Once upon a time, there was a man. No, that's not quite right – there was a brilliant man, called the Doctor.

The one I'm on about, is the Eighth. The Eighth Doctor. The 'young Edwardian version', someone once called him. Brave, passionate, and just plain marvellous. Imagine, just imagine, that the Eighth Doctor had survived the great Time War. Think of that for a moment. Have you thought? Is that image clear in your head? Good. Now imagine, that Rose Tyler, about to be killed by a shop window dummy, meets this Doctor...

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Rose Tyler watched as the dummy raised it's arm. She closed her eyes – surely this was it…

Someone grabbed her hand – she snapped her head to the left, and stared into the bluest eyes she had ever seen.

"Run," the man smiled, and she did.

They ran down the corridor, away from the dummies, who were running just as fast to catch them up. The man was running ahead of her, but kept his hand on hers. They reached the lift, and he stopped, and ran inside, Rose following. As the door closed, a dummy rammed its arm in, trying to reach him. He grabbed the arm, and yanked it off, in one fluid movement. He tossed it to Rose.

"You pulled his arm off," she pointed out.

"Yes, I did, didn't I?" he smiled. "Plastic," he added, as if that explained everything. She looked at it, and saw it was indeed plastic.

"Oh very funny," she said, her voice laced with sarcasm. "Who're they then, students?"

The man looked at her in mild disbelief. It was only then she noticed what he was wearing – full Victoriana, frock coat, cravat, waistcoat, suit trousers in a light shade of grey... his hair was long and curly, and his face was young – but the eyes were so old…

"Why," he asked her, "would they be students?"

"Well," she flustered, rather put out, "I dunno."

"Well, it was your idea," he pointed out. "So tell me – why would these plastic shop window dummies be students?"

"Because," she said, slightly angry at his patronising tone, "to get that many people being stupid and dressing up, they've just gotta be students!"

The man smiled at her – it was a radiant thing as well, full of wisdom and hope. "Very clever, well reasoned, concise point, eight out of ten," he told her, then frowned and said to himself, barely audible (though Rose could hear him) "and when did I start channelling Borusa?"

"Whoever they are," Rose continued, "when Wilson finds them, he's gonna call the Police!"

"Who's Wilson?" the man asked.

"Chief Electrician," she told him. His eyes softened slightly.

"I'm very much afraid that Wilson is dead," he said sadly, then the lift pinged and he went outside. She followed – surely he was joking? But the tone of his voice…

"Hold back, don't look at this," he said, pushing her away from the controls. He held a silver pen-like device up and it emitted a high pitched whirring, and the controls sparked.

"What's that?" Rose asked. He ignored her. "Who're you?" he ignored her. "Well, who are they then?!"

He jogged off, leaving her to follow. As they jogged, he answered her last question.

"They're made of plastic – a rather nasty living variety. It's being controlled by a relay station on the top of this rather charming building, which would be a rather sticky situation if – I didn't have this!" he held up a little ticking clock with a stick of dynamite attached. He looked at it for a moment, then stuffed it in his pocket and took out another one – this time slightly less cartoony. "I'm going up to the very top, and blowing the whole thing to pieces – and I might well be killed in the process, but I wouldn't worry, if I were you, no, you just go home, watch Eastenders and go to bed."

He pointed her out of a back door, then looked very serious for a moment.

"Do not tell anyone you've met me," he said, "or that you saw those dummies. If you do, you'll get yourself killed, and them to."

He shut the door on her, and she turned away. A second later, the door opened again, and she turned around to see him smiling again.

"Oh by the by, I'm the Doctor," he told her. "And you are?"

"Rose," she said.

"Rose…?"

"Tyler."

He grinned at her.

"Lovely to meet you Rose Tyler," he smiled. Then he held up the little bomb. "Now run for your life!"

He slammed the door, and she ran.