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(On a spaceship, the Doctor is making a phone call to the Tardis.)

DOCTOR [OC]: Amy. Amy? Hello? Amy, it's me, the Doctor. Hello. Bit of a situation.

COMPUTER: Intruder alert.

DOCTOR: I've got my finger on a button, which is fine, but as soon as I take my finger off the button the spaceship is going to explode. (Sparks.)

DOCTOR: Argh. Which is good in one way, because the spaceship in question is about to attack the Earth, but bad in another way, because I'm on the spaceship and I'm going to get all smithereened. Now, plan. I'm going to send you the coordinates so you can fly the Tardis here and rescue me. Only three flaws in this plan as far as I can see. One, I don't have the coordinates. Two, you can't fly the Tardis. Three, oh dear, you're not even there. You left ages ago. Oh, well. I think I just wanted a chat before all the smithereens. Merry Christmas, Amelia.

(He closes his eyes and releases the red button. The spaceship starts to go KaBOOM!)

[Earth orbit]

(Cannons of mass destruction protrude from the flanks of an impossibly long spaceship.)

ALIEN [OC]: People of Earth, you stand alone.

(Boom. Parts of the spaceship explode and it starts to fall apart.)

COMPUTER [OC]: Intruder alert. Intruder alert.


COMPUTER [OC]: Intruder alert.

(The Doctor runs along a disintegrating corridor. He sonics his way into the spacesuit storage area by an airlock, then an explosion blows half of it away. He is hanging on to the end of a frayed cable.)

DOCTOR: Ah! Come here, spacesuit. Come to Doctor.

(Another explosion blows him and the suit into space.)

[Earth orbit]

(The Doctor catches up with the suit just before the atmosphere.)

DOCTOR: Got it!

[Country lane]

(It is the late 1930s. A woman is bicycling along when she hears an Argh! and a Whumph! as something hits the ground at speed. She falls off her bicycle into a hedge, then goes to investigate the crater in the field nearby. It contains an occupied spacesuit.)

MADGE: Hello? Hello? Hello, are you all right?


MADGE: Are you hurt? Did you fall? Where did you fall from?

DOCTOR: Helmet.

MADGE: All right, just just let me. I don't want to hurt you.

(She raises the solid protective visor, then the transparent one, to reveal a lot of hair.)


DOCTOR: I can't see. I'm blind!

MADGE: Oh no, love, no. I think you've just got your helmet on backwards. How did you manage that?

DOCTOR: I got dressed in a hurry.

[Living room]

(A bespectacled young boy in pajamas is looking through a telescope.)

MADGE: Cyril, what are you doing awake?

(His older sister is also in her night clothes.)

LILY: It's the moon's fault, apparently. It's too interesting.

CYRIL: It's astronomy.

LILY: Don't make up words. He's always making up things and breathing.

MADGE: Where's your father?

CYRIL: In the garden.

MADGE: What's he doing in the garden?

CYRIL: Agriculture.

LILY: You're not fooling anyone.

MADGE: Listen, Cyril. Tell him that I've borrowed Mister Goldsmith's car. That I found a spaceman in a field, possibly an angel, but he's injured and I can't get his helmet off, so I'm having to take him into town to find a police telephone box, all right?

CYRIL: All right.

MADGE: Good boy.

(Madge leaves.)

REG: Was that your mother? Where's she going?



(There is a police box by the green. Madge stops the car by gently running into a wooden bollard.)

DOCTOR: Ow! Did we just bump into something?

MADGE: No, no.

DOCTOR: We seemed to bump into quite a lot of things.

MADGE: Well, a lot of things get in the way. It's hardly my fault. You need to take that silly thing off.

DOCTOR: Can't. Impact suit. It's still repairing me.

MADGE: Repairing you?

(She helps him out of the car.)

DOCTOR: Yeah, well, you know, that's the idea.

MADGE: Won't it repair you all back to front?


MADGE: Well, that's good. Oh, that's a street lamp.

DOCTOR: Yes, I got that impression.

MADGE: Round this way. Don't you want me to take you to hospital or something? You're welcome to come to our house.

DOCTOR: No, no, no. I'm fine. I just need to find the, er, the key.

MADGE: Do you want me to do it with a pin? I'm good with a pin.

(She takes out a hair grip.)

DOCTOR: Multi-dimensional, triple encoded temporal interface. Not really susceptible to pointy things.

MADGE: Got it.

DOCTOR: Okay. Suddenly the last nine hundred years of time travel seem that bit less secure. Thank you for taking care of me. You didn't have to, you know. You've been very kind.

MADGE: Oh, don't be silly. It's Christmas Eve. No one should be alone at Christmas.

DOCTOR: What did you say your name was?

MADGE: Madge. Madge Arwell.

DOCTOR: If thre's anything that I can do for you, let me know.


DOCTOR: I don't know. Make a wish. That usually works.

MADGE: Does it?

DOCTOR: It did for me. You're here, aren't you? Well, don't wait around here. Just off you go home. I'll just go and, and wait inside here.

(He goes inside the police telephone box.)

DOCTOR: Ow! Wrong one. Do you think we could try again?

[Living room]

(Reg is reading his newspaper, the News Chronicle. The head line is War Looms. Madge enters.)

REG: You were a long time. Been taking home strays as usual?

MADGE: Just the one. What have you been reading? Not the war again. People keep reading about the war, then it will actually happen. And then where will you be?


(Three years later, in the RAF, that's where, flying a damaged plane. Probably a Stirling, as the Lancaster didn't come in until 1942.)

CO-PILOT: Sir, Anderson's in a bad way. Where are we?

REG: I don't know. Somewhere over the Channel.

CO-PILOT: What do I tell Anderson?

REG: Tell him, tell him, tell him we're going home for Christmas.

CO-PILOT: Yes, sir.

REG: I'm sorry, my love.

[Living room]

(Madge wakes up and sees the dreaded telegram on her bedside table. Regret to inform you etc night of 20th Dec Deepest Sympathy. Later, after dinner but before the big jelly is attacked for pudding.)

CYRIL: When's Father coming back?

LILY: For Christmas, like he always does. Now, hurry up and think of something.

CYRIL: But we're going to Uncle Digby's house. Will he be there?

LILY: He will, won't he, mother? Daddy will be there.

MADGE: Of course he will.

LILY: See? Now, have you thought of anything?

CYRIL: Er, yep.

LILY: Count of three, then. Make a wish. One, two, three!

(As her children pull the wishbone, Madge makes a wish.)

[Outside Uncle Digby's house]

(Christmas Eve outside a massive old house. Probably a Victorian rebuild of something much older.)

CYRIL: Is it haunted?

LILY: Is it draughty?

MADGE: Oh, this is no good. Where's Mister Cardew? He was supposed to be here.

(Madge goes to knock on the door.)

CYRIL: Maybe it's haunted by the ghost of Uncle Digby.

LILY: Uncle Digby is still alive. He's in a home in Battersea.

MADGE: Mister Cardew!

CYRIL: But why do we have to come here?

LILY: Because of the bombing, stupid.

CYRIL: I like the bombing. It's exciting.

LILY: Will Father be here? Well, he will, won't he? You said he'd meet us at the house.

MADGE: He'll be here. Of course he will. You don't need to keep asking about it.

(Someone unbolts the door from the inside.)

LILY + CYRIL: Father!

DOCTOR [OC]: Sorry, it's the door. It's developed a fault.

MADGE: Oh, hello? Mister Cardew?

(One of the double doors is pulled off its hinges.)

DOCTOR: There we go. Well, come in. In you come.

[Entrance hall]

(Marble floor, lovely staircase up, some dustsheets.)

DOCTOR: Mind your step. Now, don't worry. The back door is still, broadly speaking, operational.

(The Doctor puts the door back in its hole.)

DOCTOR: Right then, may I take your cases?

MADGE: Thank you.

LILY: Thank you.

CYRIL: Thank you.

DOCTOR: Lovely. Would you mind carrying them for me? I need to show you round.

MADGE Oh no, wait!

(The Doctor runs up the stairs.)

MADGE: Who are you?

DOCTOR: I'm the caretaker.

MADGE: But you're not Mister Cardew.

DOCTOR: I agree.

MADGE: I don't understand. Are you the new caretaker?

DOCTOR: Usually called the Doctor. Or the Caretaker or Get Off This Planet. Though, strictly speaking, that probably isn't a name. Hello, Madge Arwell.

MADGE: Hello.

DOCTOR: And Cyril Arwell. And Lily Arwell. Now, come on, come on. Lots to see. Whistle stop tour. Take notes, there will be questions.

[Small sitting room]

DOCTOR: Smaller sitting room. Just chairs. Bit pointless without a television, so I made some repairs.

(He presses a button by the door and the easy chairs move around on their own.)

DOCTOR: I know.


DOCTOR: Kitchen! That's a cooker, probably. And these are taps. Hot, cold, lemonade.

CYRIL: Lemonade?

DOCTOR: I know!


DOCTOR: Staircase. It seems to have broken down. We'll have to walk up.


DOCTOR: I sleep up there. Stay away. Beware of panthers.

LILY: Panthers?

DOCTOR: They're terrifying. Have you never seen panthers? Cyril!

[Madge's bedroom]

(With a huge canopy over the bed.)

DOCTOR: Mum's bedroom. Grown up. Your basic boring.

[Children's room]

(More toys than you can play with in a month.)

DOCTOR: Lily and Cyril's room. I'm going to be honest, masterpiece. The ultimate bedroom. A sciencey wiencey workbench. A jungle. A maze. A window disguised as a mirror. A mirror disguised as a window. Selection of torches for midnight feasts and secret reading. Zen garden, mysterious cupboard, zone of tranquillity, rubber wall, dream tank, exact model of the rest of the house, not quite to scale. Apologies. Dolls with comical expressions, the Magna Carta, a foot spa, Cluedo, a yellow fort.

CYRIL: Where are the beds?

DOCTOR: Well, I couldn't fit everything in. There had to be sacrifices. Anyway, who needs beds when you've got

(He pulls a lever and down from the ceiling come - )

DOCTOR: Hammocks! I know.

CYRIL: But how do you get on?

DOCTOR: Watch and learn, kid.

(The Doctor takes a run, jumps, and falls right between the two hammocks.)

MADGE: For God's sake!

DOCTOR: This hammock has developed a fault.

MADGE: Can you please stop talking? Can you please just stop!

DOCTOR: Sorry.

MADGE: Children, go downstairs.

LILY: Why?

CYRIL: Are we leaving?

MADGE: Yes. No. I don't know. Just please go downstairs!

LILY: You don't need to shout.

(Lily and Cyril leave.)

MADGE: Why are you doing all this?

DOCTOR: I'm just trying to take care of things. I'm the caretaker.

MADGE: That's not what caretakers do.

DOCTOR: Then why are they called caretakers?

MADGE: Their father's dead.

DOCTOR: I'm sorry.

MADGE: Lily and Cyril's father, my husband, is dead and they don't know yet, because if I tell them now, then Christmas will always be what took their father away from them, and no one should have to live like that. Of course, when the Christmas period is over, I shall. I don't know why I keep shouting at them.

DOCTOR: Because very time you see them happy, you remember how sad they're going to be, and it breaks your heart.

LILY [OC]: Mother, come and see!

CYRIL: Mother! You've got to see this!

DOCTOR: Because what's the point in them being happy now if they're going to be sad later.

CYRIL [OC]: Mother.

LILY [OC]: Mother, are you coming?

DOCTOR: The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later. Now, we'd better get downstairs. I think they may have found the main sitting room.

CYRIL [OC]: Mother!

DOCTOR: I repaired it.

[Main sitting room]

(A massive Christmas tree with rotating aeroplane section and lots of other cool stuff.)

DOCTOR: I know.

(And a very large box.)

CYRIL: Look at that present. It's for me.

LILY: No, it says it's for all of us.

CYRIL: I'm the youngest. I get to open it first.

LILY: Doesn't say who it's from. Mother, who left this here?

(The Doctor disappears.)

MADGE: That man is quite ridiculous. You must stay away from him.

LILY: I like him.

CYRIL: I like him, too.

LILY: And it's a nice tree, isn't it.

CYRIL: It's the best tree in the world.

MADGE: Yes. Yes, I suppose it is.

CYRIL: Say it, Mother. Go on, please. Say the thing you always say.

MADGE: This Christmas is going to be the best Christmas ever.

(Cyril looks round his mother and sees the Present glowing. It seems to be whispering, too.)

[Children's room]

(Night time. Lily and Cyril are in their hammocks.)

CYRIL: Lily? Lily, can you sleep? Lily!

LILY: Shut up.

CYRIL: What do you think that present is? We could just sneak down and have a look.

LILY: Go to sleep.

(He does. Madge is lying awake clutching the telegram when Lily sneaks out of the room. She hears noises and sees lights from the Doctor's wing of the house and goes to investigate. Then Cyril comes out of the room with a torch.)


(The Tardis fits neatly under the eaves. Moonlight is coming in through a heart-shaped hole in the roof and the Doctor is working on a gizmo.)

LILY: You were lying about the panthers.

DOCTOR: Famous last words.

LILY: Why have you got a phone box in your room?

DOCTOR: It's not a phone box, it's my wardrobe. I've just painted it to look like a phone box.

LILY: Well, what are you doing?

DOCTOR: Rewiring.

LILY: Why would you rewire a wardrobe?

DOCTOR: Have you seen the way I dress?

LILY: Who are you? Really, who are you?

(A small alarm beeps.)

DOCTOR: Your brother, where is he?

(Cyril is downstairs, untying the big present. He opens the box and light streams out, along with some snowflakes. He crawls inside and looks out on a snow covered forest. The box is suspended off the ground. He backs out into the main sitting room as Lily looks into their room.)

LILY: Still in bed, asleep.

DOCTOR: Okay. Faulty, then.

(Cyril summons up his courage and goes into what is definitely Not Narnia because he didn't get there through the back of a wardrobe. A nearby tree grows some big glass baubles. He picks one, and it gets bigger in his hand. He drops it and it grows again, then begins to crack. Cyril runs back through the box. The Doctor's alarm beeps again.)

DOCTOR: You're sure he's still in bed?

(Cyril returns to his winter wonderland. Whatever was in the bauble has hatched and gone, leaving tracks.)

[Children's room]

LILY: See?

DOCTOR: Shush.

(The Doctor whips the cover off Cyril's hammock.)

DOCTOR: Oh, he's good. The old bear and duvet, eh? Classic.

[Main sitting room]

(They arrive just in time to see Cyril's hand grab his torch and disappear inside the box.)

DOCTOR: Cyril!

LILY: What's happening? I don't

(The Doctor dives into the box.)

LILY: What is that?

DOCTOR: With me. Quickly, come on.

[Not Narnia]

(The Doctor helps Lily out the other side.)

DOCTOR: That's it. In you come. Brr, bit cold. Never mind. Cyril! Cyril!

(He finds the hatched bauble.)

LILY: Where are we?

DOCTOR: In a forest, in a box, in a sitting room. Pay attention. He's about twenty minutes ahead.

LILY: But we just saw him.

DOCTOR: Time moves differently across the dimensional planes. What do they teach you in schools these days?

LILY: But I don't understand where we are.

DOCTOR: We've gone through a dimensional portal thingy.

LILY: Well, what's that supposed to be? Where did it come from?

DOCTOR: It was a present, and it wasn't supposed to be opened till Christmas Day. Honestly, who opens their Christmas presents early? Okay. Shut up. Everyone.

(The forest whispers.

Further ahead, the tracks Cyril is following are getting larger and larger.)

LILY: I don't understand. Is this place real, or is it fairyland?

DOCTOR: Fairyland? Oh, grow up, Lily. Fairyland looks completely different. Now, these are Cyril's footprints, and these are the ones he was following. Notice anything?

LILY: The other footprints are getting bigger.

DOCTOR: Yes. Whatever your brother's following, it's growing.

LILY: Well, we have to get after him.

(Lily runs forward, brushing against a tree and knocking some of its snow off. It grows baubles.)

DOCTOR: It's okay, you're fine. Don't worry.

LILY: Is that tree alive?

DOCTOR: Of course it's alive. It's a tree.

LILY: But is it dangerous?

DOCTOR: Every rose has its thorns.

LILY: They're like Christmas tree decorations.

DOCTOR: Yeah. Naturally occurring Christmas trees. How cool is that?

LILY: I don't understand.

DOCTOR: It's a big universe. Everything happens somewhere. Call it a coincidence. Call it an idea echoing among the stars. Personally, I call it a brilliant idea for a Christmas trip. Or it should've been. Do you know the difference between wind and trees talking to each other?

LILY: What?

DOCTOR: No wind. I've been here many times, but I've never heard the trees so active. Something's wrong. What are you doing? What are you up to?

(The Doctor looks at a bauble and his reflection turns into the image of a wooden man.)

DOCTOR: I'm sorry, Lily, I really am, but there is something very wrong in this forest, and your brother's right in the middle of it.

[Main sitting room]

MADGE: Lily and Cyril Arwell, where are you?

(Madge investigates the open box.)

[Not Narnia]

(Cyril has arrived at steps up to a door in a stone tower with a glass dome roof.

Madge has put on a coat, got a torch and followed her children through the box.

Cyril goes inside the tower and closes the door behind him. There are no floors, just a staircase around the walls, and he can see all the way to the top. There is also a wooden King sitting on a throne. Cyril starts to walk up the stairs. The wooden King blinks and turns his head.)

LILY: Why would you bring us to this place?

DOCTOR: It was supposed to be a treat. This is one of the safest planets I know. There's never anything dangerous here.

(The ground shakes.)

DOCTOR: There are sentences I should just keep away from.

(Cyril looks out of a window to see a search light sweeping the forest.

Whatever is making the ground shake is close to Madge. The metal foot of something stomps down, knocking her over.)

DROXIL [OC]: This tree farm is private property. You are trespassing.

(Armed and armoured figures come out of the foot. One of the soiled yellow Stormtroopers scans her.)

VEN GARR: Unarmed, sir.

DROXIL: What the hell are you doing here?

VEN GARR: No, wait, armed! No, unarmed. Sorry, sir. She's wearing wool, sir. The natural fabrics, they interfere with the

DROXIL: Please say we can tell the difference between wool and side arms.

VEN GARR: We can tell the difference, sir.

DROXIL: Can we?

VEN GARR: Not always, sir, no.

DROXIL: What are you doing here? Do you understand what is about to happen in this forest?

MADGE: I was just

(The lady Stormtrooper scans Madge.)

BILLIS: Sir, I think she's a time traveller.

DROXIL: We're sure it's not her cardigan?

MADGE: Who are you? It was Christmas.

(Madge starts crying.

In the tower, Cyril goes through an open door. It closes behind him. Meanwhile, on his trail -)

LILY: It's just irresponsible. How can you do this to my brother?

DOCTOR: It was meant to be a supervised trip.

LILY: To the future?

DOCTOR: Future, yes.

LILY: The future on a different planet.

DOCTOR: Oh yes, very different.

LILY: Where Christmas trees happen.

DOCTOR: Well, sort of Christmas trees. They're not really Christmas trees.

(Cyril has reached the top of the tower, where a wooden Queen is standing behind a throne, holding a circlet to place on the sitter's head. She blinks and looks at Cyril.

The Doctor and Lily arrive at the tower.)

DOCTOR: Oh, look at that!

LILY: What, are we going in?

DOCTOR: Cyril did.


DOCTOR: Interesting.

LILY: What's that? Is that a statue? What is it? It's like a King.

DOCTOR: A King, possibly, but not a statue. Look at the floor. This is what Cyril was following. The growing thing. Hatched from a bauble on a tree. Grew to this size in less than an hour, I'd say. Impressive. And so is this building. Yes. It's grown, see. This building, it isn't a building. It's a group of trees grown in the shape of a building. Disguised as a building. Ooo, clever. I love. Clever, clever old forest. So, a forest grows a building. Why would it do that, Lily?

LILY: I don't know.

DOCTOR: Why is there honey in a honey trap?

LILY: Because it's a trap?

DOCTOR: Exactly. Thing about people, we can never resist a door.

LILY: So this is a trap. What, we've just walked straight into a trap?

DOCTOR: A people trap. Question is, why does a forest need people?

LILY: We should go. We have to get out of here.

DOCTOR: Except?

LILY: Except Cyril was here.

(Lily takes the Doctor's offered hand.)

DOCTOR: So let's find Cyril.

[Not Narnia]

DROXIL: Ma'am, please stop crying. I can't interrogate you while you're crying. This is a military engagement! There's no crying in military engagements. Corporal Ven Garr, are you

VEN GARR: I'm fine, sir.

DROXIL: What is wrong with you?

VEN GARR: I have mother issues, sir. It's all on file. It won't affect the performance of my duties.

BILLIS: Er, sir. Er, with regret, I'm going to have to lower my gun.


BILLIS: She is a crying, unarmed female civilian. I'm thinking of the visual.

DROXIL: Nobody's looking.

BILLIS: Doesn't mean there's no visual.

DROXIL: That's exactly what nobody's looking means. It means there's no visual.

VEN GARR: I'm sorry, sir. It's under control. Do you want me to shoot her, sir?

BILLIS: Oh, this visual's deteriorating, sir.

DROXIL: Shut up.

(Billis puts down her gun.)

DROXIL: What are you doing?

BILLIS: I am respecting her as a woman, sir.

DROXIL: Okay, we're putting our guns on the ground. Okay? Happy now? We're stepping away from our guns. Now can we interrogate you? We're from Androzani Major. The year is 5345, and we mean you no harm. Where are you from?

MADGE: England, 1941. And there's a war on.

(Madge aims a revolver at the Stormtroopers.)

MADGE: Crying's ever so useful, isn't it?

DROXIL: If you say so. But there's nothing you could say that would convince me you'd ever use that gun.

MADGE: Oh really? Well, I'm looking for my children.

[Tower stairs]

DOCTOR: Cyril?

(They come to the door.)


DOCTOR [OC]: Cyril, can you hear me?

(The wooden Queen has moved to put the glowing circlet on Cyril's head. He dodges away.)

DOCTOR [OC]: Cyril? Cyril, can you hear me?

[Tower stairs]

DOCTOR: Oh, of course. It's wood. It's rubbish at wood.

LILY: It doesn't look like wood.

DOCTOR: It's disguised wood. Have you been listening?

LILY: How can trees grow into a building?

DOCTOR: Never underestimate a tree, Lily. I met the Forest of Cheem once. She fancied me.

(The Queen backs Cyril onto the throne. Lily looks out of a window.)

LILY: Look at that.

DOCTOR: Busy, actually. Yes, I know, it's wood. Get over it.

LILY: But there are stars. There are stars coming out.

DOCTOR: Yes, that does happen, Lily. Cyril!

LILY: Yes, but out of the trees. What is that?

DOCTOR: Life force. Pure life force, just singing.

LILY: Beautiful. Doesn't it make you want to cry?

DOCTOR: Crying when you're happy. Good for you. That's so human.

(A whoosh and a light from behind the door.)

LILY: What's that? What is it? Tell me what?

DOCTOR: Cyril, can you hear me?

(The Queen puts the circlet on Cyril's head. Downstairs, the King rises from his throne and starts up the stairs.)

LILY: Oh my god. Oh my god.

[Platform control]

(A small compartment at the top of the three legged version of a Star Wars Episode V AT-AT. Billis is tying Droxil to a suspension strut. Ven Garr has already been secured.)

MADGE: What is all this? Is it some kind of cockpit? My husband's a pilot.

BILLIS: It drives the platform.

MADGE: I don't understand! How did I get here?

BILLIS: You tell us, ma'am.

MADGE: I'm looking for my children.

VEN GARR: There is nobody else in this forest. There can't be.

BILLIS: Well, she found her way in. Maybe her kids did, too.

DROXIL: Then God help them.

MADGE: Why do you say that?

BILLIS: We can do a scan for life forms. We can detect people, even though they're far away.

MADGE: Like RDF, Radar.


MADGE: Then please stop patronising me and get on with it.

BILLIS: Yes, ma'am.

MADGE: Why did you say God help my children?

DROXIL: This forest is about to be harvested.

MADGE: Harvested?

DROXIL: Androzani trees. Greatest fuel source ever. The entire area is being melted down for battery fluid.

MADGE: Melted down? How do you melt a forest?

DROXIL: Acid rain. The satellites are in position. Anyone still out there in five minutes is going to burn.

[Tower stairs]

LILY: Caretaker, it's coming. Open it!

DOCTOR: I'm trying!

LILY: Open it!

DOCTOR: I'm trying.

(The door opens.)

DOCTOR: That wasn't me.

LILY: It doesn't matter.


LILY: What's wrong with him, Caretaker? Is he dead?

DOCTOR: It's okay. He's just unconscious. So what are you? Not a King, a Queen! The Queen Bee of the forest.

LILY: Caretaker, look.

DOCTOR: It's like

LILY: Like what?

DOCTOR: Like the life force is leaving the forest.

(The wooden King enters.)

LILY: What are they doing? Stop him!

(The Doctor waves his sonic screwdriver around.)

DOCTOR: Annoying aliens made of wood! It was always going to happen, you know. Er, it's okay. I think they just want to talk to us.

CYRIL: They're scared. Can't you hear them? The trees are screaming. Can't you hear?

DOCTOR: No, but you can. You're connected to them.

[Platform control]

BILLIS: Okay, picking up life signs about half a mile away.

MADGE: Can we go to them? Can we move this thing?

BILLIS: I'm not trained, ma'am. Those two are.

MADGE: I can't trust them.

BILLIS: I can't drive the platform, ma'am.

MADGE: It looks a little like a plane. My husband flies a plane. He took me up once.

BILLIS: It takes years of training. Scanning for an audio connection. We might be able to hear them.

COMPUTER: Acid rain alert. Five minute warning. Prepare for beam out.

BILLIS: I'm so sorry. You have to find a way out.

COMPUTER: Evacuate.

BILLIS: Acid fall is coming. You won't last two minutes.

COMPUTER: Evacuate.

MADGE: No, no, please wait. No, what am I to do?

COMPUTER: Evacuate.

(Billis, Droxil and Ven Garr are beamed out.)

COMPUTER: Evacuate.

MADGE: Where have you gone?

COMPUTER: Acid fall in five minutes. Unauthorised personnel will be incinerated.

(The audio scan finally picks up voices.)

LILY [OC]: Why have the stars left the trees?

CYRIL [OC]: I think they're

DOCTOR [OC]: Just concentrate. What are they


DOCTOR: Doing?

CYRIL: Evacuating. They're evacuating.


CYRIL: They're frightened of the rain. The rain that burns.

[Platform control]

LILY [OC]: Caretaker, please explain. I'm frightened.

DOCTOR [OC]: Those stars.


DOCTOR: They're pure life force. Souls, if you like. And they're trying to escape because they think their home is going to burn.

LILY: Why can't they just float up into the sky?

DOCTOR: They need to travel inside a living thing. Inside Cyril. You see, this, it's not a crown, it's a relay. They're turning your brother into a lifeboat. That's what this place is for, then. It's an escape plan, is that it? Don't you harm him. Do not touch that child!

(The wooden Queen puts her hand on Cyril's shoulder, and he speaks with her voice.)

CYRIL/QUEEN: Your coming was foretold.

LILY: Oh my God, what is that? Why did he sound like that?

DOCTOR: Oh, hello. Are we lip synching now?

CYRIL/QUEEN: We had faith. Your coming was foretold.

DOCTOR: There's no such thing as foretelling. Trust a time traveller.

CYRIL/QUEEN: We waited, and you came.

DOCTOR: So, you've got an escape plan. Why aren't you escaping?

CYRIL/QUEEN: The child is weak.

DOCTOR: You mean he's a child.

CYRIL/QUEEN: No, he is weak. The forest cannot live in him. But there are others.

DOCTOR: There certainly are. And, the good thing is I look great in a hat. So, let's get this thing off, eh?

CYRIL/QUEEN: You are also weak.

DOCTOR: I'm really not. Let's save a forest, eh, Cyril?

CYRIL/QUEEN: You are not the one. You are weak.

DOCTOR: I'm really not.

(The Doctor takes the circlet from Cyril's head. It hurts him.)


LILY: Let go! Just let go! Drop it! Let it go! Please, just drop it.

DOCTOR: I can't!

(Lily snatches it from him. It doesn't hurt her at all.)

LILY: Oh, it's funny, isn't it. It's sort of tingly.

DOCTOR: Tingly?

(The Queen touches Lily.)

LILY/QUEEN: She is strong, but she is young.

(Lily pulls away and drops the circlet.)

DOCTOR: She's strong, I'm weak. Interesting.

CYRIL: Mummy?

LILY: Cyril, it's all right. It's me. Mummy isn't here but, we're going home to her right now, aren't we, Caretaker?

(A thunder storm begins.)

DOCTOR: No. I don't think we are. The rain that burns. Acid rain.

[Platform control]

DOCTOR [OC]: We have to get out of this forest. We're in terrible danger. This tower won't protect us for long.

CYRIL [OC]: Where's Mummy?

LILY [OC]: She's coming. You know she's coming, because


LILY: Because she always comes, doesn't she.

DOCTOR: Cyril. The way we came here. That door won't stay open for ever. Now, I'm not even sure if I can get us through the forest safely, but if we're going to have any chance at all, we have to go now.

CYRIL: No. We wait for Mummy. Mummy always comes.

DOCTOR: Not this time, Cyril. I'm sorry, but not this time.

(Here comes the platform, clomping through the forest and swaying a bit too much.)

LILY: What's that?

DOCTOR: It's an Androzani Harvester, but

LILY: You recognise that thing?

DOCTOR: More to the point, I think I recognise the driving. Ha ha! Madge has entered the forest!

[Platform control]

DOCTOR [OC]: Come on, Madge.


DOCTOR: You can do it. You go, girl.

[Platform control]

MADGE: Oh, shut up, you ridiculous oaf!

DOCTOR [OC]: Come on. This way, girl. You can do it, you can do it! Excellent driving! Hello!

MADGE: Caretaker?


MADGE: You're fired!


(But just before she reaches the window, the harvester topples sideways.)

DOCTOR: It's okay, she's fine. Don't worry. Stay here. Just stay here.


DOCTOR: Madge! Madge!

(Madge runs in with burn holes in her coat.)

DOCTOR: You okay?

MADGE: Stay inside. The rain is frightful. Lily? Cyril?


MADGE: Cyril.


MADGE: Lily. Oh, what are you doing? How dare you leave the house? Cyril, what have I told you about opening your presents early?

CYRIL: Sorry, mummy.

MADGE: Something like this was bound to happen. What are those?

LILY: Stay away from it. You have to stay back.

MADGE: That's beautiful, isn't it?

CYRIL: Mummy?

MADGE: See how it shines.

(The Queen puts the coronet on Madge.)


(The Doctor scans the remains of the platform.)

DOCTOR: Nice one, Madge. A complete write off.

(The stars from the forest are converging on the Tower room.)


LILY: The stars are going inside her. She's taking the whole forest.

MADGE: Oh, this is marvellous. Oh, this is really quite wonderful.

(Then it ends.)

DOCTOR: Madge? Are you all right? Talk to me. Madge, can you hear me?

MADGE: Yes, I can hear you. I'm perfectly fine, thank you.

DOCTOR: Fine? You've got a whole world inside your head.

MADGE: I know! It's funny, isn't it? One can't imagine being a forest, then suddenly one can. How remarkable.

DOCTOR: You're okay. She's okay.

MADGE/QUEEN: She is strong.

MADGE: Ooo. That wasn't me. This is all really rather clever, isn't it?

DOCTOR: She's strong. She's strong. Ooo, stupid me. Stupid old Doctor. Do you get it, Cyril?


DOCTOR: Lily, you do, don't you?


DOCTOR: Course you do. Think about it. Weak and strong. It's a translation. Translated from the base code of nature itself. You and I, Cyril, we're weak. But she's female. More than female, she's mum. How else does life ever travel? The Mother ship.

(The dome detaches itself from the tower and rises into the air.)

LILY: What's happening?

DOCTOR: No idea. Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan.

(The dome zooms off into space and down a familiar corridor.)

DOCTOR: This is amazing.

CYRIL: Where are we?

DOCTOR: Technically, we're not anywhere. We've flown into the Time Vortex. You've what you wanted. Those idiots down there can burn your old home and you'll be safe out here. But these people helped you, and they're in my protection. Now help them. How do we get home?


DOCTOR: Sorry? What?

MADGE/QUEEN: She must only think.

DOCTOR: Madge, did you hear that? You said it, but did you hear it? You've got to think.

MADGE: Think what?

DOCTOR: Think of home. Just picture it, feel it! You have to really feel it. Can you do that? Your mind is controlling this vessel. You can fly us all back for Christmas.

MADGE: My head is full of trees, Caretaker. Can't you fly us home?

DOCTOR: I don't have a home to think of. And between you and me, I'm older than I look and I can't feel the way you do. Not any more. And you really need to feel it, Madge. Everything about home that you miss until you can't bear it. Until you almost burst.

MADGE: Till it hurts. Is that what you mean, Caretaker? Till it hurts.

DOCTOR: Yes. Yes.

(Madge takes the telegram from her coat pocket.)

MADGE: Well then, home in time for Christmas!

(Not the smoothest ride.)

LILY: What's happening? Where are we going?

DOCTOR: Show them! Show them! Ha! The Time Vortex. Your mother is flying a forest through the Time Vortex. Be a little impressed. What are you going home for? What's pulling you there? Please, try. Please, think.

(An image of Reg holding a baby, of him in his uniform waving goodbye.)


CYRIL: Daddy!

MADGE: My Reg!

(Playing in the garden, birthdays.)

DOCTOR: That's it, focus on Reg. Be careful, but focus on him.

MADGE: Oh, I don't know.

DOCTOR: How did you meet? You and Reg. Tell me how you met.

MADGE: He followed me home. I worked in the dairy. He always used to follow me home.

LILY: Look at Father. He looks so young.

MADGE: He said he'd keep on following me till I married him. Didn't like to make a scene.

DOCTOR: Just stay focused. Think of home. This thing, it works psychically. It'll find a signal and lock on.

(The bomber appears.)

MADGE: No. No, please. Don't show me that. Please don't show me that!

CYRIL: Is that Daddy's plane?

MADGE: Please, I don't want to see that! Please!

(Smoke is pouring from the bomber as it goes down.)

DOCTOR: No, no, no, no, no, Madge. Don't break the signal now. We can't break it now. I'm sorry, Madge.

MADGE: Not the night he died. I don't want to see him die!

LILY: What do you mean, the night he died?

MADGE: Oh please don't make me watch him die!

CYRIL: Mummy? Is Daddy dead? Mummy!


CO-PILOT: Sir, Anderson's in a bad way. Where are we?

REG: I don't know. Somewhere over the Channel.

CO-PILOT: What do I tell Anderson?

REG: Tell him. Tell him, tell him we're going home for Christmas.

CO-PILOT: Yes, sir.

REG: I'm sorry, my love.

(A bright light fills the cockpit.)

MADGE [OC]: Goodbye, my love. Goodbye!


(The dome has landed with a thump somewhere. The Doctor wafts the smoke away from the figures of Madge, Lily and Cyril lying on the floor. The circlet has fallen off Madge's head.)

DOCTOR: Cyril, Lily, are you all right?

MADGE: Are they dead?

DOCTOR: No, they're just wood now. They've been emptied. The forest has gone from your head too, hasn't it.

MADGE: But where is it now?

DOCTOR: The life force of the whole forest has transmuted itself into a sub-etheric waveband of light, which can exist as a

(He is stopped by a Look.)

DOCTOR: The souls of the trees are out among the stars, and they're shining, very happy. And you got them there. Well done, Madge.

MADGE: And where are we?

DOCTOR: Home! Christmas morning.

(They are outside Uncle Digby's house.)

DOCTOR: We've taken a bit of a short cut. Haven't you always wanted to do that?

LILY: Mother?

MADGE: Oh, look at you. You've been so brave, you. Look, we're home again, see?

LILY: What did you mean, watch him die? Where's Father? Where is he? Where's Daddy? Why are you holding a telegram? Well, what does it say?

CYRIL: Please, just tell us.

LILY: Tell us!

DOCTOR: I imagine you'd prefer to be alone.

MADGE: I don't believe anyone would prefer that. Stay close, Caretaker.

DOCTOR: I'll be right outside.

(The Doctor leaves.)

MADGE: Lily, Cyril.

[Outside Uncle Digby's house]

MADGE [OC]: A few nights ago, your father, who as you know, was the best of men and the bravest of pilots


MADGE: Was flying home for Christmas. His plane was badly damaged, and his instruments failed him. Unfortunately, he was flying on a night where there was no moon, and because it was very cloudy, there were no stars to. There were no stars to light his way.

CYRIL: Did he get lost?

MADGE: Yes, Cyril. He got so very lost.

DOCTOR: Er, sorry to interrupt. You might want to pop out here for a moment.

MADGE: Caretaker, I'm talking to my children.

DOCTOR: I know, and before you go any further, I think you'd better come and look.


(More like a field, a bit rough and overgrown.)

DOCTOR: No stars to light the way, Madge? There was one.


DOCTOR [OC]: There was you.

CO-PILOT: What is it?

REG: I don't know, but it's all we've got. We can follow it.

(And he does, through the Time Vortex.)


DOCTOR: Madge Arwell, who flew a whole forest though the Time Vortex, plus one husband.

(The Bomber has landed safely.)

DOCTOR: He did it again, Madge. He followed you home. Look what you can do, Mother Christmas.

REG: Madge, what am I doing here?

MADGE: It's Christmas Day, my love! Where else would you be?

REG: Christmas Day? How?

MADGE: We took a short cut.

(Big family reunion.)

LILY + CYRIL: Daddy!

DOCTOR: Happy crying. Humany wumany.


(Down in the main sitting room, the happy family are doing a jigsaw in front of a roaring fire. Later, Madge comes into the attic and sees the Tardis. The Doctor comes out of it.)


MADGE: Of course. It's you, isn't it? My spaceman angel, with his head on backwards.

DOCTOR: How do I look the right way round?

MADGE: Funnier.


MADGE: So you came back.

DOCTOR: Well, you were there for me when I had a bad day. Always like to return a favour. Got a bit glitchy in the middle there, but it sort of worked out in the end. Story of my life.

MADGE: Thank you.

DOCTOR: Oh, you did it all yourself, Madge Arwell. But thanks for thanking me.

MADGE: Now, the last time I saw you, I went back the next day, but the police box had gone.

DOCTOR: Yeah. You want to see how it's done?

MADGE: No. I want you to stay for Christmas, please.

DOCTOR: Ah, well, you see, things to do, people to see.

MADGE: Of course. Yes. Family of your own.

DOCTOR: Well, no, actually.

MADGE: Oh. Yes, yes, you said no family. But there must be people who love you. Friends.

DOCTOR: No. Well, yes, but. It's a long story. But they all think I'm dead. Never mind. Anyway, watch my box do its thing. It's really cool. You'll love it.

MADGE: No. No one should be alone at Christmas.

DOCTOR: I'm fine. I don't mind. I'm really very good at being

MADGE: I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about your friends. You can't let them think that you're dead. Not at Christmas.

DOCTOR: It's complicated. Very complicated. It's far too complicated to explain right now.

MADGE: You must tell them. At once. Off you go.

DOCTOR: Yes, Mum. I'll think about it.

(He kisses her on the cheek.)

DOCTOR: Now, eyes on the box.

MADGE: Oh, Caretaker? What if I require you again?

DOCTOR: Make a wish.

(He goes into the Tardis and it dematerialises as Reg comes in.)

REG: What the hell was that?

MADGE: That was just the Caretaker returning to the Time Vortex. It's a lovely place. I've been there myself. Shall we go downstairs?

[Front door]

(The Doctor knocks on a blue suburban front door with a yale lock.)

AMY [OC]: Argh! If that is more carol singers, I have a water pistol! You don't want to be all wet on a night like this.

(She opens the door and squirts the Doctor.)

DOCTOR: Not absolutely sure how long

AMY: Two years?

(Squirt, squirt, squirt.)

DOCTOR: Okay. Fair point.

AMY: So, you're not dead.

DOCTOR: And a happy New Year!

AMY: River told us.

DOCTOR: Well, of course she did.

AMY: She's a good girl. Well? I'm not going to hug first.

DOCTOR: Nor am I.

(They spend a few moments not looking at each other before laughing and hugging.)

AMY: Mister Pond! Guess who's coming for dinner?

RORY: Whoa. Not dead, then.

AMY: We've done that.


AMY: We're about to have Christmas dinner. Joining us?

DOCTOR: If it's no trouble.

RORY: There's a place set for you.

DOCTOR: But you didn't know I was coming. Why would you set me a place?

AMY: Oh, because we always do. It's Christmas, you moron.

RORY: Come on.

(Amy and Rory go inside. The Doctor hesitates, then feels his face. It is wet with happy tears.)

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