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of a Time Lord
by Robert Holmes
A Time Lord wearing heliotrope robes enters the Trial room from the entrance
near the clerk of the court. The violet robed clerk stands and takes a seat
nearer the wall, allowing this man to stand where he was sitting.
"I came as soon as I could, my Lady," says the small, elderly man with a
The Inquisitor thanks him, calling him "Keeper." She then turns back to
the standing Doctor and asks him if he has any further evidence in his
The Valeyard now stands and asks the Inquisitor if they have not already
seen enough, and suggests that she is forgetting the irrefutable charge
of genocide under Article Seven that now faces the Doctor.
The Inquisitor turns to him with a rebuke, saying that she hasn't forgotten
and that she doesn't want to be interrupted again.
She asks the Doctor again if he has any further evidence for his case.
The Doctor smiles and says that he does not, but he does want to point
out that much of the "Railyard's so-called presentation was a farrago of
distortion which would've had Ananais, Baron Munchhausen, and every other
famous liar blushing down to their very toenails! Much of the evidence
was not as I remembered!"
The Inquisitor asks if he is still contending that the evidence in the
Matrix has been tampered with, and he answers that he is, and that all he
doesn't understand is who did it and why.
The Inquisitor says that such an accusation would be laughable if it
weren't so outrageous, but in any case, she has summoned the Keeper of the
Matrix, as the Doctor and everyone else can see.
She turns to the Keeper and asks if it is in any way possible for the data
within the Matrix to have been tampered with in any way.
"Quite impossible, my Lady," answers the Keeper. He turns to the Doctor
and holds up a small metal key hanging on an emblem on his chest.
"No one may enter the Matrix," he says, "without the Key of Rassilon."
The Doctor asks by whom the key may be used.
"Qualified people for inspection once in a millenium," answers the Keeper,
"to replace a transductor."
"The key can be copied, you'll agree?" asks the Doctor.
"The Key of Rassilon never leaves my possession!" insists the Keeper,
seemingly insulted by any notion to the contrary.
"Except when its in the hands of those 'qualified' people," concludes the
The Valeyard stands and calls this a ridiculous allegation. "The Doctor
is challenging the evidence of the Matrix on the grounds that it has
been tampered with, a charge he is totally unable to substantiate!"
The Inquisitor accepts this, then turns to the Doctor and tells him
these wild accusations do not constitute a defence.
"The Matrix can be physically penetrated!" insists the Doctor. "The Keeper
has admitted as much! Now, much of the evidence you saw was totally at
variance with my own memory, therefore, it has been deliberately distorted!"
"And who would do such a thing even if it were possible?" asks the Inquisitor.
"Somebody who wants my head," says the Doctor. He then turns and points
an accusing finger at the subject of his next statement. . .
"Such as, the Valeyard!"
The Valeyard's face opens up into controlled laughter.
The Time Lord's space station for trials becomes visibly active from the
exterior once again. . . the blue-white searchlight of time fires again
from its port and strikes something in the universe. . .
. . . down its corridor tumble two small containers shaped much like coffins. .
The two gray coffins materialize in a small alcove.
The one on the left opens, and the portly, bearded con man named Sabalom Glitz
rolls over and out of the container. He is dressed the same as last he was
From the other container comes some squeaks and a series of knocks. The
squeaks seem to be saying, "What's going on? Let me out of here!"
Glitz thinks the other container must contain Dibber, and he asks what's
happened to the lad's voice as he opens it.
He is helped by pushes from the inside by the occupant, who is in fact
Melanie, wearing loose blue clothes. She tells Glitz that she is not
Dibber, and neither is she a lad. She pulls herself out of the container,
brushes herself down, and asks Glitz who he is as a matter of total
Glitz looks at her with a little hesitancy, like she's someone he'd rather
not know, and he does eventually introduce himself with his full name and
a small bow.
Mel introduces herself, including her nickname. Glitz asks if "they are
all like you here?" Mel says she doesn't know, but turns and shakes
her head at a door that leads out from this small alcove and into the
larger room where the TARDIS first arrived and where a small staircase
leads into the Trial room, though they don't know this yet.
Mel asks if they should go and find out, and Glitz gestures for her to
lead the way.
The Inquisitor tells the Doctor that there is only way to rebut the
evidence of the Matrix, and that is for the Doctor to produce witnesses
who can support his version of the events. She asks if he can do that.
"Well, of course I can't!" says the Doctor. "You know I can't!"
The Inquisitor says that in this case they must accept the Valeyard's
The Doctor protests that, "Any witnesses I might produce are scattered
all over the Universe and all through Time. How can I find them now?"
The Valeyard smiles and stands and begins to call this procrastination
on the Doctor's part, when suddenly two witnesses who were scattered
all over the Universe and all through Time come through the doors near
the Doctor. They are, of course, Melanie and Glitz.
The guards turn and look at them in surprise but don't do anything.
Everyone else is equally surprised, not the least of which, the Doctor,
who asks what they're doing here.
"I was sent, wasn't I?" explains Glitz. "Not my idea, mind."
Mel says its the same for her, and she asks the Doctor what he's been up to.
The Inquisitor tells her to be silent, but then changes her mind and asks
who sent them.
Glitz looks at the Inquisitor and then back to the Doctor. "That's the
beak, is it?" he asks the Doctor, referring to the Inquisitor. "They all
look the same, don't they? Carved out of something hard and nasty."
The Inquisitor blinks and then asks Glitz calmly but sternly, "You said
you were sent here, Sabalom Glitz. By _whom_?"
"By me, Madam," says the Master.
The entire Court is startled to see a grinning, bearded face looking down on
them all from the Matrix screen, with a swirling background pattern behind him.
The Doctor recognizes him, and his eyes seem to tell the story of one of
his hearts dropping three feet in his body. He leans against a bar on his
docket and sighs, "Oh, no! Now I really am finished!"
Mel looks at them both in confusion and asks the Doctor who this is, and
the Doctor explains that he's just one of his oldest enemies.
The Inquisitor turns her seat to face the screen and calls this entirely
irregular. "Who are you, sir?" she demands.
"I am known as the Master," he answers, "and as you see, I speak to you from
within the Matrix, _proof_, if any be needed, that not only qualified people
can enter here!"
"But, you haven't the Key of Rassilon!" protests the Keeper of the Matrix.
The Master holds up a small key for everyone to see and he answers, "I've got
a very good copy, Keeper, just as the Doctor said was possible!"
The Inquisitor raises her voice. "_This_ is an independent Inquiry appointed
by the High Council to investigate serious charges of. . . "
"Madam, I *know*!" shouts the Master, cutting her off, "I've followed the Trial
with great interest, and indeed, amusement, but now. . . I must intervene for
the sake of . . . justice." He is obviously having a ball up there.
The Doctor advises the Inquisitor not to pay the Master any attention as he
has no concept of what justice is. "He'd see me dead tomorrow!"
The Master agrees, saying, "Gladly, Doctor, but I'm not prepared to
countenance a rival." He casts his gaze down towards the prosecutor's docket
and the Valeyard.
The Valeyard seems extremely flustered by these arrivals, and he stammers out
that he would like to propose an immediate adjournment.
The Inquisitor tells him that his evidence has been completed, and the ball,
as the Doctor would say, is out of his court.
The Master's smiles seems permanantly fixed to his face as he tells the Doctor
that he's sent him two star witnesses that he knew he'd need.
The Valeyard regains control of himself, and reminds the Inquisitor with
due respect that the matter of witnesses is something for her to decide.
He looks at Glitz and points out that he is an admitted criminal.
Glitz points at himself with an innocent smile, as though he weren't admitting
it right now and had no intention of doing so anytime soon.
The Valeyard goes on to say that any testimony from him will be therefore be
dubious in the extreme case.
Melanie turns and says that this won't be the case with her, as she is
truthful, honest, and, she admits, about as boring as they come.
The Inquisitor bows to her and tells her the Court is not, for the moment,
impuning her integrity.
The Master asks that Sabalom Glitz be allowed to speak.
The Inquisitor turns, considering for a moment, and then tells the Valeyard
that criminals have been known to tell the truth, especially when their own
interests aren't at stake.
The Valeyard says that his point is that "this _person_, who calls himself
the Master, whoever he might be, should not be permitted to produce
The Master looks at him with a little surprise. "You pretend not to know
me, do you?" He then looks at everyone else and adds, "I'm surprised by the
shortness of the Valeyard's memory."
The Inquisitor is surprised by the Valeyard's shortness of memory of
courtroom procedure, reminding him that calling witnesses is the Doctor's
right and that the Valeyard will have a chance to cross-examine them.
The Valeyard bows his head in obescience and says, "My Lady."
The Master leans forward in what seems to be a seat he's speaking to them
from, and asks if he might intercede.
The Inquisitor rounds on him and shouts him down louder than he shouted
her down earlier. "_You_ have no part in these proceedings, _sir_!"
The Master smiles, leans back, and says he doesn't corporeally, but he
is present, and enjoying himself enormously.
The Inquisitor turns and tells the Doctor to start examining his witnesses.
The Doctor bows and says, "Yes, Madam."
He turns to Glitz and calls his name to get his attention. It doesn't
work as Glitz is examining the golden panelling on the jury panel next
to him, and he tells the Inquisitor that this stuff is real machonite
for which he could give her Honor a very good deal on a job lot. ..
The Doctor finally gets his attention by shouting his name loud enough.
"You were sent here by the Master?" asks the Doctor.
"Well, he's a business partner, so to speak," answers Glitz. "We've had
a few nice little tickles together . . . " he rubs his index finger and
thumb together and would continue on about this when the Doctor
interrupts him and tells him the Court isn't interested in his sordid
business deals. The Inquisitor says the Doctor's doing well in keeping
Glitz to the point.
"When we last met," continues the Doctor, "You expressed interest in a box."
"Right?" asks Glitz.
"What was in that box?" asks the Doctor.
"I don't know," answers Glitz. "Scientific stuff, so he said." Glitz
gestures at the Master at this. "Stuff the Sleepers had been nicking from
the Matrix for years."
"The Matrix?" asks the Keeper in disbelief. "My Matrix?"
"Right," answers Glitz before continuing. "Well, it seems the Sleepers
had found a way to break into the Matrix, and they were creaming off all this
high tech info to take back to Andromeda."
"But, they were operating from Earth?" asks the Doctor eagerly.
"Of course!" says Glitz like it were obvious. "That was their cover, wasn't
it? They knew the Time Lords eventually would trace the leak."
"He's lying, my Lady!" seethes the Valeyard like a snake coming uncoiled.
"I don't think so, Stackyard!" shouts the Doctor back, "It all begins to
make very good sense!"
"That's it, Doc," enthuses Melanie, "now we're getting at the dirt!"
The Doctor winces at her use of "Doc," and then tells Glitz to carry on with
what happened next.
"Well, eventually the Time Lords did suss out the leak," continues Glitz,
"so they wanted to wipe out all the Sleepers, and they used this magno. . .
magno. . . magno. . . "
"Magnotron?" completes the Doctor. "That's it!" smiles Glitz.
"Well, that can only be done by an order in High Council!" realizes the Doctor
The Master smiles and explains. "Of course, Doctor. To protect their own
secrets, they drew the Earth and it's constellation billions of miles
across space. . . "
"Causing the fireball which nearly destroyed the planet!" completes the Doctor.
"But of little consequence in the High Council's planning," continues the
Master. "The robot recovery mission from Andromeda sped past Earth, out into
space. Gallifreyan secrets were saved. Except that at the first intimation
of the coming fireball, the Andromedans were able to set up a survival chamber
for the Sleepers!"
"So that's why Earth was renamed Ravolox!" cries the Doctor, and he then turns
dangerously angry at what the High Council has done.
"That sanctimonious gang of hypocrits were covering their tracks!"
"Exactly!" smiles the Master. "It takes time, Doctor, but eventually you get
"They put an ancient culture like the Earth to the sword for the sake of a few
miserable, filthy scientific advances?!?!?" demands the Doctor.
Glitz doesn't see what he's worked up about. "Big market for them, Doctor,"
he explains, "so he [the Master] said. Worth a lot of grotzis!"
The Doctor takes a breath, leans back, and makes a judgement.
"In all my travellings throughout the Universe, I have battled against evil.
Against power-mad conspirators! I should have stayed here! The oldest
civilization! Decadent, degenerate, and rotten to the core! Power-mad
conspirators?!? Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen! They're still in the nursery
compared to us! Ten million years of absolute power!!" He points at every
Time Lord in the Court. "That's what it takes to be _really_corrupt_!!!"
Mel suggests he take it easy. The Inquisitor begins to rebuke the Doctor for
his unseemly outbursts.
"UNSEEMLY OUTBURSTS?!?!?" explodes the Doctor.
"If I had not visited Ravolox, as I then thought of it, the High Council
would've kept this _outrage_ carefully buried as presumably they have for
"I must agree," says the Master quietly.
"You have an endearing habit of blundering into these things, Doctor, and
the High Council took full advantage of your blunder!"
The Inquisitor looks up at him and demands, "Explain that!"
. . . the Master looks down at the prosecutor. . .
"They made a deal with the Valeyard, or as I've always known him, the Doctor,
to adjust the evidence. In return for which, he was promised the remainder
of the Doctor's regenerations!"
The Valeyard seems to be stinging as he gets to his feet and begins,
"This is clearly. . ."
"Just a minute!" interrupts the Doctor.
He stares across the room at the opposite docket's occupant.
His hand gestures to the Master, but his eyes never leave the Valeyard.
"Did you call him. . . the Doctor?"
The Valeyard returns the stare, breathing quickly.
"There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you," explains the Master.
"The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature.
Somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation. And I may say, you
do not improve with age?"
The prosecutor and the defendant stare at each other across the Court,
and the division of floor that seperates their raised dockets.
The Doctor speaks at last, quietly, to the Inquisitor, but his eyes never leave
"Madam, this revelation should halt this Trial immediately. Surely even
Gallifreyan law must acknowledge that the same person cannot be both
prosecutor and defendant!"
The Inquisitor breathes quickly and blinks her eyes rapidly, but does not waver
in her ruling. "The single purpose of this Trial, is to determine the
defendant's guilt or otherwise on the basis of the evidence it has been
presented. Anything else is, for the moment irrelevant!!!"
"WHAAT?" shouts the Doctor.
As he does so, the Valeyard suddenly runs around behind the Doctor's back,
straight past Melanie who calls their attention to him, and past the
Chancellery guards at the door and out of the Court.
The Inquisitor calls for him to come back. The Doctor runs after him,
grabbing Glitz as he runs through the door.
"We need him!" shouts the Doctor as he bounds down the stairs into the
reception area where the TARDIS is parked. The Doctor and Glitz look
around the room in surprise as the Valeyard is nowhere to be found.
Glitz protests that he hasn't had time to get away.
The Doctor looks around the stairs and back again, saying there must be
another way out of here. Melanie joins them from the Trial room.
The Keeper of the Matrix and the Inquisitor look down at them from the
top of the stairs and the threshold into the Trial room. The Keeper
spots something on the opposite wall and says, "The Seventh Door! He
must've had a key!"
The Doctor asks what he means, and the Keeper walks as quickly as his body
and robes will allow down the stairs and across the small room to where a
tall stained-glass window is inset on the wall and illuminated by an
unseen light source.
The Keeper calls it the Seventh Entrance to the Matrix, and as the Doctor
and the others see, it is indeed a door rather than a window with a small,
circular translucent device mounted next to it.
The Doctor tells the Keeper to hurry over here with the Key of Rassilon
as the Valeyard must be brought back. The Inquisitor says she agrees.
The Keeper takes the Key off his chest and presses it against the circular
panel. The Key sticks to the panel, and it alights with a white light.
At the same time, the door slides into the wall, revealing a glowing white
void beyond and emitting a sound like a crystalline choir.
The Keeper protests that the Doctor will never find the Valeyard as the
Matrix is a micro-universe.
Mel has joined them and she tells the Doctor not to go too.
The Doctor tells her he must. "Perhaps nothing in my life has ever been
so important!" He grabs Glitz and tells him to come on as he plunges
into the white void behind the door.
"What, me?" cries Glitz as he's pulled in.
Mel calls after the Doctor but doesn't go in. The Inquisitor blinks several
times and tells them they should return to the Trial room.
"Why?" asks Mel in disbelief. "There's nobody to try anymore!"
"Come along, _both_ of you," says the Inquisitor tetchily.
Mel and the Keeper exchange glances as he returns the Key to his chest.
A clock chimes. . .
A large rat crawls over a pile of refuse in the street.
A clock chimes. . .
The city street is very dark.
A clock chimes. . .
The street and buildings appear Victorian. . . the only light is from a dimly
burning oil lamp and some unseen dim source, perhaps the moon through clouds...
A clock chimes. . .
The street does not brighten even though a fierce beam of bluish white light
strikes the ground from above, delivering the Doctor violently to the pavement.
He stumbles a little, shakes his head, and waits for his eyes to adjust to
the dark a little.
A clock chimes. . .
"Oh. What an unpleasant journey," he says.
A man calls a word in the distance. He calls it again. . . and again. . .
"What an unpleasant place," says the Doctor of his surroundings.
A clock chimes. . . and the sound of horse's hooves on pavement nears and
recedes in the distance. . .
The Doctor turns his head and calls, "Glitz?" He is nowhere to be seen.
A clock chimes. . .
A clock chimes. . .
A clock chimes. . .
The Valeyard's laugh echoes down the street from an unknown place. . .
The Doctor runs explores the street back a little from where he arrived. Grimy,
coal-stained posters proclaim bad news, such as a cholera epidemic. . .
A clock chimes. . .
The Doctor turns and walks forward down the street slowly, taking each pace
A clock chimes. . .
A chorus of children's voices sings. . .
"London bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down. . . "
A clock chimes. . .
"London bridge is falling down,
My fair lady. . . "
The Doctor still paces down the hay-strewn street. . .
A clock chimes. . .
A clock chimes once more, this time quieter. . .
and it stops.
The Doctor hears the Valeyard's laughter echo down the street again, and
he runs to the end and looks around the corner to another even darker street.
A piano plays a ragtime-like tune. . . a woman laughs leerily from above. . .
He sees nothing and throws his arm in frustration.
A clock chimes. . .
The Doctor turns and sees a full water barrel at the side of the street.
A clock chimes. . .
He approaches it slowly.
A clock chimes. . .
The Doctor reaches the barrel.
A clock chimes. . .
The Doctor leans over the surface of the water and says, "Well, I can't
believe you're in there!" He is about to drink. . .
. . when two hands reach up from inside the barrel, grab his head, and
start to pull it under the water.
The Doctor struggles and shouts, "Glitz!" before he starts blowing bubbles
as his head is pulled into the water.
Back down the street where the Doctor first arrived, the light beam fires
again and deposits Glitz on the pavement.
He shouts for the Doctor, and he hears the Doctor shout, "Hurry, man!"
back from further down the street.
Glitz runs as fast as he can down the street and finds the Doctor lying
beside a water barrel on the ground, breathing heavily.
Glitz asks what's going on, and the Doctor tells him he doesn't know
whether what just happened to him was real or an illusion.
Glitz looks as the Doctor painfully sits up and remarks that someone's
had a go at him.
The Doctor sits up and asks if Glitz wouldn't mind getting him some water.
Glitz goes to the barrel slowly.
The Doctor puts a hand to his head and feels that his brow and hair are
completely dry. "We're not in the real world any longer, Sabalom Glitz.
Whatever attacked me was in that barrel."
Glitz is about to take a drink himself when he splashes it back into the
barrel with surprised disgust.
"Or was it in my mind?" wonders the Doctor.
Glitz bends over the Doctor and helps him to his feet, asking, "How can
we be in a different world? We just stepped through a door, that's all!"
"Into the Matrix!" ends the Doctor. "Where the only logic is. . . that
there isn't any logic!"
Glitz says he knew this was a mistake, and tells the Doctor his grip on
reality isn't too good at the best of times. He takes a small piece
of paper from his pockets and hands it to the Doctor, saying the note is
for him. He then asks how he can get out of here.
The Doctor reads the note with surprise and notes it is from the Master.
Glitz says he knows, as he's just given it to him. The Master said it
would be useful.
The Doctor says it tells him where the Valeyard has his base.
Glitz reads the note aloud.
"The Fantasy Factory, Proprietor J. J. Chambers."
As soon as he says the last word, the street is lit up by a sign on a
building at the end of the street. Its a carnival-type sign, made up of
hundreds of colored lightbulbs that read "The Fantasy Factory."
The lights flash in a decorative sequence.
The Doctor and Glitz move to look a little closer, and the Doctor wonders
aloud why the Master is helping him.
Glitz says he's sure the Doctor will find out, and then is about to leave
until the Doctor takes his sleeve and asks Glitz to come with him and meet
his darker side.
"I've done my bit!" protests Glitz.
The Doctor insists with a smile that Glitz pop in and say hello, and
promises he'll be perfectly safe.
Suddenly every light in every window of the large factory building ahead
lights up simultaneously.
Glitz asks what's going on. The Doctor can offer no answer, and then
even more suddenly, a second floor door opens and a harpoon fires out
the building at high velocity and strikes Glitz in the stomach.
He collapses to the ground.
The Inquisitor is grilling the Master from her usual chair.
"Assuming I accept what you say about the evidence against the Doctor,
how much of it had been contrived?"
"For a lie to work, Madam," answers the Master from the screen, "it must
be shrouded in truth. Therefore, most of what you saw was real."
"Then the young woman," asks the Inquisitor, "The one who died, was that
The Master smiles evilly with the memory of the good old times he had with
Peri. "Ah, the delightful Miss Perpugilliam Brown. That was clever of
the Valeyard, exploiting the affection the Doctor had for her, but then
of course, the Valeyard would know precisely how the Doctor felt."
"Then she lives?" asks the Inquisitor.
"She's a Queen," answers the Master. "Set up on high by that war mongering
The Inquisitor turns away from the screen and notes aloud that she is pleased.
The Master tells her that sentiment will not keep the Doctor alive.
Mel asks if there's nothing anyone can do to help.
"You'll catch cold lying there," says the Doctor to Glitz. Glitz is lying
on the street pavement with the harpoon apparantly sticking in his stomach,
but there is no blood.
"You're a hard man, Doctor," answers Glitz, "I could've been killed!"
"Not when you're wearing a Magnum Mark Seven Postidium Life Preserver,"
says the Doctor. He punctuates the last words by pulling the harpoon out
of Glitz a little more each time.
Glitz gets off the ground and says that whoever threw the harpoon didn't
know he was wearing it. "So much for illusions. Anyway, I thought it
was you he was trying to kill."
The Doctor answers that the Valeyard's playing games. He looks up and
around at their unseen assailant as though wanting to be heard. He says
the Valeyard wants to humiliate him before killing him.
Glitz sarcastically says that he sees. "He humiliates you by throwing
harpoons at me! Makes a lot of sense."
Glitz turns away from the Doctor and begins to walk away slowly. The
Doctor catches him up and tells him that his presence here in the Matrix
makes the Valeyard's task more difficult, and that the Valeyard knows
that, and that he also knows that together, they can fight him.
Glitz stops and tells the Doctor he is only a small time crook with small
time ambitions, one of which is to stay alive. "I'm sorry, Doctor. I
wish you every good luck, but I'm on my way. I've done my bit."
He walks away from the Doctor at a faster pace. The Doctor calls after him.
"If you leave, and I die, what future do you think you'll have?"
Glitz stops and the Doctor catches up to him. He smiles at Glitz as he
tells him what he's probably already suspected.
"As the only witness to events here, the Valeyard will be forced to seek
you out, and kill you."
Glitz turns, smiles slightly, and tells the Doctor he'll help him.
The Doctor tells him he's a good man, then tells him to button his life
preserver so they can get on with it.
The Doctor and Glitz turn around and head back for the Fantasy Factory.
The Inquisitor is complaining that in all of her experience, she has
never before had to conclude a case in the abscence of both the defendant
and the prosecutor.
The Master tells her again that they're one in the same person.
The Inquisitor asks if he can prove that.
"Oh, I know them both," shrugs the Master. "But I suggest you question
the High Council. They set up this travesty of a Trial, making a
scapegoat of the Doctor to conceal their own involvement."
"Is there any reason why I should accept that allegation from a _renegade_
Time Lord?" asks the Inquisitor.
"Yes," says the Master, "if you're concerned with learning the truth."
The Inquisitor asks him what his interest is in this matter, as she doesn't
think its concern for the Doctor.
"No, indeed not," he answers with a smile, "The Doctor's well matched
against himself. One must destroy the other."
Melanie stands in the Doctor's old docket and cries out, "How utterly evil!"
The Master looks at her and thanks her for the compliment. "I think I
lay a shade of odds on the Valeyard, but the possibility of their
mutual destruction must exist. . . that would be perfect."
Mel says he's despicable.
"Am I to take it that some base desire for revenge is your motive for
interfering?" queries the Inquisitor.
The Master smiles at them all, his face growing wider as he continues on.
"There's nothing purer and more unsullied, Madam, than the desire for
revenge, but, if you follow the metaphor, I've thrown a pebble into the
water, perhaps killing two birds with one stone, and causing ripples
that'll rock the High Council to its foundations!"
He chuckles hollowly, and then adds, "What more could a renegade wish for?"
A man nearing the end of middle age, with a receding curly, gray hairline and
a round face to go along with his body, sits at a dimly lit desk in a
darkly wood-panelled room packed to the brim with shelves of books and
papers. The man writes on a paper with a quill pen and an inkwell, and
keeps his face close to the desk to make the best of the little light a
small oil lamp gives him.
The door to the office opens, and first the Doctor and then Glitz enter
slowly. They stand in the somewhat cramped room and look at the clerk.
He doesn't seem to have noticed they've come in, as he's still writing.
"How do you do? I think we're expected," says the Doctor.
The man seems not to hear him, and just goes on with the writing he's doing.
The Doctor sees a small silver, push-button bell on the man's desk. He
presses it, and at the sound of the ring, the man finally looks up at them.
"Yes?" he asks.
"We'd like to see the proprietor, please," answers the Doctor.
"Do you have an appointment, sir?" asks the man quietly. "Mister Chambers
only sees people by appointment. Most particular about appointments, is
our Mister Chambers."
The Doctor tells him he thinks he'll find they are expected.
The man asks for their names, and the Doctor introduces himself and Mister
Sablom Glitz. Glitz gives a little bow.
The man turns to the papers neatly places across his desk and begins
Glitz mutters to the Doctor that if the Valeyard wants him dead, he's got
a funny way of going about it.
The Doctor reminds him that it's all to do with humiliation.
The man is still consulting the papers on his desk, so the Doctor calmly
asks if he can hurry up as they haven't got all day.
The man looks up at them. "There are procedures to follow, sir.
Necessary routines to be completed. Even when I've found your names,
there are many forms to be inscribed before you may move on to the next stage
of processing. Processing is very important in this establishment.
I'm sure that even you will understand that such things cannot be rushed, sir."
The Doctor looks down at him and a little too calmly says, "Oh, I don't
know, I've always been a bit of an iconoclast by _nature. .. "
He suddenly goes for the door to the next room and leaps in, followed by
Glitz. The man calls after them, "You can't go in there! Not without an
The Doctor and Glitz now stand in the next office, which looks exactly the
same as the last one they were in, even down to the clerk sitting at this
new desk. The only exception is that this clerk wears a pair of metal-rimmed,
He looks up at them and says, "Ah, Doctor!"
The Doctor and Glitz look back into the last room.
The other man looks up at them again, and as they move into the next room
in confusion, he returns to his writing.
"Well, at least you're expecting us," says the Doctor to the bespectacled clerk.
"We all are," answers the clerk.
Glitz tells him that his lookalike outside wasn't.
The clerk places his quill pen above his right ear and glasses, and tells
them that that man is the exception, as the very junior Mr Popplewick isn't
permitted to expect anyone.
Glitz smiles as though he understands, then asks the Doctor what he's
The Doctor sighs with a word he's hated since his Earth exile.
"I think it's called bureaucracy."
This senior Mister Popplewick stands up and tells them he prefers to call
it order. He walks towards them as much as he can. "And the holy writ
of order is procedure! I'm sure you'll agree."
Glitz manages a confused smile.
Popplewick explains, "For example, you wished to see the proprietor. Now,
the correct procedure is to make an appointment."
"But we're already expected," the Doctor says with a small smiling frown.
"But the junior Mister Popplewick isn't permitted to expect anyone!" explains
the senior Mister Popplewick testily.
Glitz notes that he knew they were coming, and asks why he couldn't have
given the other one the nod.
"And upset the procedure?!?" asks Popplewick like it were blasphemy. He
turns to the back shelf and goes on. "The junior Mister Popplewick has
his pride too."
Glitz expresses his frustration to the Doctor. "Now, I don't understand any
of this. Here we are waiting to duck a terminal knuckle sandwich, and all
this screeve's going on about is whether or not we've got an appointment or
The Doctor smiles and asks Popplewick, "Is there no way to expedite the
"Expedite?" asks Popplewick like someone had just sworn at him. "I am a
senior clerk, sir! To me, the procedure is sacrocanct! My work is a
celebration of all that is perfect! Why speed perfection?"
"Because your employer wants me dead," replies the Doctor.
Popplewick swallows whatever he was going to say next, and then sits back
at his desk, explaining that the Doctor's just found the one little
weakness in their procedure.
He takes a document from his desk and asks the Doctor if he would sign it.
The Doctor, a little worriedly, asks what it is, and Popplewick explains
that it is a consent form.
"The corridors of this factory are very long and dark. Should you
unexpectedly die, our blessed proprietor, Mister J.J. Chambers, insists
he inherits your remaining lives."
The Doctor takes the form, saying, "Obviously, the Valeyard doesn't trust the
High Council to honor their side of the bargain."
He reaches to take the quill pen from behind Popplewick's ear, but he
holds up a hand asking the Doctor not to, and instead offers another quill
pen from the desktop.
The Doctor dips the pen in the inkwell, and just before he is about to sign
it, Glitz stops him, saying "Sign that, and you're a dead man!"
The Doctor shakes his head and replies, "We're in the Valeyard's domain.
He can try and kill me anytime he likes. I'll sign my remaining lives
away to Mister J.J. Chambers!" He almost gladly scrawls a long signature
to the base of the document, and then hands it and the pen back to Popplewick.
Popplewick begins to study the signature carefully.
Glitz asks the Doctor again if he's sure about this, and the Doctor answers
that he is absolutely. He then asks Popplewick again if they can see his
Popplewick points out the door that in a way is the same one they entered
through, only on that occasion they were on the other side. He tells them
that the waiting room is through there, and that they will be summoned as
soon as the signature has been verified.
The Doctor grumbles a little and moves to the door. Glitz follows, saying
that this is madness.
"Not if it precipitates my meeting with the Valeyard!" insists the Doctor,
who then pulls the waiting room door open and steps inside. . .
. . . or rather outside.
The Doctor suddenly finds himself on a desolate and quite deserted beach
with no other type of terrain visible in any direction. The tide seems
to be out, leaving a very long stretch of flat sand.
Wind blows around, making whistling sounds as though either moving through
a building or in preparation of a storm, yet the plain is absolytely clear
as is the deep, blue sky.
The Doctor raises an eyebrow and says to Glitz, "This is a very odd waiting
room. Where are the hopelessly out-of-date magazines? Hm? Glitz?"
When he looks behind him, he sees that Glitz is nowhere to be found.
He shouts for him again, but the only reply he receives is the mocking
echoing voice of his darker self. . . the Valeyard. . . .
The Doctor looks up at the sky and demands, "What have you done with him?"
"Look to your own predicament, Doctor," echoes the Valeyard.
A brown, mud-stained, undead hand reaches from beneath the sand . . . .
It grasps and clenches around the Doctor's right ankle. . . .
"This is an illusion!" cries the Doctor at the sky. "I deny it!"
A second corpse's hand grows from the muddy sand and catches his left ankle. . .
"Not this time," decrees the Valeyard.
"This isn't happening!" denies the Doctor to the air.
Two other hands grow like halloween's flowers from the soft earth, groping and
trying to find the Time Lord above. . . .
The Doctor bends and struggles to get the hands to release their holds on his
feet. He fails and then loses his balance. He falls onto his back.
A fifth hand joins the other four in groping and grasping towards the Doctor. .
The sand beneath the Doctor's back turns liquid. . . into quicksand. . .
The Doctor slowly begins to sink.
The Valeyard's laugh echoes from all around.
"You are dead, Doctor!"
The Doctor continues to sink. His torsoe becomes submerged, leaving only
his head and his feet above the surface.
The hands flail about, groping and pulling the condemned.
"Goodbye, Doctor!" calls the prosecuting and executing Valeyard.
"No!" cries the Doctor's head. He tries desperately to stay above the
surface, but he is slowly failing. The hands and sand sink him further.
"No," he cries weakly again, and then one final time, he calls out to the air
above in denial, "NoooOOOOOOO!!!"
Keeper of the Matrix
Title Music composed by Incidental Music Special Sound
RON GRAINER DOMINIC GLYNN DICK MILLS
Production Manager Production Associate Production Assistant
IAN FRASER ANJI SMITH JANE WELLESLEY
Assistant Floor Manager O.B. Lighting O.B. Sound
KAREN LITTLE JOHN MASON VIC GODRICH
Visual Effects Designer Video Effects Vision Mixers
KEVIN MOLLOY DAVE CHAPMAN SHIRLEY COWARD
DANNY POPKIN JIM STEPHENS
Technical Co-Ordinator Camera Supervisor Videotape Editor
ALAN ARBUTHNOTT ALEC WHEAL HUGH PARSON
Studio Lighting Studio Sound
DON BABBAGE BRIAN CLARK
Costume Designer Make-Up Designer
ANDREW ROSE SHAUNNA HARRISON
(C) BBC MCMLXXXVI
First transmitted on 29 November, 1986.
This synopsis by Steven K. Manfred
Synopsis copyright Aug. 5, 1994.
Permission is given to all to copy this synopsis as long as it is not for
reasons of profit.
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