“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?
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…