Doctor Who: The Lost Stories
'THE DOOMSDAY CONTRACT'
featuring the Doctor and Leela,
as played by Tom Baker and Louise Jameson
based on a story by John Lloyd
Author's Note: This story has been inspired by The Lost Stories, a series from Big Finish Productions, which remakes scripts originally intended for television that were never made as audioplays starring classic Doctors and companions.
The idea for this story, then, absolutely isn't mine. It is based on 'The Doomsday Contract', originally written by John Lloyd and commissioned for the sixteenth season of the classic series. Unfortunately, it was never made. I have gathered information about the story from various sources, including The Hidden Planet and A Brief History of Time (Travel) websites. I have not seen a full script, and where I differ from the source material, I will make a note about why.
It was intended to feature the Doctor travelling with Romana and K-9, but I wanted to write a story featuring Leela, my favourite classic series companion, so I have set it earlier in the Doctor's timeline. As always, please let me know what you think!
Historian's Note: This story takes place immediately after 'The Robots of Death', shortly after Leela first joined the Doctor in his travels.
"Doctor," Leela of the Sevateem said as she exited TARDIS onto the pink sand of the Cimmerian II beach.
The tall blue box, which from the outside appeared to be made of wood, concrete and glass, had landed alongside a row of a dozen changing sheds, which lined the upper reaches of the broad expanse of sand that separated the boardwalk from the purple-hued ocean. The Doctor had stretched his long body out on a deck chair nearby and, despite the sweltering heat produced by the planet's three suns, still wore his longcoat. His customary mile-long, colourful scarf was draped liberally about his broad shoulders and his hat perched jauntily on his curly hair.
Recognising the questioning tone in his inquisitive companion's voice, the Doctor looked up from the book he was reading and smiled his tooth grin. "Yes, Leela?"
"I do not like holidays," she announced, crossing her arms and looking for all the world like she was pouting.
The Doctor, for his part, looked put out. "Why ever not?"
"Because," she said firmly. At the Doctor's expectant expression, she went on. "There is nothing to do. Nothing to learn. I am bored."
"Ah!" the Doctor said, folding over the corner of the page he was on to mark his place and tucking the book, a small, grubby and well-loved paperback edition of Bridget Jones' Diary, into one of the pockets on his coat. "I see. Well, Leela, I do believe you'll find many things to do here. Swimming, for instance. Windsurfing. I think there's a deck of cards on the TARDIS."
Leela sunk onto the deck chair next him, looking thoroughly unimpressed. "You wouldn't even let me bring my knife."
"No," the Doctor agreed, "it's bad form to come on holiday bearing weapons, wouldn't you say?"
"I wouldn't," Leela countered.
Leela was a tall, thin young woman, with big brown eyes, long brown hair and a finely muscled, wiry body. At the Doctor's insistence, she had traded in her customary fur and leather garments for a coloured sarong tied around her midsection and left to flow. Ordinarily, she carried a wickedly sharp knife with her and a pouch or two of janis thorns, the toxin of which would paralyse a victim before rapidly killing him or her. Now, though, she was unarmed and it annoyed her.
"I know you wouldn't, but you've yet to master even the rudimentary forms of civilised debate," the Doctor answered, already tiring of the conversation and retrieving his book, thumbing through to the page he'd dog-eared. "Not everything can be solved with a dagger and janis thorns."
"Most things can be," she said, before continuing her complaints unabated. "And this clothing is ridiculous. One cannot run in this!"
"You don't need to run," the Doctor said. "You're on holiday."
"I do not want to be," she said grumpily.
Sighing, the Doctor put his book down again. "You'll never be happy, will you?"
"I am happy often," Leela said. "I am happy when I am doing something, Doctor."
Holding the book out towards her, the Doctor said "Then read this."
"I cannot read," Leela said, blinking. "You know that."
Sighing theatrically, the Doctor threw up his hands and cried "I don't understand! Didn't they have schools where you were dragged up?"
"I was not dragged up. I grew up. And you know perfectly well that there were no schools there," Leela argued. "The Sevateem learn by doing. I did."
"And now you don't," the Doctor said, indicating the beach. Despite the fine day, there were very few tourists around. The Doctor had chosen a small, relatively out of the way resort on the northern peninsula, far from the more tourist-heavy regions of the planet. "That is the point of a holiday. One gets to relax, Leela. Are you familiar with relaxation?"
"You have introduced me to the word," Leela said, sighing. "I did not get along with it."
The Doctor grinned at her unexpected pun. "That was very clever, Leela."
"Yes," she said, her tone indicating that she had already surmised that. "You never said why we came here, though Doctor."
"Yes I did."
"You did not!" Leela insisted. "You said that we were coming to..."
"Cimmerian Two," the Doctor supplied as she trailed off, unable to remember the name of the planet they'd arrived on.
"You did not say why we were coming to Kimeerion Two," she said, mispronouncing the name of the planet. The Doctor swore she sometimes did that on purpose.
"Perhaps I didn't," the Doctor amended. "But isn't a holiday reason enough?"
"When we left Storm Mine Four, you said you were going to teach me things," she said. "You said that you have lived seven hundred and fifty years, which I still do not believe, and that you had learned some things and that you would teach them to me. You said you would teach me about helium. You also called me a mouse, which I still do not understand."
"Yes," the Doctor agreed. "I did say all of that."
"And then I went to sleep on the TARDIS and when I woke up you said we had landed here," Leela finished.
"You have excellent powers of recall, Leela," the Doctor said.
"Yes," she answered.
"When one is paid a compliment," the Doctor said, bristling, "it is good form to thank the person that has complimented one."
"It is not a compliment, it is a fact."
"Yes," the Doctor repeated. "But do you see, Leela, I just taught you something! You now know that when is paid a compliment, one thanks the complimenter."
"When I am paid a compliment, I will thank the person who complimented me," Leela said, "but only if he does not deserve to be stuck with my knife."
The Doctor did not miss the thinly veiled threat. He smiled slyly at his new companion. "Am I annoying you, Leela?"
"Yes," she said bluntly.
The Doctor's grin, brilliant and toothy, grew wider and wider until Leela was worried his face might disappear into it altogether. She simply glared at him. "None of this is amusing to me, Doctor."
"I know," he said, nodding, "which makes it very amusing to me."
Leela stood, standing up so quickly she nearly knocked her deck chair over and beginning to stalk towards the TARDIS. The Doctor realised that perhaps he'd teased her too much. She was volatile, yes, but shockingly intelligent in spite of how primitive her upbringing had been and the Doctor had to admit he enjoyed her company.
"Leela!" he called, injecting authority into his tone.
She turned, halfway between where they had been sitting and the TARDIS but did not say anything.
"I will teach you something," he said, "but come and sit back down. People are staring."
Sure enough, a nearby knot of tourists, all of them with green skin and strange, membranous hair, were peering at them from the enormous towel they were sitting on. The Doctor waved to them, but not one of them could tear any his or her six eyes away from the unlikely pair.
"They are not staring at me," Leela was sure. "They are staring at you. You are the one shouting and wearing unusual clothes."
"Me? Wearing unusual clothes? I will have you know that this is the very height of fashion. The very essence of style!" the Doctor protested, but he stole another look at their watchers. Sure enough, they barely seemed to acknowledge Leela's existence. "I suppose they are. Now, come and sit down and I will teach you about... the Spondilas Chamber!"
"There is no such thing," Leela said, but the Doctor could tell she was no longer angry. Indeed, she seemed intrigued.
"And how would you know?" the Doctor asked.
"Because it sounds ridiculous. It sounds like words you just made up." she answered. Still, she walked back over and put herself down on the same deck chair.
"A thing can be ridiculous or made up and still be real," the Doctor said, but he waved one hand to dismiss the argument. "Ah, well, that is all besides the point. The Spondilas Chamber is a wonderful spot of technology. Absolute stroke of genius, you see. It uses theta waves to break an object down to its component atoms, then reassemble it any way the operator sees fit."
Leela gave him a blank, baleful stare. "I do not understand."
The Doctor sighed. "You see, Leela, everything, including you and me, is made up of atoms. These form the basic building blocks of matter."
Leela seemed impressed and rapped her knuckles on the deck chair. "Is this made of atoms?"
"Of course," the Doctor said.
"Then why can't I see them?"
"Because they are very, very, very, very, very small," the Doctor said, his voice falling with each repetition of the word "very" until it was a whisper scarcely audible over the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.
"Are there many of these things?" Leela said, matching his whisper as though worried the atoms might here her.
"Oh, more than can be imagined," the Doctor said. "Why are we whispering?"
Leela looked stung. "I was whispering because you were whispering."
"Ah, yes," the Doctor said, "well here's another lesson for you. Do as I say, not as I do."
"That is a stupid lesson," she shot back, her ire rising again.
"Most of them are," the Doctor agreed. "Now, you see, getting back to the Spondilas Chamber, I have been following a rather interesting case at the intergalactic court."
"What did they catch?" Leela asked.
"No, no, a court," the Doctor clarified. "Like the tribunal that exiled you from your tribe."
"Oh," Leela said, suddenly looking defensive. "And what is this tribunal doing?"
"Ah," the Doctor said, tapping his beak-like nose with one long finger, "that's just it, you see. They're not doing anything. I was watching the proceedings on my Time-Space Visualiser while you were sleeping and it seems they've decided to call me to the stand." Before Leela could ask the inevitable question, the Doctor added: "They want me to stand in front of the tribunal and give them information."
"About the Spondilas Chamber, of course," the Doctor said, thowing back his head in exasperation. "Really, Leela, for someone so clever you can be very obtuse."
The Doctor shot her a look. "That was not a compliment."
"It sounded like one," Leela argued. "You called me clever."
"I also called you obtuse."
"I do not know what that means."
"It means I deserve to be stuck with your knife," the Doctor supplied for her. Before she could protest any further, he went on. "They want me to testify because I am what is called an expert witness."
"What are you an expert on?" Leela asked, forgetting the Doctor's earlier slight.
"Oh, just about everything," the Doctor answered off-handedly. "I just didn't at all feel like sitting in a hot, stuffy court room and saying things everyone already knows when I could come here to the beach and have a holiday."
"Testifying sounds better than a holiday," Leela said, and the Doctor thought she sounded a little sly.
"What makes you say that?" the Doctor asked, arching an eyebrow.
"I do not like holidays," she said with a shrug.
"Yes, well, we're on one now."
With that, the Doctor seemed to decide that enough was enough. He returned to his reading. Someone else, however, had other plans. Wearing a leather wristband and a dressed all in black, a tall, handsome blond man seemed to appear out of nowhere with a sound like a whipcrack and a flash of arcing electricity.
Leela's reflexes took over. She was on her feet in a moment. Her hand groped for where her knife should have been.
The Doctor seemed completely unfazed.
Indeed, all he did was sigh. His shoulders sagged noticeably. "Sit down, Leela. He's here for me,"
"He will have to get through me," Leela insisted, sizing up and interposing herself between the interloper and her friend.
"That will not be a problem, madam," he said, with a broad American accent. Looking over the slim woman's shoulder, he said to the Doctor. "Are you the Time Lord known as the Doctor? Late of the planet Gallifrey?"
Heaving another sigh, the Doctor stood and walked over to the newcomer. Putting his hand on Leela's shoulder, he nudged her gently aside. She resisted until he fixed her with a quick look. Stepping away, Leela nevertheless fixed the other man with a hard, withering glare.
"I am Time Lord Doctor, late of planet Gallifrey," the Doctor confirmed. "And you are?"
"Damon Hilop, bailiff of the Intergalactic Court and operative of the Time Agency," he answered, his tone every bit as grandiose and over the top as his title. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, flat disc that he handed to the Doctor. "You've been served."
Author's Note: In the original story, the Doctor was reminded about needing to testify before the court by K-9 but since this iteration of the story is set before K-9 joined the crew, I decided to introduce a bailiff character to serve the Doctor's court summons. And yes, he is a member of the same Time Agency as Jack Harkness.