Pact with the Devil by Stephen Poppitt [Reviews - 0] |
The TARDIS lands in Medieval England. The Doctor and Lucie plan to enjoy the pagentry at the forthcoming Coronation of Edward the Confessor, the King who founded Westminster Abbey. But something has gone wrong with time, for the wrong King is on the throne!
Someone has violently erased William the Conqueror from Earth history, putting in doubt the very existence of England itself. Lucie discovers that in consequence she is now in danger of winking-out of existence at any moment.
Worried a renegade Time Lord may be responsible, the Doctor begins an investigation at the King's Court, seeking to discover what has gone wrong. But an old acquaintance spots him first...
This story takes place between 'The Cannibalists' and 'Death in Blackpool'.
Part 1 of a 2-part story.
SCENE 1 EXTERIOR. A FIELD IN ENGLAND: A WINDY DAY.
SOUND EFFECT WIND IN THE TREES, AND BIRDSONG, INDICATING THE OUTDOOR SETTING. TARDIS MATERIALISING. TARDIS DOOR OPENS. THERE IS A THICK SQUELCHING SOUND, AS IF SOMEONE IS MAKING MUD PIES.
LUCIE Urggggh... Mud... (PAUSE) And what the piggin' heck are YOU treading in?
DOCTOR Oh dear!
LUCIE (WAILING) Ooooh... Me in me best Sunday-go-to-meeting gear, too.
SOUND EFFECT THE DOCTOR WIPES HIS SHOE IN THE GRASS.
DOCTOR I suppose horses are fairly common around here.
LUCIE (CROSSLY, AND BECOMING MORE FRUSTRATED AS THE SCENE PROGRESSES) Just where are we, Doctor?
DOCTOR From the look of things, in the middle of a ploughed field.
LUCIE Looks like the middle of nowhere to me! Welcome to deepest Mummerset. Mystery tours a speciality! Let me re-phrase the question. Where are we supposed to be?
DOCTOR Well, I thought you might like to see a bit of pomp and ceremony. So I set the TARDIS to take us to the Coronation...
LUCIE (BRIGHTLY) Oh, brilliant! Me mum told me all about the Coronation: getting the day off school, having street parties... Seeing the Queen being crowned in Westminster Abbey, on the telly...
SOUND EFFECT THE WIND HOWLS.
LUCIE Mind, when she said it was a lousy day for it, with all the rain, she was dead right!
DOCTOR (CONTINUING AS IF SHE HASN'T SPOKEN) ... so I set the TARDIS to take us to the Coronation of Edward the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
LUCIE Edward who?
SOUND EFFECT THE WIND HOWLS LOUDLY.
DOCTOR (SHOUTING TO MAKE HIMSELF HEARD ABOVE THE WIND) Edward the Confessor. He was king in these parts until 1066. I gather you've never heard of him; but his father, Ethelred, was quite famous.
LUCIE What, you mean Ethelred the Unready? The one who was always losing wars to the Vikings?
DOCTOR Er, yes. Although 'Unready' didn't originally mean quite what the modern meaning implies. But Edward the Confessor was his son. According to the history books, Edward had a magnificent Coronation, in 1042. Fabulous pomp and ceremony... (DOUBTFULLY) According to the history books! I’ve always meant to come back and see it; but you know, what with one thing and another, and never doing today what you can put off until the next century...
LUCIE Pomp and ceremony? What, in that old workmen's hut???
DOCTOR What old workmen's hut...? Oh, that old workmen's hut! I don't think that can be... Well, you see, Edward's lasting achievement, for which he'll be remembered for centuries, is that he built - or, rather, will build! - Westminster Abbey. So the TARDIS has brought us to Westminster.
LUCIE ...before he's actually built the piggin' Abbey!
DOCTOR Well... technically... I suppose you're right, yes.
LUCIE So we're standing in the middle of a freezing field, looking forward to a freezing Coronation, in an unheated wooden shack, in mid-winter!
DOCTOR Well... technically...
LUCIE Oh, great!!!
DOCTOR (OFFENDED) A moment ago you seemed to be quite looking forward to seeing the Abbey.
LUCIE Actually, I was quite looking forward to seeing the Queen... and waving to me Mum on the telly.
SOUND EFFECT THERE IS THE SOUND OF A HORSE AND CART APPROACHING: JINGLING OF HORSE'S HARNESS, SNORTING OF HORSE, CREAKING OF CART, ETC. (NOT MUCH EMPHASIS ON CLOPPING HOOVES: THE FIELD IS MUDDY - AND THE INVENTION OF TARMAC IS 800 YEARS IN THE FUTURE!)
DOCTOR Well... I can see you're not completely bowled over by this location. Would you prefer to pop back into the TARDIS and try for somewhere warmer?
SOUND EFFECT HORSE NEIGHING, CLOSE AT HAND.
PEASANT #1 (SPEAKING WITH RURAL ACCENT OF DEEPEST SOMERSET. THIS CHARACTER IS ALWAYS GRUMPY, IF NOT ACTUALLY ANNOYED.) Mind out of the road there...
SOUND EFFECT THE SOUND OF A CART IN LOUD COLLISION WITH THE TARDIS.
DOCTOR (POLITELY) I'm so sorry. Are we in the way?
LUCIE (AMUSED) There goes your No Claims Bonus, Doctor!
PEASANT #1 Would you mind moving yourselves, and your confounded hut, out o' the confounded road! If the king finds an obstruction on the highway, you could find yourself in the confounded stocks come sundown; and this confounded lad of your'n, too.
LUCIE Lad??? Aren't you overlooking a couple of things?
PEASANT #1 Oh, sorry Miss. Didn't see you, with your back to me.
SOUND EFFECT HORSE NEIGHING.
PEASANT #1 Here! There now, Dobbin. Look here, mister...
PEASANT #1 Look here, Doctor who... ever-you-may-be.
DOCTOR I'm so sorry, but we seem to have missed our turning! Are we on the right road for the Coronation?
PEASANT #1 Oh! Strangers be you? (SPEAKS VERY SLOWLY AND EMPHATICALLY) If - you'm - lookin' - for - the - Abbey - you - goes - back - that-a-way - to - West - Minster - and - takes - the - first - turnin'- on - your ...
DOCTOR There's no need to treat us like half-wits. I said we're strangers, not foreigners.
PEASANT #1 Sorry. But I gets confused easily. After all, you'm all look like a foreigner: what with the costume...
DOCTOR (ANNOYED) Costume...?
PEASANT #1 ... and the wig.
DOCTOR (APOPLECTIC) Wig!!
LUCIE (TRYING NOT TO LAUGH) Sorry, mister - my friend and I are in our Sunday best! Because we're on our way to the Coronation!
PEASANT #1 Then why is your excitable friend standin' in that there manure pile...? Do he believe in the old wives tale about it bringin' good luck...? He ought'a know, that's only at weddin's! And only for the Bridegroom...! (PAUSE) Be you and he about to get hitched, then? Is that why you'm be wantin' directions to the Abbey? You'm'll be out o' luck: the King's usin' it today.
LUCIE (BECOMING IRRITATED AT HIM IN HER TURN) No, as a matter of fact, fond as I am of being dumped in a pile of... (MAKES EFFORT: TRIES AGAIN, WITH FALSE BRIGHTNESS) No, I wasn't actually planning on getting married today.
PEASANT #1 Oh, pity. You've got a nice day for it.
LUCIE A nice day??? It's piggin' freezing!
PEASANT #1 Oh, no, it isn't.
LUCIE Oh, yes, it is.
PEASANT #1 Oh, no, it isn't...
DOCTOR (HURRIEDLY) Actually, it is a tiny bit on the chilly side. So if you don't mind, we'll just collect our 'hut' and be on our way. By-the-by, did you happen to say the Abbey is back that way...?
LUCIE (ASIDE) Doctor! How exactly are we going to move the TARDIS? Except by going back inside, and giving this pillock the surprise of his life?
DOCTOR (ASIDE) Don't worry, I'll explain later!
LUCIE (ASIDE) Oh! (ADDRESSING PEASANT) Anyway, if this is Westminster, how come you've got a Mummerset accent? Shouldn't you sound like Michael Caine in 'The Italian Job'?
PEASANT #1 (PUZZLED) Be you Italian, do you say? Have you'm come all the way from Italy, then? They do say as how people have been arriving from all over: the ale houses of the East Minster, and the Middle Minster, have been full to bursting; and the doss house at West Minster, too.
LUCIE I don't use the doss-Houses of Westminster: I'm not an MP.
DOCTOR Actually, we've come...
LUCIE ... all the way from Mummerset!
PEASANT #1 Well, I hope it keeps fine for you.
SOUND EFFECT RUMBLE OF DISTANT THUNDER.
PEASANT #1 They do say the King will be at the Abbey today, to celebrate the festival.
SOUND EFFECT RUMBLE OF LESS-DISTANT THUNDER.
LUCIE Doctor, did you bring an umbrella?
DOCTOR No. But there's no need to worry: I checked the weather for the Coronation. The Venerable Bede's biography of the old boy said it's going to be a perfectly nice day.
LUCIE That would be the Coronation of Edward the Confessor, would it?
SOUND EFFECT THE RUMBLE OF THUNDER IS NEARER.
LUCIE The same Edward the Confessor whose funeral we've just missed?
DOCTOR Er... Yes.
SOUND EFFECT THE RUMBLE OF THUNDER IS EVEN LOUDER.
LUCIE So you're saying, you checked the weather, for a Coronation in the year 1042. And here WE are... in 1066.
SOUND EFFECT CRASH OF THUNDER. MAD PITTER-PATTER OF RAIN.
SOUND EFFECT HORSE NEIGHS.
PEASANT #1 (SHOUTS TO BE HEARD ABOVE RAIN) Well, master, delightful as it's been to run into you...
DOCTOR Yes, well, speaking of collisions, shouldn't we exchange details of our insurers? Under the Road Traffic Act?
PEASANT #1 (CONFUSED) You what???
SOUND EFFECT NOISE OF RAIN AND THUNDER DIE AWAY; BUT OCCASIONAL RUMBLES OF THUNDER ARE HEARD IN THE BACKGROUND AS THE SCENE CONTINUES.
LUCIE (ASIDE) Doctor, this isn't Blackpool 2010. I seriously doubt if the 1972 Road Traffic Act applied in 1066. Or whenever the piggin' heck we happen to be.
DOCTOR Well, I thought we'd landed in 1042, the year of the Coronation of Edward the Confessor.
PEASANT #1 King Edward? You'm'll be wanting to see the old king?
DOCTOR (TAKEN ABACK) The old king?
LUCIE Oops! Here we go again!
PEASANT #1 Won't that be a mite tricky, seeing as how the Confessor gave up the ghost these ten month since?
DOCTOR Are you telling me that King Edward is dead? And he's been dead for several months?
PEASANT #1 Arr! Now you'm grasped it.
DOCTOR Pardon me?
PEASANT #1 You're tellin' me as you don't know who the King is? And that the late lamented Edward, of blessed memory, is in fact still King in Mummerset?
DOCTOR Er, we don't actually come from... Oh, now I understand your references to the Abbey!
SOUND EFFECT MORE THUNDER. ANOTHER FLURRY OF RAIN.
LUCIE (SHOUTING TO BE HEARD ABOVE THE STORM) You mean, Edward built the Abbey, then died. (HOPEFULLY) So there really is an Abbey, here and now; and we can go there, and get out of the rain?
SOUND EFFECT THUNDER AND RAIN DIE DOWN AGAIN, LEAVING JUST OCCASIONAL RUMBLES OF THUNDER.
DOCTOR Yes, Lucie. That's what it boils down to. (TO PEASANT) My good carter, tell me: is this, then, the year 1066?
PEASANT #1 Of course it is! Why? Do you have different years, too, in Mummerset?
DOCTOR Well, Lucie, in that case I think we can see the Coronation today after all.
LUCIE But according to what you've just been saying, we're a quarter of a century too late. We've even missed the poor chap's funeral!
DOCTOR Ah, but on Christmas Day in 1066 the new king of England will be crowned. (TO PEASANT) Tell me, my good felow... We've, erm, lost track of the days, while travelling!! Is it Yule-tide yet, hereabouts?
PEASANT #1 Yes, master, today is indeed Christmas Day. But this isn't West Minster, this is East Minster. Like I was sayin', you need to go back that-a-way, take the next turnin', and follow the River. But it's only about half a league.
LUCIE (MURMURING) "Half a league, half a league, half a league onward..."
DOCTOR Are you quoting poetry at me, anachronistically, for a reason?
LUCIE Well, it's spooky, isn't it? "Into the Valley of Death rode the six hundred." It's an omen. (PAUSE) Sorry, thunder always makes me nervous: it's an omen.
DOCTOR Well, cheer up! We can bribe this refugee from the wrong end of time with a groat I happen to have on my person, and he'll give us a ride to the nearest Ale House to the Abbey. We'll be in time to see the Coronation of the most famous king in English history. Centuries from now, every schoolboy...
DOCTOR ... every schoolchild, then ... will groan at the mention of 1066, and the Coronation of William the Conqueror. Or, as he was originally known, William the Bastard: Guiaume Battard!
PEASANT #1 (SHRIEKS)
DOCTOR (ALARMED) What the devil...?
PEASANT #1 You're a filthy Norman spy! That's what you are: a spy. Keep away!! Run for it Miss: your master's a fugitive from the King's justice!
DOCTOR Calm down! Please... You'll do yourself a mischief... You've gone a funny colour: that purplish shade can't be natural. Why do you think I'm a spy?
PEASANT #1 (VOICE SHAKES WITH SUPPRESSED EMOTION) Only a spy would mention that name! No good Christian soul would speak the name of the very devil, on the day of the Festival of Christ's Mass.
DOCTOR (ASIDE) I think he means Christmas.
LUCIE Why does the mere mention of the name terrify him so?
DOCTOR Well, as I recall, for a very long time a superstition persisted that if you spoke the name of the Devil aloud, he would hear you and make you his next victim.
PEASANT #1 (WAILS) 'Tis true! 'Tis true!
DOCTOR I never heard it said of a man, though. But surely, William...
PEASANT #1 Aieee!
DOCTOR No, no; alright! I promise not to speak his name aloud again! But surely, he's about to be crowned King of England today? After the recent battle at Hastings??
PEASANT #1 Are ye mad? Good king Harold was crowned King in the Abbey, in January last, and will celebrate his first Christmas as King today, in thanks for our deliverance from the evil hordes of the Vikings not two month past.
DOCTOR I see!
LUCIE Well would you mind translating?
DOCTOR Sorry! The reason our friend here is so alarmed is that the English in this period were terrified of the Vikings, after two centuries of warfare with Viking invaders.
LUCIE That much I understand. But what has that got to do with the Norman French, in Normandy ?
DOCTOR Ah! You see, the Vikings conquered the Channel coast of France a hundred years ago, relative to when we are now; in the region which came to be called Normandy. So they now rule it.
LUCIE But I thought the Norman kings were French?
DOCTOR Well... not quite. The Vikings rapidly absorbed the customs of the conquered local population. On the surface, the new rulers no longer much resemble their Viking forefathers; but they still are Vikings, in all but name. Actually the very name, 'Norman', is a corruption of 'North-men', men of the North. And 'North-men' is probably a corruption of 'Norse men'.
LUCIE But if I remember my history - I wish I'd paid some attention - this Conquerer bloke invaded England in 1066, and defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
DOCTOR That's what I thought, too!
PEASANT #1 No, no! The Church has been rejoicing, and spreading the good word of King Harold's vict’ry. 'Tis true. You may see for yourself: for he will be at the Abbey today, celebrating Christ's mass.
DOCTOR Good grief! Er, I don't suppose anyone happened to mention just how King Harold achieved this remarkable victory?
PEASANT #1 According to the clergy, their Bishop has told them that a great fleet of the enemy approached the Saxon shore...
DOCTOR (ASIDE) Translated, that means the south coast of England.
PEASANT #1 (DRAMATICALLY) ... and the Lord sent a great light, and swallowed up the entire fleet in a maelstrom of storm and tempest. And a great cloud filled the sky, which is said to have contained a vision of the Lord: for all who saw it were struck blind. (IN NORMAL VOICE) Fortunately, the shoreline is but thinly populated! There were many bodies amid the wreckage washed to the shore, some of which the King has had recovered for separate burial: rumoured to be the mortal remains of his chief enemies - to whom he was related, through his mother's family.
DOCTOR Aren't families wonderful! Here's a groat: we'll sit in the back, out of the rain. Could you drive us as far as the Abbey? Lucie, grab that handhold, and I'll give you a bunk up.
SOUND EFFECT LUCY GRUNTS IN JUMPING TO GRAB HAND-HOLD.
LUCIE Got it. Oy! Watch which bit of me you're groping!
PEASANT #1 Sorry! Come on Dobbin, giddy-up!
MUSIC: THEME FROM ‘STEPTOE AND SON’: OLD NED (GRAINER). BRIEF EXCERT ONLY, AS CART PULLS AWAY. FADE TO...
SCENE 2 INTERIOR. INSIDE THE CARTER'S CART. HORSE AND CART NOISES: FAINT JINGLING OF HARNESS, CREAKING OF CART, ETC. OCCASIONAL FAINT RUMBLE OF THUNDER.
DOCTOR Our new friend's description sounds very much like a gigantic explosion. What does a cloud that fills the sky, and a blinding light, suggest to you?
LUCIE You mean, a mushroom cloud? Some kind of nuclear weapon???
DOCTOR I'm afraid it does rather sound like it.
LUCIE But that would mean someone from the future... And a deliberate interference. Not just some passing time traveller, who happened to let slip to Harold that thursday would be a good day to take his Army for a paddle on the beach at Hastings!
DOCTOR Quite. Someone with an Atomic bazooka, perhaps?
LUCIE What on Earth is one of them?
DOCTOR Oh, just thinking aloud.
LUCIE Doctor, you're getting that look again!! What is it you're not telling me?
DOCTOR Oh, I'm sure I'm wrong.
LUCIE Come off it! I recognise that guilty expression.
DOCTOR Well, I did once encounter a renegade Time Lord who...
LUCIE Oh, no! Not again! After all that piggin' business with Morbius. How many renegade Time Lords are there, trolling around in time-and-space, for pity's sake?
DOCTOR Did you ever meet my best enemy, The Master? (PAUSE) No, I suppose you're too recent a visitor to the TARDIS to have encountered him... And I don't suppose Omega managed to cheat death a second time, after we parted in Amsterdam... Actually, was that the second time he'd cheated death? Or was it the third? Hmmmm...
DOCTOR Then there was that fellow Drax, who tried to
pull my plug when I came up against the Black Guardian, that first time. We'd been in the same class at the Academy, you know... And of course, I never was quite sure whether The Minister had actually been seduced by the Dark Side or not. He seemed terribly well-intentioned; but somehow tended to produce the most unimaginable crises...
LUCIE Piggin' 'eck! How many more?
LUCIE Oh, no!!!
DOCTOR I was only going to say, there was the time-meddling Monk, of course. That was who I was initially thinking of. But I parted on fairly amicable terms from him: after I saved his life during that affair with the Daleks, in Egypt...
LUCIE A Monk?
DOCTOR Sounds unlikely, I know. But when I met him he was disguised as one: with the intention of using an atomic bazooka to help Harold Godwinson defeat he whom-we-shall-not-name.
LUCIE Well he'd be the obvious candidate, then, surely?
DOCTOR I'm not so sure. It was a very long time ago, relatively speaking. And he seemed more intent on seeking revenge on me, than in going back for a second try. Besides, when I was put on trial by the High Council...
LUCIE (AMUSED) Really?
DOCTOR Well, glossing over that. The point is, the Time Lords learned of the Monk's activities - quite some time ago it was, too - and I'm sure they would have made use of the Celestial Intervention Agency to put him out of harm's way by now. Locked him in some planet's stone age, until he proved he could be trusted. (PAUSE) Oh, hell's bells: I hope they weren't insane enough to lock him away in this planet's stone age: that could make for a very nasty time-paradox, if he shows up here twice! Oh dear! (PAUSE) No, I'm sure - er, almost sure! - that they would never do anything so downright dangerous. I hope...
LUCIE Is this the same barking-mad Agency which had you baby-sit me, in a witness protection programme: supposedly the key witness in one of their cases. And I was the wrong person all the time!
DOCTOR Er, yes; that sounds like them.
LUCIE Oh, chuffin' 'eck. So, we're in more trouble than I could’ve possibly imagined?
DOCTOR Well... That's about the strength of it, yes.
LUCIE Mother, carry me home to die!
DOCTOR I could always use the emergency facility in the TARDIS, to notify the Agency of our situation. Send them a full report. Ask for help. That sort of thing...
LUCIE Is that something you feel you ought to do?
DOCTOR No, I'd rate that as about the last thing I'd ever want to do! Somehow they seem to have a way of messing up the simplest case. So they usually get me to deal with anything remotely complicated...
LUCIE Except that they sometimes use other Agents, such as that barking-mad Headhunter woman!
DOCTOR Worrying, isn't it?
SCENE 3 EXTERIOR. A GLADE IN THE WOODS. WIND, DISTANT THUNDER, SOUNDS OF RAIN DRIPPING FROM A SHRUB.
FRENCH KNIGHT #1 (IN VILLAINOUS FRENCH ACCENT) Well, Henri, 'ow much longer are we goin' to 'ave to wait 'ere... in ze rain... under zis god-be-damned dripping bush?
FRENCH KNIGHT #2 (SPEAKS WITH EQUALLY VILLAINOUS ACCENT OF FRANCE)Just you wait wiz patience, William d'Caen. This is ze nearest road junction to ze hamlet of West Meen-ster, where the King of the English make his Court. We simply wait for some passing Nobleman, and rob 'im of 'is 'orse. 'E will not be expectin' trouble!
FR. KNIGHT #1 You said that last time... (PAUSE) And ze time before... In fact, ever since we were shipwrecked in zis benighted i-land. And still we are sitting under ze dripping bush...! And still ze bush, it is dripping down ze back of my neck! Sacre blue! Does the rain never stop in this God-forsaken land?
FR. KNIGHT #2 There is no point bick-er-ing! Beside, it was your idea to join the Army of Duke William of Normandy, for his invasion of Eng-a-land. Easy spoils you said: William will reward us well, in his hour of victory.
FR. KNIGHT #1 Some victory! Nevaire 'ave I seen such a storm.Or such a shipwreck... Or so few survivors...
FR. KNIGHT #2 It was a judgement from God!
FR. KNIGHT #1 Lucky, really, that you were so busy saying goodbye to your fifteen children and your concubine, that we were two hours late sailing. Ozzerwise we would 'ave been wiz the vanguard of the Duke's fleet: we 'ave not met any survivors at all from 'is flagship.
FR. KNIGHT #2 Ah! It was a judgement from God!
FR. KNIGHT #1 Oui. Thank God for concubines!
SOUND EFFECT NOISE OF HORSE'S HARNESS JINGLING, GROWING LOUDER. NEIGHING OF HORSE.
FR. KNIGHT #1 Ah, finally. Someone to knock on ze 'ead zis way comes.
SCENE 4 INTERIOR. THE CARTER'S CART. JINGLING OF HORSE'S HARNESS AND CREAKING OF CART, AS BEFORE.
LUCIE So what solution do you have in mind, Doctor? You'd do what, ideally? Put history back in its original pattern?
DOCTOR Ideally, yes.
LUCIE I'm not sure how I'd feel about that! From what I know of the Normans, they were a ruthless, merciless lot. For hundreds of years they dragged England into Continental wars. I might not know much about hist’ry, but what about literature: all those plays that bloke Shakespeare wrote: Henry the Fifth, Richard the Second, Henry the Sixth... parts 1 to 99. They were all about the wars the Norman kings started, trying in vain to conquer territory in France. Surely England would be better off without all that?
DOCTOR Attempting to second-guess history is a terribly dangerous game, Lucie. If you make the smallest change, it can have completely unexpected consequences. For instance, without those wars to write about, it's conceivable Shakespeare might never have become a playwrite. That would have enormous consequences, for human theatre and literature.
LUCIE Ooh, let’s risk it then. No Shakespeare to learn? I could become a hero to every school kid for 800 years!
LUCIE Sorry. But so many people died in those wars, Doctor. The fighting was pretty much endless... The hundred years war, for instance; even I can guess how long that one ran for: the clue's in the title!
DOCTOR But some things will be better with the Normans! For instance, their military organisation is more effective than that of the Anglo-Saxons. They proved this by defeating the Anglo-Saxon army at Hastings, in 1066. Thanks to that strength, England at last has a King who can defend the country. That puts an end to the repeated Viking invasions which devastated England for the previous two centuries.
LUCIE English soldiers were still being killed, though.
DOCTOR Oh, there was a great deal of fighting under the Norman kings. But almost none of it took place in England. The Normans exported the violence onto the Continent; which was ironic, since that's where they’d come from, whether you regard them as being from Normandy or from Scandinavia. And without the military improvements the Normans introduced, the Anglo-Saxons would have continued to suffer Viking attacks. Their soldiers would have died in other conflicts, but most likely would still have died. And England itself might have ceased to exist: you might now be speaking Danish, or Norweigan - instead of your usual brand of gibberish.
LUCIE I see! Well, if you put it like that...!
DOCTOR It's worse than that, actually. Whatever language you might have ended up speaking, it certainly wouldn't be recognisable as English. You see, the English you're speaking was created by the collision, within one small country, of the Germanic language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons and the Frankish language spoken by the Normans.
LUCIE So, basically, if William the Conquerer becomes a footnote in history - renamed William the Wally - the England I know will never come about.
DOCTOR I still don't think you've quite grasped the full extent of the problem. You are English. You personally! Therefore you're affected by what's decided here.
LUCIE Oh, no! You mean I might vanish, like the popping of a soap bubble!!
DOCTOR Well, if the timeline is disrupted in 1066, the consequences will ripple out into Time; but the process will take, er... time! It might not become an irreversible condition for many years. The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Harold Godwinson could yet be overthrown by Norman claimants to his throne, in years to come. So the new situation does not immediately crystalise; but it might not be safe for you to travel in the TARDIS again, because it could land in a future in which you don't exist. That would certainly have the potential to make you go 'pop', as you so colourfully put it.
LUCIE Blimey! But you're a Time Lord. Can't you do something to prevent that?
DOCTOR Well, I do have a kind of time-stabiliser thingy: a device which you could carry about with you. But lugging it everywhere you go, for the rest of your life, might not be an ideal solution.
LUCIE Oh, great! So I'm a prisoner in time!
SCENE 5 EXTERIOR. THE WOODED GLADE. THE WIND HOWLS. THERE IS A SOUND OF AN APPROACHING HORSE: HOOF BEATS, JINGLING OF HARNESS.
FRENCH KNIGHT #1 When I say 'jump zem', we jump them. Is zat clear enough?
FR.KNIGHT #2 Right: jump zem!!
SOUND EFFECT MUCH YELLING. THE RINGING OF SWORDS BEING DRAWN. SOUNDS OF A FIERCE COMBAT IN PROGRESS. THEN CROSS FADE TO...
SOUND EFFECT THE CREAKING OF THE CARTER'S CART.
PEASANT #1 Lord Almighty! Two Vikings have just dashed out of that there thicket... and attacked that there horseman!
DOCTOR (MUFFLED, FROM INSIDE THE CART) What?? (NORMAL) Where?
PEASANT #1 Just ahead, there: close by the meeting of the ways.
DOCTOR What, those two Norman soldiers? Quick: whip Dobbin up to a gallop, and ride them down! If they fall under the wheels of your cart they'll never get up again!
PEASANT #1 Giddy-up!!!
MUSIC (IN BACKGROUND) ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’: BRIEF EXCERPT FROM TITLE THEME OF ITC SERIES.
SOUND EFFECT THE CREAKING OF THE HARNESS, CART, ETC, BECOMES MUCH MORE PRONOUNCED. THE RAPID THUDDING OF HOOVES ON A DIRT ROAD SUGGESTS A BRISK GALLOP. FADE UP SCREAMS IN A STRONG FRENCH ACCENT. THEN THE CART PULLS TO A STOP; FRENCH VOICES FADE OUT.
LUCIE There they go! After them!!
PEASANT #1 If you don't mind Miss, just how am I supposed to chase two men of foot through the undergrowth of yonder trackless forest? D' ye expect old Dobbin here to sprout the wings of an eagle?
SOUND EFFECT HORSE NEIGHS AT A DISTANCE, FAINTLY.
LUCIE Oh, quick: that unfortunate man's horse. Ooh ‘eck; I'll grab it.
SOUND EFFECT SOUND OF LUCY JUMPING DOWN - INTO THE MUD!
LUCIE Oh no! Not again!!
DOCTOR Meanwhile, we've a hapless traveller to assist. Good-day, good knight.
TRAVELLER (BREATHLESSLY) Er... Good Lord! Thank you for your most timely intervention. Quickly: my horse. Those two French dogs: I must pursue them, and alert the king's men.
SOUND EFFECT HORSE'S HOOVES APPROACHING, WALKING. LUCIE SPLASHING ALONG IN THE MUD BESIDE IT.
LUCIE It's alright. I've grabbed the reins of the horse. Here you are, mate.
TRAVELLER Thank you, my Lady.
PEASANT #1 Let me assist you to re-mount, my Lord of Loxley.
MUSIC (DURING NEXT) ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ SAME BRIEF EXCERPT FROM TITLE THEME AS BEFORE.
SOUND EFFECT TRAVELLER CLIMBS INTO SADDLE. GALLOPING HOOF BEATS, RECEEDING RAPIDLY INTO DISTANCE.
DOCTOR It's all go, isn't it? Right, then, carter: we should make tracks for the Abbey.
SCENE 6 INTERIOR. THE CARTER'S CART. JINGLING OF HORSE'S HARNESS, AND CREAKING OF CART (AS BEFORE).
LUCIE So where were we, when we were so rudely interupted?
DOCTOR The fundamental point I was making is the simple fact that the consequence of any change in the timeline just can't be predicted, because human history is so complex. Any action, though taken with the best of intentions, can end up producing a worse mess than the mess you started with...
LUCIE ...so that the only predictable outcome is the original history?
DOCTOR That's about the strength of it, yes.
LUCIE So we should be looking for this Monk bloke, then?
DOCTOR Well, yes. Well, we are! Always assuming he's at the bottom of it. I thought we'd start by taking a discrete look at the Abbey, and the King's courtiers -- as he's making a public appearance there today. See if we perhaps recognise anyone? If the Monk has made this change, he's almost certain to be trapped here; and the most likely place to find him would be amongst the King's courtiers. I can't see him being happy with the monastic life: sitting on a wind-swept rock in Iona, or Lindisfarne, with no mod-cons.
LUCIE (AMUSED) Likes his home comforts, does he?
DOCTOR He had a gramophone player, a portable cooking stove, and his own TARDIS, the first time I met him.
LUCIE And you're going to ask him nicely to put history back to how it was before? Even though he's blown-up the Normans? We just pop down the local cemetery and ask them all to kindly stop being dead, and to start running the country?
DOCTOR Very funny! What we're looking for is information. All we've currently got is a lot of speculation, and some nasty hunches. We - I - need to find out for sure what's actually occured, before we can do anything about setting it to rights.
LUCIE Well, I think this is your chance. If you turn around, you'll see a mighty familiar-looking building loomin' up through the trees.
SCENE 7 EXTERIOR. A FIELD IN ENGLAND, A WINDY DAY.
DOCTOR Carter, let us off here, would you?
PEASANT #1 Woah, Dobbin. Alright mister. Down you get, but...
LUCIE Great: come on!
SOUND EFFECT SQUELCH OF LUCIE JUMPING INTO MUDDY PUDDLE.
PEASANT #1 ...watch out for the mud.
LUCIE Oh, yuch!!! (TANTRUM) Not again! Not again!!
DOCTOR (POLITELY) Thank you, carter!
SOUND EFFECT THE DOCTOR DESCENDS MORE ELEGANTLY. THE CART MOVES OFF.
LUCIE (BITTERLY) Look at my tights! Plastered in mud! Ruined! And Harrods won’t be invented for 800 years!
DOCTOR Well, here we are in Parliament Square. Though we're a little early for the State Opening; Parliament won't be invented for another two centuries. (MISCHIEVOUSLY) Mind the traffic when you cross the road!
LUCIE Look left, look right... Oh, hell! What road???
DOCTOR Just a little levity. Tarmac won't be invented for 800 years yet, either.
SOUND EFFECT THUNDER. RAIN BEGINS.
LUCIE No, but I wish someone would hurry up and invent the brolly!
DOCTOR Make a dash for it!
SOUND EFFECT THUNDER, RAIN, WIND. THEIR FOOTSTEPS SPLASH THROUGH THE MUD.
SCENE 8 INTERIOR: THE ABBEY OF WESTMINSTER. INSIDE THE STONE ABBEY ALL THE SPEAKING VOICES, AND ALL SOUND EFFECTS, WILL HAVE AN ECHO.
SOUND EFFECT THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE DOCTOR AND LUCIE RING ON THE STONE FLOOR IN THE PORCH OF THE ABBEY.
SOUND EFFECT DISTANT PATTER OF RAIN OUTSIDE. DRIP-DRIP-DRIP OF WATER CLOSER AT HAND.
MONK #1 Welcome, stranger. What regrettable weather!
LUCIE Blimey! A Monk! Doctor...
DOCTOR (ASIDE) No, it's not him. (TO MONK) Thank-you, Brother. I'm afraid we timed our arrival badly. Are we in time for the service?
MONK #1 Ah, yes. It will begin shortly. You will find the Royal Party inside.
DOCTOR Why do you assume I'm looking for the King?
MONK #1 Why, the richness of your clothing, good sir. And the fact that you are accompanied by your Esquire.
DOCTOR Of... of course. (TO LUCIE) This way, Esquire.
SOUND EFFECT THEIR FOOTSTEPS ECHO HOLLOWLY INSIDE THE STONE BUILDING.
LUCIE (ASIDE) Blimey, what's all this Esquire business?
DOCTOR (ASIDE) A rich magnate would have his own Esquire; someone to stable and look after his horse. You landed a bit too heavily in the mud, back there! Makes you look the part of someone who lives in a barn.
SOUND EFFECT DOOR OPENS.
DOCTOR Speaking of which, shut the door behind you!
SOUND EFFECT THE DOCTOR WALKS ON, FOOTSTEPS ECHOING.
LUCIE (BITTERLY) Oh, thanks.
SOUND EFFECT DOOR CLOSES.
MONK #2 God rest ye merry, Gentlemen!
LUCIE Blimey, another Monk! Doctor...?
DOCTOR (ASIDE) No, it's not him either. (STERNLY) We ARE in an Abbey, you know! There'll most likely be dozens of Monks about the precinct!
LUCIE (ASIDE) Yes, of course.
DOCTOR We seem to be a little late. I wonder if you could direct us to the Royal party?
MONK #2 Walk this way!
SOUND EFFECT FOOTSTEPS ECHO, OF MONK LEADING THE WAY.
DOCTOR (ASIDE) If I could walk that way...
LUCIE (ASIDE) ...I wouldn't need the talcum powder!
DOCTOR (ASIDE) Are you a big fan of Arthur Askey?
LUCIE (ASIDE) Well, I do come from Blackpool, variety capital of the North, y' know. My dad once took me to the Central Pier theatre to see ...
MONK #2 Here you are, good sir!
DOCTOR Many thanks. (ASIDE) Lucie, stick close; and, for once, let me do the talking!
LUCIE (SPLUTTERS INCOHERENTLY)
DOCTOR Ah. Here's a Courtier.
COURTIER #1 Good morrow, Sirrah! May I assist you?
DOCTOR Hello. I represent the Greater London Tourist Board? I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the King, and thought this might be a good place to start.
COURTIER #1 (POLITELY BAFFLED) The Greater London...?
DOCTOR Just a jest. Well, only just! But we were hoping to catch a glimpse of good king Harold.
LUCIE (ASIDE) Speaking of sight-seeing, Doctor, this place is seriously impressive. Which of these is the tomb of Edward the Confessor...?
COURTIER #1 (VERY POLITELY) The King is in conference with his Archbishop. But he should be entering momentarily.
SOUND EFFECT TRUMPETS - FANFARE.
COURTIER #1 Ah, here they are now.
COURTIER #2 (LOUDLY, BUT VERY REFINED) All rise for his majesty, Harold, son of the Earl Godwin; by the Grace of God, King of England...
SOUND EFFECT A HUGE CONGREGATION RISES TO ITS FEET
LUCIE Does anyone in the King's party look familiar to you, Doctor?
DOCTOR No... But turn round and take a look at the Archbishop of Canterbury!
MONK #2 Make way for the Archbishop! Make way there!
SOUND EFFECT FOOTSTEPS, ECHOING HOLLOWLY, APPROACH.
ARCHBISHOP (MENACINGLY) Why... Doctor! How nice to see you again!
< END OF EPISODE ONE >