A Victorian would have found the Doctor's torch every bit as amazing as her other devices, big and plastic and filling her path with light. She picked a reverse shadow as she made her way back to the TARDIS, a long, thin glow snaking from her to the world beyond.
She sighed when she and Chris arrived back at her ancient machine. There was not yet such thing as a police box out in the world, and by rights the TARDIS should have looked like an omen of something new. But even here in the past it looked weary and ancient, as if its oldness was now something that transcended time.
She looked down at Chris as they got to the TARDIS door, the harsh light of the torch stinging both of their eyes.
“What you saw today,” said the Doctor, “And what I did. Who I was in the past, and what I am now. It’s…”
She looked to the ground.
“...I know I need to be better,” she finished, lamely.
“That's good,” said Chris. “And it was good, what you did. Saving Darwin. I think he thought so too, though I don't know if he said.”
She looked up at the old, blue doors.
”I want to go home now,” she said.
”It’s time,” said the Doctor.
She turned her key in the rusted lock.
There were no shadows as the two of them slipped into the time machine. Shadows need light to cast them, and now there was almost none; curtains were firmly drawn against the thickening night. One of the Doctor’s deepest fears was that one day she’d cast no shadow, that so little good would be left in her there’d be no brightness left to see the shade. If she had voiced this fear to those who knew her they’d have laughed at it, for they’d have seen it for the impossibility it was. But the Doctor would never tell anyone her darkest fears, even as they began to swallow the world.
The night was broken by a scream of unnatural noise as the TARDIS roared into life. Its tiny lamp blared furious and strong, illuminating the forest and the night beyond. Just for a moment, everything became bright…
...before something faded away, and then was gone.