Dear BBC: It is Time to Bring Dr. Who to America

*Note: Please skip down to go right to a Dr. Who fan screenplay (oh boy!)*

Throughout the years, many popular television series have transcended nationality to be remade locally. The most famous recent example is The Office, where an American phenomenon grew out of a short-lived British sitcom. It wasn’t just popular in the States either, The Office enjoyed localized adaptations in many venues. With the rapidly growing availability of subtitles on services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, localization may be going away, but that doesn’t mean that there is no longer any reason to adapt a show’s setting. Since 1963, Dr. Who has been the definition of a cult hit. For a group of dedicated fans, it is unparalleled science fiction entertainment – for the mainstream audiences, it is that weird British show involving a lot of people in cheap costumes.

History has shown that cult shows full of people in cheap costumes can do quite well in the States too.
History has shown that cult shows full of people in cheap costumes can do quite well in the States too.

It is time to bring Dr. Who to North America. I’m not talking about making the episodes available, they already are. Not talking about a spin-off either.  I’m talking about a full reboot that launches the character in North America, shifting the primary (Earth) setting across the pond. There are incredible advantages to this if done right, although I will acknowledge that it is a tricky proposal. Many fans worry that the show is “too British” for American audiences, but removing that would fundamentally damage the nature of the show.

An American Dr Who would have to preserve the comical nonchalant nature of explaining time travel.

To do any adaptation well, the spirit of the original must be preserved. An example of this not being done would be the new Star Trek films, where many “trekkies” feel that the main themes of the show have been lost in order to favor the blockbuster formula. Dr. Who has several qualities that cannot be sacrificed in an adaptation:

  •  Quirky
  • Optimistic
  • Adventurous
  • Time Travel/space travel oriented
  • The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake
  • Friendship
  • Funny
  • Anti-war

I feel like these are the traits that most Dr. Who fans would say are vital to the show’s success. Obviously the show’s formula must also be preserved – the idea of the Doctor/Companion dynamic is a unique one, not to mention tailored to the low costs of a TV show (two main actors are cheap). Changing other world scenery is also a must. The Doctor just would not be the Doctor if confined to only Earth. Yet, for the most part at least, whenever the Doctor has been on Earth – he has been in the U.K. Here is where the American spinoff opens the most doors.

Yes, London is great and all but there are many other areas with rich histories to explore.
Yes, London is great and all but there are many other areas with rich histories to explore.

North America is a very large continent with a lot of history, even if it is relatively “young” when compared to European countries. One of the main advantages comes from one of the most obvious differences: size. North America is huge, even if you’re only talking about the United States (Canada is actually larger). The spirit of adventure (one of the core elements of Dr. Who) would match well in a North American setting. It is easy to picture the Doctor and his companion having adventures with early colonists (maybe even tackle the Roanoke mystery) or with Lewis and Clark.

Picture the Doctor critiquing the flag or attending the Constitutional Convention: so much opportunity.
Picture the Doctor critiquing the flag or attending the Constitutional Convention: so much opportunity.

Watching the Doctor interact with the Sons of Liberty or Louis Riel seems like a natural fit as well. When one section of North America’s history is exhausted, the show would be able to simply move on to the next one. This idea of a fantasy road trip in America was already explored in American Gods by Neil Gaiman, however he took a more mythological approach, one that still highlighted the incredible diversity of culture that America is famous for (and that Dr. Who champions).

Americans are interested in history as many popular shows have shown (some while skirting or dumbing down the concept). Room exists to tackle historical settings with a bit more intelligence.
Americans are interested in history as many popular shows have shown (some while skirting or dumbing down the concept). Room exists to tackle historical settings with a bit more intelligence.

Right now, science fiction as a genre is incredibly popular in the United States (shows like Rick and Morty, Lost, The Walking Dead, and Battlestar Galactica highlighting the diverse nature of sci-fi hits). Rick and Morty especially showcases the success that a show can have combining off-the-walls science fiction with comedy. True, it’s a smaller budget show but it is also a cartoon: which generally have less audience appeal than live action entertainment.

The time is right, and with the advent of network platforms like Netflix and Hulu, the opportunity to binge-watch a show would allow a new Dr. Who to do more complex levels of time travel without the audience getting confused. It has remained a British cult phenomenon long enough, let’s see if we can add American cult phenomenon to its CV.

I would caution using too much dependence on binge watching. Netflix's season of Arrested Development relied on the concept too much to convey its humor.
I would caution using too much dependence on binge watching. Netflix’s season of Arrested Development relied on the concept too much to convey its humor.

So, what follows is a rough outline of what would be the Pilot episode of an American Dr. Who. As an author, I usually write screenplays in my spare time (great way to work on dialogue and different character voices). I also felt inspired, shall we say, to put this forth. Maybe this will help convince the naysayers that the Doctor, in one form or another, could work in North America. Hope you enjoy!

To help set the mood:

 

DR. WHO

 

INT. TIME LORD STATION – TARDIS HANGAR

We see an explosion and two TIME LORDS emerge from a corridor. The station is shaking and is clearly under attack. We hear laser fire and shouting in the background. The first TIME LORD is knocked to his stomach and the second TIME LORD goes back and picks him up.

TIME LORD 2

Quickly, we must reach the Tardis!

 

Another explosion rocks the station and we hear the DALEK phrase “EXTERMINATE!” echoing into the hangar. A laser blast emerges, narrowly missing the two Time Lords.

TIME LORD 2

You’re sure the weapon is primed?

 

TIME LORD 1

Yes, it will destroy every last one of those wretched creatures! You have the key?

 

Time Lord 2 reaches into his tunic and withdraws a futuristic looking key. The two start toward the Tardis when Time Lord 2 is shot from behind. He staggers and falls.

TIME LORD 1

No!

 

Time Lord 1 rushes to Time Lord 2, who is collapsed in pain. The Daleks are getting louder as they get closer.

TIME LORD 1

Come on, on your feet!

 

TIME LORD 2

You have to leave me… they’re almost here.

 

TIME LORD 1

We’re in this together!

 

TIME LORD 2

No listen!

 

Time Lord 2 forces the key into Time Lord 1’s hand. Another laser blast nearly hits them.

 

Someone… one of us needs to survive. The Time Lords need to survive.

 

TIME LORD 1

… It should have been you.

 

TIME LORD 2

I appreciate that sentiment.

 

Time Lord 2 takes a laser gun from Time Lord 1’s tunic and fires back into the corridor. We hear the Daleks approaching. The Tardis is hit again.

TIME LORD 2

There isn’t time, you have to go now, or you’ll never escape the blast! It’s on you, now. Good-bye my friend.

 

 

Time Lord 1 hesitates briefly, then nods. He turns and sprints to the Tardis. The shadow of the Daleks has fallen over the hangar. Laser blasts fly all around Time Lord 1 as he opens the Tardis door and throws himself inside. The ship takes off amidst a ton of laser fire. Time Lord 2 watches it go, smiling as blood drips down his mouth. A shadow falls over him and he looks up.

TIME LORD 2

Hello gents, lovely day for an apocalypse isn’t it?

 

DALEKS (off-camera)

Exterminate!

 

We see the Tardis zip out of the station and into a rift in time. Shortly thereafter, the station explodes, sending out an enormous ripple. The ripple strikes the Tardis in time and Time Lord 1 is knocked unconscious. As the Tardis spins off into time, que opening credits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DR. WHO

 

 

 

 

 

 

INT. NORTH SHORE COLLEGE DORMITORY

An alarm goes off and Joanne Lennox heaves herself out of bed, switching it off and yawning visibly. She is in a small dorm room; her desk is covered in books on psychology and anthropology. A cross is visible on her wall. The room is a mess, but there still seems to be a certain pride in it. Joanne opens the shades, letting in the sun, before taking a step back. She grabs her clock.

JOANNE

Crap!

 

EXT. NORTH SHORE COLLEGE

We see Joanne jog across the college grounds, which are still gray from the ending winter. She jogs right an unusual looking Recycling Station (Tardis) without even a second glance.

INT. NORTH SHORE COLLEGE

We see Joanne running through a hallway, hastily eating some breakfast as she runs. She approaches a door as it opens and people spill out. She pushes past students into a nearly empty room. Professor David Eccelsten is sitting on top of his desk. Upon seeing Joanne, he folds his arms across his chest and sighs.

DAVID

Great debaters share many qualities, Ms. Lennox. They’re confident, bold, charismatic – and they know how to be on time.

 

JOANNE

I’m sorry, I’m sorry Professor Eccelston. I was up late studying my notes and I forgot about Daylight Savings. I forgot to turn my stupid clock forward.

 

DAVID

Time waits for no one, as they say. Sure it wasn’t a party, Ms. Lennox? Or a “study” mate?

 

JOANNE

No, it was an honest mistake, I swear! I really wanted to be here!

 

DAVID

I know, Jo. I have to give you a hard time, I’m a professor – it’s my job. Your team lost today, there is no other way to say that. Do your best to make sure they don’t lose again, hmm?

 

JOANNE

You’re not kicking me off the team?

 

DAVID

Not for missing one debate, no. Just don’t make it a habit! Here, the material for next week.

 

David hands Joanne a folder. It reads Salem Witch Trials Cause: Religious Intolerance or Cultural Misogyny?

DAVID

I’ve included some good stuff as well as promising links – start looking into it. I’ll be assigning teams on Wednesday.

 

JOANNE

I’ll get started tonight. Thank you Professor Eccelston!

 

NATHANIEL (O.C.)

You are so lucky.

 

EXT. NORTH SHORE COLLEGE

Joanne is walking with her best friend, NATHANIEL FIDDLE, across the campus. Students walk by around them. It is sunny, but chilly.

JOANNE

Not the word I would use. I can only imagine how pissed everyone is.

 

NATHANIEL

People make mistakes every now and then, the team understood. Most of the team anyway… a couple… I got your back.

 

JOANNE

Thanks Nathaniel. I can only imagine what Kristine’s going to do to me.

 

NATHANIEL

Oh she’ll tear your head off. I heard her say that she is going to prepare a ten-page rebuttal if Eccelston puts you in her group again.

 

JOANNE

Ten pages about how I suck? Honestly, I’d like to read that.

 

NATHANIEL

Kristine’s just an overachiever, don’t let her get to you.

 

JOANNE

That doesn’t bother me. I’m an overachiever! At least I’m trying to be.

 

Joanne and Nathaniel stop by the Recycling Station (Tardis).

 

Where did this come from?

 

NATHANIEL

They must have put it in last night, wasn’t here yesterday.

 

Nathaniel approaches the door and tries it, finding it locked.

 

That’s helpful. Our environmental strategy in a nutshell.

 

JOANNE

At least you can put stuff in through the slot. Strange, I’ve never seen one like this before.

 

NATHANIEL

Recycling and climate change. Why couldn’t we get that as a debate?

 

JOANNE

Has to be two sides for a debate.

 

Nathaniel gives her a look.

 

Politics isn’t a side! You don’t – forget it. I’m not getting distracted right now.

 

They start walking again.

 

NATHANIEL

Study session tonight? We can use my place. Kevin’s going to be out. Matt will be there – but I doubt he’ll leave his room.

 

JOANNE

Yeah, that sounds good. Provided I haven’t been murdered yet.

 

NATHANIEL

Don’t be so dramatic Jo! The sky does not start to fall when you miss a class.

 

INT. TARDIS

Time Lord 1 (here on known as THE DOCTOR) wakes up. He lurches up into a sitting position groggily and looks around at the interior of the Tardis. It hums with the life. The Doctor stands and moves around. He staggers and holds his head.

THE DOCTOR

Where am I? When am I?

 

The Doctor reacts to an unheard voice and staggers towards the console. He looks it over and sighs. Hitting several buttons, he looks like he’s looking for something.

Did it work?

We flash back to the explosion of the station and the shockwave that knocked the Doctor unconscious. He has a horrible realization as he collapses in front of the console.

They’re gone… everyone. They’re all just gone. It should have been me.

The Doctor grieves for several moments before a red light flashes and a siren goes off in the ship. The Doctor lurches up to his feet and checks the console.

Well that’s not good.

INT. NATHANIEL’S DORM ROOM

Nathaniel opens the door to reveal a fairly nerdy dorm. Sci-fi posters cover most of the wall, with Kevin’s door looking more sporty and Matt’s door looking very government conspiracy. There is a cheap futon and a small table in the middle. It is clear that none of the three have a lot of money.

NATHANIEL

Hey, she lives!

 

JOANNE

Yep, I even bumped into Kris. She pretended not to see me. It was good on both sides.

 

NATHANIEL

Sounds swell. White chocolate hot coco?

 

JOANNE

Not right now, it’s not cold enough. Want to start with Salem or cover Professor Tennant’s Human Origins test?

 

NATHANIEL

Don’t forget Smith’s project on child psychology. I’ve heard she makes every student answer a question orally.

 

JOANNE

What? Why? What does that even prove?

 

NATHANIEL

Beyond her being a sadist, not much.

 

A strange green light illuminates the night sky, visible through Nathaniel’s window. Joanne and he look up.

JOANNE

What is that?

 

NATHANIEL

Don’t know. Happened last night too. I first I thought it was just some kids with a laser pointer.

 

Joanne and Nathaniel stare out the window. Suddenly Matt’s door flies open and MATT comes flying into the room.

MATT

Oooooh man! Are you guys seeing this? Contact! Actual contact!

 

NATHANIEL

It’s a light, dude.

 

MATT

Open your eyes and see what’s actually in front of you!

 

JOANNE

Hi Matt. You look showered today. Who is it this time? Martians? Neptunians? Little green men from the ninth planet?

 

MATT

You mock but see there, same as last night. That’s a pulse. Not a laser pointer in the world can do that. Now watch, if it’s anything like last night it will go out – now!

 

The light flickers off. Matt laughs.

 

I traced the origin trajectory last night after I took a picture. That light is coming from the middle of the woods. Not a source of electricity near it!

 

NATHANIEL

Maybe they’re rigging up new lines? Or putting in a construction project.

 

MATT

That shoots a concentrated beam of green energy into the sky?

 

JOANNE

It is a little weird.

 

MATT

Thank you!

 

JOANNE

I said it was weird, not that it was Sasquatch.

 

MATT

Of course it wasn’t sasquatch, they only live in northern Canada. This had to be extraterrestrial. A higher intelligence on Earth contacting a higher intelligence above. This has happened before! In England, stuff like this happens all the time. Right when the Doctor – the Doctor!

 

Matt rushes into his room. Nathaniel and Joanne exchange a look.

 

JOANNE

So… study at my place?

 

NATHANIEL

I’m sorry. Who knew he would pick tonight to be social?

 

MATT

I can hear you! Just need to publish something on the forum real quick.

 

JOANNE

My place?

 

Nathaniel gathers books, nods.

 

NATHANIEL

Please.

 

EXT. CAMPUS – NIGHT

Joanne and Nathaniel make their way along the path. The wind is picking up.

NATHANIEL

I am so sorry.

 

JOANNE

Stop apologizing, it wasn’t your fault. Also – not a big deal.

 

NATHANIEL

Don’t get me wrong, I like Matt. He just gets so worked up sometimes.

 

JOANNE

Should have asked him to join the team then.

 

NATHANIEL

Uh huh, no. You get worked up – you sound passionate. Matt gets worked up – complete separation from reality.

 

Joanne and Nathaniel walk by a scarecrow.

 

JOANNE

Part of effective rhetoric is knowing how to twist facts.

 

NATHANIEL

But not make them up. Don’t quote Eccelston at me!

 

JOANNE

I wasn’t. It’s just common knowledge that passion speakers are more effective than… you really think I sound passionate?

 

NATHANIEL

Well – I… that is – you…

 

JOANNE

Nathaniel, look!

 

Joanne points. Ahead of them are three more scarecrows, blocking the path.

NATHANIEL

Some kind of prank?

 

JOANNE

It’s not Halloween.

 

The scarecrows start lurching forward.

 

NATHANIEL

Very funny guys. Haha, you got us!

 

The scarecrows continue to advance.

 

We get it. Awesome party – we’ll go.

 

The scarecrows continue to advance.

 

JOANNE

Do you think one of them is Kris?

 

The scarecrows halt in front of them. Joanne and Nathaniel start to back off, only to realize that three more scarecrows block the path behind them.

JOANNE

What do you want?

 

SCARECROWS

Tá ár am tagtha arís. Ní mór dúinn figiúr a sheirbheáil. Tá bean chun freastal!

 

NATHANIEL

Enough of this. Let us pass!

 

Nathaniel starts walking forward. One of the scarecrows steps forward and throws him aside. They point to Joanne.

SCARECROWS

Tá bean chun freastal!

 

Joanne takes off across the lawn, with the scarecrows in hot pursuit. She runs into the Tardis and tries the door again. Finding it locked, she continues to run. Joanne heads for another building but more scarecrows drive her off, herding her towards the forest. Joanne sees two other people walking.

JOANNE

Help me!

 

The two people see her, see the scarecrows, and take off. Joanne continues to run – away from the lights, away from the people. Joanne hesitates at the edge of the forest before running in, the scarecrows come barreling after her. In the forest Joanne comes to a clearing and finds herself surrounded by scarecrows. They stop, leaving the circle completely surrounded.

JOANNE

What do you want?

 

SCARECROWS

(pointing at Joanne)

Tá bean chun freastal!

 

The Scarecrows begin advancing. Joanne looks on the ground, finds a branch, and raises it to defend herself. Suddenly, a sonic screwdiver flies through the air, landing and rolling directly in front of Joanne.

THE DOCTOR

Close your eyes!

 

Joanne snaps her eyes shut right before the screwdriver gives off a blinding flash of light. The scarecrows stagger back, blinded. The Doctor rushes in, brandishing a flaming weapon. He runs around the scarecrows, setting them on fire and beating at their joints. The Scarecrows cry out and fall over as their legs give way, causing them to collapse. The Doctor makes his way to Joanne as the Scarecrows burn away to nothing. He extinguishes his weapon and tucks it under his coat.

THE DOCTOR

That felt good. Ever had a day where you just… need to light something on fire and beat someone with it?

 

JOANNE

I… uhm.

 

THE DOCTOR

Don’t answer that.

 

The Doctor reignites his weapon to beat one scarecrow that managed to crawl too close.

 

You okay?

 

JOANNE

Uhhh…

 

THE DOCTOR

(grabbing sonic screwdriver)

Are. You. Okay? Can you speak? Did you hit your head?

 

JOANNE

I’m okay… fine… what’s going on?

 

THE DOCTOR

(pulls out psychic paper)

Just a prank gone wrong, nothing to worry about. I already helped your boyfriend, he’s fine.

 

JOANNE

Nathaniel’s not – why are you showing me a blank piece of paper?

 

THE DOCTOR

(surprised)

This looks blank to you?

 

JOANNE

Well yeah… it is blank.

 

THE DOCTOR

What’s your name?

 

JOANNE

Joanne, Joanne Lennox.

 

From offscreen comes an alien sounding howl. The Doctor and Joanne react.

 

THE DOCTOR

Come with me, Joanne Lennox. We have to get you back to school.

 

Another shriek.

 

THE DOCTOR

Preferably alive.

 

The Doctor holds out his hand and Joanne takes it. Together they head off out of the woods. A silhouetted figure watches them leave.

EXT. NORTHEAST UNIVERSITY

We see Nathaniel pacing near the door to his dormitory entrance. At the sight of the Doctor and Joanne, he becomes ecstatic, running up to Joanne and throwing his arms around her in a hug. After a moment he turns to the Doctor.

NATHANIEL

Thank you sir, thank you for finding her!

 

THE DOCTOR

It was my pleasure, really. Happy to help. They won’t be bothering you again.

 

JOANNE

You know who this is?

 

NATHANIEL

Well not really but he showed me his ID. Talk about having a marine in the right place at the right time!

 

JOANNE

A marine?!

 

THE DOCTOR

Well, lovely to meet you both, but you must excuse me. Matters to tend to and all that.

 

JOANNE

But wait!

 

THE DOCTOR

(heading off)

Sorry – no time! Again, it was lovely to meet you Joanne Lennox. Please remember to stay out of the woods after dark and, uhm – say no to drugs!

 

NATHANIEL

(still hugging)

I’m so glad you’re safe! What happened?

 

INT. JOANNE’S DORM

Joanne is sitting at a table, sipping hot chocolate. Nathaniel is pacing back and forth.

NATHANIEL

None of that makes any sense!

 

JOANNE

I’m just telling you what happened.

 

NATHANIEL

I know I – I believe you but – what?

 

JOANNE

(takes a sip)

Yeah.

 

NATHANIEL

It’s just, he lit them on fire?

 

JOANNE

Yeah.

 

NATHANIEL

He killed them?

 

JOANNE

Yeah – no! There was no one, no human being inside! When they burned, it was just straw.

 

NATHANIEL

Straw doesn’t talk!

 

JOANNE

(another sip)

Yeah…

 

NATHANIEL

Maybe, maybe they were some new kind of drone or something. You know, remote controlled?

 

JOANNE

Maybe, I suppose they could have been.

 

NATHANIEL

How can you be so calm?

 

JOANNE

I was just chased into the woods alone by a pack of homicidal scarecrows… who were lit on fire and beaten to death by a stranger with a bunch of really weird gadgets, who was apparently a marine with blank paper. How should I react?

 

NATHANIEL

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t with you.

 

JOANNE

Not your fault – they knocked you down.

 

Nathaniel goes and sits by Joanne.

 

NATHANIEL

But I should have got back up. I’m really glad you’re okay.

 

Nathaniel puts his hand on Joanne’s. She looks up at him and smiles.

 

JOANNE

What if they come back?

 

INT. – JOANNE’S DORM – MORNING

We see Joanne asleep in her bed and Nathaniel asleep in front of her door, a baseball bat in his hand. It is obvious that he has been there all night. It is also obvious that nothing else has happened. Joanne’s eyes flutter open and she looks up groggily. Seeing Nathaniel, she smiles. Nathaniel’s phone vibrates in his pocket, half falling out. Joanne yawns. Nathaniel’s phone vibrates again, this time knocking it to the floor. Joanne winces at the noise but Nathaniel doesn’t stir. Cautiously, quietly, Joanne tiptoes out of bed and retrieves the phone, accidently opening it in the process. She curses to herself but looks at the messages.

MOM (TEXT MESSAGE)

Hey Birthday-Boy-to-be, your father and I are coming up this weekend!

Want anything special for your big day?

 

Joanne mouths the word “birthday” and looks surprised. Then she gives Nathaniel an apologetic looking before turning to the kitchen.

INT. JOANNE’S DORM – KITCHEN

Nathaniel steps into the kitchen, blinking and yawning. We hear the sound of bacon sizzling. Joanne is at the counter, hastily whipping up pancakes. She is clearly struggling but also clearly trying to go all out. We see fruit cut up for a fruit salad, dishes dirtied with pancake batter, and the bacon in the frying pan. Joanne is moving hastily from one to the other so nothing gets burned.

NATHANIEL

Morning. Uh, want any help?

 

JOANNE

Oh hey! Good morning! No, no it’s fine! I wanted to do something to, you know, thank you for sleeping on my floor.

 

NATHANIEL

(stretching his back)

Thanks!

 

Nathaniel sits down at the table.

 

JOANNE

I also… uhm, may have looked at your phone this morning.

 

Nathanial gives her a look.

 

JOANNE

Accidently! I didn’t root through it or anything. I just saw a couple messages from your mom. How come you didn’t mention that your birthday was coming up?

 

NATHANIEL

(shrugging)

I’m turning 23, didn’t really figure it was a big deal anymore. Sounds kinda childish to walk around talking about your own birthday, unless it’s to invite people to a party… and I’m not cool enough to throw my own party.

 

JOANNE

What if I threw one for you?

 

Joanne sets down breakfast in front of Nathaniel.

 

NATHANIEL

Yeah?

 

JOANNE

Just something small! A few friends, some drinks and games. Unless you want a rave.

 

NATHANIEL

Ha ha, nah. The world isn’t ready for my moves. Small sounds good. Thanks.

 

Joanne smiles at Nathaniel.  He smiles back, before noticing smoke rising out of the toaster. Joanne notices his expression and spins around.

JOANNE

Toast!

 

EXT. WOODS

We see the smoking remains of the scarecrows. The camera follows a low track near ground level to perfectly capture their charred remains. The feet of a figure clad in a black cloak emerge into the circle, followed by another. The two speak in an alien language, hoarse but strangely high-pitched. Their dialogue is translated. They are the CAILLEACH.

CAILLEACH 1

So… he is here.

 

CAILLEACH 2

Impossible! The Doctor is dead. It must be an imposter!

 

CAILLEACH 1

No! Only he would dare to stand against us – against them! He must have decrypted our signal.

 

CAILLEACH 2

But we were so careful!

 

CAILLEACH 1

The time for caution is over. We need the girl before the week ends. The Doctor cannot be allowed to interfere with our plans now. We are too close.

 

CAILLEACH 2

I will fetch her myself!

CAILLEACH 1

We can’t take chances. Bring in our sleeper agent.

 

INT. CLASSROOM

A student slams a book shut, causing Joanne to jump noticeably. She darts a quick look around before settling back in her chair. At the front of the room, the professor continues the lecture, undisturbed by the noise. Joanne tries to pay attention but keeps zoning out. Her notes are drawings of the sonic screwdriver, the scarecrows, and of the Doctor wielding his fiery weapon. The door opens and Joanne looks panicked again.

INT. PROF. ECCLESTON’S CLASS

Joanne continues to look jumpy as everyone stands up, signaling the end of the day. Nathaniel gives her a look as he heads out into the hall. Joanne moves to follow him but Eccelston moves in front of her.

DAVID

“You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.”

 

JOANNE

Huh?

 

DAVID

Winston Churchill said those words, and he was a man whose voice gave England the backbone and the will to oppose Adolf Hitler. Everything okay, Jo?

 

JOANNE

Okay? I –

 

DAVID

You’re distracted. Maybe more than that – today marked the first time in my memory that you didn’t participate in my lecture. If I remember correctly, you didn’t even raise your hand. So I will ask again – is everything okay?

 

JOANNE

Yeah I’m just – I’m tired. I had a rough time sleeping last night.

 

DAVID

“A rough time sleeping…” No one’s been bothering you have they? This is a safe campus Joanne. If anyone, anyone has been giving you trouble – please let our counselors know.

 

JOANNE

It’s nothing like that, really. I just couldn’t get comfortable I guess. I’ll have to get to bed extra early tonight.

 

David hesitates, then nods.

 

DAVID

(still unconvinced)

Okay, see that you do. I’ll except you all the more attentive and vigorous on Thursday.

 

JOANNE

Don’t worry, I will be!

 

Joanne goes to leave.

 

DAVID

And Joanne, watch yourself okay? Campus authorities were telling me this morning that there were some weirdos around last night. Never hurts to be careful!

 

INT. PARTY STORE

We see Joanne moving through a local party supplies store. She is looking at things like plates and balloons. When she comes to the Halloween section she is startled visibly by a scarecrow. Knocking out of the way, she continues to look around. We see her picking up the usual supplies for a party. At the end, she stops by a sea turtle piñata – evidently in thought. Eventually, she grabs that too. On her way out, she sees the Doctor waiting on a street corner, looking apprehensive (this is a version of the Doctor from the future, but Joanne cannot know that).

JOANNE

Hey!

 

The Doctor sees her, looks worried – and turns to run.

 

Hey you! Stop! Come back!

 

Joanne starts running. She chases the Doctor around a corner but appears to lose him, seeing nothing but one of the odd recycling stations (TARDIS) in an alley.

Weird.

Joanne gets a text. It takes her a moment to readjust her bags to access her phone.

NATHANIEL (TEXT)

Hey – meet up to study soon?

 

JOANNE

(texting)

Yeah! My place again. Meet in an hour?

 

Joanne looks up at the surrounding alley. It ends in a dead end. She shakes her head in confusion. Nathaniel texts back.

NATHANIEL (TEXT)

Sounds good.

 

EXT. CAMPUS – EVENING

We see Joanne walking back to campus, holding her bags. It is later and she is in a hurry to get in. A noise makes her stop and people walking by here give her an odd look. Joanne smiles and keeps walking, looking embarrassed. She stops when she sees the Doctor emerging from the woods. He seems preoccupied and does not notice her approaching him. Eventually he looks up.

THE DOCTOR

Ah, Joanne Lennox. Doing the very thing I told you not to do – that’s a good sign.

 

JOANNE

Not going to run away this time?

 

THE DOCTOR

(confused)

Run away? Last night was at most a leisurely stroll! Besides I had left you in good company at your school. Wasn’t much reason for me to hang around.

 

JOANNE

You know what I mean! A little while ago in town – you took one look at me and bolted!

 

The Doctor pauses.

 

THE DOCTOR

Did I now?

 

The Doctor appears unnerved. He looks up at the sky and starts leading Joanne back towards the school.

It’s getting late. You best get indoors.

 

JOANNE

I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on. Who are you? What were those scarecrows? Why did you run last time I saw you?

 

THE DOCTOR

You know, excessive questioning early on in a friendship gives the feeling of intimidation. You really should try some subtlety.

 

JOANNE

Fine, who are you? I told you my name – you can at least tell me yours.

 

THE DOCTOR

(nodding)

Fair enough I suppose. I’m –

 

The sound of glass shattering causes both of them to look up. Students are running away from Joanne’s dormitory as a group of figures emerges behind it. One is tall and cloaked in black (the Cailleach) and the rest are a group of scarecrows dragging Nathaniel.

JOANNE

Nathaniel!

 

The scarecrows see Joanne and start to advance. The figure in black turns, revealing a green serpentine face. It hisses at the sight of the Doctor and the scarecrows return, grabbing Nathaniel and running for the forest.

THE DOCTOR

Stay here.

 

The Doctor rifles through his pockets, retrieving the sonic screwdriver. He starts advancing towards the scarecrows and the Cailleach. The Cailleach steps forward and drops a black ball. As soon as it hits the ground it expands into a cauldron-sized ball and starts bubbling out green mist. The Doctor sees this and turns to grab Joanne. He throws the two of them to the ground, shielding their faces. In a moment, the sky above them explodes with green light. The Doctor hesitates a moment, then looks up. The Cailleach and the scarecrows have gone. Some of the other students who were out are walking around shakily, holding one arm over their face and using the other to feel the space in front of them. Joanne hauls herself up.

JOANNE

Where’s Nathaniel?

 

THE DOCTOR

Gone – somewhere in the woods I imagine. You all right?

 

JOANNE

Yeah. What happened to them?

 

Joanne gestures at the students stumbling around.

 

THE DOCTOR

A bauma plague I think. Gas explosive that enters at lightning speeds through any exposed visual lens. Lucky them, looks like it was a minor one. Hmm, must mean that they don’t want to be noticed. That’s interesting.

 

The Doctor walks up to the cauldron-ball. It is still hissing but empty. He kicks it over and it breaks apart on the grass.

THE DOCTOR

Shoddy craftsmanship. Maybe they’re running low on supplies. That would be a nice break.

 

The doctor begins scanning the metal with his sonic screwdriver. Joanne approaches.

JOANNE

No more games. What was that thing… and what does it want with Nathaniel?

 

THE DOCTOR

(turning back to look at the building)

It was a Cailleach, which is an alien to answer your next question… and I’m not entirely sure it wants Nathaniel, unless that’s his room?

 

Joanne turns around and looks at her dormitory. The large window of her room has been completely shattered and the inside looks visibly disheveled.

JOANNE

My room!

 

Joanne takes off for her room.

 

THE DOCTOR

Wait Joanne!

 

The Doctor takes off after Joanne.

 

INT. DORMITORY – HALLWAY

We see Joanne running down the hallway with the Doctor right behind her. He finally catches her as she slows outside her door. The door has been visibly forced in. As Joanne starts to enter, the Doctor holds out a hand.

THE DOCTOR

Wait.

 

The Doctor pulls out his sonic screwdriver and quickly scans around the edges of the doctor. Seeming satisfied, the Doctor steps back.

 

Okay, watch your step.

 

Joanne enters her room. It has been completely ransacked and there is clear evidence of a struggle. Interestingly, all the drawers in Joanne’s room have been pulled out but appear to have been placed neatly on the floor. Everything else is a total mess. Joanne sees the baseball bat lying broken in two. She places down the bags that she was carrying. We see the sea turtle sticking out.

JOANNE

This is crazy.

 

She sits down on the floor. The Doctor continues to look around.

 

THE DOCTOR

For the record, you’re taking this pretty well.

 

Joanne starts laughing, but tears appear on her face.

 

JOANNE

Yeah, first flaming scarecrows and now the wicked witch kidnaps my best friend. I don’t think I’m in Kansas anymore!

 

Joanne buries her head in her hands, still laughing and crying. The Doctor sits down beside her. Joanne looks up at him.

JOANNE

So who are you, the Tin Man or Toto? Or are you the Wizard?

 

THE DOCTOR

I’m… just someone trying to help. I feel like all this might be my fault.

 

JOANNE

Are you one of them?

 

THE DOCTOR

Well, that depends on which them you mean. If by them you mean a cailleach then no – absolutely not. If by them you mean alien, well…

 

Joanne stands up.

 

JOANNE

You’re a – but you look so –

 

THE DOCTOR

Ordinary? One of life’s great disappointments I guess. I have two hearts if that helps.

 

Joanne takes a step back. She shakes her head and wipes her eyes.

 

JOANNE

Where’s Nathaniel?

 

THE DOCTOR

I don’t know – but I will help you find him. If you trust me, Joanne Lennox. I’m not one of the bad guys.

 

Joanne gives the Doctor a hard look.

 

EXT. CAMPUS

We see the Doctor and Joanne hurrying across campus. They head right for the recycling station. The Doctor stops in front of it and retrieves an ordinary looking key. Joanne is visibly apprehensive.

JOANNE

Oh god, is this your version of a white van?

 

THE DOCTOR

What? This is my space ship. Well, actually it’s more than a space ship. It travels time and relative dimensions in space really. Call it the Tardis!

 

The Doctor opens the door.

 

Trust me, it’s a lot bigger on the inside.

(laughs)

 

Joanne laughs too, but very uncomfortably. She hesitates but follows the Doctor in.

 

INT. TARDIS

Joanne steps in and is immediately awestruck by the wonder of the Tardis. It is a huge room, appearing to have several smaller off shoots, as well as multiple levels. At the center of it all is the glowing core, which she approaches slowly. The Doctor, meanwhile, is over at a panel checking readings.

THE DOCTOR

Yes, I’m aware we have a visitor. No, I don’t think she’s dangerous. Well what was I supposed to do, leave her out there? Nobody asked your opinion, just hurry up and get me the results of that gamma residue scan.

 

JOANNE

Who are you talking to?

 

THE DOCTOR

What? No one, no one. Just waiting for some results.

 

JOANNE

Results that will help us find Nathaniel?

 

THE DOCTOR

Yes, that is, I certainly hope so.

(to Tardis)

I’m not endangering anything, will you please be quiet?

 

Joanne looks worried.

 

(to Joanne)

Okay, since I’ve arrived I’ve been monitoring scans from an area several miles north of here in the forest. According to your maps there’s nothing there, and yet it’s been emitting a highly concentrated energy pulse into the sky roughly every 24 hours. I believe this to be the Cailleach’s beacon, yet as to who they’re contacting and why – I haven’t the foggiest. Cailleach always – always employ low levels of gamma radiation in their broadcast beams – if this transmission is leaving gamma residue, then it is for sure their base of operations.

 

JOANNE

Well… who else would it be? Like you said, there’s no people there.

 

THE DOCTOR

I… that is an excellent point.

(to Tardis)

If only someone had mentioned that earlier!

(to Joanne)

Sorry, I’m not used to worlds or times as plain as this. Normally a beam like that would have hundreds of possible sources, but here –

 

The Doctor keys several buttons.

 

Here there is only one! At least I hope it’s only one. Crowded campus if it’s not.

 

JOANNE

What are you doing?

 

THE DOCTOR

Trying to decrypt it, obviously. I won’t be able to get the whole message but residue is by nature a trace. If I can find out a even a few words, that will be something to go on.

 

JOANNE

Something to go on? How will it help rescue Nathaniel?

 

THE DOCTOR

I understand your concern, but there’s a lot of variables. One: how many Cailleach are there? Two: is this a distress call or a call for reinforcements? Three: What were they doing in your room? Four: Are they armed? If so, how heavily? Five: Do they know I’m here, if so how much do they know about me? I don’t expect the answer to every question but it helps to be as prepared as possible. I really don’t like going in blind.

(to Tardis)

You know what I mean!

 

JOANNE

(nodding)

This ship can talk?

 

THE DOCTOR

Well it’s alive, isn’t it? You can see its heart. The Tardis speaks, just not in a way that everyone can hear, at least immediately. It also can adapt – hence the wonderful disguise.

 

JOANNE

(approaching the heart again)

It’s alive…

 

The light of the Tardis flashes momentarily red and the Doctor looks down at his station, alarmed.

THE DOCTOR

Here we are – wait this can’t be right. There’s no way the Cailleach could… I need to go, tonight.

 

JOANNE

What is it?

 

THE DOCTOR

The Tardis was only able to get every other word, but it looks like a Cailleach are going to try and use orelixer combined with a constant’s bloodline to travel through time.

 

JOANNE

They can do that?

 

THE DOCTOR

They shouldn’t know how. There’s only one species in the universe to ever conquer time travel, and we paid dearly to keep the secret away from the wrong hands.

 

The Doctor retrieves a long pole from within a compartment on the Tardis. He spins it around before retracting it into compact form. Joanne starts to follow him.

JOANNE

So where are we going?

 

THE DOCTOR

We are not going anywhere. This is going to be dangerous and will require some skill. Stay in the Tardis, I should be back before long.

 

Joanne gets in front of the Doctor and blocks the door.

 

JOANNE

Listen alien! I don’t know who you are or where you came from! To be honest, I genuinely have no idea what’s been going on over the past two days! But if you think I’m going to stay here, in this strange whatever, while you maybe go to rescue my friend – think again. I don’t know if I can even trust you! You say you’re good and you look human but – I am not standing by while Nathaniel is in danger. So either knock me out or give me a weapon!

 

A silence follows.

 

Well?

 

THE DOCTOR

I’m thinking.

(sighs)

I’m not giving you a weapon, you wouldn’t know what to do with it. I’ve seen how your kind responds to such things. But I… empathize with where you’re coming from. You must understand though, Joanne Lennox, these creatures seem to be looking for you. It is quite possible that the blood they need for this ritual, for this technology, is in fact your own. You may be taking quite the risk. Are you prepared for that?

 

Joanne stares at him defiantly, nods.

 

Well all right then.

 

EXT. WOODS NIGHT

We see Joanne and the Doctor creeping slowly through the woods. They are approaching what looks like a large bonfire and campground. From where they are, everything looks ordinary. The only thing noticeably strange is the ring of scarecrows positioned all around the border. At the moment, they are motionless. As they get closer they see Nathaniel trapped in a wooden cage.

JOANNE

(whispering)

What are we going to do?

 

THE DOCTOR

Let me think.

 

The Doctor withdraws his staff and proceeds a step closer.

 

Okay, here’s the plan. You stay here. Listen! You stay here, I’m going to head a ways away and create a diversion, that should draw the scarecrows after me. Don’t move yet. Let the Cailleach come out – let them see me, give it time to convince them it’s only me, then you sneak in and save Nathaniel. Do not, under any circumstances, let them see you. Once you have Nathaniel – head straight for somewhere safe and full of people. Somewhere in your university. Understand?

 

Joanne nods.

 

Good, take this (hands Joanne the Sonic Screwdriver). It will unlock the cage. Wait for your moment!

 

The Doctor walks several paces, always keeping an eye on Joanne. Once he is a good distance, he extends his staff and hits a button, immediately one end of the staff bursts into flames. The Doctor advances on the scarecrows, who immediately stutter to life.

SCARECROWS

Dochtúir, a thabhairt dúinn an cailín!

 

THE DOCTOR

Afraid she isn’t here! Come on then you L. Frank Baum rejects!

 

The scarecrows and the Doctor advance of each other. The Doctor nimbly engages the scarecrows. He moves closer to the circle. Nathaniel looks up from his cage.

THE DOCTOR

Where are you masters? Don’t they know that “the Doctor” has come for them?

 

Two Cailleach appear from inside one of the tents. One holds a gun that resembles a broomstick. It fires at the Doctor, who rolls, dodging the blast. The Doctor twirls part of his staff and pushes a button. An energy blast shoots out of one end, hitting the Cailleach’s gun and disabling it. The two Cailleach hiss at the Doctor but don’t move. The Doctor tries several times to bait them, igniting most of the scarecrows in the process. Joanne stays still.

JOANNE

(whispering)

Come on, come on – move!

The Doctor ignites another scarecrow before refitting him staff to fire. The Cailleach dodge and advance as the Doctor shoots several shots their way, being careful to avoid Nathaniel or the tents. The Cailleach hiss and continue advancing. Joanne steps slowly towards the campsite, being very careful to keep quiet. We see the Doctor’s fight with the Cailleach and the Scarecrows in the background. Both Cailleach have drawn curved daggers from their cloaks and are assaulting the Doctor. Joanne crawls into the camp and is careful to avoid going near the tents, although she hears strange electronic/mystical noises coming from one of them. Joanne hesitates but moves on. Evidently she reaches Nathaniel. He starts to speak but she puts up a finger to silence him. Reaching into her pocket, she retrieves the sonic screwdriver. Joanne looks at it for a moment, then tentatively points it at the cage lock and presses a button. The lock instantly pops open and Nathaniel rushes out of the cage, kissing Joanne full on the lips (this reflects a meeting that Nathaniel had with future Joanne). Joanne pulls back in surprise and pushes him away.

JOANNE

(whispering)

What are you doing?!

 

NATHANIEL

(whispering)

I’m sorry – I just thought – last time –

 

JOANNE

(whispering)

We have to get out of here! Come on!

 

DAVID

Ms. Lennox, Mr. Fiddle… what are you doing here?

 

Joanne and Nathaniel turn around to see David walking into the campsite. He looks confused and shocked.

What is… what is going on here?!

JOANNE

Professor Eccleston, sir we have to go! Please, there’s no time. I’ll explain everything when we’re back at school.

 

DAVID

Go?

 

JOANNE

Yes sir, they’re, those things are trying to kill me!

 

DAVID

(laughing)

Well I know that! You had me scared for a moment, Jo!

 

David withdraws the same long, curved knife that the Cailleach have.

 

I just meant – what are you doing here with the Doctor?

 

NATHANIEL

You’re… you’re with them?

 

DAVID

Bit more than that actually.

 

David reaches up a hand and squirts a mist in front of his face. Nathaniel and Joanne watch as David’s features change to that of a Cailleach.

DAVID

Ah the standard ceomist spray – it works so well on the lower species. You humans have never really evolved past your eyes, have you? Now, Ms. Lennox, I’m afraid things are going to have to get more unpleasant for you.

 

NATHANIEL

Keep away from her!

 

A shot zips by Nathaniel and Joanne, striking David and knocking him back. The Doctor runs up to Joanne and Nathaniel.

THE DOCTOR

My thoughts exactly!

 

The two other Cailleach roar and advance on them. The Doctor gets between them and Joanne and Nathaniel. He starts guiding them away.

You need to run, now! Do it and don’t stop.

 

JOANNE

What about you?

 

THE DOCTOR

I’ll be fine, do this all the time. Go!

 

Nathaniel grabs Joanne and starts to pull her away. David reaches out and grabs Nathaniel’s leg, pulling him down. The Doctor turns to help but at that moment the two other Cailleach rush forward, and the Doctor has to scramble back to get Joanne away from them. The Doctor and Joanne pull away as the three Cailleach face them. David holds a knife to Nathaniel’s throat.

DAVID

Surrender yourselves or he dies!

 

JOANNE

Nathaniel!

 

THE DOCTOR

(putting a hand on Joanne)

And if we do, what happens then? Will we live?

 

DAVID

Afraid not, at least not both of you. See, we need dear Joanne’s blood for a rather sophisticated ritual.

 

David gestures and Joanne and the Doctor turn to see a bizarre device inside the tent. It pulse electronic power, but it’s center appears to be a weird almost magical ball that glows. It appears empty, however.

DAVID

For so long, you Time Lords locked the knowledge away from the universe. So self-important you were, so proud… as if time was yours alone to control through some divine providence.

 

THE DOCTOR

We looked at it more as safeguarding the worlds from beings like you.

 

DAVID

Not just beings like us.

 

David smiles and the Doctor appears uneasy.

 

THE DOCTOR

Why her? The girl – time travel has never required blood sacrifice before.

 

DAVID

Why Doctor, don’t you know that every equation has variables. The more constants the better. Blood of the present meets the same blood of the past. Perfect ingredient when making a bridge.

 

CAILLEACH 1

Enough of this! He’s stalling! Give us the girl now!

 

NATHANIEL

Don’t do it, don’t do it. I’m not worth it!

 

JOANNE

Nathaniel shut up! Don’t say things like that!

 

DAVID

What’s it going to be, Doctor? Your reputation precedes you. Always the hero.

 

Joanne looks at the Doctor, he looks down at her.

 

But even you can’t save everybody.

 

THE DOCTOR

You kill him – I kill you. All three of you.

 

DAVID

Wow, that’s more of a direct threat than I was expecting.

 

THE DOCTOR

I know your race, you’re cons and deceivers. You want us to think that you’re keeping him alive to bargain for her life… when in reality you’re bargaining for yours. Release him. This is my first and only negotiation.

 

David tilts his head and widens his eyes and recognition.

 

DAVID

Well now I understand exactly who we’re dealing with! Guess there’s only one way this ends!

 

JOANNE

Nathaniel!

 

NATHANIEL

Run Joanne!

 

David slits Nathaniel’s throat, killing him. He and the two other Cailleach rush the Doctor. Joanne is knocked to the ground and looks to see the dead body of Nathaniel staring back at her. She screams as the Doctor activates new options on his staff, electrifying one end and turning the other into a blade. He kills the Two Cailleach quickly before locking blades with David. The two spar briefly before the Doctor impales David on the pointed end of his staff. The Doctor pins David to the ground and drives the staff deeper and deeper through him. David coughs up green blood and spits in the Doctor’s face.

DAVID

Did we touch a nerve? It was just a human.

 

THE DOCTOR

A life, an innocent life! No more innocents lost to monsters!

 

DAVID

Ha, I knew you were self-righteous but I had no idea. You… you stopped nothing. You know that. Our operation here was merely a foothold – one of two. All our race knows the secret – we will find a way. And they… they will find you, Doctor.

 

THE DOCTOR

They – they who? Who gave you the secret of time travel?!

 

DAVID

You and your friend… will be… exterminated.

 

David dies. The Doctor’s eyes go wide and he just stares at the corpse for a while. Eventually he looks up and sees Joanne sitting, holding Nathaniel. She is sobbing. The Doctor tests Nathaniel’s vital signs for life, then puts his hand over his face. He looks at the Cailleach’s machine. Seeing the sonic screwdriver on the ground, he picks it up and turns it on the machine, which splutters and dies immediately. The Doctor then changes settings and points the sonic screwdriver at the machine again. This time the machine overloads, shooting out sparks and breaking down. The Doctor goes to put a hand on Joanne’s shoulder but hesitates, ultimately just standing by as she mourns the death of her friend.

INT. JOANNE’S DORMITORY

We see a close up on the door as Joanne turns the knob and opens it. She steps in like a zombie with the Doctor right behind her. He closes the door. Joanne looks at the sea turtle and sits in a chair. The Doctor frowns and goes to the hole where the window was shattered. Caution tape has been placed across it.

THE DOCTOR

They probably don’t want you staying in this room.

 

A silence passes.

 

I’ll use the Tardis to contact the authorities anonymously… let them know where… where he is.

 

JOANNE

It should have been me.

 

The Doctor crosses over to Joanne.

 

It should have been me – it was my blood they were after. Nathaniel had nothing to do with it, he was , he was only trying to help me. He was…

 

The Doctor hugs Joanne and she cries into his arms.

 

THE DOCTOR

Now you listen to me. There are only a few who bare the blame of Nathaniel’s death and you are not one of them. You didn’t chose this, any of it. You never asked… you never asked for it to be him instead of you.

 

JOANNE

But we – I didn’t save him.

 

THE DOCTOR

But you tried! Nathaniel saw that, he knew it. He knew there was nothing in your power that you weren’t prepared to do. You were prepared to give you your life for his. That’s not nothing. That’s light years away from nothing.

 

JOANNE

It just, this hurts so much! He’s gone! He was just here – he’s supposed to be here with me! Studying, laughing, planning… we had so much left to do! Do you think, do you think he’s in heaven?

 

The Doctor hesitates. He looks at the cross on the wall and then back to Joanne’s face.

 

THE DOCTOR

Come with me.

 

JOANNE

What?

 

THE DOCTOR

Come with me, there’s something I want to show you.

 

Joanne stands to follow the Doctor. She pauses at the bags.

 

JOANNE

Can I bring the turtle?

 

THE DOCTOR

I would be upset if you didn’t.

 

INT. TARDIS

Joanne settles into the Tardis and the Doctor hits a few buttons. The machine rumbles to life around her and Joanne looks startled. Outside we see as a light glow on the Tardis and it fades from view. Inside Joanne watches as lights flash and the Tardis glows brightly. Eventually the Doctor steps away and looks at her.

THE DOCTOR

Okay, I’m going to open the door. Try your best not to freak out – and don’t step outside.

 

The Doctor leads Joanne over the door of the Tardis and opens it. Joanne steps back in shock and awe as she witnesses a huge swirl of lights and beautiful gasses shining brightly in space.

The camera pans back to reveal the Tardis floating in outer space.

JOANNE

What, what is it?

 

THE DOCTOR

No one knows, even the Time Lords were never sure. We simply called it the Great Unknown. Appears in a different part of space every few years. Easy enough to find – on the surface there doesn’t seem to be anything special to it, yet none of our ships could enter. Any data gatherers we sent – nothing. They never returned. It is an anomaly… but it is beautiful.

 

JOANNE

Yes… it is.

 

Joanne shifts, looking back into the Tardis. She sees the sea turtle piñata and retrieves it. She sits, clutching the sea turtle to her chest. The Doctor stands behind her, his arm on the edge of the Tardis doorframe. They both stare out – as if content to lose themselves in the beauty of space.

JOANNE

The first time I met Nathaniel, he was trying to convince people to come to the beach. It was a volunteer opportunity, something connected to the aquarium. I already had plans – I was going to a retreat or something, something to do with the chapel ministry. He just wouldn’t let up. He kept saying how incredible an experience it would be – to help clean this beach. It was like he was describing the Oscars or something like that. Eventually he asked me why I directly why I couldn’t make it. I said I had to go listen, find out how to help people… that it made me feel closer to heaven. He said it was heavenly to help the outside world, that it would help me too. So, I went… we ended up saving freshly hatched sea turtles. We’d pick them up from the sand and carry them to the water. It was so cute, watching their little fins waving in the air as we carried them. Nathaniel never stopped laughing… he never stopped smiling.

 

The Doctor sighs and looks out into space. He eventually sits down with Joanne.

 

THE DOCTOR

I don’t know about heaven, Ms. Joanne Lennox, but if there can be unexplained beauties like this in our living plain, I won’t rule out the possibility of them existing beyond.

 

Joanne smiles.

 

JOANNE

Thank you for showing me this.

 

THE DOCTOR

Anytime.

 

The two stare out into the Great Unknown.

 

JOANNE

So you’re a Time Lord. They called you… the Doctor… is that your name?

 

THE DOCTOR

(hesitating)

Good a name as any.

 

JOANNE

The Doctor… Doctor Who?

 

The Doctor smiles.

 

THE DOCTOR

Would you like me to show you something else? Like the first sea turtle to crawl out of the sea?

 

JOANNE

Yes please.

 

THE DOCTOR

Well then, hold on tight, Joanne Lennox. We have a universe to see.

 

The Doctor steps forward and closes the door to the Tardis, which proceeds to zoom off into space and time. The ending theme and credits begin playing as it flies through time.

 

 

So that’s it – that would be my pilot. Apologies for any spelling errors – I had only the time for a first draft (thought up a rough outline for season one though – man, it’s fun to work in the Dr. Who universe!). Dr. Who is an amazing world of creativity – I hope someone sees the light and creates a new spin on the Doctor for American audiences.

One thought on “Dear BBC: It is Time to Bring Dr. Who to America

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