It's not the kind of snow Charley's used to — not cold and wet, or even the rarer, more powdery sort. The snowflakes here are writ large: visibly star-shaped in infinite patterns, and shimmering as they fall softly around her. They are real, though. She's tested that by sticking out her tongue and feeling the tingle of ice as they land on the tip of it.
“What is this?” asks the Doctor, catching her in the act. “Scientific analysis, yes? What's your conclusion?”
Charley laughs. "None, really. I still don't understand how it works, Doctor.”
“Ah,” he says, with the beginnings of a dangerous enthusiasm. "You see, they don't have snow here, but they found they had a demand for it — and the laws of supply and demand work everywhere. Well, nearly everywhere — did I tell you about Delarus 3?”
“The snow, Doctor!”
“Well, you know how it is — you humans get everywhere, and then there’s always the odd Ankarian missing their eternal winter, or Solarian in search of a novelty. So, someone here researched the phenomenon. And then naturally they had to go that bit bigger and better than the real thing. In the normal way of things, I'd say they were as ostentatious as ever, but this . . . it's pretty, isn't it?”
“It's like a fairy tale,” says Charley, and hugs his arm. She’s wrapped up in a thick coat, a green scarf and red gloves — the TARDIS wardrobe won’t always match things — and, just to top it off, an eighteenth century tricorn hat (why not?) while he’s merrily walking along in his usual green velvet jacket. It catches the unreal snowflakes particularly effectively, before they melt against the fabric. Charley’s a little relieved to see that they do, leaving reassuringly normal damp spots behind.
The preliminaries out of the way, she looks up at him again, and says, “So, now tell me — what terrible danger is threatening this winter wonderland?”
“Charley, whatever gives you the idea that there might be trouble here?”
“Precedence,” she says. “We’re here, aren’t we? That usually means an army of hostile aliens is about to invade, or a government’s ready to topple, or something awful and unnamed is waking beneath the earth.”
“I do feel that’s something of an exaggeration, Miss Pollard.”
She laughs. “It isn’t, and you know it! Besides, nowhere’s safe, is it? And an Edwardian Adventuress —”
“Must have adventures?”
“Exactly. So come on. What is it this time?”
The Doctor coughs. “Charley, Charley, I’m shocked at your cynicism. Honestly, this is exactly what it seems — an innocent wintry paradise on a perfectly civilised if somewhat over-commercialised planet. I thought it sounded nice for a change.”
“Oh, is that all?”
“Cross my heart and hope to die.”
“Hmm,” she says, and eyes him darkly, before turning back to blow snowflakes away from her face. Unlike Earth’s equivalent, they flutter about like white butterflies if she puffs at them hard enough. The next thing, she decides, is to see if one can make snowballs out of them, and, yes — it’s a little odd in the texture, but she manages a quite acceptable missile for the purposes of throwing at the Doctor’s neck when he’s not looking.
She gives him a mischievous smile. “Well, if there are no adventures here,” she says, rising on tip-toe to kiss him, her gloved hands gripping his sleeves, “I’ll simply have to make my own, shan’t I?”