science-fiction

Ghost Ship – Season 40, Story 1

DOWNLOAD GHOST SHIP HERE.

A distress call, abruptly cut off, leads the Doctor, Val and Tom to a ship where only a handful of people remain. Ghostly shapes prowl the corridors, picking off the survivors one by one.

Then the TARDIS is taken.

The Doctor is forced to take desperate measures to track down the alien force behind the ghostly apparitions, find out who sent the distress call and explain why six life signs are registering, when only five people are aboard…

You can read more original Doctor Who stories at The Doctor Who Project website!

Ghost Ship Cover (by John Gordon Swogger)

Evolution – Season 39, Story 4

Download Evolution here

While travelling to the Eye of Orion, the Doctor and his companions encounter a powerful telepathic field that tears the TARDIS from the Time Vortex. Crash landing on the planet Satrigon in the year 3450, the Doctor discovers that the primitive species he once knew has become an advanced military civilisation, in just over 200 years.

The Doctor, Val and Tom investigate claims that gods have advanced the species and learn that the population regularly experience psychic communication with these mysterious deities known collectively as The Colony.

When the time travellers begin to experience these events for themselves, the Doctor and his companions become caught in a race against time to find out what is accelerating the evolutionary rate of the Satrigorns—before worlds are destroyed and the lines between reality and illusion are dissolved permanently.

You can read more original Doctor Who stories at The Doctor Who Project website!

Evolution - Titles - Kevin Mullen - MEDIUM

The Companions Collection

Journeying through all of time and space in the TARDIS is an experience like no other. But travelling with the Doctor changes a person, and often comes with a price. Doctor Who fans already know the challenges a companion faces – but what happens outside of the episodes, books and audio plays?

The Companions Collection delves into this void, daring to explore the possibilities that the official series is unlikely to ever confront.


THE COMPANIONS COLLECTION

Parting Clouds (May 2013)

Every evening, an old woman waits for the sky to clear so that she can see the stars and feel a little closer to understanding the sadness in her heart. On this night, however, a mysterious man joins her in her nightly vigil.

Jack and the Doctor (Jan 2014)

Jack has thwarted the invasion of Earth by a species known as the “456” but success has come at a terrible personal cost. Grief-stricken, Jack wanders the world alone, not realising that he is searching for one man.

One Last Adventure (on hold… thanks uni assignments)

The Doctor and Clara hunt an alien creature with the ability to devastate London’s vegetation if left to breed. Tracking the critter to a cemetery in Ealing, the Doctor finds more than he bargained for –  the grave of Sarah Jane Smith.

Silver Leaves (Nov 2014)

Set within the episode “The End of Time”. The Master fights to salvage his plans of world domination from the Time Lords who have returned from Gallifrey to destroy the Time Vortex and end time itself.


More to come!

 

An Alternative Ending

This is an alternative ending to Matt Smith’s last episode The Time of the Doctor. Not for a moment will I claim to be able to write a better ending. However this was a scene that dropped into my head after watching the episode.

A couple of things:

1)  This is a draft. There is passive voice and a probably a fair bit of clunk going on. That’s not important. For me this was an exercise in getting a story out of my head and onto paper as soon as possible.

2)  There may be plot holes. I wrote this without thinking too closely about the wider story or the loose threads that needed tying up.

*******

Enemies the Doctor had faced his entire life converged upon the old house, cornering him. And the Doctor stood in the doorway, defiant to the last. He would buy the townspeople some time. Tell the Daleks something clever. Distract them with his death while the others got away.

The Doctor grimaced. There was nowhere for the residents of Christmas to run.

He stepped out into the falling snow, trying to find a place clear of running people.

“I’m here!” he roared and a Dalek laser tore through him just as he knew it would. It brought him to his knees and his eyes met Clara’s across the field. “Run,” he mouthed, no sound coming out. Only a few had made it onto Trenzalore. Soon the whole Dalek fleet would be upon them.

Clara turned towards the TARDIS but spun back round again, her eyes wide. The Doctor’s own eyes narrowed but Clara wasn’t looking at him. He followed her gaze up towards the crack in the universe that had appeared in the night sky – and through the tear came a flood of regeneration energy.

The Doctor felt his hearts thudding too quickly and he clutched his chest, holding on for the miracle come too late. To regenerate amidst battle meant certain death anyway.

He began to laugh, a painful wheezing. “To hell with the rules hey?” he muttered to the Time Lords who would never hear him. He gasped as the regeneration energy fed into his body.

“The – Doctor – is – regenerating!” a Dalek screamed and the Doctor collapsed, his change beginning.

Clara ran to the Doctor, falling to her knees at his side.

“Clara, you have to get them out of here!”

“I have to get you to the TARDIS,” she said, tugging at his arm. Another laser cut through the air above them.

“No,” the Doctor panted, his hands beginning to glow. “I don’t have time and they just want me. Go. Save them.”

Clara pulled away, twisting around in the snow.

“Help me!” she screamed into the chaos. People ran in all directions. The Doctor grunted, the glow of regeneration spreading throughout his body.

“Help him!” she yelled again and this time the people closest to them stopped, turning to see that it was the Doctor who lay dying in the snow. Three or four dropped to the ground beside him.

Screams and laser beams filled the night but the residents of Christmas slipped their hands beneath the Doctor and hefted him from the ground.

“No – please. No!” the Doctor shouted but the people he had protected for three hundred years pressed on, dragging the old man towards the TARDIS against his will. The Doctor held on, struggling to delay his regeneration. It would kill everyone around him.

“Take them into the TARDIS!” the Doctor begged Clara. “I’ll catch up. I promise.”

Clara ignored him, clutching one of his legs to try and keep it from dragging along the ground.

“Leave me!” the Doctor bellowed.

Another group of townsfolk gathered, standing shoulder to shoulder to create a barrier between the Daleks and the Doctor. The Doctor cried out as they began to fall, one by one, to the weapons of his old enemies. With a scream of rage, the Doctor gave up fighting the townspeople and focused his attention on fighting the monsters. He threw himself to one side and let a flood of regeneration energy blast from one hand, taking out a Dalek.

More townsfolk moved to help, clearing a path before those carrying the Doctor. A contingent of the Order of the Silence joined the fray.

Another Dalek trundled towards a group of fleeing youths and the Doctor let another blast stream out from his other hand.

Lasers ripped through the crowd and the Doctor screamed with them as they fell. Still the people continued on. When one of the townsfolk dropped the Doctor into the snow with their death, another stepped forward to take their place, lifting him once more.

Pain lanced through the Doctor’s body as he fought to control his regeneration.

“Hang on, Doctor,” Clara pleaded and she dropped his leg, running for the TARDIS.

A Dalek appeared from behind the time machine, heading towards Clara. Another blast of energy took it out, the effort wracking the Doctor’s body with agony.

The door opened and to the sound of people falling and dying, the Doctor was deposited onto the floor of the TARDIS. Clara dragged him by his feet towards the console. The silence inside the ship as the door swung shut seemed to mock the slaughter outside.

“Clara…”

Clara looked down at the Doctor, reaching out to touch him but the regeneration glow grew brighter, making her pull back sharply.

“Doctor…” she breathed. “Tell me what to do.”

The Doctor gasped a laugh. “Now you want to listen to me.”

Clara’s watched the Doctor anxiously, eyes glistening.

“You’ve seen me change,” the Doctor continued, his voice tired. “You need to step back.”

Clara shook her head, tears beginning to fall. “No, I mean, what am I going to do without you?”

“To change is to survive, Clara.” The Doctor rolled his head to one side, watching the vision of a grown Amelia Pond coming down the stairs to kneel at his side. “But I never forget,” he continued, shifting his gaze between the two of them. “I’m going to be someone else. But I never forget my friends. And I will never, ever forget when the Doctor was me.”

The glow of his regeneration grew brighter still and Clara pulled back, sobbing.

Regeneration energy burst from the Doctor, changing every cell in his body from the inside out. It coursed through him and he gritted his teeth against the tidal wave that burned away everything that had been him, transforming him into something renewed and undiscovered.

The wave ended abruptly, leaving an entirely different man lying on the floor of the TARDIS. The mysterious man sat bolt upright, boggling wide-eyed at Clara.

“Didn’t I tell you to get everyone into the TARDIS?” he snapped, grey eyebrows drawing down to frame angry eyes. The Doctor struggled to his feet and staggered past a stunned Clara to fling open the door. A shot hit the door beside his head.

“Well come on then!” he shouted into the war raging outside. “What are you all waiting for? Everyone in here. Now!”

First Draft and Self-Sabotage

Hooray to me! My first draft of “Evolution” is now complete!

Of course, as soon as I sent the file off to the editors, I began to feel sick. No, this wasn’t some kind of anxiety-fueled illness. I came down with a cold! Without any word of exaggeration, an hour after I had pressed the “send” button, I started to feel poorly. Then this morning I woke up with a head stuffed with cotton wool, a sore throat and a blocked nose.

Yep. I held off illness until after my deadline.

The last few days have been challenging but overwhelmingly satisfying. I had ironed out the kinks in my story, patched the plot holes, messed around with the dialogue and had only one thing really left to focus on… the confrontation.

I have to admit, I was avoiding that part for as long as I could. Why? Because that’s where I’d have to deliver.

If you write a story, and expect someone to come along for the ride, then you bloody well better deliver when it’s crunch-time. There is nothing worse than investing your emotional energy in a tale only to be let down when it really matters most.

For me, there comes a time in every story when I’m faced with the realisation that I’m on my own. No one knows my story like me. In most cases, no one knows my story at all. So when it comes down to resolving the plot, it’s all on my shoulders. I’m on my own and no one else can help me. No one can fix it. No one can do it for me. It’s just me.

That can be stressful.

But… I did it.

I created a playlist of appropriately epic “final confrontation” music and played it on repeat. I psyched myself up by losing myself in that for a while before pouring it all out on the page.

Okay, so it didn’t quite happen that way. It took hours. Then Facebook tried distracting me. Then David Tennant. Then my kids. Then I needed tea. Toilet. Then David Tennant tried it on again… Really, it wasn’t my fault. I blame the people on my news feed, but I digress…

This is what happens when I try to avoid “delivering”. It’s the ultimate in self-sabotage. And even thought I am aware of my patterns and motivations for them – breaking bad habits is hard. It is therefore extremely satisfying to know that I didn’t let the distractions get the better of me. I fought them at every turn. And I finished my story.

 

The Ever-Shifting Outline

The long weekend break has been a blessing – as has been my husband. He’s looked after the kids, cleaned the house, kept us fed and provided me with copious amounts of tea as I have spent the last four days in self-imposed lock down, writing my story ‘Evolution’ for The Doctor Who Project.

And it’s been fun! And stressful…

So much time is put into creating a solid story outline – but what never fails to amaze me is how I can be running along, writing to my outline when all of a sudden… WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Yep, that’s the sound of me falling down a gaping plot hole.

Science-fiction is funny like that. (When I say ‘sci-fi’ I mean ‘life’ and when I say ‘funny’ I mean ‘fucking annoying’.)

What follows is a mad dash to fix said plot hole. For me this usually involves a shower. I can sit stewing on a problem for hours but it’s not until I’m all soapy that inspiration strikes. Then the answer seems obvious. Until, of course, the plot patch causes other plot problems. The result is an outline that shifts so much that some parts of it barely resemble the original product.

Now I have to admit there is a pretty amazing flip-side to all of this.

Sometimes, when I’m patching, creating new holes and patching again – something wonderful happens.

For some strange and amazing reason, the repaired flaw becomes a spark of genius that never would have materialised had I not had a problem to solve. In this spectacularly fateful way, the “fixes” slot in to bring a whole new layer to the story. And often they relate back to something that happened in the beginning of the story, creating a perfect resolution to tiny sub-plots that may not necessarily have gone anywhere on their own.

Of course I’d like to be able to say “Yeah, I meant that!” but sometimes I can’t help but to wonder whether my muse had more of a hand in that than I did.

Or maybe nothing good comes from anything unless it has had to stand up to rigorous testing and the threat of failure…