More Awesome on the Inside

Due to the application of transdimensional engineering, whilst the exterior of every Tardis in use by the Time Lords is relatively small and unassuming, taking the form of such things as stone columns, grandfather clocks, horseboxes or even antiquated Police boxes, the interior is much, much bigger.

In other words, it’s bigger on the inside, which was the title of my previous post.

In that post, I did state that it was my intention to build the control room for my 13th Doctor – with a combination of downloaded papercraft templates (which I tinkered with) and some odds and ends from my bits box.

I was also intending to make some progress on my entries for Monster May(hem), the month-long event instigated by Keith over at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging, but because of certain issues regarding the building of my control room, these were put on hold.

However, I believe that concentrating on my Tardis was worth it, but you can judge that for yourself.

So, having downloaded the template for the 8th Doctor’s Tardis floor, resized it and printed out enough copies to produce the entire hexagonal wooden floor, I cut these out, as well as a piece of mounting board. The idea was to glue the three parts of the floor to the mounting board with a glue-stick, then use a plate to make the completed ‘floor’ circular.

Things did not go according to plan.

To cut a long story short, I messed this part up and had to come up with an alternative plan – which actually worked out better, as you will see.

Using a side plate, I cut a circle of mounting board approximately 8 inches in diameter, used a compass to find the centre, then scribed 5 rings within the circle. I then divided this into 16 segments.

It would have been easier if I’d had a black Sharpie for the next part, but the whole circle was then painted alternating black and white, to create a tiled floor, like so;

As you can probably appreciate, this took quite some time, as I initially painted the black tiles, then realised that I had to tidy of the edges of the white tiles with some white paint, then go back and do some touching up with BOTH black and white paints when the original coats were dry. Labour intensive, but does give a good effect, even if staring at it for any length of time does start fucking with your eyes.

In order to protect my hard work and give it a more ’tile-y’ look, the floor was then covered with some transparent sticky-backed plastic, like so;

You can just about make out the sheen on the top left of the floor in the above picture and the 13th Doctor standing in the centre does give a sense of scale.

The final part of preparing the floor was to make a hole in the exact centre, like so, for reasons that will be explained later;

Now that the floor was done, it was time to start working on the ‘fixtures and fittings’.

First was the Tardis console. The transparent pen lid used as the time rotor had been glued into the hole on the HeroClix base, but was loose AND wonky, so this was re-glued with my son’s hot glue gun, rather than with what I’d attempted to use previously.

I’d also worked out that the cardstock console panel would need some kind of support, so some careful measuring was done and a rubber sleeve, which was the finger-grip from another pen, was cut down and slid over the central column. The base had previously been given a coat of Docrafts Bronze, as shown below;

After this picture was taken, the base received a further coat of Bronze, as did the sleeve.

Next up was the additional furniture – two file card cabinets taken from the Victory of the Daleks papercraft set and a grandfather clock taken from the Sarah Jane Adventures Bannerman Road set, all downloaded from the AFT Downloads site.

The end of yet another expired pen became a stone planter (once repainted), and a blob of hot glue secured the small frond of plastic vegetation, creating EITHER a pot plant for the interior of the Tardis control room or the Great Rangdo of Arg – in his Aspidistra form…

The next part was to assemble the walls. I’d printed out on card wall sections from the 4th Doctor’s secondary control room, including the scanner, but not the stained-glass windows – because I didn’t like them. These had been manipulated to produce a run of roundel wall sections, with blank wall sections in between. I’d made a double-sized blank section, which I then pasted in the exterior door section from the 9th Doctor’s Tardis, to provide an egress.

The two printed sections were cut out, with a half-inch white border at the bottom, to create tabs with which to attach the walls to the floor. This was then joined in the centre and the whole interior wall covered with plastic to protect it and give the slightly lacquered appearance of the original walls. This didn’t go quite according to plan, as it was a long strip and didn’t stick completely flat, so the creases were squashed flat with the handle of the craft knife. I did try ironing these flat, but this didn’t work and actually made it slightly worse, but it’s not THAT noticeable.

The walls were then glued to the perimeter of the floor, then the file cabinets and grandfather clock were glue to the internal walls and the pot plant and central console placed, which just about completes the control room, as shown below;

A few close-ups to give a better idea of how everything scales together – here’s Tara having just come in to the Tardis from outside, showing the exterior door and one of the filing cabinets. You can see where the creases are in the plastic around the door and where I attempted to rectify this with the iron. It’s not that bad…

And the Doctor checking out the scanner, which also shows the pot plant and the grandfather clock. I can see that the pot needs a bit more paint on the inside, which, as it has not been secured yet, can still be done.

And a close-up of the central console. This has not been completely finished, as the cardstock control panel section is not yet glued in place and I’m undecided whether the base needs to be painted Brass-y or can stay Bronze;

Now, this is the FUN part. If you look at the picture above, you can see that rubber sleeve under the console is now painted bronze and has interesting lines scribed into it. If you recall, this was originally blue. And, if you remember earlier, I did say I’d explain why I’d made a hole in the floor…

As the transparent plastic tube is open at the bottom AND not covered, the idea was to feed a LED or other small light up inside it, so as to illuminate the Time Rotor. In order to test this idea, I sat the whole diorama on top of a big torch, covered the top with a circular placemat and turned it on.

This is the result;

Not only has the top of the Time Rotor illuminated and cast its light on the ‘ceiling’, the blue of the plastic sleeve shines through the base of the console and the floor is also glowing red, purely from sitting on top of the torch.

Which is pretty damn awesome.

To paraphrase Kelis;

“My Tardis brings all the fans to the yard,
And they’re like, it’s better than yours,
Damn right it’s better than yours,
I can teach you, but you have to understand non-Euclidean geometry….”

Right, time for an announcement. Whilst May is Monster May (Hem) month, June is Forgotten Heroes month. I’m announcing it now to explain the rules and to give everyone a chance to order whatever figures they need to participate, if they so wish.

Rules are as follows; during June, you must produce at least one figure to represent a fictional character which has not yet had a decent figure made for it yet. It can be from any source, be it a movie, TV series, book or comic and in any scale. The base figure you use CANNOT be a figure designed to be the character you are producing, so no using Miniature Figurines Retro Space Pilot as a base for Dan Dare, as it was designed to represent this character. Can be as simple as repainting a Heroclix Blue Beetle as Goldbug to ‘doing a Roger’ and sculpting your figure from scratch.

I shall be falling in the middle and converting an existing figure into a character I want, which, bearing in mind my current project, is Doctor Who related.

If you want to take part, post a comment on here stating you want to join in and I will add you to the list of participants.

Which character have you always craved a figure of, which no-one has made yet? Now’s your chance to make that unique figure just for yourself.

That’s all for this time – join me next time for (hopefully) the completion of my entries for Monster May(Hem), but definitely MORE Doctor Who.

Bigger on the Inside

In nearly every episode of PROPER Doctor Who there will be one or more scenes which take place within the control room of the Tardis. Unless, of course, the Time Lords have changed the dematerialisation code, rendering the Tardis inoperable, in which case you’ll probably spend more time pottering about in a UNIT lab…

So, in order to continue to provide the TRUE adventures of the 13th Doctor, I do, of course, need a suitable “set” of my version of the 13th Doctor’s Tardis control room, which I did state I would probably need at the end of my previous post.

As discussed in the comments section on that post and having researched the various iterations of the Tardis control room over the years, there are certain constants – the main control console is hexagonal in shape and the illuminated Time Rotor rises from the centre of this, sometimes reaching as high as the ceiling; the control room itself is usually oval or circular in plan and has at least two doors, one leading outside and one leading further into the Tardis interior; and, finally, there will be circles or roundels somewhere within the control room, either as decorative panels, light fittings or as part of the structure itself.

The control room also usually reflects the personality or style of the Doctor who uses it, so in order to build a suitable control room, I need to know what sort of person my 13th Doctor is.

We’ve had a brief taste of his personality in his first outing and, from there, we know what his outfit/costume consists of, which, until I’d finished painting him, didn’t realise was very similar to the outfit that the Master wore when “hiding” out as Professor Yana…

Utopia TV ep Asset - Blogtor Who

Which means that you could use the Crooked Dice figure as a 28mm version of the Master who was involved in the Time War, until he fled to the end of time, with a suitable paint job and the addition of a cravat…

Moving back to my 13th Doctor, as his style is somewhat Victorian/Edwardian, based as he is on Rod Taylor’s portrayal of the time traveller in the 1960 version of The Time Machine, I was thinking something in walnut and brass for his control room.

Roger did suggest in the comments of the previous post that the secondary control room, used by the Fourth Doctor between The Masque of Mandragora and The Robots of Death, might be a possible contender;

Now, there are certain elements of this design I like, but also parts that I don’t, but it did give me a starting point with which to start designing my control room.

Having got a rough idea of what I was going to do, the next thing was to look at what ‘bits’ I had knocking about that could be used. A thorough search through the ‘box of bits’ that every wargamer/modeller has, turned up the bottom part of the Oreo style Heroclix base with the knurled edge and a transparent pen lid approximately 40mm long.

A suitably sized hole was drilled into the base and the pen lid glue into place, to serve as the base for the control console, like so;

The bottom half of the pen lid is a little scratched, hence the slightly milky looking nature of it, but as this will be painted AND beneath the console itself, this isn’t a problem.

The next problem was how to construct the remainder of the Tardis… which was when I remembered a website I’d previously visited a while ago that might be able to help.That website was Action Figure Theatre, created and run by Philip Lawrence.

What Mr Lawrence has done is to create Doctor Who fan fiction in the form of illustrated photo-strips, using the 5″ Doctor Who action figures brought out by Character Options.

More importantly for my purposes, he has created papercraft ‘sets’ for his stories and these can be found and downloaded as JPEG’s from AFT’s Download site.

Want a model of WOTAN from The War Machines? Or the interior of a Dalek saucer from The Dalek Invasion of Earth? How about Magnus Greel’s time cabinet from The Talons of Weng Chiang? Or the interior of the Rani’s Tardis from Mark of the Rani? This site has got you covered – including the interiors of EVERY Tardis from Hartnell to Capaldi.

But is doesn’t stop there. There are also sets for the Torchwood hub, Bannerman Road from The Sarah Jane Adventures, the interior of the Enterprise from Star Trek (Keith take note), Indiana Jones-inspired sets and a section of generic places, such as sewers, Victorian house interiors, spaceship interiors, etc.

Now obviously, as all these sets are scaled for 5″ (or 3.75″) action figures, you may be wondering why they might be of use. Well, as each page is a JPEG file, this means that once they are downloaded, they can be resized, cropped and generally fannied about with just like any other digital image.

So, if you were, for example, to download some of the wall panels from the fouth Doctor’s secondary control room, the floor and console from the Eighth Doctor’s Tardis and a few pieces of suitable furniture from various other sets, import them into Microsoft Word as pictures, then spend some time getting them right, you might end up with the components for your very own custom Tardis control room, printed out on to card, ready to be assembled, like so;

That’s all for this post, but join me next time, when we should see some progress on May’s monsters, along with (hopefully), the completed Tardis control room.

Here Be Monsters…

May is officially Monster Month… well, at least according to Keith over at Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging it is.

Now, when these monthly (or longer) community events come around, I always look at whatever project I am currently involved in and see my participation will either advance the current project or act as a welcome break from whatever I’m working on.

Keith has specified that it has to be a MONSTER, not a humanoid – so no orcs, goblins, etc. As I’m currently in the midst of my 13th Doctor project and the majority of Doctor Who monsters are “men in rubber suits” (which, incidentally, was going to be the original title of this post – until I discovered that Googling this phrase doesn’t bring up images of Godzilla or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but a whole other past-time…which probably involves a lot of talc.)

However, I feel that as long as the figures I choose are suitably “monstrous”, these will still qualify.

So, these are the figures chosen to act as my entries for Monster Month;

A pair of Cyclopian Aliens, sculpted by Mr Roger Webb and released through Wargames Supply Dump, prior to its’ closure… and therefore no longer available.

I felt these not only fit Keith’s definition of ‘monster’, but also were an ideal creature to appear in a future episode of the true adventures of the 13th Doctor or TruWho, as I like to call it.

So far, they’ve been based on two-pence pieces, Milliput added to blend the integral base to the 2p base, undercoated in white and given a base coat of GW Ghoul Grey – which is actually a shade of green, as you can see from the picture above. Currently, undecided in what colour direction I am going to go with these, hence just the base coat so far.

But other figures for this project have been progressed, such as Abslom Daak and Doomlord;

Daak has had a few more of the smaller details added to him, as well a wash of GW Marine Dark Blue to his trousers, as they were a touch too bright.

Doomlord received the same on his trousers, plus washes on his coat and head and hands, to bring out some of the detail. I also decided to paint his tunic in GW Woodland Green, but the wash of Docrafts Jungle Green wasn’t dark enough to bring out the detail, so I’ll probably give it a wash of black when I do his guns.

I have also progressed my Silence figures, by painting their shoes black and giving their heads and hands a wash with Docrafts Chocolate Brown, which I think has worked reasonably well to bring out some of the sculpted details. They need their suits darkened, shirt and ties tidied up, bases done and potentially their little piggy eyes painted in, which will make them look suitably creepy.

And finally, some figures that have now left the Tray of Shame – firstly, my Weeping Angels, surrounding the 13th Doctor;

I decided to just paint the bases up, as Weeping Angels in Doctor Who traditionally don’t have lichen or moss growing on them.

And the final figure of this post – an Ice Warrior.

Whilst the Ice Warriors that have appeared in the current series have been somewhat shinier (see series 7’s Cold War and series 10’s Empress of Mars), this is a Black Tree Design figure, so is the older style Ice Warrior, complete with hairy bits, so I went for colouration similar to a crocodile… or an avocado.

Undercoated in white, then a base coat of GW Woodland Green. The hairy bits were painted with Docrafts Burnt Ochre, the eye panels with Docrafts Cherry Red and the exposed facial parts with GW Rotting Flesh. Then the whole figure (bar the eye panels) was given a wash of Docrafts Jungle Green, which muted the base green and blended the brown into the whole figure. The base was given my usual Docrafts Chocolate Brown base coat, then washed in Burnt Ochre, then the base rim was painted black and the figure was done. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Next time – unsurprisingly, more Doctor Who. I need to finish up the cast for the next episode and possibly build the control room of the 13th Doctor’s Tardis.

Fixed Points in Time

“Listen carefully as, ironically, I don’t have much time. On 25th December 2017, at approximately 6.27pm GMT, a huge pulse of artron energy burst from the time vortex. This unexpected occurrence caused the normal course of events – what you perceive as recorded history – to stutter, much like the needle on a record-player jumping tracks. From this point onward, the adventures of the renegade Time Lord known as the Doctor you believe you have experienced were not those of the Doctor who exists in your universe. They come from another, alternate universe, one so far removed from ours that it is but a pale imitation.

As my suspicions were roused, I began fine-tuning my time-space visualiser, and discovered the true history of the 13th incarnation of the Doctor. Unfortunately, as I believed this had merely been an unprecedented but natural phenomenon, rather than by malicious design, I was careless in my investigations and HE managed to trace me. They are coming for me, but this transmission has the evidence I have gathered encoded into it. It may take some time to fully decode, but view it all – it explains everything…”

So begins my venture into the adventures of the REAL 13th incarnation of the Doctor, as what we have been served since the Christmas special back in 2017 has been… a load of ill-conceived, badly written BOLLOCKS.

Rather than moan about it, I thought I’d provide an alternative, because WE deserve better.

Having given it a LOT of thought, I have actually come up with an in-universe reason as to why this has happened, which has also given me a story arc for my version of Series 11. This will consist of 10 “episodes”, which will be played out on the tabletop and then “broadcast” here.

But if it’s a revised version of series 11 of Doctor Who, you need a new and different title sequence, right?

Roll ’em…

After UNIT thwarted the invasion plans of the Cybermen – with the assistance of the Doctor – it was decided that additional funding and resources should be devoted to creating suitable weaponry to defend Earth against subsequent alien incursions.

The successful demonstration of an electro-disruptor pistol, developed by Professor Gilbert Stephens, led to funding being approved for a larger, vehicle-mounted version.

However, a series of mishaps and delays to this project, overseen by Professor Stephens at the Robinson Heath research facility in Berkshire, have led UNIT to send a team to investigate, headed by special operative Tara Hunt.

But Hunt and UNIT are not the only unexpected visitors to the site, as a police box has mysteriously appeared within the grounds…

The Doctor climbed unsteadily to his feet. He was still in the throes of Regeneration and would not be at his best for a while…or at least until he’d had a cup of tea and possibly a biscuit or two, ideally partially covered in chocolate.
[Gaming information will appear inside square brackets and in a different colour text, just to differentiate it from the main plot. Feel free to skip these parts, if you so choose. Anyway, as the Doctor is currently still Regenerating, all dice rolls will be at -2, until he’s had something to eat and drink.]
Glancing back at the Tardis, he noted that the door was now closed and would remain so until Tardis had finished reconfiguring its control room. He looked down at the remains of his previous incarnation’s clothing and sighed.

“Looks like I’m the Raggedy Doctor again,” he muttered, “no access to the Tardis, tatty clothes and, if I’m not much mistaken…” he rummaged in his interior pockets and finally pulled out a spoon. “No sonic screwdriver. Right, looks like I’m going to have to go old school…”
[This is how the primary table was set-up. The Doctor is outside his Tardis at the top, behind the lake and next to a small copse of trees. In the foreground is the Robinson Heath research facility, with (left to right) the main workshop, Professor Stephens’ lab and the canteen. Professor Stephens is waiting outside his lab and Tara Hunt and her five man squad of UNIT soldiers have just arrived in their armoured vehicle.]

Special UNIT Operative Tara Hunt stood waiting for her men to assemble. Whilst it was unlikely that she would need a full squad, the Brigadier had insisted, as he felt that it was better to be safe than sorry.

“Adams, Baker – check the hangar,” she ordered, “Docherty – the canteen. Ellis, guard the UAV and Collins, you’re with me. Looks like the Professor knew we were coming.”

[There are three Factions on the table, each differentiated by a different coloured dice – Tara and UNIT are grey, the Doctor is blue and the alien threat (because it’s Doctor Who and there’s always an alien threat) are red. Dice were rolled and UNIT won the Initiative, so they got to go first. Every UNIT figure has an Agility score of 4, which means they get 2 Actions per turn and can use these for moving, attacking, etc. It’s also how far, in Inches, the character can move per Action.
Which is why they haven’t got very far yet.]

Adams and Baker approached the hangar and opened the doors. Inside they could see a Saracen APC, the turret of which had been modified with some kind of weaponry. Collins trailed Hunt, scanning the surroundings as they approached the waiting scientist.

“Psst, Docherty!” Hissed Ellis, “see if they’ve got any Wagon Wheels in the canteen, I’m starvin’…” Docherty stuck his fingers up at Ellis with a grin.

Meanwhile, the Doctor had spotted the buildings on the far side of the body of water and was feeling a little light-headed. However, something about the lake in front of him had attracted his attention.

“A pond. I like ponds. Some of my best friends are ponds…or were.” He crouched by the water’s edge.”However, there’s something…odd about this one.”

[The green question mark tile represents the first Clue that will hopefully enable the Doctor to work out what’s going on. The Difficulty of this Clue is an 8, and the Doctor’s Awareness is 6, so usually this would be a cinch. However, as the Doctor is still Regenerating, a -2 penalty was applied to his roll, so he just made it.]
The Doctor dabbled his hand in the water and looked around the perimeter of the small lake.

“Nothing feeding in to or out of this body of water and no wind – yet there are waves…” He stood and wiped his damp hand on his trouser leg, “How very curious.” The Doctor was overcome with a wave of dizziness. “Really, really need some chocolate…”

Stumbling around the lake, the Doctor failed to see a shadowed form watching him from beneath the trees.
[Failed his second Awareness roll.]

It was fairly obvious to Adams and Baker that what was once an aircraft hangar had been converted into an engineering workshop. Both UNIT soldiers gazed up at the metallic barrel jutting from the turret.

“Any idea what that is?” asked Adams.

“Nope.” Said Baker, “I leave that sort of thing to the boffins.”
[Neither UNIT soldier was able to secure this Clue, as their rolls were too low.]

Docherty walked in to the canteen, to be confronted by an attractive brunette.

“Awright, luv,” he said, “Got any Wagon Wheels, ‘ave ya, ‘cos my mates a bit peckish?” He glanced over his shoulder back outside, but when he turned back, the girl was grinning evilly.

“I’ve got exactly what you need” she said, reaching out towards him.

[Alien threat! The ‘girl’ has attacked Docherty and beaten his roll, meaning he’s stunned and unconscious.]

The Doctor slowly made his way around the perimeter of the lake…

And continued towards the building he had identified as being the most likely to contain food.

Tara had made contact with Professor Stephens and after introductions, had asked him to show her what progress had been made on the electro-disruptor cannon. He took her to the hangar, whilst Adams and Baker exited and stood guard outside.

“Oi, Ellis” shouted Docherty, coming out of the canteen and walking towards him, “Got your Wagons Wheels here!”

The Doctor, feeling quite light-headed now, stumbled up to the rear of the canteen and noticed that the back door was open.

“How very convenient,” he said, “as I don’t think this spoon would allow me to pick the lock.”

“As you can see, Miss Hunt” said Professor Stephens, “The electro-disruption cannon has been installed, but we’re missing some vital components and are awaiting a delivery of them, in order for us to complete the work.”

Tara looked over the device – it did look half-finished, with wires hanging loose, but her expertise lay in other areas, so she would have to take Professor Stephens word on it.
[Tara fared just as well in trying to secure this Clue.]

Ellis ripped into the coloured wrappers. “Cheers mate, this is just what I needed.” he said, failing to notice that Docherty was reaching for him, a malicious expression on his face.
[Ellis is the next to fall against the insidious alien threat.]

“Ahhh, just what I needed…” The Doctor slurped steaming hot tea from a mug and tried to dunk a chocolate digestive into the mug – but it wouldn’t fit. “They really need to rethink the shape of these things,” he stated, “If they were rectangular, they’d fit a lot better.”

He looked around. “Doesn’t seem to be anybody about… so I’ll take a few for later.” Grabbing a handful of biscuits, he made for the front door.

“The amount of components you’ve ordered for this project doesn’t seem to match the amount I’ve seen evidence of.” said Tara, walking across to the laboratory with Professor Stephens.

“Ah, well…” said the Professor, “that’s because the failed prototypes burnt out the components and were thrown out. My assistant Lucas can explain further…”

“This is Lucas, my research assistant,” introduced the Professor. “He has been drafting the schematics for the larger scale weapon.”

The handsome blonde man smiled at Tara. “The Professor was responsible for the initial design, I was just upscaling it for greater range and power – which caused a few issues in itself.”

The Doctor stepped outside and was immediately hailed by Baker.

“Hands where I can see them, sir.” He said, “You’re not one of the personnel assigned to this site, so can you explain your presence?”

“Ahhh, you’re from UNIT aren’t you?” said the Doctor, “and, judging from the uniform, that would put me in approximately…1969, yes?” Baker nodded.

“I’m the Doctor – you may have heard of me…”

[The Doctor uses his Charm on Baker and easily convinces him who he is. Baker decides to take the Doctor to see Tara Hunt.]

“Ma’am,” said Baker, entering the laboratory, “the Doctor has just arrived.”

Tara turned around and examined the man standing in front of her.

“You’re not what I was expecting,” she said. “The Brigadier said you were older.”

“Ah yes…” said the Doctor, “He’s not yet experienced Regeneration. Suffice to say, my appearance…fluctuates. This is what I currently look like and, no doubt in future, I’ll look completely different. It’s all a bit complicated…” He grinned winningly. “Would you like a biscuit?”
[Another success for the doctor’s Charm – luckily.]

“Ellis, you seen Docherty recently?” asked Adams.

“You’ll see him soon enough…” said Ellis.
[Another failure for UNIT, as the alien threat slowly whittles down their forces.]

Trusting the Doctor more than either Professor Stephens or his assistant, Tara has taken the Doctor to the workshop.

“Interesting bit of kit,” said the Doctor, clambering up onto the Saracen, “but there’s something not quite right here…” He fiddled with the casing of the electro-disruption cannon. “Can you hand me a…” he squinted, “a Phillips screwdriver, please?”

Tara passed one up and the Doctor removed the cover.

“Just as I’d thought,” he said. “This is a facade. The internal workings of this device are just cobbled together for show – nothing’s connected and it makes no logical sense. This is,” he tapped the casing, “absolutely useless. It’s not even a working machine, let alone a weapon.”

“But what does this mean?” asked Tara.

“It means, Miss Hunt,” said the Doctor, “that someone’s been pulling a fast one. I think the Professor has some explaining to do.”

Stepping back outside, the Doctor looked around.

“Didn’t you have a few more men, just now?” asked the Doctor. Tara looked around.

“I can see Ellis over by the UAV,” she said, “but everyone else seems to have vanished.”

“Another potential mystery,” said the Doctor. “However, I have a feeling that it’s all connected.”

“Looks like the Professor and Lucas have vanished as well,” said Tara, “I’ll see if I can access their computer files.” The Doctor noticed something in the corner, behind some oil barrels.

“And what do we have here, I wonder…?”
[Tara failed to access the computer, but the Doctor managed to secure the final Clue.]

“What on Earth is that?” Asked Tara.

“It’s not actually of Earthly origin,” said the Doctor, “That is Zygon bio-engineering, if I’m not very much mistaken and if we do this…” he reached out and touched the star-shaped growth.

“…we’ll be transported to the Zygon ship.”
[This is the secondary board, which wouldn’t fit on my dining table, so was set up on my coffee table.]

“Now I know you’re a very capable young lady,” said the Doctor, “But be careful, as Zygons can assume the form of whoever they’ve captured, so trust no-one…other than me, of course. I’ll go this way and you have a look down there.”

The Doctor and Tara split up, each taking a different fork within the Zygon ship.

Tara found a chamber containing four pods, each one holding the unconscious form of one of her men – other than Ellis. As she could make neither head nor tails of the controls, she could not release them and went looking for the Doctor.

The Doctor walked into what was obviously the control room of the ship, a low throbbing emanating from the floor beneath his feet. Standing across from him were Professor Stephens and Lucas.

“You might as well drop the disguise,” said the Doctor, “I know what you are…”

The two figures glowed briefly and then their true forms were revealed.

“We’re below the lake, aren’t we?” asked the Doctor. “The throbbing of your engine was what was causing the waves on the lake. And your ‘electro-disruption pistol’ was sham – you built a fake, then channelled you natural electrical discharge through it, giving the appearance that it worked. Very cunning. I’m assuming that you wanted access to UNIT resources for some reason, but I’m not sure why…yet.”

“Very clever, human,” hissed the right-hand Zygon, “we needed access to your organisations resources, as this ship is damaged. However, this information will do you no good, as you will not leave here alive.” The Zygon began to charge itself.

“Let’s not be hasty,” said the Doctor. “Oh, and I’m not ACTUALLY human…”

Tara, having listened to this exchange, stepped into the room and took a shot at the charging Zygon. The shot took it in the shoulder, causing it to stumble into a control panel, which shorted out as the Zygon involuntarily discharged into it. A strange hooting sound started and the whole ship shook.

“Not quite how I would have handled it,” said the Doctor, “but effective all the same. We need to get out of here, that discharge has damaged the ship further and it’s close to reaching critical mass.”

“But my men are trapped in the other room!” screamed Tara, “We can’t leave them here!”

“Right, leave that to me!” said the Doctor, “you cover Mr. Tango over there and I’ll go and get them.”

The Doctor freed the trapped soldiers and shepherded them towards the transmat.

“Come on Tara!” called the Doctor, “the others are free. And don’t shoot him. Or her. Never entirely sure with Zygons…”

As Tara and the Doctor stumbled out of the transmat and into the Laboratory, the ground shook as the Zygon ship exploded, sending a plume of water into the air.

The UNIT personnel got to their feet and ventured out into the open air.

“What have you stupid human scum done?!” screamed the last remaining Zygon.

“That’s the bugger wot zapped me,” said Docherty, and opened fire – followed by the other soldiers.

The Zygon went down in a hail of lead.

The Doctor sighed.

“Not how I’d hoped this would end, but not surprising due to the era in which I find myself.” he looked across at Tara. “There is a better way, you know. Situations can be resolved without violence.”

Tara cocked her head to one side. “Not in my experience,” she said with a wry smirk.

“Well, why not come with me and I’ll show you?” said the Doctor…

To Be Continued…

The Doctor and Tara will return in…

Enemy of the Daleks