By Robert Shearman
The Tale Of The Foolish King: Part I
Once upon a time, in a land not too dissimilar to ours, there lived a king, and he was a good king in an age when good was something of an unfashionable rarity. He was very, very wise and very, very powerful, but he was also very, very old, and he realised that for all his great wisdom and his great power, he would soon have to leave his kingdom once and for all, and make the journey to the outside world of infinite darkness. And so, on the eve of his departure, when his physicians had finished all their head shaking, and his wives had wrung as many tears from their eyes as they could, he called his son and heir to his side.
“Everything you see is yours to command,” he said. “But be advised that better slaves are those who still believe they taste some freedom. Play the tyrant, but you must inspire love as well as fear.”
Yet the son cared not for his words, and when the corpse had been dispatched, with much pomp and fireworks, to the darker realms outside, the new king resolved to stretch the limits of his authority. He gathered all the people before him and told them that their every thought must match his thought. No will should exist save his will, and people being people, they agreed. Those that didn’t vanished in the night, and their families soon learned to pretend that they had never existed, but still the king was not content. So, he instructed the animals in his kingdom that they must now obey his commands. Horses should bark, dogs should mew, fish should fly from tree to tree exactly as he desired, and animals being animals, they agreed. Some of the pigs had to be culled, but no one minded because they tasted so lip-smackingly good, and the cats had to go because no one can tell a cat anything. But soon the people and the animals lived in perfect harmony. Their lives precise expressions of the whims of their lord.
Charley: Oh, no… Doctor! Doctor, where are you?
Are you in there?
Something’s wrong with the TARDIS!
Everything’s wrong with the TARDIS, quite probably… Doctor! The door’s jammed, I couldn’t get in!
The Doctor: The door isn’t jammed.
The Doctor: You can’t open the door because there’s nothing behind it anymore, you see?
There’s nothing there.
CHARLEY: What are you doing on the floor?
Are you hurt? I didn’t see you down there.
DOCTOR: Of course, you didn’t. That was the idea. I’m hiding.
CHARLEY: Oh, I see.
DOCTOR: Get down behind the console with me, so you can hide too.
CHARLEY: Doctor, what are you… we hiding from?
DOCTOR: From what’s behind the door.
CHARLEY: You said nothing was behind the door.
DOCTOR: Nothing. Exactly!
Between you and me, I’m hiding from lots of other things, too
CHARLEY: Other things apart from nothing?
DOCTOR: inevitable things: pain, fear, death.
Silly really, since they are inevitable, perhaps I should just have done with it,confront them once and for all, stop hiding behind the console of this worn-out TARDIS of mine. Stop running away all my lives. But what then? That’s the problem, isnt’ it.
What do I do then? I’m sorry, it occurs to me since I’m hiding here from so many nothings and somethings, I don’t know yet whether I should have been hiding from you as well. Who are you?
CHARLEY: Doctor, you know me, I’m Charley.
CHARLEY: Yes. You remember?
DOCTOR: Charley’s safe, I know she is.
CHARLEY: It’s me, Doctor.
DOCTOR: No, Charley wouldn’t betray me, she wouldn’t betray me like that! Aaaaah!
DOCTOR: Charley, it hurts.
CHARLEY: What is it, what can I do?
DOCTOR: My senses being burnt out of me. Uh, how can you live like this?
CHARLEY: Doctor, hold my hand. Tell me, tell me what’s happening?
DOCTOR: You have… you have five senses, yes? Sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. A time lord has many more, all to do with temporal awareness, our unique relationship with time. For us, time doesn’t merely pass, we can see it, taste it. It’s all gone. It’s as if I’ve been blinded.
CHARLEY: Who’s doing this to you? How can we make it stop?
DOCTOR: Nothing is doing it to me, and nothing can stop it. It’s this new universe, time works differently here. There can be no Lords of Time – there is no time to be a lord of. A moment happens, then it’s gone forever. Hours, minutes, seconds – they rush by, nothing can slow them or grasp hold, they rush on and they’re then lost. There’s another one gone, and another, and another.
CHARLEY: This is how we, mere humans, always experience time.
DOCTOR: I know. How can you live like this? All the opportunity we must fill these seconds, quickly, we’ll never get another chance all the waste, these seconds are gone forever. What’s the point of filling them? Everything’s temporary, only memories left until the memories fade. How can you live like this? How can it not drive you mad?
CHARLEY: It’s not so bad, I mean, you get used to it.
DOCTOR: Do you think so?
CHARLEY: Yes. In…time.
DOCTOR: (laughs) The TARDIS feels it too. This Universe has no place for her. A time machine and a Time Lord, how redundant. How pathetic…
CHARLEY: Doctor, look, the door!
DOCTOR: It’s breaking through.
CHARLEY: Blackness, just blackness! What is it?
DOCTOR: I told you, NOTHING, at all. The TARDIS has no purpose any longer. It is being eaten away by oblivion. Do you know, this ship of mine used to be vast, a beautiful craft she was, spanning the dimensions…
CHARLEY: Doctor, of course I know, I’m Charley!
DOCTOR: Those were better days, eh, old girl? Now being whittled down to nothing, getting smaller by the second until there will be nothing left.
CHARLEY: Wait. Are you telling me that the console room is all that is left of the TARDIS?
DOCTOR: And not even all the console room, look at the shadows growing more and more, being lost to the blackness. Look! Another bit’s gone.
CHARLEY: You can’t just sit on the floor and watch this happen! Doctor!
DOCTOR: You’re quite right.
CHARLEY: Thank goodness…
DOCTOR: I shall STAND and watch it happen. A captain going down with his ship.
CHARLEY: Doctor! I refuse to believe you’ll give in so easily! It’s not what you do. We could leave the TARDIS…
DOCTOR: Leave the TARDIS? But it’s a whole new universe out there.
CHARLEY: Exactly! Don’t you want to see what it looks like? Don’t you want to explore?
DOCTOR: it’s too late. There’s too much blackness. We can’t reach the outer doors now.
CHARLEY: No! Take my hand. I can find the path through it, I’m sure of it. Doctor!
DOCTOR: Who is to say? Who is to say that the Universe out there is better than the one in the blackness, that I’ve been running away from all these years…
CHARLEY: (interrupting)Doctor, you must come with me now!
DOCTOR: …that I’ve cheated so many times, who is to say we won’t have better adventures there?
CHARLEY: The TARDIS! She’s opening the doors for us. She’s giving us a chance to escape. Take my hand.
DOCTOR: I don’t know what to do.
CHARLEY: There’s light out there, Doctor, look at it!
DOCTOR: I can’t take my eyes off the blackness…
CHARLEY: (distant voice) Doctor!
DOCTOR: Charley, please, please, help me!
CHARLEY: Take my hand!
CHARLEY: Take it now, quick!
*the flash of light, laser-beam sound, faint high-pitched noise, as in neon lamp*
DOCTOR: it’s all right
CHARLEY: I can’t see, it’s too bright
DOCTOR: Close your eyes against it
CHARLEY: It makes no difference, the light still gets in. I can’t tell if my eyes are open or closed. Doctor, I can’t..
DOCTOR: Charley, calm down. I need you to calm down.
CHARLEY: I can’t see, it hurts!
DOCTOR: Shh, no, no, it doesn’t. It’s just your body attempted to deal with the sudden brightness. It’s setting of your defences, but you’re alright, Charley, you’re alright. Come to me, Charley.
CHARLEY:I don’t know where you are.
DOCTOR: I’m with you, come closer to me, listen for my voice.
CHARLEY: I can’t find you, Doctor!
DOCTOR: Deep breathes, come on, deep breathes. Good girl. Another one.
You’re quite safe. So long as you calm down. Now…
CHARLEY: yes, I’m calm.
DOCTOR: good. Come to me, Charley, come to my voice.
*footsteps on the glass surface*
DOCTOR: I’ve got you, that’s it.
CHARLEY: We must get away from here. You were right, we must get back to the TARDIS.
*the TARDIS disappears*
DOCTOR: I’m afraid not.
CHARLEY: Where’s it gone?
DOCTOR: It doesn’t matter anymore. No more second chances, not in this universe. Second after second, time running on, no turning back the clock anymore.
CHARLEY: But if could just get back inside, try to take off again?
DOCTOR: No, you’ve made the decision for both of us. And now we have to accept the consequences of that.
DOCTOR: Come on. You were the one who wanted to know what this new universe has to offer. Shall we find out?
CHARLEY: Where are we going?
DOCTOR: One foot in front of the other, that’s all we can do.
CHARLEY: Doctor, do we have to go quite so fast?
DOCTOR: The faster we walk, the sooner we’ll get to where we going. Stands to reason.
CHARLEY: But since we can’t see anything, don’t you think it will be safer…
DOCTOR: What is it now?
CHARLEY: Do you think the light will fade at some point?
DOCTOR: Maybe, who can tell?
CHARLEY: It’s just… I don’t think I can stand it any much longer.
DOCTOR: I think we have to consider the possibility that we never will see anything else.
CHARLEY: What do you mean?
DOCTOR: That our eyes simply aren’t equipped to deal with this universe. It might operate on visual stimulae too subtle for us to appreciate. Like a dog whistle, which plays at a frequency beyond the range of the human ear.
CHARLEY: Are you saying that my eyes aren’t ever going to adjust? Nothing but this light, blocking everything else out?
DOCTOR: Perhaps. I don’t know. But since our bodies are not designed to live in this environment, I think we can hardly be surprised that they are not operating at their peak condition. There is one thing we can take some comfort, only one thing, mind
CHARLEY: What’s that?
DOCTOR: We’re not dead.
DOCTOR: or, at least not yet. We should keep our options open, I mean, for example, one of the chances that this universe would be so abundant in oxygen. Can you breathe alright?
CHARLEY: Yes, thank you.
DOCTOR: Ah. But are you sure? What if the air you’re inhaling bears superficial resemblance to our oxygen? You lungs are doing their best trying to adapt to it and take what they can, doing their desparate bit to ensure that you continue to live that little while longer?
DOCTOR: but they ... This isn’t oxygen but gas your body has never encountered, was never designed to encounter? And slowly and surely with every gasp you take, it’s destroying your body.
CHARLEY: Doctor, please, stop it!
DOCTOR: Relax, it is oxygen, I can tell. What are the odds.
CHARLEY: Never frighten me like that again!
DOCTOR: We can’t take anything for granted. Not anymore. What can you smell?
DOCTOR: Come on, take a big sniff.
CHARLEY: Do you think that’s safe?
DOCTOR: I have no faintest idea. But I’m curious.
CHARLEY: *inhales the air*
CHARLEY: idon;t know
DOCTOR: Describe it to me, in detail
CHARLEY: Well, I suppose it’s a little dusty
DOCTOR: Dusty, eh?
CHARLEY: Yes, just very faint. No, wait, it’s getting stronger. Yes!
Makes my nose tickle. The air seems a bit stale. There’s certain mustiness to it.
DOCTOR: Dusty and musty. My goodness.
CHARLEY: It’s not very pleasant, anyway.
DOCTOR: Can;t you detect that smell of fruitcake, cooling in the kitchen?
CHARLEY: What? Wait...
DOCTOR: With just a hint of orange peel and squeezed lemon. Fresh.
CHARLEY: Fresh! That’s it! What is it, Doctor, where are we?
DOCTOR: Shall I tell you what i can smell? Absolutely nothing.Nothing whatsoever.
CHARLEY: But you said...
DOCTOR: There’s nothing here to smell, but your brain can’t accept it.
It is struggling but it has to fill in the gaps because there cannot be any gaps.
It’s dealing with the world of nothings, when it’s job is to provide somethings, whether that be dust or orange peel, a lungful of fresh air or a blinding bright light.
What can you touch?
CHARLEY: Hm, there’s a wall, it seems to be curved...
DOCTOR: No, what can you touch?
CHARLEY: It feels smooth, like glass
DOCTOR: No, what can you TOUCH?
CHARLEY: Your hand, I’m holding your hand.
CHARLEY: And that’s all I can be sure of.
DOCTOR: I am all you have in the world.
CHARLEY: We are all each other has
DOCTOR: (hesitating) Y-yes, maybe. Yes.
CHARLEY: Wait, can you hear that?
DOCTOR: Just because the delusion is shared it makes it no less a delusion.
CHARLEY: But you CAN hear it, can’t you?
CHARLEY: It’s the TARDIS
DOCTOR: It can’t be the TARDIS, it’s dead.
CHARLEY: And it sounds like she is materializing above us!
DOCTOR: Don;t let go of my hand, Charley.
CHARLEY: Come on, Doctor!
CHARLEY: Charley, be careful, we don’t know what...
*Charley screams and stumbles*
CHARLEY: Oh, I’m alright, I just fell over something. Doctor, I can begin to see.
DOCTOR: It might be another delusion, but my eyes...
CHARLEY: the brightness, it’s fading, just a little, but...Doctor, the TARDIS is giving us back our sight!
*the TARDIS noise*
DOCTOR: If it IS the TARDIS.
CHARLEY: It’s still hard to see, but there are shapes. Doctor, what i fell over...I think it’s a body
DOCTOR: Let me see.
CHARLEY: You have to get up close, it’s hard to make out. Is it dead?
DOCTOR: Very. But the miracle is it was ever alive. Look at it.
CHARLEY: it’s not like anything I’ve ever seen.
DOCTOR: a far simpler organism that we’ve been used to. Look, exposed heart and brain wall, no limbs, morelike ceudepoediae.
CHARLEY: Something like an amoeba
DOCTOR: But the size of it! I can’t imagine the conditions that will allow this to live. Certainly, not the conditionsthat would allow us to.
The Voice: help
CHARLEY: Doctor, it’s trying to speak
DOCTOR: Impossible, it’s barely evolved to have a rudimentary nervous system, let alone the means to master conversation
SOUND CREATURE: help
CHARLEY: What are you? We want to help.
SOUND CREATURE: Help
CHARLEY: Yes, yes, we’ll do our best
SOUND CREATURE: help helphelp (increasing pitch )help
SOUND CREATURE: (loud scary hissing whisper) PLEEEEASE....HEEEELP...MEEEEE
*the TARDIS noise approaching*
DOCTOR: The creature, it’s being torn apart
CHARLEY: Could it be decomposition?
DOCTOR: Sp quickly? Well, who knows what’s possible, but it seems to me that something is gnawing at it.
CHARLEY: But what? I didn’t see anything.
DOCTOR: No. Worrying, isn’t it.
*the sound of a sudden flash of light*
CHARLEY: Ow! The brightness is back!
DOCTOR: And now there’s nothing to see at all
CHARLEY: oh, help me up
DOCTOR: yes, of course. Here.
DOCTOR: Step forward, over the remains.
CHARLEY: Yes, good idea.
DOCTOR: Not that there are many remains to step into.
CHARLEY: No. What are we going to do?
DOCTOR: Do? What gives you the idea that we are capable of doing anything?
CHARLEY: We need a plan.
DOCTOR: A plan?
CHARLEY: Yes! That amoeba creature, it asked us to help, that’s what we do. We find out what’s killing its kind and put an end to it.
CHARLEY: Then we find the TARDIS, she’s come back, she was trying to reach us. Maybe she’s managed to expel the blackness we saw?
CHARLEY: Yes. She’s found the way around now, and was, I don’t know, popping back to pick us up. So we sort it out, put things right and then take off again. Find somewhere else to go. Somewhere a little less bright. How does that sound?
CHARLEY: Look. I’m prepared to accept that the plan’s go is not thought through as it could be, put it down to tiredness and confusion and, yes, sheer terror, if you really want to know. But at least I’m trying my best. Trying to stay positive.
DOCTOR: Bravo, Charley. There is just one important thing you’re overlooking.
CHARLEY: And what’s that?
DOCTOR: We are going to die here.
DOCTOR: We. Are going to die.In this universe. Don’t you understand? We are going to die here.
DOCTOR: Listen to me, there is no escape. Not this time. No way out. Sooner or later, sooner most likely, as our continued existence is quite unbelievable, and not something be fair to pin any hopes on, sooner or later we are going to perish in a world in which we have no meaning.Where we are not meant to exist. Where nothing we’ve ever touched or seen or made sense of can reach us. A world which will not have even the merest concept, when we die, of what our dead useless bodies can possibly be.
CHARLEY: Please, don’t. Whatever happens, at least we’ll be together.
CHARLEY: So we can give each other meaning. I came here…I came here for you. I came here to be with you.
DOCTOR: *irritated* You silly little girl. Do you think I want you here?
DOCTOR: If I’m going to die, I want to die alone. It was I thought last decision I would ever make, that I could ever make.
*angrily* It was my right to make. Charley, after all these years, I should have been allowed THAT, at least. That small final dignity. But here you are. You’ve betrayed that. Even that has been taken from me.
CHARLEY: *in trembling voice* But I love you!
*She walks away*
DOCTOR: Charley, come back!
CHARLEY: Leave me alone.
DOCTOR: You’ll get lost, come back! Please, please.
Follow the sound of my voice.
CHARLEY: What do you care?
DOCTOR: I wouldn’t hurt you. I didn’t mean to. Look, I’m frightened just as you are.
CHARLEY: You are?
DOCTOR: More than I’ve ever been in all my lives. Follow my voice.
*Charley walks back to him*
That’s it, that’s it. Take my hand.
CHARLEY: Did you mean what you’ve said?
CHARLEY: Did you?
DOCTOR: Yes, I’m sorry. But you’re here now, take my hand. Please.
DOCTOR: Thank you.
*The Doctor sighs deeply*
CHARLEY: And what now?
DOCTOR: We have to continue walking, on and on. A pair of us, into the brightness. We have no choice.
*They walk, their feet stomp on the glass floor*
The Tale of The Foolish King - Part II
Every living creature obeyed their king, doing everything that he wanted to the smallest detail, sometimes even before he knew he wanted it, but still the king was not content. Living creatures only made up the smallest number of his subjects, so he gave out further orders. He instructed the waves should crash upon the shore only when he gave the word. He instructed the wind should not blow, but suck. Time should not run forwards, but backwards or sideways. It took years to persuade them. Soldiers slashed at the waves until their swords were soaked with wave blood. Wind and time were locked in the deepest dungeons until, starving, they gave in. The king ruled the elements, but still he was not content.
There was one subject that still balked at his power; music. How the king hated music, refusing to be constrained, refusing to be disciplined. A small burst of recitative flowering into a fugue without permission. Or a cantata breaking out overnight into a fully fledged oratorio.
“Will no man rid me of these turbulent tunes?” he cried, and the militia, now trained to obey his merest impulse, took him at his word. They siezed the music, every last crotchet and minuet, each breve and innocent little semi-breve, and threw them out of the kingdom. They threw them into the outside world of infinite darkness, and music was banished forever.
At last, the king had his own universe. It was his and no one else’s. He was happy, and no one dared point out to him that he had exiled the only means by which he could express it.
*the sound of footsteps on the glass, Charley is humming “Frère Jacques” tune*
DOCTOR: Charley, would you stop that, please.
CHARLEY: Oh, I’m sorry.
*long pause, only footsteps*
CHARLEY: I was only humming for a bit of company. Doctor?Just something to keep me going. You haven’t talked to me in ages. I don’t know why. Doctor! Is it something I’ve done?
*Doctor is silent, they keep walking*
CHARLEY: Fine! I just can’t bear this… silence between us.
We’ve been through so much, but we’ve been always able to talk about it.
I can’t see anything.
We’ve been walking and walking, and we don’t know where we’re going. Frightened, frankly, Doctor, I’m frightened.
All I can do is hear, and there’s nothing to hear, because you are ignoring me! Well, I’m sorry, but if you’re not going to talk to me, I’ll just carry on humming and that’s the way it is.
*She is humming the same tune*
DOCTOR: How longdo you think it’s been since I talked to you?
CHARLEY: Ages, I said.
DOCTOR: No, exactly, how long?Minutes?Hours?
CHARLEY: Um, I don’t know.
DOCTOR: Come on, think.
CHARLEY: Half an hour, maybe?Doctor?
CHARLEY: Is that it? Is that all you are going to say?
DOCTOR: Thirty-two hours forty minutes.
DOCTOR: Sensory deprivation. As you said, you can’t do anything but hear. All your other senses are being cut off, and your brain is shutting down accordingly. You knew we hadn’t spoken for quite a while but you still telescoped it down to no more than half an hour.
CHARLEY: We’ve been walking non-stop for thirty-two hours?
DOCTOR: SO much longer than that. I said we hadn’t spoken for thirty-two hours. My guess is that we’ve been walking non-stop for the best part of the week.
CHARLEY: It can’t be. Doesn’t feel that long.Doctor? I’d know, wouldn’t I?
DOCTOR: Tell me, do you feel tired?
DOCTOR: Hungry? Thirsty?
CHARLEY: I haven’t thought about it.
DOCTOR: And you still cannot see anything, or touch anything.
CHARLEY: No, nothing. I can’t feel your hand.
*anxiously* Doctor, are you still holding my hand?
DOCTOR: Easy, I’ve still got you. I’ll give it a squeeze. Feel it?
CHARLEY: Yes, just about. You can squeeze it harder if you want.
DOCTOR: I’m afraid I can’t. I’m squeezing as hard as I can.
CHARLEY: But I can barely make it out.
DOCTOR: You have to admit, it’s fascinating. The means by which we measure, we assess, we judge, all the means which give us some definition, all fading away. Curious, how fragile we turn out to be.
CHARLEY: Curious? It’s terrifying!
DOCTOR: Don’t worry, I daresay even thecapacity for fear will fade eventually.
CHARLEY: But you can still help us, can't you?
DOCTOR: I'm afraid not - my senses are even weaker than yours. I stopped being able to feel your hand in mine long ago. Five hours twenty minutes ago, to be precise.
CHARLEY: But your brain isn't shutting down, you can still tell the time, you can still get us through...
D. If I walk at a reasonable pace, my hearts beat ten times a minute.
If I concentrate hard and have perfect silence, I can count them.
CHARLEY: So, that's why you wouldn't talk to me. I thought you were sulking.
DOCTOR: Charlie, when do I even sulk!
CHARLEY: I thought you were angry with me, and I didn't know why.
You're not angry with me, are you, Doctor?
Doctor, please. You're all I've got, I need you to be...normal with me. But I can't cope! If only I could cope...
DOCTOR: I wonder how long will it take for us to lose all the senses permanently? Shall I count my heartbeats and find out?
DOCTOR: I didn't ask you to come here. Remember that.
CHARLEY: I couldn't leave you. After all you've...
DOCTOR: You know, it's occured to me that perhaps we made a wrong decision back there, when we chosw to go into the light, not in the darkness.
CHARLEY: You said it was oblivion, that it was death!
DOCTOR: perhaps, I got them the wrong way around. Who knows. Something's ..... over, anyway.
CHARLEY: You said we are going to die here.
DOCTOR: Yes. I must say I do find our continued existence very frustrating. It makes no sense at all.
CHARLEY: Yes, this hanging on to life against the odds is a bit of an irritant.
DOCTOR: Isn't it? I thought it's going to bother me terribly until I find out, OR until I peg out...whichever comes sooner.
CHARLEY: I thought at first I wouldn't be able to stand it - no sight, no taste. But I was wrong. It's not much of a life, but it's better than no life at all, isn't it?
DOCTOR: Well, the way I see it, there are two possibilities here: either we are dead and this is part of the delusion we first felt on leaving the TARDIS.
CHARLEY: We're dead and no one's bothered to tell our bodies to stop moving it?
DOCTOR: Exactly, like headless chickens running around the farmyard.
CHARLEY: And the other possibility?
DOCTOR: Something is keeping us alive. It has to be deliberate. The chances that we could arrive somewhere where the conditions so neatly suit our needs are just to remote to contemplate.
CHARLEY: I prefer the latter possibility.
DOCTOR: Now, do you? I'm not so sure. Something from another Universe that steals from us all those things which enable us to experience life and offers us some price-cut parody in it's place? I am not so sure at all. At least, being dead you know where you stand.
CHARLEY: Look, whatever this is, whether this is death or just a cut-price life, as you call it, so long as you're here, so long as we can face it together, then I'll accept it.
I owe you everything, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Come on, we've stayed still long enough. Let's get movie again, get to where we're going.
CHARLEY: Do you think there's somewhere to get to?
DOCTOR: Let's find out.
CHARLEY: Together, remember?
DOCTOR: Yes, Charley, I think it might be better if we continued in silence for the while.
CHARLEY: Oh, do you need to concentrate again?
DOCTOR: I just...I just don't think I have anything I want to say to you. Come on.
*footsteps on the glass floor*
*Charley's voice humming "Frere Jacques"*
DOCTOR: Charley, I did ask you to stop that.
CHARLEY: It isn't me...
DOCTOR: *gasps* Oooh! I see. Hello! I am the Doctor and this is my friend Charley. Oh, don't stop, please, please. We didn't mean to frighten you, we wouldn't hurt you.
CHARLEY: We couldn't anyway, we can't see or touch anything.
DOCTOR: As my friend points out, we are entirely at your mercy. A fact I would have been more reluctant to divulge.
DOCTOR: Well, I'm not convinced that there is a chance you could understand a word we're saying in the first place. Come on, come back to us. Stay with us.
*the voice hums again*
DOCTOR: That's it, that's it. That's the idea. "Frere Jacques", a lovely little tune. Can I assume that that's a popular hit in this Universe of yours?
CHARLEY: Doctor, what are you doing?
DOCTOR: Not entirely sure, but it is responding to us, listen. You can tell, we mean no harm, can't you.
CHARLEY: You sure about that?
DOCTOR: Hello, are you still there? I thought we'd been getting on rather well.
The Voice: Help me!
DOCTOR: Ah, there you are, splendid.
SOUND CREATURE: Help...Me...
CHARLEY: How can we help you? What do you want?
SOUND CREATURE: helpmehelpmehelpme *getting higher and higher*
CHARLEY: We want to help you.
SOUND CREATURE: Help you. Help you.
DOCTOR: It's just taking words we've said giving it back to us, parrot fashion. You don't really want our help, do you? You don't know what help is.
*the voice shrieks loudly*
DOCTOR: Yes, very good, that's quite enough. You're scaring Charley, you're scaring me. Come to that.
The Doctor's voice: I'm with you. Come closer to me, listen for my voice.
Charley's voice: I can't find you, Doctor! It hurts!
CHARLEY: What is it trying to say?
Charley's voice: I'm with you. Come closer to me, listen for my voice. I can't find you, Doctor. It hurts.
CHARLEY: What are you trying to say?
The Doctor's voice: You silly little girl, do you think I want you here? You silly little...I'm with you, listen for my voice...help me!...you silly...I'm with you...listen...help...silly...with you...listen...helphelphelp
CHARLEY: It's becoming meaningless.
SOUND CREATURE: Silly little girl. Help, help?
DOCTOR: Ignore the words. It's not the words that are important, it's communicating with us through sound alone, through intonation.
SOUND CREATURE: Silly. Help, little girl, help
DOCTOR: Tssss...Listen. That last time it spoke it sounded like it was asking a question.
CHARLEY: Does that make sense?
DOCTOR: Well, even on Earth there are entire languages where the words are not what conveys the meaning but the pitch, the voice with which they are spoken.
SOUND CREATURE: Silly little girl, help, help?
DOCTOR: Definitely, a question of some sort. I think we're making headway.
CHARLEY: But what is it asking us?
DOCTOR: I didn't say we were making much headway.
SOUND CREATURE: Help. Silly. Think I want. Final dignity. Help me. Love you! Die here. We are going to...Love you. Die here. Love. Die. There is no escape. Die. Not this time. Die. But I love you. But I love you. But I love you *adds the sound of footsteps*
CHARLEY: Make it stop!
*silence, quizzing noise*
SOUND CREATURE: But I love you? Love. You. Love. Love. You.
CHARLEY: Has it gone?
DOCTOR: Possibly. It might still be standing in front of us, holding its tongue. We wouldn't know. But it seems to have stopped trying to communicate. Why?
CHARLEY: It could have been one of those amoeba things we saw earlier.
DOCTOR: Or the creature that killed it.
CHARLEY: Doesn't seem to want to hurt us, though.
DOCTOR: No. Just take our words quite literally out of our mouths. Interesting that it picks the moments at which we are most emotional. That rather embarrassing bit where you told me you loved me, for example.
DOCTOR:"But I love you". Don't you think?
CHARLEY: Is that what it means to you?
DOCTOR: Or am I wrong? It seems to me there were lots of emotion flying about, the way that you said that.
CHARLEY: Yes, there was.
DOCTOR: So you see, it's as I thought. It's not the words that matter, it's the tembre of the voice, it's the inflection, the melody, if you like. It doesn't respond to meaning, but the power behind it. You could have said "I love you", you could equally have said "pass the salt", had you invested it with much passion.
CHARLEY: But I didn't say "Pass the salt". I told you I loved you.
DOCTOR: Yes, I know, but "I love you" saying over and over without the slightest idea what the words mean.
CHARLEY: Do you?
CHARLEY: I love you, Doctor.
DOCTOR: No, I think you're missing the point I'm making.
*Charley laughs bitterly*
CHARLEY: Do you think so? I thought you were rather missing the point I was making. Which is odd, considering it couldn't have been put more bluntly.
DOCTOR: You want to talk about that?
CHARLEY: Even an inhuman voice from outer space got the point I was making, but not you.
DOCTOR: I was rather more concerned with establishing the nature of where we are and whom we share it with. But you want to talk about that, fine. Go ahead. Let's get it over with.
DOCTOR: Come on, come on. It looks as if we might will be trapped for the rest of our lives here together. Let's exhaust all the conversational gambits we can.
So, you love me.
CHARLEY: Yes. Yes, I do.
DOCTOR: And is that it?
CHARLEY: Isn't that enough? If you knew how hard it was for me to say that!
DOCTOR: Not half as hard as it was to listen to it. Tell me, Charley, what could you think your love will do me?
CHARLEY: I don't know.
DOCTOR: Did you think it makes the situation any better? Do you think it makes me feel any better?
CHARLEY: I hoped...I
DOCTOR: I don't want your love, Charley, I have no use for it.
CHARLEY: You told me you loved me too! Didn't you?
CHARLEY: When you thought I was going to die.
CHARLEY: Didn't you mean it? Was it just to comfort me? I thought, you... I felt that... Didn't you mean it at all?
DOCTOR: Whatever part of me thought I loved you that urges it, is dead to me now, as my sight, as my taste.
CHARLEY: Never do that again! Never say those words again! Not if you don't mean them. Do you understand?
CHARLEY: They are too precious to be squanded. Do you understand?
DOCTOR: I said, yes! Yes. It certainly seems that this creature likes us to be at our most emotional.
DOCTOR: Tell me, what do you know of transmarginal inhibition?
CHARLEY: Not even how to spell it. What are you talking about?
DOCTOR: It's a crisis, in a way our brains work, caused by sensory isolation or sensory overload. One deliberately leaves the subject in a pronounced state of suggestability and emotional arousal, what is often referred to as "brainwashing".
CHARLEY: Brainwashing? Do you think something is trying to control us?
DOCTOR: Perhaps, not control. I'm not aware of any new ideas being planted in my head, how about you?
CHARLEY: No. If anything, it's just bringing the old ones into a sharp relief.
DOCTOR: It's like setting off dynamite in a lake and watching all the debri float to the surface. The only thing we have left is sound. And that's what being used against us.
CHARLEY: Squeeze my hand again.
DOCTOR: Can you feel it?
CHARLEY: Nothing. There really is nothing left but hearing.
DOCTOR: It's well known, of course, that music has the ability to induce and modulate different emotional states. That's why we listen to it after all.
If all we've been given is music...
CHARLEY: I wouldn't call the sounds around us "music".
DOCTOR: Or maybe not in the sophisticated sense, no. I doubt that anyone at the philharmonic would take our footsteps and release them on CD, but there's a rhythm to them nonetheless. As we walk, we fall into our regular rhythm, try it.
DOCTOR: There. Hear it? Music. Now stop. Now what do you hear?
DOCTOR: Well, perhaps not with your ears. But I can still hear my hearts beat. Regular, as a metronome: "ba boom, ba boom, ba boom". Just listen to that beat.
CHARLEY: And all that music that we're making, it's being used against us by this thing? But what can we do?
DOCTOR: I don't know. It clearly has great power. But if hasn't actually done anything to harm us.
I think, it just finds us curious, like a child with a new plaything.
CHARLEY: I don't like the thought of being anyone's plaything.
DOCTOR: We have two choices - we can either indulge it, give it all the emotions it wants, put as much inflection and passion into what we say as we can, the real bravure performance, or we can resist. Always remember, no matter what we feel, no matter how emotional we become, that we are being manipulated. And try to block out what the music is doing to us.
CHARLEY: Seems fairly obvious which one we should go for.
DOCTOR: You think so? It might just get bored and leave us alone, or...
CHARLEY: Or what?
DOCTOR: Or... You know what children do with toys that no longer entertain them.
SOUND CREATURE: *hums Frere Jacques
CHARLEY: Doctor, I'm frightened.
DOCTOR: I know, Charley, I know.
*the voice is now a mixture of humming, whispering, laughter*
CHARLEY: The brightness, it's fading again.
DOCTOR: Yes, I can see shapes.
CHARLEY: Oh, Doctor
DOCTOR: Charley, are you alright?
CHARLEY: I'm so tired. I can't move.
DOCTOR: Of course. All our senses are returning. You haven't rested in days, you must be exhausted.
CHARLEY: I'll be alright in a minute.
DOCTOR: Easy, just lie there. Here, my jacket.
CHARLEY: Thank you.
DOCTOR: You get your strength back. I'll just take a look around.
CHARLEY: Can you see anything?
DOCTOR: Further than last time, I think. But it's hard to tell. I found the wall. Curved, like you've said. We're in some sort of tube made of glass or something like it at any rate. I can't see through it, it's still too bright.
*he knocks on the glass wall*
DOCTOR: Oh, dear.
CHARLEY: What is it?
DOCTOR: The body. Let me take a look.
CHARLEY: Well? Is it dead, like the other one?
DOCTOR: It's definitely dead. But like the other one - I'm not sure.
CHARLEY: What do you mean?
DOCTOR: There is some superficial resemblance to the first body we've found. It seems to the same sort of species. But this one's more developed.
Charley, do you have a knife?
DOCTOR: Or something sharp. Come on, that brooch you're wearing. Yes. And I'm using edge.
CHARLEY: What are you going to do?
DOCTOR: Take a look inside.
CHARLEY: Wait a moment. Are going to dissect an alien corpse with my best brooch?
DOCTOR: Not a full dissection, I don't want to be morbid. Yes. I was right. This creature here has some bone structure. The basic spine here, too. Leading to the larger brain area.
CHARLEY: It can't be the same species.
DOCTOR: Or the same, but at a more advanced level of evolution.
*the sound of the TARDIS materialising*
CHARLEY: The TARDIS!
DOCTOR: I'm afraid not. It seems the creature is hungry again.
*the sound creature roars and screeches*
DOCTOR: Fascinating. Cutting across the carcass and flesh with almost surgical precision. Right across the throat.
CHARLEY: Doctor, keep away from it.
DOCTOR: Well, don't worry, I think our friend is too busy with it's dinner to bother me. Aw!
DOCTOR: It's at my neck! Biting it!
CHARLEY: What can I do?
DOCTOR: Some chant!
CHARLEY: Frere Jaques, Frere Jaques
*the creature repeats the tune using the sound of the TARDIS brakes*
DOCTOR: You' ve distracted it.
CHARLEY: Frere Jaques, Frere Jaques, dormez vous, dormez vous.
*the creature sings along*
CHARLEY: Na na na, na na na, don't know what the words are, bing bang bong, bing bang bong...
*the creature giggles in Charley's voice and retreats, the Doctor coughs*
DOCTOR: Yes, you did it, you did it, thank you.
CHARLEY: I must have frightened it off.
DOCTOR: I doubt it. I think you've glutted its appetite. Charley, I think I've made a dreadful mistake. I don't think this creature is using sound as a weapon after all.
CHARLEY: But you've said...
DOCTOR: I think the creature IS sound. Quiet for a moment.
*heavy breathing, the sound of the heartbeat*
DOCTOR: That's not good. Whatever sound we make, it can amplify it. There's always sound somewhere.
CHARLEY: What do you think it is?
DOCTOR: Shush. Oh, Charley, the words we speak, the footsteps we tread, even the noise of our very heartbeats, each sound we make bonding to form a living creature. It has no mercy, no idea of right and wrong, it just wants to feed.
*low pitched rumbling sound*
CHARLEY: How are you feeling?
DOCTOR: The pain is fading. All sensation is fading.
CHARLEY: Yes, I'm getting my energy back.
DOCTOR: No, no, you're just losing the sensation of tiredness. Look, the light is getting brighter.
CHARLEY: I can't go back to the blindness, Doctor, I can't.
DOCTOR: Shsh, Charley, it's alright. It will be alright.
*the sound of flesh being ripped*
But we must be quick before we have nothing left but our hearing once more.
CHARLEY: What are you doing, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Here, take this.
CHARLEY: What is it?
DOCTOR: Meat from the dead body I've found. We must eat it.
CHARLEY: What? No!
DOCTOR: We must eat it. It's the only possible source of food here.
CHARLEY: But raw? Doctor, I can't, it's disgusting. I don't even feel hungry, not anymore.
DOCTOR: Of course not, the hunger is fading just like everything else. But just because you don't feel it, it won't stop you starving to death. Eat. We don't know whether we will have the chance to eat again.
CHARLEY: How do we know it isn't poisoned?
DOCTOR: We don't. But we have no choice.
*they chew on the raw flesh*
DOCTOR:That’s it, that's it. Charley...
*the whizz grows louder, sound of the flash*
- The Tale of The Foolish King Part III –
It was then a very quiet land. Birds sat silent in the trees, their beaks now stopped fast, their chirping and twittering frozen hard in their throats. There was no longer a harmony to time; seconds would race on or trudge forward or simply come to a listless halt. the waves crashed noiselessly onto the sand, for even within that, there had been a trace of music. there was no rhythm to life anymore.
And the king’s people felt it the worst. They had been slaves, but whilst they still had songs of liberty on their lips, they had been happy slaves. Some rebelled and were put to the torture, but even the torturers, who once had calmed their consciences with soothing music, were unable to bear the awful glaring, accusing silence.
The fact was clear. Anything could be born with music, and nothing could be born without it.
And the king would sit on his throne in misery. He dearly loved his wives, but now he heard in their words no love returned, no tune, no melody. For this, he executed them regularly, the women he loved, their heads rolling from the scaffolds soundlessly, the king himself, quite alone, weeping for them all. All, quite silent.
One morning, the king decided he would pardon music. He drew up a contract, stamped it with his own royal seal. Music was free to return from the outside world of infinite darkness, and to bear the good news, he sent several messengers there - some by hanging, some by stabbing, one or two by slow-acting poison - but none returned, and nor did music.
The king was desperate. He called upon his sorcerers, his necromancers, and those who were trained in the forbidden knowledge of music resurrection, but it became obvious that the king himself would have to make a personal appeal to his prodigal son. With court physicians administering, and the last of his wives looking on with glee, the king was slowly bled, each drop landing in a metal container, landing with a plop that just managed to be wholly tuneless.
And as he wavered between death and life, he stepped into the darkness and called out, “I have been a foolish man! I should’ve inspired love as well as fear. Please, let the music play again; all its songs, its symphonies, and its sundry core of works. Please, give my world a reason to live.”
45:30 - 45:43 Doctor Who Theme playing
*the mix of footsteps, whispers, words, TARDIS noises*
SOUND CREATURE: help help silly silly die here help me die here…
*continues with the sound of the ripped flesh added*
DOCTOR: Well, you have to admit, it's getting better.
CHARLEY: If you like that sort of thing.
DOCTOR: A bit too dissonant for my taste, but it's a good effort, nonetheless.
CHARLEY: I'm never quite sure of what should we do now. Give it a round of applause?
DOCTOR: Yes. It does seem to want our appreciation.
*they are clapping*
DOCTOR: Well done. Very well done!
*the sound creature makes happy noises*
DOCTOR: That was really good, wasn’t it?
CHARLEY: Absolutely! That time I almost liked the bits of it.
CHARLEY: But you’ve said the words didn’t matter, just the intonation.
SOUND CREATURE: help me
DOCTOR: No need to , you’re becoming quite a maestro.
SOUND CREATURE: help me help me help me *getting distant*
CHARLEY: We’re on our own again.
DOCTOR: As far as we’re ever on our own. It’s hard, isn’t it, the way you can palpably feel its need for approval.
CHARLEY: Almost as if it’s showing off to its parents.
DOCTOR: Yes, that’s it, exactly. Each time it performs, it learns something new, develops a skill, as if for our benefit.
CHARLEY: Well, I hate to disillusion it, but the best thing about the concert is the food it provides afterwards.
DOCTOR: Yes. If we to perform, the brightness should fade any minute, and we should get our senses back.
CHARLEY: And have dinner.
CHARLEY: Funny, isn’t it? The first couple of weeks I couldn’t face eating those bodies we’d find, could barely keep the meat down.
DOCTOR: We had to eat the food the very moment before we lost our sense of taste, so we wouldn’t put up with it for long.
CHARLEY: But now I rather look forward to our meals. It’s the highlight of the day, or however long it is before we get fed.
DOCTOR: the sound creature seems very solicitous about our well-being. We walk together in th brightness for a few hours, then it will stop us, play us some concerto or other, then give us a little reprieve. Our senses come back, we can see, smell, taste, and there’s a dead animal at our feet to feast on.
CHARLEY: I wonder what it’ll look like this time.
DOCTOR: It seems to have involved out of that reptilian phase.
CHARLEY: Which is a relief, those scales were so salty.
DOCTOR: Last carcass we consumed was borderline mammalian.
CHARLEY: Constant evolution?
DOCTOR: And death.
CHARLEY: And each time it evolves, it turns into something a little more appetizing to us.
DOCTOR: Yes. It’s hard to believe it’s a coincidence.
CHARLEY: I never thought I’d say this, but it really isn’t too bad here after all, is it?
DOCTOR: Oh, no, no, it’s quite reasonable.
CHARLEY: The sound creature keeps us well-fed, it obviously cares for us. I don’t like its taste in music very much, but we have to admit it’s quite sweet that it wants us to.
DOCTOR: Yes. Dear little sound creature.
CHARLEY: It doesn’t expect much in return. We just have to walk down this corridor and once in a while it wants to eat a little of our flesh, just around the throat.
DOCTOR: And it’s not as if it hurts much. Not the way it’s dulled our senses.
CHARLEY: It never cuts too deep. And once we discovered that the blood of those animals we eat acts as a perfect salve, hardly bothers me at all.
DOCTOR: Absolutely. No, I really like it here.
CHARLEY: It’s home.
DOCTOR: Obviously, if I had the choice between travelling through all time and space and total freedom of walking blindly down the glass tube, only stopping once in a while to savour local cuisine at my nit nibble, I’d choose the former.
CHARLEY: Well, quite.
DOCTOR: But there’s one very close second… Snap out of it, Charley.
DOCTOR: We are slaves. Never forget that. We might be kept fed, we might be treated with reasonable care, but we’re still slaves.
CHARLEY: But this is better than nothing, isn’t it? When we first arrived, I was so frightened. I thought I’d lost so much. But I’ve adjusted now. I can be happy. That’s better, surely.
DOCTOR: Charley, you have lost a lot. You have lost everything. Your family, your friends, Charley, you’ll never see another of your kind, never. You will never fall in love with a man, get married, have children. Hang on to your losses. They make you what you are. Even if we spend the rest of our lives here – and I’m rather afraid we will, - don’t let them take away that regret and that pain. All that identity. Don’t settle down for this existence once you tasted life, because you are Charley Pollard and you deserve better than that.
CHARLEY: The brooch. My mother gave it to me on my sixteenth birthday. She said Grandma had given it to her back when she was a girl, and that I should give it to my daughter. Keep the tradition alive. But I’m never gonna have a daughter, am I. And that brooch is what we now use as a knife to cut meat, and it’s clotted with alien blood.
Doctor, I’m feeling frightened.
DOCTOR: Good, good. It’s your fear, Charley. It’s yours.
CHARLEY: My senses are returning.
DOCTOR: Yes, you’re right. It’s getting darker.
CHARLEY: Soon we can eat again. Just enough to keep us alive. And be eaten, just enough so we don’t die.
*the noise of the TARDIS approaches*
CHARLEY: Doctor, I can’t let go of your hand!
DOCTOR: Don’t you worry, you just hold to it for as long as you want.
CHARLEY: No, I mean I can’t pull away.
DOCTOR: Let me see. Now THAT is surprising.
CHARLEY: What is it? Why are we stuck together?
DOCTOR: I’d rather think we’ve been holding hands for too long. They’re not stuck, they’re fused. Look. The skin from both our hands have grown over the other, you can no longer tell where either of us begin or end.
CHARLEY: No! How could that have happened?
DOCTOR: It seems that whilst everything around us has been evolving, we have been evolving too.
No, don’t try to pull away, don’t try to pull away. It won’t do us any good. Evolution happens for a purpose, it can’t go backwards, that doesn’t make sense. Everything we’ve seen is changing. The sound creature has developed from simple noises fragments and echoes into a life form which can clearly reason. An entity of complex harmonies and subtle phrasing. The dead have evolved from single-cells to fish to reptiles, to mammals and even dead, that evolution has a purpose. Their meat keeps us alive. Their blood heals our wounds. And us…
CHARLEY: Yes, what about us? We were already evolved, we were already finished!
DOCTOR: It’s found a purpose. This way we won’t be separated again. We can’t lose each other in our blindness.
CHARLEY: I can’t take this. *she struggles*
DOCTOR: No, Charley, don’t pull… Calm down, calm down. I know you’re frightened, but your fear affects me too, I am a part of you now.
CHARLEY: What are we going to do?
DOCTOR: Calm down. I am the Doctor, alright? Alright?
CHARLEY: Yes. Yes, I’m alright.
DOCTOR: We need to think this through.
CHARLEY: How can this be happening so fast? How long does the evolution normally take?
CHARLEY: And yet even our dinner evolves before our eyes.
DOCTOR: I thought the sound creature was responsible for all this, but I was wrong. He is as much part of the experiment as we are.
CHARLEY: What experiment?
DOCTOR: This is all to exact to be a coincidence. I rather think we’re in place where evolution has been deliberately accelerated. Where someone or something is trying to observe the extentof mass biological development, but something went wrong.
DOCTOR: We arrived. And we brought something with us. Something which fed off the special evolutionary conditions and found its own sentience.
DOCTOR: That’s right. You remember the first time we heard our music friend? It was a version of noise the TARDIS makes when it materializes, the first sound we introduced into the environment.
CHARLEY: And everything we’ve been doing since, talking breathing…
DOCTOR: …has helped the sound creature grow, yes. And out-evolved the creatures, I suspect, were intended to grow.
DOCTOR: Or as we fondly come to think of him, lunch. Well, I find this most encouraging.
CHARLEY: You do? Oh, good.
DOCTOR: First I thought sound was our captor, the situation was pretty hopeless, after all, how would you reason with sound? But if there’s another one, more scientific intelligence behind this, yes! We probably are in some laboratory somewhere. And if we keep walking, well find the exit eventually. Let’s go!
CHARLEY: Aren’t you hungry?
DOCTOR: No time for food, come on, I can smell freedom at last!
CHARLEY: Doctor, wait a moment.
DOCTOR: No time, no time!
CHARLEY: Stop! Ugh, well, I’m stopping anyway.
DOCTOR: Charley, I can’t walk unless you walk, we are the same organism now. Come on!
CHARLEY: Listen. A little while ago you’ve made me realize I mustn’t accept my fate too readily. Stop my brain from easiest and most painless way to cope with all this.
DOCTOR: Is this relevant?
CHARLEY: And now your brain is doing the same thing.
DOCTOR: What are you talking about?
CHARLEY: You need that to be a mission. You need that to be an enemy to face, mysteries to solve.
DOCTOR: And I have solved it, Charley! I’m sure of it.
CHARLEY: So what if you have? We’ve been walking this corridor for weeks now. It could be months even, we simply can’t tell. And have we found any way out in all that time?
DOCTOR: There has to be one.
CHARLEY: How would you know this entire new universe isn’t just an overlit glass tube which goes on and on forever? Doctor, we are no closer to getting out of here than we ever were. And it does us no good to pretend otherwise.
DOCTOR: *sighs deeply* You’re right.
CHARLEY: You’re calmer?
CHARLEY: I can feel you’re calmer. It’s funny to find myself sharing your senses. Makes me feel a bit of an intruder.
DOCTOR: Obviously, evolution believes we were just made for one another.
CHARLEY: Together forever.
DOCTOR: Charley, I have an idea.
CHARLEY: What this time?
DOCTOR: We shouldn’t try to pull our hands apart, if anything… Quick, push into my hand instead.
CHARLEY: What good would that do?
DOCTOR: Please, try it.
*the sound of flesh being fused*
CHARLEY: My hand, it’s disappearing into your arm!
DOCTOR: And mine into yours. But look around you, look!
DOCTOR: Interesting, isn’t it?
CHARLEY: I can see, properly, I mean.
DOCTOR: Sharing each other’s senses, together we see through the remaining brightness.
CHARLEY: I never thought I’d see like this again.
DOCTOR: And at last we can find our way out of here. I shall look through the glass.
CHARLEY: Well, Doctor, you’re blocking the view.
DOCTOR: The glass is thick, but I can make out… Oh, no.
CHARLEY: What? What’s the matter? Doctor, tell me what you see?
DOCTOR: The rest of the tube. I thought we’ve been walking for miles. We haven’t.
DOCTOR: This isn’t a corridor at all going on forever. It’s a ring, going around in a circle.
CHARLEY: But it can't be! What about all the bodies we find?
DOCTOR: Just one body, Charley. One body we keep on eating. We pick at its bones, then its bones evolve once more, ready for the next time we fancy a bite. we have spent all this time retracing our steps, again and again.
*his last words keep repeating, pitch rises higher*
VOICE: AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN
CHARLEY: Doctor, stop that!
*the sound of the voice is being fast forwarded, then stops. Sighs*
DOCTOR: This shouldn't be how it ends. I should have had the Universe to explore! Or death! One or the other, that's all I wanted, and it is your fault.
DOCTOR: *angrily* If it weren't for you, I'd be dead or alive, not this halfway point. If it weren't for you... *shouts* Why are you here, Charley?
CHARLEY: I don't know...
DOCTOR: What do you want with me?
CHARLEY: What do you want with ME? You are the one who'd rescued me in the first place. You are the one who took me aboard of your TARDIS. What did you do it for, if I so obviously have ruined everything for you? If you really think that, why did you bother?
DOCTOR: It's a good question. You would have realised, of course, that you're not the only human that ever travelled with me in the TARDIS.
CHARLEY: Yes, I hardly expected to be yours...
DOCTOR: The Time Lords often wondered why I bothered. After all, we are capable of living for thousands of years, you can barely live a hundred. And they came up with a theory. Do you want to know what it is?
CHARLEY: You need friendship, companionship? You must get lonely traveling the universe with no one to share it with.
DOCTOR: They thought you were all memento mori.
DOCTOR: Reminders of death. Quite common things, really. On Medieval Earth, courtians would often keep skulls on their mantelpieces. They were very much the in thing, no matter how powerful you were, death was inevitable. You still have to remember your mortality. And Time Lords need to remember all the more. I denied that that was the reason, of course. And as you said, friendship, companionship. But over the years, over my many lifetimes, as my friends all left me one by one, I began to wonder whether they really might have had a point after all. Especially when I found you, Charley. A companion who was already dead. The ultimate Time Lord Fashion Accessory.
CHARLEY: That what I was to you? Something to kick against your vanity.
DOCTOR: I didn't expect to care for you as much as I did. That was my mistake. When it came to it, with the Web of Time hanging in the balance to make the choice between you and Universe, I'd say "Hang the Web of Time, you are more important. Let the Universe rot. Charley worth more than all that. I sacrificed myself for you to save your life, and I did it gladly. I thought I'd never see you again, but that wouldn't matter so long as I knew you were safe.
CHARLEY: I don't understand. You're saying you DID care for me after all? That you...loved me?
DOCTOR: *shouts* Of course I loved you! I killed myself for you, didn't I? Of course I loved you!
*quietly* Of course, I love you.
DOCTOR: Quiet, just listen. But you're not safe, are you? You followed me in. So, what was the point of my sacrifice? What was the point after all these years of memento mori to find myself finally loving a friend, someone who meant that much more to me. What was the point of that journey, if I died for nothing? I killed myself for you, so you could live. And yet here you are.
CHARLEY: I'm sorry I didn't realize...