desire to leave the dead alone.

The Doctor stands firm, we continuously CUT BETWEEN CLOSE-UPS of the two staring intently at each other, neither backing down from what they mean or say.

Finally, one Time Lord can stand it no longer.

GENERAL

Lord President, do not-

The President unleashes a sudden burst of energy from his glove, the General throws himself into the line of fire and becomes a smouldering wisp of smoke and ash.

The Doctor catches the President unawares with a firm right hook, the President falls to the floor, The Doctor places one foot soundly on his glove as guards swarm over them

The Doctor removes the President’s glove

THE DOCTOR

Take a look at what he is willing to do here, make a choice.

The Doctor stares at the remnants of the General’s clothes, a pained yet stern and commanding presence on his face as he recalls the smoke pouring from Clara’s corpse in “FACE THE RAVEN”

The soldiers drop their weapons and pick up the fallen President, restraining him, their choice made

LORD PRESIDENT

I am Rassilon, the redeemer, Rassilon the resurrected, Gallifrey is mine. You will obey me!

THE DOCTOR

Noone is your servant and you are not The Master, and I mean that quite literally. You do not rule over these men or any other. Not any longer.

Rassilon is taken back to his ship, he looks over at the children staring back at him. The young boy plays ‘Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky’ on the guitar

THE DOCTOR

Nicely played kid.

BESTRAL:

My Lord Doctor, shall I order the potion mixers back at the capital to prepare the General for resurrection?

THE DOCTOR

No, no soldier, he’s  earned his rest. Even as it comes to claim us all, it’s best for life and time if we merely leave the dead to dust.

 

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