The Great Escape:

Bannerman Road: Present Day

Sarah Jane returned from the market to find the TARDIS in her garden, squashing the delphiniums, and the Doctor regaling Luke and Clyde with a ripping yarn.

"So there I was, in the middle of the Torchwood Institute, fighting for my life against tremendous odds. After a truly titanic struggle and epic chase they finally managed to subdue me," the Doctor said, bouncing up and down in Sarah Jane's living room.

Luke gazed at him with rapt attention. "How did you escape?"

"Oi, I'm coming to that bit," the Doctor said. "Don't want to rush the story."

Clyde asked, "Why did Torchwood want to capture you?"

The Doctor grinned. "I'm Torchwood's greatest enemy. Capturing me's been their number one priority since Queen Victoria was on the throne," he said proudly.

A thought occurred to Sarah Jane. "Doctor," she said, "Torchwood was until Canary Wharf, a huge organization with unlimited resources."

The Doctor nodded.

Sarah Jane continued. "You'd think that given the number of times you've visited Earth in the last 130 years, they should have been able to capture you, but somehow you've managed to elude them all that time."

"Sarah Jane," the Doctor said modestly, "I'm just that good." He turned back to Clyde and Luke. "Now, where was I? Oh yes, I had just been captured by a legion of Torchwood's best, and after a lengthy interrogation . . . "

Torchwood HQ: 1913

Two Torchwood operatives, William and Andrew shoved the Doctor into a cell and shut the door, cutting the Time Lord off in mid-babble, and joined their leader, Gerald in the main conference room.

"What a stroke of luck," Gerald said. "After all these years of searching for the mysterious Doctor, only to have him land his box thingie in the middle of our HQ. Somewhat of an anticlimax though."

"What do you mean?" Mary Ann, another operative, said.

"I rather expected the chap to put up a struggle. Not say "Oops, the TARDIS must have made a mistake, well I'll just be off now if it's all the same to you," then immediately raise his hands in surrender when he saw Andrew and William," Gerald said. "It didn't seem quite sporting somehow."

William nodded. "Not much of a fighter, is he?"

"No," Gerald agreed. "More of a babbler, actually. Honestly, I wonder why the dear Queen believed he was such a threat. The only danger the Doctor seems to pose is that of talking his enemies to death."

"Good thing those cells are soundproofed," Andrew said. "Otherwise, we'd have to gag him."

"Quite," William said. "Amazing how many words he can pump out without pausing for breath."

Gerald went to the supply cupboard, removed a bottle of champagne and four glasses. After pouring everyone a glass, he said, "Our mission is complete. We have fulfilled our duty to King and country."

"What will happen to Torchwood now?" Andrew said.

"What the devil do you mean?" Gerald snapped.

"Well sir, capturing the Doctor was the reason Torchwood was created, so now that we finally achieved our goal, won't we have to cease operations?" Andrew replied.

A frown creased Gerald's brow. "H'm, I never thought of that. You're correct. Now that the Doctor is in our custody, the entire raison d'ĂȘtre of our organization is to put it in vulgar terms, kaput." A horrid thought occurred to him. "I'm afraid this means we'll have to cease operations," he said.

As the implications of Gerald's statement sank in, an uncomfortable silence settled on the room.

"No more Torchwood! This means we'll have to get . . . real jobs!", Andrew cried.

"I'll have to go back to working in a shop!" Mary Ann wailed.

"I don't want to be a farmer!" William said, appalled at the prospect of swilling hog troughs.

Gerald rose to the occasion. "Steady on, chaps, and Miss, keep a stiff upper lip. Be British", he said. "I'll think of something."

Quickly formulating a strategy, Gerald said "William, move the blue box to the corridor right outside of the cells, and place the chap's belongings on the table next to his conveyance. Better put the key on top so he can't fail to find it. Andrew, bring the prisoner some food on a tray as a pretext; as soon as you enter the cell William will create a diversion to give you an excuse to rush out, leaving the door unlocked."

"Yes sir," his colleagues said, relieved at the prospect of keeping their lucrative jobs.

Springing into action, they promptly put Gerald's plan into action. Within the hour the Doctor, taking advantage of the confusion, crept out of the unlocked cell, grabbed the TARDIS key from the convenient table, and swiftly made his escape. Oh I am clever, he thought, how many humans, let alone time lords, could have pulled off such a daring escape.

As the sounds of the TARDIS faded away, the assembled Torchwood staff breathed a collective sigh of relief. A relief which was short-lived.

"But, what if he comes back," Mary Ann said. "What will we do then?"

William paled. "Never speak of such a prospect," he said. "Never!"

"But sir, capturing the Doctor has been Torchwood's official policy for 34 years," Andrew protested.

Gerald smiled. "The official policy will remain in force. Unofficially, however," Gerald shrugged. "Unofficially our new policy will be somewhat more, shall we say, lenient towards the Doctor."

"Lenient, how?" Andrew, always a little slow on the uptake said.

"Lenient as in from now on we leave the Doctor strictly alone," Gerald said.

"Hear, hear," "Sounds like a plan," "Works for me," his colleagues said.

Gerald raised his champagne glass in a toast, "Here's to the Doctor, may Torchwood never catch him."

Bannerman Road: Present day

"And that's the amazing story of how I escaped from Torchwood in 1913," the Doctor concluded.