Graham took a deep intake of breath as he sat down beside Agent O, the evening before had put both of them as well as The Doctor on an apprehensive edge, but they still felt like they could brave whatever was to come, and they trusted the reassuring light of morning more than the distrust and danger of night.
“How’s Yaz?” said O as he handed Graham a cup of tea
“Ryan’s outside with her now, she looked pretty shaken, here’s hoping his company does her some good, but if that don’t work, we’ll have to put a group effort in. That’s what we do you know, we support each other”
“One big happy family” O said under his breath
Graham got the distinct impression that O muttered this with some degree of envious resentment; he wasn’t quite sure where he had gotten it from, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask down the line.
However, in this instance O was quick to ask his own questions.
“How long have you known the Doctor, Graham?”
“Well it’s a tricky question that, see things never really happen in a straight line with the Doc”
Graham sensed O wanted to share more than what he was already telling, he knew things of The Doctor, things he felt he needed to know. A part of him also felt slightly frustrated he hadn’t taken the lead with the inquisition.
“Why? How much do you know about her?”
“A bit,” ha “our paths crossed very briefly once, when she was a man.”
Graham almost choked on his tea.
“When she was a what?” he said aloud
“Has she never mentioned that?”
“Yeah, yeah she did. The night Grace, my wife, died, when we first met her. She claimed she’d been a white-haired Scotsman. I thought it was some wild random joke only she got, but obviously there was more to it”
“You seem surprised” said O.
“I suppose, shouldn’t I be?”
“Well, it IS current year” O elaborated.
“Oh, well, forgive me then, I come from a time where news like this would level anyone of my generation’s upbringing. It’s quite a lot to take in, especially since I…”
He trailed off, almost letting something slip to O that he preferred to keep private.
“..Never mind, not important”
“You got any idea where she’s from?” O asked next.
“Well, we’ve tried to ask, but she just changes the subject, yeah.”
O’s eyes glanced in the direction of a stack of folders and files perched on the top of a shelf.
“I’ve got everything up there, anything you want answered about The Doctor can be found up there, all the Intel I could gather while working at MI6. It can be all yours Graham”
“Isn’t that all confidential? Official secrets act and all that?”
“Come on, I won’t tell” O said.
Graham now sensed that O was pressuring him, almost mischievously, like they were two errant schoolboys who had gotten their hands on the answer to a really tough exam and were daring the other to take a peek at the answers.
“What do you say Graham? Do you want to take a look?”
Graham took another sip, stared at the shelf, teased he’d get up out of the seat, and then stopped to process what he was considering.
Finally, he turned back to O and shook his head.
“I’d rather she tell me, when she’s ready”
“Quite right, you’re a good catch for her Graham”
“Eh? The Doc? I suppose she’s alright” Graham replied, before mentally cursing himself.
He hadn’t responded with something that definitively took issue with what O had suggested, and now he was going to pounce on that to further an already complicated conversation.
“She’s quite the looker”
Graham smiled, but the look on his face told O that pursuits like that just weren’t meant to be.
“Oh I don’t think along those lines, I’m old enough to be as much her granddad as I am Ryan’s’”
“Then you don’t know the stories?”
“She’s got a reputation; we learn something about that every day around her”
“Yes, but if you did read the files I have on her, you’ll find she’s older than she looks, even older than you. Age needn’t be an issue with you two. You’re both the oldest and the wisest of your little group”
“Oh come off it, me and her? Only in a fantasy world”
“Strange, that…does appear to be something you’re both currently qualified for”
“I’m not a well man O; I’ve had my share of scares with the big C”
“Oh I’m sure C was just splendid around you”
“The other ‘C’, cancer” Graham corrected him.
“Oh, but of course, my apologies”
“Yeah, I’m not out of the woods with it either. Me and Doc couldn’t have anything, if we got too attached, she’d end up saying goodbye to me just as soon as she learned how to listen”
The Doctor suddenly burst out of the TARDIS carrying a large jug of liquid.
“Come on you two, everyone outside. Lot’s to catch up on. I made ice tea. Possibly” she said, showing the contents to Graham proudly, before dashing towards the front door, beckoning Graham and O to join her.
“So considerate” O said.
“Ice tea? Grace loved to take that while we were abroad. Haven’t drank it since she passed. How did she know?”
“Maybe she does listen once in a while…perhaps she even made it to impress you, let you know just how lucky she is to have you in her life” O said.
Graham gave him a piercing glance, more perturbed than ever with what he was implying. This was not the kind of conversation he had desired in the morning, nor the kind of feelings he wanted to confront.
“Just saying” he concluded.
“O, not a whiff of this conversation reaches her ears, you got that?”
“Absolutely” he said.
The two got up, ready to head outside, Graham did one last look at the files on the shelf, then turned and joined The Doctor.
O put his right hand on Graham’s shoulder.
“Rest assured Graham, nothing of what I said was meant to make you feel uncomfortable, it’s just…when one comes to understand The Doctor like I do, you tend to see more of what makes her so…satisfying”
“You got something for her yourself? I know my pulse can race, but you’re acting like your own beat is a bit of a beast around her”
“Oh it very much is…it’s like a drumbeat” O said.
I know I posted an “alternative part fourteen” to Trial of a Time Lord earlier in the month on here (since deleted), but I wasn’t satisfied at all with how it turned out so it’s back in the workshop. In the meantime, here’s an alternative part thirteen, with all references to Peri surviving removed, as well as the revelation the Valeyard is a manifestation of the Doctor’s darker side…now he’s simply a future incarnation of The Doctor
Since releasing the original version, I have since watched a few other edits of this episode and I feel further improvements can be made, some inspired by the other cuts I saw, but I gave the edits my own twist
Changes to version two
-Capaldi and Bradley’s banter greatly reduced, time freezes directly after Twelve says First’s face is all over the place due to holding back regeneration
-Testimony ship now abducts the TARDIS before the ‘male nurses’ dialogue can kick in, this allows us to skip other unnecessary conversations about The Doctor’s guitar and One dismaying that Polly isn’t around to do the cleaning up
-One’s reaction to the sonic sunglasses remains cut.
-Twelve’s “cut out all the jokes” line is cut
-Bill’s reaction to One’s TARDIS is cut
-One’s remarks regarding Bill giving the TARDIS a spring cleaning is cut, helping bridge the transition between One’s missing lines and Twelve interrupting him is the line “I kind of miss it” in regards to Bill missing her travels with The Doctor.
-One’s reactions to having the sonic sunglasses placed on his eyes cut, as is the line “what’s browser history”
-The infamous “made of glass/fairer sex experience” exchange cut.
-Bill and Twelve’s argument minimised as Bill finds The Doctor’s doubts about her amusing. One’s threat of a spanked bottom cut
-Capaldi’s final speech greatly reduced. Soundtrack removed from scene to allow better transitions
-Regeneration occurs, but we cut away to a “TO BE CONTINUED” before we see anything from Thirteen.
-Jodie Whitaker’s credit cut in ending
This cut makes use of superfans Youtubers Oliver Comet and Confession Dial to prove you with the most unique cut of Day of the Doctor perhaps ever assembled. Classic Doctors, the near-entirety of Night of the Doctor, a clearer and more concise transition from War to Nine, it’s all here for you on this, the 56th anniversary of our favourite tv programme, so get in.
As The Fifth Doctor bids farewell to his previous selves, he finds one of those selves may be a little further ahead
THE MAN I WAS
The game of Rassilon was over, the price for playing it had been paid in full by the now deposed Borusa, President Eternal, now ruling alongside many other prize claimers over a tomb.
Within moments Chancellor Flavia and her guards would be descending on the chamber to secure the area and to instruct those who had survived the game to make a full statement of their ordeals.
The Doctor knew he had to make good his escape before that could happen. Celestial Intervention Agency’s regular lines of inquiry were always so bothersome to him.
He also knew that each of his incarnations would have the most terrible trouble keeping their singular narrative straight, having experienced four separate challenges all at once.
He envied his fourth incarnation, who had managed to elude the whole procedure purely on an error on Borusa’s part.
The window open to his remaining selves were narrowing, he knew if they all took their leave now, there would be no chance of him being able to properly recollect due to the timelines being thrown back into synch, he would not be able to retain the memory, and the CIA would be far too tangled up in red tape to bother pursuing the matter further.
Temporal fission was the solution; another product of Rassilon’s misguided but fair genius. Those who had participated in the game would be returned to their customary times and places.
As they all came up to him to say goodbye, the kindly elderly soul reunited at last with his granddaughter, the inconsistently tempered cosmic hobo accompanied by a respected Brigadier, and finally his third incarnation, accompanied by perhaps the best of companions.
Sarah Jane Smith.
“Well goodbye me dear chap, I must say I’ve had the time of my lives, haven’t we Sarah Jane?” asked the third, extending his hand out to shake his other selves’.
“Have we? Well, I only have one life and I’ve had too much already” she said.
She reached to extend her own hand and bid farewell
“Goodbye” she began, than something came over her.
Some more rational people would call this an instance of recognition, and a chance to make something of the moment before them.
The realization had to have been dawning on Sarah by now this was the latest version of The Doctor, the form that had succeeded his fourth, the last face Sarah saw.
The one that left her behind on Earth on the flimsy basis no human was to step forth on Gallifrey, his home world.
In truth, he just didn’t want her to know him better than any of his prior companions. The last two to step forth on his world had their memories stolen from them, their times with him on his travels brutishly cut short.
Things had changed in his lives since then; experience had taught him that a greater loss can occur on his adventures whether or not they be tied to Gallifrey and its own dangers. The late Adric had seen to that.
He had tapped into the minds of all his incarnations when they had linked together to free him from Borusa’s control, and from what he had glimpsed of his third incarnation’s dealings in the Zone he had found it the most casual, almost no drama to be had other than bearing witness to a Raston robot’s crude despatch of Cyberman forces.
He reflected on how Sarah had dealt with witnessing one of the deadliest killing machines devised, and she had barely blinked.
This was the woman he deemed impossible to take with him?
What if she told him, in this moment, how she felt? Would she thank him for the times he spent with her? Would he thank her for sending her a version of K9 as a Christmas present? Would she give him a piece of her mind?
His heartbeats beat faster, his aloof expression almost crumbled.
Then the moment passed as quickly as it had started with a formal handshake and a quiet goodbye.
“Erm, it was very nice meeting you”
The Third Doctor ceased the opportunity to make light commentary on this
“Thankyou Sarah, it was nice meeting you too”
“I’ll explain later” he said, giving his other incarnation a wink.
It was at this moment that The Fifth Doctor reflected on another memory of his third self created by this day’s events, another exchange between him and Sarah Jane when they had first met up in the Death Zone.
“No, no, it’s you you”
“No, No, you changed remember? You became all, er…”
“Teeth and Curls?”
He had remembered what his fourth incarnation was fated to look like. Usually a time lord can only be certain of his own reflection for as long as his timeline is out-of-synch, then they forget as soon as the adventure with them has concluded. In times of greater danger, the future self manifests as a projection, occasionally the projection will be camouflaged to prevent the reflection becoming clearer , presumably not to shake the focus of those they’re assisting to move on to the next phase as they combine wits to solve a problem.
Another response from the exchange rattled The Doctor further.
“Yes, well, maybe I did, but I haven’t yet”
He was trying to make things simpler for Sarah on their adventure together, but he holding something back from her, he had planted a lie inside a truth.
He had become teeth and curls; he just hadn’t become him again.
Retro regeneration was, after all, possible.
Perhaps Borusa’s time scoop had malfunctioned twice, displacing his fourth incarnation, and bringing another incarnation that happened to take the face of a previous self forward. The pain he had felt when he was initially taken perhaps could have been because they were in the midst of a forgotten adventure together and his role in that encounter was essential to keeping him alive.
If his luck held out, perhaps the explanation to Sarah was one about to come rather than yet to come.
Sarah could sleep soundly in bed today knowing she could see the faces of all those Doctors she knew again, replenished, and renewed.
And if there ever came a day where he would revisit a few of those old faces, he would make up for the mistakes in the lives they had led earlier.
Next time, he would not let her go.
As he watched the ‘Third’ Doctor and Sarah Jane enter the TARDIS, The Doctor spoke to his companions, a part of him cursed himself for not saying much to Sarah Jane in that crucial moment, but a part of him was overjoyed at realising what sort of person he’d travelled far from
“I’m definitely not the man I was. Thank goodness”