The Doctor appears in the flesh – more or less – as the Shansheeth corner Sarah, Jo, Rani, Clyde and Santiago. The only problem is that the Doctor has to switch places with Clyde. This deposits Clyde in a treacherous alien landscape while the Doctor battles the Shansheeth and saves his former companions in person. The two switch places multiple times, with the Doctor finally taking Sarah and Jo to the alien planet with him, needing their help to prevent that planet’s destruction. But this leaves the younger adventurers trapped, at the mercy of the Shansheeth and UNIT Colonel Karim (who turns out to be in league with the Shansheeth). By the time the Doctor, Sarah and Jo return to Earth, there’s no time for reminiscing – Clyde, Rani and Santiago’s lives are at stake, and the Shansheeth have no problem threatening any of them to get what they really want: the key to the TARDIS.
written by Russell T. Davies
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold
Guest Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Jones), Finn Jones (Santiago Jones), Laila Rouass (Colonel Karim), Jimmy Vee (Groske), Paul Kasey (Shansheeth), Ruari Mears (Shansheeth), Ben Ashley (Shansheeth), David Bradley (voice of Shansheeth Blue), Phillip Hurd-Wood (voice of the Groske), Jon Glover (additional Shansheeth voices)
Notes: The Doctor mentions that Amy and Rory are traveling with him, placing Death Of The Doctor after The Big Bang (we don’t see Amy and Rory because they’re away from the TARDIS on their honeymoon). Jo says here that she hasn’t seen the Doctor since his departure in The Green Death, though the Doctor says that “the last time he was dying” he looked in on all of his former companions, not just the Russell T. Davies-era companions he was seen to visit in The End Of Time Part Two. In one scene given a great deal of scrutiny even before the episode aired, the Doctor tells Clyde he can regenerate “507 times,” though it’s entirely possible that he’s joking (or dodging the question of his own mortality). When Clyde asks if the Doctor is “always white,” the Doctor says he can “be anyone.” The end of the episode contains a huge laundry list of former TARDIS travelers and their current activities, some of which conflict with the various spinoff media:
- Tegan Jovanka: still in Australia, “fighting for Aboriginal rights.” (Presumably in her spare time from being a high-powered businesswoman in Brisbane, as heard in The Gathering.)
- Ben and Polly: running an orphanage in India.
- Dr. Harry Sullivan: saved thousands of lives by creating new vaccines, presumably after his work with UNIT and (as mentioned in Mawdryn Undead) the Ministry of Defense. Sarah speaks of Harry in the past tense; actor Ian Marter, who played Harry, died in 1986.
- “Dorothy Somebody” – presumably Ace (real name: Dorothy McShane) – has raised billions through her organization, A Charitable Earth (the initials work out to “ACE”). (This is the hardest to square with the spinoff media, almost all of which bend over backward to deposit Ace in late 19th century France, a fate first posited in the novelization of The Curse Of Fenric which, since it was written by Ian Briggs, who not only wrote the TV episodes but also created Ace, has to be given at least some consideration. The New Adventures novels Set Piece and Lungbarrow equip Ace with a time-traveling motorcycle, however, so Ace’s fate may be playing out in multiple time zones.)
- Ian and Barbara – married and are both professors at Cambridge, and supposedly they’ve “never aged, not since the sixties.”
As most of these characters’ post-TARDIS lives have seldom been mentioned except in media such as the novels and audio plays, these explanations can be considered more or less official. It’s also worth noting that the script editor of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Gary Russell, has been heavily involved with all of the novel ranges to date as well as with Big Finish’s audio productions, so it’s likely that he advised writer Russell T. Davies on the destinies for these characters that various fan writers had charted down through the years.
LogBook entry by Earl Green