1. EXT. SPACE
A vast, swirling cloud of interstellar debris dominates the scene. Whole planets and suns are being drawn to their destruction. It is a black hole, a rip in the fabric of space and time. The TARDIS tumbles into view, apparently caught by the immense gravitational forces at play.
2. INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM - DAY
THE DOCTOR works frantically beneath the main console, only his legs visible, as ROSE TYLER looks on with concern, a cloth bag thrown over her shoulder. A shower of sparks erupts from beneath the console and THE DOCTOR grumbles.
Come on, you thing!
Need a hand?
Yeah, sure. Know anything about transdimensional field physics?
No need to be sarky, Doctor! Besides, whacking it with a hammerís not going to do much good. You really should take better care of the TARDIS, you know!
The TARDIS is rocked by severe gravitational sheer. A distortion effect plays across the screen.
It might have escaped your notice, but weíre about to be squashed to death by a black hole.
Nonsense! Itíd take more than a mere black hole to destroy the TARDIS.
Then why are you worried?
Because, my dear, although a black hole canít destroy the TARDIS, it can trap it forever in a space/time eddy. So, Iíd rather not, if you donít mind.
Another gravitational sheer rocks the control room and the console explodes again. THE DOCTOR screams from beneath and ROSE lunges forward, grabs his legs and attempts to pull him free. As she does, the distortion effect washes across them again. THE DOCTOR slumps, his eyes closed and ROSE is flung across the room.
(scurrying back across to THE DOCTOR)
THE DOCTOR lays quite still and we linger upon his motionless form.
END OF TEASER
1. INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM - DAY
ROSE TYLER is kneeling beside THE DOCTORíS still form. She shakes him, violently attempting to bring him back to consciousness.
No response. A strange look plays across her young face
I need the Syrillian Synaptic Stimulator.
(a puzzled look now)
What did I just say? What the heckís a Syrillian Synaptic Thingy?
Follow me, Rose.
ROSE looks up and we follow her P.O.V. to see a strange man standing beside THE DOCTORíS still form. He is a quite tall, late-middle-aged man with greying hair and a goatee beard and moustache.
Who are you? How did you get here?
Itís a long story, young lady, but if you wish to save The Doctor, and thusly yourself, I suggest you do as I say.
He walks across the control room to a door that wasnít there before. Rose follows, puzzlement etched onto her soft features.
Can you at least tell me your name?
The Doctor knew me as The Master.
2. INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM (ALTERNATE) - DAY
They step through the door only to find themselves in a carbon copy of the control room. THE DOCTOR is standing beside the console, his arms folded across his chest. ROSE is unable to comprehend what is going on. THE MASTER stands to one side and quietly observes.
Ah, Rose. Fantastic. Iíve been waiting to meet you for ages.
Doctor? I donít understand.
She points back through the door they just stepped through, only to find that it is not there anymore.
Oh, come on! Whatís going on, Doctor?
Iím not The Doctor. Iím the TARDIS. Or at least a representation of me.
(he begins to look puzzled himself)
OkayÖ So, whereís The Doctor?
Heís in the Control Room. He is also in there.
He points to ROSEíS head, smiling.
THE TARDIS (CONTíD)
We have to get him out before the black hole traps us forever. Exciting, isnít it?
The Doctorís in my head? Yeah right! Címon, Doctor, tell me that this is all a big, Timelord joke. And whoís this new friend of yours?
(she points to THE MASTER)
Look, Rose, Iím being deadly serious. We are all in grave jeopardy and have little time for exposition. Suffice to say that Iím the TARDIS, heís The Master - sort of - and you have The Doctor swimming around inside your brain. Plenty of spare room in there. He must be quite comfy.
Before ROSE can protest, he continues, still smiling.
THE TARDIS (CONTíD)
The Doctor knows that you need the Syrillian Synaptic Stimulator. Unfortunately, itís been put somewhere safe, as you do, and that somewhere is quite a way from here. The Master will help you find itÖ I hope.
He hands ROSE a small piece of paper and she looks at it, discovering that it is a train ticket.
THE TARDIS (CONTíD)
Off you go, then! You donít want to miss your train. And remember to follow the unexpected!
THE TARDIS points to the doorway of the control room and THE MASTER heads towards it, turns to face ROSE, as she stands quite still.
Come on, young lady. You heard what he said. We have a train to catch.
ROSE shakes her head and follows THE MASTER through the doorway.
3. EXT. SMALL PROVINCIAL RAILWAY STATION - DAY
They step out of the TARDIS and fine themselves on an old-fashioned railway platform, surrounded by beautiful countryside. ROSE casts around, bemused by the scene before her. She stares at the familiar, blue police box for a long moment.
I thought we were about to be sucked into a black hole?
We are, my dear. We are still inside the TARDIS.
But... Oh, never mind. I gave up trying to figure this place out a long time ago.
She looks to her ticket stub, her brow furrowing.
The train should be here any minute.
Right on cue, a splendid, puffing steam train chugs into the station and comes to a halt beside the platform. THE MASTER gestures for ROSE to climb aboard and she does so tentatively.
4. INT. STEAM TRAIN - DAY
They walk through the empty carriages before deciding to sit down in a randomly chosen cabin. The train chugs away and the summertime countryside is soon whizzing by the window.
THE MASTER pulls out a cigarette and begins to light it. ROSE points to the NO SMOKING sticker on the window, but he ignores her and puffs away merrily, smiling darkly at her.
I know you. Donít tell me how I know, but youíre The Doctorís arch enemy. Youíre supposed to be dead. Why are you here, helping him now?
You Earthlings think in such linear terms. Letís just say that if The Doctor dies, then I die. It is in my best interests to help you - for now.
A ticket collector, who is a dead ringer for THE DOCTOR, appears and punches ROSEíS ticket. She ignores the similarity, apparently getting used to this bizarre situation. He looks at it and a frown crosses his face.
Iím not sure youíll want to spend too much time there, miss. Itís a dangerous place. Some nasty people live there.
(a look of concern on her face)
I have to go. Who lives there?
(hands ROSE the ticket)
All I can say is that Ďall that glistens is goldí.
The TICKET COLLECTOR leaves after doffing his cap to THE MASTER and ROSE stares at THE DOCTORíS arch nemesis.
You were going to warn me about this dangerous place, werenít you?
You would have found out soon enough. Besides, our ever watchful keeper is ensuring that you are kept abreast of things.
The train judders to a halt and THE MASTER rises from his seat. He crushes the cigarette on the floor with a shiny, black shoe and opens the cabin door. ROSE follows him.
I believe that this is our stop.
5. EXT. SCRAP YARD - DAY
They clambered down from the train to find that they are not at a station. They are in a dilapidated breakerís yard. Rusting cars and trucks are piled in rickety columns all around them. ROSE looks around and sees that the train has vanished. There arenít even any tracks here!
A glint of silver disappearing behind an old car causes ROSE to catch her breath. Another glimpse of a shiny, metallic form has ROSE backing up into THE MASTER.
Cybermen. We must proceed with caution.
And where exactly are we proceeding to?
The Syrillian Synaptic Stimulator was dismantled by The Doctor five hundred years ago. Its three pieces, two interlocking segments and a final master cell, are scattered throughout the TARDIS, becoming lost to him over the centuries. Obviously the TARDIS knows where they are and itís guiding us as best it can.
Then why doesnít it just tell us where these pieces are? Why all this creeping around? And why are Cybermen inside the TARDIS?
You ask far too many questions, young lady.
Very well. A black hole is a rupture in space/time. The TARDIS is a space/time machine. Without The Doctor in control, the TARDIS is at the whim of the time shifts created by the quantum eddies that surround the event horizon. Without a Timelord at the helm, the TARDIS is prone to, erm, its own imagination.
(He opens his arms wide, encompassing the scene around them.)
THE MASTER (CONTíD)
Everything that The Doctor has experienced is embedded in the fabric of the TARDIS, as is everything you have experienced. It can create worlds within worlds, my dear.
You mean that this is all a big hallucination? That you arenít real either?
Iím as real as you are, young Rose Tyler. As real as anything you have experienced.
Well, Iíve experienced some pretty unreal stuff since I met The Doctor, believe me.
You have wisdom beyond your years, my dear. Now see if you can dredge something up from The Doctor about the Cybermen.
ROSE places her fingers to her temples and concentrates. Eventually, she gives up, shaking her head.
So typical of him. He probably thinks this is all a jolly hoot.
Donít you know anything about these Cyberwotsits?
Perhaps. But why deprive you of all the fun of solving the puzzle?
Whatís the point of all this cloak and dagger stuff? If youíre here to help, why donít you just start?
(she composes herself)
Can these illusions hurt me?
(THE MASTER reaches out and nips her cheek, leaving a red mark)
Ow! I suppose I asked for that. Well, The Doctor, I mean the TARDIS told me to follow the unexpected, so I reckon we follow those Cybermen. Come on.
EXT. HOUSING BLOCK - DAY
They pick their way through the rusting cars to emerge from the breakerís yard into a housing block that bears a remarkable resemblance to the blocks of flats where ROSE lives. They duck out of view when they spot a trio of Cyberman standing around an old-fashioned, yellow vintage car. Two young boys are spraying graffiti onto a wall in large, metallic spray paint, apparently oblivious to the silver aliens only a few metres from them.
I beg your pardon?
That car. It was The Doctorís once.
How quaint. He can tell you the name of his old jalopy, but when it comes to important matters, such as defeating the Cybermen, he is quite dumb. So typical of the man.
ROSE sees the kids spray-painting beside a dumpster and the TICKET COLLECTORíS voice echoes.
All that glistens is gold.
ROSE sneaks out from their hiding place and creeps across to the kids. They see her and run away, dropping a can of spray paint. ROSE picks up the can, remaining hidden from the Cybermenís view by the dumpster.
Suddenly, the whole scene shudders violently, as though an earthquake is taking place. ROSE almost drops the spray can as she slips to the ground. The Cybermen look around, their silver bodies rocking to and fro. THE MASTER grips the edge of the wall behind which he is hiding.
When the quake subsides, ROSE gestures for THE MASTER to join her, but he shakes his head, pointing at the three Cybermen. ROSE gesticulates that she wants THE MASTER to lure the Cybermen over to her position. He shakes his head again and gestures for her to come back to him. She persists and he eventually nods in acquiescence. He emerges from his hiding place and raises his arms over his head.
Excuse me! Would you mind stepping over here?
The Cybermen look to each other, then begin trudging towards THE MASTER, their weapons raised. When they pass the dumpster, ROSE taps one on the shoulder and when it turns round, she sprays the gold paint onto the Cybermanís chest plate. The alien slumps to the ground, groaning with electronic pain. The second Cyberman swings at ROSE, but she ducks beneath its arm and sprays it on the chest, like the first one. This Cyberman drops as quickly as the first did.
The third Cyberman approaches, its rifle raised, and ROSE presses the nozzle on the can. Nothing happens. The spray paint has run out! Just as we think that ROSEíS end is nigh, the Cyberman removes its helmet to reveal THE DOCTOR, or rather THE TARDIS illusion of him.
You! What was all that shaking? Something to do with the black hole?
(with a huge grin)
Brilliant, Rose! You catch on quick.
(points to Bessie)
Well, your carriage awaits.
This is like being in flaming Alice Through the Looking Glass!
ROSE and THE MASTER approach the vintage car and ROSE strokes the fender delicately, as though recognising an old friend. As she does so, she notices a small object on the passenger seat of the car. She climbs in, picks up the object and rotates it in her hands. She then sits down in the driverís seat. THE MASTER gets in and plonks himself down in the passenger seat. ROSE holds up the object. It is greyish in colour, roughly rectangular with obviously missing facets.
The first part of the Syrillian wotsit, I presume?
(she puts the object in her bag and places her hands on the steering wheel)
Right, how do I work this thing?
(a quick turn of the ignition key and Bessie chugs into life)
That was easy. (smiling)
ROSE grinds the gears and Bessie jerks forward, bringing grimaces from both herself and THE MASTER. She quickly gets the hang of driving the car, though and they trundle away towards the end of the street where a dark tunnel cuts through a railway viaduct.
(calling after them)
Thatís it, old girl. Any rust will soon disappear.
The car disappears into the tunnel and we follow the passengerís P.O.V. as it emerges on the other side beside a low, sprawling building.
EXT. SCHOOL - DAY
ROSE glances behind and sees that the viaduct tunnel is nowhere to be seen. She looks at the building beside them.
This is my old school. What are we doing here?
I assume we must explore within.
I met a bloke who talked like you once. That was in the nineteenth century! Get with the times, man.
Disrespectful, young whippersnapper!
See? Come on, then.
They climb out of Bessie and enter the foyer of the main school building.
INT. SCHOOL - FOYER
ROSE and THE MASTER find themselves inside a typical British school reception area. A couple of dusty rubber plants try vainly to break the monotony of beige and grey and a notice board bears a single A4 sheet declaring that this yearís school fancy dress party will have a ĎROBOTí theme.
A single sign dangles from the ceiling, informing them that the Science Room is third on the left.
There were never any signs like that when I went here.
Then I must assume that that is where we must go.
Oh great. I was rubbish at science!
They walk down the corridor, passing empty classroom after empty classroom. The place is eerily quiet.
Must be a weekend.
THE MASTER raises his eyes to the skies and shakes his head ever so slightly.
At last they find the Science Room and push open the door.
INT. SCHOOL - SCIENCE ROOM
It is a typical school science lab, with rows of benches, dotted with gas outlets for Bunsen burners. A large blackboard dominates the front wall and to the left, a large, glass cylinder contains a dirty, brown liquid. Upon the blackboard are scrawled, in white chalk, several chemical equations, some with crosses beside and one with a tick. On the opposite wall, between the grimy windows is a large poster depicting the planet Mars. We follow ROSEíS P.O.V. as she scans the room with her eyes.
Well, I canít see anything here. Maybe we should try somewhere else.
ROSE turns around to the door they came through and almost shrieks when she finds it blocked by an ominous-looking, eight-foot tall, silver robot (the eponymous robot from the season twelve episode, ĎRobotí). It is standing quite still, but manages to block their exit quite effectively. THE MASTER approaches the bulky android and places his ear quite close to the mechanicalís body with out actually touching it.
I believe it is deactivated.
Give us a hand. Weíll see if we can move it.
ROSE and a reluctant MASTER struggle and strain for a while, but the robot remains firmly in place. ROSE looks around, flustered and settles her gaze on the windows. She goes across to them, but finds them all securely locked. We also see that on the outside of the glass, there is a sturdy-looking security mesh. She turns back to THE MASTER, exasperated. He simply folds his arms and leans against the still droid, smiling smugly at ROSE.
Another earthquake shakes the science room, causing books to fall from shelves and the windows to rattle violently. The robot remains unaffected, as does the container of brown fluid.
I believe that we have little time before the effects of the black hole begin to have dire consequences for us.
I thought the TARDIS was unaffected by black holes?
It cannot be destroyed by a black hole, but it certainly can be affected. We have little time left to us.
(after pondering for a long moment)
Okay, this is another puzzle. There must be something here. A clue.
(she crosses to the blackboard and looks at the chemical equations scrawled there. We see NaNO2 and C6H8O7 , each with a cross beside it and Fe2O3 with a large tick)
I was hopeless in chemistry. What does all this stuff mean?
(she looks to THE MASTER)
Well? What does it mean?
Two crosses and a tick? It seems quite obvious to me.
(after staring at him for several seconds)
Oh, my dear, you give up so easily.
(he crosses to the blackboard and points to each equation in turn)
This is sodium nitrite, this is citric acid and this is ferric oxide. The first two have crosses, the third has a tick.
So we use the third for something? Ferric oxide, that rings a bell. Isnít that the posh name for rust?
Hoorah for young Rose Tyler!
So, we need some rust to shift that thing?
(points to the robot)
We get it rusty and wait for a hundred years for it to dissolve? Even The Doctor would think that was a long wait!
I get the impression that we will not have to wait that long, my dear.
Alright, where can we find some fast-acting rust?
(her eyes fall on the container of brownish liquid)
What about that stuff?
ROSE crosses the room and peers into the container. Through the murky liquid, she can see a nail, slowly dissolving, its rusty effluent causing the fluidís discoloration.
This stuff looks promising. I suppose we just dunk it over him.
Him. It. The robot thingy. Give us a hand.
(THE MASTER claps slowly, a sly grin on his face)
Very droll. Come on!
Grudgingly, THE MASTER helps ROSE lift the heavy container and they pour the fluid all over the motionless form of the robot. They then stand back, anticipation heavy in the air.
After several seconds, nothing seems to be happening. The robot merely sits there, dripping onto the tiled floor.
Well, back to the old drawing board. Letís see what elseÖ
Wait, Rose. Look!
Slowly, the robotís shiny surface begins to dull. Dark brown splodges begin to form, like bacterial mould growing across its body. Soon the whole robot is covered with ugly rust and it begins eating away at the metal form. In only a minute or so, the robot has dissolved to nothing, leaving only a steaming smear on the floor. In the centre of this smudge is the second piece of the Syrillian Synaptic Stimulator. It is a perfect mirror image of the first piece. ROSE tentatively picks it up and pops it into her bag.
My old science teacher would be proud of me. Except for the mess, of course.
Two pieces down, only one to go. I wonder if this final segment will be as easy to obtain.
Only one way to find out. Come on.
ROSE pulls the door open and the both step through.
EXT. SMALL PROVINCIAL RAILWAY STATION - DAY
ROSE and THE MASTER find themselves on the opposite platform to the one they were on originally. The TARDIS is visible on the opposite side. The scene shakes again and the tracks between the platforms buckle and twist. A cascade effect sucks a large section of the track, sleepers and all, down to a swirling vortex that is obviously the approaching black hole. ROSE is flung to the ground and THE MASTER helps her up. A loud rumbling fills the air, meaning that they must almost shout to hear each other.
(pointing to the covered bridge that allows access to the opposite platform)
I believe that we should make use of that while we can. Look, the effect is spreading.
We see more of the track being ripped down to the black hole and the distortion effect has begun rippling upwards, making the opposite side of the tracks hazy and indistinct. The bridge is still intact at this point. Above the rumbling, a distant train whistle can just be heard.
ROSE nods and they both head for the steps leading to the overpass, THE MASTER in the lead.
INT. COVERED PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE
As they begin to cross the bridge, ROSE comes to a stop, a confused look on her face.
Wait! What about the final piece? We havenít found it yet.
THE MASTER stops and turns around. He is now at the other side of the bridge. He smiles at ROSE wickedly.
And here I was thinking that you were proficient at puzzles.
What? (beat) Hang on. The last piece is the master piece.
(she looks to THE MASTER, realisation dawning)
You have the final piece! You had it all the time. Why didnít you just give it to me?
Believe me, my dear, I wanted to give you thisÖ
(he reaches into the pocket of his long, black overcoat and pulls out the Master Cell. It glows eerily in the palm of his hand, a shimmering crystal pulsing with energy)
Ö but I decided that it was time that I freed myself from this place. I have been trapped here for too long. The black hole has allowed me to take physical form, the naÔve TARDIS falling for my whispering ideas all too easily.
But youíre not real! Youíre just a memory of The Master. How can you exist outside of the TARDIS.
(exploding with rage)
I am real! You felt that for yourself!
(ROSE touches the cheek that was pinched by THE MASTER)
The Doctor defeated me in this very contraption for what he thought was the last time. Not so! Now I shall be victorious. My resurrection will be complete! I shall...
Suddenly the centre of the bridge collapses, shattered planks of wood swirling into the maelstrom beneath. THE MASTER steps back, only to bump into the Doctor-like image of THE TARDIS. The distant train whistle sounds closer. THE MASTER looks startled as THE TARDIS swipes the master cell from his hand.
Iíll take that, thanks. What were you saying about me being naÔve? Bye-bye.
THE TARDIS shoved THE MASTER hard and he falls backwards into the gaping hole behind him. He tumbles and twists into the black hole, screaming the whole time.
THE TARDIS looks to ROSE on the other side of the hole. The train whistle is getting louder. ROSE looks to the side and we see a steam train approaching.
Why is there a train coming? I thought you created all of this!
Never mind the train. Jump. Iíll catch you.
ROSE looks to the man, to the train and down to the swirling maelstrom below. A tremendous judder rocks the bridge and it collapses down several metres, the distortion effect ripping away more planks. The train is very close now. ROSE almost slips into the hole, only frantic scrabbling with her feet preventing her from plummeting to her doom.
ROSE climbs to her feet, backs up several paces, takes a deep breath and runs. She leaps across the chasm and we follow her across, her arms and legs flailing.
It appears that she is not going to make it and a look of pure horror flashes across both her face and THE TARDISí face also. ROSE squeezes her eyes tight shut. As she dips lower and lower it seems that the black hole will claim another victim until a hand grabs her wrist!
ROSE opens her eyes to see the familiar face of The Doctor beaming down at her. She smiles back, the smile turning to a grimace as we hear the train whistle again, this time exceedingly close.
THE TARDIS pulls her upwards, just as the steam train thunders below, plunging into the stellar whirlpool and breaking up as it falls.
ROSE and THE TARDIS stand in each others arms, the girl nuzzling her face into his chest.
(looking up into THE TARDISí face)
I-I thought I was going to die.
Not a chance, Rose. The Doctor needs you. And so do I?
Youíll understand in time. Come on, letís go sort this mess out.
They rush down the steps to the opposite platform and ROSE glances back from the open door of the blue police box just as the rest of the bridge crumbles into the abyss. She enters, closing the door behind her.
INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM
THE TARDIS and ROSE kneel down beside THE DOCTOR. He is in the same position as before, his eyes closed. ROSE pulls the two pieces of the Syrillian Synaptic Stimulator from her bag and slots them together. THE TARDIS hands her the master cell and she drops the shimmering crystal into the hole in the upper side of the device. The object buzzes into life, with several flashing lights appearing at intervals on its surface.
Just lie down beside The Doctor, with the Stimulator between you. Place The Doctorís hand on the crystal, then put your own hand on top of his. It will do the rest.
Thanks. It was nice knowing you. But then, I already know you, donít I? Itís not as if youíre going anywhere.
Goodbye, Rose. Do me a favour will you?
THE TARDIS moves his mouth close to ROSEíS ear and whispers something inaudible. She smiles and nods.
The Doctor illusion fades and the last thing we see before he is gone is a sly wink and grin to ROSE.
ROSE gets down on the floor beside THE DOCTOR and places the Stimulator between them. She places THE DOCTORíS right hand on the glowing crystal, then she lies down flat and places her left hand on top of his.
THE DOCTORíS eyes flicker open and he sits up quickly. He sees ROSE beside him and she sits up, smiling.
Good to see you back, Doctor. It is you, isnít it?
Course it is. Who else could it be? What happened? Did I faint? Thatís embarrassing if I did. I think I had the weirdest dream.
(he picks up the Stimulator)
I wondered where this had gone. How did you find it?
Iíll explain later. Before that, I think youíve got some work to do.
As if to emphasise her point, the control room shudders with gravitational force.
Ah, right. Yes!
He rushes to the main console and pulls several levers. Nothing happens. He goes to use his mallet on the console, but ROSE grabs it from his hand.
You shouldnít do that. The TARDIS doesnít like it.
(shaking her head)
Nope. Here, press this button.
ROSE points to a large, green button on the console and THE DOCTOR presses it, whilst looking sceptical.
The central column begins to rise and fall and we hear that familiar groaning and wheezing as the TARDIS operates.
ROSE smiles broadly and THE DOCTOR shares her joy as we cut toÖ
The black hole dominates the screen and the TARDIS dematerialises just in the nick of time. The camera continues in to the singularity and we zoom in on the still tumbling figure if THE MASTER as he screams and wails, trapped for eternity in the heart of the black hole.
© 2005 Steven Johnson & Simon Murphy
Updated 18th June 2006