Separated from his companions, the Doctor attempts to find solace in the history of his favourite planet – Earth – but instead discovers new threats lying in wait.
Travelling from twentieth-century East Berlin to sixteenth-century Strasbourg, the Doctor encounters creatures from other realities: monsters beneath the waves, and human beings determined to exploit their fellow man.
But how long can he survive without a friend?
Producer Scott Handcock said: “These adventures are loosely connected in that they see the Doctor travelling alone (having left his companions at the end of an earlier story), and zipping back and forth through the history of his favourite planet.”
“There are some lovely historical details in these adventures. We have one set in an abandoned underground station in East Berlin; one that deals with a superstition about shadows from British folklore; the third meeting Mary Wade (the youngest convict to be transported to Australia); and finally arriving during the Dancing Plague of Strasbourg.”
The four thrilling stories in this anthology are as follows:
Ghost Station by Steve Lyons
Deep beneath the streets of East Berlin, Peter Meier patrols the border in an old underground station. But when the TARDIS materialises nearby, Peter realises he is far from alone.
Writer Steve Lyons said: “Scott wanted a story for the Fifth Doctor who is travelling solo because he feels his friends are better off without him. I made a few suggestions, and Ghost Station was both Scott‘s favourite and mine.
“It’s a ghost story set in an abandoned underground train station beneath East Berlin in 1975. It feels odd to call it a ‘historical’ story, when it’s set in a year that I remember! The story is a two-hander between the Doctor and an East German border guard called Peter – whose partner has just been killed by something lurking in the shadows.”
The Bridge Master by Jacqueline Rayner
When the Doctor’s shadow is sacrificed by villagers, he brushes it off as medieval superstition —until he begins to grow weak. Can he uncover the truth behind the bridge master’s curse before it’s too late?
Writer, Jacqueline Rayner said: “It’s got a slight folk-ish, fairy tale-ish vibe. Bridges feature in a lot of myths and legends and this is inspired by some of those.”
“I was quite nervous, actually. I’d only written for the Doctor once before, for a River Song box set, and here he is all on his own, in the spotlight! I was worried I wouldn’t get him right. People talk about the Second Doctor being hard to write for because of the physicality of Patrick Troughton’s performance, but I think that goes for Peter Davison too – there’s so much restless energy in his portrayal. I think I did him justice, though.”
What Lurks Down Under by Tommy Donbavand
On the waves of the Indian Ocean, all the prisoners aboard the Lady Juliana have fallen into a trance… except a single girl. Mary Wade desperately needs a doctor –and only one will help her.
What Lurks Down Under is written by the late Tommy Donbavand, who sadly passed away in 2019.
“Tommy was aware of his illness and very keen to fulfil his ambition of writing a Doctor Who audio but wasn’t sure how much he could commit to, so an episode in this anthology was ideal. It was obviously hugely upsetting to see Tommy‘s condition deteriorate as quickly as it did, and I’m sad he won’t hear his words brought to life, but I hope we brought him some positivity at an extremely difficult time. The story serves as a fitting tribute to a brilliant author.”
The Dancing Plague by Kate Thorman
Arriving in Strasbourg at the height of the Dancing Plague, the Doctor finds himself thrust into a world of paranoia. Can he bring peace to a city at odds with its own people?
“My title gives away a bit of what it’s about: the mysterious dancing plague of 1518 – Strasbourg, in Alsace. Determined to find the alien source of the long-unsolved plague that’s wiping out the medieval city, the Fifth Doctor misses the very human threats around him.
“I was also interested in writing a story where the Doctor didn’t have all the answers, and where we played with the way humans respond to crisis (ha!), so that was cool to get to do. It’s still very escapist, though, I promise!”