edited by Ian Farrington
Whether made of flesh and bone, or created in the deep recesses of the mind, monsters are terrible things…
They hunt, they chase, they stalk.
They don't stop and they don't listen to your pleas…
They come after you in the night, when you least expect it; they invade your world when all seems safe.
Monsters features stories that tell tale of such beasts - some real, some imaginary; some alien, some homegrown.
Don't read it alone…
by Ian Mond
and Danny Oz
Arriving in Fitzroy, Australia, at the start of the Twenty-First Century, the Doctor and Charley learn that a science fiction novel called ‘The Darvias Saga’ is proving so popular that riots are breaking out due to its limited availability. When Tristan, a friend of the Doctor’s, is killed in one such stampede at a small bookshop, the Doctor decides to investigate. Having obtained Tristan’s copy of the book, available on Biblio-Tablet – a small, handheld device with a retinal recognition sensor that allows the novel to be read by only one person – the Doctor reprogrammes the device and sets about reading the novel. Charley heads for the offices of the novel’s publishers, Chulka Biblio Tablets, where she meets a group of protestors, lead by Professor Bruce Gillespie. After joining their cause against the menace of ‘The Darvias Saga’, Charley sees a television interview with the novel’s author, Nathanial Clamp, who announces that a prequel, ‘Darvias: Beginning’ will be released in a few days, with an even more limited print run. Realising that this will result in more violence, Bruce and his friends are incensed, and decide that Clamp must die. Having determined that the Biblio-Tablet is broadcasting a signal of alien origin, the Doctor uses the TARDIS to track the signal to its source in an underground warehouse. Taking a copy of the second novel from a packing case, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS and takes the ship into a temporal orbit, allowing him the opportunity to read the prequel. Then, returning to the warehouse only seconds after the TARDIS left, the Doctor meets Mr Thluss and his board of Directors - a race of aliens from the upper dimensions who use insidious methods to incite the lower races to commit acts of violence, which Thluss and his associates then transmit back to their people as entertainment. Charley attempts to shoot Clamp as the alien arrives for a public appearance, but at the last minute she cannot bring herself to commit murder, and she instead shoots Bruce in the shoulder. The Doctor informs Thluss that he has published ‘Darvias: Beginning’ on their website, allowing everyone in the world to read it, and thereby putting a stop to the riots. Gracefully admitting defeat, Thluss agrees to leave Earth and allow the Doctor to go free. But as the Doctor rejoins Charley, he is unaware that Thluss has taken an interest in him, and all the other ‘agents’ designated ‘The Doctor’; the alien broadcaster has arranged for the Doctors’ adventures to be covered by pan-dimensional nano-cameras, thereby ensuring a massive ratings boom…
*Featuring the Eighth Doctor and Charley
by Jim Mortimore
The Time Lords send the Doctor to converse with an alien mind. The intelligence is the oldest life form in the universe, and, over the aeons, has seen countless civilisations rise and fall; however, the Mind has come to perceive the decline of society as an unnamed infection, and its attempts to warn a race known as the Iarcho inadvertently result in its committing genocide. In explaining its actions to the Doctor, the Mind realises its error, and hopes for redemption. Satisfied that the Mind no longer poses a threat, the Doctor leaves the intelligence free to roam the universe. Millennia pass, and the universe reaches its natural end. Believing that it too will die as the universe expires, the Mind is amazed when it finds itself in a new universe born out of the old. The intelligence is overjoyed to realise that there will be other Minds here, and that it will no longer be alone…
*Featuring the Doctor
*It is not made clear which incarnation of the Doctor this is - he is only described as having ‘a harshly angular face and thumb-tucked arrogance’; seeing as this sounds most like Richard E. Grant’s Doctor, which is not regarded as canon, I’m leaving this out of the main timeline, and placing it under ‘Miscellaneous’
by Marc Platt
In the last few hours of Epajaeda, a world stripped bare of all its resources by the Derris-Cutherbertson Mining Corporation, the Doctor and Ace search for the source of a fault-line in the temporal continuum which will soon cause the planet to implode. As the departure time for the final flight to leave the ravaged world approaches, the Time Lord’s investigations are hampered by the Essjays, bureaucratic androids who refuse to listen to the Doctor’s warnings that Epajaeda’s rat population is about to reclaim the planet. Also waiting out the final few hours are the frog-like Travellers, who refuse to leave the planet because they believe that the DCMC will honour their contract to restore Epajaeda to its former glory. The Doctor’s efforts to convince the Travellers that the ancient agreement with Derris Cutherbertson is now worthless are interrupted by the manifestation of a Rat-Kaiser – a massive ball of rats that have formed a gestalt entity in order to destroy the airport and all inside. As the final spaceship leaves the planet another ship arrives, and the elderly form of Derris Cutherbertson himself emerges. After destroying the Rat-Kaiser with an energy beam, the three-hundred year old miner then explains that his corporation created the temporal duct in order to fulfil the terms of his and the Travellers’ agreement, by channelling the filtered ocean of the planet Dirrijali through to the surface. The Doctor is furious that the revitalisation of Epajaeda means the destruction of Dirrijali, but Cutherbertson replies that that world will subsequently be restored once its contract has been completed. While the Travellers retire to a safe distance to watch, the Doctor and Ace leave in the TARDIS; however, just as Cutherbertson activates the controls to begin the process, he is swallowed whole by a second Rat-Kaiser…
*Featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace
'The Touch of the Nurazh'
by Stephen Hatcher
Jo pays a visit to her uncle, Jack Canning, who is staying at the top-secret convalescent home of Kenstone Hall, in Warwickshire, after receiving injuries while on a mission in Bulgaria. Jo is pleasantly surprised to find that Jack is making better progress than expected, but her interest is further piqued when she notes that all the other patients have made astonishing recoveries, particularly another operative, who seems to have regrown the hand that he once lost. After bidding farewell to Jack, Jo leaves in a taxi, but on the journey home the driver inexplicably dies, stranding the vehicle on a level crossing in front of an oncoming train. Jo narrowly escapes with her life, and, returning to UNIT headquarters, she recounts her story to the Doctor and the Brigadier; the Doctor immediately decides to investigate, and he returns to Kenstone Hall with Jo. When the matron, Miss Caxton, refuses to let them in, they sneak in through the tradesman’s door at the back of the property and then find Jack, who mentions the word ‘Nurazh’ before turning on them. The Doctor and Jo are seized by several patients, all of whom seem to be under some form of mind control, and taken to meet the Master, who has taken over the facility with the aid of an alien mind parasite known as a Nurazh. The Master found the creature on a remote world, where it was stranded due to insufficient energy; after taking over its victim’s minds, the Nutazh then heals their bodies so that it can gain maximum benefit from them. The Master has struck a deal with the parasite, and intends to use its mind-controlling abilities to take over the country, and then the world. The creature, in its host body of Miss Caxton, takes over Jo and tries to tap deep into the Doctor’s mind, but the Time Lord manages to resist. Having absorbed sufficient energy, Nurazh then turns on the Master, but the renegade is able to escape in his TARDIS. With the aid of a post-hypnotic trigger, the Doctor is able to free Jo from the creature’s influence, and together they head from the roof of the hospital. A struggle ensues, and the Doctor and the Nurazh fall to their deaths. While the Doctor begins to regenerate, the Nuraz, its host body now dead, attempts to take over the Time Lord’s mind; however, the regeneration overloads the mind parasite, killing it. The patients are freed from the creature’s control, while the Doctor reverts to his current incarnation. Following their ordeal, the Doctor suggest that they take a holiday in the country...
*Featuring the Third Doctor, Jo, the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton
by Matt Grady
Doctor Elizabeth Shaw is assigned by U.N.I.T. to the University of Rome’s Science Building to investigate a mysterious bust of the Emperor Nero which has recently been discovered in the sunken wreckage of a Roman slave-trader ship. The marble bust appears to have a heat source inside it which is causing condensation to steadily drip out of a crack in its surface. So far, all of Liz’s attempts to identify the nature of the source have proved fruitless, and her frustration increases when she is given a new assistant, Doctor Jonas Smythe. That afternoon the bust is returned to its pedestal in the museum; believing that the bust is talking to him, a visitor makes a failed attempt to steal the object, but in the commotion the bust falls to the floor and the nose shatters. When Smythe suggests that he and Liz use an EEG machine to check for brainwaves inside the bust, the two scientists find a life form inside; Smythe deduces that a meteorite containing an alien creature crashed to Earth millions of years ago and became trapped in molten lava, which eventually metamorphosed into the marble from which the bust was carved. Meanwhile, the university’s caretaker, Claudio, finds himself drawn to the bust, which seems to be speaking to him; however, the object sucks all the heat out of Claudio’s body, setting fire to the laboratory in the process. After the fire brigade has managed to extinguish the conflagration, Smythe sifts through the ashes and finds the bust, which he immediately places in a container of liquid nitrogen. He then leaves with the bust, telling Liz that he will return its contents “to sender”. Some time later, a replacement - and fake - bust is returned to the museum, and the heat source is explained away as a hoax.
*Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Turlough and Liz Shaw
Time-placing: the young red-haired driver is probably Turlough, so this should take place between ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ and ‘Planet of Fire’
'These Things Take Time'
by Samantha Baker
The Doctor, Ace and Hex arrive in Armstrong’s Colony, an Earth outpost in the far future. While the Doctor sets off to help Lord Denton de Kay Leigh with a problem concerning a group of marauding bandits, Ace and Hex explore the medieval surroundings. However, Hex begins to experience time out of sequence, and even sees Ace and the Doctor beheaded by a enraged mob. He tells the Doctor, who realises that the effect is due to a tracking device he gave to his companions, which was subsequently stolen by Denton’s servant, Venetia; when Hex attempted to apprehend the girl, he came in contact with the device, which resulted in the timeslips. When Hex next experiences another such jump, he smashes the tracker - and promptly finds himself back in the TARDIS with the Doctor and Ace. With the alternate future in which he and Ace died now made redundant, the Doctor thinks it wise that they choose not to visit Lord Denton…
*Featuring the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex
by Simon Guerrier
Having visited the blasted wasteland of a world utterly destroyed by war, the Doctor takes Sarah to an extravagant party where the baby of two aristocrats is to be christened. Sarah is confused as to why they she and the Doctor are there, until she sees the Doctor’s previous incarnation standing in line, ready to present the baby with a silver knife. The child’s mother, Ann, is dissatisfied with her marriage, and believes that the child will now receive what little attention her husband currently gives her; strangely, she finds herself surrounded by several young women, all of whom seem to be deliberately distracting her with idle conversation. An old man waiting behind the Doctor causes a commotion, dropping the silver knife that he carries before leaving with his young granddaughter. Reaching the head of the line, the Third Doctor is about to stab the child with the knife when he is stopped by a signal from his Sixth incarnation. Sarah realises that there are other incarnations of the Doctor present, all carrying the same knife, and all waiting in line to see the baby while their companions distract the child’s mother. The Doctor tells Sarah that the baby will grow to become the terrible dictator responsible for the destruction they saw earlier; the Time Lord has been trying to kill the child throughout his lives, but can never bring himself to commit such a terrible act. The Doctor suddenly realises what he must do, and he helps his Eighth incarnation stage a fake attempt on the child’s life; after guards seize the Time Lord, Ann realises that she cares deeply about the child’s well-being, whereas her husband was completely unconcerned. A short while later, having helped his future incarnation escape, the Doctor tells Sarah that Ann’s new-found love for her baby will change the way he grows up – but Sarah can’t help but wonder if it will be for the better…
*Featuring the First Doctor and Susan, the Second Doctor and Jamie, the Third Doctor and Jo, the Fourth Doctor and Sarah, the Fifth Doctor, Turlough and Tegan, the Sixth Doctor and Peri, and the Eighth Doctor and Charley
*Time-placing: multiple Doctor stories are always such a pain! Here goes: the First Doctor and Susan appear to be on their own, so I’m placing this before they initially arrive on Earth, pre-Season 1. Whereas all the other Doctors have female companions distracting Ann, the only mention of the Second Doctor’s friends is Jamie, so I’m placing this in Season 6a. The Third Doctor is travelling with Jo, so this should occur during Season 10; the Fourth Doctor is with Sarah, and the story is quite dark, so it’s probably going to fit best during Season 13. The Fifth Doctor is with Tegan, so, assuming Turlough is off sulking in the TARDIS, I’m choosing to place this at the start of Season 21. The Sixth Doctor is with Peri, and in light of his intentions in this story, Season 24 seems most appropriate. The Seventh Doctor is travelling with Ace, and could be set any time, so I’m placing this in Season 26a just for the heck of it. Finally, the Eighth Doctor is with Charley, so, because of the mood of the tale, I’m placing it amongst the second, darker themed season of Big Finish stories.
by Joseph Lidster
The Doctor and Peri investigate reports of several missing girls, and discover that the culprit is a vampire named Saric Warder. The Doctor learns that the vampire is using a taxicab to trap his victims, but he is too late to prevent the death of a young girl named Sacha. The Time Lord pursues Saric into a nearby office block, but the vampire traps the occupants of a lift and immediately begins feasting. The Doctor intervenes, and a fierce struggle breaks out in the gory confines of the lift; by thrusting the vampire’s head through the open doors as it descends, the Doctor is able to decapitate the creature; as the lift doors open, Peri is drenched in the blood of Saric’s victims, and is shocked at the fury on the enraged Doctor’s face. Some time later, one of the survivors of the lift massacre, a bored office worker named Mr Thompson, recovers from his ordeal, and comes to appreciate the humdrum life he leads. Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor struggles to come to terms with the fury that he experienced during the fight; when Peri forgives his actions, believing that he always tries to do the right thing, whatever his methods, the Doctor decides to change his ways…
*Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri
*Time-placing: this could be the moment when the Doctor changes his violent ways, so I'm placing this towards the end of Season 22
'Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life'
by Anthony Keetch
The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Nyssa to Greenford Broadway in London, but instead of a bustling street, the two travellers find the place deserted. They then encounter Norman Atkinson, a man obsessed with the television programme ‘Surrender, Earthlings!’, which is being shown on every television set in the window of a nearby electrical store, and when the Doctor watches some of the broadcast, he too begins to exhibit very odd behaviour. After the show ends the street becomes filled with people; Norman tells the Doctor and Nyssa that the BBC’s news science fiction drama, ‘Surrender, Earthlings!’, has become the number one programme in the country, and is shown many times throughout the day. However, Nyssa becomes suspicious after noting that although the newspapers are filled with articles and interviews with the ‘alien’ actors, their real names are never mentioned. The ‘aliens’ themselves arrive in the high street, and when the Doctor gushingly asks for an autograph, he is promptly taken back to their spaceship. Meanwhile, Nyssa is abducted by Norman’s twin brother, Reg, and taken back to his house to meet his friends, the self-appointed Provisional Wing of the national Viewers and Listener’s Association, who believe that ‘Surrender, Earthlings!’ is evil, and that the BBC must be destroyed. The Doctor is imprisoned inside a disused wine cellar, and forced to endure terrible withdrawal symptoms from ‘Surrender, Earthlings!’; he then realises that the ‘aliens’ are real – they are the Xyz, a race of conflict-hating creatures who take over worlds through the insidious medium of XXXX television broadcasts. The Xyz leader / Executive Producer releases the Time Lord and sends him on his way, promising that he will be killed by the general public once a look-a-like actor is introduced into the show in the role of a traitor. The Doctor heads for BBC Television Centre, while Nyssa and he motley collection of allies also make for the same destination. But when the V&LA gang become entranced by the latest episode of ‘Surrender, Earthlings!’., which is being shown on the commissionaire’s television set, only Nyssa is unaffected enough to sneak inside the building. The Doctor finds the Director General’s office, and manages to convince the vacuous man of the danger posed by the aliens’ transmissions. Reunited with Nyssa, the Doctor destroys the ratings processor, convincing the BBC’s transmission suite into believing that the zero ratings mean that a nuclear war has broken out. The transmission is terminated, and while the country’s viewers are forced to come to terms with the concept of no more transmission of ‘Surrender, Earthlings!’, the defeated aliens meekly leave the planet…
*Featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa
by Jacqueline Rayner
The TARDIS crew arrive in Ireland in the Mid-Fourteenth Century, and while the Doctor and Jamie set off to deal with some robots, Victoria stays behind with a family of locals. That night, Victoria screams in fright after seeing the face of a monster at her bedroom window, but the creature vanishes as quickly as it appeared, and no-one believes her claims. The head of the family, Cormac, becomes concerned when his son, Tadhg falls ill and his servant girl, Martha, is found dead; as Tadhg’s condition worsens his body becomes covered in pus-filled boils. Victoria again sees the monster, and not long after the young boy dies. The next morning, news comes that several villagers, including the local doctor, have all died from the same symptoms. After Cormac and his wife Sorcha fall ill, Cormac’s brother, Niall, finally listens to Victoria’s claims of a monster. However, only Victoria can see the creature, and when Sorcha and Corma both succumb to their condition, Niall accuses the young girl of being a witch, and he tries to strangle her. Victoria is saved by the arrival of the Doctor and Jamie, and Niall succumbs to the illness. The Doctor explains that the villagers are dying from the Black Death; he then runs blood tests on Victoria, and is pleased to confirm that she has not contracted the illness. When Victoria sees the monster again, the Doctor realises that the creature is a Banshee, a supernatural creature whose scream heralds death; it seems that the Banshee has come for Victoria, as it believes that her screams also have the same effect. But the Doctor, aware that his and his companions’ travels have led them to pick up many different antibodies, injects some of Victoria’s blood into Niall, curing him of the plague. Now that Victoria has saved a life, the Banshee departs empty-handed. However, Victoria’s experiences have caused her to rethink her life aboard the TARDIS…
*Featuring the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria
'The Colour of Monsters'
by Steve Lyons
An alien fleet attacks a world believed to be underdeveloped, but the inhabitants prove to be more advanced than expected. Badly wounded, the lone survivor of a crashed spaceship drags itself out of the wreckage and takes shelter in a nearby barn. The creature is found by a young girl named Amy, but instead of being afraid of the ‘monster’, the child tries to strike up a conversation with it; at first the monster can only think of killing Amy, but it soon comes to listen to her words, and tells her of its people. Unable to grasp the concept of a race bred solely for fighting, Amy offers the monster the chance to stay with her and her parents; the monster is surprised to find itself considering her offer, but when it becomes apparent that it would be nothing more than a pet, the enraged creature attacks the girl. However, the monster is interrupted by the arrival of a man – whom it recognises as the legendary enemy of its race. The man uses a device to subdue the monster, but as the last vestiges of its strength ebb away, the creature knocks the device from his grasp; the instrument sets light to the straw in the barn, and a fire swiftly breaks out. As the man carries the child to safety, the monster accepts its imminent death, knowing that it – like its enemy – was only behaving the way it was born to be…
*Featuring the Doctor
*Time-placing: the story is very ambiguous – the planet could be Earth, the monster could be a Sontaran, and the man could be the Doctor – although we are not really told which incarnation. The Man is described as having “wild hair, extravagant clothing”, a “haughty posture”, and a voice that is “a confidant growl”, which could be an angry Sixth Doctor; however, for the purposes of the Timeline, I’m going to list the story under ‘Miscellaneous Stories’
*Published by Big Finish